Archives for December 2005

1975 Cabinet Papers Released

The National Archives of Australia has tonight released Cabinet documents from 1975.

The documents cover the period of the Second Whitlam Government until its dismissal on November 11, 1975, and the First and Second Fraser Governments from November 11 and December 22.

A mass of documents is now available that will take some time to come to grips with. An early perusal shows that Treasurer Jim Cairns described the economic situation at the beginning of 1975 as “very bad” and said “there are no quick solutions”. Cairns advocated deficit reduction but not to the extent that it jeopardised the government’s program. Later in the year, the new Treasurer, Bill Hayden, also contemplated a rising deficit and said it was “as attractive as going to sleep in the snow”. [Read more…]

Cutler Advised Kerr To Warn Whitlam

A new allegation has surfaced that the then Governor-General, Sir John Kerr, discussed his intention to dismiss the Whitlam Government with the then Governor of New South Wales, Sir Roden Cutler.

Sir Roden CutlerSir Roden’s nephew, David Tyrer, in a letter to Whitlam last November, claims that Kerr discussed his intentions with Cutler. Tyrer asserts that Cutler cautioned Kerr to advise Whitlam of his intentions.

The allegation is contained in an article by Alan Ramsey in today’s Sydney Morning Herald. Headed “Why that old Whitlam fire just won’t die”, Ramsey discusses the forthcoming release of the 1975 Cabinet Papers. A briefing for journalists was held by the National Archives last week but under the 30-year rule the cabinet papers are embargoed until midnight on January 1, 2006. [Read more…]