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Archives for 2007

Kim Beazley snr, Whitlam’s Education Minister, Dies, 90

Kim Beazley, the Minister for Education in the Whitlam Government, has died, aged 90.

Kim BeazleyBeazley served as the Minister for Education from December 19, 1972, until the government was dismissed on November 11, 1975.

He was responsible for the implementation of iconic Whitlam policies, including the abolition of university fees and needs-based funding of schools.

Kim Edward Beazley, born on September 30, 1917, succeeded the former Prime Minister, John Curtin, in the Western Australian seat of Fremantle, at a by-election on August 18, 1945. He held the seat until he retired at the 1977 election. When first elected, he was the youngest member of the House of Representatives, aged 27. [Read more…]

Gough Whitlam, 91 Years Young

Edward Gough Whitlam, Prime Minister of Australia 1972-75, living national treasure, is 91 years old today.

It is 55 years since Whitlam was first elected to the House of Representatives, 40 years since he was elected Federal Labor leader, 35 years since he was elected Prime Minister, 32 years since he was dismissed by Governor-General Kerr, 30 years since he fought his last election as leader, and 29 years since he left the Parliament.

Tom Burns Dies, 75; Accompanied Whitlam On Historic China Visit

Tom Burns, the Federal ALP President who accompanied Gough Whitlam on his historic trip to China in 1971, has died, aged 75.

Tom BurnsThe China visit was a precursor to the Whitlam government’s diplomatic recognition of the People’s Republic of China in 1972.

Burns’ interest in China was maintained throughout his political career. Following his retirement from parliament in 1996, he was appointed Chairman of the Queensland-China Council and participated in many government and business delegations to China. In 2003, he met with Chinese President Hu Jintao, in Cairns.

Burns was also instrumental in assisting Whitlam to reform the ALP prior to the 1972 elections. He was Queensland secretary of the ALP from 1965-72. The current Secretary, Milton Dick, today described Burns as a “workers’ hero”. [Read more…]

Gough and Margaret Whitlam Awarded ALP National Life Membership

Gough Whitlam, 90, and his wife, Margaret, 87, have been awarded the first-ever life memberships of the Australian Labor Party at the national level.

Gough and Margaret WhitlamThe awards were made at the ALP National Conference in Sydney.

Addressing the conference, the former Prime Minister reminded delegates of his famous admonition of the Victorian branch in 1967 when he derided the oppositionist mentality that equated defeat with ideological purity: “Certainly the impotent are pure”.

Forty years later, the nonagenarian Whitlam told the conference, “when I was 50 I could get away with saying things like that.”

Whitlam noted that under his leadership in the 1969 elections, the ALP secured “the greatest swing on record and won 17 seats”. It would not have been lost on conference delegates that in 2007 the ALP needs to win 16 seats to secure a bare majority in the House of Representatives. [Read more…]

Paul Jones, Creator Of ‘It’s Time’ Advertisement, Dies

The death of the creator of Gough Whitlam’s 1972 ‘It’s Time’ campaign commercial has been reported by The Australian newspaper.

The paper says that Paul Jones, the former creative director of the advertising agency McCann Erickson, was found dead in a Sydney park two days ago. He was 59, according to the article, but most likely 69, according to this 1971 article in The Australian.

The famous commercial featured many television and recording artists of the time singing ‘It’s Time’. [Read more…]

Gough Whitlam’s Eulogy For Sir James Killen

Gough Whitlam has delivered the eulogy for Sir James Killen at his funeral service at St. John’s Cathedral, Brisbane.

Killen died last week at the age of 81. A Member of Parliament for the House of Representatives Division of Moreton from 1955 until 1983, Killen served as Defence Minister in the Fraser Government.

In his eulogy, Whitlam said: “Jim Killen was a proud Australian parliamentarian and a great one. In his career Parliament was as significant as the ministerial offices he held with distinction. His influence, his abiding interest in the great affairs of our country, his fascination with the intricate interplay of the political machinery, his knowledge of and respect for the Constitution, all came from his love of Parliament. He understood completely the indispensable role of strong political parties as the mainstay of our parliamentary democracy.”

This is the text of the Eulogy delivered by Gough Whitlam at the state funeral of Sir James Killen, at St John’s Cathedral, Brisbane.

Denis James KillenThe last time I spoke in public about Jim Killen was at the Irish Club on 19 November 2005, his 80th birthday.

The last Jim spoke in public about me was in Sydney last July, my 90th birthday.

Between those two public occasions, we spoke to each other by phone, regularly and almost religiously, usually Sunday, as indeed we had done for more than a decade, and were to do almost to the end. [Read more…]

Santamaria’s Role In The Dismissal

Bartholomew Augustine Santamaria wrote a speech justifying the blocking of Supply for then Opposition Leader Malcolm Fraser in September 1975, according to The Australian newspaper.

B.A. SantamariaThe paper’s political editor, Dennis Shanahan, writes that the speech “is styled as if it were written by Mr. Fraser and says the Opposition should breach the conventions of the Constitution if not doing so “endangers the future of Australia”.

The speech, entitled “Govern or Get Out”, is contained in Santamaria’s papers, now held by the State Library of Victoria. The speech was sent to Fraser on September 18, 1975. [Read more…]