A New World (for sure): The Labor Years 1972-75

This is a three-part program broadcast by the ABC in the 1980s as part of an educational series called A New World (for sure).

Each thirty-minute program deals with one aspect of the Whitlam years:

  1. “Great Hope and Great Endeavour” – the lead-up to the 1972 election and the early days of the Whitlam government
  2. “Like Men On A Sled” – the Whitlam government up until the constitutional crisis
  3. “Remembrance Day 1975” – the Dismissal
  • Part 1 – Great Hope And Great Endeavour

  • Part 2 – Like Men On A Sled

  • Part 3 – Remembrance Day 1975

Joan Child, First Female ALP Member Of House, First Female Speaker, Dies, 91

Joan Child, the first female Labor member of the House of Representatives, and the first female Speaker, has died. She was 91.

Child was elected to the Melbourne electorate of Henty, centred around Oakleigh, in 1974. She had unsuccessfully contested the electorate in 1972.

She was defeated at the 1975 election and again in 1977. She returned to the House in 1980, securing re-election to Henty in 1983, 1984 and 1987.

Child became the first woman Speaker of the House of Representatives in February 1986. She relinquished the position in August 1989, ahead of her retirement at the 1990 election. [Read more…]

When Murdoch Fought Whitlam

A second extract from Jenny Hocking’s about-to-be-released second volume biography of Gough Whitlam has been published today in Fairfax newspapers.

The extract discusses the “Iraqi breakfast affair” and the work of The Australian’s “special correspondent”.

In this video, Hocking discusses the book:

Whitlam Comments On Hocking’s Biography

Gough Whitlam is 96 years old. In this video, published today on Fairfax websites, he recommends Jenny Hocking’s second volume of his biography.

Mason: The Third Man In Whitlam’s Downfall

Gough Whitlam’s biographer, Jenny Hocking, has revealed hitherto unknown details of the role played by High Court Justice Sir Anthony Mason in the Whitlam dismissal.

The second volume of Jenny Hocking’s biography of Gough Whitlam is due out next week.

In a video published on Fairfax websites, Hocking reveals a series of discussions between Sir John Kerr and High Court Justice Sir Anthony Mason in the leadup to the Dismissal. Whilst Kerr’s contact with Mason has been known for some time, the extent of it has not.

Hocking suggests there is something profoundly disturbing in the behind-the-scenes activity prior to November 11.

Hardman And Hater, Cameron Bows Out With Fire Still Burning

The death of Clyde Cameron received front page coverage in The Australian.

The Australian

Cameron’s funeral was held on March 19, 2008. This picture shows Whitlam and Tom Uren in attendance.

Clyde Cameron funeral

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…]

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…]

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…]

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…]