Whitlam’s Address To The ALP National Conference

In July 1973, Whitlam’s Labor government had been in office for seven months.

Whitlam’s Address to the ALP National Conference provides an insight into his thinking, particularly his belief that the government had been elected with a clear mandate to implement the policies developed in Opposition at the three previous party conferences in 1967, 1969 and 1971.

Prime Minister Gough Whitlam’s Address to the ALP National Conference.

We would have less than ordinary human failings if on this occasion we were not tempted to indulge in all the emotions from nostalgia to euphoria. And our best friends have never suggested that the Australian Labor Party was short on ordinary human failings. There is, nonetheless, a sort of symmetry which would move anybody with a sense of our Party’s history in the fact that we came back to Surfers Paradise for this first National Conference with our first National Government for nearly a quarter of a century. We met here seven years ago for the Special Conference of 1966 – that annus horribilis in the history of Australia and of the Australian Labor Party. We were at the nadir of our fortunes. Yet that Special Conference, held at a time when we were well on our way to the greatest debacle in our Party’s history, strangely enough contained the seeds of our resurgence and ultimate triumph in a way that none of us could have then discerned. We started on the road back then and here. [Read more…]