Cutting The Knot: Sydney Morning Herald Editorial

This is the the Sydney Morning Herald’s editorial on the morning after the dismissal of the Whitlam government.

Unlike The Age in Melbourne, the Herald supported Kerr’s decision.

The editorial appeared on page one of the newspaper. An image and the full text is shown below.

SMH Editorial

Text of editorial in the Sydney Morning Herald, November 12, 1975.

Cutting the knot

It is for the people now to decide the issue which the two leaders have failed to settle – The Governor-General. [Read more…]

Sir John Was Wrong: The Age

Decades on, the editorial in The Age newspaper on November 12, 1975, remains one of the clearest statements of the arguments against Sir John Kerr’s actions the previous day.

Age

Editorial, The Age, November 12, 1975.

Sir John was wrong

Yesterday was the most extraordinary in the political life of this nation. It was also one of the most regrettable. The decision of the Governor-General, Sir John Kerr, to dismiss the Whitlam Government was, we believe, a triumph of narrow legalism over common sense and popular feeling. We do not deny that Sir John had been placed in an appallingly difficult position by two stubborn men. We accept that he had a legal power to do as he did, and that he acted in good faith. But we believe he was wrong. We are not convinced the decision he took was the only one open to him, or that it was necessary to take it now. He has certainly not explained himself adequately. [Read more…]

The Party For The Times: The Australian’s Second Editorial Endorsing Whitlam

In a front page editorial, on December 1, 1972, The Australian newspaper, endorsed the election of Gough Whitlam and the ALP.

It was the second front-page editorial in a week that advocated a change of government.

Titled The party for the times, the paper said Whitlam offered a “coherent programme of action over a wide range of areas which the present Government has either neglected or only belatedly taken an interest”.

Australian

Comparing Whitlam with Liberal Prime Minister William McMahon, the paper said: “Certainly there must be an element of risk in voting the Labor Party into power after 23 years. But in view of his performance over the past 20 months, surely there would be more risk returning Mr McMahon. [Read more…]

It Is Time For A Change: The Australian’s First Editorial Supporting A Change Of Government

On November 25, 1972, The Australian newspaper published the first of two front-page editorials advocating a change of government and the election of Gough Whitlam and the ALP.

The editorial appeared alongside a report of the Liberal Prime Minister, William McMahon, criticising his Cabinet for its slowness and lack of political judgement.

Australian

Describing the poll as “the most crucial Federal election of our time”, the Murdoch-owned newspaper said: “This may be our last chance for some time to opt for a bold leap forward in this country’s development.”

Whilst critical of some aspects of Whitlam’s platform, the paper said: “It is time we had a new sense of national identity and national purpose to carry us forward into our challenging and newly expanding future… The best thing that can happen to Australia a week today will be a change of government.”

Editorial in The Australian, November 25, 1972.

Australian
Australian