Whitlam: A PM On PMs

This is video of Gough Whitlam’s address as a PM on PMs, one of a series of televised addresses on the ABC in 1997.

Whitlam spoke in Old Parliament House on December 3, 1997, the day after the 25th anniversary of his election in 1972.

He is introduced by Warwick Smith, at that time the Liberal member for Bass.

  • Watch Whitlam’s speech:

 

Whitlam Comments On Barwick’s Letter To Kerr

Gough Whitlam commented in detail on Sir Garfield Barwick’s letter to Sir John Kerr in a speech to The Sydney Institute in 1997.

On November 10, 1975, Barwick tendered legal advice to Sir John Kerr that approved of Kerr’s intention to dismiss Whitlam.

Text of Gough Whitlam’s speech to The Sydney Institute.

I am doubly indebted to Gerard Henderson; first, for inviting me to address the Sydney Institute; and secondly, for providing me, albeit unwittingly, with the text for these introductory remarks.

More than that, Gerard has set down one of the main reasons why I chose to spend a considerable part of the past couple of years writing a book. [Read more…]

Four Corners: 10th Anniversary Of The Dismissal

This is the complete video of the ABC’s Four Corners program broadcast on November 11, 1985.

The Australian media gave extensive coverage to the anniversary. Gough Whitlam returned from his Paris post as Ambassador to UNESCO to launch his new book, The Whitlam Government 1972-1975.

Hosted by the late Andrew Olle and reported by Kerry O’Brien, the 90-minute program looks at the Whitlam government’s history as well as the constitutional crisis of October-November 1975.

It includes interviews with Liberal senators Alan Missen and Don Jessop on their qualms about blocking Supply. The program also interviews Malcolm Fraser and Gough Whitlam, as well as the Liberal Senate leader, Reg Withers, amongst others.

  • Watch Four Corners (92m)

Gough Whitlam Interviewed On The 10th Anniversary Of The Dismissal

On the 10th anniversary of The Dismissal, Gough Whitlam returned to Australia from his post as Ambassador to UNESCO and launched his new book, The Whitlam Government.

Whitlam

Whitlam gave a series of interview to local media, including this 50-minute encounter with Mungo MacCallum, Michelle Grattan and Max Teichmann on SBS television. The program is hosted by Margaret Throsby.

MacCallum was then still working in the Canberra press gallery. Grattan, who still works in the press gallery, was then chief political correspondent for The Age. Teichmann was a Politics academic at Monash University in Melbourne. He died in 2008.

The program deals with contemporary political issues and foreign policy issues, as well as touching on the events of 1975, including the government’s policies and the Loans Affair.

I posted the video on YouTube on September 13, 2014. Its interest, nearly thirty years later, with Whitlam now 98 years old and no longer making public appearances, lies in its record of his thinking and personal style.

  • Watch Whitlam’s interview (50m)

Whitlam Addresses The National Press Club On The Dismissal’s 10th Anniversary

Gough Whitlam addressed the National Press Club on November 11, 1985, ten years to the day since he was dismissed from office by Sir John Kerr.

WhitlamThe occasion also coincided with the launch of Whitlam’s new book, The Whitlam Government 1972-1975.

Whitlam had returned to Australia, on leave from his position in Paris as Australian Ambassador to UNESCO, the post to which he had been appointed by the Hawke government in 1983.

In his speech, Whitlam canvassed a wide range of issues, including the constitutional crisis of 1975. He damned Kerr for hid handling of what Whitlam said was a “political crisis” that was likely to resolve itself within days, if not hours.

The video of this National Press Club appearance is notable for its portrayal of Whitlam ten years after his government ended and seven years after he left parliament. [Read more…]

Ten Years On, Channel 9’s Sunday Program Remembers The Dismissal

Ten years after the Dismissal, Gough Whitlam returned to Australia to launch his new book on the Whitlam Government.

Sunday

Whitlam was on leave from his posting as Ambassador to UNESCO, the job he was given by the Hawke Labor government after it won the 1983 election.

As part of the media coverage of the 10th anniversary of the Dismissal, Channel 9’s Sunday program devoted an entire program to reviewing the Whitlam years. The complete video of the program is available on this page. [Read more…]

Whitlam And McClelland Speak At NSW Labor Lawyers Dinner

Gough Whitlam and former Senator Jim McClelland both addressed the NSW Labor Lawyers at a dinner in Sydney on July 4, 1980.

Following the 1974 federal election, McClelland was Whitlam’s Minister for Manufacturing Industry and then Minister for Labour and Immigration. First elected to the Senate in 1970, McClelland had retired on July 21, 1978, just ten days before Whitlam also resigned.

McClelland was appointed by the NSW Wran Labor government as the first Chief Judge of the Land and Environment Court. He would go on to head the 1984 Royal Commission into British Nuclear Tests. He died in 1999 at the age of 83. [Read more…]

Whitlam’s T.J. Ryan Memorial Lecture: “Reform During Recession – The Way Ahead”

On April 28, 1978, four months after giving up the ALP leadership and three months before resigning from the Parliament, Whitlam delivered the Inaugural T.J. Ryan Memorial Lecture at the University of Queensland.

BookletThe lecture was hosted by the University’s ALP Club. They published the speech in booklet form, a PDF copy of which can be downloaded below.

Whitlam was introduced by Dr. Denis Murphy, an academic at the University of Queensland. Murphy was a Labor historian and biographer. In 1975, he published a biography of T.J. Ryan. Elected as the member for Stafford in the Queensland Legislative Assembly in 1983, Murphy died of cancer in 1984, at age 47. He died without ever making a parliamentary speech.

Thomas Joseph Ryan’s life had also been cut short, at the age of 45, in 1921. Elected as the Labor member for Barcoo in the Queensland Legislative Assembly in 1909, he became leader of the ALP in 1912 and Premier of Queensland in 1915. He was re-elected in 1918 and entered the Commonwealth Parliament in 1919 as the member for West Sydney, following an unprecedented resolution of a Special Federal Conference of the party requesting him to nominate. [Read more…]

Kerr Quits UNESCO Ambassadorship; Fraser’s Parliamentary Statement

In a statement to the House of Representatives on March 2, 1978, Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser announced that Sir John Kerr would not be taking up his appointment as Australian Ambassador to UNESCO.

Kerr’s decision followed an outpouring of criticism after his appointment had been announced by Fraser on February 9. The position with the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation was based in Paris.

Fraser defended Kerr’s actions as Governor-General and said the government believed Kerr “should not be cast aside…simply because he was forced by the Government of the day to make a difficult decision”. He said Kerr had “the right to serve this nation quietly, at peace with himself, at peace with the nation, at peace with his family”. [Read more…]

Whitlam Resigns The ALP Leadership Following Election Defeat

Gough Whitlam announced that he would be relinquishing the leadership of the ALP in a brief statement on election night, December 10, 1977.

The Fraser government was comfortably re-elected, losing only a handful of seats and securing a victory nearly as substantial as the landslide of 1975. [Read more…]