1977 Federal Election: Whitlam Addresses ALP Election Rally At Moorabbin Town Hall

Whitlam fought his last election campaign as leader of the ALP in 1977.

The federal election was held on December 10. Whitlam and the ALP were defeated by a large margin only slightly less than the landslide defeat of 1975. Whitlam announced his resignation as leader of the ALP on election night.

This is probably the only recording made of Whitlam’s appearance at an ALP election rally at the Moorabbin Town Hall, in the electorate of Hotham, in Melbourne, on November 28, 1977. [Read more…]

On The Morning Of The Dismissal

The night before the dismissal of his government, Gough Whitlam attended the Melbourne Lord Mayor’s Banquet.

The Opposition Leader, Malcolm Fraser, was there also. The two men would travel back to Canberra together on Whitlam’s plane later that evening.

The Lord Mayor was the Liberal Party’s Ron Walker, then aged 36. Walker went on to a career in business and was also a chief fundraiser for the Liberal Party. [Read more…]

Five Days Before The Dismissal, Michael Willesee Interviews Gough Whitlam

Gough Whitlam gave an extended television interview to Michael Willesee on November 6, 1975, just five days before the Dismissal.

Willesee questioned Whitlam at length about the constitutional crisis, the Loans Affair and Whitlam’s allegations about Country Party leader Doug Anthony’s links to CIA figures. [Read more…]

October 15, 1975: A Big and Dramatic Day In Australian Politics

October 15, 1975 was a historic day in Australian politics. It marked the first serious attempt by an Opposition with a Senate majority to force the government to an election.

Most of the material compiled on this page appears elsewhere on the site but also includes some audio items that do not appear elsewhere.

  1. Malcolm Fraser announces the coalition will block Supply – with audio and brief video.

  2. Senator Reg Withers moves the deferral of Supply – full text and partial audio of the Opposition Senate leader moving an amendment to the Loan Bill 1975.

  3. Gough Whitlam’s Address to the Nation on the Supply issue – with full text and audio, and brief video.

  4. Shadow Cabinet Minutes – a selection of minutes regarding the Supply decision from the Malcolm Fraser Collection at the University of Melbourne.

 

Miscellaneous Audio Files – October 15, 1975

  • Sir Colin Hannah, Governor of Queensland, attacks the Whitlam government (1m)
  • Malcolm Fraser announces the decision to block Supply (5m)
  • 4.35pm Senator Reg Withers moves deferral of the Loan Bill (11m)
  • 4.45pm ABC Radio NewsVoice (7m)
  • 5.00pm 3DB Radio News (4m)
  • 6.00pm ABC Radio News (5m)
  • 6.10pm ABC Radio PM (24m)
  • 6.30pm Fraser, Wreidt & Hawke on A Current Affair (24m)
  • 7.30pm Whitlam’s Address to the Nation (5m)
  • 7.35pm Malcolm Fraser & Steele Hall on This Day Tonight, plus vox pops (15m)

Whitlam’s Press Conference Following Ministerial Reshuffle

Following a week of turmoil that ended in a ministerial reshuffle and the demotion of Jim Cairns and Clyde Cameron, Whitlam held a press conference and faced questions on the loans affair and other matters.

Whitlam made a brief statement (not included on the recording below) and then took questions. The full transcript is shown below.

The press conference took place on Tuesday, June 10, 1975, in Canberra. [Read more…]

Whitlam’s National Broadcast On The Budget And Inflation

In the lead-up to the 1974 Federal Budget, Prime Minister Gough Whitlam made a nationally televised Address to the Nation.

Whitlam explained that the Budget was one month later than normal, due to the May election and the subsequent Joint Sitting of the Parliament.

He was anxious to allay concerns about inflation, which had risen to double digit figures. He claimed that that the war on demand inflation was being won and that the government would “proceed soberly but steadily with the programs which you have twice endorsed”, including childcare.

Whitlam said: “In the fight against inflation, we shall not be using the weapon of mass unemployment in the way that previous governments have sometimes chosen to do.” [Read more…]

Joint Sitting Of Parliament: Whitlam’s Opening Speech

Following the May 1974 double dissolution election, the Senate continued to reject six pieces of legislation. Under Section 57 of the Constitution, a joint sitting was held to resolve the deadlock.

The legislation sought to establish the Medibank universal health insurance scheme which is now known as Medicare. Another bill aimed to establish one-vote-one-value in electoral distributions. Another provided for Senate representation for the Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory, whilst the final bill established the Petroleum and Minerals Authority.

This is Whitlam’s opening speech to the Joint Sitting. He specifically deals with the introduction of one-vote-one-value in electoral distributions through establishing a maximum 10% variation in voter numbers in House of Representatives seats. [Read more…]

Address To The Nation: Gough Whitlam On Why The 1974 Election Was Called

Following the Gair Affair and the Opposition’s decision to block Supply, Whitlam called a double dissolution election for May 18, 1974. He had been in office for 17 months.

On Tuesday April 16, at 7.30pm, pre-empting the ABC’s nightly current affairs show, This Day Tonight (TDT), Whitlam made an Address to the Nation.

In it, he put the argument that his government was being frustrated by a Senate that was elected 3 and 6 years earlier. He quoted his Liberal predecessor, Sir Robert Menzies, and described this as “a falsification of democracy”. [Read more…]

Whitlam Announces 1974 Double Dissolution Election

The debacle over the Gair Affair and the Coalition’s threat to block Supply led Gough Whitlam to call a double dissolution election for May 18, 1974.

The double dissolution superceded the half-Senate election that was due by June 30.

After a week of turmoil and speculation over the fate of the government’s Supply bills, Whitlam rose in the House of Representatives just before 8.30pm on April 10 to announce that the Governor-General, Sir Paul Hasluck, had agreed to a double dissolution. This is Hansard’s record of the announcement: [Read more…]

Newspapers Report Whitlam’s Election As ALP Leader

Gough Whitlam was elected leader of the ALP, succeeding Arthur Calwell, at a Caucus meeting on Wednesday, February 8, 1967.

Whitlam had been deputy leader since March 7, 1960. He was first elected to the House of Representatives seat of Werriwa (NSW) on November 29, 1952.

Whitlam polled 32 Caucus votes on the first ballot. He faced four opponents for the leadership: Dr. Jim Cairns (15), Frank Crean (12), Fred Daly (6) and Kim Beazley (3).

Following the elimination of Beazley, Whitlam received 33 votes on the second ballot, with Cairns remaining on 15, Crean remaining on 12 and Daly on 8.

Following the elimination of Daly, Whitlam received 39 votes on the third ballot, an absolute majority against Cairns on 15 and Crean on 14. [Read more…]