20 Years On: Four Corners Remembers The Dismissal

Four Corners broadcast a 20-year anniversary program on The Dismissal in November 1995. [Read more…]

Whitlam: The Coup Twenty Years After

This is the text of Gough Whitlam’s Address to the National Press Club on the 20th anniversary of The Dismissal.

Mr President, Citizens

It’s always a great pleasure for me to return to the National Press Club, not only because of our long association but because of its importance as a forum. In my time, the party leaders wound up their campaigns here. Now, Labor Prime Ministers use the lunch to launch policies and Liberal leaders to launch themselves.

There must have been a certain inevitability in my being invited back around the time of the 20th anniversary of 11 November 1975. Media interest has been intense and I have had to limit my acceptance of requests for interviews and articles. One of the reasons, frankly, is that I am not preoccupied with the Dismissal. My chief interest in the events of October/November 1975, dramatic as they were, now lies in their relevance to the development of Australia as a Republic. That makes it doubly important that the Australian public should have an accurate understanding of those events and the motives of those who took part in them. [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…]

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 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…]