Gough Whitlam’s Eulogy For Lance Barnard: “My Oldest And Best Mate”

Lance Barnard died on August 6, 1997, at the age of 78.

Barnard, the member for the Tasmanian seat of Bass (1954-75), was Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defence during the first term of the Whitlam government. Barnard also served in the two-man ministry, with Whitlam between December 3-19, 1972. He held 14 portfolios in the interim administration, one more than Whitlam.

Barnard had been deputy to Whitlam since their election on February 8, 1967. Following the 1974 election, Barnard was replaced as deputy by Dr. Jim Cairns. Shortly afterwards, Whitlam appointed Barnard as Ambassador to Sweden, Norway and Finland.

In the ensuing by-election in Bass, there was a 14.3% swing against the ALP and the seat was won by the Liberal Party’s Kevin Newman. The by-election signalled the unpopularity of the Whitlam government and probably emboldened the Coalition to block Supply a few months later. [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…]