Alexandra Hasluck: How One Strong Woman Changed The Course Of Australian History

This article from The Age reports that Alexandra Hasluck, the wife of Sir Paul Hasluck, insisted her husband not stay on as Govenor-General in 1974.

Hasluck’s departure led to the appointment of Sir John Kerr as Governor-General.

The article refers to an interview Hasluck gave to former Whitlam minister Clyde Cameron in 1985. Hasluck is quoted as saying he believed Kerr erred in consulting with Fraser during the constitutional crisis.

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Joint Sitting 30th Anniversary

This is the text of Gough Whitlam’s speech to the Whitlam Institute on the 30th Anniversary of the Joint Sitting.

The Joint Sitting took place in August 1974, following the double dissolution election of May 18, 1974. It is the only joint sitting ever held under Section 57 of the Constitution.

The Whitlam Institute is within the University of Western Sydney.

Gough Whitlam’s speech to the Whitlam Institute on the 30th Anniversary of the Joint Sitting.

At 88 years of age I enjoy being invited to 30th anniversaries of events during the terms of my first and second Governments, which were elected on 2 December 1972 and 18 May 1974. In December 2002, the 30th anniversary of the election of the Whitlam Government was celebrated, Labor’s first election win for 26 years. In December 2003 the 30-year restriction on the release of the 1973 Cabinet Papers was lifted. I intend to survive for the release of the 1974 and 1975 cabinet papers. Today we remember the 30th Anniversary of the first and only Joint Sitting of Australia’s federal Parliament and the accompanying exhibition arranged by the Whitlam Institute within the University of Western Sydney. [Read more…]

Twentieth Anniversary: Maintain Your Rage And Enthusiasm

On the 20th anniversary of the Dismissal, Whitlam spoke at a commemorative dinner at the now Old Parliament House in Canberra.

The speech deals with many of the constitutional and political issues raised by the Dismissal, including the role played by the High Court Chief Justice Sir Garfield Barwick.

“Maintain your rage and your enthusiasm through the campaign for the election now to be held and until polling day.”

Ladies and gentlemen,

I refer emphatically to the next Federal election.

The ultimate answer to those who sought to deny the legitimacy of a Labor Government, not just in November 1975, but from the beginning, after December 1972, will be a Labor victory in 1996.

In quoting myself from my impromptu remarks out there on the steps, I want to be understood in a thoroughly contemporary sense. [Read more…]

Sir Paul Hasluck’s 1974 Proclamation Dissolving Parliament

The Twenty-Eighth Parliament was dissolved after only 18 months as a result of the controversy over the appointment of the DLP Senator Vince Gair as Australian Ambassador to Ireland.

The subsequent announcement by the Federal Opposition Leader, Bill Snedden, that the coalition parties would block the goverment’s Supply Bills in the Senate caused Prime Minister Gough Whitlam to respond by calling a double dissolution election for May 18, 1974.

  • Listen to the Governor-General’s Official Secretary, David Smith, read the dissolution proclamation on the steps of Parliament House at noon on April 11, 1974:

Governor-General’s Proclamation dissolving both Houses of Parliament on April 11, 1974.

PROCLAMATION
By PAUL HASLUCK, the
Governor-General of Australia

WHEREAS by section 57 of the Constitution it is provided that if the House of Representatives passes any proposed law, and the Senate rejects or fails to pass it, or passes it with amendments to which the House of Representatives will not agree, and if after an interval of three months the House of Representatives, in the same or the next session, again passes the proposed law with or without any amendments which have been made, suggested, or agreed to by the Senate and the Senate rejects or fails to pass it, or passes it with amendments to which the House of Representatives will not agree, the Governor-General may dissolve the Senate and the House of Representatives simultaneously: [Read more…]