Bob Ellicott Says Governor-General Has Power To Dismiss Whitlam

This is an interview with Liberal MP Bob Ellicott on Channel 9’s Federal File program on October 19, 1975.

EllicottEllicott, the member for Wentworth, was Solicitor-General of the Commonwealth before entering parliament. He was a cousin of the Chief Justice of the High Court and former Liberal MP, Sir Garfield Barwick.

Ellicott was interviewed by Channel 9’s Peter Harvey.

Ellicott argued that the Governor-General was entitled to dismiss the prime minister if “proper” advice was not given. He said there were certain circumstances in which the Governor-General should feel that he has a duty to dismiss his ministers.

Two days earlier, Ellicott submitted a legal opinion along these lines to the Governor-General, Sir John Kerr. Five days earlier, he outlined his argument in a Sydney Morning Herald article. [Read more…]

Whitlam Promises To Drink More

After ALP and ACTU President Bob Hawke admitted to drinking too much, Whitlam satirically promised to drink more.

The future prime minister, and frequent critic of the Whitlam government, made his comments about drinking in a media interview.

Whitlam’s whimsical response to Hawke’s confession came in an exchange with Channel 9’s Peter Harvey. [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The double dissolution superceded the half-Senate election that was due by June 30.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…]