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Letter From The Queen’s Private Secretary

Following the Dismissal, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Gordon Scholes, wrote to the Queen, expressing concern about the Governor-General’s actions.

This letter is the response from the Queen’s Private Secretary.

Letter from the Queen’s private secretary to former Speaker Scholes.

I am commanded by The Queen to acknowledge your letter of 12th November about the recent political events in Australia. You ask that The Queen should act to restore Mr. Whitlam to office as Prime Minister.

As we understand the situation here, the Australian Constitution firmly places the prerogative powers of the Crown in the hands of the Governor-General as the representative of the Queen of Australia. The only person competent to commission an Australian Prime Minister is the Governor-General, and The Queen has no part in the decisions which the Governor-General must take in accordance with the Constitution. Her Majesty, as Queen of Australia, is watching events in Canberra with close interest and attention, but it would not be proper for her to intervene in person in matters which are so clearly placed within the jurisdiction of the Governor-General by the Constitution Act.

I understand that you have been good enough to send a copy of your letter to the Governor-General so I am writing to His Excellency to say that the text of your letter has been received here in London and has been laid before the The Queen.

I am sending a copy of this letter to the Governor-General.

17 November 1975