October 15, 1975: A Big and Dramatic Day In Australian Politics

October 15, 1975 was a historic day in Australian politics. It marked the first serious attempt by an Opposition with a Senate majority to force the government to an election.

Most of the material compiled on this page appears elsewhere on the site but also includes some audio items that do not appear elsewhere.

  1. Malcolm Fraser announces the coalition will block Supply – with audio and brief video.

  2. Senator Reg Withers moves the deferral of Supply – full text and partial audio of the Opposition Senate leader moving an amendment to the Loan Bill 1975.

  3. Gough Whitlam’s Address to the Nation on the Supply issue – with full text and audio, and brief video.

  4. Shadow Cabinet Minutes – a selection of minutes regarding the Supply decision from the Malcolm Fraser Collection at the University of Melbourne.

 

Miscellaneous Audio Files – October 15, 1975

  • Sir Colin Hannah, Governor of Queensland, attacks the Whitlam government (1m)
  • Malcolm Fraser announces the decision to block Supply (5m)
  • 4.35pm Senator Reg Withers moves deferral of the Loan Bill (11m)
  • 4.45pm ABC Radio NewsVoice (7m)
  • 5.00pm 3DB Radio News (4m)
  • 6.00pm ABC Radio News (5m)
  • 6.10pm ABC Radio PM (24m)
  • 6.30pm Fraser, Wreidt & Hawke on A Current Affair (24m)
  • 7.30pm Whitlam’s Address to the Nation (5m)
  • 7.35pm Malcolm Fraser & Steele Hall on This Day Tonight, plus vox pops (15m)

Rex Connor Resigns As Loans Affair Delivers Fraser’s “Reprehensible Circumstances”

Rex Connor, the Minister for Minerals and Energy, resigned from the Whitlam ministry on October 14, 1975.

Connor’s resignation was sought by Prime Minister Gough Whitlam after revelations in the Melbourne Herald newspaper that Connor had continued to seek overseas loans through the Pakistani intermediary Tirath Khemlani.

Connor’s behaviour constituted misleading parliament. In doing so, Connor had caused Whitlam to also mislead parliament. [Read more…]

Loans Affair: Special One-Day Sitting

Gough Whitlam recalled the House of Representatives from its winter recess for a one-day sitting to debate the Overseas Loans Affair.

The sitting took place on July 9, 1975, two days before Whitlam’s 59th birthday.

Proceedings began with condolences for Queensland ALP Senate Bert Milliner, who had died on June 30. Milliner’s death allowed Queensland Premier Joh Bjelke-Petersen to further alter the balance of power in the Senate by appointment of a non-Labor replacement. [Read more…]

The Australian: Let Us See The Khemlani Letter

The Australian editorialised about the Loans Affair and the letter of authority given to Tirath Khemlani by the Minister for Minerals and Energy, Rex Connor.

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