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Posts published in “Year: 1967

Certainly, The Impotent Are Pure: Whitlam’s Speech To The Victorian ALP State Conference

This is Gough Whitlam’s speech to the annual conference of the Victorian ALP, in which he challenged the party to change and said that, “certainly, the impotent are pure”.

The speech was delivered just four months after Whitlam’s election as leader of the ALP, following its landslide defeat at the November 1966 election.

Whitlam signalled that he was willing to stand up to the ALP. The speech is an important milestone in his battle to reform the party internally and renovate its policy platform.

The PDF below is taken from the E-Collection of the Whitlam Institute.

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.