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Archives for 1974

Darwin Wiped Out

On Christmas Eve 1974, the city of Darwin, in the Northern Territory, was all but obliterated by Cyclone Tracy.

About 95% of the city was destroyed.

Sun News Pictorial

Whitlam Appears On NBC’s Meet The Press

In the United States, Prime Minister Gough Whitlam appeared on NBC’s Meet the Press program.

Meet the Press began on radio in 1945 and then on television from 1947. Billed as the longest-running program on United States television, it was and is broadcast on Sunday mornings.

The interview was moderated by the program’s host, Lawrence E. Spivak, one of the program’s original interviewers and hosts. Spivak retired as host in 1975, two days before Whitlam’s dismissal, and died in 1994, aged 93.

Whitlam is shown below sitting next to Spivak on the set of Meet the Press.

Meet the Press

The transcript of Whitlam’s appearance is shown below. [Read more…]

Treasurer Frank Crean’s 1974 Budget Speech

The second of the Whitlam government’s three budgets was delivered by the Treasurer, Frank Crean, on September 17, 1974.

The Budget was Crean’s second and last. In December 1974, Whitlam replaced Crean with Dr. Jim Cairns.

The day after the Budget, Prime Minister Gough Whitlam delivered an Address to the Nation. [Read more…]

Whitlam Comments On His Government’s Program

This is audio of Prime Minister Gough Whitlam’s comments on his government’s program.

The remarks came a couple of weeks after the Joint Sitting had passed 5 bills that were the trigger for the May 18, 1974 double dissolution election. [Read more…]

Whitlam’s National Broadcast On The Budget And Inflation

In the lead-up to the 1974 Federal Budget, Prime Minister Gough Whitlam made a nationally televised Address to the Nation.

Whitlam explained that the Budget was one month later than normal, due to the May election and the subsequent Joint Sitting of the Parliament.

He was anxious to allay concerns about inflation, which had risen to double digit figures. He claimed that that the war on demand inflation was being won and that the government would “proceed soberly but steadily with the programs which you have twice endorsed”, including childcare.

Whitlam said: “In the fight against inflation, we shall not be using the weapon of mass unemployment in the way that previous governments have sometimes chosen to do.” [Read more…]

Joint Sitting Of Parliament: Whitlam’s Opening Speech

Following the May 1974 double dissolution election, the Senate continued to reject six pieces of legislation. Under Section 57 of the Constitution, a joint sitting was held to resolve the deadlock.

The legislation sought to establish the Medibank universal health insurance scheme which is now known as Medicare. Another bill aimed to establish one-vote-one-value in electoral distributions. Another provided for Senate representation for the Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory, whilst the final bill established the Petroleum and Minerals Authority.

This is Whitlam’s opening speech to the Joint Sitting. He specifically deals with the introduction of one-vote-one-value in electoral distributions through establishing a maximum 10% variation in voter numbers in House of Representatives seats. [Read more…]

Historic Joint Sitting Of The Australian Parliament

The Joint Sitting of the Australian Parliament that followed the May 1974 Federal Election was a historic occasion.

The Joint Sitting, the first and only ever held, took place over two days, August 6 and 7, 1974.

Gough Whitlam described the sitting as “a last resort to enable the democratic will of the Australian people to prevail over blind obstruction”.

Joint Sitting [Read more…]

The Day After: 1974 Federal Election Radio Reports

Counting on election night in 1974 was inconclusive. Whilst there was a general sense that the Whitlam government had been returned, it was not definitive.

This is a selection of radio news bulletins from Sunday, May 19, 1974. They were broadcast on 3MA Mildura and 3WV, the ABC’s third radio network in western Victoria. [Read more…]

1974 Federal Election: The Election Night Count

The audio clip below contains 90 minutes from the ABC television coverage of the 1974 Federal Election count.

It includes the speeches by Opposition Leader Bill Snedden and Prime Minister Gough Whitlam.

The broadcast was hosted by Ken Begg. [Read more…]

Michael Pate ALP Advertisement: 1974 Federal Election

This is the audio of an ALP television advertisement during the 1974 Federal Election.

The ad features the actor Michael Pate. He died in 2008, aged 88.

It was recorded on May 13, 1974. [Read more…]