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Whitlam Maintains Attack On Opposition In Weekly TV Addresses

Prime Minister Gough Whitlam maintained his refusal to call an election in separate Sunday commercial television appearances on October 19, 1975.

Whitlam appeared on Channel 7’s This Week and also on Channel 9. The transcripts of both addresses appear below.

Whitlam said he would not yield to Senate “blackmail”. He said: “There are two houses of the Federal Parliament. The government is that party or parties with a majority in the House of Representatives. There can’t be a Prime Minister or a Treasurer in the Senate. It is not the Senate’s function to decide who shall be the government of Australia.”

Whitlam said he would not advise a House election “at the behest of the Senate”. He said the Senate was “a bogus Senate, a tainted Senate”, and quoted Liberal Movement Senator Steele Hall words that the Opposition only gained the power to pass Senate motions because a Labor senator died: “They did it over a dead man’s corpse.”

  • Listen to Whitlam’s address on Channel 7 (5m – transcript immediately below)

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Malcolm Farnsworth
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