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Fraser Announces The Coalition Will Block Supply

Malcolm Fraser announced that the coalition parties would block Supply at a press conference that began at 2.56pm on October 15, 1975.

Fraser announced that the Opposition would not reject Supply outright but delay it until Whitlam agreed to call an election. This was significant because it allowed the Supply bills to remain alive in the event of changed circumstances or a change of government. [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…]

Fraser: We’ll Win Any Federal Election Now

The Bass by-election signalled to Malcolm Fraser that he would most likely win a federal election.

This is the front page of The Australian on June 30, 1975.

The Australian, June 30, 1975

Fraser Alleges Gerrymander

It may surprise Malcolm Fraser’s contemporary acolytes but back in 1975 he was opposed to one-vote-one-value in electoral boundaries.

This letter to The Age was a fairly common argument from the coalition when Whitlam legislated to reduce the 20% tolerance to 10% in electoral redistributions. The 20% tolerance allowed rural and regional electorates to be much smaller in size, thus advantaging Country Party members and rural Liberals.

The Age

The Malcolm Fraser We Once Knew

A few hours after this piece appeared in the Sun, Fraser resigned from Gorton’s cabinet.

Two days later, Gorton lost the prime ministership to William McMahon.