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Posts published in “Kerr”

Whitlam Comments On Barwick’s Letter To Kerr

Gough Whitlam commented in detail on Sir Garfield Barwick’s letter to Sir John Kerr in a speech to The Sydney Institute in 1997.

On November 10, 1975, Barwick tendered legal advice to Sir John Kerr that approved of Kerr’s intention to dismiss Whitlam.

Text of Gough Whitlam’s speech to The Sydney Institute.

I am doubly indebted to Gerard Henderson; first, for inviting me to address the Sydney Institute; and secondly, for providing me, albeit unwittingly, with the text for these introductory remarks.

More than that, Gerard has set down one of the main reasons why I chose to spend a considerable part of the past couple of years writing a book.

Twentieth Anniversary: Maintain Your Rage And Enthusiasm

On the 20th anniversary of the Dismissal, Whitlam spoke at a commemorative dinner at the now Old Parliament House in Canberra.

The speech deals with many of the constitutional and political issues raised by the Dismissal, including the role played by the High Court Chief Justice Sir Garfield Barwick.

“Maintain your rage and your enthusiasm through the campaign for the election now to be held and until polling day.”

Ladies and gentlemen,

I refer emphatically to the next Federal election.

The ultimate answer to those who sought to deny the legitimacy of a Labor Government, not just in November 1975, but from the beginning, after December 1972, will be a Labor victory in 1996.

In quoting myself from my impromptu remarks out there on the steps, I want to be understood in a thoroughly contemporary sense.

Whitlam: The Coup Twenty Years After

This is the text of Gough Whitlam’s Address to the National Press Club on the 20th anniversary of The Dismissal.

Mr President, Citizens

It’s always a great pleasure for me to return to the National Press Club, not only because of our long association but because of its importance as a forum. In my time, the party leaders wound up their campaigns here. Now, Labor Prime Ministers use the lunch to launch policies and Liberal leaders to launch themselves.

There must have been a certain inevitability in my being invited back around the time of the 20th anniversary of 11 November 1975. Media interest has been intense and I have had to limit my acceptance of requests for interviews and articles. One of the reasons, frankly, is that I am not preoccupied with the Dismissal. My chief interest in the events of October/November 1975, dramatic as they were, now lies in their relevance to the development of Australia as a Republic. That makes it doubly important that the Australian public should have an accurate understanding of those events and the motives of those who took part in them.

Margaret Whitlam: The CIA Might Have Been Involved

In 1991, a month after Sir John Kerr’s death, Margaret Whitlam said she was “prepared to believe” that the CIA was involved in her husband’s downfall.

Mrs. Whitlam was asked by a reporter whether she thought the US Central Intelligence Agency was involved: “I do. He [Gough] doesn’t. As an old thriller reader I’m prepared to believe it.”

On whether they had broken out the champagne when Kerr died, Mrs. Whitlam said: “No. I didn’t bother. I regretted his descent into his miserable life because I’d known his first wife very well. Peg was the sort of woman who would have been fabulous for anybody. He shouldn’t have taken that job in the first place. He knew she was dying.”

Keating On Kerr

Sir John Kerr died in Sydney on April 7, 1991.

During the Condolence motion in the House of Representatives, the then Treasurer, Paul Keating, intervened in the debate after hearing the Opposition Leader, Dr. John Hewson, speak.

Sir John Kerr Breaks His Silence And Talks To Geoffrey Robertson

In 1987, Sir John Kerr broke his silence and appeared on ABC television in conversation with Geoffrey Robertson, in a program called Talking Shop.

Kerr

Kerr and Robertson canvassed some of the issues concerning the Dismissal, including the question of his possible dismissal by Whitlam. Kerr dismisses the idea that he should have warned Whitlam of the possibility of his removal.

Kerr Quits UNESCO Ambassadorship; Fraser’s Parliamentary Statement

In a statement to the House of Representatives on March 2, 1978, Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser announced that Sir John Kerr would not be taking up his appointment as Australian Ambassador to UNESCO.

Kerr’s decision followed an outpouring of criticism after his appointment had been announced by Fraser on February 9. The position with the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation was based in Paris.

Fraser defended Kerr’s actions as Governor-General and said the government believed Kerr “should not be cast aside…simply because he was forced by the Government of the day to make a difficult decision”. He said Kerr had “the right to serve this nation quietly, at peace with himself, at peace with the nation, at peace with his family”.