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Whitlam Concedes Defeat, Resigns Leadership

Gough Whitlam appeared in the National Tally Room on election night to concede defeat and resign the ALP leadership.

The voice of Kerry O’Brien, Whitlam’s press secretary, can be heard as Whitlam arrives to address the media. [Read more…]

Whitlam Announces 1974 Double Dissolution Election

The debacle over the Gair Affair and the Coalition’s threat to block Supply led Gough Whitlam to call a double dissolution election for May 18, 1974.

The double dissolution superceded the half-Senate election that was due by June 30.

After a week of turmoil and speculation over the fate of the government’s Supply bills, Whitlam rose in the House of Representatives just before 8.30pm on April 10 to announce that the Governor-General, Sir Paul Hasluck, had agreed to a double dissolution. This is Hansard’s record of the announcement: [Read more…]

Amidst Gair Affair, Killen And Daly Debate The Appropriation Bill

In the aftermath of the Gair Affair, the Coalition opposition announced that they would block the passage of the Whitlam government’s appropriation bill in the Senate.

A half-Senate election had already been called for May 18 but on the evening of April 9 speculation centred on whether Whitlam would call a double dissolution election. He eventually announced a double dissolution on April 10.

In the House of Representatives on April 9, the Liberal Party’s Jim Killen jousted with the Minister for Administrative Affairs, Fred Daly, in the debate on the Appropriation Bill. [Read more…]

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. [Read more…]