Four Corners: 10th Anniversary Of The Dismissal

This is the complete video of the ABC’s Four Corners program broadcast on November 11, 1985.

The Australian media gave extensive coverage to the anniversary. Gough Whitlam returned from his Paris post as Ambassador to UNESCO to launch his new book, The Whitlam Government 1972-1975.

Hosted by the late Andrew Olle and reported by Kerry O’Brien, the 90-minute program looks at the Whitlam government’s history as well as the constitutional crisis of October-November 1975.

It includes interviews with Liberal senators Alan Missen and Don Jessop on their qualms about blocking Supply. The program also interviews Malcolm Fraser and Gough Whitlam, as well as the Liberal Senate leader, Reg Withers, amongst others.

  • Watch Four Corners (92m)

Ten Years On, Channel 9’s Sunday Program Remembers The Dismissal

Ten years after the Dismissal, Gough Whitlam returned to Australia to launch his new book on the Whitlam Government.

Sunday

Whitlam was on leave from his posting as Ambassador to UNESCO, the job he was given by the Hawke Labor government after it won the 1983 election.

As part of the media coverage of the 10th anniversary of the Dismissal, Channel 9’s Sunday program devoted an entire program to reviewing the Whitlam years. The complete video of the program is available on this page. [Read more…]

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”. [Read more…]

Fraser Appoints Kerr Ambassador To UNESCO

Two months after he relinquished the position of Governor-General, Sir John Kerr was appointed Australian Ambassador to UNESCO.

Fraser announced the appointment on February 9, 1978. Kerr’s position with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation, based in Paris, was due to commence on March 2. [Read more…]

On The Morning Of The Dismissal

The night before the dismissal of his government, Gough Whitlam attended the Melbourne Lord Mayor’s Banquet.

The Opposition Leader, Malcolm Fraser, was there also. The two men would travel back to Canberra together on Whitlam’s plane later that evening.

The Lord Mayor was the Liberal Party’s Ron Walker, then aged 36. Walker went on to a career in business and was also a chief fundraiser for the Liberal Party. [Read more…]

October 15, 1975: A Big and Dramatic Day In Australian Politics

October 15, 1975 was a historic day in Australian politics. It marked the first serious attempt by an Opposition with a Senate majority to force the government to an election.

Most of the material compiled on this page appears elsewhere on the site but also includes some audio items that do not appear elsewhere.

  1. Malcolm Fraser announces the coalition will block Supply – with audio and brief video.

  2. Senator Reg Withers moves the deferral of Supply – full text and partial audio of the Opposition Senate leader moving an amendment to the Loan Bill 1975.

  3. Gough Whitlam’s Address to the Nation on the Supply issue – with full text and audio, and brief video.

  4. Shadow Cabinet Minutes – a selection of minutes regarding the Supply decision from the Malcolm Fraser Collection at the University of Melbourne.

 

Miscellaneous Audio Files – October 15, 1975

  • Sir Colin Hannah, Governor of Queensland, attacks the Whitlam government (1m)
  • Malcolm Fraser announces the decision to block Supply (5m)
  • 4.35pm Senator Reg Withers moves deferral of the Loan Bill (11m)
  • 4.45pm ABC Radio NewsVoice (7m)
  • 5.00pm 3DB Radio News (4m)
  • 6.00pm ABC Radio News (5m)
  • 6.10pm ABC Radio PM (24m)
  • 6.30pm Fraser, Wreidt & Hawke on A Current Affair (24m)
  • 7.30pm Whitlam’s Address to the Nation (5m)
  • 7.35pm Malcolm Fraser & Steele Hall on This Day Tonight, plus vox pops (15m)

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…]