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Whitlams Dismissal

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'Mr. Whitlam, In accordance with section 64 of the Constitution I hereby determine your appointment as my Chief Adviser and Head of the Government. It follows that I also determine the appointments of all the Ministers in your Government. With these very words, On Tuesday November 11th, 1975, the Governor-General of Australia, John Kerr, dismissed Mr. Gough Whitlam as Prime Minister and replaced him with Malcolm Fraser as caretaker PM - hence marking the most dramatic political crisis in the history of Australia then and since. In justifying his reasons John Kerr went on to state the main reason for Whitlam's dismissal was that 'If a Prime Minister refuses to resign or have election, and this is the case with Mr. Whitlam, my constitutional authority and duty require me to do what I have now done' - The dismissal was a direct result of a series of events that took place within Whitlam's Government that ultimately led to the senate's first time ever decision in blocking government ...read more.


Whitlam's speedy determinations to put his reforms into practice lead him to form a two-man cabinet, where he and L. Bernard single-handedly began to introduce policies. The labor government changed wages granted equal pay for woman; gave aboriginal land rights and introduced multiple welfare policies. Furthermore Whitlam terminated conscription, and finally scrapped the White Australia policy challenging previously held ideologies. The extensive reforms carried out by labor in a small amount of time produced anxiety amongst most Australians and the costly nature of the reforms set back the economy. The oil crisis of 1973 further contributed to the growing struggles of labor. In 1973 Middle Eastern countries in response to the western support for Israel; declare the rise of prices on oil where petrol prices skyrocket; thus having an immediate effect on Australia as it did to the rest of the world - it caused a direct stagflation where a severe recession struck the Australian economy, this greatly contributed to the already plummeting popularity of Gough Whitlam. ...read more.


Whitlam's refusal to hold an election lead to the oppositions reaction to block supply, and the purpose of this was possibly a move by the opposition to force an election 'The Senate blocking supply in 1975 not an attempt to raise objections to the budget but rather a move by the opposition to force an election' ( M cooper 'The Dismissal 25 years on'). With Whitlam's refusal to hold the election, Fraser sought the help of John Kerr Gov. in General who then exercised his stated ''constitutional authority'' by dismissing Whitlam and Appointing Malcolm Fraser as Caretaker Prime minister - hence marking the most traumatic political crisis in Australian History. Gough Whitlam upon hearing the declaration of his dismissal, ending with 'God Save the Queen', gave an unrehearsed speech to onlookers; where he dubbed Malcolm Fraser as kerrs Cur, and continued "Ladies and gentlemen, well may we say 'God Save the Queen', because nothing will save the Governor-General." - Skillfully foretelling the national disapproval and disgust that was to come following the dismissal, and of that, he was certainly correct. ...read more.

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