Presentation on theme: "Australian Prime Minister Gough Whitlam. Whitlam Born: 11 July 1916, Kew, Victoria Education: Mowbray House and Knox Grammar School in Sydney, then."— Presentation transcript:
Australian Prime Minister Gough Whitlam
Whitlam Born: 11 July 1916, Kew, Victoria Education: Mowbray House and Knox Grammar School in Sydney, then in Canberra at Telopea Park High School and Canberra Boys' Grammar School. He went on to the University of Sydney, from which he graduated in arts and law. Employment: RAAF navigator 1941; barrister Memberships: Independent Commission on International Humanitarian Issues and World Heritage Committee; World Conservation Union; University of Sydney Senate; Academy of Athens; Hanoi Architectural Heritage Foundation Marriage: 22 April 1942 - Margaret Honours: Queen’s Counsel (1962); Socialist International Plate of Honour (1976); Companion of the Order of Australia (1978)
Politics Joined Australian Labor Party (ALP) in 1945 Entered federal parliament in November 1952 by winning the seat of Werriwa in a by- election. Elected deputy leader of the federal parliamentary ALP in March 1960 He succeeded Arthur Calwell as leader in February 1967, which made him Leader of the Opposition.
Politics Modernised Labor Party platform Helped the party throw off its image of being under Communist influence. June 1971 Whitlam led an ALP delegation to China. Undertaken at a time when the Liberal-Country Party coalition government still refused to establish diplomatic relations with China, this demonstrated his statesmanlike qualities.
1972 Elections 23 years of Liberal Government Australians ready for a change Unpopular Liberal PM William McMahon Unpopularity during the Vietnam era Labor promoted equality, involving the people in decision-making processes and liberating the talents and uplifting the horizons of the Australian people.
It’s Time It’s time for freedom, It’s time for moving, It’s time to begin, Yes It’s time It’s time Australia, It’s time for moving, It’s time for proving, Yes It’s time It’s time for all folk, It’s time for moving, It’s time to give, Yes It’s time It’s time for children, It’s time to show them, Time to look ahead, Yes It’s time Time for freedom, Time for moving, Time to be clear, Yes It’s time Time Australia, Time for moving, It’s time for proving, Yes It’s time Time for better, Come together, It’s time to move, Yes It’s time Time to stand up, Time to shout it, Time, Time, Time, Yes It’s time Time to move on, Time to stand up, time to say ‘yes’, Yes It’s time
Source Material Why is Gough Whitlam dressed this way? What is the general impression of Whitlam gained from this source?
Policy Speech Why would people vote for Labor? A divided Coalition Labor picked up eight seats and won a majority. Election only for the House of Representatives Senate hostile First time Labor had been in government since it lost the 1949 election to the Liberal Party. Deputy Lance Barnard
House of Representatives Elections 1972 ALPLIBCPINDTotal NSW28107-45 VIC14 6-34 QLD864-18 WA432-9 SA75--12 TAS5---5 ACT1---1 NT--1-1 Total673820-125 Senate Election Results 1970 ALPLIBCPDLPINDTotal NSW28107-- VIC14 6--10 QLD864--10 WA432--10 SA75---10 TAS5----10 Total262155360 Source Study: 1972 ELECTION RESULTS What was the margin by which the ALP party won the election? Remember to consider that they needed to beat the Coalition! Why are the results for the 1970 Senate shown and not 1972? Who held the majority in the Senate? What would this mean for passing legislation for Whitlam’s policies?
Source: Bruce Petty Cartoon 1.Why is Whitlam represented as superman? 2.Who are the people in the telephone booths?
Government The duumvirate – ministry of two Whitlam and Deputy Prime Minister Lance Barnard were sworn into all portfolios Whitlam held 13 and Barnard 14. It was a mini- ministry that was unique in Australian political history.
Policies Within two weeks of taking government conscription was abolished, draft resisters were released from jail and troops withdrawn from Vietnam - 1972 British New Year's Honour list was abolished. Abolished the White Australia Policy. Tariffs on imported goods drastically reduced. Under eighteen voting was introduced Established a separate ministry responsible for Aboriginal affairs and supported the idea of land rights. Sought to democratise the electoral system by introducing one-vote-one- value.
Bills 203 Bills were passed, 46 more than the previous record of 157 in 1968 Prices Justification Act 1973 established the Prices Justification Tribunal to act as a watchdog Health Insurance Act 1973 established 'Medibank‘ Trade Practices Act 1974 outlawed restrictive trade practices and ensured consumer protection National Parks and Wildlife Conservation Act 1975 established a service to plan and manage national parks Racial Discrimination Act 1975 enabled Australia to ratify the International Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Australian Heritage Commission Act 1975
Foreign Affairs East Germany and People's Republic of China was recognised. Granted Papua New Guinea its independence. Visits by racially selected sporting teams banned. Tough line on South Africa and Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe)
Social Justice Pre-school education paid for by state Pension rate raised to 25% of the average Australian male's earnings. Spending on teacher training increased and the Tertiary Education Assistance Scheme (TEAS, now called Austudy) introduced. Passed the Family Law Act, establishing no- fault divorce and a series of laws banning racial and sexual discrimination. Women awarded equal pay for equal work and maternity leave provided. Universal health insurance scheme, Medibank University fees abolished in1974 Abolished the death penalty for Federal crimes.
Troubles Government spending increased at a rapid rate, fuelling inflation. Trebling of oil prices by the Middle East Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) created economic difficulties. Unemployment increased Senate forced a double dissolution in April 1974 over vital supply bills. Attempts to borrow $4000m from overseas sources created enormous political difficulties for the government in 1975. The Overseas Loans Affair became the trigger for the Opposition to block the 1975 Budget in the Senate.
Troubles December 1974 treasurer Jim Cairns appointed Junie Morosi as his Office Coordinator in spite of her lack of public service background – sacked! Loans affair: The Minister for Minerals and Energy, Rex Connor, embarked on a scheme "to buy back the farm," curtailing foreign ownership of Australia's mining industry. Instead of proceeding through the regular channel of the Loans Council, Connor tried to raise the money through Middle-Eastern financier Tirath Khemlani - this failed. Whitlam's reputation as "the tourist prime minister“: He was overseas when three major disasters occurred-the Darwin Cyclone, the Brisbane Floods and the Hobart Bridge collapse.
Troubles The Senate resolutely opposed and rejected some of Whitlam's key legislative proposals, such as: Bills designed to institute a free health insurance system; to provide Senate representation for the Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory; to reform the organisation of electorates; and to allow the government to oversee the mining of oil and minerals Repeated rejection of Whitlam's bills led to the calling of a 'double dissolution' election, in which all members in both Houses are up for re-election.
Troubles Whitlam manoeuvered to create an extra Senate vacancy in Queensland by offering a sitting senator, Vince Gair, an ambassadorship. Whitlam hoped Labor could win the vacant seat and take control of the Senate. The so-called 'Gair Affair' infuriated the Opposition. Double dissolution election was held in May of 1974. The Whitlam government was re-elected, although with a reduced majority, and the Senate continued to stymie the agenda of the government.
Troubles Government was in trouble by October 1975. Malcolm Fraser refused to pass the supply bills in the Senate until a House of Representatives election was called. Whitlam refused and an impasse began. Should the Senate have the power to block Supply? Whilst the Senate does not have the power to initiate a money bill, the Constitution does not prevent it from blocking one.
Sir John Kerr 13th Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of New South Wales and the 18th Governor-General At Fort Street, Kerr met Dr H V Evatt, later to become a High Court judge. As a prominent lawyer, Kerr was known for representing trade union clients and had strong ties to the Australian Labor Party.
The Dismissal Governor-General John Kerr intervened and sent for Whitlam. On hearing that Whitlam did not intend to hold an election for the House of Representatives, Kerr handed Whitlam his letter of dismissal on 11 November 1975. Fraser was asked to form a government.
Dismissal Governor-General Kerr met with the Chief Justice of the High Court, Sir Garfield Barwick a former Liberal Party minister under Menzies who tendered this advice to Kerr about his constitutional powers. For the first time, an unelected vice-regal representative had removed from office a government which commanded a majority in the House of Representatives.
Dismissal Constitutional Conventions: Not a law, merely an accepted way of doing something. Section 61: "The executive power of the Commonwealth is vested in the Queen and is exercisable by the Governor- General as the Queen's representative, and extends to the execution and maintenance of this Constitution, and of the laws of the Commonwealth."
Dismissal Breaking of long-established conventions was at the heart of the Dismissal: State Premiers broke the convention regarding the filling of casual Senate vacancies Senate broke the convention about not blocking Supply Governor-General broke the convention of acting only on the advice of the Prime Minister.
Dismissal A double dissolution election was held on 13 December 1975. House of Representatives passed several motions of confidence in the Whitlam Government and instructed the Speaker, Gordon Scholes, to send this message to Kerr, the governor-general was steadfast in his decision. Scholes subsequently wrote to the Queen, who replied that there was no place for her involvement or interjection in an internal Australian political conflict. At the 13 December election, Fraser's Liberal-National coalition was elected with a large margin. In Kerr's statement of reasons for the dismissal, he made the case that he was simply doing his job to uphold democracy, stating that 'The decisions I have made were made after I was satisfied that Mr Whitlam could not obtain supply. No other decision open to me would enable the Australian people to decide for themselves what should be done.'