In 1975 the governor general, John Kerr, removed a democratically elected Labor government, amid great intrigue and subterfuge. The dismissal of the Whitlam government remains one of the blights on our democracy – perhaps the most controversial event in Australian political history. And yet the full record of what happened in the weeks and months leading up to the dismissal is still unavailable to Australian citizens because of the intransigence of Queen Elizabeth and the expensive lengths to which the National Archives of Australia have gone to suppress access to John Kerr’s correspondence with Buckingham Palace.
Jenny Hocking – emeritus professor of history at Monash University and biographer of Gough Whitlam – has led the case to overturn the National Archives ban. Her article ‘At Her Majesty’s Pleasure: Sir John Kerr and the royal dismissal secrets’ appears in the April issue of ABR.
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