The Queen was told of Sir John Kerr’s consideration of the dismissal of prime minister Gough Whitlam months before the historic decision of November 11, 1975.
The National Archives of Australia on Tuesday released details of letters between the former governor-general and the Queen in the lead-up to the dismissal of the Whitlam government.
Archives director-general David Fricker detailed to reporters at a briefing in Canberra a letter from Sir John to the Queen dated September 12, 1975.
« I’m also keeping my mind open as to the constitutional issues. If the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition get into a battle in which the Senate has defeated the budget, the Prime Minister refuses to recommend a dissolution, my role will need some careful thought, » Sir John wrote.
Sir John included a press clipping which explored the options of dismissal of the Whitlam government.
« So on the 12th of September 1975, Sir John is laying this out, » Mr Fricker said.
The Queen’s secretary Sir Martin Charteris wrote back to Sir John referring to the practice that if a parliament refused supply – legislation allowing money to pay for government – it was constitutionally proper to grant a dissolution of the parliament.
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