The Truth Of The Matter

The Truth Of The Matter

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On Remembrance Day, 1975, the Governor-General of Australia, Sir John Kerr, sacked the Prime Minister, Gough Whitlam. The Dismissal was the culmination of almost three years of political conflict, as Whitlam's reforming Labor government rammed home overdue legislative reforms in the face of implacable, and increasingly bitter, conservative opposition. The focus of the Opposition's scheming was the Senate, where its leaders blocked supply in order to force a political crisis. Whitlam, famous for his 'crash through or crash' style, refused to compromise with his political enemies. After consulting secretly with the Opposition Leader, Malcolm Fraser, and the Chief Justice, Sir Garfield Barwick, Kerr abruptly informed the PM that he had withdrawn his commission. Half an hour later, Kerr swore Fraser in as 'caretaker Prime Minister'. At an election a month later, the conservatives were returned to office. Controversy and recrimination followed. Many Australians, including Whitlam himself, believed he had been the victim of a coup. In 1979, he published his own account of the events of 1975, The Truth of the Matter, an instant best seller.
Out of print for many years, it is republished by MUP on the thirtieth anniversary of the Dismissal, with a new introduction by the author and other new reference material. Passionate, pithy, learned, witty, and vigorously combative, The Truth of the Matter tells the extraordinary political story of the only Prime Minister of Australia ever deposed from office.
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Product details

  • Electronic book text
  • Melbourne University Press Digital
  • Australia
  • 0522866891
  • 9780522866896

About Gough Whitlam

Gough Whitlam AC QC was born in Melbourne in 1916, and educated in Sydney and Canberra. A barrister by profession, he entered Federal Parliament as the Labor MP for Werriwa in 1952. He led the ALP to victory in the 1972 federal election, and his government's many reforms included ending Australia's involvement in the Vietnam War, abolishing university fees, and introducing Medibank and no-fault divorce. He retired from politics in 1978, but has continued to play a significant role in public life. His other books include The Whitlam Government 1972-1975, Abiding Interests and My Italian Notebook.
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