Whitlam Dismissal from the Perspective of Sir John Kerr

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The Whitlam Dismissal from the perspective of Sir John Kerr
Sir John Kerr is one of the most controversial figures in Australian Political History. He was the centre of the Whitlam dismissal which took place on the 11th of November 1975. Historians say that the Whitlam Dismissal was one of the most controversial issues in Australian History. Sir John Kerr was the 13th Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of New South Wales and Australia’s 18th Governor General. Born in Balmain in 1914, Kerr grew up in a working class suburb in Sydney. He studied at Fort Street High School and later graduated from law at the University of Sydney. In 1938 Kerr became a barrister and lawyer, Kerr was most well known for representing the trade unions and he had strong ties with the Australian Labor Party. In 1974 after the retirement of Sir Paul Hasluck from the role of Governor General Prime Minister Whitlam recommended Kerr to the Queen as a suitable candidate for the position. After 23 years of Liberal Party coalition rule in Australia Gough Whitlam’s Labor Party was voted into government in December 1972. They seemed to have the support of the nation although their margin of victory was relatively narrow. After many incidents throughout Labor’s rule on the 11th of November 1975 Governor- General Kerr dismissed Gough Whitlam as Prime Minister and opposition leader of the Liberal party to become caretaker Prime Minister for the duration of time until the next federal election. The Constitutional Crisis that occurred in 1972 due to the Senate’s block supply until Whitlam called for another election heavily influenced Kerr’s decision to dismiss Whitlam from Government. Kerr believed that it was democratic and the only constitutional solution to dismiss Whitlam as he could not guarantee ‘supply’. He felt it was best to let the Australian people decide the conflict. To quote Sir John Kerr “The decisions I have made were made after I was satisfied that Mr Whitlam could not obtain...
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