Speech: Sir John Kerr
Sir John Kerr was born in 1914 to a boiler maker farther. He went to Fort Street High School and studied law at Sydney University. After Graduating he became a barrister and was notorious for having trade union clients and his strong connections to the Australian Labour Party. He even considered running for parliament as a labour candidate. He worked his way through the ranks of law until he became Chief Justice of NSW in 1972. By then the Gough Whitlam had ended 23 years of liberal leadership and had begun making rapid changes to Australia. He had ended conscription, introduced the Medi Bank Health System and ended the White Australia policy. However skyrocketing inflation and the highest unemployment figures in Australia's history also accompanied his rise to power. When Sir Paul Hasluck retired as governor general in 1974 Sir John was appointed in his place. Whitlam believed that because of Sir John's connections to the labour party he would be a favourable candidate. The Governor Generals roll was not considered that important by the public. The government its self had become very unpopular with its mishandling of the economy and various scandals including the Jim Cairns (Deputy Prime Minister) and Junee Marosi affair and the Rex Connor/Khemlani loans affair which eventually caused these two ministers two stand aside. In March 1975 Malcolm Fraser took control of the Liberal opposition. Before February 1975 the senate was evenly balanced between the two parties but the retirement of a NSW senator and the death of a QLD senator left two gaps in Labours line up. The convention was that the premier of the states would replace the senators with someone from the same party. However In both cases the conservative Premiers of QLD and NSW selected a non-Labor person giving the coalition majority in the senate. The coalition was afraid that Whitlam would call a half senate election in an attempt to regain his majority. In August 1975 The Federal...
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