The Letter of Dismissal

The Letter of Dismissal

LETTER FROM THE GOVERNOR-GENERAL TO THE PRIME MINISTER DATED 11 NOVEMBER 1975

In this letter, Sir John Kerr presents Gough Whitlam with a letter terminating his commission and that of the entire ministry.

 

PERSONAL AND CONFIDENTIAL

Government House,
Canberra. 2600.

11 November 1975.

Dear Mr Whitlam,

In accordance with section 64 of the Constitution I hereby determine your appointment as my Chief Adviser and Head of the Government. It follows that I also hereby determine the appointments of all of the Ministers in your Government.

You nave previously told me that you would never resign or advise an election of the House of Representatives or a double dissolution and that the only way in which such an election could be obtained would be by my dismissal of you and your ministerial colleagues. As it appeared likely that you would today persist in this attitude I decided that, if you did, I would determine your commission and state my reasons for doing so. You have persisted in your attitude and I have accordingly acted as indicated. I attach a statement of my reasons which I intend to publish immediately.

It is with a great deal of regret that I have taken this step both in respect of yourself and your colleagues.

I propose to send for the Leader of the Opposition and to commission him to form a new caretaker Government until an election can be held.

Yours sincerely,

SIGNED: John R Kerr

 

The Honourable E. G. Whitlam, Q.C., M.P.

 

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