History

What If Sir John Kerr Had Been a Layman?

The issues surrounding the dismissal of the Whitlam government in November 1975 by Governor-General Sir John Kerr, are confused by several facts. One is that the Whitlam government had, as the subsequent election proved, become deeply unpopular and was ridden by a succession of unprecedented scandals, of which the sacking of the Deputy Prime Minister, Jim Cairns, and the Khemlani loans affair were only two. This may have created a perception in the minds of some people that the government had been sacked because of these scandals—that it had somehow been judged and found wanting by the Governor-General, rather than…

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