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Whitlam, Fraser, Kerr and the story of 1975

Act I:

The Senate blocks supply

On October 15, 1975, two days after Rex Connor resigned from Cabinet, Opposition Leader Malcolm Fraser made his move.

Fraser’s move

Fraser argued that:

The incompetence, the damage, the failures of the worst Government in our history cannot be ignored.”

Fraser harnessed what he saw as his opportunity to catch Whitlam ‘with his pants well and truly down’. At 2:56pm Fraser announced that he would use his Senate majority to block Supply until the Government agreed to call an election.

In Fraser’s view:

The opposition now has no choice. We will use the power vested in us by the Constitution and delay the passage of the Government’s money bills through the Senate until the Parliament goes to the people.”

Whitlam responded:

A government that continues to have a majority in the House of Representatives has a right to expect that it will be able to govern.”