Sir John Robert Kerr (24 September 1914 – 24 March 1991) was the 18th Governor-General of Australia from 1974-1977. He is famous for dismissing Prime Minister Gough Whitlam in 1975. This is one of the most famous events in Australian history. Even though the Whitlam government was not voted back in after being dismissed, Kerr's actions divided opinion and he continued to be disliked by many people.
Prime Minister Gough Whitlam chose John Kerr to be Governor General in 1974. In 1974–75 the Whitlam government thought about borrowing US$4 billion in foreign loans. A Minister, Rex Connor, had secret discussions with a loan broker from Pakistan. The Treasurer, Jim Cairns, misled parliament about this. This made the new leader of the Opposition, Malcolm Fraser use the Senate to stop passing money for the government until there was an election. Whitlam refused. In 1975 the opposition, led by Malcolm Fraser, blocked government supply in the Senate. This meant that the government had no money. This was a big crisis in Australia. In order to end the crisis, John Kerr dismissed Whitlam and made Fraser the Prime Minister. Whitlam lost the election that was held a month later.
References[change | change source]
- corporateName=National Archives of Australia; address=Queen Victoria Terrace, Parkes. "In office - Gough Whitlam (5 December 1972 – 11 November 1975) and Margaret Whitlam". primeministers.naa.gov.au.