Assess the Significance of a Post War Prime Minister

Report
Assess the Significance
of a Post War Prime
Minister
Edward Gough Whitlam
Gough Whitlam- Rise to Power
• Born: 11 July 1916, Kew, Victoria
• Education: Telopea Park High School and Canberra
Grammar School; University of Sydney (1946)
• Employment: RAAF navigator; barrister
• Memberships: Independent Commission on International
Humanitarian Issues and World Heritage Committee;
World Conservation Union (IUCN); University of Sydney
Senate; Academy of Athens; Hanoi Architectural Heritage
Foundation
• Marriage: 22 April 1942, Vaucluse, Sydney
• Children: Anthony (1944); Nicholas (1945); Stephen
(1950); Catherine (1954)
• Honours: Queen’s Counsel (1962); Socialist International
Plate of Honour (1976); Companion of the Order of
Australia (1978)
Political Career
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Term as PM: 5 December 1972 – 11 November 1975
Terms as MP:
House of Representatives: 17 February 1953 – 31 July 1978
(Werriwa); Deputy Leader of the Opposition (March 1960 –
February 1967); Leader of the Opposition (February 1967 –
December 1972; November 1975 – December 1977)
Portfolios:
Thirteen portfolios: 5–19 December 1972
Foreign Affairs: December 1972 – November 1973
Environment: July 1975
Memberships:
Australian Labor Party (NSW branch, 1945–; federal
parliamentary Labor Party leader, February 1967 – December
1977); Socialist International; UNESCO Executive Board
After:
Australian Ambassador to UNESCO (1983–86); Chair, National
Gallery of Australia Council (1987–90); Chair, Australia–China
Council (1986–91
Henry Hyde
Champion (Journalist)
John Percy Jones
(Businessman)
Nettie Palmer (Writer)
Ernest Besant-Scott
(Historian)
Lucy Morice
(Feminist)
Charles Strong
(Clergyman)
William Henry Archer
(Statistician)
Edward Shann
(Economist)
Charles Marson
(Clergyman)
David Charlesto
(Trade Unionist)
John Howlett Ros
Fabian Society
• The Australian Fabian Society was
established in 1947. Inspired by the
Fabian Society in the United Kingdom, it is
dedicated to Fabianism, the focus on the
advancement of socialist ideas through
gradual influence and patiently promoting
socialist ideals to intellectual circles and
groups with power.
Aims of the Fabian Society
• The Australian Fabian Society cites their 'Four General Aims'
on their organisation's website as being:
• 1. To contribute to a renaissance of left of centre and
progressive thought, by generating and disseminating ideas
that are original, meet the challenge of the times, and are of
high intellectual quality.
• 2. To contribute, by getting these ideas into the public
domain, to the creation of a left of centre political culture and
consensus.
• 3. To help create an active movement of people identifying
with the left of centre and engaged in political debate.
• 4. To influence the ideas and policies of the Labor Party (and
other parties) and Labor Governments to encourage
progressive reform in practice
1960’S-1970’S CONTEXT
POLITICAL INSTABILITY
Gorton's demise came in 1971,
when the Defence Minister,
Malcolm Fraser, resigned from
Cabinet, claiming that Gorton had
a "manic determination to get his
own way" and alleging disloyalty in
Gorton's treatment of Fraser. A
challenge to Gorton's leadership
was mounted resulting in a tied
vote. Gorton used his own casting
vote to give the leadership to
William McMahon.
Why did Labor win?
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Liberal PM – William McMahon
23 years of Liberal Government
Unpopularity during the Vietnam era
Australians wanted a change
Source Study: Photographs
Why do you think Gough Whitlam is dressed this way?
What is the general impression of Whitlam gained from this
source?
Source Study: POLICY SPEECH
Gough Whitlam’s Policy Speech at Blacktown Civic Centre
What do you think are the issues that would have led to many people voting
for Labor in 1972? Explain why.
Gough Whitlam - Prime Minister
13 portfolios
5/12/72
– 19/12/72
Lance Barnard
- Deputy Prime
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Minister for Foreign Affairs
Treasurer
Attorney-General
Minister for Customs and Excise
Minister for Trade and Industry
Minister for Shipping and Transport
Minister for Education and Science
Minister for Civil Aviation
Minister for Housing
Minister for Works
Minister for External Territories
Minister for the Environment,
Aborigines and the Arts
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40 major policy changes started as
part of reform program
Minister - 14 portfolios
•Minister for Defence
•Minister for Supply
•Minister for the Army
•Minister for the Navy
•Minister for Air
•Postmaster-General
•Minister for Labour and National Service
•Minister for Social Services
•Minister for Immigration
•Minister for the Interior
•Minister for Primary Industry
•Minister for Repatriation
•Minister for Health
•Minister for National Development
What does this suggest about Whitlam’s leadership style?
How do you think Australians would have viewed him in light of this?
5/12/72
–
19/12/72
Gough Whitlam - Prime Minister
13 portfolios
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Minister for Foreign Affairs
Treasurer
Attorney-General
Minister for Customs and Excise
Minister for Trade and Industry
Minister for Shipping and Transport
Minister for Education and Science
Minister for Civil Aviation
Minister for Housing
Minister for Works
Minister for External Territories
Minister for the Environment,
Aborigines and the Arts
•
40 major policy changes started as
part of reform program
Lance Barnard - Deputy Prime
Minister - 14 portfolios
•Minister for Defence
•Minister for Supply
•Minister for the Army
•Minister for the Navy
•Minister for Air
•Postmaster-General
•Minister for Labour and National Service
•Minister for Social Services
•Minister for Immigration
•Minister for the Interior
•Minister for Primary Industry
•Minister for Repatriation
•Minister for Health
•Minister for National Development
What does this suggest about Whitlam’s leadership style?
How do you think Australians would have viewed him in light of this?
International context
• 1973-74 world oil crisis. Aust was very
dependant on Middle East oil. Oil was
cheap and Australians needed cheap
oil to run cars for transport out to ever
expanding suburbs.
• 1973 Arab countries stopped exporting
to some western countries after US
supported Israel in war with Syria and
Egypt.
• Price of oil skyrocketed, permeating
every domestic industry. The result was
rampant inflation.
Gough’s Election Speech
“Men and Women of Australia….”
• http://whitlamdismissal.com/spe
eches/72-11-13_it's-time.shtml
ITS TIME
• “It’s time for freedom,
It’s time for moving, It’s time to begin,
Yes It’s time It’s time Australia,
It’s time for moving, It’s time for
proving,
Yes It’s time”
1972- Policies of Change
• Reforms were made, among
others, in the areas of
education health care,
Aboriginal land rights,
women’s rights and family
law. The voting age was
reduced from 21 to 18 and
the death penalty for federal
crimes was abolished.
• An important reform in education was the
abolition of university fees, which allowed many
young people, and, importantly women, an
opportunity to obtain a university degree and
broaden their career choices.
• By introducing Medibank, the Whitlam
Government also ensured that all Australians
would have free access to health care.
• In 1972, the Whitlam Government took the
important foreign policy step of establishing
diplomatic relations with the government of the
People’s Republic of China.
Policies of Change
• In all, there were 507 pieces of
legislation enacted. Many of
Australia's present institutions
began in the Whitlam era:
Women's Electoral Lobby; the
Australian Heritage Commission;
Law Reform Commission; National
Sewerage Program; Industries
Assistance Commission; Australian
National Railways Commission;
FM and community radio licensing;
and the Prices Justification
Tribunal.
Legislation under Whitlam
• The Administrative Appeals Tribunal Act 1975 (Cth), which
established the means to review the decisions of government
ministers and officials;
• The Trade Practices Act 1974 (Cth), which made sure consumers
were protected against faulty products and misleading conduct by
sellers or manufacturers. It also made restrictive trade practices
illegal and set down the law against copyright infringement;
• The Racial Discrimination Act 1975 (Cth), which made racial
discrimination illegal in Australia. This law covers discrimination in
areas such as employment, buying or renting property, accessing
public places and the provision of goods and services; and
• The Prices Justification Act 1973 (Cth), which established a
Tribunal to monitor the prices of goods and services supplied to
consumers.
FOREIGN POLICY-A PARADIGMATIC
SHIFT
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Differences between the conservative Coalition and Labor sides on foreign policy up
to 1983 corresponded broadly to the differences in international relations (IR) theory
between ‘realism’ and ‘idealism’. That argument in IR theory became known
retrospectively as the Great Debate.
Australian conservative politicians, especially under the influence of Menzies and
close associates, understood international relations as a matter of interests and
power. Australia had a small population and little direct power, so it needed to attach
itself to ‘great and powerful friends’.. Australian conservatives distrusted—indeed
privately rather scorned—the moralism and legalism of international idealism.
Menzies, for example, had little time for the hopes attached to the United Nations as
a guarantor of peace and prosperity.
On the other hand Evatt and the intellectuals and socialists in the Labor Party
thought that Australia should build its foreign policy around moral and legal idealism,
the United Nations, and the aspirations of the ‘newly emerging’ nations. It is
tempting to see those differences again between the present Australian government
and the opposition—Labor, Green and Democrat.
http://aso.gov.au/titles/historical/whitlam-visit-philippines/clip3/
• Divergence between Whitlam’s and Fraser’s approaches
to foreign policy further illustrates the difference between
idealist and realist approaches to international
relations. Gough Whitlam and the Labor party generally
opposed the United States’ role in the conflict in
Vietnam; indeed, some members of the Whitlam
government were violently critical, especially when the
United States bombed Hanoi. At the same time Whitlam
stressed:
• Australia’s independent role in the world under his
government
• , His attachment to the United Nations and to the
peaceful resolution of conflict, to détente, and so on.
• His own agenda was broadly idealist and multilateralist,
EXCERPT FROM WHITLAM’S 1974 SPEECH
http://whitlamdismissal.com/speeches/74-04-29_policy-speech.shtml
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“ This is the most genuinely international government Australia has ever had.
We have placed our relationships with the United States and the United Kingdom on the basis of
mature partnership.
We have renegotiated the agreement for the United States Naval Communication Station at North
West Cape. The agreement signed by our opponents was a denial of Australia' s rights. The new
agreement asserts and establishes them.
We have widened our horizons, sought and achieved growing co-operation with the countries of the
Commonwealth and with the nations round the Indian and South Pacific Oceans.
We have brought co-operation and friendship with Japan, our greatest trading partner, to a new
level. Following an agreement in principle between Prime Minister Tanaka and myself at the
Ministerial Committee meeting in Tokyo last October, we will enter into a treaty of friendship - the
Treaty of Nara - this year.
We have sought to break down ideological constraints which had for so long obstructed meaningful
relationships with countries such as China, East Germany and North Vietnam.
We have sought to remove any taint of racism from our national and international policies.
We have co-operated closely with the Government and House of Assembly of Papua New Guinea as
our neighbour moves towards independence by December this year.
We have forged new and intimate links with the countries of ASEAN - Indonesia, the Philippines,
Malaysia, Thailand and Singapore. We have accepted their invitation to co-operate with ASEAN on
development projects.
With the agreement of all its members, we have secured the remodelling of SEATO.
THE AGEGARRY WOODWARD
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“Everyone associates Whitlam with recognition
of China. The Chinese refer to him, to his
delight, as the man "who dug the well". China
went from being a threat to becoming a political
and economic partner of accelerating
importance.
With Japan, Whitlam sought to broaden a
narrow trading relationship by injecting values.
He agreed to negotiate a treaty that would
assure it against discrimination in immigration,
investment and secure supply of resources, all
areas of historical and contemporary
sensitivity.
Other initiatives — recognition of North Korea,
support for an Indian Ocean Zone of Peace,
resources diplomacy — also irritated
Washington”
1973-CHINA
“Recognising that Australia's future
prosperity and security required that it be
more deeply engaged in its own region, the
Whitlam Government recognised the People's
Republic of China in 1972 with a One China
policy when it was not quite so fashionable to
do so. This early recognition has always held
us in good stead in our relationship with
China.” Stephen Smith
International Human Rights
• Between 5 December 1972 and 11 November 1975,
Whitlam's government ratified in excess of 130 more
international treaties, statutes and conventions, more
than any other since Federation.
THE DISMISSAL- 1975- CHANGING
PERSPECTIVES
JUSTIFIABLY
SACKED
ASSASSINATED
UNCONSTITUTIONALLY
REMOVED
HISTORIANS ON WHITLAM
• “The legacy of the Whitlam government is that of
having been a moderniser of Australia and an
exemplar of what, in social democracy, is
attainable. It was a government which made
more apparent, to the world and Australians, a
nation which was independent, industrialised,
culturally unique, a predominantly urban society
(1) and above all, modern. As Whitlam-policies
have been eroded, the more they have become
ideals and thus his legacy”
• Joshua Markham
Stuart McIntyre
• “Whitlam cultivated a nationalism that
allowed for internationalism. With the revival
of local publishing, theatre and film, they
contributed to a cultural renaissance that
made it possible to see life in this country as
possessing a depth of meaning and richness of
possibility. The completion in 1973 of the
Sydney Opera House and the acquisition by
the National Gallery of 'Blue Poles', the large
dribbling creation of Jackson Pollock, caught
the mood of expansive engagement.”
• “It is a terrible shame that Whitlam is best
known for his exit from power rather than his
remarkable policy achievements. Elements of
Whitlam's character and achievements have
been debated. What cannot is that many of the
best aspects of today's Australia would not
exist without Whitlam's initiatives.”
EXPERIMENT IN LEADERSHIP
• “For all the praise they will lavish on him on
these anniversaries, not one of today's aspiring
future Labor prime ministers would see a
model for them in Whitlam's high-risk, crashthrough-or-crash style of leadership. High-wire
politics is the antithesis of the 21st-century
Labor style, which is marked by timidity and
caution”.
• Geoff Kitney
• Political Writer SMH 2002
Wallace Brown
• “Whitlam was the most paradoxical of all
prime ministers in the last half of the 20th
century. A man of superb intellect, knowledge,
and literacy, he yet had little ability when it
came to economics ... Whitlam rivalled
Menzies in his passion for the House of
Representatives and ability to use it as his
stage, and yet his parliamentary skills were
rhetorical and not tactical. He could devise a
strategy and then often botch the tactics in
trying to implement that strategy ... Above all
he was a man of grand vision with serious
blind spots.”
SIGNIFICANCE OF WHITLAM’S TERMS OF OFFICE
Brought longest
run of liberal
party to an end
Style of election
harnessed support
from media and
musicians
Experiment
in leadership
style
FOREIGN
POLICY
DISTANCE
FROM
AMERICA
Dismissal
Power of
governor
general
whitlam
ESTABLISHED
RELATIONS
WITH CHINA
HEALTH
MEDICARE
Education
FREE
TERTIARY
PRE SCHOOL
Minority issues
Women and
aborigines

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