Australian court orders release of Queen's letters over former PM Whitlam's sacking

WION Web Team
Sydney, Australia Published: May 29, 2020, 06.41 PM(IST)

Australia High Court Photograph:( Reuters )

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The country's high court said letters between the British monarch and her Australian representative, governor-general John Kerr, over the affair were public record.

Australia's top court has ordered the release of Queen Elizabeth II's correspondence about the 1975 sacking of democratically elected Prime Minister Gough Whitlam, which palace allies had battled to keep secret.

The country's high court said letters between the British monarch and her Australian representative, governor-general John Kerr, over the affair were public record.

Queen Elizabeth II and Australian governor general Sir John Kerr in 1977.
Queen Elizabeth II and Australian governor general Sir John Kerr in 1977

Kerr had sacked Whitlam, the popular leader of the centre-left labor party, three years after his election, causing a deep constitutional crisis that still scars Australian politics.

The reasons for his dismissal are still fiercely argued, with allegations of british and even american efforts to smother Whitlam's reformist agenda.

The historian Jenny Hocking, who won the landmark case, s now calling on the National Archives of Australia to immediately release the 211 letters, saying the public deserves to know the full history of the greatest political and constitutional crisis in Australia’s history.

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