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Gouth Whitlam's Dismissal

God Save The Queen But No One Can Not Save Kerr

Palace Letters Reveal What The Queen Knew

Gough Whitlam called Liberal Leader Malcom Fraser "Kerr's Kerr"

Gough Whitlam Memory Oration Lecture Introduction

Gough Whitlam Oration with Noel Pearson - What Paul Keating Said About Public Life

On the evening of 13 November Noel Pearson took the stage at the Riverside Theatres Parramatta to deliver the 2013 Gough Whitlam Oration. Those present were to witness an extraordinary address. The speech was a powerful tribute to Gough Whitlam, and a clear call for constitutional reform in Australia.

Gough Whitlam With Bob Hawk- Norman Gunston -Gary McDonald 1975Dismssal Public Meeting

Whitlam Dismissal Letters Released To Australian National Archives After 44Years

 Sir John Kerr's Dismissal Of Gough Witlam as Prime Minister of Australia in 1975

Gough Whitlam's Dismissal as Prime Minister of Australia - History Full Story

Whitlam's Dismissal Letters Released To Australian National Archives After 44 Years

Sir John Kerr - Talks With Geoffrey Robinson 1987

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Noel Pearson Remembers Gough Whitlam Part Two

Paul Keating chatting With Kerry OBrien Part One of Four

Paul Keating chatting With Kerry OBrien Part Two of Four


Paul Keating chatting With Kerry OBrien Part Three of Four

Paul Keating chatting With Kerry OBrien Part Four of Four

Paul Keating Australia's Role In Asia In The Trump Era  Part One

Paul Keating Australia's Role In Asia In The Trump Era  Part Two

 Paul Keating Australia's Role In Asia In The Trump Era  Part Three

 Paul Keating Australia's Role In Asia In The Trump Era  Part Four

 Paul Keating Australia's Role In Asia In The Trump Era  Part Five

 Paul Keating Australia's Role In Asia In The Trump Era  Part Six

Paul Keating Australia's Role In Asia In The Trump Era  Part Seven

The Sydney Connection -

The Book and Film By Steven Wijat

Incorporating part one of

Stavros, Sam's Little Mate Part One

The new book and film by Steven Wijat based on a true story that happened in Australia over the last 50 years

Anyone interested in obtaining a Collections Edition of the The Sydney Connection Part  One please a request to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Forty-five years after the dismissal of Australian prime minister Gough Whitlam, and after four years of legal challenges, the full correspondence between governor general Sir John Kerr and the Queen was released.

The full 211 letters, stretching to 1,200 pages, were uploaded online but then unavailable due to the National Archives website crashing.

Before the full release, director general of the archives, David Fricker, presented a quick briefing of some of the key letters. Historians, including Prof Jenny Hocking, have long-argued that the letters may shed light on the Queen’s prior knowledge of Kerr’s decision in 1975 to dismiss Gough Whitlam as prime minister.

The media scrum as Sir John Kerr's secretary David Smith proclaims Gough Whitlam's sacking_11thNovemer-1975.

The media scrum as Sir John Kerr's secretary David Smith proclaims Gough Whitlam's sacking


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

The Australian high court has ruled the ‘palace letters’ referring to the dismissal of the Whitlam government in 1975 are public records

Authors Introduction Note:

Stavros was told the following by two ASIO/CIA/MI6.Five Eyes Insiders:

  1. In 1975 the US Government/ASIO/CIA/MI6/Five Eyes hatched and carried out a clandestine and illegal plan to derail the Whitlam Labor Government of Australia and have Gough Whitlam, removed as Prime Minister, and have him replaced by a CIA backed Asset, Malcom Fraser, as the new Conservative Liberal Prime Minister of Australia. Stavros was told by an one of the original founders of ASIO and the Commonwealth Police of Australia (now known as the Australian Federal Police) that the US Government/ASIO/CIA/MI6/Five Eyes had to get immediately do whatever was necessary to remove Gough Whitlam, and the Australian Labor Party from office before their destroy Australia and turn it into a communist country.
  2. Hungarian Mafia member Bel Csidei spent time in prison for billionaire Sir Peter Abeles, who was a CIA/MI6 Asset, whose job was to launder billions of dollars of illegal drug proceeds and use these funds to pay politicians, unions, the media. the judiciary and other members of the legal system, criminals, and who else was necessary to make sure the US Government its Central Intelligence Agency and the Ruling Elite behind the scenes who control the US Government its Central  Intelligence Agency, to kept complete control of Australian politics, media, legal system, society in general for their own short and long term aims
  3. Frant Nugan definitely faked his death and it was not Frank Nugan’s body found in Frank Nugan’s Mercedes with a gun blast to his face. Frank Nugan has since he returned from Canada, been a most senior a well-connected powerful CIA/MI6 Asset, whose job was to arrange for illegal drugs to be grown, manufactured, imported and distributed, and the proceeds laundered through his family’s Nugan Group of Companies and his Nugan Hand Bank. Other jobs Frank Nugan did for the CIA, was to build up good relationships with influential politicians and other influential people and to use the illegal drug proceeds and use these funds to pay politicians, unions, the media. the judiciary and other members of the legal system, criminals, and who else was necessary to make sure the US Government its Central Intelligence Agency and the Ruling Elite behind the scenes who control the US Government its Central Intelligence Agency, to kept complete control of Australian politics, media, legal system, society in general for their own short and long term aims
  4. Kerry Packer, with his code name ‘Goanna’ was a CIA/MI6 Asset, who helped Kerry Packer and his Family become billionaires and maintained complete protection from any criminal prosecution, with Kerry Packer haven been given the Green Light protection from arrest for any crime.
  5. Leonard (Len)Walter Buckeridge, the Western Australian billionaire building magnate and his de-facto wife Siok Pauy Koh (known publicly as Tootsey) were CIA/MI6/Triad Assets, and also had silent partners in their building companies in the form of the Chinese Triads, who also are partners of CIA/MI6. Leonard Walter Buckeridge, was given the Green Light protection from being arrested on any criminal offence, even murder. Leonard Walter Buckeridge, knew he could get away with carrying out or planning or arranging nay crime and took good advantage of this Green Light Power, as well as used it to protect others in his criminal network from prosecution of all levels of crimes, including murder. More can be found out about Leonard Walter Buckeridge in the book Chilling Words (The Dark Side of the Claremont Serial Killings). Siok Pauy Koh and her son Julian Ambrose are part of the powerful Chinese Triad Ko (Koh) Family. An ‘h’ is often added to the original surname of ‘Ko’ to help pretend that it is a different surname from the powerful Triad Ko (Koh) Family. Leonard Walter Buckeridge was offered a deal to allow CIA/MI6/Triad billions of dollars of black money earned from illegal activities to be laundered through his BGC building and building supply companies on the condition that Len Buckeridge hold 51% of the shares on all his BGC companies in a secret trust for the CIA/MI6/Triads and that Len grooms Julian Ambrose to take over from him to run the BGC companies when Len retires or dies, whichever comes first. One of Len’s other jobs and responsibilities to build up good relationships with influential politicians and other influential people and to use the illegal drug proceeds and use these funds to pay politicians, unions, the media. the judiciary and other members of the legal system, criminals, and who else was necessary to make sure the US Government its Central Intelligence Agency and the Ruling Elite behind the scenes who control the US Government its Central  Intelligence Agency, to kept complete control of Australian politics, media, legal system, society in general for their own short and long term aims
  6. The Five Eyes alliance is an intelligence-sharing arrangement between five English-speaking democracies: the US, UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. It evolved during the Cold War as a mechanism for monitoring the Soviet Union and sharing classified intelligence. It is often described as the world's most successful intelligence alliance.
  7. All the main Five Eyes Security Agencies which include the US, UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, have MI6 at the head, which is known as the mother ship of the Five Eyes Security Agencies. MI6 is the most powerful, oldest and most well established Security Agency in the world. MI6 works in much quieter ways from behind the scenes and lets the CIA do most of it upfront bidding a d barking, so if there are any public issues that come to light resulting from complaints the way CIA carries out its business, then it is the CIA that receives the pubic media bashing, rather that MI6. MI6 run with the old and well tried and tested formulae and rule… ‘if you have a dog, why bark yourself?’.
  8. All the main Five Eyes Security Agencies, as well as Mossad,, re not owned, run and controlled by the individual countries that they publicly appear to represent, but in reality MI6 and the other Five Eyes Security Agencies are all owned, run and controlled by a powerful Ruling Elite of Trillionaires, with one particular trillionaire at the top known as ‘GOD”, who has complete immunity fro nay possible criminal investigation or criminal charges anywhere in the world. The billionaires are not high enough in the food chain to be own, run or control MI6 and the other Five Eyes Security Agencies, they are just the White Knights, who do the bidding for God and MI6 and the other Five Eyes Security Agencies.
  9. No one can become a billionaire without the approval of MI6, and God and God’s other Ruling Ellite Trillionaire buddies who as far as they are concerned in reality run the world and believe that they are the appointed masters to be doing so.


Levels of Police Corruption


Police corruption takes many forms. In Drug Traffic, Alfred McCoy gave a five level model for grading police corruption from inquire offences to the level where police corruption infects every organ of the body politic


  1. Master Badge – Level One Corruption

The lowest level of police corruption, McCoy called Level One Corruption or ‘honest graft’; this occurs when the police earn a bonus from the proper execution of their duties, McCoy’s example of this is the Sydney constables who accepted bounties from tow truck operators for awarding them the work. Level One corruption is widespread in all police forces Indeed, in Miami the police slang for the police badge was @Master Badge@ because all of the cash-free goods and favours it bestowed on its possessor.


  1. The Whippy – Level Two Corruption

Level Two corruption involved much more serious offences, buy the transgression remain individual, not part of a corrupt conspiracy. At a more innocent level, this would include an officer who accepted a bribe from a motorist who committed a traffic violation, At a more serious level, it would involve a detective who released a thief in exchange for a share of the booty. Level Two drug corruption is widespread in all police forces, and is so commonplace in drug raids it is often not seen as corruption. As the Wood commission report noted:


  1. The Black Pawn – Level Three Corruption

At the third stage of corruption an individual officer accepts a regular retainer from a vice entrepreneur not to investigate violations of the liquor licencing, gaming, prostitution, or drug laws. This is the ground level of ‘the Joke’ or ‘the Laugh’. A literary example of this is the opening scene of Frank Hardy’s Power Without Glory where the young John West Tosses a gold sovereign to Constable Brogan to Dissuade him from search the Carrinbush Tote. In the night-life centres of Australia, in places like Kings Cross, St, Kilda or the Valley, John West’s sovereign still has the power of corrupting the police. Example of the favours done for vice entrepreneurs by police involved in Level Three corruption include: the release of confidential information, the warning of pending police activity, the gutting or pulling of prosecutions; and providing favours in respect of bail or sentencing. The police person, at this stage, is a black pawn. At Level Four, they progress to become the Black Knights.


  1. The Black Knight – Level Four Corruption

The fourth stage of corruption involved police using their positions and authority to become criminal entrepreneurs. This normally involved senior officers in specialist police squads like vice, drug, or armed hold-ups squads.

Examples of Level Four Corruption are many: Barry Moyse, the former head of the SA Drug Squad who was one the national frontman for Operation Noah, has recently been released on parole after years in jail for his part in organising a marijuana plantation and reselling heroin and speed that had been seized by police.

Interviewed in prison by journalist Chris Masters, Moyse said that when he took over the job as head of the South Australian Drug Squad, he took over a pattern of behaviour that everybody before him had engaged in. They were so cynical about drug law enforcement that they would recruit dealers or often the dealers would recruit them. The dealers would be given immunity in order to maintain their business and pass on information that would enable the police to do their job which, effectively, meant just keeping down the competition. Moyse thought that this was a practice that was honoured right across the land by every drug squad in Australia. The recent corruption uncovered in the Victorian Drug Squad supports this claim. Moyse regarded it as a matter of freakish bad luck that he was caught and that the jury believed the prosecution. Generally speaking, corrupt police like Moyse believe if they do not get into trouble, they will get into a witness box a the juries will believe them over the people who were making the allegations who tend to be convicted drug trafficker.


  1. The Joke - Level Five Corruption

The fifth and final stage of police corruption involved a syndication of all organised crime activity by a tightly–structured group of senior police, At this stage, a coalition of Black Knights run the police force. They have powerful allies in the media, in politics and the legal system. Unlike the individual variety of police criminality that occurs at Level Four, Level Five corruption is highly formalised and often involved a strict system of profit-sharing according to rank. For this final level to be reached, the police commissioner must be ‘bent’, along with much of the political system. This was the level of corruption that prevailed in the New South Wales Police force in the 1970’s and in Queensland in the 1980’s.

Unlike Sir Robert Askin, Bjelke-Peterson does not seem to have been intimately involved in vice corruption. The close relationship which existed between Bjelke-Peterson and Commissioner Lewis was based on an unwritten understanding that the drugs laws would be used corruptly against the opponents of Bjelke-Peterson by the corrupt police. What Bjelke-Peterson got from the deal was a police force that would act as a private army against his political opponents; what Commissioner Lewis got was the Joke.

The success of the Fitzgerald Royal Commission depended on getting people to speak openly and they were often indemnified to do so, but Masters believed there were some things the police did not speak openly about. One was their involvement in the drug trade, and another was their involvement in the murder, As Masters commented you don’t get indemnities for murder.

The story of Murray Riley and his Drug Joke in New South Wales shows how the drug trade was incorporated into a network of organised crime that pre-dared it, which had grown up around S.P. bookmaking, gambling and prostitution. The sophistication of the Riley/Nugan Hand conspiracy reflected not just its American influences, but also this well-established tradition of corruption in New South Wales. The booming drug trade in the 1970’s was treated in a similar way to gambling and the other vice trades, with the police seeking to regulate the trade and ensure that it was run by old friends like Murray Riley. No Doubt a similar situation prevailed in Queensland.

Although the history of the Drug Joke in Queensland remains largely unknown, it seems that, in the aftermath of the Mackay murder and the Woodward and Williams royal commissions, the centre of the drug trade in Australia shifted to North Queensland. There were many suggestions that, in the 1980’s, Mareeba replaced Griffeth as the put of Australia, I have touched on the evidence for this Queensland Drug Joke in the section on the North Queensland operation: the Slade Report, the Fast Buck$’ allegations, the murder of the Clarkes, the posting of Tony Murphy to the role of Assistant Commissioner for the Far North region, as well as the movement of other principals of the Fitzgerald Inquiry to Cairns in 1980 – all hint at some deeper conspiracy.  Likewise, the rumours about “God”, the corrupt policeman said to control the drug trade in Queensland, suggest that, as in NSW, corrupt police and ex-detectives played a key role in establishing this Queensland Drug Joke. Perhaps in the murder of the Clarkes had been treated as seriously as the murder of Donald Mackay, more might have been revealed.

Currently, there is much interest in the role of the Victorian Drug Squad in the drug trade, indicating that drug corruption in the police forces in Australia may again have changed its locus. Again, we may note that the state of Victoria also pretends it is corruption-free where the corrupt operate.


Regime of Corruption and the Regime of Prohibition


Drugs prohibition was sold to the Australian as a supply side solution to ‘the drug problem’. Criminalising drug use was supposed to destroy supply and make drugs unavailable. Yet, as we have seen, this happened only once, for a sort time in the aftermath of the Mackay murder, during the time of the Woodward and Williams commissions. And been an act as extreme as the murder of Donald Mackay did not permanently close down the drug trade; in the long-term It simply provoked a northward migration of the Drug Joke to Queensland.


Although drug law reformers like Michael Moore have claimed that “Prohibition doesn’t work” the truth is that prohibition does work. But in a counter-productive wat, by corrupting the gate-keepers and by breeding corruption. As I have argued, the regime of corruption increases with the regime of prohibition.

The criminalisation of the drug trade that prohibition brings about ensures that the entrepreneurs of the illicit trade can only survive with the aid of police through prostitution and S.P. rackets were in an ideal situation to takeover the market when the regime of prohibition increased.


The Australian Illicit drug market began as an amateur network, dominated by people were drug enthusiasts themselves. When the regime of prohibition increased with the launch of the war of drugs in 1976, this old hippie network was taken over y a criminal group, centred on an ex-detective, Murray Riley, and his friends. It was a takeover of the drug trade by the Black Knights of the police force. The Drug Joke became the largest discernible structure in Australia’s illicit drug trade.


As our economic analysis shows, the amount of money available for corruption increased with the regime of prohibition, increasing the possibilities for Level Two and Level Three corruption, and reinforcing patterns of corrupt behaviour within Australian police forces. It also added to the possibilities for Level Four corruption, increasing the pool of Black Knights available for a level Five coup. Not only did the quality of corrupt offences increase with the regime of prohibition, but the chance of a qualitive change in police corruption, from Level Four corruption to Level Five corruption, also increased.


50 Year of the ‘War on Drugs’ in Australia

   ‘Each year, the Government spends more on enforcing drug laws than it did last year before: each year, more people have gone to jail for drug offences, yet, each year, there have been more drugs on the street.’…. Whitman Knapp, Senior Judge for the Southern District of New York

In the years since 1964, cannabis use expanded enormously in Australia. In 1964 marijuana was practically unknown; by 1998, 30% of the population over 14 had used cannabis at least once in their life. With the aging of the Baby Boomers, marijuana use in Australia is now considerable older age groups as well as the young. The 1998 National Drug Strategy household survey showed that recent use amongst the 20-29 age group stood at 37%; recent use among the 20-39 age group was 20%, and among the 40-49 age group recent use was 11%. By 1998, 2,700,000 Australians, 18% of the population aged 14 and over, were recent cannabis users, compared to 500,000 Australians in 1973. This massive increase has occurred despite the spending of billions of dollars to repress cannabis use and cannabis users.

The thirty-six-year period between 1964 and 2000 has been characterised by two different regimes of prohibition. The first period – from 1964 to the overthrown of the Whitlam Government in the constitutional coup on 11 November 1111975 – was characterised by an increasingly benign view of cannabis, and search for an independent Australian drugs policy. During this period, marijuana smoking became the cultural symbol of the Baby Boomers generation and spread widely among the under 30s. Heroin use was kept at bay by the old hippie dealer network who refused to dal in heroin. During the Whitlam years, only a handful of young Australian s died each year from heroin overdoses.

The crusade to criminalise drug use intensified dramatically after 1975 when conservative parties in Australia adopted a War on Drugs electoral strategy. This right-wing crusade was largely based on hatred of pot-smoking Baby Boomers because of their anti-Vietnam War and pro-Whitlam attitudes.

This second regime of prohibition began with parliamentary attacks on hippie communities at cedar Bay in Queensland and Tuntable Falls in New South Wales in 1976.  It was a time of increasing US-style prohibition characterised by tough-on-drugs rhetoric, police crackdowns numerous murders, and a marijuana drought, followed quickly by a heroin plague. Organised crime replaced the old hippie dealer network; and the price of pot skyrocketed, reaching $450 an ounce in 1988.

Just as in the US, the War on Drugs developed in Australia not for health reasons but for reasons of social control – as a domestic counter-revolution against the Whilimite Baby Boomer’s generation by older Nixonite Drug War warriors like Queensland Premier, Bjelke- Peterson. Indeed, this second ‘regime of prohibition’ could be characterised as pry od ‘Nixonisation’ of Australia brought about by the victory of 1975 of a Nixon-inspired US/Australian -alliance over the social forces which elected the Whitlam government.

The Cedar Bay alliance, between Bjelke- Peterson and the corrupt policeman Terry Lewis, typified this new conservative coalition. It was an alliance between Mr Big and Mr Bigot, The essence of the Cedar Bay alliance was the agreement (unspoken) that the drug laws would be corruptly used by the corrupt police against the opponents of the right-wing politicians – the young, the left and the alternative. In this way, the War on Drugs served as a mask for right-wing attack on their opponents. The purpose of the War on Drugs was never to minimise the drugs problem; it was. Above all. About social control.

Although Bjelke- Peterson was not personally involved in drug corruption, his counterpart in New South Wales, Sir Robert Askin, was far more approximate, sharing offices at 55 Macquarie Street with Nugan Hand Bank, the financial centre of the South Pacific drug trade.

As Mr Big saw the alliance about making money, large amounts of untaxed black money; not just in Australia, but in the USA as well. What I have demonstrated in ‘History by Numbers’ is that it is a regime of prohibition that drives price and is the engine of the black market. Each dollar sent on drug law enforcement is a multiplier for the illicit drug market.

The Americanisation of drugs policy in Australia was accompanied by an Americanisation of organised crime. Australia’s transition from the ‘disorganised crime’ of the old hippie dealing network to the criminal sophistication of the Nugan Hand Bank/Riley operation within a year of Whitlam’s fall and the launch of the War on Drugs.

Which came first?

The Americanisation of drugs policy in Australia or the Americanisation of Australian organised crime?

After the most rigorous examination I am inclined to call it a tie: they came together.

Consider, for example, that frantic month of August 1976: on 15 August the NSW police raided the Tunable Falls commune at Nimbin; on 23, August 1976 the Nugan Hand Bank was registered; Cedar Bay was raided on August 29, 1976, Meanwhile Muray Riley was completing his third shipment of heroin’ and Riley was organising the criminal takeover of the old hippie dealing network. However, the defining event that led to the Americanisation of Australia’s drugs laws was the murder of Donald Mackay – via the Woodward and Willliams Royal Commissions – and this was due to the Americanisation of Australia’s illicit drug trade. In this sense, it could be said that the gangsters led.

During the War on Drugs years, the character of the Australian state changed from a Whitlam-style social welfare state to a Nixon-style security state. Spending on police and prisons rose. In the last fifteen years of the twentieth century, the harsh new drug laws recommended by Williams produce an unrivalled boom in prison populations and prison building in Australia, For the prison industry, the War of drugs created a once-in-century boom.

As well as expanding prison populations, the right-wing hijacking of drugs policy saddled Australia with US-style organised crime. The murder of Donald Mackay was simply one of the hundreds of drug-related murders that occurred. Many were killed, like Mackay, because they knew too much: others died in fights to control the illegal trade.

The application of right-wing drugs policy greatly worsened drug problems. In the twenty years since the launch of the War on Drugs in Australia, deaths from heroin use increased by 10,000 percent. As the graph, Cost of the War on Drugs in Australia, 1973- 1998 shows the War on Drugs, Australia had only a handful of opiate overdoses. By producing a marijuana drought, the War on Drugs generated a heroin plague, and opioid overdose deaths climbed steeply after 1975, reaching one hundred and fifty in 1999 under the ‘Tough on Drugs’ policies of John Howard. That year over 1100 young Australians died as a result of illicit drug overdoses.


Gough Whitlam on CIA activities in Australia

The main question I leave unanswered is the extent of the Riley/Nugan Hand conspiracy. Did it include police commissioner Merv Wood, or Ex-premier Sir Robert Askin. Or transport mogul Sir Peter Abeles?

Each was close to a Sydney Connection principal, but simply knowing Murray Riley, or Bela Csidei, or Frank Nuga was not in itself a crime.

Nugan Hand was a multi-purpose conspiracy; it was obviously far more that a drug trafficking operation, but it was this aspect of Nugan Hand which was my concern. The Nugan Hand principles also played a political role in the destabilisation of the Whitlam Government. The allegations were that Michael Hand helped forge documentation during the Loans Affair and the cairns Affair, while Frank Nugan was the conduit for CIA money to the Liberal Party via Sir Rober Askin,

I include this extract from the speech that Gough Whitlam made in Parliament on 24 May 1977 calling for a royal commission into CIA inspired ‘dirty tricks’ campaign in 1973; to provide another motive for the murder of Donald Mackay.

At the time of the murder of Donald Mackay the US-Australian alliance was in crisis over the events of 11 November 1975 and the revelations of Christopher Boyce. Boyce was employed by TRW, an aerospace firm in the U.S, which monitored Pine Gap, the US spy base in central Australia at the heart of the ‘security crisis’. Boyce was in-charge of the top-secret code room at TRW, in a position to monitor and decode messages from the CIA and Task Force 157 in Australia.   Christopher Boyce said: “If you think Chile’s bad, you should wee what the CIA is doing in Australia.”

One of Whitlam’s key allegations was that the CIA was funding conservative political parties in Australia, Frank Nuga was the banker for the CIA in Australia, and he was sharing offices with Sir Robert Askin, a ‘bagman’ for the Liberal Party. He had every reason to be worried about the royal commission into the CIA activities in Australia Gough Whitlam was seeking in this speech made seven weeks before Mackay’s murder.


‘Concern about the recent allegations is not confined to my Party. It is shared by the principal figures in this debate – not least by the Americans themselves. Yesterday, the new United States Ambassador in his first Press conference here declared that he was very much concerned at the allegations he had seen in the Press. Two weeks ago, the Unite States Senate Committee on intelligence under the chairmanship of Senator Inouye of Hawaii asked the Central Intelligence Agency for a report of its activities in Australia. On the-basis of hat report, the Committee will decide whether to pursue its inquiries. That report has not even been presented to the Senate Committee, yet the Prime Minister has prejudiced the result of it. If it is good enough for the Americans, our allies, to show a prompt and proper concern about these matters, why should not the Australian Government do likewise?

Alliances are not strengthened by covert operations or by condoning and covering up such covert operations.

The people who have made the allegations are no fanatics, crackpots or headline seekers. Some of them are former officers of the CIA itself, Many of them have worked inside the organisation and become disenchanted with some of its methods. So too, have American senators, congressmen, cabinet ministers and American Presidents now become disillusioned with the operations of the CIA in past years. One does not have to admire-personally the people who have made the allegations to accept the fact that they know what they are talking about. Victor Marchelli worked for the CIA for 14 years, finally becoming executive assistant to the deputy director of the CIA. Heis the co-author of a book The CIA and the Cult of Intelligence which was so authoritative, so well-informed and so accurate in its disclosure of facts that the US. Administration took protracted legal action to have it banned. At the insistence of the CIA, it was finally censored and 168 passages were deleted by court order. The legal battle was a tribute to Mr Marchetti’s honesty and accuracy – to his creditability, His facts have never been challenged by the Unit States Government or the intelligence community. He is a free man. Other allegations have been made by Philip Agee who was employed by the CIA doe 12 years. On his own admission, he was engaged on destabilising political parties and governments in Latin America. As I mentioned 3 week ago, Australia had some small part as a proxy for the CIA in such operations in Chile until 4 years ago. Mr Agee recounted his experiences in another disturbing book, Inside the Company - CIA Diary. Again, his facts have never been challenged, Mr Speaker, whatever you may think of his motives or ethics, the only point at issue were is whether he is credible. The Foreign Minister (Mr Peacock) enhanced Mr Agee’s credibility last week when he confirmed that people named by him were indeed CIA officers. The Prime Minister has made a feeble attempt to exonerate his Foreign Minister for his indiscretion. But there is no doubt that the Minister has given substance to Mr Agee’s allegation. Mr Agee has aroused the anger of the British Government and he is being deported for unspecified activities harmful to the security of the United Kingdom. What is important in this context is that the United States Government which employed him as a spy for 12 years is taking no legal action against Mr Agee, Mr Agee is free to return to the United States if he wished to do so. Mr Agree is being deported from Great Britain. Mr Agree is not being extradited. The Prime Minister has poured scorn on Christopher Boyce, whose initial allegations were debated in this House 3 weeks ago, . Boyce was employed by TRW, an aerospace firm which has links with secret American facilities in Australia. My Boyce is presently appealing against his conviction for espionage. Whether or not his motive was as he said-that he was disgusted at the way the CIA was deceiving the Australian Government – here is only one relevant question to be asked about Boyce:

Was Boyce is a position to learn the information that he has disclosed?

The New York Times in a 7-page article 2 days ago revealed that indeed he was. Boyce was in-charge of the top-secret code room at TRW where he was apparently in a-position to monitor and decode CIA messaged to and from its facilities in Australia, Boyce’s allegations, profoundly disturbing cannot be dismissed. Sure, he is a convict. He was, as the radio program AM described hi this morning, a college dropout of 24 years of age. It is extraordinary that man of that record and that experience should be in such confidential position. Boyce was in-a-position to know facts. No one knows whether he gave those facts. Maybe the U.S. Senate Committee will ascertain that. Maybe if he was I this country, a royal commissioner could ascertain that.

Another source of allegation is Mr. J. Barton Osborne, former CIA Officer in Vietnam who became disgusted with his work and left the agency. Another is an Australian computer programmer, Mr P.L Kealy, who worked at the joint defence space research facility near Alice Springs for 5 years. Respected Australian trade union official have alleged CIA interference in union activities, I gave the instances 3 weeks ago. The legal advisor to the Central Land Office in Alice Springs, Mr Geoffrey Earnes has claimed that the CIA has intervened on behalf o American Mining communities in the NT. More recently, the Attorney-General of South Australia, Mr Peter Duncan, has said that he has no reason to disbelieve that the CIA has been financing groups seeking to destroy the Australian Union of Students. My colleague, the honourable member of Hindmarch (Mr Clyde Cameron), has spelt out in this place how the CIA engaged in McCarthy-like operations against loyal and trusted members of the Australian Labor Party.

I have named a few of the people who have disclosed information or have expressed their disquiet about the nature of the CIA activities in Australia. Surely the right honourable gentleman would not say that the CIA can act is an unconstitutional way, contrary to international relationship or in n improper way if a Labor Government is in power, but that its actions are OK under a Liberal Government. At no stage has the Opposition endorsed his allegations or those of the others whom I have quoted. Our position was stated in a resolution passed by the national executive of the Australian Labor Party 2 days ago. Mr Speaker, I ask leave to have that resolution incorporated in the Hanzard record.


Is leave granted? There being no objection, leave is granted. The document read as follows:

National Executive of the Australian Labor Party:

Noting allegations made during the past months that the United Staes Central Intelligence Agency has engaged in improper activities in Australia, including deception of the Australian Government, especially in relation to the operations of the joint defence space research facility; manipulation of political events in Australia in 1975; channelling of funds to Australian political parties and interference in trade union activities in Australia.

Further noting that these allegations emanate from a variety of sources in the United States, the United Kingdon and Australia.

Recognising that such activities would be in consistent with the integrity and mutual respect on which relations between Australia and the United States should be based.

Believing that any improper activities in Australia by foreign intelligence services should be a cause of the deepest concern to any Australian Government, endorsing in this context the statement made by Justice Hope in his Third Report on Intelligence and Security that Australia’s intelligence interest do not and cannot coincide with those of any other country.

Noting with appreciation that the Carter Administration has pledged to end abuses by United States intelligence authorities on the sovereignty of other countries.

Further noting with appreciation that the Unite States has called for a report from the CIA on its activities in Australia.


  1. Invites the United States Administration and Congress to investigate fully the activities of the CIA in Australia.


  1. Expresses the hope that such investigations will include full examination of the allegations already made and receipt of personal testimony from person who have made such allegations.



R Boyce said at his trial that his daily duties included continued deception against Australia. He referred to an alleged project at one of the joint United States-Australian facilities by which Australia would be cut out of certain information being acquired through that facility-and he was working in TWR under my Government and under the present Government. There have been claims that telephone and telex-calls in Australia could be monitored by one of the joint facilities, a suggestion which provoked the Australian Financial Review – not one of our most rabid or radical -journals-to comment in an editorial on 5 May.

Access by the American business to our international communications effectively means that American business might have the potential day by day to track the progress of negotiations by its Australian competitors.

That allegations of such intrusion into Australia’s national sovereignty should go unanswered is entirely unsatisfactory.

They have gone unanswered today. A former Australian employee at the Joint Defence Space Research Facility told the Canberra Times that he ‘doubted whether Australian politicians were told all about the function of the Facility.

Mr Marchetti told the Sydney Sun:

Boyce has proof that the CIA manipulated events in Australia in 1975 which led to the downfall of the Whitlam Government.

Mr Boyce himself remarked:

If you think Chile’s bad, you should see what the CIA is doing in Australia.

Mr Agee told the Australian Broadcasting Commission that he had no doubt that an Australian social democratic government ‘which shows a certain independence would be undermined by the CIA. Mr Agee should know, That is what Mr Agee was doing in South America.

A former CIA officer told the National Times that the National Country Party ws a recipient of CIA funds. The way this information emerged is particularly significant. He was being interview by another former agent, Mr Osborne, and the interview was reported in the National Times on 16 May.

Mr Marchetti quoting Mr Richard Stallings has said that financing of conservation parties in Australia had to his knowledge gone on since 1967. That is well before the time of my Government.

The allegations of interference in union activities are too numerous to list here, but they have been widely reported by responsible newspapers and the Australian Broadcasting Commission. The most glaring example of CIA interference in Australian affairs was the telex message sent from Washington on 10 November 1975 to the Acting Director of ASIO, the text of which was published in the Australian Financial Review of 29 April. That message, which appear in Hansard at page 1520, was a clear example of the attempted deception of the Australian Government by the American intelligence community. It sought to make use of Australia’s counter-intelligence organisation in order to deceive the elected government. The message was offensive in tone, deceitful in intent and sinister is its implications.


It is utterly unsatisfactory for the Prime Minister to say that Mr Justice Hope has investigated the activities of the foreign intelligence services in Australia and that therefore no Further is needed.

The point is that these allegations ha not been before M Justice Hope concluded his investigation. They are new charges based on new allegations which were not available to Mr Justice Hope. They should be placed before him not in a public inquiry. As the Prime Minister implies, but the manner in-which previous evidence was presented to him and assessed by him. We all know, as a-result of Mr Justice Hope’s inquiry, how necessary and how prudent it was to have an inquiry into our intelligence and security services. These later allegations surely should be assessed with no less urgency ad with no less care.


Gough Whitlam dismissal: what we know so far about the palace letters and Australian PM's sacking

1,200 pages of correspondence between Buckingham Palace and Sir John Kerr, the governor general, are an historical trove

Gough Whitlam dismissal: what we know so far about the palace letters and Australian PM's sacking

1,200 pages of correspondence between Buckingham Palace and Sir John Kerr, the governor general, are an historical trove


Palace letters reveal what Queen knew about Australian PM Gough Whitlam's dismissal – video report

Naaman Zhou  @naamanzhou  Tue 14 Jul 2020   Forty-five years after the dismissal of Australian prime minister Gough Whitlam, and after four years of legal challenges, the full correspondence between governor general Sir John Kerr and the Queen was released on Tuesday morning.

The full 211 letters, stretching to 1,200 pages, were uploaded online but then unavailable due to the National Archives website crashing.

Before the full release, director general of the archives, David Fricker, presented a quick briefing of some of the key letters. Historians, including Prof Jenny Hocking, have long-argued that the letters may shed light on the Queen’s prior knowledge of Kerr’s decision in 1975 to dismiss Gough Whitlam as prime minister.

Here is what we know so far:

  • On 11 November, 1975, after he dismissed Whitlam, the governor general, Sir John Kerr, wrote to the Queen’s private secretary that he had done so “without informing the palace in advance”.
    He wrote: “I decided to take the step I took without informing the palace in advance ... I was of the opinion it was better for Her Majesty not to know in advance.”
  • But other letters from as early as July showed that Kerr had discussed, with the palace, the legal validity of his dismissing Whitlam for months before the decision.
    In a letter sent to the palace on 3 July, Kerr enclosed a clipping from the Canberra Times that raised the possibility of his dismissing Whitlam.
    The article said: “The governor general has certain clear powers to check an elected government... He could, for good and sufficient reasons, revoke the commissions of a prime minister or other ministers…The good government of Australia, especially at a time of grave economic disruption, is the only thing that counts and the most extreme steps to ensure this must be taken if there is no other way.
    Kerr wrote that he had “no intention of acting in the way suggested,” but said the newspaper was “a responsible, high quality paper”. “The editorial may be of general interest as background,” he wrote.
  • The Queen’s private secretary, Martin Charteris, wrote to Kerr on 4 November that: “It is often argued that such [reserve] powers no longer exist. I do not believe this to be true. I think those powers do exist … but to use them is a heavy responsibility and it is only at the very end when there is demonstrably no other course that they should be used.”
  • In a letter after the dismissal, Charteris also wrote: “In NOT informing the Queen what you intended to do before doing it, you acted not only with perfect constitutional propriety but also with admirable consideration for Her Majesty’s position.”
  • He also joked that if Whitlam won the resulting election, then Whitlam “ought to be extremely grateful” to Kerr.
  • Kerr also told the palace on 20 November that he did not warn Whitlam of his intention to dismiss him,in case Whitlam moved to revoke his commission as governor general before that could happen.
  • Kerr wrote that Whitlam told him at a Melbourne Cup reception that the “only way” a House election could occur “would be if I dismissed him”. This was in a letter on 6 November, his last to the palace before he dismissed Whitlam,
  • After his dismissal, Whitlam called Buckingham Palace as a “private citizen” and asked to be reinstated as PM.
    “Mr Whitlam telephoned to me at 4.15am (our time) on 11th November,” Charteris wrote on 17 November. “Mr Whitlam prefaced his remarks by saying that he was speaking as a ‘private citizen’...and said that now supply had been passed he should be re-commissioned as prime minister so that he could choose his own time to call an election.”
  • In a letter on 24 November, Kerr also wrote that friends had cut ties with him, believing he had conspired with Malcolm Fraser.
  • In June 1976, well after the dismissal, Whitlam and his wife dined with Charteris and, the next day, Whitlam had an audience with the Queen.
    Charteris wrote to Kerr that Whitlam had “at least conceded” that it could possibly be argued that Kerr acted in line with his constitutional duty during the dismissal.
    “Mr Whitlam was in excellent form and the conversation at dinner range agreeably from Sir Harold Wilson’s resignation honours list to the characters of politicians in the country and in yours!” he wrote.
    “I had about half-an-hour’s private talk with Mr Whitlam after dinner and he remained sweet and reasonable, spoke warmly of the Queen, and at least conceded that it could be argued that you had acted in accordance with the constitution!”


Palace letters to be released 45 years after Australian government sensationally dismissed

‘Dramatic revelations’ expected from 200 exchanges between the Queen, her private secretary and governor general John Kerr before PM Gough Whitlam’s dismissal

Queen Elizabeth II and Australian governor general Sir John Kerr in 1977. The Australian high court has ruled the ‘palace letters’ referring to the dismissal of the Whitlam government in 1975 are public records               Christopher Knaus @knausc Mon 13 Jul 2020 letters to be released 45 years after Australian government sensationally dismissed

This article is more than 11 months old

‘Dramatic revelations’ expected from 200 exchanges between the Queen, her private secretary and governor general John Kerr before PM Gough Whitlam’s dismissal


Queen Elizabeth and the governor general of Australia, Sir John Kerr: The ‘palace letters’, linked to the dismissal of the Gough Whitlam government, will be released on Tuesday morning. Photograph: Central Press/Getty Images

Christopher Knaus  @knausc Mon 13 Jul 2020


The imminent release of secret royal correspondence linked to the dismissal of prime minister Gough Whitlam will again call the role of the monarchy in modern Australia into question, experts say.

Australia’s national archives will on Tuesday morning release the much-anticipated “palace letters”, a series of more than 200 exchanges between the Queen, her private secretary, Martin Charteris, and Sir John Kerr, Australia’s then-governor general, in the critical period leading up to Kerr’s hugely controversial dismissal of Gough Whitlam’s Labor government in November 1975.

Kerr’s move to force Whitlam’s reforming leftwing government from office, after the conservative opposition had blocked appropriation bills in the upper house of parliament, remains the most sensational moment in modern Australian politics, leading to years of rancour.

Despite the importance of the letters to Australian history, they have remained hidden from public view on the faulty rationale that they were “personal” records, and therefore exempt from the usual 30-year access rule and under the potentially indefinite embargo of the Queen.

Historian Jenny Hocking’s landmark case in the high court, after a four-year legal battle, led to the rejection of that argument and forced the archives to reconsider her request for public access.

Speaking ahead of the release of the letters, Hocking said it was impossible to imagine they would contain anything other than “dramatic revelations”.

“We know that there are over 1,000 pages, we know that there are over 200 letters, they are going to be inevitably a series of really dramatic revelations, it’s impossible to imagine otherwise,” Hocking told the Guardian. “They are going to tell us how much detail Kerr gave to the Queen about what he was expecting to do.”

She said other records kept by Kerr – including his 1980 journal – had already pointed to the import of the documents.

The sheer volume of the letters was not known until Hocking took the archives to court to secure their release.

Palace letters: Australian high court allows release of Queen's secret correspondence before Whitlam dismissal

Historian Jenny Hocking wins landmark case after campaigning for release of secret letters between monarch and then Australian governor general Sir John Kerr

Christopher Knaus and Naaman Zhou

Fri 29 May 2020


The historian Jenny Hocking has won a landmark high court case in her bid to secure sensitive correspondence between the Queen and former Australian governor general Sir John Kerr about the dismissal of Gough Whitlam.

The high court on Friday ruled that the commonwealth was wrong to withhold the so-called “palace letters”, a series of more than 200 exchanges between the Queen, her private secretary and Kerr, the then-governor general, in the lead-up to the 1975 dismissal of Whitlam, the then-Australian prime minister.

Hocking is 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.

“It’s terrific news,” Hocking told the Guardian. “It’s such important news for history, for our nation, because these really are critical documents in our history.

“To have them closed to us, not even through our own laws or regulations, but because of an embargo by the Queen, that has just been a really terrible situation.”

Hocking has spent four years attempting to secure the release of the letters through the courts, a bid resisted by the archives.

The historian has previously found evidence that the palace knew of Kerr’s intention to dismiss Whitlam and was involved in deliberations. She believes the palace letters could reveal what the Queen said and whether she influenced Kerr’s actions.

But the letters are embargoed from public release by the Queen until at least 2027 and potentially indefinitely.

The archives has argued they are “personal” communications between the Queen and the governor general, so ought not be released, because personal communications are not subject to the usual law opening up official commonwealth records to public release after 30 years.

The federal court has previously ruled in favour of that interpretation.

But on Friday the high court ruled the letters are commonwealth records and property of the commonwealth, and ordered the archive’s director general to reconsider Hocking’s request.

In a statement on its decision, the high court said: “Five justices in the majority held that in the statutory context of the Archives Act the term ‘property’ connoted the existence of a relationship in which the commonwealth or a commonwealth institution had a legally endorsed concentration of power to control the custody of a record.

“Their Honours held that the arrangement by which the correspondence was kept by [David Smith, the official secretary to the governor general] and then deposited with the Archives demonstrated that lawful power to control the custody of the correspondence lay with the Official Secretary, an office within the official establishment of the governor general, such that the correspondence was the property of the official establishment.”

The archives released a statement later on Friday saying it was reconsidering Hocking’s request in light of the judgment.

Director-general David Fricker said his organisation was “pro-disclosure”.

“We operate on the basis that a Commonwealth record should be made publicly available, unless there is a specific and compelling need to withhold it,” he said. “We work extremely hard to do this for the Australian people.’

Costs will be paid to Hocking for both this appeal and the case in the federal court.

The court found that the letters were “commonwealth records” under the Archives Act 1983. That does not necessarily mean they will be released, but it does pave the way for them to become public.

Hocking says the NAA has had more than 10 years since she began attempting to access the records to prepare for this moment.

“I expect them to be ready and waiting for me by next week,” she told the Guardian.

The shadow attorney general, Mark Dreyfus, and the shadow assistant minister for the republic, Matt Thistlethwaite, called on the archives to release the documents immediately.

“The Australian people have a right to know the full history of the greatest political and constitutional crisis in Australia’s history,” they said in a statement.

“All 211 of the so-called ‘Palace Letters’ between the Queen, her private secretary and the then governor general should be made accessible to the Australian people immediately.”

The notion that the letters are personal and private, rather than correspondence belonging to the commonwealth, has outraged Hocking and others, who say it simply fails the “pub test”.

The letters represent communications between the two highest members of Australia’s constitutional monarchy in the lead-up to the sacking of a democratically elected prime minister, one of the most important episodes in the nation’s history.

When the federal court previously found against Hocking, justice John Griffiths said the letters were clearly in the public interest. But he said: “The legal issues … do not turn on whether there is a public interest in the records being published.”

An appeal to the federal court’s full bench was subsequently rejected, though one judge dissented.

The dissenting judge, justice Geoffrey Flick, said it was “difficult to conceive of documents which are more clearly ‘commonwealth records’ and documents which are not ‘personal’ property”.

Hocking subsequently turned to the high court, represented by Bret Walker SC with Tom Brennan. The high court agreed to hear the case last year.

 The media scrum as Sir John Kerr's secretary David Smith proclaims Gough Whitlam's sacking_11thNovemer-1975

The media scrum as Sir John Kerr's secretary David Smith proclaims Gough Whitlam's sacking

Australian Information Service, National Library of Australia collection


Julia Ryan said the event felt the WhitlamDismissal-bit like the French Revolution-.ABC News-Alex Mann

Julia Ryan said the event of the Whitlam Dismissal felt "a bit like the French Revolution". 

ABC News: Alex Mann

Garry McDonald had been having lunch at his favourite restaurant when he got the call Of the Whitlam Dismissal

Garry McDonald had been having lunch at his favourite restaurant when he got the call.

ABC News: Michael Dulaney



What it was like to have front-row seats to the dismissal of Gough Whitlam as Prime Minister

By Ian Walker for The Eleventh - 24 Feb 2020 

 Judy Prisk (left) was alone in the office when she took the call — one she still remembers many years later. NewspixG-uy Wilmott.

Judy Prisk (left) was alone in the office when she took the call — one she still remembers many years later. Newspix: Guy Wilmott


Before the phone rang, it felt like just another day at work.

The Canberra Times' senior reporters were out to lunch, leaving the cadet to answer the phone and fend off the editor.

So Judy Prisk, about to turn 22, was alone in the office when she took the call — one she still remembers many years later.

"Judy, you really need to get downstairs onto the steps. You've got about 10 minutes."

It was David Smith, the secretary to the Governor-General, Sir John Kerr.

"I really wasn't politically inclined, to be honest. It wasn't something that had my blood racing," Judy remembers.

"It didn't occur to me they would lose power, that something huge was going to happen."

Judy was one of the first people to reach the steps of Parliament House in Canberra on November 11, 1975.

There, she witnessed a defining moment in the most controversial chapter in Australia's political history, as Gough Whitlam addressed the crowd after he was sacked as Prime Minister.

She shares her memories of that day with the ABC — along with a schoolkid, a teacher, a Whitlam insider and the comic who photobombed his way into the history books.

Racing to the steps

On the afternoon of November 11, Susan Menadue had just come home from school.

Sixteen-year-old Susan was the daughter of one of the country's most powerful bureaucrats — the head of the Prime Minister's department, John Menadue.

She was in the kitchen buttering cinnamon toast when her mother came into the room.

"She had this horrified look on her face," Susan recalls in an interview with the ABC's new podcast, The Eleventh.

"'The Prime Minister's been sacked. Get in the car. We're going to Parliament House to demonstrate.' There were no ifs or buts."

Susan says only 20 or 30 people were on the steps when her family arrived — and on every face was a look of disbelief.

"But it was very calm … no fear or violence, just disbelief and calm," she says.

"We'd been there for 10, 15 minutes when Dad came up with an incredibly worried look on his face, biting his lower lip.

"In retrospect, I'm thinking that he was probably coming to see if it was safe enough for his family to be standing there."

Despite the gravity of the situation, she remembers being excited to see Norman Gunston — the gormless TV host persona of actor Garry McDonald.

The comedian who photobombed his way into history

McDonald had been having lunch at his favourite Chinese restaurant in Sydney when he got the call telling him the government had been dismissed.

Before long he was flying down to Canberra in a tiny twin-prop plane and dressing up as his alter ego.

"I picked up my wardrobe and a stick of makeup [for his white-face], the tissue [for his fake shaving injury] and some 'dippity-do' [hair gel for his wet-look comb-over]. And I got made up in the toilet of the plane."

McDonald says he remembers that he wasn't totally surprised at how things had turned out for Whitlam's Labor government, which had been returned to office a year earlier at a double dissolution election.

"The Whitlam government was a shambles," he says.

"The previous year had been a bit of a disaster, really out of control. Some of his ministers were very hard to control.

"It was heading towards something dramatic. But one didn't expect the something to be quite like this."

With hundreds standing on the steps waiting to hear from the sacked PM, Norman Gunston took the microphone, joking with the crowd just moments before Whitlam appeared.

"It was a great moment to be there ... on a purely selfish level. The crowd weren't ugly," McDonald says.

"I suppose I just saw an opportunity and went for it. You know, there was no great sort of extraordinary thought behind it. I had no agenda other than to be funny.

"I bumped into Whitlam years later. And, I must say, I used to always feel a bit self-conscious around him. He didn't say anything, but I felt like, 'Oh, I wonder what he thinks of me?' Ah well, we'll never know."

'This felt a bit like the French Revolution'

Julia Ryan, a teacher at the ultra-alternative School Without Walls, also remembers seeing Norman Gunston on the steps.

"I remember … thinking it was totally inappropriate that he was trying to make a satirical event of this important historic moment," she says.

Earlier that day, Julia had been on an excursion with students when she heard Whitlam had been dismissed. She and her colleagues dropped everything to race to Parliament House.

"It's one of those days you never forget," she says.

"I remember running across the greens in front of Parliament House to get to the frontline. I was a history teacher, and this felt a bit like the French Revolution."

As the Governor-General's secretary David Smith began speaking, Judy Prisk stood right beside him, terrified that her shorthand wouldn't be up to the task.

"I thought 'Oh my God, the Canberra Times is going to be the only newspaper in Australia that doesn't have this story,'" she says.

"He looked at me and smiled, then moved his papers across to me a little bit so I could copy down everything.

"Quite a lot of adrenalin was pumping. There are no phones, no mobiles, no anything … just my notebook. This isn't something a baby cadet should be doing."

Then Judy remembers hearing "this big whoosh sound" as the front doors opened. "I turned around and there was Whitlam."

'Beyond the realms of possibility'

Whitlam's media adviser, Patti Warn, had also rushed to the steps after hearing the big news.

"There were a stream of feet rushing past the press office. Every journalist in the place was running somewhere, either to file stories or to go back down to the front of Parliament House

At first, she says, she couldn't believe her boss had been removed from office — even though she'd sensed public sentiment shift against the government over the previous couple of months.

"It was beyond the realms of possibility. Nobody had been talking about him being sacked," she says.

Julia Ryan says the crowd on the steps was distinctly pro-Labor.

"If there was a single person who was in favour of the dismissal, I didn't see them in that crowd," she says.

After David Smith announced there would be a new election, and Whitlam gave a short speech urging his supporters to "maintain the rage", the crowd dissipated.

Warn remembers it as just the beginning of "a mad time".

"In the days after, nobody was thinking straight," she says.

"There was, to an extent, a palace revolution. If the government's replaced, the new government comes in and goes through everything. Are there secrets to be found, or aren't there secrets?"

For Julia Ryan, who was a Labor supporter, there was a bitter sense of loss. It felt like the end of an era.

"It was like, this is the end of our time, our time of radical change. Loss hurts so much more when accompanied by an unexpected hope."

Patti Warn remembers rushing to the steps after hearing the big news.(

ABC News: Michael Dulaney