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The Death Of Chairman Mao Tse-Tung

The Chinese leader, Mao Tse-Tung, died on September 9, 1976.


Statements by Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser and Opposition Leader Gough Whitlam are shown below, as is the Hansard transcript of the House of Representatives condolence debate on September 14, 1976.

  • Listen to ABC radio report the death at 7pm on Sep 10:
  • Listen to 3DB report the death at 10pm on Sep 10:

Statement by Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser.

An outstanding figure in world history has passed from the scene with the death of Chairman Mao Tse-tung.

Chairman Mao was the architect and inspiration for the rebuilding of the world’s most populous nation after the ravages of invasion and war.

Australians will understand and share the sorrow felt in China at his passing.

On behalf of the Government and the people of Australia I extend& our deepest sympathy and our regret at the loss of their national leader.

Chairman Mao was in ill health when I visited China in June this year. To my great regret I was unable to meet him, but the renascent China I saw is his monument.

9 September 1976

Statement by the Leader of the Opposition, Gough Whitlam.

The death of Mao Tse-Tung removes one of the giants of modern history. For more than half a century he led one of the great mass movements in history, and for the last 27 years was the revered leader and spiritual embodiment of the world’s most populous nation.

Few men have been so indissolubly identified with the development of a modern state and with the ideals and aspirations of its people. He guided the destinies of hundreds of millions of people and shaped the philosophy of their nation in a way given to few other men in our time or in any other.

The inspiration he generated and the veneration in which he was held were a reflection not only of his political gifts but of his indomitable personality, his extraordinary wisdom, scholarly temperament, and great personal charm.

Under his leadership China gained an international respect and an internal stability she had not known for centuries, and her people benefited from the most honest and efficient government China has ever had.

My colleagues and I are grieved to learn of Chairman Mao’s death and offer our deep sympathy to the Government and people of China.

9 September 1976


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Malcolm Farnsworth
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