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Sir Paul Hasluck’s 1974 Proclamation Dissolving Parliament

The Twenty-Eighth Parliament was dissolved after only 18 months as a result of the controversy over the appointment of the DLP Senator Vince Gair as Australian Ambassador to Ireland.

The subsequent announcement by the Federal Opposition Leader, Bill Snedden, that the coalition parties would block the goverment’s Supply Bills in the Senate caused Prime Minister Gough Whitlam to respond by calling a double dissolution election for May 18, 1974.

  • Listen to the Governor-General’s Official Secretary, David Smith, read the dissolution proclamation on the steps of Parliament House at noon on April 11, 1974:
  • This page also appears on, along with other information on the Whitlam government and the 1975 Dismissal.

Governor-General of Australia

WHEREAS by section 57 of the Constitution it is provided that if the House of Representatives passes any proposed law, and the Senate rejects or fails to pass it, or passes it with amendments to which the House of Representatives will not agree, and if after an interval of three months the House of Representatives, in the same or the next session, again passes the proposed law with or without any amendments which have been made, suggested, or agreed to by the Senate and the Senate rejects or fails to pass it, or passes it with amendments to which the House of Representatives will not agree, the Governor-General may dissolve the Senate and the House of Representatives simultaneously: [Read more…]

Governor-General Sir Paul Hasluck Opens The 28th Parliament

The Governor-General, Sir Paul Hasluck opened the 28th Parliament on February 27, 1973.

Hasluck presided over the first Parliament since 1949 with a Labor government. The Governor-General’s speech contained a number of historic announcements of legislative programs from the Whitlam government.

The announcements included the abolition of university fees, the introduction of universal health insurance, the lowering of the voting age to 18, independence for Papua New Guinea, the introduction of the Schools Commission and federal responsibility for Aboriginal disadvantage.

Hasluck was a former minister in the Liberal-Country Party government that Whitlam defeated.

  • Listen to highlights of Hasluck’s speech (5m – full text below)


Hansard transcript of Governor-General Sir Paul Hasluck’s speech opening the 28th Parliament.

Members of the Senate and Members of the House of Representatives:

Following the clear decision of the people of Australia at the elections for the House of Representatives on 2nd December 1972 and acting upon advice, I commissioned the Leader of the Federal Parliamentary Labor Party to form a new Government on 5th December 1972. My new advisers have proceeded with all possible speed to act upon the mandate for change which they are firmly convinced was bestowed upon them by the people of Australia in the House of Representatives elections. My advisers will now ask this Parliament – itself the fundamental means by which the will of the people can be expressed – to pass legislation embodying the central parts of the program which the people have instructed them to implement. [Read more…]