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Dismissal anniversary draws nearer -

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(generated from captions) Well as we've already noted this week, Friday is the 30th anniversary of the dismissal of the Whitlam Government

by governor-general John Kerr. And, as the anniversary draws nearer, those involved in the turmoil in 1975 continue to square-off over Gough Whitlam and John Kerr's place in history. Tom Iggulden reports. It's hard to picture a political event today drawing a crowd like this. Not least because of heightened security at the new Parliament House. But on Remembrance Day, 1975, on the steps of the old parliament, they gathered to hear the governor-general's official secretary deliver the news that continues to divide opinion today. Now I'm certain that when he appears, you will give him the reception he deserves. (Announcement drowned out by shouting crowd)

(All Shout) We want Gough! We want Gough!

30 years on, governor-general's official secretary

stands by his boss's decision. Launching a book on the subject tonight, he said Mr Whitlam's Labor party had only itself to blame. Well, I can't answer for Mr Whitlam's attitude,

but it was the Labor party policy for 170 occasions in the previous 25 years, to try to do to coalition governments exactly what was done to the Labor government. They established the precedent, Mr Fraser simply followed the pattern that had been established. His book was launched by Bill Hayden,

the Whitlam government's treasurer at the time of the dismissal, who later served as governor-general with Sir David as his official secretary.

Lateline's cameras were barred from the launch in Sydney. Mr Hayden told the audience: Across town at yet another book launch,

this time by former Labor staffer Michael Sexton, a rare public appearance from former prime minster Paul Keating -

the only person to have served as a minister in the last three Labor governments. Mr Keating spent most of his time here today

defending his own record and attacking that of the Howard Government. But there were some recollections from his days as a junior minister the Whitlam administration, in the dying days of

from the Keating top drawer. including one straight

And I said to Daley immediately under house arrest. that we should put Kerr

LAUGHTER No, I meant it, I meant it. of Whitlam's government Mr Keating's assessment was less than complimentary.

overarching philosophy, The cabinet had no certainly no economic one, were mayhem. and the meetings, of course, But, he argued, of the fate awaiting him, Mr Whitlam deserved some warning

and fight the campaign and the chance to call elections as serving prime minister.

I don't believe that Gough ever thought, or would have reasonably that the so-called reserve powers by any governor-general would have been used against a government

in the House of Representatives. enjoying a majority attended with the governor-general A meeting he and the prime minister

the dismissal less than a week before gave no clue of the drama to come. I said, "Kerr seems alright, Gough", he's entirely proper". and he said, "Oh, he'll be OK, for comment today. Mr Whitlam was unavailable Tom Iggulden, Lateline. To the markets now.