I like to say in speeches that all of Australia’s great Prime Ministers were monarchists, and that apart from two, all were monarchists in office.
I shall let the reader decide into which or both categories Edward Gough Whitlam falls.
In a recent wide ranging opinion piece, he called on the Herald’s journalists to write on one particular matter relating to the constitution, one which Mr Whitlam has been relying on as an argument for a republic. (As if some journalist needed any encouragement!)
I replied with this letter:
Gough Whitlam (24 May) says governors general can be removed without warning. He says all the Prime Minister has to do is advise the Queen to appoint a new one.
It is not as easy as that. When Mr Whitlam was Prime Minister he wanted to remove a State Governor’s commission to act (as Adminstrator) when the Governor-General was away. Even this took about ten days.
When de Valera tried, unreasonably, to replace a good Governor-General it took many months. More than enough time for a Governor-General to exercise his duty in a constitutional crisis.