"Rear Admiral Kevin Scarce, South Australia’s new governor (“Republican to reform the vice-regal role’’, 6/8), might consider it honourable to accept appointment as the Queen’s representative while at the same time advocating the removal of the Crown from our system of government, but many Australians will have a contrary view," wrote Sir David Smith in a letter published in The Australian on 8 August, 2007. Sir David is the nation's leading authority on matters viceregal, and is the author of Head of State
"Australians have every right to advocate constitutional change, including a change to a republic, but the traditions of vice-regal office require that those who accept the Queen’s shilling also sacrifice some of the rights that they might otherwise have as private citizens, at least until they are once again private citizens.
While it’s true that Rear Admiral Scarce is not the first vice-regal incumbent to break the rules associated with their office, he will derive no comfort from seeking to attach himself to former governor-general Bill Hayden’s coat-tails. The admiral’s reported statement that “I think you might find that Bill Hayden was one’’, ie, a republican, is totally false and without foundation.”