The Australian Republic Movement (ARM) has called out Buckingham Palace’s arrogant attempt at misleading Australians about the nature of their involvement in the dismissal of the democratically elected Whitlam government.
The statement, issued late on Tuesday evening AEST from a palace 17,000km away, claimed that:
“Throughout her reign, Her Majesty has consistently demonstrated this support for Australia, the primacy of the Australian constitution and the independence of the Australian people, which the release of these letters reflects.
“While the Royal Household believes in the longstanding convention that all conversations between prime ministers, governor-generals and the Queen are private, the release of the letters by the National Archives of Australia confirms that neither Her Majesty nor the Royal Household had any part to play in Kerr’s decision to dismiss Whitlam.”
It is clear from the Palace Letters that Buckingham Palace was consulted and forewarned about Governor-General John Kerr’s likely decision to dismiss the Whitlam Government, provided advice on how the Governor-General’s reserve powers might be exercised, and that Sir John Kerr even war-gamed possible scenarios with the Palace and Prince Charles in which he himself might be dismissed as Governor-General. Without the explicit assurances of the Palace Sir John Kerr may not have acted. To assert the Royal Household did not play any part is to mislead the Australian public.
The statement also seeks to rewrite history, claiming dishonestly that Her Majesty’s “support for… the independence of the Australian people” is “demonstrated” by the release of the letters. Nothing could be further from the truth. Buckingham Palace placed a veto over the release of the letters and extended that veto until at least 2027, or five years after the Queen’s death, and even then were still subject to an ongoing indefinite veto from Buckingham Palace.
Australians should also be deeply disturbed by the Palace’s ongoing commitment to suppressing the release of similar correspondence, despite the High Court precedent making it clear that correspondence of this nature is Australian Commonwealth property, not the personal private property of the Palace (“the Royal Household believes in the longstanding convention that all conversations… are private”).
National Director of the Australian Republic Movement Sandy Biar said the statement reflected the British Monarchy’s ongoing disregard for the Australian people and our democratic way of life.
“Buckingham Palace’s attempt to rewrite history and denial of its role in the dismissal of a democratically elected Australian government is simply unbelievable” Mr Biar said.
“Does Buckingham Palace really take Australians for idiots?
“After more than four decades attempting to deny Australians the full truth about their history, the Palace is now trying to whitewash it in the face of evidence to the contrary.