KEY DATES IN THE DAYS BEFORE THE DISMISSAL
August 19/20 1975 - Budget bills and Loan bill introduced to the lower house
August 27 - Loans bill passes lower house and enters the Senate
September 3 - Queensland parliament dominated by Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen chooses Pat Field to fill a Senate casual vacancy caused by the death of Labor senator Bertie Milliner. Labor had proposed Mal Colston.
September 9 - Field takes his Senate seat as an independent, effectively giving the coalition 30 votes to Labor's 29.
September 12 - Sir John Kerr writes to the Queen saying his "role will need some careful thought" if the "prime minister (Gough Whitlam) and opposition leader (Malcolm Fraser) get into a battle in which the Senate has defeated the budget (and) prime minister refuses to recommend a dissolution". He includes a press clipping exploring the option of dismissal.
October 8 to November 5 - Budget and Loan bills bounce back and forth from the House of Representatives to the Senate. The Senate demands an election before it can deal with the Loan bill. The House says the Senate is acting contrary to the constitution.
October 12 - Liberal Party's federal council resolves state governments should reject any writs for a half-Senate election if requested.
November 2 - Fraser and senior federal colleagues meet with three conservative premiers at which they decide they should advise state governors to disregard any request by the governor-general to issue writs for a half-Senate election.
November 4 - Sir John writes to the Queen saying he believes his powers to dismiss the government "do exist". The Palace responds: "The fact you have powers is recognised. But it's also clear you will only use them in the last resort, and then only for constitutional - and not for political - reasons."
November 6 - The solicitor-general provides Sir John an opinion concerning the deadlock and the constitutional position. Fraser gives a notice of motion of censure of the government. The Senate doesn't proceed with one of the budget bills.
November 10 - Chief Justice Sir Garfield Barwick advises the governor-general - without Whitlam's knowledge - as to his "constitutional rights and duties". Barwick says, "a government having the confidence of the House of Representatives but not that of the Senate, both elected houses, cannot secure Supply to the Crown".
9am - Gough Whitlam meets with Malcolm Fraser to discuss the crisis, after which Fraser phones Whitlam to tell him the budget bills won't be passed. Whitlam phones Kerr to make a 1pm appointment to advise a half-Senate election.
- House and Senate then meet. Censure motion in government does not pass.
12.50pm - Whitlam attends Government House
1.01pm - Kerr sacks Whitlam
1.30pm - Kerr swears in Fraser as caretaker prime minister.
4.45pm - Proclamation on the steps of parliament that House and Senate are dissolved.
- Kerr then writes to the Queen communicating the events of the day.
Australian Associated Press