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Historian asks Australian court to reveal Queen's letters

Historian asks Australian court to reveal Queen's letters


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CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — A historian is going to court this month in an attempt to force Australian authorities to release secret letters that would reveal what Queen Elizabeth II knew of her representative's shocking scheme to dismiss Australia's government more than 40 years ago.

The National Archives of Australia has categorized the correspondence between the British monarch, who is also Australia's constitutional head of state, and her Australian representative, Governor-General Sir John Kerr, as "personal" and might therefore never be made public. The letters would disclose what, if anything, the queen knew of Kerr's plan to dismiss Prime Minister Gough Whitlam's government in 1975 to resolve a month-old deadlock in Parliament.

It's the only time in Australia's history that a democratically elected federal government has been dismissed on the British monarch's authority.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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