Talk:Malcolm Fraser

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Memphis 1986[edit]

I think the incident at the hotel in Memphis should be noted here in some form or another,

"Malcolm Fraser was a very strong politician but unfortunately he will be most remembered for losing his trousers in a Memphis, USA hotel" [1]

and heres a better source, from an official Australian govt. publication..

"the mysterious loss of his trousers during an overnight stay in Memphis Tennessee in 1986" [2] Astrokey44 15:06, 9 September 2005 (UTC)

This episode has become ecrusted with mythology, and is in any case of no intrinsic importance. I will add a sentence based on the account in the Ayres biography. Adam 15:52, 9 September 2005 (UTC)

The sentence you supplied read as a merely burglery, whereas what drove the incident into folklore, and resulted in such national hilarity was the loss of trousers (and dignity in a politican who was viewed as pompous). The sentence supplied by Astrokey is better because it does this. I've provided a variation of it to add clarity.

As Prime Minister[edit]

The last sentence in the first paragraph of the section on Fraser's years as Prime Minister contains two clauses joined by a semicolon; the second reads, "as a result of the cuts, which affected many areas of the federal public service." I must ask: "as a results of the cuts," WHAT HAPPENED? 69.173.113.129 02:14, 12 November 2005 (UTC)

Residence[edit]

He is categorised under "People of Melbourne" but his electorate and (I thought) home were in the Western District of Victoria. Can someone cite authority for his residence? Fat Red 21:16, 2 February 2006 (UTC)

He was born in Melbourne, but so far as I know he has never lived there (I don't know where he lives now). Adam 23:13, 2 February 2006 (UTC)

People with money usually have more than one residence, often several, and they often have trouble knowing where they live. The Frasers sold there property in the western district some ten years ago They have an apartment in South Yarra and a property in Redhills-which is the 'official' residence I guess? 128.250.99.142 03:30, 3 February 2006 (UTC)

I know Fraser's mother had a flat (not an apartment, thank you) in South Yarra, so he has probably inherited that. Adam 03:41, 3 February 2006 (UTC)

Unfortunately time marches on - and so do Americanisms :( PMA 04:52, 3 February 2006 (UTC)

TANSTAAFL[edit]

Where did this come from? The quote doesn't match the acronym, it's not original, and if he's remembered for a quote it's not this one! --Jumbo 21:06, 28 August 2006 (UTC)

Agreed. To this day, people still associate Fraser with "Life wasn't meant to be easy". I always just assumed it was mentioned, because it's something he was famous for, and not just for a weekend, but I now realise it's not there. Any good reason for that? -- Jack of Oz [your turn] 21:17, 17 March 2011 (UTC)

on immigration[edit]

IMMIGRATION authorities warned the Fraser government in 1976 it was accepting too many Lebanese Muslim refugees without “the required qualities” for successful integration. --tickle me 01:29, 4 January 2007 (UTC)

Jewishness[edit]

I really hate these racial categories, but since the article says it I'd like to address it... The article says, "His mother, Una Fraser (nee Woolf), had a Jewish father, a fact which influenced his attitudes towards multiculturalism.". I suggest a rewrite in light of this 1994 interview at http://www.australianbiography.gov.au/fraser/interview10.html :

Fraser: "I think I was so naive I didn't know why some of the kids were picking on others, and it's only later that I would have been conscious that the person being bullied or whatever was in fact a Jew. There weren't very many Jews at Melbourne Grammar."
Interviewer: "Were you at all conscious of the fact that you had some Jewishness in your own background?"
Fraser: "None at all. Never have been."

Rocksong 00:07, 11 April 2007 (UTC)

Fraser installed Mugabe?[edit]

The sentence "In 1979 Fraser played a leading role in the settlement which created an independent Zimbabwe and installed Robert Mugabe in power" (which I've since changed) is an example of the rewriting of history with the benefit of 20 years of hindsight. What installed Mugabe in power in 1980 was the voters of democratic Zimbabwe, which was applauded in the Commonwealth and most of the world for more than a decade, and several years later, by many whites in Zimbabwe. The suggestion that Fraser brought about a settlement which 'installed Mugabe' is wrong and ludicrous. As a result of the 1980 democratic settlement which Fraser helped bring about, by 1992 (12 years later) Zimbabwe was a great country. What has happened since has nothing to do with Fraser and everything to do with the fact that democracy is the worst political system ever invented (except, of course, for all the others). Rexparry sydney 09:43, 26 April 2007 (UTC)

It would be better to clarify that Fraser and his Nigerian counterpart were the ones that persuaded Margaret Thatcher to withhold recognition of the Zimbabwe Rhodesia government, therefore bringing about the Lancaster House talks, and a 'democratic' Zimbabwe. This is much more accurate. michael talk 09:48, 26 April 2007 (UTC)
Yes, why not put that in? Rexparry sydney 09:56, 26 April 2007 (UTC)


2/3 majority myth[edit]

I remember years ago when the proposed republican model of having a President elected by a two thirds majority of both Houses of Parliament combined was discussed, the magnitude of Malcolm Fraser's 1975 victory was bought into context. It was mentioned that if Fraser had won one more seat in either House of Parliament, he would have had a 2/3 majority of both Houses of Parliament combined. If people had actually done their calculation they would know that, that is not correct. 2/3 of a number in percentage terms is 66.66666....7% or twice the remainder of the whole number. For example 2/3 of 9 is 6. The remainder of this sum is 3 and 3 multiplied by 2 is 6. Now Malcolm Fraser in 1975 won 126 of the 191 House and Senate seats combined. If he had won one more seat it would have been 127 and 127 out of 191 in percentage terms is 66.49%. The remaining seats from the 191 seats that were won by non-Coalition members would have been 64 instead of the actual 65. 64 multiplied by 2 is 128, one more than 127. Therefore Malcolm Fraser would have needed to have two more seats not one to have that 2/3 majority. I have to wonder why this mistake was ever made. --The Shadow Treasurer 07:37, 29 April 2007 (UTC)

I don't remember that. What I do remember is Howard saying this (Hansard, 8-Jun-1995:[3] "Inaccurately, last night, the Prime Minister said that no party had enjoyed two-thirds control at a joint sitting since the end of World War II. In fact, in 1946 the Chifley Labor government would have had 69 per cent of the members and senators present at a potential joint sitting of the parliament." Rocksong 11:48, 29 April 2007 (UTC)
p.s. Which isn't to deny that you've remembered correctly. Rocksong 11:55, 29 April 2007 (UTC)

Dismissal cleanup[edit]

As previously mooted over several months on the John Kerr discussion page, we need to rationalise a group of articles dealing with the Australian Labor government's dismissal in 1975. The Malcolm Fraser article is the easiest one because of its relative brevity, but there is considerable duplication to be removed from the articles John Kerr, Gough Whitlam and Australian constitutional crisis of 1975, which will undoubtedly create controversy. However, someone has to make a start. Please, everyone, accept that this is an exercise in good faith and editorial balance, to make these articles better. Cheers -- Bjenks 17:46, 21 July 2007 (UTC)

There is no evidence Fraser had a direct role in the dismissal. It's just a long-standing Labor fantasy. In the dismissal section, no mention has been made of Bjelke-Petersen's appointment of Bert Fields for the Senate vacancy, rather than the nominated Mal Colsten, at the death of Milliner. This act caused the loss of the Senate, and was Whitlam's downfall. Similarly, Menzies lost control of the Senate in 1940, and resigned in 1941, as Curtin refused to cooperate. Like Menzies, Whitlam should have resigned or called an election. He refused to do that. Curtin's wartime leadership is also a long-standing Labor fantasy. Curtin did indeed bring the troops home, but only for a few weeks leave. They then went to Singapore. The few weeks leave was the point of difference between Curtin and Churchill, not the defense of Australia.203.213.61.11 (talk) 23:38, 20 October 2014 (UTC)

Actually my understanding was that Fields never actually voted in the supply crisis, as his appointment was being challenged in the courts by the ALP on a fine point of the timing of this resignation from the "public service". The truth is we'll never know how he would have voted on the issue: the other causual appointment, Cleaver Bunton, voted with the Government!

WikiProject class rating[edit]

This article was automatically assessed because at least one article was rated and this bot brought all the other ratings up to at least that level. BetacommandBot 23:16, 27 August 2007 (UTC)

Quality Rating[edit]

We should give it a B, if not a GA. Guy0307 (talk) 15:09, 8 December 2007 (UTC)

Learn the ropes young padawan. Andrew Fisher has been brought up to GA standard, and has such has been given GA status. This isn't a GA article :P Timeshift (talk) 00:25, 9 December 2007 (UTC)

Stolen Generations apology[edit]

On the day of the national apology to the Stolen Generations, after the event Malcolm Fraser was standing alongside Whitlam, Hawke and Keating giving comments to the media about their thoughts of the event. Fraser said that one thing he wishes he did during his Prime Ministership is to have apologised to the Stolen Generations. He said he wished someone had suggested it to him back then, and he would have done it. I think this is really worth including in the article. I haven't, because I don't have a reference. I saw Fraser say this on one of the commercial television news bulletins, not sure which one. If anyone can help locate a reference, it would be great to include this information. Thanks, Lester 13:26, 23 February 2008 (UTC)

Backs it up, but is not a WP:RS. Timeshift (talk) 14:51, 19 March 2008 (UTC)
It's a pity we don't have a text reference for this. Considering it was one of Fraser's regrets about his Prime Ministership, but the only sources are video and television which we can't cite. Lester 05:35, 25 May 2008 (UTC)
It's a pity it's OR, but I saw him give a talk at a Young Liberal function when Mabo was in the news. One of the members of my branch asked him what he thought about the decision on terra nullius and he said it was an irrelevancy. He didn't seem interested in native title back then (early 90's). --Surturz (talk) 07:56, 28 May 2008 (UTC)

Fraser really thinks he's an "eminent person" with an inflated view of his own importance and standing. He also has a tendency "misremember" the past. He didn't apologise for the "Stolen Generation" as it wasn't a hot button topic during his time. Landrights was the big aboriginal issue of the day - the stolen generation didn't get any publicity at all until 1981, which was late in Fraser's time.

Malcolm Fraser, Howard critic. Oh, and ex-Prime Minister[edit]

Perhaps we need to run the facuum cleaner over this article. How come the section on "Criticism of John Howard" is only a few lines shorter than the section on "Prime Minister"? --Pete (talk) 00:35, 25 May 2008 (UTC)

Because former Prime Ministers dont attack their former political parties in Australia. Except for Fraser. Why not be a constructive editor and expand his Prime Minister section? Remember, lack of one content doesn't justify the removal of another. Timeshift (talk) 01:52, 25 May 2008 (UTC)
I think that this is something that goes beyond one editor. Having an article on a notable Australian that is virtually a stub on the reason why he is notable, but devotes a lot of space to more trivial activities, isn't much chop as a biographical article. Unless, of course, your aim is to turn Wikipedia into an attack on people you don't like. --Pete (talk) 04:33, 25 May 2008 (UTC)
Anyone and everyone is welcome to expand on the article. The rule is that we don't delete contents to compensate for lack of other contents. If the PM section is too small, expand it. But a lot of editors have come across the criticism of howard section, some of which can be seen above. If I and others who haven't removed it's contents am wrong in wishing to keep the statements contained within criticism of howard, others would have, or will come, to complain and remove, with talk page agreement. But it hasn't happened so far, apart from you who's activities and attitudes can be seen at Talk:John Howard. Funny, you call it essentially a stub when two sections above Guy0307 calls it a B or a GA article. Funny that. Timeshift (talk) 04:37, 25 May 2008 (UTC)
Skyring(Pete): I hear you complaining that the section about Fraser's Prime Minstership is only the length of a stub. Are you asking other people to expand it? Rather than ask other people to do it, why don't you expand the Prime Minister section? That would be a better option than threatening to 'vacuum clean' and 'cleanse' the few referenced sections of the article. Do some adding, rather than subtracting (which takes more work).Lester 04:52, 25 May 2008 (UTC)
I'm merely pointing out the problem, Lester. Think of me as a vehicle inspector pulling over cars that look a bit dodgy. I can point out the brake lights that aren't working, the frayed seatbelts, the expired registration, but although I could do the repair work and pay the rego myself, and I'm sure the vehicle owner would like that very much, I don't have to. There's a problem in this article, and I seem to have general agreement on this point. --Pete (talk) 06:01, 25 May 2008 (UTC)
Sure, Timeshift, Guy0307 said it was a B or GA. And you yourself sent him away with a flee in his ear. --Pete (talk) 06:01, 25 May 2008 (UTC)
To Skyring(Pete), you didn't only say the article needs repair. You inferred you were going to run the cleaner over it to cleanse it, and by that I assume you want to cleanse the article of Fraser's criticism of Howard, like you have said you want to remove criticism of Howard in many other articles on Wikipedia. It's becoming a pattern. Lester 09:21, 25 May 2008 (UTC)
No, you inferred it. And no, I don't want to remove all criticism of John Howard. Or any other person. What I want is to address the problem of Wikipedia being used as an attack site. --Pete (talk) 09:41, 25 May 2008 (UTC)
The "Criticism of Howard" (now "Estrangement from the Liberal Party") section needs to be at least halved in size, now that Howard is out of government. Not sure which bits should go, though. --Surturz (talk) 07:51, 28 May 2008 (UTC)

Noteable?[edit]

In the 36 years of the Nielsen poll, no Opposition leader has ever recovered from a disapproval rating exceeding 50 per cent, with the exceptional case of Malcolm Fraser, who came back because the governor-general sacked the then prime minister, Gough Whitlam.[4] Timeshift (talk) 01:49, 18 August 2008 (UTC)

I take issue with the above. People have an unbelievable obsession with Whitlam's sacking, to the point of imagining that the ALP would have won an election but for the fact that Whitlam could no longer call himself PM. This is just nonsense. If the title "Prime Minister" had so much clout, Whitlam would never have won in 1972, Hawke wouldn't have beaten Fraser in 1983 and Howard would never have replaced Keating in 1996. In fact the sacking probably gave a big boost Whitlam in the 1975 election - it just wasn't enough. The disapproval is clearly because people didn't like the blocking of supply which threatened economic chaos. Fraser himself was never a popular figure in the way that Hawke was. He was simply seen as a more credible leader than the last two the Libs had thrown up: McMahon and Snedden. People need to remember that late 75 was a political crisis which polarized the country. Many people who hated the Whitlam government still didn't like the crisis of blocking supply - which was really about Fraser's political opportunism (ironic he's been able to sell himself as this left liberal idealist to many in recent times). No Opposition Leader since Fraser has done anything as remotely as drastic as this. So much of the disapproval was focused on one act alone, and evaporated once supply was passed.
It depends on what the actual figures are. I think there are 8 opposition leaders who didn't get up in the last 36 years: Hayden, Snedden, Peacock, Hewson, Downer, Beazley, Crean, Latham (9 if you count Howard's first stint). How many of those had disapproval above 50%? If the only two were Fraser and Nelson, then it doesn't say much. If every single one went above 50%, and all the other successful opposition leaders didn't (Whitlam, Hawke, Howard, Rudd), then it's probably significant. So I say don't include, unless more compelling figures are available. Peter Ballard (talk) 03:08, 18 August 2008 (UTC)
I think it's an interesting fact on its own. "The Sydney Morning Herald" already says that none of the other opposition leaders (mentioned above) had disapproval ratings above 50%, so we can take it as fact that Fraser was the only one in that group.--Lester 04:10, 18 August 2008 (UTC)
Also you can't just include those who didn't get in, you should also be including those opp leaders who did become PM - and no doubt, none of those had higher than 50% disapproval. My point here is that if the country wasn't held to ransom with the blocking of supply and there was no dismissal of the government, would Fraser have won the election with such high disapproval, to which only Nelson can compare, who holds record low ratings with both Newspoll and ACNielsen? Of course that could be called WP:OR, but i'm not saying any addition would argue a point, just simply state what the article points out. Timeshift (talk) 08:27, 18 August 2008 (UTC)
I don't think either of you have got my point. The question I ask is: How many opposition leaders had disapproval ratings above 50%? If it was only 4 (say: Fraser, Downer, Crean and Nelson) then it's not notable, it's just a journalist twisting statistics to make a point, conveniently leaving out the numbers which don't support his point. If there are 8 or 9, and Fraser is the only one of them to become PM, then it might be notable. Peter Ballard (talk) 11:16, 18 August 2008 (UTC)
I doubt it is, but even if it were four, only one of them became PM. Fraser. Timeshift (talk) 11:33, 18 August 2008 (UTC)
Well if you can't answer that question then I say it doesn't go in. We don't put in every statistic a journalist pulls out, unless the journalist gives the full story. Too much chance of quoting statistics selectively to make a point. Peter Ballard (talk) 12:00, 18 August 2008 (UTC)
Maybe I'm acting a bit cranky over this but I'm very wary of selectively quoted statistics. Peter Ballard (talk) 12:28, 18 August 2008 (UTC)
Some other thoughts: I remember once reading that Fraser always had fairly low personal approval ratings. That author was making the point that low personal approval doesn't always translate into poor electoral performance. Also, though Fraser may have been personally unpopular, I believe that the Coalition as a whole was polling well during late 1975, which is why he forced an early election. Also, even though relatively unpopular, he might have been less unpopular than Whitlam (and later Hayden). No real comparison to Nelson, who is polling dreadfully by all measures, so for the SMH to say that Fraser only got up due to Kerr is at best speculation, at worst twisting the facts. So to summarise: these are more reasons why quoting a single statistic second-hand (i.e. from a journalist's piece, rather than checking the original numbers) is not a good idea. Peter Ballard (talk) 00:55, 19 August 2008 (UTC)

Fraser blocked supply. The government was within weeks of running out of money. He did this because of "reprehensible circumstances", but many didn't think the they were "reprehensible" enough for the drastic action the man chose. No Opposition Leader since Fraser has done anything anywhere near as drastic. Fraser clearly angered a lot of people because of a specific action, and with much of the public being fearful of where it would lead. Once the crisis had passed, the "concern" evaporated for many. He would have recovered even more if Whitlam had called a DD the way he did the previous year. I would also point out that Fraser is not, and was not, a charismatic politician, and was not a "lovable character". He got the leadership because he was seen as a "strong character" compared to the "joke" that was Snedden. People also focus too much on the "approval" of the leader. This is something that has mostly stemmed from the way that Hayden was forced out for Hawke in early 1983, despite the ALP being comfortably ahead in the polls. However personal popularity wasn't quite so important in the mid-70's.

Reverts by parliamentary library IP[edit]

This is becoming a real problem... Timeshift (talk) 06:15, 22 August 2008 (UTC)

PC postnominals[edit]

Contrary to a source provided on the website, Malcolm Fraser using the postnominals "PC" is a violation of honours protocol as only peers use the postnominals to set themselves apart because as peers they already use the title "The right honourable". Members of the privy council who are not peers aka "commoners" can only use the prefix "the right honourable".

for more information please refer to: Her Majesty's Most Honourable Privy Council under sub-heading "Rights and priviledges of members"

--202.14.81.49 (talk) 06:28, 22 August 2008 (UTC)

http://www.apmc.oph.gov.au/lib/docs/22%20Fraser%20Web.pdf has PC and is a reliable source. Her Majesty's Most Honourable Privy Council can't be used for a reason to remove it. Bidgee (talk) 06:30, 22 August 2008 (UTC)
Looking into this I see that almost every official source uses the postnominal - three examples are APH, National Film and Sound Archive, University of Melbourne (where he is on staff). Additionally, the Encarta encyclopaedia has also included them. Orderinchaos 15:21, 22 August 2008 (UTC)
I've readded it again after User:Jmount removed it. If anyone is going to remove it then discuss it first and prove that the soruce I've used in the article and the above links are incorrect. Bidgee (talk) 05:54, 23 August 2008 (UTC)
All those sources use PC as they do not also use "The Right Honourable". This article however does use "The Right Honourable", making the PC redundant. You use one or the other, only peers use both "The Rt Hon" and PC. Look for example at any article of other members of the Privy Council; all use the "Right Honourable", but do NOT include PC. A quick search turns up this, a section that would be completely redundant if all privy councillors had PC as a post-nominal. Additionally this makes no mention of using PC. Jmount (talk) 06:38, 23 August 2008 (UTC)
Non-appendage of 'PC' (except in the case of a peer) is supported by the Australian Government Style Manual for authors, editors and printers (AGPS, Canberra 1978) at page 348 where a non-peer member of the Privy Council is styled, e.g., "The Right Honourable Phineas Finn, M.P." or "The Right Honourable Sir Abraham Haphazard". Certain peers will, of course, be designated, e.g., "The Most Honourable" or "His Royal Highness" and this is why peers alone customarily have the letters P.C. after the surname if they are members of the Privy Council. Cheers Bjenks (talk) 07:08, 23 August 2008 (UTC)

SBS[edit]

According to SBS history[5], multicultural radio began in 1975 (i.e. under Whitlam) (which is consistent with the ALP page Timeshift cites),[6] but it's drawing a long bow from that to calling SBS "A Whitlam initiative". That SBS page shows that some very major steps (probably most of them) were taken in Fraser's time. Accordingly I am removing the words calling SBS "A Whitlam initiative". Peter Ballard (talk) 10:33, 26 November 2008 (UTC)

The first steps towards establishing the national multicultural broadcaster, SBS, were taken by Whitlam's colourful Minister for Immigration, Al Grassby.[7]
As The SBS Story describes, SBS is a unique broadcaster, initiated more than 30 years ago by the Whitlam Government, and cemented by the Fraser Government as a key institution of Australian multiculturalism.[8]
Why is it a long bow? Timeshift (talk) 11:01, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
Please offer neutral sources, not ALP sources. I am referring to the SBS site[9]: multicultural radio began in 1975 (Whitlam), but then under Fraser: in 1976 the Consultative Committee on Ethnic Broadcasting was established, in 1977 National Ethnic Broadcasting Advisory Council (NEBAC) was established, later in 1977 Federal legislation was amended to enable SBS, then various stages to broadcasting in 1978 and 1979. I'm happy to say that Fraser continued on multicultural broadcasting which began under Whitlam, but a lot of the steps happened under Fraser, and to simply call SBS "a Whitlam initiative" is oversimplifying, and possibly wrong. Peter Ballard (talk) 11:21, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for the link - 'A brief history of SBS' begins in June 1975! However, I'm happy for a wording compromise, and have updated the article accordingly. Timeshift (talk) 11:24, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
Heh, you beat me to it. I added the ref though. Peter Ballard (talk) 11:35, 26 November 2008 (UTC)

Estrangement from the Liberal Party[edit]

In the 4th paragraph of the section entitled "Estrangement from the Liberal Party" it states that the 2007 federal election was a December one. My understanding is that the 2007 Federal election was held in November and therefore is entitled to be quoted as the November 2007 federal election.

59.86.178.5 (talk) 07:41, 24 December 2008 (UTC)

Thanks. Timeshift (talk) 08:15, 24 December 2008 (UTC)

Minister for Defence[edit]

Did Malcolm Fraser start as the Minister for Defence in 1968 or 1969?

In the article on Malcolm Fraser, it says:

in 1968 he was made Minister for Defence

In the article on Minister for Defence (Australia), it says:

36 | Malcolm Fraser | 1969-1971 | Liberal Party of Australia

Could someone please correct whichever article is incorrect. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Jonathan O'Donnell (talkcontribs) 02:21, 28 May 2009 (UTC)

It was 1969, 12 November to be exact. I've fixed it. -- JackofOz (talk) 08:02, 18 October 2009 (UTC)

Book[edit]

In 2003 a book titled 'Common ground: Issues that should bind and not divide us' came out written by Malcolm Fraser, surely being an author is worth a mention in his wikipedia page i am unsure of how to add this information or source it, it is mentioned at the university of melbourne collection about him, coould someone please add this information to the page.

thank you 203.214.99.5 (talk) 14:19, 11 October 2009 (UTC)

Early life[edit]

Born in Toorak, he had a Jewish maternal grandfather, of whose ethnicity Fraser claims never to have been mindful[2], while sometimes claiming that his Jewishness enabled him to turn the tables on the Conservatives of the Liberal Party and instigate a new beginning with Asia while encouraging Vietnamese refugees to settle in Australia.

That's quite a mouthful, and the latter part is uncited. But also, it gets into territory that comes much later in his career, so it's somewhat out of place. Any ideas where it might be more appropriately placed, if it belongs anywhere at all? -- Jack of Oz ... speak! ... 05:46, 4 January 2010 (UTC)
Delete the whole sentence, IMHO. --Surturz (talk) 11:39, 4 January 2010 (UTC)
Why? Timeshift (talk) 20:21, 4 January 2010 (UTC)

It's unverified opinion, and doesn't belong in an encyclopedia. Eligius (talk) 01:46, 7 February 2014 (UTC)