The Australian National Archives is due today to publish Queen Elizabeth’s secret correspondence, which is believed to reveal how Britain became entangled in Australian politics in the 1970s. The publication is based on a May decision by the Australian Supreme Court finding that the National Archives had acted improperly in pledging correspondence from historian Jenny Hocking.
The National Archives has since confirmed that it will publish all more than 200 letters of correspondence between Elizabeth and the representative of the monarchy, the Governor-General of Australia, John Kerr. Australia was hit by a constitutional crisis in 1975, and Kerr ignored then-popular Prime Minister Gough Whitlam.
Hocking has previously found evidence that the Queen’s Palace knew that Kerr was considering ousting Whitlam and was involved in the negotiations. Hocking believes the letters could reveal what the queen said and whether it affected Kerr’s actions.
The National Archives has previously considered the correspondence to be private
According to the National Archives, the material to be published has a total of more than a thousand pages. In addition to the letters, newspaper clippings and reports are included. All documents are published on the National Archives' website, so anyone can access them. The letters will be published at 11 am local time, ie on Tuesday morning Finnish time.
The National Archives has previously refused to publish documents on the grounds that the correspondence has been private. Federal law supported the National Archives' interpretation, but the Supreme Court disagreed.
After the Supreme Court made its decision, Hocking described it as brilliant. According to Hocking, the people have a right to know the whole story behind Australia’s biggest political and constitutional crisis.
“This is important news for history, for our nation, because these are really extremely important documents in our history,” Hocking said after the Supreme Court ruling.
Hocking has been fighting in court for the publication of letters for more than four years.