David Fricker says “no one document is going to be the single answer to everything”, but he points to a few letters that he says hold historical significance.
On 12 September, a few months before the November dismissal, Kerr wrote to the Queen discussing the reserve powers of the governor general – ie, his ability to dismiss the prime minister. He wrote:
My role will need some careful thought.
Martin Charteris, the Queen’s private secreatory, replied: “If supply is refused, it also makes it constitutionally proper to grant a dissolution.” Fricker says this was him “quoting back” Kerr to himself.
“Grant at whose request? At the request of the prime minister, of the Queen? Who knows?”, Fricker says. “But it’s discussed.”