John McEwen

Sir John McEwen, GCMG, CH (29 March 1900 – 20 November 1980) was an Australian politician who served as the 18th Prime Minister of Australia, holding office from 19 December 1967 to 10 January 1968 in a caretaker capacity after the disappearance of Harold Holt. He was the leader of the Country Party from 1958 to 1971.

McEwen was born in Chiltern, Victoria. He was orphaned at the age of seven and raised by his grandmother, initially in Wangaratta and then in Dandenong. McEwen left school at the age of 13 and joined the Australian Army at the age of 18, but the war ended before his unit was shipped out. He was nonetheless eligible for a soldier settlement scheme, and selected a property at Stanhope. He established a dairy farm, but later bought a larger property and farmed beef cattle.

After several previous unsuccessful candidacies, McEwen was elected to the House of Representatives at the 1934 federal election. He was first elevated to cabinet by Joseph Lyons in 1937. McEwen became deputy leader of the Country Party in 1940, under Arthur Fadden. He replaced Fadden as leader in 1958, and remained in the position until his retirement from politics in 1971. He served in parliament for 36 years in total, spending a record 25 years as a government minister.

The Coalition returned to power in 1949, initially under Robert Menzies and then under Harold Holt. McEwen came to have a major influence on economic policy, particularly in the areas of agriculture, manufacturing, and trade. When Holt died in office in December 1967, he was commissioned as caretaker prime minister while the Liberal Party elected a new leader. He was 67 at the time, the oldest person to become prime minister and only the third from the Country Party. McEwen ceded power to John Gorton after 23 days in office, and in recognition of his service was appointed deputy prime minister, the first time that position had been formally created.


Sir John McEwen

Sir John McEwen
18th Prime Minister of Australia
In office
19 December 1967 – 10 January 1968
MonarchElizabeth II
Governor-GeneralLord Casey
Preceded byHarold Holt
Succeeded byJohn Gorton
Deputy Prime Minister of Australia
In office
10 January 1968 – 5 February 1971
Prime MinisterJohn Gorton
Preceded byNew position
Succeeded byDoug Anthony
Personal details
Born29 March 1900
Chiltern, Victoria, Australia
Died20 November 1980 (aged 80)
Toorak, Victoria, Australia
Cause of deathSuicide (intentional starvation)
Political partyCountry
Spouse(s)
Anne McLeod
(m. 1921; died 1967)

Mary Byrne (m. 1968)
EducationWangaratta State School
Dandenong State School
OccupationFarmer, politician

Early life

John McEwans house in Chiltern
McEwen's birthplace, located at 73 Main Street, Chiltern, Victoria.

Birth and family background

McEwen was born on 29 March 1900, at his parents' home in Chiltern, Victoria. He was the son of Amy Ellen (née Porter) and David James McEwen. His mother was born in Victoria, and had English and Irish ancestry. His father was of Ulster Scots origin, born in Mountnorris, County Armagh (in present-day Northern Ireland).[1] He worked as a chemist, and also served a term on the Chiltern Shire Council.[2] The family surname was originally spelled "MacEwen", but was simplified upon David McEwen's arrival in Australia in 1889.[1]

Childhood

In his memoirs, McEwen recounted that he had almost no memories of his parents.[2] His mother died of lung disease in March 1902, just before his second birthday; she had given birth to a daughter, Amy, a few months earlier. She was the second of his father's three wives, and McEwen had three half-siblings – Gladys, Evelyn, and George.[3] After their mother's death, McEwen and his sister were raised by their father, living in the rooms behind his chemist's shop. He died from meningitis in September 1907, when his son was seven. John and Amy were sent to live with their widowed grandmother, Nellie Porter (née Cook), while their younger half-brother went to live with his mother in Melbourne.[4] They had never lived with their older half-sisters, who had been sent to live in a children's home upon their mother's death in 1893.[3]

McEwen's grandmother ran a boardinghouse in Wangaratta. He grew up in what he described as "pretty frugal circumstances", and in 1912 his grandmother moved the family to Dandenong, on the outskirts of Melbourne.[4] McEwen attended state schools in Wangaratta and Dandenong until the age of thirteen, when he began working for Rocke, Tompsitt & Co., a drug manufacturer in central Melbourne. He initially worked as a switchboard operator, for which he was paid 15 shillings per week.[5] McEwen began attending night school in Prahran, and in 1915 passed an examination for the Commonwealth Public Service and began working as a junior clerk at the office of the Commonwealth Crown Solicitor. His immediate superior there was Fred Whitlam, the father of another future prime minister, Gough Whitlam.[6]

Soldier-settler

With World War I ongoing, McEwen resolved to enter the military when he turned 18. He joined the Australian Army Cadets and completed a Royal Australian Navy course in radiotelegraphy, hoping to qualify for the newly opened Royal Military College, Duntroon.[6] He passed the entrance exam, but instead chose to enlist as a private in the Australian Imperial Force, in order to be posted overseas sooner. The war ended before his unit shipped out. Despite the briefness of his service, McEwen was eligible for the Victorian government's soldier settlement scheme. He selected an 86-acre (35 ha) lot at Stanhope, on land that previously been a sheep station.[7] As with many other soldier-settlers, McEwen initially did not have the money or the expertise needed to run a farm. He spent several months working as a farm labourer and later did the same as a stevedore at the Port of Melbourne, eventually saving enough money to return to Stanhope and establish his dairy farm.[8]

McEwen's new property was virtually undeveloped, with only a single existing building (a small shack) and no fences, irrigation, or paddocks. He and the other soldier-settlers in the Stanhope district suffered a number of hardships in the early 1920s, including droughts, rabbit plagues, and low milk prices. Many of them were forced off their properties, allowing those who survived to expand their holdings relatively cheaply.[9] In 1926, McEwen sold his property and bought a larger farm nearby, which he named Chilgala (a portmanteau of Chiltern and Tongala, the birthplaces of himself and his wife). He switched from dairy to beef cattle, and was able to expand his property by buying abandoned farms from the government. At its peak, Chilgala covered 3,000 acres (1,200 ha) and carried 1,800 head of cattle.[10] McEwen had a reputation as one of the best farmers in the district, and came to be seen by the other soldier-settlers as a spokesman and leader. He represented them in meetings with government officials, and was secretary of the local Water Users' League, which protected the interests of irrigators.[11] In 1923, he co-founded the Stanhope Dairy Co-operative, and was elected as the company's inaugural chairman.[12]

Political career

John McEwen 1930s
John McEwen in the 1930s

Early years

McEwen was active in farmer organisations and in the Country Party. In 1934 he was elected to the House of Representatives for the electorate of Echuca. That seat was abolished in 1937, and McEwen followed most of his constituents into Indi. He changed seats again in 1949, when Murray was carved out of the northwestern portion of Indi and McEwen transferred there. Between 1937 and 1941 he was successively Minister for the Interior, Minister for External Affairs and (simultaneously) Minister for Air and Minister for Civil Aviation. In 1940, when Archie Cameron resigned as Country Party leader, McEwen contested the leadership ballot against Sir Earle Page: the ballot was tied and Arthur Fadden was chosen as a compromise. McEwen became his deputy.

Menzies and Holt Governments

When the conservatives returned to office in 1949 under Robert Menzies after eight years in opposition, McEwen became Minister for Commerce and Agriculture, switching to Minister for Trade in 1956. Menzies nicknamed him "Black Jack", due to his dark eyebrows, grim nature, and occasional temper.[13] In the Menzies Government, McEwen pursued what became known as "McEwenism" – a policy of high tariff protection for the manufacturing industry, so that industry would not challenge the continuing high tariffs on imported raw materials, which benefitted farmers but pushed up industry's costs. This policy was a part (some argue the foundation) of what became known as the "Australian settlement" which promoted high wages, industrial development, government intervention in industry (Australian governments traditionally owned banks and insurance companies and the railways and through policies designed to assist particular industries) and decentralisation.

John McEwen 1950
McEwen in 1950

In 1958, following Fadden's retirement, McEwen was elected unopposed as leader of the Country Party. This made him the de facto deputy prime minister, and gave him a free choice of portfolio.[14] Fadden had been Treasurer, but McEwen somewhat unexpectedly chose to continue on as trade minister. This allowed Harold Holt to become the first Liberal MP to serve as Treasurer. McEwen nonetheless had considerable influence in cabinet. He and his party favoured interventionist economic policies and were opposed to foreign ownership of industrial assets, which placed him frequently at odds with his Liberal colleagues.[15] In 1962, a dispute between McEwen and Assistant Treasurer Les Bury ended with Bury being sacked from cabinet.[16] His stature eventually grew to the point where he was considered a potential successor to Menzies as prime minister. An opinion poll in December 1963 showed that 19 percent of Coalition voters favoured McEwen as Menzies' successor, only two points behind the poll leader Holt.[17] By December 1965, this number had risen to 27 percent, compared with Holt's 22 percent.[18] McEwen's cause was championed by a number of media outlets, including The Sun and The Australian. Nonetheless, he had few supporters within the Liberal Party, and it was generally held that he would have to become a Liberal if he were to lead the Coalition, which he was unwilling to do.[19]

Holt replaced Menzies as prime minister in January 1966, with McEwen continuing on his previous position. His portfolio had been expanded after the 1963 election, with his department now called the Department of Trade and Industry. McEwen enjoyed a "sound working relationship" with Holt, but without the same rapport he had had with Menzies.[20] However, he had a poor relationship with William McMahon, Holt's replacement as Treasurer. They had philosophical differences over free trade and foreign investment, both of which McEwen opposed. McMahon was also suspected to be undermining McEwen through his connections in the media.[21] McEwen's most serious disagreement with Holt came in November 1967, when it was announced that Australia – which had converted to decimal currency the previous year – would not follow the recent devaluation of the pound sterling. This effectively marked Australia's withdrawal from the sterling area. McEwen issued a public statement criticising the decision, which he feared would damage primary industry. Holt considered this a breach of cabinet solidarity, and made preparations for the Liberal Party to govern in its own right in case the Country Party withdrew from the government. The situation was eventually resolved In Holt's favour.[22]

Prime Minister

John McEwen Swearing In
McEwen being sworn in as Prime Minister on 19 December 1967.

Harold Holt disappeared while swimming at Portsea, Victoria, on 17 December 1967, and was officially presumed dead two days later. Lord Casey, the Governor-General of Australia, sent for McEwen and he was sworn in as Prime Minister, on the understanding that his commission would continue only so long as it took for the Liberals to elect a new leader. McEwen contended that if Casey commissioned a Liberal as interim Prime Minister, it would give that person an undue advantage in the upcoming ballot for a full-time leader.

McEwen retained all of Holt's ministers, and had them sworn in as the McEwen Ministry. Approaching 68, McEwen was the oldest person ever to be appointed Prime Minister of Australia, although not the oldest to serve; Menzies left office one month and six days after his 71st birthday. McEwen had been encouraged to remain Prime Minister on a more permanent basis but to do so would have required him to defect to the Liberals, an option he had never contemplated.[23]

It had long been presumed that the Treasurer and Liberal deputy leader, William McMahon, would succeed Holt as Liberal leader. However, McEwen sparked a leadership crisis when he announced that he and his Country Party colleagues would not serve under McMahon. McEwen is reported to have despised McMahon personally. But more importantly, McEwen was bitterly opposed to McMahon on political grounds, because McMahon was allied with free trade advocates in the conservative parties and favoured sweeping tariff reforms, a position that was vehemently opposed by McEwen, his Country Party colleagues and their rural constituents.

McEwen And Gorton
McEwen with John Gorton following the latter's election as Liberal leader on 9 January 1968.

Another key factor in McEwen's antipathy towards McMahon was hinted at soon after the crisis by the veteran political journalist Alan Reid. According to Reid, McEwen was aware that McMahon was habitually breaching Cabinet confidentiality and regularly leaking information to favoured journalists and lobbyists, including Maxwell Newton, who had been hired as a "consultant" by Japanese trade interests.

McEwen's opposition forced McMahon to withdraw from the leadership ballot and opened the way for the successful campaign to promote the Minister for Education and Science, Senator John Gorton, to the Prime Ministership with the support of a group led by Defence Minister Malcolm Fraser. Gorton replaced McEwen as Prime Minister on 10 January 1968. It was the second time the Country Party had effectively vetoed its senior partner's choice for the leadership; in 1923 Earle Page had demanded that the Nationalist Party, one of the forerunners of the Liberals, remove Billy Hughes as leader before he would even consider coalition talks.

Later years

Sir John McEwen (2)
McEwen in the 1960s

Gorton created the formal title Deputy Prime Minister for McEwen, confirming his status as the second-ranking member of the government. Prior to then, the title had been used informally for whoever was recognised as the second-ranking member of the government – the leader of the Country Party when the Coalition was in government, and Labor's deputy leader when Labor was in government.

McEwen retired from politics in 1971. At the time of his resignation, he had served 36 years and 5 months, including 34 years as either a minister or opposition frontbencher. He was the last serving parliamentarian from the Great Depression era, and hence the last parliamentary survivor of the Lyons government. By the time of his death, Malcolm Fraser's government was abandoning McEwenite trade policies.

Honours

John McEwen bust
Bust of John McEwen by sculptor Victor Greenhalgh located in the Prime Minister's Avenue in the Ballarat Botanical Gardens

McEwen was awarded the Companion of Honour (CH) in 1969. He was knighted in 1971 after his retirement from politics, becoming a Knight Grand Cross of the Order of St Michael and St George (GCMG). The Japanese government conferred on him the Grand Cordon, Order of the Rising Sun in 1973.[24]

Personal life

On 21 September 1921 he married Anne Mills McLeod, known as Annie; they had no children. In 1966, she was made a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE). After a long illness Dame Anne McEwen died on 10 February 1967.

At the time of becoming Prime Minister in December of that year, McEwen was a widower, being the first Australian Prime Minister unmarried during his term of office. (The next such case was Julia Gillard, Prime Minister 2010–13, who had a domestic partner although unwed.)[24]

On 26 July 1968, McEwen married Mary Eileen Byrne, his personal secretary; he was aged 68, she was 46. In retirement he distanced himself from politics, undertook some consulting work, and travelled to Japan and South Africa. He had no children by any of his marriages.[24]

McEwen suffered from severe dermatitis for most of his adult life. He recounted that "for literally months at a time, I would be walking about Parliament House with my feet bleeding and damaged." The pain became unbearable in later years, and he began refusing food in order to hasten his death; he died of self-imposed starvation on 20 November 1980, aged 80.[25] McEwen was cremated, and his estate was sworn for probate at $2,180,479. He was also receiving a small pension from the Department of Social Security at the time of his death.

See also

References

  1. ^ a b Golding, Peter S. (1996). Black Jack McEwen: Political Gladiator. Melbourne University Press. p. 35. ISBN 0522847188.
  2. ^ a b Golding (1996), p. 37.
  3. ^ a b Golding (1996), p. 36.
  4. ^ a b Golding (1996), p. 38.
  5. ^ Golding (1996), p. 39.
  6. ^ a b Golding (1996), p. 40.
  7. ^ Golding (1996), p. 41.
  8. ^ Golding (1996), p. 42.
  9. ^ Golding (1996), p. 43.
  10. ^ Golding (1996), p. 49.
  11. ^ Golding (1996), p. 47.
  12. ^ Golding (1996), p. 48.
  13. ^ Fast facts: John McEwen, National Archives of Australia, primeministers.naa.gov.au/primeministers; accessed 10 June 2015.
  14. ^ McEwen Leader Of Party, Deputy Prime Minister, The Canberra Times, 27 March 1958.
  15. ^ Tom Frame (2005), The Life and Death of Harold Holt, p. 99.
  16. ^ Frame (2005), p. 118.
  17. ^ Frame (2005), p. 124.
  18. ^ Frame (2005), p. 130.
  19. ^ Frame (2005), p. 126.
  20. ^ Frame (2005), p. 139.
  21. ^ Frame (2005), p. 235–237.
  22. ^ Frame (2005), p. 239–240.
  23. ^ A Country Road: The Nationals, Episode 1.
  24. ^ a b c C.J. Lloyd, McEwen, Sir John (1900–1980), adb.online.anu.edu.au; accessed 10 June 2015.
  25. ^ Former Prime Minister Sir John McEwen’s secret pain led to tragic end, says book by Julian Fitzgerald, Adelaide Advertiser, 3 November 2014. Retrieved 19 December 2017.

Further reading

  • Hughes, Colin A (1976), Mr Prime Minister. Australian Prime Ministers 1901–1972, Oxford University Press, Melbourne, Victoria, Ch.20. ISBN 0-19-550471-2

External links

Political offices
Preceded by
Thomas Paterson
Minister for the Interior
1937–1939
Succeeded by
Harry Foll
Preceded by
Sir Henry Gullett
Minister for External Affairs
1940
Succeeded by
Frederick Stewart
Preceded by
Arthur Fadden
Minister for Air
Minister for Civil Aviation

1940–1941
Succeeded by
Arthur Drakeford
Preceded by
Reginald Pollard
Minister for Commerce and Agriculture
1949–1956
Succeeded by
William McMahon
Preceded by
Neil O'Sullivan
Minister for Trade and Industry
1956–1971
Succeeded by
Doug Anthony
Preceded by
Harold Holt
Prime Minister of Australia
1967–1968
Succeeded by
John Gorton
New title Deputy Prime Minister of Australia
1968–1971
Succeeded by
Doug Anthony
Party political offices
Preceded by
Arthur Fadden
Leader of the Country Party
1958–1971
Succeeded by
Doug Anthony
Deputy Leader of the
Country Party of Australia

1943–1958
Succeeded by
Charles Davidson
1939 Country Party of Australia leadership election

A leadership election was held on 13 September 1939 to select Earle Page's replacement as leader of the Country Party of Australia and de facto-Deputy Prime Minister. Archie Cameron was elected party leader in preference to John McEwen seven votes to five.

1968 Liberal Party of Australia leadership election

A leadership election in the Liberal Party of Australia, the party of government in the Parliament of Australia, was held on 9 January 1968. It followed the disappearance and presumed drowning of previous leader Harold Holt, who had been declared dead on 19 December 1967. The contest was won by Senator John Gorton in a party room ballot; he was sworn in as prime minister the following day, replacing caretaker John McEwen.

Athletics at the 2003 Pan American Games – Men's hammer throw

The final of the Men's Hammer Throw event at the 2003 Pan American Games took place on Thursday August 7, 2003. The title went to Argentina's Juan Ignacio Cerra, who set a distance of 75.53 metres in his sixth and final attempt. America's John McEwen later was disqualified due to a doping offence. His bronze medal went to number four in the rankings, Cuba's Yosvany Suárez.

Berwick and Haddington (UK Parliament constituency)

Berwick and Haddington was a constituency of the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom from 1918, when it replaced the separate Berwickshire and Haddingtonshire constituencies, until it was renamed Berwick and East Lothian for the 1950 general election. It elected one Member of Parliament (MP), using the first-past-the-post voting system.

The constituency covered the counties of Berwickshire and East Lothian.

Clan MacEwen

Clan MacEwen or Clan MacEwan is a Highland Scottish clan recorded in the fifteenth century as Clan Ewen of Otter.

Historically, there have been several different MacEwen clans and septs, with some distinct, and some interrelated, origins for the modern surname. Each of these historical clans could be described by the name, "Clan MacEwen" or, at times, "Clan Ewen". The modern clan does not yet have a chief recognized by Lord Lyon King of Arms, and as such is currently considered an Armigerous clan. However, as of 2018, Clan MacEwen has an elected Commander, Sir John McEwen, 5th Baronet of Marchmont and Bardrochat, who is in line to become the first Chief since the death of Swene McEwen, in 1493.

Doug Anthony

John Douglas Anthony, (born 31 December 1929) is a former Australian politician. He was leader of the National Party from 1971 to 1984, and Deputy Prime Minister from 1971 to 1972 and again from 1975 to 1983.

Electoral results for the Division of Murray

This is a list of electoral results for the Division of Murray in Australian federal elections from the division's creation in 1949 until the present.

Fadden Ministry

The Fadden Ministry was the twenty-ninth Australian Commonwealth ministry, and ran from 28 August 1941 to 7 October 1941.United Australia Party–Australian Country Party Coalition

Rt Hon Arthur Fadden, MP: Prime Minister, Treasurer (CP)

Rt Hon Robert Menzies, KC MP: Minister for Defence Co-ordination (UAP)

Rt Hon Billy Hughes, KC MP: Attorney-General, Minister for the Navy (UAP)

Hon Percy Spender, KC MP: Minister for the Army (UAP)

Senator Hon George McLeay: Vice-President of the Executive Council, Minister for Supply and Development (UAP)

Hon John McEwen, MP: Minister for Air, Minister for Civil Aviation (CP)

Senator Hon Hattil Foll: Minister for the Interior, Minister for Information (UAP)

Rt Hon Sir Earle Page, GCMG MP: Minister for Commerce (CP)

Hon Sir Frederick Stewart, MP: Minister for External Affairs, Minister for Health, Minister for Social Services (UAP)

Senator Hon Philip McBride: Minister for Munitions (UAP)

Hon Eric Harrison, MP: Minister for Trade and Customs (UAP)

Hon Harold Holt, MP: Minister for Labour and National Service (UAP)

Senator Hon Herbert Collett: Minister for Repatriation (UAP)

Hon Thomas Collins, MP: Postmaster-General (CP)

Senator Hon John Leckie: Minister for Aircraft Production (UAP)

Hon Larry Anthony, MP: Minister for Transport (CP)

Hon Eric Spooner, MP: Minister for War Organisation of Industry (UAP)

Hon Joe Abbott, MP: Minister for Home Security (CP)

Hon Allan McDonald, MP: Minister for External Territories (UAP)

Fifth Menzies Ministry

The Fifth Menzies Ministry was the thirty-sixth Australian Commonwealth ministry, and ran from 11 May 1951 to 9 July 1954.Liberal Party of Australia–Australian Country Party Coalition

Rt Hon Robert Menzies, QC MP: Prime Minister

Rt Hon Arthur Fadden, MP: Treasurer (CP)

Hon Eric Harrison, MP: Minister for Defence Production, Vice-President of the Executive Council

Hon Harold Holt, MP: Minister for Labour and National Service, Minister for Immigration

Hon John McEwen, MP: Minister for Commerce and Agriculture (CP)

Rt Hon Richard Casey, CH DSO MC MP: Minister for External Affairs, Minister in charge of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation

Hon Philip McBride, MP: Minister for Defence. Minister for Air (to 17 July 1951), Minister for the Navy (to 17 July 1951)

Senator Hon John Spicer, QC: Attorney-General

Senator Hon Neil O'Sullivan: Minister for Trade and Customs

Hon Howard Beale, MP: Minister for Supply

Senator Hon George McLeay: Minister for Shipping and Transport

Hon Larry Anthony, MP: Postmaster-General, Minister for Civil Aviation (CP)

Rt Hon Sir Earle Page, GCMG CH MP: Minister for Health (CP)

Hon Josiah Francis, MP: Minister for the Army

Senator Hon Bill Spooner: Minister for National Development

Senator Hon Walter Cooper: Minister for Repatriation (CP)

Hon Paul Hasluck, MP: Minister for Territories

Hon Wilfrid Kent Hughes: Minister for the Interior. Minister for Works and Housing (to 4 June 1952), Minister for Works (from 4 June 1952)

Hon Athol Townley, MP: Minister for Social Services

Hon William McMahon, MP: Minister for Air (from 17 July 1951), Minister for the Navy (from 17 July 1951)

Goulburn Valley Suns FC

Goulburn Valley Suns are a semi-professional association football club based in Shepparton, Victoria. The club was established in 2013 and currently competes in the National Premier Leagues Victoria 2. The Suns' home base in John McEwen Reserve.

John McEwen (athlete)

John McEwen (born 5 March 1974 in California) is a retired American hammer thrower, who initially won a bronze medal at the 2003 Pan American Games. He later was disqualified due to a doping offence.

He finished sixth at the 2002 IAAF World Cup. At the 2003 American championships he tested positive for the banned substance tetrahydrogestrinone, and was disqualified from his second place.His personal best throw was 74.73 metres, achieved in April 2003 at the Mt SAC Relays in Walnut.

McEwen was successful playing Football for North Medford High School in Oregon. He went on to play for the College of the Redwoods in Eureka, California and then to Morningside College in Iowa. John and his wife Denise currently live in Ohio with their two small children. John is a firefighter.

John McEwen (disambiguation)

John McEwen was the 18th Prime Minister of Australia.

John McEwen may also refer to:

John McEwen (athlete) (born 1974), American hammer thrower

John Blackwood McEwen (1868–1948), Scottish classical composer

John L. McEwen (1928–2010), American politician

Sir John McEwen, 1st Baronet (1894–1962), Scottish politician

John McEwen (cricketer) (1862–1902), English cricketer

Liberal Country Party

The Liberal Country Party (LCP) was a splinter group of the United Country Party, the Victorian branch of the Australian Country Party, formed after federal MP John McEwen was expelled from the state branch for accepting a ministry in the Lyons-Page Coalition government in 1937. Following a tumultuous party conference in 1938, another federal MP, Thomas Paterson, led a hundred McEwen supporters to form the LCP, a faction of the party loyal to the federal party. The breach had been resolved by 1943.

List of longest-serving members of the Parliament of Australia

This article lists the longest-serving members of the Parliament of Australia.

McEwen Ministry

The McEwen Ministry (Country–Liberal Coalition) was the 44th ministry of the Government of Australia. It was led by the country's 18th Prime Minister, John McEwen. The McEwen Ministry succeeded the Second Holt Ministry, which dissolved on 19 December 1967 following the disappearance of former Prime Minister Harold Holt. Since McEwen was the head of the Country Party, it was a caretaker ministry until the senior partner in the Coalition, the Liberal Party, could elect a new leader. John Gorton was ultimately elected on 9 January 1968, and he was sworn in as Prime Minister along with his ministry the following day.

National Party of Australia

The National Party of Australia (also known as The Nationals or simply, The Nats) is an Australian political party. Traditionally representing graziers, farmers, and rural voters generally, it began as the Australian Country Party in 1920 at a federal level. It would later briefly adopt the name National Country Party in 1975, before adopting its current name in 1982.

Federally, and in New South Wales, and to an extent in Victoria and historically in Western Australia, it has, in government, been the minor party in a centre-right Coalition with the Liberal Party of Australia, and its leader has usually served as Deputy Prime Minister. In Opposition the Coalition was usually maintained, but otherwise still generally continued to work in co-operation with the Liberal Party of Australia (and their predecessors the Nationalist Party of Australia and United Australia Party). In Queensland however, they were the senior coalition party between 1925 and 2008, after which they merged with the junior Liberal Party of Australia to form the Liberal National Party (LNP).

The current leader of the National Party is Michael McCormack, who won a leadership spill following Barnaby Joyce's resignation in February 2018. The deputy leader of the Nationals, since 7 December 2017, is Bridget McKenzie.

Page Ministry

The Page Ministry was the twenty-fifth Australian Commonwealth ministry, and ran from 7 April 1939 to 26 April 1939.United Australia Party–Australian Country Party Coalition

Rt Hon Sir Earle Page, GCMG MP: Prime Minister, Minister for Commerce (CP)

Rt Hon Billy Hughes, KC MP: Minister for External Affairs, Attorney-General, Minister for Industry (UAP)

Hon Richard Casey, MP: Treasurer (UAP)

Hon Harold Thorby, MP: Minister for Works, Minister for Civil Aviation (CP)

Hon John Perkins, MP: Minister for Trade and Customs (UAP)

Hon Geoffrey Street, MP: Minister for Defence (UAP)

Hon John McEwen, MP: Minister for the Interior (CP)

Senator Hon George McLeay: Vice-President of the Executive Council (UAP)

Senator Hon Hattil Foll: Minister for Health, Minister for Repatriation (UAP)

Hon Archie Cameron, MP: Postmaster-General (CP)

Senator Hon Allan MacDonald: Minister without portfolio (UAP)

Hon Victor Thompson, MP: Minister without portfolio (CP)

Hon Eric Harrison, MP: Minister without portfolio, administering external territories (UAP)

Sir John McEwen, 1st Baronet

Sir John Helias Finnie McEwen, 1st Baronet or Jock McEwen (21 June 1894 – 19 April 1962), was a Scottish Unionist politician who served in the House of Commons as Conservative Member of Parliament for Berwick and Haddington from 1931 until 1945.

Sixth Menzies Ministry

The Sixth Menzies Ministry was the thirty-seventh Australian Commonwealth ministry, and ran from 9 July 1954 to 11 January 1956.Liberal Party of Australia–Australian Country Party Coalition

Rt Hon Robert Menzies, CH QC MP: Prime Minister

Rt Hon Arthur Fadden, MP: Treasurer (CP)

Hon Eric Harrison, MP: Minister for Defence Production, Vice-President of the Executive Council. Minister for the Army, Minister for the Navy (from 7 November 1955)

Hon Harold Holt, MP: Minister for Labour and National Service, Minister for Immigration

Hon John McEwen, MP: Minister for Commerce and Agriculture (CP)

Rt Hon Richard Casey, CH DSO MC MP: Minister for External Affairs, Minister in charge of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation

Hon Philip McBride, MP: Minister for Defence

Senator Hon John Spicer, QC: Attorney-General. Minister for Shipping and Transport (14 September 1955 to 27 September 1955).

Senator Hon Neil O'Sullivan: Minister for Trade and Customs

Hon Howard Beale, MP: Minister for Supply

Senator Hon George McLeay: Minister for Shipping and Transport (to 14 September 1955)

Hon Larry Anthony, MP: Postmaster-General (CP)

Rt Hon Sir Earle Page, GCMG CH MP: Minister for Health (CP)

Hon Josiah Francis, MP: Minister for the Army, Minister for the Navy (to 7 November 1955)

Senator Hon Bill Spooner: Minister for National Development

Senator Hon Walter Cooper: Minister for Repatriation (CP)

Hon Paul Hasluck, MP: Minister for Territories

Hon Wilfrid Kent Hughes: Minister for the Interior, Minister for Works

Hon William McMahon, MP: Minister for Social Services

Hon Athol Townley, MP: Minister for Air, Minister for Civil Aviation

Senator Hon Shane Paltridge: Minister for Shipping and Transport (from 27 September 1955)

Party leadership positions
Leader of the Country Party
Elections: 1958, 1961, 1963, 1966, 1969
In office
26 March 1958 – 5 February 1971
DeputyCharles Davidson
Charles Adermann
Doug Anthony
Preceded byArthur Fadden
Succeeded byDoug Anthony
Deputy Leader of the Country Party
In office
12 March 1941 – 26 March 1958
LeaderArthur Fadden
Preceded byArthur Fadden
Succeeded byCharles Davidson
Other ministerial positions
Minister for the Interior
In office
29 November 1937 – 26 April 1939
Prime MinisterJoseph Lyons
Earle Page
Preceded byThomas Paterson
Succeeded byHarry Foll
Minister for External Affairs
In office
14 March – 28 October 1940
Prime MinisterRobert Menzies
Preceded byHenry Gullett
Succeeded byFrederick Stewart
Minister for Air and Civil Aviation
In office
28 October 1940 – 7 October 1941
Prime MinisterRobert Menzies
Arthur Fadden
Preceded byArthur Fadden
Succeeded byArthur Drakeford
Minister for Commerce and Agriculture
In office
19 December 1949 – 11 January 1956
Prime MinisterRobert Menzies
Preceded byReg Pollard
Succeeded byWilliam McMahon
Minister for Trade and Industry
In office
11 January 1956 – 5 February 1971
Prime MinisterRobert Menzies
Harold Holt
Himself
John Gorton
Preceded byNeil O'Sullivan
Succeeded byDoug Anthony
Constituencies
Member of the House of Representatives
In office
15 September 1934 – 23 October 1937
Preceded byWilliam Hill
Succeeded byConstituency abolished
ConstituencyEchuca
In office
23 October 1937 – 10 December 1949
Preceded byWilliam Hutchinson
Succeeded byWilliam Bostock
ConstituencyIndi
In office
10 December 1949 – 1 February 1971
Preceded byConstituency created
Succeeded byBruce Lloyd
ConstituencyMurray
Leaders of the National Party of Australia (and predecessors)
Leaders
Deputy leaders
Ministries
State & Territory Divisions
Organisations
History

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