Sir Robert Gordon Menzies, KT AK CH FAA FRS QC, (20 December 1894 – 15 May 1978) was an Australian politician and the 12th Prime Minister of Australia. Serving a collective total of over 18 years, he is Australia’s longest-serving Prime Minister.
Robert Gordon Menzies was born to James Menzies and Kate née Sampson) in Jeparit, a town in the Wimmera region of northwestern Victoria, on 20 December 1894. His father James was a storekeeper, the son of Scottish crofters who had immigrated to Australia in the mid-1850s in the wake of the Victorian gold rush. His maternal grandfather, John Sampson, was a Cornish miner from Penzance who also came to seek his fortune on the goldfields, in Ballarat. Menzies was proud of his mother’s origin. Cornish author A.L. Rowse wrote, ‘When Menzies visited us [at All Souls College, Oxford] he told me that he was a Cornish Sampson on his mother’s side.’ His father and one of his uncles had been members of the Victorian Parliament, while another uncle had represented Wimmera in the House of Representatives. He was proud of his Highland ancestry – his enduring nickname, Ming, came from //, the Scots – and his own preferred – pronunciation of Menzies. His middle name, Gordon, was given to him in honour and memory of Charles George Gordon, a British army officer killed in Khartoum in 1885.
When World War I began, Menzies was 19 years old and held a commission in the university’s militia unit. He resigned his commission at the very time others of his age and class clamoured to be allowed to enlist. It was later stated that, since the family had made enough of a sacrifice to the war with the enlistment of two of three eligible brothers, Menzies should stay to finish his studies. Menzies himself never explained the reason why he chose not to enlist. Subsequently he was prominent in undergraduate activities and won academic prizes and declared himself to be a patriotic supporter of the war and conscription. Menzies was admitted to the Victorian Bar and to the High Court of Australia in 1918 and soon became one of Melbourne’s leading lawyers after establishing his own practice. In 1920 he married Pattie Leckie, the daughter of federal Nationalist, and later Liberal, MP, John Leckie.
Menzies’ first term as Prime Minister commenced in 1939, after the death in office of the United Australia Party leader Joseph Lyons and a short-term interim premiership by Sir Earle Page. His party narrowly won the 1940 election, which produced a hung parliament, with the support of independent MPs in the House. A year later, his government was brought down by those same MPs crossing the floor. He spent eight years in opposition, during which he founded the Liberal Party of Australia. He again became Prime Minister at the 1949 election, and he then dominated Australian politics until his retirement in 1966.
Menzies was renowned as a brilliant speaker, both on the floor of Parliament and on the hustings; his speech “The Forgotten People” is an example of his oratory skills using radio to build his political base. Throughout his life and career, Menzies held strong beliefs in the Monarchy and in traditional ties with Britain. In 1963 Menzies was invested as the only Australian Knight of the Order of the Thistle. Menzies is regarded highly in Prime Ministerial opinion polls and is very highly regarded in Australian society for his tenures as Prime Minister.
Rise to power
In 1928, Menzies gave up his law practice to enter state parliament as a member of the Victorian Legislative Council from East Yarra Province, representing the Nationalist Party of Australia. His candidacy was nearly defeated when a group of ex-servicemen attacked him in the press for not having enlisted, but he survived this crisis. The following year he shifted to the Legislative Assembly as the member for Nunawading. Before the election, he founded the Young Nationalists as his party’s youth wing and served as its first president. He was Deputy Premier of Victoria from May 1932 until July 1934.
Menzies transferred to federal politics in 1934, representing the United Australia Party (UAP—the Nationalists had merged with other non-Labor groups to form the UAP during his tenure as a state parliamentarian) in the upper-class Melbourne electorate of Kooyong. He was immediately appointed Attorney-General and Minister for Industry in the Lyons government. In 1937 he was appointed a Privy Councillor.
In late 1934 and early 1935 Menzies, then Attorney-General, unsuccessfully prosecuted the Joseph Lyons government’s case for the attempted exclusion from Australia of Egon Kisch, a Czech Jewish communist. While some saw this as an early example of his anti-Communism, others suspected and charged Menzies with holding Nazi sympathies. Following the outbreak of World War II Menzies attempted to distance himself from his actions as Attorney-General in this affair by claiming Interior Minister Thomas Paterson was responsible since he made the initial order to exclude Kisch.
In August 1938, as Attorney-General of Australia in the pro-Appeasement Lyons government, Menzies visited Germany, letting it be known that he was “prepared to give Hitler the benefit of the doubt, and draw my conclusions about Germany myself.”
Menzies spent several weeks in Nazi Germany and was extremely impressed with the achievements of the “New Germany” (such as the abolition of trades unions, suppression of the right to collective bargaining and outlawing of the right to strike); he was also “deeply impressed” by the “spirituality” of the German people, their unselfish attitude, their less materialist outlook on life, and their preparation to make sacrifices on behalf of the Nation. On returning to Australia the following month Menzies unashamedly expressed favourable views of Nazism and the Nazi dictatorship, based as he said on his own first hand experience. In October 1938, after five years of escalating violence against the Jews and others, and scarcely one month before the infamous Nazi atrocity known as Kristallnacht, he made a speech in Sydney where he drew a contrast between the quality of the leadership of Lyons (then Australian PM) and Hitler (then German Chancellor); Menzies’ critique strongly favoured Hitler.
Animosity developed between Sir Earle Page and Menzies which was aggravated when Page became Acting Prime Minister during Lyons’ illness after October 1938. Menzies and Page attacked each other publicly. He later became deputy leader of the UAP. His supporters said he was Lyons’s natural successor; his critics accused Menzies of wanting to push Lyons out, a charge he denied. In 1938 his enemies ridiculed him as “Pig Iron Bob”, the result of his industrial battle with waterside workers who refused to load scrap iron being sold to Imperial Japan. In 1939, however, he resigned from the Cabinet in protest at postponement of the national insurance scheme. With Lyons’ sudden death on 7 April 1939, Page became interim Prime Minister until the UAP could elect a leader.
First term as Prime Minister
On 18 April, Menzies was elected Leader of the UAP and was sworn in as Prime Minister eight days later. A crisis arose almost immediately, however, when Page refused to serve under him. In an extraordinary personal attack in the House, Page accused Menzies of cowardice for not having enlisted in the War, and of treachery to Lyons. Menzies then formed a minority government. When Page was deposed as Country Party leader a few months later, Menzies reformed the Coalition with Page’s successor, Archie Cameron.
On 3 September 1939 Britain and France declared war on Germany due to its invasion of Poland on 1 September, leading to the start of World War II. Menzies responded immediately by also declaring Australia to be at war in support of Britain, and delivered a radio broadcast to the nation on that same day, which began:
|“||Fellow Australians. It is my melancholy duty to inform you officially that in consequence of a persistence by Germany in her invasion of Poland, Great Britain has declared war upon her and that, as a result, Australia is also at war.||”|
Thus Menzies found himself a wartime leader of a small nation of 7 million people that depended on Britain for defence against the looming threat of the Japanese Empire, with 100 million people, a very powerful military, and an aggressive foreign policy that looked south. He did his best to rally the country, but the bitter memories of the disillusionment which followed the World War I made his task difficult, this being compounded by Menzies’ lack of a service record. Even more damning was that as Attorney-General and Deputy Prime Minister, Menzies had made an official visit to Germany in 1938, when the official policy of the Australian government, supported by the Opposition, echoed its London masters in supporting Neville Chamberlain‘s policy of Appeasement.
Menzies led the Coalition into the 1940 election and lost the large majority he had inherited from Lyons. The result was a hung parliament, with the Coalition two seats short of a majority. Menzies was able to form a minority government with the support of two independent MPs, Arthur Coles and Alex Wilson. Labor led by John Curtin refused Menzies’ offer to form a war coalition, and also opposed using the Australian army for a European war, preferring to keep it at home to defend Australia. Labor did however agree to participate in the Advisory War Council. Menzies sent the bulk of the army to help the British in the Middle East and Singapore, and told Winston Churchill the Royal Navy should strengthen its Far Eastern forces.
From 24 January 1941 Menzies spent four months in Britain discussing war strategy with Churchill and other Empire leaders, while his position at home deteriorated. The Australian historian Professor David Day has suggested that Menzies might have replaced Churchill as British Prime Minister, and that he had some support in Britain for this. This support came from the British press in the form of Viscount Astor, Lord Beaverbrook and former WWI Prime Minister David Lloyd George, who were trenchant critics of the autocratic style of Winston Churchill and favoured replacing Winston with Menzies. He also had some public support for his staying on in the War Cabinet for the duration, which was strongly backed by Sir Maurice Hankey, former WWI Colonel and member of both the WWI and WWII War Cabinets. One Australian writer, Gerard Henderson, has rejected this theory, yet others such as Australian history professors Judith Brett and Joan Beaumont support David Day, as indeed does Menzies’ daughter Heather Henderson. She even goes on to state that Lady Nancy Astor ‘even offered all her sapphires if he would stay on in England’. When Menzies came home, he found he had lost all support, and was forced to resign on 27 August. The UAP was so bereft of leadership that it was forced to then turn to former Prime Minister Billy Hughes as its new leader. However, the nearly 78-year-old Hughes was viewed as a stopgap leader, and a joint UAP-Country Party conference chose Country Party leader Arthur Fadden as Coalition leader—and hence Prime Minister—even though the Country Party was nominally the junior partner in the Coalition. Menzies was very bitter about what he saw as this betrayal by his colleagues, and almost left politics. He was, however, persuaded to become Minister for Defence Co-ordination in Fadden’s cabinet.
Formation of Liberal Party and return to power
Menzies built up a large popular base of support by his frequent appeals, often by radio, to ordinary non-elite working citizens whom he called The Forgotten People–especially those who were not suburban and rich or members of organised labour. He made clear his intended base in a speech on 22 May 1942 that was widely distributed:
- “I do not believe that the real life of this nation is to be found either in great luxury hotels and the petty gossip of so-called fashionable suburbs, or in the officialdom of the organised masses. It is to be found in the homes of people who are nameless and unadvertised, and who, whatever their individual religious conviction or dogma, see in their children their greatest contribution to the immortality of their race. The home is the foundation of sanity and sobriety; it is the indispensable condition of continuity; its health determines the health of society as a whole.”
Fadden’s government was defeated in Parliament later in 1941 after the two independent MPs crossed the floor, allowing Curtin to form a Labor minority government. Fadden was named as Leader of the Opposition, and Menzies moved to the backbench.
Labor won the 1943 election with 49 of 74 seats and 58.2 percent of the two-party-preferred vote as well as a Senate majority. Hughes resigned as UAP leader, and Menzies returned to the leadership. Fadden yielded the post of Opposition Leader back to Menzies as well. Menzies held a series of meetings during 1944 to discuss forming a new anti-Labor party to replace the moribund UAP. This was the Liberal Party of Australia, which was launched in early 1945 with Menzies as leader. Curtin died in office in 1945 and was succeeded by Ben Chifley. Labor won the 1946 election with 43 of 74 seats and 54.1 percent of the two-party vote, and retained their Senate majority.
Comments that “we can’t win with Menzies” began to circulate in the conservative press. Over the next few years, however, the anti-communist atmosphere of the early Cold War began to erode Labor’s support. In 1947, Chifley announced that he intended to nationalise Australia’s private banks, arousing intense middle-class opposition which Menzies successfully exploited. The 1949 coal strike, engineered by the Communist Party, also played into Menzies’ hands. With the lower house enlarged from 74 to 121 seats, the Menzies Liberal/Country Coalition won the 1949 election with 74 of 121 seats and 51.0 percent of the two-party vote but remained in minority in the Senate.
Second term as Prime Minister
With a Senate minority for the new Menzies government, Menzies introduced legislation in 1951 to ban the Communist Party, hoping that the Senate would reject it and give him a trigger for a double dissolution election, but Labor let the bill pass. It was subsequently ruled unconstitutional by the High Court. But when the Senate rejected his banking bill, he called a double dissolution election. The Menzies government won 69 of 121 seats and 50.7 percent of the two-party vote at the 1951 election and gained control of the Senate. Later in 1951 Menzies decided to hold a referendum on the question of changing the Constitution to permit the parliament to make laws in respect of Communists and Communism where he said this was necessary for the security of the Commonwealth. If passed, this would have given a government the power to introduce a bill proposing to ban the Communist Party. Chifley died a few months after the 1951 election. The new Labor leader, Dr H. V. Evatt, campaigned against the referendum on civil liberties grounds, and it was narrowly defeated. Menzies sent Australian troops to the Korean War.
Economic conditions deteriorated however, and Labor was confident of winning the 1954 election. Shortly before the election, Menzies announced that a Soviet diplomat in Australia Vladimir Petrov, had defected, and that there was evidence of a Soviet spy ring in Australia, including members of Evatt’s staff. Evatt felt compelled to state on the floor of Parliament that he’d personally written to Soviet Foreign Minister Vyacheslav Molotov, who assured him there were no Soviet spy rings in Australia, bringing the House into silence momentarily before both sides of Parliament laughed at Evatt’s naivety.
This Cold War scare was claimed by some to enable the Menzies government to win the election. The Menzies government won 64 of 121 seats and 49.3 percent of the two-party vote. Evatt accused Menzies of arranging Petrov’s defection. The aftermath of the 1954 election caused a split in the Labor Party, with several anti-Communist members from Victoria defecting to form the Australian Labor Party (Anti-Communist). The new party directed its preferences to the Liberals, with the Menzies government re-elected with an increased majority at the 1955 election. Menzies was reelected almost as easily at the 1958 election, again with the help of preferences from what had become the Democratic Labor Party. By this time the post-war economic recovery was in full swing, fuelled by massive immigration and the growth in housing and manufacturing that this produced. Prices for Australia’s agricultural exports were also high, ensuring rising incomes.
Following the Egyptian dictator Colonel Nasser’s nationialisation of the Suez Canal Company on 26 July 1956, Menzies led a delegation to Egypt to try to force Nasser to compromise with the West. Although, at the time it was seen as confirming Menzies’ status as a world statesman, it was of vital importance to Australia’s shipping trade with Britain. Menzies publicly supported the Anglo-French invasion of Egypt during the Suez Crisis.
Labor’s new leader, Arthur Calwell, gave Menzies a scare after an ill-judged squeeze on credit – an effort to restrain inflation – caused a rise in unemployment. At the 1961 election the Menzies government narrowly retained government with 62 of 122 seats and a two-party vote of 49.5 percent. The Menzies government was able to exploit Labor’s divisions over the Cold War and the American alliance, winning an increased majority at what would be Menzies’ last election, the 1963 election. An incident in which Calwell was photographed standing outside a South Canberra hotel while the ALP Federal Executive (dubbed by Menzies the “36 faceless men”) was determining policy also contributed to the 1963 victory. This was the first “television election” and Menzies, although nearly 70, proved a master of the new medium. Menzies’ policy speech was televised on 12 November 1963, a method that “had never before been used in Australia”. The effect of this form of political communication was studied by Colin Hughes and John Western, who published their findings in 1966. This was itself the first such detailed study in Australia.
In 1963, Menzies was appointed a Knight of the Order of the Thistle (KT), the order being chosen in recognition of his Scottish heritage. He is the only Australian ever appointed to this order, although three British governors-general of Australia (Lord Hopetoun; Sir Ronald Munro Ferguson, later Lord Novar; and Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester) were members. He was the second of only two Australian prime ministers to be knighted during their term of office (the first prime minister Edmund Barton was knighted during his term in 1902).
In 1965, Menzies committed Australian troops to the Vietnam War, and also to reintroduce conscription. These moves were initially popular, but later became a problem for his successors. Despite his pragmatic acceptance of the new power balance in the Pacific after World War II and his strong support for the American alliance, he publicly professed continued admiration for links with Britain, exemplified by his admiration for Queen Elizabeth II, and famously described himself as “British to the bootstraps”. Over the decade, Australia’s ardour for Britain and the monarchy faded somewhat, but Menzies’ had not. At a function attended by the Queen at Parliament House, Canberra, in 1963, Menzies quoted the Elizabethan poet Thomas Ford, “I did but see her passing by, and yet I love her till I die”.
Retirement and legacy
Menzies resigned as Prime Minister on Australia Day 1966, and resigned from Parliament on 16 February, ending 32 years in Parliament—most of them spent on the front bench—and 38 years as an elected official. To date, Menzies is the last Australian Prime Minister to leave office on his own terms. He was succeeded as Liberal Party leader and Prime Minister by his former Treasurer, Harold Holt. He left office at the age of 71 years, 1 month and 26 days, making him the oldest person ever to be Prime Minister. Although the coalition remained in power for almost another seven years (until the 1972 Federal election), it did so under four different Prime Ministers.
On his retirement he became the thirteenth Chancellor of the University of Melbourne and remained the head of the university from March 1967 until March 1972. Much earlier, in 1942, he had received the first honorary degree of Doctor of Laws of Melbourne University. His responsibility for the revival and growth of university life in Australia was widely acknowledged by the award of honorary degrees in the Universities of Queensland, Adelaide, Tasmania, New South Wales, and the Australian National University and by thirteen universities in Canada, the United States and Britain, including Oxford and Cambridge. Many learned institutions, including the Royal College of Surgeons (Hon. FRCS) and the Royal Australasian College of Physicians (Hon. FRACP), elected him to Honorary Fellowships, and the Australian Academy of Science, for which he supported its establishment in 1954, made him a fellow (FAAS) in 1958.
In July 1966 the Queen appointed Menzies to the ancient office of Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports and Constable of Dover Castle, taking official residence at Walmer Castle during his annual visits to Britain. He toured the United States giving lectures, and he published two volumes of memoirs. At the end of 1966 Menzies took up a scholar-in-residence position at the University of Virginia. Menzies encountered some public tribulation in retirement; however, when he suffered strokes in 1968 and 1971, he faded from public view.
Menzies was Prime Minister for a total of 18 years, five months and 12 days, by far the longest-serving Australian Prime Minister. His second term of 16 years, one month and seven days is far and away the longest unbroken tenure in that office. During his second term he dominated Australian politics as no one else has ever done. He managed to live down the failures of his first term in office and to rebuild the conservative side of politics from the nadir it hit in 1943. Menzies also did much to develop higher education in Australia and made the increasing development of Canberra one of his big projects.
He was the only Australian Prime Minister to recommend the appointment of four governors-general (Sir William Slim, and Lords Dunrossil, De L’Isle, and Casey). Only two other Prime Ministers have ever chosen more than one governor-general. (Malcolm Fraser chose Sir Zelman Cowen and Sir Ninian Stephen; and John Howard chose Peter Hollingworth and Michael Jeffery.)
The Menzies era saw Australia become an increasingly affluent society, with average weekly earnings in 1965 50% higher in real terms than in 1945. The increased prosperity enjoyed by most Australians during this period was accompanied by a general increase in leisure time, with the five-day workweek becoming the norm by the mid-Sixties, together with three weeks of paid annual leave.
Critics say that Menzies’ success was mainly due to the good luck of the long post-war boom and his manipulation of the anti-communist fears of the Cold War years, both of which he exploited with great skill. He was also crucially aided by the crippling dissent within the Labor Party in the 1950s and especially by the ALP split of 1954.
Several books have been filled with anecdotes about him and with his many witty remarks. While he was speaking in Williamstown, Victoria, in 1954, a heckler shouted, “I wouldn’t vote for you if you were the Archangel Gabriel” – to which Menzies coolly replied “If I were the Archangel Gabriel, I’m afraid you wouldn’t be in my constituency.”
Planning for an official biography of Menzies began soon after his death, but it was long delayed by Dame Pattie Menzies’ protection of her husband’s reputation and her refusal to co-operate with the appointed biographer, Frances McNicoll. In 1991, the Menzies family appointed Professor A.W. Martin to write a biography, which appeared in two volumes, in 1993 and 1999.
The National Museum of Australia in Canberra holds a significant collection of memorabilia relating to Robert Menzies, including a range of medals and civil awards received by Sir Robert such as his Jubilee and Coronation medals, Order of Australia, Companion of Honour and US Legion of Merit. There are also a number of special presentation items including a walking stick, cigar boxes, silver gravy boats from the Kooyong electorate and a silver inkstand presented by Queen Elizabeth II.
Titles and honours
The Menzies Spire at
. In part the inscription reads: “The spire symbolises the rise to world recognition of a boy who was born in Jeparit and who rose by his own efforts to become Australia’s Prime Minister and a statesman recognised and honoured throughout the world.”
- In 1950 Menzies was awarded the Legion of Merit (Chief Commander) by U.S. President Harry S. Truman for “exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding services 1941–1944 and December 1949 – July 1950”.
- On 29 August 1952, the University of Sydney conferred the degree of Doctor of Laws (honoris causa) on Menzies. Similarly, He was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Laws by the Universities of Bristol, Belfast, Melbourne, British Columbia, McGill, Montreal, Malta, Laval, Quebec, Tasmania, Cambridge, Harvard, Leeds, Adelaide, Queensland, Edinburgh, Birmingham, Drury and California. On 29 April 1964 Menzies was presented with the honorary degree of a Doctor of Letters (DLitt) by the University of Western Australia. Menzies was also awarded with an Honorary Doctor of Science by the University of New South Wales.
- In 1973 Menzies was awarded Japan’s Order of the Rising Sun, Grand Cordon, First Class (other Australian Prime Ministers to be awarded this honour were Edmund Barton, John McEwen, Malcolm Fraser and Gough Whitlam).
- On 7 June 1976, he was appointed a Knight of the Order of Australia (AK). The category of Knight of the order had been created only on 24 May, and the Chancellor and Principal Knight of the Order, the Governor-General Sir John Kerr, became the first appointee, ex officio. Menzies’ was the first appointment made after this.
- In 1984, the Australian Electoral Commission proclaimed at a redistribution on 14 September 1984, the Division of Menzies for representation in the Australian House of Representatives in honour of the former Prime Minister. The division neighbours Menzies’ old division of Kooyong in metropolitan Melbourne, Victoria.
- In 1994, the year of the centenary of Menzies’ birth, the Menzies Research Centre was created as an independent public policy think tank associated with the Liberal Party. Its first Director was Michael L’Estrange, who was later Cabinet Secretary, High Commissioner to London, and head of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
Styles from birth
Styles and titles Menzies held from birth until death, in chronological order:
- Mr Robert Menzies (20 December 1894 – 1928)
- The Hon. Robert Menzies, MLC (1928–1929)
- The Hon. Robert Menzies, MLA (1929–1929)
- The Hon. Robert Menzies, KC, MLA (1929–1934)
- The Hon. Robert Menzies, KC, MP (1934–1937)
- The Rt Hon. Robert Menzies, KC, MP (1937–1951)
- The Rt Hon. Robert Menzies, CH, KC, MP (1951–1952)
- The Rt Hon. Robert Menzies, CH, QC, MP (1952–1958)
- The Rt Hon. Robert Menzies, CH, FAA, QC, MP (1958–1963)
- The Rt Hon. Sir Robert Menzies, KT, CH, FAA, QC, MP (1963–1965)
- The Rt Hon. Sir Robert Menzies, KT, CH, FAA, FRS, QC, MP (1965–1966)
- The Rt Hon. Sir Robert Menzies, KT, CH, FAA, FRS, QC (1966–1976)
- The Rt Hon. Sir Robert Menzies, KT, AK, CH, FAA, FRS, QC (1976 – 15 May 1978)
- First Menzies Ministry
- Second Menzies Ministry
- Third Menzies Ministry
- Fourth Menzies Ministry
- Fifth Menzies Ministry
- Sixth Menzies Ministry
- Seventh Menzies Ministry
- Eighth Menzies Ministry
- Ninth Menzies Ministry
- Tenth Menzies Ministry
Actors who have played Menzies
- In the 1984 mini series The Last Bastion, Menzies was portrayed by John Wood.
- In the 1987 mini series Vietnam, he was portrayed by Noel Ferrier.
- In the 1988 mini series True Believers, he was portrayed by John Bonney.
- In the 1996 Egyptian film Nasser 56, he was portrayed by Egyptian actor Hassan Kami.
- In the 2007 film Curtin, he was portrayed by Bille Brown.
- In the 2008 television documentary Menzies and Churchill at War, he was portrayed by Matthew King.
- Max Gillies has caricatured Menzies on stage and in the comedy satire series The Gillies Report.
Eponyms of Menzies
- Sir Robert Menzies Memorial Foundation
- Menzies School of Health Research Australia
- R. G. Menzies Building, Australian National University Library
- Menzies Research Centre
- Menzies College (La Trobe University)
- Robert Menzies College (Macquarie University)
- Sir Robert Menzies Building (Monash University, Clayton Campus)
- The Australian federal electoral division of Menzies.
- Menzies Wing (Wesley College, Melbourne)
- Brett, Judith (1992) Robert Menzies’ Forgotten People, Macmillan, (a sharply critical psychological study)
- Cook, Ian (1999), Liberalism in Australia, Oxford University Press, South Melbourne, Victoria, Ch. 7 ‘Robert Menzies’. ISBN 0-19-553702-5
- Hazlehurst, Cameron (1979), Menzies Observed, George Allen and Unwin, Sydney, New South Wales. ISBN 0-86861-320-7
- Hughes, Colin A (1976), Mr Prime Minister. Australian Prime Ministers 1901–1972, Oxford University Press, Melbourne, Victoria, Chs. 13 and 18. ISBN 0-19-550471-2
- Martin, A.W. (1993 and 1999) Robert Menzies: A Life, two volumes, Melbourne University Press online edition from ACLS E-Books
- Martin, Allan (2000), ‘Sir Robert Gordon Menzies,’ in Grattan, Michelle, “Australian Prime Ministers”, New Holland Publishers, pages 174–205. (very good summary of his life and career) ISBN 1-86436-756-3
- Martin, A.W. (2000), “Menzies, Sir Robert Gordon (Bob) (1894 – 1978)”, Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 15, Melbourne University Press, (Melbourne), pp 354–361.
- Starr, Graeme (1980), The Liberal Party of Australia. A Documentary History, Drummond/Heinemann, Richmond, Victoria. ISBN 0-85859-223-1
Notes and references
- ^ White, F. (1979). “Robert Gordon Menzies. 20 December 1894-15 May 1978″. Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society 25: 445–426. doi:10.1098/rsbm.1979.0016.
- ^ Australian Academy of Science: Biographical Memoirs of Deceased Fellows: Robert Gordon Menzies 1894–1978
- ^ Rowse, Alfred Leslie. All Souls in my time, 1993
- ^ a b Australia’s Prime Ministers website: Robert Menzies
- ^ Manning Clark, Manning Clark’s History of Australia, Pimlico, 1995, p.468, ISBN 0-7126-6205-7. Gordon’s death had stirred a lasting movement of imperialist patriotism in Australia.
- ^ “Australia’s Prime Ministers”. Primeministers.naa.gov.au. Retrieved 2011-11-04.
- ^ “Interview with David Bird, author of Nazi Dreamtime“. Retrieved 2012-11-13. In this ABC Radio National interview, author David Bird claims that the information concerning Menzies’ pro=Nazi sympathies is not new (further information can be found Bird’s book Nazi Dreamtime (2012)).
- ^ Keegan, John (1997). The Second World War. London: Pimlico. p. 35. ISBN 0-7126-7348-2.
- ^ “MVM 1939 – Declaration of War”. Menziesvirtualmuseum.org.au. 3 September 1939. Retrieved 2011-11-04.
- ^ “Menzies Speech: Declaration of War (1939)”. australianscreen. National Film and Sound Archive. Retrieved 19 April 2013.
- ^ Paul Hasluck, The Government and the People: 1939–1941 (1951)
- ^ a b Australian Broadcasting Corporation documentary “Menzies and Churchill at War” (2008) Film Australia.
- ^ “After office – William Morris Hughes – Australia’s PMs – Australia’s Prime Ministers”. Primeministers.naa.gov.au. Retrieved 17 October 2012.
- ^ “Before office – Arthur Fadden – Australia’s PMs – Australia’s Prime Ministers”. Primeministers.naa.gov.au. Retrieved 17 October 2012.
- ^ Scott Brodie (1984). Australia’s Prime Ministers. NSW, Australia: PR Books. ISBN 0 86777 006 6.
- ^ “Ministries and Cabinets”. parliamentary Handbook. Parliament of Australia. Retrieved 17 September 2010.
- ^ Judith Brett, Robert Menzies’ Forgotten People (2007)
- ^ “The Forgotten People – Speech by Robert Menzies on 22 May 1942. Liberals.Net: Liberal Party of Australia”. Liberals.net. 22 May 1942. Retrieved 2011-11-04.
- ^ “In office – Robert Menzies – Australia’s PMs – Australia’s Prime Ministers”. Primeministers.naa.gov.au. Retrieved 17 October 2012.
- ^ a b Hughes, Colin A; Western, John S (1966), The Prime Minister’s Policy Speech: A Case Study in Televised Politics, Canberra: Australian National University Press, p. bookcover & p.1
- ^ The London Gazette: no. 42964. p. 3155. 9 April 1963. Retrieved 30 October 2008.
- ^ “We did but see her”. Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax Media. 7 February 2004. Retrieved 19 April 2013.
- ^ “Prince here tomorrow – Rush trip to Menzies funeral”. The Age (Melbourne). 17 May 1978. p. 1. Retrieved 12 August 2010.
- ^ A concise history of Australia by Stuart Macintyre
- ^ “Inkstand presented to Sir Robert Menzies in Commemoration of the Commonwealth Royal Tour 1954, National Museum of Australia”. Nma.gov.au. Retrieved 2011-11-04.
- ^ “Its an Honour: CH”. Australian Government. Retrieved 15 October 2009.
- ^ “The Right Honourable Robert Gordon Menzies”. University of Sydney. Retrieved 15 October 2009.
- ^ a b “University Secretary’s Department – Former Office-Bearers”. University of Melbourne. Retrieved 15 October 2009.
- ^ “Speech by Sir Robert Menzies in Winthrop Hall, University of Western Australia”. University of Western Australia. Retrieved 15 October 2009.
- ^ Honour awarded 1973 – National Archives of Australia
- ^ www.mrcltd.org.au/
- ^ /Origin_Current_Division.htm Origins of Current Divisions Name – Current Divisions, Australian Electoral Commission web site
- ^ “Menzies, Sir Robert Gordon (Bob) (1894–1978) Biographical Entry – Australian Dictionary of Biography Online”. Adb.online.anu.edu.au. Retrieved 16 April 2010.
- Papers of Robert Menzies, 1905-1978, National Library of Australia, approximately 82.30 m. (588 boxes) + 99 fol. boxes.
- “Robert Menzies”. Australia’s Prime Ministers. National Archives of Australia. Retrieved 29 June 2010.
- Martin, A. W. (2000). “Menzies, Sir Robert Gordon (Bob) (1894–1978)”. Australian Dictionary of Biography. Canberra: Australian National University. Retrieved 29 June 2010.
- “Robert Menzies”. National Museum of Australia. Retrieved 29 June 2010.
- The Menzies Foundation
- The Menzies Virtual Museum
- The Menzies Centre for Australian Studies, London
- The Liberal Party’s Robert Menzies website
- Listen to Menzies’ declaration of war on australianscreen online
- Menzies’ declaration of war was added to the National Film and Sound Archive‘s Sounds of Australia Registry in 2010
- Sir Robert Menzies at the National Film and Sound Archive
|Short description||Australian politician|
|Date of birth||20 December 1894|
|Place of birth||Jeparit, Victoria|
|Date of death||15 May 1978|
|Place of death||Melbourne, Australia|