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Archives for 1949

1949 Federal Election: Robert Menzies Liberal Party Policy Speech

This is the Liberal Party policy speech by Robert Menzies for the 1949 Federal Election.

It was delivered on November 10, 1949.

Menzies defeated the ALP under Ben Chifley and ended eight years of Labor government that had begun in 1941 when Menzies was forced to resign as prime minister and the Fadden government was defeated in the House of Representatives.

Menzies formed the Liberal Party from the remnants of the United Australia Party and a disparate group of community organisations. He was defeated in the 1946 Federal Election.

The election was held on December 10, 1949. It was a pivotal year that is now seen as a demarcation line between pre- and post-war politics. The House of Representatives was increased in size from 75 members to 121. The Liberal-Country Party coalition won 74 seats to the ALP’s 47. The coalition won 51% of the two-party-preferred vote.


“The Light On The Hill” – Speech by Ben Chifley

Prime Minister Ben Chifley delivered this speech to an ALP Conference in 1949.

The “light on the hill” phrase has resonated down the years as epitomising the Labor philosophy.

Text of Prime Minister Ben Chifley’s 1949 speech to the NSW ALP Conference.

Joseph Benedict Chifley, Prime Minister of Australia 1945-49I have had the privilege of leading the Labour Party for nearly four years. They have not been easy times and it has not been an easy job. It is a man-killing job and would be impossible if it were not for the help of my colleagues and members of the movement.

No Labour Minister or leader ever has an easy job. The urgency that rests behind the Labour movement, pushing it on to do things, to create new conditions, to reorganise the economy of the country, always means that the people who work within the Labour movement, people who lead, can never have an easy job. The job of the evangelist is never easy. [Read more…]