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Archives for 1951

ANZUS Treaty – Full Text

This is the full text of the Security Treaty Between Australia, New Zealand and the United States of America.

The Treaty was signed in San Francisco on September 1, 1951. It came into force on April 29, 1952.

Percy Spender, Minister for External Affairs in the Menzies government, signed on behalf of the Australian government. [Read more…]


Electors Looking For Honesty: The Age

This is the editorial from the Melbourne Age on March 19, 1951.

It came the day after Prime Minister Robert Menzies announced a double dissolution of the federal parliament and an election on April 28.

It was just the second double dissolution in the federation’s 50-year history.

Menzies was elected in December 1949. He opted for a double dissolution after the Senate failed to pass a piece of banking legislation. Menzies advised the Governor-General, William McKell that the Senate’s referral of the bill to a committee constituted a “failure to pass”, in accordance with Section 57 of the Constitution. [Read more…]


1951 Double Dissolution Correspondence: Menzies And McKell

These are the 1951 double dissolution letters exchanged between Prime Minister Robert Menzies and Governor-General Sir William McKell.

Menzies’ Liberal-Country Party government was elected in December 1949. Within 15 months, he called a double dissolution election, using the rejection of a banking bill as the trigger. In his advice to McKell (a former Labor Premier of NSW), Menzies argued that the Senate’s referral of the bill to a Committee constituted a “failure to pass”.

The correspondence is interesting for what it reveals about Menzies’ relationship with the Governor-General. [Read more…]


High Court Strikes Down Communist Party Dissolution Bill

The High Court of Australia invalidated the Menzies’ government’s Communist Party Dissolution Act on March 9, 1951.

The bill to ban the party was passed in 1950, the first full year of the Liberal-Country Party government Robert Menzies brought to office in December 1949.

The legislation was ultimately allowed through the Labor-controlled Senate, denying Menzies the opportunity to use the bill as a double dissolution trigger. However, Menzies secured a double dissolution election on April 28, 1951 due to the blocking of the Commonwealth Bank Bill. The government was returned to office with a slightly-reduced majority in the House, but it gained control of the Senate. [Read more…]