Last updated on January 31, 2024
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.
Menzies was returned in the election, losing 5 seats but gaining control of the Senate. The result made Menzies the prime minister who has had most success in calling a double dissolution.
The Labor Opposition Leader and former prime minister, Ben Chifley, died two months after the election.
Editorial from The Age, Monday, March 19, 1951.