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Archives for 1966

1966 Federal Election: Harold Holt Liberal Party Policy Speech

This is the Liberal Party policy speech for the 1966 Federal Election, delivered by the Prime Minister, Harold Holt.

The speech was delivered on November 8.

This was Harold Holt’s first election as leader, following the retirement of the party’s founder, Sir Robert Menzies, in January. It was the first time the Liberal Party had contested an election with a leader other than Menzies.

The chief campaign issue was the Vietnam War. The President of the United States, Lyndon Johnson, had visited Australia just prior to the election campaign.

Holt secured a 4.3% swing to the coalition. It won a landslide victory with 56.9% of the two-party-preferred vote and 82 seats in the House of Representatives to the ALP’s 41.

It was Holt’s only election as Liberal leader. He drowned a year later in December 1967.


Sir Robert Menzies Announces His Retirement After 16 Years As Prime Minister

Sir Robert Menzies announced his retirement on January 20, 1966, after 16 years as Prime Minister.

Menzies made his announcement to the party-room at 11.21am. Shortly after midday, Harold Holt was elected unopposed as the new leader of the Liberal Party. William McMahon was elected deputy leader.

Menzies saw the Governor-General, Lord Casey, and tendered his resignation, at 4pm. Casey served as a minister under Menzies as Richard Casey between 1939-40 and 1949-60.

At 8pm, Menzies held a press conference in Parliament House. A video extract appears below. [Read more…]