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Posts tagged as “Tom Hughes”

Tom Hughes Turns 100; Last of the Pre-1972 Liberal Ministers, Gorton Defender, Notable Barrister, Malcolm Turnbull’s Father-in-Law

Tom Hughes, the last surviving Liberal minister from the long period of coalition rule between 1949 and 1972, turns 100 today.


Born on November 26, 1923, Hughes studied Law and joined the Royal Australian Air Force during World War 2. He fought at Normandy during the D-Day landings in 1944.

He joined the New South Wales bar in 1949, building a large practice that was notable for some famous defamation cases.

Hughes entered parliament as the Liberal Party member for Parkes (NSW) in 1963, defeating the ALP’s Les Haylen, who had held the seat since 1943. Hughes was re-elected in 1966 and moved to the electorate of Berowra (NSW) in 1969, following a redistribution.

Hughes was Attorney-General in the outer ministry of the Second Gorton Government from November 12, 1969 until March 22, 1971.

Following Gorton’s toppling from the leadership, the new Prime Minister, William McMahon, sacked Hughes from the ministry.

Hughes retired from parliament at the 1972 election, returning to the Sydney bar. He practised as one of NSW’s leading barristers until his retirement at the age of 90 in 2013.

John Gorton Memorial Service; Howard Speaks, Hughes Excoriates Fraser

This is audio from the memorial service held for the former Prime Minister, Sir John Gorton.

Gorton died on May 19, 2002, at the age of 90.

The first clip features Prime Minister John Howard.

The second clip is from barrister Tom Hughes, who served as Gorton’s Attorney-General from 1969 until 1971. It contains an excoriating attack on former Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser, the man who resigned as Gorton’s Defence Minister in March 1971, precipitating Gorton’s downfall.
Malcolm Farnsworth
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