Robert Gordon Menzies

Topics: Prime Minister of Australia, World War II, Communism Pages: 2 (468 words) Published: July 11, 2011
Post War Prime Ministers Essay
Robert Gordon Menzies, born on the 20th of December, 1894 was Australia’s 12th and longest serving prime minister, his second term beginning from 1949 to 1966. During this time Menzies made significant contributions to Australia’s Post-War development such as increasing the standard of living and preventing the communist threat from reaching Australia. Menzies had a great effect on the standard of living in Australia and realized the “great Australian Dream” for many – a belief that home ownership can lead to a better life. The 17 years which he ran as Prime Minister are referred to as the “golden era” as it led to rapid economic growth. According to, an official government website, the rate of home ownership rose dramatically from around 40% in 1947 to 75% in the 1960’s. This was the result of Menzies’ introduction of the Homes Savings Grant Act 1964 which aimed to provide assistance to young married persons purchasing their first homes. There was a decrease in the employment rates from 4% to below 2% which was achieved by the great progress in industry production, manufacturing output and mineral development leading to an increasing in full-time employment. Also, the introduction of the National Health Scheme meant that people could pay a premium to a health association to cover the bulk of their medical expenses taking pressure off families while “retaining complete freedom of choice and remarkable benefits of the doctor-patient relationship” R.G. Menzies, Measure of the Years (1970). One of the many immense contributions of Menzies to the post-war development was the prevention of the communist threat from reaching Australia. He tried to eliminate the communist influence on trade unions and social movement. In response, the parliament passed Communist Party Dissolution Act 1950 which was immediately challenged in the High court and declared invalid. The fear of communism continued to rise in Australia due to...
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