Ex-Prime Minster, Howard made much of Menzies’ anti-Communism and his clever tactics in encouraging the split in Labour ranks in 1955. Howard said that at the 1961 election Sir Robert had had to rely on Democratic Labor Party preferences to win the election.
It is true that Menzies could not have retained government had Labor not been divided and that the Democratic Labor Party usually favoured the conservatives over the ALP. But what the little twerp omitted to mention was that Menzies did not win a majority until Jim Killen had won in the seat of Morton by 130 votes after receiving 93 vital Communist votes. A partner in Jim Killen’s old legal firm, Max Julius, had stood in Morton and directed preferences to Killen.
Menzies, like the present Turnbull administration, governed with a majority of one following the 1961 election.
Written in 2016
Copyright © 2023 John Tomlinson