Earle Page

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Sir Earle Christmas Grafton Page, GCMG, CH (8 August 1880 – 20 December 1961) was the 11th Prime Minister of Australia, and is to date the second-longest serving federal parliamentarian in Australian history, with 41 years, 361 days in Parliament.[1]

Contents

Early life

Born in Grafton, New South Wales, Page was educated at Sydney Boys High School and the University of Sydney, where he graduated in medicine at the top of his year in 1901. He worked at Sydney's Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, where he met Ethel Blunt, a nurse, whom he married in 1906. In 1903 he joined a private practice in Grafton and in 1904 he became one of the first people in the country to own a car.[2] He practised in Sydney and Grafton before joining the Australian Army as a medical officer in the First World War, serving in Egypt. After the war he went into farming and was elected Mayor of Grafton.[3]

Political career

In 1919 Page was elected to the House of Representatives as MP for Cowper as a candidate of the Farmers and Settlers Association of New South Wales, which in 1920 merged with several other rural-based parties to form the Country Party. He became the party's leader in 1921, ousting William McWilliams. Dislike of the Hughes government's rural policies was one of the reasons the Country Party was formed, and when the party won the balance of power in the House at the 1922 election, Page demanded and got Hughes's resignation as the price for supporting the Nationalist government.[4]

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