Robert Menzies

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Sir Robert Gordon Menzies, KT, AK, CH, FAA, FRS, QC (20 December 1894 – 15 May 1978), Australian politician, was the 12th and longest-serving Prime Minister of Australia. His first term as Prime Minister commenced in 1939, after the death in office of the United Australia Party leader Joseph Lyons and a short-term interim premiership by Sir Earle Page. His party narrowly won the 1940 election, which produced a hung parliament, with the support of independent MPs in the House. A year later, his government was brought down by those same MPs crossing the floor. He spent eight years in opposition, during which he founded the Liberal Party of Australia. He again became Prime Minister at the 1949 election, and he then dominated Australian politics until his retirement in 1966.

Menzies was renowned as a brilliant speaker, both on the floor of Parliament and on the hustings; his speech "The Forgotten People" is an example of his oratorical skills. Throughout his life and career, Menzies held strong beliefs in the Monarchy and in traditional ties with Britain. In 1963 Menzies was invested as the first and only Australian Knight of the Order of the Thistle. Menzies is regarded highly in Prime Ministerial opinion polls and is very highly regarded in Australian society for his tenures as Prime Minister.


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