Ben Chifley

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Joseph Benedict Chifley (pronounced /ˈtʃɪfli/; 22 September 1885 – 13 June 1951), Australian politician and the 16th Prime Minister of Australia. Among his government's accomplishments were the post-war immigration scheme under Arthur Calwell, the establishment of Australian citizenship in 1949, the Snowy Mountains Scheme, over-viewing the foundation of airlines Qantas and TAA, improvements in social services[2], the creation of the Commonwealth Employment Service[3], the introduction of federal funds to the States for public housing construction[4], the establishment of a Universities Commission for the expansion of university education[5], the introduction of free hospital ward treatment[3], reorganising and enlarging the CSIRO, and the founding of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO). One of the few successful referendums to modify the Australian Constitution took place during his term.[6][7][8]

Contents

Early life

Born in Bathurst, New South Wales,[6] Chifley was the son of a blacksmith of Irish Roman Catholic descent. He was one of four brothers and between the ages of five and 14 was raised mostly by his grandfather, who lost all his savings in the bank crash of 1892: Chifley acquired his lifelong dislike of the private banks early. He was educated at Roman Catholic schools in Bathurst, and joined the New South Wales Railways at 15.

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