Sir Robert Menzies

Posted in 1920

  • Menzies:

"... won in the High Court a judgment that suddenly made him famous. In the so-called 'Engineers' case, the young barrister, arguing alone and with daring creativity for six days against what he himself called 'a thickly populated ... and hostile Bar table', persuaded a majority of judges that, contrary to current assumptions, members of a union - in this case the Amalgamated Society of Engineers - who worked in state-owned enterprises could come within the scope of the Commonwealth's arbitration power. States' rights were partly at issue. ... The judgment had various implications: the major constitutional one was to expand greatly the potential scope of Commonwealth power over that of the states."
Allan Martin in Australian Prime Ministers, 2000 p 178.

  • Robert Menzies with his wife Pattie at their Kew home (in March 1939)Marries Pattie Maie Leckie on 27th September at the Kew Presbyterian Church. Pattie and Robert met: (Pattie Mae Menzies)

"... at a party at Camberwell and it became a kind of family legend that he walked into the room, strode across to her, and said: 'You're Pattie Leckie; you used to make eyes at me in church'. Pat always asserted its truth but he for his part humorously denied it: he hated to think, he said, that he was such a gauche young man, even in those days. After the party Robert escorted her to her home in Hawthorn: the friendship subsequently ripened and in a few months the two became engaged to be married."
A W Martin, Robert Menzies A Life Vol 1 1894-1943, 1993 p 42

"Five years younger than her husband, Pat had been born at Alexandra, central-eastern Victoria where her father was at that time a farmer and storekeeper. Her mother died when Pat was only seven, and the girl was educated at Presbyterian Ladies' College, East Melbourne, and then at Fintona, in Camberwell, being a boarder at each school. ... John William (Jack) Leckie, Pat's father, had been educated at Scotch College... In 1913 he won a seat in the Victorian Legislative Assembly and in 1917 he moved to the Commonwealth House of Representatives. Defeated in the election of 1919 ... he established the firm of Leckie and Gray, lithographic printers and canister manufacturers ... becoming a leading member of the Chamber of Manufacturers... In 1917 he remarried. With his daughter Pat he had a particularly close relationship ... strengthened by the fact that as she grew up she shared his political interests and travelled with him on election tours."
A W Martin, Robert Menzies A Life Vol 1 1894-1943, 1993 p 42.

Australian Events

Posted in 1920

  • Queensland and Northern Territory Aerial Services (Qantas) airline is founded.
  • Australia becomes a founding member of the League of Nations.
  • Rural members of the House of Representatives form the Australian Country Party.

"The Australian Country Party was formed on Jan 22 and 23, 1920 at a Melbourne meeting of a number of members returned for country districts. M J McWilliams (Franklin) was chosen as leader. On Apr 5 the following year, Dr Earle Page (Cowper) was elected as permanent leader."
The Macquarie Book of Events, 1983 p 345.

  • The Communist Party of Australia is formed and issues its first manifesto at the Trades Hall in Sydney.
  • The Prince of Wales, later to become King Edward VIII, arrives in Victoria to begin his tour of Australia. The people turn out in large numbers to welcome royalty.

World Events

Posted in 1920

  • The League of Nations is founded. US Senate votes against American membership.
  • Mahatma Gandhi Mahatma Gandhi launches a civil disobedience campaign against British authorities who are refusing to grant self-government. Gandhi leads a campaign of non-violent non-cooperation with government agencies.
  • Civil War in Ireland: Northern Ireland accepts Home Rule - British auxiliaries the Black and Tans, fight against Sinn Fein.
  • American women gain the right to vote.
  • Oxford University admits women to degrees.
  • Oxford UniversityAll factories in Russia employing more than 10 workers are nationalized.
  • Prohibition on the sale of alcohol is in effect throughout the USA.
  • The sub-machine gun is invented.
  • Chinese Communist Party is founded.