Sir Robert Menzies

Posted in 1932

  • Appointed Deputy Premier of Victoria, Robert Menzies also serves as Attorney-General and Minister for Railways from 1932 until 1934.
  • Plays a key role in organising the Nationalists' (now officially called the United Australia Party) campaign in Victoria for the federal election.
  • Menzies attends Bodyline test match in Adelaide and later wrote in Afternoon Light:

"I shall never forget the incident which provoked the ultimate crisis, for I saw it all. ... Suddenly Jardine signalled to Larwood and swung the field to the bodyline setting. It was almost as if he had said - 'This man [Woodfull who had just been struck over the heart and had fallen to the ground] is a bit groggy; let's dispose of him!' A roar of rage went up from 40,000 spectators. If it had been Sydney or Melbourne, I believe, ... the crowd would have invaded the ground and the Test Match might have ended in tumult and disorder.
What happened thereafter is a part of cricket history; angry cables were exchanged; there was much bad feeling; all pleasure went out of the series. Jardine's action was a blunder of the first magnitude. He had in effect announced that 'bodyline' was designed as a physical attack; no more and no less. Many years afterwards, he conceded to me that he would like those five minutes over again!"
Sir Robert Menzies, Afternoon Light, 1967 p 352-3.

Australian Events

Posted in 1932

  • A Mallee dust stormLyons Government, (see Australian Prime Ministers) January 6: "Under Lyons' reassuring leadership, the United Australia Party assumed power on Jan 6, 1932 with an absolute House majority, thus becoming independent of the Country Party. Chifley and Theodore lost their seats."
    The Macquarie Book of Events, 1983 p 347.
  • Sydney Harbour Bridge nears completionDust storms, drought and the Great Depression bring continued hardship to rural communities. Prices in London are so low that meat exports are suspended. Unemployment across the nation soars.
  • Sydney Harbour Bridge is completed. Designed by John Bradfield, the bridge has a span of 1,650 feet and weighs 37,000 tons. At the opening ceremony on April 6, a sword-wielding guard slashes the ribbon before the NSW Premier Mr Lang could cut it to open the bridge. Captain de Groot is fined on a charge of "having maliciously injured a ribbon valued at £2".
  • Sydney Harbour BridgeAustralia's famous race-horse Phar Lap dies in America.
  • Australian Broadcasting Commission is established by the Lyons government.
  • England begins the Ashes Test cricket series against Australia with "bodyline" bowling by Larwood.

World Events

Posted in 1932

  • Unemployment is estimated at 30 million world-wide.
  • 5,000 banks close in the USA.
  • Hunger marches of the unemployed to London.
  • England begins the "bodyline" bowling cricket tour of Australia. The tactics involved bowlers targeting batsmen with balls that rose sharply by the body and restricted stroke-playing.