Australian Events

Posted in 1941

  • Prime Minister Menzies addressing Australian troops in the Middle East June: Prime Minister Menzies delivers a speech placing Australia on a total war footing. Plans include the restructure of federal cabinet; petrol restrictions; control of rail, road and sea transport; strengthening of the defence forces and increasing the workforce by the inclusion of women.
  • Formation of the Women's Auxiliary Australian Air Force (March), Women's Royal Australian Naval Service (April) and Australian Women's Army Service (August).
  • July: The child endowment scheme is to be paid for each child under 16 years except the first.
  • Fadden Government (see Australian Prime Ministers), August 28. The Menzies UAP-Country Party coalition government resigns when Independents withdraw their support.
  • Curtin Government (see Australian Prime Ministers), October 7.
  • PM Menzies in London addressing a press conference about Australia's war effortAttorney-General H V Evatt accepts Communist assurances of cooperation in the war effort and removes the ban which PM Menzies had placed on the Communist Party for security reasons in 1940.
  • November: HMAS Sydney is sunk by a German raiding ship Kormoran off Carnarvon, Western Australia. Disguised as a Dutch merchantman, at a distance of 1.6 km Kormoran hoisted her German colours and within seconds scored a hit on HMAS Sydney. None of her crew of 645 survived.
  • December 8: War is declared against Japan after Japanese attacks across Southeast Asia and the Pacific. The war became a real and present threat to Australia's security. Army enlistment rises sharply after Japan's attack on Pearl Harbour on 7 December.
  • PM Menzies arrives on a flying boat from Lisbon at La Guardia Marine Terminal, New YorkDecember 26: Prime Minister Curtin's press statement after the defeat of British naval power in SE Asia states: "Australia looks to America, free of any pangs as to our traditional links or kinship with the United Kingdom."
  • The Melbourne Cup horse race is held on a Saturday.