Sir Robert Menzies

Posted in 1957

  • Japan: Prime Minister Menzies meeting with Prime Minister KishiGoodwill visit to Asia includes:
    • six days in Japan to meet with Prime Minister Kishi and officials at the Foreign Office;
    • a three day visit to Thailand where Menzies speaks about Australia's SEATO ties;
    • an address to the Philippine Congress in Manila;
    • a brief visit to Biak in Dutch New Guinea; then
    • to New Guinea for ANZAC day where he takes the salute at the Anzac Day march watched by most of Port Moresby's population of 16,000. He is the first Australian Prime Minister to visit Port Moresby since the end of the War.
  • Bangkok: Welcomed by Prime Minister of Thailand Field Marshal P Pibulsonggram on 19 AprilIn July Menzies travels to London for the Commonwealth Prime Ministers' Conference and while there has an operation to have his tonsils removed.

"I would like to say that Sir Robert was a good patient. But he was not. He was often a rebel, and at best a passive resister. I have seen him at it ... newly minus tonsils, in a London hospital. His habit there was to regard the matron as the enemy, and he plotted daily to defeat her. He did not win ... But to hospital matrons wherever they are ... a bow!"
Sir John Bunting, R G Menzies, A Portrait, 1988 p 151.

  • Menzies proposes to set up a National Capital Development CommissionBangkok SEATO headquarters: right SEATO Council Rep for Thailand, Mr H E Luang Bhadravadi; centre Philippine Council Rep and Ambassador to Thailand Mr H E Manuel Adeva, 20  April "to undertake and carry out the planning, development and construction of the City of Canberra as the National Capital of the Commonwealth."
  • Menzies begins investigating university reform:

"Menzies established the Murray Committee in June. Its broad charter was to investigate how best the universities might serve Australia, having regard to the great social and economic development within the nation. This committee's report led to the shouldering by the Commonwealth of huge financial responsibility, still via the states, In New Guineafor Australian universities, and which marked the beginning of what Menzies called 'a new and brighter chapter' in their history."
Sir John Bunting, R G Menzies, A Portrait, 1988 p 189.

Australian Events

Posted in 1957

  • Rabbit plague in rural AustraliaA meeting of state anti-Communist Labor breakaway groups (except Queensland) forms the national Democratic Labor Party with Senator Cole as its parliamentary leader.
  • Japan signs a trade treaty with Australia.
  • Sydney Opera House international design competition is won by Danish architect Joern Utzon.
  • The rabbit's ruination of rural Australia is curbed after Lands Department researchers introduce myxomatosis.
  • CSIRO develops improved radar and microwave navigation systems for aeroplanes.

World Events

Posted in 1957

  • Suez CanalSuez Canal is reopened to all shipping.
  • Treaty of Rome establishes the European Economic Community (or Common Market) of the Six: France, West Germany, Italy, Belgium, Holland and Luxembourg.
  • USSR launches Sputnik, the first Earth satellite.
  • Civil Rights Act is passed in the USA: race riots occur in the southern states. Violence in Little Rock, Arkansas against desegregation of schools - President Eisenhower sends in troops to maintain order and assure compliance with the orders of a Federal court.