Sir Robert Menzies
- Returned at election in December by one seat.
"Despite the easing of credit restrictions, Menzies barely survived the election. The Liberals lost 13 seats and the CP 2, leaving the Coalition with a majority of only 62:60."
The Macquarie Book of Events, 1983 p 351.
- South Africa withdraws from the Commonwealth:
"At the 1961 meeting of Commonwealth prime ministers, the crucial issue was South Africa: now that it had at referendum voted to become a republic, was its application to stay in the Commonwealth acceptable? Being a republic was not the main issue; everyone knew that South Africa's racial policy was the real problem. Menzies and British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan 'worked like horses' over a series of drafts to find words that would be acceptable to all and would therefore keep the Commonwealth intact. The final statement expressed 'deep concern' about the impact of South Africa's racist policies on 'the relations between member countries of the Commonwealth, which is itself a multi-racial association of peoples'. Under mounting pressure, South Africa withdrew its application to re-enter the Commonwealth. Menzies made no bones about his belief that South Africa had been 'pushed out'. He began to feel that the balance of power had changed so much that his own views had become relatively unimportant."
Allan Martin in Australian Prime Ministers, 2000 p 201.