Nor, for that matter, was anyone else I know who read this remarkable book. Dick Elford climbed into the Hudson and did not alight at Canberra. There was an explosion and a sheet of flame, followed by a dense cloud of smoke. With a background of service with Australian forces in South Africa in 1902—03, White served as Chief of Staff to Generals and during World War I. Two Australian Lockheed Hudsons in 1940 The 1940 Canberra air disaster was an aircraft crash that occurred near , the capital of Australia, on 13 August 1940, during. One of those promoted in the reshuffle was , recalled from Army service and thus gaining a promotion that eventually led to the Prime Ministership.
The first Menzies-led government failed to generate much enthusiasm for the second war, especially during the Phoney War period. An account of his comments appears in the book Air Crash vol. I think that is all. The British, for all their faults, remember their friends. And it was members of his own parliamentary team who publicly sniped at him about this, with one senior colleague effectively accusing him of cowardice.
The role of Coles and Wilson, who were clearly both men of substance, has been downplayed. Two of the ministers were later followed into federal politics by their sons, and. I was fascinated by Andrew Tink's account of the demise of Hudson A16-97 and all on board. When Menzies attended a memorial gathering at the site on 12 August 1960, 20 years after the crash, he was seen to be still very emotional in recalling the day. Clive Caldwell, for one, admitted that he was not particularly good at flying when he started out, and Pat Hughes, who was a year behind Hitchcock at Point Cook, was ranked 28th in his course and assessed as having no outstanding qualities. In August 1940 Australia had been at war for almost a year when a Hudson bomber — the A16-97 — carrying ten people, including three cabinet ministers, crashed into a ridge near Canberra. Archived from on 29 December 2013.
From early in the day, Prime Minister Robert Menzies was in his Parliament House office preparing for a cabinet meeting. What went wrong and what happened next? I fully agree with his disappointment in the current state of the Canberra memorial to the crash's victims. Key members of Menzies' government die in a fiery plane crash. Menzies was, after all, deposed by his supposed allies. Coles had a distinguished war record and served as Lord Mayor of Melbourne from 1938 to 1940.
The Cabinet was permanently weakened by their loss, and that was a factor undermining Menzies's position in the following months. As a direct but delayed consequence, John Curtin became prime minister in October 1941. What went wrong and what happened next? As a direct but delayed consequence, John Curtin became prime minister in October 1941. Andrew Tink has served as shadow attorney general and shadow Liberal leader of the House in the New South Wales Parliament. Andrew Tink is the author of Air Disaster Canberra: The plane crash that destroyed a government, available now from NewSouth. At the heart of Air Disaster Canberra are two arguments. As a general election was already due by the end of the year, it was felt prudent to call it for , to avoid the necessity of also holding three by-elections for such a short term.
James Fairbairn had served in the during and still enjoyed flying. Elford, who had a good knowledge of aeronautics, was Fairbairn's private secretary. From what I have been told, a pilot coming in to land can find himself, suddenly and without warning, in a machine that is no longer airborne, heading straight to the ground. Key members of Menzies' government die in a fiery plane crash. Andrew Tink presents a well constructed case, puts a tragic accident into its proper political perspective, and blends historical background seamlessly into a well written narrative. It should have come as little surprise that in 1941, after Artie Fadden had been Prime Minister for little more than a month, Coles and Wilson crossed the floor to bring Labor to power. All ten people on board were killed: six passengers, including three members of the Australian and the ; and four crew.
Key members of Menzies' government die in a fiery plane crash. After about half-an-hour, when the blaze had died down, it was seen that the entire undercarriage, wings and structural supports of the plane had been torn away and were a smouldering mass in which were the charred bodies of those on board. We suggest installing the , or the latest version of these other popular browsers: , , ,. Clearly his four-month visit to Britain in early 1941 was politically ill-advised, as his wife Pattie warned him. Andrew Tink points out Fairbairn had offered Arthur Fadden, the assistant minister to the treasurer a seat on the Hudson.
Ultimately, I was swayed by his reasoned speculation about Fairbairn and his careful analysis of the consequences of the loss of three cabinet ministers. As a direct but delayed consequence, John Curtin became prime minister in October 1941. His second career as Prime Minister, from 1949 to 1966, was aided by the 1955 Labor Split. These men, with their record of war service, had given Menzies credibility with the returned soldiers that he himself lacked. In the ghastly inferno that followed the crash, the nation lost its key war leaders.
He did not show the same propensity to overvalue his own abilities as had in the 1940s. In the ghastly inferno that followed the crash, the nation lost its key war leaders. It is no longer supported by Microsoft. All of them were distinguished World War I veterans. Labor leader John Curtin was almost pathetically ill-equipped to lead the nation. And when a month later John Curtin moved that this budget be reduced by one pound, Coles led Wilson across the floor to back Curtin, thereby bringing down the government.