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The Age Special Representative, “COALITION WITH LABOR: Hint to Mr. Menzies,” The Age, March 3, 1941, p. 7.

LONDON, March 2. — While Mr. Menzies was absent at the week end from London on an interesting visit, details of which may not yet be disclosed, his mission has been kept before the public by a three-column interview in The People, in which Mr. H. Swaffer gives the Prime Minister a hint that he ought to “patch up his differences” with the Australian Labor party.

The interviewer said: “Mr. Menzies will see here Labor functioning as an effective part of the Government, united with its opponents under a great leader. After all Mr. Menzies has only a majority of one, whereas, with a coalition, there would be a complete majority, just as we have here.”

Mr. Menzies is reported to have said: “I always tell my Opposition friends that the only difference between us is that I am theoretically non-Socialist, yet an amazingly practical Socialist, while they are theoretical Socialists. People will take things from us they wouldn’t take from the Labor party. That is outstandingly true in Australia. It is a question of speed. The whole process has been a magnificent justification of the Parliamentary system despite its superior critics. You get two views which, in theory, are violently opposed. In practice the extreme course of to-day is a commonplace of to-morrow. I claim to think, and that seems to be a most unpopular pastime with a great number of people.”

The interviewer said Mr. Menzies had a vision of a closer knit Empire, stating: “A few years ago there was a theory that the Empire was probably disintegrating. People were primarily concerned with discovering all those things which justified our differences. Events have turned out exactly contrary to what the people thought. I imagine tht after the war the British commonwealth of nations will be more cohesive, and much more closely fused. We have now a clearer conception of what we are and what we can achieve.”

Mr. Swaffer comments: “Australia’s leading statesman has come not to boast, but to pay tribute to the British people’s dauntless courage, and more, to vow that the sky is the limit in what his fellow countryman will do.”

(in order of appearance on
  1. Josh Frydenberg vs Maxwell Newton on Sir Robert Menzies
  2. Menzies: A Legacy of Lies and Legislation Limiting Liberalism
  3. 1941 Swaffer-Menzies interview in The People: Please help me find it
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