65 Facts About Arthur Fadden


Sir Arthur William Fadden, was an Australian politician who was the 13th prime minister of Australia, from 29 August to 7 October 1941.


Arthur Fadden was the leader of the Country Party from 1940 to 1958 and was federal treasurer for nearly ten years.


Arthur Fadden was raised in Walkerston, and left school at the age of 15.


Arthur Fadden was appointed town clerk of Mackay in 1916, but following the 1918 cyclone moved to Townsville and opened an accountancy firm.


Arthur Fadden was elected to the Townsville City Council in 1930, and in 1932 was elected to the Queensland Legislative Assembly for the Country and Progressive National Party.


Arthur Fadden lost his seat in 1935, but the following year won a by-election to the federal Division of Darling Downs.


In March 1940, Arthur Fadden was named a minister without portfolio in the government of Robert Menzies, who led the United Australia Party in a coalition with the Country Party.

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In October 1940, Arthur Fadden was elected acting leader of the Country Party as a compromise candidate, following a deadlocked leadership vote between Earle Page and John McEwen.


Arthur Fadden became the de facto deputy prime minister and was promoted by Menzies to treasurer.


Arthur Fadden was acting prime minister for four months early in 1941, and became popular for his conciliatory manner.


Arthur Fadden became the official leader of the Country Party following a ballot in March 1941.


When Menzies returned as prime minister in 1949, Arthur Fadden became treasurer for a second time, holding office until his retirement from politics in 1958.


Arthur Fadden enjoyed one of the most rapid rises in Australian political history, moving from private citizen to the prime ministership in just 11 years.


Arthur Fadden was the first prime minister born in Queensland, and the first and only member of the Country Party to become prime minister with his own mandate.


Arthur Fadden was born in Ingham, Queensland, on 13 April 1894.


Arthur Fadden's parents were both born in Ireland, his mother in County Tyrone and his father in County Galway.


Arthur Fadden moved to Walkerston at a young age, where his father was officer-in-charge of the local police station.


Arthur Fadden had a "typical country childhood", but suffered the deaths of three of his younger siblings in separate accidents.


Arthur Fadden received his only formal education at the Walkerston State School, except for a brief period at Te Kowai while his usual school was being renovated.


Arthur Fadden left school at the age of 15 and began working as a "billy boy" on a cane-cutting gang at Pleystowe.


In 1916, his superior, Frederick Morley, was dismissed as town clerk over allegations of theft, which Arthur Fadden himself had uncovered.


Morley eventually received a two-year jail term, and Arthur Fadden was promoted in his place, again defeating more than 50 other applicants; he was reputedly the "youngest town clerk in Australia".


Arthur Fadden had attempted to enlist in the Australian Army the previous year, but was rejected on health grounds.


In 1918, Arthur Fadden served on the committee of the relief fund for the Mackay cyclone, which devastated the town and killed thirty people.


Arthur Fadden had qualified as an accountant through a correspondence course from a school in Melbourne.

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Arthur Fadden's business prospered thereafter, and he was able to take on partners and opened a second office in Brisbane.


In 1930, Arthur Fadden was elected to the Townsville City Council as part of a non-partisan grouping calling themselves the "serviceable six".


Arthur Fadden developed a feud with the city's chief engineer, Sidney Roberts, whom he publicly criticised for using coal from New South Wales instead of from the local Bowen Basin mines.


Arthur Fadden was able to use his auditing skills to his advantage, getting Roberts fired for inconsistencies in his balance sheets.


At the 1932 Queensland state election, Arthur Fadden was elected to the Queensland Legislative Assembly as a member of the Country and Progressive National Party.


Arthur Fadden was the only candidate from his party to win a seat from Labor, which won majority government on a swing of almost 10 points.


In parliament, Arthur Fadden came to notice as a critic of the new government's financial operations.


Arthur Fadden accused the government of lacking transparency and accountability, particularly in its use of trust funds which he said had been used to cover up revenue deficiencies.


Arthur Fadden's speeches impressed both his party and political correspondents, and he was asked to write a series of articles for The Courier-Mail.


Arthur Fadden was the CPNP's lead speaker in the 1934 budget debates, effectively making him the chief financial spokesman for the opposition.


Arthur Fadden, who had no previous connection with the area, was the first member of his party to contest the seat; the UAP suffered a negative swing of over 40 points.


Arthur Fadden consolidated his hold on the seat at the 1937 federal election, held less than a year later.


Arthur Fadden was generally seen as the leader of the group.


Arthur Fadden did not regard Cameron favourably, in one debate stating: "I take this opportunity to declare without the slightest degree of reservation that the honourable gentleman is not my leader".


Arthur Fadden was scheduled to be aboard the flight, which was transporting the ministers back to Canberra after a cabinet meeting in Melbourne, but instead took an overnight train.


Arthur Fadden traded places with Richard Elford, who had wanted to stay in Melbourne to celebrate a wedding anniversary; both Elford and Fairbairn were among those killed.


John McEwen and Earle Page both nominated for the leadership, and Arthur Fadden intended to nominate for the deputy leadership.


Arthur Fadden was then elected unopposed as deputy leader and thus acting leader of the party.


Arthur Fadden was sworn in as Treasurer on 28 October 1940, succeeding Percy Spender, and presented his first budget less than a month later on 21 November.


In presenting the budget, Arthur Fadden noted that it brought about "the heaviest financial imposts ever placed upon the people of Australia".

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Arthur Fadden was duly sworn in as Prime Minister the next day, and remained Treasurer.


Arthur Fadden joked that he was like the Flood: he had "reigned for 40 days and 40 nights".


Arthur Fadden was a friend of Robert Frederick Bird Wake, one of the country's leading security experts at the time.


The Coalition won a massive victory in the 1949 election, and Arthur Fadden, who transferred to the newly created seat of the Division of McPherson on the Gold Coast, became Treasurer in the second Menzies government.


Arthur Fadden, who had been sitting next to the driver, was pulled from the car unconscious and spent election day in hospital, unable to cast his vote.


Arthur Fadden was left with injuries to his face, head, and legs, and required five separate operations.


Arthur Fadden resigned as leader of the Country Party on 26 March 1958, with John McEwen elected unopposed as his successor.


Arthur Fadden visited Japan twice in 1959, and was appointed as the representative of a Japanese company hoping to acquire a licence to export iron ore from Western Australia.


Arthur Fadden was chairman of Centenary Estates Limited, which built the housing development that became known as the Centenary Suburbs.


Arthur Fadden took up several company directorships, including with the real estate firm Hooker Finance and the ice-cream manufacturer Toppa.


Arthur Fadden worked as a consultant for a sugar mill in Tully, Queensland, and invested in an iron ore deposit at Mourilyan, Queensland.


In 1969, Arthur Fadden published a memoir titled They Called Me Artie.


Arthur Fadden suffered from ill health during his retirement, including a bout of hepatitis and a vision defect that left him blind in one eye and required an operation to correct.


Arthur Fadden died of leukaemia on 21 April 1973, aged 79, at St Andrew's War Memorial Hospital in Brisbane.


On 27 December 1916, Arthur Fadden married Ilma Nita Thornber, who worked as a milliner.


Arthur Fadden was once a member of an acting group in Mackay called the "Nigger Minstrel Troupe".


Arthur Fadden was appointed to the Privy Council in 1942, which granted him the style "Right Honourable", and was made a Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George in 1951.


Arthur Fadden was knighted in person by King George VI in London on 31 January 1952, only a week before the King's death, and formally sworn of the Privy Council the following day.


Arthur Fadden corrected the King who knighted him again as "Sir Arthur".


Arthur Fadden was raised to Knight Grand Cross of the order in 1958, to mark his retirement from politics.

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