161 William Mcmahon Facts: Everything You Need To Know! | Kidadl


161 William Mcmahon Facts: Everything You Need To Know!

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On February 23, 1908, William Mcmahon was born in Redfern, New South Wales, Australia.

He is well known for being a politician and a lawyer who was the 20th Prime Minister to lead the country of Australia. William Mcmahon served as the Australian prime minister from March 1971 to December 1972 on behalf of the Liberal Party.

Mcmahon is also known to be the longest-serving minister of the Australian government, as he held office continuously for a period of 32 years. Unfortunately, William Mcmahon is referred to as one of Australia's worst prime ministers by several Australian historians and politicians, and political scientists.

As a leader of the liberal party, William Mcmahon faced several challenges during his two years as the Prime Minister of Australia. As an Australian politician from the Liberal Party, he has held several offices such as the Minister for Social Services (July 1954-February 1956), Minister for Primary Industry (January 1956-December 1958), Minister for Labour and National Service (December 1958-January 1966), and several others. Read on to know more about the challenges he faced from other members of the liberal leadership and from the opposition in the Parliament House as the prime minister of the government. Afterward, also check out William Mckinley facts and William H Harrison facts.

Fun Facts About William Mcmahon

William Mcmahon was the oldest non-interim prime minister to take office in Australian history, as he assumed the highest office when he was 63 years old. The record for the most senior prime minister for Australia is held by was John McEwen at the age of 67.

William Mcmahon is also one of the three prime ministers to have a baby while in office.

William Mcmahon's paternal grandfather, James 'Butty' McMahon, was famous for being the founder of profitable freight companies in Sydney.

He was an Australian government minister for almost 32 years, which is the longest continuous ministerial service in Australian history. No politician has served that much time in the government without a break or without winning a general election.

William Mcmahon was anointed as a knight in 1977.

Mcmahon wanted to practice as a lawyer during his early career, though he had partial deafness, making it difficult for him. He suffered from this for the entire length of his life, which also made hearing parliamentary debates quite tricky for him. He went through some surgeries and often used hearing aids in order to hear properly.

Often, William Mcmahon is ranked among the worst prime ministers of Australia. The Australian Financial Review, in 2001, ranked Mcmahon as one of the top five worst prime ministers of Australia.

Historical Facts About William Mcmahon

William Mcmahon was raised in Sydney for most of his childhood. He was third among five children. His father was solicitor William Daniel Mcmahon, and his mother was Mary Walder.

He had an older brother as well, but he passed away early. Before entering politics, William Mcmahon worked in a prestigious firm as a lawyer.

Subsequently, at the time of World War II, William McMahon enlisted with the Australian Army. Later, around the year 1940, William McMahon received his commission as a member of the Citizen Military Force as a Lieutenant. Afterward, he was transferred to the regular army of the country at that time. In the Australian Imperial Force, he got the promotion to the post of a Major from that of a Captain in the year 1943. William McMahon was finally discharged formally in 1945 from the regular army.

After having left the military, he visited numerous locations in North America and Europe for around a period of a year and a half. There is a widespread understanding that the personal experiences he had during his travels while witnessing Europe after World War helped shape his mind to enter politics. After his return to Australia, he enrolled for a degree in public administration and economics. In the year 1948, he was the topper in his class and graduated with an undergraduate degree in economics. He also earned several rewards for his performance as a student during his education.

William Mcmahon's political career began when he was first elected into Federal Parliament in 1949 and held the seat of Lowe. In 1951, he became the minister for Air as well as the minister for the navy under Robert Menzies's government. Subsequently, in 1954 he was appointed as the minister for social services. Mcmahon served as the Minister of Primary Industry from 1956 to 1958. It was expected that Mcmahon might support all the decisions made by McEwen because he was not acquainted with agriculture and related subjects. On the contrary, his hard work was said to outshine that of his seniors.

William Mcmahon was then appointed as Labour and National Service minister, where he remained from 1958 to 1966. In 1964, he became the vice president of the Waterside Workers Federation's Executive Council and held that position until 1966.

Did you know that William Mcmahon arranged for the full Australian membership of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development!

Later, prime minister William Mcmahon was promoted to become Treasurer, a position which he had always coveted. He held the position of Treasurer from 1966 to 1969 under the leadership of Harold Holt, John McEwen, and John Gorton. Due to his economic knowledge, Mcmahon was also appointed as the International Monetary Fund's governor from 1966 to 1969. He was also appointed as the chairman of the board of governors at the Asian Development Bank from 1968 to 1969. He was later demoted in the Gorton government to the position of the Minister of External Affairs, which he served from 1969 to 1971. After serving as a deputy leader of the Liberal Party from 1966 to 1971, he became the party leader and subsequently the prime minister in 1971, replacing John Gorton. This success assumed greater significance in the view of the fact that it was Mcmahon who challenged John Gorton for the leadership role.

In the year 1969, William Mcmahon won the deputy leadership elections against Billy Snedden.

Facts About William Mcmahon's Presidency

William Mcmahon served as the prime minister of Australia between 1971 to 1972 for a period of around two years. When he assumed the prime minister's office, it was a challenging period for the coalition forces as it had been going out of power for almost two decades.

The Liberal party had been facing some popularity problems in 1971. Due to this, William Mcmahon faced opposition from within the cabinet as the prime minister. John Garton, who was replaced by Mcmahon and was later made the Defence Minister, met several loggerhead situations with the prime minister as well as outing the problems of the Liberal party publicly. Due to this, Mcmahon made him resign, as well as removing ministers like James Killen, Tom Hughes, and Leslie bury from the cabinet.

One of the most critical rivals faced by William Mcmahon was the leader of the Labor party, Gough Whitlam. During the 1969 elections, the Labour party had fallen four seats short of winning the elections and had been a formidable contender since then. Their leader, Gough Whitlam, was a very witty and powerful orator, and it became increasingly difficult for Mcmahon to match his skills.

Whitlam was always said to be the one attacking, while Mcmahon had to defend himself, that too poorly. The parliamentary debates between the two leaders for the next year and a half during Mcmahon's government were several times outsmarted by Whitlam.

At this time, the question of the increasingly unpopular Vietnam War was also posed by Whitlam, highlighting the plight of the Australian soldiers who were stuck in Vietnam. He also put forth quite a lot of radical ideas, such as health insurance for all, which gained a lot of traction with the general population and became extremely popular.

The gradual increase in the unpopularity of William Mcmahon was further aggravated by increasing levels of inflation which directly questioned his abilities in the field of economics, of which he was assumed to be a great expert. His personality also contributed to a general rise in his unpopularity on media and television. All these factors led to an increase in his unpopularity amongst the public.

As his approval ratings fell below 28% and the criticism around his policies was steadily growing, William Mcmahon was compelled to face a statutory election in the year 1972. As the Labor Party maintained a considerable lead in the polls, it seemed that it was all set to sweep the elections. The elections were called on for December 2, 1972, by William McMahon. Surprisingly, many of his ministers also abandoned him before the elections, which was a strange event at that time and were not heard of in Australia, which followed the Westminster system. So, William Mcmahon was forced to concede defeat and resign from his position, which ended the longest continuing run for any politician in the history of Australia. Though he was no longer the Prime Minister, McMahon still was a member of the parliament till 1982. After 1982 he decided to retire from active politics altogether.

Facts About William Mcmahon's Education

When his mother died, William Mcmahon was very young, about nine years old. His father was known to be an alcoholic; hence he was raised by his relatives rather than parents.

He lived with several family members in his childhood. William Mcmahon began his school education at Abbotsholme College, which was a private school in Killara. He later had to change schools and was sent to Sydney Grammar School. Mcmahon was an average student in academics, but he was pretty good in sports like rowing and boxing. William Mcmahon also received a lot of inheritance when his father died when he was 18. This led to Mcmahon engaging in activities like buying racehorses and betting on them, making him a socialite.

Subsequently, Mcmahon enrolled himself in the University of Sydney in 1927, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Laws degree in 1930. After graduating, he practiced as a solicitor in a prestigious firm at Allen, Allen & Hemsley for a few years. He was made a junior partner at the firm in 1939. Later he enlisted in the Australian army, bidding farewell to his legal career. When he returned a few years later from war, he returned to the university to obtain a degree in economics and public administration, graduating with a Bachelor of Economics Degree in 1948. Quite contrary to being an average student, William Mcmahon actually topped his economics class as well as won proficiency awards for being the best in his work in the final year of graduation.

William Mcmahon helped with the creation of the Australian Institute of Marine Science and the Australian Wool Corporation.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for 161 William Mcmahon facts: everything you need to know! then why not take a look at William Morris facts or William Lyon Mackenzie King facts.

Hemant Oswal
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Hemant Oswal

<p>With global experience in marketing and business development, Hemant is a seasoned professional with a unique perspective. He holds a Bachelor's degree in Commerce from the University of Delhi and a Master's degree in Marketing from The University of Adelaide in Australia. Hemant's work in China, Hong Kong, and Dubai has honed his skills and provided valuable experience. He broadens his understanding of the world through reading non-fiction books and watching documentaries.</p>

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