Arthur William Fadden – Fact sheet 79
Prime Minister of Australia, August–October 1941
Having served a single term in the Queensland Legislative Assembly (1932–35), Arthur Fadden entered the House of Representatives as a member of the Country Party following a by-election for the seat of Darling Downs in 1936.
A backbencher during the Lyons government, Fadden entered the government of Robert Menzies as a junior Minister (Supply and Development, and later Air, and Civil Aviation). Following the return of the United Australia Party/Country Party coalition government after the October 1940 general election, albeit with the support of two independents, Fadden was promoted to Treasurer. On ascending to the leadership of the Country Party, appointment as deputy Prime Minister was soon to follow.
In August 1941 Menzies resigned as Prime Minister, and was replaced by Fadden, who served until 7 October 1941 when the Independents, who provided his government's majority, agreed instead to support the John Curtin-led Labor Party. This brought about a change of government.
Remaining as Country Party leader, Fadden again became Deputy Prime Minister and Treasurer when the Menzies Liberal-Country Party government returned to power in December 1949. He held both posts until his retirement in December 1958.
Records about Arthur Fadden held by the Archives
Although Fadden did publish a volume of his memoirs (They call me Artie, Jacaranda Press, Brisbane) in 1969, no collection of his personal records is known to exist.
The National Archives holdings include many records relating to Fadden's long period in Parliament, and especially his years as Treasurer. While his period as Prime Minister was brief he was Deputy Prime Minister for a number of years (1940–1941 and 1949–1958), and as a consequence also served as acting Prime Minister.