Arthur William Fadden – Fact sheet 79

Arthur Fadden (NAA: A6180, 4/2/77/30)

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.

Selected records about Arthur Fadden held in Canberra

 Title or description of recordDate rangeSeries number
SeriesMenzies and Fadden Ministries – folders of minutes and submissions1939–41A2697
ItemMenzies and Fadden Ministries – folders of minutes and submissions1939–41A2697, Roll 1
ItemMenzies and Fadden Ministries – folders of minutes and submissions1939–41A2697, Roll 2
ItemMenzies and Fadden Ministries – folders of minutes and submissions1939–41A2697, Roll 3
ItemMenzies and Fadden Ministries – folders of minutes and submissions1939–41A2697, Roll 4
ItemCensorship. Complaint re control and application of censorship. Deputation to Mr Fadden headed by EJ Ward MP1940–41SP109/3, 342/07
ItemPortrait of Sir Arthur Fadden1941–60A463, 1965/2002
ItemNew Guinea – visit to New Guinea by Messrs Harrison, Holt and Fadden1941A518, AL836/3
ItemAdvisory War Council – appreciation of Mr Fadden's Chairmanship1941A5954, 207/8
ItemAdministration. Mr Fadden appointed as Acting Prime Minister and Minister for Defence Co-ordination1941A5954, 1597/8
ItemCommission appointing Hattil Foll as Minister for Information, dated 29 August 1941 and signed by A Fadden1941–42A9357, 2
ItemBudget: 1941/42 – Fadden1941CP6/2, 3
ItemCriticism of Mr Fadden by the Minister for Labour and National Service1942A2684, 1025
ItemFadden, Honourable Arthur William, appointment as member of the Privy Council1942A2926, A26
ItemElection campaign, July/August 1943. Rural policy speech by Mr Fadden, Leader of the Country Party, 27 July 1943 with political and press comment1943A5954, 598/3
ItemRt Hon. AW Fadden MP – Privilege motion – House of Representatives, October 19481948A432, 1948/1175
ItemTeleprinter services for Deputy Prime Minister, Mr Fadden1950A461, A388/1/8
ItemVisit abroad of Treasurer Right Hon. Sir Arthur Fadden – September 19551955–57A462, 114/59
ItemMenzies Ministry – periods in which Sir Arthur Fadden acted as Prime Minister1955–57A463, 1958/131

Selected records about Arthur Fadden held in Sydney

Copyright National Archives of Australia 2019