About Francis Forde
- Born: 18 July 1890
- Died: 28 January 1983
- Partner: Veronica (Vera) Catherine Forde
- Political party: Australian Labor Party
- Image: NAA: A1200, L53754
Frank Forde was Australia's 15th Prime Minister. He served for only 8 days from 6 to 13 July 1945.
Forde was sworn in immediately after the death of John Curtin on 5 July 1945. His term ended after the Labor Party elected Ben Chifley as their new leader (and thus prime minister) on 12 July 1945.
Forde was the Labor member for the seat of Capricornia for 24 years. For 14 years, he was deputy leader of the federal parliamentary Labor Party, and for 9 of those years was deputy Leader of the Opposition.
Forde was Minister for Trade and Customs in 1931, during the government of James Scullin, and Minister for the Army from 1941 to 1946, during the governments of John Curtin and Ben Chifley. He lost his seat in the 1946 election.
After leaving federal politics, Forde served as Australian High Commissioner in Ottawa, Canada until 1954. He then returned to Queensland state politics.
Frank Forde died on 28 January 1983 at the age of 92.
Did you know?
- holds the shortest prime ministerial term of 8 days in Australian history
- lost the Labor Party leadership ballot (to John Curtin) by 1 vote in 1935, and lost his state seat by 1 vote in 1957
- was 92 years old when he died, making him Australia’s second longest-lived prime minister (Whitlam was the longest-lived)
- in 1945, led Australia’s delegation to a conference in San Francisco to set up the United Nations
- is remembered in his home state of Queensland as the man who erased the ‘Brisbane line’, although denied the 1942 War Cabinet had discussed concentrating Australia’s defences south of Brisbane if Japan invaded the north