About John McEwen
- Born: 29 March 1900
- Died: 20 November 1980
- Partner: Annie Mills (Anne) McEwen
- Political party: Australian Country Party
- Image: NAA: A1200, L66448
John McEwen was Australia's 18th Prime Minister, from 19 December 1967 to 10 January 1968, following the death of Harold Holt. His term as Prime Minister came near the end of his 37 years in parliament.
Though only briefly Prime Minister, McEwen served as deputy Prime Minister for twelve years, in the governments of Robert Menzies, Harold Holt and John Gorton. He was acting Prime Minister many times in the years from 1958 to 1971.
McEwen held the key ministerial responsibilities of Commerce and Trade for 20 years from 1949 to 1971. During this time the portfolio emphasis moved away from agriculture and into the broader industry area. Though a farmer and Country Party leader, McEwen also moved the emphasis from low tariffs to protection of manufacturing industries.
McEwen was a Member of Parliament for Echuca, Indi and then Murray from 1934 to 1971.
Did you know?
- was extremely frugal, as a farmer in Victoria’s Goulburn Valley in the 1920s he was known as ‘Second hand Jack’
- had a feud with William McMahon known as one of the parliament’s most bitter
- had a 16-year coalition partnership with Robert Menzies that was the parliament’s most enduring
- was nicknamed ‘Black Jack’ by Robert Menzies, for his dark, ‘beetle-browed’ appearance and manner
- was one of three Australian prime ministers awarded Japan’s Order of the Rising Sun, First Class (the others were Edmund Barton and Robert Menzies)