AUSTRALIA: Crucial Issues

Labor's eight-year rule in Australia was ended by the December 1949 general election, which gave a coalition of the Liberal and Country parties a 74-to-47 majority in the House of Representatives. Labor, however, kept control of the Senate, 36 to 27, and was able to hold up legislation asked by Liberal Prime Minister Robert Gordon Menzies. Menzies' frustration reached a peak when the High Court voided his anti-Communist law (TIME, March 19) and the Senate refused to pass a banking bill.

This week Governor-General William J. McKell, at Menzies' request, dissolved Parliament; a general election will be held on April...

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