Allan McDonald (Australian politician)

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Allan McDonald

Allan McDonald.jpg
Member of the Australian House of Representatives
In office
21 September 1940 – 10 June 1953
Preceded byGeoffrey Street
Succeeded byDan Mackinnon
ConstituencyCorangamite
Member of the Victorian Legislative Assembly
In office
16 September 1933 – 23 August 1940
Preceded byJames McDonald
Succeeded byEdward Guye
ConstituencyPolwarth
Personal details
Born(1888-07-04)4 July 1888
Winchelsea, Victoria
Died10 June 1953(1953-06-10) (aged 64)
Winchelsea, Victoria
NationalityAustralian
Political partyUAP (to 1945)
Liberal (from 1945)
Spouse(s)Sarah May Farquharson
OccupationSoldier

Allan McKenzie McDonald, DFC (4 July 1888 – 10 June 1953) was an Australian politician who served in the House of Representatives from 1940 until his death. He had previously served in the Victorian Legislative Assembly from 1933 to 1940. McDonald represented the United Australia Party until 1945, when he joined the new Liberal Party.

Early life[edit]

McDonald was born at Winchelsea, Victoria, the fourth child of contractor Allan McDonald and Elizabeth, née McKenzie. He attended Winchelsea State School and subsequently worked as a farm labourer and then farmer. He married domestic servant Sarah Mary Farquharson at Birregurra on 17 September 1913. When his father died in 1914, McDonald succeeded him on Winchelsea Shire Council, where he remained for almost forty years.

Military service[edit]

In April 1916, McDonald joined the Australian Imperial Force, and was assigned to the 14th Battalion in France in December. He was wounded (shot in the left arm) on 11 April 1917 at Bullecourt, and after his dischargement was hospital served at Polygon Wood in Belgium in September. He was promoted to sergeant in October, but was returned to Australia on account of his injured arm and discharged in October 1918.

Politics[edit]

McDonald continued as a councillor on Winchelsea Shire Council, and unsuccessfully contested the House of Representatives seat of Corangamite in the Australian federal election, 1919 and 1922 elections, representing the Nationalist Party. He gained political experience as a party organiser, and succeeded his deceased uncle James to the Victorian Legislative Assembly seat of Polwarth in 1933, representing the United Australia Party. Although considered a possible Victorian party leader, he resigned in 1940 to contest the federal election.

McDonald was successful in winning Corangamite for the UAP in 1940. He was minister for external territories in the governments of Robert Menzies and Arthur Fadden in 1941, and contested the UAP leadership in 1941 and 1943; he lost the 1941 ballot to Billy Hughes by only a single vote. McDonald was known as an advocate of benefits for returned servicemen. He joined the new Liberal Party in 1945, and was Chief Opposition Whip from 1946 to 1949. When the Coalition returned to power in 1949, he stepped back from prominence, confining himself to party room discussion; this may have been due to his ill health.

A devout Presbyterian and monarchist, McDonald died of cancer on 10 June 1953 at Winchelsea, survived by his wife, four daughters, and one of his two sons. He was given a state funeral.

References[edit]

  • Cochran, I.C. (2000). "McDonald, Allan Mckenzie (1888 - 1953)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. Canberra: Australian National University. Retrieved 15 March 2008.
Parliament of Victoria
Preceded by
James McDonald
Member for Polwarth
1933–1940
Succeeded by
Edward Guye
Parliament of Australia
Preceded by
Geoffrey Street
Member for Corangamite
1940-1953
Succeeded by
Dan Mackinnon