|The Right Honourable
|2nd Deputy Prime Minister of Australia|
5 February 1971 – 5 December 1972
|Prime Minister||John Gorton
|Preceded by||John McEwen|
|Succeeded by||Lance Barnard|
12 November 1975 – 11 March 1983
|Prime Minister||Malcolm Fraser|
|Preceded by||Frank Crean|
|Succeeded by||Lionel Bowen|
|Member of the Australian Parliament
14 September 1957 – 18 January 1984
|Preceded by||Larry Anthony|
|Succeeded by||Charles Blunt|
31 December 1929 |
Murwillumbah, New South Wales
|Political party||National Party of Australia|
|Relations||Larry Anthony, Sr. (father)|
John Douglas Anthony AC, CH (born 31 December 1929) is a former Australian politician. He was leader of the National Party from 1971 to 1984, and Deputy Prime Minister from 1971 to 1972 and again from 1975 to 1983.
Anthony was born in Murwillumbah in northern New South Wales. He was the son of Hubert Lawrence "Larry" Anthony, a well-known Country Party politician. Doug Anthony was educated at The King's School in Sydney and at an agricultural college in Queensland. After graduating he took up dairy-farming near Murwillumbah. In 1957 he married Margot Budd, with whom he had three children: Dougald, Jane and Larry.
In 1957 Larry Anthony sr., who was Postmaster-General in the Liberal-Country Party coalition government led by Robert Menzies, died suddenly, and Doug was elected to succeed his father in the Division of Richmond in the House of Representatives, aged 27. He was appointed Minister for the Interior in 1964. In 1967 he became Minister for Primary Industry. It was obvious that the Country Party leader, John McEwen, was grooming Anthony to succeed him.
When McEwen retired in 1971, Anthony was duly chosen as his successor, taking McEwen's old posts of Minister for Trade and Industry and Deputy Prime Minister in the government of John Gorton, portfolios he retained under William McMahon. He was a shrewd, attractive figure, with considerable public speaking skills. He rescinded McEwen's veto of McMahon as liberal leader and Prime Minister. However, McMahon was quickly seen as being in over his head, and many people would have preferred to see Anthony as Prime Minister. Such was not to be, but he showed his tough streak within the cabinet when he forced McMahon to accede to the Country Party's demands on petrol prices and other issues which affected rural voters.
After McMahon's defeat in 1972, Anthony was said to favour a policy of absolute opposition to the Labor government of Gough Whitlam. Despite this, the Country Party voted with the Labor Government on some bills, for example the 1973 expansion of state aid to under-privileged schools. He urged the Liberals to take a hard line against Whitlam thereafter, and welcomed his dismissal by the Governor-General, Sir John Kerr, in 1975. To broaden the appeal of his party beyond its declining rural base, he changed the party's name to the National Country Party and began contesting urban seats in Queensland and Western Australia.
The Coalition was confirmed in power at the 1975 election, with the biggest majority government in Australian history. Anthony again became Deputy Prime Minister, with the portfolios of Overseas Trade and National Resources (Trade and Resources from 1977) under Malcolm Fraser. But with the Liberals having a majority in their own right between 1975 and 1980, Anthony found that he did not have the same power he had possessed before the 1972 election. Even Fraser's near-defeat in 1980 did not significantly increase Anthony's cabinet standing.
After Fraser lost office in 1983, Anthony remained as party leader (now named the National Party) for less than a year before retiring from politics in 1984. By then, although still only 55, he was the Father of the House of Representatives. He returned to his farm near Murwillumbah and generally stayed out of politics. In 1996 his son Larry Anthony won his father's old seat, creating the first three-generation dynasty in the House of Representatives.
In 1981 Anthony was appointed a Companion of Honour (CH). In 2003 he was made a Companion of the Order of Australia (AC) for service to the Australian Parliament, for forging the development of bi-lateral trade agreements, and for continued leadership and dedication to the social, educational, health and development needs of rural and regional communities.
During 1999 Doug Anthony spoke in support of Australia becoming a Republic.
In 1994, Anthony appeared in a documentary series about the Liberal Party in which he revealed that McMahon had refused to tell him beforehand the date of the 1972 election despite Anthony being the Country Party leader.
References in popular culture
Doug Anthony's name was used by the anarchic Canberra comedy trio the Doug Anthony All Stars, who rose to fame with celebrated appearances at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in the 1980s and came to national prominence in Australia in 1990 with their popular performances on the TV comedy series The Big Gig.
- "John Douglas Anthony (1929– )". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 14 December 2004. Retrieved 22 January 2010.
- "Doug Anthony". Parliamentary Handbook. National Archives of Australia. Retrieved 24 January 2010.
- "Hubert Lawrence Anthony (1897–1957)". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 14 December 2004. Retrieved 22 January 2010.
- "Honorary awards". The University of Sydney. 14 November 2009. Retrieved 22 January 2010.
- "Lawrence James Anthony (1961– )". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 14 December 2004. Retrieved 22 January 2010.
- "Anthony, John Douglas, Companion of Honour". It's an Honour. Retrieved 24 January 2010.
- "Anthony, John Douglas, Companion of the Order of Australia". It's an Honour. Retrieved 24 January 2010.