Doug Anthony

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
The Right Honourable
Doug Anthony
Doug Anthony.jpg
2nd Deputy Prime Minister of Australia
In office
5 February 1971 – 5 December 1972
Prime Minister John Gorton
William McMahon
Preceded by John McEwen
Succeeded by Lance Barnard
In office
12 November 1975 – 11 March 1983
Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser
Preceded by Frank Crean
Succeeded by Lionel Bowen
Member of the Australian Parliament
for Richmond
In office
14 September 1957 – 18 January 1984
Preceded by Larry Anthony
Succeeded by Charles Blunt
Leader of the Country Party
In office
2 February 1971 – 17 January 1984
Personal details
Born (1929-12-31) 31 December 1929 (age 87)
Murwillumbah, New South Wales
Nationality Australian
Political party National Party of Australia
Spouse(s) Margot Budd
Relations Larry Anthony, Sr. (father)
Children Larry Anthony
Occupation Dairy farmer

John Douglas Anthony AC, CH, PC (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.

Early life[edit]

Anthony was born in Murwillumbah in northern New South Wales.[1] He was the son of Hubert Lawrence "Larry" Anthony, a well-known Country Party politician. Doug Anthony was educated at Murwillumbah Primary School and Murwillumbah High School, before attending The King's School in Sydney between 1943 and 1946 and then Gatton College in Queensland.[1][2] 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.[1][3]

Political career[edit]

In 1957 Larry Anthony sr., who was Postmaster-General in the Liberal-Country Party coalition government led by Robert Menzies, died suddenly,[4] and Doug was elected to succeed his father in the Division of Richmond in the House of Representatives, aged 27.[1] He was appointed Minister for the Interior in 1964. In 1967 he became Minister for Primary Industry.[1][3] 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 He rescinded McEwen's veto of McMahon as liberal leader and Prime Minister.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.[3] 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.[5] In 1996 his son Larry Anthony won his father's old seat,[6] creating the first three-generation dynasty in the House of Representatives.

In 1981 Anthony was appointed a Companion of Honour (CH).[7] 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.[8]

During 1999 Doug Anthony spoke in support of Australia becoming a Republic.[1]

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[edit]

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 and their own 1991-92 series DAAS Kapital.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e "John Douglas Anthony (1929– )". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 14 December 2004. Retrieved 22 January 2010. 
  2. ^ Juddery, Bruce (7 May 1969). "A shrewd brain ticks behind the boyish grin". The Canberra Times. p. 17. 
  3. ^ a b c "Doug Anthony". Parliamentary Handbook. National Archives of Australia. Retrieved 24 January 2010. 
  4. ^ "Hubert Lawrence Anthony (1897–1957)". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 14 December 2004. Retrieved 22 January 2010. 
  5. ^ "Honorary awards". The University of Sydney. 14 November 2009. Retrieved 22 January 2010. 
  6. ^ "Lawrence James Anthony (1961– )". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 14 December 2004. Retrieved 22 January 2010. 
  7. ^ "Anthony, John Douglas, Companion of Honour". It's an Honour. Retrieved 24 January 2010. 
  8. ^ "Anthony, John Douglas, Companion of the Order of Australia". It's an Honour. Retrieved 24 January 2010. 
Parliament of Australia
Preceded by
Hubert Lawrence Anthony
Member for Richmond
1957 – 1984
Succeeded by
Charles Blunt
Political offices
Preceded by
John Gorton
Minister for the Interior
1964 – 1967
Succeeded by
Peter Nixon
Preceded by
Charles Adermann
Minister for Primary Industry
1967 – 1971
Succeeded by
Ian Sinclair
Preceded by
John McEwen
Deputy Prime Minister of Australia
1971 – 1972
Succeeded by
Lance Barnard
Preceded by
Gough Whitlam
Minister for Trade and Industry
1971 – 1972
Succeeded by
Jim Cairns
Preceded by
Frank Crean
Deputy Prime Minister of Australia
1975 – 1983
Succeeded by
Lionel Bowen
Minister for Overseas Trade/
Minister for Trade and Resources

1975 – 1983
Preceded by
Ken Wriedt
Minister for National Resources
1975 – 1977
Merged into Trade and Resources portfolio
Party political offices
Preceded by
Charles Adermann
Deputy Leader of the Country Party of Australia
1966 – 1971
Succeeded by
Ian Sinclair
Preceded by
John McEwen
Leader of the Country/National Country/National Party of Australia
1971 – 1984
Succeeded by
Ian Sinclair
Honorary titles
Preceded by
Sir James Killen
Father of the House of Representatives
1983 – 1984
Succeeded by
Tom Uren