Geoffrey Street

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The Honourable Major
Geoffrey Street
MC, MP
Geoffrey Street.jpg
Minister of Defence
In office
1938–1940
Prime Minister Robert Menzies
Preceded by Harold Thorby
Succeeded by Robert Menzies
Member of the Australian Parliament
for Corangamite
In office
15 September 1934 – 13 August 1940
Preceded by William Gibson
Succeeded by Allan McDonald
Personal details
Born (1894-01-21)21 January 1894
Woollahra, New South Wales
Died 13 August 1940(1940-08-13) (aged 46)
Canberra air disaster, 1940
Nationality  Australian
Political party United Australia Party
Spouse(s) Evora Francis Currie
Relations Street family
Children Tony Street
Alma mater University of Sydney
Military service
Allegiance Commonwealth of Australia
Service/branch Australian Army
Rank Major
Battles/wars

World War I

Major Geoffrey Austin Street, MC, MP (21 January 1894 – 13 August 1940) was Australia's Minister of Defence at the outbreak of World War II and a member of the House of Representatives, representing the Division of Corangamite from 1934 until his death in the Canberra air disaster in 1940. He was recognised with a Military Cross for his courage in serving the First Australian Imperial Force at the Battle of Gallipoli in World War I.

Street was born in the Sydney suburb of Woollahra and educated at Sydney Grammar School and the University of Sydney. In 1914, he volunteered for military service and served in the First Australian Imperial Force and was wounded in the Gallipoli landing and served later in France and Belgium. In 1919, Street was discharged with the rank of major.

Street married Evora Francis Currie in 1918 and purchased part of his father-in-law's property in the Western District of Victoria and became a successful sheep grazier and local politician. He became a councillor of Hampden Shire Council in 1924 and its president in 1931 – 1932.[1]

Political career[edit]

At the request of Robert Menzies, Street stood for and won Corangamite in 1934. He became Minister of Defence in November 1938 and played a major role in the expansion of the military and munitions production prior to the outbreak of World War II and pushed the National Registration Act (1939) through parliament despite strong opposition. Following the outbreak of war he worked energetically to put Australia on a war footing, although from November 1939, Menzies abolished the position of Minister for Defence and appointed Street Minister for the Army and Minister for Repatriation.

Street died in the Canberra air disaster, 1940, along with two other Cabinet ministers. His son, Tony Street, was Member for Corangamite from 1966 to 1983, and Foreign Minister in Malcolm Fraser's government.[1]

References[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Harold Thorby
Minister for Defence
1938–39
Succeeded by
Robert Menzies
New title Minister for the Army
1939–40
Succeeded by
Philip McBride
Preceded by
Eric Harrison
Minister for Repatriation
1940
Succeeded by
George McLeay
Parliament of Australia
Preceded by
William Gibson
Member for Corangamite
1934–40
Succeeded by
Allan McDonald