Shane Paltridge

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The Honourable
Sir Shane Paltridge
Senator for Western Australia
In office
28 April 1951 – 21 January 1966
Succeeded by Reg Withers
Personal details
Born (1910-01-11)11 January 1910
Leederville, Western Australia
Died 21 January 1966(1966-01-21) (aged 56)
Nationality Australian
Political party Liberal Party of Australia
Occupation Soldier

Sir Shane Dunne Paltridge KBE (11 January 1910 – 21 January 1966) was an Australian politician. He was a Senator in the Parliament of Australia representing Western Australia from 1951 until his death in 1966. During that period he held a number of ministerial portfolios.

Paltridge was born at Leederville, a suburb of Perth, Australia. He was educated in Western Australia, Queensland and New South Wales, including Fort Street Boys' High School, Sydney. He joined the Royal Australian Airforce in 1940, and after failing training, the second Australian Imperial Force in 1942. In April 1945, he served on Morotai and in May in the Battle of Tarakan.

Paltridge became a member of the Liberal and Country League of Western Australia (the Western Australian Branch of the Liberal Party of Australia) in 1946. In 1951 he was elected to the Australian Senate. He became Minister for Shipping and Transport (1955–60) and Minister for Civil Aviation (1956–64) under Prime Minister Robert Menzies. In April 1964, he became Minister for Defence, during the early period of Australia's participation in the Vietnam War. Although he recommended against the immediate introduction of conscription in 1964, Cabinet decide to introduce it anyway.

Paltridge became gravely ill with cancer in late 1965. He was made a Knight of the Order of the British Empire on 1 January 1966 and died on 21 January 1966, having resigned as Minister for Defence two days earlier.[1]

Mary, one of his daughters, was the first wife of the Labor politician Kim Beazley.


Political offices
Preceded by
John Spicer
Minister for Shipping and Transport
Succeeded by
John Spicer
Preceded by
Athol Townley
Minister for Civil Aviation
Succeeded by
Denham Henty
Preceded by
Paul Hasluck
Minister for Defence
Succeeded by
Allen Fairhall
Party political offices
Preceded by
Bill Spooner
Leader of the Liberal Party in the Senate
Succeeded by
Denham Henty