William McMahon
Prime Minister of Australia
William McMahon
Sir William McMahon, GCMG, CH, was an Australian Liberal politician and the 20th Prime Minister of Australia. He was the longest continuously serving government minister in Australian history and the longest serving Prime Minister never to have won an election.
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William McMahon's personal information overview.
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Screw up, move up, cover up: It's the Holder way, the Obama way, the ... - Shreveport Times
Google News - over 5 years
William McMahon, BATF deputy director of operations in the West. Promoted to ATF headquarters. ATF Phoenix field supervisors William Newell and David Voth. Promoted to new management positions in Washington. Keep your friends close and your henchmen on
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American Officials Enjoy Lives Without Shame - Truthdig
Google News - over 5 years
Meanwhile, a couple of weeks ago, the ATF allowed agent William McMahon to make a similar move—landing him a job as deputy assistant director in charge of internal investigations, according to the LA Times. During the gunrunning program,
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County's planning paid off in handling Irene's impact - Baltimore Sun (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
"We prepared, increased staffing and thought about a lot of contingencies that ultimately did play out during the storm," said Howard County Police Chief William McMahon. "Because we did that, we were able to minimize the impact
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US Attorney for Arizona resigns in wake of Fast and Furious investigation - AZ Central.com
Google News - over 5 years
Last month, William McMahon, the head of ATF's Western region, testified that the agency had good intentions when it launched Operation Fast and Furious in 2009. But looking back, there are things ATF would have done differently, he said
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Victoria Cascajo: Part of fashion folklore - Melbourne Weekly
Google News - over 5 years
The year was 1971 when Lady Sonia McMahon accompanied her husband, then prime minister William McMahon, to a state dinner at the White House. When she arrived wearing a risque white floor-length gown, with side slits held together by strings of
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Drivers Ed for Howard County Police, Citizens - Patch.com
Google News - over 5 years
“Until society stops calling them accidents and starts dealing with what they are–criminal acts,” police will have difficulty changing people's habits, said Howard County Police Chief William McMahon. Contributed Photo Even police
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ATF Promotes Three 'Fast and Furious' Agents - NewsMax.com
Google News - over 5 years
The trio, William McMahon, ATF deputy director in the west, and Phoenix field officers William Newell and David Voth, have all been criticized for their part in Operation Fast and Furious. They received their promotions due to “the ... - -
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Howard County Seeks Input on Speed Cameras, School Zones - Patch.com
Google News - over 5 years
Using machines can save police officers about 20 minutes per would-be traffic stop, said Howard County Police Chief William McMahon. Residents of Howard County will have the chance at the end of the month to tell public officials what
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A tale of two nines for Bryan at Porter Cup - Niagara Gazette
Google News - over 5 years
The new hole and four renovated greens are part of a comprehensive redesign by golf course architect Tripp Davis, who played in his 10th Porter Cup this week, and won the William McMahon Award as low mid-amateur. Davis placed 25th with a four-round
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Sheriff will hand over jail operation to county - Hometown News
Google News - over 5 years
... members to a transition team and asked the county to do the same. His team will include Major Patrick Tighe, Toby Long, director of finance, Trevor Morganti, classifications manager, James Back, information technologies analyst and Lt. William McMahon
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Agent Who Supervised Gun-Trafficking Operation Testifies on His Failings
NYTimes - over 5 years
WASHINGTON -- A federal agent who helped supervise the gun-trafficking investigation known as Operation Fast and Furious told Congress on Tuesday that he had made mistakes during the effort to dismantle a network that was funneling assault weapons to Mexican drug cartels. In his first public appearance to talk about the operation, William Newell,
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ATF official apologises over Mexico gun probe - BBC News
Google News - over 5 years
William McMahon of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives said he failed to properly monitor Operation Fast and Furious. At least 122 weapons recovered at crime scenes in Mexico have been linked to the sting, a Congressional report ... -
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Grassley to Fox News: 'Melson gave documents to DOJ, but we didn't get them' - Examiner.com
Google News - over 5 years
... Mr. Jose Wall – ATF Senior Special Agent, Tijuana, Mexico Mr. William Newell – Former ATF Special Agent in Charge, Phoenix Field Division Mr. William McMahon – ATF Deputy Assistant Director for Field Operations (West, including Phoenix and Mexico)
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Cyclist, 16, hit by van, pinned by dump truck - The Salem News
Google News - over 5 years
The truck driver, William McMahon, said the whole incident happened "so fast." According to the police report, witnesses said the cyclist, who wasn't wearing a helmet, darted into traffic and that the vehicles were traveling within the speed limit
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Next Fast and Furious Hearing Focuses Across Border - Main Justice
Google News - over 5 years
... special agent for Tijuana, Mexico; Lorren Leadmon, ATF intelligence operations specialist; William Newell, former ATF special agent in charge of the Phoenix Field Division; and William McMahon, ATF deputy assistant director for field operations
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Issa, Grassley: DoJ Prepped Fast and Furious Witnesses - NewsMax.com
Google News - over 5 years
They say they learned about the practice, which has been stopped, in evidence from William McMahon, a deputy assistant director for field operations in the ATF. “They put a link on our computer, some kind of hard drive that I can click on and read
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Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of William McMahon
    LATE_ADULTHOOD
  • 1988
    Age 80
    McMahon died of cancer in the Sydney suburb of Potts Point on 31 March 1988 aged 80.
    More Details Hide Details He was cremated after a private ceremony. A memorial service was held at St Andrew’s Cathedral on 8 August 1988. Sonia McMahon died, aged 77, on 2 April 2010, 22 years after her husband's death. McMahon was appointed a Privy Counsellor in 1966, a Companion of Honour in the New Year's Day Honours of 1972 and a Knight Grand Cross of the Order of St Michael and St George in the Queen's Birthday Honours of 1977. Following the 2009 redistribution of New South Wales federal electorates, the Division of Prospect was renamed the Division of McMahon starting at the 2010 federal election.
  • 1982
    Age 74
    He resigned from Parliament in 1982 causing the Lowe by-election, 1982 which was won by Labor for the first time in the seats' 31-year history.
    More Details Hide Details Traditionally a Labor leaning electorate, the swing against the soon to be defeated Fraser Liberal Government was in stark contrast to McMahon's ability to hold the seat for such a sustained period.
    McMahon remained a member of Parliament until 1982, when he resigned.
    More Details Hide Details William McMahon was born in Sydney, the son of Mary Walder McMahon and William McMahon, a lawyer. His uncle was Samuel Walder, Lord Mayor of Sydney. His father was of Irish descent. McMahon's mother died when he was 9 and his father when he was 18. He was educated at Sydney Grammar School and at the University of Sydney, where he graduated in law. He practised in Sydney with Allen, Allen & Hemsley (now Allens Arthur Robinson), the oldest law firm in Australia. In 1940, he joined the Army, but because of a hearing loss, he was confined to staff work. After the Second World War, he travelled in Europe and completed an economics degree at the University of Sydney.
  • 1981
    Age 73
    On the retirement of Senator Justin O'Byrne in 1981, he became Father of the Parliament.
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  • 1977
    Age 69
    McMahon became Joint Father of the House of Representatives with Clyde Cameron in 1977, and sole Father in 1980 when Cameron retired.
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  • 1975
    Age 67
    He retained his seat in Parliament in the 1975, 1977 and 1980 elections.
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  • 1974
    Age 66
    McMahon served in the Shadow Cabinet under his successor Billy Snedden, but was dropped after the 1974 election.
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  • 1972
    Age 64
    McMahon went into 1972 facing a statutory general election.
    More Details Hide Details By then, Labor had established a clear lead in the polls and McMahon's approval ratings had dwindled to 28 percent. The press had turned on him so violently that the British psephologist David Butler recalled on a visit to Australia that he could not recall a prime minister in any country being "so comprehensively panned" as McMahon. By then, it was widely perceived that McMahon simply "did not look or sound like a Prime Minister". He waited for as long as he could, but finally called a federal election for 2 December. During the campaign, McMahon was abandoned by some of his own ministers, unheard of in a Westminster system. The Coalition was swept from power on an eight-seat swing. Late on election night, with the result beyond doubt, McMahon conceded defeat, ending the longest unbroken run in government in Australian history.
  • 1971
    Age 63
    In March 1971, the Defence Minister, Malcolm Fraser, resigned from Cabinet and denounced Gorton, who then announced a leadership spill.
    More Details Hide Details The ensuing party room vote was tied, and under the party rules of the time this meant the motion was lost and Gorton could have theoretically remained as leader and Prime Minister. Nevertheless, Gorton declared that a tie vote meant he no longer had the confidence of the party, and voluntarily resigned the leadership. McMahon was then elected leader (and Prime Minister), and Gorton was elected deputy Liberal leader. McMahon came into office at a bad time for the Coalition, which was increasingly seen as tired and unfocused after 22 years in power. His first problem was Gorton. Since Gorton had been elected as Liberal deputy leader, McMahon was all but forced to name him Defence Minister. This farcical situation came to a head when Gorton published two articles detailing the problems he had had with ministers leaking information from cabinet. McMahon forced Gorton's resignation. Billy Snedden was chosen as the new deputy Liberal leader.
    In 1971, when Prime Minister John Gorton resigned after a leadership vote ended in a tie, McMahon became leader, thus becoming Prime Minister himself.
    More Details Hide Details The McMahon Government was formed at a turbulent time for the Coalition, and in the 1972 federal election, McMahon led his party to defeat.
  • 1970
    Age 62
    He considered it inconsistent with the goals of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, signed under Gorton in 1970 and ratified under Whitlam in 1973.
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  • FIFTIES
  • 1967
    Age 59
    When Holt drowned in December 1967, McMahon was assumed to be his probable successor.
    More Details Hide Details However, John McEwen, interim Prime Minister and leader of the Country Party, announced that he and his party would not serve in a government led by McMahon. McEwen did not state his reasons publicly, but privately he told McMahon he did not trust him. McEwen, an arch-protectionist, correctly suspected that McMahon favoured policies of free trade and deregulation. McMahon therefore withdrew, and Senator John Gorton won the party room ballot for party leader and Prime Minister. McMahon became Foreign Minister and waited for his chance at a comeback. The Coalition was nearly defeated at the 1969 federal election. After the election, McMahon challenged Gorton for the leadership, but failed in part because of McEwen's continued opposition. In January 1971, McEwen retired as Country Party leader and Deputy Prime Minister. His successor, Doug Anthony, discontinued the veto against McMahon.
    He introduced four budgets, gradually reducing the deficit from $644 million in 1967-68 to $30 million in 1969-70.
    More Details Hide Details They were characterised by significant increased spending on defence, drought assistance, pension benefits and grants to the States, and by new Commonwealth programs for the health, education and housing of Aborigines, and for school libraries. Funding came from increased company and sales tax rates, radio and television licence fees, air navigation charges and overseas borrowings. Together with (Sir) John Gorton, he tried to resist State demands for extra revenue. Relations between the Treasury and the Department of Trade were strained even when Holt was treasurer. When McMahon became treasurer his relationship with McEwen deteriorated further. They clashed over industry protection, McMahon’s opposition to the establishment of the Australian Industry Development Corporation and his (ultimately vindicated) decision not to devalue the Australian dollar. McEwen accused McMahon of being behind the Basic Industries Group, a pro-free-trade agricultural lobby that funded Western Australian and Victorian Liberals to stand against Country Party members. The governor-general, R. G. (Lord) Casey, met with McMahon to encourage him to heal relations with McEwen, but there were persistent tensions that the affable Holt found difficult to manage.
  • 1966
    Age 58
    When Harold Holt replaced Menzies as prime minister on 26 January 1966, McMahon defeated (Sir) Paul Hasluck for the deputy leadership.
    More Details Hide Details As deputy, he was also treasurer (1966–69)—the post he had always wanted. He developed good relationships with his department—which contained a number of highly skilled economists—and was appointed a governor (1966–69) of the International Monetary Fund and chairman (1968–69) of the board of governors of the Asian Development Bank. Extensive knowledge of his portfolio, his understanding of economics, his inquisition of public servants and his desire to keep control of expenditure often made him unpopular, but these qualities boosted his reputation as a treasurer.
  • 1965
    Age 57
    In 1965, aged 57, McMahon married Sonia Rachel Hopkins, who was then aged 32.
    More Details Hide Details McMahon had proposed six months after the pair first met. The wedding was held three months later at St Mark's Church, Darling Point, followed by a reception for 400 people at the Royal Sydney Golf Club. McMahon had three children; Melinda, Julian and Deborah. Julian is an actor and model while Melinda and Deborah, who is openly gay and suffers from schizophrenia, lead largely private lives. Throughout his life there were also frequent rumours that he was homosexual. The suggestion was repeatedly denied by Lady McMahon; one occasion in the 1970s resulted in an infamous tabloid headline "My Billy's No Poofter - Sonia Tells".
  • 1964
    Age 56
    From 1964 to 1966 he was Vice-President of the Executive Council.
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  • FORTIES
  • 1956
    Age 48
    The minister for trade, (Sir) John McEwen, lobbied the prime minister, (Sir) Robert Menzies, to promote McMahon and on 11 January 1956 he was elevated to cabinet as minister for primary industry.
    More Details Hide Details With no experience in agriculture, McMahon was expected to comply with decisions made by McEwen. Instead, by working hard and mastering his brief, he often brought matters to cabinet without McEwen’s knowledge and argued against his senior minister. In his longest held portfolio, as minister for labour and national service (1958–66), McMahon introduced the National Service Act (1964) that authorised conscription for army service. Australia was soon to send troops to fight in South Vietnam and the Borneo State of Malaysia. The government also wished to increase army manpower in case of wider conflicts involving the country’s commitments under the South-East Asia Treaty Organization and the Australia, New Zealand, United States Security Treaty. He pursued the Communist-dominated Waterside Workers Federation, established an inquiry into waterfront efficiency and employment, legislated to strip the WWF of its authority over recruitment and made deregistration of the union theoretically possible.
  • 1954
    Age 46
    Appointed minister for social services in 1954, he supported the building of more rehabilitation facilities to enable disabled people to enter the workforce.
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  • 1951
    Age 43
    After the 1951 election McMahon became minister for the navy and minister for air.
    More Details Hide Details He visited troops in Korea and approved Sir James Hardman’s reorganisation of the Royal Australian Air Force along functional command lines.
  • 1950
    Age 42
    McMahon’s maiden speech on 2 March 1950 displayed not only his attributes—proficiency in economics and robust preparation—but also an inclination to show off and exaggerate, and weak attempts at humour.
    More Details Hide Details Its theme was that the coalition parties had a greater prospect of maintaining full employment than the Australian Labor Party whose ‘lack of warmth for private enterprise’ and tendency to increase the size of the public service channelled employment into non-productive spheres.
  • 1949
    Age 41
    Elected in December 1949 as the Liberal member, he was to hold the seat for thirty-two years, although he never lived in the electorate.
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    McMahon was elected to the House of Representatives for the Sydney seat of Lowe in the 1949 federal election, one of the flood of new Liberal MPs known as the "forty-niners".
    More Details Hide Details He was capable and ambitious, and in 1951 Prime Minister Robert Menzies made him Minister for Air and Minister for the Navy. McMahon served in Cabinet in one capacity or another for the next 21 years. At various times under Menzies, he was Minister for Social Services, Primary Industry and Labour and National Service. He was also Vice-President of the Executive Council. In 1966, when Harold Holt became Prime Minister, McMahon succeeded him as Treasurer and as Deputy Leader of the Liberal Party. Despite his steady advance, McMahon remained unpopular with his colleagues. He was highly capable, but seen as too ambitious and a schemer. After making an extensive tour of Europe to observe the problems created by World War II, McMahon returned to the University of Sydney (B.Ec., 1949). In 1948 (Sir) Jack Cassidy sought preselection for the new Federal seat of Lowe and asked McMahon to speak at Strathfield on his behalf. So impressed were the Liberal Party women whom he addressed that they encouraged him to stand for preselection himself.
    After a tour of Europe to observe problems created by the Second World War, McMahon returned to the University of Sydney to complete his Bachelor of Economics degree, and was elected to Parliament in 1949, representing the seat of Lowe in the House of Representatives.
    More Details Hide Details McMahon became a minister in 1951. He became Deputy Leader of the Liberal Party in 1966.
    McMahon was a member of the Australian House of Representatives for the seat of Lowe from his election in 1949 until his resignation in 1982.
    More Details Hide Details He rose to power at a bad time for the Coalition after over two decades in power, and he led his government to a loss to the Labor Party led by Gough Whitlam. He was the longest continuously serving government minister in Australian history - serving 21 years and 6 months - and held the longest tenure as Prime Minister without leading his party to victory at an election, being Prime Minister for 1 year and 270 days.
  • THIRTIES
  • 1942
    Age 34
    He achieved the rank of captain in 1942 and was promoted to major in 1943, before he was classified medically unfit for overseas service.
    More Details Hide Details He was confined to staff work in Australia, where he was quartermaster for the Australian II Corps and the Australian Second Army.
  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1917
    Age 9
    McMahon was born in Sydney, Australia, to an Australian mother and an Irish-Australian father, and was one of four children. When his mother died in 1917, when he was 9, McMahon was brought up by relatives and guardians, the most prominent among them his maternal uncle, who became Lord Mayor of Sydney in 1932.
    More Details Hide Details McMahon's father died when he was 18. McMahon was educated at Abbotsholme College, Killara, and at Sydney Grammar School and attended the University of Sydney, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Laws and returned to study economics, a factor that made him an apt Treasurer, but was a factor in the downfall of his premiership. While at university, McMahon competed in boxing and took interest in theatre, music and art. After first graduating, McMahon worked as a solicitor, before serving in the Army during the Second World War. He was commissioned in the Citizens Military Force (now Australian Army Reserve) and later transferred to the Australian Imperial Force.
  • 1908
    Age 0
    Born on February 23, 1908.
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