Charles Davidson (politician)

Sir Charles William Davidson KBE (14 September 1897 – 29 November 1985) was an Australian politician. He was deputy leader of the Country Party from 1956 to 1963 and represented the party in federal parliament from 1946 to 1963. He served as Postmaster-General of Australia (1956–1963) and Minister for the Navy (1956–1958) in the Menzies Government.


Sir Charles Davidson

Postmaster-General of Australia
In office
11 January 1956  18 December 1963
Prime MinisterRobert Menzies
Preceded byLarry Anthony
Succeeded byAlan Hulme
Minister for the Navy
In office
24 October 1956  10 December 1958
Prime MinisterRobert Menzies
Preceded byNeil O'Sullivan
Succeeded byJohn Gorton
Deputy Leader of the Australian Country Party
In office
26 March 1958  11 December 1963
LeaderJohn McEwen
Preceded byJohn McEwen
Succeeded byCharles Adermann
Member of the Australian Parliament
for Dawson
In office
10 December 1949  1 November 1963
Preceded byNew seat
Succeeded byGeorge Shaw
Member of the Australian Parliament
for Capricornia
In office
28 September 1946  10 December 1949
Preceded byFrank Forde
Succeeded byHenry Pearce
Personal details
Born(1897-09-14)14 September 1897
Toowong, Queensland, Australia
Died29 November 1985(1985-11-29) (aged 88)
Yeronga, Queensland, Australia
Political partyCountry
OccupationDairy farmer

Early life

Davidson was born on 14 September 1897 in Toowong, Queensland. He was the third child of Marion (née Perry) and Alexander Black Davidson. His mother born in England and his father in Scotland. Davidson attended Townsville Grammar School until 1914 and then found work as a stockman in North Queensland. He enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force in February 1916 and served on the Western Front with the 42nd Battalion. He was wounded in action in September 1918 and returned to Australia.[1]

Military service

He served in World War I.

During World War II, he served in the 42nd Battalion of the Australian Army in New Guinea, rising to the rank of lieutenant-colonel. He was twice mentioned in despatches and was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (Military) in March 1945.[2][3][4][5][6]

Political career

Davidson was elected to the House of Representatives at the 1946 federal election, defeating Frank Forde – the incumbent Australian Labor Party deputy leader and a former prime minister – in the Division of Capricornia. He received a dual endorsement from the Country Party and the Liberal Party (in the form of the Queensland People's Party).[7] He joined the parliamentary Country Party after his election.[8]

In March 1947, Davidson was one of several MPs to boycott the swearing-in of William McKell as Governor-General of Australia, in protest at the perceived partisanship of his appointment.[9] At the 1949 election, following a redistribution, he was elected the member for the new seat of Dawson. He was Postmaster-General from 1956 to 1963 and Minister for the Navy from 1956 to 1958. In 1958 he was elected deputy leader of the Country Party succeeding John McEwen who had become leader.

He retired at the 1963 election.[2][3][6]

Davidson was made a Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire in June 1964.[5] He died in 1985 and was survived by his wife, a son and two daughters.[3]

Notes

  1. Bennet, Darryl (2007). "Davidson, Sir Charles William (1897–1985)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. 17.
  2. Hawke, Bob (11 February 1986). "Death of Sir Charles William Davidson". Hansard. Parliament of Australia. Archived from the original on 24 May 2011. Retrieved 19 November 2007.
  3. Ian, Sinclair (11 February 1986). "Death of Sir Charles William Davidson". Hansard. Parliament of Australia. Archived from the original on 24 May 2011. Retrieved 19 November 2007.
  4. Slipper, Peter (11 February 1986). "Death of Sir Charles William Davidson". Hansard. Parliament of Australia. Archived from the original on 24 May 2011. Retrieved 19 November 2007.
  5. "Davidson, Charles William". It's an honour. Australian Government. Retrieved 19 November 2007.
  6. "Members of the House of Representatives since 1901". Parliamentary Handbook. Parliament of Australia. Archived from the original on 17 November 2007. Retrieved 2007-11-19.
  7. "Mr CW Davidson For Capricornia As CP-Liberal Candidate". The Morning Bulletin. 13 May 1946.
  8. "Mr. Fadden Leads Country Party". The Barrier Miner. 3 December 1946.
  9. "Many Boycott Swearing In". The Telegraph. 11 March 1947.
Political offices
Preceded by
Larry Anthony
Postmaster-General
1956–1963
Succeeded by
Alan Hulme
Preceded by
Neil O'Sullivan
Minister for the Navy
1956–1958
Succeeded by
John Gorton
Parliament of Australia
Preceded by
Frank Forde
Member for Capricornia
1946–1949
Succeeded by
Henry Pearce
Preceded by
New division
Member for Dawson
1949–1963
Succeeded by
George Shaw
Party political offices
Preceded by
John McEwen
Deputy Leader of the
Country Party of Australia

1958–1963
Succeeded by
Charles Adermann
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