By Sir Robert Menzies
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He was in Queensland, and knew nothing of what I had in mind. Our telephone conversation was quite brief. ‘Tom, I am proposing to restore you to the Active List, for reasons which seem to me to be good. ’ To which hereplied, ‘You do what you like. ’ And soit was that, in the Royal Birthday Honours of 1950, he was created aField‐Marshal. ' “ While I was in the Middle East I renewed my friendship with Leslie Morshead, then commanding the 18th Brigade (which had been to England). ‘ He was born in Ballarat, and when I was a schoolboy in that old mining city his family was well-known.
It represented the triumph of learning and the sense of academic continuity over temporary disaster. When we w e n t out, robed, to the steps of the University, the smoke still rose; the battered citizens cheered Winston; he gave the victory signal, and with a fine gesture of defiance, lit a fresh cigar. It would be easy to yield to the temptation to think of Winston Churchill as the one and only; bearing the whole country on his shoulders, unaided. That temptation m u s t be resisted. Of course he was something unique; there was never anybody like him; but his great genius was that he evoked courage; he did n o t and could n o t create it.
But the fates willed otherwise, asI shall show. On 24May 1941, shortly after my r e t u r n from abroad, I spoke to a packed meeting at the Sydney Town Hall. Several of my Labour Parliamentary opponents honoured me by their presence on the platform. Drawing on my experience in London, and persuaded more than ever before of the gravity of the crisis, I made a special appeal for unity. It is our great privilege to be governed under a system of Parliament. It is a characteristic of our parliamentary life that there should be parties and party debates.