Ben Chifley

C 1945-1946

Ben Chifley , 16th PM

Ben Chifley became Prime Minister on 13 July 1945. Four weeks later the war in the Pacific ended and Chifley was able to lead a government with the goal of building the peace.First elected to a Labor seat in parliament in 1928, Chifley lost his seat in 1931, but was re-elected in 1940 ~ Ben Chifley was a committed centralist. As Prime Minister he introduced national projects such as the Snowy Mountains hydro-electric scheme and the assisted immigration program.He also pushed through legislation that enabled the Commonwealth to become the collector of income tax and sought nationalisation of the private banks so that the federal government could have more control over the economy.Chifley lost office at the 1949 federal election, after his attempt to nationalise the banks. In Opposition, Chifley was against RG Menzies’ proposal to ban the Communist Party – a major issue at the federal election of April 1951. Two months after the Labor Party was again defeated, Ben Chifley died on 13 June 1951.