John Gorton

PM 1968-1971

John Gorton , 19th PM

On 10 January 1968, John Gorton became the 19th Prime Minister in unusual circumstances. He was elected Liberal Party leader to replace Harold Holt, who had disappeared the previous month while swimming off the Victorian coast, and was presumed dead.During John Gorton’s term as Prime Minister (10 January 1968 – 10 March 1971), matters of defence were prominent. In domestic matters, the Australian Council for the Arts, the Australian Film Development Corporation and the National Film and Television Training School were established. Rates of pay were standardised between the sexes and Australia’s mining industry grew rapidly during this period. Gorton’s policy of economic centralisation caused friction with the States and inter-party crises threatened to destroy the Liberal–Country Party Coalition.he declared himself out of office after a tied party vote of confidence in his leadership on 10 March 1971.A determined non-conformist and a passionate Australian nationalist, Gorton wanted to turn thinking in the party, and in the nation, in a more independent direction.