Australian Events

Posted in 1950

  • Young Men's Christian Association members packing magazines for delivery to Australian troops in KoreaAustralian troops join UN forces in the Korean War. The following statement was made by the government on 26th July:

"In response to the appeal of the United Nations, the Australian Government has decided to provide ground troops for use in Korea. The nature and extent of such forces will be determined after the conclusion of discussions which the Prime Minister will have in the United States."

  • L-R: Lady Harrison, Robert Menzies, Dame Joan Sutherland, Joan Hammond, Pattie Menzies, Sir Eric Harrison (Aust High Commissioner to UK), c 1950sComment on Australia's involvement in Korea:

Robert O'Neill is one historian of Australian external relations who sees this [Australia's involvement in Korea] as an important turning point: "Few knew that on 26 July 1950 Australia passed through one of its rare significant crises of choice in the conduct of relations with its two major allies." Another, Coral Bell, has written: "It was the outbreak of the Korean War, when Menzies had been in power six months, that substantially decided the issue of Australian adhesion to US purposes in Asia for twenty two years'.
Quoted in A W Martin, Robert Menzies A Life Vol 2 1944-1978, 1999 p 158.

  • The Communist Party Dissolution Act is passed.
  • Soprano Joan Sutherland (later Dame Joan) wins the Mobil Quest enabling her to study overseas. She made her opera debut three years earlier and won the Sydney Sun Aria last year.