Australian Events

Posted in 1963

  • Second Royal Tour of Australia by Queen Elizabeth II to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the foundation of Canberra: Prime Minister Menzies after saying that the British monarchy was the most democratic in the world, spoke about Australian affection as an expression of that and quoted the lines: I did but see her passing by ... "Anachronistically and mindlessly, this one sentence is generally used to lampoon Menzies' attitude to the monarchy, as if this was the only thing he ever said on the subject."
    A W Martin, Robert Menzies A Life Vol 2 1944-1978, 1999 p 455.


There is no greater admirer of the Royal Family than the Prime Minister.

All I ask you to remember in this country of yours is that every man, woman and child who even sees you with a passing glimpse as you go by will remember it, remember it with joy, remember it - in the words of the old 17th century poet who wrote those famous words, "I did but see her passing by and yet I love her till I die." (applause)

Royal Tour 1963

  • Queen confers the Order of the Thistle on Menzies: Menzies held the view that it was improper for a Prime Minister to accept a knighthood while in office as he was aware that local knighthoods involved recommendations, through the Governor-General, which often involved a political element. "But now the Queen, without any Australian prompting, was asking him to accept an honour that depended on her initiative as well as being in her gift alone."
    A W Martin, Robert Menzies A Life Vol 2 1944-1978, 1999 p 456.
  • Sir John Eccles (Australia) shares the Nobel Prize with Alan Hodgkin (UK) and Andrew Huxley (UK) "for their discoveries concerning the ionic mechanisms involved in excitation and inhibition in the peripheral and central portions of the nerve cell membrane".
  • Nuclear test ban is signed by Australia.
  • Agreement is reached to establish the first US naval communications base in Australia at North West Cape, WA (opened in 1967).
  • Federal Government decides to buy the American F111 fighter-bomber for the RAAF.
  • Australian singer Frank Ifield topped the British pop charts with Confessin' (That I Love You), following hits such as I Remember You.