Stanley Argyle
Sir Stanley Seymour Argyle KBE
Order of the British Empire
The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire is an order of chivalry established on 4 June 1917 by George V of the United Kingdom. The Order comprises five classes in civil and military divisions...

 (4 December 1867 – 23 November 1940), Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

n politician, was the 32nd Premier of Victoria. He was born in Kyneton, Victoria
Kyneton, Victoria
Kyneton is a town on the Calder Highway in the Macedon Ranges of Victoria, Australia. The Calder Freeway bypasses Kyneton to the north and east. The town was named after the English village of Kineton, Warwickshire. The town has three main streets: Mollison Street, Piper Street and High Street...

, the son of a grazier, and was educated at Brighton Grammar School
Brighton Grammar School
Brighton Grammar School is an independent, Anglican, day school for boys, located in Brighton, a south-eastern suburb of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia....

 and the University of Melbourne
University of Melbourne
The University of Melbourne is a public university located in Melbourne, Victoria. Founded in 1853, it is the second oldest university in Australia and the oldest in Victoria...

, where he graduated in medicine. After further study in the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

, he went into general practice in Kew
Kew, Victoria
Kew is a suburb in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 6 km east from Melbourne's central business district. Its Local Government Area is the City of Boroondara. At the 2006 Census, Kew had a population of 22,516....

 (a wealthy Melbourne suburb), and was later a pioneer of radiology
Radiology is a medical specialty that employs the use of imaging to both diagnose and treat disease visualized within the human body. Radiologists use an array of imaging technologies to diagnose or treat diseases...

 in Australia. He was a member of the Kew City Council 1898-1905 and was mayor in 1903-05. During World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

 he was consultant radiologist to the Australian Imperial Force
Australian Imperial Force
The Australian Imperial Force was the name given to all-volunteer Australian Army forces dispatched to fight overseas during World War I and World War II.* First Australian Imperial Force * Second Australian Imperial Force...

 in Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

 and in France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

, with the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel. After the war he invested in dairy farming, milk processing and citrus growing.

Argyle was elected to the Victorian Legislative Assembly
Victorian Legislative Assembly
The Victorian Legislative Assembly is the lower house of the Parliament of Victoria in Australia. Together with the Victorian Legislative Council, the upper house, it sits in Parliament House in the state capital, Melbourne.-History:...

 for the seat of Toorak
Toorak, Victoria
Toorak is a suburb of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 5 km south-east from Melbourne's central business district located on a rise on the south side of a bend in the Yarra River. Its Local Government Area is the City of Stonnington...

 in 1920, as an independent Nationalist
Nationalist Party of Australia
The Nationalist Party of Australia was an Australian political party. It was formed on 17 February 1917 from a merger between the conservative Commonwealth Liberal Party and the National Labor Party, the name given to the pro-conscription defectors from the Australian Labor Party led by Prime...

. He was Chief Secretary and Minister for Health in the ministries of Harry Lawson
Harry Lawson
Sir Harry Sutherland Wightman Lawson KCMG , Australian politician, was the 27th Premier of Victoria.Lawson was born in Dunolly, the son of a Presbyterian clergyman of Scottish descent. He was educated at a local school and then briefly Scotch College in Melbourne. He was a noted Australian rules...

, John Allan
John Allan
John Allan was a Canadian politician. Allan was the Member of Provincial Parliament for the seat of Hamilton West from 1914 to 1919....

, Alexander Peacock
Alexander Peacock
Sir Alexander James Peacock, KCMG , Australian politician, was the 20th Premier of Victoria.Peacock was born of Scottish descent at Creswick, the first Victorian Premier born after the gold rush of the 1850s and the attainment of self-government in Victoria. He was distantly related to the family...

 and William McPherson
William Murray McPherson
Sir William Murray McPherson, KBE was an Australian philanthropist and politician. He was the 31st Premier of Victoria....

 between 1923 and 1928. When McPherson resigned as leader of the Nationalist Party, Argyle was chosen to succeed him, and in 1931 the party was renamed the United Australia Party
United Australia Party
The United Australia Party was an Australian political party that was founded in 1931 and dissolved in 1945. It was the political successor to the Nationalist Party of Australia and predecessor to the Liberal Party of Australia...

 (UAP). He led the opposition to Ned Hogan
Edmond Hogan
Edmond John "Ned" Hogan , Australian politician, 30th Premier of Victoria, was born in Wallace, Victoria, where his Irish-born parents were small farmers...

's minority Australian Labor Party
Australian Labor Party
The Australian Labor Party is an Australian political party. It has been the governing party of the Commonwealth of Australia since the 2007 federal election. Julia Gillard is the party's federal parliamentary leader and Prime Minister of Australia...

 government, which was unable to cope with the effects of the Great Depression
Great Depression
The Great Depression was a severe worldwide economic depression in the decade preceding World War II. The timing of the Great Depression varied across nations, but in most countries it started in about 1929 and lasted until the late 1930s or early 1940s...

 and was heavily defeated at the May 1932 elections.

Argyle formed a coalition government with the Country Party
National Party of Australia
The National Party of Australia is an Australian political party.Traditionally representing graziers, farmers and rural voters generally, it began as the The Country Party, but adopted the name The National Country Party in 1975, changed to The National Party of Australia in 1982. The party is...

, led by Allan and later by Albert Dunstan
Albert Dunstan
Sir Albert Arthur Dunstan, KCMG was an Australian politician. A member of the Country Party , Dunstan was the 33rd Premier of Victoria. His term as Premier was the second-longest in the state's history, behind Sir Henry Bolte...

. The government had a huge majority — 45 seats to Labor's 16. Ministers included the rising star of the UAP, Robert Menzies
Robert Menzies
Sir Robert Gordon Menzies, , Australian politician, was the 12th and longest-serving Prime Minister of Australia....

, who became Attorney-General and Minister for Railways. Argyle, a firm fiscal conservative, held to the orthodox view that in a time of depression government spending must be cut so that the budget remained in balance. This soon brought him into conflict with both the trade unions and the farmers, but at the time there seemed to be no alternative policy. Argyle was lucky in that the economy began to improve from 1932, and the unemployment
Unemployment , as defined by the International Labour Organization, occurs when people are without jobs and they have actively sought work within the past four weeks...

 rate fell from 27 percent in 1932 to 20 percent in 1934 and 14 percent in 1935. This led a reduction in unemployment relief payments and an increase in taxation revenue, easing the state's financial crisis.

Argyle fought the March 1935 election with an improving economy, a record of sound, if unimaginative, management, and with the Labor opposition still divided and demoralised. He was rewarded with a second comfortable majority, with the UAP winning 25 seats and the Country Party 20, while Labor won only 17. But at this point he was unexpectedly betrayed by his allies. The Country Party leader Albert Dunstan was a close friend of the gambling boss John Wren
John Wren
John Wren was an Australian businessman. He has become a legendary figure thanks mainly to a fictionalised account of his life in Frank Hardy's novel Power Without Glory, which was also made into a television series...

, who was also very close to the Labor leader Tom Tunnecliffe (in the view of most historians, in fact, Tunnecliffe was under Wren's control). Wren, aided by the Victorian Labor Party President, Arthur Calwell
Arthur Calwell
Arthur Augustus Calwell Australian politician, was a member of the Australian House of Representatives for 32 years from 1940 to 1972, Immigration Minister in the government of Ben Chifley from 1945 to 1949 and Leader of the Australian Labor Party from 1960 to 1967.-Early life:Calwell was born in...

, persuaded Dunstan to break off the coalition with Argyle and form a minority Country Party government, which Labor would support in return for some policy concessions. Dunstan agreed to this deal, and in April 1935 he moved a successful no confidence vote in the government from which he had just resigned.

The UAP (and later its successor the Liberal Party
Liberal Party of Australia
The Liberal Party of Australia is an Australian political party.Founded a year after the 1943 federal election to replace the United Australia Party, the centre-right Liberal Party typically competes with the centre-left Australian Labor Party for political office...

) never forgave the Country Party for this treachery. Henry Bolte
Henry Bolte
Sir Henry Edward Bolte GCMG was an Australian politician. He was the 38th and longest serving Premier of Victoria.- Early years :...

, later Victoria's longest-serving Premier, was 27 in 1935, and Dunstan's betrayal of Argyle lay behind his lifelong and intense dislike of the Country Party, whom he called "political prostitutes." Argyle remained in politics as Leader of the Opposition until his death in 1940.

Throughout his life, Argyle showed a keen interest in the quality of Melbourne's milk supply. Argyle founded the Willsmere Certificated Milk Co. in 1898, of which he was a director until 1920. As a member of the Legislative Assembly, he objected to the metropolitan milk bill, which was intended to improve the quality of Melbourne's milk. After the bill was held up in the Legislative Council in 1921, he was nominated to a committee to consider amendments, and visited New Zealand to report on milk-supply there.
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