The foreign policy of Sir Robert Menzies, Australia’s longest-serving Prime Minister, has often been judged as beholden to Britain and the United States. Under Menzies, however, Australia took some steps towards a more independent role for Australia in foreign policy. Key initiatives include the signing of the ANZUS Treaty, the Colombo Plan and the Australia–Japan Commerce Agreement. Troy Bramston’s latest biography, Robert Menzies: The Art of Politics, reveals a wealth of new information about the Menzies years, including his role in the Suez crisis.
Lowy Institute Executive Director Dr Michael Fullilove had a conversation with Troy Bramston, where they explored Menzies’ foreign policy successes and missteps and the lessons they may yield for Australian foreign policy in the future.
Troy Bramston is a senior writer and columnist with The Australian and is the author or editor of nine books on Australian politics and political biography. His new biography, Robert Menzies: The Art of Politics, was published in April 2019.