Official Sites.  In July 1951, McMahon replaced Philip McBride as Minister for the Navy and Minister for Air.  In an interview with HSV7 in June 1973, McMahon stated that "disloyalty within our own party" was the main reason the Liberals had lost the election. He arrived in Australia as a child, and eventually founded his own freight company, which became one of the largest in Sydney.  Mungo MacCallum, while noting that he left no lasting achievements, called his prime ministership a "brief but cheerful interlude" and praised him for leaving office with good grace.
, McMahon's term as prime minister ended on 5 December 1972. Only Sir George Pearce and Sir John McEwen had longer overall ministerial service, but their terms were not continuous.  Similarly, The Age surveyed eight historians in 2004 and all but one ranked McMahon as Australia's worst prime minister since World War II.
His experience of post-war Europe was said to have been one of the primary influences on his subsequent decision to enter politics.
McMahon is neither hero, nor villain. His government has been described by the Australian Dictionary of Biography as "a blend of cautious innovation and fundamental orthodoxy". However, the bill was subsequently struck down by the High Court. McMahon is an honored name in Ireland.
His mother died in 1917, when he was nine years old, and he was subsequently raised by her relatives.  Oakes recalled that he had continued leaking cabinet discussions even after becoming prime minister, and accused him of once having stolen a tape recorder.  Billy Snedden considered McMahon "conspiratorial, devious, untrustworthy", and Paul Hasluck viewed him as "disloyal, devious, dishonest, untrustworthy, petty, cowardly", in his diaries referring to him as "that treacherous bastard". William had 3 brothers: Samuel Arthur Joseph McMahon and 2 other siblings . He was awarded a Companion of Honor in the 1972 New Year's honors for long and distinguished political and public services to Australia. In 1953, he gave an address to the Australian Institute of Political Science in which he explained how he believed Christian doctrines necessitated parliamentary democracy and a market economy. This impressed his colleagues in the Liberal Party, but laid the foundations for the poor relations with the Country Party that would prove challenging later in his career.  However, he believed that Governor-General John Kerr had acted unconstitutionally in dismissing the prime minister, and said that he would have challenged the decision in the High Court if he had been in Whitlam's position. This brought him firmly into the inner ranks of the Liberal Party, and in terms of cabinet rank placed him among the party's most senior figures in New South Wales.
He marshals the apparently trivial incident to reveal so much of how politics was done through the 1950s and 1960s. This farcical situation came to a head when Gorton published two articles detailing the problems he had had with ministers leaking information from cabinet. Late on election night, with the result beyond doubt, McMahon conceded defeat, ending the longest unbroken run in government in Australian history. , McMahon is often ranked among Australia's worst prime ministers. McMahon therefore withdrew, and Senator John Gorton won the subsequent party room ballot for party leader and therefore Prime Minister.
When Holt disappeared in December 1967, McMahon was assumed to be his probable successor. However, Whitlam acknowledged him as "an extraordinarily skilful, resourceful and tenacious politician", and credited him with having prevented a larger margin of defeat in 1972. He subsequently approved and oversaw Donald Hardman's proposal to reorganise the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) along functional command lines (rather than the previous area command system). He spent his inheritance freely, owning several racehorses, and was known for betting significant amounts on the races. This outstanding book shows there is still a place for classic biography. | His second book, The Trials of Portnoy, about the end of literary censorship in Australia, was published by Scribe in June 2020. McMahon initially continued on as Treasurer in the Gorton Government, but in 1969 was demoted to Minister for External Affairs after an unsuccessful challenge for the leadership. Labor had come within four seats of winning government in 1969, and since then had positioned itself as a credible government-in-waiting. Other Works
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