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Whitlam’s Message To The Liberal Party’s Killen Dinner

Jim Killen served in the House of Representatives as the Liberal member for Moreton from 1955 until 1983.

Killen was famous for having won his seat on Communist Party preferences at the 1961 election, saving the Menzies government from defeat. He invented a famous story that Robert Menzies told him: “Killen, you’re magnificent.”

Killen was Minister for Navy in the Gorton government from 1969 until 1971, and Minister for Defence in the Fraser government from 1975 until 1982.

Throughout their parliamentary careers, Whitlam and Killen maintained a jocular friendship, that is reflected in the message shown below.

The message is in response to an invitation from the Liberal Party to attend a dinner in honour of Killen.

Killen was knighted in 1982. He died in 2007, at the age of 81. Whitlam delivered the eulogy at his funeral.

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Malcolm Farnsworth
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