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Title: John Beasley and the postwar world
Contributor(s): Bongiorno, Frank Robert (author)
Publication Date: 2010
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Abstract: On 9 July 1948 the Australian prime minister, then visiting London, received an unusual letter. A Mr Fowler had noticed in the press that Mr Chifley had been inconvenienced in having to use a transformer to get his electric razor to work in Britain. The observant and helpful Wembley Park resident had glad tidings: there was a Swiss razor that could be adjusted to take any electrical current so that 'shaving time is greatly reduced'. Fowler offered to bring the shaver along for Chifley to see. Three days later, Chifley's private secretary replied. The prime minister, he said, was very interested indeed, but due to the shortness of his visit to London would be unable to see Fowler. Chifley added, however, that he would be very pleased if he would call into Australia House to see Mr Beasley, the Australian high commissioner, who would examine the razor on Chifley's behalf. 'Mr. Beasley has some knowledge of electrical matters', it was explained. John Albert Beasley (1895-1949), better known as 'Jack' or, less affectionately, 'Slabber', did indeed have 'some knowledge of electrical matters', for he was an electrician. The son of a blacksmith-turned-farmer from Werribee near Melbourne, one of Beasley's earliest jobs was digging electricity poles. He rose quickly to become supervisor of appliance sales in the electricity department of Sydney Municipal Council, president of the Electrical Trades Union from 1924 until 1930, and the union's delegate to the Labor Council of NSW. As youthful president of the latter organisation in the 1920s, a period of great turbulence in the labour movement, Beasley was well prepared for the pressures of public life.
Publication Type: Book Chapter
Source of Publication: The High Commissioners: Australia's Representatives in the United Kingdom, 1910-2010, p. 111-126
Publisher: Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
Place of Publication: Canberra, Australia
ISBN: 9781921612114
Field of Research (FOR): 210303 Australian History (excl Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander History)
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO): 970121 Expanding Knowledge in History and Archaeology
HERDC Category Description: B1 Chapter in a Scholarly Book
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Editor: Editor(s): Carl Bridge, Frank Bongiorno and David Lee
Appears in Collections:Book Chapter

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