GAIR, Vincent Clare (1901–1980)
Senator for Queensland, 1965–74 (Democratic Labor Party)

Vincent Clare Gair was born in Rockhampton, Queensland, on 25 February 1901. He was the eighth of the ten children of John Alexander Gair, prison warder, and Catherine Mary, née Maguire.

John Gair immigrated to Queensland from Scotland in 1885, where he had worked as a publican and hospital orderly. He was a ‘strict disciplinarian’ and ‘a life-long supporter of the Labour Party’, but the principal parental influence on young Vince seems to have been his Irish-born mother. Catherine, a former nurse, was politically active and a member of the Rockhampton Workers’ Political Organisation, a precursor to the ALP in Queensland. She would take her son to meetings, and he joined the Labor Party before he was old enough to vote.

Gair was educated at the Leichhardt Ward State School, and then at St Joseph’s Christian Brothers College, Rockhampton. He left school at the end of 1915, joining the railways as an apprentice clerk, initially at Rockhampton and then at Brisbane, when the family moved there in 1916. Advancement was excruciatingly slow and the cause of much frustration for the ambitious young man. Promoted to clerk in the general manager’s office in 1922, he remained in that position until his resignation ten years later. He found an outlet in various sports such as rugby league football, tennis and cricket, in which he was an all-rounder. An energetic participant in local politics, Gair directed several election campaigns, and was secretary and president of the South Brisbane branch of the Labor Party. On 14 July 1924 he married Florence Glynn at St Mary’s Catholic Church, South Brisbane. Florence died as the result of a fall in October 1929. The only child of their marriage, Gloria Imelda, died in 1941. For Gair, these losses were a ‘terrible grief’. [1]

Winning preselection for the state seat of South Brisbane in 1932, Gair soundly defeated the conservative member, Neil Macgroarty, the sitting Attorney-General. Gair was an effective and popular local member, and an excellent constituency nurse. In his early years in Parliament, he devoted much of his energy to assisting the unemployed to find work, discharging his responsibilities with ‘dedication, diligence and humanity’. Gair put his name forward for cabinet vacancies on more than one occasion, but without success. Gair served capably as secretary of the Parliamentary Labor Party (PLP) from May 1935 until April 1941, and as Chairman of Committees from August 1941 to September 1942. On 27 December 1944 at the Catholic Church of the Holy Spirit, New Farm, Brisbane, Gair married Ellen Mary (Nell) Sexton, a clerk and a former nun; they had two sons. The Gairs purchased a house in Annerley, which remained the family home for the rest of Gair’s life.[2]

From September 1942 until May 1947, Gair served as Secretary for Mines, filling a consequential vacancy on the retirement of Premier William Forgan Smith. His energies were channelled into the production of coal for the war effort during a period of extreme manpower shortages. Premier Frank Cooper gave him the additional responsibility of the Labour and Employment portfolio (Labour and Industry from 1947) in 1944, which he retained until 1950. In 1944 as delegate to the Labor-in-Politics Convention, Gair moved a resolution in favour of the introduction of a 40-hour week ‘as soon as practicable’. However, he was wary of the economic consequences of Queensland taking this course ahead of other states, and did not introduce the necessary legislation until 1947. During the bitter period associated with the meat and railway strikes in the immediate postwar period, Gair demonstrated his opposition to the communists, whom many felt were behind the strikes. He was an enthusiastic supporter of the punitive anti-picketing legislation brought in by the ALP’s Hanlon Government to deal with the railway strike. Gair also supported the Industrial Groups that from 1946 were set up to combat communism within the trade unions.[3]

With the surprise defeat of his friend transport minister E. J. Walsh at the state election of May 1947, Gair was elected Deputy Premier, winning by one vote. Treasurer from May 1950 until January 1952, he emphasised budget surpluses and was reluctant to expend reserves, even for projects that would stimulate employment. Gair served as Acting Premier for extended periods during the long, final illness of Premier Ned Hanlon. When Hanlon died on 15 January 1952, Gair succeeded him.

Gair’s first three years as premier were prosperous, stable and peaceful, as Queensland continued to recover from the exigencies of war. One of his main concerns was extracting funding from Canberra for developmental projects such as the Burdekin Dam, and quarrelling with federal Treasurer (and drinking companion) Arthur Fadden over the perceived parsimony of the latter. Prime Minister Robert Menzies later said that Gair was ‘a pain in the neck’ at Premiers’ conferences. In 1954 Gair hosted the successful royal visit of the young Queen Elizabeth, playing a prominent role in the arrangements for the tour. His enthusiasm for the royal visit seemed pronounced for one of his political creed. Shortly after the tour, he wrote in a press column: ‘We rejoice not only because we love Her Majesty for her innate goodness and beauty, but because she is veritably our own Queen’.[4]

Gair’s government was extremely socially conservative, bringing in a separate body to deal with the censorship of published material at a state level. Legislation was also introduced, obviously aimed at the communists and other radical groups, compelling authors of published material to register their printing presses, and include their names and addresses on their works, with the seizure of printing equipment among the consequences of non-compliance.

Gair won the state election of March 1953 easily. For the leader of a party that had been in power for over twenty years it was an excellent performance: the Government won seven extra seats from a lacklustre and indolent Opposition. With two-thirds of the seats in the Legislative Assembly claimed by Labor, few doubted that the party could remain in office for another decade.[5]

In October 1954 federal Opposition Leader, Dr H. V. Evatt, publicly attacked the ‘disloyal and subversive’ activities of a ‘small minority group’, widely understood to be B. A. Santamaria’s semi-clandestine Catholic Social Studies Movement, operating in the Industrial Groups. Most sections of the party disavowed the Industrial Groups in the next few months. The Catholic and fervently anti-communist Gair and his supporters in the PLP, however, kept supporting the Groups. This set the stage for conflict between Gair’s faction and other sections of the Labor Party in Queensland, most notably the Queensland branch of the Australian Workers’ Union (AWU). At the time, the state president of the AWU was Joe Bukowski, a hulking and volatile man with paranoid tendencies and a ‘propensity for physical violence’. Gair and Bukowski had known and disliked each other since their boyhoods in Rockhampton, and Bukowski’s ‘obsessive hatred’ of Gair would prove a critical factor in the events of the next few years.[6]

At the Federal Conference at Hobart in March 1955, Gair, Walsh (back in Parliament as Treasurer), and all other Queensland delegates except for Harry Boland, state secretary of the AWU, boycotted the conference after the dismissal of the ‘old’ Victorian executive, which supported the Groups. AWU elements on the Queensland Central Executive (QCE), governing body of the state Labor Party, were incensed at the boycott. On Gair’s return the PLP adopted the contradictory position of voting to support him, but endorsing the platform of the Hobart conference which he had boycotted. The parliamentarians, even those opposed to Gair, wished to hold on to government in Queensland, but Gair had earned the undying enmity of many elements in the party.[7]

In the lead-up to the Labor-in-Politics Convention early in 1956, Jack Egerton, secretary of the Boilermakers’ Society and vice-president of the left-wing Trades and Labor Council of Queensland (TLC), built conciliatory bridges with the traditional enemy of the Trades Hall unions, the right-wing AWU. The result was that this unlikely alliance had the numbers at the convention to turn an overwhelming majority for the Industrial Groups in 1953 to a comfortable anti-Grouper majority in 1956. Gair was now isolated, but the warring sections of the party came together for the election in May. Remarkably, under the circumstances, Labor lost only one seat. Ominously for Gair, Harry Boland died in July 1956, and Bukowski was appointed both the secretary of the AWU and the president of the QCE. He immediately affiliated the AWU with the TLC, creating a formidable alliance that was, overwhelmingly, the largest power bloc in the party.[8]

Relations between Gair and his PLP supporters and the rest of the party were exacerbated by the pastoral strike of 1956. Gair tried to stay out of the dispute, which began on 1 January and involved shearers who came within the ambit of the AWU under Bukowski. But he was eventually and reluctantly forced to declare a state of emergency before the strike was settled. His break with his party was now all but inevitable. Bukowski, whose machinations did much to prolong the strike, declared: ‘Mr Gair should understand that once a man steps across the line against the people within the Labor movement, it is very, very hard to step back again’.[9]

The issue that eventually brought Gair down originated in a motion passed without discussion at the 1953 Labor-in-Politics Convention, two weeks after the state election. The motion affirmed the party’s aim to obtain three weeks annual leave in southern areas and four weeks in the northern and western areas for workers under state industrial awards. Gair was always in favour of the change, but deemed it appropriate to wait until the economic climate was opportune, believing that the timing of relevant legislation was the responsibility of government through Parliament. The matter festered over the next three years. In 1955 the QCE demanded the immediate introduction of three weeks leave, and the convention repeated the demand the following year, with a time limit of 1 January 1957. Gair refused. In April 1957 the QCE passed a motion of no confidence in Gair, accusing him of deliberately flouting decisions of the Labor-in-Politics Convention. Cabinet responded by declaring its support for Gair. All except one Cabinet member, Deputy Premier Jack Duggan, agreed that ‘any punitive action’ taken against Gair ‘will therefore be regarded as having been taken against each Minister individually’.[10]

On 24 April, Gair appeared before the QCE to show cause why he should not be expelled. On arrival at the meeting, Gair was told that he was charged with six offences, some of which were relatively trivial and unrelated to the three weeks leave issue, evidence, if any was needed, that some elements of the QCE wanted to ensure his expulsion. Suffering with the flu, he put up an emotional and eloquent defence, arguing that none of the charges levelled against him could be attributed solely to any action of his, either as a person, or leader of the Parliamentary Labor Party. Therefore, it was the Cabinet and Caucus who were on trial, not he. He reminded his accusers that parliamentarians had to act on behalf of all the people, not just the party, and of his landslide victories in 1953 and 1956. He concluded: ‘I am glad this decision is for your making—not mine’. His eloquence was to no avail. In the early hours of 25 April 1957 the QCE voted narrowly, thirty-five to thirty, to expel him. Twenty-four members followed Gair out of the Labor Party, mostly to political oblivion. The breakaway party was known as the Queensland Labor Party (QLP).[11]

When Parliament met on 11 and 12 June, supply was refused to what remained of the Gair Government. Twenty-four members of the official Labor Party, led by Duggan, voted with the Country and Liberal Party Opposition. In the subsequent election on 3 August, both Labor parties were routed, and the conservative coalition, under the leadership of Frank Nicklin, commenced thirty-two years in power.

Gair retained his seat in Parliament, but the QLP was reduced from twenty-five members to eleven in the 1957 elections. Support for the QLP, which lacked finances, established party infrastructure and tradition, quickly eroded. Gair’s South Brisbane electorate was significantly altered in the electoral redistribution of 1959 and he lost his seat in the election of May 1960. He was out of Parliament for the first time in twenty-eight years.[12]

Gair set to work as an organiser for his party. In October 1960 the Nicklin Coalition Government controversially created a public service position for him as liaison officer in the Department of Labour and Industry. In December 1961 he narrowly missed election as a Senate candidate under the banner of the QLP, whose policies were congruent with the Democratic Labor Party (DLP). The QLP merged with the DLP in late 1962.

Gair ran successfully for the Senate in late 1964. Frank McManus joined him in Parliament. To settle the question of leadership of the two-member parliamentary party, the rivals drew from a hat. Gair won. One journalist said at the time: ‘For a two-man team, it could hardly be stronger. The ebullient, experienced, self-confident Mr. Gair should make an able front-man. And behind him will be the clever Mr. McManus’.

Sworn in on 17 August 1965, Gair’s first speech, eight days later, won compliments from the ALP Senate leader, Lionel Murphy. Gair attacked the Government over its attempt to thwart by regulation a legal appeal by the IPEC airfreight company. The DLP senators voted with the ALP and dissident Liberal, Senator Wright, to disallow the regulation. Gair and McManus voted with the ALP on nearly half the divisions over the next fourteen months, but the balance of power was such that the Government could usually only be defeated if one of its own senators crossed the floor. After February 1967, when both major parties had the same number of seats and the DLP shared the balance of power with two independents (as a result of the defection of Senator Hannaford from the Liberal Party), the DLP was inclined to be more conservative, voting with the Government on two-thirds of the divisions during 1967. Even so, the votes of Gair and McManus ensured the defeat of the Government on seventeen occasions.[13]

In the Senate, Gair hammered away in support of policies that he had long advocated, such as anti-communism and increased welfare for the family, especially in the form of child endowment. The DLP had a good record in lobbying for levels of child endowment to be maintained, and Gair later saw this as the DLP’s greatest achievement. He was a strong supporter of the war in Vietnam, and as late as 1974 was defending Australian involvement. Surprisingly, Gair showed sympathy and the ‘greatest respect’ for conscientious objectors, and on 12 June 1968 successfully moved an amendment to the National Service Bill extending their right of legal appeal. A provision of the Act that had the effect of compelling ministers of religion and relatives and doctors of conscientious objectors to impart confidential information about them was also modified after Gair drew attention to it.[14]

Gair and Reg Wright campaigned actively for the ‘no’ case in the referendum proposal to break the 2:1 ‘nexus’ ratio between the numbers in the House of Representatives and the Senate. They drafted the ‘no’ case in 1965 and 1967 (the referendum scheduled for May 1966 had been postponed for twelve months) and co-wrote letters to newspapers. One cannot say that their opposition was the reason that the May 1967 referendum failed, but their vigorous stand against the breaking of the nexus is not in dispute. Gair called the result ‘one of the triumphs of my political life’. Gair also campaigned successfully against increased postal charges, which were twice rejected by the Senate. At the half-Senate election of 1967 he and McManus were joined by Senator Condon Byrne and Senator Jack Little. From 1 July 1968, the DLP held the balance of power. At this time Gair was described by the veteran journalist, Alan Reid, as ‘tough and able, squat, short, in appearance a genial porker but by temperament as aggressive as a scrub bull, with a ranting bombastic style, the faintest hint of a speech impediment, a coarse, effective sense of humour, and a pot belly that he was accustomed to pat derisively while saying, “Nobody can accuse me of lacking guts” ’.[15]

In late 1968, responding to speculation that the Gorton Government might go to the polls a year early, the DLP threatened to switch preferences to the ALP in key seats. Gair personally delivered this message to the Prime Minister. John Gorton did not call an early election, but denied vehemently that DLP pressure had played any part in his decision. During the 1969 federal election campaign, Gorton was forced to modify his defence policies, particularly in regard to the Russian presence in the Indian Ocean, in order to accommodate Gair, who again threatened to allocate DLP preferences to candidates other than the coalition. Some in the DLP favoured the simple non-running of candidates in seats that were marginal for the Liberals, but Gair told Jack Kane: ‘If you’re going to be a dog you might as well be an Alsatian. So let’s tell Gorton that we’ll direct preferences against him in these seats’. In the face of pressure from Gair and the DLP, Gorton promised a start on the Cockburn Sound naval base, new ships for the navy, an upgrading of the Learmonth airfield and that Australia would take a greater interest in the Indian Ocean as Britain withdrew from the region. Although there was a pronounced swing against him, Gorton won the election. In the David Williamson play, Don’s Party, which is set in a suburban home on the night of that election, Don, the host, calls Gair a ‘Mad Fascist bastard’.[16]


With the election of Jack Kane at the mid-term elections of 1970, DLP Senate representation increased to five, but around this time Gair, nearly seventy, started to demonstrate signs of being markedly out of step with the times. He performed poorly on television, both in the lead-up to, and during the campaign for, the 1972 election. President Nixon’s visits to China and Russia that year removed the perception of a communist threat to Australia, a perennial catchcry for the DLP. The DLP campaigned, not very convincingly or successfully, on a platform of anti-permissiveness, arguing that a Labor government would, among other things, provide abortion on demand and lift all restrictions on censorship. ‘Children have a strict right to be protected by the State against the merchants of drugs, pornography and permissiveness’, Gair declared at the campaign opening, adding that permissive policies could ‘destroy a nation, just as surely as external aggression’. When the Labor Party, led by Gough Whitlam, won the election of 1972 the DLP lost, to a large extent, the very reason for its existence.[17]

In January 1973 facing dissatisfaction within the party, Gair told friends that he would resign as leader. He procrastinated for almost nine months before eventually doing so in October, after receiving an ultimatum from McManus. Apparently fuelled by the injudicious consumption of alcohol, the once garrulous Gair became surly and antagonistic towards his colleagues. His fellow senator, Jim McClelland, recalled a ‘morose and lonely’ Gair, a contrast to the gregarious and social one of old. ‘He used to sit on the DLP crossbenches, quite close to me and, especially at night, as he became increasingly lubricated, I could hear him muttering more or less to himself to the great embarrassment of his strait-laced colleagues seated around him’.[18]

Sensing an opening, Senator Justin O’Byrne and others in the Labor Party, with the blessing of Prime Minister Gough Whitlam, approached Gair with the prospect of serving as Ambassador to Ireland. The job offer had little to do with Gair’s perceived abilities as a diplomat, but much to do with the prospects of winning three out of the six senatorial vacancies in Queensland, rather than two out of the five that would otherwise arise. Gair accepted the offer, telling dismayed DLP colleagues, ‘I’ve carried you bastards for years, now you can go to buggery’. The Queensland Premier, Joh Bjelke-Petersen, stymied Whitlam’s ploy by issuing the writs for a Senate election—for only five senators—before Gair could resign. In an incident that has gone down in political legend, a Country Party senator, Ron Maunsell, plied Gair with beer and prawns on the evening of 2 April 1974 to delay his resignation. In reality, under the Electoral Act there was no need for delaying tactics after 6 p.m., the hour at which writs are deemed to have been issued, irrespective of the actual time of issue on the day. Gair later claimed that he was well aware of Bjelke-Petersen’s power to issue the writs, noting that Whitlam and Murphy were ‘both QCs who had been in politics long enough to know that. I wasn’t about to remind them’. Gair retained the appointment, but at the subsequent election on 18 May 1974 all DLP senators lost their seats, the end of DLP representation in the federal Parliament.[19]

As an ambassador, Gair left a lot to be desired, habitually subjecting women to unwelcome attention, addressing the British ambassador as ‘you old bugger’, and telling unsavoury stories to mixed company in inappropriate situations. When Whitlam visited Gair in Dublin in December 1974, Gair used the occasion to make political comments, including an attack on the capabilities of the then Leader of the Opposition, Billy Snedden. Back in Australia the Liberals demanded that Gair be compelled to resign, but the Labor Government did nothing.

When the Whitlam Government was dismissed on 11 November 1975, Gair’s days were numbered. In January 1976 the new Liberal Foreign Affairs Minister Andrew Peacock recalled him. When Gair demanded to know why, and reminded Peacock that he still had one year to run in his three-year term, Peacock said that the matter was not negotiable.

An embittered Gair returned to Australia in March 1976, giving the occasional interview and continuing to give strident voice to outdated ideas. He died at the Mater Private Hospital, South Brisbane, on 11 November 1980, the fifth anniversary of the dismissal of the Whitlam Government. Survived by Nell and their sons, he was buried at Nudgee Cemetery after a state funeral attended by over 500 people at Mary Immaculate Church, Annerley.[20]

At his best, Gair was a diligent and assiduous worker for the underdog. Seeing himself ‘more as a humanitarian than as a socialist’, he genuinely believed that it was the role of government to improve the living conditions of the people. His own achievements in this direction are relatively slight, as the Gair Government came to power in Queensland after most of the battles had been won and most of the reforms had been implemented. While he introduced the 40-hour week into both Labor policy and Queensland legislation, the idea did not originate with him and would have proceeded without his presence.

As a senator holding the balance of power, he was able to make a difference, most notably in the areas of child endowment, and defence policy. But Gair is far better remembered for the contentiousness and combativeness that he showed during the Queensland Labor Split of 1957, and for the compliant acceptance of what appeared to many to be little more than a sordid political bribe in the form of an ambassadorship. John Gorton later described him as ‘a terrible fellow’, and Sir Robert Menzies dismissed him as a ‘conceited little booby’, but Peter Ryan probably went too far when he described Gair as a ‘grub’ and a ‘coarse and corrupt political bruiser’.

Gair’s political courage was never in question, and he was a convivial companion who mixed easily with all ages and levels of society. Even his old enemy Jack Egerton had only kind words for Gair when he died, describing him as ‘a man who worked for the people and didn’t line his pockets like modern-day counterparts’. Perhaps his Senate colleague Jack Kane summed Gair up best of all when he said: ‘He could be a difficult, obstreperous man, but it was impossible not to like him’.[21]

Brian Stevenson

[1] B. J. Costar, ‘Gair, Vincent Clare’, ADB, vol. 14; Frank Mines, Gair, Arrow Press, Canberra, 1975, pp. 1–6; QSA, Register of migrants arriving Jan.–Dec. 1885, IMM/120, p. 394, mfm 1701, NLA; Vincent Clare Gair, Sound recording of oral history interview with John Edwards, 1972, TRC 168/5, tape 1, NLA; Telegraph (Brisb.), 1 June 1942, p. 5; Peter Blazey and Andrew Campbell, The Political Dice Men, Outback Press, Fitzroy, Vic., 1974, p. 59; Sunday Sun (Brisb.), 12 Sept. 1971, pp. 28–9; Ken Hardy, ‘The Schoolboy Who Studied Politics’, Vincent Gair Papers, MS 6909, series 5, folder 46, NLA; Brian Stevenson, Fiery Cold Warrior: The Turbulent Days of Vincent Clare Gair, 1901–1980, PhD thesis, Griffith University, 2007; Courier-Mail (Brisb.), 25 Apr. 1957, p. 1; ‘Sportrait’, 22 Sept. 1956, Gair Papers, MS 6909, series 12, folio 7, NLA.

[2] AFR (Syd.), 6 July 1972, p. 2; CPD, 25 Nov. 1980 (R), p. 38; Denis Murphy, Roger Joyce, Margaret Cribb and Rae Wear (eds), The Premiers of Queensland, UQP, St Lucia, Qld, 2003, pp. 269–70; Mines, Gair, pp. 7, 19; Truth (Brisb.), 27 Jan. 1952, p. 21.

[3] Courier-Mail (Brisb.), 4 Dec. 1942, p. 3; Mines, Gair, pp. 32–3; QPD, 16 Sept. 1947, pp. 406–11, 9 Mar. 1948, pp. 1926–8; D. J. Murphy (ed.), The Big Strikes: Queensland 1889–1965, UQP, St Lucia, Qld, 1983, pp. 226, 230–1, 244–7; Douglas Blackmur, ‘The ALP Industrial Groups in Queensland’, Labour History, May 1984, pp. 96–7.

[4] Courier-Mail (Brisb.), 15 May 1947, p. 1; V. Gair, The Forgotten North, Queensland Central Executive, ALP, Brisbane, 1954; David McNicoll, Luck’s a Fortune, Wildcat Press, Sydney, 1979, p. 219; Joanne Scott, Ross Laurie, Bronwyn Stevens and Patrick Weller, The Engine Room of Government: The Queensland Premier’s Department 1859–2001, UQP, St Lucia, Qld, 2001, pp. 113, 353–5; Telegraph (Brisb.), 10 Mar. 1954, p. 5.

[5] Ross Fitzgerald, ‘Censorship in Queensland 1954–83’, Australian Journal of Politics and History, vol. 30, no. 3, 1984, p. 348; Clem Lack (ed.), Three Decades of Queensland Political History 1929–1960, Government Printer, Brisbane, 1962, pp. 405–6.

[6] Robert Murray, The Split: Australian Labor in the Fifties, Cheshire, Melbourne, 1970, pp. 179–81, 309–10; Ross Fitzgerald, From 1915 to the Early 1980s: A History of Queensland, UQP, St Lucia, Qld, 1984, pp. 141–3; D. J. Murphy, R. B. Joyce and Colin A. Hughes (eds), Labor in Power: The Labor Party and Governments in Queensland 1915–57, UQP, St Lucia, Qld, 1980, p. 507; Brian Stevenson, ‘“Midnight Joe” Bukowski: Vince Gair’s Bitterest Enemy’, Queensland Journal of Labour History, Mar. 2008, pp. 11–22; Brian Costar, Peter Love and Paul Strangio (eds), The Great Labor Schism: A Retrospective, Scribe Publications, Carlton North, Vic., 2005, p. 71.

[7] Lack, Three Decades of Queensland Political History 1929–1960, pp. 429–30; Courier-Mail (Brisb.), 23 Mar. 1955, p. 1, 26 Mar. 1955, p. 1, 31 Mar. 1955, p. 1.

[8] Murphy, Joyce and Hughes, Labor in Power, pp. 496, 500–9.

[9] Murphy, The Big Strikes, pp. 253–69; Costar, Love and Strangio, The Great Labor Schism, p. 67.

[10] ALP, Official record of the 21st Queensland Labor-in-Politics Convention, 1953, p. 18; Murphy, Joyce and Hughes, Labor in Power, pp. 494, 498–9, 508–12, 516–17.

[11] Murray, The Split, pp. 321–4; Lack, Three Decades of Queensland Political History 1929–1960, pp. 473–7.

[12] Murphy, Joyce, Cribb and Wear, The Premiers of Queensland, p. 289; Colin A. Hughes, Images and Issues: The Queensland State Elections of 1963 and 1966, ANU Press, Canberra, 1969, pp. 263, 266.

[13] Courier-Mail (Brisb.), 28 Oct.1960, p. 1; QPD, 1 Nov. 1960, pp. 1095–7; Australian (Syd.), 20 May 1968, p. 9; Courier-Mail (Brisb.), 26 June 1965, p. 3; CPD, 25 Aug. 1965, pp. 105–7; Malcolm Mackerras, The Australian Senate 1965–1967: Who Held Control?, monograph no. 9, Australasian Political Studies Association, Sydney, 1968, pp. 4–5, 13–14.

[14] CPD, 16 Mar. 1966, pp. 78–82, 5 May 1966, p. 801, 29 Sept. 1966, pp. 828–9, 25 Sept. 1968, pp. 932–4, 27 Apr. 1966, pp. 611–15; Sun-Herald (Syd.), 21 July 1974, p. 40; CPD, 5 June 1968, p. 1455, 12 June 1968, pp. 1664–5; SMH, 17 May 1968, p. 2; Australian (Syd.), 20 May 1968, p. 9.

[15] CT, 20 Dec. 1965, p. 4, 29 Jan. 1966, p. 4; Nation (Syd.), 16 Apr. 1966, pp. 8–9; Age (Melb.), 17 Mar. 1967, p. 1; SMH, 13 Apr. 1967, p. 2; CPD, 26 Sept. 1968, p. 993, 12 May 1967, pp. 1519–25, 19 May 1967, pp. 1817–19; News-Weekly (Melb.), 17 May 1967, p. 3; Alan Reid, The Gorton Experiment, Shakespeare Head Press, Sydney, 1971, p. 145.

[16] SMH, 9 Oct. 1968, p. 1; Australian (Syd.), 16 Oct. 1968, p. 1; John Thomas Kane, Transcript of oral history interview with Ron Hurst, 1985, POHP, TRC 4900/46, NLA, pp. 14:6, 16:14, 16:20; P. L. Reynolds, The Democratic Labor Party, Jacaranda Press, Milton, Qld, 1974, pp. 74–5; David Williamson, Don’s Party, Currency Press, Sydney, 1973, p. 31.

[17] Nation Review (Melb.), 25 Nov. 1972, p. 185; Frank McManus, The Tumult & the Shouting, Rigby, Adelaide, 1977, pp. 114–15; Gerard Henderson, ‘The DLP: Down But Not Out’, in Henry Mayer (ed.), Labor to Power: Australia’s 1972 Election, A & R, Sydney, 1973, pp. 75–80; SMH, 13 Nov. 1972, p. 1.

[18] Laurie Oakes and David Solomon, Grab for Power: Election 74, Cheshire, Melbourne, 1974, p. 8; McManus, The Tumult & the Shouting, p. 115; Jim McClelland, Stirring the Possum: A Political Autobiography, Viking, Ringwood, Vic., 1988, p. 144.

[19] Oakes and Solomon, Grab for Power, pp. 3–29; J. R. Odgers, Australian Senate Practice, 5th edn, AGPS, Canberra, 1976, pp. 43–5; Bill Hayden, Hayden: An Autobiography, A & R, Pymble, NSW, 1996, p. 242; Sun (Syd.), 10 Jan. 1977, p. 15.

[20] Nation Review (Melb.), 27 Sept.–3 Oct. 1974, p. 1581; National Times (Syd.), 11–17 Oct. 1981, pp. 25–6; Australian (Syd.), 26 Dec. 1974, p. 2; SMH, 28 Jan. 1976, pp. 1, 9; Herald (Melb.), 12 Jan. 1977, p. 7; Australian (Syd.), 13 Mar. 1976, p. 7; Sun-Herald (Syd.), 6 May 1979, p. 15; CT, 12 Nov. 1980, pp. 1, 2; Courier-Mail (Brisb.), 12 Nov. 1980, pp. 4, 53, 15 Nov. 1980, p. 11.

[21] Australian (Syd.), 19 Oct. 1972, p. 9; Gerard Henderson, Menzies’ Child: The Liberal Party of Australia 1944–1994, Allen & Unwin, St Leonards, NSW, 1994, p. 202; McNicoll, Luck’s a Fortune, p. 219; Peter Ryan, ‘The Whitlam Years: A Retrospect’, National Observer (Melb.), Autumn 2001, p. 26; Courier-Mail (Brisb.), 16 Nov. 1980, p. 17; Jack Kane, Exploding the Myths: The Political Memoirs of Jack Kane, A & R, North Ryde, NSW, 1989, p. 194.

This biography was first published in The Biographical Dictionary of the Australian Senate, vol. 3, 1962-1983, University of New South Wales Press Ltd, Sydney, 2010, pp. 323-331.

GAIR, Vincent Clare (1901–1980)

National Archives of Australia

Commonwealth Parliament

Senator for Queensland, 1965–74

Queensland Parliament

Member of the Legislative Assembly, South Brisbane, 1932–60

Senate Committee Service

Library Committee, 1965–74

Select Committee on the Container Method of Handling Cargoes, 1967–68

Select Committee on Off-shore Petroleum Resources, 1967–71

Select Committee on Air Pollution, 1968

Joint Select Committee on the New and Permanent Parliament House, 1969–70

Standing Committee on Primary and Secondary Industry and Trade, 1970–71

Estimates Committee A, 1970–74

Standing Orders Committee, 1972–74