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Ronald Crauford Munro Ferguson

(1860—1934) politician and governor-general of Australia


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(1860–1934) was appointed governor-general of Australia in 1914 after a political career in Britain in the Liberal Party. His determination to uphold the role of his office as sole channel of communication between Britain and Australia caused friction with state governors, and he was privately caustic about Australian politics. The onset of World War I gave him enhanced status and he took an active role in defence decisions. He came to believe that Billy Hughes was essential to the war effort and supported him through the crisis over conscription. Munro Ferguson returned to Scotland in 1920, leaving behind state governors so irritated by his insistence on federal precedence that they requested the Colonial Office to never again appoint such an overbearing governor-general, but he was widely respected and probably the most capable of the earliest governors-general. Ernest Scott drew extensively on his diaries and testimony for the official history of Australia During the War (1936), and Chris Cuneen gives a sympathetic portrayal in King's Men (1983).

From The Oxford Companion to Australian History in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Australasian and Pacific History.


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