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DOWNER, the Hon. Alexander Russell, KBEBiography for DOWNER, the Hon. Alexander Russell, KBE

Member for Angas (SA)

Liberal Party of Australia

Parliamentary Service

Elected to the House of Representatives for Angas, South Australia, 1949. Re-elected 1951, 1954 (unopposed), 1955, 1958, 1961 and 1963. Resigned 23.4.1964.

Parties Represented

Liberal Party of Australia. Served: 10.12.1949 to 23.04.1964

Ministerial Appointments

Minister for Immigration from 20.3.1958 to 18.12.1963.

Cabinet Minister from 10.12.1958 to 18.12.1963.

Parliamentary Party Positions
Committee Service

House of Representatives Select: Address in Reply served from 10.11.1953 to 10.11.1953; Report on the Hansard of the House of Representatives served from 23.9.1954 to 27.10.1954

House of Representatives Standing: Parliamentary Library served from 28.6.1951 to 23.4.1958; Privileges served from 25.10.1956 to 23.4.1958

Joint Standing: Foreign Affairs served from 29.2.1952 to 21.4.1954; Foreign Affairs served from 20.10.1954 to 27.3.1958; Constitutional Review served from 24.5.1956 to 10.2.1960

Other Positions

Appointed Australian High Commissioner in London from 25.10.1964.

Conferences, Delegations and Visits

Member, Delegation to the Coronation of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, 1953.

Visited New Zealand, January 1961.

Visited the United Kingdom and Europe, from May 1962 to July 1962, in connexion with Government Immigration Programme.

Discussed migration problems in the United States of America, May 1962.

Qualifications and Occupations

DipEc (University of Oxford).

DipPolSc (University of Oxford).

MA (University of Oxford).


Appointed a Knight Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, 12.6.1965.


The influence of migration on Australian foreign policy, The Australian Institute of International Affairs, Melbourne: 1960.

The influence of immigration on Australia's national character, Royal Society of Arts, London: 1967.

Six prime ministers, Hill of Content, Melbourne: 1982.

Military Service

Enlisted 2nd AIF, as gunner in 2/14 Field Regiment from 30.11.1940 to 15.11.1945, when returned to Australia and discharged.

Arrived Singapore, reported missing, 15.08.1941.

Prisoner of war in Japanese hands until recovered at Singapore, 05.09.1945.


Born: 7.4.1910, North Adelaide, Australia

Died: 30.3.1981

Gender: Male