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Vernon Treatt

Australian politician

Died when: 87 years 128 days (1048 months)
Star Sign: Taurus


Vernon Treatt

Sir Vernon Haddon Treatt (15 May 1897 – 20 September 1984) was an Australian lawyer, soldier, Rhodes Scholar and politician.Born in Singleton, New South Wales and educated at Shore School, Treatt interrupted his studies at the University of Sydney to enlist at the outbreak of the First World War.

Serving in the Royal Australian Artillery, Treatt served in France and was awarded the Military Medal.Upon returning to Australia he was awarded a Rhodes scholarship and further educated at New College, Oxford.

After briefly practising law in 1923 in Britain, Treatt returned to Australia and was admitted to the New South Wales bar that same year, serving as a Crown Prosecutor at the supreme court.

Treatt also was the Challis law lecturer at the University of Sydney.Treatt entered the New South Wales Legislative Assembly on 26 March 1938, representing the Electoral district of Woollahra for the United Australia Party (UAP).

When UAP Premier Bertram Stevens was ousted from the leadership in August 1939 and Alexander Mair became Premier, Mair appointed Treatt, after serving only a few months in Parliament, as the Minister for Justice.

He served in this office until the UAP lost power in 1941.During this time Treatt witnessed the break-up of the UAP into the various parties including the Democratic Party, which he joined, and then the establishment of the Liberal Party of Australia as the major conservative political force in Australia in 1945.

When the second leader of the party, Alexander Mair, resigned in March 1946, Treatt was elected to succeed him.As the third leader of the new party, Treatt became the first leader to contest an election.

After serving eight years and almost winning government at the 1950 election, Treatt resigned as Leader in August 1954 following a July attempt to depose him.

He continued as a member of parliament until he was defeated in 1962 and thereafter served in various organisations and posts, including as a Chief Commissioner of the City of Sydney in 1969, until his death in 1984.

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