First parliamentary sitting broadcast – Victory in Europe

First parliamentary sitting broadcast – Victory in Europe
Access fees

This ABC recording features the Victory in Europe (VE Day) Federal Parliamentary announcement of the end of Second World War hostilities in Europe.

This was the first Parliamentary sitting broadcast in Australia.

The recording features a description of the scene in Parliament House, Canberra. As members are called to the chamber, Speaker of the House of Representatives, John Solomon (Sol) Rosevear, announces both politician speakers – the acting Prime Minister Ben Chifley and Leader of the Opposition, Robert Menzies.

Speaking with emotion, Chifley declares that 'It is with great pleasure that I announce to the House the complete defeat of Germany'.

After noting the absence of Prime Minister John Curtin because of illness, he details the terms of surrender and asks everyone to 'pause and remember those whose lives have been given, or whose bodies and minds have been broken, that we might live. Let us remember too the men and women and children whose lives and homes were plunged into the horrors of war.'

Regular Parliamentary sittings weren’t broadcast until 10 July 1946.

Cover image: Portrait of Prime Minister Ben Chifley speaking into a microphone, 1945–1949; nla.obj-143402071-1; courtesy National Library of Australia.