John Howard: Wikis


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The Honourable
 John Howard

In office
11 March 1996 – 3 December 2007
Deputy Tim Fischer (1996–1999)
John Anderson (1999–2005)
Mark Vaile (2005–2007)
Preceded by Paul Keating
Succeeded by Kevin Rudd

In office
19 November 1977 – 11 March 1983
Preceded by Phillip Lynch
Succeeded by Paul Keating

In office
18 May 1974 – 24 November 2007
Preceded by John Cramer
Succeeded by Maxine McKew

Born 26 July 1939 (1939-07-26) (aged 70)
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Political party Liberal Party of Australia
Spouse(s) Janette Howard
Alma mater University of Sydney
Profession Solicitor

John Winston Howard, AC (born 26 July 1939) was the 25th Prime Minister of Australia, from 11 March 1996 to 3 December 2007. He was the second-longest serving Australian Prime Minister after Sir Robert Menzies.

Howard was a member of the Australian House of Representatives from 1974 to 2007, representing the Division of Bennelong, New South Wales. He served as Treasurer in the government of Malcolm Fraser from 1977 to 1983. He was Leader of the Liberal Party and Coalition Opposition from 1985 to 1989, which included the 1987 federal election against Bob Hawke. He was re-elected as Leader of the Opposition in 1995.

Howard led the Liberal-National Coalition to victory at the 1996 federal election, defeating Paul Keating's Labor government and ending a record thirteen years of Coalition opposition. Howard was sworn in as Prime Minister on 11 March 1996. The Howard Government was re-elected at the 1998, 2001 and 2004 elections, presiding over a period of strong economic growth and prosperity.[1] Major issues for the Howard Government included taxation, industrial relations, immigration, the Iraq war, and Aboriginal relations. Howard's coalition government was defeated at the 2007 election by the Australian Labor Party led by Kevin Rudd. Howard also lost his own parliamentary seat at the election, making him the second Australian Prime Minister, after Stanley Bruce in 1929, to do so.


Early life

John Howard as a boy

John Howard is the fourth son of Lyall Howard and Mona (née Kell). His parents were married in 1925. His eldest brother Stanley was born in 1926, followed by Walter in 1929, and Robert (Bob) in 1936. Lyall Howard was an admirer of Winston Churchill,[2] and a sympathiser with the New Guard.[3]

Howard grew up in the Sydney suburb of Earlwood in a Methodist family.[4] His mother had been an office worker until her marriage. His father and his paternal grandfather, Walter Howard, were both veterans of the First AIF in World War I. They also ran two Dulwich Hill petrol stations where John Howard worked as a boy.[5] Lyall Howard died in 1955 when John was sixteen, leaving his mother to take care of John[6] (or "Jack" as he was also known).[7]

Howard suffered a hearing impairment in his youth, leaving him with a slight speech impediment,[8] and he continues to wear a hearing aid. It also influenced him in subtle ways, limiting his early academic performance; encouraging a reliance on an excellent memory; and in his mind ruling out becoming a barrister as a likely career.[9]

Howard attended the publicly funded state schools Earlwood Primary School and Canterbury Boys' High School.[7] Howard won a citizenship prize in his final year at Earlwood (presented by local politician Eric Willis), and subsequently represented his secondary school at debating as well as cricket and rugby.[10] Cricket remained a life-long hobby.[4] In his final year at school he took part in a radio show hosted by Jack Davey, Give It a Go broadcast on the commercial radio station, 2GB, and a recording of the show survives.[11] After gaining his Leaving Certificate, he studied law at the University of Sydney, graduating in 1961,[7] and subsequently practising as a solicitor for twelve years.[12]

Howard married fellow Liberal Party member Janette Parker in 1971, with whom he had three children: Melanie (1974), Tim (1977) and Richard (1980).[13]

Early political career

Howard joined the Liberal Party in 1957. He held office in the New South Wales Liberal Party on the State Executive and served as President of the Young Liberals (1962–64), the party youth organisation.[14] Howard supported Australia's involvement in the Vietnam War, although has since said there were "aspects of it that could have been handled and explained differently".[15]

At the 1963 federal election, Howard acted as campaign manager in his local seat of Parkes for the successful candidacy of Tom Hughes who defeated the 20 year Labor incumbent.

In 1967 with the support of party power brokers, John Carrick and Eric Willis, he was endorsed as candidate for the marginal suburban state seat of Drummoyne, held by the ALP. Howard's mother sold the family home in Earlwood and rented a house with him at Five Dock, a suburb within the electorate. At the election in February 1968, in which the incumbent state Liberal government was returned to office, Howard failed to defeat the sitting member, despite campaigning vigorously.[16] Howard and his mother subsequently returned to Earlwood, moving to a house on the same street where he grew up.

At the 1974 federal election, Howard successfully contested the Sydney suburban seat of Bennelong and became a Member of Parliament in the House of Representatives during the Gough Whitlam-led Labor Government. Howard backed Malcolm Fraser for the leadership of the Liberal Party against Billy Snedden following the 1974 election.[17] When Fraser won office in December 1975, Howard was appointed Minister for Business and Consumer Affairs, a position in which he served until 1977.[12] At this stage, he followed the protectionist and pro-regulation stance of Fraser and the Liberal Party.[18]

Federal Treasurer (1977–1983)

In December 1977, at the age of 38, Howard was appointed Treasurer.[12] During his five years in the position, he became an adherent of free-market economics,[19] which was challenging economic orthodoxies in place for most of the century.[20] He came to favour tax reform including broad-based taxation (later the GST), a freer industrial system including the dismantling of the centralised wage-fixing system, the abolition of compulsory trade unionism, privatisation and deregulation.[4]

In 1978, the Fraser government instigated a committee of inquiry, the Campbell Committee, to investigate financial system reforms. The impetus for the commission came, not from Howard, but from the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet.[21] Howard supported the Campbell report, but adopted an incremental approach with Cabinet, as there was wide opposition to deregulation within the government and the treasury.[21][22] The process of reform began before the committee reported 2½ years later, with the introduction of the tender system for the sale of Treasury notes in 1979, and Treasury bonds in 1982. Ian Macfarlane (Governor of the Reserve Bank of Australia, 1996-2006) described these reforms as "second only in importance to the float of the Australian dollar in 1983."[23] In 1981 he proposed a broad-based indirect tax with compensatory cuts in personal rates; however, cabinet rejected it citing both inflationary and political reasons.[24] After the free-marketeers or "drys" of the Liberals challenged the protectionist policies of Minister for Industry and Commerce Phillip Lynch, they shifted their loyalties to Howard. Following an unsuccessful leadership challenge by Andrew Peacock to unseat Fraser as prime minister, Howard was elected deputy leader of the Liberal Party in April 1982. His election depended largely on the support of the "drys", and he became the champion of the growing free-market lobby in the party.[25]

Fraser's negotiations with the ACTU saw him lose control of a wages explosion in 1982 just as the mining boom had ended. The economic crises of the early 1980s brought Howard into conflict with the economically conservative Fraser. As the economy headed towards the worst recession since the 1930s, Keynesian Fraser pushed an expansionary fiscal position much to Howard's and Treasury's horror. With his authority as treasurer being flouted, Howard considered resigning in July 1982, but, after discussions with his wife and senior advisor John Hewson (Liberal Party leader himself from 1990 to 1994), he decided to "tough it out".[20] The 1982 wages explosion—wages rose 16 per cent across the country—resulted in stagflation; unemployment touched double-digits and inflation peaked at 12.5% (official interest rates peaked at 21%).[26]

The Fraser Government with Howard as Treasurer lost the 1983 election to the Labor Party led by Bob Hawke. Over the course of the 1980s, the Liberal party came to accept the free-market policies that Fraser had resisted and Howard had espoused; namely low protection, decentralisation of wage fixation, financial deregulation, a broadly-based indirect tax, and the rejection of counter-cyclical fiscal policy.[27]

Opposition years (1983–1996)

Following the 1983 defeat of the Fraser government and Fraser's subsequent resignation from parliament, Howard contested the Liberal leadership but was defeated by Andrew Peacock. Remaining Deputy Leader of the parliamentary party, Howard became Deputy Leader of the Opposition and the Liberal Party were defeated by Hawke and Labor at the 1984 election. In 1985, as Labor's position in opinion polls improved, Peacock's popularity sank, and Howard's profile rose, leadership speculation persisted. Peacock said he would no longer accept Howard as deputy unless he offered assurances that he would not challenge for the leadership. Following Howard's refusal to offer such an assurance, Peacock sought, in September 1985, to replace him with John Moore as Deputy Leader.[28] The party room re-elected Howard as Deputy on 5 September (38 votes to 31), and, believing his position untenable, Peacock immediately resigned the leadership. With Peacock not contesting the ensuing Liberal Party leadership ballot, Howard defeated Jim Carlton 57 votes to 6, and became Leader of the Opposition.[29][30]

Leader of the opposition and new economic policy

Howard was in effect the Liberal party's first pro-market leader in the conservative coalition and spent the next two years working to revise Liberal policy away from that of Fraser's.[31] In his own words he was an "economic radical" and a social conservative.[32] Referring to the pro-market liberalism of the 1980s, Howard, famously said in July 1986 that "The times will suit me".[33] That year the economy was seen to be in crisis with a 40% devaluation of the Australian dollar, a marked increase in the current account deficit and the loss of the Federal Government's triple A rating.[33] In response to the economic circumstances, Howard persistently attacked the Labor government and offered his free-market reform agenda.[33] Despite the economic news, support for the Labor Party and Hawke strengthened in 1985 and 1986. Howard's approval ratings dropped in the face of infighting between Howard and Peacock supporters, a "public manifestation of disunity" over policy positions, and questions over Howard's leadership.[34]

To capitalise on Coalition disunity, Hawke called the 1987 election six months early. In addition to the Howard–Peacock rivalry, Queensland National Party criticism of the federal Liberal and National leadership led to a split in the Coalition whereby Nationals ran against Liberals,[35] and culminated in the "Joh for Canberra" campaign. Keating successfully campaigned against John Howard's proposed tax changes forcing Howard to admit a double-counting in the proposal,[36] and emphasising to the electorate that the package would mean at that stage undisclosed cuts to government services. The Hawke Government was re-elected with an increased majority.

Howard's social agenda

As part of a new social agenda to accompany his economic agenda (later documented in the "Future Directions" manifesto), Howard promoted the traditional family and was antipathetic to the promotion of multiculturalism at the expense of a shared Australian identity.[37] The new agenda's immigration policy, One Australia, outlined a vision of "one nation and one future" and opposed multiculturalism.[32] In a radio interview discussing multiculturalism Howard suggested that to support "social cohesion" the rate of Asian immigration be "slowed down a little".[38] The comments divided opinion within the Coalition, and undermined Howard's standing amongst Liberal party figures including federal and state Ministers, intellectual opinion makers, business leaders, and within the Asia Pacific. Prime Minister Hawke moved a motion to affirm that race or ethnicity would not be used as immigrant selection criteria to which three Liberal MPs crossed the floor and two abstained. Many Liberals later nominated the issue as instrumental in Howard subsequently losing the leadership in 1989.[39]

Later in 1988, Howard elaborated his opposition to multiculturalism by saying "To me, multiculturalism suggests that we can't make up our minds who we are or what we believe in."[32] In line with "One Australia's" rejection of Aboriginal land rights, Howard said the idea of an Aboriginal treaty was "repugnant to the ideals of One Australia"[32] and commented "I don't think it is wrong, racist, immoral or anything, for a country to say 'we will decide what the cultural identity and the cultural destiny of this country will be and nobody else."[40]

Loss of the leadership

As the country's economic position worsened in 1989, public opinion moved away from Labor, but Howard was unable to translate this into a firm opinion poll lead for himself and the Coalition.[41] In February, Liberal Party president and prominent businessman, John Elliott, said confidentially to Andrew Peacock that he would support him in a leadership challenge against Howard.[36] Following months of plotting by Elliot, Peacock and supporters, in May a surprise leadership coup was launched, ousting Howard as Liberal leader. When asked that day whether he could become Liberal leader again, Howard famously likened it to "Lazarus with a triple bypass".[42] The loss of the Liberal Party leadership to Peacock deeply affected Howard, who admitted he would occasionally drink too much.[43] Declining Peacock's offer of Shadow Education, Howard went to the backbench and a new period of party disunity ensued. Howard served as Shadow Minister for Industry, Technology and Communications, Shadow Minister Assisting the Leader on the Public Service, Chairman of the Manpower and Labour Market Reform Group, Shadow Minister for Industrial Relations and Manager of Opposition Business in the House.

Following the Coalition's 1990 election loss, Peacock was replaced with former Howard staffer Dr. John Hewson. Howard was a supporter of Hewson's economic program, with a Goods and Services Tax (GST) as its centrepiece. After Hewson lost the "unloseable" 1993 election to Paul Keating, Howard unsuccessfully challenged Hewson for the leadership. In 1994, he was again passed over for the leadership, which went to Alexander Downer. In a 7 January 1995 newspaper article (and in 2002 as Prime Minister), Howard recanted his 1988 remarks on curbing Asian immigration.[44][45]

Opposition leader again

In January 1995, leaked internal Liberal Party polling showed that with gaffe-prone Downer as leader, the Coalition had slim chance of holding its marginal seats, let alone of winning government. Media speculation of a leadership spill ended when on, 26 January 1995 Downer resigned as Liberal Leader, and Howard was elected unopposed to replace him.[45] As Opposition Leader for the second time, Howard revised his earlier statements against Medicare and Asian immigration.[44] During the campaign Howard outlined his vision of Australia in 2000 to the ABC:

I want to see an Australian society that sees this country as a unique intersection of Europe, North America and Asia. Australia is incredibly lucky to have a European heritage, deep connections with North America, but to be geographically cast in the Asian/Pacific region and if we think of ourselves as that strategic intersection, then I think we have a remarkable opportunity to carve a special niche for ourselves in ... in the history of the next century.[15]

Following Howard's election to Opposition Leader, the Coalition opened a large lead over Labor in most opinion polls, and Howard overtook his old nemesis Paul Keating as preferred Prime Minister. Having said as leader in 1985 that it was "better to be right than popular", the second time around, Howard pursued what was described as a "small target" approach to campaigning and policy.[46]

Prime Minister

John Howard in the United States in 1997

Election win and first term

With the support of many traditionally Labor voters—dubbed "Howard battlers"—Howard led the Liberal-National party Coalition to win the 1996 election, achieving the second-largest swing against an incumbent government since Federation. With a 45-seat majority, the size of the Coalition victory gave John Howard great power within the Liberal party and he said he came to the office "with very clear views on where I wanted to take the country".[47] At the age of 56, he was sworn in as Prime Minister on 11 March 1996, ending a record 13 years of Coalition opposition.[12] Howard departed with tradition and made his primary residence Kirribilli House rather than The Lodge.[48]

Early in the term Howard had championed significant new restrictions on gun ownership following the Port Arthur massacre in which 35 people had been shot dead. Achieving agreement in the face of immense opposition from within the Coalition and some State governments, was credited with significantly elevating John Howard’s stature as Prime Minister despite a backlash from core Coalition rural constituents.[49]

Howard's initial silence on the views of Pauline Hanson—a disendorsed Liberal Party candidate and later independent MP—was criticised in the press as an endorsement of her views.[50] Howard said that she was entitled to express her opinion, that many others would share it, and that to denounce her would "elevate it".[51] Howard repudiated her views seven months after Hanson's controversial maiden parliamentary speech.[50]

Following the Wik Decision of the High Court in 1996, John Howard's government moved swiftly to legislate limitations on its possible implications through the so-called Ten-Point Plan.

John Howard and US Secretary of Defense William Cohen in 1997

From 1997, Howard spear-headed the Coalition push to introduce a Goods and Services Tax (GST) at the 1998 election. Before winning the Prime Ministership, Howard had said it would "never ever" be part of Coalition policy.[52] A long held conviction of Howard’s, his tax reform package was credited with "breaking the circuit" of party morale—boosting his confidence and direction, which had appeared to wane early in the Government’s second term.[53] The 1998 election was dubbed a "referendum on the GST", and the tax changes—including the GST—were implemented in the government's second term after amendments to the legislation were negotiated with the Australian Democrats to ensure its passage through the Senate.

Through much of its first term, opinion polling was disappointing for the government and its members at times feared being a "one-term wonder".[54] The popularity of Pauline Hanson, and the new restrictions on gun ownership drew many traditionally Coalition voters away from the Howard government. Also unpopular with voters were large spending cuts aimed at eliminating the budget deficit (and Howard's distinction between "core" and "non-core" election promises when cutting spending commitments), industrial changes and the 1998 waterfront dispute, the partial sale of government telecommunications company Telstra, and the Government's commitment to a GST. In October 1998, Howard led the Government to win a second term. Actually achieving a smaller two-party preferred vote than Labor's, the Coalition's March 1996 majority of 45 seats was reduced to 12.

Second term

In 1998, Howard convened a Constitutional Convention which decided in principle that Australia should become a Republic. At the convention Howard confirmed himself as a monarchist, and said that of the Republican options, he preferred the minimalist model. Despite opinion polls suggesting Australians favoured a republic, a 1999 referendum rejected the model chosen by the convention.

Australian peacekeepers and East Timorese civilians in Dili during 2000

Although new Indonesian President B.J. Habibie had some months earlier agreed to grant special autonomy to Indonesian-occupied East Timor, his subsequent snap decision for a referendum on the territory's independence was triggered by a Howard and Downer orchestrated shift in Australian policy. In September 1999, Howard organised an Australian-led international peace-keeping force to East Timor (INTERFET), after pro-Indonesia militia launched a violent "scorched-earth" campaign in retaliation to the referendum's overwhelming vote in favour of independence. The successful mission was widely supported by Australian voters, but the government was criticised for "foreign policy failure" following the violence and collapse of diplomatic relations with Indonesia. By Howard's fourth term, relations with Indonesia had recovered to include counter-terrorism cooperation and Australia's $1bn Boxing Day Tsunami relief efforts, and were assisted by good relations between Howard and Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.[55][56]

Throughout his prime-ministership, Howard was resolute in his refusal to provide a parliamentary "apology" to Indigenous Australians as recommended by the 1997 “Bringing Them Home” Report. Howard argued this was inappropriate, because "Australians of this generation should not be required to accept guilt and blame for past actions and policies."[57] Howard did offer this personal apology before the release of the Report: "I feel deep sorrow for those of my fellow Australians who suffered injustices under the practices of past generations towards indigenous people. Equally, I am sorry for the hurt and trauma many here today may continue to feel, as a consequence of these practices” [1].

In 1999 Howard negotiated a "Motion of Reconciliation" with Aboriginal Senator Aden Ridgeway. Eschewing use of the word "sorry", the motion recognised mistreatment of Aborigines as the "most blemished chapter" in Australia's history; offered "deep and sincere regret" for past injustices [2]. Following his 2007 loss of the premiership, Howard was the only living former Prime Minister who declined to attend the February 2008 apology made by Kevin Rudd with bi-partisan support.[58]

Howard did not commit to serving a full term if he won the next election; on his 61st birthday in July 2000 he said he would consider the question of retirement when he turned 64.[59] This was interpreted as boosting Costello’s leadership aspirations, and the enmity over leadership and succession resurfaced publicly when Howard did not retire at the age of 64.[60] In the first half of 2001, rising petrol prices, voter enmity over the implementation of the GST, a spike in inflation and economic slowdown led to bad opinion polls and predictions the Government would lose office in the election later that year.[61] With Howard telling Cabinet he was "not going to be sacrificed on the pyre of ideological purity", the government announced a series of policy reversals and softenings which boosted the government's fortunes, as did news that the economy had avoided recession. Following the Liberal Party win at the Aston by-election, Howard said that the Coalition was “back in the game”.[61] The government's position on "border protection", in particular the Tampa affair where Howard refused the landing of asylum seekers rescued by a Norwegian freighter, consolidated the improving polls for the government, as did the September 11, 2001 attacks.[62] Howard led the government to victory in the 2001 federal election with an increased majority.[63]

Third term

Bust of John Howard by political cartoonist, caricaturist and sculptor Peter Nicholson located in the Prime Minister's Avenue in the Ballarat Botanical Gardens

Howard had first met US President George W. Bush in the days before the September 11 terrorist attacks and was in Washington the morning of the attacks.[64]. In response to the attacks, Howard invoked the ANZUS Treaty and said that the invocation of the treaty "demonstrates Australia's steadfast commitment to work with the United States.” In October, he committed Australian military personnel to the war in Afghanistan. Howard developed a strong personal relationship with the president,[65] and they shared often similar ideological positions - including on the role of the United States in world affairs and their approach to the "War on Terror". In May, 2003, Howard made an overnight stay at Bush's Prairie Chapel Ranch in Texas, after which Bush said that Howard " not only a man of steel, he's showed the world he's a man of heart."[66]

Howard responded to the 2002 Bali bombing, in which 88 Australian citizens were killed, by calling on Australians to "wrap their arms around the people of Indonesia" and said that, while affected, Australia remained "strong and free and open and tolerant" [3]. Howard re-dedicated his government to the "War on Terror", saying the Bali bombing was proof that no country was "immune" to the effects of terrorism.

In March 2003, Australia joined the US-led "Multinational force in Iraq" in sending 2,000 troops and naval units to support in the invasion of Iraq. Howard said that the invasion to "disarm right, it is lawful, and it is in Australia’s national interest." He later said that the decision to go into Iraq was the most difficult he made as Prime Minister.[67] In response to the Australian participation in the invasion, there were large protests in Australian cities during March 2003, and Prime Minister Howard was heckled from the public gallery of Parliament House.[68] While opinion polls showed that opposition to the war without UN backing was between 48 and 92 per cent,[69] Howard remained preferred prime-minister over opposition leader, Simon Crean, and his approval dropped compared to before the war.[70][71]

Throughout 2002 and 2003 Howard had increased his opinion poll lead over Labor leader, Simon Crean. In December 2003, Crean resigned after losing party support and Mark Latham was elected leader. Howard called an election for 9 October 2004. While the government was behind Labor in the opinion polls, Howard himself had a large lead over Latham as preferred Prime Minister. In the lead up to the election, Howard again did not commit to serving a full term.[72] Howard campaigned on the theme of trust, asking: "Who do you trust to keep the economy strong, and protect family living standards? Who do you trust to keep interest rates low?"[73] Howard attacked Latham's economic record as Mayor of Liverpool City Council and attacked Labor's economic history saying: "It is an historic fact that interest rates have always gone up under Labor governments over the last 30 years, because Labor governments spend more than they collect and drive budgets into deficit ... So it will be with a Latham Labor government... I will guarantee that interest rates are always going to be lower under a Coalition government."[74] The election resulted in an increased Coalition majority in the House of Representatives and the first, albeit slim, government majority in the Senate since 1981. For the second time since becoming Prime Minister, Howard had to go to preferences in order to win another term in his own seat winning 53.3 percent of the two-party preferred vote.[75] On 21 December 2004, Howard became the second-longest serving Australian Prime Minister after Sir Robert Menzies.[76]

Fourth term

In 2006, with the government now controlling both houses of parliament for the first time since the Fraser government, industrial relations changes were enacted. Named “WorkChoices” and championed by Howard, they were intended to fundamentally change the employer-employee relationship. The changes were opposed by an effective trade union campaign and antipathy within the electorate. WorkChoices was subsequently seen as a major factor in the government’s 2007 election loss.[77]

In April 2006, the government announced it had completely paid off the last of $96 billion of Commonwealth net debt inherited when it came to power in 1996.[78] Economists generally welcomed the news, while cautioning that some level of debt was not necessarily bad, and that some of the debt had been transferred to the private sector.[79] By 2007, Howard had been in office for 11 of the 15 years of consecutive annual growth enjoyed by the Australian economy. Unemployment had fallen from 8.1%.[80] at the start of his term to 4.1% in 2007,[81] and average weekly earnings grew 24.4% in real terms.[1] Howard often cited economic management as a strong point of the government, and during his Prime Ministership, opinion polling consistently showed that a majority of the electorate thought his government were better to handle the economy than the Opposition.[82]

In August 2007, the Howard government announced the Northern Territory National Emergency Response. This package of revisions to welfare provisions, law enforcement and other measures was advanced as a plan for addressing child abuse in Aboriginal Northern Territory communities that had been highlighted in the June 2007 "Little Children are Sacred" report.[83] The plan was criticised by the report's authors for not incorporating any of the report's recommendations.[84] Some aboriginal activists such as Noel Pearson provided qualified support for the intervention.

John Howard meeting Maroondah residents, 31 August 2007

In February 2007, referring to the US presidential contest, Howard claimed that Democratic nomination candidate Barack Obama's stance on the war would encourage terrorism in Iraq.[85]

In July 2006, it was alleged that a deal had been struck with Peter Costello in 1994 with Ian McLachlan present, that if the Liberal party were to win the next election, Howard would serve one and a half terms of office and then allow Costello to take over. Howard denied that this constituted a deal, yet Costello and McLachlan insisted it did;[86] and there were calls for Costello to either challenge or quit.[87] Citing strong party room support for him as leader, Howard stated later that month that he would remain to contest the 2007 election.[88] Six weeks before the election, Howard said that, if elected, he would stand down during the next term, and anointed Costello as his successor.[89] Peter Costello commented, in 2007 whilst still government that "The Howard treasurership was not a success in terms of interest rates and inflation... he had not been a great reformer," and questioned Howard's account of his conflicts with the Prime Minister Fraser.[90]

The Coalition trailed Labor in opinion polls from mid-2006 onward, but Howard still consistently led Labor leader Kim Beazley on the question of preferred Prime Minister—and was even described as a "revolutionary" in his opposition to unionism.[91] In December 2006, after Kevin Rudd became Labor leader, the two-party preferred deficit widened even further and Rudd swiftly overtook Howard as preferred Prime Minister. Howard chaired APEC Australia 2007, culminating in the APEC Economic Leaders Meeting in Sydney during September.[92] The meeting was at times overshadowed by further leadership speculation following further poor poll results.[93]

2007 election defeat

Electioneering balloons from the Liberal and Labor parties in Bennelong during the 2007 federal election.

Leading up to the 24 November election, the Coalition trailed Labor in the polls since the Labor party elected Kevin Rudd as party leader in late 2006. Howard and his Coalition government were defeated in the election, suffering a 23-seat swing to Labor. Howard lost his seat of Bennelong to former journalist Maxine McKew by 44,685 votes (51.4 percent) to Howard's 42,251 (48.6 percent).[94] Howard told a former colleague that losing Bennelong was a "silver lining in the thunder cloud of defeat" as it spared him the ignominy of opposition.[95] He remained in office as caretaker Prime Minister until the formal swearing in of Rudd's government on 3 December.[96] Howard is the second Australian Prime Minister, after Stanley Bruce, to lose his seat in an election.[97]

After the election loss, Costello declined to accept the role of leader of the opposition,[98] and Brendan Nelson was elected as leader of the parliamentary Liberal Party.

Federal Liberal Party director Brian Loughnane said "it was the failure of Kim Beazley's leadership that had masked voter concerns about Howard".[99] Media analysis of The Australian Election Study, a postal survey of 1873 voters during the 2007 poll, found that although respondents respected Howard and thought he had won the 6-week election campaign, Howard was considered "at odds with public opinion on cut-through issues", his opponent had achieved the highest "likeability" rating in the survey's 20-year history, and a majority had decided their voting intention prior to the election campaign.[100]

After politics

In January 2008, John Howard signed with a prominent speaking agency called the Washington Speakers Bureau, joining Tony Blair, Colin Powell, Madeleine Albright, and others. He will be available for two speeches, Leadership in the New Century and The Global Economic Future.[101]

The Australian and New Zealand cricket boards have jointly nominated Howard as their candidate for president of the International Cricket Council. The position rotates every two years, so Howard will assume the position in 2012.[102]


Howard (left) being awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President George W. Bush

See also


  1. ^ a b John Stone, Growth, Jobs, and Prosperity, Quadrant. January-February 2009
  2. ^ Garran 2004, p. 10
  3. ^ Van Onselen & Errington 2007, pp. 7-9
  4. ^ a b c Kelly, Paul (19 May 1999). "The Common Man as Prime Minister". The Australian. 
  5. ^ "Tin soldered for the King in Howard's home". Sydney Morning Herald. 19 June 2006. Retrieved 29 August 2007. 
  6. ^ Birnbauer, Bill, "Rise Of A Common Man", The Age, 4 March 1996
  7. ^ a b c "Canterbury tales". Sydney Morning Herald. 18 September 2004. Retrieved 5 September 2007. 
  8. ^ "Transcript of the Prime Minister the Hon. John Howard MP, opening of the child deafness research laboratories at The Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital, East Melbourne". PM News Room. 16 February 2000. Retrieved 8 July 2008. 
  9. ^ Van Onselen & Errington 2007, pp. 21, 35
  10. ^ "Beazley and Howard- Politics and Sport". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 26 October 2001. Retrieved 13 March 2007. 
  11. ^ "Sixteen-year-old John Howard on a popular radio quiz show compered by Jack Davey RAM". 9 June 2002. Retrieved 8 July 2006. 
  12. ^ a b c d "Education: John Howard". National Museum of Australia. 1 August 2007. Retrieved 14 August 2007. 
  13. ^ "Australia's Prime Ministers : John Howard". National Archives of Australia. Retrieved 27 November 2007. 
  14. ^ "Young Liberals Life Members & Past Presidents". Young Liberals. 2006. Retrieved 8 July 2006. 
  15. ^ a b "John Howard Interview– 1996". Four Corners. 19 February 1996. Retrieved 26 December 2006. 
  16. ^ "Drummoyne– 1968". Parliament of New South Wales. 25 July 2007. Retrieved 25 July 2007. 
  17. ^ Kelly (1994), p. 101.
  18. ^ Kelly (1994), pp. 101-103.
  19. ^ Kelly (1994), p. 102.
  20. ^ a b Kelly (1994), pp. 50-53.
  21. ^ a b Bell 2004, p. 21
  22. ^ Kelly 1994, p. 78
  23. ^ Boyer Lecture 3: Reform and Deregulation26 November 2006
  24. ^ Kelly (1994), p. 49.
  25. ^ Kelly (1994), pp. 49-50.
  26. ^ "F01 Interest rates and yields – money market" (Excel file). Reserve Bank of Australia. Retrieved 29 August 2007. 
  27. ^ Kelly (1994), p. 232.
  28. ^ Barclay, Glen (August 1986). "Australian Political Chronicle: July-December 1985". Australian Journal of Politics and History 32 (2): 264. ISSN 0004-9522. 
  29. ^ Kelly (1994), p. 192.
  30. ^ Ramsay, Alan (2004-03-06). "Howard's labours are slipping away". The Sydney Morning Herald: p. 37. Retrieved 2007-08-07. 
  31. ^ "Australian Political Chronicle: January-June 1987". Australian Journal of Politics and History 33 (3): 280–281. December 1987. ISSN 0004-9522. 
  32. ^ a b c d Markus 2001, pp. 85–89
  33. ^ a b c Summers, Anne (18 August 2003). "The sad times do suit him; he made them". Sydney Morning Herald. 
  34. ^ Barclay, Glen (August 1986). "Australian Political Chronicle: July-December 1985". Australian Journal of Politics and History 32 (2): 264. ISSN 0004-9522. ; Barclay, Glen (December 1986). "Australian Political Chronicle: January-June 1986". Australian Journal of Politics and History 32 (3): 455. ISSN 0004-9522. 
  35. ^ "Australian Political Chronicle: January-June 1987". Australian Journal of Politics and History 33 (3): 279–285. December 1987. ISSN 0004-9522. 
  36. ^ a b Kelly, Paul. The End of Certainty: Power, Politics, and Business in Australia. Allen & Unwin. pp. 427,457. ISBN 186373757X. Retrieved 5 October 2007. 
  37. ^ Kelly (1994), pp. 419.
  38. ^ Van Onselen & Errington 2007, p. 157
  39. ^ Kelly (1994), pp. 427-428.
  40. ^ "When talk of racism is just not cricket". The Sydney Morning Herald. 16 December 2005. Retrieved 19 August 2007. 
  41. ^ Kelly (1994), p. 470.
  42. ^ "Thoughts of a bypassed Lazarus". The Age. 29 February 2004. Retrieved 25 July 2007. 
  43. ^ "Howard: 'I was drunk at work'". The Courier-Mail. 25 July 2007.,23599,22129486-2,00.html. Retrieved 25 July 2007. 
  44. ^ a b Megalogenis, George (2007-02-27). "Asian influence spices up contest". The Australian: p. 11.,20867,21293182-28737,00.html. Retrieved 2007-07-27. 
  45. ^ a b Ward, Ian (December 1995). "Australian Political Chronicle: January-June 1995". Australian Journal of Politics and History 41 (3). 
  46. ^ Mackay, Hugh (2007-06-09). "The Howard factor". The Age: p. 9. 
  47. ^ The Howard Years (episode 1). [TV Series]. Australia: Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 2008. 
  48. ^ PM hires out Kirribilli House
  49. ^ The Howard Years (episode 4). [TV Series]. Australia: Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 2008. ; Kelly, Paul (1-2 May), "A Year of Governing Cautiously", The Weekend Australian ;; Ward, Ian (December 1995). "Australian Political Chronicle: January-June 1995". Australian Journal of Politics and History 41 (3): 444–448. ISSN 0004-9522. 
  50. ^ a b The Howard Years - Chronology, Australian Broadcasting Corporation
  51. ^ "Pauline Hanson pulls the plug as One Nation president". ABC. 14 January 2002. Retrieved 29 August 2007. ; The Howard Years (episode 1). [TV Series]. Australia: Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 2008. 
  52. ^ A look back at Howard's ten years
  53. ^ Van Onselen & Errington 2007, pp. 272-273.
  54. ^ Ward, Ian (1998). "Australian Political Chronicle: July-December 1997". Australian Journal of Politics and History 44 (2): 233. ; The Howard Years (episode 1). [TV Series]. Australia: Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 2008. ; Kelly, Paul (23 September 1998). "Howard's Big Picture and Big Gamble". The Australian. 
  55. ^ The Epoch Times | Indonesia-Australian Relationship Best Ever
  56. ^ 'Indonesia - Australian Relations: East Timor, Bali Bombing, Tsunami and Beyond' by Ambassador Imron Cotan
  57. ^ "Opening Speech of Australian Reconciliation Convention". Australasian Legal Information Institute. 26 May 2000. Retrieved 23 August 2006. 
  58. ^ Welch, Dylan (2008-02-13). "Kevin Rudd says sorry" (online briefing). The Sydney Moning Herald. 
  59. ^ "When I'm 64: Howard". The 7:30 Report (Australian Broadcasting Corporation). 5 October 2001. Retrieved 29 August 2007. 
  60. ^ Henderson, Gerard (2003-06-10). "The high cost of Howard's big tease". The Age: p. 11. Retrieved 2009-01-12. ; Yaxley, Louise (2003-06-03). "PM decides to stay" (transcript). PM (Australian Broadcasting Corporation). Retrieved 2007-08-29. 
  61. ^ a b Wear, Rae (December 2001). "Australian Political Chronicle: January-June 2001". Australian Journal of Politics and History 47 (4): 531–536. ISSN 0004-9522. 
  62. ^ "Tampa Crisis". Infobase (Atlas). Heinemann Interactive. Retrieved 15 July 2006. 
  63. ^ "Latest poll 'a nonsense': former Labor pollster". PM (Australian Broadcasting Corporation). 1 June 2004. Retrieved 29 August 2007. ; "Antony Green's Election Summary". Australia votes (Australian Broadcasting Corporation). 2004. Retrieved 29 August 2007. ; Carney, Shaun (11 September 2004). "The challenge for Australia". The Age. Retrieved 29 August 2007. 
  64. ^ Howard accepts Presidential Medal of Freedom, AM program transcript, ABC Radio
  65. ^ Johnston, Tim (2007-11-25). "Ally of Bush Is Defeated in Australia". The New York Times: p. 8. Retrieved 2008-05-06. 
  66. ^ "Bush lauds Howard as 'man of steel'". The Sydney Morning Herald. 4 May 2003. Retrieved 6 May 2008. 
  67. ^ The Howard Years (episode 3). [TV Series]. Australia: Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 2008. 
  68. ^ "Malaysian PM condemns Iraq war". BBC News. 24 March 2003. Retrieved 19 August 2008. 
  69. ^ Riley, Mark (1 April 2003). "Support for the fight growing". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 22 August 2008. 
  70. ^ When it was reported that that Iraq did not possess weapons of mass destruction, 70% of Australians believed John Howard misled them, although most believed he did so unintentionally.
  71. ^ Riley, Mark (24 September 2003). "Poll: majority of Australians 'feel misled' by Howard". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 22 August 2008. 
  72. ^ "I'm committed and ready, says Latham". The 7:30 Report (Australian Broadcasting Corporation). 7 October 2004. Retrieved 29 August 2007. 
  73. ^ "Howard: election to be about trust". Sydney Morning Herald. 29 August 2004. Retrieved 2008-10-04. 
  74. ^ Wade, Matt (30 August 2004). "Labor means rate rises, PM claims". The Age. Retrieved 29 August 2007. 
  75. ^
  76. ^ "PM still favourite as he celebrates milestone". ABC News. 21 December 2004. Retrieved 14 August 2007. 
  77. ^ The Howard Years (episode 4). [TV Series]. Australia: Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 2008. ;Wanna, John (2007). "Australian Political Chronicle: July-December 2007". Australian Journal of Politics and History 54 (2): 291. ; Wanna, John (1995). "Australian Political Chronicle: January-June 2007". Australian Journal of Politics and History 53 (4): 619. 
  78. ^ Costello, Peter (20 April 2006). "Speech to the Committee for Economic Development of Australia : "DEBT-FREE DAY"". 
  79. ^ ABC PM (20 April 2006). "Costello announces 'debt free day'". 
  80. ^ Australian Bureau of Statistics
  81. ^ Australia Bureau of Statistics
  82. ^ Newspoll (various 2000-2007)
  83. ^ Johnston, Tim (24 August 2007). "Far-Reaching Policy for Aborigines Draws Their Fury". The New York Times. Retrieved 28 August 2007. 
  84. ^ "Canberra's NT troop move 'devastating'". The Age. 6 August 2007. Retrieved 5 July 2009. 
  85. ^ "Obama hits back after Australian PM slams his Iraq stance". CNN. 12 February 2008. Retrieved 7 May 2008. ; "Australian Premier Defends Remark On Obama, Terror". Washington Post. 13 February 2007. Retrieved 24 May 2008. ; "Lib defends Howard's Obama claim". The Australian. 20 November 2008.,25197,24678507-5013948,00.html. Retrieved 20 November 2008. 
  86. ^ Steve Lewis (10 July 2006). "Costello backers savage Howard". News Limited.,10117,19736460-2,00.html. Retrieved 10 July 2006. ; Glenn Milne (10 July 2006). "No, Prime Minister, you cannot deny it". News Limited.,10117,19734797-2,00.html. Retrieved 10 July 2006. ; "Howard promised me a handover: Costello / Howard rejects Costello's deal claim". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 10 July 2006. Retrieved 10 July 2006. 
  87. ^ "Labor sees end to Howard-Costello duet". ABC. 10 July 2006. Retrieved 10 July 2006. ; "Call for Costello to quit or challenge". ABC. 11 July 2006. Retrieved 11 July 2006. 
  88. ^ "PM's decision to face electorate welcomed". ABC. 31 July 2006. Retrieved 31 July 2006. 
  89. ^ O'Brien, Kerry (12 September 2007). "John Howard on the latest round of leadership turmoil". The 7.30 Report (ABC). Retrieved 12 September 2007. 
  90. ^ "Howard failed as treasurer, says Costello". Sydney Morning Herald. 19 July 2007. Retrieved 25 July 2007. 
  91. ^ Kassey Dickie. (2006). The Union Show (04 July). [TV-Series]. C31 Melbourne. 
  92. ^ "APEC 2007 Taskforce". Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet. 30 June 2006. Retrieved 13 September 2007. 
  93. ^ "Leadership talk dogs PM". ABC Online. 7 September 2007. Retrieved 11 September 2007. 
  94. ^ "Bennelong (Key Seat)". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 25 November 2007. Retrieved 25 November 2007. ; "Bennelong too close to call, says McKew". 25 November 2007.,23599,22817877-29277,00.html. Retrieved 25 November 2007. 
  95. ^ Kate Legge (5 April 2008). "Dark tea-time of the soul". The Australian (News Ltd).,25197,23484820-5013871,00.html. 
  96. ^ "Rudd feeling 'chipper' about swearing in". ABC Online. 3 December 2007. 
  97. ^ Paul Bibby (12 December 2007). "Finally, Howard admits McKew has it". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 12 December 2007. 
  98. ^ "Costello won't stand". Sydney Morning Herald. 25 November 2007. Retrieved 25 November 2007. 
  99. ^ Glenn Milne (24 December 2007). "Roadrunner Rudd on track". The Australian (News Ltd).,25197,22966945-7583,00.html. 
  100. ^ Mark Davis (24 May 2008). "What made battlers turn the tide". Sydney Morning Herald (Fairfax). 
  101. ^ Howard signs up to talk the talk | The Australian
  102. ^ "Howard put up for ICC presidency". ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation). 2 March 2010. Retrieved 2 March 2010. 
  103. ^ "Its an Honour: Centenary Medal". Australian Government. Retrieved 2009-05-03. 
  104. ^ "PM awarded the Star of the Solomon Islands". Beehive. 20 June 2005. Retrieved 8 July 2006. 
  105. ^ Medals of the World - Solomon Islands: Star of the Solomon Islands. Retrieved on 24 September 2006
  106. ^ Presidential Gold Medal
  107. ^ Australia's John Howard Receives 2008 Irving Kristol Award AEI press release 3 January 2008
  108. ^ Howard wins $54,000 for good PM-ing | The Australian
  109. ^ It's an Honour: AC
  110. ^ Howard: Mumbai attacks a message to Obama
  111. ^ Howard to receive US presidential award
  112. ^ Gilmore, Heath (15 February 2009). "An honourable mention for Dr John". Sydney Morning Herald. 


  • Bell, Stephen (2004). Australia's Money Mandarins. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0521839904. 
  • Garran, Robert (2004). True Believer: John Howard, George Bush and the American Alliance. Sydney, Australia: Allen & Unwin. ISBN 1741144183. 
  • Kelly, Paul (1992, 1994). The End of Certainty: Power, Politics, and Business in Australia. Sydney, Australia: Allen & Unwin. ISBN ISBN 186373757X. 
  • Markus, Andrew (2001). Race: John Howard and the Remaking of Australia. Sydney, Australia: Allen & Unwin. ISBN 1864488662. 
  • Van Onselen, Peter; Errington, Wayne (2007). John Winston Howard: The Biography. Melbourne University Press. ISBN 9780522853346. 

Further reading


External links

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New title Minister for Special Trade Negotiations
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Treasurer of Australia
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Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

John Winston Howard (born 26 July 1939) is an Australian politician and was the Prime Minister of Australia from 1996 until 2007. He previously served as Treasurer from 1977–1983 and was Leader of the Liberal Party from 1985 until 1989, and again from 1995-2007.


  • I accept that in a free society you have to justify reductions in people's liberties. I accept that, bearing in mind my starting point is that the most important human right is the right to life...
    • Terrorism Summit (Friday, August 5, 2005)
  • The most important civil liberty... is to stay alive and to be free from violence and death...
    • Terrorism Summit (Friday, August 5, 2005)
  • I think when people talk about civil liberties, they sometimes forget that action taken to protect the citizen against physical violence and physical attack is a blow in favour and not a blow against civil liberties.
    • Terrorism Summit (Friday, August 5, 2005)
  • Truth is absolute, truth is supreme, truth is never disposable in national political life.
    • ABC Radio "AM" (25 August 1995)
  • We are not a federation of tribes. We are one great tribe; one Australia.
    • October 16th, 2007
  • John Howard: No, there's no way that a GST will ever be part of our policy.
    Journalist: Never ever?
    John Howard: Never ever. It's dead. It was killed by the voters in the last election.
    • Interview, Tweed Heads Civic Centre (2 May 1995)
  • Journalist: Do you see yourself as having another chance at the leadership at some future time?
    John Howard: Oh, that'd be Lazarus with a triple bypass.
    • Press conference, 9th of May 1989, after losing the Liberal Party leadership.
  • I believed then, and I believe now, that if this country is to live up to its full potential and its highest ideals we must turn this around.
    • Speech at Australian National History Summit 2008.
  • I've never believed in lower wages. Never. Never believed in lower wages, I've never believed in lower wages as an economic instrument.
  • The 'black armband' view of our history reflects a belief that most Australian history since 1788 has been little more than a disgraceful story of imperialism, exploitation, racism, sexism and other forms of discrimination. I take a very different view. I believe that the balance sheet of our history is one of heroic achievement and that we have achieved much more as a nation of which we can be proud of than which we should be ashamed.
    • 1996 Sir Robert Menzies Lecture
  • We decide who comes into this country, and the circumstances in which they come.
    • Speech used in advertising material by the Liberal Party in the 2001 Federal election.
  • You can not legislate morality.
    • Speech in respect to restricting recently resigned government Ministers getting jobs in industries of their recent portfolio (10 August 2004)
  • I think history will judge him very harshly for not having seized the opportunity in the year 2000 to embrace the offer that was very courageously made by the then Israeli Prime Minister, Ehud Barack, which involved the Israelis agreeing to 90 per cent of what the Palestinians had wanted.
  • There is much in American society which I admire, but I have long held the view that the absence of an effective safety net in that country means that too many needy citizens fall by the wayside. That is not the path that Australia will tread. Nor do we want the burdens of nanny state paternalism that now weigh down many economies in Europe.
    • Australia Day Address, January 25, 2006
  • In the end, young people are at risk of being disinherited from their community if that community lacks the courage and confidence to teach its history.
    • Australia Day Address, January 25, 2006
  • I accept that climate change is a challenge, I accept the broad theory about global warming. I am sceptical about a lot of the more gloomy predictions.
    • Interview with Four Corners', ABC TV, August 28, 2006.
  • Australians have made a lot of mistakes, we have treated Aboriginal people very badly, and we have our share of racists and bigots. But a lot of the agenda of the cultural Left in this country is basically that the past has been a disgrace, that we’ve achieved very little, we’ve become the most materialistic country in the world and that we’re mean-spirited. We’re pretty awful people and we should be ashamed of ourselves and start all over again. Well, I don’t hold that view, and the overwhelming majority of Australians don’t hold that view, and they reject it.
    • 2006 interview with Time
  • We spent too much time in the first half of the nineties pondering whether we had to become less European so we could become more Asian, whether we had to become less British so we could become more multicultural. We had this perpetual seminar on our national identity, contributed to overwhelmingly by the cultural dietitians. I never thought Australians had any doubt as to what their identity was. And I think we’ve moved on from all of that.
    • 2006 interview with Time
  • If I were running al-Qaeda in Iraq, I would put a circle around March 2008 and be praying as many times as possible for a victory not only for [Barack] Obama but also for the Democrats.
    • Television interview on the Nine Network, February 11, 2007.
  • I don't care what New South Wales water or Victorian water, that's rubbish, they're all Australian Water
    • Commenting the State governments' unwillingness to share water interstately.
  • Australia does not need a new leadership, it does not need an old leadership, it needs the right leadership
    • When asked about he opinion on what leadership the country need on news, 2007.
  • My daughter said sorry she couldn't come because she has to go to a wedding.
    • At the News Press after his defeat in the 2007 election campaign.

About John Howard

  • They tell me Australia and Texas have got a lot in common. Having watched this man perform I agree. The biggest compliment you can pay to somebody, at least in this part of the country, is you're kinda like a Texan.
  • The little dessicated coconut...
  • Take a very committed funeral home director. Then halve his personality, and halve it again, and you have pretty well got John Howard.

External links

Wikipedia has an article about:

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

JOHN HOWARD (1726-1790), English philanthropist and prison reformer, was born at Hackney, probably on the 2nd of September 1726. His childhood was passed at Cardington, near Bedford, where his father, a retired merchant of independent means, had a small estate. He was apprenticed to a firm of grocers in the city of London, but on the death of his father in 1742, by which he inherited considerable property, he bought up his indenture, and devoted more than a year to foreign travel. Never constitutionally strong, he became, on his return to England, a confirmed invalid. Having been nursed through an acute illness by an attentive landlady, a widow of some fiftythree years of age, Howard, in return for her kindness, offered her marriage and they were united in 1752. Becoming a widower in less than three years, he determined to go abroad again, Portugal being his destination. The ship, however, in which he sailed was taken by a French privateer, the crew and passengers being carried to Brest, where they were treated with great severity. Howard was permitted to return to England on parole to negotiate an exchange, which he accomplished, as well as successfully representing the case of his fellow-captives. He now settled down on his Cardington property, interesting himself in meteorological observations. He was admitted a member of the Royal Society in 1756. In 1758 he married Henrietta, daughter of Edward Leeds, of Croxton, Cambridgeshire. He continued to lead a secluded life at Cardington and at Watcombe, Hampshire, busying himself in the construction of model cottages and the erection of schools. In 1765 his second wife died after giving birth to a son. In the following year Howard went for a prolonged foreign tour, from which he returned in 1770.

In 1773 the characteristic work of his life may be said to have begun by his acceptance of the office of high sheriff of Bedford. When the assizes were held he did not content himself with sitting out the trials in open court, his inquisitiveness and his benevolence alike impelled him to visit the gaol. Howard found it, like all the prisons of the time, wretchedly defective in its arrangements; but what chiefly shocked him was the circumstance that neither the gaoler nor his subordinates were salaried officers, but were dependent for their livelihood on fees from the prisoners. He found that some whom the juries had declared not guilty, others in whom the grand jury had not found even such appearance of guilt as would warrant a trial, others whose prosecutors had failed to appear, were frequently detained in prison for months after they had ceased to be in the position of accused parties, until they should have paid the fees of gaol delivery (see Introduction to The State of the Prisons of England and Wales). His prompt application to the justices of the county for a salary to the gaoler in lieu of his fees was met by a demand for a precedent in charging the county with an expense. This he undertook to find if such a thing existed. He went accordingly from county to county, and though he could find no precedent for charging the county with the wages of its servants he did find so many abuses in prison management that he determined to devote himself to their reform.

In 1774 he gave evidence before a committee of the House of Commons, and received the thanks of the house for "the humanity and zeal which have led him to visit the several gaols of this kingdom, and to communicate to the House the interesting observations which he has made on that subject." Almost immediately an act was passed which provided for the liberation, free of all charges, of every prisoner against whom the grand jury failed to find a true bill, giving the gaoler a sum from the county rate in lieu of the abolished fees. This was followed in June by another requiring justices of the peace to see that the walls and ceilings of all prisons within their jurisdiction were scraped and whitewashed once a year at least; that the rooms were regularly cleaned and ventilated; that infirmaries were provided for the sick, and proper care taken to get them medical advice; that the naked should be clothed; that underground dungeons should be used as little as could be; and generally that such courses should be taken as would tend to restore and preserve the health of the prisoners. It was highly characteristic of the man that, having caused the provisions of the new legislation tc be printed at his own private cost in large type, he sent a copy to every gaoler and warder in the kingdom, that no one should be able to plead ignorance of the law if detected in the violation of its provisions. He then set out upon a new tour of inspection, from which, however, he was brought home by the approach of a general election in September 1774. Standing as one of the anti-ministerial candidates for Bedford, he was returned by a narrow majority but was unseated after a scrutiny.

After a tour in Scotland and Ireland, he set out in April 1775 upon an extended tour through France, the Low Countries and Germany. At Paris he was at first denied access to the prisons; but, by recourse to an old and almost obsolete law of 1717, according to which any person wishing to distribute alms to the prisoners was to be admitted, he succeeded in inspecting the Bicetre, the Force l'Eveque and most of the other places of confinement, the only important exception being the Bastille. Even in that case he succeeded in obtaining possession of a suppressed pamphlet, which he afterwards translated and published in English, to the unconcealed chagrin of the French authorities. At Ghent he examined with special interest the great Maison de Force, then recently erected, with its distinctive features - useful labour, in the profits of which the prisoners had a share, and complete separation of the inmates by night. At Amsterdam, as in Holland generally, he was much struck with the comparative absence of crime, a phenomenon which he attributed to the industrial and reformatory treatment there adopted. In Germany he found little that was useful and much that was repulsive; in Hanover and Osnabruck, under the rule of a British sovereign, he even found traces of torture. After a short. tour in England (Nov. 1775 to May 1776), he again went abroad, extending his tour to several of the Swiss cantons. In 1777 appeared The State of the Prisons in England and Wales, with Preliminary Observations, and an Account of some Foreign Prisons. One of the immediate results was the drafting a bill for the establishment of penitentiary houses, where by means of solitary imprisonment, accompanied by well-regulated labour and religious instruction, the object of reforming the criminal and inuring him to habits of industry might be pursued. New buildings were manifestly necessary; and Howard volunteered to go abroad again and collect plans. He first went to Amsterdam (April 1778), and carefully examined the "spinhouses" and "rasp-houses"' for which that city was famous; next he traversed Prussia, Saxony, Bohemia, Austria and Italy, everywhere inspecting prisons, hospitals and workhouses, and carefully recording the merits and defects of each. The information he thus obtained having been placed at the service of parliament, a bill was passed for building two penitentiary houses, and Howard was appointed first supervisor, but he resigned the post before anything practical had been achieved. In 1780 he had published a quarto volume as an appendix (the first) to his State of Prisons; about the same time also he caused to be printed his translation of the suppressed French 1 The spinhouses were for women prisoners, who were set to spinning or other useful work; in the rasp-houses, the prisoners were employed in rasping wood.

pamphlet on the Bastille; but on obtaining release from his employments at home his passion for accumulating statistics urged him to new and more extended continental tours, as far as to Denmark, Sweden and Russia in 1781, and to Spain and Portugal in 1783. The results of these journeys were embodied in 1784 in a second appendix, with the publication of which his direct labours in connexion with the subject of prison reform may be said to have ceased.

The five remaining years of his life were chiefly devoted to researches on the means for prevention of the plague, and for guarding against the propagation of contagious distempers in general. After an extended tour on the continent his researches seemed to be complete; and with a great accumulation of papers and memoranda, he was preparing to return homewards from Constantinople by Vienna, when it occurred to his scrupulous mind that he still lacked any personal experience of quarantine discipline. He returned to Smyrna, and, deliberately choosing a foul ship, took a passage to Venice. A protracted voyage of sixty days, during which an attack by pirates gave Howard an opportunity of manifesting his personal bravery, was followed by a weary term of confinement which enabled him to gain the experience he had desired. While imprisoned in the Venetian lazaretto he received the information that his only son, a youth of twenty-two years of age, had lost his reason and had been put under restraint. Returning hastily by Trieste and Vienna (where he had a long and singular interview with the emperor Joseph II.), he reached England in February 1787. His first care related to his domestic concerns; he then set out upon another journey of inspection of the prisons of the United Kingdom, at the same time busying himself in preparing for the press the results of his recent tour. The somewhat rambling work containing them was published in 1798 at Warrington, under the title An Account of the Principal Lazarettos in Europe: with various Papers relative to the Plague, together with further Observations on some Foreign Prisons and Hospitals, and additional Remarks on the present State of those in Great Britain and Ireland. In July 1789 he embarked on what proved to be his last journey. Travelling overland to St Petersburg and Moscow, and so southwards, and visiting the principal military hospitals that lay on his route, he reached Kherson in November. In the hospitals of this place and of the immediate neighbourhood he found more than enough to occupy his attention while he awaited the means of transit to Constantinople. Towards the end of the year his medical advice was asked in the case of a young lady who was suffering under the camp fever then prevalent, and in attending her he himself took the disease, which terminated fatally on the 20th of January 1790. He was buried near the village of Dauphigny on the road to St Nicholas. There is a statue by Bacon to his memory in St Paul's, London, and one at Bedford by A. Gilbert. In personal appearance Howard is described as having been short, thin and sallow - unprepossessing apart from the attraction of a penetrating eye and a benevolent smile.


- Anecdotes of the Life and Character of John Howard, written by a Gentleman (1790); Aikin, View of the Character and Public Services of the late John Howard (1792); Memoirs by J. Baldwin Brown (1818) T. Taylor (1836), Hepworth Dixon (1849), J. Field (1850), and J. Stoughton, Howard the Philanthropist (1884).

<< Catherine Howard

Oliver Otis Howard >>

Simple English

John Winston Howard

In office
11 March 1996[1] – 3 December 2007[1]
Preceded by Paul Keating
Succeeded by Kevin Rudd

Born 26 July 1939
Sydney, New South Wales
Political party Liberal

John Winston Howard (born 26 July 1939)[1] was the 25th Prime Minister of Australia.[2] John Howard is a member of the Liberal Party. John Howard was the leader of Australia from 1996, when he won the election against Paul Keating of the Labor Party, until 2007 when he lost the election to Kevin Rudd of the Labor Party. John Howard is the second longest serving leader of Australia. He served for 11 years, and Robert Menzies is the longest serving leader of Australia who served for 18 years.[2] Janette Parker, a school teacher, married John Howard in 1971.[3]

John Howard was a lawyer before he became a politician.[1] He was in parliament from 1974 until 2007. From 1977 to 1983 he was the Treasurer in Malcolm Fraser's government.[1] Malcolm Fraser lost the 1983 election to Bob Hawke.

In 1995, the Prime Minister, Paul Keating, was not popular after 13 years of Labor government and in 1996 John Howard became Prime Minister of Australia.

One of the first things he did was get together all the governments in Australia to ban lots of dangerous guns in 1997. A man went crazy in Tasmania in 1996 and shot lots of people for no reason, so John Howard said nobody except farmers really needs guns in modern Australia. In 1998, Howard and his Treasurer, Peter Costello took a big tax reform (the GST) to the election and won. In 1999 John Howard's government held a referendum on whether Australia should become a republic and have a President instead of a Queen. However, John Howard did not support the referendum and told people to vote no.

In 1999, Howard led a United Nations force into East Timor (INTERFET), to help them set up an independent democracy.

After the September 11 attacks, John Howard was involved in world issues. He was friends with George W. Bush who is the leader of the United States. George Bush called John Howard a "key ally". John Howard sent SAS troops to Afghanistan and Iraq to support the United States, and signed a free trade agreement with the United States. Despite this alliance, Australia remained fairly neutral on Israel and Palestine.

Like before Howard, Australian trade with Asia got bigger while John Howard was leader. He invited the Chinese leader to speak to the Australian Parliament for the first time. After the 2004 Boxing Day Tsunami, John Howard called the President of Indonesia and offered a billion dollars to help. John Howard increased immigration a lot and people came to Australia from all over the world, but he tried to stop boats of people coming without asking for visas first.

Australia was successful while John Howard was leader. However, some people say he did not help poor people, and ignored global warming.[who?] In 2005, he made it easier for bosses to get rid of workers, and the Labor Party became more popular. On 24 November 2007, Kevin Rudd won an election and John Howard stopped being Prime Minister. John Howard also lost his seat in the Parliament.[4]


Prime Ministers of Australia
Barton | Deakin | Watson | Reid | Fisher | Cook | Hughes | Bruce | Scullin | Lyons | Page | Menzies | Fadden | Curtin | Forde | Chifley | Holt | McEwen | Gorton | McMahon | Whitlam | Fraser | Hawke | Keating | Howard | Rudd | Gillard

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