At around this time, Prime Minister Menzies was summoned to England by his beloved Queen to receive what he hoped would be the honour that he had toiled his whole life for so devotedly to achieve. But the House of Lords were not about to admit a grocer’s son from Downunder to their ranks, no matter how many decades he had spent serving their best interests. So he was given some other honour instead, which he received stoically and with dignity, but you could tell he was wounded to the core.
And it was said that it was because of this bitter disappointment that he was persuaded to betray everything he had once stood for and did a deal with the Americans, inviting General Motors to create a local automotive industry. Truth was all this had actually been arranged by the previous opposition government, and a proto-type had been produced in 1938 before Menzies ever came to power but it never went into production because those factories soon needed to be turned over to the war effort. The first Holden rolled off the production line in 1947, when he was still in opposition.
But since everyone blamed Menzies for everything, naturally he got the rap for this one too. The result was the Holden—the Australian car—although the profits went to Detroit. Although not as long and sleek as Yankee autos, and not so chunky as British models, they were a weird hybrid but we thought them ours and loved them. Soon they were everywhere, and their toffy drivers laughed at us as we putted by.
But way back then, the die was cast—thereafter things British would never seem adequate again.