Charles Ronald Maunsell (8 May 1922 – 17 December 2010[1]) was an Australian politician.

Ron Maunsell
Senator for Queensland
In office
1 July 1968 – 30 June 1981
Personal details
Born(1922-05-08)8 May 1922
Cairns, Queensland
Died17 December 2010(2010-12-17) (aged 88)
Cairns North, Queensland
NationalityAustralian
Political partyAustralian Country Party
OccupationGrazier

Born in Cairns, Queensland, he was educated at state schools before serving in the military 1942–1947. He returned to become a grazier at Longreach. In 1967, he was elected to the Australian Senate as a Country Party Senator for Queensland. He held the seat until his defeat at the 1980 election, taking effect in 1981.[2]

One of his most notable moments was his involvement in what became known as "The Night of the Long Prawns", in April 1974. He regularly brought a batch of prawns from his home base in Townsville to share with his parliamentary colleagues in Canberra, and on that night he used this generosity as a ruse to keep DLP Senator Vince Gair entertained in his office all night, thus delaying Gair's resignation from the Senate in order to take up an appointment as Ambassador to Ireland, which had been offered to him by the Whitlam Labor government as a strategy to increase Labor's numbers in the Senate. The timing was crucial, as the non-Labor forces were aware that the Queensland Premier Joh Bjelke-Petersen was that very night arranging to issue writs for 5 Queensland senators for the forthcoming half-Senate election, but if Gair had resigned first, writs for 6 senators would have been required, thus improving Labor's chances. In the end, Whitlam decided to call a double dissolution instead of the half-Senate election he had previously announced; all seats in the parliament were up for re-election, and the Gair Affair became irrelevant.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Parliament Question Time, ABC News 24, 8 Feb 2011
  2. ^ Carr, Adam (2008). "Australian Election Archive". Psephos, Adam Carr's Election Archive. Retrieved 16 November 2008.