Pictorial material from the Frank Browne papers, ca. 1890-1976

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Record title

Pictorial material from the Frank Browne papers, ca. 1890-1976

Call numbers

PXE 1247 , ON 479

Record identifier


Pictorial material from the Frank Browne papers, ca. 1890-1976


Pictorial material from the Frank Browne papers, ca. 1890-1976

Full title

Pictorial material from the Frank Browne papers, ca. 1890-1976

Author / Creator


ca. 1890-1976

Call Numbers

PXE 1247 , ON 479

Record Identifier

Physical Description


245 photographic prints - 18.5 x 49 cm. or smaller - black and white, col.

3 drawings - 35 x 20 cm. or smaller - ink, wash

1 item of ephemera - 14 x 9 cm. - postcard

133 negatives - 5.5 x 5.5 cm. (col.), 4.5 x 7.5 cm. (black and white) - col., black and white

Other Descriptions

Level of description


Access and use

Copying Conditions

Copyright restrictions may apply : Photographs in this collection created before 1955 are all out of copyright. Photographs created after 1955 are in copyright for the life of creator plus 70 years

Please acknowledge: : Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales and courtesy copyright holder

Physical Access Conditions

Access to this pictures collection via appointment only. Please submit your request through Ask a Librarian : applies to ON 479

More information



PXE 1247
245 photographic prints
Includes many undated portraits of Frank Browne including one by John Hearder, along with many undated family portraits, family pets and Frank Browne among dining parties at restaurants; many pictures of Australian Party rallies, some including Frank Browne addressing the audience, ca. 1955; many pictures on b...


Full title

Pictorial material from the Frank Browne papers, ca. 1890-1976


General note

Pic.Acc. Upgrade Project - Information transferred from Pic.Acc.4068 as part of the eRecords Project 2012-13



Purchased from F. R. Strange, 21 September 1977

Administrative / Biographical history

Francis Courtney (Frank) Browne (1915-1981), journalist, was born on 9 September 1915 at Coogee, Sydney, son of Courtney Browne, a tailor from New Zealand, and his Sydney-born wife Linda Veronica, née Heckenberg. Frank was educated at Christian Brothers’ College, Waverley

Turning to politics, Browne stood unsuccessfully for parliament three times—in 1943 as the United Australia Party candidate for the Federal seat of Barton against Dr Bert Evatt; in 1944 as the Democratic Party candidate for the State seat of Bondi; and in 1947 as an Independent Liberal for the State seat of Vaucluse. He had become a branch president of the new Liberal Party in 1945, and had formed a Young Liberals’ League which that party promptly disbanded

By 1946 Browne had taken up his main vocation: the purveyance of political, business and personal information in a weekly newsletter for subscribers entitled Things I Hear. Things I Hear managed to infuriate politicians of every party, particularly in Canberra, which Browne visited regularly. Thus it was not surprising, though the cause of some regret, that Federal parliament, in a unique exercise of its power under section 49 of the Constitution, called Browne and another defendant, Raymond Fitzpatrick, before the Bar of the House for breach of parliamentary privilege. The alleged breach had occurred in an article in a free advertising weekly, the Bankstown Observer, edited at the time by Browne and owned by Fitzpatrick, a wealthy haulage contractor known as `Mr Big’.

In May 1955 the Labor member for Reid, Charles Morgan, had drawn parliament’s attention to the offending reference which alleged his involvement in `an immigration racket’. The House of Representatives standing committee of privileges ignored advice from the clerk of the House, Frank Green, that parliamentary privilege should not protect a member against allegations concerning his conduct outside the House, and that the proper place to seek requital was a civil court. Reporting no evidence of improper conduct by Morgan, the committee found Fitzpatrick and Browne guilty of a serious breach of privilege by publishing material intended to influence and intimidate a member in his conduct in the House.

Both men appeared before the Bar of the House on 10 June. `Mr Big’ spoke briefly and apologetically, but Browne gave as little ground as he might have done at a different kind of bar, talking vehemently about freedom of speech. During the ensuing debate Prime Minister (Sir) Robert Menzies termed Browne’s address `an exhibition of unparalleled arrogance and impertinence’, while the deputy-leader of the Opposition, Arthur Calwell (usually referred to in Things I Hear as `Awful Arthur’), described Browne as `an arrogant rat’ and Fitzpatrick as `an illiterate lout’. By 55 votes to 12 in the case of Fitzpatrick and 55 to 11 for Browne, the House resolved that both should be imprisoned for three months. And so they were, in Goulburn gaol, much to the disapproval of some press and public opinion. On his release, Browne formed the short-lived Australian Party

Australian Dictionary of Biography. http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/browne-francis-courtney-frank-12259 (accessed 22 August, 2012)...



Call Numbers

PXE 1247 , ON 479

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