Pig headed

In early 1939 Attorney-General and Minister for Industry, Robert Menzies, was involved in a waterside dispute when workers refused to load a ship with so-called pig-iron bound for Japan. The workers feared that Japan might use the iron in a war machine which was aimed at Australia. Menzies faced a mass demonstration at Port Kembla and told the workers that they could not dictate the government’s foreign policy, earning him the name ‘Pig-Iron Bob’.