Due to a double dissolution called after the Senate rejected the Commonwealth Bank Bill. The incumbent Liberal Party of Australia led by Prime Minister of Australia Robert Menzies with coalition partner the Country Party led by Arthur Fadden defeated the Australian Labor Party led by Ben Chifley.
In April 1950 the British Government asked whether some Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) units could be sent to assist in the Malayan Emergency. Menzies therefore postponed any decision on the matter until after the visit of the British Commissioner-General for South-East Asia, Malcolm MacDonald. But the visit, which took place in early May 1950, made a decision more difficult.