||Disunity and weakness in the non-Labor parties led federal opposition leader R.G.Menzies to call an October 1944 conference, at which 18 organizations were represented [listed in Katharine West's Power in the Liberal Party (1965,p.221,n.33)] - though not the Country Party, which chose to maintain its separate identity. Menzies emphasised the need for an extra-parliamentary organization and an Albury conference of December 1944 set about establishing a framework and drafting a con- stitution. Public meetings were called to establish grass roots branches; in Victo- ria these meetings commenced February 1945, and when 130 branches had been formed, a conference of 2 delegates from each met in Melbourne in June. Two notable features of the Victorian organization are provision for equal representation of men and women at all levels, and requirement that at least half of State Executive be members of country branches. First electoral victories were in 1947 in W.A. then in Victoria, and in 1949 the Party began a 23-year term as a federal coalition government. In Victoria it was known as Liberal and Country Party 1949-64.