This article examines the Gorton government’s tentative, but significant role in reshaping Australia’s approach to overseas investment, focusing on the role of the Prime Minister himself. Prime Minister Gorton and his Cabinet ultimately accepted the need to pursue a more overt form of economic nationalism for political gain. This provided a basis for subsequent governments to offer more direct, national government intervention in foreign investment decision-making to the Australian polity. Historical accounts and more recent assessments are drawn on to make this case and point to the legacy of Gorton and his government in the political management of foreign investment in Australia. The approach to foreign investment that emerged during Gorton’s government demonstrated to subsequent governments the worth of developing a calibrated response that appeared to address populist concerns while still enabling substantive and increasing investment inflows.