Picture of Ben Chifley
Choose another PM

OR

Key people

Abbott, Hilda Gertrude

Australian Red Cross Society worker in Egypt during the 1914–18 war and in the Northern Territory 1937–46, when her husband Charles Abbott was Administrator. In the 1950s Hilda Abbott was familiar to radio listeners for the programs she produced and presented.

Abbott, Charles Lydiard Aubrey

Country Party Member of the House of Representatives 1925–29 and 1931–37 (Gwydir), Abbott was Minister for Home and Territories (1–10 December 1928) and for Home Affairs (10 December 1928 – 22 October 1929) in the Bruce–Page government. From 29 March 1937 – 26 May 1946 Abbott was Administrator of the Northern Territory; his wife Hilda Abbott was well known in community work in the Territory.

National Archives of Australia Commonwealth Person CP 30.

Armstrong, John Ignatius

Labor Party Senator for New South Wales 1938–62. Minister for Munitions (1 November 1946 – 6 April 1948) and Minister for Supply and Development (6 April 1948 – 19 December 1949) in the Chifley government.

Ashley, William Patrick

Labor Party Senator for New South Wales 1937–58. Postmaster-General (7 October 1941 – 2 February 1945), Minister for Information (7 October 1941 – 21 September 1943), Vice-President of the Executive Council (21 September 1943 – 2 February 1945) in the Curtin government, Minister for Supply and Shipping (2 February 1945 – 6 April 1948) in the Curtin, Forde and Chifley governments, Minister for Shipping and Fuel (6 April 1948 – 19 December 1949) in the Chifley government.

National Archives of Australia Commonwealth Person CP 941.

Attlee, Clement Richard

Britain's Labour Prime Minister 1945–51 during the Chifley, Fadden and Menzies governments.

Barnard, Herbert Claude

Labor Member of the House of Representatives 1934–49 (Bass). Minister for Repatriation (1 November 1946 – 19 December 1949) in the Chifley government. Father of Lance Barnard.

Beasley, John (Jack) Albert

Member of the House of Representatives 1928–46 (West Sydney) for the Labor Party, except in 1931–36 when he was a member of the Lang Labor Party and 1940–41 when he was a member of the Anti-Communist Labor Party. He was assistant Minister for Industry (22 October 1929 – 3 March 1931) in the Scullin government, Minister for Supply and Development (7 October 1941 – 17 October 1942), Minister for Supply and Shipping (17 October 1942 – 2 February 1945), Vice-President of the Executive Council (2 February 1945 – 6 July 1945) in the Curtin government, Minister for Defence and Vice-President of the Executive Council (6–13 July 1945) in the Forde government, Minister for Defence (13 July 1945 – 15 August 1946) in the Chifley government. Beasley also served on the Advisory War Council 1940–45.

National Archives of Australia Commonwealth Person CP 84.

Bell, (Sir) George

Member of the House of Representatives (Darwin) for the Nationalist Party 1919–22 and 1925–31, and for the United Australia Party 1931–43. Chairman of Committees (17 February 1932 – 7 August 1934) and Speaker in the House of Representatives (23 October 1934 – 19 November 1940) during the Lyons, Page and Menzies governments. Bell had been a soldier in the Boer War and in the 1914–18 war.

Blackburn, Doris

Independent Member of the House of Representatives 1946–49 (Bourke), Blackburn had left the Labor Party in 1938. She was a member of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom and the Women's Christian Temperance Union, and a co-founder of the Aboriginal Advancement League and the Federal Council for Aboriginal Advancement. As a member of the Women's Political Association in Victoria, she had been campaign secretary for Vida Goldstein in the 1913 federal election, and with her husband Maurice Blackburn was an anti-conscription campaigner in 1916–17.

Bruce, (Lord) Stanley Melbourne

Member of the House of Representatives (Flinders) for the Nationalist Party 1918–29 and for the United Australia Party 1931–33. Treasurer (1921–23) during the Hughes government, Prime Minister 1923–29, Minister for External Affairs 1923–29, Minister for Health 1927–28, and Minister for Trade and Customs 1928. Bruce was honorary Minister in London 1932–33 during the Lyons government and High Commissioner in London 1933–45 during the Lyons, Page, Menzies, Fadden and Curtin governments.

Read more about Stanley Melbourne Bruce.

National Archives of Australia Commonwealth Person CP 23.

Calwell, Arthur Augustus

Labor Party Member of the House of Representatives 1940–72 (Melbourne). Minister for Information (21 September 1943 – 19 December 1949) in the Curtin, Forde and Chifley governments, Minister for Immigration (13 July 1945 – 19 December 1949) in the Chifley government. Leader of the Federal Parliamentary Labor Party 1960–67.

National Archives of Australia Commonwealth Person CP 82.

Cameron, Donald

Labor Party Senator for Victoria 1938–51. Minister for Aircraft Production (7 October 1941 – 2 February 1945), Minister Assisting the Minister for Munitions (7 October 1941 – 21 February 1942), Postmaster-General (2 February 1945 – 6 July 1945) in the Curtin government. Postmaster-General (6 July 1945 – 13 July 1945) in the Forde government. Postmaster-General (13 July 1945 – 19 December 1949) in the Chifley government.

Carrodus, Joseph Aloysius

Head of the Department of the Interior 1935–50, Carrodus was first appointed to the new Commonwealth public service as a clerk in the Department of External Affairs on 11 August 1904. He served as private secretary to several Ministers for External Affairs including Deakin. After Army service in the 1914–18 war, Carrodus was head of the Papua New Guinea and Norfolk Island branch of the Department of Home and Territories in the 1920s.

National Archives of Australia Commonwealth Person CP 42.

Casey, (Lord) Richard Gardiner

Governor-General of Australia (22 September 1965 – 30 April 1969), during the governments of RG Menzies, Harold Holt, John McEwen and John Gorton. As Australian government liaison officer in London 1924–31, Casey was a trusted adviser to SM Bruce, resigning in the cutbacks introduced by James Scullin in 1931. He was a United Australia Party Member of the House of Representatives 1931–40 (Corio) and a Liberal Party Member of the House of Representatives 1949–60 (LaTrobe). Casey was assistant Treasurer (9 November 1934 – 3 October 1935), Minister in charge of development of Scientific and Industrial Research (29 November 1937 – 7 November 1938) in the Lyons government, and Treasurer (3 October 1935 – 26 April 1939) in the Lyons and Page governments. In 1941 John Curtin appointed Casey first Australian Minister to the United States, in 1942–43 he was a member of the British war cabinet, and from 1944–46 Governor of Bengal. In the Menzies government, Casey was Minister for Supply and Development (26 April 1939 – 26 January 1940 and 19 December 1949 – 17 March 1950), Minister for Works and Housing (19 December 1949 – 11 May 1951), Minister for National Development (17 March 1950 – 11 May 1951), Minister in charge of the CSIRO (22 March 1950 – 4 February 1960), Minister for External Territories (26 April 1951 – 11 May 1951), and Minister for External Affairs (26 April 1951 – 4 February 1960). In 1960 he was given a peerage, and became Baron Casey of Berwick, Victoria and the City of Westminster.

National Archives of Australia Commonwealth Person CP 24.

Chambers, Cyril

Labor Party Member of the House of Representatives 1943–58 (Adelaide). Minister for the Army (1 November 1946 – 19 December 1949) in the Chifley Government.

National Archives of Australia Commonwealth Person CP 429.

Chifley, Elizabeth

Prime ministerial wife 1945–49.

National Archives of Australia Commonwealth Person CP 940.

Churchill, (Sir) Winston Spencer

Member of the House of Commons 1900–29 and Britain's Prime Minister 1940–45 and 1951–55, during the Menzies, Fadden and Curtin governments.

Collings, Joseph Silver

Labor Party Senator for Queensland 1932–50. Minister for the Interior (7 October 1941 – 13 July 1945) in the Curtin and Forde governments, Vice-President of the Executive Council (13 July 1945 – 1 November 1946) in the Chifley government.

National Archives of Australia Commonwealth Person CP 166.

Coombs, Herbert (Nugget) Cole

Director-General of Postwar Reconstruction 1943–49, and Governor of the Commonwealth and Reserve Banks 1949–68, Coombs had been a Treasury official 1939–42 and Director of Rationing in 1942. After his retirement from the Public Service in 1968 he was chairman of the Australian Council for the Arts/Australia Council 1967–74, chairman of the Council for Aboriginal Affairs 1967–76 and second Chancellor of the Australian National University 1968–76.

National Archives of Australia Commonwealth Person CP 119.

Courtice, Benjamin

Labor Party Senator for Queensland 1937–62. Minister for Trade and Customs (1 November 1946 – 19 December 1949) in the Chifley government.

Curtin, Elsie

Prime ministerial wife 1941–45.

National Archives of Australia Commonwealth Person CP 947.

Curtin, John Joseph

Labor Party Member of the House of Representatives 1928–31 and 1934–45 (Fremantle), Prime Minister (1941–45), Minister for Defence Coordination (1941–42), and Minister for Defence (1942–45).

Read more about John Curtin.

 

National Archives of Australia Commonwealth Person CP 258.

Dedman, John (Jack) Johnstone

Labor Party Member of the House of Representatives 1940–49 (Corio). Minister for War Organisation of Industry (7 October 1941 – 19 February 1945) in the Curtin government, Minister in charge of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (7 October 1941 – 19 December 1949), Minister for Post-War Reconstruction (2 February 1945 – 19 December 1949) in the Curtin, Forde and Chifley governments, Minister for Trade and Customs (29 April 1946 – 18 June 1946), Minister for Aircraft Production and Minister for Munitions (15 August 1946 – 1 November 1946), Minister for Defence (1 November 1946 – 19 December 1949) in the Chifley government.

Dixon, (Sir) Owen

High Court Judge (4 February 1929 – 17 April 1952) and Chief Justice (1952–1964). During World War II Dixon was Chairman of the Central Wool Committee (1940–42), the Shipping Control Board (1941–42), the Commonwealth Marine War Risks Insurance Board (1941–42), the Salvage Board (1942) and the Allied Consultative Shipping Council (1942), and he was Australian Minister in Washington (31 May 1942 – 26 September 1944). He also represented Australia on the Pacific War Council. After the war he was Australian representative on the council of the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration. In 1950 Dixon was nominated as the United Nations representative to mediate in the dispute between India and Pakistan over the states of Jammu and Kashmir.

Drakeford, Arthur Samuel

Labor Party Member of the House of Representatives 1934–55 (Maribyrnong). Minister for Air and Minister for Civil Aviation (7 October 1941 – 19 December 1949) in the Curtin, Forde and Chifley governments, Minister for the Navy (15 August 1946 – 1 November 1946) in the Chifley government.

National Archives of Australia Commonwealth Person CP 139.

Eggleston, (Sir) Frederic William

Australian Minister to China in 1941 and Australian Minister to the United States 1944–46. He was a member of the Australian delegation at the Versailles peace conference that established the League of Nations in 1919 and the San Francisco peace conference establishing the United Nations in 1945. In 1933 he became the first chairman of the Commonwealth Grants Commission and from 1946–49 was adviser in the United States to the Department of External Affairs. With his wife Louise he had been a 'Deakinite' Liberal, and later a member of the Liberal Party founded by RG Menzies.

Evatt, Herbert (Doc) Vere

Evatt was a Justice of the High Court 1929–40, the youngest High Court judge. He was then Labor Party member of House of Representatives 1940–58 (Barton) and 1958–60 (Hunter) and Attorney-General and Minister for External Affairs (1941–49) in the Curtin, Forde and Chifley governments. Evatt was Australian delegate to the conference founding the United Nations in San Francisco in 1945, and president of the General Assembly 1948–49. He was first president of Australia's Atomic Energy Commission in 1946. Leader of the federal parliamentary Labor Party, 1951–60, Evatt then returned to the bench as Chief Justice of New South Wales 1960–62.

National Archives of Australia Commonwealth Person CP 7.

Fadden, Arthur William

Country Party Member of the House of Representatives 1936–49 (Darling Downs) and 1949–58 (McPherson). Prime Minister and Treasurer August – October 1941. Fadden was acting Prime Minister January–May 1941, Minister for Air and Minister for Civil Aviation (14 August 1940 – 28 October 1940), minister without portfolio assisting the Treasurer (14 March 1940 – 14  August 1940), Minister Assisting the Treasurer (14 August 1940 – 28 October 1940), minister without portfolio assisting the Minister for Supply and Development (14 March 1940 – 13 August 1940), Minister Assisting the Minister for Supply and Development (14 August 1940 – 28 October 1940), Treasurer (28 October 1940 – 29 August 1941) in the first Menzies government. He again served as Treasurer (19 December 1949 – 10 December 1958) in the second Menzies government.

Read more about Arthur Fadden.

National Archives of Australia Commonwealth Person CP 714.

Forde, Francis (Frank) Michael

Labor Party Member of the House of Representatives 1922–46 (Capricornia). Assistant Minister for Customs (22 October 1929 – 4 February 1931), Trade and Customs (4 February 1931 – 6 January 1932), Prime Minister (6 July 1945 – 13 July 1945) and Minister for the Army (7 October 1941 – 1 November 1946) in the Curtin and Chifley governments as well as his own, Minister for Defence (15 August 1946 – 1 November 1946) in the Chifley government.

Read more about Francis Forde.

National Archives of Australia Commonwealth Person CP 81.

Fraser, James (Jim) Mackintosh

Labor Party Senator for Western Australia 1938–59. Minister for External Territories (7 October 1941 – 21 September 1943), Minister Assisting the Minister for Commerce (7 October 1941 – 17 October 1942), Minister Assisting the Minister for the Army and Minister Assisting the Minister for Supply and Development (21 February 1942 – 21 September 1943) in the Curtin government, Minister for Health and Minister for Social Services (21 September 1943 – 18 June 1946) in the Curtin, Forde and Chifley governments, Minister for Trade and Customs (18 June 1946 – 1 November 1946) in the Chifley government.

Frost, Charles William

Labor Party Member of the House of Representatives 1929–31 and 1934–46 (Franklin). Minister for Repatriation (7 October 1941 – 1 November 1946) in the Curtin, Forde and Chifley governments, Minister in charge of War Service Homes (7 October 1941 – 13 July 1945) in the Curtin and Forde governments.

National Archives of Australia Commonwealth Person CP 331.

Garden, John (Jock) Smith

Member of the House of Representatives (Cook) for Lang Labor 1934–36 and the Labor Party 1936–37. Secretary of the New South Wales Labor Council (1918–1934) and a founder of the Communist Party of Australia in 1920. After his resignation from the Communist Party he helped found the Australian Council of Trade Unions in 1927.

George VI, King

Son of George V and Queen Mary, as Duke of York opened first Parliament House Canberra in 1927, succeeded to throne on abdication of his brother Edward VIII, with Queen Elizabeth British monarch 1936–52.

Giblin, Lyndhurst Falkiner

Tasmanian government statistician (1919–23) and pioneer Australian economist, Giblin was professor of Economics at the University of Melbourne 1929–40, and a member of the Commonwealth Grants Commission (1933–36), the Commonwealth Bank Board (1935–42), and the Commonwealth Advisory Committee on Finance and Economic Policy (1939–47). Giblin formed the Fabian discussion group in the Tasmanian Labor Party and was a Tasmanian parliamentarian 1913–16. He was a friend and advisor of Joseph Lyons.

Gloucester (Duke of), Henry William Frederick Albert

Governor-General of Australia (30 January 1945 – 11 March 1947) during the Curtin, Forde and Chifley governments. During his time in office he travelled extensively throughout Australia before returning to England to perform his official duties.

Goodwin, (Colonel) John Thomas Hill

Commonwealth Surveyor-General (1916–24) and officer in-charge of the Federal Capital Territory (1916–24), member of the Federal Capital Advisory Committee (1921–25), elected member of the Australian Capital Territory Advisory Council (1931–43).

Haylen, Leslie (Les) Clement

Labor Member of the House of Representatives 1943–63 (Parkes). Haylen had been news editor of the Australian Women’s Weekly from 1933 until he joined the Daily Telegraph, being dismissed in 1943 when he became a Labor candidate.

Heagney, Muriel Agnes

A founding member of the Labor Party in Victoria, delegate to the Labor women’s central organising committee in 1909 and attended the first Victorian Labor Women’s Conference. Heagney was trade union investigator to the Hughes government’s basic wage royal commission in 1919–20, and prepared the cost-of-living schedules for the Clothing Trades Union’s submission to the uniform basic wage case before the Conciliation and Arbitration Court. In 1937 a founder of New South Wales Council of Action for Equal Pay. In 1955 secretary of the Labor women’s central organising committee and ex officio member of the Victorian Labor Party central executive.

Holloway, Edward (Jack) James

Made history when he unseated Prime Minister SM Bruce in 1929, and became Labor Member of the House of Representatives 1929–31 (Flinders) and 1931–51 (Melbourne Ports). He served as Minister for Labour and National Service (21 September 1943–19 December 1949) in the Curtin, Forde and Chifley governments. Minister for Social Services and Minister for Health (7 October 1941 – 21 September 1943), Minister Assisting the Minister for Munitions (21 February 1942 – 21 September 1943) in the Curtin government.

Hughes, William Morris

Member of the House of Representatives 1901–17 (West Sydney), 1917–22 (Bendigo), 1922–49 (North Sydney) and 1949–52 (Bradfield). Hughes was a member of the Labor Party 1901–17, the Nationalist Party 1917–29, an ‘Independent Nationalist’ 1929–31, United Australia Party 1931–44, Liberal Party 1944–52. Prime Minister (1915–23), Hughes still holds the record as Australia’s longest serving parliamentarian. He was a Minister in the governments of Watson (1904), Fisher (1908–09, 1910–13 and 1914–15), Lyons (1932–39), Page (Attorney-General, Minister for Industry and Minister for External Affairs (7 April 1939 – 26 April 1939), Menzies (Attorney-General 26 April 1939 – 29 August 1941, Minister for Industry 26 April 1939 – 28 October 1940, Minister for the Navy 28 October 1940 – 29 August 1941), and Fadden (continuing as Attorney-General and Minister for the Navy 29 August 1941 – 7 October 1941). During the term of his own government he also served as Attorney-General (27 October 1915 – 21 December 1921), Minister for Trade and Customs (29 September 1916 – 14 November 1916), Minister for External Affairs (21 December 1921 – 9 February 1923). As a New South Wales parliamentarian 1894–1901 Hughes was a founding member of the Labor Party in New South Wales. He became a founding member of the Nationalist Party in 1917, the United Australia Party in 1931, and the Liberal Party in 1945.

Read more about William Morris Hughes.

National Archives of Australia Commonwealth Person CP 290.

James, Rowland

Member of the House of Representatives (Hunter) for the Labor Party 1928–31, for Lang Labor 1931–36, and for the Labor Party 1936–58. Leader of Australian delegation at the first session of the Coal Mines Committee, of the International Labor Organisation in 1945, Liaison Officer between the Commonwealth government and the coal mining industry 1940–49.

Johnson, Herbert Victor

Labor Party Member of the House of Representatives 1940–58 (Kalgoorlie). Minister for the Interior (13 July 1945 – 19 December 1949) and Minister Assisting the Minister for Works and Housing (13 July 1945 – 1 November 1946) in the Chifley government.

Keane, Richard Valentine

Labor Party Member of the House of Representatives 1929–31 (Bendigo), Senator for Victoria 1938–46. Vice-President of the Executive Council (7 October 1941 – 21 September 1943) in the Curtin government, Minister for Trade and Customs (7 October 1941 – 26 April 1946) in the Curtin, Forde and Chifley governments.

National Archives of Australia Commonwealth Person CP 179.

Keynes (Lord), John Maynard

British economist. Lecturer in Economics at Cambridge (1908–15), editor of the Economic Journal (1912–45), author of The Economic Consequences of Peace (1919), A Treatise on Money (1930), and General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money (1936). His theories became the foundation of modern economics. After World War II he was closely involved in the Bretton Woods Conference that established the International Monetary Fund and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

Lang, John (Jack) Thomas

Labor Member of the House of Representatives 1946–49 (Reid). Lang had been a New South Wales parliamentarian 1913–46 and was state Premier 1925–27. He formed a ‘Lang Labor’ splinter group that split the federal parliamentary party in the 1930s.

Lazzarini, Hubert Peter

Labor Party Member of the House of Representatives 1919–31 and 1934–52 (Werriwa). A member of the Lang Labor Party 1934–36. Minister Assisting the Treasurer (7 October 1941 – 21 September 1943), Minister for Works (2 February 1945 – 6 July 1945) in the Curtin government, Minister for Home Security (7 October 1941 – 1 February 1946) in the Curtin, Forde and Chifley governments, Minister for Works (6 July 1945 – 13 July 1945) in the Forde government, Minister for Works and Housing (13 July 1945 – 1 November 1946) in the Chifley government.

Lemmon, Nelson

Labor Party Member of the House of Representatives 1943–49 (Forrest) and 1954–55 (St George). Minister for Works and Housing (1 November 1946 – 19 December 1949) in the Chifley government.

Lyons, Joseph Aloysius

Labor Member of the House of Representatives 1929–31 and United Australia Party member 1931–39 (Wilmot), Postmaster-General and Minister for Works and Railways 1929–31 in the Scullin government, Prime Minister 1932–39, Treasurer 1932–35, Minister for Health, and Repatriation 1935–36. Lyons had been a Tasmanian parliamentarian 1909–28 and was state Premier 1923–28.

Read more about Joseph Lyons.

National Archives of Australia Commonwealth Person CP 254.

Lyons, (Dame) Enid Muriel

United Australia Party/Liberal Party Member of the House of Representatives 1943–51 (Darwin), Vice-President of the Executive Council (19 December 1949 – 7 March 1951) in the Menzies government and the first woman Minister in the federal government. Dame Enid Lyons was Prime ministerial wife 1932–39.

National Archives of Australia Commonwealth Person CP 928.

Makin, Norman John Oswald

Labor member of House of Representatives 1919–46 (Hindmarsh), 1954–55 (Sturt), and 1955–63 (Bonython). Speaker of House of Representatives 1929–32. Makin was Secretary to the federal parliamentary Labor Party 1934–41, and a member of the Advisory War Council 1940–45. In the Curtin, Forde and Chifley governments, he was Minister for the Navy and Minister for Munitions (7 October 1941 – 15 August 1946), Minister for Aircraft Production (2 February 1945 – 15 August 1946). Makin was Australia’s first Ambassador to the United States (4 September 1946 – 27 April 1951), and was awarded the Order of Australia in 1980.

Mannix, (Archbishop) Daniel

Catholic Archbishop of Melbourne 1912–1963, Mannix strongly opposed conscription during the First World War, and was a friend of James Scullin. After the Labor Party split in 1954–55, Archbishop Mannix supported the Anti-Communist Labor Party, later known as the Democratic Labor Party.

McKell, (Sir) William John

Governor-General of Australia 1947–53.

National Archives of Australia Commonwealth Person CP 954.

McKenna, Nicholas Edward

Labor Party Senator for Tasmania 1944–68. Minister for Health and Minister for Social Services (18 June 1946 – 19 December 1949) in the Chifley government.

Menzies, (Sir) Robert Gordon

United Australia Party/Liberal Party Member of the House of Representatives (Kooyong) 1934–66 and Prime Minister 1939–41 and 1949–66. During his terms as Prime Minister he also served as Treasurer (26 April 1939 – 14 March 1940), Minister for Defence Co-ordination (13 November 1939 – 29 August 1941), Minister for Trade and Customs (23 February 1940 – 14 March 1940), Minister for Information (14 March 1940 – 13 December 1940), Minister for Munitions (11 June 1940 – 28 October 1940), Vice-President of the Executive Council (7 March 1951 – 11 May 1951), Minister for External Affairs (4 February 1960 – 22 December 1961), Minister in charge of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (22 December 1961 – 16 February 1962). In the Lyons government Menzies had been Attorney-General (1934–39) and Minister for Industry (1934–39). In the Fadden government he was Minister for Defence Co-ordination (29 August 1941 – 7 October 1941). He had been a Victorian parliamentarian 1928–34.

Read more about Robert Menzies.

National Archives of Australia Commonwealth Person CP 54.

Murdoch, (Sir) Keith Arthur

Newspaper proprietor and founder of the Australian Journalists Association (1910), the cable service Australian Associated Press (1935), and Australian Newsprint Mills (1938). David Syme had given Murdoch a job on the Age newspaper in 1904, and in 1908 Alfred Deakin, then Prime Minister, provided him with letters of introduction in London. As Commonwealth parliamentary reporter for the Age 1910–12, he became a friend of Andrew Fisher and WM Hughes. Political correspondent for the Sydney Sun from 1912, he was transferred to London in 1915 and secretly reported to Fisher from Gallipoli on the mismanagement of the Anzac campaign. He was the only Australian journalist at the peace conference at Versailles in 1919, and returned to Melbourne as chief editor of the Herald in 1920. With financial support from Clive Baillieu and others, by 1935 he had acquired newspapers in Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth, and eleven commercial radio stations. In 1940 RG Menzies appointed him wartime director-general of information, a short-lived post. He retired in 1949 and died in 1952, leaving his media holdings to his son Keith Rupert Murdoch.

Norman, (Baron) Montagu Collet

Governor of the Bank of England 1920–44; involved in re-negotiating payments on Australia’s overseas loans (1932–33) and later in financing Australia’s war effort.

Officer, (Sir) Frank Keith

Australian Ambassador in Paris (1950–55), Australian Ambassador in Nanking (1948–49), Australian representative in the Netherlands (1946–48), Australian representative in South East Asia (1946), Australian counsellor in the British Embassy, Washington (1937–40), the second Australian government liaison officer in London (1933–37), succeeding Richard Casey. Officer, a former British colonial official, had been recruited by Richard Casey for the External Affairs Branch in 1927, serving in Melbourne until 1933.

Page, (Sir) Earle Christmas Grafton

Country Party Member of the House of Representatives 1919–61 (Cowper). Prime Minister 7–26 April 1939, Page was Treasurer and deputy Prime Minister in the Bruce–Page government (9 February 1923 – 22 October 1929), Minister for Commerce in the Lyons government (9 November 1934 – 26 April 1939) and also Minister for Health (29 November 1937 – 7 November 1938). Page was also Minister for Commerce (28 October 1940 – 7 October 1941) in the first Menzies and Fadden governments, and Minister for Health (19 December 1949 – 11 January 1956) in the Menzies government.

Read more about Earle Page.

National Archives of Australia Commonwealth Person CP 715.

Pollard, Reginald (Reg) Thomas

Labor Party Member of the House of Representatives 1937–49 (Ballaarat) and 1949–66 (Lalor). Minister for Commerce and Agriculture (1 November 1946 – 19 December 1949) in the Chifley government.

Riordan, William James Frederick

Labor Party Member of the House of Representatives 1936–66 (Kennedy). Minister for the Navy (1 November 1946 – 19 December 1949) in the Chifley government.

Robinson, William Sydney

A mining industrialist and businessman, Robinson developed the Australian aluminium industry and the mining and export of uranium. In the 1914–18 war he established companies for the local smelting of lead and zinc. He developed investment in goldmining, forming the Western Mining Corporation in 1933. He also fostered local manufacture of aircraft from 1936 and the supply and processing of base metals during the 1939–45 war.

Rodgers, Don

Press secretary to Prime Ministers John Curtin and Ben Chifley.

Rosevear, John Solomon (Sol)

Labor Party Member of the House of Representatives 1931–53 (Dalley), Speaker of the House of Representatives 22 June 1943 – 21 February 1950.

Ross, Lloyd

Director of Public Relations in the Department of Postwar Reconstruction from 1945.

Scullin, James Henry

Member of the House of Representatives 1910–13 and 1922–49 (Yarra). Prime Minister, Minister for External Affairs and Minister for Industry 1929–32, Treasurer 1930–31.

Read more about James Scullin.

National Archives of Australia Commonwealth Person CP 63.

Scullin, Sarah Maria

Prime ministerial wife 1929–32.

National Archives of Australia Commonwealth Person CP 923.

Scully, William James

Labor Party Member of the House of Representatives 1937–49 (Gwydir). Minister for Commerce (7 October 1941 – 22 December 1942) in the Curtin government, Minister for Commerce and Agriculture (22 December 1942 – 1 November 1946) in the Curtin, Forde and Chifley governments, Vice-President of the Executive Council (1 November 1946 – 19 December 1949) in the Chifley government.

Sharkey, Lance

Leader of the Communist Party of Australia in the 1940s and 1950s.

Shedden, (Sir) Frederick

Australia’s liaison officer in London 1932–36, and head of the Department of Defence 1937–56. Shedden accompanied Curtin, then Chifley, then Menzies on all major prime ministerial visits overseas in 1941, 1944, 1946, 1951 and 1955.

National Archives of Australia Commonwealth Person CP 320.

Stirling, Alfred Thorpe

Private Secretary to Attorney-General, RG Menzies (1934–36), Assistant External Affairs Officer in London (1936), External Affairs Officer in London (30 April 1937 – 12 July 1945). Stirling was High Commissioner in Ottawa (13 July 1945 – 12 January 1947), Minister in Washington (13 January 1947 – 10 April 1948), High Commissioner in Pretoria and Cape Town (23 August 1948 – 17 May 1950), Ambassador at The Hague (1950–6 March 1955), and Ambassador in Paris (20 May 1955 – 16 February 1959), in Manila (6 July 1959 – 14 August 1962), in Rome (25 September 1962 – 7 November 1967), and in Athens (7 May 1964 – 20 June 1965).

Tracey, Ray

Prime Minister’s driver and assistant at The Lodge 1930s–1950s.

Ward, Edward (Eddie) John

Member of the House of Representatives (East Sydney) for the Labor Party in 1931, for the Lang Labor Party in 1932–36, and for the Labor Party 1936–63. Minister for Labour and National Service (7 October 1941 – 21 September 1943) in the Curtin government, Minister for Transport and Minister for External Territories (21 September 1943 – 19 December 1949) in the Curtin, Forde and Chifley governments.

Whitlam, Harry (Fred) Frederick Ernest

As Commonwealth Crown Solicitor 1936–49, Whitlam was a senior advisor to the governments of seven prime ministers, Lyons, Page, Menzies, Fadden, Curtin, Forde and Chifley. In 1946 he accompanied the Australian delegation to the Paris Peace Conference to put HV Evatt's proposal for an international court of human rights court, but this did not become part of the 1948 United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights. HFE Whitlam attended the 1950 and 1954 sessions of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights as an advisor to the Australian delegation. His son Gough Whitlam was a member of the delegation to the Commission’s 1952 session in New York.

Plus
Find records

The researcher's portal to records on Australia's prime ministers

Find records

Search for institutions with records on Ben Chifley