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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.

Anstey, Francis (Frank) George

Labor Party Member of the House of Representatives 1910–34 (Bourke), Minister for Health and for Repatriation (22 October 1929 – 3 March 1931) in the Scullin government, and assistant leader of the Federal Parliamentary Labor Party 1922–27. A friend and mentor of John Curtin, Anstey had been a Victorian parliamentarian 1902–10 and a foundation member of the Victorian Labor Federation and the Victorian Socialist Party.

Baldwin, Stanley

Britain's Conservative Prime Minister 1923–24 and 1924–29 during the Bruce–Page government, and 1935–37 during the Lyons government.

Beaverbrook, (Lord) William Maxwell Aitken

A Canadian, Beaverbrook became a member of Britain's House of Commons, and served as a Cabinet Minister. He became a newspaper magnate and was an influential campaigner for free trade within the British Empire during his career in Britain 1910–64.

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, Maurice McCrae

Member of the House of Representatives 1934–43 (Bourke), Blackburn was expelled from the Labor Party 1935–37 for voting in favour of sanctions against Italy. Active in the Australia-Russia Friendship League, he was again excluded from the Labor Party in 1941 and did not re-join. An anti-conscriptionist in the 1916–17 campaigns, he was the only parliamentarian to vote against the introduction of overseas service for conscripts in February 1943. Blackburn campaigned against fascism from the early 1930s, and was president of the Australian Council of Civil Liberties from 1940.

Blakeley, Arthur

Labor Party Member of House of Representatives 1917–34 (Darling); Minister for Home Affairs in the Scullin government (22 October 1929 – 6 January 1932). He was Commonwealth Arbitration Inspector 1935–42 and an Arbitration Commissioner 1942–52. Blakeley was an anti-conscriptionist, and had been an organiser for the Australian Workers Union 1910–15, and president 1919–23.

National Archives of Australia Commonwealth Person CP 983.

Brennan, Francis (Frank)

Labor Party Member of House of Representatives 1911–31 and 1934–49 (Batman). Attorney General in the Scullin government (22 October 1929 – 6 January 1932), Brennan was a pacifist and anti-conscriptionist. He was a delegate to the League of Nations in 1930.

Brennan, Thomas Cornelius

United Australia Party Senator for Victoria 1931–38, minister without portfolio assisting the Minister for Commerce (12 October 1934 – 29 November 1937) and minister without portfolio assisting the Minister for Industry (9 November 1934 – 29 November 1937) in the Lyons government.

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.

Cameron, Archie Galbraith

Member of the House of Representatives (Barker) for the Country Party 1934–44, Liberal Party 1944–51, Liberal Country League 1951–54 and Liberal Party 1954–56. Postmaster-General (7 November 1938 – 26 April 1939) in the Lyons and Page governments, leader of the Country Party 1939–40, then joined the United Australia Party. Minister for Commerce and Minister for the Navy (14 March 1940 – 28 October 1940) in the first Menzies government, Speaker of the House of Representatives 1950–56 during the Menzies government. Cameron had been a South Australian parliamentarian 1927–34.

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.

Chamberlain, Arthur (Neville)

Conservative Member of the House of Commons 1918–40 and Britain's Prime Minister 1937–40 during the Lyons, Page, and Menzies governments. Neville Chamberlain was the son of Joseph Chamberlain, in 1916 like his father he was Lord Mayor of Birmingham.

Copland, (Sir) Douglas Berry

Pioneer Australian economist and foundation professor of commerce at the University of Melbourne 1924–44, Copland was adviser to the Commonwealth Development and Migration Commission in the 1920s. He chaired the committee of economists and state and federal treasury officials whose 1931 report to the Loan Council became the 'Premiers' plan' for economic management in the Depression, and was supported by JM Keynes. Copland was a delegate to the League of Nations in 1933 and adviser to the economic conference in London that year, and Commonwealth prices commissioner 1939–45. He was an economic adviser to Prime Minister John Curtin 1941–45. Copland was appointed Australian Minister to China in 1946, and High Commissioner to Canada 1953–56. In between, Copland was founding vice-chancellor of the Australian National University 1948–53.

National Archives of Australia Commonwealth Person CP 167.

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.

Davidson, (Sir) Alfred

General Manager of the Bank of New South Wales (1929–45) who gave extensive evidence to the Monetary and Banking Systems at Present in Operation in Australia Royal Commission in 1935, advocating an independent central bank.

Deane, Percival (Percy) Edgar

Percy Deane was private secretary to Prime Minister WM Hughes in 1916–21, and secretary to the Australian delegation at the Versailles Peace Conference in 1919. One of the most influential Commonwealth government officials in the 1920s, he was permanent head of three departments: Prime Minister's Department (1921–29) and Department of External Affairs (1921–28) during the Bruce government, and Department of Home Affairs (1929–32) during the Scullin and Lyons governments.

National Archives of Australia Commonwealth Person CP 78.

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.

Eden, Robert Anthony

Conservative British parliamentarian 1923–57, Under-Secretary for Foreign Affairs 1931, Minister for League of Nations Affairs 1935, Secretary of State for War 1940, Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs 1935–38, 1940–45, 1951–55, and Britain's Prime Minister 1955–57.

Edward VIII, King

Eldest son of George V and Queen Mary, succeeded to throne on death of George V in February 1936, abdicated in December 1936.

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.

Fenton, James Edward

Member of the House of Representatives (Maribyrnong) for the Labor Party 1910–1931 and for the United Australia Party 1931–1934. Minister for Trade and Customs (22 October 1929 – 4 February 1931) in the Scullin government, Postmaster-General (6 January – 13 October 1932) in the Lyons government.

Foll, Hattil Spencer

Senator for Queensland for the Nationalist Party 1917–31 and for the United Australia Party 1931–47, Minister in charge of War Service Homes (29 November 1937 – 7 November 1938), Minister for Repatriation (29 November 1937 – 26 April 1939), and Minister for Health (7 November 1938 – 26 April 1939) in the Lyons and Page governments. He served as Minister for the Interior (26 April 1939 – 29 August 1941) and Minister for Information (13 December 1940 – 29 August 1941) in the first Menzies and Fadden governments.

Francis, (Sir) Josiah

Member of the House of Representatives (Moreton) for the Nationalist Party 1922–31, United Australia Party 1931–44, Liberal Party 1944–55. Assistant Minister for Defence and Minister in charge of War Service Homes (6 January 1932 – 12 October 1934), minister without portfolio assisting the Minister for Repatriation (12 October 1934 – 9 November 1934) in the Lyons government, Minister for the Army (19 December 1951 – 7 November 1955) and Minister for the Navy (19 December 1949 – 11 May 1951, 9 July 1954 – 7 November 1955) in the second Menzies government, Australian Consul-General in New York (1 March 1956 – 11 December 1960).

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.

Garran, (Sir) Robert Randolph

Appointed first head of the Attorney-General’s department and parliamentary draftsman on 1 January 1901, Garran remained in this post until 5 February 1932. He served the governments of ten prime ministers, Barton, Deakin, Watson, Reid, Fisher, Cook, Hughes, Bruce, Scullin and Lyons. As a young Sydney federationist in Barton’s circle, Garran had been secretary to the 1897–98 Constitutional drafting committee.

National Archives of Australia Commonwealth Person CP 396.

George V, King

Grandson of Queen Victoria, son of King Edward VII, as Duke of York opened first Commonwealth parliament in 1901, with Queen Mary British monarch 1910–36.

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.

Gibson, (Sir) Robert

Businessman and financier, president of the Victorian Chamber of Manufacturers (1922–25) and chairman of the Commonwealth Bank Board (1926–34).

Gibson, William Gerrand

Member of the House of Representatives 1918–29 and 1931–34 (Corangamite) and Senator for Victoria 1935–47. Postmaster-General in the Bruce–Page government (9 February 1923 – 22 October 1929). As the Victorian Farmers’ Union candidate, Gibson defeated Scullin in the Corangamite seat in 1918, and was a founding member of the Country Party in 1921.

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).

Gowrie (Lord), (Sir) Alexander Gore Arkwright Horeruthven

Governor-General of Australia (23 January 1936 – 30 January 1945) during the Lyons, Page, Menzies, Fadden and Curtin governments. An experienced soldier, Lord Gowrie had been Governor of South Australia (14 May 1928 – 26 April 1934), and Governor of New South Wales (21 February 1935 – 22 January 1936).

Green, Francis (Frank) Clifton

Clerk of House of Representatives (23 March 1937 – 25 June 1955). A childhood friend of Joseph Lyons, Green had been Clerk Assistant in the Tasmanian parliament (1911–21), and in the House of Representatives Clerk of Papers (1921–25), Clerk of Records (1925–27), Clerk Assistant (1927–37).

Green, Albert Ernest

Labor Member of the House of Representatives 1922–40 (Kalgoorlie), Minister for Defence (22 October 1929 – 4 February 1931) and Postmaster-General and Minister for Works and Railways (4 February 1931 – 6 January 1932) in the Scullin government. Green had been a West Australian parliamentarian 1911–13 and 1914–21.

Greene, (Sir) Walter

See Massy-Greene, (Sir) Walter

Gullett, (Sir) Henry Somer

Nationalist/United Australia Party Member of the House of Representatives 1925–40 (Henty), Minister for Trade and Customs (24 November 1928 – 22 October 1929). In the Bruce–Page government, in the Lyons government Minister for Trade and Customs (6 January 1932 – 14 January 1933), and minister without portfolio directing negotiations for Trade Treaties (12 October – 11 March 1937). Gullett accompanied SM Bruce to the Imperial Economic Conference in Ottawa in 1932. In the first Menzies government Gullett was Minister for External Affairs (26 April 1939 – 14 March 1940) and Minister for Information (12 September 1939 – 14 March 1940), and Vice-President of Executive Council (14 March 1940 – 13 August 1940), Minister in charge of Scientific and Industrial Research (14 March 1940 – 13 August 1940), and Minister Assisting the Minister for Information (14 March – 13 August 1940). Gullett had been an Australian war correspondent 1915–18. He was one of the three Cabinet ministers killed in an air crash at Canberra on 13 August 1940.

National Archives of Australia Commonwealth Person CP 530.

Guy, James Allen

Member of the House of Representatives for the Labor Party 1929–31 and for the United Australia Party 1931–34 (Bass) and for the United Australia Party/ Liberal Party 1940–46 (Wilmot); Liberal Senator for Tasmania 1950–56. Guy was assistant Minister for Trade and Customs (13 October 1932 – 12 October 1934) in the Lyons government and had been a Tasmanian parliamentarian 1916–29. He was a friend of both Joseph and Enid Lyons.

Hankey, (Sir) Maurice Pascal Alers

Secretary to the British Cabinet, secretary to the committee of Imperial defence and Clerk of the Privy Council 1918–38, secretary of the Imperial conferences of 1921, 1923, 1926, 1930 and 1937. The first Australian liaison officers in London, Richard Casey, Keith Officer and Frederick Shedden, worked closely with Hankey.

Harrison, (Sir) Eric John

Member of the House of Representatives (Wentworth) for the United Australia Party 1931–44 and for the Liberal Party 1944–56. Minister for the Interior (12 October – 9 November 1934) in the Lyons government. He served as assistant minister without portfolio assisting the Prime Minister and administrating External Territories (8 November 1938 – 26 April 1939) in the Lyons and Page governments, Post-master General (26 April 1939 – 14 March 1940), Minister for Repatriation (26 April 1939 – 14 March 1940), Minister for Trade and Customs (28 October 1940 – 7 October 1941) in the first Menzies and Fadden governments, Deputy Leader of the Opposition (4 April 1944 – 19 December 1949), Minister for Defence (19 December 1949 – 24 October 1950), Minister for Post-War Reconstruction (19 December 1949 – 17 March 1950), Australian Resident Minister in London (23 April 1950 – 30 March 1951), Minister for the Interior (24 October 1950 – 11 May 1951), Vice-President of the Executive Council (11 May 1951 – 24 October 1956), Minister for Defence Production (11 May 1951 – 24 October 1956), Minister in charge of Royal Visit (1954), Minister for the Navy (7 November 1955 – 11 January 1956), Minister for the Army (7 November 1955 – 28 February 1956) in the second Menzies government. In 1954 Harrison was Minister in charge of the Royal Tour of Australia, and was Australian High Commissioner in London (25 October 1956–1964).

National Archives of Australia Commonwealth Person CP 648.

Hawker, Charles Allen Seymour

Nationalist/United Australia Party Member of the House of Representatives 1929–38 (Wakefield), Minister for Repatriation (6 January – 12 April 1932), Minister for Markets (6 January – 13 April 1932), Minister for Commerce (13 April – 23 September 1932) in the Lyons government.

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.

Holman, William Arthur

United Australia Party member of House of Representatives 1931–34 (Martin). A backbencher in the Lyons government, Holman was a former Premier of New South Wales (1913–20) and state parliamentarian 1898–1917 (Labor) and 1917–1920 (Nationalist). In 1911 Holman had been a powerful opponent of the Fisher government’s referendum seeking greater Commonwealth powers over industry, trade and commerce. With JC Watson, Joseph Cook and WM Hughes, he had been a founding member of the New South Wales Labor Electoral League in 1891.

Hughes, (Dame) Mary

Prime ministerial wife 1915–23.

National Archives of Australia Commonwealth Person CP 943.

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.

Hunter, James Atchison Johnston

Country Party Member of the House of Representatives 1921–40 (Maranoa).

Isaacs, (Sir) Isaac Alfred

The first Australian-born Governor-General, serving from 22 January 1931 until his retirement on 23 January 1936, Isaacs had been a Protectionist Member of the House of Representatives 1901–06 (Indi), and Attorney-General (5 July 1905 – 12 October 1906) in the second Deakin government. He was a judge of the High Court for 25 years, serving as Chief Justice 1930–31. Isaacs had also been a Victorian parliamentarian from 1892–1901 and a delegate to the 1897–98 federation convention.

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.

Latham, (Sir) John Greig

Nationalist/United Australia Party Member of the House of Representatives 1922–34 (Kooyong), Latham was Attorney-General (18 December 1925 – 22 October 1929) in the Bruce–Page government, and from 6 January 1932 – 12 October 1934 in the Lyons government. He was Leader of the Nationalist Party Opposition 1929–31 during the Scullin government. From 1935 until 1952, Latham was Chief Justice of the High Court, with an interval in 1940–41 when he was Australian Minister to Japan. Latham had been a member of the Australian delegation to the Versailles peace conference in 1919.

National Archives of Australia Commonwealth Person CP 148.

Lawson, (Sir) Harry Sutherland Wightman

Nationalist Party Senator for Victoria 1929–35, assistant Treasurer (17 October 1933 – 12 October 1934) and Minister in charge of Territories (24 May – 12 October 1934) in the Lyons government. Member of the Victorian Legislative Assembly (Castlemaine) 1900–1904, Castlemaine and Maldon (June 1904 – March 1907), Castlemaine and Kyneton (July 1927 – October 1928). Premier of Victoria (21 March 1918 – 28 April 1924).

Lee, (Sir) Walter

Member of the Tasmanian House of Assembly 1909–46 (Wilmot) for the Anti-Socialist, Deakin Liberal, Nationalist parties. Leader of the Opposition (September 1915 – April 1916, 1934) and Premier of Tasmania (15 April 1916 – 12 August 1922, 14 August 1923 – 25 October 1923, 15 March 1934 – 22 June 1934).

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.

Macdonald, Ramsay

Labour member of the House of Commons from 1906, and Prime Minister of Britain’s first Labour government in 1924. Macdonald was also Prime Minister in 1929–35, during the Bruce, Scullin, and Lyons governments. He had visited Australia in 1906, and met both James Scullin and John Curtin at Labor gatherings in Victoria.

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.

Marr, (Sir) Charles William Clanan

Nationalist/United Australia Party Member of the House of Representatives 1919–29 and 1931–43 (Parkes). Honorary Minister (16 February 1925 – 2 April 1927), Minister for Home and Territories (2 April 1927 – 24 February 1928), and honorary Minister (24 February 1928 – 22 October 1929) in the Bruce–Page government. In the Lyons government Marr was Minister for Works and Railways (6 January – 12 April 1932), Minister in charge of Territories (6 January 1932 – 24 May 1934), Minister for Health (6 January 1932 – 12 October 1934), Minister for Repatriation (12 April 1932 – 12 October 1934), minister without portfolio (12 October – 9 November 1934), and honorary Minister in charge of the royal visit of Prince Henry the Duke of Gloucester (9 November – 31 December 1934). Marr was an enthusiast for the development of Canberra, and he was also involved in the establishment of the Legislative Council of Papua New Guinea, which he opened in May 1933. Marr had business interests in New Guinea and was a founder of Amalgamated Coffee Plantations there.

Massy-Greene, (Sir) Walter

Member of the House of Representatives for the Deakin Liberal Party 1910–17 and the Nationalist Party 1917–22 (Richmond). Nationalist Party Senator for New South Wales 1923–25 and 1926–38. Honorary Minister in charge of matters relating to price-fixing (27 March 1918 – 17 January 1919), Minister for Trade and Customs (17 January 1919 – 21 December 1921), Minister for Health (10 March 1921 – 5 February 1923), Minister for Defence (21 December 1921 – 5 February 1923) in the Hughes government, Minister Assisting the Leader of the Government in the Senate (6 January 1932 – 23 June 1932) and assistant Treasurer (6 January 1932 – 25 September 1933) in the Lyons government.

National Archives of Australia Commonwealth Person CP 170.

McDougall, Frank Lidgett

Economic adviser to the Australian High Commissioner in London during SM Bruce’s term of office (1923–29), and one of the founders of the League of Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organisation in 1935. McDougall had been chairman of the London agency of the Australian Dried Fruit Control Board from 1922 when Bruce appointed him economic adviser on agriculture in 1925. McDougall attended the 1923 Imperial conference and the Ottawa Conference in 1932, and was an Australian delegate to the League of Nations in 1929, and from 1934–37. A friend of David Rivett, McDougall was adviser on scientific and industrial research on food production in Australia.

McEwen, John

Country Party Member of the House of Representatives 1934–37 (Echuca) 1937–49 (Indi), 1949–71 (Murray) and Party leader 1956–71. Prime Minister (19 December 1967 – 10 January 1968), Minister for Trade and Industry (19 December 1967 – 10 January 1968), Minister for the Interior (29 November 1937 – 26 April 1939) in the Lyons and Page governments, Minister for External Affairs (14 March 1940 – 28 October 1940), Minister for Air and Minister for Civil Aviation (28 October 1940 – 7 October 1941) in the first Menzies and Fadden governments, Minister for Commerce and Agriculture (19 December 1949 – 11 January 1956), Minister for Trade (11 January 1956 – 18 December 1963), Minister for Trade and Industry (18 December 1963 – 5 February 1971) in the second Menzies, Holt and Gorton governments, Deputy Prime Minister (10 January 1968 – 5 February 1971) in the Gorton government.

Read more about John McEwen.

National Archives of Australia Commonwealth Person CP 47.

McKenna, Francis (Frank) Joseph

Briefly assistant private secretary to Prime Minister Hughes, McKenna was appointed secretary of the Prime Minister's Office in Canberra in 1927. He was private secretary to Prime Minister Lyons 1933–35, and deputy secretary of the Prime Minister’s Department 1952–55.

McLachlan, Alexander John

Nationalist/United Australia Party Senator for South Australia 1926–44. Honorary Minister (29 August 1926 – 22 October 1929) in the Bruce–Page government. In the Lyons government he was Vice-President of the Executive Council (6 January 1932 – 12 October 1934), Minister in charge of development of Scientific and Industrial Research (6 January 1932 – 29 November 1937), and Postmaster-General (12 October 1934 – 7 November 1938). As leader of the Australian delegation to the League of Nations in 1928, McLachlan defended Australia’s tariff, and signed the Kellogg–Briand pact on behalf of Australia.

McLaren, (Sir) John Gilbert

McLaren was Secretary to the Prime Minister’s Department and the Department of External Affairs 1929–32, then official secretary to the Commonwealth in London 1933–36. In 1934 he was acting High Commissioner for Australia in London. McLaren had joined the Commonwealth Public Service in 1901 and had been assistant Secretary in the Prime Minister’s Department 1919–21, and Secretary of the Department of Home and Territories 1921–28, when he was appointed a member of the Public Service Board.

National Archives of Australia Commonwealth Person CP 174.

McPhee, (Sir) John Cameron

Tasmanian parliamentarian 1919–34 and 1941–46 (Lib) and Premier of Tasmania 1928–34.

McTiernan, (Sir) Edward Aloysius

Labor Member of the House of Representatives 1929–30 (Parkes), High Court judge (1930–76). McTiernan had been a New South Wales parliamentarian (1920–27).

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.

Niemeyer, (Sir) Otto Ernst

British civil servant and banker, he was Controller of Finance at the Treasury (1922–27), advisor then executive director of the Bank of England (1938–52). He also served as a member of the Council of Foreign Bondholders (1935–65) and the Financial Committee of League of Nations (1922–37). Niemeyer offered economic advice that contributed to the formation of the Premiers’ Plan in the 1930s.

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.

O’Malley, King

Labor Member of the House of Representatives 1901–03 (Tasmania) and 1903–17 (Darwin), Minister for Home Affairs in the second Fisher government (29 April 1910 – 24 June 1913), and from 27 October 1915 – 14 November 1916 in the Hughes Labor government. Born in North America, O’Malley had settled in Tasmania, and was active as a federalist and parliamentarian there.

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.

Ogden, James Ernest

Senator for Tasmania 1923–32, Ogden was a pioneer of the Tasmanian Labor Party. He was expelled in February 1925 and remained in the House as an Independent, then joined the Nationalist Party in 1928, serving as honorary Minister (29 November 1928 – 22 October 1929) in the Bruce–Page government. Ogden had been a Tasmanian parliamentarian 1909–22.

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.

Parkhill, (Sir) Robert Archdale

Nationalist/United Australia Party Member of the House of Representatives 1927–37 (Warringah), Minister for Home Affairs (6 January – 12 April 1932), Minister for the Interior (12 April – 13 October 1932), Postmaster-General (13 October 1932 – 12 October 1934), and Minister for Defence (12 October 1934 – 20 November 1937) in the Lyons government.

Paterson, Thomas

Country Party Member of the House of Representatives 1922–43 (Gippsland), Minister for Markets and Migration (18 June 1926 – 19 January 1928), Minister for Markets (19 January – 10 December 1928) and Minister for Markets and Transport (10 December 1928 – 22 October 1929) in the Bruce–Page government, and Minister for the Interior (9 November 1934 – 29 November 1937) in Lyons government. The ‘Paterson Plan’, a bounty for export butter, operated from 1926–33 giving £20 million to the depressed dairy industry.

Pearce, (Sir) George Foster

Senator for Western Australia 1901–38, Pearce was a member of the Labor Party 1901–17, the Nationalist Party 1917–31, and the United Australia Party 1931– 38. He was Minister of Defence in the three governments of Andrew Fisher (13 November 1908 – 2 June 1909; 29 April 1910 – 24 June 1913 and 17 September 1914 – 27 October 1915). In the Hughes government he was Minister for Defence (27 October 1915 – 21 December 1921) and Minister for Home and Territories (21 December 1921 – 9 February 1923). With Hughes, Pearce left the Labor Party over the conscription issue in 1917 and formed the Nationalist Party. In the Bruce–Page government Pearce was Minister for Home and Territories (9 February 1923 – 18 June 1926), and Vice-President of the Executive Council (18 June 1926 – 22 October 1929). From 1929 to 1931 Pearce led Opposition members in the Senate, he was then Minister for Defence (6 January 1932 – 12 October 1934), Minister for External Affairs and Minister for Territories (12 October 1934 – 29 November 1937), in the Lyons government. In 1939 Pearce was a member of the Commonwealth Grants Commission.

National Archives of Australia Commonwealth Person CP 151.

Perkins, John Arthur

Nationalist Member of the House of Representatives 1926–29 and United Australia Party member 1931–43 (Eden-Monaro). Government Whip (1929), assistant Minister for Trade and Customs (6 January – 13 October 1932), Minister for the Interior (13 October 1932 – 12 October 1934), minister without portfolio assisting the Minister for Trade and Customs (29 November 1937 – 7 November 1939), and Minister for Trade and Customs (8 November 1938 – 26 April 1939) in the Lyons, Page and first Menzies governments. He served as minister without portfolio administering External Territories (26 April 1939 – 14 March 1940) in the first Menzies government. Member of the NSW Legislative Assembly (Goulburn) November 1921 (casual vacancy) – January 1926.

Reid, Alan

A member of the parliamentary press gallery in the 1930s, Reid wrote for the Sydney Sun in the 1930s and 1940s, then for Frank Packer’s Daily Telegraph.

Ricketson, Staniforth

Melbourne financier, former journalist and friend of Joseph Lyons. A member of the Melbourne Stock Exchange and partner of JB Were & Son, he formed the committee known as ‘The Group’ instrumental in the formation of the United Australia Party (UAP). He served on the Committee of the Stock Exchange of Melbourne (1942–46) and influenced the formation of the Reserve Bank of Australia in 1959.

Roosevelt, Franklin Delano

Democratic Party President of the United States of America 1933–45.

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.

Shann, Edward Owen Giblin

A member of the Copland Committee who drafted the Premiers’ Plan in 1931. In 1932 Shann was a member of the committee on unemployment, and represented the Commonwealth government at the Ottawa Conference. Shann was Foundation Professor of History and Economics at the University of Western Australia 1913–34.

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.

Shepherd, Malcolm Lindsay

First head of the Department of the Prime Minister 1911–21; official secretary to the High Commissioner in London 1921–27; and head of the Department of Defence 1927–37. Shepherd had been recruited to the new Commonwealth Postmaster-General’s Department in 1901 from the New South Wales department he had joined as a typist in 1890. In 1904 he became private secretary to Alfred Deakin, then to prime ministers JC Watson, George Reid, and Andrew Fisher. He became a friend of WM Hughes, and while at the High Commission was Australian representative on the Pacific Cable Board and the Imperial War Graves Commission.

National Archives of Australia Commonwealth Person CP 25.

Stewart, Percy Gerald

Country Party member of House of Representatives 1919–31 (Wimmera), Minister for Works and Railways (9 February 1923 – 5 August 1924) in the Bruce–Page government, and president of the River Murray Commission 1923–24. Stewart had been a Victorian parliamentarian 1917–19 and was a foundation member of the Country Party. He turned the first sod on the Parliament House site in Canberra on 28 August 1923.

Stewart, (Sir) Frederick Harold

United Australia Party Member of the House of Representatives 1931–46 (Parramatta), Minister for Commerce (13 October 1932 – 9 November 1934) in the Lyons government. He served as Minister for Supply and Development (26 January 1940 – 28 October 1940), Minister for the Navy (13 November 1939 – 14 March 1940) in the first Menzies government, Minister for Health (26 April 1939 – 7 October 1941), Minister for Social Services (26 April 1939 – 7 October 1941), Minister for External Affairs (28 October 1940 – 7 October 1941) in the first Menzies and Fadden governments. Stewart founded Australian National Airways with Charles Kingsford Smith and Charles Ulm.

National Archives of Australia Commonwealth Person CP 228.

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).

Street, Geoffrey Austin

United Australia Party Member of the House of Representatives 1934–40 (Corangamite), Minister for Defence (7 November 1938 – 13 November 1939) in the Lyons, Page and first Menzies governments, Minister for the Army (13 November 1939 – 13 August 1940) and Minister for Repatriation (14 March 1940 – 13 August 1940) in the first Menzies government. Street was killed in the Canberra air disaster on 13 August 1940.

Tangney, (Dame) Dorothy

Labor Party Senator for Western Australia 1943–68, first woman elected to the Senate.

Theodore, Edward Granville

Labor Member of the House of Representatives 1927–31 (Dalley), Treasurer (22 October 1929 – 9 July 1930) and (29 January 1931 – 6 January 1932) in the Scullin government. Theodore had been a Member of Queensland House of Assembly (1909–1925) and Premier (1919–25), and State President of the Amalgamated Workers Union (AWU) (1913–16). In 1932 he took over the AWU paper the World. With Frank Packer he published the first edition of the Australian Women’s Weekly in 1933, then with two Sydney newspapers they formed Consolidated Press. In 1942–44 Theodore was Director-General of Allied Works.

Thompson, Victor Charles

Country Party Member of the House of Representatives 1922–40 (New England), minister without portfolio in the Lyons government assisting the Treasurer (29 November 1937 – 7 November 1938) and assisting the Minister for the Interior (1 February – 7 November 1938), and in the Lyons and Page governments assisting the Minister for Commerce (7 November 1938 – 26 April 1939).

Thorby, Harold Victor Campbell

Country Party Member of the House of Representatives 1931–40 (Calare), minister without portfolio in charge of War Service Homes (9 November 1934 – 29 November 1937), Minister Assisting the Minister for Repatriation (9 November 1934 – 1 September 1935), Minister Assisting the Minister for Commerce (1 September 1935 – 29 November 1937), Minister for Defence (29 November 1937 – 7 November 1938) in the Lyons government, Minister for Works and Minister for Civil Aviation (24 November 1938 – 26 April 1939) in the Lyons and Page governments. He served as Postmaster-General and Minister for Health (14 March 1940 – 28 October 1940) in the first Menzies government. Thorby had been a New South Wales parliamentarian 1922–30.

Tracey, Ray

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

Ulm, Charles Thomas Philippe

Pioneering aviator who, with Charles Kingsford Smith, circumnavigated Australia in 10 days and 5 hours (halving the record), and co-piloted the first trans-Pacific flight from California to Brisbane in 1928. The pair also formed Australian National Airways Ltd. Ulm made various flight records in his modified Avro Ten, VH-UXX, the ‘Faith in Australia’ including the first official mail flights from Australia to New Zealand and New Guinea and set the England–Australia record in October 1933. In December 1934, Ulm’s plane disappeared on a flight from Oakland, California to Hawaii.

White, (Sir) Thomas Walter

Nationalist/United Australia Party/Liberal Party Member of the House of Representatives 1929–51 (Balaclava), Minister for Trade and Customs (14 January 1933 – 8 November 1938) in the Lyons government, Minister for Air and for Civil Aviation (19 December 1949 – 11 May 1951) in the second Menzies government, and High Commissioner in London 1951–56. White was the husband of Vera, youngest daughter of Alfred and Pattie Deakin.

National Archives of Australia Commonwealth Person CP 145.

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.

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