Bert Kelly

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For the jazz musician and bandleader, see Bert Kelly (jazz musician). For other people, see Bert Kelly (disambiguation).
The Honourable
Bert Kelly
CMG
Member of the Australian Parliament
for Wakefield
In office
22 November 1958 – 10 November 1977
Preceded by Philip McBride
Succeeded by Geoffrey Giles
Personal details
Born (1912-12-22)22 December 1912
Tarlee, South Australia
Died 17 January 1997(1997-01-17) (aged 84)
Nationality Australian
Political party Liberal Party of Australia
Occupation Farmer

Charles Robert "Bert" Kelly CMG (22 December 1912 – 17 January 1997),[1] was an Australian politician and government minister. He was influential in moving Australian political parties away from support for high-tariff policies.

Kelly was born in Tarlee, South Australia and educated at Prince Alfred College, Adelaide. His father, Stan Kelly was a part-time Commissioner of the Commonwealth Tariff Board from 1929 to 1940, and supported its opposition to the high-tariff policies of successive Australian governments. He was a farmer before entering politics and in 1951, he was granted a Nuffield Fellowship to study farming in the United Kingdom.[2][3][4]

Political career[edit]

Kelly was elected as the Liberal Party member for the House of Representatives seat of Wakefield at the 1958 election. He was a passionate supporter of free trade, when this was very much a minority opinion in Australia. Kelly was Minister for Works from February 1967 to February 1968 in the Holt and Gorton ministries and then Minister for the Navy until November 1969. His period as minister may have been limited by his free trade views.[4]

After Kelly's departure from the ministry, he wrote a column in the Australian Financial Review, Modest Member, supporting free trade.[5] When the seat of Angas was abolished in 1977, its member Geoffrey Giles beat Kelly for preselection for Wakefield.

Kelly renamed his column "Modest Farmer" and it was published successively in the Australian Financial Review, The Bulletin and The Australian. He was made Companion of the Most Distinguished Order of St Michael and St George (CMG) in 1980. Survived by his wife, Lorna and three sons, Kelly's funeral was attended by former Labor Prime Minister Gough Whitlam and Ray Evans, the former head of Western Mining Corporation and president of the right-wing H. R. Nicholls Society.[2][3][6]

Bert was opposed to protectionism … because it created a situation in which governments, in the person of ministers or officials, granted arbitrary and capricious favours to some, who were thus greatly enriched, at the expense of others, who were at best impoverished and at worst, ruined.

No private member has had as much influence in changing a major policy of the major parties.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "Members of the House of Representatives since 1901". Parliamentary Handbook. Parliament of Australia. Archived from the original on 17 November 2007. Retrieved 31 January 2008. 
  2. ^ a b c Chapman, Grant (5 February 1997). "Condolences: Kelly, Hon. Charles Robert, CMG". Hansard. Parliament of Australia. Retrieved 1 February 2008. 
  3. ^ a b Howard, John (4 February 1997). "Condolences: Kelly, Hon. Charles Robert, CMG". Hansard. Parliament of Australia. Retrieved 31 January 2008. 
  4. ^ a b "The Stan Kelly Memorial Lecture". The Economic Society of Australia (Victoria). 9 August 2007. Retrieved 1 February 2008. 
  5. ^ Colebatch, Hal. "The Modest Member: The Life and Times of Bert Kelly". connorcourt.com. Connorcourt Publishing. Retrieved 2 March 2013. 
  6. ^ Hill, Robert (5 February 1997). "Condolences: Kelly, Hon. Charles Robert, CMG". Hansard. Parliament of Australia. Retrieved 1 February 2008. 
  7. ^ Beazley, Kim (4 February 1997). "Condolences: Kelly, Hon. Charles Robert, CMG". Hansard. Parliament of Australia. Retrieved 1 February 2008. 
Political offices
Preceded by
John Gorton
Minister for Works
1967–68
Succeeded by
Reg Wright
Preceded by
Don Chipp
Minister for the Navy
1968–69
Succeeded by
James Killen
Parliament of Australia
Preceded by
Philip McBride
Member for Wakefield
1958–77
Succeeded by
Geoffrey Giles