Department of Trade and Customs (Australia)

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Department of Trade and Customs
Department overview
Formed 1 January 1901[1]
Dissolved 11 January 1956[1]
Superseding agency

Department of Customs and Excise
Department of Primary Industry (I)

Department of Trade (I)
Jurisdiction Commonwealth of Australia

The Department of Trade and Customs was an Australian government department that existed between 1901 and 1956. It was one of the inaugural government departments of Australia established at federation.

History[edit]

The Department was one of the first seven Commonwealth Government departments to be established in the Federation year, 1901.[2] The first head of the department was Harry Wollaston, appointed in 1901.[3] In that first year, Wollaston and Charles Kingston worked closely together in drafting legislation and the first Commonwealth customs tariff.[3]

In 1956, the department was abolished and most of its functions were split between the Department of Customs and Excise and the Department of Trade.[4]

Scope[edit]

Information about the department's functions and/or government funding allocation could be found in the Administrative Arrangements Orders, the annual Portfolio Budget Statements and in the Department's annual reports.

By 1906 the Department was responsible for:[1]

  • bounties;
  • copyrights;
  • Customs and Excise;
  • designs and patents;
  • lighthouses, lightships, beacons, buoys;
  • quarantine;
  • trade and commerce (including navigation and shipping);
  • trade marks, dumping, monopolies and combines;
  • weights and measures; and the
  • censorship of literature and films.

Structure[edit]

The Department was an Commonwealth Public Service department, staffed by officials who were responsible to the Minister for Trade and Customs.[1]

The head of the Department was the Comptroller-General, initially Harry Wollaston,[3] and later:[1]

  • Nicholas Lockyer (1911–13);[5]
  • Stephen Mills (1913–22);[6]
  • Percy Whitton (1922–23);
  • Robert McKeeman Oakley (1923–27);[7]
  • E.T. Hall (1927–33);
  • Edwin Abbott (1933–44);[8][9]
  • J.J.F. Kennedy (1944–49);
  • W.T. Turner (1949–52); and
  • Sir Francis Meere (1952–56).[10]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e CA 10: Department of Trade and Customs, Central Office, National Archives of Australia, retrieved 27 December 2013 
  2. ^ Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, History of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, archived from the original on 12 December 2013 
  3. ^ a b c McDonald, D.I. (1990), "Wollaston, Sir Harry Newton Phillips (1846–1921)", Australian Dictionary of Biography (Australian National University), archived from the original on 6 November 2013 
  4. ^ Trade and customs: Administrative history, National Archives of Australia, archived from the original on 25 April 2013 
  5. ^ McDonald, D.I., "Lockyer, Sir Nicholas Colston (1855–1933)", Australian Dictionary of Biography (Australian National University), archived from the original on 6 November 2013 
  6. ^ CP 171: Stephen MILLS CMG, National Archives of Australia, retrieved 23 January 2014 
  7. ^ CP 195: Robert McKeeman OAKLEY CBE, VD, National Archives of Australia, retrieved 23 January 2014 
  8. ^ "Customs head retiring: Mr. E. Abbott's 50 years' service". The Sydney Morning Herald. 30 June 1944. Archived from the original on 23 January 2014. 
  9. ^ CP 264: Edwin ABBOTT CBE, National Archives of Australia, retrieved 23 January 2014 
  10. ^ CP 245: Sir Francis Anthony MEERE OBE, National Archives of Australia, retrieved 23 January 2014