Minister for Defence (Australia)

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Minister for Defence
Hires 131022-M-EV637-246-cropped.jpg
Incumbent
Senator David Johnston

since 18 September 2013
Department of Defence
Style The Honourable
Appointer Governor-General on the recommendation of the Prime Minister of Australia
Inaugural holder James Dickson
Formation 1901
Assistant Minister for Defence
Incumbent
Stuart Robert MP

since 18 September 2013
Department of Defence
Style The Honourable
Appointer Governor-General on the recommendation of the Prime Minister of Australia
Inaugural holder Stuart Robert
Formation 2013

The Australian Minister for Defence is Senator the Honourable David Johnston.[1]

The Assistant Minister for Defence is the Honourable Stuart Robert MP.[1]

The Minister of Veterans' Affairs and the Minister assisting the Prime Minister for the Centenary of ANZAC is Senator Michael Ronaldson.[1]

The minister administers the portfolio through the Australian Defence Organisation, which comprises the Department of Defence, the Australian Defence Force, the Defence Materiel Organisation, the Australian Defence Force Academy, and a range of other agencies.

Defence ministries[edit]

Over the years there have been a number of ministries with a variety of names involved the defence portfolio; in the period November 1939 to April 1942, there was no position named "Minister of Defence".

Previous governments have included ministers with titles using one or more of the following:

  • Air
  • Aircraft production
  • Army
  • Defence
  • Defence Coordination
  • Defence Industry
  • Defence Materiel
  • Defence Personnel
  • Defence Production
  • Defence Science
  • Defence Support
  • Development
  • Munitions
  • Navy
  • Repatriation
  • Shipping
  • Supply
  • Veterans' Affairs

List of Ministers for Defence[edit]

There was a Minister for Defence from 1 January 1901 until 13 November 1939, with the exception of two small breaks. Robert Menzies, the Prime Minister, abolished the position on the outbreak of World War II and created separate Ministers for the Navy, the Army and the Air, with himself as Minister for Defence Coordination in his first ministry. He retained this position until the fall of his government, and then held the post in the brief government of Arthur Fadden. John Curtin initially followed the same arrangement as Menzies in his ministry until 14 April 1942, when he took the title of Minister for Defence. The separate titles of Ministers for the Navy, the Army and the Air were abolished in the second Whitlam Ministry on 30 November 1973, when the separate departments of Navy, Army and Air were also abolished. There had also been a separate Navy portfolio between 1915 and 1921.

The following have served as Minister for Defence:[2]

Order Minister Party Prime Minister Term start Term end Term in office
1 James Dickson MP   Protectionist Barton 1 January 1901 10 January 1901 9 days
2 John Forrest MP   Protectionist Barton 17 January 1901 10 August 1903 2 years, 205 days
3 Senator James Drake 10 August 1903 24 September 1903 45 days
4 Austin Chapman MP Deakin 24 September 1903 27 April 1904 216 days
5 Senator Anderson Dawson Labor Watson 27 April 1904 18 August 1904 113 days
6 James McCay MP Protectionist Reid 18 August 1904 5 July 1905 321 days
7 Senator Thomas Playford Deakin 5 July 1905 24 January 1907 1 year, 203 days
8 Thomas Ewing MP 24 January 1907 13 November 1908 1 year, 294 days
9 Senator George Pearce[n 1] Labor Fisher 13 November 1908 2 June 1909 201 days
10 Joseph Cook MP Free Trade Deakin 2 June 1909 29 April 1910 331 days
(9) Senator George Pearce[n 1] Labor Fisher 29 April 1910 24 June 1913 3 years, 56 days
10 Senator Edward Millen Commonwealth Liberal Cook 24 June 1913 17 September 1914 1 year, 85 days
(9) Senator George Pearce[n 1] Labor Fisher 17 September 1914 27 October 1915 7 years, 95 days
Hughes 27 October 1915 14 November 1916
National Labor 14 November 1916 13 June 1917[n 2]
Nationalist 13 June 1917 21 December 1921
11 Walter Massy-Greene MP[n 3] 21 December 1921 9 February 1923 1 year, 50 days
12 Eric Bowden MP Bruce 9 February 1923 16 January 1925 1 year, 342 days
13 Neville Howse MP 16 January 1925 2 April 1927 2 years, 76 days
14 Senator William Glasgow 2 April 1927 22 October 1929 2 years, 203 days
15 Albert Green MP Labor Scullin 22 October 1929 4 February 1931 1 year, 105 days
16 Senator John Daly 4 February 1931 3 March 1931 27 days
17 Ben Chifley MP 3 March 1931 6 January 1932 309 days
(9) Senator George Pearce[n 1] United
Australia
Lyons 6 January 1932 12 October 1934 2 years, 279 days
18 Archdale Parkhill MP 12 October 1934 20 November 1937 3 years, 39 days
19 Joseph Lyons MP 20 November 1937 29 November 1937 9 days
20 Harold Thorby MP Country 29 November 1937 7 November 1938 343 days
21 Geoffrey Street MP United
Australia
7 November 1938 7 April 1939 1 year, 6 days
Page 7 April 1939 26 April 1939
Menzies 26 April 1939 13 November 1939
22 Robert Menzies MP[n 4] 13 November 1939 29 August 1941 1 year, 328 days
Fadden 29 August 1941 7 October 1941
23 John Curtin MP[n 4] Labor Curtin 7 October 1941 6 July 1945 3 years, 272 days
24 Jack Beasley MP Forde 6 July 1945 13 July 1945 1 year, 39 days
Chifley 13 July 1945 14 August 1946
25 Frank Forde MP 15 August 1946 1 November 1946 79 days
26 John Dedman MP 1 November 1946 19 December 1949 3 years, 48 days
27 Eric Harrison MP Liberal Menzies 19 December 1949 24 October 1950 309 days
28 Philip McBride MP 24 October 1950 10 December 1958 8 years, 47 days
29 Athol Townley MP 10 December 1958 18 December 1963 5 years, 8 days
30 Paul Hasluck MP 18 December 1963 24 April 1964 128 days
31 Senator Shane Paltridge 24 April 1964 19 January 1966 1 year, 270 days
32 Allen Fairhall MP Holt 26 January 1966 12 December 1967 3 years, 297 days
McEwen 12 December 1967 10 January 1968
Gorton 10 January 1968 12 November 1969
33 Malcolm Fraser MP 12 November 1969 8 March 1971 1 year, 116 days
34 John Gorton MP McMahon 19 March 1971 13 August 1971 147 days
35 David Fairbairn MP 13 August 1971 5 December 1972 1 year, 114 days
36 Lance Barnard MP Labor Whitlam 5 December 1972 6 June 1975 2 years, 183 days
37 Bill Morrison MP 6 June 1975 11 November 1975 158 days
38 James Killen MP Liberal Fraser 12 November 1975 7 May 1982 6 years, 176 days
39 Ian Sinclair MP National Country 7 May 1982 11 March 1983 308 days
40 Gordon Scholes MP Labor Hawke 11 March 1983 13 December 1984 1 year, 277 days
41 Kim Beazley MP 13 December 1984 4 April 1990 5 years, 112 days
42 Senator Robert Ray 4 April 1990 20 December 1991 5 years, 342 days
Keating 20 December 1991 11 March 1996
43 Ian McLachlan MP Liberal Howard 11 March 1996 21 October 1998 2 years, 224 days
44 John Moore MP 21 October 1998 30 January 2001 2 years, 101 days
45 Peter Reith MP 30 January 2001 26 November 2001 300 days
46 Senator Robert Hill 26 November 2001 20 January 2006 4 years, 55 days
47 Brendan Nelson MP 20 January 2006 3 December 2007 1 year, 317 days
48 Joel Fitzgibbon MP Labor Rudd 3 December 2007 9 June 2009 1 year, 188 days
49 Senator John Faulkner 9 June 2009 24 June 2010 1 year, 97 days
Gillard 24 June 2010 14 September 2010
50 Stephen Smith MP 14 September 2010 27 June 2013 3 years, 4 days
Rudd 27 June 2013 18 September 2013
51 Senator David Johnston Liberal Abbott 18 September 2013 incumbent 363 days

List of Assistant Ministers for Defence[edit]

The following individuals have been appointed as Assistant Minister for Defence, or any of its precedent titles:[2]

Order Minister Party Prime Minister Title Term start Term end Term in office
1 Granville Ryrie MP[n 5] Nationalist Hughes Assistant Minister for Defence 4 February 1920 (1920-02-04) 5 February 1923 (1923-02-05) 3 years, 1 day
2 Josiah Francis United Australia Lyons Assistant Minister for Defence 6 January 1932 (1932-01-06) 12 October 1934 (1934-10-12) 2 years, 279 days
3 Reg Bishop Labor Whitlam Minister assisting the Minister for Defence 19 December 1972 12 June 1974 1 year, 175 days
4 John McLeay Liberal Fraser Minister assisting the Minister for Defence 22 December 1975 3 November 1980 4 years, 317 days
5 Kevin Newman 3 November 1980 7 May 1982 1 year, 185 days
6 Bruce Scott National Howard Minister assisting the Minister for Defence 21 October 1998 26 November 2001 3 years, 36 days
7 Danna Vale Liberal 26 November 2001 7 October 2003 1 year, 315 days
8 Mal Brough 7 October 2003 18 July 2004 285 days
9 Fran Bailey 18 July 2004 22 October 2004 285 days
10 De-Anne Kelly National 22 October 2004 27 January 2006 1 year, 97 days
11 Bruce Billson Liberal 27 January 2006 3 December 2007 1 year, 310 days
12 Stuart Robert Liberal Abbott Assistant Minister for Defence 18 September 2013 (2013-09-18) incumbent 363 days

Individual service branch ministers[edit]

Ministers for the Navy[edit]

The following served as Minister for the Navy:[2]

Order Minister Party Prime Minister Term start Term end Term in office
1 Jens Jensen MP   Labor Fisher 12 July 1915 27 October 1915 1 year, 220 days
Hughes 27 October 1915 14 November 1916
National Labor 14 November 1916 17 February 1917
2 Joseph Cook MP Commonwealth
Liberal
[n 2]
17 February 1917 13 June 1917 3 years, 162 days
Nationalist 13 June 1917 28 July 1920
3 William Laird Smith MP 28 July 1920 21 December 1921 1 year, 146 days
4 Frederick Stewart MP United
Australia
Menzies 13 November 1939 14 March 1940 122 days
5 Archie Cameron MP 14 March 1940 28 October 1940 228 days
6 Billy Hughes MP 28 October 1940 29 August 1941 344 days
Fadden 29 August 1941 7 October 1941
7 Norman Makin MP Labor Curtin 7 October 1941 6 July 1945 4 years, 312 days
Forde 6 July 1945 13 July 1945
Chifley 13 July 1945 15 August 1946
8 Arthur Drakeford MP 15 August 1946 1 November 1946 78 days
9 Bill Riordan MP 1 November 1946 19 December 1949 3 years, 48 days
10 Josiah Francis MP Liberal Menzies 19 December 1949 11 May 1951 1 year, 143 days
11 Philip McBride MP 11 May 1951 17 July 1951 67 days
12 William McMahon MP 17 July 1951 9 July 1954 2 years, 357 days
(10) Josiah Francis MP 9 July 1954 11 July 1955 1 year, 2 days
13 Eric Harrison MP 11 July 1955 11 January 1956 184 days
14 Senator Neil O'Sullivan 11 January 1956 24 October 1956 287 days
15 Charles Davidson MP Country 24 October 1956 10 December 1958 2 years, 47 days
16 Senator John Gorton Liberal 10 December 1958 18 December 1963 5 years, 8 days
17 Jim Forbes MP 18 December 1963 4 March 1964 77 days
18 Fred Chaney, Sr. MP 4 March 1964 26 January 1966 2 years, 285 days
Holt 26 January 1966 14 December 1966
19 Don Chipp MP 14 December 1966 19 December 1967 1 year, 76 days
McEwen 19 December 1967 10 January 1968
Gorton 10 January 1968 28 February 1968
20 Bert Kelly MP 28 February 1968 12 November 1969 1 year, 257 days
21 James Killen MP 12 November 1969 10 March 1971 1 year, 130 days
McMahon 10 March 1971 22 March 1971
22 Malcolm Mackay MP 22 March 1971 5 December 1972 1 year, 258 days
23 Lance Barnard MP Labor Whitlam 5 December 1972 30 November 1973 360 days

Ministers for the Army[edit]

The following served as Minister for the Army:[2]

Order Minister Party Prime Minister Term start Term end Term in office
1 Geoffrey Street MP   United
Australia
Menzies 13 November 1939 28 October 1940 350 days
2 Senator Percy Spender 28 October 1940 29 August 1941 344 days
Fadden 29 August 1941 7 October 1941
3 Frank Forde MP Labor Curtin 7 October 1941 6 July 1945 5 years, 25 days
Forde 6 July 1945 13 July 1945
Chifley 13 July 1945 1 November 1946
4 Cyril Chambers MP 1 November 1946 19 December 1949 3 years, 48 days
5 Josiah Francis MP Liberal Menzies 19 December 1949 7 November 1955 5 years, 323 days
6 Eric Harrison MP 7 November 1955 28 February 1956 113 days
7 John Cramer MP 28 February 1956 18 December 1963 7 years, 293 days
8 Jim Forbes MP 18 December 1963 26 January 1966 2 years, 39 days
9 Malcolm Fraser MP Holt 26 January 1966 19 December 1967 2 years, 33 days
McEwen 19 December 1967 10 January 1968
Gorton 10 January 1968 28 February 1968
10 Phillip Lynch MP 28 February 1968 12 November 1969 1 year, 257 days
11 Andrew Peacock MP 12 November 1969 10 March 1971 2 years, 82 days
McMahon 10 March 1971 2 February 1972
12 Bob Katter, Sr. MP Country 2 February 1972 5 December 1972 309 days
13 Lance Barnard MP Labor Whitlam 5 December 1972 30 November 1973 360 days

Ministers for Air[edit]

The following served as Minister for Air:[2]

Order Minister Party Prime Minister Term start Term end Term in office
1 James Fairbairn MP   United
Australia
Menzies 13 November 1939 13 August 1940 274 days
2 Arthur Fadden MP Country 14 August 1940 28 October 1940 75 days
3 John McEwen MP 28 October 1940 29 August 1941 344 days
Fadden 29 August 1941 7 October 1941
4 Arthur Drakeford MP Labor Curtin 7 October 1941 6 July 1945 8 years, 73 days
Forde 6 July 1945 13 July 1945
Chifley 13 July 1945 19 December 1949
5 Thomas White MP Liberal Menzies 19 December 1949 11 May 1951 1 year, 143 days
6 Philip McBride MP 11 May 1951 17 July 1951 67 days
7 William McMahon MP 17 July 1951 9 July 1954 2 years, 357 days
8 Athol Townley MP 9 July 1954 24 October 1956 2 years, 107 days
9 Frederick Osborne MP 24 October 1956 29 December 1960 4 years, 66 days
10 Senator Harrie Wade 29 December 1960 22 December 1961 358 days
11 Les Bury MP 22 December 1961 27 July 1962 217 days
12 David Fairbairn MP 27 July 1962 10 June 1964 1 year, 319 days
13 Peter Howson MP 10 June 1964 26 January 1966 3 years, 263 days
Holt 26 January 1966 19 December 1967
McEwen 19 December 1967 10 January 1968
Gorton 10 January 1968 28 February 1968
14 Gordon Freeth MP 28 February 1968 13 February 1969 351 days
15 Dudley Erwin MP 13 February 1969 12 November 1969 272 days
16 Senator Tom Drake-Brockman Country 12 November 1969 10 March 1971 3 years, 23 days
McMahon 10 March 1971 5 December 1972
17 Lance Barnard MP Labor Whitlam 5 December 1972 30 November 1973 360 days

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Although McBride served the longest continuously, Pearce had the longest combined service at more than 13 years, and as a member of four parties (Labor, National Labor, Nationalist, and UAP).
  2. ^ a b The Liberal and National Labor parties approved a coalition agreement on 13 February 1917,[3] and the new ministry was sworn on 17 February 1917.[4] The parties co-ordinated their campaign against Labor at the 1917 election,[5] and while there was some discussion of the two parties remaining separate,[6] they formally merged on 13 June 1917.[7]
  3. ^ The Parliamentary Handbook erroneously records Massy-Greene as Assistant Minister for Defence from 1921 to 1923. He was in fact the Minister for Defence.[8] He retained responsibility for Health, which he had held as Minister for Trade and Customs,[9] and was consequently titled Minister for Defence and Health.[10]
  4. ^ a b On 13 November 1939, early in the Second World War, Menzies divided the Defence portfolio into separate Army, Navy and Air portfolios and appointed himself Minister for Defence Coordination to oversee them.[2] Curtin retained this arrangement, but he reverted to the title Minister for Defence on 21 September 1943.[2]
  5. ^ The Parliamentary Handbook erroneously records that Ryrie ceased to be Assistant Minister for Defence, being replaced by Massy-Greene. In fact, Massy-Greene was appointed Minister for Defence, and Ryrie remained in post.[11][10]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Tony Abbott's cabinet and outer ministry". The Sydney Morning Herald. 16 September 2013. Retrieved 20 September 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Australian Parliamentary Library. "Ministries and Cabinets". Parliamentary Handbook (32nd ed.). Retrieved 6 September 2013. 
  3. ^ "The National Government: Agreement Reached". The Advertiser. Adelaide. 14 February 1917. p. 7. Retrieved 14 August 2013. 
  4. ^ "'Win the War' Party". Morning Bulletin. Rockhampton, Qld. 7 April 1917. p. 9. Retrieved 13 August 2013. 
  5. ^ "'Fusion' Campaign: Joint Committee to Fight Labor". Daily Herald. Adelaide. 4 April 1917. Retrieved 25 September 2013. 
  6. ^ "Fawkner's New Member, Mr. Maxwell's Resolution". The Argus. Melbourne. 13 June 1917. Retrieved 25 September 2013. 
  7. ^ "'Straight Ahead' for Nationalists". The Daily News. Perth. 14 June 1917. Retrieved 25 September 2013. 
  8. ^ "The Federal Cabinet". Geraldton Guardian. Geraldton, WA. 22 December 1921. Retrieved 25 September 2013. 
  9. ^ "Reconstructed Cabinet: Mr Massy Greene's Responsibilities". Daily Herald. Adelaide. 26 December 1921. Retrieved 25 September 2013. 
  10. ^ a b "28 June 1922". Billy Hughes, Prime Minister of Australia. Parliamentary Debates (Hansard) (Commonwealth of Australia: House of Representatives). 
  11. ^ "Federal Reshuffle". The Brisbane Courier. 23 December 1921. p. 3. Retrieved 25 September 2013. 

External links[edit]