Peter Howson (politician)
Peter Howson, ca. 1956
|13th Minister for Air|
10 June 1964 – 28 February 1968
|Prime Minister||Sir Robert Menzies
|Preceded by||David Fairbairn|
|Succeeded by||Gordon Freeth|
|1st Minister for the Environment, Aborigines and the Arts|
31 May 1971 – 5 December 1972
|Prime Minister||William McMahon|
|Succeeded by||Moss Cass|
22 May 1919|
|Died||1 February 2009
Geelong, Victoria, Australia
|Political party||Liberal Party of Australia|
|Alma mater||Trinity College, Cambridge|
|Awards||Mentioned in Dispatches|
|Years of service||1940–1946|
Peter Howson, CMG (22 May 1919 – 1 February 2009) was an Australian politician.
Howson was born in London, England in 1919 to Jessie and George Arthur Howson, and was educated at Stowe School and Trinity College, Cambridge. During World War II, he served in the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve as a pilot from 1940 to 1946, and was Mentioned in Despatches for his service.
Howson was the Liberal Party of Australia member for the House of Representatives seat of Fawkner from his defeat of William Bourke at the 1955 election until its abolition before the 1969 election. He was then elected as the member for Casey. He was appointed Minister for Air in June 1964 in Robert Menzies' last ministry.
In 1967, Harold Holt's government was attacked over allegations that it had misused the VIP aircraft fleet for ministers' private purposes. When asked to table records on the fleet's movements, Holt and Howson refused and implied that they did not exist, but Senator John Gorton later found that the records did exist and tabled them in the Senate. When Gorton became Prime Minister, on 10 January 1968, he retained Howson in his ministry, but after he won a seat in the House of Representatives he carried out a Cabinet reshuffle on 28 February 1968 and dropped Howson from the ministry.
Expecting to be rewarded for his support of McMahon during Gorton's ministry, Howson was disappointed when he was appointed in March 1971 to a portfolio no one in the McMahon Ministry wanted, Australia's first Minister for the Environment, Aborigines and the Arts and was controversially reported as commenting: "The little bastard [McMahon] gave me trees, boongs and pooftas". Howson was defeated by Labor's Race Mathews at the 1972 election.
Howson published a diary recording the events during his period as a parliamentarian and as a Minister.
In 1973 he founded the Deafness Foundation Victoria.
Howson was appointed a Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George in 1980 for services to Parliament. He was also awarded the Centenary Medal in 2001 for long and devoted service to improving conditions for Australia's indigenous people.
- Overington, Caroline (4 February 2009). "Former minister Howson dies at 89". The Australian. News Limited.
- Change in Canberra, Flight International, 25 June 1964.
- "Members of the House of Representatives since 1901". Parliamentary Handbook. Parliament of Australia. Archived from the original on 17 November 2007. Retrieved 18 December 2007.
- "John Gorton, before". Australia's Prime Ministers. National Archives of Australia. Archived from the original on 31 August 2007. Retrieved 18 December 2007.
- "John Gorton, in office". Australia's Prime Ministers. National Archives of Australia. Archived from the original on 31 August 2007. Retrieved 18 December 2007.
- Mungo Wentworth MacCallum (10 February 2009). "Kevin's package stands up to scrutiny". Byron Shire Echo. Retrieved 17 March 2010.
- Peter Howson (edited by Don Aitkin) (1984), The Howson Diaries. The Life of Politics, Viking Press, Ringwood, Victoria. ISBN 0-7139-1656-7
- Deafness Foundation
- HOWSON, Peter, It's an Honour, 1980.
- HOWSON, Peter, It's an Honour, 1980.
- Peter Howson, Academia's Sorry Obsession: Manne et al. would help Aborigines more by looking at the present, not the past, The Age, 3 April 2001 on the Institute for Private Enterprise website
- Peter Howson, Legal Notes: The Stolen Generations True Believers Take One Step Back, National Observer, No. 49, Winter 2001
- Peter Howson and Des Moore, A Rabbit-proof Fence Full of Holes, The Bennelong Society, originally published in The Australian, 11 March 2002
- Peter Howson, Land Rights—the Next Battleground, Quadrant June 2005 49:6
- "Peter Howson, Live not by land alone: We should know by now that native title doesn't improve indigenous livelihood", The Australian, 28 September 2006
- Former Aboriginal affairs minister Howson dies, ABC News, 2 February 2009
|Minister for Air
|New title||Minister for the Environment,
Aborigines and the Arts
|Parliament of Australia|
|Member for Fawkner
|New division||Member for Casey