- Minister for Defence (Australia)
Minister for Defence Style The Honourable Appointer Governor-General on the recommendation of the Prime Minister of Australia Inaugural holder James Dickson Formation 1901
The Minister for Defence of Australia administers his portfolio through the Australian Defence Organisation, which comprises the Department of Defence (Australia) and the Australian Defence Force. Stephen Smith is the current Minister.
Ministers for Defence
There was a Minister for Defence from 1 January 1901 until 13 November 1939. 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.
There have also been ministers responsible for defence materiel at different times. From 1939 to 1974 they were called Minister of Supply or similar. The current Minister for Defence Materiel is Jason Clare. From 1939 to 1974 there was a position of Minister of Supply or similar. There have also been ministers responsible for defence personnel for most of the period since 1987, currently the Minister for Defence Personnel, Warren Snowdon.
* Minister for Defence Coordination.
Ministers for Air
Period Minister Party affiliation 1939–40 James Fairbairn United Australia Party 1940 Arthur Fadden 1940–41 John McEwen Country Party 1941–49 Arthur Drakeford Australian Labor Party 1949–49 Thomas White Liberal Party 1951 Philip McBride 1951–54 William McMahon 1954–56 Athol Townley 1956–60 Frederick Osborne 1960–61 Harrie Wade 1961–62 Les Bury 1962–64 David Fairbairn 1964–68 Peter Howson 1968–69 Gordon Freeth 1969 Dudley Erwin 1969–72 Tom Drake-Brockman 1972–73 Lance Barnard Australian Labor Party
Ministers for the Army
Period Minister Party affiliation 1939–40 Geoffrey Street United Australia Party 1940 Philip McBride 1940–41 Percy Spender 1941–46 Frank Forde Australian Labor Party 1946–49 Cyril Chambers 1949–55 Josiah Francis Liberal Party 1955–56 Eric Harrison 1956–63 John Cramer 1963–66 Jim Forbes 1966–68 Malcolm Fraser 1968–69 Phillip Lynch 1969–72 Andrew Peacock 1972 Bob Katter Country Party 1972–73 Lance Barnard Australian Labor Party Period Minister Party affiliation 1915–16 Jens Jensen Australian Labor Party 1916–17 Jens Jensen National Labor Party 1917– Joseph Cook Nationalist Party of Australia 1920–21 William Laird Smith 1939–40 Frederick Stewart United Australia Party 1940 Archie Cameron 1940–41 Billy Hughes 1941–46 Norman Makin Australian Labor Party 1946 Arthur Drakeford 1946–49 Bill Riordan 1949–51 Josiah Francis Liberal Party 1951 Philip McBride 1951–54 William McMahon 1954–55 Josiah Francis 1955–56 Eric Harrison 1956 Neil O'Sullivan 1956–58 Charles Davidson 1958–63 John Gorton 1963–64 Jim Forbes 1964–66 Fred Chaney, Sr. 1966–68 Don Chipp 1968–69 Bert Kelly 1969–71 James Killen 1971–72 Malcolm Mackay 1972–73 Lance Barnard Australian Labor Party
References and notes
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