The eighth Menzies and first Holt ministries considered a range of issues, many of which continue to be topical today.
Approximately 600 submissions were made in 1966. A number of items were brought up in Cabinet meetings by the Prime Minister or a member of the Cabinet without a submission having been received. Two hundred and twenty-five (225) decisions without submission were made throughout 1966.
Cabinet 'C' files are arranged by subject, and generally include copies of submissions and supporting papers, circulation details for these, minutes of decisions, memoranda to interested ministers and departments advising them of decisions, and any related papers such as briefs on submissions prepared by officers of the Prime Minister's Department.
Folders containing lists of the submissions and decisions is available for viewing in the Canberra reading room.
Title listings of all submissions and decisions from 1966 can be found on RecordSearch, by doing a keyword search using the title of the submission or decision. Submissions and decisions can be also be ordered for viewing in the Canberra reading room of the National Archives.
January 1966 saw the end of the Menzies era and his eighth ministry, when Harold Holt replaced Robert Menzies as Prime Minister. The first Holt ministry, of 24 Ministers, covered the period 26 January to 14 December 1966. Holt formed his second ministry after the coalition was re-elected in December.
Holt's first Cabinet consisted of 12 Ministers:
The Right Honourable Harold Holt
The Right Honourable John McEwen
Minister for Trade & Industry
The Honourable William McMahon
The Right Honourable Paul Hasluck
Minister for External Affairs
The Honourable Charles Adermann
Minister for Primary Industry
The Honourable Allen Fairhall
Minister for Defence
Senator the Honourable Norman Henty
Minister for Supply
The Honourable Alan Hulme
Postmaster-General and Vice-President of the Executive Council
The Honourable David Fairbairn, DFC
Minister for National Development
The Honourable Charles Barnes
Minister for Territories
Senator the Honourable John Gorton
Minister for Works; and under the Prime Minister, Minister-in-Charge, Commonwealth Activities in Education and Research
The Honourable Leslie Bury
Minister for Labour and National Service
Cabinet meetings were held weekly during Parliamentary sittings and usually last about two and a half hours.
The following standing Committees of Cabinet operated in 1966:
Members of Cabinet Committees were drawn from the entire Ministry, not just from the ranks of Cabinet. Ad hoc committees of Cabinet were established to investigate particular subjects and to make recommendations to Cabinet.
Cabinet Committees were first established by Prime Minister Menzies in 1950. Their role was to assist Cabinet:
All of the standing Committees identified above, except for the Ex-Servicemen's Committee which had an advisory role, were empowered to take final decisions on behalf of the Cabinet.