1967 – Holt and McEwen governments

Soldiers of the 6th Battalion Royal Australian Regiment make an assault landing from American Chinook helicopters in South West Vietnam, 1967
Soldiers of the 6th Battalion Royal Australian Regiment make an assault landing from American Chinook helicopters in South West Vietnam, 1967 (NAA: A1200, L61492)

The 1967 Cabinet records

Submissions, decisions and Cabinet 'C' files

Submissions are entered in number order, with their related decision, for consideration by Cabinet or Cabinet committees. In some cases, notes on submissions and/or covering minutes for submissions were withdrawn or dealt with outside Cabinet.

Decisions are arranged in a single number sequence, one page per decision (or more if necessary). Each decision bears the number, title, submission number where applicable and text of the decision.

Cabinet 'C' files are arranged by subject and contain Cabinet papers of this period. They also generally include original copies of submissions and supporting papers, circulation details for these, minutes of decisions, memoranda to interested ministers and departments advising them of decisions, as well as any related papers such as briefs on submissions prepared by officers of the Prime Minister's Department.

Collection references

Cabinet notebooks

Officials of the Prime Minister’s Department were usually present for meetings of Cabinet and Cabinet Committees. In 1967 the two officials would have been the Secretary to Cabinet (also Secretary of the Prime Minister’s Department) and the Deputy Secretary.

Their role included the recording of proceedings so that minutes accurately reflecting the decisions made or conclusions reached could be prepared. These records of proceedings are referred to as Cabinet notebooks. Under section 22A of the Archives Act 1983, Cabinet notebooks are not available to the public until 50 years have lapsed since their creation. Most Commonwealth records are available 30 years after their creation

Members and committees of the 1967 Cabinet

The second Holt ministry, of 26 ministers, extended from 14 December 1966 to 19 December 1967. The Cabinet consisted of 12 ministers.


The Right Honorable Harold Holt

Prime Minister

The Right Honorable John McEwen

Minister for Trade & Industry

The Honorable William McMahon


The Right Honorable Paul Hasluck

Minister for External Affairs

The Honorable Charles Adermann

Minister for Primary Industry

The Honorable Allen Fairhall

Minister for Defence

Senator the Honorable Norman Henty

Minister for Supply

The Honorable Alan Hulme

Postmaster-General and Vice-President of the Executive Council

The Honorable David Fairbairn, DFC

Minister for National Development

The Honorable John Douglas Anthony

Minister for the Interior*

Senator the Honorable John Gorton

Minister for Education and Science

The Honorable Leslie Bury

Minister for Labour and National Service

*The Minister for the Interior replaced the Minister for Territories in the 1967 Cabinet.

During Parliamentary sittings, Cabinet meetings were usually held weekly and lasted for around two and a half hours.

Committees of Cabinet

In 1967 the standing committees of Cabinet included:

  • Defence Preparations Committee
  • Economic Committee
  • Ex-Servicemen's Committee
  • Higher Salaries Committee
  • Legislation Committee
  • Vice-President's Committee

Ad hoc committees of Cabinet were established to investigate particular subjects and to make recommendations to Cabinet.

The letter symbol for the Committee is added to the decision number to identify its decisions. Cabinet committee abbreviations are:

Ad HocAd Hoc Committee
ECEconomic Committee
EXEx Servicemens' Committee
FADForeign Affairs and Defence Committee
GAGeneral Administrative Committee
HOCAd Hoc Committee
LegLegislation Committee
PAPrivileges and Amenities Committee
PPGovernment Purchasing Policy Committee
TAXTaxation Committee
WWorks Committee

Key political figures

Some of the key political figures in Australia in 1967 are listed below. The roles and titles ascribed to them are those they held in 1967.

Government Ministers

Rt Hon Doug Anthony

MHR for Richmond, NSW; Minister for the Interior

Hon Sir Frederick Chaney

MHR for Perth, WA; Minister for the Navy

Rt Hon Malcolm Fraser

MHR for Wannon, Vic

Hon Sir Gordon Freeth

MHR for Forrest, WA; Minister for Shipping and Transport

Rt Hon Sir John Gorton

Senator for Victoria; Minister for Works; Minister for Education and Science

Hon Peter Howson

MHR for Fawkner, Vic; Minister for the Air; Minister Assisting the Treasurer

Rt Hon Ian Sinclair

MHR for New England, NSW; Minister for Social Services; Minister Assisting Minister for Trade and Industry

Government members of Parliament

Hon Don Chipp

MHR for Hotham, Vic

Hon Tom Hughes

MHR for Parkes, NSW

Hon Sir James Killen

MHR for Moreton, Qld

Hon Peter Nixon

MHR for Gippsland, Vic

Hon Bill Wentworth

MHR for Mackellar, NSW

Opposition members of Parliament

Hon Kim Beazley (Snr)

MHR for Fremantle, WA; Member of Opposition Executive

Hon Jim Cairns

MHR for Lalor, Vic; Member of Opposition Executive

Hon Clyde Cameron

MHR for Hindmarsh, SA; Member of Opposition Executive

Hon Bill Hayden

MHR for Oxley, Qld

Hon Doug McClelland

Senator for NSW

Hon Tom Uren

MHR for Reid, NSW; Member of Opposition Executive

Hon Gough Whitlam

MHR for Werriwa, NSW; Deputy Leader of the Opposition

Senior public servants

Peter Bailey

First Assistant Secretary; Cabinet and External Relations Division, Prime Minister’s Department

Sir Peter Lawler OBE

Deputy Secretary; Prime Minister’s Department

Copyright National Archives of Australia 2019