1950 – Menzies government
The 1950 notebooks
Nine Cabinet notebooks were created in 1950. The notebooks belong to series A11099. This series contains Cabinet notebooks dating from 1950 to 1995, divided into sets that appear to correspond with changes in government.
Digitised copies of the original Cabinet notebooks can be viewed online in our collection database RecordSearch. The links in the table below will take you to the item description page in RecordSearch for each noteboook. Once in RecordSearch, click on the 'View digital copy' icon to browse the notebook.
Submissions, decisions and other records
Cabinet considered over 240 submissions in 1950. Submissions and related decisions are held in series A4639.
Although most Cabinet business was conducted on the basis of submissions, the Prime Minister could decide to raise, or allow a colleague to raise, a matter without submission. The Cabinet decision itself is the only formal record of such deliberations. Cabinet made over 100 decisions without submission in 1950. Decisions without submission are held in series A4931.
Cabinet committee papers
Cabinet Committees were formally established by Prime Minister Robert Menzies in 1950. Cabinet Committees considered more routine matters, which relieved Cabinet of business of lesser importance and assisted Cabinet to make decisions more expeditiously.
There were two types of Committees - Standing Committees and Ad-Hoc Committees. Standing Committees were designed to handle problems which 'engage the collective responsibility' of the Full Cabinet. Ad Hoc Committees were usually established at the direction of the Cabinet or the Prime Minister to handle a specific question. Once the matter was finalised the Ad Hoc Committee was dissolved.
Cabinet Committee papers from 1950 are not incorporated into the sequence of records of the full Cabinet as occurs later. Rather they are held separately in series A4933.
In 1950 the Committees of Cabinet were as follows.
List of committee names and abbreviations
|Civil Aviation Engineering Works||CAEW|
|Conditions of the Defence Forces 1951/1952||CDF51|
|Commonwealth Public Services||CPS|
|Development of Canberra||DC|
|Development of External Territories||DET|
|Darwin Harbour Facilities||DH|
|Department of Information||DOI|
|Industry and Development||ID|
|National Health Services||NHS|
|National Service Bill||NSB|
|Overseas Commercial Relations||OCR|
|Overseas Commercial Relations (Dollar Receipts)||OCR(A)|
|Overseas Commercial Relations (ITO & GATT)||OCR(B)|
|Overseas Commercial Relations (Oil)||OCR(C)|
|Overseas Commercial Relations (Treaty of Friendship)||OCR(D)|
|Post Joint-Organisation Marketing of Wool||PJO|
|Production and Marketing of Primary Products||PMPP|
|Purchase of Second-hand Ships||PS|
|Rehabilitation of Post Office Services||RPOS|
|Aid to South East Asia||SEA|
|Salaries of Permanent Heads||SPH|
|USA Wool Delegation||WD|
|Wool Tax Legislation||WL|
Cabinet Secretariat files
Files created by the Cabinet Secretariat, known as ‘C’ files, are held in series A4940. These files contain the original submissions, briefing papers, decisions, and background papers such as departmental advice, and exchanges between officials and Ministers not included in the formal Cabinet papers.
Fourth Menzies Ministry
The fourth Menzies Ministry was in place from 19 December 1949 to 11 May 1951.
In 1950 the Cabinet consisted of the following Ministers.
|MENZIES, The Right Hon. Robert Gordon||Prime Minister|
|FADDEN, The Right Hon. Arthur||Treasurer|
|HARRISON, The Hon. Eric John||Minister for the Interior
Resident Minister in the UK
|HOLT, The Hon. Harold||Minister for Labor and National Service Minister for Immigration|
|McEWEN, The Hon. John||Minister for Commerce and Agriculture|
|SPENDER, The Hon. Percy Claude||Minister for External Affairs and External Territories|
|CASEY, The Right Hon. Richard Gardiner||Minister for National Development
Minister for Works and Housing
|McBRIDE, The Hon. Philip Albert||Minister for Defence|
|PAGE, The Right Hon. Earle Christmas Grafton||Minister for Health|
|O’SULLIVAN, The Hon. Neil||Minister for Trade and Customs|
|McLEAY, The Hon. George||Minister for Fuel, Shipping and Transport|
|WHITE, The Hon. Thomas Walter||Minister for Air and Civil Aviation|
|ANTHONY, The Hon. Hubert Lawrence||Postmaster-General
Acting Minister for the Interior
|FRANCIS, The Hon. Josiah||Minister for the Army
Minister for the Navy
|SPICER, The Hon. John Armstrong||Attorney-General|
|LYONS, The Hon. Dame Enid||Vice President of the Executive Council|
|SPOONER, The Hon. William Henry||Minister for Social Services|
|COOPER, The Hon. Walter Jackson||Minister for Repatriation|
|BEALE, The Hon. Oliver Howard||Minister for Supply|
Read about the events and issues that made the news in 1950.