1953 – Menzies government
The 1953 notebooks
Four Cabinet notebooks record material from meetings held in 1953. Notebooks 16 and 30 record material from meetings held in 1952 and 1953. Notebook 17 records material from meetings held in 1953 and 1954.
Allen Brown and John Bunting at times recorded notes at the same meeting. Thus notes about a particular meeting may be recorded in two separate notebooks. Brown recorded Notebooks 16 and 17, while Bunting recorded Notebooks 30 and 31.
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 notebook. Once in RecordSearch, click on the ‘View digital copy’ icon to browse the notebook.
Submissions, decisions and other records
Cabinet considered approximately 220 submissions during 1953. The submissions recorded by the fifth Menzies ministry are held in series A4905.
Relevant submissions can be identified by conducting a keyword search in our database RecordSearch, using ‘A4905’ as the reference number.
Cabinet made approximately 300 decisions in 1953. Of these, approximately 100 were made without submission. The decisions recorded by the fifth Menzies ministry are held in series A4909.
Decisions made without submission can be identified by conducting a keyword search in our database RecordSearch using ‘A4909’ as the reference number. Decisions made on submissions can be identified attached to their related submission in series A4905.
Cabinet committee papers
Papers of the fifth Menzies ministry Cabinet committees are held in series A4933. Approximately 700 papers cover the issues discussed by Cabinet committees in 1953.
Relevant files can be identified by conducting a keyword search on our database RecordSearch using ‘A4933’ as the reference number.
Fifth Menzies Ministry
After the election on 28 April 1951, Robert Menzies secured a majority in both the House of Representatives and the Senate. The fifth Menzies ministry was in place from 11 May 1951 until 11 January 1956.
In 1953 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||Vice-President of Executive Council
Minister for Defence Production
|HOLT, The Hon. Harold||Minister for Labour and National Service
Minister for Immigration
|McEWEN, The Hon. John||Minister for Commerce and Agriculture|
|CASEY, The Right Hon. Richard Gardiner||Minister for External Affairs
Minister in charge of Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research
|McBRIDE, The Hon. Philip Albert||Minister for Defence|
|McMAHON, The Hon. William||Minister for the Navy
Minister for Air
|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 Shipping and Transport|
|ANTHONY, The Hon. Hubert Lawrence||Postmaster-General
Minister for Civil Aviation
|FRANCIS, The Hon. Josiah||Minister for the Army|
|SPICER, The Hon. John Armstrong||Attorney-General|
|SPOONER, The Hon. William Henry||Minister for National Development|
|COOPER, The Hon. Walter Jackson||Minister for Repatriation|
|BEALE, The Hon. Oliver Howard||Minister for Supply|
|KENT HUGHES, The Hon. Wilfred Selwyn||Minister for the Interior
Minister for Works and Housing (to 4 June 1952)
Minister for Works (from 4 June 1952)
|TOWNLEY, The Hon. Athol Gordon||Minister for Social Services|
|HASLUCK, The Hon. Paul Meernaa||Minister for Territories|