1952 – Menzies government
The 1952 notebooks
Seven Cabinet notebooks record material from meetings held in 1952. Notebook 30 records material from meetings held in 1952 and 1953. 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.
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 more than 170 submissions in 1952. These submissions include the papers that were circulated to all Cabinet ministers prior to meetings and which were considered and discussed within Federal Cabinet and Committees of Cabinet during 1952. The submissions and associated decisions for the fifth Menzies ministry are held in series A4905.
Cabinet made more than 330 decisions without submission in 1952. Decisions without submission for the fifth Menzies ministry are held in series A4909.
Cabinet committee papers
Various Cabinet Committees considered more routine matters. This relieved Cabinet of business of lesser importance and assisted Cabinet to make decisions more expeditiously. Cabinet Committee papers from 1952 are not incorporated into the sequence of records of the full Cabinet as occurs later. Rather they are held separately in series A4933.
Cabinet Secretariat files
Files created by the Cabinet Secretariat, known as ‘C’ files, are also available for access. These files contain the original submissions, briefing papers, decisions, background papers such as departmental advice, and exchanges between officials and Ministers not included in the formal Cabinet papers. Records for 1952 can be found within series A4940.
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.
In 1952 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 Labor 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|
Read about the events and issues that made the news in 1952.