PM Transcripts - Prime Ministers of Australia


Prime Minister - Whitlam, Gough

Media Release - 11 June 1974

VIEW ORIGINAL TRANSCRIPT: NEW MINISTRY - 11 JUNE 1974 View original scan of this transcript

Press Statement No. 265
The Prime Minister, Mr Whitlam, said that since
the Federal Parliamentary Labor Party had re-elected the
whole ministry, he had proposed to the Governor-General
that the Ministry continue in office with only such
changes as were necessary to take account of the defeat
of the Minister for Immigration, Mr Grassby, and changes
in administrative arrangements.
The Prime Minister said that he had seen the
Governor-General and that with his agreement he was now
making known details of the Ministry and of administrative
changes which would be submitted to the Governor-General
tomorrow. The Ministry changes will be
Dr. Cairns becomes Deputy Prime Minister as well
as Minister for Overseas Trade
Senator Wriedt becomes Minister for Agriculture
instead of Minister for Primary Industry
Mr. Cameron becomes Minister for Labor and
Immigration instead of Minister for Labour
Senator Wheeldon becomes Minister for Repatriation
Mr Bishop becomes Postmaster-General
Mr Enderby becomes Minister for Manufacturing
Industry, instead of Minister for Secondary
Industry and Minister for Supply.
There are no specific responsibilities attaching
to the position of Deputy Prime Minister. However, the
Prime Minister said that in recognition of the special
interests of Dr. Cairns in the economic area, the Priorities
Review Staff would in future report to him and the proposed
Adjustment Assistance Agency would be responsible to him.
/ 2

Senator Wriedt becomes Minister for Agriculture
rather than Minister for Primary Industry at his own
specific request. The functions of his Department will
remain unaltered but the change in name recognises
practice overseas and in most Australian States. Mr Ives
will continue to be Secretary of the Department.
Mr Cameron will hold the new portfolio of Labor and
Immigration. To his existing functions as Minister for
Labour will be added control of assisted migration.
In this way, it will be possible to ensure that migrants
are brought to Australia only when suitable jobs are
available and in a way that will ensure welcome and
understanding from unions and management. Other Immigration
functions will also be undertaken for the time being
by Mr Cameron but will later be transferred to such
Departments as Foreign Affairs, Education and Social
Security. Mr Whitlam recalled that Mr Cameron had served as
Opposition Shadow Minister for Immigration.
Dr Ian Sharp, Secretary to the Department of Labour,
will become Secretary to the new Department. Mr R. E. Armstrong,
Secretary to the Department of Immigration, will become
special adviser to the Minister and the new Department on
immigration matters.
Following his election as the only new Minister,
Senator Wheeldon becomes Minister for Repatriation and
Compensation. As such, his functions will be wider than
those of the former Minister for Repatriation in that
this function is now seen as part of a wider total function
of compensation for deserving groups in the community.
The purpose of creating the new Department is to
transform the old Department of Repatriation into a more
comprehensive whole. There is no question of abolishing
the Department: it will be expanded, and there will be
no diminution in the care and concern for returned servicemen
only extension of the functions of the Department to cover
all aspects of compensation.
The Repatriation Commission will continue to operate
as at present, under the Chairmanship of Mr Kingsland, who
will be appointed head of the new Department of Repatriation
and Compensation. The compensation function will include
such matters as Commonwealth employees compensation,
seamen's compensation, natural disasters, air accidents,
the Housing Loans Insurance Corporation and Defence Service
Homes Loans Insurance and the proposed Australian Government
Insurance Office.

r .7 -3-
A new responsibility of the Minister and his
Department will be to co-ordinate action needed to put into
effect the recommendations of the Woodhouse Committee on
National Rehabilitation and Compensation. The report of
the Committee is expected by the end of the month.
Senator Bishop will become the new Postmaster-General.
He takes this portfolio from Mr Bowen and will be responsible
for presiding over the establishment of the two new Commissions
the Postal Commission and the Telecommunications Commission
proposed by the Royal Commission on the Post Office under
Sir James Vernon.
Mr Enderby becomes Minister for Manufacturing
Industry in place of his former portfolios of Secondary
Industry and Supply. The new name given to this Ministry
reflects the addition to it of the manufacturing functions
of the Department of Supply.
The Prime Minister said that the new head of the
Department of Manufacturing Industry would be Mr N. S. Currie,
at present head of the Department of Supply. The
Department of Supply will be abolished and most of its
functions will be included in the new Department of
Manufacturing Industry.
Responsibility for the proposed Australian Government
Purchasing Commission, which will be set up following
recommendations to this effect from the Committee on
Government Procurement under the Chairmanship of
Sir Walter Scott, will be with the Special Minister of
State, Mr Bowen.