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Tuesday, 12 March 1968

Senator ANDERSON (New South Wales) (Minister for Supply}- - by leave - The statement I arn about to make was made by the Prime MinisterMr Gorton) in another place, and when I use the first person personal pronoun it relates to him. The statement is as follows:

Honourable members will be aware of the tragic circumstances which resulted in the termination of the Second Holt Ministry and I shall be referring to this in some detail shortly.

Following Mr Holt's death, the Governor-General commissioned the Deputy Prime Minister and Leader of the Country Party, the Right Honourable John McEwen, to form a government. Mr McEwen did so and was sworn as Prime Minister on 19th December 1967 without changing the portfolios held by Ministers in the Holt Ministry. Mr McEwen accepted the commission on the basis that when the

Liberal Party, the major Party in the coalition, had elected a new leader, he would stand down. .

On 9th January 1968 the Party elected me as the new leader, and Mr McEwen having stood down, 1 was sworn as Prime Minister the next day. The Ministry otherwise remained unchanged until I had the opportunity to consider the allocation of portfolios and to contest the by-election for the seat of Higgins on 24th February.

The new Ministry was sworn by the Governor-General on 28th February and . is as Follows:

Prime Minister - the Right Honourable J. G. Gorton

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Trade and Industry - the Right Honourable J. McEwen

Treasurer - the Right Honourable W. McMahon.

Minister for External Affairs - the Right Honourable P. M. C. Hasluck

Minister for Defence - the Honourable A. Fairhall

Minister for Primary Industry - the Honourable J. D. Anthony

Postmaster-General and Vice-President of the Executive Council - the Honourable A. S. Hulme

Minister for National Development - the Honourable D. E. Fairbairn, D.F.C.

Minister for Labour and National Service - the Honourable L. H. E. Bury

Minister for Shipping and Transport and assisting the Minister for Trade and Industry - the Honourable I. McC. Sinclair

Minister for Supply and Leader of the Government in the Senate - Senator the Honourable K. M. Anderson

Minister for Education and Science - the Honourable J. M. Fraser

Minister for Air and assisting the Treasurer - the Honourable G. Freeth

Minister for External Territories - the Honourable C. E. Barnes

Minister for Civil Aviation - the Honourable R. W. C. Swartz, M.B.E., E.D.

Minister for Immigration and Leader of the House - the Honourable B. M. Snedden, Q.C.

Minister for Health - the Honourable A. J. Forbes, M.C.

Minister for Repatriation - Senator the Honourable G. C. McKellar

Minister for Housing - Senator the Honourable Dame Annabelle Rankin, D.B.E.

Attorney-General - the Honourable N. H. Bowen, Q.C.

Minister for the Navy - the Honourable C. R. Kelly

Minister for the Interior - 'the Honourable P. J. Nixon

Minister for the Army - the Honourable P. R. Lynch

Minister for Customs and Excise - Senator the Honourable M. F. Scott

Minister for Social Services - the Honourable W. C. Wentworth

Minister for Works and under the Minister for Trade and Industry, Minister in charge of Tourist Activities - Senator the Honourable R. C. Wright

The first twelve Ministers named will comprise the Cabinet. The Minister for Social Services, Mr Wentworth, will be Minister in charge, of Aboriginal Affairs. The Leader of the Government in the Senate will be Senator Anderson, and the Leader of the House of Representatives, Mr Snedden. In the Senate, Senator Anderson will be my representative and will also represent the portfolios of Trade and Industry, Treasury, Defence and External Affairs.

The other representational arrangements in that chamber will be: Senator McKellar, the portfolios of Primary Industry, Navy, Army, Air; Senator Rankin, PostmasterGeneral, Immigration, Health, Social Services, including Aboriginal Affairs; Senator Scott, National Development, Shipping and Transport, Civil Aviation and Interior; and Senator Wright, Labour and National Service, Education and Science, AttorneyGeneral and External Territories.

Ministers in the Senate will be represented as follows: The Minister for Supply by Mr Fairhall; the Minister for Repatriation by Mr Swartz; the Minister for Housing by Mr Bury; the Minister for Customs and Excise by Mr Nixon; and the Minister for Works by Mr Kelly.

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