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FORBES, the Hon. Alexander JamesBiography for FORBES, the Hon. Alexander James

Member for Barker (SA)

Liberal Party of Australia

Parliamentary Service

Elected to the House of Representatives for Barker, South Australia at by-election 1956, vice the Hon. A Cameron (deceased). Re-elected 1958, 1961, 1963, 1966, 1969, 1972 and 1974. Retired prior to general elections 1975.

Acting Ministries

Acting Minister for the Navy from 28.4.1966 to 1.6.1966.

Acting Minister for Health from 25.5.1972 to 29.6.1972.

Ministerial Appointments

Minister for the Navy from 18.12.1963 to 4.3.1964.

Minister for the Army from 18.12.1963 to 26.1.1966.

Minister Assisting the Treasurer from 18.12.1963 to 26.1.1966.

Minister for Health from 26.1.1966 to 22.3.1971.

Minister for Immigration from 22.3.1971 to 5.12.1972.

Committee Service

Joint Standing: Foreign Affairs from 10.3.1959 to 1.11.1963 (Deputy Chair from 27.3.1962 to 1.11.1963); Foreign Affairs and Defence from 16.5.1973 to 16.4.1975.

Joint Select: Parliamentary Committee System from 25.9.1974 to 11.11.1975.

House of Representatives Standing: Parliamentary Library from 23.4.1958 to 1.11.1963; Parliamentary Library from 1.3.1973 to 11.4.1974.

Conferences, Delegations and Visits

Member, Parliamentary Delegation to South East Asia, June-July 1963.

Visited Australian forces in Vietnam, July 1965.

Attended 20th Assembly of the World Health Organisation, Geneva, April-May 1967.

Member, Australian Delegation to the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association Annual General Conference, London, 1973.

Member, Australian Parliamentary Delegation to Australian Constitutional Convention, September 1973.

Parliamentary Party Positions

Member of the Federal Parliamentary Liberal Party Executive from 21.12.1972 to 20.3.1975.

Opposition Spokesman on Defence from 21.12.1972 to 20.3.1975.


Born 16.12.1923, Hobart, Australia

Died 10.8.2019


Qualifications and Occupations before entering Federal Parliament

DPhil (University of Oxford).

BA(Hons) (University of Adelaide).

University Lecturer.


Awarded Military Cross, 21.06.1945.

Military Service

Graduated Royal Military College, Duntroon, 15.12.1942.

Served with 2nd Australian Mountain Battery from 1944 to 1946, New Guinea and Bougainville, and later with occupation forces in Japan and Germany.

Member, Australian Victory Contingent, 1946.

Appointed member of Australian Army Staff, London, 30.06.1946.

Transferred to Reserve of Officers with Rank of Lieutenant, 19.04.1947.

Served in CMF, Adelaide University Regiment from 1948 to 1952.

Served in CMF, Adelaide University Regiment, with rank of Captain from 1954 to 1956.

Transferred to Reserve of Officers, 16.11.1956.


Name: Barker

Location: South eastern South Australia; includes the country towns of Mount Gambier, Bordertown, Strathalbyn, Victor Harbour, Lucindale, Millicent and Keith and also includes Kangaroo Island.

Area: 42,108 Sq km

Electors enrolled: 63,191 (at 25.10.1974)

Industries: Dairying, wool, Beef cattle, fat lamb production, timber logging and milling, fruit and vine growing, wheat and cereal crops, flour mills, pulp and paper manufacture, meat works, woollen mills, quarrying and building materials.

Includes: Baker includes all of south Australian House of Assembly electorates of Alexandra, Millicent, Mount Gambier and Victoria and Substantial parts of Fisher, Heysen, Mallee and Murray.