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Monday, 15 March 1971

Senator Sir KENNETH ANDERSON (New South Wales) (Minister for Supply) - by leave - I wish to make a statement on behalf of the Prime Minister (Mr McMahon). WheneverI use the first person singular personal pronoun honourable senators will understand thatI am referring to the Prime Minister.

I wish to inform the Senate that on 10th March, consequent on the resignation of the Right Honourable J. G. Gorton as Prime Minister, His Excellency the GovernorGeneral commissioned me, as the newly elected leader of the Parliamentary Liberal Party, to form a Ministry. On my recommendation the Right Honourable J. G. Gorton was sworn as Minister for Defence on 1 0th March. Pending the formation of the new MinistryI shall continue as Minister for Foreign Affairs.

On 12th March the Prime Minister's Department and the Department of the Cabinet Office were abolished and 2 new departments were created in their place. They are the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet and the Department of the Vice-President of the Executive Council. The new Department of the VicePresident of the Executive Council will undertake a number of functions previously located in the Prime Minister's Department and in the Treasury. It will be responsible for a wide range of matters. With the concurrence of honourable senators the list of functions which have already been approved for the Department are incorporated in Hansard.

National Library


Australian Government Publishing Service, including the Government Printing Office

Council of Aboriginal Affairs

Institute of Aboriginal Studies

Office of the Environment

Film and Television Training School

World Expositions

Commonwealth Literary Fund

Art Advisory Board

National Gallery

Historic Memorials Committee

Council of Performing Arts

Assistance to Performers Advisory Board

Grants to National Organisations

National Radiation Advisory Committee

The allocation to the Department of certain other functions is being examined. The Vice-President of the Executive Council (Sir Alan Hulme) will answer questions in the House on matters for which this Department will be responsible. The Leader of the Government in the Senate, Sir Kenneth Anderson, will answer such questions in the Senate.

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