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The Minister for Defence of Australia administers his portfolio through the Australian Defence Organisation, which comprises the Department of Defence (Australia) and the Australian Defence Force.[1] Senator John Faulkner is the current Minister.

Contents

Ministers for Defence

There was a Minister for Defence from 1 January 1901 until 13 November 1939. Robert Menzies, the Prime Minister, abolished the position on the outbreak of World War II and created separate Ministers for the Navy, the Army and the Air, with himself as Minister for Defence Coordination in his first ministry. He retained this position until the fall of his government, and then held the post in the brief government of Arthur Fadden. John Curtin initially followed the same arrangement as Menzies in his ministry until 14 April 1942, when he took the title of Minister for Defence. The separate titles of Ministers for the Navy, the Army and the Air were abolished in the second Whitlam Ministry on 30 November 1973, when the separate departments of Navy, Army and Air were also abolished. There had also been a separate Navy portfolio between 1915 and 1921. Since 1982, from time to time there have been ministers outside cabinet supporting the Minister for Defence. For example, there is currently a Minister for Defence Science and Personnel (Warren Snowdon).

Order Minister Period Party affiliation
1 James Dickson 1901 Protectionist Party
2 John Forrest 1901
3 James Drake 1901–1903
4 Austin Chapman 1903–1904
5 Anderson Dawson 1904 Australian Labor Party
6 James McCay 1904–1905 Protectionist Party
7 Thomas Playford 1905–1907
8 Thomas Ewing 1907–1908
9 George Pearce 1908–1909 Australian Labor Party
10 Joseph Cook 1909–1910 Protectionist Party
11 George Pearce 1910–1913 Australian Labor Party
12 Edward Millen 1913–1914 Commonwealth Liberal Party
13 George Pearce 1914–1921 Australian Labor Party/
Nationalist Party of Australia
14 Walter Massy-Greene 1921–1923 Nationalist Party of Australia
15 Eric Bowden 1923–1925
16 Neville Howse 1925–1927
17 Thomas William Glasgow 1927–1929
18 Albert Green 1929–1931 Australian Labor Party
19 John Daly 1931
20 Ben Chifley 1931–1932
21 George Pearce 1932–1934 United Australia Party
22 Archdale Parkhill 1934–1937
23 Joseph Lyons 1937
24 Harold Thorby 1937–1938 Country Party
25 Geoffrey Street 1938–1939 United Australia Party
* Robert Menzies 1939–1941
* John Curtin 1941–1942 Australian Labor Party
26 John Curtin 1942–1945
27 Jack Beasley 1945–1946
28 Frank Forde 1946
29 John Dedman 1946–1949
30 Eric Harrison 1949–1950 Liberal Party of Australia
31 Philip McBride 1950–1958
32 Athol Townley 1958–1963
33 Paul Hasluck 1963–1964
34 Shane Paltridge 1964–1966
35 Allen Fairhall 1966–1969
36 Malcolm Fraser 1969–1971
37 John Gorton 1971
38 David Fairbairn 1971–1972
39 Lance Barnard 1972–1975 Australian Labor Party
40 William Morrison 1975
41 Jim Killen 1975–1982 Liberal Party of Australia
42 Ian Sinclair 1982–1983 National Party of Australia
43 Gordon Scholes 1983–1984 Australian Labor Party
44 Kim Beazley 1984–1990
45 Robert Ray 1990–1996
46 Ian McLachlan 1996–1998 Liberal Party of Australia
47 John Moore 1998–2001
48 Peter Reith 2001
49 Robert Hill 2001–2006
50 Brendan Nelson 2006–2007
51 Joel Fitzgibbon 2007–2009 Australian Labor Party
52 John Faulkner 2009–

* Minister for Defence Coordination.

Ministers for Air

Period Minister Party affiliation
1939–1940 James Fairbairn United Australia Party
1940 Arthur Fadden
1940–1941 John McEwen Country Party
1941–1949 Arthur Drakeford Australian Labor Party
1949–1949 Thomas White Liberal Party
1951 Philip McBride
1951–1954 William McMahon
1954–1956 Athol Townley
1956–1960 Frederick Osborne
1960–1961 Harrie Wade
1961–1962 Les Bury
1962–1964 David Fairbairn
1964–1968 Peter Howson
1968–1969 Gordon Freeth
1969 Dudley Erwin
1969–1972 Thomas Drake-Brockman
1972–1973 Lance Barnard Australian Labor Party

Ministers for the Army

Period Minister Party affiliation
1939–1940 Geoffrey Street United Australia Party
1940 Philip McBride
1940–1941 Percy Spender
1941–1946 Frank Forde Australian Labor Party
1946–1949 Cyril Chambers
1949–1955 Josiah Francis Liberal Party
1955–1956 Eric Harrison
1956–1963 John Cramer
1963–1966 Jim Forbes
1966–1968 Malcolm Fraser
1968–1969 Phillip Lynch
1969–1972 Andrew Peacock
1972 Bob Katter Country Party
1972–1973 Lance Barnard Australian Labor Party

Ministers for the Navy

Period Minister Party affiliation
1915–1916 Jens Jensen Australian Labor Party
1916–1917 Jens Jensen National Labor Party
1917–1920 Joseph Cook Nationalist Party of Australia
1920–1921 William Laird Smith
1939–1940 Frederick Stewart United Australia Party
1940 Archie Cameron
1940–1941 Billy Hughes
1941–1946 Norman Makin Australian Labor Party
1946 Arthur Drakeford
1946–1949 Bill Riordan
1949–1951 Josiah Francis Liberal Party
1951 Philip McBride
1951–1954 William McMahon
1954–1955 Josiah Francis
1955–1956 Eric Harrison
1956 Neil O'Sullivan
1956–1958 Charles Davidson
1958–1963 John Gorton
1963–1964 James Forbes
1964–1966 Fred Chaney
1966–1968 Don Chipp
1968–1969 Bert Kelly
1969–1971 James Killen
1971–1972 Malcolm Mackay
1972–1973 Lance Barnard Australian Labor Party

Ministers for Supply

Minister Party affiliation Period Ministerial Title
Richard Casey United Australia Party 1939–1940 Minister for Supply and Development
Frederick Stewart 1940
Philip McBride 1940–1941
George McLeay 1941
Jack Beasley Australian Labor Party 1941–1942
1942–1945 Minister for Supply and Shipping
William Ashley 1945–1948
John Armstrong 1948–1949 Minister for Supply and Development
Richard Casey Liberal Party 1949–1950
Howard Beale 1950–1958 Minister for Supply
Athol Townley 1958
Alan Hulme 1958–1961
Allen Fairhall 1961–1966
Denham Henty 1966–1968
Kenneth Anderson 1968–1971
Victor Garland 1971–1972
Lance Barnard Australian Labor Party 1972–1973
Kep Enderby 1973–1974

Ministers for Munitions

Minister Party affiliation Period
Robert Menzies United Australia Party 1940
Philip McBride 1940–1941
Norman Makin Australian Labor Party 1941–1946
John Dedman 1946
John Armstrong 1946–1948

Ministers for Defence Production

Minister Party affiliation Period Ministerial Title
John Leckie United Australia Party 1941 Minister for Aircraft Production
Donald Cameron Australian Labor Party 1941–1945
Norman Makin 1945–1946
John Dedman 1946
Eric Harrison Liberal Party 1951–1956 Minister for Defence Production
Howard Beale 1956–1958
Athol Townley 1958

References and notes

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