Thursday, July 25, 2013

Observing Customs

So what happened in 1956 when "Black Jack" McEwen eschewed customs to take on long term trading? His fellow conservative followed Neil O'Sullivan, becoming Minister for Customs and Excise. This was the position held by Frederick Osborne, Denham Henty, Ken Anderson, Malcolm Scott, Don Chipp, Gough Whitlam, Lionel Murphy, and Kep Enderby.

Enderby, Jim Cavanagh, and Ivor Greenwood took a title unique to the year 1975: Minister for Police and Customs. Put it down to the Whitlam Years.  When the caretaker government of Malcolm Fraser came in, a chap by the name of John Howard was made Minister for Business and Consumer Affairs, a name that saw the casting out of customs.

Customs must have fallen out of vogue as it did not appear as part of the name for thirteen years and then featured spasmodically.

Minister for Business and Consumer Affairs: Howard, Wal Fife, Victor Garland, John Moore, Neil Brown.
Minister for Industry and Commerce: Phillip Lynch, Andrew Peacock, John Button.
Minister for Industry, Technology and Commerce: Button
Minister for Science, Customs and Small Business: Barry Jones
Minister for Small Business and Customs: David Beddall
Minister for Small Business, Construction and Customs:  Beddall
Minister for Industry, Technology and Regional Development: Alan Griffiths, Peter Cook
Minister for Small Business, Customs and Construction: Chris Schacht
Minister for Small Business and Consumer Affairs: Geoff Prosser
Minister for Customs and Consumer Affairs: Chris Ellison, Warren Truss
Minister for Justice and Customs: Amanda Vanstone, Ellison, David Johnston
Minister for Home Affairs: Bob Debus, Brendan O'Connor, Jason Clare

Monday, July 15, 2013

Trade blows

The first thing I am left pondering with the Trade references is, where does the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade fit in? I know Stephen Smith's name pops up, and Gough's for that matter, but, if it's still DFAT, where does Kevin Rudd feature between Prime Ministerships, and where's Senator Carr (Bob, not Kim)? The answer is that there is not a one-to-one ratio: there are four ministers associated with the functions of the department.
This would never have occurred to me if I hadn't started down this path.

Then you'll notice that this portfolio has been managed by a father and son. Frank and Simon Crean aren't the only father and son to have entered politics: Kims Beazley, Sir Alec and Alexander Downer (and Sir John before them), Doug and Larry Anthony, Sir Charles and Richard Court.. Still, interesting to note.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Australian trade ministers

The first trade ministers belonged to parties that, at least by name, appeared to be organised by their trading practices: Charles Kingston, William Lyne, and Austin Chapman were in the Protectionist Party, while Allan McLean (1904-05) was part of the Free Trade Party. In between Andrew Fisher, whom most know was from the ranks of the Australian Labor Party; not defined by trade but possessing a philosophy that takes it into consideration.
Ministers return to this portfolio so there is no neat line of succession; at least not in the early stages.

The ministry was Trade and Customs for the first 55 years, suggesting a strong connection. The ministers who followed Chapman were Frank Tudor (thrice), Robert Best, Littleton Groom, Billy Hughes, William Archibald, Jens Jensen, William Watt, Walter Massy-Greene, Arthur Rodgers, Herbert Pratten, Stanley Bruce, Henry Gullett, James Fenton, Frank Forde, Thomas White, John Perkins, John Lawson, Robert Menzies, George McLeay, Eric Harrison, Richard Keane, John Dedman, James Fraser, Ben Courtice, and Neil O'Sullivan.

John McEwen (a well known name round these parts) was in charge of Trade for a whopping fifteen years: first as Minister for Trade, then in 1963, Minister for Trade and Industry.
"Black Jack" was followed in this expanded portfolio by another ubiquitous fellow, Doug Anthony, but he was only in the job for a year. Of course, that could be because his Party was tipped out and the leader of the victors, Gough Whitlam, assumed the mantle, passing it only too quickly to Jim Cairns, who was dubbed Minister for Overseas Trade. As was Frank Crean.

After Anthony had returned to the portfolio and stayed for thirteen years - turning it into Trade and Resources halfway through - Lionel Bowen and John Dawkins presided as generic Minister for Trade, and Michael Duffy and Neal Blewett as Minister for Trade Negotiations; Blewett becoming Minister for Trade and Overseas Development, the title also held by John Kerin.

The idea of returning to a vanilla Minister for Trade for the third time was sustained for seventeen years: this title taken in turn by Peter Cook, Bob McMullan, Tim Fischer, Mark Vaile, Warren Truss, Simon Crean, Stephen Smith, and Craig Emerson. Under Gillard, Emerson became Minister for Trade and Competitiveness (2012-13). Under the Rudd resurgence, Trade it is, with new chum Richard Marles touting for business.