Cabinet Government in Australia, 1901-2006: Practice, by Patrick Weller

By Patrick Weller

The 1st complete examine of the advance of the crucial establishment of presidency over the 1st century of its existence. in keeping with the author's targeted archival examine and 30 years adventure writing approximately relevant govt in Australia, it presents an knowing of either the heritage and the operating of the establishment. Patrick Weller has written a close historical past, in addition to a politics primer. it's publication choked with political insights and anecdotes, with vigorous pix of our top ministers and their cupboard colleagues besides the displaying of many desirable information of memos and conferences lengthy buried within the documents.

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It happened that the Government was in the midst of an election campaign. The prime minister, Joseph Cook, was about to leave for an important election rally in the country; the Minister for Defence, Senator Millen, was in Sydney. [Major, later Sir Brudenall] White was at Defence headquarters in the Victoria Barracks, Melbourne. m. on the 30th, he heard of it from the Navy Office, which, in turn, had learnt of it from the British admiral commanding the China station, and also from New Zealand. Even then there were misunderstandings as the telegram had been wrongly deciphered and the minister for defence thought no further action was required.

Nor did he seek to run the cabinet from afar. That was not Deakin’s style. In 1908 he held fewer meetings, often only one a month, sometimes with a large agenda (not all of which was covered) and then never more than three times a month. By this stage the style of government was set. In October the budget was brought to cabinet and settled with a large tick. In November cabinet decided to discuss the political situation created by the withdrawal of support by Labor. Cabinet ‘decided to challenge House on Tuesday’.

For most of its time in government parliament was in recess. As soon as it met the government was doomed; Labor threw its support behind Deakin who resumed office in July 1905 and stayed there until Labor decided to bring him down in November 1908. Another brief Labor cabinet, headed by Andrew Fisher, from November 1908 to June 1909, survived long enough for the non-Labor parties to combine officially, return to office and lose the April 1910 election handsomely. From June 1909 the modern party system, in which Labor and non-Labor faced one another, was essentially created.

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