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Research Guides


Malcolm Fraser: Guide to Archives of Australia's Prime Ministers


Chapter 2: Records about Malcolm Fraser in the National Archives of Australia

Minister for the Army, 1966–68

In 1966 Malcolm Fraser became a Minister for the first time when Harold Holt appointed him Minister for the Army. He remained in the position for two years under three prime ministers, Harold Holt, John McEwen and John Gorton. This period was the early stage of Australia's combat involvement in Vietnam. In his first year as Minister, Fraser visited the Australian troops in Vietnam.

During the Holt government of 1966–67, Cabinet submissions about Army matters were presented by the Minister for Defence, Allen Fairhall. As Minister for the Army, Fraser was not a member of Cabinet, but is likely to have had responsibility for the preparation of submissions and may have been present in the Cabinet room when they were discussed.

Records:

FIRST HOLT MINISTRY – COPIES OF CABINET SUBMISSIONS AND RELATED DECISIONS, 1966
This is the series of submissions considered by the Holt Cabinet in 1966.
Series: A5841
Quantity: 2 metres (Canberra)
Recorded by: 1983–85: Cabinet Office (CA 1472)
South Vietnam – possible Australian military assistance, 1966 A5841, 23
Campaign medal in recognition of service in Vietnam, 1966 A5841, 36
Army housing, Townsville, 1966 A5841, 376
SECOND HOLT MINISTRY – COPIES OF CABINET SUBMISSIONS AND RELATED DECISIONS, 1966–67
This is the series of submissions considered by the Holt Cabinet following the election in 1966 and up until the time of Holt's death in 1967.
Series: A5842
Quantity: 2 metres (Canberra)
Recorded by: 1985: Cabinet Office (CA 1472)
Australian force contribution to Vietnam, 1966 A5842, 5
Possible increased Australian military contribution to Vietnam, 1967 A5842, 441
Army – major capital works, 1967 A5842, 549
Image 20: Minister for the Army, Malcolm Fraser, inspects an outboard speedboat at the Australian Rest and Convalescent Centre, Vung Tau, Vietnam. 1966. With the Minister are Private Vin Coy of South Melbourne, Victoria (left), and Colonel Jim Lawrence of Newtown, New South Wales.

Image 20: Minister for the Army, Malcolm Fraser, inspects an outboard speedboat at the Australian Rest and Convalescent Centre, Vung Tau, Vietnam. 1966. With the Minister are Private Vin Coy of South Melbourne, Victoria (left), and Colonel Jim Lawrence of Newtown, New South Wales.
NAA: M1382, 1
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CORRESPONDENCE FILES (FOREIGN AFFAIRS), 1948–89
This series comprises the main correspondence file series of the Department of External Affairs (II) from 1948 to 1970, the Department of Foreign Affairs from 1970 to 1987, and the Foreign Affairs section of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade from mid-1987 to the end of 1989.
Series: A1838
Quantity: 3299 metres (Canberra), 0.18 metres (Brisbane)
Recorded by: 1948–70: Department of External Affairs (II), Central Office (CA 18); 1970–87: Department of Foreign Affairs, Central Office (CA 1382)
Visit to South East Asia – Minister for the Army – Fraser, M MP, 1966 A1838, 1516/7/137
CORRESPONDENCE FILES (DEFENCE), 1967–73
This correspondence series documents policy and administration of the Department of Defence between 1967 and 1973. Its content reflects the main functions of the department including policy, joint service matters, finance, supply, production programs and capacity, disposition and organisation of the defence forces, weapons and equipment, and research and development. Subjects under these groupings include appointments, departmental facilities, civil defence, relations with other countries, conditions of service, disarmament, economic warfare, furniture and fittings, information, medical and dental, press and publicity, recruiting, repairs and maintenance, security, statistics, treaties and agreements, war crimes and welfare.
Series: A1946
Quantity: Quantity: 125 metres (Canberra)
Recorded by: 1967–73: Department of Defence (III), Central Office (CA 46)
Use of non-lethal gases and phosphorus in Vietnam, 1967–73 A1946, 1967/1029
CORRESPONDENCE FILES, MULTIPLE NUMBER SERIES WITH 'R' (ARMY HEADQUARTERS, CANBERRA) INFIX, 1946–79
This series is controlled by a multiple number system in which the first two number components indicate subject areas and the final number is the unique number allocated to each file created within a given subject. The files comprise two main divisions. The first is identified by primary numbers 1 to 950, and encompasses control symbols 1/R1/1 to 931/ R72/1. The subject headings begin at 'Accidents, deaths and casualties' (1) through to 'YWCA' (933–950). With 950 subject headings, the series covers a broad range of subjects.
Series: A3688
Quantity: 101 metres (Canberra)
Recorded by: 1946–73: Department of the Army, Central Office (CA 36)
Allegations concerning atrocities in Vietnam, 1966–71 A3688, 247/R1/5/P1
MENZIES AND HOLT MINISTRIES – CABINET FILES, 'C' SINGLE NUMBER SERIES, 1958–67
This is the main series maintained by the Cabinet Office for the administration of Cabinet business between 1958 and 1967.
Series: A4940
Quantity: 78 metres (Canberra)
Recorded by: 1958–67: Secretary to Cabinet/Cabinet Secretariat (I) (CA 3)
National service – policy, 1964–67 A4940, C162 PART 2
Australian military aid to South Vietnam, 1965–66 A4940, C4643 PART 3
CORRESPONDENCE FILES, ANNUAL SINGLE NUMBER SERIES WITH OCCASIONAL 'C' (CLASSIFIED) SUFFIX, 1957–
This series contains the classified files relating to general and policy matters handled by the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. Subjects range from departmental and domestic matters to foreign affairs, and reflect the functions of the department in the political, cultural, economic, industrial and defence fields.
Series: A1209
Quantity: 1207 metres (Canberra)
Recorded by: 1957–71: Prime Minister's Department (CA 12)
The Right Honourable Malcolm Fraser, Minister for the Army – overseas visits, 1966–67 A1209, 1968/8824
SPEECHES AND PRESS STATEMENTS, 1966–68
This series consists of five files of speeches and press statements made by Fraser as Minister for the Army (1966–68). The papers mainly relate to Australia's involvement in Vietnam – including conscription, an official visit to Australian troops in South-East Asia and Australian Army civic action in Vietnam – but also include addresses on other matters including 'A politician's view of the press' and 'Australian Government policy'.
Series: M1373
Quantity: 0.18 metres (Canberra)
Recorded by: 1966–68: Department of the Army, Central Office – Minister's Office (CA 36); 1966–68: The Rt Hon John Malcolm Fraser AC, CH (CP 51)
Television interviews, 1965–66
Interview as Minister for the Army, relating to ATN Channel 7 debate 'White Paper on Conscription' (16 April 1966); includes background notes on Vietnam.
M1373, 1
The Australian Army today, 1966
Includes statements as Minister for the Army relating to Australian involvement in South-East Asia and Vietnam.
M1373, 2
Press statements and radio talks, 1965–66
Contains statements and talks as Minister for the Army, including national development, 1966 Budget, national servicemen in Vietnam, and official visits to Eastern Command, Western Command and troops in South-East Asia.
M1373, 3
Speeches and articles, 1966–68
Contains speeches made as Member for Wannon and Minister for the Army relating to wool growers, the Australian Army, Vietnam and liberalism; includes Monash University speech 'Australian Government policy', address to South Australian Young Liberals seminar 'A politician's view of the press', and address to Sydney University symposium 'Vietnam: justified or crucified?'.
M1373, 4
Birchip address, 1966–67
Consists of an address made as Minister for the Army relating to Australian Army civic action in Vietnam; includes statement 'The Army and South East Asia'.
M1373, 5
FILMS OF SYNDICATED ABC TELEVISION NEWS SEGMENTS, 1957–78
This series contains both colour and black-and-white 16mm films of varying lengths. They relate to syndicated ABC interstate and international television news segments.
Series: J2729
Quantity: 95 metres (Sydney)
Recorded by: 1959–78: Australian Broadcasting Commission, Queensland Branch – Film Library (CA 2920)
Fraser in South Vietnam, 1967
Format: motion picture film; quantity: 1 of 1 reels; type: 16mm; status: preservation material.
J2729, SK1450

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Chapter 2
Records about Malcolm Fraser in the National Archives of Australia