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Research Guides

Near Neighbours: Records on Australia's Relations with Indonesia

Appendix 5: Key Commonwealth persons

This appendix lists important Commonwealth persons (CPs) who, through their appointments to high office, played significant roles in the development of Australian foreign policy on Indonesia.31 A short biography for each CP can be found by following the hyperlink to 'Person notes' in RecordSearch. This ready reference will assist researchers in checking relevant details about the Commonwealth person.

Researchers can also quickly discover the extent of records associated with each person by following the hyperlink for 'Person links' in RecordSearch, which will lead to a list of Commonwealth agencies with which a CP was associated. Following the hyperlinks will reveal all record series created by each agency.

The individuals listed below are shown alphabetically. Only an abbreviated biography is shown, with the fuller version available in RecordSearch. The list does not include those Commonwealth persons who, in their official appointments, were primarily concerned with Indonesia before independence.

When searching for Commonwealth persons by their CP number, use a space between the letters CP and the number, ie CP 80.

The Right Honourable Sir Garfield Edward John Barwick AK, GCMG
Sir Garfield served as Minister for External Affairs from 1961 to 1964. He led the Australian Delegation to the fifteenth, seventeenth and eighteenth sessions of the General Assembly of the United Nations in 1960, 1962 and 1964.
Series: CP651
The Honourable Gordon Neil Bilney

Mr Bilney joined the Diplomatic Service of the Department of Foreign Affairs in 1966. He was posted to Jakarta, Manila, Geneva and Paris, and served as High Commissioner to the West Indies from 1980 to 1982.

Immediately before being elected to Parliament, he served as Head of the OECD, EEC and Energy Branch in the Economic Division of the Department of Foreign Affairs.

From 1973 to 1975 Mr Bilney was a member of the personal staff of successive Ministers for Foreign Affairs (namely Gough Whitlam and Don Willesee) as a Foreign Affairs adviser.

Series: CP501
The Right Honourable Richard Gardiner Casey, Baron of Berwick, Victoria PC, GCMG, CH, DSO, MC
Between 1933 and 1940 the Right Honourable Richard Gardiner Casey was Minister of various government departments. In January 1940 he was appointed as the first Australian Minister to the United States of America. From 1942 to 1943 he was the Minister of State for the United Kingdom and a member of the War Cabinet of the United Kingdom. In January 1944 he was appointed Governor of Bengal, remaining in this post until January 1946. He returned to politics in Australia in 1949 and was Minister for External Affairs from 1951 to 1960. He later became the Governor-General of Australia.
Series: CP24
The Right Honourable John Joseph Ambrose Curtin PC
Prime Minister Curtin was also Acting Minister for External Affairs in 1942, 1943 and 1945 during absences of the Minister, the Right Honourable Herbert Vere Evatt.
Series: CP258
The Right Honourable Herbert Vere Evatt PC, QC
Dr Evatt was appointed as Attorney-General and Minister for External Affairs in 1941 and held these appointments until 1949.
Series: CP7
The Honourable Sir Gordon Freeth KBE
Sir Gordon was Minister for External Affairs from February to November 1969.
Series: CP45
Patrick John Galvin AM

Mr Galvin was head of the Administrative Branch of the Department of External Affairs between 1963 and 1967. He was later appointed Officer in Charge of Internal Relations in the same department and remained in that position until 1969.

In 1969 and 1970 he served as the Director of Tourism with the Department of Trade and Industry. During 1969 he was a member of a team that negotiated the seabed boundary with Indonesia.

Series: CP338
Hugh Gilchrist

Mr Gilchrist joined the Department of External Affairs in 1945 and was posted to Jakarta from 1950 to 1952.

From 1966 to 1968 he was the Assistant Secretary of the Information and Cultural Relations Branch in the department. Following his appointment as Ambassador to Greece, he became the Assistant Secretary of the Legal and Treaties Branch, holding that position from 1972 to 1974.

In 1974 he became the First Assistant Secretary of the Consular and Legal Division of the Department of Foreign Affairs, which position he held until 1976.

Series: CP332
The Right Honourable Sir Paul Meernaa Caedwalla Hasluck KG, GCMG, GCVO, KStJ

Sir Paul Hasluck was Minister for Territories from 1951 to 1963, Minister for Defence in 1963 and 1964, and Minister for External Affairs from 1964 to 1969. He travelled widely overseas while serving in these portfolios.

He resigned as Minister for External Affairs in 1969 and was appointed Governor-General of Australia.

Series: CP115
Lieutenant Colonel William Ray Hodgson CMG, OBE
Colonel Hodgson was appointed the Assistant Secretary of the Department of External Affairs in 1934. He served as Secretary of the department from 1935 to 1945. In 1947 he became the head of the Australian Mission to the United Nations in New York.
Series: CP80
Thomas Philogonius Hoey
Mr Hoey was the Director of Radio Australia from the end of World War II until 1950.
Series: CP625
The Right Honourable Sir John McEwen PC, GCMG, CH
Sir John McEwen was the Minister for External Affairs from March to October 1940. In 1956 he became the Minister for Trade, and later the Minister for Trade and Industry. He was Acting Minister for External Affairs for brief periods during 1962 and 1965. Following Prime Minister Harold Holt's death in December 1968, Sir John became caretaker Prime Minister until 10 January 1969, when John Gorton was elected to the position.
Series: CP47
The Right Honourable Sir William McMahon CH
In 1966 Sir William McMahon was appointed Governor of the International Monetary Fund. He was Minister for External Affairs from 1969 to 1970. Sir William was Prime Minister from 1971 to 1972.
Series: CP41
The Right Honourable Sir Robert Gordon Menzies PC, KT, CH, QC
Following Casey's appointment as Governor-General, Prime Minister Menzies was Minister for External Affairs from 1960 to 1961 when Sir Garfield Barwick was appointed to the position.
Series: CP54
Sir James Plimsoll AC, CBE, KStJ
Sir James Plimsoll's distinguished diplomatic career started in the late 1940s when he became the Assistant Secretary, Department of External Affairs. He remained in that position from 1953 to 1959 and then served as Australia's Permanent Representative to the United Nations from 1959 to 1963. He was Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs from 1965 to 1970 and Ambassador to the United States of America from 1970 to 1974.
Series: CP452
The Honourable Sir Percy Claude Spender KCVO, KBE, QC
Sir Percy Spender was Minister for External Affairs from 1949 to 1951. He was appointed as the Ambassador to the United States of America from 1951 until 1958. From 1964 to 1967 he was the President of the International Court of Justice, The Hague.
Series: CP692
The Honourable Sir Frederick Harold Stewart
Sir Frederick Stewart was Minister for External Affairs from October 1940 to October 1941.
Series: CP228
Sir Arthur Harold Tange AC, CBE
Sir Arthur Tange represented Australia in many international negotiations including those involved with the United Nations Monetary and Financial Conference, Bretton Woods, USA; the United Nations Conference on International Organisation; and the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade. He was Secretary of the Department of External Affairs from 1954 to 1965, then High Commissioner to India from 1965 to 1970. On 2 March 1970 he took up duty as Secretary of the Department of Defence and held that position until his retirement in 1979.
Series: CP229


Chapter notes | All notes

31 In the context of this guide, 'Commonwealth persons' refers to individuals in the RecordSearch database who have series of records registered against their names.