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Transcripts from the Prime Ministers of Australia

Transcript 10129


Photo of Howard, John

Howard, John

Period of Service: 11/03/1996 to 03/12/2007

More information about Howard, John on The National Archive website.

Release Date: 13/10/1996

Release Type: Media Release

Transcript ID: 10129

The Assistant Treasurer, Senator Jim Short, has tendered his resignation from
the Ministry. I have accepted that resignation.
Correspondence between us, which explains the new circumstances which have
promoted the resignation is attached. Senator Short first advised me of these
new circumstances during a telephone conversation yesterday.
His resignation is a source of deep regret for me. Senator Short has been a hard
working and effective minister. At all times he has behaved with complete
honesty and integrity. Not even his harshest critics in recent days have said
that he lacked either of these qualities. I have decided to appoint
Senator Rod Kemp to the position of Assistant Treasurer. He will retain the
position of Manager of Government Business in the Senate. He will be assisted
in that role by Senator Ian Campbell.
The new Parliamentary Secretary to replace Senator Kemp now that he has
bBeeanl ratppointed to the Ministry will be Mr Michael Ronaldson, the member for
His Excellency the Governor-General has indicated to me that the swearing in
of the new Minister and Parliamentary Secretary can take place tomorrow.
13 OCT 1996

13 October 1996 CANBERRA
Senator the Hon. Jim Short
Assistant Treasurer
Parliament House
My dear Minister
I have your letter of yesterday advising of a specific approval which you
had given, as Assistant Treasurer, to an application by the ANZ Banking
Group for the grant of a banking licence to ANZ Grindlays Bank
Limited. Given that you had not recalled this specific act dealing with the ANZ
when we held our discussions last Wednesday, I agree with you that the
circumstances of the matter have now changed.
With considerable sadness, therefore, I feel I must accept your
resignation. At no stage have you acted dishonestly or improperly. The ANZ
approval itself was a routine matter. You followed the advice of both the
Reserve Bank and The Treasury.
I thank you for your dedicated work as Assistant Treasurer over the past
seven months. In that role and, in particular, as a member of the
Expenditure Review Committee, you played a crucial part in putting
together the first Budget of the new Government which has won such
wide respect in the community.

You may be assured that your qualities of integrity and commitment are
widely admired amongst your colleagues.
With warm personal regards to both you and Jan,
Yours sincerely

Tecphosc ( 06) 277 IM~
Foxiuift ( 06) M7 4125
12 October 1996
The Ron John Roward WP
Prime Minister
O Parliament House
Dear Prim Minister
I refer to the events of recet days coucering my longstandinag shzeoding in the ANZ Bank. As
I haVe already advised you, I sold my shareholdiug onth emarket oni Thursday, 10 October, and will
be donating to charity the after-tax profit derived from holding t& e sbares between mid March 1996
and 10 October.
In the past day, my staff have beezn checking the hundreds of Ministeral approvals I have made
since becoming Assistant Treasurer.
In the area of the administ in of the banldng laws, I have given several dozen approvals. The
check has revealed tha~ one of thes approvals related to the ANZ Banking, Group. In June 1996,. 1
gave approval to a request by the ANZ Banking Group to the at of a banking licence to XNZ
GlrindlAYs Bank Limited pursuant to the Lanae's movc from the UK to Australia as purt of a
consolidation of the ANZ Blanking Group's activities.
The request wa rouine, and my approval was given on the recommendation of both the Reserve
Bank arnd the Treasury. There were no grounds on which the request might have been decided
duffermitly. My approval was influenced i no way whatsoever by the fact of my sharholding in
the ANZ Bank.
When I spoke with you on Wednesday evening, I had not recalled having given this particular
approval and simlilarly during the Senat sittings on Thursday.
Now that myr attcnion has been, drawn to that approvaL, I feel that the circumlstances of the mater
have changed. In the light of this, and having given the deepest consideration to all the
circumnstances, I have decided to tender to you my resignaiion as Assistant Treasure.
Ih avc sought % bioughoumt y lfeto act aall times with high integrity. My decision to resign afrera
careless and personally distressing oversight reflects this puiniciple-

I do so with the deepest sadness. After mor than elevn years in Opposition, most of then as a
samor Shadow Ministwr. I was greatly privileged and honourd to have been chosen by you in
March to become a Minist in the fist Howard Government I believe I have made an important
contribution to the Government in its first months, and I very much reget that I will now be leaving
the Ministry.
In doing so, I assure you and the Government of my continuing total suppo, and I extnd to you
every best wish for many years to come as an outsmandng Prime Ministe of our great naion.
Yours sincerely

Transcript 10129