PM Transcripts

Transcripts from the Prime Ministers of Australia

Transcript 215


Photo of Menzies, Robert

Menzies, Robert

Period of Service: 19/12/1949 to 26/01/1966

More information about Menzies, Robert on The National Archive website.

Release Date: 13/09/1960

Release Type: Media Release

Transcript ID: 215

P. M. No. 3j/ 1960
Statement by the Prime Minister, the Rt. Hon. R. G. Menzies
The Prime Minister, Mr. Menzies, today announced the
appointment of a new Chairman of the Commonwealth Grants
Commission, the statutory body ihich makes recommendations to
the Commonwealth for the payment of special grants to the
claimant States at Present Western Australia and Tasmania.
Sir Alexander Fitzgerald, who has been the
Commission's Chairman for 15 years does not wish to be reappointed
after his present term expires on 30th of this mont'.,
The Commonwealth Government has appointed Mr. P. D.
Phillips, of Melbourne as Chairman of the Commission for a
period of three years commencing on 1st October, 1960. Mr.
Phillips has had a distinguished career at the Bar from which he
retired in 1958. He retains a lectureship in law at Melbourne
University. The new Chairman has a wide knowledge of Commonwealth
and State affairs and has been active in matters relating
to public administration. He was Chairman of the Victorian
Transport Regulation 3oard from 1934 to 1937; Deputy Chairman
of the Commonwealth Liquid Fuel Control Board in 1944/ 45. He
has also served as Chairman of the Australian Institute of
International Affairs and of the Victorian group of the
Institute of Public Administration and as President of the
Victorian branch of the Economic Society.
The Commonwealth has re-appointed Sir Alexander Reid,
of Perth as a member of the Grants Commission for
a similar three-year term. The other member is Professor Wilfred
Prest of Melbourne. The Prime Minister said that as Chairman of the
Commonwealth Grants Commission, Sir Alexander Fitzgerald had
served Australia with distinguished competence. He had taken up
the post towards the end of 1945, which meant that his work
spanned the whole period since the uniform tax system had been
established on a permanent basis. Those years had seen immense
changes in the Australian economy and in the relationships of the
States with the Commonwealth and with one another. At every
stage new difficulties had emerged and these had often had a
severe effect upon the financially weaker members of the Federation
with whose position the Grants Commission was especially
concerned. With his colleagues, Sir Alexander had brought to the
solution of these probelms great skill, tact and impartiality.
Mr. Menzies concluded that the Commonwealth had always had the
utmost confidence in Sir Alexander's judgment and so, he believed,
did all the State Governments with whom he had to deal.
13th September, 1960.

Transcript 215