PM Transcripts

Transcripts from the Prime Ministers of Australia

Transcript 2382


Photo of McMahon, William

McMahon, William

Period of Service: 10/03/1971 to 05/12/1972

More information about McMahon, William on The National Archive website.

Release Date: 12/03/1971

Release Type: Media Release

Transcript ID: 2382

FOR PRESS: PM No. 29/ 1071
Statement by the Prime Minister, Ur. William McMaho.
His Excellency the Governor-General in Council has today establihod
two new Departments of State and abolished two existing Departments.
The two new Departments are
T'he Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.
T ae Departmenit of the Vice-President of the Executive Council.
The Prime Minister's Department and the Department of the Cabinet Office hav,-.
been abolished. The changes in departmental structure are designed to support the operation
of the Cabinet system of government. As I have already said, I propose to develop
this system to its full extent as to provide scope for the expression of its collective
wisdom, and to use to the fullest extent the expert knowledge and experience within
individual portfolios. The Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet will be central to
this process. It will be the task of the Department to provide the Secretary to Cabinet
and to the Committees of Cabinet, and the associated Secretariat machinery, and to
provide briefing to the Prime Minister in relation to matters involving him as
Chairman of Cabinet and Head of Government. The Department will be responsible
also for exchanging information with and maintaining close relations with Ministers
and Departments as part of the co-ordinating process.
Sir John Bunting, the present Secretary to Cabinet, has been appointed
Secretary to the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. He will continue
as Secretary to Cabinet.
The new Department of the Vice-President of the Executive Council will
undertake a number of functions previously located in the Prime Minister's
Department and in the Treasury. It will be responsible for a wide range of matters.
A list of functions already approved is attached and the allocation to the Department
of certain other functions is to be examined.
The change will not involve the Executive Council itself, which is
separate from and completely independent of the new Department. / 2

The arrangements which have now been made will require re-allotment
of staff. Sir John Bunting will be taking up this matter with the Chairman of the
Public Service Board.
I have been in touch with Sir Lenox Hewitt and have placed before him
certain alternatives for his consideration.
I want to pay high tribute to him for his service as Secretary of the
Prime Minister's Department. He will, of course, retain his status as a senior
level Permanent Head.
CANBERRA 12 March 1971

1. National Library.
2, Archives.
3. Australian Government Publishing Service including
the Government Printing Office.
4. Council of Abbriginal Affairs.
Institute of Aboriginal Studies.
6. Office of the Environment.
7. Film and Television Training School.
8. World Expositions.
9. Commonwealth Literary Fund.
Art Advisory Board.
11. National Gallery.
12. Historic Memorials Committee.
13. Council of Performing Arts.
14. Assistance to Performers Advisory B oard.
Grants to National Organisations.
16. National Radiation Advisory Committee.

Transcript 2382