Page 1146
Previous/Next Page
Federation and MeteorologyBureau of Meteorology
Table of Contents

Memories of the Bureau, 1946 to 1962





Chapter 1: The Warren Years, 1946 to 1950

Chapter 2: International Meteorology

Chapter 3: The Timcke Years, 1950 to 1955

Chapter 4: A Year at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Chapter 5: The Dwyer Years, 1955 to 1962

Chapter 6: A Springboard for the Future
My Springboard
Proposal for More Staff
Efforts to Improve Scientific Status of the Bureau
Gibbs-Priestley-White Prospectus
Successes and Struggles with Ministers and Permanent Heads
Submission to Royal Commission on Government Administration
The Committee of Inquiry
Achievements 1962 to 1978

Appendix 1: References

Appendix 2: Reports, Papers, Manuscripts

Appendix 3: Milestones

Appendix 4: Acknowledgements

Appendix 5: Summary by H. N. Warren of the Operation of the Meteorological Section of Allied Air Headquarters, Brisbane, 1942–45



Contact us

Proposal for More Staff

It soon became apparent that the approval for an expansion of services and facilities which Len Dwyer had obtained from Government would require a significant increase in staff. In 1963 Allan Atkins, Allen Bath and I made a careful and detailed evaluation of the requirements and produced a report for the Permanent Head and the Minister for the Interior.

I was disappointed when Allan Atkins achieved promotion to a senior position in the Northern Territory administration but it was obvious that his talents deserved a wider field of development. In April 1963 Dick Kingsland had replaced W. McLaren as Permanent Head of our Department and in December 1963 Hon John Gorton replaced the Hon Gordon Freeth as Minister for the Interior. In March 1964 a Cabinet reshuffle saw Gorton (later to become Prime Minister) promoted as Minister for Works, being replaced as Minister for the Interior by the youthful Hon Douglas Anthony.

Dick Kingsland and Doug Anthony were an ideal combination of bosses. They kept in close touch with Bureau activities and were especially interested in Bureau services for the general community and the special weather-sensitive sectors such as aviation and primary industry. They relied on the Bureau to keep them fully informed of our activities but placed complete trust in our management of Bureau affairs. They took some convincing that my submission for staff increases and upgrading of the Bureau's scientific status should be put to Cabinet and examined draft submissions in detail, but on 11 May 1964 the Minister submitted Submission No 194 to Cabinet.

Our supporting documents for the Cabinet submission, printed on glossy paper, were regarded with some scepticism by our more experienced Public Service colleagues who told us that their appearance would create a bad impression with Cabinet Ministers. The submission was approved by Cabinet except for one important item which will be discussed under the next heading.

The approved staff increase was the beginning of a somewhat sensational growth in Bureau numbers which continued until the early 1970s when the number of staff was more than double that when I had taken office. This was a time when the Bureau was attempting to introduce modern technology in its operations, an initiative which required new systems to be developed and proved in parallel with the operation of existing systems. This parallel operation was necessarily required until the new systems proved successful, and the old could be discarded.

People in Bright Sparcs - Bath, Allen Tristram; Dwyer, Leonard Joseph; Kingsland, Richard

Previous Page Bureau of Meteorology Next Page

Gibbs, W. J. 1999 'A Very Special Family: Memories of the Bureau of Meteorology 1946 to 1962', Metarch Papers, No. 13 May 1999, Bureau of Meteorology

© Online Edition Australian Science and Technology Heritage Centre and Bureau of Meteorology 2001
Published by Australian Science and Technology Heritage Centre, using the Web Academic Resource Publisher