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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



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Successes and Struggles with Ministers and Permanent Heads (continued)

The overall political and bureaucratic picture began to change when Sir Robert Menzies retired in January 1966. The procession of Prime Ministers which followed Sir Robert's retirement after 16 years of continuous service saw Harold Holt as PM from January 1966 to December 1967, John McEwan from December 1967 to January 1968, John Gorton from January 1968 to March 1971, William McMahon from March 1971 to December 1972, Gough Whitlam from December 1972 to November 1975 and Malcolm Fraser thereafter.

The development of the Bureau made steady progress from 1963 to 1970 with Dick Kingsland as Permanent Head and during the term of G. Warwick Smith in that position from 1970 to 1972. Peter Nixon succeeded Doug Anthony as Minister for the Interior from October 1967 to 1971 and Ralph Hunt occupied the position from 1971 to 1972. Peter Nixon was very formal and business-like but supported our initiatives, as did Ralph Hunt who was relaxed and very friendly. The first 10 years of my direction of the Bureau had been enjoyable and rewarding.

The Whitlam years from 1973 to 1975 were characterised by a somewhat turbulent political and bureaucratic environment, contrasting with the relative calm of the previous 10 years. I welcomed the news that under the new Labor Government the Bureau would be transferred to the Department of Science with Sir Hugh Ennor as Permanent Head. From early 1973 we had the Hon W. Morrison, a former public servant in the Department of Foreign Affairs as our Minister. It soon became apparent that the new Labor Government felt the need to make a radical overhaul of the Public Service.

Sir Hugh Ennor was a complex character, and with his bluff, forthright, robust and somewhat cynical manner reminded me of the film comedian W. C. Fields, whom I greatly admired. On social occasions I found Sir Hugh highly entertaining with a fund of amusing anecdotes and a hail-fellow-well-met attitude. As I had discovered from his comments on my proposal for research scientists in the Bureau, he had a highly negative attitude to research in Public Service establishments. It was obvious that he believed the Bureau, Antarctic Division and the Analytical Laboratories, for which he now had responsibility, had been given too much authority and needed to be brought to heel.

Organisations in Australian Science at Work - Frosterley Club

People in Bright Sparcs - Ennor, Arnold Hughes; Kingsland, Richard

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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
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