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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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The Committee of Inquiry

The next phase in the struggle with Sir Hugh came when he persuaded the new Minister, the Hon Senator Jim Webster, to issue a Green Paper to stimulate discussion on the effectiveness of the services provided by the Bureau. Sir Hugh's intention was that the Green Paper would provide ammunition to further reduce the scope of the Bureau's activities. The Green Paper was issued in February 1976 and responses were required by the end of May of that year. This exercise, which would be useful in a normal situation, involved a hard-pressed Bureau in considerable additional work. The responses were to be analysed and incorporated in a Government White Paper but Sir Hugh also persuaded Jim Webster to set up a committee to inquire into the operation of the Bureau. This committee had Mr Howson as chairman with Dr John Farrands (Chief Defence Scientist, Department of Supply) and a businessman, Mr W. J. Vines.

The Bureau was involved in preparing lengthy submissions to the committee and I was personally occupied in preparing documents and appearing before the committee. I was lucky that a man of the integrity and wisdom of John Farrands was a member of the committee. I feel sure that his influence ensured that the committee's report was fair. The report of the committee found that the Bureau provided a valuable service to the community and was efficiently managed.

The Bureau's annual reports, which started in the 1968–69 financial year, gave little indication of the difficulties encountered in the years 1973 to 1977. However, in keeping with his obsession with centralising all activity through his Canberra office Sir Hugh directed that the Bureau's annual report should be included as part of a report for the whole Department. Beginning with the financial year 1973–74 the Bureau's report was reduced from the previous 80 pages to 20 pages. The Bureau's report from that of 1968–69 had been a separate publication with forewords by the Permanent Head and introductions by the Director. From 1973–74 the Bureau's reports were published as extracts from the annual report of the Department of Science without forewords by the Permanent Head or introduction by the Director.

When Sir Hugh Ennor retired in 1977 the Bureau's staff numbers had been considerably reduced and the over-centralisation of Bureau management through his Canberra office made it extremely difficult to concentrate on the program of development I had planned. During the Ennor years I had to conceal my frustration with Sir Hugh from Bureau staff in order to maintain staff morale. At no stage did I doubt that I would win the struggle with Sir Hugh.

People in Bright Sparcs - Ennor, Arnold Hughes; Farrands, John Laws

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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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