House of Representatives Practice, 6th edition – HTML version

Appendix 9 - Number of Ministers—statutory variations

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YearNumber [1]Authority
19017Constitution, s. 65
19158Ministers of State Act 1915
19179Ministers of State Act 1917
193510Ministers of State Act 1935
193811Ministers of State Act 1938
194119Ministers of State Act 1941 [2]
195120Ministers of State Act 1951 [3]
195622Ministers of State Act 1956
196425Ministers of State Act 1964
196726Ministers of State Act 1967
197127Ministers of State Act 1971
198730Ministers of State Amendment Act (No. 2) 1987
200042 [4]Ministers of State and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2000

1. This figure refers to Ministers of State in terms of ss. 64–66 of the Constitution—that is, appointed to administer a department of State. In earlier years Executive Councillors were sometimes appointed as ‘Ministers’ who did not administer a department—e.g. ‘Minister without Portfolio’ or ‘Minister in charge of’ certain responsibilities. The Vice President of the Executive Council did not administer a department until the early 1930s.
2. The number of Ministers had been previously increased to 12 by a regulation under the National Security Act (H.R. Deb. (24.6.41) 322-3). The Ministers of State Act 1941 increased the number of Ministers to 19 as a special provision during the war; this provision was repealed and the Act amended retaining the number at 19 by the Ministers of State Act 1946.
3. The consolidated Ministers of State Act 1952 retained the number at 20.
4. Ministers designated as Parliamentary Secretaries not to exceed 12 and those not so designated not to exceed 30.