Howson, former Commonwealth Minister and Liberal Member of Parliament recalls his career in State and Federal politics, detailing many of the events later published in his diaries. He discusses his family and early life in England; family firm Foy & Gibson; service with Fleet Air Arm, 1940-46; campaigning for Conservatives, 1945; move to Melbourne, 1946; joining Liberal Party, 1948; early political campaigning, Victoria; preselection; sectarian divisions; LP State Executive, 1951-63; relations with Country Party in State Parliament; 1954, 55 elections; 1956 African tour; Mau Mau; Petrov; DLP-LP relations; Party Committees; import licence trafficking; Menzies' Governments & issues; Suez; Evatt; elections of early 1960s; McEwen, conflict with McMahon; TFX (F111); Church & state.
Howson discusses Parliamentary procedures; Gorton; Barwick; Minister for Air, 1964-68; conscription; Gulf of Tonkin incident; VIP aircraft controversy; Vietnam; British withdrawal from Asia; Cabinet functioning, decision-making, leaks; CP pay offs; McEwen-McMahon policy clash; conflict in Reserve Bank/Treasury economic analysis; Holt disappearance; subsequent leadership struggle; Territorial Sea Bill; McEwen-Fraser clash over Gorton; Minister for Environment, Aborigines and the Arts, 1971-72; Coombs & Aboriginal policy; Stockholm Conference & nuclear testing; Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, 1960-71.
Recorded at the home of Mr Howson, South Yarra, Vic. on 14 November and 14 December 1973.
The Howson diaries : the life of politics / Peter Howson; edited by Don Aitkin. Ringwood, Vic. : Viking, 1984.