Dr. Jim Forbes, Federal politician for the Liberal Party and Commonwealth Minister for the Army and Minister for Assisting the Treasury, 1963-65, Minister for Health, 1966-71, Minister for Immigration, 1971-72, talks of his reasons for joining the army; Darwin, 1943; 2nd Mountain Battery; armaments; his Military Cross award; Japan; the victory contingent to the UK; his early interest in politics; Adelaide University; Magdalen College, Oxford; campaigning for election to the seat of Kingston; pre-selection for Barker; working in the electorate; using the Press; his achievements as Member for Barker; visits to the electorate; local functions; his maiden speech; his experience as a backbencher; socialising of the Members in Parliament; his trip to Indonesia and Malaysia with Menzies; Menzies' control of the Party; selection as Minister for the Army; relations with the Defence Dept.; Malcolm Fraser as Minister for the Army; expansion of the Army to meet worsening South-East Asian situation; improvements to service conditions; conscription; the gap between medical charges and benefits; the introduction of Medibank.
Forbes discusses his appointment of Armstrong as the Secretary of the Dept. of Immigration; reduction of the Immigration program; the Immigration Control Association; the 1972 election; the election of the Deputy Leader; the election of shadow ministers; his experience as Shadow Minister for Defence; defence policy; the amalgamation of defence group departments; Labor and the Services vote; the 1974 election; Gorton's defeat; Fraser's deposing of Snedden in 1975.
Alexander James Forbes was the Liberal Federal Member for Barker from 1956-1975. In this period he served as Minister for Immigration, 1971-72, Minister for Health, 1966-71, Minister for the Army and Minister Assisting the Treasurer, 1963-65. He was also a member of the Council of the National Library of Australia from 1979 and later its Chairman from 1982 to 1985. He was Chairman of the Commonwealth Serum Laboratories Commission from 1978-84.