Charles Barnes

Charles Edward Barnes (1901–1998), Australian minister responsible for PNG from 1963-72. Educated at Sydney Grammar School, Barnes served with the RAAF in PNG during WW II. He held the Queensland seat of McPherson for the Country Party 1958-74 and succeeded Sir Paul Hasluck as Minister for Territories from 1963-68. In 1968 the Territories portfolio was cut in half and Barnes was concerned with only External Territories (almost entirely PNG) from 1968 to 1972. Barnes discouraged the development of political parties. He believed that economic development was an essential foundation for political development. To accommodate the highlanders’ fear of being dominated by Papuans after Independence, he encouraged them to believe that Australia could delay independence for decades.

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