National Library of Australia
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Please refer to the collection's catalogue record for the access conditions (http://nla.gov.au/nla.cat-vn1089472).
Copying and publishing of unpublished manuscript material is subject to copyright restrictions. For such material, written permission to publish must be obtained from the copyright holder(s). Copying of unpublished material for research purposes is permissible 50 years after the death of the creator of the material.
Items from this collection should be cited as '[Title or description of manuscript item], Papers of Norman Makin, National Library of Australia, MS 7325, [box number and series and/or file number]'.
The papers of Norman Makin were donated to the Library by the Makin family in 1987.
In 1972, Makin presented the Library with his memoirs, brief biographies of ex-members of the early federal parliaments, and detailed biographies of all the speakers of the Commonwealth parliament. These are held in a small collection (15 cm) at MS 4663.
Correspondence of Makin can be found in the papers of Thomas Joseph Pettifer (MS 8568).
Makin's oral history recording is held in the Library's oral history collection at ORAL TRC 271/1&2. The first part is a monologue recorded by Makin himself, the second is an interview recorded by Suzanne Walker in 1974.
The Library holds a biographical file on Norman Makin, accessible in the Newspapers and Microforms Reading Room.
The Library also holds a number of Makin's published works. Please refer to the Library's online catalogue.
MS 7325 consists of a further consignment of material that was received from the Makin family in 1987. The papers were arranged and boxed in 1987 and listing was completed in February 2008.
Where appropriate, original file titles have been retained. However, the titles of some of the files do not match their contents, as their containers appear to have been reused for new material without the owner altering the original title. Manuscripts staff have assigned appropriate File titles where the original may be misleading.
Norman John Oswald Makin (31 March 1889-20 July 1982), was a Cabinet minister, Member and Speaker of the House of Representatives, and a diplomat. In his private life, he was a lay preacher in the Methodist and later Uniting Church.
Makin was born in Petersham, NSW, the son of an itinerant worker. He received a primary education in Broken Hill, then moved with his family to Adelaide, where he became a metal-worker. He was active in the Australian Society of Engineers and the Australian Labor Party from an early age. From 1918-1919 he was president of the South Australian branch of the Labor Party.
Makin was elected to the Adelaide seat of Hindmarsh in 1919, a seat he held until 1946. He spent ten years in Opposition before the election of the Scullin government. He was Speaker of the House of Representatives from 1919-1931, in which role he declined to wear the traditional wig and gown.
During the 1930s, Makin was Secretary of the Labor Caucus. When Labor returned to government under John Curtin in 1941, he became Minister for the Navy and Minister for Munitions. In 1945 he also became Minister for Aircraft Production.
Prime Minister Chifley appointed Makin as the first Australian ambassador to the United States of America in 1946, a post he held until 1951. Prime Minister Menzies retained him in the post after the change of government in 1949. In 1946 he served as the first president of the United Nations Security Council.
At the 1954 election Makin captured the marginal Liberal seat of Sturt for Labor, and in 1955 he shifted to the new seat of Bonython. He retired at the 1963 election but remained active in Labor affairs for many years. He died in Adelaide in 1982 at the age of 93. He was the last surviving member of John Curtin's Cabinet.
Makin was awarded honorary Doctorates of Laws by the Universities of Sydney, Syracuse and Ohio. He was made an Officer of the Order of Australia in 1980.