Author – Robert Hyslop
It is fitting that the two most important works on the organisation and administration of the Royal Australian Navy should be written by a Secretary and an Assistant Secretary of the Navy. These works are “Genesis of the Royal Australian navy” by G.L. Macandie and Australian Naval Administration 1900-1939″ by Robert Hyslop. The former published in 1949, covers the period up to World War 1 and the latter, which has just been published, covers the period up to World War II. Robert Hyslop, a member of the Society, has produced what must be regarded as a standard work for every serious student of the RAN, whether he be uniformed or otherwise.
Wisely, the author has devoted the first chapter of his book to a summary of the Navy in Australia from 1788 to Federation. The remaining eight chapters of the book give a step by step account of the development of the organisation and administration of the Navy. Mr. Hyslop has used rare introspection in documenting the political background of decisions affecting administration. Many of these decisions are obvious in problems confronting the Service today.
Chapters have been allotted to Organisational Structure and Administrative System, Financial Management, Personnel Care, Building and Maintenance of Ships, Naval Policy, Relations with the Admiralty, Ministers and their Advisors. The final chapter, “A Conclusion: Statesmen and Sailors”, lives up to its title.
The release of Mr. Hyslop’s book coincides with the integration of the Department of the Navy into the tri-service Department of Defence and over 73 years survive in its new surroundings.
“Australian Naval Administration 1900-1939” is the product of of a fellowship awarded by the Commonwealth Public Service Board in 1968. The author is a master craftsman in his chosen sphere and the book is a worthy contribution to a field of Australian history which has been barely tapped.