RATTIGAN, Godfrey Alfred

  1. Service Details
  2. Personal Details
  3. Unit and Rank Details
  4. Notes
  5. Sources

Service Details

Branch of Service
World War II
Date of Enlistment
Date of Discharge
Place of Enlistment
Melbourne, Victoria

Personal Details

Other Name(s)
Known as 'Alf'
Date of Birth
Place of Birth
Kalgoorlie, Western Australia
Address (at enlistment)
Euree Street, Reid ACT
Public servant
Next of Kin
Winifred Rattigan (wife), Euree Street, Reid ACT

Unit and Rank Details

Final Rank
Final Unit
HMAS Melville


Alf Rattigan joined the Royal Australian Navy as a 13 year old cadet Midshipman in 1925 at Jervis Bay; a long way from his home in Kalgoorlie, Western Australia. He graduated after six years but cost saving measures caused by the Great Depression meant his appointment was terminated in January 1932. He joined the Customs Department in Fremantle and worked his way up to becoming Assistant Comptroller General of Customs in 1954-55. He transferred to the Department of Trade and became Deputy Secretary in 1959. In 1960 he returned to Customs as Comptroller General until appointed head of the Tariff Board in 1963.

At the Tariff Board he advocated the reform of Australia's industry protection policies by ensuring that tariffs were "genuinely concerned with making industry economic and efficient". This brought him into frequent conflict with his protectionist leaning ministers such as Sir John McEwen. However, Rattigan was re-appointed in 1968 and when the Tariff Board was replaced with the Industries Assistance Commission in 1973, he stayed on as chairman until 1976.

Ill health forced his retirement but he became a Visiting Fellow at the Australian National University and authored several books on the Tariff Board and the IAC. He died on 29 February 2000 in Canberra.

During the war he was appointed a Sub-Lieutenant in the RAN Volunteer Reserve on 27 February 1942. He was made an Officer in the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 1960 for his work at Trade, a Commander in the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 1964 for his work as Chairman of the Tariff Board and an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) in 1992 for his public service.


WWII Nominal Roll http://www.ww2roll.gov.au
ACT Electoral Rolls 1916 to 1967 http://canberraheritageportal.org/default.php
NAA RecordSearch
The Canberra Times - 26 September 1944, 3 March 2000 (obituary by John Farquharson)

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