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100 years ago....

Burley Griffin and Government fall out

Jan 7, 1921

Walter Burley Griffin has declined to become a member of the advisory committee working on the design of the city to be built at Canberra. Mr Griffin's appointment was terminated on December 31 after disagreements with the Prime Minister, Billy Hughs, and talks between him and the Ministry collapsed last week over the Ministry's insistence that Mr Griffin should act in a purely advisory capacity on the committee.

Mr Griffiin said he was entitled to be given the authority to see that his plans were not spoilt by political interference, and that he should have the right to actively supervise the growth of the city. Despite further efforts to arrive at an agreement acceptable to both parties, the designer has said that he will not accept the terms under which re-engagement was offered at 1.000 pounds a year.

Mr Griffin was appointed Federal Capital Director of Design and Construction in October 1913 and took up his duties in May 1914. Up to now, Mr Griffin has been devoting half his time to work associated with the bush capital, and the remainder to his private practice in Melbourne.

Article from "Chronicle of the 20th Century" ISBN 1 872031 80 3

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