Charles Edward "Ceb" Barnes (13 November 1901 – 24 October 1998) was an Australian politician. He was a member of the Country Party and served in the House of Representatives from 1958 to 1972. He was a long-serving government minister as Minister for Territories (1963–1968) and External Territories (1968–1972), holding office under five prime ministers.

Early life

Born in Einasleigh, Queensland to wealthy grazier and racehorse breeder JHS Barnes and his wife Sarah, Barnes was raised at farms near Hughenden and Warwick, Queensland.[1] Educated in Sydney, Barnes left school at 17 to work for the Union Trustee Company.[1] A cousin of Sir Michael Bruxner, a founder of the Country Party and its long-time leader in the New South Wales parliament, Barnes was also involved in the Country Party from a young age.[2]

Barnes formed a gold mining syndicate in 1939, re-opening two old mines, the Louisa and British Lion, on the abandoned Palmer Goldfield of North Queensland. Results were disappointing, and wartime fuel rationing closed the operation in 1941.[3] Barnes enlisted in the Royal Australian Air Force on 9 November 1942, serving in Australia and New Guinea and reaching the rank of Flying Officer before his discharge on 13 September 1944.[4] Following World War II, Barnes purchased Canning Downs station from his father and developed it into a successful thoroughbred horse breeding operation. Barnes also became heavily involved in the local community, serving as a committee member of the Queensland Turf Club and president of the Warwick Show and Rodeo Society.[1]

Barnes found success on the racetrack, with one horse, Basha Felika, winning the 1951 Caulfield Cup and another, Tails, finishing third in the 1971 Melbourne Cup, and considered the second best galloper in the country, after Tulloch. During his parliamentary career, Barnes would credit his horses's success for his popularity with constituents.[5]


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