Clive Evatt

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Clive Evatt

QC
Member of the New South Wales Parliament
for Hurstville
In office
18 March 1939 16 February 1959
Preceded by James Webb
Succeeded by Bill Rigby
Personal details
Born(1900-06-06)6 June 1900
East Maitland, Colony of New South Wales
Died15 September 1984(1984-09-15) (aged 84)
Darlinghurst, New South Wales, Australia
Political party Labor Party
Other political
affiliations
Industrial Labor Party
Independent
Spouse(s)Marjorie Andreas
Relations H. V. Evatt (brother)
Sir George Evatt (uncle)
Children Elizabeth Evatt
Penelope Seidler
Clive Evatt, jnr
Residence Evatt House
Alma mater RMC, Duntroon
University of Sydney
Military service
AllegianceAustralia
Branch/service Australian Army
Years of service1918(?)-22
Rank Lieutenant

Clive Raleigh Evatt QC (6 June 1900 – 15 September 1984) was an Australian politician, barrister and raconteur. He was a member of the New South Wales Legislative Assembly from 1939 until 1959. At various times he sat as a member of the Industrial Labor Party, Labor Party and as an independent.

Contents

Early life

Clive Raleigh Evatt was born in East Maitland, the son of an immigrant publican who died when Evatt was one year old. His middle name was given in honour of his first cousin Raleigh Evatt, the son of his uncle Major-General Sir George Evatt. One of eight brothers, including H. V. Evatt, he was educated at Fort Street Boys' High School. [1]

Evatt's family prevented him from enlisting in the First AIF, but allowed him to enrol in the Royal Military College, Duntroon from which he graduated as a lieutenant in 1921. He resigned from the army the following year to study law at the University of Sydney. While at university, he played Rugby league for University and New South Wales. Evatt graduated and was admitted to the New South Wales Bar in 1926. [2]

He married Marjorie Andreas, the daughter of Harry Andreas of Leuralla, in 1928 and they had three children: Elizabeth Evatt AC ; Penelope Seidler AM and defamation barrister Clive Evatt Jnr. In 1940 the Evatt family built Evatt House in Wahroonga, their home until the death of Clive and Marjorie Evatt in 1984. [3]

Evatt's career as a barrister advanced rapidly and he was appointed a King's Counsel in 1935. He specialized in Workers' Compensation cases but also appeared in criminal cases, most notably in the Shark Arm case, where he successfully defended Patrick Brady. [2] [4]

Political career

In March 1939 he successfully contested the by-election caused by the death of James Webb, the member for Hurstville in the Legislative Assembly. [5] Evatt had been endorsed by the Industrial Labor Party of Bob Heffron and defeated a candidate of the Australian Labor Party (NSW) supported by Jack Lang. This and a subsequent defeat at a by-election in Waverley signalled the end of Lang's term as Leader of the Australian Labor Party in New South Wales. The Industrial Labor Party was dissolved and Evatt was admitted to the Labor Party caucus when Lang was replaced as Labor leader by William McKell who subsequently led the ALP to victory at the 1941 election. [2]

Evatt served in the governments of William McKell, James McGirr and Joseph Cahill as Minister for Education (1941–1944), Minister for Tourism (1946–1947), Minister for Housing (1947–1950 and 1952–1954) and Colonial Secretary (1950–1952). [1] As Housing minister, Evatt presided over the significant expansion of public housing administered by the Housing Commission and initiated various schemes of slum clearance in inner Sydney, such as in Redfern. [6] [7]

Tensions within the New South Wales branch of the Australian Labor Party leading up to the 1950s party split led to Cahill forcing Evatt from the cabinet. [8] Evatt was expelled from the Labor Party on 13 July 1956 after he voted in parliament against a caucus decision to increase tram fares. [9] [2] He fought the subsequent election as an independent Labor candidate but he was defeated by the endorsed ALP candidate Bill Rigby. [1] [2]

Life after politics

After leaving politics he continued to work as a barrister with a large Worker's Compensation and defamation practice.

Evatt died at Darlinghurst on 15 September 1984, survived by his three children. [2] His son was also named Clive and was also a barrister. [10] [11] [12]

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References

  1. 1 2 3 "The Hon. Clive Raleigh Evatt (1900-1984)". Former Members of the Parliament of New South Wales . Retrieved 30 April 2019.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Cunnen, Chris; McLaughlin. John. "Evatt, Clive Raleigh (1900–1984)". Mr Clive Evatt (1900 - 1984). Australian Dictionary of Biography . Australian National University . Retrieved 12 January 2009.
  3. "Evatt House". New South Wales State Heritage Register . Office of Environment and Heritage. H01711. Retrieved 2 June 2018.
  4. "MR. CLIVE EVATT IS MADE K.C." The Labor Daily (3754). New South Wales, Australia. 17 December 1935. p. 8. Retrieved 7 April 2018 via National Library of Australia.
  5. "HURSTVILLE BY ELECTION". The Propeller. XXIX (1463). New South Wales, Australia. 23 March 1939. p. 3. Retrieved 7 April 2018 via National Library of Australia.
  6. "REDFERN SLUM CLEARANCE". The Australian Worker . 56 (27). New South Wales, Australia. 2 July 1947. p. 3. Retrieved 7 April 2018 via National Library of Australia.
  7. "N.S.W. GOVERNMENT HOUSING PROGRESS". The Australian Worker. 56 (16). New South Wales, Australia. 16 April 1947. p. 9. Retrieved 7 April 2018 via National Library of Australia.
  8. "Clive Evatt Resigns From Cabinet PREMIER FORCES A SHOWDOWN". The Newcastle Sun (11, 177). New South Wales, Australia. 31 March 1954. p. 1. Retrieved 7 April 2018 via National Library of Australia.
  9. "Australian Political Chronicle, July-December 1956". Australian Journal of Politics and History. 2 (2): 231. 1957.
  10. Clive Junior's middle name was Andreas
  11. "Clive Evatt: King of the Plaintiffs' Defamation Bar". 9 August 2018.
  12. Whitbourn, Michaela (3 August 2018). "High-profile defamation barrister Clive Evatt dies". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 6 August 2018.
New South Wales Legislative Assembly
Preceded by
James Webb
Member for Hurstville
1939 1959
Succeeded by
Bill Rigby
Political offices
Preceded by
David Drummond
Minister for Education
1941 1944
Succeeded by
Robert Heffron
New title Minister in Charge of Tourist Activities and Immigration
1946 1947
Succeeded by
Frank Finnan
Preceded by
James McGirr
Minister for Housing
1947 1950
Succeeded by
Gus Kelly
Vacant
Title last held by
Eric Spooner
Assistant Treasurer
1947 1953
Vacant
Title next held by
George Freudenstein
Preceded by
James McGirr
Colonial Secretary of New South Wales
1947 1950
Succeeded by
Gus Kelly
Preceded by
Clarrie Martin
Minister for Co-operative Societies
1950 1954
Succeeded by
Gus Kelly
Preceded by
Claude Matthews
Minister for Housing
1952 1954
Succeeded by
Gus Kelly