James Mitchell (Australian politician)

Last updated

Sir James Mitchell

Sir James Mitchell.jpg
13th Premier of Western Australia
In office
17 May 1919 16 April 1924
Preceded by Sir Hal Colebatch
Succeeded by Philip Collier
In office
24 April 1930 24 April 1933
Preceded by Philip Collier
Succeeded by Philip Collier
Constituency Northam
20th Governor of Western Australia
In office
5 October 1948 30 June 1951
Preceded by Sir William Campion
Succeeded by Sir Charles Gairdner
Personal details
Born(1866-04-27)27 April 1866
Dardanup, Western Australia, Australia
Died26 July 1951(1951-07-26) (aged 85)
Glen Mervyn siding, Mumballup, Western Australia, Australia
Political party Nationalist
Spouse(s)Clara Robinson Spencer (m.1888–1949; her death)

Sir James Mitchell, GCMG (27 April 1866 – 26 July 1951) was an Australian politician. He was the 13th Premier of Western Australia, serving on two occasions, the Lieutenant-Governor of Western Australia for 15 years, and the 22nd Governor of Western Australia from 1948 to 1951.

Contents

Early life and family

Mitchell, the eldest of thirteen children, was educated at Bunbury, Western Australia and in 1885 joined the Western Australian Bank. He later was a farmer.

Mitchell married Clara Robinson Spencer, daughter of future MP William Spencer in 1888. They were married for 61 years until Clara's death in October 1949.

Political career

In 1906, the state premier Newton Moore made Mitchell an honorary minister for agricultural expansion. In 1909 he was promoted, being given the portfolios of lands and agriculture. He recruited William Lowrie as director of agriculture.

On 17 May 1919, Premier Hal Colebatch resigned and Mitchell succeeded to the position. Mitchell won the 1921 election and remained premier until 1924. During this period he garnered much publicity for his strong support for the Soldier-Settlement Scheme in the south-west of Western Australia. As a result of his enthusiastic promotion of this scheme (which ultimately proved very costly in terms of money and resources) he was dubbed "Moo-Cow" Mitchell by the local press. [1] Nonetheless the establishment of a dairy industry in Western Australia can be largely credited to him. He also proved adept at dealing with the divisions between the Nationalist Party and the Country Party.

Mitchell's election to a second term in office coincided with the onset of the Great Depression. His government was defeated at the 1933 state elections, in addition to which he became the first Western Australian premier to lose both a state election and his parliamentary seat (of Northam).

As a result of financial difficulties during the Great Depression, Tasmania had appointed a lieutenant governor in the 1930s. With the approval of the major political parties, in July 1933 Mitchell was appointed Lieutenant-Governor of Western Australia. This meant that, although he resided in Government House, Perth, and was governor in all but name, he drew no salary, thus making a reduced demand on the public purse at a time when ordinary people were under severe restraint. He held the position until he was finally appointed Governor of Western Australia in 1948. Mitchell was the first Australian-born Governor of Western Australia; he remains the only person to have served as both premier and governor of the state. He retired from the post in June 1951. One month later he died in his railway coach during an overnight stop at Glen Mervyn siding, about 26 kilometres (16 mi) from Donnybrook, Western Australia, while on a tour of the southwest of the state. He was 85. [2] [3]

Legacy

The Mitchell Freeway was named in his honour, as was Sir James Mitchell Park in South Perth and Sir James Mitchell National Park. The botanist Charles Gardner named the rapier featherflower, Verticordia mitchelliana in his honour. [4]

Related Research Articles

Premier of Western Australia Head of the executive branch of the state government of Western Australia

The Premier of Western Australia is the head of the executive branch of government in the Australian state of Western Australia. The Premier has similar functions in Western Australia to those performed by the Prime Minister of Australia at the national level, subject to the different Constitutions.

Geoff Gallop

Geoffrey Ian GallopAC is Professor and Director of the Graduate School of Government at the University of Sydney and former chairman of the Australian Republican Movement. He was the 27th Premier of Western Australia.

Walter James

Sir Walter Hartwell James, was the fifth Premier of Western Australia and an ardent supporter of the federation movement.

Newton Moore

Major General Sir Newton James Moore, was an Australian politician, businessman and army officer. He served as the eighth Premier of Western Australia from 1906 to 1910 and, following service in the First World War, was a member of the House of Commons of the United Kingdom from 1918 to 1932. He was the father of Sir Rodney Moore.

Governors of the Australian states

The governors of the Australian states are the representatives of Australia's monarch in each of Australia's six states. The governors are the nominal chief executives of the states, performing the same constitutional and ceremonial functions at the state level as does the Governor-General of Australia at the national or federal level. The state governors are not subject to the constitutional authority of the governor-general, but are directly responsible to the monarch. In practice, with notable exceptions the governors are generally required by convention to act on the advice of the state premiers or the other members of a state's cabinet.

Governor of Western Australia

The Governor of Western Australia is the representative in Western Australia of the Queen of Australia, Elizabeth II. As with the other governors of the Australian states, the Governor of Western Australia performs constitutional, ceremonial and community functions, including:

Charles Gairdner

Lieutenant General Sir Charles Henry Gairdner, was a senior British Army officer who later occupied two viceregal positions in Australia. Born in Batavia in the Dutch East Indies, he was brought up in Ireland, and educated at Repton School and the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich, in England. Having served on active duty during the First World War, in which he sustained a serious wound to his right leg, Gairdner spent time at the Staff College, Camberley in the interwar period, and served as commanding officer of the 10th Royal Hussars, 6th Armoured Division and 8th Armoured Division during the Second World War. He retired from the army in 1949 and was appointed Governor of Western Australia in 1951, a position in which he served until 1963, when he assumed the role of Governor of Tasmania until 1968. Gairdner died in Nedlands, at the age of 84, and was awarded a state funeral.

John Scaddan

John Scaddan, CMG, popularly known as "Happy Jack", was Premier of Western Australia from 7 October 1911 until 27 July 1916.

Henry Lefroy

Sir Henry Bruce Lefroy was the eleventh Premier of Western Australia.

Raymond James O'Connor was an Australian politician. He served as the 22nd premier of Western Australia, from 1982 to 1983. In 1991, he was convicted of fraud as part of the WA Inc scandal, and served a six-month jail term.

The following lists events that happened during 1920 in Australia.

The following lists events that happened during 1932 in Australia.

Albert Hawke

Albert Redvers George Hawke was the 18th Premier of Western Australia. He served from 23 February 1953 to 2 April 1959, and represented the Labor Party. He was the first premier of Western Australia to have been born in the 20th century.

Philip Collier

Philip Collier was an Australian politician who served as the 14th Premier of Western Australia from 1924 to 1930 and from 1933 to 1936. He was leader of the Labor Party from 1917 to 1936, and is Western Australia's longest-serving premier from that party.

This is a list of members of the Western Australian Legislative Assembly between the 1921 election and the 1924 election, together known as the 11th Parliament. During the term, the Country Party split into rival factions, the Ministerial Country Party (MCP) which comprised the bulk of the parliamentary party—many of whom had switched allegiance from other parties since 1919—and the Executive Country Party (ECP), which was loyal to the Primary Producers' Association, which the Country Party was intended to represent in Parliament. After the 1924 election, which significantly strengthened the latter at the expense of the former, the Ministerial arm merged with the Nationalist Party.

The McLarty–Watts Ministry was the 21st Ministry of the Government of Western Australia, led by Liberal Premier Sir Ross McLarty and his deputy, Country Party leader Arthur Watts. It succeeded the Wise Ministry on 1 April 1947, following the defeat of the Labor government at the 1947 election two weeks earlier. It was significant in that it included in Florence Cardell-Oliver not only the oldest person, at age 70, to receive their first appointment to a ministerial post in Western Australia, but also the first female cabinet minister in Australia.

1933 Western Australian state election

Elections were held in the state of Western Australia on 8 April 1933 to elect all 50 members to the Legislative Assembly. The one-term Nationalist-Country coalition government, led by Premier Sir James Mitchell, was defeated by the Labor Party, led by Opposition Leader Philip Collier.

Hubert Stanley Wyborn Parker DSO VD was an Australian politician who represented the Western Australian Legislative Assembly seat of North-East Fremantle from 1930 until 1933, and one of the three Legislative Council seats for Metropolitan-Suburban Province from 1934 until 1954. He was a member of the Nationalist Party until 1945, when the party merged into the Liberal Party. He was also a qualified solicitor and distinguished military officer who served at Gallipoli and in France during World War I.

Sir Robert Ross McDonald QC was an Australian politician who was a member of the Legislative Assembly of Western Australia from 1933 to 1950, representing the seat of West Perth. He served as leader of the Nationalist Party from 1938 to 1945, and of the Liberal Party from 1945 to 1946, during the period when those parties were the junior partners in the coalition with the Country Party.

Norbert Keenan Australian lawyer and politician

Sir Norbert Michael Keenan QC was an Australian lawyer and politician who was a member of the Legislative Assembly of Western Australia from 1905 to 1911 and again from 1930 to 1950. He was the leader of the Nationalist Party from 1933 to 1938, during the time when it was the junior partner in the coalition with the Country Party. Keenan had earlier served as a minister in the government of Newton Moore and the second government of Sir James Mitchell.

References

  1. "THE CALAMITOUS MOO-COW". Sunday Times (Perth, WA : 1902 – 1954) . Perth, WA: National Library of Australia. 16 February 1908. p. 3 Section: FIRST SECTION. Retrieved 22 January 2014. the SundaY Times piece suggests the name was given a lot earlier
  2. "Death of Sir J. Mitchell on W.A. Tour". The Advertiser. Adelaide. 27 July 1951. p. 2. Retrieved 25 September 2020.
  3. "In memoriam – The Honorable Sir James Mitchell, G.C.M.G., our late president [Obituary]", Journal and Proceedings (Western Australian Historical Society : 1949), 4 (pt.3): 31, 1951, ISSN   1837-8285
  4. Elizabeth A. (Berndt) George; Margaret Pieroni (illustrator) (2002). Verticordia: the turner of hearts (1st ed.). Crawley, Western Australia: University of Western Australia Press. p. 294. ISBN   1-876268-46-8.
Political offices
Preceded by
Sir Hal Colebatch
Premier of Western Australia
1919–1924
Succeeded by
Philip Collier
Preceded by
Philip Collier
Premier of Western Australia
1930–1933
Government offices
Vacant
Title last held by
Sir William Campion
Governor of Western Australia
1948–1951
Succeeded by
Sir Charles Gairdner