Jerry Skinner

Last updated


Clarence Skinner

MC
CF Skinner.tif
3rd Deputy Prime Minister of New Zealand
In office
12 December 1957 12 December 1960
Prime Minister Walter Nash
Preceded by Jack Marshall
Succeeded by Jack Marshall
Member of the New Zealand Parliament
for Motueka
In office
1938   1946
Preceded by Keith Holyoake
Member of the New Zealand Parliament
for Buller
In office
1946   1962
Preceded by Paddy Webb
Succeeded by Bill Rowling
Personal details
Born19 January 1900
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Died26 April 1962(1962-04-26) (aged 62)
Takaka, New Zealand
Political party Labour
Spouse(s)Julia Buckley Gray (m. 1924)
Lois McHaffey (m. 1958)
Awards Military Cross
Military service
Allegiance New Zealand Army
Years of service1939-43
Rank British&Commonwealth-Army-Maj(1920-1953).svg Major
Battles/wars World War II

Clarence Farrington Skinner MC (19 January 1900 – 26 April 1962) (also known as Gerry or Jerry) was a Labour politician from New Zealand, former Deputy Prime Minister of New Zealand and a Minister from 1943 to 1949 and 1957 to 1960 in the First and Second Labour governments.

Military Cross third-level military decoration of the British Armed Forces, Commonwealth officers

The Military Cross (MC) is the third-level military decoration awarded to officers and other ranks of the British Armed Forces, and formerly awarded to officers of other Commonwealth countries.

The New Zealand Labour Party, or simply Labour, is a centre-left political party in New Zealand. The party's platform programme describes its founding principle as democratic socialism, while observers describe Labour as social-democratic and pragmatic in practice. It is a participant of the international Progressive Alliance.

Deputy Prime Minister of New Zealand

The Deputy Prime Minister of New Zealand is the second-most senior minister in the Government of New Zealand, although this seniority does not necessarily translate into power. The office was created as a ministerial portfolio in 1954. The officeholder usually deputises for the prime minister at official functions. The current Deputy Prime Minister is Winston Peters, the Leader of New Zealand First.

Contents

Early life

Skinner as an Army Major in WWII. Clarence Skinner.jpg
Skinner as an Army Major in WWII.

Skinner was born on 19 January 1900 in Melbourne, Australia, before subsequently emigrating to New Zealand. His father was a missionary in Te Kopuru, near Hokianga.

Melbourne City in Victoria, Australia

Melbourne is the capital and most populous city of the Australian state of Victoria, and the second most populous city in Australia and Oceania. Its name refers to an urban agglomeration of 9,992.5 km2 (3,858.1 sq mi), comprising a metropolitan area with 31 municipalities, and is also the common name for its city centre. The city occupies much of the coastline of Port Phillip bay and spreads into the hinterlands towards the Dandenong and Macedon ranges, Mornington Peninsula and Yarra Valley. It has a population of approximately 4.9 million, and its inhabitants are referred to as "Melburnians".

Australia Country in Oceania

Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania and numerous smaller islands. It is the largest country in Oceania and the world's sixth-largest country by total area. The neighbouring countries are Papua New Guinea, Indonesia and East Timor to the north; the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu to the north-east; and New Zealand to the south-east. The population of 25 million is highly urbanised and heavily concentrated on the eastern seaboard. Australia's capital is Canberra, and its largest city is Sydney. The country's other major metropolitan areas are Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide.

Skinner settled in the Waitaki District and married Julia Buckley Gray in 1924. Skinner established himself politically as a union leader there whilst working as a carpenter by trade. [1] He then turned his profession to farming up until the depression in the early 1930s. [2]

Waitaki District Territorial authority in New Zealand

Waitaki District is a territorial authority that is located in the Canterbury and Otago regions of the South Island of New Zealand, and it straddles the traditional border between the two regions, the Waitaki River.

He distinguished himself after being elected the president of the Inangahua Medical Association. He was instrumental in setting up a co-operative medical insurance scheme for labourers working building the Waitaki hydroelectric station alongside Andy Davidson, Arnold Nordmeyer and Gervan & Ethel McMillan. [1] All subsequently becoming members of the Labour party.

Lake Waitaki is the smallest, oldest and farthest downstream of the three man-made lakes of the Waitaki hydroelectric project in New Zealand's South Island. It lies below lakes Aviemore and Benmore on the Waitaki River, close to the town of Kurow. It is part of the traditional boundary of the Canterbury and Otago regions (although the official border has been moved southward to include the entire lake, as well as the entire northwest portion of Waitaki District within the Canterbury Region.

Andrew McRae Davidson was a New Zealand teacher, principal, welfare worker and educationalist. He was born in Dunedin, New Zealand on 10 November 1894. He was headmaster of Kurow School from 1927, where he helped create a free medical service for the workers at the Waitaki hydroelectric station. In 1935, he became headmaster at the Macandrew Road School in Dunedin and when the Macandrew Intermediate School was established on the same site in 1840, he became its head until his retirement in 1954. Subsequently, he was a member of the Otago Education Board for 12 years and a justice of the peace.

Arnold Nordmeyer politician

Sir Arnold Henry Nordmeyer, born Heinrich Arnold Nordmeyer, was a New Zealand politician. He served as Minister of Finance (1957–1960) and later as Leader of the Labour Party and Leader of the Opposition (1963–1965).

Skinner served in the New Zealand Army in the Middle East during World War II. Starting out as a Sapper, Skinner rose to the rank of Major. He was later awarded the Military Cross in 1943 for mine clearing in the North African campaign. [2] He was flown back to New Zealand later that year after promotion to cabinet because of his fine record as a soldier by Prime Minister Peter Fraser. [3]

New Zealand Army land component of the New Zealand Defence Force

The New Zealand Army is the land component of the New Zealand Defence Force and comprises around 4,500 Regular Force personnel, 2,000 Territorial Force personnel and 500 civilians. Formerly the New Zealand Military Forces, the current name was adopted by the New Zealand Army Act 1950. The New Zealand Army traces its history from settler militia raised in 1845.

Member of Parliament

Skinner was a Member of Parliament from 1938 to 1962; he was MP for Motueka between 1938 and 1946 (having defeated new MP Keith Holyoake in 1938), then MP for Buller from 1946 to 1962. Early on in his career as an MP, Skinner was somewhat sympathetic to the plight of John A. Lee, but did not to support him openly. [4] Skinner made good impressions as an MP and gained a reputation for possessing "down-to-earth Kiwi common sense". [5]

Motueka is a former New Zealand parliamentary electorate. It was first created in 1860 and lasted until 1890 election. In 1896 election the Motueka electorate was recreated, and lasted until 1946 election.

Keith Holyoake 20th-century Governor-General, Prime Minister of New Zealand, politician

Sir Keith Jacka Holyoake was the 26th Prime Minister of New Zealand, serving for a brief period in 1957 and then from 1960 to 1972, and also the 13th Governor-General of New Zealand, serving from 1977 to 1980. He is the only New Zealand politician to date to have held both positions.

1938 New Zealand general election

The 1938 New Zealand general election was a nationwide vote to determine the shape of the New Zealand Parliament's 26th term. It resulted in the governing Labour Party being re-elected, although the newly founded National Party gained a certain amount of ground.

New Zealand Parliament
YearsTermElectorateParty
1938 1943 26th Motueka Labour
1943 1946 27th Motueka Labour
1946 1949 28th Buller Labour
1949 1951 29th Buller Labour
1951 1954 30th Buller Labour
1954 1957 32nd Buller Labour
1957 1960 33rd Buller Labour
1960 1962 34th Buller Labour

Cabinet minister

Between 1943 and 1949 he held several ministries; Lands, Rehabilitation, Valuation and State Forests. From 1957 to 1960 he was Minister of Agriculture, Lands and Rehabilitation. As a result of his work in the area, it is said that Skinner was an instrumental figure in the establishment of New Zealand's pulp and paper industry. [2] As a minister Skinner gained a reputation of sincerity, which helped his otherwise lackings as an orator. [3]

Skinner was seen by many as Labour's rising star. [6] In recognition of this, he was subsequently elected deputy-leader of the Labour Party in 1951 while it was in opposition. [2] However, there had been speculation that he had sought the leadership, but this was dismissed as merely media gossip. [7] In the attempted coup against Walter Nash's leadership in 1954, Skinner sided with Nash and his status as the deputy-leader was reaffirmed when he remained unopposed in the position. [8]

Following Labour's victory in the 1957 election, Skinner became Deputy Prime Minister in Walter Nash's ministry. He also held the Lands and Agriculture portfolio. [2] In government, Skinner still did not make further impressions in public opinion, where he was still seen by the public as merely in Nash's shadow. [9]

Following the Labour defeat at the 1960 election, Walter Nash favoured first Skinner, and then Fred Hackett to replace him when he retired as leader, but with the sudden deaths of first Skinner and then Hackett, Nash was replaced by Arnold Nordmeyer when he eventually resigned in 1963.

Notes

  1. 1 2 Gustafson 1986, pp. 156.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 Gustafson 1986, pp. 298.
  3. 1 2 Hobbs 1967, pp. 111.
  4. Gustafson 1986, pp. 200.
  5. Hobbs 1967, pp. 112.
  6. Hobbs 1976, p. 112.
  7. Sinclair 1976, p. 281.
  8. Sinclair 1976, p. 295.
  9. Sinclair 1976, p. 304.

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References

Political offices
Preceded by
Jack Marshall
Deputy Prime Minister of New Zealand
1957–1960
Succeeded by
Jack Marshall
New Zealand Parliament
Preceded by
Keith Holyoake
Member of Parliament for Motueka
1938–1946
Constituency abolished
Preceded by
Paddy Webb
Member of Parliament for Buller
1946–1962
Succeeded by
Bill Rowling
Party political offices
Preceded by
Walter Nash
Deputy-Leader of the Labour Party
1951–1962
Succeeded by
Fred Hackett