| Leader of the Opposition |
Elections: 1922, 1925
25 January 1922 –29 March 1928
|Prime Minister|| Billy Hughes |
|Deputy|| Albert Gardiner |
|Preceded by||Frank Tudor|
|Succeeded by||James Scullin|
|Leader of the Labor Party|
16 May 1922 –29 March 1928
Acting leader: 25 January – 16 May 1922
|Deputy|| Albert Gardiner |
|Preceded by||Frank Tudor|
|Succeeded by||James Scullin|
|Member of the House of Representatives|
13 April 1910 –17 November 1928
|Preceded by||Frank Liddell|
|Succeeded by||Rowley James|
|Member of the NSW Legislative Assembly|
6 August 1904 –28 February 1910
|Preceded by||John Norton|
|Succeeded by||William Kearsley|
5 December 1903 –6 August 1904
|Preceded by||Arthur Hill Griffith|
|Succeeded by||John Estell|
15 March 1866
Linton, Victoria, Australia
|Died||8 December 1948 82) (aged|
Lambton, New South Wales, Australia
|Resting place||Sandgate Cemetery|
Martha Rollings(m. 1889)
|Education||Lambton Public School|
|Profession||Trade unionist, politician|
Matthew Charlton (15 March 1866 – 8 December 1948) was an Australian politician who served as leader of the Labor Party from 1922 to 1928. He led the party to defeat at the 1922 and 1925 federal elections.
The Australian Labor Party is a major centre-left political party in Australia. The party has been in opposition at the federal level since the 2013 election. The party is a federal party with branches in each state and territory. Labor is in government in the states of Victoria, Queensland, Western Australia, and in both the Australian Capital Territory and Northern Territory. The party competes against the Liberal/National Coalition for political office at the federal and state levels. It is the oldest political party in Australia.
Federal elections were held in Australia on 16 December 1922. All 75 seats in the House of Representatives, and 19 of the 36 seats in the Senate were up for election. The incumbent Nationalist Party, led by Prime Minister Billy Hughes lost its majority. However, the opposition Labor Party led by Matthew Charlton did not take office as the Nationalists sought a coalition with the fledgling Country Party led by Earle Page. The Country Party made Hughes's resignation the price for joining, and Hughes was replaced as Nationalist leader by Stanley Bruce.
Federal elections were held in Australia on 14 November 1925. All 75 seats in the House of Representatives and 22 of the 36 seats in the Senate were up for election. The incumbent Nationalist–Country coalition, led by Prime Minister Stanley Bruce, defeated the opposition Labor Party led by Matthew Charlton.
Charlton was born in Linton, Victoria, but as a child moved to Lambton, New South Wales. He left school at a young age to work in the coal mines, initially as a hurrier. Charlton became prominent in the trade union movement, and in 1903 was elected to the New South Wales Legislative Assembly for the Labor Party. He switched to federal parliament in 1910. Charlton was an anti-conscriptionist, and remained with Labor after the party split of 1916. He was elected party leader in early 1922, following the death of Frank Tudor. As Leader of the Opposition, Charlton increased Labor's vote in 1922 but suffered a backwards slide in 1925. He resigned as leader in early 1928, succeeded by James Scullin, and left politics later that year.
Linton is a town in Victoria, Australia, off Glenelg Highway. Most of the town is located in Golden Plains Shire; however, a small section is in the Shire of Pyrenees. At the 2016 census, Linton and the surrounding area had a population of 580. The Clarkesdale Bird Sanctuary lies to the south-east of the township, near Springdallah Creek.
Lambton is a suburb of Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia, 8 kilometres (5.0 mi) from Newcastle's central business district.
A hurrier, also sometimes called a coal drawer or coal thruster, was a child or woman employed by a collier to transport the coal that they had mined. Women would normally get the children to help them because of the difficulty of carrying the coal. Common particularly in the early 19th century, the hurrier pulled a corf full of coal along roadways as small as 16 inches in height. They would often work 12-hour shifts, making several runs down to the coal face and back to the surface again.
Little is recorded about Charlton's early life, as he grew up in a relatively unknown mining district. It is known, however, that Charlton was born on 15 March 1866 in Linton, Victoria, a small town near Ballarat that today has less than 500 residents.He was born to Matthew Charlton, an English miner from Durham, and Mabel (née Foard). In 1871, the five-year-old Charlton's father moved with his family to Lambton, a suburb of Newcastle, New South Wales. After primary education at Lambton Public School, Charlton began work at Lambton Colliery as a coal trapper; a children's-only job opening trapdoors for coal carts. When too old for the job, Charlton was given a job at the coal-face. At 23 he married Martha Rollings at nearby New Lambton.
Durham is a historic city and the county town of County Durham in North East England. The city lies on the River Wear, to the west of Sunderland, south of Newcastle upon Tyne and to the north of Darlington. Founded over the final resting place of St Cuthbert, its Norman cathedral became a centre of pilgrimage in medieval England. The cathedral and adjacent 11th-century castle were designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1986. The castle has been the home of Durham University since 1832. HM Prison Durham is also located close to the city centre. City of Durham is the name of the civil parish.
The Newcastle metropolitan area is the second most populated area in the Australian state of New South Wales and the Newcastle and Lake Macquarie local government areas. It is the hub of the Greater Newcastle area which includes most parts of the local government areas of City of Newcastle, City of Lake Macquarie, City of Cessnock, City of Maitland and Port Stephens Council.
New Lambton is a suburb of Newcastle, in the Hunter Region of New South Wales, Australia. It is located about 6 km (4 mi) west of the Newcastle CBD. It includes two shopping districts, schools and other general facilities. At the 2016 Australian census it had a population of approximately 10,000.
In 1896 plans to reduce coal workers' wages led to strike action. Charlton supported the struggle against wage reductions, but the effort failed and, along with many other miners, he moved to the goldfields near Kalgoorlie, Western Australia. After two years there, Charlton returned to Lambton and became an official in the Colliery Employees' Federation,becoming treasurer in 1901. While occupying that position, Charlton also prepared arbitration cases. Battling for an improvement in mine workers' conditions, he attended a trade union congress in November 1902, at which he moved for nationalisation of the coal mining industry, believing it would "eliminate cut-throat competition between owners that depressed miners' wages and conditions". That idea was opposed as being too radical but a compromise was drawn up urging state governments to open and run their own coal mines, while affirming the ultimate desirability of full nationalisation.
Strike action, also called labor strike, labour strike, or simply strike, is a work stoppage, caused by the mass refusal of employees to work. A strike usually takes place in response to employee grievances. Strikes became common during the Industrial Revolution, when mass labor became important in factories and mines. In most countries, strike actions were quickly made illegal, as factory owners had far more power than workers. Most Western countries partially legalized striking in the late 19th or early 20th centuries.
Colleagues urged Charlton to stand for the state electoral district of Waratah, and on 5 December 1903 Charlton became the second member for the district in the New South Wales Legislative Assembly. His representation of that district was short-lived, as the next year he transferred to Northumberland, replacing John Norton. Charlton became the unofficial spokesperson for the miners, speaking principally about mining matters in parliament. In 1909 a coal miners' strike struck New South Wales and Charlton was called upon by the Colliery Employees' Federation to represent it in front of a wage board. Charlton was unsuccessful in gaining better conditions for the miners but he did settle the dispute, talking to miners around the state and convincing them to return to work. He resigned from state politics and in 1910 Charlton wrested the federal Division of Hunter from the sitting Frank Liddell. Hunter has remained a safe Labor seat ever since.
Waratah was an electoral district of the Legislative Assembly in the Australian state of New South Wales first created in 1894 with the abolition of multi-member districts from part of the electoral district of Newcastle. It was abolished in 1913 and recreated in 1930, replacing parts of Kahibah and Wallsend. It was abolished again in 1999.
The New South Wales Legislative Assembly is the lower of the two houses of the Parliament of New South Wales, an Australian state. The upper house is the New South Wales Legislative Council. Both the Assembly and Council sit at Parliament House in the state capital, Sydney. The Assembly is presided over by the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly.
Northumberland was an electoral district for the Legislative Assembly in the Australian state of New South Wales from 1859 to 1913, in the Newcastle area and named after Northumberland County. It elected two members simultaneously between 1880 and 1887 and three members between 1887 and 1894. Voters cast a vote for each vacancy and the leading candidates were elected.
Charlton was an immediate success with Andrew Fisher and was promoted to the temporary chairmanship of committees in the House in 1913, however Charlton threatened to resign in 1915 over a dispute in government delays in granting the committee increased powers. Fisher mollified him and in 1916 Charlton proved his loyalty to the new Labor leader Billy Hughes by voting for Hughes' conscription referendum bill, even though he was vehemently opposed to conscription and fought hard against it.However, Charlton seemed to accept the affirmative result of the referendum and again proved his loyalty to Hughes by defending him when he became the target of caucus criticism. Charlton attempted to deflect attacks made on Hughes to a party conference, but Hughes left the party before a decision could be made.
Andrew Fisher was an Australian politician who served three separate terms as Prime Minister of Australia – from 1908 to 1909, from 1910 to 1913, and from 1914 to 1915. He was the leader of the Australian Labor Party from 1907 to 1915.
William Morris Hughes, was an Australian politician who served as the 7th Prime Minister of Australia, in office from 1915 to 1923. He is best known for leading the country during World War I, but his influence on national politics spanned several decades. Hughes was a member of federal parliament from Federation in 1901 until his death, the only person to have served for more than 50 years. He represented six political parties during his career, leading five, outlasting four, and being expelled from three.
Conscription, sometimes called the draft, is the compulsory enlistment of people in a national service, most often a military service. Conscription dates back to antiquity and continues in some countries to the present day under various names. The modern system of near-universal national conscription for young men dates to the French Revolution in the 1790s, where it became the basis of a very large and powerful military. Most European nations later copied the system in peacetime, so that men at a certain age would serve 1–8 years on active duty and then transfer to the reserve force.
The new Labor leader Frank Tudor was a weak leader in health and political prowess. The successor-designate was T. J. Ryan, who had resigned as premier of Queensland in 1919 to federal politics.In August 1920, both Tudor and Ryan were taken ill while two of the Hughes Government's most important bills were being debated (the Industrial Peace Bill and the Conciliation and Arbitration Bill). On 12 August, a special caucus meeting elected Charlton as acting leader in the House of Representatives; the party's deputy leader was Senator Albert Gardiner. Ryan died of pneumonia on 1 August 1921 after persistent ill health. On 29 September, the party elected Charlton as deputy leader in place of Ryan. Tudor died of heart disease on 10 January 1922, and Charlton became the de facto acting leader of the party. On 25 January, the party unanimously chose him as leader of the Labor Party in the House of Representatives, thus allowing him to become Leader of the Opposition. The overall leadership of the party remained vacant until 16 May, when Charlton won a ballot against Albert Gardiner (the party's sole senator). Gardiner was then chosen as his deputy.
At the 1922 federal election, Charlton offered alternative policies and looked to be favourite until he was hospitalised with illness halfway through the campaign. Labor still won the most seats as a single party, but Charlton was unable to defeat a strong government coalition. Labor remained in opposition.
Because of great losses during World War I, Charlton opposed military training and commitments of Australian forces. In 1924 Charlton was invited to a League of Nations (now United Nations) conference in Geneva, Switzerland. At the conference Charlton strongly opposed war, and the Geneva Protocol took form. Upon his return to Australia, Charlton advocated adoption of the protocol, but the government sided with the British and refused to observe it.
Charlton lost the 1925 election, largely due to his stance on industrial relations and continual militant union action which plagued his campaign. Charlton always aided in maintaining amicable relations in the party and many times lent his expertise to conflicts within the NSW branch of the Labor Party. He resigned from his positions on 29 March 1928. His successor James Scullin went on to become the Prime Minister of Australia.
Following retirement from federal politics, Charlton took an interest in local government and became an alderman on the Lambton Council from 1934 to 1938 (before its merger with the City of Newcastle). He died at Lambton, New South Wales, on 8 December 1948, the place where he had grown up and lived most of his life. Charlton was buried in the general section of Sandgate Cemetery. Martha Charlton died on 8 June 1955 and is interred with him. Their sons Matthew and Percy predeceased both of them.
The Division of Charlton in the Hunter Region was named in his honour, and was a safe Labor seat from its creation in 1984 until its abolition in 2016.
Sir Joseph Cook, was an Australian politician who served as the sixth Prime Minister of Australia, in office from 1913 to 1914. He was the leader of the Commonwealth Liberal Party from 1913 to 1917, after earlier serving as the leader of the Anti-Socialist Party from 1908 to 1909.
Francis Gwynne Tudor was an Australian politician who served as the leader of the Australian Labor Party from 1916 until his death. He had previously been a government minister under Andrew Fisher and Billy Hughes.
The Division of Charlton was an Australian electoral division in the state of New South Wales. The division was created in 1984 and is named for Matthew Charlton, who was Leader of the Australian Labor Party 1922–28.
William Guthrie Spence, Australian trade union leader and politician, played a leading role in the formation of both Australia's largest union, the Australian Workers' Union, and the Australian Labor Party.
Albert "Jupp" Gardiner was an Australian politician who served as a Senator for New South Wales from 1910 to 1926 and again briefly in 1928. A member of the Labor Party, he served in cabinet as Vice-President of the Executive Council under Andrew Fisher and Billy Hughes, and from 1916 to 1926 was his party's Senate leader; he was its only senator from 1920 to 1922. Before entering federal politics he had served in the Parliament of New South Wales from 1891 to 1895 and from 1904 to 1907.
David Watkins was an Australian politician and Member of the Australian House of Representatives for Newcastle from Federation in 1901 until his death in 1935. His death left former Prime Minister Billy Hughes as the only remaining member of the First Parliament still in the House.
John Marcus Baddeley was an Australian politician and member of the New South Wales Legislative Assembly from 25 March 1922 to 8 September 1949.
The 1919 Australian federal election was held on 13 December 1919 to elect members to the Parliament of Australia. All 75 seats in the House of Representatives and 19 of the 36 seats in the Senate were up for election. The incumbent Nationalist Party government won re-election, with Prime Minister Billy Hughes continuing in office.
Rowland "Rowley" James was an Australian politician and coalminer. Born at Lambton, New South Wales, the son of a Welshman, he was educated at a government school and worked in the mines for twenty-five years. On 24 July 1912, he married Gladys Mary Davies. Having served the Collie River District Miners' Union of Workers, he returned to New South Wales to become part of the Australian Coal and Shale Employees' Federation.
Josiah Thomas was an Australian politician. He was elected to the House of Representatives at the inaugural 1901 federal election, representing the Labor Party. Thomas served as a minister in Andrew Fisher's first two governments, as Postmaster-General and Minister for External Affairs (1911–1913). He joined the Nationalist Party after the 1916 Labor split and transferred to the Senate at the 1917 election, serving as a Senator for New South Wales from 1917 to 1923 and from 1925 to 1929.
John Estell was an Australian politician. He was a member of the New South Wales Parliament from 1899 until his death and held a number of ministerial positions in the Government of New South Wales. He was a member of the Labor Party.
Alfred Edden was an Australian politician. He was a member of the New South Wales Parliament from 1891 until 1920 and held a number of ministerial positions in the Government of New South Wales. He was a foundation member of the Labor Party but left the party over the question of the solidarity pledge in 1891. He rejoined in 1895 and remained a member until the party split over the question of conscription during World War I. He then joined the Nationalist Party.
Tom Armstrong was an Australian politician. He was a member of the New South Wales Parliament from 1953 until his death in 1957. He was independent but generally supported the Labor Party government of Joseph Cahill. Armstrong was born and educated to elementary level in Lambton, New South Wales. He was the son of a coal-miner and began working as a miner at Wallsend Colliery at age 14. He eventually became an ironworker at the Newcastle Steel Works and became an official of the Federated Ironworkers' Association. He was elected as an alderman of Newcastle City Council between 1941 and 1953 and was the Mayor of Newcastle in 1952.
The Hon. Hamilton Knight was an Australian politician and a member of the New South Wales Legislative Assembly from 1927 until 1947. During his parliamentary career he was, at various times, a member of the Labor Party (ALP), the Australian Labor Party (NSW) and the Australian Labor Party (Non-Communist). He was the Minister for Labour and Industry and Social Welfare for 6 years during the premiership of William McKell.
Thomas Joseph Ryan was an Australian politician who served as Premier of Queensland from 1915 to 1919, as leader of the state Labor Party. He resigned to enter federal politics, sitting in the House of Representatives for the federal Labor Party from 1919 until his premature death less than two years later.
Peter Bowling was an Australian coal miner and trade unionist.
People have worked as coal miners for centuries, but they became increasingly important during the Industrial revolution when coal was burnt on a large scale to fuel stationary and locomotive engines and heat buildings. Owing to coal's strategic role as a primary fuel, coal miners have figured strongly in labour and political movements since that time. After the late 19th century coal miners in many countries were a frequent presence in industrial disputes with both the management and government. Coal miners' politics, while complex, have occasionally been radical, with a frequent leaning towards far-left political views. A number of far-left political movements have had the support of both coal miners themselves and their trade unions, particularly in Great Britain. In France, on the other hand, coal miners have been much more conservative.
J & A Brown was an privately owned Australian coal family firm founded by James Brown (1816–1894) and Alexander Brown (1827–1877).
The Australian Labor Party held a leadership election on 16 May 1922, following the death of Frank Tudor. The party elected Matthew Charlton as its new leader.
|Parliament of Australia|
| Member for Hunter |
| Leader of the Australian Labor Party |
| Leader of the Opposition |