|Senator for Victoria
12 May 1931 –30 June 1938
|3 January 1944 (aged 77–78)
|United Australia Party
|Florence Margaret Slattery
|Frank Brennan (brother)
|University of Melbourne
Thomas Cornelius Brennan KC (1866 –3 January 1944) was an Australian journalist,lawyer and conservative politician who was elected to the Australian Senate.
Brennan was born at Sedgwick,near Bendigo,Victoria and was an older brother of Frank Brennan,later Attorney-General in the Scullin Labor government. He was educated locally and apprenticed as a typesetter with the Bendigo Independent. He joined the Melbourne Argus as a printer but subsequently became a journalist and sub-editor. He continued his education part-time,matriculated and earned a law degree at the University of Melbourne in 1900. He married Florence Margaret Slattery in 1902 and was admitted to the bar in 1907.
In 1921 he represented Colin Campbell Ross,the accused in the notorious Gun Alley Murder where a twelve year old girl had been raped and murdered. Ross had sacked Ivy Matthews and she encouraged Julia Gibson (aka Madam Ghurka) to bear witness to hearing Ross's confession to the crime. The Herald newspaper who had increased the police reward to £1,000 reward gave the impression that Ross was guilty and printed not only his photograph,but also the contact details of the jury.Brennan was firmly convinced that Ross was innocent and tried in vain to appeal the case up to the Privy Council. Ross was nonetheless convicted and executed the following year. Haunted by guilt over his failure to save his client,Brennan wrote a book detailing his perspectives on the case,The Gun Alley Murder. It was not until 2008 that modern DNA testing finally confirmed Ross's innocence. The case remains one of the most famous instances of miscarriage of justice in Australian legal history.
He was appointed a King's Counsel (KC) in 1928 and was made a Doctor of Laws in 1935 for a thesis published as Interpreting the Constitution. Brennan was prominent in the Catholic community and editor of the Catholic Advocate from 1915 to 1917,when he clashed with Bishop Daniel Mannix,who opposed the introduction of conscription during World War I,like the great majority of the Irish Australian Catholic community.
Brennan ran unsuccessfully as a Liberal for election to the Victorian Legislative Assembly in 1911,1913 and 1914. He also ran unsuccessfully as a Nationalist for the seat of Bendigo East in 1921. In 1931,he was appointed to a fill a casual vacancy in the Senate,representing the United Australia Party in 1931 and gained re-election in the 1931 election. He was appointed minister without portfolio assisting the ministers for commerce in the second and third Lyons ministries from October 1934 until he lost his seat at the November 1937 election.
Brennan was survived by his wife and two daughters.
Henry Bournes Higgins KC was an Australian lawyer, politician, and judge. He served on the High Court of Australia from 1906 until his death in 1929, after briefly serving as Attorney-General of Australia in 1904.
The Gun Alley Murder was the rape and murder of 12-year-old Alma Tirtschke in Melbourne, Australia, in 1921. She was a schoolgirl who attended Hawthorn West High School and had last been seen alive close to a drinking establishment, the Australian Wine Saloon; under these circumstances her murder caused a sensation.
Sir Josiah Henry Symon was an Australian lawyer and politician. He was a Senator for South Australia from 1901 to 1913 and Attorney-General of Australia from 1904 to 1905.
Francis Brennan was an Australian lawyer and politician. He was a member of the Australian Labor Party (ALP) and served as Attorney-General in the Scullin government (1929–1932). He was a member of the House of Representatives for over 35 years, one of the longest periods of service. His brother Tom Brennan was a United Australia Party senator, a rare instance of family members representing opposing parties.
Colin Campbell Eadie Ross was an Australian wine-bar owner who was wrongfully convicted and executed for the murder of a child, which became known as the Gun Alley Murder, despite evidence of his innocence. Following his execution, efforts were made to clear his name, but it was not until the 1990s that the key evidence was re-examined using modern forensic techniques, in which the results confirmed Ross's innocence. As a result, an appeal for mercy was made to Victoria's Chief Justice in 2006, and on 27 May 2008 the Governor of Victoria pardoned Ross in what is believed to be an Australian legal first.
Parker John Moloney was an Australian politician. A member of the Labor Party, he served in the House of Representatives from 1910 to 1913, 1914 to 1917, and 1919 to 1931. He was Minister for Markets and Minister for Transport in the Scullin government from 1929 to 1932.
Sir Michael Neil O'Sullivan KBE was an Australian politician and lawyer. He served as a Senator for Queensland from 1947 to 1962, representing the Liberal Party. He held senior ministerial positions in the post-war Menzies Government, serving as Minister for Trade and Customs (1949–56), Minister for the Navy (1956), and Attorney-General (1956–58).
William Gerrand Gibson was an Australian politician. He was the first member of the Country Party elected to federal parliament, serving in the House of Representatives and as a Senator for Victoria (1935–1947). He was the party's deputy leader from 1923 to 1929 and was a government minister in the Bruce–Page government.
Richard Valentine Keane was an Australian politician and trade unionist. He was a member of the Australian Labor Party (ALP) and served as Minister for Trade and Customs from 1941 until his death in 1946. He was a member of both the House of Representatives (1929–1931) and the Senate (1938–1946). Prior to entering politics he worked as a clerk with the Victorian Railways and served as national secretary of the Australian Railways Union (1925–1929).
George Arnot Maxwell was an Australian lawyer and politician. He was one of Melbourne's leading barristers, specialising in criminal law. He was also a member of the House of Representatives from 1917 until his death in 1935.
Edward Findley was an Australian politician and publisher. He served as a Senator for Victoria from 1904 to 1917 and from 1923 to 1929, representing the Australian Labor Party (ALP). He was also a member of the Victorian Legislative Assembly from 1900 to 1901.
Sir James William Blair was an Australian politician, lawyer and judge. He was a successful politician, being elected to the Queensland Parliament on several occasions. He held the office of Attorney-General of Queensland and was also the Minister for Mines and introduced many successful law reforms measures in Queensland. In latter life, he took up an appointment as a judge of the Supreme Court of Queensland and went on to become the Chief Justice of that court. Blair took on many civic roles including that of Chancellor of the University of Queensland.
This is a list of members of the Australian Senate from 1935 to 1938. Half of its members were elected at the 19 December 1931 election and had terms starting on 1 July 1932 and finishing on 30 June 1938; the other half were elected at the 15 September 1934 election and had terms starting on 1 July 1935 and finishing on 30 June 1941. The process for filling casual vacancies was complex. While senators were elected for a six-year term, people appointed to a casual vacancy only held office until the earlier of the next election for the House of Representatives or the Senate.
Sir John McIntyre was a Scottish-born Australian politician and businessman. After emigrating to Australia during the Victorian gold rush, McIntyre became heavily involved in the mining industry around Bendigo. Later as he began to rise in prominence he became involved in local politics, eventually becoming the first mayor of Bendigo, a post he held for five years before resigning. In the years following he became heavily involved in community work, serving as a territorial magistrate and children's guardian for the Bendigo district. In 1877 he was elected to the Victorian Parliament as the Member for Sandhurst. Although he later lost this seat in 1880, he re-entered parliament in 1881 after winning the seat of Maldon in a by-election. He held this seat until 1902, serving as a minister during James Patterson's premiership and as Leader of the Opposition from 1895 to 1898. In December 1903 he stood for the Australian Senate but narrowly failed to win a seat. Suffering from ill health, he died shortly afterwards.
During the Australian gold rushes, starting in 1851, significant numbers of workers moved from elsewhere in Australia and overseas to where gold had been discovered. Gold had been found several times before, but the colonial government of New South Wales had suppressed the news out of the fear that it would reduce the workforce and destabilise the economy.
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.
Sir Robert Vincent Monahan QC was an Australian lawyer and judge who served on the Supreme Court of Victoria from 1955 to 1970.
Julia Gibson born Julia Glushkova known as Madam(e) Ghurka was an Australian "notorious fortune-teller" who was born in what is now Ukraine. Her first husband died in jail after stabbing her and her second says she was a fantasist. She took a share of the large reward when Colin Ross was wrongly hanged for murder. In 1922 a judge said she "... would say a thing if it was true or untrue".