House Of Representatives Members – 12th Parliament 1929-1931

This is the full list of members who served in the twelfth House of Representatives from 1929 until 1931.

The Nationalist-Country Party Bruce-Page coalition government was decisively defeated at the October 12, 1929 election. In a 75-member chamber, the ALP won 46 seats (+15). The Nationalist Party won 14 seats (-15). The Country Party won 10 (-3) seats and there were 5 crossbenchers. The new Prime Minister, James Scullin, led a government with an overall majority of 17 seats.

The ALP polled 48.84% (+4.20%) of the primary vote, whilst the The Nationalists secured 33.90% (-5.20%). The Country Party won 10.27% (-0.20%). On a two-party-preferred basis, the ALP polled 56.70% (+8.30%) to the Coalition’s 43.30%.

Because the election was called early, there was no constitutional provision for a half-Senate election in 1929. This was the first time separate House-only election was held.

There were three by-elections in the Twelfth Parliament:

  • 1929: Franklin (Vic) – William McWilliams (Ind) died; replaced by Charles Frost (ALP).
  • 1931: Parkes (NSW) – Edward McTiernan (ALP) resigned to take up a position as Justice of the High Court; replaced by Charles Marr (Nat).
  • 1931: East Sydney (NSW) – John West (ALP) died; replaced by Eddie Ward (ALP.

The Downfall of the Scullin Government; The Second Labor Split

The second major split in the Australian Labor Party took place during this Parliament. Two groups of defectors voted to bring down the government on November 26, 1931.

The Scullin government’s Treasurer, Ted Theodore, supported an inflationary policy to manage the Depression. He proposed increased government spending to stimulate the economy. Theodore was an early supporter of the stimulatory policies of John Maynard Keynes.

A group of six Labor members (Joe Lyons, James Fenton, Moses Gabb, Allan Guy, Charles McGrath and John Price) was critical of the government’s handling of the economic problems of the Depression. They supported the Premiers’ Plan, a set of deflationary measures, including large spending cuts and reductions in bank interest rates. Lyons, a former Labor Premier of Tasmania, emerged as the leader of this group.

The Lang Labor forces supported a third approach to the Depression. Supporters of the NSW Labor Premier, Jack Lang, they proposed defaulting on interest repayments on British debts. Lang’s policy led directly to his dismissal by the NSW Governor in 1932. The NSW ALP was split between the Lang supporters and the mainstream party, a split that was not resolved until the 1940s. At the federal level, the four Lang Labor members elected in 1929 (Jack Beasley, John Eldridge, Rowley James and Bert Lazzarini) were joined by Eddie Ward in 1931. They withdrew their support for the government early in 1931.

Elected with 46 members, the Scullin government could survive without the support of one of the two groups but it could not survive if both opposed it. On November 26, 1931, the two groups joined with the coalition parties to defeat the government. An early election was held on December 19, 1931.

Five of the six members of the Lyons group joined the Nationalists. The leader of the Nationalists, John Latham, stood aside and Joe Lyons became leader of a new party called the United Australia Party. Latham was later appointed Chief Justice of the High Court.

All five members of the Lang Labor group voted to bring down the government. After the election, they all returned to the ALP fold, even though the Lang Labor forces continued to divide the NSW ALP throughout the 1930s.

The renegade Hughes-led members in the Australian Party all moved to the United Australia Party in 1931. The UAP won 55 of 75 seats at the election. The ALP was reduced to 14 members, with 4 members of Lang Labor.

Scullin remained leader of the ALP, losing another election in 1934. After losing his seat at the 1931 election, John Curtin returned to the parliament in 1934 and was elected leader of the party in 1935.

Studying the composition of the various parliaments from 1901 reveals interesting patterns. For example, some members of the ALP split from the party over conscription in 1916. Others stayed and split in 1931. Interestingly, some members (eg. Paul Jones and Parker Moloney) who stayed with the official party on both occasions ended up leaving in the 1950s when the party split a third time.

The first table shows the state-by-state breakdown of the House following the 1928 election.

The second table lists the 79 members who served in the 12th House of Representatives, 76 elected in 1931 and three who entered via a by-election. *The Northern Territory member had voting rights only for matters affecting the territory and is therefore excluded from the calculations of party strength in the House.

1929 Federal Election Results
Party NSW VIC QLD SA WA TAS NT Totals
AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY
20
13
3
5
2
3
1*
46
NATIONALIST PARTY
2
3
5
2
1
1
14
COUNTRY PARTY
4
2
2
2
10
INDEPENDENTS / OTHERS
2
2
1
5
TOTALS
28
20
10
7
5
5
-*
75

 

Members of the 12th House of Representatives 1929-1931
No. Name Party Seat Term Began Term
Ended
Birth Death Age
AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY DEFECTORS
1.
James Fenton
ALP
UAP
Maribyrnong (Vic)
13.04.1910
15.09.1934
04.02.1864
02.12.1950
86
2.
Moses Gabb
ALP
Ind
Angas (SA)
13.12.1919
12.10.1929
14.11.1925
07.08.1934
21.11.1882
06.03.1951
68
3.
Allan Guy
ALP
UAP
Lib
Bass (Tas)
Wilmot (Tas)
Senate (Tas)
12.10.1929
21.09.1940
22.02.1950
15.09.1934
28.09.1947
30.06.1956
30.11.1890
16.12.1979
89
4.
Joe Lyons
ALP
UAP
MHA Wilmot (Tas)
Wilmot (Tas)
30.04.1909
12.10.1929
13.09.1929
07.04.1939
15.09.1879
07.04.1939
59
5.
Charles McGrath
ALP
UAP
MLA Grenville (Vic)
Ballaarat (Vic)
Ballaarat (Vic)
01.06.1904
31.05.1913
10.07.1920
01.04.1913
13.12.1919
31.07.1934
10.11.1872
31.07.1934
61
6.
John Price
ALP
UAP
MHA Port Adelaide (SA)
Boothby (SA)
xx.xx.1915
17.11.1928
xx.xx.1925
23.04.1941
14.02.1882
23.04.1941
59
LANG LABOR PARTY MEMBERS
1.
Jack Beasley
ALP (28-31)
Lang (31-36)
ALP (36-40)
Lang (40-41)
ALP (41-46)
West Sydney (NSW)
17.11.1928
14.08.1946
09.11.1895
02.09.1949
53
2.
John Eldridge
ALP/Lang
Martin (NSW)
12.12.1929
19.12.1931
xx.xx.1872
17.04.1954
81-82
3.
Rowley James
ALP/Lang
Hunter (NSW)
17.11.1928
14.10.1958
14.06.1885
04.07.1962
77
4.
Bert Lazzarini
ALP/Lang
Werriwa (NSW)
13.12.1919
15.09.1934
19.12.1931
01.10.1952
08.09.1884
02.10.1952
68
5.
Eddie Ward
Lang (31-36)
ALP (36-63)
East Sydney (NSW)
07.03.1931
06.02.1932
19.12.1931
31.07.1963
07.03.1899
31.07.1963
64
AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY MEMBERS
1.
Frank Anstey
ALP
MLA East Bourke (Vic)
MLA Brunswick (Vic)
Bourke (Vic)
01.10.1902
01.06.1904
13.04.1910
01.05.1904
01.02.1910
07.08.1934
18.08.1865
31.10.1940
75
2.
Arthur Blakeley
ALP
Darling (NSW)
05.05.1917
15.09.1934
03.07.1886
27.06.1972
85
3.
Frank Brennan
ALP
Batman (Vic)
08.02.1911
15.09.1934
19.12.1931
31.10.1949
xx.xx.1873
06.11.1950
76-77
4.
Ben Chifley
ALP
Macquarie (NSW)
17.11.1928
21.09.1940
19.12.1931
13.06.1951
22.09.1885
13.06.1951
65
5.
Percy Coleman
ALP
Reid (NSW)
16.12.1922
19.12.1931
23.10.1892
25.05.1934
41
6.
Richard Crouch
Prot
ALP
Corio (Vic)
Corangamite (Vic)
29.03.1901
12.10.1929
13.04.1910
19.12.1931
19.06.1868
07.04.1949
80
7.
Charles Culley
ALP
MHA Denison (Tas)
Denison (Tas)
MHA Denison (Tas)
xx.xx.1922
17.11.1928
xx.xx.1934
xx.xx.1928
19.12.1931
xx.08.1948
16.04.1877
10.06.1949
72
8.
Lucien (Lou) Cunningham
ALP
Gwydir (NSW)
MLA Coogee (NSW)
13.12.1919
12.10.1929
10.05.1941
14.11.1925
19.12.1931
23.03.1948
04.06.1889
23.03.1948
58
9.
John Curtin
ALP
Fremantle (WA)
17.11.1928
15.09.1934
19.12.1931
05.07.1945
08.01.1885
05.07.1945
60
10.
John Cusack
ALP
MLA Queanbeyan (NSW)
MLA Albury (NSW)
Eden-Monaro (NSW)
13.04.1910
20.12.1913
12.12.1929
06.11.1913
21.02.1917
19.12.1931
08.08.1868
08.09.1956
88
11.
Frank Forde
ALP
MLA Rockhampton (Qld)
Capricornia (Qld)
MLA Flinders (Qld)
12.05.1917
16.12.1922
12.03.1955
05.10.1922
28.09.1946
03.08.1957
18.07.1890
28.01.1983
92
12.
Charles Frost
ALP
Franklin (Tas)
14.12.1929
15.09.1934
19.12.1931
28.09.1946
30.11.1882
22.07.1964
81
13.
George Gibbons
ALP
Calare (NSW)
12.10.1929
19.12.1931
xx.xx.1887
11.08.1954
68-69
14.
Albert Green
ALP
MLA Kalgoorlie (WA)
MLA Kalgoorlie (WA)
Kalgoorlie (WA)
xx.xx.1911
xx.10.1914
16.12.1922
xx.12.1913
xx.03.1921
02.10.1940
21.12.1869
02.10.1940
70
15.
Jack Holloway
ALP
Flinders (Vic)
Melbourne Ports (Vic)
12.10.1929
19.12.1931
19.12.1931
19.03.1951
12.04.1875
03.12.1967
92
16.
Paul Jones
ALP
DLP
Indi (Vic)
MLC Doutta Galla (Vic)
17.11.1928
01.09.1938
19.12.1931
01.06.1958
15.06.1878
27.12.1972
94
17.
Richard Keane
ALP
Bendigo (Vic)
Senate (Vic)
12.10.1929
01.07.1938
19.12.1931
26.04.1946
14.02.1881
26.04.1946
65
18.
Andrew Lacey
ALP
Grey (SA)
MLA Port Pirie (SA)
16.12.1922
xx.xx.1933
09.12.1931
24.08.1946
19.10.1887
24.08.1946
58
19.
Arthur Lewis
ALP
Corio (Vic)
12.10.1929
19.12.1931
22.04.1882
11.04.1975
92
20.
William Long
ALP
Lang (NSW)
17.11.1928
19.12.1931
18.06.1885
03.03.1957
71
21.
Norman Makin
ALP
Hindmarsh (SA)
Sturt (SA)
Bonython (SA)
13.12.1919
29.05.1954
10.12.1955
14.08.1946
10.12.1955
01.11.1963
31.03.1889
20.07.1982
93
22.
Dr William Maloney
ALP
Melbourne (Vic)
30.03.1904
27.08.1940
12.04.1854
29.08.1940
86
23.
George Martens
ALP
Herbert (Qld)
17.11.1928
16.08.1946
xx.xx.1874
23.08.1949
74-75
24.
James Mathews
ALP
Melbourne Ports (Vic)
12.12.1906
27.11.1931
xx.xx.1865
16.10.1934
68-69
25.
John McNeill
ALP
Wannon (Vic)
16.12.1922
12.10.1929
14.11.1925
19.12.1931
xx.xx.1868
14.06.1943
74-75
26.
(Sir) Edward McTiernan
ALP
MLA West Subs (NSW)
Parkes (NSW)
20.03.1920
12.10.1929
07.09.1927
19.12.1930
16.02.1892
09.01.1990
97
27.
Parker Moloney
ALP
Indi (Vic)
Indi (Vic)
Hume (NSW)
13.04.1910
05.09.1914
13.12.1919
31.05.1913
05.05.1917
19.12.1931
12.08.1879
08.05.1961
81
28.
Harold (“HG”) Nelson
ALP
Northern Territory (NT)
16.12.1922
15.09.1934
21.12.1881
26.04.1947
65
29.
Edward Charles Riley
ALP
Cook (NSW)
16.12.1922
15.09.1934
09.08.1892
09.06.1969
76
30.
Edward Riley
ALP
South Sydney (NSW)
13.04.1910
19.12.1931
xx.xx.1859
21.07.1943
83-84
31.
Darby Riordan
ALP
MLA Burke (Qld)
Kennedy (Qld)
16.03.1918
12.10.1929
16.09.1929
15.10.1936
23.07.1886
15.10.1936
50
32.
Albert Rowe
ALP
Parramatta (NSW)
12.12.1929
19.12.1931
xx.xx.1872
16.08.1955
82-83
33.
James Scullin
ALP
Corangamite (Vic)
Yarra (Vic)
13.04.1910
18.02.1922
31.05.1913
10.12.1949
18.09.1876
28.01.1953
76
34.
Edward (Ted) Theodore
ALP
MLA Woothakata (Qld)
MLA Chillagoe (Qld)
Dalley (NSW)
02.10.1909
27.04.1912
26.02.1927
27.04.1912
22.09.1925
19.12.1931
29.12.1884
09.02.1950
65
35.
James Tully
ALP
Barton (NSW)
17.11.1928
19.12.1931
xx.xx.1877
15.10.1962
84-85
36.
David Watkins
ALP
Newcastle (NSW)
29.03.1901
08.04.1935
05.05.1865
08.04.1935
69
37.
John West
ALP
East Sydney (NSW)
13.04.1910
05.02.1931
27.01.1852
05.02.1931
79
38.
George Yates
ALP
Adelaide (SA)
10.01.1914
16.12.1922
13.12.1919
19.12.1931
14.05.1871
16.07.1959
88
NATIONALIST PARTY MEMBERS
1.
James Bayley
Nat
UAP
Oxley (Qld)
MLA Wynnum (Qld)
05.05.1917
29.04.1933
19.12.1931
10.05.1935
26.03.1882
14.01.1968
85
2.
George Bell
Nat
UAP
Darwin (Tas)
13.12.1919
14.11.1925
16.12.1922
07.07.1943
29.11.1872
05.03.1944
71
3.
(Sir) Donald Cameron
Nat
UAP
Brisbane (Qld)
Lilley (Qld)
13.12.1919
15.09.1934
19.12.1931
21.09.1937
19.11.1879
19.11.1960
81
4.
Malcolm Cameron
Lib/Nat/UAP
Barker (SA)
16.12.1922
07.08.1934
12.07.1873
01.03.1935
61
5.
(Sir) Josiah Francis
Nat/UAP/Lib
Moreton (Qld)
16.12.1922
04.11.1955
28.03.1890
22.02.1964
73
6.
Sydney Gardner
Nat/UAP
Robertson (NSW)
16.12.1922
21.09.1940
09.06.1884
23.06.1965
81
7.
Henry Gullett
Nat/UAP
Henty (Vic)
14.11.1925
13.08.1940
26.03.1878
13.08.1940
62
8.
Charles Hawker
Nat/UAP
Wakefield (SA)
12.10.1929
25.10.1938
16.05.1894
25.10.1938
44
9.
John Latham
Liberal
Nat/UAP
Kooyong (Vic)
16.12.1922
15.09.1934
26.08.1877
25.07.1964
86
10.
George Mackay
Lib
Nat/UAP
MLA Gympie (Qld)
Lilley (Qld)
27.04.1912
05.05.1917
22.05.1915
07.08.1934
20.03.1872
05.11.1961
89
11.
Charles Marr
Nat
UAP
Parkes (NSW)
13.12.1919
31.01.1931
12.10.1929
21.08.1943
23.03.1880
20.10.1960
80
12.
Arthur Morgan
Nat
Darling Downs (Qld)
12.10.1929
19.12.1931
xx.xx.1881
02.08.1957
75-76
13.
Walter Nairn
Nat/UAP
Perth (WA)
12.10.1929
21.08.1943
xx.xx.1879
12.12.1958
78-79
14.
Archdale Parkhill
Nat/UAP
Warringah (NSW)
21.05.1927
23.10.1937
27.08.1878
02.10.1947
69
15.
Thomas White
Nat/UAP/Lib
Liberal
Balaclava (Vic)
03.08.1929
21.06.1951
26.04.1888
13.10.1957
69
AUSTRALIAN PARTY MEMBERS
1.
William Morris Hughes
ALP
ALP
Nat
UAP
Lib
MLA Syd-Lang (NSW)
West Sydney (NSW)
Bendigo (Vic)
North Sydney (NSW)
Bradfield (NSW)
17.07.1894
29.03.1901
05.05.1917
16.12.1922
10.12.1949
11.06.1901
05.05.1917
16.12.1922
10.12.1949
28.10.1952
25.09.1862
28.10.1952
90
2.
Walter Marks
Nat/Ind/UAP
Wentworth (NSW)
13.12.1919
19.12.1931
06.06.1875
31.03.1951
75
3.
George Maxwell
Nat
Aust/UAP
Fawkner (Vic)
05.05.1917
25.06.1935
30.04.1859
25.06.1935
76
COUNTRY PARTY MEMBERS
1.
Bernard Corser
Country
MLA Burnett (Qld)
Wide Bay (Qld)
27.04.1912
03.09.1928
16.08.1928
21.04.1954
04.01.1882
15.12.1967
85
2.
Roland Green
Country
Richmond (NSW)
16.12.1922
23.10.1937
29.10.1885
27.04.1947
61
3.
Henry Gregory
Lib
Nat
Country
MLA North Coolgardie (WA)
MLA Menzies (WA)
Dampier (WA)
Swan (WA)
xx.xx.1897
xx.xx.1901
31.05.1913
16.11.1922
xx.xx.1901
xx.xx.1911
16.11.1922
15.11.1940
15.03.1860
15.11.1940
80
4.
William Hill
VFU
Country
Echuca (Vic)
20.09.1919
07.08.1934
14.04.1866
15.11.1939
73
5.
James Hunter
Country
Maranoa (Qld)
30.07.1921
27.08.1940
04.07.1882
27.10.1968
86
6.
William Killen
Country
Riverina (NSW)
16.12.1922
27.11.1931
xx.xx.1860
20.02.1939
78-79
7.
Dr (Sir) Earle Page
F&S
Country
Cowper (NSW)
13.12.1919
09.12.1961
08.08.1880
20.12.1961
81
8.
Thomas Paterson
Country
Gippsland (Vic)
16.12.1922
07.07.1943
20.11.1882
24.01.1952
69
9.
Jack Prowse
F&S
Country
Swan (WA)
Forrest (WA)
13.12.1919
16.12.1922
16.12.1922
21.08.1943
16.06.1871
20.05.1944
72
10.
Victor Thompson
Country
New England (NSW)
16.12.1922
21.09.1949
10.09.1885
11.05.1968
82
INDEPENDENT MEMBERS
1.
William McWilliams
FT/Anti-Soc
Nat
Country
Ind
Franklin (Tas)
16.12.1903
17.11.1928
16.12.1922
22.10.1929
12.10.1856
22.10.1929
73
2.
Percy Stewart
VFU
Country
Ind
MLA Swan Hill (Vic)
Wimmera
01.11.1917
13.12.1919
01.10.1919
14.10.1931
18.10.1885
15.10.1931
45

 

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