Mr (Chris) John Christian WATSON (1867 - 1941)**

  • Date of Birth: 09/04/1867
  • Place of Birth: Valparaiso, Chile
  • Date of Death: 18/11/1941
  • Place of Death: Double Bay, New South Wales, Australia

Parliamentary Service

PositionStartEndPeriodNotes
Member of the NSW Legislative Assembly17 Jul 189411 Jun 19016yr(s) 10mth(s) 26day(s)
Member for Young17 Jul 18945 Jul 189511mth(s) 19day(s)
16th
Member for Young24 Jul 18958 Jul 18982yr(s) 11mth(s) 15day(s)
17th
Member for Young27 Jul 189811 Jun 19012yr(s) 10mth(s) 16day(s)
18th
Capertee Tramway Bill Committee No.1026 Sep 189517 Oct 189522days
17th (1895 - 1898)
Wellington Show Ground Hill Committee No.1512 Nov 18953 Dec 189522days
17th (1895 - 1898)
City and North Sydney Railway Bill Committee No.1612 Dec 189519 Dec 18958days
17th (1895 - 1898)
City Mutual Life Assurance Company’s (Limited) Enabling Bill Committee No.726 May 189616 Jun 189622days
17th (1895 - 1898)
Sydney and North Sydney Bridge and Tramway Bill Committee No.1025 Jun 189616 Jul 189622days
17th (1895 - 1898)
Case of Staff Sergeant W.Jiffkins Committee No.1130 Jun 189626 Aug 18961mth 28days
17th (1895 - 1898)
City and North Sydney Tunnel Roadway Bill Committee No.141 Jul 189614 Jul 189614days
17th (1895 - 1898)
Ryan’s Conditional Purchase in the Wagga Wagga Land District Committee No.214 Aug 189610 Sep 18961mth 7days
17th (1895 - 1898)
Gore and Artarmon Estates, North Shore Committee No.2211 Aug 189612 Nov 18963mths 2days
17th (1895 - 1898)
Orange Showground Bill Committee No.2313 Aug 189619 Aug 18967days
17th (1895 - 1898)
Borough of Cudgegong Cattle Saleyards Bill Committee No.2517 Sep 189624 Sep 18968days
17th (1895 - 1898)
Collision between the “Sol” and “Alathea” steamers Committee No.2622 Sep 189611 Sep 1896
17th (1895 - 1898)
Claim of John Brennan against Roads Department Committee No.2722 Sep 189616 Nov 18961mth 26days
17th (1895 - 1898)
Lawson’s Estate Mortgage Enabling Bill Committee No.2923 Sep 189630 Sep 18968days
17th (1895 - 1898)
Pitt Town Settlement Committee No.306 Oct 189612 Nov 18961mth 7days
17th (1895 - 1898)
Printing Committee No. 528 Apr 18979 Dec 18977mths 12days
17th (1895 - 1898)
Printing Committee No. 528 Jun 18988 Jul 189811days
17th (1895 - 1898)
Printing Committee No. 625 Aug 189823 Dec 18983mths 29days
18th (1898 - 1901)
City and North Sydney Connection Bill Committee No. 1120 Sep 189823 Dec 18983mths 4days
18th (1898 - 1901)
Claim of John Brennan against Roads Department Committee No 1411 Oct 189823 Dec 18982mths 13days
18th (1898 - 1901)
Sydney and North Sydney Bridge and Tramway Bill Committee No. 1626 Oct 189823 Dec 18981mth 28days
18th (1898 - 1901)
Care of Rachel Dawson Committee No.2022 Nov 189823 Dec 18981mth 2days
18th (1898 - 1901)
Printing Committee No.421 Feb 189923 Feb 18993days
18th (1898 - 1901)
Printing Committee No.513 Apr 189921 Apr 18999days
18th (1898 - 1901)
Alfred Austin Sampson’s Settlement Lease, Gunnedah Committee No.167 Nov 189923 Dec 18991mth 17days
18th (1898 - 1901)
Case of James Cook and other employees of the Tramway Department Committee No. 2313 Dec 189920 Dec 18998days
18th (1898 - 1901)
Alfred Austin Sampson’s Settlement Lease, Gunnedah Committee No. 93 Jul 190030 Aug 19001mth 28days
18th (1898 - 1901)

Political Party Activity

Australian Labor Party (ALP)


Qualifications, occupations and interests

Union official and compositor. Arrived in New Zealand in 1868 with parents who were attracted by the gold rushes. Educated at Oamaru state school and went to work at age 10 with railway contractor; apprenticed as a printer on a newspaper New South Wales provincial council. Australasian Labor Federation in 1894. Candidate for federal convention in 1897. After retirement from politics in 1910 became a director of a number of companies. President of the National Roads and Motorists Association, for many years. Associated with attempts to start Labor Daily newspaper in Sydney after 1910; managing director of Labor Papers Limited until 1916.


Membership of other Parliaments & Offices Held

Member of the Parliament of the Commonwealth of Australia. Member of the House of Representatives for Bland 1901 - 1906; and for South Sydney 1906 - 1910. Prime Minister of Australia 1904. Treasurer 1904.


Personal

Son of George Thomas Watson, sailor. Married (1) Ada Jane Lowe in 1889. Married (2) Antonia Lane in 1925. Presbyterian.


Additional Information

Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 12 Al Grassby and Silvia Ordonez, 'The Man Time Forgot: The Life and Times of John Christian Watson, Australia's First Labor Prime Minister', 1999 Ross McMullin, 'So Monstrous a Travesty: Chris Watson and the world's first national labour government', 2004 National Archives of Australia, 'Australia's Prime Ministers' Website http://primeministers.naa.gov.au/ National Archives of Australia Fact Sheet 212: 'John Christian Watson Prime Minister of Australia April - August 1904' http://www.naa.gov.au/fsheets/fs212.html J. C. Watson Papers, Australian National Library: ANL Ms451 http://www.nla.gov.au/ms/findaids/0451.html