The Hon. Thomas John LEY (1880 - 1947)**
- Date of Birth: 28/10/1880
- Place of Birth: Bath, England
- Date of Death: 24/07/1947
- Place of Death: Crowthorne, Berkshire, England
|Member of the NSW Legislative Assembly||24 Mar 1917||29 Sep 1925||8yr(s) 6mth(s) 6day(s)|
|Member for Hurstville||24 Mar 1917||18 Feb 1920||2yr(s) 10mth(s) 26day(s)|
24th (1917 - 1920)
|Member for St George||20 Mar 1920||17 Feb 1922||1yr(s) 10mth(s) 29day(s)|
25th (1920 - 1922)
|Member for St George||25 Mar 1922||18 Apr 1925||3yr(s) 25day(s)|
26th (1922 - 1925)
|Member for St George||30 May 1925||29 Sep 1925||4mth(s)|
27th (1925 - 1927)
|Minister of Public Instruction and Labour and Industry||20 Dec 1921||20 Dec 1921||1day(s)|
|Minister of Justice||13 Apr 1922||17 Jun 1925||3yr(s) 2mth(s) 5day(s)|
|The Governor's Opening Speech Committee No.1||17 Jul 1917||30 Mar 1918||8mths 14days|
24th (1917 - 1920)
Political Party Activity
Elected as a National in 1917; Progressive in 1920; councillor in 1922; joined National Ministry in 1922
Councillor of Millions Club 1918; Protestant Federation 1921 - 1925.
Qualifications, occupations and interests
Lawyer (solicitor); and businessman. Arrived in New South Wales with his mother in 1886, his father having died in 1882. Clerk with Norton, Smith & Co, solicitors. Advocate of prohibition and involved in the temperance movement; was nicknamed "Lemonade Ley". Articled to F.Osborne in 1906; admitted as a solicitor in 1914; member of the legal firm Norton, Smith & Co. 1917 - 1925; and of Ley, Andrews & Co. 1926 - 1928. Director of Universal Sales Company Ltd; promoted S.O.S Prickly Pear Poisons Ltd and Australasian Oil Fields Ltd 1924 - 1925. Rumoured to have been associated with the disappearance of F.A McDonald who had alleged a bribery attempt during the 1925 federal elections; and to have avoided legal action over one of his companies by the death of Hyman Goldstein Member of the Legislative Assembly in September 1928. After his electoral defeat went to England; promoted a million pound sweepstake; was a wartime black marketeer, convicted of murder in 1947 (the "Chalkpit Murder"); declared insane and committed to Broadmoor Criminal Lunatic Asylum where he died.
Membership of other Parliaments & Offices Held
Member of the Parliament of the Commonwealth of Australia. Member of the House of Representatives for Barton 1925 - 1928.
Local Government Activity
Alderman at Hurstville Council 1904 - 1910.
Son of Henry Ley, butler, and his wife Elizabeth Bryant. Married Louise Vernon on 16 June 1898 and they had 3 sons. Methodist.
Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 10.
Dan Morgan, 'The Minister for Murder', 1979.
Ley Papers, National Library of Australia (MS 6149).
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