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Member Details

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

Member Photo
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
Position Start End Period Notes
Member of the NSW Legislative Assembly 17 Jul 1894 11 Jun 1901 6 years 10 months 26 days
Member for Young 17 Jul 1894 05 Jul 1895 11 months 19 days
Member for Young 24 Jul 1895 08 Jul 1898 2 years 11 months 15 days
Member for Young 27 Jul 1898 11 Jun 1901 2 years 10 months 16 days
Capertee Tramway Bill Committee No.10 26 Sep 1895 17 Oct 1895 22 days
Wellington Show Ground Hill Committee No.15 12 Nov 1895 03 Dec 1895 22 days
City and North Sydney Railway Bill Committee No.16 12 Dec 1895 19 Dec 1895 8 days
City Mutual Life Assurance Company’s (Limited) Enabling Bill Committee No.7 26 May 1896 16 Jun 1896 22 days
City and North Sydney Tunnel Roadway Bill Committee No.14 01 Jul 1896 14 Jul 1896 14 days
Sydney and North Sydney Bridge and Tramway Bill Committee No.10 25 Jun 1896 16 Jul 1896 22 days
Orange Showground Bill Committee No.23 13 Aug 1896 19 Aug 1896 7 days
Case of Staff Sergeant W.Jiffkins Committee No.11 30 Jun 1896 26 Aug 1896 1 month 28 days
Ryan’s Conditional Purchase in the Wagga Wagga Land District Committee No.21 04 Aug 1896 10 Sep 1896 1 month 7 days
Collision between the “Sol” and “Alathea” steamers Committee No.26 22 Sep 1896 11 Sep 1896 0 days
Borough of Cudgegong Cattle Saleyards Bill Committee No.25 17 Sep 1896 24 Sep 1896 8 days
Lawson’s Estate Mortgage Enabling Bill Committee No.29 23 Sep 1896 30 Sep 1896 8 days
Gore and Artarmon Estates, North Shore Committee No.22 11 Aug 1896 12 Nov 1896 3 months 2 days
Pitt Town Settlement Committee No.30 06 Oct 1896 12 Nov 1896 1 month 7 days
Claim of John Brennan against Roads Department Committee No.27 22 Sep 1896 16 Nov 1896 1 month 26 days
Printing Committee No. 5 28 Apr 1897 09 Dec 1897 7 months 12 days
Printing Committee No. 5 28 Jun 1898 08 Jul 1898 11 days
Care of Rachel Dawson Committee No.20 22 Nov 1898 23 Dec 1898 1 month 2 days
City and North Sydney Connection Bill Committee No. 11 20 Sep 1898 23 Dec 1898 3 months 4 days
Claim of John Brennan against Roads Department Committee No 14 11 Oct 1898 23 Dec 1898 2 months 13 days
Printing Committee No. 6 25 Aug 1898 23 Dec 1898 3 months 29 days
Sydney and North Sydney Bridge and Tramway Bill Committee No. 16 26 Oct 1898 23 Dec 1898 1 month 28 days
Printing Committee No.4 21 Feb 1899 23 Feb 1899 3 days
Printing Committee No.5 13 Apr 1899 21 Apr 1899 9 days
Case of James Cook and other employees of the Tramway Department Committee No. 23 13 Dec 1899 20 Dec 1899 8 days
Alfred Austin Sampson’s Settlement Lease, Gunnedah Committee No.16 07 Nov 1899 23 Dec 1899 1 month 17 days
Alfred Austin Sampson’s Settlement Lease, Gunnedah Committee No. 9 03 Jul 1900 30 Aug 1900 1 month 28 days
Political Party Activity
Australian Labor Party (ALP)
Community Activity
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.
Military Service
Honours Received
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.
Local Government Activity
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