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Member Details

Mr John Henry CANN (1860 - 1940)

Member Photo
Date of Birth: 19/04/1860
Place of Birth: Horrabridge, Devonshire, England
Date of Death: 21/07/1940
Place of Death: Petersham, New South Wales, Australia
Parliamentary Service
Position Start End Period Notes
Member of the NSW Legislative Assembly 20 Jun 1891 20 Dec 1916 25 yrs 6 mths 1 day
Member for Sturt 20 Jun 1891 25 Jun 1894 3 yrs 6 days
Member for Broken Hill 17 Jul 1894 05 Jul 1895 11 mths 19 days
Member for Broken Hill 20 Jul 1895 08 Jul 1898 2 yrs 11 mths 19 days
Member for Broken Hill 27 Jul 1898 11 Jun 1901 2 yrs 10 mths 16 days
Member for Broken Hill 03 Jul 1901 16 Jul 1904 3 yrs 14 days
Member for Broken Hill 26 Jul 1904 19 Aug 1907 3 yrs 25 days
Member for Broken Hill 30 Aug 1907 14 Sep 1910 3 yrs 16 days
Member for Broken Hill 23 Sep 1910 06 Nov 1913 3 yrs 1 mth 15 days
Member for Sturt 15 Nov 1913 20 Dec 1916 3 yrs 1 mth 6 days
Colonial Treasurer 06 May 1912 29 Jun 1913 1 yr 1 mth 24 days
Colonial Treasurer 30 Jun 1913 29 Jan 1914 7 mths
Colonial Secretary and Secretary for Mines 29 Jan 1914 15 Mar 1915 1 yr 1 mth 15 days
Minister for Public Works 15 Mar 1915 15 Nov 1916 1 yr 8 mths 1 day
Chairman of Committees 28 Jun 1900 11 Jun 1901 11 mths 15 days
Chairman of Committees 25 Jul 1901 29 May 1902 10 mths 5 days
Chairman of Committees 10 Jan 1904 16 Jul 1904 6 mths 7 days
Speaker of the Legislative Assembly 15 Nov 1910 31 Jul 1911 8 mths 17 days
Application for a Free Pass made by Mr Black, MP Committee No.27 17 Dec 1891 21 Mar 1891 3 mths 5 days
Yongaleatha Marble, Flag and Flux Company Bill Committee No.17 01 Sep 1891 03 Sep 1891 3 days
Broken Hill Water Supply Act Amendment Bill Committee No.32 01 Feb 1892 17 Feb 1892 17 days
Menindie and Broken Hill Tramway Bill Committee.10 18 Oct 1892 10 Nov 1892 24 days
Menindie Irrigation Bill Committee No.21 23 Feb 1893 22 Mar 1893 1 mth
Bankruptcy Act Amendment Bill Committee No.13 01 Dec 1893 08 Dec 1893 8 days
Working of Collieries Committee No.11 13 Mar 1894 19 Apr 1894 1 mth 7 days
Children’s Protection Act Amendment Bill Committee No.9 20 Feb 1894 05 Jun 1894 3 mths 17 days
Bankruptcy Act Amendment Bill Committee No.7 25 Jan 1894 05 Jun 1894 4 mths 12 days
Resumption of Land, Woolloomooloo Bay. Committee No. 13 29 Nov 1894 05 Jul 1895 7 mths 7 days
Amendment of the Mining Laws. Committee No. 12 27 Nov 1894 05 Jul 1895 7 mths 9 days
Holt’s Wingello Estate Bill. Committee No. 9 13 Nov 1894 05 Jul 1895 7 mths 23 days
Borough of Redfern Electric Lighting Bill Committee No.11 08 Oct 1895 17 Oct 1895 10 days
Lawson’s Estate Mortgage Enabling Bill Committee No.29 23 Sep 1896 30 Sep 1896 8 days
Claim of Captain Rossi Committee No.20 28 Jul 1896 01 Oct 1896 2 mths 4 days
City and North Sydney Railway Bill; Sydney and North Sydney Bridge and Tramway Bill. North Shore Bridge Bill Committee No.17 21 Jul 1896 21 Oct 1896 3 mths 1 day North Shore Bridge Bill Committee appointed on 13 August 1896
Evidence before the Civil Service Commission by Mr H.C.L Anderson Committee No.19 28 Jul 1896 11 Nov 1896 3 mths 15 days
Printing Committee No.5 14 May 1896 16 Nov 1896 6 mths 3 days
Case of Thomas Buckley – Public Works Department Committee No.33 20 Oct 1896 16 Nov 1896 28 days
Nyngan Town Hall (Mortgage) Bill Committee No. 22 17 Nov 1897 10 Dec 1897 24 days
Refreshment Committee No.4 28 Apr 1897 10 Dec 1897 7 mths 13 days
Elections and Qualifications. Committee No. 5 14 Aug 1895 08 Jul 1898 2 yrs 10 mths 25 days
Refreshment Committee No. 3 28 Jun 1898 08 Jul 1898 11 days
Holt’s Wingello Estate Bill. Committee No. 6 12 Sep 1895 08 Jul 1898 2 yrs 9 mths 27 days
Elections and Qualifications Committee No. 2 17 Aug 1898 19 Oct 1898 2 mths 3 days
Illawarra Harbour and Land Corporation Act Further Amendment Bill Committee No.22 02 Dec 1898 06 Dec 1898 5 days
Refreshment Committee No. 5 25 Aug 1898 23 Dec 1898 3 mths 29 days
Case of Sydney Cooper as to Mining under a Road, parish of Clive, county of Gough Committee No. 17 27 Oct 1898 23 Dec 1898 1 mth 27 days
Saywell’s Tramway and Electric Lighting Bill Committee No. 12 20 Sep 1898 23 Dec 1898 3 mths 4 days
Refreshment Committee No.3 21 Feb 1899 30 Mar 1899 1 mth 10 days
Refreshment Committee No.4 13 Apr 1899 21 Apr 1899 9 days
Municipal District of Broken Hill Electric Lighting Bill Committee No.9 10 Aug 1899 16 Aug 1899 7 days Chairman
Refreshment Committee No.6 02 Aug 1899 10 Oct 1899 2 mths 9 days
Broken Hill Abattoirs, Markets, and Cattle sale Yards Bill Committee No.2 19 Jun 1900 18 Jul 1900 1 mth Chairman
Standing Orders Committee No.4 20 Jun 1900 24 Jul 1900 1 mth 5 days
Conditional Purchase of George Humphries Cowled Committee No. 10 03 Jul 1900 26 Jul 1900 24 days
Refreshment Committee No.3 20 Jun 1900 05 Dec 1900 5 mths 16 days
Municipal District of Cowra reduced Area Bill Committee No.8 01 Nov 1904 16 Nov 1904 16 days
Allegation by the Rev. W.Woolls Rutledge respecting an appointment to the Public Service Committee No.15 29 Aug 1905 25 Oct 1905 1 mth 27 days
David Berry Hospital Bill Committee No.14 22 Nov 1906 06 Dec 1906 15 days
Standing Orders Committee No.3 10 Jul 1906 18 Dec 1906 5 mths 9 days
Standing Orders Committee No.4 09 Jul 1907 12 Jul 1907 4 days
Standing Orders Committee No.2 24 Oct 1907 20 Dec 1907 1 mth 27 days
Standing Orders Committee No.2 13 Mar 1908 11 Apr 1908 30 days
Standing Orders Committee No.3 05 Aug 1908 19 Dec 1908 4 mths 15 days
Standing Orders Committee No.3 14 Jul 1909 17 Dec 1909 5 mths 4 days
Standing Orders Committee No.3 28 Jun 1910 20 Aug 1910 1 mth 24 days
Elections and Qualifications Committee No.2 21 Jun 1910 20 Aug 1910 2 mths
Standing Orders Committee No.3 30 Nov 1910 23 Dec 1910 24 days
Library Committee No.4 30 Nov 1910 23 Dec 1910 24 days
Refreshment Committee No.5 30 Nov 1910 23 Dec 1910 24 days
Library Committee No.4 30 May 1911 01 Aug 1911 2 mths 3 days
Refreshment Committee No.5 30 May 1911 01 Aug 1911 2 mths 3 days
Standing Orders Committee No.3 30 May 1911 01 Aug 1911 2 mths 3 days Chairman
Standing Orders Committee No.3 12 Sep 1911 28 Mar 1912 6 mths 17 days
The Governor’s Opening Speech Committee No.1 23 Jul 1912 23 Jul 1912 1 day
Standing Orders Committee No.3 07 Aug 1912 05 Dec 1912 3 mths 29 days
Administration of the Rocks Resumed Area Committee No.7 20 Aug 1912 05 Dec 1912 3 mths 16 days
Standing Orders Committee No.3 06 Aug 1913 15 Oct 1913 2 mths 10 days
Petition of Thomas Michael Slattery Committee No. 7 06 Jul 1915 13 Apr 1916 9 mths 8 days
Refreshment Committee No. 6 21 Jul 1916 21 Dec 1916 5 mths 1 day
Standing Orders Committee No. 4 28 Jul 1916 21 Dec 1916 4 mths 24 days
Printing Committee No. 3 28 Jul 1916 21 Dec 1916 4 mths 24 days
Library Committee No. 5 28 Jul 1916 21 Dec 1916 4 mths 24 days
Political Party Activity
Community Activity
Qualifications, occupations and interests
Miner. Emigrated to Australia with his wife in 1887, and became a miner at Port Kembla and later with Broken Hill Proprietary Company at Broken Hill. Member of the Amalgamated Miners' Association, and became a Branch President in 1889, a District President between 1890 and 1893 and leader of the Association during the maritime strike of 1890. Following his retirement from politics he became the Assistant Railway Commissioner. Was a founding member of the Labor Party and became Deputy Leader in 1913. As a candidate in the Labor Party's first electoral campaign of 1891, John Cann won the Legislative Assembly seat of Sturt. He was also the Member for Broken Hill between 1894 and 1913 and for Sturt again between 1913 and 1916. He was Chairman of Committees between 1900 and 1904, Colonial Treasurer between 1912 and 1914, Colonial Secretary and Secretary for Mines between 1914 and 1915 and Minister for Public Works between 1915 and 1916. When Labor took office in 1910 with a majority of one, Cann was elected the first Labor Speaker of the Legislative Assembly. He stood down from this position in the following year when Premier Holman arranged for Henry Willis to become Speaker after the unexpected resignation of two Labor Members left the Government without a majority. Although a founding member of the Labor Party and its Deputy Leader in 1913, Cann was expelled from the Party over his support for conscription in November 1916.
Military Service
Honours Received
Membership of other Parliaments & Offices Held
Local Government Activity
Personal
Son of Richard Cann, miner, and Rebecca Sowden. Married Eliza Ann Callard on 20 August 1885 and had no issue.
Additional Information
Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 7 Text from the book: 'The Presiding Officers of the Parliament of New South Wales', Sydney, 1995 John Cann was born on 19 April 1860 in England. In August 1885 he married Elizabeth Wright. They had no children. After emigrating to Australia with his wife in 1887, he became a miner at Port Kembla and later with BHP at Broken Hill. A member of the Amalgamated Miners' Association, he became a Branch President in 1889, a District President between 1890 and 1893 and leader of the Association during the maritime strike of 1890. Following his retirement from politics he became the Assistant Railway Commissioner. He was a founding member of the Labor Party and became Deputy Leader in 1913. As a candidate in the Labor Party's first electoral campaign of 1891, John Cann won the Legislative Assembly seat of Sturt. He was also the Member for Broken Hill between 1894 and 1913 and for Sturt again between 1913 and 1916. He was Chairman of Committees between 1900 and 1904, Colonial Treasurer between 1912 and 1914, Colonial Secretary and Secretary for Mines between 1914 and 1915 and Minister for Public Works between 1915 and 1916. When Labor took office in 1910 with a majority of one, Cann was elected the first Labor Speaker of the Legislative Assembly. He stood down from this position in the following year when Premier Holman arranged for Henry Willis to become Speaker after the unexpected resignation of two Labor Members left the Government without a majority. Although a founding member of the Labor Party and its Deputy Leader in 1913, Cann was expelled from the Party over his support for conscription in November 1916. He died at Petersham in Sydney on 21 July 1940.