Tom Tunnecliffe

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
The Honourable
Tom Tunnecliffe
Leader of the Opposition of Victoria
In office
13 July 1932 – 2 April 1935
Preceded by Sir Stanley Argyle
Succeeded by Sir Stanley Argyle
Personal details
Born (1869-07-13)13 July 1869
Coghills Creek, Victoria
Died 2 February 1948(1948-02-02) (aged 78)
Clifton Hill, Victoria, Australia
Political party Labor Party
Spouse(s) Florence Bertha Bishop (1908–1911; her death)
Bertha Louise Gross (1913–1948; his death)
Occupation Bootmaker

Thomas Tunnecliffe (13 July 1869 – 2 February 1948) was an Australian politician. He was a member of the Victorian Legislative Assembly, representing the districts of West Melbourne (1903–1904), Eaglehawk (1907–1920) and Collingwood (1921–1947) for the Australian Labor Party.[1]

In February 1932 Edmond Hogan, the Premier of Victoria and leader of the Labor Party, travelled to London to talk to the banks about Victoria's desperate economic plight during the Great Depression. While he was away Tunnecliffe was acting Premier, and he was much more willing than Hogan to reject the Premiers' Plan. As a result the Country Party withdrew its support from Hogan's minority government, and in April the government was defeated in a confidence vote.

Tunnecliffe, as acting leader, led the Labor campaign in the May 1932 state election, now completely rejecting the Premiers's Plan, which was the main issue at the election. The Labor Party Executive expelled everyone who had supported the Premier's Plan, including Hogan, although it did not run a candidate against him. Tunnecliffe was elected leader of the party. At the elections the United Australia Party won 31 seats to Labor's 16 and the reunited Country Party's 14. Hogan and one of his ex-ministers were elected as "Premiers' Plan Labor" candidates. The UAP's Stanley Argyle became Premier of Victoria and Tunnecliffe was Opposition leader until the 1935 state election when Labor won only 17 seats and finished with third party status, not even rating for Opposition. Tunnecliffe was a close friend of the gambling boss John Wren, (in the view of most historians, in fact, Tunnecliffe was under Wren's control) who was also very close to United Country Party leader Albert Dunstan. With Wren's influence, Labor supported Dunstan's minority government from 1935. (At the 1935 election United Country polled only 13.7% of the popular vote and won 20 seats, to Labor's 37.9% and 17 seats.)

Tunnecliffe was succeeded as leader of the Victorian Labor Party by John Cain, Snr in 1937 following the 1937 state election. He was Speaker of the Victorian Legislative Assembly from 1937 to 1940 and continued as the member for Collingwood until August 1947, when he resigned due to ill-health. Labor's support for Dunstan continued until 1943.

Victorian Legislative Assembly
Preceded by
William Maloney
Member of the Legislative Assembly
for West Melbourne

1903–1904
Succeeded by
District abolished
Preceded by
Hay Kirkwood
Member of the Legislative Assembly
for Eaglehawk

1907–1920
Succeeded by
Albert Dunstan
Preceded by
Martin Hannah
Member of the Legislative Assembly
for Collingwood

1921–1947
Succeeded by
William Towers
Party political offices
Preceded by
Edmond Hogan
Leader of the Labor Party in Victoria
1932–1937
Succeeded by
John Cain
Political offices
Preceded by
Sir Stanley Argyle
Leader of the Opposition of Victoria
1932–1935
Succeeded by
Sir Stanley Argyle
Preceded by
William Everard
Speaker of the Victorian Legislative Assembly
1937–1940
Succeeded by
Bill Slater

References[edit]

  1. ^ Peter Love, 'Tunnecliffe, Thomas (Tom) (1869 - 1948)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 12, Melbourne University Press, 1990, pp 284-285.