Albert Green (Australian politician)

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The Honourable
Albert Green
Member of the Australian Parliament
for Kalgoorlie
In office
16 December 1922 – 2 October 1940
Preceded by George Foley
Succeeded by Herbert Johnson
Personal details
Born (1869-12-21)21 December 1869
Avoca, Victoria
Died 2 October 1940(1940-10-02) (aged 70)
Coolgardie, Western Australia
Nationality Australian
Political party Australian Labor Party
Spouse(s) Emily Elenor Berry
Occupation Postal clerk

Albert Ernest Green (21 December 1869 – 2 October 1940) was an Australian politician. He arrived in Western Australia in 1895, and represented the Kalgoorlie area in both state and federal parliaments for the Australian Labor Party, as well as serving as Minister for Defence and later Postmaster-General in the Scullin Ministry.

Biography[edit]

Green was born and went to primary school in Avoca, Victoria, but left school to work for a telephone company in Ballarat and later in the family's bricklaying business. He travelled in the United States and Central America between 1889 and 1895 and as a result was known as "Texas". He was active in the brickmasons' society at San Francisco, and it was even suggested by one contemporary source that he had assisted revolutionary insurgents in Guatemala.[1] In June 1895, he moved to Western Australia and established a branch of the Australian Natives' Association (A.N.A.) in Perth. In November 1895, he became a postal clerk in the gold rush town of Coolgardie. He was soon transferred to nearby Kalgoorlie, where he founded branches of the A.N.A. and the Post and Telegraphists' Union and became involved in local Labour politics. He married Emily Eleanor Berry in January 1899 at St John's Church, Kalgoorlie[2]

Political career[edit]

Green won the Western Australian Legislative Assembly seat of Kalgoorlie in the 1911 elections, following the retirement of the independent member, Norbert Keenan. In December 1913, he resigned to seek pre-selection for the Federal seat of Kalgoorlie but lost to Hugh Mahon. He was re-elected to the state seat in October 1914 and held it to March 1921, when he was defeated by the independent Nationalist candidate John Boyland. Between March 1921 and December 1922 he worked for the Westralian Worker newspaper. He won the federal Kalgoorlie seat at the 1922 elections, defeating the incumbent Nationalist member George Foley, and held it until his death.[2]

Green campaigned for a strong air force and was appointed Minister for Defence in the Scullin government in October 1929. Despite the onset of the Great Depression, he implemented a training scheme for Australian pilots and purchased several aircraft. He also abolished compulsory military service. In February 1931, following the resignation of Joseph Lyons, he was appointed Postmaster-General and Minister for Works and Railways. He was upset by Lyons' defection from the Labor Party and, according to Geoffrey Bolton, Green chased Lyons's train along the Canberra railway station platform shouting "For God's sake, don't do it, Joe!" In opposition after the 1931 elections, he campaigned for fellow Western Australian John Curtin to be elected party leader.[2]

Green died at East Coolgardie on 2 October 1940, survived by his wife and three sons and a daughter.[2]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Battye, J. S. (1985) [1912]. The Cyclopedia of Western Australia : an historical and commercial review 1. Hesperian Press. p. 343. ISBN 0-85905-073-4. 
  2. ^ a b c d Bolton, G. C. (1982). "Green, Albert Ernest (1869–1940)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. Canberra: Australian National University. Retrieved 2007-10-14. 
Political offices
Preceded by
William Glasgow
Minister for Defence
1929–1931
Succeeded by
John Daly
Preceded by
Joseph Lyons
Postmaster-General
1931–1932
Succeeded by
James Fenton
Parliament of Australia
Preceded by
George Foley
Member for Kalgoorlie
1922–1940
Succeeded by
Herbert Johnson