Arthur Fuller

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Arthur Fuller
Arthur Fuller1.jpg
Member of the Australian Parliament
for Hume
In office
21 August 1943 – 10 December 1949
Preceded by Thomas Collins
Succeeded by Charles Anderson
In office
28 April 1951 – 10 December 1955
Preceded by Charles Anderson
Succeeded by Charles Anderson
In office
9 December 1961 – 30 November 1963
Preceded by Charles Anderson
Succeeded by John Pettitt
Personal details
Born (1893-10-24)24 October 1893
Gundagai, New South Wales
Died 21 March 1987(1987-03-21) (aged 93)
Nationality Australian
Political party Australian Labor Party
Spouse(s) Vera Hoad
Occupation Clothing store manager

Arthur Nieberding Fuller (24 October 1893 – 21 March 1987) was a long serving member of the Australian House of Representatives.

Born in Gundagai to a goldminer and his wife, Fuller spent his childhood in the New South Wales goldfields. He later managed a clothing store in Cobar before moving to Tumut in 1919 to open a clothing store of his own.[1] In 1921, Fuller met and married Vera Hoad, with whom he would have two daughters, and established a Labor Party branch in Tumut (for which he served as secretary until 1971).

Political career[edit]

With his wife as his campaign manager, Fuller first contested the Division of Hume at the 1940 election as the official Labor candidate but lost to Tom Collins, the sitting Country Party member, due partly to candidates from the Lang Labor and New South Wales Labor factions standing and splitting the Labor vote.

Fuller successfully contested Hume at the 1943 election as part of the Curtin Labor landslide. In his maiden speech, Fuller stated his full support for the nationalisation of airlines and banks and that "the Commonwealth Parliament should assume supreme control of land and all other national resources, including money."[2] However, Fuller was not averse to criticising Labor policy when it detrimentally affected his constituents, such as in April 1944 when he accused Labor leaders of stifling the economic development of the New South Wales Riverina district (which encompassed Hume).[3]

In parliament, Fuller quickly gained a reputation as one of its quirkier members. A tall, thin man with a long neck, Fuller was nicknamed "Pilsener" due to his resemblance to long thin pilsener bottles. His inclination for long, loud speeches led one reporter to write that Fuller was "at times likely to rant about things he was passionate about without thought for tact", while his idiosyncratic dress sense became a subject of mirth for the Canberra Press Gallery.[4]

Following his successful re-election in 1946, Fuller was given the official job of Government Whip and the unofficial job of chief heckler of opposition speakers, particularly Jack Lang.[5]

Fuller lost to his Country Party opponent Charles Anderson by 767 votes at the 1949 election following a campaign by the Country Party linking Fuller to the Communist menace. In 1951, Fuller regained Hume by 796 votes but lost it to Anderson again by 1715 votes in 1955 before regaining it again from Anderson by 704 votes at the 1961 election.

By the 1963 election Fuller, in failing health, no longer had to face his old opponent Anderson but had lost much of his support base, with longtime supporter The Tumut and Adelong Times urging a vote against "our grand old man of politics".[6]

Following his loss to his Country Party opponent John Pettitt, Fuller retired to Tumut.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Rydon, J., (1975), A Biographical Register of the Commonwealth Parliament 1901-1972, Australian National University Press, Canberra.
  2. ^ Parliamentary Debates of the Senate and House of Representatives, Session 1943, Fourth Session of the seventeenth Parliament, 27 July 1945.
  3. ^ Tumut and Adelong Times "Fuller in Parliament", 18 April 1944.
  4. ^ Brown, C. (2007). "Country Politics 1943-1963: War, Wool, Socialism and Swinging Seats". Charles Sturt University. Retrieved 2007-11-02. [dead link]
  5. ^ Daly, F. (1977) From Curtin to Kerr, Sun Books, Melbourne.
  6. ^ Tumut and Adelong Times, 28 November 1963.
Parliament of Australia
Preceded by
Thomas Collins
Member for Hume
1943–1949
Succeeded by
Charles Anderson
Preceded by
Charles Anderson
Member for Hume
1951–1955
Succeeded by
Charles Anderson
Preceded by
Charles Anderson
Member for Hume
1961–1963
Succeeded by
John Pettitt