Carty Salmon

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Dr Carty Salmon
Carty Salmon - Swiss Studios (cropped).jpg
2nd Speaker of the Australian House of Representatives
In office
23 July 1909 – 30 June 1910
Preceded byFrederick Holder
Succeeded byCharles McDonald
Member of the Australian Parliament
for Grampians
In office
20 February 1915 – 15 September 1917
Preceded byEdward Jolley
Succeeded byEdmund Jowett
Member of the Australian Parliament
for Laanecoorie
In office
29 March 1901 – 23 April 1913
Preceded byNew seat
Succeeded byDivision abolished
Personal details
Born(1860-07-27)27 July 1860
Amherst, Victoria
Died15 September 1917(1917-09-15) (aged 57)
South Yarra, Victoria
Political partyProtectionist (1901–09)
Liberal (1909–17)
Nationalist (1917)
Spouse(s)Nancy Anne Harris
Alma materUniversity of Melbourne

Charles Carty Salmon (27 July 1860 – 15 September 1917) was an Australian politician who served as the second Speaker of the Australian House of Representatives, in office from 1909 to 1910. A doctor by profession, he began his political career in the Victorian Legislative Assembly before winning election to the House of Representatives at the inaugural 1901 federal election. He represented the Protectionist Party initially and then the Liberal Party, serving as Speaker for the duration of the fourth Deakin Ministry. Salmon lost his seat in 1913, but returned to the House at a by-election in 1915. He died in office two years later.

Early life[edit]

Salmon was born at Amherst, Victoria on 27 July 1860 to English-born parents: storekeeper Frederick Browne Salmon and Susannah Carty, née Arnell. He attended Scotch College, Melbourne and, after a brief time with his uncle's tobacco company, returned to his father's grazing property. In 1886, he entered the University of Melbourne, studying medicine, obtaining Scottish qualifications and subsequently practicing as a doctor.

Colonial politics[edit]

As honorary surgeon for the South Yarra Relief Committee, Salmon met Alfred Deakin and formed a lifelong friendship. He won an 1893 by-election for the Victorian Legislative Assembly seat of Talbot and Avoca as an independent, and became identified as a political liberal. He was a minister without portfolio, and subsequently minister for public instruction and commissioner for trade and customs, in Allan McLean's government from 1899–1900. He married Nancy Anne Harris in Sydney on 3 October 1900.

Federal politics[edit]

Salmon as Speaker of the House

In 1901, Salmon won election to the new Australian House of Representatives as the Protectionist member for Laanecoorie, holding the seat until its abolition at the 1913 election. He was known for his support of the White Australia policy, a strong national defence (not including conscription), and the policy of New Protection. In 1909, when the Protectionist Party amalgamated with the Anti-Socialists, he became a member of the resulting "Fusion" Liberal Party.

Prior to his election to the speakership, Salmon was known as "an undistinguished but loyal personal follower" of Alfred Deakin, who began his third term as prime minister on 2 June. On 23 July, the incumbent speaker Sir Frederick Holder suffered a fatal cerebral haemorrhage while in the chamber. Salmon was elected as his successor on the same day, defeating Philip Fysh and Agar Wynne with the aid of Deakin's personal support.[1]

Salmon's term as Speaker lasted less than a year, as the Labor Party won the 1910 federal election and elected one of its own members to the position, Charles McDonald. This remained the shortest tenure for a Speaker until Ian Sinclair's term of 180 days in 1998. Salmon attempted to transfer to the Senate in 1913 after his seat's abolition, but was defeated; he also declined preselection for the safe seat of Balaclava. In 1915, however, he won the seat of Grampians from Labor in a by-election and joined the Nationalist Party upon its formation in 1916.

Salmon was a freemason and from 1914 was the grand master of the Grand Lodge of Victoria. He was also a lieutenant-colonel in the Australian Army Medical Corps and commanded a base hospital in Melbourne in 1914. He died on 15 September 1917 at his home in South Yarra and was buried with Masonic rites and full military honours. His eulogy was delivered by Lowther Clarke, Archbishop of Melbourne, and both Prime Minister Billy Hughes and Leader of the Opposition Matthew Charlton attended his funeral.


  • Hancock, I.R. (1988). "Salmon, Charles Carty (1860–1917)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. Canberra: Australian National University. Retrieved 29 March 2008.
Parliament of Australia
Preceded by
Frederick Holder
Speaker of the Australian House of Representatives
Succeeded by
Charles McDonald
Preceded by
new seat
Member for Laanecoorie
Succeeded by
seat abolished
Preceded by
Edward Jolley
Member for Grampians
Succeeded by
Edmund Jowett
Masonic offices
Preceded by
Reverend Albert Holden
Grand Master of the United Grand Lodge of Victoria
Succeeded by
Fredrick Hickford
  1. ^ Souter, Gavin (1988). Acts of Parliament: A Narrative History of the Senate and House of Representatives. Melbourne University Press. p. 115.