Claude Barnard

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The Honourable
Claude Barnard
Claude Barnard.jpg
Member of the Australian Parliament
for Bass
In office
15 September 1934 – 10 December 1949
Preceded by Allan Guy
Succeeded by Bruce Kekwick
Personal details
Born (1890-10-16)16 October 1890
Mole Creek, Tasmania
Died 6 December 1957(1957-12-06) (aged 67)
Launceston, Tasmania
Nationality Australian
Political party Australian Labor Party
Spouse(s) Martha Melva McKenzie
Children Lance Barnard
Occupation Engine driver

Herbert Claude Barnard (16 October 1890 – 6 December 1957) was an Australian politician and government minister.

Barnard was born at Mole Creek, Tasmania and was educated at Invermay State School, but left school at 14. In 1909 he began working for Tasmanian Government Railways, first as an engine cleaner and eventually as a driver. In March 1912 he married Martha Melva McKenzie and they raised three sons and a daughter in East Launceston. In 1920 he helped found the Australian Federated Union of Locomotive Enginemen.[1]

Political career[edit]

Barnard stood unsuccessfully at the 1931 election as the Australian Labor Party candidate for the seat of Bass in the Australian House of Representatives. In 1933, he became state secretary of the party and at the 1934 election he won Bass. From 1941 to 1946, he was chairman of the joint parliamentary committee on social security, which developed much of the Curtin and Chifley governments' social policy agenda. In November 1946, he was appointed Minister for Repatriation in the second Chifley Ministry. Although one of his sons was killed in the war and the other two were injured, he was under constant attack from service organisations and others for not delivering more for war veterans and, like his predecessor, Charles Frost, in 1946, he lost his seat at the 1949 election.[1]

In 1950, Barnard was elected to represent the Tasmanian House of Assembly division of Bass and held it until his death. He died of cancer in Launceston Public Hospital, survived by his wife and two sons, one of whom, Lance Barnard, was Deputy Prime Minister of Australia 1972–74.[1]


  1. ^ a b c Chapman, R. j. k. (1993). "Barnard, Herbert Claude (1890–1957)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. Canberra: Australian National University. Retrieved 2008-01-13. 

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Charles Frost
Minister for Repatriation
Succeeded by
Walter Cooper
Parliament of Australia
Preceded by
Allan Guy
Member for Bass
Succeeded by
Bruce Kekwick