|Member of the New South Wales Parliament
18 March 1939 – 16 February 1959
|Preceded by||James Webb|
|Succeeded by||Bill Rigby|
|Born||Clive Raleigh Evatt
6 June 1900
, New South Wales
|Died||15 September 1984
, New South Wales
|Political party||Australian Labor Party|
|Industrial Labor Party; Independent|
|Relations||H. V. Evatt (brother)|
|Children||Elizabeth Evatt; Penelope Seidler; Clive Evatt, jnr|
|Alma mater||Royal Military College, Duntroon; University of Sydney|
|Religion||Church of England|
|Years of service||1918(?)-22|
Clive Raleigh Evatt QC (6 June 1900 – 15 September 1984) was an Australian politician, barrister and raconteur. He was a member of the New South Wales Legislative Assembly from 1939 until 1959. At various times he sat as a member of the Industrial Labor Party, ALP and as an independent.
Evatt was born in East Maitland, the son of an immigrant publican who died when Evatt was one year old. One of eight brothers, including H. V. Evatt, they were educated at Fort Street Boys' High School.
Evatt's family prevented him from enlisting in the First AIF, but allowed him to enrol in the Royal Military College, Duntroon from which he graduated as a lieutenant in 1921. He resigned from the army during the next year to study law at the University of Sydney. While at university, he played Rugby League for University and New South Wales. Evatt graduated and was admitted to the New South Wales Bar in 1926.
He married Marjorie Andreas, the daughter of Harry Andreas of Leuralla, in 1928 and they had three children: Elizabeth Evatt AC; Penelope Seidler AM and defamation barrister Clive Evatt Jnr. His career as a barrister advanced rapidly and he was appointed a King's Counsel in 1935. He specialized in Workers' Compensation Cases but also appeared in criminal cases, most notably in the Shark Arm case.
In March 1939 he successfully contested the by-election caused by the death of James Webb, the member for Hurstville in the Legislative Assembly. Evatt had been endorsed by the Industrial Labor Party of Bob Heffron and defeated a candidate of the Australian Labor Party (NSW) supported by Jack Lang. This and a subsequent defeat at a by-election in Waverley signalled the end of Lang's term as Leader of the Australian Labor Party in New South Wales. The Industrial Labor Party was dissolved and Evatt was admitted to the Labor Party caucus when Lang was replaced as Labor leader by William McKell who subsequently led the ALP to victory at the 1941 election.
Evatt served in the governments of William McKell, James McGirr and Joseph Cahill as Minister for Education (1941–1944), Minister for Tourism (1946–1947), Minister for Housing (1947–1950 and 1952–1954) and Colonial Secretary (1950–1952).
Tensions within the New South Wales branch of the Australian Labor Party leading up to the 1950s party split led to Cahill forcing Evatt from the cabinet. In 1956 he was expelled from the ALP after he voted in parliament against a caucus decision to increase tram fares. He fought the subsequent election as an independent Labor candidate but he was defeated by the endorsed ALP candidate Bill Rigby.
Life after politics
After leaving politics he continued to work as a barrister with a large Worker's Compensation and defamation practice.
|Parliament of New South Wales|
|Member for Hurstville
1939 – 1959