James Hume Cook

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The Honourable
James Hume Cook
James Hume Cook.jpg
Member of the Australian Parliament
for Bourke
In office
29 March 1901 – 13 April 1910
Preceded by New seat
Succeeded by Frank Anstey
Personal details
Born (1866-11-24)24 November 1866
Kihikihi, New Zealand
Died 8 August 1942(1942-08-08) (aged 75)
Brighton, Victoria
Nationality New Zealand Australian
Political party Protectionist (1901–09)
Liberal (1909–10)
Spouse(s) Nellie Maine
Occupation Estate agent

James Newton Haxton Hume Cook CMG (23 September 1866 – 8 August 1942) was an Australian politician.

Hume Cook was born in Kihikihi, New Zealand, son of a failed farmer and he had to leave school at 13 to work selling books. He migrated with his family to Melbourne in 1881. He left home in 1887 to sell real estate and soon became active in the Australian Natives' Association. In 1893, he was elected to Brunswick Town Council and in 1896 became mayor. In 1902, he married Nellie Maine.[1]

Political career[edit]

Hume Cook was elected to the seat of East Bourke Boroughs in the Victorian Legislative Assembly in 1894. He supported to federation of Australia 1897, but came only 19th in the vote for the Victorian delegates to the 1897 Australasian Federal Convention. He supported liberal causes, such as protection and state intervention into wage-fixing and working conditions, but lost his seat in 1900.[1]

Hume Cook won the Australian House of Representatives seat of Bourke at the first federal election in 1901 as a Protectionist. He joined the fusion in 1909 in an attempt to hold on to his seat, although its creation ran against his liberal principles. From January 1908 to the defeat of the government in 1908, he was a minister without portfolios in the Deakin ministry. He chaired a royal commission on postal services from June to December 1908. The Labor Party campaigned actively against him at the 1910 election and he was defeated by Frank Anstey. He ran unsuccessfully for Maribyrnong at the 1913 election.[1]

Hume Cook was involved with Billy Hughes in the establishment of the Nationalist Party in 1916 and the Australian Party in 1929 and 1930. He was also secretary of the Australian Industries Protection League from 1922 until his death and represented Australian industry at the British Empire Economic Conference in Ottawa in 1932. In 1941, he was made a Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George (CMG). He died in the Melbourne suburb of Brighton, Victoria, survived by his wife, a daughter and two sons.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d Hancock, I. R. (1981). "Cook, James Newton Haxton Hume (1866–1942)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. Canberra: Australian National University. Retrieved 2008-02-24. 
Parliament of Australia
New division Member for Bourke
Succeeded by
Frank Anstey