John McNeill (Australian politician)

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The Honourable
John McNeill
John McNeill.jpg
Member of the Australian Parliament
for Wannon
In office
16 December 1922 – 14 November 1925
Preceded by Arthur Rodgers
Succeeded by Arthur Rodgers
In office
12 October 1929 – 19 December 1931
Preceded by Arthur Rodgers
Succeeded by Thomas Scholfield
Personal details
Born 1868
Tantanoola, South Australia
Died 14 June 1943 (aged 74–75)
Coogee, Sydney
Nationality Australian
Political party Australian Labor Party
Spouse(s) 1) Mary Ann Mills
2) Catherine Scullin
Occupation Unionist

John James McNeill (1868 – 14 June 1943) was a 20th-century Australian politician.

Early life[edit]

McNeill was born in Tantanoola, South Australia. After achieving a primary school education, McNeill worked as a shearer and then became a selector at Woosang. He sold his farm to prospect for gold during the Coolgardie, Western Australia gold rush and then returned to Victoria to farm at Macarthur before becoming an organiser for the Australian Workers' Union (AWU) in western Victoria and the Riverina of New South Wales. He married Mary Ann Mills in 1896, but she died in 1905.

Political career[edit]

McNeill contested the Victorian Legislative Assembly seat of Glenelg for Australian Labor Party in 1906. In 1908 he tried to farm in Roma, Queensland and then became an AWU organiser in Charleville. From 1913 to 1922 he was secretary of the Victoria-Riverina branch of the AWU. In 1915, he married James Scullin's sister, Catherine. McNeill narrowly won the seat of Wannon in the House of Representatives in 1922 but was beaten in 1925. He won it back in 1929.

On 2 March 1931, dissatisfaction with the economic performance of the Scullin Government and internal rivalries within the Labor Caucus resulted in the Caucus declaring all ministerial positions vacant and subsequently a new ministry was elected. McNeill was elected to cabinet and was allocated the portfolios of Health and Repatriation. He kept these positions until the Scullin Government resigned on 6 January 1932. He lost his parliamentary seat at the December 1931 general election.

McNeill was the General President of the Australian Workers' Union from 1939 until his death in the Sydney suburb of Coogee of a coronary occlusion. He was survived by his wife and their two sons, and his two sons and a daughter of his first marriage.[1]

References[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Frank Anstey
Minister for Health
1931–1932
Succeeded by
Charles Marr
Minister for Repatriation
1931–1932
Succeeded by
Charles Hawker
Parliament of Australia
Preceded by
Arthur Rodgers
Member for Wannon
1922–1925
Succeeded by
Arthur Rodgers
Preceded by
Arthur Rodgers
Member for Wannon
1929–1931
Succeeded by
Thomas Scholfield