Sol Rosevear

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The Honourable
Sol Rosevear
Sol Rosevear.jpg
Member of the Australian Parliament
for Dalley
In office
19 December 1931 – 21 March 1953
Preceded by Ted Theodore
Succeeded by Arthur Greenup
11th Speaker of the Australian House of Representatives
In office
22 June 1943 – 21 February 1950
Preceded by Walter Nairn
Succeeded by Archie Cameron
Personal details
Born (1892-01-04)4 January 1892
Pyrmont, New South Wales
Died 21 March 1953(1953-03-21) (aged 61)
Nationality Australian
Political party NSW Labor (1931–36)
Labor (1936–40)
Labor (N-C) (1940–41)
Labor (1941–53)
Spouse(s) Clara May White
Occupation Timber worker

John Solomon "Sol" Rosevear (4 January 1892 – 21 March 1953) was an Australian politician, and was Speaker of the Australian House of Representatives from 1943 to 1949.

Early life[edit]

Rosevear was born at Pyrmont, New South Wales to carter William John Rosevear and Maria, née McGuirk. He attended the local public school and worked in the timber industry. On 23 September 1916 at Pyrmont he married machinist Clara May White. Involved in the timberworkers' strike of 1929, he was subsequently unemployed and completed relief work.


Rosevear was an Australian Labor Party official and organised Ted Theodore's campaign in 1929. After the 1931 Labor split, however, Rosevear joined the Lang Labor breakaway and defeated Theodore in his seat of Dalley in the election of that year. He sat in the House of Representatives under the leadership of Jack Beasley until 1936, when the two factions reunited. Following the second split of 1940, Rosevear was deputy-leader of the Australian Labor Party (Non-Communist).

In 1941, John Curtin reunited the Labor Party and Rosevear rejoined the ALP. He was disappointed not to receive a cabinet post, but was appointed Speaker of the House of Representatives on 22 June 1943. He gained a reputation as an inflexible Speaker, accused by the media and the Opposition of partisanship; journalist E.H. Cox claimed that he was "frequently drunk in the Chair". Rosevear also permitted illegal gambling in the Chamber, and participated himself.

Rosevear continued to be influential in caucus, and it was rumoured that he hoped to succeed Ben Chifley as party leader, but his "taste for grog" was seen as a disqualification by some. In the 1949 election the Chifley government was defeated by the Liberal/Country Party coalition led by Prime Minister Robert Menzies and Rosevear lost the Speakership. He continued to sit in the House until his death of coronary occlusion on 21 March 1953. He was survived by his wife, a son, and a daughter. A portrait of Rosevear by Joshua Smith won the Archibald Prize in 1944.


External links[edit]

Parliament of Australia
Preceded by
Walter Nairn
Speaker of the Australian House of Representatives
Succeeded by
Archie Cameron
Preceded by
Ted Theodore
Member for Dalley
Succeeded by
Arthur Greenup