Commonwealth of Australia Coat of Arms
For Peace, Order and Good Government: The first Parliament of the Commonwealth of Australia
Early proposals
Six colonies
Drafting a constitution
Declaration of the Commonwealth
Conducting the first Federal election
Who could vote?
The election campaign
9 May 1901
The royal visit
The first federal parliamentarians
Ministry of May, 1901
Edmund Barton
Political parties
Legislative program
Relationship between the houses

Members of the First Parliament

Francis Clarke

Francis Clarke (1857-1939)

Member for Cowper (New South Wales) 1901-1903

Francis Clarke was born in Stroud, New South Wales and educated at St Stanislaus College, Bathurst. Clarke, a surveyor, had a lengthy career in the New South Wales Parliament prior to becoming involved in federal politics. He was the Member for Macleay (1893-94) and Hastings and Macleay (1894-98) in the Legislative Assembly and was a member of the Legislative Council 1899-1900.

In 1901 Clarke was elected as a Protectionist to represent the federal seat of Cowper in the House of Representatives at the first federal election. He was defeated at the election of 1903. After his parliamentary service, Clarke was a member of the Royal Commission on Customs and Tariff 1904-07 and in 1913 was a member of the Northern Territory Commission.

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