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


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James Newton Haxton Hume Cook

James Newton Haxton Hume Cook (1866-1942)

Member for Bourke (Victoria) 1901-1910


Born in Kihikihi, New Zealand, James Hume Cook arrived in Australia in 1881.

An estate agent, Cook became involved in politics through an association with the Australian Natives Association (ANA), and represented East Bourke in the Victorian Legislative Assembly 1894-1900. He was Mayor of Brunswick, Victoria, in 1896. He was an advocate of federation and urged the ANA to support the Constitution Bill produced by the Australasian Federal Convention of 1897.

A Protectionist with Labor sympathies, in the 1901 federal election Cook was elected to represent the seat of Bourke in the House of Representatives. Cook was Government Whip, Cabinet Secretary and a minister without portfolio in the second Deakin Ministry. He was defeated in the election of 1910.

After leaving Parliament, Cook assisted W.M. Hughes with political activities and held various high-ranking positions in industrial organisations. He was made a fellow of the Royal Economic Society in 1936 for his services to Protectionist causes on the recommendation of J.M. Keynes. Cook was appointed CMG in 1941.

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