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

James George Drake

James George Drake (1850-1941)

Senator for Queensland 1901-1906

James Drake was born in London, England and migrated to Queensland in 1874. He worked as a journalist for a number of leading newspapers, was a shorthand writer with the Queensland Parliament’s reporting staff, and was admitted to the Bar in 1882. Drake was a member of the Queensland Legislative Assembly 1888-99 and a Member of the Legislative Council 1899-1901 where he held the position of Government Leader, Postmaster-General and Secretary for Public Instruction.

In 1901 Drake was elected as a Protectionist to represent Queensland in the Senate at the first federal election. In February 1901 he was appointed to the Barton Ministry as Postmaster-General, a position which he held until 1903 when he briefly became Minister for Defence. He was Attorney-General 1903-04 and Vice-President of the Executive Council 1904-05.

Drake did not stand for re-election to the Senate in 1906 but retired from politics and resumed practising law in Queensland.

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