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

Littleton Ernest Groom

Littleton Ernest Groom (1867-1936)

Member for Darling Downs (Queensland) 1901-1929, 1931-1936


Littleton Groom was born in Toowoomba, Queensland and was the third son of William Henry Groom, first federal member for Darling Downs. Groom was educated in Toowoomba and later at the University of Melbourne and practised as a barrister in Brisbane from 1891 to 1901. In 1900 he was appointed a deputy District Court judge.

Groom became the member for Darling Downs at a by-election held as a result of his father’s death in August 1901. On entering federal politics he soon made himself known by his radical protectionist views and for his strong belief that people should show their loyalties to the Commonwealth rather than to the states. He was a minister in the Deakin, Cook, Hughes and Bruce-Page ministries and was Speaker of the House of Representatives from 1926 until 1929, when he was refused Nationalist Party endorsement and was defeated in the election. He was re-elected as an Independent in 1931 and joined the United Australia Party in 1933. He died in office in 1936.

Groom was appointed King’s Counsel in 1923 and was knighted in 1924.

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