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

Vaiben Louis Solomon

Vaiben Louis Solomon (1853-1908)

Member for South Australia 1901-1903

Vaiben Solomon was born into an orthodox Jewish family in Adelaide, South Australia and was educated in Adelaide and Melbourne. He became involved in a variety of business ventures and much of his early working life was spent in the Northern Territory where he invested in mining and pearling, and owned and edited the Northern Territory Times and Gazette from 1885. Solomon was a member of the South Australian House of Assembly 1890-1901 as the representative for the Northern Territory. From 1 to 8 December 1899, Solomon was Premier of South Australia’s shortest-lived government.  He represented South Australia at the Australasian Federal Convention of 1897-98.

A staunch advocate of free trade, Solomon was elected to represent South Australia in the House of Representatives at the first federal election in 1901. In 1903, when South Australia was divided into electoral divisions, Solomon unsuccessfully contested the seat of Boothby.

In 1905 Solomon re-entered the South Australian Parliament as the representative for the Northern Territory and supported the transfer of responsibility for the Northern Territory from South Australia to the Commonwealth. He was Deputy Leader of the Opposition in 1908.

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