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

Dugald Thomson

Dugald Thomson (1849-1922)

Member for North Sydney (New South Wales) 1901-1910

Born in Camberwell, London, England, Dugald Thomson migrated to South Australia with his family in 1850 and later moved to Victoria. Thomson was educated in England and trained in his uncle’s shipping business. He joined Robert Harper & Co as a junior clerk and 20 years later was a managing partner in the Sydney branch and established a shipping firm with J.P. Garvan. Thomson was elected to the New South Wales Legislative Assembly as the member for Warringah in 1894, and was a loyal supporter of free trade and George Reid. In spite of this he was a consistent advocate of federation, joining in campaign activities with Edmund Barton, and openly disagreeing with Reid on this issue.

In 1901 Thomson was elected to represent North Sydney in the House of Representatives at the first federal election. He was Minister for Home Affairs in the 1904-05 Reid-McLean ministry, and while in Opposition represented Reid during his many absences. He spoke frequently in the House of Representatives on navigation, tariff and shipping issues.

Thomson retired from federal politics in 1910. He was respected for his commercial knowledge, his strong convictions and his unimpeachable integrity.

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