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John Perkins (Australian politician)


John Perkins (Australian politician)

The Honourable
John Perkins
Member of the Australian Parliament
for Eden-Monaro
In office
6 March 1926 – 12 December 1929
Preceded by Austin Chapman
Succeeded by John Cusack
In office
19 December 1931 – 21 August 1943
Preceded by John Cusack
Succeeded by Allan Fraser
Personal details
Born (1878-05-18)18 May 1878
Gocup, New South Wales
Died 13 July 1954(1954-07-13) (aged 76)
Manly, New South Wales
Nationality Australian
Political party Nationalist (1926–1929)
UAP (1931–43)
Spouse(s) Evelyn Mary Bray
Occupation Local councillor

John Arthur Perkins (18 May 1878 – 13 July 1954) was an Australian politician and journalist.

Perkins was born at Gocup near Tumut, New South Wales and educated at public schools in Tumut and Cooma. He was a member of the Cooma Municipal Council from 1902 to 1909 and mayor in 1904 and 1908. He married Evelyn Mary Bray in 1909.[1]

Perkins contested the New South Wales Legislative Assembly seat of Monaro in 1904 and in 1907, without success. In 1921, he was selected to fill a casual vacancy for Goulburn (which, during the proportional representation experiment from 1920 to 1927, was a multi-electorate that included the former Monaro district) for the Nationalist Party.[2]

Federal parliamentary career

In January 1926 Perkins won the Federal seat of Eden-Monaro at a by-election, but lost the seat in 1929 to John Cusack, retaking it in 1931. He was government whip from 1926 to 1929 and was appointed Minster for the Interior in the Lyons government in October 1932, responsible among other things for administering the Northern Territory. The anthropologist, A. P. Elkin congratulated him on his efforts "to make inter-racial conditions in the North more equable and more just". Nevertheless, criticism of Australia's treatment of indigenous Australians in the British press led Lyons to drop him from Cabinet in 1934. He was minister without portfolio from November 1937 to November 1938, Minister in charge of Territories for two days in November 1938 and then Minister for Trade and Customs until April 1939, when he became Minister without portfolio administering External Territories until March 1940.[1] He was defeated by Allan Fraser in the 1943 elections.[3]

Perkins died in the Sydney suburb of Manly, survived by his wife.[1]


Political offices
Preceded by
Archdale Parkhill
Minster for the Interior
Succeeded by
Eric Harrison
Preceded by
Billy Hughes
Minister in charge of Territories
Preceded by
Thomas White
Minister for Trade and Customs
Succeeded by
John Lawson
Preceded by
Eric Harrison
Minister without portfolio administering
External Territories

Succeeded by
Horace Nock
Preceded by
William Millard
Member for Goulburn
1921 – 1926
Served alongside: Rutledge/Stokes, Bailey/Tully
Succeeded by
Henry Bate
Preceded by
Austin Chapman
Member for Eden-Monaro
Succeeded by
John Cusack
Preceded by
John Cusack
Member for Eden-Monaro
Succeeded by
Allan Fraser
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