James Henry Scullin ( born September 18, 1876 in Trawalla, Victoria, † January 28, 1953 in Melbourne, Victoria ) was the ninth Prime Minister of Australia. His term lasted 22 October 1929 to 6 January 1932. He was the first Catholic in this office. From 26 April 1928 to 22 October 1929 and dated January 6, 1932 to October 1, 1935, he was the leader of the opposition.
The time before he became Prime Minister (until October 1929)
James Scullin was born in Trawalla the fifth of nine children of John and Ann Scullins, born in Logan. His father was a railroad worker of Irish descent. First he went to Trawalla and later in Ballarat on the school. With 14 years he started to work. In the first few years he did this in changing occupations. Alongside he formed in evening classes and on weekends at public libraries on.
He was very interested in politics from an early age, so that he in 1903 when a committee, which can be viewed in Victoria as one of the forerunners of the Australian Labor Party (ALP ). A companion was among others John Curtin, who was also raised in the same area of Victoria.
In 1906 he was first placed in the parliamentary elections as a candidate for a seat in the House of Representatives. As his political opponents in the constituency Ballarat was the then Prime Minister Alfred Deakin, however, he had no chance of success.
On November 11, 1907, he married Sarah in Ballarat Maria McNamara ( 1880-1962 ). However, his marriage remained childless.
In the parliamentary elections of 1910, the first time he could move in as an MP in the House of Representatives. His constituency was this time Corangamite. His seat he lost however in the next elections in 1913 again.
Over the next eight years, he was then the editor of the Evening Echo, a daily newspaper of the ALP in Ballarat. During this time he became known as one of the leading political orators of his party. At the same time he was one of the most determined opponents of conscription in Australia. His attitude was that of an upright pacifists very close. James Scullin took his time to an application to have all the followers of conscription exclude from the party, which was also directed against the then incumbent Prime Minister Billy Hughes, as well as the former Prime Minister Chris Watson. This issue then led to the elimination of the National Labour Party under Billy Hughes from the ALP.
After James Scullin in 1920 tried in vain to get a seat in the state parliament of Victoria, he was able to move in by-elections in 1923 for the constituency of Yarra back to the House of Representatives. This seat he did not have to give up until his illness-related retirement in 1949.
In 1927 he rose to deputy party leader and on April 28, 1928 Finally, the party's leadership of the ALP in the footsteps of Matthew Carlton on. He was therefore also to the opposition leader.
The time as Prime Minister ( October 1929-January 1932 )
The early elections to the House of Representatives on 12 October 1929 led to a high electoral victory for the ALP, so that James Scullin was appointed in consequence on 22 October 1929 Prime Minister. The conservative opposition, however, claimed the majority in the Senate, as it was not re- elected.
James Scullins tenure was of the severe economic crisis, which was triggered two days after his inauguration on 24 October 1929 the so-called Black Thursday by the price drop on the New York Stock Exchange.
The height of the Depression hit Australia in 1930 and sparked mass unemployment from. The government Scullin was no match for this situation. Disordered state finances and rising expenses forced him off the gold standard for the Australian pound, the currency at that time to pick up and high tariffs to be levied on imported goods. In addition, the budgetary expenditure had to be severely restricted.
The ALP was torn inside about these measures and the resignation of his finance minister Ted Theodore in June 1930, this stumbled on an affair of his tenure as Prime Minister of Queensland, the position of the government is not improved. The opposition-controlled Senate was James Scullin any case against increasingly hostile.
Beginning of 1931, sat James Scullin on the one contrary to the then customary practice in the nomination process and on the other against the resistance of King George V Isaac Isaacs as Governor-General by the new. This was the first born in Australia and also the first Jew in this office.
In 1931, James Scullins ability to govern than in January, two of his ministers deteriorated resigned as Finance Minister on the occasion of the re-appointment of Ted Theodore. One of them was Joseph Lyons, later his successor in the office of the Prime Minister. They joined forces with the opposition Nationalist Party of Australia and formed the United Australia Party. In October, also another group of party members split off to the Prime Minister of New South Wales, Jack Lang, of the ALP and founded the Lang Labor Group. James Scullins government fell on 25 November 1931 as this new group teamed up with the opposition and supported a vote of no confidence against him.
The necessary elections on December 19, 1931 brought the opposition under Joseph Lyons, the government majority and so James Scullin was replaced on January 6, 1932 by this in office.
The time when he was prime minister (from January 1932)
After this defeat and his replacement as Prime Minister James Scullin was initially opposition leader. Only after re lost parliamentary elections in mid-September 1935, he handed over the party presidency of the ALP on October 1 at John Curtin.
His seat in the House of Representatives, he kept still and continuously up to the elections in December 1949, in which he could no longer compete due to illness.
A ministerial post he filled after his term as prime minister no longer sufficient. Such an offer John Curtin in 1941, he had to refuse because of health reasons, but served in various positions a valued advisor to the Prime Minister following it.
After many years of illness, most recently bedridden, he died on January 28, 1953 in his home in Hawthorn, a suburb of Melbourne.