Joseph Cook

Sir Joseph Cook, GCMG PC ( born December 7, 1860 in Silverdale, Staffordshire, England; † 30 July 1947 in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia) was an Australian politician and the sixth Prime Minister of Australia. His term lasted 24 June 1913 to 17 September 1914.


Early years

Cook was born in Silverdale, Staffordshire, a small mining town near Newcastle -under- Lyme in the UK. He had no regular school education because he had to work in the coal mines from the age of nine years. In 1885 he married Mary Turner and soon left the country in the direction of New South Wales.

In the Australian Lithgow, he settled with his wife and worked in the coal mines there, and he in 1887 Secretary of the Western Miners Association has been a year. He took in 1888 in the demonstrations against the increasing immigration of Chinese workers in part. He also was active in the Single Tax League and a founding member of the Australian Labor Party (ALP ) in 1891, which emerged from a working-class movement.

Political career

Cook in 1891 for the Australian Labor Party, elected directly by the establishment, in the Parliament of New South Wales, where he represented the coal region around Hartley. This was the first parliamentary seat, which the Australian Labor Party achieved in their history at all. In 1894, he belonged to the group which fought against the intention of the party leadership to accept by self-regulation with a vital mission, after which he left the party after only three years. He now joined the Free Trade Party (FT ), which was led by future Prime Minister George Reid.


When the Commonwealth of Australia was founded in 1901, Cook was elected in constituency Parramatta, which also included the area around Lithgow. It was Reid's deputy, during his term as prime minister in 1904-05, however, obtaining a resort, mainly because Reid independent members of the Protectionist party had to offer items. As Reid in 1908 resigned from the party leadership, Cook agreed to the merger of the Free Trade Party with Alfred Deakin 's protectionists and was vice chairman of the Commonwealth Liberal Party.

During Deakin 's reign, 1909-1910, Cook served as defense minister and replaced just Deakin as Liberal leader after the election defeat of 1910.

Prime minister

During the elections in 1913, he was able to achieve a razor-thin majority of one seat in the House of Representatives, during lab won a majority in the Senate. Thus, Cook was the sixth Prime Minister of Australia. However, since he could not run his affairs without the control of the Senate, Cook used the section 57 of the Constitution of Australia, after which the Governor-General may dissolve in the repeated rejection of proposed legislation through the Senate, both chambers.

During the campaign for the elections in 1914, the First World War broke out and his political opponents of the Labor Party was able to convince voters the fact that his party, the creation of independent Australian forces had always advocated, while the Conservatives have voted against it. Due to the general uncertainty thus won the party Fishers.

Nationalist Party

In 1916 the Labor government failed after Fisher's successor, Billy Hughes, had tried to introduce conscription in Australia. Cook was Hughes 's deputy in the new Nationalist Party of Australia, while Secretary of the Navy in Hughes 's government. The nationalists had in 1917 and 1919 great success in the elections. For Australia, Cook took part in the Paris Peace Conference of 1919. There he defended the Australian policy to allow only white immigrants into the country, and sought the annexation of German New Guinea, which was later found among Japanese and Australian mandate. In the term of 1920/21 he was finance minister.

Cook resigned in 1921 and was High Commissioner of his country in London, where he served in that position until 1927. From 1928 to 1929 he headed a parliamentary committee ( Royal Commission ) in the province of South Australia. At the age of 86, he died in 1947 in Sydney.


On July 16, 1914 Cook was appointed to the Privy Council. Also, he was elevated to knighthood ( Knight Grand Cross of the Order of St Michael and St George ( GCMG ) ).