John Verran (9 July 1856 – 7 June 1932) was the 26th Premier of South Australia from 1910 to 1912 and a senator for South Australia from August 1927 to November 1928, representing the South Australian United Labor Party. The 1910 state election saw Labor form a majority government, the first time a party had done so in South Australia. He was a resident of Moonta, and was member for the South Australian House of Assembly seat of Wallaroo from 1901 to 1918. As premier, Verran helped to improve conditions for Aborigines while also making efforts to make home ownership more possible for the underprivileged.
|26th Premier of South Australia|
Elections: 1910, 1912
3 June 1910 – 17 February 1912
|Governor||Sir Day Bosanquet|
|Preceded by||Archibald Peake|
|Succeeded by||Archibald Peake|
|14th Leader of the Opposition (SA)|
|Preceded by||Richard Butler|
|Succeeded by||Archibald Peake|
|Preceded by||Archibald Peake|
|Succeeded by||Crawford Vaughan|
|4th United Labor Party leader|
|Preceded by||Thomas Price|
|Succeeded by||Crawford Vaughan|
|Senator for South Australia|
30 August 1927 – 16 November 1928
|Preceded by||Charles McHugh|
|Born||9 July 1856|
|Died||7 June 1932 (aged 75)|
|Political party||United Labor Party (1901–17)|
National Labor (1917–18)
|Spouse(s)||Catherine (nee Trembath)|
Verran was born at Gwennap, Cornwall in UK, on 9 July 1856 and when only three months old was taken by his parents to Australia. The family lived at Kapunda, South Australia, until he was eight, and then moved to Moonta where copper had been discovered in 1861. Verran received very little education and before he was 10 years old was working at the copper-mines as a pickey-boy, whose job it was to sort the ore above ground. He attended a night school some years later. Verran learned to read with encouragement from the ministers of the Primitive Methodist church at Moonta. When 18 he went to the Queensland gold-mines but soon returned to Moonta, where he worked as a miner for nearly 40 years. He was elected president of the Moonta miners' association (the Amalgamated Miners' Association) and held this office from 1895 to 1913. Verran was an active member and local preacher in the Primitive Methodist church, and later recognised this influence with the comment "I am an M.P., because I am a P.M."
Verran married Catherine Trembath in Moonta on 21 February 1880. They had eight children together before she died in 1914.
In 1901 he was elected a member of the South Australian House of Assembly in a by-election for Wallaroo, having been defeated for the seat at the 1896 and 1899 elections. On the death of Premier Thomas Price in 1909, Verran became Labor leader. Labor demanded the Premier position for Verran, however LDU leader Archibald Peake refused which saw Peake form a one-year government. The following year, Verran led Labor to South Australia's first majority government in the House of Assembly at the 1910 election, with Labor on a primary vote of 49.1 percent and 22 of 42 seats, less than two weeks before Labor formed Australia's first elected federal majority government and first elected Senate majority at the 1910 federal election.
On 3 June 1910 Verran became Premier, and was also commissioner of public works and minister of mines and of water-supply. Lasting less than 21 months, the government faced riots due to a drivers' strike in Adelaide streets, and criticism of how Verran handled the problem. Considerable sums were spent on railways and harbours. The Advances for Homes Act of 1911 allowed the State Bank of South Australia to grant loans to poorer people, but the Legislative Council would not support the government attempts to create state brickyards and timber mills. Relations between the assembly and the council were strained, with Verran petitioning the British parliament to veto the council's decision. Verran called a 1912 election over the power of the upper house to veto the lower, however Labor suffered a swing against them, and were left with 16 of 40 seats.
Verran introduced the Aborigines Bill in 1910 which revealed the ignorance and racism of white attitudes towards Australia’s indigenous people at the time, and was a member of the Royal Commission on Aborigines (1912-1916). As a backbencher during World War I, Verran was supported by the All British League in leading a campaign against people of German descent. He sought to close all Lutheran schools, disenfranchise (remove the right to vote from) people of German origin or birth and demand that Lutheran children "be taught pure English, and taught by those who are British, and taught what it is to be British".
Verran was succeeded as leader of the Labor party by Crawford Vaughan in 1913, and he broke with that party in 1917 over the conscription issue. In 1918 he stood as a National Party candidate and was defeated. He stood as an independent in 1921 and a Liberal in 1924, also without success.
Verran was also defeated at the federal election held in 1925. In 1927 he was elected by the South Australian parliament to fill the vacancy in the federal Senate caused by the death of Senator Charles McHugh. He lost his seat in 1928 and henceforth lived in retirement.
Verran was a man of fine character whose honesty was proverbial. For many years he was a power in the Labor ranks, but his career really ended when he left the party.
| Leader of the Opposition of South Australia
| Premier of South Australia|
1910 – 1912
| Commissioner of Public Works
1910 – 1912
| Leader of the Opposition of South Australia
|South Australian House of Assembly|
| Member for Wallaroo
Served alongside: Richard Hooper, Peter Allen, John Herbert, John Shannon, Alfred Winter, John Southwood
|Party political offices|
| Leader of the United Labor Party
1909 – 1913
State elections were held in South Australia on 2 April 1910. All 42 seats in the South Australian House of Assembly were up for election. The incumbent Liberal and Democratic Union (LDU) government led by Premier of South Australia Archibald Peake was defeated by the United Labor Party (ULP) led by John Verran. Each of the 13 districts elected multiple members, with voters casting multiple votes. The Peake LDU minority government had replaced the Price ULP/LDU coalition government in June 1909. The 1910 election was the first to result in a South Australian majority government. This came two weeks after the election of a first majority in either house in the Parliament of Australia at the 1910 federal election, also for Labor. Though a South Australian majority was won, the ULP did not take office until after the new lower house first met.1912 South Australian state election
State elections were held in South Australia on 10 February 1912. All 40 seats in the South Australian House of Assembly were up for election. The incumbent United Labor Party government led by Premier of South Australia John Verran was defeated by the opposition Liberal Union led by Leader of the Opposition Archibald Peake. Each of the 13 districts elected multiple members, with voters casting multiple votes.Archibald Peake
Archibald Henry Peake (15 January 1859 – 6 April 1920) was an Australian politician. He was Premier of South Australia on three occasions: from 1909 to 1910 for the Liberal and Democratic Union, and from 1912 to 1915 and 1917 to 1920 for its successor, the Liberal Union. He had also been Treasurer and Attorney-General in the Price-Peake coalition government from 1905 to 1909.Australian Labor Party (South Australian Branch)
The Australian Labor Party (South Australian Branch), commonly known as South Australian Labor, is the South Australian Branch of the Australian Labor Party, originally formed in 1891 as the United Labor Party of South Australia. It is one of two major parties in the bicameral Parliament of South Australia, the other being the Liberal Party of Australia (SA Division).
Since the 1970 election, marking the beginning of democratic proportional representation (one vote, one value) and ending decades of pro-rural electoral malapportionment known as the Playmander, Labor have won 11 of the 15 elections. Spanning 16 years and 4 terms, Labor was last in government from the 2002 election until the 2018 election. Jay Weatherill led the Labor government since a 2011 leadership change from Mike Rann. During 2013 it became the longest-serving state Labor government in South Australian history, and in addition went on to win a fourth four-year term at the 2014 election.
Labor's most notable historic Premiers of South Australia include Thomas Price in the 1900s, Don Dunstan in the 1970s and John Bannon in the 1980s.Bill Denny
William Joseph "Bill" Denny, (6 December 1872 – 2 May 1946) was a South Australian journalist, lawyer, politician and decorated soldier who held the South Australian House of Assembly seats of West Adelaide from 1900 to 1902 and then Adelaide from 1902 to 1905 and again from 1906 to 1933. After an unsuccessful candidacy as a United Labor Party (ULP) member in 1899, he was elected as an "independent liberal" in a by-election in 1900. He was re-elected in 1902, but defeated in 1905. The following year, he was elected as a ULP candidate, and retained his seat for that party (the Australian Labor Party from 1917) until 1931. Along with the rest of the cabinet, he was ejected from the Australian Labor Party in 1931, and was a member of the Parliamentary Labor Party until his electoral defeat at the hands of a Lang Labor Party candidate in 1933.
Denny was the Attorney-General of South Australia and Minister for the Northern Territory in the government led by John Verran (1910–12). In August 1915, Denny enlisted in the First Australian Imperial Force to serve in World War I, initially as a trooper in the 9th Light Horse Regiment. After being commissioned in 1916, he served in the 5th Division Artillery and 1st Divisional Artillery on the Western Front. He was awarded the Military Cross in September 1917 when he was wounded while leading a convoy into forward areas near Ypres, and ended the war as a captain.
He was again Attorney-General in the Labor governments led by John Gunn (1924–26), Lionel Hill (1930–33) and Robert Richards (1933), and held other portfolios in those governments, including housing, irrigation and repatriation. Denny published two memoirs of his military service, and when he died in 1946 aged 73, he was accorded a state funeral.Charles McHugh (politician)
Charles Stephen McHugh (23 April 1887 – 24 July 1927) was an Australian politician. Born in South Australia, he was educated at Catholic schools before becoming a clerk and an official with the Australian Workers' Union. He served on Thebarton Town Council before being elected to the Australian Senate in 1922 as a Labor Senator for South Australia. He held the seat until his death in 1927; Nationalist John Verran was appointed as his replacement.Crawford Vaughan
Crawford Vaughan (14 July 1874 – 15 December 1947) was an Australian politician, and the Premier of South Australia from 1915 to 1917. He was a member of the South Australian House of Assembly from 1905 to 1918, representing Torrens (1905–1915) and Sturt (1915–1918). Elected for the United Labor Party, he served as Treasurer in the Verran government, succeeded Verran as Labor leader in 1913, and was elected Premier after the Labor victory at the 1915 state election.
Vaughan's career was curtailed by the 1916–17 Labor split over conscription in World War I, as Vaughan and other supporters of conscription were expelled from the Labor Party in early 1917. Vaughan continued in office until July heading a minority government of the splinter National Party; however, his government was then ousted by the conservative Liberal Union opposition of Archibald Peake. The National Party went into coalition, serving under Peake as junior instead of senior partner, but Vaughan did not take a ministerial portfolio, spent most of his remaining term overseas, and was defeated at the 1918 election after launching a last-minute campaign as an independent candidate.Electoral district of Wallaroo
Wallaroo is a defunct electoral district that elected members to the House of Assembly, the lower house of the bicameral legislature of the Australian state of South Australia. It was established in 1875 and abolished in 1970.Successful 1891 Wallaroo by-election candidate Richard Hooper was the first Labor member of the House of Assembly, but was not a member of the newly formed United Labor Party (ULP), instead serving as an Independent Labor member. The 1892 East Adelaide by-election saw ULP candidate John McPherson win the seat. It was the first time the ULP had won a seat in the House of Assembly, with electoral success to be followed at the 1893 colonial election, winning 10 of 54 seats and the balance of power, allowing the ULP to support the liberal opposition led by Charles Kingston in defeating the conservative government led by John Downer.
The town of Wallaroo is currently located in the safe Liberal seat of Goyder. The two current Wallaroo booths totaling 3,000 voters are both marginally Liberal.Frederick Coneybeer
Frederick William Coneybeer (13 September 1859 – 30 May 1950) was an Australian politician. He was a member of the South Australian House of Assembly from 1893 to 1921 and from 1924 to 1930, representing the electorates of East Torrens (1893-1902, 1915-1921, 1924-1930) and Torrens (1902-1915).Coneybeer was born in Clifton in Bristol, England. His family migrated to Sydney, thence to Orange, New South Wales in 1865, where he was educated, then learned the trade of collar maker from his father and for around ten years followed this trade. In 1880 he moved to Melbourne, where he worked for a while, then to Adelaide, South Australia in 1881, where he found employment with J. A. Holden & Co. He was an active member of the Saddlers' Trade Society, and filled most positions in that Union.
Coneybeer was elected as a member of the United Labor Party in 1893, and served as state Minister for Education under Thomas Price (1908-1909) and John Verran (1910-1912). In 1915, when Labor regained office under Crawford Vaughan, he was made Speaker of the House of Assembly.In 1917, the Labor Party split over conscription, and Coneybeer followed Vaughan and Verran into the new National Party. The Vaughan government soon fell, and the National Party immediately entered into a coalition government with their former rivals, the Liberal Union, with the National Party as junior partner. Coneybeer remained Speaker throughout, only losing office when lost his seat in 1921, as the coalition split and the National Party was resoundingly defeated statewide. The Liberal and National parties merged to form the Liberal Federation in 1923, and Coneybeer was elected to his old seat as a Liberal at the 1924 election. He was re-elected in 1927, but lost his seat to a Labor candidate in 1930.John McPherson
John Abel McPherson (28 January 1860 – 13 December 1897) was the first leader of the South Australian United Labor Party from 1892 to 1897. So successful, less than a decade later at the 1905 election, Thomas Price would form the world's first stable Labor government. John Verran led Labor to form the state's first of many majority governments at the 1910 election.John Stanley Verran
John Stanley (Stan) Verran (24 December 1883 – 30 August 1952) was an Australian politician.Verran was born in Moonta, the son of John Verran, later Premier of South Australia. He went to work in a mine at the age of 11, and later worked as a clerk in Port Adelaide. He was involved in the formation of the Federated Clerks' Union, and served as president of the Australian Government Workers' Association.In 1918, he was elected to the South Australian House of Assembly as a Labor member for Port Adelaide, at the same election as his father was defeated standing for the splinter National Party. In 1924, he was selected by the party's general plebiscite as one of fifteen Labor candidates for the metropolitan area at the forthcoming election, but was defeated by Frank Condon by one vote in a Port Adelaide electorate committee vote for which two candidates would contest Port Adelaide. He was subsequently chosen to contest the more difficult seat of Sturt and lost.In 1925, the second Port Adelaide MP, John Price, resigned from parliament when he was appointed Agent-General for South Australia. Verran was selected by general plebiscite as the Labor candidate in the resulting by-election, which he won, returning to parliament. A subsequent change in party rules saw electorate committees given the power to determine their own candidates, and in August 1926 Verran lost Labor preselection for the 1927 election to John Jonas. He retired at the election, but tensions around his preselection defeat were touted as one of the reasons behind Condon's defeat by independent Protestant Labor Party candidate Thomas Thompson at that election.Liberal and Democratic Union
The Liberal and Democratic Union (LDU) was a South Australian political party formed by early liberals, as opposed to the conservatives. It was formed in 1906 when liberal party structures were becoming more solid. Its leader, Archibald Peake, stressed that the LDU represented 'something not so sharply set as Labourism, not so dull in its edge as conservatism'. But with Labor taking over the middle ground, Kingstonian liberals like Peake had to choose.
At the 1905 election, Peake sought a Liberal alliance with Price Labor: 'the only difference between us is a difference of degree and of speed'. The Price-Peake administration was formed. At the 1906 election, the LDU won 10 percent of the vote and nine of 42 seats and continued to support the Price Labor government.
When Price died in 1909, Labor as the largest single party in the lower house demanded it retain the premiership in their coalition, however Peake refused. Invited to form a ministry, he filled it with LDU members and became premier, treasurer and minister of education. The ministry survived with the parliamentary support of two independent conservative parties, the Australasian National League (formerly National Defence League) and the Farmers and Producers Political Union, and in December was reconstructed to include members of both.
John Verran led Labor to South Australia's first majority government with 22 of 42 seats from a 49.1 percent primary vote at the 1910 election. The three anti-Labor parties endorsed a shared "Liberal" slate of candidates, winning a combined 20 of 42 seats from a 49.6 percent combined primary vote. Later in 1910 after the election, the parties merged and formed the Liberal Union with Peake as leader. The parties readily approved the merger, however, the LDU which salvaged the fewest of their principles from the merger were more hesitant. Peake persuaded a party conference that 'the day of the middle party is passed', and approved the merger by just one vote.Members of the Australian Senate, 1926–1929
This is a list of members of the Australian Senate from 1926 to 1929. Half of its members were elected at the 16 December 1922 election and had terms starting on 1 July 1923 and finishing on 30 June 1929; the other half were elected at the 14 November 1925 election and had terms starting on 1 July 1926 and finishing on 30 June 1932. The process for filling casual vacancies was complex. While senators were elected for a six year term, people appointed to a casual vacancy only held office until the earlier of the next election for the House of Representatives or the Senate.Members of the South Australian House of Assembly, 1899–1902
This is a list of members of the South Australian House of Assembly from 1899 to 1902, as elected at the 1899 colonial election:The Federation of Australia occurred on 1 January 1901, resulting in South Australia changing from a colony to a state of the new nation during this term of parliament. Seven members of the House of Assembly were elected to the new Parliament of Australia at the 1901 federal election, resulting in by-elections for their state seats.
1 Encounter Bay MHA Charles Tucker was unseated by the Court of Disputed Returns on 6 July 1899. He was re-elected at the resulting by-election on 29 July.
2 West Adelaide MHA Charles Kingston resigned on 7 February 1900. Bill Denny won the resulting by-election on 17 March.
3 Northern Territory MHA Walter Griffiths died on 4 September 1900. Charles Edward Herbert won the resulting by-election on 20 October.
4 West Adelaide MHA Lee Batchelor vacated his seat when he was seated in the first Parliament of Australia on 9 May 1901. Francis Bernard Keogh won the resulting by-election on 1 June.
5 North Adelaide MHA Paddy Glynn vacated his seat when he was seated in the first Parliament of Australia on 9 May 1901. Hugh Robert Dixson won the resulting by-election on 1 June.
6 Barossa MHA John Downer vacated his seat when he was seated in the first Parliament of Australia on 9 May 1901. E. H. Coombe won the resulting by-election on 8 June.
7 Burra MHA Frederick Holder vacated his seat when he was seated in the first Parliament of Australia on 9 May 1901. William Russell won the resulting by-election on 8 June.
8 Gumeracha MHA Thomas Playford vacated his seat when he was seated in the first Parliament of Australia on 9 May 1901. William Jamieson won the resulting by-election on 1 June.
9 Flinders MHA Alexander Poynton vacated his seat when he was seated in the first Parliament of Australia on 9 May 1901. William Tennant Mortlock won the resulting by-election on 8 June.
10 Northern Territory MHA Vaiben Louis Solomon vacated his seat when he was seated in the first Parliament of Australia on 9 May 1901. Samuel James Mitchell won the resulting by-election on 15 June.
11 Wallaroo MHA Henry Allerdale Grainger resigned on 30 May 1901. John Verran won the resulting by-election on 22 June.
12 West Torrens MHA Frank Hourigan died on 1 December 1901. No by-election was held before the 1902 election.Members of the South Australian Legislative Council, 1908–1910
This is a list of members of the South Australian Legislative Council from 1908 to 1910.
It was the third Legislative Council to be fully determined by provisions of the (State) Constitution Act 779 of 1901, which provided for, inter alia, a reduction in the number of seats from 24 to 18, realignment of District borders to encompass Assembly electorates, six-year terms (one half of the Council retiring every three years), and elections held jointly with the House of Assembly.This parliament's scheduled term of 1908 to 1911 was cut short by a Constitutional crisis when Thomas Price died, and John Verran refused to negotiate a coalition government like the Price-Peake administration.Members of the South Australian Legislative Council, 1910–1912
This is a list of members of the South Australian Legislative Council from 1910 to 1912
It was the third Legislative Council to be fully determined by provisions of the (State) Constitution Act 779 of 1901, which provided for, inter alia, a reduction in the number of seats from 24 to 18, realignment of District borders to encompass Assembly electorates, six-year terms (one half of the Council retiring every three years), and elections held jointly with the House of Assembly.The election of 1910 was called after a Constitutional crisis when Thomas Price died, and John Verran refused to negotiate a coalition government like the Price-Peake administration.
1 The three anti-Labor parties, the Liberal and Democratic Union, the Australasian National League and the Farmers and Producers Political Union, formally merged to form the Liberal Union in late 1910. They had been in merger discussions for some time, and had jointly endorsed a united Liberal ticket for the Legislative Council at the 1910 election.
2 Liberal MLC Theodore Bruce died on 1 July 1911. Liberal candidate Charles Morris won the resulting by-election on 5 August.Thomas Price (South Australian politician)
Thomas Price (19 January 1852 – 31 May 1909), frequently referred to as Tom Price, served as the South Australian United Labor Party's first Premier of South Australia. He formed a minority government at the 1905 election and was re-elected with increased representation at the 1906 double dissolution election serving until his death in 1909. It was the world's first stable Labor government. So successful, John Verran led Labor to form the state's first of many majority governments at the 1910 election.
Achievements of the government included free state secondary schools, the formation of wages boards and a minimum wage, establishing the Municipal Tramways Trust through nationalisation, the costly administration of the Northern Territory was surrendered to the Federal government, and reform (though limited) of the upper house. The government also returned to successive budget surpluses and reduced the accumulated public debt.Verran, South Australia
Verran is a locality in the Australian state of South Australia located on the Eyre Peninsula about 241 kilometres (150 miles) west of the state capital of Adelaide. Its name is derived from the cadastral unit of the Hundred of Verran, which was named for former Premier John Verran.Verran began as a government town surveyed during May 1914 and proclaimed by Governor Galway on 30 July 1914. The government town was declared to “cease to exist” on 29 October 1970. Boundaries for the locality were created during December 1998 and include the “ceased Government Town of Verran.” The Verran Siding School opened in 1913 and closed in 1941. A postal receiving office opened at Verran on 21 June 1912, became a post office in June 1915, and closed on 29 February 1972.The principal land use within the locality is ‘primary production’ which mainly concerned with "grazing and cropping." It also includes the protected area known as the Verran Tanks Conservation Park.Verran is located within the federal division of Grey, the state electoral district of Flinders and the local government area of the District Council of Cleve.Verran Ministry
The Verran Ministry was the 47th Ministry of the Government of South Australia, led by John Verran of the Labor Party. It commenced on 3 June 1910, following the Labor victory at the 1910 state election. It was succeeded by the Second Peake Ministry on 17 February 1912 following the defeat of the Verran government at the 1912 election.
Parliamentary Leaders of the Australian Labor Party (South Australian Branch)