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Former Member of Parliament Details

  Hon Sir Richard Butler

PERSONAL DETAILS

Full Name Sir Richard Butler
Date of Birth 03 Dec 1850
QualificationsKt. (1913)
Prior EmploymentFarmer and grazier
Public ActivitiesSir Richard Butler came to Adelaide as a child, and was a prominent community member before his election to represent Yatala in the Lower House in 1890, a position he held for twelve years. He moved to Adelaide in 1899 and stood for the Barossa, which he represented until 1924. Butler's early years in Parliament were characterised by a certain flexibility in political position and alignment, supporting both the Playford and Downer ministries before transferring his allegiances to Kingston in 1893. He supported women's suffrage and free education but opposed free trade. He was appointed Treasurer in Jenkin's 1901 ministry, which became more conservative over the next 3 years as the financial and political problems caused by Federation, and exacerbated by the drought and ensuing depression, mounted. Butler's financial realism made him unpopular but he was an efficient if ruthless Treasurer, balancing budgets by cutting spending. Aligning with other country members, Butler became Premier in 1905 owing in part to the factionalisation of non-Labor politics, but resigned, defeated, after three months when Labour gained seats in the May elections. Leader of the Opposition for five years, Butler served in Peake's 1912 ministry, was knighted in 1913, and was Peake's Treasurer in the 1917 ministry. He was investigated by 3 Royal Commissions in the four years from 1917 to 1921 for alleged irregularities as Minister of Agriculture, and was fired by the Executive Council after refusing to resign at Peake's request. He was assumed cleared of all charges after the final Commission failed to make reference to such, and was elected Speaker in 1921. Butler was defeated at the polls in 1924, and found retirement very difficult
he died during a short trip to England in 1925.
Deceased28 Apr 1925

ELECTORAL HISTORY

DateHouseDistrictPartyReason
13 Aug 1890 - 02 May 1902House of AssemblyYatalaConservativeBoundary Redistribution
03 May 1902 - 04 Apr 1924House of AssemblyBarossaConservativeNot Re-elected
04 Apr 1924Not Re-electedUnknown

PARLIAMENTARY APPOINTMENTS

Offices Held

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21 Jul 1921 - 05 Apr 1924Speaker, House of Assembly
04 Apr 1924Former Member

Ministerial Appointment

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13 Apr 1898 - 01 Dec 1899Minister of Agriculture
13 Apr 1898 - 01 Dec 1899Minister of Education
15 May 1901 - 26 Jul 1905Treasurer
01 Mar 1905 - 26 Jul 1905Commissioner of Crown Lands and Immigration
01 Mar 1905 - 26 Jul 1905Premier
22 Dec 1909 - 03 Jun 1910Treasurer
17 Feb 1912 - 03 Jun 1910Minister Controlling Northern Territory
17 Feb 1912 - 19 Nov 1914Commissioner of Public Works
17 Feb 1912 - 03 Apr 1915Minister of Marine
17 Feb 1912 - 03 Apr 1915Minister of Mines
19 Nov 1914 - 03 Apr 1915Commissioner of Crown Lands
14 Jul 1917 - 07 May 1919Minister of Railways
14 Jul 1917 - 07 May 1919Treasurer
19 Dec 1918 - 07 May 1919Minister of Agriculture
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