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For other people named George Pearce, see George Pearce (disambiguation).
The Honourable
Sir George Pearce
Sir George Pearce.jpg
Senator for Western Australia
In office
29 March 1901 – 30 June 1938
Personal details
Born (1870-01-14)14 January 1870
Mount Barker, South Australia
Died 24 June 1952(1952-06-24) (aged 82)
Elwood, Victoria
Nationality Australian
Political party Labor (1901–17)
Nationalist (1917–31)
UAP (1931–38)
Spouse(s) Eliza Maud Barrett
Occupation Carpenter

Sir George Foster Pearce KCVO (14 January 1870 – 24 June 1952) was an Australian politician who was instrumental in founding the Australian Labor Party in Western Australia.

Pearce, a carpenter, was born in Mount Barker, South Australia, to James Pearce (c. 1833 – 17 April 1919),[1] a Cornish Australian,[2] whose brother Charles Pearce (1826–1908) was MHA for East Torrens 1868–1870. He was educated at Red Hill Public School until he was 11, then worked on farms and later became a carpenter in Adelaide, but lost that job in the depression of 1891 and moved to Western Australia. He joined the Amalgamated Society of Carpenters and Joiners and soon became heavily involved in the union movement. In April 1897 he married Eliza Maud Barrett.[3]

Political career[edit]

In 1893, Pearce helped found the Progressive Political League, a precursor to the West Australian branch of the ALP. Self-educated in politics and economics, in 1901 he was elected to the first Commonwealth Parliament as a Senator for Western Australia. He narrowly missed out on being a member of the first Labor Party Cabinet when Chris Watson became Prime Minister in 1904. In 1908, he became Minister for Defence in the Cabinet of Andrew Fisher. He oversaw the foundation of the naval college at Jervis Bay and Royal Military College, Duntroon. In 1914 Australia entered World War I. Upon Billy Hughes' ascension as Prime Minister, Pearce was named Deputy Leader of the party.[3]

By this time, Australia's prosecution of the war made the introduction of conscription an intensely divisive issue for the ALP. Pearce was convinced of the necessity of introducing conscription, but the majority of his party did not agree. Pearce, along with many other of the party's founding members, subsequently followed Hughes out of the party and into the new "National Labor Party." A few months later, the National Labor Party merged with the Commonwealth Liberal Party to form the Nationalist Party, with Hughes as its leader.[3]

For much of 1916, Prime Minister Hughes was out of the country as a member of the Imperial war cabinet. During this time, over seven months, Pearce was acting prime minister, and the last person to rule for any length of time from the Senate.

Most of the defectors to the Nationalists subsequently faded into obscurity, but Pearce went on to have a successful career in the party of his erstwhile opponents. After Hughes was deposed as Nationalist leader, Pearce accepted a position in the ministry of Hughes' successor and rival, Stanley Bruce. He became the inaugural Father of the Senate in 1923. He was appointed a Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order (KCVO) in 1927.[4] In 1932, Pearce joined the newly formed United Australia Party, and served as a minister in the government of Joseph Lyons until his defeat at the 1937 election (his term ended in June 1938). He was a Senator for 37 years and three months, a record term. His total service as a minister was 24 years and seven months, also a record in the Australian Parliament. At the time of his death, he was the last surviving member of the Senate of the first Australian Parliament.[3]

Pearce died at home in the Melbourne suburb of Elwood, survived by two sons and two daughters.[3] RAAF Base Pearce, the Electoral Division of Pearce and the Canberra suburb of Pearce are named after him.


  1. ^ "Obituary". The Mount Barker Courier and Onkaparinga and Gumeracha Advertiser (SA : 1880 - 1954) (SA: National Library of Australia). 18 April 1919. p. 2. Retrieved 15 July 2015. 
  2. ^ Payton, Philip. The Cornish Overseas, 2005.
  3. ^ a b c d e Beddie, B. (1988). "Pearce, Sir George Foster (1870 - 1952)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. Canberra: Australian National University. Retrieved 2007-10-20. 
  4. ^ It's an Honour: KCVO

External links[edit]

Parliament of Australia
New title Senator for Western Australia
Succeeded by
Robert Ernest Clothier
Political offices
Preceded by
Thomas Ewing
Minister for Defence
Succeeded by
Joseph Cook
Preceded by
Joseph Cook
Minister for Defence
Succeeded by
Edward Millen
Preceded by
Edward Millen
Minister for Defence
Succeeded by
Walter Massy-Greene
Preceded by
Alexander Poynton
Minister for Home and Territories
Succeeded by
William Glasgow
Preceded by
Llewellyn Atkinson
Vice-President of the Executive Council
Succeeded by
John Daly
Preceded by
Ben Chifley
Minister for Defence
Succeeded by
Archdale Parkhill
Preceded by
John Latham
Minister for External Affairs
Succeeded by
Billy Hughes
Preceded by
Harry Lawson
Minister in charge of Territories
Party political offices
Preceded by
Billy Hughes
Deputy Leader of the Australian Labor Party
Succeeded by
Albert Gardiner
Preceded by
Gregor McGregor
Leader of the Australian Labor Party in the Senate
New political party Leader of the National Labor Party in the Senate
Defunct political party
Preceded by
Edward Millen
Leader of the Nationalist Party in the Senate
Defunct political party
New political party Leader of the United Australia Party in the Senate
Succeeded by
Alexander McLachlan

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Pearce — Please support Wikipedia.
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131558 videos foundNext > 

George Pearce Dancingg

More of George, i mean hanny .

Al Goll, Michael Kelsh & George Pearce: "Fireball Mail" on The "Viva! NashVegas® Radio Show"

Al Goll, "Mr. Dobro!" Engineers a Musical JoyRide on "Fireball Mail" w/ Michael Kelsh (Guitar) & George Pearce (Mandolin) on The World-Famous "Viva!

george pearce bay 66 unit 1

george pearce- skateboarding at bayy 66 ( the darker ramps) and then skateboarding at unit 1 (the lighter ramps) i am going to make a bigger extended video of ...

Oliver George Pearce kieradan park 26/05/2013

Ollie takes out the Travis rockstar Suzuki 2banger braaaaap.

George Pearce (South Australian politician) Top # 8 Facts

George Pearce (South Australian politician) Top # 8 Facts.

Chris Jones: "The Leaving of Liverpool" on The World-Famous "Viva! NashVegas® Radio Show"

Chris Jones Sings: "The Leaving of Liverpool" w/ Al Goll "Mr. Dobro!" & George Pearce (Mandolin) on The World-Famous "Viva! NashVegas® Radio Show" LIVE ...

Deep House Mix (Justin Martin, Dusky, Maya Jane Coles, Ben Pearce, George Fitzgerald ect.)

Track list below. My first recorded set. Only been mixing on my digital controller for 3 days and would appreciate any feedback. I apologise for the messed up ...

Pearce's Poke Platter Please

George Pearce performing with the Blue Wave.

Tris Pearce speaks at the 2015 Badger Trust Conference about the late George Pearce.

via YouTube Capture.

Ben Pearce - Pale Ale - Moda Black Vol II

Click here to subscribe: http://smarturl.it/ModaBlack Ben Pearce - Pale Ale - Moda Black Vol II. Buy on iTunes: http://bit.ly/ModaBlackVol2iTunes Buy on Amazon: ...

131558 videos foundNext > 

101 news items

Tavistock Times Gazette
Wed, 25 Nov 2015 10:11:15 -0800

Much of this information comes from George Pearce's book, Badger Behaviour, Conser vation and Rehabilitation. He was a farmer and had a herd that was bTB free from 1950 until 2008, when the herd was dispersed, so he's not a pontificator on the ...
Bournemouth Echo
Sun, 15 Nov 2015 21:03:45 -0800

It was a particularly impressive feat given that Nuttall competed against more experienced fighters in her first time at the championships. George Pearce, 14, defied the odds as he earned a bronze medal despite being the youngest competitor in his section.

Foothills Sun Gazette

Foothills Sun Gazette
Wed, 11 Nov 2015 05:26:15 -0800

Leo and Max read dozens of awful plays and then decide on the worst play they can find, Springtime for Hitler, written by Frans Liebkind (George Pearce). Then they find the worst director, Roger DeBris (Ron Fleming) who is assisted by Carmen Ghia ...


Sun, 01 Nov 2015 01:45:00 -0800

Simply defending home soil would not be enough. Australia needed to eradicate this new found enemy. So Defence Minister Sir George Pearce gave the go-ahead to launch a full military operation, now known as the Great Emu Wars. Yes, that's right, emus.

The Advertiser

The Advertiser
Fri, 13 Nov 2015 02:30:00 -0800

Less than a week after the Emu War began, Labor Defence Minister, George Pearce, ordered a full withdrawal. The action prompted a rowdy debate in the House of Representatives, which included the question from an opposition MP, 'Is a medal to be struck ...

Porterville Recorder

Porterville Recorder
Mon, 02 Nov 2015 10:44:17 -0800

Franz Liebkind (George Pearce) signs the contract for Max Bialystock (Jim Kliegl) to produce "Springtime for Hitler" in the upcoming Lindsay Community Theater production of "The Producers." Performances are slated for 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 13-14 and Nov.

Dorset Echo

Dorset Echo
Tue, 03 Nov 2015 08:32:37 -0800

Bridport reorganised and Phil Wright, Liam Poole and youngsters George Pearce and Seb Phillips launched themselves at Dorchester and they began to make headway. The final 20 minutes belonged to Bridport. Vercoe received the ball 40 metres out and ...

The Independent

The Independent
Tue, 20 Oct 2015 11:13:27 -0700

One insider claimed Keith was already effectively serving as publicity agent for Australia's defence minister, George Pearce, “no doubt getting much in return”. He cranked up a production line of puff pieces and glowing profiles of Pearce and his “War ...

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