James Fraser (Western Australian politician)

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James Fraser
James Macintosh Fraser.jpg
Minister for Trade and Customs
In office
18 June 1946 – 1 November 1946
Prime MinisterBen Chifley
Preceded byJohn Dedman
Succeeded byBen Courtice
Minister for Health
In office
21 September 1943 – 18 June 1946
Prime MinisterJohn Curtin
Frank Forde
Ben Chifley
Preceded byJack Holloway
Succeeded byNick McKenna
Minister for Social Services
In office
21 September 1943 – 18 June 1946
Prime MinisterJohn Curtin
Frank Forde
Ben Chifley
Preceded byJack Holloway
Succeeded byNick McKenna
Minister for External Territories
In office
7 October 1941 – 21 September 1943
Prime MinisterJohn Curtin
Preceded byAllan McDonald
Succeeded byEddie Ward
Senator for Western Australia
In office
1 July 1938 – 30 June 1959
Personal details
Born(1889-03-12)12 March 1889
Forres, Morayshire, Scotland
Died27 August 1961(1961-08-27) (aged 72)
Victoria Park, Western Australia, Australia
Political partyLabor
Spouse(s)
Ellen Simmons
(m. 1912)
OccupationTramways worker

James McIntosh Fraser (12 March 1889 – 27 August 1961) was an Australian trade unionist and politician. He was a member of the Australian Labor Party (ALP) and served as a Senator for Western Australia from 1938 to 1959. He held ministerial office in the ALP governments of the 1940s, serving as Minister for External Territories (1941–1943), Social Services (1943–1946), Health (1943–1946), and Trade and Customs (1946).

Early life[edit]

Fraser was born in Forres, Morayshire, Scotland and educated locally. He emigrated to Australia and married Ellen Simmons in April 1912 in Perth. He was turned down for military service during World War I and instead returned to a position at the Royal Arsenal in London, where he had worked before emigrating. After the war he returned to Perth as a motorman with the Western Australian Government Tramways and he became an officer of the Tramway Employees' Union.[1]

Political career[edit]

Fraser became a member of the State executive of the Australian Labor Party in the 1920s and he was a member of Perth City Council from 1929 to 1937. He was elected to the Senate in the 1937 election. He was appointed Minister for External Territories in the Curtin ministry in October 1941. In September 1943, he became Minister for Health and Minister for Social Services and was responsible for implementing the Labor government's ambitions to expand social security programs. In June 1946, he became Minister for Trade and Customs (losing the Social Services portfolio) on the death of Richard Keane, but was not re-elected to the ministry in November 1946. As a backbencher, he became a forceful critic of Labor leader, H. V. Evatt, whom he regarded as unelectable, and seconded a motion to declare the party's leadership positions vacant in October 1954. He retired from parliament in 1959.[1]

Personal life[edit]

Fraser died in the Perth suburb of Victoria Park in 1961, survived by his wife, two sons and one of his two daughters. During World War II, his three sons served in the army. One was captured by the Japanese in the Battle of Singapore and another died as a prisoner of war in Germany.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Lee, Andrew (1996). "Fraser, James McIntosh (1889–1961)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. Melbourne University Press. ISSN 1833-7538. Retrieved 30 October 2007 – via National Centre of Biography, Australian National University.
Political offices
Preceded by
Allan McDonald
Minister for External Territories
1941–1943
Succeeded by
Eddie Ward
Preceded by
Jack Holloway
Minister for Health
Minister for Social Services

1943–1946
Succeeded by
Nick McKenna
Preceded by
John Dedman
Minister for Trade and Customs
1946
Succeeded by
Ben Courtice