Multi-parliamentarians

The death of Joan Child reminded me of a fellow MP of hers who had served in both the British House of Commons and the Australian House of Representatives.   I thus thought it interesting to list people who had been elected to two or more parliaments or assemblies (excluding those belonging to both national and regional assemblies from federations,  such as the European Parliament, Australia, etc), and those elected to parliaments of successor states (such as Rhodesia and Zimbabwe).

  • Adolf Berman (1906-1978), Polish Sejm (Polish Workers Party, c. 1945-1950) and the Israeli Knesset (Mapam – United Workers Party and later Maki – Communist Party of Israel, 1951-1955).
  • Stanley Melbourne Bruce, 1st Viscount Bruce of Melbourne (1883-1967), Australian House of Representatives (Nationalist Party and United Australia Party, 1918-1933) and British House of Lords (Life Peerage, 1947-1967).  Bruce was the first Australian member of the House of Lords.
  • Hugh Childers (1827-1896), appointed member of the Legislative Council of the colony of Victoria (1852-c.1857), then elected member of the British House of Commons (1860-1892, peripatetically). In Britain, Childers held various senior ministerial positions in administrations of William Gladstone, including Secretary of State for War, Chancellor of the Exchequer, and Home Secretary. Childers was the great-grandson of Sir Sampson Gideon, later Sampson Eardley, 1st Baron Eardley (1744-1824), the first British MP of Jewish descent (an MP from 1770-1802).
  • Mathias Corman (born in Belgium, 1970), Senator for Western Australia (2007-2020) and Commonwealth Minister for Finance (2013-2020), who was briefly a member of the municipal council of German-speaking Raeran, Leige, Belgium, before migrating to Australia in 1994.
  • Sir Charles Gavan Duffy (1816-1903), Member of the UK House of Commons for the Irish seat of New Ross (1852-1855) and Member of the Legislative Assembly of the Nation of Victoria (1856-1880).  Duffy, a Roman Catholic, was Premier of Victoria (1871-1872) and Speaker of the House of Assembly (1877-1880).  One of his sons, Sir Frank Gavan Duffy (1852-1936) became Chief Justice of the High Court of Australia (1931-1935), while another son, George Gavan Duffy (1882-1951) became Minister of Foreign Affairs of Eire (1922) and President of the High Court of Eire (1946-1951).
  • Albert Hawke (1900-1986), member of the South Australian House of Assembly (1924-1927) and of the Western Australian House of Assembly (1933-1968). Premier of Western Australia (1953-1959). Uncle of Australian Prime Minister Robert James Lee Hawke (1983-1991).
  • Godfrey Huggins, 1st Viscount Malvern (1883-1971), elected member of the House of Assembly of Southern Rhodesia 1924-1953, Prime Minister 1933-1953, elected member of the Federal Parliament and Prime Minister of the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland 1953-1956, appointed member of the British House of Lords 1955-1971. As he remained in Rhodesia following his retirement in 1956, it is not clear if Malvern ever sat in the Lords.
  • Marthinus Pretorius (1819-1901), President of the South African Republic (aka the Transvaal, 1857-September 1860, 1864-1871, 1880-1883) and for a period in 1860 simultaneously President of the Orange Free State (January 1860-1863).
  • Sir George Reid (1845-1918), twelfth Premier of New South Wales (1894-1899) and fourth Prime Minister of Australia (1904-1905), was a member of the Australian Commonwealth House of Representatives (1901-1909) and a member of the British House of Commons (1916-1918).
  • Sir Robert Richard Torrens (1814-1884), third Premier of South Australia (1857), was a member of the South Australian House of Assembly from 1851-1863 (initially appointed, then elected) and an elected member of the British House of Commons for Cambridge from 1868-1874. He created the land registration system known as Torrens Title.
  • William Yates (1921-2010), British House of Commons (Conservative and Unionist Party, 1955-1966) and the Australian House of Representatives (Liberal Party, 1975-1980).

Others who almost make this list are:

  • Daniel Cohn-Bendit (1945- ), Member of the European Parliament (1994-2014).  From 1994-1999 and again from 2004-2009, Cohn-Bendit was elected an MEP from Germany, while from 1999-2004 and again from 2009-2014, he was elected an MEP from France.  He could readily have been elected to both the French and the German national parliaments.
  • Andrew Clarke (1824-1902), Appointed member of the Legislative Council of Victoria (1853-1856), elected Member of the Legislative Assembly of Victoria (1856-1858), contested the constituency of Chatham in the British House of Commons in 1886 and 1892, both times unsuccessfully.  In between times, Clarke was Governor of Singapore and Governor of the Straits Settlements, 1873-1875.
  • Thomas Paine (1737-1809), who was secretary to the Committee on Foreign Affairs of (but not a delegate to) the Second Continental Congress (of the United States) and was a member of the French National Convention (1792-1793).
  • Ian Paisley (1926-2014), who was an elected member variously of the British House of Commons, the Northern Ireland Assembly, and the European Parliament, and could probably also have been elected, had he so wished, to the Scottish Parliament.
  • Sir Garfield Todd (1908-2002), elected member of the House of Assembly of Southern Rhodesia (1948-1958, including Prime Minister, 1953-1958), appointed a Senator in the Senate of Zimbabwe (1980-1985).  Todd was born in New Zealand, whose Government arranged for his knighthood.  In an act of spite of the Mugabe regime, his Zimbabwean citizenship was revoked in 2002.

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