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Famous Like Me > Composer > B > Maurice Blackburn

Profile of Maurice Blackburn on Famous Like Me

Name: Maurice Blackburn  
Also Know As:
Date of Birth: 22nd May 1914
Place of Birth: Québec City, Québec, Canada
Profession: Composer
From Wikipedia, the free Encyclopedia

Maurice McCrae Blackburn was a controversial, long serving Australian politician.

Born in 1880 in Inglewood, Victoria, Blackburn moved to Melbourne with his mother following the death of his father in 1887. After completing school, Blackburn attended the University of Melbourne, graduating in Arts and Law and began to practice as a lawyer.

Blackburn married Doris Hordern in 1914 and later the same year entered the Victorian Legislative Assembly as the Australian Labor Party member for Essendon but lost his seat in 1917 due largely to his strong anti-war and anti-conscription stances. He returned to practicing law, establishing the firm Maurice Blackburn & Co. in 1922, dealing primarily in trade union law and civil liberties cases.

Blackburn made his mark on Australian politics in 1921 when he led a successful move to have policy supporting the socialisation of the means of production added to Labor's official platform. Returning to state parliament in 1925 as the member for Fitzroy, Blackburn introduced legislation aimed at removing discrimination against women and opposed what he saw as repressive economic measures proposed during the depression. In 1933 he was elected Speaker of the Victorian Parliament but resigned from the Legislative Assembly in 1934 so he could contest the Federal seat of Bourke.

Although he won Bourke and held it until 1943, his relations with the Labor Party were chequered. His support for international socialism and his opposition to conscription frequently caused him to take positions opposed to Labor policy, and in 1937 he was expelled over his membership of the Movement Against War and Fascism.

He was soon re-admitted to the ALP but expelled again in 1941 for his support of the Australia-Soviet Friendship League. His expulsion was seen as a warning to other independently minded ALP MPs that insolence was not to be tolerated. Blackburn continued to serve as the member for Bourke as an Independent, voting against the Labor government's conscription bill but lost his seat at the 1943 election to the official Labor candidate.

Blackburn died on 31 March 1944 in Prahran, Victoria. In a eulogy, Australian Prime Minister John Curtin referred to Blackburn as “one of the great servants of the people of the Commonwealth of Australia”.

His widow Doris won Bourke as an Independent Labour candidate at the 1946 election and spent much of her time in parliament promulgating similar policies to those that Blackburn supported. Doris would bow out of national politics in 1949 following defeat at the polls in the newly formed electorate of Wills.

This content from Wikipedia is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Maurice Blackburn