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4 corrections, most recently by Gabrielle.James - Show corrections




Former Judge

Sir Charles Powers, a former Judge of the High Court and president of the Commonwealth Arbitration Court from 1921 to 1926, died on Monday at his home, Waverley, John street, Kew.

The author of a judgment which be- came known as the "Powers' three shil- lings," because it added 3/ to the basic wage fixed by the "Harvester award." Sir Charles Powers, who was aged 86 years, was born in Brisbane and educated at Brisbane Grammar School. He served for a number of years as a member of the Queensland Parliament, at different periods being Postmaster-General, Minis- ter for Education, Crown Solicitor, and leader of the Opposition.

In 1903 he was appointed Solicitor- General to the Commonwealth of Aus- tralia, the first to hold the office.

He was associated with many important constitutional matters which confronted the Commonwealth; but his elevation to the High Court Bench 10 years later was a striking departure from precedent.

After the amendment of the Arbitra-

[Sir Charles Powers]

tion Act in 1926 he returned to the High Court Bench from the Arbitration Court, where he had presided for five years and been vice president for seven years.

Before his elevation to the High Court bench, Sir Charles Powers conducted several appeals to the Privy Council on behalf of the Commonwealth Government. He was created KCMG in 1929.

Sir Charles Powers's period on the Bench was notable for his kindly dispen- sation of justice. When he announced his impending retirement from the Arbi-

tration Court in December 1925, he wished those for whom he had worked in public life for 44 years "a happy Christ- mas and a good New Year including industrial peace by sweet reasonableness on both sides and good will to all men."  

It was said that he always travelled second class in trains in order to come into informal contact with working men and thus learn their points of view.

In his youth he was a cricketer of distinction and on one occasion captained a Queensland team against an English


In 1878 he married Miss Kate Ann Thornburn of Castlemaine and the couple celebrated their diamond wedding last year. Sir Charles Powers is sur-

vived by his widow and nine of their 11  


It was one of Sir Charles Powers's   boasts that he never took an alcoholic drink or had a smoke in his life.

At the express wish of Sir Charles Powers, the funeral to-day will be pri-