Brief biographies of members of the Federal Ministry have been officially supplied and will be published as space permits. The first is that of Mr. James Henry Scullin, P.C., M.H.R., which follows:
Mr. James Henry Scullin, P.C., MJP. and Prime Minister, has had a re- markable rise to success. Early in life he associated himself with several mutual improvement societies in the Ballarat district. As a debater he quickly came into prominence, and the
training ground of the South-street (Ballarat) debating competitions gave
him valuable experience in public speaking. As a young man he followed at various times a variety of occupa- tions, ranging from Labor organiser to editor of a daily newspaper at Bal- larat.
Mr. Scullin is a native of Trawalla, Victoria, and one of the large family
of Mr. John Scullin, an employee of the Victorian Railways. He was aged 63 years on September 18, 1929. Edu- cated at the Mount Rowan State School, near Ballarat, he continued to study privately when he left school and won several championship debates in the literary section at the South-street
competitions. Mr. Scullin was also a member of a champion-debating team which included Mr. T. C. Carey, of Bal-
larat, a member of the central execu-
tive of the Victorian Labor Party, and Mr. T. Ryan, a former member of the State Parliament for Essendon (Vic- toria). In recognition of his ability the management of the South-street competitions appointed Mr. Scullin
adjudicator of oratorical displays, and he acted in that position for about 18 years.
Politics first claimed, Mr. Scullin's at- tention in 1903, when he joined the Labor party after a visit to Ballarat by Mr. Tom Mann, who was then in Aus- tralia under engagement to the Mel
MR.J. H. L SCULLIN
bourne Trades Hall Council to establish
an independent political party of Labor in Australia. His ability as a public speaker and debater had then shown itself to a marked degree, and in 1906 Mr. Scullin was selected to
contest the Ballarat seat against the late Mr. Alfred Deakin, who was then Prime Minister. Mr. Deakin, however, won comfortably. An interesting inci- dent of the campaign was the appear- ance on the platform with Mr. Scullin of the British Prime Minister (Mr.
Ramsay M'Donald) who was then visiting Australia as leader of the In- dependent Socialist party of England. This meeting was held at the Alfred Hall, Ballarat, where there was an
audience of more than 3000 people. Probably no one at that meeting fore- saw that Mr. M'Donald would become
Prime Minister of Great Britain, and Mr. Scullin Prime Minister of Aus-
tralia, and that they would be con- temporaries in those positions.
Later Mr. Scullin was engaged by the Australian Workers' Union as an or- ganiser for the Labor party in Vic- toria, his mission being attended with successful results. As the endorsed Labor candidate for Corangamite in 1910, Mr. Scullin defeated the late Dr. Wilson, but in 1913, when people in the country districts were alarmed about what was then known as the rural workers' log. Mr Scullin lost his seat to the late Mr. J. C. Manifold. After his defeat he became editor of the
''Evening Echo," a Labor journal pub- lished at that time in Ballarat. He unsuccessfully contested the Granville State electorate in 1920, but in Febru- ary, 1922, he won the Labor selection ballot for Yarra and was returned by a large majority in succession to the late Mr. F. G. Tudor, who before his death was also leader of the Federal Parliamentary Labor Party. Mr. Scul- lin has continued to represent Yarra since 1922, and succeeded Mr. Charlton as leader of the Federal Parliamentary Labor Party about two and a half years
Mr. Scullin was member of the cen- tral executive of the Victorian Labor party for many years, but declined nomination at the last two annual con- ferences. He has also been a delegate to many interstate Labor conferences and took a leading part in the cam-
paigns against conscription in 1916 and 1917. Mrs. Scullin has also taken an interest in political affairs, chiefly in organising work. They have no family.
Upon the accession to office of the Labor Government in October, 1929, he became Prime Minister. He was made a member of His Majesty's Privy Coun- cil in February, 1930.