Joseph Cook facts for kids
Rt Hon Sir Joseph Cook
|6th Prime Minister of Australia|
24 June 1913 – 17 September 1914
|Preceded by||Andrew Fisher|
|Succeeded by||Andrew Fisher|
7 December 1860|
|Died||30 July 1947(aged 86)|
|Political party||Labor, Free Trade/Anti-Socialist, Fusion|
Sir Joseph Cook (7 December 1860 – 30 July 1947) was an Australian politician who served as Prime Minister of Australia from 1913 to 1914. He led the Anti-Socialist Party from 1908 to 1909 and the Commonwealth Liberal Party from 1913 to 1917.
Cook was born in Silverdale, Staffordshire, England. He began working in the local coal mines at the age of nine. Cook emigrated to Australia in 1885, settling in Lithgow, New South Wales. He became involved with the local trade union movement, serving as an official for a miners' union. In 1891, Cook was elected to the New South Wales Legislative Assembly as a representative of the Labor Party.
He was elected leader of the party in 1893, but the following year left due to a policy dispute. Cook subsequently joined the Free Trade Party, and from 1894 to 1899 served as a government minister under George Reid.
In 1901, Cook was elected to the new federal parliament representing the Division of Parramatta. He became deputy leader of the federal Free Trade Party and in 1908 became the leader, (by which time the party had been renamed the Anti-Socialist Party). In 1909, Cook agreed to merge his party with the [[Protectionist Party] in order to form a unified opposition to Labor. He became deputy leader of the new Commonwealth Liberal Party, and served as Minister for Defence in Deakin's government from 1909 to 1910.
Cook achieved little as prime minister, but did oversee the early stages of Australia's involvement in World War I.
In 1917, Cook and the Liberals merged into the new Nationalist Party, along with the National Labor Party supporters. He served as Nationalist deputy leader until his resignation from parliament in 1921, and in the Hughes government was Minister for the Navy (1917–1920) and Treasurer (1920–1921). After leaving politics, Cook served as High Commissioner to the United Kingdom from 1921 to 1927. He died at the age of 86, and was one of the last survivors of the first federal parliament.
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