Arthur Watts (politician)

Arthur Frederick Watts CMG (26 May 1897 – 8 June 1970) was an Australian politician who served in the Western Australian Legislative Assembly from 1935 to 1962, including as leader of the opposition (from 1942 to 1947) and deputy premier (from 1947 to 1953 and 1959 to 1962) of Western Australia.

Arthur Watts

Deputy Premier of Western Australia
In office
1 April 1947 – 23 February 1953
Preceded byAlbert Hawke
Succeeded byJohn Tonkin
In office
2 April 1959 – 1 February 1962
Preceded byJohn Tonkin
Succeeded byCrawford Nalder
Leader of the Opposition of Western Australia
In office
8 October 1942 – 1 April 1947
Preceded byCharles Latham
Succeeded byFrank Wise
Member of the Western Australian Parliament
for Katanning
In office
31 August 1935 – 25 March 1950
Preceded byArnold Piesse
Succeeded byCrawford Nalder
Member of the Western Australian Parliament
for Stirling
In office
25 March 1950 – 31 March 1962
Preceded byNew constituency
Succeeded byClayton Mitchell
Personal details
Born(1897-05-26)26 May 1897
London, England
Died8 June 1970(1970-06-08) (aged 73)
Dalkeith, Western Australia
Political partyCountry Party[note 1]

Born in London, Watts emigrated to Perth with his family in 1906, later moving to Katanning. Having boarded at Guildford Grammar School, he was admitted to the Supreme Court of Western Australia in 1920 as a barrister and solicitor. Watts was elected to parliament for the Country Party[note 1] at a 1935 by-election, necessitated by the death of Arnold Piesse. He succeeded Charles Latham as leader of the Country Party and leader of the opposition in 1942, and was made deputy premier to Ross McLarty following the 1947 state election. The government was defeated at the 1953 election, but was re-elected at the six years, with Watts again serving as deputy premier under David Brand. He resigned as deputy premier in February 1962, and did not contest the state election the following month, having been appointed chairman of the State Licensing Courts. Watts died in Perth in June 1970.[1]


  1. ^ a b Throughout his life, Watts was a member of what is now the National Party of Western Australia, the state branch of the National Party. In Western Australia, the party was variously known as the Country and Democratic League from 1946 to 1962, the Country Party from 1962 to 1973 (and prior to 1946), the National Alliance from 1973 to 1974, and the National Country Party from 1974 to 1985.


  1. ^ Black, David. Watts, Arthur Frederick (1897–1970) – Australian Dictionary of Biography. Retrieved 3 April 2013.