Daniel Levy (politician)

Sir Daniel Levy (30 November 1872 – 20 May 1937) was an Australian politician.

Daniel Levy, MLA (1872-1937) c. 1918

Early lifeEdit

He was born in London to tailor Joseph Levy and Esther, née Cohen. He arrived in Sydney in 1880 and attended Crown Street Superior School, Sydney Grammar School and the University of Sydney, graduating with a first in Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in 1893 and a Bachelor of Law in 1895, in which year he was called to the Bar. In 1902 he was admitted as a solicitor.[1] Levy was active in Jewish affairs and was co-editor of the Australasian Hebrew newspaper in 1896 with Percy J. Marks.[2][1]

Political careerEdit

He entered the New South Wales Legislative Assembly in 1901 as the Liberal member for Sydney-Fitzroy, transferring to Darlinghurst in 1904. He would represent Sydney for the period of proportional representation from 1920 to 1927, Paddington from 1927 to 1930, and Woollahra thereafter.[3]

In 1919 he was elected Speaker of the Legislative Assembly. The Labor party had a narrow victory at the 1920 election, winning 43 of the 90 seats. Levy, despite being a member of the Nationalist opposition, accepted re-election as speaker, making it easier for Labor to obtain a majority, provoking discontent within his own party, with John Fitzpatrick making a scathing speech, lasting almost 2 hours, including calling Levy a rat and a traitor and that if he was knighted he would "arise Sir Judas Iscariot".[1][4] Levy resigned as speaker on 12 December 1921 after the Nationalist leader George Fuller announced that he had likely majority, his resignation precipitating the defeat of the Dooley government on the floor of the house.[1][5] Levy was re-elected as speaker following the formation of the Fuller ministry, which lasted seven hours, and continued the position when Dooley resumed the premiership later the same day.[1][6]

Levy was known as a scrupulously independent Speaker, advocating the British model of speakership in which the speaker's seat was uncontested, and made efforts to have this practice adopted by statute.[1] He was speaker until 1925, served again from 1927 to 1930, and served briefly in Bertram Stevens' 1932 emergency cabinet as Minister for Justice and Attorney General. Resuming the speakership in 1932, he held the position until his death on 20 May 1937(1937-05-20) (aged 64) at Darling Point.[3][7]

Levy was knighted in 1929 for his service as Speaker.[8]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d e f Fredman, L E. "Levy, Sir Daniel (1872–1937)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. Melbourne University Press. ISSN 1833-7538. Retrieved 10 May 2020 – via National Centre of Biography, Australian National University.
  2. ^ Feher, Yehuda; Dacy, Marianne. "Percy Marks, a Jewish Renaissiance Man". Archive of Australian Judaica. University of Sydney. Retrieved 13 June 2020.
  3. ^ a b "Sir Daniel Levy (1872–1937)". Former Members of the Parliament of New South Wales. Retrieved 21 May 2019.
  4. ^ Fitzpatrick, John (27 April 1920). "Election of speaker" (PDF). Parliamentary Debates (Hansard). New South Wales: Legislative Assembly. pp. 18–33. Retrieved 2 November 2021.
  5. ^ "Resignation of speaker" (PDF). Parliamentary Debates (Hansard). New South Wales: Legislative Assembly. 12 December 1921. pp. 2598–2602. Retrieved 2 November 2021.
  6. ^ "New ministry" (PDF). Parliamentary Debates (Hansard). New South Wales: Legislative Assembly. 20 December 1921. pp. 2617–2622. Retrieved 2 November 2021.
  7. ^ Part 10 Officers of the Parliament (PDF). NSW Parliamentary Record. Parliament of New South Wales. Retrieved 12 October 2021.
  8. ^ "Knight Bachelor (Imperial) entry for Mr Daniel Levy". It's an Honour, Australian Honours Database. Canberra, Australia: Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. 1 March 1929. Retrieved 10 May 2020.

 

New South Wales Legislative Assembly
Preceded by Speaker of the Legislative Assembly
1919–1921
Succeeded by
Preceded by Speaker of the Legislative Assembly
1921–1925
Succeeded by
Preceded by Speaker of the Legislative Assembly
1927–1930
Succeeded by
Preceded by Speaker of the Legislative Assembly
1932–1937
Succeeded by
Preceded by Member for Sydney-Fitzroy
1901–1904
District abolished
New district Member for Darlinghurst
1904–1920
District abolished
New district Member for Sydney
1920–1927
With: Birt / Minahan
Buckley / Jackson
Burke / McGirr / Burke
Minahan / Holdsworth
District abolished
New district Member for Paddington
1927–1930
Succeeded by
Preceded by Member for Woollahra
1930–1937
Succeeded by