Dugald Thomson

Dugald Thomson (28 December 1849 – 27 November 1922) was an Australian politician. He campaigned for Federation as a member of the New South Wales Legislative Assembly (1894–1901), and was subsequently elected to the new federal House of Representatives (1901–1910). He served as Minister for Home Affairs in the Reid Government from 1904 to 1905.

Dugald Thomson
Dugald Thomson 1903.jpg
Minister for Home Affairs
In office
17 August 1904 – 5 July 1905
Prime MinisterGeorge Reid
Preceded byLee Batchelor
Succeeded byLittleton Groom
Member of the Australian Parliament
for North Sydney
In office
29 March 1901 – 19 February 1910
Preceded byNew seat
Succeeded byGeorge Edwards
Personal details
Born(1849-12-28)28 December 1849
Camberwell, London, England
Died27 November 1922(1922-11-27) (aged 72)
Kirribilli, New South Wales, Australia
Resting placeGore Hill cemetery
Political partyFree Trade (1901–06)
Anti-Socialist (1906–09)
Liberal (1909–10)

Early lifeEdit

Thomson was born in Camberwell, London, England, to Scottish parents Jane (née Duncan) and John Thomson. His father was an insurance broker. The family emigrated to South Australia the year after he was born, and later moved to Victoria. Thomson completed his education in England and trained at his uncle's business in Liverpool. After spending two years at sea, he returned to Melbourne at the age of 19 and joined the merchant firm of Robert Harper. He set up a Sydney branch in 1877 and was a managing partner until 1892. He also established the North Shore Steam Ferry Company with James Garvan.[1][2]

New South Wales politicsEdit

Thomson won the New South Wales Legislative Assembly seat of Warringah in 1894 and supported the Free Trade ministry of George Reid, although he opposed its legislation on workplace conditions, made necessary by its dependence on Labor Party support.[1]

Federal politicsEdit

Thomson c. 1901

Thomson was a supporter of federation and won the House of Representatives seat of North Sydney at the 1901 election and held it to his retirement prior to the 1910 election.[1] In early 1904, following the retirement of William McMillan, he was elected deputy leader of the Free Traders. He relinquished the position to Joseph Cook on 28 July 1905.[3]

Thomson was Minister for Home Affairs from 1904 to 1905 in the Reid Ministry. During his period in parliament he spoke often on maritime matters, and served on two royal commissions.[1]

In July 1909, Thomson was elected president of the newly formed New South Wales Federal Liberal League.[4]

Thomson died in the Sydney suburb of Kirribilli at the age of 72, unmarried.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e Marsh, Ian (1990). "Thomson, Dugald (1849–1922)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. Melbourne University Press. ISSN 1833-7538. Retrieved 7 December 2007 – via National Centre of Biography, Australian National University.
  2. ^ "Mr Dugald Thomson (1848–1922)". Former Members of the Parliament of New South Wales. Retrieved 21 May 2019.
  3. ^ John Murdoch (1996). Sir Joe: A Political Biography of Sir Joseph Cook. Minerva. pp. 66–70. ISBN 1861061048.
  4. ^ "Liberal move". The Sydney Morning Herald. 6 July 1909.


New South Wales Legislative Assembly
New seat Member for Warringah
Succeeded by
Ellison Quirk
Political offices
Preceded by
John Forrest
Minister for Home Affairs
Succeeded by
Littleton Groom
Party political offices
Preceded by
William McMillan
Deputy Leader of the Free Trade Party
Succeeded by
Joseph Cook
Parliament of Australia
New division Member for North Sydney
Succeeded by
George Edwards