Jim Cope

James Francis Cope CMG (26 November 1907 – 3 February 1999) was an Australian politician. He was a member of the Australian Labor Party (ALP) and served in the House of Representatives from 1955 to 1975. He was Speaker of the House of Representatives from 1973 to 1975, resigning abruptly in dramatic circumstances when he came into conflict with Prime Minister Gough Whitlam.


Jim Cope

JimCope1956 (cropped).jpg
Speaker of the Australian House of Representatives
In office
27 February 1973 – 27 February 1975
Preceded bySir William Aston
Succeeded byGordon Scholes
Member of the Australian Parliament
for Cook
In office
21 May 1955 – 10 December 1955
Preceded byTom Sheehan
Succeeded bySeat abolished
Member of the Australian Parliament
for Watson
In office
10 December 1955 – 25 October 1969
Preceded byDan Curtin
Succeeded bySeat abolished
Member of the Australian Parliament
for Sydney
In office
25 October 1969 – 11 November 1975
Preceded byNew seat
Succeeded byLes McMahon
Personal details
Born(1907-11-26)26 November 1907
Sydney
Died3 February 1999(1999-02-03) (aged 91)
NationalityAustralian
Political partyAustralian Labor Party
OccupationGlassworker

Early lifeEdit

Born in Sydney in 1907,[1] Jim Cope attended public schools and became a glassworker. He rose to Federal Treasurer of the Australian Glassworkers' Union, and was also a member of Redfern Council.

PoliticsEdit

In 1955 he was elected to the Australian House of Representatives in a by-election for the seat of Cook, representing the Australian Labor Party. Cook was abolished in the federal election of that year and Cope contested Watson instead, winning the seat. He held Watson until its abolition in 1969, when he transferred to the new seat of Sydney, which he held until 1975.

SpeakershipEdit

On 27 February 1973, Cope was appointed the first Labor Speaker of the House since 1950. On 27 February 1975, the second anniversary of his election as speaker, he resigned after the Whitlam government refused to support him when he named Clyde Cameron, a government minister. Cope retired from parliament at the double dissolution election of 11 November 1975.

Later lifeEdit

In the New Year's Honours of 1978, he was appointed a Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George (CMG), for his services to the parliament.[2]

Cope died in 1999.[3]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ National Library of Australia, Transcript of Oral History Interview with James Cope. Retrieved 15 October 2013
  2. ^ It's an Honour
  3. ^ Carr, Adam (2008). "Australian Election Archive". Psephos, Adam Carr's Election Archive. Archived from the original on 20 July 2007. Retrieved 25 May 2008.
Parliament of Australia
Preceded by
William Aston
Speaker of the Australian House of Representatives
1973–1975
Succeeded by
Gordon Scholes
Preceded by
Tom Sheehan
Member for Cook
1955
Succeeded by
Division abolished
Preceded by
Dan Curtin
Member for Watson
1955–1969
Succeeded by
Division abolished
Preceded by
New seat
Member for Sydney
1969–1975
Succeeded by
Les McMahon