Walter Nairn

Walter Maxwell Nairn (1879[1] – 12 December 1958) was an Australian politician. He was a member of the Australian House of Representatives from 1929 to 1943, representing the electorate of Perth for the Nationalist Party of Australia and its successor the United Australia Party. He was the Speaker of the House from 1940 to 1943.

Walter Nairn
Walter Nairn.jpg
Member of the Australian Parliament
for Perth
In office
12 October 1929 – 21 August 1943
Preceded byEdward Mann
Succeeded byTom Burke
10th Speaker of the Australian House of Representatives
In office
20 November 1940 – 21 June 1943
Preceded byGeorge Bell
Succeeded bySol Rosevear
Personal details
Born1879 (1879)
Alberton, Victoria, Australia
Died12 December 1958(1958-12-12) (aged 78–79)
Mount Lawley, Western Australia, Australia
NationalityAustralian
Political partyNationalist (1929–31)
UAP (1931–43)

Early lifeEdit

Nairn was born in Gippsland, Victoria, and was raised on a farm before receiving a scholarship to South Melbourne College. He subsequently moved to Western Australia and became a journalist, working on the literary staff of the Morning Herald and The West Australian. He then worked as a managing clerk for a firm of solicitors, Perry and Hill, before articling as a solicitor and founding his own firm, Nairn and McDonald. In public life, he was president of the Western Australian Bowling Association, vice-president of the Mount Lawley Golf Club and a committee member of the Royal Automobile Club.

PoliticsEdit

Nairn was an unsuccessful candidate for the state seat of North Perth at the 1911 state election.[2][3]

Nairn was elected to the House at the 1929 federal election, defeating incumbent and dissident former Nationalist member Edward Mann, who had renominated as an independent. He served on the public works committee and as deputy chairman of committees, and was re-elected in 1931, 1934, 1937 and 1940.[4] He was elected Speaker of the House after the 1940 election, unexpectedly winning a heavily contested partyroom ballot for the government nominee to succeed George John Bell, who had stepped down following the election.[5][6] He remained Speaker after the Menzies minority government was defeated in parliament and replaced by the Curtin Labor government, but resigned prior to the 1943 election to allow him to vote on a no-confidence motion. He lost his seat to Labor candidate Tom Burke at the election.[7][8][9]

Later lifeEdit

Nairn returned to his legal practice after his parliamentary defeat, and practised into the mid-1950s.[10][11] He died in 1958, and was accorded a state funeral in Perth.[12] His brother, William Ralph Nairn, was a member of the Western Australian Legislative Assembly.[2]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Brady Family Tree in Western Australia
  2. ^ a b "Mr. W. M. Nairn". The Telegraph (17, 743). Queensland. 16 October 1929. p. 5. Retrieved 17 January 2017 – via National Library of Australia. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  3. ^ "ON THE FRONT PAGE". Western Mail. XLVII (2, 414). Western Australia. 19 May 1932. p. 5. Retrieved 17 January 2017 – via National Library of Australia. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  4. ^ "The New Speaker". Kalgoorlie Miner. 46 (11, 983). Western Australia. 21 November 1940. p. 4. Retrieved 17 January 2017 – via National Library of Australia. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  5. ^ "FEDERAL SPEAKER". Queensland Times (16846). Queensland. 20 November 1940. p. 4 (DAILY.). Retrieved 17 January 2017 – via National Library of Australia. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  6. ^ "Interest In New Speaker". The Mercury. CLII (21, 805). Tasmania. 16 October 1940. p. 1. Retrieved 17 January 2017 – via National Library of Australia. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  7. ^ "SPEAKER RESIGNS". The Sydney Morning Herald (32, 913). 22 June 1943. p. 7. Retrieved 17 January 2017 – via National Library of Australia. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  8. ^ "FEDERAL ELECTIONS". Geraldton Guardian and Express. XV (2, 446). Western Australia. 15 September 1943. p. 3. Retrieved 17 January 2017 – via National Library of Australia. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  9. ^ "How Speakers of the past saw their duties". The Canberra Times. 49 (14, 001). 28 February 1975. p. 9. Retrieved 17 January 2017 – via National Library of Australia. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  10. ^ "Mr. Nairn Back to Old Job". Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners' Advocate (20, 887). New South Wales. 16 September 1943. p. 1. Retrieved 17 January 2017 – via National Library of Australia. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  11. ^ "Shop-Lifter Was A Judge In Poland". The West Australian. 70 (21, 322). 23 November 1954. p. 9. Retrieved 17 January 2017 – via National Library of Australia. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  12. ^ "News In Brief". The Canberra Times. 33 (9, 663). 15 December 1958. p. 3. Retrieved 17 January 2017 – via National Library of Australia. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
Parliament of Australia
Preceded by
George Bell
Speaker of the Australian House of Representatives
1940–1943
Succeeded by
Sol Rosevear
Preceded by
Edward Mann
Member for Perth
1929–1943
Succeeded by
Tom Burke