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Henry Daglish (Labor)

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Henry Daglish10 August 1904 to 25 August 1905

Victorian-born Henry Daglish was WA's first Labor Premier.

Daglish began a career in the mechanical engineering field but after a year had a change of heart and joined the Victorian Public Service. His first foray into politics in 1896 was an absolute failure when he stood for a Victorian seat and gained only 34 votes out of 2192.

Shortly after he wrote to Premier Sir John Forrest, asking for work in the WA Public Service and was made assistant to the chief clerk in the Police Department. Later he resigned to go into business as an accountant, legal manager and auctioneer. He stood for and won the seat of Subiaco in 1901 as a Labor MLA. Daglish also was elected mayor of Subiaco in 1902 - a position he held twice for a total of three years.

In 1904, Daglish was re-elected to Subiaco with 79 per cent of the vote. Just two months later he had successfully moved a motion that was carried to defeat Sir Walter James' government in the Assembly.

He then formed the State's first Labor government, taking on the position of Premier, Treasurer and Minister for Education. But his success was to be short-lived; his government resigned after just 12 months over its failure to buy the Midland Railway Company.

Daglish quit the leadership of the Labor Party and called himself Independent Labor. In 1910, he accepted the appointment as Minister for Works in Frank Wilson's Liberal government.

In October 1911, he lost his seat at the general election and the following year he joined the Court of Arbitration as an employer's representative.

He held the position until his death in 1920.


Acknowledgement of Country

The Government of Western Australia acknowledges the traditional custodians throughout Western Australia and their continuing connection to the land, waters and community. We pay our respects to all members of the Aboriginal communities and their cultures; and to Elders both past and present.