BEEBY, Sir George Stephenson (1869-1942)

BEEBY, Sir George Stephenson (1869-1942)
politician, judge and author
was born at Sydney on 23 May 1869. He entered the education department of New South Wales when 14 years of age and became a pupil teacher. Subsequently he was an accountant, and in 1900 qualified as a solicitor. He had become interested in the land taxation proposals of Henry George in 1890 and was prominent in the beginnings of the New South Wales Labour party. Beeby worked as a journalist for some time and then began practising as a solicitor. The arbitration act passed in 1901 brought him much business, and it was stated in 1906 that his firm had been concerned in two hundred disputes. In January 1907 Beeby stood as a Labour candidate for Blayney at a by-election caused by the resignation of W. P. Crick, but was defeated by 23 votes. He, however, won the seat in the following September, and with Holman (q.v.) was successful in considerably modifying the amending industrial disputes bill brought in by Wade (q.v.). When McGowen (q.v.) formed the first New South Wales Labour ministry in October 1910, Beeby was his minister of public instruction and of labour and industry until September 1911, and minister for public works, from September 1911 to December 1912. He had, however, come to the conclusion that the time had arrived for the formation of a party which would include the moderates of all parties. He resigned from the cabinet in December 1912 and was re-elected for Blayney on his new policy on 23 January 1913. He failed to get support in the house, and resigned from parliament. He had been called to the bar in 1911 and now worked up a successful practice as a barrister. When Holman formed his national ministry in November 1916 Beeby became minister for labour and industry with a seat in the legislative council. In 1918 Beeby, who had in the meanwhile been elected to the assembly for Wagga, succeeded in passing an industrial arbitration amendment act though it was strongly opposed by the Labour party. Towards the end of that year he visited Europe and the United States and, shortly after his return in June 1919, resigned from the government as a protest against administrative acts in connexion with the sale of wheat and the allotting of coal contracts. In 1920 he was appointed a judge of the New South Wales arbitration court, and in 1928 he became a member of the federal conciliation and arbitration court bench. He was appointed chief judge in March 1939 and in the same year was created K.B.E. He retired in 1941 and died on 18 July 1942. He married in 1892 and was survived by children.
Beeby was the author of Three Years of Industrial Arbitration in New South Wales (1906), a pamphlet; Concerning Ordinary People (1923), a volume of readable plays; In Quest of Pan (1924), a satire in verse on some of the Australian poets of the period; and A Loaded Legacy, a light novel which appeared in 1930.
The Sydney Morning Herald, 24 January 1913, 20 July 1942; H. V. Evatt, Australian Labour Leader; Burke's War Gazette, 1940.

Dictionary of Australian Biography by PERCIVAL SERLE. . 1949.

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  • George Beeby — Sir George Stephenson Beeby KBE, (23 May 1869 – 18 July 1942) was an Australian politician, judge and author.Early lifeBeeby was born in Alexandria, Sydney, New South Wales the second son of English born Edward Augustus Beeby, a book keeper, and… …   Wikipedia

  • Beeby — /ˈbibi/ (say beebee) noun Sir George Stephenson, 1869–1942, Australian barrister, politician and author …  

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