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Eddie Ward

Australian politician

Died when: 64 years 146 days (772 months)
Star Sign: Pisces


Eddie Ward

Edward John Ward (7 March 1899 – 31 July 1963) was an Australian politician who represented the Australian Labor Party (ALP) in federal parliament for over 30 years.

He was the member for East Sydney for all but six-and-a-half weeks from 1931 until his death in 1963.He served as a minister in the Curtin and Chifley Governments from 1941 to 1949, and was also known for his role in the ALP split of 1931.

Ward was born in Sydney and left school at the age of 14; he became involved in the labour movement at a young age.

He was elected to the Sydney Municipal Council in 1930, and the following year won Labor preselection for the 1931 East Sydney by-election.

He was elected to the House of Representatives, but Prime Minister James Scullin refused him admission to the ALP caucus due to his support for Jack Lang.

Ward and six other "Lang Labor" MPs formed a separate parliamentary party and eventually brought down Scullin's government.He lost his seat at the 1931 federal election.

However, his successor John Clasby died only a month later and he re-entered parliament at the ensuing by-election, and held the seat until his death.

In 1941, Ward was elected to cabinet by the ALP caucus and appointed Minister for Labour and National Service by Prime Minister John Curtin.

He had an uneasy relationship with Curtin, and his claims about the "Brisbane Line" led to a royal commission which found they were unsubstantiated.

He received an effective demotion after the 1943 election, becoming Minister for Transport and External Territories.He held those offices until Labor lost power in 1949.

Ward stood for the deputy leadership of the ALP on numerous occasions, and also mounted a challenge for the leadership against H.

V.Evatt in 1959.He died in office in 1963, having been the longest-serving MP since 1961.

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