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Holloway, Edward James (Jack) (1875 - 1967)

Activist and Politician


"He represented the Australian Boot Trade Employees' Federation on the Melbourne Trades Hall Council and joined the Abbotsford branch of the Political Labor Council of Victoria. By 1911 he was on the T.H.C.'s executive-committee and was subsequently its chief negotiator. In 1914-16 he held the 'triple crown'—presidencies of the T.H.C., the P.L.C. and the eight-hour day anniversary committee. He was general secretary (1915-29) of the T.H.C., president (1916-22) of the Australian Political Labor executive (Australian Labor Party federal executive) and founding secretary (1916) of Labor's national anti-conscription executive, whose story he was to tell in The Australian Victory over Conscription in 1916-17 (1966). In 1923 he was an Australian representative at the fifth session of the International Labour Conference, held at Geneva.

After standing unsuccessfully for the Senate in 1925 and for the seat of Flinders in the House of Representatives in 1928, he sensationally defeated Prime Minister S. M. (Viscount) Bruce for Flinders in 1929. In March 1931 Holloway was appointed an assistant-minister in J. H. Scullin's cabinet, but resigned in June in protest against the government's adoption of the Premiers' Plan. At the 1931 elections he won the seat of Melbourne Ports; he was to hold it until his retirement in 1951. Minister for health and for social services from October 1941 to September 1943, he was minister for labour and national service from September 1943 to December 1949. In April-May 1949 he was acting prime minister; in 1950 he was appointed to the Privy Council."

D. P. Blaazer, 'Holloway, Edward James (Jack) (1875 - 1967)', Australian Dictionary of Biography Online.



  • Richardson, Bill, Labour Day - Its significance and the life and times of E.J. [Edward John] Holloway, 1971. Image PDF Details


  • Holloway, E. J., The Australian Victory over Conscription in 1916-1917, Anti-Conscription Jubilee Committee, Melbourne, 1966. Image PDF Details