Regarding the question of MPs ancestry how many MPs of the original parliament were born in Australia
Thank you for the question Michael. The Department of the Senate has put together a great online exhibition about the first Australian Parliament. They have looked into the biographies of each of the first senators and members of the House of Representatives, and found:
- Of the 111 members of the first parliament:
- 57 were born in Australia (51%)
- 26 were born in England or Wales (23%)
- 17 were born in Scotland (15%)
- 7 were born in Ireland (6%)
- 1 was born in New Zealand
- 1 was born in Canada
- 1 was born in Chile
- 1 was born in the USA (but claimed to have been born in Canada)
It is important to remember that in 1901 there was no Australian citizenship; all Australians were British subjects. Senators and members born in Britain or a British Dominion (Canada, New Zealand and Ireland) were able to sit in Parliament according to section 44 of the Australian Constitution. If the 2 members of the House of Representatives who were born in Chile and the USA were not British subjects, they were technically ineligible to sit in the Parliament!
Opening of the First Parliament of the Commonwealth of Australia by H.R.H. The Duke of Cornwall and York (Later King George V), May 9, 1901.
Parliament House Art Collection, Canberra, ACT and the Royal Collection Trust.
Opening of Parliament image
Permission for publication must be sought from Parliament House Art Collection. Contact DPS Art Services, phone: 02 62775034 or 02 62775123