OGILVIE, Albert George (1891-1939)


OGILVIE, Albert George (1891-1939)
premier of Tasmania
elder son of James Ogilvie, was born at Hobart on 10 March 1891. He was educated at St Patrick's College, Ballarat, Victoria, and the university of Tasmania, where he graduated LL.B. in 1914. He was admitted to the bar in the same year. In 1919 he was elected to the house of assembly for Franklin, and retained the seat at each succeeding election. In October 1923 he joined the J. A. Lyons (q.v.) cabinet as attorney-general and minister for education, to which was added mines and forestry in March 1924. In this year he was made a king's council and was then the youngest to hold that position in Australia. In 1927 he resigned from the Lyons government and sat as a private member, but was elected leader of the opposition when Lyons went into federal politics in 1929. He became premier without portfolio of a Labour ministry on 21 June 1934, but although he had no special department he studied all legislation closely and worked early and late at his office. He was much interested in the health of the community and advocated hospital extensions, stressed the necessity for home defence training, and realizing the difficulties of the smaller states, fought hard for Tasmania at loan council meetings. He worked for the establishment of the newsprint industry in Tasmania, and instituted a superannuation fund for state officials. He twice visited England during his premiership, and was present at the silver jubilee celebrations of George V in 1935, and the coronation of George VI. He gave great attention to financial problems, and though his financial theories did not meet with general acceptance, on the whole his administration established a feeling of confidence. In June 1939 he spent a week-end at Warburton, some miles from Melbourne, being on his way to a loan council meeting at Canberra. He took ill while playing golf and died a few hours later on 10 June. He married Dorothy Hines who survived him with a daughter. The attorney-general in his cabinet, E. J. Ogilvie, was a brother. Ogilvie was a trenchant and able debater and a great driving force in the politics of his state. He made no attempt to enter federal politics, but many thought that had he done so he would have been a potential prime minister.
The Mercury, Hobart, 12 June 1939; The Examiner, Launceston, 12 June 1939 ; The Argus, Melbourne, 12 June 1939.

Dictionary of Australian Biography by PERCIVAL SERLE. . 1949.


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