Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=2201351
 


 



An Australian in the Palace of the King-Emperor: James Scullin, George V and the Appointment of the First Australian-Born Governor-General


John Waugh


Melbourne Law School

2011

Federal Law Review, Vol. 39, pp. 235, 2011

Abstract:     
The nomination in 1930 of an Australian, Sir Isaac Isaacs, as Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia has become a minor landmark in the development of Australian independence. Opposed or supported at the time as a measure of the strength of Australia's links with Britain, the appointment has become, for lawyers and historians alike, a test-case for Australian autonomy and the countervailing cultural and legal force of the imperial connection.

The United Kingdom Dominions Office file covering the first phase of the negotiations was released in 1981; the subsequent file on the final phase of the negotiations was opened only in 2004, and it is now possible to consult the extensive records on the appointment deposited in the Royal Archives. These various records are the last, and most important, parts of the official British paper trail of the appointment. They trace the evolution of King George V's attitude and suggest how and why (contrary to his own wishes and against strong and persistent recommendations from some of his advisers) he accepted Isaacs as Governor-General.

While Isaacs would not have become Governor-General without the refusal of Australian Prime Minister James Scullin and his cabinet to back down, it was not Scullin who persuaded the King to give in, but instead private advisors who operated largely outside the framework of cabinet government. In this as in other ways, the growth of Australian independence was a complex negotiation that involved British concessions in ways that were opaque even to some of the agents of change themselves.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 22

Keywords: Sir Isaac Isaacs, Governor-General, Australia, James Scullin, King George V, Arthur Bigge, Baron Stamfordham

Accepted Paper Series





Download This Paper

Date posted: January 16, 2013  

Suggested Citation

Waugh, John, An Australian in the Palace of the King-Emperor: James Scullin, George V and the Appointment of the First Australian-Born Governor-General (2011). Federal Law Review, Vol. 39, pp. 235, 2011. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2201351

Contact Information

John Waugh (Contact Author)
Melbourne Law School ( email )
Victoria, 3010
Australia
HOME PAGE: http://www.law.unimelb.edu.au/staff/John%20Waugh
Feedback to SSRN


Paper statistics
Abstract Views: 189
Downloads: 16

© 2014 Social Science Electronic Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.  FAQ   Terms of Use   Privacy Policy   Copyright   Contact Us
This page was processed by apollo8 in 0.235 seconds