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Former Member of Parliament Details

  Hon Sir Richard L. Butler KCMG


Full Name Sir Richard Layton Butler KCMG
Date of Birth 31 Mar 1885
QualificationsKCMG (1939)
Prior EmploymentFarmer and grazier
Public ActivitiesSon of former Premier Richard Butler , Sir Richard Butler entered politics in 1915 as member for Wooroora, but his support for conscription lost him that seat three years later. He regained Wooroora in 1921 and held it for 17 years. His position as Liberal Party Whip in 1925 gained him the leadership of the Party after Barwell, and he became Premier and Treasurer in 1927. Following his stated concerns about the financial situation of the State, Butler passed legislation designed to financially assist the hard-hit rural sector. A combination of organised opposition and the beginning of the Depression resulted in defeat for Butler's government, but the Liberals won power again in 1933 after the collapse of Hill's unpopular government. Under Butler's leadership, South Australia was the first state to balance it's budget after the Depression, and although primary industry did not flourish under his leadership, many concessions were made to attract secondary industry to the state. He also established the South Australian Housing Trust, designed to help working people build their own homes. Major changes to the structure of Parliament also occurred under Butler's leadership, with Parliamentary terms increased from 3 to 5 years, the reduction of the number of members in the Lower House from 46 to 39, and the introduction of single member electorates. Often tactless, Butler was becoming increasingly unpopular and in 1938 the Liberals lost their absolute majority in the House. Butler continued as Premier with the support of independents. He resigned in November of that year to seek election for the federal seat of Wakefield but was unsuccessful. Despite repeated attempts to re-enter political life, he never returned to it. Butler was knighted in 1939 and died in 1966 in Adelaide.
Deceased21 Jan 1966


DateHouseDistrictPartyReason (If Retired)
27 Mar 1915 - 05 Apr 1918House of AssemblyWoorooraLiberal UnionNot Re-elected
09 Apr 1921 - 16 Oct 1923House of AssemblyWoorooraLiberal UnionChanged Party
16 Oct 1923 - 09 Jun 1932House of AssemblyWoorooraLiberal FederationChanged Party
09 Jun 1932 - 19 Mar 1938House of AssemblyWoorooraLiberal and Country LeagueBoundary Redistribution
19 Mar 1938 - 05 Nov 1938House of AssemblyLightLiberal and Country LeagueResigned


Offices Held

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05 Nov 1938Former Member

Ministerial Appointment

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08 Apr 1927 - 15 Jan 1930Minister of Railways
08 Apr 1927 - 15 Jan 1930Treasurer
08 Apr 1927 - 17 Apr 1930Premier
15 Jan 1930 - 17 Apr 1930Treasurer
18 Apr 1933 - 26 Apr 1933Treasurer
18 Apr 1933 - 05 Nov 1938Premier
27 Apr 1933 - 05 Nov 1938Minister of Immigration
27 Apr 1933 - 05 Nov 1938Treasurer
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