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Former Member of Parliament Details

  Rt Hon Charles Kingston KC


Full Name Charles Cameron Kingston KC
Date of Birth 22 Oct 1850
QualificationsQC (1889) (later, KC), PC (1897) (entitling to use the title 'The Rt Hon')
EducationHonorary Degrees in Law, Conferred by the University of Oxford, 1897 (DCL)
Public ActivitiesBorn and educated in Adelaide, Charles Kingston trained as a lawyer and in 1873 became a barrister. Kingston was elected to the House of Assembly in 1881 and was appointed Attorney-General under Colton and later Playford. He was appointed a Queen's Counsel (QC) in 1889. Following the elections of April 1893 he became Premier, pulling together a workable coalition within a political context altered markedly by the entry of the Labor Party to the House of Assembly. Kingston remained Premier for over six years, his radical, populist leadership holding together a majority of progressive liberals and leftists. During his time in office a number of significant, and often controversial, reforms were implemented. Among the most important of these were the extension of the vote to women, and attempts to enact compulsory arbitration laws to settle industrial disputes - both firsts in Australia. The Kingston government also introduced a more equitable, progressive land and income tax system and a stringent tariff system. Both during his time as Premier and after his resignation in 1899, Kingston was a prominent activist in the Federation movement. In 1901 he was elected to the House of Representatives in the new Commonwealth Parliament, where, as a minister in the Barton government he displayed the same uncompromising (some said autocratic) style that had defined his Premiership. Although initially effective in drafting bills concerning protection and industrial relations, his health rapidly declined and he died in 1908, aged 57.
Other InformationMember of the House of Representatives for South Australia, 1901-03
Federal Minister for Trade and Customs, 1901-03
Member of the House of Representatives for Adelaide, 1903-08
Deceased11 May 1908


DateHouseDistrictPartyReason (If Retired)
08 Apr 1881 - 07 Feb 1900House of AssemblyWest AdelaidePre-Party SystemResigned
22 Sep 1900 - 31 Dec 1900Legislative CouncilCentral District No 1 Pre-Party SystemResigned


Offices Held

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31 Dec 1900Former Member

Ministerial Appointment

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16 Jun 1884 - 16 Jun 1885Attorney-General
11 Jun 1887 - 27 Jun 1889Attorney-General
06 Jan 1892 - 21 Jun 1892Chief Secretary
16 Jun 1893 - 01 Dec 1899Attorney-General
16 Jun 1893 - 01 Dec 1899Premier
10 Jan 1895 - 01 Dec 1899Minister of Industry
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