Sir Isaac Alfred Isaacs Appointed Governor-general of Australia by Great Britain
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Sir Isaac Alfred Isaacs Appointed Governor-general of Australia by Great Britain

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Sir Isaac Alfred Isaacs, recently appointed Chief Justice of Australia, was today named governor-general of Australia. The appointment of Sir Isaac marks the first time that a native Australian has been chosen for the highest office in the Dominion. Sir Isaacs was born in Melbourne in 1855. This is also the first time that a non-Protestant has been selected as the representative of the British Crown in Australia.

The selection of Sir Isaac as governor-general climaxes a long and brilliant legal and public career dating back to 1892 when he was a member of the legislative assembly of Victoria. In 1901 he became a member of the federal house of representatives. During these years he also served as acting-premier of Victoria, attorney-general of Victoria and a member of the convention that framed the Australian constitution.


He served in the house of representatives until 1906 when he was appointed a justice of the High Court. In 1921 he became a privy councillor. Three years later he was named to the judicial committee of the privy council, the highest legal tribunal in the British Empire. In 1928 he was knighted. During the second Deakin government, from 1905 to 1906 he was attorney-general of the commonwealth of Australia. Last March he was named Chief Justice of Australia.

When the British government began looking for a successor to Lord Stone-haven as governor-general last April, Sir Isaac was prominently mentioned. The Labor government of Australia, headed by Premier Scullin, favored a native Australian and supported Isaacs. There then arose considerable opposition to the projected nomination of Sir Isaac because certain political circles felt that an appointee from England would mean an important link with Great Britain. It was felt that a native Australian would be less disinterested than an Englishman. Nevertheless, Sir Isaac had the support of all groups, including the Catholics.

The matter of a new governor-general, however, was left in abeyance until Premier Scullin came to London for the Imperial Conference. Sir Isaac’s name was the only one submitted to the British government by Premier Scullin.

The appointment of Sir Isaac marks the second time that a Jew has been named Crown representative of one of the British possessions, Lording Reading (Rufus Isaacs) having been Viceroy of India.

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