Watson Ministry

Group photograph of all Federal Labour Party MPs elected at the inaugural 1901 election, including Chris Watson, Andrew Fisher, Billy Hughes, and Frank Tudor.

The Watson Ministry was the third Australian Commonwealth ministry, and ran from 27 April 1904 to 17 August 1904. It was the first federal ministry formed by the Australian Labor Party.[1]

Portfolio Minister
Prime Minister and Treasurer Hon Chris Watson, MP
Minister for External Affairs Hon Billy Hughes, MP
Attorney-General Hon H.B. Higgins (1), KC MP
Minister for Home Affairs Hon Egerton Lee Batchelor, MP
Minister for Trade and Customs Hon Andrew Fisher, MP
Minister for Defence Senator Hon Anderson Dawson
Postmaster-General Hon Hugh Mahon, MP
Vice-President of the Executive Council Senator Hon Gregor McGregor

(1) The Protectionist Party member Higgins accepted office (with Alfred Deakin's permission) as Attorney-General since the Labor Party did not have a lawyer in its parliamentary ranks with the exception of Billy Hughes, who had recently admitted as a barrister but who was already serving in another portfolio and was not viewed as qualified for the post. It was the only time a non-member of the Labor Party has served in a Labor ministry.


  1. "Ministries and Cabinets". Parliamentary Handbook. Parliament of Australia. Retrieved 17 September 2010.
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