James Hume Cook

Member of the Australian Parliament
for Bourke
In office
29 March 1901 – 13 April 1910
Preceded byNew seat
Succeeded byFrank Anstey
Personal details
Born(1866-11-24)24 November 1866
Kihikihi, New Zealand
Died8 August 1942(1942-08-08) (aged 75)
Brighton, Victoria
NationalityNew Zealand Australian
Political partyProtectionist (1901–09)
Liberal (1909–10)
Spouse(s)Nellie Maine
OccupationEstate agent

James Newton Haxton Hume Cook CMG (23 September 1866 – 8 August 1942) was an Australian politician. He was a member of the House of Representatives from 1901 to 1910, after previously serving in the Victorian Legislative Assembly from 1894 to 1900. He was a member of the anti-socialist parties and served as a minister without portfolio under Alfred Deakin.

Early life

Hume Cook was born in Kihikihi, New Zealand, son of a failed farmer and he had to leave school at 13 to work selling books. He migrated with his family to Melbourne in 1881. He left home in 1887 to sell real estate and soon became active in the Australian Natives' Association. In 1893, he was elected to Brunswick Town Council and in 1896 became mayor. In 1902, he married Nellie Maine.[1]

Parliamentary career

Hume Cook c. 1902
Hume Cook c. 1902

Hume Cook was elected to the seat of East Bourke Boroughs in the Victorian Legislative Assembly in 1894. He supported to federation of Australia 1897, but came only 19th in the vote for the Victorian delegates to the 1897 Australasian Federal Convention. He supported liberal causes, such as protection and state intervention into wage-fixing and working conditions, but lost his seat in 1900.[1]

Hume Cook won the Australian House of Representatives seat of Bourke at the first federal election in 1901 as a Protectionist. He joined the fusion in 1909 in an attempt to hold on to his seat, although its creation ran against his political principles. From January 1908 to the defeat of the government in 1908, he was a minister without portfolios in the Deakin ministry. He chaired a royal commission on postal services from June to December 1908. The Labor Party campaigned actively against him at the 1910 election and he was defeated by Frank Anstey. He ran unsuccessfully for Maribyrnong at the 1913 election.[1]

Later life

Hume Cook was involved with Billy Hughes in the establishment of the Nationalist Party in 1916 and the Australian Party in 1929 and 1930. He was also secretary of the Australian Industries Protection League from 1922 until his death and represented Australian industry at the British Empire Economic Conference in Ottawa in 1932. In 1941, he was made a Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George (CMG). He died in the Melbourne suburb of Brighton, Victoria, survived by his wife, a daughter and two sons.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d Hancock, I. R. (1981). "Cook, James Newton Haxton Hume (1866–1942)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. Melbourne University Press. ISSN 1833-7538. Retrieved 24 February 2008 – via National Centre of Biography, Australian National University.
Parliament of Australia
New division Member for Bourke
Succeeded by
Frank Anstey