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James Scullin

James and Sarah Scullin were given a triumphal welcome when they arrived in Canberra on 21 October 1929 for the swearing in of the new Labor government. But two years later, Scullin said his term as Prime Minister was like a nightmare.

Prime Minister James Scullin and Sarah Scullin

Prime Minister James Scullin's red hair stood out in the crowd when he and Sarah Scullin received a rousing welcome at Canberra's railway station on 21 October 1929.

NAA: A3560, 6104

Australia’s ninth Prime Minister was unlucky in his timing. The New York Stock Exchange failure – the ‘Wall Street crash’ – took place in the first week of his government. He faced the crisis of economic depression by attempting to manage a failing economy while implementing Labor reforms.

This was probably the right moment for a Prime Minister remembered as ‘a teetotal, non-smoking, budget pruner’ who was also an honest and stoical man.

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