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John Forrest


FORREST, JOHN, 1ST BARON West Aus tralian statesman and explorer, son of William Forrest, of Les chenaulty, Bunbury, West Australia, was born on Aug. 22, 1847, and educated at Perth, West Australia. In 1865 he joined the Government Survey Department at Perth, and in 1869 led an exploring expedition into the interior in search of D. Leichardt, penetrating through bush and salt-marshes as far inland as I 23 °E. In 1870 he again made an expedition from Perth to Adelaide, along the southern shores. In 1874, with his brother Alexander Forrest (born 1849), he explored eastwards from Champion bay, following as far as possible the 26th parallel, and striking the tele graph line between Adelaide and Port Darwin; a distance of about 2,000m. was covered in about five months with horses and without carriers, a particularly fine achievement. (See AUSTRALIA : Exploration.) John Forrest also surveyed in 1878 the north western district between the rivers Ashburton and Lady Grey, and in 1882 the Fitzroy district. In 1876 he was made deputy surveyor-general; for a few months at the end of 1878 he acted as commissioner of Crown lands and surveyor-general, being given the full appointment in 1883 and retaining it till 1890. When the colony obtained in 1890 its constitution of self-govern ment, Sir John Forrest (who was made K.C.M.G. in 1891 and G.C.M.G. in 1901) became its first premier, and he held that position till in 1901 he joined the Commonwealth Government, first as minister for defence, later as minister for home affairs and postmaster-general, resigning the office of federal treasurer in July 1907. Sir John Forrest was again general treasurer in the Deakin administration of 1909-10, under Sir Joseph Cook (1913 14), and again in 1917-18. His determined opposition to the Labour Party prevented his rise to the premiership. He received a peerage in 1918, and died at sea on his way to England, on Sept. 4 of that year. He published Explorations in Australia (1876) and Notes on Western Australia (1884-1887). (See H. G. Turner, First Decade of the Australian Commonwealth [19I I [1911].

australia, perth and sir