Andrew Fisher: The Forgotten Man

Edward W. Humphreys.

Andrew Fisher was Prime Minister of Australia three times—1908–09, 1910–13 and 1914–15. His second government controlled both Houses of Parliament and it was, until the 1940s, Australia’s most reformist administration. In these three years, 113 Acts were placed on the statute books, thus changing the future pattern of the Commonwealth. Despite the volume of legislation and the changes in the political life of Australia during Fisher’s ministries, no definitive full-scale biographical work on him has yet been published; only limited articles on his Federal political career have appeared. Until the 1960s most historians considered Fisher to be a bit-player, a second-ranker whose main quality was his moderating influence on the Caucus and Labor ministry. He has been the forgotten man.