Australian statesman; born in London, England, Nov. 2, 1820; died there Aug. 29, 1900. In 1832 he emigrated with relatives to New South Wales. He entered Sydney College, and afterward engaged in mining and commercial pursuits. In 1839 he made the acquaintance of Sir Henry Parkes, whose colleague he later became in several governments. His public career began in 1846, when he was appointed a magistrate of the territory of New South Wales. In 1854 he won legislative honors, and in 1856 entered the Representative Assembly of New South Wales. In 1859 he joined the ministry; and from that time forward he held office continuously up to his appointment in 1880 to the London agent-generalship of New South Wales. In 1872 he was nominated to a seat in the Legislative Council, in which chamber he represented the government; he was minister for finance and trade in 1859, 1865, 1866, 1868, 1869, and 1870, and postmaster-general from 1872 to 1875, in 1877, and from 1879 to 1880.

Samuel's main work in the colony was of a financial character. As agent-general he expended over £6,000,000 in the purchase of railway plants and war material, and effected large loans totaling £50,000,000. As colonial treasurer he made financial arrangements for separating Queensland from the parent colony of New South Wales. As postmaster-general he negotiated a postal service to Great Britain via San Francisco—an achievement which secured him the C.M.G. (1874). In 1882 he was made K.C.M.G., and in 1886 the Companionship of the Bath was conferred upon him. He was the author of the Government Savings Bank Act, the Navigation Act, and other acts of equal importance.

Samuel was one of the most practical pioneers in the work of Australian federation, and cultivated the interests, not of New South Wales only, but of the whole of Australia. He was also the pioneer of several important industries which have developed in the colony. He represented Sydney at several international exhibitions, and in 1887 was one of the delegates of New South Wales to the Colonial Conference held in London.

Sir Saul Samuel was a member of the council of the Anglo-Jewish Association, and was connected also with other leading communal institutions.

  • Jew. Chron. Oct. 22, 1897, and Aug. 31, 1900;
  • Jew. Year Book, 5661 (=1901), p. 320.
J. G. L.
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