Richard Robson

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Description:
Richard Robson (15 March 1867–30 November 1928), sometimes referred to as Dick Robson, was a Member of the Western Australian Legislative Assembly who resigned in 1900 after making unsubstantiated allegations of corruption against the government of the day.

Early life

Richard Robson was born at Tynemouth, Northumberland, England on 15 March 1867. He was educated at Mill Hill School in London. In 1887 he emigrated to Western Australia, working as a jackaroo in the Murchison district until after 1890. By 1895 he was in business at Geraldton as a commission and mining agent. That year he married Clara Hosken; they would have five children. In 1898 he was vice-President of the Geraldton Chamber of Commerce.

Political life

On 12 July 1899, Robson was elected to the Legislative Assembly seat of Geraldton in a by-election. In February 1900, the Geraldton Advertiser reported on a speech made by Robson to a meeting of his constituents. Robson was reported as claiming that bribery and corruption were rampant in parliament; that the Forrest Ministry was "corrupt and rotten to the core"; and that several Members had "no visible means of support" because they were paid by a group of financiers who wanted to keep the Government in office. The allegations were raised in the Assembly by Frederick Moorhead when it next sat on 23 May. The premier, John Forrest, who had been deeply offended by Robson's reported statements, declared that the charges had...
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