Thomas Playford II

Thomas Playford II

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Thomas Playford II

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Thomas Playford (26 November 1837 – 19 April 1915) served as Premier of South Australia from 11 June 1887 to 26 June 1889 and 8 August 1890 to 20 June 1892, as well as serving as the Australian Federal Minister for Defence from 1905 to 1907.

Born in Bethnal Green, London in 1837, Playford moved to Adelaide in 1844 with his family and initially worked as a farmer prior to entering politics in 1868 as the Member for Onkaparinga in the South Australian colonial parliament. He gained the sobriquet "Honest Tom" for his forthright and straightforward manner, although these same qualities would earn him the occasional disapproval of fellow politicians and the electorate, and caused his defeat at the polls in 1871. Playford returned to Parliament in 1875 and held the position of Reforming Commissioner for Crown Lands and Immigration before losing his seat yet again. His fortunes were on the up though in 1887 when he not only re-entered parliament but did so as Premier, holding that position for the next two years. During his term, his most important achievement was considered to be the implementation of the first systematic tariff system for South Australia.

Playford lost government in 1889 after a no confidence vote but regained it in 1890 following an electoral victory in August. During this second term as Premier, Playford also held the position of Treasurer, and...
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