1900 to 1909
29 Mar 1901: First elected to Federal Parliament
Reid was elected as Member of Parliament for the seat of East Sydney (NSW) in the first federal election.
29 Mar 1901: First federal Leader of the Opposition
As leader of the Free Trade Party, Reid also became Australia’s first Leader of the Opposition, a position which he held from his election in 1901 until his appointment as prime minister in 1904.
18 Aug 1903: Resignation from Parliament
Reid resigned to protest the Protectionist government’s rejection of the Electoral Commission proposal for an extra Sydney seat as part of the re-drawing of electorate boundaries.
4 Sep 1903: Return to Parliament
A by-election for Reid’s East Sydney seat was held after he resigned from Parliament, seeing Reid quickly returned to his seat.
16 Dec 1903: 2nd federal election
Reid’s Free Trade Party won 25 seats, Alfred Deakin’s Protectionists won 26 seats and Labor won 23 seats, making the 3 parties nearly equal in the House.
18 Aug 1904: 4th Prime Minister
Reid became Australia’s 4th Prime Minister when the Free Trade Party formed a coalition with the Protectionist Party, gaining a narrow majority.
15 Dec 1904: Arbitrating arbitration
The Conciliation and Arbitration Bill was enacted, establishing a federal Conciliation and Arbitration Court. Debate over this Bill had been responsible for the fall of the previous Deakin and Watson governments.
24 May 1905: Empire Day
Britain decided to continue the public celebration of Queen Victoria’s birthday after the end of her 64-year reign in 1901. Following this lead, Reid made Empire Day a national event in Australia. It remained a public holiday until 1958.
5 Jul 1905: Left office
After a censure motion moved by Alfred Deakin on 30 June 1905, the Government fell and Reid lost office. Reid returned to his position as Leader of the Opposition.
12 Dec 1906: 3rd federal election
Reid led an Anti-Socialist Party to gain a majority of seats. Despite this outright win, Alfred Deakin’s Protectionists formed a minority government with Labor support.
28 Jun 1909: Sir George Reid
During the King’s birthday honours, Reid was appointed Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George (later promoted to Knight Grand Cross).
24 Dec 1909: Exit from Parliament
Reid resigned from Parliament to take up a position as High Commissioner to the United Kingdom.
1910 to 1919
22 Jan 1910: Australia’s 1st High Commissioner to the United Kingdom
Reid held this appointed position for 6 years. Despite a wish to renew it for a further period, his appointment was terminated in January 1916.
10 Jan 1916: Member of the British House of Commons
Reid was elected as the member for the seat of St George’s Hanover Square in the British House of Commons.
12 Sep 1918: Death
Reid died in London from cerebral thrombosis, aged 73. His was the 1st Australian prime ministerial funeral. Reid was survived by his wife and 3 children.