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The Dictionary of Australasian Biography/Black, Maurice Hume

< The Dictionary of Australasian Biography

Black, Maurice Hume, M.L.A., is a grand-nephew of the celebrated Joseph Hume, Member for Montrose in the British House of Commons. He was born in London on Dec. 15th, 1835, and married in 1861 a niece of the great statesman, George Canning. Having emigrated to Victoria in 1852, Mr. Black left the goldfields of that colony to try his luck in pastoral pursuits in South Australia, subsequently going to Riverina, and in 1864 to Queensland, where he still resides. He is the inventor of a steam sheep-washing process, and went into sugar planting in the Mackay district of Queensland in 1871. In 1881 he was returned to the Legislative Assembly for that electorate, for which he still sits. Having taken a prominent part in the agitation for the separation of Northern Queensland from the rest of the colony, and its formation into a distinct colony, he was in 1887 commissioned to go to England with Mr. Lissner to press the matter upon the attention of the Home Government, Mr. Harold Finch-Hatton and Dr. Ahearne having done much to bring the matter into the region of practical politics by their exertions during the previous year. Though not successful in inducing Lord Knutsford to take steps for the separation of Northern Queensland, the advanced phase which the question has since assumed is a good deal due to the efforts of the delegation of 1887. In June 1888, on the formation of the second McIlwraith Administration, Mr. Black became Secretary of Public Works, and continued to hold the post when five months later the Ministry was reconstructed under Mr. Morehead. He resigned with his colleagues in August 1890.