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The Dictionary of Australasian Biography/Dodds, Hon. John Stokell

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Dodds, Hon. John Stokell, C.M.G., Puisne Judge, Tasmania, was born in Durham, England, in 1848, and having emigrated to Tasmania, was admitted to the bar there in 1872. Having unsuccessfully contested South and North Hobart, Mr. Dodds succeeded Mr. Fysh as the representative of East Hobart in, 1878, and held the seat till 1887, when he assumed his present judicial position. Immediately after his election he accepted the post of Attorney-General in the Crowther Administration, which took office in Dec. 1878. On their defeat in Oct. 1879, Mr. Giblin undertook the formation of a Coalition Government, Mr. Dodds and Mr. O'Reilly being selected as representatives of their party. The office of Treasurer was offered to and declined by Mr. Dodds, who was unwilling to take any portfolio other than that of Attorney-General. Mr. Giblin then waived his own personal wishes, and consented to Mr. Dodds retaining the Attorney-Generalship, he taking the Treasury. Ultimately, however, Mr. Dodds changed places with him, and held the office of Treasurer until the Coalition Government oeased to exist on Mr. Giblin resigning, in August 1884, to become a Judge of the Supreme Court. The Administration was then reconstructed, and Mr. Dodds resigned the Treasurership and became Attorney-General again. In 1886, when Mr. Douglas proceeded to England as Agent-General, it was thought that Mr. Dodds would become Premier; but the Governor, Sir George Strahan, was advised by Mr. Dodds to send for Dr. Agnew^who assumed that position. But the real work of guiding the administration, and of leading the House of Assembly, fell upon Mr. Dodds, who safely steered his party through a general election and a stormy session of Parliament. When still Attorney-General, and whilst en route to England to represent the colony at the Colonial Conference held in London in 1887, he was appointed to the senior puisne judgeship, rendered vacant by the death of his old chief, Mr. Giblin. After attending the Conference, Mr. Dodds returned to Tasmania to assume the seat upon the bench to which he had been appointed in the previous February. In 1890, during the absence of Governor Hamilton, Mr. Dodds exercised for a short time the functions of Deputy Governor.