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Sir Clive McPherson (1884–1958)

Clive McPherson, n.d.

Clive McPherson, n.d.

from Pastoral Review and Graziers' Record, 18 December 1958

With the death of Sir Clive McPherson in Melbourne on the 10th November Australian primary industry lost one of its most knowledgeable and experienced advocates. During his long career there were very few facets of pastoral or agricultural production with which he had not been closely associated in either a practical or advisory capacity.

Born in the Victorian wheat town of St. Arnaud in 1884, Sir Clive was educated at Caulfield Grammar School, Melbourne, and began work on his uncle's property, Yaloke Vale, Ballan, Vic., at the turn of the century. Later he was employed on the well known Burrongong Station, near Urana, N.S.W., at that time owned by the late Mr. Phillip Gell.

He then joined the stock and station firm of John McNamara and Co. at Yarrawonga, Vic., and shortly after branched out in business with a partner under the name of McPherson, Thom and Co.

Capitalising on the experience gained early in life Sir Clive expanded his firm and at the same time acquired extensive pastoral interests. He was at one time a partner in the Roto Pastoral Co., at Hillston, N.S.W., and the Eynesbury Pastoral Co., at Melton, Vic. In addition he owned various Riverina properties, including Boomanoomana Station, Mulwala; Kentucky, at Corowa; and, in partnership, Hillsborough, also at Corowa.

It was this background of practical experience in property ownership which made Sir Clive's advice, and leadership so valuable in the many duties of public life which he was subsequently called upon to fulfil. From 1932 to 1937 he was chairman of a commission—later known as the Closer Settlement Commission—set up by the Victorian Government to investigate the economic problems facing nearly 10,000 settlers established with Government aid after World War I. All settlers had their cases investigated as to area, liability, and the debt which each could reasonably carry with a prospect of success, and valuation adjustments were made in accordance with the commission's recommendation. The success which Sir Clive achieved in this post is now history, and thousands of Victorian settlers still on their farms can thank him for changing their prospects from hopelessness in the 1930's into a brighter future.

Sir Clive was an adviser to the Commonwealth on the organisation of primary industries, and was a member of the 1930 Royal Commission investigating the complaints of British migrant settlers. Other primary industry posts he held with distinction included that of Australian Government representative on the British Phosphate Commission from 1927 to 1946, and on the Dairy Export Board. From 1939 to 1945 he was chairman of the Australian Wheat Control Board, and from 1940 to 1944 served as a member of the Commonwealth Bank Board. He was also a trustee of the Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria and a member of the board of management of the Royal Melbourne Hospital.

Sir Clive became managing director of Younghusband Ltd. in 1938 and at the time of his death was chairman and managing director, as well as a director of the National Bank of Australasia Limited.

In recognition of his many and varied services to the Commonwealth and State, and for his never failing efforts on behalf of the rural community, he was created a C.B.E. in 1925 and a Knight Bachelor in 1941.

Lady McPherson died in 1946 and Sir Clive is survived by his daughter, Miss Marion McPherson.

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Citation details

'McPherson, Sir Clive (1884–1958)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 22 July 2024.

© Copyright Obituaries Australia, 2010-2024

Clive McPherson, n.d.

Clive McPherson, n.d.

from Pastoral Review and Graziers' Record, 18 December 1958

Life Summary [details]


13 January, 1884
St Arnaud, Victoria, Australia


10 November, 1958 (aged 74)
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Religious Influence

Includes the religion in which subjects were raised, have chosen themselves, attendance at religious schools and/or religious funeral rites; Atheism and Agnosticism have been included.