Clyde Carr

The Reverend
Clyde Leonard Carr
Member of Parliament for Timaru
In office
1928  1962
Preceded by Frank Rolleston
Succeeded by Basil Arthur
15th President of the Labour Party
In office
Vice President Jim Thorn
Leader Michael Joseph Savage
Preceded by Walter Nash
Succeeded by James Roberts
Personal details
Born 14 January 1886
Auckland, New Zealand
Died 18 September 1962
Christchurch, New Zealand
Political party Labour Party
Spouse(s) Laurie Carr
Parents Rev. Thomas Goodwill Carr
Religion Congregationalist

Clyde Leonard Carr (14 January 1886 – 18 September 1962) was a New Zealand politician of the Labour Party, and was a minister of the Congregational Church.[1]


Parliament of New Zealand
Years Term Electorate Party
19281931 23rd Timaru Labour
19311935 24th Timaru Labour
19351938 25th Timaru Labour
19381943 26th Timaru Labour
19431946 27th Timaru Labour
19461949 28th Timaru Labour
19491951 29th Timaru Labour
19511954 30th Timaru Labour
19541957 31st Timaru Labour
19571960 32nd Timaru Labour
19601962 33rd Timaru Labour
Grave of Carr and his wife Laurie

Carr was born in Ponsonby, Auckland in 1886.[1] His father was the Rev. Thomas Goodwill Carr (died 1935).[2] Carr was educated at Nelson College from 1899 to 1902.[3] Ordained as a minister in 1915, he was on the Christchurch City Council between 1923 and 1927 and the Hospital Board in the 1920s, after working in commerce and banking. Carr was also committed to animal welfare and in April 1936 he was elected to the office of President of the federated Societies for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.[4]

Carr joined the Labour Party in the early 1920s.[1] He unsuccessfully sought the Labour nomination in the 1925 election in the Kaiapoi, Riccarton, and Ellesmere electorates.[1] He moved to Timaru to contest the 1928 election in the Timaru electorate; he had no prior family or other connection to this provincial town.[5] His 1928 election win was an unexpected upset, ousting the popular local lawyer Frank Rolleston, who was Attorney-General, Minister of Justice, and Minister of Defence at the time.[1][6] Rolleston was the son of William Rolleston, one of the most influential politicians of the 19th century in Canterbury.[7]

Carr represented the Timaru electorate from 1928 to 1962, when he resigned.[8] His long representation of the electorate is unique in that a provincial town was not a safe Labour seat, and he had no prior relation with the people of Timaru before moving there to contest the 1928 election.[9]

He was a dissident, getting three votes when he ran against Peter Fraser for Labour's leadership in 1940 to replace Savage as party leader.[10]

He was not appointed to any ministerial positions, but was Chairman of Committees (1947–1949)[11] and Deputy Speaker (1946–1950). He was Vice-President of the Labour Party (1933–1934) and President (1936–1937). Carr was widely read, and could assist the whips if the party was caught “on the hop” by speaking for his full-time while the party reorganised. He had a struggle to exist on his Parliamentary salary (£7 or $14 a week when he entered the house in 1928) and also contribute to local raffles and fundraisers. To save money he lived in his office, sleeping on a day-bed, although Nash tried to ban this for a time.[12]

In 1935, he was awarded the King George V Silver Jubilee Medal.[13]

His wife died in April 1961 and he moved back to Christchurch soon after.[1] He resigned from Parliament on 31 May 1962,[8] and died on 18 September 1962.[1]


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Brown, Colin. "Carr, Clyde Leonard". Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Retrieved December 2012. Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  2. "Rev. T G Carr". The Evening Post. CXX (30). 3 August 1935. p. 11. Retrieved 15 November 2013.
  3. Nelson College Old Boys' Register, 1856–2006, 6th edition
  4. "S.P.C.A. Societies". The Evening Post. CXXI (97). 24 April 1936. p. 28. Retrieved 15 November 2013.
  5. Kerr 2003, p. 7.
  6. Wilson 1985, p. 79.
  7. Gardner, W. J. "Rolleston, William". Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Retrieved 31 July 2011.
  8. 1 2 Wilson 1985, p. 188.
  9. Kerr 2003, pp. 7f.
  10. Bassett, Michael (August 1997). "Peter Fraser". Margaret Clark. Retrieved 13 July 2012.
  11. Wilson 1985, p. 252.
  12. Freer, Warren W (2004). A Lifetime in Politics: the memoirs of Warren Freer. Wellington: Victoria University Press. pp. 128, 129. ISBN 0-86473-478-6.
  13. "Official jubilee medals". The Evening Post. CXIX (105). 6 May 1935. p. 4. Retrieved 2 July 2013.


Books by Carr

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Clyde Carr.
Political offices
Preceded by
Robert McKeen
Chairman of Committees of the House of Representatives
Succeeded by
Cyril Harker
New Zealand Parliament
Preceded by
Frank Rolleston
Member of Parliament for Timaru
Succeeded by
Basil Arthur
Party political offices
Preceded by
Walter Nash
President of the Labour Party
Succeeded by
James Roberts
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