ACT Heritage Library Manuscript Collections

HMSS 0022 Charles Francis Collection 

Scope and Content Notes 

Call Number HMSS 0022
Collection Charles Francis Collection
Date Range 1899 and 1930
Quantity 0.65m (1 oversized wallet)
Access Conditions open
Copying Conditions with attribution
Related Collections ImagesACT no. 006482 Australian Natives' Association, Canberra. Charles Francis, President, centre front row; general ephemera collection, Self-Government ACT, inaugural meeting of Australian Natives Association 1927

Charles E. Francis (ca 1878 – 1942) joined the Commonwealth Public Service about 1910 and was stationed at Jervis Bay during the building of the naval station there. He was associated with preliminary works during the foundation of the national capital, and was Controller of Stores for the Federal Capital Commission in 1925, later transferred to the Department of the Interior.

In his private life, he was a prominent member of the Federal Capital Territory Representation League from 1927, a foundation member and twice president of the Canberra Bowling Club, secretary of the Federal District Bowling Association, foundation president of the Australian Natives Association (Canberra Branch), 1927 president of Telopea Park Parents’ Association and a member of the committee that established the Manuka Swimming Pool.

Charles Frances Lane in Kingston is named after him.

Box List

Box No. Description Quantity Date Range

Australasian Federal Referendum Certificate, 54.5 x 35 cm, illustrated, portraits of colonial premiers, coloured

“This is to certify that the question of an Australasian Federal Constitution was submitted to the Electors of Victoria on the 27th day of July 1899 and that out of a Poll of 163,783 votes 152,653 were cast in favor of such Australasian Federal Constitution, and further that Charles E. B. Francis voted at the said election. [signed] G. M. P. Turner, Premier”
1 1899


Facsimile of first page of Petition for the Federal Capital Territory to be represented in Commonwealth Parliament, mounted with holograph caption, 38 x 55 cm, sepia facsimile and calligraphy on fawn card

Petition begins: “To the Honorable the Speaker and Members of the House of Representatives in Parliament assembled
The Humble Petition of the undersigned Residents within the Federal Capital Territory respectfully showeth:

1. That your Petitioners reside in territory surrendered by the State of New South Wales to, and accepted by, the Commonwealth and are without representation, either in the State Parliament or in that of the Commonwealth.

2. That being thus absolutely disfranchised, the entire population of the Federal Capital Territory, comprising about 8,000 souls, more or less, has no means whatever of having its political, civil or other interests properly advocated in Parliament.

3. That your Petitioners are British subjects, and the franchise has long been recognised as an inalienable right of British citizenship.

4. That residents of the only other Federal Territory within the Commonwealth, the Northern Territory, have been granted representation in Parliament under special conditions.

5. For these reasons your petitioners humbly pray that your Honorable House will take steps to grant to them representation in the Commonwealth Parliament by a member elected by themselves.

And your Petitioners, as in duty bound, will ever pray, etc.”

A holograph note indicates that there were 3092 signatures. The first signature is that of Charles Francis, of Manuka, Canberra.

Caption: “This facsimile of the first page of The Petition to the Commonwealth Parliament praying for the representation in Parliament of the residents of the Federal Capital Territory was presented to Mr C. E. Francis, President of the Original Representation League, by the Federal Capital Territory Citizens League, of which he was the first President, in appreciation of his untiring and public-spirited service in the cause of Representation. Canberra July 1930.”
1 1930