Thomas Daniel Chapman


TD Chapman (Parliament of Tasmania)

Thomas Daniel Chapman (181584), merchant and politician, was Tasmania's first Treasurer after self-government. This first ministry was short-lived, largely because of the increases in import duties he proposed. (He earned the derisive nickname 'Tea and Sugar Tommy' when, in the face of widespread protests, he offered to rescind the increases on those items.) He subsequently served as Treasurer in several ministries, including an unbroken spell of six years, and was also briefly Colonial Secretary and Premier.

While he was admired for his ability in fiscal matters (notwithstanding personal bankruptcy), each of Chapman's terms as Treasurer ended with resignation after public protests or an adverse parliamentary vote. Chapman was able to balance the books during a period of economic depression and political instability, but devising progressive policies to develop the economy proved beyond him.

Further reading: ADB 3.

Michael Sprod