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John Hopkins

Minister of Finance John Hopkins.

John Hopkins was Minister of Finance in the Cabinets of Governors-General Henderson Dewey and Douglas Watson from 1923 to 1932.

Like Dewey's other important Cabinet ministers, Hopkins was articulate and popular. Like Dewey himself, Hopkins was able to present an appearance of modesty, understatement, and coolness, and came across well on vitavision.

After Dewey's unexpected death from heart attack on 10 May 1929, Hopkins was one of the leading contenders to succeed him. His main rival was his Cabinet colleague Watson, the Minister for Home Affairs. Although Hopkins' isolationist foreign policy preferences were closer to Dewey's than Watson's, and more popular among the Liberal Party caucus in the Grand Council, Watson had the closest grip on the caucus, which chose Watson on 12 May to succeed Dewey.

Watson retained Dewey's other Cabinet ministers, including Hopkins, who remained as Minister of Finance until finally resigning in 1932. Sobel does not say why Hopkins finally resigned, though it seems likely that his disagreement with Watson's interventionist foreign policy was responsible. Hopkins was succeeded at Treasury by Ezra Clarkson.

Sobel's source for John Hopkins' political career is Jules Whitney's The Accidental Executive: The Political Life of Douglas Watson (New York, 1961).