||The State of Western Australia would have been the poorer
without Alex McCallum's contribution in the first four decades of
the twentieth century - as a union leader, Cabinet Minister and
head of the Agricultural Bank. The McCallum papers, held in the
John Curtin Prime Ministerial Library, provide fascinating insights
into this 'Yeoman of the Labor Guard', a man of 'forceful
personality and outstanding ability'. 
fighter he was courageous, as an administrator sagacious, as a
unionist loyal and self sacrificing. 
In the industrial sphere his achievements
include the organising of many classes of previously unorganised
workers, the conception and successful establishment of the
Headquarters of the Labor Movement, the leadership and executive
control of numerous industrial battles which laid the foundations
of industrial unionism deep and lasting, the drafting and advocacy
in the Arbitration Court of scores of industrial awards and
agreements. Fearless in industrial fights, Mr McCallum was the
best-hated man in the Movement by the employing class - but he was
also the most feared man.
In the political sphere he
established a reputation as a logical and forceful debater... Two
statutes are monuments to his capacity as a draftsman and his
championship of Labor - the Arbitration Act and the Workers'
Compensation Act, described by those best able to judge as the two
best pieces of legislation of their kind in the world.
administrative work was the initiating of the big metropolitan
sewerage scheme and the water supply extension scheme, which
included the building of the Canning Dam... The most individualistic
part of his public work was that which arose from his keen sense of
civic beauty. He introduced the town planning legislation, and his
pet project... was the Swan River Reclamation Scheme.