James Mathews (1865 – 16 October 1934) was an Australian politician who held the safe federal Labor seat of Melbourne Ports from 1906 (when he defeated Samuel Mauger) until 1931. Prior to politics, Mathews had a career in primary education and was a tailor and small business owner in South Melbourne, Victoria.
In 1910, Mathews won Melbourne Ports against Liberal candidate, Alexander Ramsey, former MLA of Williamstown with a 20% margin. In 1913, he was challenged by Liberal candidate, Charles Merrett and won a 29.2% margin. In 1914, 1919 and 1928, Mathews was elected to Melbourne Ports unopposed. When he was challenged in 1917 by Nationalist candidate William Fozard, however, his margin was decreased to 16.3%. In 1922, Mathews was challenged by Nationalist candidate Selwyn Neale and was elected with a 23.1% margin, whereas in 1925, Nationalist candidate Francis Wilder challenged Mathews and decreased his margin by 5.4%.
Jack Holloway replaced Mathews as the next member for Melbourne Ports in 1931.