ID 0204

State Government of Victoria beginning 31 October 1952 - period in office of Premier McDonald, John Gladstone Black ending on 17 December 1952

Period in office of premier (see Glossary entry for 'period in office' and related terms)

McDonald, John Gladstone Black
Date of beginning of period in office
31 October 1952
Date of end of period in office
17 December 1952 
Reason for end of preceding period in office
Defeat in parliament 
Reason for end of this government
Loss of general election
Number of days in office

Parliamentary support during period

Party affiliation of premier at start of period
Country Party
If coalition government
Coalition partner 1
Coalition partner 2
Coalition partner 3
Coalition partner 4
Party support in parliament at beginning of period
If change in parliamentary support during period
If further change during period

Number of ministers at beginning of period (this may vary during the period)

Total number of ministers
Number from party of premier
Number from coalition party 1
Number from coalition party 2
Number from upper house
Number who are women

Assembly elections contested as premier or after which became premier (see Glossary entry for 'after election')

* to view table drag left or right.
Election Premier at election Premier's party Premier after election Premier's party
VIC 6 December 1952John Gladstone Black McDonaldCountry PartyJohn Cain [snr]Australian Labor Party

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Defeat in parliament (Hollway): Beginning of McDonald's second period in office; On 28 October 1952, the Hollway ministry was defeated on a procedural motion in the Assembly 31 to 33, by Country Party party members and those of the Liberal and Country Party, the Australian Labor Party members supporting Hollway; Victoria Parliamentary Debates, 1951-52 Session, vol. 240, 28 October 1952, pp 2773-2790. The following day, a motion of no confidence was moved by the leader of the opposition, McDonald, and a vote taken in the early hours of 30 October; the government was again defeated 33 to 31; Victoria Parliamentary Debates, 1951-52 Session, vol. 240, 29 October 1952, pp 2794-2863.

'[Hollway] then sought, but did not obtain a dissolution. The Governor, Sir Dallas Brooks, obtained Hollway's resignation, commissioned McDonald to form a government, and then granted a dissolution.' Hughes and Graham, p.135 (see 'Sources', below); note Victoria Parliamentary Debates, 1951-52 Session, vol. 240, 29 October 1952, p.2864.

McDonald became Premier of what was, essentially, a caretaker Country Party minority government on 31 October 1952 until the general election for the Assembly held on 6 December 1952.

Loss of general election (McDonald): At the general election on 6 December 1952, the Australian Labor Party won an additional 13 seats and gained a comfortable majority in the Legislative Assembly for the first time in Victoria. McDonald resigned on 8 December (see Hughes and Graham, p.135 in 'Sources', below).

References: For a study of McDonald's periods in office, see Brian Costar, 'John McDonald: A Remorseful Premier', in Strangio and Costar (editors), ch. 19, (see 'Sources', below). A survey of McDonald's career can be found in B J Costar, 'McDonald, Sir John Gladstone Black (Jack) (1898–1977)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 14, (Melbourne: Melbourne University Press, 1996), on line here [accessed 28 April 2014].


Colin Hughes and B D Graham (editors), A Handbook of Australian Government and Politics 1890-1964, (Canberra: Australian National University Press, 1968, SBN 708102700); Parliament of Victoria, One Hundred Years of Responsible Government 1856-1956, (Melbourne: Government Printer, 1957, Parliamentary Paper No. 40 of 1956-58); Paul Strangio and Brian Costar (editors), The Victorian Premiers 1856-2006, (Sydney: Federation Press, 2006, ISBN 9781862876019); Raymond Wright, A People's Counsel: A History of the Parliament of Victoria 1856-1990, (Melbourne: Oxford University Press, 1992, ISBN 0195533593). Victoria Hansard (Record of Parliamentary Debates) on line here .

In consulting these sources, note the difference between ministries and periods in office.