ID 0218

State Government of Western Australia beginning 1 July 1902 - period in office of Premier James, Walter Hartwell ending on 10 August 1904

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

James, Walter Hartwell
Date of beginning of period in office
1 July 1902
Date of end of period in office
10 August 1904 
Reason for end of preceding period in office
Death of premier 
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
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
WA 28 June 1904Walter Hartwell JamesMinisterialistsHenry DaglishAustralian Labor Party

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Death of Premier (Leake): Beginning of James's period in office: 'In the early months of 1902 it seemed that political tranquility had returned, but in June George Leake died, unexpectedly and suddenly, at the age of only 45', de Garis, p. 83 (see 'References', below). '[Leake's] ministers resigned and Walter Kingsmill was invited to form a ministry but failed. James who had declined to serve in the second Leake ministry was then commissioned, and formed a ministry', Hughes and Graham, p. 225 (see 'Sources', below).

Loss of general election: 'Following the June 1904 election the Ministerialists found themselves in a minority. A motion moved by Daglish, Leader of the Opposition and of the Labor Party, amending the Address-in-reply, was carried 27-19 on 9 August. Independent members voted with Labor. James then resigned and Daglish was commissioned', Hughes and Graham, p. 226 (see 'Sources', below).

Ministerialists: During the 1890s, factional politics began to give way to political groupings and electoral organizations which foreshadowed the emergence of modern political parties. But these groupings were still fluid. The term ministerialists is often applied to groupings which, for a variety of reasons, supported a particular government. Hughes and Graham (p. 224, see 'Sources', below) label the James ministry as 'Liberal', but the term reflects the predisposition of the Premier and his supporting group rather than a party organization.

For the emergence of political parties in Western Australia, see Brian de Garis, 'Western Australia', in P Loveday, A W Martin and R S Parker (editors), The Emergence of the Australian Party System, pp 298-354 (Sydney: Hale & Iremonger, 1977, ISBN 0908094035).

References: For a study of the style of parliamentary politics at the time, see Brian de Garis, 'Self-Government and the Emergence of Political Parties, 1890-1911', in David Black (editor), The House on the Hill: A History of the Parliament of Western Australia 1832-1990, pp 63-95, (Perth: Western Australian Parliamentary History Project, Parliament of Western Australia, 1991, ISBN 0730939839), and note C T Stannage, 'The Composition of the Western Australian Parliament 1890-1911', University Studies in History, 4 (3), 1965: 85-94.

Summary information on Western Australian premiers from 1890 to 1982 and a short essay, 'The Premiers -- An Introductory Comment', can be found in Reid and Oliver (see 'Sources', below).

For a survey of James's career, see Lyall Hunt, 'James, Sir Walter Hartwell (1863 - 1943)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 9, pp 466-469, (Melbourne: Melbourne University Press, 1983), on line at:


Colin A Hughes and B D Graham, A Handbook of Australian Government and Politics 1890-1964, (Canberra: Australian National University Press, 1968, SBN 708102700); John Mandy and David Black (editors),The Western Australian Parliamentary Handbook Centenary Edition, (Perth: Parliamentary History Project, Parliament of Western Australia, 1990, ISBN 0731697847); G S Reid and M R Oliver, The Premiers of Western Australia 1890-1982, (Perth: University of Western Australia Press, 1982, ISBN 0855642149).