ID 0350

State Government of Victoria beginning 10 June 1872 - period in office of Premier Francis, James Goodall ending on 31 July 1874

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

Francis, James Goodall
Date of beginning of period in office
10 June 1872
Date of end of period in office
31 July 1874 
Reason for end of preceding period in office
Defeat in parliament 
Reason for end of this government
Resignation of premier
Number of days in office

Parliamentary support during period

Party affiliation of premier at start of period
Support from parliamentary factions and independents
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')

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Election Premier at election Premier's party Premier after election Premier's party
VIC 25 March 1874James Goodall FrancisSupport from parliamentary factions and independentsJames Goodall FrancisSupport from parliamentary factions and independents

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Defeat in parliament (Duffy): Beginning of Francis's period in office; 'The government's opponents ultimately found the weapon they needed in the appointment of a new secretary for the Victorian agent-general in London. The job went to an old colleague of Duffy's on the Nation newspaper. The combination of Catholic Irish nationalism with a whiff of nepotism swung more MPs against the government which lost its majority.' Waugh, p.41 (see 'References', below).

The government was defeated after an eleven day debate on the address in reply; the opposition inserted an amendment to read: 'But regretting to inform his Excellency that we feel bound to condemn the exercise of patronage by his present advisers; and that we feel further bound to inform his Excellency that his present advisers do not possess the confidence of this House'; Victoria Parliamentary Debates, 1872 Session, vol. 14, 29 May 1872, p.435. 'Duffy asked the governor to dissolve the Assembly, so that he could go to the polls rather than resign, but the governor decided that an alternative government was available, and refused, much to Duffy's disgust.' Waugh, p.41 (see 'References', below).

Francis was commissioned to form a government on 10 June 1872. 'Francis became [McCulloch's] treasurer in 1870, and when McCulloch temporarily left Parliament, Francis took over as leader of his supporters. With constitutionalist support, this gave him the numbers to become premier....' Waugh, p.42 (see 'References', below).

Resignation of premier (Francis): 'Francis took personal charge of the big issue of the government's last year in office, constitutional reform. He tried to make it the focus of the 1874 election campaign, but he found the demand for constitutional change hard to rouse, although he was returned as premier [note omitted]. His plan for joint sittings of the two houses to resolve deadlocks.... passed the Assembly by only two votes, and without the necessary absolute majority. The premier was missing from Parliament for the final vote. He had fallen dangerously ill with pleurisy, which forced his resignation soon after ....' Waugh, pp 42-43 (see 'References', below).

References: For a study of the Victorian parliament in this period, see, Wright, ch. 5 (see 'Sources', below), and note the 'Prologue' in Geoffrey Serle, The Rush to be Rich: A History of the Colony of Victoria, 1883-1889, pp 1-13 (Melbourne: Melbourne University Press, 1971). A study of Francis's premiership can be found in John Waugh, ' ''The Inevitable McCulloch" and his Rivals, 1863-1877', in Strangio and Costar (editors), ch. 3 (see 'Sources', below), and for a survey of Francis's career, see Geoffrey Bartlett, 'Francis, James Goodall (1819–1884)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 4, (Melbourne: Melbourne University Press, 1972), on line here [accessed 23 February 2014].


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