ID 0141

State Government of Tasmania beginning 12 July 1904 - period in office of Premier Evans, John William ending on 19 June 1909



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

Premier
Evans, John William
Date of beginning of period in office
12 July 1904
Date of end of period in office
19 June 1909 
Reason for end of preceding period in office
Defeat in parliament 
Reason for end of this government
Change of party leader
Number of days in office
1,803 

Parliamentary support during period

Party affiliation of premier at start of period
Ministerialists
If coalition government
Coalition partner 1
--none--
Coalition partner 2
--none--
Coalition partner 3
--none--
Coalition partner 4
--none--
Party support in parliament at beginning of period
Minority
If change in parliamentary support during period
30 April 1909
Majority
Result of general election
If further change during period
--none--  

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

Total number of ministers
5
Number from party of premier
5
Number from coalition party 1
0
Number from coalition party 2
0
Number from upper house
1
Number who are women
0

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
TAS 30 April 1909John William EvansMinisterialistsJohn William EvansAnti - Socialist Party
TAS 29 March 1906John William EvansMinisterialistsJohn William EvansMinisterialists

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Notes

Defeat in Parliament: 'Following defeats in the Legislative Council, cabinet interviewed the Lieutenant-Governor on 30 June [1904] seeking a dissolution which was refused. An Opposition no-confidence motion was tabled and Propsting resigned. Evans, Leader of the Opposition, was commissioned', Hughes and Graham, p. 255 (see 'Sources', below).

Change of party leader: 'Evans decided to retire on the grounds of ill-health following the May 1909 elections. Non-Labor members met on 8 June and elected Lewis as leader, and there was a fusion of Anti-Socialist and Liberal-Democrat groups into the Liberal Party', Hughes and Graham, p. 255 (see 'Sources', below). Weller provides a different view which stresses the importance of factional politics within the fused Liberal Party and the failure of Evans to gain support among his parliamentary colleagues; see Weller, p. 373, (see 'Emergence of political parties', below).

Emergence of political parties: During the 1890s, the factional politics of previous years began to give way to political groupings and electoral organizations which foreshadowed the emergence of modern political parties. The term ministerialists can be applied to these groupings which, for a variety of reasons, supported a particular government. But, with the enlargement of the electorate and the emergence of statewide issues, modern parties with electoral organizations began to appear. By 1906 the two major party groupings were the Labor Party and anti-Labor groupings which joined to become the Liberal Party from 1909. Hughes and Graham label the Evans ministry as Liberal (p. 254, see 'Sources', below) but the term reflects the predisposition of the premier rather than the party which was to emerge after 1909.

For the emergence of political parties in Tasmania, see Patrick Weller, 'Tasmania' in P Loveday, A W Martin and R S Parker (editors), The Emergence of the Australian Party System, pp 355-382 (Sydney: Hale & Iremonger, 1977, ISBN 0908094035), and R P Davis, 'Tasmania', in D J Murphy (editor), Labor in Politics: The State Labor Parties in Australia 1880-1920, pp 389-445, (St. Lucia, Qld: University of Queensland Press, 1975, ISBN 0702209392).

References: For a description of the style of parliamentary government in this period, see John Reynolds, 'Premiers and Political Leaders', in F C Green (editor), Tasmania: A Century of Responsible Government 1856-1956, pp 208-215, (Hobart: L G Shea, Government Printer, [1956]), and note Terry Newman, Tasmanian Premiers 1856-1988: A Biographical Handbook, (Hobart: Tasmanian Parliamentary Library, [1988]).

For a survey of Evans's career, see W A Townsley, 'Evans, Sir John William (1855 - 1943)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 8, p. 447, (Melbourne: Melbourne University Press, 1981), on line at: http://www.adb.online.anu.edu.au/biogs/A080472b.htm

Sources

'Ministries: Names of the Members of Successive Ministries which have held Office in Tasmania since the inauguration of Responsible Government, together with the Dates of Appointment and Retirement', Journal of House of Assembly, Second Session of the Forty-Fifth Parliament of Tasmania, Anno LIII and LV Eliz II; Session 2 of the 45th Parliament, Volume 251, 2004-2006, (Hobart: Government Printer, Tasmania); and Colin A Hughes and B D Graham, A Handbook of Australian Government and Politics 1890-1964, (Canberra: Australian National University Press, 1968, SBN 708102700).

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