ID 0154

State Government of Tasmania beginning 11 June 1939 - period in office of Premier Dwyer-Gray, Edmund John Chisholm ending on 18 December 1939

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

Dwyer-Gray, Edmund John Chisholm
Date of beginning of period in office
11 June 1939
Date of end of period in office
18 December 1939 
Reason for end of preceding period in office
Death of premier 
Reason for end of this government
Change of party leader
Number of days in office

Parliamentary support during period

Party affiliation of premier at start of period
Australian Labor 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')

This premier did not win office as the result of an election, and was not (or has not been) in office long enough to contest an election as premier ; see 'Period in office' table above.

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Death of premier: Beginning of Dwyer-Gray's period in office: 'Ogilvie died on 10 June 1939. Dwyer-Gray was summoned by the Governor on 11 June and commissioned to form a ministry, which he did pending a meeting of caucus to elect a new leader. Caucus met on 6 July and elected Dwyer-Gray leader on the understanding that he would retire at the end of the year; Cosgrove (who was elected deputy leader) and D'Alton did not offer for the leadership on this understanding. Caucus then elected a new ministry, and Dwyer-Gray distributed the portfolios', Hughes and Graham, p. 262, (see 'Sources', below).

Change of party leader: Dwyer-Gray resigned in December 1939 as leader of the Labor Party in accordance with his undertaking (see previous note). Cosgrove was confirmed as leader by caucus and was commissioned as Premier of an Australian Labor Party majority government.

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, particularly pp 234-235, (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 Dwyer-Gray's career, see R P Davis, 'Dwyer-Gray, Edmund John Chisholm (1870 - 1945)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 8, pp 390-391, (Melbourne: Melbourne University Press, 1981), on line at:


'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); Colin A Hughes and B D Graham, A Handbook of Australian Government and Politics 1890-1964, (Canberra: Australian National University Press, 1968, SBN 708102700), and the website of the Parliament of Tasmania,