ID 0170

State Government of Victoria beginning 5 November 1890 - period in office of Premier Munro, James ending on 16 February 1892

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

Munro, James
Date of beginning of period in office
5 November 1890
Date of end of period in office
16 February 1892 
Reason for end of preceding period in office
Resignation of premier 
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
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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Defeat in parliament (Gillies): Beginning of Munro's period in office; By early 1890, the government faced overwhelming financial difficulties and the social dislocation generated by economic recession but the issue prompting the defeat of the Gillies-Deakin ministry was the government's response to the maritime strike and union unrest of August and September 1890 (Lack, p.85 , see 'References', below). A motion of no confidence in the government was moved by the leader of the opposition, Munro, and passed 55 to 35 early in the morning of 31 October 1890; Victoria Parliamentary Debates, 1890 Session, vol. 65, 30 October 1890, p.2294.

Munro was commissioned to form a government on 5 November 1890. 'He call his ministry "a National Liberal Government" although it contained such former Conservatives as Shiels, McLean, Duffy, and Wheeler.' Hughes and Graham p.104 (see 'Sources', below).

Resignation of premier (Munro): The financial collapse in Victoria triggered by a bank failure late in 1889 brought to an end the boom of the 1880s. Premier Munro was embroiled in the failure of a bank he had founded and he was forced to resign as premier in February 1892 after public criticism of his behaviour (Lack, pp 98-99, see 'References', below). Parliament had been prorogued on 29 December 1891 with no statement by Munro of his financial difficulties; Victoria Parliamentary Debates, 1891 Session, vol. 68, 29 December 1891, p.3435.

References: For a study of government and politics during this depression period, see 'David Syme and the Three Stooges? The Bust Premiers: James Munro, William Shiels and J B Patterson', in Strangio and Costar (editors), ch. 6, (see 'Sources', below), and for a review of the Victorian parliamentary politics in the 1890s, see, Wright, ch. 6 (in 'Sources', below). A survey of Munro's career can be found in Ann M. Mitchell, 'Munro, James (1832–1908)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 5, (Melbourne: Melbourne University Press, 1974), on line here [accessed 13 March 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.