ID 0183

State Government of Victoria beginning 18 June 1914 - period in office of Premier Peacock, Alexander James ending on 29 November 1917

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

Peacock, Alexander James
Date of beginning of period in office
18 June 1914
Date of end of period in office
29 November 1917 
Reason for end of preceding period in office
Change of party leader 
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
Liberal 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')

* to view table drag left or right.
Election Premier at election Premier's party Premier after election Premier's party
VIC 26 June 1924Alexander James PeacockNational Party (Nationalists)Alexander James PeacockNational Party (Nationalists)
VIC 15 November 1917Alexander James PeacockLiberal PartyJohn BowserNational Party (Nationalists)
VIC 26 November 1914Alexander James PeacockLiberal PartyAlexander James PeacockLiberal Party

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Change of party leader (Watts): Beginning of Peacock's second period in office; 'At a cabinet meeting on 16 June 1914 Watt announced that he was resigning with the intention of entering federal politics. Peacock was chosen to succeed him. The change of ministry was marked only by Peacock's appointment as Treasurer and Livingston's as Minister of Public Instruction.' Hughes and Graham, p.115 (see 'Sources', below). Peacock was commissioned as Premier on 18 June 1914.

Ministerial changes prompted by factional problems within the Liberal Party: 'In September [1915] a Liberal faction led my McLeod began agitating for cabinet changes and proposed a motion expressing want of confidence in the Government. Peacock was obliged to accept the support of Labor members in reconstruction. A party meeting on 4 November gave him a free hand in reshaping his cabinet, the changes being made on 9 November.' Hughes and Graham, p.116 (see 'Sources', below). Of the new cabinet of 13, four were new members drawn from the McLeod faction.

Change of party leader (Peacock): 'Another faction, formed in December 1916 under the leadership of John Bowser, later attacked the ministry for its failure to economise in public expenditure. The 'Economy Party', as it was known, contested the election of 15 November 1917 as a separate group and succeeded in winning widespread support. The Liberal Party become known as the Nationalist Party following the formation of the federal Nationalist Party. At least twenty-seven of the thirty-nine Nationalists returned to the new Assembly were 'Economy' members. Peacock interpreted this result as a defeat for his government and resigned his commission, advising the Governor to send for Bowser.' Hughes and Graham, p.117 (see 'Sources', below). On Peacock's factional problems with the Liberal Party during this period in office, see Chesterman, pp 156-157 (in 'References', below).

References: For a study of Peacock's periods in office, see John Chesterman, 'Alexander Peacock: The Laughing Pragmatist', in Strangio and Costar (editors), ch. 11, (see 'Sources', below), and for a review of Victorian parliamentary politics from 1901 to 1920, see, Wright, ch. 7 (in 'Sources', below). A survey of Peacock's career can be found in Alan Gregory, 'Peacock, Sir Alexander James (1861–1933)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 11, (Melbourne: Melbourne University Press, 1988), on line here [accessed 31 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.