ID 0192

State Government of Victoria beginning 22 November 1928 - period in office of Premier McPherson, Wiliam Murray ending on 12 December 1929

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

McPherson, Wiliam Murray
Date of beginning of period in office
22 November 1928
Date of end of period in office
12 December 1929 
Reason for end of preceding period in office
Defeat in parliament 
Reason for end of this government
Defeat in parliament
Number of days in office

Parliamentary support during period

Party affiliation of premier at start of period
National Party (Nationalists)
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 30 November 1929Wiliam Murray McPhersonNational Party (Nationalists)Edmond John (Ned) HoganAustralian Labor Party

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Defeat in Parliament (Hogan): Beginning of McPherson's period in office; 'McPherson [Nationalist], the Leader of the Opposition, moved a no-confidence motion in the ministry for its handling of a waterfront strike, and Dunstan [the leader of the Country Progressive Party] proposed an amendment censuring it for its electoral redistribution plans. The motion and amendment were carried on 14 November, both 30-31. Hogan refused to accept these results as a clear indication of opinion but the ministry was again defeated on a test motion, 34-28 on the 20th. Hogan resigned on the following day, his request for a dissolution having been refused. The Governor commissioned McPherson to form a new ministry.' Hughes and Graham, p.124 (see 'Sources', below).

McPherson became Premier of a National Party (Nationalist) minority government on 22 November 1928. 'McPherson, who can call on the support of just 18 members of the Assembly, forms a minority government with promises of support from both Allan [leader of the Country Party] and Dunstan [leader of the Country Progressive Party] (who are now moving towards unification).' Wright, p.154 (see 'Sources' below). On the role of the Country Party during this period, see John Paul, 'Albert Dunstan and Victorian Government', in Cameron Hazelhurst (editor), Australian Conservatism: Essays in Twentieth Century Political History, pp 169-191 (Canberra: Australian National University Press, 1979)

Defeat in Parliament (McPherson): McPherson's government was defeated on an adjournment motion condemning the ministry for not doing more for the unemployed, by 34 votes to 30, with Dunstan, the leader of the Country Progressive Party, voting against the government; Victoria Parliamentary Debates, 1929 Session, vol. 180, 23 October 1929, pp 2512-2544. McPherson was granted a dissolution of parliament by the Governor, and a general election for the Assembly was held on 30 November 1929.

At the election the Australian Labor Party, the National Party (Nationalists) and the Country Party all gained one or two seats, but no party had a majority. 'Following the election, [McPherson's] ministry chose to meet the new Assembly but, on 11 December, a no-confidence motion [an amendment to the address in reply] proposed by Hogan, the Labor leader was carried against it, 36-28.' Hughes and Graham, p.125 (see 'Sources', below); Victoria Parliamentary Debates, 1929 2nd Session, vol. 181, 11 December 1929, pp 35-64, McPherson resigned on 12 December 1929.

References: For a study of McPherson's period in office, see Richard Allsop, 'William McPherson: "Threepenny" Premier and Philanthropist', in Strangio and Costar (editors), ch. 15, (see 'Sources', below). A survey of McPhersons's career can be found in Barbara Hamer and Alison Patrick, 'McPherson, Sir William Murray (1865–1932)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 10, (Melbourne: Melbourne University Press, 1986), on line here [accessed 19 April 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.