ID 0195

State Government of Victoria beginning 2 April 1935 - period in office of Premier Dunstan, Albert Arthur ending on 14 September 1943

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

Dunstan, Albert Arthur
Date of beginning of period in office
2 April 1935
Date of end of period in office
14 September 1943 
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
United Country 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 12 June 1943Albert Arthur DunstanUnited Country PartyAlbert Arthur DunstanUnited Country Party
VIC 16 March 1940Albert Arthur DunstanUnited Country PartyAlbert Arthur DunstanUnited Country Party
VIC 2 October 1937Albert Arthur DunstanUnited Country PartyAlbert Arthur DunstanUnited Country Party
VIC 2 March 1935Stanley Seymour ArgyleUnited Australia PartyAlbert Arthur DunstanUnited Country Party

Previous period in this series for VIC | Next period in this series for VIC


Defeat in parliament (Argyle): Beginning of Dunstan's first period in office; At the general election for the Assembly held on 2 March 1935, the coalition parties were returned with the same number of seats (45) but the United Country Party had increased its seats by 6 to 20, and the United Australia Party, even though remaining the largest single party in the Assembly, had lost 6 seats for a total of 25. Argyle believed the coalition would continue but on 14 March '... it was announced that the United Country Party ministers would not rejoin the ministry until this was approved by a joint meeting of central council and the parliamentary party.' Browne, p.212 (see 'References', below).

On the same day, 14 March 1935 Dunstan, replaced Bourchier as parliamentary leader of the United Country Party; Dunstan supported the withdrawal of his party from the coalition and this was announced on 21 March; Argyle continued in office with new ministers chosen from the United Australia Party. 'On 27 [28] March, after a long and bitter debate, a no-confidence motion against the ministry, moved by Dunstan, was passed [40 to 23] with the support of Labor.' Browne, p.212 (see 'References' to the previous period in office); Victoria Parliamentary Debates, 1935 Session, vol. 196, 27-28 March, pp 29-161. Argyle tendered his resignation on 29 March 1935.

'On 30 [March] the Labor Party pledged its support to Dunstan, who was invited to form a government. His ministry included Hogan [the former Labor Premier expelled from the Labor Party] who had been returned as Independent Labor. Labor Party members sat on the ministerial corner benches.' Hughes and Graham, p.127 (see 'References' below; note that this paragraph in Hughes and Graham lists dates as 'April' when they should be 'March'). Dunstan was commissioned as Premier of a United Country Party minority government on 2 April 1935, supported by the Australian Labor Party members in the Assembly, led by Tunnecliffe.

Defeat in parliament (Dunstan): After the Assembly general election in June 1943, the Australian Labor Party held more seats (22) than any other party, both the United Country Party (18) and the United Australia Party (13) having lost seats, with other seats held by Independents (5) and a breakaway County Party, the Victorian Country Party, (7). 'On 7 September 1943 the Labor Party moved a motion of no-confidence based on the need for electoral redistribution. It was carried 26-24 on 9 September, and Dunstan resigned.' Hughes and Graham, p.128 (see 'Sources', below); Victoria Parliamentary Debates,1943 Session, vol. 215, 7-9 September, pp 512-683 (the vote was taken in the early hours of Friday 10 December).

References: For a studies of Dunstan's periods in office and his effect on Victorian politics, see Brian Costar, 'Albert Dunstan: The Jumping Jack Premier', in Strangio and Costar (editors), ch. 17, (see 'Sources', below), and 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). A survey of Dunstan's career can be found in J B Paul, 'Dunstan, Sir Albert Arthur (1882–1950)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 8, (Melbourne: Melbourne University Press, 1981), on line here [accessed 21 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.