Change of partisan support for premier: Beginning of Hollway's second period in office; 'At the end of November 1948 a rift appeared in the coalition over settlement of the essential services industrial dispute. Hollway sought Dunstan's resignation [from the ministry] but was rebuffed by the Country Party.' Hughes and Graham, p.132 (see 'Sources', below). 'The premier then effectively issued an ultimatum to the Country Party to declare its loyalty to him and to drop Dunstan, whom he described in a letter to McDonald as "a disruptive force and an embarrassment ever since the Government was formed", from the ministry [reference omitted]. The parliamentary Country Party divided 14 votes all on Hollway's demands and McDonald used his casting vote to reject them, thus ending the coalition government. Hollway then convinced the governor to swear in a ministry consisting only of Liberals.' Costar, pp 232-233 (see 'References', below).
This change in partisan support for Hollway marked a new period in office. Hollway was commissioned as Premier of Liberal Party minority government on 3 December 1948. 'It was predicted that this government would be short-lived but it survived until the 1950 election because two rebel Country Party members left the chamber when supply and confidence votes were put.' Costar, p.233 (see 'References', below), and note Wright, p.184 (see 'Sources', below).
Defeat in parliament (Hollway): The Governor agreed to a request by Premier Hollway for parliament to be dissolved and a general election for the Assembly was held on 13 May 1950. Earlier that year, the Liberal Party had changed its name to the Liberal and Country Party as part of the continuing rivalry between Liberals and the Country Party (see Costar, pp 233-234 in 'References', below). At the election, the Liberal and Country Party maintained its 27 seats, while the Australian Labor Party gained 7 to hold 24 at the expense of the Country Party that declined from 20 to 13 seats. Hollway continued in office and reconstructed his ministry on 19 June (see Hughes and Graham, p.133 in 'Sources', below); Parliament convened on 20 June.
After the election, negotiations began between the Country Party and the Labor Party to defeat the government. This was achieved in a vote on a no-confidence motion taken on 22 June 1950 which the government lost 38 to 24; Victoria Parliamentary Debates,1950-51 Session, vol. 232, 22 June, pp 25-132. 'When Labor Leader Cain announced that he was prepared to support a minority Country Party government, Hollway again advised the Governor Sir Dallas Brooks to dissolve the Assembly. As a lawyer, Hollway knew that by putting to the governor the argument that "a gross fraud had been perpetrated on the electors" he was on weak constitutional grounds and Dallas Brooks duly refuse the request ...' Costar, p.235, (see 'References', below). Hollway then resigned.
References: For a study of Hollway's periods in office, see Brian Costar, 'Tom Hollway: The Bohemian', in Strangio and Costar (editors), ch. 18, (see 'Sources', below), and Kate White, 'Hollway: An Atypical Liberal Leader?', Politics, 8 (2) November 1978: 320-323. A survey of Hollway's career can be found in Barry O Jones, 'Hollway, Thomas Tuke (Tom) (1906–1971)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 14, (Melbourne: Melbourne University Press, 1996), 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 .