ID 0223

State Government of Western Australia beginning 7 October 1911 - period in office of Premier Scaddan, John ending on 27 July 1916

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

Scaddan, John
Date of beginning of period in office
7 October 1911
Date of end of period in office
27 July 1916 
Reason for end of preceding period in office
Loss of general election 
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
Australian Labor 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
9 January 1916
Loss at by-election
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
WA 21 October 1914John ScaddanAustralian Labor PartyJohn ScaddanAustralian Labor Party
WA 3 October 1911Frank WilsonLiberal PartyJohn ScaddanAustralian Labor Party

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Loss of general election (Wilson): Beginning of Scaddan's period in office: 'For the first time since the achievement of responsible government, the Premier who had sought and obtained a dissolution was defeated outright at the polls and resigned his commission without waiting for Parliament to meet', Black, p. 99 (see 'References', below). Scaddan, the leader of the Australian Labor Party, was commissioned as Premier of a majority Labor Party government.

Change in parliamentary support and defeat in parliament: After the general election in October 1914, The Scaddan government's majority was reduced to one, partly as a consequence of formation of the Country Party which had won 8 seats in the Legislative Assembly. 'In November 1915 the Scaddan Government lost the Roebourne by-election and [on 9] January 1916 a back-bencher, [E B] Johnson, resigned [from the Labor Party and the Legislative Assembly] and was re-elected as an Independent. The Country Party agreed to defeat the Government, and when Parliament met [Opposition Leader] Wilson moved a motion of adjournment [a lack of confidence in the government] which was carried 24-20 on 25 July. Scaddan sought a dissolution but it was refused', Hughes and Graham, p. 228 (see 'Sources', below). For more background, see Black, pp 100-101, (in 'References', below), and David Black, 'Party Politics in Turmoil, 1911-1924', in C T Stannage (editor), A New History of Western Australia, pp 381-405, at pp 386-387 (Perth: University of Western Australia Press, 1981, ISBN 0855641819).

Emergence of political parties and the Australian Labor Party: During the 1890s, factional politics began to give way to political groupings and electoral organizations which foreshadowed the emergence of modern political parties. But these groupings were still fluid. The term ministerialists is often applied to groupings which, for a variety of reasons, supported a particular government. By 1911 the current pattern of party competition had become established.

For the emergence of political parties, see Brian de Garis, 'Western Australia', in P Loveday, A W Martin and R S Parker (editors), The Emergence of the Australian Party System, pp 298-354 (Sydney: Hale & Iremonger, 1977, ISBN 0908094035); and for the evolution of the Australian Labor Party, see H J Gibney, 'Western Australia', in D J Murphy (editor), Labor in Politics: The State Labor Parties in Australia 1880-1920, pp 341-387, (St Lucia, Qld: University of Queensland Press, 1975, ISBN 0702209392).

References: For a study of the style of parliamentary politics at the time, see David Black, 'Factionalism and Stability, 1911-1947', in David Black (editor), The House on the Hill: A History of the Parliament of Western Australia 1832-1990, pp 97-151, (Perth: Western Australian Parliamentary History Project, Parliament of Western Australia, 1991, ISBN 0730939839).

Summary information on Western Australian premiers from 1890 to 1982 and a short essay, 'The Premiers -- An Introductory Comment', can be found in Reid and Oliver (see 'Sources', below).

For a survey of Scaddan's career, see J R Robertson,'Scaddan, John (1876 - 1934)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 11, pp 526-529, (Melbourne: Melbourne University Press, 1988), on line at:


Colin A Hughes and B D Graham, A Handbook of Australian Government and Politics 1890-1964, (Canberra: Australian National University Press, 1968, SBN 708102700); John Mandy and David Black (editors),The Western Australian Parliamentary Handbook Centenary Edition, (Perth: Parliamentary History Project, Parliament of Western Australia, 1990, ISBN 0731697847); G S Reid and M R Oliver, The Premiers of Western Australia 1890-1982, (Perth: University of Western Australia Press, 1982, ISBN 0855642149).