ID 0224

State Government of Western Australia beginning 27 July 1916 - period in office of Premier Wilson, Frank ending on 28 June 1917

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

Wilson, Frank
Date of beginning of period in office
27 July 1916
Date of end of period in office
28 June 1917 
Reason for end of preceding period in office
Defeat in parliament 
Reason for end of this government
Change of coalition 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
WA 3 October 1911Frank WilsonLiberal PartyJohn ScaddanAustralian Labor Party

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Defeat in parliament (Scaddan): Beginning of Wilson's second period in office: After the general election in October 1914, The Scaddan Australian Labor Party 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 in 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; Wilson was sent for on 26 July and formed a Liberal government. There was no question of a Liberal-Country coalition at this stage, the subject being left for the Farmers and Settlers' Association conference in August', Hughes and Graham, p. 228 (see 'Sources', below; for more background, see Black, pp 100-101, in 'References', below). Wilson became Premier of a minority Liberal Party government.

Defeat in parliament (Wilson): Disagreements within the Wilson Liberal government and between the government and Country Party members of the Assembly were compounded by the split in the Australian Labor Party in 1916 over the introduction conscription to send Australian soldiers to Europe during the First World War. By 1917 this volatile situation had led to a major regrouping of parties and the formation of a Parliamentary Nationalist Party consisting of members of the Liberal Party, the Country Party and 11 defecting Labor Assembly members. Wilson was replaced by H B Lefroy as the compromise choice as leader of the Parliamentary Nationalist Party; for more detail of these events, see Black, pp 101-103 (see 'References', below).

Australian Labor Party: For a study of the Australian Labor Party during this period, 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 Wilson's career, see David Black, 'Wilson, Frank (1859 - 1918)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 12, pp 520-521, (Melbourne: Melbourne University Press, 1990), 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).