ID 0225

State Government of Western Australia beginning 28 June 1917 - period in office of Premier Lefroy, Henry Bruce ending on 17 April 1919

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

Lefroy, Henry Bruce
Date of beginning of period in office
28 June 1917
Date of end of period in office
17 April 1919 
Reason for end of preceding period in office
Change of coalition leader 
Reason for end of this government
Change of party leader
Number of days in office

Parliamentary support during period

Party affiliation of premier at start of period
Liberal Party (Nationalist Coalition)
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
WA 29 September 1917Henry Bruce LefroyNationalist Coalition (see notes)Henry Bruce LefroyNationalist Coalition (see notes)

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Defeat in parliament (Wilson): Beginning of Lefroy's period in office: 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 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). Lefroy became Premier of a majority Nationalist Coalition government.

Hughes and Graham indicate that the Nationalist Coalition ministry was composed of 4 Liberals, 3 members of the Country Party, and 2 members of the National Labor Party (see pp 229-230, in 'Sources', below).

Change of party leader Over the period 1918-1919, the Lefroy government appeared incompetent and to lack cohesion; by April 1919, Lefroy had only the limited support of his party colleagues and he resigned. For more information, see Black, pp 103-104 (see 'References', below).

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 Lefroy's career, see Catherine Cameron, 'Lefroy, Sir Henry Bruce (1853 - 1930)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 10, pp 62-63, (Melbourne: Melbourne University Press, 1986), 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).