Change of party leader (Lefroy) Beginning of Colebatch's period in office: Over the period 1918-1919, the Lefroy government appeared incompetent and to lack cohesion; by April 1919, Lefroy had only limited support among his party colleagues and he resigned. A Nationalist caucus meeting in April elected Colebatch as leader even though he was a member of the Legislative Council (the state's upper house). Colebatch became Premier of a majority Nationalist Coalition government. For more information on these events, see Black, pp 103-104 (see '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 p. 398, (Perth: University of Western Australia Press, 1981, ISBN 0855641819).
Change of party leader (Colebatch): 'Colebatch, as a member of the Legislative Council, tried to persuade a Country Party member to resign his [Legislative] Assembly seat in his favour. Neither the Farmers and Settlers' Association executive nor the parliamentary Country Party were prepared to sanction this arrangement. Colebatch then resigned ...', Hughes and Graham, p. 230 (see 'Sources', below). For more detail and a description of the political controversies during Colebatch's brief period in office, see Black, p.104 (see '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 p. 398-400, (Perth: University of Western Australia Press, 1981, ISBN 0855641819).
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 Colebatch's career, see B. K. de Garis, 'Colebatch, Sir Harry Pateshall (Hal) (1872 - 1953)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 8, pp 64-65, (Melbourne: Melbourne University Press, 1981), 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).