ID 0353

State Government of Victoria beginning 20 October 1875 - period in office of Premier McCulloch, James ending on 21 May 1877



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

Premier
McCulloch, James
Date of beginning of period in office
20 October 1875
Date of end of period in office
21 May 1877 
Reason for end of preceding period in office
Defeat in parliament 
Reason for end of this government
Loss of general election
Number of days in office
579 

Parliamentary support during period

Party affiliation of premier at start of period
Support from parliamentary factions and independents
If coalition government
Coalition partner 1
--none--
Coalition partner 2
--none--
Coalition partner 3
--none--
Coalition partner 4
--none--
Party support in parliament at beginning of period
Minority
If change in parliamentary support during period
--none--  
If further change during period
--none--  

Number of ministers at beginning of period (this may vary during the period)

Total number of ministers
9
Number from party of premier
9
Number from coalition party 1
Number from coalition party 2
Number from upper house
1
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
VIC 11 May 1877James McCullochSupport from parliamentary factions and independentsGraham BerrySupport from parliamentary factions and independents
VIC 14 February 1871James McCullochSupport from parliamentary factions and independentsJames McCullochSupport from parliamentary factions and independents
VIC 21 January 1868James McCullochSupport from parliamentary factions and independentsJames McCullochSupport from parliamentary factions and independents
VIC 30 December 1865James McCullochSupport from parliamentary factions and independentsJames McCullochSupport from parliamentary factions and independents
VIC 5 October 1864James McCullochSupport from parliamentary factions and independentsJames McCullochSupport from parliamentary factions and independents

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Notes

Defeat in parliament (Berry): Beginning of McCulloch's fourth period in office; '... [T]he decisive issue for the [Berry] ministry was a proposed land tax on large estates designed, Berry explained, to fall upon "a class that has enjoyed exceptional advantages in the past, and has not contributed to the State anything like its fair proportion of public taxation" [note omitted]. When a faction aligned behind McCulloch voted against the land tax and other budget measures in October, Berry requested the acting governor, Sir William Stawell, dissolve parliament. Stawell refused; instead he invited McCulloch to form a ministry, its intention [being] to substitute a general tax and tariff cuts for the Berry land tax.' Strangio, p.56 (see 'References', below).

The vote on the budget was taken in the early hours of 7 October 1875, and Berry tendered his resignation on 12 October after an exchange of correspondence with the acting governor; see Victoria Parliamentary Debates, 1875-6 Session, vol. 22, 6 October 1875, pp 1258-1259; 12 October, pp 1259-1261; and 13 October 1875, p.1272. McCulloch was commissioned to form a government on 20 October 1875.

Loss of general election (McCulloch): 'The new government was opposed by Berry and his supporters, outraged at the acting governor's refusal to dissolve the Assembly when they fell victim to McCulloch, and determined to obstruct Parliament and damn McCulloch as a conservative ogre until an election was called. The government needed new revenue, and McCulloch ... proposed, not Berry's land tax on big estates, but other means, including, for the first time in Australia, an income tax. Opposition to this last proposal, which protectionists thought would lead to lower tariffs, cut the government's majority to three and it withdrew the bill [note omitted]. McCulloch fought to get the rest of his legislative program through the refractory Assembly ... but the election could be postponed only until the end of the three-year term. When it came [in May 1877], he suffered "complete and irrevocable extinction" in the Berry landslide. [note omitted]' Waugh, p.36 (see 'References', below).

References: For a study of the Victorian parliament in this period, see, Wright, ch. 5 (see 'Sources', below), and note the 'Prologue' in Geoffrey Serle, The Rush to be Rich: A History of the Colony of Victoria, 1883-1889, pp 1-13 (Melbourne: Melbourne University Press, 1971). McCulloch's period in office is covered in John Waugh, ' ''The Inevitable McCulloch" and his Rivals, 1863-1877', in Strangio and Costar (editors), ch. 3 (see 'Sources', below); and note Paul Strangio, 'Broken Heads and Flaming Houses: Graham Berry, the Wild Colonial', in Strangio and Costar (editors), ch. 4 (see 'Sources', below). For a survey of McCulloch's career, see Geoffrey Bartlett, 'McCulloch, Sir James (1819–1893)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 5, (Melbourne: Melbourne University Press, 1974), on line here [accessed 15 February 2014].

Sources

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). In consulting these sources, note the difference between ministries and periods in office.

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