ID 0357

State Government of Victoria beginning 9 July 1881 - period in office of Premier O'Loghlen, Bryan ending on 8 March 1883

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

O'Loghlen, Bryan
Date of beginning of period in office
9 July 1881
Date of end of period in office
8 March 1883 
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

Parliamentary support during period

Party affiliation of premier at start of period
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
VIC 22 February 1883Bryan O'LoghlenSupport from parliamentary factions and independentsJames ServiceMinisterialists (Conservative)

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Defeat in parliament (Berry): Beginning of O'Loghlen's period in office; Radical reform measures had lost their support and Berry delayed introducing another constitutional reform bill. When an agreement was finally reached between the Assembly and the Legislative Council in June 1881, some changes to the size, length of term, and franchise for the Council were accepted, but the powers of the Council remained unchanged. Supporters of financial aid for Catholic schools had become dissatisfied with the Berry government, and '... the Berry era closed, his third ministry defeated on a no confidence motion.' Strangio, p.66-67 (see 'References', below). The want of confidence motion was moved by O'Loghlen, and passed 41 to 38 in the early hours of 1 July 1881; Victoria Parliamentary Debates, 1880-1 Session, vol. 36, 30 June 1881, pp 2918-2919. Berry asked the governor for a dissolution, but was refused and Berry tendered his resignation on 6 July 1881. O'Loghlen was commissioned to form a government on 9 July 1881.

Loss of general election (O'Loghlen): 'O'Loghlen's minority government survived for 21 months with the support of Constitutionalists determined to deny Berry further office. Parliamentary turmoil continued, over the tariff and State assistance for Catholic schools, subjects eventually consigned to royal commissions. O'Loghlen's humiliating bungling of a critical overseas loans spelled the end for his ministry.' Lack, p.77 (see 'References', below). O'Loghlen requested a dissolution for an Assembly election which was held on 22 February 1883. 'The government was so unpopular that O'Loghlen had difficulty in finding candidates and was himself defeated.' Serle, p.18 (see 'References', below).

References: For a study of the Victorian parliament in this period, see, Wright, ch. 5 (in '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). Note also, Alfred Deakin, The Crisis in Victorian Politics ,1879-1881: A Personal Retrospect, edited by J A La Nauze and R M Crawford, (Melbourne: Melbourne University Press, 1957). Comments on O'Loghlen's period in office can found in: Paul Strangio, 'Broken Heads and Flaming Houses: Graham Berry, the Wild Colonial', pp 66-67, in Strangio and Costar (editors), ch. 4 (see 'Sources', below); John Lack, 'Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde? Service and Gillies: The Grand Coalition Premiers 1883-1890', pp 76-77, in Strangio and Costar (editors), ch. 5, (see 'Sources', below); and Geoffrey Serle, The Rush to be Rich: A History of the Colony of Victoria, 1883-1889, pp 17-18 (Melbourne: Melbourne University Press, 1971). For a survey of O'Loghlen's career, see S M Ingham, 'O'Loghlen, Sir Bryan (1828–1905)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 5, (Melbourne: Melbourne University Press, 1974), on line here [accessed 6 March 2014].


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.