Parkes ministry (1878–1883)

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Colony of New South Wales (1863–1900)

The Parkes ministry (1878–1883) or Third Parkes ministry was the nineteenth ministry of the Colony of New South Wales, and was led by the Honourable Henry Parkes. It was the third of five occasions that Parkes was Leader of the Government.[1]

Having served in the New South Wales Legislative Council between 1854 and 1856, Parkes was elected in the first free elections for the New South Wales Legislative Assembly held in 1856, however resigned from Parliament later that year. He served in the Assembly on several occasions, between 1858 and 1870, being forced to resign on at least one occasion due to his personal insolvency. He came to power as Premier on the first occasion in 1872, serving as Leader of the Government for a period of three years. However, Parkes lost the confidence of the Assembly following Governor Robinson's decision to release of the bushranger Frank Gardiner led to the defeat of the ministry in 1875.[2]

John Robertson served as Leader of the Government between 1875 and 1877, before Robertson was defeated at the 1877 election. Parkes formed his second ministry in a challenging environment where both Parkes and Robertson shared equal representation in the Legislative Assembly and business was sometimes at a standstill.[3] Parkes' second term as Colonial Premier lasted just 147 days, with the Farnell ministry giving both Parkes and Robertson reprieve for 12 months, prior to Parkes and Robertson forming an alliance government in this ministry.[1]

The title of Premier was widely used to refer to the Leader of Government, but not enshrined in formal use until 1920.

There was no party system in New South Wales politics until 1887.[4] Under the constitution, ministers were required to resign to recontest their seats in a by-election when appointed.[5] In the table below, these by-elections are only noted when the minister was defeated; in general, he was elected unopposed.

This ministry covers the period from 21 December 1878 until 4 January 1883.[1]

Composition of ministry[edit]

Portfolio Minister Term commence Term end Term of office
Premier
Colonial Secretary
Hon. Henry Parkes MLA 21 December 1878 4 January 1883 4 years, 14 days
Vice-President of the Executive Council
Representative of the Government in Legislative Council
Hon. Sir John Robertson KCMG, MLC 10 November 1881 2 years, 324 days
Secretary for Lands 29 December 1881 4 January 1883 1 year, 6 days
Hon. James Hoskins MLA 21 December 1878 28 December 1881 3 years, 7 days
Colonial Treasurer Hon. James Watson MLA 4 January 1883 4 years, 14 days
Minister of Justice and Public Instruction Hon. Francis Suttor MLA 30 April 1880 1 year, 131 days
Minister of Public Instruction 14 November 1881 4 January 1883 1 year, 51 days
Minister of Justice 1 May 1880 10 August 1880 101 days
Hon. Sir Joseph Innes MLA 11 August 1880 13 October 1881 63 days
Hon. William Foster MLA 14 October 1881 4 January 1883 1 year, 82 days
Minister of Public Instruction Hon. Sir John Robertson KCMG, MLC 1 May 1880 10 November 1881 1 year, 193 days
Attorney-General Hon. William Windeyer MLA 21 December 1878 10 August 1879 232 days
Hon. Robert Wisdom MLA 13 August 1879 4 January 1883 3 years, 231 days
Secretary for Public Works Hon. John Lackey MLA 21 December 1878 4 years, 14 days
Postmaster-General Hon. Saul Samuel MLC 10 August 1880 1 year, 233 days
Hon. Francis Suttor MLA 11 August 1880 13 November 1881 94 days
Hon. Stephen Brown MLC 14 November 1881 22 August 1882 281 days
Hon. Alexander Campbell MLC 30 August 1882 4 January 1883 127 days
Secretary for Mines Hon. Ezekiel Baker MLA 21 December 1878 11 October 1881 2 years, 294 days
Hon. Arthur Renwick MLA 12 October 1881 4 January 1883 1 year, 84 days
Vice-President of the Executive Council
Representative of the Government in Legislative Council
Hon. Frederick Darley MLC 14 November 1881 4 January 1883 1 year, 51 days

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Former Members - Chronological List of Ministries 1856 to 2009 (requires download)" (Excel spreadsheet). Project for the Sesquicentenary of Responsible Government in NSW. Parliament of New South Wales. Retrieved 17 July 2011. 
  2. ^ Martin, A. W. "Parkes, Sir Henry (1815–96)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. Australian National University. Retrieved 17 July 2011. 
  3. ^ Serle, Percival. "Sir Henry Parkes (1816–1896)". Dictionary of Australian Biography. Project Gutenberg Australia. Retrieved 17 July 2011. 
  4. ^ Green, Antony (20 October 2010). "Centenary of the First NSW Labor Government". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Archived from the original on 20 July 2011. 
  5. ^ "1904 Redistribution". Atlas of New South Wales (Government of New South Wales). Archived from the original on 20 July 2011. 
Preceded by
Farnell ministry
Parkes ministry (1878–1883)
1878–1883
Succeeded by
Stuart ministry