Sir Albert Dunstan
|33rd Premier of Victoria|
2 April 1935 – 14 September 1943
|Preceded by||Stanley Argyle|
|Succeeded by||John Cain (senior)|
18 September 1943 – 2 October 1945
|Preceded by||John Cain (senior)|
|Succeeded by||Ian Macfarlan|
|Born||26 July 1882|
Donald, Victoria, Australia
|Died||14 April 1950 (aged 67)|
Camberwell, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
|Political party||Victorian Farmers Union|
Country Party of Australia
Jessie Gerard Chisholm (m. 1911)
Sir Albert Arthur Dunstan, KCMG (26 July 1882 – 14 April 1950) was an Australian politician. A member of the Country Party (now National Party), Dunstan was the 33rd premier of Victoria. His term as premier was the second-longest in the state's history, behind Sir Henry Bolte. Dunstan, who was premier from 2 April 1935 to 14 September 1943, and again from 18 September 1943 to 2 October 1945, was the first premier of Victoria to hold that office as a position in its own right, and not just an additional duty taken up by the Treasurer, Attorney-General or Chief Secretary.
Dunstan was the first Deputy Premier of Victoria, serving from March 1932 until May 1932 under premier Edmond Hogan. Dunstan became premier when he unexpectedly withdrew his party's support for the government of Stanley Argyle.
Argyle had fought the March 1935 election with an improving economy, a record of sound, if unimaginative, management. With the Labor Party opposition still divided and demoralised, he was rewarded with a second comfortable majority, his United Australia Party winning 25 seats and the Country Party 20, while Labor won only 17. But at this point he was unexpectedly betrayed by his erstwhile Country Party allies. Dunstan was a close friend of the gambling boss John Wren, who was also very close to the Labor leader Tom Tunnecliffe (in the view of most historians, Tunnecliffe was, in fact, under Wren's control). Wren, aided by the Victorian Labor Party president, Arthur Calwell, persuaded Dunstan to break off the coalition with Argyle and form a minority Country Party government, which Labor would support in return for some policy concessions. Dunstan agreed to this deal, and on 28 March 1935 he moved a successful no-confidence vote in the government from which he had just resigned.
When the Attorney-General and Solicitor-General Lou Bussau resigned in 1938, Henry Bailey became Attorney-General while Dunstan added the portfolio of Solicitor-General to his offices of Premier and Treasurer.
The UAP (and later its successor the Liberal Party) never forgave the Country Party for this treachery. Henry Bolte, later Victoria's longest-serving premier, was 27 in 1935, and Dunstan's betrayal of Argyle lay behind his lifelong and intense dislike of the Country Party, whom he called "political prostitutes".
- History of the Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Victoria. Accessed 24 March 2006.
- "Victoria's Longest-Serving Premiers Honoured", media release from the Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Victoria, 9 December 1999.
|Victorian Legislative Assembly|
| Member for Eaglehawk
|New district|| Member for Korong and Eaglehawk
|New district|| Member for Korong
| Premier of Victoria
| Premier of Victoria
| Minister for Health
|Party political offices|
| Leader of the Country Party in Victoria