National Labor Party

Last updated

National Labor Party
Leader Billy Hughes
Founded14 November 1916 (1916-11-14)
Dissolved17 February 1917 (1917-02-17)
Split from Australian Labor Party
Merged into Nationalist Party of Australia
Headquarters Canberra
Ideology Australian nationalism
Interventionism
Social democracy
Political position Centre-left

The National Labor Party was formed by Australian Prime Minister Billy Hughes in 1916, following the 1916 Labor split on the issue of World War I conscription in Australia. Hughes had taken over as leader of the Australian Labor Party and Prime Minister of Australia when anti-conscriptionist Andrew Fisher resigned in 1915. He formed the new party for himself and his followers after he was expelled from the ALP a month after the 1916 plebiscite on conscription in Australia. Hughes held a pro-conscription stance in relation to World War I.

Contents

Formation

On 15 September 1916, the executive of the Political Labour League (the Labor Party organisation in New South Wales at the time) expelled Hughes from the Labor Party.

When the Federal Parliamentary Labor caucus met on 14 November 1916, lengthy discussions ensued until Hughes walked out with 24 other Labor members; the remaining 43 members of Caucus then passed their motion of no confidence in the leadership, effectively expelling Hughes and the other members.

Hughes and his followers, who included several early Labor leaders, formed a minority government supported by the Commonwealth Liberal Party, led by another Labor dissident, Joseph Cook. Believing the Labor Party was no longer sufficiently nationalist, they began laying the groundwork for a new party that would be both socially radical and nationalist.

In 1917, Hughes and Cook turned their confidence-and-supply agreement into a formal party, the Nationalist Party of Australia. Hughes became the merged party's leader, with Cook as his deputy. Although it was essentially an upper- and middle-class party dominated by former Liberals, the presence of several Labor men allowed the party to project an image of national unity.

The National Labor Party was never formally constituted itself as a party and had no organisational structure, although some trade union officials and Labor Party branches, particularly in Western Australia and Tasmania, supported it.

Queensland

The Labor Party avoided a split in Queensland due to the efforts of T. J. Ryan to minimise losses. [1] Only one member of the state parliament, John Adamson, left the party and initially there was no attempt to create an alternate vehicle at the state level. However in October 1919, Adamson was part of the formation of a party for ex-Labor supporters that used the name. [2] It had no electoral success and soon disappeared. [3]

Western Australia

The National Labor movement in Western Australia started off as two separate groups—one known as the Labor Solidarity Committee based out of Trades Hall in Perth, and the other known as National Labor and based on the goldfields. The two merged in April–May 1917, with former Premier John Scaddan as their leader. However, by July he was without a seat in Parliament, and the party turned to Federal Senators Patrick Lynch, Hugh de Largie and George Pearce for leadership and guidance. Unlike its federal counterpart, it maintained its own distinct identity and structure and worked with the Nationalists as coalition partners. A number of Western Australian unions disaffiliated from the Australian Labor Federation to support the National Labor movement—most notably those representing the engine-drivers, railway employees, boilermakers and carpenters which were powerful in the goldfields. Organisationally, however, the party was believed to be over-dependent on its Senate patrons and struggled to build a genuine extraparliamentary organisation.

The party scored six of 50 Assembly seats in each of the 1917 and 1921 elections, and held three of 30 Council seats during this period. However, in the 1924 elections, their representation was reduced to one in the Assembly and two in the Council—many through the defeat of sitting NLP members by Labor candidates—and later that year, what remained of the Party was subsumed by the Nationalists.

See also

Related Research Articles

Nationalist Party (Australia) Former Australian political party

The Nationalist Party was an Australian political party. It was formed on 17 February 1917 from a merger between the Commonwealth Liberal Party and the National Labor Party, the latter formed by Prime Minister Billy Hughes and his supporters after the 1916 Labor Party split over World War I conscription. The Nationalist Party was in government until electoral defeat in 1929. From that time it was the main opposition to the Labor Party until it merged with pro-Joseph Lyons Labor defectors to form the United Australia Party (UAP) in 1931. The party was a direct ancestor of the Liberal Party of Australia, the main centre-right party in Australia.

Joseph Cook Australian politician

Sir Joseph Cook, was an Australian politician who served as the sixth Prime Minister of Australia, in office from 1913 to 1914. He was the leader of the Commonwealth Liberal Party from 1913 to 1917, after earlier serving as the leader of the Anti-Socialist Party from 1908 to 1909.

Frank Tudor Australian politician and leader of the Labor Party

Francis Gwynne Tudor was an Australian politician who served as the leader of the Australian Labor Party from 1916 until his death. He had previously been a government minister under Andrew Fisher and Billy Hughes.

Frank Wilson (politician)

Frank Wilson, was the ninth Premier of Western Australia, serving on two separate occasions – from 1910 to 1911 and then again from 1916 to 1917.

John Scaddan

John Scaddan, CMG, popularly known as "Happy Jack", was Premier of Western Australia from 7 October 1911 until 27 July 1916.

The Electoral district of Brown Hill-Ivanhoe was a Legislative Assembly electorate in the state of Western Australia. It covered part of the Goldfields city of Boulder, near Kalgoorlie, and neighbouring mining areas. It was created at the 1911 redistribution out of the former seats of Brown Hill and Ivanhoe, and was first contested at the 1911 election. It was abolished in the 1948 redistribution, with its area split between the neighbouring electorates of Boulder and Hannans, taking effect from the 1950 election. The seat was a very safe one for the Labor Party.

William Holman

William Arthur Holman was an Australian politician who served as Premier of New South Wales from 1913 to 1920. He came to office as the leader of the Labor Party, but was expelled from the party in the split of 1916. He subsequently became the inaugural leader of the NSW branch of the Nationalist Party.

Edward Heitmann Australian politician

Edward Ernest Heitmann, was an Australian politician and member of the Western Australian Legislative Assembly from 1904 to 1917, then a member of the Australian House of Representatives until 1919.

Philip Collier

Philip Collier was an Australian politician who served as the 14th Premier of Western Australia from 1924 to 1930 and from 1933 to 1936. He was leader of the Labor Party from 1917 to 1936, and is Western Australia's longest-serving premier from that party.

1919 Australian federal election

The 1919 Australian federal election was held on 13 December 1919 to elect members to the Parliament of Australia. All 75 seats in the House of Representatives and 19 of the 36 seats in the Senate were up for election. The incumbent Nationalist Party government won re-election, with Prime Minister Billy Hughes continuing in office.

1917 Australian federal election

The 1917 Australian federal election was held in Australia on 5 May 1917. All 75 seats in the House of Representatives and 18 of the 36 seats in the Senate were up for election. The incumbent Nationalist Party, led by Prime Minister Billy Hughes, defeated the opposition Labor Party led by Frank Tudor in a landslide.

Patrick Lynch (Australian politician) Australian politician

Patrick Joseph Lynch was an Australian politician who served as a Senator for Western Australia from 1907 to 1938. He was President of the Senate from 1932 to 1938. He began his career in the Australian Labor Party (ALP), but after the party split of 1916 joined the Nationalist Party and later the United Australia Party (UAP).

Hugh de Largie

Hugh de Largie was an Australian politician who served as a Senator for Western Australia from 1901 to 1922. He was initially a member of the Labor Party, but after the 1916 party split joined the National Labor Party and then the Nationalist Party.

John Lynch (Australian politician)

John Lynch was an Australian politician. He was a member of the Australian House of Representatives from 1914 to 1919, initially for the Labor Party before joining the Nationalist Party following the 1916 Labor split.

This is a list of members of the Western Australian Legislative Assembly between the 1914 election and the 1917 election, together known as the Ninth Parliament. The re-election of Premier John Scaddan's Labor Government with a 26-24 majority in 1914 was tempered when, a year later, Labor member Joseph Gardiner's seat was declared vacant on account of his non-attendance and a Liberal was elected in his stead, and Labor became a minority government when on 18 December 1915, Edward Johnston resigned from the Labor Party and became an independent. On 27 July 1916, the Scaddan Ministry was defeated and the Liberals' Frank Wilson became the new Premier.

This article provides information on candidates who stood for the 1917 Australian federal election. The election was held on 5 May 1917.

This article provides information on candidates who stood for the 1922 Australian federal election. The election was held on 16 December 1922.

Rufus Henry Underwood, better known as Henry Underwood, was an Australian politician who represented the Western Australian Legislative Assembly seat of Pilbara from 1906 until 1924. Initially active in the Labor Party and a minister without portfolio in the Scaddan Ministry, he left the party during the conscription crisis in 1917 and thereafter represented the National Labor Party for the rest of his political career.

The Australian Labor Party split of 1916 occurred following severe disagreement within the Australian Labor Party over the issue of proposed World War I conscription in Australia. Labor Prime Minister of Australia Billy Hughes had, by 1916, become an enthusiastic supporter of conscription as a means to boost Australia's contribution to the war effort. On 30 August 1916, he announced plans for a referendum on the issue, and introduced enabling legislation into parliament on 14 September, which passed only with the support of the opposition. Six of Hughes's ministers resigned in protest at the move, and the New South Wales state branch of the Labor Party expelled Hughes. The referendum saw an intense campaign in which Labor figures vehemently advocated on each side of the argument, although the "no" campaign narrowly won on 14 November. In the wake of the referendum defeat, the caucus moved to expel Hughes on 14 November; instead, he and 23 supporters resigned and formed the National Labor Party. Frank Tudor was elected leader of the rump party. Hughes was recommissioned as Prime Minister, heading a minority government supported by the opposition Commonwealth Liberal Party; the two parties then merged as the Nationalist Party of Australia and won the 1917 federal election. The Nationalist Party served as the main conservative party of Australia until 1931, and the split resulted in many early Labor figures ending their careers on the political right. Hughes, for instance, sat as a member of the Nationalists and their successors, the United Australia Party and the Liberal Party, with only a few short breaks until his death in 1952.

The National Labor Party was a brief-lived political party in the Australian state of Queensland. Although sharing similarities to the federal party of the same name, it was actually founded over two years after its federal counterpart merged into the Nationalist Party. It did not enjoy electoral success and soon faded away.

References

  1. Murphy, D.J. (1975). T J Ryan: A Political Biography. University of Queensland Press. pp. 186–208. ISBN   9780702222894.
  2. "20 Oct 1919 - THE DAILY MIRROR". Trove. 20 October 1919. Retrieved 26 June 2018.
  3. Irving, Baiba; Schedvin, Bernie (May 1973). "A Confidential Report on Nationalist Organisation in Queensland, 1920". Queensland Heritage. 2 (8): 15n.

Bibliography