Fuller ministry (1921)

The Fuller ministry (1921) or First Fuller ministry was the 39th ministry of the New South Wales Government, and was led by the 22nd Premier, Sir George Fuller. The ministry covers just seven hours during 20 December 1921, the shortest of any ministry in the history of self-government in the state.

Fuller ministry
39th Cabinet of the State of New South Wales
George fuller.jpg
Premier Sir George Fuller
Date formed20 December 1921 a.m.
Date dissolved20 December 1921 p.m.
People and organisations
MonarchGeorge V
GovernorSir Walter Davidson
Head of governmentSir George Fuller
No. of ministers13
Member partyNationalist
Status in legislatureMinority government
Opposition partyLabor
Opposition leaderJames Dooley
Outgoing election1920 New South Wales election
PredecessorDooley ministry (1921)
SuccessorDooley ministry (1921–1922)

Fuller was first elected to the New South Wales Legislative Assembly in 1889, defeated in 1894, elected to the House of Representatives in 1901, defeated in 1914, and re-elected to the Assembly in 1917 and serving until 1928.[1] The 1920 state election saw a large swing against the Nationalist Party, losing 24 seats,[2] including that of Premier William Holman, with Fuller becoming leader of the Nationalist Party.[3] The assembly was evenly divided, with Labor having 43 seats and the support of Percy Brookfield (Socialist Labor) and Arthur Gardiner (Independent Labor), while the Nationalists had 28 seats, the Progressive Party had 15 seats and 2 independent Nationalists. The Speaker of the Legislative Assembly did not vote unless there was a tie which meant whichever side provided the speaker was unable to command a majority. Nationalist Daniel Levy controversially accepted re-election as speaker, giving Labor an effective majority.[4][5]

James Dooley became Premier following the death of John Story. In December 1921 Fuller indicated to Levy that it was likely he could form a coalition with the Progressives and Levy resigned as speaker on 12 December 1921. Levy was replaced by Labor's Simon Hickey and the government was defeated on the floor of the house 44 votes to 45.[6][7] The Dooley ministry resigned and as a result Fuller was asked by Governor Sir Walter Davidson to form a government. The coalition did not have complete support, with Nationalists William Ashford and William Bagnall reportedly dissatisfied, while formal coalition was opposed by the True Blue members of the Progressive party, led by Michael Bruxner and Ernest Buttenshaw.[3][8] Stephen Perdriau said that while he his name had been read out as a minister, he had not accepted or rejected the position.[9] It is not clear who Fuller hoped would take the role of speaker, however when the Legislative Assembly resumed, Bagnall offered to accept the role of speaker, stating that "I cannot reconcile myself to this recognition of the men who were the chief assassins of the last National Government, and to seeing them placed in the high and honorable positions of Ministers of the Crown".[10] Rather than have Bagnall as speaker, Levy agreed to return to the role.[4][10] Fuller sought an early election, which was refused and the ministry resigned, seven hours after it was commissioned.[3][11]

Dooley reformed government, serving until it was defeated at the election in March 1922.[12]

Composition of ministryEdit

The composition of the ministry was announced by Premier Fuller on 20 December 1921.[10]

Portfolio Minister Party Term commence Term end Term of office
Premier Sir George Fuller   Nationalist 20 December 1921 a.m. 20 December 1921 p.m. 7 hours
Chief Secretary
Minister of Public Health
Charles Oakes
Treasurer Sir Arthur Cocks
Attorney General
Minister of Justice
Thomas Bavin, KC   Progressive
Secretary for Lands
Minister for Forests
Walter Wearne
Secretary for Public Works
Minister for Railways
Minister for Housing
Sir Thomas Henley   Nationalist
Minister of Public Instruction, and Labour and Industry Thomas Ley   Progressive
Secretary for Mines
Minister for Local Government
John Fitzpatrick   Nationalist
Minister for Agriculture Frank Chaffey
Minister for Business Undertakings Stephen Perdriau   Progressive
Vice-president of the Executive Council
Representative of the Government in Legislative Council
Sir Joseph Carruthers, MLC   Nationalist

  Ministers are members of the Legislative Assembly unless otherwise noted.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Sir George Warburton Fuller (1861–1940)". Former members of the Parliament of New South Wales. Retrieved 11 May 2019.
  2. ^ Green, Antony. "1920 election totals". New South Wales Election Results 1856-2007. Parliament of New South Wales. Retrieved 10 October 2021.
  3. ^ a b c Ward, John M. (2006). "Fuller, Sir George Warburton (1861–1940)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. National Centre of Biography, Australian National University. ISSN 1833-7538. Retrieved 30 November 2019.
  4. ^ a b Fredman, L E. "Levy, Sir Daniel (1872–1937)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. National Centre of Biography, Australian National University. ISSN 1833-7538. Retrieved 10 May 2020.
  5. ^ Fitzpatrick, John (27 April 1920). "Election of speaker" (PDF). Parliamentary Debates (Hansard). New South Wales: Legislative Assembly. pp. 18–33. Retrieved 2 November 2021.
  6. ^ a b "Resignation of speaker" (PDF). Parliamentary Debates (Hansard). New South Wales: Legislative Assembly. 12 December 1921. pp. 2598–2602. Retrieved 2 November 2021.
  7. ^ As the speaker did not vote, with Hickey as speaker Labor was reduced to 43 votes, plus the support of Arthur Gardiner (Independent Labor).[6]
  8. ^ "Why the progressives refuse to join the coalition". Adelong and Tumut Express and Tumbarumba Post. 3 February 1922. p. 2. Retrieved 3 November 2021 – via Trove.
  9. ^ "Progressive party". Daily Advertiser. 22 December 1921. p. 2. Retrieved 26 June 2020 – via Trove.
  10. ^ a b c "New ministry" (PDF). Parliamentary Debates (Hansard). New South Wales: Legislative Assembly. 20 December 1921. pp. 2617–2622. Retrieved 2 November 2021.
  11. ^ "State politics". Daily Advertiser. 22 December 1921. p. 2. Retrieved 3 November 2021 – via Trove.
  12. ^ Part 6 Ministries since 1856 (PDF). NSW Parliamentary Record. Parliament of New South Wales. Retrieved 12 April 2020.


Preceded by Fuller ministry
Succeeded by