National Labor Party
The National Labor Party was the name used by the Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

n Prime Minister Billy Hughes
Billy Hughes
William Morris "Billy" Hughes, CH, KC, MHR , Australian politician, was the seventh Prime Minister of Australia from 1915 to 1923....

 for himself and his followers after he was expelled from the Australian Labor Party
Australian Labor Party
The Australian Labor Party is an Australian political party. It has been the governing party of the Commonwealth of Australia since the 2007 federal election. Julia Gillard is the party's federal parliamentary leader and Prime Minister of Australia...

 in November 1916 over his pro-conscription stance in relation to World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

. Hughes had taken over as leader of the Labor Party and Prime Minister of Australia
Prime Minister of Australia
The Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of Australia is the highest minister of the Crown, leader of the Cabinet and Head of Her Majesty's Australian Government, holding office on commission from the Governor-General of Australia. The office of Prime Minister is, in practice, the most powerful...

 when anti-conscriptionist Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher was an Australian politician who served as the fifth Prime Minister on three separate occasions. Fisher's 1910-13 Labor ministry completed a vast legislative programme which made him, along with Protectionist Alfred Deakin, the founder of the statutory structure of the new nation...


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 and 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 formed a minority Government. 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. However, they had to depend on support from the Commonwealth Liberal Party
Commonwealth Liberal Party
The Commonwealth Liberal Party was a political movement active in Australia from 1909 to 1916, shortly after federation....

, led by another Labor dissident, Joseph Cook
Joseph Cook
Sir Joseph Cook, GCMG was an Australian politician and the sixth Prime Minister of Australia. Born as Joseph Cooke and working in the coal mines of Silverdale, Staffordshire during his early life, he emigrated to Lithgow, New South Wales during the late 1880s, and became General-Secretary of the...

. In 1917, Hughes and Cook turned their confidence-and-supply agreement into a formal party, the Nationalist Party of Australia
Nationalist Party of Australia
The Nationalist Party of Australia was an Australian political party. It was formed on 17 February 1917 from a merger between the conservative Commonwealth Liberal Party and the National Labor Party, the name given to the pro-conscription defectors from the Australian Labor Party led by Prime...

, with Hughes as leader.

The National Labor Party was never formally constituted a party and had no organisational structure, although some trade union officials and Labor Party branches, particularly in Western Australia
Western Australia
Western Australia is a state of Australia, occupying the entire western third of the Australian continent. It is bounded by the Indian Ocean to the north and west, the Great Australian Bight and Indian Ocean to the south, the Northern Territory to the north-east and South Australia to the south-east...

 and Tasmania
Tasmania is an Australian island and state. It is south of the continent, separated by Bass Strait. The state includes the island of Tasmania—the 26th largest island in the world—and the surrounding islands. The state has a population of 507,626 , of whom almost half reside in the greater Hobart...

, supported it.

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
Perth, Western Australia
Perth is the capital and largest city of the Australian state of Western Australia and the fourth most populous city in Australia. The Perth metropolitan area has an estimated population of almost 1,700,000....

, and the other known as National Labor and based on the goldfields. The two merged in April-May 1917, with former Premier
Premier of Western Australia
The Premier of Western Australia is the head of the executive government in the Australian State of Western Australia. The Premier has similar functions in Western Australia to those performed by the Prime Minister of Australia at the national level, subject to the different Constitutions...

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

 as their leader. However, by July he was without a seat in Parliament, and the party turned to Federal Senators
Australian Senate
The Senate is the upper house of the bicameral Parliament of Australia, the lower house being the House of Representatives. Senators are popularly elected under a system of proportional representation. Senators are elected for a term that is usually six years; after a double dissolution, however,...

 Patrick Lynch
Patrick Lynch (Australian politician)
Patrick Joseph Lynch was an Australian politician.Lynch was born in Skeark, County Meath, Ireland and educated at Cormeen National School and Bailieborough Model School, County Cavan. He migrated to Queensland in 1886 and cut railway sleepers near Charleville and then travelled to the Croydon...

, Hugh de Largie
Hugh de Largie
Hugh de Largie was an inaugural member of the Australian Senate in Western Australia for the Australian Labor Party, National Labor Party, and Nationalist Party of Australia from 1901 to 1922.- Early life :...

 and George Pearce
George Pearce
Sir George Foster Pearce KCVO was an Australian politician who was instrumental in founding the Australian Labor Party in Western Australia....

 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
Western Australian Legislative Assembly
The Legislative Assembly, or lower house, is one of the two chambers of parliament in the Australian state of Western Australia. It sits in Parliament House in the state capital, Perth....

 seats in each of the 1917
Western Australian state election, 1917
Elections were held in the state of Western Australia on 29 September 1917 to elect 50 members to the Western Australian Legislative Assembly. The Nationalist-Country-National Labor coalition, led by Premier Sir Henry Lefroy, retained government against the Labor Party led by Opposition Leader...

 and 1921 elections, and held three of 30 Council
Western Australian Legislative Council
The Legislative Council, or upper house, is one of the two chambers of parliament in the Australian state of Western Australia. Its central purpose is to act as a house of review for legislation passed through the lower house, the Legislative Assembly. It sits in Parliament House in the state...

 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.
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