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John Allan

1866 – 1936

John Allan (1866-1936) was a Deakin shire-councillor for many years and president in 1914-15. During World War I he was prominent in forming the Victorian Farmers' Union (VFU) and in 1917 was its successful candidate for the Legislative Assembly seat of Rodney. In late 1923 he became deputy premier and became president of the Board of Land and Works, commissioner for crown lands and survey and minister for immigration. When GM Prendergast was defeated on 12 November 1924, the governor commissioned Allan as premier. These were years of continually shifting parliamentary alliances. During the 1926 session alone the government survived eleven defeats, and was saved five times by the Speaker's vote. In September the breakaway Country Progressive Party was launched, and the VFU was rebranded as the Victorian Country Party at this time. John Allan was the main conservative influence in the Victorian Country Party, which held the balance of power. At the election of 9 April 1927 the Labor Party numbers were unaltered while those of the Nationalists and Country Party were reduced; Dunstan's group won four seats. Various proposals for replacing the coalition with an alternative non-Labor administration came to nothing. A month after the election Allan resigned and Labor leader Ned Hogan became premier. Allan did not sit again on the government front bench until May 1932. Following an election in May 1932 Argyle formed a United Australia Party ministry with three Country Party members including Allan. Allan was appointed minister for agriculture and vice-president of the Board of Land and Works, retaining these positions until 20 March 1935, when the Country Party withdrew from the government. Having been displaced from the party leadership in 1933, Allan remained on the back-benches until his death in 1936.

Updated 2018