On this day …….. 28th of October 1916

Billy Hughes, Australia’s 7th Prime Minister, most controversial policies was conscription, an issue which not only created a rift in the Labor Party, but divided the young nation as well. On 28 October 1916, the first referendum to introduce compulsory military enlistment into World War 1 was voted on, and narrowly defeated. Two weeks later, on 13 November, the Labor Party expelled Hughes over his support for conscription. However, just a few days earlier Hughes had formed the Nationalist Party which incorporated both expelled Labor Party members and members of the opposition. Hughes formed a new cabinet and remained as Prime Minister, a position he retained until 1923.