The Ministry of the Barton Government taken in 1902/1903.

The Ministry of the Barton Government taken in 1902/1903.

Seated (L–R): Sir William Lyne (NSW), Minister for Home Affairs; Edmund Barton (NSW), Prime Minister and Minister for External Affairs; Lord Tennyson (Governor-General); Alfred Deakin (Vic), Attorney-General; Sir George Turner (Vic), Treasurer

Standing (L–R): Senator James Drake (Qld), Postmaster-General; Senator Richard Edward O’Connor, (NSW), Vice-President of Executive Council; Sir Philip Oakley Fysh (Tas), Minister without portfolio;
Charles Cameron Kingston (SA), Minister for Trade and Customs; Sir John Forrest (WA), Minister for Defence

(National Archives of Australia, NAA: A1200, L13365)

Deakin Ministry, 24 September 1903 to 27 April 1904

Deakin Ministry, 24 September 1903 to 27 April 1904; NLA PIC Drawer PIC/20860

Seated (L–R): Sir George Turner (Vic), Treasurer; Alfred Deakin (Vic), Prime Minister and Minister for External Affairs; Lord Tennyson (Governor-General); Sir William Lyne (NSW), Minister for Trade and Customs; Sir John Forrest (WA), Minister for Home Affairs

Standing (L–R): Senator James Drake (Qld), Attorney-General; Senator Thomas Playford (SA), Vice-President of Executive Council; Sir Philip Oakley Fysh (Tas), Postmaster-General; Sir Austin Chapman (NSW), Minister for Defence

(National Library of Australia, PIC Drawer PIC/20860)

 

Letters authored in 1903

THE NEW COMMONWEALTH. POWER OF THE LABOUR PARTY. THE ARBITERS IN POLITICS. TACTICS OF RIVAL LEADERS. FROM OUR SYDNEY CORRESPONDENT. [Jan. 12 1903]; Feb. 27 1903. Last year may yet prove to be more memorable than was supposed, and for a reason not yet even named by any of its critics. The political history of Australia generally, excluding Tasmania, and of New South Wales in particular, has been decided for more than a decade by the organised forces of Labour. Its representatives in all the State Parliaments of the mainland have been in a minority, and save in Queensland in a small minority.…
THE NEW COMMONWEALTH. POWER OF THE CENTRAL GOVERNMENT. QUESTION OF STATE RIGHTS. COLONIAL OFFICE DECISIONS. FROM OUR SYDNEY CORRESPONDENT. [Jan. 19 1903]; Mar. 4 1903. Whether or not the Commonwealth is making history worthy of the name it is, at least, making itself a reality, which was in any case its first indispensable task. The familiar phrase prior to the actual acceptance of its constitution was that “Federation is in the air”, so much did every political question and social movement in the several colonies recall it as the prime necessity of our progress. In spite of the politicians,…
THE NEW COMMONWEALTH. REVISION OF THE TARIFF. “POLITICAL” RAILWAY CONSTRUCTION. HUSTINGS PROMISES. FROM OUR SYDNEY CORRESPONDENT. [Jan. 26 1903]; Mar. 11 1903. The fiscal issue is again being forced to the front, though all but the most belligerent Cobdenites would admit that there are several matters more important to Australia at the present time. For party purposes this issue has the great advantage of having ready-made opinions and electoral organisations which are of a more effective description than any possessed by anybody save the Labour Section. Yet in itself just now from the…
THE NEW COMMONWEALTH. IGNORANCE OF EMPIRE. AUSTRALIA’S GREAT WATER SCHEME. RESULTS OF THE DROUGHT. FROM OUR SYDNEY CORRESPONDENT. [Feb. 3 1903]; 20 Mar. 1903. Western Australia made her entrance last of all the States into the possession of complete self-government, population, and prosperity. She was also the last of them to enter the Commonwealth. Since then she has advanced with giant strides, and bids fair to occupy before long a position in the front rank. She owes the remarkable expansion of the last ten years to gold discoveries, and as the mines were found in the midst of a waterless…
THE NEW COMMONWEALTH. UNITED AUSTRALIA. THE FORCE OF FEDERAL IDEALS. STATE RETRENCHMENTS. FROM OUR SYDNEY CORRESPONDENT. [Feb. 10 1903]; Mar. 30 1903. The question as to whether or not we possess a characteristic literature or accent that may be distinctively labelled “Australian” is the subject of occasional speculation in Sydney and elsewhere. The epithet is not one that can be confidently or usually employed. We have a brand-new Constitution entitled to the name because of its origin and its sphere of operation, but except in respect of the particular matters on which there has been…
THE NEW COMMONWEALTH. WORK OF THE FEDERAL PARLIAMENT. “STEERED FROM THE STEERAGE.” THE CAMPAIGNS OF MR. REID. FROM OUR SYDNEY CORRESPONDENT. [Feb. 17 1903]; Apr. 7 1903. Federal politics have suddenly become polemical. The summer, though mild on the whole, is still at its height, running up occasionally to temperatures of a “record” character, and as far as attention is being given to public affairs those of the States have first claim. Yet, owing to certain adventitious circumstances, we find the Commonwealth Ministry and its opponents at this unseasonable period thundering at each other…
THE NEW COMMONWEALTH. FINANCES OF AUSTRALIA. UNIMPEACHABLE ASSETS. THE EFFECTS OF THE DROUGHT. FROM OUR SYDNEY CORRESPONDENT. [Feb. 24 1903]; Apr. 14 1903. The sudden drop of New South Wales 3 per cents. in London and the adverse discussion of Australian financial prospects in the British Press have combined to bring home to our citizens all at once the gravity of a situation which readers of the Morning Post must have been able to foresee months in advance. Indeed, since early in 1901 attention has been repeatedly called in these columns to the disastrous results certain to accrue from bad…
THE NEW COMMONWEALTH. INTER-STATE INTERESTS. THE POLITICS OF VICTORIA. CONSTITUTIONAL REFORM. FROM OUR SYDNEY CORRESPONDENT. [Mar. 3 1903]; Apr. 20 1903. The Parliament of Victoria is the only legislative body in Australia not in recess at the time I am writing. It has departed from our customary routine in this as in every other respect since its election a few months ago. Its first session has been marked by a rapid series of drastic proposals and sensational incidents that appears likely—as far as can be judged from Sydney—to be prolonged until members disperse. Noisy and turbulent as was…
Tags: Barton
THE NEW COMMONWEALTH. DOMINATING QUESTION. DEMAND FOR ECONOMY. STATESMEN AND PRESS. FROM OUR SYDNEY CORRESPONDENT. [Mar. 10 1903]; Apr. 24 1903. Our domination by the Press is a constant cause of complaint to most politicians, who are often as slow to recognise its aid in bringing them into notice as they are swift in their resentment when it opposes them or their schemes. Very little is accomplished in our State Legislatures without the assistance of the leading journals, and next to nothing can be carried against them when they are combined. Union is not often possible. Just as the…
Tags: Barton
THE NEW COMMONWEALTH. PREMIERS’ CONFERENCES. SEPARATE STATE INTERESTS. FEDERAL POLITICS. FROM OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Mar. 17 1903; May 8 1903. Among the events that are casting their shadows before them is a conference of State Premiers summoned by Sir John See to meet in Sydney. A full attendance is expected at what must become an annual assemblage for the discussion of subjects of common interest by those responsible for the conduct of public affairs in the different parts of the Commonwealth. Prior to Federation similar official gatherings took place intermittently, at which…
THE NEW COMMONWEALTH. SATISFACTORY RAINFALL. ILL-REGULATED POLITICAL SCRAMBLES. RAILWAY ENTERPRISE. FROM OUR SYDNEY CORRESPONDENT. [Mar. 24 1903]; May 23 1903. The rain continues, and with it all vegetation revives and thrives. Doubts are steadily dissipated as it becomes clear that a normal season is before us. From the far north, where equatorial rivers are running high past tracts devastated by recent cyclones, through Central Queensland and the Darling Downs, across the arbitrary boundary between that State and ours, along our uplands coastwise to the south, and, better still, away inland…
Tags: Barton
THE NEW COMMONWEALTH. REVENUE PROSECUTIONS. THE POLICY OF FREE TRADE. FROM OUR SYDNEY CORRESPONDENT. [Mar. 31 1903]; May 29 1903. The Governor-General has at last arrived in Sydney to make some stay, and none too soon for his local appreciation. His liking for South Australia and its simpler social habits had begun to be commented on in Melbourne, but especially in this city, which claims the pride of place by seniority, beauty, and wealth over all the sister capitals. Politically Lord Tennyson is popular here and elsewhere because he represents in himself and with his household the…
THE NEW COMMONWEALTH. DEMANDS FOR ECONOMY. FRUITS OF REFORM. CONSTITUTIONAL MODIFICATIONS. FROM OUR CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Apr. 21 [7] 1903; Jun. 1 1903. With the prorogation of the Victorian Parliament the political Temple of Janus in Australia has closed for the first time during the last two years. There will be no recommencement of the business of legislating until the end of May. Until then the country will have time to fully reconsider its position, and, judging by the result of the Tamworth election in this State, it has already begun to do so even in places where hitherto there has…
THE NEW COMMONWEALTH. TAMWORTH ELECTION. VOTERS “NEARLY TALKED TO DEATH.” FINANCIAL REFORM. FROM OUR SYDNEY CORRESPONDENT. [Apr. 14 1903]; Jun. 15 1903. The Tamworth election attained an importance in the eyes of the public to which it had in itself little real claim. As a victory for reform it meant something, but as a defeat for the Ministry it was also important. In the candidates there were great personal disparities sufficient in themselves to account for the electors’ choice without reference to any other contrast. Mr. Walsh, an inconsiderable Ministerialist, had no political reputation…
THE NEW COMMONWEALTH. PREMIERS’ CONFERENCE. POWERS OF SEPARATE STATES. CONFLICTING LOCAL INTERESTS. FROM OUR SYDNEY CORRESPONDENT. [Apr. 21 1903]; Jun. 26 1903. Easter has seen Sydney once more the acknowledged centre of the Commonwealth, and to all appearances as prosperous as ever. Never has the city been more crowded, more gay, nor holiday weather more propitious. The season opened brilliantly with the Governor-General’s ball, followed by the splendid display of the second Investiture. The functions also included a great garden party at Government House and an immense reception by the Lord…
THE NEW COMMONWEALTH. MURRAY RIVER DISPUTE. DEBTS OF THE STATES. FUTURE BORROWINGS. FROM OUR SYDNEY CORRESPONDENT. [Apr. 28 1903]; Jun. 29 1903. The publication of the resolutions framed by the Premiers’ Conference confirms the impression that its members took their responsibilities much more seriously to heart than they did at previous gatherings. At the same time the publication justifies the suspicion that the Murray River dispute prolonged the sittings and received the members’ best attention. While the resolutions adopted on other subjects reached the public on a Thursday, the elaborate…
THE NEW COMMONWEALTH. AUSTRALIAN RESOURCES. MORE WORLDS TO CONQUER. THE OPENINGS FOR CAPITALISTS. FROM OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Jan. 5 1903; Feb. 13 1903. Speaking generally, the year 1903 opens propitiously for Australia, though one must confess that no small proportion of its promise arises by way of contrast with the disastrous records of the past twelve months. The sanguine among us are already forecasting the chances of a fresh “boom”, relying on the cycle of good seasons supposed to be about to begin, on our increasing output of gold, and on the possibilities of a rise in the…
THE NEW COMMONWEALTH. NAVAL DEFENCE. THE QUESTION OF SUBSIDY. FISCAL POLICY. FROM OUR SYDNEY CORRESPONDENT. [May 5 1903]; Jul. 3 1903. The Prime Minister has at last removed the reproach persistently levelled at him for the past two years of having neglected to appear on the public platform of Sydney in defence of his party policy. He has spoken there several times on Imperial issues and on current questions at sundry sectional meetings or banquets of a semi-political character, but not until about the end of April did he address the people in defence of his Parliamentary leadership. His…
THE NEW COMMONWEALTH. STRIKE IN VICTORIA. THE POSITION OF THE LABOUR PARTY. FRESH POLITICAL GROUPING. FROM OUR SYDNEY CORRESPONDENT. [May 12 1903]; Jul. 20 1903. The strike of railway employees in Victoria is not conspicuous above all contemporary events in Australia, but it is memorable because it is another of the times. It is one landmark the more on the road all the States are travelling under the pressure of inexorable economic necessities. We have had strikes before. Those of twelve years ago surpassed in the extent of country affected, in the variety of interests prejudiced, and in the…
THE NEW COMMONWEALTH. END OF THE RAILWAY STRIKE. CRY FOR RETRENCHMENT. IDENTITY OF STATE INTERESTS. FROM OUR SYDNEY CORRESPONDENT. [May 19 1903]; Jul. 25 1903. The Victorian railway strike is over. Some fifty of the engine-drivers and firemen who defiantly left their engines have lost their situations and are left dependent on private employment. This number includes those who officered and controlled the bold attempt to bring the Government of the State to its knees. The remainder has been permitted to return, but on half time only, shorn of rights to pensions or compensations, and entirely…
Tags: Barton
THE NEW COMMONWEALTH. MR. CHAMBERLAIN’S FISCAL SCHEME. VIEWS OF RIVAL PARTIES. QUESTION OF NAVAL DEFENCE. FROM OUR SYDNEY CORRESPONDENT. [May 26 1903]; Aug. 5 1903. Mr. Chamberlain’s Birmingham resuscitation of his former policy of preferential tariffs within the Empire has at once awakened a chorus of echoes throughout Australasia. It had been neglected of late because of the assumption that the Secretary for the Colonies had tacitly abandoned his idea. The project is now being discussed, however, in every newspaper of standing among us in addition to serving as the text for comments by most…
THE NEW COMMONWEALTH. RIVAL POLITICAL PARTIES. COMPLICATED POLITICS. THE NAVAL SUBSIDY. FROM OUR SYDNEY CORRESPONDENT. [Jun. 2 1903]; Aug. 10 1903. The Federal Parliament has begun its second and final session. The first lasted eighteen months, the second cannot exceed six, because the Senate elections must be held under the Constitution before the close of this year. The cost of polling Australia being estimated at £30,000, the spirit of economy now ruling will not permit a second disbursement of such an amount in May next for the Representatives alone. The present House is therefore…
THE NEW COMMONWEALTH. FISCAL POLICY OF THE EMPIRE. MR. CHAMBERLAIN’S PROPOSALS. AUSTRALIAN APPROVAL. FROM OUR SYDNEY CORRESPONDENT. [Jun. 9 1903]; Aug. 14 1903. Very tamely was “The Address in reply” debated before thin Houses and empty galleries. It was voted without a struggle after less than a fortnight’s discussion, barren of incidents or disclosures, and revealing nothing beyond the feebleness of the formal Opposition onset. From a tactical point of view Mr. Reid appears to have erred in not moving an amendment, or at all events in not shaping his indictment of Ministers into some more…
THE NEW COMMONWEALTH. TURBID POLITICS. THE JUDICIARY BILL. POLICY OF ECONOMY. FROM OUR SYDNEY CORRESPONDENT. [Jun. 16 1903]; Aug. 21 1903. The Japanese can have no possible complaint in connection with the reception their squadron has received during its visit to Australia. From the moment of their arrival in Perth and during their stays in Adelaide, Melbourne, and Hobart up to the carnival week just enjoyed in Sydney Admiral Kamimura and his officers have been the recipients of unremitting and flattering attentions. Not a day have they spent in any port that has not been crowded with…
THE NEW COMMONWEALTH. SITUATION IN NEW SOUTH WALES. THE GOVERNOR’S SPEECH. CONSTITUTIONAL REFORM. FROM OUR SYDNEY CORRESPONDENT. [Jun. 23 1903]; Aug. 27 1903. Mr. Chamberlain has never set foot in Australia, but he has been very often with us in spirit since his assumption of office as Secretary for the Colonies, and for the last few weeks has been so prominent a presence in our politics that he has overshadowed our local statesmen. He is beginning to deflect their policies, to take possession of the public imagination, and by the magnetic influence which he exercises to sway our Parliaments…