The Letters

THE NEW COMMONWEALTH. REJOICINGS AT SYDNEY. FROM OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Jan. 8 1901; Feb. 12 1901. A week has passed since the new century and the new nation were ushered in together. Never was a moonlit midnight in Sydney marked by a wilder, more prolonged, or generally more discordant welcome than was December 31, 1900. Hymns in the churches, patriotic songs in the theatres, glees in the homes, and convivial choruses at the clubs were extensively sung. Outside these places, however, all music was lost in the tumultuous uproar of the streets, where whistles, bells, gongs,…
THE NEW COMMONWEALTH. FISCAL QUESTIONS. AUSTRALIA AND THE WAR. FROM OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Jan. 15 1901; Feb. 20 1901. Awaking in a somewhat dazed condition from nine days’ continuous festivities, the puzzled citizens of New South Wales are looking about them in some bewilderment to discover if they can find some traces of the tremendous change in their fortunes which they have just been cele­brating. So far there is nothing visible but the rows of posts, from which flags are being removed, and galleries, arches, and ornamentations in course of being dismantled. Everything else is…
THE NEW COMMONWEALTH. MR. BARTON’S POLICY. FROM OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Jan. 22 1901; Feb. 26 1901. Mr. Barton, as Prime Minister of the Commonwealth, last week announced the policy on which his Administration proposes to stake its fortunes. What with the arrival of the Governor-General and of the Imperial troops, the celebrations and all the interests associated with them, the public had, for the time at all events, concentrated its attention on holiday events to such a degree that the speech, by suddenly recalling them to their obligations, created a sensation, though in itself…
THE NEW COMMONWEALTH. ELECTION CAMPAIGN. FROM OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Jan. 29 1901; 5 Mar. 1901. The political truce caused by the lamented death of Queen Victoria is now expiring, and on Monday next Mr. Reid will rally the Opposition with the first formal criticism of the Ministerial policy which was unfolded by Mr. Barton, who will reply in the same week. The campaign will then begin in earnest. The only speaker of the first rank who has addressed the public so far has been our State Attorney-General, Mr. B. R. Wise, who has made his bow to the electors of Conobolas, an inland…
AUSTRALIA’S LOYALTY. ITS GROWTH AND POWER. FROM OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Feb. 5 1901; Mar. 12 1901. His Majesty King Edward VII. has been duly proclaimed our Monarch by the Commonwealth Government and by the States of the Union amid the greatest enthusiasm. In Melbourne this was done with much pomp and in the presence of twenty thousand people. It is almost needless to say that not a single antagonistic voice was raised anywhere or on any grounds to mar the unanimity of Australia’s greeting to her King. It was not merely the customary acceptance of a constitu­tional change natural…
THE NEW COMMONWEALTH. AUSTRALIAN BUSH FIRES. PACIFIC ISLAND TROUBLES. FROM OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Feb. 12 1901; Mar. 19 1901. Perhaps the philosophers of the future may trace a relation between the physical surroundings or climate of Australia and the temperament of its people, but it will take a few generations to provide sufficient material for their generalisations, and many more before they are likely to arrive at an agreement. In the meantime the vast extent of the continent and the precariousness of the water supply over the greater part of it render its changeful weather…
THE NEW COMMONWEALTH. FEDERAL ELECTIONS. THE AUSTRALIAN PRESS. FROM OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Feb. 19 1901; Mar. 26 1901. The date of the arrival of the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and York having been determined, it has become possible to fix the Federal election day for the end of March. We have something less than six weeks within which to decide our policy for the next few years, yet it must be confessed that so far the great public is manifesting but a languid interest in its promulgation. We are nightly assured by sundry speakers that the political world is shaken to its very…
THE NEW COMMONWEALTH. SHATTERED IDEALS. FROM OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Feb. 26 1901; Apr. 2 1901. The Commonwealth is beginning by disappoint­ing its best friends. All our idealists were Federalists, and they are now suffering their first disillusions. Much is still possible within the next month, for we are accustomed to rapid elec­tioneering rallies, but at the moment the outlook is depressing. Our first shock has come with the publication of the lists of candidates for the Federal Parliament. These are either our old hacks or colts of no better quality. Our local politicians have…
THE NEW COMMONWEALTH. LABOUR QUESTION. THE SUGAR INDUSTRY. FROM OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Mar. 5 1901; Apr. 9 1901. Only three weeks separate us from the Federal elections, and still the political condition of the continent is torpid. Mr. Reid himself is not before the public, though he is very active behind the curtain arranging for the next and crowning act of his campaign. The Free Trade nominations for the Senate and many of the House constituencies are now published. In the meantime there is nothing striking enough to attract general atten­tion. The war of candidates continues…
THE NEW COMMONWEALTH. ATTITUDE OF NEW ZEALAND. LOVE OF INDEPENDENCE. FROM OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Mar. 12 1901; Apr. 16 1901. The Empire is the sum of its parts, and the more these are united politically and commercially the greater their prosperity and its power. The Commonwealth, which comprises within its control six communities hitherto separate, repre­sents an immense stride, not only towards Australian unity but towards Imperial Federation. But immense as is the extent and promise of our union, it is not yet geographically complete. A seventh province remains apart, not one…
THE NEW COMMONWEALTH. FEATURES OF THE ELECTION. IMPERIAL COURT OF APPEAL. FROM OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Mar. 19 1901; Apr. 23 1901. The nominations for the Senate are complete. Some fifty competitors offer themselves for the six places allotted to New South Wales. The length of the list tells its own tale, and makes the juvenility of our politics quite painfully apparent. There is among us no party discipline, but we have a plentiful supply of egotistic faddists and an incoherent public opinion which encourages the egregious to seek notoriety by appealing for votes. The number of…
THE NEW COMMONWEALTH. DEMAND FOR MEN OF MARK. CABINET RECONSTRUCTION. FROM OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Mar. 26 1901; Apr. 29 1901. The creation of the Commonwealth, whatever may be its effect in its own sphere, has already pro­duced in the States a condition approaching politi­cal paralysis. Nothing less than this would have rendered it possible for Sir William Lyne to continue our Premier for three months after he had accepted office in the Federal Ministry. He has only just resigned his seat for his provincial constituency within a few days of submitting himself for a Commonwealth…