The Letters

THE NEW COMMONWEALTH. THE FISCAL QUESTION. COMPOSITION OF PARTIES. FROM OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Apr. 2 1901; May 13 1901. The electoral cyclone has passed, and we can now begin to estimate the condition in which it leaves us. In this State it discloses an unmiti­gated defeat of the Protectionists, and conse­quently of the Barton Ministry, whom they are supporting. The Prime Minister’s own seat was not contested, but of the twenty-five constituencies in which the verdict of the electors was challenged, no less than fifteen fell to the Free Trade Opposition. Mr. Reid himself was…
THE NEW COMMONWEALTH. PARTIES IN PARLIAMENT. POLITICAL PREFERENCES. FROM OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Apr. 9 1901; May 15 1901. The composition of the first Parliament of the Commonwealth is on the whole more satisfactory than had been anticipated. The Senate in par­ticular promises to prove an efficient body. Its members being elected by the States as single constituencies, their polling furnishes some in­teresting indications of popular feeling. The number of candidates in New South Wales divided the voters so much that Mr. Walker, who headed the poll with seventy-eight thousand…
THE NEW COMMONWEALTH. MINISTERIAL REORGANISATION. “POLITICAL” APPOINTMENTS. FROM OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Apr. 16 1901; May 24 1901.   The Commonwealth, with its Parliament about to assemble and its Ministry free to commence work, is entering on its most susceptible stage. Precedents are being established which must be potent in their influence on our future development. We are making, of necessity, a fresh beginning in politics, and essaying many important departures. Alert as all are in the endeavour to forecast the ultimate consequences of passing events, and alive as we believe…
THE NEW COMMONWEALTH. PRESTIGE OF THE CROWN. AUSTRALIAN LOYALTY. FROM OUR CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Apr. 23 1901; May 28 1901. The royal visit was predestined to success as far as cordiality of feeling and careful preparation could secure it. Whether the power of the Crown has increased or not, the personal prestige of the Sove­reign and his family undoubtedly is increasing. When the late Grand Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha came to Australia five-and-thirty years since he was received with immense enthusiasm, which was deepened when the act of an insane fanatic shadowed the close of his tour.…
THE NEW COMMONWEALTH. WELCOME RAINS. AGRICULTURAL OUTLOOK. FROM OUR CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Apr. 30 1901; Jun. 4 1901. By far the most important event of the week has occurred outside the political world, gently agitated by speculations as to the legislation which the Barton Cabinet is preparing in Melbourne. The really fruitful and memorable occurrence has been in the physical world, where we have been enriched and inspirited by abundant rains both along the coast—Sydney receiving four and a half inches on Sunday—and inland, where no such welcome fall has been experienced for years. The…
THE NEW COMMONWEALTH. “PRIDE OF RACE.” STATE PARTISANSHIP. FROM OUR CORRESPONDENT. MELBOURNE, May 8 1901; Jun. 13 1901. Their Royal Highnesses the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and York have arrived, and the tension, increasing in Melbourne for weeks past, is at last relieved. The explosion of enthusiastic loyalty with which they were welcomed must have been gratifying because of its absolute unanimity and universality. The scene presented has long since been described at length by means of the telegraph, and it only remains to refer to a few of its distinc­tive features. That which has…
THE NEW COMMONWEALTH. RIVAL POLITICAL PARTIES. FROM OUR CORRESPONDENT. MELBOURNE, May 15 1901; Jun. 20 1901. The description of the splendid festivities and of the ceremony connected with the opening of the Federal Parliament I shall leave to Mr. E. F. Knight, of the Morning Post, who is now here, and is accompanying the royal party throughout the tour. There are, however, points arising out of political considerations connected with the new order of things with which I may deal. There were not wanting ominous incidents in both Chambers, though the Government succeeded with its nomi­nees in…
THE NEW COMMONWEALTH. BUDGET PROBLEMS. REQUIREMENTS AND RESOURCES. FROM OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, May 21 1901; Jun. 25 1901. Their Royal Highnesses the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and York are being welcomed in Queensland; and Sydney is busy with preparations which will enable us to vie with Melbourne. As a consequence the actual commencement of our first Australian Parliament is in some danger of being overlooked. Its proceedings will probably prove fitful, if not languid, until our distinguished visitors have left for New Zealand. But for all that, the far-see­ing, especially…
THE NEW COMMONWEALTH. LABOUR PARTY TACTICS. OPPOSITION BLUNDERING. FROM OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, May 28 1901; Jul. 6 1901. Sydney is seething with excitement under the joint impulses of the royal visit and the splendid series of magnificent spectacles provided in its honour. It is unfortunate that at such a moment attention should be diverted to private disputes between employers and em­ployed, and unfortunate also that the means by which one of them has been settled should be political coercion, but the fact remains, and its significance cannot be overlooked. An iron trade strike…
THE NEW COMMONWEALTH. FISCAL RELATIONS. IMPERIAL DEFENCE SCHEME. FROM OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Jun. 4 1901; Jul. 11 1901. Commonwealth affairs continue at a discount, and will be so until our royal guests have departed. At present Sydney, attired in her best and with all her leaders present from the Prime Minister down­wards, declines to be deterred either by threats of small-pox or a local strike in the iron trade from her complete surrender to loyal festivities. She has not so far paid serious attention to the intimation that the long-expected conference of legal representatives…
THE NEW COMMONWEALTH. POLITICAL ISSUES. FROM OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Jun. 11 1901; Jul. 23 1901. Our royal visitors are now in New Zealand, where it is to be hoped they will be favoured with a continuance of the “Australian” weather, bright, clear, and sunny, which they have enjoyed on the mainland. In Sydney not even the shadows of the coming State elections, of the small-pox outbreak, or the iron strike could diminish the inexhaustible enthusiasm with which they have been received. The brilliant corps of British journalists who accompany them can paint the spectacles they have…
THE NEW COMMONWEALTH. MINISTERIAL SLIP. VARIOUS STATE PROBLEMS. FROM OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Jun. 18 1901; Jul. 25 1901. To ardent Federalists the progress of the Union appears painfully slow. It is now six months since we were proclaimed one people. It is nearly three months since we elected our representatives, and almost six weeks have elapsed from their meeting in Parliament. All that has been accomplished in the way of legislation has been the launching of a Public Service Bill, providing for the control and payment of the twelve thousand employees with whom we begin national…
THE NEW COMMONWEALTH. THE STATE PARLIAMENTS. RAILWAY RATES. TRADE DIFFICULTIES. FROM OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Jun. 25 1901; Aug. 1 1901. Sydney is not exhilarating just now. The strike of the iron workers drags its slow length along and steadily increases the numbers of those who remain out of work rather than accept the employers’ terms. Shipwrights, boiler makers, dockers, painters, and decorators, and other trades connected with ship­ping are throwing in their lot with their companions. As the area of conflict widens the suffering and bitterness intensify. We are looking…