The Letters

THE NEW COMMONWEALTH. AUSTRALIA AND THE WAR. FURTHER TARIFF PROBLEMS. MINISTERIAL DIFFICULTIES. FROM OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Jan. 7 1902; Feb. 11 1902. The Commonwealth begins its second year by no means free from the ailments of infancy. It cannot be said to have cut its teeth, for it has not yet united its State Defence Departments. Nor, if the tariff may be likened to an attack of whooping cough, can the little patient be considered half through that very serious complaint, painful to itself and distressing to its neighbours. The results of the radical treatment adopted to…
THE NEW COMMONWEALTH. FIRST YEAR’S RECORD. PARTY STRUGGLES AND AIMS. PROSPERITY OF THE STATES. FROM OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Jan. 14 1902; Feb. 20 1902. One of the features in the first year’s record of the Commonwealth has been the success of the Governor-General in his official capacity, and one of its good fortunes the gradual restoration of his physical health. Our summer heat appears to be preferable to him to the mild winter weather of Hobart and Melbourne. A few months ago he spent his holiday in Northern Queensland in order to enjoy more sunshine than Sydney could afford,…
THE NEW COMMONWEALTH. AUSTRALIA AND THE WAR. THE PEOPLE’S LOYALTY. MINISTERIAL AWAKENING. FROM OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Jan. 21 1902; Feb. 26 1902. Australia is drawing a deep breath of relief and the popular aspiration is at last satisfied. The Commonwealth has spoken and acted, its Government and Opposition have united, and their patriotism has been proved beyond all question. One thousand irregulars are about to depart for the scene of conflict, and more are to follow them as the need arises. The current opinion on the situation which is expressed here is that the war should be…
THE NEW COMMONWEALTH. LORD HOPETOUN’S AVOWAL. STATE JEALOUSIES. SOUTH AUSTRALIAN PROBLEMS. FROM OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Jan. 28 1902; Mar. 6 1902. The Earl of Hopetoun has created a political sensation. The 26th of January is celebrated annually by the Australian Natives’ Association in Melbourne, its home of origin and head centre of influence. It was at this gathering, in our most Imperialistic capital and to an audience overflowing with loyal enthusiasm and martial spirit, that he deliberately, decisively, and dramatically departed from the reserve which he and  all our…
THE NEW COMMONWEALTH. COLONIAL LOYALTY. EARL OF HOPETOUN’S POPULARITY. VICEREGAL SPEECH CRITICISED. FROM OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Feb. 4 1902; Mar. 12 1902. The Earl of Hopetoun’s speech in Melbourne has been challenged in Parliament partly because it affected a party issue, but chiefly because it offended public sentiment. When he announced his endorsement of Mr. Barton’s delay in offering a Federal contingent for South Africa he offended that sentiment and invited rejoinder. What was said in the House of Representatives was wide of the real grievance, which was neither political…
THE NEW COMMONWEALTH. LABOUR POLITICAL POWER. QUEENSLAND’S PROBLEMS. INDUSTRIAL ARBITRATION. FROM OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Feb. 11 1902; Mar. 21 1902. The Labour Party dominates Australian politics; though, strictly speaking, it is not  a party at all, its origin is not political, and it comprises only one class of those who live by their labour. Its influence is everywhere, and if it were what it pretends to   be it would be all-powerful. Practically our whole community lives by its labour and might claim enrolment in its ranks, and even if only those who work with their hands…
THE NEW COMMONWEALTH. CORONATION CONFERENCE. UNITY OF THE EMPIRE. ANGLO JAPANESE TREATY. FROM OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY. Feb. 18 1902; Mar. 25 1902. Imperial issues still engross the attention of Australians. The despatch of the first half and the organisation of the second half of the Federal contingent has focussed interest on the relations between the Commonwealth and the Mother Country. The treaty with Japan has revived the problems of the Far East and our interest in them. The Coronation is attracting much attention, not merely as a great ceremonial of special significance at the…
THE NEW COMMONWEALTH. ATTITUDE OF NEW ZEALAND. THE FEDERAL CAPITAL. TOUR OF INSPECTION. FROM OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Feb. 25 1902; Apr. 1 1902. The Commonwealth can consider the choice of a site for its future capital without concern as to any opinion on the point that may be entertained in New Zealand. As readers of the Morning Post were informed many months ago there is no prospect, immediate or remote, of any movement on the part of the Maorilanders towards a partnership with the Australian States. Their commission appointed to inquire into the proposal reported emphatically…
THE NEW COMMONWEALTH. AUSTRALIAN PERILS. DROUGHT, DEBT, AND PLAGUE. NEW POLITICAL PARTY. FROM OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Mar. 4 1902; Apr. 8 1902. Australia’s deadliest enemy is the drought. It is the want of a sufficient rainfall that renders its vast interior in parts a desert, and almost everywhere unfit for close settlement. Population is confined to the coast for no other reason than that the track of Antarctic storms follows its sweep eastwards from South Australia to Victoria, Tasmania, and the southern parts of New South Wales. Our own sea-fed uplands enjoy plentiful supplies…
THE NEW COMMONWEALTH. AUSTRALASIAN EXPANSION. WESTERN PACIFIC PROBLEMS. NEW IMPERIAL CENTRE. FROM OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Mar. 11 1902; Apr. 17 1902. The Commonwealth has taken its first plunge into the troubled waters of the Pacific. British New Guinea has been formally transferred to its care, and constitutes its earliest dependency. Henceforward, pending Federal legislation, the Governor-General will take the place vacated by the Governor of Queensland, and will control it under the advice of his Ministers as if it were a Crown Colony in his charge, directly instructing his…
THE NEW COMMONWEALTH. QUEENSLAND’S ELECTIONS. CABINET CHANGES. ELECTORAL INNOVATIONS. FROM OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Mar. 25 1902; Apr. 29 1902. The Queensland elections fulfil exactly the forecast that was framed for those columns a month before their occurrence. Mr. Philp remains in power with a reduced majority, the Labour Party having deprived him of three followers, and the Independents remain as they were. In his own constituency he had an overwhelming victory, which he well deserved. Townsville is his, as he is Townsville’s, and each is properly proud of the other. Elsewhere…
THE NEW COMMONWEALTH. GRAVE FINANCIAL CLOUDS. FAIR TRADE OR PROTECTION. FROM OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Mar. 27 1902; May 6 1902. The Commonwealth owes nothing to luck. Ever since its establishment its States have suffered from one permanent and many intermittent calamities. A pitiless drought has persisted for years past. Welcome showers are now falling on our coast highlands and those of Queensland, but the great western belt lies still scorched and wasted without any relief to the prolonged thirst of its plains or its perishing flocks and herds. The plague lingers among us and in…