The Letters

THE NEW COMMONWEALTH. FINANCIAL REVIVAL. FEDERAL ECONOMICS. TIGHTENING THE PURSE STRINGS. FROM OUR SYDNEY CORRESPONDENT. [Jul. 7 1903]; Sep. 8 1903. Australia’s financial revival seems remarkable even to those well acquainted with her marvellous recuperative powers. The financial year closing on the 30th of June evoked a series of revelations by way of comparison, every one of them encouraging and most of them unforeseen. Yet we are at the moment in the trough of the wave, midway between two harvests, that of the past a failure and that of the coming spring not yet secure. June, our mid-…
THE NEW COMMONWEALTH. NAVAL DEFENCE. INSTRUCTIVE DEBATE. AUSTRALIAN LOYALTY. FROM OUR SYDNEY CORRESPONDENT. [Jul. 14 1903]; Sep. 23 1903. The naval agreement between the Mother Country, represented by the Admiralty, and the Commonwealth, represented by its Prime Minister, has been brought forward early in the session. It follows the Judiciary Bills, which aim at completing the Federal structure designed in the Constitution for maintaining Australian unity according to the compact approved by its people. It precedes the Budget, in which provision requires to be made for the extra £100,000…
THE NEW COMMONWEALTH. MR. CHAMBERLAIN’S POPULARITY. PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES. CAPITAL AND LABOUR. FROM OUR CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Aug. 18 [Jul. 21] 1903; Sep. 26 1903. Rumours that the Commonwealth Government has again invited Mr. Chamberlain to visit Australia are once more current and cause widespread expectation. Doubtless their origin is to be found in the popularity he has lately enhanced so much by his preferential trade proposals. Ministers deny that they have officially requested him to become our guest, but in such a gentle tone as to plainly intimate their eagerness to ask if the…
THE NEW COMMONWEALTH. IMPERIAL UNITY. THE NAVAL DEFENCE BILL. FROM OUR SYDNEY CORRESPONDENT. [Jul. 28 1903]; Oct. 5 1903. Mr. Kingston’s resignation has come like a bolt from the blue, affording another illustration of the mutability of Federal politics. One of the strongest men in the Government, he has given to many of its measures an impress of resolute Radicalism. His rigorous administration of the customs has been provocative of perpetual irritation and intense enmity among the importing classes. That an indefensible laxity prevailed in some of the State Custom Houses prior to Federation…
THE NEW COMMONWEALTH. FINANCIAL EVOLUTION. POWER OF THE STATES. FEDERAL POTENCY. FROM OUR SYDNEY CORRESPONDENT. [Aug. 4 1903]; Oct. 27 1903. A journalist lately compared our Commonwealth to the ship that “found herself,” described in Kipling’s famous story, and the simile was singularly felicitous. Australia has not yet “found herself” as a real unity, but at least her people are on the high road to that self-knowledge which is the first condition of political oneness. The Press of Australia continues obstinately provincial in aims and ideas, but in spite of themselves our journals are…
THE NEW COMMONWEALTH. RIVAL PARTIES. LABOUR DOMINATION. COMPULSORY ARBITRATION. FROM OUR SYDNEY CORRESPONDENT. [Aug. 11 1903]; Nov. 9 1903. The outward and visible events of the last few weeks are in themselves worthy of record, since they translate into fact and effect some of the conspicuous tendencies of the time. The exodus of Mr. Kingston from the customs has led to a reconstruction of the Commonwealth Ministry and of the policy of its Opposition, the consequences of which are certain to be speedily exhibited throughout the whole realm of Federal politics. The key to all future…
THE NEW COMMONWEALTH. TARIFF CONSIDERATIONS. MR. CHAMBERLAIN’S SCHEME. IMPERIAL PATRIOTISM. FROM OUR SYDNEY CORRESPONDENT. [Aug. 18 1903]; Nov. 13 1903. There is no longer even a shadow of doubt as to the character of the coming elections to be held in December. The one question then to be propounded by Mr. Reid will be whether or not the tariff is to continue Protectionist or to be reduced to merely revenue-producing rates. Speaking near Melbourne he has once more announced that this is to be the first and practically the last plank in his platform: Free Trade is hopeless. The circumstances…
THE NEW COMMONWEALTH. CHANGE OF THE LEGAL SYSTEM. THE UNITY OF AUSTRALIA. FROM OUR SYDNEY CORRESPONDENT. [Aug. 25 1903]; Nov. 16 1903. The contrast between the surface and the substance of political events is well illustrated by the respective degrees of prominence given to Mr. Reid’s resignation and to the passage of the Judiciary Bill. The leader of the Opposition, in order to call attention to the action of the Federal Ministry in refusing to sanction the redistribution of seats proposed by commissioners of its own appointment under its own Electoral Act, retired from the House to…