The Letters

THE NEW COMMONWEALTH. MR. CHAMBERLAIN’S PROPOSALS. ENTHUSIASTIC ACCEPTANCE. CHOICE OF A CAPITAL. FROM OUR CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Oct. 13 1903; Nov. 21 1903. Mr. Chamberlain’s Glasgow speeches are awakening an almost deafening series of echoes from every part of the continent. In Parliament, in the Press, in the street they form a subject of unending discussion, and produce every variety of comment. Whatever their result in the Mother Country may be, here they absorb attention. The total verdict is one of emphatic approval; that from the great majority of the people amounts to enthusiastic…
THE NEW COMMONWEALTH. CHOICE OF A CAPITAL. STATE JEALOUSIES. GOVERNMENT LOANS. FROM OUR CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Oct. 20 1903; Nov. 25 1903. Federal affairs continue to concentrate attention. This is in some measure due to the fact that the State Legislatures are occupied with minor matters of merely local interest, getting through their business more or less steadily under the pressure of approaching summer. Then the Commonwealth Parliament is in extremis. It is about to commit suicide, shortening its existence by six months in order to avoid polling its vast area twice, once in December for…
THE NEW COMMONWEALTH. SEAT OF GOVERNMENT. RIVAL CLAIMS TO THE FEDERAL CITY. FROM OUR CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Oct. 27 1903; Dec. 5 1903. The Commonwealth Parliament has been prorogued: it will soon be dissolved, and its obituary notices are already appearing. Naturally the Press sketches receive their colour from the campaign necessities of the moment. What is shadow to the Ministerial critic is sunshine to his Opposition contemporary. They invariably paint different pictures, so different indeed that now and then they scarcely seem to relate to the same subject. Partisanship runs riot at…
THE NEW COMMONWEALTH. POPULATION QUESTION. WELL-POISED EMPIRE. “COMMUNITY OF SACRIFICE.” FROM OUR CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Nov. 2 1903; Dec. 9 1903. The general election has been formally opened. The Prime Minister stated his policy at Ballarat last Thursday, and the leader of the Opposition followed on Friday in the Melbourne Town Hall. This week Mr. Deakin speaks in Sydney and in Brisbane, so that the three most populous States will have been acquainted with his proposals. Mr. Reid has been intermittently carrying on a propaganda in Victoria on behalf of his allies in the country districts,…
THE NEW COMMONWEALTH. MR. CHAMBERLAIN’S POLICY. THE UNITY OF THE EMPIRE. LOYALTY AND PATRIOTISM. FROM OUR CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Nov. 10 1903; Dec. 19 1903. The strength of the sporting element in Australia can be gauged in many ways. It can be gauged by the perpetual discussion it provokes, the prominence given to its news all the year round, and by its culminations in outbursts of public interest at the time of its chief festivals. Every form of sport has its season and its throngs of votaries. Our daily newspapers are never free from the notes and comments intended to appeal to them, while…
THE NEW COMMONWEALTH. ELECTORAL CAMPAIGN. THE LABOUR PROGRAMME. RIVAL POLITICAL LEADERS. FROM OUR CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Nov. 17 1903; Dec. 22 1903. The event of the week has been the passage of the Naval Defence Agreement Bill with New Zealand. The three contracting parties—the Admiralty, the Commonwealth, and the Island Colony—have now sanctioned the arrangement provisionally entered into in London last year. The new and more powerful ships of war provided for are expected to arrive at Easter, and the doubled subsidy will at once begin to run. Of course, the principle to which effect is…
THE NEW COMMONWEALTH. FEDERAL ELECTORAL CAMPAIGN. POLITICAL RIVALS’ METHODS. THE FISCAL QUESTION. FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Nov. 24 1903; Dec. 30 1903. There is no fresh development of special importance in the federal election campaign, though the contest is marked by an increasing volume of sound and fury. In New South Wales our attention is divided between that combat and the perpetual mêlée proceeding in our own Assembly. Its session is drawing to a close after a series of all-night sittings whose weariness is having the worst effect on the tempers of our legislators. Neither…
THE NEW COMMONWEALTH. LOCAL LEGISLATURES. THE FISCAL QUESTION. RIVAL PARTY LEADERS. FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Dec. 1 1903; Jan. 6 1904. A pessimist might find plenty of material for confirming himself in despair if he were compelled to seek for an impartial study of Australian politics. He could not put his hand on a newspaper published here which is not an out-and-out partisan in its view of State affairs, nor discover one which endeavours to understand the public affairs of any other State than its own apart from party prepossessions. As a rule the separate sets of tangles that…
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THE NEW COMMONWEALTH. TARIFF DISCUSSIONS. THE CASE FOR PREFERENCES. FROM OUR CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Dec. 8 1903; Jan. 14 1904. The last act of the Federal electoral drama has opened with the nominations of candidates, of whom there are, as usual, enough and to spare. Of course, there are contests for the Senate everywhere, since each State is treated as one constituency, and a single nomination beyond the number required forces all to the poll. For three vacancies in New South Wales there are twelve aspirants, and four vacancies in Victoria have brought eighteen into the field. Three seats in…
THE NEW COMMONWEALTH. FEDERAL ELECTIONS. THE CAMPAIGN FUNDS. FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Dec. 15 1903; Jan. 21 1904. The Federal elections take place to-morrow. Welcome, if for nothing else, because they will place an extinguisher on the unceasing campaign of chatter in the newspapers. What the ordinary Australian citizen would do in politics if he were not daily stimulated, advised, threatened, warned and cajoled as well as instructed by his morning monitors is fairly clear. He would do nothing beyond recording his vote, if, indeed, he was energetic enough to do that. As it is he is…
THE NEW COMMONWEALTH. SUCCESSES OF THE LABOUR SECTION. TWO OPPOSITIONS. THE QUESTION OF COALITION. FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Dec. 22 1903; Jan. 28 1904. The Commonwealth elections resembled nothing so much as the triangular duel in Marryat’s “Midshipman Easy”, except that in this instance each combatant was doubly armed and shot at both his adversaries. The Ministry suffered most at the hands of both of its antagonists and the Opposition little. The Labour Party triumphed at the expense of each. Yet for all that the fundamental situation is not altered. As parties went to the…
THE NEW COMMONWEALTH. IMPERIAL FEELING. THE PROPOSALS OF MR. CHAMBERLAIN. RESULTS OF ELECTIONS. FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Jan. 6 1904 [29 Dec. 1903]; Feb. 12 1904. The Commonwealth elections were affected to a considerable extent, by the absence of thousands of farmers from the polls. Their steadying influence would have probably altered the results in several States, especially for the Senate. As a class they are proverbially sluggish in political affairs, but in the present instance they had a better reason for their abstinence than their distance from the booths. The magnificent…