The Letters

FEDERATED AUSTRALIA. THE CHOOSING OF THE NEW CAPITAL. PROBABLE DEADLOCK. JARRING ELEMENTS. FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Apr. 12 1904; May 23 1904. New South Wales has had and will have to submit to much mockery—some of it tolerant and good-natured, but most of it contemptuous or bitter—because of our urgency in steadily insisting that the site of the future Federal capital shall be selected without delay. Whatever measure of success has attended our efforts has been due to our own exertions, it might almost be said our unaided exertions, for we have had little assistance from any other…
FEDERATED AUSTRALIA. “FIERCE DEMOCRACY.” THE THREE PARTIES IN THE FIELD. POWER OF THE LABOUR SECTION. FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Apr. 19 1904; May 25 1904. North, south, and west the political horizon is clouded. The east, too, is clouded, if New South Wales be looked at from the centre of the continent. Storm signals are flying over our electorates in every quarter of the compass. A dissolution is well within sight in each of the States with the exception of South Australia, and even in the Federal Parliament just elected an appeal to the country is quite possible before the year is…
FEDERATED AUSTRALIA. THE LABOUR MINISTRY. MR. WATSON’S POSITION. PARTY MANOEUVRES. FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Apr. 26 1904; Jun. 14 1904. The death of the Deakin Ministry has created a sensation throughout the whole Commonwealth. Though long expected, and by many long desired, often foreshadowed by the Prime Minister himself, and watched at every stage by the public and the Press, the shock of the actual event was rather deepened than diminished by this train of preparations, to which it came as a culmination. It was the passing of the first Federal Government, which, in spite of…
FEDERATED AUSTRALIA. THE LABOUR SECTION. THREE PARTY STATUS. MINORITY RULE. FROM OUR SYDNEY CORRESPONDENT. [May 3 1904]; Jul. 8 1904. Federal politics continue to absorb attention in spite of the stir in our own State and across the border in Victoria. Politics, that is to say, absorb the attention available in Sydney for public affairs, which is always, more or less limited. Just now there are many demands. We have a general election approaching, big with interest to our citizens. A similar condition exists over the Murray and in remote Western Australia, but the one crisis in being…
FEDERATED AUSTRALIA. THE COMMONWEALTH AND THE STATES. CONSTITUTIONAL PRINCIPLES. WORK OF THE HIGH COURT. FROM OUR SYDNEY CORRESPONDENT. [May 10 1904]; Jul. 18 1904. Sydney is once more the centre. The Governor-General and Lady Northcote have arrived, receiving a ceremonious, official, and cordial popular welcome. They have gone for the coming three months into residence at Government House, where they will dispense the same generous but discriminating hospitality that proved successful beyond expectation in Melbourne. We have had representatives of the King who have been too lavish and…
FEDERATED AUSTRALIA. COALITION PROSPECTS. CONFUSION OF PARTIES. FROM OUR SYDNEY CORRESPONDENT. [May 17 1904]; Jul. 20 1904. Coalition or no coalition is the question of the day in Federal politics to the exclusion of all other issues. The Labour Cabinet has sat nightly in Melbourne elaborating its policy for the session, while its members have devoted themselves daily to their departments, but in neither of their occupations have they attracted much attention. Public interest is focussed elsewhere because it is realised that the fate of the Ministry, whatever its proposals or acts may be, is…
FEDERATED AUSTRALIA. LABOUR MINISTRY’S POSITION. PROSPECTS OF DISSOLUTION. OPPOSITION DISSENSIONS. FROM OUR SYDNEY CORRESPONDENT. [May 24 1904]; Jul. 23 1904. Chaos has come again, or so it seems, to the ordinary Australian. Though the three parties in Parliament have been discussed in all their relations for months past the critical condition of affairs seems not to have been really visualised. The invincible apathy of our citizens has been proof against all assaults. Nobody has been worried, because everybody’s business has been allowed to drift. It was plain to all observers that when the…
FEDERATED AUSTRALIA. RIVAL POLITICIANS. PARTY UNCERTAINTIES. THE LABOUR LEGION. FROM OUR SYDNEY CORRESPONDENT. May 31 1904; Jul. 26 1904. The Labour Cabinet is still in possession of the Federal departments, but it has no authority in the House. It remains the Ministry of a minority. Yet it has not lost ground, has gained more avowed supporters, and has not suffered in prestige. There are some few administrative blunders, or what appear to be blunders, placed to its debit, but none of them seems serious. They are so much fewer in number and slighter in gravity than was anticipated, at all…
FEDERATED AUSTRALIA. LABOUR PARTY’S PROGRESS. COALITION NEGOTIATIONS. MINISTERIALISTS AND MIDDLE. FROM OUR CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Jun. 14 [Jun. 7] 1904; Jul. 28 1904. One of our newspapers, the Morning Herald, sagely remarks that on accepting Ministerial office in the Commonwealth our Labour Party passed the Rubicon. By that venture it certainly came into possession of the Capitol, but its fortunes, more precarious than Caesar’s were at the same stage, are extremely uncertain, because they are not guided by any single mind. Mr. Watson, its Federal leader, is a man of tact, judgment, and…
FEDERATED AUSTRALIA. SIR JOHN SEE’S RETIREMENT. POLITICAL SURVEY. THE FEDERAL ARBITRATION BILL. FROM OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Jun. 14 1904; Aug. 2 1904. Sir John See retires with the respect of the whole community and no small store of affection from those who have been intimately associated with him. Not yet sixty years of age, his vigorous frame and abundant energy gave promise of a much longer career of public usefulness, and still justify him in his allusion to a possible return to politics at a future date. But this is extremely improbable because, a self-made man, he never…
FEDERATED AUSTRALIA. POLITICAL INSTABILITY. GOVERNOR’S INTERVENTION. FROM OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Jun. 21 1904; Aug. 4 1904. This year, as predicted, continues political. Every month has been full of incident, and outside South Australia whose Parliament remains in recess, there is no stability. In Western Australia the James Ministry is fighting for its life, and will, according to the latest advices, succeed in saving it, though the new Houses will exhibit the three-party puzzle in full force in one form or another. In Queensland the Morgan Government feels its fate still…
FEDERATED AUSTRALIA. THE CRISIS. LABOUR-RULED COMMONWEALTH. FROM OUR CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Jun. 28 1904; Aug. 9 1904. At last we have a Federal crisis. Though only a little one, it has attracted a good deal of attention. Long expected, it was quite unlooked for at the particular moment when it occurred, coming suddenly, and probably going in the same fashion. But while here it is being made much of by the newspapers, and not without justification. Such contingencies have been prophesied ever since Mr. Watson took office with a minority, and they will continue to confront us in the same…