The Letters

FEDERATED AUSTRALIA. ECONOMY OF ADMINISTRATION. FINANCES OF THE STATES. AGGRESSIVE TRADE UNIONISM. FROM OUR CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Jul. 5 1904; Aug. 15 1904. The proofs of Commonwealth economy are once more to hand in the official figures for the twelve months made up to June 30. In Adelaide in 1897 the cost of a Federal Parliament and Government, with their necessary new departments, was estimated at £300,000 a year, and excluding the cost of carrying out the particular policy adopted by them the cost of the machinery of the Federation as then defined is still within that amount. We are…
FEDERATED AUSTRALIA. FIGHTING THE ARBITRATION BILL. LABOUR PARTY COALITIONS. FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Jul. 12 1904; Aug. 18 1904. The Federal situation as envisaged by the Sydney newspapers seems even more perplexing than it really is, because so much of their presentment of its features is of their own creation. They write as if the survival of the Watson Ministry was wilfully and deliberately permitted by Mr. Reid and due either to his shortsightedness or weakness. Since Mr. Deakin has expressed his willingness to assist to oust the Labour Cabinet they cannot comprehend the delay…
FEDERATED AUSTRALIA. LABOUR MINISTRY’S TROUBLES. THE DEFENCE OF THE COLONY. POLITICAL INSTABILITY. FROM OUR CORRESPONDENT SYDNEY, Jul. 19 1904; Aug. 25 1904. Winter has merited its name this year. There has been less sunshine and much more cloud and cold, while for the last ten days the weather has surpassed all recent experiences. Gales on the coast have caused the foundering of one steamer and damage to many more, have imprisoned others in local harbours, and scattered the smaller fry to the nearest havens. Inland we have had storms and tempests, rain and then more rain, flooding…
FEDERATED AUSTRALIA. THE ARBITRATION BILL. GOVERNMENT AS “KING LOG”. FROM OUR CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Jul. 26 1904; Sep. 2 1904. The passing of the Arbitration Bill through the House promises to herald the disappearance of the Federal Labour Ministry. The first amendment made in the measure put the present Ministers into office and if the last does not put them out it will ring the warning bell for the drop of the curtain. They have lived wholly and solely on its discussion in Parliament. When it is gone they will be thrown on their own resources, which are palpably inadequate, in order to…
FEDERATED AUSTRALIA. LABOUR CABINET’S PREDICAMENT. CHOICE OF A CAPITAL. LOCAL INTERESTS PREDOMINANT. FROM OUR CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Aug. 2 1904; Sep. 14 1904. Where shall the Federal capital of Australia be placed? The national Parliament is making another attempt to settle this vexed question, though in order to do so the Arbitration Bill was put aside for the whole of last week. The Labour Party would have resented the postponement, if it had been suggested by any other Government than their own, as a treason to the great industrial measure on which some months have been expended. They now…
FEDERATED AUSTRALIA. POLITICAL UNCERTAINTY. RESULTS OF PARTY DIVISIONS. FROM OUR CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Aug. 9 1904; Sep. 19 1904. If Federal politics are pushed from their place it is because they have temporarily lost interest for all but those engaged in them. Ministry and Opposition, like two Armies in the days of Marlborough, remain in camp opposite each other, watching and waiting, but attempting nothing decisive. Meanwhile in this State our triennial attack of general election fever has raged with more intensity than for many years. Queensland is approaching a similar crisis; Tasmania…
FEDERATED AUSTRALIA. LABOUR CABINET’S FALL. ARBITRATION AND TARIFFS. FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Aug. 15 1904; Sep. 30 1904. Our first Labour Ministry has fallen. The fatal Arbitration Bill has found another and congenial victim. Not long ago the Queensland section of the Labour Party under Mr. Dawson walked into the departments in that State for a few hours, only to be walked out of them whenever they faced the Assembly. The Daglish Ministry, just formed in Western Australia, does not seem likely to retain office longer than is necessary for the majority opposed to it to settle…
FEDERATED AUSTRALIA. FREE TRADE AND PROTECTION. THE RIVAL PARTIES. FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Aug. 23 1904; Oct. 5 1904. Mr. Reid is Prime Minister of Australia, attaining office in circumstances that are sure to tax his great powers as a strategist and as a moulder of public opinion from the platform. The points in his favour are that he commences with New South Wales, its Labourites excepted, standing solidly behind him, together with a majority of the Victorian representatives, headed by Mr. McLean and Sir George Turner. He just holds his own in Tasmania, but there is a majority…
FEDERATED AUSTRALIA. LABOUR PARTY TACTICS. ELECTION IN QUEENSLAND. FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Aug. 30 1904; Oct. 8 1904. The spectacle presented last Tuesday by our now Assembly, now reduced to ninety members must have closely resembled that exhibited in the Federal House of Representatives when Mr. Watson first took his seat as Prime Minister. Mr. Waddell and his colleagues had a minority close behind them and empty back benches, while the Opposition sat in serried rows and the Labour members crowded the cross benches, hopelessly outnumbering the nominal leaders of the House. By a…
FEDERATED AUSTRALIA. SOCIALISM IN VICTORIA. POSITION OF THE LABOUR PARTY. THE FISCAL QUESTION. FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Sep. 5 1904; Oct. 14 1904. Australia, having regard to its population, is more lavishly endowed with constitutional machinery than any other country in the world. This is no accident, nor does it prove of itself any special taste on the part of our people for multiplying Governments. The immensity of the area of the country could not be controlled from any present centre, and in order to be supervised it demands a variety of separate localised agencies. For all…
FEDERATED AUSTRALIA. PREMIER’S DIFFICULT POSITION. THE OPPOSITION COMPACT. FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Sep. 13 1904; Oct. 22 1904. The Commonwealth is certainly very unfortunate in its politics. Two Ministries have been tried in vain since March, and now the third is to be refused its opportunity. All present indications point to a dissolution next month, and an election before December. The existing Parliament will not by that time have seen even the first anniversary of its birthday. It came into existence with three equal parties, one Free Trade, another Protectionist, and the…
FEDERATED AUSTRALIA. POSITION OF THE LABOUR PARTY. INSECURITY OF LIBERAL SEATS. PREFERENTIAL TARIFFS. FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Sep. 27 [Sep. 20] 1904; Nov. 12 1904. Federal politics at present evoke almost as much excitement as a test cricket or football match, and, pace Mr. Kipling, no higher praise of their attractions could be uttered in Australia. Mr. Reid, wiser by the experience of his two predecessors, whose Cabinets consisted solely of members of their own parties, constructed his on the coalition principle, felicitating himself, “good easy man”, on widening his base by…
FEDERATED AUSTRALIA. REID MINISTRY AND MR. WATSON. PERSONAL ATTACKS. STATE ASSEMBLIES IN SESSION. FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Sep. 27 1904; Nov. 16 1904. The fate of the Reid Ministry still hangs in the balance, and is likely to remain in suspense for a little. The Labour Opposition and the Government, through their leaders, have placed their contrasted doctrines before the public. Mr. Watson was by common consent described as tame and ineffective. Mr. Reid was virile and effective, not contenting himself with a defence of his Cabinet but attacking his opponents and their policy with…