The Letters

FEDERATED AUSTRALIA. INFLUENCE OF GOVERNORS. TRADE IN NEW SOUTH WALES. FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Oct. 4 1904; Nov. 24 1904. The Governor-General and Lady Northcote have concluded their first sojourn in New South Wales under the happiest conditions. They are now as well known in our capital as in that of Victoria, and have also put themselves into personal relation with many parts of the interior of the State. Lord Northcote has had no easy path to tread since he first entered the Commonwealth less than a year ago. Three Prime Ministers have tendered him advice already, and a fourth…
FEDERATED AUSTRALIA. QUESTIONS OF FINANCE. THE RIVAL POLITICAL PARTIES. FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Oct. 10 1904; Nov. 29 1904. Australian Legislatures, being numerous and small, supply occasionally some extraordinary exhibitions of tactics or conduct which must appear quite indefensible to those whose knowledge of Parliamentary proceedings is derived from the House of Commons. The sudden candidature and election of Mr. Crick the other day to the post of Chairman of Committees in the New South Wales Assembly is an instance in point. Again, more than once lately disputed clauses in a…
FEDERATED AUSTRALIA. SEPARATE STATE INTERESTS. IMPENDING CONFERENCES. QUESTIONS OF ECONOMY. FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Oct. 18 1904; Dec. 3 1904. Mr. Reid has emerged victorious from his first duel with the Opposition. Numerically his forces are no stronger, for he began his Ministerial life with only two more votes than his adversaries and he continues it with precisely the same majority. In every other respect his position has improved. The honours of debate remain with his supporters. Their moral is better and their sense of unity deepened. This has been attained in a curious…
FEDERATED AUSTRALIA. SIR GEORGE TURNER’S BUDGET. FINANCIAL PROSPECTS. COMMONWEALTH INDEPENDENCE. FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Oct. 25 1904; Dec. 9 1904. Sir George Turner has now delivered himself for the fourth time of a sevenfold Budget built out of the transactions joint and several of the Commonwealth and its six States. His assiduity in ransacking the smallest recesses of their accounts in obedience to the proverbial admonition prescribing the care of the pence was patent once more. Indeed, the undisguised gusto of his pursuit of details rather distracted attention from the…
FEDERATED AUSTRALIA. REID–MCLEAN COALITION. RIVAL PARTY TACTICS. THE TARIFF QUESTION. FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Nov. 1 1904; Dec. 13 1904. A sudden change seems to have come over the Federal Parliament, and it appears to be mollified either by the warmth of spring or by the Melbourne racing carnival, which is now in full swing. Mr. Reid has proclaimed himself “head of a new party”, whose one policy is to get into recess, and his happy audacity has been welcomed by cheers from all parts of the House. Since it met at the beginning of March last the session has had but two…
FEDERATED AUSTRALIA. THE RIVAL PARTIES. DEFENCE OF THE COLONIES. IMPERIAL OBLIGATIONS. FROM OUR CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Nov. 8 1904; Dec. 26 1904. The precariousness of the position in the Commonwealth Parliament has not diminished and is not diminishing one whit. On the contrary, the portents are multiplying and the outlook darkening before Mr. Reid. With what seems incurable carelessness he allowed the House to be counted out for the second time, and on this occasion while the Estimates were being dealt with. It is not easy to keep members at work in Melbourne during Race Week and especially…
FEDERATED AUSTRALIA. IMPERIAL RELATIONS. EX-PREMIER’S NOTABLE UTTERANCE. STATE JEALOUSIES. FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Nov. 15 1904; Dec. 29 1904. Every State in the Commonwealth has a direct interest in two Governments—its own and the Federal. What happens among its neighbours apart from these awakens little more attention now than it did before we were united. At present New South Wales is exceptionally alive to politics because we are responsible for both as well as responsible to them. Both may be said to have Sydney Ministries because they have Sydney leaders. Mr. Reid and Mr.…
FEDERATED AUSTRALIA. REID–McLEAN COALITION. RIVAL PARTY TACTICS. THE FISCAL PROBLEM. FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Nov. 22 1904; Jan. 5 1905. State politics have once more sunk into the back-ground for the moment, since nowhere have local Legislatures developed anything in the nature of a crisis. Without something of the kind to give a sporting interest to politics “the Man in the Street” skips the scanty report of the debates in his own Legislature and the ridiculously inadequate summaries of the proceedings in the representative bodies of the other States. If there are leading…
FEDERATED AUSTRALIA. STATE INFORMATION BUREAU. POLITICIANS AND NEWSPAPERS. LAND LEGISLATION. FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Nov. 28 1904; Jan. 11 1905. Mr. Carruthers should make haste to remove the beam from his own eye. Stung to the quick by the comments on New South Wales (and pos­sibly those on himself) outside the State, he is about to create a State “Information Bureau”. It is to cost “very little”, and is to act under the advice of our very able statistician Mr. T. A. Coghlan, whose many most useful publications, as the Premier naively remarks, have heretofore been overlooked. The…
FEDERATED AUSTRALIA. LEGISLATURE MARKING TIME. LABOUR PARTY’S INFLUENCE. STORMY SESSION FORESHADOWED. FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Dec. 5 1904; Jan. 16 1905. Australian Parliamentary life is rarely wanting in eventfulness. Custom reigns here with as much authority as elsewhere, and under the name of “precedent” is worshipped as piously as in any part of his Majesty’s dominions. So far so good. Without obedience to settled habits—most of them sanctified by ancient usage in the House of Commons—we should be dependent only on the written law which, according to politicians, is far from…
FEDERATED AUSTRALIA. LABOUR PARTY TACTICS. UPPER HOUSE PREVAILS. CHANCES OF PREFERENCE. FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Dec. 12 1904; Jan. 25 1905. The Arbitration Bill becomes law when Lord Northcote signs it this week on behalf of his Majesty, after a career which surely may be quoted for all time as the very flower of topsy-turveydom. His Excellency will accept it on the advice of Mr. Reid, who denounced the whole measure lock, stock, and barrel, when it was first launched in this State four years ago. He fought its progress at every step with the most unqualified antagonism. When it…
FEDERATED AUSTRALIA. PARLIAMENTARY RECESS. REVIEW OF WORK DONE. PREFERENTIAL TRADE. FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Dec. 20 1904; Feb. 13 1905. The Federal Session is over, after lasting so long that the only surprise exhibited is that it should have ever ceased. For a considerable time the House has seemed too weak and too divided even to agree to close its doors. In all its ten months’ strenuous existence it could not and did not agree to anything else worth mentioning. It is true that the prorogation speech read by his Excellency emitted a lyrical undertone of rapture, probably…
FEDERATED AUSTRALIA. PARLIAMENTARY RECESS. LOCAL GOVERNMENT SCHEME. FUTURE LEGISLATION. FROM OUR SYDNEY CORRESPONDENT. [Dec. 27?] 1904; Feb. 27 1905. The first session of our first Reform Parliament in New South Wales has closed with little more jubilation than that of the Commonwealth, though as its term has been very much shorter there is no particular sense of relief associated with its conclusion. Mr. Carruthers met the House as Premier three months ago, and since then he has contrived to pass nearly forty Bills. Mr. Reid, whose Prime Ministership began at the same time, has passed but…