The Letters

FEDERATED AUSTRALIA. POLITICAL OUTLOOK. REVIEW OF THE SESSION. FROM OUR SYDNEY CORRESPONDENT. [Jan. 2? 1905]; Mar. 4 1905. Australian sentiment is sometimes hard to explain. We have had a very favourable season, though the heat and bush fires are now exceptionally trying. It was not quite so good in some respects as last year’s, when the leaps and bounds towards prosperity were indeed marked, but good in all our great producing industries, and as a whole better than ever. But though every prospect of this kind pleases the jubilation is saddened by the reflection that man, especially political…
FEDERATED AUSTRALIA. THE BUSH FIRES. DAMAGE INCONSIDERABLE. PAY OF COAL MINERS. ARBITRATION ACT AT WORK. FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Jan. 10 1905; Mar. 6 1905. The New Year opens unpropitiously, not un­seasonably, but with an excess of summer heat and its gravest consequences. To country folk in England our rural pursuits must appear singularly perilous, particularly if they forget the size of this country and the fractional extent of the worst catastrophes. It must seem better to have one’s crops occasionally drowned than to meet the deadly ordeals of floods and fires, droughts—and…
FEDERATED AUSTRALIA. TASMANIAN CONFERENCE. COAL STRIKERS’ TERMS. TESTING THE ARBITRATION ACT. FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Jan. 17 1905; Mar. 17 1905. The interest in Federal affairs languishes as usual when State politics are attracting public attention in New South Wales, and presumably for the same reason languish elsewhere. We have rarely enough to spare for both at the same time, and during the holiday season less than enough for either. Add the heat wave, with its further exciting incidents in the country, and we find ourselves even while there is little stirring in Melbourne…
FEDERATED AUSTRALIA. THE WATER CONFERENCE. CALL FOR PROMPT ACTION. STRIKERS AND ARBITRATION ACT. FROM OUR SYDNEY CORRESPONDENT. [Jan. 24? 1905]; Mar. 20 1905. Our conference on water conservation and irri­gation in New South Wales has been held in the Town Hall, where over a hundred representative men and delegates from local bodies assembled in response to a Government invitation. They were harangued at length by the Minister of Public Works, Mr. Lee, who presided because his department is charged with the administration of waterworks, and by the Premier, Mr. Carruthers. The guests then…
FEDERATED AUSTRALIA. QUEENSLAND SESSION CLOSED. END OF THE COAL STRIKE. THE CARRIAGE OF MAILS. FROM OUR SYDNEY CORRESPONDENT. [Jan. 31 1905]; Mar. 23 1905. The Queensland Session is over, the Morgan Ministry is triumphant, its Franchise and Elec­tions Bills are now the law of the State. The sittings were orderly. The Government majority remained solid in the Assembly, while the majority adverse to them in the Council wisely contented itself with insisting upon practical amendments to which the Premier with equal judgment consented gracefully. The Labour Party had no special exhilaration at…
FEDERATED AUSTRALIA. RETURNING PROSPERITY. THE NATIVE QUESTION. FROM OUR SYDNEY CORRESPONDENT. [Feb. 7 1905]; Mar. 24 1905. Our Premier has betaken himself to Hobart in high feather. The revenue returns are exceeding his expectations and refuting the dismal prophecies of our newspapers. If he is exceptionally jubilant it is because he is triumphing over his recent allies and supporters, whom he now regards as his most exasperating foes. Yet, as a matter of fact, he has little more to claim credit for than they have. As the Morning Post showed before he came into office, Mr. Waddell timidly…
FEDERATED AUSTRALIA. THE HOBART CONFERENCE. LABOUR PARTY’S OBJECT. FROM OUR SYDNEY CORRESPONDENT. [Feb. 14? 1905]; Mar. 27 1905. The Prime Minister is not happy in Hobart, though all the Premiers of Australia have assembled there with many of their colleagues and chief officers, to meet him and one another. They have spent more than a week in close consulta­tion, beating down Mr. Reid’s offers so that it was quite a welcome diversion to him to expend his exasperation upon the Labour Party as repre­sented by the resolutions arrived at by its leagues in this State. He could not censure them for…
FEDERATED AUSTRALIA. HOBART CONFERENCE CLOSED. MEMORABLE GATHERING. QUESTIONS DISCUSSED. FROM OUR CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Feb. 20 1905; 31 Mar. 31 1905. The Hobart Conference has concluded with the customary expressions of satisfaction from all concerned, most of them deserved. Yet, perhaps, the most noticeable feature of the whole gathering was the unanimity with which our chief newspapers predicted its failure. In many cases the wish was father to the thought. The elabo­rate assurances they proffered to the public that the meeting was a picnic from which no result was to be anticipated…
FEDERATED AUSTRALIA. HIGH COMMISSIONER QUESTION. TARIFF REFORM. FROM OUR SYDNEY CORRESPONDENT. [Feb. 28 1905]; Apr. 10 1905. Mr. Carruthers returned from Hobart with his eyes opened and his head sore. For the first time he has realised the peril to the States in the financial clauses of the Constitution so often dwelt upon by the Morning Post. His amazed confession that it presents “the big question of Australian politics in the near future”, which if not settled soon will leave the States “beggars like Lazarus at the Commonwealth table”, are explicit admissions of a situation that Mr. Morgan…
FEDERATED AUSTRALIA. PREMIERS’ CONFERENCE REPORT. PROPOSITIONS COMMUNICATED. RESULTS FROM HOBART. FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Mar. 6 1905; Apr. 25 1905. The report of the proceedings of the Hobart Conference has been placed in the hands of the Press, but if our editors promised themselves racy revelations its pages will procure them little but disappointment. The discussions among the Premiers are not given even in outline, though it is in them that the plainest speaking was employed. Nor can this reticence be censured, since the admissions then made in privacy must have been of a…
FEDERATED AUSTRALIA. PREMIER AND PRESS. STRAINED SITUATION. COMING DEVELOPMENTS. FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Mar. 14 1905; Apr. 27 1905. The Prime Minister has now returned to take up his residence here, and none too soon. He will require to stay long in order to put himself in complete touch with the Metropolis in which all his victories, whether in State or Federal campaigns, have been won. His constituents welcomed him back last night at a demonstration which was cordial and even enthusiastic. They are loyal to him, but apparently not loyal enough to prevent his being scarified in…
FEDERATED AUSTRALIA. VACATION SPEECHES. NEWSPAPER CRITICISM. FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Mar. 21 1905; May 8 1905. Although it may seem to savour of provincialism to discuss Commonwealth interests in the light of New South Wales politics, yet, nothing else is possible at the moment. Sydney is, for the time being at all events, the “hub” of Australia. We have the Prime Minister in residence, and when the Governor-General arrives in a few days we shall feel that the actual capital is here. Both Lord and Lady Northcote are at least as great favourites with us as they are in Mel­bourne,…
FEDERATED AUSTRALIA. MAIL CONTRACT QUESTION. THE ARBITRATION ACT. FROM OUR SYDNEY CORRESPONDENT. [Mar. 27 1905]; May 13 1905. The mail contract muddle is not yet disposed of, though there appears to have been much cor­respondence and many conferences between Mr. Sydney Smith, the Postmaster-General, and the Orient Company. Neither of them is the true principal in this matter, for Mr. Smith, most energetic and loyal of colleagues, merely makes the running for Mr. Reid, while behind the Orient Company is the commercial and banking community. It might have been supposed that under such…