The Letters

FEDERATED AUSTRALIA. THE COMMERCE BILL. ENCOURAGEMENT OF SETTLERS. FROM OUR SYDNEY CORRESPONDENT. [Oct. 2 1905]; Nov. 24 1905. Whether it be the effect of proximity or the more insistent appeal of local interests seen from here the public affairs of New South Wales appear to bulk more largely at present than those of any other State. The same issues, though in different forms, are occupying attention on both sides of us, and in some cases, as for instance in respect to immigration, are stirring up debate all over Australia. But for one reason or another the chief interests seem concentrated…
FEDERATED AUSTRALIA. “GENERAL” BOOTH’S OFFER. ITS EFFECT ON THE STATES. FROM OUR SYDNEY CORUESPONDENT. [Oct. 9 1905]; Nov. 30 1905. The collapse of “General” Booth’s offer, for causes that are not yet clear, closes a very picturesque and unprecedented incident in an unexpected way. As was remarked in my letter at the time of its sudden appearance his cable was universally accepted here as bona fide in every respect. There was a curious credulity on every hand which led to the discussion of that offer without the suggestion of a suspicion that the head of the Salvation Army might not have the…
Tags: Deakin
FEDERATED AUSTRALIA. PREMIER’S PROGRAMME. IMMIGRATION QUESTION. FROM OUR SYDNEY CORRESPONDENT. [Oct. 16 1905]; Dec. 5 1905. Immigration is still the touchstone, though it is being curiously applied. The fact that it pro­vides a popular cry is interfering with the immediate and visible success of the movement. All astute political leaders desire to annex it for themselves and to prevent others annexing it, or by strategic moves to oust them from their posi­tions of vantage in regard to it. To the cynical onlooker this may seem very amusing, but to the thoughtful the subject is too serious to…
FEDERATED AUSTRALIA. NATIONAL DEFENCE LEAGUE. PARLIAMENT AND IMMIGRATION. FROM OUR SYDNEY CORRESPONDENT. [Oct. 23 1905]; Dec. 20 1905. The Prime Minister spent no more time in Sydney than was absolutely necessary, making two speeches in one evening here and then leaving; two nights out of his three were passed in the train. Yet his visit accomplished a great deal more than our newspapers are prepared to admit. To them he is only Prime Minister, in fact, the usurper of a dignity which belongs to another. Compared with him Mr. Reid remains in their eyes the rightful heir, first, federally,…
FEDERATED AUSTRALIA. LABOUR PARTY’S INFLUENCE. ADVANTAGE OF SOLIDARITY. FROM OUR SYDNEY CORRESPONDENT. [Oct. 30 1905]; Dec. 23 1905. The Australian political puzzle has put on a new face. Formerly it meant, What shall we do with the Labour Party? Now it means, What shall the Labour Party do with itself? That problem arose when it first came into office under Mr. Watson in the Commonwealth and under Mr. Daglish in Western Australia. The answer proved so hard to find that both leaders despair­ingly abandoned the attempt to run a Caucus and a Cabinet in double harness. Even the responsi­bilities…
FEDERATED AUSTRALIA. MINISTERS AND BRIBES. IRRIGATION SCHEMES. FROM OUR SYDNEY CORRESPONDENT. [Nov. 6 1905]; Dec. 25 1905. The most important occurrences in Australia are not necessarily the most interesting even to its own citizens. A horsey people may be forgiven for the excitement which rages at this season of the year, when racing news fills the papers and the thoughts of the very large propor­tion of our people who take an interest in sport turn from the Melbourne Derby to the Cup. For the moment other events are obscured or forgotten. But when this periodical festival has passed it will…
Tags: Deakin
FEDERATED AUSTRALIA. THE PARLIAMENTARY SESSION. LEGISLATION ADOPTED. FROM OUR SYDNEY CORRESPONDENT. [Nov. 13 1905]; Dec. 27 1905. Interest centres or ought to centre in the Federal Session as it draws to its close. It would concentrate there if the approaching crisis were understood; but, assuming that the other States are no better informed than our own, there is probably little grasp of the situation anywhere. This is due in our case to the persistent translation of all Commonwealth events into the party politics of New South Wales, as seen through Sydney spectacles. One needs only to…
FEDERATED AUSTRALIA. PARLIAMENTARY BUSINESS. WINDING-UP THE SESSION. FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Nov. 20 1905; Dec. 29 1905. At last Federal politics have become popular, that is to say, interesting to the great mass of Australians who as a rule take little or no notice of them except at election times. What appeals to this large audience must be sensational, spectacular, or dramatic. Unless Parliament for the moment rivals the theatre it has no more attraction for them than the betting odds have for those who make no bets. Undoubtedly even a rough comparison of the rival charms of…
FEDERATED AUSTRALIA. PARLIAMENTARY CLOSURE. THE TRADE MARKS BILL. LORD JERSEY’S WELCOME. FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Nov. 27 1905; Jan. 4 1906. The Federal Parliament has won in the House a closure more complete than that which the Senate has possessed for a long time without ever putting it in force. What our papers call “the great stonewall” of obstruction, reared in “the greatest political battle in Australia”, broke down badly by a capitulation of the Oppo­sition, which the same papers are now endeavour­ing to disguise as best they can. Mr. Reid’s party set out first to prevent…
FEDERATED AUSTRALIA. ADMINISTRATIVE QUESTIONS. THE FEDERAL CAPITAL. FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Dec. 4 1905; Jan. 16 1906. The Commonwealth Parliament is making a chequered record, awakening fierce hostility while doing some things to redeem its character. The new Standing Orders prevent that reckless waste of time by its least practical members which has long sullied its records. Last week the Trade Marks Bill was discussed under their shadow with an effort at relevancy to which the reports of its debates have long been strangers. On the other hand, although the legalisation of trade…
FEDERATED AUSTRALIA. THE PARLIAMENTARY SESSION. FROM OUR CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Dec. 11 1905; Jan. 20 1906. Political events succeed each other so fast at this season of the year that it is impossible to keep pace with them. The unwritten law and practice of our Legislatures is to close their sessions before Christmas, always in a hurry, with a crush and with accompaniments of acrimony and confusion. Up till the last day or two Tasmania, where what may be termed parish politics prevail to a greater extent than else­where, was the only State where recess had been reached. A list of the…
FEDERATED AUSTRALIA. CLOSING THE SESSION. AN ANTI-TRUST BILL. FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Dec. 18 1905; Jan. 31 1906. Christmas Day is but a week hence, and yet the quiet of the season has not settled down upon the Legislatures of the Commonwealth or of Western Australia. In the former Prorogation Day is not yet fixed. The Prime Minister clings with tenacity to his original determination to finish his programme or perish in the attempt. Except so far as the latter alternative applies to the health of individual members, and particularly to his own, little apprehension need be…
FEDERATED AUSTRALIA. SESSION CONCLUDED. THE MEASURES PASSED. FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Dec. 26 1905; Feb. 3 1906. The second and central session of the Federal parliament has just closed as if by sheer exhaus­tion, members separating in hurried flights day by day until there was not a quorum of the House and hardly more than a quorum of the Senate to attend Prorogation. The first session began as this closes, with Mr. Deakin in control, but so much has happened since March, 1904, when he laid the programme of a reconstructed Barton Cabinet before members fresh from their election,…