The Letters

FEDERATED AUSTRALIA. PREFERENCE AND BRITISH SHIPS. FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Oct. 1 1906; Nov. 8 1906. Last week was crammed with incidents and expositions of policy in the Federal Parliament sufficient to concentrate attention upon it, especially as the proceedings of our own Legis­lature in Sydney were only distinguished by a disorderly episode. In Melbourne the working of the three party system led to some curious and one most unfortunate occurrence. A new feature in the Bill granting a preference to British manufactures is a limitation of the concession to goods which are…
FEDERATED AUSTRALIA. THE MINISTRY AND LABOUR. FROM OUR SYDNEY CORRESPONDENT. [Oct. 1?] 1906; Nov. 17 1906. If the Federal Parliament and its proceedings are faithfully portrayed in our daily papers its present state is as confused and ebullient as that of a witch’s cauldron. Large allowances must be made for the party spirit infused into these sketches. When carefully compared they prove full of self-contradictions, but after making due deductions on this score the evidence seems irresistible that the closing days of the session are even more chaotic than is customary in our Legislatures.…
FEDERATED AUSTRALIA. A RECALCITRANT SENATE. FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Oct. 8 1906; Nov. 20 1906. The Senate has been the surprise of our politics from the first days of the union. During the campaigns antecedent to the adoption of the Con­stitution it was the favourite bogey of the Anti-Federal Press. At that time the Daily Telegraph, running in double harness with the Labour caucus, described it by anticipation as a haughty, aristocratic body, under whose domination the democracy would be bound in chains. The vote against union in this State, because restricted by an artificial…
FEDERATED AUSTRALIA. CONFERENCE OF THE STATES. FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Oct. 15 1906; Nov. 27 1906. Last week’s Conference of the States in Melbourne was the most suddenly summoned, comprehensively constituted, and expeditiously concluded meeting of that kind we have ever seen. At present our Constitution makes the Commonwealth and States partners until 1911 in the Customs and Excise revenues levied by the former, and the latter are naturally very anxious to know what is to happen after that date. The Commonwealth, on the other hand, though empowered to take over the State debts…
FEDERATED AUSTRALIA. GREAT ISSUES AT STAKE. FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Nov. 12 1906; Dec. 22 1906. An Imperialistic note struck by the Governor-General vibrated through all the speeches at the Melbourne Lord Mayor’s banquet on the King’s Birthday. Touching lightly upon the need for immigration, his Excellency dwelt with impressive sincerity upon the necessity for pressing on with our organisation for defence. Rapidly running over the long list of wars he recollected within his own lifetime, including several in which Great Britain had taken part, he uttered a very serious warning to…
AUSTRALIA’S NEED OF IMMIGRANTS. THE PREMIER’S PROJECT. FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Nov. 19 1906; Dec. 26 1906. Immigration furnishes a text, for innumerable newspaper articles and public speeches. The Governor-General rarely addresses a country or town audience without dwelling upon the im­perative need of increasing our population. At last the public mind has apparently become im­pregnated with the idea. Yet it plays a subsidiary part in the election campaign, for though it is mentioned in an off-hand fashion by many speakers there are few who keep it in the fore­front of their…
FEDERATED AUSTRALIA. THE ELECTIONS AND LABOUR ACTIVITY. FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Nov. 26 1906; Dec. 31 1906. The Federal elections continue to monopolise all the political attention available to crowd the columns of the newspapers and to throw all other public affairs into the shade. Still it must always be remembered that the proportion of our attention given to politics is much more limited than is supposed. After all the beating of drums and waving of banners probably half our adult popula­tion will not take the trouble to vote. Our franchise is as wide as it is possible to make…
FEDERATED AUSTRALIA. MR. CARRUTHERS’S POSITION UNCHALLENGED. FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Dec. 3 1906; 11 Jan. 1907. Mr. Carruthers ought to be a contented Premier now that a busy and fruitful session is drawing to a close. His Ministry has steadily gained strength. It no longer occupies the pre­carious relation to the House and the country existing when he assumed office. The Labour Opposition, though increasing its numbers, is declining in Parliamentary efficiency, while the late Ministry and its little group are being obliged on the whole to act with the Government. Another…
FEDERATED AUSTRALIA. THE PRIVY COUNCIL AND THE HIGH COURT. FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Dec. 10 1906; Jan. 22 1907. Upon the fortunes of the Federal political campaign it is needless to dwell, since in two days more the verdict of the electors will dispose of prophecy. At present, on the eve of our choice of representatives, the whole firmament, so far as our newspapers are concerned, is covered with a dense cloud of controversial polemics. In Sydney itself these seem all of one colour. Every paper published is briefed for the Opposition, except the redoubtable Bulletin, which occupies…
FEDERATED AUSTRALIA. HOPELESSNESS OF THE FREE TRADE CAUSE. FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Dec. 17 1906; Jan. 30 1907. Last Wednesday the national electoral cam­paign after two months’ fighting reached its final crisis. Three angry parties were locked in fierce combat against each other. Despite the fury of their onset and the miscellaneous character of the conflict each of the three survives. Neither pos­sesses a majority in either Chamber. Neither has improved its position. The Ministry which was the weakest and met with most misfortune is for all that better off than its antagonists.…
FEDERATED AUSTRALIA. THE “STATE RIGHTS” CAMPAIGN. FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Dec. 22 1906; Feb. 6 1907. The recent election has illustrated the develop­ment of new party relationships. Out of our six States Queensland and South Australia are under coalition Administrations with Premiers who are members of the Labour Party. At present, owing to the Federal successes achieved by the Caucus, especially in the Senate, and to the resistance it encounters from the Legislative Councils of the several States, the Labour policy is to enlarge the sphere of the Commonwealth in order to enlarge…
FEDERATED AUSTRALIA. THE PARTY SYSTEM. FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Dec. 31 1906; Feb. 14 1907. The Senate returns are not yet complete, except in the smaller States, and will continue to dribble in for some time-longer. Tasmania though a separate State which could absorb the Nether­lands and Belgium, bearing about the same relation to Australia as the Isle of Wight does to Great Britain, has, of course, made up her totals. Victoria has followed suit, but then she is much the smallest State on the mainland, and though as large as Great Britain, little more than a fourth the size of our…