The Letters

THE COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA. CRISIS IN QUEENSLAND. FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Dec. 2 1907; Jan. 8 1908. English readers who wish to understand the crisis in Queensland must commence by mentally transferring themselves to the Antipodes. Here they find acting in the name of his Majesty the King a temporary representative with strictly-defined powers in a strictly-defined area engaged in a struggle with an elective Chamber also of limited authority, and both of them subject to local pre­cedents that do not apply to the United Kingdom. Getting rid of the several prepossessions aroused…
THE COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA. LEGISLATIVE OUTPUT. FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Dec. 9 1907; Jan. 21 1907. The height of summer is at hand, and the political thermometer remains at a high register. In every State except Queensland local Legis­latures are hurrying through their overdue work in order to close by Christmas. No revolutionary measures are before them, but there is the customary squeeze to get the business done before adjourning, the crush resulting, of course, in the customary sacrifices of whatever can be put aside. A great deal that is being added to our seven Statute…
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THE COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA. POLICY OF DEFENCE. FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Dec. 16 1907; Jan. 24 1908. The Commonwealth is making history. Whether our Parliament is equal to its responsibilities or not it is certainly facing them with spirit and indeed with audacity. The proceedings of our State Legislatures, useful as they are, appear dull and drab beside the highly-coloured and possibly visionary projects of the Federal Government. Its Tariff has passed the House, and though ragged edges testify to the severity of the struggles by which this has been accomplished, the schedule is…
THE COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA. PARLIAMENTARY RECESS. FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Dec. 23 1907; Feb. 6 1908. That Australian sessions should terminate at Christmas, before the hot weather sets in determinedly, is, on the whole, convenient for everyone. Any fixed date is better than none, though no amount of experience enables us to avoid a crush of business and a series of sacrifices when the legislative doors are being shut. Often some of the most memorable measures of the year are under review in the last hours, and it is amazing that on the whole they seem to suffer little from…
THE COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA. LEGISLATIVE PROBLEMS. FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Dec. 30 1907; Feb. 11 1908. Whether our antipodean methods are really understood at home is even yet open to much doubt. It is difficult to bring home clearly to people who have always lived and are still living under a single Government, subject throughout the whole area of legislative control to one all-powerful Legislature, the nature of the problems with which Australia is now constantly being confronted. Behind many of our principal political questions lies a preliminary constitutional problem. We…