The Letters

THE NEW COMMONWEALTH. AUSTRALIAN RESOURCES. MORE WORLDS TO CONQUER. THE OPENINGS FOR CAPITALISTS. FROM OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Jan. 5 1903; Feb. 13 1903. Speaking generally, the year 1903 opens propitiously for Australia, though one must confess that no small proportion of its promise arises by way of contrast with the disastrous records of the past twelve months. The sanguine among us are already forecasting the chances of a fresh “boom”, relying on the cycle of good seasons supposed to be about to begin, on our increasing output of gold, and on the possibilities of a rise in the…
THE NEW COMMONWEALTH. NAVAL DEFENCE. THE QUESTION OF SUBSIDY. FISCAL POLICY. FROM OUR SYDNEY CORRESPONDENT. [May 5 1903]; Jul. 3 1903. The Prime Minister has at last removed the reproach persistently levelled at him for the past two years of having neglected to appear on the public platform of Sydney in defence of his party policy. He has spoken there several times on Imperial issues and on current questions at sundry sectional meetings or banquets of a semi-political character, but not until about the end of April did he address the people in defence of his Parliamentary leadership. His…
THE NEW COMMONWEALTH. STRIKE IN VICTORIA. THE POSITION OF THE LABOUR PARTY. FRESH POLITICAL GROUPING. FROM OUR SYDNEY CORRESPONDENT. [May 12 1903]; Jul. 20 1903. The strike of railway employees in Victoria is not conspicuous above all contemporary events in Australia, but it is memorable because it is another of the times. It is one landmark the more on the road all the States are travelling under the pressure of inexorable economic necessities. We have had strikes before. Those of twelve years ago surpassed in the extent of country affected, in the variety of interests prejudiced, and in the…
THE NEW COMMONWEALTH. END OF THE RAILWAY STRIKE. CRY FOR RETRENCHMENT. IDENTITY OF STATE INTERESTS. FROM OUR SYDNEY CORRESPONDENT. [May 19 1903]; Jul. 25 1903. The Victorian railway strike is over. Some fifty of the engine-drivers and firemen who defiantly left their engines have lost their situations and are left dependent on private employment. This number includes those who officered and controlled the bold attempt to bring the Government of the State to its knees. The remainder has been permitted to return, but on half time only, shorn of rights to pensions or compensations, and entirely…
Tags: Barton
THE NEW COMMONWEALTH. MR. CHAMBERLAIN’S FISCAL SCHEME. VIEWS OF RIVAL PARTIES. QUESTION OF NAVAL DEFENCE. FROM OUR SYDNEY CORRESPONDENT. [May 26 1903]; Aug. 5 1903. Mr. Chamberlain’s Birmingham resuscitation of his former policy of preferential tariffs within the Empire has at once awakened a chorus of echoes throughout Australasia. It had been neglected of late because of the assumption that the Secretary for the Colonies had tacitly abandoned his idea. The project is now being discussed, however, in every newspaper of standing among us in addition to serving as the text for comments by most…
THE NEW COMMONWEALTH. RIVAL POLITICAL PARTIES. COMPLICATED POLITICS. THE NAVAL SUBSIDY. FROM OUR SYDNEY CORRESPONDENT. [Jun. 2 1903]; Aug. 10 1903. The Federal Parliament has begun its second and final session. The first lasted eighteen months, the second cannot exceed six, because the Senate elections must be held under the Constitution before the close of this year. The cost of polling Australia being estimated at £30,000, the spirit of economy now ruling will not permit a second disbursement of such an amount in May next for the Representatives alone. The present House is therefore…
THE NEW COMMONWEALTH. FISCAL POLICY OF THE EMPIRE. MR. CHAMBERLAIN’S PROPOSALS. AUSTRALIAN APPROVAL. FROM OUR SYDNEY CORRESPONDENT. [Jun. 9 1903]; Aug. 14 1903. Very tamely was “The Address in reply” debated before thin Houses and empty galleries. It was voted without a struggle after less than a fortnight’s discussion, barren of incidents or disclosures, and revealing nothing beyond the feebleness of the formal Opposition onset. From a tactical point of view Mr. Reid appears to have erred in not moving an amendment, or at all events in not shaping his indictment of Ministers into some more…
THE NEW COMMONWEALTH. TURBID POLITICS. THE JUDICIARY BILL. POLICY OF ECONOMY. FROM OUR SYDNEY CORRESPONDENT. [Jun. 16 1903]; Aug. 21 1903. The Japanese can have no possible complaint in connection with the reception their squadron has received during its visit to Australia. From the moment of their arrival in Perth and during their stays in Adelaide, Melbourne, and Hobart up to the carnival week just enjoyed in Sydney Admiral Kamimura and his officers have been the recipients of unremitting and flattering attentions. Not a day have they spent in any port that has not been crowded with…
THE NEW COMMONWEALTH. SITUATION IN NEW SOUTH WALES. THE GOVERNOR’S SPEECH. CONSTITUTIONAL REFORM. FROM OUR SYDNEY CORRESPONDENT. [Jun. 23 1903]; Aug. 27 1903. Mr. Chamberlain has never set foot in Australia, but he has been very often with us in spirit since his assumption of office as Secretary for the Colonies, and for the last few weeks has been so prominent a presence in our politics that he has overshadowed our local statesmen. He is beginning to deflect their policies, to take possession of the public imagination, and by the magnetic influence which he exercises to sway our Parliaments…
THE NEW COMMONWEALTH. WATER FAMINE AT BROKEN HILL. STATE SOCIALISM. RETRENCHMENT MOVEMENT. FROM OUR SYDNEY CORRESPONDENT. [Jun. 30 1903]; Sep. 3 1903. The water famine at Broken Hill affords another illustration of the astonishing variety of physical and climatic conditions in Australia and of the happy irresponsibility with which the settlement of the interior has been and in spite of experience continues to be prosecuted. The story of the mines at this place outdoes most romances. Their exploitation made a number of great fortunes, and as if by the touch of an enchanter’s wand their…
THE NEW COMMONWEALTH. FINANCIAL REVIVAL. FEDERAL ECONOMICS. TIGHTENING THE PURSE STRINGS. FROM OUR SYDNEY CORRESPONDENT. [Jul. 7 1903]; Sep. 8 1903. Australia’s financial revival seems remarkable even to those well acquainted with her marvellous recuperative powers. The financial year closing on the 30th of June evoked a series of revelations by way of comparison, every one of them encouraging and most of them unforeseen. Yet we are at the moment in the trough of the wave, midway between two harvests, that of the past a failure and that of the coming spring not yet secure. June, our mid-…
THE NEW COMMONWEALTH. NAVAL DEFENCE. INSTRUCTIVE DEBATE. AUSTRALIAN LOYALTY. FROM OUR SYDNEY CORRESPONDENT. [Jul. 14 1903]; Sep. 23 1903. The naval agreement between the Mother Country, represented by the Admiralty, and the Commonwealth, represented by its Prime Minister, has been brought forward early in the session. It follows the Judiciary Bills, which aim at completing the Federal structure designed in the Constitution for maintaining Australian unity according to the compact approved by its people. It precedes the Budget, in which provision requires to be made for the extra £100,000…
THE NEW COMMONWEALTH. MR. CHAMBERLAIN’S POPULARITY. PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES. CAPITAL AND LABOUR. FROM OUR CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Aug. 18 [Jul. 21] 1903; Sep. 26 1903. Rumours that the Commonwealth Government has again invited Mr. Chamberlain to visit Australia are once more current and cause widespread expectation. Doubtless their origin is to be found in the popularity he has lately enhanced so much by his preferential trade proposals. Ministers deny that they have officially requested him to become our guest, but in such a gentle tone as to plainly intimate their eagerness to ask if the…
THE NEW COMMONWEALTH. IMPERIAL UNITY. THE NAVAL DEFENCE BILL. FROM OUR SYDNEY CORRESPONDENT. [Jul. 28 1903]; Oct. 5 1903. Mr. Kingston’s resignation has come like a bolt from the blue, affording another illustration of the mutability of Federal politics. One of the strongest men in the Government, he has given to many of its measures an impress of resolute Radicalism. His rigorous administration of the customs has been provocative of perpetual irritation and intense enmity among the importing classes. That an indefensible laxity prevailed in some of the State Custom Houses prior to Federation…
THE NEW COMMONWEALTH. FINANCIAL EVOLUTION. POWER OF THE STATES. FEDERAL POTENCY. FROM OUR SYDNEY CORRESPONDENT. [Aug. 4 1903]; Oct. 27 1903. A journalist lately compared our Commonwealth to the ship that “found herself,” described in Kipling’s famous story, and the simile was singularly felicitous. Australia has not yet “found herself” as a real unity, but at least her people are on the high road to that self-knowledge which is the first condition of political oneness. The Press of Australia continues obstinately provincial in aims and ideas, but in spite of themselves our journals are…
THE NEW COMMONWEALTH. RIVAL PARTIES. LABOUR DOMINATION. COMPULSORY ARBITRATION. FROM OUR SYDNEY CORRESPONDENT. [Aug. 11 1903]; Nov. 9 1903. The outward and visible events of the last few weeks are in themselves worthy of record, since they translate into fact and effect some of the conspicuous tendencies of the time. The exodus of Mr. Kingston from the customs has led to a reconstruction of the Commonwealth Ministry and of the policy of its Opposition, the consequences of which are certain to be speedily exhibited throughout the whole realm of Federal politics. The key to all future…
THE NEW COMMONWEALTH. TARIFF CONSIDERATIONS. MR. CHAMBERLAIN’S SCHEME. IMPERIAL PATRIOTISM. FROM OUR SYDNEY CORRESPONDENT. [Aug. 18 1903]; Nov. 13 1903. There is no longer even a shadow of doubt as to the character of the coming elections to be held in December. The one question then to be propounded by Mr. Reid will be whether or not the tariff is to continue Protectionist or to be reduced to merely revenue-producing rates. Speaking near Melbourne he has once more announced that this is to be the first and practically the last plank in his platform: Free Trade is hopeless. The circumstances…
THE NEW COMMONWEALTH. CHANGE OF THE LEGAL SYSTEM. THE UNITY OF AUSTRALIA. FROM OUR SYDNEY CORRESPONDENT. [Aug. 25 1903]; Nov. 16 1903. The contrast between the surface and the substance of political events is well illustrated by the respective degrees of prominence given to Mr. Reid’s resignation and to the passage of the Judiciary Bill. The leader of the Opposition, in order to call attention to the action of the Federal Ministry in refusing to sanction the redistribution of seats proposed by commissioners of its own appointment under its own Electoral Act, retired from the House to…
THE NEW COMMONWEALTH. MR. CHAMBERLAIN’S PROPOSALS. ENTHUSIASTIC ACCEPTANCE. CHOICE OF A CAPITAL. FROM OUR CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Oct. 13 1903; Nov. 21 1903. Mr. Chamberlain’s Glasgow speeches are awakening an almost deafening series of echoes from every part of the continent. In Parliament, in the Press, in the street they form a subject of unending discussion, and produce every variety of comment. Whatever their result in the Mother Country may be, here they absorb attention. The total verdict is one of emphatic approval; that from the great majority of the people amounts to enthusiastic…
THE NEW COMMONWEALTH. CHOICE OF A CAPITAL. STATE JEALOUSIES. GOVERNMENT LOANS. FROM OUR CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Oct. 20 1903; Nov. 25 1903. Federal affairs continue to concentrate attention. This is in some measure due to the fact that the State Legislatures are occupied with minor matters of merely local interest, getting through their business more or less steadily under the pressure of approaching summer. Then the Commonwealth Parliament is in extremis. It is about to commit suicide, shortening its existence by six months in order to avoid polling its vast area twice, once in December for…
THE NEW COMMONWEALTH. SEAT OF GOVERNMENT. RIVAL CLAIMS TO THE FEDERAL CITY. FROM OUR CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Oct. 27 1903; Dec. 5 1903. The Commonwealth Parliament has been prorogued: it will soon be dissolved, and its obituary notices are already appearing. Naturally the Press sketches receive their colour from the campaign necessities of the moment. What is shadow to the Ministerial critic is sunshine to his Opposition contemporary. They invariably paint different pictures, so different indeed that now and then they scarcely seem to relate to the same subject. Partisanship runs riot at…
THE NEW COMMONWEALTH. POPULATION QUESTION. WELL-POISED EMPIRE. “COMMUNITY OF SACRIFICE.” FROM OUR CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Nov. 2 1903; Dec. 9 1903. The general election has been formally opened. The Prime Minister stated his policy at Ballarat last Thursday, and the leader of the Opposition followed on Friday in the Melbourne Town Hall. This week Mr. Deakin speaks in Sydney and in Brisbane, so that the three most populous States will have been acquainted with his proposals. Mr. Reid has been intermittently carrying on a propaganda in Victoria on behalf of his allies in the country districts,…
THE NEW COMMONWEALTH. MR. CHAMBERLAIN’S POLICY. THE UNITY OF THE EMPIRE. LOYALTY AND PATRIOTISM. FROM OUR CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Nov. 10 1903; Dec. 19 1903. The strength of the sporting element in Australia can be gauged in many ways. It can be gauged by the perpetual discussion it provokes, the prominence given to its news all the year round, and by its culminations in outbursts of public interest at the time of its chief festivals. Every form of sport has its season and its throngs of votaries. Our daily newspapers are never free from the notes and comments intended to appeal to them, while…
THE NEW COMMONWEALTH. ELECTORAL CAMPAIGN. THE LABOUR PROGRAMME. RIVAL POLITICAL LEADERS. FROM OUR CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Nov. 17 1903; Dec. 22 1903. The event of the week has been the passage of the Naval Defence Agreement Bill with New Zealand. The three contracting parties—the Admiralty, the Commonwealth, and the Island Colony—have now sanctioned the arrangement provisionally entered into in London last year. The new and more powerful ships of war provided for are expected to arrive at Easter, and the doubled subsidy will at once begin to run. Of course, the principle to which effect is…
THE NEW COMMONWEALTH. FEDERAL ELECTORAL CAMPAIGN. POLITICAL RIVALS’ METHODS. THE FISCAL QUESTION. FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Nov. 24 1903; Dec. 30 1903. There is no fresh development of special importance in the federal election campaign, though the contest is marked by an increasing volume of sound and fury. In New South Wales our attention is divided between that combat and the perpetual mêlée proceeding in our own Assembly. Its session is drawing to a close after a series of all-night sittings whose weariness is having the worst effect on the tempers of our legislators. Neither…