The Letters

FEDERATED AUSTRALIA. IMPERIAL RELATIONS. EX-PREMIER’S NOTABLE UTTERANCE. STATE JEALOUSIES. FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Nov. 15 1904; Dec. 29 1904. Every State in the Commonwealth has a direct interest in two Governments—its own and the Federal. What happens among its neighbours apart from these awakens little more attention now than it did before we were united. At present New South Wales is exceptionally alive to politics because we are responsible for both as well as responsible to them. Both may be said to have Sydney Ministries because they have Sydney leaders. Mr. Reid and Mr.…
FEDERATED AUSTRALIA. REID–McLEAN COALITION. RIVAL PARTY TACTICS. THE FISCAL PROBLEM. FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Nov. 22 1904; Jan. 5 1905. State politics have once more sunk into the back-ground for the moment, since nowhere have local Legislatures developed anything in the nature of a crisis. Without something of the kind to give a sporting interest to politics “the Man in the Street” skips the scanty report of the debates in his own Legislature and the ridiculously inadequate summaries of the proceedings in the representative bodies of the other States. If there are leading…
FEDERATED AUSTRALIA. STATE INFORMATION BUREAU. POLITICIANS AND NEWSPAPERS. LAND LEGISLATION. FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Nov. 28 1904; Jan. 11 1905. Mr. Carruthers should make haste to remove the beam from his own eye. Stung to the quick by the comments on New South Wales (and pos­sibly those on himself) outside the State, he is about to create a State “Information Bureau”. It is to cost “very little”, and is to act under the advice of our very able statistician Mr. T. A. Coghlan, whose many most useful publications, as the Premier naively remarks, have heretofore been overlooked. The…
FEDERATED AUSTRALIA. LEGISLATURE MARKING TIME. LABOUR PARTY’S INFLUENCE. STORMY SESSION FORESHADOWED. FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Dec. 5 1904; Jan. 16 1905. Australian Parliamentary life is rarely wanting in eventfulness. Custom reigns here with as much authority as elsewhere, and under the name of “precedent” is worshipped as piously as in any part of his Majesty’s dominions. So far so good. Without obedience to settled habits—most of them sanctified by ancient usage in the House of Commons—we should be dependent only on the written law which, according to politicians, is far from…
FEDERATED AUSTRALIA. LABOUR PARTY TACTICS. UPPER HOUSE PREVAILS. CHANCES OF PREFERENCE. FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Dec. 12 1904; Jan. 25 1905. The Arbitration Bill becomes law when Lord Northcote signs it this week on behalf of his Majesty, after a career which surely may be quoted for all time as the very flower of topsy-turveydom. His Excellency will accept it on the advice of Mr. Reid, who denounced the whole measure lock, stock, and barrel, when it was first launched in this State four years ago. He fought its progress at every step with the most unqualified antagonism. When it…
FEDERATED AUSTRALIA. PARLIAMENTARY RECESS. REVIEW OF WORK DONE. PREFERENTIAL TRADE. FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Dec. 20 1904; Feb. 13 1905. The Federal Session is over, after lasting so long that the only surprise exhibited is that it should have ever ceased. For a considerable time the House has seemed too weak and too divided even to agree to close its doors. In all its ten months’ strenuous existence it could not and did not agree to anything else worth mentioning. It is true that the prorogation speech read by his Excellency emitted a lyrical undertone of rapture, probably…
FEDERATED AUSTRALIA. PARLIAMENTARY RECESS. LOCAL GOVERNMENT SCHEME. FUTURE LEGISLATION. FROM OUR SYDNEY CORRESPONDENT. [Dec. 27?] 1904; Feb. 27 1905. The first session of our first Reform Parliament in New South Wales has closed with little more jubilation than that of the Commonwealth, though as its term has been very much shorter there is no particular sense of relief associated with its conclusion. Mr. Carruthers met the House as Premier three months ago, and since then he has contrived to pass nearly forty Bills. Mr. Reid, whose Prime Ministership began at the same time, has passed but…
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…
FEDERATED AUSTRALIA. LABOUR PARTY TACTICS. ARBITRATION ACT CHANGES. GENERAL ELECTION PROSPECTS. FROM OUR SYDNEY CORRESPONDENT. [Apr. 3? 1905]; May 16 1905. Decidedly we are doomed to the discontented year forecast in the Morning Post from its very opening, and as it grows old the discontent deepens. The situation is neatly brought home to us, this time from a new standpoint, by Mr. Dacey, M.L.A., in a short letter just published. All the opponents of the Labour Caucus are agreed that the present paralysis of private enterprise is due to its achievements in legislation, whereupon, as one of…
FEDERATED AUSTRALIA. PERIPATETIC MINISTERS. THE SOCIALIST MOVEMENT. FROM OUR SYDNEY CORRESPONDENT. [Apr. 11 1905]; May 23 1905. “Westward the star of Empire takes its way” in Australia as in the United States so far as rapidity of development can indicate its path. Whether in pursuit of that attractive orb or simply in response to the invitation of the State Premier, our Prime Minister and a party of mem­bers of the Commonwealth Parliament have just landed in Perth as the guests of the local Govern­ment. Of the members who have travelled thither nearly a score belong to the Labour Party. Mr.…
FEDERATED AUSTRALIA. NEW PARLIAMENT PROSPECTS. THE PREMIER’S TWO POLICIES. FROM OUR SYDNEY CORRESPONDENT. [Apr. 18 1905]; May 30 1905. Our year of discontent appears destined to become politically memorable either as a year of incubation or of readjustments. Up to date it might seem to promise a year of reaction if one were guided by the superficial indications visible on every hand. For the first time since Federation the commercial and producing interests, so far as they are organised, have found a voice and are of one mind. An integrating tendency manifests itself in most of the States.…
FEDERATED AUSTRALIA. THE POLITICAL SITUATION. SPARRING FOR AN OPENING. THE FISCAL FIGHT. FROM OUR SYDNEY CORRESPONDENT. [Apr. 25 1905]; Jun. 10 1905. There is a great deal of political posturing just now, but it cannot be said that it has helped to enlighten us. Mr. Reid and Mr. Watson, like two rival wrestlers waiting for an advantageous grip, circle defiantly around each other at a distance with more patience than their backers appreciate. The Prime Minister’s party, at all events, is wearying of his prolonged delay. The Labour Caucus, on the other hand, more un­easy than it has been for…
FEDERATED AUSTRALIA. PREMIER AND PEOPLE. COMMUNICATION BETWEEN THE STATES. MATTERS OF MOMENT. FROM OUR SYDNEY CORRESPONDENT. [May 1 1905]; Jun. 13 1905. If the States as States do not rule the Commonwealth their separate interests do. Proof of this has been constantly educed in the Morning Post for a long time past, and if any evidence of the continuance of their self-seeking were required it is furnished by the Prime Minister’s tour. A man of his position and tastes, with the burden of official business remaining upon his shoulders even after he has transferred every ounce of it that…
Tags: Reid