Letters grouped by: Constitution

COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA. LIQUOR AND GAMBLING. FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Jun. 4 1907; Jul. 20 1907. The shadow of the coming election begins to fall across the field of our State politics. A vigorous attempt is being made to gather into a single organisation all the anti-Labour elements in the community. It is not at all likely, however, that any party which is formed on the basis of mere antagonism to a rival will ever attain that degree of cohesion and unity which has enabled the Labour Party, in spite of being in a minority, to win so many political successes. It will have to…
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…
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. THE NEW PROTECTION. FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Oct. 7 1907; Nov. 16 1907. The “new” Protection has arrived. In point of fact, it is not at all new in Australia. It represents a branch of the old Protection which was recognised from the first in Victoria and in other States so soon as they adopted the same fiscal policy. When duties were imposed to foster manufactures it was recognised that generally the greater part of the profits would go at once to the employers. Unions accomplished something by degrees for the employees; occasionally strikes resulted…
THE COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA. MR. CARRUTHERS’S RESIGNATION. FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Oct. 1 1907; Nov. 13 1907. Mr. Carruthers’s resignation comes like a bolt from the blue. Nothing could be more unexpected. His health has been bad for some years, and especially since he became head of the Government. Its effect upon him explains a good many minor incidents, outbreaks, and escapades that have injured his cause and reputation. These have compelled the critical to deal with them so frequently that the solid successes he has achieved have been less appreciated by a public always…
THE COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA. THE FEDERAL TREASURER. FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Aug. 26 1907; Oct. 14 1907. Sir William Lyne, in his new offices of Federal Treasurer owing to Sir John Forrest’s retirement, and of Leader of the House during Mr. Deakin’s absence, has proved much more successful than his opponents are prepared to admit. He, too, returned from the Mother Country with enlarged prestige. The part he took in the Navigation Commission stands to his credit most, but the aggressive attitude adopted by him under the taunts of the Free Importers in London also tells in his…
THE COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA. FEDERAL FINANCE. FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Aug. 19 1907; Sep. 28 1907. Last week’s Budget and Tariff are memorable in themselves for their particular proposals, but perhaps more memorable still in their general structure. Putting all fiscalism aside they would stand out conspicuously among our political landmarks because the financial policy roughly outlined in them is more independently and expressly Federal than any hitherto formulated. Sir George Turner began in 1901 with apologetic phrases by the establishment of a minimum Federal administration at…
COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA. ATTACKS ON MR. DEAKIN. FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Jul. 15 1907; Aug. 21 1907. Australian politics, Federal and State, are still in a condition of ferment without getting to a clarifying stage. The session of our State Legislature was held rather to fulfil an undertaking than to accomplish any definite purpose, and vanished within a fortnight, leaving not a trace behind. It is true that Mr. Carruthers was attacked, and this time openly, for his professional relations with one of the cases included in the Land Office scandals. Speaking from memory he had…
COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA. A COMING CRISIS. FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Jul. 3 1907; Aug. 15 1907. The Conference of State Premiers held in Brisbane some weeks ago, though held then is only about to become effective now. Its decisions, though largely negative in form, were positive, aggressive, and defiant. Its deliberations from beginning to end, no matter what their subject might be, were permeated with a strong anti-federal spirit. The dominant note in every debate was jealousy and dislike of the Commonwealth and all its works. Of course the most fervid champion of State rights was…
COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA. FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Jul. 1 1907; Aug. 10 1907. Our Prime Minister has already received five welcomes, while a sixth is still in prospect providing he can find time to visit this city. Probably his hold is weaker here than in any other capital. Assuredly he has less Press and fewer direct supporters in Parliament from New South Wales than either of the other parties, and yet with the Bulletin transformed into an appreciative critic, one evening paper in the city and a number of friendly country newspapers at his back, his party is making much headway…
THE COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA. MR. DEAKIN ON THE IMPERIAL CONFERENCE. FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Jun. 24 1907; Jul. 31 1907. The Governor-General, having concluded his visit to the Northern Territory, is now on his way to Sydney. His Prime Minister, after spending a few hours in Perth, has passed on to Melbourne, having travelled some 2,000 miles since he first touched Australian soil. Lord Northcote will have journeyed just as far by the time he meets his Ministers in Melbourne, though the two between them will have only circumnavigated two-thirds of the continent in their passages…
THE COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA. NEW SOUTH WALES AND THE FEDERATION. FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Jun. 8 1907; Jul. 23 1907. The agenda paper for the forthcoming Premiers’ Conference in Brisbane has just been published. Outside the question of the financial relations of the Commonwealth and States—which will be taken up where it was left by the last Conference of Treasurers in Melbourne—there is no matter of the first importance to be discussed. According to the usual practice, each of the State Governments has furnished a list of the topics which it desires to submit to the Conference.…
THE COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA. THE IMPERIAL CONFERENCE. FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, May 28 1907; Jul. 17 1907. It is still too soon to sum up the full results of the recent Imperial Conference, but apart from the attitude of our local Press alluded to in my last letter it would be idle to pretend that the non possumus attitude of the Imperial Government towards almost every suggestion that has been made by the Australian Prime Minister for strengthening Imperial relationships has not already caused a good deal of genuine disappointment in Australia. The cablegrams furnish a daily…
FEDERATED AUSTRALIA. THE COMMONWEALTH CAPITAL. FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, May 12 1907; Jul. 5 1907. SirJohn Forrest, the Acting Prime Minister, has been visiting Sydney, and his visit has revived the controversy over the Federal Capital site. All Sir John’s long experience in politics has not taught him the art of concealing thoughts that are likely to be unpalatable to his audience. In an interview on the first day after he arrived he announced that in his opinion the delay in fixing the Capital site was due to the action of the New South Wales Parliament. This is an opinion which…
FEDERATED AUSTRALIA. THE LAND SCANDALS. FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Apr. 16 1907; Jun. 25 1907. Of late, as is usual when there is no other question engaging public attention, a violent controversy has been proceeding in the columns of the Daily Press about the alleged wrongs that New South Wales is suffering at the hands of the Commonwealth. There is nothing fresh in the correspondence. The statement of the grievances of New South Wales is just as vague and shadowy as it has always been on similar occasions. The only complaint of which details are given concerns the failure of the…
FEDERATED AUSTRALIA. THE NAVAL AGREEMENT FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Apr. 10 1907; Jun. 4 1907. We have just seen the departure for England of some forty Australian and New Zealand bluejackets who have served their term in the locally manned ships of the Australian Squadron, and are now, under recently devised regulations, going to England to complete their naval training. It is understood that they will qualify themselves by service on board ship or in naval schools to fill the higher ratings in the Service, and will then return to Australia to act as instructors or petty or warrant…
FEDERATED AUSTRALIA. THE STATE ELECTIONS. FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Mar. 5 1907; Apr. 16 1907 [sic]. With the sudden closing of the Commonwealth Parliament Federal politics have with equal promptitude drifted into a calm. The vacant field of political interest is well filled by State elections with us as with our neighbours both to north and south. In Victoria the contest will be over in about a fortnight, if indeed it can be termed a contest. Mr. Bent has enjoyed good luck and good management. Sir Alexander Peacock, a former Premier and an extremely popular Australian, together…
FEDERATED AUSTRALIA. IMPERIAL CONFERENCE PROPOSALS. FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Feb. 25 1907; Apr. 20 1907. The Governor-General opened the Federal Parliament in state on Wednesday last, both Houses after listening to his Speech adjourning before the dinner hour. On Thursday evening early the Address in reply was carried in both on the voices. The first real sitting and the session closed together. On Friday his Excellency prorogued Parliament by proclamation. Not unnaturally our public gasped in bewilderment. Popular sentiment of a kind was satisfied because another record had been…
FEDERATED AUSTRALIA. CONSOLIDATION OF PARTIES. FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Feb. 11 1907; Apr. 2 1907. A far-off correspondent may speculate in safety upon the developments around him, for if his forecast fails no one on the other side of the world is likely to remember it. Besides, Australia being palpably at the beginning of everything and particularly of Federal politics, current events are bound to be prognostic and to tempt interpretation. In our transitional period we naturally look for helpful precedents in the other federations achieved by our race. Our trials proceeding in…
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 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. 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. 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. 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. 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…