Letters grouped by: Federal Courts

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. LABOUR LEGISLATION. FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Nov. 11 1907; Dec. 25 1907. Australia’s reputation for fecundity in experimental legislation, wide as it already is, must increase if it is to keep pace with our actual experiences. Nowhere has our political hardihood been more manifest than in the industrial field, and in none of our venturous States have there been bolder essays in this direction than those of the Commonwealth. The Federal Arbitration Act has enabled the two great national undertakings of shipping and shearing to be regulated without…
THE COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA. FEDERAL LABOUR PARTY. FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Oct. 21 1907; Dec. 11 1907. Mr. Watson’s resignation of the Leadership of the Federal Labour Party and proposed retirement from politics at an early date is the event of the session. The effects likely to arise from it can hardly be over estimated if the special character of the man and the peculiar instability of our parties is taken into consideration. In consequence of federation the State Legislatures since 1901 have been led by men who were and would have remained subordinates but for the transfer of…
THE COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA. WAGES BOARDS. FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Oct. 14 1907; Nov. 20 1907. The battle over Preference has not more than begun. It is true that a Preference is secured for British wire netting, but none of the several curious votes taken before this was accomplished, almost incidentally, was really governed by fiscal considerations alone. Country districts have been inflamed with extravagant predictions of the increase in cost to graziers and farmers if the Government’s proposals were endorsed until some staunch Protectionists succumbed to the canard and…
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…
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. 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. 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. WHITE AUSTRALIA AND THE SUGAR INDUSTRY. FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Mar. 19 1907; May 7 1907. The pinch of the White Australia policy begins to be felt in Queensland. Two thousand seven hundred Kanakas have already left for their native islands, under the provisions of the Pacific Island Labourers Act of 1901, and about 1,300 more are about to leave. Their places have to be filled, unless an industry which during 1906 produced over £3,000,000 of wealth for Australia is to be brought into grave danger. The difficulty is increased by the fact that the other States…
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. 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. EXCLUSION OF COLOUR. FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Jan. 21 1907; Mar. 6 1907. The “White Australia” policy means to British critics little or nothing more than the exclusion of Chinamen from the Commonwealth. Obviously this is but part, and the smaller part, of the problem of our unoccupied continent. His Excellency the Governor-General, who has a happy knack of identifying himself with popular sentiment here, while at the same time unostentatiously directing it into healthy activities, has insistently kept the necessity for immigration before the people.…
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. 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. THE HIGH COURT. FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Jul. 23 1906; Sep. 18 1906. The Commonwealth is still young, quite young enough to be studied for its promise as well as its performance. Every principal Act it passes deals with more than its immediate subject-matter. It shows a tendency. It establishes a precedent. It builds up some part of the new Federal structure which is beginning to overtop the State edifices conspicuously in places. Take the amending Judiciary Bill, which last week passed the House without amendment. Nothing could be simpler or shorter. For the…
FEDERATED AUSTRALIA. CHOICE OF CAPITAL SITE. ALTERNATIVE SUGGESTIONS. FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Jan. 2 1906; Feb. 13 1906. With the prorogations of all our Parliaments at the close of 1905 another chapter of Australian political history came to a conclusion. It is still impossible to summarise its contents, for the details of events in Western Australia are not to hand, and the exact results of the session even next door to us in Victoria or Queensland are only partially capable of being assessed. But whatever their records may show, the continuous hegemony of New South Wales is…
FEDERATED AUSTRALIA. THE PARLIAMENTARY SESSION. FROM OUR CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Dec. 11 1905; Jan. 20 1906. Political events succeed each other so fast at this season of the year that it is impossible to keep pace with them. The unwritten law and practice of our Legislatures is to close their sessions before Christmas, always in a hurry, with a crush and with accompaniments of acrimony and confusion. Up till the last day or two Tasmania, where what may be termed parish politics prevail to a greater extent than else­where, was the only State where recess had been reached. A list of the…
FEDERATED AUSTRALIA. PUBLIC AFFAIRS. DEFENCE AND IMMIGRATION. FROM OUR SYDNEY CORRESPONDENT. [Sep. 11 1905]; Oct. 24 1905. The relative importance of recent developments in public affairs is certainly not apparent from the columns of our newspapers either in New South Wales or beyond its borders. They do not neglect much intentionally, and that only for party reasons, but establish no proportion between the space and prominence they accord to little local happenings or events of real magnitude and fruitfulness. The result is that their readers are left with at best a confused conception of…
FEDERATED AUSTRALIA. COLONIAL BUSINESS METHODS. MR. DEAKIN’S CABINET. FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Jul. 11. 1905; Aug. 18 1905. Mr. Allerdale Grainger, who has been Agent-General for South Australia for several years, has returned at the expiration of his term of office. After living in London at the heart of the Empire under circumstances which brought him into close touch with all the influences affecting Australia and her interests, he makes no secret of his discontent. All the representa­tives of the Colonies are, in his judgment, “handicapped by the antiquated business methods of…
FEDERATED AUSTRALIA. CONDITION OF THE COUNTRY. POLITICS AND LABOUR QUESTIONS. FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Jul. 18 1905; Aug. 23 1905. The “Australian correspondents” of English newspapers are still serving as targets for animadversion here and come under censure from all quarters. Mr. McLean, the joint partner of Mr. Reid in the late Federal Government, wrote an indignant official letter to our State Premiers upon a statement of a financial correspondent of the London Times, in which the outlook here was painted in the blackest colours, and the prospects of the export trade for 1905…
FEDERATED AUSTRALIA. PRIME MINISTER’S RETURN. SUGAR INDUSTRY LABOUR. LAND SALES COMMISSION. FROM OUR SYDNEY CORRESPONDENT. [Jun. 13 1905]; Jul. 22 1905. Sir Harry Rawson’s abrupt departure, regretted because it deprives New South Wales for a time of one of the most capable and popular of Governors, is still more deplored because he has left for England owing to alarming intelligence as to his wife’s health. Later news is more encouraging, but the very sincere regard in which both are held in Sydney occasions a widespread anxiety for a more definite assurance of the restoration of her strength…
FEDERATED AUSTRALIA. THE SUGAR INDUSTRY. THE PREMIERS’ TOUR. FROM OUR SYDNEY CORRESPONDENT. [May 16 1905]; Jul. 3 1905. The dengue fever is responsible for a great deal. Like the influenza, which we know, this new epidemic, which we did not know, till now, has seized wholesale upon all classes, subjecting its victims to a brief but most debili­tating attack of a malarial character. Tropical in origin, its ravages have been confined to Queensland, where for a time public business was almost suspended and sometimes whole households prostrated by sudden and irresistible onsets of the new foe.…