Letters grouped by: Free Trade

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. 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. 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…
FEDERATED AUSTRALIA. THE TEMPER OF THE PRESS. FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, May 21 1907; Jul. 13 1907. What the average elector really thinks on any given subject is at least as great a puzzle in Australia as anywhere else. Indeed, it is greater than in England, because our States are still separate geographically with but a vague consensus of opinion, even on most Federal questions. Our newspapers are all of them limited to relatively small areas in circulation and cater for merely local views. They show nothing more than what in the judgment of some State coterie the elector ought to…
FEDERATED AUSTRALIA. MINISTERIAL PROSPECTS. FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Jan. 7 1907; Feb. 28 1907. A feu de joie of figures salutes the close of the year 1906. The amazing growth of production and trade to which Australia is accustomed is being once more demonstrated by returns from every class of business in every corner of the continent. Splendid as all the records are, they are simply normal. The season is so extremely late that, contrary to almost all previous experiences, the wool and wheat receipts will be very largely credited to 1907. In consequence the very sensible…
FEDERATED AUSTRALIA. HOPELESSNESS OF THE FREE TRADE CAUSE. FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Dec. 17 1906; Jan. 30 1907. Last Wednesday the national electoral cam­paign after two months’ fighting reached its final crisis. Three angry parties were locked in fierce combat against each other. Despite the fury of their onset and the miscellaneous character of the conflict each of the three survives. Neither pos­sesses a majority in either Chamber. Neither has improved its position. The Ministry which was the weakest and met with most misfortune is for all that better off than its antagonists.…
FEDERATED AUSTRALIA. MR. CARRUTHERS’S POSITION UNCHALLENGED. FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Dec. 3 1906; 11 Jan. 1907. Mr. Carruthers ought to be a contented Premier now that a busy and fruitful session is drawing to a close. His Ministry has steadily gained strength. It no longer occupies the pre­carious relation to the House and the country existing when he assumed office. The Labour Opposition, though increasing its numbers, is declining in Parliamentary efficiency, while the late Ministry and its little group are being obliged on the whole to act with the Government. Another…
FEDERATED AUSTRALIA. THE ELECTIONS AND LABOUR ACTIVITY. FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Nov. 26 1906; Dec. 31 1906. The Federal elections continue to monopolise all the political attention available to crowd the columns of the newspapers and to throw all other public affairs into the shade. Still it must always be remembered that the proportion of our attention given to politics is much more limited than is supposed. After all the beating of drums and waving of banners probably half our adult popula­tion will not take the trouble to vote. Our franchise is as wide as it is possible to make…
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…
FEDERATED AUSTRALIA. THE BUDGET AND ITS CRITICS. FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT SYDNEY, Aug. 14 1906; Oct. 3 1906. The Australian Press, though nothing near as extravagant as that of the United States, has an insatiable appetite for sensations. Where these do not exist, they seize the slightest excuse for creating them so as to keep up excitement by artificial means until some better pretext for stimulating the jaded appetites of their readers happens to occur. Everything is sacrificed to this appetite. One has only to turn these pages a few weeks after publication to be struck by the painful…
FEDERATED AUSTRALIA. THE VICTORIAN VOTE. FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Jul. 30 1906; Sep. 6 1906. The crux of the session and of the political situation generally will be reached very shortly. What is really most momentous in both, from a broad Australian point of view, may be matter for controversy; what is most interesting to Sydney is quite plain; but the really important question in Federal politics is unfortunately still miscon­strued in this State. Mr. Reid continues his round of political meetings in Queensland, delivering and redelivering familiar diatribes against communistic…
FEDERATED AUSTRALIA. RIVAL POLITICAL PARTIES. FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Jul. 9 1906; Aug. 17 1906. Half the Commonwealth Senate and the whole of the House of Representatives are due for elec­tion this year, probably about the end of Novem­ber, and already the campaign is in progress. Parliament sits in Melbourne, but Mr. Reid is touring in Queensland as if it were still in recess. He has already carried out platform expeditions here and in Victoria and is preparing for further onsets upon different portions of the continent. If he is not successful at the polls it will not be for…
FEDERATED AUSTRALIA. DIFFICULTIES OF PREMIERS. FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Jun. 25 1906; Aug. 8 1906. Midwinter finds the Federal Parliament deep in the work of the session and all the State Legis­latures preparing to follow suit. Mr. Carruthers and Mr. Bent have made preliminary speeches giving an outline of their intentions so as to prepare the public mind for what is coming. What is thought of their promises and anticipatory explanations one cannot tell. The criticisms on our Premier from the Labour members who consti­tute the official Opposition in New South Wales are not intended…
FEDERATED AUSTRALIA. MR. SEDDON’S LAST WARNING. THE NEW SESSION. FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Jun. 11 1906; Jul. 19 1906. The sudden death of the Right Hon. Richard Seddon, of which we heard this morning, came as a shock, but not wholly a surprise. He returned to Sydney on Saturday morning, having transacted business with Sir William Lyne in the train until after midnight. Then followed a very busy day, a farewell dinner, a theatre party and late supper, after which he boarded the Oswestry Grange in the early hours of Sunday morning. He had been living at this rate and under the same…
FEDERATED AUSTRALIA. A PROTECTION ELECTION CRY. FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, May 21 1906; Jul. 13 1906. The Prime Minister has just paid his long-promised visit to Sydney, where it is no figure of speech to say that he is little likely to be recog­nised by the Man in the Street. Mr. Deakin, an infrequent visitor to Sydney, is little visible even in Victoria, and may easily be overlooked in Melbourne itself, where his home is and always has been. Nothing but absolute public necessity drags him from his retirement anywhere, though our newspapers always contrive to convey the impression…
FEDERATED AUSTRALIA. NEED FOR A HIGH COMMISSIONER. FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Feb. 26 1906; Apr. 12 1906. State politics seem dull because there are no prospects of change visible at any point on the horizon. There is an absence of sensations and even of the promise of sensations that bodes well for Mr. Carruthers. Federal politics are dull, too, though there the possibilities both of changes and sensations are patent on every hand. The general situation is not clarifying. Ministers preserve a silence either of indifference or of caution. Mr. Deakin’s replies to Mr. Reid’s frequent…
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. CLOSING THE SESSION. AN ANTI-TRUST BILL. FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Dec. 18 1905; Jan. 31 1906. Christmas Day is but a week hence, and yet the quiet of the season has not settled down upon the Legislatures of the Commonwealth or of Western Australia. In the former Prorogation Day is not yet fixed. The Prime Minister clings with tenacity to his original determination to finish his programme or perish in the attempt. Except so far as the latter alternative applies to the health of individual members, and particularly to his own, little apprehension need be…
FEDERATED AUSTRALIA. THE PARLIAMENTARY SESSION. LEGISLATION ADOPTED. FROM OUR SYDNEY CORRESPONDENT. [Nov. 13 1905]; Dec. 27 1905. Interest centres or ought to centre in the Federal Session as it draws to its close. It would concentrate there if the approaching crisis were understood; but, assuming that the other States are no better informed than our own, there is probably little grasp of the situation anywhere. This is due in our case to the persistent translation of all Commonwealth events into the party politics of New South Wales, as seen through Sydney spectacles. One needs only to…
FEDERATED AUSTRALIA. THE FALLEN MINISTRY. DEFEAT INEVITABLE. FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Jul. 3 1905; Aug. 11 1905. What will happen next in our politics is never easy to predict, but the present crisis has no peculiarly Australian character. When the materials for an explosion are lying close together, as they have been in the Federal Parliament for many months, any spark from anywhere will produce a catastrophe. Readers of the Morning Post at all events cannot have been surprised when the cable told them that Mr. Reid’s Ministry had fallen. It was always plain that this might occur…
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 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. 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. 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…