Letters grouped by: Protection

THE NEW COMMONWEALTH. EXCITING PARTY POLICIES. POWER OF THE LABOUR SECTION. THE NAVAL DEFENCE QUESTION. FROM OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Dec. 9 1902; Jan. 15 1903. Sydney was Anti-Federal when the present Prime Minister as a private citizen was the leader of the movement for union, and is now more Anti-Barton than it was then. All the disappointed mercantile men afflicted by the tariff or by Mr. Kingston’s rigorous administration of it have turned on their former champion, a considerable detachment of the middle-class has left him in obedience to the call of the Protestant Defence…
THE NEW COMMONWEALTH. SIR E. BARTON’S POLICY. IMPERIALISTIC VIEWS. FROM OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Dec. 1 1902; Jan. 6 1903. Sir Edmund Barton possesses some valuable qualities, uncommon among politicians, which go far by balancing his shortcomings to maintain his hold on his friends and on the country. A favourite taunt of the Opposition has been based on the flexibility he displayed as Leader of the House in accepting amendments of his measures, but though there were many concessions wrung from him, and some of them most unwillingly, none of these implied, from his point of view, a…
THE NEW COMMONWEALTH. STATE SERVANTS’ REVOLT. DISFRANCHISEMENT PROPOSALS. FROM OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Nov. 18 1902; Dec. 26 1902. Retrenchment and reform of our methods of expenditure occupy men’s minds and fill the columns of our newspapers in this State until even Mr. Waddell feels called on to demonstrate the economical character of his Budget. Still more remarkable is it that Mr. O’Sullivan has delivered a homily to the unemployed which is not without indications that his exuberant confidence in the policy of spending without thought for the morrow is becoming tempered by…
THE NEW COMMONWEALTH. FEDERAL AND STATE ISSUES. PARTY PREPARATIONS. PROTECTION OR FREE TRADE? FROM OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Oct. 21 1902; Nov. 27 1902. The Prime Minister has returned, and he has explained the results of his mission to London, the acting Prime Minister has expounded the work of the session just concluded under his leadership, and the policy of the Opposition has been officially declared by Mr. Reid. We have thus brought before the public almost at the same moment our political past, present, and future in Federal affairs in such a manner as to focus the attention of…
THE NEW COMMONWEALTH. CLOSE OF THE FIRST SESSION. FEDERAL ACHIEVEMENTS. PARTY POLITICAL TACTICS. FROM OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Oct. 15 1902; Nov. 19 1902. The opening chapter of the first volume of the story of the Australian Commonwealth has closed—the first session of its first Parliament has ended. Drawing a long breath of relief, and with some ejaculations of surprise at having at last reached the shore of recess, its wearied members are dispersing themselves over the continent. Their voyage, if not tempestuous, has been full of perils, much of it in uncharted seas, and most of…
THE NEW COMMONWEALTH. CRISIS IN VICTORIA. RETRENCHMENT AND REFORM. APPEAL TO THE ELECTORS. FROM OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Sep. 23 1902; Oct. 29 1902. Victoria is for the moment the chief centre of Australian interest, because a general election is proceeding at which the real issues at stake in every State are put plainly before the local electors. There was a time when that State occupied the foremost place by virtue of her population, prosperity, and advanced politics, but during the last decade she has been surpassed in each of these respects by one at least of her neighbours.…
THE NEW COMMONWEALTH. ANTI-FEDERAL TACTICS. THE FREE TRADE CAMPAIGN. “PLUNGING” POLICY RESULTS. FROM OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Apr. 15 [7?] 1902; May 20 1902. Australia politically was endowed with union rather than with unity. For this there can be no reproach that is not shared by all of us, since it was just this distinction which our Constitution makes, and was intended to make; nothing more was possible, and this was difficult to secure. Certain subjects were set apart on which we were to act as one people. This was the domain of the Commonwealth within whose range we were to be…
THE NEW COMMONWEALTH. ATTITUDE OF NEW ZEALAND. THE FEDERAL CAPITAL. TOUR OF INSPECTION. FROM OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Feb. 25 1902; Apr. 1 1902. The Commonwealth can consider the choice of a site for its future capital without concern as to any opinion on the point that may be entertained in New Zealand. As readers of the Morning Post were informed many months ago there is no prospect, immediate or remote, of any movement on the part of the Maorilanders towards a partnership with the Australian States. Their commission appointed to inquire into the proposal reported emphatically…
THE NEW COMMONWEALTH. FIRST YEAR’S RECORD. PARTY STRUGGLES AND AIMS. PROSPERITY OF THE STATES. FROM OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Jan. 14 1902; Feb. 20 1902. One of the features in the first year’s record of the Commonwealth has been the success of the Governor-General in his official capacity, and one of its good fortunes the gradual restoration of his physical health. Our summer heat appears to be preferable to him to the mild winter weather of Hobart and Melbourne. A few months ago he spent his holiday in Northern Queensland in order to enjoy more sunshine than Sydney could afford,…
THE NEW COMMONWEALTH. AUSTRALIA AND THE WAR. FURTHER TARIFF PROBLEMS. MINISTERIAL DIFFICULTIES. FROM OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Jan. 7 1902; Feb. 11 1902. The Commonwealth begins its second year by no means free from the ailments of infancy. It cannot be said to have cut its teeth, for it has not yet united its State Defence Departments. Nor, if the tariff may be likened to an attack of whooping cough, can the little patient be considered half through that very serious complaint, painful to itself and distressing to its neighbours. The results of the radical treatment adopted to…
THE NEW COMMONWEALTH. TARIFF PROSPECTS. THE BLACK LABOUR SPECTRE. NEW GUINEA PROBLEMS. FROM OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Nov. 26 1901; Dec. 31 1901. The Commonwealth is progressing, though this is not very apparent. Its Parliament, on the contrary, is, in colonial phrase, “bogged”. The team attached to it is so evenly divided and pull in such exactly opposite directions that the State vehicle makes no advance. Here in Sydney we are so much overstocked and so uncertain as to the commercial future that business is almost at a standstill, and, in some degree at all events, the same…
THE NEW COMMONWEALTH. STRIFE IN THE SENATE. FEDERAL FINANCIAL PITFALLS. “BLACK” NEW GUINEA PROBLEMS. FROM OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Nov. 19 1901; Dec. 24 1901. The Federal Parliament differs from its parent at Westminster but little in spirit or in form. It is a much smaller, more colloquial, and less dignified body, but it observes the same rules of debate and pursues virtually the same course in managing its business. The cardinal difference between them lies in the existence of our elective Senate claiming to take a much more active and influential part in polities than an…
THE NEW COMMONWEALTH. TARIFF DIFFICULTIES. RIVAL INTERESTS. FEDERAL POWERS. FROM OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Nov. 5 1901; Dec. 10 1901. The Commonwealth is steadily cutting its political teeth in normal fashion, with only such inflammatory symptoms and mild convulsions as are natural to its growth. The House has disposed of its first vote of want of confidence, and by giving Ministers a majority of fourteen out of seventy-four available votes has apparently strengthened their position. As a matter of fact, all that the vote precisely means is that Mr. Barton has been preferred to Mr.…
THE NEW COMMONWEALTH. FEDERATION DIFFICULTIES. CONTENDING FACTIONS. THE TARIFF QUESTION. FROM OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Oct. 29 1901; Dec. 3 1901. The Ministry has entered on a critical period. When the debate on the vote of want of confidence closes this week it will have a large majority, but it will not be stable. It will be the high-water mark of the career of the Ministry. The significant circumstances are that Ministers will lose three votes and that these are all Victorian of the same political complexion. Up till now twenty-two of the twenty-three representatives from…
THE NEW COMMONWEALTH TARIFF CONTROVERSY. AUSTRALIAN INDEBTEDNESS. FROM OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Oct. 22 1901; Nov. 25 1901. The tariff duel between Mr. Reid and Mr. Barton has begun in earnest, though their first encounter was indecisive, since it left both unhurt. The Leader of the Opposition, heading an attack on a list of duties confessedly full of anomalies and lying open to this criticism, possessed the advantage. But whether he prepared himself too elaborately or whether the studied silence of Ministerialists during his deliverance disconcerted him by depriving him of his…
THE NEW COMMONWEALTH. STRIFE IN PARLIAMENT. SETTLING THE NEW TARIFF. FROM OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Oct. 15 1901; Nov. 19 1901. The tariff has come, and with it consequentially a vote of want of confidence in its framers. The first was indispensable, the second inevitable. It should not be forgotten that the chief motive power of the Federal movement was generated out of the friction between the conflicting sets of customs duties in the several colonies. The one necessity everywhere recognised was that there should be a single Australian tariff instead of six. Without it any union…
THE NEW COMMONWEALTH. FEDERAL SENTIMENT. FISCAL POLICY. COLONIAL DEFENCE. FROM OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Sep. 24 1901; Oct. 29 1901.  The fluid and indeterminate character of the Parliament of the Commonwealth faithfully reflects the fluid and indeterminate condition of the public mind on all federal questions. Take a typical instance. The vital issues raised by the Immigration Restriction Bill have not developed in the House as rapidly as expected, though they must come to a head this week. So far nothing has happened, but the delay is itself significant. Our continental area…
THE NEW COMMONWEALTH. FEDERAL POLITICS. “WHITE AUSTRALIA” POLICY. FROM OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Sep. 10 1901; Oct. 15 1901.  Australian politics are democrats in that they accurately reflect the opinions and aims of the great majority in this country, but they are curiously composite, novel with their new federal develop­ments, and varying considerably in each State. To interpret them to British sympathisers is necessarily difficult. There is, first, the entire contrast between the size of the stage on which public affairs are transacted here and that with which you are most…
THE NEW COMMONWEALTH. POLITICS AND BUSINESS. TARIFF DIFFERENCES. FROM OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Sep. 3 1901; Oct. 11 1901. Parliamentary proceedings have been prosaic. The fact is partly to be attributed to the absence of Mr. Reid, and partly to the practical nature of the Bills under discussion. The attendance of mem­bers has not been large, and out of those who are within sound of the bells comparatively few are within the Chamber. They are finding that Federal membership is incompatible with that attention to their own businesses which they were accustomed to give while in the…
THE NEW COMMONWEALTH. CONGESTION OF WORK. THE KANAKA QUESTION. FROM OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Aug. 27 1901; Oct. 3 1901.  The physical area of Australia, the sparseness of its population, and the spirit of its people all sug­gest expansion as its national policy. There are traces of this natural impulse in our politics and commercial enterprises, but they are not con­spicuous. Curiously enough, the prevailing con­dition at present is one of congestion. The State Legislatures are choked with inheritances from earlier sessions and measures promised at recent general elections. In New…
THE NEW COMMONWEALTH. FISCAL RELATIONS. IMPERIAL DEFENCE SCHEME. FROM OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Jun. 4 1901; Jul. 11 1901. Commonwealth affairs continue at a discount, and will be so until our royal guests have departed. At present Sydney, attired in her best and with all her leaders present from the Prime Minister down­wards, declines to be deterred either by threats of small-pox or a local strike in the iron trade from her complete surrender to loyal festivities. She has not so far paid serious attention to the intimation that the long-expected conference of legal representatives…
THE NEW COMMONWEALTH. LABOUR PARTY TACTICS. OPPOSITION BLUNDERING. FROM OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, May 28 1901; Jul. 6 1901. Sydney is seething with excitement under the joint impulses of the royal visit and the splendid series of magnificent spectacles provided in its honour. It is unfortunate that at such a moment attention should be diverted to private disputes between employers and em­ployed, and unfortunate also that the means by which one of them has been settled should be political coercion, but the fact remains, and its significance cannot be overlooked. An iron trade strike…
THE NEW COMMONWEALTH. BUDGET PROBLEMS. REQUIREMENTS AND RESOURCES. FROM OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, May 21 1901; Jun. 25 1901. Their Royal Highnesses the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and York are being welcomed in Queensland; and Sydney is busy with preparations which will enable us to vie with Melbourne. As a consequence the actual commencement of our first Australian Parliament is in some danger of being overlooked. Its proceedings will probably prove fitful, if not languid, until our distinguished visitors have left for New Zealand. But for all that, the far-see­ing, especially…
THE NEW COMMONWEALTH. THE FISCAL QUESTION. COMPOSITION OF PARTIES. FROM OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Apr. 2 1901; May 13 1901. The electoral cyclone has passed, and we can now begin to estimate the condition in which it leaves us. In this State it discloses an unmiti­gated defeat of the Protectionists, and conse­quently of the Barton Ministry, whom they are supporting. The Prime Minister’s own seat was not contested, but of the twenty-five constituencies in which the verdict of the electors was challenged, no less than fifteen fell to the Free Trade Opposition. Mr. Reid himself was…
THE NEW COMMONWEALTH. ATTITUDE OF NEW ZEALAND. LOVE OF INDEPENDENCE. FROM OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Mar. 12 1901; Apr. 16 1901. The Empire is the sum of its parts, and the more these are united politically and commercially the greater their prosperity and its power. The Commonwealth, which comprises within its control six communities hitherto separate, repre­sents an immense stride, not only towards Australian unity but towards Imperial Federation. But immense as is the extent and promise of our union, it is not yet geographically complete. A seventh province remains apart, not one…