Letters grouped by: Reid

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. 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. 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. ANTI-FEDERALISM. FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Sep. 16 1907; Nov. 5 1907. Our State elections are over, but our publicists do not seem anxious to assess their meaning. The heaviest polling we have witnessed for many years leaves our local parties much as they were. If anything the Premier’s direct following is slightly weaker, Labour a little stronger, and the Independents less numerous but more Ministerial in their leanings. Looking only at these groups, it almost seems today as if nothing had happened—as if no dissolution had occurred. But there is…
THE COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA. THE NEW TARIFF. FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Sep. 9 1907; Oct. 30 1907. Australian politics are not clarifying, and yet that is what is most needed just now. Our Federal Parliament discovers four parties in the House and three in the Senate, none of them sure of their bearings. The consequence is turbidity, effervescence, and uncertainty, old feuds active, new feuds germinating, and a general expectancy that puzzles onlookers. The one fusion so far achieved was amazing and unexpected. When members’ “allowances” were to be increased sudden fissures…
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. INDUSTRIAL ARBITRATION. FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Aug. 6 1907; Sep. 21 1907. Last week the three-party conflict in Australia had become responsible for two crises. That in Queensland was settled very simply. When the Labour Caucus declared its intention of sitting alone and acting alone on the cross benches, the Premier, Mr. Kidston, at once challenged them with an intimation that under those circumstances he did not intend to remain in office. As his resignation meant Mr. Philp’s return to power the Caucus angrily and sullenly rescinded its resolution,…
COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA. THE MURRAY RIVER. FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Jul. 30 1907; Sep. 5 1907. The substantial unity of character of Australian politics is just now being illustrated conspicuously. Always visible to the careful observer, the likeness was formerly less marked in State Legislatures than it has become since the Federal Parliament has added another field for the exhibition of our tendencies as a people. Formerly when fiscal issues were in abeyance there were few real distinctions between State parties except that of “ins” and “outs”. While very gravely earnest as to…
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…
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. 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. POSITION OF THE MINISTRY. FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Feb. 4 1907; Mar. 30 1907. Sir John Madden, Lieutenant-Governor and Chief Justice of Victoria, known to us as an able and very popular Melbourne dignitary, evidently expresses himself in a frank and breezy fashion very uncommon in men of his official position. Returning last week from a twelve months’ stay, spent chiefly in Great Britain, he unfolded his views to the Brisbane Courier directly he landed upon a long list of matters of moment under debate at home, in Canada, or in the United States. Out of his two…
FEDERATED AUSTRALIA. THE KANAKA PROBLEM. FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Jan. 14 1907; Mar. 5 1907. The Blayney election is the important incident of the week for New South Wales, because it repeats most emphatically the warning of the recent Federal election. Just as Mr. Reid has been defeated here Mr. Carruthers will be a few months hence, unless the omens change. Mr. Crick’s seat was vacated because of his connection with the Land Lease scandals. So far as the Legislature can go he has been placed under a perpetual political ban. But being still personally popular in his old district,…
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. 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. 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. 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. GREAT ISSUES AT STAKE. FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Nov. 12 1906; Dec. 22 1906. An Imperialistic note struck by the Governor-General vibrated through all the speeches at the Melbourne Lord Mayor’s banquet on the King’s Birthday. Touching lightly upon the need for immigration, his Excellency dwelt with impressive sincerity upon the necessity for pressing on with our organisation for defence. Rapidly running over the long list of wars he recollected within his own lifetime, including several in which Great Britain had taken part, he uttered a very serious warning to…
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. AMENDMENTS OF THE CONSTITUTION. FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Sep. 10 1906; Nov. 6 1906. In Australia just now it is finance here, finance there, and finance everywhere, because all the States are publishing their annual balance-sheets. Happily these are of a highly satisfactory character. Tasmania, of course, is content to plough along without any great effort at expansion. Western Australia, too, has to make up for her losses in consequence of the reductions in her tariff due to Federation and to the marked increase in the proportion of her population of tender…
FEDERATED AUSTRALIA. THE NEW ZEALAND TARIFF. FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Sep. 3 1906; Oct. 30 1906. Never did “a bolt from the blue” startle any one so much as the Prime Minister’s tariff preference to the Mother Country to our baffled Free Traders. Its campaign material, all to hand, collected with endless pains and at great cost, depended for its effect upon a continuance of the parliamentary regime of last year, when a great deal of most important legislation, passed in spite of them, happened to be general in its nature and without party colouring. That suits the Opposi­tion,…