Letters grouped by: Tariffs

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. 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. 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. 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…
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…
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.…
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. 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. 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. 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. 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 TARIFF QUESTION. FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Nov. 1 1904; Dec. 13 1904. A sudden change seems to have come over the Federal Parliament, and it appears to be mollified either by the warmth of spring or by the Melbourne racing carnival, which is now in full swing. Mr. Reid has proclaimed himself “head of a new party”, whose one policy is to get into recess, and his happy audacity has been welcomed by cheers from all parts of the House. Since it met at the beginning of March last the session has had but two…
FEDERATED AUSTRALIA. SIR GEORGE TURNER’S BUDGET. FINANCIAL PROSPECTS. COMMONWEALTH INDEPENDENCE. FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Oct. 25 1904; Dec. 9 1904. Sir George Turner has now delivered himself for the fourth time of a sevenfold Budget built out of the transactions joint and several of the Commonwealth and its six States. His assiduity in ransacking the smallest recesses of their accounts in obedience to the proverbial admonition prescribing the care of the pence was patent once more. Indeed, the undisguised gusto of his pursuit of details rather distracted attention from the…
FEDERATED AUSTRALIA. PREMIER’S DIFFICULT POSITION. THE OPPOSITION COMPACT. FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Sep. 13 1904; Oct. 22 1904. The Commonwealth is certainly very unfortunate in its politics. Two Ministries have been tried in vain since March, and now the third is to be refused its opportunity. All present indications point to a dissolution next month, and an election before December. The existing Parliament will not by that time have seen even the first anniversary of its birthday. It came into existence with three equal parties, one Free Trade, another Protectionist, and the…
FEDERATED AUSTRALIA. SOCIALISM IN VICTORIA. POSITION OF THE LABOUR PARTY. THE FISCAL QUESTION. FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Sep. 5 1904; Oct. 14 1904. Australia, having regard to its population, is more lavishly endowed with constitutional machinery than any other country in the world. This is no accident, nor does it prove of itself any special taste on the part of our people for multiplying Governments. The immensity of the area of the country could not be controlled from any present centre, and in order to be supervised it demands a variety of separate localised agencies. For all…
FEDERATED AUSTRALIA. LABOUR PARTY TACTICS. ELECTION IN QUEENSLAND. FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Aug. 30 1904; Oct. 8 1904. The spectacle presented last Tuesday by our now Assembly, now reduced to ninety members must have closely resembled that exhibited in the Federal House of Representatives when Mr. Watson first took his seat as Prime Minister. Mr. Waddell and his colleagues had a minority close behind them and empty back benches, while the Opposition sat in serried rows and the Labour members crowded the cross benches, hopelessly outnumbering the nominal leaders of the House. By a…
FEDERATED AUSTRALIA. FREE TRADE AND PROTECTION. THE RIVAL PARTIES. FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Aug. 23 1904; Oct. 5 1904. Mr. Reid is Prime Minister of Australia, attaining office in circumstances that are sure to tax his great powers as a strategist and as a moulder of public opinion from the platform. The points in his favour are that he commences with New South Wales, its Labourites excepted, standing solidly behind him, together with a majority of the Victorian representatives, headed by Mr. McLean and Sir George Turner. He just holds his own in Tasmania, but there is a majority…
FEDERATED AUSTRALIA. LABOUR CABINET’S FALL. ARBITRATION AND TARIFFS. FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Aug. 15 1904; Sep. 30 1904. Our first Labour Ministry has fallen. The fatal Arbitration Bill has found another and congenial victim. Not long ago the Queensland section of the Labour Party under Mr. Dawson walked into the departments in that State for a few hours, only to be walked out of them whenever they faced the Assembly. The Daglish Ministry, just formed in Western Australia, does not seem likely to retain office longer than is necessary for the majority opposed to it to settle…
FEDERATED AUSTRALIA. RIVAL POLITICAL PARTIES. RETURNING PROSPERITY. THE IMMIGRATION QUESTION. FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Mar. 22 [Mar. 15] 1904; May 3 1904. The Federal crisis hangs fire, and not without due cause. A new Parliament, with a considerable number of new members, with us always implies an equal number of maiden speeches. There is little bashfulness among political novices in Australia, and when, as is the case in this instance, many of the Federal representatives just returned for the first time have sat in the State Assemblies for years they are all the more willing to…
FEDERATED AUSTRALIA. MATERIAL CONDITIONS. PROBLEMS AND POLICIES. NEED OF IMMIGRATION. FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Mar. 8 [Mar. 1] 1904; Apr. 15 1904. No one in Australia can find anything to complain about in our material conditions. The revenue comes in freely and fully, both to Commonwealth and States. The farmers, inveterate grumblers as they are, have here and there some cause for discontent because their late crops are suffering from too continuous rains. But even they will benefit hereafter by the splendid soaking that the subsoil is receiving, while their fields are also found…
FEDERATED AUSTRALIA. “TRIANGULAR SITUATION.” STATE SERVANTS AND ARBITRATION. TREND OF POLITICS. FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Feb. 23 1904; Apr. 4 1904. The present year is bound to be political from first to last, and to witness many crises. A great deal must happen before we cease to date from 1904. For the past two months we have been lapped in peace while the Parliamentary temple of Janus remained closed. Next week the alarm will be sounded when the Federal Houses begin a fateful session, nor can the States’ political interests be far behind. South Australia alone sleeps the sleep…
THE NEW COMMONWEALTH. LABOUR PARTY’S POWER. THE SECRET OF ITS SUCCESS. TASK OF CABINET MAKING. FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Feb. 9 1904; Mar. 19 1904. Like the bugle call in Tennyson’s song the Prime Minister’s Melbourne speech on the unstable condition of Commonwealth politics has sent its “wild echoes flying” on every side, the reverberations as they are borne back to us from distant centres seeming to be multiplying rather than dying. The reasons for this are not far to seek. Though the Prime Minister only said aloud what everyone has been whispering since the elections, he said it…
THE NEW COMMONWEALTH. FINANCIAL REVIVAL. FEDERAL ECONOMICS. TIGHTENING THE PURSE STRINGS. FROM OUR SYDNEY CORRESPONDENT. [Jul. 7 1903]; Sep. 8 1903. Australia’s financial revival seems remarkable even to those well acquainted with her marvellous recuperative powers. The financial year closing on the 30th of June evoked a series of revelations by way of comparison, every one of them encouraging and most of them unforeseen. Yet we are at the moment in the trough of the wave, midway between two harvests, that of the past a failure and that of the coming spring not yet secure. June, our mid-…
THE NEW COMMONWEALTH. SITUATION IN NEW SOUTH WALES. THE GOVERNOR’S SPEECH. CONSTITUTIONAL REFORM. FROM OUR SYDNEY CORRESPONDENT. [Jun. 23 1903]; Aug. 27 1903. Mr. Chamberlain has never set foot in Australia, but he has been very often with us in spirit since his assumption of office as Secretary for the Colonies, and for the last few weeks has been so prominent a presence in our politics that he has overshadowed our local statesmen. He is beginning to deflect their policies, to take possession of the public imagination, and by the magnetic influence which he exercises to sway our Parliaments…