Letters grouped by: White Australia Policy

THE COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA. COAL STRIKE ENDED. FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Nov. 25 1907; Jan. 3 1908. The coal strike has ceased, as optimists predicted. Owing to the haste with which they flow at each other’s throats, without sufficient provocation or the slightest consideration for the public, neither masters nor men deserve the slightest sympathy. Both merit warm praise for the celerity with which they retraced their steps when brought to reason, though, as usual, it is the public that is left to pay the cost of their escapade. The one man who has profited by his association…
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. 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 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. 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 BUDGET. FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Aug. 6 1906; Sep. 25 1906. Last week Sir John Forrest established a record in the self-governing dominions when he intro­duced his thirteenth Budget to the House of Representatives. Eleven times in Western Australia as Premier and Treasurer, and twice in the Federal Parliament as Treasurer, it has fallen to his lot to propound the financial policy of the Government of the day. Even the late Mr. Seddon has been outdone in this particular respect. In another way, too, the Australian has had a singularly happy experience, since…
FEDERATED AUSTRALIA. THE JAPANESE SQUADRON. FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, May 28 1906; Jul. 17 1906. The harbour near the city never looked more beautiful than a week ago, when the half-moon frontage of Circular Quay sparkled with innumerable electric lights of welcome to the visiting Japanese Squadron. On the other side of Government House grounds Farm Cove was filled with dazzling light from the Powerful and sister ships of the British Fleet. The throng of large, brilliantly-glowing ferry boats on their several routes crossed and recrossed each other more rapidly than usual. Few, if…
FEDERATED AUSTRALIA. IMMIGRATION PROPOSALS. FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Apr. 30 1906; Jun. 26 1906. The last Premiers’ Conference has, as usual, settled nothing finally. It has no power to do more than arrive at certain understandings between the responsible heads of existing State Administrations, who may not survive or may not obtain the sanction of their Legislatures for the agreements arrived at. But nevertheless it has most distinctly helped forward a great many matters by educating public opinion, while the Murray River partition, though only involving three States and but…
FEDERATED AUSTRALIA. GROWING PROSPERITY. FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Jan. 15 1906; Mar. 2 1906. Australia was never more generally and sub­stantially prosperous than today. This is not only true of this State and of Victoria, as was shown in my last letter. There have been seasons which appeared more flourishing, though these have been few. They were rarely larger in their totals, though these were swollen by the expenditure of large sums of borrowed money and by exceptional occurrences. Without unusual events or stimulating injections the comparisons for 1905 are all favourable. Not…
FEDERATED AUSTRALIA. SESSION CONCLUDED. THE MEASURES PASSED. FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Dec. 26 1905; Feb. 3 1906. The second and central session of the Federal parliament has just closed as if by sheer exhaus­tion, members separating in hurried flights day by day until there was not a quorum of the House and hardly more than a quorum of the Senate to attend Prorogation. The first session began as this closes, with Mr. Deakin in control, but so much has happened since March, 1904, when he laid the programme of a reconstructed Barton Cabinet before members fresh from their election,…
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. NATIONAL DEFENCE LEAGUE. PARLIAMENT AND IMMIGRATION. FROM OUR SYDNEY CORRESPONDENT. [Oct. 23 1905]; Dec. 20 1905. The Prime Minister spent no more time in Sydney than was absolutely necessary, making two speeches in one evening here and then leaving; two nights out of his three were passed in the train. Yet his visit accomplished a great deal more than our newspapers are prepared to admit. To them he is only Prime Minister, in fact, the usurper of a dignity which belongs to another. Compared with him Mr. Reid remains in their eyes the rightful heir, first, federally,…
FEDERATED AUSTRALIA. PARLIAMENTARY RECESS. REVIEW OF WORK DONE. PREFERENTIAL TRADE. FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Dec. 20 1904; Feb. 13 1905. The Federal Session is over, after lasting so long that the only surprise exhibited is that it should have ever ceased. For a considerable time the House has seemed too weak and too divided even to agree to close its doors. In all its ten months’ strenuous existence it could not and did not agree to anything else worth mentioning. It is true that the prorogation speech read by his Excellency emitted a lyrical undertone of rapture, probably…
FEDERATED AUSTRALIA. QUESTIONS OF FINANCE. THE RIVAL POLITICAL PARTIES. FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Oct. 10 1904; Nov. 29 1904. Australian Legislatures, being numerous and small, supply occasionally some extraordinary exhibitions of tactics or conduct which must appear quite indefensible to those whose knowledge of Parliamentary proceedings is derived from the House of Commons. The sudden candidature and election of Mr. Crick the other day to the post of Chairman of Committees in the New South Wales Assembly is an instance in point. Again, more than once lately disputed clauses in a…
FEDERATED AUSTRALIA. POSITION OF THE LABOUR SECTION. POLITICAL LEADERS’ TACTICS. THE ARBITRATION BILL. FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Apr. 5 [Mar. 29] 1904; May 17 1904. The Press plays so large a part in the political life of Australia that it is impossible to trace the current of events without constant references to its part in them. A reader in Great Britain finds in his own newspaper comments founded on a perusal of opinions expressed in our daily journals instead of on a study of our Parliamentary debates or of the statutes which represent their fruits. We are thus seen in Great…
FEDERATED AUSTRALIA. DIVIDED AUTHORITY. THREE PARTIES AND THREE LEADERS. UNCERTAIN SITUATION. FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Mar. 15 [Mar. 8] 1904; Apr. 25 1904. The opening of the Commonwealth Parliament disclosed one of the most curious political situations that even Australian States, in all their vagaries, have ever looked on. To uninstructed observation the whole spectacle was just as it should be, or at least as it always has been. The ex-President of the Senate and the ex-Speaker of the Representatives were quietly re-elected. Ministers sat on the Treasury benches, with well-…
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. GOSPEL OF IMPERIALISM. INTOLERABLE POLITICAL POSITION. THREE EQUAL PARTIES. FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Feb. 9 [Feb. 2?] 1904; Mar. 14 1904. The Governor-General has delivered his first public speech under very appropriate auspices. The Australian Natives’ Association, much stronger in Victoria than in any other State, holds annual demonstrations in Melbourne and other capitals in celebration of the first settlement of the continent. It is attended by both Federal and State Ministers, who often take the opportunity of making important political statements of…
THE NEW COMMONWEALTH. WESTERN PACIFIC ISLANDS. SOUTH AFRICAN LABOUR. ATTITUDE OF NEW ZEALAND. FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Jan. 19 1904; Feb. 25 1904. The departure of Lord Tennyson affords another landmark in the story of the Commonwealth. He leaves South Australia this week as Governor-General, and though he will touch our soil again a few days later at Perth, he will then be free from all ties of office. It was in Adelaide five years ago that he began his career as the Queen’s Representative for the colony of which it is the capital, and it is in the same charming city that he now…
THE NEW COMMONWEALTH. IMPERIAL FEELING. THE PROPOSALS OF MR. CHAMBERLAIN. RESULTS OF ELECTIONS. FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Jan. 6 1904 [29 Dec. 1903]; Feb. 12 1904. The Commonwealth elections were affected to a considerable extent, by the absence of thousands of farmers from the polls. Their steadying influence would have probably altered the results in several States, especially for the Senate. As a class they are proverbially sluggish in political affairs, but in the present instance they had a better reason for their abstinence than their distance from the booths. The magnificent…
THE NEW COMMONWEALTH. SUCCESSES OF THE LABOUR SECTION. TWO OPPOSITIONS. THE QUESTION OF COALITION. FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Dec. 22 1903; Jan. 28 1904. The Commonwealth elections resembled nothing so much as the triangular duel in Marryat’s “Midshipman Easy”, except that in this instance each combatant was doubly armed and shot at both his adversaries. The Ministry suffered most at the hands of both of its antagonists and the Opposition little. The Labour Party triumphed at the expense of each. Yet for all that the fundamental situation is not altered. As parties went to the…
THE NEW COMMONWEALTH. POPULATION QUESTION. WELL-POISED EMPIRE. “COMMUNITY OF SACRIFICE.” FROM OUR CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Nov. 2 1903; Dec. 9 1903. The general election has been formally opened. The Prime Minister stated his policy at Ballarat last Thursday, and the leader of the Opposition followed on Friday in the Melbourne Town Hall. This week Mr. Deakin speaks in Sydney and in Brisbane, so that the three most populous States will have been acquainted with his proposals. Mr. Reid has been intermittently carrying on a propaganda in Victoria on behalf of his allies in the country districts,…
THE NEW COMMONWEALTH. TARIFF CONSIDERATIONS. MR. CHAMBERLAIN’S SCHEME. IMPERIAL PATRIOTISM. FROM OUR SYDNEY CORRESPONDENT. [Aug. 18 1903]; Nov. 13 1903. There is no longer even a shadow of doubt as to the character of the coming elections to be held in December. The one question then to be propounded by Mr. Reid will be whether or not the tariff is to continue Protectionist or to be reduced to merely revenue-producing rates. Speaking near Melbourne he has once more announced that this is to be the first and practically the last plank in his platform: Free Trade is hopeless. The circumstances…
THE NEW COMMONWEALTH. MR. CHAMBERLAIN’S POPULARITY. PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES. CAPITAL AND LABOUR. FROM OUR CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Aug. 18 [Jul. 21] 1903; Sep. 26 1903. Rumours that the Commonwealth Government has again invited Mr. Chamberlain to visit Australia are once more current and cause widespread expectation. Doubtless their origin is to be found in the popularity he has lately enhanced so much by his preferential trade proposals. Ministers deny that they have officially requested him to become our guest, but in such a gentle tone as to plainly intimate their eagerness to ask if the…
THE NEW COMMONWEALTH. STRIKE IN VICTORIA. THE POSITION OF THE LABOUR PARTY. FRESH POLITICAL GROUPING. FROM OUR SYDNEY CORRESPONDENT. [May 12 1903]; Jul. 20 1903. The strike of railway employees in Victoria is not conspicuous above all contemporary events in Australia, but it is memorable because it is another of the times. It is one landmark the more on the road all the States are travelling under the pressure of inexorable economic necessities. We have had strikes before. Those of twelve years ago surpassed in the extent of country affected, in the variety of interests prejudiced, and in the…