Letters grouped by: Labour Party

COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA. LIQUOR AND GAMBLING. FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Jun. 4 1907; Jul. 20 1907. The shadow of the coming election begins to fall across the field of our State politics. A vigorous attempt is being made to gather into a single organisation all the anti-Labour elements in the community. It is not at all likely, however, that any party which is formed on the basis of mere antagonism to a rival will ever attain that degree of cohesion and unity which has enabled the Labour Party, in spite of being in a minority, to win so many political successes. It will have to…
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. CRISIS IN QUEENSLAND. FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Dec. 2 1907; Jan. 8 1908. English readers who wish to understand the crisis in Queensland must commence by mentally transferring themselves to the Antipodes. Here they find acting in the name of his Majesty the King a temporary representative with strictly-defined powers in a strictly-defined area engaged in a struggle with an elective Chamber also of limited authority, and both of them subject to local pre­cedents that do not apply to the United Kingdom. Getting rid of the several prepossessions aroused…
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…
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. INTER-STATE TROUBLES. FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Nov. 4 1907; Dec. 21 1907. Australian politics are mixed and many coloured enough to remind their observers of a kaleidoscope. Every turn discovers some fresh combination of the old pieces, though, unlike the toy tube, these, if carefully watched, disclose a distinct development. We have at present a series of inter-State squabbles not without meaning and a few specially conspicuous incidents, such as the defeat of Mr. Moore, the West Australian Premier. A little while ago he asked Sir Frederick Bedford…
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. MR. CARRUTHERS’S RESIGNATION. FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Oct. 1 1907; Nov. 13 1907. Mr. Carruthers’s resignation comes like a bolt from the blue. Nothing could be more unexpected. His health has been bad for some years, and especially since he became head of the Government. Its effect upon him explains a good many minor incidents, outbreaks, and escapades that have injured his cause and reputation. These have compelled the critical to deal with them so frequently that the solid successes he has achieved have been less appreciated by a public always…
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. 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. FEDERAL PARTY RISKS. FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Jul. 22 1907; Aug. 27 1907. Our Federal situation in its party aspects overshadows everything political. Another week has passed quietly in both Chambers. The ordinary business of legislation is proceeding smoothly, scarcely a ripple in the stream indicating that the rapids are close at hand. The Prime Minister’s absence, though most unfortunate, is not without compensations, since if he had been in charge of the House he would by this time have been in open conflict with the Labour ultras. On the other hand,…
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…
COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA. LABOUR AND THE MINISTRY. FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Jul. 8 1907; Aug. 17 1907. Parliament has opened; to be more accurate several Parliaments have opened, and in a few days more there will be seven of them in full play. Setting aside the six State Legislatures whose performances provide plenty of entertainment for onlookers and of material for thought to the more seriously inclined the English observer is likely to find in the National Senate and House of Representatives quite enough to occupy any leisure of his for political inquiry. There is a Governor-…
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. 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. IMMIGRATION. FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Apr. 3 1907; May 28 1907. Time was not very long ago when the State Premiers were complaining that the policy of the Commonwealth prevented the free flow of immigration into Australia. More than a few of them and of their Press supporters helped to swell the chorus of unintelligent misrepresentation of the rather foolish action of the first Federal Government. Today the positions are exactly reversed. It is the Commonwealth that is chasing the State Premiers, who are more or less apologetically explaining away their own…
FEDERATED AUSTRALIA. THE NORTHERN TERRITORY. FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Mar. 26 1907; May 25 1907. Some time has passed since the great territorial transfer to the Federal Government was summarised in the Morning Post, and it seems desirable with a view to its better understand­ing to return to it again. What may fairly be described as a truly Imperial “deal” was made when, after a long series of communications in which the Prime Minister appeared resolute to drive the hardest of bargains with South Australia, for the acquisition of the Northern Territory by the Commonwealth, he…
FEDERATED AUSTRALIA. LOCAL GOVERNMENT IN NEW SOUTH WALES. FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Mar. 12 1907; Apr. 30 1907. Although our Legislative Assembly is fast approaching the term of its natural life the elections are still some months ahead, and speculation upon their outcome is languid. That Mr. Carruthers will head a Coalition and be returned with a majority seems assured, though our Labour Party is active and confident. What appears to be overlooked altogether is that the coming conflict, especially in the country districts, will be conducted under new conditions. These may affect…
FEDERATED AUSTRALIA. THE STATE ELECTIONS. FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Mar. 5 1907; Apr. 16 1907 [sic]. With the sudden closing of the Commonwealth Parliament Federal politics have with equal promptitude drifted into a calm. The vacant field of political interest is well filled by State elections with us as with our neighbours both to north and south. In Victoria the contest will be over in about a fortnight, if indeed it can be termed a contest. Mr. Bent has enjoyed good luck and good management. Sir Alexander Peacock, a former Premier and an extremely popular Australian, together…
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. COMMONWEALTH’S NEW TERRITORY. FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT. SYDNEY, Feb. 18 1907; Apr. 5 1907. The transfer of the Northern Territory to the Commonwealth when it occurs will be the greatest event since federation. The mere fact that an agreement for the transfer has been made between the Governments concerned is the event of the year. Nothing that can happen before next January within our borders is likely to compare with its consequences, much less eclipse its significance. Whatever may happen to the proposal in either Parliament, the conditions, whatever they may prove to…
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…