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Full text of "United Australia. Public opinion in England as expressed in the leading journals of the United Kingdom"

UC-NRLF 




SB E2 







C. A. Kofold 




UNITED AUSTRALIA. 



PUBLIC OPINION IN ENGLAND 



AS EXPRESSED IN THE 



LEADING JOURNALS OF THE UNITED KINGDOM, 



IB 

SYDNEY : CHARLES POTTER, GOVERNMENT PRINTER. 
1890. 






GIFT OF 
C.fl. 



CONTENTS. 



PAGE. 

The Spectator 1 

The St. James' Gazette 5, 125 

Pall Mall Gazette 7 

The Morning Post 9 

The Globe 11,122 

Manchester Examiner 12 

The Daily News 13 

The Star (London) 16 

Edinburgh Evening Despatch 18 

The Evening News (Glasgow) 18 

The Times 20 

The Standard 24 

The Morning Advertiser 27 

The Aberdeen Free Press 29 

The Aberdeen Journal 32 

The Birmingham Post 35 

The Daily Chronicle (Huddersfield) 36 

Hull Eastern Morning News ,38 

East- Anglian Daily Times (Ipswich) 39 

The Leeds Yorkshire Post 40 

The Liverpool Courier 42 

The Manchester Courier 44 

The Newcastle Journal 48 

The Plymouth Western Morning 

News.., 50 

Shields Daily News 51 

The British Australasian 53 

Civil Service Gazette. . , 56 

Bradford Telegraph 57 

Dumfries Standard , . . 59 

The Cornish Telegraph 61 

Bullionist 65 

Statist 66 

Ayr Advertiser ..... 67 



PAGE. 

Richmond Herald 69 

The Overland Mail 69 

Edinburgh Weekly Scotsman 73 

Falmouth and Penryn Times 73 

Gloucester Journal 77 

Hampshire Telegraph 79 

Lincoln Gazette 80 

Newcastle Leader 82 

The Salisbury and Winchester 

Journal 84 

Exeter Gazette 86 

Army and Navy Gazette 88 

United Service Gazette 89, 94 

Vanity Fair 96 

Weekly Budget 96 

Weekly Times 96 

The West Briton (Truro) 99 

The British Australasian 100 

Glasgow Mail 102 

The Scotsman 104 

Hull Daily Mail 108 

The Capitalist 109 

Altrincham Guardian Ill 

Brighton (Sussex ) Daily News 113 

Birmingham Post 114 

Glasgow Mail 119 

Leeds Mercury 121 

Evening News 125 

Birmingham Gazette 127 

Glasgow Herald , 130 

The Eastern Morning News 132 

Advertiser ... 134 

Aberdeen Free Press ... , 135 



APPENDIX. 

CORRESPONDENCE , 138-140 

OPINION IN INDIA 142 



M224513 



INTRODUCTORY NOTE. 

The Times of November 4th published the despatch of Sir 
Henry Parkes of October 3Oth, addressed to Mr. Gillies, and 
within sixteen days from that publication nearly every 
influential journal in the United Kingdom joined in the 
debate on Australian Federation. Among the first, The 
Times, November 5th, says: "No better method of testing 
the strength of the desire for union could be devised than the 
summoning of such a National Convention as Sir Henry 
Parkes suggests." And the article concludes: " Sir Henry 
Parkes is a capable statesman, and his judgment is entitled 
to all respect when he pronounces the time to be ripe and 
the method to be feasible. ' If that is so, the difficulties will 
gradually disappear, and the Federation of the Australian 
Colonies will before long be accomplished." Later in the 
discussion, November i6th, a leading provincial paper says: 
" Criticism is the fire through which all new proposals of 
importance should pass, and if they cannot pass the ordeal 
they are better dropped. It must be confessed that the 
proposals of Sir Henry Parkes have come well, out of the 
criticism that has greeted them." 

In the following pages the principal articles of the English 
press are reproduced, with the name of the journal and date 
of publication. It will be seen that not only the London 
daily papers, but the great provincial journals, from South- 
ampton to Aberdeen, and most of the economic and official 
publications, discussed the great Australian question. 



VI 

For convenience of reference the despatch of Sir Henry 
Parkes of October 3Oth is here reprinted : 

Colonial Secretary's Office, 
Sir, Sydney, 30 October, 1889. 

Your telegram, explanatory of your views in favour of bringing the 
machinery of the Federal Council into operation in giving effect to the 
recommendations of General Edwards for the federalization of Australian 
troops, reached me last week in Brisbane. Being extremely anxious to meet 
your wishes, I lost no time in re-examining the provisions of the Federal 
Council Act ; and I regret that I cannot concur in your view, that the 
Council possesses the requisite power to constitute, direct, and control an 
united Australian army. The subsection of clause 15, to which you specially 
referred me, appears to supply evidence to the contrary. The two words 
" general defences " are included in a long list of secondary matters, such 
as "uniformity of weights and measures" and the " status of corporations 
and joint stock companies," and it would be a very strained interpretation 
that could give to those two words so used a definition of legal authority to 
deal with a matter second to none other in the exercise of National power. 
It is not for me to say what is the precise meaning of the words on which 
you rely ; but it is contended that they cannot be construed to mean the 
creation, direction, mobilisation, and executive control of a great army for 
the defence of the whole of Australia. 

For more than twenty years I have had the question of Australian federa- 
tion almost constantly before me ; and I cannot be accused of indifference 
to it at any time, merely because I had become convinced from earlier 
examination, while others were adopting the scheme of the present Federal 
Council at a later period, that no such body would ever answer the great 
objects of Federal Government. Leaving the provisions of the Act as to 
the legislative capacity of the Council, we are at once precipitated upon an 
impassable barrier, in the fact that there does not exist in it or behind it 
any form of executive power. Supposing, for example, that the Federal 
Council's recommendations or enactments, for the movement of Australian 
soldiers could be accepted, there could not be found anywhere a corres- 
ponding executive authority to give effect to them. 

The vitally important recommendation made by General Edwards is one, 
in any light from which it can be viewed, of national magnitude and 
significance. The vast sums annually expended by the Continental Colonies 
for defence works and services would be of greatly enhanced value in time 



Vll 

of public danger, if the scattered and unconnected forces locally maintained 
could be brought under one command, and, whenever advisable, directed to 
one field of operations. I am satisfied that this cannot be done by any 
existing machinery. The Executive Governments of the several Colonies 
could not act in combination for any such purpose, nor could they so act 
independently of each other. The Federal Council has no executive power 
to act at all. The Imperial Parliament, on the application of the Colonies, 
could, no doubt, pass an Act to constitute the Federal Army under one 
command, and to authorize its operations in any part of Australia ; but the 
Colonies could never consent to the Imperial Executive interfering in the 
direction of its movements. Hence, then, this first great Federal question, 
when looked at fairly, brings us, in spite of preferences or prejudices, face 
to face with the imperative necessity for a Federal Government. And why 
should we turn aside from what is inevitable in the nature of our onward 
progress ? It must come, a year or two later possibly, but in any case soon. 

I hope I need not assure you that this Government is anxious to work in 
harmony with the Governments of the sister Colonies in the matter under 
consideration, and is desirous of avoiding subordinate questions coloured by 
party feeling or collateral issues. It is a question to be put to the mind and 
heart of Australia, in view of the destiny of Australia, and on .which it is 
hoped all sections of the collective population will unite without regard to 
narrower considerations. Believing that the time is ripe for consolidating 
the Australias into one, this Government respectfully invites you to join in 
taking the first great step, namely, to appoint representatives of Victoria to 
a National Convention for the purpose of devising and reporting upon an 
adequate scheme of Federal Government. With much deference to the 
views of the other Colonies, it is suggested that, in order to avoid any sense 
of inequality in debate or any party complexion, the number from each 
Colony should be the same, and should be equally chosen from both sides 
in political life ; and that, in the case of each Colony, the representatives 
should be elected by Parliament and receive commissions from the Governor 
in Council. It is further suggested that six members from each Colony 
would be a convenient number, both in regard to combining a fair represen- 
tation of the two Houses, and at the same time not making the Convention 
too unwieldy. In each case four members might be taken from the 
Assembly, two from each side ; and two members from the Council, one 
from each side. In the case of Western Australia, where only one House 
exists, possibly only four members might be elected. If New Zealand 
joined, the Convention would as a result consist of forty members. 



vm 

The scheme of Federal Government, it is assumed, would necessarily 
follow close upon the type of the Dominion Government of Canada. It 
would provide for the appointment of a Governor-General, for the creation 
of an Australian Privy Council, and a Parliament consisting of a Senate and 
a Blouse of Commons. In the work of the Convention, no doubt, the rich 
stores of political knowledge which were collected by the framers of the 
Constitution of the United States would be largely resorted to, as well as 
the vast accumulation of learning on cognate subjects since that time. 

Although a great and pressing military question has brought to the 
surface the design of a Federal Government at the present juncture, the 
work of a national character which such a Government could, in the interest 
of all the Colonies, most beneficially and effectively undertake, would 
include the noblest objects of peaceful and orderly progress ; and every 
year the field of its beneficent operations would be rapidly expanding. I 
devoutly hope that you will be able to take the view which I have briefly 
explained, of the necessity now pressing upon these Colonies to rise to a 
higher level of national life, which would give them a larger space before 
the eyes of the world, and in a hundred ways promote their united power 
and prosperity. 

Permit me, in conclusion, to say that you place much too high an estimate 
on my individual influence, if you suppose that the accession of New South 
Wales to the Federal Council rests with me. In my judgment, there is no 
person and no party here that could persuade Parliament to sanction the 
representation of this Colony in the present Federal Council. 

I have, &c., 

HENRY PARKES. 
The Honorable Duncan Gillies, M.P., Victoria. 



UNITED AUSTRALIA. 



The Spectator 

November 2nd, 1889. 

THE project of consolidating the Australian continent into one powerful 
state has taken a great step forward. Most of the colonies have been 
willing to co-operate in the work, though only Victoria has been zealous ; 
but New South Wales has hung back, and has even declined to enter the 
Federal Council with limited powers which since 1886 has harmonised 
many intercolonial disputes upon the jurisdiction of courts of law. 
Moved, however, by some cause as yet unknown, but, it is to be presumed, 
by a recognition of the danger to which the colony would be exposed in 
the event of a great war, the Premier of New South Wales, Sir Henry 
Parkes, stated publicly on Thursday week that the time had arrived 
when a Parliament and an Executive must be created for all Australia, 
to deal with international questions ; and that a convention from all the 
colonies should be assembled to devise a plan for federation. As that is 
the opinion of the other colonies also, New Zealand excepted, all 
resistance has apparently died away, and we may expect within two 
or three years to see a definite project for founding the new nation 
forwarded to the Colonial Office for the assent of the Crown. There 
are, of course, many visible difficulties and sources of delay ; but the 
most important of them will, we believe, disappear, not so much from 
argument as under the pressure of unrelenting facts. The first object is 
to place the colonies in a position to defend themselves without assist- 
ance from the mother country ; and the attempt to do that will involve 
the formation of a Government, with considerable powers of legislation, 
a separate revenue, and a strong, or at least an undivided, Executive. 
If there is to be a common army, however popularly organised, and a 
common fleet, however small, and fortresses for the defence of the great 
harbours, there must be a chief in military command, yet responsible to 



2- ^UNITED AUSTRALIA. 

The Spectator continued. 

the civil power ; there must be a central representative body to co-operate 
with that civil power, and there must be a National as distinguished 
from a Colonial revenue, levied at the discretion of the central power, 
and without the intervention of provincial authorities. Those data 
granted, we may trust to the national instinct which will speedily be 
awakened to make the general Government sufficiently effective. The 
colonies will, of course, be jealous of their independence ; they will, of 
course, bicker as to methods of levying the taxes of the Dominion and 
those of each colony ; and they may be fretful for a time about the 
expense which any scheme of federation must involve ; but if the 
project is accepted at all, the result is certain. The Convention 
will soon discover that the Australian Legislature cannot work with 
less powers than those of Congress ; it will be unable to discover a 
common source of sufficient revenue except the Customs duties ; and it is 
sure to leave the Executive sufficiently enfranchised, even if it does not 
leave much power to the Viceroy. Our only doubt is whether it will 
follow the example of the American Union, and reserve to the separate 
provinces all powers not explicitly transferred to the Dominion; or 
whether it will adopt the wiser precedent of Canada, and make the 
central authority the Inheritor-General of all the authority not assigned 
in terms to its constituent divisions. The whole question of nationality 
ultimately hinges upon that, and upon that we should hope the American 
Civil War had taught the world a sufficient lesson. There should, too, 
be a provision for revising the Constitution under some process less 
cumbrous and less liable to be defeated by sectional jealousy than the 
one adopted in America, and a widely different scheme for the govern- 
ment of territories not yet admitted within the Dominion. Canada did 
not need that ; but Australia occupies a different geographical position. 
Like the American Union, she will be practically isolated so far as the 
fear of invasion is concerned ; but she is an island seated in an ocean 
studded with rich islands which offer themselves to the first European 
captor. Her people, too, have been bred under influences widely different 
from those which made the Americans, and have shown already a desire 
to be supreme in the Pacific, which cannot be gratified unless her Govern- 
ment possesses means of ruling dependencies not admitted to political 
equality. New Guinea alone is a kingdom in area, and New Guinea 
belongs to Australia by a right almost as strong as that which binds the 
Isle of Man to Great Britain. 



UNITED AUSTRALIA. 3 

The Spectator continued. 

We confess we envy the task of the representatives to be assembled in 
the Convention ; it is so infinitely superior to that of Members of Parlia- 
ment. They will all be " plain men," little known outside their own 
colonies, as, indeed, were the men who revised the American Constitu- 
tion ; but they will, if they succeed, and above all if they agree, have 
laid the foundations of a great nation, with a history which, as the cen- 
turies advance, may be more interesting than that of the United States, 
whose annals are almost exclusively internal. The great Southern State 
will be an island, and, like every other island, cannot avoid incessant 
relations with every other Power in the world. Water divides, but it 
also unites, for it furnishes a perpetually open road. Australia as a 
Republic cannot help being a maritime Power, and, from the days of 
Phoenicia downwards, there never was a maritime Power yet without a 
foreign policy. She is too liable to attack, too eager for commerce, too 
clearly compelled to protect settlements and subjects at a distance from 
her own shores. It is a fleet Australia will need rather than a militia, 
more especially if she commits the imprudence of including New Zealand 
a separate world, twelve hundred miles off within her own dominion, 
and the possessors of fleets are never contented with the less interesting 
annals of mere landsmen. Fleets imply adventure, though their owner 
is but a city on the wrong side of the Mediterranean. The Australian 
Colonies have already questions which, were they independent, would be 
serious questions, with France and China and Holland, and they bear a 
relation towards Further Asia not borne by any European Power. They 
will not be organised into a State for ten years before they will be 
trading, settling, and governing in the only splendid possession which 
Europe has left for the next conquering Power, the great necklace of 
rich, tropical islands, a necklace with two rows, which stretches down 
from Japan to a point almost within sight of the Australian coast. 
Australia is the natural heir of the Eastern Archipelago, an Empire in 
itself, and will not be long a State before, whatever Europe may think 
or feel, she will have claimed her heritage. Europe will be perfectly 
powerless, and, in all probability, occupied as she will be with other 
questions, profoundly indifferent. 

The federation of Australia, great as may be the power thus founded, 
will be witnessed here without the smallest jealousy. Nobody desires 
to hamper Australia, even if she expands very rapidly. There is not a 
trace of that contempt for Australians which our ancestors are said to 



4 UNITED AUSTRALIA. 

The Spectator continued. 

have felfc for the American Colonists, and none of the lingering jealousy 
with which even the English regard all other successful Powers. Some 
quality in the Australians not easily to be denned, though we should call 
it cheeriness, attracts the English at home, and, but for the length of the 
voyage, they would fill up the plains of the Southern Continent at a rate 
which would hardly delight the workmen of Melbourne or Sydney. All 
men here are willing that Australia should remain a Dependency ; but if 
she declared her wish to rise into the position of an independent ally, 
there would be, amidst some sorrow at the disappearance of a dream, but 
little irritation. There are men among us, indeed, who think that, so 
far from dreading Australian Federation, we should welcome it as the 
first great step towards Imperial Federation. We are, we regret to say, 
wholly unable to enter into that dream. We cannot even imagine Aus- 
tralia, with her unimpeded career before her in the South, taking up part 
of our burden in the North, helping to guarantee us against European 
attacks, maintaining our empire in Asia, or submitting to the influence of 
our democratic Parliament. No new people accepts that position except 
for the gravest reasons, and why should Australia accept it ? What have 
we to give in return for such a sacrifice except a maritime protection 
which, in the very act of declaring her independence, she would assert 
that she did not need 1 The Dominion may, indeed, be content to remain 
for many years as a Federal Republic within the empire, as the Canadian 
Dominion has done ; but it will be on condition that the empire defends 
her without interfering in her internal government, or levying within her 
coasts any taxation. The dream of the union of countries separated by 
twelve thousand miles of sea is a dream merely, and would be one even if 
England were willing that her policy should be partly directed from 
Ottawa or Melbourne. It is as a powerful colony, soon to become a 
powerful State, that England will welcome the Australian Dominion, all 
the more willingly perhaps that Australia cannot, like Canada, merge 
herself in a state already almost as strong as Europe in combination. 
Australia must always remain alone, sufficient or insufficient to herself 
a fact which will, we hope, affect her organisation, as it most assuredly 
will alfect the political temper of her people. 



UNITED AUSTRALIA. 5 

The St. James' Gazette 
November 4M, 1889. 

THE important despatch just issued by Sir Henry Parkes, the New South 
Wales Premier, bears out what we said the other day in commenting on 
a previous statement made by the same statesman. Sir Henry, who is 
the most influential politician in New South Wales, or, indeed, in 
Australasia, now formally and distinctly records his belief in Australian 
Federalism. The immediate occasion is the report made by General 
Edwards, the military commandant at Hong Kong, 011 the subject of the 
Australian defensive system. This officer has advised, among other 
things, the federation of the several Australian contingents and the 
appointment of a single commanding officer for the whole body ; the 
adoption of a uniform system of organisation and armament ; the estab- 
lishment of a common military college for all the colonies ; and the 
introduction for strategical purposes of a uniform railway gauge. Now, 
it is clear that these objects can only be carried out by a common central 
authority of some kind, and at present the only central authority which 
exists is the so-called Australian Federal Council, in which New South 
Wales has steadily refused to be represented. " Now," says Sir Henry 
Parkes, "why not throw overboard this sham council, which has no real 
executive power, which cannot command our troops, which cannot control 
a national system of defence, which is only, in fact, a sort of deliberative 
congress : why not get rid of this altogether and consider the question of 
a real federation of the colonies'?" The question of defence, when looked 
at fairly, brings us, in spite of prejudices or preferences, face to face with 
the necessity for federal government; and "why," he continues, "should 
we turn aside from what is inevitable in the nature of our onward 
progress 1 It must come, a year or two later possibly, but in any case 
soon." The New South Wales Premier goes on to suggest that a formal 
intercolonial convention, consisting of six members from each colony, 
should be assembled in order to consider a scheme of Federal Government 
more or less on the Canadian type. In fact, if ail succeeds as Sir Henry 
Parkes hopes, before long there will be another great dominion under the 
British Crown the Dominion of Australia, not much inferior in resources 
and population to the Dominion of Canada. 

That the movement is a healthy one is, on the whole, clear enough. 
If there is to be an Australian people instead of merely a collection o 
small provinces, there must be a common central Government for common 
purposes. It is, perhaps, not quite so clear why the system of union 



6 UNITED AUSTRALIA. 

The St. James' Gazette continued. 

should be federal. Federalism is very much in favour just now ; but it 
is nowhere a complete success, and in one or two places it has proved 
uncommonly like a failure. The excuse for adopting it in the case of a 
number of distinct States like those which constituted the original 
American Union, or a number of districts, separated by racial and religious 
differences, as was the case in Canada, is sufficiently valid ; but where 
you have a population practically homogeneous, inhabiting regions not 
divided from one another by very strongly marked natural or physical 
peculiarities, it might at least be argued that there is no particular 
occasion to stereotype the somewhat cumbrous and awkward federal 
arrangement. An autocratic reformer with a free hand might perhaps 
decide that the best constitution for Australia would be a single central 
Government and central Parliament, with county councils for each colony. 
But as local vanity and local patriotism count for a good deal, it is not 
to be supposed that any one of the colonies would consent to deprive 
itself of its legislature, its executive, its government, its ministry, and all 
the other paraphernalia of statehood. At any rate, Australian union, 
whether it comes by federation or by some other means, is a consumma- 
tion which Englishmen and English politicians need not regard with 
anything but pleasure. It is true that each successive step towards the 
federation of a group of colonies increases their tendency to national 
existence and to national self-consciousness. The Australians have been 
frank enough in their dealings with the Home Government for some time 
past, and if they are federalised no doubt they will make known their 
wishes and their views with more bluntness and candour than ever. 
Even in the memorandum to which we refer, Sir Henry Parkes says 
plainly that the colonies would " never consent " to allow the Imperial 
Government to exercise any control over an Australian army. In fact, 
a central Australian Federal Congress would be a body very little inclined 
to receive direction either from the Imperial Parliament or from its 
nominees, the ministry of the day. It would be, from one point of view, 
a long step forward towards the goal of colonial separation ; but then, 
from another point of view, it might also be a step towards the somewhat 
shadowy ideal of Imperial Federation. It would be easier to deal with half 
a dozen great colonial congresses, bearing some proportion in dignity and 
importance to the Imperial Parliament itself, than with three or four 
and twenty trumpery little provincial legislatures. By whatever means 
the "golden link " is eventually found which will bind together, more 



UNITED AUSTRALIA. 7 

The St. James' Gazette continued. 

securely than by the complicated and insecure strands of the Colonial 
Office, the various members of the empire, it is more likely to be fashioned 
by Dominion Parliaments than by small local assemblies. For these 
reasons the action of the energetic New South Wales Premier will be 
watched both with sympathy and interest in this country. How he will 
succeed in bringing protectionist Victoria and free trading New South 
Wales under the same government we confess we do not quite see. But 
if he does succeed he will have done good service to the whole of the 
Anglo-Saxon world. The federation of a group of contiguous colonies is 
a good thing in itself, and a better thing if it offers some prospect of 
leading to the eventual federation of the Empire. 



Pall Mall Gazette 

November 4=th, 1889. 

BY far the most important piece of news to-day is the despatch which Sir 
Henry Parkes has addressed to the Premiers of the other Australian 
colonies on the subject of federation. By an instructive coincidence the 
publication of this despatch has occurred simultaneously with the report 
of the festivities given by the Sultan to the German Emperor. It shows 
how little the real drift of Imperial affairs and the true perspective of 
Imperial concerns are understood as yet among us, that the two chief 
organs of a government which professes above all things to be Imperialist 
should devote columns of criticism this morning to chances and changes 
in Eastern Europe, but have not a word to say on the new departure 
taken at the Antipodes. Decidedly Europe is too much with us. Except 
so far as it offers a field for coming to a friendly understanding with 
Russia, the future of Eastern Europe is no concern of ours ; but the 
future of Australia is of enormous concern every way, both in itself 
as a greater England and for its bearing on the Empire as a whole. 
But for all that our statesmen, and the journals who reflect their views, 
and the public which takes its cue from the journals, will be far more 
interested in taking count of the turn of the German Emperor's phrases 
and of estimating the value of the Sultan's smiles than in watching the 
development of a policy which, conceived in the fertile brain of Sir 
Henry Parkes, may be destined to mould the future of the whole British 
Empire. 



8 UNITED AUSTRALIA. 

Pall Mall Gazette continued. 

Unlike Mr. Gladstone, who is out of office, Sir Henry Parkes, being 
in office, has tabled his plan. Some of it is contained in the despatch 
which is published this morning ; the rest of it was explained in the re- 
markable speech which he delivered two or three months ago in connection 
with the Western Australia Bill. It is essential, to a right understanding 
of the matter, to read the two documents together. The despatch, 
which appears in to-day's papers, suggests that the time has come for 
superseding the existing " Federal Council " of Australia by a genuine 
federation of all the Australian Colonies with New Zealand, if possible, 
included on the Canadian basis. That is what Sir Henry Parkes pro- 
poses in the present ; but for his view of the future, we must go back to 
his speech of last summer. We give here the most significant passages : 

" It has always appeared to me and the more I reflect the more 
forcibly it appears to me that there can be no federation except upon a 
common basis of equality ; and that there can be no true and lasting 
federation by a great central Power I will not use the word dominant 
Power with a number of weaker or inferior Powers. ^ . . But I do 
see very clearly that there may come a time, and that time not very 
remote, when these Australian colonies may be brought into agreement 
as one great Australian people. I do see a time when the North 
American colonies may be brought more into the position of one great 
and united people. I do see a time when the South African colonies 
may be brought together into one great Anglo- African people. And I 
see that if a grand and powerful congerie of free communities, such as I 
have grouped in three parts of the world, becomes steadily formed, they 
may enter into an alliance with the parent State on something like a 
broad ground of equality. I see that, I think, clearly enough that 
there might be a union of empire on such lines as I have imperfectly 
foreshadowed, and to which I have called attention on former occasions. 
. . . . I think there is a promise of unprecedented usefulness for 
the British people by uniting as one in all parts of the world where our 
language is spoken." 

Sir Henry Parkes, it will thus be seen, is for Imperial Federation, like 
the rest of us; but he is for federation at two removes. First, the 
Australian colonies are to federate amongst themselves. Then they are 
to federate with the mother country. Perhaps the scheme is premature, 
even in its initial stage. Sir Henry Parkes seems to admit as much him- 
self, when he says, " it must come a year or two later possibly but in 
any case soon." But whether destined to be realized a little sooner or a 
little later, it marks the line of future development. Sir Henry Parkes 
has rendered the same kind of service by his despatch as Mr. Gladstone 
rendered by his Home Rule Bill. He has brought the federation of the 
Empire within the range of practical politics. 



UNITED AUSTRALIA. 1) 

Pall Mall Gazette continued. 

It is impossible to say what answer the colonies will immediately give 
to Sir Henry Parkes. Every one knows that there is great jealousy 
between them. New South Wales, it was supposed, held aloof from the 
so-called " Federal Council " because Victoria had the initiative in it. 
Now that Sir Henry Parkes has regained the lead, it is possible that 
Victoria may draw back. But decidedly Sir Henry has the logic of 
events in his favour. New South Wales always maintained in public 
that the reason why it held back from the former scheme was that the 
scheme was futile. The so-called Federal Council was not genuinely 
representative, and having no executive behind it it had nothing to do. 
It was, in fact, little more than an intercolonial Debating Society, and 
Sir Henry Parkes argued that the cause of federation as a measure of 
serious and practical politics, was not advanced by confusing it with the 
formation of a Colonial Ministers' Debating Club. The good sense and 
good faith of Sir Henry Parkes' objections have been shown by the pro- 
posal he has now made for converting the semblance of Federation into 
a reality, and by the fact that the proposal has grown out of a practical 
difficulty. The Australian Colonies have been organizing their defences, 
but no machinery exists for placing those defences under a common com- 
mand or concerting them in a common scheme. It is said by the anti- 
Imperialists in Australia that a reaction against the policy of sending 
the New South Wales contingent to the Soudan was the cause of the 
recent growth of the " nationalism." It looks as if the organization of 
the defensive contingents would pave the way for merging that national 
movement into one for federation at two removes. 



The Morning Post 

November th, 1889. 

AN important despatch, addressed by Sir Henry Parkes, the Premier of 
New South Wales, to the Victorian Premier, the Hon. Duncan Gillies, 
appeal's in another part of our impression. The exceptionally interesting 
character of that document it is scarcely necessary to point out. For 
should the proposal of Sir Henry Parkes be accepted by the Australian 
Colonies, and become the basis of united action by them, nothing less 
than an entirely new departure will have been taken in the weighty 
matter of Australian Federation, In order to understand the proposal 



10 UNITED AUSTRALIA. 

The Morning Post continued. 

now made, it is well to recall the outlines of the existing condition of 
affairs. In the year 1885 a measure was passed enabling the whole of 
our colonies in the South Pacific to unite in a scheme of federation. Of 
this Act they all took advantage, with the exception of New Zealand, 
South Australia, and New South Wales, and in January, 1886, the 
Federal Council thereby constituted held its first meeting. Without 
going into the details of the legislative powers of that body, it is sufficient 
to say that they are held by Sir Henry Parkes to be entirely inade- 
quate to the real requirements of Australian Federation. The conten- 
tion of the Premier of New South Wales is that the provisions of the 
Federal Council Act are wholly insufficient for the vitally important task 
of providing for the defence of the colonies. Sir Henry Parkes cannot 
discover that the Council " possesses the requisite powers to constitute, 
direct, and control an united Australian army." And even assuming 
that the Council does possess these powers, there " does not exist, in it or 
behind it, any form of executive power." That is to say, no machinery 
exists for combining under one command the scattered and unconnected 
forces locally maintained by the several colonies, in view of a great com- 
mon danger. It is true that the Imperial Parliament could constitute a 
Federal army ; but the colonies themselves would not brook Imperial 
interference with its movements. Hence a vista of fatal complications is 
opened up to the imagination. The remedy which Sir Henry Parkes 
proposes for the present unsatisfactory state of things is as follows. Be- 
lieving that " the time is ripe for consolidating the Australias into one," 
he invites Victoria to send representatives to a great national convention 
" for the purpose of devising and reporting upon an adequate scheme of 
Federal Government." Sir Henry Parkes has addressed similar despatches 
to the Premiers of the other colonies, and, in view of that fact, it may be 
fairly surmised that a most important problem in the development of the 
destinies of Australia is within measurable distance of a determined 
attempt at solution. As to the lines of the scheme of Federal Govern- 
ment which Sir Henry Parkes is desirous to see adopted, they would 
coincide closely, he assumes, with the Canadian type. This would 
involve the creation of a Governor-General, Privy Council, and a Parlia- 
ment of two Houses. Combined colonial defence would be the first and 
chief object of the federation, that being the point though the most 
important point of any that could possible come within the purview of 
such a scheme in which Australian Federation, in its present incomplete 



UNITED AUSTRALIA. 11 

The Morning Post continued. 

form, is apparently wanting. But, besides this, Sir Henry Parkes adds, 
the work which such a Federal Government could and would undertake 
would "include the noblest objects of peaceful and orderly progress." 
Possibly the existing arrangement may be thought to be equal to the 
requirements of the various colonies in many respects. But Sir Henry 
Parkes' indictment of the Act of 1885 from the standpoint of colonial 
defence, reveals the nakedness of the land to a rather alarming extent. 
The public will, unquestionably, await with the deepest interest the recep- 
tion which the bold initiative of Sir Henry Parkes is destined to receive 
at the hands of the other Australian Premiers. 



The Globe 

November kth, 1889. 

SIR HENRY PARKES, Premier of New South Wales, has issued a circular 
despatch to the Premiers of the other Australian colonies inviting them 
to send representatives to a national convention to be called together for 
the purpose of devising a new scheme of Australian Federation. The 
existing system is, he thinks, inadequate to the requirements of colonial 
defence. He cannot concur in the view that the Federal Council, as 
constituted by the Act of 1885, "possesses the requisite power to con- 
stitute, direct, and control a united Australian army." Moreover, there 
is no form of executive power behind the Council to give effect to any 
commands it might conceive itself capable of issuing. Sir Henry Parkes 
therefore, desires a scheme of Federal Government of the Canadian type, 
with Governor-General, Privy Council, and two Houses of Parliament ; 
in fact, a complete legislative and executive machine, subject only to the 
supremacy of the Crown, as the only means of securing an adequate sys- 
tem of defence, as well as other benefits, to the Australian Colonies. An 
excellent idea as an idea indeed, and one which will, doubtless, obtain 
the support, in an abstract and academic way, of everybody in Australia, 
But practically we are not very sanguine as to the success of Sir Henry 
Parkes' patriotic attempt. The several colonies, as all the world knows, 
are unable to agree among themselves, especially with regard to fisca 
matters. New South Wales and Victoria are at daggers drawn on that 
score, and those who know both colonies openly scoff at the idea of union 
between the two for any object whatever. It is needless to add that the 



12 UNITED AUSTRALIA. 

The Globe continued. 

military aspects of the scheme would be matter for most careful considera- 
tion on the part of the Imperial Parliament. While, therefore, we wish 
the Australian Colonies all possible success in their struggle to evolve for 
themselves the form of Government best suited to them, we must remind 
them that before they can aspire to a complete system of federation they 
must learn to forego those mutual dissensions which are an insurmount- 
able obstacle to such a scheme. 



Manchester Examiner 

November tk, 1889. 

THE very remarkable letter addressed by the Premier of New South 
Wales to the Ministerial heads of the other Australian Colonies illus- 
trates the difficulties with which the cause of federation is confronted 
in our Antipodean possessions. The Premier of Victoria had proposed 
that the machinery of the Australian Federal Council created by a recent 
Act should be put into operation for the purpose of giving effect to 
General Edwards' recommendations for the better defence of all the 
Australian colonies. Sir Henry Parkes returns an elaborate refusal, 
which he intimates is an expression of the general opinion of New South 
Wales, at the same time that he makes an alternative proposal. He 
objects to the present Federal Council, not only that its statutory powers 
are inadequate for such a purpose as the management of a common 
Australian army, but that it blocks the way to a really satisfactory 
Federal Council being established. What Sir Henry Parkes wants is an 
Australian Parliament and Executive, modelled on the Canadian pattern. 
His letter to the Hon. Duncan Gillies was, of course, written in ignor- 
ance of the statement recently made by the Marquis of Lome as to the 
very serious difficulties experienced in working the Canadian Federal 
system. More than that, his argument is based at the outset on a refusal 
to recognise the plain meaning of words. His plea is that, because the 
clause in the act authorising the Federal Council to take measures for 
providing a proper system of "general defences " for Australia also refers 
to such matters as the regulation of weights and measures, therefore the 
Council has no such power as the words quoted imply. It might just as 
well be argued that because the connection between elementary education 
and cattle disease is not quite self-obvious, therefore the British Parlia- 



UNITED AUSTRALIA. 13 

Manchester Examiner continued. 

merit could never have relegated the administration of these matters to 
one and the same department of the Government. But, unfortunately 
for Sir Henry Parkes' argument, it did ; it was only the other day that 
the care of cattle disease was taken from under the charge of the Privy 
Council and committed to a distinct department. Sir Henry Parkes 
may or may not succeed in his plan for setting up an Australian Con- 
federation which will be independent in all but the name, but it is surely 
an unpropitious beginning that he should commence by twisting plain 
words out of their only obvious meaning. The likelihood is that his pro- 
posal will lead to a long wrangle between the colonies, for New South 
Wales cannot be more jealous of her seniority than Victoria is keen 
to resent any pretension to superiority on her part, while Queensland 
believes that she is better and more important than either. If these 
rivals cannot agree upon such a comparatively simple affair as the 
concerting of measures for common defence, what probability is there of 
agreement being arrived at on the multitudinous points of diverse interest 
suggested by Sir Henry Parkes' proposal ? 



The Daily News 
November 4th, 1889. 

THE letter from the Premier of New South Wales to the Premier of 
Victoria, which we publish this morning, is an important event in the 
history of our Australasian Colonies. The immediate cause and origin of 
the document are indeed of secondary interest. But constitutional and 
political changes often spring from occurrences which seem too small for 
them, though their real source is at once deep-seated and little suspected. 
General Edwards, who was sent out to Australia to examine and report 
upon its means of defence, has recently reported in favour of the federal 
action of Australian troops. The Prime Minister of Victoria, Mr. 
Duncan Gillies, at once telegraphed to the Prime Minister of New South 
Wales, Sir Henry Parkes, suggesting that the provisions of the Federal 
Councils Act might be employed to carry out the recommendations of 
General Edwards. Sir Henry Parkes, in his very able and statesmanlike 
reply, points out that, in his opinion, the Federal Council does not possess 
the powers attributed to it by Mr. Gillies. Sir Henry Parkes makes out 
a strong and plausible case, although it must be remembered that he has 



14 UNITED AUSTRALIA. 

The Daily News continued. 

a bias in favour of the view which he so lucidly expounds. He desires 
the establishment of an institution far more considerable than the Federal 
Council, and he is therefore naturally predisposed to disbelieve in the 
adequacy of the Council for the purpose indicated by Mr. Gillies. Sir 
Henry's argument is briefly this : He finds that in the Act " general 
defences " are included among a number of delegated subjects, such as 
weights and measures, and he refuses to infer from a single phrase so 
placed the right of the Australian continent to set up an army of its own. 
Sir Henry Parkes opposed the Federal Councils Bill at the time of its 
preparation, not regarding it as adapted to secure those objects which he 
has pursued for the last twenty years. He is a federalist, at least so far 
as Australia is concerned, and he dislikes the Federal Councils Act as 
stereotyping a sham federalism. New South Wales will have nothing to 
do with it. Few people will, we suppose, deny, whether they like federa- 
tion or dislike it, that the Act of 1885 was a very small and tentative . 
measure. We see no answer to the contention of Sir Henry Parkes that 
even if the Federal Council could order the enrolment of an Australian 
army there is no executive force to carry out its decrees. While cordially 
concurring with General Edwards' advice, and holding it essential to 
the safety of Australia, Sir Henry Parkes is convinced that it cannot at 
present be followed : 

"The Executive Governments of the several colonies,'' he says, "could 
not act in combination for any such purpose, nor could they so act inde- 
pendently of each other." 

The Federal Council is helpless ; and thus, by a process of exhaustion, 
Sir Henry arrives at the depressing conclusion that nothing can be done. 

He proceeds to deal with the obvious suggestion that Parliament 
might constitute a federal army. " But," he significantly observes, "the 
colonies would never consent to the Imperial Executive interfering with 
the direction of its movements." This emphatic declaration may be 
commended to the notice of those who think that spick and span contri- 
vances for " federalising the Empire " can be exported from a benevolent 
metropolis to her aspiring offshoots. Her Majesty's Australian subjects 
are doubtless extremely loyal, but they are also extremely businesslike, 
and no sentiment of the " hands all round " type will induce them to 
forego one jot or tittle of their practical independence. Sir Henry 
Parkes, who picks his way with admirable astuteness over the hidden 
pitfalls and smouldering ashes of this burning question, suddenly finds 



UNITED AUSTRALIA. 15 

The Daily News continued. 

himself, with skilfully simulated surprise, " face to face " with the alter- 
native of Federal Government. " Why," he asks, " should we turn aside 
from what is inevitable 1 " We might answer that death is inevitable, 
but that wise men do not live in constant contemplation of it. Sir 
Henry Parkes, however, is convinced in the first place that Australasian 
Federation will come very soon, and, in the second place, that it is 
eminently desirable. He urges upon the Premiers of the sister colonies 
that " the time is ripe for consolidating the Australias into one." It is 
difficult to say how far Sir Henry Parkes represents in this respect the 
public opinion of the great continent which has been civilised and culti- 
vated by English enterprise, or of the islands of Tasmania and New 
Zealand. Hitherto the issue of protection versus free trade, differently 
regarded in New South Wales and in Victoria, has been an apparently 
insuperable obstacle. Now, Sir Henry Parkes with warmth and sincerity 
invites Mr. Gillies 

" to appoint representatives of Victoria to a National Convention for the 
purpose of devising and reporting upon an adequate scheme of Federal 
Government." 

Sir Henry Parkes must have had his plan ready for some time. He 
is prepared not only with principles but even with details. He pro- 
poses that each colony should send six representatives nominated by its 
Parliament in equal proportions from both political parties. Four of the 
six would come from the Assembly, and two from the Council ; while 
Western Australia, which has only one Chamber, and that not a 
democratic one, would be sufficiently represented by four delegates. 

The most satisfactory feature of these proposals is that they come 
from Australia herself, and not from the Mother country. If any 
English statesman, however eminent, had laid it down as a maxim that 
there should be a Governor-General of Australasia, with a Senate, a 
House of Commons, and a Privy Council, he would have been open to a 
just charge of presumptuous meddling. It remains to be seen whether 
Sir Henry Parkes' letter will obtain active support from Victoria or 
from New Zealand. But without New Zealand the combination would 
be fatally incomplete. Nothing, says Sir Henry Parkes, will ever per- 
suade New South Wales to enter the present Federal Council, so useless 
does she regard it. But the other colonies have entered it, and their pro 
gress towards federalism is therefore, by the hypothesis, not so far 
advanced. The analogy, from which Sir Henry Parkes reasons, is the 



16 UNITED AUSTRALIA. 

The Daily News continued. 

Dominion of Canada, and certainly the parallel is an ingenious one. 
There are, of course, many points of difference, and all political analogies 
have an inherent weakness of their own. While on the one hand Canada 
is compact, and does not include two islands a thousand miles from the 
continent, on the other hand the Australian Governments have no such 
discordant element to deal with as the French Canadians. The matter is 
entirely within the proper competence of Australasian opinion, and the 
Imperial Parliament will gladly ratify any conclusion at which the Aus- 
tralian colonies may jointly arrive. We shall hear on this occasion no 
factious nonsense about the dismemberment of the Empire, and Sir 
Henry Parkes will not be accused of conspiracy with traitors or 
murderers. It is just as well that stay-at-home Britons should bo 
reminded from time to time what a speck Ireland is in the dominions 
of the Queen. To Irishmen Home Rule is vital, and therefore English- 
men are bound to examine it with care. But the idle talk about 
"disintegration'' is not so much controversial intemperance as sheer 
lunacy. The separation of Ireland from Great Britain would be disas- 
trous to the smaller country, and is, happily, impossible. Irishmen 
have fought side by side with us, and if necessary would do so again. 
A power so vast, so comprehensive, so irresistible as the British Empire 
would be if its scattered forces were combined, excites irreverent 
laughter when it betrays symptoms of panic over an Irish Parliament. 
There is no real connection between the policy of Sir Henry Parkes 
and a brand new Constitution, with a Federal Legislature at West- 
minster. That may or may not come in the course of ages. Tho 
Australian Federation proposed by Sir Henry Parkes, though it has been 
stimulated by military necessity, will, if adopted, be still more fruitful 
in promoting the peaceful progress of communities with so great a 
future before them. 



The Star (London)-^ 

November th, 1889. 

SIR HENRY PARKES has started a big ball rolling in Australia. The 
military adviser whom we sent out to advise the Australians on a common 
scheme of national defence has reported in favour of a Federal Australian 
army, and Sir Henry Parkes takes up the cue and boldly tells the 



UNITED AUSTRALIA. 17 

The Star (London) continued. 

colonies that the time has come for a federated Australia. He does 
more ; he invites a representative conference of all the colonies to 
consider the question, and he indicates the direction which the movement 
should take by pointing to the Canadian Federation, with a glance still 
more significant at the Constitution of the nited States. 

On, the reception given to this document by the sister colonies will 
depend the future of Australia for many years to come. The time is ripe 
for a movement of this kind. It has been in the air for some time past. 
The colonies have obviously reached a period of development when, if 
they are not to grow up into a series of disunited, rival, and mutually 
jealous states on the European pattern, some new bond of union must be 
found in place of the ever- weakening connection with the mother country. 
The feeble effort in this direction made by the Federal Councils Act of 
1885 has been tried and found wanting. New South Wales wisely stood 
out of the arrangement thus created. Her wisdom is shown by Sir Henry 
Parkes' conclusive demonstration to-day, that for one of the first and most 
important duties of a federated authority the control of the defences of 
the federation this nondescript council has neither the authority nor the 
machinery. The only solution of the difficulty is a real Federal Govern- 
ment, with a central Executive, Council, and Parliament. 



WHAT will our Imperialists over here say to this 1 They are silent on 
the subject this morning. The Morning Post gives Sir Henry Parkes an 
article, but carefully refrains from committing itself to any definite view. 
The Pall Mall Gazette will be thinking it over while we are writing. 
But we can safely assure them all of this, that if a federated Australia 
comes it will not be a step in the direction of Imperial Federation as 
Imperial Federation is now understood. The very man who starts the 
movement has recorded his opinion that Imperial Federation is an empty 
dream. Sir Henry Parkes is all against " cutting the painter " ; but, in 
spite of that, he is proposing the first step to the creation of a United 
States of Australia. It may be as some Australian Radicals believe, that 
this great Federal State, if it ever comes, will in turn enter into a federal 
alliance with the United Kingdom ; but everything points to the con- 
clusion that the only federation of this kind which can come is a federation 
of independent states, into which the Australian States might enter on 
the same footing as the United States of America. But this is a matter 
for the twentieth century or the twenty-first. 



18 UNITED AUSTRALIA. 

Edinburgh Evening Despatch 

November 4th, 1889. 

THE telegraphic announcement from Sydney that Sir Henry Parkes, the 
Premier of New South Wales, had at length intimated the adherence of 
that colony to the principle of Australian Federation is an event of 
first-rate magnitude. Practically it removes the last formidable obstacle 
to the ultimate adoption of that great scheme, which should prove a 
worthy rival of that which has brought strength and prosperity to the 
Dominion of Canada. New South Wales, for certain reasons of its own, 
has hitherto been the only colony to hold aloof from the federation 
movement, but, of course, its opposition was fatal. What are the 
motives which have produced this sudden change of position are not fully 
explained, though they are not difficult to divine. New South Wales 
has remained staunch to Free- trade, while the other colonies, and 
especially Victoria, have been wedded to Protection. Unfortunately the 
Protectionist feeling in New South Wales has been rapidly gaining 
ground, the position of the Ministry is becoming less certain, and con- 
siderable discontent has been created by the mismanagement of the rail- 
ways and several public departments. Various boundary questions also, 
such as the withdrawal of water from the sources of the Murray for 
irrigation purposes, and the inconveniences of the rival tariff arrange- 
ments, have likewise produced a feeling that sooner or later something 
must be attempted to remove the constant and annoying friction. Sir 
H. Parkes now admits that federation must soon come, and he loyally 
offers to facilitate its accomplishment by suggesting a National Conven- 
tion, at which the colonies shall be equally represented, to consider and 
report on the question. Many very critical details have still to be 
settled, and grave difficulties and jealousies to be overcome before 
federation can be a fact ; though, if it is taken up in the spirit displayed 
by Sir Henry Parkes, there is every prospect of its triumphant success. 



The Evening News (Glasgow) 
November 4th, 1889. 

AN important development in Australian politics is announced to-day. 
Sir Henry Parkes, the Premier of New South Wales, has addressed to the 
other Premiers of Australia an invitation to join in " an adequate scheme 
of Federal Government." Sir Henry declares that there is an imperative 



UNITED AUSTRALIA. 19 

The Evening News (Glasgow) continued. 

necessity for such a scheme. He believes that the time is ripe for 
consolidating the Australias into one, and he accordingly proposes, as an 
initial measure, a national convention [of the various colonies, with the 
view of devising a suitable measure. There is no cause for surprise in this 
movement. It is natural that the Australians should desire to make the 
very best of their unexampled opportunities as the pioneers of the New 
World of the South, and, even if the measure suggested were inimical to 
the interests of the mother-country, it would be unfair to condemn those 
who are only discharging their duty. Of course, it is not yet certain 
that the other colonies will agree to Sir Henry Parkes' proposal, and 
until then it will be premature to closely scrutinize a scheme which is 
yet but in outlines. 

Meanwhile it may be noted that the primary purpose animating Sir 
Henry Parkes has been that of providing Australia with an effective 
land defence. The present comparative helplessness of the island- 
continent is really an important consideration. In the event of a war 
between Britain and a Continental Power, it is likely enough that 
telegraphic communication would be early destroyed, and as the Home 
force would be too busily engaged in Europe to permit of much aid being 
offered to the colonies, the Britain across the seas would have to rely 
largely upon its own exertions for any defensive operations that might 
be necessary. Some preparations in the way of coast protection have, 
with the aid of the mother-country, already been made, but Sir Henry 
Parkes has perceived that without an effective land force Australia 
might still be placed in a position of great jeopardy. His immediate 
idea is a federal measure of defence, which would entail a combination 
of the various colonial forces into one consolidated Australian army, 
ready for the general protection. The enrolment of such a force might 
offer some obstacles, but Sir Henry is hopeful of overcoming these. 
Federation for this purpose would probably be only the preliminary to 
federation for many other purposes, and on all of these, provided they 
are legitimately intended for the welfare of the colonies, the mother- 
country can look with a favourite eye. It is inevitable that the 
Australia of the future shall be more cohesive than is the case now, and 
whatever the precise relations may be between the Australians and 
ourselves, this is one of those natural contingencies to which it is neither 
desirable nor useful to object. 



20 UNITED AUSTEALIA. 

The Times- 

November 5th, 1889. 

THE important despatch from Sir Henry Parkes, the Premier of New 
South Wales, to Mr. Gillies, the Premier of Victoria, seems to bring us 
an appreciable step nearer to the federation of the Australian Colonies. 
Sir Henry Parkes has already shown that consolidation in a federal union 
is, in his judgment, the natural line of evolution, what would be called 
in America the manifest destiny of the Australian polity. He has been, 
as he says, a federalist for more than twenty years, and he gave excellent 
and eloquent reasons for the faith that is in him in a speech delivered 
last August in the Parliament of his own colony, and 'printed in our 
columns about six weeks ago. On the other hand, New South Wales has 
not hitherto taken kindly, and does not even now take kindly, to the 
embryo scheme of federation embodied in the Act passed by the Imperial 
Parliament in 1885 for the constitution of a Federal Council in Austral- 
asia. "In my judgment," says Sir Henry Parkes, frankly and emphatically 
enough, " there is no person and no party here that could persuade Parlia- 
ment to sanction the representation of this colony in the present Federal 
Council." The explanation of this apparent contradiction is not far to 
seek. The present movement towards federation in Australia has 
acquired force and volume from circumstances not adequately provided 
for in the Federal Council of the Australasia Act. The Council con 
stituted by the Act is weak as a legislature because its enactments only 
become law by the assent of the colonies affected, and, as Sir Henry 
Parkes points out, " there does not exist in it or behind it any form 
of executive power." For this and other reasons New South Wales 
has declined, and still declines, to send representatives to the Council. 
But a question of vital importance to Australia as a whole has arisen, 
which forces Australian statesmen again to look closely and seriously at 
the problem of federation. This is the question of general defence. 
General Edwards has recommended that the general defence of Austra- 
lian territory should be made a matter of common concern to all the 
Australian Colonies. The Government of Victoria appear to think that the 
Federal Council possesses the requisite power to constitute, direct, and con- 
trol a united Australian army. In this view Sir Henry Parkes finds him- 
self unable to concur. He recognizes, on the other hand, that the question 
must be faced. He examines in succession the several alternatives, such 
as the creation of a common army either by the Federal Council or by 
the Imperial Parliament, or the combination of the several Executive 



UNITED AUSTRALIA. 21 

The Times continued. 

Governments, otherwise independent, for the purpose of creating and 
controlling a common army. All these he rejects for reasons of un- 
doubted cogency, and he is thus driven to the conclusion that, a common 
army being necessary for the purpose of the economical and effective 
defence of Australian territory, that necessity leads by irresistible sequence 
to federation. " Hence, then," he says, " this first great federal ques- 
tion, when looked at fairly, brings us, in spite of preferences and 
prejudices, face to face with the imperative necessity for Federal Govern- 
ment, and why should we turn aside from what is inevitable T 

The reasoning is cogent, and the practical consequences may be, indeed 
we should rather say must be, momentous. It is possible, of course, that 
sectional and separatist tendencies may still prevail for a time, and that 
the Colony of Victoria, which has taken more or less kindly to the 
Federal Council, may not take kindly at the outset to a proposal for 
federation in a different form which comes from New South Wales. But 
it can hardly be doubted that evolution in the federal direction is indi- 
cated as the future destiny of the Australian Colonies alike by history, 
' analogy, and the normal tendency of events. On this fundamental point 
Sir Henry Parkes and Mr. Gillies appeared to be essentially at one. The 
only difference is that Mr. Gillies and the Government of Victoria seem 
ready to take the existing Federal Council as the germ of the future 
polity, while Sir Henry Parkes would start afresh and summon a 
National Convention, in which all the colonies should be equally repre- 
sented, for the purpose of devising and reporting upon an adequate 
scheme of Federal Government, The difference is considerable, and its 
adjustment may impede further progress for a time, but it is not in any 
way vital. Federal Government arises, as Professor Dicey has pointed 
out, when the several states participating in it desire union without desir- 
ing unity. The first condition is absolutely indispensable. Without an 
effective desire for union, capable of overcoming such exceptional and 
separatist tendencies as are involved in not desiring unity, no federation 
is possible. It remains to be seen, then, whether such an effective desire 
for unity exists in the Australian Colonies generally, and, perhaps, as the 
Federal Council Act has proved a comparative failure, and is, in the 
judgment of the Government and people of New South Wales, unwork- 
able, no better method of testing the strength of the desire for union could 
be devised than the summoning of such a National Convention as Sir 
Henry Parkes suggests. If the several colonies accept the invitation, it 



22 UNITED AUSTRALIA.. 

The Times continued. 

is clear that they are primd facie willing to consider the expediency and 
feasibility of entering into the federal bond. If they decline it, it is 
equally clear that the question has been prematurely raised. The matter 
is therefore entirely in the hands of the colonies themselves. If they 
desire union without being willing to sacrifice their individual and 
independent existence as self-governing communities, such union is possible, 
and only possible, through federation. If they desire no such union, 
cadit qucestio. But the desire for union, however feeble at the outset, 
must inevitably be quickened by the growing necessity for common defence. 
This is the strength of Sir Henry Parkes' position. He has found in the 
need for common defence, as the American colonies found over a century 
ago, a strong centripetal impulse and a powerful counterpoise to separatist 
tendencies. Accordingly, he invites each colony to send six representa- 
tives, appointed by Parliament, and chosen in equal numbers from each 
of the two political parties, to the proposed National Convention, four 
members being taken from the Assembly, and two from the Council in 
each colony. Western Australia, having only one House, might, he 
suggests, only send four representatives ; and thus, if New Zealand 
thought proper to join the Convention, the total number of representatives 
would be forty. This Convention would be empowered to discuss and 
recommend for adoption a form of Federal Constitution. " The scheme 
of Federal Government, it is assumed, would necessarily follow close upon 
the type of the Dominion Government of Canada, and would provide for 
the appointment of a Governor-General, and for the creation of an Aus- 
tralian Privy Council and of a Parliament consisting of a Senate and 
House of Commons." 

Such is, in outline, the origin and character of that federal movement 
with which Sir Henry Parkes, one of the foremost of Australian states- 
men, has now definitely identified himself. It is premature as yet even 
to attempt to forecast what may be its issue, proximate or remote. The 
other colonies may decline the invitation. That will be a sign, either 
that the movement is still premature, or that the colonies in general 
prefer, with Victoria, to work on the lines of the Federal Council. Or 
they may consent to enter the Convention, and then find themselves 
unable to agree. A Federal Constitution is no easy thing to frame even 
with the assistance of what Sir Henry Parkes calls " the rich stores of 
political knowledge which were collected by the framers of the Constitu- 
tion of the United States " ; and there is this important difference 



UNITED AUSTRALIA. 23 

The Times continued. 

between Australia and the United States, that the United States were an 
independent and sovereign community at the time their Constitution was 
framed, whereas the Australian Colonies are, and desire to remain, united 
to the mother country. That difference, however, proved no insuperable 
obstacle to the federation of the Canadian Dominion, and need not, 
therefore, cause any greater difficulty in the case of the Australian Colo- 
nies. The people of this country recognize that the question of federation 
is one to be mainly resolved in and by the colonies themselves, and 
it is obvious that many practical difficulties which now beset the Colonial 
Office in its relations with the separate colonies would be smoothed over 
by the union of the colonies in a single confederation. The real difficulties 
in the way of federation will be found on the spot and not at home. The 
experience of the United States and of the Canadian Dominion will 
serve not only as an example, but also as a warning. The Constitution of 
the United States is not without its defects, some of them little foreseen 
by its framers, and federal institutions in Canada have not worked alto- 
gether without friction, as the records of the Judicial Committee of the 
Privy Council would show. It will tax the ingenuity of Australian 
constitutional statesmen to improve upon previous federal experience, and 
to avoid errors into which their predecessors have fallen, while the cir- 
cumstances of Australia will present special difficulties of their own. Of 
these to mention only a few the selection of a capital will be one, and 
the adjustment of a federal tariff will be another. Will Victoria be 
willing to concede supremacy to seniority and to recognize Sydney as 
the Australian capital and the seat of Federal Government, and will New 
South Wales, on the other hand, consent so far to abandon her Free-trade 
principles as to leave the external tariff an open question, to be settled 
possibly, not to say probably, in a Protectionist sense, in return for the 
establishment of intercolonial Free-trade 1 ? These are questions which 
will immediately arise as between New South Wales and Victoria. 
Other questions of equal difficulty and importance will arise between 
these colonies and their neighbours. Such questions are not insoluble, 
as experience shows, where the desire for union is strong enough to 
induce compromise, accommodation, and mutual concession ; but their 
existence and the necessity for their solution suffice to show that it is one 
thing to propose federation and another to accomplish it. Nevertheless 
it is impossible for Englishmen not to wish well to this new movement 
in favour of Australian Federation. Sir Henry Parkes is a capable 



24 UNITED AUSTKALIA. 

The Times continued. 

statesman, and his judgment is entitled to all respect when he pronounces 
the time to be ripe and the method to be feasible. If that is so, the 
difficulties will gradually disappear, and the Federation of the Australian 
Colonies will before long be accomplished. 



The Standard 
November 5th, 1889. 

THE despatch addressed by Sir Henry Parkes, the Premier of New South 
Wales, to the Hon. Duncan Gillies, the Victorian Premier, and to the 
Premiers of the other Australasian Colonies on the subject of Australian 
Federation, will be read in this country with sympathetic interest, 
with absolute dispassionateness, and, we may add, with a certain 
amount of sceptical curiosity. It has been provoked bv the invitation of 
the Victorian Cabinet to bring the machinery of the Federal Council into 
operation, for the purpose of giving effect to the recommendations of 
General Edwards for the combined action of the various Australian 
troops. The Premier of New South Wales doubts, in the first place, the 
legal competency of the machinery thus appealed to ; and, in the second 
place, he states bluntly that the Parliament of New South Wales could 
never be persuaded to change its resolution not to be represented in the 
Federal Council. Finally, he suggests the creation of a totally different 
method for the Federal action of the Australasian Colonies. Before, 
however, explaining and commenting 011 his suggestions, we think it 
necessary to point out Avhat is the Federal Council to which Victoria 
makes appeal, and which New South Wales altogether refuses to recog- 
nize. Four years ago, the Imperial Parliament passed an Act, known as 
"The Federal Council Act of Australasia." In the preamble of that 
measure it was recited that it had become expedient to constitute a 
Federal Council of Australasia, for the purpose of dealing with such 
matters of common Australasian interest, in respect to which united action 
is desirable, as can be dealt with without unduly interfering with the man- 
agement of the internal affairs of the several colonies by their respective 
Legislatures. It was then enacted that there shall be in and for her 
Majesty's Possessions in Australasia a body called the Federal Council of 
Australasia, possessing certain functions, power, and authority, which the 
Act proceeded to define. Each colony was to be represented in the 



UNITED AUSTRALIA. 25 

The Standard continued. 

Council by two members, except in the case of Crown Colonies, which 
were to be represented by one member each ; the number of representa- 
tives to be increased by her Majesty, by an Order in Council, at the 
request of the Legislatures of the colonies. We need not recapitulate 
the matters which are declared to be within the limits of the functions 
of the Federal Council ; for hitherto, owing to the refusal of New South 
Wales and New Zealand to be represented, it has had only a partial and 
tentative existence. Victoria, Queensland, Tasmania, Western Australia, 
and Fiji availed themselves of the provisions of the Act, but it is obvious 
that the absence of representatives from so important a colony as New 
South Wales must have rendered their co-operation imperfect, if not 
nugatory. In the conclusion of his despatch Sir Henry Parkes remarks, 
" Permit me to say that you place much too high an estimate on my 
individual influence, if you suppose that the accession of New South Wales 
to the Federal Council rests with me. In my judgment, there is no 
person and no party here that could persuade Parliament to sanction the 
representation of this colony in the present Federal Council." 

It must not be supposed, however, that this reluctance, thus forcibly 
expressed, arose out of any objection on the part of New South Wales to 
Australian Federation. On the contrary, Sir Henry Parkes seizes on the 
occasion to show how eager the colony of which he is Premier is to attain 
and promote that object. We need not waste time in following him 
through his contention that the Federal Council does not possess the 
requisite legal power to constitute, direct, and control a united Australian 
Army ; for, though we confess ourselves unconverted by his arguments, 
we are free to allow that, as he contends, " there does not exist in it, or 
behind it, any form of executive power," and that the creation of such 
authority would be extremely difficult. What confers real and lasting 
interest on the despatch of Sir Henry Parkes is the proposal it contains 
for an entirely different method of procedure, aiming at a much larger 
and wider end. In spite of preferences or prejudices, he says, Australians 
iind themselves, when they look at the matter fairly and frankly, face to 
face with the imperative necessity of a Federal Government ; and why, 
ho asks, should people turn away from the inevitable 1 But Sir Henry 
goes still further. He expresses the opinion that the time is ripe for 
consolidating the various Australian Colonies into one ; and he invites 
the Victorian Cabinet to appoint representatives to what he calls a 
National Convention, for the purpose of devising and reporting on an 



26 UNITED AUSTRALIA. 

The Standard continued. 

adequate scheme of Federal Government. His plan is, that in order to 
conciliate all the Colonies, and to avoid inflicting on them any sense of 
inequality, the number of representatives from each Colony shall be the 
same, and that the number in each case shall be six, equally chosen from 
both sides of political life. He suggests, moreover, that four of them 
might be taken from the Legislative Assembly of the colony, and two 
from the Legislative Council. The scheme of Federal Government to be 
aimed at would follow close on the type of the Dominion Government of 
Canada, and would provide for the appointment of a Governor-General, 
and for the creation of an Australian Privy Council, and of a Parliament 
consisting of a Senate and of a House of Commons. In a word, by way 
of answer to the proposal of partial and experimental federal action on 
certain matters, Sir Henry Parkes submits and urges a scheme of whole- 
sale and complete federation, which would deal not only with the question 
of military defence, but would lift the colonies to a higher level of national 
life, increase their prosperity, add to their dignity, and deepen their con- 
sciousness of a common existence, common interests, and a common future. 
It may be said at once that the question is one wholly and entirely for 
the Australian Colonies to consider and decide among themselves. The 
mother country will neither raise nor feel any objection to their closer 
union among themselves. Whatever they can agree upon will receive 
the cordial endorsement of the Crown and of the English people. But 
following the various expressions of opinion already uttered by our 
kindred at the other side of the world, we cannot help thinking that the 
time is by no means so " ripe " for genuine Australian Federation as Sir 
Henry Parkes believes it to be. It is in vain that the Colonies of 
Australia are agreed upon the desirability of a closer bond of union, so 
long as they are completely at issue as to what form and character that 
union is to take. All the world over, men are found to be in tolerable 
accord concerning what are called principles of government. The diffi- 
culty and the discord begin when the attempt is made to apply them. 
Hitherto, the important Colonies of Victoria and of New South Wales 
have manifested a disposition to pull in different directions, and it can 
hardly be doubted that this divergence arises, consciously or unconsciously, 
from the latent wish in both of them to play the part of leading Colony 
in Australasia. We do not say that the Protectionist views of Melbourne, 
and the Free-trade proclivities of Sydney, do not spring from something 
deeper than the antagonism that arises from rivalry. But it is impossible 



UNITED AUSTRALIA. 27 

The Standard continued. 

to review the relations of those two colonies with each other, and with 
the other less populous and less prosperous colonies, without coming to 
the conclusion that in each case the sense of their own importance is cal- 
culated to stand in the way of the early fulfilment of such a scheme as is 
indicated in the despatch of Sir Henry Parkes. At the same time, the 
difficulty which is so obvious may, in due course, be overcome. The 
mother country can do little or nothing either to accelerate or to retard 
the growth of Australian Federation. But it is satisfactory to know 
that should what is now but a dream and an aspiration become a reality, 
it will be just as easy for England to cultivate parental relations with an 
Australian Dominion as it now is to maintain them with a number of 
separate colonies. The bond that unites the colonies to the mother 
country is one of affection, tradition, and sentiment ; and we see no reason 
why that should be in the smallest degree weakened by any arrangement 
the colonies may come to among themselves. England is proud of its 
strong, brave, enterprising children in the Pacific ; nor are they likely to 
do anything to lessen that pride, or to lessen the force of what may 
honestly be called a reciprocal attachment. 



The Morning Advertiser 

November 5tk, 1889. 

WHY should not Australia form a great federation, like the Dominion of 
Canada? The question has often been raised, both in the Australian 
Colonies and in the mother country, and it is one of enormous import- 
ance. There have been difficulties hitherto which have appeared insur- 
mountable for the present, and it is by no means certain that they are 
capable of being surmounted now. The correspondence which has passed 
between the Premiers of New South Wales and Victoria, and especially 
the despatch from the former to the sister colonies which we published 
yesterday, prove, however, that a strong desire exists in the colonial mind 
for the achievement of the object. New South Wales has up to this 
time refused to have anything to do with the Federal Council, which finds 
favour with the Victorians, and Sir Henry Parkes avows his conviction 
that there is no party or individual in that colony who could persuade the 
Colonial Parliament to alter its policy in this respect. The vital objec- 
tion to the Council, according to the politicians at Sydney, is that it has 



28 UNITED AUSTRALIA. 

The Morning Advertiser continued. 

no coercive jurisdiction. It does not possess the power of enforcing its 
decisions, and there is no authority behind it capable of doing so. Sir 
Henry Parkes and those who agree with him want to have a real Federal 
Government, if there is to be any federation at all. This would mean, of 
course, the consolidation of all the Australian Colonies into a single State, 
with two Houses of Parliament and a Federal Executive, each Colony 
remaining a self-governing country for the purpose of managing its own 
internal affairs. The principle has now been in operation in Canada for 
a good many years, and, despite a little friction now and then, it has 
undoubtedly worked well. The time has now arrived, in the opinion of 
Sir Henry Parkes, for applying it to Australia, and he invites the 
co-operation of all the Colonies for the purpose of elaborating a plan to 
carry the idea into effect. Federal union is, he maintains, inevitable 
sooner or later, and why should not the question be faced at once 1 The 
New South Wales Premier has sketched out the first steps to be taken, 
and it will be for the other Colonies to accept, modify, or reject his pro- 
posals. 

The first thing to be done is to arrange for a conference, and in the 
constitution of such a conference, Sir Henry Parkes proposes that all the 
Colonies should be equally represented. He suggests that six delegates 
should be commissioned from each of them, four selected from the repre- 
sentative Assembly two from the Ministerial side, and two from the 
Opposition and two from the Legislative Council, one selected from the 
majority and the other from the minority. In the case of Western Aus- 
tralia, where there is but one legislative chamber, four members might, 
perhaps be considered a sufficient representation. If New Zealand came 
into the scheme the conference would consist of forty members. Its 
work would, of course, be deliberative only. Sir Henry Parkes suggests 
that the Canadian example would naturally present itself as the type to 
be followed in the construction of a Federal Constitution, while " the rich 
stores of political knowledge which were collected by the framers of the 
Constitution of the United States would be largely resorted to, as well as 
the vast accumulation of learning on cognate subjects since that time/' 
If the delegates were able to agree, the results of their discussion would 
have to be approved by the several colonial Legislatures and sanctioned 
by the Imperial Government. The response to Sir Henry Parkes' appeal 
Avill be looked for with interest both in the Colonies and at home. We 
cannot pretend to guess what sort of reception the suggestion will obtain. 



UNITED AUSTRALIA. 29 

The Morning Advertiser continued. 

It may be that the time for consolidating the Australias into one, to use 
its author's phrase, is not so fully come as he imagines. There may be 
separate interests or prejudices which will prove too strong even for the 
convocation of a conference, and, if the conference should really be held, 
these separate interests or prejudices may prove insuperable obstacles to 
union. Only a very wide and minute acquaintance with colonial opinion 
could justify a confident judgment upon either point. The matter is 
entirely one for the colonists themselves to decide, and we in this country 
are, of course, prepared to leave it altogether to their decision. We 
could not coerce them if we would, and there is assuredly no desire to do 
so. But, with the example of Canada before us, we cannot but think 
that federation is the sound policy for the Australians to pursue, whether 
it is to come next year, the year after, or in ten years hence. We quite 
agree with Sir Henry Parkes that it will have to come, and should be 
pleased to find that colonial opinion is sufficiently ripe to bring it about 
at an early period. The greater scheme of the federation of the whole 
empire cannot be retarded by the closer union of those provinces which 
are most nearly connected with each other, and, if the idea is capable of 
being realized at all, should be accelerated by it. 



The Aberdeen Free Press 
November 5th, 1889. 

THE letter which Sir Henry Parkes, the Premier of New South Wales, has 
addressed to the First Ministers of the other Australasian Colonies, marks 
an important stage in the creation of a united Australasia. It has for 
many years been a matter of conviction to intelligent observers of the 
political movements of the time, that at no very distant date the various 
Colonies of Australasia would unite into a single State. Union in these 
days is a law and necessity of progress. Every great and progressive 
country on the face of the earth supplies an illustration of the fact. On 
the continent of Europe we have the instructive cases of Germany and 
Italy, and in America those of the United States in which the central 
authority is rapidly growing in power and in popular confidence at the 
cost of the sectional and subordinate state authorities and Canada. 
Another illustration of a different but not less instructive sort, is furnished 
by the case of the Turkish empire. Here we have not union, but disin- 



30 UNITED AUSTRALIA. 

The Aberdeen Free Press continued. 

tegration the cutting off' here and there of slices of territory and their 
establishment into " autonomous " soon to be independent States, or 
their incorporation with other and neighbouring countries a process the 
reverse of what is to be witnessed elsewhere, and the result of the decay 
and dissolution of the Ottoman power. It is not the least weighty of 
the considerations relating to the Home Rule controversy in this country 
that we have to go to Turkey a nation that is notoriously in a moribund 
condition to find a parallel for the measure proposed for the parlia- 
mentary disintegration of the United Kingdom. In Australia, as in 
every healthy and progressive country, the political forces of the time are 
making, not for disintegration, but for union not for the greater inde- 
pendence or separateness of the several sections, but for the sinking of 
existing differences and the building up of the whole into a single and 
homogeneous state. Of necessity, in such a process the first stage must 
be that of federation. It would be impossible, and would be inexpedient 
even if possible, to advance at one step from the condition of absolute inde- 
pendence of each other which at present exists to the fusion or amalgama- 
tion of the several colonies into a single State. The law of nature, in the 
political and social as in the physical world, is that of progress by growth ; 
and the federal union of a group of political communities is a fit and 
natural and even necessary preliminary to their attainment of the higher 
and more perfect form of organic development. There is no reason to 
doubt that in Australia, as in the United States and elsewhere, experience 
will show that between the purely local authorities on the one hand and 
the Federal Parliament and Executive on the other the part to be played 
to any useful purpose by the provincial governments will be one of ever 
diminishing importance and utility. 

The first definite step taken in the union of Australia was the forma- 
tion at the Colonial Conference of three or four years ago of the present 
Federal Council. That body, as is known, has no executive authority, 
and merely exists for purposes of deliberation and the discussion of 
matters of common interest to the several colonies. But if it has done 
little in one sense, it has done a great deal in another in familiarizing the 
Australians with the idea of federation or union, and in directing atten- 
tion to the many matters in regard to which the interests of the people 
as a whole would be promoted by the existence of a strong, central, repre- 
sentative government. The Federal Council was certain to develop in 
time into a Federal Government of this kind, and the process of 



UNITED AUSTRALIA. 31 

The Aberdeen Free Press continued. 

development promises to be more rapid than many could have anticipated. 
For here is Sir Henry Parkes, who may be described as occupying the first 
place among the statesmen of Australia and the representatives of Aus- 
tralian political opinion, advocating federation without any circumlocu- 
tion or reservation whatever, and calling upon his fellow-Ministers of the 
different colonies to take the matter at once in hand. His letter is in 
the nature of a manifesto on the subject, and whatever the immediate 
response of the several colonial Governments may be, it cannot fail to 
greatly advance opinion and the ultimate realization of the project. The 
occasion of the despatch being written has been the emergence of a diffi- 
culty with respect to the authority of the Federal Council in regard to 
the "general defences" of the country. Sir Henry Parkes, differing from 
the Premier of Victoria, does not think that the Council possesses power 
to direct the creation or control the operations of an army of defence for 
the whole of Australia. So he goes at once to the root of the matter, and 
proposes that the Council should be cleared out of the way, and that there 
should be set up a Federal Government, as to whose possession of the neces- 
sary powers no one could raise any question. The different Governments, 
he points out, could never act in combination for the purpose of general 
defence, and to the direct interference of the Imperial Government in the 
matter the colonists " could never consent." Hence, then, he proceeds: 

"This first great federal question, when looked at fairly, brings us, 
in spite of preferences or prejudices, face to face with the imperative 
necessity for federal government, and why should we turn aside from 
what is inevitable 1 In the nature of our onward progress it must come, 
a year or two later possibly, but in any case soon, I hope. This Govern- 
ment is anxious to work in harmony with the Governments of the sister 
colonies in the matter under consideration, and desirous of avoiding 
subordinate questions coloured by party feeling or collateral issues. It is 
a question to be put to the mind and heart of Australia in view of the 
destiny of Australia, and a question on which it is to be hoped all sections 
of the collective population will unite without regard to narrower 
considerations. Believing that the time is ripe for consolidating the 
Australias into one, this Government respectfully invites you to join in 
taking the first great step namely, to appoint representatives of Victoria 
to a National Convention for the purpose of devising and reporting upon 
an adequate scheme of Federal Government." 

The question of defence, Sir Henry Parkes goes on to remark, is only 
one of many things in respect of which the federation of the colonies 
would be of great advantage. " The work of a national character which 
a federal government could, in the interest of all the colonies, most 



32 UNITED AUSTRALIA. 

The Aberdeen Free Press continued. 

beneficially and effectually undertake would include the noblest objects 
of peaceful and orderly progress, and every year the field of its beneficent 
operations would be rapidly expanding." It will be observed that Sir 
Henry speaks not only for himself, but for his Government, and when 
the Government of the oldest and most important of the Australian 
Colonies goes so far as to make a definite proposal for the meeting of a 
" National Convention " to consider the question of federation, we may 
be sure that colonial opinion is by no means in a backward condition on 
the subject. The progress of the movement will be watched with interest 
in this country, and the scheme for the union of Australia into a single 
state or " nation " will have the best wishes of the British people. 



The Aberdeen Journal 

November 5th, 1889. 

THE subject of Imperial Federation has been for some years prominently 
before the public in all parts of the vast empire under the benignant 
sway of our Empress-Queen ; and all sound politicians and patriotic men 
are agreed as to the desirability of the various parts of the British Empiro 
being knit more closely together. It is, however, generally admitted 
that the issues involved are so vast and complicated that any attempt to 
force an abstract scheme prematurely could only end in failure, and 
would in all probability intensify the evils which it was intended to cure. 
All sound political thinkers agree in declaring that constitutions grow 
and cannot be made, and it is therefore evident that a great incorporating 
union of all parts of the British Empire cannot grow up in a day. There 
is, however, no reason why all tendencies which make in this direction 
should not be encouraged. It cannot be denied* that a federation of the 
Australian Colonies would be a most important step towards Imperial 
Federation, and the letter which Sir Henry Parkes, the Premier of New 
South Wales, has addressed to the Hon. Duncan Gillies, the Victorian 
Premier, and the despatches similar in tone which he has sent to the 
Premiers of the other Australian Colonies, would seem to indicate that 
public opinion at the antipodes is tending rapidly in the direction of the 
federation of the Australian Colonies. 

The correspondence took its rise from a telegram from the Victorian 
Premier relative to a proposal in favour of bringing the machinery of the 



UNITED AUSTRALIA. 33 

The Aberdeen Journal continued. 

Federal Council into operation, for the purpose of giving effect to the 
recommendations of General Edwards for the federal action of the Aus- 
tralian troops. Sir Henry Parkes frankly admits that, in his opinion, it 
is exceedingly desirable that there should be a federal Australian army 
under one command, authorised to act in any part of Australia. He 
maintains, however, that the Federal Council does not possess the requisite 
power to constitute, direct, and control a united Australian army. 
Further, he is of opinion that such authority could not be conferred upon 
the Federal Council, as it is a purely deliberative body, and has no execu- 
tive to carry out its decisions. This argument is to all appearance 
thoroughly sound. He grants that, as a conceivable way out of the 
difficulty, it is quite possible for the Imperial Parliament, on the applica- 
tion of the colonies, to pass an Act constituting a federal Australian army, 
and authorising it to operate in any part of Australia ; but he argues that 
the colonies would never consent to the Imperial Executive controlling the 
movement of such an Australian army. There can be no doubt that in 
reasoning thus Sir Henry Parkes is interpreting colonial feeling quite 
correctly, and it is therefore obvious that a united Australian army is only 
possible under a satisfactory scheme of Australian Federation. By such a 
view of the situation Sir Henry Parkes shows that Australians are brought 
face to face with the imperative necessity of Federal Government, and he, 
therefore, on behalf of New South Wales, invites the other Australian Colo- 
nies to appoint representatives to a National Convention for the purpose of 
devising and reporting upon an adequate scheme of Federal Government. 
Sir Henry Parkes further indicates that in his opinion the scheme of 
Federal Government would necessarily follow close upon the type of the 
Dominion Government of Canada, and would provide for the appoint- 
ment of a Governor-General, and for the creation of an Australian Privy 
Council and of a Parliament consisting of a Senate and a House of 
Commons. This is undoubtedly a very large proposal ; but in formulating 
his scheme Sir Henry Parkes has made it easier for the proposed 
National Convention to begin its work as soon as it is appointed, as 
his suggestions can now be considered carefully throughout all the 
Australian Colonies. We do not for a moment suppose that such largo 
organic changes will be 'made hurriedly. Nor is it desirable that they 
should be, but it is satisfactory to see that matters are moving in this 
direction. There can be no doubt that, when federated, the British 
Colonies in Australia would, as Sir Henry Parkes maintains, rise to a 
c 



34 UNITED AUSTRALIA. 

The Aberdeen Journal continued. 

higher level of national life, occupy a much larger space in the eyes of 
the world, and in many ways promote their united power and prosperity. 
Moreover, the consolidation of such a large and important part of the 
Greater Britain beyond the seas would add greatly to the influence of the 
British Empire in the counsels of the world. It would also in all prob- 
ability pave the way in the more distant future for the larger Imperial 
Federation. In the matter of Australian Federation, the initiative is 
coming, as is most essential, from the colonies concerned, and as soon as 
they are ripe for the change we feel sure that the Imperial Government 
will readily support the movement. 

We have already indicated that, in our opinion, any attempt to grapple 
in fulness of detail with the subject of Imperial Federation must be 
deferred to a distant future ; but this is no reason why we should not 
encourage every aspiration, both in the Mother Country and in the 
colonies, for a closer connection. We have frequently had occasion to 
insist on the truth of the doctrine that trade follows the flag, and it is 
well known that our colonies are our best customers. In these days 
when our products are practically shut out of some foreign countries, and 
hampered in others through severely restrictive tariffs, our manufacturers 
are, as a matter of self-interest, bound to give special attention to 
Colonial markets, and it may fairly be made a question as to whether it 
is not the duty of British statesmen to give special attention to the 
development of trading facilities with our colonies. We hear much 
of the benefits of free trade, and free trade within the bounds of the 
British Empire, though it might to some extent imply the imposition of 
restrictive tariffs on foreign goods, might possibly be an ideal worth 
aiming at. In any case it would, if practicable, be helpful in advancing 
the prospects of Imperial Federation, In Canada, for example, there is 
some talk of a scheme for reciprocal free trade with the United States, 
on the basis that the Canadian tariff against British goods be made as 
onerous as that of the United States. Would it not be preferable that 
we should seek to induce our Colonists to repeal the tariffs against us 
on the understanding that we should give them an advantage over the 
shippers of the United States in our markets ? 



UNITED AUSTRALIA. 35 

The Birmingham Post 

November Mi, 1889. 

AUSTRALIAN Federation, as a step towards Imperial Federation, seems to 
be brought at length within the reach of practical politics by the states- 
manlike letter which Sir Henry Parkes, the Premier of the parent colony, 
has addressed to the Prime Ministers of the other colonies ; and as we 
read his lucid and cogent argument for Federal Government, we feel that 
we are already within measurable distance of a Dominion of Australia, 
second only in population and importance to that of Canada. Thus far, 
it must be confessed, the federal movement has not met with much 
favour in Australia, and the existing Federal Council serves only to 
emphasise the difficulties of agreement on such a question by the con- 
spicuous absence from the Board of New South Wales, the oldest, the 
most liberal, and most progressive of the colonies. This abstention, 
however, is not due to any want of sympathy with federation in the 
parent colony, but simply to the conviction of her leading men that a 
Federal Council without executive authority is a mockery and a delusion ; 
and it is because of the new illustration of this fact furnished by the 
difficulty of arranging a scheme of colonial defence that Sir Henry 
Parkes exhorts his fellow-Ministers to abandon the sham for the reality, 
and to embrace a genuine and practical system- of federation. General 
Edwards, the military commandant of Hong Kong, who had been called 
in to advise on a comprehensive scheme for the defence of the Australian 
Colonies, recommended among other things the federation of the several 
Australian military contingents under the command of a single officer, 
the adoption of a uniform system of organisation and armament, the 
establishment of a common military college, and the introduction for 
strategical purposes of a uniform railway gauge. The wisdom and pro- 
priety of these recommendations are recognised on all sides, but it is 
clearly impossible to have a common army for a number of separate 
colonies without any sort of nexus or common controlling authority, and 
therefore it is that the New South Wales Premier urges the substitution 
of a genuine Federal Parliament, with executive authority, for the 
present merely consultative body, in which New South Wales is not even 
represented. This question of colonial defence, he points out, brings us 
face to face with the necessity for Federal Government ; and " Why," he 
asks, " should we turn aside from what is inevitable in the nature of our 
onward progress. It must come a year or two later possibly, but soon." 
Sir Henry goes on to suggest that a formal intercolonial convention, 



36 UNITED AUSTRALIA. 

The Birmingham Post continued. 

consisting of six members from each colony, shall assemble in order to 
consider a scheme of Federal Government, more or less on the Canadian 
model, with Governor-General, Privy Council, and two Houses of Parlia- 
ment, and he suggests that in time a similar solution will probably be 
found for the kindred problem in South Africa. With a federated 
Australia, Imperial Federation, if thought desirable, would be a com- 
paratively simple matter ; but in any case the bond between the colonies 
and the parent country would be rendered stronger and closer, and the 
defence of the colonies be greatly simplified. Whether Sir Henry 
Parkes' scheme will commend itself to general acceptance by the other 
colonies at present, we venture to doubt, because of the jealousies, rivalries, 
and conflicting interests which still divide them, more particularly on tariff 
questions ; but we have little doubt that the more the proposal is con- 
sidered the more desirable it will appear, and that in a year or two, if 
not sooner, the good seed which the New South Wales Premier has sown 
will have taken root and brought forth a valuable harvest, in which tho 
Mother Country will have a share. 



The Daily Chronicle (Huddersfield) 
November 5th, 1889. 

MOST important to the future of our Empire is the movement now going 
forward in Australia in favour of one Federal Government for the whole 
of the Australian Colonies. Even the most enthusiastic of Imperial 
Federationists has admitted that until local federation is an accomplished 
fact in Australia and South Africa, it is hopeless to expect its consum- 
mation on a larger scale. Difficulties, very similar in character to those 
.which make the federation of the Empire seem an impossible task, beset 
the patli of those who would bring about a federation of the British 
Colonies in the South Pacific. But there is the case of Canada to show 
that, hopeless as may appear the accomplishment of such a work, it is 
one well within the power of determined men to achieve. Local 
jealousies and local divergencies of opinion are obstacles of no mean 
kind, but it is possible, by taking a wider view of such matters, to rise 
superior to mere local considerations, and look upon the benefit of the 
whole as of infinitely greater importance than the concerns of one colony 



UNITED AUSTRALIA. 37 

The Daily Chronicle (Huddersfield) continued. 

alone. It is satisfactory to find that upon a matter which immediately 
affects the whole of the colonies the question has been raised. If an 
agreement is possible upon one subject it should be that of local defence. 
The Australian Colonies have, in more than one conspicuous instance, 
shown a gratifying spirit of patriotism, and it may well be that on such 
a question as the one of defence they will not allow anything but the 
most extraordinary difficulties to stand in the way of united action. If 
a common ground of action is found upon one question, it is compara- 
tively easy to secure a similar course upon others. In Australia, as with 
the Empire at large, customs will certainly be an almost insurmountable 
obstacle to union. The intercolonial exchange merely adds to the 
difficulties of the situation. But if the necessity for defence brings the 
colonies together, the benefits thus conferred upon each will lead to an 
increase in the subjects upon which united action will be taken. It is easy 
to think of several such as postal, railways, telegraphs, coinage, &c., upon 
which a common ground of work might be found. Upon the advantages 
of union for defensive purposes there will probably be no difference of 
opinion. All will agree that in this is a basis for united action which could 
not be improved upon. It is true that one colony may have a more extended 
seaboard than another ; but all, in the case of war, would be open to 
attack, and one could not suffer without all being, perhaps indirectly, 
but nevertheless deeply, affected. The proposal is specially significant, 
too, because it comes from New South Wales. Even amongst Australian 
Colonies New South Wales is known as the most progressive, and her 
influence will do much to forward the movement. Rightly or wrongly, 
the impression has gone abroad, to the effect that New South Wales has 
been the great obstacle in the way of Australasian Federation. With that 
difficulty removed, as it must be to a certain extent when the invitation 
to a Conference comes from New South Wales and from Sir Henry 
Parkes, progress ought to be made. The isolation of the Australian 
Colonies is one from which they have suffered in various ways. Had 
they been united in one federated whole, Lord Granville would possibly 
have dealt differently over the New Guinea question to the course he 
ultimately followed. It will be remembered that Queensland had already 
taken possession of the island in order that no other European Power 
should gain a footing in the South Pacific. It is understood that the 
Colonists withdrew on the distinct understanding that no European 
Power had any desire to establish a colony in New Guinea. This was 



38 UNITED AUSTRALIA. 

The Daily Chronicle continued. 

followed by German annexation of a portion of the island, and then a 
British protectorate was proclaimed over what was left. The Austra- 
lasians look with much jealousy upon the establishment of colonies by 
other European nations in the South Pacific. They have suffered severely 
from the near neighbourhood of the French penal settlements of New 
Caledonia, and do not wish for further experience of a similar kind. A 
united Australasia would, upon these and other matters, be able to speak 
with tenfold stronger force than are the isolated colonies, even if, for the 
nonce, they are united upon one subject. Like older nations, the truth 
of the proverb that union is strength is making its way with them, and 
they are beginning to realise the value, both direct and indirect, of being 
able to speak with effect. Much remains to be done before it will be 
possible to compliment the Britain of the South upon the possession of a 
union, which, for all outward purposes, shall be strong and efficient. If 
Australasian Federation is brought about, it will be a long step towards 
that more comprehensive federation w r hich all believers in the future of 
our race must desire. 



Hull Eastern Morning News 
November 5th, 1889. 

THE idea of Imperial Federation is being rapidly developed. The 
Prime Minister of New South Wales, Sir Henry Parkes, has just sent a 
despatch to Mr. Gillies, the Prime Minister of Victoria, in which he 
makes some practical proposals for federalising the Australias. The 
necessity for doing this has arisen in a perfectly natural way. The naval 
defence of Australia has recently been settled " in the spirit of federa- 
tion," as Mr. W. H. Smith put it, by the agreement of most of the 
Australian Colonies to maintain ships and crews sent from England for 
the purpose. The question of an army then arose, and General 
Edwards, who was sent out, has reported in favour of the federal action 
of Australian troops. But Sir Henry Parkes says (and says reasonably) 
that the existing law, the Federal Councils Act, 1885, does not empower 
any federal authority to enrol troops ; and even if they were enrolled, 
there is no executive to control them. Accordingly, Sir Henry Parkes 
proposes a convention to consider not only the means of giving effect to 



UNITED AUSTRALIA. 39 

Hull Eastern Morning News continued. 

General Edwards' recommendations, but also the means of consolidating 
the Australian Colonies, including New Zealand, into one Power. In 
this convention each colony, he proposes, shall be represented by six 
delegates, to be taken from the Assembly and the Council from both 
parties ; and four from Western Australia, which only has one House. 
This would make a total of forty members, who would then have upon 
them the task of devising a Constitution. Sir Henry Parkes suggests 
as an analogy the Dominion Government of Canada. This plan is 
definite enough, and practical enough. It remains to be seen what 
reply will be given by the Premiers of the other colonies to whom it has 
been submitted. The late Premier of Victoria expressed himself in 
favour of Imperial Federation, and so it is to be hoped that the jealousy 
which is supposed to exist between New South Wales and Victoria will 
not prevent their acting together on Sir Henry Parkes' proposal. Sir 
Henry Parkes is known to hold the opinion that each Australian Colony 
by itself would be too weak to enter into federation with England, but 
that an united Australia might very well do so. Accordingly, this plan, 
which he has evidently considered with care, and now sets out in an able 
despatch, would be the first step towards creating this united Australia. 
Ifc is Imperial Federation at two removes. 



East Anglian Daily Times (Ipswich) 

November 5th, 1889. 

ALL doubt about the views of Sir Henry Parkes on the Australian 
Federation problem is entirely set at rest by the letter which he has 
addressed to the Premier of Victoria, the colony which stands in much 
the same relation to New South Wales as did the tribes of Manasseh 
and Ephraim towards each other in Old Testament days. Sir Henry 
Parkes has been known as an opponent of Australian Federation, and 
the opposition of this distinguished Colonist has been set down to no 
better reason than the jealousy of New South Wales, which refused to 
follow the lead of Victoria, a colony which has already adopted the 
Federal Council Act. Read in the light of his letter to the Victorian 
Premier, Sir Henry's opposition to the adoption of that Act assumes 
a totally different, and altogether more creditable, aspect. He has 



40 UNITED AUSTRALIA. 

East Anglian Daily Times (Ipswich) continued. 

opposed the adoption of the Act because he does not believe in its 
practical value. The military authority whom the Home Government 
sent out some time ago to advise the Australian Colonies on the question 
of their military defence, has reported in favour of a Federal Army for 
the various Australian Colonies. The Premier of Victoria thereupon 
telegraphed to Sir Henry Parkes to suggest that this Federal Army 
should be established under the provisions of the Federal Council Act, 
the very Act which New South Wales and its Premier have refused to 
adopt. 

Sir Henry Parkes, in response to this request, has sent an elaborate 
reply, setting forth his reasons for holding that the Federal Army cannot 
be established under this Act. The reasons he gives show why he has 
been opposed to its adoption for other matters. The Act does not provide 
for the establishment of an executive, which means that if the Federal 
Council did anything at all, it would have to submit to constant inter- 
ference from England an interference which the most loyal Colonist 
would not submit to. Sir Henry shows that he is in earnest for 
federation on different lines on the lines, in fact, of the Canadian 
Dominion for he invites the various colonies to appoint representatives 
to discuss how such and such a federation might be arrived at. It is in 
every way a good thing for England that so great a step forward should 
have been made in the direction of placing the Australian Colonies in the 
same mutual relations as those of the Dominion. One great obstacle to 
the federation of the Empire is that at present the colonies would not 
meet the Mother Country on anything like equal grounds, and while this 
is the case, the colonists, not altogether unreasonably, are too jealous of 
their independence to federate. If, however, a South African and 
Australian, or better still, Australasian Dominion, were in existence, 
then they could in a few years meet us with a sufficient approach to 
equality to disarm suspicion, and render common action possible. 



The Leeds Yorkshire Post 

November 5*7i, 1889. 

AUSTRALIAN Federation, in some form or another is, no doubt, inevitable . 
but it would be unwise to assume that it is so near as many people 
are inclined to think from Sir Henry Parkes' remarkable letter to the 



UNITED AUSTRALIA. 



-il 



The Leeds Yorkshire Post continued. 

Premiers of the Southern Colonies. Intercolonial jealousy is one of the 
most potent factors in Australasian politics. It has found vent in a 
violent war of tariffs, in the construction of railways by one colony on a 
different gauge to that of its neighbour, simply and solely in order to 
prevent traffic finding its way across the border line which separates the 
two, and in a hundred other ways, which can only be appreciated by 
those who have resided on the spot. With this feeling in the ascendant, 
it is highly improbable that the colonies will be speedily brought to 
agree to a federal system of government which will necessarily involve 
the abandonment of many cherished local aspirations. The selection of 
a seat of government for one thing will be an obstacle of a very formid- 
able kind. Melbourne, " the Queen city of the South," will not play 
second fiddle to Sydney, nor will Sydney to Melbourne, and even if both 
these cities are able to adjust their differences, Adelaide and Brisbane will 
not be left out in the cold. The same difficulty will be found in dealing with 
every other detail of the system, whether it ^relates to representative 
taxation or to matters to be relegated to the Council. Local jealousy, in 
fact, is so strong that the mere circumstance that the proposal has been 
mooted by the Premier of New South Wales is as likely as not to render 
the idea extremely unpopular in Victoria. Evidence of the working of 
this feeling was given some time ago, when Victoria ostentatiously 
dissociated itself from the movement, of which Sir Henry Parkes placed 
himself at the head, for securing the right of a colony to a voice in the 
election of its Governor, and it has been forthcoming over and over again 
in matters of less importance. Sir Henry Parkes is a great man in 
Sydney, but that Melbourne has no love for him or his views we shall 
probably soon discover. 

Viewed from the Imperial standpoint, there is nothing to fear in a 
well-considered scheme of Australian Federation. On the contrary, we 
should be distinctly the gainers by the change, for instead of, as at 
present, having to deal with a number of small local governments, all 
worked on narrow party principles, we should have one strong united 
Executive capable of voicing the opinion of the whole of the island 
continent. To appreciate the advantage of this we have only to remem- 
ber what happened a few years ago in regard to the question of Australian 
naval defence. The representatives of various colonies who met in 
London agreed to pay a certain contribution to the Imperial Exchequer 
for a squadron which was to be exclusively located in Australian waters. 



42 UNITED AUSTRALIA. 

The Leeds Yorkshire Post continued. 

Queensland, for purely party reasons, repudiated her share in the 
transaction, and to this day declines to contribute a penny towards the 
support of the ships. Had we been dealing with a Federal Government 
such a contretemps would of course have been impossible, for an arrange- 
ment once entered into would have to be loyally carried out. Apart, 
however, from this consideration, there is much' to be said in favour of 
federation. The Australian military forces, as fine a body man for 
man as is to be found in the world, would gain immensely in efficiency 
by being put under one head, and the Empire at large would benefit by 
the moral force which a united army would bring. Trade would be 
improved by the adoption which would be inevitable in the long run 
of a common tariff and by the removal of the present senseless local 
rivalries which seriously retard the development of the country. 



The Liverpool Courier 

November 5th, 1889. 

THE inhabitants of the Mother Country will await -with interest the 
answers which may be given by the various Governments of Australia to 
the important proposal which has been made to them by Sir Henry 
Parkes, the Premier of New South Wales. The recent investigations of 
General Edwards were made on the basis of military federation pure 
and simple. The Federal Council has had before it only a limited ideal 
of unity, the foundation of which is the naturally strong sentiment of 
self-preservation. Sir Henry Parkes points out that even if a great 
colonial army could be created on the lines recommended by General 
Edwards, there is no executive power vested in the Federal Council or 
lying anywhere behind it to control the mobilisation or direct the opera- 
tions of such an army in time of need. Supposing, in other words, an 
army for the defence of the whole of Australia to exist, the first essential 
would be the power of concentrating its full strength under one command 
upon any given point. The Federal Council has no executive power 
whatever ; the individual Governments have none ; and though the 
Imperial Executive might, no doubt, have the power to direct the federal 
army, such interference would, without fail, give rise to friction and cause 
resentment. Sir Henry Parkes, therefore, proposes to begin at the 
beginning. He believes that the time is ripe for consolidating the 



UNITED AUSTRALIA. 43 

The Liverpool Courier continued. 

Australias into one otherwise it would be necessary, from his point of 
view, to abandon the federal army scheme altogether and accordingly 
he asks the other colonies to join New South Wales in taking the first 
step a convention. Each colony, he suggests, should select six mem- 
bers four from the Assembly and two from the Council equally 
representing both sides of political life. As Western Australia has only 
one House, probably four members would fairly represent its views, and 
if New Zealand were to join, the Federation Convention would thus 
consist of forty members, who should duly receive their commissions 
from the Governor-in-Council. The scheme of federation is also shadowed 
forth, as it suggests itself to one who has studied the matter profoundly 
for more than twenty years. Sir Henry thinks " it would necessarily 
follow close upon the type of the Dominion Government of Canada, and 
would provide for the appointment of a Governor-General, and for 
the creation of an Australian Privy Council, and of a Parliament 
consisting of a Senate and House of Commons." Such are the proposals 
made, and it remains to be seen whether they will be favourably 
entertained. 

It must be candidly admitted that the fact of their coming from the 
Premier of a colony that has from the outset boycotted the Federal 
Council, will tend to their prejudice. It may be quite true that the 
letter of Sir Henry Parkes is entirely consistent with the attitude of 
New South Wales throughout, and it goes without saying that his 
proposals should be considered purely on their merits. But it is useless 
to argue for an ideal state of things in the face of an actual position. 
" Why should we turn aside from the inevitable ? In the nature of 
our onward progress it must come." There is much force in these words 
of Sir Henry Parkes ; but the most desirable, and even inevitable, con- 
summations have often been unduly delayed by prejudices, jealousies, and 
the strife of parties ; and the manifestly keen conflict of those forces 
among the sister colonies at the Antipodes has not been lessened, or the 
way to a good understanding made more smooth, by the persistent 
refusal of New South Wales to recognise the Federal Council. For our 
own part, we are disposed to concede almost every point contended for 
by Sir Henry Parkes. Probably the provisions of the Federal Council 
Act do not under the phrase "general defences" confer the power to 
constitute, direct, and control a united Australia. Very likely the neces- 
sary machinery does not exist. In favour of the plea that federation 



44 UNITED AUSTRALIA. 

The Liverpool Courier continued. 

should begin, not with a federal army, but with a Federal Government, 
the presumption is strong ; and in any case the Mother Country has no 
reason to dread, but every ground for favouring, Australian Federation 
on Canadian lines. In our opinion it would be one more step, and a very 
material one, towards that larger federation which, though it has not yet 
been brought from the sphere of the ideal to that of the practical, is 
growingly contemplated by members of the Greater Britain in all parts 
of the world. 

However much may be vague and problematical in regard to the 
question of the larger federation, it is obvious that it should begin with 
the greatest possible consolidation of neighbouring parts. In other word.s, 
the interlocking process ought to be initiated by the promotion of local 
unity, so that when the turn of the Imperial Federationists comes they 
may have to deal with a comparatively small number of bodies with well- 
defined relations and dimensions, instead of an infinitude of atoms each 
with a multitude of microscopic rival interests to conciliate. At the same 
time it should be remembered that half a loaf is better than no bread. 
Five colonies deplore that New South Wales will not join the Federal 
Council ; Sir Henry Parkes, on behalf of the latter colony, laments that 
the other five will not begin with the great work in a businesslike way. 
Clearly there must be concession on the one side or the other, or no 
advance can be made. It is to be hoped the proposals of Sir Henry 
will be impartially considered ; but we cannot forget that they do riot 
come from a neutral party, but one who, on the contrary, has all along 
maintained a non f)ossumus attitude. Should this fact be found to 
prevent such a reply as he could wish in every case, might not the New 
South Wales Premier with advantage descend somewhat from his present 
lofty altitude 1 A small beginning, and even a blundering one, would 
soon compel the adoption of as much of his programme as is essential for 
the common wellbeing of Australia, while standing still can only intensify 
existing jealousies. 



The Manchester Courier 
November 5th, 1889. 



THE circular letter despatched by Sir Henry Parkes, the Premier of New 
South Wales, to the Premiers of the other Australian Colonies is sure to 
be read with a great deal of interest, not only in Australia, but in all 



1XITED AUSTRALIA. 45 

The Manchester Courier continued. 

parts of Greater Britain. The question of colonial defence engaged the 
attention of the Colonial Congress which met in London a year or two 
ago, and one result was the despatch of a distinguished expert, General 
Edwards, to investigate and report upon the best means of enabling the 
colonies to provide against attack. Every colony in Australia has some 
organisation for the purpose of local defence. But, as is well known, 
there exists a good deal of rivalry, not to say jealousy, between the 
different colonies, and there has been no concerted action, and, indeed, no 
common basis of organisation. It does not require much acquaintance 
with military science to recognise how weak and unsatisfactory such a 
happy-go-lucky arrangement is in these days, when success in war depends 
upon the most accurate co-operation of all the forces engaged. General 
Edwards made a series of recommendations with a view to secure some- 
tiling like uniformity. The principal were the federation of the several 
Australian contingents, and the appointment of a single commanding 
officer for the whole body ; the adoption of a uniform system of organisa- 
tion and armament ; the establishment of a common military college for 
all the colonies ; and the introduction for strategical purposes of a uniform 
railway gauge. It is these recommendations which have draw T ii forth 
from Sir Henry Parkes the letter to which we refer. In 1885 a Federal 
Council Act was passed, which was designed to provide machinery for 
common action on the part of the Australian Colonies. It was not 
altogether a success, because New South Wales, for some reason or other, 
declined to have anything to do with the Federal Council. It is said that 
this refusal on the part of New South Wales was due to the jealousy with 
which the inhabitants of that Colony regard Victoria. That may or may 
not be the case, but it is quite certain that there is very considerable 
rivalry between the two Colonies, New South Wales having adopted the 
principle of free trade, while Victoria is rigidly protectionist. A trace of 
this jealousy is certainly to be detected in Sir Henry Parkes' letter to 
Mr. Duncan Gillies, the Victorian Premier, who invited the Premiers of 
the other colonies to express their opinions on the recommendations of 
General Edwards. 

Mr. Gillies had declared himself in favour of utilising the machinery 
provided by the Federal Council's Act for carrying these recommenda- 
tions into effect. Sir Henry Parkes broadly asserts, in reply, that " the 
Council does not possess the requisite power to constitute, direct, and 
control a united Australian army." Of the value of his constitutional 



46 UNITED AUSTRALIA. 

The Manchester Courier continued. 

objections we are not in a position to speak, though at first sight they 
seem rather trifling. But there appears to be more force in his statement 
that, whatever technical powers may be conferred on the Federal Council 
by act of Parliament, there exists "an impassable barrier in the fact that 
there does not exist in it or behind it any form of executive power." 
He goes on to illustrate his contention : " Supposing," he says, " for 
example, that the Federal Council's recommendations or enactments for 
the movements of Australian troops could be accepted, there could not 
be found anywhere a corresponding executive authority to give effect to 
them." He meets the rejoinder that the Imperial Parliament could pass 
an Act to constitute a federal army under one command, by bluntly 
stating that " the colonies would never consent to the Imperial Executive 
interfering in the direction of its (the federal army's) movements." He 
reserves, however, his coup de grace for the conclusion of his letter. He 
asserts that " there is no person and no party here that could persuade 
(the New South Wales) Parliament to sanction the representation of this 
colony in the present Federal Council." Of course, if Sir Henry Parkes 
is right, there is an end of the scheme so far as the machinery of the 
Federal Council is concerned ; for if New South Wales stood aloof, there 
could be none of that uniformity without which the scheme would be 
useless. Sir Henry Parkes, however, does not meet the appeal with a 
simple non jwssumus. On the contrary, he comes forward with a big 
scheme of federalisation. He says that he believes the time has arrived 
for consolidating the Australias into one, and he proposes that a national 
convention should meet for the purpose of devising and reporting upon 
an adequate scheme of Federal Government. Sir Henry Parkes suggests 
that each colony should send six representatives impartially selected from 
the Ministerial and Opposition sides of the respective Parliaments. If 
New Zealand would join in the conference there would be altogether 
forty representatives assembled. Sir Henry Parkes further suggests that 
the scheme of Federal Government should follow closely upon the type of 
the Dominion Government of Canada, and would provide for the creation 
of an Australian Privy Council and of a Parliament consisting of a Senate 
and House of Commons. We must wait some time before we can form 
any opinion of the success of Sir Henry Parkes' appeal. It is as likely 
as not that the same reasons which deterred New South Wales from 
taking part in the Federal Council may influence the Ministers of Victoria 
in approaching this proposal, Victoria may decline to follow the lead of 
New South Wales. 



UNITED AUSTRALIA. 47 

The Manchester Courier continued. 

Meanwhile there is no reason why Englishmen should not examine the 
issues raised by this proposal. That sooner or later the different colonies 
of Australia must amalgamate in some form or other is a proposition 
which has never been questioned. It is entirely a matter for the colonies 
themselves to decide. As to the form such an amalgamation should take, 
there are likely to be different opinions both here and on the other side 
of the world. Federation is not an ideal form of government, and 
wherever it has been adopted it has owed its origin to the necessity of 
reconciling antagonistic interests. This is obviously true of the United 
States, of Switzerland, and in a miner degree of Canada. So far as 
Australia is concerned, the conflicting interests are imaginary and 
sentimental rather than real and substantial. It would seem to outsiders 
that the best thing the Australians could do would be to adopt a common 
Constitution and unite under a single Government. But there are, of 
course, the jealousies of the different centres of Government to be con- 
sidered, and great influence would be brought to bear by the classes 
directly interested to prevent the abolition of the provincial legislatures. 
But this, as we have said, is for the Australians themselves to decide. 
For Englishmen the interesting question is whether the amalgamation of 
the Australias would be a step in the direction of separation or not. 
There is in Australia a not uninfluential minority which does not disguise 
its belief in the cry of " Australia for the Australians," and which looks 
forward to the establishment of an independent nationality in the 
Antipodes which shall rival in strength and prosperity the United States 
of America. But so far, at any rate, the minority is insignificant com- 
pared with the majority which refuses to snap the golden link. There is 
no Englishman who does not desire to see our Colonies brought into closer 
and ever closer union with the Mother Country ; but it is also true that if 
Australia deliberately expressed her wish to set up for herself, no stronger 
weapon than vehement persuasion would be used to prevent the realisa- 
tion of her ambition. It is true that the connection with the British 
Empire exposes the colonies to certain risks, in the event of a war ; but, 
on the other hand, the might and prestige of the Empire are potent 
safeguards for the tranquillity and peace of the colonies. Anything which 
tends to promote the prosperity and welfare of our brethren beyond the 
seas will be welcomed by Englishmen without any arriere pense'e. If the 
union or federation of the Australias promises to increase their prosperity 
we shall not ask whether it be the first step which leads to separation or 



48 UNITED AUSTRALIA. 

The Manchester Courier continued. 

not. If our colonists parted company with us to-morrow, there is not 
one which could say that the Mother Country had selfishly sacrificed their 
interests to her own. 



The Newcastle Journal 

November bth, 1889. 

IT was clearly foreseen during the earlier stages of the movement towards 
federation among the colonies of Australia that any really efficient scheme 
of common defence would ultimately have to be placed under a central 
and supreme authority. When Imperial and Colonial Federation, and a 
great plan of Imperial and Colonial defence, became facts, the absolute 
necessity of a closer bond, a more compact organisation, and greater unity 
of operations on an emergency of war, could no longer be a subject of 
uncertainty. In various ways the topic has been canvassed for two or 
three years ; but it is only within a recent period that the energetic 
action of Sir Henry Parkes, Premier of New South Wales, has brought it 
fairly within the region of practical politics. The facts of the case arc 
few and simple. A fine volunteer force now exists in the colonies. 
There are not only well drilled and well equipped land forces in Australia, 
but a very superior naval reserve of coast volunteers protects all the 
chief commercial ports, and they are organised in connection with vessels 
of war furnished by the Imperial Government. In some manoeuvres, not 
long ago, combining the chief features of our volunteer operations at 
Easter, or in the autumn, with our naval operations at Milford Haven, 
the Australian volunteers were put through all the movements of repel- 
ling an attack in force by a hostile fleet bent on landing an army. On 
that occasion the ability of the various corps was shown to great 
advantage, all the operations being conducted with efficiency and success. 
At the same time, the additions to the Russian fleet in the Pacific led to 
a corresponding increase of our own squadron on that station, and the 
despatch of a superior class of vessels to the naval stations in Australia. 
It was felt also that arrangements for the prompt mobilisation of all the 
Australian defences by land and sea was essential to complete the system . 
of mutual protection, and to make that effective, some fresh arrange- 
ment was also required by which the various colonies might be enabled 
to act in war, as one strong united Power under a permanent and 
responsible executive Directorate and a Secretary for War. 



UNITED AUSTRALIA. 49 

The Newcastle Journal continued. 

For such an arrangement, as Sir Henry Parkes has pointed out in his 
letter to the Victorian Premier, the existing provisions of the Federal 
Council Act are entirely inadequate. No authority is given by the Act 
to an executive head or any kind of executive power, such as is 
absolutely indispensable in carrying out any combined plan of colonial 
defence. Even if the Federal Council were agreed upon a certain line of 
action, they are without the means necessary to carry it into execution. 
Federation may be adopted, it is obvious, by a number of contiguous 
States for very simple purposes ; and such as do not involve very close 
union, or any vital identification of local and general policy. It may be 
as loose as that of the States of ancient Greece, with no provision for 
united action, except on great emergencies, when arrangements were 
made of a temporary character, in no way binding them to permanent 
union. The bond, as in Switzerland, may be really administrative and 
executive, or the exigencies of general defence may develop a solid, 
homogeneous combination, such as was produced in the United States, 
and cemented almost to the consistency of a great empire by the terrible 
ordeal of the war between the North and the South. In many respects 
the Australian Colonies find themselves in the position of the North 
American Colonies before they became independent of the mother 
country ; and without some better provision than they now possess for 
their defence they might, in the event of war, even with assistance 
similar to that given by our Government to the North American colonists 
against the French armies, be just as unfortunate as those who fought 
under Generals Monro and Webb in 1757. 

The Dominion of Canada is an example of federation which perhaps 
our Australian Colonies have no desire to follow any more, however, than 
that of the United States. But if the union of the colonies for mutual 
defence, as well for the defence of the Empire, is to be real and effective, 
some means must be found of making Colonial Federation at least as 
substantial for military and naval purposes as that of the two great 
divisions of North America, one still in connection with Great Britain, 
and the other separated from it more than a century ago. At present 
there are military and naval forces belonging to the separate colonies, 
but there is no colonial army, no colonial navy ; nor is there any arrange- 
ment by which all, or some of these separate forces could be directed to 
a certain threatened point, in obedience to a sudden decision arrived at 
by the whole or a majority of the colonies. Some kind of military and 



50 UNITED AUSTRALIA. 

The Newcastle Journal continued. 

naval government is essential to the inception and execution of any 
military or naval enterprise ; and it does not exist, so far as regards the 
Australian Colonies. If it must be set up, it is not easy to see how the 
present loose relation of the colonies can be continued ; or how the 
erection of a central authority for war purposes will be practicable with- 
out the addition in the first instance of some system of Federal Govern- 
ment. The obstacles to such a fusion in Australia are neither few nor 
small ', but in pointing out that, without a closer bond, the costly works 
and forces raised during the last four or five years will be useless either 
to the Empire or the colonies on an emergency, Sir Henry Parkes only 
states the conviction of many who have taken all along the most 
prominent part in pushing forward the project of Imperial and colonial 
defence. A National Convention is the proper body to discuss such a 
question ; and the fact that it will probably be held, at the suggestion 
of Sir Henry Parkes, is a proof that in those matters it is .wise 
for the Imperial Government to leave the colonies to their own devices 
until they elaborate a plan for the consideration of our Queen and 
Parliament. 



The Plymouth Western Morning News 
November 5th, 1889. 

SIR HENRY PARKES, as Premier of New South Wales, has sent a letter 
to the Hon. Duncan Gillies, the Premier of Victoria, in favour of the 
federation of Australia into one great dominion, upon the model of 
Canada. Now that the Germans are becoming her near neighbours, and 
that difficulties are arising with New Guinea which may produce a series 
of distressing wars, the Australians want an army and a navy. Their 
six million inhabitants have no effective Constitution in common, the 
jealousies aroused by separate autonomies having hitherto stood in the 
way of organic union, and Sir Henry Parkes is anxious to create an 
institution which would bring under one command the scattered and 
unconnected local forces. So strong is the dislike of Imperial interference 
that Sir Henry Parkes declares " the colonies would never consent to 
the Imperial Executive interfering " in the movements of what would 
still be the Queen's army. The colonies, in other words, must have 
separate armies, and Sir Henry is anxious for federation. " In the 



UNITED AUSTRALIA. 51 

The Plymouth Western Morning News continued. 

nature of our onward progress it must come. A year or two later, 
possibly, but in any case soon." He proposes, therefore, a National 
Convention, consisting of six members from each colony, the federation 
to embrace New Zealand. In this Federal Assembly measures would be 
taken for creating a stable Federal Government, with a Senate and a 
House of Commons, with a right to elect its own Governor-General, and 
to create a Privy Council. The only tie with the mother country would 
then be one of sentiment, which would last as long as loyalty to the 
Crown inspires the hearts of the Australian people. We have no doubt 
that Australian Federation will arrive. It is inevitable. But unless it 
is followed by the federation of the Empire it will involve colonial 
independence, and the exercise by the Australians of the right which 
they undoubtedly possess, if they chose to exercise it, to sever the tie 
which now binds together the vast majority of the English race. 



Shields Daily News 
November 5th, 1889. 

SIR HENRY PARKES, the Premier of New South Wales, has addressed an 
important letter to the Premier of the sister Colony of Victoria, on the 
subject of the federation of Australia. It is, of course, due entirely to 
the partial and limited manner in which the great continent of Australia 
was first colonized that there is the present disseverance of government 
amongst its various parts. If the colonization of Australia had been set 
about deliberately, and organized as the Socialists appear to think it 
possible to organize human society, no doubt the population as it poured 
in would have been evenly distributed at suitable points, and a form of 
government would have been arranged for both local and general require- 
ments. But in practical life the movements of mankind are not so 
regulated. The Government of England used New South Wales at one 
time as a sort of dust-heap for Great Britain ; incorrigible or specially 
wicked criminals were deported there, to be out of the way of law-abiding 
citizens at home. Then came the discovery of gold there, and a vast 
influx of people to the country, especially to a part so far distant from 
New South Wales that it was for all practical purposes a new colony, 
and, as Victoria, made for itself a separate importance and existence. 



52 UNITED AUSTRALIA. 

Shields Daily News continued. 

With modern means of communication, it would be far more easy to 
have a central government now than it was in the " gold fever " days of 
five-and-thirty years ago, but as things have happened, the two regions 
have formed entirely separate colonies. Western Australia, a younger 
sister, is now of considerable population and importance ; so is South 
Australia. Nor is the expansion of Australia by any means finished. 
Its population will increase, for the vast tracts of country, as yet entirely 
wild or very sparingly occupied, will support very many more inhabitants 
than the natural growth of its citizens and the immigration of capital 
and labour together will give for some time to come. Australia is an 
expanding nation, with a future before it that no eye can prophetically 
discern. It is impossible to foresee what will be the future relations of 
this young and vigorous offspring to the mother country. What it is at 
present can clearly not be a permanent arrangement. Our child \vill 
cling to us so long as it cannot entirely support itself. So soon as it can 
stand alone it will assert its independence. What relationship there 
will be after that depends on sentiment and family feeling, and on the 
knowledge that we must possess on both sides that by keeping the family 
together we all gain in consideration and authority and safety in the eyes 
of the rest of the world. To drop metaphor, it is idle to suppose that 
England can permanently govern Australia imperially. What does it 
mean now 1 ? It means simply that whenever there is a conflict of 
opinion about what is best to do, the opinion of the clerks of the 
Colonial Office is to over-ride the opinion of the Australians themselves. 
Australia has no representation in the Imperial Parliament, her views 
and her claims cannot even be formally laid before the British nation's 
representatives. It is purely a question for the Colonial Secretary for 
the time being, whether he will or will not, in any given matter, accede 
to the wishes of the colonists. If this bond be drawn too tightly, it will 
snap. The immediate question which has elicited Sir H. Parkes' letter 
is a proposal for the foundation of a United Australian army. It 
appears strange, perhaps, that a colony free from the burden of a war 
tax should wish to impose one on itself. But as matters go, this is a 
first step towards independence. The German colonization in neigh- 
bouring islands has made the Australians see that they cannot rely on 
being outside the European complications of the future. Circumstances 
might very conceivably arise in which an army to defend the shores of 
Australia against the attacks of an enemy of England might become 



UNITED AUSTRALIA. 53 

Shields Daily News continued. 

necessary. But Sir H. Parkes maintains, and probably with perfect 
accuracy, that if such a force were embodied now, it would be under the 
control and at the disposal of the Imperial Government. The " Federal 
Council," created by Act of the Imperial Parliament five years ago, has 
no authority to direct general defensive operations all over Australia 
Hence, if an army is to be formed for the defence of the Colonies, it is 
first necessary that they should combine one with another to procure a 
Federal Government, enabling all the various Colonies of the great 
Continent of Australia and the neighbouring islands, and including 
New Zealand, to form a Parliament to direct their common affairs. 
Sir H. Parkes urges the other Premiers to induce their Parliaments to 
join in a formal conference with this end in view. Should this most 
important step be taken, it will be either a further unfastening, or a first 
step towards drawing more firmly, the bands which unite the mother 
country with her great Australasian family. Which way the event will 
tend will largely depend upon the sense and wisdom with which it is 
treated by the Colonial Office at home. 



The British Australasian 

November 6zA, 1889. 

SIR HENRY PARKES, the veteran Premier of the mother colony, has now 
elaborated his views of the steps to be taken towards bringing about the 
federation of Australia, or perhaps Australasia. We say " perhaps," 
because he considers New Zealand a doubtful quantity. Sir Henry 
Parkes maintains, as he always has done, that the existing machinery for 
the Federal Council of Australia is unworkable when applied to the 
measure of federal unity he and other statesmen of New South Wales 
desire ; and he adds that it is unsuitable even for that federation for 
purposes of defence such as General Edwards has advocated in his 
report, which, by the way bids fair to become a memorable historical 
document. In this contention there is no doubt that Sir Henry Parkes 
is strictly right. The power of retirement from the Council, and the 
express stipulation that the Council cannot commit any colony to a 
money expenditure undoubtedly render the present Act a very imperfect 
and half-hearted affair. This, however, was quite admitted by Lord 



54 UNITED AUSTRALIA. 

The British Australasian continued. 

Derby when he was Secretary of State for the Colonies. His words, on 
moving the second reading of the Enabling Bill, on the 23rd April, 1885, 
are well worthy of repetition, and we, therefore, make the following 
lengthy extract from them : 

"Before I state what the Bill is, I may as well explain what it is not. 
It is not a Bill which deals in any way with that question of Imperial 
Federation of which we hear so much. It does not touch, except in- 
directly, the relations existing between the colonies and the mother 
country. It is not even a measure for Intercolonial Federation in any 
complete and organized shape. It simply provides, as the title states, for 
the creation of a Federal Council, charged with certain duties, which are 
described and defined in the clauses. Further, it is not a compulsory, 
but an enabling Bill. No colony is bound by it to join in the arrange- 
ment which it sanctions unless that colony spontaneously decides so to 
do. The initiative must be taken by the colony itself ; all that the 
Imperial Legislature undertakes is to give its sanction to a scheme which 
would be ultra vires for the Colonial Legislatures to deal with on their 
own unassisted authority. Under this bill five colonies Victoria, 
Queensland, South Australia, West Australia, and Tasmania will be 
enabled, and are now prepared, to become federated for certain purposes. 
Two colonies, New South Wales and New Zealand, have hitherto declined 
to join. Of these two colonies so standing aloof, one, New Zealand, is 
so far distant, and so little connected with the affairs of the Australian 
Continent, that its continued separation, if it should remain in the same 
mind as at present, would not, as I conceive, affect the working of the 
scheme. It will be entirely a question for New Zealanders themselves ; 
their junction or their abstention will not interfere with the other States 
concerned. In the case of New South Wales, I cannot deny that a good 
deal turns on whether that colony comes into the federation or not. It 
is the oldest of the Australian Colonies ; it holds a central position ; it is 
the rival of Victoria in importance, having a rather smaller population, 
but a larger amount of trade, of revenue, and of territory. I do not 
deny that the continued standing out of New South Wales would be a 
serious, possibly a fatal, blow to the organization which we are creating. 
But I entertain a sanguine hope that the objections of the New South 
Wales Legislature will not be permanent. I believe the feeling there to 
be one rather of doubt than of hostility, and it is mainly in order to 
remove as far as possible any obstacle to the accession of New South 
Wales that I have inserted in the Bill the proviso in clause 31, by 
which any colony which may on trial be dissatisfied with the arrange- 
ment is enabled to secede. That proviso has been the subject of much 
discussion, and it would riot have been inserted if complete agreement 
among the colonies had been arrived at, or if this were to be considered 
as the final form which Intercolonial Federation is likely to assume. But 
the whole scheme is tentative ; it is experimental, and in a certain sense 
it is provisional ; and, under these circumstances, it seems expedient to 
leave large facilities for future change. We had proposed a clause 
dealing with the question of expenditure involved in the action of the 



UNITED AUSTRALIA. 55 

The British Australasian continued. 

Council; but on reference to the Colonial Governments that was objected 
to, and it has been dropped out in deference to their objections. The 
result will be that no decision involving expenditure can have effect 
given to it without the consent of the Legislature of each colony, which 
is a point on which they have laid great stress ; and it, in fact, reduces 
the power of the Council in all cases where expenditure is involved to 
that of an advising or recommending body. I do not believe that any 
one here is likely to be opposed to the principle of federation in the 
abstract, and I need not therefore defend the Bill against attacks from 
that side. The criticism which I anticipate is rather on the score that 
this Bill gives federation t>nly in a very rudimentary and imperfect 
form. That I admit ; and I agree that it would be much more satisfac- 
tory to all of us if we could deal with the question in a more effectual 
and conclusive manner. A federated Australia, forming, as Canada 
does, a single State, united for all except purely local purposes, would be 
a new power in the world. But the mere difference in their fiscal policy 
is sufficient at present to prevent it, and we must go at their pace, not 
ours." 

Thus Lord Derby clearly looked upon the Federal Council as a stepping 
stone, and when Sir Henry Parkes urges that it is not a complete 
measure, he is perfectly in the right. Lord Derby looked forward to a 
more complete Parliamentary union, and if the time has now come when 
that larger and more complete measure can be carried into effect, there 
will certainly be no delay here in obtaining the requisite Imperial 
sanction. 

Now, what steps does Sir Henry Parkes propose towards bringing about 
a more complete union of the Australian Colonies'? He suggests, in the 
first place, the holding of a National Convention to which each colony 
shall appoint four members from the Assembly, and two members from 
the Council, Western Australia, having only one Chamber, to send four 
members instead of six. Including Tasmania, this Convention would 
consist of thirty-four delegates, and if New Zealand joined it the total 
would be increased to forty. He further is of opinion that all parties 
should be represented, and that their labours should be directed towards 
the framing of a Constitution for an Australian or Australasian Parlia- 
ment, to consist of a Senate and a House of Commons, as well as for the 
appointment of a Governor-General and an Australian Privy Council. 
Such a Legislature should be national in its character, and he urged his 
arguments in the powerful language of which he is known to be a master. 
It is evident that Sir Henry Parkes has taken up the question of federa- 
tion warmly, and when he does so, he can never be accused of advocating 
half measures. 



56 UNITED AUSTRALIA. 

The British Australasian continued. 

How will liis despatch be received by the other colonies 1 There may 
not unnaturally be some disinclination shown, as Sir Henry Parkes has 
at all times been off-hand with them when they have approached him on 
the subject of the Federal Council, to accept dictation from him at the 
present time. But really it would be most regrettable that any feeling 
of chagrin should be allowed to mar a proposition which, for the first 
time, appears likely to bring New South Wales within the charmed 
circle. Should the Convention be accepted by the other Colonies, as we 
hope and think it will be, there is no doubt that questions of the greatest 
moment will be brought before it. It appears to us impossible that the 
question of a national fiscal policy should be ignored, and, as we pointed 
out last week, the only way it seems possible for such extreme protec- 
tionists as Victorians, and extreme free-traders as the rulers of New 
South Wales, to be brought together is to agree to average the differences 
in their respective tariffs. If it should be found that the colonies are 
even now prepared for a complete union after the style of the Canadian 
Dominion, it is essential that they should evince a willingness to com- 
promise points of difference such as they have not hitherto displayed. 



Civil Service Gazette 

November , 1889. 

THE very important problem of the organization of the military forces of 
the several Australian Colonies under one uniform system, and the con- 
stitution for the purposes of defence of an Australian army, and the still 
more important one of the federation of the Australian Colonies for the 
purposes of general government and administration, have made a con- 
siderable approach towards solution. Some four years ago, when the 
idea of an Australian Federation was seriously entertained, adhesion to it 
was voluntary, and hitherto New South Wales and New Zealand have 
held aloof from it. Sir Henry Parkes, Premier of New South Wales, has 
been the principal opponent of the project of federation ; but he has now 
come round, and has been a strenuous advocate of it. Speaking at 
Tenterfield last week, Sir Henry Parkes is reported to have declared that 
the time had come for a distinct Executive and Parliament for Australia 
to deal with national questions, and suggested that a Convention of 



UNITED AUSTRALIA. 57 

Civil Service Gazette continued. 

representatives of all colonies should be assembled to devise the con- 
struction of a Federal Government and Parliament. As he has been 
the chief opponent to the policy of Australasian union or federation, it is 
highly possible that New Zealand will soon adopt the policy which he has 
now distinctly and energetically recommended. By what means the 
desired objects may be attained whether by the action of the existing 
Federal Council, or by that suggested by the Prime Minister of New 
South Wales, it seems certain that a great step has been taken towards 
the foundation of that Australasian Federation or union which is so much 
desired by the truest friends of Colonial and Imperial interests. 



Bradford Telegraph 

November Gth, 1889. 

THE despatch addressed by Sir Henry Parkes, Premier of New South Wales, 
to his fellow-Premiers in the Australasian Colonies, is one of the most 
important items of news to English people which has been published for 
many a long day. Sooner or later the federal idea was bound to make 
headway in our Antipodean Colonies, but Sir Henry Parkes' action has 
at once bridged over the chasm which separated the probable from the 
merely possible, and brought the question of federation within the region 
of practical politics. Hitherto New South Wales has held aloof from all 
proposals with this end in view. Of all the colonies she alone refused to 
join in the first feeble efforts towards a united Australia which were 
embodied in the Act passed by the Imperial Parliament in 1885 for the 
formation of a Federal Council. What the reasons were for the attitude 
adopted it is difficult for us at home with the imperfect sources of infor- 
mation we possess to judge. Intercolonial jealousy was freely ascribed 
as the cause on one hand, whilst the small section in this country who 
love to play the role of carping critic on any project which has for its end 
the knitting together of the scattered parts of Greater Britain in closer 
ties, were not slow to indulge in unpatriotic exultation over the position 
as a proof that New South Wales wanted to cut adrift rather than draw 
nearer to the mother country. The first-mentioned cause was probably 
near the truth, for the rivalry between New South Wales and the sister 
colony of Victoria is one of long standing, and the latter played a 



58 UNITED AUSTRALIA. 

Bradford Telegraph continued. 

prominent part in the Federal Council scheme. Whatever was the 
reason, however, Sir Henry Parkes' despatch shows that it arose from 
no lack of love for the mother country, which to the colonists of New 
South Wales as well as those in other colonies of the Southern hemisphere 
is still " home," and associated with all the proud and tender recollections 
which cluster round the word. Sir Henry not only confesses that he has 
been a federalist for the last twenty years so far as Australia is concerned, 
but also sees the time when there shall be an Imperial Federation 
embracing within its wide-reaching grasp all parts of the earth over 
which the Union Jack now floats and the English language is spoken. 
The only difference between Sir Henry Parkes' federation scheme and 
that which has been generally promulgated here, is that he considers a 
federation of the difierent groups of colonies should precede the federation 
of the colonies with the mother country ; that instead of a federation of 
individual colonies with the parent State it should be a federation of free 
nations, of which the parent State would indeed be the head but in which 
the other component parts would enter into the alliance " on something 
like a broad ground of equality." The Australasian Premier takes as wide 
a field of vision as the most ardent Imperial Federationist could desire. In 
his mind's eye he sees not Australia alone as one united kingdom, too strong 
to be attacked, and unquestioned in her supremacy in the southern ocean; 
but his mental vision also perceives a time when the Anglo- African colonies 
will also be federated into one great people, as powerful and supreme in 
Africa as the former will be in the huge islands and Asiatic kingdoms 
which lie to her north. He also foresees a time when the North American 
colonies will be a great and united people, and it is his hope, as it is the 
hope of all those who have desired and worked for Imperial Federation, 
that these will unite firmly and indissolubly with the mother country into 
a " grand and peaceful congerie of free communities." In such a union 
he says he thinks there is " a promise of unprecedented usefulness for 
the British people," and " so say all of us " would be the echo from this 
side of the globe, could it find audible expression. The tone of the 
despatch must be particularly galling to the persistent opponents of the 
federation idea, coming as it does from the quarter where they had 
hoped their own un-English and unpatriotic ideas principally flourished. 
It marks the utter failure of all the scorn and contumely poured upon 
the federal idea since it was first mooted by the late Mr. Forster and a 
few other patriotic, far-sighted men, who had penetration to look into 



UNITED AUSTRALIA. 59 

Bradford Telegraph continued. 

and plan a little for the future. Federation is a question irrespective of 
party, and draws its leaders from all parties. Its purpose is for defence, 
not defiance, and if achieved, its results could not but be beneficial, both 
to the colonies and the United Kingdom. There have been differences 
of opinion as to whether it had better be achieved directly as between 
the parent State and the individual colonies, or whether, as Sir Henry 
Parkes advocates, federation of the different groups of colonies should 
precede the greater federation. We believe that the latter course is the 
wisest. The movement for Imperial Federation ought not to be 
burdened by the differences of adjoining colonies. These must first 
adjust their local differences before there can be any hope of working 
amicably in the councils of the empire, or even taking an efficient share 
in mutual defence. The preliminary difficulties are serious, especially as 
regards the question of customs duties where intercolonial opinion is 
strongly divided, but the example of Canada shows that they are not 
insurmountable. Colonial federation must come before Australia can 
commence to achieve her evident destiny. Without it, the different 
colonies would resolve into so many independent and hostile republics, 
and in the Southern seas we would sooner or later have a repetition of 
the mutual bloodshed and devastation which has marked the career of 
the Spanish republics in South America. For this reason we wish Sir 
Henry Parkes' proposals the fullest success, and trust that it may not be 
many years before Australia is united into one Dominion under a 
Government which would of necessity be something after the type of 
that of Canada. There would be one important difference, however. 
Australia stands alone. There is no possible rival or compeer in her 
quarter of the world. Population only is needed to ensure a future for 
the English race there which should make every Briton's face who thinks 
of it flush with pride. 



Dumfries Standard 

November tli, 1889. 

THE despatch which Sir Henry Parkes, the Premier of New South 
Wales, has addressed to the Hon. Duncan Gillies, the Premier of Victoria, 
is a remarkable sign of the times. It is an expression of the promptings 
of that great law of political necessity which compels kindred peoples to 



60 UNITED AUSTRALIA. 

Dumfries Standard continued. 

co-operate for common ends in a federal union. The United States, the 
Canadian Dominion, the German Empire, are more or less perfect 
examples of this system. But we do not need to go so far afield to find 
the federal principle. It lies at the very basis of the union of England, 
Ireland, and Scotland. Neither the Union of the Crowns, nor later the 
Union of the Parliaments, destroyed the individual identity of the three 
nations. We secured a single sovereignty, and a central source of 
legislation and administration in the field of common interests. Had 
this been all, all might now have been well with the Union. But the 
mistake was unfortunately made of committing the management of 
purely national affairs to the federal, or, as we call it, the Imperial 
authority. It is this mistake that Home-rulers seek to rectify. When 
they shall have achieved their purpose, it will not be the introduction of 
the federal principle. It will only be the restriction of that principle to 
its proper sphere. By providing England, Scotland, Ireland, and Wales 
each with a legislature and executive of its own for its own affairs, we 
do not lessen the dignity of the federal authority or impair the Union. 
We increase the one and strengthen the other, by the removal of petty 
details, which national councils alone can properly attend to, and which 
are a constant distraction and annoyance in the hands of the central 
authority. 

What Sir Henry Parkes desires to bring about is the federal union of 
the Australian Colonies for the defence and furtherance of mutual 
interests. It seems that General Edwards had made a recommendation 
for the federal action of Australian troops. But Sir Henry fails to 
discover that the Federal Council Act confers upon the Council from 
which New South Wales has kept aloof power to constitute, direct, 
and control a united Australian army. But even if the Council's enact- 
ments for the movement of troops could be accepted, there could not be 
found anywhere, he says, a corresponding authority to give effect to 
them. The executive Governments of the several colonies "could not 
act in combination for any such purpose, nor could they so act inde- 
pendently of each other," and the colonies " could never consent to the 
Imperial Executive interfering in the direction " of the movement of 
colonial troops. Here, then, on the question of colonial defence the 
Australian statesmen are brought face to face with what Sir Henry calls 
the " imperative necessity for Federal Government." And why, he asks, 
" should we turn aside from what is inevitable to the nature of our 



UNITED AUSTRALIA. 61 

Dumfries Standard continued. 

onward progress 1 It must come, a year or two later possibly, but in any 
case soon." Therefore, in the name of New South Wales, he invites the 
other Colonies of the Pacific to appoint representatives to a convention 
" for the purpose of devising and reporting upon an adequate scheme of 
Federal Government." He suggests, " in order to avoid any sense of 
inequality in the debate, or any party complexion," that the number from 
each colony should be the same. Six he thinks a convenient unit in 
each case four from the Assembly (two from each side) and two from the 
Council (one from each side). In the case of Western Australia, where 
there is only one Chamber, four members might suffice. Altogether the 
Convention would consisfc of forty representatives, and from such an 
assembly he is hopeful of a scheme proceeding on the lines of the 
Canadian Dominion that would command universal acceptance. 

Could not our own statesmen take a leaf from Sir Henry's book and 
refer the solution of the Irish question to the patriotic counsels of a 
convention consisting of equal numbers of English, Irish, and Scotch 
members of Parliament drawn from both sides of the House of Commons ? 
Mr. Gladstone is now, and always has been, prepared to assist the Tories 
to effect a settlement in a way that would meet the " legitimate aspira- 
tions" of the Irish people without imperilling the supremacy of the 
Imperial Parliament. It is requisite, as a writer in this month's West- 
minster fieview urges with some vehemence, to have our domestic 
difficulty adjusted quickly, in order to clear the boards for the larger 
question of Imperial Federation. 



The Cornish Telegraph 

Xovemler 7th, 1889. 

SIR HENRY PARKES, the Premier of New South Wales, has addressed a 
1 otter to Mr. Gillies, the Premier of Victoria, which will most likely be the 
preface to a new and important era in the history of our Australian 
Colonies. The letter was written in reply to a telegram in which Mr. 
Gillies suggested that the Federal Council created by the Act of 1885 
might be utilized to " constitute, direct, and control a united Australian 
army," the formation of which had been advised by General Edwards, 
who has recently examined and reported upon the means of defence 



62 UNITED AUSTRALIA. 

The Cornish Telegraph continued. 

possessed by the colonies. Sir Henry does not agree with Mr. Gillies, 
and after a careful study of his letter, it is impossible to refrain from 
admitting the collusiveness of his reasoning. He points out that the 
Federal Council has no means of putting its decisions into force, that it 
is simply a deliberative body, with no executive power behind it. It is, 
in short, a boiler without an engine. Its creation was really an experi- 
ment, and it has no element of permanency. In fact, it merely repre- 
sents one short step towards the complete union, which all thinking 
Australians are beginning to look upon, in Sir Henry Parkes' own 
words, as "inevitable." The idea is not new. It has been in men's 
minds ever since the gold discoveries made patent to all that Australia 
would in the course of another century be a rich and populous country, 
and the undisputed ruler of the South Pacific. Until quite recent times, 
however, the question has not been a pressing one. The existing system 
is obviously well adapted to meet all the requirements of a community 
in its first youth, and colonists have been too busy with developing the 
great national resources of their adopted country to trouble their heads 
very much about any premature experiments in constitution-making. 
The increase in population and wealth, and the development of an active 
public life of indigenous growth, have aroused in Australians that self- 
consciousness which is one of the first symptoms of emergence from the 
chrysalis stage of nationhood. The young giant feels that he is no longer 
a child ; it is time for him to assume the toga virilis, to adopt a form of 
government which will consolidate his vast dominions, enlarge his citizens' 
conception of their rights and responsibilities, and make his strength 
more readily and more effectively available either for attack or defence. 
Sir Henry Parkes thinks that the time for taking this momentous step 
has come, and no man is in a better position to judge than he. It is 
true that there is 110 such urgent necessity as there was in the case of 
Canada, but Australia's good luck in escaping the dangers and compli- 
cations which have beset some of her sister colonies should not render her 
careless of the future. It should rather incite her to take measures to 
strengthen herself and ensure her safety similar to those which Canada 
has taken, and which, under the more favourable circumstances which 
Australia enjoys, may be expected to produce yet more satisfactory results. 

The Premier of New South Wales suggests as a preliminary step that a 
National Convention should be appointed for the purpose of devising and 



UNITED AUSTRALIA. 63 

The Cornish Telegraph continued. 

reporting upon an adequate scheme of Federal Government. It is pro- 
posed that the number of delegates from each colony should be the same 
and should be equally chosen from both sides of political life, and that 
the representatives should be elected by the Parliaments of the several 
colonies and receive commissions from the Governors. The task which 
the delegates would have set them would be the drawing up of a scheme 
of Federal Government, which, it is to be supposed, would be submitted 
to the electors for approval just as the judgment of the citizens is 
invited on the new constitution of an American State. The consent of 
the Imperial Parliament would also have to be obtained, but this would 
come as a matter of course. England would be only too glad to 
see her powerful offspring adopting such measures to aid her develop- 
ment and provide for her defence as experience certifies to be the best. 
The time of irritating interference, dictated by the smallest and 
most shortsighted jealousy, has happily gone by. No reasonable being 
will imagine that the associated delegates will have altogether plain sailing 
in this great business of constructing a federal constitution for Australia. 
There is no very imminent danger threatening the island continent ; no 
combination of circumstances in which the most obstinate is forced to see 
plainly written the warning "federate or perish." Such perils as exist ar 
visible only to those political seers who are blessed with that keen insight 
into the ultimate issues of present developments which is the rarest and 
most valuable gift that a statesman can have. Men of this kind are 
forced now-a-days to lead by affecting to follow. They are obliged to 
often subordinate their own opinions to others which they know to be of 
doubtful soundness. In order to carry one vital point they have to give 
way on several which are important though not all-important. The 
mutual jealousies of the colonies, uncurbed by any strong common senti- 
ment of fear, will doubtless throw many obstacles in the way. Such 
questions as that of the centre of Government for the new federation, the 
adoption or non-adoption of Free-trade between its various members, the 
amount of power to be respectively possessed by the Federal Congress and 
the subordinate Parliaments, will afford much ground for discussion, and 
the debates upon them will not improbably reveal wide divergencies of 
opinion. But if each member of the Convention enters it with the de- 
termination to make everything secondary to the preparation of a work- 
able scheme of federation, there can be small chance of this great 
experiment ending in a fiasco. 



UNITED AUSTRALIA. 

The Cornish Telegraph continued. 

Will the adoption of such a scheme bring the Australian Colonies 
nearer to the mother country, and consequently bring all Anglo-Saxondom 
nearer to the realization of that bright dream of a great and inviolable 
brotherhood, or will it hasten what some regard as an unavoidable 
separation? Will its final fruit, in short, be a federated Empire, 
or a new Federal Republic 1 ? There are many able men in both 
hemispheres who look upon Imperial Federation as the pet craze 
of a few unpractical political visionaries, as a proposition altogether 
unworthy the consideration of working statesmen, and only useful 
as a means of keeping a set of meddlesome and crackbrained 
faddists out of mischief. The initiators of every great new departure, 
social, political, or religious, have been ridiculed and denounced 
by the people who mistake an entire lack of originality and a slavish 
tendency to run in grooves made by somebody else for common sense. 
The truth is, that some of the leading supporters of Imperial Federation 
are practical and hard headed men in the best sense of those terms. 
Lord Rosebery, the Chairman of the London County Council, and Mr. 
Cecil Rhodes, the leading spirit in the formation of the great new South 
African Company, are scarcely visionaries. Yet both are strong sup- 
porters of and believers in Imperial Federation. After all, democracies 
prefer to be led by men who are not altogether devoid of imagination and 
sentiment, who recognize that nations cannot be governed as if they wero 
merely huge and elaborate machines. There is some ground for hoping 
that federation will not be looked upon by Australians as their final 
process of national evolution, that they will regard it only as a phase in 
their development, as a prelude to a yet grander fruition. If the men of 
the new federation have that capacity for almost unlimited widening of 
the mental horizon for which their race has always been noted, .and 
which has evolved the elaborate English Constitution out of the rudest 
and crudest elements, there is small fear that they will stop short with 
the accomplishment of Sir Henry Parkes' project. Their success in that 
undertaking will give them greater confidence in their own powers, 
besides proving the value of combination. They will attack the infinitely 
more difficult problem of Imperial Federation, or British Federation, as 
it might more appropriately be called, with an increased belief in their 
ability to overcome obstacles, with a strengthened faith in the desirable- 
ness of the end in view. Long and toilsome will the labour be, but if 
the task is hard and painful, the achievement will transcend in glory all 



UNITED AUSTRALIA. 65 

The Cornish Telegraph continued. 

man's previous exploits. The firm fixing on an unshakable foundation 
of the colossal structure of a world-girdling Anglo-Saxon dominion would 
be the mightiest forward movement ever made by mankind, the sure 
pledge of the supremacy of the noblest instincts of our nature in the 
future working out of the world's destiny. 



Bullionist 

November, 1889. 

WHATEVER pertains to the welfare and development of the British 
Colonies cannot fail to be of paramount interest to the Home country. 
In this light we must consider the action of Sir Henry Parkes, 
Premier of New South Wales, who has recently despatched a circular 
to the Premiers of the other Australian Colonies, writing them to send 
representatives to a National Convention to be called together for the 
purpose of devising a new scheme of Australian Federation. Sir Henry 
Parkes is of opinion that the existing system has outgrown its usefulness, 
and it now fails to meet the requirements of the colonies. This, as a 
broad and general principle, we believe is quite true, for the develop- 
ments of the Australian Colonies have been unparalleled in the previous 
history of nations. The Premier of New South Wales cannot concur in 
the view that the Federal Council, as constituted by the Act of 1885, 
possesses the requisite power to constitute, direct, and control an united 
Australian army. Besides, there is no executive power behind the 
Federal Council to give effect to any mandates which it might feel 
justified in issuing. What Sir Henry Parkes wishes to see is a scheme 
of Federal Government fashioned after the Canadian model with 
Governor-General, Privy Council, and two Houses of Parliament, subject 
only to the supremacy of the Crown. Nothing less than this would be 
regarded as an adequate means of securing a proper system of defence as 
well as other benefits for the Australian Colonies. A federation of the 
Australian Colonies would be a great step towards a general federation 
between the Mother Country and all her colonies, but there is a serious 
obstacle in the way in the fixed antagonism that exists among the 
colonies themselves. For instance, in their fiscal policy, New South 
Wales and Victoria are in direct opposition to each other, and until they 
can approach to something like a uniformity in this respect, there is 
E 



66 UNITED AUSTRALIA. 

Bullionist continued. 

little hope that they can agree on a principle of federation. We wish 
Sir Henry Parkes success in his well-intentioned projects, but we fear 
the time has not yet arrived for this great step in Colonial progress. 



Statist 

November, 1889. 

THE despatch from the Prime Minister of New South Wales to the Prime 
Minister of Victoria raises in a very effective and practical way the 
question of Australasian Federation. The Australian Colonies are all 
desirous of making adequate military preparation for their defence in 
case of war. But General Edwards reports that for that purpose it is 
necessary that the forces of the several colonies should form one army, 
and be under a single command. The Prime Minister of Victoria seems 
to think that the existing Federal Council can constitute one Australian 
army, but Sir Henry Parkes, the Prime Minister of New South Wales, 
is of a different opinion. He points out that the Act constituting the 
Federal Council provides for 110 executive power. The Federal Council, 
in fact, could act only after consultation with the several colonies, and 
after obtaining their approval. This clearly is fatal to any military 
organisation. Sir Henry Parkes admits that the difficulty might be got 
over by a special Act of the Imperial Parliament, but he emphatically 
declares that no Australian Government would agree to such a plan, and 
it is very natural that the Colonial Governments should be extremely 
unwilling to invite the action of the Imperial Parliament in such a 
measure. If the Imperial Parliament can legislate for one matter 
affecting the interests of two or more colonies, it clearly may legislate 
for any other matter of the same kind. It is no doubt extremely im- 
probable that Parliament would legislate except on the invitation of the 
colonies themselves. But still we cannot wonder that the colonies 
should be extremely unwilling to admit the principle that they must look 
to London for legislation where matters affecting more than one colony 
are concerned. Therefore, Sir Henry Parkes concludes that the necessity 
for a confederation of all the Australian Colonies is proved ; and he pro- 
poses that a conference should be held, at which all the colonies should 
be represented. He suggests that each colony should send six members, 
four chosen by the House of Commons, and two by the Upper House, or 






UNITED AUSTRALIA. 67 

Statist continued. 

where there is only one house, then only four members should attend. 
He would thus give precisely the same representation to the least import- 
ant as to the most important of the colonies, his object being to reassure 
each that its own interests would he fully respected. It remains to be 
seen whether the other colonies will accept this invitation. If they do, 
then federation is immediately in view. It is well known that in Sir 
Henry Parkes' eyes Australian Federation is but a step to the federation 
of the whole Empire. He holds that the colonies separately are not in 
a position to negotiate effectively with the Mother Country for proper 
representation in the Parliament of the whole Empire. But if the 
colonies were grouped together in great federations, then they would be 
in a position to maintain their own interests. If his present proposal 
bears fruit, there would be only needed a federation of South Africa, and 
then the colonies could approach the Mother Country with a view to 
opening up the question of Imperial Federation. 



Ayr Advertiser 

November 7th, 1889. 

IN all probability it will not not be long ere the question of Australian 
Federation enters the region of practical politics. It is on the threshold 
even now. The "grand old man" of Australian politics, Sir Henry 
Parkes, the Premier of New South Wales, has taken the initiative ; and 
as the movement is one that is certain to take hold of a large section of 
the Colonial public if not the Colonial public en masse we may expect 
ere long to witness a drawing together of the different colonies for general 
purposes that will mark the dawn of a new era in the history of our 
Greater Britain in the Southern Seas. At the present time each of the 
colonies, New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, and Queensland, 
has its own legislative chambers, and attends to its own domestic concerns. 
With the general weal, save in a moral sense, it does not concern itself, 
but confines itself to matters that are specifically and exclusively its own. 
Hitherto the system has worked on the whole sufficiently well, though a 
rivalry in the matter of tariffs has been productive of some very palpable 
friction; but it was evident long ago that a drawing together of the 
different colonies for the general behoof was inevitable. Australia is 
beginning to feel her own strength, and it is quite consistent with con- 
tinued, even increased, loyalty to the Crown and to the Mother Country, 



68 UNITED AUSTRALIA. 

Ayr Advertiser continued. 

that she should feel herself sufficiently strong to stand alone. With the 
status quo, for example, in the matter of defence, Australia would be in 
serious danger were this country to be engaged in a prolonged and exhaust- 
ing struggle. The Queensland defensive squadron would hardly be sufficient 
to protect its own extended coast line and even Avere the cruisers of an 
enemy to appear off Port Phillip Heads or in the Gulf of St. Vincent, and 
threaten, in the one case, Melbourne, and in the other Adelaide, the Queens- 
landers, in the condition of panic that would prevail, would never think 
of sending their warships so far from home. But in the event of federation 
for mutual defence, there could be nothing to prevent the Australian 
fleet, under one commander, and equipped for its work, sailing hither 
and thither wherever danger threatened, and thus rendering serious 
attack on the coast a practical impossibility. A united Australia 
would be impervious to attack. No fleet could ever be despatched 
sufficiently strong to cope with its navy ; and no body of soldiers could 
be landed on the Colonial shores that could not be satisfactorily 
accounted for by the Australian soldiery, who, as in the case of the 
fleet, could be handled where their concentration was most desirable. 
The proposal of Sir Henry Parkes is not one that need excite any 
alarm at home. It is founded on loyalty to the Mother Country ; and 
instead of being a source of weakness, it might, on the contrary, be a 
source of incalculable strength. Australian soldiers have already 
fought side by side with our own in Egypt. That quarrel was not one 
that concerned the colonists in any sense whatever. Osman Digma 
might have swept the Egyptians before him, and the Madhi might have 
set up an independent kingdom over the whole of the Soudan, without 
Australia being a whit the worse. The real importance of the Colonial 
loyalty lay, therefore, in the assurance that Australia has cast in her 
lot, for good or for evil, with the Mother Country ; and just as the 
bringing of the East Indian native troops to Malta indicated the great 
force available in Hindostan, so the voluntary aid furnished by the 
colonists of Australia was the index to an unknown future of mutual 
help and unbroken friendship. It may be hoped, therefore, that the 
proposal of the New South Wales statesman will be received at Home 
by all political sections of the State with the best wishes for its 
accomplishment. The federation aimed at is inevitable ; and it is as 
safe as it is inevitable, so long as it is not regarded jealously or 
factiously. 



UNITED AUSTRALIA. 69 

Richmond Herald 
November ^//,, 1889. 

THE question of Australian Federation is once more coming to the front, 
Sir Henry Parkes, Premier of New South Wales, having addressed a 
despatch to the Premiers of the various colonies on the subject. In this 
document the New South Wales Government, through its Premier, 
believing the time to be ripe for consolidating the Australias into one, 
invites the Governments of the other colonies "to join in taking the 
iirst great step, namely, to appoint representatives to a national conven- 
tion for the purpose of devising and reporting upon an adequate scheme 
of Federal Government." It is suggested that six members should attend 
from each colony, and the scheme of government, it is assumed, would 
follow close upon the type of the Dominion Government for Canada, 
providing for the appointment of a Governor-General, and for the 
creation of an Australian Privy Council and of a Parliament consisting 
of a Senate and House of Commons. New Zealand is invited to join in 
the scheme ; for it is manifest that a federation that did not include the 
Great Britain of the South would be very incomplete, if indeed not a 
failure. That federation will come one day there can be 110 doubt ; nor 
can there be any doubt that when it does come it will prove a source of 
blessing to the Australian Colonies. 



The Overland Mail 

November Mi, 1889. 

THE despatch which Sir Henry Parkes has sent round the Australian 
Colonies, like the telegram of the Queensland Premier on the appoint- 
ment of Colonial Governors, is undoubtedly a document of momentous 
interest, but it has hardly excited in Great Britain much more than 
the languid attention which the average Englishman pays to matters that 
only indirectly concern him. If Australia is content with the present 
arrangements which are all in her favour well and good ; if she should 
prefer topiave some other arrangement, she can have it or make it ; tho 
Home Government will look on with amiable indifference, so long as it 
is not asked to contribute money. 

Sir Henry Parkes, who is by all odds the most eminent of Australian 
statesmen, has not thought it worth while to consult the Colonial Office 
before taking action which, whatever be his immediate motives, is a step 



70 UNITED AUSTRALIA. 

The Overland Mail continued. 

towards the establishment of Australian independence. The Colonial 
Office will not protest. The British public, between ignorance and 
indifference, sees no grounds for troubling itself about the matter. Indeed 
the probability is if we regard it simply as a business question that 
there would be no loss but a clear gain, so far as the Queen's Govern- 
ment is concerned, in the secession of the South Pacific territories from 
the Empire. The Home Government would be relieved of any responsi- 
bility for their defence, for their ambitions of territorial extension in the 
Pacific, for their relations to Germany, the United States, China, and 
other Powers, for the protection of Australian citizens and their property 
throughout the world or the vindication of their rights in foreign countries. 
Those things the Australians would have to look after for themselves, and 
pay for very likely through the nose. The Government of our self- 
governing colonies is in most cases exploitation of the majority by a few 
demagogues and capitalists. Independence would bring with it some 
dangers and many burthens. It is hardly likely, for instance, that China, 
whose fleet could blow the whole commerce of Australia out of the water 
and possibly destroy its ports, would, were she dealing only with an 
independent Australasian Federation, content herself with diplomatic 
remonstrances. The Australians would have to be prepared to establish 
their own diplomatic organization, to defend their own shores, and 
vindicate their own interests. They would be called on to make immense 
sacrifices, and the taxation necessitated by the exigencies of the new 
position would not only test the resources of their statesmanship to the 
utmost, but develop to an uncomfortable degree the divergencies 
between the varying interests of the communities scattered over a 
vast area, besides tending to contract their trade. The economic policy 
which would be forced upon them by the organization of an indepen- 
dent government would undoubtedly restrict, though it might not 
destroy, the commercial and financial relations between Great Britain 
and Australasia. On the whole then it is the colonies and not the 
Mother Country that would suffer the most from separation. All this, 
of course, lies on the surface, and must be in the mind of every intelli- 
gent Australian who considers the present position, or the consequences 
of altering it. Yet it is quite evident that a large and increasing pro- 
portion of the population in New South Wales, Victoria, and Queens- 
land is nursing, if not actually engaged in propagating, ideas of 
independence. The chief supporters of the British connection are the 



UNITED AUSTRALIA. 71 

The Overland Mail continued. 

immigrants and the old people such as have not lost touch with the 
" old country " ; but the native generation " young Australia" feels 
little of the sentiment which makes the elders cling to the ties and 
associations of the distant " Home." Climatic conditions in most of the 
colonies are gradually divorcing the race physically and morally from 
the type and standard of the Briton ; and this is true, albeit the first 
generation from European parents, favoured by a sub-tropical climate 
and unwonted good-living, has shown us some exceptionally fine 
specimens of human physique. Scientific experts tell us that that will not 
last. Tasmania and New Zealand may continue to grow fine men and 
women, but the race on the Continent of Australia will only be kept up 
to an approximate level with that of England and Scotland by constant 
importations from the Mother Country, that is to say by the adoption of 
a policy for promoting rapid immigration, and that is opposed by the 
classes who control Australian politics. It would be unwise to cherish 
delusions about Australia or exaggerate the promise of its destiny. 
Scientific opinion seems to be that the race which will inhabit Victoria 
or New South Wales a hundred or a hundred and fifty years hence will 
no more resemble the English race than the South American Spaniard 
represents the blood and spirit of the hidalgos. It is a moot question 
whether the vast population which is predicted for the continent will 
ever exist. Where gold is found population will collect so long as pro- 
duction lasts, but the main industry must continue to be the rearing of 
sheep and cattle. Australia will be made by her minerals and her grass. 
She refuses to receive the only population suited to her sub-tropical 
expanses, the Chinese and Hindoos, who could convert her .wildernesses 
into gardens. 

This is the country which Great Britain has partitioned out in vast 
blocks to a few hundreds of thousands of people. Being English they 
have worked with energy, have developed the gold and squatting interests, 
and have borrowed a good deal of money in England. But as the direct 
immigrants die out, a race is coming to the front which is not English in 
sympathies, or energies, or culture. It talks about Australia for the 
Australians. The answer from Downing-street would be, were it free 
to speak its mind : " By all means take Australia for Australians. 
Were it not for the public sentiment in England, you might have cut the 
painter any time this past twenty years, and we should have been grate- 
ful to be rid of colonies which are always asking sacrifices and services 



72 UNITED AUSTRALIA. 

The Overland Mail continued. 

from the Mother Country and never contented. You want to appoint 
your own Governors, to apportion Western Australia among a few score 
of your big millionaires, to annex groups of Pacific Islands, to form a 
federation and undertake your own defence do it by all means. Sir 
Henry Parkes tells us that ' the colonies could never consent to the 
Imperial Executive interfering in the direction of the movements ' of an 
army raised by its own colonies ! In that case we, on our part, cannot 
undertake to provide for your defence by sea or land. You had better 
go, and go quietly. We are English, and we don't want a theatrical 
parting." That, we suspect, is what the British official in his heart of 
hearts thinks and would say if he dare speak out. He is not deceived 
by a bit of clap-trap like the sending of a few Australian troops to the 
Soudan on a military picnic. The Australians are rich enough to a fiord 
a demonstration of that kind, when it ministers to their amour propre 
and happens to suit the political game of a popular statesman ; but official 
Englishmen will not allow themselves to be misled by it, as to the true 
feeling of the Australians. They take care to let us know at every turn 
that they consider themselves independent and intend to remain loyal 
only so long as it suits them. That might, it is true, be a long time, for 
at present the balance of interest in the connection lies heavily on the 
Colonial side, but Sir Henry Parkes' despatch shows that he, though a 
loyal supporter of the Imperial connection, begins to feel that it will bo 
useless to fight much longer against the tendency of Australian opinion 
and he takes advantage of the very first attempt of the Imperial Govern- 
ment to institute an organized defence for the Pacific Colonies, to tell it 
practically that it has nothing to do with the matter, to criticise and dis- 
avow its mode of procedure, and to propose that the colonies including 
Western Australia, which is as yet a Crown Colony of Great Britain ! 
should form a Federal Government and Executive, without reference to 
Parliament or the Crown. The true significance of the move can only be; 
understood by those who are acquainted with the inner sides of Austra- 
lian politics, and has not been appreciated by the British journalists who 
have written on the subject. Sir Henry Parkes begins to see that the 
party in Australia which w^ants to cut the painter is rising in influence, 
and, like a shrewd statesman, he wishes to be ready for any emergency. 
The Colonial Office will be only too happy if he succeeds. The British 
people will not be consulted. 



UNITED AUSTRALIA. 73 

Edinburgh Weekly Scotsman 
November 9th, 1889. 

THE telegraphic announcement from Sydney that Sir Henry Parkes, the 
Premier of New South Wales, had at length intimated the adherence of 
that colony to the principle of Australian Federation is an event of 
first-rate magnitude. Practically it removes the last formidable obstacle 
to the ultimate adoption of that great scheme, which should prove a 
worthy rival of that which has brought strength and prosperity to the 
Dominion of Canada. New South Wales, for certain reasons of its own, 
has hitherto been the only colony to hold aloof from the federation 
movement, but, of course, its opposition was fatal. What are the 
motives which have produced this sudden change of position are not 
fully explained, though they are not difficult to divine. New South 
Wales has remained staunch to free trade, while the other colonies, and 
especially Victoria, have been wedded to protection. Unfortunately the 
protectionist feeling in New South Wales has been rapidly gaining 
ground, the position of the Ministry is becoming less certain, and con- 
siderable discontent has been created by the mismanagement of the 
railways and several public departments. Various boundary questions 
also, such as the withdrawal of water from the sources of the Murray for 
irrigation purposes, and the inconveniences of the rival tariff arrange- 
ments, have likewise produced a feeling that sooner or later something 
must be attempted to remove the constant and annoying friction. Sir 
Henry Parkes now admits that federation must soon come, and he loyally 
offers to facilitate its accomplishment by suggesting a National Con- 
vention, at which the colonies shall be equally represented, to consider 
and report on the question. Many very critical details have still to be 
settled, and grave difficulties and jealousies to be overcome before 
federation can be a fact ; though, if it is taken up in the spirit displayed 
by Sir Henry Parkes, there is every prospect of its triumphant success. 



Falmouth and Penryn Times 

November Wi, 1889. 

SIR HENRY PARKES, the Premier of New South Wales, has addressed a 
letter to Mr. Gillies, the Premier of Victoria, which will most likely be 
the preface to a new and important era in the history of our Australian 
Colonies. The letter was written in reply to a telegram in which Mr. 
Gillies suggested that the Federal Council created by the Act of 1885 



74 UNITED AUSTRALIA. 

Falmouth and Penryn Times continued. 

might be utilised to " constitute, direct, and control a united Australian 
army," the formation of which had been advised by General Edwards, 
who has recently examined and reported upon the means of defence 
possessed by the colonies. Sir Henry does not agree with Mr. Gillies, 
and after a careful study of his letter, it is impossible to refrain from 
admitting the conclusiveness of his reasoning. He points out that the 
Federal Council has no means of putting its decisions into force, that it 
is simply a deliberative body, with no executive power behind it. It is, 
in short, a boiler without an engine. Its creation was really an 
experiment, and it has no element of permanency. In fact, it merely 
represents one short step towards the complete union which all thinking 
Australians are beginning to look upon, in Sir Henry Parkes' own words, 
as "inevitable." The idea is not new. It has been in men's minds ever 
since the gold discoveries made patent to all that Australia would in the 
course of another century be a rich and populous country, and the 
undisputed ruler of the South Pacific. Until quite recent times, however, 
the question has not been a pressing one. The existing system is obviously 
well adapted to meet all the requirements of a community in its first 
youth, and colonists have been too busy with developing the great natural 
resources of their adopted country to trouble their heads very much 
about any premature experiments in constitution making. The increase 
in population and wealth, and the development of an active public life of 
indigenous growth, have aroused in Australians that self-consciousness 
which is one of the first symptoms of emergence from the chrysalis stage of 
nationhood. The young giant feels that he is no longer a child; it is time 
for him to assume the toga virilis, to adopt a form of Government which 
will consolidate his vast dominions, enlarge his citizens' conception of their 
rights and responsibilities, and make his strength more readily and more 
effectively available either for attack or defence. Sir Henry Parkes 
thinks that the time for taking this momentous step has come, and no 
man is in a better position to judge than he. It is true that there is no 
such urgent necessity as there was in the case of Canada, but Australia's 
good luck in escaping the dangers and complications which have beset 
some of her sister colonies should not render her careless of the future. 
It should rather incite her to take measures to strengthen herself and 
ensure her safety similar to those which Canada has taken, and which, 
under the more favourable circumstances which Australia enjoys, may 
be expected to produce yet more satisfactory results. 



UNITED AUSTRALIA. 75 

Falmouth and Penryn Times continued. 

The Premier of New South Wales suggests as a preliminary step that 
a National Convention should be appointed for the purpose of devising 
and reporting upon an adequate scheme of Federal Government. It is 
proposed that the number of delegates from each colony should be the 
same and should be equally chosen from both sides of political life, and 
that the representatives should be elected by the Parliaments of the 
several colonies and receive commissions from the Governors. The task 
which the delegates would have set them would be the drawing up of a 
scheme of Federal Government, which, it is to be supposed, would be 
submitted to the electors for approval just as the judgment of the citizens 
is invited on the new constitution of an American State. The consent 
of the Imperial Parliament would also have to be obtained, but this 
would come as a matter of course. England would be only too glad to 
see her powerful offspring adopting such measures to aid her development 
and provide for her defence as experience certifies to be the best. The 
time of irritating interference, dictated by the smallest and most short- 
sighted jealousy, has happily gone by. No reasonable being will 
imagine that the associated delegates will have altogether plain sailing in 
this great business of constructing a federal constitution for Australia. 
There is no very imminent danger threatening the island continent ; no 
combination of circumstances in which the most obstinate is forced to see 
plainly written the warning " Federate or perish." Such perils as exist 
are visible only to those political seers who are blessed with that keen 
insight into the ultimate issues of present developments which is the 
rarest and most valuable gift that a statesman can have. Men of this 
kind are forced now-a-days to lead by affecting to follow. They are 
obliged to often subordinate their own opinions to others which they 
know to be of doubtful soundness. In order to carry one vital point 
they have to give way on several which are important though not all- 
important. The mutual jealousies of the colonies, uncurbed by any strong 
common sentiment of fear, will doubtless throw many obstacles in the way. 
Such questions as that of the centre of Government for the new federa- 
tion, the adoption or non-adoption of free trade between its various 
members, the amount of power to be respectively possessed by the 
Federal Congress and the subordinate Parliaments, will afford much 
ground for discussion, and the debates upon them will not improbably 
reveal wide divergencies of opinion. But if each member of the conven- 
tion enters it with the determination to make everything secondary to 



76 UNITED AUSTRALIA. 

Falmouth and Penryn Times continued. 

the preparation of a workable scheme of federation, there can be small 
chance of this great experiment ending in a fiasco. 

Will the adoption of such a scheme bring the Australian Colonies nearer 
to the Mother Country, and consequently bring all Anglo-Saxondom 
nearer to the realisation of that bright dream of a great and inviolable 
brotherhood, or will it hasten what some regard as an unavoidable 
separation ? Will its final fruit, in short, be a federated Empire, or a 
new Federal Republic 1 There are many able men in both hemispheres 
who look upon Imperial Federation as the pet craze of a few unpractical 
political visionaries, as a proposition altogether unworthy the considera- 
tion of working statesmen, and only useful as a means of keeping a set 
of meddlesome and crack-brained faddists out of mischief. The initiators 
of every great new departure, social, political, or religious, have been 
ridiculed and denounced by the people, who mistake an entire lack of 
originality and a slavish tendency to run in grooves made by somebody else 
for common-sense. The truth is that some of the leading supporters of 
Imperial Federation are practical and hard-headed men in the best sense 
of those terms. Lord Rosebery, the Chairman of the London County 
Council, and Mr. Cecil Rhodes, the leading spirit in the formation of the 
great new South African Company, are scarcely visionaries. Yet both 
are strong supporters of, and believers in, Imperial Federation. After 
all, democracies prefer to be led by men who are not altogether devoid of 
imagination and sentiment, who recognise that nations cannot be governed 
as if they were merely huge and elaborate machines. There is some 
ground for hoping that federation will not be looked upon by Australians 
as their final process of national evolution, that they will regard it only 
as a phase in their development, as a prelude to a yet grander fruition. 
If the men of the new federation have that capacity for almost unlimited 
widening of the mental horizon for which their race has always been 
noted, and which has evolved the elaborate English constitution out of 
the rudest and crudest elements, there is small fear that they will stop 
short with the accomplishment of Sir Henry Parkes' project. Their 
success in that undertaking will give them greater confidence in their own 
powers, besides proving the value of combination. They will attack the 
infinitely more difficult problem of Imperial Federation, or British Federa- 
tion, as it might more appropriately be called, with an increased belief in 
their ability to overcome obstacles, with a strengthened faith in the 
desirableness of the end in view. Long and toilsome will the labour be, 



UNITED AUSTRALIA. 77 

Falmouth and Penryn Times continued. 

but if the task is hard and painful the achievement will transcend in glory 
all man's previous exploits. The firm fixing on an unshakable foundation 
of the colossal structure of a world-girdling Anglo-Saxon dominion 
would be the mightiest forward movement ever made by mankind, the 
sure pledge of the supremacy of the noblest instincts of our nature in 
the future working out of the world's destiny. 



Gloucester Journal 

November Wi, 1889. 

Is Imperial Federation the chimerical thing it is said to be 1 We may 
or we may not live to see the day when all the British dependencies send 
representatives to a great governing Council, when there shall be one 
great Parliament to govern the affairs of an Empire on which the sun 
never sets. At the present time Imperial Federation is considered but a 
shadowy ideal. But a great step has been taken towards its realisation 
by the important despatch just issued by Sir Henry Parkes, the Premier 
of New South Wales. Some five or six weeks ago Sir Henry Parkes 
startled the Australian Colonies and the Mother Country by some very 
definite statements he made in favour of Australian Federalism. The 
New South Wales Premier is perhaps the most influential politician 
in Australasia, and he speaks therefore with an amount of authority 
that no one dare call in question. When he distinctly records his 
belief in Australian Federalism his views deserve thoughtful considera- 
tion. The matter came about in this way : General Edwards has 
recommended that the general defence of Australian territory should 
be made a matter of common concern to all the Australian Colonies. 
The thing is self-evident, the only arguable point in connection with 
it being as to ways and means, and the relative share to be taken 
by the various colonies. But when Sir Henry Parkes looks at the 
existing institutions of the country from which such a thing should come, 
he is by no means satisfied. The Government of Victoria says that the 
Federal Council possesses the power requisite to constitute, direct, and 
control a united Australian army. There has long been a jealousy 
between Victoria and New South Wales, and it is no surprise to find 
that Sir Henry Parkes does not concur in the conclusion. Nevertheless 
the question has to be faced. He carefully examines in succession the 



78 UNITED AUSTRALIA. 

Gloucester Journal continued. 

several alternatives, such as the creation of a common army either by the 
Federal Council or by the Imperial Parliament, or the combination of the 
several Executive Governments, otherwise independent, for the purpose 
of creating and controlling a common army, only to reject them. He is 
thus driven to the conclusion that, a common army being necessary for 
the purpose of the economical and effective defence of Australian territory, 
that necessity leads by irresistible sequence to federation. " Hence, 
then," he says, " this first great federal question, when looked at fairly, 
brings us, in spite of preferences and prejudices, face to face with the 
imperative necessity for Federal Government, and why should we turn 
aside from what is inevitable 1" 

The scheme for the general defence of Australia must be understood if 
the foundation of the body to be called into existence to decide upon it is 
to be well and truly laid. General Edwards has advised, among other 
things, the federation of the several Australian contingents, and the 
appointment of a single commanding officer for the whole body ; that a 
military college should be established, common to all the colonies ; and 
the introduction of a uniform railway gauge. If a scheme of such vast 
importance is to be carried into effect it is clear that some more represen- 
tative and responsible body than any that at present exists in Australia 
must be founded. At present the only central authority is the so-called 
Australian Federal Council, in which, by-the-bye, New South "Wales has 
steadily refused to be represented. It is, moreover, not an Executive 
Council. Herein comes Sir Henry Parkes' opportunity for pushing 
forward his scheme for a real federation of the colonies. So convinced 
is the New South Wales Premier that Federal Government must come 
that he somewhat petulantly asks " why should we turn aside from what 
is inevitable in the nature of our onward progress ; it must come, a year 
or two later possibly, but in any case soon." To achieve the high aim he 
has in view, Sir Henry Parkes invites each colony to send six represen- 
tatives, appointed by Parliament and chosen in equal numbers from each 
of the two political parties, to the proposed National Convention, four 
members being taken from the Assembly and two from the Council in 
each colony. Western Australia, having only one House, might, he 
suggests, only send four representatives; and thus, if New Zealand thought 
proper to join the Convention, the total number of representatives would 
be forty. This Convention would be empowered to discuss and recommend 
for adoption a form of Federal Constitution. " The scheme of Federal 



UNITED AUSTRALIA. 79 

Gloucester Journal continued. 

Government, it is assumed, would necessarily follow close upon the type 
of the Dominion Government of Canada, and would provide for the 
appointment of a Governor-General, and for the creation of an Australian 
Privy Council and of a Parliament consisting of a Senate and House of 
Commons." This, in outline, is the Federal Government which the New 
South Wales Premier proposes, and everyone is interested to see what 
response the other colonies will make. The greatest difficulty is between 
New South Wales and Victoria. New South Wales is a free trade colony, 
and Victoria protectionist. How to bring them under one Government 
will prove a hard problem to solve. Nevertheless, no one disputes that 
it would be a great and a good thing to federate the group of contiguous 
colonies in Australasia ; and the federation of the Australian Colonies 
affords some hope to those who believe that the day of the federation of 
the Empire is at hand. 



Hampshire Telegraph 

November Stk, 1889. 

A NEW Australian question is upon us. General Edwards was recently 
sent out to Australia to examine and report upon its means of defence, 
and has reported in favour of the federal action of Australian troops. 
The Prime Minister of Victoria, Mr. Duncan Gillies, at once tele- 
graphed to the Prime Minister of New South Wales, Sir Henry Parkes, 
suggesting that the provisions of the Federal Council's Act might be 
employed to carry out the recommendations of General Edwards. This 
did not meet the view of Sir Henry Parkes, who intimated that the 
Federal Council did not possess the powers attributed to it by Mr. 
Gillies. Sir Henry was an opponent of the Federal Council's Bill when 
it became law four years ago. The Bill provided for the formation of a 
Federal Council of Australasia, on which each colony was to be repre- 
sented by two members, except in the case of Crown Colonies, which 
were to be represented by one member each. Owing to Sir Henry's 
opposition, New South Wales as well as New Zealand have held 
aloof from the Council, so that the scheme has been federation only 
in name. 

Sir Henry Parkes' objection was that the Act attempted to galvanise 
a sham federalism into life. He believes in a federation of the colonies, 



80 UNITED AUSTRALIA. 

Hampshire Telegraph continued. 

but not in this federation. Touching General Edwards' proposals, he 
says, " The Executive Governments of the several colonies could not act 
in combination for any such purpose, nor could they so act independently 
of each other." The suggestion is that Parliament might constitute a federal 
army, and upon this he observes that " the colonies would never consent 
to the Imperial Executive interfering with the direction of its move- 
ments." Sir Henry is not content with destructive criticism. He thinks 
that the time has come for consolidating the various Australian Colonies 
into one ; and he invites the Victorian Cabinet to appoint representatives 
to what he calls a National Convention^ for the purpose of devising and 
reporting on an adequate scheme of Federal Government. To avoid the 
sense of inequality, he proposes that the number of representatives from 
each colony shall be the same, and that the number in each case shall be 
six, equally chosen from both sides of political life. Four of them would 
be taken from the Legislative Assembly of the colony, and two from the 
Legislative Council. The scheme of Federal Government to be aimed at 
would follow close on the type of the Dominion Government of Canada, 
and would provide for the appointment of a Governor-General, and for 
the creation of an Australian Privy Council, and of a Parliament con- 
sisting of a Senate and of a House of Commons. Sir Henry Parkes, in 
fact, advocates a real federation, which would deal not only with tho 
question of military defence, but would increase the prosperity and 
strength of the Australian Colonies by giving them the feeling that their 
interests and future run abreast. The question is, of course, one for the 
colonies themselves to decide, and we believe that whatever the present 
may bring, the future of Australia will be in accordance with the 
principles of Sir Henry Parkes. 



Lincoln Gazette 

November 9tk, 1889. 

AN American wit has said that most people are like eggs, so full of 
themselves they can't hold anything else. What is true of individuals 
is true of nations. England is so engrossed in the things imder her 
eyes that she pays small heed even to the concerns of her children tho 
colonists. Such trivialities as the squabble of " the strongest man on 
earth," as the advent of Barnum's circus, are greedily studied, whilst the 



UNITED AUSTRALIA. 81 

Lincoln Gazette continued. 

most remarkable things going on at the Antipodes pass unheeded. The 
latest news from Australia is of startling importance, foreshadowing, as 
it does, the future relations of the Australian Colonies to each other 
and to the Mother-country. An English military officer, General 
Edwards, sent out to report on Australian defence, has given it as his 
opinion that it is a question on which all the colonies should take con- 
certed action. The suggestion of the Premier of Victoria, Mr. Duncan 
Gillies, that the Federal Council Act should be employed to carry out 
the military recommendation, has called forth a despatch from the 
Premier of New South Wales, Sir Henry Parkes, which is likely to 
prove a turning point in Australian history. Sir Henry Parkes, a born 
seer, realizes that the moment has come when Australia must take a 
decisive step. The Federal Council, he declares, is a nullity, has no 
executive power to act, whilst direct intervention by the Imperial Par- 
liament is out of the question. The time is ripe for the setting aside of 
the Federal Act, and for a genuine federation of the colonies New 
Zealand probably to be included. " Why should we turn from what is 
inevitable V asks Sir Henry. " In the nature of our onward progress it 
must come. . . . It is a question to put to the mind and heart of 
Australia." In broad outlines he sketches a lusty skeleton scheme 
to which blood and muscle can hereafter be added. He proposes a 
National Convention in which the five colonies should be equally 
represented. He points to Canada as a desirable type of Federation, and 
holds up for imitation the Constitution of the United States. It is to bo 
no reckless start ; the Convention is to be guided by working models 
whose success is abundantly proved. Sir Henry Parkes is one of the 
most prevailing of statesmen. In spite of social disadvantages he has 
struggled again and again to the top of the wave. He has something of 
the sagacity of Lincoln, and he speaks with the force and directness of a 
Cobbett. It is certainly within the possibilities, although he is a veteran, 
that he may live to see himself Premier not only of one Colony but of 
the United Colonies of Australia. It will be interesting to note what 
the Australians think of the Federal proposition. At present they are 
divided by jealousies and prejudices. Will they rise to the occasion ; 
will each State forget itself ; sink differences and unite, as did America, 
under one flag, one country, one Constitution, one destiny. This tremen- 
dous question has arisen out of the defence problem. The Federation 
dream of the poet has become the reality of the statesman. Are the 



82 UNITED AUSTRALIA. 

Lincoln Gazette continued. 

Australians in the fit stage when they can seize the idea, act upon it, 
and rise, as Sir Henry Parkes says, to that " higher level of national life, 
which would give them a larger space before the eyes of the world, and 
would, in a hundred ways, promote their united power and prosperity." 



Newcastle Leader 

November 9zA, 1889. 

SIR HENRY PARKES, the Premier of New South Wales, one of the most 
experienced and ablest of Australian statesmen, has come to the con- 
clusion that the question of Australian Federation has entered the region 
of practical politics, and is now championing the reform with character- 
istic energy. The question, it is true, is not new either to Australia or 
to Sir Henry Parkes, who claims to have been an advocate of "genuine 
federation" for thirty-five years. Hitherto the scheme has been kept 
in abeyance, partly by the conflicting commercial policies of the colonies, 
but mainly by the rivalry of New South Wales and Victoria. The new 
start just made, however, looks like business. In his own province of 
New South Wales, Sir Henry Parkes is obtaining a great deal of public 
support for the proposal. He is wisely basing his advocacy of the reform 
on the broadest patriotic ground. He is seeking to extend the political 
range and aspirations of the people from colonial or provincial to the 
higher standpoint of Australasian interests generally. Not the advantage 
of individual members, but the advantage of the family as a whole is his 
present cry. Of course he does not contemplate or advise the abolition 
of the provincial administrations. On the contrary, he wishes to see 
them preserved and strengthened. He is a believer in local self-govern- 
ment; but at the same time he believes that that principle can be 
maintained and developed simultaneously with the constitution of a 
Central Federal Government. Modern experience strongly supports this 
theory, helping at once to explain and commend it. Sir Henry Parkes 
is proposing no newfangled scheme. What he is contending for is the 
principle on which the United States is founded " one out of many,"- 
unity with liberty ; the principle, too, which has given birth to the 
Canadian Dominion, and which must shortly be applied to South Africa. 
The theory of Federation, it may therefore be assumed, is tolerably 
familiar to our Australian cousins, and it must become more acceptable 



UNITED AUSTRALIA. 83 

Newcastle Leader continued. 

to them in proportion as they learn to think of themselves as Australians 
and of their common heritage in the upwards of three millions of square 
miles embraced within the Australian limit, instead of limiting their 
political views and aspirations to the particular colony among the seven 
provinces with which they happen to be connected by birth or residence 
or business enterprise. 

Federation is indeed the natural issue of political development in 
Australia. The peoples occupying the different colonies are substantially 
of the same race, and inheritors . of the same political traditions and 
faiths j and the similarity of their tasks as well as their kinship should 
facilitate the welding together of the seven provinces into one great 
dominion. They have an enormous territory to develop, and the 
magnitude of this work ought itself to induce them to seek the strength 
which comes from unity. Externally they have the same interests to 
defend and promote. They are practically united in holding views 
regarding the influx of foreign criminals, the introduction of Chinese or 
blacks, the assertion of fishery rights and such like, which may not 
always harmonise with the Home or Imperial views ; and united they 
are more likely to command respect for their peculiar opinions and 
desires than they could expect to do if they remained separate. Then, 
again, their growing appreciation of the value of their splendid estate, 
and their determination to maintain possession of every part of it 
against any possible interloper or reckless adventurer must convince 
them of the need of larger and stronger means of defence than the 
Imperial Government, more especially if it was entangled or was in 
danger of being entangled in a foreign war, would care to provide ; but 
they themselves could not supplement Imperial defence to any appreciable 
extent unless they joined together to organize a fleet or an army. 
Federation, moreover, would obviously give a roundness and a complete- 
ness to their national life which are still wanting. For example, it 
would call into existence a higher and common judicature a Federal 
Court of Appeal, along with a Federal Parliament and Executive ; and 
thus the sphere of public life would be at once extended and elevated. 

The adoption of federation, therefore, is only a question of time. 
Whether or not Sir Henry Parkes is right in considering the question 
now ripe for practical settlement, federation will sooner or later force 
its way to Australia. In its present situation and outlook it is a law of 
nature. Its attainment will not be hastened by compulsion. No State 



84 UNITED AUSTRALIA. 

Newcastle Leader continued. 

need be forced into the union against its will, nor has any possible 
dissenting State any interest or right to object to the union of the others. 
Let those provinces which are ready for federation join together. If 
even only two wish to federate, let them do so. If the Imperial Colonial 
Department is wise it will leave the provinces to the freedom of their 
will, encouraging federation perhaps as opportunity occurs, but doing 
nothing to compel it. It should treat the reform as a question of local 
self-government to be practically worked out by the people interested 
themselves. Certainly the Empire has nothing to fear from Australian 
federation. The strengthening of one of the parts brings strength to the 
whole. Doubtless, as already indicated, a Federal Government in Aus- 
tralia would be in a position to command greater respect for Australian 
views or interests as these might be affected by Imperial policy, than a 
single Provincial Government could expect to obtain. But it is well, 
perhaps, for the Imperial Executive that the need for increased consider- 
ation for outlying portions of the world-wide Empire should be enforced 
upon it. Forbearance, or self-restraint, when practised in combination 
with a general loyalty to one common interest the power or disposition 
to seek the good of all the members of the Imperial family in preference to 
momentary individual advantage is an ennobling and elevating influence 
in public life. If Australian federation should impose it on Britain, it 
is necessary also to remember it will likewise enforce a proportionately 
heavy exaction on the Australian provinces. The separate colonies, it 
is well known, are not agreed on the subject of Freetrade or Protection. 
Sir Henry Parkes frankly acknowledges this difficulty; but he insists 
that it must be regarded as a subordinate question. " In the bringing 
about of federation (he says), the question of Protection or Freetrade 
was a trifling matter as compared with the greatness of Australia, and 
the duty of giving to Australia an Australian Government." 



The Salisbury and Winchester Journal 
November Sth, ] 889. 

Sin Henry Parkes, the Premier of New South Wales, has addressed a 
despatch on the subject of Australian Federation to the Premiers of the 
other neighbouring colonies, which will probably mark an epoch in their 



UNITED AUSTRALIA. 85 

The Salisbury and Winchester Journal continued. 

history. Ho proposes that a National Convention, composed of six 
representatives of each Australasian Colony, chosen from both sides of 
political life, should be summoned for the purpose of " devising and 
reporting upon an adequate scheme of Federal Government." The 
events which have led up to this suggestion may be briefly explained. 
It will be remembered that General Edwards, who was sent to Australia 
to report upon its means of defence, recently recommended the federal 
action of Australian troops. With the view of giving effect to this 
recommendation, the Premier of Victoria, the Hon. Duncan Gillies, 
addressed a despatch to Sir Henry Parkes, explaining his views in favour 
of bringing the machinery of the Federal Council Act of 1885 into 
operation ; and it is in reply to that message that the Premier of New 
South Wales has put forward his important proposals. While most 
anxious to meet the views of the other Australian Colonies, Sir Henry 
Parkes is unable to accept the view that the Federal Council "possesses 
the requisite power to constitute, direct, and control an united Australian 
Army." He urges that even if the words " general defences," which 
occur in the Act, give the Australian Colonies the right to enrol and 
maintain an army of their own, the fact that there does not exist any 
form of executive power to direct the movements of such an army pre- 
sents an " impassable barrier" to practical action. In short, he believes 
that the existing machinery is altogether inadequate to enable the 
Executive Governments of the several colonies to act in combination for 
the purposes of self-defence and protection. He wishes to see the 
Australasian Colonies rise " to a higher level of national life, which would 
give them a larger space before the eyes of the world, and would in a 
hundred ways promote their united power and prosperity." To achieve 
these great objects, he argues that the Australias must be consolidated 
into one, with a Senate, a House of Commons, a Privy Council, and a 
Governor-General of the whole of Australasia. He assumes that " the 
scheme of Federal Government would necessarily follow close upon the. 
type of the Dominion Government of Canada," and for the purpose of 
devising some such scheme of Federal Government acceptable to all the 
colonies, he warmly invites the other Australian Premiers to consent to 
the appointment of a National Convention. What response will be made 
to this appeal remains to be seen. We fear, however, that Sir Henry 
Parkes does not represent public opinion in the Australian Colonies, 
whatever may be the feeling in New South Wales, when he says that 



86 UNITED AUSTRALIA. 

The Salisbury and Winchester Journal continued. 

" the time is ripe for consolidating the Australias into one." Be that as 
it may, the significance of his despatch is that the proposals it contains 
for federation come from one of our colonies and not from the Mother- 
country. That is as it should be, and is the most hopeful sign we have 
yet seen of the practical realization of a scheme which would bind our 
great Empire more closely together for the purposes of self-protection 
and commerce. 



Exeter Gazette 
November 9th, 1889. 

THE despatch from Sir Henry Parkes, the Premier of New South Wales, 
to the Hon. Duncan C. Gillies, Premier of Victoria, is full of import and 
sound reasoning in the direction of Imperial Federation. Indeed, nothing 
more sound has ever been uttered in connection with an object that is 
much discussed by all statesmen, whether Home or Colonial, and that 
which Sir Henry Parkes has said will be echoed not only by Lord 
Salisbury but by every Liberal Unionist in the country, since it is 
suggestive of a self-sustentation that is worthy of the offshoots of our race. 
That the policy laid down by Sir Henry on the score of defence was 
deemed to be highly suggestive and practical may be gathered from the 
fact that no time was lost in " wiring " it to England. The telegram 
came from Sydney, but there can be 110 doubt that its dispatch was 
prompted by the Victorian Government, and that all the other colonies 
on that continent are fully in sympathy with it. Hitherto there has 
been much controversy in political circles in Australia and New Zealand 
as to the powers of what is called the Federal Council a Council which 
was initiated by the Government of Victoria, and which held its sittings 
at Hobart, in Tasmania. The representatives of this federation were 
the Premiers of the colonies who adopted the idea, and no doubt they 
found a visit to the garden of the South Pacific a very pleasant outing, 
though all they could do in the way of legislation was rather suggestive 
than practical, since New South Wales, the parent colony, and South 
Australia, held aloof from the contract, on the ground, as Sir Henry Parkes 
practically expresses it, "that the Federal Council had no executive power 
to act at all in the name of Australia." But what it is important to notice 
is that the scheme put forward by Sir Henry Parkes for the defence 
of the country and ultimate federation follows the lines laid down by 



UNITED AUSTRALIA. 87 

Exeter Gazette continued. 

Lord Carnarvon in respect of Canada, or, what it is common to call, British 
North America. The scheme heralds, in fact, another Dominion as powerful 
and as progressive as any which the British Crown can boast. As, then, 
consolidarity is what all are aiming at, it may be hoped that the thin end 
of the wedge Sir Henry Parkes has inserted will be driven home ; that 
the Australians may be of one mind in respect of defence and Customs 
dues, and not divided, as they now are, by intercolonial jealousies and 
conflicting tariffs. If Australia should be of one mind in this connexion, 
there can be no doubt that the British Government would be in entire 
sympathy with it, and that no time would be lost in drafting a measure 
to give effect to a work of so national a character, because every year the 
field of its beneficent operations would be rapidly extending. As will 
have been gathered from the telegram, the idea is to make the Australians 
self-sustaining, and to relieve the British taxpayer of a conviction which 
somehow or the other he cannot get rid of that the Colonies are an 
incubus on the rates. More than this, it is designed to show that the 
statesmen of our other Englands are anxious to assist to sustain the 
prestige of the old country out of their own resources. From this point 
of view the " manifesto " of Sir Henry Parkes comes like a gleam of 
sunshine now that the sun has left us and is about to radiate in all his 
fulness in Southern latitudes. It is not a little singular that Sir Henry 
Parkes, who has always been in controversy with the statesmen of the 
other colonies on the Australian Continent, should at the eleventh 
hour, as it were, of a long political experience have formulated a pro- 
posal so full of significance as that under review. All we can hope is 
that it will take root, and that Sir Henry may live to see his proposals 
realized. He is an old man now, but, though old, he is stalwart. Perhaps 
no man has had a more strange experience of life than he has, since when 
he first went to New South Wales he worked as a storeman in an iron 
store, then started in business on his own account as a toy-maker, and 
subsequently became proprietor of the Umpire newspaper and Premier of 
the Colony. An old chronicle says that " in 1848 he took an active 
part in the election of the Hon. Robert Lowe," now Lord Sherbrooke, 
for Sydney. Well may Shakespeare say, " It is a strange world, my 
masters," in which a toy-maker may, by dint of energy, rise to such a 
distinguished position as that now enjoyed by Sir Henry Parkes. 



88 UNITED AUSTRALIA. 

Army and Navy Gazette 
November Wi, 1889. 

THE letter of Sir Henry Parkes upon the question of a Federal Australian 
Army, which appeared in the daily papers this week, puts the whole 
matter into a nutshell for our convenience. As Sir Henry Parkes says, 
Who is to assume the responsibility of issuing the necessary orders 
for the raising of this federal army, and who is to command the force 
when raised ? The existing Federal Council has no executive authority 
whatsoever. But without an executive authority no federal force can be 
raised or mobilised ; nor could it be commanded even if, for the sake of 
argument, it were assumed to exist. The rivalry between Victoria and 
New South Wales, as two vast, contiguous, but entirely independent 
colonies, precludes all likelihood of Victoria submitting to have the 
head-quarters of the prospective "federal army" at Sydney, or of New 
South Wales being contented to place its youthful army of 20,000 or 
30,000 able-bodied colonial soldiers under the command of a General at 
Melbourne. And even if either of them could be induced to give way, 
is it at all probable that New Zealand, with all its warlike traditions, 
and containing many regiments of tried warriors who, unaided by 
British troops, succeeded in doing what a large British force was unable 
to accomplish that is to say, cleared their country of the Maori 
pests is it at all probable that New Zealand would place its veteran 
army at the disposal of an Australian Colony ? Clearly not. And the 
Colonies of South and Western Australia, and of Queensland, are equally 
independent in their notions. Perhaps some antiquated impressions 
may remain in the minds of those in Great Britain that pressure 
put on at the Colonial Office would persuade the various colonies to 
combine 1 Here Sir Henry Parkes' letter gives a clear and unmistakable 
opinion. " The Imperial Parliament," says he, " on the application of 
the colonies, could no doubt pass an Act to constitute a federal army 
under one command, and authorize its operations in any part of Australia, 
but the colonies would never consent to the Imperial Executive inter- 
fering in the direction of its movements." The result would be a federal 
army without a federal executive to deal with its movements. So it is 
manifest that the colonists cannot usefully be induced by Imperial 
pressure to create and mobilise a federal force. What, then, is the 
alternative 1 Sir Henry puts it in a few words : " Hence, then, this 
first great federal question, when looked at fairly, brings us, in spite of 
preferences or prejudices, face to face with the imperative necessity for 



UNITED AUSTRALIA. 89 

Army and Navy Gazette continued. 

Federal Government ; and why should we turn aside from what is 
inevitable 1 In the nature of our onward progress it must come, a year 
or two later possibly, but in any case soon, I hope." Here is the reply 
to the entire question. Before the creation of a Federal Australian army 
can be effected, the constitution of a Federal Government must be taken 
into consideration. There is little doubt that Sir Henry Parkes speaks 
with prophetic sagacity, and that ere long the Australian Colonies will 
form a powerful Federal Republic, as an appanage of the British 
Empire. It may be good for the latter, and it may not. But we can 
never cease to regret the policy which withdrew the whole of our troops 
from Australia and New Zealand. Had a half-battalion only been left 
in each capital, they would have been as so many links connecting the 
Home Government with the remote Dependencies, and would have kept 
us " in touch " with our colonial cousins. 



United Service Gazette 
November 9th, 1889. 

OP late the question of Imperial Federation has hung fire. It is, there- 
fore, refreshing to those interested in the subject to know that the question 
is being debated in India, a country in which up to the present time it 
has attracted little attention. Consequently we make no apology for 
reproducing an article from the Statesman on this important subject, and 
also a communication from a correspondent of that journal. Our con- 
temporary says that the question of Imperial Federation is revived in 
our columns by a writer whose communication, under the nom de plume 
" Enthusiast," contains several errors of fact, attributable doubtless to 
an imperfect study of the subject. At this distance it is difficult to 
pronounce in a matter of this kind in regard to Australia and Canada, 
without special means of information, which to be of value must be up 
to date. But we know the Australian Colonies cannot agree among 
themselves as to Customs duties and other matters of fiscal policy, in 
consequence of one part of them being protectionists, another part free- 
traders, and a third a mixture of the two. Their differences are such 
that at the present moment Victoria and Tasmania are at open war on 
the customs question, each resorting to retaliatory measures. How then, 



90 UNITED AUSTRALIA. 

United Service Gazette continued. 

it may be asked, can they be expected to agree on any active scheme of 
Imperial Federation ? The first object to be obtained would be an 
agreement among themselves ; and this, we fear, is not yet likely to 
come about, although a good deal has been done in this direction by the 
recent Conference of representatives of all these colonies, who met in 
council to settle difficult points of intercolonial policy. Looking at the 
question of Imperial Federation, not only as it affects Australia, but 
Canada, our numerous Eastern possessions, and our dependencies in the 
Mediterranean, we can only say, as we said years ago when the subject 
was first mooted, that it cannot be anticipated that populations 
residing so far apart from each other as Great Britain, Australia, 
New Zealand, and Canada, would always think alike on questions 
of foreign policy. A war that to an Australian might appear a 
just and proper enterprise say against France on account of the New 
Hebrides question, or against China for bringing the Celestial Govern- 
ment to terms in the matter of Mongol immigration would hardly 
present itself in the same light to a Dutch farmer at the Cape, or 
to our colonies in America. Nor, on the other hand, do we think 
the Australian Colonies would feel inclined to contribute to the expenses 
of a war with the United States over the Behring Sea fishery dispute. 
It is, moreover, very doubtful whether, even granting the most liberal 
representation, our various colonies and dependencies would have any 
real voice in determining the foreign policy of the Empire. The chances 
are they would speedily be reduced almost to the insignificance of the 
cplonial deputies of the French Republic simply the mockery of a 
political idea. Our correspondent " Enthusiast " recommends the 
Imperial Government to issue " invitations to the Governments of the 
self-governing colonies to send delegates to London to confer and report 
on the possibility of establishing closer and more substantial union with 
the mother-country." Such a step is unnecessary, for the union with the 
mother-country could not be closer or more substantial than at present. 
Each of the Australian Colonies has its Agent-General in London to 
watch events of importance to the colonies, and to communicate them to 
their respective Colonial Governments, to attend to the question of 
emigration to the colonies in so far as concerns assisted emigrants, and 
to represent to the Imperial Government the colonial claims wherever 
the Imperial prerogative is concerned. A deputation of successful 
Australian agriculturists we suppose " Enthusiast " means squatters 



UNITED AUSTRALIA. 91 

United Service Gazette continued. 

would speedily degenerate into a mere advertising medium or resolve 
itself into a pleasant little jaunt for the delegates. We can understand 
the visit of the American trade representatives to England, for they had 
something to learn therefrom, though even in their case we suspect the 
advertising element entered largely into the trip. With an Australian 
deputation it would be otherwise. They could not represent the class it 
is desired to bring to the colonies, for they would be prosperous men of 
independent means for travel, whereas those whom they addressed would 
be starvelings without the means of leaving the old country. 
" Enthusiast" has not studied the subject sufficiently, or he would know 
that the men that are required in Australia, as well as in America, 
are not the paupers and scum of the agricultural population, but men 
capable of obtaining an " honest independence," as " Enthusiast" puts it, 
by hard honest work and perseverance. On the other hand, the men 
that England can least spare are the farmers and agricultural class that 
the colonists most want, while vice versa those the colonists do not 
require are the men the home country would best like to get rid of. 

As to a jaunt of this sort converting the delegates into eager advocates of 
Imperial Federation, " as it would mean the safety and protection of their 
property and the future greatness of the land of their adoption." The writer 
forgets that the Australian Colonies do not look to Federation for pro- 
tection. They regard it only as a means of union, more particularly in the 
matter of fiscal policy. It has been declared over and over again in the 
Australian Press that Federation could not give the colonies more pro- 
tection than they already have got, while it would render them liable to 
contribute to the defences of distant parts of the Empire with which they 
have no concern. At present each colony, we believe, contributes, if not 
directly, at least indirectly, to the support of the Australian Squadron. 
Victoria has its two or three ironclads and a fleet of torpedoes, and two 
other colonies are equally protected by sea, whilst every Colonial capital 
is well fortified against invasion. With but one exception they all have 
small standing armies, a militia, volunteers, and naval reserve forces ; 
and, according to Major-General Edwards, who has recently inspected and 
reported upon the military resources of Australia, these forces are in a 
high state of efficiency. Where, then, we may ask again, would the 
advantages of Imperial Federation, as it is generally understood, come in 1 ? 
The colonists are in a position to defend themselves, and have been so 
ever since the withdrawal of the English redcoats from Australia in 



92 UNITED AUSTRALIA. 

United Service Gazette continued. 

1865, when the British Government tacitly admitted that the time had 
come when her children under the Southern Cross might be left to look 
after themselves. As was observed by the late Hon. JBede Dalley, it is 
not a question of what relief Australia would require from the mother 
country in case of Avar, but what measure of assistance it could give the 
Empire. And the man who said this was the colonial statesman that 
sent the New South Wales contingent to Suakim. 

Into the subject of Imperial Federation as applied to India we need not 
follow our correspondent ; for in his remarks on this head " Enthusiast" 
simply slides into another and different question that of associating the 
native Princes with us in our armies a matter which has really nothing 
to do with Imperial Federation in the general acceptation of the term. 
Our readers are aware that we have long urged the wisdom of throwing 
open the commissioned ranks of our army to the sons of the native 
nobility and aristocracy. By finding employment for them as officers in 
our armies, we should be opening an outlet for energies which otherwise 
may be exhausted in questionable pursuits. Russia acts more wisely, or 
shall we say more liberally, than ourselves in this respect. She has 
literally absorbed the talent of the warlike tribes in Central Asia in 
consolidating her conquests in those parts, and with conspicuous success. 
At the present moment the most notable, and judging from past events, 
the most formidable element in the Russo- Asiatic Army consists of the 
Turcomans the very race that only after a stubborn resistance has at 
length bowed to Russian rule while Armenians hold high positions in 
the ranks of the Czar's Army. France, again, has in Algeria and in her 
African possessions generally adopted the same policy with excellent 
results. And we believe it to be unquestionable that a similar course in 
India would bind the native Princes to us and thereby greatly contribute 
to the safety of the Empire. If our rulers could only be made to see it, 
instead of relying on mercenaries for the defence of the Empire, there 
lies ready to our hand, in parts of India, all the material for construct- 
ing a genuine army officered by its own sons and animated throughout 
by a spirit of loyalty and devotion to the British Crown which 
would make it a source of real strength to us and the envy of the 
world. But all this has nothing to do with Imperial Federation, except 
in so far as it touches the question of enlisting the sympathies of the 
Indian people, in the welfare of the Empire, by giving honorable 
employment to them and satisfying their legitimate ambitions, born of a 



UNITED AUSTRALIA. 93 

United Service Gazette continued. 

warlike ancestry, for a military career. It will come some clay no doubt, 
though meanwhile it will be dismissed as the dream of an "Enthusiast" 
The following is the communication of "Enthusiast," above referred to: 

" Our Queen has received the most convincing proofs of the loyalty of 
the independent Princes of India to the British rule in the eloquent 
offers of military support which have been proffered by them, and there 
can be no doubt that our greatest safety in this country lies in con- 
ciliating and binding irrevocably the independent war-loving nations who 
occupy the position of sentinels over the land we rule. At the same 
time it must be a compact which will benefit both parties, for Great 
Britain must ever give, where she receives, support. In this country we 
are victims to chronic attacks of the Russian scare, and there can 
be little doubt that a Russian invasion would be as injurious to the 
independent native Princes as to British rule. A little reflection and 
careful study of our geographical position will, however, show that we 
should rather prepare ourselves to anticipate danger from China, in place 
of allowing fear of Russia to engross our minds. China is a country 
teeming with a countless population, who are intelligent, thrifty, and are 
yearly becoming more and more proficient in the art of war. The fear 
of death is unknown to the celestial, and the devotion to his country's 
advancement, coupled with his belief in future happiness as a reward, 
are the ruling passions of his life. Should the national flood-gate of 
China once be forced open by the ever-increasing masses, there is nothing 
to prevent its countless myriads sweeping over this country ; a human 
deluge against which no divided force could stand. It is interesting to 
note that our colonies and America are already fearing the danger of 
receiving into their midst pioneers of a foreign Power, who once located, 
spread in the same alarming way as imported rabbits once a blessing, 
now a plague, destroying all in their path and defying extermination by 
their numbers. It is self-evident that in. this country we must do all in 
our power to prevent internal dissension when we have such a powerful 
neighbour as China on the look-out for fresh territory, and already busy 
colonizing our latest possession, Burmah, and showing the wisdom of 
serpents by marrying its women. 

"Now Imperial Federation properly applied to India will open up 
careers for the native Princes, their followers, and all the warlike popu- 
lation of this great land, and will bind our fellow-subjects to us in away 
that nothing else can ever attain ; and secure for us the lasting friendship 
of the independent nations around us. There are|[numerous young 
noblemen in this country eager to distinguish themselves, only lacking 
the opportunity, and in despair of a career of glory and in the absence of 
healthy excitement, they resign themselves hopelessly to sensual enjoy- 
ments, which alas ! too often become hard masters when they should ever 
remain the attendants on pleasure. There is no reason why these 
noblemen should not prove some of the brightest ornaments of the Army 
of Imperial Federation, and a few years passed by them with their troops 
in British possessions out of India would improve these gentlemen just 
in the same way as a few years of military foreign service improve and 



94 UNITED AUSTRALIA. 

r 

United Service Gazette continued. 

qualify the sons of English noblemen for the later duties they have to 
discharge in their native land. Those native Princes and gentlemen who 
have visited England know what a kind and brotherly welcome awaits 
them wherever the English language is spoken and their Empress reigns. 
It is rumoured that the Queen of England and the Empress of this land 
will have during the next few months to take a long sea voyage for the 
benefit of her health. Now could a more glorious opportunity occur for 
emphasizing the great interest her Majesty has ever taken in India, and 
the affection she has always borne for its people, than by sailing to this 
port and holding in Calcutta a Durbar of all the great Princes of the 
land. It would be the most eloquent way of expressing a nation's 
gratitude and appreciation of the loyal offers already received, for the 
Queen mother to come and see her foreign children, and would also afford 
a glorious opportunity for the Empress of India to found the Army 
of Imperial Federation by having enrolled in her august presence all 
those Princes who desire an opportunity of achieving military glory and 
distinction in the world's history, and at the same time of showing their 
devotion to the British Empire. The effect of such a step as the above 
would do more to tranquilize Europe than all the sugared sophistry in the 
world. A few days in Calcutta would suffice for her Majesty to 
immortalize herself as no sovereign has ever yet done, and crown her 
glorious reign by a royal act which would cement two great nations 
together, and prove the real quickening of Imperial Federation, by 
founding an army which would be the most effectual means of securing 
peace and prosperity to the world at large, and prove an endless blessing 
in the ages to come." 



United Service Gazette 

November 9^, 1889. 

THE question of the Imperial Federation of the Australasian Colonies has 
again become en evidence in an important despatch addressed by Sir 
Henry Parkes, the Premier of New South Wales, to the Victorian 
Premier, the Hon. Duncan Gillies. It appears from this despatch that 
the contention of the Premier of the sister colony of New South Wales 
is that the provisions of the Federal Council Act, recently promulgated, 
are wholly insufficient for the vitally important task of providing for the 
defence of the colonies, and Sir Henry Parkes fails to discover that the 
Council " possesses the requisite powers to constitute, direct, and control 
an united Australian army." No motive power exists for combining 
under one command the scattered and unconnected forces locally main- 
tained by the several colonies in view of a great common danger. 



UNITED AUSTRALIA. 95 

United Service Gazette continued. 

We rejoice to see that this question, which has for some considerable 
time past been left in abeyance by the Australasian Premiers, has again 
been keenly taken in hand by the oldest of the Australasian Colonies, 
New South Wales, as represented by Sir Henry Parkes, and that the 
grand scheme of Federation is not, after all, likely to be an idle dream. 
Much, however, would seem to depend on the co-operation and united 
support of the other Premiers with the views held and expressed by Sir 
Henry Parkes and embodied in the despatch alluded to. The lines on 
which they propose it should work would assimilate with those of the 
Government of Canada, the head of the executive power being the 
Governor-General and the Australasian Army, which would include the 
forces of Yictoria, New South Wales, Queensland, New Zealand, &c., 
being in like manner placed under the control of a Commander-in-Chief, 
whose selection would probably be made by the Imperial Government. 
The troops would become interchangeable one colony with another in 
time of peace, and ready for mobilization in case of invasion. The forces 
already organized in the colonies would, therefore, become the nucleus 
of a great and powerful army, which, growing and developing with the 
colonies themselves, would form in a time of emergency a powerful and 
effective ally to the mother country. 

Our reason for advocating the cause of Imperial Federation is a two- 
fold one Firstly, because it tends towards the strengthening and stability 
of our great Empire ; and, secondly, because the proposed Australasian 
Army and Navy will make a most useful and important inlet from our 
army for the employment of officers of both Services, who frequently 
find that promotion is not easily gained, and to whom a newly organized 
Service would prove a great boon. 

The inception of so important a scheme as Imperial Federation must 
necessarily be slow, but we trust that in the very slowness of its growth 
may consist its greater strength. We await, therefore, with the deepest 
interest the result which the bold initiative of Sir Henry Parkes is 
destined to receive at the hands of the other Australian Premiers, and we 
hope that the Defence scheme will at all events be carried to a successful 
issue, even if it should be found that the times are not yet ripe for carry- 
ing out to the full extent the remaining portions of this grand scheme of 
Federation. 



96 UNITED AUSTRALIA. 

Vanity Fair 
November, 1889. 

SIR HENRY PARKES' despatch to the Premier of Victoria is likely, in 
connection with General Edwards' scheme for common defence, to pro- 
duce important results. The Australians are pretty well agreed that a 
common army and navy are necessary. They cannot be created without 
some sort of Federal Union. This Federal Union may be at first limited 
to purposes of defence ; but once the first step is taken, it is probable that 
the scope of the Federal Council will be gradually extended. It has always 
seemed to me that the question likely to be regarded with the minimum 
of dissension was the naval and military question, and now it really seoins 
as though it were about to form the first stage of a Federal Union. 



Weekly Budget 
November 9</t, 1889. 

SIR HENRY PARKES, the Premier of New South Wales, has addressed 
an important despatch on the subject of Australian Federation to the 
Premiers of the other colonies. In his opinion the constitution, control, 
and direction of an united Australasian Army does not lie within the 
scope of the Federal Council under the wording of the Act of 1885. 
.Sir Henry Parkes proposes the holding of a National Convention for the 
purpose of devising and reporting upon an adequate scheme of Federal 
Government. 



Weekly Times 

November, Wi, 1889. 

THE important despatch addressed by Sir Henry Parkes, the Premier of 
New South Wales, to the Prime Ministers of the other Australian 
Colonies marks the practical commencement of a movement which all 
Englishmen will watch with two-fold interest. First, because of the 
noteworthy disposition on the part of our Australian fellow citizens to 
draw closer the bands of union and to weld themselves into one mighty 
nationality, just as Mr. Gladstone and those who are working behind 
him are striving to persuade us here at home to reverse the tendency of 
all our past history and split up the cradle of the Empire into fragments ; 
and, next, with a hearty desire that the English-speaking races of the 
great island continent of the South, with her numerous dependencies, 
may solve the problem of self-government as successfully as the United 
States of America did, and yet, if possible, may remain in at least as 
close and abiding connection with the mother country as the great sister 



UNITED AUSTRALIA. 97 

Weekly Times continued. 

Dominion of Canada. In some respects, the solution should be an easier 
and more lasting one. There are neither temptations or threats to fear 
from a great contingent nationality such as may at any time be held out 
to British North America by the United States. Whatever her future 
destiny may be, it is almost certain that Australia, like the tiny island 
from which the people sprung who have colonized her, will remain self- 
sufficient and independent. The only question, of course, is whether the 
various colonies will adopt some bond of union like that of the United 
States, leaving each province self-governing and practically independent, 
or whether it will imitate Canada, and set up a common centra] 
Government, supreme in authority as well as entrusted with the 
control of the national defences. And then we shall all watch eagerly 
for the provision of some efficient but peaceful means of revising, 
from time to time, whatever Constitution may be adopted, and settling 
amicably the differences and difficulties which are almost sure to 
arise. One shrinks instinctively from the possibility of such crimes 
and blunders as once before in this century nearly split asunder the 
splendid monument of Anglo-Saxon capability for liberty and ordered 
government on the vast scale which the founders of the American 
Republic initiated. Australia, with her happy traditions of unbroken 
peace, will we trust, above all things, steer clear of the chances of a 
war of secession. That she may be equally fortunate in the avoidance of 
all foreign wars we must all heartily hope, but hardly dare so sanguinely 
anticipate. Australia unlike Canada or the United States is bound 
to become a great maritime Power, and her destiny as a trading and 
colonizing nation will, and must be, something like our own possibly on 
a grander and vaster scale. She will most certainly regard the island- 
spangled archipelago of the East as her heritage ; her's will be the task 
of penetrating the mysterious secrets of the Antarctic circle ; her's, 
beyond all doubt, the ultimate suzerainty of New Guinea, and, possibly, 
of New Zealand ; and she will not have been independent, or practically 
independent for a generation, before questions will have arisen between 
her and some of the European colonizing Powers, in which she will only 
be able to make her position good with an irresistible navy at her 
command. That navy, however, will never as some enthusiasts at 
home seem to think be at the service of the common Empire. It would 
be ridiculous and unreasonable, for instance, to expect the Australians 
to uphold a tottering supremacy which we had become unable to uphold 



98 UNITED AUSTRALIA. 

Weekly Times continued. 

in India or Africa. But, on the other hand, it will be equally unfair, 
when once Australia has set up in business for herself, to expect to 
involve the rest of the English-speaking races in quarrels of local origin 
which may arise between her and other countries. That, therefore, 
seems to us one of the first considerations that should dominate the 
councils of the forty delegates who are about to meet in the Convention 
suggested by Sir Henry Parkes the provision of a navy and means for its 
sustentation and control by some supreme intra-provincial Government, 
strong enough to disregard panic, wise enough to shun unnecessary and 
embarrassing acquisitions, and honest enough to prevent the waste and 
peculation we have suffered so long and so grievously from at home. An 
army is quite a secondary consideration. The vast extent of the island con- 
tinent renders her practically as safe from invasion as America herself, 
but not, of course, from the chance of the great damage a hostile fleet 
might inflict on her coast cities and harbours, and on her island 
possessions. Next, of course, will come the difficulty of settling the 
fiscal relations between the different colonies. We confess we do not 
see any other source of obtaining a revenue for the common central 
authority it is proposed to set up, except from the Customs duties, and 
we do see the jealousies which are likely to crop up as soon as that part 
of the question comes on for discussion. But we feel certain all such 
difficulties will in time be surmounted. The race that has made her 
what she is will never miss their great chance of proving what they are 
made of, and, however they settle matters, they may count on an utter 
absence here, at home, of the ill-will and jealousy that so miserably 
retarded the efforts of our American brethren of the United States. 
Whether Australia elects to remain a Dominion, still in connection with 
the Empire, or it is her destiny to erect a great Republic on the Southern 
seas, rivalling in splendour the vast Federation of the Stars and Stripes, 
we shall all the same wish her the heartiest God speed. She will be the 
farthest off of all our children, and yet the nearest. The twelve thousand 
miles of sea that separate us, unite us all the more closely in a common 
destiny. Our gift to her, above all others, will be the heritage of the 
great traditions of the sea-borne flag that in all ages and on all waters 
has made the Navy of England feared and honoured. Let us wish her 
the wisdom to conserve and cherish them, and the happy fortune to sur- 
pass them by the daring of her mariners, untarnished, if it may be, by 
the stain of blood and the smoke of battle. 



UNITED AUSTRALIA. 99 

The West Briton, Truro 

November II th, 1889. 

THE prospect of a United States of Australia, bound together by the same 
ties of "union and liberty" as the United States of America, is one which 
has for many years enchained the imagination and inspired the thoughts 
of politicians. Gradually, but surely, the Australian Colonies have grown 
in wealth and population, but being so far removed from danger, and 
relying so completely upon the mother country, they have been steadfast 
in maintaining themselves in isolation and separation from each other. 
Different ideas on economical and other subjects have also prevailed in 
them, and this has to a great extent tended to keep them apart. Within 
the last few years, however, they have awakened to the fact that they 
were not, by their position, so entirely safe as they had supposed, and, 
because of this awaking, a weak sort of Federal Council was established 
in connection with them. There is now a widespread feeling amongst 
Australians that this Council is not all that could be desired, and that the 
Federal idea might bring the Colonies more closely together, and make 
them much stronger against a common foe. Sir Henry Parkes, the Prime 
Minister of New South Wales, has just written a letter to the Prime 
Minister of Victoria, Mr. Duncan Gillies, in which he points out the 
defects of the present Federal Council, and adverting to the necessity of 
concerted action for means of defence says: "This first great Federal 
question when looked at fairly, brings us, in spite of preferences or 
prejudices, face to face with the imperative necessity, the Federal 
Government, and why should we turn aside from what is inevitable? 
In the nature of our onward progress it must come a year or two 
later possibly but in any case soon, I hope. I need not assure you 
that this Government is anxious to work in harmony with the Govern- 
ment of the sister colonies in the matter under consideration, and 
desirous of avoiding subordinate questions coloured by party feelings or 
collateral issues. It is a question to be put to the heart and mind of 
Australia, in view of the destiny of Australia, and a question which, it 
is hoped, all sections of the collective population will discuss without 
regard to narrower considerations. " The matter has been so far thought 
out by the writer that he goes on to give particulars as to the manner in 
which the suggested Federal Government might be arranged, and he 
specially instances as examples the Dominion of Canada and the United 
States of America. When a man in the position of Sir Henry Parkes 
writes in so distinct and confident a tone we are warranted in supposing 



100 UNITED AUSTRALIA. 

The West Briton, Truro continued. 

that the movement is progressing, and may be realized within a* very few 
years. Sundry newspaper commentators have jumped to the conclusion 
that this letter of Sir Henry Parkes is a blow to the Imperial Federa- 
tion idea, and a sign of the drawing away of the colonies from us ; but 
we do not so read it. On the contrary, we think that an. united and 
strong Australia would have less hesitation in joining hands with the 
mother country, inasmuch as it could do so with less danger to its own 
local independence, and on more equal terms. 



The British Australasian 

November, 1889. 

IT would de deplorable if Australians were to allow the mannerisms of 
Sir Henry Parkes to stand in the way of that unity of their great con- 
tinent, which now for the first time seems to be possible. So long as 
New South Wales held aloof, it cut the heart out of federation, not alone 
because of her large population and wealth, but because of her geographical 
position; for how could Victoria federate with Queensland while 500 
miles and more of, so to speak, hostile territory separated them ? We all 
know Sir Henry Parkes' way of pooh-pooing the suggestions of his 
neighbours. He is the Gladstone of Australia, and says, too, many 
things on the spur of the moment which he would be prepared to render 
more palatable later. He is quite right in asserting that the machinery 
of the present Federal Council is inadequate to the needs of a Federal 
Government, and to utilize that machinery for the establishment of a 
closer union would be a clumsy method of procedure. But there is no 
need to cry down the Federal Council as he always takes the opportunity 
of doing. When the Federal Council Enabling Bill was before the 
Legislative Assembly of New South Wales, it was only lost by one vote, 
and had one man voted differently, New South Wales would have joined 
that limited federation, and Sir Henry Parkes might have before this 
discovered " that the time is ripe for consolidating the Australias into 
one." But he has now discovered it, and the people of New South Wales 
appear to be congratulating him upon the discovery, and the rest of 
Australia should be ready if they are wise to welcome the prodigal's 
return without scanning too narrowly the garb he wears for the time 
being. 



UNITED AUSTRALIA 



The British Australasian continued. 

Vet we find from the telegrams forwarded from Melbourne this week 
that Mr. Gillies is discussing with the other colonies Sir Henry Parkes' 
manifesto in a lukewarm spirit ; and as he and they consider that the 
Federal Council contains the nucleus of all that is required, there is no 
need for Sir Henry Parkes' proposed convention. The meaning of this 
is and it is just as well to speak plainly that as Sir Henry Parkes has 
snubbed his neighbours upon this question up to the last, they will snub 
him in return, and refuse to follow his lead in the matter. This feeling 
may be natural to individuals, but the welfare of Australia should be 
viewed from a higher eminence ; and, in acting in this way, both sides 
appear to be surrendering the substance for the shadow. Neither side 
will allow the other to score over the transaction, even though the profits 
are to be divided equally afterwards. The very name of the Federal 
Council acts upon Sir Henry Parkes as a red flag to a bull, and it is yet 
harder for men who have taken such an interest in the Federal Council 
as Victorian and Queensland statesmen have done to have it trampled on 
as the New South Wales Premier would like to do. 

Yet, whether it be Federal Council, or whether it be convention, we 
have different names only to represent the same thing. Sir Henry 
Parkes would have each self-governing colony send six members to the 
convention. Victoria has petitioned Her Majesty to permit her to send 
six members to the Federal Council, and were the one proposal or the 
other adopted it would doubtless be that the same statesmen would 
represent their respective colonies. So far, ho\vever, we prefer the pro- 
posed convention, for the reason that it could be summoned together 
more quickly, the Federal Council for the present being limited to two 
members from each colony. If, too, w y e read the summary of Sir 
Henry Parkes' speech to his constituents at St. Leonards aright, he 
is prepared to go great lengths greater lengths than we expected of 
him to secure his scheme being accepted. He is prepared to entrust 
his free trade policy to the decision of the Federal Parliament, affirm- 
ing roundly " that the question of protection or free trade is a trifling 
matter as compared with the greatness of Australia." Probably he is 
the more ready to merge this free trade policy into the greater one of 
Australian unity, because free trade in New South Wales is a risk 
which no office would care to insure. It may succumb at any time, and 
if it cannot be said that Sir Henry Parkes is now advocating a sounder 
policy, he is at any rate adopting a surer and more lasting one. It may, 



102 UNITED AUSTRALIA. 

The British Australasian continued. 

perhaps, be magnanimous on the part of Victoria and Queensland and 
South Australia to accept the invitation of Sir Henry Parkes in this 
matter ; but the people of Australia would at any rate know well why 
they did it, and as they would be merely surrendering the shadow for 
the substance they desire, let us hope that a short time will find that the 
welfare of Australia has triumphed over provincial jealousies and 
rivalries. For the present colonies will be the provinces of an 
Australian Dominion at no distant date. 



Glasgow Mail 

November 13th, 1889. 

SIR HENRY PARKES, the Prime Minister of New South Wales, is doing 
his utmost to bring about the federation of the Australian Colonies. 
His idea is that New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria, South 
Australia, and West Australia perhaps also Tasmania, which is little 
over 100 miles from the Australian shore should unite, for purposes 
common to all of them, under a Federal Government. There is in 
existence a Federal Council, but it is incomplete, New South Wales 
never having sent a representative, or in any way acknowledged its 
authority over that colony. Indeed, the Council has little, if any, real 
authority. It is but a Council for consultation and advice. The people 
of New South Wales, as spoken for by their Prime Minister, want much 
more than that. They want a real Government for the whole of 
Australia, in matters concerning the whole, yet so constituted as not to 
interfere with the Home Hule of any of the federated colonies. The 
latter point is one upon which Sir Henry Parkes insists. He says that 
federation need not and must not impair the rights and power of the present 
Provincial Governments and Parliaments. The principal fault he finds 
with the Federal Council is that it has no power to deal with the 
question of federal defence ; and it is, above all, for the sake of federal 
defence that he desires the establishment of a Federal Government. 
There are those who will say that defence is an Imperial matter, and 
doubtless it is; but a Government in London cannot easily conduct 
defence at the other side of the globe, and the Australian Colonies have 
been already authorized and encouraged to raise forces, man ships, 
construct forts, and organize a defensive system of their own a system 



UNITED AUSTRALIA. 103 

Glasgow Mail continued. 

auxiliary to Imperial defence, yet very largely free from Imperial 
control. Sir Henry Parkes admits that the Imperial Parliament 
could pass an Act for the federation of the Australian forces, but 
says that the Imperial Government could not direct their move- 
ments. Undoubtedly in a great war, with the ocean highway 
between this country and Australia blocked by naval operations, 
the Australians would have to rely in a great measure upon their 
own resources, and to conduct their own defence, in the event of 
attack. But federation involves much more than the question of defence. 
One would naturally think that it would imply the adoption of a common 
fiscal policy. But that is impossible in the case of the Australian 
Colonies. Victoria sticks to protection, while other colonies enjoy free 
trade and it may be remarked free trade was established in New South 
Wales mainly by the exertions of Sir Henry Parkes during a previous 
Administration. Looking to the difficulty, if not impossibility, of 
agreement, he would keep the tariff question outside the federal arrange- 
ment. But pretty nearly everything else, not the exclusive business of 
any one colony, would come under the consideration of a Federal Govern- 
ment. Sir Henry Parkes declares that the time is fully ripe for federa- 
tion, and that there is nothing in the shape of national life for which the 
Australian Colonies are not prepared. Some of our Tory friends may 
say that this declaration points to a complete national independence, and 
amounts to rank treason. We do not see the treason, but we see the 
foreshadowing of practical independence in Australian affairs. Australia 
wishes to be able to stand alone, in the sense of not being a burden to the 
Mother-country, and not being dependent upon her for help in any great 
contingency. It is to that the Australians are moving, though their 
strength is insufficient to enable them to reach it for a long time to come. 
We do not fear the movement. Australia is thoroughly loyal, and has 
not the slightest desire to sever the Imperial connection. Whatever will 
make Australia stronger will make the British Empire stronger. What 
the Grand Old Man of New South Wales now in his seventy-fifth year 
is working for can only be regarded as Home Rule on a larger scale. The 
Federation of Australia would be much the same as the Dominion of 
Canada. 



, UNITED AUSTRALIA. 

The Scotsman 
November IWi, 1889. 

A VERY pretty political drama is being played on the Australian stage. 
From the old country its developments will be watched with a keen 
attention, which does not, however, rise to a painful degree of anxiety. 
We are personally interested, like the Australians themselves, in tlm 
question of an Australian Federal Union ; but it is the interest of 
experienced elders. Distance gives us the advantage of seeing more 
clearly than the chief actors themselves how the course of things is to 
run, and that it is almost certain to have the customary happy ending, 
in a bond of hearts being publicly clinched and defined by the signing of 
a formal treaty of Union. In the meantime, the progress of the court- 
ship of the " young people" at the other side of the world will afford a 
little entertainment as well as instruction to the Mother-country. 
Colonies who are " coming together" are, perhaps, best left to make their 
approaches in their own way ; and observation of Australian events 
seems to show that too great ardour on one side may beget shyness on 
the other. A year ago it was New South Wales that was the pursued, 
and Victoria, representing the rest of Australia, that was pursuing. 
Now the tables are turned. The elder colony, in the person of Sir 
Henry Parkes, is eagerly pressing the suit for a Federal Union, and it is 
the other's turn to stand off and to feel or to feign coyness. As bene- 
volent and interested onlookers, we know, of course, what all this means 
and how it will end. Union is merely a question of the date and the 
settlements. There may be some curiosity, however, to know why it 
comes about that the veteran Prime Minister of New South Wales, who 
till lately was regarded as looking coldly upon schemes of Australian 
Federation, should now be all on fire to knit the colonies together. 
Quite recently Sir Henry is reported to have said in a public speech that 
before Intercolonial Union came there would be ten colonies to deal with 
instead of the present six. The late Mr. William Westgarth, an enthu- 
siastic advocate of both Colonial and Imperial Federation, had further 
opportunities of sounding the mind of the New South Wales Premier 
when he visited him a year ago in Sydney. He became aware that the 
" Grand Old Man" of Australian politics was " in no humour for agree- 
ments." " With the external quietness of an experienced statesman, it 
was yet evident that, to his mind, there did not appear much present 
hope of Intercolonial Federation" ; and his interlocutor is constrained to 
admit that, while unable to conjecture exactly \\ r hat was passing in the 



UNITED AUSTRALIA. 105 

The Scotsman continued. 

mind of a venerable but somewhat enigmatical statesman, the prospects 
of the Union movement were overclouded " by the delay or abstention of 
his, the senior and most important, colony." 

Now, however, not only is the Premier of New South Wales convinced 
that "the time is fully ripe for Federation," but is anxious to have it 
known that he himself is " the oldest advocate of a genuine Federation 
of the Australian Colonies," and for five-and-thirty years has given it his 
support. To the questions why he managed so well to dissemble his 
wishes up till the spring of the present year, and how it comes about that 
an Intercolonial Union which a twelvemonth ago seemed remote and 
contingent should suddenly become near and urgent, Sir Henry Parkes 
has, no doubt, his replies ready. He is an " old Parliamentary hand," who 
knows how to conceal, under an appearance of " external quietness," and 
oven repugnance, feelings ready to burst forth when there was a suitable 
opportunity to give them free expression. Apparently that opportunity 
has arrived. Sir Henry, when he said in effect that there would be no 
Australian Union in his time, did not know how rapidly passing events 
and his own resolution would ripen ; and the chance having come he has 
hastened to formally "pop the question." There has never been much 
question among thoughtful statesmen in this country, or in Australia, 
either as to the advantages of a Federal Union among the colonies, or 
as to the certainty that, sooner or later, such a thing would be brought 
about. The difference of opinion has been as to the terms and the 
method, and, in lesser degree, as to the agents in the work. The benefits 
which the colonists themselves would derive from such a measure are 
manifest and manifold. That these are real and not theoretical is shown 
by the instance of the Canadian Dominion, where in some respects the 
difficulties to be grappled with were more formidable than in Australia. 
Formed into a great Southern Dominion, the Australian States would be 
able to make their weight felt and their voice heard in a manner that is 
not possible so long as they consist of a number of provinces of compara- 
tively small individual importance. They could speak and act with the 
united authority of an intelligent, energetic, and self-governing people, 
who already number three millions of souls, and who possess a continent 
as their heritage. They would be able to settle the questions in which 
they are mutually interested, such as defence and fishery legislation, a 
Federal Court of Appeal, " the influx of foreign criminals and the intro- 
duction of inferior alien races." It is not said that the decision of 



106 UNITED AUSTRALIA. 

The Scotsman continued. 

United Australia on these and cognate matters would be invariably wise 
and right, but it would be taken with a full sense of responsibility and 
full guarantees that it represented the minds and wishes of a population 
that may be presumed to know their own affairs best. 

Politically, there is no reasonable ground for fearing that Intercolonial 
Federation would weaken the bonds of loyal feeling and attachment that 
unite the people of Australia to the Crown and the Empire. On the 
contrary, there are good sound reasons for believing that it would draw 
those bonds closer, and possibly clear the way and help to form a basis 
for that scheme of Imperial Federation which so many desire to see, but 
of which few or none can give us any tangible idea. The grumbling and 
fault-finding which have so often been heard in Colonial quarters have 
arisen partly because we have not been able fully to understand the 
feelings and wants of the colonists, and partly because they have not 
fully understood us. A Federal Legislature and Executive, could these 
be called into existence, should go far to remove these causes of friction. 
There ought to be no more occasion of complaint on account of " Home 
neglect" or " Colonial fractiousness." An Australian or Australasian 
Dominion would be able to step in, and fulfil the " manifest destiny" 
marked out by its commanding position in the South Seas a destiny 
which, by reason of unreadiness on our part and over-readiness on the 
part of competing Powers in the Pacific, is being rapidly circumscribed. 
Financially, the measure could scarcely fail to be of advantage to all 
concerned, though the terms of adjustment of debt and arrangement of 
duties would be matter for long and troublesome discussion. In a well- 
considered plan, the general interests ought to be benefited without the 
local interests suffering hurt. What form an Australian Federal Govern- 
ment and Legislature should take and what colonies it should embrace 
would, of course, be matter for careful consideration both here and at 
the antipodes. There would naturally require to be great care taken to 
guard against the clashing of authorities or the unfair preponderance of 
classes and districts. Distance would be one great difficulty in the 
working of such a scheme, as in any scheme for the Empire at large. 
There would be a natural desire to extend the bounds of the New 
Dominion over as wide an area of land and ocean as possible ; while, at 
the same time, the more the limits are enlarged the greater would be the 
obstacles in the way of establishing a homogeneous and efficient authority, 
controlling, subject to Imperial oversight, continent and islands, and 
temperate and tropical regions covering a large part of the hemisphere. 



UNITED AUSTRALIA. 10? 

The Scotsman continued. 

All these difficulties could be gradually surmounted were the primary 
obstacle that which is presented by the conflicting tariffs and fiscal 
policies of the Australian Colonies got out of the way. This is the 
great stumbling-block in the way of Australian Union ; and, having once 
got on the wrong track, the colonists will never be able to move on 
smoothly with each other or with the Mother-country until they have 
seen the wisdom of retracing their false steps. Sir Henry Parkes urges 
that the question of Protection and Free-trade is "a trifling matter 
compared with the greatness of Australia, and the duty of giving to 
Australia an Australian Government." In one sense this is no doubt 
true. But no one is more keenly alive than the New South Wales 
Premier to the influence which the advancing or retarding of the question 
of Intercolonial Federation will have upon the question of Free-trade or 
Protection. Hitherto he has been afraid, and not without reason, that in 
a Federal Union, empowered to deal with tariff questions, the predomi- 
nating Protectionist views of the other divisions of Australia would 
overbear and reverse the Free-trade policy which he has championed with 
such good results in the senior colony. Evidently he has seen cause to 
alter his views. Federation would be an absurdity if combined with the 
maintenance of hostile tariffs as between federated States. It might be 
different with regard to duties on goods imported from abroad, including 
British manufactures. But the benefits accruing from the abolition of 
Intercolonial Protection should ultimately prove to be a valuable lesson 
in economic science to the colonists, teaching them that they will best 
serve their own interests by taking the shackles off the trade with their 
foreign and home customers. At all events New South Y^ales at present 
seems less afraid of losing its Free-trade by the Federation experiment 
than Victoria is of losing its Protective tariff. Melbourne thinks that all 
the Union necessary can be reached by the development of the Federal 
Councils, brought tentatively into being for the primary purpose of 
obtaining unity of authority in certain civil and criminal procedure. 
Sydney has not looked graciously upon the Federal Council experiments, 
and pronounces for a large and early measure of Union. In spite of the 
jealousies of rival colonies and statesmen the movement can scarcely 
now be held back. In the long run, while greatly blessing a United 
Australia, we may feel confident also that it will strengthen a United 
Empire. 



108 UNITED AUSTHALIA. 

Hull Daily Mail 

November Uth, 1889. 

THE desire for National Federation is spreading. As our readers are 
aware, Sir Henry Parkes, the Premier of New South Wales, has recently 
taken energetic action Avith a view to bring about some scheme of 
federation for the Australian Colonies, a proposal which finds much 
favour in this country. Now it seems probable that the example set by 
Australia will be followed by the Central American Republics. A Paris 
correspondent, writing on the subject, says: "The report that tlio 
Republics of Central America were contemplating the decisive step of 
uniting together into one nation on a federal basis appears, from what I 
have learnt to-day, to be well founded. A few days ago the representa- 
tives of Guatemala, San Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica 
assembled at San Salvador, and signed the draft of a treaty of union.'' 
Thus it is evident that the feeling in favour of the principle of federa- 
tion is extending and developing. Nor is this surprising, for it is simply 
a practical recognition of the indisputable fact that union is strength, as 
opposed to division and weakness. Separate States and Provinces feel 
that so long as they are divided from each other they are weak and 
defenceless, and liable to become a prey to the attacks of an enemy ; but 
federated together they become powerful enough to protect themselves 
and resist any assault that may be made upon them. Singly they are 
too weak to make a stand against a formidable foe, to whom collectively 
they may bid defiance. Could anything more eloquently or forcibly con- 
demn the separatist policy now being advocated by the Irish Parnellites 
and the English Radicals ? In this voluntary action of independent 
States we read the strongest disapproval of the policy of disintegration 
and separation that underlies the cry for Home Rule. Other countries, 
which are acting from conviction and experience, are anxious to secure 
the blessings and advantages of a system which the Irish party and their 
English Radical allies are endeavouring to destroy. The former already 
possess Home Rule, but they recognize the value of unity and federation, 
the advantages of which they are endeavouring to secure. The advocates 
of Home Rule and separation already possess national unity, which they 
are endeavouring to destroy. On the one hand we have those who are 
able to speak and act from experience striving to secure unity and 
federation ; on the other, we have the champions of Home Rule seeking 
to introduce, so far as this country is concerned, a new and crude system, 
which, although novel to us, has been tried elsewhere and has failed. 



UNITED AUSTRALIA. 109 

Hull Daily Mail continued. 

Surely under such circumstances it requires no words of ours to point out 
which is the best course for Englishmen to pursue. It is clearly their 
duty, both as patriots and politicians, to do their utmost to maintain 
unimpaired the unity and integrity of the Empire, and to encourage the 
important principle of Imperial Federation, which appears to be making 
such steady progress amongst the most intelligent communities of the 
world, rather than to favour a policy of dismemberment and separation. 



The Capitalist 

November I6th, 1889. 

SIR HENRY PARKES' despatch to Mr. Gillies, which surprised the public 
last week, is an able State paper without doubt. The subject is highly 
important, and must be dealt with as soon as possible. The reason for 
delay is to decide upon the manner in which action is to be taken. 
General Edwards has been commissioned to deal with the subject of 
Australian military defence, and in pursuing his duties under the com- 
mission he arrives at the conclusion that a system of defence which dealt 
with each of the seven or eight Australasian Colonies aa separate units 
must be tainted with an incurable defect of weakness. He therefore 
strongly recommends united or federal action at least for the five con- 
tinental colonies, if not for the other two or three insular ones. There 
lias probably been some intercolonial correspondence resulting from 
General Edwards' recommendations. The advantages of federation are 
so obvious to the meanest capacity, when directed to the subject of 
military defence, that it is quite impossible for any single colony to stand 
out or to set up a scheme of isolation from its neighbours. To us here 
at Home it would seem that nothing could be more simple than to bring 
the subject under the notice of the Federal Council which already exists, 
and there have it deliberately licked into working shape with all speed 
possible. Some such course of action must have suggested itself to Mr. 
Gillies, the Victorian Premier, and he seeks the co-operation of Sir 
Henry Parkes, the leader of the New South Wales ministry. There- 
upon comes out Sir Henry's manifesto of October 30. He will have 
none of the Federal Council. He has re-examined the Act, and decides 
that the Council possesses no power adequate to the occasion. What is 



110 UNITED AUSTRALIA. 

The Capitalist continued. 

wanted is to constitute, direct, and control an united Australian army, 
and the Council has no power or authority to do any one of these things. 
The Act under which the Federal Council exists includes " general 
defence" amongst the matters with which the Council can deal ; but Sir 
Henry argues that these two words are included in a long list of 
secondary matters, and it would be a very strained interpretation to use 
them as a definition of legal authority to deal with a matter of the first 
importance in the exercise of national power. 

The Federal Council Act is an Imperial measure passed in the session 
of 1885 for the purpose of assisting the colonies to deal with matters 
of common Australian interest, and legalising the proceedings of such 
a body. Wherever united action was deemed desirable here was a 
machinery which it was provided should not interfere with the manage- 
ment of their internal affairs by the Legislatures of the respective 
colonies, The Act provided for the constitution of the Council by 
representatives of such of the colonies as should pass the requisite legis- 
lative measures accepting the terms of the Federal Council Act. After 
this agreement the Council can legislate for the colonies that have 
assumed membership. Her Majesty's prerogative is reserved in all 
cases, but subject to that the Council can exercise legislative authority 
on the question of general defences, among other things, if referred to the 
Council by the Legislatures of any two or more colonies. As soon as this 
Imperial Act was passed, Victoria, Queensland, Western Australia, and 
Fiji brought the same into operation in their respective territories, but 
New South Wales, South Australia, and New Zealand stood out, and 
still decline to recognize the advantages of the Council. Nevertheless, 
the Council has passed useful measures, such as authorizing civil 
process throughout the consenting colonies in common, and enforcing 
the judgments of Civil Courts in common. Very much could be 
done by this Council in the direction indicated by General Edwards, 
but it is hardly possible to deal with the subject of military defence 
independently and without the concurrence of the Mother Country. 
Sir Henry himself can see that the scattered and unconnected military 
works and forces of the colonies would acquire additional value by a 
unity of command, but he insists that the Governments of the several 
colonies could not act in combination, nor could they act independently 
of each other, and the Federal Council has no executive power to act at 
all. This being so, it seems but natural that all should turn to Imperial 



UNITED AUSTRALIA. Ill 

The Capitalist continued. 

headquarters for leadership. But Sir Henry will have none of that. 
The colonies, in his idea, would never tolerate the interference of the 
Imperial Executive with the movements of an Australian army. To 
meet all the difficulties of the position, Sir Henry calls for a different 
kind of federation from that provided by the Council. He proposes a 
Dominion, after the pattern of Canada, modified by a draft on the rich 
stores of political wisdom collected by the framers of the Constitution of 
the United States. By this ambitious plan the colonies would become 
provinces with locally-elected Governors. There would be an Australian 
Dominion Parliament and Privy Council, with a single Governor-General 
as a link between the Federation and the United Kingdom. The scheme 
is to raise the colonies to a higher level of national life, and we may 
suppose, incidentally will evolve a system of national defence, as well as 
many other good things. This grand manifesto burst upon the politicians 
of the Empire like a peel of thunder from a clear sky. Mr. Gillies, who 
appears to be a plain and plodding man, was considerably astonished no 
doubt, and according to last reports adheres to his previous view that 
the pathway to new arrangements lies through the Federal Council as it 
exists. The declaration of Sir Henry Parkes is a grand stroke of 
personal ambition for a larger leadership. The Federal Council is too 
paltry. The political magician of Sydney must have a grand transforma- 
tion scene, with Sir Henry himself raised from the level of Premier of 
the Premier Colony, scorning to be a local Governor, and receiving the 
homage of Australasia as First Minister of the Crown in the Australian 
Dominion Parliament. 



Altrincham Guardian 

November 16th, 1889. 

THE letter of Sir Henry Parkes, the New South Wales Premier, has 
now been before the public of this country for some days, and has excited 
no small amount of comment, adverse and otherwise, but principally the 
latter. In all great matters of this kind there is sure to be a consider- 
able amount of criticism forthcoming, and it is best that it should be so. 
Criticism is the fire through which all new proposals of importance 
should pass, and if they cannot pass the ordeal they are better dropped. 
It must be confessed that the proposals of Sir Henry Parkes have come 
well out of the criticism that has greeted them. In New South Wales 



112 UNITED AUSTRALIA. 

Altrincham Guardian continued. 

there is ample evidence of a very strong and rapidly-growing feeling in 
favour of Australian Federation. So far as the public have been con- 
sulted there, the decision seems to be in favour of it, and the majority of 
opinions expressed here is undoubtedly in the same direction. Indeed, 
it is difficult to see how the Federation movement can be opposed in this 
country. If the Continent of Australia is desirous of combining in one 
compact whole, no one in this country will seriously oppose the step. 
Such a policy would be far more likely to leceive favourable than 
unfavourable consideration from a British Government. Of one thing 
we may be pretty confident : if Australia made up its mind to have 
Federation, England neither could, would, nor ought to prevent it. The 
severest criticism ventured upon here appears to be directed against the 
consistency of Sir Henry Parkes and of New South Wales. It is pointed 
out by some writers that Sir Henry has some urgent reason for intro- 
ducing the question of Federation, that previously he has shown his 
aversion to the principle by opposing the Federal Council scheme, in 
which New South Wales has all along declined to join. The answer of 
Sir Henry to this charge appears to us to be perfectly satisfactory. He 
characterizes the Federal Council as a sham, a make-believe, and in this 
charge he seems to be right. The Council is a mere consultative body, 
having no legislative or executive powers. Such a Council does not 
meet Sir Henry's views of the requirements of Australia. What he 
desires to see established is an Australian House of Commons and its 
Senate. He advocates the appointment of a Governor-General, a Privy 
Council, and a Court of Appeal. In fact, he would convert the strug- 
gling Governments of Australia into a second "Dominion of Canada. 
This is a large, bold, and comprehensive scheme as opposed to the 
present tinkering method. The question may have forced itself upon 
Sir Henry's mind as the result of a fear for the safety of the Australian 
Colonies in the event of a great war, but that does not alter the merits 
of the case ; it simply renders action more urgent. All things considered, 
the movement to join the Australian Colonies in a Federation appears to 
be progressing fairly well. Opinion is being matured, and is distinctly 
in favour of it both here and in the directly-interested regions. Many 
difficulties will require to be overcome, jealousies will have to bo 
removed ; but these obstacles have been surmounted before, and there is 
no reason why they should be permitted to block the road now. 



UNITED AUSTRALIA. 113 

Brighton Sussex Daily News 
November 18th, 1889. 

A LARGELY supported meeting was held at the Egyptian Hall on Friday 
to discuss the question of Imperial Federation, but they do not appear to 
have advanced the elucidation of that shadowy problem to any substantial 
extent. An immense deal of fervid patriotism was talked, and many 
glowing references were made to the glory and greatness of the Empire, 
but as for any suggestion of a practical scheme for working the com- 
plicated machinery it is proposed to call into existence, that was perhaps 
naturally considered to lie beyond the scope of the occasion. Lord 
Kosebery addressed a series of admirably selected observations to the 
conclave, as is his wont at all such gatherings, and included in his oration 
not only a series of most happy phrases on the subject of Imperial politics, 
but a most felicitous parallel drawn from the constitution of the 
Amphictyonic Council and its influence on the destinies of Greece. 
These are exactly the conventional materials for an Imperial Federation 
speech, which is invariably rife with majestic periods, but singularly 
deficient in solid suggestion. Lord Hosebery may be considered the 
greatest authority on Imperial Federation, as it is a subject which he has 
in a great measure made his speciality, and he is the man, if anyone is, to 
enlighten us on what the phrase is intended to convey and what is the 
working shape into which this visionary idea can possibly be embodied. 
Unfortunately, in reading the speeches of that ardent Federationist, one 
is left just as much in the dark as before. Imperial Federation looms as 
a sort of phantasmagorial outline through a fog of hazy rhetoric and 
obscuring sentiment, but no efforts of platform speakers and Egyptian 
[{all meetings enable us to have a clearer view of its shape. Historical 
parallels are valueless and delusive, while poetical allusions to our national 
glory are inane and irrelevant. Lord Rosebery put it very truly when 
he said that they were both viewed with suspicion by the commercial 
mind. At the same time, he inaugurated his speech by assuring the 
audience that Federation was not a question of poetry and imagination, 
but a question of solid fact. That it is intended to bo so, we make no 
manner of doubt, but that the solidity of the foundation has as yet been 
laid seems to be open to decisive refutation. All that Lord Kosebery 
.could point to in that direction was the Colonial Conference of 1888-89, 
which he declares to be the germ of Federation, and he proceeded to 
contend that ifc was through periodical conferences of the best available 
mon that the idea was practically to be worked out. But the federative 

IT 



114 UNITED AUSTRALIA. 

Brighton Sussex Daily News continued. 

enthusiasts at the Egyptian Hall must have been content with very little 
if they were satisfied with so slender and inorganic a suggestion as this. 
The idea is far too shapeless to escape the " suspicion of the commercial 
mind," for it may reasonably be asked, what is to be the conformation of 
these conferences, in what respect are they to be representative, what are 
to be the limits of their sphere of deliberation, and how are they to 
alleviate a conceivable deadlock between the conflicting interests of the 
Colonies and the mother country 1 All these points must meet with a 
satisfactory answer before the permanent establishment of these Con- 
ferences can fall within the range of practical politics, and yet, failing 
these Conferences, Lord Rosebery declares Imperial Federation to be an 
impossible dream. We are disposed to agree that it is a dream anyhow ; 
but what is not an impossible dream is what Sir Henry Parkes enforced 
upon his constituents in New South Wales the other day, and that is 
Intercolonial Federation. It is high time that the Colonies of Australia, 
instead of being separated by petty rivalries and jealousies, should be 
banded into one harmonious whole. When that has been done it will be 
time enough to think of what the relations of federated Australia are to 
be with the home country, but federation must first take place in the 
limb before it is extended to the body. 



Birmingham Post 

November IWi, 1889. 

THE question of granting a new Constitution to Western Australia is 
one which occupied considerable attention both at the Colonial Office and 
in Parliament during the last session. It was left unsettled, and, probably 
considering the importance of the issues involved, and the comparatively 
small amount of public attention given to it in this country, it is well 
that it should have been left over for thorough discussion after fuller 
consideration. In the Australian Colonies themselves there is no want 
of interest on the subject. Occasion has, in fact, been taken for the 
enunciation of opinions as to the right of the existing colonies to interfere 
in a settlement, which would, if they carried it into effect, very materially 
affect the Imperial jurisdiction over the whole of what it has become the 
fashion to call the Australian Continent. Such questions as Imperial 
federation and national independence have been discussed, not only by 



UNITED AUSTRALIA. 115 

Birmingham Post continued. 

individual members of the Colonial Legislatures, but by the responsible 
Ministers of the several colonies. It is evident that when the Western 
Australia question is reopened, as it must be in the next session of 
Parliament, it must be approached with a sense of its great importance, 
and with a due regard to the state of colonial feeling as well as to 
considerations of Imperial duty and policy. The case is divided into two 
parts, of which the one that has nominally to be dealt with is com- 
paratively simple, or would be so if it were not subject to complications 
as to future intercolonial policy. The present conditions are these : 
Western Australia comprises a territory measuring 1,280 miles from north 
to south, and 800 miles from east to west. It contains 1,060,000 square 
miles, and is thus nearly nine times as large as the whole of Great Britain 
and Ireland. The total population is only about 42,500, or considerably 
less than that of the Local Board district of Aston Manor. This handful 
of people are asking for the grant of a Constitution which will give them 
responsible self-government, make them practically independent, and place 
in their hands the disposal of the lands of the vast country and the settle- 
ment of the conditions under which for the future it shall be populated 
and settled. At present Western Australia is a Government colony 
that is to say, that, with a considerable admixture of the representative 
element in the administration of its local affairs, such broader questions 
as its intercolonial relations, the disposition of its lands, and the regulation 
of immigration are practically under the control of the Imperial Govern- 
ment. In reality, this only means that the territory is held in hand until 
the population has sufficiently increased to justify the Imperial Govern- 
ment in entrusting it with the control of so vast a territory. The question 
as to whether that time has now arrived could hardly be answered in the 
affirmative, if it could be considered apart from wider questions of colonial 
policy. It is true that about thirty years ago a Constitution like that 
now applied for was granted to Queensland, although its population at 
that time was not more than 30,000. The area of Queensland, however, 
was not much more than half that of West Australia. It was immediately 
contiguous to New South Wales, the most important of the Australian 
Colonies, and was therefore certain very speedily to share in the rapid 
development which was taking place on the eastern coast of the con- 
tinent. 

It was clearly a question which required consideration whether or not 
the time had arrived when the absolute control over lands so extensive 



116 UNITED AUSTRALIA. 

Birmingham Post continued. 

should be transferred from the hands of the Imperial Government into 
those of the few thousands of people who live upon but cannot be said to 
populate them. It must be remembered that since the last Constitution 
was granted questions of great importance as to immigration and the dis- 
posal of land have arisen which cannot but affect the future policy of the 
country. On the whole, the Colonial Department at Home arrived at the 
deefsron that the demand for enfranchisement had been practically sus- 
tained, and they submitted to Parliament a Bill for carrying it into effect. 
Parliament, however, was not satisfied with the case made out, and tho 
Bill was not passed. The main question raised was as to the future 
control and disposition of the land, and it was maintained that the present 
conditions did not justify such a treatment of the great area of Western 
Australia as was proposed by the measure. This view of the case 
aroused considerable manifestations of feeling, not only in the particular 
colony affected, but in other parts of Australia. To listen to some of the 
statements made it might be supposed that the Imperial Parliament 
existed for no higher purpose than to meekly register and give forma} 
effect to the decisions of the various colonies. To some extent this is the 
case with regard to the self-governing colonies ; but that is only a reason 
why great care should be exercised before the final step is taken with 
regard to a new community. But, all this wild talk notwithstanding, it 
was recognized that there was some force in the objection that the territory 
affected was too extensive to be entrusted to the comparatively few people 
who ask for its management. Proposals have therefore been submitted 
by the colonists for a division of the area. There are now under con- 
sideration two suggestions of this kind. One is to draw a line from east 
to west, dividing the territory into two almost equal parts, and to give a 
Constitution to the southern portion. The other is to make the dividing 
line run from north to south so as to give only about one-third of the 
country to the newly-constituted colony. Under either plan the suggested 
colony would include the portion of the territory which is most thickly 
populated. The latter proposal, although it would give the smaller area, 
would leave to the new colony the whole of the western coast, and so 
would probably furnish the best conditions for industrial growth and 
consequent expansion both of population and of material progress. It 
may be observed that the very fact that these modified schemes are 
propounded is in some degree an admission of the force of the contention 
that the Imperial Government has a right to decide upon the fate of the 



UNITED AUSTRALIA. 117 

Birmingham Post continued. 

territory which is at present held in its name. Something has been said 
in the colony about resistance to the idea that the unsettled lands belong 
to the people of the United Kingdom to be used for their own purposes. 
Such a resistance would be entirely superfluous, for no such idea is 
entertained. The Imperial Government holds the territory in trust, not 
for itself, but for the future occupiers, and is only interested in securing 
that the prospects of the colony are not imperilled by too hasty present 
legislation. 

So far as the actual colony itself is concerned, we may suppose that the 
question will be settled on the lines of one of the compromises that have 
been proposed. That, however, does not exhaust the questions which have 
been raised by the other Australian Colonies, and especially by New South 
Wales. These are important, not only on account of their immediate object, 
but on account of their ulterior principles which they are intended to 
illustrate. In the first place, these colonies claim to have a voice not 
only in the settlement of the Western Colonial Constitution, but in the 
policy which is to be pursued with regard to that part of the territory 
which would not be included in its operation. This is, indeed, a claim 
to assume the position now held by the Imperial Government. It is not 
surprising that the existing colonies in Australia should desire that all 
future constitutions established on the continent should be based upon the 
same broad lines of responsible representative self-government as those 
on which their own are framed. But they go further than this. In the 
Legislative Assembly of New South Wales a petition to the Queen was 
adopted at the instance of the Prime Minister, Sir Henry Parkes. After 
asking for the adoption of the proposed Constitution for Western Australia, 
the petition urges "that any and every part of the territory of Western 
Australia not included in the provisions of the new Constitution shall 
henceforth be reserved for and as soon as possible be brought under a 
form of government similar to that of the other colonies, and shall be held 
exclusively for the purposes of Australian settlement and colonization by 
persons from the other colonies and from Great Britain and Ireland." This 
request is in itself remarkable, but it is made more so by the motives 
which were plainly enough set forth in the debate in the Legislature, by 
which it was unanimously adopted. One of these was the fear of a twofold 
danger attending immigration. The colonists fear the importation of 
convicts and paupers, and they fear an inroad of Chinese labour. As to 
the introduction of convicts, it might be well assumed that the question 



118 UNITED AUSTRALIA. 

Birmingham Post continued. 

had been finally and fully settled. England has long since acknowledged 
that she has no moral right to evade her own responsibilities with regard 
to her dangerous classes by transferring them to her colonial possessions. 
With regard to pauper emigration the line may not be so distinctly drawn, 
but a similar principle is generally admitted. As for assisted emigration, 
any difference of opinion which may arise can be and will be settled with a 
due regard to the wishes of the colonists themselves. The other branch 
of the immigration question is that which refers to the possible intro- 
duction of Chinese labour. This has already caused serious difficulty, 
and the colonists are anxious that where there is no responsible Govern- 
ment existing the wishes of the people generally throughout the continent 
should be consulted. These difficulties as to the regulations of immigrants 
can certainly be settled to the satisfaction of the colonists, although from 
their point of view they would be most completely met when the whole 
country is covered by entirely self-governing communities. Such a con- 
dition would make possible some federal action on the part of all the 
colonies. And this question of federation leads to what must be called the 
most serious part of the colonial policy as indicated, or indeed plainly stated, 
in the debate in the Legislature of New South Wales, by Ministerialists 
and Opposition speakers alike. The granting of the West Australian 
Constitution was advocated riot only for the sake of the colony affected, but 
because such astep would make possible a scheme of Australian Federation, 
and that with a view to future entire independence. There was no mis- 
take or hesitation on this point ; the desire was openly and constantly 
affirmed. No doubt its discussion at the present time is premature. 
When Australia is sufficiently advanced in population and other 
matters, if the same wish for separation from the mother country 
exists, it will have to be met in a liberal spirit. That the question 
is raised in this untimely manner is evidently to be partly accounted 
for by a desire to protest against the proposal for what is vaguely 
called Imperial Federation a proposal which, though it is innocent 
of practical suggestion or possibility of practical result, has not a 
little alarmed most of our important colonies. Their reply to this idle 
and visionary scheme is that instead of joining a nominal federation where 
equality of representation would be impossible, they prefer to look forward 
to a more limited federation of their own by which their independent 
national existence would be secured. It would seem, then, that the 
enthusiasts who are carried away by a phrase, the meaning of which they 



UNITED AUSTRALIA. 119 

Birmingham Post continued. 

cannot define, may probably do mischief by forcing on discussions which, 
for the present at least, it would be wise and patriotic to postpone. 
Next session will probably see the issue of the desired Constitution to 
the limited area now proposed, and with it the indefinite adjournment of 
the wider debate so prematurely raised. 



Glasgow Mail 
November IQth, 1889. 

THE full text of the Hon. Duncan Gillies' reply to Sir Henry Parkes' 
recent circular letter on the question of Australian Federation has been 
received. At the outset it discloses the fact that the vital matter at issue 
has been the subject of confidential communications between Sir Henry 
Parkes and his brother Premiers for months past. There is, of course, 
nothing very remarkable about this fact in itself, because the federation 
question is one that must of necessity occupy a good deal of the attention 
of Australian statesmen. But it is always interesting to learn what is 
going on behind the scenes, and it is not unimportant to note that the 
question of national defences has simply been the means of bringing to 
the surface a serious practical discussion already in progress between the 
representatives of the different colonies. Mr. Gillies refers to a letter of 
his own, dated August 12th, and marked "confidential." This was a 
reply to two letters from Sir Henry Parkes on the subject of federation. 
Presumably, Sir Henry must have addressed similar communications to 
the Premiers of the other colonies. Mr. Gillies understood his proposals 
in the sense in which they have since been explained to all the world 
as meaning the creation of a Federal Parliament composed of two Houses, 
with an executive Federal Government constitutionally responsible 
thereto, the Crown being represented by a Governor-General, and the 
whole scheme following upon the lines of the Canadian Constitution. His 
reply may be summed up by saying that it was simply an invitation to 
New South Wales to join with her sister-colonies in endeavouring to 
attain the desired goal through the agency of the existing Federal Council, 
with which New South Wales has hitherto refused to have anything to 
do. He pointed out that steps are being taken to enlarge the composition 
of the Federal Council, and to make it more representative, and urged 
strongly the advantages that might be gained if the parent colony would 
abandon her present position of isolation. He even tried the effect of a 



120 UNITED AUSTRALIA. 

Glasgow Mail continued. 

little personal blandishment upon Sir Henry Parkes. But the "Grand 
Old Man of New South Wales " was not moved. As his circular letter 
showed, he is still as hostile as ever to the existing Council, which he 
treats rather as a stumbling-block than as a stepping-stone towards the 
grand object of federation. The positions taken up by himself on the one 
hand, and by the Victorian Premier on the other, are both now revealed 
to the public. Mr. Gillies adheres substantially to the opinions expressed 
in his private letter. Nevertheless he is perfectly willing that the 
weighty issues raised by Sir Henry Parkes should be fully and openly 
discussed. Instead of acceding to Sir Henry Parkes' suggestion as to the 
calling together of a National Convention, however, he once more makes 
a stand in favour of utilizing the machinery of the Federal Council. Ho 
suggests that the representatives of the various colonies in the Federal 
Council should meet Sir Henry Parkes and other representatives of New 
South Wales to discuss, and, if necessary, to advise and report upon an 
adequate scheme of Federal Government. By this method of procedure, 
he urges, the Colonial Parliaments would be left quite unfettered, which 
would not be the case supposing that by sending representatives to a 
National Convention they committed themselves definitely to the position 
that the time is ripe for establishing a Federal Parliament. Moreover, 
by this plan, there would be 110 room left for the suspicion that the 
members of the Federal Council were being discredited or thrust aside in 
the determination of this important question. Mr. Gillies proceeds to 
" show cause " why New South Wales should join with the other 
colonies in utilizing the Federal Council. The question of national 
defence, he urges, is one that must be solved, whatever is or is not done 
in the matter of federation. Should Federal Government be agreed to, it 
would take four or five years to bring it into effect ; but, supposing 110 
agreement were arrived at, he asks whether the colonies are to remain 
"a concourse of disintegrated atoms," so far as defence is concerned, and 
whether the national interests of Australia are thus to be sacrificed 
merely because of a reluctance on the part of the colonists to subordinate 
individual preferences to the common good. Sir Henry Parkes main- 
tains that the Federal Council Act does not provide sufficient powers for 
the " creation, direction, mobilization, and executive control of a great 
army for the defence of the whole of Australia." Mr. Gillies frankly 
admits the fact. But he says that no such army is wanted. The scheme 
under contemplation is much more modest. It simply involves the 



UNITED AUSTRALIA. 121 

Glasgow Mail continued. 

organisation of the forces in each colony, so that they shall be placed 
under proper direction and control, and be made available for service in 
any part of the Continent outside their own boundaries. For this pur- 
pose Mr. Gillies holds that the Federal Council has quite sufficient 
powers. Sir Henry Parkes objected that the Council has no executive 
authority to enforce its decrees. Mr. Gillies replies that no executive 
authority is necessary, and that the Council can meet all practical require- 
ments by legislating, with the consent of the colonies, which must, of 
course, be obtained beforehand. But what if New South Wales does not 
consent 1 Then the whole project would fall through, or, at all events, it 
would be maimed, and the Federal Council would be powerless to make 
it complete. Mr. Gillies sees the difficulty, and exerts his strongest 
arguments to induce New South Wales to fall in line with the other 
colonies. His arguments, however, only tend to make it clear that New 
South Wales holds a trump card of the situation, and it is not in human 
nature to expect that she will give it up lightly. After all, the question 
in dispute is not as to the end but only as to the means whereby that end 
is to be attained. Australian Federation is bound to come. Mr. Gillies 
wants to reach it through the Federal Council. Sir Henry Parkes has 
no faith in that experimental institution ; he would clear the Board and 
start afresh by means of his proposed National Convention. And by 
Mr. Gillies' own admission he has strong arguments on his side. The 
Victorian Premier is forced to confess that the work of national defence 
could be better accomplished by a Federal Government than by the 
Federal Council. But the problem is one which the colonists will have 
to mark out for themselves. Whether New South Wales takes the lead, 
or whether she chooses to follow in the wake of her sister-colonies, will 
not alter the ultimate result a result which we in the mother-country 
shall await with interest and with perfect confidence in the loyalty and 
goodwill of our Australian fellow-subjects. 



Leeds Mercury 
November 19^, 1889. 

THE despatch, of which we publish the text this morning, from the Premier 
of Victoria in reply to Sir Henry Parkes' communication on the 
subject of Australian Federation, brings into clear relief the difference 
between the points of view of these two eminent Australian politicians. 
Sir Henry Parkes, it is evident, is much more dominated than the Hon. 



122 UNITED AUSTRALIA. 

Leeds Mercury continued. 

Duncan Gillies at present can be said to be by the idea of a united 
Australia. The chief concern of the Premier of Victoria is to discover 
with the least possible- delay some practical and efficient method of 
organising concerted measures for Australian defence. He maintains 
that although a Federal Government, clothed with the authority of a 
Federal Parliament, such as Sir Henry Parkes has in view, " could do 
much more, and do it much better " than the existing Federal Council ; 
the latter body nevertheless could do all that is at present required for 
defensive purposes, and could do it with the least delay. In Mr. Gillies' 
view it is only necessary for the Legislatures of all the colonies to invite 
the Federal Council to legislate upon the subject of the defences, and it 
could without difficulty make all the provision requisite for joint action 
for the object in view. It is true, as he acknowledges, that there would 
be no coercive authority behind Acts passed by the existing Federal 
Council, but the assumption of the whole situation is that every Austra- 
lian Colony is anxious to act unitedly in the matter of defence. If that 
assumption is right enabling Acts are all that are required. If it is 
wrong, " then we are idling our time in considering the matter." There 
is, no doubt, a great deal of practical sense in Mr. Gillies' contention, and 
it may probably be assumed that he expresses the prevailing feeling of 
the great colony of which he is Prime Minister. If so, Australian Fede- 
ration is not so near as after Sir Henry Parkes' energetic despatch many 
people here have been inclined to believe. But in any case it can hardly 
be very far distant, and its approach, whether more or less rapid will be 
viewed with sympathetic interest by wise politicians at home. 



The Globe 

November IWi, 1889. 

THE correspondence now taking place between the several Australian 
Governments is of great pith and moment by reason of its bearing on 
the question of Imperial Federation. All who have given thought to 
that grand project are in agreement that the first step towards its realisa- 
tion must be Colonial Federation. In the case of British North America, 
that part of the problem has already received practical solution by the 
creation of the Canadian Dominion. But when we turn to other parts 
of the outlying Empire, the only satisfactory sign is the growth of local 
sentiment in favour of closer connection for defensive purposes. This is 



UNITED AUSTRALIA. 123 

The Globe continued. 

the central subject of the correspondence between Sir Henry Parkes, 
Premier of New South Wales, and Mr. Duncan Gillies, who fills the same 
post in Victoria. They are agreed that it is highly desirable to formulate 
a scheme for intercolonial defence, but beyond that somewhat abstract 
proposition their views are more or less in conflict. Sir Henry Parkes 
considers that the best course would be to submit the question to a Con- 
vention specially summoned for the purpose. But the Victorian Premier 
objects, in limine, to this proposal, his idea being that the present 
Federal Council would suffice if strengthened by additional representa- 
tives. The point thus raised may seem somewhat small to dispute about, 
but it really covers a very important issue. The Convention proposed 
by New South Wales would consider the whole question of Australian 
Federation, political and economical as well as military, whereas the 
Federal Council would have no power to go beyond the discussion of 
federated defence. There is the further side-issue that New South Wales 
has no representative at present in the Federal Council, having declined 
to join it from the first, and, judging from Sir Henry Parkes' tone, this 
disinclination is as strong as ever. Queensland, by the mouth of her 
Colonial Secretary, sides with Victoria in this preliminary controversy, 
and it may be anticipated that the other colonies which have sent dele- 
gates to the Federal Council will take the same view. 

It is deeply to be regretted that such a serious stumbling-block should 
have presented itself at the very threshold. For outsiders to attempt to 
judge between the disputants would savour of impertinence ; there are 
wheels within wheels in colonial politics, whose movements only experts 
trained on the spot can comprehend. When the average Englishman 
thinks of Australia, he conceives it as a land split up into several settle- 
ments for the sake of administrative convenience, but pervaded by the 
same sentiments and the same aspirations. This is by 110 means a correct 
conception ; there are long standing feuds and deeply ingrained jealousies 
between several of the colonies, notably in the case of New South Wales 
and Victoria. Each suspects its neighbour of meditating how to get the 
upper hand in commerce, while even such an apparently off-question as 
closer union for defence gives rise to feelings of disquietude. It is not 
to be believed, nevertheless, that Australian statesmanship will prove 
unable to grapple with all difficulties in solving the military problem. 
The plain-spoken report of General Edwards on the dangers of the 
present chaotic system of defence has created general alarm, and popular 



12-1 UNITED AUSTRALIA. 

The Globe continued. 

judgment would assuredly condemn any Government that stood in the: 
way of reform. The fairest way of settling this initial dispute would be, 
apparently, to submit the question of Convention or Federal Council to 
the several Legislatures, the opinion of the majority to prevail. But we 
doubt whether New South Wales would accept this simple method with- 
out considerable demur, in presence of the likelihood that she would find 
herself outvoted. 

There is much strength and cogency in Mr. Gillies' argument that the 
question of military defence should be first taken by itself. Were it 
mixed upon with the larger problem of Colonial Federation, years would 
elapse, he believes, before the united forces of the colonies were available 
for employment at any threatened place. And since considerable delay 
would necessarily be involved in assembling a Convention, as that could 
not be done until the several Parliaments had considered the matter, a 
prima facie case is made out for relegating the business to the Federal 
Council. The world is at peace just now, and the British temple of 
Janus has its gates shut for once in a way. But it would require con- 
summate boldness to predict any prolonged continuance of this state of 
things. Nowadays, the evolution of events marches very quickly ; an 
astonished world has just seen an apparently stable Empire puffed away 
like thistledown by the first breath of revolution. It behoves the 
x\.ustralian Colonies, therefore, to guard themselves against danger from 
without. They could, of course, always rely upon the assistance of the 
mother country to the utmost extent it was within her power to give. 
But that power might be circumscribed by circumstances ; it is easy to 
imagine a situation in which John Bull would find his resources very 
fully employed elsewhere. Australia must, therefore, be prepared to 
take her own part, and we feel assured that there would be no lack of 
spirit in her population to beat back any foe that attempted to raid her 
ports. But patriotic spirit, unless backed by effective forces, might fail 
to act with the necessary promptitude, and when too late our cousins 
would have to regret the lack of unity which brought about the sacking 
of Sydney, or the destruction of Melbourne, Adelaide, or Brisbane. 
Australia is rich, public spirited, and full of the vigour and courage of 
youth. Nowhere in the world can be found finer specimens of the 
English race. But all these advantages would count for little were her 
wide stretching coasts assailed by an enterprising enemy before her 
system of defence was rendered efficient. 



INCITED AUSTRALIA. 125 

St. James' Gazette 
November 19th, 1889. 

HAVING recently appeared in the entirely new character of an enthusiast 
for Imperial Federation, Sir Henry Parkes has already got a chance of 
proving his hitherto unsuspected zeal. In a public despatch addressed 
to him on Wednesday last, the Hon. Duncan Gillies points out that one, 
and perhaps the most important, of the objects and results of Imperial 
Federation is to make arrangements for common military action amongst 
the various colonies of Australia. Before any scheme of Federal Govern- 
ment could be drawn up and ratified, it is certain that several years 
would be spent in deliberations and negotiations. But there is no reason 
why the military questions should not be decided at once. There is an 
institution called the Federal Council, which, though it would be ineffi- 
cient for the work of Constitution-making, and though it possesses no 
executive authority, would be admirably qualified to draft a scheme of 
common military defence. Let the Federal Council, with the consent of 
all the colonies, present such a scheme to the different Parliaments ; and 
let it be adopted by them, and, if necessary, be modified in detail. That 
being done, Australia would already have advanced a long way towards 
federation ; and meantime, the common interests of all Australia would 
be safe-guarded by a common and mobilizable army. 



Evening News 
November 2Qth, 1889. 

WE are not surprised to learn that progressive Victoria declines to give 
its approval to the federation scheme of the New South Wales Prime 
Minister. His plan failed exactly for the reason we anticipated. The 
other colonies in Australasia evidently regard it as an attempt to override 
institutions already existing, better adapted to the scientific development 
of the object aimed at. It is not that Victoria is less alive to the 
advantages, not to say the necessities, of federation than is Sir Henry 
Parkes, but Victoria argues that a framework has already been put 
together, well fitted to produce the very result Sir Henry desires, but 
that it is Sir Henry himself who has rendered that framework useless 
by declining to use it. It is rather hard, argue the other colonies, that 
the very man who has rendered the scheme they subscribed to abortive, 
should now bring forward an alternative plan, in their opinion far less 
practical, to bring about the same result. 



126 UNITED AUSTRALIA. 

Evening News continued. 

When we first commented on the circular letter of the Prime Minister 
of New South Wales, we remarked that it would awaken rivalries and 
heartburnings that would otherwise not be apparent. To the other 
colonies of Australia the action of the senior colony could not fail, 
for the reason we have stated, to have the appearance of laying down the 
law. It did, in fact, possess that very character of aggression which was 
sufficient to ensure its rejection. We are bound to add, however, that 
the opposition it has met with bears no appearance of ill-humour. On 
the contrary, it is impossible to read the interesting reply of the Premier 
of Victoria, Mr. Duncan Gillies, without being struck by the courtesy 
and friendliness of its tone, as much as by the soundness of its arguments. 
Mr. Gillies agrees with Sir Henry Parkes that the aim he has in view 
is a desirable aim, but that there are more practicable means of 
. carrying it into effect than those suggested by his correspondent. Why, 
he asks in so many words, should not New South Wales send representa- 
tives to the existing Federal Council ? The members of that Council are 
representative men of the other colonies, and if they were to confer with 
Sir Henry Parkes himself and other representatives of his colony, their 
joint wisdom would speedily devise and draw up a scheme for the carry- 
ing out of a well-constructed measure of federation. In this way not 
only would much time be saved, but there would be the certainty that 
the measure would be canvassed by men whose names would be a 
guarantee that the document to which they should attach their names 
would be favourably considered by the colonies they severally represented. 
It is stated that Queensland, through her Colonial Secretary, Mr. 
Morehead, has given her adhesion to the principles of the Victorian 
despatch, and it may be calculated that the other colonies will not be 
behindhand. 

How Sir Henry Parkes may regard this reply, and in what spirit he 
may take it, can only be a matter of conjecture. But if he be the states- 
man his friends represent him to be, and if his great aim is the federation 
of the Australian Colonies, and not merely the glorification of New 
South Wales, he will respond favourably to the despatch of Mr. Gillies. 
It would be profitless to carry the subject further until we receive his 
reply. We hope he will give to it a patient and passionless consideration. 
Federation is desired, in the first place, to carry out, on a sound footing, 
the measures planned by General Edwards for the defence of the several 
colonies. In their common interest that measure should not be long 



UNITED AUSTRALIA. 127 

Evening News continued. 

delayed. But if the differences of opinion between Sir Henry Parkes on 
the one side, and Mr. Gillies and Mr. Morehead on the other, are to lead 
to a war of words, resulting in no conclusion, the scheme of the defence 
of the colonies may be postponed to the Greek kalends. 



Birmingham Gazette 

November 20th, 1889. 

THERE are increasing indications that the time is not very far distant when 
we shall see a mighty change in the forms of government on the Austra- 
lian Continent. The reply addressed by the Hon. Duncan Gillies, the 
Premier of Victoria, to the letter of Sir Henry Parkes, the Premier of New 
South Wales, expresses a strong doubt as to the possibility of Australian 
Federation at the present time, but he nevertheless enters most warmly 
into the proposal that a conference shall be held at which the whole ques- 
tion may be fully discussed. It is necessary in order to explain the precise 
position of matters that we should go back for a few months upon the 
history of the federation movement. General Edwards, who was sent to 
Australia to examine and report upon its means of defence, reported in 
favour of the federal action of Australian troops. Necessarily the Austra- 
lian force is a small one ; necessarily its smallness is aggravated by the 
division of Australia into four distinct colonies, each with its own Gov- 
ernment. Yet for defensive purposes their interests are identical, and 
the necessity for having the defences upon a more sound basis has been 
recognized of late years more fully than it used to be. When the report 
of General Edwards was published, Mr. Gillies wrote to Sir Henry 
Parkes suggesting that the provisions of the Federal Councils Act might 
be employed to carry out the General's recommendations. The Act in 
question was passed in 1885, and constituted a Federal Council " for the 
purpose of dealing with such matters of common Australasian interest, in 
respect to which united action is desirable, as can be dealt with without 
unduly interfering with the management of the internal affairs of the 
several colonies by their respective Legislatures." Sir Henry Parkes in 
his reply to Mr. Gillies' letter argued that the Federal Council had no 
executive power to act at all. But he proceeded to point out that this 
question of defences brought the colonies face to face " with the impera- 
tive necessity, the Federal Government." " In the nature of our onward 



128 UNITED AUSTRALIA. 

Birmingham Gazette continued. 

progress," lie said " it must come a year or two later possibly but in 
any case soon I hope." He expressed the desire of his own colony to 
" avoid subordinate questions coloured by party feelings or collateral 
issues." The time in his opinion was ripe for consolidating the 
Australias into one. and he suggested the Dominion of Canada as a 
model upon which to form the new constitution. He pleaded for such a 
change to meet the necessity "now pressing upon these colonies to rise 
to a higher level of national life which would give them a larger space 
before the eyes of the world, and in a hundred ways promote their united 
power and prosperity." 

We have remarked that while Mr. Gillies says he has cause for grave 
doubts as to the success of this movement for the present, there are no 
reasons of which he is aware which should stand in the way of such a 
serious and important proposal being fully considered in all its aspects. 
The colonies represented by these two distinguished statesmen Victoria 
and New South Wales embrace a population of two millions that is 
almost two-thirds of the entire population of Australia, Tasmania and 
New Zealand. If we are justified in inferring from the earnest tone 
of their letters that they are thoroughly sincere in their desire for " a 
higher level of national life," the obstacles in the way of its realization 
cannot be insuperable. There is a splendid future before Australia, and, 
far though it is from the ordinary spheres of European or American 
influence, it cannot on that account remain passive to all considerations 
of national solidarity. True, the population is at present a mere speck 
upon the broad surface of the continent, but it will increase, and that 
rapidly. Will it be more likely to prosper split up as it is just now than 
if it were bound together by powerful ties of Federal Government 1 Wo 
cannot think so. Mr. Gillies urges that whatever decision may be come 
to on the greater question, there is still the other question which must be 
solved viz., " to determine the steps to be taken now which will enable 
Australia to unite her forces in any emergency, and therefore make her 
defences effective." In this matter it seems to us the less includes the 
greater. Although it may be found necessary to come to some such 
arrangement as Mr. Gillies proposes with regard to Australian defence, 
the arrangement cannot be more than provisional. Beyond the fact that 
they owe allegiance to a common Sovereign, and speak a common language, 
there is hardly a closer connection between the colonies of Australia than 
between any similar number of the States of Europe. Until they arc 



UNITED AUSTRALIA. 129 

Birmingham Gazette continued. 

drawn into closer union than this common defensive action will scarcely 
be possible. There is rivalry between the colonies on many points, and 
they will never be defensively powerful until that rivalry is neutralised 
by a common interest in some visible form of government. In setting 
out his own scheme Mr. Gillies says it " simply enables the colonies of 
Australia to do what they cannot do now, namely, act together for defensive 
purposes." But he adds "that a Federal Government clothed with the 
authority of a Federal Parliament could do much more, and do it much 
better, goes without saying." 

There are, no doubt, many who will look with anxiety and suspicion 
upon this Colonial movement, and dread its consequences. If the 
colonies unite in the form suggested, it may be said, they will not rest 
content there. They will soon begin to discuss the advisability of throw- 
ing off the Imperial yoke, easy though it is, in order to try their fortune 
under an independent Republic. Well, upon that point we need not 
attempt to prophesy. But England has had enough Colonial experience 
to know that there is nothing to be gained, but everything to be lost, by 
attempts to curb the progressive asperations cf her Colonial offshoots. 
Above all else we must place the interest of the colonies themselves. 
Where our mother tongue is spoken, and our fellow-countrymen under 
similar laws are fighting the battle of life manfully and honestly, there 
will always be inducements offered to what of surplus human energy this 
to thickly populated island may produce. Even if Australia were an 
independent Republic it would remain English to the core. But we are 
convinced that those who dread separation are on a false track when they 
raise obstacles to Colonial Federation. It is but a step in the direction of 
Imperial Federation. The colonies are not likely to hastily throw off the 
protection that the Imperial tie affords them, nor to abandon the prestige 
which it confers. The Dominion of Canada is strong enough to stand 
alone, and it has temptations enough to lean upon a nearer and scarcely 
less powerful Government, yet there is no widespread discontent with 
the rule of the Queen. Australia is far less able to declare itself in- 
dependent. Therefore, in considering such a question as that discussed 
by Sir Henry Parkes and Mr. Gillies, Englishmen should think of it 
only as a Colonial matter, and if federation will advance the interests of 
Australia it should be supported, without pessimistic calculations as to 
remote future consequences. There should be no difficulty in the way of 
arranging a conference of the colonies that indeed must take place to 



130 UNITED AUSTRALIA. 

Birmingham Gazette continued. 

consider General Edwards' report and the ample materials at their 
command should enable the delegates to draft a scheme of federation 
that will commend itself to the Australians and be cordially approved by 
the Imperial Government. 



Glasgow Herald 

November 2Qth, 1889. 

A FEW days ago the British public learnt from a despatch written by Sir 
Henry Parkes, the Premier, of New South Wales, that he had conceived 
a mammoth scheme of Intercolonial Federation, comprising an Australian 
Dominion, a great army, and other wonderful things. Some cold water 
is thrown upon Sir Henry's new and unexpected enthusiasm for consti- 
tution-building by the practical and common-sense reply which Mr. 
Duncan Gillies, the Premier of the Colony of Victoria, has sent to the 
despatch in question. It would almost seem as though the New South 
Wales proposal was intended mainly for consumption in this country, 
where the history of the Intercolonial Federation movement is of course 
but little known, and where the veteran Sir Henry Parkes enjoys a 
deservedly high reputation as the champion of free trade in Australia. 
Probably it is the rather exaggerated prominence given by the London 
Press recently to Sir Henry Parkes' speeches, especially on the 
question of Australian nationality, which has now induced the old Par- 
liamentary hand of the Southern Hemisphere to advertise himself and 
his crude and visionary projects for the immediate creation of an 
Australian Dominion in order to meet a simple and practical demand. 
Indeed, Australian colonists who remember the history of the " Federal 
Council Act of Australasia," and the attitude of New South Wales 
politicians and publicists in the matter, will feel inclined to resent the 
effort of the New South Wales Premier to pose at this late hour as the 
heavy father of Intercolonial Federation. All the practical work done 
in connection with the latter movement would seem to have been done 
by Mr. James Service, Mr. Duncan Gillies, and Mr. Alfred Deakin in 
Victoria, and by Sir Samuel Griffith in Queensland, and done apparently 
in the teeth of much opposition, jealousy, and ill-will on the part of such 
New South Wales politicians as Sir John Robertson and Sir Henry 
Parkes. When one Australian digger attempts to appropriate the mining 
section belonging to another it is called "jumping a claim." Sir Henry 



UNITED AUSTRALIA. 131 

Glasgow Herald continued. 

Parkes would almost seem to have been engaged in an attempt to jump 
Mr. Service's claim to be the real originator of Intercolonial Federation. 

Mr. Duncan Gillies, in his replies of the 12th and 13th of last month, 
does not remind Sir Henry Parkes of the past history of the Intercolonial 
Federation movement. He endeavours to keep the discussion on prac- 
tical lines, while admitting that the proposal submitted to him is a lofty 
and ambitious one. Mr. Gillies is a cool-headed and cautious Scot, who 
in his time has wielded the digger's pick and shovel. He professes 
himself content to work on from small beginnings, and he argues that 
the Federal Council Act of 1885 already contains the framework on 
which much that Sir Henry Parkes now professes to desire can be built. 
The Act of 1885 (48 and 49 Yic., cap. 60) was the result of several 
intercolonial conferences held at Sydney in order to protect and provide 
against certain specific dangers which five or six years ago were suffered 
to threaten Australian interests in the Pacific. The French convict 
settlements in New Caledonia, the proposal to form enormous colonies of 
recidivistes, or incorrigible criminals, in the same place, the Ferry policy 
of colonial expansion generally, and Prince Bismarck's supposed inten- 
tions in New Guinea and elsewhere, had all caused alarm among Aus- 
tralian colonists. Among the "several matters" which the Act of 1885 
first gives the Council authority over are u the relations of Australasia 
with the islands of the Pacific, and the prevention of the influx of 
criminals." Although New South Wales and New Zealand took part 
in the conferences at Sydney, and supported the resolutions then arrived 
at, the introduction and passing of the Federal Council Bill excited much 
vague jealously, and, as it would seem, senseless alarm among all classes 
in the two latter colonies. In order to propitiate Sir John Robertson 
and Sir Henry Parkes, and to set at rest these doubts and suspicions of 
others, it was specially declared in the preamble of the Bill that the 
Council should not "unduly interfere with the management of the 
internal affairs of the several colonies by their respective Legislatures." 
The Federal Act was, in short, crippled, and the authority of the Council 
weakened, in order to appease the jealousy and to meet the fanciful 
objection of the very politicians who now complain that the Act of 1885 
is not sufficiently far-reaching and ambitious to satisfy their new aspira- 
tions for dominion. 

When the Federal Council held its first meeting at Hobart, in January, 
1886, New South Wales, New Zealand, and South Australia refused to 



132 UNITED AUSTRALIA. 

Glasgow Herald continued. 

send representatives or to acknowledge its existence in any way. Last 
January, however, South Australia gave its adhesion to the Council and 
sent a representative. There are many rather startling anomalies in the 
Australian Colonies, and these the Federal Council has attempted to deal 
with. In most criminal and civil cases the jurisdiction of Colonial 
Courts does not extend beyond their own borders, and each Colony is an 
Alsatia for all but the most desperate criminals belonging to their 
neighbours. Recently, General Edwards, who has just completed an 
inspection of the system of defence in the Australasian Colonies, called 
attention to the want of practical arrangements for mobilising the various 
defence forces which have been created in the colonies. It seems that 
no two colonies have adopted the same military system. In some, 
Volunteer corps exist ; in others there is a defence force enlisted and 
paid for a specific period. Not a pound of military gunpowder has ever 
been manufactured in any of the colonies, and although immense sums 
have been spent upon fortifications and upon the latest guns and military 
appliances, nothing in the shape of an arsenal exists. Mr. Gillies points 
out to Sir Henry Parkes that the Federal Council Act can be extended 
so as to create means of providing for these deficiencies, and it must be 
said that his modest and carefully-thought-out reply contrasts favourably 
with the vast and wandering aspirations of the older statesman in New 
South Wales. 



The Eastern Morning News 
November 20th, 1889. 

MR. GILLIES, Prime Minister of 'Victoria, has replied to Sir Henry 
Parkes' proposal to appoint a Convention of the Australias, in terms 
which practically amount to a restatement of the position which Sir 
Henry Parkes so ably demolished. The Colonial Secretary of Queens- 
land has also replied to similar effect, and consequently it is not likely 
that the Convention will be held. It will be remembered that Sir Henry 
Parkes proposed a federation of the Australias, to be constituted by a 
Convention, in order to carry out General Edwards' recommendations 
about the defence of Australia by a federal army. He argued that the 
Federal Council had no power to deal with the discipline of the army ; 
and this Federal Council is regarded in his country as so poor and weak 
an institution that New South Wales has never sent any representative 



UNITED AUSTRALIA. 133 

Eastern Morning News continued. 

to it at all. To this argument Mr. Gillies addresses himself, and 
endeavours to prove that the Federal Council can deal with the army 
question. It cannot control the discipline of a federal army, it is true, 
but it can make suggestions which each State can carry into laws, But, 
inasmuch as the raising of an army would involve many nice considera- 
tions of federal command, overstepping the local boundaries of the 
different colonies, it is obvious that if the Federal Council does not now 
possess the power of dealing with such questions, the general understand- 
ing which Mr. Gillies wishes to be ratified by the individual colonies 
would be a very weak and unstatesmanlike instrument of government. 
A central authority must, in those matters where it touches local authority, 
override it ; under Mr. Gillies' plan it would depend upon it. Besides 
this, New South Wales is not represented in the Federal Council ; and 
this reply of Mr. Gillies looks as if he were endeavouring to put pressure 
upon Sir Henry Parkes to sacrifice his objections to the Federal Council. 
Nor is there any more force in Mr. Gillies' reply to the other part of Sir 
Henry Parkes' proposal. He does not wish to see a Convention estab- 
lished ; he thinks the Federal Council would do as well. Now, at first 
sight, it sounds plausible to wish to arrive at federation, "not by the dis- 
placement, but by the development, of the Federal Council." But Mr. 
Gillies' plan would not be a development of the Federal Council. It is 
no part of their duty to draw up constitutions. They would have to meet 
informally ; it would be a mere meeting of unauthorised representatives. 
Mr. Gillies thinks they might arrogate the functions of a Convention 
without offending their constituents. But why should there not be a 
formal Convention ? It looks as if Mr. Gillies only proposed this feeble 
substitute of unauthorised councillors, in order to put Sir Henry Parkes in 
the same hole, and force him to enter the Federal Council. The wish to 
discuss federation without being committed to it is a bad reason, even if 
it is not a pretence on his part ; and if the colonies mean business, they 
need not be afraid of appointing their agents. If they do not, what 
becomes of Mr. Gillies' argument, that no one will object to the Federal 
Council arrogating these powers to itself 1 It is sad to see local jealousies 
standing in the way of the acceptance of a really statesmanlike proposal 
but happily all the Australias profess the same desire for the same end 
Australian unity ; and, if Mr. Gillies' proposals can possibly be made to 
yield some good, Sir Henry Parkes is not the man to let amour propre 
stand in the way of this great political ideal." 



UNITED AUSTRALIA. 

Advertiser 

November 20A, 1889. 

THE Premiers of New South Wales and Victoria are in entire agreement 
as to the advantages of federation ; their only difference is as to the time 
and way of bringing it about. Mr. Duncan Gillies, whose despatch we 
printed yesterday, tells Sir Henry Parkes that if they can agree upon 
the establishment of a Federal Parliament and Executive he for his 
part will be much gratified. It will seem to most people that when con- 
currence has reached this point there ought not to be any insuperable 
obstacle to the realization of the idea. Nor is it probable that any such 
obstacle will present itself. The Australian Colonies wish for federation ; 
the Imperial Government does not object to it, and the probabilities are 
very strong, therefore, that they will be federated before many years have 
passed. In the meantime, however, there is a question more pressing than 
the creation of a common Legislature and Executive. That is the question 
of defence. It must, as Mr. Gillies points out, take some years to carry 
out the larger idea, but it may not be years before the colonies are called 
upon to defend themselves. An Australian army and navy at the disposal 
of an Australian Executive would doubtless be the most effective means 
of defence, but before the colonies can make the arrangements to provide 
themselves with these forces they may be obliged to do the best they can 
with the means actually at their disposal. They cannot do this as matters 
stand. New South Wales troops cannot serve in Victoria, and Victorian 
troops cannot serve in New South Wales, and all sorts of practical diffi- 
culties might interfere with united action at the moment when united 
action became a vital necessity. Why not, says Mr. Gillies, provide for 
this possible emergency at once without waiting for a more perfect 
scheme, which, if it is capable of elaboration at all, will necessarily take 
time 1 ? A scheme for colonial defence could not possibly hinder the 
accomplishment of the larger scheme, and might even hasten it. There 
is sound sense in this argument, as it appears to us here at home, though 
we cannot guess what Sir Henry Parkes and his friends may have to say 
on the other side. We are quite unable to see, however, in what way the 
proposal of the Victorian Premier could retard that which is advocated by 
his colleague at Sydney. In any case it is satisfactory to those who wish 
well to the Australian Colonies to note that there is a disposition to union 
and co-operation. Now that it is clear that the only difference of opinion 
relates to the modus operandi, we can entertain no doubt that the federa- 
tion which all parties desire will, before very long, be an accomplished fact. 



UNITED AUSTRALIA. 135 

Aberdeen Free Press 
November 20th, 1889. 

THE federation of the Australian Colonies seems likely to become an 
accomplished fact sooner than could a short time ago have been believed 
to be possible. The circular despatch addressed a few weeks ago to 
the several Colonial Governments by Sir Henry Parkes, the Prime 
Minister of New South Wales, proposing a conference for the considera- 
tion of the question, showed that in the premier colony opinion was in 
a surprisingly advanced condition on the subject. The reply now sent to 
Sir Henry Parkes' communication by the Hon. Duncan Gillies, the 
Prime Minister of Victoria, forms equally striking evidence to the same 
effect as regards the other chief colony ; and from the fact that the 
Queensland Government concurs in the views and suggestions of Mr. 
Gillies, and other circumstances, there seems every reason to believe 
that the federation movement is in a similarly advanced position 
throughout the whole group of colonies, with the exception perhaps of 
New Zealand, which, lying at some distance, and having interests in cer- 
tain respects diverse from those of the others, will not improbably hang 
back from the project for a time. Mr. Gillies does not, it is true, agree 
with Sir Henry Parkes as to the manner in which the thing should be 
gone about, but on the main question he is practically at one with him. 

The difference between the two Ministers arises out of and has relation 
only to the different positions taken by New South Wales and Victoria 
in regard to the existing Federal Council. The former colony has never 
taken part in the composition or deliberations of that body. For reasons 
best known to itself, but which may be suspected to have some connec- 
tion with the ambitions and pretensions of the colony it was not long 
since the proposal was made to appropriate for New South Wales the name 
of " Australia" it has refused to have anything to do with the Council. 
And Sir Henry Parkes in his recent despatch went so far as to say, with 
reference to this refusal, that whether his proposal for a conference on 
the question of federation was agreed to or not, there was " no person and 
no party here that could persuade Parliament to sanction the representa- 
tion of this colony in the present Federal Council." Victoria, on the 
other hand, has not only joined the Council, but, being the largest and 
most important colony represented in it, has taken the leading part in its 
proceedings. Mr. Gillies, therefore, is naturally averse to the idea of 
setting it aside and ignoring its existence in the manner proposed by Sir 
Henry Parkes. He urges that if the colonies are to confer together on 



136 UNITED AUSTRALIA. 

Aberdeen Free Press continued. 

the question of federation, the Federal Council, with New South Wales 
represented in it, is the proper body to take the matter up. This is an 
exceedingly reasonable contention. Presumably the several Govern- 
ments send to the Council the men to whom, in any case, they would be 
disposed to entrust the conduct of the federation project, and it would seem 
to be the most natural course to charge those men at the meeting of the 
Council with the consideration of the question. Mr. Gillies is less cogent in 
another part of his argument. The present correspondence has arisen 
out of a discussion in the colonies on the question of "general defence." 
Sir Henry Parkes holds that the question can only be solved by calling 
into existence a Federal Government and Parliament ; but Mr. Gillies 
contends that the Federal Council, although it is merely a deliberative body, 
and has no Executive power, could effect all that is required by means of 
" legislation" on the subject of defence, each separate colony being trusted 
to do its part in the way of raising the necessary funds and so forth. 
This does not look a very practical suggestion. It is impossible to see 
how an army could be raised or a navy built for the defence of Australia 
as a whole, unless there were in existence a central authority for the 
control of the services, and, if need were, the enforcement of the respon- 
sibilities of the several colonies. Any project of " national defence" that 
was dependent on the voluntary action of a group of independent 
authorities would be certain to break down on the first emergency. 

All that, however, is matter of secondary interest to others than the 
Australians themselves. The real interest of the situation lies, not in 
the question of how Australia is to organize its defences, or even the 
question of how the scheme of federation is to be gone about, but in the 
fact that opinion in Australia, as shown by the communications passing 
between the several Colonial Governments, has practically arrived at the 
stage of maturity, on the question of federation. The Prime Minister of 
Victoria, as we have said, is practically at one with his brother Premier of 
New South Wales as to the wisdom and expediency of federation, and there 
seems no reason to doubt that in the other and smaller colonies the same 
opinion now prevails. Mr Gillies is less confident than Sir Henry 
Parkes that the time for federation has arrived, but says he " I wish I 
could believe that it had." He refuses to yield to Sir Henry in his 
desire to see the colonies united under a Federal Parliament and Govern- 
ment, and he urges the claim of the Federal Council to be entrusted with 
the consideration of the project, on the ground that that is the most 



UNITED AUSTRALIA. 137 

Aberdeen Free Press continued. 

likely way to promote the scheme the idea being, as it is expressed in 
the letter sent in reply to Sir Parkes' despatch from the Queensland 
Government, that a Federal or Dominion Parliament should " supersede 
the Federal Council by the development of the latter and not by its dis- 
placement." The contest between Mr. Gillies and Sir Henry Parkes 
thus comes to turn on the very small question of whether the Federal 
Council shall or shall not be recognised by New South Wales. It is not 
for a moment to be imagined that any difference on such a trivial matter 
will be allowed to stand in the way of the realisation of the scheme of 
Union when the scheme itself has been approved by the general 
opinion of the Australian people. The difficulty may be described in 
another way as arising from the jealousies and rivalries of the two prin- 
cipal colonies. Neither New South Wales nor Victoria will be willing, in 
the carrying out of the federation project, to do or consent to any 
thing that may seem to imply a lowering of prestige, or acceptance of a 
secondary position in the federal system. There will be difficulties 
between them, for one thing, in regard to the question of where the capital 
of Australia is to be located. Sydney and Melbourne will both claim 
the honour of becoming the seat of the Dominion Government, and it 
may be found necessary, for the sake of peace, to deny it to both, and 
found a new capital somewhere else on " neutralised" territory. The 
existing system of protection maintained by Victoria against the other 
colonies as well as against the mother country, will also be an obstacle 
to the carrying out of the federation proposal ; but it is to be presumed 
that Mr. Gillies and his friends, in falling in with the proposal, must have 
accepted the necessity for free trade as between the several colonies under 
the new arrangement. There is but small chance, it is to be feared, how- 
ever, of its being accepted any more than in Canada as regards the old 
country. 



138 UNITED AUSTRALIA. 



APPENDIX. 

IMPERIAL FEDERATION. 

To the Editor of the United Service Gazette. November 16th, 1889. 

SIR, I was very pleased to observe that, in your last issue, you 
devoted your columns to a leading article in this cause. 

The Australian Colonies afford to the mother country a magnificent 
possession, and it is difficult for us in our little island home to realize the 
fact that Australia possesses a coast line 7,750 miles long, and that the 
Australasian group occupies in extent nearly two-fifths of the British 
dominions, and is only about one-fifth smaller than the whole continent 
of Europe ; that she possesses a well-defined railway system which taps 
all her own centres of commerce, and daily brings to her capitals increas- 
ing wealth and prosperity. Nature has been very lavish in her gifts to 
Australia ; so much so, indeed, that it has become a by-word amongst the 
colonists, "We do nothing for ourselves, Nature does all." However 
that may be, there is no question that the great island continent 
possesses untold wealth in minerals, that she has a climate, or rather 
series of climates, which are most favourable to agriculture and all other 
trades and industries ; her pasture lands teem with cattle and sheep, and 
nothing seems to be amiss except the want of population. This, however, 
is a problem that time will solve, and the hardy Anglo-Saxon race will 
surely spread here as it has spread in America. With all these gifts in 
her lap, surely " happy are such a people." However, the more immediate 
question of the day which concerns them is that of the defence scheme, 
and it has become one of paramount importance. The colonists wishing 
to get the best advice on the subject, the aid of the Imperial authorities 
was sought some short time ago, and which resulted, as most of your 
readers know, in the engagement of Major-General Sir Wm. Jervois and 
the late Sir Peter (then Colonel) Scratchley to report on colonial defences 
generally. Principally from their suggestions, most of the capitals are 
now strongly fortified seawards, the batteries defending Port Jackson 
being on a very extensive scale. Landwards the principal dependence is 
placed upon the Volunteer and Defence Forces, which in each of the 
colonies are now numerically strong, with the formation of a superior 
class of soldiery. Out of the Volunteers has been embodied the nucleus 
of a small Standing Army, with most of its branches, under the name of 
Permanent, Defence, or Militia Forces, which at short notice can be 
made available for active service. The following particulars from the 
"Australian Handbook for 1889" give us a good idea of the defensive 
powers of the Colonies : " An Australian fleet of some proportions is 
being built up. The Colony of Victoria has a navy of its own, comprising 
a line-of-battle ship, an ironclad, two gun-boats, and three torpedo-boats ; 
New South Wales has a steam corvette and four torpedo launches ; 
South Australia has a steel cruiser ; Queensland has two gun-boats ; 



UNITED AUSTRALIA. 139 

Tasmania a torpedo-boat, and New Zealand four torpedo-boats. The 
boundaries of the Australian naval station have been modified by the 
Pelew Islands, St. Andrew's and the adjacent islands being included 
within the China station from July 1, 1885. The north boundary of the 
Australian station has been defined as follows : From 95 deg. E. longi- 
tude by the parallel of 10 deg. S. latitude to 130 deg. E. longitude; 
thence north to 2 deg. N. latitude and along that parallel to 136 deg. E. 
longitude ; thence north to 12 deg. N. latitude and along that parallel to 
150 deg. W. longitude; and on the south side by the Antarctic Circle, 
including the numerous groups of islands situated within those limits. 
The station is under the command of a Rear- Admiral. In the station is 
included the Colony of Fiji. Sydney is the rendezvous and head-quarters 
of the Australian Squadron, and it has been definitely decided that it 
shall remain so. Garden Island, Port Jackson, has been fixed upon as 
the Naval Store Depot. The Imperial fleet usually consists of an armour- 
plated ship, carrying the flag of the Admiral, three screw corvettes, two 
or three gun-boats, surveying-vessels, and schooners. So much for the 
navy. Now for the army. The census of 1881 showed that the 
Australasian Colonies could, if occasion arose, raise an army of over 
450,000 males from twenty to forty, 'the soldier's age.' The numbers 
which each colony could supply were as follows: Victoria, 114,142; 
New South Wales, 131,805 ; Queensland, 46,427 ; South Australia, 
52,529 ; Western Australia, 4,354 ; Tasmania, 15,929 ; New Zealand, 
86,514 ; total, 451,700 men. This number could at the present time be 
considerably increased." Here, then, is a very solid foundation upon 
which to build the fabric of Australian defence, and the importance to 
England of having such an adjunct in time of peace and an ally in time 
of war cannot be over-estimated. It is quite possible, however, that the 
jealousy and spirit of keen competition and rivalry that exists at the 
present moment between the colonists themselves may prove a stumbling- 
block towards furthering the cause of Imperial Federation ; but these 
difficulties have been overcome, as was shown in the case of Canada. 
Much, however, has been done, and there is every hope that the measure 
will soon receive the practical support of the neighbouring colonies. 
New South Wales has started the ball rolling, and if Sir Henry Parkes, 
the Premier, receives anything like proper support in the cause, which is 
at least to be expected, we shall then be able to look upon Imperial 
Federation, if not in its entirety, at all events the defence portion of it, 
as within a very measurable distance of becoming an accomplished fact. 

PATRIOT. 



TRUE FEDERATION. 

To the Editor of the Pall Mall Gazette. November 19th, 1889. 

SIR, Mr. Parkin did not tell your representative how the Australians 
received his notable argument that an independent Australia would fall 
under France or Germany in a few weeks. It would take either country 
an army of one hundred thousand men even to hold the seaports. On 



140 UNITED AUSTRALIA. 

the seaboard the army's position would be that of an army in Afghanistan. 
They would hold no more of the country than was within rifle or cannon 
range. The interior would be held by the Australians, and every foreign 
soldier who wandered beyond his cantonment would, as in Afghanistan, 
return no more. Neither of the Powers referred to by Mr. Parkin 
could spare an army to occupy Australia for fear of weakening itself 
against the other. Germany has, in fact, no army for foreign service at 
all. France has such an army, but it is already fully employed ; and if 
your Special Commissioner in Rome has come to a sound conclusion, the 
Pope has only got to hold up his finger in order to induce France to 
conquer Italy and lock up another army in Rome. It could not possibly 
find a third army for Australia. There is another reason why neither 
Government would ever despatch an expedition to Australia. It knows 
that the English fleet would be sent after that expedition to out-steam 
and ram the transports in mid-ocean. If such reasoning as Mr. Parkin's 
is sound, the United States, with their crazy fleet and tiny army, are at 
the mercy of any of the military Powers ; and yet the Americans fancy 
they are pretty secure, and have administered a rap or two on the 
knuckles both to France and Germany within the last quarter of a 
century. The argument of Mr. Parkin was probably regarded by the 
sturdy Australians with about the same amount of respect as Mr. Burns 
or Mr. Tillett must regard Mr. Parkin's other argument that England is 
bound to take into consideration the interests of the bondholders who 
have lent money to Australia through the London Stock Exchange. 
The interest on Australian loans is as safe as that on any other securities 
in the world. No doubt the selling price of the bonds might be 
fractionally affected for a time by the declaration of independence on the 
part of Australia, but to the New Radicalism such a consideration weighs 
lighter than a feather. Let us have none of " Parkin's Plan," but take 
up " Parkes's Plan " that is a great Federation, as advocated by Sir 
Henry Parkes, not of those merely who will presently owe allegiance 
to the young gentlemen in the stiff' collars, but of all English-speaking 
men a Federation above all things framed on limited liability lines, so 
as to avoid the objections founded upon the rules of international law, 
which every wise Australian sees to every plan of Imperial Federation 
hitherto framed or sketched. 

I am, Sir, your obedient servant, 

PAN ANGLICANUS. 



AN AUSTRALIAN FEDERAL ARMY. 

To the Editor of the St. James's Gazette. November 20^A, 1889. 
S IB) Mr. Gillies' proposals, so far as the question of defence is con- 
cerned, amounts to this : that the existing Federal Council, in conjunction 
with representatives from New South Wales, should draw up a treaty of 
defensive alliance, to be afterwards ratified by the various Colonial Legis- 
latures. The futility of this, except as the merest temporary expedient, 



UNITED AUSTRALIA. 

will be at once apparent to every one in any way cognizant with the 
organization of military forces. A simple aggregation of forces is a very 
different thing from an absolute amalgamation of armies ; and, circum- 
stanced as Australia is, the latter arrangement is altogether desirable 
from the point of view of effective value especially, but from that of 
economy as well. The Victorian Premier urges that an arrangement 
should be come to '' now" which shall provide for a combination of colonial 
forces in an " emergency." But the arrangement he indicates is such as 
might be come to by the various Governments in a week's time, and 
without any previous understanding, in the presence of some urgent 
emergency. Mr. Gillies' suggestions, briefly put, are these : (1) Provision 
should be made for the troops of one colony serving in another colony ; 
(2) while not so employed they should be under the same military 
authority as non-transferable forces ; (3) pay and allowances should be 
fixed for troops serving out of their own " country," as Mr. Gillies puts it, 
but out of their own colony, as he means. All these suggested provisions, 
it will be seen, make for the autonomy of colonial forces, not for the 
autonomy of a federal army. Now, while in India we have the Bengal, 
Bombay, and Madras armies, these are all subject to the supreme orders 
of one Executive ; but, notwithstanding that, the doing away with their 
existence as separate armies is now, as it would seem, only a question of 
a very little time. 

Being deeply interested in what may be called the national development 
of Australia, and having been a witness, almost from the first, of the 
beneficial effects of federation in the case of British North America, I am 
not blind to the fact that Mr. Gillies' ultimate aims in the matter are quite 
as sound as those of Sir Henry Parkes. But, as in this case of a federal 
army, it may be that efficiency and economy the fundamental principles 
of good government, as I take it can be better attained, in respect of 
other matters which are of common interest and concern to all the colonies, 
by a union on the lines of the Canadian Dominion than by isolated, 
even if harmonious, action. As has already been pointed out in your 
columns, it is a matter of very little moment whether federation in 
Australia should come about by means of the existing Federal Council or 
by thrusting that body altogether aside. But seeing that the Federal 
Council was from the first intended to lead up to the greater federation, it 
would be an ungracious act on the part of New South Wales to insist on 
its being ignored. Without an Executive that is superior to the moods and 
tenses of individual Legislatures and Governments, however, I do not see 
how an army and an army organization common to the whole of Australia 
can be created, mobilized, and controlled. The same reasoning may lead 
others to conclude that, without a Federal Executive and Federal Parlia- 
ment, inter-colonial arrangements in other respects will be no better than 
makeshifts. 

I am, Sir, your obedient servant, 

November 19. MILES. 



142 UNITED AUSTRALIA. 

OPINION IN INDIA. 

THE Pioneer Mail of Allahabad, November 6th, 1889, has the following: 

" The Pall Mall Gazette lapses into something very like nonsense when 
it talks of Sir Henry Parkes' Federation Scheme bringing Imperial 
Federation within the scope of practical politics. Were the Australasian 
Colonies united by a federal constitution to-morrow, the problem of 
Imperial Federation would no more be solved than it was solved by the 
British North American Act of 1867 ; but though it would not affect 
what has hitherto baffled even abler men than Sir Henry Parkes, the 
new scheme would mark an epoch in the history of Australasia. The 
movement has been foreseen by the more sagacious among Australian 
politicians for years past ; and just as it was the results springing out of 
the American Civil War which hastened the union of the British 
Colonies in the North, so it is the recognition of the urgent need of a 
common defence against a possible invasion which gives perhaps the 
strongest impulse in a similar direction in Australasia. A year or two ago 
delegates from several of the colonies did actually meet in conference to 
decide on the measures of protection more immediately called for, and 
were a federal constitution to become an accomplished fact, this is the 
chief question the new Chambers would take into consideration. This, 
too, is the aspect of the new scheme of most importance from an Imperial 
point of view. In the event of a great war the defence of the coasts of 
Australasia would be a matter of grave concern to the Imperial Govern- 
ment at the present time ; but with the intimate union of the colonies 
for military purposes, and the elaboration of concerted measures by a 
common council, many existing causes for anxiety would disappear. The 
next most important advantage which might result, would be the adoption 
by the different colonies of a uniform fiscal policy. At present each 
colony has its own. One is a freetrader, some are slightly protective, 
and others greatly so, a state of things which cannot be beneficial to the 
trade of Australasia as a whole. At the same time it is precisely this 
question of the tariff, and the decision of how far its regulation ought to 
be left to the Federal House of Commons, which Sir Henry Parkes will 
probably find a most serious obstacle to the realization of his desires. 
With tact and perseverance, however, there is no reason why he should 
not succeed in the end, and in that case he will have conferred a signal 
boon both on Australasia and the Empire." 



Sydney : Charles Potter, Government Printer. 1890. 



09238 




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THE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA LIBRARY