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Australasian Democracy   By: (1867-)

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First Page:

AUSTRALASIAN DEMOCRACY

BY

HENRY DE R. WALKER

LONDON

T. FISHER UNWIN

PATERNOSTER SQUARE

MDCCCXCVII

[ All Rights reserved. ]

{vii}

PREFACE

The following pages have been written from the point of view of the year 1896, the greater part of which I spent in Australia. During the earlier months of the present year I was in New Zealand, but I was unable to continue my survey of general Australasian affairs.

A result of the limitation that I was compelled to impose upon myself will be observed in the apparent antiquity of the chapter dealing with Australian Federation; but this is not so great as might have been anticipated, the new Federal Convention having drafted a Bill which is based, to a large extent, upon that of 1891. For purposes of comparison I have, with the kind permission of the London agents of the Melbourne Argus , included an article in which that newspaper has summarised the provisions of the new Federal Constitution Bill.

I have also included a brief account of a visit to the Coolgardie goldfields which, though alien in purpose from the remaining chapters, may not be without interest as a record of personal impressions {viii} of a Province which has but recently felt the effects of a budding prosperity.

It has been suggested to me that I should attempt to discuss Australasian problems with reference to their applicability to Great Britain; but I have preferred to leave this task, of which the importance cannot be overstated, to persons of greater experience, and to confine myself to a record of Australasian action and to a comparison of the points of similarity or the reverse between the several Provinces. It will be seen, however, that, in some cases, as when dealing, for instance, with the results of payment of members and with the powers and privileges of Australasian Upper Houses, I have noted differences of conditions which must render deductions by analogy a matter of extreme difficulty.

The terms "Liberal" and "Conservative" are used to denote, respectively, the more and the less advanced parties in Australasian politics, and must not be taken to imply differences in opinion similar to those prevailing in Great Britain.

In conclusion, I would only say that my studies would have been impossible in the absence of kindly communicativeness on the part of politicians of all shades of opinion; and, on the social side, that I retain warm feelings of gratitude towards the committees of clubs and numerous acquaintances who extended to me the cordial hospitality of kinship.

H. DE R. WALKER.

23, CORK STREET, W., July 25, 1897 .

{ix}

CONTENTS

I.

LIBERALISM AND LABOUR IN SOUTH AUSTRALIA.

PAGE

Contrast between Western Australia and the Eastern Provinces The Constitution of South Australia The alliance between Liberalism and Labour Joint action in the face of financial depression: Village Settlements, Progressive Taxation, the direct encouragement of production The advocacy of an Elective Executive The State and Religious Instruction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1

II.

DEMOCRACY AND ITS SAFEGUARDS IN NEW SOUTH WALES.

The necessity for safeguards against financial extravagance and political pressure The Crown Lands Act The appointment of independent Railway Commissioners The Standing Committee on Public Works The Public Service Board The unemployed, their numbers and treatment The democratisation of the constitution The Labour Party, its history, successes and aspirations . . . . . . . . 34

{x}

III.

PROBLEMS OF QUEENSLAND.

The agitation of Central and Northern Queensland for separation from the South The "Kanaka" traffic White and coloured labour on the plantations The Sugar Works Guarantee Act The irregularity of employment in the sugar and pastoral industries The conditions and opinions of the shearers Assistance to dairymen and producers of frozen meat The Labour Party, its history and prospects Criticisms of the Government The principles of State action ... Continue reading book >>




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