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1890 Australasian Federation Conference



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TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 11, 1890.

The Public were admitted to the Conference Chamber at five minutes to Noon, the PRESIDENT (Mr. D. GILLIES) being then in the Chair.

UNION OF THE COLONIES.

Discussion oh Sir Henry Parkes' motion, in favour of an early union under the Crown of all the Australasian Colonies (proposed the previous day), was then resumed.

Mr. A. INGLIS CLARK said-Mr. President, the honorable mover of the proposition now under discussion by the Conference stated, at a very early stage of his speech, that the question of Australasian Federation had engaged the attention of leading statesmen in New South Wales and Victoria very soon after the adoption of responsible Government in those colonies, and that since then the subject had been discussed by them from time to time until the meeting of the Convention of 1883, which resulted in the production of the Federal Council Act. Mr. Playford, one of the representatives of South Australia, followed that statement with another to the effect that the question of federation had never got beyond the stage of being considered by the leading statesmen of the colonies-that it had never yet been taken up by the people of the colonies-and that until it was so taken up we could expect no good result either from this Conference or from any number of future Conferences like it.

Mr. PLAYFORD.-I alluded to complete federation, and I spoke for South Australia only.

Mr. CLARK.-I assume that none of us can speak very decidedly for any colony except the one in which we live our daily life, and I feel that I can speak for the people of Tasmania, and say that they are quite ready, and even anxious, for federation; and perhaps I may be permitted to add, as a frequent visitor, during the last ten years, to Victoria and New South Wales, that I have formed the impression that the majority of the people of those colonies are animated by a very similar sentiment. Surely, if that is the case, I may fairly trust that this Conference will be productive of solid results. Of course, as to public opinion in South Australia, I can offer no opinion whatever. I take it for granted, however, that the honorable gentlemen who represent that colony in this Conference are perfectly qualified to tell us the state of popular feeling there on the federation question, and if it is as backward as Mr. Playford seems to indicate, I may nevertheless hope that this Conference, which speaks to all the colonies, will assist the education of the South Australian people on the subject. I will hope, also, that the representatives here of South Australia will be so impressed with the sincerity and earnestness of the representatives of the other Colonies, that when they return to their homes they will do so convinced that they have a mission to strive all they call to persuade their fellow-colonists to take all interest in, and to be eager for, the federation that is bound to come. Perhaps I cannot do better, at this stage of my remarks, than express the feeling, which I believe exists throughout Tasmania, namely, that it would be a very good thing, supposing all the colonies to be not quite prepared to bind themselves at once into federative union, if, as a beginning, four or five of them were to do so. For myself, I would be perfectly willing, and I am sure that so far I simply echo the voice of the colony I represent, to advocate a federation including the colonies of Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland, and Tasmania-four continuous colonies. Of course, I greatly hope that this Conference will produce larger results than that, but I am reminded that such was the beginning of the federation of the

Canadian Dominion. Originally only four colonies joined. Three others subsequently came in at different dates, and others are still standing out.

Mr. PLAYFORD.-Originally, only three colonies joined-Canada, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia.

Mr. CLARK.-Upper and Lower Canada were two provinces.

Mr. PLAYFORD. But under one Parliament.

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Mr. CLARK.-At all events, the representatives of four provinces met together for the purpose of federating.

Mr. PLAYFORD.-That is correct.

Mr. CLARK.-Again, lest four or five colonies should be thought too small a number to federate, I would beg to call attention to the fact that when the subject of federation was first taken up in Australia, as mentioned by Sir Henry Parkes yesterday, there were in the whole of Australia only four self-governed colonies, namely, New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, and Tasmania, and, in the federation then proposed, only those four colonies could have been invited to join. With these facts before me, I cannot help thinking that even supposing South Australia or any other colony could not see its way to federate at once, it would be quite open to the four contiguous colonies I have mentioned to join in a federal union forthwith, at the same time making provision for any other colony standing out to join them when it felt inclined to do so. Mr. Playford went on to say that, in his opinion, the difficulties in the way of Australasian Federation are greater than those which the people of Canada, or the people of the United States, had to grapple with when they federated. Well, I believe that with respect to Canada that statement was to a large extent correct. The honorable gentleman supported his assertions by an unquestionably very interesting and very correct account of the way federation was brought about in Canada. He reminded us that the question was first taken up there during the Civil War in the United States of America, and that fear of invasion from the United States greatly accelerated the federation movement in Canada. It is quite true that we have no similar difficulties or dangers to force us into federation; but, let me observe, neither had the people of the United States when they adopted their present Constitution. They had achieved their independence, and they were at peace with the whole world. ("No.") Notwithstanding that contradiction, I think I can prove my statement by referring to an authority I scarcely think any honorable gentleman here will attempt to contradict. The great difficulties which the United States bad to contend with at the time I speak of, and which induced them to adopt their present Constitution, were, in fact, exactly the same as those which we have to contend with.

Sir HENRY PARKES.-Hear, hear.

Mr. CLARK.-If there is an author who has more than another the right to be heard on this subject, it is the famous American statesman who is prominently known in the literature of that country as the great expounder and defender of the American Constitution, and as the most powerful intellect that ever appeared in the political arena of the United States. In fact, it was on account of his enormous abilities, together with his intense love of the Union, and the vast service he rendered in educating his fellow-countrymen up to the standard of union, and in indoctrinating them with that affection for it which eventually carried them successfully through the Civil War, that a large proportion of his countrymen forgave him the action taken by him on the great moral question of slavery. I need scarcely say that I refer to Daniel Webster, who had during his life frequent occasion, both in the Supreme Court and in the Senate of his country, to refer not only to the origin of the Constitution, but also to the motives which induced the different states to enter into it. Here is a deliberate statement by

him on the subject I have referred to. Before the Supreme Court, in the case of Gibbons and Ogden, he said-

"Few things are better known than the immediate causes which led to the adoption of the present Constitution, and there is nothing, I think, clearer than that the prevailing motive was to regulate commerce,"-

Not any necessity to arm in defence against a foreign foe, nor any dread of civil war between different states, nor any difficulty of the kind, but-

"to rescue it from the embarrassing and destructive consequences resulting from the legislature of so many different states, and to place it under the protection of a uniform law. The great objects were commerce and revenue, and they were objects indissolubly connected."

Are not these the great difficulties which we in Australasia have to contend with? Is it not motives of a precisely similar character that are urging us towards federation? Again, in his great speech in the Senate, on the Sub-Treasury, he spoke as follows:-

"Sir, whatever we may think of it now, the Constitution had its immediate origin in a conviction of the necessity for this uniformity or identity in commercial regulations. The whole history of the country, of every year and every month from the close of the war of the Revolution of 1789, proves this. Over [start page 31] whatever other interests it was made to extend, and whatever other blessings it now confers, or hereafter may confer, on the millions of free citizens who do or shall live under its protection, even though in time to come it should raise a pyramid of power and grandeur whose apex should look down on the loftiest political structures of other nations and other ages, it will yet be true that it was itself tile child of pressing commercial necessity. Unity and identity of commerce among all the states was its seminal principle. It had been found absolutely impossible to excite or foster enterprise in trade under the influence of discordant and jarring state regulations."

But I will offer no more quotations, for we are here, I presume, rather to give our own reasons for Australasian Federation, than to refer to other authorities, however admirable or eloquent they may be. I will therefore content myself with what I have already cited in support of my contention that the difficulties we have to grapple with are in the main exactly those which the United States of America bad in their way in 1787. On these grounds, I regard some of the statements on this subject which Mr. Playford put forward as scarcely correct, although I believe he was substantially accurate in his assertions with respect to the formation of the Canadian Dominion. After the very able and interesting speech of Sir Henry Parkes, came one of the most important and practical utterances we in this Conference have yet listened to, namely, that delivered by Sir Samuel Griffith, one of the representatives of Queensland. He very frankly and properly submitted that while we all admit the advantages of federation, and are willing to anticipate its coming glories, we are nevertheless bound at the present time by every reasonable consideration to look fairly in the face the difficulties which stand in the way of its accomplishment, and to attempt to discover, through careful discussion and deliberation, some means of obviating them. The principal difficulty which he seemed to think lies in our path is that connected with the revenues of the respective colonies, and he pointed out that the majority of each of those revenues is largely derived from duties on goods imported from other colonies. What he laid stress upon was that in every colony the Customs Department produced the largest portion of the total revenue, and that that portion chiefly consisted of duties imposed on intercolonially imported articles. Now, I don't think that this state of affairs presents such a difficulty in the way, of federation as Sir Samuel Griffith appears to imagine. Certainly, if we were to do in Australasia what was done in Canada with regard to the public debt, the difficulty, if it is one, would immediately vanish. We know that the Dominion Government of Canada took over the whole of the public debts of the various colonies included in the Federation, and made an adjustment on the subject which put each colony in an equally fair and advantageous financial position. Well, if the Government of the coming Federation of Australasia were to similarly take over the public debts of the several colonies of the group, surely each of them could very well afford to surrender the revenue derived by it from the particular source alluded to. I think this will appear clear from a few figures which I have

put together since yesterday, and which show the proportion of revenue derived by each colony from Customs duties on goods imported from neighbouring colonies, and also the amount paid by each colony as interest on its national debt. Let us first take South Australia. We find its total annual revenue to be £2,354,743, about one-fourth of which, namely, £531,964, comes from duties of Customs. On the other hand, South Australia pays annually, as interest on its national debt, the sum of £794,922, or about £160,000 more than the whole of its Customs receipts. Now, it seems to me that if the Central Government undertook to pay that interest, the colony could very well afford to part with its Customs revenue.

Sir SAMUEL GRIFFITH.-But from where is the Central Government to get the money wherewith to pay the interest?

Mr. CLARK.-I cannot quite understand the question. Will not the Central Government be able to collect what it wants?

Sir SAMUEL GRIFFITH.-Without Customs revenue from intercolonially imported goods, the aggregate income of each colony would be diminished by at least half a million sterling.

Mr. CLARK.-But the loss could be made up by duties on goods imported from other parts of the world. For instance, I find that South Australia imports front the other colonies less than half the quantity of the goods she imports from elsewhere. Speaking roughly, the difference is that between 44 per cent. and 97 per cent. The revenue which she would hand over to the Central Government would be, in fact, about £260,000, so that her bargain in the matter would be a good one.

Mr. PLAYFORD.-South Australia would have to pay heavier Customs duties in order to make up the difference.

Mr. McMILLAN.-Don't go into figures.

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Mr. CLARK.-I simply wished to show that South Australia, which I only referred to as an example, would be a gainer instead of a loser by the proposed transaction. There are also other aspects of the question to consider. I don't suppose that any one will imagine for a moment that when the Central Government is established it will for all time derive the whole of its revenue from Customs duties. It will have other sources of revenue. I never intended for one moment to convey that the Central Government would be able to obtain in the way I have alluded to all; the revenue it would require in order to pay interest on the different national debts of the colonies, and at the same time to carry on its other work. Every Government in the world goes in for both direct and indirect taxation, and possibly the Central Government will adopt some sort of direct or territorial taxation. Sir Samuel Griffith said himself that a uniform intercolonial tariff must come some day. Well, if a uniform tariff is to come, what good is to be gained by delaying its advent? For my part, I don't think the position of affairs will be much improved by time. I have no wish to make this discussion turn in any degree upon the fiscal policy of the different Australian Colonies, but I cannot shut my eyes to the fact that some of the delegates who have spoken have done so on behalf and as the mouth-piece of colonies in which a protective policy is in force, and, I presume, as advocates of that policy.

Mr. DEAKIN.-Hear, hear.

Mr. CLARK.-That being so, I may be pardoned for looking at this question from the point of view of a free-trader. Well, taking the subject in that aspect, I don't think that delay will at all improve the position of affairs, by making the people of the various protectionist colonies more willing than they are now to give up their protective tariffs. We have often heard it said-"Give us a protective tariff for a time and by-and-by we will be able to stand up by ourselves;" but that time, never seems to come. Instead, the cry is always for a little more protection, and, with that sort of thing going on, of

course delay will call make matters worse. So far as South Australia is concerned, it will, therefore, be far better for her to come in now, when her protectionist tariff is only two years old, than at some future date-say, when it is twenty years old. Mr. Playford also said that he thought Sir Henry Parkes' speech was in reality as much against federation as in its favour, because he painted such an admirable picture of Australasia as she is, that the question arises-"If we have done so well in our present state, would it not be better to leave well alone?" No doubt we have done very well in the existing position of affairs, but who will say that we would not have done much better with federation from the start? I do not think it has been hitherto generally known that when the draft Bill "for the better government of the Australian Colonies" was first submitted to the Imperial Parliament in 1849, there was a provision in it for the establishment of' something like federation, that is to say, for the adoption of a uniform tariff by a central body representing the several colonies. That Bill was supported by both sides of the House of Commons, and it passed there by a majority of 98, but for some inexplicable reason some member of the House of Lords moved the excision of the federation clauses, and they were struck out. Who can say what the history of the Australian Colonies would have been had not a foolish lord-if I may use the expression-proposed the omission of the clauses I refer to, which, if they had been retained, might have given us, more than a generation ago, the very uniform tariff and Federal Executive we are now seeking to establish? Mr. Playford shakes his head.

Mr. PLAYFORD-It was at the expression "foolish lord."

Mr. CLARK.-But whether things would have been better in the past or not, we know that nothing in the world remains always in the same condition. Change is the law of life, and if we are to live in the best sense of living, that is to say, attain to a wider, fuller, and higher life with regard to public matters, each of the communities we represent must emerge from provincialism and enter upon something better and larger than the separate existence of a separate colony. But if we remain apart for any considerable length of time it may be that unforeseen difficulties and dangers-such difficulties and dangers, for instance, as forced the Canadians into federation-will arise on Australasian soil to overwhelm us. I don't pretend to indicate how such dangers and difficulties would develop themselves, or what, if they came, their nature would be, but I think it quite reasonable to suppose it to be possible that were we to continue as separate as we are for an indefinite period, contingencics of an unforeseen character would occur to cause some generation yet to be born to look back upon past events with the thought-"Oh! would that [start page 33] the delegates at the Melbourne Conference of 1890 had taken the step forward which was so necessary for the interests of the Australasian Colonies-that they had looked more to the possibilities of the future-and given us then that federation which we are now with toil and suffering endeavouring to obtain." I hope however, that this Conference will not, in future history, be characterized in any such fashion, but that, on the contrary-although we may have to be followed by it Convention, clothed with full authority to prepare an Australasian Constitution-we will be remembered as having done all in our power to promote, rather than retard, the great movement. Mr. Playford also dealt to some extent with the question of the Victorian tariff and retaliation. Well, I thank him for the frankness with which he approached the subject. I think it would be a pity were this Conference to dissolve without the representatives of each colony stating, with the utmost plainness, what they think of the past action of the different colonies towards one another. For myself, I propose to endorse nearly everything Mr. Playford. said with regard to the Victorian tariff, because I think Tasmania has suffered from it even more than South Australia has. In fact, I might accuse Victoria of having actually broken faith with my colony in the matter of a certain reciprocity treaty. But I have not come here to indulge in retaliatory speeches. Indeed, I am willing to forget all the past, and to fight for the union of Victoria and Tasmania in the future, even if I do so on the low and selfish ground that with such a union we would no longer suffer from hostile tariffs, and no breach of faith, such as I have referred to as occurring in the past, could possibly be repeated. I hope the representatives of South Australia take a similar view. If South Australia has in the past suffered from Victoria-

Mr. PLAYFORD.-Oh! we are quits now.

Mr. CLARK.-The question of the Canadian Constitution has been several times mentioned in the course of our proceedings, and its difference from that of the United States has been somewhat touched upon. On this point I would say that I think it would be well were each of us to state more or less precisely what kind of confederation we would individually advocate, and also what kind of confederation each colony represented by us would respectively be satisfied with. For my part I would prefer the lines of the American Union to those of the Dominion of Canada. In fact, I regard the Dominion of Canada as an instance of amalgamation rather than of federation, and I am convinced that the different Australian Colonies do not want absolute amalgamation. What they want is federation in the true sense of the word. The British North American Act, under which the Dominion of Canada was established, not only goes on the principle of defining the powers of the local Legislatures, as well as the powers of the Central Legislature, but also says that everything not included in the jurisdiction of the former is included in the jurisdiction of the latter, and it enables the Central Executive to veto the Acts of the local Legislatures. Well, I believe that, in the course of time, those who live to see the outcome will find the local Legislatures of the Dominion reduced to the level of the position of large municipalities, and that Canada will have ceased to be, strictly speaking, a federation at all. On the other hand, the American Constitution, as we all know, defines the powers of the Central Legislature, and reserves everything not included in them for the local Legislatures, It has been supposed that this has been a source of a deal of controversy and trouble in the United States, and the real cause of the Civil War. I differ from that opinion, I believe that the cause of the political controversies of the United States, which resulted in that war, was the question of slavery. If we have a lion in the path in the way of the tariff, certainly the American Union had a serpent in its way in the form of that tremendous question. It roused all the passions and the faculties of human nature, good and evil, on one side or the other, and induced attempts to give the most tortuous interpretations to the Constitution, either to assist or resist its encroachments. Well, Mr. President, we shall be cursed with no such question in Australia. Therefore, I do not think we need fear to go upon the lines of the Constitution of the United States in defining and enumerating the powers of a Central Legislature, and leaving all other powers to local Legislatures. Readers of American history must have been frequently struck with the merits of the American system, in preserving that local public life of the various states which is so dear to the native American of every state. And when we notice to what a large extent the United States has grown, both in territory, population, wealth, and industry, we call scarcely imagine that that, great community could flourish with such a variety of interests and industries, and with such a variety of national life, under any other system than that under which it [start page 34] lives. So far from the local life of the states being the cause of political irritation, controversy, and dissension, I firmly believe that if the American Union were now constructed on the lines of those of Canada, there would be far more danger, dissension, irritation, and disunion in the future than exist at the present time. In fact, the opinion of many of the most eminent publicists of Europe is that the salvation in the future of America as a united nation is the large amount of the local autonomy of the states. When we observe the large territory which we have in Australia-territory which we hope will some day be peopled to the same extent as is that of the United States-and when we notice the variety of climate and soil which will produce so great a variety of industrial and social life, we must come to the conclusion that we also ought to have a system which will preserve local public and national life in the same manner as it is preserved in America. It is quite possible that we may profit by the past experience of America, and give to the Central Legislature some few more powers than is possessed by that of the United States. It may be that we may even actually learn something from the Constitution of the present small Federal Council of Australasia, which has a provision not possessed by any other Federal Constitution in the world, and that is a provision that two or more colonies may refer any particular subject to the Federal Council, to ask it to legislate upon it, and that it will then become law in those colonies, and, thereafter, in any other colony which may choose to adopt it. I firmly believe that many of the difficulties which have arisen in America, which the local States can not deal with, and which the Central Legislature, for some reason or other, has not seen fit to deal with, might have been met in that way. We can scarcely imagine that the Congress at Washington would refuse to legislate on my particular matter at the request of four or five states if it had the power to do so, and if the legislation so requested would affect only the states that asked for it. Congress would undoubtedly say, "it affects only the states which have asked us to legislate, and by all means let the power asked for be so exercised by those who desire it." The question of the management of

post offices and telegraphs has been touched upon by Mr. Deakin, who seemed to think that these institutions were amongst those which must be left to local Legislatures. I am not, at present, prepared to follow the honorable gentleman in that opinion. I think the post office ought to be, in a sense, a national institution; and I very much doubt that a uniform rate of postage can be secured unless it be under a Central Government. If the Post offices and telegrapbs were under the control of the several colonies, and power were left to the local Legislatures to create inequality of rates, irritation and discontent would certainly be produced. This would not be carrying out the principle of the local Legislatures being sovereign within their own spheres, and in regard to the matters especially committed to their care. In order to secure uniformity of rates, "As well as efficiency of management, I should be inclined to follow the example of America, and place the post office under a Central Government. This, however, is a matter of detail, which may not properly be within the range of our discussions at the present time. As Mr. Deakin mentioned the matter, however, I thought I was perfectly justified in also referring, to it. The honorable gentleman also referred to the advantages which would arise from a Federal Judiciary. I think he said all that could be said upon that question. I would add to his remarks upon that head, the opinion that the colonies would be able to obtain from such an institution what, to me, as a lawyer, and I presume to Mr. Deakin and Sir Samuel Griffith as lawyers, is of great consideration, and that is a higher education for our colonial judges. A judge, if he is to be worthy of his position, and desires to do good work for his country, must continue to learn after he goes on the Bench as well as before. It appears to me that where a system of gradation of courts exists, the judges will learn both from above and below. Every judge who knows how to take advantage of his position can, and does, learn from the able men who practise in the court before him. He will also learn from the judges of the court above him, to unlatch an appeal lies from his decisions. At the present time, the only appeal we have is to the Privy Council. It is rarely invoked in Tasmania, and I find it is rarely invoked in some others of the smaller colonies. I do not know that it can be said to be frequently invoked even in the larger colonies. The consequence is, that the judges in several of the colonies sit without that sense and feeling of responsibility which we know would have a beneficial effect did they but realize that their work is open to the review of a higher court. If we had a Federal Court of Appeal, its aid would be invoked much more frequently than is the aid of the Privy Council now invoked, and the results, I believe, would be beneficial.

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Sir Samuel Griffith has very properly said that this question of federation after all, is one to be dealt with by the public opinion of the several colonies. The honorable gentleman expressed the opinion that the absence of any results of the Act of the Imperial Parliament enabling any two or more colonies to enter into a reciprocal treaty with regard to Customs duties proved, to some extent, the absence of public opinion on the subject, and the difficulties which lie in the way of anything like federation. I feel tempted to reply to that observation by saying that it is only another illustration of the inefficacy of half measures. It is said that a half-truth is the worst of lies, and that half measures at all times are worse than none. Although great things were expected of it at the time, and although I believe it is capable of producing good results, nevertheless this Imperial Act is one of those half measures which always disappoint. I would ask the Conference to let this be a warning to them in regard to the adoption of half measures. Let us go the full length of a complete federation, or else we shall discover that the results of an incomplete federation which some advocate will be similar to the Act of the Imperial Government to which Sir Samuel Griffith referred. I regard federation as such a great and grand thing in itself, that I don't for a moment believe that even a measure of it, if productive positive results, call in any way be disadvantageous. I believe even in the measure of federation which we possess in the Federal Council. That body has done some good work, and it would be capable of doing much more if all the colonies were represented in it. Speaking for the people of Tasmania, I believe I am justified in saying that if a complete federation cannot be obtained, they would be content to accept an incomplete federation. They would be content to take one step further, hoping for a still greater step to be taken in the future. But it appears to me that there are more difficulties in the way of incomplete federation than of complete federation. If we take another step, and attempt to add to the powers and increase the numbers of the members of the Federal Council, we shall immediately be faced with the problem of the taxing power. If you are going to increase that

body and to give it greater power and dignity and larger functions, you must inevitably give it a revenue and an Executive, and if you are going to give it a revenue you will immediately be met with the question as to the proportion of the representation of the various colonies. Are you prepared to give equal representation to all the colonies in a single Legislature possessing taxing power? I am afraid that the larger colonies would object to this, and if there is unequal representation with taxing power, it is likely that the smaller colonies would think they stood in danger of being swamped and out-voted. The only solution of the problem is the adoption of the bicameral system. But if it is once determined to go in for a bi-cameral Legislature with taxing power and an Executive of its own, all other questions would be matters of such detail that they would not be worth while reserving. The partial measure of federation which some people talk about has been already taken in the formation of the Federal Council. That is the full extent to which a partial federation can practically and successfully go, and immediately you attempt to go further you must go the whole distance. That is the conclusion I have formed of this matter. In the course of this discussion, Mr. President, we have occasionally heard the sentimental side of the question mentioned, that is to say, one aspect of the question has been referred to as the sentimental aspect. I have tried, up to the present moment, to deal with what appeared to me to be the practical side of the question, but I do not hesitate to say that I value very highly the sentimental side. Perhaps I value the sentimental side of the question more than I do the practical side, and I will give my reasons for that statement. It is generally supposed that we take a sentimental view of things when we are young, and a practical view when we get old; and they say that part of the discipline of life is to knock the sentimental view out of us. I always sympathized with, and admired very much, that utterance of Charles Sumner when he said, "I hope we are not going to exchange the visions of youth for the calculations of age." I hope that the vision of a Australian nation which is now before the eyes of Young Australians, is not one to be laughed at or knocked out of them by rough contact with the world. I remember very distinctly once reading an article in the Princeton Review, by Professor E. A. Freeman, the historian of the Norman Conquest, entitled "The Sentimental and Practical in Politics;" and with that Wealth of historical illustration which he has at his command, and which he uses so skilfully, he demonstrated-at least to my judgment-that what had been in the early stages of every political question derided and ridiculed as its sentimental [start page 36] aspect afterwards proved to be its real practical aspect. I believe it will be the same with regard to Australian Federation, and that the sentimental side will prove to be the practical, or the basis of the practical. After all, sentiment is the basis of more than one-half of human life. We are sometimes asked what we mean by a nation and by national life. I believe a nation, as was stated by Sir Henry Parkes, is, first of all, a sufficient aggregate of population. You cannot have a nation with half-a-dozen individuals, nor yet with a few hundred; you must have a more or less extensive aggregate of population. But that population to be a nation must be localized. It must be located within certain physical limits, and must be responsive to the influences of its physical environment. I believe that it is to such conditions we owe all the nationalities existing in the world. Where a number of living units are brought in contact with each other within a given physical environment, there will be produced a distinct type of life, and, in the case of nations, a distinct type of national life. I believe that the physical environments of the French, the Italians, the Spaniards, and the combined with the inter-action of the units composing those peoples upon one have produced the several distinct national types of manhood found in those countries. In Australia we have a population which is encircled by a definite physical environment, with a climate, soil, and other physical components peculiarly its own, and human nature in Australia is not going to be an exception to human nature all over the other parts of the globe. It will be influenced by its environment, and it will undoubtedly, in time, produce its definite national type of manhood in response to the action of that environment. We are proud to have sprung from the same race as the inhabitants of the British Isles. I believe, however, that it is our destiny to produce a different type of manhood from that which exists in those Islands. I believe a different type of manhood has already developed itself in the United States of America, and the same process is going on in regard to the countries of South America. But I believe that the distinct type of national life, which is produced by the causes I have attempted to describe, will never come to perfect fruition, will never produce the best results without political autonomy. It is political autonomy which we are now asking for Australia as a whole. We have political autonomy in the several colonies, but we have come to the conclusion, I believe, upon the sentimental side of the question, that the several colonies are not large enough in their territory and

population to produce that national life which we believe can be produced upon the wider field of a United Australia. We are asking now for the political autonomy of a United Australia, in order that that national life, which we believe will exist under those conditions, may be produced and may bear the best fruits. I believe this national life can exist without political independence, and without political autonomy, as a germ, or even as more than a germ. But it will never be satisfied, it will never do that which it ought to do, until it obtains political autonomy. Sir Henry Parkes has spoken of the movement now on foot in Australasia as the birth of a nation. We have all lived in a time, I believe, in which, what is called the birth of a nation, has taken place in Europe. I refer to Italy. I do not believe that Italy was really born when she became united under one Central Government. It used to be said that Italy was only a geographical expression that there were Tuscans, Romans, Venetians, Sardinians, but no Italians. But there was one Italian people, one Italian language, one Italian literature, one aspiration common to the Italians, to live a national life, and to obtain that political independence and unity to which they, at last, through much suffering, toil, and difficulty, eventually did attain. I believe that in Australia a similar national life to that which existed in Italy for generations before she had political unity and independence has commenced. It will go on and grow in the several colonies, whether we now assist or not in giving it that political independence or autonomy which it craves for, and which it deserves. That wave of Australian feeling to which Sir Henry Parkes has referred will go on in the future, and in spite of us, or in spite of any other Conference which may refuse to rise to the dignity of the occasion and do the work laid upon it, will produce that federation, unity, and political autonomy which our national life and aspirations require and demand, in order that they may have a free and adequate field for their expansion. There have been many Conferences amongst the colonies on various questions. This, however, is the first that has been expressly called for the purpose of exclusively discussing federation. I will conclude by stating that I hope it will be the last. I hope it will be the last, not because we will have found our labours vain, not because we will have discovered that we have been chasing a dream, and that there is no room for a United Australia. No! [start page 37] but because I hope we may do our work so well that we may go back to our several colonies and obtain the assent of their several Legislatures to the meeting of a Convention, which, within a very short period, will produce a Constitution under which a United Australia will progress and flourish, and take its place among the nations, of the world.

Sir J. G. LEE STEERE: Mr. President, I cannot hope that my effort of oratory or rhetoric on my part, will be sufficiently great to arouse the imagination of members of this Conference as regards the question of federation, because my mind is eminently a practical one, find I have little imagination in my constitution. I think, if I may say so without offence, that the debate that has hitherto taken place has had rather too much of an academic character, and has been a little too full of sentiment. We should now take the more practical view of the question. I have heard a great deal during the last few days about federation being in the air. I think there is a deal of federation in the air. We want to grasp it, and bring it down to the earth in order that we may grapple with it, and try to remove the difficulties which lie in the way. It is no use blinking the fact that there are difficulties in the way. It is a very happy omen indeed that in discussing this question we have with us representatives of New South Wales, because, whether it is true or not, there has been an impression throughout the Australian Colonies that the cause of federation has been delayed in consequence of New South Wales refusing to take any part in the Federal Council. I am very glad indeed to see the representatives of New South Wales present now, because I hope that before this discussion ceases either one or the other of those representatives will give us their reasons for having hitherto refused to join that body, and thereby, as I contend, delayed the cause of federation. From the correspondence which has been circulated in the different colonies, I am aware that Sir Henry Parkes has stated that for the last 25 years he has been in favour of federation, but the course taken by the honorable gentleman and by those who have followed him in New South Wales must lead us to think that he really is not so favorable to federation as he has expressed himself to be, and moreover that the general public of New South Wales are not so favorable to federation as they are supposed to be. I think, too, that some confusion is caused in discussing this question in talking about federation. There is not one of us who is not favorable to federation. We are all most anxious to see federation brought about, but there are different kinds of federation. There is a complete federation, based upon the Constitution of Canada, and there may be an incomplete federation, based upon a Constitution to be

drawn up in future by us. Now the resolution proposed by Sir Henry Parkes is one we cannot disagree with. We are all, I am sure, convinced that "the early union under the Crown of all the Australasian Colonies" is an end to be highly desired; but I have a very great objection myself to discussing abstract resolutions of the kind now before the Conference. I am rather surprised that an old parliamentary hand, like Sir Henry Parkes, has not brought forward something more definite, because, as a long student of constitutional history and of parliamentary proceedings, I know that most leading politicians deprecate bringing forward abstract resolutions, which may to a certain extent excite public opinion, but, if they are not followed up by something more practical, lead to nothing. Therefore, I was very sorry that Sir Henry Parkes did not follow this motion up by some further resolutions which would lead to some practical result. I believe myself that this motion was a kind of blank shot fired across our bows by Sir Henry Parkes, to make us show our colours. If that was his object, he has to a certain extent gained what he desired, because every member who has yet spoken has declared what his views are. I gather indirectly from Sir Henry Parkes that he is in favour of a complete federation, that is, of at once founding an Australasian Dominion based on the Constitution of Canada. I cannot say that I am quite certain from what Mr. Deakin said whether he is in favour of a complete federation based upon the Constitution of Canada, or whether he is prepared to accept something not quite so complete. There is no doubt about the views held by Mr. Playford. He decidedly thinks that we are not at present in a position to go in for complete federation, while Sir Samuel Griffith is willing to take what he can get. Mr. Clark has stated that he would prefer a Constitution based upon that of the United States, but he is prepared to go in at once for a Dominion Federation. I myself am opinion that it is impossible at the present time to form a Federal Dominion of the type of Canada. The difficulties that stand in the way are difficulties arising from the questions of finance and the fiscal policy, that every [start page 38] practical politician in the colony finds constantly confronting him. Of course, if we were to adopt a Federal Constitution based upon that of Canada or the United States we would have to give up all our Customs duties to the Federal Government. In doing that we would be following the lead of Canada, and my arguments at present are directed to the Constitution of Canada, and to the impossibility of our adopting it. Although I place these difficulties before members of the Conference, I hope that they will not think that I am at all opposed to a federal union. No one would rejoice more than I would if I could see a federal union of these colonies. We are in a very different position in these colonies to what Canada was when it adopted federation. Our position is very different financially-so different, that I see almost insurmountable difficulties to our following the lead of Canada, in this respect. When Canada adopted federation its public debt amounted to £21,000.000, and the interest upon it was £1,000,000 per annum. At the present time the total public debt of Canada is £40,000,000, whilst the interest is only £1,600,000. The loans have been consolidated, and less interest is paid now than before. The total amount raised by Customs duties in the Dominion is £4,000,000 per annum, which is £2,400,000 more than is required to pay the interest on the public debt, and in addition to that the Federal Government have other revenues amounting to £3,000,000. They have, therefore, a revenue independently of the provinces, and after paying the interest on the public debt, of £5,400,000 with which to carry on the general government. Now, what is the me with Australasia? At the present time, Australasia, instead of having a public debt of £21,000,000 like Canada, has a public debt of £168,000,000, on which she has to pay interest amounting to £6,365,000 per annum. These statistics are up to the end of 1888.

Mr. McMILLAN.-Does that include New Zealand?

Sir J. G. LEE STEERE.-Yes. How is this interest to be met? If we followed the lead of Canada, the Federal Government would take all the Customs duties. Would the Customs duties produce an amount sufficient to pay the interest on the public debt alone. In Queensland the proportion of the total revenue raised from Customs duties is about one-third. In New South Wales-and this will astonish some people, because I have heard it said that New South Wales does not levy any Customs duties-the amount raised by Customs duties is nearly £2,000,000 per annum out of a total revenue of £8,800,000, or about one-fourth. In Victoria one-third of the total revenue is raised by Customs duties, in South Australia the proportion is one-fourth, in Western Australia one-half, in Tasmania one-half, and in New Zealand one-third. The total amount received for Customs duties in all the colonies is nearly £8,600,000, and deducting about one-fourth for duties levied on intercolonial trade, which

would cease altogether if we were federated on the basis of Canada, I estimate that there would be a balance left at the disposal of the Dominion Government of a little less than £6,000,000, which would all be absorbed in paying the interest upon the public debt, leaving nothing whatever for the general purposes of government.

Mr. PLAYFORD.-What about the cost of collection?

Sir J. G. LEE STEERE.-I would not be certain whether that includes the cost of collection or not. I do not think it does.

Mr. PLAYFORD.-It does not for South Australia.

Sir J. G. LEE STEERE.-Then there would not be sufficient to pay the interest on the public debt. How then is such a Government to be carried on? What other means are there of raising revenue?

Mr. PLAYFORD.-Excise.

Sir J. G. LEE STEERE.-If we are to follow the example of Canada, the revenue from licences and lands will be handed over to the Provincial Governments. I will tell you what Canada had, which we have not. It had a very large territory, independently of the provinces which came under the Federal Government. I allude to the whole of that splendid north-west territory, including the valuable lands of Manitoba.

Mr. BIRD.-We have Western Australia.

Sir J. G. LEE STEERE.-I am not surprised to hear that remark. Mr. Deakin suggested yesterday that the portion of Western Australia not to be handed over to the Government of that colony should be placed in the hands of the Federal Parliament.

Mr. DEAKIN.-Instead of the Government at home.

Sir J. G. LEE STEERE.-That was never intended. The honorable gentleman is under some misapprehension, and perhaps he will allow me to correct him. It was proposed that a line should be drawn at the 26 latitude, as was done in South Australia.

[start page 39]

The Legislature of Western Australia was to have precisely the same control over the lands south of that line as the other colonies of Australia have over their territory. North of that line the lands were to remain under regulations approved by the Secretary of State for the Colonies, and to be administered by the colonial Government, the Imperial Government having nothing whatever to do with them. The rents derived from these lands were to be paid into the colonial exchequer, as part of the general revenue of the colony, but the proceeds of all sales of land-and there are not likely to be many sales up there on account of the nature of the climate-were to be paid into a fund to be reserved for any colony that might hereafter be formed in that portion of the territory of Western Australia. Therefore, there is no likelihood of that land being made over to a Federal Government. We would far rather that it should be made over to a Federal Government than that it should be administered by a Government in England unacquainted with the circumstances of the colony, but I do not think that Western Australia would be prepared to make over the revenue of the northern portion of the colony for the purposes of a Federal Government. I have now shown pretty clearly that it is impossible, under the present circumstances of Australia, that we could enter into a complete federal dominion on the basis of that of Canada, because of the financial and the fiscal difficulties in the wily. I have been rather surprised to hear honorable gentlemen speak very lightly of those difficulties, as if they were cobwebs to be swept out of our way. That is not the best way to remove those difficulties; we must recognise them. The question next arises, whether, if we find it impossible to enter into a federal

dominion based upon the Constitution of Canada, we cannot agree to enter into a federation not quite so complete as that. There was a phrase made use of in the letter of Mr. Morehead, the Premier of Queensland, on this subject which struck me as being a very appropriate one, and which has my hearty concurrence. It is a phrase that will be long remembered by those who have to discuss this question. Mr. Morehead said that if the Federal Council was to be superseded it should be by a process of development, and not by a process of displacement. We should not entirely displace the Federal Council, but we should develop it until we made it available for the purposes for which we require it at present. I was not at the Conference held in Sydney, at which the Constitution of the Federal Council was drawn up, but I have been a member of the Federal Council since its formation, and I do not say that it is perfect, or anything like perfect. The members of the Conference who drew up the Constitution of the Federal Council recognised that it was not perfect, but they felt that they could not go further at that time. It is certainly capable of very great improvement. In the first place the members ought to be elected, and not appointed by any one; and then they would carry more weight than they do at the present time. In the next place the number of members ought to be increased very considerably. I do not think that two members for each colony is anything like enough to discuss questions in a proper manner. Then it is absolutely necessary for the purposes of defence, at any rate, that there should be an executive to carry out the decisions of the Federal Council. What is the use of our agreeing to have a federal defence force if there is to be no head? Suppose a war broke out and we wanted to concentrate all the colonial troops in one place, who is to give the orders? The Prime Minister of one colony would not allow the Prime Minister of another colony to give such orders. We must have a general appointed by the Imperial Government to take command of the troops, and we must have an Executive Government on whose orders that general would act, otherwise we cannot have federal defence. The initiatory step in connexion with this Conference was taken by Sir Henry Parkes, who asked the Premier of Victoria what he intended to do in view of the respect of Major-General Edwards. Sir Henry Parkes suggested a consultation. Mr. Gillies’ answer was that more than a consultation was required; that action was necessary. A correspondence took place, and eventually Sir Henry Parkes recommended that the various colonies should appoint delegates to attend a Conference to consider certain resolutions with a view to the formation of a Federal Parliament on the model of that of Canada. I think that this Conference has a great deal move power than the majority of the members are disposed to attribute to it. We have just as much power as the Conference which met in Sydney, and which drew up the Constitution of the Federal Council. The members of this Conference have all been appointed by their Governments.

Mr. PLAYFORD.-No, we were appointed by Parliament.

[start page 40]

Sir J. G. LEE STEERE.-So much the better. The representatives of New South Wales were appointed by their Government, or rather they appointed themselves, because they are the Government. Their Parliament were perfectly aware that they were coming over here. How then can it be said that we are a self-constituted body unable to deal with this question? I cannot agree with that view. We are bound to do more than pass an abstract resolution affirming that federation is desirable. How can we ask our Parliaments to send delegates to another Convention to discuss federation? They will naturally ask, "What kind of federation?" It is absolutely necessary that we should lay down some of the conditions of this federation, so that our Parliaments may express an opinion upon them. I do not think that the Parliaments will be disposed to appoint delegates for such a purpose unless they know what those delegates are going to consider, and for that reason I think we should agree to something definite and practical. Then it will be impossible for us to persuade our Parliaments to send delegates to a Convention unless we are prepared to show them that they are going to get some benefit from it. There is a good deal of self interest being displayed by some of the colonies in this question of federation. There is no doubt whatever that federation will be of very great advantage to the larger colonies, but I am not sure that we will be able to show that the smaller colonies will get equal advantage from it. I am quite certain that Western Australia will not, if the Federal Constitution is based upon that of Canada. We derive quite one-half of our revenue from Customs duties, and a great proportion of the amount is obtained from the duties levied on goods from the other colonies. If we

gave up so large a portion of our revenue we would have to have recourse to direct taxation. What prospect would there be of Western Australia agreeing to enter into a Federal Union if the first thing we had to tell the people of that colony was that they would have to put their hands in their pockets and pay a direct tax?

Mr. CLARK.-You would be relieved of some of your burdens.

Sir J. G. LEE STEERE.-Yes, but to nothing like the extent to which we would have to contribute to the General Government. There is another think we should know before we recommend our Parliaments to send delegates to the Convention. I hope we shall be told on behalf of New South Wales whether that colony is willing to come into anything less than a complete federated union. If that colony is not willing it will be waste of time to have a Convention, and I hope that Sir Henry Parkes will use his great influence to induce the colony he represents to enter into what he may call an incomplete union, if he cannot obtain the complete union he desires. I shall welcome most gladly any scheme that may be devised to enable us to federate, if only for certain purposes. If we only federate for the purpose of defence it will be well to have had a Conference for that Mr. Deakin remarked that it was all very well to ridicule the idea of the colonies being attacked by a foreign foe, but I do not see anything ridiculous in the idea. A day may come when England is at war, and our coasts may be ravaged by hostile cruisers, or attempts be made to land a foreign force on our shores. It is absolutely necessary that we should be prepared with a federal defence force. For that reason alone, if for no other, I shall be glad to see federation accomplished in some form. I looked over the Federal Council Act this morning to see what subjects can be referred to that body, and I find that almost every subject which concerns the colonies as a whole is include in the list, while subjects which are not included call be referred to the Council by the Legislatures of the several colonies. Thus, under the Act, everything could be referred to the Federal Council, and we could obtain everything that is desired with the three alterations I have mentioned as desirable in the constitution of the Council-a larger number of representatives, these representatives to be elective, and a Federal Executive. I hope that the views I have put forth will do something to elucidate the question and remove the difficulties in the way-difficulties which cannot be ignored. We must do the best we call to conquer those difficulties. I hope that the efforts of this Conference will at any rate result in our agreeing to recommend that delegates be sent from our several Parliaments to consider what is the best form for a Federal Constitution to be brought into operation at the present time.

Captain RUSSELL.-Mr. President, it was Sir Samuel Griffith, I think, who told us that it appeared that the sentiment of federation was in the boughs of a tree-that it was descending from the boughs rather than springing from the roots of the tree. I think that is true to a great extent, and that the plant has not yet taken root, but that does not materially affect the point. We who have come over here as [start page 41] representatives to this Conference tire as the seed; when we go back to our several colonies we may plant it in fertile soil, and from that may grow the roots and branches of Federated Australasia. It will be my pleasure to go back under these circumstances and instruct my countrymen as I have been myself instructed in regard to the many advantages which may flow from federation. Federation not only floats in the air-no person can doubt that, for the Australian Colonies, it will very shortly be an accomplished fact. I hope that many years will not elapse before there will be a United Australia, which will be a great power in the southern seas. Coming as from a rather remote part of Australasia, I view possibly more dispassionately than any other member of the Conference (except my colleague) the various difficulties which stand in the way of a United Australasia. We have heard them compared to a lion standing in the way, to an opossum and-after ideas bad grown big at grand banquets-to an elephant. I believe the illustration of the mountain would be more correct, feeling sure that on examination it will bring forth only a ridiculous mouse. It has been said that we cannot federate without fiscal union. As a free-trader, such is my opinion. The true basis of federation is that interchange of products which leads to the expansion of trade, and a consequent rapprochement between the peoples of different communities. It is said that if the extremely absurd duties on local products are not abolished, a Federal Union can come to nothing, and that must be so. What reason is there why, in a country like this, where the climate and the habits and customs of the people are one, you should first create arbitrary distinctions, and then say it is

impossible to destroy them? Are you not all one people with identical interests, no matter what divisions into colonies there may be, and why should you not all work cordially together? Sir Henry Parkes said there were no natural difficulties-no boundaries to separate you. As far as my knowledge of the geography of Australia goes, I believe that parallels of latitude or longitude are in many instances the imaginary boundaries which separate the great colonies of the Australian continent. The other so-called boundary is the River Murray, which, far from being a boundary, should be a great highway (for it is a road which maintains itself without expense) to carry the products of the neighbouring colonies to one another. There is no reason why the colonies should be separated. With climate similar, and soil so similar that, though the letter happily varies so as to enable one colony to produce that which is needed in another, there is nothing to compel the colonies to have artificial restrictions. I would avoid altogether going into the question as to whether we should federate on the principle of Canada or the. United States. Australia will enjoy the advantage of being able to compare those two Constitutions, and she may take from them that which is material and necessary to her own Constitution. There is no reason why Australia should not adopt that which is best from every kind of Constitution in forming the Union. Then the question comes, can Australasia at the present moment join in this, federation? Though I believe that the feeling in all the colonies of Australasia is most kindly one towards the others, and though there is a desire that their interests should be identical, it would be absurd to deny the fact that when circumstances are so different as between the sister colonies of New Zealand, Fiji, and Australia, it is impossible to say at this moment that the people of the two former colonies would at once join in any scheme of federation. There are very many points in which the colony which I represent would be glad to join in happy concord with the continental colonies, but to say absolutely that that colony would be prepared, at any rate for the next few years, to merge its young manhood in the more mature life of the Australian Colonies would be to lead the Conference to believe what I cannot hope. We have many interests in common, but it is probable we should not at once submit ourselves to a Government in which we should have so unimportant a part. Mr. Clark, the Attorney-General for Tasmania, remarried, when addressing the Conference to-day, that with every distinct physical environment there comes a distinct national type. With a population of 700,000 people in New Zealand, dwelling in an island where the climate is dissimilar to a very great extent from that of Australia, which has been colonized in an entirely different manner, and, speaking colloquially, having had a very much rougher time than the colonies of Australia, we are likely to develop a very complete individuality-a distinct national type. We have had to struggle against not only a more boisterous climate than Australia, but against a dense vegetation; and we have had to carve our homes out of the wilderness, which, though marvellously prolific end fertile, nevertheless marks a country in which self-denial has had to be practised by its [start page 42] settlers to an extent of which the people of the Australian continent have no conception. Not only have the settlers had to struggle against the forces of nature, but against a proud, indomitable, and courageous rice of aborigines. That native race has been treated in a manner so considerate that the condition of no other native and savage race on the face of the globe can be compared to it. Their right to their lands was recognised from the first. I do not boast that our public men were more pure in spirit than those of other countries, but as the colonization of New Zealand was effected originally through missionary zeal, through that, to a large extent, our hearts and policy were softened. But in addition to this feeling, the natives could defend their own interests and look down the sights of a rifle better than any other savage people. They were many, and the white settlers were few, and when our hearts were not softened by the missionary, we were controlled by the thought of the Maoris' numbers, and of their rifles. Therefore we recognised their right to their own land, and instead of confiscating it we admitted their claim to its full possession, administration, and disposal. Members of the Conference may perhaps ask, why am I giving this short historical sketch? It bears materially upon the question of federation. The whole of New Zealand politics for years hinged almost entirely upon the native question. That question destroyed more Governments than anything else in New Zealand. All turned upon the necessity for keeping the natives at peace, and yet obtaining enough of their lands to further colonization. I am happy to say, and I thank God for it, that the day is past in which there is any probability-nay, any possibility-of another native war occurring. But one of the important questions in New Zealand politics for many years to come must be that of native administration, and were we to hand over that question to a Federal Parliament-to an elective body, mostly Australians, that cares nothing and knows nothing about native administration, and the members of which have dealt with

native races in a much more summary manner than we have ventured to deal with ours in New Zealand-the difficulty which precluded settlement for years in the North Island might again appear. It is extremely improbable that hostilities would again break out between the natives and the white settlers, but the advance of civilization would be enormously delayed if the regulation of this question affecting New Zealand was handed over to a body of gentlemen who knew nothing whatever of the traditions of the past. Another question which it has been said will come well within the scope of a Federal Government is that of a scheme of federal defence. Up to a certain point I hold that to be perfectly true. New Zealand has a large sea-coast; she may be open to attack on the part of hostile cruisers should they ever come into these waters, and we should be only too happy I can speak with absolute certainty as to that-to join with Australia in any system of naval defence.

Mr. DEAKIN.-Hear, hear.

Captain RUSSELL.-I venture to say that, with our large sea-board and seafaring population, before many years are over, we shall be able to furnish a considerable contingent who will be pleased to serve Her Majesty and her colonies on board ship. The most popular corps in New Zealand are those of the naval volunteers, and I have no hesitation in saying that if the time comes in which we are unfortunately involved in war with a European power, we could place upon the ships of war Her Majesty might send out a contingent which would vastly enhance Great Britain's maritime power in these seas. But I do not see how we are to benefit by a Federal Army. As an old soldier, I recognise the importance of having a considerable force in which there should be promotion among the young officers, so that they may not stagnate in the junior ranks until they are old men, and finally leave the service as useless as they were when they entered it. It is necessary that there should be a Federal Army-and this would specially apply to Australia-that there may be promotion, and that you may be able to obtain that constant succession of young officers by which alone you can ensure those scientific soldiers who are absolutely necessary in these days. But would it be possible, in case of an attack upon New Zealand, to send over an army from Australia to help us? Of the willingness of Australia to do this I have no doubt, but in her power to do it I cannot believe. We should be assaulted, if at all, by a filibustering expedition, which would come, see, but I hope not conquer, long before you in Australia could hear of its appearance on our shores. A Federal Army would be of no use to us, and it might involve us in expenses we are not prepared to meet. But there are innumerable points to which we could agree in the union. For instance, all matrimonial [start page 43] laws should be of one currency throughout Australasia. So also should postal and cable communication. That, however, could probably be brought about without resort to a Federal Parliament, and also reciprocity with all the colonies. New Zealand would be happy to meet any other colony in some treaty; but if I, who am a free-trader to the backbone, am to be told that New Zealand should join irrevocably in a Customs Union which might bring about more protection than exists at the present time, it is to tell me that which does not commend itself to my judgment. I do not believe that New Zealand would join in that. We are essentially an exporting country, depending materially on outside trade, and that being the case, our prosperity must depend upon a large, free inter-communication between the different nations of the earth. Speaking for myself, I would never consent to any scheme which would bring more protection upon the colony of New Zealand. There are one or two reasons in addition, which I jotted down while Sir Henry Parkes was speaking, which would make it a very dangerous thing for the smaller colonies to enter into this scheme of federal union, without grave consideration. Out of a population of 3,840,000, New South Wales, Victoria, and Queensland own the allegiance of 2,656,000 people; in other words, said Sir Henry Parkes, two-thirds of the whole population of Australasia belonged to those for very grave doubt as to whether three colonies. It must, of course, be a matter the influence which naturally must proceed from this large population might not work adversely to the interests of the more thinly-populated colonies. It is of no use attempting to blink these things. It must also be remembered that the three colonies I have named are united by natural circumstances, that they are side by side, and were originally part of the same colony. Local politics brought about the severance of those colonies, and there is no reason why they should ever have separated if they had been allowed a little more local government. There is no reason why they should not be re-united, and if they are re-united it will be a marriage of affection. It will be a case of neighbours whose sons and daughters have married together in order to bring divided lands into one

solid property. It will be a marriage of affection if these colonies come together. But with New Zealand it would be simply a mariage de convenance, and her representatives must see that the marriage settlements are not drawn out in a hurry, that before the masculine power and strength of Australia was united to the beauty of New Zealand the settlements are so arranged that the Married Women's Property Act shall have full force in case of any little dispute occurring hereafter. I had thought of moving an amendment upon the motion of Sir Henry Parkes, but as it is not my object to throw the apple of discord into this fair community, as I desire by every means in my power to assist the federation of the colonies, and as I wish that not only New Zealand but the remoter colonies of Australasia shall have an opportunity of coming into this federation as soon as they can see any advantage to be gained by it, I hope Sir Henry Parkes will consent to change the word "Australasian" in his motion to "Australian." If he will consent to do that, I will propose a motion additional, as follows:-

"That to the union of the Australian Colonies contemplated by the foregoing resolution, the remoter Australasian Colonies shall be entitled to admission at such times and on such conditions as may hereafter be agreed upon."

I think it would be a very great misfortune, not only to Australasia but also to Australia, if in the Convention which we may take it for granted will some day meet, and to which the New Zealand representatives at this Conference will ask their Parliament to send delegates, New Zealand and Fiji are not represented. It would be a pity for Australasia, and for Australia too, seeing that if the latter is true to herself and has a motherly feeling for the younger colonies, which I believe she has, she should join in saying to them-"Although you do not at present feel that you can enter the federation and throw yourself into our arms, here is a hand to help you whenever the day may come in which you see your way to join this magnificent union."

Dr. COCKBURN.-Sir, I feel that to-day a very great point has been gained. A large number of speeches have been addressed to the Conference from an absolutely practical point of view. I would like to say a word or two in reference to the most excellent address which Mr. Clark delivered. I think that among all the advocates for federation who are here to-day, there are none stronger or more enthusiastic than the representatives of Tasmania. But I should be sorry if this eagerness should lead to any undue haste, and I do not think that the particular form of union which Mr. Clark mentioned as something which might be obtained at once [start page 44] would be at all a desirable thing. Mr. Clark intimated that, pending the adjustment of differences, it would be a step in advance if the eastern colonies joined at once in a complete union. I do not think that this would assist the cause of federation, or that it would be a good way to begin uniting Australia by dividing it into two. I am afraid that any such step would be more likely to have the effect of postponing the settlement of the questions at issue, or the formation of an Australian nation covering the whole, continent, and taking in the colonies which form Australasia. Canada, certainly, had this form of union in the first instance, but the case is not a parallel one. Previous to Nova Scotia and New Brunswick joining with Upper and Lower Canada there was no Federal Government existing between the Canadas, except the union between Quebec and Ontario, which was in no sense a confederation, but was in every respect a complete union. In our case things are different. We have already made some steps towards union. We are not altogether disunited. We have taken the first steps, nod embarked upon some forth of federation, and to drop this substance for a shadow, infinitely greater but more remote, would be an act which could only bring about disastrous consequences. I am afraid that Mr. Clark's suggestion would divide the map of Australia just about as near the centre as it could be divided, north and south, and I am afraid that a long time would elapse before those two parts became cemented again. And I am quite sure that it would be much better to first adjust our minor differences, even though that should take a few years-two or three years-to accomplish, than to embark on a one-sided union immediately. Now, Mr. Clark says, also, that in the United States there was a complete parallel for our present condition, and that the reason for the formation of the legislative union which now obtains between the United States was the existence of a commercial difficulty. Well, that is no doubt one aspect of the case which can very well be considered, but I must say that my reading of the history of America leads me to the conclusion that the causes which drove the different states of America

together were of an altogether more pressing character than any commercial needs. Throughout the papers which were written at that time by those who were rightly called the fathers of the Constitution-Hamilton, Madison, and others-and published in the form of the Federalist, the greatest possible stress is laid upon the fact that a further union of the United States was necessary, because the loose federation which had previously existed was not equal to the demands made upon it by a prolonged war. Congress might levy for soldiers from the different states, but it had no means of securing their attendance on the field of battle; Congress might levy contributions from the different states, but it had no means of ensuring the payments of those contributions by the states-and it was in order to remove this state of things, and to put the country, in a time of peace, in such a position that it should never more be endangered in time of war-it was to carry out the essential principle of defence, and not so much the mere necessities of commercial affairs, which led to that strong union being formed. The United States were not absolutely at war, but they were surrounded by enemies, north and south, and the navigation of their rivers was impeded by foreign interference. Their case was, therefore, altogether different from that which now presents itself to us. Mr. Clark alluded to the question of a Customs Union as affecting South Australia, and he seemed to indicate that if the financial difficulty was got over, all that was necessary would have been accomplished. Now, admitting that the financial difficulty does stand very much in the way of all immediate Customs Union, I may say at once that that is not the only aspect of; the case in which South Australia considers the question of federation. Our Customs Tariff was not in any way initiated for the purposes of revenue. Those who formulated our tariff formulated it as a purely protective tariff, and it was not at all a spirit of raising revenue that dictated the imposition of that tariff. The mere fact of revenue being thereby raised was altogether a secondary consideration, and the attitude of South Australia, in considering whether the time is ripe for a Customs Union or not, has no reference whatever to the financial question. Our manufacturing industries are, of course, in their infancy, and if a Customs Union obtained between the colonies, they would have at once to be brought into direct competition with the long-established industries of their powerful neighbours. In saying this, I do not wish to convey in any way the impression that South Australia means to maintain her, hostile tariff against the rest of Australia; she does not look forward to hostile custom-houses continuant, harassing those who wish to cross her borders, but from the Protectionist point of view she asks that some [start page 45] little time should be allowed to her industries before they have to face a competition which has been too severe for them in the past; some-little time for those manufacturers who have lately embarked in their industrial enterprises under the fostering aid of a protective tariff to become firmly established. However, as I have said on other occasions, I don't think this difficulty would be lasting, and I don't think it would be long before it was overcome. I think that South Australia will say, on looking at the question all round, that she has quite as much to gain in some directions by intercolonial free trade as she has to lose in other directions. Standing, as she does in the centre of all the colonies, holding out a hand to each of them, I think that her position would dictate that, after the mere temporary difficulties have been overcome, she of all the colonies would have least to lose by reciprocity and free trade among them all. But as the question of a Customs Union has been so often raised, and as our arguments here are partaking, very strongly of a free-trade character, I should just like to know this: Is it the impression of any member here that when the federation of Australia is consummated it is to be a vindication of the principle of free trade? I take it that any such hope is for ever past when the federation of Australia is consummated. When, as a portion of that federation, the hostile custom-houses on the borders of the different colonies are removed, it will not be a vindication of the principle of free trade, but rather the institution of a more complete system of protection-the apotheosis of a strong protective policy. I think it is just as well that this should be understood. The voice of South Australia has pronounced emphatically, and by a large majority, in favour of that protection without which the history of the world presents no example, as far as my reading has been able to show, of a nation which has risen into prosperity. Mr. Clark, I know, will excuse me if I take up another point. He delivered a speech so full of points, that it is quite impossible to speak on the subject without devoting attention to them. Mr. Clark expressed some regret that steps had not been taken by the Imperial authorities, when the constitutions of the colonies were first given to them, to guard against such difficulties as those which now exist. Now, I think it would have been a great mistake had that step been taken by the Imperial Legislature. I think that the wisdom of the mother country, in dealing with her colonies, has always been shown in her leaving them as free as possible

to follow their own inclinations, and to work out their own destinies. Any dictation, even although it had been at the very commencement of our constitutions, would not, I am afraid, have led to the end desire; and I think it would have been a mistake, from every point of view, had anything been done in the earlier stage of the history of these colonies to lessen the development of that individuality which, after all, goes to make the strength of a colony. I take it, Sir, at, consistent with union for those purposes on which union is necessary for the good of all, the least possible sacrifice there is of individuality, the better it will be for each of the colonies standing by itself, and the better for that union of the colonies which will represent them all. Because I don't think that we wish to see a homogeneous National Union. We want to see a union of strong colonies, each with its own local traditions, each with its own local affections, each with its own peculiarities. I think that such a union, such a brotherhood of infinite diversity, would be much better than a homogeneous union of colonies without a proper amount of differentiation. I quite agree with Mr. Clark in saying that we could not follow Canada in this respect. I think the members of the Conference generally agree in that opinion that in no regard can we look upon the example of Canada as one to be imitated. On the other hand, we should have considerable difficulty in following the example of America, because the whole Constitution of the United States of America is so far removed from anything which has ever obtained under British rule. In America there is no such thing as responsibility of Ministers to Parliament, and in this respect, I am sure, no member of this Conference would suggest that we should follow the example of the United States.

Mr. CLARK.-I don't know about that.

Dr. COCKBURN.-Well, it would be so utterly different from any of those traditions which have enwrapped themselves around the growth of the British Constitution, that I don't think any dependency of the Crown-

Sir HENRY PARKES.-It would be another growth of that prized variety.

Dr. COCKBURN.-But I don't think that any colony or group of colonies under the British Crown could effect such a radical change-even supposing the change were desirable-which, I think, most of us would agree it is not.

[start page 46]

Mr. CLARK.-Party Government is played out.

Dr. COCKBURN.-But party government obtains to the fullest extent in America.

Mr. DEAKIN.-Nowhere more so.

Dr. COCKBURN.-What do we see in America? What is the counterpart of our popular Assemblies in America. The Congress, which presents in no respect, as far as I can see, save in the respect that representation therein is based on population, any analogy to our representative Assemblies. The Congress is a large body of men with no governing power whatever. There are no Ministers responsible for the conduct of business. The Congress is split up into something like 50 committees, acting independently of one another, and the number of Bills submitted in the course of a session amount to about 7,000.

Mr. CLARK.-How many are passed?

Dr. COCKBURN.-A very small number of them.

Mr. CLARK.-So much the better.

Dr. COCKBURN.-The whole principle of our British Constitution is that of the responsibility of Ministers to Parliament, and I think that the British Constitution being a gradual growth, and not a manufacture, is vastly superior to any Constitution even however carefully drawn up, as the American Constitution was. The very principle of the British Constitution is elasticity and development; whereas, the principle of the American Constitution is rigidity and finality. I think that in a young country like Australia any form of government should be as expansive as possible, so as to adapt itself to the constantly varying requirements of the future life of the colonies. I don't think, I need follow this matter any further, more than to say this-that a study of the American Constitution, as a manufactured article, as compared with the British Constitution as a gradual growth, leads one to the conclusion, I think irresistibly, that in all matters of constitutional government, the, form of government should be a growth, and not in any sense a manufacture. The very points on which the framers Of the American Constitution prided themselves, those forms which they themselves invented, are the very parts of their system of government which have proved to be failures, while, on the contrary, those they adopted from England, which were the growth of centuries, have been found to be successful. What the members of the Convention that drew up the Constitution of America prided themselves most upon was the manner of the election of the President, and yet if anything has proved a failure and fallen short of the hopes of those who drew up that Constitution it has been the manner in which the election of President, for which they laid out such careful rules, has become modified by usage. And so I think that in every respect federation should be a growth, and, as with all growths, anything like forcing is to be deprecated. As a rule, the slower the growth, the more gradual the development, the stronger is the product. Now, a good many members of the conference, and still more, a large section of the public, have complained of the very slow advance, the small progress which has been made towards the consummation of Australian unity. For my part, I have not been able to join in this view. I think that, considering all things, the colonies have been growing together very well indeed. I think that for every one who hoped to have seen more speedy adhesion to federation there are many who, looking closely into the matter, would come to the conclusion that the colonies might have done very much worse. It seems to me that the way the colonies have been federated in detail augurs very highly indeed for the success of their federation in general. The colonies for many years have been growing together on such questions as the Postal Union. Some years ago I had the honour of being the Minister controlling the Postal Department of South Australia, When an arrangement was entered into with the sister colonies for a Postal Union with regard to the transmission of mails by the great sea route to and from Europe. In this respect we federated first in detail. And so it was with regard to legislation in reference to debtors absconding over the Border, with respect to which the colonies approached one another in the true federal spirit. Then again, in reference to the exclusion of alien races whose presence would we think be detrimental to our development, a Conference was held in the true federal spirit, and I hope that effect will be given to the conclusions of that Conference by all the colonies that were concerned in it. There is another matter in which, I think, without much difficulty we can exhibit the federal spirit in detail-a question which greatly concerns the colony of South Australia-I mean the question of navigation and riparian rights of the Murray waters. That is a matter on [start page 47] which I think there is an opportunity for the colonies adjoining the Murray to exhibit the true federal spirit, and I trust that the colony of New South Wales will very soon see its way to meet the wishes of South Australia in this matter. We have been pressing for a long time now for a Conference between the three colonies concerned to consider the matter, because hitherto no basis of agreement has been arrived at, and I do trust that the federal spirit which has prevailed amongst the Colonies in regard to other matters will, in this instance also, have its due effect. For the reasons I have named, we have nothing to complain of so far as the existence of a federal spirit between the colonies is concerned, but what we want to do is to give to this federal spirit "a local habitation and a name." And in doing that we are brought face to face with the question as to what form of union is best adapted to our requirements. Of course, it is well known that states become united either by means of a federation or by means of what is known as a national union. In a pure federation, the Central Government is not brought into immediate relation with the individual citizen, but deals only with him through the local Legislatures. The mandates of the Central Government are enforced through the local legislatures, and any funds requisite for the transaction of the business of the Central Government are levied by the local Legislatures. On the other hand, in a national union, the Central Government is brought into immediate relation with every citizen of the

nation. And it was this difference between the manner in which the Congress was brought into relation either with the local states or with the individual citizen which led America to abandon the pure confederation which the states had at first-the first Congress America had being an example of pure federation. It was this fact, that the federation had no immediate influence on the individual citizen, but acted on the citizen only through the medium of the local Government-the Government of the local state-that led to the denunciation of the federation system by Hamilton, Madison, and other writers in the Federalist, and to their claims for something more nearly approaching a national union, which, in fact, led to the establishment of the present Constitution of the, United States. That is neither a pure federation nor is it a pure national union. It is a compromise between the two. As far as Congress is concerned, the individual citizen is represented; as far as the Senate is concerned, representation only obtains through the medium of the state. Each state is there represented as a unit, irrespective of its population. But there is this advantage over a pure federation, that the Central Government is brought into immediate relation with every individual citizen of the United States, taxes are levied direct without the intervention of the local Legislatures. One of the great arguments in favour of the existence of that state of things was the impossibility of enforcing contributions towards the support of the Federal Army, when the states were united merely by means of a federation. It was pointed out then that all the difference in the world lay between active resistance and non-compliance. When the states were joined merely by a federation, all that a state had to do, if it did not wish to contribute, was not to actively resist but merely neglect to comply with the demands of the central authority; but in the case of a national union, mere non-compliance is not sufficient. In that case active resistance is required, and it is so much easier for the Central Government to deal with a case of active resistance than to deal with a case of mere non-compliance. Now, the federation in the United States of America was found not to be that success which its advocates anticipated, and the secret of that failure is the same as the secret of the failures of all federations which have ever existed, as far as my reading goes on the history of federation. That is to say, a loose union of states, although it is ample in time of peace, has proved to be utterly inadequate to tile prosecution of a prolonged war. It was this cause that led to the breaking-up of the great Grecian Confederations; it was this which led to the breaking-up of the American Confederation; but because this cause has been effective in preventing the success of federations in the past, there is no reason whatever why under different conditions, federations should not be more successful in the future. I don't think there is any probability of a United Australia ever being engaged in a prolonged war; at all events, it is not a likely occurrence; and, therefore, because federations have been unsuccessful in the past we must not conclude that the system of federation will not be applicable to our requirements. I quite agree with what Sir James Lee Steere said, that if the Federal Council-which is at present such a federation as obtained in America before the complete union, such a federation as obtained between the Grecian States-is to be superseded, it should be in the manner he advocates, namely, by development. I do not think we are [start page 48] likely to advance the cause of federation by breathing with the past. But for the Federal Council, I am sure this Conference could not have assembled with the prospects of success which I believe now await it. The Federal Council has done a great deal towards fostering the federal spirit, towards drawing the colonies together, and I do trust, whatever the outcome of this Conference and of succeeding Conventions may be, that in every respect the work of the, Federal Council will be recognised, and that any union which may take its place will be as a development and an improvement upon the Federal Council, and will not be in any way founded upon its ruins. So much has been said on the subject of the Canadian Federation, that I feel it is hardly excusable for me to deal further with it, but there is one aspect which I should like to present to the Conference as regards the formation of What is known as the Canadian Confederation, in 1867, and I quite agree with other speakers on this subject that in no sense is the Government of the Canadian States a true federation. It is in reality a national union, and the explanation of its existence is found in the circumstances which obtained in Canada in 1867. What took place in Canada in 1867 has always been looked upon as a movement towards closer union, but I confess that, as far as I have read on the subject, it can in no way bear such an interpretation. The action of Canada in 1867 was, in reality, an act of disunion. The causes which led up to it were the dissatisfaction between Ontario and Quebec-Upper and Lower Canada-with regard to the union which between the years 1841 and 1867 existed between them. In 1841, Upper and Lower Canada, which before that had been under different Parliaments, were united by an Imperial Act under one strong and coercive union. And the action of 1867, instead of being a

drawing into closer union of those two provinces, was, in reality, an action of disruption. It was the union which chafed them; it was not their separation. They were already united in the closest possible bonds, but it was this close union which they objected to, and from which they strove to free themselves. In 1867 two alternative schemes were proposed. One was for a general confederation of the States of Canada, in which Upper and Lower Canada were to be represented, and also Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, and such other states as chose to come into it. But there was an alternative scheme, and that was, that, failing the joining of the other colonies in the federation, the disunion of the previously united Canada should be effected at all hazards. During the very last year in which the united Parliament of Ontario and Quebec sat, an address was presented to Her Majesty the Queen, praying for what? A closer union? No! For centralisation? No! Praying for provincialism, praying for separate Governments, praying for a release from that bond of union which they felt to have chafed and hindered their development. The whole history of Canada was an attempt to unite the different states, not with the view of ministering to the requirements of all the population of Canada, but with the view of stamping out one of the elements existing in Canada, or at least so overruling it that it should have no voice in the government of the country. Lord Durham, who in 1841 presented a report to the Imperial Parliament on the subject, made no attempt to conceal what the real object of the union then advocated was. The object was to denationalize the French inhabitants of Quebec, to give to the English-speaking portions of the community a preponderating influence in the deliberations of the Legislature. I think nothing can be more foreign to our purpose than the spirit which animated the Canadians between the years 1841 and 1867. They had found their union oppressive. The whole Government had become reduced to a deadlock. Between 1862 and 1864 there were no less than five changes of Ministries. The Government could not be continued. They wanted no closer union or Central Government, but provincial Legislatures to guard those local interests which they felt could not be properly dealt with by a central authority. The case of Australasia, of course, presents a complete opposite to what obtained in Canada. Here we have no diverse populations, speaking different languages. Here we have no desire to stamp out the individuality of any class of men who are loyal to the British Crown. In Canada the union was an absolute necessity, to counterbalance the continually increasing and preponderating influence of the United States. A coercive union was an absolute necessity, in order, as Lord Durham stated, to denationalize the French; and because not only was union, but coercive union, necessary, they established a form of government which practically vested all the powers in the Central Government. Here we have no desire to act in such a manner. Here we desire to preserve the individuality of every province and every colony which [start page 49] at present forms the Australian group. The coercion which was necessary in Canada is here unnecessary. We have no fear of one another. In Canada all kinds of local jealousies existed. Here we have no real jealousies, no racial distinctions. Therefore it is not necessary here, where the community is homogeneous and adhesive, to resort to those bonds which, in Canada, were found necessary to counteract the thrust of divergent elements. Fortunately for Canada, the minor scheme, which only dealt with the establishment of local Governments in Upper and Lower Canada, was not resorted to. By all manner of means the other provinces-Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, and eventually Prince Edward Island, and other provinces-were brought into the union. But it must be remembered that each of these provinces joined the union for some immediate and substantial benefit. Nova Scotia and New Brunswick were allowed the special advantage of levying duties on the export of wool and coal. They also had reason to believe they would be largely represented in the Senate of Canada. Twenty-four members were to be allowed to Quebec, twenty-four to Ontario, and twenty-four to the maritime provinces; but as a matter of fact Nova Scotia and New Brunswick now only possess a small amount of that representation. The other provinces joined the confederation under strong dictates of self-interest. They had not all to surrender those individual and sovereign rights which the Colonies of Australia possess. As far as Prince Edward Island is concerned, she had no powers of autonomy at all. Her Executive consisted of a Governor who appointed his own Ministry. Prince Edward Island had everything to gain and nothing to lose by coming into confederation. Instead of losing liberties she absolutely gained everything. She gained some share, at least, of autonomy. In addition to that, a powerful reason existed for the entrance of the island into the confederation. A great difficulty had existed owing to the greater portion of the lands being in the hands of landlords, and to the existence of the fact that settlers on the island found it difficult to make satisfactory terms with the holders. They were brought into confederation under the agreement that this difficulty was to be solved.

Money was to be provided for the purchase of the land for the settlers, and by this means the settlers were to be relieved from the difficulties under which they were laboring Again, Canada had another strong reason for federation. She had long cast covetous eyes on the North-West province, and it was understood, if federation were effected, that that province would be handed over to her. There are many features in connexion with Canada which it would be a misfortune for the Australasian Colonies to follow. Not only is there no equal representation of the states, as such, in either branch of the Legislature, but the Supreme Court in Canada is merely a superior court, and is subject itself to the higher powers of the Privy Council. So that, as has already been mentioned, the Supreme Court, instead of making justice final, as a matter of fact interposes another platform upon which the rich man can fight the poor. Another objection to the system of Canada is that, although many of the local Legislatures have their franchise based on manhood-every man having the right to vote-no such rule obtains in the Dominion of Canada. In the Dominion of Canada, manhood suffrage does not obtain, but property qualification, although not extensive, is imposed on every elector. Again, the power of veto, exercised by the Central Government of Canada over Acts of the provincial Legislatures, has always been found to be exceedingly irritating, and tends to make their affection towards the Central Government less than it otherwise would be. Any Act passed by a provincial Legislature might be vetoed by the Central Government within the space of one year, and any Act passed by the Dominion of Canada as a whole might be vetoed by the Crown within the lapse of two years. I do not think that when we have formed our complete Federation we ought to have so extensive a power of vetoing as that which obtains in the case of Canada. The power of vetoing, if given at all, should be laid down within strict lines. In Canada, however, that power covers most debatable ground, and it is this latitude which renders the exercise of the vetoing power so disastrous in its consequences. Where the lines are strict and well defined no one feels the imposition, but where there is a doubt, at once there exists difficulty and disaffection. Then, in Canada, almost the whole of the revenues got to the Central Government, and have to be repaid in the form of subsidies to the local Legislatures. By far the largest amount of the revenues of provincial Legislatures is derived from subsidies from the Central Government. This, I think all will agree, is a most roundabout way of levying and disbursing the results of taxation. The consideration of the confederations which had existed previously-of the partial confederation, or compromise between the principles [start page 50] of federation and national union in the United States, and the complete union which obtains in Canada under the name of federation-leads us to the conclusion that, in the matter of framing our Constitution, we can have no precedent to guide us. From the very first, we have presented to the world an unprecedented occurrence, and I think that, as our past history has been unprecedented, so our future history must be of a similar character. We must look to ourselves to draw out the lines upon which our great destiny is to be accomplished. We must take counsel of our own necessities, and not be blindly guided by any precedent whatever, I am sure that in this way only shall we arrive at the consummation of our desires. To blindly follow any example would be likely to lead to most disastrous consequences; whereas to follow our own destiny, to trust that power which has hitherto led us to shape a successful course for us in the future, is no more than our past records justify us in doing. Above all things-whatever is the result of this Conference and of succeeding Conferences-I trust that nothing will be done to unduly sacrifice the individuality of the various colonies. Our individualities, our very limitations, are our strength. To attempt to secure anything like uniformity would be most disastrous. Such union as we have must be the union of various elements. Our Australian concert is not to be one of unison, but of harmony, in which the difference of each part blend together in forming the concord of the whole. Considering the true federal spirit which has been animating the various colonies in the past, considering the strong public sentiment which is now growing up in favour of federation, the wonderful growth which has attended this question even within the last few weeks-viewing the progress we have made towards union, viewing the fact that all great forces tend towards union, I do not think we need have my fear whatever of what the ultimate result will be. We can securely look forward to the consummation of Australian unity as a confederation, not as a crushing national union-we can look forward to the consideration of such Australian unity as will preserve our individuality, as an occurrence which is likely to take place before the lapse of many years, and very much earlier than even the most sanguine of us at present are capable of hoping. We have everything in our favour-the differences between us are small and temporary; the bonds of union are large and lasting-and, in common with other members of the Conference, I trust that this meeting will yield no barren fruit, but

will in future stand out as the preliminary step taken by the Australian Colonies towards bringing about the hope of their larger patriotism, a United Australia.

The Conference adjourned, at twenty minutes past four o'clock, until eleven o'clock the following day.