1922 Encyclopædia Britannica/Australia

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42485271922 Encyclopædia Britannica, Volume 30 — AustraliaFrank Fox

AUSTRALIA (see 2.941).—Including as it does the adjacent island of Tasmania, but exclusive of its Papuan Territory (about 91,000 sq.m.), the area of the Australian Commonwealth was in 1921 computed at 2,974,581 sq.m., 1,149,320 of which, about five-thirteenths of the total, are within the tropical zone. Between 1901, when the Commonwealth was proclaimed, and 1921, there had been three changes affecting the political boundaries of Australia. In 1906 Papua (the British portion of the island of New Guinea) was taken over from the British Government and constituted a Territory of the Commonwealth. In 1909 the Commonwealth took over an area in the S. of New South Wales which was constituted a Federal Territory and on which was to be built the Federal capital. In 1910 the Northern Territory was taken over from S. Australia and constituted a Federal Territory. The effect of the World War in giving to the Australian Commonwealth, as mandatory under the League of Nations, control of what was German New Guinea and of other ex-German possessions in the Pacific area (roughly about 90,000 sq.m.) does not,strictly speaking, make any change in the area of the Australian Commonwealth since these "mandated" territories are not annexed.

Papua.—The suitableness of Papua for various forms of tropical agriculture is undoubted, but there is a "labour difficulty" in the way of progress. The Papuan, like most South Sea Islanders, has an aversion to steady work. In Fiji, a British colony in the S. Pacific, a position similar to that existing in Papua has been met by the importing of industrious coolies from India to develop the sugar plantations. The Australian Government, however, is determined to keep Papua for the Papuans. It was proposed in 1908 that the Papuan should be forced to do a certain amount of work, either for himself, for private planters, or for the Government, the argument being advanced that since nature was so bountiful as to keep him in reasonable comfort without, work, he would never be driven to labour by necessity, and must, therefore, be brought under some other form of compulsion. The Australian Government vetoed the proposal. In 1918, however, a Native Taxes Ordinance was passed authorizing a tax not exceeding £1 per head on all natives except those in Government employ, or unfit for work, or having four or more living children. The proceeds of the tax will be applied to the benefit of the natives; its effect is designed to stimulate industry on their part. In 1919 about 13,000 natives were engaged in some form of contract labour. The Native Labour Ordinances safeguard strictly the interests of the native workers.

There are about 58,513 ac. under cultivation, mostly planted with coco-nut trees. Rubber, cotton, sisal, and coffee are also grown and mining and pearl-shelling are considerable industries. The system of land tenure is by leasehold; freeholds are not granted; the conditions of leasing are not onerous (see New Guinea).

The Federal Territory and Federal Capital Site.—The constitution having provided that the capital of the Commonwealth should be within the state of New South Wales, at least 100 m. from Sydney, the New South Wales Government in 1909 surrendered to the Commonwealth Government some 900 sq.m. of territory around Yass-Canberra, and also an area of 2 sq.m. on the shores of Jervis Bay for the construction of a Federal port; and with these areas went the right to construct a railway from this port to the Federal Territory.

In 1910 the Federal Government took possession of the Territory. It established there in 1911 a military college and later a naval college at Jervis Bay. In 1913 the work of constructing the Federal city was formally begun. A railway connecting the site with the main line was opened in 1914. The World War seriously interfered with further progress and work on the Federal city was still in abeyance in 1921. About £1,000,000 had been spent.

The Northern Territory.—With an area of 523,620 sq.m. (more than one-sixth of the continent), having some very fertile land, and with a better river system than most other parts of Australia, the Northern Territory is almost empty and undeveloped. The total pop. (other than aborigines) was 4,706 in 1919. The backwardness of the Territory as compared with the rest of Australia is due chiefly to political causes. When the Australian colonies first set up separate households it was convenient to none of them to include the Territory, and it was left in the hands of the Imperial Government. In 1863 South Australia took over the responsibility for the Territory, intending to connect it with Adelaide by a north-to-south trans-continental railway. With such a railway it would have been brought within the ambit of South Australian development. Without that railway it was actually more remote from communication with South Australia than with any other of the states. The railway was begun. It reached Pine Creek from Port Darwin at the N. end, and Oodnadatta from Adelaide at the S. end; then hope of its completion was abandoned. When the Commonwealth came into existence it sought a transfer of the Northern Territory from South Australia. But it was not until Jan. 11911 that the final stage of the negotiations was reached and the Territory assumed by the Commonwealth. The terms of transfer were that all the past deficits incurred by South Australia in the administration of the Territory should be taken over by the Commonwealth, and that the trans-continental railway should be completed from Port Darwin in the N. to Port Augusta (near Adelaide) in the S. The Commonwealth purchased the existing state railway from Port Augusta to Oodnadatta. It has not yet been found possible to go on with this railway project, but, the east-to-west trans-continental railway being completed, the north-to-south in 1921 was being seriously discussed.

In 1912 the Commonwealth Government appointed an administrator for the Northern Territory and took preliminary steps for its development and colonization. As to the possibilities of a white population flourishing in this tropical part of the continent the evidence is reassuring. There is very little malaria, and other specific tropical diseases are absent. The land is generally considered to be suitable for cattle-grazing (there are great herds of wild buffalo) and tropical farming on the coast ; for sheep-farming and dairy-farming on the tablelands. There is said to be mineral wealth, but mining results in the past have usually been disappointing. In its policy of development the Australian Government does not propose to allow any further complete alienation of Crown lands. All titles will be leasehold, but the leases will be in perpetuity, with reappraisement of rent every 14 years in the case of town lands, every 21 years in the case of agricultural and pastoral lands. Up to the present the Northern Territory has not proved a profitable acquisition for the Commonwealth. The year's accounts 1918–9 showed a deficit of £357,760 on an expenditure of £497,301. The administration has been disturbed by troubles similar in character to those which the Mother Country had with the Australian colonists in the early days of Australian settlement.

The Commonwealth

The Federal Act of July 1900 (see 2.966) united in an indissoluble Australian Commonwealth six self-governing colonies, organized as British settlements between 1770 and 1859, which retain their individuality and, for certain purposes, their independence. The federating states, New South Wales (see 19.537 et seq.), Victoria (see 28.37 et seq.), Queensland (see 22.732 et seq.), South Australia (see 25.492 et seq.), Western Australia (see 28.539 et seq.) and Tasmania (see 26.438 et seq.), were left with certain self-governing powers and preserved their own political institutions. Separate notes are added later as to certain details in the internal affairs of the individual states, but in the following account Australia will be considered substantially as a whole, in its aspect of a single national unit.

Population.—Public opinion in Australia has at different times condemned as unsatisfactory the rate of growth of the population both by natural increase and by immigration. The feeling that the natural increase of the population was not sufficient led in New South Wales to the appointment of the Birth Rate Royal Commission (1903). An outgrowth of that commission was a Federal Royal Commission on Secret Drugs and Cures which reported in 1907 and devoted much attention to the matter of artificial limitation of families. It was established fairly clearly by the first of these commissions that there was no natural cause predisposing to sterility in Australia, but that the desire for comfort conduced to a somewhat general artificial limitation of families. As a consequence of this commission some public opinion against the tendency to "race suicide" was aroused; and certain administrative measures were adopted by the Customs and Police departments which sought to lessen the facilities for artificial limitation of families. It is a coincidence, if not a case of cause and effect, that from 1903 "the natural increase" of population in the Commonwealth steadily improved until 1914 when, as a consequence of the World War, there was a very marked decline. Possibly a healthier public opinion following on the report of the Birth Rate Commission was in part responsible. Other possible contributory causes were a great increase in material prosperity following upon federation, and an influx of immigrants from lands where artificial limitation of families was not so much practised. The natural increase per 1,000 of mean population in 1906–10 was 15·93, which was higher than that of any European country, except The Netherlands and Bulgaria, and compared with 11·58 for England and Wales. But in 1915–9 it had fallen to 14·99. Australia has a low birth-rate and a very low death-rate. Taking a pre- war year the Australian death-rate of 10·4 compared with 14·5 for England and Wales, 30·0 for Russia and 19·3 for France.

In regard to immigration Australian public opinion has undergone a marked change, due in the main to a fuller appreciation of the danger of leaving the lonely outpost of the Empire in the South Pacific so bare of population. There was for many years a desire on the part of the exceedingly prosperous working people of Australia to keep out immigrants as much as possible, lest a rush of population should cause a reduction in the wage rate or a lowering of the conditions of life. That desire survives in some quarters, and is still a force to be reckoned with in a country where the Labour voters have the controlling power in politics. But it is being recognized, by Labour leaders as well as others, that a great access of population is necessary to the safety of the country and need not affect the general prosperity of a continent which has a little over 5,000,000, and has room, at a low estimate, for 100,000,000 people. In the beginning of Australian colonization state-aided immigration brought a great influx of people to Australia who otherwise would never have been able to afford the expenses of the long journey from Europe. Since 1906 the policy of state-aided immigration has been reëstablished in Australia, and was afterwards, though interrupted by the war, revived under Commonwealth direction.

On April 3 1911 the decennial census was taken in Australia, and the population ascertained to be 4,455,005, showing a rate of increase for the Federal decennium of 18·05% as against a rate of increase of 18·88 for the previous decennium. But whilst the annual rate of increase from 1901–6 was only 1·39% the annual rate of increase 1906–11 was 2·03. The year 1911 showed a total increase of 143,624, to which natural increase contributed 74,324 and immigration 69,300, exceeding in one year by over 50% the total immigration gains of the previous ten years. Australia had thus "turned the corner" in regard to immigration, but the World War came as a disturbing factor. During 1911–5 the Commonwealth gained 99,393 by immigration; during 1916–9, 24,016.

A preliminary census count of the census of 1921 gave the population of the Commonwealth as 5,419,702, an increase of 969,721 since 1911. In the individual states the figures were: New South Wales 2,096,393, increase 449,659; Victoria 1,530,114, increase 214,563; Queensland 755,573, increase 149,760; South Australia 494,867, increase 86,309; Western Australia 329,228, increase 47,114; Tasmania 213,527, increase 22,316.

The population included 2,751,781 males and 2,667,921 females. In Victoria there was an excess of females over males of 22,294. Full-blood aboriginals and the population of the territories are not included; the proportion of whites in the territories being insignificant. In accordance with these returns New South Wales would gain an extra seat in the House of Representatives, and Victoria lose one.

Social Conditions.—The Australian people are almost wholly British in character; 97·54% of the total are of British origin, 1·21% come from foreign European countries and 1·16% from foreign non-European countries. The average standard of education is high and illiteracy almost unknown. The wage rate is generally high. The cost of living in Australia compares well with the cost in most civilized countries. In 1911 the statistician to the Commonwealth Government, Mr. G. H. Knibbs, instituted an enquiry into the cost of living. Taking four sets of family budgets, (a) of families with £200 a year and over, divided into families of four members and under four members, (b) of families with less than £200 a year, divided similarly, he found that the average percentage of income spent on housing was 13·70, on food 29·30, on clothing 12·72, on fuel and light 3·46, on "other items" (including amusements, thrift, etc.) 40·82%. This last figure gives the best indication of general prosperity, i.e. of a substantial margin out of wages and salaries for non-essential outgoings. The percentage of income expenditure on food in working-class families in Australia was then 36%, as compared with 57% in the United Kingdom, and a general average of over 50% in all other countries for which statistics were available. The cost of living showed in Australia a lower increase consequent upon the war than in most countries. For example, taking 174 as the index number for Sydney in 1913, that index number had risen to 268 (not much more than 50%) in 1919.

The Australian birth-rate was 28·25 in 1913 and 23·78 in 1919. The percentage of illegitimate births to total births was 5·30 in 1919. The marriage rate (number of marriages per 1,000 of mean pop.) was 7·88 in 1919. The celebration of a marriage is more easily effected in Australia than in England. The facilities for divorce differ in various states, divorces being granted more readily in New South Wales and Victoria than in the other states. The total of Australian divorces in 1918 was 721.

A disquieting feature of Australian social life is the preponderance of the urban over the rural population. In South Australia more than one-half of the total population of the state (380,000 sq. m. in extent) is concentrated in the city of Adelaide. In Victoria 50%, in New South Wales 41% of the total population is in one city, and in the whole Commonwealth 42% of the population is contained within six cities. The charm of the cities is great; the conditions in the "back country" are often hard. By cheap railway rates for the farmers' goods, by pushing such of the conveniences of civilization as are under state control as far forward as possible, and by other means, the states and the Commonwealth strive to counterbalance the call of the cities. But all effort seems to be in vain. The proportion of the urban to the total population is growing. In 1906 Sydney had 35% of the total population of New South Wales, Melbourne had 42% of the population of Victoria, and in the whole Commonwealth six cities held 35·49% of the population. Now the proportions have greatly increased as seen above.

Public Health.—Though part of Australia is within the tropics there is practically no tropical disease, and there is an absence also of small-pox, hydrophobia and other diseases which are known in some parts of Europe. The death-rate from all causes in 1919 was 12·8. It is the lowest death-rate in the world except one. Lately there has been a betterment in regard to the infantile death-rate, which the hot summers ruling over the greater part of the Commonwealth make the chief cause of public health anxiety. In 1901 it stood at 103·61 per thousand, in 1919 at 69·21 per thousand. The Commonwealth Government pays a maternity bonus of £5 for every child born of a white woman resident in Australia. All the states have public health organizations to deal specially with infant welfare. Apart from infantile mortality, the chief foes to human life in Australia are tuberculosis, cancer, diseases of the heart and violence.

Education.—The Australian system of elementary education is free, compulsory, undenominational and usually secular. Secondary education is not free, but a generous system of bursaries makes education to the stage of a university degree available to the poorest in most states. There is also a good system of agricultural and technical colleges. In no state is denominational religion taught in the state schools; but private denominational schools exist, being maintained especially by the Roman Catholic Church.

Production and Industry.—The early stage of the federation was marked by a severe drought which checkecl for a time the development of prosperity. From 1905 the growth of prosperity was very great until the check given by the World War and another severe drought. The disturbance to economic conditions caused by that war takes away a great deal of the value of comparative figures. The following figures appear, as regards 1918, more favourable than they really are since the value of the £ sterling if expressed in goods had depreciated seriously since 1914. Total Commonwealth production: 1909 £174,195,000; 1913 £218,103,000; 1918 £298,669,000. Australia is chiefly a pastoral country and her pastoral products represent nearly a third of the total. Her exports alone from the pastoral industry in 1918–9 were valued at £57,624,791. Drought is still a serious enemy of this industry and the effects of recent droughts are reflected in the live-stock returns. In 1910 Australia had 92 million sheep. This fell to 69 millions in 1915, grew to 87 millions in 1918 and in 1919 fell to 84 millions. Cattle have done better and in 1919 had reached the highest record number, nearly 13 millions. Horses number 21/2 millions. Agriculture, which in 1909 produced £41,000,000, in 1918 produced £58,000,000; and dairy produce and bee-farming, which in 1909 produced £15,000,000, in 1918 produced £34,000,000.

Mining keeps up a steady contribution to the national prosperity, £23,000,000 in 1909, £26,000,000 in 1918. Gold production lately has been of decreasing, silver and copper of increasing importance. Coal has improved both in quantity raised and in price realized.

The manufacturing industries of Australia progress with each year, and it is clear that the British and American manufacturer must reckon on strong Australian competition in Pacific markets. In 1909 the manufacturing industries produced £40,000,000, in 1918 £75,000,000, (i.e., added that value to raw materials).

In spite of the drain upon manhood and capital during the World War Australian industrial progress continued. Australia, under the influence of a strongly protective tariff, is entering each year on new fields of industry. In the iron and steel industry one new concern is producing 300,000 tons of steel a year. In shipbuilding Australian cost per ton produced is at the moment lower than that of Great Britain; in 1923 a protective duty of 25% is to be imposed on British ships and of 30% on foreign ships coming to trade in Australian waters. Australia is making a vigorous effort also to encourage the woollen textile industry, and there is mooted a project to give Federal Government assistance to raise a capital of £14,000,000 for textile mills. Easily accessible coal on the mainland and excellent water-power in Tasmania favour manufacturing development, and in many great industries the cost of labour in the Commonwealth is now less than in Great Britain. British manufacturers are in some notable cases establishing branch factories in Australia.

Forests and fisheries bring an amount of £7,000,000 to the Australian purse. But in neither case is there much progress. The timber resources are usually prodigally wasted; and until very recently there was no attempt at reforestation. The fisheries are not exploited in any systematic fashion, there being little or no deep-sea fishing or fish-curing. In both these matters, however, better things are promised in the future. In 1909 the Federal Government launched the "Endeavour," a vessel specially built to investigate and chart deep-sea fishing grounds. The "Endeavour" has since been engaged in the collection of information regarding the migration, feeding grounds, etc., of fish in the waters off the Australian coast, and it is hoped that the ultimate result will be the foundation of a great fishing industry. In 1912 the Australian Government offered bounties for Australian-cured fish. Nothing material resulted.

Trade and Commerce.—After federation the overseas trade of the Commonwealth increased rapidly. In 1901 the total was valued at £92,130,000; the recent figures have been:—

Imports Exports Total Value per
1911 £66,968,000 £79,482,000 £146,450,000 £32 12s. 3d.
1913 79,749,000 78,572,000 158,321,000 32 19 2
1919–20 98,607,000 148,565,000 247,172,000 47 2 1

The bulk of Australia's trade is with Great Britain, and a preferential tariff treatment of British imports is designed to help British as opposed to foreign trade. As a consequence of the war there was a very marked decline of British imports. The following figures of Australian imports will illustrate:—

Percentage from

Year  U.K.  British
All Foreign

1901  59·47  11·22  29·31  13·80 
1911  58·98  12·86  28·16  11·57 
1919  37·10  22·15  40·75  27·29 

This is chiefly a war result. Whilst British industry was to a large extent paralyzed, the United States and British possessions captured a bigger share of the Australian markets. But a slight (very slight) decline in British imports was noticeable before the war and after the granting of a preferential tariff. It is hardly reasonable to expect that British imports will ever go back fully to their old position in the Australian market. Australian exports to the United Kingdom showed a dwindling proportion of the total before the war. War regulations, confining the export of certain products to Great Britain, temporarily arrested that decrease. Taking quinquennial periods from 1899 the first would show an average of 49·56 of exports to the United Kingdom, the second an average of 46·88, the third an average of 45·14. The war period 1914–9 showed an average of 53·46%.

Australian trade with Asiatic countries develops steadily; exports to these countries were valued at £4,500,000 in 1901 and £19,000,000 in 1919.

Communications.—There has been a great railway development in Australia since the foundation of the Commonwealth. In 1901 the total railway mileage was 10,123; in 1919 it was 25,657. Nearly all the lines are owned by the Commonwealth, or the state Governments. In 1917 the Commonwealth-owned trans-Australian railway from Port Augusta to Kalgoorlie was opened, and the five capital cities of the mainland are now linked by rail. The distance between Perth and Brisbane, 3,474 m., is covered in less than six days. Another trans-Australian railway, crossing the continent from N. to S. , is contemplated. Unfortunately there are four different gauges in use on Australian main lines in the various states: the question of the standardization of gauge is under consideration. The capital cost of the Commonwealth-owned railways had reached to £10,950,000 in 1919; revenue did not meet working expenses. The various state-owned railways by the same date had cost £213,971,000. On these working expenses absorbed 74·26% of the gross revenue, and the net revenue gave a return of 3·01 % on the cost of construction. It has to be kept in mind that all the Commonwealth lines and some of the state lines are developmental railways built in advance of the settlement which would make them payable.

The Commonwealth adopted a policy of Government-owned shipping and of close control of private shipping. Up to 1912 Australia was content with navigation laws which sought to keep Australian coastal trade as much as possible for Australian ships, and insisted that all ships engaging in Australian coastal trade should observe Australian conditions in regard to wages, etc. Some very flourishing coastal shipping companies existed under these conditions. But war conditions affected very seriously the transport by sea of Australia's exports and, though relief to one class of producers came through the action of the British Government in buying for a number of years the whole wool crop in Australia, irrespective of when it could be shipped to Europe, there grew up the idea that the Commonwealth did not get as good shipping facilities as if she had her own Government-owned lines. In July 1916 Mr. Hughes, then Prime Minister, bought for the Commonwealth 15 steamers, each of about 7,000 tons, and a local building programme for 48 vessels was announced, with further programmes for building in Great Britain and America. Subsequently the local building programme was cancelled as regards 22 of the vessels; the local building programme for steel vessels (24) was continued, and six of them were running in 1921. In addition the Commonwealth Government had 18 ex-enemy steamers and one ex-enemy sailing vessel under its control. In Feb. 1917, a Commonwealth Shipping Board was set up to control all Commonwealth shipping matters; it has two committees, one for overseas trade with headquarters at Sydney, and one for interstate trade with headquarters at Melbourne. It has, inter alia, powers to divert privately-owned interstate shipping to overseas routes. The enterprise has not been a success either as regards the State ownership of shipping or the close State control of shipping, and there are indications that it may be abandoned. The total overseas shipping entered and cleared in Australia in 1913 was 10,601,948 tons, in 1918–9 6,180,486 tons. British ships were 73·53% of the total in 1913 and 78·90% in 1918–9. Two ports of Australia, Sydney and Melbourne, exceed in shipping tonnage entered the figures for all British ports except London and Liverpool.

Finance (Public).—The Commonwealth Government, which at its inception had a share of the customs and excise as its only great source of taxation, now collects customs and excise, land tax, probate duties, income tax, entertainments tax and special war taxes. Its revenue from taxation and from services was £21,741,000 in 1913–4 and £44,716,918 in 1918–9. The rate of revenue collected per head had increased from £4 9s. 3d. to £8 17s. 9d. The Australian, in addition to these Commonwealth taxes, has to pay state taxes. The average state taxation per head is £11 11s. 6d. and the total taxation per head £2 9s. 3d. Out of the customs and excise revenue collected by the Commonwealth a fixed sum of 25s. per head per year is paid to the states and the states impose their own income and land taxes, stamp duties and probate duties. Out of the Commonwealth revenue is met all defence votes and costs of Federal services.

The Commonwealth Government and the state Government both have power, and exercise it freely, to raise funds by public borrowing, but all the states except New South Wales admit some control on the part of the Commonwealth of their borrowings. The World War added hugely to Australia's debt. In 1919 the Commonwealth Government owed £326,000,000, of which £208,000,000 was held in Australia. The various states owed £396,000,000, of which £138,000,000, was held in Australia. The balance in each case was mainly held in the United Kingdom. Before the war it might be said that the bulk of the Australian debt, both Federal and state, was fully represented by revenue-producing assets such as railways. That could be said of the total (£337,000,000) in 1914 but not of the total in 1920 (£722,000,000), the difference being mostly represented by unproductive war expenditure. Of the state debts a total of about £35,000,000 was due to the Commonwealth Government, and that sum should be deducted from the £722,000,000 to calculate the actual debt load on the Australian people. In 1910 the Commonwealth Government by an amendment of the constitution was given power to take over all the state debts and consolidate them into one Federal issue. The power had not yet been exercised in 1921.

A Commonwealth bank of issue was opened in 1912. Its operations showed a credit balance of £1,922,000 in 1919. It transacts bank business and has a "Savings Bank" section. It had issued notes to the value of £57,000,000 by 1920 and held a gold reserve of 41·17 % against them.

Finance (Private).—There are 21 private banks trading in Australia, of which four have their head offices in London. In 1919 their paid-up capital totalled £35,696,000 and their reserved profits £23,543,000; their total liabilities £257,634,000 and their total assets £277.950,000. Depositors in savings banks numbered 2,945,000 (more than half the population) and the average deposit was £43 12s. 7d. or £25 per head of the whole population.

Government.—Under the Federal constitution the Commonwealth is governed by a governor-general appointed by the British Crown and acting on the advice of a Cabinet which is responsible to an Australian Parliament of two Houses. The Senate represents the states and is composed of six members from each state, elected for six years by the adults of the state voting en masse every three years to return three senators; the House of Representatives is about double the Senate in numbers (75), represents the people numerically, and is elected every three years by the adults of Australia voting in single-member electorates, which are approximately equal in population. The number from each state varies with the growth of population. The Australian Parliament can only act within the powers set forth in the constitution. The High Court is the final interpreter of that constitution and may veto any legislation, either of the states or of the Commonwealth, which is ultra vires.

Political History

The Commonwealth of Australia was formed in 1901 by the union of the six states of New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia, Western Australia and Tasmania. The first Government of the Union was formed by Sir Edmund (then Mr.) Barton (born in N.S.W. 1849, d. 1920). Mr. Barton entered the N.S.W. Assembly as member for the university of Sydney in 1879. His enthusiasm was aroused for the cause of the Federation of Australia. After the death of Sir Henry Parkes he assumed the leadership of the Federal movement. The convention which framed the Federal constitution had recognized Mr. Barton's services by electing him as its leader. Now as Federal Prime Minister he called to his side the premiers of all the federating states; with one exception they responded; and this ministry of "all the talents" appealed to the people for support on a non-party platform.

The Early Parliaments, 1901–7.—The first Federal Parliament was however divided into three parties, that following Sir Edmund Barton, that following the Free Trade leader, Sir George Reid (born in Scotland in 1845, d. 1918), and the Labour party, under the leadership of one of the remarkable men of Australian public life, Mr. J. C. Watson. Born of poor Scottish parents in 1867 while on the voyage to Australia, Mr. Watson was in boyhood deprived of nearly all the advantages of education, but taught himself enough to become a printer. Sagacious, tactful, resolute, he came to the front in the Australian Labour movement and was elected first leader of the Federal Labour party. The success of the Labour party under his leadership at the polls was extraordinary. The first Parliament of the Commonwealth, divided as between the Government followers and Mr. Reid's Opposition party almost equally, had the Labour party holding the balance of power. This made a position of difficulty for the Government. The common-sense and moderation of Mr. Watson saved the situation to some extent. He gave a general support to the Government and assisted them in their most pressing tasks. Nevertheless the first Parliament was hampered by party fighting, the Opposition seeking to win the Labour party over to their side, and the Government being forced to postpone a good deal, to modify a good deal, in order to keep in office. Sir Edmund Barton was deeply disappointed. He had looked to a first patriotic Parliament completing without any "scuffling on the steps of the temple"—to use his own phrase—the measures necessary for the stability of the Federation. He experienced a first Parliament in which party rancour was extraordinarily rife. He retired to accept a Federal judgeship, and Mr. Deakin (born in Victoria in 1856, d. 1919) took his place (Sept. 1903).

Mr. Alfred Deakin met the second Parliament of the Commonwealth in 1904 with his own following reduced, the following of the Labour party increased. In April 1904 Mr. Deakin went out of office and was succeeded by Mr. Watson. In Aug. of the same year Mr. Deakin gave his support temporarily to Mr. George Reid, and Mr. Reid's administration supplanted Mr. Watson's. This lasted through a long recess and a few days of parliamentary life, and in July 1905 Mr. Deakin came back to office with the support of Mr. Watson. Mr. Watson was at that time determined on resignation from political life as he could not keep pace with the extremist elements in the Labour party. But he was strongly convinced that a measure of tariff reform was necessary, and resolved to remain in Parliament until it was effected. The first Federal tariff had had to make concessions to Free Trade sentiment. The second tariff was completely protectionist, and introduced a new principle into Australian politics by granting a "preference" to British imports. At the third general election in 1907 the Labour party again improved its position, mostly at the expense of its allies.

Mr. Watson kept the leadership of the Labour party, and kept that party solidly behind Mr. Deakin, until the tariff was settled. Then he retired and Mr. Andrew Fisher took his place. Born in Scotland in 1862 Mr. Fisher was brought up as a coal-miner. He went to Queensland in 1885, entered the state Parliament and later the Federal Parliament. He had been included in Mr. Watson's Cabinet. Now, assuming the leadership, he very quickly gave Mr. Deakin notice to quit, and in 1908 formed his own administration. It lasted little more than six months. Mr. Deakin then formed a coalition with the remnants of the Free Trade Opposition, no longer led by Mr. George Reid but by Mr. Joseph Cook (born in England in 1860), and the Deakin-Cook administration came into office. One of its first acts was to send Mr. George Reid to London as a first High Commissioner for the Commonwealth; Mr. Reid, on assuming this office, accepteda knighthood. Mr. Cook, like Mr. Fisher, had been a miner. He entered the New South Wales Parliament as a Labour member, drifted away from his party and entered the Federal Parliament as a Free Trader. He now joined with Mr. Deakin to oust the Labour party from office, one ground of attack being their lack of proper sympathy with the cause of Imperial defence.

Australia's War Forebodings.—This was at the time of the European crisis over Austria's annexation of Bosnia-Herzegovina, when public interest throughout the British Empire was being stirred over the question of maintaining British supremacy at sea and of strengthening the hands of the Imperial Government in view of increasing international complications. New Zealand had promptly offered to provide a "Dreadnought" for the British navy. It was objected that Mr. Fisher had not done likewise. He claimed that his Imperial patriotism was not wanting, but that in his judgment more useful action could be taken by hurrying on with the creation of an Australian navy. This navy, he stated in a despatch to the British Government, would be organized and controlled by Australia in times of peace, but on the outbreak of war would automatically pass to the control of the British Admiralty. Amid bitter party wrangles the third Australian Parliament closed its life in Jan. 1910.

The general election of 1910 resulted in a victory for the Labour party under Mr. Fisher. The party captured a working majority in both the Senate and the House of Representatives. The decision which gave Australia's destinies completely into the hands of the Labour party (and that not the Labour party of Mr. Watson, but of Mr. Fisher—much more of a "party" man) was influenced very largely by negative considerations. The people disliked deeply the coalition of Mr. Deakin with Mr. Cook, who had before seemed to represent absolutely irreconcilable ideas in politics; and a vote for the Labour party was in many cases a vote of non-confidence in the coalition rather than actually an endorsement of Labour policy. An indication of this fact was given a little later, when the Labour Government (May 1911) submitted to a direct poll of the people certain amendments of the Federal constitution, without which it could not carry out its Labour policy. These amendments sought (a) to give the Commonwealth Parliament full power to legislate with respect to trade and commerce instead of the limited power it had under the constitution (the limitation stood in the way of Federal legislation dealing with the conditions of labour); (b) to give the Commonwealth Parliament full power over all trading corporations; (c) to give the Commonwealth Parliament specific power to deal with the wages and conditions of labour and with labour disputes; (d) to give the Commonwealth Parliament power to deal with all combinations and monopolies. A further proposed amendment of the constitution was to give the Commonwealth Parliament power to declare that any business was a "monopoly," and, following such declaration, to acquire it, paying on just terms for any property used in connexion with it. By a majority of about 250,000 votes in a total poll of about 1,155,000 votes the people declared against these amendments of the constitution. Thus a Labour Government was left in office without power to carry out its Labour policy.

The Fisher Government soon cleared itself very completely of any suspicion of a lack of earnestness regarding the defence of Australia and the Empire. In 1909, whilst Mr. Deakin was Prime Minister, an Act of Parliament had been passed enforcing military training on all able-bodied male citizens. This enactment of universal service had not been opposed by the Labour party. Indeed their criticism was that the system proposed to be enforced was not thorough enough; and the Government of the day promised that an expert from Great Britain should be asked to report on the system. Field-Marshal Viscount Kitchener accepted an invitation to visit Australia, and his report came before the Parliament of 1910 with a Labour Government in power. That Government not only accepted all his recommendations but in some cases crossed his "t's" and dotted his "i's." There was established a system of universal training for military defence which Lord Kitchener guaranteed as adequate and which the Fisher Government enforced against various protests with a resolute courage. In the matter of naval defence the Fisher Government was equally firm in dissociating itself from any faltering policy. A Commonwealth navy came into actual being as a fleet unit in 1913 when the battle cruiser "Australia" ("Dreadnought cruiser" type) and the light cruisers "Melbourne" and "Sydney" arrived in Australian waters. The same year the King laid the foundation-stone in London of Australia House, the splendid headquarters of the Commonwealth High Commissioner. A further step in the organization of the new nation was the appointment of the Inter-state Commission which, under the constitution, has power to adjudicate on and administer all laws relating to trade and commerce. It acts, in a sense, as a commercial High Court. Among its powers is that of preventing any preferential or discriminatory rates on the state railways.

The general elections in 1913 were unfavourable to the Fisher Government, and Mr. Joseph Cook took office with a majority in the House of Representatives but not in the Senate. His Government kept office under very difficult circumstances almost until the outbreak of the World War. On July 30 1914 the governor-general dissolved both Houses of Parliament, and in the general election that followed the Labour party won a majority both in the House of Representatives and in the Senate. A proposal to form a "national" Government representing all parties was not successful and Mr. Fisher formed his fourth administration in Sept. 1914. He gave up the Prime Ministership shortly afterwards to become High Commissioner in London and was succeeded by Mr. W. M. Hughes, his chief colleague. Mr. Hughes (born in Wales in 1864) on first coming to Australia was forced to many strange shifts to make a livelihood. But entering the N.S.W. Parliament as a Labour member of the "extremist" kind he soon proved himself to have ability and fighting force of a rare order. Though subject to weak health, and later handicapped by deafness, he fought his way to the front rank by sheer grit. Seldom loved, he was always feared. Coming to the head of the Government in war-time he had fine scope for his combative genius. He earned bitter hatreds as well as generous praise in Europe and in his own country from 1914 to 1921.

Australia in the World War.—The gallant deeds of the Australian naval and military forces in the World War cannot be separated conveniently from the general history of the campaign, and there will be noted here only the political and civil developments. Australia entered the war with an enthusiasm of patriotism which obscured for a time any open sign of the fact that there was a section of the population which reflected closely the opinions of the Irish Nationalist party. About a third of the Australian population is of Irish origin; of this third the majority were (and are) more Australian than Irish in their national outlook, but a fraction of them have always inclined to give a first place to their Irish sympathies. Some dignitaries of the Roman Catholic hierarchy (which is largely Irish in origin and in education) have done much to encourage this fraction. As the war developed and an opposition to the British cause grew up in Ireland there was an echo of this in Australia. It was never sufficient to stand in the way of a whole-hearted prosecution of the war; nor did Irish Australians as a class refuse to take their share of the war's perils. But it was sufficient to prevent in 1916 and again in 1917 the passing of a referendum to enforce conscription for service overseas because it was able then to enlist on its side a genuine Australian feeling, partly made up of an objection to compulsion as under the circumstances supererogatory, and partly arising from personal hostility to Mr. Hughes.

A full understanding of the Australian character is needed to reconcile some apparently conflicting circumstances from 1914 to 1918. At the outbreak of the war Australia had a fleet in being which was at once transferred to the British Admiralty and did most useful work in the Pacific and in European waters. There was never a suggestion to tie it down to home waters nor to limit its best strategic use as determined by the British Admiralty. On the military side Australia had instituted a compulsory National Defence system for home defence, and this system was far enough advanced to be of some use in the recruiting of an Australian army. But the nation relied, as did Great Britain at the outset, on voluntary enlistment for overseas service. There was a magnificent response to the call for volunteers. By the end of the year Australian forces had seized the German Pacific possessions, troops had been offered for service abroad and 31,000 had left Australia for Egypt. In 1915 the Australian Expeditionary Force went through the unhappy Gallipoli campaign, and in 1916 was taking a distinguished part in France and in the Near East. The number of Australian divisions serving abroad represented a full quota of its manhood (five divisions to represent five million people) .

When in 1916 conscription was proposed, that section of the Irish Australian people which, following the unhappy course of events in Ireland, had become hostile to Great Britain, opposed it (as did some other sections of the people). Their influence was sufficient to defeat this proposal, partly because it was understood that Mr. Hughes, the Prime Minister, would resign if his proposal were defeated, and many wished him to resign; but chiefly because the Australians felt that—to use their own vernacular—"they were doing a fair thing, anyhow." Since, in all, Australia sent 329,682 troops abroad, and they suffered 317,953 casualties (58,961 killed) and incurred war expenditure totalling £288,000,000 it cannot be said that there was any half-hearted Australian participation in the World War, though the result of injudicious political action was at one time to give that impression. Indeed the Australian national character came out of the test of the war very well. The Australian troops, the "Anzacs" as they came to be known from the initials A.N.Z.A.C. (Australia-New Zealand Army Corps), won a splendid reputation for courage and steadfastness. The Australian civil population bore without murmuring the heart-breaking losses of the Gallipoli expedition and the devastation—smaller as regards loss of life but more cruel in its needless sacrifice—of the outbreak of venereal disease following the location of their young troops near the stews of Cairo. When an Australian corps was formed in France under an Australian leader, Lt.-Gen. Sir John Monash, and did really conspicuous service in 1918, Australian pride knew no bounds. Lt.-Gen. Sir John Monash was one of the figures of the war. Born of Jewish parents at Melbourne 1865 he graduated at Melbourne University as a civil engineer. In 1887 he received a commission in the Australian militia as a lieutenant and thereafter took a passionate interest in military history and military science. At the outbreak of the war he was at first appointed military censor in Australia with the rank of colonel. Later he served throughout the Gallipoli campaign and in Egypt, and then as G.O.C. the Third Australian Division in France. Finally, in May 1918 he was given command of the Australian Corps. In this command he proved conspicuous ability and energy. His first operation at Hamel, July 4 1918, had the distinction of being made the subject of a special staff brochure by the British General Staff.

Sir John Monash tells his own story of the campaign in The Australian Victories in France in 1918. British military opinion of the Anzacs was described in "G.H.Q." by " G.S.O."

Australia has made generous provision for her ex-service men. Pensions payable for total disability range from £2 2s. to £3 a week according to rank, with extra provision for a wife and all children under 16. A totally disabled soldier with wife and five children gets £3 172. 6d. a week. Ex-soldiers and sailors are helped liberally to reëstablish themselves in civil life. Coöperating with the state Governments the Commonwealth Government has made available farming lands, and grants and loans for houses, working capital, etc.

Before the war German trade and industry had strong footholds in Australia, German shipping lines and German metal companies in particular. Indeed the Germans had almost a monopoly of the treatment of Australian base metal ores. On the outbreak of war, steps were taken to extirpate all German interests in Australia, and the legislation against enemy property, and for the internment of enemy subjects, was far more severe than in Great Britain at the time. The German had never been popular in Australia as a trader, and there was some reflection in the rigour of the special war legislation of old hostility to a people who came under the suspicion of not playing the game."

Australia and the Peace.—Mr. Hughes as Prime Minister had during the war many political crises to face. His war attitude—which was ultra-vigorous—was very warmly approved in Great Britain by those who thought that Mr. Asquith's Government was somewhat slow in taking the necessary steps. This approval, expressed as it was with perhaps an excess of zeal, did not make things easier for Mr. Hughes with some Australians, who conceived the suspicion that he was "playing to the London gallery." No more deadly charge could be brought against a colonial politician than that. The Australian people are fervent in their Imperial loyalty, but they have always been jealous of "Downing Street interference" and somewhat suspicious of a London popularity for their leaders.

Internal dissensions forced a reconstruction of Mr. Hughes's Cabinet in Nov. 1916. Mr. Hughes and the Labour party drifted further apart and in 1917 he broke with them definitely, and, after an appeal to the country, formed a new ministry mainly from the ranks of the Opposition and including only three of his old Labour colleagues. A later appeal to the electors at the end of 1919 was destructive to the power of the Labour party (which was actively assisted by the "Irish party") both in the Senate and the House of Representatives, but brought into being a new group, "the Country party," which represents chiefly agricultural interests. Mr. Hughes formed a new Government in Jan. 1918, but up to 1921 it had had a somewhat precarious existence and had been subject to serious internal dissensions. None of these home political troubles, however, diverted Mr. Hughes from his campaign against the German enemy and against British elements which he considered to be not earnest enough in their antagonism to Germany. He was in London for a long term during the war, and in 1919 was in Paris as the Australian representative to the Peace Conference. One result of the World War had been to define the status of the great British dominions as that of really independent nations under the Crown. Mr. Hughes at the Peace Conference took full advantage of this new status, and vigorously fought for his idea of a peace much more punitive in terms to Germany than that actually agreed to. He was always in opposition to Mr. Wilson, often in opposition to Mr. Lloyd George. He wanted from Germany a full indemnity covering all war costs. He objected to any authority being granted to the League of Nations over ex-German territories in the Pacific which, he contended, should be straightforwardly annexed to Australia. Curiously enough, in this attitude Mr. Hughes was much more vigorously supported by a section of the British public than by his Australian constituents. He was acclaimed by many of these latter, but, returning to Australia, did not find the nation united under his leadership. His Cabinet was afterwards in a constant state of crisis, and early in 1921 it was rumoured that he would give up the Prime Ministership and come to London as High Commissioner, an office which Mr. Fisher had just vacated. But Mr. Hughes attended the Imperial Conference in London in June 1921 as Prime Minister.

The Constitution and the High Court.—The Federal constitution, in safeguarding the Federal power from trespass by the states and the power of the states from trespass by the Federation, necessarily set up a system of conservative check. But the full extent of that check was only understood when a High Court began to interpret various statutes in the light of the constitution. Already a considerable amount of the legislation of the Australian Parliament has been declared ultra vires by the High Court. Some of the decisions affected political issues so deeply that it was sought to amend the constitution so as to facilitate "Labour" legislation, but this effort failed. The power to amend the constitution is subject to many safeguards. A proposed amendment must first have the approval of an absolute majority of both Houses of Parliament; it is then submitted to a poll of the people, and to pass must secure (a) a majority of the total votes cast; (b) a majority of the votes cast in a majority of the states. If the three largest states voted "Yes" and the three smallest states voted "No," though the total Australian vote was "Yes," the proposed amendment would still fail.

In 1906 the Australian Parliament had passed an "Excise Act" which was intended to enforce what was called "the New Protection." A high protective duty had been placed on agricultural machinery, and at the same time an excise duty on the same machinery manufactured locally, with the provision that the excise duty should be remitted if the manufacturers paid "fair wages." On June 26 1908 the High Court declared this Act invalid, on the ground that it was not what it purported to be—a taxing Act, but rather an Act to regulate wages within a state, a thing which the Federal power was not competent to undertake under the constitution.

The first two Australian Parliaments devoted much time to discussing a Federal Industrial Arbitration Act, which included in its control state railway servants. This inclusion was nullified by a High Court decision that it was an unconstitutional interference by the Federal power with the affairs of the states. In the Trade Marks Act the Australian Parliament gave trade unions the right to register what is known in the United States as the "Union label," a mark showing that certain goods were manufactured by trade-union labour only. The Australian High Court (Aug. 1908) set this part of the statute aside on the ground that such a "Union label" was not a genuine trade mark, and the proposal to register it as a trade mark was really a subterfuge to assume control of labour conditions which were outside the province of the Commonwealth.

Not only Federal legislation but state legislation has been vetoed. An Arbitration Act in N.S.W. had sought to give the widest powers of regulating industrial disputes. In a series of five judgments the High Court gave such a strict interpretation to the provisions of that Act that it was more than half destroyed. (The High Court is the only court of appeal in cases affecting the constitution, and is with the Privy Council an alternative court of appeal in all other cases.)

In 1911, and again in 1913, 1915 and 1919, proposals were submitted to referenda for amendments of the Federal constitution which would legalize for the future the Labour legislation which the High Court had vetoed: all were rejected. The Australian constitution, as interpreted by the High Court, remains a barrier against any great development of socialistic enterprise on the part of the Commonwealth Government. In its working the Australian constitution has proved the most conservative instrument of Government within the British Empire.

Industrial Disputes.—Australia has elaborate machinery in Commonwealth and state Arbitration Courts for the settlement of industrial disputes without strikes. But strikes are very frequent and do grave damage to the development of the country. They are directed against the state as an employer as well as against private employers. The strike on the Victorian state railways in 1903 was followed in 1908 by a strike on the Sydney state tramways. Both of these strikes against state employers failed. New South Wales in 1908 altered its industrial arbitration system, and, this alteration being resented by the trade unions, various strikes followed. The next year (1909) more serious strikes broke out on the Broken Hill (N.S.W.) silver-mining and the Newcastle (N.S.W.) coal-mining fields. Stern measures were taken by the New South Wales Government to repress these strikes, and the leaders in the strike movement were arrested and some of them punished with imprisonment. In 1910 there were strikes of tramway-employees at Perth (W. Aus.) and of transport workers at Adelaide (S. Aus.). In 1912 the tramway employees of Brisbane came out on strike because of a slight grievance against their employers (a private company). The leaders fomented a sympathetic strike on "syndicalist" lines, calling out the workers in every industry with the avowed object of preventing all business. Serious riots accompanied the strike. The state Government acted with decision, and the strike disorders were crushed and the syndicalist movement defeated.

The World War did not stop strikes. In 1914 and again in 1916 there were serious coal strikes. Working-days lost through strikes in successive years were: 1913,623,000; 1914, 1,090,000; 1915,583,000; 1916, 1,678,000; 1917, 4,599,000; 1918, 580,000; 1919, 5,652,000. The losses in wages through strikes during the period 1913–9 were estimated at £8,500,000—big figures for a country of which the total pop. is only 5,000,000. The statistics as to the methods of settling strikes force the conclusion that the legal industrial arbitration machinery is not effective—of 460 disputes settled in 1919 only 38 were settled by the state Arbitration Courts and nine by the Commonwealth Arbitration Courts.

The Tariff.—The Australian tariff is protective, with a rebate on some of its rates for British productions. The first tariff passed in 1901 was mildly protective; the second passed in 1908 was more stringently protective but made a "preference" concession to British manufacture. Successive changes since have been always in the direction of higher protection, keeping the Imperial preferential element, and (in an Act of 1920) extending it to other dominions of the British Crown. In the attempt to quicken the growth of Australian production a system of bounties was instituted by legislation in 1907, 1912 and 1918. Bounties are paid on the local production of certain agricultural products (cotton, rice, coffee, cigar tobacco leaf, dried fruits, fibres, oil); of preserved fish; of iron and steel; of shale oils; of sugar, if grown by white labour; of combed wool or wool "tops" exported.

Defence.—When the Commonwealth Government took over the defence of Australia from the states in 1901 there existed for land defence in the various states very small forces of regular troops, used as instructional cadres and as garrisons for the forts; small forces of militia, enlisted under a voluntary system and paid for about 16 days of drill and camp training a year; further small forces of volunteers, not paid at all, and giving usually but scanty time to training. The total of these forces was 25,873, of whom a proportion could be counted as efficient. Naval defence, apart from the existence of various small craft, was entrusted to the British navy, and a yearly subsidy (up to £126,000) was paid to the British Admiralty on condition that a fleet of a certain strength was maintained in Australian waters and certain facilities given to Australians wishing to enter the naval service.

At first the Federation did little to disturb these arrangements. The fleet subsidy was continued and extended. The military forces were taken over as they were. But the Defence Act of 1903 gave indication of a new spirit. It made provision for the enlistment of all able-bodied males for defence service in case of war. An amendment proposed by Mr. W. M. Hughes, then one of the leading members of the Labour party, that this universal obligation to military service should be accompanied by a universal obligation to training for service, was rejected. But it was inevitable that in time the one should follow the other. Mr. Hughes constituted himself the parliamentary champion of compulsory training for service, and—assisted outside the House by the National Defence League, of which Col. Gerald Campbell, a volunteer officer of distinction, was the moving spirit—eventually secured the acceptance of the principle.

A series of Acts from 1909 to 1918 gave Australia a military system under which, with few exceptions, the whole manhood of the country is trained to the use of arms. Under this system, at the age of 12, a boy must begin training (chiefly physical culture) as a junior cadet. Training as a senior cadet begins at 14 and lasts until 18; it comprises drills equivalent to 16 full days a year. At the age of 18 the obligation to undergo adult training begins, and lasts until the age of 26. This adult training consists of the equivalent of 16 full days' drilling a year, of which not less than eight shall be in a camp of continuous training. In the case of the artillery and the engineers the training extends to 25 days a year, of which not less than 17 must be in camp. There are certain exceptions, including one making provision for those who have conscientious scruples against bearing arms; these however are trained for the hospital and ambulance services. The thinness of the population in some districts forces another class of exemption; the residents of the far "Outback" cannot be economically mobilized for training, and for the present are left out of the scheme. A Staff College in the Federal Territory is provided for the training of officers, and its organization is on severely practical lines. Cadets are accepted after examination. The whole cost of their college training is borne by the army estimates, and parents are forbidden to supplement the messing allowance by private pocket-money. Even railway fares to and from the college when cadets go on holiday leave are paid by the Government, as are also all costs of uniform and equipment. A severe but not unwholesome discipline is exacted; the drinking of alcoholic liquors and cigarette smoking are both forbidden in the college. The normal course lasts four years and is followed by a tour of duty in England or in India, after which graduates are available for staff appointments in Australia and New Zealand (the latter dominion shares in the carrying on of the college). During the World War the course at the Staff College was somewhat modified and 158 cadets were specially graduated for service at the front. The college provides for 150 cadets.

As, after training, the citizen soldier passes into a reserve, the potential military resources of the Commonwealth in the future are only to be calculated by the total number of males of "military age," minus those who had been exempted from training. On the basis of the present population there would be 366,000 males between the ages of 18 and 26; 330,000 between 26 and 35, and a further 614,000 between 35 and 60. Exemptions, at a broad guess, might be 25%. The organization of the establishment is at present 90 squadrons of light horse, 52 batteries of field artillery, 93 battalions of infantry, and a due proportion of engineers and army service corps.

In regard to naval defence there was strong criticism of the subsidy policy at the very outset of the Federation. But that policy was warmly supported by the British Admiralty and the Imperial Defence Committee; and the impression was given that the only alternative to an Australian cash subsidy towards the British navy was no coöperation at all in the naval defence of the Empire. Indeed the early advocates of an Australian navy were met in their own country with charges of disloyalty to the Mother Country. But Australian public opinion steadily hardened on the subject. The British Admiralty was ultimately converted, in part at least. On Dec. 19 1907 Mr. Deakin, as Prime Minister of Australia, outlined a scheme by which Australia would devote the amount of the naval subsidy, then £200,000 a year, to the building of an Australian fleet, under the control of the Commonwealth Government but trained to coöperate with the British navy.

The general anxiety as to the European situation in 1909 made the subject of Imperial defence of the first importance. Australia was represented at an Imperial Defence Conference in 1909, which showed a remarkable change of opinion on the subject of "local navies" on the part of the British Admiralty. They brought down to the Conference, as a substitute for an Australian subsidy to the British navy, a proposal for the building of an independent Australian fleet unit with the help of a British Treasury subsidy of £250,000. The Australian Government adopted the scheme in its entirety, except that it refused to accept the subsidy and decided to put the whole cost on the Australian taxpayer. Under this scheme Australia was to provide a fleet unit with a "Dreadnought" cruiser as its chief vessel.

In March 1911, at the request of the Australian Government, and at the close of a visit to Australia, Admiral Sir Reginald Henderson reported on the naval needs of the Commonwealth. His report was accepted, and it represents the present aim of Australian naval defence. In 1919 Admiral of the Fleet Lord Jellicoe visited Australia to advise the Commonwealth as to their naval programme in the light of the lessons of the war. In 1921 a special conference was held at Singapore to consider the Pacific naval position. It was announced by the British Admiralty early in 1921 that British naval policy (especially in regard to a battleship programme) would not be finally decided upon until after discussion with the dominions. Thus the wheel had come full circle from the British Admiralty attitude of 1907, which discountenanced any dominion naval action except a financial support for the British navy, to the decision that the British naval programme must not be finally settled without consulting the dominions.

The Australian naval organization has a naval college at Jervis Bay for the education of naval officers. The system follows that of Great Britain exactly except that all expenses of the cadets are met by the Commonwealth Government and parents pay no fees. There is also a training-ship at Sydney for the training of other ranks. The Australian navy is in charge, for the Empire, of the S. Pacific naval station. It has a fleet of 30 surface warships headed by the battle cruiser "Australia," six submarines, and various auxiliaries.

Australia's defence expenditure (naval and military) in 1905 was less than £1,000,000. In 1918–9 it was £87,270,000, and the estimates for 1919–20 were for £81,029,000.

The visit of the Prince of Wales to Australia in 1920 was marked by the most cordial demonstrations of loyalty and personal affection. An effort was made by the Irish party and an extremist Labour section to strike a discordant note. It failed completely. The Australian soldiers in France had been won by the Prince's qualities of courage, dutifulness and charm to what may be called without exaggeration a devoted admiration. They gave the lead to Australian public sentiment in the welcome of the royal visitor.

New South Wales

The area of New South Wales is computed at 309,472 square miles. The state has progressed rapidly since federation. The pop in 1900 was 1,364,590 and in 1919 2,002,631. In 1908 New South Wales reestablished a system of state-aided immigration. The city of Sydney has shown a remarkable growth since federation, and in 1912 a "Million Club" was formed to foster the growth of the city to 1,000,000 inhabitants. Pop. (1921) 828,700.

Politically, New South Wales was the original headquarters of the Australian Labour party; its state Parliament is usually controlled by the Labour party and the Premier in 1921 was the Hon. John Storey, leader of the Labour party. At the time of the Union, New South Wales was the centre of anti-federation, and its hesitancy to throw in its lot with the other states caused some delay in realizing the Union. A certain anti-federal spirit persists, and is shown in the fact that this state stands out from the Federal control of its borrowings. No state has benefited more from the Union, the effect of which tends to group most of the great industries of the Commonwealth around the New South Wales coal-fields. A recent development of great importance was the foundation of steel manufacture at Newcastle.

Besides Sydney (the greatest port of Australia and the chief entrepôt for the American, the Asiatic and the Pacific trade), New South Wales has notable cities in Newcastle—the centre of the coal-mining industry—Broken Hill, a great silver, zinc and lead-mining town in the far W. of the state; Tamworth, Bathurst, Goulburn, Wagga and Albury, pastoral and agricultural centres.

The governor in 1921 was Sir Walter Davidson.


Since Federation the pop. increased from 1,197,206 to 1,495,938 (1919). State-aided immigration was reestablished in 1908 and a vigorous policy of closer settlement has been adopted. Before the Union Victoria had established by a high protective tariff a lead in the manufacturing industries. That lead has now passed to New South Wales. Victoria is, however, developing with energy her agricultural interests, and has lately made good progress with intensive fruit-growing on the banks of the river Murray. The area under all crops in 1919 was 3,942,000 acres. The state has been more stable in its politics than most of its neighbours and is the centre of Australian Conservatism. As temporary seat of the Commonwealth Government, Melbourne (pop. 743,000), the capital of Victoria, is also the political capital of Australia, and the housing of the chief Federal departments there has given some impetus to the city's growth. Since the inauguration of the Federation it has been improved greatly in appearance by a scheme of tree decoration applied to the river banks and the chief streets.

The governor in 1921 was the Earl of Stradbroke.

South Australia

S. Australia has an area of 380,070 sq.m. and a pop., in 1919, of 468,194, having been relieved of the care of the Northern Territory. The state is facing the development of its "dry-belt," where wheat-growing has been found to be possible with a very low average rainfall. In 1901 the area under wheat was 1,743,452, in 1919 2,186,349 acres.

In politics South Australia has always been very progressive in spirit. It was the first state to enfranchise women, and most of the "social reform" legislation of Australia originated here.

The governor in 1921 was Sir Archibald William Weigall.

Western Australia

The pop. was 331,660 in 1919. The state has had for many years a system of state-aided immigration. The backwardness in development of this, the largest of the states, is being met by a vigorous land settlement policy. In 1920 the state had 1,605,000 ac. under crop, mostly wheat. The gold yield is dwindling. In 1918 it was 876,512 oz. compared with 1,595,270 oz. in 1909. But W. Australia is still by far the largest producer of gold in Australia.

The governor in 1921 was Sir Francis Newdigate Newdegate.


The pop. was 725,220 in 1919; the state has progressed greatly since federation. Alone among the Australian states it develops its railways from several maritime centres instead of from the one capital city. The sugar industry is a great source of Queensland wealth, and some anxiety was formerly felt as to whether the "white labour" policy of the Commonwealth would not ruin this industry. That anxiety no longer exists.

Politically the state is one of the strongholds of the Labour party, and during 1920 its Labour Government was strongly criticized in Great Britain for passing an Act which was regarded as repudiating the conditions under which British capital had been advanced for pastoral development.

The governor in 1921 was Sir Matthew Nathan.


With a very mild climate, in which drought is unknown, Tasmania (pop. in 1919, 216,757) is destined to be the garden, orchard and small-culture farm of the mainland. A new source of wealth now being developed is that of the production of electricity from water-power. A great industrial future is promised from the utilization of the Great Lake water-power, and there has been talk even of carrying electric power by cables across to the mainland.

The governor in 1921 was Sir William Allardyce.  (F. F.)