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falsities aside and face stark fact. The individual must learn to see life steadily and see it whole. He must be taught that the essence of social organisation is mutual aid, not mutual hate, At present the tendency of the various groups and classes is to impose on the individual partial views, to commit him to something in the nature of a campaign behalf of his class and against society.

In Australia, education does nothing to correct this tendency. An ignorant and hard-headed practicality dictates

every public estimate mental training. Even in the Universities this influence is far too strong. Faculties of medicine, of engineering and of law flourish; the faculty of science is expected to do “practical research. The faculty of arts is caught in a vicious circle and trains its students to retail subjects which are only studied because they are required for professional matriculation the equipment of a “ teacher.” A Labour

newspaper voices

the general view, somewhat crudely, thus: More time than usual

given to the Education Estimates this year. Much horse sense was talked when the establishment of dental and medical schools was advocated. Either of the latter would have been more useful to the State than the arts as founded. We could well have left the dreamers, snobs, and other graduates in arts to gravitate hither.

(21st December, 1917). It is precisely this attitude which has prevented the various arts faculties of the Australian Universities from justifying their existence; financial assistance is only readily forthcoming for professional schools. Yet the social and industrial problems Australia is compelled to face are at least as practical and as urgent as any technicality. The general result, so far as the Universities are concerned, has been to confine arts studies to a few starved and unrelated specialisms. The Professor of Economics in Sydney, in spite of an eloquent appeal for the development of the social sciences,



has as his assistants lecturers in commercial law, business practice and accountancy. Queensland has no lecturers definitely specialised to economics, political science or constitutional history. The topics of social psychology, social anthropology and sociology are not studied in Australia at all. It might indeed be said that our social troubles are due to failure to educate. Professional or occupational training is, of course, necessary, but training that is merely technical will do nothing to help society to that clearer vision which is the condition of enduring progress. In America, a country which is intelligent and

and “practical enough to satisfy the most exacting critic of universities, departments social study and research are a special feature of academic work. America has come to the conclusion that understanding of the facts of society and social training are at least as important as technical efficiency. The endowments of the State Universities show that they are regarded in the United States not as luxuries but as necessary to the right development of the national life.


The truth is that America has realised that if she is to have universities, she must see to it that they are capable of taking their proper place as a rational influence in the social organism. Australia, we have not recognised this important truth—with the result that our developing society tosses rudderless amidst the irrational forces of political party spleen and class bias. Those individuals who desire to study and to know are largely powerless to help themselves to a wider and more truly social vision. Beyond the shores of Australia, the world-storm rages with increasing intensity; our will to internal cohesion is constantly disturbed by social disorder and, a class-hatred that is fast becoming stereotyped. Yet we alone, of all the civilised nations, give no serious consideration to the deeper social causes of disorder. And our capacity for social unity and peacę diminishes,




By G. V. Portus.


It has been customary to regard the Labour Movement in Australia as beginning from the time of the gold discoveries in 1851. The period 1788-1850 is lightly passed over as furnishing little actual evidence and no real justification for a Labour movement. Recent research is shaking the stability of this theory. Even in the early convict days there a labour problem and, to some extent, a labour monopoly. Such was the necessity for labour in the young settlement that the working day of the convict had to be divided into unpaid time on public works, which was regarded as part of his sentence, and paid time worked for settlers, which was regarded as the convict's own, and for which he kept the reward. And although the early governors 'fixed piece work prices for such outside work, the scarcity of labour drove actual payments for it far above the scheduled price, and the governors were obliged to accept and recognise this. It is doubtful, however, whether this phase of “convict free labour” affected subsequent Labour activities very much.

By the twenties the convict labour monopoly had been broken by the arrival of immigrant artisans who were sufficiently alive to the possibilities of the situation to protest continually against the practice of assigning convicts to work for outside masters for little more than their maintenance. But up to 1829 there appears to have been no organisation of these immigrant artisans on trade union lines,


the next few years we meet with some ventures in the field of co-operation and mutual benefit. The Australian Union Benefit Society, founded in 1834, still exists, but most of the attempts were abortive. No anti-combination acts against Unionism had been promulgated in New South Wales, and the artisans were free to combine as far as the law was concerned. There were occasional strikes over currency and assignment questions, but the first real Trade Union appears in 1833, when certain immigrant mechanics · formed a society, one of whose objects was the maintenance of London piece work prices in the furniture trade. Nearly three years later (1835) the Typographists, who had a tradition of sturdy independence in the early days, formed a fighting Trade Union, and the records of the next ten years show the formation of at least thirteen other societies among different groups of artisans, most of which appear to have been authentic Trade Unions. These societies helped each other in industrial disputes, contributed to support friendly and radical newspapers, paid benefit funds, and maintained embryo labour exchanges at certain "houses of call.” Strikes for higher wages, and for the limitation of apprentices, and agitations against the employment of Chinese in the woollen mills, all occurred during the thirties and forties, and it seems impossible to doubt that there was something in the nature of a labour movement in existence during this period. But until the forties it appears to have been a very small and disjointed business. There were ten Unions in existence in 1840, with a membership of between thirty and forty each. At the higher figure this means 400 unionists in a population of 127,300.1

From 1840 to 1843, however, there is some evidence of a wider combination among the artisans on political lines. In 1840 the members of the ten existing unions presented a medal to a civilian, W. A. Duncan, for his disinterested opposition to harsh Masters and Servants Act. In 1842 an advertisement in Duncan's newspaper called “the trades

And any

delegates" and others to a meeting to protest against the importation of coolie labourers into the colony. And in the following year two large public meetings were convened to petition the Government and the Crown against the continuance of the convict system and the importation of coolies. These petitions were certainly in the labour interest, but the convict question was a burning one to many beside the artisans. The meetings really were political demonstrations preceding the first General Election in New South Wales. Twenty-four members were to be elected to the Legislative Council of the colony, but the franchise was limited to those possessing property worth £200 or paying £20 in rent. There could not have been many artisans possessing these qualifications in 1843. political labour movement of the time had to find some other weapon than the vote. The weapons adopted by the operative leaders in the early forties were the demonstration and the petition, either to the Governor or to the Crown direct. It is not clear to what extent these weapons were adequate for the operatives' purposes. The demonstration of 1843 failed to prevent the opponents of the demonstration from heading the poll; and although the petition against coolies brought a reply that such a step was not contemplated by the Imperial Government, there is nothing to show to what extent the decision was due to this petition. Another petition to the Government in the same year, re-echoing the old protest against the practice of assignment of convict labourers on the grounds that it caused unemployment and distress, accomplished nothing, for assignment was continued until 1845. Hitherto what united agitation had taken place appears to have been directed by a body of delegates from the various Unions helped by one or two public-spirited men outside the artisan ranks. The failure of these petitions, however, suggested to several of the leaders that the time had come for a political union as a means of influencing the Government in favour of the labour interest. And in August, 1843, the

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