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nations. See a fuller discussion of this subject in Dr. Harper's chapter on White Australia.”
(t) Note for example Mr. Deakin's insistence, in speech to the Commonwealth Parliament in December, 1907, that " the control of vessels built and maintained at Australian expense must remain with its Parliament, which would place them under the (British) Commander-in-Chief whencver that was deemed necessary.” “In time of war they would almost certainly be placed by the Commonwealth Government of the day directly under the Admiral commanding the Eastern Squadron.” But “it must be clearly understood that the decision must rest absolutely in the hands of the responsible Government of Australia when the emergency arises.” Mr. Fisher, speaking for the Labour Party, then in opposition, said:-" We hold that the sole control of the fleet must be with the Commonwealth." The defence scheme adopted by the Imperial Conference of 1911 says:
In time of war, when the naval 'service of a Dominion has been put at the disposal of the Imperial Government by the Dominion authorities, the ships will form an integral part of the British Fleet."
(u) e.g., Sir William Lyne, the Premier of New South Wales:-"I am not going into the merits of the war at the present time; but I say that once war is entered upon, it is our duty to support the Imperial Government in the step which they have taken." Mr. Wise, by far the ablest member of the Ministry, said:-“It is not for us to question the right or wrong our country is at war.”
(v) Mr. Chamberlain pointed out that while Britain had spent on the war 107/2 per head, New South Wales had spent 5/9 (including private contributions) and Victoria 2/3. The annual military and naval expenditure was 29/3 per head in Britain, 3/5 in New South Wales, and 3/3 in Victoria.
(w) The British Ministers' very great anticipations were:-(1) “A real Council of Empire;" refused. (2) Freetrade within the Empire; refused. (3) “A special body of troops ear-marked for Imperial service;" refused. (4) A much larger naval contribution; about one-half of the sum asked was very grudgingly given.
(C) The Imperial War Council of 1917 expressed the opinion that the readjustment of the constitutional relations of the component parts of the Empire ... should recognise the right of the Dominions and India to an adequate voice in Foreign Policy, and in Foreign Relations, and should provide effective arrangements for continuous consultation in all important matters of common Imperial concern, and such necessary concerted action, founded consuitalion, as the several Governments may determine.
(y) The argument, however, 'seems to have been answered (1) by the refusal of Canada to make a commercial treaty which, it was feared, would loosen the political connection with Britain; (2) by the immediate and fervent participation of Canada in the war; and (3) by Canada's evident determination to take a larger share in the expenses of common defence.
(2) “ A ‘certain tea tax’ lost America to the Empire, and it may be, as Mr. Chamberlain thinks, that a persistently anti-preferential policy in England may be taken as a hint that we should shift for ourselves. Our self-respect would doubtles's make us quick to accept such a hint.”—Age, 12th October, 1903.
(aa) It was believed that the neglect of the British Government to suppress the organisation of rebellion in Ulster was due to the fact that the army officers were avowedly in sympathy with the proposal of rebellion. It was believed that the correct answer to Mr. John Ward's question: the people of this country free to make their laws absolutely without interference from the King and the Army?” was in the negative. It was believed that, after the outbreak of war, the British Unionists and the War Office combined to make certain that the Home Rule Act would never be enforced. These beliefs were one main cause of the defeat of the proposal of compulsory service in the war.
(66) See correspondence on Imperial Federation " in the Australian Worker, January and February, 1917.
(cc) Cf. General Smuts:-“I think the very expression * Empire' is misleading, because it makes people think that we are one community, to which the word 'Empire' can appropriately be applied. Germany is an Empire. Rome was an Empire. India is an Empire. But we are a system of nations. We are not a State, but a community of States and nations. We are far greater than any Empire which has ever existed, and by using this ancient expression we really disguise the main fact that our whole position is different, and that we are not one State or nation or Empire, but a whole world by ourselves, consisting of many nations, of many States, and all sorts of communities, under one fag."
AUSTRALIAN PROBLEMS IN THE PACIFIC.
By H. S. Nicholas,
There have been two periods in our history during which the future of the islands of the South Pacific has occupied a prominent place in the attention of the Australian people. The first may be said to have ended with the establishment of the Protectorate in New Guinea, the second to have begun with the general settlement which followed the Spanish American war. The problems of the first period differ essentially from those of 'the second. To-day the future of Australia is touched by all the movements of a new world which then had hardly come into existence, by the progress and aims of Japan, by the policy of the United States, by her development into a great naval and military power, and by competition for the Chinese markets. Social and economic considerations bring Australia into direct connection with the changes of opinion in British India. Our relations with the Pacific Islands, and with New Guinea in particular, must vitally affect attitude towards the commercial and constitutional reorganisation of the Empire. The solutions achieved or attempted in the past give us very little help in approaching the problems of to-day. Nevertheless, they cannot altogether be omitted from a chapter on Australian problems in the Pacific. They throw light upon a critical period in the history of the relations of the Australian Colonies with each other and with the Imperial Government. They answer a perpetually recurring fallacy. If anyone still believes that the expansion of the
British Empire has been dictated by avarice dressed up in the appearance of a paternal altruism, he should compare the efforts of successive Secretaries of State to avoid responsibility, with those of the men on the spot, to show that where primitive races have been exposed to contact with white men nothing short of annexation is either just or humane. The conditions of the peoples of the South Seas presented during this first period the question which British subjects have had to face throughout the expansion of their Empire-Are they to allow the weak to remain at the mercy of the strong, or are they to assume the authority which only a government can exercise? Experience taught them that there was no middle course between the two extremes of annexation and laissez faire and that the nation which shirks responsibility or contents itself with a supervision of its own subjects must contemplate the growth of abuses as flagrant and as disastrous as those which existed a century ago from the unrestricted labour of
and children in England.
The principal documents in this period are the lives of the missionaries, the reports of public officials, and the correspondence of representatives of the Australian Colonies with successive Secretaries of State. They disclose a sense of danger in the minds of political leaders and a public agitationi to which there is no parallel in the subsequent history of our external relations. The motives for this widespread and continuous feeling were three, two of them springing from the circumstances of individual groups, the third from a state of things at one time common to all the islands of the Western Pacific. These were the danger of an influx of criminals from the French convict settlement, the fear that some foreign Power might annex New Guinea and thence dominate Torres Straits, and the lawlessness and anarchy which had followed the contact of white traders and adventurers with native races in the island in which there was no settled form of government.
For many years past, not only in New Guinea but throughout the Western and Southern Pacific, a state of things had existed which “had tended to the promotion of strife and bloodshed and the deprivation of the lands and liberties of the inhabitants."* Its origin is referred to by Sir George Gray as far back as 1848 as a “species of trade which had grown in the native inhabitants.” It had gone from bad to worse until, in 1883, the Agents-General could quote a long line of authorities, civil and naval, Imperial and Colonial, lay and missionary, for their arguments that it had become intolerable and a disgrace to the British flag. Men who had lost all the instincts of civilisation when removed from its restraints habitually went unpunished. The islands had become as Fiji had been before annexation--so many little Alsatias. The natives added a just resentment to their innate hostility, so that the whole white race was branded for the crimes of a few. But though all the authorities were agreed as to the nature of the evil, there was no agreement as to the remedy between the Colonial and the Foreign Office on the one hand and the representatives of Australia and Fiji on the other. The remedies of the British Government are to be found in a series of Acts of Parliament beginning with the Foreign Jurisdiction Act of 1828 and ending with the two Acts of 1875, of which the latter constituted the office of High Commissioner in the person of the Governor of Fiji, and gave authority to establish and define his court under a subsequent Order-in-Council. The fatal defect of this legislation was that it applied only to British subjects. It was “not to be construed to extend to invest Her Majesty with any claim or title whatsoever over the islands or to derogate from the rights of people inhabiting them or of their chiefs or rulers."
Not only was the legislation ineffective for its purpose, it created a sense of unfairness among British subjects and of license among those who * See Commodore Erskine's proclamation
Protectorate over New Guinea,