South Australia - Politics
There must be here less of Downing-Street regime; more of democratic influence. But to this effort the people must rouse themselves to political action. A false autocracy may sink this colony to perdition, but democratic institutions may elevate it to the very highest point of power and felicity.
(Adelaide Times, 26 June 1851, page 3b.)
- Country Party
- Labo(u)r Party
- Legislative Council
- Liberalism and Conservatism (includes obituaries)
- Morality in Parliament
- Party Politics
- Payment of Members
NOTE: Some of the content of this section is to be found elsewhere under the broad heading of politics.
informative letter on local politics under the heading "The Ministry in Recess" is
in the Register,
15 May 1877, page 6b.
An interesting letter headed "Parliamentary Diatribes" is in the Register,
20 July 1877, page 7e:
No Mr Editor, let our legislature stop our beer if it must be so, but do not let them meddle with our newspapers.
"Clergymen in Parliament" is in the Register,
8 April 1878,
11 July 1890, pages 4h-6g,
21 October 1890, page 7a,
while the subject as to whether they should become involved in political comment is debated on 21, 23, 26 and 29 January 1884, pages 6b, 2a-c (supp.), 6b and 6e,
27 March 1884, page 3e,
8 and 10 April 1884, paged 7d and 3g; also see
30 November 1901, page 6e.
"Parsons and Politics" is in the Chronicle,
6 April 1878, page 4d,
17 October 1901, page 4d; also see
21 November 1901, page 6a.
"Ministers of Religion and Politics" is in the Register,
19 and 24 October 1901, pages 10d and 7i; also see
17 October 1901, page 4d,
21 November 1901, page 6a.
A controversy over the election of Mr F.S. Carroll is debated in the Observer,
4 and 11 May 1878, pages 10d and 8b.
"Parliamentary Eccentricity" is in the Observer,
7 June 1879, page 12e,
"Legislators and the Press" on
5 July 1879, page 13b.
A letter from Robert Davenport on universal suffrage appears in the Register,
26 August 1879, page 6g.
"Ministerial Delinquencies" is in the Observer,
31 July 1880, page 180c.
"Protection and Free Trade" is in the Advertiser,
31 August 1880, page 6c,
21 March 1881, page 4f,
14, 21 and 28 November 1885, pages 4g, 5g and 5h,
5, 12, 19 and 23 December 1885, pages 6b, 5f, 5g and 5h.
A letter concerning "Slothful and Incapable Legislators" is in the Register,
12 February 1881, page 7b.
A Victorian view of South Australian politics is in the Register,
19 and 21 April 1881, pages 7b and 6a.
"Ministerial High-Jinks" is in the Observer,
4 February 1882, page 20c:
A succession of trips, festive outings and jinkettings seem to have become the order of the day when parliament is in recess. Our political Jack is determined not to be a dull boy...
An obituary of Mr C.S. Hare is in the Observer,
29 July 1882, page 33c.
"Politics and Social and Moral Questions" is in the Express,
28 March 1884, page 2b.
"Wanted, A Statesman" is in the Chronicle,
27 March 1886, page 5f,
"Political Quackery" on
17 April 1886, page 5d.
"Morality of Public Men" is in the Express,
5 May 1886, page 6e.
The necessity for "Parliamentary Manners" is commented upon in the Register,
23 October 1886, page 4f:
It is necessary that our representatives should either be of that class of mortals who, true gentlemen themselves, think scorn of saying unworthy things or of doing unseemly acts, or else that, for their country's sake, they should hide their innate vulgarity and assume the virtue of good manners, even though they have it not...
"Qualification of Legislators" is in the Register,
7 February 1888, page 4g.
"Free Passes" to Members of Parliament is discussed in the Register,
21, 26 and 28 June 1888, pages 4h, 7h and 4f,
2, 3, 7 and 16 July 1888, pages 7h, 3f, 6g and 3g,
12 and 13 July 1889, pages 7h and 6h.
An obituary of William Kay is in the Express,
28 March 1889, page 3d.
An obituary of Benjamin Nash is in the Express,
21 April 1890, page 3g.
"Colonial Honorables" is in the Advertiser,
23 December 1889, page 6c; also see
12 January 1898, page 4e.
"Politics and Statesmen" is in the Register,
3 June 1890, page 7b.
An obituary of H.C. Kelly is in the Express,
14 January 1891, page 2b-c.
The origin of the nick-name "Honest Tom" as applied to Premier Playford is in the Advertiser,
27 March 1891, page 3g.
A letter from C.C. Kingston headed "Parliamentary Privilege - Its Use and Abuse" is in the Advertiser,
27 October 1891, page 5f.
"Giants of Past - Kingston the Leader" is in The Mail,
25 August 1928, page 2e.
The Register of 30 November 1891 at page 7g carries the following complaint:
It is impossible to read the Parliamentary reports without being struck by the amount of rubbishing truckling of class sentiments and vituperation of certain members... That the Speaker should allow a member of the Lower House to call a member of the Upper House a "wholesale robber" unchallenged... says little in favour of our representatives... South Australia requires a nostrum, the prescription of which should be "Abolition of payment of members and strict attention to the Tenth Commandment."
"Social Reform" is in the Advertiser,
18 January 1892, page 6b; also see
19 January 1892, page 4c.
"To What Has Parliament Become?" is in the Observer,
18 June 1892, page 25b.
"The Parliament as Seen by an Outsider" is in the Advertiser,
29 June 1892, page 7b.
Mr Castine's "longest speech ever delivered in the South Australian Assembly" is discussed in the Advertiser,
4 November 1892, page 5h.
"Politics Old and New - A Chat With Colonel Finniss" is in the Register,
6 February 1893, page 6g.
"Parties, Old and New" is in the Advertiser,
1 June 1896, page 4e.
"The Future of Democracy" is discussed in the Register,
19 and 24 June 1893, pages 4f-7c and 4e,
19 July 1893, page 7f.
In a lecture given by J.H. Symon - "How Are We as a State" - he is reported in the Advertiser,
20 November 1894, page 6b as saying:
Your class leaders proclaim that they are for democracy, and in that great name set class against class, set up narrow interests against the general weal. Can we not point to men in whose mouths the name democracy means their own party, who pursues objects, no matter how impractical or needless, so long as they seem to hurt or harass somebody else and oblivious of the ultimate recoil upon themselves?
"The Political Outlook" is in the Register on
3 April 1895, page 6d,
"The Lawbreaking Premier [Kingston]" on
9 April 1895, page 5h,
"Our Eccentric Premier [Kingston]" on
27 July 1895, page 24c.
An obituary of C. Smedley is in the Express,
20 May 1895, page 3d.
"Some Ceremonials of the Past" in respect of certain parliaments from 1857 are discussed in the Register,
8 June 1895, page 5h.
"Ministers, Members and Manners" is in the Register,
14 June 1895, page 4e,
"Bridling the Parliamentary Tongue" on
8 July 1895, page 3h,
"Our Eccentric Premier" on
24 July 1895, page 4e.
"A Starved Intellect [re C.C. Kingston]" is in the Register,
19 November 1895, page 6d,
"A Political Slanderer" (C.C. Kingston) on
25 and 27 March 1896, pages 4f-5a and 7g,
"Kingston Worship" on
24 July 1896, page 6h.
A Bill to control the import of opium was debated in 1895 to which a correspondent to the Register commented on 16 November 1895, page 6h:
In some pagan countries I have visited "opium dens"... I say it with shame and sorrow that I saw nothing in them even half so debased and degrading as I have all too often witnessed in licensed public houses in bush townships of this Christian land.
(Also see Register, 22 and 24 July 1896, pages 4f and 3h.)
"The Past Parliament" is discussed in the Advertiser,
12 March 1896, page 7g.
"Socials, Politicians and Politics" is in the Register,
30 May 1896, page 4e.
A disgruntled correspondent passed the following opinion of the government in the Register,
25 April 1896, page 6c:
The policy of the present ministry is beautiful in its simplicity - it is just retention of office and the plunder which office brings. - Many thousands have been absorbed by these "friends of humanity"... and in return we have - what? A country in confusion, insincerity general, trickery abounding, injustice rampant, the voice of decency unable to get a hearing and most men afraid to speak out because of the far-reaching and vindictive tyranny of a handful of their paid servants.
"Cutting Down Parliament" is in the Advertiser,
14 July 1896, page 4e:
The reduction of the number of members is a question that ought to be pressed on an unwilling Parliament. It is a matter of real, practical importance... Proportionately to population our Houses are larger than those of the eastern colonies... Mr Butler thinks that one-third of the members of each chamber could be advantageously dispensed with... [He] is to be congratulated on compelling Parliament to give the matter its attention.
(Also see Advertiser,
24 July 1896, page 4g,
20 April 1901, page 6e,
5 September 1901, page 5h.)
The Married Women's Protection Bill is discussed in the Register,
3 and 21 August 1896, pages 4f and 3g:
The practice of wife-beating is one of those survivals of barbarism which still maintain a firm hold upon the rougher and more brutal portions of civilised society... An old song tells how, when domestic jars occurred in an urban household:
Then Richard Penlake a crab-stick would take
And show her that he was stronger
(Also see Register, 1 February 1897, page 4h.)
"When is a Legislator Insolvent" is in the Register,
19 November 1896, pages 4g-7b,
"Politics, Politicians and Parties" on
23 February 1897, page 4g.
"The O'Malley Slander case" is in the Express,
3 December 1896, page 2e.
An obituary of Anthony Forster is in the Express,
15 January 1897, page 2c.
"Death of Mr G.F. Hopkins" is in the Express,
27 January 1897, page 3e.
"Patriotism and LSD" is in the Register,
9 July 1897, page 4e,
"Delegates and Dollars" on
15 July 1897, page 4d; also see
21 and 29 July 1897, pages 7g and 4e.
On 15 February 1898 at page 6d of the Register a correspondent passes the following opinion on politicians vis a vis legislators:
A politician, as distinct from a legislator, is a mere puppet in the hands of a few self-seeking individuals calling themselves a party, who pull the strings, or an utterly selfish unprincipled hypocrite, whose sentiments of putty can be moulded to fit any occasion, and whose expressed opinions record the slightest change in the barometer of public opinion. The question is - of what is he the product, and how can we get rid of him?
An obituary of William Knox Simms is in the Chronicle,
1 January 1898, page 21d,
of John Lindsay on
21 May 1898, page 22c and
F.J. Hourigan on
7 December 1901, page 33d.
An obituary of C.H. Hussey is in the Express,
9 January 1899, page 2e.
As a rule members of the legislature have used with commendable discretion their perilous powers... but if only one or two of them shoot at estimable private citizens from behind their stone wall of privilege, the people will speedily remove that rampart.
"Reforming the Constitution" is in the Advertiser,
11, 20 and 31 October 1900, pages 4d, 6e and 6e,
28 November 1900, page 4e,
20 April 1901, page 4e,
30 August 1901, page 4b,
1 October 1901, page 4d,
15, 19, 21 and 23 November 1901, pages 4d, 4d, 4c and 6e,
2 and 10 December 1901, pages 4c and 6d.
An obituary of Walter Griffiths is in the Chronicle,
8 September 1900, page 36c.
"The Attainment of State-Hood" is in the Advertiser,
13 December 1900, page 6e; also see
14 and 19 December 1900, pages 5i and 4f.
"Parliament and Oratory" is in the Register,
10 June 1901, page 4c.
"Wanted - Statesmen" is in the Register,
4 March 1902, page 4c,
"Will Electors Vote" on
2 May 1902, page 4i,
"Ice Cream and Legislation" on
23 December 1902, page 4f.
"Schemes of Reform" is in the Advertiser,
21 July 1902, page 4c,
"The State Constitution - Early History" is in the Advertiser,
14 and 27 April 1903, pages 5f and 7c.
The following appears in the Register on 8 June 1904 at page 4c as a contribution from a "voter" under the heading "The People Pay":
Some men are continually exploiting the public; and, so far as the average man or woman are concerned, there is generally little difference in the result which follows the successful efforts of honest but misguided reformers. The people are expected to pay always, and they always do pay, and the pity is that so few of them realise the fact... If more electors would think out for themselves the economic problems of the day, fewer designing and intriguing men would be able to fatten upon the good-natured indifferent public, who are an easy prey for the artful exploiter.
An obituary of Mr J.C.F. Johnson is in the Express,
20 June 1904, page 4c.
"Usury Legislation" is in the Advertiser,
28 July 1903, page 4d,
"Political Reform and Social Progress" on
21 June 1904, page 4d.
An obituary of Mr W. Rogers is in the Express,
26 August 1903, page 1e,
of Mr J.L. Parsons in the Chronicle,
29 August 1903, page 33c,
of Mr Maurice Salom on
17 October 1903, page 34a,
of Mr Thomas Paltridge on
23 September 1905, page 43a and
of David Jelley on
2 February 1907, page 44a.
A cartoon appertaining to the "Septuagenarians Act" is in the Chronicle,
18 June 1904, page 32.
"Wanted - An Ethical Awakening" is in the Register,
20 May 1905, page 6c:
Government becomes impossible so soon as the people have lost respect for moral law, and there can be no such respect apart from a settled determination by the State to practise only those principles which pass muster before the tribunal of an enlightened conference a policy which wilfully plays fast and loose with sacred covenants and, for the sake of winning the plaudits of an unthinking crowd of "have-nots", favours the spoliation of a patriotic section of the community would assuredly be followed by untoward and disastrous consequences... South Australians should avoid the possibility of having to utter the lament:
In all our ills; and Heaven has sent us a store,
We sighed, we wept - we never blushed before.
Also see Register,
23, 24, 25, 26 and 27 May 1905, pages 3c, 3e, 4e-5e, 5d and 7d.
"The Canvasser - House to House Politics" is in the Register,
29 May 1905, page 7d.
"A Call for Statesmen" is made in the Register,
12 June 1905, page 4b:
- There is a question of far greater moment than those adversions of pettifogging political schemes, namely, industrial expansion, and this calls for political self-sacrifice, which is often the test of statesmanship. To the party plotter and the political crisis-monger more fun, and possibly greater profit, are to be derived from stirring up sectional bias and keeping parliament in a perpetual turmoil; but there can be no progress when movement is confined to a vicious circle. It is time our legislators stopped "beating the air" and settled down to practical politics.
An obituary of Mr H.R. Fuller is in the Express,
28 August 1905, page 4c.
"Party Politicians and Spurious Patriotism" is in the Register,
6 October 1905, page 4c.
"Fooling the People" is in the Register,
14 December 1905, page 4c:
Some politicians thrive for a good many years by fooling the electors, but in the long run they are discredited because they get found out; but often the displacement of one designing plotter is followed immediately by the accession to power of another, who, in his turn, carries on the process of fooling, more or less, the electors.
"What Parliaments Are For" is in the Observer,
13 January 1906, page 31d.
"Mr C. Tucker, MP Arrested" is in the Express,
22 and 28 September 1906, pages 1f and 1g,
11 and 12 February 1907, pages 1h and 1f.
"Smoodging and Other Things" is in the Register,
19 December 1906, page 6e.
The jubilee of the South Australian parliament is commented upon in the Observer,
26 May 1906, page 31d,
22 February 1907, page 6h,
22 April 1907, page 6i.
An obituary of Mr David Murray is in the Express,
7 January 1907, page 1g.
"The Party System" is discussed in the Register,
14 October 1907, page 4d,
"Then and Now" on
18 March 1908, page 4b:
"The chances and the opportunities of the pioneers". That is the favourite phrase of the socialist stump orators, who in many cases never performed an honest day's work in all their usually worse than useless lives.
Under the heading "The Unemployed" the Editor of the Register made the following comments on 24 March 1908, page 4b:
Certain politicians now say that the partial solution is to be found by training young men to be skilled artisans, but those same politicians should explain who have hitherto placed obstacles in the way of apprenticeship and industrial training.
"The Poor Consumer" is in the Register,
3 April 1908, page 4d:
Higher wages are of no benefit, and may indeed prove disastrous when the purchasing power of the sovereign is depreciated... It is surprising that, in an age when the legislator considers it his duty to interfere with everybody's business, little or no attention is paid by parliament to the condition of the consumer as such.
"Parliamentary Grubbers" is in the Register,
1 September 1908, page 4c,
"Parties and Platforms" on
9 September 1908, page 8c,
"Side Tracking" on
19 January 1909, page 6d.
An obituary of Mr F.W. Paech is in the Chronicle,
2 January 1909, page 43b,
of Mr T. Bruce on
8 July 1911, page 45a,
of John Moule on
30 March 1912, page 42d.
"The Political Puzzle" is in the Register,
2 July 1909, page 4d:
Never before... has the call to patriotism more clearly or more impressively demanded personal sacrifice in the interests of the people.... It is time... for a demonstration of that fine quality of statesmanship, which sinks the Singular Self and exalts the Plural People.
Proportional representation is discussed in the Register,
22 November 1911, page 12d,
"Roll-Stuffing Frauds" on
9 November 1911, page 6d,
14 December 1911, page 6d,
16 February 1912, page 4d,
"Stifling Free Speech" on
24 January 1912, page 4d,
"The Minority Vote" on
5 February 1912, page 6d.
"Liberty and Bondage" is in the Register on
7 February 1912, page 6e,
"Weighed and Found Wanting" on
8 February 1912, page 4c,
"When Adelaide Was Under a Dictator" on
9 February 1912, page 6d,
"Majority Rule" on
23 February 1912, page 4c.
An obituary of Mr J.T. Morris is in the Express,
3 April 1912, page 3h,
of Sir J.J. Duncan on
14 June 1912, page 1e,
of Joseph Vardon on
21 July 1913, page 4d.
"Redistribution and Party Ethics" is in the Advertiser,
24 September 1913, page 14c.
An obituary of Mr E.A. Roberts is in the Chronicle,
6 December 1913 and
of Henry Scott on
20 December 1913, page 42c.
The resignation of Mr H. Homburg as Attorney-General is reported in the Express,
19 January 1915, page 1e.
An interview with George F. Hussey is in The Mail,
6 March 1915, page 8d.
An obituary of Mr J.H. Cooke is in the Express,
31 March 1915, page 1g,
of K.W. Duncan on
30 June 1919, page 1f.
"Smoking Room Echoes - Politicians of Long Ago" is in The Mail,
17 July 1915, page 9b.
"People and Policies" is in the Register,
6 July 1914, page 8b,
"Curfew Bell for Orators" on
24 August 1916, page 6c,
"Land Purchase Scandals" on
5, 8 and 9 January 1918, pages 6b, 4b and 7c.
An obituary of Gregor McGregor is in the Express,
13 August 1914, page 2d,
of John Warren on
14 September 1914, page 4g,
of William Gilbert in the Observer,
8 February 1919, page 18a.
"Bolshevism in Practice" is in the Register,
14 July 1919, page 4b,
"An Unwanted Party" on
16 December 1920, page 6e.
Social legislation in respect of illegitimacy is discussed in the Register
on 14 December 1921, page 8f.
"Politics and Religion - The Catholic Viewpoint" is in the Advertiser,
22 May 1922, page 9c.
"Kingston's Chief - Mr Sharp Looks Back" is in The Mail,
8 July 1922, page 13a.
The reminiscences of James Jelley are in The Mail,
9 September 1922, page 2e,
of Malcolm McIntosh on
16 September 1922, page 2d,
Joseph A. Harper on
23 September 1922, page 2d,
H.C. Richards on
14 October 1922, page 2d,
Ernest Anthoney on
28 October 1922, page 2d,
Henry B. Crosby on
4 November 1922, page 2d,
Herbert S. Hudd on
11 November 1922, page 2d,
John Gunn on
18 November 1922, page 2d,
William H. Story on
6 January 1923, page 2d.
"Making Politicians - Famous Model Parliament" is in The Mail,
10 March 1923, page 3b,
21 April 1923, page 2e.
"Women, Flappers and Politics" is in the Register,
13 March 1923, page 6d,
"What is Socialization" on
15 October 1923, page 8d.
"Journalist's Reminiscences of Parliament and Politicians" is in The News,
28 July 1923, page 9c,
2 and 20 August 1923, pages 5c and 10a.
An obituary of Mr H.A. Grainger is in the Chronicle,
29 December 1923, page 40b.
"Cabinet Ministers I Have Known" is in the Register,
20 and 27 December 1923, pages 11f and 6g,
9 January 1924, page 10g.
An obituary of Mr W.H. Story is in the Chronicle,
19 July 1924, page 56a.
"Education for Politicians" is in the Advertiser,
9 September 1924, page 12f,
"The Assault on Mr Moseley" on
11 December 1924, page 8g.
"Victoria Square Parliament - Discussions by Adelaide Veterans" is in The Mail,
10 January 1925, page 2e.
"A Political Libel Case" is in the Advertiser,
29 July 1925, page 9d,
4 and 5 August 1925, pages 13d and 9c.
"Wanted, A New Party - Clean Politics and Co-operation" is in the Advertiser,
7 and 8 August 1925, pages 15c and 16h.
"Some Old Politicians" is in the Register,
18 April 1925, page 13g,
"Some Old Legislators of Pre-Federal Days" on
30 January 1926, page 13d.
"Union Parliament - Training of Citizens" is in The News,
23 July 1925, page 6e.
The origin of the secret ballot is discussed in the Register,
6 October 1925, page 8d and
compulsory voting on
13 April 1926, page 8d.
"A.A. Edwards - Reformer" is in The Mail,
9 January 1926, page 14d.
Reminiscences of "Parliaments and Ministries" sixty years ago are in the Register,
10 July 1926, page 5g,
An obituary of Mr J.W. Shannon is in the Chronicle,
6 February 1926, page 60b,
of Mr Henry Adams on
12 June 1926, page 56a,
of Mr David James on
24 July 1926, page 48a.
"The Longest Ministry - Two Survivors" on
15 July 1926, page 10f,
"Compulsory Voting" on
24 and 25 May 1927, pages 8d and 15e.
"What Becomes of Politicians?" is in The Mail,
9 July 1927, page 1a.
The prefix "Honourable" is discussed in the Observer,
30 July 1927, page 48e.
"The Bullion Act Recalled" is in the Register,
24 October 1927, page 9g.
"Harsh Laws While You Wait" is in the Register,
15 December 1927, page 10d.
"Parliament and the Legal Profession" is in the Advertiser,
31 August 1928, page 14g.
"Father and Son - In South Australian Parliament" is in the Advertiser,
10 April 1929, page 17c; also see
20 April 1929, page 15g.
"The Irish Element in Government" is in the Advertiser,
31 October 1929, page 18g.
"Proposed Adoption of Piece Work" is in the Advertiser,
3 and 7 January 1930, pages 17c and 19d.
"Abolish State Parliaments" is in The News,
20 January 1930, page 2f.
A series of articles on Government departments commences in The News,
29 January 1930, page 8e.
"Our First Parliament" is in the Advertiser,
8 March 1930, page 15d,
"People and Parliament - Who are the Masters?" on
15 and 22 March 1930, pages 15c and 25d.
"The 44-Hour Week" is discussed in the Advertiser,
25 March 1930, page 14d.
"Parliament's Birthday - Story of Progress" is in the Advertiser,
3 May 1932, page 11e.
"Is Agent-Generalship a Waste of Good Money" is in The News,
2 February 1933, page 6e.
"The Thirty-Two Premiers of Our State" is in The Mail,
25 February 1933, page 16.
The parliamentary reminiscences of Sir David Gordon are in the Advertiser,
19 May 1933, page 26g.
"MP's Have Many Concessions" is in The News,
5 July 1933, page 4f.
The formation of the Junior Independent Political Advancement Club is reported in The News,
22 September 1933, page 6e.
A 5-year Parliament Bill is discussed in the Advertiser,
29 September 1933, page 20e.
Information on the "new" parliament house is in the Advertiser,
15 February 1935, page 21c.
"The Knotty Problem of a Smaller Parliament" is in The News,
18 May 1936, page 6d,
"Reduction of Members" on
14 August 1936, page 6c.
"A Five-Year Parliament is a Two-Edged Sword" is in The News,
29 October 1936, page 10c.
"Hundred Years of Parliament" is in the Advertiser,
20 and 23 November 1936, pages 8d and 18c.