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answerable to the people through their representatives. Under the new Constitution the Governor became, of course, merely the repre. sentative of Majesty. The Legislative Council passed an Electoral Act to give due effect to the provisions of the Imperial Statute conferring the Constitution, and was then relieved of its restricted functions by the Governor in a farewell address.

In the month of September, 1856, the first general election took place in the Island, and the first Responsible Government of Tasmania was formed. The Cabinet was composed of five members holding office, and one without a portfolio. The first Premier was Mr. W. T. N. Champ, and his colleagues were Messrs. T. D. Chapman, Treasurer; F. Smith, Attorney-General; J. W. Rogers, Solicitor-General ; H. F. Anstey, Minister for Lands and Works; and W. E. Nairn, without portfolio. Justice Howe was elected President of the Legislative Council

, and Captain Fenton Speaker of the Legislative Assembly. Suddenly, however, the prosperity of the colony, hitherto so gratifying, declined, and the new Parliament was called upon, almost at the outset of its career, to meet serious financial difficulties. The strangeness of the situation, and the total inexperience of the freshly-elected members, precipitated a crisis, and the two Houses found themselves engaged in an undignified squabble over the imposition of taxation. The Legislative Assembly, like that of the colony of Victoria at a later date, claimed the right to impose and collect Customs duties by a mere resolution of a majority of its own members, without reference to the Upper Chamber. This led, after a tenure of office lasting only four months, to the resignation of the first ministry. The second Responsible Government had even a shorter command of the Treasury benches, and had to succumb after being in power for only eight weeks ; but after a reasonable period for experiment-a stage all young Legislatures have to pass through-the new Parliament got genuinely to work, and proceeded to pass measures for the promotion of higher education ; for the incorporation of municipalities in country districts; for the settlement of the people upon the land; and for tbe establishment of telegraphic communication between the northern and southern parts of the Island.

Sir Henry Edward Fox Young's term as Governor-in-Chief of Tasmania ended on the 10th December, 1861, and Colonel Thomas Gore Brown, C.B., entered on the duties of his office on the day following, as Administrator. This position he continued to hold until the 16th June, 1862, when he became Governor-in-Chief, and, as such, ruled the colony until the 30th December, 1868, his total tenure of office lasting a trifle over seven years.

During the years 1862 and 1863, though much was done by way of developing the interior of the colony by the making of roads and the construction of bridges and tramways, and by other methods for bringing the outlying districts into communication with the market centres, questions of finance chiefly occupied legislative consideration. The

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press and the public showed also an unusual interest in the discussions that arose, for they concerned, in an emphatic manner, the future welfare of the country, particularly as regards the settlement of the land and the incidence of taxation. The Treasurer of an Administration formed in the year 1863 was Mr. Charles Meredith, who submitted to Parliament a financial scheme for the abolition of all Customs duties (excepting those imposed upon fermented and spirituous liquor and upon tobacco), the freedom of shipping from all harbour dues and wharfage rates, and the creation of revenue by the imposition of an income and property tax of five and one-half

Mr. Meredith's scheme was doomed from the first, owing to the opposition of the landed interest. Had it been carried into effect, its supporters claim that it would have transformed Hobart Town into a maritime entrepôt as populous and prosperous as the towns in the Middle Ages," and have raised Tasmania into a position of premier importance; and subsequent writers declare that it would have averted the undeniable condition of stagnation that for long years brooded over the island, which undoubtedly sprang from the locking-up of the country in huge and unused tracts of magnificent territory. Whatever might have been the result, the proposal was not destined to become law, for the Treasurer's scheme was negatived by the Legislative Assembly, and was not again proposed.

In 1865 a most important and valuable measure was placed upon the Statute Book. This was an enactment framed in the spirit and on the lines of the well-known Torrens Act of South Australia, for facilitating the release and transfer of real estate, and making transactions regarding land almost as simple as those connected with portable commodities. In 1867 an Act was passed which had for its object the re-population of the island. Year after year, numbers of young, hardy, and energetic men left the colony, to push their fortunes in the more favoured provinces of the Australian continent. These were the very men whom Tasmania could least afford to spare. To combat this fatal drain upon the population, an Act was passed, under the provisions of which heads of families who paid their own passage from Europe were entitled to receive land orders of the value of £18 for each person over fifteen years of age, and of £9 for each child of more than one and less than fifteen. However, through the great distance of the colony from the old-world centres of population, the cost of the passage out, and the long period of time occupied in making it (as compared with the short and cheap transit to Canada and the United States, together with the liberal inducements held out to immigrants by those countries), little of value in the way of settlement was achieved by this kind of legislation. At about the same time the Government made a bid for settlers of a different stamp. An area of territory, 50,000 acres in extent, was reserved in the county of Devon, for occupation, under certain conditions, by retired Indian officers and their families.

Many old warriors accepted the invitation to settle in the colony, but this

description of aristocratic and fanciful colonisation did little to develop the genuine resources of the country, which continued to suffer from the drain upon its youth, and the lack of suitable immigrants to replace the lost population.

In 1868 H.R.H. Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh, visited the young colony, and the occasion was marked by great demonstrations of loyalty.

Colonel Gore Brown gave up the duties of his office on December 30th, 1868, and from the date of his retirement till the 15th January, 1869, the Government was administered by Lieutenant-Colonel W. C. Fraser. On the date just mentioned the Administrator was relieved hy Charles Du Cane, a son-in-law of the celebrated lawyer and orator, Lord Lyndhurst. 'During Mr. Du Cane's rule a submarine cable was laid across Bass Strait, and messages to the colonies of the mainland were first despatched by it on the 1st May, 1869. A beginning was also made with the railway system of the colony, and the Western Line from Launceston to Perth, Longford, Westbury, Deloraine, and Formby was under active construction. This route was projected as far back as 1862, and the first sod had been turned by the Duke of Edinburgh in 1868.

With the granting of Responsible Government much of the vehemence and picturesqueness of the Old Colonial Days” disappeared, happily for the welfare of the island, never to return. Deeds of blood and violence gradually became less and less frequent, and the colony receded into a condition of calmness approaching stagnation—a quiescence in which legislation also shared.

In 1870 the Imperial Authorities withdrew the military forces from the various colonies, and for some time there was an outburst of enthusiasm directed towards the enlistment and drilling of volunteers. The census of Tasmania for this year (1870) showed that the population of the island was such as to require a re-distribution of seats, and the Constitution Act was amended to the extent of slightly increasing the number of members, and lowering the franchise for both Chambers, so as to restore the qualification to many persons who had lost it hy the mere depreciation that had taken place in the value of their freehold or leasehold property. In 1870 also a contract was signed for the construction of a main line of railway from Launceston to Hobart Town. In 1871 the Governor opened the Western Line to traffic between Launceston and Deloraine, and communication between the latter and the sea was made almost complete by the laying down of a tramway from Kimberley to Latrobe, at the estuary of the River Mersey. These railways were, however, a source of considerable trouble and annoyance to those who initiated them, and those who provided the funds for their construction. At the time when the Launceston to Deloraine line was being built, that part of the island through which it passed was practically virgin country, in which, although there were a number of small holdings, the great bulk of the land was held in large blocks. The land-owners were anxious for a railway, and to secure it they not only bore the expense of the survey of the line, but also subscribed a sum of £50,000 towards the cost of construction. The Government, however, declined to guarantee the interest on the loan to be raised for building the line, unless the residents of the district through which it was to be laid would agree to the imposition of a special rate upon their property, productive of £32,500, by way of security for repayment of loan interest. The associated landholders consented, and the work of railway construction was entered upon. After the line was made it turned out to be altogether unremunerative, and the Government sued the guarantors for the sum of £36,000, unpaid interest, but eventually agreed to take over the line, write off £48,000, the amount to which interest had accrued, and to debit the district with the sum of £15,000 per annum, as a current contribution to the interest fund.

While the trouble was in progress in connection with the Launceston to Deloraine line, the railway between the northern and southern capitals had been begun. The cost of construction and maintenance of this line was to be made a charge on the whole of the taxpayers of the colony. The land owners who had guaranteed the interest on the Deloraine line naturally objected to the imposition upon them of a special rate, while the people served by the main line escaped without any. special contribution, the sum to be paid by the Government to the company owning the line under the guarantee being drawn from the general revenue. When, therefore, the tax became due, and an effort was made to collect it, the Government found that the people refused to pay. Then legal proceedings were instituted, and fines and penalties threatened, but with little result, save that of further aggravating a difficult situation. Sixty-five of the local magistracy petitioned the Governor for the suspension of the tax and penalties until Parliament could be appealed to. An unfavourable answer being given to this request, twenty-six of the petitioners resigned their commissions. l'pon this ensued a unique state of affairs. No fewer than 1,200 distress warrants were issued, and enforced wherever enforcement was possible. The north of the island was practically in a state of siege and the Government was confronted by a people who had determined not to yield. Large quantities of portable goods were seized by the officers of the law and taken to Launceston, a proceeding that greatly angered those who were thus deprived of their property. Parties were organised for the rescue of the effects distrained upon, and indeed so furious had grown the indignation thus stirred up that the dwellers in the town feared loss of life or limb, or homestead, at the hands of the recalcitrant taxpayers. The demonstration grew so turbulent and riotous that the authorities found it necessary to withdraw the police from their customary beats, and to swear in special constables for service in the turbulent districts. The inoffensive and unoffending residents of Launceston had their windows smashed in, their doors battered to fragments, and their fences torn down by the infuriated owners of the

deported chattels. In the country districts the efforts of the police were simply laughed to scorn by men who had not feared to encounter and defeat armed desperadoes. Inthe end the Government saw that their position was untenable, and the enforcement of the law inexpedient. In the following year an Act was passed which absolved the land-owners of the district from the obligation of raising a special rate to be used for railway purposes. Thus ended a peculiarly painful position, created by the unwise action of a legislative body, for however proper it might have been to impose local taxation to meet the deficiency of earnings on the Deloraine railway, the conditions became entirely altered when the deficiency of other railways became a charge upon the general taxpayer.

In the year 1872 discoveries of gold were made both in quartz reefs and in alluvial deposits at Brandy Creek (afterwards called Beaconsfield), at Lefroy, and at other places which have since become well-known as important gold-fields. Silver and tin were found in abundance, and Mount Bischoff (discovered in 1872 by James Smith) has the proud pre-eminence of being considered the richest tin-mine in the world.

Governor Du Cane left the colony on the 28th November, 1874. Until the arrival of Governor Weld on the 13th January, 1875, the Government was successively administered by Sir Valentine Fleming and Sir Francis Smith.

The next Governor, Mr. F. A. Weld, bad received a long training in colonial politics in New Zealand, and had served a successful governorship in Western Australia. With his advent to office in Tasmania he found that changes of Ministry were of almost annual occurrence, that party politics ran high, and that the best interests of the colony were neglected in the scramble for the Treasury benches. A staunch believer in a strong public works policy, the Governor set himself to work to convert the Government of the day to his progressive views, and had the satisfaction, at the end of the year 1877, of obtaining the assent of both Houses to a Bill appropriating the sum of £140,000 to the formation and construction of roads, bridges, wharfs, and telegraph lines in hitherto neglected districts. A succeeding Administration, with Mr. Giblin as Premier and Treasurer, managed to effect a re-organization of the colony's finances, and by the imposition of a tax on real and personal property and the dividends derived from the operations of public companies, an excise duty of 3d a gallon on beer, and a revision of the Customs tariff, brought about an equality between revenue and expenditure.

In the year 1876 the railway line connecting the northern and southern capitals was opened to traffic. On the 8th May of the same year died Truganini, a female aboriginal, the last representative of the Tasmanian race.

During Governor Weld's term of office many important mineral discoveries were made. Amongst these was the famous auriferous quartz reef discovered by William Dalby in 1877, and now worked by the Tasmanian Gold-mining Company.

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