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of enrolment, and before this was fairly on its way a tenth had been offered and accepted. Each of these numbered 1,000 men, and with the first battalion of the last of them Mr. Seddon journeyed to South Africa to visit the scene of the war, prior to proceeding to London to take part in the Coronation festivities and the Conference of Colonial Premiers.

In the following table will be found a list of the successive Ministries which have held office in New Zealand from the inauguration of Responsible Government up to the date of publication of this volume :

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Bell-Sewell
Fox ..........
Stafford
Fox..
Domett
Whitaker-Fox
Weld
Stafford

Fox
10 Stafford
11 | Waterhouse
12 | Fox..
13 ! Vogel
14 Pollen
15

Vogel
16 Atkinson
17 Atkinson
18 Grey
19 Hall
20 Whitaker

Atkinson
Stout-Vogel
Atkinson
Stout.Vogel
Atkinson
Ballance...
Seddon

7 May, 1856 20 May, 1856
20 May, 1856 2 June, 1856

2 June, 1856 12 July, 1861
12 July, 1861 6 Aug., 1862
6 Aug., 1862 30 Oct., 1863
30 Oct., 1863 24 Nov., 1864
24 Nov., 1864 16 Oct., 1865
16 Oct., 1865 28 June, 1869
28 June, 1969 10 Sept., 1872
10 Sept., 1872 11 Oct., 1872
11 Oct., 1872 3 Mar., 1873
3 Mar., 1873 8 April, 1873
8 April, 1873 6 July, 1875
6 July, 1875 15 Feb., 1876
15 Feb., 1876 1 Sept., 1876

1 Sept., 1876 13 Sept., 1876 13 Sept., 1876 15 Oct., 1877 15 Oct., 1877 8 Oct., 1879

8 Oct., 1879 21 April, 1882 21 April, 1882 25 Sept., 1883 25 Sept., 1883 16 Aug., 1884 16 Aug, 1884 28 Aug., 1884 28 Aug., 1884 3 Sept., 1884 3 Sept., 1884 8 Oct., 1887 8 Oct., 1887 24 Jan., 1891 24 Jan., 1891 1 May, 1893 1 May, 1893

0 60 12 14 12 10 44 38 1 4 1 26 7 6 0 13 23 30 17 10 0

13 10 25 24 25 22 12 13

1 21

5 28

9 16 12

2 23 13

..

12

37 39 27

5 16 7

256

THE COMMONWEALTH.

HE question of the federation of the various provinces of Australia

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stitution, who proposed the establishment of a General Assembly " to make laws in relation to those intercolonial questions that have arisen, or may hereafter arise," and who, indeed, sketched out a tolerably comprehensive federation scheme. Unfortunately, however, that proposition was included with another for the creation of a colonial hereditary nobility, and in the storm of popular opposition and ridicule with which the latter idea was greeted, the former sank out of sight. Again, in 1853, the Committees appointed in New South Wales and Victoria to draw up the Constitutions of their respective colonies, urged the necessity for the creation of a General Assembly ; but the Home Government indefinitely postponed the question by declaring that “the present is not a proper opportunity for such enactment.” From time to time, since Responsible Government was established, the evil of want of union among the Australian colonies has been forcibly shown, and the idea of federation has gradually become more and more popular. Some years ago (1883) the movement took such shape that, as the result of an Intercolonial Conference, the matter came before the Imperial Parliament, and a ineasure was passed permitting the formation of a Federal Council, to which any colony that felt inclined to join could send delegates. The first meeting of the Federal Council was held at Hobart in January, 1886. The colonies represented were Victoria, Queensland, Tasmania, Western Australia, and Fiji. New South Wales, South Australia, and New Zealand declined to join. South Australia sent representatives to a subsequent meeting, but withdrew shortly afterwards. The Council held eight meetings, at which many matters of intercolonial interest were discussed, the last having been held in Melbourne, early in 1899. One meeting every two years was necessary to keep the Council in existence. Being, from its inherent constitution, a purely deliberative body, having no executive functions whatever, the Federal Council possessed no control of funds or other means to put its legislation into force, and those zealous in the cause of federation have bad to look elsewhere for the full realisation of their wishes. The Council, naturally, ceased to exist at the inception of the Commonwealth.

An important step towards the federation of the Australasian colonies was taken early in 1890, when a Conference, consisting of representatives from each of the seven colonies of Australasia, was held in the Parliament House, Melbourne. The Conference met on the 6tl: February, thirteen members being present,comprising two representatives from each of the colonies, except Western Australia which sent only one. Jír. Duncan Gillies, Premier of Victoria, was elected President. Seven meetings were held, the question of federation being discussed at considerable length; and in the end the Conference adopted an address to the Queen, expressing their loyalty and attachment, and submitting certain resolutions which affirmed the desirability of an early union, under the Crown, of the Australian colonies, on principles just to all, suggested that the remoter Australasian colonies should be entitled to admission upon terms to be afterwards agreed upon, and recommended that steps should be taken for the appointment of delegates to a National Australasian Convention, to consider and report upon an adequate scheme for a Federal Constitution.

In accordance with the terms of that resolution, delegates were appointed by the Australasian Parliaments, and on the 2nd March, 1891, the National Australasian Convention commenced its sittings in the Legislative Assembly Chambers, Sydney, having been convened at the instance of Mr. James Munro, the Premier of Victoria. There were forty-five members of the Convention altogether, New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, Tasmania, and Western Australia (which had only recently been placed in possession of the privilege of Responsible Government) each sending seven delegates, and New Zealand three. Sir Henry Parkes, then Premier of the mother colony, was unanimously elected President of the Convention ; Mr. F. W. Webb, Clerk of the Legislative Assembly of New South Wales, was appointed Secretary ; Sir Samuel Griffith, Premier of Queensland, was elected Vice-President; and Mr. (later Sir) J. P. Abbott, Speaker of the New South Wales Legislative Assembly, was elected Chairman of Committees.

A series of resolutions was moved by the President, Sir Henry Parkes, setting forth certain principles necessary to establish and secure an enduring foundation for the structure of a Federal Government, and approving of the framing of a Federal Constitution ; and after discussion and amendment, the resolutions were finally adopted, affirming the following principles : 1. The powers and rights of existing colonies to remain intact,

except as regards such powers as it may be necessary to hand

over to the Federal Government. 2. No alteration to be made in State boundaries without the

consent of the Legislatures of such States, as well as of the

Federal Parliament.
3. Trade between the federated colonies to be absolutely free.

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4. Power to impose Customs and Excise Duties to rest with the

Federal Government and Parliament. 5. Military and Naral Defence Forces to be under one command. 6. The Fe leral Constitution to make provision to enable each State

to make amendments in its Constitution if necessary for the

purposes of Federation. Further resolutions approved of the framing of a Federal Constitution which should establish a Senate and a House of Representatives—the latter to possess the sole power of originating money Bills; also a Federal Supreme Court of Appeal, and an Executive consisting of a Governor-General, with such persons as might be appointed his advisers. On the 31st March, Sir Samuel Griffith, as Chairman of the Committee on Constitutional Machinery, brought up a draft Constitution Bill, which was fully and carefully considered by the Convention in Committee of the Whole, and adopted on the 9th April, when the Convention was formally dissolred.

The Bill of 1891 aroused no popular enthusiasm, and parliamentary sanction to its provisions was not sought in any of the colonies ; thus federation fell into the background of politics.

At this juncture a section of the public began to exhibit an active interest in the cause which seemed in danger of being temporarily lost through the neglect of politicians. Public Associations showed sympathy with the movement, and Federation Leagues were organised to discuss the Bill and to urge the importance of federal union upon the people. A conference of delegates from Federation Leagues and similar Associations in New South Wales and Victoria was called at Corowa in 1893. The most important suggestion made at this Conference was that the Constitution should be framed by a Convention to be directly elected by the people of each colony for that purpose. This new proposal attracted the favourable attention of Mr. G. H. Reid, then Premier of New South Wales, who perceived that a greater measure of success could be secured by enlisting the active sympathy and aid of the electors, and who brought the principle to the test in 1895. In January of that year he invited the Premiers of the other colonies to meet in conference for the purpose of devising a definite and concerted scheme of action. At this Conference, which was held at Hobart, all the Australasian colonies except New Zealand were represented. It was decided to ask the Parliament of each colony to pass a Bill enabling the electors qualitied to vote for members of the Lower House to choose ten persons to represent the colony on a Federal Convention. The work of the Convention, it was determined, should be the framing of a Federal Constitution, to be submitted, in the first instance, to the local Parliaments for suggested amendments

, and, after final adoption by the Convention, to the electors of the various colonies for their approval by means of the referendum.

In 1896 a People's Federal Convention, an unofficial gathering of delegates from various Australian organisations, met at Bathurst to

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discuss the Commonwealth Bill in detail, and by its numbers and enthusiasm gave valuable evidence of the increasing popularity of the movement.

In accordance with the resolutions of the Convention of 1895, ? Enabling Acts were passed during the following year by New South

Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania, and Western Australia ; and were brought into operation by proclamation on the 4th January, 1897. Meanwhile Queensland held aloof from the movement, after several attempts to agree on the question of the representation of the Colony. The Convention met in Adelaide, Mr. C. C. Kingston, Premier of South Australia, being elected President; and Sir Richard Baker, President of the Legislative Council of South Australia, Chairman of Committees ; while Mr. Edmund Barton, Q.C., one of the representa tives of the mother colony, and a gentleman who had taken a deep

interest in the movement, acted as leader of the Convention. The ! final meeting of the session was held on the 23rd April, when a draft

Constitution was adopted for the consideration of the various Parliaments, and at a formal meeting on the 5th May, the Convention adjourned until the 2nd September. On that date the delegates re-assembled in Sydney, and debated the Bill in the light of suggestions made by the Legislatures of the federating colonies. In the course of the proceedings, it was announced that Queensland desired to come

within the proposed union ; and, in view of this development, and in ¡ order to give further opportunity for the consideration of the Bill, the

Convention again adjourned. The third and final session was opened in Melbourne on the 20th January, 1898, the Colony of Queensland being still unrepresented; and, after further consideration, the Draft Bill was finally adopted by the Convention on the 16th March for subinission to the people.

In its main provisions the Bill of 1898 followed generally that of 1891, yet with some very important alterations. It proposed to establish, under the Crown, a federal union of the Australasian colonies, to be designated the Commonwealth of Australia. A Federal Executive Council was created, to be presided over by a Governor-General appointed by the Queen. The Legislature was to consist of two Houses—a Senate, in which each colony joining the Federation at its inception was conceded the equal representation of six members; and a House of Representatives, to consist of, as nearly as possible, twice the number of Senators, to which the provinces were to send members in proportion to population, with a minimum number of five representatives for each of the original federating states. The principle of payment of members was adopted for the Senate as well as for the House of Representatives, the honorarium heing fixed at £400 per annum. The nominative principle for the l'pper House was rejected, both Houses being elective, on a suffrage similar to that existing in each colony for the popular Chamber at the foundation of the Commonwealth. At the same time, it was left to the Federal Parliament to establish a federal franchise, which, however,

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