This site will look much better in a browser that supports web standards, but it is accessible to any browser or Internet device.

State Library of South Australia Advance Australia : South Australia and Federation

Contemporary sources - The Observer

Observer Masthead

1882-1884 | 1885-1887 | 1888-1889 | 1890-1892 | 1893-1894 | 1895 | 1896 | 1897 | 1898 | 1899 | 1900 | 1901

Observer 11 January 1890
p. 24 cols. D,E, p. 25 col. A. Editorial. 'The Federal Convention.' 'Instead of it being composed, as Sir Henry Parkes wished, of representatives chosen by the Legislatures of the colonies for the purpose, it is to be made up of special representatives from New South Wales and New Zealand and of the members of the Federal Council for the other colonies.'
Observer 18 January 1890
p. 36 cols. A-E. 'The Federal Council. A special meeting of Parliament.'
Observer 1 February 1890
p. 35 cols. B-D. 'Australian federation. Australian Natives' Convention.' [Convention on Federation held in Melbourne. Federation platform composed for delegates to 'put to the branches that they represent throughout Australia.']
Observer 8 February 1890
p. 24 cols. D,E. Editorial. 'The Federation Conference.' [Report of Conference in Melbourne.]
Observer 22 February 1890
p. 13 cols. B,C. 'The Federation Conference.' [English newspaper comments on Federation Conference in Melbourne.]
Observer 12 April 1890
p. 25 cols. B,C. 'Federation and the elections.' 'As we feared would be the case, the question of federation has not received much attention during the election campaign.'
Observer 10 May 1890
p. 5 cols. B,C. 'The Federation of Australia.' [Parkes gives notice in House of Assembly of resolutions adopted by the Australian Federation Conference.]
p. 5 cols. C-E; p. 6 cols. A-C. 'Australian Federation. Intercolonial free trade. Views of South Australian manufacturers and producers.' Nos. I & II. 'The advocates of intercolonial free trade are persistently met by the cry that South Australia is not yet ripe for such a measure . . . That there are some manufacturers who would be placed at a disadvantage if the markets of South Australia were at once opened to the products of the other colonies may be admitted, but it is important to know how many of these there are and what is the value of their manufactures.' View imageView image
p. 25 cols. A,B. 'The Federation Movement.' '. . . no complete federation is possible so long as the colonies keep each other at arm's length by conflicting and hostile tariffs . . . It would seem that Sir Henry Parkes has arrived at the decision that the co-operation of this colony is not to be looked for. Whether South Australia is now ready to go as far as her neighbours in the direction of federation or not, it would not only be an act of discourtesy but of downright stupidity for her to stand aloof and let the other colonies settle the matter in their own way.'  
Observer 17 May 1890
p. 5 col. E; p. 6 col. A. 'Federation and intercolonial free trade.'
p. 6 cols. A-E; p. 7 cols. A-E. 'Australian federation. Intercolonial free trade. Views of South Australian manufacturers and producers.' Nos. III-VI.  
Observer 15 November 1890
p. 29 col. E. 'The Federation Convention.' [South Australian delegates: T. Playford, R.C. Baker, J.H. Gordon, C.C. Kingston, J.A. Cockburn, J.W. Downer.]
Observer 13 December 1890
p. 25 cols. B,C. 'The Federal Council.' [Federal Council Bill aims to extend operation of Bill in South Australia to March 1892. South Australia had given limited acceptance of Bill for two years, which expired on December 9. Criticisms of Federal Council.]
Observer 24 January 1891
p. 27 cols. D,E. 'The Federal Council.' [Meeting at Hobart. Resolutions re lunacy; probate; New Hebrides.]
Observer 31 January 1891
p. 15 col. B. 'The Federal Council.' [Closing sitting: '. . . unanimous and earnest hope that the proceedings of the approaching Sydney Convention would result in the Council being merged into a body more dignified and powerful and able adequately to express the will of united Australia.']
Observer 7 February 1891
p. 33 cols. D,E. 'The colonies and the River Murray. No. I.' By P. McM. Glynn.
Observer 21 February 1891
p. 33 cols. D,E; p. 34 col. A. 'The colonies and the River Murray. No. II.' By P. McM. Glynn.
Observer 28 February 1891
p. 34 cols. B,C. 'The colonies and the River Murray. No. III.' By P. McM. Glynn.
Observer 7 March 1891
p. 24 cols. D,E. Editorial. 'The Federation Convention.'
p. 31 cols. D,E; p. 32 cols. A-C. 'National Australasian Convention.' [Held in Sydney; debate re the Federal Constitution.]  
p. 33 cols. D,E. 'The colonies and the River Murray. No. IV.' By P. McM. Glynn.  
p. 34 cols. A-E; p. 35 cols. A-D. 'National Australasian Convention.' [portrait: Sir Henry Parkes, President of Federal Convention.]  
p. 34 col. D. 'The banquet.' 'Sir Henry Parkes proposed the principle toast - "One people, one destiny"- and was received with great cheering.' View image
Observer 14 March 1891
p. 24 cols. D,E; p. 25 col. A. Editorial. 'The Federation Convention.' 'It becomes more evident every day that the Federal Convention has a difficult and a delicate task to perform . . . The two matters that have caused the most difficulty are the tariff and the constitution of the Federal Senate'; Federal capital: 'Dr Cockburn spoke strongly upon the necessity for the capital being in territory over which the Federal Government had complete control, and against a powerful city being selected.'
p. 25 cols. A-D. 'Australian defences.' [Major-General Edwards' paper on Australian defences.]  
pp. 33-35; p. 36 cols. A-C. 'National Australasian Convention.' [p. 33 portraits: Hon. Thomas Playford, Hon. Sir J.C. Bray; p. 34 portrait: Hon. Dr Cockburn.]  
Observer 21 March 1891
p. 24 col. D; p. 25 col. A. Editorial. 'The Federation Convention.'
pp. 34-36; p. 37 cols. A,B. 'National Australasian Convention.' [p. 34 portraits: R.C. Baker, J.H. Gordon; p. 35 portraits: Sir J.W. Downer, C.C. Kingston.]  
Observer 28 March 1891
p. 33 cols. D,E; p. 34 cols. A,B. 'National Australasian Convention.'
Observer 4 April 1891
p. 24 cols. D,E. Editorial. 'The Commonwealth of Australia.' 'Exception was taken by some of the delegates to the name given to the Federation, "The Commonwealth of Australia." '
p. 33 col. E; p. 34 cols. A-C. 'National Australasian Convention.' 'The Constitutional Committee made a number of suggestions which will be embodied in the Constitution Bill by the Drafting Committee, and in order to carry out this work quietly and without interruption Sir S. Griffith has arranged that three members [including C.C. Kingston] of the Drafting Committee should take a trip in the Queensland Government steamer Lucinda to Hawkesbury.' [Result will be considered by members of Drafting Committee and then submitted to Convention.]  
p. 34 col. E. 'Notes on the Convention.' 'Taken as a whole the South Australia team are quite the strongest in the gathering. On all points they have not a weak man.' View image
Observer 11 April 1891
p. 24 cols. D,E; p. 25 cols. A-C. Editorial. 'The Federation Convention.'
p. 30 col. A. 'The end of the Federal Convention.' 'Sir S.W. Griffith moved the adoption of the report of the committee on the whole of the Bill to constitute the Commonwealth of Australia'; Parkes '. . . denied that the liberties of the individual colonies had been sacrificed'; 'A motion for submitting the Constitution to the Imperial Government was also agreed to. It was decided to forward copies of the Bill to the Governors and Parliaments of the colonies - to the latter for general distribution.'  

Observer 18 April 1891
p. 38 cols. A-E; p. 39 cols. A-C. 'National Australasian Convention'; 'Return of South Australian delegates'; 'Constitution of the Commonwealth'; 'Interviews with the Premier, J.C. Bray, J. Downer, C.C. Kingston, Dr Cockburn, J.H. Gordon, R.C. Baker; Mr Munro'; 'Views of the Western Australian delegates, J. Forrest, Mr Hackett.']

View image
Observer 23 May 1891
p. 13 col. C. 'Australian Federation.' 'The negotiations between the Australian governments with a view to the adoption of a uniform course of action for submitting the federation proposals to the people of various colonies have fallen through. It now remains for each colony to adopt its own mode in ascertaining the views of the public.'