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Series 14: Barton Government, 1900-1904

Deakin became the first Attorney-General of the Commonwealth of Australia on 1 January 1901. From the previous September he had begun to consider the choice of Ministers and the administrative problems that would face the new government. Papers from this period include correspondence, opinions, memoranda, speeches, notes, transcripts and printed material. There are documents relating to a number of legal questions, particularly the Judiciary Bill, 1903, the Conciliation and Arbitration Bill, 1903-1904, and the Stephens v. Abrahams case, 1903. There is also general correspondence and other papers relating to celebrations for the inauguration of the Commonwealth and the opening of the first session of Federal Parliament, papers relating to Deakin's term as Acting Prime Minister in 1902, and papers relating to such issues as the Vondel case, defence, immigration, postal and telegraph services, tariffs and proposed sites for the federal capital.
Major correspondents include J. Barrett, Sir Edmund Barton, Thomas Bavin, E.G. Blackmore, Joseph Chamberlain, Sir George S. Clarke, Richard Crouch, Sir James Dickson, J.L. Dow, Sir John Downer, W.H. Fitchett, Sir John Forrest, Sir Philip Fysh, Sir Samuel Griffith, John Gunning, W. Hailes, Lord Hopetoun, William H. Irvine, J.H. Keating, C.C. Kingston, George Leake, Sir Neil Lewis, Sir William Lyne, Sir John Madden, A. Matheson, Philip Mennell, Richard E. O'Connor, Sir John Quick, Richard Seddon, Sir John See, Malcolm Shepherd, Lord Tennyson, Sir George Turner, H.B. Marriott Watson, J.C. Watson, B.R. Wise and Clement Wragge.
This series contains Items 14/1 - 14/1074. The bulk of the items in this series have been digitised, and are available online through this finding aid. Please note that where printed items were duplicated within the series, the duplicates have not been digitised.

 

Subseries 14.1 Correspondence, 1900-1903
Subjects covered are the formation of the first ministry, the cables and letters generated by 'Hopetoun's blunder', the 1901 election, ministerial salaries, the dispatch of troops to South Africa and other defence matters, the High Commissioner position in London, immigration and the Kanakas, Lord Hopetoun's expenses and his subsequent resignation, the arrangements for the investiture of Lord Tennyson, and the differences between Tennyson and Sir Edmund Barton. The correspondence also refers to the New South Wales Commonwealth dispute over Dawes Battery, the status of the Governor-General's secretary, C.C. Kingston's resignation in 1903, New Guinea, problems in Western Australia, the Electoral Bill, texts of cables relayed to and from Britain during Barton's visit in 1902, the arrangements for Parliament House, Wragge's weather bureau, Reid's visit to Tasmania in 1903, the federal capital, proposals regarding an Australian navy, and Deakin's attempted resignation in 1902. Correspondents include Barton, Hopetoun, Kingston and Tennyson, together with J. Barrett, Thomas Bavin, E.G. Blackmore, Joseph Chamberlain, Sir George S. Clarke, Richard Crouch, Sir James Dickson, J.L. Dow, Sir John Downer, W.H. Fitchett, Sir John Forrest, Sir Philip Fysh, Sir Samuel Griffith, John Gunning, W. Hailes, William H. Irvine, J.H. Keating, George Leake, Sir Neil Lewis, Sir William Lyne, Sir John Madden, A. Matheson, Philip Mennell, Richard E. O'Connor, Sir John Quick, Richard Seddon, Sir John See, Malcolm Shepherd, Sir George Turner, H.B. Marriott Watson, J.C. Watson, B.R. Wise and Clement Wragge. This subseries contains Items 14/1 - 14/407.
Subseries 14.2 Inaugural celebrations, 1901
Account by the Daily Telegraph of the celebrations that followed the inauguration of the Commonwealth, together with invitations and a Souvenir of the inauguration of the Australian Commonwealth (1901). This subseries contains Items 14/408 - 14/410, 14/1074.
Subseries 14.3 Opening of the first Parliament, 1901
Invitations, programs, commemorative publications and illuminated addresses for the opening of the first session of Federal Parliament. This subseries contains Items 14/411 - 14/439, 14/1058 - 14/1073.
Subseries 14.4 The Vondel case, 1902-1903
Correspondence between Deakin, Joseph Chamberlain and John Jenkins regarding the arrest at Adelaide of the crew of the Dutch vessel Vondel, 1902, together with related parliamentary papers. This subseries contains Items 14/440 - 14/502.
Subseries 14.5 Printed material, memoranda and other documents, 1901-1902
Copy of Tennyson's dormant commission, an account by the Sydney Morning Herald of the celebrations which followed the inauguration of the Commonwealth, extracts from Barton's first Maitland speech, an article by Deakin on tariffs, papers on defence, a pamphlet on the proposed sites for the federal capital, Deakin's appointments as a Minister and Attorney-General, and issues of the Commonwealth Gazette, including one announcing the death of Queen Victoria. This subseries contains Items 14/503 - 14/554.
Subseries 14.6 Attorney-General, 1900-1904
Correspondence, opinions, memoranda, printed material and other documents. The correspondence covers a variety of legal questions such as the powers of the new Federal Government, agricultural bounties, appeals to the Privy Council and the High Court, naturalisation, a code of standing orders, Crown lands, the S.S. Otway and the Stephens v. Abrahams case, which was heard in the Victorian Supreme Court in 1903. In particular, there is extensive correspondence between Deakin and Sir Samuel Griffith about the Judiciary Bill, 1903, and the establishment of the High Court. Some of the correspondents are E.G. Blackmore, Andrew Inglis Clark, Thomas Derham, Isaac A. Isaacs, B.R. Wise, Harry N.P. Wollaston and Joseph Woolf. The opinions and memoranda concern such matters as new government departments, the Electoral Act, immigration, new cable and mail services, agriculture, manufacturing and customs duties. This subseries contains Items 14/555 - 14/1057.
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