OUR SYDNEY LETTER
COMMONWEALTH AND STATE. On more than one occasion Mr Fisher, the Prime Minister, seems to have gone out of his way to demonstrate that he now has “ tho whip hand ” of the State. The £7,400,000 which is to come to Mr Holman, the State Premier-Treasurer, out of the 18 millions which tho Commonwealth is borrowing in London by the assistance of the Imperial Government, is, it appears, strictly subject to good behavior. When the Premier of South Australia complained that Mr Holman in his desperate search for money had been poaching on his preserves at Adelaide by offering a rate of interest considerably above that which was previously ruling, Mr Fisher replied to tho effect that if any State Premier took advantage of _ other Premiers by competition of this kind there would be no money for him out of the 18 millions. At any rate, he said that in such an event the agreement would fall to pieces. The State has had to make an issue of about two millions of treasury bills at 4J per cent, to take up others falling in for redemption. Mr Fisher has graciously intimated that he does not consider this to ba any violation of the understanding. But if ho did all the fat would be in the fire. That which was predicted if the Commonwealth were allowed to take a hand in the monetary affairs of the States has evidently* happened. and Messrs Fisher and Co. are just the men to “ rub it in." PRICES. ( The miliera waited on the AttorneyG’eneral yesterday to represent that lio wheat is obtainable at tho absurd price fixed by the Commission, and that unless the. Governmout “do something” they will have to dose their mills. Which, of course, in time would be very serious. The irony of it all is that if tho Government had never done anything, the market would have been going on ats usual. There would never have been any stoppage. Even now, unices they fix a price above current marker values, instead of below them, they will only prolong the deadlock. Neither growers nor holders will, of their own accord, part with their grain for lose than they judge it to be worth in tho open market; 'The Victorian Government seem to have grasped this factor of the situation, for they nave fixed the price of wheat at 5e 6d per bushel, in contrast with the miserable, hidebound 4s 2d which was originally fixed by our own Commission. The Government are no more skilful at regulating the delicate operations oi commerce, wrvich. depend on the free judgment of buyer and feller respectively, than would be an apprentice blacksmith at regulating the movement of a costly chronometer. However*, Mr Hall promised that lu> would have another try. It was only the cold “chisel” before. Probably tins time it will bo the heavy sledge I They are very useful tools in their place, but not of much service in the present 1 * “BRITISH FAIR PLAY.” “The British race has always prided itself on a reputation for fair play. Never was it more on its trial than now. when our country is suffering the ordeal of fire.” Thu-* Senator Pearce, in resisting the interested or hysterical impulses which seek to proscribe all Germans indiscriminately, irrespective of their good or ill behaviour. The ugly face of racial hatred fa showing itself very prominently. In time of peace it was openly encouraged and fanned against the Japanese and other aliens. Now it seems to be concentrating upon Germans, some of whom are jS staunch and reliable as any other members of the community. The Minister points out that very stringent precautions are being taken against treachery in any shape or form, and that any instance of suspicious conduct will at one© be inquired into, not by slow civil process, but by the military authorities. IL* appeals for fair play, and declare? that the innocent must not be made to suffer with the guilty. It is somewhat humiliating to reflect that some such reminder was very badly reeded. ■ SOUTH AMERICAN WOOL. It’s an ill wind that blows nobody good. The prohibition of the export of wool, which has so crippling an effect in Australia and Britain, is a most welcome throw-in for the Argentine and Montevideo. They are being swamped with orders from all neutral countries, and even from Britain itself. Freed also from the overshadowing competition of Australia, the product ; s brincrina a better price than usual. This ir> a development that cannot bo overlooked and mcrenuity is already at work to discover some way of causing the wheels of commerce to revolve more freely on this side of tho clobe without impairing tho efficiency of military proceedings. A MUSICAL CELEBRATION. Music still hath charms to inspire enthusiasm. and even to draw loose coin from people who are not by any means too liberally supplied with that most necessary “commodity.” The destruction of the Emden, was not allowed to go altogether uncelebrated. The professional musicians last Saturday mustered a baud 100 strong, and paraded' tho city with banners and patriotic music. The banners told the people that the procession was for tho benefit of the Belgian fund, .as well as to celebrate the feat of H.M.A.S. Sydney. Outside the Consulates they played the respective national anthems—the ‘Marseillaise,’ the Russian hymn, the Japanese hymn, and the ‘ Brabanconne ’ of gallant little Belgium. Tho combination proved irresistible, and when the evergreen ‘lt’s a Long, Long Way to Tipperary’ tickled the ears of the crowd tho enthusiasm was immense. Between £3O and £4O was collected. The affair was organised under the auspices of the Millions Club, who arc very prompt to seize any opporunity of this kind. The German band, pure and simple, has gone to an alarming discount of late, and many members of these bodies have been heard of as harvesting in the country, an occupation more useful than that in which they are ordinarily engaged. November 17.
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OUR SYDNEY LETTER, Evening Star, Issue 15660, 26 November 1914