[Editor: This article, about the views of Lord Brassey regarding Australia, was published in Newcastle Morning Herald & Miners’ Advocate (Newcastle, NSW), 28 December 1887.]
Lord Brassey upon Australia.
The Pall Mall Gazette published on Monday gives the details of an interview one of its representatives has had with Lord Brassey on the subject of his recent visit to the Australian colonies.
In the course of conversation, Lord Brassey stated that he noticed that whilst the Australians as a whole were very loyal to the British Crown, and were favourable to the maintenance of the close ties which now at present bind them to Great Britain, there existed among the colonists a current running quite in an opposite direction, and favouring the severance of Australia from the Empire. This current of thought might be expected to become dominant should any untoward events arise in regard to the colonial policy of the Home Government.
He urges as the best scheme that can be adopted to strengthen the hands of those who are favourable to Imperial Federation that the defences of the three coaling stations of Newcastle, Albany, and Thursday Island should be placed in a thorough state of efficiency; that ironclads of the type of H.M.S. Agincourt and H.M.S. Minotaur and two swift belted cruisers should be sent to strengthen the Australian squadron, and that competent naval officers should be intrusted with the organisation of the coastal defences of the colonies. He says that the organisation and efficiency of the colonial Volunteers promise at no distant period to eclipse those of the Volunteers of England.
He suggests that Lord Wolseley and Sir Frederick Roberts should be despatched on a trip to Australia, to review the colonial forces, and report upon them.
With a view to stimulate a feeling of patriotism in Australia, and also to prove the real interest felt in their welfare by the people of Great Britain, the Grenadier Guards Band and some of the Royal Princes should be sent out to the Melbourne Centennial Exhibition.
Newcastle Morning Herald & Miners’ Advocate (Newcastle, NSW), 28 December 1887, p. 5
See also: Alex Hutchison, “Lord Brassey on Australian loyalty”, The Armidale Express, and New England General Advertiser (Armidale, NSW), 27 January 1888, p. 3
British Crown = the British monarchy
Empire = in the context of early Australia, the British Empire
H.M.S. = “Her Majesty’s Ship”, or “His Majesty’s Ship”, depending on the sex of the ruling monarch; a designation given to a base or a ship of the Royal Navy (the designation can be rendered as “HMS” or “H.M.S.”)
Home Government = in an historical Australian context, the British government
Imperial Federation = a proposal, backed by a wide movement, of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, which sought have the British Empire run as a federated state, at least in some aspects (there were various differences of opinion as to the nature of the proposed federation); however, the proposal never came to fruition
See: 1) Jacqueline Banerjee “The Imperial Federation League”, The Victorian Web
2) “Imperial Federation”, Wikipedia
intrusted = (archaic) a variant spelling of “entrusted”
ironclad = a naval vessel whose sides were clad (covered) with metal plates, so as to provide armour for protection during warfare (such ships were especially used in the mid to late 19th Century)
Melbourne Centennial Exhibition = an exhibition held in 1888 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the British settlement of Australia; the exhibition was held in the Royal Exhibition Building in Melbourne (Victoria)
See: 1) “Melbourne, Victoria, Australia 1888-9: Centennial International Exhibition”, JDP Econ Publications and Studies
2) “Item NU 48209: Medal – Melbourne Centennial Exhibition, Australia, 1888-1889”, Museums Victoria
3) “Melbourne Centennial Exhibition”, Wikipedia
[Editor: Changed “on Monday the details of an interview” to “on Monday gives the details of an interview”.]
[Editor: The original text has been separated into paragraphs.]