[Editor: An election statement from Richard Edwards. Published in The Worker, 30 March 1901.]
The Federal Election.
To the Electors of the Federal Division of Oxley.
Fellow-electors, — Having been selected by the Branch Leagues of your division and endorsed by the Commonwealth Electoral League of Queensland to contest the election to represent you in the House of Representatives of the Federal Parliament, I have the honour to place before you my views on the most important questions which are likely to arise in the Federal Parliament.
Realising the magnitude and far-reaching effect of matters intrusted to the Commonwealth, in contradistinction to those of the State Parliament, a broad-minded liberality should be the distinguishing characteristic of those who seek election. It would be to the best interest of our State that this principle should be carried out in its entirety. If elected, I shall enter upon the duties of the position fully recognising my obligation in this particular, and shall be unhampered by any class limitation, and use my utmost endeavours to promote the best interests of the State of Queensland, while conserving the welfare of the Commonwealth as a whole.
My long residence of thirty-two years in Queensland, during twenty years of which I was intimately connected in business relations with all sections of the community, does, I think, entitle me to confidently claim your suffrages.
My knowledge of the conditions under which our great sugar industry has been established, maintained, and prospered, leads me to the conclusion that any hasty, violent, or reckless legislation dealing with it would be not only inopportune, but detrimental to the prosperity of Queensland. My concern will be to protect, foster, and encourage all industries, and not to discourage or destroy any of them.
It is obvious to us Australians that a White Australia is our ultimate destiny. I am in favour of absolute prohibition of the further introduction of Asiatic aliens, and will support such measures having for their object the gradual reduction of the number already here.
I am in favour of perfecting our land and marine defences, and will encourage the establishment of small arms and ammunition factories in our State.
Our Volunteer system should be extended, and greater facilities should be given for the formation of rifle clubs, without cultivating a rampant military spirit.
As regards the Federal Tariff, the exigencies of the situation are such that the Federal Treasurer must raise a large revenue through the Customs. It shall be my object to obtain such a Tariff as will not only meet the needs of the Commonwealth, but, at the same time, foster and encourage our local industries. I shall urge that the Federal Tariff shall be submitted during the first session of the Federal Parliament.
I am entirely in accord with the principles of Conciliation and Arbitration in Industrial Disputes.
I will support Adult Suffrage, Old Age Pensions, a Penny Post throughout the Commonwealth, and the Reduction of Telegraph Charges, and also a Uniform Gauge on our main trunk Railways.
The organising of the Federal Parliament and the arranging of administrative details of Government lead me to the conclusion that a cordial and liberal support should be accorded to Mr. Barton and his Ministers in the stupendous task which they have before them. I am persuaded that the Federal Ministry is fully alive to the fact that Australia’s welfare is involved in Queensland’s prosperity, and that Australia demands equitable treatment to each of her States.
Being in a position to devote the whole of my time to your interests if you honour me by returning me as your representative, no effort will be wanting on my part to prove myself worthy of your trust.
Brisbane, 4th March, 1901.
Mr. R. Edwards will Address the Electors of the Oxley Federal Division at the School of Arts, Beenleigh, on Saturday, 9th inst. Mr. J. Stodart, M.L.A., and Dr. Hirschfield will also speak. Chair will be taken at 8 p.m. by G. F. Dauth, Esq.
The Worker (Brisbane, Qld.), Saturday 9 March 1901, page 12
Also published in:
The Worker (Brisbane, Qld.), Saturday 30 March 1901, page 8
intrusted = an alternative spelling of “entrusted”
At the 29 March 1901 federal elections, Richard Edwards was elected to the House of Representatives, to represent the federal electorate of Oxley.