Lists (None yet)

Login to create lists

Comments (None yet)

Add New Comment

2 corrections, most recently by markhurd - Show corrections

PUBLIC MEETING.

A meeting under the aupices of the Labour Federation was held in the Hibernian Hall last night, to hear an address by Mr. G. S. Casey, ono of tho organisers of the Federation, on matters relating to the strike. Prior to the meeting a torchlight procession marched from the Fire Brigade Station to the hall, headed by the Rockhampton Brass Band, and notwithstanding the muddy state of tho streets, about 200 people took part in it. There were between 400 and 500 persons present, in the hall, and the chair was taken by Mr. E. W. Keily, Chairman of the local branch of the Labour Fedoration, who briefly introduced the speaker.

Mr. CASEY, who was extremely well re- ceived, spoke for nearly two hours, his ad- dress consisting principally of a fierce in- vective against the Government, the Press, and the capitalistic class. Oaths were freely interspersed by Mr. Casey in the course of   his remarks. He commenced his address by calling his audience "fellow-workers, private   detectives, and Defence Force men," and then went on to say that from what he heard and saw the newspapers next day would say those whom he was addressing were not in- telligent. He assured them that when the Press said the strike was nearly over it was a deliberare lie, for it had not beon started yet. They had only just began to go into it in earnest, and he could tell them this--they were going to win or die. (Applause. ) What they were fighting for was freedom under the Southern Cross, and the worshippers of the Golden Calf could not understand it. Right throughout the civilised world this self-same fight was going on, and labour everywhere was endeavouring to gain its ends in a proper and constitutional manner. The bushmen in the west were men

whom they should be proud of. They were fighting the samo battle that their forefathers

had before them. Under the old unionism

men had got seven years and were transported

in chains to New South Wales, and it was their sons and daughters who were continuing the fight in Queensland to-day. He urged that the new form of labour federa- tion was better than the old trades unionism, and notwithstanding their incapable Members of Parliament, their subsidised Press, and the Defence Force and the Police force it

would make its progress. Up to the present time they had been fighting with the empty scabbard, but now they had taken up the shining steel of the bare sword; and that   was what their opponents were afraid of. He denied that the maritime strike had ended disastrously for the labour unions, but argued that it had done more good to labour organisation than any other event in the present history of Australia. Referring to Sir Samuel Griffith's letter in which he said he had lost confidence in the labour leaders, Mr. Casey said as far as he was concerned, and speaking as one of the leaders, he hoped it would be a long time before that confidence returned. He had always looked upon Sir S. W. Griffith as a gross fraud. (A voice:  

"A sneak." and applause.) They had recently had a number of men sentenced in Rockhamp- ton for unlawful assembly, intimidation, and conspiracy, but as far as he could see un- lawful assembly in Barcaldine meant simply standing still and flapping one's arms, while conspiracy meant writing a letter to a man and asking him to meet two or three other fellows. (Laughter.) This state of things needed altering, and unless things were altered working men would be the veriest cowards the world had ever seen, and de-

served to be thc veriest slaves. (Applause.) There was something rotten in the present social system, and the question which was being forced upon them was, What shall we do with our unemployed? Men were hump-     ing their blueys from one end of the colony to the other, and as for their so-called freedom under the present system, well, his opinion

was that the British Constitution wanted

bursting. (Laughter.) They might call it "revolution," or "evolution," or any other "ution" they had; but there was going to       bc a "solution" of the present difficulty.

The labour people wished to bring it about in a quiet and peaceful manner, but thc capitalists were doing their best to bring about a revolution. The bushmen bail borne taunts and insults sufficient to have

brought any body of men ali the world over

to open conflict, but he maintained that they had been the means of preserving peace. If it were necessary tho workers of Queensland could easily bring about a revolution, and upset the Government and everything else; but it wa« not desired. They were quite capable of doing it, he repeated, but it would be of uo usc. They wished to bring their reforms about through the ballot-box. If a war took place to-morrow the Government would not look to thc wifc-descrters out west to protect the country (laughter) ; tiiey would go to the bush-workers, the maritime workers, and thc miners-the bone and sinew of the colony. Recently they had had nome most remarkable trials iu Rockhampton tried by a talented jury and a Judge-a most upright Judge ! (A voice : " A Christiin.") Well, he (Mr. Casey) supposed he was; at least the Judge himself said so. Til is self- same man said to another mnn-no, not " another " mau, bul to a mau, because he

(Mr. Casey) believed the policeman vas a

man-this so-called Judge, bo repeated, cen- sured a policeman because he did not shoot down thc men who said " boo hoo " to Borne others. (Groans.) It seemed strange that this should have occurred in Rockhampton. He was prepared to say that this so-called

western insurrection or shearers' strike was

not of such magnitude as tho spielers' riot

which occurred the last time lie wus here.

(Loud applause.) The riot which took place then, and which lasted for three hours, was much moro sorious than anything which had taken place in the west. (Applause.) Did the law interfere then! (Voices: "No.") Ves, it did [sarcastically] ; it interfered as it always did, und it took the spielers down to the boat. (Laughter.) That was just what the present Government wus fit for-to protect scabsand spielers. (Applause.) JiidgcHarding waBu most generous man, for bc had ladlod out thc «entonces to thc prisoners with au un- sparing hand. He thought il would he a deterrent to other mon in tho future ; hut he never made a bigger mistake. As foi' as lie (Mr. Casey) could judge, instead of being a deterrent il would bean incentive to hundreds, of others. (Applause). Had they ever heard

of martyrdom outing OB a deterrent? It was, lie repeated, au incentive to do still greater things, (Applause). Ide believed that if Judge Harding lind passed sentences of three months, or even six months, he would have done what a large majority of people in thc colony would hove thought was almost fair ; hut in having sentenced thc men to three years' imprisonment he (Mr, Casey) looked upon him os thc grentcst friend thc lal.our movement hud ever had in Queensland up to thc present time. Come, let them give three cheers for thc liest hihourorganiaer in Queens- land, Judge Harding. (Three hearty groans immediately followed.) He (Mr. Casey) wns surprised ! Thojegroansledhim to he'ievc they ilid »ot like nomo labour organisers. Well, il was hardly to be wandered at, hut all thc same for thut thc Judge was a good labour organiser, although he little thought it. Another thing he could assure thom ot-none

of the men would serve their sentences.

(Loud upplanse.) If the jury wera true io their oaths, and if thu Judge was true to his oath, thc sentences these men lind received should be filled to the vcr)- last

minute- that was if thc scntencos were just ; but hu told them they would not serve them, and when thc propor time arrived their sympathisers should take action. (Applause ) They should not approach the prcBont Government by any means ; let them wait until they could fight it out at thc ballot-box, and then wipe both the sentences and the (íovornmcnt out. The Government were in tho most infernal fix he had ever seen a Government in. At tho instance of their bosses, the capitalists, they had sent a large body of troops out west, and now they bud not got the money to keep them there. (Laughter.) Prosontly there would he a striko amongst the troops-(laughter)-because the I Government had tried to flout a loan, and

liad not aucceedod. The failure of this hut loan wai one of the liest things the workers bad ever met with, because it would lead to tho withdrawal of the troops out west, as there was no money with which to pay them-and then the public would lind out there was no righting at all. Tho present political situation put him in mind of an old doggerel he had heard--

There was an old proverb found in a log,

That Queensland would be ruled by an ass and a dog:   And now this proverb had come to pass,

For M'Ilwraith's the dog and Griffith's thc ass.

(Loud laughter.) Mr. Casey referred at some length to the action for libel which he brought against Mr. Ebeneser Thorne in Brisbane, in consequence of a paragraph which had ap- peared in a certain newspaper accusing him (Mr. Casey) of incest. After detailing the circumstances, and stating that he was given a verdict for £20, Mr. Casey said the result really meant that he was fined £200 for clear- ing his character. He maintained that the law was "worked" in Queensland, and their     law courts were corrupt. Mr. Casey referred at length to the case of Reardon, who was acquitted at the Supreme Court at Rock- hampton, and afterwards re-arrested at Clermont for, as he (Mr. Casey) under- stood, saying there would soon have to be a revolution in Queensland. Well, he (Mr. Casey) was very much of the same opinion. There would have to be a revolu- tion of some kind, and if anything on earth would make men revolt it would be the sort of justice Judge Harding and his jury meted out to George Taylor and his comrades. Another instance of the way in which justice was dealt out was at Clermont, where Mr. Morey, when under the influence of too much whisky--or, what was worse, his own evil passions-- sentenced a man in the morning, and after- wards, finding out that he had not called on him for hie defence, interviewed him in the afternoon, and told him "that little affair was   off." (Laughter.) After having referred to various matters, Mr. Casey said the labour party challenged the Government and the Press to a trial of strength to see on which side public opinion stood. He referred nt some length to matters which had taken place recently m the Daily Northern Argil* offico, and groans were given for the editor. Mr. Casey said if unionists did not mete out thc same treatment to the proprietors as had beet meted out to the workmen, they were not worthy of thc name of men. In concluding, Mr. Casey made an impassioned appeal to ol unionists to support the men on strike bj

financial aid.

A vote of thanks vos passed with greet applause to Mr. Casey for his address, thc motion being proposed by Mr. Uaw, and seconded by Mr. Gough. The last-named speaker urged all who were not unionists to join the Democratic Club. Cheers were given for thc strikers, tho Labour Federation, and Mr. Casey, and at the invitation ot thc latter groans were given for thc Government. Thc meeting, which was most orderly, concluded a few minutes past ten o'clock.

[Br ELECTRIC TELEGRAPH.]

[FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENTS.J

ADELAIDE, May 29.

Thc result of tho ballot taken by the Port Augusta brauch of the Associated Shearers' Union on the question of members staying ut home until engaged through the union office, is regarded as satisfactory, being fully 93 per cent in favour of the union. The agents anticipate the sheep owners will have difficulty in getting shearers to shear, in con- sequence of the unsettled state of shearing matters, The committee of the branch ex- pressed their deepest sympathy with the Queensland unionists.

CLERMONT, May 2!).

John White was charged at the Police Court this afternoon with assaulting Sub inspector Dillon on the occasion of the Cler-

mont riot on the 7th of March. Thc case

was proved, and White was sentenced to the full penalty-two months' imprisonment in Rockhampton gaol.

Everything is quiet in unionist circles.

BARCALDINE, May 29.

The free labourers from Peak Downs arrived nt Jericho shortly after daylight this morning. The Government Agent and a strong body of military went down by a special train to meet them, but there was no demonstration of any kind, and the whole party soon started off by tho station teams for Northampton Downs, escorted by twelve members of the Mounted Infantry. The train with the remainder of thc troops then returned to Barcaldine.

There has been very heavy rain herc since daylight, over three inches having fallen, and the town has Iwcn a perfect swamp since.

Tho free labourers for Bimerah, who were to have gone forward to their destination to- morrow, ore not likely to bc able to move for several days to come.

MELWH-RKK, May 28.

Thc suspension of work hy thc Queensland carriers, in sympathy with the shearers'

strike, was considered at a meeting of pas toralists and others interested in thc grazing industry to-day. After the situation had been explained by the chairman, it was dc cided to form u carrying company, with a capital of £100,000. The amount to be sub- scribed, namely, £25,000, was secured in thc room, but as the carriers have accepted thc terms offered by the Pastoralists' Association, and decided to return to work, it was agreed not to commence operations at present. A telegram was forwarded to the Pastoralists' Association in Brisbane announcing the forma- tion of tlie company.

Zoom

plus
thumb
minus
left
thumb
right
up
thumb
down