Under the Southern Cross we Stand, a sprig of Wattle in our hand

12 March 1890, Zhapho House, Hailing, Australasian China

Hugh Glass III looked out from the houses verandah, from which he could see clearly the waves cresting on four mile beach. Hailing Island was embraced by the sea, with clean water, sand and sea, seafood readily available from the local fisherman. It received year-round sunshine, with the annual average temperature of 23 degrees, sunny days for 310 days, very mild winters, summers without heat, four spring-like seasons, beaches that one could swim at year round.

The opium wars had started because the British were experiencing a problem with their trade with China, namely they bought more than they sold. Chinese goods such as silk, porcelain, especially tea, were very popular in the UK. However, Chinese merchants did not buy British goods in return. As a result, Britain had to pay silver for the goods that it was importing, risking a shortage. Australasia desired those same good, especially tea, with, up until 1880, had mainly been imported from Ceylon at high price.

His mother had provided 50% of the start up capital for Glass, Gotch and Greaves. It had allowed the company to purchase suitable shipping to transport Chinese goods back to Australasia. Right from the start, shipment of opium was prohibited by the company charter. However, partnerships with men such as Stanley Kidman, "The Cattle Barron", whose vast land and cattle holdings would, by the time of his death in 1935, eventually expanding to encompass 110,000 square miles, 176,000 head of cattle, 25,000 buffaloes and 245,000 head of sheep. However, it was mainly beef that was exported to China. That and munitions. Imperial China had been casting around for some time for a military ally of some reliability and it had been Australasia that they had settled on. It had resulted in the sale of four cruisers for the Beiyang Fleet and a quantity of small arms and artillery.

It was on that basis that increasing trade was being done through the port of Yangjiang, all located within the Australasian enclave on the mainland. Consequently, the population of Hailing had gone from 7,000 scattered fishermen to 55,000, most of those working for South China Lines, the companies shipping subsidiary or Glass, Gotch and Greaves large warehouse complexes. Trade had become so popular that American interests had expressed a desire to begin importing via Hailing. It remained to be seen if this was a good thing.
Is Yangjiang part of Australasian China?
 
Australasian China(Green)
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16 July 1890 - A Polynesian Confederation
16 July 1890, Apia, Samoa, Polynesian Confederation

Many viewed it as a creation purely of Sydney, but the bare fact of the matter was that Hawaii had tried to create a Polynesian Confederation under her own leadership as early as 1887. The Samoan King Laupepa wrote to the Australasian Government asking for protection from Germany. With the 1889 agreement, his transition into power was smoothed and Tupua Tamasese Titimaea's supporters left powerless after the loss of German support. With the support of Henry Parkes, an alliance would be engineered a between Samoa and Tonga that would lead to the declaration of the Polynesian Confederation on the 16th July in Apia.

It's first King was to be George Tupou I of Tonga, it being agreed that the most senior monarch in age between Tonga and Samoa would conduct executive power. It was a very loose confederation only, really only sharing a flag, a small army and a common foreign policy. It's independence was immediately guaranteed by Australasia, as had been previously arranged. It could be argued that Australasia took a stand against colonialism, but it was mainly the case that they wished to develop and guarantee the large territories that they did hold.

It was also true that many saw the islands as money sinks and wished to get away from their status as Australasian Protectorates. This idea was confirmed by the rapid announcement in September 1890 of the annexation of the Fly River Protectorate to Capricornia as of the 1st of January 1891. While many historians give credit to for the outcome, it was mostly self interest. It was to draw Germany's interest away from the Central Pacific, at least for some time, it was the United States of America that were the most affected. In Hawaii, Samoan King Malietoa Laupepa had already signed a Samoan-Hawaiian confederation treaty on February 17, 1887. Even after the advent of the Bayonet Constitution, an act that virtually stripped Hawaiian natives of voting rights, there was a groundswell of support for Kalākaua. Many wanting American annexation of Hawaii, such as Lorrin Thurston or Stanford Dole, were thoroughly alarmed at the appearance of a Polynesian Confederation. One that, if the King regained any political power at all, Hawaii could easily join. It was also seen as threatening American control of their own portion of Samoa.

With the more expansionist President Benjamin Harrison in the White House, it was to cause some friction in relations between Australasia and the United States.
 
1 September 1890 - Fly River annexation
1 September 1890, Daru, Protectorate of New Guinea

So, the Dutch had finally agreed to some slight border changes involving the highlands area and Lake Murray. Australasian New Guinea was now located all South of the Fly River, it's Western boundary on the Maro River. For a native of Cooktown, Brian Taylor was familiar with this country. The flora and fauna very much resembled Cooktown itself, with eucalyptus, acacias and banksias. Animals includes wallabies, bandicoots, goannas, taipans (unfortunately) and termite mounds.

Much of the area in the protectorate had eucalyptus and melaleuca savannas, with dense rain-forests only in the true North. Int was very lightly populated by native people, less than 8,000 estimated, most of those in the far North. The Fly River, navigable to over 500 miles, ensured the interior was accessible. With the building of a border post on the Maro River, the area would have four small settlements. Hopefully, being part of a large state such as Capricornia from the start of next year would bring money through investment.
1890 border changes agreed with the Netherlands East Indies prior to annexation to Capricornia. Orange-Australasia, Buff-Netherlands, Crimson-Germany. Old border in violet, new border in black
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18 November 1890 - A flurry of naval building
18 November 1890, Garden Island Graving Dock, Sydney, New South Wales, Australasian Protectorate

Commodore Guido Karcher watched the battleship, a small size ship for her designation, take to the sea. Her sister ship, building in Hobart, was proceeding at a slower pace, but would likely taste the water to within 3 months. His parents migrating to Australasia had ultimately led to him moving as well after he had completed his cadet training in Germany. It was for that reason that he had never lost his German accent, even though his English was quite fluent.

There had been plenty of opportunity for an ambitious man in a navy that was undergoing an expansion. The cruiser Christchurch had been his last seagoing command. Now he was in charge of the naval construction and design office, as well as the Garden Island Fleet Base. He worked well with head designer Eduardo Masdea and his assistant Troy Niven.

Of course, there were challenges, both from Australasia's unique position and the fact that her heavy industry was not as well developed as in some European countries. In terms of power plants, hull form and propulsion technology, she was well advanced, her manufacture and design facilities well equipped. This had been assisted by the engineering infrastructure built up to support her huge mining industry, as well as her domestic ship building. What she was lacking was the ability to manufacture cemented plates to a thickness of more than 9 inches. That being the case, the ships designed so far were not as well protected as European battleships. Production of heavy naval guns was also not as well advanced as in Europe or the USA. Currently, Australasia produced three naval guns. The first was the main armament of Lalor, a 9.4 inch gun based on the German 24 cm/35 gun, but with the caliber increased to 40. This gun had been selected for two reasons. Firstly, the difficulty of manufacturing heavier weapons. Secondly, because the size and weight of the ammunition allowed for a much simpler and more efficient ammunition supply system than was the case with the 12 inch weapon and also allowed a turret, rather than a barbette, to be used. The other two guns were the British 6 inch/30 and 3 inch Mark I.

If you built ships with good hull form and propulsion, including innovative oil spraying techniques on coal, with less in the way of armour, you were able to increase both the speed and range of units. It was due to the fact that their smaller battleships were able to obtain speeds in excess of their contemporaries that the Protectorate Navy was never to build armoured cruisers, their battleships obtaining armoured cruiser speeds, in any case. The Lalor Class were just the start of a design process. Their slightly over 6,000 nautical mile range was considered inadequate, although they were able to make 19.9 knots on trails, so were faster than their designed speed. At only 382 feet length, with a beam of only 68 feet, with a crew of 528, they were very compact ships.

They were followed by a new design in 1891, the Capricornia Class. Too big to be built in Hobart, all were built at the Protectorate Naval depot, at Mort's, Sutherland and Fitzroy Docks, respectively. At 469 feet long, with a beam of 73 feet, at 13,112 tons and with a crew of 600, they were much larger than the Lalor Class ships. Instead of the Lalor Class's four 9.4 inch guns, they carried eight, with six on the broadside. Speed was again a feature, with the class capable of in excess of 22 knots, with two, New South Wales and Aurelia, reaching 23 knots on trials, Capricornia 22.8.
Capricornia Class
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Of course, having fast capital ships required cruisers that were even faster. The Perth Class cruisers were very light for their time, despite being large ships. At 465 feet, they were almost as long as the battleships they were meant to scout for, but had a beam of only 51 feet, all on 6,260 tons. With 12 boilers, they generated 22,320hp and could make more than 25 knots. With their powerful machinery, 10 6 inch guns and 6 torpedo tubes, they are fast and powerful units, but far too expensive. Only three were to be built, their unusual 6 funnel profile giving them the nickname "Packet of Havelocks", after the smaller cigarette packs of six. Two were built in Melbourne and one in Sydney.
Perth Class cruisers
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These cruisers, too expansive to build in numbers, were supplemented by the cheap and cheerful Queenstown Class ships, mounting 6 3inch guns and two torpedo tubes on 1,940 tons, a crew of 188 and capable of 20 knots. These were designed mainly for colonial work, with four built in Hobart, one in Melbourne and one on Sydney.
Queenstown Class colonial cruisers
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In 1891, at the peak of the boom times, two battleships and five cruisers were laid down, followed by a battleship and four more cruisers in 1892, as well as 6 137 ton torpedo boats from Vosper's yard in Melbourne. It was to be followed by a hiatus in shipbuilding after the crash in 1893.
 
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By now it seems Australasia is an empire in all but name.
Getting that way, to be sure. They would not be the first country that followed the "security by expansion" doctrine. ie. the futher you push out, the safrer your inner areas are. Japan followed it in WW2, Russia in the cold war etc.
 
Looks like Australasia is going for a speed over armor design. I wonder how useful this will be in war?
Well, hindsight has proven it's the wrong way to go actually. But if you can't build heavy armour domestically, you may as well get some advantage from lighter armour ships and all that is left is speed. Either that, or buying overseas and that retards your own industry from growing.
 
3 March 1891, - Parliamentary deadlock
3 March 1891, Federal Parliament Building, Melbourne, Australasia

John Watson, the new leader of the Federation of Australasian Labour, took the floor. "I think that from this section of the House one may, without presumption, congratulate the Leader of the Opposition upon the speech he has made to-day. It seems to me that he not only stated the position taken up by the majority, well the large majority, of the people of Australia, with clearness, moderation and firmness, and in a way which I think will commend itself to the opinion of the greater number of people.

As far as I am concerned, the objection I have to the mixing of these coloured people with the white people of Australasia, whilst tinged with considerations of an industrial nature, lies in the main in racial contamination. I think we should gauge this matter by those considerations which appeal to our ordinary human weaknesses and prejudices. The question is whether we would desire that our sisters or our brothers should be married into these races to which we object. If these people are not such as we can meet with equality; not such as we can feel that it is no disgrace to intermarry with, to the improvement of the race, we should be foolish in the extreme if we did not exhaust every means of preventing them from coming to this land we have made our own. This should have been done many years ago. The racial aspect of the question, in my opinion, is the larger and more important one, yet the industrial aspect must be considered. There is a good deal in the contention put forward by the honorable member for Melbourne Ports in regard to the conversion of a number of people on the question of coloured immigration, because still immigration flows. We know that a few years ago business men, speaking by and large, looked upon the Chinese or other coloured undesirables as men who could be very well tolerated, because they took the place of labourers, of which we were short, they were cheap as well, yet when it was found that these Orientals possessed all the cunning and acumen necessary to fit them, for conducting business affairs, and that their cheapness of living was carried into business matters as well as into ordinary labouring work, a marked alteration of opinion took place, so far as the competition of the Chinese was concerned. At the present time, we have whole streets which are practically given up to the businesses conducted by Chinese and other coloured aliens. One cannot go into more than five towns of any importance in the country districts without finding two, three, or perhaps half-a-dozen coloured storekeepers doing a thriving business. In each and every avenue of life, we find the competition of the coloured races insidiously creeping in. If we are to maintain the standard of living we think necessary, in order that our people may be brought up with a degree of comfort, with scholastic advantages which will conduce to the improvement and general advancement of the nation, some pause must be made in regard to the extension of the competition of coloured aliens. Another aspect of the question is that in the northern parts of Australia, both on the east and on the west coast, we find that coloured people have gained more than a footing - they have secured control. In Northern Australia, the pearl fisheries are being run with coloured divers. Large numbers of Malays and other coloured aliens, are working as divers upon the pearl-shelling grounds. These men have overrun the State.

Then, on the Capricornia coast, we find that Thursday Island is a coloured settlement containing the most heterogeneous mixture of races it is possible to conceive. We find, too, that the Japanese, Javanese, and various other coloured peoples, have been coming to the mainland of North Capricornia in such numbers as would, I think, be most alarming to the minds of the people if they thoroughly understood how far this immigration is proceeding. Again, in the interior districts of the various States we find Afghans employed, some as camel drivers, some as hawkers, in each instance becoming a menace to the people in the sparsely populated districts. I do not suppose that there is one man who has not read of or experienced the trouble that these coloured hawkers give, especially where women and children are left, unprotected, in the sparsely settled districts. It is common knowledge that they are not only insolent, but actually threatening in their attitude towards women and children unless trade is done with them. All these things go to show the danger that confronts us, and the necessity for some definite action being taken. It is said by some of those who object to legislation of this sort that, while we may be justified in keeping out Chinamen, Japanese, Malays or Afghan, we have no justification for attempting to keep out those related to people already here. I say we have every justification. It is, after all, our future."

"I recognise the member for Glebe."

The Australasian league's Bruce Smith took the floor. "Thank you, Mr Speaker. Now, it appears to me that the foundation of this bill is racial prejudice… the whole thing is a bogy, a scarecrow. I venture to say that a large part of the scare is founded upon a desire to make political capital by appealing to some of the worst instincts of the more credulous of the people. It is no coincidence that the principal objections to non-white immigrants came from trade unions and labour movement. They object to Chinese immigrants not primarily because of their race but because many were 'coolies', that is, indentured labourers recruited in their home country at wages a fraction of our market rates, leaving them to work for less here. They object to Melanesian islanders employed on Capricornian sugar plantations, which pay 12 pounds a year at a time when an unskilled white labourer in Sydney or Melbourne could earn six pounds a fortnight. It appears that the honourable members of Mr Watson's party object to the Chinese, not so much on the ground of the possible contamination of the white race, as because they fear that if they continue to come to Australasia the rate of wages will go down. Their hypocrisy is astounding."

George Dibbs, the instigator of the Immigration Exclusion Acts and Leader of the Opposition Liberal Protectionists, spoke again. "Like the esteemed Leader of the Federation of Australian labour, I am a supporter of such a bill. These was a time that I was in favour of such immigration, but that time has well passed. The apostles of immigration have had their day, witness the fact that their leader sits at home with a broken leg, a leg that apparently is still not suitable to perambulate on, after a full 14 weeks of rest."

"The member for Auckland North".

Te Kana Davis took to his feet. Dibbs personal hatred for Henry Parkes had not allowed him to escape a dig at the Australasia Prime Minister, laid up with a badly broken leg, a hard thing to recover from when one was 76 years of age. " I see not for nothing has the Opposition Leader previously been called a mean spirited man. He has a genius for destruction, for degradation and for confusion, which is what this bill will produce. I look upon the whole of the inhabitants of Asia as my friends. I am perfectly willing that they should be called my friends, and I hope so long as God gives me breath that I shall have the courage to stand up for what I consider to be right for them. I consider that no one who has any time to them will attempt for one moment to despise either the Japanese or the Chinese."

"Now see here....."

The speaker intervened. "I recognise the member for Wilmot".

King O'Malley stood. "I have some experience in this matter from my time in the new world. Despite efforts to shut him out, all sorts of means were tried to exclude John Chinaman, but, you know, he gets there just the same. They cannot shut him out. With all due deference to the Opposition Leader, the proposed educational test is absolutely absurd. It is the sort of thing to make a government look a laughing stock. I know that the right honorable gentleman means well. I know that the Opposition mean well, but they are only human, after all."

Edmund Barton, the coming man in the Liberal Protectionists, chimed in. "While the honorable member is divine I suppose?"

"There is something in that statement, yes.."

The debate was to rage for another three days, before a vote was taken on the 6th March in regards the Immigration Exclusion Bill. To the outrage of the government, it was only on the day of the vote that the opposition refused to grant an automatic pairing for Henry Parkes. The government, reduced to 47 members after losing the Christchurch by election the previous year, was now reduced to 46. Voting as a block and including the support of their minority Te Aka allies, could only muster 49 seats. They were propelled to 50 with the vote of the Independent Member for North Adelaide, John de Camp. The other four independents voted with the opposition, to give a 50 to 50 split, leaving the bill to go to the Protector to break the deadlock.
1888 Australasian election result
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God it hurts reading the attitudes of our forebears sometimes. You've left me on the edge of my seat here, top stuff.
 
11 March 1891, - What to do
11 March 1891, Protectors Palace, Federal Parliament Building, Melbourne, Protectorate of Australasia

Things were going from bad to worse, thought Caroline Plantagenet. Upon marrying, she had kept her father's name, shocking though that was to many. In her own mind, it was her own private tribute to him. She was certainly wishing he was here now. Since having fraternal twins, first a boy, Richard, then a girl Ruby, some two months ago, she had kept Sundays as a family day, where she could retire from the everyday routine of the position as Protector. She had not been able to that this last Sunday.

Instead, she had spent Sunday the 8th March reading through preliminary drafts in hand written form of what would become Hansard. The Monday had brought a motion of no confidence in the Parkes government, brought by the opposition. This time, the Prime Minister was in parliament, however, it required the intervention of the Speaker to defeat the motion.

Tuesday morning had brought Parkes himself to the Protectors Palace, where he had resigned his commission as Prime Minister, asking her to appoint Adye Douglas instead. After 30 years, the Parkes era was over. Douglas had been reluctant, prevaricating on reasons of age, being 76 himself, indicating he wished to return to Tasmania at some stage soon. Yet, he knew maverick Labour member King O'Malley, who had concerns about the Immigration Exclusion Bill himself, well. He was also on close terms with William Moore, an independent whose son had married his eldest daughter. Douglas was sanguine about the fact that he could likely gain enough votes to stave off further no confidence motions, so on Thursday Caroline confirmed him as the new Prime Minister.

That still left the Immigration Exclusion Bill. She had read the transcripts, talked to Parkes and Douglas. Now she would have to see both George Dibbs and John Watson. Separately would be best. Watson was the more personable, more likable, yet she found his views on race repugnant, especially considering her own heritage. Dibbs, she despised simply based on his personality. Yet, as her father had advised her, she had buried those feelings very deep. If she rejected the bill out of hand and the League lost the next election, they could come for her next, thinking a Presidential system would allow them to consolidate power more readily. She was not secure in the position of Protector. Her heritage and the very fact she was a women and a mother meant many sections of public opinion were against her from the start, so she had no great reserves of support and loyalty to fall back on there. This bill represented the opinion of many, especially many low income workers. Yet, it was wrong. She knew it was wrong. It personally hurt to see some of the statements made written on the pages she read. Although both herself and her sister engendered much sympathy on her father's passing and both were seemingly darlings of the media, their every move faithfully reported, public opinion could change very rapidly on contentious issues and this was a very contentious issue. Melbourne, in particular, had a huge Chinese influence, with fully 9% of the population Chinese or part thereof. It would be a foolish person indeed that could pretend that for some, this was a cause of resentment.

Either way, she would have to decide by next weekend and, as per the Australasian constitution, provide written reasons for her decision to break the parliamentary deadlock. She would draft this in conjunction with the Chief Justice, Charles Lilley.
 
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Good portrayal of a tricky political issue and good to see that Caroline is aware of the fragility of her position as the first female Protector.
 
God it hurts reading the attitudes of our forebears sometimes. You've left me on the edge of my seat here, top stuff.
Thanks. Yes, it's always a bit harder to look back and see views like these. yet, they were common at the time. Hell, I first went to school in 1969, sad to say. It dates me badly. There were NO non white kids at school right through primary and high school. And I went to a big High School(1,200 kids). It was only in 1979 I went to a school that had Asian kids, namely a couple of Korean girls.

I have always thought that until you visit other countries, your opinions of their culture and people come mainly from the opinions of others, via book and conversation. That can be a dangerous thing. That's why I think that travel can be a great learning experience.
 
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