Protectionist Party

Last updated

Protectionist Party
Historic leaders Edmund Barton,
Alfred Deakin
Founded1887 (1887)
Dissolved1909 (1909)
Merged into Commonwealth Liberal Party
Headquarters Canberra
Ideology Social liberalism
Protectionism
Industrialisation
Anti-socialism
Political position Centre to centre-right
International affiliationNone

The Protectionist Party was an Australian political party, formally organised from 1887 until 1909, with policies centred on protectionism. It advocated protective tariffs, arguing it would allow Australian industry to grow and provide employment. It had its greatest strength in Victoria and in the rural areas of New South Wales. Its most prominent leaders were Sir Edmund Barton and Alfred Deakin, who were the first and second prime ministers of Australia.

Australia Country in Oceania

Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands. It is the largest country in Oceania and the world's sixth-largest country by total area. The neighbouring countries are Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, and East Timor to the north; the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu to the north-east; and New Zealand to the south-east. The population of 26 million is highly urbanised and heavily concentrated on the eastern seaboard. Australia's capital is Canberra, and its largest city is Sydney. The country's other major metropolitan areas are Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, and Adelaide.

Protectionism Economic policy of restraining trade between states through government regulations

Protectionism is the economic policy of restricting imports from other countries through methods such as tariffs on imported goods, import quotas, and a variety of other government regulations. Proponents claim that protectionist policies shield the producers, businesses, and workers of the import-competing sector in the country from foreign competitors. However, they also reduce trade and adversely affect consumers in general, and harm the producers and workers in export sectors, both in the country implementing protectionist policies and in the countries protected against.

A tariff is a tax on imports or exports between sovereign states. It is a form of regulation of foreign trade and a policy that taxes foreign products to encourage or safeguard domestic industry. Traditionally, states have used them as a source of income. Now, they are among the most widely used instruments of protectionism, along with import and export quotas.

Contents

History

Edmund Barton, the first prime minister of Australia, 1901-1903 Edmund Barton crop.PNG
Edmund Barton, the first prime minister of Australia, 1901-1903

The party was initially centred on New South Wales, where its leaders were George Dibbs and William Lyne. It dominated New South Wales colonial politics before federation. It first contested the 1887 New South Wales election.

New South Wales State of Australia

New South Wales is a state on the east coast of Australia. It borders Queensland to the north, Victoria to the south, and South Australia to the west. Its coast borders the Tasman Sea to the east. The Australian Capital Territory is an enclave within the state. New South Wales' state capital is Sydney, which is also Australia's most populous city. In March 2019, the population of New South Wales was over 8 million, making it Australia's most populous state. Just under two-thirds of the state's population, 5.1 million, live in the Greater Sydney area. Inhabitants of New South Wales are referred to as New South Welshmen.

George Dibbs New South Wales politician and Premier

Sir George Richard Dibbs KCMG was an Australian politician who was Premier of New South Wales on three occasions.

William Lyne Australian politician

Sir William John Lyne KCMG was an Australian politician who served as Premier of New South Wales from 1899 to 1901, and later as a federal cabinet minister under Edmund Barton and Alfred Deakin. He is best known as the subject of the "Hopetoun Blunder", unexpectedly being asked to serve as the first Prime Minister of Australia but failing to form a government.

On the commencement of the Commonwealth of Australia, Governor-General-designate, The 7th Earl of Hopetoun, appointed Edmund Barton (after the Hopetoun Blunder), leader of the Protectionist Party, to head a caretaker government from 1 January 1901 until the election of a Parliament. At the first federal election in 1901, the Protectionists won 31 of the 75 seats in the House of Representatives. Barton was able to form the Barton minority government with the support of the Labour Party led by Chris Watson, which held the balance of power with 14 seats, on the understanding that the Protectionists would implement a number of social reforms desired by Labour. Labour's program, however, was frequently too radical for many Protectionists, creating internal conflict between those who, like H. B. Higgins, were sympathetic to Labour, while conservatives like Allan McLean preferred to support the Free Trade Party.

Governor-General of Australia Representative of the monarch of Australia

The Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia is the representative of the Australian monarch, currently Queen Elizabeth II. As the Queen is concurrently the monarch of 15 other Commonwealth realms, and resides in the United Kingdom, she, on the advice of her prime minister, appoints a governor-general to carry out constitutional duties within the Commonwealth of Australia. The governor-general has formal presidency over the Federal Executive Council and is commander-in-chief of the Australian Defence Force. The functions of the governor-general include appointing ministers, judges, and ambassadors; giving royal assent to legislation passed by parliament; issuing writs for election; and bestowing Australian honours.

The Hopetoun Blunder was a political event immediately prior to the Federation of the British colonies in Australia.

In Australian political and constitutional terminology, a caretaker government is a government of Australia from when the House of Representatives is dissolved by the Governor-General prior to a general election to a period after the election, until the next ministry is appointed. A caretaker government is expected to conduct itself in accordance with a series of well-defined conventions administered by the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, but there is no law compelling the caretaker government to do so.

On 25 August 1903 legislation to set up the High Court of Australia consisting of three judges was finally passed. [1] Barton resigned his party leadership position on 24 September 1903 to be replaced by Deakin who then formed the first Deakin government. Then, on 5 October 1903, Deakin appointed Barton, as well as the party's Senate leader, Richard O'Connor, to be justices of the High Court, before calling the 1903 federal election for December and going into caretaker government mode. At the election, the number of seats won by the Protectionists declined to 26 while Labour's increased to 22, but Labour continued its policy of supporting a minority Deakin Protectionist government.

High Court of Australia supreme court

The High Court of Australia is the highest court in the Australian court hierarchy and the final court of appeal in Australia. It has both original and appellate jurisdiction, the power of judicial review over laws passed by the Parliament of Australia and the parliaments of the states, and the ability to interpret the Constitution of Australia and thereby shape the development of federalism in Australia.

The First Deakin Ministry (Protectionist) was the 2nd ministry of the Government of Australia. It was led by the country's 2nd Prime Minister, Alfred Deakin. The First Deakin Ministry succeeded the Barton Ministry, which dissolved on 24 September 1903 following Sir Edmund Barton's retirement from Parliament to enter the inaugural High Court. The ministry was replaced by the Watson Ministry on 27 April 1904 after the Labour Party withdrew their support over the Conciliation and Arbitration Bill.

Richard OConnor (politician) Australian politician and judge

Richard Edward O'Connor was an Australian politician and judge.

Alfred Deakin, prime minister of Australia 1903-1904, 1905-1908, 1909-1910 Alfred Deakin crop.jpg
Alfred Deakin, prime minister of Australia 1903-1904, 1905-1908, 1909-1910

After a falling out in April 1904 between Labour's Watson and Deakin, Deakin resigned office. Free Trade leader George Reid declined to take office, leaving Watson and Labour to form its first minority government, which lasted for four months. In August 1904, Reid was able to form a Free Trade government with Protectionist support. Reid's government lasted until 5 July 1905, when the Protectionists and Labour reconciled, and the previous arrangement was restored, with the formation of the second Deakin government. On 12 October 1906, the size of the High Court was increased to 5 justices, and Deakin appointed prominent Protectionists Higgins and Isaac Isaacs to the High Court to get them out of politics, but they were qualified for the judicial position, as they had been lawyers. Higgins was Attorney-General in the Labour government of 1904 (Labour did not have a lawyer to appoint), and Isaacs was Attorney-General in 1905 in the Deakin government. The Free Trade Party recognised that the issue of tariffs had been settled and that the main issue was the Labour resurgence. Before the 1906 federal election, held in December, it changed its name to the Anti-Socialist Party. At the election, the Protectionists, whose protectionist policies were by then redundant, won only 16 seats to Labour's 26, but Labour still led by Watson continued to support Deakin who formed the well known third Deakin Protectionist government.

Second Deakin Ministry

The Second Deakin Ministry (Protectionist) was the 5th ministry of the Government of Australia. It was led by the country's 2nd Prime Minister, Alfred Deakin. The First Deakin Ministry succeeded the Reid Ministry, which dissolved on 5 July 1905 following the resignation of George Reid after the Protectionists withdrew their support and gained support from the Labour Party. The ministry was replaced by the Third Deakin Ministry on 24 January 1907 following the 1906 federal election.

Isaac Isaacs 3rd Chief Justice and 9th Governor-General of Australia

Sir Isaac Alfred Isaacs was an Australian lawyer, politician, and judge who served as the ninth Governor-General of Australia, in office from 1931 to 1936. He had previously served on the High Court of Australia from 1906 to 1931, including as Chief Justice from 1930.

The 1906 Australian federal election was held in Australia on 12 December 1906. All 75 seats in the House of Representatives, and 18 of the 36 seats in the Senate were up for election. The incumbent Protectionist Party minority government led by Prime Minister Alfred Deakin retained government, despite winning the fewest House of Representatives votes and seats of the three parties. Parliamentary support was provided by the Labour Party led by Chris Watson, while the Anti-Socialist Party, led by George Reid, remained in opposition.

Labour now under Andrew Fisher withdrew its support of the Deakin government on 13 November 1908 and formed a minority government. The Fisher government passed a large number of its legislation. A scandalised establishment, believing an anti-socialist alliance was necessary to counter Labor's growing electoral dominance, pressured Deakin and Anti-Socialist Party's new leader, Joseph Cook, to begin merger talks. The more liberal Protectionists opposed a merger. The party wound up splitting as a result. The main body, including Deakin and his supporters, merged with the Anti-Socialist Party in May 1909 to become the Commonwealth Liberal Party (CLP), popularly known as "the Fusion Party", with Deakin as leader and Cook as deputy leader. The more liberal Protectionists defected to Labour. Deakin and the new CLP now held a majority on the floor of the House of Representatives and the Fisher government fell in a vote on 27 May 1909. Fisher failed to persuade the Governor-General Lord Dudley to dissolve Parliament. [2] The Deakin CLP government was in power for less than a year until the 1910 election, where Labour under Fisher formed Australia's first elected federal majority government, and the first elected Senate majority, winning 42 of the 75 seats in the House of Representatives to the Liberal's 31. Deakin retired from Parliament in April 1913 and Cook took over the Liberal leadership before the calling of the 1913 election. The Liberals under Cook won government in 1913 by a single seat, however, Labor retained a Senate majority. Cook called a double dissolution, the first time one would be called. When the Senate rejected a bill twice, Cook called the 1914 election. The election had been called before the declaration of war in August 1914, and the campaign was conducted with the caretaker government going onto a war footing. At the election, the Liberals were soundly defeated with another Labor majority in both houses.

Andrew Fisher Australian politician, fifth Prime Minister of Australia

Andrew Fisher was an Australian politician who served three separate terms as Prime Minister of Australia – from 1908 to 1909, from 1910 to 1913, and from 1914 to 1915. He was the leader of the Australian Labor Party from 1907 to 1915.

Joseph Cook Australian politician, sixth Prime Minister of Australia

Sir Joseph Cook, was an Australian politician who served as the sixth Prime Minister of Australia, in office from 1913 to 1914. He was the leader of the Commonwealth Liberal Party from 1913 to 1917, after earlier serving as the leader of the Anti-Socialist Party from 1908 to 1909.

The Commonwealth Liberal Party was a political movement active in Australia from 1909 to 1917, shortly after Federation. The CLP came about as a result of a merger between the two non-Labor parties, the Protectionist Party and the Anti-Socialist Party which most of their MPs accepted. The CLP is the earliest direct ancestor of the current Liberal Party of Australia.

While the party itself disappeared into history, many of its key legislative initiatives, such as the White Australia policy and tariff protection for industry, were maintained by successive Australian governments for a large part of the 20th century. However, Labor could also take credit as many of the bills were passed during the Protectionist-Labour minority governments as part of Labour's agreement for supporting a Protectionist government.

Electoral results

Parliament of Australia

House of Representatives
Election year# of
overall votes
% of
overall vote
# of
overall seats won
+/–Leader
1901 185,943 (#1)36.75
31 / 75
Edmund Barton
1903 214,091 (#3)29.70
26 / 75
Decrease2.svg 5
Alfred Deakin
1906 156,425 (#3)16.44
16 / 75
Decrease2.svg 10
Alfred Deakin
Senate
Election year# of
overall votes
% of
overall vote
# of
overall seats won
+/–Leader
1901 1,197,723 (#1)44.86
11 / 36
Edmund Barton
1903 503,586 (#3)17.53
8 / 36
Decrease2.svg 3
Alfred Deakin
1906 369,308 (#3)12.41
6 / 36
Decrease2.svg 2
Alfred Deakin

See also

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The Free Trade Party which was officially known as the Australian Free Trade and Liberal Association, also referred to as the Revenue Tariff Party in some states, was an Australian political party, formally organised in 1887 in New South Wales, in time for the 1887 colony election, which the party won. It advocated the abolition of protectionism, especially protective tariffs and other restrictions on trade, arguing that this would create greater prosperity for all. However, many members also advocated use of minimal tariffs for government revenue purposes only. Its most prominent leader was George Reid, who led the Reid Government as the fourth Prime Minister of Australia (1904-5). In New South Wales it was succeeded by the Liberal and Reform Association in 1902, and federally by the Anti-Socialist Party in 1906. In 1909, the Anti-Socialist Party merged with the Protectionist Party to form the Commonwealth Liberal Party.

First Fisher Ministry

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Fourth Deakin Ministry

The Fourth Deakin Ministry was the 8th ministry of the Government of Australia. It was led by the country's 2nd Prime Minister, Alfred Deakin. The Fourth Deakin Ministry succeeded the First Fisher Ministry, which dissolved on 2 June 1909 after the Protectionist Party and the Anti-Socialist Party merged into the Commonwealth Liberal Party "fusion" and withdrew their support in order to form what became the first majority government in federal Australian history. The ministry was replaced by the Second Fisher Ministry on 29 April 1910 following the federal election that took place on 13 April which saw the Labour Party defeat the Commonwealth Liberals.

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1903 Australian federal election

The 1903 Australian federal election was held in Australia on 16 December 1903. All 75 seats in the House of Representatives, and 19 of the 36 seats in the Senate were up for election. The incumbent Protectionist Party minority government led by Prime Minister Alfred Deakin retained the most House of Representatives seats of the three parties and retained government with the parliamentary support of the Labour Party led by Chris Watson. The Free Trade Party led by George Reid remained in opposition.

1910 Australian federal election

The 1910 Australian federal election was held in Australia on 13 April 1910. All 75 seats in the House of Representatives, and 18 of the 36 seats in the Senate were up for election. The incumbent Commonwealth Liberal Party led by Prime Minister Alfred Deakin was defeated by the opposition Labour Party, led by Andrew Fisher.

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Watson Government

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Reid Government

The Reid Government refers to the period of federal executive government of Australia led by Prime Minister George Reid. It lasted from 18 August 1904 - 5 July 1905. Reid was the one and only Prime Minister of Australia to belong to the Free Trade Party. Allan McLean of the Protectionist Party served as deputy.

Deakin Government (1905–1908)

The Deakin Government (1905-1908) refers to the period of federal executive government of Australia led by Prime Minister Alfred Deakin. It lasted from 5 July 1905 to 13 November 1908. Deakin was the second Prime Minister of Australia having previously led the Deakin Government (1903-1904), and held the office again in 1909–1910.

References

  1. Judiciary Act 1903
  2. Murphy, D. J. (1981). "Fisher, Andrew (1862–1928)". Australian Dictionary of Biography . Australian National University. Archived from the original on 25 May 2011. Retrieved 12 May 2011.