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  ― 3 ―

Preface.

THE first portion of this work appeared in the columns of the Melbourne Argus. The republication is at the request of many readers, and with the kind consent of the proprietors of the journal in question. The object in view has been to put principles before the public rather than details, because the subject itself is new to most of us; it has been talked about after public dinners, rather than thought out in the closet; and unless principles are grasped it may not be easy to arrange the compromises on which all federations are founded. In the following pages the writer has endeavoured to state certain vital principles as clearly as was in his power, and to strongly, though fairly, advocate their adoption. For instance, the necessity for a Customs union is maintained throughout. But as a rule his aim is to give both sides of a case, so that the problem may be grasped, and so that federalists who differ


  ― 4 ―
may do so with good feeling and with mutual respect, and without injury to the national cause on which so much depends. When people who have lived under one form of government are invited to live under another, doubts and misconceptions must occur; but a fullness of knowledge should minimise these incidents, and all should be thrown into the shade by the grandeur of the common object—that of the bringing together of Australia. There are times when, according to a famous dictum, the statesman should be prepared to sacrifice his reputation to his country; and it cannot be too much to say that at a crisis in Australian history, Australian politicians should be prepared to moderate, and even to surrender, personal opinions. These papers were written with the conviction that unity in the ranks is essential if success is to be achieved, and that the way to obtain unity is, to show the magnitude and the importance of the cause.

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