WWI in the Herald: Archive
MONDAY 19 OCTOBER 1914
The most important and difficult task which confronts the new Federal Government is to meet the financial exigencies of the war.
The majority of the States have wisely agreed to leave the raising of war taxation, if absolutely needed, to the Commonwealth, and are apparently entering upon an arrangement by which their loans will be floated by the Federal Government.
The latter proceeding is a sensible one, inasmuch as it will enable the loans to be issued without clashing. The nature of the conditions under which the Commonwealth will undertake this duty has not yet been announced, but it may be that they are only of a temporary character, to continue until the end of the war.
It may be hoped that the arrangement will ultimately lead to a complete understanding between the States and the Commonwealth as to the conduct of financial business. In this way at all events the war will be beneficial to Australia.
It is reported that the Federal Government will be able to dispense with additional taxation for the current year, and perhaps also for the next. If it is found to be necessary, we have little doubt that Australia will submit to it ungrudgingly.
In an emergency of the present description it is obvious that the Federal Labour party, although it is opposed to raising loans if they can be avoided will find it necessary to borrow.
The very heavy war expenses, for instance, could not be met out of revenue without very heavy taxation, and it is stated that the Government contemplates meeting them by loans.
These will be floated, if possible, in Australia. Although fairly large appeals are being made to British capitalists by the Imperial Government, there will be enough money to spare for Australia’s needs if the London market is appealed to.
The interest rate will be above the average, but that cannot be complained of under the circumstances. The recent successful flotation of a comparatively small loan by New South Wales shows that the British market is responsive to demands from safe quarters. And the security which Australia can offer is beyond question.
The Federal Government will also need money for its public works, and as it has advanced moneys to the States it has not too large a reserve to draw upon. But its credit is so good that it can obtain any necessary funds.
The Federal Government realises that if it can be avoided, no increase of taxation in the Commonwealth ought to be imposed.
The effects of the war are already being felt in many directions, and with the many other calls upon the people it is not desirable that the burden should be increased.
When the war is over there is little doubt that Australia’s import trade and general activities will again become brisk, but it is well not to impose too heavy a strain on the people.
The increase of the Federal paper money, if it is restricted within reasonable limits, should prove of assistance, although any such issue should really be regarded in the same light as a loan to be repaid at a certain period.
As yet there are no indications as to the attitude of the banks towards the Federal Government’s proposal, but it may be hoped that it will be friendly if not one of actual support.
There is to be a revision of the Customs duties, but that will not be for the purpose of increasing the revenue, nor will it lead to a material increase for some time to come.
Furthermore, if it results in the promotion of Australian industries, as it is meant to do, it will be hoped that their products will increase so largely as to materially reduce the imports and also the Customs revenue.
The war has shown Australia that it ought to be as far as possible a self-supporting country. It has the natural resources, and the expansion of their profitable use will lead to the prosperity of the Commonwealth.
While the war has proved a great setback to the majority of the nations, and chiefly to the country which alone stands responsible for setting Europe aflame, there should be a commercial as well as a political rebound, and Australia should endeavour to keep abreast of the times.
Details are to hand concerning the loss of the British cruiser Hawke in the North Sea, torpedoed by a German submarine.
Accompanying this intelligence is the news that a battle has taken place in the North Sea between a British cruiser and four destroyers and German destroyers. All four of the enemy’s vessels were sunk without material injury to the British.
The Allies continue to force back the enemy in France, and although there has been some heavy fighting in no instance has the’ enemy been successful.
Proofs are now accumulating that the war was contemplated by Germany many months ago.
The complaints of the brutality of the Germans to the wounded and dying are borne out by the testimony of an independent war correspondent, who states that the Germans kept wounded British without food for four and five days.
A great battle has been proceeding between the Russians and the Austrians and Germans in Poland for a week. The Russians have so far inflicted heavy loss on the enemy.
At the trial at Serajevo of Prinzep, accused of the murder of the Archduke Francis Ferdinand and his consort, the Duchess of Hohenberg on Saturday, June 29th, the prisoner declared that it was a “glorious act.”
“My object,” he said, “was not to kill a man, but to show to the whole world the desperation to which Austria had driven the Slav population. The time had arrived when revolution was a duty, and the only possible protest was to strike the individual who was despotism incarnate.” Prinzep likened himself to Kossuth, Mazzini, and Daniel O’Connell. He regretted the death of the Duchess, and stated that he alone was responsible for the organisation of the plot.
The assailant confessed that he belonged to a secret society. He considered the Buxtons to be Turkey’s greatest adversaries, inasmuch as they were seeking to establish a new Balkan alliance against her. He did not wish Turkey to come under Britain’s exclusive influence.
Another accused, Jovanovitch, when interrogated, admitted his activity on behalf of great Servian ideals. He did not know of the fatal attack, though he himself kept weapons to attempt the life of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand.
Turkey has reaffirmed her neutrality.
She has indicated that the reports of the Goeben and Breslau fighting and firing in the Black Sea are untrue.
The “Daily Telegraph’s” correspondent at Athens states that Turkey and Bulgaria have made a binding agreement for a combined attack upon Roumania if the latter country should attack Austria.
Colonel Beeston, of Newcastle, has been appointed to organise and command the Army Medical Corps, which will go to Europe with the second Australian Imperial Expeditionary Force. Colonel Beeston will proceed to Melbourne today, and will be accompanied by Sergeants Henderson, Bryant, M’Kendry, Baber, Baston, Hawker, and Nickson, all of whom have been in the camp on the Newcastle racecourse. The Army Medical Corps to accompany the Second Expeditionary Force will be composed of volunteers from Victoria, South Australia, and West Australia, and the camp will be at Broadmeadows, near Melbourne.
Private Les Neate, a grandson of Mrs. W. O’Brien, of West Maitland, and now on service in New Britain, writing to his mother under date September 30, says:-
“Your welcome letter came to me today. We are always waiting to hear home news.
All is well with us. We have pretty well got all the fighting done now. We are garrisoned here at Rabaul, the capital of New Britain.
I am in the Flying Squadron. We go around the country quelling the native outbreaks, or being ready for anything.
It is not a very nice place for marching here, as it is so near the equator.
We do not march in the middle of the day. We generally leave our bivouac at 5.30 in the morning, and march till about ten o’clock, when we rest till about 4 p.m., and then march until it to too dark to see.
Then we have a soldiers’ tea, and a drink of water.
If there are any natives about we get them to climb the cocoanut trees and get some down. The milk is saving our lives.
There is plenty of fever here – malaria. We have not many with it yet. Will Turnbull is still with us.
Our friend “Soldier” went down to Wilhelmshafen. We were there, and captured that place without firing a shot. “Soldier’s” company and another are in garrison there.
It is about 300 miles from here. I suppose some of our German prisoners are in Sydney by this time.
There are a lot more going by the next boat.
We got a number of German officers, and they each had 100 native police under them, armed with Mauser rifles and plenty of ammunition, but they had no heart. We chased them for 32 miles one day, and as soon as we caught them we shot about 50 of them.
Ten of our fellows were shot. They ran out with the white flag, singing out, “I surrender.”
So it was all over for that day.
The next day was Sunday, and we went to church parade, with 200 rounds of ammunition in our pouches, and our rifles loaded and cocked.
Halfway through prayers they started firing again. We put two shells of shrapnel into them, and they ran for their lives. I think all the fighting is over now.”
(Date extracted from Unit Embarkation Roll)
Private Richard Aynsley, Weston – 4th Australian Field Ambulance
Sergeant Henry John Baber, Tighes Hill – 4th Australian Field Ambulance
Sergeant Walter Baxter, Wickham – 4th Australian Field Ambulance
Lance Corporal Walter John Bleazard, Newcastle – 4th Australian Field Ambulance
Saddler Sergeant Horace Norman Bryant, Newcastle – 4th Australian Field Ambulance
Private Lionel William Burnitt, Hamilton – 4th Australian Field Ambulance
Private Edward James Darragh, The Junction – 4th Australian Field Ambulance
Corporal Cook William Ford, Carrington – 4th Australian Field Ambulance
Private Henry Ernest Guy, Adamstown – 4th Australian Field Ambulance
Private John Harris, Adamstown – 4th Australian Field Ambulance
Staff Sgt Dispenser George Donald Henderson, Newcastle – 4th Australian Field Ambulance
Driver Wardell Jackson, Hamilton – 4th Australian Field Ambulance
Private Mervyn Graham King, Wickham – 4th Australian Field Ambulance, 1st Reinforcements
Private Arthur Henry Longworth, New Lambton – 4th Australian Field Ambulance
Private George Joyce Malloy, Abermain – 1st Infantry Battalion, 2nd Reinforcements
Private Herbert Harold Maynard, Morpeth – 4th Australian Field Ambulance
Sergeant Daniel McKendry, Singleton – 4th Australian Field Ambulance
Private William McMillan, Abermain – 1st Infantry Battalion, 2nd Reinforcements
Private John Francis McQuillan, Merewether – 4th Australian Field Ambulance
Staff Sergeant Wilfred Lievesley Nickson, Newcastle – 4th Australian Field Ambulance
Private Henry Ott, Lambton – 4th Australian Field Ambulance
Private Albert Rhone, West Maitland – 10th Australian Light Horse Regiment, 1st Reinforcements
Private Sidney Scowcroft, New Lambton – 4th Australian Field Ambulance
Driver Hilford Uren, Mayfield – 4th Australian Field Ambulance