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Commonwealth Government Records about South Australia


Federation

Image 12: Delegates to the Federal Convention, Adelaide, South Australia, 1897

Image 12: Delegates to the Federal Convention, Adelaide, South Australia, 1897
NAA: B5658, 1
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South Australia was the strongest opponent to federation when the initial proposals were made in the mid-19th century. However by the 1890s, South Australia was at the forefront of the federation movement, catalysed by the desire for inter-colonial free trade, national management of the Murray–Darling river system and a national railway system. South Australian leaders soon became great supporters of the federation movement and provided several key delegates at the 1897 convention held in Adelaide.

In 1901 eight of these South Australian convention delegates held positions in the new federal parliament, including Charles Cameron Kingston, who became part of the first ministry headed by Edmund Barton and Frederick Holder, the first Speaker of the House of Representatives.

Records held by the Archives relating to Federation and South Australia include minutes of the 1897 federal convention held in Adelaide, and photographs of convention delegates and South Australia's first federal politicians.

SELECTED ITEMS RELATING TO FEDERATION IN SOUTH AUSTRALIA
Canberra
1897 Federal Convention
An act to enable South Australia to take part in the framing, acceptance and enactment of a Federal Constitution for Australasia, 1897 R216, 80
Minutes of the proceedings of the Australasian Federal Convention, held in Parliament House, Adelaide, South Australia, 1897 R216, 139
South Australian representatives, 1897 R216, 178
Canberra
South Australian Federationists
Certificate of election of FW Holder as member of convention for framing the Federal Constitution for Australasia, 1897 M23, 6
Photograph including Sir John Downer at the Federal Convention in Adelaide, 1897 A1200, L16929
Photograph of the Hon Sir Josiah Henry Symon, 1904 AA1984/624, A4

Royal Commission on the Finances of South Australia, as Affected by Federation

In 1928–29 there was a royal commission on the finances of South Australia. The commission investigated the effect of Federation on South Australia, to determine whether the state had suffered any financial disadvantage as a result.

Sir Joseph Cook, having recently retired as Australian High Commissioner to Britain, was appointed chairman of the commission. Herbert Robinson Brookes and Albert Edward Barton were the other two commissioners. Public sessions of the commission were held in Adelaide, Sydney and Melbourne, and evidence was received from government, trade and industry witnesses.

SELECTED SERIES RELATING TO THE ROYAL COMMISSION ON THE FINANCES OF SOUTH AUSTRALIA
Canberra
Recorded by: Royal Commission on the Finances of South Australia, as Affected by Federation
Reports of the Royal Commission into South Australia, as Affected by Federation, 1929 M3634
Canberra
Recorded by: Parliamentary Joint Committee of Public Accounts
Proceedings in relation to finances of South Australia, as affected by Federation, 1931 A12837
SELECTED ITEMS RELATING TO THE ROYAL COMMISSION ON THE FINANCES OF SOUTH AUSTRALIA
Canberra
Commonwealth and state finances – separation of South Australia, 1926 A458, E230/36
Finances of South Australia, as affected by Federation – evidence, 1926–31 A12837, 3
Royal Commission on Finances of South Australia, 1928–29 A460, E5/36

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Chapter 8
Federation and government