Central Queensland Separation


Call for Separation of the Central Queensland Colony

(manually translated from original scan 20 Oct 2016, Andrew Thompson)

This article of historical importance regarding the proposed separation of Queensland to create a new central and northern colony, comes from The Morning Bulletin, Rockhampton 29 March 1893.

It contains two letters received by Mr George S. Curtis of the Central Queensland Territorial Separation League, discussing the committee’s ongoing ‘war’ with the new Brisbane Parliament to allow the further division of Queensland into smaller colonies.

Both letters are historically significant in their reflection of events of the day.

The first, written by Dr J. J. Macan, touches briefly on the activities of the Rockhampton delegation presently visiting officials in London to help garner support for their cause.

The second letter, written by Mr George P. Serocold, discusses the convoluted state of politics, intrigues and so on presently underway throughout Queensland, particularly with Townsville now abandoning the call for a separate northern colony due to financial favours granted by Brisbane.

If you enjoy this type of article, you can find more on the Central Queensland History page. Feel free to leave any related comments at the end of this page.

Andrew Thompson, editor | historian

Manual Translation:

The Morning Bulletin, Rockhampton 29 March 1893

Correspondence between G. S. Curtis & G. P. Seracold

The following is an extract from a copy of a letter received by Mr. G. S. Curtis, Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Central Queensland Territorial Separation League, from:

Dr. J. J. Macan,
62 Portman Square,
17th February, 1893.

Dear sir,

I received on the 10th after posting my last, your favours of 29th and 31st of December. I have also received copy of the two Province Bill, of the Railway Commissioner’s report and of the Railway Construction Act and (land subsidy) Act 1892, for all of which I thank you. The pamphlets arrived some time back.

Lord Ripon, as you will perhaps have heard by telegram, is to receive Mr. Archer and the deputation on the 23rd instant, and I hope that I shall next mail forward you full report of proceedings. I am taking steps that the Press shall be well represented. Mr. Archer had an interview with Mr. Buxton, the Parliamentary Under-secretary, at which I was present, some few days ago.

I am unfortunately hurried to catch this mail.

Yours faithfully,

The following is a copy of a letter received by Mr. G. S. Curtis, from:

Mr. George Pearce Serocold,
Hotel Britannique,
18th February, 1893.

My dear sir,

We are again indebted to The Times for the enclosed exhaustive article on the Queensland Separation question.

I do not think a single point bearing on the matter has been omitted; but since it was written the plot, worthy of a Machiavelli, of the Land-grant railway from Hughenden to Winton has been unmasked, and the Central Division is brought face to face with the stealthy blow by which it will be stabbed to the heart.

If this railway had been alone proposed the indignation of the Central Division would have been uncontrollable, but being merged in a dozen other schemes its deadly bearing appears not to have been realized.

This bid for northern support was of such a tremendous kind that it practically neutralized the strong desire of that division for Territorial Separation, and caused the mission from Townsville to London to explain the one more volte face of the northern committee.

The action of the Brisbane Parliament in rejecting the proposal for altering the boundary of the Northern Division gave great satisfaction to the Centre, but on the rejection of the North and South Provincial Bill, it seems as if this Land-grant railway, tapping the very heart of the Central Division, and bringing its traffic down to Townsville, was the bribe to be offered to stave off the impending creation of a northern colony.

It adds wrong to the position when it is seen that it is by the alienation of its best lands that the Central Division is to provide the dagger for its own extinction. Unless, indeed, the Central electorates have lost their powers of reason, and ought to have applied to them the motto, Quem deus vult perdere prius dementat, not one anti-separation member will be returned to the new Parliament.

This is now the one matter pf supreme importance, viz., the choice of good men and true for each electorate, and the necessity of united action among all classes, and of ever bearing in mind that “They who would be free, themselves must strike the blow.”

I need not say how anxiously I shall watch the course of events in Queensland during the new election, for on it must depend the future of our division for good or for evil, for at least this generation.

With my very best wishes to Mr. Ferguson and yourself in your efforts, and the expression of my gratitude to Mr. Murray, who against such overwhelming odds so ably sustained the claims of the Central Division in the Queensland Parliament.

I remain,
Always yours sincerely,

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