FROM AN INDIGNATION MEETING AT PROTESTANT HALL - Sydney 14 December 1893.
THE POLITICAL CRISIS
An indignation meeting, convened by the Opposition, was held in the Protestant Hall, Sydney, on Tuesday night. There was an immense attendance, and the meeting was unanimous on two points only:—Firstly, in its condemnation of the Government; secondly, in the constant interruptions accorded to every speaker.
Sir Henry Parkes was put in the chair on the motion of Lawyer Jack Want, Avho first announced that every public meeting of citizens had a right to elect its chairman, and anyone was entitled to move amendments—two very proper Democratic principles, which have been consistently ignored until the much-abused Active Service Brigade forced them to the front.
Reid, Wise, M'Millan, Carruthers, and other well-known politicians, and some unknown ones, addressed the meeting in support of a resolution condemning the Dibbs Government, which was almost unanimously carried.
These gentlemen's speeches are so fully reported in the daily papers, that we needn't take up our limited space with them.
After an amendment by Mr. Scott-Ross, which nobody supported, had been disposed of, and the original resolution carried, Arthur Desmond, who runs the Standard Bearer (late Hard Cash), moved a second resolution to the effect that, while condemning Dictator Dibbs for his recent action, the closing of the session was in reality a blessing in disguise, as it killed the Bank Notes Bill. Desmond informed the audience that he was a New Zealander, and said that until we copied the Island Colony by killing the infamous powers of the big financial pawnshops, we would never secure political and industrial freedom for our people. The motion was seconded and ably supported by a young Socialist named Holland, who gave the Opposition some hard knocks, stating that the people were not only sick of "Dibbs the Dictator," but also of "Reid the Wriggler." His remarks met with storms of delighted approval, and, after Tommy Dodd had made a few remarks which nobody could hear for the uproar, Chairman Parkes stated that he quite concurred with the resolution, which was put and carried with immense enthusiasm, and the meeting then concluded.
A poor drunken wretch in the gallery, who made a row at the opening of the meeting and challenged Parkes to mortal combat, was sat upon by spielers and a professional pug., brutally assaulted, and thrown out on the road. One of the pugs, assistants was a "tote"-shop runner, and whoever was responsible for hiring these ruffians deserves to be hounded out of the public life of the colony. Free speech can only be maintained by free men.
The Worker 16 December 1893