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Too Many Knights, Australia's Cry Melbourne. Australia. Oct. (By Mail). PUBLIC opinion throughout Australia is divided into two shades of political sentiment and belief the one as distinctively Imperialistic in its coloring as the other is unmistakable in what it stands tor namely, a Democracy established upon the broad ami solid foundations which are implied by the term gov ernment of the people, for the people and by the people. There is also this great difference between the two sections of Australia's population, besides the wide breach which severs their respective aims and aspirations: Whereas the Imperialistic camp repre sents such an infinitesimal proportion of the people that of the Democrats is tilled to overflowing by at least nine-tenths of the manhood and womanhood Of this continent. There is yet another distinctive dif ference between the comparative few who embrace Imperialism and the overwhelming masses who stand tor Democracy that the Imperialists are mainly com posed of the rich and well-to-do. the privileged class, conservative politicians and ambitious persons gener ally, who are ambling for titular decorations as rewards ur their activities in the advancement of Imperialism; whereas the multitude which represents Australian democracy includes within its ranks the whole ot the wage-earning class, the more enlightened and intel ligent of that section of the community which in European countries would be designated as the bour geoisie, and unquestionably the great majority of those who would be described as intellectuals. With such a vast preponderance of public opinion as that which is arrayed under the banner of de mocracy in this great southern land, it would naturally be interred that there was little cause tor apprehension that this current of popular sentiment and belief could bv any possibility be diverted into Imperialistic chan nels. And neither has it been, nor is it likely to be. But while feeling secure against any successful in vasion of our self-governing institutions by Imperial ism, it has nevertheless been necessary for the Demo crats of this country to be constantly on the watch against suggested encroachments upon their liberties and rights as a self-governing people. By methods insidious and on the surface apparently harmless, ef forts have been made from time to time to introduce Imperialiing propaganda, and to inculcate the belief that under Imperialism alone could the safety and progress of the country be secured. Anybody with a spark of intelligence does not require to be told why titles have been so lavishly bestowed upon Australians : nor has he far to seek for the motives underlying Lord Meath's Empire Day mission to this part of the world a few years ago. The Victoria leagues. Empire Day leagues, King and Empire league tthe latest proposal), million clubs and other kindred organizations bespeak their objects by their membership and their activities; while another coterie of the same well-to-do class has formed itself into what is called the Overseas Club, whose chief function is to advance Imperialism, and next to that to serve as the medium by which Australian nonentities visiting London can have some "society" limelight thrown upon them, while similar service can be rendered by the Overseas C lub here to equally ob scure personages from England, visiting Australia. While the gratification of personal vanities upon the exchange principle may be regarded to a large ex tent as the real reason for the formation of these limelight-seeking organizations in Great Britain and Aus tralia, the political object aimed at is undoubtedly the By J. GRATTON GREY advancement of Imperialism, and it is on this account that these societies and clubs are held in so much dts tavor bv all who are imbued with the sentiments and aspirations of Australian nationalism, and are de termined that Australia shall be left to work out its own national destiny in its own way. In the attempts that have been made from time to time to influence public opinion in this country, and to divert it into channels SO obviously inimical to its best interests, the suggestion of Imperial Federation is one that has been frequently advanced, but on every oc casion it has received a most discouraging response indeed, such an emphatic rejection as ought to have persuaded its promoters that it was useless to revive the question. But despite this determined and oft repeated declaration by Australians that they will have nothing to do with it. the subject bobs up again, as soon as the war is at an end. In all probability, its re vival on this occasion is mainly due to the presence of SO many ministers in Great Britain representing the various oversea Dominions, and their closer intimacy with British statesmen and members of Parliament. Doubtless, the question of strengthening the links be tween Cireat Britain and the oversea Dominions has been often discussed between them, and it is quite possible that some of the Dominion representatives may have given assurances of a nature altogether at vari ance with the views of the people of these Dominions, who certainly never authorized them to lend encourage ment to any scheme of Empire reconstruction which would entail any drastic change in the system of self uovernment that now prevails. Whatever other Dominions may think on the sub ject, opposition to Imperial Federation and to the crea tion of an Imperial Empire Parliament, with Colonial representation, is the policy which the popular verdict of Australia voices. Neither does it approve of any member of the Commonwealth Ministry taking up his permanent abode in London, which is one of the latest feelers, or baits it might be called, that has been thrown out by the advocates of an extended Imperial ism. The prospect of a seat in the All-Empire Parlia ment at Westminster, or of being sent as a resident minister to London, may have allurements for self seeking men of the opportunist politician type; but for the patriotic Australian, who puts the land of his birth or adoption first all the time, and wishes for his country the attainment of true and self-contained na tionhood, such baits as these offer no temptations. The bestowal of titles of one kind and another has of late years assumed such ridiculous proportions that in all parts of the Commonwealth very strong protests have been raised against a continuance of the system. It is objected to mainly for the reason that it is un democratic, and because of its tendency toward the establishment of class distinctions which are obnoxious to the social conceptions of a community in which the Spirit of equality has figured so conspicuously in Aus tralia's development ever since the earliest days of its golden era in the middle of the last century. In a coun try where the feeling that Jack is as good as his master has always prevailed to a greater extent, perhaps, than in any other part of the world, people generally are antagonistic to the introduction of innovations of any and every kind which are calculated to interfere with their hrtnlv l.xed ideals ifftilUt the creation in a young land like this of those old-world class distinctions and inequalities which are mainly accountable lor the universal unrest and discontent that now exist ustralia desires HO machine-made aristocracy, nor any encroachment upon her national predilection for in. '.ulding society after her own democratic fashion, and not upon models which have been productive 01 to much misery, discontent and injustice in older lands. People at a distance can therefore easily under stand why it is that Australians are so loud in their protests against the conferment of titles upon any of their citizens, because they regard these titles as the stepping-stone toward the formation of a class which will consider itself superior to the rest of local hu manity. When the late Sir John Forest was made a Lord, Opposition to the substituted prefix (not to the man himself, because Sir John Forest was in many respects a very estimable gentleman, and one who had rendered valuable services to his native land as an ex plorer and subsequently in public life) was voiced in different parts of the Commonwealth, and similar pressions of opinion were made when two or three hereditary knighthoods were bestowed in Australia and New Zealand. Hut of late years there has been such a successive shower of knighthoods that people have begun to lotC all patience with the practice of recommending am bitious and conceited people for these so-called dis tinctions. The course that is pursued is for the federal or state governments to reward personal friends or per sons who have rendered them political party service by recommending them for knighthood to the Colonial Office in London. Oftener than otherwise, the men so recommended are very inferior types of manhood, with out any particular talent or ability, and nun who have really never done any service to the country. They simply possessed backstairs influence with a minister or government in office, and when it is cabled out that these people have been knighted, the expression of sur prise ordinarily used by the man in the street is. "Ah, these Brummagem Knights are becoming as plentiful as blackberries in summertime." And true it is, they have already become SO numer ous that they are literally falling over each Other. Of course, Australians know quite well that knighthood is one of the methods adopted in the hope of imperializ ing their country, and this is why they are so bitterly opposed to it and loudly demand its stoppage. Speak ing recently in the Queensland Legislative Assembly against titles, Mr. Randolph Bedford described them as "cheap and nasty." "These imported titles," he said, "came down to their proper position when a haggis comedian was made a knight." After the American Civil War, it was the fashion on the other side of the Atlantic, and down in the Pa cific too, to jeer at the United States by saying that every second man one met was either a general, a colonel or a captain; but the tables can now be easily turned upon Australia, for in proportion to its popula tion there is no other country in the world which is so overflowing with titled people as this continent under the Southern Cross. Besides scores of Brummagem Knights and other colonial-made gentlemen, we have generals, colonels, majors and captains galore, and only require a 'field marshal to make us quite up-to-date, even with Germany, as it used to be, before the world was allegedly rescued from the curse of militarism. j 1 Growing Old Gracefully Cardinal Gibbons Born 1834 Age 85 THIS Cardinal living for many years in Baltimore is a national figure. He is hon ored for his sweet life and keen mind, by those of all faiths. In great crises his mes sages are always looked for with interest. It is only occasionally that a man looms up, big Iph to receive the homage of those dia metrically Opposed to him on matters of belief. But Cardinal Gibbons has always exercised a sweet reasonableness, both in his rule of those under his authority and in his addresses to those who differ with him. John Wanamaker Born 1838 Age 81 THE veteran merchant who is still actively engaged in business and in close touch with the many religious and philanthropic societies in which he has been interested for many tCi?MS'j ,H.e is a I,ower ni native city of I hiladelphia and known throughout the country. The Wanamaker Sunday School Class was ,,ue of the largest and most famous m the world. At the age ot SI the great mer chant still holds religion to be the greatest thing in the world. CARDINAL GIBBONS JOHN WANAMAKER (Z) Trttt III. -.fr '