The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 50
His Excellency read the following speech:—
Mr. President and Honourable Members of the Federal Council of Australasia.
I have called you together pursuant to the provisions of an Act of the Imperial Parliament passed in August last, which has since been adopted by the Legislatures of Fiji, Queensland, Tasmania, Victoria, and Western Australia.
The Imperial Act known as the Federal Council of Australasia Act, 1885, was passed in consequence of the unanimous request of the representatives of all the colonies of Australasia—viz., Fiji, New South Wales, New Zealand, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria, and Western Australia. Representatives of all these colonies met in convention at Sydney during the months of November and December, 1883, and prepared the draft bill, which was subsequently, with certain modifications, passed into law.
The Legislatures of the Colonies of Fiji, Queensland, Tasmania, Victoria, and Western Australia have, pursuant to the 30th Section of "The Imperial Enabling Act," passed Acts bringing the Imperial Act into force in such colonies.
More than four colonies having thus passed Acts bringing into force the Imperial enactment, it became my duty to summon the Federal Council for its first meeting at Hobart, and I accordingly issued the necessary Proclamation on the 12th of December last, and in pursuance of that Proclamation you have now assembled.
I have received from the Governors of Fiji, Queensland, Victoria, and Western Australia notifications that representatives have been appointed to the Council; and representatives have been duly appointed for the colony of Tasmania.
I must here express my sincere regret that the important colonies of New South Wales, New Zealand, and South Australia are not represented at this meeting of the Federal Council.
Having carried out the formalities required of me by "The Enabling Act," I now bid the representatives of the other Colonies a hearty welcome to Tasmania, and I desire to assure you of the satisfaction felt by this community that the first session of the Council is to be held in Tasmania; and, for my own part, I shall be proud in after years to have been Governor of the Colony selected for the first meeting of a body whose deliberations will have no small share in shaping the future of Australasia.
I confidently believe that you will fulfil the hopes and aspirations to which your meeting to-day gives rise, and that your labours will bring about a closer union between colony and colony, and so strengthen the ties which unite throughout the world the subjects of the Queen.
I now leave you to your deliberations.
Geo. C. Strahan.Government House, Hobart,
26th, January, 1886.