...Purposes that I regard as "manifestly national" are those that are for our better security, for economy, or for material progress, that require uniformity of policy, direction and control
...It is surely beyond doubt clear to every thinking and impartial mind that our constitutional organisation and machinery are in some very important respects proving out of date, too cumbersome, complicated, unyielding and costly and even frequently mutually antagonistic.
...What we have to remember is that there is nothing sacrosanct about constitutional machinery. A Constitution is made for the people, not people for a Constitution...For commonsense tells us that eventually - and the sooner the safer the better - looking irrepressible facts in the face, we must lessen our divisions, close up our ranks, and adjust our ill fitting and jangling constitutional machinery so as to provide for our positive national needs and protect the national future we hold in trust.
...If a parcel of goods is forwarded from Melbourne to Wodonga it is intra-state trade and subject only to State regulation; if to Albury it is inter-state trade...On this distinction we are daily sacrificing the reality of the present to the shadow of the past.
...[We are] clinging to...the narrow legal isolation of accustomed but now cramped provincialism, in preference to the broad fraternity and free cooperation of nationhood. By "cramped provincialism" I mean the provincialism that denies to the Nation the power to act in its discretion effectively in the general interest.
...Whatever purpose of Australian life for any reason comes to be in reality national...should be brought within the sphere of national power...National purposes must be supreme, they must not be impeded, still less checkmated.
Address to the Prahran Branch (ANA) 19 May 1937 - published as an ANA pamphlet. This quotation appears in L. F Crisp: The Unrelenting Penancy of Federalist Isaac Isaacs 1897-1947 ANU: 1981
Victor Perton's Home Page
Write to Victor Perton.