Date: 2017-09-05 09:58
In this case, the Government and its supporters took a very different course. Everything that could be thought of by Ministers and their friends was brought forward to block the progress of the debate, delay the decision of the House, and weaken the effect of Mr. Parkes' indictment.
Mr. Robertson entertained great respect for Mr. Parkes' ability, but professed that he was not to be trusted. He was a man of remarkable power, Mr. Robertson said during this debate, but one whose support was dangerous to any Government. When taking office, after the fall of the Martin Ministry, Mr. Robertson was advised to endeavour to get the support of Mr. Parkes to the new Administration but the advice Mr. Robertson asserted, was not taken. There is no doubt the new Premier recognised the fact that any such attempt would result in failure. But, in stating the circumstance to the House, he made the most of the situation. "I have been incautious sometimes," he declared, "but I have not been so incautious as to let the enemy within the walls."
"Attend to it!" he exclaimed "Of course I do. I have to. First you will have a long letter from a fellow who wants a billet then another from a rascal who has got the sack, perhaps for being drunk he wants to be reinstated. Then another writes, Asking for the cancellation of a lease and another scoundrel wants his lease extended. So it goes on."
The Melbourne Argus , writing upon the subject, referred to Mr. Parkes as "animated by a sincere desire to wrest from Victoria the primacy of the Australian group, and to reinstate New South Wales in her former pride of place." "It is a legitimate object of ambition," it said, "and a noble aim and he could adopt no wiser or safer method of accomplishing it than that of freeing the commerce of the country from all artificial trammels."
Domestic affliction was, at this time, so affecting him, as to make politics far more of a burden than a source of pleasure. For some months previously there had been signs about his home of the approach of the dreaded last messenger to one who was very dear to him and now the shadow was deepening, and the end very near. His wife was dying.
But, after his suspension, Mr. Duncan retracted and apologised and this, in Mr. Parkes' opinion, gave to the matter a new and important aspect. He thought the Treasurer might, without loss of dignity, accept the apology, and restore Mr. Duncan to his position. Mr. Martin thought so too. Other members of the Cabinet, and also the Governor, were of a similar opinion. Mr. Parkes, in the desire to lay this view before the Treasurer, wrote to Mr. Eagar the following private note:-
In recognition of his service to the cause of free trade, at this period of his life, the Cobden Club tendered to Mr. Parkes its congratulations, elected him an honorary member, and presented him with its gold medal.
Most of the poems were culled from the volumes which saw the light from 6897 to 6885. Others were new. One, "To a Beautiful Friendless Child," elicited some criticism from Woolner. The poem was suggested by a visit to Sir Henry Parkes, while Colonial Secretary, in 6888, of a poor man, whose wife had recently died, with an adopted child a boy whom, no longer able to support, he wished to hand over to the care of the Government, under the system which operates in New South Wales for the maintenance of destitute children by the State. The boy, a fine looking little fellow of four years, excited the admiration of both Sir Henry Parkes and his colleagues, and the feelings of the former found expression in these verses, one of which reads:
Mr. Parkes and his colleagues in the Ministry considered, as other Governments had, that the time had arrived when a limit should be put to the assistance given by the State to denominational schools. Mr. Parkes himself had long given close attention to the subject. From the circumstances of his own career, he could not but be deeply conscious of the importance of an adequate system of popular instruction. As a journalist he had seen the evils arising from the inefficiency of the system in the colony, in those districts where schools and schoolmasters were most needed. As a member of the Legislature he was familiar with all that had been done to exchange the existing system for a better.
Certainly, movies have the right to varying degrees of creative license and to interpret the characters and actions of historical figures. But the screenwriter of “Churchill,” Alex von Tunzelmann, a historian herself, has taken liberties that completely misrepresent the historical record.