5 APRIL 1873, Page 2

Lord Kimberley has taken a bold step towards the foundation

of an Australian Dominion. A little Bill, only thirty lines long, was introduced in the House of Commons on the 27th of March, and read a second time sub silentio at an early hour on Friday morning. It is modestly entitled a Bill to amend the Law with regard to Customs Duties in the Australian Colonies. In reality, it communicates to Australia and New Zealand the privileges of a Zollverein, and makes of all their territories (to use the expression of a Tasmanian Minister) an inter-dependent "fiscal unit." The Colonies will be permitted as among them- selves, to have, if they so please, absolute free trade, or (which is to be apprehended, for they are not all equally civilised), if they So please, to annoy one another with penal or obstructive tariffs. As regards the rest of the world, they will remain bound by the commercial treaties of the Empire,—will not be able, for example, to establish differential duties as between France and the United States. But this power they have never sought. Beyond its precise purport, the Bill offers these great colonies the opportunity of confederation ; and we hope their statesmen (though it must be admitted they seem more than ever employed in bickering, wrangling, and malingering), will see that the opportunity is now offered to them of which Canada availed herself with such spirit and success, and will set about founding a new nation in the South.