5 JUNE 1909, Page 2

The Australian Commonwealth has passed through a political crisis during

the week. On Friday week Mr. Fisher, the Labour Prime Minister, announced in the House of Repre- sentatives that owing to his defeat on the previous day he did not desire to proceed with business. The debate was marked by unusual bitterness. Sir William Lyne was called to order for speaking of Mr. Deakin, the head of the Opposition coalition, as "Judas." But the Attorney-General, Mr. Hughes, went further in saying that Sir William Lyne was unfair to Judas, who at least hanged himself. Mr. Fisher requested Lord Dudley to dissolve Parliament, but Lord Dudley refused to do this, and Mr. Fisher accordingly resigned only a week after the beginning of the Session. Mr. Deakin then formed a Ministry. His coalition in Opposition had been composed of diverse elements which perhaps comprised more points of disagreement than there were between Mr. Deakin and Mr. Fisher, but it is generally thought that his Cabinet is stronger than could have been expected. The Times corre- spondent says that the only real surprise is the selection of Mr. Joseph Cook as Minister for Defence, as he has always opposed Mr. Deakin's views. Perhaps this is to be taken as a sign that matters of defence are to be regarded less as party questions. At least the correspondent says that there is a stroug movement to put them quite beyond party dispute, to get delegates from both sides appointed to the Imperial Defence Conference, and to accept the advice of the Conference as to the future character of Australian aid in Imperial defence. Apparently defence problems will be the chief concern of Mr. Deakin's Cabinet.