It was of course up to the men to introduce the suffrage Bill.
Visit the menfolk page for their amusing / quaint views on women and women's suffrage.
In mid September 1903 Arthur Morgan replaced Philp as Premier, and promised a QWEL deputation that he would introduce an electoral reform Bill. However, an election intervened which saw the 34 Labor MPs form a coalition with Morgan as Premier, and a government Bill to give women the vote and abolish plural voting was introduced into the Legislative Assembly in September 1904.
Airey framed a little Bill,
Designed the fatman's vote to kill.
His party generally were mute -
The Opposition used the flute.
When Airey's little Bill goes through,
Heaven and earth will smile anew,
Each woman then will be a queen;
Three meals a day - no work between.
(Petrie, QPD, vol.93, :147.)
Known as the Electoral Franchise Bill, it was introduced into
the Legislative Assembly by the Home Secretary, Peter Airey, on 27 September.
It completed its second and third reading on 11 October without a vote being
taken as there was clearly overwhelming support for it. It then went to the
Legislative Council where it was read a first time the same day. The second
reading was moved by the Secretary for Public Instruction, Andrew Barlow, and
debate was completed on 25 October, but the Council baulked
at abolishing the plural vote and it was decided that the Bill would not be
read a second time for another six months. The Council was promptly dubbed the
'House of Prejudice, Privilege and Property', and the 'slaughterhouse of reform'.
On 16 December 1904, in moving the adjournment of the House, Premier Morgan announced an extraordinary scenario to force the passage of his franchise legislation. Not only was the measure unprecedented, but also the inconvenience it posed to members of parliament. Country members would have had difficulty in getting home for Christmas and back again by 4 January, and sitting in parliament in January without any airconditioning would have been a very unpleasant experience. But Morgan's own words show his determination in the matter:
It is intended to summon Parliament to meet on the 4th of January next year for the purpose of dealing with the Franchise Bill and the electoral machinery Bill. These Bills will form the sole business of the special session. The government was returned upon promises I claim have been substantially carried out as far as it was possible to carry them out in the session now closing. But that portion of their policy dealing with the question of electoral reform, though assented to almost unanimously in this Chamber, since the Bill dealing with the question passed without challenge - without a division - was unfortunately rejected by the other branch of the Legislature . Reasons were advanced to justify the rejection of the measure, the chief of these being that the Franchise Bill should have been accompanied by a machinery Bill for the application of the Franchise Bill As I have already intimated, we propose to resubmit the Franchise Bill which was passed by this House less than three months ago. We shall submit, in addition, a Machinery Bill.
When the parliament reconvened, both the Electoral Franchise Bill and the Machinery Bill, known as the Elections Acts Amendment Bill 1905, passed through the Legislative Assembly without a division and were conveyed to the Council. A problem with the postal vote now emerged in that women in the outback who couldn't travel to polling booths couldn't travel to a post office either to register their vote. A couple of messages were sent from the Council to the Assembly, and eventually a compromise was reached whereby a woman could post a ballot paper that had been witnessed by a Justice of the Peace, and would not have to go to a post office in person. Nevertheless, a motion in the Council that the Electoral Franchise Bill go into the committee stage was lost, and the basic thrust of both Bills was encompassed in the Elections Acts Amendment Bill when the other Bill failed to return to the Assembly from the Council.
Finally, on Wednesday 25 January 1905 the Legislative Council acquiesced, and the Elections Acts Amendment Act of 1905 was assented to on that same day by the Lieutenant-Governor Sir Hugh Muir Nelson. The next day, Thursday 26 January 1905, the Elections Acts Amendment Act of 1905 was proclaimed by a Queensland Government Gazette Extraordinary.
|1890||Hyne||PMB||29 July||31 July||Shelved|
|1894||Powers||PMB||19 July||28 Sep||Def 2nd|
|1894||Glassey||PMB||8 Aug||6 Sept||Def 2nd|
|1895||Glassey||PMB||12 July||23 Oct||Def 2nd|
|1901||Foxton||Govt||1 Oct||13 Nov||Shelved|
|1902||Kidston||PMB||17Jul||7 Aug||Def 2nd|
|1904||Airey||Govt||27 Sep/ 11 Oct||11 Oct/18-25 Oct||11Oct/n/a|
|1905||Franchise||Govt||5/10 Jan||6/17 Jan||9/- Jan|
|1905||Machinery||Govt||5/12 Jan||11/25 Jan||12/25 Jan|
In the above table for 1904 and 1905 under Readings, the dates for LA and LC are shown LA/LC.
Source: J. McCulloch - forthcoming book