QSA DID 3078: Passengers on the platform at Warwick Railway Station, c.1905.
News of the day

Brisbane Courier, Thursday 11 May 1905, page 6

WARWICK, Wednesday.


A deputation of Warwick businessmen waited on the Premier (Hon. A. Morgan) this morning at his residence. They were introduced by the Hon. T.A. Johnson, M.L.C. who pointed out the disadvantages accruing through the recent alteration of the afternoon train to Brisbane from 5 p.m. to 3:35 p.m. Mr Barnes supported Mr Johnson’s contentions. Mr Morgan replied that he was entirely in sympathy with the wishes of the deputation, and would have the matter remedied.


Pressured by British leaders for increased Australian participation in the war effort, Labor Prime Minister William Morris Hughes announced his intention to hold a national referendum on compulsory military conscription in October 1916. After a particularly bitter campaign, a majority of Australians voted against the proposal, the issue splitting the Federal Labor Party. After joining with the conservative Opposition to form a nationalist government in February 1917, Hughes resolved to hold a second conscription referendum the following December. The campaign was just as volatile as the first, and with the Queensland Government under Premier T.J. Ryan strongly anti-conscription, Hughes decided to tour southern Queensland in a bid to whip up support for his cause. While delivering a pro-conscription speech at Warwick in November, eggs were hurled at the Prime Minister by two Irish-Catholic brothers, Barth and Patrick Brosnan, and after a violent struggle involving Hughes and his tormentors, local police refused to arrest the Brosnan brothers as they had not infringed any State law. This further outraged the Prime Minister, who decided the only way to uphold Federal authority was by creating a separate Commonwealth police force. Events moved quickly, with the first Commonwealth Police Commissioner appointed in December 1917; 13 days later Australians rejected conscription by an even greater margin than the first. In November 2007 the 90th anniversary of the ‘Warwick Egg Incident’ was celebrated with an historic re-enactment at Warwick railway station.


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