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Proceedings of the 1897 Australasian Federal Convention held in Adelaide
The State Library holds several copies of the Proceedings of the Australasian Federal Convention held at Parliament House, Adelaide during months of March, April and May 1897 (Adelaide, Government Printer, 1897) in the Mortlock Library of South Australiana. There is also a copy in the Symon Library, Sir Josiah Symon being one of South Australia's delegates to the Convention.
It is an interesting document, and even then, there were different points-of-view being expressed by the individual colonies, not all of whom even participated in the Convention. The colonies of New South Wales, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria, and later Western Australia took part. Queensland did not participate.
At the start of the Adelaide convention, which was the second in the series of Constitutional Conventions, 57 petitions were presented to the Convention, the majority in favour of recognition of God in the Constitution. However, Petition number 1 was In favour of equal voting rights for both sexes in elections for Federal Parliament, from the Executive of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union of Australasia. Petition number 2 was as above, from the Women's Suffrage League of New South Wales. Petition number 54 was In favour of equal electoral franchise to both sexes. On the other side of the ledger, Petition number 55 from 513 inhabitants of Tasmania was Against adult suffrage. From 96 citizens of Launceston, Tasmania, universal franchise is included in draft clause.
The proceedings include a draft of a bill to constitute the Commonwealth.