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Second Term- The most productive

5 July 1905 – 13 November 1908

"Deakin saw the task as that of laying the foundation of a new society."


Australia: A Social and Political History

by Professor Gordon Greenwood.

Deakin understood from the bible verse in Proverbs 29:18 that says:


"Where there is no prophetic vision the people cast off restraint,

but blessed is he who keeps the law"

(csv version)


Regarding Deakins vision of Australia, a West Australian newspaper said in their eulogy at his death in 1919.


"There was a matchless grandeur which was part of his eloquence, born it seemed of the prescience of a great mind which was permitted to envision the future of Australia as clearly as Moses saw the promised land."

His new government did not waste time in laying the foundations of a new Australian national identity and in 3 years, with the support of the Watson Labor parliamentary members the government passed an impressive amount of important legislation. 

Apart from all the significant achievements below, Deakin also spent allot of time promoting a new defence policy for Australia which is reflected in military services bill and the revenue bill. 

In a significant break away from the longstanding arrangement Australia had with the British Admiralty - Deakin decided to invite President Roosevelt to send the US "Great White Fleet" to Australia in order to strengthen his position with the British Government.


1905 -The Census and Statistics Act


1905 The Representation Act provided for the alteration of electoral boundaries.


1905-The Copyright Act began the process by which the basis for a uniform national system for copyright, patents and trademarks was established by July 1906.


1905 The Papua Act established an Australian administration for British New Guinea, (Deakin’s portfolio of External Affairs)The Federation star on the Australian flag was given a seventh point to cover Papua and future territories.


1905 Important amendments to Customs Tariff Act providing tariff advantage to manufacturers in Australia – with a fair wages codicil – and extending protection to British manufacturers.


1906 amended the Judiciary Act to restore to the High Court a bench of five judges.


1906 Deakin announced an intended purchase of destroyers, and Dec 1907 introduced the first Military service bill


1907 Transcontinental Railway legislation passed to connect West Australia to the Eastern states.


1908 Federal Capital site decided


1908 the Surplus Revenue Act for funding of the Australian Navy


1908 Commonwealth Meteorology Bureau established.


1908 Quarantine Act came into operation in July


1908 Commonwealth Literary Fund to support Australian authors 


On March 7th 1907 Alfred and Pattie Deakin set sail for London for the Imperial Conference, where Deakin fights for trade reform and trade preference for all member countries of the Commonwealth. Young Winston Churchill was the Under Secretary of State for Colonies at this Conference where Deakin and Churchill meet.


Due to the very long hours Deakin devoted to trying to persuade the British Government and then the people, his physical health was effected and he began a slow decline from this moment on.

On the 13 December 1907 Deakin gave a defence policy speech in the House of Representatives that was considered the best in his political career.

The Great White Fleet in 1908

Deakin in 1907

Lord Milner says about

Deakin while in London 1907


"Deakin's intellectual energy fills me with amazement"

A Young Winston Churchill

A Young Winston Churchill

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