The Westralian Worker

9 July 1920 - Editorial

The Prince and Last Monday's Accident

This paper has never made any profession of belief in monarchy; neither has it taken much space in discussing the virtues of republicanism. Our position towards the throne is that so long as it exists by consent, it is not only to that extent safe, but, irrespective of theories, will not be savagely assailed in practice. Eight weeks ago we presented that point of view as the proper one for Labor to take towards the whole question of the British monarchy. It was a generalisation, courteously worded and sincerely put.

And as last Monday's railway accident exposed the Prince of Wales — and we speak of him here as the heir-apparent to the British throne — and a number of others to serious danger involving nothing short of life itself, we feel it demanded of us to publicly attest our deep satisfaction that the derailment of the Prince's carriage was unattended by physical injury of any kind to either himself or his companions on the train. We are opposed to assassination, be it either designed or accidental. The next era of the world may see the British Empire a republic, but we prefer that should it come it will not come along a pathway strewn with death or disaster for any — for kings or those who believe in the necessity for kings. That is another generalisation.

Last Monday's incident gives these reflections particular point. Good, bad, or indifferently the railways of this State are subject to the control of all the citizens. It is true that this control is attenuated by a long series of delegations until it is difficult to perceive the existence of any citizenship authority whatever. Nonetheless, the railways being the people's those who travelled to and from Big Brook last Monday were the guests of the State and that the Prince should make the journey was entirely approved by the community in so far as the community could indicate its approval. In all the circumstances, for the trip to have been attended by anything worse than actually occurred would have been deplorable in every sense — for long years we would all have felt the tragedy and the sorrow of it.

This paper applies its principles to princes no less than to peasants. We have our opinions on politics, constitutional problems, social economics and the government of men by men. These we stand to. And not one of them but urges us be thankful no lives were lost on Monday. We would that the Prince should live to a ripe old age filled with pleasure to himself and good works for civilisation; we wish it for him even as we wish it for men and women generally.



Citation: JCPML. Records of the Australian Labor Party WA Branch. Westralian Worker Editorial, 9 July 1920. JCPML00302/175

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