By then Clark's support of union waned and had
turned into opposition. He apparently thought that financial clauses
would act deleteriously on small States like Tasmania and withdrew
from the Federation movement. Although this meant that his contribution
to Australia's foundation document was not fully recognized, the
order, form, substance, and American flavour of the Australian Constitution
owed more to Andrew Inglis Clark than any other single individual.
Sir William Deane, the former Governor-General, has fairly dubbed
him 'the primary architect of our constitution'.
Invitation to Federation celebrations
Letters Patent appointing Clark temporary
Governor of Tasmania in 1901 Enlarge
Clark was closely associated with the Federation
movement in its early years. The Tasmanian Parliament elected Clark
as a delegate on the Federal Council in 1888, 1889, 1891, and 1894
and the Australasian Federation Conference in 1890. At the Federation
Convention of 1891 his draft Constitution, which systematized provisions
drawn from the American Constitution and the Federal Council Act,
was warmly received by delegates from the other colonies.
Although tending to be too literary and verbose,
Clark described how the organs of central government would work
and proposed a separate federal judiciary, which would replace the
Privy Council as the highest court of appeal on Australian law.
A bout of influenza prevented Clark from initially joining fellow
drafters on the steamship Lucinda, where his draft was tinkered
with but not fundamentally changed: eighty-six of his ninety-six
sections found their way into the 1900 Australian Constitution.
Clark's 1891 Draft Constitution Bill
Federation celebrations programme
Clark's essay ' Why I am a democrat' Link
to full text