In his initial declaration to the chamber the new premier had declared his intention of continuing the policy of the late cabinet, pledging the new ministry to a policy of conciliation, to the consideration of old age pensions, an income-tax, separation of Church and State.
In various speeches he sounded a note of conciliation with Indian progressive feelings, and it was agreed on his return to England that valuable help had been given by his utterances to the work of self-government in India under the new regime.
During the draft riots in July he proclaimed the city and county of New York in a state of insurrection, but in a speech to the rioters adopted a tone of conciliation - a political error which injured his career.
The model followed in these two states was not Victoria but New Zealand, where an Industrial Conciliation and Arbitration Act was passed in 1894.
Unlike the latter, they reproduced the institution of district conciliation boards in addition to the arbitration court; but these boards were a failure here as they were in New Zealand, and after 1903 they fell into disuse.