Scene of a man dressed in a dinner suit, holding a cane, also wearing a long coat, with a diamond stud in 'dickie', smoking a cigarette. Next to him is a women in a black see through dress wearing a hat with [VICTORIA] on it. Bad breath is drawn coming from her mouth with the text [VICTORIA] in the breath. In the background is an attractive woman holding an umbrella looking on with [W.A] written on her hat
Ben Strange signature bottom left corner

When the cartoon was published in the Western Mail on 1 February 1923 it featured the caption:
Reported in the "Melbourne Herald " that Sir Walter James said in an interview with a reporter:- "You are lucky to live in a state with the same stable government and without a heavy burden of debt, always like a milestone round your neck. I wish I were in Victoria." - (Melbourne news.)
Miss Vicky: Why is that flowsy female looking at you so hard, Sir Walter? Sir Walter: Quite a menial I assuah you - used to do my errand, washing don’t you know - obliged with a little spending silver occasionally and er, brought along my meals. Beastly bore don't you know.
Block by "Mail" Engravers.

Historical information

The cartoon references an interview that Sir Walter James, a former premier of WA and current member of the Western Australia Parliament, gave to the Melbourne Herald in Melbourne. A telegram of his comments was quickly sent to local papers who focussed on the following quote:
"You are lucky to live in a State with the same stable government and without a heavy burden of debt, always like a milestone round your neck. I wish we were in Victoria."
Sir James Mitchell, the then WA premier, and other ministers were asked to comment on the quote, with many defending James. Sir James was also asked about his quote and he pointed out that Victoria was in a better position thanks to levies it placed on goods being imported from other states, including WA.
WA at the time had a five and a half million pound deficit thanks to recession and trying to recover from the impact of World War One. The comments not only caused Ben Strange to create his cartoon on the topic but on the 25 January 1923 the Western Mail also published a strong defence for WA and criticised James for comparing the two states.



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Artist's signature bottom left [Ben Strange]

Statement of significance

The Ben Strange cartoons are historically significant as they depict many key figures linked to the history and development of both Western Australia and Australia. Political figures who regularly appeared in his cartoon’s included John ‘Happy Jack’ Scaddan, the Premier of Western Australia from 1911 until 1916, and William ‘Billy’ Hughes, the Prime Minister of Australia from 1915 to 1923.

Comparative significance criteria
Interpretive capacity
Object’s condition or completeness
Rare or representative
City of Armadale - History House

City of Armadale - History House

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