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Melbourne Harbor Trust commissioners are about to spend something like £10,000) in providing better lighting for the port After & prolonged sitting of three daym, the House of Representatives passed the* second reading of the Anti-Preference (to' Unionists) Bill, ' on the voto of the Speaker. In . effect the Speaker now go verns Australia.

military' system, commenced by Mr. Con ray in the°H'ouse of Representatives, was talked ? but; 'Incidentally, Mr, King O'Malley, ex-Minister for HoniO Affairs, supporting Mr. Conroy, advocated aero planes instead of warships. Mr. Ryrie asked, in the House of Re presentatives, whether a new site for a ?quarantine station near Sydney had yet been selected. Mr. Groom answered that two sites were mentioned to him by Mr. Flowers at the last conference. An offi cial would be sent to report oh them as early as possible. '/ Strong objection is taken, by the ex Minister of Defence (Senator Pearce) to the recommendations, of .General Sir Iau Hamilton regarding tlie! 'financial admi nistration of the Defence Department. 'The whole report,' said Senator Pearce,' 'is really a second report ' on our defence system, on the lines of that presented by Lord Kitchener.' ;:i -???? ???,.?'. ; A disastrous fire becurred 'at Camper down, five shops being completely

gutted, namely : — Bright aibd Hitchcock, drapers; Anderson and.^Co., tailors; Thompson, jeweller ;, Harrison; . tinsmith ; M'Donald, fruiterer. r/Tlie whole of their stock was also destroyed. The insurances total ,£3800,,' but the damage, iwill amount to about £15,000. \ . .. ./.Some, , time ago 'j^e*rMelbpurne Council framed . a regulation under which all halls used- for ..the purposes 'of entertainment musii be .closed on^Sundaysi ; The Govern ment .deplinedvto., sanction^ such a genera lisation, and ripwj'tlie council, will consider f another.', regulation ,; jy which all ( picture theatres .and .halls in' Ayliicli pictures .are shown shall! be closed orL(i~Sundays. ;i'It.is understood that* a -campaign ia support of the initiative and referendxim is to i be conducted throughout the State by the Australian Natives', Association. A committee, consisting of six members of. the board of , directors, has already been appointed in connection with the move

'menfc, and is at present considering ar rangements-. Unuswal provistoh is contained' in tin* will of the late Robert Singleton, of -Ml-. ?? SJandenong, a retired civil servant. One «clause of the. will reads i-~-vl desire my iruneral to be of the imi&t simple and in expensive description, that my body be ?deposited in ths family vault in the Mel bourne cemetery and that no clergyman officiate at my funeral. Inhere is to be no funeral service, no wreaths of flowers, and the meniWs of my family shall on »© account wear mourning for me.' ' The death occurred at Commercial Ho tel, , Kyabram, of William Heaphy, 25, son . of Mrs. Catherine Heaphy, licensee of the , hotel, from thfe effects of poisoning, taken sn mistake for his medicine. Mr. P. Bar told, coroner, conducted an inquiry. Dr. Howard stated death was due to poison ing. Deceased has been under his treat ment for xieart trouble, and any accident would Ijo serious to him. Dr. Wight cor roborated this evidence. The coroner re turned a verdict of accidental death. - The Governor-General was entertained toy members of the federal Parliament. His Excellency stated that since landing ke had found nothing but a universal wel come, without any tinge of party . ?differ- ence. He had seen enough- of the.; House ^ of. Commons to be able , , to .congratiiiate this Government and /Parliament oh its immunity from acxvt'e dissension.: 'If 'times of difficulty came, it would be liis highest privilege to give ??'what'- assistance he coiilcl to promote the smooth- Ayorking of the Constitution, . ' ? ,'. ,. The man Russell, Ayho was arrested in connection .with the' .nye, fires that oc curred in 'Warracknabealj has confessed to having started , them,' but says he does not know Ayliy he did it. , He said, he had been drinking. ^Viien asked by. the; po lice if he - had intended burning other/ places, he said that if tliey had not ar rested him he would have burned the whole town down. Senior-constable Wyatfc and the police officers' made a timely, ai* ' rest of the man at midnight the same night as the fires' occurred. '?''. ';'' ?''-'[ A large plateglass window in Ludbrook's drapery store at Wonthaggi.was smashed;, in a remarkable manner., In ,the window, in an iron cage was a half-grown/ffp:^,^ which, as an advertisement medium, attracted ?con- siderable attentidn. ' 'A greyhound^ in ^pass ing the window, noticed ;the. fox, and. with out the slightest hesitation/ 'iiia'cie a'l'eap if or it. The result was tlirtt'-tlie 'glass 'window was smashed^' arid, the footpath strewit'Syith broken glass. The dbgy.re'alising'' his mis take, at once made':off|^li^tl6,'':--if-::ii-nyV.:tlie.. worse for his ileap; through/ Jthe;- window:'- | ?: According to -returns which have .been issued by : the /departments' i£ 'appeai?s:'tlla|t, the railway''' surplus' 'for'1 ;'t]ier/.p:reJ3errV'..firi-. ancial year will amount; 'toaboiit'. '£38j660. ; Last year the' 'surplus' was'fonly^i£22;250, but in '' 1911-12, / when; a'record feyeriiie : of. £5,218,967 'was'^^Btai^d;, ;'|he;'^!surplus amounted to :i£265;79llj \ ; ; .'By!:;'the! adoption of a higher scalie' of wage's.* f pi-; jiiahy grades i and other improvements in', the conditions, the working expenses' of last financial year increased by-i;£2O8;9O0. It is esti matedg' that the' 'record revenue of £5,5717278, will/be; received.- ;: . A questmnlw Representative's as to whether any. active steps had 'been takeri'tbwards- the nnifica- tipri i of railway-gauges. Mr. Cook re plied that the desire, of /the Federal Go vernment and of 'the. 'Premiers? of the States, as -expressed at the last? confer-* ence, ; had been conveyed to. the Inter State Commission in accordance with the resolution.. He understood, howeyer; that it- was necessary for the reference to the; commission to be made, by resolution of the House. In the state of public bu- ? siness he feared that - nothing could be done at present. ?;' In' the Gembrook district people are so satisfied with things 'hero below' that they refuse to die. ? The tenacity with which, they 'hang- on' to life- seems to have caused some disappointment to tho local cemetery trustees, ;who , have re signed in a body because there is no busi ness doing, and /n,o: revenue, to draAv upon. ? Official records in the possession of the Health. Department show that there have beeri^only two burials in the Gem brook Cemetery in 40 years. Even. these were pauper burials, and were not revnuo producing. Evidently the cemetery trus tees are ? of the opinion -that: local res i- ' dents do not -vant- a cemetery. . Further details of the proposed hew ? : co-operative , society, for .the sale of gro ceries and produce, 'in~ Melbourne,;- and 'su burbs, have been brought; under: notice.. Tho society is to, be registered under 'the .':. Friendly Societies tAct.-. 1890, and will, bo called The Australian Stores Society T Li- mited. -: Branches are ':to be opened in every suburb .where thero is sufficient' po pulation, with a central distributing house within the city area. :, ..Capital 'will . bo raised in shares of £l'cach, .payable '2/ on application and 1/. per. month thc-re- al'fcer 'until tho shades are fully paid .up. Any number, of shares up to 50 may' be - ? issued to any -person. Management is- to bo vostod ijua board 'of.. directors* and each member is entitled', to one vote.. Tli » Public Health Department is dis playing interest in the subject of cancer, atul the Premier (Mr. Watt) is being re-, quested to approach the Federal Ministry, with a \Mew; of establishing a cancer l'e soareh fund. The chief health officer (Dr. Robertson) stated that cases had .been known in Victoria of tho dicsaso having

been contracted by persons who resided in houses in which persons suffering from cancer had lived formerlv. Although it was contended by English investigators that cancer was not an infectious disease, evidence had been obtained in Victoria which gave the impression that it might be. There .was ample scope for research in Victoria, Avhore the death ? rate from cancer was_ tho highest in Australia, and the fifth highest in the world. Mr. Solomon Green, who was convicted in the court' of, petty sessions on Decem bor 3 last on a charge of having unlaw fully used a private letter-box at . the Goneral Post Office for the purpose of bet ting, and was fined £30, appealed to the County Court against tho decision, and Judge Wasley, who heard the appeal, gavo a reserved judgment, dismissing it. Ono of the grounds of tho appeal was that a private letter-box at the General Post Office was not a place within the meaning of the Police Offences Act 1912. Judge Wasley said he had a great deal of doubt as to whether a letter-box was a placo within tho meaning of tho Act. He thought, however, that the new definition was intended to cover such cases, and he would dismiss tho appeal; but to enable the matter to be further tested, he would state a case for tho State Full Court to deal with. Thoro.are indications that certain of, tho war ships of the Australian fleet unit will be sent by the Commonwealth Govern ment to America to tako part in tho great review that is being arranged at San , Francisco in ^connection with the Pa nama -.Canal Exhibition. The promoters of the exhibition sent- invitations to .the nations1 to send battleships to the review, and it is stated that a large number of ships will be gathered there. Members of tho Ministry, as well as the Minister of Defence, personally favor tho sending of some of the ships of the Australian fleot unit to represent tho nation. It is con sidered that no opportunity should be lost of strengthening tho ties between tho United States and Australia.. 'The Go vernment has already determined that, at the request of .the New Zealand Govern ment, the fleet unit shall visit the Do minion. The Government is now consi dering the advisability of sending some of the' ships of the fleet, probably the battle cruiser,, the flagship Australia, and one, of the cruisers, on from New- Zealand at the termination of that visit.. It is contended that it would be absurd to bring the ships back into' Australian Avaters, and then a few months later send them forth again over tho same Avaters to America. It will

mean, therefore, that the NeAv Zealand visit Avill be delayed until the er,d of the year.

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