NEWS FROM THE INTERIOR.
(From our Correspondent.)
BRISBANE, APRIL 22.-A sale of town and suburban land was held here on the 80th ultimo, which realized something over £1300, and another sale was held at Ipswich on the 6th instant, the proceeds of which amounted to upwards of £1100. At both sales the at- tendance was good, and the competition con- siderable, and nearly the whole allotments offered were purchased. A considerable number of the town-llotments disposed of are situate in the new township of Cleveland in the bay ; and if the advantages of this locality are to be estimated by the extemt of ground already sold, they must be considerable. The new regulations ns to the sale of land are good so far as they go, but they hardly go far enough. They leave the great evil to which intending purchasers of Crown lands in ,ka remote district like this are liable, 'untouched, namely, the unrea- sonable time in many cases suffered to elapse after land is applied for, before it ÍB advertised ; by which delay, people often of limited capi- tal are kept waiting for an indefinite time at ruinous expense. To obviate this great evil, power, I think, ought to have been given to the local authorities to put up the land for sale within a reasonable time after it was applied for, without the inconvenience and delay arising from the practice of referring the matter to Sydney. When the regulations frr the sale of land were being amended, it is diffi- cult to see why an alteration so reasonable and natural was not made. In other respects the new regulations are good, particularly that part of them which directs the publication periodi- cally of the various descriptions of country land open for sale without competition.
The Florentia is the next immigrant vessel for this place, and she may now be considered fully due. The amount of immigration pro- mised-namely, to the extent of one ship per month-is hardly kept up ; but this I believe arises from the difficulty of obtaining the proper description of shipping, and not from the lack of funds or of a sufficient number of eligible people willing to emigrate. The pre- vious immigration to this place is all absorbed, and the outcry for labour is almost as great as
The gathering of the cotton crop is going on under very favourable circumstances as to weather, but the operation will extend never- theless over several months, owing to the pods ripening in very slow succession. Of the pos- sibility of growing it to advantage, under moderately favourable circumstances aB to labour, I think there can now remain very little doubt, but the apparatus available here for cleaning it ia sadly deficient in quickness of execution at least. Several bags of seed cot- ton arrived during the week from Mr. Poole's plantation, situated on the river about fourteen miles above Brisbane, and the ginning of it is now going on in a lower apartment of the old Government Barracks, where there are three gins of different construc- tion under trial. One of the machines-oblig- ingly forwarded, I believe to Mr. Poole by Mr. Henry Mort of Sydney-is what ia called a cottage saw gin, an invention intended for the use of the native cotton growers of India. It is a very neat compact apparatus, but on by far too small a scale to be used to advantage ex- cept by small growers and their families on rainy days when they can do nothing else j and for the service of this class of cultivators it was evidently intended. A man, with the assist- ance of a boy to supply the cotton as it is wanted, could with this diminutive gin only clean about 30 pounds of cotton per day, that is supposing him to labour uninterruptedly, which he could scarcely do, as the exertion after a time becomes rather fatiguing. The expense of cleaning the cotton in this way would thus amount to at least 2d. per pound,-a sum not much below the prime cost of Bombay cotton on the spot. Some people, moreover, are of opinion that this saw ginning very materially injures the cotton, considering tliemselves fortified ir> this conclu- sion by the feet that in all the directions trans- mitted by the Manchester manufacturers for the guidance of the growers of cotton in this part Of th'e world they particularly cautioned thom to use the roller and not the saw gin, as the
latter greatly damaged, they said, the staples '
of the cotton. The plain English appears to bQ that, notwithstanding tho many opinions confidently volunteered, nobody here knows anything at all of the matter, and the true mode of procedure must, therefore, be learned, as under many similar circumstances, from ex- perience. The other two machines are roller fins. One was sent direct from America.
t is exceedingly simple, being nothing more than two plain wooden rollers, turned by means of a treadle. It is out of repair, and is by far too diminutive to be of any avail. The other is much more compli- cated, and would get through a good deal of work, but it separates the seeds-imperfectly, besides being liable to constant interruptions from the winding of the cotton round the small grooved roller. It will thus be seen that a far more efficient ginning machine than any of the foregoing is required, and this desideratum in cotton-growing colonial talent may perhaps supply, when once fairly directed to the sub- ject.
Considerable excitement lately prevailed here, owing to the presence of nine escaped convicts from Norfolk läland, in the bay. As the particulars of the escape of these men, as well as of their subsequent piracies, and the apprehension of three of their number, must long ago have reached you ¡ it is only necessary for me to say that six of the gang have hitherto eluded detection. As no trace of them haB been lately met with, they are sup- posed to have left the bay and gone to the northward, but this is conjecture merely. It is even thought not unlikely that they have all perished, as shortly after the timo they are supposed to have left the bay the weather was very boisterous. However if they be alive, they will soon no doubt make their where- abouts known, when it is to be hoped they will be secured and brought to punishment.
Building materials of all descriptions have greatly advanced in price here lately. Pine in boards, which usually sold at 8s. per 100 feet, is now advanced to £1, and all other descrip- tions in proportion. This retards building operations, which otherwise it is likely would be resumed, as there is a considerable demand for cottages, and none are empty. A large substantial wooden building has been erected on the river bank, which is intended for the sawing of timber by ma- chinery, and also for grinding wheat. The building is finished, and ready for the recep- tion of t e Bteam engine and the requisite ma- chinery whi "h is coining out in the Florentia. When this work is in operation it will tend to make building-timber more plentiful at all events if it do not cheapen it, and it will also, it is to be hoped, encourage the growth of wheat, by affording the means of converting it into flour on the spot.
A letter from the Colonial Secretary, in re- ply to an application, has been published, stating that the Government had issued in- structions for laying out a township at Port Curtis, and that the whole adjacent country would be speedily opened for settlement.
The first exhibition of the Horticultural ' Society is announced to take place 'some time in July, on which occasion £24 in various prizes will be distributed.
The remote squatting stations have been, it would appear, in the afcsence of all accounts to the contrary, more free of late from hostile in- cursions of the blacks than for a long time previously; and this state of comparative
repose I think it will be allowed is due in, some measure to the exertions of the native police. A detachment of this force was so stationed as to preserve order during the Bunya season, at which time outbreaks fre- quently occur, principally as would soem from the number of blacks then collected together and mutually exciting each other. Owing to the precautions taken, or to some other cause, the great native fruit feast of the present year has passed over without disturbance, and it is to be hoped none will occur on the dispersion of the various tribes to
their several beats.
The brig Jack arrived at the river bar on the morning of the 20th, and tho Palermo shortly after, but neither had reached the
settlement at the time I write.
BRISBANE, APRIL 30TH.-The exports from the northern districts for the quarter ending the 31st of March last amounted in value, ac- cording to the statistics of the Courier, to the sum of £87,388. This exceeds those of the preceding quarter by the largo sum of £34,351 10s., and the corresponding quarter of the previous year by £33,492 3s. 5d. The exports for the quarter ending on 31st March last are by far the largest furnished by these districts for any former similar period, and as they ure with a few trifling exceptions made up of wool and tallow, their increase shows a rapid exten- sion of pastoral pursuits in this part of the colony.
The ginning of the cotton to which I alluded in my last is suspended for the present, partly from an apprehension that tho saw gin greatly injures the cotton, and partly in the hope of discovering some cheaper means of performing the process. From what I have seen of the plantations I think cultivators will require to adopt a different management of the trees from that at present followed. The practice is, so far at least as my observation has extended, to allow the bushes to spread out in all their natural exuberance, no attention being paid to pruning or otherwise reducing su- perfluous shoots. The consequence of this system of . management, or rather mismanagement is, that a great num- ber of the pods, owing to the numerous stems attached to one plant and the lownees of the branches, are left trailing on the ground, from which they must contract dirt and other injuries j and, in the event of a period of rain setting in, be rendered comparatively worth- less. A system of culture that would confino the plant to one main stem, and prune off the lower branches, so as to prevent them from coming in contact with the ground, would, there is every reason to believe, greatly im- prove the quality of the cotton, as well as enlarge the size "of the pods ; although of
course it would reduce the number of the lat- ter. This kind of management would also abridge the expense of picking, which threatens to be considerable, being estimated by one grower to amount to at least four-pence per pound ; but this at present can be only matter of conjecture, although I think it is just as likely to prove below as above the mark. The variety of cotton chiefly grown here ia the pro- duce of seed originally forwarded by Mr. Donaldson, with the exception of that culti- vated by Mr. Poole, which is direct from seed imported by Mr. Mort. I have not seen Mr. Poole's, but I believe there is little difference between the two. Mr. Donaldson's, at any rate, is said to be, and 1 suppose is, the genuine Sea Island variety. It is not a very handsome plant, the branches growing some- what straggling and unsightly; but, unless when allowed to trail on the ground in the manner I have described, the pods are pretty well defended against wet, from the pen- dulous position which .they assume as they approach maturity, and the protection afforded by their outward covering. I have been informed by a person who has witnessed the American mode of cultivation, that the practice there is to prune down the plants in the way I have mentioned, and there is little doubt it could be followed here with ad- vantage. A grower in the neighbourhood of Brisbane estimates the produce of his ground at from 130 to 160 lbs. of clean cotton per acre, but so great a proportion of the produce still remains to be gathered, that I scarcely think any reliable data can yet exist for forming even an approximation of the actual amount. The quality of the cotton grown on this plantation is very fine, nnd there can be no doubt that it will realise a high price in England. It must always be borne in"mind that it is reasonably anticipated the produce from the plants will increase after the first year. There is also reason to suppose that, notwithstanding the variety cultivated, the produce will acquire a distinctive character from the climate, as is found to be the case with
wool. It would bo well, therefore, if, some of the large bearing, coarser varieties ' were tried, as the greater yield and ameliora- tion of quality, which I am certain would take place in this climate, might render them tho most profitable of any.
Leases of the ferries between north and south Brisbane, and between the former and Kangaroo Point, were »old by auction on Thursday, the 28th. instant. The South Bris
J bane ferry was knocked down for one year, at
£61. This is a great falling off from the pre- vious year, when it brought £113. The Kan- garoo Point ferry was taken by the last con- tractor at the upset price, £7 10s. pur annum. The lease of this ferry is now for three years, instead of one year as foirnerly, and this unexpected ar- rangement excited not a little surprise, being considered in these progressive times, Tather green on the part of the Government-a qua- lity which to do them justice they very seldom exhibit in their dealings with the public. The rent of the ferrieB of course forms part of the Crown revenue, but it hasbeen usually granted to improve them or the approaches leading to them.*
The Florentia, barque, 453, Banks, arrived on the 25th, after a tedious paasage of 153 days I from Plymouth, having had to put into Hobart
Town for provisions. She brings a quantity of coal as ballast. The immigrants on board amount to 245, and 12 births and 17 deaths oc- curred during the passage, the majority, being
The members of tho Immigration Board have visited the ship, where it seems they did not find every thing to their liking, and it is ru- moured that an inquiry will be instituted. The immigrants will be brought up to town in a day or two. They are mostly married peo- ple, not the class most in îequest for bush work,
Mr. Henry Hughes' station of Westbrook, advertised for sale in Sydney, lins been dia pos'dof privately to Mr, J. D. M'Lean, of tho Clarence, for £12,000, being at the rate of 16s. per head for fheep, with cattle and station given in.' Mr. Hughes, it is said, will leave for England in Juno,
Only two of our member's will be at their Íiosts on the 10th, the representatives, namely, or the county of Stanley and for the Stanley Boroughs- the lato elected member, Mr. R. J. Smith, not, it seems, intending to make his appearance in the House, at least at the com-
mencement of the session.
Some recent explorers in the Port Curtis country report favourably of its pastoral capa- bilities, comparing the part they visited to the Darling Downs in point of richness of feed and freedom from trees, The country is described as being so open that flocks of one or two thousand sheep can be run with ease. It io not Btated, however, what extent is of this favour- able description.
We have lately had a large and well selected addition to the library of the School of Arts, which institution, it is satisfactory to report, is in a prosperous state.