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1 correction by wittylama - Show corrections

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FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 1, 1878.

lu the Legislative Council, yesterday.

At the time appointed for the commencement of business the President counted the members in attendance, and finding only thirteen present, and these being insufficien to form a quorum, he declared the House adjourned to Wednesday next.

In the Legislative Assembly, yesterday,

Questions were asked by Messrs. J. DAVIES, M'EtHONE, BENNETT,.- BAAVDEN, MURPHY, HURLEY (H.), and CAMERON,' and answered by Ministers.

Mr. FITZPATRICK desired to explain that in the debate of Tuesday, he had 'said Mr. Smart's personal character and financial position had saved the colony from em- barrassment. That was somewhat overstrained, and did injustice to Mr. Samuel.

Mr. CAMERON also explained that he had not, in the debate of last night, attacked the Press generally, but only

the Herald.

Mr. FITZPATRICK obtained leave to bring in a bill re- lating to grants of land to Volunteers.

The Tonnage Rates and Public Wharfs Amendment Bill was read a third time, and transmitted to the other House with the usual message.

On the motion of Mr. W. DAVIES the Goulburn Gas and Coke Company's Incorporation Bill was referred to a Select

Committee.

The House went into committee for the further considera- tion of the duplicate cable agreement.

Mr. BURNS, to meet the wishes of honorable members withdrew an amendment on paragraph 6 to enable previous paragraphs to be discussed. The preamble was amended

on the motion of Mr. BURNS.

Paragraph 1, fixing; the subsidy at £32,400 per annum, was agreed to, after debate by Messrs. COPELAND, BURNS, PILCHER, WEBB, LUCAS, HUNGERFORD, GREENWOOD, and after a division, ayes 44, noes 3.

In paragraph 2, Mr. W. DAVIES moved the reduction o the term of the contract from 20 years to 15. After debate by Messrs. M'ELHONE, LUCAS, HOSKINS, BURNS, COPE- LAND, CKAELES, W. DAVIES, HUNGERFORD, WEBB, LYNCH, and Sir JOHN ROBERTSON, the amendment was negatived by 25 to 20, and the paragraph waa then agreed

to.

In paragraph 3 exception was taken to the term force tnafturc,md, afterdiscussion, in which Messrs. M'EEHONE, BURNS, and MACINTOSH took part, the words " the act of God or the Queen's enemies" were-substituted, and* the paragraph was agreed to. _ - ""'

Paragraph 4 was similarly amended and agreed to.

In paragraph 5, after ^cussion by Messrs. M'ELHONE, BURNS, W. DAA-IES^ LUCA9, GREENWOOD, Sir HENRY PARKES, Messrs. ECKFORD, and MACINTOSH,

Sir ÍÍENRY PARKES moved that the Chairman leave the^hair. Ho did so to review the general question of the position of the House in dealing with the resolution. There 'was no agreement to discuss. The Governmentwere simply usking the Parliament to help them to make an agreement instead of bringing down one ahoady signed and waiting

the sanction of Parliament. The Postmaster-General had olio told the House that he meant to ask the other colonies to agree to an additional subsidy of £20,000 to reduce the charge for telegrams to the general public. How, then, could this be called an agreement ? The Government were frittering away their responsibility. As to the contract proposed, it was all in favour of the company, and not the public.

Mr. CHARLES said a more scandalous exhibition had never been witnessed than the insult offered to the agent of the company by the member for the Uppçr Hunier.

Mr. BURNS was not surprised at the disposition of the member for Canterbury to assail the Government. What action had he himself taken in regard to bistable pro- position ? He got the House to approve of an agreement which fell to the ground. Wa» that bringing down 9 com- pleted agreement't The project now before the House was by far the best ever submitted.

Sir HENRY PARKES asked what the agreement of 1874 had to do with the question. But it only proved his point, for that agreement was not amended seriatim in committee, nor amended at all.

Mr. TERKY said the committee, having been asked to consider the agreement, must act for the good of the public, not of the company. As to Colonel Glover, he ought not to be insulted, but he should not have been present all through

the debate.

Ox. CoPELAiíD said the division OB . ;j?ropo*ed reduc«

tionof the term of the contract proved bow «mall a majority were ia favour of this contract. Three other 'Parliament» would have to discus» the question, and nu might make duTerent amendments. Was not th» whole business a, fool'«

errand.

Mr. M'ELHONE did not care whom he offended, ho ghould do his duty to the public. , Ministers had no busi- ness to have invited Colonel Glover to be present. He had meant no insult, but had spoken thç truth.

Mr. FARNELL felt it his duty to show that ¿he member for Canterbury had misled the House. The agreement of 1874 was but a skeleton one, and had been submitted to Parliament. Many other agreement« had been dis- cussed clause by clause, and this was* the common mode of procedure. In regard to the charges for telegrams there were certain limits that «ould not b» exceeded, for the company would not concede more.

After a few words'from Sir HENRT PARKES.

Mr. FITZPATRICK said the discussion was out of glace.

Here was a definite agreement submitted to Parliament as tho skeleton one of the Parkes Government was, and which stood in the better position ? They wero not asking the House to moke an agreement, but fo approve of one. He thought the right way wa»-to accept or reject it, but members had thought well to attempt amendments. It had been naked, what if the "Victorian Assembly also made amendments ? He did not think they would be so absurdly nonsensical, but would accept or reject the agreement os a whole. This contract was the best yet offered, and it was unfair first to deal with it senatiin, and then blame the Government for consenting.

Sir JOHN ROBERTSON accused the Postmaster-General of causing the discussion on the general question. But he did not see si hat other course Ministers could have taken. He censured those who complained of the presence of Colonel Glover behind tho Speaker's chair and the terms in which reference had been made to him. He supported the agreement in its integrity.

Mr. TERRY legretted this interruption, but threw the

ulomo on the Postmaster-General.

The motion that the Chairman leave tho chair was nega-

tived.

The discussion on paragraph 5 was continued by Messrs GREENWOOD, COPELAND, "WEBB, MACINTOSH, BURNS, FARNELL, M'ELHONE, and Sir JOHN ROBERTSON, two amendments wero negatived on division, and the paragraph was agreed to.

The 6th paragraph, giving the colonies the power to pur- chase, was withdrawn. '

Debate ensued on the 7th paragraph respecting the time when the cabio should bo completed, in vihich Messrs. COPELAND, BURNS, BAWDEN, HUMXEIU-ORU, "WEBB, and M'ELHONE took part, and after division it svos agieed

to as introduced.

Tho Sth paragraph, making the subsidy commence four months after the signing of the contract, provided tho lines bo completed within eight months, was after debato by Messrs. WEBB, "W. DAVIES, HUNOBRIORD, BURNS, FITZ- PATRICK, M'ELHONE, BAWDEN, COPELAND, and GREEN- WOOD, agreed to on division. Ayes 21 ; Noes 11.

The 9th paragraph was agreed to without discussion.

Paragraph 10, dealing with interruptions through war or other hko cause, was after discussion by Messrs. COPELAND, HUNGERFORD, "W. DAVIES, Sir JOHN ROBERTSON Messrs. GRAY, M'ELHONE, DAY, amended and agreed to.

Paragraphs 11 and 12 wero agreed to without discussion Mr. BURNS moved a new clause fixing the maximum charges for telegrams.

Objection bemg token to its admission, the CHAIRMAN decided that it was in order, whereupon Mr. TERRY moved him out of the chair to report the point of order to th Speaker. The motion was negatived bj 27 to 4.

The paragraph was agreed to.

The resolution was leportod to the House and its recep- tion was made an order of the day for next Wednesday.

The House adjourned at ten minutes to 2 untl 4 o'cock this afternoon.

The Government have now (Submitted to Parliament their Amended Land Bill, by which they have announced their intention to stand or fall. It is inevitable that a

measure of such importance must make or mar a Ministry 5 but it is unfortunate that the question itself should be complicated by such an issue. "Violent partisans wlio may be opposed to the bill will vote for it to save the Government, and it will not be easy for either side to disabuse their minds of party prejudice and deal with the measure according

to its merits.

The one feature of the bill-standing out prominently before all others is the abolition of interest on all future free selections. Five shillings per acre must be tendered with the application to purchase, and the balance is to be paid in fifteen annual instalments of one shilling per acre, with power to pay the whole balance after the expiration of five years on the production of proof that the conditions of residence and improvement have been fulfilled. The three ' years' grace between payment of the five shillings deposit

and the first instalment of the balance is also

to be abolished, and purchasers must begin to pay at the rate of one shilling per acre between the first of January and "the first of April in the year following the date of their application. Applicants, therefore, who take up land on the 31st of December of any year must pay their first instalment not later than the 1st of April following j but those who apply the day after* will have fifteen months before the first instalment need be paid. We men- tion tbiB in passing, as one of the many minor defects of the bill. Why not make the first instalment payable in every cas« a year after the date of the application, with three months' grace, if that be necessary P Another of these

minor defects is the creation of what is termed

u a fee-simple conditional,"' which is to issue to the applicant on payment of the deposit. How will the law of property deal with estates of this kind? An estate less than of fee should be designated v by some other term than " fee-simple." *

The main question, however, is'the differ- ence in the price of land which the'new pro- posal will make. At present conditional pur-

chasers under the Act of 1861 aie liable for interest after, three years from the date of purchase at the rate of five; per cent, per annum on their unpaid balances, and there is nothing in that Act to compel them to pay a penny of thejr balances, but they can remain debtors of the Crown for ever, provided they pay interest. Under the Act of 1875 condi- tional purchasers are liable to the payment of interest after three years' grace, and they must also then begin to pay the balance of purchase money at the rate of one shilling per aere per annum, principal and interest- included. But now it is proposed that all future conditional purchasers shall pay only the five shillings deposit and fifteen annual shilling instal- ments without interest, making the price paid exactly one pound per acre inv fifteen years. Reckoning the interest at the rate of five per cent, per annum, it would take twenty-eight instalments of a shilling per annum, and one of four-pence in the twenty-ninth year to complete a purchase, and obtain the fee simple of a free selection. Add the five shillings deposit, and we get a total payment to the State under the existing lav/, of £1 18s. 4d. per acre, principal and interest in- cluded, and within a period of thirty-two years. What the Government, propose, therefore, is in effect to reduce the price of land to all future free selectors by the amount of 13s. 4d. per acre, which is exactly 40 per cent, ot, the total price to which free selectors are now liable. Never before, in the history of this colony, was such a proposition made by any Government. If nobody cared to take up land under the present conditions, and at the present price, there might be some sense in it ; but la suite of three bad seasons we are «Hil

selling land to free selectors at the rat« «of one-and-three-quarter million acres par annum, although there are only about 160,000 families in the whole colony. It is as clear, as daylight that the land is not being bought for homesteads and settlement, but fox speculation and for the creation of larg« private estates at a nominal price. And if this is being done to such a dangerous extent at the present price, it is worse than madness to di earn for a moment of reducing that price by 40 per cent. We are utterly astonished that any Government could be found that would have either the conscience or» the folly ta make such a proposal. <

But that is not all. Grant these terms to the new free selectors, and is there a man out of Gladesville capable of believing that the new terms will not have to be extended to the old selectors ? Why should they not be f Land is worth far more now than it was when they took up their holdings, and if the Government itself lowers the price for a better orticlo in the face of an excessive demand, nothing can resist the cry that the Avorse article shall be reduced to the same price. In fact, Ministers aie inviting t¡he CroAvn debtors to agitato for a new bill to íelieve them of a part' ox their obligation. At present their debt amounts to nearly nine millions sterling, 'on Avhich the interest Avili be £450,000 per annum. Capitalise the whole in the terms provided by the Act of 1876, and that interest amounts to no less than eight militons sterling,

\unch is the sum that will hate to be surrendered to the old ft ee selectois if the neto bill becomes law. And Avho Avili get the benefit? No1 poor stiuggling families Avho are vainly try- ing to eke a subsistence out of a few acres ol land on Avhich they have settled, and whicl they aie cultivating, for such families ar« foAA, and to those feAV it will make little difference for tiio feAV acres in their posses- sion. It is the Avealthy squatters, who hold at least one-half of all the conditionally purchased land in the colony, to whom this enormous biibe will be paid; while the toil- ing artizans of the cities and towns, Avho cannot leave their occupations to nettle on the land, and who constitute the bulk of the population, will have to pay the bribe in the form of higher taxes. Unless the peoplo are utterly demented they will treal this new agrarian folly Avith the contempt and scorn

it deserves.

Sir HENRY PARKES has distinguished ki"»

self in office by a general disposition to acl in conformity with constitutional practice, and he is generally entitled to be regarded as speaking Avith authority upon questions oi constitutional principle. The objection he took last week to tb,e action of the Ministry in the matter of the Exhibition vote wa9, howevei, somewhat out of perspective, and scarcely deserving of the importance which he attached to it. The case is a very simple one. The Government had pro« mised the Agricultural Society that a con- ditional grant in aid of the Exhibition should be asked for. But time was rapidly passing, and there was none to spaxe ; subscriptions were not coming in fast, and the uncertainty still surrounding the question of assistance from the public revenue kepi them in check. It was desirable on aU grounds that this uncertainty should b» removed as speedily as possible. But th« financial statement had not been made, and was not to be unduly hurried. A consider- able interval might elapse before th« Estimates were submitted, and a still longei one before there would be any prospect ol taking a vote upon the Exhibition question. To bring down a special estimate befor* either the general Estimates were submitted, or the financial statement was made, woulp be an irregular proceeding, which would probably bo challenged. If delay vraa to be avoided, something unusual must Tw done ; and tho Government, having before it a choice of unusual courses, chose that of taking the debate and the opinion of the House upon a motion for an address to the GOVERNOR. The passing of this motion is not technically equivalent to the passing of the estimate ; but it has the. same eftect for all practical purposes. If an item is placed upon the Estimates in conse- quence of a resolution having been passed by a large majority of the Assembly, it may be assumed that there will be a majority röady and willing to pass that item, when the es- timates come under discussion, and thus the object which the Government had in Anew in stepping out of the usual course has prac- tically been secured.

Sir HENRY PARKES regards the action of the Ministry in this matter as having a tendency to weaken one of the safeguards of Constitu- tional Government. He holds that the mosl seiious responsibility Avhich is cast upon Ministers is that of advising the Crown to recommçnd the expenditure of the public revenue ; and in this instance the Ministry, instead of advising the Crown, asked the House to approach the Crown for the same purpose by address. If we under« stand his aigument rightly, it is that the adoption of this course, although it was not an inroad upon the Constitution, was an in load upon a constitutional usage which has for its special object the enforcement of Ministerial responsibility ; and that by breaking through this usage an important guarantee for Ministerial responsibility hat

been weakened. But is there not here a con-

founding of the shadoAV Avith the substance V Is not the form put in the place of the prin- ciple which gives it meaning? The principle for which Sir HENRY PARKES contends is this, that "the expenditure of-no single penny of the public money should be recommended to Parliament unless advisçd_ by persons directly responsible to Parliament for th« advice they gave." This principle is violated when the initiative is taken by private mem- bers, who persuade the House to move the GOVERNOR by address j but there is no viola- tion of it where the initiative is taken by the Ministry. The responsibility of taking the first step *° Procure this giant of money in aid of the Exhibition rests as truly with the Ministry as it would had the Ministry advised the GOVERNOR to recommend the expenditure Ministers, instead of giving advice to 'the GOVERNOR direct, have asked the House te pray the GOVERNOR to recommend the vote ; and, so far as the relations between the Ministry and the House are con- cerned, the effect has been to put th« responsibility of Ministers to the test, if pos- sible, in a more direct and immediate manner. The essential point in the case is that th« pioposed expenditure of this money is a part of the Ministerial policy. The Ministry ha« submitted its policy to the House in the form of n motion for an address : it would hav«

/

done OB much, but nothing more, had the pro- posal come before the House as an estimate In the usual way. In the one case, as in tho other, the House could condemn the policy of the Ministry by giving an adverse vote ; and In the one case, as in the other, the Ministry, if beaten, would have had to consider the effect of the defeat upon its position. There is nothing in principle to make a defeat upon an important motion for an address less significant than a defeat upon an item of corresponding importance in the Estimates. 'And if the teachings of practice are to be relied upon, there is nothing in them to make it so. The rejection or reduction of Important items' on the Estimates has been accepted repeatedly as a matter of little moment. Ministers have in fact thrown Esti- mates down before the Hotise with the most

jaunty indifference, intimating that whether they were passed or whether they were re- fused was a question for the House to con- sider, but hardly a question of Ministerial interest. We do not say that such proceed- ings were either correct or commendable j but simply refer to them for the purpose of showing that Ministerial responsibility is not weakened by ,bringing forward a special item of proposed expenditure under cover of a separate motion for an address, instead of allowing it to tako its chance amidst the general Estimates. It is difficult to see how Ministerial íesponsibility can bo better enforced than by a direct vote of the House upon a point of Ministerial policy. The rejection of an electoral-bill or a land bill brought before the House directly by a Minister would be as good a test of Ministerial responsibility as the rejection of a money bill, brought in under a recommendation from the Crown, as to whick Ministerial advice had been given. And tho same principle applies

to resolutions.

f There is, however, another point of view from which this departure from the usual course may be regarded. Those who are not piopared to accept Mr. BEEHY'S doctrines, and who hold that the Governor of a colony has dirties to discharge and responsibilities to recognise which may compel him, under cer- tain circumstances, to reject the advice of his Ministers, will perceive that in this aspect of the case the practice under consideration might be a source of embarrassment or danger. It is at present within the power of a Governor to refuse to recommend expendi-

ture which his Ministers advise him to recommend. Sir GEORGE BOWEN, for instance, might have declined to be a party to a tack in recommending an appropriation for pay- ment of members. He would be bound to refuse to recommend a vote of £20,000, if his Ministers advised it, in payment for his impprtant services. But it is conceivable that a Governor who was disposed to act upon his powers, so long as the matter lay between him and his Ministers, might hesitate and yield if his .Ministers, before going to him with advice, fortified them- selves by obtaining an address from the Assembly. The practice in question does not really alter the relations of the Ministry to the Assembly. Sir HENEY. PAÏIKES talks about "the House setting the Minister in motion in the exercise of this most important of all his duties-that of advising the Crown ;'' but that is a mistake. It is the Minister who sets the House in motion, and he Í9 responsible to the House for attempting to ' do so. But the real change is in the relations between Ministers and the Gover- nor. Ministers, instead of advising the Gover- nor, advise the House, and thereby in some sense subject the Governor to pressure. Iii such a case, when the expendi- ture is recommended, the GOVEIINOB still, as A matter of form, acts upon the advice of his Ministers. But the Governor does not accept this advice merely as that of men who com- mand generally the confidence of the House ; it is advice as to which the opinion of the House has been specially ascertained and made known beforehand. The Ministry gains nothing as against the Assembly, by taking a preliminary vote upon tho question ; but it does gain something as against a Governor who might possibly act upon his own judg- ment, if the opinion of the Assembly were

doubtful.

NEWS OF THE DAY,

THE P. and 0. Company's steamship Siam arrived at lung George'6 Seand on Tuesday evening, but in con« lee_iienee of the interruption of communication on tho "Western Australian line, we wore unable to ascertain this until a late hour last evening. The news of her arrival was conveyed from Poit Lincoln to Port Augusta by steamer,'and forwarded to the Superin- tendent of Telegraphs of South Australia. The Siam "Will most probably reach Adelaide to-morrow, Satur- day. Tho Sydney portion of her mails may possibly Teach Sydney on Wednesday morning. The parties engaged in repairing the Western Australian line wero expected to meet last evening, when communication

ifould be restored.

-THE cable between Batavia and Singapore is stil interrupted. But by the arrival at the former place of the mail from Singapore, we are placed in receipt of messages from our London correspondents to October 26tb. ( -

> IN tho Legislativo Assembly, yesterday, Mr. Day

gave notice of the following motion for "the 5th of November :~"1. That, taking into consideration the large amount of correspondence forced upon members of Parliament in the discharge of their Parliamentary duties, it is expedient and desirable that the Govem ment should provide a stamp at the Legislative Assem- bly to frank free of postage all letters written by members on public business during the sittings of Par- liament, Buch stamp to bo under the care and safe keep- ing of tho Olerk of the Assembly. 2. That tho above x '»solution be communicated by address to his Excel-

lency the Governor."

. THE business in the Jury Court was proceeded with yesterday morning, Mr. Justice Pnueott presiding. S 5 causes are set down for trial, which will more than ex Haust the days set apart for the sittings.

THE total area of town lands in the settled districts Bold ia 1877 was 5G acres ; of suburban lands, 248 acres; and of country lands 53,384 ; making the total area alienated in the settled districts 53,688 acres, the price paid for which was £62,422. The total area . sold in the unsettled districts during the same period

was 2,097,070, tho total price being £2,184,500., I Tho total area sold otherwise than condi-

tionally throughout the colony was 2,148,687, find the total price £2,150,759. In the esme " period there were 12,009 persons who took up

1,699,810 acres. The amount realised for deposit was £424,954 ; for balance of purchase money, £71,852 ; N»r interest, £126,657 ; the gross revenue from condi-

tional sales being £628,464. The aggregate number of selections made since 1861 wa9 112,604 ; the area alienated under conditional Bale was 12,017,685 acres; the aggregate amounts realised for deposit was »8,004,421 ; for balance of purchase money, £442,666 ; for interest, £609,884; the gross receipts realised for the whole period, £4,056,978. The number of lots unconditionally sold by selection was 1864, the »rea sold was 168,848 at an average price of 21s. 0_d. per acre, the total amount having been £167,129. The number of improved lots sold to owners of improve- ments was 1908, the area sold having been 159,848 **es» at the rate of 21s. 6$d. per acre, the total amount oí sales in virtue of improvements for 1877 Waa* been £172.138. The total revenue received

-, - ? ........-.-- ?

from the alienation of land during the year 1877 was £2,655,579. Tho rent and assessment for the same period was £224,118 ;. if to this be added the receipts under the G-old-fields Act, and from miscellaneous sources, the gross land revenue -would be £4,450,603.

TnE Avoik of connecting the now pumping machi- nery Avith the 30-inch Avatermaiu from Botany, in Crown-street, was carried on all day yesterday from a Very early hour by a gang of labourers and others under -tho direction of Mr. D. 0. Robertaon, and, though the inclemency of the Aveather interfered greatly Avith tho comfort of the men, tho work pro- gressed rapidly. The arrangements that havo been made at the Crown-street Reservoir for relie\ing the pumping engines at Botany are very elaborate and complete, and when the new pumping machinery is in operation tho means in the hands of the City Council for supplying tho citizens with water will be greatly i augmented.

| To county readers, this week's number of '"Çhe Sydney Mail " Avili be peculiarly interesting, inasmuch as it compiise3 a full digest of the Land Bill now before Parliamoilt, tho new and most important clauses of which are given in full. As the Estimates have been laid before Parliament this week, it has been thought that the sum» proposed for urgent public works throughout tho colony should bo mado as generally known as possible, and these have accordingly been published, as well as tho other important proposals for expenditure of public money. Amongst the illus- trations is one of the Rev. James Jefferis, LL.B., minister of tho Pitt-street Congregational Church. The forthcoming champion laco between Watson and Applctt is of interest and importance, and good poi traits of the men aro given. There is also a view of Peel-street, Tamworth, and ono or two other illustra- tions, in this week's number of tho " Mail," which in all its departments sustains its character as a fixst class weekly paper.

EAUI.Y in the present year the magistrates of the Campbelltown Bench mado the following lepresenta tions to the Colonial Secretary in order to obtain an alteration in the boundaries of the police district : " We do ourselves the honor to invite your attention to some very serious inconveniences in the present arrangement of the boundaries of this police district, and respectfully request you will bo good enough to toke &teps to obtain a re-adjustment on a moro equita blo basis. 1st. The police district of Liverpool now extends to Avithin two miles from tins town and tweho miles from the township of Liver- pool. All business from here to the boundary of tlie municipality of Liverpool, at Denham Court is done Awth Campbelltown, excepting police business, which has to go to a great distance at serious inconve- nience to suitors, while tradespeople are deprived of the quick administration of justice, under thp Small Debts Couit, by reason of the inconvenience attending a journey to Liverpool to take out summonses and to prove the debt. To remedy this, wo propose the ex- tension of tho district to the crosB roads at Denham Court, the southern boundary of tho municipality of Liverpool ; thenco in a westerly direction to the Cow pasture River ; thenco by that river to the boundary line separating the counties of Cumberland and Camden." The question Avas referred to the Benches of Camden, Liverpool, and Wollongong, and their A'iews are embodied in the following letter from the Department of Justice, dated 29th March last, to tho member for Narellan: "Referring to letter of 19th January last, from the Bench, Campbelltown (forwarded by you), in which application is made for amendment of the boun- daries of that police district, which would also involve amendment of the boundaries of the police districts of Liverpool, Camden, and Wollongong, I am directed by the Minister of Justice and Public Instruc- tion to inform you that while no objection is made to this proposal by tho Bench of magistrates at Liverpool, the Bench of Wollongong protests against any alteration in their district, and points out the portion proposed to bo taken from them varies from 9 to 15 miles from that place, while it ia from 24 to 28 miles from Campbelltown. The Bench at Camden also objects to any alteration in their district, and points out that the Cowpasture Road, which is sought to be made tho boundary between Campbelltown and Camden, is only- 500 yards from the former and 8 miles from the latter place, and a compliance with the application would-subject the residents of Camden to the very grievance now complained of by the residents of Camp-

belltown."

WE are requested to state that on . Prince Alfred Park the Redfern band will perform to-morrow after- noon, at 3.30 (weather permitting), under the leader- ship of Mr. Hennis, bandmaster. Programme : March, " Pilot ; " A'alse, " London Society ; " lancers, " Re- ception ; " schottische, " Calypso ;" march, " Nancy Lee ; " valses, " Brise des Nuits ; " polka, " Chilperic ; " galop, "Wings of Love; " " God Save the " Queen."

THE Victorian Racing Club's Spring Meeting will form one of the principal events of the colonies for the nest few days. A largo amount of interest is felt in this colony with reference to the Melbourne meeting, and the " Sydney Mail's " special reporter " Nemo," has sent that journal very full reports of the preliminary doings rjf the horses, tho probabilities of their success or non-success, the state of the betting market,, and other particulars. All this information will be found

in this Aveek's " Mail."

As might have been expected, considering the in- clemency of tho weather, the number of visitors to the flower show yesterday was not very large. There is a splendid collection of plants ; and, as there are many who doubtless desire to inspect the floral beauties that aro on view, it has been decided by the committee, with the approbation of the Minister for Lands and the Director of the Botanic Gardens, to keep the exhibition open during to-day, when, no doubt, should tho Aveather prove fine, there will be a largo gathering of the flower loving portion of tho community.

YESTEEDAÏ was one of tho wettest days that has been experienced in Sydney for somo months. Rain commenced falling shortly after daybreak, and con- tinued almost without intermission until about 1 o'clock, Avhen there A\as a lull. This respite, however, did not last long, and by 2 o'clock it was again raining, and during tho latter part of the afternoon a remark- ably heavy downpour took place. At 10 o'clock last night it was still raining, and continued at intervals during the night. The wind, which in the early morn- ing was from the south-east, had by night-time changed to south-Avest or nearly BO, and blew Avith considerable strength.

DESI-ITE the inclemency of the weather "Uncle Tom's Cabin," at the Queen's Theatre, Avas well-attended last evening. Tho play went very smoothly,' that grotesque absurdity, "The Happy Hottentots " being especially well received. This evening the piece will be perfoimed for the last time on the occasion of the benefit of Little Eva, Avhen no doubt a bumper house Will reward the exertions of this promising young actreís. On Saturday, a now version of "Dred" will bo produced, and rumour xis busy anent como weird novelty shortly to be produced by the original Georgias.

- THE friends of Mr. E. 0. Moriarty, Engineer-in Chief for Harbours and Rivers, Avili bo gratified to hear from recciit private advices that he is thoroughly enjoying aud making tho most of his trip to Great Britain and America. Ho and Mrs. Moriarty left tho colony in June last, in the Zealandia, and after one of the quickest passages across the Pacific recorded reached San Francisco on tho 19th of the following month. After leaving New Zealand they had a magnificent voyage across the Pacific, calling at Honolulu, and'wit- nessing all tho sights worth seeing there. Mr. Moriarty describes the place as a perfect gem of verdure. On reaching San Francisco, that gentleman devoted a week to examining 'the harbour and its ferry-steamers, and the water-supply there, Colonel Mendel and Mr. Bishop, eminent engineers, showing him every attention. He and Mrs. Moriarty shortly afterwards started overland by train. They stayed at Salt Lake City a day, and then prooeeded^to Chicago, and eventually to Niagara, staying at the last-named place four days. Mr. Moriarty remarks that the grandeur of the falls at Niagara is beyond the power of language to describe, and persons can only gaze on it and become wrapt in awe at the magnificent scene it presents, and feel their inability to describo the emotions they experience. From Niagara Mr. and MM. Moriarty went down Lake Erie and the St. Lawrence to Montreal to see the rapids and canals connected with them. These canals ore said to be beauti- ful pieces of engmeering. The next trip was to Now York, where a stay of a week was made, Mr. Moriarty being desirous of inspecting the water works, tho new wharfs, and the suspension bridge there. The wharfs, that gentleman affirma with the exception of the granite about them are not remarkable, and better work than that about them can be »bown in Svdncv ¡ but the

bridgo'and the steam ferry boats are pronounced worth going all the distance to see. After a fine passage of nine days across the Atlantic, Queenstown was reached. A couplo of days were spent at Killarney and Dublin, and London was arrived at about the commencement of September. It is probable that a visit will be made to Paris. Mr. Clark, the hydraulic

engineer, was a fellow-passenger of the Moriartys from I New Zealand, and Mr. Moiiarty and ho had excellent opportunities of exchanging views on the various public works they saw together, and the inspection of which, as far as "Mr. Moriarty is concerned, may ultimately prove to bo of great benefit to the colony.

ASIONSST the numerous exhibits sent by New South Wales to the Paris Exhibition, we learn nom a private letter that special notice has been taken of a sample of condimental food sent from this city-by Mr. J. Pottic; and the general officer in charge of the "Subsistences Militaires," after having submitted a quantity of it to a test, has applied for information as to how it is to be made, and the price at which it could be fur- nished free on board ship. As a medal was awarded to the fooi, which was in competition with other manufactures of a luce character from the old world, the result must be highly satisfactory to Mr. Pottie, who states that ho had no idea of competing up to the last moment, tho food sent being part of a lot that was prepared for a squatter. It may be mentioned that this food is now extensively bought by the Government for the sustenance of their horses, and wo are informed that it is used in feeding somo of the best racehorses in the colony. Of course the great advantage of this food discovered and manufactracd in the colony is that it is very compact, and can be conveyed readily from place to place at a trifling cost.

THOUGH firm in the belief that cold water is the best, the members of the Loyal Gladstono Lodge, No. 77, I.O.G-.T., were not prepared for the quantity placed at their disposal in the shape of rain last evening. It had been announced by advertisement that a public installation of the officers of the lodge would take place in St. Peter's Schoolroom, Woolloomooloo ; but at the hour appointed, tho Worthy Chief (Mr. G. It. M'Lean) informed those present, a very creditable attendance considering the adverso state of the weather, that the committee deemed it advisable to postpone the public installation and meeting till a moro favourable occasion. The public haying retired, the ordinary lodge business was proceeded with, a number of persons taking advantage of the opportunity afforded them to join tho ranks of the Good Templars.

TUE following interesting details wero given by the Per. Mr. Cosh, at the mooting of the Presbyterian Assembly, last evening, respecting tho number of Ohinese in the city, and their pursuits. Mr. Vrooman, of "Victoria, thus, after active inquiry, summarises them : - Gardeners, 160 ; vegetable dealers, 60 ; hawkers, 40 ; carpenters, 880 ; cooks and labourers for Europeans, 20 ; merchants and clerks, 120 ; salesmen and labourers in shops, 80 ; no occupation, 20 ; doctors and druggists, 20 : total, 900.

THE children attending St. John's Sunday-school, Ashfield, had their annual excursion on Wednesday to Parramatta Park. About 150 children were dispatched 'by special train, and during the day all that could be done to amuse them was done by the teachers. This latter task, considering tho extreme sultriness of tho weather, was a matter of no small difficulty, and the oppressive heat militated considerably against the enjoyment of the day. The children wero regaled with the usual fare dispensed on similar occasions, and some very handsome toys were presented by several ladies of the congregation to the fleetest footed among the scholars. Much regret was expressed at the absence of the Rev. J. 0. Corlette, who, though ho endeavoured to drive over to Parramatta, found that the effects of his late accident caused more fatigue than he was capable of bealing, and hence he was unable to be present.

MR. L'ESTRANGE, the first Australian who ever at- tempted to imitate the celebrated Blondin of the old world, has gone into a new undertaking of quite as venturesome a character. After achieving considerable success in balloon ascents in India, he purchased one entirely new, which he has brought- to Sydney, and with which ho intends shortly to make a trip into the upper regions. The balloon has been fitted with the newest appliances, amongst others a parachute, which, in the event of anything going wrong, would prevent the too rapid descent of the aerial voyager. Another novelty is tho fixing of bags of sand round the mesh which covers tho balloon, the principle of which is that, by emptying these, and so lessening the weight, the balloon will ascend. The pro- cess is chiefly intended to be an easy method of avoiding church steeples and other tall buildings. At present Mr. L'Estrange is partially inflating his contrivance to try to see that everything is right. He is     perfectly confident that he will prove successful in travelling amongst the regions of the clouds, and, if so, it will prove an agreeable variety after the many

failures we have had.

A TELEGRAM from Bundarra states :-Mr. Michael

Hayes, J.P., died at 1 o'clock on Thursday morning, after a short illness. He was one of the oldest residents of the district. His loss will be deeply regretted.

A nor named John Smith, aged 16, was admitted into the Infirmary yesterday morning, suffering from a compound fracture of the skull on the right ¡>ido of the forehead, together with great depression of bone. The injuries ore very serious; but there are some hopes entertained for the life of tho patient. It is stated that the injuries were caused by a fall from a great height from some new buildings "in York-street, where Smith

was employed.

AN inquest was held yesterday at tho Burwood Hotel, concerning the death of Mary Josephine Doyle, aged 10 years, who was drowned ina water-tank at Burwood. Tho evidence i showed that the deceased, who was on a vist to Mrs. Bockhaus, her sister, residing in Stanley street, Burwood, went to the water-tank with a bucket on Tuesday afternoon last to fetch some water. Shortly afterwaids a man named Thompson, who was passing along the street, heard a splash in the tank ; and believing that some one hod fallen into it, he went to the houso and told Mr. Beckhaus, who accompanied him to the tank, where, after some time, the hody of the deceased

was found. Dr. Morgan was at once sent for, and every ' effort used to restore animation, but without avail, as ' life was already extinct. After hearing the evidence, the jury returned a verdict of death by occidental

drowning.

| MANJI have been the complaints of the inconvenience

arising from shopkeepers being allowed to put up awnings in such a manner as to preclude passengers from crossing the street ia front ot their shops. The law prohibits awnings which are lower than seven feet from the pavement, but many of them are not half that height. It is noticcablo that two shopkeepers were fined for a disregard of this provision of the Police Act; but why only two, while the offenders are legion?

THE ladies of Mrs. A. H. Macarthur's Working Party at Darlinghurst purpose holding a sale of thçir work to-day at St. John's schoolroom. The proceeds ore to be devoted to the Melanesian and Sydney City Missions, Children's Hospital, and other charities ; and particulars in reference to the sale will be found in our advertising columns.

WE have received from Messrs. Nicholson and Ascherberg a copy of a song " Call me your darling again," as sung by Mr. Fredericks of the Kelly and Leon Troupe. It is neatly printed by Messrs. Troedel

and Co.

ON Wednesday last the children of the Public school, and the Church of England and Congregational Sunday schools, were taken to a united picnic in the commo- dious steamer Emu, generously lent for the day by the Port Jackson Steam Tug Company. After steaming up Middle Harbour as far as Birch Grove and back, Cap- tain Morton landed the children at Clontarf, which was placed at their disposal frjee of charge by the Messrs. Moore. Children, teachers, parents, and visitors, all thoroughly enjoyed themselves, anil the Emu got'back to Manly a little after 6 p.m.

A CORRESPONDENT, under the same of " Decency," draws attention to the fact of considerable numbers of drunken women congregating in the vicinity of Dawes Point Battery, and says eome scenes enacted there ore a reproach to the neighbourhood. He trusts the police authorities vrill take steps to prevent« recurrence of

them.

A RESIDENT of Manly wishes to draw attention to a retaining wall without steps, for reaching the baths and the reserve there, whereby people are compelled to go a long distance out of their way to enjoy a bath, and the privacy of bathing is disturbed. He hopes Manly aldermen will attend to the matter, and also provide stairs for ascending to billa fxom.the reserve to view the surroundins scenerr, -

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