The Sydney Morning Herald.
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 18, 1900.
Mr. Kruger's luggage has been placed on board the Netherlands cruiser Gelderland for carriage to Europe. The Portuguese officials at Delagoa Bay have carefully searched the luggage.
Some 500 thieving Boers are harrying the district
south of Standerton.
Colonial troops are closely chasing Commandant De Wet in the neighbourhood of the Vaal River.
Boer commandoes of 200 and 1200 respectively
are located in the Kroonstad district.
At the instigation of Mr. F. W. Reitz, the State Secretary of the then South African Republic, the Netherlands Railway Company heavily subsidised pro-Boer journalists. Thus £5000 was paid to the " Standard and Diggers' News," besides a contri- bution of £1000 towards the expenses of Mr. Hargrove, a touring pro-Boer advocate.
General French and Colonel Mahon are clearing the country between Machadodorp and Heidelberg. The latter defeated the Boers after heavy fighting on Saturday, and General French occupied Carolina on Sunday. Generals Lyttelton, Rundle, and Settle have also been active, and a party of Australian Bushmen forced the Boers to retire from Ottoshoep
on the 12th.
Lord Roberts, in thanking Australian soldiers at Pretoria for their great services, claimed that he is the only Field-Marshal who has reviewed a conquer- ing Imperial army. Though the war was over im- portant work remained to be done, requiring their
continued service. Lord Roberts was received with enthusiasm.
A cable message states that the Emperor of China, Kwang-hsu, has arrived at Singan-fu.
The Ministers of the Powers at Peking have unani- mously approved of the proposals of M. Delcasse as a basis for negotiations with China.
Sir Claude Macdonald, late British Minister at Peking, has made a proposal that an office of Minister for Foreign Affairs should be created, to replace the Tsung-li-Yamen.
A proposal has also been made by Sir Claude Macdonald that the ultimate punishment inflicted upon the ringleaders in the recent outrages should be placarded throughout the Empire for two years.
Violent robberies and piracy are increasing at Canton. Ho Chang-Ching, one of the higher officials of the Kwung-tung province, reports that the rebels northward of Kaulung are avoiding pillage and anti-foreign outrages, as they wish to conciliate the villagers and foreigners.
It is reported that the European women at Yangtsmie have been ordered to Hongkong.
A suspected case of bubonic plague has occurred at Lime-house, London. The patient, it is stated, is a carman, who slept on some straw imported in a crate from Glasgow.
A cable message states that a surprising feature of the general elections in the United Kingdom is that the Conservatives and Unionists hold half the seats of Scotland.
Brigadier-General Bailloud, with the column from Tientsin, which includes the Victorian contingent, has occupied Pao-ting-fu without opposition. The city was almost deserted.
The elections for the House of Commons are com- plete except for the constituency of Orkney and Shetland. The Conservatives and Unionists returned number 401, the Liberals 186, and the Nationalists and Parnellites 83. The majority of Conservatives and Unionists over Liberals, Nationalists, and Par-
nellites is 132.
Mr Bryan, the Democratic candidate for the Pre-
sidency of the United States, has had a great re-
ception in New York. Under the auspices of the Tammany organisation Mr. Bryan addressed a huge meeting in the city.
At a session of the Congregational Union of Vic- toria, held in Melbourne yesterday, it was announced that the Rev. F. B. Meyer, successor to the Rev. Dr. Newman Hall, would visit Australia next year.
A man named Moran, a passenger to the Tweed Heads, fell into the river yesterday at Chinderah,
and was drowned.
The annual session of the Congregational Union of South Australia was opened an Tuesday. Mr Herbert Phillips was nominated as president of the union for next year. In connection with the Twen- tieth Century Fund the union proposes to raise 15,000 guineas. One-sixth of this amount has already been promised.
A fire was discovered shortly after 4 o'clock yesterday morning in some buildings of the Aus- tralian Manures Company, at Coward-street, Botany. A shed 100ft. by 30ft. with its contents was destroyed, and two other sheds were very much
In the Legislative Council yesterday the second reading of the Gundagai to Tumut Railway Bill was agreed to by 19 votes to 9. The bill was passed through committee without amendment, and the third reading was made an order for the following
A large deputation waited upon the Premier of South Australia on Tuesday to urge the adoption of effective voting at the federal elections. The Premier stated that he could not consent to the method being tried on so vital and important an occasion.
The steamer Moravian arrived at Melbourne yesterday with six officers and 49 non-commissioned officers and men invalided from South Africa.
The quarterly report of the Railway Commissioners was laid upon the table of the Legislative Assembly yesterday. The earnings of the railways for the quarter ended September 30 last show an increase of £57,758 over the corresponding period of the pre- vious year, and the expenditure shows an increase of £37,295, the net result being an improvement of £20,463. In the passenger traffic there was an in- crease of 382,195 journeys, and in general merchant dise and live stock an increase of 240,256 tons.
The tramway earnings for the quarter show the largest increase on record, namely, £26,864. The expenditure, owing to considerable additional ser- vices, shows an increase of £24,963, the net improve- ment being £1901. During the quarter 6,947,996 additional passengers were carried.
At a meeting of the Cabinet in Melbourne yester- day, Ministers decided to recommend the commuta- tion of the death sentence passed upon John Ferrier for the murder of Miss Alice Aubrey, at Dawson's, on July 2 last ; and upon John Predmore for the murder of his wife at Brunswick on July 16 last. The recommendations were confirmed by the Execu-
A proclamation is being issued by the Queensland Government prohibiting for a further period of two years the importation of stock from Africa or
from any ports by a ship which has called at Africa. The proclamation is intended to guard against the introduction of rinderpest.
In the Legislative Council yesterday the Wollon- gong Water Supply Works Bill was read the third time and returned to the Legislative Assembly without
The Colonial Secretary, in moving the second reading of the Parliamentary Electoral Law Sus- pension Bill in the Legislative Assembly yesterday,
said that the number of names of voters on the Registrar-General's list for 1900 was 326,605. The number of names struck off by the police was 131,579, and the number of names to be added by the police was 123,137. There were now approximately 318,163 voters on the list, or about 8000 less than in
The ceremony of proroguing the Victorian Par- liament was performed yesterday afternoon by his Excellency the Lieutenant-Governor in the presence of a large gathering. Parliament was declared pro- rogued to October 23. A report of the Lieutenant- Governor's speech is given elsewhere.
The half-yearly session of the Grand Lodge of New
South Wales of the United Ancient Order of Druids was begun at the Oddfellows' Temple, Elizabeth- street, yesterday. The Grand President (Bro. T. N. Williams) occupied the chair, and delivered his
Mr. Doodeward, a representative of the Bellevue Lodge, was speaking to a resolution when he was taken suddenly ill, and died almost immediately. The Grand President at once adjourned the session.
A successful demonstration in connection with Eight-hours Day was held at Newcastle yesterday. A procession marched to the racecourse, where a programme of sports was carried out. About 4000 persons were present.
Business in the Mining market yesterday was very dull. Silver companies were slightly weaker. Western Australian gold stocks had a better market in the earlier portion of the day, but relapsed some- what towards the close of the market.
There were but few transactions in investment stocks on the Stock and Share market yesterday, and prices showed very few changes.
The preparations for the federal elec-
tions are in a state of some confusion.
It is a matter of great urgency that Par- liament should in the present session make all necessary legislative arrangements for the choice of our proportion of the House of Representatives. The elections for both that House and the Senate will in all likelihood be held in March or April next, in order that, as re- quired by the Act, the Federal Parliament shall meet within the period of six months after the proclamation of the Commonwealth. If this is not done during this session, there is only a choice of two disagreeable necessities early next year—either to hold an emergency session and make all our arrange- ments in a rush just as they are wanted, or else to elect our representatives not by single-member electorates, but by the colony as one electorate. The latter alternative is too full of disadvantages
and risks for us to adopt, and the former is seriously inconvenient. Hence the Government is bent on making the proper statutory and other pro- vision this session. What has been done is to appoint a body to de- limit the new electorates, 26 in num- ber, corresponding to the number of members we shall return to the House of Representatives. The report of that body, with its division of the colony and its aboriginal names for the electorates, is familiar. But it hap- pened during the preliminary inquiries of the Commissioners that the condition of the rolls, and the voting strength of the existing electorates came up for examination, and the disclosures were serious. Thereupon the Premier gave instructions for a thorough canvass of the voters by the police, with a view to prepare for use in the federal elections a reliable roll. Having regard to the importance and historic interest of this election, nobody will question the soundness of Sir William Lyne's action. It ought to be peculiarly the care of those
in authority to see that as far as they can
secure such results every man in New South Wales qualified to vote shall have the right to do so, and that no loophole ought to be afforded for illegal practices. The police have now completed their task, and the rolls pre- pared are being issued. But simul- taneously there is going on a process of restamping the electors' rights in order to validate them for a further term, and the old rolls—though utterly dis- credited by the work of the police—are likewise being revised in the ordinary way. To deal with this anomaly the Assembly read a second time and passed through Committee last night a short bill which in one clause suspends the preparation of general rolls this year under the Act of 1893. Another bill, introduced by Mr. See, provides for the new system of police registration and a new issue of electors'
That may be essential to a just election, but it is after all no more than detail. The next bill of which notice has been given is one of the two main measures dividing our future federal and State re- presentation. It is not yet introduced, but by public speeches in Parliament and elsewhere and by communications to the press the Government has defined its pro- posals with sufficient comprehensiveness. This is the bill for electing our 26 repre- sentatives and six senators to the Federal Parliament. It will contain the principle of separation between the Federal and State Parliaments, for it will declare that after the dissolution of the pre- sent Legislative Assembly in New South Wales no member of the Federal Parlia- ment shall be a member of either the
Legislative Assembly or the Legislative Council here. In Victoria they have gone further and made the disqualification of federal legislators complete. Hence the retirement of such men as Mr. Deakin from candidature for the next Legislative Assembly of Victoria. The reason for Sir William Lyne's postpone- ment of the disqualification is that our Parliament may, and probably will, last beyond the elections of next year to the Federal Parliament. If we chose to apply immediately the fairest method in our power to ensure the principle of single seats—the disqualifi- cation of federal members sitting in our State Houses, for we ought not to dis- qualify any bona fide candidate for the future Legislature of Australia—then we should probably necessitate the vacating of a number of seats in the Assembly. There does not seem much in the argument, for the electors hold already a definite opinion that a man who will have to go to Melbourne soon after his election, and stop there perhaps for months, will find himself unable to render them the ser- vice they expect in the State Parliament. The schedule to this bill will probably contain the revised boundaries of elec- torates, and we hope revised names for them. Once passed, together with the smaller measures of detail referred to, the colony will stand in a proper position to discharge its duty in the federal campaign
of next year.
But there will still remain to be done a task which in three of the colonies—New South Wales, Victoria, and South Aus- tralia—is prominently before the public. That is, the reduction of the State Legislature in numbers. When the ablest men of the local Parliament have been elected to the Federal Parliament and disqualified from sitting in the former, and when many im- portant services are removed from the State
Parliament, the argument will be irre- sistible that we need not keep the numbers as at present. When several years ago the operation of automatic in- creases raised our Assembly to about 141 in numbers, a Redistribution of Seats Com- mission made a reduction to 125 and gave us our existing electorates. This precedent may prove the best we can follow when the pressure of public opinion decrees reducing the State Legislature. Naturally enough none of the Premiers concerned cares to undertake revision. Mr. Holder wants a convention ; they are dis- cussing that method in Victoria, though
Mr. McLean prefers a mandate at the general election, and Sir William Lyne leaves the question over. It will be a pity if, in our case at least, steps are not taken to solve the difficulty before the election of a new Parliament. If the new Assembly is elected on an unreformed basis we may have to wait the full term of three years before the people can get its opportunity. Eventually it will demand a reduction of the State establishment from the Governor downwards. The contrast between the
Federal Parliament of 111 members, at a
cost of £44,400, managing the inter- colonial affairs of Australia, and 200 members of the Parliament of New South Wales (the Assembly costing £37,500) managing the affairs of our State would of itself precipitate reform.
The case against the " protectionist " doctrines and policy, which finds its ad- vocacy along theoretical lines in a freetrade community like New South Wales, is presented with concrete illustrations by those who suffer from them in other lands and countries.
Everyone is aware how exasperated the English poor were who suffered from the exactions of the corn laws. There is
good reason for the statement that one important contributory to the bitter civil war in the United States was the imposition of a fiscal tariff which weighed most heavily upon the people of the Southern and Western States, who had no compensations, at any rate when their slaves were libe- rated. We hear from time to time
of necessary relaxations of the iniquitous bread laws of France and other Continen- tal countries on the occasional failure of
their crops. At such times the wails of the unfortunate sufferers give potency to the argument against restriction.
Just now many of the people of France are feeling a little exercised over the loss of their trade in certain directions, due as is clearly enough seen to the heavy taxa- tion they have to bear. Though the
population is stagnant, and the nation is largely one of adults, with fewer youthful responsibilities to provide for, and relatively more hands to engage in industry than, for instance, the like popu- lation across the Channel, we do not find that it develops its trade so satisfactorily as protectionists would have us believe. Commenting on the depression of trade, the correspondent of the "Times" at Roubaix, France's great wool centre, de- clares " there can be no doubt that one great cause is M. Meline's protective sys-
tem. Since 1892 France has become more and more a dear place in which to live. Taxes are heavy, the common necessaries of life—bread and sugar, for instance—are made artificially dear, and the French masses have less and less
to spend on the better kinds of clothing. We ought to do M. Meline justice. When he put the finishing stroke to his work he was consistent. He protected and sought to protect everything, and the result is that everything is dear. It costs more to live, and it costs more to produce. A spinning mill that costs £40,000 to build and furnish in England
will cost £50,000 in France." And so on, the writer proceeds to illustrate the disastrous efforts of protection, and the dissatisfaction and disagreements which it produces among the people. We are told that " representatives of each branch of industry went to Paris to plead for more protection." And the effect of this was that " blindness seemed to have fallen on the minds of the people. Every- one saw an advantage to himself and to men of like occupation, and no- body saw that if they ceased to buy from other people, other people would cease to buy from them." And the writer gives proof of his contentions by figures especially relating to the wool trade. " In 1892 55 per cent. of the wool production of France was ex- ported. To-day France exports seven million kilos less of woollen goods than she did in 1892, and the diminution has gone on in late years at an accelerated rate." It is, he says, protection that is slowly killing the export industries of France. In 1896 she exported 14·37 mil- lions of kilos of cloth and cashmere ; in 1898 she exported only 8·35 millions.
If the protectionists secure their ends will the new State deserve such a grand name as the Commonwealth ? Better let it be called at once a confederation of States, intended to aggrandise itself at the expense of the world. It will fall short of its lofty aim if it prevents the advantages of the out- side world from flowing in to bless its people, and hinders the fruits of Australian enterprise from expanding beyond its own borders on a reciprocal errand of goodwill to the nations outside. We trust that the laws which are to
establish its relations with the world will
be of a higher order than those which can be ensured from the tariff which has been prepared in camera. The language which the " Times " corres- pondent uses in respect of like laws which have impoverished the people of France and reduced its trade only appropriately describes what we have seen on this side of the equator—notably in the sister colony of Victoria, where there have been many complaints by the people of dear- ness as the result of the high tariff, and where, as it has been in France, we have seen the newspapers filled with the reports of deputations to the Ministers of the Crown asking for still more of the " protection " that did not protect, but that caused to languish industries to which it gave premature birth.
Too much emphasis cannot be placed on this aspect of the protectionist schemes. From the point of view of the advocates of the restrictionist system, everything that is to be shown in public is the great advantage the country receives from its exploitation by their capital. No other £1,000,000 of expenditure is to be compared with a like sum or even half as much of theirs. What is the good of raw material except as it is to be used by them ? Hewers of wood and drawers of water are we—but they will pro- duce something superior—say, metal goods, for which we must pay 20 per cent. more than we should pay for an imported article, clothing manufactured at " sweat- ing " wages, factories, carpentry and candles and tobacco and other commodi- ties, all raised in price against the con- sumer. If the capital and labour of the country can be used in developing its natural resources, so that the product will be a greater amount of industry and wealth, which we shall exchange more profitably for outside productions, surely nothing can be gained by the attempt to produce everything we can, at whatever coat, simply to meet the views of a certain
class of capitalists. It is to be hoped that the Commonwealth of Australia will enter into the life of nationhood with more
liberal laws than some which are being hatched, and which can only produce what we see complained of by those who live under like conditions in France and other lands.
What has become of the Industrial Arbitration Bill ? It was read a first time
in the Council a month ago, and though it has been frequently named since as an item of business soon to be
taken, it still remains in the background.
If the session is to close without the Upper House even beginning the second reading debate what need was there for the pre- cipitancy that marked the final stages of the bill in the Assembly ? That may be left for the Government and its supporters to thresh out. A matter of more public importance arises in connec- tion with the progress of the only similar bill in the other Australian Parliaments. In Western Australia, as one of our
telegrams yesterday stated, both of the Puisue Judges, Justices Stone and Hens-
man, have in a letter laid before Parlia- ment objected to appointment on the Arbi- tration Court proposed. Their Honors' objections are in substance that they would be forced into the political arena, that their decisions might be overruled by two laymen, and that the security of their judicial office might be affected. It may be admitted, not to press the argument too far, that in some respects Mr. Wise's bill is more scrupulous in preserving the judicial authority than the measure now before the Western Australian Parliament. But in essentials the proposal in this colony forces the Judge who may preside over the new tribunal into a position of great delicacy. For all that is publicly known to the contrary our Judges may be dis- posed to act if called upon ; but as the impartial position of the Judges is a matter of the greatest public concern, it cannot but be thought that not the least defect of Mr. Wise's bill is the danger of dragging down the judiciary into those industrial disputes which in our present circumstances nearly always become political and class disputes in the
most acute form.
As the result of the general elections in thr United Kingdom Lord Salisbury's Government has been granted a new lease of power with a majority slightly larger than that which followed it when the last Parliament was dissolved. When the House of Commons assembled in 1895
there was a majority of 152 of Conserva- tives and Unionists, and in the course of years it fell to 130. According to our cables of this morning it is now 132. But that is not all. Amongst the Liberals re- turned are men who are strongly in favour of the settlement of the South
African question in the interests of the Empire as against the interests of Mr. Kruger and his friends. If these are to be included the Government has a majority on this question of nearly 300, to adopt the calculation of the London " Times." Australia is directly interested in this, and it is a source of considerable satisfaction to the colonies who have ex- pended blood and treasure in the quarrel to learn that the Imperial Parliament is so composed that any attempt to throw away, or to minimise, the fruits of the Empire's action will be signally defeated. Apart from this the elections are particularly inter- esting because of the attitude of Scotland. Generally speaking, Scotland votes Liberal by a large majority, but on this occasion the numbers are almost equal. If the Orkney electors should happen to return a Conservative, the Liberal members for Scotland will actu- ally be in a minority. The contingency is not likely. Whether it occurs or not the returns prove the strength of the Imperial- ist spirit in Scotland, and the determina- tion of electors to help, so far as they can, in the satisfactory settlement of the difficulties raised by Mr. Kruger.
Dinner at Admiralty House.—His Excellency the Admiral entertained at dinner at Admiralty House on Tuesday night the following guests :— Mr. Cecil Darley, Colonel Hunt, Mr. F. C. Griffiths ; Commander Dunbar, of H.I.G.M.S. Moewe ; Lieutenant and Commander Mertz, U.S.S. Glacier ; Captain Rich, R.N., Lieutenant Williams, R.N., of H.M.S. Ringarooma ; Fleet- Engineer Land, R.N. ; Lieutenant Brookes, R.N. ; Mr. O'Dowd, R.N., of H.M.S. Royal Arthur ; Staff-Paymaster Johnston, R.N., Chief Engineer Edwards, R.N., of H.M.S. Katoomba ; Sub- Lieutenant Thresher, of H.M.S. Boomerang.
Presentation to the Chief Justice.—There will be a meeting of the subscribers to the portrait of the Chief Justice at Government House on Mon- day next at 4.30 p.m., when the presentation will take place.
The Flagship.—The Royal Arthur is to leave port this morning on an engineer's trial. The flagship will make a coastal trip to-morrow, re- turning on Saturday.
Return of the Premier.—The Colonial Secretary received information last night by telegram that the pilot steamer Captain Cook, with the Premier and several members of Parliament on board, had passed Smoky Cape yesterday afternoon. Mr. See is of opinion that the Captain Cook will reach Circular Quay about 10 o'clock this morning.
Settlement of Disputes Between the Two Houses.—Yesterday Dr. Creed gave notice in the Legislative Council of his intention to move to- day for leave to bring in a bill to amend the law relating to the constitution of the Legislative Council, and to provide a means of settlement in cases of disagreement between the Legislative Council and Legislative Assembly.
The Business of Money Lenders.—Mr. Hughes has given notice of his intention to move in the Legislative Council for leave to introduce a bill to regulate the business of money lenders, and to render penal the inciting of infants to borrow
Union Men on Telephone Tunnel Works.—In consequence of statements having been made to the Minister for Works from union men to the effect that they have been discharged from the tunnels, while a number of non-union and less capable men have been kept on, the Minister has had careful inquiries made into the state- ments, and has ascertained that the work is now drawing to a close, and from time to time it is necessary to discharge hands. In selecting the men to retire care has been taken to, as far as possible, pick out the least competent, keeping on the best men ; but, nevertheless, amongst those discharged are a number of first-class workmen with whom no fault could be found, but for whom
there was not sufficient work. Of the 18 men last discharged nine are unionists, and of the 35 retained 22 also are unionists. The instructions to the superintendent in the first place were that, all things being equal, preference should be given to trades unionists, and this arrangement has been maintained throughout ; but it necessarily remains for this officer and his foremen to deter- mine which men shall be retained for special
Returned New South Wales Soldiers.—The Minister for Defence, Mr. See, when seen last evening, stated that it was the intention of the Government, in filling up subordinate positions in the Public Service, to give, as far as possible, pre- terence to returned invalided soldiers.
Spit-road Tramway.—The work in connection with the Spit-road tramway extension is now nearly completed. The permanent way is laid for the entire length from its junction with the Mili-
tary-road to the waters of Middle Harbour at the Spit. The poles and overhead wire are in position, and the work of laying the feed cable is almost completed. It is understood that, notwithstanding the fact that the official opening of the line will not take place until November 3 next, the line will be placed in use on the 27th of the present month. It is the intention of the borough coun- cils of Mosman and Manly to mark the opening of the line in a fitting manner, and the later date has been chosen to enable the Minister for Works
to attend the function. The extension is one that will serve a large and growing population along the Spit-road, and is looked upon as the first stage of the ultimate extension of the electric tramway system to Manly.
Examination for Surveyors and Draftsmen.— The Public Service Board has received the report of the examiners in regard to the result of the ex- amination for surveyors and draftsmen in the Lands, Public Works, and Registrar-General's Departments, held on September 10 to 12, and September 17 to 21 respectively. For the three vacant positions as surveyor there were 23 candi- dates, and the following are the names of the first three candidates, viz. :—Messrs. H. B Mathews, H. K. W. Mackenzie, and P. G. Chat- field. For the position of mechanical draftsmen there were eight candidates, of whom Mr. J. B. Cahill came out first. There were 33 candidates for the six vacancies as survey draftsman, the following being the names of those who passed in order of merit, viz. :—Messrs. F. X. Bell, W. G. C. Dudley, J. B. Thompson, H. C. Crew, H. Magee, and T. Abernethy.
Balmain Tramway Extension.—At Tuesday night's meeting of the Balmain Council, a letter was received from the Electrical Engineer's office in connection with the Government tram- ways, in reply to an inquiry from the council, with reference to the poles for the overhead line along the present tramway route to Balmain. The letter intimated that the engineer was un- able to say anything regarding the proposed ex- tension of the tramway from the present terminus at Gladstone Park to Darling-street Wharf. It was decided, on the motion of Alderman G. C. Murdoch, to forward a copy of the letter to Mr. W. H. Wilks, M.L.A., asking him to obtain a reply from the Minister for Works regarding the
Hopetoun Avenue.—At the Burwood Council meeting on Monday it was decided, on the motion of Alderman Cardew, seconded by Alderman
Sheppard,—" That this council emphatically pro- tests against the proposal to make a road for vehicular traffic, known as the Hopetoun Avenue scheme, along the sea-wall of the Botanic Gar-
dens, or against any project for severing the
gardens from the harbour frontage." It was re- solved to forward the resolution to the Premier and Mr. W. Archer, M.L.A., member for the
Weekly Sailings for New Zealand.—The manager of the Union Company writes :—" It has been decided to revert to the weekly sailings from Sydney to New Zealand, via Wellington, commencing with the Monowai on Saturday, the 20th instant. The Monowai will be followed by the Mokoia, on Saturday, 27th idem, instead of Tuesday, 30th, as previously announced."
The French Warship Protet.—The cruiser Protet, the new French warship lately commis- sioned for the Pacific station, arrived at Noumea on the 6th instant. She is heavily armed, and is expectcd to visit Sydney shortly.
French Annexation in the Islands.—The island of Rurutu, lying to the southward of Tahiti, was taken possession of by the French cruiser Aube on August 31 last. The island is five miles in length and thickly populated. There is a pros- perous mission station under the London Mis- sionary Society's auspices established on Rurutu.
Mining in New Caledonia.—By the steamer Saint Louis, which arrived from Noumea yester- day, news is to hand that labour is being attracted into the French colony to work the mines. The Government has done away with the hiring out of convict labour for mining as well as for other in- dustries. The mineral resources of the colony are known to be very great. Nickel, chrome, and cobalt exist in extensive deposits, also platina and tin. By some of the steamers which have lately left here for Noumea there have booked between 20 and 30 passengers who gave their occupation as miners. From what has been ascertained, many of these men were Australians, who purposed prospecting the French colony for its auriferous deposits, and if granted favourable concessions, such as exist in British colonies, would remain in New Caledonia. The reports which are to hand by the Saint Louis indicate that a period of mining activity has set in. Labour is being called for by some of the mining firms. The prospects for Europeans are so far said to be un- promising, owing to the tropical climate of the country. Javanese and other coloured labour is chiefly wanted.
Missionaries from China.—By the incoming Eastern and Australian company's steamer Aus- tralian due this week there are several missionaries
who passed through the late troubles in China. Among those who are coming to Sydney are Miss J. M. Coleman, Miss A. Harrison, Miss F. Young, Miss Fleming, and Mr. and Mrs. Burgess.
Sickness on Board H.M.S. Wallaroo.—A pri- vate letter from H.M.S. Wallaroo was received yesterday dated Kin-Kiang, the 6th ultimo, in which some of the experiences of the auxiliary squadron cruiser were described. The letter
stated that an officer and 20 members of the crew were prostrated by fever.
Indian Famine Relief Fund.—We have re- ceived towards the Indian Famine Relief Fund
10s from Mr. C. Bredesen.
Theft of Gutter Gratings.—A case of whole- sale robbery of cast-iron gutter gratings has been reported from Balmain. At a number of places in the suburb where the gradient of the street is steep, cast-iron gratings, each weighing about 2cwt., had been put in position for foot traffic. During the past fortnight or three weeks a considerable number of these gratings have been removed. The matter has been reported to
Sudden Death at the Druids' Session.— Yesterday afternoon, whilst the half-yearly session of the Grand Lodge of Druids was being held at the Oddfellows' Temple, Elizabeth-street, Bro. Doudeward, a representative of the Balmain Lodge (Glebe), was speaking upon the business before the session, when he suddenly fell speech- less. Dr. C. A. Muller, who was summoned, was quickly in attendance, and pronounced life extinct. The deceased, who was a man of fine stature, appeared to be in excellent health and good spirits at the time of the occurrence. The business before the meeting was the consideration of the new rule dealing with the number of representatives. The deceased was heard to say " The time will come when there will be no Grand Lodge, when the business of the order will be done by a board. It may not be in my time, I may not live to see it, but it will come," and with these words on his lips he suddenly expired. The deceased was a married man, and resided at King-street, Newtown. The matter has been reported to the City Coroner. The funeral will take place at Rookwood to-morrow.
Found Dead.—At the South Morgue yesterday the City Coroner held an inquest on the body of Richard Delaney, who was found dead at his residence, Prospect-street, off Moore Park. De- ceased was last seen alive on Sunday morning. Dr. Taylor deposed to having made a post- mortem examination of the body, but could not certify to the cause of death. The stomach has been sent to the Government Analyst for an analysis of the contents to be made. The in- quest was adjourned until Tuesday next.
The St. Peters Council has placed the local Town Hall at the disposal of the Civil Ambulance and Transport Brigade for Tuesday evenings, for the
purpose of training a large class of ladies in ambu-
The Railway Commissioners have nominated Mr. John Parry for life membership of the Civil Ambu-
lance and Transport Brigade.
We are informed that the efforts made recently to establish in Sydney a corps of commissionaires, which should consist of pensioners of good character from the army, the navy, and colonial forces have not been quite so successful as the promoters had hoped would be the case, principally owing to the lack of candidates possessing all the requisite qualifications ; and that consequently it has been decided to suspend the movement until after the return of the New South Wales troops sent to South Africa.
Patrons of art will have an opportunity this after- noon of indulging their tastes, as Messrs. Walter Bradley and Co. are announced to hold, at the studio of Miss Theodora Cowan, in the Strand, a sale of some specialities, which include pictures by Mortimer Mempes, a carved chair of quaint artistic workmanship that was used in the Cathedral at Leghorn, Italy, and other
furniture brought from Italy.
It is notified elsawhere by advertisement that the
second annual Flower Show and Industrial Exhibi- tion, in connection with St. Philip's Church, Church- hill, will be opened this afternoon in the parish-hall by the Archbishop and Miss Snowdon Smith.
The Photographic Society of New South Wales
meets at the School of Arts this evening.
We have received from the Government Printer a copy, in pamphlet form, of the speech by the At- torney-General (the Hon. B. R. Wise, Q.C.) on the second reading of the Industrial Arbitration Bill.
The speech was delivered in the Legislative Assem- bly on August 23, and was in answer to criticisms
directed against the measure.
We are requested to draw attention to an adver- tisement which appears elsewhere notifying a sale of furniture to be held by Messrs. Henry Harris and Co. at Molong House, Rosebank-street, Darling-