The recommendation of the Public Works Committee to proceed at once with the rebuilding of Parliament House by in- stalments is one that will not meet willi general approval. There is no immediate reason why we should begin to spend £140,000 on this undertaking, and there are many reasons why we should post- pone it to a more convenient season. Such necessary work as is required on the pre- sent buildings to keep them clean and habitable should be done. Some attention needs to be paid to ventilation and light- ing. The Hansard staff and some other officials should be housed in rather more civilised style, and something further might be done to minimise fire risks in the older portion of the structure. But there is no reasonable excuse for setting to work on a grandiose scheme. It must not be forgot- ten that during the last eight or ten years there has been perennial tinkering with these buildings, some of it of a very ex- pensive kind, until now the accessories to Parliamentary comfort must be regarded as pretty complete. At all events, they are as complete as the State is prepared to pay
for at present. This incessant building and alteration seems, however, to have had no other effect than to whet the appetite for more, and if the present scheme is indulged in it is bound in the end to prove a much more costly luxury than even the archi- tect's estimates disclose. Our point is, that just now there is vital need for economy, especially for economy in non-reproductive works. We do not know how we shall come out of the Federal financial scheme until we have had experience of its actual working. All the evidence points to rapidly increasing Commonwealth expendi- ture, and even if our definite per capita return is secured to us, we shall not be immune from further Commonwealth taxa- tion. The whole problem of the relation between Commonwealth and States is so far from being finally solved that it must be a matter of the gravest concern for years to come. So far as the im- mediate future is concerned, at any rate, we should indulge in no expenditure that can be avoided without endangering the effi- ciency of Stale enterprises; and a more or less gorgeous building will probably add nothing at all to the dignity or value of Parliamentary debate. The project is one with which the Parliamentarian naturally sympathises, but the public can view the matter in a more dispassionate and disin- terested fashion, and it will see no reason for the proposed expenditure. We must remember, too, that the State Parliaments, in the natural progress of political evolu- tion, will become numerically smaller thin they are now. The process of reduction of members is not complete. Sooner or later it will be pushed a good deal further. We are therefore not planning accommo- dation for a growing Parliament, but rather for one destined to diminish both in per- sonnel and importance. In such circum- stances the question of entering upon a great building scheme can very well be left over. We have no lack of much more pressing needs that ought to be satisfied first.
Saturday's "Herald."- On account ot the large amount of advertising matter which has to be dealt with for Saturday's issue of the "Herald," advertisers and agents are re- quested to send in their advertisements as early as possible to-day, in order to facilitate
Parliamentary Courtesy.- Mr. Griffith asked the Premier yesterday whether, in view of what was said on the previous day in an ex- amination before the Victorian Public Works Committee on the Daylight Saving Bill, he would instruct the Government Whip not to object to a motion on the business paper for
leave to introduce a Daylight Saving Bill be-
ing allowed to go as a formal motion. Mr. Wade replied, "This brings home to one very distinctly the advantages of mutual courtesy." "Hear, hear," cried Mr. M'Gowen in loud tones. The Premier proceeded, "At the re- quest of the hon. member for Sturt (Mr. Griffith). I asked the Whip ten days ago to allow the motion to go as formal." "He never did it," said Mr. Griffith. "Yes, I have," retorted Mr. Nobbs. "Hon. members on that side of the House," continued the Premier, "object to motions from members sitting be- hind the Government going as formal, with the result that hon. members on this aide object to their motions."
A Slight Misconception.- Mr. Fleming, M.L.A., is determined that Ministers shall not lose sight of the proposed Muswellbrook to Merriwa raliway. During the time for ask- ing questions in the Legislative Assembly yes- terday, he propounded no fewer than three queries to Ministers on the subject, mainly calling on them to say whether they recol- lected making certain promises to local peo- ple in connection with the railway named. The Minister for Works was not in a posi- tion to say when the work would be ready for reference to the Public Works Committee, and then the Premier was asked whether he recol-
lected promising the secretary of the Railway
League that the work should be referred to the Public Works Committee this session. "I can only say I am astounded," was Mr. Wade's reply. Then Mr. Fleming came up with another question: "Does the Premier recollect having promised the president of the league that he would call the attention of the Minister for Works to this work, and ask the president to write to him if he forgot it?" Mr. Wade answered: "I am afraid there is a misconception. The president of the league asked me to do a certain thing, and has writ- ten to me since to remind me of that promise. My recollection was that it was to address a public meeting at Merriwa."
The Apprentice Question.-"If the future of this country is to be considered at all," said one of the paragraphs of the annual re- port of the Employers' Federation Council, presented at the annual meeting of that body yesterday, "the apprentice question is and al- ways will be one of the most important sub- jects of the day. Whether it should be dealt with by the wages boards or by separate and distinct legislation is a matter which calls for much thought. The present tendency is to limit the introduction of apprentices in a manner which threatens the extermination of some of the industries, unless the supply of skilled workmen is kept up by immigration, which certainly does not point to the build- ing up of an industrial nation. Employees claim that in some of the industries the ten-
dency is to overload the workshops with ap- prentices to the displacement of the journey- men, but such an argument is scarcely tenable, as the employer has not only to see to the production of the perfect article. In view of the competition of others, but he also has the binding obligation of teaching the apprentice
Labour's High-water Mark - Senator Walker,
when moving a vote of thanks to the retiring officers of the Employers' Federation yester- day, referred to the political prospects of the Labour party. "The advices we have receiv- ed," he said, "show that Labour has reached high-water mark, and if we only pull to- gether I believe the next election will show a different complexion of affairs. In the Senate three Labour senators will retire next year for Queensland, and we will expect to gain two of their seats; in N. S. Wales we will not prove other- wise than faithful to the way in which we have been acting for years; and in Western Australia we at least hope to hold our own." He did not say anything about Victoria, South Australia, or Tasmania, so it is not known whether those States are going to return their old members or whether they will return all Labour representatives. He, however, said that it was hoped in this State to win one or two other seats from the other side in elec- tions for the House of Representatives.
Play the Game. - Speaking at the annual dis- tribution of prizes yesterday at the Church of England Giammar School, North Sydney, the Governor (Lord Chelmsford) advised the boys among other things to always "play the game, play it fairly, and obey the umpire." By playing unfairly they would soon be dis- credited. Recently he had witnessed a foot- ball match in Sydney, and he noticed that one man who had hardly done anything could attempt nothing without the crowd hooting him, and this, he learned, was on account of his reputation for playing off-side. The crowd could not trust him. If that man had learned the lesson of "playing the game," he would not have been subjected to that hostile demon- stration. In public life they came across men of brilliant attainments, and they asked why such men did not succeed. The answer was that it was because of some social blemish which led everyone to distrust them. He trusted that they would remember his advice, and avoid the pitfalls around them.
Resuming Barren Jack Lands,- Mr. Briner, in the Legislative Assembly yesterday, asked the Minister for Works whether the Govern- ment intended to resume any lands within the sphere of influence of the Barren Jack irri- gation scheme, and, if so, would that resump- tion be made before the land became much more increased in value because of the scheme. The Minister answered that obviously land resumptions were inevitable, but there would be very little foresight exhibited if they were resumed years before they were required. The
works were being carried out, and the re- sumptions would be effected at the opportune time. Valuations were now being made, and the fullest information being collected, but it was inadvisable at this stage to state what lands were likely to be resumed, for the rea- son that to make that information public would lead to speculation. Therefore the Government must act without making any pub-
Managing Clerks in Court.- The Registrar in Bankruptcy interrupted proceedings yester- day to express a decision he had come to as to right of audience. He said that so far as he was aware it had not yet been decided that the practice of solicitors not on the re- cord appearing was improper in the Bank- ruptcy jurisdiction, though he had doubted its propriety. Mr. Justice Street had declared in the Probate Jurisdiction on February 22 that the practice of managing clerks who were themselves solicitors appearing in court in matters in which their employers acted as solicitors was improper, and he had announc- ed that in future he would not hear managing clerks. The Chief Judge in Equity, in April last, had also announced the same determina- tion. The right of audience in the Bankruptcy jurisdiction rested upon the Legal Practition- ers Act, 1898, just the same as in the other Jurisdictions of the Supreme Court. Follow- ing the rulings referred to, the Registrar said he would in future refuse to hear managing clerks or other solicitors who appear for soli-
citors on the record.
The Public Debt.- The New South Wales public debt stands at £90,307,41$. The ser- vices on which this money has been expend- ed are shown by the Government Statisti- cian under three heads - reproductive works, £71,423,742; partly productive, £7,856,411; and unproductive, £11,027,254. The interest paid on these for the year ended June 30 amounted to £3,039,638, distributed thus under the respective headings:- reproductive works, £2,401,i67; partly productive, £265,423; and unproductive, £372,548. The net receipts (revenue less expenditure), were: Railways and tramways, £2,260,053; water supply and sewerage, £362,258; Darling Harbour re- sumptions, £31,904; and Sydney Harbour Trust, £230,486. The surplus, after paying expenses and interest, gave a total of £483,134, viz., railways and tramways, £434,117; water supply and sewerage, £6314, Darling Harbour resumptions, £8663; and Sydney Harbour Trust, £51,366.
Manly School.- Dr. Arthur was at the head of a deputation to the Minister for Public In- struction yesterday representing the Manly Parents and Citizens' Association. The depu- tation asked for additional buildings at the Manly Superior Public School, more play- ground, and sufficient equipment for manual training and science class rooms. Mr. Hogue, replying, said he had already approved of plans for four additional rooms, to accommodate 216, at a cost of £3660. If the additional accom- modation provided for ordinary class work proved insufficient he wished it to be under- stood that the manual training and science rooms included In the scheme would be used for ordinary class purposes. He promised to consider the proposal for the acquirement of additional playground.
Rational Prison Methods.- It has now been definitely decided that Captain Nettenstein will relinquish his office of Controller-General ot Prisons on October 31. In a letter to Cap- tain Nettenstein the Earl of Jersey points out that the reduction of the number of prison- ers, the remedial effect of useful work on character, and the advantages of a system of
reformation have been the distinguishing fea- tures of his administration of the Prisons Department, and his work constitutes a noble record, of which he might well be proud. "I must add one other point. You have suc- ceeded in making the public realise that you have been right in your way of dealing and discriminating with crime and mistakes. There must be hundreds and thousands bless- ing your name." Mr. Thomas Holmes, the famous London police court missionary, and now secretary of the Howard Association, which has been responsible for many reforms in the English prison system, has also writ- ten to Captain Neitenstein congratulating him upon the results of his administration. He says:- "The methods you have adopted seem to be so human and so sensible that one does not wonder at your success."
For the Surf-bather.- The Randwick Coun- cil has been reminded of the proximity of the surf-bathing season by several corres- pendents, who forwarded application for per-
mission to bring into being certain schemes which, it was suggested, would make Coogee Beach the Mecca of the surfer. One appli- cant sought the council's permission to con- struct 105 bathing-boxes, which, after a lease of five years, would become the property of the council. Another asked leave to erect a tent on the sands, where bathers could have their phrenological peculiarities interpreted, while there were also applications for leave to run donkeys and ponies. One suggested that he should be allowed to erect tents in which the comfort of the surfer would be considered by the provision of looking glasses, mats, seats, etc. Each tent would be 4ft square, and artistically tinted so as to harmonise with the surrounding landscape, possibly red and blue stripes. The applicant assured the council that the tents would be pretty to look at. The council also received a suggestion from the Coogee and District Progress Association that sun-bathing on the beach be strictly prohibited. It was finally decided that the parks and baths committee consider the various suggestions
Scarcity of Surveyors.- The development of the closer settlement policy of the Govern- ment has caused a demand for licensed sur- veyors. Young men of the required ability and experience have not always been available when wanted. It has been noted, therefore, with some satisfaction in the Lands Depart- ment that the number of candidates now pre- senting themselves for examination is on the increase. An examination by a board, of which the Under-Secretary. Mr R. McDonald, is the chairman, has been in progress since Monday, 22 candidates having presented them- selves. Mr. McDonald says this is the great- est number for some years, being about three times the usual average. Those who pass will be available for employment in the De- partment of Lands either by fees or in some other way. The department could do with some vigorous young men for rough country
Poultry and the Plague.- Last July the city health officer, Dr. W. G. Armstrong, suggested that the city solicitor's opinion should be ob- tained as to the feasibility of framing a by- law which would prohibit the keeping of poultry in Lang and Gipps wards, except for the purposes of immediate sale. These parts of the city, it was urged, were especially lia- ble to invasion by the plague, and the keeping of poultry in them was dangerous, since rats were likely to be attracted. The city solicitor advised that the only objection to the law would be its partiality. This might, however, be met by the fact of the existence of special circumstances. If the Attorney-General ap- proved of the bylaw be did not think it would be questioned. The proposed bylaw was framed accordingly, but the City Council's health committee came to the conclusion yesterday that it would be sufficient to en- force the present sanitary bylaws.
Rail and Tram Revenue.- The railway re- venue for the week ended September 15 amounted to £100,089, as against £97,732 for the corresponding week of last year, an in- crease of £2297. The tramway revenue amounted to £20,681, as against £18,280 for the corresponding week of 1908, an increase of
Schnapper near Beaches.- It is often said that schnapper are fish which are caught only in comparatively deep water where reefs abound, but the experience of fishermen of Port Stephens goes to prove that there are occasions when the magnificent red fish come close to the beaches, and may there be caught in wide-meshed nets. Inspector E. J. Paton reported to the Fisheries Board this week thal the keeper of the inner lighthouse had noted large shoals of schnapper near the beach, where they could have been taken in nets. The fish were said to be of great size, ranging from 15lb to nearly 40lb, and all were full-roed and in the pink of condition. Last year the inspector noted great schnapper shoals entering Port Stephens itself in June, and during that month the fish were caught in nets on the beaches. This year the fish
are nearly three months later, and a curious feature of their presence is that 30 miles north or south of the port other schnapper are in poor condition. This visitation is one from a new travelling shoal desirous of spawning close to the shore.
Moral Value of Sport.-l In the head mas- ter's report read at the distribution of prizes yesterday at the Church of England Grammar School it was said that the moral value of games in teaching self-sacrifice for the com- mon good enthusiasm, patience under rever- ses, and the like virtues, had often been cited in answer to those who attacked them as oc tupylng too much attention. Although their value was great, it was idle to pretend that no danger lay in that direction. A recent lec- turer on the decline of the Roman Empire pointed out that one of the contributing cau- ses was the absorption of men's minds in mat- ters of no real moment, and he feared that games over-estimated could not conduce to the building up of a strong nation. The blame of over-estimating them was, however, laid on the shoulders of the public, and not on the schools, where the danger was recognised.
A Huge Prawn.' A splendid specimen of the tiger prawn is included in the exhibit of the Fisheries Department at the Royal Exchange. It is 13 inches in length, and has attracted al- most as much attention as the "Ally Sloper" schnapper and the magnificent oysters. One prawn of the size of the one in the collection makes a good meal, and the flesh is of first class quality. This particular crustacean was caught in local waters, and exceeds any hitherto exhibited in ghe State. It is larger than most of the giant king prawns which bring high prices in the fish markets. The flesh of these large prawns much resembles that of the crayfish, but it is distinctive in flavour, and is somewhat sweeter than that of other of our crustaceans.
Tramway Extension.-The M'Mahon's Point Lane Cove-road tramway will, subject to a satisfactory trial, be opened for traffic on Monday; and the Cleveland-street line (a distance of 63 chains) will be opened on Oc-
The postal authorities state that a report that a letter posted at Helensburgh on Saturday evening would not be delivered in Sydney until the afternoon of Monday in incorrect, as mails close at Helensburgh for Sydney on Saturday at 4.20 p.m. and 6.15 p.m., reaching the Central Post Office the same day at 6.20 and 11.45 p.m. respectively, and being delivered by the am delivery on Monday. With the view of providing improved mail communi- cation between Helensburgh and Clifton, a direct exchange of mails has hern arranged between these places, whereby a mail will be despatched from Helensburgh by the 9.43 a.m. train, due at Clifton at 10.13 a.m., and from Clifton by the 4.18 p.m. train, due at Helensburgh at 4.42 p.m.
To-morrow the combined rall and river excursions to the Nepean River (Penrith) will be resumed, and cheap tickets to cover journey by train, coach, and steamer will be issued by trains leaving Sjdney at 8.28 a.m.
and 1.25 p.m.