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Current News.

BY TELEGRAPH AND OTHERWISE.

Mr. J.B. Hall, official trustee in insolvency, has been appointed a commissioner for taking affidavits for the colony of New South Wales. We are informed that owing to Mr. C. Har-

court Turner's departure for New Zealand he has resigned his position as consular agent for the United States of America, and that Mr. William J. Weatherill has been appointed in his stead. Somo time ago the Government advertised for tenders for the supply of electric-light fittings for Parliament House, it being specified that the work should be performed in the colony. We understand the tender of Messrs. Trackson Bros., electricians (£374), has been accepted. At a meeting of the directors of the Brisbane Permanent Building and Banking Company, Limited, held yesterday week, a dividend for the half-year at the rate of 8 per cent per annum -was declared, payable on and after Ist March next. The profits for the half-year amounted to £7107 Bs. 9d., and the amount of the dividend is £4267 Is. 2d. Mr. W. A. Tully, of the Land Board, with Mr. P. W. Shannon, secretary to the board, returned from Bundaberg on Tuesday evening. Mr. Deshon, Auditor-General, who actod as Mr. Sword's deputy at the courts recently held at Bundaberg, Gladstone, and Rookhampton, remained behind to transaot some business in connection with his own department. Mr. Sword has now resumed his duties. By reforring to tho advertising columns our readers will see that Messrs. Booth, Macdonald, and Co., of tho Carlyle Works, Christohuroh, New Zealand, have started business in this colony. They have scourod temporary premises over Messrs. Hutton and Co., bacon curers, in Roma-street, Brisbane, whero they are receiving regular shipments of their celebrated New Zea land ploughs, disc harrows, woolpressos, wind mills, and other machinery. This firm's goods are well known in Queensland. The alteration in the date of the publication of Queensland Punch brings our fourteen-year old friend to hand in the middle of the month instead of at the beginning as hitherto. The February number of Punch is, in the matter of illustrations as well as the letterpress, somewhat above the recent issues of the jour nal, though in the illustrations the portraiture is not always vory strikingly successful. A feature in the issue is the continuance of the " horse-breaking" instructions, with well-drawn diagrams. There is little that is political in the number; nothing personally offensive; but muoh that is bright and spirited and in good humour. An impression (says the Age) has gained ground that the Victorian Government would not be in favour of subsidising another cable service. When a proposal was recently made that the Government should join in contri buting to a service that was to be taken entirely through British territory, it was found that a cable possessing that recommendation would be so expensive to lay and maintain that Victoria could not then afford to support it. There is, however, every disposition to con tribute to the new Paciflo cable starting from Gladstone, in Queensland, passing through New Caledonia and Fiji to some point in the United States or Canada, provided France and Great Britain will help. The attention of the Chief Secretary having been called to an alleged influx of Chinese over the border of the Northern Territory of South Australia, he called upon the Commissioner for Police for a report on the matter. Under date of 12th instant, Mr. W. Finucane, for the Acting Commissioner of Police, reported as follows: —" On the northern part of the border four crossed last year, but were arrested and fined £50 oach. Two paid the fine, and the others served sentences of six months' im prisonment. On the southern part of the border twenty-three were arrested from July, 1891. Twenty-one were deported across the boundary, but two of them accompanied by two others re-entered the colony, were arrested, and failing to pay the fine of £50 are now serving sentences of six months' imprisonment." The meeting of shareholders in the Financial Guarantee and Agency Company of Queensland, Limited, which was adjourned from 22nd January, was held yesterday week, Mr. W. Williams, chairman of directors, presiding. The report of the sub-committee appointed at the previous meeting to inquire into the business of the company since its inception was read by Mr. A. Corrie, and a long and at times somewhat harsh discussion took place as to whether the report should be pub lished before the directors had had time to reply to it. It was ultimately decided that the report should not be made public until such time as the directors' reply should be sent with it to the shareholders. Tho meeting was adjourned for threo weeks, when the committee's report and the directors remarks thereon will be con sidered. A meeting of the Cabinet was held on Wednes day morning, all the Ministers being present with the exception of the Chief Seoretary and the Minister for Justice, who were engaged in arguing some cases before the Supreme Court. In the absence of the Chief Seoretary it is understood that no reference was made to tho black labour manifesto. Some important concessions with regard to railway charges, recommended by the Railway Commissioners, and endorsed by the Minister for Railways /the Hon. T. Unmackl, were agreed to. Under the new sys tem, whioh will be brought into operation as soon as possible, season tickots will be issued to families at reduced rates. It is proposed that two persons residing within the same house, and being members of the same family, will be allowed 10 per cent reduction on the ordinary fares, and this allowance will be continued until five tickets have been issued at the price of four. Another concession to be granted under the new arrangoment is that fortnightly season tickets are to be issued between Bris bane and all seaside stations, at one-half the ordinary monthly Beason tioket rates, with 10 per cent added

The Hon. W. O. Hodgkinson, Minister for Mines and Public Instruction, returned to Brisbane from the North by the steamer Leura, on Tuesday afternoon. The following persons have been adjudicated insolvent during the week:—John A. Grant, lately manager of the international tug of war at the Exhibition Grounds; A. Cooper, to bacconist, of George-street, Brisbane. A correspondent wires from Cooktown under Tuesday's date as follows:--** The committee have held an offioial inquiry re Ah Nee's ejeotion from the local hospital, and thoy have found the impntation absolutely incorrect, and that the surgeon was in no way to' blame for discharging the patient." The following sentence occurs in a letter from one of the Lands Commissioners in Northern Queensland, which has been received by the Under Secretary for Lands:— ** The late manifesto has had a great effect on the minds of the people here, and they are already looking forward to better times, and that land will again be in demand." A telegram received from Thargomindah states that the following gentlemen have been appointed a rabbit board for the Warrego dis trict :—John Webber, of Kyabra; J. Conrick, of Nappa Merrie; A. J. Cotter, of Caiwarro; W. Gamson, of Norley; A. Leeds, of Cunna raulla; R. Williams, of Fairlie; and D. M*Neil, of Adavale. Mr. G. T. Bell, auctioneer, reports that there is a good demand for grazing and agricultural areas. During the last week he has privately disposed of sixteen farms, known as part of Miss O'Reilly's selections at Samford, sixteen miles from Brisbane. The area sold comprised 1690 acres, and realised the sum of £3070 12s. 6d. Although extended terms for payment were offered, it is encouraging to relate that each buyer preferred to pay cash. The land sold was moderately timbered scrub land, with apple-tree flats; and the price averaged from   £1 7s. 6d. to £2 15s. per acre. A correspondent assures us that there has been no real ohange of opinion in Maryborough on the black labour question, and in proof he Bends us printed copy of a speeoh delivered in that town in August, 1883, by Mr. R. B. Sheri dan, the " Liberal candidate" for Parliament, at probably the largest meeting over held there. After referring to his Polynesian report, which had excited muoh feeling against him, Mr. Sheridan said:—"He had always been in favour of Polynesian labour if confined strictly to tropical agriculture. (Cheers.) If he had his way he would not allow a single kanaka in town without a special pass from his employer. (Applause.)" Time for potato planting has arrived, but the weather is far from being favourable for suoh work (says our Pines correspondent). It is terribly dry, and there is not any decided indi cation of an immediate change. A big fire ocourred on Sunday night between 8 and 9 o'clock, on a farm belonging to Mr. Simpson, of Bald Hills. The fire destroyed a barn full of hay and a-quantity of farming implements. The origin of the fire is a mystery. Mr. C. Cameron, who recently met with an accident, is recovering slowly. The dairy company at Samson Vale promises to be successful. Timber-carriers have now to take their loading considerably below the North Pine bridge in consequence of insufficient water at the bridge. The Commissioners for Railways have de cided to discontinue the train service from Melbourne-street to Corinda at the end of the month, on aooount of insufficiency of the traffic. This action was contemplated some time ago, but the commissioners yielded to the wishes of a deputation and consented to give the service a trial till the end of February. This involved tho running of two trains a day between Melbourne-street and Corinda, a dis tance of twenty-four and a-half miles. The earnings for this period have been found to be about 2s. per day, and the commissioners have determined to discontinue the trains. This simply means that in future the line between South Coast Junction and Corinda will be used only as a mineral line in the conveyance of coal from the West Moreton pits to Woolloon gabba. Recent issues of the Engineer (London) con tain an interesting article (in parts) giving a history of tho discovery and opening up of artesian wells in Queensland, with much infor mation as to the appliapces used from time to time for that purpose. The writer of tho article is Mr. W. G. Cox, an engineer who has been for years engaged in deep boring in this colony, and who therefore has an intimate practical knowledge of the subject of which he treats. Mr. Cox has just returned from a visit to the mother-country, where the subject of deep boring is attracting attention. He is now the accredited agent in this colony of the celebrated Staffordshire iron firm of Messrs. John Russell and Co., Limited, who have ex tensive tube works at Wallsall and Wednes bury, and who supply large quantities of the unequalled Staffordshire pipes to the Con tinental Governments. They are now opening a connection with Queensland, and their repre sentative may be found at lm temporary address at the" oflices of the Union Truustee Company of Australia, Limited. Mr. Cox makes his business announcement in the adver tising columns. A number of Pressmen assembled at the rooms of the Queensland Pres3 Club on Saturday afternoon, for the purpose of bidding farewell to Mr. P. H. Robertson, one of the senior members of the reporting staff of the Courier, who is about to leave Brisbane. All the metropolitan papers were represented. The chair was taken by Mr. E. J. T. Barton, city editor of the Courier. In explaining the object of the gathering, the chairman paid a high tribute to Mr. Robertson's abilities as a Pressman and to his many good qualities. He expressed great regret at Mr. Robertson's departure, and wished him good fortune wherever he might go. Mr. J. R. H. Lewis, sub-editor of the Telegraph, in voicing the general regret felt by Mr. Robertson's comrades at his departure, referred to that event as a great loss to the metropolitan Press. The health of Mr. Robertson was then heartily drunk, and that gentleman feelingly replied. Prior to this a useful present was made to him on behalf of his brother Pressmen.

The only death in the Dunwich Asylum for the week ending 13th instant was that of Mary Doran, aged 40, a native of Dublin. The Under Secretary for Mines received a telegram on Wednesday from Mr. W. R.JHill, the gold warden at Eid3vold, stating that the escort had left with 24560z., being the output since the Ist of January. In response to the appeal lately made through our columns for subscriptions in aid of the persons rendered destitute by the earthquake in Japan last October, Miss A. Wright, of Blandford, N.S.W., has sent us £2, which has been handed to Messrs. Burns, Philp, and Co., for transmission to the proper quarter. Mr. Samuol Davidson, 3G years of age, a solicitor, of Samsonvalo, had a sudden attaok of inflammation of the luugs on Saturday. He became so ill that it was deemed advisable to have him removed to the hospital. Accordingly a spring cart was procured for that purpose, but the unfortunate man died before the insti tution was reached. Acting under instructions from tho Colonial Secretary's Office, James Quigley, the young man who came from Rockhampton to Brisbane and was then isolated at the General Hospital as suffering from leprosy, was removed in the Government steamer Otter on Tuesday to Dunwich. Arrangements have been made for his isolation there until the leper station has been constructed. Captain Audley Coote, of Tasmania, had an interview on tho 18th instant with the Hon. Postmaster-General in reference to the con struction of the English cable line from Glad stone to New Caledonia. The interview was partly of an informal character, and Mr. Unmack desired Captain Coote to place his pro posals in writing, upon which they would be fully considered by the Queensland Govern ment. The fourteenth annual report of tho City and Suburban Permanent Building and Investment Society is to hand. The directors report that the balance at credit after providing for the usual interest of 7 per oent on investing, per manent, and paid-up shares, and interest on deposits, amounts to £1904 lGs. 6d., which they propose should l)e dealt with as follows— namely:—To pay a bonus of 2 per cent on all shares entitled thereto. To plaoe £1000 to a contingency account as a provision against possible* losses. To add £750 to the Reserve Fund, and to carry the balance forward. The well-worn aphorism, "A prophet hath no honoui" in his own country," has been veri fied in the case of Mr. Jude. The London Musical Times, which is universally regarded among periodicals as the leading authority on musical matters in England, in quoting an article in its January issue from the Queens land paper with the samo title, introduces it with the following remarks :—" We take the subjoined paragraph from our young contem porary and namesake, the Mttsieal Times of Queensland. Perhaps some of our readers can give information regarding the gentleman described as ' Mr. Jude, a* well-known organist of Liverpool.'" A sale of Government country lands was held at the mart of Mr. G. T. Bell, Government auotionoer, Queen-street, on Tuesday. The at tendance was not large, and the sales were few. The following lots were disposed of, upset prices only being realised:—County of Stanley, parish of Bunya, 35a, 8 roods 7 perches, £4, Bible Christian denomination; county of Canning, parish of Kilcoy, 55v, 2 acres, £4, A. Samplo ; county of Canning, parish of Toorbnl, 42v, 15 acres 7 perches, £19; 43v, 14 acres 3 roods 39 perches, £18 155.; 44v, 11 acres 1 rood 7J perches, £14 55.; 47v, 10 acres 12$ perches, £12 12s. The purchaser of these four lots was Gregory Hoefling. County of Ward, parish of Mudgeeraba, 19, 130 acre 3, £84 155., John Barker. A squatter in the neighbourhood of Broad sound, writing recently to a friend residing near Brisbane, says :—" I offer to guarantee 500 fat cattle this year to , and to take another shares in the Queensland Meat Export and Agency Company. It tho whole of the unallotted shares were subscribed for this company could extend its works and operations. Now, this is my idea of practical help, and if all the cattle owners will contribute aid by taking some shares, the immense impetus to the trade neces sary at this time of starting will help to keep the meat company going till the bonus can be paid them." With reference to tho formation of a stockbreeders' association, he says:— " My own opinion is we are simply wasting our means, energy, and life trying to live a life of individualism,' and must now have a strong union of all stockbreeders." _ From the same source a telegram was received, dated 23rd instant: —" Influential meeting stockowners representing over 90,000 cattle, thirteen members, at yesterday all agreed stock tax subsidy, formation pastoralists' association." A correspondent writes: —The late Mr. 11. P. Fox, of New Farm-road, was a very old colonist, one of the arrivals in the forties. He belonged to an old Kentish family, and was a brother-in-law of Mr. Wm. Bailey (another of the Kentish watersido boat-building fraternity),. who used to " fix up" yachts and skiffs for Thomas Jones, of Barambah and New Farm (brother-in-law of Sir R. R. Mackenzie), in 1850 and thereabouts, in the early boat-racing days of Brisbane, and when the better classes of Brisbane who lived by the river side used to come to town as often in a boat as in a buggy, for the river was always a well - kept road, whioh the other one was not. The late Mr. Fox was father of Mr. Fox the lithographer to tho Survey Department, and of Mr. Fox tho partner of Mr. Unmack, the solicitor. He belonged to a class, happily numerous in Queensland —the nonconformist teetotaller one He had daughters, as well as sons, of whom were Mrs. Carvosso, Mrs. G. J. Walker, and Mrs. Buck, of Sandgate, and his descendants must be pretty numerous. Like all Kentish people he was an enthusiastic admirer of cricket, and could be seen every Saturday in the Queen's Park on the same seat, year after year, till quite lately, when his failing eyesight rendered him unable to dis tinguish his favourite bats, and he had to part with that long enjoyed pleasure. He was highly respected, and will be muoh missed.

It is announced that the annnal Metropolitan Exhibition of the Royal Agricultural Society of New South Wales will be opened in Moore Park, Sydney, on 13th April, when £2000 in prizes will be competed for. Entries close on 23rd March. With reference to a telegram from Tambo appearing in another column regarding the sale of some reserves, the Minister for Lands (the Hon. A. S. Cowley) informs us that no such sale was ever contemplated by tho Government and none will take place. Information that another Western outrage had been perpetrated was received by the Under Colonial Secretary on Tuesday from Major R. A. Moore, the police-magistrate at Charleville. From the details at present to hand it appears that a carrier named Teake purchased four bullocks from a free—that is non-union—carrier, and it was found on Tues day morning that they had been shot to death. In consequence of the pressure of the Special Civil Sittings taken by his Honour the Chief Justice, it has been arranged that the Western circuit, comprising Toowoomba, Ipswich, and Roma, shall be taken next month by his Honour Mr. Justice Real. Consequent upon this change the chamber weeks beginning 29th February and 21st March will be taken by his Honour the Chief Justice, and weeks beginning 14th March and 28th March by his Honour Mr. Justice Real. The Government at the meeting of the Exocutive Council on Thursday confirmed the decision come to on the previous day to acoept the proposals of the Hon. Audley Coote for the construction of the first seotion—from Gladstone to New Caledonia—of the Paoifio cable con necting Australia with the Amerioan continent. This is, of course, subject to the approval of the New South Wales Government, and the details of Mr. Coote's proposals are not yet available for publication. Our Albert correspondent writes :—" The new board has met and decided that it is not wise to continue to pay wages at the old rate of Gs. a day, and accordingly the road party are dissolved, and the roads are to be kept under the supervision of members of the several sub divisions, who will employ men resident in the locality, though still under the board. Flying clouds pass away day after day, and the matters of grass, crops, and water are putting the settlers into great fear and causing them to exercise the most stringent economy in respect of outlay." Within tho past week Mr. A. J. Richardson, one of the owners of the sapphire mines at Withersfield, upon which an exhaustive and favourable report was recently presented by Mr. Jack, the Government Geologist, has visited Brisbane with the object of completing arrangements for the introduction of fresh oapital for the development of the property. We now learn that he has been entirely suc cessful, and many influential names aro spoken of as being enlisted. Under the new arrange ment the operations at the property will be of a much more extensive nature than hitherto. Petitions have been filed for the liquidation of the following estates:—John Irwen Balls, contractor, of Brisbane, liabilities £9300; Mary Ann Harrison, of Brisbane, boarding-bouse pro prietress, a married woman having a separate estate, liabilities £3573; P. Ryan, of Stan thorpe, general merchant, liabilities £3184; Edward Whitwortb, of Melbourne-stroot, South Brisbane, general storekeeper, liabilities £4068 IGB. lid.; Edward Whitwall, of South Brisbane, general storekeeper; Hugh William Henry Willett, of Brisbane, broker, liabilities £2853 35.; James Ryan, jun., of Helidon, farmer, liabilities £1042 10s. 4d. The question whether the statute 6 George IV., chapter 129, is in force in Queensland was argued at length before the Full Court on Wed nesday in the case of Bilby v. Hartley and another, which was partly heard on the pre vious day. Their Honours decided that the statute was in force, and that the conviotion of Bilby under it was well founded. The hearing of a special case brought by the Queensland National Agricultural and Industrial Associa tion against the Booroodabin Divisional Board to determine whether they were liable to pay rates under the Valuation and Rating Act was then commenced. It Btood as partly heard when the court adjourned. The Registrar of Patents notifies that he has accepted the following applications for patents: —E. Thompson, of Massachusetts, United States, electrioian, •« Improvements in lightning arresters;" E. Thomson, E. W. Rice, jun., and N. C. Bassett.of Massachusetts, electricians, for •• Improvements in electric rail way motors;" L. A. Kimball, of Sydney, dealer in machinery and supplies, " Improvements in valves for hydraulic elevators and for other pur poses," and" •• Improvements in hydraulic ele vators;" P. Everett, London, engineer, ••Im proved apparatus for automatically lighting and extinguishing street and other gas lamps;" and John Tumbull M'Laren, of Hughondon, grazing farmer, " An improvement in pumping machinery, entitled 'M'Laren'S Excelsior Pumps.'" The first ballot of the First Queensland Bowkett Benefit Building Society was held in the Town Hall yesterday week. The chairman (Mr. John A. Clark, J.P.) opened the proceedings. About 200 share holders were present. He announced that 346 members had joined; 2GO were sub scribing, and about 210 would participate in the ballot. He congratulated tho shareholders upon having succcssfuly made way against the financial troubles of these anxious times, and augured a happy future for their venture. Then three scrutineers were elected by the audience—Messrs. Outridge, Becket, and Egert. Two of these gentlemen inspected the shareholders' accounts, and one took oharge of tho ballot balls and barrel. For each member paid up to date a ball bearing his number was deposited in the barrel. Miss Izatt dipped into the barrel, and No. 153 was deolared to be the winner. This waß found to be Mr. A. MC. Leslie, who holds two shares. He therefore becomes entitled to £200 free of interest for 500 weeks, and since tho society has over £400 in the bank with all expenses paid, anothor ballot may be looked forward to very shortly.

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