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1 correction by rodneysmyth - Show corrections



Convict Servants.

. - -The decision of their Honors the

.Judge? of the Supreme Court on the objection raised by Mr. Justice Willis, in the case Campbell and another v. Hughes, cannot fail to afford very general ' "satisfaction. The case in question was

.an action for breach of contract, brought against Mr. John Terry Hughes, who sold to Messrs. Walker and Campbell, the plaintiffs, a large number of sheep and cattle, together with the right of occupancy of certain sheep stations, and -after receiving £1,000 in part payment, considered himself justified in refus . -ing to adhere to his bargain. The

case was tried before a special jury, and damages to a large amount awarded ] to the plaintiffs. An application for a

' new trial was made on the part of the dé-

fendant on various gror-nds, all of which were overruled by the Court. Previous .-to the argument an objection to the fol-

lowing effect was raised by His Honor Mr. -Justice Willis:-" Whereas it .appears «that the contract contains a stipulation that the seller shall allow the buyers to liavo tho services of ten of the assigned servants in charge of the sheep and cattle . -at the time of the sale, for a period of tin eo

mouths, such stipulation is illegal and in- validates the whole agreement." On this point the Court reserved judgment, and after 'consideration decreed against the objection and in favour of the original verdict, Mr.-Justice Willis dissenting

¿Vom the decision.

Tho effect of n contrary decision

'vrould have boen to create interminable confusion, for few contracts for the sale , of sheep and cattle entered into in the

?Colony are without a clause of a si- milar description ; but we are certain that Mr. Justice Willis in mooting tho consideration of the point was sin- cerely convinced that in doing so he but . strictly' and honestly followed 'the path

his duty pointed out to him. We are not ?ourselves of opinion that, even supposing the stipulation referred to an illegal one, its illegality is of 10 heinous a nature as 1o render it incumbent upon a Judge, before whom it is not brought fur const ' -deration, to exclaim " Fiatjw>titia ruat ? ** cesium ; be the consequences what they ,." may, though universal distrust and

"endless litigation follow in my train, *' yet will I not avoid it," but we should .do wrong in imputing blame to those who

think otherwise. It would not indeed

have occasioned us any very serious re- gret that the Court should have decided - tis it has done, even had wo thought with

Judge Willis that the stipulation in question was illegal, for it is obvious that the effect of the decision is to uphold the canse of substantial justice.

, We aro surprised, however, to hear a

clamour raised against the practice of stipulating, in agreement.« of a similar nature to the one referred to, for the ser- vices of convict servants, as a species ol ' traffic in human flesh. By the assign- ment regulations it is rendered perfectly , legal for the seller of an estate to include ' 'in the bargain, with the consent of the

Governor, the transfer of the assigned

; servant« on the estate. Dues the Gover-

nor's consent change the character of the contract, or render the stipulation for the transfer of the assigned servants less a 'traffic in human flesh ?-Yet this the law

déclares to be perfectly legal. By the same regulations an assignee may give

the services of his convict mechanic on

loan for a month to his neighbour ; there . fore to give the services of a few convict ' shepherds for a period of three months to

1 the "purchasers'of the sheep they are in

"charge oí, cannot, we should'think, be so 'outrageously illegal. ,

South Australia.   On no subject can we employ our pen so much to the gratification of our readers as when recording the progress of the overland communication between this Colony and South Australia. It has often been asserted that a spirit exists in this Colony inimical to the interests of the free Province. Nothing can be farther from the truth. It may be that under the irritation caused by the discovery of fresh schemes on the part of the Coloni-

sation Doctors in London to advance

South Australia at the expense of the older Australian Colonies and at the ex- pense of truth and of justice, language has been made use of which might bear such a construction, but it is absurd to suppose that any rational Colonist could wish other than success to a settlement which by opening up an extensive market for our superfluous sheep, cattle, und other produce, must necessarily contri- bute largely to our prosperity.

At the sale of the late Mr. Futter's properties at Mr. Smart's Auction Mart, yesterday, Captain Finnis, formerly of this Colony, but now a resident of South Australia, purchased 10,000 sheep, now depasturing at Maneroo, at an average price of 19s. 6d. each ; maiden ewes realizing about 80s., aged ewes 25s. , and wethers 10s. per head. Captain Finnis, who was the companion of Captain Sturt on his overland journey to South Aus- tralia, we understand, intends the whole of his yesterday's purchase for the South Australian market. At the sale of the late Mr. Galbraith's property, some four months ago, the sheep realized scarcely more on an average than 13s. each, thus showing a rise of fully six shillings per head in the value of sheep, entirely arising from the increased faci- lities for the conveyance of stock to the South Australian market, consequent upon the successful termination of so large a number of overland journies. This sale is at once a proof of the im- portance of the overland intercourse between this Colony and South Australia, and a sufficient illustration in itself of the absurdity of the supposition that the Colonists of New South Wales are op- posed to the progress of a settlement from the continued prosperity of which they are certain to reap such substantial bene-


Captain Finnis, we understand, does not return to this Colony after he has succeeded in conveying his new purchase to the place of their destination. We wish him every success both in his pre- sent speculation and during his subsequent sojourn in " the land of Promise," and we congratulate our brother Colonists of South Australia on the acquisition of a settler so noted for his perseverance and enterprize.