The Advertiser. TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 13, 1866.
The commercial news by the September mail from England is, on the whole, very favorable. The three items first announced, viz.—that wool was 1½d. higher, copper £5 higher, and discount
down to 4$ per cent—put people into excellent spirits, and prepared all classes to open their letters and despatches with cheerfulness and hops. In these days of telegraphic communi cation it is, however, quite necessary to be upon one's guard against a misconception which may very easily occur. For instance, the news that copper had advanced £5, was supposed by many persons to indicate an advance of £5 upon the last previous quotations, whereas in reality it was little or no advance at aIL The previous mail was dispatched from London on August 26th, and at that date Bnrra copper was quoted at £88, and Wallaroo at £87- But the telegrams received by the same mail brought later advices, one of our own, dated Sept. 10, notifying an advance in the price of copper of from £3 to £4 per ton. This rise, which we made public a month a^o, is the same advance which is now quoted a second time; bo that those who were expecting an advance of £4 or £5 beyond what they were previously informed of, are mistaken. It will be necessary always to remember that the quotations of prices by each mail run back to the newspaper dates of the preceding mail, and statements of rise and fall are to be taken
as baaed upon tii? rates prevailing at tin tuna when the mail was dispatched, and not upon (be quotations nacsequently announced by telegram. Still, although there b actually no advance in copper beyond what we were ap prised of a month ago, it is gratifying to have our previous telegrams confirmed, and still more so to learn that the rise which took place at the beginning of September had not only continued to the end of the month, but that a farther advance was confidently expected. Another £5 in the price of copper would exer cise a most salutary influence upon mining industry in this colony, and as our latest advices state that the smelters refused to sell at the rates then ruling, we may reasonably anti cipate £95 or £96 per ton by the next advices. Oar commercial columns have already informed the public with reference to the wool sales, at which Adelaide greasy commanded an advance of from Id. to l£d. per lb.; the firmness of the market, especially towards the close, inducing a hope that still better rates will be obtainable in November. One very important item in the commercial intelligence now received is that of the diminished shipment of goods to Adelaide. The shipments for the month last reported only amounted to £65,456, against £1*1,948 in August, £117,021 in July, £228,857 in June. The decrease in the value of shipments, as above indicated, will very materially relieve our over-burdened markets, as well as ease our financial affaire. Nor is it to South Australia only that this reduction applies, as may be seen from the following statement which we have compiled from Stables and Strakers's Circulars for the last four months. Goods exported to ih? following colonies :— June. July. Aug. Sept. 1866. £ £ «T £ Victoria 515,686 535,704 5*1,573 40T212 N.S. Wales ... 216,941 268.417 298,538 145,092 Queensland ... 72,836 48,571 35,2*1 29,662 Adelaide 228,857 117,021 141,948 65,456 Tasmania ... 42,333 12,432 29,452 35.825 New Zealand ... 216,125 143,220 210,747 139,620 The last month, as compared with the one immediately preceding it, shows a decrease of £134,361 in exports to Victoria; £163,446 in those to New South Wales; £5,579 to Queens land ; £76,492 to Adelaide ; and £71,127 to New Zealand. For several months past advices from this colony homeward have recommended extreme caution as to shipments, and no doubt the effect of these recommendations will be felt for some time to come. In connection with the above reassuring con siderations, the tenor of the news from Europe on the subject of the harvest, is such as greatly to encourage fanners here. Far be it from us to rejoice over that greatest of all cala mities to Britain—a deficient harvest; but, at the same time, we need'not ignore the fact that England will have to import wheat very largely in 1867. The harvest is deficient by one-fourth, and heavy importations are unavoidable. And not only is there a deficiency in England, bat in France and other European countries, the harvest is more or less below the average. Russia has fine crops, and this is almost the only large corn exporting country in the old world that has its accustomed exportable surplus. There is, therefore, reason to believe that Europe will draw very largely from the more distant wheat markets, and whether Sooth Australian wheat goes direct to London and Liverpool, or to supply the Australian and other colonial markets, instead of Chili and California doing it, the result will not be materially different. At all events, the news by the last mail will tend to steady our grain market, ' although it will not be wise to hold back timely supplies, considering the very large balance that we «h«H have free for exportation. There is no occasion to glut the market, but as soon as the new wheat is ready, a portion of the crop should be sent in, at whatever fates may prevail. This will check foreign orders, and enable farmers to hold out for higher prices when the season is further ad vanced. En all respects, so far as thesecolonies are con cerned, the budget is a good one ; and if Minis ters will push forward their public works, introduce fresh capital, keep the laboring popu lation in full employ, and strike out a bold and comprehensive course of practical legislation, we shall, doubtless, soon forget our r"-tfTic troubles in the return of general prosperity.
AN APOLOGY will be due from South Australia to the ruffiany of Swan River who have - for months past - been credited with the whole of the murderous outrages of Captain Thunderbolt and Co. These outrages, so unlike anything that could be rationally expected of South Australians, were, in consequence, ascribed to Swan River "lags," and a great deal of virtuous indignation was vented against "convictism" in consequence. It turns out, however, that the Swan Riverites have been maligned, and that the rascality of our own colony is quite equal to the desperate doings that we supposed could only emanate from professional felons, it is quite clear that a mistake has been made, and those who made it ought now to make the amende honorable to the villified convicts of the Swan. And the above is not the only mistake into which this "sticking-up" business has led people. Like a great many other irrelevant matters, it has been pressed into "the poor man's" cause; and an attempt has been made to show that the highway robberies which have disgraced our reputation and made our thoroughfares unsafe to travel, were the result of starvation amongst the laboring classes. Letters have been addressed to ourselves, arguing that if a man cannot get work he has a right to go out and rob; and that the robberies which have lately occurred were neither more nor less than the desperate and despairing acts of men whose wives and children were starving at home. Now we always had our doubts about the Swan River theory; but as to working men, on the first pinch of difficulty, turning highwaymen and such highwaymen as Thunderbolt and Co. - it was too great a piece of absurdity even for a moment's belief, and we scouted it accordingly. The recent proceedings in the Police Court conclusively prove that the cowardly and atrocious outrages in question have not been prompted by hunger or want; as, indeed, no one could ever have supposed they were who reflected upon their nature for a single moment. The eccentricity of crime is marvellous ; and certainly the conduct of the scoundrels who have now fallen into the hands of justice is as unaccountable as it is scandalous. So clumsily has everything been managed, so little attempt has been made to keep the illegal business secret, that one might almost suppose the object and design of the robbers was to be found out. The conduct of John Kerney before going to Prospect Village, his remarks to his sister-in-law, his open confession after his return, his production of the watches which he had stolen when away, and, in fact, his whole career, as head of a gang of ruffians, would seem like that of a madman, were not his sanity but too plainly demonstrated in other aspects of his conduct. But the worst feature of these outrages is their murderous ferocity. To take a watch, or a purse, though illegal and deserving of severe punishment, is nothing in comparison with the ever-ready recourse to murderous weapons, which stamps the characters of these men, or at least some of them, with the brand of deepest infamy. A bloodthirstiness for which no excuse or palliation can be offered is strangely mixed up with the general characteristics of a miserable pickpocket; and well, indeed, it is for these misguided men that none of their
shots have taken fatal effect, and that they are not now on their trial for wilful murder. It is to be hoped that their case will be a warning to all persons who an tempted to violate the laws of their country. Discovery may be evaded for a time; but it is sure to come at last; and the greater daring which presumed immunity induces, brings about - in turn - severer retributtion. Then are some other aspects of this notorious business on which we may perhaps speak further on another day; in the meantime let us hope that the lawless confederacy which has spread terror amongst our citizens, and tarnished our reputation as a loyal and orderly coumunity, may now be effectively broken up, and find no imitators.