The Brisbane Courier.
MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 18, 1882.
IN the Report of the Registrar-General we have an interesting account of the working of the Real Property Office during the past year—a year of unusual activity in matters connected with conveyancing. During the year 799,159 acres of land have come under the operation of the Act, either in the form of grants, or by application from persons holding landed property under the old system; so that there are now 5,292,253 acres under the Acts adminis- tered in this office, leaving still a balance of 68,322 acres under the old system. It is somewhat remarkable that this area should still be outstanding, for, when the Act came into force twenty years ago, the whole of the then alienated portion of the colony only included 159,874 acres. The transactions under the Act are growing greatly in number, as is evident on a comparison of the last decennial period. In 1871 these transactions numbered 9985, while last year they amounted to 34,809. The number of conveyances was 4744, covering 7115 certificates of titles and deeds of grant. The number of mortgages effected was 1793, representing a value of £1,205,359, of which 860 were for sums under £100, while 32 were for sums over £5000. The number of mortgages released was 1095, as against 490 in 1880, the value thus represented being £492,859, as against £252,079 in the previous year. The income of the office from fees has been £7071 3s. 7d., as against an expenditure for salaries and contingencies of £4261 7s. 3d. This shows a surplus considerably in excess of the previous year, when it stood at £1608 17s. 9d. The additional work, however, has been accomplished with but a slight addition to the staff. Sixteen persons, in- cluding three cadets, now get through nearly three times the work accomplished by eleven persons in 1871. At this rate we hope that Mr. Jordan is giving himself and those under him fair play. No doubt the system is now better understood, and the machine works with regularity, but we are no ad- vocates for high pressure, and a fair day's work for a fair day's wage is quite as much a question for consideration in the Real Property Office as in a lawyer's office. In addition to the fees abovementioned, £554 13s. 5d. was received on account of Assurance Fund, and Mr. Jordan also credits himself with work done on account of the Commissioner for Railways to the extent of £241 1s. 6d., but this is only an entry for which no money passes. Such is a summary of the principal facts connected with the year's work.
It is hardly surprising perhaps to find that, with all this additional work, the cor- respondence of the office should also increase.
It stands to reason that it should. Yet it appears that objections have been taken to the transaction of business by correspondence with persons in the country. The Royal Commission of 1878 made a recommendation that, after reasonable notice, this practice should cease, and all business connected with registration should be transacted by lodging the instruments in the office. Bearing this in mind, Mr. Jordan makes a recommendation to a similar effect, and remarks that this branch of the busi- ness takes up the whole time of one clerk, besides requiring the constant attention of the principal officers. We should be in- clined to think that, if this is the only reason for discontinuing the present practice, it is an insufficient one. It may be admitted at once that if the staff is not large enough it ought to be increased. The fees coming in are evidently amply sufficient to pay for the work done, and it was never intended that these fees should be a source of profit. With a surplus income of nearly £3000 there ought to be no difficulty not only in providing a sufficient staff, but in paying them well. The Real Property Office is the great conveyancing machine of the colony, and every year must add to its importance. The country correspondents referred to look to it with a large amount of confidence, and like the Post Office or the Telegraph Office it should shrink from no work which it can possibly grapple with. If even two more clerks are required in order to overtake this correspondence, by all means let them be appointed. The expenditure of an addi- tional five or six hundred a-year even would be quite justified for this purpose, and we suspect that the abandonment of the present practice would lead to great dissatisfaction. Already tho provincial towns are by no means over well pleased with the centralisa- tion of the office, and the time will probably come before very long when there will be a demand for branch registration offices. The abandonment of its correspondence business would at once lead, we feel convinced, to a revival of this demand. In spite, therefore, of the excellent authority on which this recommendation is made, we are quite dis- posed to think that it should not be hur- riedly adopted. After all, the correspondence can scarcely be so voluminous or so intricate if it is chiefly conducted by one clerk.
We are disposed, however, to lay much greater weight upon some other recommen- dations made by the Royal Commission of 1878—a commission which led in its results to great improvements being adopted, improvements which probably would not have been adopted without that investigation. The law as regards trust property is still very defective—"unsatis- factory and dangerous" were the terms applied by the commission. "It not only does not impose but practically forbids the
imposition of any safeguards against frauds." Another matter of equal importance has not been dealt with as it ought to be. We refer to the Assurance Fund. There was one case, dealt with on the recom- mendation of a Select Committee of the Assembly in connection with a claim of Mr. T. F. Merry. A sum of £1500 was paid in virtue of that recommendation, and it was charged, certainly without sufficient legal justification, to the Assurance Fund. The Assurance Fund was not really re- sponsible for it, and it is very doubtful if it over will be made responsible in the strict legal sense under the present pro- visions of the Act, But the Act should go further than it does. At present
redress must be sought within six years of
the wrong-doing, whether by fraud or error,
and it is manifest that a limitation of that
kind is really insufficient for the purpose.
Moreover, it ought, as was said by the Royal Commission, to be extended to all cases in which a man has sustained loss. "We think, that the right of recourse to this fund should be extended to all cases,in which, a man has sustained loss by any act or omission of the Registrar-General, or any entry made in the register-book by which he has been prejudiced, or by reliance on which he has been misled; and that the time for bringing a claim against it should be ex- tended to that now allowed by law for bringing actions of ejectment." That recommenda- tion we think should be acted on. The Real Property Office exists not only to see that everything is done with regard to real property transactions to make them sound, but it is intended to guarantee them so far as they possibly can be. What is the use of
an assurance fund if it does not assure?
The assurers might as well save their fees if there is no possibility of their making good a case of loss—and what will be the effect on the office if it is impossible to establish a case? The common-sense view is that in that case the office will feel
perfectly safe. There being no real responsi- bility, where is the incentive to caution? So that, looked at from both points of view, from the view of the assurer as well as of the assured, there ought to be an opening for recovery. The office cannot be absolutely infallible, and when it is proved to be fallible, then the defect should at once be acknowledged and acted on.
THE announcement by cablegram that the Bank of England had advanced the rate of discount one per cent on Thursday last was scarcely anticipated, because the reserve had not appreciably decreased, and was even stronger, according to the last returns, than
it was when the rate was raised from three to four per cent on the 17th of August. The rate has thus been advanced two per cent in four weeks, and there must be good reason for this sharp action on the part of the bank directors. That the
reserve has suffered considerable reduction
during the week there is little doubt, and a further demand for gold for export must have set in. A large amount of specie will, doubtless, be required in connection with thr war expenses, and the Italian loan and other foreign investments are also wanting British coin. The effect of this advance on the value of money in London must be felt in Australia. It is unlikely that money can now be borrowed by the Colonial Govern- ments on anything like the same favour- able terms that New South Wales floated her late loan. Victoria will scarcely obtain the money she requires on the terms for which she stipulated, and if she goes into the market now, will probably have to submit to a reduction in the minimum price of two or three per cent. Should this state of affairs continue for long the banks of Australia will have to pay a higher interest to depositors, and the capitalist will gain; but on the other hand the commercial community will have to pay a higher rate of discount for their paper, and speculative transactions in merchandise as well as in buildings and land will receive a decided check. It is noticeable in the
history of the money market that nearly all its sudden changes in relation to the value of money at the Bank of England have been made in the latter part of the year. This has generally been caused by bad harvests in England necessitating heavy purchases of breadstuffs from the United States, and a consequent export of gold in the autumn months, and it may be that the purchase of corn has something to do with the present rise in the bank rate. The future of the English money market will depend much upon the duration of the war and the results of the harvest in Europe and America. However, five per cent is a fair average interest to pay, and if it could be kept at that figure permanently there would be less foolish speculation, and trade
would be in a bounder condition.
THE British have advanced with rapid strides in Egypt during the past few days, and our cablegram, this morning record what appears to be virtually the conclusion of the war. Cairo is now in the hands of the British commander, and the once for- midable Ourabi Bey is a prisoner in the citadel. Immediately after the crushing defeat of the Egyptian leader at Tel-el- Kebir on Wednesday morning, the Indian troops advanced on Zagazig, which they occupied the same afternoon without resist- ance, the Governor at once tendering his submission. Ourabi's papers, and a large number of his leading officers, were here captured, together with the Egyptian Com- missary-General, Ragheb; while sixty guns and a quantity of material fell into the hands of the British. Meanwhile the cavalry pushed on to Belbeis, an im- portant strategical position on the eastern arm of the Nile, twenty-eight miles from Cairo, which was at once taken pos- session of. A rapid advance was then made on the capital, which was occupied by the British cavalry on Thursday, the natives everywhere showing the most abject sub- mission. The Egyptian garrison, numbering 10,000 men, immediately surrendered; and Ourabi and Toulba Pasha were arrested, after having endeavoured to incite the populace to plunder and burn the city. Previous to the British occupation of Cairo, the Chamber of Notables, recognising the hopelessness of the struggle in which they were engaged, sent a deputation to the Khedive tendering their submission; the inhabitants sent a delegate assuring the Khe- dive of their loyalty; and Ourabi also wrote to his Sovereign imploring pardon. While these successes were attending the British on the eastern side of the Delta, fortune was also favouring us in another direction. Part of the garrison of Kafrdowar, an entrenched position of considerable strength a few miles from Alexandria, fled to Cairo; the Governor and other officers then pro- ceeded to negotiate with Sir Evelyn Wood for a surrender of the place, and as earnest of their good faith removed the dam which had diverted the waters of the Mahmudieh from Cairo. By latest accounts Sir Evelyn Wood was about to occupy this Egyptian strong- hold with a portion of his troops. Though
the ultimate success of the British was never
for a moment doubted, it could hardly have been expected that the war would be brought to so speedy and successful a ter- mination. But the good fortune which has ever attended Sir Garnet Wolseley did not desert him on the present occasion, and that clever soldier, with his usual skill and vigour, has fully carried out the objects for which he was sent to Egypt, while only sustaining a comparatively trifling loss. —A portion of the San Francisco mails which left Sydney on the 10th August were burned on board the steamer Alaska while crossing the Atlantic. The origin of the fire is unknown.—A cricket match was commenced at Manchester on Thursday between the Australians and a North of England eleven. The latter scored 245 in their first innings, while the Australians were all out for 110, and in their second innings had made 59 with a loss of three wickets when the stumps were drawn on Friday.—Small-
pox is still causing great mortality at Cape- town especially among the Malays sailors on board the various vessels in port.—Dr.
Pusey is reported to be in a critical state of
health. This well-known High Church divine has long passed the allotted three- score and ten, being now 82 years of age.— The German Chancellor is also so seriously indisposed as to be unable to take any part
in public business for the present.
THE business in the Legislative Assembly to- day will consist of the introduction of the Cedar Duty Bill in Committee of Ways and Means, and the consideration of the Legislative Council's amendments on the Immigration Bill. These are likely to be treated almost as formal matters. The House will next proceed with the Settled Districts Pastoral Leases Bill in Committee. According to the business paper the Divisional Boards Bill in committee will next come on, but according to the Premier's oral intimation on Thursday evening. Supply will follow the Pastoral Leases Bill. Parliament has now been sitting for nearly three months and it may therefore be presumed that no opposition will be offered to beginning con-
sideration of the Estimates.
AT a committee meeting of the Brisbane Musical Union the date of the third concert of the season has been fixed for Thursday, the 12th October, when Costa's "Eli" will he pro- duced. Of late the attendance at rehearsals has been somewhat erratic, otherwise the concert would have been given early in the present month, so as to admit of the members going into practice for the somewhat heavy
and varied programme for the fourth concert. It ought scarcely to be necessary to remind practising members that irregularity in their attendance has a depressing effect, alike on the conductor and those other members, the back-
bone of the society, who attend "as regularly
THE Temperance Hall was crowded again last Saturday night, and the Blue Ribbon temperance workers did their best to enter- tain their audience profitably and pleasantly. The Rev. S. J. Alden presided, and opened the meeting punctually at 8 o'clock with a hymn and prayer. Short addresses were given by the chairman, the Revs. W. Poole and G. Copping, and Mr. George Willey, of Mary- borough. The meeting was also varied by singing and recitation. Mrs. Vary presided with her usual ability at the piano. Thirty- seven new names were added to the roll. Some of those who join have evidently passed the place of safety, and it is good to see them giving total abstinence a trial. The most are taking it for the sake of showing their approval of the movement, and to give encouragement to their weaker fellow-creatures. The meeting was brought to a close by the singing of a hymn and prayer at 9.30 p.m.
"TWELFTH NIGHT" again drew a large audience to the theatre on Saturday night, and the performance was a decided success. The very favourable impression created by Miss Pomeroy on her first appearance here as an ex- ponent of Shakspeare seems to be strengthened with each successive character she assumes, and Viola is certainly one of the most charming of her impersonations, though the true spirit of some of the best lines does not appear to have been discovered by Miss Pomeroy. Miss Jenyn's Olivia was very graceful and attractive, though perhaps a trifle lacking in dignity in some of the scenes; while Miss Blanche Lewis as the arch mischief-loving Maria contributed not a little to the success of the play. The ludicrous parts in which Sir Toby Belch and Sir Andrew Aguecheek figure so prominently were a little overdone, and the "admirable fooling" with which the comedy abounds was allowed to degenerate somewhat in the direc- tion of burlesque. However, the audience undoubtedly enjoyed it, and laughter and applause were frequent. Mr. Holloway was excellent as Malvolio, and no part in which he has yet appeared in Brisbane seems to suit him better. Mr. Elliott, as Sebastian, and Mr. Bernard, as the Fool, gave each a very credit- able rendering of his part. There was a little too much rouge, by the way, under Sebastian's eyes. The performance was on the whole most enjoyable, and the audience very enthusiastic, recalls being insisted upon at the close of nearly every act. To-night "Cymbeline" will be played, and there is no doubt that Miss Pomeroy as Imogen—one of the finest charac- ters that even Shakspecare has conceived—will add another to her long list of successes.
MAJOR-GENERAL FREDERICK A. WILLIS C.B., who was wounded in the battle just fought in Egypt at Tel-el-Kebir, was present with Gene- ral Havelock's field force in the actions of Oonao and Buscerut Gunge on 29th July, 1857; com- manded the 84th Regiment in the actions of Buscerut Gunge on the 5th August, Boorbeake Chowkee on 12th August, at Bithoor on the 16th August, at Mungawar on the 21st Sep- tember, at Alumbagh on the 23rd September, and relief of Lucknow on the 25th September (wounded in left knee and right thigh); com- manded the right column at the storming of the Hirn Khannah on the 16th November, and was thanked in division orders by General Havelock. Was with General Outram's force at the Alumbagh from the 26th November, 1857, to the 9th March, 1858—commanded the 84th up to 24th January; present at the fall of Lucknow; accompanied General Lugard's force and present at the relief of Azimghur; pro- ceeded with Brigadier Douglas's column in pursuit of the rebel chief Koer Sing, and pre- sent in the actions of the 17th and 20th April (mentioned in despatches, C.B. and brevets of major and lieutenant-colonel, medal with two clasps, and grant of a year's service for Luck-
THE premises known us the Tasmanian Wharf, Sydney, have been purchased by the Queensland Steam Shipping Company for the accommodation of their steamers, for the sum of £25,000.
A NEW area of rich scrub land at the head of Freshwater Creek is reported from Cairns (says the Townsville Bulletin). There are only about 10,000 acres of it, and it has been with-
drawn from selection to permit of its being
cut up into blocks of 320 acres. It is to be hoped that these blocks will be surveyed quickly and put up to auction. This heavy scrub land is of no value except to those who possess sufficient capital to cultivate it for sugar, and 320 acres is not a sufficiently large area for a sugar plantation. We hear that a forfeited homestead of 100 acres at Wright's Creek, on the Mulgrave-road, brought £4 8s.
per acre at auction last week.
THE Clermont gold escort left for Emerald on Thursday morning (says the Telegrams of 9th September) in charge of Senior-sergeant Armstrong. The Australian Joint Stock Bank sent 849oz. 16dwt. 22gr., and the Bank of New South Wales 329oz. 17dwt. 16gr.,making a total purchased by the banks since the 7th June of 1179oz. 14dwt. 14gr. The value at Clermont rates would be about £4424. During the last twelve weeks the banks have therefore purchased a weekly average of say £368 worth of gold. There are about forty men engaged
at McMaster's, Seven-mile, doing a steady thing. A small rush set in last week to the Springs, owing to a few good pieces of gold having been found in a gully coming down from the Hard Hill. Nothing has yet been obtained to warrant a shift from the other workings; nevertheless, about twenty-five men are there already. Some good nuggets have been shown, but, as a rule, the men are reticent, except when they talk about their
bad luck. It is alleged that the men do not all sell their gold to local buyers. If this be true
our escort returns, considerable as they are for the number of men actually at work, do not
indicate all tho gold that is being obtained.
FROM our Waterford correspondent we (Logan Witness) learn of a very serious accident which happened on Saturday last to a resident
of that place, of the name August Westphal.
It appears that he went to Brisbane with a load and after he had disposed of it he loaded for home, and that while on the way back in company with another waggon they met a spring cart, and Westphal, being the worse for liquor, began racing. The man in the spring cart seeing that he was trying to race pulled to one side, and as Westphal drove
on at a very quick speed, he did not take the
trouble to catch him up, and it is supposed that
the waggon caught on a tree and flung him out, and it passed over his back, breaking it. It is not known whether he will live or not.
SATISFACTORY arrangements having been
made withh Cobb and Co. (says the Western
Champion) for a bi-weekly mail service be-
tween Blackall and the Central Railway ter-
minus, the coach will on and after the 15th
proximo, leave Blackall on Wednesday and Saturday morning, arriving from the terminus on Thursday and Monday evenings.
WE (Western Star) regret to say that an accident of a somewhat painful character befell Mr. Thompson, solicitor, as he was riding home last Wednesday evening. When near the dam he was thrown from his horse, and in falling dislocated the kneecap of his leg so that he was unable to move. We are pleased, however, to be able to say Mr. Thompson is not seriously injured, and may be expected to be about in a
WE (Western Star) had the pleasure on Saturday last of inspecting the vineyards at Mount Abundance, and were highly pleased with what we saw. Although the vineyard consists of only twenty acres, it has every appearance of being well managed. This year
5000 vines have been planted, the varieties con-
sisting of White Reisling, Diamond Table,
Muscat Alexandria, and White Muscat. The yield of wine is reckoned at a hundredweight of grapes to the plant, and this, it is estimated
would produce at 14lb. to the gallon eight
gallons. The total yield, therefore, of the whole vineyard would be 40,000 gallons.
TEAMS are still in good demand (says the Western Star), and, although several of them have started during the week, there is yet plenty of loading for the carriers.
THE annual report of the Melbourne Cricket Club as published in the Argus of the 11th in- stant shows that in every direction the club has been most prosperous. The number of new members admitted during the season reached the unprecedented figure of 449, as against 268 the year previous, thus increasing the members on the roll to 1343. The returns from football, show a falling off as compared with last year, but the amount received is still very conside- rable. On the expenditure side of the balance sheet, the ground account shows an increase over last year. This has arisen from the cost of laying down additional water-pipes round the ground, enlarging the embankment, and from a large amount expended in loam. The embankment has been extended so that double the number of spectators can be accommodated than formerly, and it is calculated that 50,000 people can all now have a good view of what- ever is going forward without inconvenience. The committee believe that the members are now in possession of one of the finest (if not the finest) cricket club pavilions in the world, and it is satisfactory to know that it has been found to answer all requirements, and has been most economically constructed.
FROM papers received by the Cuzco, we (Melbourne Argus) have information concern- ing the outbreak of smallpox at Cape Town. During the month of August the disease spread rapidly, and cases were reported from many of the surrounding districts. In Cape Town itself the outbreak had become very severe. On Saturday, 10th August, no less than fifteen deaths were reported, and on the following day three deaths occurred in one street, while during the two days twenty-seven fresh cases were reported. It was estimated by the Cape Argus that there were between 200 and 300 cases in Cape Town. The exact number was not known, because a large proportion of the cases had occurred amongst the Malays, who were averse to the measures of isolation which had been adopted, and practised the greatest concealment. Amongst this class the disease had proved particularly fatal, the proportion of deaths to the number of cases being one to three. The efforts which had been made for the eradication of the disease appear to have altogether failed, for the epidemic, according the cable message received last week, continues to spread.
FRESH tenders are invited for the construc- tion of a telegraph line from Cloncurry to
THE deposits in the South Brisbane Weekly Penny Savings Bank on Saturday last amounted
to £11 0s. 11d.
THE following are the names of the magis- trates on the roster for this week, namely:— Messrs. K. L. Armour, W. A. J. Boyd, C. G. Preston, A. R. Drury, T. Finney, E. Goertz, A. Hausmann, J. Lord, R. D. Neilson, W. Perry, E. D. R. Ross, J. Stodart, and A. R.
A DRAMATIC entertainment in aid of the organ fund of St. Mary's, Kangaroo Point, will be given in the Albert Hall this evening. The pieces to be played are "Still Waters Run Deep" and "Uncle's Will." Several well- known amateurs have kindly given their services, and a very successful performance is
AT the City Police Court on Saturday, before the police-magistrate and Messrs. Pietzcker, Adams, and Watson, JJ.P. (as per roster). Bessie Hanley and Annie Fein were each fined 5s., with the alternative of six hours in the cells, for behaving in a disorderly manner in Albert-street; and a similar penalty was in- flicted on Mary Ann Campbell for drunkenness.
THE religious service at the theatre was very numerously attended last night, the dress circle being crowded. The chair was taken by Mr. J. A. Clark, who, after offering up prayer, read a portion of Scripture, and a hymn was sung by the Evangelistic Choir in their usual pleasing manner. Addresses were delivered by the Revs. T. Jones and S. I. Alden, who were attentively listened to. The proceedings were closed by prayer and the singing of the doxology to the tune of the "Old Hundred." The collection was not a munificent one. Some 500 persons in the dress-circle contributed 9s. 6d., and the rest of the "house" £1 18s. 11d., a total of £1 18s. 5d.
THE entertainment announced by Professor De Lombardie in the Albert Hall, on Saturday night. entitled, Magic and Mystery, was very poorly attended, only about fifty persons being present. The Professor's tricks of magic were none of them new, and, although neatly done, they elicited but slight approval. The hat trick was the best, the endless number of boxes brought out of the borrowed felt hat being quite puzzling. No doubt if there had been a larger attendance, the Professor would have attempted the decapitation feat which he announced to perform. As it was, he was evidently quite disheartened, and the perform- ance closed at half-past 9.
SOME important sales of Government land are announced in a supplement to the Gazette published on Saturday last. The first sale will be held by Mr. Arthur Martin on the 24th October of fifty lots, in the town of Sandgate,, ??? subdivisions of the old police paddock reserve. The lots vary in size from 37 perches to 2 roods 1 perch, and the upset prices from £40 to £120 per lot. There are two small country lots to be offered also in the parish of Indooroopilly, and eight in the parish of Tingalpa of from 26 acres to 99 acres each, upset price £1 10s.,and one lot, parish of
Tabragalla, 105 acres, at 15s., one town lot at
Cleveland, at £2 per acre. At the police office, Cloncurry, eighty-six lots in the town of Clon-
curry will be offered, principally half-acre lots, the upset being £12 per acre. The sale takes place on the 21st November. At the land office,
Normanton, on the same day, eighteen lots, town of Burke, quarter-acre each, will be offered at £12 per acre. At Roma, on 21th October, two large country lots in the Parish of Norman, Muckadilla Creek, will be offered at 15s. per acre and three suburban lots, Roma, at £3 per acre. There are also a number of other country lots near Roma to be sold. At Rockhampton, on 24th October, sixteen country lots, parish of Tilpal, four parish of Ewen, and thirty-five
country lots, parish of Glenpraire, all at 10s.
Pîrnere T lal'1,h of Glenprairie, allât 10s. abo be t'n.t V0 to.,vn lota in Rockhampton will one tnu-V, i !'' L J,oowooniba, on same day, «0 "Al.' i?,wn of brayton, upset prico
ne¿lA"'oa SU'ulry co""try lota in th0
hollrthiK sites '«l.m.í i,0!,ri'1' of exceptionally grand U>c jaici-oY j1,''8 °«M mnko n note of the fact thnt '"k'- Place mi ii^tw<!,,'s ,'",tlm,TonorIiro listnto
??'« t'oïS he'M' bv Al,.10.1''1.'11 Vi11»110 »ttontion to the ?»»» Hull it elî. v,î . JPhn pnmoron, at his Mart, fo»ow|, i.''" e'ÇVen o clock, this day. whon tho W.,,01<1 lüLsT, T&V ' fe5 ollOHMl'-Balance of Wlcklmm-ätroo,1 W TSwn Katato. two lota,
11 ^«eä,ouÄ,oriprrn0B*iuirroowod Colta«oi