The Brisbane Courier.
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 24, 1885.
IN the LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY yesterday,
The Elections Bill was read a third time and passed.
The second reading of the Victoria Bridge Closure Bill was moved by the PREMIER, and after a prolonged discussion it was carried by 18 to 14.
The House went into Committee of Supply, and after passing the votes for the Governor's staff and the salaries of the officers of the Exe- cutive Council, Legislative Council, and As- sembly, a long and at times acrimonious debate took place on the vote for the payment of members' expenses. Eventually the vote was passed by 23 to 11.
The House adjourned at 10.30 p.m.
IT is very difficult to understand why the discussion in the Legislative Assembly last night on the Victoria Bridge Bill should have taken so wide a range. The bill dealt with one single clearly-defined topic. There is a bridge over the Brisbane River with a swing opening in it which has grown rusty from long disuse, and which cannot be used now without incurring the danger of a prolonged interruption to traffic. By an unfortunate oversight the closure in fact was not made a closure in law, and the
Brisbane Corporation, which has been compelled to take charge of the structure, is exposed to the danger of having to defend actions for not opening the bridge. To relieve them from this danger it is now proposed to repeal the clause in the original Act which compels the maintenance and use of the swing. In opposing this measure, hon. members, with the leader of the Opposition at their head, spoke at great length about the general im- propriety of obstructing navigable rivers, and drew imaginary pictures of sea-going craft ascending the tortuous channels of the Brisbane and Bremer to bring down coal, and even manufactured goods from Ipswich. Sir Thomas M'Ilwraith even instanced the case of Manchester, which now desires to be connected by a ship canal with the sea, as a reason for not allowing the existing structure over the Brisbane to remain as it is now, and has been for years, without injury or inconvenience to the public.
Most of these wide-ranging arguments had really no bearing on the question before the House. Let it be granted that it is necessary to make provision for the future ascent of sea-going craft to the upper reaches of the Brisbane, and still the need for the present bill will remain. Not all the Acts of Parliament in the world will make the existing swing large enough, or the water under it deep enough, to allow a sea-going craft, in the modern ac-
ceptation of the term, to pass through the bridge. If it should, in future, be considered desirable to provide such a passage, it would be necessary to pull down and virtually reconstruct the bridge, and then the Act now under discussion would disappear with the structure to which it applied. Any future Act authorising the construction of a new bridge may include a provision for a swing if it is considered necessary to have one—there is nothing that we can see in the present bill to prevent it.
That is how the matter seems to us to stand. There is no obligation on the corporation, so far as we can see, to enlarge the swing now in existence, and we feel confident that no shipowner would venture to take a 1500 or 2000 ton steamer through it ; but unless a craft of at least that size could pass into the upper reaches there would be no
shipping trade—as shipping trade is now
understood—done there. Is Parliament prepared to at once pull down and recon- struct the Victoria and the Oxley Railway bridges? If not, the river will in fact re- main blocked to shipping traffic whether the present bill passes or not, while if it does not pass, the ratepayers of Brisbane will be subjected to very great inconvenience and expense.
THE committee of the Brisbane General Hospital are holding a secret iuquiry into the management of that institution, and propose to report on it to the Colonial
Secretary. When we pointed out that there, was good reason to believe that the internal management of the hospital was careless and unsatisfactory, we did so in the hope that the committee, recognising their responsi- bility to the public which supplies the funda for supporting the institution, would en- deavour to find out how the case really stood. That hope has been disappointed. Tho secrecy of the present inquiry renders the committee open to the imputation that they desire not to ascertain the truth, but to get up a case for the defence. We regret very much to have to put the matter thus harshly, for we would much prefer to believe tliat the committee were really anxious to get at the facts, and to seek for the reform of the institution under theirconttol. But we are driven to our present conclusion by the course the committee have adopted. If the statemeuts to which we have given publicity -not as a specific charge against tho hos- pital, nor as in any way covering the ground for dissatisfaction, but as sufficient indica- tion that there is a pressing need for ^real inquiry and prompt action-if these state- ments are all "lies,",as committeemen ele- gantly put it, what reason can there be for the secrecy now observed? The plain course to be pursued by men who wished to deal honestly and fairly with this business was for them to let the public know how they pursued their investigation, what evidence they were eliciting, and what grounds they had for the conclusions at which they will arrive. If, on the other hand, they pro- posed to take up the case as a lawyer treat» the case of his client-that is, to select fiom the evidence just those points which make for him, and to exclude or minimise all the facts that go against him-then their secrecy would become intelligible.
Nothing 'would be more satisfactory than for an open and genuine investigation to prove that the general dissatisfaction with the internal management of the hospital is a popular hallucination. That it exists is beyond doubt, and so far as we can judge it has very good foundation. Gentlemen of tho committee are not at all likely to hear about it in their individual capacity. The sufferers are nearly all poor people, who do not venture to intrude on prominent citizens in their private houses or offices ; they tell their friends and associates, or they come to the newspapers. Other witnesses are clergy- men, or charitable people who visit the hospi- tal; and these know the attitude of hostilityat once assumed by the committee towatds any man who doubts the absolute perfection of the management of the institution under their contiol. Theie are not so many men who have the public spirit to staud for- ward and beard a committeo which meeta every suggestion of imperfection with what virtually amounts to the challenge " formulate your charge and prove it." But because the committee, having practically stilled complaints, have been able to slumbor so long at their post without their aerenity being disturbed by any intrusivo clamour, it does not follow that no misthijf is being done. There is no popular indig- nation, no excitement ; because that would only arise if some tragedy or some startling event occurred. So far the complaint is general carelessness, want of effective supervision, and Blurring of detail work all defects of tho gravest importance in an hospital, but not of the kind to arrest public attention. TheeffectofthegrowiDgconviction, that theso defects exist is the apathy of the public regarding the hospital. There is not that pride in the institution, that willing- ness among the public to assist in extending its scope and usefulness, in proportion to the rapid growth of the capital, which would exist if people had any real confi- dence in its management. And, we may add, the Hospital Sunday collections would piobably have not resulted in the miserable fiasco of the present year if people had any genuine confidence that the institution to which they were asked to subscribe was well managed and under satisfactory control.
A SPECIAL meetiug of the Municipal Council was held ou Monday last for the purpose of striking two special loan rates-ono of Id. and one of lid. in the pound-to provide the interest and redemption instalments payable on account of the £25,000 to be borrowed for the erection of the new Town Hall and the loan of £45,000 for drainage. It was stated, however, that although it was necessary, under the provisions of the Local Govern- ment Act, that these 3pecial rates should be struck in order to enable the council to obtain the loans, yet it had no intention of ever levying them. The rate- payers might regard tho proceedings as a mero foinial compliance with the letter of the Act, and need not be apprehensive of ever boing called on to pay these rates.
We do not know how the Treasurer will regard this declaration. He may be willing for certain reasons to assist the corporation in evading the conditions imposed upon public bodies raising loan by the Local Government Act, or he may not. If, how- ever, he permits the Corporation of Bris- bane to put this interpretation on that Act, holding that the Act merely declares that the rate shall be " made and levied," and not that the money shall be collected though wo havo .always understood that to " levy" a rate meant to obtain payment of it-we must be prepared to treat other local bodies in the same way, and may there- fore expect to receive very numerous appli- cations for loans. For hitherto the borrow- ing propensities of many boards and corpora- tions have been held in check by the reluc- tance of rutepayers to become subject to increased taxation. Once that check is removed no one will object to a board borrowing as much as it can get for almost any purpose. It may fairly be
questioned, then, ¡whether it will be wise to ' relax the conditions on which loans are ! granted to^ocal governing bodies. '
But assuming that the idea of the cor- poration is correct, and that they are not bound to collect the rate, although they'are bound to levy it, it seems to us that by their action the 'citizens of Brisbane will run some risk of * eventually having to pay it. Far these Bpecial rates are not struck for one year, but are payable yearly until the loan in respect of which they are struck is paid off by the Local Govern- ment Act, clause 226; and, by clause 231, if the council do not enforce the payment of the special loan rates the Colonial Treasurer may, at any time, step in and levy them on behalf of the Treasury. So that if the council do not collect these rates they cannot give a discharge for them, and the citizens will remain liable for all arrears of them, which, in the event of the corporation ever failing to pay the interest and instalments of principal when due, might be recovered from them by levy and distress by an outside authority. The design of the council, we take it for granted, was to obtain the loan, without increasing the burdens of the ratepayers. They considered that the city could afford to pay the amounts íe quired on account of the loan without levying these special rates, and consequently they devised this scheme of evading the provisions of the Local Government Act.
WE publish in another column some in-
formation that has been awaited with a good deal of interest-the area of land com- prised in the squattages which have been Drought under the Land Act of 1884 np to the 31st of August lost. From this it appeals that 10,017J- square miles in the settled, and 200,065¿ square miles in the unsettled districts have now to be dealt with by the Land Board. This enormous area must be examined and reported on, the runs divided, and the lenta of the portions reserved to the lessees fixed. The proportion avail- able for settlement is also very large. One-half of the runa in the settled districts, comprising in round numbers 3,500,000 acres are now at the dis- posal of the Government for selection. The proportion in the unsettled districts cannot be accurately stated, but it probably equals one-thiid of the total, or roughly 42,500,000 acreB. Reserving further com- ment on the fact, we wish to lose no time in pointing out that there is a stupendous mass of work before the Land Board, the Lands Department, and the Surveyor General. Not one unnecessary week's delay should take place in dealing with this land. Selection has been suspended long enough, and the pastoral lessees should be made; awaie of the position they are to occupy in the future as quickly as possible. Speed is absolutely necessary, unless we aro to drift into a muddle which will seriously embarrass our finances and fatally check occupation. What preparation has been made for deal- ing with this great mass of work which must be despatched with accuiacy and celerity1? We recommend this question-? of which the importance must be admitted by every member of the House-to the attention of the Assembly. The Govern- ment should be prepared to give the fullest < infoimation on the subject.
THE Legislative Council were to havo mot yosterday afternoon for the transaction of business, but tho sitting lapsed for want of a quorum. Some members apparently forgot that the half-hour's grace allowed for them to mustor expires at 4 o'clock, for about a minute after that hour there wero half-a-dozen moro membors present than the required number. Tho business on the paper was a motion in the nurao of the Postmaster-General for tho plan, section, and book of reference of tho first section of the railway from Cairns to Herber- ton to be referred to a special committee Mr, Macdonald-Paterson waa to have presented a bill to consolidate and amend the laws relating to the justices of tho peace and their powers and authorities. The Orders of tho Bay wero the third reading of tho Customs Duties Bilt and the consideration of the Beor Duty Bill ia
IMMEDIATELY after prayors the Scrgeant-at Arms, with whispering humbleness, informed the House of a message from his Excellency, and in obedience to Mr. Speaker's order, "Admit the bearer," the ancient usher sig- nalled Lieutenant Cholmondeley to enter. The message which the gallant aide-do-camp de- livered to Mr. Speaker was tho announcement of the royal assent having been given to the Charitable Institutions Bill. In answer to Mr. Hamilton, the Minister for Works said lie would inform him on Tuesday next how many survey parties were engaged in making the permanent survey of the Cairns and Herberton railway.
THE Speaker reported to the House that on 4th August last ho had issued a writ for the election of a member for Cook, in room of Mr. Thomas Campbell, and that the writ hod been returned to him certifying that Charles Lumloy Hill, Esq., had been duly elected member for tho Cook district. On tho motion of Mr. Kates, in behalf of the member for Fassifern, it was agreed to discharge Mr. William Kellett from attending the Select Committee on Mr. Hodgson's " Forest King " petition, and to appoint Mr. Ferguson a member of that committee. Tho Elections Bill was read a third time, passed, and trans- mitted to the Legislative Council by message
in the usual form.
A FEW minutes having sufficed for the disposal of the preliminary business, the Premier rose to move the second reading of the Victoria Bridge Closure Bill. After sketching the history of the bridge and of the decision of the Supreme Court enjoining the bridge to be opened on demand, the hon. gentleman went on to say that when the bridge was built South Brisbane was a small suburb, and the traffic to it was not very great. Since then the population had increased to about 20,000, and there was an immense continuous traffic across the bridge. To open the bridge would cause great inconvenience to a large population, while it could no longer be the means of conveying the gas and water to the south side. There were two conflicting highways—the river and road. Both could not be used at once, and the question was which was to give way. By the Roads Act of 1833 the Government was empowered to erect bridges over navigable streams without giving compensation to riparian owners, and but for the proviso in the first section of the Brisbane Bridge Act there could have been no claim for compensation because of the closure of the bridge. The only objection to closing the bridge was on the ground of vested interests. He asserted there were no vested interests whatever. The value of pro- perty in South Brisbane had been enormously increased by the facilities for communication afforded by the bridge, and that value would be decreased if the bridge were to be opened. The few persons who might have their river frontages increased in value by the opening of the bridge were not entitled to any serious con- sideration at all. Public convenience was the first matter to be consulted. It had been alleged that the bridge might be opened at
night, but apart from the interruption to the gas and and water, it would interrupt a great
cattle traffic, which could only be carried on at night. Besides, the opening of the bridge was narrow, and not safe to go through except near high water and against the tide, and they could not always arrange to have the tide suitable during night. Then an accident might happen when the bridge was opened, and the inconvenience which would be suffered from that would be a great deal more than all the loss to the riparian proprietors because of its permanent closure It was said that more
wharves were wanted, but there was plenty of accommodation for all the shipping down the river. In fact, he was satisfied that before
long there would be more than one bridge
across the river.
THE leader of the Opposition complained that in bringing the bill forward the Govern- ment had taken a very limited view of the
future of Brisbane and of the colony. There was, moreover, a meanness about the bill he had not expected to come from a lawyer. Certain parties above the bridge considered they had rights of access for sea-going vessels above the river, and the Supreme Court had
affirmed that they had. The Government at once introduced a bill to declare that what had been hitherto legal should be illegal, and actually they were making the illegality retrospective. "No," said the Premier, "not retrospective." So, con- tinued the leader of the Opposition, he had at first thought, but other lawyers had assured him that the bill was retrospective. Members would recollect that when he was passing the Tramways and Railway Bill in 1880 the present Premier had gone almost the length of obstruc- tion on the ground that that bill interfered with the rights of property because it did not recog- nise certain fanciful claims for compensation.
But now the counsel for the plaintiff declared that there was no right of private property, and if there was one it ought to be ignored. The hon. gentleman went on to maintain that the idea of taking sea-going vessels up to the coalfields around Ipswich had never been lost sight of. Moreover, no one who had con- sidered the possibilities of the coal trade of West Moreton would ever abandon the idea of taking sea-going vessels up to Ipswich. Drawing a contrast between the action of the Manchester people in endeavouring to get communication
with the sea, and the action of the Govern- ment in proposing to stop communication with the sea, he said that the Goverment were deliberately sacrificing the grandest prospects of the colony for the sake of a petty con- venience to certain people in South Brisbane. The coal traffic of the Ipswich district had in- creased from 58,000 tons in 1880 to 122,000 tons in 1884. Was the railway equal to that traffic ? " Of course it is," said the Premier, " No," in- sisted Sir Thomas, the railway never could pro- vide for the carriage of the increasing output of coals in order to compete economically with other coal ports. They would have to contem- plate a traffic in coal far beyond what any rail- way could overtake. Great influence had been brought to bear on the Government to pass the bill in order to increase the value of sites below the bridge. The Premier interjected that he was not aware of influence. The leader of the Opposition slyly retorted that he was aware of the influence brought to bear on himself, and that same influence had assured him that it had been brought to bear on the Premier and the Treasurer. " The only people who have been to me," said the Premier, "were the corporation." Passing this, Sir Thomas went on to argue that everything which added to the value of the land below the bridge subtracted from the value of the land above it. If they passed the bill they would give the riparian owners exactly the same right to compensation which Dr. Hobbs had—and the Premier had supported the doctor's claim. It was not for them to say dogma- tically that no one would be injured by the closure of the bridge. If anyone would be injured—and he maintained many would—then why not insert a clause in the bill reserving their rights ? The hon. gentleman went on to contend that the trade of Brisbane, even if it were ten times what it was, could be conducted efficiently if not only the Victoria but other bridges were made to open.
THE Treasurer, while concurring with the leader of the Opposition that the coal trade of West Moreton would attain in the near future great proportions, declared that the real ob- struction to sea-going vessels reaching the coalfields was the bridge at Oxley. Did the hon. gentleman say that that bridge should be reconstructed to permit of sea-going vessels going up to Ipswich ? " Yes," frankly replied Sir Thomas, "When traffic demands it."' Taken aback by this sturdy avowal, the Treasurer said that the Victoria Bridge had only been opened once during the past five years to admit of a Government vessel going up the river, and no practical hardship had been endured by anyone by its closure. Even if the bridge were opened he questioned whether sea-going vessels would incur the risk of sailing through the bridge. Besides, large
vessels could not go up the Bremer River. The great coal trade would all be accomodated below the bridge and brought to the wharves there by the railway. When the bridge was built with a swing it had been so made through a senti- mental feeling towards Ipswich, but with the full belief that the swing would really never
THE member for Townsville was inclined to look at the question in even a broader light than the leader of the Opposition. He had not the slightest doubt that the time was coming when they would go in for manufactures on a large scale in Queensland. "Hear, Hear," came from the Premier and the members for Ipswich and Bundamba. And, continued Mr. Macrossan, he knew no place in the colony round which such manufactories would more readily or naturally spring up than the district of Ipswich. The closing of the Victoria Bridge would therefore be the closing of one of the main avenues of trade and manufactures, and the arrestment of the prosperity of the coal trade as well. It was utterly absurd to say that coal could be shipped at South Brisbane. The place was too cramped ; and if carried down the river further the trade would be crushed by the extra railway freight. He quoted the operations in progress or in con- templation at Paris, Manchester, Leeds, &c., to secure communication with the sea as a tendency of the present age. But here the Government were going in an opposite direction and all because the keeping open of a great waterway to the sea would cause a slight inconvenience to the traffic between North and South Brisbane. The river could be made available for vessels of from 500 to 1000 tons, which could go up to the coalfields, and these were just the sort of vessels that carried coal from Newcastle. No amount of compensation put into the bill to riparian owners would be com- pensation to the colony for the closure of the
THE members for Ipswich could not be long kept out of the fray. Mr. Macfarlane, there- fore, smilingly followed the member for Townsville, but to the disgust of the member for Bundanba, he declared that it was better to take the coals down to the sea-going vessels than to take the sea-going vessels up to the coals. In fact, he looked on the railway as a compensation for anything lost by the river
traffic. It would take millions of money to deepen the Brisbane and Bremer Rivers to admit of sea-going vessels going up to the coalfields. What was really wanted was increased railway communication. Mr. Foote, with great impressement, totally disagreed with the member for Ipswich. The
attempt to close the bridge he described as a piece of petty localism. Under any circum- stances, if the bridge were closed those above the bridge should be compensated. But who was to pay the compensation? Certainly it
should not be the general taxpayer, but those who were to be benefited by the closing of the bridge—namely, the owners of land below it. He denied that the railway compensated for loss of water traffic, and he blandly compli- mented the leader of the Opposition and the member for Townsville on their complete answer to the Premier and the Treasurer. Of course the hon. member was bound to introduce the duty on wheat. If, he declared with the suspicion of a twinkle in his eye, the duty had been taken off the wheat,
steamers would have been running to Ipswich
long years ago. The House ought to pause twice before attempting to close such a vast and magnificent waterway as the Brisbane River. No doubt the opening of the bridge would cause temporary obstruction to traffic, but not more than elsewhere—Sydney for in-
THE member for Bowen agreed entirely with the member for Bundanba. This was a national matter, for the Brisbane River did not belong to Brisbane or Ipswich, but to the whole colony. He maintained the broad proposition that they had no right to close any highway which now or at any future time might be of value to the colony. It was not a question of convenience or inconvenience to the inhabi- tants of South Brisbane, but of the future
prosperity of the whole country. The member for Balonne said he should support the second reading of the bill because he believed no in- justice would be done by keeping the bridge close. He had told the leader of the Opposi- tion so some weeks ago. Perhaps this was a method of intimating that he had not broken the bridge and burned the ship which would enable him to rejoin his friends on the
front Opposition bench. On the one hand, he accused Ipswich of being insatiable and wanting everything, and, on the other hand, he insisted that there would have been no talk of opening the swing but for the inflated value of land in and around Brisbane.
THE member for Stanley was opposed to the second reading of the bill because of the
detriment it would prove to the future expan- sion of Brisbane. He spoke, not in the in-
terests of Ipswich, for he did not believe that ships could go above the Oxley Bridge.
MR, ARCHER characterised the Premier's ob- jections to the opening of the bridge as paltry. The proposal in the bill went to cutting off the natural means of communication by one of the best rivers in Australia, The expendi- ture of very little ingenuity would enable ship- masters to take their vessels above the river at any state of the tide so long as there was water under their keel. There was not at present room to load vessels with coal, apart from what
might be demanded with the increased trade of the port. The real question was how could they maintain communication with South Brisbane and at the same time preserve the waterway for the enormous trade that must come. It was by the construction of a second bridge, and by making both swing bridges, so as to admit of vessels going up to the grand reaches above the Victoria Bridge.
THE senior member for Fortitude Valley asked if there was no other land fit for wharves
except between Victoria and Oxley bridges? Why, members should go down and see the ac- commodation that was available on the Bulimba reach. No doubt the opening of the bridge would be a convenience if there was no wharfage accommodation down the river; but that could not be alleged. The closing of the bridge would not interfere with the general trade and prosperity of even Ipswich. Admit-
ting the want of room for shipping coal at Woolloongabba, he twitted the member for Townsville with neglecting his advice in this respect and with not having taken the South
Brisbane branch of the railway further down the river where there was plenty of room for railway sidings and loading wharves. Mr. Salkeld objected to the bill because it would do a gross injustice to all landowners on the fine reaches of the river between Victoria bridge and Indooroopilly, which were specially suitable for shipbuilding yards and for the development of the coal traffic.
MR. FRASER admitted that it was objec- tionable to interfere with such an important highway as the Brisbane River, but it had been interfered with already. They should take into consideration the relative importance of the traffic across the bridge and the traffic up the river. His contention was that the traffic could be carried cheaper twenty-five miles by railway than fifty miles by river. Incidentally he chivalrously objected to South Brisbane being called a suburb. In fact, he declared it would very soon carry the palm from North Brisbane. A return of the traffic across the Victoria Bridge had been taken by the corpo- ration of Brisbane, and between 6 a.m. and 7 p.m. for the week ending 27th June, it was 21,554 horses, 24,243 vehicles, 1600 sheep, and 152 bicycles. This did not take account of the passenger traffic which at certain hours of the day was so great as to be perfectly dangerous. A second census of the traffic had been taken on the 2nd and 3rd July, between 6 in the morning and 12 at night, when the number was 13,200 horses and vehicles. A great part of the traffic was heavy goods between the railway station in Roma-street and the wharves in South Brisbane. Even if the swing were kept open, few sea-going vessels could pass through it. He admitted that property-owners above the bridge might be affected by the closure of the bridge, and they should be com- pensated to the extent to which they would suffer. It was very singular that the increase in the coal traffic should have taken place in conjunction with the opening of the South Brisbane line, and the extension of the wharves there. Besides, there was no lack of accommo- dation for wharves below the bridge. They had the whole of the Garden frontage un- touched. This admission was received with expressions of amused horror on both sides of the House, and the genially indiscreet Chair- man of Committees tried to catch the cat he
had inadvertently let slip by saying that he had not the slightest wish that the Garden should be interfered with. They could have a line of wharves encircling the whole Garden Reach without interfering in the slightest degree with all the privileges and pleasures of the Government reserve and the gardens. He should be bound in the interests of his con- stituents to support the second reading of the bill, and in doing so he would be acting in the interests of the public at large.
THE member for Burke opposed the bill, as did the member for Warrego—the latter arguing that if the people of Melbourne had such a fine river as the Brisbane, they would permit no Government to close its navigation by a bridge. He also condemned the proposal that the garden frontages should be utilised as wharves as a gross act of vandalism. While he objected to the permanent closing of the
bridge, he believed that the time had not now arrived for opening the bridge—the river traffic was not sufficient. He suggested as a compro- mise that the bridge might be closed for a specified time. The latter proposal was sup- ported by the member for Rosewood.
MR. M'MASTER made a capital impression in his maiden effort as a Parliamentary orator. It was an advantage that he spoke on a subject with which he was thoroughly conversant, but his delivery was quiet, precise, and effective. He was not aware of a single sea-going vessel having gone up the river to the head of navigation during the last twenty years. Much had been said of the beautiful reach above the bridge, but he reminded the House that from the bridge to Toowong, the north side of the river was part and parcel of the road, and could not be used for wharves. Indeed, the Supreme Court had decided that no buildings could be erected on the river side there. Sea-going vessels could not go through the swing because there was only 8ft. of water below the swing at high tide. And if that part of the river were deepened, the cylinders of the bridge would be undermined and the whole structure destroyed. He advocated the widening of the bridge, and that would be sufficient for the traffic for a long period without building another bridge. He saw no necessity of ever interfering with the gardens, since there was plenty of accommoda- tion on both sides of the river for wharves right down to Hamilton. Sea-going vessels attempt- ing to go up to the head of navigation would have to be towed backwards down the river, for there was no room to turn such ships. Mr. M'Bride had no interest in shipping, and his action was simply a "try on" to get com- pensation, but he had failed. " Oh no, he has got a judgment," interjected the leader of the Opposition. "He had not yet got compensation," retorted Mr. M'Master, and he did not think he would get it. The hon. member drew a lively picture of a stam- pede of a mob of cattle in South Brisbane if an accident happened to the swing while it was opened. With the greatest simplicity, which excited a smile, he argued that the House should pass the bill, and, if necessity arose for it, the Government of the day could introduce a bill and easily pass it for opening both the Victoria and Oxley Bridges.
MR. FOXTON, while complimenting the junior member for Fortitude Valley on his excellent first appearance, directed attention to the fact that those views were corporation views. He protested against the idea of closing the bridge temporarily, because it would raise up vested interests. The mere fact that the land from the bridge up to Toowong had not been taken up, was an argument why the bridge should be opened at once, "and make a Thames Embankment of it," interjected the leader of the Opposition. There was no diffi- culty, continued the member for Stanthorpe, engineering or otherwise, in opening the bridge, so as not to interfere with the traffic. Mr. Jordan admitted that he was per- sonally interested in the question — having property above the bridge. The arguments had gone to show that the bridge ought not to be closed in the interests of the colony at large. But because his constituents had taken a narrow view of the matter, and had asked him to do so he was going to vote for the bill. This inconsistency was received with ironical laughter on both sides of the House, which was increased at the attitude of scornful dis- gust assumed by the member for Bundanba. After the debate, the junior member for South Brisbane continued calmly, his constituents, he was sure, would arrive at the conclusion that it would have been better for them had the bridge been left open.
MR. NORTON said he had a great regard for Mr. Jordan and was sorry that he should have shown himself in such a bad light. It was a most unfortunate thing that the hon. member should have made a promise to vote on one side or another before he had had an opportunity of fairly considering the ques- tion. Turning to the bill the member for Port Curtis declared it to be im- moral, because it was founded on an im- moral principle — the denial of compensa- tion to riparian owners whose vested interests would be injured. The growing coal traffic could not be overtaken by the railway, even if the line were doubled, and hence the necessity of keeping open the great waterway.
A DIVISION was then taken, when the second reading was carried by 18 to 14. The division was on the main a party one, though Messrs. Foote, Salkeld, Kellett, and Foxton voted with the Opposition, and Mr. Donaldson, who had spoken against the bill, went behind the
bar and did not vote. Committee on the bill was fixed for this afternoon.
THE House then went into Committee of Supply, when a commencement was made with a consideration of the Estimates. The turns of £2310 for the Governor's staff and other expenses ; £1039 for salaries of officers of Executive Council; £3400 for salaries of officers of the Legislative Connell, and £3535 for salaries of officers of tho Legislative Assembly wero passed without discussion. The Premier moved that there be granted to her Majesty for the services of the year 1885-6 the sum of £7000 <to defray tho expenses of members ot the Assembly. This he said was exactly the sum mentioned in the bill passed by the Assembly, but not returned by the Legislativo Council, In placing tho sum on the Estimates he was following the practico in New Zealand since 1809; and he stated that it had been un- derstood that if the bill did not pass the expenses would be provided in this manner. The leader of the Opposition said he had heard for the first time that the Government had in- tended to place the sum on the Estimates if the bill did not pass. Although the Opposition had tried to force such a statement from the Government, they had always declined to commit themselves, and this was only another illustration of Government by intrigue. The hon. gentleman pointed out that there was a clause in tho bill stating that nothing in the bill was to be construed to make the office of member of Assembly an office of profit, or otherwise to affect the capacityof any member to sit and vote in Parliament. Now, the very fact that the clansc had been in the bill showed that the Government admitted that the ssats of members who accepted the payment on the Estimates would be vacated. It was the first time in his experience that an item appeared in the Estimates with conditions attached ; and he humorously described it as something like a grocer's bill. The Premier rejoined that conditions were attached to many votes ; in this case the conditions were only more elaborated. It had not been distinctly stated by him in the House that the sum would be placed in the Estimates if the bill did not pass, for that would havo been unseemly, and a throat to the other House. But no one hearing him, or reading what he had said, could have understood otherwise. The clause referred to by the honourable member had been inserted in the bill inadvertently.
AFTER a pungent interlude, in which tho Government party were accused of secretly paying members, and the Premier ineffectually demanded the names of members who had been so piid, the leader of the Opposition challenged the ruling of the Chairman on the vote under the Standing Order, that "no mem- ber shall be entitled to vote upon any question on which he had a direct pecuniary interest."
Mr. Norton declared there could be no escape from the Standing Order^andheshould challenge the vote of every member. The Chairman read May and Cushing on tho point, and ruled that as this was " a matter of State policy " it was competent for members to vote for the grant Then followed some good humoured badinage botween the leader of the Oppo- sition and tho Minister for Works on having changed places as " virtuous patriots " since a former discussion on a similar point. The Chairman's ruling was roforred to the Speaker, who, after quoting tho practice in New Zealand, Victoria, and Canada, and referring to the practice of tho Houso of Com- mons as described by May, was humbly of opinion that this was a question of State policy, and that tho Houso as a wholo could vote tho sum of money.
Wflss committee was resumed, Mr. Ma- crossan denied that the payment of mem- bers' expenses was a matter of State policy. Stnto policy was a question sub- mitted to the Parliament of the country. This matter hod been referred to and dis- allowed by the other Houso. Ho maintained that the Promier was provoking a conflict with the other Chamber with his oyes open, and was not justified in his action. Tho result, the Premier knew full well, would be to disarrange the whole business of the country, and that tho Treasury would not havo money to pay cur- rent expenses. The question had never been submitted to the peoplo on any distinct issue. Paraphrasing the Lord Chancellor in " IoHnthe," the hon. member contendod that this was a contract which "wo ourselves were ontering into with ourselves to give oursolves a certain payment." Hence they were violating not only tho Standing Orders but the Consti- tution. Ho left tho Premier to imagino what state the country would be in if the Appropria- tion Act did not pass.
TUB Premier hoped tho hen. member for Townsville was speaking for himself and notas the mouth piece of any party or body in tho threat that the whole publio business would bo cast into confusion by the Appropriation Act being thrown out. He trusted that no state- ment of that kind would prevent tho Houso 'from exercising its public rights. He did not want to provoke a quarrel with the other House. His principle was [quoting a Gladstonian pré- cèdent],
Beware of entrance toa quarrel ; but, being In, Bear it that tho opposer may beware of theo.
THE member for Townsville thought the honourable gentleman was taking a very good way of provoking a quarrel. On the Local Government Act he had done tho same, and that quarrel had ended inglorlously for him. This allegation was received with general ox. pressions of dissent from tho Government benches, whereupon the member for Towns- ville tauntingly asked, "Docs inglori ously sound harshly in your cars! I shall not chango it." In response to the challenge of the Premier ho declared ho was the "mouthpiece of neither man nor party," but expressed opinions based on past experience of both Houses of the Legislature. The member for Stanley excelled himsolf in the delivery of an impromptu oration on the land kings aud their desire to retain all tho power in their hands. Tho working men and yeoman of Queensland, however, were coming to the front and going to take the reins out of the hands of those who had made uae of their position to advance their own aims. He declared that nine-tenths of tho members on the Government side had stated plainly that the payment of members was part
of the programme of the Liberal party. At j
tho conclusion of a really otfectivo piece of special pleading, the hon. gentleman was greeted with " Well dono, Kellett," from his immediate colleagues.
THE leader of the Opposition maintained that in scolding the member for Townsville the Premier had contrived to utter a threat against the other House. At anyrato tho Government hod adopted a most ingontous way of bringing about a contest with the Council. Tho Chairman of Oommittoes and the Speaker had ruled that payment of expenses of members was a matter of State policy. Now if thoro was one thing on which the Constitution Act was moro clear than another, it was that in a matter of S tato policy the Council had co-ordinate rights with the Assembly. Hebeld that thoothor House would, after that ruling, bo perfectly justified in returning the Appropriation Bill, and saying, " As a matter of State policy, wo don't believe in the payment of members, and never did." After the members for Port Curtis and Blackall hod denounced the Speaker's ruling as absurd and contrary to the plain meaning of the English language, the House divided with the result that the vote was carried by 23 to 11, Mr, Lissner being the only member ef the Opposition who went with the Government. The vote of £8384 for tho salaries of the librarian of the House, the "Hansard" staff, refreshment-rooms, and contingencies was passed, progress was reported, and the Houso adjourned at half-past 10 o'clock.
UNDER the Additional Members' Bill, four new electorates having been formed, namely, Townsville, Musgrave, Mitchell, and Barcoo, it bas bocorao necessary to appoint returning officers for eaoh. Tbo following gentlemen will probably be gazetted on Saturday to be the rcturning-oflicers for the respective electo- rates-namely, Townsville, Mr, W. J. Castling; Musgrave, Mr. John Newell ; Mitchell, Mr. William Forsyth ; and Barcoo, Mr. It. A Banking, P.M. at Blackall.
THE death of Mr. A. L. Elder created a vacancy in the board appointed in London to act as a board of advico to the Agent-General of this colony, It is understood that Mr. B, M. Stewart, of Scott, Dawson, and Stewart, and a former Colonial Secretary of the colony, will shortly be gazetted as having been appointed to fill the vacancy.
IT bas been decided that pilotage fees shall no longer be charged against vessels that may enter Baffle Creek, which is situate between the Burnett Biver and Gladstone. The reason for this decision is that a pilot will not in future bo stationed at that place.
THKRB will bo a partial eclipse of the moon this evening, visible in Brisbane. The moon rises at G.7 p.m., but neither the first contact with the shadow nor the middle of tho eclipso will be visible here, but watchers will bo able distinctly to observe its last contact with the shadow, which takes place at 7.33 p.m., about an hour and a-half after moonrise.
WB have been requested to publish ths fol- lowing letter, addressed by the Kev. T. Jones, of Toowoomba, to the Venerable Archdeacon Glennie :
23rd September, 1S85.
Dear Mr. Archdeacon.
AS the mern eora o£ the B.C.U. have thought flt to interfuro with the deci-lon of tho Diocesan Council in the matter of the chapel at Bishops- bourne, und have thereby lont themselves tu the perpetuation of that which X have always le garded us a reproach and disgrace to the Church (the meanness of the chupeland thcsuperbucBs of the pumco ac Bishopsbourne), and which has always .iiiotly given occasion te the enemies of the t ii «rou io blaspheme, I beg leavo to state that It thi recent deda on of our council Is tn any way Interfered with by an attempt to repair the present bul'dititi for further uso at Bishop - bourne. I shall ask you to accept foi thwith my reuig, ation ai a inemberot the council.us I will be no (tarty to a movement whioh, in the midssof the wealth of the churchmen of the diocese, seeks to level aowu the responsibilities ot churchmen, to BOO that " the house of my God" bhall bear somo i retiomtilance to the house of my Lord.-I um,
jouxifiithfully, 'X'. JUMKS,
Omi comments on "tho hospital, so far, have had rcfercnco only to internal management not to medical treatment. In regard to this sub- ject, and to the presenco of children in the General Hospital, tho following extracts from letters we have received aro published for tho information of the committeo and the public : -" Two chitaron named Jonos havo been thcro (in the hospital) for many weeks, with little or nothing done for them. They aro from Boma, suffering from bad eyes. A lady interested in the cases sought to havo them sent up to the Hospital for Sick Children, and wrote to their friends to that effect, but the authorities at tho General Hospital will not lot them go." Again, " A gcntloman saw a man named Macauley in an omnibus last Saturday, who seemed to be suffering a great deal from bad eyes." In an- swer to questions, this man said, " I havo been in the hospital for months, and have felt my- self growing blind. I am now on my way to the Prince Alfred Hospital in Sydney. I have been advised to go to a man namod .-, they say is very clever; but I have no means of paying for board and lodging while consulting him. I have managed to scrape enough to- gether to toko mo to Sydnoy, whero I hopo to get relief. Tho gentleman alluded to has con- siderable knowledge of eye disease, and felt strongly that it waa a caso that ought never to have gonoout of the colony for treatment." Again, "A poor woman named Smith had been under treatment at the hospital, for a very long time to no purpose. A lady feeling sure that something might to be done to give her reliof, took the woman to her own house, and asked a doctor to BOO her. She was operated on at once, and is now restored to sight" In regard to tho general question of sending children to the General Hospital, a correspondent writes :-" I saw tho matron of the Diamantina Orphanage respecting some children sent to the Gonoral Hospital. She said it grieved her to have chUdron sent there, as after their return thoy were much moro difficult to manage. Indeed, they were never the same children again."
" SECRBTAKY," whoso lotter on the manage- ment of the Brisbane Hospital we published a few days ago, writes to suggest that, in order to prevent beds being taken up for prolonged periods by incurable patients, a list should bo furnished at each meeting of the committoe of patients who have boon more than throe months in tho Institution, The committeo might then require from tho medical man attending each patient « certificate that such patient should be allowed to remain; other- wise ho should bo diecharged. Another sug- gestion ho offers is,-Do not build an erysipelas ward at all; placo all erysipelas cases in a tent. There will be no fear then of contamina- tion of walls. It can bo well dono in this climate.
THE thirteenth clause of the Pharmacy Act of 1SS4 provides that a register of all persons qualified to practise as pharmaceutical obemists and druggists in this colony shall be compiled by the Pharmacy Board. On the completion of that register, it is provided in the second clauso of tho Act that the Governor may notify by proclamation'that the third, eighth, ninth, tenth, seventeenth, and twentieth sections of the Medical Act of 1863, all of which roíate to chemists and druggists, shall, after a date to bo named, bo held to bo repealed. On this being done, the Pharmacy Act ef 1884 will begin to have full forco and effect. Accord- ingly a register of duly qualified chomists practising in the colony has boen compiled by the Pharmacy Board, and the president has notified the Colonial Secretary of the fact. Tho necessary proclamation giving cllecfc to tho second clauso ef the Pharmacy Act will appear in duo course, fixing the 1st of Novem- ber next as tho date Upon which tho sections of the Medical Act of 1803 already roferrcd to sholl bo repealed, and the Pharmacy Act come into operation.
IN view of the incroased and increasing de- mands for rolling stock and locomotives on the Queensland railways, it has been decided to order two locomotive ongincs for passenger trains from tho Baldwin Company, Phila- delphia, U.S., at a total cost of £9250. Furthor, twenty locomotives, known as class F, havo beon ordered from Messrs. Kitson and Co., of Leeds, Yorkshire, England, at a cost of £2000 each. Theso engines are to bo similar to those of tho same class already supplied by
the same firm.
WE aro informed that about 42,000 shares in the proposed Royal Bank of Queensland havo been applied for and promised. Tho Mel- bourne and Sydney agents have been instructed to restrict to a small number, and the balance of the shares will bo left open to the Queens- land public until the 33th instant.
Wira reference to the ceremony of laying the foundation-stone of the new branch offices of the Australian Mutual Provident Society on Friday next, wo learn that the proceedings will bo of a specially interesting character, and will mark an era in the history of the Queens- land branch of that society. The principal board will be represented by Mr. J. Bills Ives, of Sydnoy, who was recently elected to repre- sent St. Loonards in tho, Legislative .Assembly of that colony, and tho head office by Mr. Richard Teeco, the acting general secretary. About 200 invitations havo been issued, to which response is necessary to insuro complete arrangements being mode for tho festivo part of the ccrmony, which follows the laying of the
THE daughter of a Mr. Low, residing in Pcrry-Btreet, near Potrio's Bight, had a narrow escape from severe injury yesterday. She was washing clothes and had a fire in the back yard during tho heavy westerly wind that was blowing; by some means her clothes became ignited, Hearing her screams, a neighbour Mr. William Beard, who is a fireman at the gasworks, rushed to her assistance, and at the cost of much damage to his own hand and wrist, prevented the young woman being injured to any considerable extent beyond the shock. Dr. J. L. Newton, who happened to bo passing, was called in, and dressed tho wounds of both sufferers. Every credit is duo to Beard, who was thus the means of saving life at the risk of his own.
THE British-India andQ.A. Company havo leased a piece of ground on the river bank at Kangaroo Point, upon which they intend erecting an engineer's shop, in order that they may bo in a position to do all their repairing, &c, hero in preference to having that work performed in Sydney, as has hitherto been the practice of the Q.S.S. Company. The idea is to make Brisbane the headquarters of both the British-India and Q.S.S, Companies, and although theso works at present will be only on a small scale, yet they will probably be con- siderably extended in the near future.
THERE was an excellent house at the Theatre Boyal last night, when his Excellency Sir Anthony Musgrave, K.C.M.G., Lady Mus- grave, and suite were present to witness Gil- bert and Sullivan's "Pirates of Penzance." Perhaps on no previous occasion has this ex- cellent comic opera been so brilliantly played here, and the applause was loud and continuous from beginning to end. The entrance and staircase were handsomely decorated for the occasion with flags and evergreens. To-night "The Pirates" will be played for the last time in Brisbane. For to-morrow night they retire in favour of " Les Cloches do Cornc ville," an opera always popular in Brisbane, but which can only bo plsyed for a f«w nights.
-s-MS,if, ,.,.f;."-,¡,i.h-..t SI i
"THE position of chief gaoler at tho Brisbano ' Gaol,' which is at"present'vacant, will probably be filled this, week ^by tho appointment of Captain John Richmond Joy kell. This officer served in the Royal Marine Light Infantry for fifteen years. On leaving the Imperial scrvico in 18S2 ho went to New South Wales and entered tho service of the Government in con- nection with the gaols of that colony. Among other places ho has had experience at Darling- hurst, and in tho special prison atBorrimo. When the New South Wales contingent was being formed Captain Jcykcll volunteered for servico in tho Soudan, and vient to Egypt as a major in the contingent
THE British-India Company, who havo already contributed to a great extent to tho dovelopmont of the Quoonsland trado, havo
just completed arrangomonts to run a monthly ' line of steamers from Calcutta to Australian ports. Theso steamers will call at Colombo,
Batavia, Thursday Island, and Brisbano, after'
which thoy will go through to Adelaide, calling | at Sydney and Melbourne, and returning monthly by tho sarao route. Tho new acrvioo > will bo inaugurated by the fino steamer Rajpootana, which will bo despatched from Calcutta on tho 10th of next month, and the B.L and Q.A. Company aro already making arrangements for pilots to 'moot her and the other steamers of tho line at Thursday Island. The Rajpootana, it may bo montlonod, is an iron screw steamer of 1312 tons net, 2030 tons gross, and 1999 tons under deck tonnage, and measures 315 8ft. in length by 33'3ft. beam, and 25'6ft. depth of hold. Her engines are 221 h,p. nominal, Sho was built and cngincd by the famous shipbuilding firm of Benny Bros., Dumbarton, and is tho property of tho British-India Oompany. Thoro can bo no doubt but tbat this new enterprise of the British-India Company will incrcaso to a considerable extont the facilities for' carrying all classes of goods between hero and tho East, while it will bo tho means of causing a much needed improvement in the mail service. By calling at Colombo, the steamers of this line will connect with the coastal service of the company all along tho west ports of India, extending right up tho Persian Gulf as far as Baghdad. This lino being part of the British-India service, the B.L and Q. A. Company will bo enabled to issue through tickets for London, via India, to passongors by theso steamers, while passongera travelling to India will now save the two hitherto necessary transhipments at Singapore and Batavia. Another advantago of tho service will be tho excollont facilities afforded for shipping horses to India, owing to tho' compara- tively calm passage by the Torres Straits route;, it also opens up the possibility of a frozen meat trade with India, as well as trado in tinned moats, especially as the Indian market has as yet scarcely boen reached by tho latter article of export from Australia. It ¡B to bo hoped that tho enterprise thus shown by tho British-India Com- pany will meet with tho substantial support it deserves, as this now line of steamers, pro- viding tho ncccBsary support bo forthcoming, cannot fail to bo of immense benefit to this colony, connecting us as it will with tho wholo of tho British-India Company's elaborate system of steam communication to tho East.
A oooü deal of intorest was shown yesterday in the starting of the boring machine which has been erected on tho sito intended for tho now Town Hall, at tho corner of Albort and Adelaido streets. Tho superstructure, or derrick, is 05ft. in height, built of Oregon pine so that it may not bo Hablo to injury from whito ants. The drill is suspended by a ropo which passes over a pulley at the top of the derrick and down to and around a drum at the base. The drum is driven by a double-cylinder portablo engine of 10-horso power. A man holding tho loose end of tho rope taut pulls tho drill up to tho necessary height, when ho lets go and the drill descends, thus punching its way towards the bowels of tho earth. Tho boring is thus dono by a drop motion, but tho drill is also turned round a little at each stroke by a man furnished with a wrench for the purpose, and a round hole is tho result. This was how it was soon at work yesterday, but not how it will bo seen in operation today. Indeed, all that was dono yesterday was only a preliminary canter, tho hole having to be bored and the drill sunk a certain distance before all tho appliances with which the apparatus ' is equipped can be brought into uso. In an hour, however, a boro 15ft. in depth was put
down. To-day the work will bo resumed j in earnost, A large boam'fitted lever-wise on a pivot will be brought into play on'the drill rod, and a regulating screw for turning iho rod will be fitted to tbo rope. The drills em- ployed aro of different sises, and tbo one used at present is a 7in. Of course no core is lifted from the bore, but it is easy to tell tho naturo of the country passed through by tho character of the sand pumped up. The derrick has been substantially built by Mr. J. D. Arnold, Who bas charge of the drill, the drums by the Victoria Bridgo Saw-mill Company, and tho iron appliances aro the manufacture of Messrs. Evans, Anderson, and Co. The apparatus has been erected on its present site for two pur- poses, One is that it may bo. tested and got into thorough working ordor ; the other to find how deep it will bo necessary to go for a good foundation for the new Town Hall. Afterwards it will bo taken to some place not yet decided on, but probably in the Winton dis- trict to search for. .water-the discovery' of
underground reservoirs in the arid districts being the chief end of its construction. !
TUE B.I. and Q.A. Company have roceived advices from London of the shipment of a Haslem Refrigerating Engine for tho Poole Island Meat Works, capable of producing cold air sufliclont to maintain below freezing point a space of 70,000 cubic feet of cold air. Another Haslem engine is in the course of con- struction for the same works and will be more powerful, being designed to produce 100,000 cubic feet of chilled air. The works at Bowen are bolng carefully and thoroughly overhauled, white the yards are being extended so as to deal with doublo the number of cattle ,for which the prcsont yards were erected. Four of the British-India Company's vessels the Merkara, Bulimba, Duke of Westminster, and Dorunda-havo now been fitted withj re- frigerating machinery, and it is the intention of the company to keep thom employed as! far as possible. In order to prevent inferior meat being palmed off on unwary customers for the Queensland article, the company have adopted the very wise precaution of having wrappers specially woven for their meat. Bunning through these wrappers is a design which con- stitutes a trade mark, and consists of a bust of the Queen, with the word " land" underneath. The margin of the pattern is mado up by the words "Bowen Brand." Tho design is a bright red, and is very distinct on the white ground. One of those wrappers will,cover each quarter of meat shipped by the company.
THE fine steamer Barcoo, which is the latest addition to the Queensland Steam Shipping Company's fleet, was launched in the beginning of August last, and is expected to sail very shortly for Brisbane.
THE number of members of the Wharf-street Baptist Church is 391, not 319 as erroneously printed in our report of Tuesday night's meet- ing at that place.