The Brisbane Courier.
TUESDAY, JUNE 17, 1890.
THE final settlement of the shearing dis- pute arrived tit on Friday last seems a simple solution of a difficult problem. Tho representativos of the Darling Downs Pas- toralists met at Pittsworth with a deputation from the Shearers' Union, and in the courso of a singlo afternoon they agreed to a
memorandum of contract and to a set of shed rules. It is unnecessary to enter into the technicalities of either tho agreement or the rules ; in neither is there a single word which can bo said to-bo derogatory to tho
honost and faithful workman. Ho is called upon to surrender no right which is legitimately his ; on the other hand the fair claims of tho employors to the direction of their business aro fully acknowledged. There is certninly no denial of tho natural right of freedom of contract either on the part of the man who wishes to sell his labour or of the man whose self interest impels him to buy service. This peaceful and happy method of averting all possibility of dispute between employer and employed for tho next twelvo months, takon in conjunction with the equally gratifying end of the Brisbane
bootmakers' strike is evidence that the working men of Queensland ave propared to take common-sense views when ap- proached by the employers with calmnoss and moderation. They afford good hope that all trado differences might easily be terminated by a conciliatory board on which masters and mon are equally represented, and by the exorcise of patienco and a spirit of compromiso. But while thero is this disposition in Queensland to come to an amicable settlement of all in- dustrial misunderstandings, a vory differont stand is being taken by somo of the largo labour organisations in Now South "Wales. Tlie Sydney Wharf Labourers have boen in a chronic stale of incipient revolt for some time past, and it is reported that unloss certain demands which they have made upon tho steam shipping companies are conceded, thoy will go out on strike on the 1st July; that they will call out all the associated trades along tho Australian coast, and by paralysing the slipping business, not only of New South Wales but of the other colonies, compel a surrender. It seems out of all proportion that such a stupendous ro suit should follow from what on the surface look two insignificant causes. The "Wharf Labourors' Union complain of tho " con- stant hands" engaged by tlie steamship owners in loading and discharging cargo ; and they demand that thoy should get, at the expense of their employers, a quarter of a hour off duty in order to indulge in a smoke every four hours. Two differont principles underlie the two points in question. It is only reasonable that mon engaged in hard and exhausting labour should have a brief spoil of rost at periodio intervals. That the quarter of au hour should be dovoted to smoking is not of tho essenco of tho demand must bo ad- mitted, sinco it is concoivablo that all the labourers aro not slaves to the soothing weed. But if men contract to work at a
certain rato per hour, and their claim that every fourth hour full opay. should run on although they work only throe-fourths of their contract time thoy might as well insist on being paid for the timo they aro resting in their bods. It after all resolves itsolf into a quostion of wages. The working day is eight hours, nnd tho pay 8s. Tho " smoko oh 1" reduces tho working day to seven and a-hnlf hours, but the rate of pay is to remain at 8s. Whether the masters mako this concession or not depends on the economic laws of trade, of tho supply and demand of labour.
Tho othor point in debate is vastly
differont. It seems curious at this time of
day that a union of working men should object to masters giving constant employ- ment at a generous rato of vvngos to honest, steady, sobor fellow workers, who havo long boon in tho service of their employers. It was gonerally supposod that tho great evil attending tho dockers' and wharf labourers' lives was that their employment was from its very nature casual. Ships aro dopendont on winds and tides, cargoes aro not always full, and tho engagement of
watersido labourers who load and unload vessols is, therefore, uncertain. Tho shipping companies, howover, havo always given a pormanont billet to a certain number of steady mon who are called " constant hands." Thoir wages rango from \£2 8s. upwards per week, their hours of labour, nominally 56 hours per week, do not exceed ou tho average 48 hours. Tho " constant hands," besides doing tho many trifling jobs which crop up in tho courso of a regular shipping trado, act as a species of supervisors of tho casuals when theso aro ongagod at so much por hour, and ono of the demands of the Wharf Labourers' Union is that tho former should only act as " walking," and not as " working bosses," and that thoy should bo Btrictly limited in number. Tho shipping com- panies mnintain that "tho object of tho union is to entirely abolish tho constant hands and to drag from comfortable and profitablo employment a large number of mon, who aro to bo sacrificed for the purpose of bringing all labourers down to tho samo lovel." There Booms only too much reason that that is tho caso, and that tho object is promptod by that degrading socialistic principio which would givo a monetary handicap in favour of tho loafer or indifferent workman at the expenso of tho skilled and steady operative. Moreover, tho union apparently claims to exercise what is neither moro nor less than
a tyrannical sway over the employer of labour us to the character and number of tho woi knien that ho shall engage. Tho demands of labour must bo rcasouablo in order to obtain tho support of public opinion ; and if unreasonable they will not prevail in the long run, even if by moans of a strike a transient victory may be secured. There is appa- rently on underlying consciousness that the
determination of tho "Wharf Labourers' Union to destroy freedom of contract, and to tie employers hand and foot in tho management of their own business, is indo fonsible, as nil attompts at negotiation for the legitimate sottloment of tho disputo by conference of the representatives of the masters and the men have failed ; nud evon the mediation of the Maritime Council has beon rejected. It would bo little short of a crime to bring about a groat strike, whioh
would retard the free courso of commerce,
in order to compel an abject capitulation by employers of their natural and legal rights; and it is to bo hoped that our local Labour Federation, which has acquired a reputation for moderation, will uso its influonco in averting what could only bo n calamity to the wharf labourers, and a cruel injustice to largo bodies of workmen who can have no sympathy with monstrous and inequitable demands, and who are in no way whatever connected with the unreasonable dispute.
IT has boen explained in a recent essay on etiquette that the abolition of the cere- monious observances regulating intercourse in former days was due in some measure to the levelling up of the middle classes by educational discipline, and that in order to preserve a line of demarcation the upper social classes had adopted the free and easy tone of modorn manners, or to speak more strictly, the want of them. Now, without con- tending for regulations of the rigidity which on one occasion refused to contemplate the possibility of a Queen of Spain having legs, and on another, let a monarch of the same country roast to death in the absence of an officer qualified by rank to remove the coals or retiro his Majesty from the fire, ono may approvo of the maintenance of decorum in all cases. The necessity for an observance of propiiety is especially apparent in assem- blies whero froodom of speech is only checked by courtesy and good taste. It is therefore matter of gonoral regret that the Legislativo Assembly of Now South Wales has established, and still maintains a rocord as the champion chamber of disorderly dobato. The circum- stances of tho hour favour its unenvied
possession of this indignity. With a Premier laid up with a broken leg, and an Opposition composed of broken detach- ments wavering in their allegiance between Mr. Dibbs and Mr. Abbott, evory facility is givon for discursivo exhibitions of individualism, and that genus of public displays, marked by innato vulgarity, finds anunfottorod opening for its peculiar morits. Mr. Dibbs, in his lighter moraonts, and their jocosity is of a sombro huo, emulates the comic celebrity of
a suburban music hall j hut in so doing un- happily selects lugubrious subjects, and treats them in a mournful manner. Among tho notabilities of the Parliament of the sister colony is an' undertaker named Melville and the height of Mr. Dibbs's funereal wit may be estimated by his refer- ring to this gontlomnn in connection with some retort as having a larger knowledge of " stiff 'uns" than any othor man present. Mr. Dibbs is massive in his manner and ponderous in his oloquonco. Such qualities are usually accompanied by a regard for decorum, but if a public man occupying his position fails to observo tho dignity duo thereto small surprise can bo felt at a broach of good manners on tho part of subordinate mombors. Heneo, roading tho report of what is pertinontly termed a " lively discussion," which took place on tho 11th instant, ono turns with surprise to the journal in which it is printod, and to tho cross-heading by which it is dis- tinguished, in doubt as to whether the vohiclo ol' communication is a comic sport- ing paper and the occurrence described a prize fight. - But no ; the paper is a grave daily journal published in Sydnoy, and tho passage at arms is bbfrwoon legislators, not pugilists. ''*.'
Contemporary annalists tell us that tho literary taste of that "preux chevalier," Georgo IV., found its groatest solace in what our Amorican cousins would term a
" high-toned" picture of Corinthian Tom and Jerry Hawthorn, urban and rural mashers of the period who jointly onoountor a mass of adventures. Allowing for the modernised form of the language, the dobato on the day referred to recalls some of tho experiences of the social horoes designated above, and might bo utilised by the ingenious gentle- men who do tho " fighting records" of Foloy's Hall or tho San Francisco Athletic Club. A fight or a fire always draws a crowd ; ono may imagine, theroforo, tho crowd which nightly flocks to the Legislative arona on whoso historic sands sharp encounters spring up at a moment's notice and may bo witnessed at no cost boyond that of procuring an ordor for admission.
To tho patient historian of tho coming age when Australasia is federated and Queens- land cut into two or moro divisions, a perusal of the reports of the Parliamentary debates of the day in Now South Wales will bo much aided by a glossary of scientific tonns used in connection with horse-racing, card playing, and prizo fighting. For instance, what will those habituated to " volapuk " as tho medium of lingual and written intercourse think of an accusation
of " bluffing " as applied by ono honourable member to the conduct of the Government. Then again the " rabbit," though a hurt- ful is not in a personally aggressive point of view, a ferocious rodent, yet not to trespass boyond tho current date, what, as the old song has it, " will thoy think of us in England," when an influential soction of political men demand that Federation shall bo put on one sido until "the rabbit" ques- tion has been disposed of. Having quoted a ghastly joko fathered by Mr. Dibbs it is only fair to placo alongside it choico wtor ccaux, indiscriminately selected from either party. The political Bobadils who speak nro Messrs. Bruce Smith, a Minister of the Crown, and Mr. Hassall, an Oppositionist. Bobadil No. 1 prefaces, just like a small boy on ths safo side of a fence, "Why not fight us out straight?;" to which Bobadil No. 2 retorts; "No man can accuse me of cowardice." " You aro not game," says his opponent. " I am a fighting man from head to foot," replies the foe. But threatened men live long, and, fail ingto enter upon the light, both sides recur to the jeer personal. As is often tho caso with angry men the similes used are of doubtful application, and it is difficult to state to whom fhould bo adjudged the prize for n twn sequitur: Mr. Smith, in comparing Mr. Hassall to " a man trying to «atch wild ducks with rat-traps," or Mr. Hassall in replying that "ho M oui J not 6et a rat-trap to catch the honourable member for a dock."
Tho wit of these allusions is lost to a distant and unappreciative student, but it does seem strange that no one thought of geese in connection with two such birds of a feather as those disputants. Thus tho dreary desert of recrimination extended its barren issues to tho furthest verge of im- prudence without a scintillation of wit or a reversal to common-sense. Mr. Melville
disclaimed hitting bolow the belt. Mr. Hassall denied that an Opposition caucus had beon enlivened by a fight, and Mr. Dibbs, who is a financier, and should know, acknowledged there might be two or threo Jews in his party. Then the washing of dirty political linen was put off until tho following day, when what the samo journal tonus a " lively hour" again relieved the tedium of " legislative mono- tony." On this second occasion Mr. Bruce Smith was onco more a competitor for champion honours, his antagonist being Mr. J. P. Abbott. Dispute arose upon a point of order, which naturally brought the Spoaker into tho field, and led to a conver- sational repetition of Midshipman Easy's famed triangular duel. And in truth no midshipman could accept an easier sense of their responsibilities than some of these elected representatives of the wealth, intelligence, and culture of the mother colony. The report of the proceedings bristles with interjections. Demands for fair play, charges of gagging, accusations of untruth, and finally a threat from a Mr. O'sullivan to gag someone with a log of wood-an expression which conveys no insult to the honourable gentleman cmployingit if inter- preted as promoting order "wid a bit of a sthick "-gavo quito a fascinating varioty to the discussion. Such out- bursts of indiscreet language have long been a chronic feature of Legis- lative sittings in Now South Wales. How is it that tho community which has enjoyed representative government for so much longer a period than tho colonies segregated from it should bo distinguished by an eminence so unflattering?
Victoria has suffered from spasmodic out- bursts of vulgarity in times of groat oxcite mont, but timely inoculation has modified tho disease and restricted its manifestations both in severity and onduranco. Queens- land on moro than one occasion has verged perilously closo to anarchical disorder, but mutual courtesy and good sense, aidod by a gonoral consensus of agreement to support tho dignity of tho Chamber, havo stepped in to rostore tho balance of propriety and to put down tho larrikin eloment in its bud. It may be that tho equality of partios in Now South Wales tends to keep up a constant irritation and to provoke hostilities of an aggravated nature Protectionist and Free-trader have
in so many instances fought uko tho mili- tary freebooters of the Middle Ages, some- times on one side an^,; sometimes on tlie other, that party warfare is ombitterod hy- the romembranco of sovored alliances. It is a caso of brother against brother. The leaguor of to-day was the besiogod of a former campaign ; or, still worse, a com rado from whom no socrets of the fortress woro hid, no plans for tho impending contest Withheld. But now they stand confronting ono another with tho deadly hatred of rup- tured friendship, and stealthy emissaries boaring letters of marquo in thoir own interests traffic on oithor sido with votos, and leavo an odour of treachory whorover thoy plant their foot.. Still is it essential, after all duo allowanco for these exculpating featnros, that honourable members should belittle their offlco, themselves, and thoir country, by ropoatod exhibitions of ill - temper, foul language, and if rumour does not lie, personal assault ? If it is, tho con soquoncos will be gravo, both socially and in tho higher intorosts of tho public. Jack- son will roplaco Parkes, and Slavin confront him as an Opposition Dibbs. The length of a man's reach will bo more important than tho force of his argument, while debates will bo closod by a knock-out in liou of a formal adjournment. Ono thing is certain, the evil bears no jocular aspect ; pugilistic encounters aro by no moans tho worst issue of intemperate language to bo dreaded. The unbridled tongue, as experience has proved in America, is a dangerous justification ior a resort to tho bovvio knife and revolver. The insulting blow in unrofloctiug minds half condones recourse to a lothal weapon,_ and those who habitually lash thoir adversaries with foul words can scarcely complain if embittered blood impols a recourse to foul displays of rosentmont.
The sitting of the Brisbane Diocesan Synod was resumed at the Diocesan Chambers yester- day evening under the presidency of the Bishop of Brisbane (Dr. AA'ebher). The hour of meet- ing was later than usual in consequence of the sudden death of the Kcv. B. E. Goldingham, of Toowoomba. The president had postponed the hour of meeting as a tribute of respect to the deceased clergyman. On the resumption ot the sitting special reference was made to the deceased, and a letter of condolence was ordered to be sent to his widow and family. The Sj-nod then went into committee to further consider the diocesan report. This was finally adopted and a good deal of formal business was trans- acted. The Synod sat till 10.35 p.m., and then adjourned till 4 pan. to-day.
Tho Department of Agriculture have received from Mauritius five wardian cases of sugar oanes, each containing 100 cuttings of the follow- ing varieties :-Bourbon rayée, Bourbon rosóe, Louzier, Bronchew blanche, Bronchew rayée. These have been forwarded to the State Nursery, Mackay, and will be for distribution when pro- pagated.
The Minister for Education (Hon. C. Powers) paid a surprise visit to the Diamantina Orphanage yesterday morning, and before leaving expressed himself to the officials as being well pleased with all the arrangements
connected with the institution.
Mr. E. Deshon, Auditor-General, has been appointed to fill the position of chairman to the Civil Service Board during the temporary absence of Mr. Drew, who is away on sick leave.
The ordinary meeting of the South Brisbane Council was held last night, when accounts amounting to £1971 17s. lid. were passed for payment. A special meeting of the council was held to confirm the minutes of a previous special meeting, at which the rates for the year had been struck. The resolution that the council borrow £8000 for tho erection of Muni- cipal Council Chambers was also confirmed. The Committee of the Whole Council presented their report with regard to the loan for £60,000 for the carrying out of different works in the borough, which was adoptod. One month's leavo of absence was granted to Alder-
Mr. E.C. Barton delivered a lecture last night, in connection with the School of Arts Technical College, on the " Steam Engine," being one of the series on " Heat." The economy of ex- pansion, and the benefits of high pressure vvoro dwelt upon, as also were the theoretical beauties of an engine using ether instead of steam. The exact proportionality of com- pression of steam to the pressure was shown by an experiment which is a modification of Torricelli's measurement of air pressure. The advantages of heat insulation or " lagging" was likewise shown experimentally.
Dr. Booth's ambulance looture, which was to have been,given last evening was, postponed for a week in consequence of the wet weather.
The delegates of the various clubs connected with the Queensland Football Association met last evening, and arrangements were made for the reception and entertainment of the South Melbourne team during their stay in Brisbane. The team left Melbourne by the Arawatta on Saturday night, and should arrive here about midday on Thursday next. The visitors will be met at the wharf by the officers of the associa- tion and immediately driven to their quarters at the Metropolitan Hotel. Every arrange- ment is being made for their enjoyment and entertainment during their stay. The follow- ing players have been chosen to do battle for Brisbane in the opening match on Saturday next:- T. Allen, W. Barry, S. Blackstock, D. Brennan, A. Brown, E, Bulcock, B. Clements, C. Davis, G. Diggles, W. Greenwood, J. Graham, J. C. Gibson, J. Mullen, D. M'Kollar, P. M'Lennan, O. Byan, T. Williams. Emer- gencies : E. Flower, F. Woodroffe, Murrell, and J. Lennon. The Queenslander' colours will be blue and white guernsey and cap, white knickers, and blue stockings.
The Brisbano Parliamentary and Debating Society jnqt last evening in their rooms, ,oyer Messrs. Grimes and Potty's premises. Mr. AV. H. Chambors occupied the chair. The parlia- mentary business-a discussion on federation -was adjourned till next meeting, owing to several speakers being absent. Impromptu speeches wore made upon the following sub- jects :-" AVhat is your opinion of the Queens- land Government granting a sum of money annually for developing tho mineral resources of the colony?" and also, "Are tho ideas written by Edward Bellamy in 'Looking Backward' practicable?" Both topics pro-
voked much discussion.
The Post and Telegraph Department notifies as follows:-"Capo AVilloughby reports that tho steamer You Yangs, from Port Pirie bound for Sydnoy, struck on a sunken rock on Satur- day night, and bocamo a total wreck. All hands loft in the boats, but two boats are miss- ing. One boat with eight hands has arrived at Capo AA'illoughby, but not all aro saved yet."
The Post and Telograph Department advise : -" Hongkong notifies Canton line restored."
The reproduction of tho " Sultan of Mocha ' by Mi'i Braoy's company last night was quito as successful as on the former occasions of its performance. Notwithstanding the un- favourable weather the Opera House was well filled, and tho principal songs wero very favourably received. Miss Lilian Tree sang splendidly all through, and on one occasion the audience was quite unreasonable in the demand for the repetition of a song ; to such an extent in fact was the enthusiasm manifested that an attempt to continuo the opera was resented, and Miss Treo had to come forward again and repeat the last verso. Tho other leading mem- bers of the company were cordially received. The opera will bo repeated to-night, and on AVednosday night Miss Lilian Tree will take a benefit, when the Bohemian Girl will bo pro- duced. The management announce that they have decidod to open an office in the vestibule of the Opera Houso on AA'ednesday morning for the day sale of tickets for unreserved stalls and other portions of the house.
A meeting of creditors of George A. Robert son, of Brisbane, baker, was hold yesterday aftornoon at the offices of Mr. Howard Swan- wick. Mr. P. Corbett was voted to the chair. Tho statement showed: Unsecured creditors, £1277 11s. 7d.; creditors fully secured, £315 ; less estimated value of securities, £3-13 15s. lid.; surplus to contra,£19815s. lid.; creditors for rent, etc., £3 0s. Id. Total debts, £1230 17s. 8d. Assets: Stock-in-trade, £843 los. lid.; book debts, £90, estimated to produce £95 18a.; total assets, £939 13s. lid. Causes of insolvency wore given as pressure of creditors, moro particularly Messrs. Gibbs, Bright, and Co., losses through other insolvencies, nnd dulncss in trade. Mr. Swanwick stated that Messrs. Gibbs, Bright, and Co.'s debt had ibcen bought by two othor persons, and the debt did not therefore appear in the statement in their namo. An offer of 10s. in the pound was made on behalf of Mr. Robertson, the debtor, payable by endorsed bills at three, six, nine, twelve, fifteen, and eighteen months, from 1st July. The oller was unanimously accepted, and Messrs. Donaldson and Pascoe were appointed to distribute the amounts of the bills as they
The quarterly Registration and Revision Courts for the electoral districts of Brisbane North, Fortitude A'alley, Toowong, Enoggera, Toombul, and Oxley, will be held at the Police Court, Brisbane, on Tuesday, 1st July.
A well attended meeting of domestic servants was held at the Town Hall, Charters Towers, the other evening (says the Townsville Bulletin), when it was decided to form a union, which is to become part and parcel of the Australian Labour Federation. Officers were elected, and it was resolved that the entrance fee be 2s. Cd., with a weekly contribution of Gd.
Attention is directed to further arrangements advertised in connection with the receipt of entries for the Queensland Dog and Poultry Society's first show. Inquiries are being re- ceived by the secretary from intending exhibi- tors in several of the country towns, as well as from those in the city, and a satisfactory number of entries is expected by the 28th
The Manchester Department at Finnej-, Isles, and Co.'s includes a superb assortment of specially selected Irish Table Damasks, in lengths and by tlie yard. These goods are undoubtedly superior to anything hitherto shown in Queensland, and should command the attention of housekeepers.