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Koombana Relief Fund.-A cheque foi' five guineas, subscribed through the columns of the Adelaide "Advertiser," has been forward- ed to the Town Clerk of Perth in aid of thc Koombana relief fund.

The Late Mr. Z. Lane's Estate.-Probate dutv to the amount of £12,400 was puid into thc Treasury on th© estate of the late Mr. Z. Lane, who died in Berlin in October last, tjjhis amount was received Just before the

end of December, the financiar returns for . which month showed a surplus of £12,892.

Tho Port Darwin Mail Service.-Towards the close of the last Parliamentary session Mr. Malo asked a question as to whether in connection with tho Fremantle-Port Derwin mail service Wyndham was to be isolated. The reply then given was that Mr. Sudhol/., the manager of the State steamer service who was at the tim* in the North-West, had been instructed to make innuiries on his return to Perth. The Colonial Secretary has since given consideration to the report furnished by Mr. Sudholz and it has been decided that the mail steamers shall call at Wynd- ham both on the voyage from Fremantle to Port Darwin and on the return trip.

Fire Caused by Lightning.-A Marradong correspondent writes :-Af tor a weok's ex- treme beat, including several days' violent thunderstorms, the property of A. Batt and Sons was set on fire on Sunday, December 29, in rather a peculiar mannpr. The light- ning seemed to traverse a wire fonce for about a mile, setting fire to eight different places at onco. For a few minutos it

seemed to tho settlers that the chance of averting widespread destruction by fire was slight,-, but within au hour more than a score of persons, including four ladies, arrived, and great credit is due to. them for the gallant way iu which they fought the flames, which by then were spreading rapidly. Fortunately light rain fell, which helped to extinguish the flames after they had burnt about sixty acres of grass, At tho time of the accident thc thunder and lightning were terrific, and a white-

gum troe by the fence mentioned was. torn to pieces. (Thc lightning apparently ran both ways, lighting thc grass at every post where the wire was joined, and shot along a cross fence for about 20 chains till it came to an open gate, where it set fire to the grass in the gateway. Had not thc rain fallen d- severe loss would have been certain.

Thc University*-At a conference, between the delegates from the University Senate and thc Premier {Mr. Scaddan), which took Elace this week. It was finally decided that

ui¡dings for the temporary accommodation of the University should be erected on what is known as the Irwin-street block.

Visit of Japanese Squadron.-The Premier has received advice that a Japanese squad- ron will visit Western Australia on the morning of Monday the 13th inst., and will remain in the State until the morning of the 18th inst. In all probability thc squadron will land about 700 men each day to give them an opportunity of seeing somethiug of the State. The Premier is arranging a programme of courtesies to be extended to the visitors.


Registration of Midwives.-A section of thc Health Act, 19Í1, provides for the re- registration of midwives at the beginning of thc year, but this clause only applies to midwives registered as a result of passing local examinations in midwifery. Up "to tho present date no candidates have been registered oinder this' particular section, and therefore the, matter of annual re-vegistra tion does not affect any of the midwives at Í»resent registered. This intimation is pun-

ished as tuero appears to be a good deal OÍ misapprehension in regard to thc mat- ter, and many midwives are under the im- pression that they have to re-register each


"In Recognition of Bravery."-The Mayor cf Fremantle (Mr. F J- McLaren) begs io acknowledge the receipt of a cheque for £10, forwarded by the "Sun" newspaper, Sydney, towards the fund opened to enable some tangible recognition to bc made of th« bravery of Müs Florrie Water«, who re- cently rescued her father from drowning at Rottnest. A letter accompanying the chequa ttatas that the «tory of the rescue wa» read y ten gentlemen who are ra the habit of

lunching together in thc city, and they wero to impressed by the heroism displayed by MÍES Waters that they there and then agreed to contribute £1 each as an expression of their admiration of her resourceful cou raj; o. They left the amount at the "Bun" office duiiug the week, with the request that >t ehculd be forwarded to the Mayor cf Fre- mantle with an explanation of ste origin.

Storm at Derby.-The Deputy-Pcstmaster G^-neral ('Mr. Wnysall) on Saturday received the following telegram from the postmaster at Derby :-"Rlow here last uight from north between 9 p.m. and 2 a.m. Four buildings blown away, also roofe from the hotel and a dwelling. Two verandahs wrecked, several trees uprooted. Office and quarters unharmed. Now calm but very threatening. Two inches of rain. Baromo ter 29.63.

The Silver Chain.-The treasurer of tho Silver Chain desires to acknowledge wi tb thanks receipt of a cheque for £11 3s. 6d. from Mc E. Waugh, Mayor of North Perth Tho sum mentioned represents the proceeds of a euchre tournament organised by tb» Mayoress and ladies of North Perth for th« benefit of the Silver Chain movemeut. The

committrto who organised the tournament wera Mrs. Waugh (Mayoress), Mrs.^ W. tl

Randell (late Mayoress), Mesdames W. Wil- ford Mitchell, Stouemau, S teflon i, Cooke, Greenwood, Hamilton, Yde, Edmunds, Yel- den, Bandy, Williamson, Frith, Smith, Field, Benson, Redgrave, Hunter, Wight, Hinton Hillery, and McDonald, and Miss Hillery. Tho thanks of the committee are duo to the firms who kindly donated prizes, tickets, aud refreshments.

A Meteor.-The following is a copy of a communication received by the Acting Go- vernment Astronomer (Mr. H. B. Curlewis) from Mr. J. D. Leach relative to a brilliant meteor seen by him on the 3rd inst, at 9.21 p.m. :-"On January 3, at 9.21 p.m., I ob- served a very large meteor. It originated at a point midway between the Southern Cross and the south celestial pole, and de- scended in a vertical direction towards the horizon. When a few degrees above Beta Centauri it seemed to expand into a highly luminous mass about three-quarters of the apparent diameter of the disc of the full moon, and still descending, it extinguished itself at a distance of about 4 degrees above the horizon. Evidently it was a considerable distance away, as no report was audible. When it exploded over half the sky was illu-

minated for about four seconds."

Children's Hospital.-At a recent meeting of the Children's Hospital Board lt was stated that parents, In some instances, after having agreed to contribute certain weekly amounts during the time their children were in hospital, failed to carry out their pro- mises. As the amounts mutually agreed upon were, in every case, framed on a mode- rate scale, it was considered that.'the hos j pital was not being properly treated. The

question of the parents' liability was placed before the Premier, who replied as follows: -"I have consulted with the Attorney General, who advises me that he is of opin- ion that further legislation is scarcely neces- sary to eut orce payment by parents for the treatment of children in the hospital, in view of th« fact that an obligation arising out of a contract, expressed or implied, ex- ists wherever a parent places his chilct for treatment in the institution. The form when

' signed by the parent creates an express obli-

gation which would bind the parent to pay." On January 2 Mr. Geo. H. Kirby collected £13 Os. 3d. on thc occasion of hiB annual

racehorse sale at Perth, in aid of the hos- pital.

Maitland Brown Memorial.-Mr. P. G. Porcelli, who is executing the Maitland Brown memorial, expects that the monu- ment will bo completed by the end of tho present week. Already the foundations

have been laid at thc site on thc Esplanade at Marine-terrace, "Fremantle, and there remains only the placing in position of tho I: rouse statue.

Public Works Tendens.--The following tenders for Public Works contracts have been accepted:-J. B. Meredith, Clackline school «na quarters renovations, £52 17s. 6d. M. Nolan, South Perth rifle range, ad- ditions, £148. H. W. Doubikin, Harvey school aud quarters, -renovations, £69 7s. ld. C. Ross, Hawthorn school, additions, £798 3s. 9d. R. L. Waid, South Perth school, additions, £770. J. C. Fitzpatrick, Collie school, additions, £676 4s. 4d. .

Death of Mr. E. Jackson.--The death is announced of Mr. Edwin Jackson, who for .many years occupied the position of manag- ing clerk on thc civil gide of the Crown Law Department. For some mouths past Mr. Jackson has been absent from duty on sick leave, and his ailment was of such a nature that his death, which occurred yesterday afternoon, was not unexpected.

Fire at Osborne Park.-On Monday morn- ing ,'the four-roomed dwelling hou» in Albert-Street, Osborne Park, occupied by Mr aud Mrs. Girando, was totally destroyed by fire. The fire was .discovered about 9 o clock, when smoke was observed issuing from the dwelling by the workers in the vegetable garden. An attempt was made by neighbours and others gardeners "n tho swamp area to eave the building, but tho flames inside bad obtained such a hold that it was impossible to approach the premises owing to the extreme heat. lu a few hours the place was a ruin, only the iron shells remaining until the interior was consumed, when they collapsed. The furniture and a large quantity of fam'ly jewellery was

i lost.

City Building Operations.-The city build- ing surveyor (Mr. Albert Barratt) estimates that for tho current municipal year tho value of the buildings erected within thc city will total £175,000, in respect to which there will be fees payable amounting to £550. Dealing with building operations in the city for the ycar'ending October 31 last, ho states that for every £100 expended, only about £l 3E. l¿d. was for the class of build- ings kuown as temporary structures "Many of tho buildings erected during the year,'' observes Mr. Barratt, "arc such as would do credit to «ny city in the world. For the coming year the prospects are not so promising. There appears to bo a lack of confidence, which ought not to exist, and which cannot be duo to lack of faith in.tho

natural resources of this great State." For the year 1911-12, taking m the months of November, 1911, up to October,' 1912, Mr. Barratt gives the following values of build- ings erected in thc five wards of the city : Permanent, £328,544; temporary, £3,839; total, £332,183.

The Missing Station Owner.-A telegram received on Tuesday by the Acting Commis- sioner of Police (Mr. Connell) from Inspector Holmes, of Cue, contained the gratifying news that Mr. Robert Kearney, owner of Edadgee Station, 100 miles north of Cue, who was reported missing on December 21 last, was alive and well. Hr. Kearney left the station fot Wiluna on December 8 last, with uve natives and eight horses, and three of the horses returned to tue station som» time later, thirsting for water. This led to the belief that Mr. Kearney and his native boys had been murdered hy buloke on the Canning stock route, and on December 23 ft police party left Nannine with several

native trackers, to search, for Mr. KArneyl and bis nativas. Thc telegram received on Tuesday by the Acting Commissioner of of printing policy speech. As the Auditor. General knew of no precedent for fuch ex- penditure being borne by the State, the mat tel was queried, and, by direction of the Premier, the papers were forwarded to th« late Premier, who stated that he always understood , it was the custom to reproducá in moderate numbers, at tho State's ex Íiense, thc Premier's policy speech in pampb et foiui for the usc of members ot' both Houses of Parliament and others. The Pre-

mier apparently- concurred in this view, and therefore this will be accepted as a pre-

cedent for the future." J

Money Order Returns.-Thc remittances by money order to the Kastern State's dur- ing thc month of. December were as follows -

- Victoria £11,000; South Australia,! £4,500; Kew South Wales, £8,000; Queens-j land, £500; Tasmania, £500. Tue return re-

lating to the remittances to other countries ? is aol yet available. j

Government áaviugs Bank.-The Savings ! Bank at the head office, Perth, and at Fre- mantle, Kalgoorlie, and Boulder, will be open for the receipt of deposits on Friday and Saturday evenings from 7 to 9 o'clock. Tho agencies at Subiaco (CJomntercial Bank), Claremont (National Bank), and Midland Junction (Western Australian Bank) will be open for thc receipt of deposits on each Friday night from 7 to 9 o'clock. The now arrangement«, it is expected, will greatly convenience da positors.

Dominions Royal Commission.-Tho Pre- mier has been advised by the Prime Minis- ter of the Commonwealth that the Secretary of State for the Colonies had recently for- warded a cable message, of which the follow- ing is a copy:-'"The chairman of tho Do- minions Royal Commission is anxious in or- der to avoid misunderstanding that it should be known in advance that die Commission will be obliged to make it^a general rule during their visit to avoid public dinners at which speeches aro expected. The multipli- cation of such occasions would constitute a serious, tax and strain upon their time and their physical powers, and it would be in- convenient that the members of thc Com- mission should be called upon to discuss and to express their opinion upon matters whieß are still under consideration by thom as a body. The Commission will, -of course, be

most happy to accept any private hospitality . that may be offered to them."

Consumption of Water for Municipal Pur- poses.-for the year ended October 31 last, no fewer than 52,370,060 gallons of water ! were consumed for municipal purposes within

the boundaries of the Perth City Council. These figures are made up as follow: Street sweeping, 857,200 gallons; gully holes, 2,453,450; street watering, 31,915,120; Mount's Bay-road, 446,000; «team rollers, 27,400; latrines, 1,294,280; Town Hall, 27,250; -stables. 283,000; fish markets, 42,250: water troughs, 1,518,720; refuse destructor, 427,750» sanitary site, 241,250; miscellaneous, 1,020, 880; Delhi Square, 1,028,750; St. Georgc's terrace reserve, 195,250; Queen's Gardens, 3,615,250; nursery, 345,750; Wellington Square 1,459,000; Russell Square, 1,812,500; Royal Park, 342,500; Forrest Park, 15,500; Perth Oval, 1,825,750; Beaufort-street re- serve, 151,750; Weld Square, 980,500; street trees, 229,850; Hyde Park, 26,660; Royal Park bowling green, 86,500; total, 52,370,060 gallons.

- Municipal Councillors and the Churches. Tho -Rev. Ç. A. Jenkins, of the Methodist Church at Fremantle, baa invited the mem- bers of tho Fremantle Municipal Council t* attend officially one of the services at We» ley Church. The invitation, has been fav- ourably entertained, /ino councillor sug- gesting ' that they should maka an official visit to all thc churches within the munici- pality. The memberS"of tho Council hove fixed upon the last Sunday of the month ag the day on which they will attend, thir i day being fixed' in order that Cr, Jones:, who

is shortly going away, might have an oppor- tunity of attending.

Loans to Esperance- Settlers.- In his an- nual report the . Auditor-General gives the following details of tho scheme of loans to Iisperance settlers approved of by the Gov- ernment:-"Cabinet, approved of a scheme of loans to.settlers north of.Esperance, up to a maximum amount of £500, for tho follow- ing purposes:-(a.) Seed and fertilisers for the first crop, (b.) (1.) Water conservation. (2.) Clearing. (3.) Fencing. <c.) For any other purpose the Minister may think fit. Each loan not to exceed 80 per cent, of the value of improvements. Interest is payable at 5 per cent, per aimuni, und thc loans arc repayable as follows :-(a-J .Repayment of-advances fpr seed wheat, etc., to be made out of proceeds of'first crop, (b.) Advances for stock and machinery repayable in toa half-yearly instalments, commencing on January 1 or July 1 next following such advance, (c.) Other advances repayable in 00 half-yearly instalments, commencing five years after date of advance. The amount charged to June 30, 1912, against Loan Item 73, Obevelopment of Agriculture' was £676

3s. 4d., made up as follows :-Seed wheat and fertiliser, £476 3s. 4d.; general ad- vances. £200; total, £676 3s. 4d. No debits had been -charged up in the books to June 30, 1012, ae they had not been balanced with the expenditure. Thc security foi- these ad- vances is ajirst mortgage ou the land.'"

[ Royal Agricultural Society.-Tho monthly I meeting of the council of the Royal Agrien!

tural Society WHS held on Wednesday ! afternoon. "Mr. H. J. Higbam presid-

ed. An application was received from I R. Hummerston for the removal of

the disqualification imposed on the trot-

ter John Bull. It was decided not. to reopen consideration of thc subject. Thc dates for holding thc annual horso parade were fixed for August 1 and 2, and it was resolved that the Royal Show be held on October 7, 8. 9, 10, and ll. It was arranged that the annual meeting of members ho j held on February 19 at 3.50 p.m. The finan-

cial statement -submitted «bowed that the receipts during- tho past- month - had. been £465 2s. 7d., and the expenditure £722 12s. Vd. The balance due by the bank was '£1,324 Oe. 4d., this being an increase on last year's balance of. ¿304..

Lowest Tenders.-Thc following were

the lowest tenderers for the under- mentioned public works contracts:-Addi- tions at tho Kellerberrin School, H. J. Adams, Kellerberrin ; additions at the Clare- mont Central School, C. Ross, Perth; addi- tions at the Mundaring School, W. E. Hayes, Victoria Park; additions at the Capel School, W. Doublikiu, Waroona; additions at thc Victoria Park School, M. Mackesy, Partit.

Land Selection.-Following is a return of applications approved for thc month of De cemherr 1912. the figures in parentheses being those for the previous month:-One hundred and sixty-five applications under conditional purchase conditions, embracing 59,695 acres $.82 for 69,050 acres) ¿ 67 home- stead farm applications, embracing 10,578 aores (80 for 13,681 acres); and 75 applica- tions under gracing-lease condition», «rn

bracing 59,968 acres (61 for 45,771 acree) ; or sj total of 30§ applications, comprising 130,242 acres (323 for 118,502 actes). In addition there were 21 applications, totalling 693,000 acres, under pasioral lease conditions (47 for 2,803,285 acres), and 20 special leases, total- ling 262,423 aero« <31 for 690,723 acrAs). ß« side* the rural applications, leases of ¿14 (own lets and 78 suburban for cultivation hav'ç been approved.

The Avondale, Estate.-Atteution was directed last year (says the Auditor-General In a reference in his auuual report to tho Avondale Estate) to the farming operations of the Department on this property. It .'s understood that the laud has not been open for selection for some time, and as only a small portiou has been sold, thc question will arise as io the interest ou the purchase money which, in the ordinary course of eveuts, will have to bo included in the sell- ing price of thc land at present unsold. In regard to the farming operations and"Te6orve of the - land from sale, the question also arises as to tlie application ot the Act to such procedure, as it would appear that land -purchased has to be immediately thrown open for sale. For instauce, Section 7 requires the Land Purchase Board, iuter alia, to state the probability of the immedi- ate selection of the land, and Section 6 em- powers the Minister to purchase, with the approval of the Governor, if he is satisfied from the report of the Board that the land is likely to be immediately selected for ag riculLural settlement. The expenditure in connection with the farming operations has been made from the Consolidated Revenue Fund, io whieh receipts have been credited.