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The Conference in Melbourne.— The Argus . -f Tuesday last says:— 'The Intercolonial Con erenceof delegates, representing three of the Australian Colonies and Tasmania, met for the irst time yesterday at noon. The delegates jresent were— For Victoria, Mr. McCulloch and tfr. Francis; for New South Wales, Mr. Cowper, ind Mr. Samuels ; for South Australia, Mr. Hart, Mr. Barrow, and Mr. Townsend ; and for rasmania, Mr. Wilson and Mr. Chapman. We earn that it was determined to elect Mr. tfcCulloch as Chairman of the Conference, ifter which the circular of the Tasmanian jovernment suggesting a Conference was read. K conversation followed as to the mode of pro :edure which should be adopted as to meetings, ind it was decided to meet daily at noon, and to take first into consideration the subjeit of a Customs union. No substantial business was entered upon during yesterday's meeting, rhe Conference having been now constituted, t may be interesting briefly to recapitulate the circumstances which called it into being, ind the subjects which will be submitted' to its deliberations. It was in February of the present year that a circular note was sent by the Government of Tat mania to the Govern ments* of the Australian Colonies and of New Zealand, referring to the suggestion offered in October, 1868, by the New Zealand Government that a Conference should be held at Sydney— - suggestion which, although it met with ready ? acquiescence, led to no practical result. The circular urged that many grave subjects of intercolonial character demanded considera tion, and repeated the suggestion for a Con ference to consider them. The invitation emtained in the circular received favourable response from the Governments of South Australia, New South Wales, and Victoria,, but the Government of Queensland replied that as the Parliament of that colony would be in session at the time proposed for the Conference, it would be impossible for a member of tha Government to. attend. The New Zealand Government, although it had supplied the first suggestion of a Conference, now, on receiving the Tasmanian circular, replied by a long despatch, reviewing the former efforts of the Government to obtain a Conference, discussing its probable results, expressing a strong opinion against a Customs union, and virtually withdrawing from the Conference. This is the present state of the matter, and in view of the important subjects which it is in tended to consider, it is to be regretted that tlio Conference will not possess the advantage of having the assistance of the views, of repre sentatives of the colonies of Queensland and New Zealand, and that their decisions, when arrived at, will not have the force of the full L-oncurrence of all the colonies of Australasia. The subjects that will come under the conside ration of the Conference will be the assimilation of tariffs, the free interchange of colonial pro ductions, ocean steam postal service, immigra tion, telegraph extension, lighthouses, legal comity, an Australian Court of Appeal, and the external defences — matters all of them of the first importance, the determination of which would be a great stride towards the federation to which the colonies are ultimately to come.' The GOLD-DiaonMJS.— On Friday, June 24, a deputation, consisting of Messrs. W. H. Russell and A. Saunders, waited upon the Commissioner of Crown Lands (Hon. A. Blyth), being accom panied by Mr. Walter Duffield, M.P. The primary object of their visit was to request the Government to repair the roadway and bridges leading to the gold-field which had been washed away by the heavy rains, though while they lasted they were found to be of great benefit. The deputation also urged upon the Commissioner the adoption of a system of rewards for the discovery of new gold-fields, with a view of encouraging prospecting, which it was felt might lead to profitable results. The Commissioner, after hearing what the deputation had to say, promised that the matters Drought tinder his notice should receive the consideration i f himself and his colleagues. ' Athlktic Club.— A meeting of the Adelaide Athletic Club was held at the Prince Alfred Hotel on Friday evening, June 24, there being i fair attendance. . The accounts, which show: d s balance of £57 17s., were referred to the Auditors. The following are the officers:— Patron, His Excellency Sir James Fergusson; President, the Hon. Sir John Morphett; Vice president, Mr. W. Townsend, M.P.; Secretary, Mr. W. Pope; Treasurer, Mr. W. Oldham; and the Committee, Messrs. Ashwin, Borrow, and W. S. Samson. A vote of thanks was unani mously accorded to Mr. W. Gooch for. hi3 exertions as Honorary Secretary. It was announced that the next meeting would be held early in September. The Insurance Case.— In the summing up in- Hertz v. South Australian Insuranco Com pany our report stated that His Honor said — 'The calculation of Mr. Price depended upon the absolute truthfulness of Mr; Hertz's books, and when he had, either through forgetfulness or desiga, sworn deliberately to a statement which he now admitted to be altogether false, they would certainly be justified in declining to accept his statement as true in any other particular, unless corroborated.' The pronoun ' he' referred to Mr. Herte, and not to Mr. Price, as would be seen by any one reading the evidence, but as the sentence was ambiguous we, at Mr. Price's request, make the explanation. Yacht Club.— The fourth sailing match of the rising little Club, the South ? Australian, took place on Tuesday, .the 21st.; The following boats were started at 10 minutes past 12:— Prince, Isabella, Express, and Curlew. The course was from the bridge round ? the-. North Arm beacfln, twice up and down. They arrived thus:— Isabella, 2b. 31m. 45 sec; Express, 2b, 36m. 55 sec.; . Curlew, 3 h. 1 m. ; Prince, 3h. 2m; The members afterwards met at the Club House, where the prosperity of the Yacht. Club and the health of Mr. F. E. Bucknall, the commodore of the race, were toasted with the usual honours. , THB ADELAIDE' LlEDERTAFEL. — The 12th anniversary of the Adelaide /Liedertafel was celebrated at the Hotel Europe on Monday evening, June 20, and was in every way a success.' In. the early part of the evening- it seemed as if there would hot be a very large attendance, but at, the commencement of the Ball it was plainly noticed that an increase in the company would not be very convenient or comfortable.. The Liedertafel introduced a number oi. new musical compositions, and the audience loudly expressed their appreciation of the very efficient manner in which they were performed. The ladies in connection with the Liedertafel gave several proofs of their abilities, and, considering that they have only had two rehearsals this winter, the public cannot but bestow all praise on them and thair Director, Mr. C. Piittmann. Selections from Meyer beer's 'Huguenots' by the Misses A. and L. Koppen were admirably executed, and Messrs. Christen and Mumme were deservedly encored. ABall which followed the s musical entertain ment closed at an early hour on the following morning. : ... Soiree.— On Friday evening the fourth of a series of Sixpenny Readings took place in Pulteney-street Schoolroom ; - Mr. W. Storrie presiding in the absence of Mr. Moore. Mr. Broadbent played well on the harmonium, several. songs were creditably given, and a number of recitations fairly rendered com pleted a neatly-arranged programme.. The reciters were Messrs. A. Searcy, W. Adamson, W. S. Neale. W. Stewart, W. F. Redman, and J. Pullman. ? ? ? ?? ?' ? Maritimb.— The Mercury says :— ' Rarely has there'been more' actmty displayed in the shipbuilding, yards of Hobart Town .than at present, and seldom, at least for many yeare , past/ have there been more vessels in course of construction at one time.' - ?RmRS.-^Tbe North and South Para Rivers, ong dry, are now running strongly, and should much more rain fall around, Gawler may be expected to bo flooded. South Para Bridge.— This useful structure at Gawler has been finished, and charge handed over, by the contractor to the Central Road Board. The Times remarks:—' It i3 a hand some structure, and the style of the work, as well as the speed with which it wa3 executed, rejects great credit on Mr. Nutt. It was finished in good time before the river came d^firti, for had it not been passable now the consequences, would have teen very serious.' .Houkds.— The pack: of half-a-dozen owned ty Mr. N. Sowton, of Auburn, bad a shorS run the other day, and the formation of a Northern Uijnt Club is talked about. ;;?.,,. . ?
Police Raid.— The force of public opinion win in the main back up the action of the police, who, during the past few weeks, have made very strenuous endeavours to lessen the glaring vices of the street. Hardly a day passes without two or three, and from that to six or a dozen bad characters being taken before the Police Magistrate, and fined or imprisoned^ for using obscene or indecent language, soliciting, or otherwise offending against the law. On Friday mcmingl4were mulcted in different amounts on charges of being common prostitutes and loitering. While commending the zeal dis played, and hoping that scenes and language which have in the past been too frequent in open thoroughfares] may be 'banished, it is but right to direct the attention of the authorities to the absolute necessity of making no distinction in the classes or sexes whose offences the law is bound to recognise. Some weeks ago we invited attention to what was a crying nuisance, a foul blot, and a burning shame— the state of the north side of Rundle street after dark between the Beehive and the Globe. ^ This quarter had been for months the recognised rendezvous of our young and ad vanced rapidity of both sexes, and fallen men and fallen women revelled in conduct and con verse which would make the blood of respec table and reputable citizens boil, and the cheeks of women worthy of the name ctimson with shame. Fruit resulted from our exposure, inasmuch as next day six were convicted, and shortly after as many more; but this most public part of the city must be cleared of all who simply congregate there to ply their infamous trade, or meet with those who do'so. Old roue's and fast youths, both as shameless as their consorts, must be taught to seek some more retired quarter for their assignations. If a few of the more promi nent men, who oftsn indulge in filthy 'and blasphemous talk in the hearing of passers-by in the locality indicated,- and their flaunting female companions are dealt with as are tha habitue's of Light-square, a long step would be taken towards remedying existing evils. This, there is little doubt, could readily be done, and there is no reason for believing that the police, now that attention has beeu called to the matter, will shrink from the task. Weunder stand that the police have now been instructed to carry out the 8th paragraph of clause 62 of the Police Act strictly, and common prostitutes found wandering in the streets are to ba arrested. If in the day-time, however, they are quiet, and not in conversation, manner, or dress unbecoming, they are not to be interfered with. They will not under the 59th. clause be permitted to wa'k the streets at night which provides for those found loitering about for the purpose of prostitu tion. It is also intended vigorously to enforce clause 56 of the Licensed Victuallers Act and one in the Police Act, under which publicans are to be brought before the Police Court if they permit prostitutes to assemble and stay on their premises or in their houses. We may mention that up to 10 p.m. on Friday an additional number of eight prostitutes were arrested, charged with loitering about for the purposes of prostitution, including three residing in a well known house in Brown-street. Base Action.— Under this heading it is stated in the Clare paper that one night lately some evil-disposed person took wild oats, appa rently from a haystack, and strewed them on Mr. J. Bowden's newly-purchased section of .?virgin soil. Racing the Train.— On a recent trip on the Northern Extension line we saw a man on horse back cantering up a cross road about three miles from a station. He quickened the pace of h?s horse with the evident intention of reaching a level crossing before the train, but as it was going at full speed and the man and horse had as far to go as the train to reach the crossing, he did not succeed, but crossed just behind the carriages. Nothing daunted he rode on along side the railway, and arrived at the station first, having beaten the train by 100 yards in about three miles; the pace was not very severe— for thehorse.— Gawler Times. Serious Accident. — The Auburn correspon dent of tho Kapuiida Herald reports that a youth, about 11 years of age, son of* Mr. J. Mailer, mason, while leading ', his horse on Tues day with a rope, was in the act of hitting it when the animal rushed forward, broke away, and kicked the lad on the side of the head, which rendered him insensible until .Wednesday morning. No opinion can yet be formed as to the issue. ; . , Late Trains. — The midday train on Monday was an hour behind time in putting in an appearance at the Kapunda Station, reports ihe Herald. When between Gawler and Rose worthy a leakage commenced in some of the pipes, so that it was with difficulty the fires cculd be kept alight, and as there 13 a good deal of uphill work betwixt Roseworthy and Eapunda the engineer almost despaired of reaching Eapunda with his engine. Mortality, among Cattle.— Since the green feed began to spring Mr. Grimmond, of Gawler, has lost throe horses, two bulls, and five cow3. The Tinittsays— 'Mr. Grimmond attributes this mortality to the animals eating of, a poisonous plant; but we have heard it suggested that they were very poor before the green feed began to grow, and probably the death of the cattle is owing to their eating the young grass.' Destitution.— A preliminary meeting, called by circular signed by the Mayor, was held at Eapunda on the afternoon of June 23 to devise steps for the relief of the distressed and needy in and around that town. Nearly all the resident ministers ! were 'present, and promised to unite in a work- so necessary. At an ad journed meeting Ladies' and General Working Committees will be formed. to collect and dis tribute. ? - Heartless Cabman. — Last week's Gawlet Times mentioned the case of an unfortunate man, Brook, who got his leg broken at the diggings. The same paper* now says:— 'The Rev. J. L. Parsons and another gentleman, who happened to be travelling to Adelaide by the same train as conveyed Brook, showed him a good deal of attention, and on arriving at the station Mr. Parsons called a cab, and paid the fare for Biook to be taken to the Hospital. Having done this, we believe Mr. Parsons, who httd his wife and child with Mm, left Brook to the care of cabby and the railway portera. It was found either difficult or impossible to get the poor fellow into the cab; but tho driver, having got the money, refused to give it up so as to enable Brook to get another conveyance.
We wish we knew the name and number of this choice specimen of shabby cabby humanity; we would give him a good advertisement gratis. The invalid was ultimately carried . to the Hospital by some of the railway porters.' Mr. and Miss Helleb.— From the Melbourne papers we observe that Mis Heller has sailed for England in the Great Britain, and that Mr. Heller intends giving a series of superior musical entertainments in Victoria. . ??:? Valuable Site.— Many Londoners wDl re member the Poultry Chapel, which is, it is said, t© be sold for £70,000, and a new place of wor ship of great magnitude will be erected for Dr. Parker on the : site of Claremont Chapel, 'Pen- tonville, withia two minutes' walk of the Angel; ; -'., ' ' '.' , ,; ; ..x-\ \ ' V ' '/? ('.:? [Froiri yesterday's Evening Journal.] V The Rainfall.— The rainfall between 9a.ni. on Thursday and the same time on Friday bio been registered as- follows:— . : f-i ; : - . ; - Adelaide..; ;..' 0*925 Strathalbyn' ;:. 0-875 Gawler ;.. ..: 0-835 Wfflunga.... ... ? 0-S20 Tanunda... ... 0-940 Normanville ...' 1*125 Blanchetown ..? 0-540 Port Elliot ... 0-590 Eapunda..1. : ;.?! 0-780 Goolwa ...... 0-310 Auburn ;..:.. 0-850 McGrath's Flat. 0-370 Wallaroo' -' ...' 0840 Robe Town ? ... 0-880 Moonta ... ..I 1*340 Mount Gambier 0-130 Clare ? ... ..; I'llO- Penola ... ... 0-870 Burra ...... 1*440 Narracoorte ... 0-430 Melrose ... V.- 1*090 Gumeracha .:. 1-600 Port Augusta..1. 0-490 Wentworth NSW 0-403 Mount Barker.. 1*515 Attemfteij Robbery.— Wehavebeeninformed that a skylight attached to the roof of one of the showrooms at Mr. A. Cunningham's, Rundle-street, was found to rhave been forced open on Thursday night, and which could not have been opened in a similar manner from the inside. It is supposed that the thief in . trying to effect an entry to the premises was disturbed, as no traces were found inside, or anything missed. It has given a warning, however, that will necessitate a strict t xcaich to 'be keut in case of another visit.
New Zealand has always taken a wider view of reciprocity than the' other Aus tralian Colonies. She has recently shown that she means it seriously. We on
the mainland would think it a large and substantial boon to have oar ima ginary boundary-lines effaced from our commercial geography, but New Zealand aims at absolnte emancipation from the Colonial Office on matters of trade. She desires as free a course for her commerce on the sea as on the land. Whereas we should be satisfied with federating adjacent countries which acknowledge the same sovereignty, New Zealand would put distance and sovereignty out of the ques tion entirely. She would claim the same privilege for the United States or Fiji which we propose to limit to the southern colonies of Great Britain. What we desiderate A3 an exception she asserts as a rule. Moreover, it cannot be disputed that the New Zealand application of reciprocity is more self -con-
sistent than ours. The drawback to its logicality is that it evolves a wider aspect of the question than can- conveniently be dealt with at present; If propounded at the Conference— and it inevitably must be — pretensions which are as yet hardly practicable will be mixed up with others which have a fair prospect of realization. The Australian delegates will speedily dis cover that the New Zealand programme is essentially distinct from theirs, and to some extent incompatible. At any rate, it will be a disadvantage to have to submit a scheme to Earl Granville which he may be able to condemn as a whole because of some partial exaggerations in it. The New Zealand programme' is already somewhat more than a theory. It has been negotiatedupon, or rather overtures have been made for negotiation. By the first steamer which sailed for San Francisco under the Hall contract the American Consul at Otago forwarded; to the Home Secretary at Washington a memorandum from the Premier of New Zealand on the wool trade of the United States. Mr; Fox in his exor dium hoped that the new mail service would 'prove the commencement of friendly rela tions, and to both sides profitable commercial connection with the people of America.' To himself ministerially the greatest pleasure that could happen would be 'to hear that the Government of the United States would in future be willing to allow the Government of this country to communicate with them direct in matters affecting the relations between the two - countries.' That is cutting the: Gordian knot of Colonial
Office mediation- without much ceremony. Had Mr. Fox been duly mindful of circumlocutionary etiquette, he would have humbly' solicited from Earl Granville per mission to forward through him,' thence through the Foreign Office to the American Foreign Secretary, and through the American Foreign Secretary to the American Home Secretary, a stilted official statement of what he has here succinctly communicated in a note to a local Consul The chances are at least a hundred to one that His Lordship's reply would have curtly described the horror of Her Majesty's legal advisers at such an unconstitutional proposal. So the first essay at direct relations with Washington would have gone quietly to sleep in the pigeon-holes of Downing-street But Mr. Fox, by assuming some responsi bility and yielding to the business-like instincts of a colonial mind, has ensured some practical results, which would not have been attainable through regular channels.* lie has made certain of his opinions — which in this case represent an irrepressible desire of the colonists— actually reaching the Ame rican Government. He may also assums with confidence that these opinions .will be very differently treated at Washington from what they would have been at Do\vmng jrireet. They will tickle American .pride, and reap all the peculiar advantages attending that occurrence — submission to Congress, being reported upon by some Committee on Foreign Relations, publication in the New York hewapipere, and spread-eagle : criticism ; from the New York Herald. They will be made a
j 'question,' whereas by the other and regular course they would never have become anything more than the text of a despatch.' And publicity may not be their only achieve- . ment. The overture toward opening direct relations with Washington, if responded to' at all, must involve preliminary ; (oqv-j sideration with the English Minister at Washington. An Austrian or a French Secretary might simply ignore such an irregular proceeding ; he might decline to acknowledge Mr. Fox as being within the circle of diplomacy ; but human nature is not so reticent at Washington. American statecraft is very susceptible to compliments, especially such as are gained at the expense , of England. , Mr. Fox's letter will in a]fc probability be seriously submitted to Sir. F. Bruce, who will have to forward it to Lord Clarendon, that His Lordship may take counsel upon it with Earl Granville. It will complete its circuit by reaching at last the point to which it should have been addressed at first. - ? , ? ?? . This alight, and as yet very little known event, may develop into some consequence. It may extort expressions of opinion from authorities in a higher* sphere of- politics than, the colonial. It may' lead, to a diBCUBsion of broader principles than the colonies themselves could ever have started. The Washington Government is almost sure to pronounce upon it, an-T Earl Granville may find himself obliged to; become, more explicit than he would have needed to be to Mr. Fox. Had this New Zealand Premier not backed out at, the last moment he might have' put the Melbourne Conference ' in a dilemma for which some of the delegates had been little prepared. When Mr. Stafford fir3t sug gested American reciprocity as an item in
the Conference programme, one or two of the Chief Secretaries protested against it as premature. They cannot much longer stave it off under that pretext, for the question ! has specialized itself. Mr. Fox's letter to the American Consul may be tabled for] the consideration of the Conference. It may not be without sympathizers among the representatives of the other colonies. In Victoria there is an incipient party— one of the joints of the old McCulloch tail— which asserts the broader doctrine of reciprocity. If not countenanced by Mr. Higinbotham himself, it is certainly a phase of Higin bothamism which maintains that the colo nies should have conceded to them the right of entering into commercial treaties with foreign powers. If this party is represented at the Conference it will strenuously sup port New Zealand, and by the same token aggravate the difficulty of federation as understood by most of the colonies, It will give a turn to the negotiation which cannot be either promptly or effectually followed out. V That the Imperial veto on differential duties should be removed as between the colonies themselves is a most reasonable request. They should never have had the necessity imposed upon them of asking for it, and when they realized- its importance they should not have had to press it even for a year, to say nothing of half a generation. That colonies which have a special com munity of interest, extending in some cases to physical continuity, should be allowed the utmost freedom of trade is a natural deduction from one of the ruling prin ciples ? of the empire. The , Colonial Office in discouraging or hindering it - is virtually transgressing one of the purposes of its existence. To the strongest remon strances against its inconsistency it can make but one answer— rectification. To the most emphatic demands it cannot deny justification.' Silence is at present, and always has been, 'its only shelter. The divisions and jealousies of the colonies have alone protected it from an irresistible claim for redress. But relief from abused authority, and the setting up of a counter authority, are different proceedings. Reciprocity amongst ; the colonies acknowledges tho jurisdiction of the Colonial Office, but j. reciprocity between colonies '.and foreign States must end in repudiating it. f , ' More especially ' if a general treaty power is demanded must Downing* street soon discover that its occupation is gone. Mr. Fox by starting this very serious and far-reaching issue at the present time, may have intended more than is expressed '? in his letter to 'Henry Driver, Esq.,, U.S. Consular Agent at Otago.' Earl Granville is enjoying a temporary victory over .him on the self-reliant policy ; but the Earl's own glass house is not bo very safe. If self reliance— cold, hard, and mercenary— is to be the imperial law for the colonies, it ought logically to be applied to trkding as well as to fighting. How will His Lordship relish the sequel— if you disown all respon sibility for our lives and property, then take your hands off our commerce ? Govebhment Departments.— We understand that Mr. Overbury has received an intimation that the notice of removal lately sent to him will not tako effect at the cn-1 of this month. Wo learn further that the GcTrernment are taking active stops to effect economies by every means in their power, so an to bring the expenditure within the narrowest limits consistent with accuracy. It is reported that there is to be a general reduction of salaries proposed ; but in the absence of the Treasurer it is impossible to say how far this is correct. SUPBBME Codrt.— The Full Court f-ill sit in Banco this morniug at tho usual hour. Port-hoadTollbars.— Apublic meeting was held on Friday evening at Hindmarsh, with tho view of adopting measures to get tho tollbars abolished from the Port-road. There was a large attendance, and Mr. li. Hunwic'c, Chair man of the District Council, occupied th,e chair. The members for the district, together with Messrs. H. K. Hughes, M.P., and E. Ward, M.P., wore present, and supported the * views of the iceotiag in regard to tho unfair ness of tho tax and the necessity of getting it abolished. Keso'.utions to this effect were carried, and it was also agreed that Parliament seould be petitioned a3 speedily as possible in reference to the mat tor. Old Scholars' Association.— Tho annual meeting of tho Adelaide Educational Institu tion Old Scholars' Association was announced to have been held in the Freeman-street .School room on Friday evening1, but, owing to 'tho small attendance, was adjourned for a week. :