THE GOLD INDUSTRY IN VICTORIA.
The latest report issued from the Office o' Hines, Melbourne, throws a good deal of light upon the recent movement of Victorian diggers northward. More than once we have
alluded to the fact of the gold-field popu lation of the adjoining colony being decidedly on the Recline, and this has now become so patent that it cannot but excite the serious attention of those mainly interested in the future of our energetic neighbour. During the twelvemonth ending on September 30 4,159 persona withdrew from mining occupations, thus reducing the total employed in this branch of industry from 58,506 to 54,347. This falling off cannot be attributed to any special panic for it has taken place gradually, each quarter's statistics for some time pa3t ahowingj^less satisfactory result than those -JB&^Ks^predecessore. We are unable to state off-hand the highest aggregate number reached by the population actively engaged in gold-seeking, but it certainly was many thousands in excess of the total now returned. Of those who have abandoned mining pur suitB many have turned their attention to more regular employments. Many more, un able to quench their thirst for gold-seeking adventure, have gone to New Zealand, New South Wales, and other promising fields in search of fortune. It will be remembered, too, that in August and September last hundreds of diggers on the merest chance of finding something to compensate them for their trouble left for Queensland and the Northern Territory. The result was intensely disappointing, but the very fact that men upon such exceed ingly slender grounds should have left Vic toria shows plainly enough that the aspect of things mineral in the sister colony was far from reassuring. Glancing over the returns we notice that the falling off in man power on the gold fields has been mainly confined to the alluvial branch of mining. In September, 1871, there were 27,026 Europeans and 15,058 Chinese engaged in what may be termed surface - digging j in Sep tember, 1S72, those numbers had dwindled down to 22,664 and 14,910. On the other hand, the quartz-miners had increased from 16,333 Europeans and S9 Chinese to 16,662 of the former and 111 of the latter. It is not, however, safe to assume from these figures that the opera tions of deep sinking, upon which the per manency of the gold-mining industry so intimately depends, are being definitely ex tended, for the total for last quarter is between two and three hundred less than for the three months ending with June of the present year. Moreover the production of the precious metal, so far as can be ascertained, has been decidedly on the wane; for whereas in the September: quarter of last year 1S1,769 ozs. wa3 the return of purchases of gold taken from quartz, the aggregate for the corre sponding three months of 1872 is only 164,673 ozs. The yield of alluvial gold during the same periods were in the one case 165,909 ozs., and in the other 159,154 oz3.— a comparatively small discrepancy. The exports have declined from 306,660 ozs. to 220,907; but a considerable quantity of gold has during the later term found its way to the local Mint. The reports as to the quantity of quartz, quartz tailings, and so forth, operated tpon on the whole show more in favour of 1S72 than of 1871. The' number of tons of quartz crushed in the third quarter of last year was 232,136, the average yield being 10 dwts. 21 91 grs. to the ton, and the total produce 126,669 ozs.; the corresponding figures for the third quarter of 1872 being respectively 257,228 tons crushed, 10 dwts. 19*01 grs. average, and 13S,S03ozs. total yield. The crushing of quartz tailings and mullock have only been about one-sixth as much for this year asTast— a fact accounted for by a large falling off in average produce for the former period as compared with the latter. When we come to look more closely into details o crushings we find that BaUarat has fairly maintained its position, the quantity being in the one case eighty thousand, and in the other eighty-one thousand odd tons. Sand hurst, in order to justify the tide of popu larity which in the course of the twelve month set in in her favour, has at a bound raised her total of ore crushed from forty-one thousand to seventy-eight thousand tons— nearly one hundred per cent. There lias, however, been a large falling off in the stock of tailings dealt with, and the average yield on the crude ore has dropped from 15 dwts. 2-9?* grs. to 14 dwts. 6'20grs. The aggregate crushinga at Beeckworth have diminished from thirty to twenty-two thou sand tons, Maryborough from twelve to eleven thousand tons, Gipps Land from ten to seven thousand, and Ararat from twenty seven to twenty thousand; whilst amongst the increases is to be noted Castlemakie raised from thirty-two to thirty-six thousand tons. In the approximate value of money, machinery, and material there has been a reduction from £2,097,089 to £2,066,885— no very serious difference. The plant now available is used .in working . a portion of tbe 3,201 quartz reefs, or rather quartz reef claims, known to be £old»beariug, and in developing so much
of tho 1,018 square, jniles of proved aurife rous country ascan with the limited amount ' of laboujprocurable be brought under due course of examination. The statistics upon which we have been commenting, although minute enough in some respects, are too im perfect to enable us to form an accurate notion of the average rate of wages obtained by men engaged in gold-mining pursuits in Victoria! ? Speaking approximately, they cannot far exceed 40s. a week— a compara tively moderate remuneration for the arduous nature of the services performed. The Incoming Mail. — Our telegraphic columns shows, that the P. Is O. mail steamer Bangalore, which left Galle on November 25, and was then expected to reach King George's Sound aboutDecemberlO, has arrived inHob3on's Bay. This fine vessel has evidently made a capital run. Our Branch steamer may be looked for at any moment. Drowned.— On December 13, while a son, aged about six years, of Mr. W. Watson, of the Hummocks, with his brother, was amusing him self by catching frogs, he overbalanced himself and fell into a water-tank. Before the little fellow could be recovered he was dead. Fatal Accident.— Late on Saturday night a son, two years old, of Mr. J. Cowie, of Storr street, off Gouger-street, accidentally swallowed some hartshorn, and died from the effects of the dose between 12 and 1 on Sunday morning. Dr. Gunson was called m and afterwards gave a certificate as to the cause of death, therefore no inquest was held. Drainage. —The Commissioner of Crown Lands and the Surveyor-General returned on Sunday from an inspection of the Drainage Works in the South-East. As soon as the Boy al Shepherd was off the Semaphore Jetty the officials landed and were driven to Adelaide. Wise's New Zealand Directory.— Through Mr. W. C. Rigby we have received from the publisher a copy of the first issue of the above useful publication. It is stated that in com piling the work several persons have been con stantly employed for seven months, each town having been visited, and the agent having travelled 3,000 miles. The result is the produc tion of not merely a full alphabetical, commer cial, and official directory, but the presentation in a complete form of Customs, postal, reli gious, political, and miscellaneous information in a handsome volume. Kapunda Yam Creek Property.— Within the last few days a telegram has been received from the party working these claims in the Northern Territory intimating that a leader 18 inches wide and rich in gold has been dis covered. Semaphore Light. — A notice to mariners, is3uedfrom the Marine Board Office, intimates that the Lighthouse on the Semaphore Jetty, Fort Adelaide, has been removed to the end of the extension of the i Jetty 300 feet to the west ward of its former position. Acclimatization. — Admirers of British song sters, especially blackbirds, will be pleased to learn that Mr. P. J. Sanderson has in his aviary at North Adelaide a nest of these. The impor tance of such birds becoming acclimatized will be admitted when it is known that their prin cipal food consists of grasshoppers, caterpillars, and other insects which commit ravages amougst the crops and gardens. It has hitherto been considered impossible for these birds to breed in this province, but Mr. Sanderson believe3 that if proper means were taken these feathered friends would early become numerous. Launch.— The Napperby is the name of the latest addition to our coasting fleet, a fina centre-board ketch of over 70 tons register, which was launched on Saturday at the Port. She was built to the order of Mr. J. Denman, by Messrs. Me Allan, Mitchelmore, & Beau chrap, and is a highly creditable specimen of handicraft Her model is considered by com petent judges to be equal if not superior to that of anything of the kind at present afloat, and she is substantially constructed of colonial timber. The dimensions of the craft are length of keel 70 feet, overall 80 feet, beam 19 feet 6 inches, and depth 7 feet; and she is cal culated to carry from 120 to 130 tons. She is intended for the rapidly-increasing trade be tween Port Adelaide aid Port Pine, and is named after one of Mr. Bowmman's stations near the latter place. It is expected that she will be ready for sea by the end of the present month. The American Wab.— The Panorama of tho American Civil War was exhibited for the last time at White's Booms on Saturday evening. There was a good attendance in the back seats, but not so large in the front portion of the house, owing perhaps to the weather. Some gifts whioh were distributed caused much amusement. To-night and to-morrow evening the views will be shown at Glenelg; and probably the owner will arrange for exhibiting at Port Adelaide before starting for Europe by the ship South Australian. Postal Facilities.— It is stated that 9? memorial, which has been numerously signed, is to be presented to the Postmaster-General by Captain Dale, requesting that there may be a bi-weekly mail between Ports Wallaroo and Broughton. 'Marttana.'— This elegant opera will be repeated to-night by the Shakespeare company in White's Boom. The great trouble and expense incurred in the preparation should alone induce a full attendance. In the absence of other amusements it will no doubt be well patronised. New Institute.— The interesting ceremonial of laying the foundation-stone of a new Insti tute building at Payneham will take place this afternoon, Mrs. Alexander Hay performing the. task. In the evening a tea meeting will be held in the Payneham Wesleyan Schoolroom, to be followed by a literary and musical entertain ment. Bowden Public School. — An examination of the scholars attending this institution took place on Friday, Mr. S. Kidner presiding. The ready answers given showed that the pupils were well grounded in various branches of knowledge. At intervals . the children sang, and some of them recited creditably. A small article of jewellery was presented by two scholars, on behalf of the others, to Mrs. Harris for teaching them to sinpr. The presentation, though, it gave her much pleasure, evidently took her by surprise. After a sh«rt adjourn ment to the playground, the children were well supplied with refreshments, and on the re assembling Mr. Kidner distributed a present of books received from Mr. Angas, the founder of the school, and at whose expense the entertain ment was given. This was followed by a magic lantern exhibition, given by Mr. A. J, Magarey, which afforded much amusement, and for which he received a round of applause. A number of parents and friends present at the examination and entertainment seemed pleased with the pro ceedings. The Chairman stated that tha dis cipline of the school and the proficiencyof the scholars reflected credit upon Mrs. Davies, the conductor. Incongruous.— A most singular instance of misplaced maternal affection is to be seen at the Paramatta Mine, where Captain Warren has a red retriever bitch that recently gave birth to nina puppies. Fight of these are still alive, and a hen, also belonging to Captain Warren, seems to be impressed with the idea that if they do not belong to her they ought to. She never leaves them night nor day, and is constantly getting into the middle of them and trying to brood them. When any person approaches she 'clucks' to them as a barn-door fowl does to orthodox chickens. Also she scratches up the ground for them, and endeavours to teach them to peck up In the most approved manner. When their mother comes she resents the inter ference, flies at her and endeavours to do battle with her. Of course the puppies, much to her chagrin, apply to their mother for a due share of creature comforts, and she, with ill-concealed mortification, views the process. We have often beard of cats taking to puppies, and vice msa, but for a hen to attempt to affiliate to herself eight strong puppies, each one of which is nearly big enough to eat her, is as curious a litsiis natum as we have witnessed. The only explanation we can give of the affair, as the hen had no last brood of chickens to moum over, is that she is getting what is usually termed 'cranky.'— W allaroo Times,
The Late M. George J. Davies.— Our obituary column announces the death on the South African Diamond Fields of Mr. George Davies, second son of Dr. Davies, of Beaumont. The news was quite unexpected, as his disorder was so sudden and rapid in its effects that the letter announcing his death was the first infcel- ' ligence his family received of his being other- wise than in health. Dr. Davies's numerous friends will sympathise deeply in the loss he and . his family have sustained, and their sorrow will be shared by those who were acquainted with the young man himself. He was of a frank, honest, and kindly disposition, which won for him the friendly esteem of all who were privileged to know him well. It will be some consolation to these who mourn for him to learn that the same qualities which endeared him to them had won for him many attached friends in the place where he died, and that his last hours were cheered by every attention that care and kind- ness could supply. Nor was South Australia itself unrepresented there, as Mr. George Bean, an old schoolfellow, was residing in the neighbour hood, and kindly gave all the assistance in his power. From a letter written by him to Dr. Davies we are permitted to extract the following passage:— 'Your son George has been working a claim here (De Beer's New Rush, Diamond Fields) for some time, and has always enjoyed good health, but on Friday, the 23rd August, he complained of being unwell, and a doctor being called in decided that his lungs were congested. Some friends removed him to Du Toit's Pan, a distance of four miles from here, and gave him every possible atten tion; but he got worse from day to day until the doctors came to the conclusion they would ? not be able to save his life. I remained with him nearly all day on Saturday, the 31st August, and he conversed with me, although with some difficulty.' He died the same even ing; and, after describing the messages he asked to have forwarded to his friends, Mr. Bean writes:— 'The funeral took place on Sunday, 1st September, and was the largest that has yet occurred on the diamond-fields. Mr. R. G. Lawrance and myself were the chief mourners, and nearly all the professional men, merchants, and others in Du Toit's Pan, as well as a number from the New Rush, followed his remains to their last resting-place, thus testifying to the great respect and esteem they held for one who was so universally liked. The sad affair cast a gloom over the whole place, and for several days was almost the only topic of conversation. We are having a tombstone made and railings to enclose the grave. From a medical report forwarded by Mr. Bean it appears that the disorder was of a typhoid character, and was one very prevalent on the diamond-fields. The Shenandoah.— The question of how far this colony was liable for the verdict given by the Geneva Arbitrators on account of the damage done to the United States stripping by the Confederate States war ship Shenandoah, was last night (says the Argus) brought under the attention of the Legislative Assembly by Mr. G. V. Smith. Mr. Francis, however, soon set the matter at rest by reading a despatch from Mr. Car dwell, the then Secretary of State for the Colonies, showing that the action taken by the Governor and Government of this colony met with the full approbation of the Imperial Government. Telegraphic.— There are other lines besides that between Port Darwin and Port Augusta liable to interruption. A day or two ago the Hamilton Spectator was disappointed in the receipt of its ' usual Ecglish and colonial te'e grams, the reason being that about half a mile of the telegraph line between Beaufort and Trewalla had been carried away by heavy thunderstorms. There was also a break in the line between Warrnambool and Camperdown, thus completely cutting Hamilton off.' Armstrong and Dowden.— The action of the New South Wales Executive in commuting the sentence of Armstrong and Dowden, convicted for the Carl murders, is thus explained by the Sydney Morning Eemld :— ' It is understood that in withholding the execution of the capital sentence much weight was given to the circum stances that the wretched men acted in the atrocities on board the Carl under the influence and direction of their employer, who was the principal perpetrator of the crimes committed, and that they were afterwards convicted mainly on bis evidence as approver.' Locusts.— The advance guard of these un-. welcome visitors entered the city on Saturday morning, and in a few hours were followed by the main body. Clouds of the pests were to be seen about the. parks and squares on Sunday. Adelaide Educational Institution.— In the list of prizes given to pupils at Mr. J. L. Young's Institution we accidentally omitted to state that the £10 scholarship was the gift of the Old Scholars Association. Mining Labouk. — The Wallaroo paper says: — ' We understand that the labour market at Moonta and the adjoining mines is fairly sup plied both for skilled practical miners and ordinary men. The Queensland exodus does not seem to have made much difference, and it is expected that the best of the men who left will return when their means permit. After making diligent enquiry, every account we have heard of that has been received from the men who went has been unfavouable. From several nothing has been heard, and in their case no news is not considered good news. Cost of Cablegrams.— From a late issue the BaUarat Courier wote:— 'The outside public have only the faintest idea of the cost of the luxury of cable messages ; but when we tell them that the Associated Press paid £197 for the first through telegram, and that not a message has come since that has cost less than £50, they will perhaps be able to see that what is highly entertaining and profitable to themselves is almost financial death to a number of newspapers, and any thing but cheering to the best-paying of the class. And this outlay only represents the wire charges. Something like £13 per day has to be paid in addition for collecting and filtering the news through England, to say nothing of the cost of telegraphing to the country districts from Melbourne at all hours of the day and night. The gross expense of these messages last week to the Victorian journals was not less than £579, and this is a burden which, on the broad ground of common fairness to everybody, newspapers should not be left to bear alone.' [From Saturday's Evening Journal] Police Court.— Mr. Beddome's reception room on Saturday did not receive a single visitor, not even a ' drunk' appeared to be re lieved of a crown. Share Sale.— Messrs. Wadham & Co. sold by auction, on Saturday morning, 100 Adelaide Bank shares at £5 12s. 6d. Received.— From Mr. James Bell we have received a printed copy of the evidence that he gave before the Police Commission, with some testimony that the members declined to receive, and sundry comments. The writer's chief grievanoe seems to be that when the number of the force was reduced he was cashiered, while men not of greater intelligence, activity, or experience were retained, and that after being 14 years in the service he received far less compensation upon leaving than did other constables who had been a shorter time employed. The Crops.—' Wheat is coming rapidly into Gawler (the Bunyip reports), and the Albion Mill received on Thursday 1,300 bags. The yields on some circumjacent farms are proving large beyond all precedent, and reaching in instances to 35 bushels to the acre, while the quality i* as fine as can be well imagined, very little being under 60 lbs. to the bushel, and an instance haying occurred of wheat brought to the mill weighing 674 lbs per bushel' RAILWAY FIRE. — The Gawler Times reports :— "The first fire of the season caused by the railway locomotives occurred on Wednesday morning between Smithfield and Gawler. Mr. Saint, the Gawler Station-Master, observed the fire at once, and got together a gang ef men. As soon as the train arrived he had the engine uncoupled and fastened to the trucks which had the men in, and by this means help was on the spot before much damage was done, only about one acre being burned. Great credit is due to Mr. Saint for the prompt action he took in the matter; by this means, perhaps, saving the destructicn of hundreds of bushels of wheat." The Bunyip mentions that the locality of the occurrence was on the farm of Mr. Roberts, and that the engine-driver reported the circumstance , immediately on his arrival at the Gawler station to the Station-Master.