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THE CALIFORNIAN MAIL SERVICE.

Mr. Parkes has had his revenue upon the New Zealand Delegates. They abandoned him in the matter of the Australian terminus of the Galle route, and he has washed his

hands of their Californian service. It is only just to him to say that from the first he held out very slight hopes of a different result. His sympathies have never been with the Webb line, to which New Zealand has apparently been long bound hand and foot, but have gone out towards a direct Bervice between Sydney and San Francisco. It will not be forgotten how active a part he took in the advocacy of a rival route, visiting the other colonies as its accredited agent, and bringing all his influence to bear to secure the promise of subsidies for it. Dl naturedcritics assert thathis practical interest in Mr. Hall and his fortunes is still kept up, and that the service when it is brought into operation will be managed in Sydney by an ex-Premier, but so far as we know this is a weak invention of the enemy. At all events it is by no means certain that the Hall line is the one destined to be established between New South Wales and California. When we come to consider the circum stances of the case it is not surprising that Mr. Parkes should have given the cold shoulder to the astute representatives of New Zealand. Their primary object, as explained by themselves, was to buy off the rivalry of New South Wales, which would be fatal to the prospect of an Imperial sub sidy to the Webb line. To effect this they were prepared to offer terms which, from ft business point of view, were preposterously libera'. They were willing to promote Sydney to the position which, according to the famous Duffy- Vog el contract, was to have been conferred upon Melbourne, with this difference, that New South Wales, instead of having to pay annually some £20,000 or £30,000 in hard cash, should merely contribute the value of the postages upon the mail matter sent by the steamers. The arrangement was to be this. The San Francisco packets were to call at Auckland, tranship the Sydney letters, papers, and cargo into a steamer waiting there, and then go on to Port Chalmers. The steamer into which the Sydney mails had been transhipped would at the appointed time return to Auckland, and thence proceed direct San Francisco. By this means a division of the terminus of the service between the New South WaleB capital and Port Chalmers was to be ensured, the boat from Sydney always performing the up

service, and all the. main boats visitiog Port Jackson in their tarn. It is evident, to betpn with, that this offer, made whilst the Conference was yet in session, was regarded by Mr. Parkes as an attempt to degrade a question belonging to the realm of statesmanship to the sordid level of an ordinary mercantile transaction. From the Premier's own ingenuous confession we learn that it was hie desire to regard all matters affecting ocean mail communication from a broad and national standpoint. Probably, by way of reproof to Messrs. Vogel and Reynolds for presuming to take a , less exalted view of the situation, the!? letter, dated January 30, was not replied to until February 17, two or three dayB after the Conference had separated. Negotiations having been once opened proceeded briskly for three or four days, and then came the ultimatum--' New South Wales could not fall in with the arrangement proposed.' Not that the decision was conveyed in these curt terms; on the contrary, Mr. Parkes was paternally profuse in his explanations. He made the New Zealand Delegates under stand that beneath their guise of candeur and good faith he detected a design to inveigle 'New South Wales into par ticipation in an act of exceedingly doubtul propriety. He interpreted the offer to mean this. New Zealand will furnish Sydney with a Californian mail service free of cost, provided the Sydney Government assists in obtaining from the Imperial treasury a subsidy of £2,0000, which, added to the expected American subsidy of £100,000, will reduce the colonial contribution to a very small sum indeed. And having thus, in conformity with the highest principles of statesmanship, exposed the little game ef his fellow-delegates, and taken care to repudiate scornfully the idea of New South Wales being a pensioner on another colony's bounty, Mr. Parkes descends to a lower level, and taunts them upon the diplomatic blunder they had committed in throwing themselves into the arms of Victoria. 'Besides this grave ground of objec tion,' and other grave grounds such as the untrustworthinesB of the vessels em ployed on the Webb line, 'in the nature of your proposal this Government cannot disassociate from your present offer the adverse attitude assumed by the representa tive of New Zealand against the just interests of New South Wales in the pro ceedings of the late Conference on the question of the terminus of the Suez mail,' and so on, plainly showing the real ground of the cavalier answer returned to the pro posals of Messrs. Vpgel and Beynolds. Having thuB consoled himself by rolling the sweet morsel of retaliation under his tongue, the Sydney Premier becomes once more magnanimous. He deplores the differences that have arisen between the two provinces, but holds out a promise of brighter times in the future. 'This Government,' he says, ' still looks forward to the time when the colonies may join in good faith and on equal terms in supporting the Trans Pacific Mail Service. Messrs. Vogel and Beynolds replied in spirited bub withal courteous terms to this letter from Mr. Parkes. They denied having the least desire to take a mean advantage of the mother-country, made much, as they well might, of the liberality shown by New Zealand in maintaining communication with San Francisco, explained their action in re ference to the Suez terminus as being prompted by a desire to do the best that lay In their power for New Zealand, offered to meet the objections of New South Wales by insisting upon the condemnation of in ferior Bteamers brought into use by Mr. Webb, and by allowing them to make a more substantial contribution towards the cost of the line than had been at first sug gested. In fact, they declared themselves open to negotiate for the Webb service upon almost any basis that New South Wales pleased. They might have saved them selves the pains. Mr. Parkes absolutely declined to have anything to do with Mr. Webb, and the New Zealand Delegates had nothing left but to make overtures to Vic toria. Whether they have been more suc cessful or not we are unable to say. The latest news to hand from England is to the effect that the Californian line has been dis continued. This will perhaps open the way to fresh negotiations, but it is evident that in general ocean postal matters the Inter colonial Conference performed its work very imperfectly. Marriage with a Deceased Wife's Sister.— This subject is still engaging the attention of the Marriage Law Keform Association in England, *and some of the later proceedings of that body have a special interest for South Australians. By the last maUthe Attorney-General received a number of documents bearing upon the biblical, political, and legal aspects of the question, and these he has obligingly placed at our disposal. It does not now particularly concern us to be informed that a number of Presbyterian worthies believe that the Old Testament directly permits marriage with a deceased wife's sister, because further controversy upon these preliminary points has been rendered superfluous by the passing of the Act ; neither is it news for us to learn that a majority in the House of Commons votes for and a majority in the House of Peers votes against the measure ; but it is of interest for us to know the opinion of a lawyer of some eminence, Mr. John Westlake, of Lincoln's Inn, with regard to the validity of the local Act. It does not appear from the documents who it was that drew out the case— probably it was some one acting on behalf ol the Reform Associa tion; but that is not material. The important fact is that the points submitted have received distinct cate gorical answers, and that in the main they are satisfactory. The first question upon which Mr. Westkke's advice was sought was whether the South Australian Act was repugnant to any Statute of the Imperial Parliament which expressly or by necessary intendment applies to this colony. The reply to that is no. The enquiry, it is added, is obviously meant to refer to Statute 28 and 29 Victoria, cap. 63, which declares the invalidity of colonial laws re pugnant to Acta of Parliament applying expressly or by accessary intendment to the respective colonies, but at ' the

same time intimates that no colonial law shall be invalid on the ground of any other kind of repugnancy to the law of England. The conclusion arrived at by the learned gentleman from this limitation is that the Acts of Parliament deemed invalid '?are those, which expressly or by necessary intendment apply tc one or more colonies as such,' whereas 'those Acts of Parliament, for the application of which to the colonies nothing more can be said than that such application is not expressly excluded by them, and that they refer to no special institution now existing in the colonies, fall under that general law of Eng land to which, whether Common or Statute, r colonial laws are permitted to be repug nant.' English Statutes relating to marriages with a deceased wife's sister do not, it is said, apply to colonies as such, and therefore do not exclude such legislation as South Australia ' has seen fit to adopt. The second and third questions, which have reference to the appli cation of particular Statutes, are virtually replied to in the answer to the first. The fourth query is as follows:— 'Assuming that the South Australian Act is not ren dered void and inoperative within the limits of the colony by reason of repug nancy to the 28th and 29th Vic, cap. 63, is it rendered void and inoperative beyond the limits of the colony by cap. 64 of the same session ?' The reply given to this is that the Statute referred to merely applies to those marriages which having been cele brated before its passing were validated by its passing. The conclusion arrived at is not very lucidly expressed, but it is to the effect that the marriage would in no case injuriously affect the accrued rights of third parties out of the colony, and that it could nave no extracolonial operation unless the parties were ' domiciled subjects of the law at the time of its passing.' In a later paragraph Mr. Westlake remarks that, according to the principle established in Brook v. Brook (3 Smale and Giffard 81, 9 House of Lords Cases, 193), a marriage con tracted in South Australia between a man and his deceased wife's sister being domiciled there at the date of the marriage will hence forth be recognised as valid in England; but states that the issue of such a marriage will not, any more than before the passing of the law, be able te inherit land in the United Kingdom, the Courts having held that to inherit land it is not enough to be the issue of married parents, but that it is also neces sary to be the issue of parents who would have been deemed married if they had gone through the ceremony of marriage in the country where the land lay. The disability here pointed out seems to be the only one attaching to marriage under the Deceased Wife's Sister Act of this colony. The Bubra Election.— At a meeting called by Mr. Rowland Bees at the Farmers' Home Hotel, Hamilton, on Thursday evening, Mr. Kelly, J.P., presided. Messrs. Koes and Bean feiterated their political views, and a motion in avour of the latter was proposed by Mr. Ser combe, seconded by Mr. Holland, and carried. No proposition was submitted in favour of Mr. Bees. Supreme Court.— The Judge and Jury were engaged all day on Friday in hearing the matri monial cause 'of Box v. Box and Another. Taking the evidence on behalf of tbe respondent occupied the Court until 4.40 p.m., and the Court then adjourned till 11 a.m. on Monday. Theatrical. — We are informed that it is probable Mrs. Steele may visit Adelaide at the conclusion ef her present engagement at the Theatre Royal, Melbourne. It is mentioned in Victorian papers that Miss Bowring is to be a member of the new Company for the Theatre Royal, Adelaide, and that Miss Rose Evans will on her return from Tasmania visit this colony. Northern Territory Improvements.— The following is a copy of a telegram sent by the Government Resident in the Northern Territory to Commissioner of Crown Lands ou March 12: — 'Southport jetty cutting preparing piles ironwork. Crossing-places imposssible to touch until roads are passable and country drier. Season late, vide daily telegrams rainfall; work impeded.' Northern Territory Gold.— The gold which was extracted from the specimens that Mr. Gore brought from Winn's Claims, Yam Creek, Mr. Francis, the Assayer, states is a fraction over 22& carats fiae, or has 927 parts of pure metal in the 1,000, being thus a little better than standard gold. It would, he mentions, be worth nearly £3 18s. 4d. per ounce troy at the London Mint. Demise of an Old Colonist. — In our obituary will be found a notice of the death of Mr. John N. Wills, of H.M. Customs. This took place on the 14th instant after a lingering and painful illness. Mr, Wills, who was 61 years of age, was a very old colonist, having settled here in 1836, since which time he has been a resident in the vicinity of Port Adelaide, and for the past 30 years he has held office in the Customs Service. A few months rince he obtained leave of absence in order to recruit his health by a trip to Newcastle and back ; but shortly after leaving he became so much worse that he was compelled to return home by steamer from Melbourne, and has since then been confined to his room. The deceased was much respected, and at one time, whilst residing at Queenstown, took an active interest in the formation and workine of the District Council in that locality. Within the past 12 months he was chosen Chairman of the first Council of the recently-formed District ^ of Lefevre's Peninsula— an office which failing health compelled him to resign. He has also held high office in Freemasonry, as well as the position of Grand-Master of the Manchester Unity of Oddfellows, of both of which Societies he was a stanch supporter and consistent mem ber. Mr. Wills has left a family of four sons and four daughters, his wife and four other children having departed before him. We notice that the funeral is to take place on Sunday afternoon. Soiree.— Norwood entertainments have long been noted for their excellence, and one held at the local Town Hall on Friday evening formed no exception to the rule. There was a large audience, including a fair attendance of ladies. In the absence of the Mayor, Mr. E. T. Smith, M.P., the Hon. G. Stevenson, M.P., presided, and stated that the entertainment had been arranged with a view to augment the Institute fund. The Government had agreed to subsidize the amount of £750 for the erection of a suitable building. A considerable portion of Hie sum had already been contributed, and it was advised that exertions should be made to secure the remainder. It was urged that the ladiesshould arrange fora bazaar to be held in aid of the object. A lengthy and varied programme was opened with an overture by Mr. Harvey, who with drum accompaniment performed with one hand on the pianoforte, while with the other he fingered a cornopean. The ' British Lion,' contributed by Mr. J. C. Hawker, was succeeded by ' Ruby,' effectively given by Miss Batten. Mr. Nash rendered ' Happy Moments' and other pieces. A vie lin solo, ' II Pirate,' by Mr. Finniss was encored, as was 'You'll Remember Me,' by Miss Degenhardt. Contri butions from Messrs. Abbott, Hawker, and Peacock followed. Departures for Victoria.— On March 12 the Watch wrote: — 'Since harvest there has been a considerable exodus from this district to the Western District of Victoria, more espe cially to the Wimmera. Already several farmers have left the Hundred of Caroline, many hate left and are about to leave the Red Camp and Glenburnie neighbourhoods, and a few in other localities are preparing to leave. Yesterday no fewer than five drays containing families and farming requisites, &c, passed through Mount Gambier en route to Horsham.' Arrival of Jesuit Fathers.— The two Jesuit Fathers, Karlinger and Niebauer, who were expected by the last mail, arrived by the steamer City of Melbourne on Monday evening, and at once proceeded to Norwood, where one of them will be 'permanently stationed as an asdi tant to Father Tappeiner.— Jrith Harp.

South Australian Five Per Certs.— The particulars of the tenders ;sent to Mr. Dutfcoo in reply to bis advertisement. in London offering one hundred thousard pounds' worth of five per eent, stock are as follows :— £100 attlO6 1 0 £200 at£105 2 0 3,000 at 106 10 6 10,000 at 105 1 6 5,000 at 305 10 0 6,000 at 106 1 0 10,800 at 105 5 0 10,000 at 105 0 % l,W0 at 106 4 0 100 at 105 0 0 5,000 at 105 3 6 ? 5,000 at 105 2 6 54,700 The balanoe— £45,300— as was stated in the telegram, was immediately disposed of at a price above the minimum. The parties after wards, on the plea of having misunderstood the terms of the sale, wished to repudiate the pur chase. Not pleased with the transaction, Mr. Dutton voluntarily released them from their engagement, and cancelled the sale; but two days later he disposed of the entire balance at £105 10s. School Swimming Club Meeting.— It is pieaabg to notice that so much attention is being paid to the* proper cultivation of the useful art of swimming' amongst the juvenile fraternity, and much credit is due to Mr.T. Bastard, of the City Baths, for the part he has taken in making the accomplishment so popular. Mr. Whinham, principal of the North Adelaide Grammar School, has made it almost an essential branch of education, and many of his pupils appear to have acquired much natatory skill. Upwards of 90 of his scholars competed with each other in a series of private matches at the City Baths on Friday evening, March 14, and displayed great confidence ia their own powers, which reflected credit upon those who initiated them into the mysteries of breast, side, and back swimming, as well as diving. The matches were for the most part private ones, and therefore we do not enter into details ; but, as regards the competitors, we may say the races were plucldly contested. An address was delivered by Mr. Whinham to the effect that a Swimming Club had been started in connection with the school, with some slight difficulty at first, as it was thought out of a teacher's province. He, however, held a different opinion, and considered it a teacher's duty to develop the physical as well as the mental powers of a boy. The Club numbered at first about 80 boys, 17 of whom could swim. Now there were 130 members, 80 or 90 of whom were swimmers of more or less proficiency. Fully SO boys learnt the art in each season. Mr. Bastard and bis assistants had done much toward the Club's success. One of the learners had speedily felt the benefit of his newly acquired accomplishment, as it paved his life on one occasion. Duringthe evening Mr. T. Bastard was presented by the scholars with a purse contain ing five sovereigns as a token of esteem, and acknowledged the gift in an appropriate speech. A handsome whip was awarded by him to Master Ciindening, as the champion swimmer of the school, and the proceedings terminated with a clever long-distance dive by Mr. S. Needham, the champion diver. Mr. Whinham deserves praise for having introduced a system which cannot fail to be productive of good results, aad his example will no doubt be followed by others who have the welfare of the rising generation at heart. GULNARB AND NARRpY AFFAIRS. — A numerously-attended public meeting was held at Georgetown on the night of March 4, Mr. J. Paterson presiding. Messrs. Gowling, Hendry, Russell, Mugg, Pinch, Neagle, Virgoe, Dowdy, and Smallacorabe pointed out the heavy expense the settlers in the district would incur by having to pay 2d. per head for watering the teams employed on the Port Pirie-road if the public lands were leased as per Gazette notice. The charges levied would amount it was stated to over Id. per bag on the whole of the produce sent from the locality to Port Pirie. Some dis cussion took place as to the advisability of asking the Government to resume possession of Messrs. Bowman's jetty, now occupied by Messrs. Homer & Co.; but it was thought advisable to make that the subject of another meeting, several residents deeming it preferable to petition for a new jetty to be erected on the Government reserve. A memorial embodying the various resolutions that were passed was unanimously adopted, and as a Committee Messrs. Gowling, Hendry, and Canavan were appointed to obtain signatures and forward the petition to the Commissioner of Crown Lands. A large number of teams are employed in carting wheat to Port Pirie, yet the cornstacks in and near Georgetown are rapidly increasing in size, Some fanners are stacking their wheat in the fields and covering it with straw, intending to leave the piles till af terseeding time. Some sellers have not yet finished cleaning their grain, and few have yet begun ploughing, so that seeding operations are likely to be late this year. Water is again becoming scarce in the neighbourhood. Stubble-barning has been general in the Gulnare and Narridy Areas, and one or two narrow escapes from burning out farmers have occurred, sudden gusts of wind causing the fire to reach the grass. It has been suggested by one of our correspondents that it would be well for farmers to get the use of the large flocks of sheep in these districts to eat off and break down the stubble. He adds— 'Better surely do that than waste by fire so valuable a thing as straw. Hundreds, nay, thousands of pounds' worth of this valuable article is yearly destroyed by fire.' Mining and Trading Officials.— The follow ing notice has been issued by the Postmaster General of New South Wales : — ' It is hereby notified that no officer or employe* -in the Electric Telegraph Department will be permitted to engage in any trading or mining speculations; and any officer or employe' who may so act will be ineligible for employment in that depart ment.' The Darling.— In the Sydney Evening ATeic3 the following has appeared : — '?' It is stated that Messrs. Wm. McCulloch & Co., the well-known carriers, intend to build some light vessels for ascending the Darling River, from Bourke to Wentworth. This firm appears very hopeful in this matter, though after the present flood the Darling is hardly likely to be navigable even between Wentworth and Wilcannia.' [From yesterday's Evening Journal.] The Boman Catholic Bishop op Adelaide. —The Irish Earp now says:— 'We have at length received information concerning the appointment of a successor to the late Dr. Shiel, which there is good reason for believing to be authentic. It is stated, on the authority of the Professors of Kilkenny College, that the appointment has been conferred upon Dr. Cleary, a Professor of Waterford College. He is a comparatively young man, being about 45 years of age, and he is reported by those who have heard him to be an eloquent preacher. A priest of this city, who was formerly a pupil under him, informs us that he is a man of pro found learning and of studious habits, and thinks it likely tiat he will easily succeed in winning the affections of the Catholics of this diocese.' Launch of the Steamer Excelsior.— Our shipping correspondent at Goolwa has furnished the following report: — 'A little after 3 o'clock on Wednesday, March 12, a crowd of people, including a number of the fair sex, assembled at the Goolwa Ironworks to witness the launch of the Excelsior, which has been built there during the past few months. The shipwrights were Messrs. Lawrance, White, and Bachan, of Port Adelaide, who have turned the vessel out in a thoroughly workmanlike manner. She is creditable to all concerned. The ceremony of naming the craft was performed by Miss Baird, a niece of Mr. A. Graham, pro prietor of the works. About 3.30 p.m. the blocks were knocked away, but the steamer did not appear inclined to go off at first; in a few minutes, however, she slipped gracefully along the ways into the'water, and hearty cheers were given for the Excelsior. The length of the boat's keel is 115 feet, breadth of beam 16 feet 6 inches on deck, depth of hold 6 feet, floor irames 5x5 gum, bide frames 2£ x 2} angle iron, planking to a depth of 3 feet red and blue gum SiBches thick, topsides 2-inch kauri pine, decks 2 J-inch. kauri pine. She is strengthened with 10 kelsons running fore and aft, bolted through floor frames and planking. The boiler and engines are ready to be fitted in at once, having been constructed at Goolwa, where the whole of the ironwork of the hull has been well done. It is stated that Mr. T. Brakenridge, ol Mflang, has purchased the steamer,'

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