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The Customs Union scheme now being agitated by Chief Secretaries and Chamber8 of Commerce is confessedly an idea of German origin. The vast difficulties surmounted by

rrussian statesmen in estaDusning com mercial reciprocity over half the continent of Europe have stirred our ambition to brush aside the small ones which lie in our own path. The dazzling success attained by their principles has captivated the fancy of Aus tralian politicians, who find our circumstances strikingly analogous, and our prospects even more encouraging. In Australia the adoption of a Customs Union would be but obeying a simple dictate of nature. The obstacles to it are all manifestly artificial and fortuitous. The geographical boundaries which at present keep us under the dominion of different tariffs are purely imaginary. There is no national, no political, no religious signifi cance in them. Take away the Customs officers, and for all practical purposes they might be blotted out of the map. But for the shortsightedness of the Colonial Office these boundaries need never have bee» allowed to become barriers to commercial intercourse. It is chiefly the want of co operationfromtheColonial Office whichdelays our efforts for their removal. Our separate tariffs may have generated false and contra dictory principles of fiscal legislation, but the decay of these is only a matter of time. Australia is inevitably tending, as all com mercial communities must do, toward the liberation of trade — foreign as well as internal. Protection will have its day, and when it has exhausted itself the result will b« a more cordial harmony in the ultimate belief to which all experience guides man kind. Measured by weeks or even years, fiscal federation may still seem remote ; but as a stage in national history, the interval which divides us from it may be ? insignifi cantly short. When the patience of Aus tralian Freetraders is shamed by diplomatic blundering or procrastination, they may gain courage from the now famous example of the Prussians, with its half a century of weari some groping progress. The popular notion in England of the German Customs Union is that it burst forth as a brilliant idea from the brain of some Berlin philosopher about a dozen years ago, and that all the minor States of Ger many hailed it with enthusiasm. Nothing

COUXU IK lUTUicr jxuiu uic iusi-uru^u uuui. The Customs Union owes very little to the original genius of any individual — whether minister, philosopher, or diplomatist. It had a fortuitous origin, andaslow, almost haphazard growth. It was not petted and patronised by any Court, or pushed forward as a universal reform. Its progress was achieved step by step— here a treaty and there another, until the treaties became so nume rous that they were consolidated, as it were, into a Confederation. The first was nego tiated by Prussia in 1819 with the Princi palities of Schwartzburg-Sonderhausen and Schwartzburg-Rudolstadt. Its conditions were that identical duties should be charged on imports all along the common frontier ; that the Customs revenue should be divided according to population ; and that there should be free transit between the several States both for imports and for native pro duce. The arrangement was simple, compre hensive, complete — so much so that it did not require to be materially altered in any of the subsequent treaties. What was the law be tween Prussia and SchwartzburgSonder hausen in 1819 is the fundamental law of the Zollverein in 1869. More than that, the Melbourne scheme now proposed to be ap plied to the Australian Colonies does not vary from it in any essential particular. It is not strictly correct, however, to speak of

absolute free trade between the various States of the Zollverein. '.There are reserva tions, such as patent articles, subjects of State monopolies, and articles which bear a different Excise duty in one State from what they do in others. But the latter two classes are rapidly diminishing. The second accession gained to the ranks of commercial reciprocity was Hesse. She had to be waited for nearly ten years, as the treaty was not completed till 182S. But the next interval was only three years — Hesse- Cassel joining in 1831, and from this date the accessions were both frequent and im portant. Between 1831 and the establish ment of free trade in England (1846) the Customs Union obtained its full growth. The first of the leading States to join it was Bavaria, and her example attracted her two neighbours, Saxony and Wurtemburg. After the revolution of 1841, , Baden made her peace with Berlin by allowing herself to be absorbed into the Zollvereui. The burghers of ? Frankfort and the lord of the little gambling hell at Homburg were almost simultaneously converted to recipro city. Thence the crusade advanced north ward into Nassau, Brunswick, Hanover, and the Mecklenburgs. In 1852 the Union com prised more than three-fourths of the German States, exclusive of Austria, which only too correctly foresaw in the Zollverein the basis of a Prussian supremacy. It ex tended over between eight and nine thousand square miles of territory, containing a popu lation of fully thirty millions. From the frontier of the Netherlands to the confines of Russia, and frop the coast of the Baltic almost to the foot of the Alps, there was but one fiscal tariff— but one Custom-House ordeal inflicted on travellers — but one com mercial system. The consequences of the Union may be roughly estimated by contrasting'the Ger many of 1869 with the Germany of 1819.

The whole of the progress made during these fifty years may not have; been due to com mercial reciprocity. There were many other causes in operation ;' but it wa3 one of the earliest — one of the most potent » It in directly originated many of the others; it gave- an impetus to all of them. The Prussian system of education may have helped materially ; but who has not observed that commercial enterprise is the greatest ally of popular education? The sagacity of Prussian statesmen may have been another auxiliary; but is it not enlightened liberal principles which produce as well as constitute statesmen? The per ception so long ago as 1819 that free commercial intercourse was necessary to national progress was one of the best proofs of Prussian statesmanship. Again, the superior intelligence and courage of the Prussians themselves may have been an element in their recent success ; but what is the distinctive peculiarity of this intelligence ? It is the commercial instincts on which it has been formed. There. may be as much or more intellectuality among the Austrians and Bavarians as the Prussians, but circum stances have given it a less practical appli cation. Prussia is pre-eminently the com mercial power of Germany. She had established a commercial supremacy before she ventured to compete for political leader ship. The treaty with SchwartzburgSon derhausen in 1819 was a trifling event beside the Treaty of Prague in 1866. The one gave Prussia the dictatorship of a continent ; the other only gave her the trade of a little principality. But could Prague have fol lowed had not Schwartzburg-Sonderhausen preceded? ?

The Volunteer Foece. — Major War burton has received the appointment of Chief Officer of the Staff and Colonel Com mandant of the Volunteer Force, rendered vacant by the removal of Colonel Biggs. It -, is intended that as soon as possible after his i assumption of office, the reorganization of the force on the basis shadowed forth in the scheme presented to Parliament by the Attorney-General during last session shall take place. According to this there will be considerable reductions in the numerical strength of the several arms of the service. The Stockade.— Rumour has assigned to Mr. W. J. Pelerswald the position of Superintendent of the Stockade; but rumour has been, to say the least of it, premature. The appointment has not been made as yet, and in the meanwhile Mr. Howell continues to fill the post until his successor is appointed. The Magistracy.— The resignations of Messrs. S. King, S.M., and H. C. Swan, S.M., have been accepted by the Government. Mr. E. Castle having declined to resign has been removed. Mr. E. Gower has not yet intimated whether he wishes to forward his resignation. The Audit op Public Accounts.— It is in tended by the Government to appoint a Commis. sion to consist of the Treasurer and two efficient gentlemen from outside to enquire into the audit of public accounts. The investigation will have reference to the system in force, and the fullest access will be given to the books of the department with a view of eliciting the most complete informa tion on the subject. The enquiry will be private, and we believe it is not intended to appoint either a secretary or short-hand writer. The Gawleb Local Coubt.— We understand that out of a large number of applicants the post of bailiff of the Gawler Local Court has been con ferred on Mr. Delaney. The Rev. A. R. Russell.— 'We are informed that a meeting of the congregation of St. Paul's Church and friends of the Rev. Canon Kussell was held on Tuesday, March 23, with a view of taking stepB to secure the immediate return of the incum bent of the church to the colony. There was a large attendance, including the Revs. Canon Farr and G. Dove. Mr. Neville Biyth, ALP., presided, and it was resolved to take steps to carry out the object of the meeting. A handsome sum was subscribed in the room to go towards the expenses of the outward passage. Fbeemasonrt.— The Provincial Grand Master (Irish Constitution), the Hon. J. T. Bagot, has, at the request of several influential members of the Craft at Penola, instructed his deputy, Brother W. Fiveasb, to issue a dispensation for a new Lodge to be held there. The first W.M., Brother R. McClure, is a very old and respected member of the Urder, and for some time Deputy LC. for the province of Victoria. Vauxhall Gala.— The Exhibition Building and grounds will be opened tlm evening, Mr. Charles Knight, py.otechnist, having made arrangements for a grand display of fireworks, balloon ascents, the exhibition of various feats by the Royal Gymnastic Club, musical performances by the Concordia Band, and a quadrille assembly. Mr. Knight bases hiB claim to public support upon the fact of his having frequently made displays lof fireworks gratuitously. The Semaphore Jetty.— The approach of the winter months renders it desirable that steps should be taken without delay to ensure the ex tension of the T head to the southward, for at Dresent with strong breezes bom west to north

west, the shelter is not at all adequate to the re quirements of the service. It is proposed to inaugurate a memorial to the Commissioner of Public Works: but it is also suggested that the attention of the Marine Board should first be drawn to the matter. The Deepening Operations.— In contemplation of the North-parade being converted into wharfs these works are progressing favourably, seeing that almost the length of two ships' berths is now cleared away to 18 feet at dead low water. This is a very fair criterion of the old dredge's capa bility of performing her work, for although she lalours under the disadvantage of being behind the age, the fact of the hull and machinery being in good order has resulted in the completion of a very satisfactory portion of the task. Melancholy Case of Drowning at Nor- manville.— A melancholy accident happened at Normanville on March 23 to one of the most in- dustrious and sober men in the district. Aaron Ryals had been engaged during the loading of the ship David Brown, and went out with the last load of bark, accompanied by the Yankalilla Brass Band and several ladies and children. After remaining on board about two hours and a half, and when returning with the same party, he accidentally fell over the stem of the boat he was steering. Geo. Rhodes, one of the Band, immediately jumped out to save him. The boat was in full sail, and it was a long time before the sail was furled and the oars brought into play. The boat got back to the scene just in time to save Rhodes from drowning, but poor Ryals had sunk to rise no more. He leaves a wife and a numerous family. Weather in the Nobth.— Letters just received from the Far North state that rain has fallen at Paratoo and Umberatana, but none at Lake Hope. From Blinman on March 22 we hear that during the past week there have been considerable changes. It has been mild during the days with boisterous wind at night. On the morning of the 21st there were heavy clouds with distant thunder, and a slight sprinkling of rain fell next morning, after which it was calm, dull, and cloudy. Our Port Augusta letter of March 22 says:— 'The weathei during the early part of the week was fine with southerly breezes, but Saturday, Sunday, and to-day have been close and sultry. lightning has been constant, and the weather is looking very threatening at times for rain, but nothing of any consequence has fallen yet. It is honed that we soon shall have some good showers. The wind is variable.' New Zealand.— By the Gothenburg, which arrived yesterday from the usual round of the New Zealand ports, we (Argus) have our files from Hokitika to the 13th, Nelson 10th. Wel lington 9th, and Lyttelton Stb inst. Auckland, as usual, was full of tumours of warlike movements on the part of the rebel natives, and the papers state that the European settleis in Waikato had been warned to leave the locality. It was also supposed that Te Kooti and Rewi would attack Rotorua and fight the Arawas. EMS. Challenger awaits at Wellington the arrival of Prince Alfred. The latest telegrams in the Hokitika papers are to the following effect: — 'Pitcairn. the Surveyor, has been murdered by Te Kooti. who, reinforced by the Uriweras, threatens to attack Upotiki. Pakumaru, and a large party of friendlies, had been captured at Whakare, and a general attack on the settlers around is threatened. There is a report that five settlers and their families have been brutally murdered and mutilated at the Waikato, after the females had been subjected to frightful atrocities. This report reached the Thames on Sunday. It is hoped that it refers to the massacre at the White Cliffs. Information has been received at Blenheim that a topsail schooner, loaded with ammunition, put into Port Underwood from the southward, on the 24th ult., and left again after dusk on the 27th, going north ward, it is presumed for the Fijis.' Shipment of Bark from Normanville.— The David Brown, American ship, chartered by Messrs. Bean Brothers, has been lying outside the Govern, ment mooring at Normanville, loading bark for England. She is by far the largest vessel that has loaded from this port. Visitors have been much pleased with the ship and the gentlemanly treat ment of Captain Nicholls and his officers. Five boats and two schooners have been employed in taking the bark on board during a fortnight, and 40 to 50 men employed in bagging, shipping, and stowing. The Bdck's Head.— On Wednesday afternoon a little bo)f, the son of Mr. W. H. Gray, of the Reedbeds, the proprietor, laid the foundation-stone of a new hotel to be erected at the corner of North terrace and Gray-street, in place of the old Buck's Head. The site was purchased is 1837. and i3 within a few yards of the first house erected in Adelaide. The building is to be of Glen Osmond stone with cement dressings, and is to contain 15 rooms, and also have a balcony and look-out. Mr. D. Garlick is the architect, and Mr. C. Farr the builder. After the ceremony a number of friends adjourned to a temporary erection, where Mr. Gray's health and that of the various persons interested was drunk and responded to.

The Convknt CASt-Late on Wednesday night , Mr. Robert Howlett, whose communication, with I he rejoinder of Miss Giles, we have published, ailed at our office. He made a Verbal statement, which we offered to take down; but as he cannot write, and states that he has no distinct re tnsmbrance of dates, he thought it better to consult with Mr. Kemp Penney, who wrote his previous letter, and with others, intending as the result to furnish a contradiction for our next issue. Some portions of the letter of Miss Giles he confirms and the accuracy of other parts he denies, adding that he has no personal knowledge of Miss Giles having been ill-used by her brother or turned out of his house, and affirming that his sole uthority for the statement was herself. The Theatbe EoYAL-On Wednesday evening ' Henry Dunbar' was presented to a rather poor house. The cast was good, and the playing above the average. The acting of Miss Juno, Mr. Law rence, and Mr. Munro particularly was careful, and produced an excellent impression. In the sparkling little farce of 'The Captain's Not a Miss' it is difficult to single out any one of the characters fot special mention, as all plaved well. Even Mr. Batson contrived to act with more spirit and less monotony than usual, and for the rest, they proved themselves to be the right women and men in the right places. 'Maud's Peril' is to be given to night, to be followed by 'The Captain s Not a Miss.'' Whatever may be said of the former, the latter is worth seeing. . Fobqert rs the Nobth.— August Lemon, who was committed for forgery last week, appears to have been dispensing his favopxs in other places besides Clare. Un March 123 he was brought up on a remanded chaige of uttering a cheque and forging an enlorsement. The cheque bore his own signature, and was drawn on the National Bank, Auburn. On August 12 he asked Mr. Blatchford, of Watervale, to change a cheque, and on being asked to put his name on the back signed it Gottlieb Lessman in Mr. Blatchford's presence. He said the signature to the cheque was that of a German at Pine Creek. Stephen Hicks deposed to letting Lemon have a blank cheque, as he said he had some funds in the National Bank, Auburn, and tilled up the body of the cheque for him. He often did so for customers, and Lemon had been accustomed to deal at the shop. He saw him sign his name, August Lemon, to the cheque, which was produced, but he was not asked to change it. Michael Corcoran, police-trooper, said that after the prisoner had been cautioned he said he did not want to tell a lie about it, and that he signed . both the body of the cheque and the back of it. £. V. O. Muecke, clerk at National Bank,

fUiDurn, deposed tnat tne prisoner naa no account it the Bank,tnor had any one by the name of Lemon. Had had the cheque in his possession before, and had put the initials No AC. (no iccount). The prisoner was committed for trial. The prisoner, who seems to have acquired the sobriquet of ' Champagne Charley,' from that being his favourite liquor, had been 'shouting' it by half dozens. Thus the money went fast. He had a new silver lever watch, for which he had given £7. Respecting the same man, another correspondent mentions that he went to Mr. Hick', Post-Office store m Leasingham, and got a second blauk cheque filled in for £10, which he signed with a name purporting to be that of a gentleman living in Long Gully. Having signed he left the store, and Mr. Hicks' s suspicions being aroused he followed him to the public-house to warn the landlady, who accordingly refused to cash the proffered cheque. The Mount Barker Show.— To-day the Mount Barker Show is to be held, and is likely to be very successful. His Excellency Sir James Fergusson is to be present at the Exhibition and at the dinner in the evening. [From yesterday's Evening Journal.] The Himalaya.— The Overland. China Mail of December 29 states that H.M.S.T. Himalaya, after collecting the troops at Adelaide, will call at King George's Sound, and then 'make the best of her way home.' Fatal Accident neab Tables.— A man named William Keen, about 30 years of age, was killed by riding against a tree on Monday, March 22. The deceased, it appeared from the evidence at the inquest, had been drinking at Forresters for severa hours, and left in company with some others taking a bottle of gin. After proceeding about three miles towards Alma he rode against a tree, knocking off the bark and completely smashing his skull and one arm. He never spoke after wards. The inquest was held by Mr. Cole, J.P., and a Jury of 13, who returned a verdict of acci dental death. The deceased has only oce relative in the colony— a brother, living at Port Adelaide. The poor fellow left about sufficient money to defray his funeral expenses. Railey's Crushing and Amalgamating Machinery.— For some time past Mr. llailey, who has already been introduced to the people of Adelaide as a gentleman of large ^experience in connection with mines in South America and Vic toria, has been engaged in fitting up in the premises westward of Messrs. Tuxford's Agri cultural Implement Depot machinery for crushing and amalgamating gold and silver ac cording to a process for which he holds the patent. He has now completed the work, and is prepared to commence operations forthwith. The erection of the machinery was first undertaken with a view of testing the value of the ores obtained from the property of the Potosi and other Silver Mining Companies in the vicinity of the Almanda. Latterly we are informed Mr. Railey has taken the thing entirely into his own hands, and he has succeeded in constructing machinery which ap pears thoroughly well adapted for the object he nas in view. I: consists of a battery of four stamps, with a drop of 11 inches, cast by Jones Brothers, and the necessary adjuncts of tanks, pans, and separators. At present no ripple-table is used, but the slime on leaving the stamper-bed passes through a shute into a reservoir capable of holding one or two tons. Above this there is a wooden trough to take away the superfluous water. From the tank or reservoir the slime is shovelled on to a stage, and thence into the pans, of which there are two capable of holding about 250 Ib3. each. Here it is brought into contact with the quicksilver, of which about 50 lbs. is used for each charge, and chemi cals that form the material features in Mr. Railey'B patent. Here the stuff is heated by steam, and kept in a state of constant agita tion for four hours, in order that the chemicals may have full play. From these closed pans or amalgamators the whole of the stuff is conveyed into a separator, a larger open vessel placed on a

lower level, so as to be easily accessible. Mere it ' is kept in constant motion for several hours, or until the next charge from the amalgamators is ; ready. The useless slime is then flushed out through openings in the rails, carried \ into spoil, whilst the amalgam is drawn \ off from a tap in the bottom of the separator. By ? means of this Bet of amalgamators a ton and a half - of ore can be operated upon in the 21 hours, although the stamps are able to crush in the same time four or five tons. Each part of the appa- . ratus is connected by a 10-horse engine by means of bands working on to a main shaft. The ripple table can be used, but at present it is not thought necessary, as the pans and separators perform the - work of extracting the metal from its ore very effec tually. The quantity of quicksilver in use is about 300 lbs., sufficient to supply the sixcharges which are run through in the six hours. The large size pans constructed after Mr. Railey's model can work off six tons in the day; but of course they require a larger stock of quicksilver. About 3.000 gallons of water are used per diem, and a network of pipes conveys this very essential element to the boilers, the stamps, and the amalgamators. At present, there are about 20 tons of gold and silver ore on the premises waiting to be crushed. Some of this has been brought from the Potosi, some from the Colerado, some from the Esmeralda, some from the Hamley Quartz Reef at the Jupiter Cieek, some from Kuitpo, and some from Barossa. The machinery, which has cost about £600 in all is equally suited for dealing with gold or silver ore. The formal opening took place this morning, when a large number of gentlemen attended to witness the amalgamating process, and it is intended this afternoon to have an inaugural luncheon, at which a still larger attendance is anticipated. Mr. Railey has pro vided himself with a retorting apparatus; but although the amalgamators are now to be kept constantly occupied, it is not intended to retort until Saturday. The ore now being tested is from the Potosi. Anjoteesaby at Fdiniss Vale.— The 12th anniversary of Finniss Vale Wesleyaa Chapel was celebrated on March 21 and 22. On Sunday, the Rev. Thos. Edmeades, Circuit Minister, preached in the morning and evening, and addressed the school in the afternoon. The public meeting, after tea, was presided over by Mr. Edmeades, and addressed by the Chairman, the Tieasuier, Mr. Kelly, Messrs. W. and T. Wicks, and F. Leak. Proceeds, £9 14s. 4d. It being nearly, the last occasion on which Mr. Edmeades will visit Finniss Vale before removing to another Circuit was feelingly alluded to, and touchingly responded to by the Chairman. . The Norwood Bans of Hope.— The annual tea meeting of the Norwood Band of Hope took place at Norwood on Tuesday evening, 23rd March Mr. J. Hoskings occupied the chair. The Chair man, in a few complimentary terms, opened the meeting, and called upon the Secretary to read his report The Secretary (Mr. G. Cargeeg) then read the report, and said that hi last three months the Society had been in a very prosperous condition. Mr. Fisher (the President of the Society) delivered an appropriate address on temperance, pointing out the fatal effects of drinking. The following recita tions were very well given :— ' Delusions of Drink insr,'F. aales;'The Soldier's Story.' GK Cargeeg; 'The Drunkard and his Wife,' w. Black: 'The Bottle Wit' G. Cargeeg:' The Death of Murat,' W. Hales; 'Try John,'9 W. Black; 'HpratiuE,'?. Hales; and 'Women's Rights,' a nigger piece, given by J. Scott, was greatly applauded. Votes of thanks having been proposed to the Chairmaa and ladies, the proceedings terminated. Alma, Stockpobt, and Linwood Bands op Hope.— The anniversary of Alma Plains Band of Hope was celebrated on Monday, the 22nd inst, by a picnic near Humphrey's Springs. The place selected was a piece of beautiful woodland, the use of which was kindly granted by Mr. O'Halloran. The Stockport and Linwood Bands of Hope were present by invitation. At 11 o'clock the Bands met, there being 30 to 40 carts, wagons, and other vehicles, each carrying its quota of occupants. There was also a cavalcade of male and female equestrians. Banners were carried— oneverylaige, with the motto 'Alma Band of Hope. 18C9.' The grounds having been reached all enjoyed them selves according to their inclination. Abun dant provision was displayed for the 200 to 300 persons present. A rostrum was impro vised on a large waRon, where Mr. Georpe Robinson, the Alma Superintendent, presided. Glees and recitations were given, and Mr. Porter, from Aiina, and Mr. Watts, SuDerintendent of the Stockport and Linwood Bands, spoke. Cricket swinging, and other sports, with abundance of fruit preceded the tea, and about 4 o'clock the assemblage began to break up. Many, however, repaired to Alma Primitive Methodifit Chapel. Soon after 6 the building was crowded. Mr. Robinson occupied the chair, and tead the finan cial statement. The Band of Hope numbered about 90, and the total number good on the books, including adults, was 150. Recitations, dialogues, unthems, and addresses followed, the speakers being the Rev. Mr. Raymond and Messrs. Porter and Watts. A number of persons at the invitation of the Chairman signed the pledge,