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1 correction by rjayv - Show corrections


The Revenue Returns for the quarter and the financial year which terminated yesterday will be found in another column. They are exceedingly apropos

to the remarks on the finances appearing in the Attorney - General's statement. We observe that the Chief Secretary, in the Council, stated that the expen diture for the year wa3 about £2,450,000. As,, however, the exact figures will not be known for about a fortnight we may take the estimate made by the late Treasurer last November, which is about £22,000 less than the sum mentioned by Mr. Spence. It will be convenient to give the estimate of the year's financial operations, and the results so far as they are at present known. Estimate in Novembeb, 1884. Deficit, June 30, 1884 ... £436,(358 Expenditure ? 2,428,858 £2,865,516 Revenue ... ... ... 2,429,277 Deficit June 30, 1885... £436,239 Approximate Statemest, Juke, 1885. Deficit, Jane 30, 1884 ... £436,658 Expenditure (estimated)... 2,428,858 £2,865,516 Revenue (approximate) ... 2,157,901 ''''' Deficit, Jnne 30, 1885... £707,612 It should, however, be noted that the deficiency on June 30, 1884, was the actual cash deficit on that date ; whereas the estimated deficit yesterday, as shotvn by the figures given above, includes the unexpended balances, some of which will be dropped and others brought forward in the present year's Estimates. It is probable, there fore, unless the excesses have been unusually large, that the actual cash deficit when the accounts for the year ending yesterday are finally made up, will be found to be from £50,000 to £100,000 less than the sum stated by Mr. Downer, or somewhere between £600,000 and £650,000. We may get at the result in another way. The total expenditure to March 31 'was £1, 763, 358, or an average of £587,786 a quarter. Allowing that during last quarter the outlay was £610,000, this would bring the total for the year up to £2,373,358, or about £55,000 Ies3 than the estimate, and would make the cash deficiency about £645,000, and not £700,000, as stated by Mr. Downer. This it must be admitted is bad enough, but there are one ot two gleams of sun shine. In the first: place, taking the bare figures, and leaving out of account the receipts from taxation, which are, however, an asset belonging to last year's accounts, the result of the financial operations of 1884-5 was not so disastrous as the result in the previous year. In 1883-4 the revenue for the year fell short of the expenditure to the extent of £360,758, and the deficit was increased from £75,900 to £436,658. Last year the excess of expenditure over income, after reckoning only £300 odd from taxation, was about £220,000. In other words, the gap between the two was about £130,000 less than it was in 1883-4. This, it must be admitted, is but- small consola tion if the deficiency is constantly being increased, as must be the case if the demands for the year are in excess of its revenue. The late Treasurer expected to end the year with about the same deficiency as that with which he began it. Instead of this, it will be greater by about £220,000. A glance at the returns elsewhere will show how this is to be accounted for. Under the items Probate and Succession Duties, Taxation, Customs, Pastoral Rents, Interest and Exchange, and Mis cellaneous the receipts were together about £380,000 Ies3 than was ex pected. On the other hand, the items Land, Railways, Marine, Educa tion, Waterworks, and one or two others realized about £105,000 more than was estimated. The difference between these two amounts is £275,000, and if from the last sum we deduct the £55,000 by which the expenditure probably falls below the amount voted on the Estimates, we get £220,000 as the difference between the result which the late Treasurer esti mated in November last would appear at the close of the financial year and the proximate result which has apparently been reached. A comparison of the figures with those for the corresponding periods in 1883-4 is in some respects satisfactory, but in others very unsatisfactory. Thus, as regards Customs, the falling - off for the year yraa about £44,000, but for the quarter it was ©nly about £1,700. We ma^ therefore hope that the worst has been passed. The bad times Beem even to affect probate duties. The falling^off for the year was about £6,000, and for the quarter £3,000. The most hopeful sign id the steady advance in the income from Rent3 and for services rendered. Thus, Marine shows an advance of £3,000 for the year, Education of nearly £2,000, Pastoral Rents of £27,000, the Postal and Telegraph Service of about £8,000, Rail ways of £100,000, and Waterworks of £8,000. These items are very significant, because they clearly indicate the direc tions in which we must look for a radical improvement in the state of the finances. A more economical and businesslike management of our public works will largely add to their net revenue. At the same time it is incumbent upon us to see that a larger income is raised from those who are directly benefited by our public undertakings. In this view the remarks of the Attorney- General about taxation were unsatisfactory, and they are still more so as supplemented by the statements of the Chief Secretary in the Legislative Coun cil. A stamp tax is, after all, one of the old arbitrary contrivances for raising a revenue. It is well enough where it is impossible to get direct taxation. But when we have a system of direct taxation, and one which is based upon equitable principles, it seems absurd to complicate our financial system by introducing another means of raising an income. With regard to the deficit, we have not changed our opinion as to the mischief that is done by its constant reappearance. But, as ~we pointed out a few weeks ago, the floating of the last loan rendered it unnecessary and even inexpedient to

adopt any plan ior temporarily .borrowing the amount. There is, however, another and a more serious danger that will threaten us if the Government adhere to their laissez fairc policy. In about eighteen months or so we shall begin to be pressed for money, and we greatly fear that then in a fit of desperation the Treasurer of the day will propose to raise a permanent loan to wipe off the deficiency and to provide him self with funds. It remains to be seen whether the present Treasurer will be able to devise any safeguards anainst a danger which is more imminent than some may be willing to believe. Tbe Ministerial Policy in the Upper House. — If further evidence were wanted than that afforded by the speech of the Premier that the Government are quite at sea as to their policy, or at all events as to the affirmative portions of it, it is to bo found in the expositions of the Chief Secretary in the Legislative Council. Hitherto it has been the invariable rule for the representatives of the Govern ment to give practically the same state ment in both Houses, using as far as practicable the same words. But in this instance Ministers, presumably on the ground of uncertainty as to the course to follow, established a precedent for themselves. An examination of the speeches of Mr. Downer and Mr. Spenco brings to light important and significant discrepancies. Thus the Chief Secretary, to judge by the remarks of the Hon. M. Salom, which seem to have called forth no protest from the Minister, evidently gave the Council to understand that the income tax would not be touched. A like inference might, perhaps, be drawn from the observations of the Attorney-General, but he cer tainly said ^nothing to tie hk hands in the matter. Similarly in regard to the stamp tax there was the difference in the two statement that while the Premier, under the pressure of persistent interjec tions, committed himself to a promise to introduce Buch a measure, Mr. Spence contented himself with the vague assertion that a stamp tax might be brought in. But the most serious disparity between the speeches of the two hon. gentlemen is that in reference to the tariff question. The Premier, with much adroitness, endea voured to make the Assembly believe that the Ministry knew full well what they intended to do upon the subject. Not that he said so in so mariy words, but his manner was ambiguous as that of one pro nouncing of some doubtful phrase, as : 'Well, well, we know ;' or 'We could, an' if we would;' or 'If we list to speak ;' or ' There be, an' if they might.' The Chief Secretary, with less caution and more straightforwardness, admitted bluntly that the Government had not decided what to do. 'Aa to the tariff,' said he, 'they had not yet quite nude up their minds. They have been looking into the matter for the last ten days, buD had not definitely formulated their policy.' Quite so ; and with reference to the majority of the public matters requiring to be dealt with, Ministers might just aa well have been candid enough to say that they were still groping about for a policy. The Chief Secretary did not mention that they had applied to the Farmers' Associa tion for information as to what they wanted in the revision of the tariff, but this, it appears, they have done. His efforts on Tuesday were directed to the creation of the impression that the Ministry would be entirely influenced in what they did by revenue considerations. Not so Mr. Downer, who ignored that aspect of the case entirely, and in effect asked the members of the Assembly 'to open their mouths and shut their eyes' and take what a beneficent Providence in the shape of a sagacious but wary Ministry might send them. What a ludicrous commentary all this is upon the Premier's remarks respecting the tariff when moving his no-confidence motion. He taxed the then Ministers with vagueness in the enunciation of their policy and want of agreement among themselves, and now he and Ms colleagues are so much at sixes and sevens that they cannot even approximately agree in their explana tion of their attitude towards the question. Perhaps the discrepancy is to be accounted for by the fact that, whilst Mr. Downer disclaims being either a Freetrader or a Protectionist, Mr. Spence with more courage glories in the distinction of being both at once. In any case the Protectionists, unless they have received revelations and assurances not vouchsafed4to Parliament, have no reason to count much upon the favour of the present Ministry. Teotjbles in Afghanistan. — Russia has played the part which was expected of her in Afghanistan. She has fomented disturbance there, and has incited a petty chief named Tsa Khan to rise in rebellion against the Governor of the province of Kunduz, which is situated on the North Eastern frontier of Turkestan, to the north of Kabul. She has turned to advantage the breathing-time afforded her, first by the indecision of the Glad stone Government, and next by the change of Ministry. Her emissaries have been carefully at work, and it may be presumed that it is only a matter of time before they achieve still more important resultB. There can be no doubt that in exciting Isa Khan to rebellion Russia has enhanced the difficulty of the Amir's position. This monarch has a wide and scattered country to rule over, with tribes which at best only tolerate his authority. Russian agents have filled these outlying subjects with absurd theories about the freedom and importance which would be theirs if they but revolted from Afghan rule. Meanwhile her own game is being steadily played. The Amir will have to devote some of bis forces to the crushing of rebellions at home, and he will therefore be less able to resist Russian aggressions. It remains to be seen how he will act. He may be in duced finally to join with Russia and to desert his English ally. Such a con nection would be in the highest degree hurtful to England's cause, and any close union between Russia and Afghanistan would imperil the safety of British India. The Conservative Administration which has now entered upon office will have many serious matters to deal with, but the moBt important of them all, so far as can at present be seen, is the maintenance of the English alliance with Afghanistan as a means to the prevention of a Rusaian advance upon India. We may infer, from the announcement published yester day of the fact that the Guards have been sent to Cyprus, that Lord Salis bury is determined to meet Russia with a firmness and decision which will mate with her own. Meanwhile the blow inflicted on the Amir is a serious one. Khanabad .is an important town in the province of Kunduz, and, besides the occupation of thi3 place, Isa Khan has seized treasure to the value of a million pounds sterling. It is indeed full time for England to be up and doing if she wishes to retain the Amir as an ally, and to forcibly protest against the interference of Russia in the internal affairs of a State which is practically under English pro tection. _ Reinstatement of Railway Employes. — The Government, acting upon the report of Mr. Justice Bundey, who prenided at the trial of Henry William Poyzer for embezzlement, have decided to reinstate the whole of the railway ticket- collectors recently discharged on the ground of dishonesty. This action, so far at all events as Poyzer is concerned, is per fectly consistent with the verdict of the Jury, and indeed follows almost as 'a natural corollary to it With regard to

the men 'who -were not arraigned the case is not bo clear. The charge against them was the same as against Poyzer, but they had not the satisfaction of being acquitted after a patient hearing, and of being .-mured by Jury and Judge that no stain rested upor* their characters. However, tho Govern ment have choson to treat all alike,, and we are certainly not inclined to quarrel with the decision. At the same time thero arises a very serious question. Tho reinstatement of the men is an indirect censure upon the late Commissioner of Public Works, who authorized their discharge, and a direct censure upon the General Traffic Manager. It is certain that if he cannot be trusted to determine' whether the services of a subordinate oflicer can with advantage to tho depart ment be retained he is not tho ri^ht man for his position. By dismissing the ticket-collectors with tho concurrence o.' his Minister he committed himself to the opinion that they wore not fie men for tho work entrusted to them, and thi3 not because of any pnysical or mental incapacity, but on the ground of moral disqualification. Par liament mcy fairly ask to know what futuie steps' are to bo taken into this matter, and in relation to this it is not surprising that Mr. Coles ia asking for the production of Mr. Pendle ton's report. The lato Commissioner very properly feels himself compromised' by the reversal of his decision, and. the General Traffic Manager is placed in tho very awkward dilemma of having: forced upon him men whom he believflB to be dishonest, and therefore unworthy of' being employed in the department. The Liquor Laws. — Yesterday at the City Police Court Mr. Martin Healy, of the International Hotel, was charged with- ' selling liquors during prohibited hours.. During the course of the proceedings a letter written by the defendant to the CommiBsioner of Police was read. This document is interesting to a certain extent. Mr. Healy states in it that he has been in the past subjected to persecu tion at the hands of Inspector Bee ; that a constable in uniform has been stationed' opposite his door at night ; and that, whilst other hotels have been left severely alono to pursue their illegal practices with a» much freedom as thoy desire, tho Inter national Hotel lias inconsiderately been-' impeded from bo doing. Into the merits of this particular case wo have no wish* to enter. The information was, on the recommendation of the presiding Magis trate, withdrawn, and what Mr. Healy regards as Inspector Bee's evil machina tions were for once defeated. Those of' our readers who take an interest in police intelligence cannot fail to have observed that the International Hotel has figured Bomewhat frequently there. Mr. Healy thinks that hi3 house hag attracted too much, attention, and he pathetically reminds the Commissioner that he is not the only publican iu Adelaide whom it is right to watch. This is entirely our opinion also. We have repeatedly urged the police to put down drink ing at prohibited hours. There it a law defining the time at which liquors may be sold, and there are fixed punish ments for those who do not obey this law. It is a matter of common talk that the police exercise but little supervision over. some of the hotels doing buainesa in the* city. Nobody going through the streets on Sunday night can fail to. see that the law is systematically evadedV We have no sympathy with Mr. Bealy in the matter. If he breaks the law it is quite right that lie should suffer for his misconduct, and if lie does not break the law he can laugh at the Commissioner even if that officer ranged the whole police force of the colony outside hi* door. But it ia ceitainly absurd that one' man should bear the whole brunt of the activity of the police, whatever ground1 there may be for Mr. Healy's suspicion that Inspector Bee has a grudge against him. The fact of the matter is that the ? supervision of the liquor lawa is noto riously defective, and some publicans' regularly drive their donkey-cart through', the regulations. When one publican* sees that his brethren can do with impunity what lie is justly prosecuted for doing he is naturally filled with indignation, and it is poor consolation to him to remind him that many blacks do ? not make a white. Inspector Bee can yet ? prove his inuoeenca of the charg3 of' vindictiveneBS and personal feeling. He can institute proceedings against publicans who keep their houses open at prohibited hours, and he will be able after a time to - make the liquor laws here a thing to be - respected. But if he systematically attacks the owner of one house alone he is doingj as much to bring these laws into con tempt as are the publicans who laugh at the restrictions which are imposed. Itis* to the interest of licensed victuallers themselves to see that the law is uni versally obeyed, and that some unscrupu lous publicans do not, by evading it, take an unfair advantage of their honest . brethren. Tuesday's Parliament.— -The Legislative Council sat till nearly half-past 5 o'clock, andi adjourned for a week. At the Btart the Chiet Secretary told Mr. Salom that the ? Government do not intend to make any-' provision for establishing a truant Bchool in Adelaide. He informed Mr. Glyde that 641,000 acres of land is reserved for the use of tha uathes in the Northern Territory. To the same member he replied that 910 ?? men, -whose weekly aggregate wages ? amount to £1,450, are engaged upon relief ' works. The rest of the afternoon wa3 ? occupied with the diecuesion on the Govern ment policy. The Assembly rose shortly' before 5 o'clock, to continue work next day. Mr. Furner presented a petition from Kadina ? in favour of social purity. He then obtained from the Commissioner of Crown Landa an - assurance that the Agent-General has been i instructed by cable to discontinue the issue of land-order warrants for the present, and that the system of receiving nominations - of immigrants in the colony ia also stopped. Mr. Bews having been informed that a num ber of men who were working on roads out side District Council and Corporation boon- - dariesS had been discharged by the Govern ment, asked for an explanation, Mr. Darling . said he knew nothing* about it. Mr. Howe promised Mr. Johnson that Bteps will be ? taken at once to prevent the introduction . here of the codlin moth. Mr. Darling. assured Mr. Bower that tho discharged ?. ticket - takers on tho Semaphore Rail way will be reengaged, tho Judge who tried them havinc 'reported in their * favour. Mr. Coles desired to know whether * this decision had not been maclo iu direct ? opposition to the recommendation of the General Traffic Manager, Mr. Darling de manded notice of that momentous question. . Mr. Caldwell startled tbe House by warn- - ing them of a motion in favour ol making . ' compulsory voting at Parliament' elections. The Attorney- General notified measures pre liminary to the introduction of Bills dealing . with Local Court jurisdiction, and the Nor thern Territory Justice and the Real Property Acts. Mr. .Bees put on the paper renolutions ? favouring free education with local rating, and technical instruction for the furtherance ? of industrial art, Several other- matters ? added to the Notice-paper considerably in creaEe its size. During two hours- the Attorney-General expounded the Ministerial'! policy. After the adjournment of the debate, to which he alone contributed as a principal, . the Howse went into Committee for the first '- time this session, and Mr. Ward took, the chair without opposition. Mr. Catfc carried motions for complete information . concerning the working of tho Taxation Act ; for the production of correspondence con nected with the appointment of Captain Hawker to the Permanent Artillery ; for particulars of the cost of vermin destruction ? in the last financial year ; and for details of ' the entire cost of tbe Thow enquiry. The list of sessional returns opens well.

~n- Tbb G«yptiteNT Policy StrkMABizro,— ; ! On Tuesday, June 30, Mr. Spence, in the Legislative Council, and Mr. Downer, in the Assembly, declared the Ministerial intentions on public matters. The former spoke much more briefly, but gave all the leading points amplified by Mr. Downer with some material divergencies. Doing bo he moved a formal resolution for adjournment. When he had finished, Mr. Baker charged the Ministry with an extraordinary lack of definiteness upon almost everything, and criticised in detail their representative's exposition. Mr. West-Erakine spoke in a different fashion. Mr. Salom tried to have the debate postponed, but the President rulad that it must be finished that night, and it was ended after several other members had spoken. More who meant to apeak refrained under the circnmstancea. In the Assembly Mr. Downer's was tha only Bpeech. Beginning shortly before half -past 2 o'clock he continued nearly two hours. He did not speak with his nsnal vigour and clearness, nor did he 'told the attention of the House as is ?generally his wont. He said the deficit on the operations of the year ended that day -was about £256,000, not counting any thing from the land and income tase3, concerning which no precise information could possibly be obtained till towards the end of tnis month. That made^the colony's present deficit nearly £700,000. By way of fresh taxation the Government proposed a stamp tax, to yield £60,000 ; an increase of the probate duty, to give £25,000 ; and a 25 per cent, reduction of Municipal and District Council subsidies, causing a saving of £18,000. These combined represented £103,000, besides the income from the present taxes. Touching the tariff Mr. Downer gave no definite information. He merely quoted paragraph 9 of the Governor's Speech, and Baid he would explain fully in about a month. They would not propose any new railways this year j they favoured the idea of a Rail way Board ; water conservation for irrigation would be energetically conducted ; the scheme of the late: Government, with some altera tion, relative to Crown. Iand3 wo old be adopted, and other minor measures would be early introduced. Noteworthy amongst. J&eaeis a proposal for simplifying law processes Wid cheapening the cost o£ Supreme Court 'jaocedure as it affects parties to saiia. Mr. Downer proceeded to an explanation of the three Ministerial Acts which have been, so strongly condemned, and when he closed the Hon. J. Colton, obtained an ad journment of the debate until to-day. Great interest was taken in Mr: Downer's statement. Whilst he spoke the galleries were crowded; chiefly; witfi men, of the labouring class. It is thought probable that the debate .will be concluded to-day. ? The HAEF-YEAB'a Immigbaiikj isirEan gkatxoh.— The arrivals by sea at Port Adelaide during the half-year ending June 30 have been 6,487. Of these 5,032 came from Melbourne, 740 from London, 56 from Fremantle, 71 from Hamburg, 75 from Natal, 1 from Gefle, 284 from Sydney, 6 from Calcutta, 8 from Marseilles, l.from Cape Town, 17 from Durban, 85 from Albany, 15 from Noumea, 1 from Boston, 2 from Yasse, 21 from Newcastle, 1 from To wnavil.'e, 6 from Port Darwin, 14 from Hongkong, 18 from Liverpool, 7 from Bunbary, 1 from Middlesborough, 3 from Lyttelton, 4 froai Kiapara.l from Eucla, 1 from Brisbane, 5 from Mauritius, 2 from Hobart, 6 from Belfast (Vic toria), and 3 from Maryborough. The nu.n' er who have left Port Adelaide by sea during the same period is 9,065. Of these 7,174 went to , Melbourne, 935 to Sydney, 24 to Noumea, 4G2 to London, 31 to Marseilles, 31 to Hang ionjr. 6 to Guam, 150 to Albany, 10 to Hamlin}2 to Eucla, 1 to Hankow, 74 to Fremantle, 39 to .the United Kingdom, 1 to Naples, 1 to Port Said, 2 to Maryborough, 5 to Mauritius, 42 to Port Darwin, 30 to Bris bane, 2 to Newcastle, 1 to Normanton, 4 to Wellington, 7 to Townsville, 5 to Bunbury, 22 to Auckland, 2 to Rockhampton, and 1 to Cooktown. This shows a loss to the colony of 2,578. The greatest number for any one port have gone to Melbourne, for which 2,144 persons took passage. : The greatest traffic was in January, when 1,439 passengers came from Melbourne and 1,856 went there. The average loss per week has been: close upon 100. The P. & O. Sxeamek at Albany.— The P. & O. s.s. Carthage arrived at Albany from Colombo at 6 p.m. and sailed at 10.30 p.m. on Monday, and may be expected to reach Glenelg on Friday morning. Telegbaph Notice.— Advices from Ran goon notify that communication via Tavoy to Bangkok is perfect. . _ ~ Passekgehs p£b R.M.S. 'Indus.— The fol lowing passengers aie booked to leave by the R.M.S. Indus on July 2 :— For London— Mr. and Mrs. Jenkins and 'Mvw Ida Jenkins. For King George's Sound— Mr. R. S. Annear. Makete Board EsQuiar.— The Marine Board commenced an enquiry at 11 o'clock on Tuesday morning into the circumstances attending the loss of the barque Mars at the West Bay, Kangaroo Island, on June 16 All the Wardens but Captain McCoy were present, and the evidence of chief officer Viay^was first taken. ' - ??.?; : The Unemployed. —Up to. 5 o'clock on Tuesday afternoon 166 men had made ap plication for work at the office of the Con servator of Water, and. tickets had baeu granted to ninety-nine of them 'who are married. Of this number about twenty are mechanics; two are described as;, teachers, and the remainder are labourers. ; -The men state that they have been idle for periods ranging from one week to twelve months. The men to whom 'tickets have been granted ?will be dispatched to Petersburg by the firat ' tiain this morning. ' ' Phopzssob Lamb. — Referring, to 'reports ing that have appeared as to the departure oi Prtfessor Lamb from Adelaide, we are authorized to Btate that- the Professor has obtained a year's leave of absence from the Council of the University, and intends pro ceeding to England at the close of. this month. Any further statement as to bis future plans is unwarranted. Full Coubt. — At the Supreme Court on Tuesday, June 30, their Honors uDheld the verdict for the defendants given, by a Jury in the case of the Bank of New Sjuth Wales v. Whinham and Others. In/ Dorieu v. Wycherly they found that the Sunday could not be reckoned in the Bakers Act, and dismissed the appeal, but without costs. The rule nisi granted by the Chief Justice .. in the Local Court appeal case of Kidd v. Huddwas made absolute. In the matter of John Lawrence, an insolvent, sentenced to eighteen months' imprisonment by the Special Magistrate at Port Augusta, their Honors quashed the decision, ordered the man to be liberated, and made some strong reflections on the case. ?'?-:.. - The Cost, os the Land ai«d Incohs Tax Act.— On Tuesday, June 30, in the Legisla tive Council the Chief (secretary laid on the table a return, asked for by the Hon. A. Hay, showing the expenditure incurred in carrying out the Land and Income Tax Act of 1S34. The return atated that— 'h The amount expended for printing and stationery (by the Government Printer) waa £545 10s. 9d. 2. The amount expended for clerical and other works was £6,598 Is. Id., made up as under:— 'Fixed salaries, £1,063 16s. 5d.; temporary clerical aesistance, £2,743 13s. lid.; checking areas of taxable lands (Surveyor-General's Department), £558 5a. 3d.; preparation of regulations, £168 ; to valuators for reports on value of lands assessed by Corporations and District Councils, £2,054 03. 6d. 3. The total expense incurred in con nection with the Act since it was assented to on the 14th November last up to the 1st day of June inst. has been £7,931 13s. 5d. The details of thi3 amount, in addition to the previous figures, are— Furni- ture, £208 6s.; advertising, £223 Is. 2d.; postages, £280 12a. 9d.; telegrams, £15 2a. Sd. and sundries, £60 IDs. 4. The amount already paid on account of this sum 13 £6,015 03. Id. 5. The greatest number of persons that ha3 been at any one time employed in tho depart ment (exclusive of 21 for a short time em ployed in the evenings only) waa 90. On June 9 there were 7 fixed officers and 55 tem porary clerks employed, but the latter num ber had since been reduced by 2. 6. The monthly expense now being incurred in con nection with the Act, in all its detaib, 18 £1,530, but whea the land assess ment fa perfected very few of the temporary clerks will be required. ,7. The

amount of revenue' received under the Act, up to May 31 last was £314 19s. Id.' In con clusion, the Commissioner of Taxes wrote :— ' I wiah to have the draft assessment com pleted by the end of July, and until the amount thereof is ascertained I am quite unable to calculate tha amount likely to be received by December 31 nest.' The City Olive Plantations.— The in formation elicited through a question asked bv Councillor Shaw at the meeting of the City Council on June 22 concerning the cost of pruning the olivd-treea upon the Park Lands' and the income derived from the trees during the last two years brought out some unexpected facts, which ought to be very gratifying to tL« citizens when they understand the position of affairs. During the Mayoralty of Mr. E. T. Smith the Council became aware of the fact that there were a large number of their olive-tree3 growing up perfectly wild and untrained, and it was hoped that if they were intelligently pruned they might be brought into a proper state, and become profitable aa well as hand some. After some negotiation the work of supervising the pruning of the trees was entrusted to Signor P. Villanis, C.E., who, foreseeing that they could not possibly be brought to a proper state in a shorter time, stipulated that he should have charge of the plantations for three years. When he commenced work there were not a few people who became alarmed at the ' punishment' he was com pelled to inflict upon these wild trees, and declared that he had ruined them. Even wiser men shook their heads, and feared the worst, although they admitted Sigaor Villanis's skill in other directions. However, a late inspection by several members of the Council showed that the trees were not exactly ruined, and the second crop after the pruning promised to be a very fine oae. This expectation wa3 realized ; and, notsvith standing that fully half the olives were lost through delay to pick them at the proper time and through pilfering by dishonest persons, some 4§ tons of fruit were gathered this season, which is a much larger crop than has ever been gathered before. It is true enough that the cost of secur ing this satisfactory result wa3. £376, whilst the value of the fruit:, sold during the two years has been only £201 153., leaving an apparent loss of £174 lls.; but it has to be remembered that there is the olive oil from nearly 3 tons oi olives pressed at the Gaol to the good, which wiU, perhaps, reduce the so-called loss to about £35. Besides this, the citizens have now a large number of olive-trees reduced permanently to a proper bearing condition, and requiring only the attention of one man each year to attend to the necessary though trivial pruning that must always be conducted in a well cultivated olive grove. The tree3 will now improve year by year, and it is not a matter of doubt, but it is certain that with ordinary Beasons the yield of frnit from ithe planta tions will increase for several yeara to come, whilst the only increased expense will be for picking the crop. Signor Villanis has met with a good deal of obstruction and op position during the two years that he has had the supervision of the plantations, and it must therefore be gratifying to him and to his friends to find that his efforts to improye the form, condition, and fruitful ness of the municipal and Gaol olive planta tions have been so successful. The thank3 of the citizens are ako due to Councillor Shaw for eliciting the information that has : thus been placed before them. St. Peters Debating Society. — A meet ing of members of this Society was held on Friday evening, June 26, at the Maid and Magpie Hotel, when the adjourned debate upon the subject of 'Payment of Members' was resumed. Mr. C. McMullen gave an exposition of his views/ and 'after other members had spoken on the subject for and against Mr. Dixon. made a characteristic speech in reply, strongly advocating the system of payment of members. A division. waB taken, resulting in favour of payment of members by a majority of two. ? Gbasts to Institutes.— -As some mis understanding has arisen as ? to the decision of the late Government with regard to grants to country Institutes,- we- have: been desired to state that so far as the annual grants (which are distributed 'by the Board in Adelaide) are concerned, they will be con tinued as usual. It is only the grants towards supplementary private subscriptions for the erection of' 'new country and suburban Institutes'** that have been discontinued. It appears that the sum first voted by the Legislature for the current year's subsidies was £3,000. '?; This, by the Supplementary Estimates, was increased to £5,000. '{Applica tions were,' however, made to such an extent that excess warrants had to be provided3 bringing up the total expenditure for this year only to £3,G9O. Abo at twenty Institute buildings are new in course of erection, and the late Government arranged to place the sum of £6,000 on the Estimates for their completion. As, however, the system had been greatly abused, and as it was necessary to reduce the public expenditure, the late Ministry resolved to discontinue the practice so far as any fresh buildings are concerned. This, however, as we have said, has nothing whatever to do with the usual grants made from year to year. Death or the Superioe'of Convent of Mercy.— By the death of the Eev. Mother Mary Evangelista Fitzpatrick, the Lady Superior of the Convent of Mercy, Angas street, which took place on Monday last, the Order has sustained a very seriou3 1033. The deceased lady, who from her earliest child hood was noted for her piety and Christian Charity, has been in the colony since May 3, 1S80, and during that time has by her kindheartedness and true sympathy gained many friends among all sects of the com munity, who will bitterly feel their loss and miss the kind face 'which was ever wel come at beds of sickness and in fami lies threatened with the shadow of death. She was born in Dublin on Christmas Eve, 1827, and Mas educated by the venerable founder of the Sisterhood of Mercy, Catherine McAuley, who directed her in deeds of charity, and trained her to attend the sick and suffering in the Dublin City Hospital. Her religious profession was made on March 28, 1848, in the presence of the late Archbishop Murray, at the Mother house of the Institution, Bigot street, and since then she has been a worthy member of an Order which has gained for itself a world-wide reputation for piety and self-denial. Several of her com panions have gained the crown of martyrdom for their efforts in the cause of the faith, others have succumbed to the hardships incident to attpndance on the wounded in the battle-field, and other3 are still working for the extension of the Order, and are engaged founding schools, hospitals, and orphanages in various parts of the world. After working in her native city for some time the deceased lady waa dis patched to Buenos Ayres, where she founded two houses of mercy and large schools. She was not long in South America, however, when an infidel mob, jealous of the good wc^k being done in their midst, burnt the Church College of the Jesuit Fathers, and then turned their fury upon the Convent of Mercy. This through the intervention of the French Consul was, however, spared, although the Sisters were turned out of the city and the property con fiscated. In 1880, when Dr. Beynold3, the Catholic Bishop of Adelaide, was in Dublin, he met the Eev. Mother, and recog nising the good effect such an Order must have in a community so mixed as this invited several members of the Sisterhood to his Diocese. On May 3 of that year several arrived here, and the Convent in Angas-Btreet wa3 opened. The Order has gradually been reinforced by the arrival at various times since then of other members, and several schools have been established, the whole supervision being in the hands of the Sisters. Of course from her position the deceased Sister waa fore most in all works tending to the advance ment of the Catholic children in and around the city, and great regret was expressed about a week ago when she became too unwell to continue her duties. No fatal termination, however, waa anticipated until Sunday afternoon, June 28, when she became very ill, and next morning quietly passed away. The cause of death waa syncope of the heart. The Eev. Mother's last hou--s'

werere.Tevedby.the prerence and offices of : Dr.: Reynolds, who was constant in his attendance on her towards the end. Fletcher's Grave* g Dock.— If any one has full confidence in the future of the Port it ia Mr. Fletcher, whose efforts are now being devoted to the task of furnishing the Port with a graving dock equal to tha largest steamer afloat, excepting the Great Eastern. The work of excavating the immense area is going on slowly but turely, and the process is careful'y watched with interest by all nautical men. There are some parts of the dock down to within 10 feet of the ultimate depth, and the large extent of land reclaimed shows the vast quantity of stuff taken out. The early work by shovel and barrow has been entirely superseded by tramlines and steampower, which keep on with never-ceasing regularity, delivering loads upon loads of de'bri3 on surrounding ground. At present the income of fresh water from the shore and salt water from the creek can well be kept under by the centrifugal pump, and when the leakage in creases another of equal throwing power will be brought into use. The operations as at present conducted afford fresh interest every ?week from the varied processes necessary as the depth increases. Home for Incurables.— The annual meet ing of this institution was held in the Younej Men's Christian Association Hall on Tuesday evening. The attendance was very large, and His Excellency the Governor, Sir William Eobinson, who occupied the chair, delivered an interesting speech, and appealed to the audience for their sympathy towards such an admirable institution. Sir Henry Ayers, Archdeacon Euesell, the Eev. W. E. Fletcher, M.A., the Eev. A. T. Boas, Canon Green (who made an eloquent and characteristic speech), and the Hon. A. Hay each delivered ad dresses. Mr. Boult conducted a choir, which contributed a number of glees in an excellent manner. ????'?; ; '? :: Electric Light Football Match. — To-night the first football match   played by electric light will be witnessed   on the Adelaide Oval. There will be six electric lamps, three on either side of the ground, each three having a separate exis tence from the other, and having a separate steam-engine for each three. The light will be supplied from six arc lamps — four Brush lamps of 1,000 candle-power each and two Siemens' lamps each of 2,000 candle-power, The electricity is produced by four dynamo machines, which are driven by two portable engines of Richard Garrett & Son's make. These are placed on each side of the Oval. Each engine drives two dynamos, one a Siemens' machine which burns the Siemens' lamp, and the other a Brush machine which burns the two Brush lamps. The Iamps are hung on six poles about 30 feet high, placed at equal distances round the Oval just out side the boundary flags. The wires for con veying the electricity from the machines to the lamps is stretched from pole to pole alcng each side of the Oval, and seems to be high enough to be out of the way of the ball It is stated that these six lamps will give plenty of light for the game if it is fine weather, but the machines will not work properly if it rains. At present there is every prospect of a fine night. The whole of the lighting machinery is being sup plied and fixed by Messrs. Francis H Clark & Co., of Blyth-street. At the front gates there will be sixteen entrances. Tickets will not be sold, money being taken at the gates. Members of the Association will be only admitted at the back of the Stand, and persons patronising the Reserve can enter at the same place. The Military Band has been engaged, and the affair promises to be a great success. Eastern Suburban Rifle Company.— A well-attended nieetinz of the members of the (Eastern Suburban Rifle Company was held 'at the Town Hall, Norwood, on Monday evening, June 29. Captain Basse' occupied the chair. Rules were framed for the guid ance of the company, and a special vote of thanks was passed to those gentlemen .who ? had forwarded donations. The Chairman reported that Mr. Coaipfcon and Mr. Hewitt had offered the use of their land at Stoneyfell for a range, and the offers iwere accepted witL thanks. The company unanimously passed a resolution authorizing their delegate to express to the Council of the Rifle 'Volunteer Force their disapproval of the headgear provided for the men. Tu'e Glengarry cap3 were most unsuitable, and in the summer they afford no shelter for the eye3 and forehead from the sun. It was decided to request the Council to take steps towards the formation of a military bard for the force. Sergeant Allen was elected Secretary and Sergeant Gooden Treasurer. A committee, comprising Captain Basse1, Lieutenant Hiibbe, Lieutenant Giles, Corporal Vaughan, Privates Franklin, Olding, Presgrave, and Pettinger, was formed. On Saturday afternoon the men will form them selves into a fatigue company and proceed to the range, weather permitting. Echunga Wattle Plantation'Costpany, Limited.— From the Directors' report, dated June 29, we take the following:— 'Your Directors have pleasure in saying that every thing on the wattle farm is progressing satisfactorily. At a comparatively small cost about 250 acres have been cleared. This area has been sown broadsast with seed specially selected from trees of known growth, and the fuller timber burned. Already immense growth of young trees is apparent. Fifty acres ploughed last year have been sown in rows and the ground rolled. Since the last general meeting the cottage on the farm has been completed, and the man in charge has resided therein. A little revenue'has resulted from depasturing, which is likely to be increased in the future.' Thebalance-sheet show3 :— Receipts— Capital account, £i,225 15s.; depasturing, £20. Ex penditure — Preliminary expenses, £133 63. 8d.; property account, £220 17s.; rent and rates, £103 9s.; labour and cartage, £362 33.; salaries, £37 10s.; improvements, £182 10s. 4d.; sundries bringing the total to £1,072 8s. 9d.; Bank balance, £175 7s. lid. A Society Journal. — W6 have received the first number of Table Talk, a Melbourne journal which i3 specially devoted to record ing the doings of ' society.' In other words, it is a collection of silly gO3sip. If we may judge from the specimen before us, Table Talk may certainly claim to be free from backbiting, malice, and all uncharifcableness. It does not say an evil word of anybody, and so long as this continues may be read without absolute harm, But it is essentially puerile. It contains one paragraph about a schoolboy who is leaving St. Peter's College, and two or three others abcut people [here who are going to be married. Of course, we cannot say whether the ladies and 'gentle- men spoken of like this publicity ; how one gentleman here likes to be described as ' a fine specimen of a young Australian. He is 27 years of age, tall, fair, and good-looking ;' or how, to take another instance, her rela tions and friends will like to see in print that a young lady is 'tall, with a lithe figure, and, like all her sisters, very dark, with a beautiful complexion, and eyes as clear as those of a gazelle ;' or how a certain official will be pleased to know that his engagement is published throughout the calonies. Tie names of the parties concerned are in each case given. For ourselves, we cannot bub think that these details are of the most objectionable kind. If people want to get married, let them get married without having their 'points' published. We look upon 'society journals,' and upon this society journal no less than its brethren in the old country, as the results of an unwarrantable and impertinent intrusion into private life. It is a depraved curiosity which wants to know how a certain dining-room is fur nished, or that a man has ' a wealth, of yellow hair on his shapely head.' We notice that these objectionable, personal details are to be found only in the descriptions of Adelaide people, and we fail to see why this colony is thus honoured. This much may be pro phesied, th£$ perseverance in such a course will not recommend the journal to public favour here, _