THE PUBLIC LIBRARIES BILL.
The Public Libraries Bill, like the Taxation Amendment Bill, has no pre amble. In the case of the last named measure the absence is no loss, because
It is plainly an amending enactment. But the Public Libraries Bill institutes a new departure so far as South Australia is con cerned, and one would like to know exactly what it is intended and expected to accomplish. This we have to gather from the several sections, and we fancy ordinary readers will rise from their perusal with rather a hazy idea of what is contemplated. We learn that public libraries may be established in a munici- pality or District Council, except in Adelaide, 'and for that purpose the existing Institute within such munici- pality or District Council and the real and personal estate of such Institute may be taken over by the Cor- poration or District Council within which it is' situate in the manner and subject to the conditions and restrictions hereinafter prescribed.' The process is a comparatively simple one. Ten rate- payers of the municipality are to sign a requisition asking the Mayor to convene a meeting to decide whether a public library shall be established in the municipality. The Mayor is thereupon to call a meeting of ratepayers, stating: in his notice the object of the meeting, and whether it is proposed to take over any existing Institute. The meeting may be adjourned, and if a vote is carried at the first or the adjourned meeting by a majority of two-thirds of the ratepayers present, the Governor may at any time thereafter by proclamation declare that a Pnblic Library shall be established in the municipality. No poll Is to be taken ; but the decision of the meeting is to be final. When the Pablic library is thus Instituted the local Council are to declare a ' Library rate,'' without appeal to the ratepayers, of not less than one halfpenny, and not more than one penny on the rateable property. If at the jmeeting or any adjournment of it it is decided not to establish a Pablic Library the question is not again to be discussed for a year at least, unless a majority of those present decide " that the matter may be again brought forward and considered within that period.' The foregoing provisions are also to apply to District Councils. As we read the measure each District Council will] have power to establish only one Public Library. When the Library is established in accordance with the procedure already described it Is to be managed by a committee of ten, half of whom are to be appointed by the Corporation or Dis- trict Council, and the other half to be elected by the ratepayers at a meeting assembled for the purpose. At least three of the committee are to be members of the Council or Corporation, and all are to hold office for a year, but will be eligible for re-appointment or re-election The committee will have the power to make rules and regulations which, how
ever, will have no force until approved by the tfmisbr of Education. The library ia to be free to every ratepayer In the municipality. If it is de cided to take over an. existing Institute notice of the resolution ia to be sent to the minister of Education for his approval He ia then to find oat if the members of the Institute are willing to hand over the properly to the municipality. If he is satisfied that they are willing and believes the transfer will be generally beneficial he is to signify his approval, and is to publish an order in the Gazette to that effect, and thereupon the Institute is to become the property of the mnnicipsUty. After the Institute has been taken over by a Corporation or District Council 'The Public Library, Museum, and Art Gallery Act of 1884 is not to apply to it.' The effect will be that the ratepayers will have no voice in the election of the representa- tive Governors of the South Australian library, Museum, and Art Gallery, and the Library thus established will, we take it for granted, be debarred from sharing in the Parliamentary grant to country Institutes. We have mentioned these points because they add to the diffi- culty of understanding what the measure is intended to accomplish, and we trust the Minister in moving the second read- ing will be veiy clear in his expla- nations. As a scheme for the general establish- ment of local public libraries the Bill Is not nearly comprehensive enough. If this were intended there is no reason why Adelaide should be excluded, for if there is any place where a local public library should be maintained by the ratepayers it surely is in the city. We have here the Public Library acces- sible, and there is no reason why the Circulating Library and Reading-room should not be made a local and not a national institution, as it is practically available only for the residents in the immediate neighbourhood of Adelaide. Clearly then the intention ia not to initiate a scheme for the establishment of local municipal public libraries, and, Indeed, we question whether the time is yet ripe for the experiment. If the object is to enable those of the Institutes which are in financial difficulties to dispose of their property to the local municipality, the Bill appears to us to go too far in some directions and not far enough, in others. In cases where there is a good Institnte Building and no Town Fall a local municipality may be glad to take over the. property. We suspect, however, that as a rule where it is found that there are only compara- tively few who are willing to work zeal- ously for an Institute the local ratepayers will be unwilling to take the burden upon themselves, especially as by doing so they wilI incur a double liability. They will be exposed to the imposition of a special rate without their consent, and they will be shut out from a share in the Parliamentary grant to country Institutes. There will be a difficulty also in those instances where there are two or more In stitutes in one municipality or District Council. Probably the Minister may be able to clear up all these difficulties, and to show how the measure is likely to have a beneficial effect. It can- not be denied that in the past there has been much unwise ex- penditure in connection with country Institute buildings. But the Bill would obviously not meet the case of those country Institutes which have no ex- pensive buildings, and are managed at a good deal of self-sacrifice by a few earnest residents amidst considerable discouragement. These In- stitutes will be greatly benefited by an increase of the annual subsidy to the former amount, as asked for on Tuesday. And seeing that the beneficial effects of the new tariff will be chiefly confined to Adelaide and its immediate neighbourhood, while the burdens will fall heavily upon resi- dents in the country, they may reasonably ask that so long as the present system of subsidy to the city and country Institutes is maintained it should be at least on the scale in ope- ration three years ago. We are inclined to think that the liberality of Parliament in this direction would be even more beneficial than the adoption of the provisions of the Bill before us. The Estimates of Expenditure — The Estimates this year have been carried through Committee with almost phenol- menal rapidity. Four sittings, or rather the fag ends of four sittings, of the Assembly have afforded the time necessary for voting away £1,433,549 under the heading of ordinary Estimates, and some £33,749 under the head- ing of Excesses on Votes. A few seconds indeed served to secure for the past and the present Ministry an un- reserved vote of Indemnity for exceeding by the last-named amount the Parliamen- tary provision, for expenditure during 1886-7. The Ministry may fairly con- gratulate themselves upon having had their Estimates accepted almost without altera- tion. No doubt the discussions upon the tariff have tended to exhaust the critical faculty of the members, and the advent of hot weather has warned them of the necessity of bringing their labours to a close as soon as possible, but it is nevertheless a high compliment to the Treasurer that only in one or two items have his figures been successfully challenged. On. Wednesday a desultory discussion took place on the vote for education. Members seized the opportunity of airing their views and their crotchets, and If there was no special novelty in what was said there was no lack of variety in the opinions expressed. A proposal was made that the total should be cut down by £10,000, but it was supported by such feeble arguments that it met with little support. It is easy enough to in- dulge in general denunciations of the present system of education, and to con- demn its costliness in good round terms ; but upon its detractors rests the responsi- bility of showing a more satisfactory and less expensive substitute. None of those who spoke on Wednesday threw any light upon the vital question of how the work at present undertaken by the de- partment can be done more cheaply with- out a sacrifice of efficiency. Three or four members recommended in vague phrase- logy a system of limited denominational education, but they did not take the trouble to combat the objections to such a course. Others advocated free educa- tion and a reduction of the standards, others suggested the exclusion of children under 6 or 7 years of age, but no practical suggestion tending to economy on g large scale was advanced. The only point wherein the criticism of the existing state of things
really told had reference to the Advanced School for Girls. The sole defence offered for the institution that is it all worth regarding is that it pays. The evidence of this is not so clear as it might be, but even assuming the statement to be true it supplies no justification for the existence of the school. No doubt an Advanced Boys' School or a boot factory under the charge of the Government could in the same sense be made to pay, but that would not warrant the inter- ference with private enterprise which the establishment of the school or factory would entail. In the end the various sections of the House agreed to waive for the time their object- tions and pass the vote as it stood. Some- thing was said about a revision of the system, but the Ministry discreetly held their peace upon so delicate a subject. Agricultural Statistics. — The As- semblyhas adopted the penny wise and pound foolish policy of refusing to spend the small sum required to collect agricul- tural and live stock statistics at the close of the year. It is disheartening to see how completely the present House has made up its mind to discount the leading interests of the colony. It has com- mitted itself to a tariff which, on the pretext of offering encourage- ment to- manufacturing industries, places upon the producing classes burdens grievous to be borne. It is engaged upon proposals for land legislation which will for the most part be worthless as a means of promoting settlement, but which will introduce further confusion into the agrarian laws of the province. And now it has refused to authorize the trifling ex- penditure necessary to enable us to advertise to the world the pre-eminence of South Australia as an agricultural colony. What matters it that in the area under cultivation she so far outstrips all her neighbours ; that in the production of wheat she is facile princeps ; that in wine making and fruit-growing and other in- dustries dependent for their development upon the soil and its products she is advancing with rapid strides. The facts are to be kept carefully concealed from the world at large because, forsooth, it will cost a few hundred pounds to bring together and tabulate the necessary in- formation. All the other colonies, not excepting Western Australia, Tas- mania, and New Zealand, have the sense to see that the money devoted to the preparation and printing of statistics of produce is money well spent; it is only South Australia that is too poverty-stricken even to advertise herself. In the com- parative tables published yearly to illus- trate the material progress of the several Australasian Colonies she is content to be represented by the figures for two or three years back— in other words, to flaunt in the face of all the countries into which these statistics penetrate her lack of ordinary business acumen, her hopelessness as to her own future. Only on the supposition that the House has not taken the trouble to realize the folly of this policy of self-effacement is the vote of Wednesday intelligible. If econo- mical methods of going to work were resorted to the cost of collecting the statistics ought certainly not to exceed £2,000, but this small outlay is begrudged because the outlay does not yield an im- mediate money return. As we have said before, we do not undervalue the com- pliments paid to us in respect of the general accuracy of our harvest estimates, but these cannot supply the place of official returns setting out definitely the area under various kinds of crops in different hundreds and the yield of those crops. Such information must be of the utmost service in pointing out how settlement is developing and in guiding the Parliament in its dealings with the land. But the Assembly, it would seem, despises facts which throw light upon the methods of turning particular areas of country to the best account, and prefer legislating in the dark. We trust that it is not even now too late to reverse the short- sighted and niggardly policy affirmed on Wednesday. Wednesday's Parliament.— The Legis- lative Council spent the greater part of Wed- nesday afternoon in farther considering the tariff; Several alterations were proposed, but the only one of any consequence agreed to was that omitting from the 25 per cent, list, 'Waterproof materials, in the manu- facture of which indiarnbber or guttapercha is used. The Council will again discuss the schedule to-day, Yesterday the Totalizator Bill was received from tbe Assembly, and allowed to lie upon the table. The member who is to take charge of it was not present. The Hon. D. Murray re- sumed the debate upon the Civil Service Board BilI, which he wishes to refer to a Select Committee. The question was post- poned till to-day. The Council rose at thirteen minutes ; to 5. In the Assembly it was announced that members will not meet next Wednesday on account of the public holiday, but will probably have late sittings on Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday nights. There is now a general impression that the prorogation will be witnessed before the end of November. By numerous questions information was elicited about the break of gauge experiments at Terowie. The Commissioner of Public Works was asked to state why Ramsey's system has been tried at the expense of the Government whilst no such experiment has been allowed in the case of South Australian inventors. The reply was that Ramsey's system is, if a patent, an expired patent ; that it has been successfully used in America; that the Engineer-in-Chief recommends it ; that pre- vious Governments have authorized the experiments ; and that enquiry into the matter will be made. Another reference was heard to the break of guage in a re- newed discussion upon Mr. Bews's motion for the appointment of a Select Committee upon the question. The Commissioner of Public Works asked for the with- drawal of the motion. Whatever the merits of the question, it might be left to the Railway Board. The debate will be continued on November 11. Mr. Stock's Bill for the amendment of the Companies Act was introduced, the second reading to be moved ou November 11. Mr. Rees at last passed, by 20 to 13, with_8 pairs, the third reading oi Totalizator Bill No. 2. The Premier asked Mr. Caldwell to withdraw his motion for the appointment of a Select Committee relative to the establish- ment of a State Bank. It was too late in the session to think about the matter now, but the Government would not object to the proposal next year, Mr. Bagster thought there should be a Commission instead of a Committee. The discussion was further post- poned till November 11. Mr. Krichauff's motion for the collection of agricultural statistics was Iost. The Government said they could not afford to do the work. The Regisler's figures were much more accurate than the official. Mr. Hopkins, on the pro- position to adopt the report of the Select Com- mittee concerning Public Works officers de- rounced the Engineer-in-Chief. On November 11 the discussion will continue. Mr. Moulden moved the second reading of his Dog Bill. The Commissioner of Crown Lands will resume the debate in a fortnight. The after- noon was chiefly occupied by just touching upon numerous matters and dropping them again for future decision. The Government asked Mr, Furner to withdraw his proposal that £20,000 should be set apart out of the general revenue to afford assistance in mining development. He promised that the whole matter should be favourably considered and dealt with early next session. The Technical Education Board were now considering the establishment of a School of Mines, Mr. Jenkins submitted an amendment for a grant of £5,000 for such an institution. The debate was adjourned. The Hon. J. C. Bray was to have spoken upon the Attorney-General's proposal referring to the disputed boundary question, but he was out of the House when the Order of the Day was reached, and the motion was carried, without discussion.
Notice of a similar proposition was given in ihe Council. In connection with the Esti- nates Mr. Castine raised a long debate by moving to reduce the education vote by £10,000. He withdrew the amendment after almost every aspect of the wide subject had been dealt with. The vote passed unaltered, and the rest of the estimates went through with, little more ado. The excesses on votes were adopted in exactly two minutes. The Premier smiled sweetly when the resolutions were reported. The Absconding Debtors Bill was recommitted and technically amended. A little before half-past 10 o'closk the Attorney General moved the second reading of the Local Courts Appeals Bill, and before 11 the Bill had been taken into Committee. The House adjourned at ten minutes to 11. Sir Robert Ross.— Sir Robert Ross (Speaker of the Assembly) had sufficiently recovered from his illness to attend in the House on Wednesday, but he had to be relieved in the discharge of his duties by Mr. Ward. British Broken Hill Company.— The telegrams which we publish to-day show that the Company that is being organized in Eng- land to purchase and work Blocks 15 and 16 belonging to the Broken Hill Proprietary Company is to comprise 240,000 shares of a nominal value of £5 each. Of these 80,000 shares fully paid up are to be left in the hands of the Broken Hill Proprietary Com- pany shareholders, and the other 160,000 to be issued to the public in England. These 160,000 shares represent a capital of £800,000, of which £125,000 is to be reserved to meet the cost of working. A further sum of under £100.000 will be absorbed in meeting the cost of floating the property and all other expenses, leaving a sufficient balance to pay the Broken Hill Proprietary shareholders a dividend of it least £36, making with the five paid-up shares of £5 each a provision of £61 for each share. Of course everything depends upon whether the Company is floated or not, but we were informed some time ago that the pros- pects were good. The success of the opera- tion will be a marvellous indication of the confidence of British capitalists in the value of the Broken Hill property. The Late Mr. Carruthers.— We have to record the death of another old colonist, Mr. John Carruthers, at the ripe age of 81, and a colonist of forty-seven years. Mr. Carruthers was a native of : Dum- fries, and arrived here in the Cleveland in December, 1839. His family training had been that of a clothier, and leaving his native town he carried on a fairly im- portant business as clothier on Snow Hill, London. On the foundation of this colony he exhibited, with many others, a desire for colonial life connected with farming and with capital. With farming implements, furniture for home comforts, and two farm labourers, he sought his future home. In those days it was next to impossible to secure an accurately surveyed location— it was much upon the principle of free selection before survey— and in a very short time Mr. Carruthers made a selection in the locality where the present weir for the water supply of the city is constructed, and called the Gorge. One feature in this selection was a ready-made residence offered him by a large cave upon the property, and here, with the handsome furniture, carpets, and other com forts which had been transferred from home, and having their old associations with them, he began an experience of colonial life. It need not be said that this was of a most pre- carious variety ; but by degrees he added to the rude establishment a moderately con- venient house, and eventually married a daughter of the late William Fill. His eldest daughter, the present widow of the late Mr. B. J. Price, was born in this romantic spot. About two years after he came into Adelaide and commenced a business which ultimately grew to be at one time the largest wine and spirit business in the city. When the colony was under the strain of severe depression previous to the opening of the Burra mine, he would have gladly retired from business, but the difficulties to realize prevented his doing so, and there are now a few notes in the hands of old colonists which he and many merchants of that day had to issue as change. For many years Mr. Carruthers has led an entirely secluded life, and for the past two years has not been in the city. He had been confined to his bed for the past twelve months through enfeebled old age, but he enjoyed his mental faculties up to the last, and quietly passed away, surrounded by many members of his family. He leaves four daughters (the widow of Mr. B. J. Price, Mrs. George Baynton, and Mrs, S. V. Pizey, one being still unmarried), also two married and three single sons, and thirteen grandchildren. So old a colonist must live in the memory of all his contemporaries, and it is but a small tribute to the esteem in which his memory will be held to say that his death will be a loss to an unusually large circle of acquaintances. His funeral will leave his late residence, Pennington-terrace, this afternoon. Smallpox in Tasmania. — A telegram announces that a fresh case of smallpox was discovered on Wednesday in a house 11 miles from Launceston. The cause of the disease could not be traced to any particular person. This later development proves the wisdom of the course pursued in the different colonies with reference to the enforcing of the health regulations in the case of vessels arriving from Tasmania. Teleghaphic. — Mozambique notifies Mauritius mail closes there at 7 p.m. Friday, November 4. Price of Wool.— The New Zealand Loan and Mercantile Agency Company, Limited, report an excellent sale of wool on Wednes- day at Port Adelaide. Prices were firm and pastoral interests maybe said to be ' looking up.' Greasy crossbred sold at 10£d. per lb., being the highest price obtained in Adelaide for any greasy wool sold this season. Departure of the Hon. M. B. Hawke's Team of Cricketers.— By the Melbourne express on Wednesday afternoon the team of English cricketers brought out by the Hon, M. B. Hawke left for Melbourne. British Broken Hill Company.— The following telegram has been received from Melbourne :— 'Mr. Knox, re Blocks 15 and 16, cables to-day as follows :— " Expect issue prospectus early next week.' ' Paying for Sewage Connections.— The Commissioner of Public Works mentioned in the Assembly on Wednesday night that charges under the compulsory provisions of the Sewers Act will be enforced in Kent Town as from July 1 last. On the previous day he inadvertently gave the date as January 1, 1888. Civil Sittings.— The case of Sinclair v. Saunders, which was on the list for hearing before Mr. Justice Boucaut on Wednesday, has been adjourned until November 10. Locusts at Quorn.— Our correspondent writing on November 1 Bays : — ' We are being visited by a host of locusts, in far greater numbers than last year. They do not seem to be doing much harm in this hun- dred except to the grass, but I hear they are doing considerable damage to the wheat in the Hundreds of Boolcunda, Palmer, and Willochra. In some places they are eating through the stalk and letting the head fall, while in other parts they are cleaning out the heads of wheat. They seem to prefer cer- tain parts of the plains, while some localities they carefully avoid.' Blind School.— Mr. M. H. Madge, who advocated in Tuesday's issue the case of a poor girl whose admission to the Blind School is blocked by the want of funds, asks us to receive subscriptions in the matter. We shall be glad to pass them on. EiGHT-HOURS CELEBRATION UNION.— The first trustee meeting of this Union since the celebration on September 1 was held at the Bristol Tavern Hotel on Wednesday evening. There was a good attendance. The following officers were elected:— Chairman, Mr. A. A. Kirkpatrick ; Secretary, Mr. H. Jenkins ; Treasurer, Mr. J. Salmon. Architects and Private Practice— Mr. Rees presented to the Assembly on Wednes- day a petition from the South Australian Institute of Architects, who represented that great injustice has been done to the archi- tectural profession by Government officers undertaking private practice, to the detri- ment of architects who have only their pro- fession to depend upon, and who thus have to compete on unequal terms with persons who, having their official pay to rely on, are at no expense for rent, assistance, and all
the other costs incidental to business ; that such persons are bound by none of the rules that private practice necessarily imposes on architects; and that if such private practice be permitted to public officers the Government has no guarantee against the improper use of Govern- ment official time and materials. On the other hand, the petitioners consider that a great injustice has long been done them by the public buildings being executed under a department, and that the public has also suffered pecuniarily by the very great cost at which the department has for a very consider- able time been conducted. They feel confident that not only would a considerable saving be effected by these buildings being entrusted to them to design and carry out, but that buildings less wasteful in space, less costly in construction, more fitted to the purpose for which they are intended, and in many cases more sightly would result from these works being placed in different hands. The smaller or more temporary buildings and repairs might be handed over to the care of the Superintendent of Public Buildings. Finally the petitioners asked for 'such an act of justice to a long-suffering and struggling pro- fession.' Employers' Union of S.A.— A special meeting of the Employers' Union of S.A. was held at the rooms occupied by the Union, in No. 10, Cavendish Chambers, Grenfell-street, on Tuesday afternoon, No- vember 1. Mr. W. Hamilton, President of the Union, occupied the chair. The Presi- dent replied to the various enquiries made by those present as to the terms of admis- sion to the Union, and intimated that by a resolution of the executive dated October 13 the entrance fee had been fixed at £1, and yearly subscription £2. Mr. Alfred Colton moved, and Mr. W. H. Fhillipps seconded, the following resolution, which was carried unanimously — 'That the Secretary be in- structed to write to the Trades and Labour Council, enclosing a copy of the draft con- stitution of the Board of Conciliation, with the request that the Council would take into consideration the advisability of establishing a Board of Conciliation as soon as possible.' Both mover and seconder expressed the hope that this, which was one of the chief objects of the formation of the Union, would soon be accomplished. Mr. L. P. Lawrence moved, and Mr. Charles Genders seconded, the following resolution, which was also carried, namely— :i That all members that have been provisionally admitted to the Union by the Secretary in terms of Rule 21 be now confirmed.' Both the mover and seconder expressed regret that as the Union was now firmly established several manufac- turers, contractors, and Tram Companies had not as yet become members. Central Board of Health.— At the Board of Health meeting on Tuesday it appeared that the Government Resident had telegraphed asking whether 300 Tamils ex- pected to arrive via Singapore should be allowed to land without detention for medical observation. The Central Board of Health decided that the Medical Officer should have discretionary power in dealing with the land- ing of the coolies. Lecture by Professor Rentoul.— At the forty-eighth anniversary meeting of the Flinders-street Presbyterian Church held on Wednesday evening the Rev. J. L. Rentoul, D.D. (Professor of Apologetics and Exegetics, Melbourne), delivered, an eloquent lecture upon ' The New Testament and the Modern Sceptical Assaults Against it' to a good audience. He will lecture on 'Apes and Man' on Friday next. Intercolonial Free Trade.— The Con- ference of Chambers of Manufactures which met at Adelaide early in October is not the first effort (says the Australasian Ironmonger of November 1) that has been made to secure free trade between the Australasian Colonies, but it will not be wise to attach too great importance to its deliberations. It repre- sented too small a section of the community and its delegates were too palpably biased in favour of free markets for themselves with protection against everybody else to allow much weight to the decisions arrived at. Twelve of the fourteen manufacturers present voted for intercolonial free trade on the basis of a Customs Union with a uniform tariff, and it was evident that this uniformity was to be gained, not by any compromise, but by the raising of every tariff to the standard of that in Victoria. Victoria is the prime insti- gator of the movement, and this is at least significant. For many years it has closed its own markets against other colonies and has had till recently almost free entry into their ports. Now that there is the slightest chance that other colonies will copy its policy it cries out for intercolonial free trade. Dis- cussion properly so called there was none at the Conference, unless the newspaper reports do it scant justice, although they were praised by special resolution. Ths delegates came evidently prepared to adopt a definite course of action, representing only one side of the opinion in their respective colonies, and the only sign of discord was in the reluctance of the South Australian delegates to accept the proposal that they should have free trade with Melbourne and other centres. We regard the free interchange of products and manufactures as of the highest importance for the future commercial advantage of Aus- tralia, but with the results before us of the attempt made last year to bring Victoria and Tasmania into closer relations we have no hope that such a condition will become pos- sible for very many years, unlesa some new and external factor is introduced to overcome the prejudice and self-seeking of special classes. An Interesting Shipping Case.— The Mauritius correspondent of the Argus, writ- ing on October 13, gives an important decision by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, sitting as Judge in the Vice-Admiralty Court. It calls in question the value of certificates granted by the Government Surveyors at Natal, at Madras, and at Conconada, and finally, of Lloyd's Surveyors in London. Briefly summarized, the facts of the case are as follows:— Ihe British barque Laurel, of 638 tons, was built in 1859. In February, 1886, she underwent repairs in London, and was classed A1 at Lloyd's, after the usual survey had been made. Her certificate from Lloyd's was dated March 5, 1886. Two days afterwards she sailed, laden with coals, from Cardiff, bound for Colombo. She discharged there, and went in ballast to Madras in August. In September she brought coolies to Mauritius, after having been sur- veyed, as a matter of course. From Mauri- tius she went back to Madras, whence in December last year she took coolies to Natal, her charter involving another survey. She sailed from Natal with coolies in February this year— another survey— for Madras. Thence she went to Conconada with a cargo of redwood. She was, however, surveyed at Madras by the Government Surveyor, and the repairs he directed to be done were executed at Conconada. At the latter port the Government Surveyor issued a certificate, and she took in 500 tons of sugar, then went to Madras, where she took in 396 tons of red wood, both the sugar and wood being for London. She had leaked considerably at times ever since she left Cardiff on March 7, 1886. Previous to beginning her last voyage she made an inch an hour in Madras roadstead, which does not appear to be excessive fcr a wooden ship with a heavy cargo in such a seaway. Twenty-four hours after leaving Madras the vessel met a head wind and sea, and was found to be making 10 inches of water an hour. The captain re- fused to put back to Madras, but he found it necessary to bear up for Mauritius. The ship was unloaded and surveyed. The repairs ordered were so extensive that the owner, who was communicated with by cable, refused to incur the cost, especially as he was the insurer of his own ship. She was abandoned on August 31 last, the cargo being tran- shipped into another of the owner's vessels then in this port.. The crew were tendered their wages up to the day of abandon- ment, but they refused to take the money unless they each received £20 as com- pensation for breach of contract, they having signed articles at Madras for London ; and they actually prevailed upon the authorities here to seize the ship, which was not about to be taken to sea again, before their claim for compensation had been tried and proved to be valid. Messrs. Blyth Brothers & Co., the agents, were compelled to give a guarantee on behalf oi the owners before anything else could be done. The Laurel was then released and sold under the
hammer for R8.000. finally, the Judge oi the Vice- Admiralty Court awarded the men £14 each. Irrespective of the validity of this award— the ship having been abandoned —there is another and a very serious ques- tion involved. The Judge ruled that the ship was not only unseaworthy when she left Madras for London, but that she had been unseaworihy 'long before' that time. How long? Anyway, the certificates of the Government Surveyors at Madras and Conconada are impugned, as well as that issued at Natal. But the Judge goes even further back, for he says: — ' Lloyd's certificates are not lightly given, as a rule, but in presence of the report of the surveyors after the eurvey made here at the end of July last, I must come to the con- clusion that the Laurel could not have been properly repaired in London in February, 1886.' If, then, ahe was not properly re- paired, as the Judge here declared that she was not,' what will Lloyd's have to say about the A1 class in which they placed her ? Who is right ? The practical people whom Lloyd's employ or the Chief Judge of Mauritius? Perhaps the Trinity-house lawyers will be called upon to decide. Extermination of Rabbits. — A meet- ing of gentlemen interested in pas- toral pursuits was held at Goldsbrough's wool stores yesterday (says the Argus of Tuesday) to hear Professor Watson, of the Adelaide University, explain his method for the extermination of rabbits by inoculating them with what is known as rabbit scab. It was alleged that the disease in question was very deadly to rabbits, and that no other animals could be infected with it Mr. T. Cuming pointed out that if the rabbit pest could be got rid of in this way much expense would be saved in erecting rabbit- proof fencing, for which large orders were now being given. The meeting was of opinion that experiments should be made with a view of testing the efficacy of the method in question under natural conditions, and that a piece of land should be enclosed for the purpose. The only question was whether the land to be chosen should be a small piece near Melbourne or several thou- sands of acres of the mallee, where rabbits and other stock could be run together. There was some desire to appeal to the Government to take up the matter but ultimately it was resolved that funds should be subscribed by those who were interested in the success of the experiments, and that the Government should duly be asked for permission to intro- duce the scab under the most stringent pre- cautions. On Wednesday a deputation will wait upon the Premier with this object, and to obtain an understanding that the pro- moters of the scheme shall not be held liable for any injury that may ensue from bringing a new disease to the colony. The Women's Tbtbutb Fund to Sm Henby Pabkes.— ' The noble work, com menced some forty years ago, amongst others, by our venerable Australian states man, to secure freedom and liberty for us and our children after us on Australian soil, is worthy of widespread recognition at this period in his life, after a long, continuous, and exhausting devotion to the interests of Australia,' is the sentiment which has pro voked an address for this fund to the women of Australasia generally; which address was adopted on October 27 at a General Com mittee meeting of ' The Women's Tribute Fund to Sir Henry Parkes,' held in the Town Hall, Sydney. Communications may be ad dressed to the Joint Honorary Secretaries to the fund there. The Gold Discoveby Near Perth.— The Melbourne Daily Telegraph publishes a telegram from Perth, dated Monday, say ing :— ' The speeimena of gold in reference to which I wired on Saturday reached Perth quietly on Friday. The members of Anstey's party are very reticent. They are se curing the right to purchase city property preparatory to the result turning out as anticipated— a second Mount Morgan. Among the party which is in charge of Anstey are two Victorian diggers, Payne and Greave, The members of the party were completely prostrate with excitement when the find was discovered. Fine gold is dis tinctly visible in all the quartz brought in, which is considered by practical men to snrpasB .any seen from Kimberley. The dis covery was made on LuknvB, close to New castle, about 50 miles east of Perth. The landowner, who was previously anxious to sell the property, is now withholding. [Later.] The Btone brought in by Anstey is a kind of smoky quartz ; in parts of a slightly ferru ginous description. The gold is free; there is no trace of pyrites or mundic. Easily ex tracted gold is scattered all over the stone, which on fracturing shows itself diffused throughout, sometimes running in lays or bands; in other cases powdered over, as if shaKen from a pepper-castor. Anstey believes the reef extends several hundred yards, and there appear to be many of a '''Jar cha racter in the vicinity. He returns to the scene immediately.' Monsignob Rignby.— The dignity which* the Pope has just conferred on Archdeacon Rigney, of Parramatta (says the S.M. Herald), gives that rev. gentleman the title of Monsignor, and the rank of Domestic Prelate. The intelligence of the elevation of Archdeacon Rigney was received by Cardinal Moran within the past few days, and it is understood by those who are well informed in such matters that the distinction has been conferred as a recognition of long and energetic service in the Roman Catholic Church in Australia, Archdeacon Rigney having been for fifty years actively engaged in various parts ot the colony. For a con siderable period the Archdeacon, who is now more than 70 years of age, has been pastor of the Parramatta district, and we are informed that the fact of his receiving the title of Monsignor will not interfere with the hold ing oi that position. It may interest many to know that Archdeacon Rigney was one of the first missionary priests who came out to Australia shortly after the first Roman Catholic Bishop, the late Dr. Polding, took possession of the See of Sydney, which at that time embraced the whole of Australasia, The Archdeacon, or as he is now styled, the Mon&ignor, will in a few weeks celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of his ordination as prieat, and we understand that it is the in tention of his parishioners and other friends to mark the event by presenting him with some appropriate gift. Hospital Item.— Whilst two men named Joseph Callents and Charles Eastick were walking aloDg North-terrace on Wednesday a horse which had bolted collided with them, and the three fell together. Both men were conveyed to the Hospital, where it was found that Callents had his left Bhqulder blade broken and severe bruises on his head. He was admitted. The other man, who was only bruised, was able to go to his home. Majob Dane.— We announced last week that this gentleman contemplated a visit to Adelaide, and it has now been definitely decided that he will open in the Victoria Hall, Gawler-place. The Major has been exceedingly successful in the other colonies, where crowded audiences have gathered to hear him. He is cordially commended by the Rev. Joseph Cook, the well-known Boston lecturer, who visited this colon; some years ago. Rev. W. H. Evans, of Victobia.— This minister of the Bible Christian Church in Victoria ia now on a visit to South Aus tralia. After labouring successfully in various parts of England he went to Victoria in 1879. His work in Adelaide will begin this evening with a lecture in Young-street Church on 'Rev. C. H. Spurgeon.' Wool Sale.— Wednesday next being a public holiday the New Zealand Loan and Mercantile Company will hold their nazt wool sale on the previous afternoon at 4 o'clock. ,, __ Adelaide Ceoldben's Hospital. — The Secretary has received £5 from 'Australa- sian,' and S3 from the Furniture Trade Pro tection Association. Pastob Muelleb at Nobwood.— This venerable philanthropist will conduct a service at the Norwood Baptist Church to night. jPbtebsbubg Milling Company. — A meeting of those interested in the formation of this company will be held at the Peters burg Institute this evening. Tkmpebance Mketikg.— A special meeting of the members of the Northern Star and Victoria Tents will be held in the Bechabite TTjiii, Grote-street, this evening. Received.— The first number of the Theatrical Courier, which will doubtless be of considerable interest to the theatrical pro fession. . . ? S.A. Yacht-Club.— The monthly meeting is called for to-night at the clubroom, Port Adelaide.