BABY-FARMING AND INFANTI CIDE.
Interred in the backyards of four houses in the suburbs of Sydney which have been oocapied at (different times during the past few months by a familv
of the name of Makin ?* the bodies of fif teen infants have been found. Upon four of these Coroner's inquests have been held, and the Juries have returned verdicts declaring that there was no evi dence showing when, where, or by what means tho children met with their deaths. The Makins— father, mother, and two daughters— are in custody, and wh3ther they are guilty ornotof the horrible crimes of which they are suspected it is cer tain that some one has undertaken the infamous business of doing away at so much per head with little ones who were an encumbrance to their natural guardians. The Attorney-General has promised Parliament that no endeavour shall be spared to probe the ghastly mystery to the bottom. As an earnest of the genuineness of this promise he said he intended at an early date to submit to Cabinet the advisableness of appointing a Public Prosecutor for the assistance of the police. This may be of some service, but much more than that is required. The circumstances call for tho most searching investigation, and the. adoption of more rigorous measures for the protection of infants. It would be scandalous if the crime that has only too svidently been committed by wholesale were not sheeted home to the real ?jriminals. The Makins may be per
fectly innocent. Until the whole of the circumstances affecting their case have been completely enquired into and they themselves have been given a full and fair trial we shall neither condemn nor exonerate them. But if they have had no hard in deciding the fate of these iiifants some one else has, and it is the duty of the law and its agents not only to fiiid the culprits but W see that they are adequately punished. Apart from other circumstances which seem to incriminate the Makins one thing pretty clear is that they have done something in the way of baby farming. During the enquiry on one of the bodies found a single woman named Todd said the male prisoner Makin, who is a labourer, and who gave the name of Leslie, entered into an agreement with her to take a child of hers. Tho agreement was as follows :— 'Redfern, June 27, 1892. I here by agree to take and adopt a baby girl, sixmonthsold, from Agnes Todd, the baby';*! name Elsie May, for the compensa tion of £3. I hereby agree to take her for life, and not trouble the said Agnes Todd either in sickness or death of the baby. Signed J. H. Leslie.' The docu ment is business-like and to the point. Agnes Todd wished to rid herself of her baby girl six months old, and did not want to hear anything more about it. Mr. Leslie, or, in other words, Mr. Makin, was willing to adopt the child for £3, agreeing not to trouble the mother either in case of the illness or the death of her offspring. But the form of the agreement ia not more business-like than are the terms mode rate. Indeed they are cheap — dirt cheap. Adopt an infant for life for £3 ! Were it not for the fact that the British law esteems every one innocent until proven guilty one would be almost inclined to say that the terms are portentously low. For another thing Miss Todd recognised a portion of linen found with one of the bodies dug up in one
of the yards as having formed part of the attire of her child. But the inquest on this particular infant had been finished before Miss Todd had been put iu the witness-box. Consequently her evidence on this point was declared to be inadmis sible. Why Bhe was not called at the earlier enquiry is not very apparent, unless it be that she did not proffer her services as a witness soon enough or that the police did not know of her transaction with Makin, or Leslie, in time. In any case, if the testimony is material the enquiry should be reopened without any unnecessary delay. , , But the cases referred to do not constitute the only ones in which dead infants have been found in Sydney this year. Since June 30 last, apart from those dug. out on the premises alluded to, fifteen bodies have been discovered in the city. Some of them were picked up in the parks, others on doorsteps, and others buried inback yards. On an average it seems some forty or fifty deserted children, dead or alive, are found yearly in the streets of the New South Wales capital. Within the twelve months ending June 30 last the number was fifty. Of these, twenty-seven were dead when discovered, and the remainder, being alive, were admitted to the great foundling hospital of the sister colony, the Benevolent Asylum. Hither come, we learn from the Sydney Morning Herald, the neglected infants from all parts of the city. They are taken in and cared for, christened and nursed, and when the proper time comes boarded out in small homes all over the country. Tho method of christening observed may be very funny, but it does not strike us as being very sensible. The children receive names according to the locality in which they are found. Doubtless it is very amusing to dub one child Elizabeth Moore-Park because she was found there, another John Pitt-street, and another Thomas Belmore-Park, but is it kind? Why should these poor little unfortunates have to grow up and go into the world with grotesque names that make them the laughing-s^ck of every one and that are constant reminders to them of their unhappy origin. With those of them who are boarded out and who receive the names of their foster parents the case js different. They are saved from this reproach. The Sydney Benevolent Asylum is no doubt an admirable institution, but an improve ment might be made in the matter referred to. The great majority of its little charges are, like tho. babies farmed out and tho victims of infaiifcicuJe, of illegitimate birth. iVoni a paper reil.. by Mr. E. Maxted before the recent Morality Conference we gather that the percentage of illegitimate births in New South Wale§ i? 4'49 percpnt., while in England 'and Wa!.j it ia 4 63 and in Victoria 4*71. These h'gufGS speak more favourably for . New South Wales than many persons would have imagined ; but how are they arrived at? If ; little ones are made away with in dozens, and their bodies buried like those .of dead kittens and puppies, of what value are the official records ? The facts recounted show that there was and still remains abundant need for the Infants' Protection Act which came into operation in New South Wales this year. The objects of this measure are declared to be , to mitigate the horrors of unrestricted baby farming, and to check the nefarious practices carried on in many so-called lyinir-in homes. It does net apply to tho whole of the colony, but merely to such districts as the Governor-in-Council may proclaim. One of its principal provisions makes it a criminal offence for any person unless registered to act as the guardian of a child under three years of ago. Legal and natural guardians of children and Managers of asylums are exempted. Another important enactment prohibits the syBtem of giving, premiums for the adoption of children. Lying in homes have to be registered, and their keepers have to furnish full records of each birth, and are made responsible for the registration of every child born on their premises. In a paper read beforo the Intercolonial Medical Congress Dr. G. L. Mullins, of Sydney, advocated the compulsory registration of stillborn children as an additional safeguard against malpractices. While affairs in this direction are iit a bad way in Sydney there is too much reason to believe that even in Adelaide we lnw not an altogether clem record. One of our correspondents has taken the ;. trouble to go through the files of the South Australian daily papers for, . the six months ending June 39 last, and has found that no fewer than fifty eight presumably illegitimate children whom their mothers or other persons wished to get rid of have been advertised. Of these no fewer than nine hailed from one lying-in home. In six cases pre miums were ottered, and in no less than nineteen oases it was announced that the little ones were to be entirely given up. To these must be added, as our corres pondent suggests, the number of children who are born and not heard of through the papers, and those born in the adjoin ing colonies of mothers who can com mand funds enough to take them away from Adelaide. The only con solation that can be gained from the whole matter — and that is indeed a poor one — is that things are even worse in some other places. In San Francisco lately an enquiry was instituted in a case in which it was alleged that forty children had been done to death in a reputed lying-in home. Viceregal.— This evening His Excellenoy the Governor, accompanied by hia Aidede Camp (Captain Milner), will attend the fare well banquet to Major-Gener»l Downes at the Militia Officers Club. Lady Kintore and family and the Hon. Captain A. L. Henmker Major will leave for Marble Hill this afternoon. On Wednesday morning His Excellency the Governor will visit the Zoological Gardens, the occasion being the annual inspection. On Thursday evening Lord Kintore will entertain the members of the House of Assembly at dinner at Govern ment House. The Public Works Repokt.— The annu»l report of the Commissioner of Publis Works is nearly ready for presentation to Parliament, and by Tuesday afternoon it will probably be completed and laid on the table. It embraces the report! of the heads of the various depart ments under the Commissioner of Public Works, including the annual statement of the Railway Commissioners. The Hon. J. H. Gordon's Resignation.— The President of the Legislative Council has not yet received the resignation of the Hon. J. H.Gordon, M.L.C.,-and it is therefore im
possible to Bay when the writ for an election ? will be issued. In the first place the vacancy has to be declared by the Council. .The district is so extensive that it is doubtful whether Mr. Gordon's successor will be returned in time to take his seat thia session, even if the writ is issued at once. When .the Hon. J. L. Stirling waa returned for the.same district about six weeks elapaed between the date when tho vacancy occurred and the date when ho took his seat. 1 Incoming English MAiu-ThoOriont Liiwr R.M.S. Orient left Albany at « a.m. on Sfttifr-. day, and is expected to arrive at Largs Ba^ M 11 o'clock on Tuesday morning. W Banco Coubt.— The Full Court wJTsit on Tuesday to take motions. -^ Intercolonial TyvoGBArmcAL Coxfe bknce. — This conference, which has been EittiDg at the Selborne Hotel, Pine-street, concludid its labours on Friday. On Satur day morning a short meeting was hold to confirm the minutes, after which a dial of a social nature took place, in which some of the Trades and Labour Gounoil representatives took part. The delegates from the eastern colonies return to their homes by the steamer Barrabool, which sails on Tuesday. The Myrtle Holme.— The Myrtle Holme left Port Adelaide for London on the 11th inst. with a cargo valued at about £45.000, con- sisting of 4,388 bales wool, 78 bales sheepskins, 47 bags gum, and sundries. She is expected to get home within ninety days, being a very smart traveller. The Bakf.hs' Dh'PICCLtt.— During the past few weeks correspondence has passed between the Master Baiters' Association and the Trades and Labour Council in reference to a conference between tho Master Bakers' Association and the' Journeymen Bakers' Association. Both parties have agreed to confer, and the matter will i:-Mf be brought under the notice of the Fedaiaud Employers' Council, and after that body has considered the matter a meeting between the two parties will be arranged. The subject in dispute is the terms for working at shops. The men ask for £2 10s. as a minimum rate cf wage, and forty-eight workine hours a week, while the masters want Bixty hours work with a minimum rate of £2. Cmcket.— Fast hitting for an hour or bo at each end and good aggregate scores were Eerved up for those who visited the Adelaide Oval on Saturday afternoon. The South Ade laides totalled 207 for 8 wickets against the Adelaides, Marten contributing 90, Reedman C3, Bennett 49, and Bennett 39. The North Adelaides just managed to get the Hindmarth all nut by C o'clock for 2S0. Fred Jarvis hit brilliantly for 88, A. H. Jarvis made 50, C. Chittleborough IW, F. King 27 not out, and Holbrook 27. Householders Beware.— The police aro en deavouring to rid tho community of numerous persons of tho criminal class, -who are now infesting Adelaide from the other colonies. Spielers, housebreakers, and other bad char acters are prowling about the city and suburbs, and the police witth to place the residents on tho alert against depredations. As many of the objectionable visitors are known the guardians of the law intend to take action to bring them befoio the Police Magistrate as idle and disordeily persons. i)K.T.ECATKS IX DllTICl'LTlES.— SoilVI of tFrt dflesrafcoB to the Intercolonial Surveyors' Con fprence, which met in Victoria during the airly part of tha month, hod nn oxuaedinglj? tippleasflut experience while oil mi pkumoq t* tha Yon Y«n ^ervujr- cj^r members of the conference with a few visitors made their way to Ynn Yeau on Friday, November 5, and*1 next day set out in . vehicles to accomplish the inspection, Ort'ln* id fe COflUiiuously wet weather tho rll'ers had beoomo very much swollen, and in attempting to croa3 the Plenty a trap driven by Mr. Wilson, the officer in charge of tho works, arid containing also Messrs. W. Thwaites, Engineer of tho Metropolitan Board of Works, who had organized the ex pedition, Mr. N. O. Gregory, M.L.A., of Victoria, and Mr. G. W. Goyder, Surveyor General oi South Australia, was swept down the stream. The water was bo high as com* pletely to cover a teuce croBBing tho river, over which the' two horses passed, the conveyance remaining on the other side. The situation was extremely perilous, more particularly as Messrs. Gregory and Goyder are men well advanced in years, arid, -we believe, unable to swim. The remainder of the party who had not attempted the passage went to the re3cue, and with great difficulty atd by dint of using reins as ropes succeeded in getting to land the three passea eera who had meanwhile divested them selves of their coats. Mr. Wilson manfully remained in the vehicle, nnd Hading that ib was impossible to guide the horses ouc pro ceeded to cut the traces. This device proved of little avail, for the horses were still attached to the pole. By and by their struggles ended in breaking the pole, and they were carried further down the torrent. Nothing seemed to be further from the thought of thu driver than to leave them to their fate, but encumbered as they were by the harness they could do little to save themselves. One of them was drowned, but eventually Mr. Wilson, who had more than once plunged courageously into the turbid waters, had tho satisfaction of bringing the other ashore alive. His plucky conduct excited the admiration of his companions, who warmly congratulated him upon tho result. The eubmerged passengers, and in particular Messrs. Goyder and Gregory, wore a good deal -il'ukcn, but otherivinu escaped uninjured. The excursionists without loss of time repaired to thu railway station, and re turned to Melbourne, thankful tlut a fatal accident hail been averted. Fete at tiik Destitute AsvLUM.—Tho in matesof the Destitute Asylum were entertained in a very pleasing nnd substantial mauner on Friday afternoon, November 11. The Kev. B. C. Stephenson wua tho 'chief promoter of tho treat afforded, his efforts being ably secoiidrd by many othar philan thropic friends, among whom should be mentioned Mrs. Way, Mips liawker, and the Misses Benhain. Through tho caurtmy of the Cominueioncr of Tulice the Police Bind was permitted to play in various parts of the institu tion, tho muMu grcutly delighting the inmates. A number of Sunday-school children attended and distributed tobacco and ewoets to the old people. At 5 o'clock an excellent tea was provided, and later a concert was held in the chapel belonging to the institution. Songs wero contributed by the Hon. Captain Henniker Major, and Messrs. Daniels, Sharp, and Dixon, the lady vocalists being Miss Hunt and Mrs. D. Lindsay. Miss Way contributed two violin solos in a pleasing manner, and Mr. Dunn officiated at the piano, which was kindly lent for the occasion by Messrs. S. Marshall and Son, of Rundle-stieet. The entertainers were accorded a hearty vote of thanks by the in mates, and much regret was expressed at the unavoidable absence through illness of the Kev. B. C. StephenBon. LArGHiKG Jacks and Crested Cockatoos. — We have before had occasion to speak in terms of praise of the quality of the work done by Miss A. M. Benham in the branch of art she has taken up, and her latest production con firms the good impression the lady has created. She has finished three large panels of nativo birds in oils to the order of the Countess of Kintore, who intends to send them to England to be used aa a screen, and a very haadsome one they will make. The execution is noo unworthy of that of Harmon Weir. The lady has immortalized that handsome, grave, yet hilarious bird the laughing jackass, or ' koo yanna,' or 'gogobera,' as the nativos more musically call it. These birds are perched on a gumtree in various familiar attitudes, one laughing uproariously in sheer enjoyment of life and grubs, another feeding her callow young in a hollow branch, while her mate Bits gravely approving on a bough above, and others are either sitting with that complacency eo characteristic of the giant kingfisher, or nego tiating a meal. The middle panel contains a group of cockatoos equally true to life. The fair artist has brought out the pluinapo of tho laughing jackasses admirably, tho olive brown tints of the back, and dark-brown tones of the crest, the whitish breasc washed with pale brown, marked with faint bars like a falcon, and the tail with the rich cbosnut bands and white tip*; and tho curioua blending of colours on the wings. Though not bo generously garbed by Mother Nature aa some of his kin, this ia a truly handsome bird and a comical. It may not be generally known that the laugh ing jackaca not only raids the neat of sparrows for young, but catches the old birds, alert as they are. If kept in a garden it is his wont to
sib motionless for hours on the edge of the waterpan, and when a thirsty sparrow stoops to drink he is gripped like a flash by 'the powerful beak of bis enemy, who straightway pounds him on the ground till he is a featW less shaplesa mass, and the kooyaoaas suident laugh rings forth, for be can laugh with his mouth full. . Public Schools Decoration Societt.— The first year's operations of this Society (says the Education Gazette) have been very successful. Thanks to the cordial co-operation of the committee of 'the Public Schools Floral and Industrial Society the proceeds of the first concert were available for the purchase of pictures, without%ny deduction on account of the cost of the inrge platform. The total number of pictures put into circulation during the year was 148, and twenty-seven more were purchased and framed ready for distribution. A consignment of high-class engravings was ob tained at minced prices through the Art for Schools' Ahaociation, London. The following iB a statement of tho receipts and expenditure: — I'eu.-ipts— Proceeds of concert ,1S!)1, £120 I'!b.; donations and subscriptions. 67; sales o ] ictures, £21 15-5. lOd. ; balance due to Trea surer, 5a. lid. Expenditure— Paid for pic tures, £58 Id. 7d.; paid for framing, £89 153. ; donation, Art for Schools' Association, fills.; sundry expenses, £L 2a. 2d.; total, £149 19a. The Mattei Cancer Cuke.— Dra. S. and .A. S. Kennedy, of London, have issued a pamphlet entitled ' The Matteist's Rejoinder,' being a comment on the conduct of tho Board of Investigation, including several well-known London' doctors, who undertook to watch Mattel patients, but afterwards withdrew and published an unfavourable report. The .paper included a series of articles and letters that appeared in the Rcvizw of Rt views and medical periodicals on the subject as well as statements by the patients. In tho report which the committee prepared they stated: —'The committee are unable to report that they have seen anything at all in the Mftttei system, either in its methods or its result!, which tends to differentiate it . favourably from other Bo-called cancer curei which had been invariably found in practice to fail, or th&t the Mattoi remedies are of any avail in the treatment of cancerous disease.' Dre. Kennedy, in reply, assert that the com mittee retired before completing their work ; that time had not been given to prove the efficacy or otherwise of the cures ; and that rather than the patients being 'markedly worse,' they show signs of improvement, and have been relieved from much pain by the treatment. In short, the committee say the 'cure' is no cure, whilst those on the other side say it is. The Late Mr. John Stuart Duncan.— The death is announced at the age of eighty- five of a pioneer colonist in the person of Mr. John Stuart Duncan, who died at his resi- dence, Almond Grove, Woodville, on Saturday, after a long illness. Mr. Duncan was one of the first to arrive in the colony, and had passed a somewhat chequered career. He was born at Fleet-street, London, on September 21, 1807, and was a son of Lewis Duncan, merchant, New Pitaligo, Aberdeen- shire, Scotland. At the age of twenty-one he proceeded under engagement to Jamaica, West Indies, and resided thero for six and a half years, acting as bookkeeper and overseer on several sugar estates. While there in the years 1831-2 the great rebellion among the negroes broke out, and on a certain night twenty or thirty sugarmills, sheds, &c, were all in a blaze. In consequence of this all the whites were compelled to serve as volun- teers to keep the negroes at bay until reinforcements arrived. During this time the volunteers were put to great straits. Ill-health compelling him to leave Jamaica he returned to his home, and staying ten months to recruit his health he left Aberdeen on May 1, 1835, to join the ship Norfolk in London, bound to Hobart Town (as it was then called). The ship made a quick passage of eighty-four days. He remained at Hobart until 1837, and sailed from Launceston in the brig Charles Macarthy, commanded by Captain Duff, arriving at Hold- fast Bay shortly afterwards. He carried on a shipping agency there, and later on at the Old Port, and finally at what is now Port Adelaide. Three years after his arrival he began farming at the Reedbeds in conjunction with his ship- ping business. Subsequently he removed to the section adjoining his present homestead, Almond Grove, where he had resided for forty- six years. The late Mr. Duncan once, served as a Councillor for Yatala Ward, and was esteemed and respected by all who knew him. He had been twice married, and leaves a widow and three stepdaughters (Mrs. Malzard, Mrs. Mackintosh, and Miss Gregorson). Death of an Old Colonist.— On Sunday morning Mrs. Henry Giles, widow of the late Mr. Henry Giles, of Messrs. Giles & Smith, merchants, of the city, died very suddenly at her residence, Barton-terrace. Dr. Cawley was at the house at the time attending a mem ber of the family, and Mrs. Giles walked from the dining-room for the purpose of speaking to the doctor as he was leaving, but she dropped down and died almost instantaneously, heart disease being the cause of death. Mrs. Giles, who had been an invalid for some years, was married in 1845 iu Scotland, and with Mr. Giles she came to South Australia shortly afterwards. Mr. Giles entered into partner- ship with Mr. James Smith, and continued to hold a share in the business up to the time of his death in 1888. The deceased has left three sons and four daughters, the eldest of whom is Mrs. Fullarton Cleland. Special reference was made to the death on Sunday morning by the Rev. J. Robertson at Stow Memorial Church, with which deceased had for many years been connected. The funeral will take place this afternoon. Home for Incurables.— With praiseworthy tympathy with *he afflictions of their fellow creatures Mrs. Palmer, Miss Ada Crossley, and Signor Foli very kindly gave tho inmates ?of the Home for Incurables a -highly pleasing exhibition of their vocal powers on Sunday ?evening. Mr. C. J. Stevens arranged the ?entertainment, which was -evidently greatly appreciated. C&hniER Pioeons.— From time to time the jn-oceedings of homing clubs are interesting ?matter -to pigeon fanciers:; Jbufc on Saturday this sport was practically tested in a novel manner by Mr. 0. Bauer, who possesses several 'highly trained Antweip carriers. It was necessary that Mr. Bauer should promptly send word from the steamer Karlsruhe about the sea Btock of provisions the ytsael required, eo he -took off a carrier pigeon with him. As soon as tho order was written the slip of paper was 'made fast to the bird, which was then liberated. After flying round 'the vessel it settled -on the forestay as if to take a proper departure. In about a minute the bird took flight and shaped a straight course for the shore, delivering the message at the Port store in a few minutes. From there another carrier pigeon waa ready to take the message to the slaughteryards, so before Mr. Bauer landed preparations 'had been completed for sending-off the sea Btock of provisions. The Post Pirie Railway Fatality.— The remains of the railway porter, Harry Williams, who waB killed at Port Pirie on Thursday, were brought to town on Saturday. The funeral took place at the West -terrace Cemetery yesterday afternoon, and in addi tion to a large number of .relatives and friends a considerable number of the railway porters took part in tho procession, while the brothers of the Loyal Princess Royal Lodge, No. 1,518, G.TJ.O.O.F., of which the deceased was a member, attended, boing jobed in black regalia. Fjufndly Societies' Ciiuiick Parade.— a« the result of recent meetings of delegates representing all branches of Friendly Sooioties in. the eastern suburbs definite arrangements have been made to hold a Frienily Societies' Church parade and ear vice in tho Town Hall, Norwood, on Sunday, December IS, the proceeds of the collection to be handed over to the Mayor for distribution among the de serving pcor to provide tuem with (Juristraas cheer. The Revs. Charles Bright end F. Hastings and the Hon. Dr. Cockburn, M.P., hnve consented to address th« meeting.