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THE DISTRICT COUNCILS OF SOUTH AUSTRALIA.
[From the Launcetton Examiner.]
At a meeting recently hold m Adeiaido, a speaker describing his visit to Victoria, and contrasting hirs own with other colonies, con cluded somewhat after this fashion :—' They
soncurrea may in tne admission tuat soutn Australia, for political position, moral stand- i ing, and especially in the great matter of 1 religious freedom, was far before them all. It \ was admitted that it had taken the lead, ' and all were anxiously wishing for the ability to arrive abreast of it.' Allowing for some excusable partiality,-there is much truth in the statement. Not only has the youngest of the three colonies the best administration and least expensive government, but the greatest amount of self-government. The city has a municipal body, tho port a quad Corporation, and in every district there are Councils which attend to roads, bridges, and other local affairs. Condensed reports of the latter generally occupy four or five closely printed columns of a weekly newspaper. But the people of South Australia have advanced a step further, and formed an association composed exclusively of Chairmen of the District Councils. The organization has no legal authority, but its representations have a moral force superior to that any formal com bination could exert. Sir Henry Young has intimated his wish to promote the extension of local government, and referred to the establishment of District Councils in this island as highly desirable. It is therefore proper public attention should be directed to the working of such institutions among our neighbours, that the settlers may be prepared to discharge the duties that may devolve upon them. They may make blunders, and perhaps selfisness and favouiitism may sometimes peep out. liut if largely de veloped they are certain to evoke a corrective. In this as in other cases some will assert that the inhabitants of a colony so long and lately penal are not ripe for sectional action. l-ut they will never be prepared to administer local government efficiently until they ex ercise its functions. If the young are to stop away from school till they become learned — if none are to be apprentices before the are per fect in their trade, then farewell to improve ment. District Councils are really adult schools for the training of frenmen.politicians, and statesmen. To postpone their introduc tion on the plea that the colonists do not pos sess the experienca necessary to work them is on a par with the resolve of the soldier — ' never to venture into the water until he had learned to swim.'
Tue State op the Arjiy. — The Melbourne correspondent of the Sydney Morning Herald says : — ' By the way, I can give you an important item from the scat of war. A lcttttr has been received iu the colony from Admiral Lyons, iu which he distinctly asserts that the accounts in the 77mm of the sufferings of the army are grossly exaggerated. At the latest date, according to tha Economist, there were 30,000 British troops in perfect health, in the highest spirits, and ready for any thing at Sebastopol.' Australian Gold Coinage. — By a pro clamation of the Governor-General, referring to the new gold coinage of Sydney, it is ordered that every Aus tralian sovereign shall have for the obverse the ctliuy of Her Majesty, with the inscription, 'Victoria 1-.G. Britannia Regina F.D.' and the date of the vcar ; and for the reverse the word 'Australia' placed in the centre of the piece, encircled by a laurel wreath, and surmounted by the royal crown, with the inscription, ' Sydney Mint, One Sovereign,' and with a graining on the edge; and every such Australian half-sovereign shall have the obverse in every respect similar to that of the sovereign, and for the reverse the same word, ' Australia,' in the centre, encircled ami surmounted in like manner, but for the inscription the words, 'Sydney Mint, Half-Sovereign,' aud a graining on the edge. It is also ordained, declared, arid commanded, that the said pieces of gold money shall be current and lawful money within all the colonies in Australia, New Zealand, aud Van Diemen's Land, and shall pass and be rceei/ed as current aud lawful money therein. — Sydney Paper. The Goveunou at the Pout. — li'S Excel lency the Governor unexpectedly visited the Port on Saturday with a most unostentatious equipage, and im mediately after Ills arrival went on board the cmignuit ship Grand Trianon, where he manifested the most tender sympathy fora low sick emigrants, who were about to be landed for the purpose of being placed in the Hospital under the care of the Colonial Surgeon. His Excellency next proceeded to tho parade-ground of the Port Adelaide Volunteers, who presented arms and went through various evolutions. They afterwards formed into square, and His Excellency, Irom the centre, addressed them, stating that he was there unexpectedly, as he wished to see how public affairs were conducted ordinarily. It would not satisfy him to witness a spec tacle prepared for the occasion. His Excellency ex pressed his regret that the volunteers were not drawn up on the wharf when he landed, instead of being placed inside the Company's gate. It was also an occasion of regret that the carriage which conveyed him to town did not halt as it passed them, to afford him an oppor tunity of thanking them for turning out, at considerable parsonal inconvenience to many, for the purpose of greettug him upon his arrival. He therefore availed himself of this, the iirst opportunity, of returning them his thanks, and would at (he same time assure them that he regarded with very great interest the movement of voluntary enlistment. The companies gave three cheers for the Governor, and then three cheers for Colonel Moore; after which the corps most loyally and heartily responded to His Excellency's suggestion, that all assembled should give three cheers for the sovereign and gracious lady of whom he had the hoaour to be the representative in this province. COSTKMI'LATKl) DEPARTURES. — Mr. PilXton is about to leave the colony for England with his lady and family, having taken his passage by the John Hanks, via Ceylon and overland. Mr. G. H. Fox, who leaves in the same vessel, may be expected back in about a year ; but Mr. Paxton, we believe, has no intention of return ing. He is an old colonist, very highly and generally respected, and one whom a largu circle of friends will be truiy sorry to lose. The New Hospital. — A petition to His Excellency, from the inhabitants of the eastern part of North-terrace and its vicinity, is in course of signature, praying that the new Hospital nu y not be creutsd upon the tsite where the foundations arc commenced. Mr. Paxton, whose house, garden, and paddock are opposite the spot in question, is abjut to appeal to tha Supreme Court on the subject. Another New Mode of Desertion. — Yes- terday morning, Sunday, June 17, Mr. Thomas, the cox swain of the pilot boat, discovered a large cask on the beach, to the north of the Semaphore, and on examina tion found it to be a wash-deck tub, not far from which were two ballast shovels, which appear to have been used as paddles, and a jug, supposed to have been em- ployed as a sail. A tin pot found within the cold and capacious tub betokened a leaky vessel; but it was nevertheless evident that two men had accomplished a short vovage in it. Subsequent to the discovery, Cap tain Ridley, of the ship Europa, has seen and identified the tub and the shovels as his property, and he will doubtless be able to name, at least, those who have figured in this new ' Tale of a Tub.' South Australiax Building axd Ixvest mexi Socibtt. — The final half-yearly meeting of this Society was held at the oiBee, on Friday evening last, when the balance-sheet was received, and the books of the Company closed. At the formation of this Company, the term of its duration was calculated at five and three quarter years ; it has, however, accomplished its objects in five years and a-balf. The result of its operations shows a profit to the members of fifteen per cent, per annum; besides which, a surplus dividend of fifteen shil lings per share, payable to the members on the 25th Juno instant, was declared. When it is remembered that this was a drawing, and not a selling society, this result must be considered mostsatisfactory. The members expressed themselves highly satisfied with the efficient manner in which the business had been conducted and brought to a close ; and, iu making a very handsome present to the secretary, Mr. Robert Hawkes.gaye a substantial expres sion of the respect they entertained for him. It was 'mentioned, at the conclusion of the proceedings, among the members present, that a hew company, upon. the same principles as the Second South Australian Building and Investment Society, was in contemplation, particu lars of which would shortly be made public. Curious. — The late Kev. Principal Bait d married a daughter of Provost Elder, of Edinburgh. Dr. James Gregory, the eminent physician, happening to dine with the Provost, a remark Was made on the terms in which the Provost's name stood on the roll of Perth shire freeholders— ' Thomas Elder,younger, of Fornclh, iu right of Mrs. Margaret I£mband, his wife.' ' Oh !' said the Provost, ' that is not suprising, f r my mother was a Mann.' ' No wonder, then,' observed Dr. Gre gory, ' that your daughter has got a Baird.' — Wat.BaU four,W.S. : ? Visitors to Public Places. — From a Par liamentary retnrn moved for by Mr. Home, it appears that the number of visitors to the Tower of London for the year ending February 1, 1851, wai 52,075 ; and the monej paid, £1,031 17s. Cd. The expenditure for 1353 was £1,431 7a. At Hampton Conrt the number of visitors in 1353 was 130,753. At Kew Gardens, on week days, 210,7-11 ; on Sundays, 120,409; total, 331,210. At Westminster Abbey, £8i'O to. was collected in 1853. The visitors to the British Museum in 1*53 were 681,113; the readers, 67,79k To the National Gallery ti.ere were 627,743 visitors; to tho Vernon Gallery, 219,992; to tha Museum of Practical Geology, 22,713 ; to the Museum, of Ornamental Art, in Marlborooga House, 121,987,