COLONIAL PRODUCE AND THE MARKETS FOR IT.
'Especially bad whusky' was the re sponse which the canny Scot in the story made to his minister after a dubious and reluctant assent to the general proposition
that whisky was a very bad thing. This is something like the position taken up by the local vignerons and others whose memorial Sir John Downer presented to Parliament yesterday, praying for the suppression of frauds in the wine and spirit trade. The particular kind of spirit, however, which is most liable to sophistication for the South Australian market seems to be brandy. It is the boast of some chemists of the present day that their skill in the concoction* and adulteration of any particular beverage is so great that they can easily deceive the palate even of an expert. It is a matter of sober fact that a very large proportion of the so-called champagne supplied to a confiding British public comes from vine yards much nearer to the sombre lanes of English and Scotch manufacturing towns than to any sunny vineclad 'lope in France. In the manu facture of imitation brandy there is a peculiarly favourable field for pro fitable fraud, inasmuch as the main in gredients used in the production of the fabricated article are cheap and plentiful. It is wonderful how readily a consumer of the type of Dicken&'s Marchioness can make believe to enjoy even an economi cal potation of orange-peel and water. But the public ought to have tho privilege of exercising ,thafc faculty of imagination for themselves, . and not have their judgments puzzled and de ceived by the cunning and crafty distil lery dodger. The vendor of the sham stuff may, like 'The Marchioness,' try to make up for its want of quality by giving it a high-sounding name. But that is poor consolation for the consumer who has lost both in pocket and in comfort and health through the substitution of a vile compound for what purports to be a
natural brandy. It is wonderful how easily the dealer ic concocted brandy seems to be able to satisfy his conscience by in effect adopt ing the theory that alcoholic liquors are substantially the same, a variation in flavouring representing the main diffe rence between them. This assumption has, of course, no foundation in fact. The plain dictionary meaning of brandy is ' a strong liquor distilled from wine,' and the law ought to treat as an offence the fraud of substituting, at all events without specific acknowledgment, for the genuine article any kind of spirit derived from sugar or potatoes. Of course it is a well-established fact, as we pointed out some months ago when Mr. Gelly wrote to us on the subject, that there are fre quently to be found in South Australia spurious brandies of local manufacture, as well as importations of which com plaint is commonly made. The peti. tioners in fairness do not fail to make mention of this fact. It would be a thousand pities if the vignerons of South Australia were to fall into the mistake of imitating the ex ample cf some of these British veiled Protectionists who, under cover of an, agitation ostensibly got up for the pre vention of fraud, attempt to secure legis lation, the real object of which is to diB courago the importation from foreign oountries and British colonies of even the most genuine and whole some articles of food ' and drink. The proposals for imposing progressive Customs duties on imported wines above certain limits of alcoholic strengh certainly appear to come dangerously near to this kind of inconsistency. The Australian public taste in the mattor of wine ought to be led rather than forced, and it would be a serious mistake for the Legislature to try by means of virtually prohibitory duties to destroy local trade in foreign wines. Moreover, it would be folly to overlook the consideration that the present is an extremely inopportune juncture for trying to give an illustration of the principle of special protactive duties for the exclusion of wines and produce. If such a lino of policy were followed out the French and English customers of our vinegrowers and other producers might soon show us that two or more can play at that sort of game. The present prospects of the London -vine depot, as reviewed by Mr. E. B. Young in hia very interesting report which appears in to-day's issue, are most encouraging, and, bo far as our local vignerons are concerned, there is no dcubt that, apart from the prevention of actual fraud in the wine and spirit trade, the Govern ment ought not to be expected to do much more for them than is at this moment being attempted. The market for a good type of wine of uniform quality is apparently assured. But the vinegrower should give up tlio idoa of utilizing for wine-making pur poses ' tho coarser kinds of grapo which grow in such abundance on the alluvial soil of the plains. Quality rather than quantity must be the idea^ of the future, and the sooner tho practice of grafting becomes 'eneral in most of our winegrowing districts the hotter it will be for the outlook of the trade. That there is a grand futuro for many kinds of Australian produco in the' old country may now bo taken as practically demonstrated. Wo have pleasure in calling particular attention to the account of an interview which a member of our staff has h&d with a gentleman who holds a foremost place among the dairy produce experts of Australia. It will be noticed that he, liko Mr. E. B. Young, lays the utmost stress upon the absolute need for un forniity of quality in the articles sent from this part of the world to Eng land. There is much to be siid in favour of the contention that local creameries will produce a higher grade of butter by sending their cream to a central factory than by each attempting to finish the product in the best and most uniform ftyle. This, at any rate, is the direction in which the trade is tending both in Victoria and in New South Wales. In the former colony, as is well known, the export has now attained very large proportions. Competent authorities estimate that the value of Victorim butter eent away this next season will probably be about one million sterling, and the fact that the South Australian article shares with that from Victoria the distinction of .being of the very best quality argues well for the - future of our trade. It is clear that, as regards those products which can be sup
plied to the British markets at the reverse seasons to those of the Northern Hemisphere, the Australian colonies are only beginning to understand a little of the enormous possibilities that lie before them. ; ? The Public Salaries Bill. -—State officials who cherished hopes that the drastic nature of the reductions in the Public Salaries Bill would be modified were put out of suspense by the Assembly on Tuesday. Certainly the Bill has not yet passed through Committee, but tho leading provisions of it have emerged safely from the most critical stage. The net result of the divisions, so far as the clauses of the Bill were concerned, was a somewhat curious modification of section 2. The original purport of that clause was inttr alia that for the present finan cial year no public salary should be in creased beyond £150, 'excapt by the increases provided by Act.' As altered it provides that such increases may also be made pursuant to 'regulation now in force and departmental custom.' Do not these amendments reduce the section practically to a mere stipulation that salaries above £150 shall be reduced on the scales mentioned? If aot, what do they mean? In the past in creases have been made by Statute in the case of officers on the fixed list, by legula tion in reference to the pro. and tern, staff, and by custom in other instances. It seems that the Assembly wishes that the same rule shall be followed in the future. Why not, then, simplify the Bill by omitting all allusions to annual increases 1 On the merits of the question strong arguments may be urged both for and against the continuance of the annual increases this year. In cases where officers entitled to them are reduced under the general scheme it will be un fair to withhold as well as to deprive. And while no subtraction is enforced it will be undesirable to allow addi tion. The financial crisis justifies the Government in asking its officers to make certain sacrifices, and so far as may be reasonably possible tnose sacrifices Bhould be enual : but this con
dition would not be observed if £L0 were taken from A and a similar sum added to B. The firsb obligation of the State is to consider those officials with whom the receipt of the increases is a term of con tract. It was urged yesterday that as a marterof 'custom' certain promises of increments had been made, but as it appears that these promises related to employes not touched by the reductions they would be no worse but rather better off than the others if they were not fulfilled. The former are disappointed through not receiving more wages ; the latter through obtaining less. The actual position of the former, however, is not prejudiced, whilst that of the latter is; Of course the whole subject has to be dsalt with on the basis of what must bo and not on that of what strictly ought to be. At its best the system of increases aocording to arbitrary rule, like that of promotion by seniority, is uncommercial and otherwise unsatisfactory ; but, unfor tunately, without some such provision political influence and favouritism would probably cause as much mischief as the other plan. Tho Civil servants will be apt to make satirical remarks regarding the impressive agreement shown by a large majority of members of all parties and sections in the Assembly yesterday ia rejecting a proposal that they should pay 2s. od. instead of Hid. weekly out of their salaries to the deficit fund. Luckily for themselves, members have the privilege of regulating their salaries to suit their own convenience, whilst the Civil servants have to submit to what is provided for them. Upon the whole it may bo better to apply the same graduation to legislators' salaries as to others, and when a reduction is made let it be from £200 to £150 ; but there is not much in the argument that members are making sacrifices in the samo degroa as the officials. In most cases the £200 which a legislator receives is supplemen tary to his ordinary income. In others £200 is more than its recipior.t ever earned or could earn outside of the political circle Shall Women Vote? — The Women's Franchise Bill was tho most generally in teresting theme discussed yesterday within the Houses of Parliament and beyond them in the city, in the afternoon members of the Legislative Council de buted the measure in the presence of galleries filled by the voters who are and those who are to be, the latter pre dominating. In the evening the Woman's Suffrage League entertained a largo number of friends of the reform for which they have wrought so long and so earnestly, and generally eo judiciously, too, aB to convince even some of their opponents of their capacity for orijaniza tion. Some people will think that a tactical mistake was made in arranging the evening engagement. These will ask — Why did not the members of the League rely wholly upon their own mources instead of inviting one man to pre side over their meeting and others to address it? What a line opportunity the ladies lost of showing their complete independence of tho less handsome sex in conducting their business? Tho reasons, of course, were that the Leaguo wished to make their advertisement as compre hensive as possible, and probably also to quicken the interest of men in their propaganda. And in both reBpecti thuir purpose was woll promoted by the Minister of Education. What Dr. Cockburn's speech lacked in logic it made up in enthusiasm. It was packed with pretty periuds, it was of tbe air airy, and it took the audience captive. So much so indeed that nobody noted particularly the Minister's significant in sistence unon the riv*ht of women to 'choose her champion,' aud that only. Dr. Cockburn's Bill very carefully provides that on no account shall a woman be tho champion chosen. Selfish to tho ' last, mon are anxious to exclude dangerous rivals from political competition. No new argument in favour of the female franchise was advanced last night, and no novel feature has distin guished the long - protracted disous sion upon the Bill in the Legislative Council. The debate as a whole his been more jaunty than serious, and th« arguments used against tho reform havo corresponded with their sitting, But as questions of ' right' and of ' pri vilege' have been raised, why does not somebody try to prove that no inilio man was more entitled than woman to the franchise or moro fit to use it? The warning has been uttered that if womon are allowed to vote the vile as well as the modest will share the power ; but bad men vote bb well as good, aud if there is anything in tho objection it lies in the direction of suggesting a character test for the franchise. So long, however, as there is no bar upon disreputable men even filling high posi tions why should there be any hindrance
to the noblest women directly in- j inencing the vote for such meu ?r for any others ,? In some directions fears have been expressed lest; women voters should democratise politics in an undesirable sense; toit wo have no apprehension on that ground. Women are naturally conservative, and their influence is steadying and not revolutionary. Besides, is the tendency in politics so hopeful now, even from the Conservative standpoint, that women are likely to make it worse ? If, as we are told, a cataclysm is inevitable under present conditions, femalo fran chise could not add gloom to blackness. We believe that women will assist in promoting stability and true reform ; and that she will do it without trenching upon the rights of man. There will, of course, be changes other than the mere vote associated with the reformed franchise. Some of these we indicated recently, and the Hon. Dr. Campbell took up the eame parable in the Council yesterday ; others will be in ths way of a modification in the social as well as the industrial relations of the lexes. Woman the competitor must not expect the same tender courtesy that she receives: in her present capacity ; but the benefits promised by the reform far outweigh its disadvantages. The New Telephone Exchange. — The new Telephone Exchange was used for public basinets the first time on Tuesday morning. Passexgirs bt the Opuir.— The following passengers are booked to leave Adelaide by the R.M.S. Ophir, which sails to-day:— For London— Messrs. H. Martin, H. R. Forsaith, C. George, TV. Bennett, and W. F. Diamond, and Mrs. S. A. Tottraan. For Albany— Messrs. J. F. Martin, C. A. Ring, Colin Oeilvie, J. Leitob, J. Tioklo, J. Trestrail, F. ilolntyre, A. Duke, and A. Roberta, and Mesdamea Osbotne, Hartnoll, and Marks. Passengers by the German Steamer.— The following cabin passengers have been booked to leave by the a.a. Salior to-day :— For Bremen— Messrs. A. Boer, R. Bormsum, and W. Perijer. For Southampton— Mr. and Mra. B. Walker and family, Mr. and Mra. Weatherall and family, lira. McDonald, and Mr. H. Scott. For Genoa— Dr. and Mra. Korff and family and Mrs. Louise Werner. For all ports in other classes, 20. The Bishopric op Adelaide.— The object of the meeting of Synod of the Church of England on July 31 ia to enable Bishop Kennion to inform Synod of his acceptance of the See ot Bath and Wells, and of hia con sequent resignation to the Primate of Australia mi Tasmania of thuSee oF Adelaide. There is an impression abroad that Synod at this meeting will take some action with regard to tha appointment of a successor to Bishop Kenuionin the Diocese of Adfikide, but this is erroneous. No action with regard to the appointment of a successor can be taken until the Primate, or in his absenca the eenior Bishop in the province, has informed the Dean and Chapter of the Diocese of the resig nation, and until the Bishop has notually vacated the See, when the Dean and Chapter will, aa provided by the regulations of the Diocese, call Synod together for the purpose of deciding in what manner the vacant Seo ehall be filled. New AusntAiu.— The last mail brought several letters from New Australians, and amongst them was one from a eon of Mr. J. N. Birka, who eays he is quito happy in hia new home, and hss great hopes for the future. At the time the latter wsb ?writtea it appears thai Mr. Lsne had decided to form another settlement, though the locality was cot known. Mr. liirks intended throwing in bin lot with Mr. Lane, and understood that a lot of men had been got together for the new settlement. Woman's Suffrage League.— Tho annual social in connection with this League, which took plaoe in the Albert Hall on Tuesday evening, waa characterized by the Utmoat enthusiasm. The, Minister of Education (Eon. Dr. Cockbcrn), who presided, in an eloquent sppech spoke hopefully of the near consum mation of the objects of the League, and combated the various arguments against extending the f ranchieo to women. Mesdamea Birks, NiclioHs, and Zadow also delivered addresses. Mrs. Mary Lee read a long report, which, on the motion of tho Rev. J. Day Thompson, seconded by Mr. C. Proud, waa adopted. Sill WIST. WlXE TO LoxDOX.— The first Ehip ir.ent of South Australian win9 whieh is to go to the depot in London will probably leave by tha b.h. Culgosi to-day. The shipment comprises six hogsheads, which was taken to Pott Adelaide, and on Tuesday iatpeeted by Mr. Perkins, the Government Viticultnrisb. The Banknote Forger. —The Nord Dtmtsoher Lloyd mail steamer Salier, with the man Nestler, who \v-a9 arrested by the Gorman Consul on a- charge of being implicated in the oxtenEivo forgery of Bank of England notes in Germany, arrived at ths Semaphore on her homeward trip on Monday night. During the atay of the vessel in these waters Nestler will receive eome attention from the police ofrbars, and will nob be at liberty to land and visit ' Fair Adelaide.' Ik is not expected that an officer will be sent to Germany with him. Departure op Dr. Korff.— Dr. Korff, who came out to the colony when Dr. Gdrger re linquished practice, and who pursued his pro fession at Broken Hill, is proceeding to Ger many by the outgoing N.D.L. steamer Salier, whioh leaves here to-day. Dr. Korff has been lately residing at Mount Barker. Silt is the Torrens.— The Corporation ?team-pump on tho Torrcns has been set to work again to remove the banks of silt that have accumulated there. There is a large bank immediately to the west of Victoria Bridge, and it is expected that this will be removed within a month. Ax IjrroRTANT Local Imicstbt.— We have been informed by the Manager of the South Australian Portland Cement Company that their works are now in full operation, and pro ducing over 100 tens of cement weekly. At the present time there are seventy men, thirty four horses, eleven trollies and drays, in addi tion to several woodcarters, employed. Cement in large quantities is being carted for use at the Happy Valley Reservoir, and we under Btand the local consumption increases weekly. The Company ia also engaged in the manufac ture of a big stock of kerbing and flagging to enable them to aupply ordera received from several suburban municipalities. Dairy Produce at the Adelaide Rail way Station.— On July 3 we published a paragraph from the Border Wakh headed 'Careless handling of dairy produce,' to the effect that Mr. Wilson, the Secretary of the Mount Gambiar Company, had, at the Ade laide Railway Station, Been boxes of butter with bundles of stinking sheepskins and bullock bides piled on the top. Tne Chairman of the Railway Commissioners informs us that enquiries have been instituted and Mr. Wilson seen on ths question, and that what ii described as having taken place at Adelaide never occurred, nor ia there the slightest foundation whatever for the statement. Spddin DeathatHindmarsh.— A daughter of the Rev. C. Treiise, of Hindmtreh, died unexpectedly on Tueeday at the age of thirteen years. She was suffering from ncarlntina when she suddenly collapsed. The Rev. Mr. Tresise only a fortnight ago lost a child by sudden death. On each occasion he was absent from home.
AaraKn Tampering with an Account.— Vh. 'V .' ?t-twr-itK», g.Jl., had » somewhat delimit) puzziu to unravel at the Gawler Local Court on Tuesday. Messrs. Sedgley & Sons sued W. C. Dawes, a farmer of Sandy Creek, for £3 16s. 5d., for meat supplied in 1890 and 1891, but whioh the defendant alleged was paid for in September of that year. Receipts were produced in Court, and tho case turned on whether the figures of the firm's journeyman butcher had been altered. The employe stated that he received £1 on July 11 and credited it in penoil, showing the balance owing below. The receipt produced had been inked over and purported to be for £2, while the lower portion had been torn off. Tho version of de fendant's wife was that she paid £2 on that occasion, and the employe entered it in penoil. Subsequently at her request he inked the entry. She also deposed to making a later payment, whioh the employe denied. The S.M., with the aid of » powerful magni fying glass provided by the plaintiff's aolioitar, examined and re-examined the writing and figures as carefully and with less satisfaction than if he bad been scrutinizing ? specimen from a Coolgardie claim in which be tu in terested. Then he asked defendant's wife to write 'By cash,' but the lady said she could only write it in German, and thu therefore did not contribute to the solution of the diffi culty. In the end, however, the S.M. an nounced hia belief that the evidence of the employe was the correct version, and that the accounts had been tampered with. A verdiot was therefore given for the plaintiff for the fnll amount. During the hearing of the cue it waa mentioned as a coincidence that the de fendant appeared in the eame Court in Sep tember, 1891, ia an exactly similar case, the plaintiffs being butchers, and the case turning on whether a receipt waa altered from £1 to £4. On that occasion defendant waa success ful, and the plaintiffs had to refund eome money alleged to have been overpaid. Prohimtixg the Importation of Foreign Trees.— Gardeners of Mount Gambier to the number of 72 have complained to the Minister of Agriculture, that in consequence of the proclamation issued on July 14, prohibiting the importation of fruit trees, they are pre vented from getting their trees from Mr. A. J. Wedd, of Victoria. Mr. Wedd, whose place at Ardno is nob three miies across the border, has always supplied trees free from disease, and now that his nursery cannot be drawn upon for supplies, the residents of Mount Gambier havo to send to Adelaide at considerable inconvenience. Death of Mr. James Robin.— Surprise will be felt at the announcement of the death of Mr. James Robin, merchant, of Gren- fell-street. Mr. Robin, who died on Monday night, had been ailing for some time, but he was at business on Satur- day. The deceased gentleman was one of the oldest merchants in Adelaide, the business in Grenfell-street now known as James Robin & Co. having been carried on since 1851. Early in that year Mr. Robin arrived in Adelaide from England, and joined Captain Le Bair, the firm then being Le Bair & Robin. When Mr. Le Bair died his partner continued the business. For aomeyoarg two of his sons— Messrs. Rowland and Henry Robin— had been in partnership with him. Mr. Robin had been Vice-Consul for Brazil for many years. His appointment to that position was no doubt owing to his long resi- dence in Rio de Janeiro, in which city he acquired considerable commercial experience. The present Government in Brazil recently confirmed his appointment. Mr. Robin was born in Guernsey on November 14, 1817, and went to South America when quite young, being under engagement for about eleven or twelve years to Messrs. Bramley Moore and Co., large merchants in the capital of Brazil. Afterwards he went to Liverpool, where be established a shipping agency, which he conducted until his departure for South Australia. The late Mr. Robin leaves a widow, the daughter of the late Rev. Thomas Rowland, of England. There are five sons— the Rev. J. de Quett- ville Robin, M.A., Wesleyan minister at Armad&Ie, Victoria, who married a daughter of the late Rev. Joseph Waterhouse ; Messrs. Rowland and. Henry Robin, partners in the business; Mr. A. B. Robin, of Nuriootpa ; and Dr. Vincent Robin, at present in Brisbane. There are also three daughters— one being married to Mr. Samuel Fiddian, at one time Head Master of Prince Alfred Col- lege, and who is now in Victoria — and eighteen grandchildren. Two sisters of the late Mr. Robin are living in Guernsey. Tub Port Melbourne Tragedy.— With the stern .voids of the Chief Justice, con veying eentence of death, ringing in hia 6ars, agitated and crying like ? child, Frederick Jordan, the negro who wai found guilty of the murder of Minnie Crabtree at Port Melbourne on the 5th July, was removed at dusk on Satnrday from (he dook at the Criminal Court to one of ths condemned cells at the Melbourne GaoL When the grated door of hia narrow cell w»s thrown open (sayg the Melbourne Standard) Jordan shuddered And shrank back ai if from the sight of the gallows : then, with a despair ing glance at tha warders around, he tottered feebly forward, crouching on the low stool, and gave way to the outbursts of grief whioh w.u presaged in the hysterical appeal that he made prior to hi« con demnation. Throughout tha night the pri soner was very restless, and to the warder on duty at the grating he hardly appeared to sleep at: all. Yesterday, however, the wretched man had become oalmer, and par took sparingly of the food supplied to him. He is still nervous and more depressed than men in his position usually are, but it is expected that after he baa been exercised in the sunshine bis condition will undergo an improvement. Thr Divixikg Rod. — Tho Nottiniham Daily Express states:— 'The divining rod has again been used in Essex with success, this time on the estate of General Thompson, near Braincree. Some years ago General Thompson had a field survey by an eminent engineer, who, »fter testing the ground With baring apparatus, expressed an opinion that no water was obtainable there. Hearing, howerer, of the success of the divining rod in tha immediate neighbourhood, the General invited Mr. H. W. Gold ing, of Booking, to walk over the field, with the result that at two pltoea which Mr. Holding marked water was found at less than 10 ft. from the surface.'