FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 3. 1866.
The position of the Ministry becomes more and more extraordinaiy f-ora day to day. Tile Supreme Court decides that the Customs' duties which they are collecting are not legacy exigible ; juries scarcely deliberate before they find verdicts in favour of the merchants who have brought actions for the re- covery of specific amounts 5'legaHy exacted from them ; the case is co clear, that the banisters who have received briefs from the Crown have scarcely an argument to advance which possesses the slightest weight; and yet the collection of these unconstitutionally imposed duties proceeds on the one hand, and on the other taxes legally due are remitted, without better warrant than the will of the Cabinet. We discover a system in operation, in short, under which duties, most injurious to the intercolonial trade, are collected under a system of something more than moral force ; and these duties paid back again by the Treasury to those who have the courage to ask the protection of the courts of law, while they are retained absolutely from thoce who have not the courage to reçoit to an extremity which most men avoid while it is po~sible. If we cou'd transfer the scene of this singular operation to London or Liverpool, need we ask what the result would be ? How long would such an abuse of the powei3 of Government be tolerated ? How long would a Chancellor of the Exchequer have dared to act as Mr. FUAÇCIS has done 1 The common sense of England would long ere this have made itself heard, and the anomaly would have been swept away, in all probability involving its authors ia the catastrophe.
But this is not the only anomaly. We also find the Government-which
lately discovered that an Appropriation
Bill was little better than a form which might be dispensed with, and that the mere resolution of a majority of the Assembly was all in all-disavowing their former pretensions, and resorting to the plea that the Appropriation Act is not yet law for the purpose of getting rid of im- portunate, because impecunious, suitors. The answer of " J. M'C." to the applica- tion of the Board of Agriculture has been stereotyped to other applicants for favours from the Treasury. The agri- cultural exhibitions throughout the country are not to have their money prizes as usual-the farmers must con- tent themselves with honorary certifi- cates, for their fattest pigs, and the dairy- maids are to be deprived of substantial honours for their prize productions of butter and cheese-because the Appro- priation Bill has not yet been pasc:d. Tor the same reason, useful public works are to be stopped, main roads left un- repaired, bridges unbuilt, and tele- graph lines unstretched, however much these improvements may be required. Surely this is an affectation of delicate regard for the Constitution ! It looks uncommonly like providing for the favourite children of fortune only, that the law shall be stretched even till it cracks that the civil servants, and other officers of the state who are pro- vided for by special acts of Parlia- ment made in their favour, may be paid ; while the mere hewers of wood and drawers of water, the poor labourers who earn their bread by the sweat of their brows, shall be left to herd with the un- employed, by the suspension of the public works at a time when the deprivation of a single day's employment is a serious loss of means to make the two ends honestly meet from week to week. Either the Mi- nistry are honest in their assertion that the Legislative Council is not necessary to the constitutional government of this country, or they are making a pretence which they know to be hollow and in- sincere. If they can govern by virtue of the fellowship existing between a
section of the second and the third branch
of the Legislature, why fall back on the pretence that the non-existence of an Appropriation Bill closes the Treasury
to those whose claims have not been made special by act of Parliament, while by violations of law and practice it has been opened to those who assist iu carrying on the farce of government, as we see it in this colony at this moment 1 There are fat and favoured kine, and lean and unregarded kine. Are the former only to enjoy the blessings which the state affords, and has the faithless shepherd, "J. M'C," no regard for the spotted members of the flock Î These last, indeed, are the helpless ones ; but the shepherd is unmindful, and while the pets are regarded with a watchful care, the ill-favoured ones must pro- vide for themselves. It is fortu- nate for the shepherd, perhaps, that the full significance of. the late action of the Government in this re- spect is not yet fully understood. If it had been surmised that the col- lusive arrangement with the London Chartered Bank was resorted to, and an example of moral dishonesty set in the highest political places which will un- doubtedly bear evil fruit hereafter, merely that loaves and fishes should be provided for those who were in no
danger of much suffering from a pro- longation of the crisis, while the labourer who depends on his own health and strength for the bread which he earns from day to day should be left to seek vainly for work in a restricted'and falling market, without such regard for his case as a continuance of the public works of the colony implies, we take leave to doubt whether the cheers which have been heard in the market-places would havo been quite so hearty as they are reported to have been.
We have some difficulty in believing that the conscience of the Chief Secre-
tary is so tender, with regard to the ap- plication of the public funds, as the threatened suspension of the public works would imply. He ha3 gone so far that he can derive no credit from stopping short now. To do so would be to betray those whom he has induced to follow him into the mire. When ho started on his course of illegality, he must have seen that there was no
limit to it. He was pledged to go " the whole hog or none." That he is now exhibiting a desire to return to safer ways is a proof that he kaew from the beginning that he was wrong,
and that if he could have foreseen the
future he would never have gone so far as he has done. He cannot get over the fact that the Legislative Council exists. He now discovers that he cannot dispense with an Appropriation Act. He finds that a Constitution Act, given by the Imperial Parliament, cannot be abro- gated by a majority of one Cham- ber in a political system which embraces two elective houses of represen- tatives, even though that Chamber has the countenance of the representative of HER MAJESTY. There is but one constitu- tional way out of these difficulties ; and we are glad to see " J. M'C." exhibiting symptomB,in his objection to pay away the public funds without due authority, of a return to that beaten path.
It is a very noticeable circumstance that whereas " out of doors," among people as well educated as the average of members of the Assembly, not one in twenty approves of the conduct of the Ministiyin the present crisis, within the walls of the Assembly the Ministry has a decided majority. It can hardly be an unjust inference to draw, that by far the greater number of those com- posing that majority would be of another way of thinking if they were
not members of Parliament. We do
not wish to put this at all offensively. Not only would their acts and speeches be different, but their genuine thoughts would be different also, Theie are comparatively few people so candidly and logically minded that their mental digestion assimi- lates equally the arguments that tally with and that controvert their interests and inclinations, What tells in favour of the desired conclusion is
eagerly absorbed-what tells against it is to a great extent rejected and for- gotten ; and thus, possibly without any positive intellectual dishonesty, a man generally does in a great measure believe what he wishes to believe, although his conviction is really founded upon his interest rather than his reason. The opinions of the ma- jority of the Assembly may be ex- plicable in this way. They want to remain in Parliament, and to do so they
must be in accord \sith the bulk of the constituencies. As thermajority in each constituency belongs to one class, that is the class that the Assembly in the aggregate represents, and that individual members desire to please, and in order to pleace it they have come to think as they do.
Bul though such considerations should make spectators charitable in construing
the conduct of members of Parliament
though we should makelarge allowances for the possibilities of self-deception they leave little hope that the Assembly will attempt by any kind of conciliation to dispose of the present dead-lock. Members have become the delegates of their constituents, aud have even pushed their subserviency so far as to have bowed their own minds to the will
of their electors. We do not say this in the way of a raudom charge. That they have got their minds into con- formity with those of their constituencies
is the most charitable view that can be taken of the circumstance we set out
by stating, namely, that while not one in twenty educated men out of doors uphold the Ministry, the Ministry com- mands a majority within the walls of the Assembly.
How, under these circumstances, is the present conflict to end ? The case docs not look hopeful, so far as conces- sion on the part of the Assembly is conc2incd ; and as the Government is strengthened in breaking the law by the knowledge that the classes to which it is mainly opposed are not those that lightly supply the materials of revolu- tion, wo almost seem driven to the hope of English interference for extrication from our difficulty.
"What likelihood is there, then, that England will effectually inteifere ? For years past the disposition of Downing
street seems to have been to declare that as we have made our bed so we must lie upon it ; that we must get out of our own difficulties, and adjust our own quarrels. But there are indi- cations that Mr. CARDWELL does not take the same view of this matter that
his predecessor did. In another column we publish a despatch, addressed by Mr. CARDWELL to Sir D. DALY, the Gover- nor of South Australia, and printed by order of the House of Assembly in that colony a few days since. The South Australians have been troubled for some time by the whimsical views taken by two of their judges of the validity of various colonial acts, and at last it became really necessary to refer the growing difficulties of the case to the home authorities. It will be seen by Mr. CARDWELL'S despatch that the home Government was not only alive* to the difficulties of the South Austra- lian position, but had taken steps to remedy them before being addressed by the South Australian Parliament upon the subject. Our position is incomparably worse than was that of our neighbours, although the nature of our troubles is different from theirs. The difficulty that
lies in the way of dealing with lawler judges is consequent upon the unwillino-. ness which orderly people feol to do anything calculated to impair the autho- rity of the Bench. But South Australia's difficulty was one from which she could very summarily have extricated herself had the need become sufficiently preS3.' ing. Not so with us. The Constitu- tion has been violated and the law broken, and one branch of Parliament defied ; but the Government that has done these things is, nevertheless, ex- tremely strongly posted. It has secured the connivance of the GOVERNOR, and as a consequence of this, it has been enabled to keep, practically, the grand power of the purse-strings in its own hands. It has, farther, the majority of the Assembly on its_ side, and as the Assembly is constituted this implies that it has the bulk of the physical force of the country on its side too. The position seems unassailable from within the colony, and to necessitate the reference of our difficulty to English authority. Hitherto we havo been somewhat apprehensive that England would decline to interfere. We had asked for self-government, and self government we should have. That seemed on various occasions to be the tenor of the Duke of NEWCASTLE'S despatches to these colonies. Mr. CAKDWELL, however, we are glad to' see, takes a somewhat different view of the matter. While the nominal con- nexion between Eogland and these colonies lasts, he is willing to ad- mit a reciprocity of obligation, and to recognise the claims of the colonies to be assisted by England in any scrapes they may fall into during their earlier efforts to run alone. Ile does not ecbothe semi-contemptuousintimation of which of late years we havo had somewhat too much-that we are only a nuisance to the mother country, and are not only heartily welcome to independence as soon as we like, but must work out our own problems unaided, and in our own way, whether we like it or not. Ho seems to recognise that a mother country cannot cast off its obligations to the infant states it has thrown forth, as a serpent casts its skin, but is bound to assist them while they remain linked together, whenever there is any need of assistance, This has been practically admitted in the South Australian case ; and, as her difficulty was much less than ours, it may be hoped that our ap- peal will not be in vain, should it finally prove unavoidable to seek extraneous
aid out of our troubles.
In the Nisi Piiua Oouit, before the Chief Justice, yesterday, another tariff action was tried-Matthews and another v. The (¿tuen, anda verdict of £1,29618s. recovered. An action of breach of contract between a cattle dealer and a firm of graziers, Keighran v. O'SuL livan and another, was also tried. The ver- dict was for the plaintiff, damages £8-30 3s. 4d.
His Honour the Chief Justice, at the ead of a tariff case tried bafore him yesterday tbe third or fourth of the sort which he had tried-said it was to bo regrettsd that time and money should bo lo3t in bringing so many Bimilar casai to trial. Sssing four mora such cases in his list, he suggested the wisdom of turning them into special cases for argu- ment before the Court of all points of law hitherto reseived, or hereaftor desirable to get reserved.
Judgment for another sum of £40,000 was obtained by tbe London Chartered Bank against the Government yesterday. This ia the thirteenth transaction of the kind, the total moneys involved amounting to £620,000.
There was a very large attendance of visitors to the Melbourne Rac3courc3 yester- day afternoon. His Excellency the Governor was present, and about ton thousand persons. The weather was aerccable and the racing good. The Maiden Plate was won by a Mr. Martin colt, now called Day and Martin. Mr. Hurtle Fisher won the Ascot Vale Stakes with his young one, Seagull, the progeny of old Fisherman. The grey pony Toryboy won the Melbourne Cup, beating Panic c:coud, Rive- rina third, and twenty others. Prince won the nnrdle Base, and Falcon took the Darling Stakes. It is to bo regrottcd that the three Tasmanian hoiscs, Post, Minstrel, and Songatsr, oil met with casualties ia the race, which will probably prevent them ap- pealing again on the turf during the present season. Songster hal been scratched for all his engagements. The Race of Denmatk also pulled up lame after her race for the Mel- bourne Cup. The stewards yesterday re etived over £1,400 for adminlons to the enclosures upon the COUHO. There was very little bnsineeB on future events done at the Tutf Subscription Koora last evening.
Owing to the races, little business was transacted in the city yesterday after the hour of noon, The banks closed at half-past twelve o'clock ; the wholesale houses and several retail establishments adopted the same course about the same time ; the law courts rose at two o'clock. Although the Go- vernment offices were not aotae'ly closed, matters were so arranged that a great number of the civil salvante were able t3 have a half
A fine sample of the kero'ene-producing mineral lately found in tho Gmt Western Company's mlncB, near Hartley, N S.W., has been sent to UB by Mc-srs. Stanford and Co., of Bourke-strcet. The mineral yields on an average about 140 gallons of crude oil psr ton, or over 100 gallons of refined. The de- posit is 6ft. lOIu. thick, and occurs 33ft below the surface. We learn that machinery Is being erected capable of manufacturing 20,000 gallons of refined oil par week, which can be supplied at two shillings per gallon, in tins, with a good margin left for profit.
A robbery was reported to the police last evening by Mr. J. Gill, Bmith and farrier, at Flemington, who stated that his house was entered during his ab:ence at the rae«, and that a silver watch, a suit of otothes, and a small nugget were stolen from the premise?. Some boxes.were brokon open Ulonging to persons now in New Zealand, but Mr. GUI was unable to specify tho propsrty taken
Mrs. Early, wife of the landlord of the Lan- cashire Hotel, Little Bourke-strcet east, gave Information to the police tait evening of a robbery committed at the hotel early in the evening. She stat:d that her bed- room door had been opened by means ot skeleton keys, a box hroken open, and a coan box stolen containing four £5 notes, four fl-notes, and a broken gold ring set with a
At about half-past five o'clock yesterday morning, a fire occurred at the back premises of the Victoria Lime and Cement Company, No. 7 Queen-street. The fire originated ia » large quantity of laths, stacked in bundles, w the yard. The Fire Brigade were promptly in attendance. The flames wero not¡ext»' tinguiahed until the whole of the, laths una
leen turned over. The losa to the company is considerable, lue property toiag uain .sured.
A meeting of the burgeBCCB of Darling Ward vas held on Wednesday evening, at tho Kobett Burns Hotol, Smlth-strcoi, and a second meeting was held le".!: ni_ht,at the Sir .Robert Peel Hotel, Wellin^ion-sircjt, at both of which resolutions wera carried unani- mously in favour of Mr. William Nankene?, as a candidate for mu-iciçe'. honoura ia E¿st
John Henry Smith, who Wfs convicted on "Wednesday, at the Bourke General -zr.ioDS, «f feloniously receiving goode stolen from the house of William Burgess, of Carlton, was 'brought up yesterday, and sentenced to three years' bard labour. The appoals set down for beating were postponed until to-day, in con «equonce of the absence of some of the Grown
Dr. Youl held an inquest yesterday, at the Morgue, on the body of William Bruce, ?who died suddenly on Wednesday afternoon at the foundry of Black and M'Caul, where be was employed as a blacksmith. While engaged at MB work, deceased was observed to lean bis bead for a few seconds ; he then fell back, aud died instantaneously. He neither spoke nor moved after falling. The medic.l evidence of Dr. Knagga Bhowed death to be the result of a rupture of the right auricle of the heart, and the jury returned a verdict to that effect.
* At the Hotham Police Court yesterday, four men were fined for driving across footpaths, and A. Stephens, for leaving a horse and cab unprotected in the Btreet, waB ordered to pay a fine of 5s. The inspector of nuisances summoned a number of persons for neglect- ing to clean theil privato lanes, but, through an informality in tho proceedings, most of the casca were dismissed, and the remainder .wero postponed for a week. A fine of öa, with 23s. Gd. costs, was inflicted on a man named James Chapple, for using abusive and threatening language towards John Hobson. Messrs Warren, Thomas, Moore, and Flana- gan were the magistrates on the bench,
Messrs.Templeton and Snowb&U.'presidediat thePrahran Police Court yesterday. Frederick Cobham wa3 summoned by the police for keeping an unregistered dancing room. The cace was postponed, at the request of Mr. F. Stephen, who appeared for the defendant. John Dawson waa charged by George Wit combe, with larceny. The prosecutor dopxed that on the evening of the 39th ult, being at a little distance from his residence, he hoard his wife screaming, and on going in found the prisoner, who was holding the prosecutor's .wife by the throat, and striking her. Pri- soner turned on prosecutor, and throwing him down, snatched a watch and chain, and got away with it. The parties are related by marriage, and the squabble was the result of former disputes. The bench were of opinion that the larcenous intent was not made out, and discharged the ptisoner. Christopher Selby, charged with having used ob3cane lan- guage, was reprimanded and discharged ; while William Smart, for encouraging Selby to reeist the police, was ¡¡ant to gaol for three days. Mary O'Hara, charged hy O. C. Can- nant with larceny of garden produce, was ordered to pay 3s. damages, and tis. costs.
At the Fitzroy Police Court yesterday, a man named Joseph Borry was charged with stealing a coat from the Bob Boy Hole), where he had been employed to do odd job-!. He was committed to gaol for one month. He was alco sentenced to one month's im- prisonment for stealing a case of razors and other articles from the same hotel. The charge against Richard Hasty of assaulting Ellen Southall, which waa adjourned till ye;terday, was fuither postponed till Monday week, the complainant being still unable to appear. Alexander Thompson, of the Latrobe Hotol, was fined -5a., and ltb. cost", for having un- stamped and deficient measures; James Brierly, of the Exchange Hotel, was fined 83., and 10s. costs, for a similar offence; Owen O'Callaghan was fined 53, and 10s. costs, for having light and unstamped weights; and Charles Burton, of the Belvidere Hotel, was fined 0a" and 10s. coBta, for having unstamped measures. James Qeorgo Burrell applied for
a genoral publican's licence for a house in
Fiizroy-street, to be called the Standard Hotel. The application w£~. grafted.
An inquest was held at Camperdown on Monday, on the body of a man named Ben- jamin Farra, aged forty-two years, in tha employ of Mr. Tracey, Cardie's River. It appeared from the evidence that, on Sunday morning, the deceased loft his tent with his gun1 for the purpose of shooting kangaroo?. Ile had got about ten yards away when, having forgotten his matches, he turned Tound with the intention of returning for them. In the act of resting the piece against a log, by passing the butt end over it, the charge exploded, tho whole of the contents of the barrel entering his body, and the flames setting fire to his clothing. Dr. Curdie, J.P., took his deposition, but the man was dead before medical assistance could reach him. "Verdict- " Died from a gunshot wound in the abdomer, accidentally inflicted by himself." Deceased was a single man, a native of Leeds, Yorkshire, and had no friends in the colony.
A correspondent in Camperdown writes on tho 31at ult ¡-"Nothing can exceed the beauty of that part of the Western District lying between Colac and Warrnambool; grass is abundant, and settlers must look forward with pleasure to the demand for their fat stock which must take place soon. The winter here, in fact, can only now be said to be fairly over."
" It is not, perhaps, generally known," says the Castlemaine Baily News, "that John Chinaman does not confide the care of his epistles to Her Majesty's postal arrangements. On thoJTarrengower-road a Chinaman,dressed in anything but official co3tume, may be seen riding to and fro, bearing on a strong black horse the important despatches of his Mon- golian brethren. Hia style of riding ÍB any- thing but artistic or graceful. He lunges backwards and forwards as if in convulsions, and when in a hnrry, stretches out his bands as if desirous of arriving at his destination before his horse, while his legs, lipping far over the knee pads of the eaddle, approach a cood way towards the ears of his Black Bess. John lookf?, and doubtless feels, very im- portant, and is very sober and steady, per- forming his duty with postal regularity not to be surpassed by Cobb and Co."
The Bendigo Independent of yesterday notices the discomfiture of a company of hawkeis of inferior goods in Sandhurst, as follows: "Sandhurst and the surrounding districts ?were on Tuesday inundated with a gang of distinguished gentlemen who wore throwing away their goode. They had nearly all the conveyances in Sandhurst on hire, and ware taking orders for the disposal of a bankrupt stotk of soma £200,000 worth. Pending the execution of the orders, they had some im- mense bargains in the shape of cloth, &c, which they were willing, as a personal favour, to give as an encouragement to their new customers. In this way they minaged to obtain pounds' for shillings* worths. Sergeant Richards, of Eaglehawk, got word of one detachment, and followed them to one of the neighbouring hotels. After observing their motions for some time he demanded an inspection of their hawker's licence. This was indignantly shown, aud the ser- geant given lo understand that he wai
an ignorant country policeman. He wa", however, determined to show ho knew a thing or two. The Sandhurst buggy had not, of coane, the nnmo of the hawker on it, and, for the want of this, the sergeant brought the princlia1 salesman hafore a bench of magistrates, who fined the generous merchant £5, or fourteen days' imprisonment. Tho fine was paid, but little more, when some of the dupes entered the court, and showing the devil's duBt they bad got for superfine black cloth, Mr. Dance had to refand the cash and toko back his geode, and the game of the party was spoilt by this ' ignorant country con- stable.' It is believed the same pereon has been victimising the people of Ballaiat and Melbourne suburbs."
"Mr. RoherteoD, of Robertson's Plains," says the Border Watch, " has a kangaroo dog which has shown an amount of fidelity and sagacity unusual in animals of that breed. It WBB taken away by a friend of Mr. Robert- son's to the vicinity of Melbourne, 300 miles ,distant, but not many days after it reached there it disappeared, and it has now turned up
in its old kennel."
That a man who carries on his own case has a fcol for a client is no uncommon thing (says the Ballarat ¡star), and it is also known that sometimes people go to law, employ lawyers, ar d are still fools ; but it is not so common a thing for a man to go to law, and puzzle alike his own counsel, his opponents' counsel, and the judge, by a display of almost superhuman obstinacy. In the case of Si'Donald v. Albion Comiiany, however, the plaintiff has, judging from the admissions of his own counsel as well as his opponents', fairly earned tho distinction we havo men- tioned. He baa refused tosigo the new deed of association of tho company, and still re- fuses, and how to deal with him seems to puzzle both bar and bench, a? well as the company which he sues. The plaintiff was in court on Tuesday when he was not wanted, hut was absent on Wednesday when he was wanted, and it was stated that he positively refused to be present. It appears, howevor, that all concerned, the judge included, are disposed to treat bim B3 a person hardly of adult discretion, and thus the decree in the suit, ofton postponed bafore, was again held over on Wednesday till the 14th inst, when the plaintiff is to bo present. But thi», we presume, is a condition which it is easier to make than enforce upon so eccentric a
The committee of the aquatic spoih tob: held on tho Upper Yarra, at Richmond, on the birthday of the Prince of Wales (Novem- ber 9), mot lf.t evening at the Freemasons' Hotel, Swan8ton-síreet, to receive entrid '.for the sports. Several entiieB were made, and it was resolved that es there was reason to believe many persons who wodd have en- tered were kept away by the racci, the time of receiving entries should b3 extended till Tuesday next. From the subscriptions re- ceived, the patronage promised, and the character of the entries made, it is anticipated that tho spoils will be a great success.
The Christy's Minstrels performed to a very good houso at the Haymarket Theatre last night, when, in addition to the ordinary entertainment, the burlesque of " Mas saniello" was given. During one of the intervals, a silver-mounted riding whip, the gift of the company, was presented amidst considerable applause to Kavanagh, as the rider of the winning horse in the Melbourne Cup race. To-night, the performance will be for the benefit of W. P. Collins, and on Satur= day the minstrels take their leave of the Melbourne public.
The military dramaticenteitainment tobe given at the Theatre Royo', this evening, in aid of the building fund of the metror 3lltau volunteer orderly-room, will consist of the drama of " Don Ciosar de Bazan." the comedy of " The Wonderful Woman," and the farce " Mrs. White." The amateurs to take patt in the first and last pieces are memb-us of the military force now in garrison and of the Volunteer Aitillery. Those who will appaar in the comedy aro Lieutenant-Colonel Rsde, Captain Snee, and Lieutenant Smithett, R.A. Mrs. Robert Heir, Mies Carry George, Mrs. Greville, Miss Mortimer, Mrs. Wooldridge, Miss Forde, and Mrs. Starkey will assist the amateurs. The affair will be under distin- guished patronage, including that of the Go- vernor and Lady Dalling. Officer;;, whether of the military or of the volunteers, are re- quested to appear in uniform.