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TO "Till. TOWJ.RS"

" A small world, my niñatera . The first «oice to greet me when 1 bonni the Katoomba in Keppel May at I n m is that of the mate with whom >ears back 1 s-iiled to the Kijis. At breakfast time i nm te .ted next to Mr M Hill, 11. ehest and whitest of pioneer officials m the north, who both as a magistra'e and in social life makes triends wherever he lins 1 een stationed bj Governments, which tor v cars hi\ e kept him hard at vv otk on the out hUirts of civilisation He deserves a better I Ue On the other aide I um supported bj a l-cntlrmun whom 1 little thought to meet Itt-re Mr I 1. Matthew Vincent, 13 j ears «so, was the first journalist to take up the < nu so of the ill used agricultural labourers of J ntdund He btarted the J abouitin Union Chronicle, and like the enthusiast he ia, threw himself heart aud soul into the move ment Mrs Vincent noblj seconded him, and when her husband was prostrated by hurd work edited the paper herself It is strange to find here in Queensland a lady and gentleman who have as friends the foremost maids in Ln^land, and who have been workers in so man. of the movements for social reform in Great Britain But health nnd the need of mental rest brought Mr Matthew Vincent to Australia. In Brisbane he gets plcntj of the latter indeed he com plains that there is more danger of one s mind rusting there \\ e little dreamt when we last met m the heart of Mary 1 noland, that we should foregather in the land of the Southern Cross When Mr Vincent leaves us at Mackay I heartily wish him that good health and good luck he so well deserves

I have long ago described tho glories of Whit Sundaj Passage I feel sad as we now steam through its beauties The lust time I was here, two j ears back, was in the Lizzie with Barnard William!,, afterwards of the Hopeful, at the helm, softly Bingmg the patriotic "shantj, the refrain of which is " God bless America, the land of liberty I" I, the other day, saw poor " Barney in the now raol at Brisbane 'J. he head warder told me lie was one of the most decent men they ever had there More South Sea souvenirs await me m Cleveland Bay, where the Dart, which I last saw in the New Hebrides, is Ijing Commander Moore, who chased mj friend Captain J 1 Proctor, and after wards made that gallant march overland at Dip Point, Ambrym, has however, been 1 romoted , the boatswain, by whose bedside m the hospital at Noumea I took down the account of the fight, has been sent home, but one or two of the men who were in that light with the niggers are still on the Dart, and would like nothing better, they tell mc, than to be Bent to New Guinea to leach the Papuans a lesson for the unprovoked murders of white men which have recently taken place thore Unfortunatelj, Sir PeterScratchley does not appear to have any authority to punish Ins offending black subjects, his powers merely extending to the control of the whites. Should, as has been mooted, Mr Chalmers be appointed a Dep uty Commis sioner m British New Guinea, these latter will have a lively time of it But I meet another old " shellback lrieud in the com mander of the steamer Cloncurry, nowljing in Cleveland Bay Captain Lawson, jeara aso, had charge of the Scottish knight, a Bailing vessel, with immigrants from London, for Townsville I early boarded it from Mr Norris a yacht, the Maud, and the captain, doctor, matron, and three joung lady passengera accompanied ng to a Sunday picnic on Magnetic Island, How ¿he girls enjojed themselves after being cooped up for four months on board ship 1 Ihcse sisters were bom to a good position in life in Scotland, but, beggared bv the failure of the Glasgow Bank, lind to take immigrants' passages to Queensland. I hey must have suffered considerably in their experiences in the steerage 'And bo Captain Lawson gave them this first pic me on shore, and interest was made in 'J o\\ neville to find pupils for one and to sot the others up in a fancy goods shop But thej, like so many Queensland immigrants, have now drifted south, and I hope have found the good husbands they deserve. Dr Warden is dead, but Captain Lawson is still to the fore, looking ob joung and c=> r

as ever

It is not two years since I wau at Iowna ville, and I then recorded my admirai.; n at the changes four j ears had made, "the boom' is still going on It is still the hvest place of ita Bue I have seen in QaeenB land-I may say m Australia. It is only 20 years since Tohn Medwin Black, set out from Bowen, then the very Ultima Thule ot pioneer civilisation, to look for pastures new Journeying in a north west direction he never succeeded in getting far from the coast One day from a hilltop he saw Cleveland Hay before him, and a line river Uowing thereto A new port, from which to open up new country I Distance lent enchantment to the view Mr Black hastened down to Sydney, and laid the matter before Captain 'J owns, with whom he had previously had speculations They went to Brisbane to pether, and made an application for the whole country from the coast for u hundred miles inland At thiB time it waa suoposed that between Bowen and Cardwell there was no place where a vessel could discharge carga But, elated with his success Captain Towns, m a social circle, chaffed the Darling Downs squatters-" You want a Sjdney man to open your eyes ' Why to morrow I shall own the best port in Queensland 1 ' A little bird carried the news to the authorities, the application of the speculators was put off, and Mr Dal

rjmple, who the j ear before had founded Cardwell, waa seut to inspect the country fiom the coast The port was thus discovered from the sea, and a township laid out, which was named after Captain Towns. He and Mr Black secured a good many town lota a boiling down establishment, was started on the Ross Uiver, English {.rosses laid down in the ITermit park paddocks, and altogether the firm of Towns and Co. did fairly well out of 'lownsv tile As a port it did not fulfil the expectations of Mr Black, but now, with the extension of the southern breakwater mid the erection of the northern one and the dredging of the bar, llosa Creek will be navi

"able for all intercolonial vessela, and tho larger ocean steamers will lie between the Ireakwateraaa ina wet dock Wharves, I suppose, will some daj be erected on the jcttj, nnd when tho railroad ib e\teuded thereto it will be o decided gain to shippers As it is in spite of the inconvenience caused by lighterage, 'J on nunile is the port of the North It is the commercial capital of Northern Queensland borne of its people any it shall be tho political capital of a new colonj

1 ho heart of Townsville now is quivering v ith hope and fear on the question of separa non J hese Northerners ave moro ardent secessionists than nnj ever found m the Southern States A Separation League was formed months back, a ' convention held in April last and a petition to the Queen prepared and signed bv thousands, au overwhelming mojoiitj of the white adults of the north, which will betaken to Lngland b) Dr Ahearn v lee president of the league, and special ambassador of Northern Queens land in the coming month of October Hie president it mnj bp noted is Mr J Vi ill

mott, the major oi iownsville and the members ot the longue comprise all the eiti/ens of intelligence position and wealth in this district Both the dailj newspapers thei.K.irti»rmdthc Sffuiifari/ which otherwise aie diametricully opposed in politics, ationgly n I voca te sepaiation nnd a new and smart evening journal has been established soleh mi the separation lines J he " Separation March is as popular hereaa the "Marseillaise m J ranee A short time bick some ad numble letters appeared in J hi- Aryu» from 1 Capncornns lullv setting forth the claims ( the separationists but on the spot I Chilli I can add a few more h,hts And this

a question which deserves attention, for ii separation i» not an afiair of a few months as the league fondlj hopes, it is certainly only a question of a few years It must come, for the aggrieved minority of the north, being of British blood, will not submit to be much

longer ruled by the sectional Mtbinit-h powerful raajont) ot the suutli 1'ut the league is acting witlim i ertertlv con stitnttonal limit« Anil its iiic.mtit.ra ire thoroughly united on lina question M Ilwraith or Griffith run.) have their sup porters in the différent electorates btitthe first qualification, of a public man here, is-dois hi support 8ep mitton' lhe I wcnnúlr Uantlard, ably conlueted b) my old friend Mr Horace Í- Jinrris strong") supports Mr Grilhtlia n 1

ministration-indeed it ia rumoured th it

"the peoples Sam has u pniprictiry in terest >n this journal \et the Ne«««' n t¿ lfä as ultra, aeparatiomst as the Jiullelm which the editor Mr Dodd & Clarke, another old ftiend and "veteran northerner, sn)ssounded the first note of agitation tor Ireedoin

I nm very pleased to be here in Townsville whilst this agitation is gome on I am nlwa>s a secessionist, believing strongly ni local self government everywhere In Aus traha I think that the more the large tern tones are cut up into colonies or provinces the greater will be the chanco of federation of the whole, of a strong _ov eminent dealing with national purposes for the national good It must be eie,ht .ears ago since I first heard the muttennga ot discontent at townsville In the matter of Government works, the north was ut that time being shamefully neglected in comparison with the aura she returned to the exchequer of Queensland It was felt then that the in terests of the two sections of the colony were entirely dissimilar I cannot say who first struck the kes note of sepaiutton , but the felling if not preached m newspapeis, was so strone:at this time that I have heard sane business men declare that they would decline to pa> Customs dues and Government taxes, aud would fight if attempts were made to im pose these by force I, a new chum in the north, listened and wondered I wondered more when nn offer was made to me by some. friends who had, perchance, too high an opinion of my few talents. "Come, and throw in your lot with us. What we want here is a doily newspaper Our two bl

weeklies are a disgrace to the place. Well buy one of them, purchase more plant in Sydney, and give it you, if you'll stop and run a daily newspaper in the cause of separation And well back a good overdraft at the bank for sou .ou stop with us and work, as we think you can work, and you can be the first Premier of the new colonj " My mend Mr L T Sachs, îurther tempted me. " You can have jour pick of an acre or two of land at Hermit park to build a house. I nant to settle )ou properly' Another " raised " this with, "111 gue jou some shares in the Day Dawn at Charters Towers." I thought of the attempts on the lue of the Snark when 1 heard all this, and refused "You know nothing of news paperwork here in townsville How could this place support a daily paper' You'd only lose your money, boss, and separation with you will be a dream fora longtime" W hat a bad judge of northern progress I was ia proved by the facts that land at Hermit, park is now sold bj the sard for building sites, the Day Dawn is a better property than Mount Morgan, and there are now three daily newspapers in Townsville. I then missed one of ray chances of fortune

It was Btrange that at this time I had

another öfter of a "career" held out to me I The lion Dr kevin 0 Doherty, M LeC., en deavoured to "enthuse ' mc with the beauties of federation " What son want ia a mission," said my worthy friend "Aman who has no family tics ns he gets old ia in

danger of getting selfish and la7y Yon want I something to work for The federation of the colonies is a grand idea, 'lake it up Write for it, speak lor it You will live to see it carried out United Australia will thank j ou then " I also mocked at this

proposition Hut the e*c rebel of '48, and I

most popular of Queensland colonists, was right Federation I hope is near at hand. In my travels to and iro during the last l8 months I have done my best to show people the necessity of unity And now I would like to saya word on behalt of the separation of Northern Queensland from the southern portion of the colon) Light years ago, as I have pointed out, it was talked of, even as prcviously in Rockhampton they hod talked about it But tho wiso men said, "Wait till we are stronger" This question of set ara tion it will be seen had nothing at all to do with an) particular industry or any particular class, as has been alleged by the southern newspapers and the Brisbane correspondent of J lie 'J thies The statement that

(paration is only required by Northern l ueensland for the purpose of running it as a colony founded on kanaka or coolie labour is totally without foundation At the time when the feeling for secession was mangu rated in Townsv die there was not a planta tion on the Burdekin nor the Johnstone, The Herbert was but just opened, und none thought that in a few years sugar would have become such u mighty industry in Mhb dis trict and have converted Townsville from a second class coasting port to an important commercial centre This was essentially a local white mans movcmcrlt, and the oppo nontsof separation who attempt to raise a side issue, "Heware of black labour and the wiles of Melbourno capitalists, ' are _mlty ot a wilful perversion ol the facts

Briefl), these aro the principal points in the case of the Separation League, as set forth in the petition to the Queen, which "liumblj

showeth '

" 1 hat your Majesty's humble petitioners further humbly represent that in settlement, trade, revonue, and productive power the districts north of tho 22nd degree of south latitude near Cape Palmerston, in jour .Majest) 's colons of Queensland are ttiirly to be considered equal to those of the snul colony in itsentiret) in the sear one thousand eight hundred and sixty live and that in variety ot resources and prospect of progress arising irotn their development, the Northern lerii tory exhibits a great superiority

"that jour Majest) s humble petitioners further humbly represent that inasmuch us the revenue receipts from the Northern Ter ritory are far beyond the general average of those of the whole colons, the Northern dis tricts lose the difference, amounting to many thousands of pounds between the just pus ment and the actual one, while, ni conae quence of the incidence ol the public debt being distributed general I), the apportion ment of the expenditure being local, the northern districts receive much less than is -ustl) due to them, and jour Majest) s humble petitioners are charged with an nnnunl sum lor interest greutlj beyond that w Inch thes ought to he burdened with Por such ni

justice, unless by the relief afforded by self government, theie l8 no redresä

"that sour Majesty a humble petitioners further humbly represent that in the expendí

ture of the funds derived from the public loan graso inconvenience and loss is bus tamed by the northern districts in conae quence of the long delny necessarily occn Bioned m the completion of their public works, even vi hen the application of these funds is justly apportioned while it some times happens that the postponement of northern requirements to those of the other districts UL,c,ra\ates the injury thus bus


" lhat sour Mhjcat) s humble petitioners further humbly npreaent that the c,re it dis tance of the capital trom the northirnihs tricts, combined with the numerical supe noriry possessed und hkel) to be ; ssesaed ior nn indefinite peuod b) the electorates in proximit) to it operates vers seriously to their detriment. \\ ere the interest!" of north and suutli identical in nature the evils arising trom such circumstances mi|,ht be amello rated but sour Majest) s humble petitioners further humbls represent that those interests and industries and the essentials to success in cither are irom dtllerencts of climate and soil exieeilingls diverse , mid that the real conditions ol the northern portion of sour Majesty a colon) of Queensland nre but im perfectly understood or appreciated in the southern end of the colons the natural con sequences being ogeravated by the latter having m the Legislative Assemblj n larj,e

permanent mujont) conservative of and ' naturullj gmnc, preference to what tnev con sitler the claims of their own constituents

I hat sour Mnjest) s humble petitioners fuither humblv represent that such condi

tions would operate moat disastrous!) to the north in the event of hostilities occurring be tween sour Majest) s United kingdom and nil) loreign povvei Along the whole sea board lrom Cape Palmerston on the eastern coast to the junction with the northern tern tor) ot sour Majesty s colony of South Aus traba íntlielSStlidegreeofeuatlongitude there is not a 8tn¡,le port of tho seven which have been formed that is not entirely defenceless against the moat insignificant piratical attack

and until very recent!) not the slightest I eil ort had been made to induce naval or mill tirj organisation m ans f >rm, or opportunity given ior it. '1 he distance ofnii) of them from BriB-une would render co operation thence impossible, while the absence of skilled direction-concentrated on the capital -would paraisse \oluntary cflort. \our

Majes.) s humble petitioners humbly nr^e that vvnli sell "overnment not onl> woult the mcchsin for «elf defence be rc(Ogni->ed lui pnvision for it would uw'oubtelly


Vitcr making all the inquiries possible into the iacts on which this petition is founded, I think the league can prove its case i lie population of the Moreton liny district m lSo'J when it was convene 1 into the r olony ot Queensland, waa but J >,l)00 , tluitof the northern district, above the J2nd degree of south latitude, is now over 02 000 Hie revenue of the Moreton Bay district was but J.150,000, thntof Northern Queensland is ¿MO 000 and taking the taxation per head of the eolonj according to the 'ireasurv tables, the north was overcharged last jeur ¿lll.UÍO Ihnt the distance from the present seat of government prevents representative men undertaking ptirhiimentarj responsi

bihtps is an evident tact Macha., the neirest in the proposed northern eolonj to Brisbane, is distant uOO miles , Normanton more than 200D c-o it is little wonder that

out of the present eight northern representa tives in Parliament only four can be said to be resident or have any in teresls in the north In nil legal mutters, and also in much that ap pertains to commerce northern people aiesadlj and unfairly handicapped by their distance from the capital And, above all, the climatic conditions and tropical character of the country are so different to those in the south that it is impossible for electors, rcpre aentatives and Ministeis to understand, sjm pathise, or propeily legislate for the north All this no doubt, maj have been set forth before, but I repeat it now after spending some time in ¡.auging the feeling of the dis triet 1 think the league can fairly claim that the petition to Her Majesty ia not one in the interests of anj one class or any sec tion, but that it is a general projer It is onlj in Charters Towers that there ia any difference ot opinion lhere tho "black labour" bog> has been raised bj some deina gogues, and the talking member, Mr Hut ledge, being Attornej Geneial in Mr Grit fith s Administration, is naturally opposed to separation But the locil member, Mr Isidore Lissner, is a stiong separationist In this connexion it may be noticed that Mr Miles, one of Mr Gnlliths chief suppoiters and the present Minister of V\ orks, wus when out ot olhce a strong advocate of separation And when the Premier nnd his party were stumping the north m ISbJ las supporters made strong speeches in favour of separation, which, by his Bilence, he endorsed

Betöre dealing further with Townsville I will hurry away to Charters Towers to gauge pubbc opinion on the separation question there Seldom lim e I been so disappointed as ou tins visit Why? 'ihej have become too respectable for my purposes here ' A large majority of the miners ure now married and atar at home at nights, instead of loafing in the burs and dancing saloons as of old. The immigration system of Queensland has of late j ears supplied thia colony with a number ot healthy joung women, who naturally prefer to get married, and have bornea, however humble, and a progeny of their own, to doing chorcB for and nursing the babies of other people And irrespective of tho old rule "mun will have his mate," Bill, the miner, wanted a partner to make bia damper, fry his beefsteak, and

wash his shirts. Woman's nilluenco is plamlj perceived in the cottages scattered about this goldfield Six years ago Bill and his male mate were content with the rudest ol bark humpies A couple of stretchers, some blankets, table and seats made out of old spirit cases, a lrjingpan, a billy and pannikins, and a broken looking glaaa com prised their household gods Now the bark huts are disappearing, and those which re main have good doors and casements Bill now generally lues in a neat weatherboard cottage, filled with cheap Chinese mode fur niture. Hverj thing around him is clean and smart, children cluster at his knee, ind it is to be hoped ho ia happier But to me Bill is not by any means bo interesting ns when j cara ago I drove round ni the butcher's cart delivering the evening beef and talking freely to Bill, who wus nt least picturesque in the Burroundings whicb to other people would have been discomfort A fiction was evolved on this occasion that I was about buying Mi Bucklands business, and I promised, if this thin,; should happen, to see that the quality ot the meat supplied to the miners wusoi good quality, trusting in return to receive a continuance of their sup port Bill, now become a family man, ia not bo free nor so friendly with strangers lie is respectable, but has lost a good deal, not only of those points which made him interesting as a studj of character, but nlso as it acema to me, other and sterling qualities-the rude hospitality and camm adit te of the pioneer gold digger.

Society on the Towers is in a transition state. People are getting, as it were, into dress clothes which they do not fit properly. The dancing-saloons have all been closed by     order of the police prefect. Dame Quickly has gone. Doll and her companions have got married. An "Assembly" has been evolved, at which the "Silvertails " monthly disport themselves. Very much gilt indeed they tell me are some of these " Silvertails." Society   is racked with the tremendous issue-Is Mrs. X, the publican's wife, fit to asso-   ciate with Mrs. Z, the storekeeper's wife? For myself, I would very much prefer the old saloon era, when there was at least animation, to the dull re-

spectability of the assembly, and the awk- wardness of people who late in life have tried on dress coats and gloves, and learned   to waltz. It seems tough on the old hand that there is no amusement provided for him but drinking and temperance lodges.

In one thing the miners of the Towers still retain somewhat of their ancient charac- teristics In partícular instances the police prefect, Mr Selheim, rules, and as he is gene- rally very severe on Chinamen, he is con- sidered by the Milesians to be the very model of an upright and impartial judge .Thus where an l'nghsli publican was last week fined £5 for allowing gambling in his house, a Chinaman is to-day mulcted in the sum of £54 for having fan tan played upon his premises!     I must say, when I hear the decision of Mr Selheim, that I am astonished. This court has afforded a mornings amusement to me, as it has to many white men to whom it is a a good pantomime to see a Chinaman "slated." There are many loafing Irish   "Bill Nyes" here who would, no doubt, like to impress the world with the idea that they have been "ruined by Chinese cheap labour." On one side of the court-house the miners and loafers are congregated. On the   other the Chinese spectators. I am strangely reminded botli of the police court in Victoria, British Columbia, and of Mandarin Chen's Hall of Justice at Shanghai. For amongst the many Chinamen with unshaven heads, sign of povertv, there is a pronounced Ame- ncan Indian type On the Fraser I should   certainly take thom for Siwashes. The pri- soner, a well known storekeeper, has been locked up since he was arrested having been refused bail, which would have been given to a white man. However, he is cheerful   perhaps the consciousness that he is able to pay any line imposed being the cause of his serenity. He is defended by the clever young advocate and lawjcr, Mr. Cooper, with whom I exchange souvenirs of the Wrekin and Dr Cranage's school. The prosecuting attorney     is the late partner ot Mr Edwards,   the most popular lawyer in the north, whom Mr Carl Feilberg and myself followed to his grave in the Melbourne Cemetery. The fees which these gentlemen get would make many Melbourne barristers' mouths water The prosecutor is an ordinary looking Chinaman, who has turned informer, owing     to a dispute as to whether a £5 or a £1 note had been placed on the even numbers. He is sworn bj the blowing out of a match, symbolieal of how his body and soul will be blown out should he not speak the truth The interpreter is a rather flashly-dressed young Celestial, cook at one of the hotels who is paid £1 for his mornings work in court. A trustworthy Govern

ment interpreter is much wanted in the Towers, where there are so many Chinese cases to deal with. This is soon exemplified here when the inteipieter and the witness have a long conversation together, which, according to Dr Lan Pan, has nothing to do with the question put by the Court. Dr Lan Pan is a friend and associate of the prisoner's, a power amongst the majority of   the Chinamen.on the Towers. His iron grey

hair is cut short showing that he never in-  

tends to return to Chimt he drps es1 lea    

1 in peni nu I e in s\v ar Ilk*1 one oe nan li J lllv I" J in Han is repjted to 1 i _ am ei . ii th punt Int., 1 use inl sitting bv Mr ' c o| cr has a wutcluul ear ior the evi le ci Hut the t ibles are nube* tumi 1 on Dr Lan lan when Ali fain tie informer swears thit the Chinese j ed co last ni-,ht olierel him ill) to eleir ouc

In \ letona the crime ot embracery has deserve ily been sevpreis 1 nnished Here it is thought little of Whilst Mr Cooper on be balfofLr lan Pun repudiates the statement in 1 offirh to | ut that eminent «inn m the b x to swear that Ah ¡bin., is a pirjurer the Court leans bick and tivirhug its thuml s

sa) i, Don t ) ou remember vv hen I had n lit) , note sent me in an envelo]>e vv Inch ma le nie I ii ¡ile governor ot the hos) ital Mr belheim

Irotn lils lon" residence on the 1 nlmer is i c mersntit with the truks ot John and i believe« that he ia i perjurer and a 1 riber

It soon becomes évitent thnr there is some ver) hard awe nne, here lliose who have

I stu lie 1 Chinese life con see th it the wit I

nesses f ir the prosecution an 1 defence belalie to opposil on ¡.uikls V noo 1 deal of time is wasted in obtaining from the witnihses a delinition of fantail which seems entirely aupcrerogator* as it is soon evi lei t that both the counsel an 1 the Court know as much about It tis Ah Suit All the w itnesact, le it noted put down then platilla when the) gointothebox this with a Cliinninan being equivalent to lukins, oil one s hut vv ith a white man I he balance ot testimony is in favour of the prisoner but the mu.istr ite knows trom other sources where fan tun is plas ed and so the Chinaman is fined t 1-a deciaion te ceivcd with treat la\our by the white crow I

w ho now applau 1 the German prefect vv ho lines them tor swearing and gambling and under whose author ty they have become us ataiillj respectable aa sheep Only on great occasions will they act together