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\V 111) N HS 1) A Y , J A K C A RY 24, 1 844.
By the Ganges we have English papers down to the 24th September last, which give some im portant »nd carious particulars of the general af fairs of Europe. Numerous extracts from those papers will be found in another part of this day's journal, and for the rest, we shall give our usual commentary. Not the least interesting event is Her Majesty's \isit to France, where she was most flatteringly and hospitably received ; being Hie ti rsi event ef the kind since Harry the Eighth, met Francis the First on the ' Field of the Cloth of Gold.' Some of the English papers hint wry mysteriously at the impropriety of these royal visits, but for our part we consider that ikey'do much to cement the friendship existing between the two nation?, and, if regarded more in a so cial than a political light, may lend to diminish their mutual prejudices. The political state of Spain is still most deplor able. That unhappy country, which a century ago. was a first-rate power in Europe, is now re duced to the rank of the very lowest. The inter nal dissensions are in no respect abated; the late insurrection v hich broke out at Barcelona has spread over the kingdom, and has ended in the expulsion of the Regent Espartero, who has nought an asylum in Jingiutul, where he has been xary well received. It is even reported that the Due was presented to Her Majesty ao ihe ' Re gent of Spain,' and received as such ; a circum stance vliieh is considered indicative of the light in which he is still regarded bv the British Court, and Government, and as directly discouiuenunc
ing flic lnsurrectionnry party in that unhappy country. . As respects England herself, her sfnte is re presented as somewhat critical. Iivlaiid being kept down by the strong hand, is silent us ytl, nut remains discontented »ud inimical to I he sister kingdom ; while Wales appears to be in a state oi actual insurrection. This open disobe dience to the law was first shown in the outrages «f * nuniln-r of men discuisi d in women's clothes,
uid going by the name of w Rebecca and her daughters' 'The violence of this gang was at Hist confined to the demolition of turnpikes, it being alleged, that the rate of tolls was extortion ate, and had risen up into a great public grievance. The gang1 however soon widened the sphere ol their labours, and, their numbers being largely increased by discontented, because ill paid and starving, workmen from the mines, are no longer satisfied with a crusade against tollbars, but hate become an organized body of upwards oi 2000 men, carrying on a system of predatory warfare, in universal violation of the laws, and
in defiance, as it apjiears to us, of constables, ar lillerv and troops. Some of the papers before us compare these ** llebeccaites' to the far-famed guerillas of Spain, and represent their attacks to be in every respect as rapid and harrassing; while such are the facilities of concealment that the troops are successfully defied. We do not observe that these misguided men have ever, as yet, stood up against the military ; ihtir plan be ing to disperse on the first alarm of soldiers, but several futul affrays have taken place between! them and the civil force headed by the Magis trat. s, who in more than one instance have been successfully opposed. The worst, feature in the case is that the mass of these followers of Rebecca, is represented to consist not of the idle or deprav l(\ of I).,- lower classes : nor of the agricultural
peasantry 'aggrieved by poor-law legislation ;' nor yet of the labourers who have been thrown loose upon the country from the coal and iron mines, but they have had their ranks swelled by the accession of whole bodies of farmers. We would willingly disbelieve this latter, but we find it so broadly and seriously staled, that we kuow not how it may be reasonably .doubled. The dis affection is general, and the cause of it no doubt is, the immense amount of material suffering, brought on by bad social arrangements, under which the great mass of the English people now labour. Men cannot be expected to sit down quietly and starve, and until the British Go vernment shall find a remedy against the bad effects of a reduudaut population acting upon
very scanty meant of subsistence, it win ue vain to look for any permanent amelioration of cir iMirostances. In the meantime what has the go vernment done ? nay what hope, even the small est, has been held out of better days ? the session has passed away without the introduction of any measure affording hope of relief j and the suffer ing people of England have, been left for another wearv space, ** in perfect despair of any good from their' rulers.' It is indetd, hinted that the Cabinet will, during the recese, occupy itself with the consideration ol some measures for the relief of the people, and the redress of such grievances as can be proved to exist j and the belief that a Rvstem of creneral and systematic emigration, un
der -he sanction of the government, will be the first measure brought forward, is now universal. On this* highly importaut point,— important equally to us, and the oilier coloniis, as to the Mother country herself,— we observe thatanother demonstration has been made by Mr. C. Buller, in the House of Commons, on the night of Au gust 15th. Our readers may remember that in consequence of the very favourable manner in which Mr. Bwller's speech on colonization in April last was received by the house, and the pub lic, that gentleman gave notice of a motion for leave to bring in a bill which should lay down son.e detailed plan for securing to the country the beneficial application of sound principles of col onization. It now appears that Mr. Buller was prevented, by severe illness, from bringing for ward this motion at the lime he intended, in fact, that he was compelled u- postpone it until the late
period of the session had rendered it impolitic lor him to bring it forward at all. The consequence is, that the practical measure of general coloniz ation which the public had been led to expect from Mr. Buller, remains still to be brought for ward. But although Mr Buller, finding it im possible for Parliament to pass any measure of such importance during the then present session, has postponed bringing his general plan for the improvement of our system of colonization before the house until next session, he did neverlhelt-td, iu his speech of August 15th, enter into certain details by which 6ome insight into his plan may be gained, or at least by which we may get ut some knov.ltdge of the views he entertains. As
we purpopp giving ilifo'Fpmii nt Urpih rirxt ? inc'k, we fIiaII defer our comments mnil llii-u; N( Plating now, tlu-l the chief difficulty in the w«y of h geneinl tfynf--tn of colonization, Mr. Bulhr avows to be, the immense vxU nt of wild land in ihe possession -»f privnieiiidividinils which would be sold, and numugifl, --»- -»th- r terms nn-l ly other methods, than that in the pofwusion of 4he Crown. Tin* new syst« m, to be hewtifiul imiet ue iinivrmil, and no*t liable t» be ncutratis- d, or hindered in its working by I lie counter operations of private possessors ; »-nd accordingly Mr. Buller appears to us to propose, as a fii-t step, the bringing the whole of the wild lauds iiilo (he possession of the Crown. How he proposes to do this we shall show in our next.
A sliiiht improvement appears to have taken place in commercial affair* ; for although soma of the manufacturing towns,— and i*|j«-ciiilly ihose where articles are made similar to the im ports fiom France, and which are thus subject io foreign competition, — still continue in a wretched' state, yet Manchester, Birmingham, and Shtffield, are represented as fust recovering from their late depression ; w hile we find if fluted, theihat woollen iutoc-tsol Yorkshiieareiuapios perous condition. On the other hand the ship ping interest still suffers severely ; the rate, of freight is said to be too low even to pay ihe ex penses oi the voyage, and^several shipowners prefer allowing their ships to lie idle, io sending i.ncin where they must incur heavy expenses without a prospect of sufficient profit. In the House of Commons, the only proceed ings we observe of importance (with the excep tion of Mr. BullcrV speech, before referred to) is the passing of the Irish ArmsBill, together with ,-. ? I .... 4^»..tw.e-i-ntlC t!lCft|l£*iitfcll- All tltP VJU'WHifl
measures in contemplation for Ireland, and which the excited state of that country alone can make interesting. As respects what has been doue, during the session, for the colonies, we refer our readers to an extract hi this day's paper from the Colonial Gazette. In Hardy's list we observe two vessels, after the Ganges* to sail for this colony, the Cecilia and the Trusty. The former ol these left the docks on the 16ih Sept. so that she may be hour ly expected. She is consigned to Messrs. Hubgood, and has a considerable quantity of goods on board. The ZVtifftywas spoken of as to sail iu Novem ber last, but it seems probuble that she did not leave England much before the begiuuiug of last month.
We are sorry to ham unfavourable accounts of the sale of the wools exported by the Ilmgh lon-le-skerne and Trmty, the net average price obtained having hern something below lOd. per lb., while the price advanced by our merchants here to tho farmer was, in most cases, Is. per lb., at wUich price too considerable piirclimws were made. The cause of this low price is to be traced principally to the bad condition in which the wools were sent home, and partly to the fact of the great abundance oS colonial wool in tho market at the time; upwards of 18,000 bales having been brought forward at the June sales. In addition to these, 20,000 more bales were calculated upon for the ensuing public sale?, and the expectation of this large quantity, combined with the bad washing and soiling, brought our wools down to a very low price. At the time of the June sales, an opinion appears to haye been Kenerally expressed that even good wool would be down to lOd. per lb., and this opinion recon ciled many to the loss, thinking they might have done worse by keeping. We are glad to learn, however, that this opinion was incorrect, as, in consequence of the imports from Germany being licrht. and oi the promising state of the harvest, buyers came forward more readily, and the price*, obtained at the August sales are decidedly better than those of June. Mo-t of our wools were however sold when the market was at the lowest, and we much fear that ihe loss incurred will fall vnry heavily npori maiivofour farmers, who will have to make oood to the merchant the difference between the
sum advanced, and the price oMuirioti, wmi inio. rest at 10 per cent. We are informed by a person who should know something aboHl three niatteis, that ihe sum thus to be repaid will amount, j» the aggregate, to at least 4-l,50U; but this must surely be a high estimate: take it at half the amount,' it is still bad enough. Our farmers must resolve to adopt a more careful svstem of washing and sorting, or they will con tinue to find the value of their wool thus depre ciated in the market. The quality is admitted t.» be verv superior, but all advantage from tins is lost by the infamous manner in which it is got up for sale. . While en the subject of wool, we may notice
Nol82]that a motion has recently been made in tie House of Commons by Mr. C- Wood, having for its object to obfain a reppal of the duty on foreign wools ; in fact, to have them placed on u footing with home-grown and colonial wools, which pay no dafy at all. The motion was re- 1 sistcd, and successfully resisted, bj the ministers, but not heartily, and only out of fiscal considera tions, the Channellor of the Exchequer giving as a reason for his opposition that ' he could not allow the revenue to be so far interfered with.' Sir Robert Peel went further, for he declared that but tor the state of the revenue, he would gladly sacrifice this duty, and plainly intimated that if the woollen trade would but wait until there won a surplus income, their request would be granted. The Colonial Gazette refers to this nfl onf of the ' signs of the times' ; that is, of tbe ' times' which are approaching nearer and neuivr to the principles of free trade j and after averring that the ministry is 'equally yielding on the subject of all differential duties, except perhaps that of curn,' takes occasion to ' remind ' colonies that a material change in our com ' mercial system is impending, and that no time '' is to be lost in preparing to meet it.' It is an important warning, and we repeat it, in order lhat our colonists may consider whether there are any disadvantages under which they now lie, which being removed by skill and exertion, would enable them to bring wool to market under the ' impending' change; but we confess that for us to compete with Germany under such terms, appears hopeless. We have been rather surprised at not finding in any of the papers brought by the Ganges, the smallest notice of the change that has taken place in the affairs of the Western Australian Company. That the Company's Commissioner iu this colony has been removed from his office, and deprived of all authority ; that tbe Survey staff has been disbanded ; that all the servants of the Company have been discharged, and all pub lic works abandoned ; that, in short, the opera tions of the Company, in this colony, have entirely ceased, are facts which do not even yet appear to have been made known to the British public. On the contrary, in the Colonial Ga zette, and the Australian News Letter, we find paragraphs inserted that plainly tend to make persons believe that the Company's operations are still continued in all their pristine vigour. The latter of these two journals, in speaking of the sailing of the Ganges and Trusty, says . — ' The arrangements made by the Western Aus ' tralian Company enable their land purchasers ' to obtain passages to their settlement, 'Aus- *' stralind,' by these vessels, at moderate rates j' j while the public advertisements in all the papers, - with reference to the sailing of the Ganges and Trusty, set forth, lhat ' persons purchasing land ' of the Compaiy, and proceeding to their set ' dement at Australind, will be entitled to pecu ' liar advantages,' &c. No doubt the advan tages will be ' very peculiar' ; but what is the meaning of all this contradiction ? In this colo ny, the Company has given public notice of what, in spite of the mysterious character of the document published, must be considered as the winding up of its affairs— as the complete aban donment of all its original designs. It has turned its officers and servants adrift without being paid. It has omitted to give the first pur chasers any title to their lands. It has found itself unab e to make good its bargain even with those who first contracted with them ; and yet it would appear that they are persereringly mak ing fresh agreements with others. The radical change in the Company's affairs that lias been ordered in this colony, must have been settled in London, at latest, by the month of June, and yet up to the month of September we find the same inducing advertisements, and seductive para graphs, as before; showing that the Company lias not abandoned the intention of selling land, even although it has taken away from the pur chaser all those advantages (except the ' pecu liar' ones so mysteriously advertised) by which alone ihe hind could by atiy possibility be worth — not the sum asked for it — but any sum at all. The least that can he said of this matter is, that the Company is still holding out inducements to persons to purchase their land, when they know that their entire establishment in this colony has been broken up. A person must indeed belati tudinarian in principle who calls this honest dealing. We would gladly know whether the lengthy, and somewhat incomprehensible notice, published here by order of the Directors, has been published also in London. We see nothing of it in any of the London papers. Our readwrs will remember that early in the present year, petitions from the inhabitants of
tins colony vrece sent home praying for & change in the price and method of disposal of Crown lands. These petitions were forwarded to U. Norman, Esq., to be by him placed in the hands of the several persons to whom their presentation was entrusted, and the colony has been long anxiously looking for the way iu which the pe titions were received by the Houses of Parliament and the Government.* By a letter lately receiv ed from Mr. Norman we now learn that these pe titions had not been presented up to the time of the departure of the Ganges, as that gentleman, after consulting with many persons best fitted to give him advice, bad thought it wiser to withhold them for the present. The reasons for this de termination appear to have been that the govern ment had deelared that they were not, at that time prepared to entertain any new project bearing up on the price of Crown lauds. That the ministry fully purposed, during the recess, giving the question the most mature consideration, with a view to the formation.of a scheme on a most ex tended scale ; and that consequently the petitions would have greater effect, and be presented to better advantage when the attention of the Par liament and the public was drawn to the question ; by the consideration of the measure to be brought ] forward by the government. We fully concur in J the force of these reasons. - We believe that despatches have been received i from Lord Stanley relative to the matter in argu ment in these petitions, wherein his Lordship in timates his diBsent from the principles laid down i in the resolutions passed by the Legislative Coun cil, and highly applauds the protest which the Governor recorded against them. The Magistrates of Fremantle have been occu- ! pied for several days in investigating the panicu- ! lars of a very serious charge made by Captain Walker of the Ganges against a lady passenger of the .neuie of Taylor. The offence with which Mrs. Taylor stands charged is nothing Jess than j having shot Captain Walker through the head i on the quarter deck of his ship. Most provi dentially the wound wus not morral, and we are happy to stale lhat Captain Walker has to all appearance completely recovered from the effects of the injury, although the bail is still lodged in his face. In the present stage of the proceedings we re frain from offering any comment, further than to say that it appears very doubtful whether there is any court in this country with sufficient jurisdic tion to try persons committed for felonies on the high seas ; and the probability is that Mrs. Tay lor, if committed at all, will' be committed for trial, not here, but iu Et.gland. We understand that the inquiry is postponed until the opinion of the Advocate General can be taken on the point.