€ jit Snquinr. ? Occult n vitia inquirer*. ? WEDNSBDAvlTiEPT. 27, 1854.
Some time since we were favoured with a Circular stating that a Committee had been
appointed for the purpose of forwarding the produce of this colony to the General Exhi- bition to be held at Paris in 1855, but from
that period we have not heard whether the Committee had done anything to advance so laudable an object. The other Australian co- lonies have taken up tbe matter with a praise- worthy spirit, we would have wished to have seen displayed here. If the committee ima- gine they will gain their end by sitting down in Perth, and addressing printed circulars to various parts in the colony, they are mis- taken. It will require far more active mea- sures; and as we think many of our indigenous products only require to be known to be appreciated, we will mention some that might be procured and forwarded. Among skins, we may mention kangaroo, opossum, manyne. dammar, numbat, and dalgyte; of which also the furs should be sent without the skins. Gum-oil, from its wonderfully healing qua- lities, could also be sent; but we would suggest that it should be extracted by the sun, and not by fire; then filtered through blotting paper, and left in tbe sun in white glass bottles, when it will become nearly as colourless as spring water. Grain of all kinds, well packed and clean- sed, should be sent. Powdered gum from tbe red gum tree, we hear, would be found a valuable medi- cine, not being, as is generally supposed, the 'gum kino' of commerce, but a far more valuable production, although requiring great caution in its use. Gums of the xanthor- rhea or black-boy, nuytsia floribunda or cabbage-tree, rasberry-jam, minna, &c., should likewise form part of the collection. Bark suited for tanning, the batta or na- tive flax, zamia arrowroot, and ores and mi nerals, might all prove advantageous to tbe colony. Good specimens of woods of every kind might induce a demand highly beneficial; but to collect these and many other things, too numerous to detail, will require some trouble and expense, which, unless met, will cause Western Australia to be the only co lony not represented attbePariB Exhibition. Surely in so national an undertaking as this, the Government should come forward and make some grant towards liquidating the expenses of collection. WbaU-ver benefits the colony, must benefit them, and if they would only be convinced of this, they would have tUe welfare of the province a little more at heart. It has been a standing reproach against this settlement tbat it wanted energy, and several have gone so far as to say that bad there been a little more, we should not have requested convicts to keep the colony afloat; but this latter is a slander, as we wanted something more than energy —we wanted ca pital. However, tbe colony is in a state of dependence on the Imperial expenditure, and the sooner such a state is done away with the better. To accomplish this, we know of no other way than by increasing our ixports; and to do this we must obtain a name and a character for them in the mar kets in Europe and Australia; and what an excellent opportunity the Paris Exhibition offers of introducing them to public notice.
We last week published the resolutions of the Toudyay Agricultural Society, but want of space compelled us to- defer our remarks. We hail with much satisfaction the for mation of this Society, as we consider it is one calculated to benefit not only the dis trict in which it is formed, but also the co lony at large. We should be pleased to see similar societies formed in every district in the colony. On the first resolution, as to offering pre miums for tbe two best essays on the means of increasing the cereal productions of the colony, we remarked last week, and have only to add ihat from the names of the judges in this matter, we feel convinced every jus tice will be done to the competitors. On the second resolution, as to tbe clear ing of private lands by Government labour, we have also frequently before remarked, and would be glad to see tbe scheme in ac tive operation. Tbe third resolution, recommending the Government to lease large blocks of land, on condition of tbe lessees clearing away the poi Bon on the land, if carried oat, would confer otie of the greatest possible boons on the co lony at large, and tliousauds of acres, over which ths sheep owner is afraid now to i'eed bis flocks, would be rendered available for such purpose. At the same time tbe Go vernment should see that the contract be fulfilled, as practice has shown that it re quires at least three years attention to clear away the poison plants as they shoot from tbe roots. It will be sufficient for us to mention one district, which, if this system be followed up, would, instead of being, as it is now, avoided bv the flock owners, feed at least from 15,000 to 20,000 sheep; we mean the Williams River district; and although the most of this land is the property of private individuals, we presume they would follow the example, and let their lands, on condition of tbe poison plant on them beinir destoyed. The fifth resolution is one of great impor tance, as being applicable to every district in tbe colony. The decision of the Secretary of State, on confining the expenses of the Immigration Service in this colony to £100 a year, is, as we have before remarked, one of the most impolitic measures ever con ceived; and we quite agree with the Tood yay Agricultural Society that the formation of district immigration depots has been ' be neficial both to tbe settlers and tbe immi grants.' The remainder of the teRolutiotis require no remarks from us; they speak for them
selves. We wish every sucoeaB -o the So-^fl ciety, and',ttusl its usefulness will evea^f exceed their most sanguine expectations. ^H At tbe ensuing meeting of the Perth^| Town Trust, we hope toe attention of thft^H responsible officers of tbat body 'will be cal|j^| led to the existence ot several most diai^H graceful and unseemly nuisanceB, bb well as^| to the mere routine business of passing their ^| own accounts, and levying fresh rates. We ^M should imagine that the circumstance of cat- ^| tie being suffered to graze about the streets; ^M the tethering of horses, goeta, and calves ^| near many of the thoroughfares; and their ^| volunteer macadamizing by private indi- ^| viduals by means of broken bottles, old tin |H cans, &c, &c.,— would^come within the cog- H uizance of tbe committee's jurisdiction, to H say nothing, when recollecting the putrid H carcases of some dead animals we have eeea H very near tbe residences of some of theTruBt H officers, of their sense of smell. At all.H events, we hope that if the officers of tbe J^| Trust have been otherwise too busily en-^H gaged to notice these things, some publii^| spirited Trustee will cull their attention to^| them. ^M We should also imagine, that the time H is well-nigh arrived when the claying of H Murray-street from King William street to H tbe end was finished, and tbat some little fl addition was made in that and other back H streets of tbe town to the extent of footpath ? accommodation; we think this, because) we H hear that Gome money is to be asked for on H Monday next, to be expended someway or I other in connection with the drainage of tfce I swamps lately undertaken by the Local Go-|[fl vernment. We admit the utility of that I drainage, and are thankful to the Govern- fl meat for it, but we think there are many I other more necessary works on which the I energies and money of tbe Trust might be ? expended, in the more thickly inhabited parts I of the town, and more intimately connected ? with its interests, than by assisting tbe Local I authorities to carry out plans whieh will— I for some period at least — be of no great or ? puculiur benefit to tfie town. jfl The distress prevailing amongst tne lower ? orders in this colony, who are willing, but I unable, to' work, from lack of any employ- I ment, has oflate been so very pointedly re- I marked upon by Lna, that we are reluctant I again to recur to tbe subject. Nor wouW I we again inflict it upon our readers, were it I not from a knowledge that such distress is I on the increase, and likely in course of time I to arrive at a magnitude which will require I more decided measures for alleviation than I are at present tuken by the Government. I We are aware thntt applicants for relief 1 meet with a considerate bearing from I the relieving officer,, and his repre- I sentatiens are the means of obtaining tern- I porary subsistence for the distressed; but in many instances 6uch supportie given where no return can be looked for; and even where the unfortunate immigrant ib forced into a work-house position by performing the most menial labour for the Government, for the sake of his daily bread, it cannot' be sup posed that an adequate amount of satisfuc- , tion is rendered for the outlay which the ( authorities are compell d to incur. So-far, ' there is assuredly something wrong in the present system of relief. None can be si' lowed to 6tarve iu our streets, but whew I cases arise of uble -bodied persons deriving' I uid from the government, it would appear I but reasonable that they should make sume 1 return for it. It is hard to expect immi- I grants, who have, to all intent? and purposes, j been beguiled from their mother country, I to break stones upon our public roads, and I perform other duties which prison gangs j should alone be expected to undertake, and it would seem but fair that, while unable to procure private service, these unfortunate people should be provided with some sort of employment at the public expense, but not without receiving seme remuneration in mo ney, in addition to tbe rations allowed.' Some work of public utility might be. hit upon, and the degradation to which many an impoverished but willing immigrant is at present subjected, would in a great measure . be done away with. /
The Quarter Sessions which commence this day-week will be rendered unusually im portant from theafact of an European having then to be place'd npon his trial for ' wilful murder.' The circumstances of4bls ap palling case have already been before our readers, and it is not our intention here to give the slightest bias to the evidence against the accused, by any remarks we might venture to offer on the occasion. It is sufficient for the present to know thet ^l our Criminal Records are undoubtedly T^ stained with the case above alluded to, aud , that a prisoner is within one week from this date to be placed upon his trial for the deed. We can rendily imagine that our Governor would gladly have been spared the pain of signing another death warrant before he resigned his government; but as in all probability it is ordered that he must perform this serious and unpleasant duly, it may perhaps be some alleviation, to feel that no possible blame can, in this instance, attach to him, who is only the instrument for ordering tbe execution of a tearful but necessury sentence. It will be seen that we have this week gi ven the depositions taken in the police court in tbe case of the Postmaster General v. Leake — in full; we have done so, because many people have expressed themselves at a loss to conceive on what grounds the judg ment given was based. It will be observed that the dutrge was for
?*?? wing a stamp that /tad been before affixed toanother letter.' No charge was made for using a stamp that bad passed through the post office; and the dictum of the Bench that using a stamp that had been affixed to ano ther and unposted letter, ib a fraudulent use * within the meaning of the Ordinance with .reference to such a subject, is one we must confess/calculated to give groundsforsurprise and alarm. It must cause surprise to those who consider the question, when they find in the wording of the 2nd clause of the Ordinance referred to, no ground for impugning the legality of the magistrates' decision, and of alarm, because we fancy there are. but few persons who would kave thought for a moment they- were rendering themselves liable to punishment for using stamps removed from an unposted letter. Such, however, is the law— as yet; we trust however that such an outrageous piece of legislative tyranny, which must have been overlooked by the sober-minded members of ' the Council when they passsed it into a law, i will not remain long unrevoked. In fact | His Excellency could not do a better thing than to call another meeting of the Council together, before he leaves the colony, to re make and put into unison with common sense nearly the whole of the Ordinances passed in the last session. The mere fact we are now remarkingon is sufficient to prove the blunders (to be charitable, for we cannot believe such an enactment intentional on the part of its framers) that have been committed in this particular Act, and it may be taken as a type of the rest. -l . in connection with the case of Mr Leake, M we consider that the Postmaster General ' was but acting in his strict line of duty as a public servan-, in thus carrying out the law; however foolish or however absurd be its enactments, it was his place to see they were obeyed, and we «ere sorry to hear that a meritorious government officer wa» treated with disrespect for merely doing his duty.