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1 correction by Ian-Elliot - Show corrections

®%4 f aquifer & -gontmct[cjat Ucurs. Qtadverumatquedecens, curoetrogo, et anadsiahocnaa. WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 2, 1859.

The Blue Book to which we referred last week also contains the correspondence re lative to the removal of the Ticket-of-leave Depots. The first despatch bearing upon this subieet which we shall notice is one

from Mr Secretary Labouchere in reply to communications from Governor Kennedy, dated 6th October and 28th November, 1856. The despatch of the Secretary of State bears date April 8, 1857. Mr Labouchere expresses himself as favourable to the disuse of distant hiring depots, but, on the other hand, he observes, that 'every possible facility should be given to the distant settlers to make their applications for ticket-of-leave men whom they may be willing to hire, and arrange ments should be made, as far as possible, for forwarding ticket-of-leave men thus engaged to their destination.' He is opposed to depots being made receptacles for idle men who cannot find and will not accept private employment, but he wishes that the treatment of men, otherwise blameless, who fail to obtain employment, should not be penal, and that they should not wear the prison dress. He unwillingly gifes his consent that they should not receive wages for public works, and points out that they are in a- worse position than the regular prisoners in this respect, except that they can

betake themselves- to prirate service when ap^oppQrtumtj^ occurs^ - With regard to the employment of contracts, he is of opinion that we should use the labour of prisoners ' to the utmost extent possible, and only have recourse to contracts where the other resource cannot be made justifi able. We next come to Mr Kennedy's despatch of January 3rd, communicating his inten- tion of closing the Port Gregory depot. The reasons he assigns are, that the depot "appears altogether to have failed in the object for which it was originally esta- blished, and is a source of considerable and useless expense," that there were only nine men in depot, five of whom were employed in the depot, and two were in hospital, while there was but one settler within 25 or 30 miles of the depot who employed five or six men, not necessarily ticket-of-leave holders. It is staled that the limited scale on which the Geraldine Mine is worked would not justify the establishment of a pensioner village at Baker's Well. The depatch affirms that for some months the greatest number of men in the Port Gre- gory depot was seventeen, and the average 12, of whom one-fifth had been sick. Go- vernor Kennedy thinks that, as a general rule, "convicts should not be sent to any district at the public cost, where their maintenance materially exceeds that in- volved elsewhere," which was the case at Port Gregory. He then states that a party of probationers had been stationed at Cham pion Bay to open a road between that port and ' certain mineral districts,' and that he apprehends very beneficial results from the adoption of such a system. The objects sought to be attained by the establishment of ticket-of-leave depots were, the prosecution of public works, the disper sion of the convicts, and the supply of the settlers with labour. If these several desi derata can be obtained by substituting pro bation gangs for ticket-of-leave depots, then there is no cause for complaint. As regards labour on public works, it is generally admitted that more satisfactory results have attended the employment of probation gangs than of ticket-of-leave parties, and, if the gangs are so constituted that the num ber of men liberated on tickets-of-leave are sufficient so satisfy the demands of the dis trict for labour, the remaining requirements of dispersion and men for private service will have been met. The objections urged against ticket-of-leave depdts, as. enumerated by his Excellency, would, however, apply equally to probation depots. The cost of maintenance would be the same in either case, the number of officers and servants would, we presume, be the same, and the expense of an establishment containing but few available men would be equal, whether those men were ticket-of-leave or proba tioner. The proper number of men should be kept in depdt, and thus the evil of an expensive official staff, with but few prison ers to look after, would be avoided ; and all sick and otherwise unavailable men should be periodically drafted to a dep6t at or near Head Quarters. It must not be forgotten that the removal of the ticket-of-leave de pdts is but the removal of the men from one locality to another, as they will have to be supported by the Government until they obtain employment wherever they may be stationed, at Port Gregory or Albany ; at Guildford, Perth, or Fremantle. With re ? ferenee to the closing of the Port Gregory depdt we may state that the Secretary of State, under date April 9, 1857, entirely approves of the course pursued by Governor

Kennedy. The next despatch from His Excellency is dated January 23, and relates to the dosing of the York and Toodyay depdts. He states that the notice that pay would cease to be issued to ticket-oi-leave men was dated 12th November, 1856, and the result was that the number of men in depdt was reduced from 274 men in the various depdts on 31st October to 163 men on 3 1st Decem ber, altogether 111 men, notwithstanding that 53 had been released from the esta blishment on tickets-of-leave during the same period. He trusts the Secretary of State will consider the following ' facts and figures' as sufficient to justify the closing of the York and Toodyay depdts : — The average number in York dep&fc during 1858 was 55; number entered private service, 184; number returned to depot from private ser vice, 121. Expense of superintendence, insluding rations to convict officers, bat not to instructing warders who draw military pay and rations, £635. Average number in Toodyay depot during 1856 60 ; number enterd private service, 106 ; number returned to depot from private service in the district, 99. Expense of superintendence as at York, £606. The Secretary of State, in his reply of April 22, says, ' I am willing to acquiesce in your judgment on the subject.' In the Governor's despatch upon the flour question, to which we referred last week, the writer, after summing up the statistical information previously furnished on the 23rd January, adds, that he knew of none 'save a few contractors and keepers of public houses, who really profited by this unreasonable and unnecessary charge on the Imperial Government.' This concludes the correspondence bearing directly upon the closing of the various depdts ; and the settlers will be enabled to judge whether the reasons advanced are satisfactory, and to determine whether the replacement of the depdts by probation gangs — if this has been done — is likely effectually to supply the deficiency thus created.

A Despatch from the Secretary of State for the colonies with several enclosures relative to postal communication has been placed at our disposal for publication. These documents were received by last mail, and the communication from Sir Edward I3ulwer Lytton bears date 16th November, the day on which tbe mails were despatched. It merely enumerates the enclosures transmitted to his Excellency, aud these consist of 1st— A despatch from Sir W. Denison to Lord Stanley, dated 10th August, 1858, forwarding copy of a series of resolutions adopted by the Legislative Council of New South Wales upon the subject of eteara postal communication. 2nd — The reply of the Secretary of State to (his communication, dated 9th November, 1858. After acknowledging the receipt of Sir W. Denison's despatch, Sir Buhver Lytton proceeds: —

On this subject you will have learned by mj circular despatch of the 16th ultimo, that, previous to toe receipt of tbe present intelligence, xneasnres had already been completed, in com* pliance with what was understood to be 'the general wish of ell concerned in the trelfure of i the Australian Colonies, for seeming a speedy and regular communication with tboM impert&ut parts of the British dominions. I hope, therefee, that on seeiug the endeavour which kas --een made in that arrangement for promoting the general interests of the Ao-tralian Colonies, the Legislative Assembly will see Kason to believe that Her Majesty's Government have made the best provision in their power for an object which can only be accomplished by mutual forbearance and concession ou tlie part of the various colonies concerned. ' 3rd— Despatch from Mr Elliot to Sir C. E. Trevelyan dated 9th November, 1858, enclosing Sir W. Penison's com munication and the reply of the Secretary of State. 4th — Despatch from Sir Bulwer Lytton to Sir W. Denison, dated 16th November, 1858, enclosing copy of letter from the Treasury with reference to the contracts for the performance of the mail services, and also a further letter from the Treasury in connection with the subject of the contract recently entered in to. Relative to the first of these enclosures, Sir Bulwer Lytton writes: — C You will perceive that the Lords Commissioners of the Treasury have decided to abstain from ' entering upon any further arrangements, afed especially with reference to the establishment of a second line vi& Panama, until Her Majesty's Government shall have been informed distinctly ' of the feelings of the different Colonies, as to the practicability and eligibility of that route for the performance of a service alternating and harmo nizing with that via Suez, and until they shall also have received a distinct statement of the amoant which each colony would be willing to contribute in aid thereof, and for what period. I also enclose a further letter from the Treasury in connection with the subject of the contract recently entered into, and I nave to request that you will attend to their Lordships' wishes on certain points of detail as expressed in that letter and in their Loidships' minute. 5th — The enclosures referred to above, the first being a letter from Mr Hamilton to Mr Alerivale, dated 15th November, which after a few prefatory observations reads as follow: — It will be impossible, my Lords, I apprehend, to arrive at tbe establishment of an efficient service, suitable to the wishes and interests of tbe various Australian Colonies, unless some general plan of action can be adopted with tbe acquies cence of all parties, and with the mutual for bearance and concession so judiciously urged by the Secretary of State. Considering that this country represents tbe largest individual interest in the promotion of the undertaking and offers more available means for establishing a service than the colonies, Her Majesty's Government willingly consented to use their endeavours with a view of making such arrangements as upon mature deliberation, would appear to be most beneficial both to Great Britain and to Australia. The sudden failure of the late contractors placed her Majesty's Government in a very difficult position, they felt it was necessary to take prompt measures to prevent tbe interruption of the communication, they have now succeeded, relying upon the co-operation of the colonies, in establishing what they have no doubt will prove a regular and efficient service by Suez; -they are willing to consider the subject of a second service by Panama ; and they would regret if a want of co-operation upon the part of the colonies were to disturb the uniformity of those arrangements and render their efforts nugatory. In reference to the establishment of the second route via. Panama, 1113' Lords have observed with satisfaction that the subject in now engaging the attention of the colonies, as their desire to sea this line of communication opened up, in con formity with tbe intimation conveyed, in the

notice appended to the advertisement for the service via Suez continues unabated. At the same time my Lords cannot but feel that the amount of subsidy requisite for this service must, of necessity be very large, and that, however desirous they may be to see it established there are limits beyond which it would not bs ustifiable to go in the contribution to be made by the Imperial Government. My Lords are desirous therefore of eliciting from all the colonies an express opinion as to tbe practicability and eligibility of tiiis route for the performance of a source alternating and harmo nizing with that via Suez, and also a distinct statement of the amount of subsidy which each Government would be willing to contribute in aid thereof, and for what period. Qae of the resolutions (No 5) of the Legislative Assembly of New South Wales enclosed in Sir William Denison's despatch states, with reference to subsidizing a line via Panama ' the question of cost is not the first for consideration.' Should the other colonies be inclined to consider the question in the same liberal spirit, strong grounds would be afforded for ascertaining by tender in this country the cost at which the service could be obtained and for establishing it, if the terms should appear reasonable. At the same time my Lords are unable to agree with the opinion expressed in the second resolution of the Legislative Assembly of New South Wales ' that any new arrangement for the performance of the mail service by the India route though it ensured postal regularity and speed, would confer no other considerable benefit on New South Wales' nor can they believe that the colony will hesitate to contribute its fair proportion to any service which offers the advantages of regular and prompt communication with the mother country. My Lords presume therefore, that the subsidy which tbe colony of New South Wales express themselves ready to contribute towards a line via Panama will be independent of, and in addition to that for the Suez service. With regard to the opinion which prevails in this country as to the necessity for the adoption of the Panama line, My Lords think it right to mention that the Postmaster General has expressed a strong opinion that so far as postal considerations are concerned the second service is not at present required. A plan has been suggested iu reference to the Suez route on the principle of the colonies by their joint action arranging for the service from Australia to some intermediate point between this country and these colonies, and although it has not been thought advisable .to adopt this principle under the new arrangements/ my Lords will not be unwilling to consider any sugge&tionv of a similar nature in reference to the contemplated service by iray of Panama. With these remarks, my Lords being satisfied that no interruption is likely to occur in the present monthly commtnucation, leave die question of the second service until they shall have received answers from the colonies upon the points above mentioned. Should the opinion thus expressed be sufficiently satisfactory and unanimous, my Lords mil at once apply themselves to consider the best means of carrying out the wishes of the coloniea upon tbe fliost favorable terms they may be able to obtain. Also a despatch from Sir C. £. Tre velyan to Mr Merivale which with the en closures we give in extensu: —

I am dented by the Lords Commis sioners of Her Majesty's Treasury fco transmit, for the information of Secretary Sir E. B. Lytton, the enclosed copy of their lordships' minute of this day's date, and of the enclosures referred to therein, on the subject of the expenditure with respect to the postal communication between this ^ country and the Australian colonies, and 1 am to Brequest that you will move the Secretary of State '^to cause the same to be communicated to the Australian colonies without delay. As regards the mode in which the payments are to be made by the Colonial Governments, for the mail service, I am to state that they should be instructed to cause the amounts to be paid into the Treasury chest in charge of the Commissariat Officers at the different stations to whom the necessary instructions will be issued to receive the same. (Enclosed Treasury Minute.) My Lords advert to the minute of the late Board of Treasury dated 27th November 1855 respecting the Establishment of postal communi cation beeween Great Britain and the Australian colonies, in which the principle is laid down that the subsidy payable to the contractor for the per formance of the service shall be contributed in equal moieties between the Imperial Government on the one hand, and the colonies collectively on the other hand, and that as between the colonies themselves the payment of such'shall be in relative proportion to the number of letters received and despatched on account of each, such proportion to be ascertained and adjusted once in every three years, and it was further proposed that the Home ^Government should in the first instance defray IBfce entire cost of the service and should be re imbursed by the colonies to the extent of one-half; these arrangements received eventually the acqui escence of the colonies. Since the 1st January 1857, a service established on this principle has been performed between this country and Australia, and the subsidy has been entirely advanced by Her Majesty's Government but no adjustment has yet been made nor has any contribution been received from the colonies. Statements have now been furnished by the Admiralty and by the Postmaster General shewing the sums which have been paid on account of the Australian Mail Service from its commencement by the European and Australian Company up tc the 30th September last, after deducting all penalties incurred and also of the number of letters conveyed between Great Britain and the colonies during the year 1857. - My Lords have also before them calculations, apportioning to the different colonies the payments due by them for past services, those which will be due, and for which they may be liable up to the time of the commencement of the new service, and finally the amount which will have to be con tributed by each under the contract of the Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Com pany. This calculation is based upou the principle laid down in the minute of Xovembar 1855, the relative proportions being fixed by reference to the correspondence attributed to each colony in the return of the Postmaster General. _ It appears to my Lords advisable to adjust the accounts between Her Majesty's Government and the colonies without delay in accordance with the above calculation upon the understanding that a re-adjustment shall take place in a similar manner at the expiration of three years or ?ooner if there shall appear sufficient reason. | ~7fpT? I g£S t: as -a- 5- III 67;i:?i go° : : : . ? . ? §?--8 ? FZT ET5»* O w C -4 IS - SO O2«^2 S^eT ??%. *? o «a *»? *- o 5 s*' Is. °35- ; 2 I o © o © o o »S«,C* j B*co : ° , o o o © o o ^ oo 1=1 -, ? ^-i g-H 1 ,,.-.88 s-?! o 5 e ~ oucoodu c 2E I w* ? i3_ g*5§ g ccgSh S--§g o 5 .'* -j o i$ o ui c- o- ? 2—5 ?'co- S — -j co — & &. o 2. &?*???? 5S- — - i_i __? 13* S c c' g. ~ a- «b ccoootaioP* £.«*-? 53 ? I ? - — If § ^sss^ zfj?l jr*T3 to c cp ?? ojo» oo m rZ^r ?*?? § g. S «^OCW» JTS^c *3 ^ o 5 e -s « o » P1. 3*^3 i ? ' » g E~ S? 3 . p p O» ' \ 35 —»s»fflaoioH3 -» 2. *r :^ ?« Ot C3 -O -' -3D -1 ** P.-g.~ S u E^-oo^o' Sgoo S ~ -a ?»'» B cu S ^ ? ~ o§ ?a — — — m S* 2,' --s H 2 5 o hb^soo? o S — =§ ° g «~ »=~ o - a 5. 5^ cs * oo 35. 2. — ~' ? = — »^~= — «%. I ,1 .essSS» all!? 6 ° cooooo-j I ^ o ? A Statement showing the 'number of Letters con veyed by the Australian Packets between this country and Australia in the year 1857. Letters Letters Outwards Inwards. Victoria ? 399,145 398,946 New South Wales ? 159,522 151,912 Sonth Australia ? 63,250 36.167 New Zealand ? 45.109 32,781 Tasmania ? 31,079 37,818 Western Australia ? 7,049 5,423 Total ? 705,154 663,047 A Btatemeng^H^&niounts actually paid for the Austr^d^^^Vtervice from the commencement ^^^^?^^^^^H^^ith the European and Australian ^^^^^^^BrCooipany to the present time. ? Paj^/^made to European and Australian Royal Mail Company, under Contract dated \4th OcL, 1856. £ s. d. Annual amount of contract ? 185000 0 0 Dae between 1st Jan., 1857, and 30th June, 1858, (after deducting for two mails not dispatched £15,416 13s4d) ? ? ? 262083 6 8 Penalties deducted (less premium) 54501 18 4 Amount actually paid (including £500 paid to Moss and Co. for conveyance of May, 1857, home ward mail from Malta to Liver pool, per Scamander ? ,.-. 207581 13 4 Hekabks.— Tbe first outward mail was that of February, 1857, and the first homeward mail that of

January, 1857. Homeward mail for August omit ted; proportionate deduction for. one voyage — vi&, £7,7U8 6s 8d— made. Payments made to the Royal Mail Steam Packet Company, under Agreement dated 23rd June, 1858. £ & d. Annual amount of contract (with a guarantee to the exteut of £6,000 per month in addition, to guard the Company against loss) ? 185000 0 0 Dae between 1st July, and 30th Sept., 1858 ? 46,250 0 0 Amount actnally paid ? 46250 0 0 Eemauks. — If any claim under the guarantee, the loss to be ascertained by investigation of the Com pany's books.