FACTION RIOT IN TIMARU.
(by telegraph.) (prom our own correspondent.) Txmaru, Dec. 26.
\ riot occurred opposite the Town Hall at eleven o’clock this morning. The Oddfellows, Foresters, and Orangemen formed a procession to march to the Sports. Before starting, a crowd of 600 collected, chiefly Irish, and surrounded the Orangemen. A strong body of police endeavored to protect the latter by forming a line across the street, but the mob rushed past them and interrupted the Orangemen, who only numbered about 40, and drove them back into the Foresters’ Hall. There was a great deal of yelling, and some of the Orange officers diew their swords, but sheathed them again at the command of the police. The Resident Magistrate was present, and did his best to keep order. Special constables were enrolled. Up to the present there has been no actual fighting, only angry demonstrations, but the Orangemen are beleagured in the Foresters’ Hall, and show no inclination to come out. Later. After an hours’ confinement in the Foresters’ Hall, the Orange procession pocketed their scarves, and were allowed to proceed to the sports unmolested. The police were helpless. Another account says A most disgraceful riot occurred to-day between the Orangemen and Catholics. Some days ago it was arranged that the Orangemen should take part in the Friendly Societies united fdtc to-day, and join in the procession. This coming to the ears of the Catholics, word was sent by them to all parts of the district to collect. The police got information, and, anticipating a riot, reinforcements were telegraphed for, and arrived from Christchurch by special train this morning. At 10 o’clock 30 policemen and some 40 special constables were gathered. To-day, about 10.30 the procession, including the Orangemen (numbering about 40) started from the Foresters’ Hall. The Catholics, to the number of four or five hundred, collected from all parts of the district, at once charged the Orangemen and drove them into the Forester's Hall, yelling, hooting, arid brandishing weapons. Mr. Beetham, R. M , then read the Riot Act. The Catholics still making demonstrations, the police charged, hut only scattered them with difficulty. The handful of Orangemen were locked up in the hall and remained there during the greater part of the day. Directly the row commenced, all the public houses were closed for the day. The excitement increased as the day wore on, and the feeling against the Catholics has now reached boiling point. The Orangemen have summoned friends from all parts of the district, and numbers of people who have no interest with either side are assembling in strength •to check the Catholics if they interfere again. The greatest indignation is felt, as the holiday has been entirely spoiled. Another 20 constables are expected every moment by special train from Oamnru, to reinforce the force already here. The volunteers are on duty, and there is no knowing what the result of the riot wil 1 he, as nearly half the population in the district are Irishmen, about a third of whom are Orangemen. After the riot this morning the Catholics formed four deep and to the number of three or four hundred marched through the town, yelling and hooting at all whom they met. At first the town people were taken entirely by surprise, but as the day wore on their excitement overcame them, and they are now thoroughly exasperated and are organising themselves to put a stop at once and. for all to such proceedings. Many of the Catholics were armed with revolvers, and but for the small number of Orangemen and the tact of Mr. Beetham and the police blood would have been-freely shed. A meeting of the Magistrates was held this afternoon to consider the position of affairs, and was adjourned till tomorrow. A Wordy M H. U’.— An examination <f the index to H Hansard” for the first five weeks of the session will show that Mr. Seddon, fc r instance, aired his peculiar North count; eloquence no less than thirty-eight times during a month. No other member, we believe, not being a Minister, troubled the reporters so often. On the gold duly question he spoke more than three pages of “ Hansa d,” upon the Auckland members he S'-oke even longer, and upon other occasions both l.e'ore and since he has talks- 1 the Mouse empty more often, we believe, than any other individual.
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