The Ashburton Guardian, COUNTY AGRICULTURAL & SPORTING RECORDER THURSDAY, JANUARY 22, 1880.
Some time ago a great outcry was made about the coal measures in the vicinity of Westport—that town on the West Coast said by some wag or other to live on hope and suction. Hope and suction, to our seeming, are not very nutritive food, and we dare say property holders in Westport, if they wore to give a candid opinion on the matter, would say the same. A good coal mine, capable of supplying the colony’s fuel wants, would doubtless be exceedingly nutritive of the prosperity of Westport, or of any other port, and if the liope-p-nd-suction-fed hamlet possesses such a mine of wealth it stands very much in its own light if it does not strain every nerve to have its coal seams opened and its black diamonds brought as soon as possible into the market. But though the township in question may live and even fatten on hope and suction, it has no right whatever to assume that the “ human race ” as a whole, especially that portion of it that has not breathed the air of Westport, and fed at its hoard, can at the first tasting assimilate the nutriment on which the clever Westportians have learned to subsist. But a long course of hope and suction feeding has apparently deadened the sensibilities of the good people of Westport, and as a result they fancy that everyone else can live as they live upon the very spare food we have referred to. Such is the natural conclusion one must come to who reads of the doings of the promoters of a certain Westport coal company. Full, we had almost said drunk, with an overdose of hope and suction, they got Government to move in the matter of procuring for them in England fifty miners from the Black country. The men were to be the best that could be procured —the best at least that could be persuaded to try their fortunes in Ne w Zealand—and Mr. Holloway, the wellknown Government immigration agent in England, was commissioned to make the selection and the hope and suction to the miners. lie succeeded in getting the men, and in duo course the Opawa brought them to New Zealand—landing them at the nearest port to their destination, viz., Nelson. But with all the outcry about the Westport Colliery the hope-a nd-suctiou-fed people were not ready to receive their consignment ox pitmen, and the poor fellows were left with nothing to do. Such is the version of the story as it comes from Nelson where the men were landed, and where for several weeks, they, with their wives, families, and belongings, encumbered the Immigration Barracks —let us hope, living on better fare than hope and suction. The men feel that they have been decoyed to this colony under false pretences. They are very naturally nettled at being thus used, and threaten legal proceedings against the Westport Colliery Company to recover damages. Meanwhile the men are looking for work elsewhere, and we learn that some fifteen or twenty of them are to be employed at the Springfield
mino in our own neighborhood. But what is to become of the others ? This wo have not yet learned. Now, it may bo all very well for the powers that be of the Westport Colliery to take time by the forelock and bring out men to New Zealand, decoying them by distinct offers of work in their mine, of which patch of ground the usual rosy account was no doubt given by the immigration agents employed to draw the victims. But the Westport Colliery has no right to involve poor men in their scheme before it is ready for working. At least, if they commission Government to bring out miners for their pit, under promise of immediate work, they ought in common fairness to find them reasonable employment until such time as their concern is in working order, or at least indemnify the men for the injury done them and the disappointment they have caused them. Then, this sort of conduct has a bad effect upon the colony’s good name at Homo, — a bad effect for which the Westport people concerned in the matter are certainly responsible. The miners who have been thus disappointed, and whose trust has thus been grossly betrayed, cannot fail to write Homo to the friends they have left behind, and the story they will tell will not redound to the colony’s croditjj; for in their bitterness they can scarcely be expected to look upon affairs in New Zealand, as they just now find them, with the same hopeful eye that older colonists do. New Zealand is not fully populated, and we are not yet wholly independent of immigration from the Old country, notwithstanding that further immigration is just now unpopular, and it behoves every colonist to be stringently conservative of the colony’s good name. If these fifty miners, with their wives and families, have been really and truly, as they say, induced to come over here on a false pretence by the Westport Colliery, and then left to the chance of picking up a job on some ‘■'unemployed” section, Government ought to see them righted. They have not been brought over as ordinary immigrants : they were specially hunted up by a Government agent, and being so should be protected by Government. Our readers have no doubt observed, from our reports of the various cases heard and decided in our Resident Magistrate’s Court, how frequently co-plaintiffs trading together in partnership have been nonsuited with costs on the technical objection raised by our legal talent to the insufficiency in the description of the said co-plaintiffs. Over and over again, since the advent of Mr. Guinness, that worthy magistrate has decided that wherever coplaintiffs, who carry on business together as partners, sue simply in the name of the firm, without setting forth the respective names of the members constituting that partnership, they must be nonsuited, and with costs ; the reason assigned being, that in law there is no such person as So and So and Company. We have not quarrelled with his Worship’s decision, though we have certainly considered the imposition of costs as a severe punishment for what after all was in most cases the doing of the Clerk of the Court; hut we did hope there would at least be uniformity in the practice of the Court, that what was sauce for the goose in one case would bo sauce for the gander in the other. The late utterances, however, of Mr. Guinness on this point have added another instance to the glorious uncertainties of the law. On Friday last the question of nonsuit again arose. Mr. Crisp, for the defendant in the case of Ac! an cl, Campbell & Co. v. M‘Cutchcon, applied for a nonsuit on the ground that the plaintiffs had sued as “Acland, Campbell & Co,” without setting forth the names of the individual members of the firm. His Worship seemed disposed to adhere to his original ruling and to grant the nonsuit with costs ; but, after listening to the legal talent imported from Christchurch, he declared that the practice ho had hitherto adopted was erroneous, and that for the future in all such cases he should amend the objectionable summons. This we thought would settle the question. Not so. Further oscillations of the magisterial mind were in store for us, more glorious uncertainty, for on Tuesday his Worship publicly announced that the course originally pursued by him was the correct one, as he had no power to amend the summonses in such cases ; for the future he would giant the nonsuit but without costs, his Worship not appearing to know that he had the power tc do this long ago. Let us hope no more changes in the magisterial mind may occur after this ; that at last we have something certain. We may mention another important matter in which a change has been made. In almost every case suitors require witnesses to support their respective cases, and it is only natural that when a suitor succeeds lie should ask to be allowed the costs of his witnesses. Hitherto his Worship has refused to allow such costs unless it could be shown by the successful party that he had only subpoenaed his witnesses. Whether Iris witnesses were to give evidence material to the issue or not seemed to be a matter of secondary importance, the essential element being the subpoena. Though we disagreed with his Worship on this point, we did not think fit to quarrel with him, thinking it better to have even a bad rule than no rule at all. But now a change has come over the scene. For the future, says his Worship, the expenses of a witness will be allowed, whether he he subpoenaed or not, if his evidence be material to the issue. But what of a witness who lias been . subpoenaed but whose evidence is after all unnecessary as being either immaterial or simply corroborativo of what several have already sworn to ! what rule will his Worship make in such a case as this ? All this shows the urgent necessity that exists for positive rules writ down in black and white to regulate the practice and procedure of our Court.
Presbyterian Church, Rakaia. —The Rev. A. Beattie, Moderator for the district of Rakaia, preached to a numerous congregation on Tuesday evening in the schoolroom, Rakaia, after which a meeting of the members and adherents of the church was hold, when it was proposed and duly seconded, and carried unanimously, that the Rev. B. J. Wcstbrooko bo called to undertake the duties of pastor to the Presbyterian Church in the district of Rakaia. Winslow Sports Committee. —A mooting of the Winslow Sports Committee was held at Winslow on Saturday evening, to wind up business for the year. A statement of accounts showed that after meeting all liabilities there was a balance in hand of Lois. For the satisfactory manner in which the hooks were kept, and also for the excellent way in which all the business had been conducted and the sports carried out, a vote of thanks was given to the Secretary and Treasuicr, and after a similar compliment had been paid to the Chairman, the meeting terminated. Congregational Meeting. —The annual meeting of the Presbyterian congregation was held on Monday, in the church —the Pastor presiding. The financial statement was submitted, showing that a large amount of money had boon raised during the year, and a heavy s’ice of the debt on the cause reduced, leaving, however, two mortgages on the church and manse to he wiped away. It was resolved to make a special effort to accomplish this object, and a strong financial committee was elected with this view. The Engleiteld Galop. —This is a composition by a local composer, and as it is not a very frequent occurrence in the colony as yet to hear of musicians trying their creative powers at pieces of music or songs, we have much pleasure in noticing the now galop composed by Siegmund Schwartz, of Christchurch, and published hy Messrs Milner and Thompson. We have looked through the galop very carefully, and wc think the air is one that will be appreciated on hearing a few times. At first there does not appear to be much in the composition, hut this a mistake soon found out, and as an easy, light, and brilliant piece we can recommend the galop to the musical public. The Distress in Ireland. - Owing to the collapse of the special meeting of the Borough Council on Monday evening, at which oniy four members attended, nothing is to be dune by the Corporation in regard to the Irish distress relief movement till next ordinary meeting, when it is expected definite arrangements will be made for either holding a public meeting, or opening a subscription list. Wo had thought that the crying nature of the distr .ss, and the urgent need for aid would have brought more than four councillors together to consider what ought to be done, but doubtless, the ordinary meeting will bring matters to a. bearing, especially as nearly every town in the colony of any importance is moving ii: the matter. The Native Affairs Commission. —An Otago paper fears “ that Sir William Fox will be unable to forget party feelings, and in his eagerness to prove the policy of the lute Government wrong, lie may allow his zeal to outdistance his discretion. Sir Dillon Bell cannot be charged with the same tendencies, but he is vacillating, and on that account may ho overridden by the superior force and determination of his colleague. Ho will, however, at least try to preserve a calm and judicial spirit, and it is possible that, as is often the case with a team of horses of different tempers, they may run well together. ” Wakanui and Hinds Crops. —A correspondent of the “ Press ” writes : —The crops generally in these portions of the Ashburton County look well. Going along Beach road, wc find Chalmers Bros. ’ crops of wheat will run fully thirty-three bushels per acre ; oats and barley looking well. Mr. Jameson’s crop of wheat is splendid, and should turn out fully forty bushels. Mr, Miller’s farm looks well, and his wheat crop is magnificent, and will yield quite fifty bushels. Mr. J. Brown’s crop is good, and should go fully thirty-seven bushels of wheat to the aero. Going further along to Mr. Thompson’s a threshing machine was at work, the grain operated on being oats, a fair average crop of thirty-five bushels. This is the first machine started near Ashburton this year. At Mix Wilson’s, on the beach, the crops look hardly as well as might be expected from the quality of the laud, about twenty-seven bushels of wheat per aci’o being the anticipated yield. At Mr. Corbett’s, opposite, the crops are about the same ; in fact, in the whole of this neighborhood, the yield, though good, will not be unusually large, as the soil is heavy, and the water lodging in the early part of the season prevented the young sprouts from getting away as quickly as they would in drier weather. No doubt, however, this excellent land will, in the average season, give a far greater yield than much of the lighter soils which are producing such immense returns this damp spring. On the Wakanui road there is some very poor land on which there is a good deal of oa.ts which will barely give 20 bushels per acre. Nearer Ashburton the crops look exceedingly well, and the yield should certainly bo from 30 to 35 bushels per acre all round. At the north branch of the Hinds near the foot of the hills the crops are all looking well, but a little later. Soma oats are being cut, and one large field of barley was fully ripe. Mr. H. Poole has a large acreage of wheat which promises fully 35 bushels per acre, and on Mr. Sutherland’s farm there is a promise of even a larger yield. At Mr. J. Murphy’s, in the forks of the Kinds, wheat looks from 27 to 30 bushels. The first new oats have made their appearance in Ashburton, and it is reputed wore sold at Is 5d for immediate delivery. The Jawbone of an Ass. —A clergyman asked his Sunday school, “ With what remarkable weapon did Samson at one time slay a number of Philistines t ” for a while there was no answer, and the cleigyman, to assist the children a hi tic, commenced tapping his jaw with the tip of his finger, at the same time saying, “ What’s this 1 What’s this ? ” Quick as thought a little fellow quite innocently replied, “ The jawbone of an ass, sir.” Parer Dinner Napkins. — A new idea in advertising lias been started by the Associated Nows and Advertising Bureau of Auckland, in the shape of an “ advertising paper dinner napkin,” the first of the kind in the colony. It is printed in two colors, on what is known as silk tissue, and contains a “tissue” of business notices, around which is a very tastefully executed border and design. This novel invention has been registered by the manager of the Bureau, and all rights for New Zealand reserved. Strange Atmospheric Phenomena.—■ Some very remarkable atmospheric phenomena were witnessed about noon on Friday last at Elephant Hill, near Waimate. On the top of a range of hills close to Mr. J. B. Parker’s homestead, several shearers saw a fierce whirlwind lift the water from a lagoon in the form of a very dense vapor, to a height of several hundred feet into the air whore it was received by an enormous bank or clouds for a few seconds, and then dropped, back in a confused and irregular mass, till it almost hid the top of the range, to he caught up again in a whirling spiral column. Those curious movements were continued for about ten minutes, and on their cessation a brilliant stream of lightning fell perpendicularly from the cloud into the flat at the base of the lulls, apparently in dangerous proximity to a shepherd who was proceeding towards the station with a flock of sheep. Heavy rain fell almost immediately afterwards, and continued at intervals throughout the afternoon.
Primitive Methodist Church. —The following list of ministers of this church in the colony, with the stations to which they have been appointed for the ensuing year, will doubtless prove interesting to our Primitive Methodist readers :—New Plymouth, Josepn Sharp, and one to be obtained ; Wellington, Daniel Dutton, F.R. A.S., William S. Potter, William J. Dean, supernumerary; Auckland, Joseph Long, John Nixon ; Invercargill, Chas. E. Word ; Timaru, John Dumbcll; Thames, Thomas W. Adamson ; Dunedin, Josiah Ward, David G. Ford, George Smith ; Greendale, James Guy ; Ashburton, Arthur J. Smith. Missions—-Christ-church-, James Clover ; Manawatu, Peter W. Jones, James H. Luke ; Geraldine, Thomas Sadler ; Oamaru, Chas. E. Barley ; Waimato branch, one to be obtained. From a statement laid before the District Meeting, we cull the following interesting statistics of the church: Travelling preachers, 19; local preachers, 118; church members, 10G7 ; Sabbath scholars, 280-1; value of church property, L 24,252 Bs. Id. A periodica], principally devoted to disseminating connexional intelligence, is published quarterly ; and a book-room in Wellington, under the supervision of the Rev. W. J. Dean, is, we understand, working very successfully. The Totalisatok.— The following is a copy of the Act recently passed in South Australia, and assented to by the Governor, Sir William F. Drummond Jervois, legalising of the use of the totalisator : “An Act to Remedy Some of the Evils Arising from Betting at Races. —(Assented to 25th October, 1879.) Whereas great evils have resulted from rash and indiscriminate betting at races, and young men and others arc often tempted by reason of uncertainty of losing, and the chance of winning, to make bets which, if lost, are wholly beyond their means to pay, and in order to pay the same resort to criminal means of obtaining money : And whereas the use of the totalisator would tend to diminish betting by giving young men and others a pecuniary interest in races without the evils incident to indiscriminate belting : Be it therefore enacted by the Governor of the province of South Australia, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Council and House of Assembly of the said province, in this present Parliament assembled, as follows : —l. From and after the passing of this Act the instrument or contrivance for wagering or betting known as the totalisator, or any other machine or instrument of a like nature, and conducted upon the same principles, shall, when used uder the auspices of, and with the permission of, any duly recognised racing club, upon any public racecourse, be exempted from the provisions of the Lottery and Gaming Act, 1875, and no house, office, room, or place on any racecourse used for the purposes aforesaid shall bo hold to be within the provisions of the Act : Provided that not more than one such totalisator, machine, or instrument shall be authorised or used upon such racecourse at any one time. In the name and on behalf of Her Majesty, I hereby assent to this Bill.” When the Screw Comes.—TheQucensland correspondent of the “ Sydney Daily Telegraph,” writing under date December IGth, says : —“ The realisation of the New Zealand five millions encourages people here to hope that we may get at least as good terms, though it is doubtful whether our 4 percent, will be relatively so attractive as the New Zealand 5 per cent, start. This game of borrowing indefinite millions is a pleasant enough one as long as the revenue is redundant ; but if I am not very much mistaken, we shall have rough times of it when the public creditor presents the little bills which will render increased taxation inevitable. The screw is going down turn after turn, and the remorseless pinch will come when we least like it.” Kauri Gum Digging.— -The great increase in the price of kauri gum (says the Auckland “ Star ”) has had the effect of diverting labor from various other occupations in the country. In some respects the opening up of this channel of employment occurred at an opportune moment, a number of hands having been liberated through the slackness of the saw wills. Some of these men, we arc informed, are earning, with the assistance of their wives, as much as LlO a. week. The women occasionally venture out with spear and spade, but their usual occupation is scraping -the gum at home, an amusement which fills in the spare evenings of the single gum-diggers. It is estimated by a competent authority that from L30,G09 to LiO.OOO a month of English and American capital is now coming into the country by gum. The stimulus has set to work not only hundreds of north rn Maoris, but also Waikato natives, to turn over old abandoned fields, yet the demand still keeps ahead of the supply, LGS being readily attainable for good gum. Hard Likes. —The “ South Canterbury Times ” has the following : —A Levels plains fanner, named Balfour, appears to be on the horns of a dilemma. The favorable weather has given him an enormous crop but his paddock is a fastness to which there is no access. In his anguish ho has applied to the Road Board but the overseer declares the poor man's property to be rockbound, a veritable fortification. The only way suggested for getting a reaper on the farm is by carrying it in pieces and scaling the ramparts. The overseer has been requested to do what he can, but he fears he can do but little. The Prince or Wales and the Poachers.— A prisoner, now undergoing sentence for a poaching affray, states that he formerly lived in the neighborhood of Sandringham, adding, “I was never in trouble while I lived there—nor nobody else !” Being asked why, he said it was because, if a man needed a dinner, and wanted a rabbit he had only to go to the “ House ” and ask for one. The Prince had given special orders that the men about were not to trespass and shoot for themselves, but that his keepers were always to supply a rabbit to any laborer on the estate, and that if none wore in hand, they wore immediately to go out and shoot some. Mi?. Gladstone on Small Holdings. — The following letter has been received by Mr. Jos. Arch in reply to a communication sent by him to Mr. Gladstone on the small farm system: —“ liawarden, Nov. 13. Dear Sir, —In replying to your letter I must disclaim all pretension to authority on matters of agricultural practice and arrangement. Under this reservation I am one of those who like to see, what I am glad to say we have lieie, a great variety in the size of holdings, and especially a liberal proportion of small or moderate holdings. I must not claim any merit in professing this opinion, for in this neighborhood large farms, unless when in the hands of first-rate tenants, give us most trouble. But, quite apart from this, I have always regretted the tendency, in some cases almost a mania, for absorbing small holdings by consolidation. During the present period of pres sure I find in the reports from a variety of quarters that the difficulty is felt most with the largo farms ; and I trust the distress may produce, among other good fruits, a return to a better-balance 1 judgment about tbe size of farms, and may check all measures to a contrary effect. I hope it will also tend to strengthen tho current of feeling favorable to such legislation as shall set tho land free from present restraints. Nor can I abandon the hope of an era when wo shall see a great extension of fruit, vegetable, raid even flower culture as part of our agricultural system, with an increased demand for rural labor. I am, dear sir, your faithful servant, W, E. Gladstone.”
The Sahara Desert Railway.— Since the failure of the canal project tho French have been fixing their attention upon the proposed railroad across the Desert of Sahara. A company has been organised for carrying out this daring enterprise, said to be entirely practicable, and the surveys will begin at once. The French expect that the railway will open up a country inhabited by fifty millions of friendly and intelligent blacks to the produce of the markets. The Minister of Public works takes the warmest interest in the matter. When one reflects that winterexcursions to the border of the Niger will soon be possible, he begins to appreciate the miraculous nature of our modern civilisation. Paris correspondent N.Y, “ Evening Post.” They Knew Where. —At a recent trial in J ustico’s Court, a prominent saloonist was called as a witness. Upon being sworn one of the attorneys in the case said, “Mr. S., where is your place of business V’ “ What for you ask me such foolish dings ! You drink at my blace more as a hundred dimes.” “ That has nothing to do with tho case, Mr. S., state to tho jury where your place of business is ” “De shury ! de shury. Oh, by jiminy. Efoiy shcntleinan on dis shury lias a string of marks on my cellar door shust like a rail fence.” His honor hero interposed in behalf of counsel, and in a calm and dignified manner requested the witness to state the place of his business. “ Oh, excuse me, your Honor—you drinks at my blace so many dimes and pays mo notings. I dinks you very well knows where I keep mine blace. ”