BRITISH AND FOREIGN (Reuter's ) Calcutta, Fob. 23. Advices have been rcceved from Cabul stating that General Roberts has offered to hold a conference with Mahomed Jan and the other insurgents, for the purpose of discussing tho position of affairs in Afghanistan, and the question of the future rulership of that country. St. Petersburg, Feb. 22. The Academy of Forest Culture, at Moscow, was totally destroyed by fire to-day. One of the students of the Academy is believed to bo implicated, and has been arrested on a charge of incendiarism. (Argus Spedal. ) London, Feb. 21 Greek brigands have seized Colonel Synge and wife, and demand a heavy ransom. The Russians are sending torpedo boats and war material to Pultroiga Bay, abandoning Oladisvostock. It is rumored the Russians are arranging with Japan for a largo ship yard at Nagadaki. As tho dispute between China and Japan is still unsettled and as China talks of refusing to satisfy tho RulJja treaty Japan may accept. AUSTRALIAN.'” (Reuter's. ) Sydney, Feb. 24. Serious floods have occurred in Richmond river, and the streets of Casino are completely submerged. Boats are now engaged saving the lives and property of the inhabitants. Newcastle, Feb. 24. It is reported that the colliery proprietors now working under the vend scheme in this district intend to reduce the wages of tho men and the price of coal by 25per cent., in order that they may bo in a position to compete with collieries not bound by vend rules. PER OUR SPECIAL WIRE. INTERPROYISCIAL. Auckland, Feb. 25. Tho Hon. Mr. Whitaker has appointed Mr. Maxwell, engineer, to examine and report on the alleged silting up of Auckland harbor. The Board proposed a considerable increase in wharf clues with a view to increasing the revenue and providing funds for constructing a larger graving dock.
Captain M'Kcnzie was re-elected chairman of tlie Harbor Board yesterday. He spoke of the onerous nature of the duties, and said he could not afford the time. Tho members agreed that provision should be made to amend tho Act so as to remunerate the Chairman of the Board. The Waikato Farmers’ Club resolved to bring into force the eleventh clause of the Diseases of Cattle Act, and have appointed a sub-Oommittee for the purpose. Gisborne, Feb. 25.
Allan M'Donahl, M.H.R., addressed the electors of Gisborne in the Masonic Hall last night. The meeting was crowded, and he received an enthusiastic reception. He spoke in favorable terms of the present Government, but in reply to direct question, he said he stuck to the Grey party while it lasted. He also supported Macandrew, and while having the utmost confidence in Major Atkinson and one or two other members of the Ministry, of whom he spoke in the highest terms of
praise, he positively declined to declare himself an adherent of either one or tho other. Ho assured tho meeting that he had no intention of becoming a mere delegate. A vote of confidence was carried unanimously. Considerable excitement exists about the oil springs. A member of the firm of Clarke Bros., Melbourne, and Mr. Fleming, representing Canada at tho Melbourne Exhibition, an oil expert, have .isitodthe springs. Mr. Fleming says the indications are equal to anything in America. It is .believed tb it probably a company, with a capital of LOO,OOO, will be floated to work the oil, and operations will be immediately commenced.
Napier, Feb. 21. Mills, who on Saturday evening arrived in town and gave a sensational account to tho police about the natives shooting sheep on Morehouse's run, was never in the employer’s house. No station hands have left, and Mills appears to have given a bogus report, as no reliable information has been receive ! here of any serious disturbance.
Hawbra, Feb. 24.
Colonel Roberts, and the whole of the Armed Constabulary under his command at Ka’pipi, shifted camp to-day, and took up a position at the Otaikato stream, about live miles north of the old camp. The natives visited the camp in the afternoon, and intimated that a present of food would be made this day. Wellington, Feh. 25.
The “ Evening Post ” subscription list in aid of the Irish relief fund reached LOGO. Tilt balance not soul Home will be banded to tho Treasurer of the fund being raised for transmission. The Homo Government are engaging 150 men for road work on the Waim.ite plains, married men to receive 235., single 21s. per week. They will be provided with tents, and with their families will he sent np free. They will be supplied with rations and Is. 3d. per day, and can leave whenever more remunerative work offers.
The following tender has been accepted for the Greytown branch station building contract, Ebenezor Grey, Greytown, LI 183.
A half-caste named Henry Casnon, whilst engaged this morning in tending a threshing machine, had his arm cut off at the she elder.
An influential Committee has been appointed to collect subscriptions in aid of tho Irish Distress Fund, and a house to house canvass will ho made on Monday. The Now South Wales and Queensland Governments unite with ours in protesting against the importation of French convicts. Tho three Agents-General will make remonstrances.
Nelson, Feb. 25
It is understood that Mr. George Hodgson, recently appoints 1 secretary to the Nelson Education Board, at a salary of L 350, has resigned. There has been some correspondence in the papers, from which it appears the action of the Board in creating bo expensive an office was disapproved of, it being alleged that a smaller salary would be sufficient.
The weather hero continues fine, though rain was wanted for potatoes. Hop picking is now general throughout the district. In the town gardens alone 103 persons are engaged. Chrlstgiiucii, Feb. 25.
A farm in Prebbleton lias given yields of 44, 43, and 5'5 bushels per acre from throe paddocks. The land has been cropped for many years, and received no special preparation. The owner has already threshed 20,000 bushels, A property sale was held to-day, which in point of attendance was excellent, and points to a revival in tho land trade. Twenty-eight sections at Sumner fetched an average of L3G each, and a half-acre in Christchurch, with an old house, near the North town licit, brought LBOO.
The total expenditure on Hospitals and Charitable Aid during the year 1879, was L3GGO 15s. 3d. It was much less during the last half year than in the first. Two head of imported cattle arrived from Sydney per s.s. Wakatipu, for Miles and Co., Olnistohurcli. Owing to some informality with regard to certificate, tho cattle have been quarantined on board the hulk Derwent for the present. Timaru, Feb. 25. A storekeeper at Waitohi Flat, named Thos. Liston, was to-day fined LSO and costs for sly-grog selling. During the past ten weeks the breakwater has been extended 130 ft. The Harbor Board have decided to at once commence tho erection of wharfage for 300 ft. along inside of it, tho depth of water ranging from Bft. to 18ft. at low water. The “Timaru Herald”'has declined to apologise for the alleged libel on Captain Norris, of the barque Glimpse, and will defend the action. Very little business is yet being done in the grain market. The merchants offer 3s. 3s. to 3s. Gd. for wheat, while farmers stand out for 45.; and if they cannot get that figure they will ship home direct on their own account. Harvest operations are well forward and there is no doubt now that the yield will be tho heaviest ever known in the district.
Dunedin, Fob. 25.
Permission hat been given by the Commissioner of railways for the doors of carriages on the Port line to be left unlocked on one side.
The Captain and officers of H. M. S. Cormorant, now lying in Lyttelton harbor, arc coming down to the races, and they will also attend the ball to be given by the Otago Rowing Club on Friday*, for which His Excellency tho Governor and Lady Robinson have accepted invitations.
A serious accident occurred this forenoon at Port Chalmers to Michael Tighe, who, whilst removing an old chimney from the back of the George Hotel, fell from the scaffold, a height of 14ft., on to a heap of stones, and sustained either a fracture of tho skull or a concussion of the brain, in addition to having one of the fingers of the right hand broken. He was attended by Dr. Dugdale, but he now lies in a very precarious situation. The following is a full list of tho Dunedin entries for the Nelson prize tiring : Lieut. Black, D. Christie,, R. Dalziel, S. Hutton, Hislop, 0. A. Lees, A. Marshall, G. Millar, B. Morrison, W. Thompson, W. Richardson, Capt. Willson, J. Webster, Jordan, Lieut. Peake, Lieut. Curie, Sergt, Smith, Coventry', and Fox. The superiority of Groymouth coal over Newcastle for gas making purposes has received a striking proof at Dunedin gas works. Tne Engineer reports that for the 23 day's, ending Feb. 18th, while Greymouth coal was being used, the consumption was 50 tons less than during the corresponding period of last y'ear, when Newcastle coal was used, while tho quantity of gas manufactured was 105,000 cubic feet more. Besides this gas from tho Grey coal is of two-candlo greater illuminating power than that from Newcastle. The statement was made at the Council meeting, and it was added that the saving was equal to L6OOO yearly. Owing to recent advices, there was an advance at yesterday’s sale in the value of cross-breds, but in merinos little improvement was noted. Greasy, 4jj-d. tolled.; washed, GAd. to Is. 5d.; scoured, Is. 5d.; greasy merino, 3||d. to 10J. Arrived—The Rotomahama, from Sydney, via tho Coast; Ladybird, from Timaru. Invercargill, Feb. 25. The Garrison Band is unable to attend the Christchurch Review, owing to one or two of the principal players being prevented by business engagements. The Artillery batteries will probably go under canvas. The scarcity of water is still complained of, A whale, stranded on Riverton beach, was bought by a local chemist fo? LSO.
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