LATEST ENGLISH NEWS.
[Via Australia and the Bluff.] London, April 29. Earl Granville, Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, has reassured the Austrian Ambassador in London of the friendly feeling of the Government towards Austria, with a view to more effectually calming the irritation produced by Mr. Gladstone’s speech. It is currently expected that Mr. Gladstone intends reducing the 3 per cents, to 2o' per cent., and that he will propose the abolition of the income tax. May 3. The Pall Mall Gazette has changed ownership, and will henceforth appear as a liberal paper. Mr. Frederick Greenwood, the editor, and the whole of the staff have declined to remain under the altered conditions, and intend starting a new organ. May 1. Earl Cowper, K.G., has been appointed Viceroy of Ireland, and proceeds immediately to Dublin to enter on his duties. The Royal British Commission 'in London has undertaken to make all necessary provisions for the representation of British exhibitors to the Melbourne International Exhibition. Sir Cunliffe Owen, who represented British interests at the Paris Exhibition, has been appointed Executive Commissioner.’ Mr. George Collins Levey, secretary of the Melbourne International Exhibition, has left England for Melbourne by the Lusitania. May 3. General Sir Donald Stewart having completed his arrangements for the security of the British position at Ghuznee, has proceeded to Cabul. On arrival there, he is senior to General Sir F. S. Roberts, and, acting in accordance with [instructions from the Viceroy, he assumes the supreme command of the operations in Afghanistan, superseding General Roberts. Disquieting intelligence has been received concerning the fidelity of the Maharajah of Cashmere, Grave suspicion has been aroused by the discovery of facts which indicate that attempts have been made by Russian emissaries to tamper with this ruler, and there is reason to believe that the Maharajah has been to some extent implicated in Russian intrigue. April 28. The Duke of Marlborough, Viceroy of, Ireland, has vacated his office in due course, owing to the change of Govern- v ment. His Grace and the Duchess, his wife, having rendered themselves extremely popular with the Irish people, were accorded an enthusiastic ovation on the occasion of their taking their departure from Dublin. They were presented w ith addresses by the city corporation and the representatives of the principal public institutions, expressive of the deepest gratitude and esteem, more especially in connection with the steps taken by the Duchess of Marlborough for the relief of the famine stricken peasantry in the ■western districts of Ireland. A general meeting of the Orient Stea S Company was held to-day, when a sati 3 - factory report was submitted, and th e usual dividend declared. The chairman congratulated the shareholders on the success of the operations of the company for the year, and considered that their trade with the Australian colonies showed every sign of increasing with the improved prospects of business. It was intended to double the capital of the company, thus raising the amount to L 7,000,000, and also fit up their steamers with the necessary machinery for conveying from the colony to the Home cargoes of animals preserved by tjJH freezing process. Intelligence has been received from • India of another defeat of the hostile Afghans. The British troops, under the command of General Ross, were attacked by a large body of Afghans, near the village of Sydabad. The fight lasted several hours, but the superior arms and discipline of the British soldiers prevailed. The enemy was repulsed and compelled to retire, leaving over 1200 dead on the field# Abdulrahman has opened negotiations
with General Roberts, with a view i f bringing about amicable re ations. He has promised to submit, and repudiates having any sympathies with Russia. His overtures have been received with caution, and it is proposed he shall afford some proof of his sincerity before he submits.
(Per Reuter's Agency.) Sydney, May _B. A crowded meeting was held last night, which adopted resolutions denouncing certain clauses in the new Licensing Bill, which are calculated to suppress Sunday lectures. The Hon. Bowie Wilson was in the chair, and David Buchanan, M. L. A.; Charles Bright, the freethinker ; and Rev. J. Bowie spoke. Sydney, May 9. The Pacific mail steamship Australia arrived from Auckland yesterday. The barque Chandernagoro has been seized for debt. Some of the mines at Newcastle are charging 14s. and others 10s. per ton for coul. Melbourne, May 8. The barque Zwee Breeders, which arrived from Java with several cases of fever on board, has been placed in quarantine. Arrived —Tararua, a.s., from New Zealand. A bottle has been found on the beach at Portland, containing a paper signed “ John Webster,” and dated February 23, 1880, stating that the ship Knowsley Hall was wrecked on the Crozets, and that all board perished, except three, who are destitute, and are subsisting on fish. Doubts are generally expressed as to the authenticity of the message. Dibbs has been arrested and his furniture seized for payment of Shepherds’ costs. A meeting has been held to initiate a meat freezing company with a capital of LIOO,OOO Brisbane, May 8. A meeting was held yesterday to start a meat freezing company, towards which capital to the amount of L 50,000 has been subscribed. INTERPROVINCIAL. Auckland. May 8. At the public meeting last night Reader Wood said he had urged on Sir George Grey not to resign the leadership of his party, and after the negotiations of the four Auckland members with the Government commenced, he had urged on Sir George to resume the leadership, promising his support if he did so. Colonel Whitmore was mentioned as leader of the party, but declined. He (Mr. Wood) was only bound to the Hall Government last session, and would not be a blind supporter of any man. Mr. Robert Lusk, in a condemnatory speech, moved a vote of thanks. Mr. Joseph Bennett proposed, as an amendment, a vote of confidence in Mr. Wood. The vote of thanks being lost, Mr. Hooker moved a vote of noconfidence, which was also negatived, and the motion of confidence in Mr. Wood carried.
Auckland, May 10. A charge of indecent assault, preferred by Alice McCarthy against George Sydney Hans, was dismissed. The first sod has been turned of the ex tension of the Kawakawa railway. At the inquest on the body of Abel Hetherington, a marine of H.M.S. Cormorant, a verdict of “ found drowned” was returned. He is supposed to have fallen off the wharf while going to meet his boat. _ v Messrs. Burns and Tinne, members of "tho Colonial Industries Commission, examined a number of witnesses to-day, among the principal of which were Wilson, on the sulphur industry, and C. O. Montrose, on the advisability of establishing a technical school in each of the principal cities of the colony, and a school of agriculture in the North Island. Mr. Rule, Under-Traffic Manager of the Railway Depart, was assailed at a late hour on the beach road, Mechanics’ Bay, and badly maltreated. The cause of the alleged assault is not yet cleared up. His jaw is fractured, several teeth knocked out, and his face a confused mass of flesh. He was last seen in the evening leaving the Swan Inn. By the brig Merrilies, from Levuka, intelligence has been received of the murder of America Johnston, of the firm of Johnston and Chaffin, by natives of the Island of Aota.
Hawera, May 8.
The road works on the Waimate Plains rre advancing slowly at present, as each camp has to contend with a bad swamp in advance of them. The swamp cannot be avoided, unless by going to the sand hills on one side, or the sea beach on the other. After the swamps are passed, the country improves, and the work can be proceeded with more speedily. Napier, May 10. Great satisfaction is expressed by the Wairoa settlers at the removal of Ebnezeer Baker, B.M. A petition for his reinstatement has been but poorly signed. As Mr. Seymour Tancred, son of Sir Thomas Tancred, was driving a buggy and pair into town on Saturday morning, he was run into by a Maori on horseback. The collision broke the carriage pole, and the horses bolted, one of them breaking his leg, and had to be shot. The occupants of the carriage were uninjured. Wellington, May 8.
Captain Bendall, Secretary of the Underwriters Association, leaves for the Forest Queen by the Charles Edward this evening. The brigantine Isabella will also be chartered to proceed to the scene of the mishap. Private advices received yesterday state that the barque Whittington, which left Philadelphia for England on December 8, had been lost with all hands. She was loaded with grain, and it is conjectured was caught in a hurricane and foundered, owing to the cargo shifting. Captain Webster, who had command of her, was, during the period 1872 to 1876, in the employ of Messrs. John Br ogden and Sons, of this city. The Secretary of the Marine Department has received a telegram from Havelock, annoucing that the ketch Forest Queen, from Wellington to Waitara, with railway iron and carriages, struck on the Inner Hock, off Jackson’s Head, on Thursday. She is now beached in Guard’s Passage, and can be saved if immediate assistance be obtained. Her master-brought the news to Havelock, and returned to the wreck. The Forest Queen is owned by Captain M‘lntyre, Wellington, and is insured in the New Zealand to LGSO, of which L 260 is re-insured in the Colonial. The cargo is fully insured by all offices, to the value of about LIOOO. The insurance offices are arranging to send a steamer from here. A deputation from Wanganui waited on the Colonial Secretary in reference to an application made by certain districts in the South Island to the effect that the whole of the North Island might be proclaimed an infected cattle district, and that the removal of the cattle from the north to the south island be wholly prohibited on account of the outbreak ot pleuro pneumonia in Auckland. The deputation represented the hardship and unfairness of the course which Government had been urged to take, and its effect upon Wanganui, which was fully 300 miles distant from the locality where the disease had appeared. Moreover, they had a large trade in stock with the West Coast of the South Island, which would be destroyed by the prohibition asked for. Mr. Dick said the Government had no power to take such an extreme course as that against which the deputation protested, and certainly had no idea of adopting any measures of so oppressive a nature.
Wellington, May 10.
Tlie Court of Appeal opened this morning, when the case of Baghan and Crawbey, an appeal from the Supreme Court at Auckland—-was argued. Judgment was reserved.
At a meeting of persons desirous of settling upon land, it was resolved that Mr. Evendin should wait on Government, asking for facilities for taking up selections near Stratford, and for temporary assistance to selectors in the way of emplojrment on public works.
Mr. Mansford, R.M., who has been seriously indisposed for some time past, is about to leave Wellington. Arrangements have been concluded for an exchange with Mr. Shaw, present District Judge and Resident Magistrate at New Plymouth, and Mx\ Shaw is expected to be in Wellington in a fortnight’s time. The exchange between Mr. Mansford and Mr. Shaw is for three or four months, at the end of which time it is probable that other arrangements will be made. Mr. J. M. Taylor, well known commission agent and settler, died on Saturday at the age of 63. A strong N.W. gale has been blowing. No damage is reported beyond one or two yachts driven ashore. Turakina, May 8.
Mr. Snelgrove, the deputy returning officer for this place, only arrived at 9.40. Many electors were waiting at 9 o’clockt and left without voting. This will aff’ec, the validity of the Rangitikei election. Marton, May 8.
The following is the result of the Rangitikei election :—Sir William Fox, 232 ; Mr. D, Fraser, 123 ; Mr. Lyon, 69. Christchurch, May, 10.
Last night a fire occurred in Mair and Co. ! s flour mills, Southbrook, resulting in considerable damage. The exertions of the Fire Brigade prevented its total destruction. The fire originated in the faulty construction of the kiln, the wooden beams above the iron floor igniting. The damage is covered by insurance in the Liverpool, London and Globe. Temuka, May 8.
Three wheat stacks belonging to Mr. Mathews have been burned to the ground. The origin of the fire is at present unknown. Mr. Mathews and he wife were both away at the time, and they have not yet returned. The stacks were insured for L 250 in the New Zealand Company. Dunedin, May 10.
Walter J. H. Burton, photographer, George street, committed suicide this morning by taking chemicals. He had been drinking heavily of late.
News has been received of Mr. James Macassey’s death, Adelaide. Blenheim, May 8.
The workings on the new diggings, at Wairau Valley, are at present confined to the bed of the creek. There are about 60 men working there, all of whom have taken up claims, but they are much troubed with large boulders in the creek of such size that they cannot be removed. About five claims are paying well, one of them obtained 14oz. in the course of a morning about a fortnight ago. On the other hand there are a great many more claims in which the men are barely making a living. Morgan, who prospected the creek, has been out prospecting between here and Wakamarina for the last month, and re-tux-ned last week without having been able to find any payable ground in his travels. Dunedin, May 10. The Railway Porters Deputation have met Mr. Stewart, bringing under his notice the grievance of being compelled to work nine hours a day. At the City Court to-day, Mr. Conway, the cricketer, was charged with assaulting the police. Fitzclarence Roberts, a squatter, was also charged with attempting to rescue him. The case against the former was dismissed, and Roberts fined L 5. Bluff, May 10. Arrived—Stella, from Auckland Islands. The captain reports no trace of the misssealers ; ho repaired the depot, and seai’ched all the islands.
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