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OUR SYDNEY LETTER., Ashburton Guardian, Volume 2, Issue 261, 5 February 1881
OUR SYDNEY LETTER.
(From a New South Wales Correspondent.) Sydney, Jan. 19.
Parliament assembled after the Christmas adjournment on the nth inst., and the week’s sitting has not been productive of anything but departmental' details, which have been sought for on a scale quite in keeping with the increased number of members who now occupy the benches. The Government have a majority of at least three-fourths of the members, but it remains to be seen how far this immense majority will be affected by certain eventualities which are sure to be in the near future. One of these is the promised return of Mr. William Foster, the late Agent-General, whose political antagonism of former years against Sir Henry Parkes has now developed into bitter personal hatred, engendered by his removal from his post of Colonial Representative in London. It is said Mr. Foster will return in a few days, and as he already holds a seat in the Assembly, he will at once assume the leadership of the Opposition, small, but united in its denunciation of the two knights (Sir Henry Parkes and Sir John Robertson) —not for their barefaced coalition after such a long party war, but for the numerous high-handed acts which are noticeable in the actions of their Government since its formation. There are all the elements of discord in the House at present, and it now only requires very little to set them in violent operationIt is generally understood the Government will table the Estimates and take a vote upon them, introducing one or two pressing measures of reform, and then propose an adjournment to the middle of the year, so as to bring Parliament into session in the winter, a practice which has not been followed for years.
The Intercolonial Conference has got over the preliminary stage of its proceedings, and, having disposedofafew trivial questions, such as reciprocity in the arrest of wife deserters and debtors, the real business for which the delegates are assembled will be taken in hand. Mr. Berry, and his colleague, Mr. Vale, do not seem to abate one jot of the selfish policy of protection, which is the very life of their political existence ; but on the contrary they seem determined to show that, however much the other colonies may boast of free trade principles, they are really protective, because some of their duties tend to foster local industries. The representatives of the other colonies seem to coincide with the New South Wales’ view of the question, and it is not at all improbable that a Customs Union will be decided upon, to the complete exclusion of Victoria. One thing is certain, that the Melbourne market is no longer an absolute necessity for the intercolonial merchant, because trade requirements are daily finding better accommodation away from the Victorian capital. Mr, Berry, however, does not value outside trade, and it will not be surprising if he remains recalcitrant only to see his colony ostracised. The question of border duties between New South Wales and Victoria may be settled, because Sir Henry Parkes has the whip-hand of the Victorian Premier, and shows by the Customs returns that his claim all along has been just. The late arrival of Mr. Dick, your representative, has caused a good deal of regret, because his presence in the earlier stages of the proceedings would have been most useful. Now that he has arrived he will be able to express his approval of, or dissent from, the various questions which have been recorded on the minutes. It is expected the Conference will conclude business this week, one powerful reason why it should do so being the necessity Mr. Berry is under of returning to Melbourne at the earliest possible date. The members of the Conference were entertained last night at a banquet given by the Chamber of Commerce.
William Long, one of N.S.W.’s greatest sporting men, is currently reported to have won L 20,000 over Grand Flaneur’s victory in the Champion Race, Melbourne. There has been a great scarcity of water in Sydney, through the long continued drought, which has to some extent been relieved by the welcome rains of a day or two past. The deficiency in our water supply has been the means of directing special attention to the quarrel between that well-known hydraulic engineer, Mr. A. O. Moriarty, permanent head of the water supply department, and his sometime subordinate, Mr. F. G. Gipps. Mr, Moriarty submitted a scheme for supplying Sydney with water, and Mr. Gipps attempted to pick several holes in the engineer-in-chief’s facts and figures. Mr. Gipps then, who in consequence of his difference with his superior, had to leave the department, brought forward a scheme of his own, which, if adopted, he says, will not only give a supply of higher pressure than would Mr. Moriarty’s, but would also save the country at least L 500,000, But it now turns out Mr. Moriarty knows at least as much about the matter as his critic, and that Mr. Gipps’ Parliamentary supporters number oply the extreme section of those who drink to “pious and immortal memory.” The quarrel is a pretty one, and serves to illustrate—if any further illustration were needed —the basis on which politics are conducted in this colony. Mr. Moriarty is supposed to be a Roman Catholic.
New Zealand people, especially those holding bank shares, will be glad to hear that the Sydney branch of the Bank of New Zealand is still rapidly increasing its business. Operations of the above bank were commenced in April, 1875, in small temporary offices, and in July of same year most commodious premises were opened in one of our principal streets (Pittstreet). Even these offices were within the next five years found inadequate to the requirements, and advantage was taken lately of the removal of the Australian Mutual Provident Life Association to their new buildings, to purchase their old premises at a cost 0fL25,000. The premises being found ill-suited for banking purposes, the prior to occupation of them, decided to make great alterations. Accordingly, the services of our best architect were availed of, and the result has been that the once gloomy offices have been changed into pleasant and airy ones, and we nbw can boast of An edifice equal to that of any other banking institution
in the colonies. Mr. E. B. Holt still holds the position of manager, and to him the contractor acknowledges himself indebted for many of his ideas. To-day, Sir John Robertson, Minister of Education, entertains the members of the Conference. The entertainment includes a trip by steamer round our beautiful harbor. Fires of late have been numerous, no less than three having occurred in the last week, amongst which the principal is the warehouse of M. Eecket, general importer—burnt to the ground in a few hours. Estimated loss L 25,000. The fate of Leichardt and Classan, explorers, who, some 45 years ago, started from Sydney with a view to travelling right through to Western Australia, has at last been decided,
owing to the strenuous and untiring efforts of Mr. Skuthorpe (a squatter in the back country). A pplication was made to the Government of this colony on several occasions to vote him a sum of money to assist in the search, but without any results. Mr. Skuthorpe thereupon fitted out a search party at his own expense, and started on his journey some months ago. It is now pleasing to state that, by telegram received yesterday, it is found that, after travelling 200 miles into the South Australian border, and on the Herbert River, he dicovered relics of Leichardt, consisting of his diary and Classan’s, also a telescope, with presentation engraving, and a portion of a boot. Classan’s diary states that he left Leichardt at Saltwater Creek, while he searched for water, but on returning he found the party dead. He then joined the blacks and lived with them for years. Skuthorpe, acting on legal advice, is on his way to Sydney to hand over all relics to the proprietors of the Bulletin , who have offered Li,ooo reward for them. Within the last month two large immigrant ships, the Northampton and Glamis, have arrived, and it is pleasing to note that nearly all the passengers have been found suitable employment by their friends. The few remaining are expected to be hired out soon. After the arrival of the Glamis some of the crew became disordeily, and it necessitated sending for the water police. As soon as the police attempted to board the ship, the crew attacked them, and it was with some difficulty they were overpowered by the constables. The prisoners were brought before the Water Police Court, and sentenced to four months’ imprisonment each.
Captain Trouten,'who for the past 16 years has been connected with the Australian Steam Navigation Company —seven years of which period he has held the position of manager —was a passenger to England by the last mail. His project is to visit some of the best shipbuilding yards, and to give orders for the construction of two new steamers, to supplement the present fleet. Prior to his departure his brother officers entertained him at Aaron’s Exchange Hotel, where he was the recipient of a very handsome souvenir. It is with regret I have to record the death of Mrs. W. B. Dailey, wife of our eminent Q.C. Mrs. Dailey succumbed to that now raging disease, typhoid fever, yesterday morning. Mrs. Dailey was a sister of Mr. William A. Long, recently a member of the Legislative Assembly, and of Lady Martin, wife of our Chief Justice. Mr, J. R. Skuthorpe, who states he has found relics of the Leichardt party of explorers, publicly horsewhipped the editor of the Champion (Blackball) for having inserted an article detrimental to his character. Great excitement prevails.
The termination of the drought appears to have come at last, and not a bit too soon, judging from the fact that drinking water was sold a week ago at Temora at sd. a bucket, whilst up at Cobar, the centre of our great copper district, the inhabitants were reduced to a few days’ supply. Mr. E. E. Waters, one of our most talented journalists, has, during the past week, passed from our midst. He was attacked very suddenly with typhoid fever, and in despite of all medical aid succumbed to the terrible disease. Mr. Waters, at the time of his death, held the position of sub-editor of the Evening News. He leaves a wife and three children to mourn his loss.
Great disappointment was felt here by the postponment of the great Sculling Championship, between Laycock and E. Hanlan. Hundreds had sat up all night with a view of securing the news as soon as it was cabled. Some practical joker put up a telegram outside an hotel, “ Laycock won easily,” and signed it Edward Hanlan. It is said hundreds read the supposed result and went on their way rejoicing, little thinking the whole thing was a hoax.
A new Theatre, called the “ Gaiety,” has been started here within the past month. Messrs. Bayliss and Solomon are the lessees. No expense having been spared, this bijou theatre takes rank with any similar place of amusement in the colonies. When full, it seats 1,500 comfortably. Mr. F. Marshall has concluded his third week of “ Quilp" to constantly crowded houses, hundreds being turned from the doors nightly. Since Mr. Marshall’s secession from the Comedy Company now playing at the Theatre Royal, great notice has been taken of his loss to his old haunts. Robertson’s comedy, “Ours,” is now being played at the Royal to fair houses. Mr. J. C. Hoyte, an artiste recently from New Zealand, has for the past 12 months been employed painting views of Sydney Harbor. Eight of the above paintings were sold at Messrs. Bradley, Newton, and Lamb’s auction rooms last week, and realised good prices. Mr. Whatam, who for the past seven years has been employed as a lettercarrier in the General Post Office, has received intelligence by last mail from England that he is heir to a fortune of L 30,000.
OUR SYDNEY LETTER., Ashburton Guardian, Volume 2, Issue 261, 5 February 1881
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