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(From a Neiv South Wales Correspondent.) . Sydney, Feb. 26, 1881; On the Estimates for the current year being brought before Parliament, they caused some heated and wearisome discussions. The increase of Ll5B per annum to the Governor’s aide-de-camp created some dissension, whereupon Sir Henry Parkes tried to explain that the present aide-de-camp's predecessor was only a half-pay officer. Mr McElhone replied, and said it was very easy to see what hon. members received invitations to Government House, and he knew hon. members who were making it right for the next batch of titles ; that in his opinion there was no man in the Government service who was paid more for less work, than the aidc-de-camp of our Governor. This item, despite Mr McElhone’s opinion, was passed by a large majority. On an item of La,995 for permanent and volunteer forces, Mr Roseby spoke for some length upon such an extravagant outlay upon military forces, the amount paid for this service for last year being Li 25,000. Sir Henry Parkes, in a very good and practical speech, pointed out that the gentlemen whom he had appointed as a Commission to enquire into the present defences of the colony were men in every sense of the word: capable of doing so. Mr M'Elhone, who had remained silent for a considerable period (a rather notable thing for him to do), rose and said that he knew very little about the permanent force, except that on one occasion he had the pleasure of travelling from Newcastle to Sydney with a detachment of the force, and that the whole lot of them, from the officers downwards, were drunk. The leading hotelkeeper in Newcastle would not take them in, and that their bills still remain unpaid. His idea was to have a regiment of British soldiers, for they were under discipline. The Royal Commission was a three-card trick of the Colonial Secretray to get the hon members off the war-path that night. The Estimates will be most probably a subject of some length, as great reductions are contemplated in the Civil Service. Free selection has of late been on a rapid increase owing to the amendment of the land laws, the residence clause having been reduced from five years to three years, and improvements required to be made on a selection have met with a similar reduction — viz., Li to 10s per acre. Free selectors are becoming very numerous in our north-western districts, but, compared with those in other parts, they are a miserable lot. In most cases their chief occupation is shanty-keeping, for they find sly grog-selling more profitable, and-they are never interfered with although the police know of their illegal calling. an illustration of the profits that are made, and the practices resorted to in this busines, I was told of an instance on the Paroo where L2O was offered for a 4oogal. tank of water, which was wanted by the would-be purchaser to assist in the manufacture of alcohol, which could be sold to shanty housekeepers at 9s per gallon. Sometimes a selector will take advantage of the scarcity of water in a particulai locality, and, by constructing a moderately sized tank be able to make a considerable amount of money by selling water to travellers. Cultivating the soil, however, does not appear to be an occupation to which this class of selector gives much attention. for they appear to do very well in other ways. Many persons interested in free selection aver that it will never be a success in pastoral districts until the area open to a selector is increased, and his pre-emptive right secured to him. This may be applicable to honest and industrious selectors, but I fail to think any amendment will alter the views of the selectors we have in our north-west districts.

Punch’s hotel, at the corner of King and Pitt streets, was to-day sold tor the sum of L 24,000, Mr Frank Punch being the purchaser. Great delight was expressed by all Sydneyites that the hotel was not allowed to go out of the Punch family. Most ot my readers may not be aware that the deceased Mr Punch, commonly known as Jim Punch, was the man who trained and therf took Trickett to England, bearing all expense, to wrestle the championship from Sadler. The Intercolonial Cricket Match, New South Wales versus Victoria, commenced on last Friday, and was very evenly maintained throughout, and our “ chosen boys,” although defeated, need not be at all ashamed that their endeavors were not crowned with success. They may console themselves with the reflection that they made a gallant fight of it, and were defeated by friendly snd courteous opponents. In fact, in no previous match between the cricketers of Victoria and New South Wales has the generous spirit of rivalry been so marked. The assemblage during the three days was very large; it would be safe to say that fully 20,000 people witnessed and, moreover, enjoyed the grand display of cricket. The Victorians won the match by 31 runs— New South Wales scoring in their two innings, 331 ; Victoria, 362. Frank Allan (the bowler of a century) bowled throughout the match in his old form, taking no less than seven of the N. S. Welshmen’s wickets in 176 balls. 11. H. Massie batted well for New South Wales —70 runs; A. Bannerman also showed good form, getting 52 runs.

The wool sales of New South Wales are yearly on a steady increase, which is principally due from the fact of so many large capitalists leaving Victoria and settling in our back districts (Darling, Warego, and Albert). The wool statistics for the present season show an increase of 34,709 bales. Allowing for additional sales by private contracts direct from the owners to merchants and others, 50,000 bales have been sold by brokers in Sydney. The case of Robery Bros, (owners of the illfated ship Sussanah Godefroy) v. the Mercantile Marine Insurance Company, came to a close a few days ago, after occupying the attention of the Supreme Court for nearly ten days. The j udge summed up dead against the owners of the ship, saying that it was their opinion that the insuree had obtained the insurance by gross misrepresentations, and that it was a pity there was no existing law whereby Robery Bros, could not be made to provide for the widows and orphans. A great many city improvements have been made recently, owing, I am

unceasing taunts from mtoria, u Why, Melbourne is a hunzted years ahead of Sydney, etc.” One bf the most noticeable is that on the block of land having frontages to Elizabeth, Market, and Castlereagh streets. Only the other day the land was covered with tumble-down looking tenements, suggestive of the days when our Supreme Court and St. James were looked upon as notable specimens of the progress of architecture in the colony. These have all been pulled down and cleared away, and wHffbe

substituted by nine large' ahops, and two pretentious dwelling houses. The suburban tramways afc progress, the lines under consmrenon now are those to Wayerly, Wootehfa, and Randwick, and’thO are only prevented from going: on, .on account of the rails.

After several days of excessively close muggy weather, a wblborae change took place last night. In the evening heavy looking clouds tip from the southward, and. about 8 o’clock one of the most violent thunderstorms we have had this summer broke over the city. The Vain lasted for about an hour, and came down like a deluge. At .North; yfjhoflp the downpour for a short .time is described as unpreedented. This timely rainfall will serve to replenish the empty tanks and wells of the suburban folk, and it has had the effect of flushing out sewers, which was very much required, especially in the neighborhood of Woollooniooloo. v : ! More Banks, more money I hbpe. "A new banking institution is to be started in Sydney, for the benefit uf French people, commercial and- otherwise. A branch of the Cornptoif d’ Escompte de Paris. t. The news of Laycbck’s defeat by Hanlan, though generally anticipated, was to some extent disappointing, as, from his previous performances, it was thought he would have pushed Haitian closer. On his arrival he, will with quite an ovation, and : serves it. ‘ '

The Duke of Manchester hag been a guest at Westbrook station; one Darling Downs. r On the ,24th his grace left for Warwick, and then journeyef through the New England district, via Tara worth and Newcastle, thence to Sydney, where he will be a : gt|est at Government House. There was a small flutter ol excitement and curosity in town this” morn* ing, over Mr Skuthorpe and hardt relics. It was reported that-Mr Skuthorpe had, left Brisban©' in :thet steamer Wotonga, and as the vessel was due in Sydney this morning, There was some anxiety displayed for the relics. Would he really have them? wasythe>: question. Great was The'' ment on the arrival of the ::: std^^' l^. 0 find it was Mr Skuthorpe’s bro&erp who apparently knows .nothings abotftr the relics. The New Soiith Wal®* Gd**" vernment have now scnt;a-telegFamr offering compensation of Lr,ooo. The intended performance of the Austrian Band in the Domain- last night had to be postponed in conse- „ quence of a dreadful thunderstorm, passing over the city just about ttic.l time fixed for the cdmmimcement „d? the conceit. To-night ; they !^H s £ps#«:» at the Exhibition Building,-. when a series of solos will be performed. The gratuitous treatment? 6f of Sydney by Mr Milner Stephen J (brother of Sir Alfred Stephen) continues to attract a large number of patients-'Tb the National Hall. All his cures are effected by magnetism- In this:city and Melbourne he has been most sue* * cessful in his cures of deafness, blind- J ness, paralysis, and certain kinds of deformity. Our professional men ale? very jealous of his He is said tb t jhave made L7OO in one month practising his “magnetic treatment,” or,'as : Mr. Stephens terms it, “ spiritualistic power.” , ". J ' ' ■ There is, I aha sure, no other'cHy-' 11 like Sydney, where playgoers’ tastes so much studied. During the -, \ 0 Williamson’s Combination Co. have been playing “ H.M.S. Pinafore,” with Verdlt Beaumont and Rainford in the l caste;j / J and when I mention Miss Moore and Miss Annie Taylor, the, attraction is not a light one. At the Gaiety the first part of the week, " They - - Porter’s Knot” and “The "Wedding 1 „ March” were played, but by special , c , request, Mr Marshall has been playings “ Quilp ” to crowded houses dunng the-- y past few days. The Danites are ing crowded houses at the Queen’s, 'At j"'" the Opera House, “ Ten Nights in Bar-room” has been revived.. lovers of drama nightly attend. , Defs . r ' great American circus has arrivedyind ‘ . will open at the Haymarket, this even-:; r ing at “ million prices.” >

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OUR SYDNEY LETTER., Ashburton Guardian, Volume 2, Issue 289, 10 March 1881

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OUR SYDNEY LETTER. Ashburton Guardian, Volume 2, Issue 289, 10 March 1881

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