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(From our own, Correspondent.) Sydney, March 12. The opposition co some of the votes on the Estimates has been the means of keeping the Assembly sitting till 3 a.m. for three nights this week, whilst the fourth found the Speaker in the chair at n o’clock. The first vote questioned was that of L 17,000, the amount of the award to the Milburn Creek Copper Mining Company, of which the Minister of Mines was onesixth shareholder. The land had been selected by two parties, and a former Minister of Mines put the Milburn Creek Company into possession despite the recommendation to the contrary of the District Surveyor. Three years’ work’resulted in the production of Li 4,000 worth of ore, and the Supreme Court unanimously ejected the Government Jtrotegcs. The Company then petitioned the House, and a Select Committee was appointed, the report of which contained a recommendation of the claim to the favorable consideration of the Government. Ministers maintained that no other course was open to them but arbitration, whilst it was contended by many of their ordinary supporters that if any compensation were given it should be to the rightful owners of the mine, who had been deprived of 1.14,000 of their property. The item was at last carried upon division. The immigration vote was another knotty point. The Government proposed to reduce the sum from 1.75.000 to 1.50,000, which sum distributed upon the new system of half contribution would bring in about 7.000 persons to the colony. The vote was persistently opposed by the representatives from the Murray districts, who averred that assisted immigration was only maintained in the interests of capitalists. The arguments raised against the system were strong, and if it had not been for a splendid speech made by Sir Henry Parkes, in which he asserted that the country could never become a great nation without.population, he would probably have had to submit to a greater reduction in his estimate than L 10,000. The Government propose to finish one or two Bills now in progress and then adjourn till June.

Seldom has Sydney been visited by a succession of such storms as those which raged during this week. On Wednesday morning a thunderstorm came up from the south west ; the lightning was very vivid, hut the rainfall was not great. Soon after i o’clock in the afternoon one of the most singular hailstorms ever seen in the metropolis fell. The hailstones were very large, and of an irregular shape. The largest that was measured at the Observatory was indies and weighed of an oz Several horses bolted in thc public streets, the driver of one of the vehicles having his face cut open by a hailstone. At Chippendale, a child was swept away by the the flood waters in the street, and the body has not yet been recovered. Our new public offices are nearly finished, and when completed they will not be surpassed by any other buildings in the Southern Hemisphere. 1.6000 is the cost of the furniture and fittings in the offices of the Colonial Secretary and Minister of Public Works. At least such is the estimate of a contemporary, and as a further instance of Democratic luxuriance in this colony, I may quote a comment to the effect tint the four-poster upon which our stately Premier, Sir Henry Parkes, deigns occasionally to snore cost no less a sum than L2OO. For my part I do not grumble, being Templaristic in my ordinary life, my share of the amount is very small. Pmt if this course of life aids our worthy Premier, why not our other members ? Imagine what a grand thing it would be for the colony if such members as M'Elhone and Buchanan could he induced to retire early by the aluremcnts of a princely bed, or in other words, “to sleep more and talk less.” A coroner’s inquest has been held on the body of Miss Charlotte Fanny Bray, the young lady whose body was found literally smashed to pieces on the railway line near Redmyre Station. After a great deal of evidence had been adduced, the jury returned a verdict of suicide, and that at the time she was not in her right mind. This is another love romance. It appears she had bestowed her affections on a Mr Robberds, with whom latterly she quarrelled. This contretemps appears really to have been the cause of the rash act.

Mrs Lewis, of Glen Innes, a : WeaUliy married lady, died in Sydney whil t undergoing the operation of having a tooth drawn. Heart disease was apparently the cause of death.

The cricket match bteween the Combined team and the Australian Eleven was concluded on Wednesday (9th inst.), it having extended over four days. The scoring throughout was not remarkably great, the total number of runs obtained only amounting to 720 ; although, had it not been for the utter collapse of the Australian team in the second innings, the match would have been one of the heaviest scoring contests ever played in Australia. At the commencement of the match the Australians were slightly tl ie favourites, but MShane spoiled tb e ' r chance by getting nine wickets in the 2nd innings for 45 runs. The result was a victory for the Combined by 246 runs. Massie for the Combined was highest scorer, 80 runs ; whilst for the Eleven, Murdoch made 65. Spofforllvs bowling was knocked about dreadfully. The latest news received from Mount Blown Diggings is somewhat assuring. The population there already number 600, and good order prevails. The diggers appear determined to prevent Chinamen participating in the rush. One IMongolian put in an appearance ; his life was immediately threatened, so he decamped rather hastily. Water is now plentiful, owing to the past heavy rains that have fallen. A rough township has been formed--thc usual shanty keeping goes on-—a general store, a butcher’s shop, etc. A waggon left Wilcannia for the rush, a few davs ago, with 40 diggers well furnished with stoves and mining materials. Many clerks in Government and merchants’ offices here have thrown up certainties, for the uncertainties of a goldfield ! May they be lucky ! Some alterations are now being made in the vicinity of Mrs Macquarie’s Chair, which are likely to increase the attractiveness of that historical spot. The battery of guns which used to frown from the slight eminence there, and the fence that surrounded it, have now been removed. The embankments have been levelled, and a smooth green sward is to take their place. From Mrs Macquarie’s Chair the finest views of the harbor are obtainable. When the point is reached, visitors have on the right a clear view of the islands, and our beautiful Heads, while to their left they see Farm Cove, and the men-of-war, and the majestic Garden Palace, and Botanical Gardens. Tt has been of late a bad season for the Insurance Offices. A few days ago Messrs Redgate and Sons’ flourmills, at Woolloomooloo, were burnt to the ground, and it is ascertained that the ■ stock, portion of which was unfortunately removed to their new premises in Liverpool street, was insured in the Union Insurance Company of New Zealand for L6OO. Then again, by • telephone from Bourke last night, it was announced that a disastrous fire had taken place there, when two large stores, sheds, and dwelling-houses, the property of Messrs Harris and Spike, wore reduced to ashes. The damage is generally estimated at 1.4,000. Messrs Harris and Spike are insured in the Standard and New Zealand Offices.

A public meeting' was numerously attended last night at .the Exchange Hotel, when it was considered what steps should be taken to recognise Mr Elias Laycock’s services in upholding the aquatic reunion of the colonies. Over L3OO was subscribed in the room. The subject of packing the benches at the Police Courts was discussed in the Legislative Assembly last night, on a motion by Sir Alfred Stephen for the production of the papers in the case of the prosecution of Martin Guest, and a very general opinion was expressed that something should be done to remedy the existing evil. Mr Darley considered that Sydney had reached that stage, which many of the large cities at Horae had reached, when we should dispense with the services of all unpaid Justices, and have stipendary Magistrates.

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OUR SYDNEY LETTER., Ashburton Guardian, Volume 2, Issue 300, 23 March 1881

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OUR SYDNEY LETTER. Ashburton Guardian, Volume 2, Issue 300, 23 March 1881

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