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OUR SYDNEY LETTER, Ashburton Guardian, Volume 2, Issue 314, 8 April 1881
OUR SYDNEY LETTER
(from our own correspondent.) Sydney, March 26.
Those among us who looked for a storm in the political world when Mr William Foster, the late A gent- General, returned to confront his ancient enemy, Sir Henry Parkes, have been disappointed, for the new member for Guhnedah has been in the House a fortnight and has not opened his lips. He has voted once or twice, but always with the Government. Despite all this, there are tokens.that Mr Foster is only watching and waiting. There are many who believe that when Parliament meets again in June, Mr Foster will bo found at the head of a compact Opposition. Already Mr. ■ Fitzpatrick has resigned his position as leader of the Ministerial: opponents, and 1 Mr.’ Foster has declined the post. However, the able statesman who lifts just returned to ua has made his presence felt in other respects. A£, the welcome breakfast he hinted that he. did not like all the members of the. Ministry, and a few days later there appeared a most sarcastic letter in the public press, in which he told the leader of the Government pretty, plainly that, upon his own admission, die did not know how to express his ideas in the English language. Even in the latter days of the session—for Parliament is about to prorogue—-the want of a recognised leader of the. Opposition shows itself in the unnecessary obstruction which tho business is meeting, and the protracted sittings till the eaily hours of the morning. Notwithstanding the fact that the session has been almost barren of legislation, the Government have succeeded'in,getting the largest railway proposals through Committee that have ever been assented to in Australia, and perhaps by any state in the world. They proposed to construct 585 miles of railway, at a cost of 1,8,700,000, and the pruning knife has been only used in respect to the Southern and Northern junction line, which was only voted as a single instead of a double Hue. Even the junction line between the western and southern lines, 200 miles inland, received the assent of the Committee. The most remarkable feature in connection with these railways is the unanimity tho House displayed in accepting them. One division was actually carried by 77 votes to 2. The Government owe a good deal of their success to the fact that our eastern lines almost pay the interest upon construction, and every new venture but adds to the chances of an immense revenue in the near future. The tramway system which has been adopted in Sydney is no exception to this rule. Last Sunday ten thousand citizens travelled upon the new extension to Congee Bay, the trip ; being accomplished in twelve minutes, and at a cost of Bcl there and back. As Congee is a pretty ocean beach, the llandvvick extension is bound to be a great source of attraction to pleasure seekers, and of overheated citizens.
To-day saw the greatest event that has perhaps occurred in the maritime history of the colony—viz., the berthing the s.s Orient alongside the Circular Quay. The mammoth ship was brought alongside with wonderful ease, and a few minutes afterwards a number of our leading citizens, in 'response to an invitation from Captain Hewson, sat down to a luncheon, the viands of which had been brought all the way from England, in the freezing chamber. The speeches were most felicitous, and were brimful of happy auguries for the future. The Orient Co. have accepted a contract from the Orange Meat Co.— a very wealthy corporation—to carry 150 tons of meat to England every fortnight, at three thousand guineas per trip. The first shipment will he made immediately. So extensive are the new: works of the company at Dubbo, that they can send 7,800 tons of meat Home every year, and in order to show their faith in the trade, they have offered a similar contract to the P. and O. Company, in order that the service may be weekly. There is no doubt that we are on the eve of an immense trade with the Old Country in meat. The Intercolonial Eight-oared Race will come off in a few days, and both crews have taken up their quarters on the Paramatta river in order to proceed actively with their training. The New South Wales crew are very heavy men, there being none in the boat less than 11 stone. Mr J. P. Clark, the veteran: puller, is coaching the crew, and from their performances this afternoon it is plain that a good exhibition of skill will be shown on the day of the race. The Victorians have sent over their most formidable pullers, and it is said they will take a great deal of beating. The salvage case arising out of the rescue by the tug Commodore, of the A.S.N. Company’s s.s. Wotonga, when she lost her screw on the Bth June last, occupied the attention of the Admiralty Court for two days last week. The contention of the A.S.N. Company was that the Wotonga, having lost all the blades of her screw, in a heavy breeze off the land was well able to take care of herself, and when brought into harbor next morning was simply towed in, for which service LIOO was paid into Court, Mr Justice Windeyer based his judgement upon the fact that the Wotonga could not have sailed into port without.considerable risk, and therefore the owners of the Commodore were entitled to the sum of L3OO.
The Royal Commission appointed in deference to the resolutions adopted at the late Intercolonial Conference has commenced its sittings. Nearly all the military authorities of the colonies are represented in the persons of Colonels Scratchley, Roberts, Richardson, and Downes. A review of’ all the forces—permanent, volunteer, and naval—was held this afternoon. There was an immense attendance of the public, and the Park was quite animated. Of amusements we have ample share. The success of Mdme. Boema, in conjunction with the Austrian Band, at the Garden Palace has beer unparalleled. On Tuesday night there were 300 persons seated, whilst nearly as many more were on the promenade. The Williamsons, with Signor Verdi, Mr Armes Beaumont, and Miss Florence Deakin (a rising young primma donna), are performing Gilbert and Sullivan’s “ Pirates of Penzance,” at the Theatre Royal. Apart from the fact that such a celebrated piece has been produced in Sydney for the first time in Australia, there is not much to notice! There are a good many people who believe Sullivan to be a “ one idea ” musician, and certainly the dialogue is not so taking as that of ,i Pinafore.” The Gaiety is occupied by a troupe of Minstrels, and Messrs Greville, Copping, and Hennings are running drama at the Queen’s. The Opera House is still unfortunate. Indeed it appears as if this place of amusement had hot yet passed through the trying probation which always precedes success in this city.
OUR SYDNEY LETTER, Ashburton Guardian, Volume 2, Issue 314, 8 April 1881
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