The Ashburton Guardian. Magna Est Veritas et Prevalebit. THURSDAY, MAY 5, 1881. The Government and Dr Skae.
TOWN EDITIONT [lssued at 5.10 p.m.]
The fallacy of the chameleon character of the disposition with which the Government have regarded the Wellington Lunatic Asylum offenders, is already making itself apparent. The remarks made at the meeting in Wellington on Tuesday evening show the general disapproval with which they are met, and the query Why should Whitelaw be made a scapegoat in the matter? is but what might be expected to arise ; and one the justice of which must be but too painfully apparent. We say painfully, because we regard it as distressing that ground for such a remark should have been permitted to creep into existence. The apathetic behaviour of the powers that be cannot have arisen from a non-acquaintance with the only too glaring injustice thereof, for, from the first, the colonial press has been unanimous in its advocacy of justice being dealt impartially to the whole of those implicated; and immediately the lenient measures the Government proposed adopting towards all concerned but Whitelaw became public, the condemnation was universal. Notwithstanding this, however, all that could be done to increase the weight of culpability in respect to Whitelaw was brought into requisition, whilst a passive spirit was maintained in regard to the guilt of Dr Skae. Was it that it was hoped the glaring character of the offences charged against Whitelaw would create an illumination of such magnificence that in the public mind the two doctors’ behaviour would be lost to view? We can only regard it as such ; and it is much to the shame of those entrusted with the direction of the public affairs of this colony that cause for such suspicion has ever arisen. It Whitelaw is guilty, how much more so is Dr Skae in his condonation of his behaviour ? Therefore, why should the one be made amenable to all the pains and penalties of the criminal law, and the other escape scot free ? Have we then a law for the rich and a law for the poor, or for the unfortunate and for the influential ? for we regard Mr Whitelaw more in the light of an unfortunate than of a deliberate offender. Possibly the cruelties practised by him are unparalleled in this colony, but that they owed their origin to an ungovernable temper we have proof. No such plea can be advanced by Dr Skae for his conduct; which therefore is the most deserving of punishment ? Should Dr Skae escape, through the medium of Cabinet and other influence, it will be nothing more or less than a crying disgrace.
Political. —Mr George M‘Lean will address his constituents on Saturday next, and Mr Saunders will also meet his constituents at Waikari on Wednesday next, at 7 p.m. Sparrow Club, Waterton.—A Sparrow Club for the Waterton district has been recently formed. Mr Surgesson has been appointed hon. secretary, and the following gentlemen a directory committee—viz., Messrs White, J.; Taylor, T.; Davis ; White, T.; Shearer, and Dawson, A. The next meeting of the Club is fixed for to-night. County Council. —Yesterday, at the special meeting which took place after our representative left, the following business was transacted : The annual balance sheet, showing a credit balance of L 20,899 2s to the 31st March last was read and adopted. The following tenders were accepted : —Water supply channels— No. 1, Dick, at 2s 5d ; No. 2, W. Silcock, at Is lOd ; No. 3, L. Mangham, at Is sd; No. 4, W. Silcock, at Is Bd.
The Hunting Season.—The first meet of the season (says this morning’s Temulca Leader) was held yesterday, when several gentlemen started with the hounds from the Arowhenua homestead, Mr A. L. Barker acting as master of the hounds. They proceeded along the Opihi river bod towards the Point. They killed one hare and hunted another one down. Very good sport was obtained and there were no mishaps barring a few spills.
South Rak.ua School Committee.— This committee held its usual monthly meeting on Tuesday. Present—Messrs Hardy (chairman), Bowler, Byrne, and Gaardar. The master’s report was read •and received. It was resolved to write to the Board of Education ro the appointment of an assistant mistress to the school. It was resolved to apply to the Boad Board for the formation of a footpath from Cridland street to Bowen street for the convenience of the children attend - the school. It was resolved to obtain the school firing from the yards of Messrs Montgomery and Co. and Mr Mclnman alternately. The Yellow Aoont. —The following is the latest phase of Chinese immigration. The steamer Lydia, Captain Poulson, put in to Honolulu with 700 Chinese on board. They had mutinied, and threatened to murder the European crew, and the captain applied to the authorities for assistance. The police endeavored to board the vessel, but after exhausting their ammunition retired, and the Chinamen then attacked the crew in the forecastle; but, as sixteen of them had served their time in the German army, they fought for their lives, and drove them back down into the hold, and closed the hatches on them till the police and soldiers arrived. The Honolulu Gazette says that eighty of the late Chinese importations are reported to be pirates by profession. They will have a clear field in that line of business, which has been left unworked up to the present by our own people. Twenty-two cases of small-pox were taken from the Lydia to the Hospital at Honolulu.
His First Appearance.—A first offender, who was brought up at the R.M. Court to-day, on a charge of drunkenness, was dismissed with a caution.
Church of England Educational Work.—The Government returns of England show that the Church of England, during the last nine years, contributed for education L 5,630,541, and that during the same period all the other religious bodies contributed L1,C23,305, the proportion being, roughly speaking, as 4 to 1.
Frozen Meat Industry. —Mr N. Y. Wales, who was deputed by the committee of the proposed Frozen Meat Export Company to visit Victoria, New South Wales, and Queensland, and report on the best method for carrying on the work of the company, has just returned, and will present an exhaustive report at a meeting to be held at Dunedin on Monday next.
Industrial Exhibition Committee.— A meeting of the above was held in the upper room of the ’Town Hall last night. There was a good attendance of members, Mr Hugo Friedlander in the chair. The bon. sec., Mr Poyntz, submitted a statement of accounts, showing a deficit. After some discussion, it was decided, with a view of liquidating the same, to hold a concert at an early date, and other means were suggested to raise funds. The following gentlemen then kindly undertook to arrange a concert :—Messrs Douglas, Harrison, and Jameson.
An Incorrigible.— On Friday last Joseph Sloan, on a charge of being intoxicated whilst driving over the Ashburton bridge, was fined L 5 by his Worship the R. M. Last evening Sloan was arrested on a similar charge, and on being brought before the Mayor and Mr Winter, J.P., was “ sent up ” for a month’s hard labor. It was shown in evidence that but for the promptitude of the men employed in repairing the bridge, Sloan would have driven into a hole existing in the centre of the structure, and the result would have been certain death.
Had Him There.—Modern inventions certainly have a moral tone about them. It was only the other day that a shrewd wife made use of one of them to discover the whereabouts of her husband. He seemed to have a great pressure of business in the evening. When questioned about it, he declared that commerce had revived, and that he must be off immediately after dinner. He wanted two hours of perfect quiet at the office to balance his hooks. His wife smiled and slipped a pedometer into his waistcoat pocket. When he returned, she looked at it and found that he had just walked fourteen miles, and then came to the conclusion that he was a remarkably clever man, for he could balance his hooks while walking round a billiard table.
A Sad Story.—A New York paper contains the following terrible illustration of the rake’s progress ;—W. O. Coons locked himself in his room at an hotel in Lincoln recently, and committed suicide by morphine. Some years ago Coons was a wealthy citizen of Fond Du Lac, Wis., and a man of strong intellectual power. He married a very handsome heiress, became dissipated, led a fast life, drank, squandered his own money and his wile’s, and became a penniless debauchee. An estrangement and a divorce followed. His wife was married again and came to Nebraska. Coons followed, found his former wife, pleaded with her and persecuted her, hut was driven away, and the sad history ended as above. He was given a pauper’s burial.
Sf.rious Accident at Doyleton.—A very serious accident, which has since proved fatal to one of the parties, happened last week. As Mr J. McVinnie was driving home to Lakeside, and when opposite the farm of Mr F. O. Boyle, his horse shied at something, throwing Mr McVinnie and his sister-in-law’s (Mrs Nelson) little boy out. The wheel of the trap passed over the child, and Mr McVinnie had his thumb and finger broken. The horse then bolted, and eventually capsized the trap. Mrs Nelson. who jumped out, broke her arm. Assistance was soon at hand, and Mrs Nelson and her child were carried into Mrs F. O. Boyle’s, where Dr Malone was soon in attendance, but the child, which was three years old, was so injured that it died on Monday. Mrs Nelson is now progressing favorably, although her loss has greatly retarded her recovery.— Press.
St Stephen’s Church. — A vestry meeting was held at the parsonage yesterday afternoon. Present—Rev. A. W. Hands, incumbent (in the chair), Messrs Jameson and Gundry, churchwardens, Messrs Bullock, Hunt, Mayo, Wood, Bean, and Ferriman. The business was the consideration of the resolution of Dr Trevor, recommending the appropriation of seats in the church in lieu of the present leasing system. A discussion ensued upon this matter, and it was ultimately resolved —“ That a aub-Oommittee, consisting of the following vestrymen, be appointed to consider the feasibility of the proposal laid before the meeting, viz., Messrs Jameson, Gundry, Wood, and Ferriman.” Votes of thanks were accorded to Messrs John Carter, Joseph Clark, and Sealy Bros., for the requisite necessaries for fencing, etc., the church yard at Tinwald. Some minor matters were then discussed, and a resolution carried that the next meeting of the vestry be held at Mr Gundry’s office, after which the meeting adjourned.
An Unfortunate Mistake.— The Dunedin correspondent of the Cromwell Argus is responsible for the following:—“A somewhat exciting case is said to be pending in the law courts —or rather a series of cases. The ‘ upper ten ’ will be affected. The circumstances are of a delicate nature. Briefly this is the rumor ;—A lady surprised her husband with a domestic. Unfortunately she made a mistake as regards the identity of the female, and spread amongst a number of her acquaintances a scandal concerning an innocent woman, a nurse. The aggrieved woman is consequently bringing actions for defamation of character against some six or seven ladies in the best Dunedin society—or rather against their husbands. The lady who spread the scandal is, of course, amongst the number, and her husband has to bear the brunt of it. This will make it pleasant for him.”
Post Sessional. —Colonel Trimble addressed his constituency in New Plymouth on Tuesday. He began by referring to the Native question, and said Mr Bryce had done his duty in a manly way. Ho had done more to purify the Native office than any other Native Minister, and, although he did not agree with what Mr Bryce proposed to do, yet he (Mr Bryce) had shewn his sincerity by resigning office. The Colonel referred to the Native land laws introduced last session, and spoke with regret of their not being carried. He said he would oppose any alteration of the Education Bill so far as secular education was concerned, but he thought that the expenses might be reduced by the abolition of local boards and committees, and by the educational system being conducted from a centre. He was in favor of the local Government Bills of last session. He defended Major Atkinson’s statement re the L 990,000 deficiency, but censured him respecting his remarks on “ political rest,” saying that there could be no such thing as political rest in any free country, for political rest meant political death. It was, ho urged, a false principle to teach, and any Ministry attempting to carry it out must fail. A vote of thanks and of confidence was carried.
Ashburton Fire Brigade. The ordinary monthly meeting was held on Tuesday evening, at which it was reported by the Captain that Messrs M. Friedlauder .and R. Shearman had become honorary members of the Brigade. Messrs George Page and William Slayer were elected members of the Brigade In the matter of the well on the Brigade's section, complaints were made regarding the uselessness thereof, and the Secretary was instructed to have the pipes drawn and the pump put in working order. The meeting then adjourned. A drill of the members of the Brigade Mas held last evening, the new hose reel being tried, and found satisfactory in every respect. At a meeting following it was decided to obtain a pick, a shovel, and a crowbar for the use of the brigade. The matter of lighting the lamp at the station during the winter months, for the guidance of cabmen in the case of fires, was also brought up, but no action was taken therein.