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1 (from our own correspondent.) ; , Sydney, May 21. It is now pretty' definitely under* stood that Parliament will meet for the . despatch of business in the first week o! July, and in the meantime Ministers and members seem determined to dis- - miss political matters- altogether from : their minds. A statement has been made : in the Melbourne Parliament, corroborating the announcement made in my last letter, that the Government of Victoria and New South Wales will introduce a precisely similar measure in regard to the Chinese question to their respective Parliaments. The popular feeling in regard to this question seems almost to have died away, as it has proved, upon inquiry, that the danger of an influx of Chinese was greatly overestimated, and our Census returns show that the number of Chinese residents in the colony is not at all alarming. An inportant step was taken by the Executive Council on Tuesday, when it was agreed to abolish the wharfage rates on coal at Newcastle and Woollongong. The abolition of these charges had been urged upon the Government time after time, on the ground that they were oppressive and unjust. It was shown that whereas vessels loading at the Government whawesi had to pay these rates, the ships that loaded at private wharves were exempt. This had naturally the effect of giving an undue ■ preference to private wharves, as! against the Government property, and.,it was also found to have a detrimental effect upon the railway receipts. Taking these matters into consideration, the Government have come to the con- ■ elusion to do away with these unpolitic charges. ’ A sudden change in the weather took place yesterday, and several heavy showers tell early yesterday morning. During the afternoon and evening the weather remained threatening, and sobn . after night fall light rain commenced . and-continued for. several houiSy r The . ; reports from sevßiatVbf the county districts indicate that 1 the. fall ■of rain has ; been tolerably geneial, . and at Tenjora and > the; other, goldfiejds the supply of water is welcome. * for arson, and. bis sehtcjnocUteiSftven: ' ' years’ hard labor, have assured the public that juries <sanr'y«fibe‘found to do tfceir duty jtr qrimitwhqases.... The, prisoner, *an" acdomplishecr Frenchman, Started -business t about twp-y«araagq r .. iri d street,’; qeVlilpj tjh?; V^gf& t 'ani offices,' :,; Thc jevidencej; disclosed; tlu&io' fact |that' his;; goods: > were feithei jmrrq »; chased with, money advanced by

fiding friend, or received bn consign ment from firms' exhibiting at the Melbourne Exhibition. On the night of the nth January, Becket shipped a safe on board the Wollongong steamer, and leaving his store between io and rr o’clock, locked the door, and, contrary to ‘custom* did not leave the key at . the newspaper office next door. ‘ The steamer was scarcely io miles from Sydney when those on. board saw the bright glare which arose from the . burning warehouse. It was a huge fire, and. no end of damage was done. The Telegraph office was cleared out ' before the fire caught its roof, but one or two neighboring wholesale establishments suffered considerably. Becket’s store was completely gutted, and substantial as were the store walls, the whole structure was so calcined that it ■ had to be rased. Becket could not assign any particular reason for having accompanied the safe on its way to - Wollongong, nor was the order for that ■ article clearly shown. When the books

were called for, they oetrayea an inextricable chaos, and everything went to justify the insurance companies in their prosecution. The evidence, however, was altogether circumstantial, but was deemed to be sufficiently strong to overcome the consideration which always presents itself in a charge of • arson—viz., that the prosecutors play to win in either case. The Hon. W. B, Dailey, the eminent Queen’s counsel, ’defended the prisoner, though it is many years since he appeared as a ' pleader in the criminal Court. The sensation of the hour is the result of the libel action brought by the proprietors of the Clontarf Picnic Grounds against the Bulletin. In "January last the paper astonished its ' readers with an account of the doings -at Clontarf on Boxing Day, describing the scene as an orgie, and the dancing as that of Satyrs and bacchantes. A section of the public, of the “ sisters, cousins, and aunts” of the barnacles and fossils who have felt the Bulletins scrapes, urged the proprietors of the picnic grounds to take action against the paper. They came into Court with the leader of the bar and other eminent counsel, and the paper appeared to justify all it had said, and to open the eyes of the public to a good deal more, which could not be described in the columns of a newsnnnan* ‘ T7i#fw.nin» «rlfnP<teAG

for the defence, among whom was Mr Traill, formerly editor of the Queenslander and of the Sydney Mail. This gentleman said he would not retract one line of the article, for it was the result of careful consideration of what he had actually seen. Oh the twelfth day of the trial his Honor Sir Wm. Manning summed up. He spoke highly of the article and said it was admirably wntfen, with extremely vivid wordpainting. There was no doubt the plaintiffs were responsible for what took place on their ground, and there appeared to be some foundation for the allegations, even in the evidence of the police who were called for the plaintiffs. In the face of this, the jury returned a verdict for one farthing damages, and, wfet, is stranger still, his Honor certified for costs, which cannot be less than LijSoo. There has been quite an upheaval of public opinion in respect to this decision, and the Sydney Morning Jterald, with other papers, has openly questioned the Judge’s action. The two preliminary public meetings held to devise means to uphold the Bulletin resulted in the spontaneous subscription of Li 30. A mass indignation meeting will be held next week, and nothing is more' certain than an ultimate appeal to the Privy Council, if. the Full Court here refuses a pew trial

Mr. J. Lamach, of the Bank of New South Wales, and brother of Mr Lamach of Guthrie, Lamach, and Co., Dunedin has been appointed accountant of the new County Bank lately established here, and Mr Cook, of Melbourne has been appointed manager. Mr W. C Greville, formerly of Melbourne, and many years manager of the t Australian Joint Stock Bank, Bathurst, proceeds to England by the Orient steamer in July on behal of the Orange , Meat Freezing Company, of which he is a large shareholder, in charge of the first consignment of meat. j ' Another accident has been added ■ to the series of mishaps that have attended the Orient line during their career, in the Australian trade. _ The , famous s.s. Potosi, when attempting to leave the port yesterday evening, unfortunately got ashore at Clark Island. With" the assistance of the tug, she managed to get off without any damage.

repeated ; was sorry, in fact, he had not given the plaintiff more than he had get The magistrate expatiated upon the enormity of the offence. There was no excuse for a man taking the law into his own hands ; such a thing could hot be tolerated ; the majesty of the law must be upheld ; how dare any man, in the presence of forty other men, be guilty of what was, in vulgar parlance termed c punching of heads ?’ The offence must be stopped. He should therefore sentence the defendant to And here the people in the Court held their breath, for from the magistrate’s manner, it was thought the defendant would at least, receive three months imprisonment, with hard labour. He should therefore sentence the defendant to pay a fine of 405., and he would advise the plaintiff for the future to avoid publishing scurrilous articles in his newspaper. Those in Court would not allow the defendant to pay the fine. They paid it for him, and would have paid the penalty had it been L4O instead of 40s. The editor declared he would make it hot for the defendant and magistrate, but he was warned that before he did this he should provide himself with a spare set of ribs. And the editor’s next issue came out with never one word against the magistrate’s decision, or the defendant’s power for inflicting punishment. ”

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OUR SYDNEY LETTER, Ashburton Guardian, Volume 2, Issue 360, 2 June 1881

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OUR SYDNEY LETTER Ashburton Guardian, Volume 2, Issue 360, 2 June 1881

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