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OUR SYDNEY LETTER, Ashburton Guardian, Volume 2, Issue 400, 20 July 1881
OUR SYDNEY LETTER
(yaosc OUB OWN CORRESPONDENT.)
Stdnbt, July 2, 1881,
Parliament is to re-assemblc on Thursday next, the 6th inst., so that for once members will be able to transact business in the cooler and altogether more suitable season of the year. It is well that such an arrangement has been made, because one would fancy that many a diligent legislator would fight shy of such a mass of business as that which has to be dealt with during the next few months, if the debates were to be as prolonged as they were in the session of last autumn, when the Chamber was overcrowded, and consequently overheated. Though there is not likely to be ,any decided party contest, the measures to be introduced by the Government are bound to be discussed at the same extraordinary length as were those presented at the first sitting of the enlarged House. There is altogether too much talking power in the Assembly, and until some smart man is moved to show up the absurdities ot a crowd of members and frothy demagogues, Sir Henry Parkes will find the progress of legislation very slow. The new member who rushes in where the angels fear to tread is coughed down in the House of Commons, and in some colonial Parliaments, notably that of Victoria; his blatanf uttering and nonsensical verbosity are drowned amid an uproar of derisive cheers, which converts the chamber into a Pandemonium of croaking bullfrogs. But here, in this God-granted colony, where the standard of public speaking is about the lowest in Australasia, every inflated country magnate is allowed full fling until the only occupants left on the benches are fast asleep or are reading books with their ears stopped. Of course every word of this rubbish finds its way into the splendidlycompiled Hansard, thus working a double mischief in the expense of production and wear and tear upon the reporters. Sir Henry may very truly be likened to Frankenstein, for this Electoral Bill of his has proved a signal failure so far as the expedition of the business of the country is concerned. Perhaps the fertile brain of the Premier will evolve some sort of cloture to put a stop to the prolixity of troublesome representatives. JSsferons h.
The Treasurer will be able to meet his censors with a beaming face, for to-day the published returns show that the revenue for the first half of this year has exceeded the immense income of the corresponding period of last year by L979,i49. These figures are stupendous, and are calculated to astonish anyone but him who has an opportunity of watching the extraordinary progress which this colony is making. Some of the reasons for the great increase were stated by Sir John Robertson (the Minister of Education) and Mr Lackey (the Minister of Works) during the tour in the northern part of the colony, whence they returned, on the first day of this week. According to the latter gentleman, our railways pay better per mile than those of any other colony, and this great fact is accomplished with a system notoriously incomplete, and, for the purposes of trade, remote from the deep waters of the principal port. But the railways are not the only source of increase, for our customs revenue continues to advance, despite the limited number of articles on the tariff. The land revenue is also an important item, seeing that the receipts, especially under the head of conditional purchases, are largely in excess of those for last year. This indicates a greater tendency for settlement upon the lands, and perhaps is the most satisfactory feature in the returns.
After all sorts of misgivings and frightful stories of the dire effects of small-pox had been industriously circulated by the Victorian press, no doubt with the object of showing that it was not worth the while of Earl Clanwilliam and his detached squadron to come on to Sydney, it is now officially announced that the ships leave Melbourne on the Bth for this city. The Bacchante will remain in Melbourne for a day or two beyond the date named in order to complete her repairs. It is probable that the Princes will come in advance of the ships overland, as the stay of the squadron here is limited to ten days. When the squadron is anchored in Farm Cove there will be quite an array of men of war, seeing that H.M.S. Wolverine and Miranda are already in port. Apropos of naval matters, it is announced that Captain James Erskine, the new commodore of the Australian squadron, will hoist his pennant on board H.M.S. Nelson, a new ironclad of twelve guns and 7,000 tons. This vessel is more than 1,500 tons larger than H.M.S. Inconstant,
Small-pox at last, I am glad to say, is looked upon as a thing of the past ; our port is no longer an infected one public vaccinators, health officers, and‘> numerous other Government officials have been instructed to leave the public alone. Travellers by water can leave the port without being suddenly pounced upon and enquiries made as to “ Have you been vaccinated ? When ? And did it take effect ?” The patients at the Quarantine Station are all doing well. Dr Foncart furnished his official statement yesterday, and early next week the doctor’s incarceration will cease, and he will once more be restored to the bosom of his family. The burning of a blue light and firing of a distress gun on board the steamship Ocean in quarantine last evening caused no little consternation to those on shore. On the pilot going off the captain stated there was no food or water on board, and that unless some was immediately sent he would be compelled to break the regulations and steam straight up to Sydney. The matter was reported immediately to the authorities, who at once sent a few days’ provisions and water on board. To supply 400 people on board with food during the several weeks they must remain in quarantine is not a trifling matter. The agents are endeavoring to arrange with the Government to be allowed to coal and proceed to Melbourne with her Chinese passengers. May the Government consent, is the earnest wish of all, Q hinese being at a discount here at present. The Buckly poisoning case has occupied the attention of the Bench at the Water Police Court for the greater part of the week. John Cocks, licensee of the European Hotel, where the,
deceased lived in Sydney up to the date of his death, being arraigned on a charge of manslaughter, was, after the hearing of a lot of evidence of a tedious nature, committed for trial at the next sitings of the Criminal Court. The rumor that Mr. G. A Lloyd, M.P., is to succeed Mr W. A. Duncan, C.M.G., as Collector of Customs is denied. The latter gentleman not having resigned, the matter, therefore, has not been before the Executive.
Mr G. R. Dibbs, of Shepherd v. Dibbs notoriety, and who has only recently served his sentence of twelve months within the walls of Darlinghurst gaol for contempt of Court, provoked some amusement at a meeting of the Synod held a few evenings ago. In course of a discussion in reference to the resumption of St. James’ School property, by a statement that the resumption of that property was in accordance with law, and, “The law must be submitted to, no matter how disagreeable it might be,” he said, amid laughter, “ Those who had had some experience of the inconveniences of the law would readily admit that it was no good kicking against the pricks, and when they found the law against them they should accept the inevitable with the best grace.” The arrival of the Orient Company’s steamship Sorata, on Thursday morning, was quite an event of some interest. Between nine and- ten months ago, this noble vessel (4,014 tons) went ashore a mile from Cape Jervis lighthouse. For some time, it will be recollected, the prospects of ever removing the ship from her rocky bed were exceedingly small. But, Captain Fowler, her commander, all along entertained a belief as to the practicability of floating her. After many reverses, the history of which is too well known to need repeating. Captain Fowler succeeded in floating his vessel, and she was removed from the rocks amid the enthusiastic cheers of a gratified crowd on a South Australian shore. She was conducted to a place of safety for temporary repair, and thence taken to Melbourne for more permanent repairs. From time to time my readers have been made familiar with the work that was done, and after the lapse of the greater part of a year one of the most magnificent vessels of the Orient Co.’s fleet once more lies in Sydney harbor, resuming her place on the London and Australian line. The repairs cost La 4,000. She made a splendid trip from Melbourne, her engines working well, and from her appearance it is hard to realise that she has gone through troubles little short of a total wreck. Thousands have visited the Sorata at the Circular Quay, and a great deal of interest is manifested.
A great deal of excitement has been caused in mercantile circles by the fact that the s.s. Sorata, of the Orient line, has been seized at the instance of certain consignees of goods, lost through the mishap which occurred to the vessel last year at Cape Jervis. The ship was attached yesterday by the sheriff, and there is likely to be heavy litigation over the matter. Of course the fine steamer will not be detained when an alternative arrangement can so easily be made, but the question whether the goods were lost through the carelessness of the company’s officers will certainly be fought out in the Supreme Court. The case after all will only be one of many, and will be taken as a test action.
OUR SYDNEY LETTER, Ashburton Guardian, Volume 2, Issue 400, 20 July 1881
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