The Ashburton Guardian. Magna est Veritas, et Prevalebit. FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 11, 1881. Bribery by “Tories” and by “Liberals."
TOWN EDITION. [lssued at 5.10 p.m. j
A few days back a morning contemporary took Mr Wason roundly to task for holding up Victorian Liberalism as a shocking example to be marked and avoided. The writer asked if Mr Wason knew anything about the history of Victorian politics, and by way of posting him up informed him that the squatters forming the Victorian Association subscribed Lso.ooo, and that that money was spent in bribing members of Parliament. It is not very likely that Mr Wason would know anything about that, for the simple reason that it was not the fact. A more complete mare’s nest was never found. Can the writer furnish one particle of evidence, even . of the slenderest kind, of his assertion ? A Parliamentary enquiry, no matter what its verdict, would satisfy both Mr Wason and ourselves that there might have been something in the charge. But no such enquiry was ever made. The sole basis of the broad assertion is the unsupported statement of a Melbourne journal, the Age, which is popularly known in that city by the sobriquet of “ Ananias,” not after the High priest who commanded that the apostle Paul “ should be smitten on the mouth ” for saying unpleasant truths, but after a certain notorious fabricator of untruths, who is reported to have been struck dead in consequence. There have been two, and only two, well-known charges of bribery which have been enquired into by the Legislative Assembly of Victoria. The culprits in both cases were “Liberal” Cabinet Ministers. The first occurred about twelve years ago, when the charge of receiving bribes was made against Mr C. E. Jones, Minister of Railways. It was sheeted home to him, and, with the assent of both sides of the House, he was expelled. The second case occurred about two years later, when the “ Times and Mines ” bribery case was discussed. An obscure journal called by the name mentioned and started as on out-and-out supporter of the Duffy-cum-Berry Ministry, though having scarcely any circulation and no influence, received far more advertising than either the Atgus or the Age in return for its support. The orders for the advertisements came from some member of the Ministry—it was not proved which—and the accounts were paid under orders from the Ministry. To our own certain knowledge, Sir Gavan Duffy, the Premier, and Mr Walsh, the Attorney-General, acknowledged the scandal, but repudiated all personal knowledge or approval of the transaction. These are the only two bribery cases which have come before the Legislative Assembly of Victoria—the culprits in both cases being “ Liberals,” not “ Tories.” But, as the writer we have referred to has so accurate an acquaintance with Victorian politics, can he inform us and the public what is the precise meaning that should be attached to the words “ Liberal ” and “ Tory ” respectively? They have not yet been defined, and many people, perhaps even the accurate writer himself, may be in a fog with regard to the subject. In the old history primers we were told that “Tory” meant “an Irish robber.” But that can scarcely be the sense in which the term is used in Victoria or New Zealand The word “Liberal” I
usually denotes one who makes concessions on behalf of himself or the class to which he belongs, to other persons, or to other classes.
The Wesleyan Conference. The Rev. Mr Best has been elected district representative for Otago to the Wesleyan Conference in Christchurch in January.
Sympathy with a Fanatic. —A correspondent in the Auckland Star proposes to raise a fund for the relief and defence of Te Whiti, and forwards a subscription.
Carriage and Footway. —The chairman of the Wakanui Road Board notifies that the Wakanui road, from the Town Balt to the south-east corner of R.S. 13757, is a carriage-way for 46 feet in the centre, and that 10 feet on each side is a footpath only. A Successful Day. — Mr W. Walters, the well-known sporting man, had a most successful day yesterday. At the C. J.C. Meeting he appropriated the Railway Plate and Selling Stakes with Billingsgate, and was third in the Cup with the Yattendon coll. At the Waverly-Waitotara Meeting he won the Guineas and the Handicap with the Slander filly, and the Flying Stakes with the Grand Duchess, running second for the Flying Handicap with the Slander filly. It will be seen that the rose and waite jacket was first no less than five times, and was placed seven times in all. Library Committee. —This committee held their ordinary monthly meeting last night, the following gentlemen being present : Messrs Ward (Chairman), St. Hill, Charlton, Douglas, Dunn, Roberts, and Scott. A letter was read from Mr Purnell resigning his seat on the committee. The lion, treasurer stated the receipts for the month to have been as follows :—Members’ subscriptions, LlO I2s 6d ; rent of hall, LI 6s. The expenditure had been L2O Os 7d, and he held a balance of Ll2 4s 7d. Accounts amounting to about L 5 were passed for payment, and it was determined to discontinue one of the Christchurch papers. The secretary was instructed to request the return of some chairs and forms borrowed by St. Stephen’s Church a year or two ago. There was considerable discussion as to the purchase of new books and periodicals and the desirability of having a new catalogue printed, but the state of the funds prevented any action being taken just yet. A vote of thanks to the president closed the proceedings. A “ Bobby” in Trouble, —At the City Police Court, Dunedin, on Wednesday, John Dupree, a police-constable, was charged with stealing four ducks, and three fowls, the property of Daniel Lewis. In reply to the Bench, the bobby said he had picked up the birds when leaving his beat. It was shown that the place where the offence was committed was not in the constable’s beat; it was the width of the street away from it. Evidence having been given as to the finding of the birds—in a headless state —at the constable’s abode. Mr MacDermott said he had no evidence to offer. He would simply ask the Bench to dismiss the case. The Bench drew Mr MacDermott’s attention to the fact
that if they were satisfied that a prima facie case had been made out, and, looking at the position of the accused as a guardian of the town, it would be very unlikely that they would take upon themselves to deal with the case as one of larceny of the ordinary kind. Mr MacDermott submitted that no prima facie case had been made out. The Bench, however, thought differently, and committed the accused to take his trial at the next sittings of the Supreme Court. The Sydney Undbktakeks. The Sydney Bulletin is “ going for” the followers of the black business in Sydney. In a recent issue it states that not long ago a man brought into the Bulletin office a wooden box, like a gin case, which he placed upon the floor, preparatory to explaining his business. The box was an empty cherry-ease, in which, the merest chance had led him to discover, the body of his infant had been doubled up and crushed down for burial. It alleges that undertakers frequently levy blackmail on the poor by refusing to deliver the coffin at the last moment, unless they are paid
an exorbitant amount in cash, the relatives generally acceding rather than have a “ scene” at such a painful moment. The same journal, on the authority of an exassistant, also accuses undertakers in Sydney of robbing corpses of shrouds, facecloths, &c,, when they are left alone in the rooms to fasten up the coffin.
The Property Tax. —A notification from the Property Tax Commissioner appears elsewhere.
The County Council Election. —Mr E. G. Wright, one of the candidates for the Upper Ashburton Riding, intimates to electors that the polling day is Wednesday next, and that polling places are at Greenstreet and the Hinds.
Ashburton Bridge on Firs. —The stationmaster and Mr Stephenson received information at a late hour last night that the Ashburton bridge was on fire, and they at once proceeded to the scene of the occurrence on an engine. There was little difficulty in finding the spot, for the woodwork about half way across was in a blaze. All hands now lent a hand in getting the flames under, which they fortunately succeeded in doing without much trouble. Some people imagined that the fire was caused by sparks from a passing train, but as no train had passed for about four hours previous to tho occurrence this is very improbable. The mischief was in all probability caused by some careless smoker, who, after lighting his pipe, threw the match down, and the same igniting the dry horse-dung was the cause of the trouble.
W. W. Charters, —The accused will be brought up before the Christchurch Bench to-morrow, but the charges will not be gone on wiih until Monday next.
A Good Move. —At a meeting of stockowners and others, held at Christchurch to-day, to consider the desirability of forming a company for freezing and exporting meat, butter and cheese, an influential Committee was aupointed to collect information and report. Opening Sale. —The opening auction sale of skins, hides, tallow, etc. by the New Zealand Loan and Mercantile Agency Company takes place on Thursday, November 17. Special facilities are offered. For further particulars see advertisement.
Dog Poisoning, —Yesterday afternoon a very valuable little terrier bel inging to Mrs Zouch was poisoned by strychnine. The poison must have been laid on the streets between The Guardian office and the seed shop of Messrs Sealey Bros., in East street, as the dog had only been once outside the office during the afternoon, and was then in the immediate following of a person from the latter place who noticed the effect of poisoning within five minutes after crossing the railway line. It would be well for owners of dogs to keep a sharp look-out for their pets when passing through Ashburton, as, unfortunately, unprincipled persons are not wanting who would think it a capital joke to lay snares for dogs which are quite inoffensive and harmless, and whose loss to their owners is often a serious matter. It may not be generally known that no person is permitted to lay poison in any public place, or even expose it in any private place, when dogs in passing are ikely to take it. A case lately decided at Home mulcted the owner of some land in damages to the tune of LSO, and law expenses amounting to a considerably larger sum, for laying uncovered poison without notice in a small garden fronting the street.
Ddpautukb of Mr J. N. Wood, R.M. —Mr J. N. Wood, R.M.,left for the scene of his future magisterial labor at Lawrence to-day by the morning express. Mr Joseph Beswick sat on the bench here to-day, but we understand that this is only a temporary arrangement.
Wakanui Election.— We understand that Mr Purnell will, in a few days, address the electors at the Town Hall, Ashburton. Strange, Very —One of the candidates for the Wakanui seat in the General Assembly was allowed to sit amongst the members of the bar at the R.M. Court this morning, and was seen frequently to prompt a solicitor in endeavoring to defend an elector from being struck off the roll, through alleged misrepresentation. We have often seen or heard of electioneering dodges, but have not been able to understand that in a Court of law and equity, any Parliamentary candidate other than a duly qualified lawyer, could appear and assist in the defence of any person, unless called forward to give his evidence in the witness box. But of course a vote is a vote just now. Local Industry. —We observe that the collection of boots and shoes exhibited at the Christchurch show by Mr Thomas Chambers, of this town are now on view in his shop window in East street. They will certainly bear inspection.
Severe Hailstorm. —On Tuesday a most terriffic hailstorm passed over the Alford Forest district about noon. It came up from the south-west, but only lasted about twenty minutes. The hailstones varied in size from one and a half inches to three and a quarter. The fruit trees were considerably stripped, and a number of windows in the hotel, school and private houses were more or less damaged.
Tenders. —Mr R. Lancaster invites tenders for the supply of 100 tons of flour.