The Ashburton Guardian. Magna est Veritas et Prævalebit. THURSDAY, DECEMBER 20, 1888. CUERENT TOPICS.
We hope the members of the Education Board will see their way to yield to the repeated request of the Borough School Committee — -backed up as it has been by a numerously-signed memorial of the householders — and abandon its intention of making a change m the headmastership. No doubt the recent inspector's report was not all that could be desired but there have been difficulties and drawbacks to contend with which might easily have brought about a somewhat unsatisfactory report, without the necessary implication of grave fault on the part of Mr Kneen. The Committee and the parents of the children attending the school — who ought to be the best judges— are well content with the work performed by that gentleman, and are confident that another year s experience will fully justify the stand they are now taking. Under these circumstances the Board should certainly give way and we hope that it will do so with a good grace.
As we were confident would be the case, the visit of Ministers to Central Otago has wonderfully changed their views as to its nature and capabilities and has convinced them ;-' of the expediency of completing railway co*tri mumcatiou between its fertile lands and the coast. It has also shown them, what we have frequently contended for, viz., that that communication ought to be afforded not only with the port of Port Chalmers bnt also with that of Oamaru. It is to be expected therefore that the Government Jwill next cession submit definite proposals for the com • pletion of the Otago Central Railway as far as Eweburn or possibly (and we hope this will be thejjease) as far as Clyde, as well as for the construction of a dray road from the Kyeburn Flat to the present terminus of the Windsor-Living-stone branch railway at Tokorahi. The latter is indeed already promised, Ministers having undertaken to propose a vote of £6000 for the purpose — the balance (about an equal sum) to be provided by the Maniototo and Waitaki County Councils. The Councils named may easily aryange fco provide their quota by taking advantage of the " Government Loans to Local Bodies Act." Altogether the outcome of Ministers' visit promises, we think, to be very satisfactory.
Poor Rudolph Eadkal Acquitted with acclamation of the charge of arson upon which he surrendered to take his trial he is pounced upon on the charge of prison-breaking and sentenced to four months' hard labor. There is an ugly look fibout his being brought up on this charge without any intimation to his counsel, and vre are not surprised that the latter has declared his intention of looking into the matter further. Of course if it be true that Radjca really broke out of gaol, his being defended by counsel would not have availed him anything, but if it be true as he alleged, that he simply walked out by an open door, then though this may be constructive prison-breaking m the eye of the law, it nevertheless does seem hard that it should be visited by go severe punishment.
We reprinted the other day from the " Mail" an interesting article compiled from information contained m the letter of " Telemachus " to the " Melbourne Argus" on the subject of the great irrigation works going on at Mildura, Victoria. From the same authority we gather the following information tending to show that the prospects of those who are going m for fruit culture on the settlement formed by the Messrs Chaff ey are of a very promising character. Pointing to the experience of fruit growers m California, Telemachus says : — " Irrigated orchards yield there, if m apples, £10 a year ; m apricots, £20 ; m figs, £40 ; m peaches, £40 ; m raisin grapes, £50 ; m oranges, £120 ; and, marvellous estimate if accurate, m olives, £800," These are we presume the figures per acre, and if so, and the Mildura settlers can produce anything like the same results, then they have indeed a good enterprise m hand. Another item with regard to this interesting settlement will be read with pleasure by our teetotal, or as they call them now m England our " hydropotist" friends, vis,, that tl*e Messrs Chaffey will not now or at any future time permit the sale of fermented or spirituous liquors ; a clause to that effect is inserted m every deed of conveyance, fl They acknowledge (says Telemachus), that it may be hard on the man of moderation to find himself for a day or two deprived of his customary and .harmless comforts, but they know also from much ejcperience that with the introduction Oi r * n k m $*& ordinary way would come trouble anu without end, neglect of work, demorano* tloa of ftU sorts, and probably crime."