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If things go on as they are going m connection with the operations of Mr G. V. Shannon, Sir Harry Atkinson will be able to preach the opponents of the appointment of a Customs Expert a sermon upon the text " Wisdom is justified of her children." At anyrate it evidently will not be the fault of the new fiscal detective officer if that be not the case. Since he was installed as revenue watch-dog he has certainly been praiseworthily active and has succeeded m bailing up offenders m different parts of the colony. The seizure of pianos m Auckland showed that his attention was not going to be confined to soft goods alone, and the smartness he has displayed proves that he is certainly not to be classed as "soft goods" himself. Now the drapers of Christchurch and wholesale warehousemen of Dunedin have had a turn and another big haul has been swept into the revenue net, and a few more such examples m various trades will probably lead to a general conviction that honesty is the best policy as well m the matter of Customs entries as m other matters. Not that it follows by any means, merely because a seizure has been made by the Customs authorities, that there is necessarily dishonesty on the part of the importer of the goods, indeed tbe particulars of the recent seizure at Christchurch, published elsewhere, appear, so far as they go, to indicate blundering rather than fraud ; but, nevertheless, there is no doubt whatever that m New Zealand as m all other countries the revenue is extensively defrauded, many persons who would m dignantly repudate any suspicion of their being willing tO cheat their nrai.dit.nr_ or tlieir customer- regarding the Government as fair game and as wholly exempt from the operation of that moral law which requires every man to deal justly. Those who act m this way, however, sin twice, for not only do they defraud the general body politic, but they defraud their fellow-tradesmen m that they are able> by using nufair means, to undersell them, thus depriving them of their due share of custom. All honest and upright business men will therefore, as well m their own interests as m those of morality, rejoice m tho discomfiture of the schemers, who, indeed, deserve no pity for the loss of their goods, being exactly on a par with the smuggler who runs a cargo of rum or tobacco under cover of the darkness. That is rather an ominous bit of news as to the proclamation issued by Dhuleep Singh which has just been telegraphed. Dhuleep has just been visiting Russia and has avowed his allegiance to that country (albeit a pensioner of England) and now he openly announces his desire to raise a revolution m India with a yiew of driving the English out and — whether Intentionally or not: — letting the Russians m. He undertakes to clear out the Feringhees if provided with foijr millions sterling. Even if the money were forthcoming, we fancy that he would find that he had a bigger order on band than he could conveniently execute and that instead of being able to count on the aid of nineteen twentieths of his countrymen he would find that the large majority of them would rally round the Sag of the Empress with the result that sooner or later, unless killed m action, he would end his career and his ambitions together by being blown from a gun. Still it is quite on the cards that Dhuleep may be tbe cause of considerable trouble and may serve as tbe spark for a more or less widely spread conflagration. If so trouble m India may easily lead up to trouble m Europe, and it will only be another proof of the probability of the unexpected if while we are watching the war cloud which has so long hung over the European horizon the first flash of lightning to herald the tempest should break forth m the far East. Everybody will remember, who takes the trouble to do so, that m July last we had some very severe weather, and tbat we heard at the time of heavy falls of snow at, among other places, the Mackenzie country. Only now, however have full particulars come to hand of the mischief done thereby, the annual musteringof the 6heep having shown that of twenty-one stations m the Mackenzie basin only six escaped with a loss of less than 3000 sheep, the remainder showing losses ranging from 2500 up to 8000 each. Balmoral lost 7900, Glenmore 6100, Tekapo 5800, fihoborough Downs 6000, The Wolds 4000, Grey's Hills 5000, Bollesby 2500 ; the total loss for the Mackenzie being 83,300 sheep. At least so says the local correspondent of the " Lyttelton Timeß," who calculates the loss m mouey at nearly £20,000. As thus, " 88,000 sheep at tlje low average , of 2s 6d per head, means £10,412. • f Allowing a clip of 4£lb to each sheep, ! equals 374,8501 b wool, at 6d per lb, yalued at £9371. Total loss, sheep and Wiol, £19,783; irrespective of dete- j 1 rioration of rtlue of the wboje dip ' JBBs-89. the rufjj of $c cooetitutione of , is

the surviving sheep, and the fact that the lambing of 1888 has been nowhere." ; He adds that " it is true that such a loss has not happened since 1867, and may not occur again for a longer or shorter period ; but the country is undoubtedly liable to such visitations." lf so it is hardly likely to prove very attractive to settlement, and we tear that the city of 10,000 inhabitants which the late Dr Fisher used to picture as destined one day to be built somewhere between Burkes Pass and the Tekspo, will not be realised for a gene ration or two to come. They can't have anybody m South or Western Australia who m any way compares with Sir George Grey, or there would surely be a tremendous "ruction" over the proposal which the cable informs us has just been mads by a Syndicate — a word which the Knight of K&wau >vould always have spelt with an " i " instead of a '• y "—-for the construction of 1000 miles of railway on the land grant system. And such a land grant 1 Not a paltry two or three thousand aores a mile a lathe Midland Railway but thirty-five thousand acres of land for every mile ot railway constructed. Mehercule I Why that means I thirty -five million acres m all or rather more than all the land possessed by the Crown m both islands of New Zealand. If the land over there is worth anything I at all, a railway syndicate on these lines most be almoßt as good as a gold mine.

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Bibliographic details

NOTES., Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2064, 15 February 1889

Word Count

NOTES. Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2064, 15 February 1889