The Ashburton Guardian Magna est Veritas et Prævalebit WEDNESDAY, JULY 2, 1890. A MANIFEST INJUSTICE.
The nautical civil case, heard at Timaru yesterday, and of which a brief telegraphic summary appeared m our issue of last evening, is instructive, as showing the justice of the seamen's claim to the exercise of the franchise. An apprentice upon a Home ship, whose term of indenture expired at sea on the 30th of April last, made a reasonable request for payment of wages after that date as an able seaman. The request was refused, and at the first port reached the aggrieved man sought remedy through the law court. The second effort was as unsuccessful 8 as the first, the youth's employers having inserted a clause m the indenture bond which practically bound the apprentice to them for a longer period than that specifically set. out. tinder this clause the apprentice was required to " complete the voyage current at the expiry of indenture," and, we presume, a stipulation was also made for the payment of apprenticeship wages only until the said " voyage current" had been completed. The Magistrate at Timaru before whom the case was tried ruled that the word " voyage" was intended to mean the trip from England to the farthest port of destination, and then Home again. This decision places the apprentice referred to m the position of having to serve two years longer than the ostensible term set forth when engaging, and the employers will thus have the services for that term of an A.TJ. at a boy's pay. With the correctness of the Magistrate's law on the point we are quite satisfied. The voyage, m nautical phraseography, is not completed until the vessel's return to the original point of departure; but it is m this fact that the hardship lies. The voyage may be accidentally or intentionally protracted ; and it is within the power of-'ahip-owners who insert similar clauses m apprenticeship agreements to ship an apprentice, who has, say, only two months of his indenture to run, on a two years' voyage. The gain to the unprincipled employer by adopting the latter course is great, and the loss to the victimised apprentice is considerable. Certain it is that no such iniquitious clause would be permitted on land as that of compelling an apprentice, after the expiry of apprenticeship, to finish a lengthy contract on hand by his master before he (the apprentice) would be entitled to journeyman's wages. The master who attempted to exact a condition! so unfair would, we feel certain, meet with little sympathy with the public or m the law courts; and we see no reason why there should be any distinction made at sea. The law which applies on the land will not always apply on the water; and for the safety of cargo and passengers, the captain and owners of vessels are entrusted with greater powers m reg.ml to their employees than employers ashore. But the case of the Glenlora apprentice is an exception to this rule. The question involved is one of simple equity between master and servant m regard to payment for work done; and it is to be regretted that the Magistrate who dealt with the case did not look upon it from a broader standpoint than the literal rendering of the term " voyage." If this had been done a workman fairly entitled to his money would have received it, and a palpable hardship would have been averted. If there are many such rules as the one referred to m j force " on the water," it is indeed time that the seaman should be entrusted with the franchise, and permitted to bring his influence and his vote to bear to get justice for himself and his felkrws. We commend the case of the apprentice of the Shaw Saville barque Glenlora to the consideration of M.H.R's who are endeavouring to secure the franchise for sailors, and also to the various Seamen's Unions.
Fifty-five thousand people were convicted of criminal offences m New York last year. Stanley estimates the population of Africa at 250,000,000. Belgium is the only maritime country m Europe without a navy. It is said that the keeper of a Chinese gambling den m Sydney has made £17,000 m five years. A religious American millionaire has offered the Sultan of Turkey the sum of £20,000 if he will embrace Christianity. The Sultan has not yet replied. A doctor of Cremona, with a large band of peasants from its neighbourhood, has just started for Uruguay, where he proposes to establish them as an exclusively Socialist colony. The amount of the. .precious metals hoarded m India is simply enormous. It is estimated, on good authority, that there is now at least £130,000,000 m gold and £170,000,000 m silver hidden away m that country, and completely lost to the world. The latest application of electricity is tothe opening and shutting of gates on the Western Maryland line of railway,-jin the United States. As a train approaches them it runs over some plates at a given distance from the gates, and these immediately open, closing again as soon as the train has passed. One of the latest accessions to the ranks of journalism is the Countess Ella Novsaikow, an Englishwoman married to a Russian noble, who spent seven miserable yeara of political exile m Siberia. When his constitution had broken down under the ferocious brutality of the treatment he received, his exile was cancelled; and now his devoted wife supports him by her contributions to the English and American press. Canned salmon ought to be cheap this year, as it is stated from British Columbia that the pack m 1889 was the largest on record. No less thau 414,294 cases were packed, 159,233 m excess of the best season hitherto known, which was In 1882, when 255,061 cases were put up and sold. About 340,000 cases have been Bent to London and Liverpool, the balance going to Sonth America and Australia, and for local consumption m Canada. On and from Sunday nex choral evensong will be held m Christchurch Cathedral m the afternoon, and without a sermon. The evening service for the future will be of a purely congregational nature, the singing to be taken by a voluntary choir of men and women, and the sermon preached by a clergyman chosen by the Bishop. The whole service is to be of a mission character, the object being to attract to the Mother Church those who are not usually found m any church. A few months ago, m the course of an argument m the Supreme Court of South Australia, Judge Boucaut casually stated that the Bishop of Peterborough .did .nst beliere m the Bible. This statement having been brought under the notice of the Bishop of Adelaide, the Bishop of Peterborough (Dr Magee) has written absolutely denying the Judge's statement, and remarking that if he entertained such an opinion he would m common honesty, be bound to resign hia office. Dr Fitchett, m the course of his remarks on the Law Practioners' Bill, declared that the law was an honorable profession, but not a lucrative one. Articled clerks, after passing their examinations, found themselves m, a worse position than mercantile clerks, and m every town of the colony could be found solicitors who were glad to do engrossing alt 4d per folio. The status of admission was lower m New Zealand at present than m m\y other country, and he was astounded that so many members should be willing to still further reduce that status. A number of wealthy young Frenchmen, belonging for-the most part to the nobility, have under consideration a scheme to. devote large capital towards rendering Tonkining a valuable Colony, by means of railways and so forth, and when this desideratum has been achieved, to offer it to Germany m exchange for Alsace-Lorraine. It is thought by the promoters of this scheme that the Germans would be glad to solve the question of the restitution m this way and would prefer a sure Colony to an uncertain province. A London correspondent hears that, the services of one of our most distinguished medallists are to be retained for the new designs of the Queen's head which it is under the contemplation of the Treasury to Slacc upon the future gold coinage. The lint authorities are able to suggest one well fitted by talent and training for the task, The intention is to adhere to the idea of presenting a contemporary portrait of the Queen, but the mass of irritating and superfluous detail of dress aud ornament —utterly out of place on a coin or medal—which disfigures the present effigy will be avoided. If the experiment succeeds with the gold, it will certainly be soon extended to the^silver coin. There are now placed m the Museum at Pompeii the plaster casts of the bodies of two men and a woman, taken from impressions made m a stratum of ashes outside the Stabian Gate. One of the men had. fallen on his back, and the other, which is remarkably perfect, on hie side, while the woman lies on her face with her arms stretched out. The impression of the tree with foliage And fruit have been examined, and found to be a variety of the laiutux nobilis, the round berries of which ripen m late autumn ; and as the impression found shows the fruit to have been ripe, it seem-i to prove that the destruction of Pompeii did not occur m August, as believed by many., but m November. In his Financial Statement Sir Harry Atkinson has made the extraordinary discovery that the people who left the colony during the last three years were women and children, and that the number of children were m the proportion of eighteen to every woman. This is very funny, but what does the report of the Property-tax Commissioners say ? It says that there are 1499 more persons paying Property-tax now than m ISS6. In every previous year the number of persons who paid Property-tax increased, but lately the number has decreased. That means, of course, that they left the colony. No amount of sophistry on the part of Sir Harry can get over that fact. Each one of these mast have taken away over £500, or they would not have been taxed, so that really they must have taken £1,000,000 with them. What about the women and children m the face of that fact?—" Temuka Leader." Mr H. W. Robinson, R.M., of Wellington, gave a decision m a case m which a brewer sued the licensee of a suburban hotel on a liquor aCOaunt. A nonsuit was applied for on the ground that the defendant being m partnership his paitner ought to have been joined m the plaint. It was argued m support of this that section 22 of the Resident Magistrate's Act, which provides that one of two or more persons jointly indebted may be sued alone, although the other co-debtors are not either sued or served, cannot apply to that form 6i joint liability which arises from the relation I of partners, because partners are not joint debtors m the ordinary sense of the word, but have a separate partnership estate primarily liable to satisfy the partnership liabilities before the private estate of the partners can be resorted to. Mr Robinson gave judgment for the plaintiff, with costs. Did you notice, asks '* Loafer" m the "Gore Standard," that Judge Denniston was patted on the back the other day, because he refused to grant a discharge m bankruptcy to a working man who owed about £50 ? The Bankruptcy Court, his Honor said, was not intended to assist men to wipe off their debts, while they retained thoir only asset-^their labor, I noticed the incident, and I did not like the dictum. I believe m every man, rich or poor, paying his way honestly, but I do not see why the rich should have any advantage over the poor m this matter. Does not the rich man retain his labor (and, usually, a great many other things besides) when he gets his discharge m bankruptcy? It is the old story of one law for the rich and another for the poor. I was glad to see that Judge Williams, a few days after, entered a practical protest against his learned brother's decision, A laboring man came before him for discharge m bankruptcy, and it was granted, Hl3 Honor said that while the bankruptcy law stood as it did it present he could not presume to make any distinction between the. bankrupt who filled for thousands and the bankrupt who filled for tens of pounds. And a very impartial decision, too—though, probably, nobody will pat him on the back for it.
The Union Insurance Company pay a dividend at the rate of 10 per cent per annum on last year's operation. Three men named George Wilby, Frank Wilson, and Hugh O'Connel were arrested on Tuesday at Kaiapoi on suspicion of! burglary at the Rangiora Railway Station. The following letters from places beyond the colony were received at the Ashburton Post Office during the month of April, and are still lying unclaimed :—John Parham, Dr Ross, and W. Weston. The North Auckland Hospital and Charitable Aid Board protest against rendering assiatance to Natives unless native lands are taxed for the purpose. > The Auckland Chamber of Commerce protest against the continuance of the Primage duty, and the Auckiand members have been instructed to vote against. - Preparation are being made m Christchurch for entertaining members of the Australasian Association for the Advancement of Science, which meets there m January, next. The Government are still without any definite advice from England' as to the intention of the Imperial Governmect with regard to the mail services. It appears that the Post office cannot do anything without the treasury, and the officials of the latter are reported to be,so overwhelmed with Parliamentary business that they have not time to attend to the matter. Meanwhile the AgentGeneral is keeping the matter under the notice of the Postal Department. Dr Roger Williams states that m ten years chloroform was administered at St Bartholomew's , 12,368 times with fatal results m ten cases, being about one m 1236. The most important result of Dr Williams' investigations, however, is the discovery that when ether instead of chloroform has been used during the same period there were fewer deaths. Dr Williams says he has long been a^yare of the greater safety of ether, and he declares his belief that this i* the conclusion towards which professional opinion is steadily moving.' ' Mr T. A; Kennedy, the mesmerist, who toured Australia last year, has been making a sensation m London. Having invited 400 doctors to a seance, he hypnotised six young men, made them drink kerosene, and allowed the surgeons to drive long darning needles into them, and to sew them together/ without any of the victims showing any signs of pain or objection. .After trying every possible test, the medical men agreed that there was not the slightest suspicion of fraud. Mr Kennedy made no explanation, declaring that he does not know the source of the marvellous force. "Anglo-Australian" m the "European Mail" writes as follows:—"I have just seen some highly interesting extracts from a communication to hand from the chief engineer of the New Zealand Midland Railway Company, who writes that he is getting on well. He has opened; the section with the West fipast, and has secured better results than he anticipated, as the traffic obtained leaves a margin beyond expenses. The opening of the section to Ahaura taps for the first time the wagon traffic of the Reefton district, and when this is m thorough working order very gratifying results may be looked for. This shows how much the New Zealand railways are progressing." Here's a good story from a Napier paper : —" Even an Inspector of Schools doesn't know everything. At the conversazione at the Athensum the other evening Mr Hill, referring to the departure of Mr Hamilton to Otago, said, ' Twelve years have gone by since he and I first met, and since that, time we have been very old friends, like Absolom and —' the speaker paused. ' And t'other fellow,' mildly suggested Mr Hamilton. The Inspector couldn't for the moment think who the ' other fellow ' of the Scripture was, and the Bishop of Waiapu interpolated, 'This is the result of seciilar education.' The meeting roared with laughter, which did not subside until the Inspector excused his mistake, and said his Bible history ,was evidently getting rusty, but he nleaiit David and Jonathan." On the subject of transfers being considered by the Lane} Board the ,other morning (says the Napier Telegraph) the Commissioner said that some people seemed to pass all their time m transferring. There was still a lot of dummy ism going on. In some cases no reasons at all were assigned for a transfer, and some sort of explanation 'was required why people were proceeding to transfer. * These transfers gave the office a large amount of work, which was really private work, and the office should be recouped for the trouble. He suggested that m future m cases of transfers a fee of a guinea should be charged, and there was authority for this m the Act of 1885. Formerly ho found that iv transfer cases where solicitors had been engaged, the legal fee amounted to as much as four guineas. The fee would not oppress anyone and it would make people think before transferring. The other day the Registrar reported to him that a section had not been registered three days when there, was an application for a transfer. The Board acceded to the Commissioner's suggestion.