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Dunedin, August 14. There is, no news of a reliable nature regarding the action which the Maritime Council will take m the dispute with Whitcombe and Tombs. All kinds of rumors are; (flying about. ■ It is certain that the Maritime Council regard the firm's last letter, refusing arbitration,, us final. The general opinion is that if there is to be a strike the sooner it is settled the* better, as the, present uncertainty; is worrying to. business men. . ' It was generally stated to-day that there were dissensions among the labor party as to tho. course to be adopted, and it w^a freely reported; that Mr J. A» Millar had resigned the Secretaryship of the Maritime Council. It is reported that the wharf laborers at the Bluft* have been notified to prepare for a strike to-morrow. This action is Supposed to be taken m view of the departureof the Taieri from that "port ftir Newcastle, as it is well known that she intends to load coal there. A " Times' " representative, having waited on Mr Millar late to-nijjht, he waa authorised to contradict the statement that Mr Millar intended to resign the Secretaryship of the Maritipje Council, and also to contradict the statement that the wharf laborers at the Bluff would strike m the morning.

The " Otago Daily Times" of yesterdaf says ihf* 'A good deal of a .uneasiness was felt m commercial and other circles yesterday as to the situation. The belief was everywhere expressed that the crisis has now arrived, and the probabilities ;of the course of action to be pursued by the Maritime Council were much discussed. Nothing has been allowed to leak out as to what this course of action may be-~Mr Millar and the authorities of the labor party being very reticent as ta their intentions ; but the impression gained ground during the day that the Unions will not resort to extremes without trying other means of settlement, and, m any i case, not until everything is m readiness for striking the blow.. It is regarded as improbably, therefore, that for a few days at least there will be any startling change m the situation. The carpenters resumed ,work m the morning, but were withdrawn at midday by the instructions of the President aad Secretary of the Bra'ld- : ing Trades* Union, backed :up by the ; authority of the Maritime Council and the Trades and Labor Council. : During the afternoon the contractor (Mr Halt) himself worked on for ao how or two, bofc then discontinued, stating that he could not get on without his. men, and that he was not inclined to engage non-Union workmen, • several of whom are said to have applied for employment. A couple of" non-Union painters renamed at work until 5 p.m., by which time they had the name of the firm painted up across the front of tike shop. "It is understood tl\at Ml 1 Mfljar

despatched during the day telegrams to various portions of the colony requesting a stoppage of the sale of Messrs Whitcombe and Tombs' publications. Beyond that nothing haa been allowed to leak out aa to what has been done by the Maritime Council. It is rumored, however, that the leaders of the labor party will not seek to prevent the transmission by rail of packages despatched by Messrs Whitcombe and Tombs, but will rely for the present on the support of the wharf laborers and carters, who are expected to decline to handle any goods sent by or to the firm. A number of cases of ntationery despatched yesterday by the firm from Chriatchurch to Dunedin by rail were therefore allowed to pass through without obstruction. "There is unfortunately, grave reason to fear that should the worst come to the Iforat and the Maritime Council proceed to extremes there may be a coal famine m Dunedin, as it is believed the coal miners would he the first called upon to strike. Even now there is very slender stock of sea-borne coal m the city and an increase of 2s per ton has been made m the price of locally-produced lignite, the increase being distributed m the proportion of 8d per ton to the miners, 4d to the mine owners, and Is to the coal merchants. There is a modicum of comfort m the fact that though the local coal yards are lightly stocked, the supply held by householders is unusually large, the purchases during the last few days having, m anticipation of a strike and of a consequent increase m prices, been exceptionally heavy."

Auckland, August 14. At a meeting of the Auckland Trades and Labor Council to-night the representatives expressed hearty sympathy with their brethren m the South who are concerned m the Whitcombe and Tombs' dispute.

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LATEST FROM DUNEDIN., Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2492, 15 August 1890

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LATEST FROM DUNEDIN. Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2492, 15 August 1890

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