The Ashburton Guardian. Magna est Veritas et Prævalebit. TUESDAY, OCTOBER 7, 1890. THE WELLINGTON TRAGEDY
We ar^ pleased to moo tli.it the, Wellington police have decided to prosecute the youths who took part m stone-throwing ftt, th's Chinamcu'.s lint-; m Wellington, and vrhieb led-up to the death of the young man Smith. The young men who took p-trfc m thi-; act of Jfirrikinism a>e morally responsible for the. fltt.ith of their companion, and also for the serious position m which two of the Chinese have been pl.-iced. The Chiticse. were evidently goaded and exasperated beyond human endurance m consequence of atones being thrown upon their dwelling^, to the danger of their lives mid the destruction of property. In & moniont of inflamed passion and frenzy they rushed out m a body and gave chase to their persecutors, and coming up with one of them the dread tragedy took place-which.has resulted m the committal for trial of two of the Chinese on a charge of wilful murder. Whatever may be the moral and legal guilt of the Chinese m taking the life of one of their tormentors, and however unjustifiable may have been the use of knives, there is no doubt that the stonethrowers .were primarily responsible for all that followed. It woufd therefore be a standing reproach against the guardians of the peace m Wellington if some action bad not been taken to punish the whole band of rough larrikins, whose assault upon the Chinese was totally unprovoked. There has beon considerable delay m entering upon the prosecution of the yqutlis involved m the stone-throwing episode m the affray. Tins has doubtless been caused through the working up of evidence m the more serious charge of murder against the Chinese; but now that the prosecution has been entered upon, it. m to be hoped ;the magistrates will mete out to the offenders the due reward of their misdeeds. The punishment will, v/e trust, be of such a character as will not only be a. salutary-lesson "to the Wellington larrikins, but a note of warning to larrikins similarly inclined m other parts of the colony, whose cowardly and unprovoked assaults upon the Chinese have, times out of number, called forth severs comments from the magisterial bench. One of the proudest boaats of the British race is that the stranger and alien sojo.urner m British possessions shall receive the same measure of protection from .the-.laws of the country as the subjects of the Queen. The boast is not an empty one, the police records showing that, where unprovoked assaults are committed upon subjects of another power, rigorous punishment has followed; and we have little doubt that the Wellington Magistrate will follow, m the beaten track, and put a stop to acts of hirrikinism which are not only a disgrace to the youths taking part m them, but a serious reflection upon the law-abiding population of the colony.