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Local and General.

The annual dinner of the Aehburton Fire rigade takes place to-morrow. The usual monthly meeting of the Ashbnrin High School Board is called for Friday iternoon, at 3 o'c'ock. The Hospital Board invite tenders fo r ippliea for the County Hospital during th e Lirrent year. At the sale m London, " a tattooed Maor end, with a curious smell, brought seventeen guineas." It iB not stated hove much f this was for the head, and how much for he curious smell ; but no doubt the latter ac its value m a museum. It is certainly lvtays there. Aud perhaps m this case the urious smell haa an anthropologioal value. The following paragraph from the Daily Iraphic, of December 4, explains satiefacorily, saya the Dunedin Star, the cook-and- 1 mil story telegraphed recently from Wei- | ington as to the publication of the Navy i List being suspended on account of posßible trouble with Russia : — " Yesterday it was iuaounoed from the War Office that, new < arrangements baviog been made for printing the Navy and Army Lists, it is necessary to suspend the issues for the present month and £or January." The Wellington correspondent of the Auckland Star is responsible for the statement) that the Government have received a communication from the Secretary of State for the Colonies intimating that ft proposal for a uuiversal postage rate of twopence within the Empire is favored by some colonies, and that the Imperial Government have agreed to set up a commission to consider the question. New Zealand is invited to appoint a representative. It is understood, says the Otago Daily Times, that the liquidators of the Colonial Bank will, under all cironmstanoes, have sufficient funds at their command to meet all liabilities without having to make a ball upon the shareholders, and that there may be a dividend, but much depends, both as to that and as to the termination of the liquidation proceedings, upon the teault of the cases of Brookß and Co. v the Bank and Connell and Co. v the Bank, which were heard m the Supreme Court immediately before the vacation. Ib appearß that the forest plantations i of Victoria now cover an area of about 1900 acres. In view of the success which has attended the formation of similar reserves m South Australia, which has a more arid climate, it is said that there is clearly no reason why this area should nob be largely increased. The largest plantations at You Yangs and Creswiek contain over 820,000 trees, and some 30,000 seedlings were added to these two reserves last winter. There are extensive tracts of land m Victoria which are absolutely unfit for cultivation, and of but little use for grazing purposes* Ouch areas might be profitably utilised for the growth, not only of indigenous eucalypti and wattles, but also of timber trees of exotic origin. The Auckland Charitable Aid Board have Bix or seven Maoris on their list of recipients of aid, and fear there will soon be more. Mr Lennox thought it was understood that the Government which dealt with the natives' lands waß bound to provide for those natives who became destitute or who were m need of medical attendance. Mr Bollard told the members that the sum of £7000 was placed on the Estimates each year for this purpose, but although the Government had -been asked, it had given no explanation of how it had been disbuised. The Board decided to discontinue relieving the Maoris at the end of the pre cat month ; to notify them and the Government cf the fact ; and to draw the Government's attention to the sum planed on the general oharges for the relief of natives. A good many people will probably sympathise with Mr Holland, M.P , on rhe great " bathing drawers " question Hitherto the London County Counail has observed a benevolenb neutrality as regards the irreducible minimum of the attire of the men and boys who bathe m its waters. At a lale meeting, however, it was sought to pass a by-law making drawers compulsory. Lhis Mr Holland opposed as an "undemocratic step," and on the ground that some might find it difficult to purchase the required garment. He found a supporter m Me Dickinson, who trusted the Council would keep to its ''old ideas." But these speakers hart evidently not reckoned on the apt illustrations on the other side of Colonel Kofcton. " How," exclaimed this gallant gentleman, " would you like to walk down Regent stteei; naked?" This was a poser, and we cannot gather from ihe reports that any reply was even attempted. The colonel and his friends had their way ; bathers m the public ponds m future must cover i heir nakedness, and, looking at the question all round, It is, perhaps, just as well. A correspondent of the Pioneer telegraphs from Burma an interesting aocount of the attack on the compound at Mandalay. Justice was not done m the earlier accouuts to the nerve and gallantry of Mrs Dobbie, the wife of Major Dobbie, of the 4th Burma bittaliou. The major hearing a noise left his quarters, and saw errering the compound a band of armed Burmans. He at once rushed baok for his revolver, an eightchambered one, and went out to meet the intruders, who m the meantime had attacked -iud slashed with swords horribly Private Maclean (one of whose arms was cut off) and Mrs Wilson, widow of a soldier. As soon as the major appeared the Burmans attaoked him, and he fired oa them until all his cartridges had been exhausted. Mrs Dobbie, who had been by her husband's side, then gallantly rushed back into the house and brought out a fresh supply of ammunition, and her husband used the cartridges with such effect that he killed the fanatical leader of the Burmans and three others of the enemy, and wounded three more, all of them seriously. The rest of the enemy then made off just m the guard turned out and closed the gates* In an article Ruegested by the recent bush fires, the Ifawkc's Bay Herald says: — "Throughout scores of miles, m what was once known as the Seventy-mile and the Ninety-mile Bush, between Masterton m the Wellington district and Hampden on the Ruataniwha plain, bush has been destroyed where the timber was of ten times greater value than the land on which it grew. In order to comply with the departmental conditions of residence settlers have been forced to destroy all their bush, no nutter whether good or bad, and the consequence is that even m the bush district itself at the present rate, there will be no timber either for local or district wants m the course of a dozen years. No other portion of New Zealand possessed such valuable kinds of timber as were to be found m Hawke's Bay, and those who can remember the totara forests of Panevirke and Makotuku must feel how terrible haa beep the waste oaused by fires which m two many instances have been Bet alight to fulfil what may almost be termed the savage conditions of departmental misrule and ignorance.'' . The importance of the wine industry m Victoria has been frequently noted ; but m no speech has it been more comprehensively reviewed than by the chairman of the Victorian Vignerons' Conference recently. In 1895 96, said the chairman, there were 30 275 aores m vines. Wine was made to the extent of 2,223,000 gallon?, of which 318,000 were exported/.' the home consumption being a little over \\ gallon par head; There were 20,000 people depending on the industry, and the oapital invested m vineyard plant, buildings, etc., amounted to nearly £3,000,000, besides the value of the (and and the homesteads of the people. Some haJf-BfljlUqn gallons were converted into Qs;B9oj{3jftMpß of spirits of wine. With reiaji-WJ^ifctoulttlrB 1 m New gealan.o), it :w.aFil>e remembered that Signo* Bragato, the Italian expert, who was through this colony a year or bo ago, gave it as his opinion that many parts of both islands were admirably adapted to growing vines, and the manufacture of wlnS and raisins, Even that so-oalted desert, Central Qtogo, Slgnor Bragato pointed out was suited for vine crowing, and the laud not worth £1 p^re Sw g wpuld be wor.hj32o to £3.0 it deyoted to this industry, which, as far as this ooiony is ponoernedj has, jyith scientific and praotioal treatment, a great future be-

miscellaneous items appear on our nrsb page to-day; the four;h page contains a Berieß of articles on current topics. (The following are the vital statistics of Aphburtou for the month of January : — Births, 22 ; marriage?, 1 ; deaths, 9. ■ The Midland Railway Company have paid up £13,000 due to the Government for work oa the line, on whioh there are now 170 men engaged. The rainfall m the hills district during January is thus reported by our correspondent: — Alford Forest, 2.62 inches, Alford Station, 1,55 inch. The New Zealand Shipping Company hive reoeived the- following cable, dated London, 28th January : — " Mataura — Everybody saved ; part cargo is expected to be saved. 1 ' The Wanganui Herald says circulars have been sent to the police and detective force intimating thab m future the information to Press representatives must be greatly restricted. The Government have been applied to for a grant of £400 out of the vote 3615,000 passed by tbe House last session for technical school purposes for tbe eatablihment of a technical aohool m Hawera. We are glad to observe by latest reports that the Minister of Lands has completely recovered from the effects of the work of the session. He is expeoted to be m Wellington towards the end of the present week. In dismiss ng two informations at Grey mouth, Mr Stratford, S.M , said that m his opinion all boxing oontests were nothing more nor less than fights, and gave the men to understand that if they were brought before him again he would have them sent for trial. A gale from the south-west has been blowing the greater part of the day, and at about one o'clock had reached its maximum foroe, making things particularly lively. A Fall m the thermometer accompanied the blow, whioh followed a fairly heavy shower of rain m the morning. The Lyttelton Times says that Mrs Jesson, of the Harewood Road, has sent to Mr J. A. Frostick, president of the Industrial Association, through Mr JEL B. Kirk, a very interesting sample of silk produced by worms grown by her. She has some 5000 worms, and the quality of the silk is admirable, Notice appears m the Gazette that Isaac W. Turner has been appointed postmaster and telegraphist at Hinds, and John Young, postmaßter and telegraphist at Methven. Appointments of postmaßters have been made as follows : — Patrick Hannipan, Westerfield; and Clement Knight, Alford Forest. While some of the newspapers have been busy of late m killing Mr Cecil Rhodes, we find from the Cape papers that Mr Rhodes has selected bis burial place. It is m the Matoppo Hills, m the neighborhood of his farm, that Mr Rhodes desires— "in the fulness of time," we may add — to be buried m the solid rock. Mr C. R. Reakes, Government veterinary surgeon, is testing cows at Hawera with tuberculin, and as a result three out of eight were one day condemned and destroyed/ A large number of farmers and others interested m stock were present at the last tcene, when &2>os( mortem examination was held, and settlers were shown the various stages of the growth of the disease. A number of children were playing together at Kutnara, when one of them got hold of an axe and ordered a boy named Stenhouse, nine years of age, to move his foot from where he had got it at the time, or he would chop it off. suiting the action to the word he brought the axe down, severing three of the boy's toes, the big one being completely cut off. When F. H. ScLoeneberg (once wellknown m Ashburton) was before the Wellington Courb the other day it was stated that he had been committed to the Asylum. He escaped later on, however, bub was not recaptured. According to a rule m force under the Lunacy Act, if a pxtient was not oaptured within fourteen days he was at liberty, and had to be recommitted. A curious encounter was witnessed m Hastings the other morning, says the local paper. A resident heard a screeching noise at his back door, and on going out he discovered a kitteu m combat with a minah bird. The encounter, which lasted several minutes, was a desperate one, but eventually the kitten got the best of the job, and marched off with the bird to a secluded spot, where it made a very dainty breakfast. A conference of Ministers of Agriculture, at which the colonies of S >uth Australia, Tasmania, Queensland, Victoria and New South Wales will be represented, will be opened m Melbourne on February 3 The subjects to b » discussed thereat (says the Wellington Post) will be the prevention of the spread of the tick pest, the export of produce to Oreat Britain, a uniform system of branding, and other matters of interest to the producing interest. A special meeting of the Borough Counoil was held yesterday afternoon, to consider what steps should be taken to entertain his Excellenoy the Governor, who will arrive m Ashburton on Monday next, at 10.55 a. m, and leave at 12 55 p.m. It was unanimously decided that an addres* of welcome should be presented on his Excellency's arrival, that he be entertained at a luncheon, and th*t at far as time would permit he be shown the prinoipal features of the town and suburbs. A young girl, a domestic servant, who appeared m the dock crying bitterly, was oharged this morning at the Police Court before Hon. Major Steward and J. Scaly, Esq., J's P., with stealing from her mistress a gold ring, value 30a. She admitted the offence. Mr Purnell, who appeared for the prosecutor, eaid that the ring had been returned although nob till after the charge had been laid, aud he did nob wish to press the case. The Bench pointed out to the accused the sad position m which she had placed herself by giving way to the temptation to appropriate what was not her own and counselled her as to her future conduct. They would, however, on this occasion give her a chance to redeem her character. Case dismissed. Those who feel an interest m the promotion of good music, and elevating the musical taste of the community, will be pleased to know that an effort is now being made by the amalgamation of the Orchestra and the Harmonic Societies, to form one strong musical union, with the object of undertaking some of the most pleasing of the Bbandard works, which may be available by hire or purchase from the societies m the ' larger centres, The combined societies meet this evening at the School of Music at eight o'clock, to inaugurate the movement, when all interested will be welcomed. The desire, of pome at least, js to introduce the system which obtains m the larger centres, whereby the Society is supported by honorary members, and the concert audiences restricted to members and their friends. There is no reason m the world why Aahburtou should be so behind hand ip the way of high class music The individual talent will oompare favorably with other places even larger, and all that is neoeaaary is a combined effort such as this to achieve success. All lovers of music should lend their aid. Just m Time fob Christmas. — In order to keep " up-to-date " with our steadily increasing business we have decided to eftecb considerable alterations to our premises and to make room for the builders we have resolved to greatly reduce our stock before Christmas. We have therefore culled a large quantity of our Tweeds and Worsteds, etc, to dear at the following reductions:— Men's suits to measure, usual prioe 90s. now 70s ; Men's trousers, usual price 258, now 15s 6d ; etc. We have also pleasure m notifying that we have just been appointed agents for tjho famous "British Lion' and" '* Waver ley"' Bicycles (both gents' and ladies'), which we are now selling with all the " up-to-date " improvements at the lowest 1 cash pripes, or on the most liberal tirmß to ' suib the convenience of our 3ustbmers. (Every machine guaranteed).— JRAIGHKAD AND BEBBYBfAN. the leadlDg tailor? and Outfitters.

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Local and General. Ashburton Guardian, Volume XIX, Issue 4409, 1 February 1898

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