NOT A'BACKDOWN. . WMiUNGTON, this day. Concerning the statement expressed in Auckland that the recent action. of the Department in regard to the fruit fly, and the amended circular regarding that insect, amounted to a backdown, Mr. Kirk, Government Biologist, characterises the assertion as absolutely inaccurate. There had been no backdown, but the Department had decided to give the islanders every chance by not demanding certificates on the next two steamers. Nothing was withdrawn. LYTTELTON, this day. At one o'clock this afternoon the Nimrod was not signalled, though the weather was clear. She cannot now be in till late in the afternoon. GISBORNE, this day. , A short section of the Qisborne-Rotorua railway, comprising Willow Crossing bridge, and the newWaikohu station will be opened for traffic on April 1. Over 400 men are now engaged in constructing works on the line, and good progress is being made. HASTINGS, this day. One thousand cases of fruit (14 tons), were railed to various stations to-day. DUNEDIN, this day. The body of Andrew Geddes Kerr, an accountant, was found on the Town Belt. There is no suspicion of foul play. De ceased was a married man. He suffered from insomnia. GORE, this day. Fire broke out again in Simon McDonald's shop at one o'clock this morning, but was extinguished promptly after a little more damage had been done. The insurances are: —Building, £GSO, and stock, £SOO (both in the Royal). McDonald estimates liia loss on stock at £300 to £400. Samuel McDonald, bootmaker, who occupied the adjoining premises, is insured for £800 in the North British and Mercantile, aud £800 in the Alliance. His stock, valued at £3,000, was seriously damaged by water and smoke, bui was untouched by fire.
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