LOCAL AND GENERAL
Tc relieve, the tedium of travelling, efforts are being made to form an orchestra among the 19fch Reinforcements, lhe musicians are available, but there is a shortage in instruments. It has been represented to The Post that a cornet, several violins, and a gramaphone would be acceptable, and we have been asked to make this fact known in the hope that the public, whose generosity in such matters m the past is known and appreciated, will see to it that the men are snpplied with instruments. Chap-lain-Captain Bladen, 205, Cuba-street, would be glad to receive any gifts of the kind m question. A correspondent writes asking the meaning of conferring the Freedom of a city. The Freedom referred to entitles those upon whom it is conferred the honour of being burgesses, or municipal electors, but such are not entitled to exercise the municipal franchise or to be inducted to the cpuncil if not resident in the City or in business there. The gift of the Freedom of any city is now of quite an honorary nature, and carries with it no right to vote in local elections or to share in the corporate -property, except in the City of London,' as above explained. Persons of eminence •or distinction may be admitted to the Freedom only by iesolution passed by a meeting of the council, at which (according to the Honorary Freedom of Boroughs Act, 1885) not less than twothirds of the members of the council are present. 'While Freedom of the City of London may to-day confer no peculiar privileges upon its recipients it is counted as one of the greatest honoure that can bo paid to kings, potentates, soldiers, sailors, and statesmen, and it is never lightly given. "Cargo-broaching is a serious and growing offence; there is a lot of it going on every day, and it is extremely difficult of detection," said the Crown Prosecutor at the Supreme Court this morning. Never before were vegetables so dear' m Hawera as they are at the present time. The local paper • states that the trade is almost wholly controlled by Chinese, who are doing a most remunerative trade. As much as 2s 6d each has been asked for caaliaowers, and the prices of all other vegetables are also said to be abnormally high. "All prisoners are fools," said his Honour the Chief Justice (Sir Robert Stout) at the Supreme Court yesterday. " When I said so a few years ago I was contradicted, but I am more convinced than ever of the correctness of that view. Only a fool would attempt to escape and thereby lengthen his term of imprisonment." Prospects of the Gonville-Castleciiß Tramway Board, Wanganui, being able to run the service without recourse'to a rate are monthly increasing, as the revenue shows a decided improvement. For the month of September the receipts on the suburban service totalled £420, compared with £SO9 for the same month last year and £299 for September of the year previous. For the four months —June, July, August, and September— the talcings were £1477 19s 9d, as against £1164.. IBs Id (an increase of £131) for the same period last year. The Arbitration Court has awarded the Masterton painters the rate of Is 4£d per hour in the new award filed yesterday afternoon. The matter of wages was the only question in dispute, all other points having been agreed upon by the .Conciliation Council. As a matter of fact, the union's contention is that wages were also agreed to, such being fixed at Is 6d, and that afterwards tho employers repudiated it. Commenting on the matter, the Court, in a memorandum, stated that the wages should be the same as those recently fixed at Christchurch and Dunedin. Mr. Varney ]»as jnst cabled from London to the National Committee of the V.M.C.A., in Wellington, that the association will require £1000 monthly to supply the -New Zealand soldiers in the fighting area and in the front line trenches with delicacies, such as chocolates, biscuits, cakes, sweets, tea, milk, and soup tabloids, bovril, cigarettes, tobacco, etc. As the winter is now approaching, friends are asked to send money quickly to the V.M.C.A., which will cable it to .London, where trench comforts will be bought and forwarded at once to the V.M.C.A. lints for distribution. The Ladies' Auxiliary of the V.M.C.A. has arranged to hold a Trench Comforts Day on the 17th inst., when members will sell home-made cakes, sweets, flowers, eggs, poultry, and produce. Except to the very hard-hearted there was something pathetic in yesterday's proceedings at the Supreme Court. Connected with the case under trial there were no fewer than eight prisoners who were 'serving varied sentences at the Terrace Gaol. One was a mere youth, who at Timaru last year received a, life sentence for attempted murder. He has been in custody a year, but his face still maintains its youthful freshness, in strange contrast to those of the more hardened prisoners who appeared as witnesses. Some of the latter had spent many years behind the bars, and were apparently resigned to the fact that their terms had yet many years to run. They entered the Court with the true prison gait—slouching along to the witness-box with bended body and curved shoulders. In their eyes there was a vacant stare— a bewildered look as they gazed at the crowds in the body of the Court. They were all dressed in ordinary civilian clothes, but if the cut of some of the suits was fashionable at the time of their sentence it is certainly extremely unfashionable now. Four of the prisoners were dragged into the case—the Ten-ace Gaol mutiny)—as unwilling witnesses, unwilling in that they seemed afraid to-say anything which might earn the disfavour of the prison authorities.
In the opinion of the Wairarapa Daily Times there is no justification whatever for tne increase in the fire insurance rates in Masterton. On the contrary, seeing that Masterton has an efficient* fire brigade and an improved water supply, there should, the Times contends, be a substantial decrease in the rates. An explosion of benzine occurred on iuesday on a launch at the Tatarariki flaxmill Northern Wairoa, and as a result Mr. Anthony Silich received severe bums and injuries The vessel was moored to the wharf. Another man on board dived mto the river and swam ashore, but Mr. feiiich was rendered unconscious. He was speedily rescued and conveyed to Te Kopuru Hospital.', The launch was completely destroyed. A somewhat remarkable statement was made by a milk-vendor during the hearing of the milk prosecutions in the Magistrate s Court yesterday. Cross-ex-amined by Mr. V. R. Meredith (Crown Prosecutor), Henry Bodley, the defendant m question, stated that hi s firm only tested the milk .when convenient. "I would go out of the business rather than carry out all the tests expected," added the defendant. / Writes the London correspondent, of The Post:—Mr Chas. Elgar has spent a few weeks m France as a delegate from the Agricultural Relief of Allies' Funds Association. The tour was intensely interesting, but had of course to be made under a bond not to produce copy for newspapers. The delegation proceeded close in behind the lines, where the Allied howitzers were pounding the Germans, and some distance ahead of what were the German lines on the Somme only a few weeks ago. Mr. Elgar says the destruction of villages is complete, but to his mind the more serious matter is the damage done to the surface of the ground over an area much greater than he had anticipated. - When asked to plead in the Supreme Court yesterday, Maud Williams, a middle-aged woman, charged with fNgamy, complamed that she had been told that she could not change the pleaone of not guilty—given in the Lower Uourt. Are you guilty or not guilty?" repeated the Registrar, in more emphatic tones than before. "I'm guilty," saidWilliams, in a meek voice. The prisoner was married to Thomas P. Williams afc N the Registry Office in Wellington on Blst December, 1901, and on 16th January, of this year went through a form, ofmarriage at Auckland with WilSam. Cochrane. Incidentally, she made a false declaration to the Registrar. She was remanded until Saturday for sentence. Guilty on.all counts was the verdict of the jury after The Post went to press yesterday, in the case in which four prisoners—George Crowther, John Dain-' try Campbell Birch, Hector M'Lean, and, Charles Hazeldine—were charged • (1) That, with intent to commit a crime namely, to break away from gaol, they rendered Warder Spittal incapable' of resistance, and (2),. with intent to do grievous bodily harm, did do actual bodily harm to Charles Edward Spittal. The jury was about half an hour considering ris verdict. The Chief Justice (Sir Kobert ( Stout), addressing the prisoners, said : ' I don't know what to do with you men. Ido not want to do anything that will make you think that you ha^e been harshly treated." He proceeded to refer to the bad records of the four men, but dwelt upon the fact that they would have benefited greatly by good behaviour. His Honour said he would deal with the recalcitrant prisoners finally on Saturday next. New Zealand footballers (writes the London cocrespondent of The Post) will learn with regret of the death in East Africa of Air, Denys Douglas Dobson, who was,one of Mr. Bedell-Sivrieht'a ■"f S^ 1111 ™hidh tow;ed the Damuiion in 1908. An old Oxonian, Mr. Dobson was one of the finest forwards in Engo, ' • £*%* that i*"11"- te entered thecoma! Cml Service, and was officer in charge of the sleeping sickness operations m Nyasaland, afterwards becoming Rodent Magistrate of the Chunzi JJowa District. Mr. Dobson -was attacked by a rhinoceros, and his gun-bearer fled into the bush, leaving Mm defenceless against the beast. He was caught with terrific force, and practically disembowelled, his jaw and shoulder beino- also broken. Nevertheless, he walked a mile a™. a-haif to a house for help, and was then carried forty miles in a hammock before he could get proper treatment. Three of Bedell-Sivright's team have now passed away; the others being the leader himself and Mr. B. I. Swannell, "that great-hearted roamer whose adventures would fill a book, the most charming pages of which would be filled with his loving letters to the lady he worshipped, his mother." Mr. H. H. Vassal!, another member of Bedell-Sivnght's team, is Assistant Magistrate at Liwonde, ■ in British Central Africa. He married Miss Chase Morris, of Wellington. "'■ In the course of his evidence in the milk prosecutions, heard in the Magistrate's Court yesterday. Dr. Maclaurin, Dominion Analyst, stated that the standard fixed by the Department for milk did not represent a really good quality. The standard was the lowest possible, and could only be described as fair. Frederick Charles Upham was indicted at the Supreme Court yesterday on two charges—forging and uttering a military discharge. He pleaded guilty to uttering the document, and this plea was accepted by the Crown. His Honour the Chief Justice (Sir Robert Stout) stated that he desired to make some enquiries about the prisoner and the case before passing sentence. Upham, who was represented by Mr. H. F. O'Leary, was accordingly remanded until Saturday next. The ratepayers of Palmerston North are to be asked to .-auction a loan of £3000 to complete the baths scheme. The preliminary steps are being taken in connection with the installation of the automatic telephone system in Palmerston' North.