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OUR LONDON LETTER., Issue 7906, 14 May 1889
OUR LONDON LETTER.
ANGLO-COLONIAL NOTES. London, March 29. The enemies of the Imperial Institute and the S.K. Ring (now as powerful as ever) boldly declare, both in print and out of it, that the mission of Sir Somers Vine to the Antipodes was to “nobble” the colonial Press, and that (judging by the telegrams we receive anent the extraordinary enthusiasm which the Institute scheme seems suddenly to have aroused in Australia) he has succeeded perfectly. The ‘ Echo ’ and the ‘ Hawk ’ are very strong in pressing this charge and urging Antipodeans to keep an eye on Sir Somers’s tortuous methods of obtaining influence. The 1 Hawk ’ bluffly observes: “Sir Somers Vine’s mission seems to consist in endeavoring to persuade all the colonial journalists to loudly puff the Imperial Institute. This plan has not the excuse of a travelling theatre company, which sends its agent ahead to post bills; and if the Institute cannot be brought into life without resorting to such ignominious touting, then it had better remain still-born.” The Duke of Buckingham and Cbandos, who died quite suddenly and unexpectedly on Tuesday night, will be principally remembered by Australians in connection with bis short and infelicitous term of office as Colonial Secretary in Lord Derby’s third Administration. He subsequently went to Madras as Governor, and was later mentioned as a probable Viceroy of Victoria, but his failure to achieve popularity in India put an end to the idea. OUB MUTUAL FRIEND 3. Mr Marks, of the ‘ Financial News,’ in noticing Sir Julius Vogel’s novel, observed caustically that he hoped Sir Julius would, in future, stick to novel writing, and leave New Zealand politics and finance alone. He would sngSest, as a title for his next book, ‘My Reminiscences of City Companies.’ This little gibe was all the more unexpected, as Sir Julius had dined Mr Walker, one of the proprietors of the ‘News,’ the previous evening, and thought he was assured of his friendship. The Royal Geographical Society of Paris wrote to Mr Gisborne, inviting him to send them “ a copy of his valuable work on New Zealand,” He, of course, forwarded it, and later received an appreciative letter criticising it from the chairman. Mrs Kirkpatrick (nee Miss Kirkwood, of Auckland, and wife of the late manager of the Bank of New South Wales at Wanganui) died at Manchester on the 2nd inst. The case of Miss Harriet Muir, the daughter of “ the wealthy citizen of Christchurch, New Zealand,” whose adventures I retailed to you in my last two letters, came before the Middlesex Sessions on Monday, when a gallant jury, deolining to believe in the aspersions of the detective who had inquired into her antecedents, acquitted the young lady. It was understood in Court that she had found or made friends, who are taking steps to verify the existence of “Mr Muir, of Christchurch, New Zealand.” Personally, I must confess I am sceptical anent that individual’s existence. AUSTRALASIAN PUBLIC FINANCE. The attendance at the Colonial Institute on Tuesday evening to hear Mr William Westgarth’s paper on the above subject was the largest (save on Mr Gisborne’s night) this season, City men were especially m evidence, and so were such authorities on colonial finance as Sir F. D. Bell, Sir George Baden Powell, Mr Richard Speight, Mr E. N. C, Braddon, Sir George Bowen, Mr F. Fleming, and Sir C. Nicholson, who occupied the chair. Mr Westgarth pointed out that the chief points of interest which our colonies arouse as they march at their usual double-quick step of progress, are where, from differences of climate and other circumstances, they exhibit more or less variety of development from that of the parent country. The financial section of this varied development is quite as fertile as any other. The most striking feature of Australasia, in a comparison, whether with Home, or, indeed, with any othev part of the Empire, is the unprecedented pace of growth. England has never bad colonies, whether single or in group, which have increased in their short term of life to such a population, to such a scale of public revenues, and, to be behind in nothing, such a grand scale of public debt. If one were to compare the United Kingdom’s finance upon a population basis with Australasia, the former, although at the head of the rest of the world in most items, would fall wofully short of this youngest of her daughters. In point of yearly revenue, the total of L 26.000.000 of Australasia would require 1.260,000,000, or about three times the present public revenue of the parent. The comparison of public debt between the two cases is hardly less striking as to Australasian headship. The British debt, although latterly equalled by France, had enjoyed for many years the unsurpassed headship of its kind in the whole world. But the 16 odd millions already piled up for Australasia would require, for a relative equality between mother and daughter, twice the amount of the latter’s great debt. Great and rapid as had been the advance in the value of colonial stocks, Mr Westgarth argued that a considerable further rise awaits them. Towards this end he mentioned three great steps still before them. First, the complete consolidation of the still lingering varieties of the securities of each colony, so that each shall present all its obligations in one perfectly uniform stock. Second, the intercolonial federation, by which the stocks of the different colonies shall be consolidated into one uniform security for the whole group, as bad been accomplished with so much advantage by the Canadian Dominion. Third, the concession of the high privilege of being included in the list of legal trust investment. These steps secured, no doubt an Australian 3 per cent, would ere long stand at the price of 100, and thns show by so practical a proof that the daughter States are worthy to take the place in the great Home market which has been so recently vacated by the Mother Country. Mr Westgarth himself was unable through ill-health to be present, so the paper was read by the secretary (Mr O’Halloran). In the discussion which followed Sir Graham Berry and Sir F. D. Bell spoke, both urging that the colonies offered excellent security in the shape of railways, public works, and unoccupied lands for every penny they borrowed, and that they had no national debt, in the English sense. Mr G. C. Hawker surprised all present by getting up and making a violent attack on the colonies in general, and Sooth Australia in particular, for over-borrowing. He was vehemently reproached for so doing by Mr Richard Speight, who accused him bitterly of fouling his own nest. Mr Speight said he would undertake to float a private company to. work the Victorian railways which wonld pay off every penny of the colony’s indebtedness in return for the privilege. Mr Speight, by the way, leaves England in abont a week en route for Melbourne via San Francisco. As arranged, he will pick up what wrinkles he can in the States en route, AN INTERESTING PICTURE. A syndicate, with Mr A. M‘II wraith at its head, has been formed—first to exhibit, and secondly to push the sale of engravings in Australia and New Zealand of Mr Lockhart’s great picture cf the Jubilee ceremony in Westminster Abbey. The Queen, to whom it belongs, has agreed to lend it for three years for engraving and touring purposes. LORD KNUTSFORD ON IMPERIAL FEDERATION. In answering Lord Stratheden and Campbell’s questions anent the desirability of pushing Imperial Federation on Monday evening, Lord Knutsford placed in a very clear light the difficulties which have to be surmounted. Nothing is easier than to draw the lines of an Imperial system on paper. The efforts of amateur Federationists, however, recall the Empress Catherine’s reply to a philosopher who pre-. , sented her with a cut and dried system of reform. The Empress reminded her adviser of the different material with which he and she had to work. “Paper,” said Her Majesty, “ endures all things, and presents no obstacles to your imagination or pen; but I have to work on human skin, which is; sensitive and irritable to an alarming degree.” ‘‘Human skin” must play an important part in the schemes of Imperial Federation. There are many tender susceptibilities to be dealt with, and if they are dealt. with too roughly they will be foupd to be unmanage-
able. In any case there can be no doubt that if the British Empire is to become a more closely organised body than it is the movement to that end must come from the colonies and not from the Mother Country, There are not wanting signs that such a movement will occur, but it mngf be waited for, not galvanised into premature life. Lord Knutsford is equally right in his belief that there must be more union among the several groups of colonies before there is any chance of welding the whole Empire as Federationista desire. In one direction, indeed, Lord Knutsford seems to see a difficulty which to other observers appears to have almost vanished. He recognises the existence of a party (< who moat conscientiously believe that the colonies are now sufficiently independent to stand by themselves,” and that it would be better that they should do so. There is such a party, no doubt; but it is far less influential and numerous than it was. The feeling that the time has come to “ cut the painter,” as the phrase is, has wonderfully subsided of late years. Imperial unity may not be achieved; but, if it is not, the failure will be due to firactical impediments, and not to a desire or separation, chabue compton’s divorce. Mr "Charlie Compton,” a music-hall singer at present tonring with a variety troupe in Australia, appeared by proxy before Mr Justice Butt and a special jury on Monday last, to petition for a divorce from his wife "Marie Compton,” whom he accused of adultery with Mr Roach of the Grand Theatre, Liverpool, and a man named Murgetts. The jury, after hearing evidence, found the lady guilty on both counts; but Mr Justice Butt declined to pronounce a decree nisi until the petitioner returned and could be duly examined. WELCOME HOME. There was a largely-attended and enthusiastic meeting at the Memorial Hall, Farringdon street, on Monday afternoon to welcome Dr Hannay and Mr Henry Lee on their return from Australia. Principal Falding, D.D., occupied the chair, supported by Rev. Newman Hall and Rev. Guineas Rogers, and letters were read from Dr Parker, Dr Dale, and others expressing regret at their inability to be present. Speeches were made welcoming the clerical tourists home, and a resolution passed referring with gratitude to the good work done by them at the Antipodes. Dr Hannay said that although Australia had made such marvellous progress during the last fifty years the feeling was entertained by " young Australians ” that it had been in spite of great difficulties thrown in the way by the Colonial Office, whose ignorance, stupidity, circumlocution, and apathy were strongly condemned. The feeling of the older colonists was, he believed, against separation, but the younger men were for throwing off all trammels. He therefore felt that it would be exceedingly beneficial if ministers, men of science, literature, and art, would visit the colonies and endeavor to establish modern English thought and feeling in society there, and arouse an interest in the past history of the Empire. FINANCIAL NOTES. Following the recent failure of Messrs D, Clarkson and Sons, of London, New Zealand, and Australia, unfavorable, and, we believe, unfounded rumors have, says the ‘Daily News,’ been circulated as to the fosition of Wood street houses generally, t is understood that the creditors of the above firm will all be paid in full, although the payments will be distributed over a period of some months. The fact of B*stor falling later this year than usual has made business dull for the moment, but only temporarily so. Shaw, Savitl and Albion Company (Ltd.) —The accounts for the year ended December 31,1888, show an available profit of L 29,399, after provision has been made for depreciation of the sailing ships, as required by the articles of association, and at 6 per cent, on the steamers. From this amount the directors recommend the payment of n dividend at the rate of 6 per cent., which will absorb L 23.445, leaving a balance of L 5,954 to be carried forward to the next year’s accounts. The visit of Princess Midas—otherwise Miss Alice Cornewall—is awaited (says the ‘Echo’) with much interest in financial circles. The object of this young lady, who is just thirty, is to raise a sum of a million for the purpose of developing a certain estate in New South Wales, on which it is estimated there are 280,000,000 tons of gaa coal. No further attempt has been made as yet to reorganise the Quayle Company, bat Mr Quayle has written to New Zealand. There is a hitch in the preliminary arrangements of the Imperial and Colonial Trading Company, which may possibly lead to Sir W. Bullet’s withdrawal from the Hoard. He considers '.that the mimaging agents want exorbitaatfcisis. But more of this anon. ANGLO-COLONIAL THEATRICAL.
We may expect farther developments anent the fioucicault divorce suit presently. 1 see the vorthy Dion, with a view to depriving his late spouse of certain moneys she has applied to the Gonrts for, has for a second time gone through the ceremony of marriage with Miss Lonise Thorndyke, about whom Mr Justice Butt recently made tender inquiries. One evening last week, at the Grand Theatre, Glasgow, a slip of the tongue occasioned great amusement amongst the audience. The play was Mr Fergus flume's ‘ Madame Midas,' In the last act Madame says to the intruder in her drawing room “Who are you! Pierre?" to which the reply should have been i “No” (throwing off disguise) ; “your unworthy husband, Randolph Yilliers.” By a carious mistake, however, the actor in ! this instance announced himself as Randolph Churchill. This lapsus created a wonderful effect among the audience, and also among the artists engaged in the scene, who found a little difficulty in terminating it. Miss Alice Lingard will soon appear at a matinee as Imogens in the play of ‘ Cjmbeline.’ The part of the wife of Leonatns is one in which Miss Lingard plays with striking success. AN AUSTRALIAN HOES*. The Australian-bred horse Ringmaster ; made its first appearance on an ‘fcngiut. racecourse in the Trial Stakes at Lincoln. The debut was not exactly brilliant, as Ring--1 master was last all the way. This, too, , despite a successful trial (Australian fashion) against time. PERSONAL AND GENERAL. Sir John Gorst is now mentioned as Mr Balfour’s probable successor in the Irish Chief Secretaryship, The death of Bishop Ullathorne has greatly upset Cardinal Newman, whose 1 weakness is now dangerously great. Lord Winohelsea—-better known in your ‘ part of the world as Mr Pinch-Hatton—» on the look out for a colonial governorship. He would like to get Ceylon, hot of course* won’t.. Sir Arthur Gordon will, I hear,only resign ; his gubernatorial functions in event of ; securing the peerage, for which his soul has 1 so long hankered. At the meeting of the Associated Chambers of Commerce on Tuesday a resolution wae passed expressing the sympathy of the Association with the objects of the Imperial ' Federation League, and the opinion that itt the interests of the commerce of the Uiiitetf . Kingdom it is desirable to strengthen itv every way the bonds that unite <frea t Britain and Its colonies and dependencies. It was decided that the Executive Council' should be requested to obtain from tha ‘ Colonial Office and from the representatives in this country of the various colonies the fullest information on the subject of emigration, and to lay the same before the Chambers. The evergreen Deceased Wile’s Sister Bill, which comes on for second reading oa April 3, has been before the House of Commons for nineteen sessions, and r°-rr-j on six occasions. It was defeated on division in 1861, 1882; 1866, and 1825, and withdrawn for various reasons In other yearn. There seems less likelihood than ever of ita becoming law now. [The majority In the A man who should know, bht whom I cannot believe, positively declares that Lord Winohelsea was offered the Governorship of Gape Colony, and refused it I e Mr Hadden Chambers has none to Mar gate to write his new play. Mr Lusoombe Searelle % it seems, engaged at present on whak a ‘ Globe * man csjls “ a.somewhat ambitions book,”’
Miss Watt-Tanner’s dehut has not as yet been followed up by a metropolitan engagement. PERSONAL. Mr Fergus Hume tells me he intends to dramatise his new book ‘ That Girl from Malta’ himself. He is at present writing a sequel to ‘Madame Midas,’ which he calls ‘ Miss Mephistopheles,’ and which he considers will be the strongest thing he has done. Mr Hume iulemis publishing a book of poems at the eud of the year. His model is Heine, and he is also never without a copy of Herrick in his pocket. His chief ambition is to succeed as a dramatist. He likes London, and is much interested in London slums, regarding them as excellent quarries from which to obtain materials. Besides ‘ Miss Mephistopheles,’ I believe Mr Hume is engaged on a novel which will deal solely with English life. On one occasion, Mr Hume overheard two ladies discussing ‘ The Hansom Cab.’ “ Well,” said one, “ the man who could describe Mother Guttersnipe must have low instincts.” Another day he asked for his own book in a lending library. “We can’t recommend it, sir,’ was the reply. “ Will you sign your name in our book, sir ?” which he did. Tableaux. On the other hand, he has received much encouragement; Mr James Payn, amongst many, having written him a very kind Mr Stuart Cumberland’s new novel, in two volumes, entitled the ‘Vasty Deep, will be published next week by Messrs Sampson, Mr Hume Nisbet, whose “shilling shocker” (‘ Dr Bernard St. Vincent ’) I recommended to you last week, has written a tale of Australian adventure entitled ‘ The Land of Gold,' which will be published shortly by Messrs Ward and Downey. The author of the effusive leader in the ‘ Daily News ’ on Sir Julius Vogel’s novel was not Andrew Lang but William Senior (“Redspinner”), an old friend of the ex-New Zealand Premier. Dr M‘Laren has arrived Home, and will occupy the pulpit of the Union Chapel, Manchester, on Sunday. The current issue of the ‘Christian Globe’ reproduces an interview with the rev, tourist from the Adelaide journal, in which he “gushes considerably anent the New Zealand climate, which he declares has made him a new man. . There is something amusing in Sir Graham Berry (of all people) being a candidate for election to that hotbed of Toryism, the St, Stephen’s Club. He wishes to belong, as a matter of fact, because Sir Arthur Blyth, Mr Archer, Mr Heaton, and other leading colonists are members.
OUR LONDON LETTER., Issue 7906, 14 May 1889
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