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[From Our Melbourne Correspondent.)

Melbourne, May 7


The colonies of Australia are in a political calm, but here and there are signs that a storm is brewing. In New South Wales Sir Henry Parkes rules, backed by a small and uncertain majority. The leader of the Opposition declares that the Ministry could bo upset at any moment. A year ago he ridiculed the idea of payment of members; now he is pledged to introduce a Bill having that object in view, although seven of his Ministerial colleagues are opposed and only two in favor of the system. The deficit of L 2,000,000 to L 2,600,000—50 the estimates va ry—is to be wiped out by the sale of Crown lands in the suburbs if Parliament sanctions the proposal, which is strongly opposed. In Victoria Ministers aro diligently preparing for the session. Parliament reassembles on the 4th proximo. A mild reform of procedure is the first Uem on the programme, which likewise includes a Metropolitan Board of Works Bill and the big Budget proposals of last session. The Premier was banqueted by his former constituents the other day, and the burden of his speech was a plea for the unity of Australasia, and the recent elections clearly show that public feeling is with Ministers in their endeavors to foster a national spirit "based on amicable relations between the colonies. The Irish Embassy—Mr John Dillon, bir T. G. Esmonde, and Mr J. Deasy—are succeeding in their mission from a pecuniary point of view. Melbourne has provided LI ,000, Ballarat LSOO, and Sandhurst a corresponding amount; so that the envoys, as they are grandiloquently styled in the newspapers, will probably leave Victoria L 2,500 richer than they came. The money is almost entirely supplied by Roman Catholic Irishmen and the priests. Mr Dillon considers that the Plan of Campaign, which has been condemned by His Holiness the Pope, has been justified by the results, and he declared that it would be idiotic for the Irish to lay down weapons which had proved so effective —“obtaining by fear the justice which was denied to argument and reason until their complete emancipation from the British yoke. The Press is united in condemning Mr Dillon and his fellow delegates for coming here on a mission which may create racial dissensions in Australia, and the Press, in its turn, has come in for some violent vituperation. The Irish envoys speak at Sandhurst to-night, and they will shortly proceed to Sydney. Sir John Somers Vine, who has come to Australia at the request of the Prince of Wales to secure colonial co-operation for tho Imperial Institute, will shortly pay a visit to New Zealand to ask for the friendly aid of the Government in furnishing the “ sample rooms” of the Institute with natural and manufactured products, and the Intelligence Department with the latest commercial information. The colonies are not being asked to subscribe to the funds of the Institute. CHURCH CONGRESS AT SYDNEY. A Church Congress has been held in Sydney. It commenced with the consecration of Archdeacon Dames as assistant bishop of Brisbane, the ceremony, which was the first of the kind that has ever taken place ip Australia, being of a very imposing character. The Congress has discussed, but failed to determine, the terms upon which the Anglican Church could unite with the other branches of the Christian Church, great diversity of opinion being expressed. The parochial system was condemned as unauited to sparsely populated colonies. It transpired that in Melbourne there is only one clergyman to every 7,000 of the population, while there is one to every 4,700 in Sydney. Greater activity was urged in regard to missions to the heathen. Temperance was a subject of discussion at

the final meeting. The balance of opinion seemed to be on the side of supporting moral suasion by legislative enactment, chiefly in the direction of checking the sale of adulterated liquor, decreasing the number of public-houses, abolishing barmaids, and in other ways rendering drinking less easy and attractive. The colonial custom of “ shouting ” was condemned by the Bishop of Riveriua. The indifference of the working classes to religion was deplored. The next Congress is to bo held in Melbourne, in connection with the opening of the new cathedral. A BOY SHOOTS HIS BROTHER.

On Friday afternoon a lad, fourteen years of age, named Thomas Temple Ball, whose mother has charge of the post office at Piper Creek, Kyuoton, left home for the purpose of borrowing a gun from a neighbor. Ilia brother George, a lad about eleven years, and another lad named Michael Egan, followed him. The three met on the road. Egan and Thomas Ba'l agreed to go for some cows, and, giving the gun to George, commanded him to take it home. The lads then separated. After going a few yards George Ball halted, and, placing the gun to his shoulder, pointed it in the direction of his companions. Egan noticed him in the act, and sang out to him to cease. He had scarcely spoken when the gun went off, and its contents, lodging in the breast and face of his brother Thomas, killed the poor lad almost instantaneously. On being interrogated by the police, George Ball deposed that he was not aware the gun was loaded.

WRECK OF THE WANDERING MINSTREL. The South British Insurance Company has oeen offering a reward for information as to the whereabouts of the barque Wandering Minstrel, which has been missing for upwards of a year. News was received by the R.M.S. Zealandia in Sydney on Thursday that the ship had been lost while shark fishing in the South Seas, and that the master and crew were castaway on Midway Island. After they had lived there for upwards of six months, the chief officer and a Chinese boy and sailor started in a boat for the Sandwich Islands, They are still missing. Another dreary eight months passed before assistance reached the castaways, who were taken off fourteen months from the date of landing by the schooner Norma and conveyed to Honolulu. The captain’s wife and four children were with the castaways, who lost four of their number by death during their stay on the island.


James Williams, sail maker, recently attempted the murder of his wife by cutting her throat with a razor. He succeeded for the time in making his escape, but was arrested on board the ship County of Carnarvon, on which he had shipped as sailmaker for the voyage to San Francisco. The attempted murder was the outcome of domestic troubles between Williams and his wife. Williams was auspicious of his wife’s fidelity, and vented his jealousy in such a manner as to lead to his imprisonment on a charge of threatening his wife’s life. After his discharge from prison he was seen hanging about his wife’s house in South Melbourne. On the night of 20th April he mot her near the Farrars street crossing, threw her to the ground, and cut her throat with a razor. Believing her to be dead he attempted suicide and actually inflicted a severe wound on his own neck ; but the bystanders interfered before he could effect his purpose, and, after a struggle, Williams broke away from the crowd, ran through an iron foundry close at hand, and got away, Mrs Williams was taken to the Melbourne Hospital, where she still remains.

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OUR AUSTRALIAN LETTER., Issue 7907, 15 May 1889

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OUR AUSTRALIAN LETTER. Issue 7907, 15 May 1889

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