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OUR AUSTRALIAN LETTER.

[From Our Melbourne Correspondent.!

Melbourne, May 7. MYSTERIOUS DEATH OF A BALLARAT SHAREBROKER. The body of Mr William Carthew, sharebroker, Ballarat, was found in the Yarrowee Creek, at Sebastopol, on Thursday night. On Wednesday night, during the heavy ram, the deceased accompanied his wife down the town, and after transacting some business he said to Mrs Carthew: “ You go home and get tea ; I’ll go to the Mining Exchange for a few minutes, and then I’ll follow you home.” Deceased went in the direction of the Mining Exchange, but his wife did not see him alive afterwards. The body was found in the creek by a young man named A. H. Trewannick. The head bore several cuts, but it is thought that these were caused by coming in contact with hard substances in the stream. It is possible that deceased strayed into the Yarrowee the neighborhood of Li gar street, lost his footing in the strong current, and was swept away by the stream to Sebastopol, a distance of about three miles; but an impression prevails that Mr Carthew was first robbed of his watch and chain and then thrown by the robbers into the creek. At the inquest Dr Pinnock deposed that the neck of the deceased had been broken. The jury found that death was caused by a fall, but there was no evidence to show how the deceased fell into the creek.

extraordinary mesmeric seance. A large number of medical men attended a specie 1 mesmeric sdance in the Athemeum Hall on Friday. The Acting-Governor, Sir Wm. F. Robinson, was present. A committee was selected, amongst whom were Drs Lloyd, Ryan, Crowther, Jamison, Llewellyn, Hewlett, Barker, Day, M'Mullen, Robinson, Uesher, and Meyer. Seven subjects were then introduced to the audience, and Mr Kennedy commenced his experiments as at bis evening entertainments, the doctors following closely all his movements. The pulses of the mesmerised were frequently examined, and some registered 120 at times. Needles were thrust in various parts of the body without the slightest sign of pain, and other severe tests, such as the fingering of the eyeball and the passing of lights before the eyes, were adopted by the doctors. The eyes of the subjects were slightly sensible to touch, and this, Mr Kennedy explained, ho was never fully able to control. Some interesting experiments were given with subjects iu cataleptic trances. Mr Kennedy showed his power over his subjects by administering powerful drugs—in one instance about six times the ordinary dose of balsam copaiva, and also large quantities of quinine. These drugs were taken without any visible effect, whilst the subjects were made to take a concoction of salt, cayenne pepper, cod liver oil, and kerosene oil with apparent relish, nausea in this case being brought about at the will of the mesmerist. At the conclusion of the stance Dr Lloyd, on behalf of the committee men, stated that they were perfectly satisfied with the experiment, and that the performance had been given with good faith, without any shamming whatever, A vote of thanks was then given Mr Kennedy, and the proceedings closed.

revenue of victoria. The revenue of Victoria for the month of April amounted to L 676.900, as compared with L 684.200 received during the corresponding period in 1888. There was thus a decrease of L 7.300, which has arisen from the falling-off in the progress payments by selectors. These only amounted to L 28.000, as against L 47.000 obtained from the same source during March of last year. The Customs and Railway returns were considerably above the estimate. The total amount of revenue paid into the Treasury from June 30, 1888, to April 30, 1889, was L 7,263,598, the estimate for that period being L 6.493 853. POPULATION OF THE AUSTRALASIAN COLONIES. The Victorian Government statist (Mr H. H. Hayter) has compiled the following estimate of the population of the colonies at the close of last year Colony. Males. Females. Total. , Victoria ~ 7 581,333 509,636 1,000,869 New South Wales .. 698,827 486,529 1,085,366 Queensland .. .. 226,616 161.947 887.463 & Australia .. 159,219 153,846 313 065 Western Australia .. 24,276 17,862 42,137 Total . ~L589,170 1,329,720 2,918,890 Tasmatea " .. 78,020 68,129 146.149 "'aland .. 324.948 282.432 607.380 Grand total_JUg92,l47 1.630.272 8.672,419 Colony;' - - I~e. Victoria .. .. •• •• 64,760 New South Wales $437 Queensland .. • • • • South Australia .. .. • ■ 4,381 Western Australia.. -• -• 361 Total “*•s? Tasmania.. •• •• •• New Zealand .. •• Grand total .. •• 120,668 ♦Decrease. MELBOURNE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE. The report of the Melbourne Chamber of Commerce, which is to be submitted at the annual meeting this evening, contains two paragraphs pi ipterest to New Zealand readers; — PROPOSED LIGHT ON THE 11 SNARES/’ SOUTH OP NEW ZEALAND. When the Committee for the present year entered upon their dufciep, the question of a light on the Auoklands was partially suspended in favor of a further survey of the currents which sweep between and around the islands lying to the south of New Zealand (as suggested by Captain Thomas Musgrave). Corresponddence has since been carried on upon this question between this Council and the Hon. the Premier, the Chamber of Commerce at Invercargill, the Merchant Shipping and Underwriters’ Association, and several experts, on the question of the most suitable position for a light when erected. The subject of the proposed light, cs well as the maintenance of the depots of provisions and clothing for castaways, was made a part of the programme of the commercial congress held in “Melbourne last year, and resolutions were arrived afc by that body in favor of steps being taken,’without any further uelajr,

by the Australian Governments, for providing as far as possible against wrecks on the islands and rocks south of New Zealand, and also against loss of life amongst castaways, by the erection of a lighthouse on the Snares rocks, if not on the Auckland Islands also. For some time after the meeting of the Congress, owing to the political complications and changes of Ministry in New South Wales, no agreement could be arrived at upon this subject, but this Council has recently renewed its application to the hon. the Premier to endeavor to bring the negotiations with the other Governments to a successful issue, and has reminded the Chambers of Commerce in the colonies interested of the necessity of pressure being brought to bear upon their respective Governments to have something effective done before another marine disaster occurs to an Australian ship in the dangerous locality in question. The incoming Council will doubtless follow up the matter In the interests of humanity, as well as of the shipping and commerce of the colony, MAIL AND PASSENGER SERVICE VIA THE PACIFIC. It is generally known to the members of this Chamber that the mail contract for the service connecting Australia with the United States of America via the Pacific will expire the end of the present year. Although the direct trade between these colonies and the States has not expanded so much in past years as might have been expected, it, nevertheless, forms no inconsiderable item in our commerce, while the conveniences and advantages of passenger communication by the Pacific steamers have proved extremely valuable. The volume of the exchanges between Australasia and the States has mereased of late years, and the prospects of more Intimate trade relations between the two countries which have recently presented themselves give promise of a much greater and more rapid expansion in the future. For these reasons the Council gave attentive consideration to proposals emanating from_ the Oceanic Steamship Company of California, which were recently submitted to the Governments of New South Wales and New Zealand, for a renewal of the existing service on a more efficient basis, and towards the support of which the Victorian Government were asked to contribute. Without committing themselves to any details, the Council, when appealed to for co-operation by the Sydney Chamber, recorded their opinion that it was desirable, in the interests of the colonies, that the mail and passenger sei vice via San Francisco and the American Continent should be maintained; and they were prepared, if necessary, to ask the Victorian Government to join (under conditions to be agreed upon) in the future tubsidy. (The cost of the service hitherto has been borne by the two colonies of New South Wales and New Zealand, with recently a contribution from the States.) The leading features of the new proposal were that the United States Government should pay half the subsidy; that the mails should be carried under the American flag (which, in the case of a European war, would be an advantage to the colonies); that the service should be fortnightly instead of monthly as hithertoand that the routes should be slightly varied, so as to make Melbourne and Sydney alternately the ports of arrival and departure, The Council had interviews and correspondence with the representative of the Oceanic Company, Mr R. J. Creighton, but that gentleman’s mission has been (for the present at least) unsuccessful, for the reasons that the New Zealand Government are pledged to do nothing in the matter until their Parliament meets In June, and that the New South Wales Government are unwilling to make terms without the concurrence of New Zealand, or until after consultation with the British Government and the United States, as well as with that of Canada, from whom proposals ar« expected for a steam service between Vancouver and these colonies. At present, therefore, the question of a continuance of the Pacific service is in a very unsettled and unsatisfactory position. “as others see us.”

The ‘ Australasian ’ of Saturday, May 4, contains the following editorial Every Australian will be glad to hear that the New Zealand farmers are enjoying high prices for the produce of a splendid season, and that there is every prospect of a speedy and thorough restoration of public confidence, unless the Government should be tempted from the severely economical course which it follows at present. The only fear which haunts the president of the Dunedin Chamber of Commerce is an undefined dread that when the relief has actually come at last the Government may be tempted, or pressed, or cajoled into the familiar New Zealand policy of extravagant borrowing. We should imagine, however, that this will not be thought of by any sensible men after the severe lesson which the colony has just been read. It is true that its credit has been vastly improved, and that_ its stocks have increased in value ; but this is due to the fact that the New Zealand people have honestly faced the _ depression and economised in every direction; and if the old extravagant policy were again resumed the securities would probably fall in value at once. Passing from this topic, we find that the president of the Chamber of Commerce attaches great weight to the advisability of forming an Australian Customs Union. On this point ho argues that as all the colonies are more or less protective in their fiscal policy, with the single exception of New South Wales, they should draw together for the purpose of securing intercolonial Freetrade, and suggests that such a change could be best brought about by the agency of the Federal Council. There are, however, two difficulties in the way which the merchants of Dunedin do not seem to have grasped. In the first place, the Federal Council can only acquire power through the colonial Parliaments. And New Zealand itself is even more conspicuously than New South Wales an example of the jealousy displayed by local governments. _ No one needs to be reminded that the Legislature at Wellington has carefully held aloof from the Federal movement in Australia, partly through the fear that its importance might be merged in the larger interests of a great dominion, and partly because of the feeling that its interests are separate from those of this island continent. In the second place, Protection, as it is urged in the colonies, is wholly devoted to local interests. The Protectionists in New South Wales, for instance, are not trying merely to erect a barrier against the distant outside world, but especially against Victoria. Similarly in this colony we are protecting ourselves against New Zealand grain and not against American wheat. In like manner the Queensland people are calling out for a duty against the agricultural and garden produce of Victoria. These are the points which render it hard to believe that a Customs Union can come out of Protection; and yet they are precisely the points which the Dunedin Chamber of Commerce does not seem to grasp. We trust, however, that it represents public opinion when it advocates the Federal Council and Australasian unity. If the right feeling can be created, the present difficulties will soon grow less,” THE LABOR MARKET. The labor market of Victoria is in abetter condition than is usual at this period of the year. Unskilled labor may experience a scarcity of employment, but the artisans are in full work. The Ballarat strike is approaching a settlement, the masters acknowledging the local Union and acceding to the wages scale, but retaining the right to employ non-Union hands. The printers’ strike at Brisbane is practically at an end ; and with the improved prospects, _ consequent upon the recent rainfall, which has been general over extensive tracts of country, together with the higher prices realised for Australian wool in the London market, and the improved financial condition, a fairly good winter may be expected. _

By (a careful estimate, the ships of war launched by the naval powers of the world in 1888 numbered sixty, while more than one hundred were building when the year closed. . , , „ Polite Clerk (showing goods) : “Here is something I would like to call your attention to, lady. It’s the very best thing out.” Mrs Rounder (absently): “If there’s any: thing out later than my husband I’ll take it, if only for a curiosity.” They grow some monster potatoes down about Waimate. There are now on view in a local stationer’s window samples of Kidneys and Derwents, the largest of the former weighing 41b ll§oz, and of the latter They were grown on the Waimate estate, at Willowbridge. It has been suggested that one reason why the communications of spirits are so indistinct is because they write on rapping paper. Touche (airily): " What, working old man? I’m just off for the dog show.” Bilious (wearily) : “ What prize are you trying I r V Touche (angrily) : Well, sir, I’m - t entered in the puppy list, at any ralo ! ’ Bilious (promptly): “Thanks, awfully. I hat gives my pup a walk-over.

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/ESD18890517.2.27

Bibliographic details

OUR AUSTRALIAN LETTER., Issue 7909, 17 May 1889

Word Count
2,419

OUR AUSTRALIAN LETTER. Issue 7909, 17 May 1889

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