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OUR AUSTRALIAN LETTER., Issue 7938, 20 June 1889
OUR AUSTRALIAN LETTER.
[From Our Mklhouunk CoRREsroxoKXT. |
Tce.sdvy, June 11 THE VICTORIAS I'ARUAMENT.
The new Victorian Parliament resumed its session last Tuesday, when the Governor's speech was delivered to the members of both Houses. It was couched in the customary terms of vague generality, ami members were informed of nothing which they did not know before. So far as the Legislative Assembly is concerned, it was treated in the manner that it merited. It was properly received a=i a mere formality, and the Address-in-Reply being moved and seconded, was agreed to, and no time was spent in profitless discussion. Hitherto it has been the practice of the Opposition to criticise the Speech minutely, but as none wanted to table a waut-oi-confidence motion, the Left, organised under the astute chieftianship of Mr Mnnro, decided to show that they were on their good behaviour, and that they were prepared at I onse to receive the Government measures. The Government demonstrated that they were quite equal to the occasion by at once tailing the new procedure rules, which they promised to bring down as a result of the obstruction which they havo had to put up with at the hands of a very small section i of Opposition members during the past two i sessions. By the changes which are proposed to be made, the Government show ' that they are determined to bring about a real reform, and that they indulged in no idle talk with reference to the matter during the elections. Backed up as they are by the country at large, they are quite willing to undertake the handling of a difticult as well as a dclicitc sublet. The new rules number twenty-one. Most of them are designed to prevent waste of time over formal motions, in the giving of notices of questions and motions, and in the placing of the Deputy-Speaker or DeputyChairman of Committees in the chair whenever occasion requires. One rule is to provide that no motion for adjournment shall be made unless a majority of members present rise in their places and signify thenapproval of the proposed discussion. The question of the exclusion of strangers is also to be dealt with, and the new rule on the subject provides that the galleries shall only be cleared by vote of the House or by the Speaker or Chairman of Committees, and not at the instance of any member as at present. Stonewalling has been made easy heretofore by the fact that in committee a member can alternately move that progress be reported, and that the chairman leave the chair, but rule 14 sets forth that such motions must always be put without debate, and that no member who lias once moved or seconded such a motion shall be entitled to move or second a similar motion during the same debate, The House cheered when the Premier read rule 16, as follows:—"No member shall digress from the subject matter of any question under discussion, and all imputations of improper motives and all personal reflections on members shall be deemed disorderly," The Speaker, it is further proposed, may direct any member to discontinue his speech if he persists in irrelevance or tedious repetition. The closure is embodied in rule 18. It is therein stated that if a member, during a debate, move that "the question be now put," and if it appear to the Chair that such motion is not an abuse of the rules of the House nor an infringement of the rights of the minority, the question shall be put without debate or amendment, but it shall not be resolved in tho affirmative unless twenty-five members vote in the majority in support of the motion. Another provision is for the suspension of tho standing orders by an absolute majority of members without notice and without debate or amendSeveral country members have combined for the purpose of forcing on the House if possible the question of Protective duties in the farming interest. At a caucus which they held Mr M'Lean was appointed chairman, and a resolution was carried unanimously recognising thaj; it is essentiaHo the maintenance of our recognised principle of Protection and in the intereafc of the agricultural and pastoral interests of the colony that additional duties bo placed upon cereals, dairy produce, live stock, and dead meat imported into Victoria. It was stated that there are thirty-eight members who are favorablo to the increased duties, No decision was eotno to as to the exact method which would bo adopted by the party to have its weight felt in the Houße, but the feeling was generally expressed that an effort should be made to compel tho Government to impose higher Reference was made to the subjeot of intercolonial federation,and itwas maintained that border duties would do a great deal towards hastening on the day when there would be a union of the colonies through an assimilation of tariffs, The party intend holding another meeting this week,,
Mr Muuro, it ia to be observe J, has succeeded Mr Bent as Lender of the Opposition. Wheu members met on the Speech day for the purpose of appointing someone to the position they found themselves in rather a, quandary owing to the diverse views which prevailed amongst them apart from a desire to sec the present Government out of office. Under the circumstances they found they could not do better than elect Mr Mur.ro, that gentlemm promising to do nothing in the way ef foisting on to the party his extreme views on the Temperance question. nosi'iT-vr, AconmoiuTiO-V fob iikmsouksk. For some time past there has been tin agitation going on in Melbourne for increased Jui niial accommodation. The necessity for some addition to the existing institutions is undoubted, they being mostly overcrowded, and many serious cases having often to be turned away from their doors. Recently, indeed, several sick and infirm persons have died in the streets. The result of the agitation has been that an influential deputation waited on the Premier last week and urged that a grant of LIO.OOO should bo given by Government towards providing extra accommodation for the sick and suffering pocr which is not afforded by the present hospitals of the city and suburbs, and that sullioient sums should be voted from time to time for the establishment of a first-class general hospital in Melbourne, replete with all modern appliances and constructed in accordance with the best principlesof sanitation. Mr Cillies agreed to put the sum of LIO.OOO on the Estimates for present requirements, hut pointed out that the proposed erection of a new hospital was a matter for the gravest consideration. There would be great didiculty in securing a site for an institution having r>oo beds, as was suggested, and its annual cost of maintenance would not be less than 130,000. If such an hospital were considered absolutely necessary, however, and there were gentlemen who would undertake the management of it, the Government would doubtless feel that it was its duty to supplement private subscriptions in order to secure its establishment. Before com mitting himself to such a. proposition lie would like to receive the fullest information in regard to it, and to confer with a smaller deputation as to details. ANTI-HOME RULE MEKTINC, In view of the visit of Mr Dillon, the Irish M,P., to Queensland, a large meeting was held at Brisbane last evening, and the following resolutions were carried :—" That this meeting disapproves of the introduction into Queensland of the bitterness of sectarian or political questi.ns in no way affecting our colony. Thi3 meeting protests against the assumption that the welcome by a small section of the community given to the Home Rule delegates in the Operahouse on the 3rd inst., was either the welcome of Queensland or the welcome of the major pait of the intelligent portion of the Irish colonists in Queensland. This meeting intensely deplores the whole tendency of the speeches of the Irish Home Rule delegates as calculated to encourage a spirit of disloyalty to all rule and order. '1 his meeting desire 3 to express its approval of the liish administration of the present Imperial Government in the face of unprecedented difficulties, and sympathy with Lord Salisbury and Mr Balfour in their largelysuccessful efforts for the amelioration of the State of Ireland. This meeting, as representing the loyal subjects of Great Britain residing in Queensland, begs leave to express the unabated and continued loyalty of the colonists of Queensland to the Queen, and pledges itself to adhere to and maintain the integrity of the British Empire." A committee "was appointed to wait on the Governor, and request him to convey the last resolution to the Queen. RAILWAY At'CIDKST. Another set ions railway accident happened in Melbourne last Wednesday to a passenger train within a lew hundred yards of the Spencer street statim. In its most mateiial features it was a repetition of the alarming accident which took place in the same locality on the 17th of last month, and is in an equally mysterious manner connected with the working of the points. The chief difference consists in the f" ~t that in the present ease the guard's van was in its proper position at the tail of the trajn, whereas in the accident of the 17th it was directly behind the engine. The 5.40 p.m. train for FiL-.roy hud barely cleared the station platform when the curiages began to oscillate violently. The guard, fearing something was wrong, attempted to apply the brake in his van, but he was thrown on his head and his lamp was extinguished. On regaining his feet he put on the brake, and the two end carriages with the van then overturned. These carriages were greatly damaged, and thirteen of the passengers in them injured—some of them very seriously. No satisfactory explanation can be given as to how the accident happened, as the points were properly adjusted for the train to pass on to the Coburg line, A practical tiial was made the following day to determine whether the occurrence could be attributed to the shifting of the points while the train was in transit. A train composed to resemble that concerned in the accident was run over the points at various rates of speed, and during its passage an attempt wa-3 made to move the levers without success. The cause of the accident is therefore as mysterious as the former one. THE MURDER OK A CONsTAHI.E. The coroner's inquest relative to the death of Constable David .Sutherland, who was shot at Potts Point, Sydney, has resulted in a verdict of wilful murder against James Morrison. Eulogistic reference to the way in which the murdered constable had done his duty was made in both brandies of the Sydney Legislature last Thursday. In the Assembly the Premier, in answer to a question, said the Government could be tiintod to do what was right and becoming to the relatives of deceased. The Inspectorgeneral of Police has expressed strong opposition to the question of arming constables with revolvers, and the Premier is also averse to it A mounted patrol has been established in the district where the murder took place. as' mi'CUJ-'XT nwixhu;k. An amusing instance of the barefaced manner in which the Exhibition and Railway authorities have been imposed upon was disclosed las' week during the hearing of a case in the Melbourne distri.it Court, in which Siegmund Israel was charged with defrauding the Railway Department by travelling on an expired free pass. The defendant, who is well known in connection with a recent bogus expedition to Western Australia, was one of the crowd of adventurers attracted to Victoria by the opening of the Centennial Exhibition. Almost his earliest step was to present himself to the executive committee of the Exhibition, in the guise of a representative of t'.e ' Pesther Lloyd,' a Continental newspaper. According to his card he was an officer in the German Army, he had acted a3 Stanley's lieutenant in the Congo expedition, and aUo as a member of the German expedition to Angra Pequena. _ With such credentials he had no difficulty in establishing his claim. The necessary Press pass was granted, and the usual application to the Railway Commissioners for the issue of a free railway pass over all lines was readily granted. Alter the dose ef the Exhibition, however, Israel saw no reason to deprive himself of so valuable a privilege as free railway travelling, so he carefully obliterated the name of Mr U. 'J'. A. Lavater, the secretary to the Exhibition, and the date of expiry, and continued to use his ticket until a few days ago. Probably the fraud might have continued for an indefinite period had not the Railway Commissioners received hint that they were being victimised. The matter was placed iu the handa of a detective, confronted Israel, and, after some trouble, obtained from him a written acknowledgment of his guilt, The most glaring feature of the ease is that Israel was employed as a bookmaker's clerk, and made use of his free pass to travel from one race meeting to another. When he did not rerjnire it for his personal use ho obligingly lent it to friends at the moderate charge of one guinea. The defendant, who pleaded guilty, was fined L2O, to bo levied by distress, in default three months' imprisonment. THE TYVHOID SCOURGE. With the advance of the winter season it would appear, from a return laid before the Central Board of Health last Friday, that typhoid, instead of decreasing, is increasing, not so much in Melbourne itself as iu the
districts round and in the country. The number of case 3 reported for the fortnight ended sth dune is nearly 100 in excess of the number reported during the preceding fortnight. As to the cause, it has been suggested that the late rains may have washed contaminated matter into the sources of the domestic water supply, or that atmospheric conditions may have contributed to the spread of disease. a costly necklace. A case presenting features of a novel character has comu before the Commissioner of Customs of Victoria. .Some time ago Mr ii. K, Montgomerie, a well-known Melbourne brewer, whilst on a visit to Sydney purchased a diamond necklace for Mrs Montgomerie, the price being L7OO. Subsequently Mr Montgomerie went on business to New Zealand, and on returning to this colony ho wore the necklace under his shiit collar, and thus escaped the payment of duty to the amount of L 154. The cvnsure coming to the knowledge of the authorities, Air Montgomerie has been called on to pay a fine of L3OS in addition to the duty. A HEARTLESS EVICTION. A cruel eviction took place in Sydney last Friday. Two married women and five young children occupied rooms in Bathurst street. The tenants from whom they rented the apartments left the premises, and the landlord turned the remaining inmates into the street, where they lingered till night, when they were forced to appeal to the police for shelter. They were accommodated in one of the cells in the Central Police Station, made as comfortable as circumstances would permit, and supplied with food. What makes the caae a very hard one i is that the husband of one womau is at sea, i whilst the husband of the other has left her | altogether. j ATTEMPTED SUICIDE AT I'OItT MELBOURNE. A rather romantic occurrence, which very nearly terminated fatally, took place at Port Melbourne last Sunday afternoon. A young man named Coleman took his lady love, a young girl named Eliza Johnston, for a walk down the Sandridge pier, when some difl'erenca arose between them, and Coleman left the girl to get over her temper aa best she could. As soon as she was alone she ran to the end of the pier and threw herself into the water. A high sea was running at the time, and if it had not been for the courage of a young midshipman, who dived into the water after her, she must have perished. After a desperate struggle the midshipman succeeded in bringing the girl, in an unconscious state, to the wharf. Mies Johnston was taken home by her friends, and brought before the local Bench yesterday, when she was discharged with some salutary advice. THEATRICAL AND MUSICAL. 'Patience' is being revived at the new Princess's Theatre for a week, when it will be succeeded by other attractions. ' The Pointsman ' still draws crowded houses to the Theatre Royal, and the concluding performance of' Sliamus O'Brien' was given last Friday night at the Alexandra, a dramatised version of Fergus Hume's novel 'Madame Midas' taking its place, Mr George C. Milne's leaseeship of the Opera-house expired last week, the Putnam Comedy Company making their first appearance at this place of amusement on Saturday. By a cable message which has appeared in the Melbourne Press it appears that Madame Mclba (Mrs Armstrong, of Melbourne) has made her appearance in ' Rigoletto' with brilliant success, her performance of the part of Oilda having excited the most enthusiastic encomiums. The ' Standard,' in its notice of the performance, expresses almost unbounded admiration for Madame Mel ha. It says that the has already won a position in the front rank of vocalists. It would, the critic states, be impossible to surpass her voice for purity and sweetness, arid she if, moreover, incapable of false intonation,
Another cable stated that Sir Saul Samuel, the Agent-General for New South Wales, invited a number of Australian colonists to a recital on the grand organ just completed by Mill and Sons for the Sydney Town Hall. Mr Besr, the Liverpool city organist, performed, and the instrument was pronounced to be of splendid touo. It will be taken to pieces and shipped to Sydney as scon as possible.
OUR AUSTRALIAN LETTER., Issue 7938, 20 June 1889
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