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OUR AUSTRALIAN LETTER.

[From Oor Melbourne Correspondent.]

Wednesday, June 19. HIE VICTORIAN PARLIAMENT.

Since the Address-in-Reply to the Governor’s Speech was carried the Legislative Assembly of Victoria has been engaged in considering the reforms of Parliamentary procedure brought down by the Government. The proposed alterations are the result of the systematic obstruction to business which has been practised by a small section of the House during the last few sessions. Several members belonging to this coterie were rejected at the general election, and as the newly-constituted House shows every sign of good behaviour drasticrepressive measures are conceded to be quite unnecessary for present exigencies. But the Government was pledged to the country in the matter, and has submitted '"proposals amply sufficient to cope with an obstreperous minority no matter how determined. In the main the suggested amendments have met with general approval, but the strongest opposition has been shown "to£|h££roposal, to resort to the closured’ .TJftring last week’s discussion not *one member outside of the Ministry could be found to support this. The Premier has therefore agreed to a suggestion that there should be a compromise effected, and that the Government shall only insist upon such propositions as will at once be accepted by the whole Rouse. Mr Munro has met the Premier in a conciliatory spirit, and a conference be held between the two Raders this weM with a view of deciding what modifications shall be made. Thepresent aspectof affairs portend a very satisfactory and profitable session. An amending Education Act has been circulated. It is proposed to lower the age up to which children are required to attend school from fifteen years-«o thirteen years, the object being to allgw boys to proceed to manual work at an earlier age than is at

present possible. Authority is taken to increase the compulsory attendance from thirty school days to forty days per quarter. In this way a boy will have more work done in seven years of school attendance, extending from the time he begins his education at six years until he leaves at thirteen, than in the nine years he has now to attend, which is from six to fifteen years. A provision is included that a child who has attended for eighty days in two consecutive quarters need not attend forty days in the second quarter. This innovation is introduced to permit country children to assist their parents in farm or garden work at particular seasons when their aid is urgently required. Power is also taken to meet a want complained of by the Roman Catholic authori-

ties that their children are not placed on the same footing as State school children, who can obtain certificates at twelve or thirteen years, and so subsequently be available for work. The certificates to be granted to privately-taught children are to be given after examination by public inspectors. These examinations are to be held at halfyearly intervals. The only other provision of importance in the measure amends the principal Act so as to prevent magistrates from evading the provisions of that statute by imposing a merely nominal fine upon parents who infringe its sections. AX UNPRECEDENTED HORROR. A terrible crime has been discovered at Nathalie, in the Kaarimba district, Victoria, where a farmer named M'Carron has been arrested on a charge of murder and of livingin a state of incest with his second eldest daughter. The details of the affair are of a most revolting nature. M'Carron is a native of the North of Ireland, and a tall and very powerfully built man about forty-seven years of age. He settled in Kaatimba thirteen years ago with his wife and family, on a selection of 1120 acres, and he was in comfortable circumstances. It has been observed that the family have kept very much to themselves, and refrained from mixing with the neighbors. The cause of this has, doubtless, been the horrible crime of the father. Mrs M'Carron died twoand a-half years ago, and as she was repeatedly heard warning her daughter to “keep her mouth shut ” it is apparent that she was aware of the relations existing between her husband and the girl. At the time of the woman’s death the daughter was pregnant, and it is said that on the very night that she died

M'Carron attempted to violate another of his daughters. The family number seven, comprising four girls and three boys, the eldest daughter being married several years and bearing a good reputation in the district, Jane, the second daughter, is twenty-seven, and is the one implicated with her father. According to the statements of the neighbors and also the other members of the family, she became first encimte four years since. It was not known whatbecameof theinfant, the girl havingbeen delivered while she was on a pretended search after some cows early one mcrning. She was again confined when the family were away at the local races. The police were communicated with by a relative two years ago, when a third confinement was expected. Mounted constable Williams was commissioned to look after the case, but though the confinement took place three months after, the constable was unable to discover what became of the child, and had no evidence to sheet M'Carron’s crime home to him. In this instance the girl passed through her trouble with the same fortitude as on previous occasions, going about her farm work as usual within a few hours of her delivery. Constable Williams afterwards devoted himself to a very close surveillance of M'Carron’s farm and all that went on. Finding that a fourth confinement was about to take place he got Detective

Sainabury to join him a month ago. Nothing of consequence happened until Monday morning, the 10th inst., when, with the aid of a field glass, Jane and her father were observed to enter an old shed used as a buggy house and stable, and remain there for' several hours. Eventually M‘Carron assisted his daughter back into the house, and she was seen to resume her daily household duties, even to milking cows, before the day closed. When nightfall came the detectives cautiously made a search of the shed, and discovered some blood-stained rags on the floor, and shortly afterwards the dead body of a fully developed female child wrapped up in an old bag and concealed under the seat of a buggy in the shed. The body was replaced under the buggy seat, and the detectives continued their surveillance. Nothing further transpired on Monday night, nor all day Tuesday, and the detectives becoming exhausted by exposure and want of food, resolved that one should go for provisions while the other kept watch. Sainsbury, during the absence of Williams, observed M'Carroa on Tuesday afternoon go to the shed about four o’clock.

take the body of the infant out of the buggy, put it in another sack, which he filled up with marshmallows, and walk away to the house, M‘Carron put the sack down outside, and went indoors. Sainabury then went up to the house and called on M'Carron to come out. When M'Carron made his appearance Sainsbury challenged him as to his crime, _ but he vehemently denied his guilt, saying that there was nothing in the bag, and that his daughter Jane was all right. Sainsbury being weak from want of food hesitated to handcuff his prisoner, who has Herculean strength. He therefore drew his revolver and made M'Carron put up his hands. He then threw the handcuffs on the ground and ordered Jane, who was present, to place them on her father. Jane attempted to do so, but though the handcuffs were of the

largest size they would not meet on M’Carron’a wrists. M'Carron, under cover of the revolver, was then put Into a cart with the body of the infant and driven by one of his sons to the Nathalia lock-up. The detective rode behind, with his revolver cocked all the time. A constable was despatched with Dr Drinkwater to the farm, and an examination of Jane proved that she had recently been delivered of a child. She was then arrested on a charge of infanticide. It is surmised by the police that if the arrest of M'Carron had been delayed, the body of tho infant would have been thrown to a huge sow which M'Carron was observed to pen up some days previously and starve. The whole family, with the exception of Jane, showed no regret at their father’s arrest. They held him in dread, and they appeared ta look upon the discovery of his crime as a happy deliverance for them. An additional fact which serves to illustrate the 1 wutal nature of M'Carron is that his wife died from a wound which she had received to her leg, and he postponed sending for a doctor until it had mortified. THE CHINESE MURDER CASK. A new development has occurred in connection with the case of the Chinaman who was murdered by larrikins some time ago in a lane off Little Bourke street, in Melbourne, A young man named Stephen Cutler was arrested on the charge of having struck the fatal blow; but after trial he was acquitted. Ten of witncsscss who were called as witnesses in his defence to prove an aiibi were then proceeded against for alleged perjury, and while five were found guilty and sentenced to long terms of imprisonment, the other live were discharged as innocent. This unsatisfactory result caused the Crown lav/ authorities to open an investigation with a

view of ascertaining whether there was a reasonable doubt as to the guilt of the five who are incarcerated, and whether they ought therefore to bo released. A man named John Stephens has now been arrested, on the information of a brother of Cutler and William Stokes, one of the men acquitted of perjury, on suspicion of being the real murderer. Ho has been formally charged with tho murder. —[Stephens has since been discharged.] embezzlement from a hank. A warrant has been issued for the arrest of William Thompson, the agent of the Yarra Glen Branch of the Colonial Bank, on a charge of embezzlement. Thompson is known to have lived a fast Hie during the last year or two, but as it was understood he had a considerable amount of private means it was not supposed that he was exceeding his income, and, as he attended to his duties with prompt regularity, no notice was taken of his private doings. On Monday, the 10th inst., he took advantage of the holiday to come into the city, and attended the races at Moonee Valley. At night he did not return home, and on Tuesday tho bank was closed all day. Some of the customers called at the bank to transact business, and, finding that Thompson was not in attendance, they telegraphed to Lilydale for an explanation. The manager at Lilydale telegraphed to the head office, and on Wednesday an inspector was

sent up to examine the books. In the meantime a private telegram had been sent to Mr M. Griffin, the licensee of the Flinders Hotel, Flinders lane, where Thompson always stopped when he came to town, asking if he could give any explanation why Thompson had not returned. Mr Griffin made inquiries, and found Thompson early on Wednesday morning. He lent him his buggy and sent his groom with him to drive him homo. They arrived at Yarra Glen about half-past nine on Wednesday morning, and the groom left Thompson at the bank. He then appears to have gone in, and, having taken all the cash that was in the bank, saddled up a horse aud galloped away in the direction of Lilydale, stating as he did so that he would be back in three-quarters of an hour. He did not return, however, and when the inspector from the head office examined the books and cash he found that the deficiency amounted to between L 1,500 aud L‘2,000, COLLISION IN UOLSON LAY. A collision took place in Hobson Bay on Monday evening near tho Swan Spit lighthouse between the s,s. Flinders, outward bound to Launceston, and the three-masted schooner W 7 aitemata, from New Zealand, with a cargo of kauri pine. The schooner had passed through the Heads about an hour before, and was just entering the western channel when she collided with the steamer, carrying away the railing and rigging of the Flinders and starting several of her plates. After striking her, the sailing vessel glanced off, but her jibboom was smashed aud her sails torn off by coming in contact with the bridge of the steamer. None of the passengers or crew of the Flinders received any serious injury. The steamer, after being informed by those on the sailing vessel that they did not require any assistance, returned to the South Wharf, where her pas-

scngers were disembarked, as it was not considered safe that she should continue her trip in her disabled condition. It is stated by those who were on board the Flinders that the schooner was to blame for the collision, as she came over to the western side of the channel instead of keeping near the eastern bank. In explanation of the collision, Captain Ohlsen, the master of the Waitemata, states that he thought the Flinders would follow the rule that a steamer should give way to a sailing vessel, and he therefore steered the schooner over to the western side of the channel, so as to get to the windward as much as possible. On the other hard, Captain Drysdale, who was in command of the Flinders at the time, says that he adhered to another rule of the sea—that of keeping to the right-hand side of a passage when approaching a vessel coming in an opposite direction, and consequently he kept the steamer close up to the western bank of the channel. An inquiry will be held by the Court of Marine Inquiry next week into the cause of the collision. Tilt: CENTENNIAL EXHIBITION. The balance-sheet in connection with the Centennial Exhibition has been prepared. It shows that the Commissioners received from the treasurer the sum of L 276,999 Is od, and from other sources L135,09-l Is 3d, miking a total of L 412,093 2s Sd. The expenditure amounts to L 394,323 Ila 2d, and there is L 17,669 11s Cd in hand. No

account is taken of the amount realised from tie sale of the temporary annexes, which was L 15,000, and if that is taken into consideration the total cost of the Exhibition t > the country may be estimated at about L 244.000. What have proved to be the luxuries of the show are the electric light aid the music. The expenditure on the farmer was L 76.200, and the sale of plant realised L 19,400, so that there is a deficiency of L 56.800 shown on that account. The expenditure on music was 35,020, while the receipts only amounted to L'J,O20 —showing a loss of 1/26,000 altogether, or LI,OOO a week. The one clear source of profit was the switchback railway, the proprietor of which paid to the Commissioners the sum of L 1,787. MUSICAL AND THEATRICAL. Mr Charles Santley’s concert at the Melbourne Town Hall last Saturday evening was so well attended that he has been prevailed upon to give an extra entertainment next Saturday previous to his up-country and Sydney seasons. After a continuous season of thirty-six weeks at the Princess’s Theatre Messrs Williamson, Garner, and Muagrove’s opera company are to appear for a week in ‘H.M.S. Pinafore.’ The novelty in this performance will ho the reappearance of Mr W. Elton, who will sustain the role of Sir Joseph Porter, K.C.8., for the first time on any stage. Should the health of Miss Nellie Stewart allow, it is the intention of the management to revive ‘Dorothy’ for the last two nights following ‘ Pinafore.' The only change of programme in connection with the Melbourne theatres on Saturday was at the Opera-house, where Miss Putnam and her company appeared in ♦Fanchon.’ This five-act comedy-drama hj is not been played in Melbourne since Miss Kate Denin essayed the title role twentytvo years ago. The piece was a failure, c miparatively speaking, then, but this latest c mibination present it in a now light. general. The Chief Secretary of Victoria was last week engaged in an inspection of the Mildura irrigation colony. Mr Stuart Murray, Chief Engineer of Water Supply, who

accompanied Mr Deakin, has supplied notes | of the visit, in which ho remarks that the progress of Mildura during the twenty-two i months it has been in the hands of the | Messrs Chaffey is very surprising, Less J than two years ago the site Was virgin soil, i low sandy rises covered with malice, inter- j spersed with occasional blue-bush plains ;; now there is a town of certainly inore than 400 inhabitants, with substantial buildings of wood and brick, such as would not seem out of place in any provincial town in Australia. A great many of the allotments taken up for settlement have been substantially fenced, and are in a more or less advanced state of cultivation and improvement. The water channels are sufficiently advanced to enable water to be supplied to the whole of the lands actually under cultivation. The permanent engineering works, which are of a very substantial character, are making good progress towards The total number of purchasers of land is about 500 ; about 5,000 acres have been well cleared, and 3,000 acres graded, cultivated, and planted, or prepared for planting or cropping. The total expenditure by the Messrs Chaffey in connection with the works is stated to be not less than L90,C00, and the settlers were found to be contented at present and hopeful for the future.

A sad accident occurred at Elmore on Thursday, by which two young_ladies were drowned. A buggy and a pair of horses conveying Father Lawler, of Sandhurst, Miss Galvin, the Catholic school teacher at Barnedown, Miss Powell, of Barnedown, and a boy named Bourke, set out from Elmore at about four o’clock in the morning, and ou reaching the Mount Pleasant Greek they missed tho bridge in the darkness, and plunged into the stream. The creek was swollen with the Hood water from tho watersheds of Mount Pleasant, Mount Camel, and Mount Ida, the buggy was capsized, and the occupants were thrown into the stream. The two young ladies were drowned, but Father Lawler and the lad were saved after clinging to a sapling for several houis. They were discovered by a boy employed on Mr Vahland’s farm, and were rescued by means of ropes. Father Lawler was proceeding to see a sick parishioner when the accident happened. Serious floods have occurred in the country districts, in consequence of the exceedingly rainy weather of the past week. The rivers in most of the districts have risen and flooded the townships, and news of serious loss of life and property are being received daily. A perfect gale was experienced Jm Hobson Bay ou Friday, and the tine, helped by the wind, rose higher than has been known for the last twenty years. Several fishermen’s boats were swamped, and the steamer Lonsdale dragging her anchors went ashore near tho Fort Melbourne baths. A destructive fire occurred in Melbourne on Sunday night, the contents of Messrs Screiber and Schaefer’s warehouse in Flinders lane being completely destroyed. Ihe premises consisted of a three-storied building belonging to Mr Robert Neave, of Fitzroy. The outbreak of lire, which is quite unaccountable, was first noticed in some packing cases in the yard, and before anything could be done to stop the flames they had, by means of a lift, communicated with the whole building. The firm’s stock, consisting of fancy goods and stationery, lent ready fuel to the fire, and though the fire brigades turned up and worked well together, they could do nothing but confine the flames to the one building. Messrs Screiber and Schaefer value their stock at 1.30,000, and they are insured in various cilices for L 20.000. A railway accident occurred last Wednesday near Benrith (New Soutli Wales), resulting in injury to three persons and considerable damage to rolling stock. The accident happened about G a.m., at which time the weather was very misty. A goods train was being made up, when the up mail train from Sydney to Bourke ran past the signal, which was against it, and collided with the engine of the goods train. The mail at the time was luckily travelling very slow. There were between sixty and seventy passengers in the mail, three of whom were injured rather severely. The accident was probuhlv due to the heavy fog, which prevented the driver from seeing ahead, but at tho same time it is contended that the goods train had no right on the main line when the mail was due, and the shunter is therefore at fault.

A daring burglary was committed on Sunday morning at Ballarat, at the residence of a Mr Hooker. The robber, on gaining admission to the premises, encountered Mr Hooker, who hud been aroused by the noise, and an exciting struggle ensued, Hooker receiving a severe blow on the head, which rendered him insensible. The burglar then effected his escape. A terrible accident, involving the death of a young man named John Smart, happened last week at one of the foundries in the city, Smart, who was employed ns an engineer, was in the act of placing the belt on a revolving wheel when hand gob caught and he was drawn bodily into the machinery. Steam was turned ofi as rapidly as possible, and the man (in whom some spark of life still lingered) was taken to the hospital, but ho died before reaching the institution. Smart was unmarried and twenty-six years of age. lie was well known as a sergeant in the militia. Several large seizures of contraband cigars and tobacco have been made from the German steamer- II o Ire tv/, olio, rn , at Sydney. Last week a great quantity of cigars were discovered cleverly secreted in the interior of lifebuoys, in the place of the cork, which had been abstracted, and on Sunday morning the attention of the police was attracted to some casks lying on the wharf adjacent to the llohenzollern. They were apparently filled with empty bottles, but on being searched they were found to contain over 20,000 cigars and a large quantity of tobacco. At about four o’clock yesterday morning, when Senior-constable M'Gee, of St. Kilda, was on his beat, he noticed a man staggering along in the middle of the road. Thinking that he had been drinking, the ollicer walked up to him, when, to his great surprise, he found that the man was asleep. When roused, lie explained that he lived at South Melbourne, and that he had no idea how he had got to St. Kilda. His name was Thomas Hughes, farrier, of Park street, South Melbourne, His wife was communicated with by telegraph, and when she arrived at St. Kilda she explained to the police that he had, unknown to her, left his house in the middle of the night, and must have walked in his sleep all the way to St, Kilda.

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Bibliographic details

OUR AUSTRALIAN LETTER., Evening Star, Issue 7942, 25 June 1889

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3,887

OUR AUSTRALIAN LETTER. Evening Star, Issue 7942, 25 June 1889

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