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The Evening Star MONDAY, JULY 1, 1889.

The disjecta tnenibtii 'of the anti-

Ministerialists have at last Wanted a succeeded in securing the Lender, semblance of a certain de-

gree of cohesion. They ttave met in solemn conclave, and have asked Mr Ballance, the bete iioh' 6f more than one Administration, to be their leader. Of course the member fof Wangariui, who is nothing if he is not'discreet, asked for time to consider the proposition; also, of course, he will accept, and before these lines are in print it is probable that his acceptance will be publicly known. Does the grass refuse rain, or the bread object to butter *2 Well, he will have an onerous task to fulfil, and it is certain that this movement will strengthen and consolidate the supporters of the Government who were in the way of becoming somewhat disoi'ganised from want of an Opposition. Since that the opposite party—we must concede that there is a party of some sort now —havp formed into line for the attack, tho party in power must close their ranks to resist aggression. Some very pretty practice may be expected, and the dull annals of Parliamentaiy affairs may, and will, probably be enlivened.

Mr Ballance is bound to do sometUitig some way, at some time, to justify his pre-eminence as Opposition Leader, or there will be discontent in the ranks. Assuredly, his first effort will be to find some chink in the armor of the present possessors of the Treasury Bench, and there are weak points offering opportunity for attack. Mr Barron, the member for Caversham, is a supporter of the Government, but he has unwittingly bared a weak point by his propositions in respect to the gradual reduction of the Property Tax. On this point he is sure to be joined by the newly constituted Opposition ; and if the Government are defeated on the question what will ensue 1 An appeal to the country without any alteration of the " quota," or any decision as to the system under which members shall hereafter be elected t Any way the Government have the game entirely in their own hands; but it would be a sorry sight to see them removed from office just at the critical moment when they have brought the affairs of the colony to a satisfactory condition. Members too often seem unable to perceive the full effect of their actions. They are "one-eyed," so to speak. As leader of the Opposition, Mr Ballance will not have an easy time of it. If ho value his position or his future reputation, he will insist on his supporters agreeing to a definite platform. The game of the "outs" may be very interesting to the players, but the public, whose interests are concerned, do not really care a dump for that part of the amusement. If the Opposition, under Mr Ballance's lead, have any policy or platform, it will be a good thing for the country. Assuredly the mixed assortment of members who have voted in a helterskelter sort of manner against Ministers during the last few years have not been more sensible than the Irishman who, when he landed in New York, asked if there was any Government in the United States, and, on being assured that there was, expressed his intention to "vote agin it." That is pretty much what the heterogeneous collection of oddities claiming to to be an Opposition have been doing for some time. But now that these have ranged themselves under the banner of an ex-Minister, something better will be expected of them. As for Mr Ballance, his reputation is in the task: "To win or lose." If opportunity is the supremest gift of the gods, woe be to ftim who

neglects or fails to provo himself worthy. Any way, strong or fceblo jyj Ministry or Opposition may be, we may surely now expect a fair fight and no favor. What Minister* have, most especially to guard against is the inconsiderate insistence on their measures being dealt with at the ooint of the sword, as it were—that is, as questions affecting their Ministerial existence) and what the Opposition have mostly to protect themselves against is feebleness of conception and weakness of execution iu anything they may take in hand.

The Caversham Licensing Committee mot on Saturday and granted the application Of John Walsh for a license for the terminus Hotel.

According to our Wanganui contemporary the Auditor-General has begun a regular crusade against the local bodies, of whom something like 200 are to be hauled before the Courts.

The revenue returns published among yesterday's cablegrams on our first page evidently have reference to Victoria, though sent to the morning papers under the heading of Sydney. The' Melbourne Harbor Trust have come to terms for the hire of dredge 222 for twelve months. She will proceed immediately to Melbourno, and will take a working crew with her.

The Christchurch bootmakers have consented to arbitration over the questions of overtime and the minimum rate of wageß for cliokers; the dispute fe the employment of day labor to stand over Fdr sik months, pending consultation with other branches of the federated Union. Mr John Lee Scott aits for Messrs Toomer Brothers, Mr William White, jun., for the men, and Mr Richard Beetham, Resident Magistrate, is umpire. At the Port Chalmers Police Court this morning, before Mr W. Elder, J.P., Mary Duckett was charged with using indecent and insulting language towards Annie Mellish at Mansford Town on the 26th ult., and with having used Insulting language towards Ellen Grey. On the application of Mr P.'atts, who appeared for the complainants, both cases wore heard together. His Worship stated it was not the first time defendant had been before the Court for a similar offence, and inflicted a fine of 20s and 7s costs, in default four days' imprisonment in each case.

At a meeting held at the Coffee Palace ou Saturday, night of those favorable to the formation of a land settlement Bcheme on a co-operativo basis, the particulars as to settlement were set forth in a prospectus prepared by the four originators of the movement. Sir Robert Stout addressed those present, numbering about seventy, in favor of establishing a settlement scheme as proposed, after which the prospectus was unanimously approved. It was decided to petition Parliament to see that the special conditions of the Land Act, 1885, be given effect to. A large number of those present announced their willingness to take up a number of shares, some 2,000 being thus guaranteed. Tho Chalmers congregation held their first services in the church, York place, yesterday. The Rev. Dr Stuart preached an eloquent sermon in the forenoon from the 35th chapter of Exodus, on tho duty of offerings to the Lord. The Rev. J. Ryley (of Port Chalmers) followed in the evening, and this staunch friend of the congregation delivered a most impressive discourse, choosing as his subject the 2nd chapter of the first Epistle of Peter. The Rev. J. M. Prascr also preached the usual monthly Gaelic sermon in the afternoon to a large and appreciative gathering of Highlanders. The church morning and evening was full and the collections liberal, amounting to nearly seventy pounds. The church is a very neat building, capable of holding over 300 persons. The interior, although plain, has a very pleasing effect. Tho criminal sittings of the Supreme Court will probably conclude this evening, the last caso on the calendar being before tho Court at the timo we went to press. The Graud Jury threw out the bills against Campbell and Gardner; the boy Reinke pleaded guilty, but ib not yet sentenced ; James Johnson was sentenced to two years' imprisonment for forgery ; Michael French, for the same offence, was sentenced to four years' penal servitude; and Harry Conn was punished for violating the conditions of his probation license, His Honor extending the term of probation by four months. A juror who had been compelled to come to town on Saturday in order to attend at the Court by 10 a.m. to-day made application for extra expenses on that account, but His Honor said he had no power to make such an order.

Received : ' Bradshaw' for July. Annual meeting of Educational Institute of Otago in Choral Hall to-morrow, commencing at 11 a.m.

Dedication festival at St. Petor's, Cavcrsham, to-morrow. Rev. A. 0. Yorko will preaoh in the evening.

Eighteen patients were admittod into Duncdin Hospital and seven discharged during the week. Ellen .Douglas and Robert C. Farquharaon died. There are at present ninty-eight patients. At Innes and M'Farlane's Clothing Factory on Thureday last, Miss Aitken on the eve of her marrijge was presented with a dinner service, cheese dish, and a pair of vases. Mr M'Farlane made the presentation. A specially-attractive series of tableaux vivants chiefly by children, will be given in St. Paul's Schoolroom this evening, interspersed with selections of vocal and instrumental music by leading artistes. We are credibly informed tt>at one of the tableaux will be a representation of the evils of the sweating system. The current number of the 'Temperance Herald' has a letter from Sir Robert Stout, who shows that he and other fiionds of temperance among the Exhibition Commissioners did their best to promote the cause in tho matter of an Exhibition bar. The ' Herald' makes this reply:—"Now that we have Sir Robert's explanation we still disagree with so much of bis argument as we alluded to in our last issue, and which appears to have been a fair report of what ho really said. That Sir Robert honestly acted and spoke to the best of his judgment in the interests of temperance we readily admit. We accept his explanation frankly and fully, but we still wonder that he could then, or can now, advance such an argument as he did, even in rt ply to the ploi urged by the representativps of the W.C.T.U, in support of their petition." Another editorial gives Dr litchett some hard rubs for his change ot front on the female franohiso question.

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The Evening Star MONDAY, JULY 1, 1889., Issue 7947, 1 July 1889

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The Evening Star MONDAY, JULY 1, 1889. Issue 7947, 1 July 1889

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