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OUR AUSTRALIAN LETTER.

[From Our Own Correspondent.] Melbourne, June 25, political. The Legislative Assembly of the Victorian Parliament last week accomplished the task of providing new rules of procedure. As a result of an interview between the Premier a. ad the leader of the Opposition comnromises were arrived at, with the result that when the House came to deal with the rules seriatim they were agreed to by the whole of the members. Such important ones as those preventing the exclusion of strangers excepting on a vote of the House, and providing that members should not digress from the question under debate, nor impute improper motives, nor personally reflect upon members, were agreed to without discussion. An amendment was made in the rule affecting motions for adjournment, requiring that twelve members should support the proposal, and that the debate should not continue for more than two hours. The rule designed to check the abuse of the Standing Orders for the purpose of wasting time was slightly amended; but the main part, which was intended to prevent stonewalling in committee by motions that the chairman leave the chair and report progress, was agreed to as originally framed. The rule to prevent members intercepting the motion for going into committee of supply or ways and means was amended so as to provide that members might discuss general questions on the motion on the third Thursday in each month if they so desired. The closure rule was abandoned, and so was that which provided for the suspension of the Standing Orders by an absolute majority of the House. A Public Health Amendment Bill, which has been introduced into the Victorian Legislature, provides that the Central Board shall be abolished, and its powers relegated to a Department of Public Health, which shall be presided over by a responsible Minister, and include a secretary as permanent head, a medical inspector, an engineering inspector, and such other officers as may be deemed necessary. The present president of the Central Board, it is proposed, shall be appointed to the position of secretary, and a capable medical inspector obtained for L9OO or LI,OOO a year. The duties of Minister of Health are to be undertaken by one of the present members of the Government.

A want-of-oonfidence motion on the Address-in-Reply has been carried in the South Australian Parliament, and the Playford Ministry have gone out of office. During the debate Sir John Downer resigned his leadership of the Opposition and Dr Cockbnrn took his place, and on proposing a want-of-confidence motion got it carried by 26 votes to 23. The debate was not on matters of any great importance, but the refusal of the Government to summon a special meeting of Parliament to discuss the advisability of distributing seed wheat among the farmers had something to do with the result, OBITUARY. Mr John Sutherland, ex-Minister of Public Works of New South Wales, known for many years as “ Honest John Sutherland,” died at his residence, Redfern, Sydney, last week, at the age of seventy-four. Some three months ago Mr Sutherland had an attack of diabetes, from which he had since been confined to his bed; but last week, contrary to the advice of his medical attendants, he attended a meeting of the Public Works Committee, and on his return home ho suffered a relapse and never rallied, passing away in an unconscious state. Deceased was a native of Wick, County Caithness, Scotland, and came to New South Wales in 1837. He adopted the trade of a builder, and many large buildings in Sydney were erected by him. He entered public life in 1860 as a member of the City Council, was elected Mayor in 1861, and in the same year was returned as member for Paddington, since which time he had served the same constituency continuously. Mr Sutherland was Minister of Public Works in the Robertson-Farnell-Cooper and three Parkes Ministries, his last occupation of office terminating in January of this year. Deceased was a pronounced Freetrader. He was respected by all parties, and with his death New South Wales loses one of her best men, for the sobriquet of “ Honest John ” was no empty title.

GENERAL. Another large seizure of contraband cigars and tobacco was made at Sydney last week —this time on board the China steamer Taiyuan, which arrived from Hongkong last Wednesday. The former seizures were made on board the German steamer Hohenzollern, when tbe contraband articles were ingeniously secreted in the hollow parts of life-belts. In the case of the Taiyuan, 7,000 cigars and fourteen packages of tobacco were discovered in false bottoms of bunks, and inside a number of Panama hats nailed against the wall in the forecastle. An extraordinary accident, resulting in the death of W. H. Adamson, aged eighteen years, took place last week in Melbourne, A young man named Benjamin Holt was running round the corner of Swanston, and Franklin streets, when he struck violently against Adamson, who was turning the o >rner from an opposite direction, and threw him on to the pavement. Seeing that Adamson was seriously injured, Holt took him to the Melbourne Hospital, where it was found that he had received a fracture of the base of the skull, and died three hours after he was admitted.

The Finance Committee of the Sydney City Council to-day decided to recommend the Council to advertise both in England and in the colonies for a first-class organist for the new organ about to be erected in the Centennial Hall, at a salary not exceeding Ll5O per annum ; also that the Mayor be empowered to ask the Agent-General and Dr J. F. Bridges, the organist at Westminster Abbey, to name a suitable organist to open the organ, and give a series of recitals extending over six months. Sic James Macßain, as executor under the will of the late Mr Francis Ormond, M.L.C., has furnished details of the public bequests left by that gentleman. The total sum so distributed is L 113,500, comprising legacies of L 40,000 to the Ormond College, LIO,OOO to the Working Men’s College, L 5.000 each to twelve of the leading charitable institutions of the colony, LI ,000 each to two churches, LSOO to a third, and LI,OOO to the Gordon Technological College, Geelong. Daring his lifetime Mr Ormond gave to charitable, educational, and religious pur£7ses upwards of LIOO.OOO, including about 40,000 to Ormond College, L 20.000 to the Working Men’s College, and L 20,000 to the Chair of Mnsic; and it may be computed that his total gifts and bequests to various objects of this nature have not fallen very fir short of L 230,000.

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/ESD18890703.2.24

Bibliographic details

OUR AUSTRALIAN LETTER., Issue 7949, 3 July 1889

Word Count
1,107

OUR AUSTRALIAN LETTER. Issue 7949, 3 July 1889

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