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OUR AUSTRALIAN LETTER.

[From Oub Own Correspondent.] Melbourne, July 17. POLITICAL. The Viotorian Parliament is engaged mainly with the consideration of legislation in amendment of the law affecting the publio health and the Public Service Aet. The Health Bill has been introduced in the Legislative Council, where its details are being vigorously criticised. The main principle of the Bill is to abolish the present Central Board of Health, and create a health department with a Minister of the Crown at its head. This idea is being generally supported, as, under the existing etate of things, the Central Board has great difficulty in getting its desires carried into effect. The Public Servioe Bill has caused more than a week's discussion in the Assembly, but it has been reported in substantially the same shape as it was presented by the Government. It removes anomalies which existed through two Acts having been passed, bat it is questionable whether it will have the effect of pacifying the Civil servants, who regard themselves as a privileged class, and, like the typical Irishman, always have a grievance. The Treasurer will deliver his Budget Statement on the 23th inßt., and subsequent proceedings may be expected to be interesting. The difficulty the Government will experienoe will be in conciliating the representatives of the farmers, who demand an inore&se of duty to Ss per cental on all cereals imported into the oolouy, to 3s per 1001b live weight on cattle, 2s as regards sheep, 4s as regards pigs, and 20s per head on horses. The Treasurer received a deputation from the "country party," as the members for farming constituencies are oalled, and gave a courteous hearing to what they had to say; but he can hardly be expected, in the face of the adverse vote given to any inorease of the stock tax during the last elention, to propose the increases which are asked. Two-thirds of the members who were elected opposed the increase of the stock tax, and the Government are pledged to a policy encouraging the cultivation of the federal view and friendliness between the colonies, instead of strife over border duties. Under the oircumstances the deputation to the Treasurer can only be looked upon as a throwing down of the gauntlet by the country party, for they coi 11 never f ipect the Government to discard the position taken np when the latter went to the country. It is not unlikely, however, that the attempt will be made to conciliate the farmers by granting the increase of the duty on oereals. This will injuriously affect New Zealand, as large quantities of oats have been imported into Victoria from New Zealand, especially during the present season. At the present time the duty is 2s per cental on all cereals except maize, which is proteoted to the extent of Is. ho far as oatt are concerned an increase of the duty as proposed means about 5d per bushel, and this would no doubt induce Victorian farmers to keep their cropß for grain instead of outting them for hay. The result would be that in good seasons New Zealand would be completely shut out of the market, and in any case New Zealand farmers would probably have to lose to the extent of half the increase of duty. A FATHBB MTTHDEBS HIS CHILI). A terrible tragedy has occurred in Sydney, a man named William Hunter murdering his little daughter, attempting to kill his son aged eight years, and then trying to do away with himself. Shortly after eleven o'clock at night the neighbors heard loud screams, and two men crossing over to Hunter'B cottage found Mrs Hunter sitting on the footpath with a ohild in her arms. She hurriedly gave the neighbors to understand that she feared violence to the children inside the house, and yielding to her entreaties they burst the door open. They found Hunter kneeling on the chest of his son Frederick, who was lying en the floor. Hunter immediately jumped up. The boy rushed ontside covered with blood, which was issuing from wounds in his neck and face, and Hunter retreated to the back room. The police on being called in found Hunter lying on a coueh bleeding from a wound in his throat, while in another room a little girl, Annie Hunter, aged four years, was iyingr in a pool of blood, with a fearful gash in the throat, and other injuries on the head. Hunter and the children were immediately taken to the hospital, but the girl died very shortly after admission. Hunter and the boy were not seriously wounded, and the man is suffering as much from deUrium tremens sb from anything. STRANGE BOATING ACCIDENT. A boating fatality ocourred shortly alter midnight on Saturday in Hobson Bay, by which a young woman of eighteen, named Harriet Howard, a resident of Port Melbourne, was drowned. She was in company with another young woman named Jane Kenrick, at Williamstown, and as they missed the last train they got a young man named Robert Taylor to take them aoross to Port Melbourne in a boat. The three were slightly under the influence of drink, and they had not proceeded far before the boat capsized. According to the statement of Taylor, as the boat was nearing the steamer Kangaroo, which was at anchor, he took in his oars intending to allow the boat to drift alongside the steamer, so that he might have a rest. Before the steamer was reached, however, the two two girls moved on to one side, causing water to pour in over the gunwale. He moved to the other side to right the boat, when the girls moved again, and a capsize took plaee. On looking round he saw the boat lying bottom up. He is a good swimmer, and placed the girls one by one aerosa the keel, and was proceeding to get up himself, when the boat again turned over. This time Renrick caught hold of him, and both sank. On rising with her he had to strike her to make her leave go. He placed both girls on the keel again, and hung on himself; but several times after that the boat turned over, and he replaced the girls on the keel. The last time he saw the water, police boat coming, and as he was getting exhausted he told them to

hold on until the boat reiched them, for he was going to swim to the Kangaroo, as he could help them no further. The girl Kenrick was screaming all the time, but the other seemed to be dazed and unable to call out. By this time they had drifted forty or fifty yards from the Kangaroo. He could only get off his coat, and sank twice in doing so. He then struck out, and swam to the Kangaroo against the current, with all his other clothing on, including a pair of heavy boots. Laying hold of the rudder he held on and cried out until the water police came to the rescue, When the police proceeded to the overturned boat they found that the woman Howard had slipped off and been drowned. EXPLORATION IN NEW GUINEA. News has been received of a successful ascent of Mount Owen Stanley in New Guinea by Sir William Macgregor, the Governor. The highest peak of the mountain which was scaled is 13,121 ft, and it was named Mount Victoria. He found the lower altitude covered with dense scrub, the last I,oooft being clear. Natives were not numerous, and were very friendly, but skittish and superstitious. From the top of Mount Goodenough, 7,000 ft high, his party, which consisted of forty packers and four white men, could see ISO mileß away. There was heavy frost at the higher altitudes, and icicles were seen Sin long and lin thick. Sir William was only accompanied to the summit of Mount Victoria by a Fijian and three New Guinea men. The climate was perfect. Above B,oooft it was dear and cold, and on the summit were daisies, buttercups, forget-me-nots, grasses, heaths, larks, icioles, and white frosts. No Natives were met with above 4,000 ft. M r Cameron, his private secretary, was the only one of the party who had ill-health, suffering from swollen legs and general debility. A fine collection of plants and new birds was made. Sir William has accomplished, at an expenditure of a few hundred pounds, what others had failed to do with thousands of pounds. suicide St mutilation. Mrs Elizabeth May, a married woman of fifty-seven, committed suicide at Clifton Hill, Melbourne, on Sunday last, in a shocking manner. On her husband returning home from church about 1 p.m. he found her in a kneeling position in the | bath quite dead, and covered with wounds. Beside her were two table-knives, with which they had evidently been inflicted. Across the scalp were several cuts, extending in eaoh instance to the bone. The left arm was out on the inßide near the elbow joint, and the flesh on the calves of both her legs had also been cut down to the bone. In addition there were minor injuries on other parts of the body. From stains found in the house it would appear that the deceased inflicted the injuries upon herself in the dining room, and then made her way into the bathroom and turned on the water. Whether she did so with the intention of attempting to drown herself, or because, becoming alarmed at the sight of the blood, she went into the bathroom to try and stauneh the wounds, and fainting from the loss of blood fell into the position in which she was found, is a mere matter of Burmise. She was possessed of some private means, and recently speculated in land with disastrous results. Since then she has been very melancholy at times, She did not at any time, however, show suicidal tendencies, and was never so seriously affected as te require medical treatment, THEATBICAL AND MUSICAL. The Silbcn Stirk Company, a clever com biuation of acrobats, have taken possession of the Melbourne Opera-bouse, and the Victoria Hall is being devoted to the exhibition of a diorama of Scotland, the lecturer in connection with which is Mr D. Macandrew—known to Dunedinites as Mr Donovan, the inimitable Scotch vooalist. 'The Un« known' is providing entertainment for lovers of the sensational at the Alexandra, which is under the management of Mr Alfred Dampier; and 'The Bells of Haselmere' and ' Jo' are still being played at the Royal and Princess's respectively. The principal attract"ons in Sydney are: 'The Yeomen of the Guard,' which Ib being pro duced by Messrs Williamson, Garner, and Mußgrove's Opera Company; 'ln the Ranks,' by Mr George Rignold's Company; and ' Joseph's Sweetheart,' by the Brough and Bouoicault Company, Mr Hamilton Clarke, who has been appointed conductor of the Victorian National Orchestra, is a passenger from London by the R.M.S. Garonne, winch is expected to arrive this week. He is said to have displayed his musical proclivities at an early age. When twelve years old he was organist at a church, and he played first violin in an orchestra; but it was not nntil he had attained his twenty-second year that he took to music as a profession, after which he won by competition an organ In Dublin. He became one of the first violins in the Philharmonic Society, and on one occasion conducted two overtures of his own composition. At about this time he successfully passed the examination for the degree of Doctor of Music, the examiner being Sir (then Dr) R. P. Stewart; but was unable to afford the fees. Since then Mr Clarke has ! taken (by examination) the degree of Mus. Bae. at Oxford, where he filled the post of organist at Queen's College for five years. Mr Clarke has been proline as a composer, his works being too many for enumeration here. They include five operettas, written for and successfully produced at the German Reed entertainments; three symphonies, some ohamber music, and the incidental mnsio for several plays which have been given at the Lyceum Theatre under the management of Mr Henry Irving. He is also the author of an excellent' Manual of Orchestration.' As a conductor Mr Clarke has had a wide experience, having officiated from time to time at the Covent Garden promenade concerts, the Crystal Palace orchestral concerts, and in numerous provincial orchestras. Arrangements are being made for commencing a series of concerts in Melbourne and the principal towns of Victoria immediately on his arrival. Mr Charles Santley and the members of his company left Sydney for Brisbane yesterday. Mr Sattley's engagement with the Australasian Entertainment Bureau ends at the olose of the Brisbane season, but an arrangement has been made by Mr Santley with the managing directors of the bureau for another series of concerts in the principal cities of Australia.

GENERAL. In the course of a recent speech, Mr John Deasy, one of the Irish envoys, stated that about L 13.000 or L 14.000 had up to the present been collected, and he believed LSO.OOO would be the amount the envoys would take away from Australia. The completion of the new Anglican Cathedral in Melbourne has been deayed through want of funds, but the Building Committee have recently been pushing vigorously forward the interior works, in order that so much of the building as is required for service may be ready for opening in April next, Hugh C. S. Hiddilstone, a counter clerk in the Registrar-General's office at Sydney, baa been arrested on a charge of embezzlement of Government moneys. The amount alleged to have been embezzled is over L 6.000. Hiddilstone, who is said to be well-known in cricketing circles, was only recently married. One of the vilest Chineso dens in Sydney has been "raided" by the police, and the supposed proprietor, Chi Ong, committed for trial for keeping a disorderly house. The house was situated in Goulburn street, and was said to be the haunt of the lowest elass of abandoned women, and a trap for young girls. The police found that a majority of the occupants, including Europeans, Chinese, and Hindoos, were under the influence of drink or opium. Men and women were in a state of semi-nudity, being huddled together promiscuously. The proceedings in oonneetien with the celebration of the jubilee of the Presbyterian Church in Victoria will commence on the 30th inst., when an evening conversazione will be held in the Melbourne Town Hall under the presidency of Sir James Macßain. The visitors from the neighboring colonies and from Great Britain will be welcomed by the moderator, the Rev. D. Mackenzie, and the joint conveners of the committees on jubilee arrangements. The subsequent proceedings include the reading of papers and the delivery of addresses on the work of the church throughout Australia, and theological education and discussion on the question of religious education in State schools. The Court of Marine Inquiry of Victoria hap giyejn. its regarding tlje collieion which occurred about forty miles west

of Capo Ofcway on the night of the 27th nlt. r between the ship Sardomene, bound from London to Melbourne, and the brig Virion, which was on a voyage from Kaipara (New Zealand) to Adelaide. The Conrt decided that the collision arose from the Sardomene not giving way in time to the Vision byporting her helm, and considered that the brig was in no way to blame for tb* oasualty, having complied strictly with the rule of the road by keeping her course, and only "luffing" when it was seen that » collision was inevitable, so as to lessen it* force, Inasmuch, however, as the master of the Sardomene (Captain Pitt) did all be could to avert the collision when the light of the brig was reported to him, the Court resolved that he could not be held personally responsible, and therefore returned him his certificate. In reference to the collision in Hobson's Bay between the ship* lolanthe and Cape Verde, by whiob the latter vessel foundered, the Court ha* decided that the pilot in charge of thelolanthe was to blame in bringing a sailißf ship to her anchorage on a dark nightamong vessels at anchor at too great a rate of speed. His license was therefore suspended for twelve months, and he was fined L 52 10s, the costs of the inquiry. Themasters of the vessels were exonerated fromany blame.

The Rev. Father Keily, S.J., is a petsenger by the R.M.S. Rome from to Dublin to take a professorship at the new ecclesiastical training college in that eitjr. As a gifted tutor, a very able preacher, and a man of great scientific attainments, Father Kelly has been held in high esteem both i» Sydney and Melbourne, where his service* have been employed in connection with the Roman Catholic Church. The report of the Mining Registrar* J»£ Victoria for the quarter ended Mareh *V. shows that the yield of gold in Victoria for the three months was 138,1050z sdwt llgr, or 22,6390z 9dwt sgr less than in the previous quarter. The large decrease is said t* be chiefly due to the depression in miningy and to the fact that during the last quarter of each year mining managers have a genera? cleaning up, and put through as much stone* as possible, in order to give shareholder* *> "Christmas cake." The dividends pal* amounted to L 106.282 9s, the Ballarat district providing the largest amount with. 141,813, Sandhurst being next withL 32.592. The largest dividends contributed by individual companies wer* those of the Madame Berry Company, Creswick, L 20.700; North Johnson** Company, Eaglehawk, L 14.300; and Long Tunnel Extended Company, Stringer Creek, LI 1,040. The total quantity of quarto reported to have been crushed during the quarter was 160,160 tons 15cwt, the average yield from which was 9dwt 17.67gr of gola j while the area of auriferous ground workei upon was 328£ square miles. The three deepest shafts in Victoria on March SI were Laneell's 180 mine, Sandhurst, 2,440 ft; Magdala Company (now Moonlight Com* pany), Stawell, 2,409 ft; and the Victor!* Reef Company, Sandhurst, 2,302 ft. The estimated population of the colony engaged in quartz mining on March 31 was 11,052, and in alluvial mining 12,395, or a decrease of 144 on the previous quarter. An important guardianship case relative to the appointment of a guardian fer Wilfred Marion Butler, a girl of thirteen, the daughter of the late Edward Butler, Q.C., waß heard in Sydney yesterday, As application was made by Susan Daintrey, the maternal grandmother of Miss Butler* for the appointment of Mr A. Gilder and fir' Clubbe, who had been nominated in Mr* Butler's will as guardians of her child. This was strongly opposed by Mr Thomas Butler and Mr H. Stephen, trustees under the marriage settlement of Mrand Mrsßutler, on the ground that the child's father was a* Catholic, and that she should consequently be brought up in this faith, whereas the guardians proposed were Protestant*. The late Mrs Butter, after her husband's deathabandoned the Catholic faith, and the chit* has since attended the Church of England with her mother. Miss Butler was entitled to an income derived from L 3.892 under the marriage settlement, and was also entitled te her mother's interest in LIO.OOO under her maternal grandfather's will, The deeities of the Court wat> reserved.

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Bibliographic details

OUR AUSTRALIAN LETTER., Evening Star, Issue 7966, 23 July 1889

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OUR AUSTRALIAN LETTER. Evening Star, Issue 7966, 23 July 1889

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