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The Victorian Assembly has rejected a motion to introduce Scripture lesson books in the State schools. The Budget is now being debated. Major-general Edwards, who is now engaged in inquiring into the efficiency of the Australasian colonies’ defences and military forces, argues emphatically in favor of a strong navy, the policy of Australia being, in his estimation, to hold the enemy at arm’s length. The first line of defence should be increased by seven new vessels. This would probably ‘.make<3the colonies secure for ten years, when it would be time enough to think of forming' an Australasian navy to be supported by the colonies alone. Coming to the second line of defence —namely, the coast batteries—General Edwards thinks little remains to be done, the harbor defences being complete. Concerning the third line, he is opposed to a volunteer force strictly so-called, because the whole expense is borne by the nien, in addition to their giving their services. A partially-paid militia is, he thinks, a good institution, and he favors a medium between a paid and unpaid force whose mainspring shall be patriotic defence, while the men composing it are indemnified for the actual expense they incur. The general explains that the essential object of his visit is to lay the foundation of a co-operative system of defence for the whole of the colonies.

Mr W. Blacklock, United States Viceconsul at Apia, has presented Mataafa with a gold watch and chain and other articles, as an expression of gratitude on the part of the United States for the help rendered to American sailors during the great storm. It is rumored that the British Consul and Deputy Commissioner in Samoa will shortly be removed. Mataafa’s authority is now respected and obeyed, and both parties are busily engaged in planting food. The new Victorian tariff is extreme disatisfaotion in commercial circles in Adelaide.

The Licensed Victuallers Bill introduced in the South Australian Assembly contains a local option clause, and restricts the sale of liquors in clubs. News from Mauritius states that rains have somewhat retarded the sugar crushing. The yield is expected [to come up to anticipations. The Queensland Treasurer’s Financial Statement shows that the receipts during the year exceeded the expenditure by LI 17,000. The deficit, which at the beginning of the year was L 602,000, now stands at L 485.000. The value of the imports in the year just passed was L 13.000 less than in the preceding twelve months, the decrease being in grain and flour. The Government have decided not to alter the tariff. The receipts for the current year are estimated at L 3,949,000, and ' the expenditure at L 3,620,000. A Loan Bill for the purpose of carrying on public works will be introduced shortly.

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Bibliographic details

Australian., Issue 7976, 3 August 1889

Word Count

Australian. Issue 7976, 3 August 1889

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