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OUR AUSTRALIAN LETTER., Issue 7984, 13 August 1889
OUR AUSTRALIAN LETTER.
[From Our Melbourne Correspondent.] Tuesday, August 6. POLITICAL. The Victorian Parliament will this week commence the discussion of the Budget proposals of the Government in earnest, but there is little doubt that in the main Mr Oilliea's manifesto will stand against all the attacks which may be made on it. Mr Munro opened fire on behalf of the Opposition last week, but although he denounced the .Budget as the "most unsatisfactory, deceitful, and dangerous" one which had ever been presented, bis criticism did not amount to much. He did not propose any amendment, knowing that he had little chance of support. Dr Pearson, who replied on behalf of the Government, twitted the hon, member very successfully, and referred to the utter inconsistency of any proposal to increase the stock tax in the face of the verdict given by the country at the general election. The supporters of tho stock tax profess to be preparing for an onslaught on the Government, butas they are only thirtytwo to sixty-one all the talk they may indulge in will be fruitless. The clause proposed to be added to the Education Act Amendment Bill to secure the use of tho Irish National Scripture lesson books in the schools where the residents of districts declared in favor of them was negatived on the voices. Tho House has thus pronounced vmmistukeably against any tinkering with the present system, which is working admirably. A motion has now been brought forward by Sir Bryan to securo for children attending Roman Catholic and other denominational schools the right to compete for exhibitions and scholarships provided by tha Government. It is doubtless doomed to the same fate as the proposal just referred to. A Bill which is brought up on private members' night is that which has been introduced by Mr Shiels to secure au amendment of the law of divorce, so that a. husband or wifo can get a dissolution of marriage on the grounds of desertion, drunkenness, or imprisonment. "While Mr Sbiels champions tho cause of those who are the victims of ill-assorted matches, and who have no redress under the existing state of the law. He has a sturdy and able opponent in the Attorney - General (Mr Wrixon). These two gentlemen are the only members who have as yet spoken on the subject. Tho threatened constitutional crisis in New South Wales has been averted by a new Payment of Members Bill being brought forward in tho Assembly, so that it shall not be retrospective, and members will only receive stipends from the date of the measuro. The previous proposal, which was objected to by the Council, was that members should be paid from the commencement of the session. The cause for disagreement on bath sides now disappears, for the members of the Assembly are satisfied at having asserted their authority by throwing aside tho first Bill as amended by the Council, and the members of the Upper Chamber consider that their action in regard to the matter has been productive of good. The point on which the crisis was expected to arise was after all a small one, but New South Wales legislators are so ready to raise a "sea of trouble " over a matter of detail that it need not have oeen surprising had a deadlock occurred. The Financial Statement was delivered in tb.B Queensland Parliament on Thursday. It was stated that the result of last year's operations showed that the Treasurer's estimate was exceeded by L 41.927, and the actual receipts exceeded tho actual expenditure for the year by 1,116,846, leaving a debit balance on 30th Juno of L455.1G5, the deficit at the beginning of the year having been L 602.011. This, although in many ways satisfactory, did not come up to anticipations, and the Customs collections for the last four months of the year showed a considerable reduction in receipts. The most serious items of decrease on exports was on sugar, which showed a decrease of L.373,840. There was also a large decrease in the declared value of wool exported. The Government, after devoting most careful attention to the question of ways and means, had resolved to continue the present tariff at least for the present financial year, as it was not advisable at so early a period to make alterations that would disturb the settled arrangements of trade and commerce. The treasurer estimated the total leceipts for the current year at L 3,749,000 and the expenditure at L 3.629.814, leaving a surplus of LII9.ISG. Tha operations of tho current year, therefore, were estimated to reduce the debit balance by 13th June, 1890, to L 365.979, and the Supplementary Estimates which might be required would probably be more than covered by the savings on tho year's votes. COLONIAL DEFENCE. In accordance with an agreement arrived at by the English and Colonial Governments, Major-general Edwards, C.8., Royal Engineers, commandant of the China station, has arrived in Melbourne for the purpose of reporting on the defences of the various colonies, and suggesting a echeme for united defence. He has already visited Queensland and New South Wales, and after spending about ten days in Victoria he will go to South Australia, Tasmania, and New Zealand, returning via Sydney, to his headquarters at Hongkong. General Edwards has not yet formulated any scheme, as his proposals will be greatly influenced by the attitude of tho authorities in tho different colonies. He has, however, suggested the outlines of a system by which the colonies would cooperate for the organisation of forces under ono command, and capable of largo expansion in time of war, the contributions of the different colonies being mado on a population basi?. With regard to Eaval defence, General Edwards is of opinion that the war vessels now being built for tho Australian service will meet all requirements for the next ten years. ATTEMPT TO WRECK A TRAIN. A dastardly attempt to tear up the rails on tho St. Hilda line was made last week. A man named Henry Stewart was returning home about midnight when he saw two men apparently at work on the line. At first he took them for railway employed, but they acted with such evident attempt at concealment that his suspicions were aroused. In his efforts to draw closer to the men ho stumbled, and, alarmed at the noise, the workers hastily took to flight. Examination of the line showed that six nuts had been unscrewed from the bolts fastening the fish plates, and auger holes had been bored behind the "dogs" securing the rails to the sleepers, so that the clamps could be easily forced back. The work had proceeded so far that in a few minutes the rail could have been lifted away. The place at which the attempt was made is at a steep embankment, and as the St. Kilda trains invariably pass there at a high rato of speed, the consequences of an accident would have been disastrous. TROUBLES OF AN EARLY MARRIAGE. The troubles of a very young married couple occupied the attention of one of the Melbourne Courts last week. Ellen Sands, eighteen years of age, made an application for separate maintenance from her husband, John Sands a boy of nineteen. The parties were married two years ago, the husband then being seventeen and the wife sixteen years of age. Sands is still working in his apprenticeship indentures, and is earning LI a week; but at the time of his marriage ho was only earning 10s per week. A child had been born of the marriage, but it had died when only a few months old. The complainant's temper appeared to have been nono of the best, and she had shown it rather forcibly to her boy husband early one morning while she was in bed. He retaliated by pulling her by the hair from the connubial couch, and she had gone home to her mother. The defendant was ordered to make the weekly payment of 7s 6d to complainant.
OUR AUSTRALIAN LETTER., Issue 7984, 13 August 1889
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