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The Evening Star WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 4, 1889.

There is nothing surprising in the fact that the Colonial Secretary has Mr Hlslop’s tendered his resignation after Resignation, hearing the decision of the Special Committee appointed by the Legislative Council to inquire into the Hislop-Ward affair. It was, of course, not absolutely necessary for him to resign ; for, whether the decision is right or not, it might quite reasonably be pleaded that it is not tho result of a fair and exhaustive inquiry. But seeing that Mr Hlslop had been guilty, according to his own admission, of a more or less serious indiscretion, and that his blunder had almost brought a vote of censure upon the Government as a whole, he must < have felt that the proper thing for him to do was to retire. The pity is that he did not take this step immediately after tho conclusion of the first want-of-oonfidence debate. He may possibly have offered to do so; and we can easily understand that the Premier would be reluctant to lose the assistance of such a capable administrator. But his own sense of propriety ought to have dictated hie course, and that course he should have followed in spite of all other considerations. Had he resigned then the Committee, who have just reported that his correspondence with Mr District Judge Ward “ merits the gravest disapproval," would never have been appointed, and the whole affair would soon have been forgiven and well forgotten too. No matter what the character of Mr Ward’s judgment or the circumstances connected with it may have been, the Colonial Secretary, who was professionally interested in the Christie case, committed a serious mistake in interfering as he did. He may almost be said to have usurped the office of the Minister of j usticc in order to carry out a proposal in which personal motives and considerations tt-pre presumably mixed up with his concern for ihfi pure administration of justice. There would perhaps have been nothing very far out of tfaa way in the Government doing, through the Minister of Justice, what Mr Hist OP did, though on this point we will not venture to pronounce a decided opinion ; but it was distinctly wrong of the Colonial Secretary to do what ho did. Mr Hislop was not Minister of Justice, and he was, as we have said, concerned in the Christie case, from which, in consequence of his interference, a email Iliad of woes has already sprung. The ex-Colonial Secretary said in his letter to the Special Committee, which we published yesterday, that tho inquiry had not been of an exhaustive character, Mr Christie, who was one of the parties involved (the Judge and the Government being the other two), was not examined at all, and he himself was debarred from going into such matters as the validity of the judgment and the right of the Executive to review certain decisions, and to call upon certain judicial officers for certain explanations, etc. Until tho reasons given by the Committee for their decision are known, it is of course impossible to say what caused them to pass censure on Mr Hislop; but the honorable gentleman would seem to identify himself with the indeed he had a right, or rather was bound, to do, as long as ho held his portfolio—and to ignore the supposition of irregular or indiscreet action on bis own individual part. The Committee, however, may have held that hh interference, even although interference as such would not have been unjustifiable, amounted to an indiscretion that deserved censure—that he was, in fact, guilty of the same kind of impropriety with whioh ho charged Judge Ward. Holding this view, they may have also concluded that it was unnecessary, or beyond the proper scope of the inquiry, to consider the character of the judgment in the Chrlstis case, or the relations of the Executive to district fudges. This, indeed, would appear to have been the position taken up by them; or why should they have prevented Mr Hist, op from giving hfs opinion with regard to thoso matters ? It is all thp same to be feared that the Committee did not act in a perfectly judicial manner. Our party politics, indeed, make it almost impossible toaet a perfectly judicial tribunal of any kted&uteideof the judges themselves. This Committee, for Loanee, was composed of eight members, of whom spypn attended the final meeting, and of whom four yoted for the report disapproving of Mr Hoop’s conduct, and two against it. The majority to a man belong to the Opposition, while tho two dissentients areone a colleague of the Colonial Secretary and the other an avowed Ministerialist. It may be that the honorable gentlemen ’all acted impartially, according to their judgmwt, and that the division on the vote into Ministerialists and Oppositionists was a pure coincidence. Put how many will believe in a coincidence of this kind ? No .committee, however, could exculpated Mr HjSLoy; and their decision v/Rl be accepted by the country, though it to qttite possible that a ijwlder qensure would have been considered severe .enough. There can be little doubt that the partisan feeling of the Committee contributed corner thing, whether oonseiouoly or unconsciously, to the gravity of their disapprove.!. Our conclusion on the whole matter Is that the Colonial Secretary was guilty of an impropriety, and that he has properly suffered for it- He was one of the most proscis jpg of Sir Harry Atkinson’s young colleague*. But if he looks upon this rather paintd .episode as part of his Eolitioal education, fcc will not have tendered in vain. It is to err ; and young colonial Ministers are, perhaps from their precocity, somewhat apt to make mistakes. Experience, however, will teach suoh of them as are worth teaching, and wo have no doubt that Mr Hislop will yet do hjs country good service. Rumor says, by

the way, that the reason for his resigning is that he may have a free hand to prosecute his feud with Judge Ward. It is to be hoped there is not a word of truth in such a report, and that he will not be tempted to injure his political prospects by any such folly.

The Governor has gone to Nelson. Heavy rain is reported from Wellington, Hokitika, and Grt.ymouth, The Brunner River was rising rapidly yesterday evening.

The course of lectures on New Zealand which Professor Dickinson is delivering in Australia are free, our Government having provided all expenses, A two-roomed cottage at Awamoa (near Oamaru), the property of Mr E. Lee, was burned down on Monday morning. Insurance : LIOO in the New Zealand Office.

A private cablegram received in town yesterday confirmed the information that the Grand Lodge of Victoria, U.A.0.D., had unanimously granted a charter for a District Grand Lodge to Canterbury. Professor Brown, of Auckland College, declares that a B.A. or M.A. degree of the New Zealand University can challenge comparison with any similar certificates issued in any part of the British Empire, Several new members were proposed at last night’s meeting of the Tailoreases’ Union. A vote of thanks was accorded the Committee for the manner in which they worked to bring things to a successful conclusion. Joseph Roberts, brother of Jonathan Roberts, the escaped prisoner, was acquitted at Napier on a charge of stealing money, the property of his mate, August Weigner. He was also found not guilty of cattle stealing. A great flourish of trumpets was recently indulged in by the ‘New York World’ with regard to a recent Sunday issue which, consisting of forty pages, was practically an edition of 1,396,005 copies of the‘World’ in its ordinary form of eight pages. It was printed at an average of 2,188 copies per minute. Of white paper seventy-seven tons were used, and the issue contained 169 columns of advertising advertisements. Every Sunday for a month the ‘ World ’ had contained over 6,000 advertisements.

There was a good attendance at the Palace Skating Rink last evening, when the American game of baseball was played on skates. The rules of the game were not, for obvious reasons, stringently adhered to, bat the entertainment provided was quite sufficient to satisfy those who attended. Mr Smith’s side eventually defeated their opponents (captained by Mr C. Pearce) by 15 runs to 3. Mr Cunningham presided at the piano during the evening, and contributed a number of favorite rinking waltzes. A return match has been arranged between the competing teams. The Princess's Theatre was fairly well attended last evening, the unfavorable weather doubtless causing many to stay indoors. The second representation of ‘The Ruling Passion’ went very smoothly, the principals being frequently and loudly applauded, and being favored with numerous calls before the curtain. 'J bo acting of Misses Blanche Lewis, Alice Deorwyn, Mrs Bland Holt, Mias Vivienne, and “Little” May, and Messrs Holt, Albert Norman, Holloway, Roberta, Ryan, and Glover was first-class, the drama in consequence being most favorably received. As usual the scenic effects evoked rounds of applause, the various tableaux being arranged splendidly. ‘The Ruling Passion’ will be repeated until further notice. Mr Oscar Meyer, the Exhibition Commissioner of New South Wales, holds very decided opinions regarding the desirability of effecting some improvement in connection with the paucity of New Zealand news found in the Australian papers. He thinks that if an agitation in this connection were commenced, the urgent necessity of appointing someone to undertake the management of an intercolonial Press agency would be made so unmistakeably apparent that there would not be the sligheat difficulty in effecting the desired object, “ Why,” said Mr Meyer, “people on our side hardly know there is such a place as New Zealand, and a glance at the telegraphic column of Australian newspapers would never enlighten anyone in that direction.” Mr Meyer thinks it is simply shameful that a colony possessing, to all accounts, vast mineral and other resources should scarcely over be mentioned in the Australian papers, especially as Australian news forms such a large portion of the contents of New Zealand newspapers. And there are thousands in the colony who share Mr Meyer’s sentiments.

Mr Thomas Johnston will address Leith Ward ratepayers in All Saints’ School) oim tc-morrow evening.

• Life in London ’ is the subject of a lecture to be given in the M< rnington Wealeyan Church by Rev. L. Hudson to-morrow evening. On Cobb’s Palace Cars sixpenny coupons are being sold, giving twelve through rides. On Saturdays and Sundays halfpenny sections will be charged. We remind our readers of the benefit concert at the City Hall to-night. Tho programme has appeared in our column?, and is an exceedingly Ijberal one. The doors open at 7.30. We thank Mr Prictor, of the North Fast Valley, for a popy of Mr O’Brien’s picture of Duned;n, with key to it. Of the merits of the picture we need not speak, as it has been long known to the public, The fortnightly meeting of Leith Lodge, 1.0.0 F.. was held in the lodge room on Monday evening. One candidate was initiated A detailed account of the opening of Hope of Maheno Lodge was given by G.T. Bro. Alexander. Alterations in the lodge room ate to bo made during the next few weeks. We remind our readers that the fourth anniversary ball of the Dunedin Engineers will be hel i at the Garrison Hall on Friday, September 13 It would be advisable for any wishing to spend a thoroughly enjoyable evening to secure tickets at once, as wo undei stand that there is only a very limited number to dispose of now The catering and music will be of the best.

The Dunedin Gun Club have elected the following officers .—President, Mr H. Mackenzie ; vice-president, Mr J. Wilkinson; captain. Mr W. Wills; lieutenant, Mr J. P. Self;, lion, secretary, Mr '4'. B. Fairbairn; treasurer, Mr F. J. Monson ; committee—Messrs Mongies, Reynolds, and Trythall. A range at the Kaikorai Valley has been secured, and application is to be made to the Defence Department for rifles and a capitation gum". The club already number thirty-five. An organ recital and sacred concert is to be given in First Church to-morrow evening under the conductorship of Mr J.Timson. The piogramme, which we publish in another column, is an attractive and carefully-selected one. Mosdames W, P. Reynolds and H. Rose, Misses Mollison and Grey, and Mr Garrick Martin have kindly proffered their services. Mr T mson will preside at the organ, and a solo is allotted to Mr Frank Kettle. The proceeds are to be devoted t > assuring the Ladies’ Association in carrying on their works of charily, A meeting was held at the Convent last month, when it was decided to form a club to be called the Convent Ex-pupils’ Club. The following office-bearers were appointed President, Mrs Montague; vice-presidents, Misses Reanv and Poppelwell; treasurer, Miss Marlin; secretary, Miss Monkman; committee—Mrs Wa/d, Misses Columb, Lees, Woods, and Mills. The first social )£ connection with the club was held last week, a'nd after an address by the rev. Prioress, musical selections were given by Mrs Montague and the Misses Poppelwell arid Woods.

Tjm - New Zealand Church News ’ is rapidly making for itself a prominent place amongst our monthlies. The news and review departments are very much improved. Of the threo leaders, one gbes an able retrospect of Bishop Harper’s life, the second deals with the efficiency of our Sunday schools, and the third gives another instalment of the ‘Life of Bishop Selwyn.’ There are letters from several of tho dioceses ip this colony, besides one from Sydney and One from the Old Country. The journal now deserves tpe warmest support amongst the Episcopalian oomfimnity.

Bro. W. K. Bishop, formerly of Wellington, Was recently presented, on behalf of Excelsior Lodge, U.A.O.D. (Wellington', with an illuminated address; a*so, with'a framed D.P.’s diploma from tho Grand Lodge of Victoria, and a framed certificate of bin as a life member of 4v (! k* a Pd Lodge, the first honor of its kind paid to any mpqffier of tho Order in these colonies. Bro. Curtis, on behalf of the Grand Lodge, culogbcd Bro. Bishop's services to the Order; aud tho latter, in reply, referred at some length to the rapid pragma the Order was making in New Zealand, and expressed a hope that the time was not far distant when tho lodges in the colony would be worked under tho jurisdiction of district g’and lodges, the division being one D.G.L. each for Canterbury and Otago, and a third for the North Island, with the headquarters at Wellington,

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Bibliographic details

The Evening Star WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 4, 1889., Issue 8003, 4 September 1889

Word Count
2,425

The Evening Star WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 4, 1889. Issue 8003, 4 September 1889

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