The Evening Star. THURSDAY, OCTOBER 3, 1889.
Ministers may fairly be congratulated on the accession of Captain T,, bDr e oirtiie m " Rus SELL to their ranks, by HiuiKtry. which their position in the House will be materially improved. His presence on the Treasury benches cannot but be acceptable to all parties, andmust be viewed with especial favor by that dissatisfied section of the Government party which assumes the name of " Moderates," the chief plank in whose platform is to keep Ministers in and their measures out. Captain Russell himself has been a continuous supporter of Sir Harry Atkinson, but he has not | always approved the measures which State exigencies have sometimes compelled the Premier to bring down. The Freetraders will be pleased, because Captain Russell is of and with them. His views on the incidence of taxation were tersely expressed in a speech ou the Property Tax Bill in 1887. " My " vote," said he, " will always be given "in thedirection of re Jucingthe Customs " tariff and increasing direct taxation. " I say that because it would be in the " interest of the country generally that "taxation should bo direct, and bo- " cause I believe by that means the " taxation would be reduced." Naturally, therefore, he opposed the increase of Customs duties, and supported the Property Tax Bill. The heterogeneous majority, which styled itself the " country party," must also be gratified, since Captain Russell supported the demand for an enlargement of the quota. His appointment, therefore, will presumably have the effect of reconciling these contending elements to each other and to the Government, to which their dissensions were fraught with very real danger last session. And it will be an "appreciable boon to the House itself to have ca the Government benches a Minister whose suavity will go far to mitigate the acerbity of 60%e of his colleagues. Captain Russem, has not been a frequent speaker. The space occupied by •him in 'Hansard' is comparatively sir.all, but the few speeches recorded under his name are always logical and intensely practical. In. the Cabinet he will assuredly exercise * most advantageous influence, for he is ■% ?nan firm of opinion—not obstinate-r-ajjd fa able to recognise the necessity erf making mutual concessions on BmaJ'l JBptyqff* He is also a thorough business jjpao?, %p4 as such is not likely to eounte»asqa dangerous experiments on the body politic. In all the House Sir Habkv ccuald not have selected a colleague h&tter to add strength and to the Ministry. With Russell's accession the tale of the Ministry is made up—that is if the Premie*' fogdds to the intention of reducing the n*u»b,er of Ministers. But it ; is probabje that tfee strain and worry of office, and t\\& really hard work to be mastered, may have convinced him that thia.retrenchment cannot safety be carried out. During the session he *W repeatedly disabled by illness, and, white #re are writing, he is reported to be ca% unable to attend to Govern--' ment business. Under these circumstances it will not _ answer to throw too much wwfc on his hands, and hitherto he has been the administrator .-temporarily, at least—of every vacant portfolio that Mr Fisheb and Mjr. HiSLOpfleft lying around. Whether the last-nauaed gentleman will be taken, back to the fold, now that he is supposed to have been whitewashed by the Oamaru electors, is at present a matter of doubt. Sir Harry is very:Joyal to his colleagues, and this i feeling of loyalty may perhaps induce him to overlookotfcer considerations and restore the erring oae ,tp of£ce. Of coarse he knows his own tojisfoejjS;bestj but, if another Minister has t# .be' appointed, he will best consult the public \ interest by inviting the co-operation of the fittest man in the House—his own side.ofth.9 House. Next session will be : a stormy and eventful one. The Adullamites will rally to their standard all who are discontented, with the view of forcing a dissolution upon some point which will necessitate an appeal to the, country. It will be necessary, therefore, that the strongest men should hold office; and, without disparagement to Mr HisLpP, we dp not think he quite reaches the requisite standard. Neither can it be conceded that his return by the Oamarn electors has wiped out the stain of the Ward-Christie escapade. There are the House more capable against whom there is ,n.o yesjyjd; and if the origi-
nal number of Ministers is to be maintained, it ia desirable that Ministers should seek a colleague from amongst them.
The manufacture of playing cards hos been begun by Mr A. D. Willie, of Wanganui.
MrS. Harris's store at Little River was burned down on Thursday last. Insurance, LloO in the Imperial Office. An Adelaide cablegram says that Crawford, a cabmau, shot at hia wife three times. Her dissolute habits were the cause of the act, and she is reported to be dying. The case of Fraser v. Birchall, in which L 3 was claimed, and which occupied the whole of yesterday in hearing, resulted in judgment being given for the plaintiff, with costs.
A rather peculiar accident happened to a man named David Muir this afternoon. He was walking down Walker street when his leg gave way under him, and he fell, fracturing his leg. He was at once taken to the hospital.
We understand that several members of the Moderate or Middle party have written to the Premier expressing their approval of the inclusion of Captain Russell in the Ministry, and intimating their intention to support the Government next session. A public debate has been instituted under the auspices of the Christchurch Industrial Association. Messrs W. P. Reeves, M.H.R., A. Kaye, G. T. Booth, A. Beaven, and J. L. Scott were the principal speakers last night on a motion affirming the desirability of establishing among the Australian colonies Freetrade, based on a Customs union with a uniform tariff.
Mr David Blair, a timber merchant, is urging the Victorian Parliament to grant him redress for the arbitrary conduct of Air Romilly, British Commissioner in New Guinea. Mr Blair and his partners sent an expedition to New Guinea, and discovered and acquired the right to cut cedar at about 150 miles from Port Moresby. Work was suddenly stopped by Mr Romilly. Mr Bit ir has been an actual loser of LG.OOO, and a prospective sufferer to the extent of L 50,000.
Robberies of tail races having become unpleasantly numerous at Round Hill lately, the miners have formed themselves into a vigilance committee, who have enlisted the co-operation of the respectable Chinese miners on the field, At a joint meeting last week it was decided to send a the suspects, who received a week's notice to clear out, coupled with a notification that if the hint were not accepted " most substantial means would be taken to enforce such request." The miners express their determination to rid the field of these tail race robbers, with or without police assistance.
Footscray (Melbourne) has had a severe visitation of diphtheria, from which twenty deaths oecurred last month, At a meeting of the local Board of Health, the health officer (Dr M'Carthy) placed before the members his report of the annual inspection. The doctor showed that there had been gross neglect of sanitary precautions by residents of the town, such as allowing kitchen refuse and horse manure to lie about the yards attached to dwellings ; but that which he complained most of was the inefficient plumbing of numerous tenements. This led to rain water lying about the premises, encouraging the outbreak of fevers and many other diseases, and to this he attributed a great prevalence of diphtheria in Footscray for over eight months. Within tho last month so deadly had tho epidemic become that no fewer than five deaths per week had occurred. Ho strongly recommended that the Board should stringently enforce the proper plumbing of houses and the provision of proper channels to carry away all surplus water.
Exhibition conceits occupy most attention in this week'n 'Land and Sea.' South District Rifles hold their annual ball in the Oreeu Island Volunteer Hall on Friday, the 18th iust.
Adjourned special summoned meeting of Court Trick of Dunedin, A.0.F., ia K&ttray utreot Hall to-morrow evenins;.
Dunedin branch of the Otago Educational Institute mi;et on .Saturday morning iu tho Normal Pcbool, when Mr Chilton will read a paperun 'Natural History Societies for Children.'
Mr S. Myers, Mayoi of North-east Valley, has been presented with a requisition asking him to again allow himself to be placed in nomination for that office, and has complied with the request. 2he requisition appears in this ir.sue.
Tic instvllation of Bro. ,Tas. Core as R.W, District Grand Man or of New Zealand South will take place at the Masonic Hall to-morrow evenirg. Lodge Otago Kilwinning will be opened at 7 p m for the reception ot lodges and visitors, and at 7.30 p.m. tho ceremony will commence.
As will be seen in another column a good programme is put forth for the concert to bo held to-morrow evening at the City Hall in aid of the Weslcyan Church circuit fund. The Committee have been fortunate iu obtaining some of our favorite and popular amateurs to assist them on this occasion. We understand that the tickets have gone off very freely. Local artists who have not seen Miss Stackpoole's picture in M'Gregor Wright's shop should make a point of doing so without delay. It is in oil color, and represents a maiden gating at a picture on an easel. The subject is treated with marked naturalness, and the stamp of the artist is plainly discernible. Tlio lady who painted it is a daughter of Dr Staekpoole, now residing in ■England. The quarterly meeting of Court Pride of Dunedin, A.O.F.,'was held iu the Oddfellows' Hall, Rattray" street, Dunedin, on Tuesday i eyetfhjg, when Auditor Bro. Alexander Low read tho auditor's report and balance-sheet for the quarter ended September 17, which showed the profit on the quarter' to be L 97 on th'e sick and funeral fund, which now amounts to L 6.129 14s 7d. The membership had also increased from 198 to 202. During tho evening one memI ber was initiated. The receipts were L 33,
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The Evening Star. THURSDAY, OCTOBER 3, 1889., Evening Star, Issue 8028, 3 October 1889