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OUR LONDON LETTER, Issue 8029, 4 October 1889
OUR LONDON LETTER
London, August 23,
The Hon. Dr Grace has been created a Count of the Holy Roman Empire by the Pope. The title holds good of course only at Roman Catholic Courts, and cannot be recognised in England and the colonies. Why it has been conferred no one seems to know. Dr Grace is a “true le'.iever,’ certainly, and has p’enty of money, but he has never shown any special munificence in church matters.
Mr C. E. Haughton returned to town yesterday from Bristol, after rather more than a week’s tour in Devon and Somersetshire. Ho goes to Southsea next week, and thence via Newhaven and Dieppe to Paris. I understand that Sir Julius Vogel means holding forth at one of the coming meetings of th.e Colonial Institute on the relations between England and her colonies. He declares it is pure fudge to pretend that if, in the future, Australia desires to cut adrift from the Old Country, she will be permitted to do so. England would hold on like grim death to her Antipodean possessions, and only part with or permit them to become independent if forced to at the point of tho sword. Tho sooner (he says) both parties comprehend and realise this the better it will be. Mr W. G, Cavendish-Bentinck has leased Clandon—Lord Onslow’s beautiful place at Guildford—for a term of years.
Bishop Moran complains bitterly of the way he was treated by the New Zealand Shipping Company, Though he wanted to take no fewer than twenty saloon passages for his priests and novices, they would not grant terms of any sort, nor even go so far as to land the party at Port Chalmers instead of Wellington. The Bishop offered to pay a little extra if they would stop at the Otago port, but Mr Strickland wouldn’t hear of it. Or Moran (Mr Haughton, who saw him off, tells me) thinks the company must have some prejudice against Dunedin, they were so odd about it. Now, the Orient Company not merely provided the party with Some of the best cabins on the Orizaba, but took off 10 per cent, discount. Mr W. L. Bright, M.P., is to be interviewed on New Zealand directly he arrives, which will be on the 4th prox. I have a lot to tell you about the N.Z.S. Company and Mr Dawes, but it is too long a story to commence to-day, I will try and do justice to the subject in my next. Suffice it to say here Mr Dawes has evolved a notable scheme for the ridding the company of the liabilities caused by the reckless management in] the bad old times of Sir W. Pearce, and setting things generally on a sound footing. There will be no dividend this year, nor for many years, unless something is done to get rid of the incubus. Mr Dawes says: “Write off L 3 per share.” This no doubt sounds a drastic measure, and will fall hardly on those who paid L 7 or L 8 for their shares, but these are few. I will go into the subject fully next week. Little Triaohler’s statement that the proofs of Benzon’a book have been stolen is looked on, I regret to say, simply as an advertisement. He declares they were offered to the ‘ Telegraph’ people for LIOO, but the latter deny the statement. .Sir A. Blyth and Sir Francis and Lady Bell are at Scarborough. So is Mr Youl, C.M.G.
Mr Brett, of Auckland, whose family are still at Hestings, came up for the inside of the week, and is staying at the National Liberal Club, As usual he seems full (over full for a pleasure trip) of work. Mr Brett returns in October by the P. and 0. steamer Victoria. He would like to stay longer, and so would the Miss Bretts, but Mrs Brett wants to be back with her children. Captain Tiiomas, erstwhile of the Kapanga Mine, has gone to dll a similar berth at Salt Lake City. ’ Mr and Mrs Peacock are still in Glasgow. Upon the requisition of a number of London shareholders, Mr Peacock has consented to offer himself for election as a director of the Auckland Board of the Bank of New Zealand.
Mr Jno. Merry will arrive in Auckland by the next San Francisco steamer.
The P. and 0. Company have had such a rush of through freight for New Zealand at 25s that they have been compelled (0 put on an additional ss. Even now, however, the through rate via Sydney is 10s cheaper than by the direct steamers of the New Zealand Shipping Company and Shaw, Savill. This seems a strange anomaly, doesn’t it ? That the central office of the Bank of New Zealand will be moved to London unless there is a marked improvement in the local management in the course of the next year or two may, I think, be considered certain,
but it is rather surprising to hear of Auck land people advocating the step. It really sounds almost as funny as if the Dunedin folk were to agitate for the expulsion of the Union Company, or the VVellingtonians to pray that Parliament might cease to sit there. I am told, however, that the great majority of Aucklanders are fully alive to the suicidal nature of the proposal, and that the minority have simply been “ earwigged” by the president of the bank. This gentleman, I understand, has already hinted to London friends that his transcendent abilities are “cribbed, cabined, and confined” in the provincial atmosphere of Auckland, and that he could and would do great things for the bank if only the Board sat in Queen Victoria street instead of Queen street. I am much afraid, however, Mr Buckley would not find himself such a big man in the city as he imagines. In Auckland, of course, he really is a somebody, and rightly. If Mr Henniker-Heaton thought that when he meekly paid over the L4OO and costs demanded by his ex-secretary Dennis he had done with that gentleman he was much mistaken, as he now sadly admits. Dennis, having pocketed the money, sharpened his pencil end proceeded to indite a highly entertaining pamphlet, which is now in the hands of every elector of the Borough of Canterbury. In this brochure the ex-private secretary mercilessly exposes all poor Henniker’s little vanities and insincerities. We arc shown the modus operandi of the advertising politician, and his various methods of attracting the attention of the public. In the bosom of his family, we learn, Mr Heaton constantly refers to the time (not very far off, he opines) when the member for Canterbury will be Post-master-General or Secretary of State for the Colonies. It was, indeed, through his regally promising to provide for Mr Dennis in the future, instead of paying him his salary in the present, that the differences between master and secretary arose. Mr Heaton’s solicitors have written to Dennis protesting against the pamphlet, and begging that this persecution may now cease. That, apparently, is all the notice the member for Canterbury means to vouchsafe the brochure.
Mr Edward Jenkins (‘ Ginx’s Baby ’) has just closed with a firm of publishers for a descriptive work on Australia and New Zealand. He will start for the scene of his labors early next year, and expects to spend six months at the Antipodes.
Mr Henniker-Heaton was of course in his place in the House when the discussion on postal estimates came up last Saturday morning, and carefully reiterated all his old complaints. He objected to such an important matter being left to the fag end of the session, and girded at Mr Raikes generally in his usual manner. Amongst other things he said he had presented the Postmaster-General with a list of forty colonies and dependencies within the British dominions where the postage to or from England was nearly 50 per cent, higher than that of France, Germany, or Russia. The Postmaster General advertised that the all-sea route to New Zealand was 4d, but as a matter of fact it was fid, unless the sender knew the name of the steamer, while if a letter bearing a sixpenny stamp was even one-sixteenth of a grain over half an ounce, the unfortunate recipient had to pay Is fine, in addition to the fid paid at this end. Turning to the question ol an ocean penny post, a matter on which he had greatly set his heart, he observed that the Conservatives opposed Rowland Hill, and he warned the Government against perpetrating the same mistake in regard to this matter. He had asked the Government to grant an inquiry into the feasibility of an ocean penny post, but that modest request had been refused again and again. He was in a position to prove that the establishment of such a service would only cost LfiO.OOO a year at first, in addition to the present charge, and why the Government should refuse inquiry he could not understand. He understood the Postmaster-General was in favor of the object; but, on the other hand, he was told he allowed himself to be overborne by other people. Even at this last hour of the session he must enter his protest against the Post Office vote ; and, however much he respected the Postmaster - General in his private capacity, he still thought the faults he had pointed out in regard to postal administration both at home and abroad were unworthy of him. Postmaster-General Raikes rather pooh-poohed the hon. member, remarking that he was afraid to express sympathy with him on any subject—ho made such a lot of it. Ihis excited general laughter, which put Mr Henuiker out so that he left the House. Messrs Hutchinson and Co. announce an English edition of Mr Vincent Pyke’s ‘ Wild Will Enderby.’
Mr G. G. H. Murray, the young Australian who was recently appointed Professor of Greek at Glasgow at the age of twenty-three, has written a novel, which will be published this season. Mr Kenneth ffarinton Bellairs (bo careful of the two small “ffs”), the boisterous editor of a financial paper called the ‘ Weekly Bulletin,’ has been paying a visit to the wonderful new goldfield at Witerwatersrandt, in the Transvaal. Amongst various things he took out with him for sale was the South African concession of the Food Preservative Company, and, by way of conclusively proving its value, three legs of mutton treated by the process accompanied him. Now, here comes the point of my story. They went bad in the tropics, just as the meat similarly treated sent to the Argentine Republic did. It may therefore, I think, be assumed that refrigeration has not as yet been superseded. Mention of South Africa and the goldfields naturally suggests our dear old friend Luscombe Searelle, who has a theatre at Kimberley, and appears to be quite a man of mark in the Transvaal. \\ hen last heard of Luscombe was bringing an action against Mr Samuel Cohen for decoying away one of his chorus girls. Samuel is described as an Hebraic masher, with diamonds galore, so that the L2O damages which -little Searelle claims will not ruin him.
The appointment of Sir W. C. Robinson to be Governor of Western Australia, though (as I told you some time back) not wholly unexpected in certain quarters, has naturally caused an immense lot of stage whispering and sage head shaking amongst Anglo-colonists. From a second class Viceroyalty like South Australia to a third class one like the West is an unmistakeable Irish rise which can scarcely be ignored. The general expectation of course was that Sir William Robinson would go to Natal in place of Havelock, and some new man be appointed to Western Australia. Speaking with reserve, I may say that possibly Lord Knutsfnrd has not been uninfluenced in his selection by the gossip which is said to have been afloat in Adelaide anent the domestic atmosphere of Government House during a portion of Sir William Robinson’s Viee-royalty. These sort of things will leak out, and do traverse the 14,000 miles of water somehow. I feel sorry for both Sir William and Lady Robinson, who will have plenty of time during the dull years of their sojourn at Perth to reflect on the inadvisability of not conciliating colonial opinion. The Ceylon appointment, which Sir A. Gordon gives up to Sir Arthur Havelock, is in every respect one of the bonnes bouches of the service, and invariably given to a Government favorite. It may well be, by the way, that Sir Hercules Robinson’s differences with Lord Knutsford have not improved his brother’s chances at the Colonial Office.
The Hon. Ralph Abercromby managed during his recent voyage in the Tongariro to measure the height of ocean waves by floating a sensitive aneroid on the water. The highest wave encountered was in 55deg S. latitude and 105deg W. (between the Cape and Australia). It was 46ft high, 765 ft from crest to crest, and reached a velocity of forty-seven miles an hour. As the weather was not unexceptionable, Mr Abercromby concludes that waves must occasionally reach a height of 60ft. The statement that Mr George Barnett Smith intends visiting Australia and New Zealand (as recently stated iu the literary papers) is incorrect. Mr H. Rider Haggard’s brother wields scissors and gum-brush on the Queensland * Week. The great man himself volute teered this item to an Australian visitor to the Savile Club.
Lady Colin Campbell still writes sub rosa for more than one colonial paper. She’ has changed her worn dt flume.
Lord Carnarvon is engaged on literary work in connection with the Federation question. The Australian rights of Sims and Pettit’s new Adelphi melodrama ‘ London Day by Day’ have already been provisionally secured by Williamson’s firm. One scene will represent the humors of the famous “ Pelican ” Club, rechristened here the “ Stork.”
OUR LONDON LETTER, Issue 8029, 4 October 1889
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