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OUR AUSTRALIAN LETTER.

{Feom Oub Melbourne Correspondent.]

Wednesday, October 23.

FOLITIC4L.

The bonuses proposals of the Victorian Government were discussed in the Assembly last week, and did not receive the support which had been expected, the Government only succeeding in carrying the first item by 33 votes to 35. The other items were agreed to last night, with the exception of that referring to the wine growing industry, which met with the opposition of temperance advocates in the House. Ihe obiect of the bonuses is to encourage the farmers of the colony not to rely solely upon the production of cereals, and to enter into the cultivation of new vegetable products. There is little doubt that the action of the Government will have the effect of stimulating the fruit growing industry. The most formidable objection raised to the proposals of the Government was that the bonuses were unnecessary, as a large number of fresh vineyards and orchards were being started in the colony through ordinary enterprise. It is evident from what took place at a recent conference of fruit growers, which was convened by the Minister of Agriculture, that orphardists are fully alive to the necessity of fruit - growing being carried on according to the best modem methods. After all, however, the great disideratum is a proper _means of conveying fruit to market so that it can bo offered to consumers in a thoroughly sound condition. Attention was given to this side of the subject at the conference, and no doubt good will result from the exchanges of opinion which took place. In the Legislative Counoil of Victoria a constitutional question has been raised over the Customs Duties Bill. The Bill being as a rule a money Bill, pure and simple, it cannot be altered by the Counoil, but must either be accepted or rejected as a whole. But this particular Bill contains two clauses which give the power to the Commissioner pf Gustoms to tax articles which, in his opinion, are named and designed with the object of evading duty, and also to admit free small articles used in local manufactures. In the title of the Bill the words “and for other purposes" appeared, and on the point being raised by Colonel Sargood, the President (Sir James Maoßain) decided that the measure was not wholly a money Bill, and could be altered bv the Council if it thought fit. The Minister of Justice (Mr Cuthbert), seeing the constitutional difficulty that was likely to arise on the spur of the moment assured the Council, with what appeared to be perfect frankness, that the clauses were inadvertently inserted in the BilJ by the Government draughtsman; but, as thoy were machinery clauses to which reasonable exception could not bo taken, the Council might very well pass the Bill as it stood, and record the recognition of its privilege. It has transpired that Mr Cuthbert was severely taken to task by the other members of the Cabinet for admitting any error, and that the Government intend to maintain its right to have introduced the measure in the form it did. On the advice of Mr Service the members of the Council treated the Bill as an ordinary one, and an amendment wag moved in committee by that gentleman to alter the wording of one of the clauses so as to secure the undoubted right of appeal from decisions of the Commissioner to the Supreme Court, After a Jong debate, however, last night it was decided to adopt a suggestion that the matter should be taken into consideration by a joint committee of both Houses, with a view of preserving the harmony which has so long existed between both branches of the Legislature. It appears from an admission made by the Minister of Lands for Victoria in Parliament last week that the Government sanctioned the appropriation of Mr Ponds Jiatent in with prepared boxes or the transportation of butter. The essential point in the invention consists in the enamel with which the cases are lined so as to prevent the sap of the wood from tainting the contents. The Government is superintending several trial shipments of butter to England, and recognised the desirability of using the description of box made by Mr Pond, but was also aware that the importation of the boxes from New Zealand meant the payment of freight and duty. The Government analyst was therefore instructed to analyse the enamel material used by Mr pond, and when its component parts were ascertained, similar material was manufactured locally and put into Victorian made packages. Aa Mr Duffy remarked in Parliament, this is rather rough on Mr Pond, and the trick is one which will not be appreciated by New Zealanders generally.

THE ESCAPE FROM THE GEELONG GAOL. Farrell and Clarke, the two prisoners who made their escape from Geelong Gaol, have both been recaptured in the neighborhood of Ballarat. Farrell was discovered on Wednesday walking along the shore of Lake Wendouree, which is one of the reserves of Ballarat. He was seen by a young man who was suspicious of him, and communicated with Constable Muldary. The constable was successful in finding Farrell in the vicinity of the Botanic Gardens, and was proceeding to arrest him when he drew a large brfiftd knife from his coat sleeve and made a thrust at the constable. Muldary was on his guard and sprang, aside, but tho knife grazed his groin. Farrell quickly made a second thrust, but the constable then sue-

ceded in knocking him down. A sharp encounter then took place, during which the constable got his head cut, but Farrell was ultimately secured and conveyed back to Geelong Gaol. On being questioned ho told a “cock-and-bull” story about having to leave his brother convict Clarke on account of the latter taking ill and breaking down on the road. The police were prepared to find Clarke dead in the bush somewhere, but on Thursday night information was given to Constable Loten, of Lexton, that a auspicious-looking man had been seen on the Wanbra road making his way from Learmouth. Accompanied by two young fellows, Constable Loten made a search, and hit upon an unoccupied house as a likely-looking place of concealment for the convict. He broke in two doors, and, lighting a match, found a man lying on some blankets in one of the rooms. The man, who afterwards turned out to be Clarke, crouched back in a corner, and Constable Loten sprang upon him. A struggle ensued from which the constable, having the assistance of the two young follows who were with him, came out the victor, and Clarke was handcuffed. On the mantelpiece of the room a bread-knife which had been recently sharpened was found, and it was evident that Clarke was prepared to make a desperate struggle. It has transpired that the two convicts parted company, with the intention of making their way into New South Wales by different routes.

EXECUTION OF ROBERT LANDELLS. The execution of Robert Landells, who . was found guilty of the murder of Peter J. j Sherlock, took place at the Melbourne Gaol j last week. Although the Judge, when passing sentence of death on Landells, com- • merited severely on the horrible murder j which Landells had been found guilty of, | public sympathy was greatly^stirred lu his favor, and a monster petition was pre- j sented to the Executive Council praying for j his reprieve, but with no avail. On being i led to the scaffold Landells’s nerve failed him for the first time since he was sentenced to death. He turned pale, staggered, and when the rope was placed round his neck gave vent to a deep and agonised sigh. The execution was marked by every element of horror. On account of the convict a heavy build, a rope of extra thickness had | been provided, hut no reduction had been | made in the length of the drop. The effect; of the drop was that the noose almost, severed the head from the body—all the veins and arteries being cut through as j though with a knife, and the blood spurted ■ from the gaping wound like a fountain, deluging the scaffold for a distance of nearly seven feet. : A HORRIBLE OFFENCE. _ | A man named James Ross, twenty-six years of age, was arrested last week for a horrible outrage on a girl nine years of age, Mrs Faustmann, the mother of the girl, kept a lodging-house, at which Ross had been staying for some time. He enticed the girl into a sitting-room, locking the door on the inside. The screams of the unfortunate girl attracted the attention of the mother, who strove fruitlessly to open the door. Finally Ross opened the door and walked calmly away, leaving his victim in an almost unconscious state on the floor. The girl admitted that Ross had tampered with her twice previously. It appears that besides criminally assaulting the girl, Ross committed a nameless offence. The girl’s injuries are of such a horrible nature that if she recovers she will be an invalid for life, THE KAARUNBA HORROR. The trial of William M'Carron and his daughter Jane, notorious for their connection with what is known as the “ Kaarimba Horror,” was concluded last week at Sandhurst. The male prisoner is a farmer, and lived with his family, including the female prisoner, at Kaarimba, a township about seven miles out of Sandhurst. Suspicion iiad rested on M'Carron for some years of his being guilty of improper relations with his daughter, a girl of twenty-two years of ago ; but sufficient evidence had never been procured until a couple of months ago to warrant his arrest. Two detectives were told off to watch M'Carron’s farm, which is situated in a very lonely part of the district, the nearest house being five miles distant. They discovered that M'Carron had been living in a state of incest with his daughter for some three or four years, and that the girl had given birth to four children. M’Carrou had been guilty of improper relations with his daughter while his -wife was alive, aticl vt appears that, although Mrs M'Carron was well aware of the horrible connection between her husband and her daughter, she was awed into silence by M‘Garron ? a threats. Duiing the last three years the police frequently tried to discover what became of the children, but without success. As the girl Jane was known to be again encienle the farm was kept under watch night and day for a fortnight without any discovery being made. At the end of that time the detectives saw M'Carron carry his daughter into a barn, and after remaining there for about half an hour assist the girl back into the house. On entering the barn the detectives discovered the dead body of a newly-born baby tied up in a bag. Three skeletons of infanta were afterwards unearthed on different parts of the farm. It was proved at the trial that the girl had given birth to at least four children, and that they had been systematically murdered. Contrary to general expectation no verdict of murder was brought in by the jury, the male prisoner being found guilty of manslaughter and the female prisoner guilty of concealment of birth. Mr Justic Kerferd, in passing sentence on the male prisoner, said that he had committed a crime which happily seldom came before Courts of Justice in this country. He had degraded his daughter to the very lowest depths, even to the level of a brute beast. He had been guilty of an offence which must shock humanity and every man and woman in the community. It was an outrage on civilisation. He complimented the police on their untiring energy, by which means the offenders were brought to justice. Sergeant Sainsbury and Detective Williams had shown a large devotion to their duty, and undergone great fatigue and privations in the discharge of that public duty which was most commendable. Had the jury found him guilty of the grave offence of murder no doubt bis worthless life would have been forfeited, He was sentenced to ten years’ imprisonment, with hard labor, the first five days of each sixth, ninth, and twelfth month in solitary confinement. The time might appear short, but the solitary confinement would be felt severely, and give him time to appreciate the enormity of his offence. Addressing the female prisoner, His Honor said that the feeling agitating him and all others who had heard the case was one of profound pity for the woman in her unfortunate position. There was no evidence to show when their highly degrading and improper conduct commenced. Probably a commencement was made when she was too young to protect herself. The sentence about to be passed was not intended so much as a punishment as to cause her to give up her old associations and keep her from a bad life. Sentenced to twelve months’ imprisonment, with hard labor, THEATRICAL. The leading theatrical event in Melbourne at the present time is the production of a dramatised version of Mrs F. H. Burnett s novel ‘ Little Lord Fountleroy.J _ at the Princess’s Theatre, It is exciting the greatest interest. Mr Charrington and M iss Achuroh have made a change to the Royal, where they are appearing in ‘ The Merchant of Venice.’ At the Opera House Mr J. C. Milne has retired in favor of Mr Edwin Thorne, an American actor, who is playing D’Artagnan, tho adventurer, in ‘ The Royal Guard,’ a stage adaptation of Dumas’s novel ‘ The Three Musketeers.’ Mr 11. R. Jewett, the actor, well known in Dunedin, got into a little scrape last week which caused him to he charged at the Melbourne City Court with insulting behaviour towards a constable, At the hear.ing of the case Constable Campbell stated that on Thursday night he was on duty In Bourke street with Constable Rogers. As they were passing the entrance to the Operahouse he remarked to Rogers that “ he would like to take a fall out of somebody.” Mr Jewett considered that this _ remark was addressed to him, and ssid that if Campbell bad not had hja uniterm_on he would be glad to wrestle with him. This led to other remarks, and a large oroyyd collected. Mr Jewett gave as his address the Opera-house, Sydney, and the constable" considering this unsatisfactory took him to the watphhouse, where the charge was entered against him, For the

defence, Mr Chanter, the business manager for Mr G. 0. Miln, stated that he was standing with Mr Jewett at the dress circle entrance of the Opera-house when Campbell ordered them to move on. They declined to do so, as they considered that they had a perfect right to remain there. He had reported the constable for his over-officious-ness. Mr Call, P.M., said it must be evident to the defendant that he had acted injudiciously. The Bench, however, had no desire to register a conviction against him, and the case would be dismissed on condition that he would give LI to the Melbourne. Hospital. This was agreed to, and the charge was struck off the sheet. GENERAL. The Caulfield Cup meeting on Saturday attracted a large number of people, including Sir Henry and Lady Loch, who have just returned from their trip to the Old Country. The Cup, in which there were twenty-two starters, was won by a comparative outsider in Boz, who appears to have kept in the background lately. In the Steeplechase there were two unfortunate accidents, Game and Moondyne injuring themselves so severely that they had to be shot. Tom Corrigan, the rider of Moondyne, had a narrow escape, It was to have been Game’s last race if he had won it, his owner having determined to pension him off. And he seemed fit to do it, but he failed just at the last hurdle. For some time Mr T. B, Hill, a clerk employed in the office of the curator of intestate estates, was missing from his home, and last week his body was found in a small balcony in front of a window in the New Zealand Insurance Company’s buildings, Collins street, A revolver was found in his hand, he having shot himself while in a state of nervous depression. At the annual meeting of the Federal Coffee Palace Company, Melbourne, held last week, it transpired that the net result of the last half-year’s business had been an actual loss of L 3.798. The directors were instructed to take steps to let the premises on lease to an eligible tenant at a progres. sive rental, the furniture, plant, and stock-in-trade to be purchased by the tenant. Mrs Ellen Batts has been committed for trial at Sydney on a charge of murder, Mrs Batts had been engaged in baby-farming, having admitted that of fourteen infants committed to her care since November last twelve had died, and that she had received L 47 10s for adopting four infants, and had been paid 10s a week for the others. A case of supposed premature burial has b:en reported from Kempsey (New South Wales). After the burial of a_ hospital patient, the grave-diggers, when filling in the grave, heard knocking, and being dissatisfied, returned after dinner and opened the grave. On opening the coffin they found that the grave clothes of the corpse were all torn. An inquest is to be held. A mysterious murder has occurred at Balwyn, not far from Melbourne. On the 17th inat. the body of Parian M'Farlane, a man about seventy years of age, who has been leading a nondescript sort of life, yas found in a water-hole, and a surgical examination revealed the fact that he had met his death, not from drowning, but a blow on the head, there being a fracture of the skull and laceration of the brain. The police have been diligently inquiring into the matter, but as yet have discovered no clue to the murderer. It is hard to imagine why anyone should have taken the old man’s life, yet the medical evidence given at the inquest shows the case to be distinctly one of murder.

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/ESD18891029.2.33

Bibliographic details

OUR AUSTRALIAN LETTER., Issue 8050, 29 October 1889

Word Count
3,027

OUR AUSTRALIAN LETTER. Issue 8050, 29 October 1889

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