An abstract of the Census taken last March is given by our contemporary the ' Standard' in Thursday's issue, taken from a Provincial Government Gazette, which is said to have been published on the 30fch June, ten days ago, but which has not yet made its appearance in Lyttelton. The figures are extremely interesting, and shall be published at length in our columns jas early as possible. In the meantime we notice that, during the fifteen months that had elapsed since the last census, the white population of the province increased from 5,347 to 6,230 persons, of whom 3,597 are males. The number of males had increased by 484 and that of females by 400. In the return of the number of sheep in the province, we are surprised by the apparently small increase upon the number previously quoted. In January 1856, the number was said to be 220,788; in March, 1857, only 276,089. The apparent increase, being only about twenty per- cent, is much smaller than we have always allowed for. It is probable that the numbers reported last year were larger than an accurate census would have shown them to be; the present returns are more to be depended upon. So long as we are gratified by the rate of increase in the export of wool which our Customs return exhibit, we are rather pleased than otherwise to find the country not so fully stocked as we had anticipated. There are many remarks which a close investigation of the census abstract would suggest, but we leave them till we have placed the figures before our readers. Last Tuesday evening the Town Hall of Lyttelfcon was fitted up by the Colonists' Society for the reception of its subscribers and friends, at an^ entertainment peculiarly suited to the semi-literary semi-social character of the institution, and called in the parlance of society a conversazione. The room was prettily decorated, not only with ornaments, strictly so called, but also with a very large variety of objects which combine instruction and amusement. The members of the Society seemed cordially to unite in providing objects for exhibition as well as in causing the meeting to pass pleasantly off. Some readings of humorous passages from Dickens and other well-known authors, with a few buffo songs,contributed to the hilarity of the evening; and music in all its forms was a standing part of the entertainment, the Choral Society having readily given its ajd in the shape of glees and songs. His Honor the Superintendent was present until after ten o'clock, when the room was cleared and dancing commenced, which was kept up with spirit till about two in the morning. About one hundred and fifty persons were present. The success of this entertainment will no doubt lead to its repetition. The Annual meeting will be held next Tuesday evening, at 7 o'clock, for the election of officers of the society for the ensuing year. Previous subscription is the qualification to vote. The Immigration argument has been taken up by correspondents both of this journal and of the " Canterbury Standard," as well as by our contemporary. The members of the Provincial Council are loud-tongued in defence of their views. They put themselves before the public as strangers in the gallery, as disinterested spectators, even as calm judges of the question; through all these flimsy disguises, however, appears a wholesome fear of their constituents' good sense. To pretend to answer, while they argue beside the question, appears to be their chief aim. The public are not so easily bitten by hon. members' clap-trap as is fancied in some quarters. The, tone of our contemporary compels us to say that"we do not consider an important question like that of Immigration a fit one to'be played with and tampered with to suit political purposes. The manner in which our arguments have been misquoted looks too like intentional blindness. The broad question on which we are at issue with a party of the Provincial Council concerns the facilities which should be afforded for extended Immigration and consequently more rapid progress. And no special pleading will convince most of the public out of doors that the Council has not shown throughout the debates, a spirit of opposition to useful public measures on inadequate grounds, and a timidity and undecision which are not calculated to advance the interests of the-province. We have, since writing the first paragraph, received the Gazette referred to there, and with ib that of ..June 16, and another of July 1. < Notifications in the ' Gazette' are said to be 'considered as official communications made to ! those persons to whom they relate;' but when the notification is dated, as in the present case, the 18th June, and, received the 10th July, it will be seen that' official communication' is not rapid, and cannot always be ' obeyed accordingly.' The resignation of Mr. Hamilton from the Executive Council, the appointment of Messrs. Cass and Harman to seats therein, and of Messrs. Donald and Dudley to be visiting Justices to Lyttelton Gaol; the reservation of Manukau scrub on the sand hills as timber, and the prorogation of the Council, are notified therein. The census returns, the estimates for the year, and the Superintendent's closing address, are published in extenso. We hear with regret that the white stone cross built over the water-tank on the bridle path has fallen forward and has broken in pieces. It has been lately noticed as gradually inclining from the perpendicular, and was soon to have been set up again. We are sure that our fellow-colonists will not permit this " souvenir" of Mrs. Godley to lie unrpstored, but will unite to place it even in a more sightly and snore convenient position than it before occupied.
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Local Intelligence., Lyttelton Times, Volume VIII, Issue 489, 11 July 1857
Local Intelligence. Lyttelton Times, Volume VIII, Issue 489, 11 July 1857
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