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UNION BANK OF AUSTRALIA.

A special general meeting of the proprietors of the above bank was held yesterday at the offices of the establishment, 38,^01(1 Broad Street. Mr. Cummins was in the chair. REPORT. " The Directors of the Union Bank of Australia have.great pleasure in reporting to the proprietors the satisfactory position of the affairs of this Bank. " Their anticipations of a general improvement in the state of the Australian Colonies have not been disappointed, and they have tvery reason to hope that returning wealth will produce a return of active and healthy commercial and industrial pursuits. " The very large proportion of the Bank's capital which is now in this country, will be in readiness to meet the legitimate wants of banking facilities which an improved state of trade will necessarily produce, and from the high standing which the Bank has attained, the directors entertain no doubts that possessing as it does the confidence of the colonial community, it will derive in a proportionate degree the advantages of returning prosperity. " The estimate of bad debts has been diminished during the half year. The amount set apart mentioned in the annual report of July last, may therefore be considered as more than sufficient to cover the loss. The doubtful debts then stated at £24,966 : 95., are reduced to £23,447 : 13s. 9d., and stand against the balance of undivided profits. •' The branches in New Zealand have been greatly reduced during the half year, and may now be regarded rather as small exchange agencies than as btanch banks. The Inspector has expressed his determination not to allow them to be increased until he is fully satisfied of the security and prosperity of those colonies. " The conduct of the Inspector, in his important office, is such as to afford the highest satisfaction to the Directors ; and it gives them great pleasure to express their continued approbation of the ability and prudence of their managers, and of the gentlemen who hold the appointment of local directors, in the discharge of their respective trusts, and the general management ot the bank's business. " The Directors now proceed to submit their usual statement of accounts, the result of which enables them to declare a dividend for the half year at the rate of six per cent, per annum upon the paid up capital of the bank, to be payable in London on the 2d February, and in the colonies as soon as the Inspector shall fix after the receipt of advice.

\ Shi, Chahles Fitzrot. — The Morning Chronicle of February 2d, says, " The Carysfort, 26, when ready, is to go to Sydney with the New Governor. Miss Burdett Coutts has paid £30,000 for the building of a church, parsonage-house, and schools, and endowing it with £3QO per annum. I It is to be built in the City of Westminster.

Sir G. W. Lefevre committed suicide by taking prussic acid. The deceased, who was in his 50th year, was physician to the embassy; of Russia, and was the author of several interesting medical works. The Duke de Saulx Savennes, a peer of France, committed suicide by banging himself, lie was said to have lost largely in railway speculations. Experiments have been made on a steamboat's funnel by the JSxcellent, when it was found that neither shot nor shell have a verjf destructive effect upon it. After fiver days* fifing, it was knocked down, but not until nearly it and its supporters were knocked to pieces. The practice was at 600 yards, which is said to have been the reason it stood so long. If at a greater range, the force of the balls would have been weakened, and the shock greater instead of going clear through. The desired result has, however, been obtained, namely — a certainty that a funnel is not so easily knocked out of a steamer as was anticipated.

Papier Mache for Railway Carriages. — The Commissioners of Excise have lately had brought under iheir notice the subject of the use of paper in the manufacture of the article known by the name of papier machi. Some doubts have been raised whether the description of paper thus used can be legally charged with duty thereon ; anil in consequence of the great increase in the use of this artic'e in having been adapted to the purpose of panelling for first-class railway carriages, the subject is of very considerable importauce. Her Majesty's Commissioners, it is believed, will take the subject into their consideratijn, and the lesult will be made known in the course of a few days.

Iron Railway Carriage. — An experimental iron carriage is now running on one of the Belgian lines, and it is believed that eventually it will be found better and cheaper than wood.

Rather Vjsrdant. — The other day a student from the country, who had joined the Glasgow College, was about to leave by ons of the trains from that city, and as he walked up and down the station, dressed out in his toga, lie perceived the door of a first-class carriage open, and he thought he would seal himself there. One of the railway guards happening to pass, asked him to what class he belonged, (meaning whether the Ist, 2nd, or 3rd,) when he in all simplicity replied, ** / belong to the mauthemautics"

Unremitting Kindness. — A comedian went to America, and remained there two years, leaving his wife dependent on her relatives. Mrs. expatiating in the greea room on the cruelty of such conduct, the comedian found a warm advocate in a well-known dramatist, " I have heard," says the latter, that he is the kindest of men, and I know he writes to his wife every packet." Yes, he writes," replied Mrs. — , " a parcel of flummery about the agony of absence, but he has never remitted her a shilling. Do you call that kindness?" "Decidedly," replied the author, " unremitting kindness."

The Ministerial Crisis. — Showman-— On your right you will perceive a Prime Minister a Bolishing of hisself. And over left is another Prime Minister a Bolishing of the Gorn Laws. — Master John Bull — But which is the Prime Minister ? — Shotoman— Which ever you please my little dear. You pays your money and takes your choice.—Punch.

A Ministerial Quartet. — The following little quartet was sung just before the temporary dissol ution of the ministry. Lor d S tanley, who took a part in the quartet, destroyed the harmony, and ultimately put an end to the concert. He would not agree to subdue his voice sufficiently, or in other words, to singsmall, aud he was consequently kept out of the arrangements, when the Ministerial' Sons of Harmony met together again for the purpose of practising the .new tunes, and adopting the airs and varieties of the Premier. But w« are losing sight of the quartet, which ran m follows— Lord Stanley (andantino). Corn must go up, up, up. Sir R. Peel (con expressions). . Corn must come down, down, down. The Duke of Wellington (con strepito). Here we go backwards and forwards. Sir R. Peel - (vivace allegro). 1 shall go round, round, round. Lord Stanley positively refused to do so, observing that it was gui te out of his compas* and- he had not sufficient flexibility to get over .the difficulty. A long discussion ensued,, which ended in the entire destruction of the concert, and the total .sacrifice of harmony. After' a, little rehearsal, however, the difficulty .has been got over by nearly all the principals, who now sing — " Here we go round, round, round," with as much energy as the Premier himself could desire to throw into it. — Punch.

The second division of the 40th from India had disembarked at Chatham on the 3d Feb. A bronzed star, with the inscription "Masharajahpore," had been granted them, as well as a second medal, in honour of their services at Candahar, Cabool, and Ghuznee. The St. Helena Gazette for Feb. 21, contains an account of the wreck of c number of vessels lying at anchor on the 17th of that month, by a succession of " heavy rollers" which for several days broke with tremendous violence on the shores of the island. In seven hours no less than thirteen vessels were dashed to atoms within a few yards of the spectators on the shore. No lives were lost at that placf, but two or three fishermen were drowned on another part of the coast.

Ship Railway —Novel Project. — Among the startling projects of the times, is one for the construction of railways of sufficient magnitude to transport a vessel of 400 or 500 ions burden, —aud by ronnecting London, Liverpool, Bristol, Hull, Southampton, Newcastle, Glasgow, Leith, and Plymouth, en&ble loaded ships to travel over land from port to port, avoiding the most injurious delays from contrary winds, and establishing inland potts by which a complete trading voyage might be accomplished. As the full attainment of an obof such vast importance could only be achieved either by the Government, or by the raising of on enormous capital, the promoter — James Ackland, Esq., of Manchester —proposes to divide the undertaking as a natioml whole into sectional companies, entirely free from interference or contiol fsom any, save tl-eir own directory ; yet all constructed on a uniform principle, and to be worked in union and harmony together. He, therefore, invites the full consideration of h's plan to the formation of the first and the initiative company, who shall undeitdkc the construction of the first section of &hip railway, between Liverpool ami Manchester, to be called " The Mersey and Manchester Ship Railway and Dock Company." In Chambers' Gazetteer, under the ai tide " Manchester," are the following remarks: —"Any improvement which will enable ships ol iour or five hundred tons burden to discharge their cargoes in a dock in Hulme, would form an epoch of such magnitude in the history of Manchester, as to quadruple her population, and render her the first, as well as the most enteiprising, city in Europe." The great object of th's company will be to carry out this suggestion, by the formation of a capacious railway between the Mersey and Manchester —thus making the latter place the depot for the imported staple of its vast trade, and the emporium of the cotton commerce between this kingdom and the United States. Manchester is, at present, entirely dependant on Liverpool as a port for the whole of her imports, which are thus obliged to be taken on shore, reloaded, and sent by railway to Manchester, involving a great loss of time, and at a considerable increase of expense; while, by the proposed gigantic scheme, a ship would be floated into dock, allowed, by withdrawing the water, to settle on to a railway truck,.of suitable dimensions and strength, and be immediately conveyed to its destination, and unloaded in capacious docks, formed at the Manchester end of the line. The double cartage of cotton at Liverpool involves an expense of £59,794 and porterage (7d. ]er bale) £45,000 ; and supposing that one-sixth of this article finds its way to Manchester, on this alone there would be a clear gain of half a million sterling. The capital proposed for carrying out this great work is £3,000,000, in 100,000 shares, of £20 each ; and although the project may to many seem chimerical, there- can- be no doubt as to its accomplishment. If Archimedes could, from the walls of Syracuse, raise the enemy's ships to a great height, aud let them fall into the water to their destruction, suiely it is not too much in the nineteenth century to make a work of sufficient strength and capacity to transport a ship, full laden, from one town to another, by means of the powers of steam, and a substantially laid railway. The vrork, if carried out, would be of incalculable advantage to Manchester and. the surrounding towns, and on which the most efficient trial could be had, and the undertaking made as scar perfection as possible, previous to extending the scheme eventually into all tha principal ports of the kingdom. — Mining Journal, An extraordinary discovery has been made at Crocketford, in Scotland. Among other sects of fanatics in that country, was, one called Buchanites, which a,rpse some time in the last century. The last of this sect, Andrew Innes, died in January last, and at his death it was discovered' that he had" concealed in a dark room of his house, wrapped in blankets and placed in a box, the remaips of Elspeth Simpson, the first convert to that faith, who had died- fifty-four years before, He every day visited the'body, in expectation that it would rise again. He directed that he and she should be buried in one grave. The body was a skeleton, but the skin whole, and the hair fresh and saudy-coloured.

Mexico. — A-nother revolution lias taken place in Mexico. *It is but a short time since we announced tbe accession of Herrera as President, upon Uie defeat of Santa Anna. GeneralJParedes has deposed him. But the extraordinary fact is that Paredes does not seek the Dictatorship for himself, but wishes to restore a limited monarchy with a son oi Spain at its head. He contrasts the situation of Mexico now with what it was before the declaration of independence^ It was rich, happy, able to support an expensive government, and contribute to the support of others Jess fortunate, and possessed att army which enabled it to procure independence against the heaviest efforts of the Spanish troops. Now it cannot support its own government ; it is divided, weak; with no efficient army ; unable to withstand intestine disturbances, foreign aggression, or unjust demands. One ol the finest provinces has been seized by the United States under the pretence of annexation — Texas ; another is threatened immediately — California. The annexation of Mexico itself, and its extinction as a country is openly spoken ot The present government and system is weak and unable to protect itself. He therefore sees no hope but in a monarchy. It may seem strange, but is in reality not so, to see the republics so lately made, returning thus voluntarily to the monarchical form of government. The genius of the south is best suited to such a form ; it is too proud ; too easily excited; and though its ebullitions are not worse llian those of the north, and'far more easily put down ; they are less under the control of reason ; more sudden, and require an executive more prompt and powerful than that of a republic.

Peru. — We have seen letters and papers froui Peru to the 3d of December, brought by the packet — and we are happy to observe by them that the President Castillo's government contiiHied peaceably to exercise a beneficial influence over the country. The Executive was busy carrying into effect many reforms which were much wanted, after the disorganization .caused by tie protracted civil w ars of his predecessors. The Government's official organ, called the Peruano, has, in -its number of the -1 9th of November, a leading article on the 4t advantages of peace," in which the perfect independence of the Congress, the entire freedom of the press, the better administration of justice,\and many minor benefits, are dwelt on as the effects of peace aRd good government. We are ourselves authorised to state, that Don Juan Manuel Iterrugui would dei'nitely leave Peru, on his mission here as Plenipotentiary, by the January packer, due next month. He brings his lady and family w th him, and proposes settling in England for some years. A Consul-General has also been appointed for England, in the person of Mr. Rivero, a gentleman much esteemed in his own country ; and it is pleasing thus to see an interesting desire to cultivate a close intimacy with' England, die country with which indubiiablythe best and mot.t extensive interests of Peru are strongly, and, we hope 4 indissolubly linked. The Callao and Lima Railway project had been most favourably receiyed, and the company established here will, in every probability, carry it out, under a contract with the Government This subject is warmly discussed in the Lima papers, in an approving lone, the lapid progress of railways in Europe, and the extraordinary results, having excited great astonishment. — Colonial Gazette, February 14.

Mahometan Schism. — A new sect has lately set itself up in Persia, at the head, of which is a merchant who had returned from a pilgrimage to Mecca, and proclaimed himself a successor of the Prophet. The way they treat such matters at Shiraz appears in the following account (June 23) : — Four persons being heard repeating the profession of faith according to the form prescribed by the impostor, were appiehended, tried, and found guilty of unpardonable blasphemy- They were sentenced to lose their beards by fire bejng set to them. The sentence was put into execution with all the zeal and fanaticism becoming a true believer in Mahomet. Not deeming the loss of beards a sufficient punishment, they were further sentenced the next day to have, their faces blacked and exposed through the city. Each of them was led by a mirgazah {executioner), who had made a hole in his nose and passed through it a string, which he sometimes pulled with such violence that the unfortunate fellows cried out alter- I nately for mercy from ihe executioner and for vengeance from heaven. It is the custom in Persia on such occasions for the .executioners to collect-money from the spectators, and particular ly_ from the shopkeepers in the bazaar. In the evening, when the-p.oc.kets of the executioners were well filled with money, they led- the unfortunate fellows to the city gate, and there turned them adrift. After which the naollahs at Shiraz sent men to Bushire, with power to seize the impostor, and lake him to Shfrazi where, on being tried, he very wisely denied- the charge of apostacy laid against him, and thus escaped from punishment.

The Prague journals speak of the death of a Hebrew merchant, Ledekauer, who has offc-red one more example of the liberal benevolence and enlightened tolerance which distinguish the Israelite of to-day. Fifty years ago, Herr Ledekauer arrived in Prague, on loot and penniless ; and now, he has bequeathed a fortune of nearly £'240,000, principally for the encouragement of the arts and sciences, commerce and manufictuies, and for the reliei of the unfortunate of all nations. About £100,000, it is said, falls to Ihe benevolent instiiutions of the principal towns in Bohemia alone. At the Mauritius a slight alarm prevailed amongst the planters lest a disease which has been found to have attacked the sugar canes of Bourbon should be communicated to the plantations through the medium of seeds, plants, or roots, brought from Bourbon to Mauritius. The planters and chief merchants of Mauritius were about to send a scientific man to Bourbon to ascertain the nature of the disease, in order to provide some remedy, should the plantations of Mauritius become similarly affected. A journal of St. Petersburgh publishes a long account of the fire which took place on the 23d September in the government of Tobol&k. It appears that it commenced in a forest near Omsk, and extended to a distance of fifty French leagues, over a breadth of fifteen. Eleven villages were attacked in its course, and one was entirely destroyed. In the ten others there were burned thirteen mills, 1,850 barns, 7,800 ricks of hay, and an inrraense quantity of wood for fuel. Twentyfive peasants, 665 horses, and 915 head of cattle, were burned to death. An English watchmaker, named Symington, has taken out a patent for a clock, the motive power of which is the dropping of water. It requires no winding up, and bat little attention, and is said to be a very successful experiment.

Gretna-Green Marriages. — The Journal des Dcbats, in referring to the marriage of the Lady Adela Villiers with Capt. Ibbetso'n, has the following observations: — "What appears to us to deserve some degree of attention is the strange anomaly, in a country where law exists, which gives to the innkeeper of a certain village, in conformity with an ancient custom, the privilege of legalizing abductions and seduction ot minors, and that it is onty necessary for this species of " Maitre Jacques" to cast off his landlord-suit and to don the sacerdotal robes for the purpose of setting at nought the authority of the law and that of families. We admit that these eccentricities possess a piquant flavour in romances and scandalous stories, but we are less able to comprehend how they are reconcileable with law and morality. Thus, in the adventure to which we now allude, the two fugitives 1 >vers find the innkeeper at dinner ! Maitre Jacques lays aside his napkin and puts on his priestly robes, and proceeds to give the nuptial benediction with the same hand that was a few moments before busily engaged in handling the kni'e and /ork ! His wife and a postilion are employed to act as witnesses, and in their presence the grotesque prie^ pronounces, and makes the lovers gravely repeat, the sacred forms by which the Church confers her sanction upon marriages. Once more, our readers may laugh if they will, but they may likewise entertain other thoughts respecting the thing." Mr. Hearder, at a late leciure in Wales, warned people to be cautious in the use of lucifer matches. If kept in warm places,, they were liable to take fire spontaneously ; and if left about, in the way of children, instant death would follow from sucking. Two children had been poisoned at Plymouth in this way ; and each lucifer match contained poison enough to kill a man. The pure uncarbonated ammonia, Professor Silliman says, when applied to the stings of bees, mosquitoes, serpents, &c, produces instant relief. Dr. Church of Cooper's Town says :—": — " A young man o» this place had accidentally overset a hive of bees, and before he could escape they had. settled in great numbers on different parts of his body and limbs, and stung h:m veiy severely. It was about half an hour after the accident, when he came to my office in great agony, and he had scarcely time to give an account of it before he fainted. I immediately applied the ammonia to the parts that had been stung, his legs, arms, and breast. He directly recovered from his faintness, and experienced no pain or other inconvenience afterwards." The common spirits of hartshorn is for this purpose the most available preparation of ammonia.

.t June 1845, m per statement . ad to December as ab0ve...... » ,72$ 18 3 2,897 10 0 £42,627 6 3 Ucrninff Fftrald, January 23, 1846.

lalanee of undivided profit! at June, 1845.. 'o which add profits for the half year, ending at branches 30th June, and at London office, 31st December, 1845 )educt one tenth for reserve fund 28,975 0 2,897 10 43,563 14 1 0 26,077 10 5 1 'torn which deduct dividend paid at Midsummer 6i>,646 4 6 24,600 0 0 lalance of undivided profits at this data .... £45,046 4 6

Statement of Profits.

Resb&tc Fcjtß.,

(ills payable . . iiindry balances lad debt reserved balance ...... 29,734 14 33,599 12 3,515 11 3 'en per cent, reserve fund.. • # 'rofit and loss.. 42,627 6 45,046 4 3 6 117,408 5 154,523 820,000 8 0 'aid up capital.. , £974,523 8

Liabilities.

3ranch accounts, balance Dr. *. 325,080 3ills receivable 28,100 Stock, loan on security,' and other investments in this country . . 606,673 nsurance on open policies and miscellaneous • 4,579 10 5 090 16 9 2 5 4 10 3 4 1 1 £974,523 8 5

Assets.

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Bibliographic details

UNION BANK OF AUSTRALIA., New Zealand Spectator and Cook's Strait Guardian, Volume II, Issue 100, 15 July 1846

Word Count
3,924

UNION BANK OF AUSTRALIA. New Zealand Spectator and Cook's Strait Guardian, Volume II, Issue 100, 15 July 1846

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