The s.s. Rangitoto, frora Melbourne, ar rived at Hokitika last night, but will not b tendered until this morning.
Subjects which are likely to stimulate the oratorical inclinations of bon.. members, will be considered by the Provincial Council today. In addition to a number of motions of which notice has been given, the Land Resolutions of the Government, which have passed through Committee, will be brought forward for adoption by the Mouse. It is also anticipated that when the Resolutions and the amendments thereon are submitted, the Hon. Mr Dillon Bell will' address the House on the various points in dispute, and probably indicate what he and other gentler men identified with the interests he is sup posed to represent would like to see done regarding this vexed question. The debate on Mr Beynolda's resolution to request the Government to take immediate steps to vest in trustees all lands reserved and granted to the Superintendent for public purposes, will also be resumed to-day. It is expected that the Financial Statement will be made on Tuesday or Wednesday.
Owing to an accident happening to Captain M'Farland as he was attending the parade of the Dunedin Volunteer Artillery on Saturday afternoon, the shot and shell firing for the Government prizes, which was to have then taken pluca, was postponed to Saturday next, the 2oth mat. As it happened, the afternoon was anything but fit for long range shooting, a thick mist at times obscuring the target altogether ; but it is to be hoped that as next Saturday is the last day on which the detachments of the battery can compete, the weather will be a little more propitious.
A smart fore and-aft-schooner of about 50 tons register was launched on Saturday afternoon at the Pelichet Bay j-My, where she hag been in coarse of construction for some time past. She is a remarably wellbuilt vessel, her frame being made of broad, leaf, with kowhai beams, and Oregon pine planking, and her decks of Baltic pine. She is also copper-fastened to low-water mark. Her dimensions are as follows : —Length of keel, 64 feet, 70 feet over all; 17 feet beam, and depth of hold 6 feet. The ceremony of christening was performed in orthodox style, Mrs Keith Ramsay breaking a bottle of champagne across the bows, and naming her "Janet Eamsay," as she slid smoothly into the water ; the spectators giving three hearty cheers. She has been built by Messrs Armour, Campbell, Macdonald, and Richmond, tor Mr Cru.ckahanks of Kikanui, and will be engaged in the coasting trade.
We are glad to observe that the Dunedin Gaol continues to attract attention in England. A pamphlet lately issued by the Howard Association quotes a passage from one of Mr CildwelPs reports, refening to that geatleman as "Governor of the selfsupporting gaol of Otago, New Zealand." Among the numerous distinguished names, also, of the " Committee and Special Correspondents," we Jiotiea that of Mr Caldwell.
Among the many interesting facts contained in the pamphlet we have referred to, we find that L 190,000 has been laid out in the past ten years in Coldbath Fields Prkon, London, on "extensions," &c.; that the total average cost of all criminals in the kingdom is about L 33 to the ratepayer, the earnings averaging only 50s per annum, or 2d per day; that the convict prisons of England are " a discredit to the country," with i;no satisfactory inspection "; and that o£ the life prisoners at hard labour, " nearly 63 per cent, are confirmed invalids, many of them paralysed and bedridden." Some interesting remarks on the causes of crime are also added. The champion runners, Messrs Hewitt and Harris, and several local amateurs, assembled at the Caledonian Grounds on Saturday, and gave the public an opportunity of criticising their abilities. It is understood that the performances of Messis Hewitt and Harris will be the chief attraction at the sports to take place next Satur- ( day.
A meeting of the committee of the Danedin Kifle Club took place on Friday last for the discussion of various matters connected with the welfare of the Club. The secretary informed the committee that Lieut.-Colonel Cargill had accepted the Presidency of the Club, and expressed his approbation, of the object for which it had been organised, viz., keeping up a steady course of practice during the winter season. Captains M'Farland (Artillery), Copeland (North Danedin), and Kirkcaldy (Scottish) have consented to act as handicappers to the Club; and we feel satisfied that their decisions will give satisfaction to all. Some discussion ensued as to the advisability of having the Anderson's Bay range used for the matches in conjunction with the Pelichet Bay range. It was decided tint the latter range should be used for all the squads, and the An derson's Bay range for the afternoon squad. Mention having been made of the irregular conduct of some of the competitors during the firing of the last squad in the late I match, the expressed opinion of those preI sent was that the rales should be strictly I adhered to; and in case of any competitor refusing to keep order when desired to do so by the person in charge of the squad, he should be immediately disqualified under rule 3of the Club. It was then decided that the next meeting should take place on Saturday, the Bfch July ; the ranges, number of shots, and other conditions to be similar to those of last match. The entries for the next match muefc be paid to members of Committee, Treasurer, or Secretary, on or before the Ist day of July. The handicaps will be declared previous to the day of shooting; aid from the interest taken by the Volan. teers generally in the Club, there is every reason to anticipate that the next meeting will be as successful as the last.
A man named Henry Carmichael is now in the Hospital. He eithe? fell out or was pitched oat of a cab, getting Ms right leg broken.}— A. man whose sister had lately suffered from scarlet fever was admitted sick into the Hospital eight days ago. It is thought his case is also one of scarlet fever, though there is some doubt on the point.
The first pile for the Porb Chalmers Railway jetty was driven on Saturday afternoon. Its position is about 275 yards from tin beach in a direct line with the Port Chalmers Hotel and Otago Heads. The pile is of jarrah wood, and has been placed as a centre pile for futare operations. The New Zealand Gazette of the Bth inst. contains the following notifications : —Mr John Blackett, C.E., has been appointed Colonial Marine Engineer.—Mr W. Russell has been appointed Deputy-Commissioner of Stamp Duties for the district of Southland, ©ice Mr W. Stuart, promoted ; the appointment to take effect from, the Ist inst.—His Excellency the Governor has accepted-the
resignation of Captain F. A. Cargili, No. 1
Company, City Guards, and has appointed Ensign A. Somerviile to be Lieutenant, and Volunteer J. T. Douglass to be Ensign, in the same corps ; both commissions to date from the 20th February last.—Mr Hanson Turton, of Napier, has been appointed Trust Commissioner under the Native Lands Frauds Prevention Act, 1870, for the Poverty Bay district.
A curious story comes from the interior of
the province, illustrative of the habits of one of onr native birds. For the last three years, the sheep belonging to Mr Henry Campbell on Ms station in the Wanaka district, have been afflicted, with what to him was a new disease. His neighbours and shepherds were equally at a loss to account for it, having never seen anything of the kind before. The first appearance of this supposed disease is a patch of raw flesh on
the loin of the sheep, about the size of a
man's hand; from this, matter continually <rtzns down t&eside, taking the wool completely off that part which it touches, and in many cases death is the result. Daring last season, a shepherd on a neighbouring run brought information that he Had noticed one of the mountain parrots, which are very numerous in the district, sticking to a sheep and pecking at a sore, and that the animal seemed unable to get rid of its tormentor. As the runholder had frequently observed these birds tearing at the skins of sheep which had been hang up to dry, he thought it was not at all improbable that the cause of the mysterious disease was solved. He therefore gave particu'arinstructions to all his shepherda to keep a careful watch upon the parrots when mustering on the high ground. The result has been that, during the present season, when mustering high up on the ranges,' about the snow line, they saw several of the birds surrounding a sheep, which wan £ eshly bleeding from a small wound in the loin, and on other sheep they noticed the places where the parrots had begun to attack them, small pieces of wool having been picked oat. It has since been ascertained that no less than ten per cent, of the flocks depasturing on the ranges have been thus attacked.
A few days ago a party of men were engaged in clearing ft ix and gTass from a swamp near Waikouaiti Mill. They set fire to tho grass, the burning of which revealed a. human skeleton. 4s 6d in money and a | portion of an old pipe were found beneath It. No articles that eou'd assist in its identification could be found, beyond a pair of old water tight boots, heavily nailed and party trarael. The skull was perfect; and free from any perceptibleinjaries. From general appearances, the skeleton had evidently remained unobserved for many years, and but for the burning of the grass would no doubt have remained undiscovered still longer. The contractor for the Oamaru harbour works is now, we learn from the O maru Times, busy blasting the rock near the end of the jetty. The men employed have come upon some excellent blneatone, and the rock generally is of a very hard nature. A large quantity of atone hae already been detached
and hurled down, and will be thrown into the shallow water inside the line of kelp, thus reclaiming a space of about a quarter of an acre, upon which the concrete blocks will be constructed. Mr M'Gregor, the engineer for the works, was to arrive in Oamaru on Friday to mark out the line of tramway, and so soon as this is done a large number of men i will be employed, and the works vigorously proceeded with. I The Mount Ida Chronicle regrets to hear that the first crushing of the stone in the j Otekaike Reef did not come up to the ex pectations of the shareholders, who are nevertheless sanguine as to ultimate success. There were several things which militated against success, among which may be classed the newness of the machinery and the insufficient experience of the men employed in. the operation of crushing. So confident, indeed, are the shareholders in the undertaking, that they intend at once to penetrate the reef to a greater depth, when they will, we feel assured, raise up better Btone, "John " continues to carry all before him in the Wakatip district. The Mail says :— " Several claims have, during the last fortnight, passed into the hands of the Chinese, who entirely hold the Big Beach (Shotover), a large portion of Moke Creek, most of Twelve-Mile (Lake), and a considerable part of other places." Mr John Alloo, Chinese interpreter, met with an accident a few days ago while returning from Moke Creek. It is supposed that he was thrown from his horse, as lie was found lying in the road with his collarbone fractured. He is reported to be doing well. At the Keaideat Magistrate's Court, Christchurch, a few days ago, a man aamed Thomas Griffiths was fined LIOO, with the alternative ef six months' imprisonment, for illicit distillation. Wild ducks are stated to be unusually scarce in the iVaikouaiti district th:s season. The Gey River Argus says it sees no real n cessity for holding a mining -conference oa the West Coast. Mr C. W. Thatcher, well known throughout the colonies, has written a letter to the Southern Cross from Paris, whither he proceeded on business immediately before the entry of the Prussians into the city- It contains curious evidence of Thatcher as he was
—the " inimitable"— and Thatcher as he is— the "serious." For example, he says::—" I have a park of a shell which burst and struck a gentleman on the legs, thereby effecting for him a saving of 50 per cent, on his shoemaker's bill." And a
few lines further on he says4 —"On Sundays one is shocked to see the total desecration of the Sabbath. All the shops ate opea, and it seems the most profitable day for business. Whether this want of conformity to and deference to the Divine law has anything to do with the present deplorable condition of France I leave others to determine. I believe myself that no nation in the long run can be prosperous where the Sibbath ia totally ignored as a day of rest." Near the end of hia letter he says :—" lam not; likely to return to the colonies, but am going to start in business in the West End of London ; and it has been to buy goods that brought me abroad." Speaking of the Anglo-Australian telegraph, the South Australian Register says:
" We learn from the Hon. B. T. Fmniss,
who has recently returned to the colony as agent for the Anglo-Australian Telegraph Company at the Northern Territory, that the cable to connect Java with Fort Darwin is aow in course of construction, and will probably be completed in July. Owing to improvements which have recently been introduced into the manufacture, the cable is expected to prove one of the best that has been turned out. Two steamers h&ve been chartered to convey it to Java, and its laying down is not expected to occupy more than six weeks, so that there is every probability that the Port Darwin end will be landed there before the close of November. Mr Finniss will'proceed shortly to the Northern Territory, in order to superintend the erection of euitab'e premises, and make the other needful arrangements for the reception of the cable."
The annual meeting of the Art Union of Glasgow was held in that city on the 19th Aprii, the Lord Provost in the chair. The report stated that the subscribers this year numbered 2931, representing 13077 11s, an advance on laet year of 339 subscribers snd L 355 19s in money. The prize list con* siated of—l. The painting of " Peace be to this House," by Dobson, at a cost of four hundred guineas. 2. Sums of money allocated for the purchase of 25 prizes by the subscribers, to who c numbers they shall fall, to the amount of L3OO, divided as follows:—2 prizes of the value of L3O each; 2 prizes of the value of L2O each ; 4 prizes of the vr.lue of Lls each ; 7 prizss of the value of LlO each ; 10 priztfl of the value of L 7 each. 3. (as minor prizes). Eighteen paintings selected from the collection exhibited by the Fine Arts Institute of this city, and fifty India proof engravings of " Many happy returns of the day," ksued by the eociety in|a previous year; together of the value of Ll4O. 4. The committee further set aside one hundred artist's proof copies of the engraving "Peace be to this house "—such as subscribers of five shares only are entitled to—to be drawn for and given to the subscribers whose numbers shall be drawn, in lieu of their presentation prints.„ One hundred and nine'y-four subscribers thus obtained prizes. Among the successful prize-takers, we observe the names of three Dunedin gentlemen—Messrs Charles Reid, Henry Driver, and John H. Morrison—each of whom has obtained artist's proof copies. The fortunate drawer of the first prize is Captain M. Lerie, Sydney. A good audience attended Dr Care's second s6an.ce. at the Princess Theatre on Saturday evening. Dr Carr gave a very instructive lecture upon Mesmerism, and upon what he deems to be the fallacies of clairvoyance and s- iritualism, which was very attentively listened to throughout. A large number of persons submitted their heads for phrenological examination, and the summary of their respective characters given by the Doctor, while discomfiting considerably the unlucky subjects, vastly amused the remainder of the audience. Some very successful mesmeric manifestations were afterwards given. Dr Carr, in the course of his lecture, promisedthat on Monday night he would give his opinions respecting some of the political gentlemen who had doubtless congratulated themselves upon escaping scot-free on the occasion of his , previous lecture.
A mee'ing of shareholders in the Alta Gold Mining Co. will be held at the office of the New Zealand Insurance Co. at 11 a.m. to-day. The adjourned meeting of the Licensed Grocers' Association will be held at Murray's Hotel, this evening at 8 o'clock.
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