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THE Otago Daily Times. MONDAY, JULY 25, 1874.

Referring once more to the very distinct offer made by the Government in 1868 in the Distillation Act, with a view to induce the establishment of a native industry, we remind our readers that the unfortunate Mr Cawkwell, who is now grumbling at his impending1 ruin, did not receive any warning of a change of intention upon the part of Government until his premises were completed and liis money invested. Then, indeed, when it was too late, he was iniormed that whatever rate may hereof tar be fixed on for the Customs duty, the Government will not be prepared to recommend that the Excise duty should be lower than at present, whilst it may be found necessary to increase it.

The case of the Dunedin Distillery is even harder. Upon the 24th November, 18G8, upon application for their license, the proprietors received something of the same intimation of probable bad faith on the part of the Government, but with this important difference : T/teir caution only referred to the possibility of a reduction of the rate of Customs duty on spirits imported, and said nothing of an increase. Naturally enough, the promoters considered a reduction very improbable, while an increase would prove far less injurious to their business. So long as the proportion of onehalf was continued, it would matter nothing. It cannot be too often

repeated, the Distillation Act fixed the excise at one-half the import duty, no more and no less. By that Act, the Government is bound, as long as honour and honesty are not mere words, to cover tricekry and fraud. Out of the dilemma, there is but one honest escape —viz., by buying out those who entered upon their business on the faith of the Act of 1868. They may have been (oclish to trust the Government; no doubt, they have bitterly repented their misplaced confidence, and yet it would be an ill thing if the proffers of the State were to come to be looked upon as less binding than ordinary business proposals, and if commercial men in operating upon such proposals were to have a' margin to cover a probable attempt to ; change the stated terms af'teracceptance, in deference to the ever-changing needs of an adventurous policy. Perhaps the weakest point in the defence made by the Government to Mr Cawkwell's | vigorous attack is contained in a letter from Mr Seed in August, 1873, wherein he informs Mr Cawkwell that in 18G8 the Government proposed origii nally that " the duty on New Zealand ! distilled spirits should be ei^ht shillings per gal.; that in the course of the discussion on the Bill an amendment was proposed and hastily carried, against the Government that the duty should be at the rate of half the import duty for the time being." Is it then necessary that ! anyone who proposes to take action upon an Act of the Assembly, should make himself familiar with the debate j which led to a result ? Surely not. A law is not to be interpreted by the light thrown on it by the previous moves of parties, or if so it will soon come to be considered a mere shuffle of cards, and no deliberate act of legislation at all. Mr Oawkwell replies :— " I am much obliged to you for the information you give, which is quite new to me, of what passed in Parliament when the Distillation Act was under consideration." His rejoinder is equally apt, when he is informed in graudiloqueDt terms, " that if Parliament with the information it now possesses finds that it made a mistake in fixing the Excise duty on spirits at too low a rate, there is nothiog to prevent it remedying that mistake." Certainly not ; but every honourable man will agree with Mr Cawkwell that "mistakes should be remedied at the expanse of those who makfi them." To show that we are not dealing with an imaginary attempt at fraud, we may quote the Government ultimatum of March in the present year, wherein the defrauded party is told that Government propose to bring in a Bill to raise the <luty on New Zealand distilled spirits one shilliugin 1875, one in 1877, and one in 1879 —a proposal of which we can only way that no fair warning has been given, and which strikes at the root of all morality ami fair dealing between man and man. Although it does not really affect the question, it may be interesting to note a few facts concerning the Dunedin Distillery, and what it has done and is doing. The promoters, we understand, have expended over £100,000 in buildings, plant, grain, fuel, and wages since they undertook the work. Thenconsumption of barley is more than sixty thousand bushels annually, and every farmer in. New Zealand has reason to thank them for keeping up the price of this commodity by their requirements. Last year, their disbursements amounted to .£45,000. It is admitted by Mr Vogel himself, that illicit distillation has been almost entirely suppressed by means of the low rate of Excise duty. In his report to the Legislature last year, the Inspector reported most favourably of the Dunedin institution. No reason can be given for the shameful proposition w<have noted above, except that the revenue has fallen off, and even thi3 reason, we think, will be cut away by the last returns. We have said no reason can be given. As yefc it would not prove a powerful argument to say that Dunedin upon a large scale, and Auckland on a small one, were the only places affected by the intended theft.

We cannot doubt that if the poor little Empire City contained a distillery we should have heard a very 'different story. Jealousy of the two Provinces on the North and South lies undoubtedly at the root of the proposal, and we hope the Auckland and Otago members will take note of the fact. If the distilleries in question were wealthy ■ overgrown monopolies it would not make it right to plunder them, though it would make it more natural for a needy financier to cast greedy glances at them. The very reverse, however, is the fact. The capital, care, anxiety, and toil required to start such an enterprise is only beginning to meet with proper recompense, and the intended alteiation in Excise will effectually suppress them. It wiM not pay to distil under the terms proposed, and quick ruin, will follow upon them to all concerned. If it be necessary in the public interest to alter the law, and we cannot say that it is, there is but one just method of doing so—viz, by paying

compensation. Mistakes sbouid be remedied at tho expense of those who made them, and we trust that the Assembly will treat with the scorn it deserves a project of repudiation such as no American ring1 ever dared to suggest, a project abhorrent to every honest man.

Wk gather from our Saturday's published telegrams from Wellington, that the General Government are contemplating abolishing tho system of free immigration, except in respect to single women antl nominated immigrants. If the experience of other Provinces has been anything akin to our own, there will surely be but few of them but will be ready to recommend that some really ladical change be made. We well remember the time when the landing of a consignment of immigrants from the Harbour steamers on our principal jetty was not only hailed with much satisfaction by the inhabitants generally, but that a large number of residents used to make a point of going down to witness the landing. In those days it seemed almost as refreshing as a glimpse at old friends, or the breathing of air laden with the peculiar odours begotten by the green pastures and hedgerow-flowers of one's old distant " home far away." As the immigrants trooped up the jetty in those days, their fresh ruddy countenances, laughing eyes, stalwart, hail, healthy general appearance, seldom failed to produce some such expression as " Ah, they are the sort of people to do good for themselves and to the country to which they come." But things have changed since then. Now any announcement of a new batch of immigrants begeta a sort of ill-defined feeling amounting almost to one of dread, accompanied by a fear of an importation of dangerous diseases, and an accession to our useless or criminal population. Whether this has resulted wholly from the system of free passages being granted we think is open to question. We incline to the belief that it is very largely owing to the culpable negligence—or something worse—of our home agents. We observe that the Superintendent of Wellington is " perfectly satisfied with the immigrants already imported." Well, all we can say is, the immigrants " impoited " into Wellington must, as a whole, be of a very different class with which Dunedin has been favoured, or His Honour of Wellington must be very easily "satisfied" in iced. We heartily agree with the opinion expressed by our own Superintendent the other evening, that a very large proportion of immigrants with which we have been honoured are of a class that it would well pay the Province to "ship back again to the place from which they came." We should very reluctantly concur in the abolition of the system of free immigration, from which so much was expected ; but if it is a choice between it and the importation of such immigrants as the bulk of those who have recently arrived among ourselves, we should far prefer it as being the lesser of the two evils.

There are certain phases of the Harbour Improvement question that must be, or, at any rate, ought to be, dealt with this session, if the harbour accommodation is to keep pace with the growth of the shipping trade. We, on a former occasion, touched on one of these—viz., The urgent necessity which exists for providing very much better dredging appliances than those in use—and we have now to direct the attention of legislators to a proposal that was made some time ago to lengthen the Graving Dock. The Dock, as it stands, is a noble wprk, and we are willing to admit, might be made to meet ordinary shipping requirements during the next year or two. But at the same time it ia not quite what it should be, i.e., a dock capable of accommodating the very largest size merchant vessels which ride the sea. To say that it is not probable that such vessels are likely to visit Otago waters would be tantamount to doubting the future prosperity of the Province, and to casting discredit upon the marked progress lately made, and still making, and also discredit upon the general pro sperity of the Oolony. What a revolution in the class of vessels which had constituted the Colonial traders has taken piaco within the last short three or four years, and in this fast growing age of startling changes and inventions will it not be reasonable to anticipate as great and as marked improvement in the present class of vessels during the first half lof the current decade 1 We believe so, and also that, as the Province assumes to I itself, and justly, too, a great importance as a commercial centre, possessing vast resources of incomparable elasticity, even Ibo ought it to mnke due provision for its growing .trade, and for the accommodation and. succouring of the stranger that may happen to come within its gates. Sow, | Dock accommodation is of the very first importance in the case of shipping, and not only Dock accommodation but also the means and appliances necessary for effecting all and every kind of repairs that a' ship might require. We are glad to say that the latter consideration has not been lost eight of, as witness the range of commodious workshops now being erected at the Port Dock, and these completed, all that will be required to render the Dock the finest ;in this Colony, and also suitable in every ; particular for the purposes it is intended 'to serve, will be to lengthen it. As the dock now stands it is a sort of anomaly. It is too long for any ordinary sized ship, ;and too short to accommodate two at onco, and is certainly too short for the reception of vessels as long as either of the , steamers Mikado or Mongol. The extreme 'length, of the Dock is 340 feet, but it could not accommodate a vesse] longer than 335 feet. Practical men advocate — and we coincide with their view of the case—the lengthening of the Dock to 450 feet; for, they argue, if that is done, the i ■Dock will have capacity equal to the j largest vessel that will call upon it for many years to come, and will be also competent to deal at one time with two of what are now termed large ships. There are many details in connection with this proposed Dock extension that should be dealt with by a Committee of capable men ; and we

have no doubt but that, if such a Committee took the matter in hand and elucidated it, the proposal would meet with ready favour at the hands of the Council. No fair argument, wo should think, can be urged against the extension of the Graving Dock. There the Dock is, and there it must remain the Graving Dock of the Province until the commerce of the latter so mightily extends as to necessitate the construction of another. But that is not likely to happen yet awhile ; and, in the meantime, it wouM be wise to so improve the one Dock we have as to fit it for dealing with the requirements of such shipping as the Port commands, and will likely command, during the next few years.

The Hon. Mr Holmes, and Mr W. A. Tolmie, M.H.It., twit of the members of the Provisional Committee of the Colonial It ink, left by the Ofcago for the North yesterday. It is their intention to visit all the Provinces on the business of the Bank.

The golfing match for the Si Andrew's Challenge Cross on Saturday resulted in a walk over for Mr T. Andrew, jun., owing to the unavoidable absence of his challenger. Mr Andrew has been, again challenged, this time by three or four members, and under the new conditions, the holder and his challengers will have to play off in pairs over one round of the Links. To-day will be a gala day amongst the golfers. As the two prizes which have been presented for competition will become the absolute property of the winners, it is expected thai a large number of members will compete. Mcinbera of the

Club are to muster at the Mornington Hotel at half-past 10 a.m., and a start will bo effected at 11 o'clock. It has been decided by the Committee that no one will be allowed to compete unless he is present before the completion of the ballot for play.

; Yesterday being Whit Sundayv special services were held at St. Paul's Church, and collections made on beliajf of tb«- Sunday ■School. The lltr?. E. G. Penny officiated in the morning, and the Rev. R. L. Stanford conducted the evening service. Oft both occasions special reference was made to the working of Sunday Schools, and the necessity in the present day of carrying them- on zealously and efficiently. More teaching power was requested on behalf of St. Paal's School, and it is hoped) that a nnmber of the congregation will volunteer to join in the good work. The anthem at the evening sesvice, taken from, the I3Cth Psalm, was welQ rendered by the choir. The collections amounted to £21 4s 7d.

One of a host of similar charges (that of cheque forgery), was partly heard at the R. M. Court on Saturday, against John Morrison, the modern Dick Thrpin, who was lately interrupted by an officer of the Ci'own in a swindling tour round the- country, after a deal of systematic imposition on the peaceful peasantry. When in the dock he conducted himself with singular nonchalance. He was remanded until Saturday next, when other charges will be proceeded with.

A meeting of the Press Dramatic Club was held at Bayley's Hotel on Saturday evening —-Mr Bracken in the chair. The minutes of the last meeting were read and confirmed, and several new members proposed and balloted for ; after which the Hon. Sec. read a statement showing the amount of receipts and expenditure accruing from the late entertainment given by the Club for the benefit of Mr Eastwood. The Chairman then handed to Mr Eastwood the net receipts, amounting to £71 Cs, for which Mr Eastwood expressed his gratitude in a short but effective speech. It was then proposed and seconded that a vote of thanks be accorded to Mr Mitchell for the untiring energy he has displayed in doing all he could to make the beneSt a success, and which was duly recorded in the minutes. Mr Eastwood was then proposed as an honorary member, and will be balloted for next Saturday. After some business of minor importance had been disposed of, the meeting terminated.

St. Thomas's Church, at the comer of Hope and Staffoi-d streets, is gradually approaching completion. The extra accommodation which will be provided by this Church is much wanted at the present time, as we understand a considerable number of persons seldom attend Divine service in consequence of being unable to obtain sittings. The addition to St. Paul's Church is also needed, the edifice often being overcrowded.

During the week ending May 23, 17 patients were admitted into the Duuedin Hospital, and 21 were discharged therefrom. No deaths occurred. The number of patients at present in the Hospital is 157, of whom 32 are females.

When all the two-year-old races of 1873 had been ran, it was given out in many of the sporting tips that the three great events of the present year would in all probability fall to the splendid string owned by Mr Lefevre, an enterprising French sportsman. The two thousand was looked upon as a gift for Ecossais, whose two-year-old running was of the highest order ; and it was generally supposed that Feu D'Amour would be kept for the Derby, with Novateur as a stand-by, should anything go amiss with his stable companion. The two thousand is over, and Eeossais has only gained the third place, having been beaten by Atlantic aud Reverberation, two colta that were scarcely named in the betting. Neither of the horses seems to have been thought worthy of a place in the bunch of possible winners which was selected by the leading sporting newspapers. Atlantic, the winner, was thought to be inferior in speed aud staying power to Aquila, who was regarded as the pick of the btable. As a two-year-old, Atlantic won for his owner, at various tinies, £1200 in stakes ; but his final performance of the season in the Glasgow Stakes, at the Newmarket Houghton Meeting, was not such as to inspire confidence in him, as in that race he ran second to Minister, who was not regarded as belonging to the front rank of the two-year-oMb. After the defeat of Ecossais, M. Lefevre may find at Epsom that the Hying Feu D'Amour is not a second Glaxliateur.

On the 20th insfc., afc the Tuturau Schoolhouse, the Preabytery of Clutha met solemnly to set apart and ordain to the work of the ministry, in the Mataura charge, Mr James Henry, preacher of the Gospel. The members of Presbytery present were Rev. Messrs Allan, Waters, M'Ara, and the Moderator, Itev. Charles Connor, who preached, put the usual questions, and offered up the ordination prayer. Mr Allan addressed the minister aud Mr Waters the people. A soiree was held in the evening in the Court-house, at the Bridge, and suitable addresses given by members of Presbytery and others. Many were the congratulations that the Mataura had received in Mr Henry an able minister, and one in many respects very suitable for his wide and extensive charge.

The anniversary of the Loyal Dunedin Lodge, M.U.J.0.0.F., will be celebrated this evening by a soiree and concert, concluding with, a dance, in the Masonic Hall. A very good programme has been arranged, and as some well known amateurs have offered their services for the occasion, a very pleasant entertainment may be anticipated.

The Southern Cross state 3Mr Neil Lloyd, of the Auckland Patent Rope Factory, has just finished a stream cable for the ship 11 indostan, which, on account of its unusual size, is worthy of notice. The cable is 12in in circumference, and is made of New Zealand oiled flax. The coil of rope, as it now lits at the factory, is 122 fathoms long and 12ft. in diameter, and its weight is supposed to be about 2 tons. If the weather be fine this morning it will be taken to the ship, but in order to get it out of the -factory the entire end of the building -will Lave to be taken down. Tin's is believed to be by far the largest rope ever made in New Zealand.

The North Otago Times is responsible for tlie following:—"A large groper weighing CSlbs, captured a day or two a.40 in the bay by two men who have recently started h'shing here, with great success, was found, when opened, to contain in its stomach a lump of shingle (i x 4in., and weighing nearly a; pound and a quarter."

The New Zualand Herald, in a leader on the class of emigrants sent out to this Colony per Asia by Mrs Howard, remarks :— " We trust that no cost has been spared in telegraphing to the Agent-General to stop the shipment of all emigrants drawn from reformatories azid workhouses, two of the worst places where emigrants for a morally healthy Colony like New Zealand could be drawn from. We have only too mnch reason to fear that other reformatories, penitentiaries, and similar asylums have been ransacked by capitation agents to fill our immigrant ships, which are to flood the Colony with a class of men and women to breed vice and fill our gaols."

The New Zealand Herald says :—" A gentleman just returned from Gisborne informs us that the Petroleum Company are waiting the arrival of an American manager well versc<l in oil-spring matters. A ten-horse power engine and powerful boring apparatus are already on the ground, ready for commencing operations. This gentleman is expected to arrive by the next California!!

steamer. The springs are situated in the ranges, about 37 miles from Gisborne, and there is a splendid surface indication of oil. The ground in the vicinity consists of an asphalting kind of peat, and possesses a strong odour of kerosene. Wherever the foot sinks, the ground immediately afterwairls bubbles witl* gas, while at some places oil ca:i be seen trickling out. The residents are very sanguine of 3uccess for their Company, which is composed almost entirely of Gisboru* people, and thny look forward -vith interest and eagerness to the commencement of operations."

The Barragong Chronicle reports that one Saturday evening, as tha- up-country coach was being driven through Burrowa, the driver was-much surprised by an unlookedfor event ia his journey; Near the thoroughfare was erected a pavilion, in which were performing at the time certain trained ponies, dogs, and monkeys. One of the guys attached to the portable tenement appears to have extended into the street beyond a reasonable distance; but the coachman and a passenger sitting beside him on the box did not perceive tlias rope until it caught each of them by the legs, and gliding up their bodies-,, placed them in a rather uncomfortable dilemma. The horses were pulled up as soon as possible, but nob before the mailman had one of his hands injured, and the canvas pavilion was razed to the ground, much to the dismay of the inmates, and to the intense dißgust of the proprietor.

The Times of India sayß : —We have been favoured by a correspondent with full details of the wieck between Gogo and Surat, which cost the lives of bo many sepoys and their wives and children- A number of men of the 18th Regiment N.I. left Rajcote on the 21st January to spend a four months' leave in the Concan. With the women and children the party numbered fifty-nine. On the 28th they took a passage on board a native ship of considerable size. Each adult paid 14a passage-money, and each child over eight was charged 4a ; the younger were not paid for. The passage-money was paid in advance. The vessel began to leak badly when 24 miles out at sea. She had been lying upon the beach for some time before sailing, and no doubt the sun had caused her caulkings to get loose. As Bhe made no way, and was rapidly filling, the sepoys became alarmed, and asked the master to put back to Gogo. The master, however, said that land in another direction was only eight miles distant, and it would be better to make for that. The weather was quite calm, but the water gained on the vessel, and in the morning, at half-past six, she went down. The sailors, it is said, and we hope it is true, were making preparations to save the women and children when the ship went to the bottom, and so cut short the arrangements: The result was deplorable. While the whole of the crew were saved, not one of the women and children were rescued, and only four of the sepoys. When the vessel was going under a few sailors jumped into tho boat, and the remaineer subsequently got on. board. Then four sepoys — Suckojcerow Cudum, Jewa Cuduin, Gepjll Chowan, and Sucrojee Gomuay—were taken in; but all the rest perished. It is stated that a patimar boat was not far off, and heard the shrieks for help, but gave no assistance. The sepoys who were drowned were 14 in number—ls women, 12 boj's, 14 girls, and one relative of a sepoy made up the dreadful total.

Mr Chapman repeated his entertainment at the Queen's Theatre on Saturday night to a moderate audience. The programme was nearly the same as that presented on the pre vious night.

The steamer Peninsula will leave Dancdin Jetty to-day at 10 a.m. for Port Chalmers, vi<i Portobello, returning at 3.30.

The steamer Golden Age will leave Dunelm Jetty to-day at 10.30 a.m., and take passengers to Port Chalmers to the Regatta, aud return to Dunedin after the last race.

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Bibliographic details

Otago Daily Times, Otago Daily Times, Issue 3828, 25 May 1874

Word Count
4,453

THE Otago Daily Times. MONDAY, JULY 25, 1874. Otago Daily Times, Issue 3828, 25 May 1874

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