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The Otago Daily Times. TUESDAY, APRIL 20, 1886.

The Government Insurance Association is perpetually in hot water. Some time ago the management of the chief agent, Mr.. Thome, was severely called in question. More recently, the appointment of Mr Driver to the management of the Duneclin branch has been called in question; and though we could not see our way to actually condemn it, our columns were flooded with protests. When the policyholders were admitted to a share in the management, it was supposed that all would go smoothly ■ but it turns out that official' influence has been too strong for them. Only one of the three representatives of the insured has been constant in his attendance, and the three have never worked, heartily together. Proposals of two opposite kinds have been made for a reconstitution of the management—one of these being to take the control entirely out of the hands of the Government; the other, to hand back the control to the Government. The latter proposal has at last been adopted by the Board, and Parliament will be asked to legislate accordingly. We venture to predict that it will consent to nothing of the kind. The business of the department has assumed a magnitude that would throw into the hands of any Government having the full control of it an amount of patronage that it would be positively dangerous to entrust to the Ministry of the day. The best appointments would be regarded with suspicion, and there would be always a danger that the worst and not the best would for political reasons be made. We venture to think that there are only two wise courses open for the adoption of the House: either the proposal of Mr Shannon (a nominated member of the Board) to convert the business into a mutual life insurance association, with proper provision for a Government guarantee on all insurances up to a certain date, should be carried into effect, or the business should be disposed of to an existing company of good standing. We do not believe that any Government association- pure and simple can meet the competition of rival associations in a satisfactory way, -or can be safely entrusted with the investment of the funds on mortgage securities or by purchase of property. Jobbery would always be suspected, whether justly or unjustly. The rival companies are not slow to pick holes in the coats of their competitors, and there is a certain want of dignity in .fighting, these rivals with^their ownweapons which renders a Government institution very weak both for attack and defence. We see everywhere wonderful diagrams, printed so as to catch the eye, demonstrating to the uninitiated the inferior position of the Government Insurance fund as compared with the funds of rival companies. We have no doubt that there is a satisfactory | answer to the representations thus pictorially made; but any Government officer would have enough to do if lie had perpetually, to demonstrate their fallacy. The fact is the public confidence in the special advantages of Government insurance is being grievously shaken. Many change from the Government to other institutions; and although, of course, all existing insurances must be covered by the Government guarantee, we see no necessity for the continuance of this guarantee so far as future insurances are concerned. So long as the Legislature insists on some sufficient security within the Colony for the payment of claims by all companies canying on the business, we think it will have done its duty. There is nothing about the business of life insurance which renders it imperative for the Government to enter into competition with private enterprise. It is extremely desirable that our banks should be safe, but who ever dreams of the Government undertaking banking business pure and simple, though there are a few cranks who think we should have a State Bank of Issue ? Our lives are at the disposal of the doctors, but no one would desire to see doctors under the direct control of the State. Some safeguards we may and do take to secure the public against bogus banks and unqualified quacks, but further than that we do not presume to go. We do not see why we should go further in the business of life insurance, and we sincerely hope that any change in the management of the institution which at present goes by the name of the Government Life Assurance Association will be in one or other of the directions we have indicated.

The details telegraphed from Adelaide of the Bryce-Rusden case, and published in our columns yesterday, throw some additional light on the incidents of the trial. It seems that after justifying the libel and insisting that all he had said was true in substance and effect, Mr Rusden had, to admit that the main charge—that of attacking women and children—was unfounded ; and, moreover, that lie had attached en-ata to the later issued volumes correcting this gross mlsstatement, but he had omitted to give orders to attach the errata to the copies printed. The ungenerous conduct of the defendant in these particulars was severely commented upon 'by the Judge, and no doubt went a great way to increase the damages awarded. Mr Bryce, in giving his evidence, made a very favourable impression on the Court, as his straightforward and modest manliness ahvays has on the House of which he is a prominent member. The chief point of interest in the case rests on the question, " Where did Mr Rusden get the information on which he founded his libellous charges?" It could hardly be supposed that he had evolved them out of his own inner consciousness. It now appears that his informants were Bishop HadJield and Sir Arthur Gordon. We should wish to speak in terms of respect of the venerable prelate- but he hardly had the excuse Avhich Sir Arthur had of being dependent on others for information, since he is a very old resident in the Colony and could easily have satisfied him-

self of the truth or otherwise of j the charges made. Though generally i held in respect, the Bishop is known j to be a man of strong prejudices, and in this instance, at least," he. allowed his prejudices and his philo-Maori sentiments to get the better of his judgment, misleading both Sir Arthur and Mr Rusden. But we cannot acquit Sir Arthur Gordon of disloyalty to one of his Ministers to a degree which we should hope lias few precedents in the history of Colonial constitutional government. Unquestionably, before lending an ear to such scandalous stories, or at least before repeating them to others, it was his duty to have laid the charges before Mr Bryce himself, giving him every opportunity of refuting them. But he too is a man of strong prejudices. The matter has been brought up in the House of Commons, and an undertaking that Sir Arthur should be called upon to explain his conduct in this matter has been given on behalf of Lord Granville. We have not the whole evidence as yet "before us, but we can hardly imagine in what way Sir Arthur Gordon can justify himself. The case is one wliich'not only affects Mr Bryce's personal reputation, but that of the Ministry to which he belonged, and even that of his fellow colonists generally; and he has undoubtedly done public service in pursuing the matter to its issue. There are many people at Home only too willing to believe any story of cruelties practised by Englishmen on native races. They do not understand how strong are the instincts of colonists themselves in favour of humanity and how severely any act of cruelty would be condemned on the spot. it is-true that Lord Canninghad in India to restrain the fierce spirit of revenge evoked among the Europeans by the atrocities of the mutineers, but that was an altogether exceptional case. Here in New Zealand we have pardoned and condoned the offences even of Titokowaru and Te Kooti, and after years of warfare and much bloodshed on both sides the feelings between the two races are cordial and satisfactory. No deliberate and intentional wrong has been done to the Maori race, and much has been done for their welfare. We have no doubt that the now celebrated case of Bryce v. Rusden will do much to set us right in the eyes of our too suspicious fellow countrymen at Home. It is a matter of minor importance whether the heavy damages granted are finally reduced or not (though we do not see why they should be): Mr Bryce has been cleared, and the fail fame of the Colony established.

Reports of yesterday's Courts, letters to the editor, and other matter appear on our fourth page.

Particulars are given in a telegram from Wellington of the fatal results attending a Maori dispute over some laud in the Waiapu district, Auckland. Four persons—three men and one woman—were burned to death by the setting fire to a number of-whares erected on land in dispute by some Natives.

The Hon. Mr Stout left Wellington for Napier overland yesterday morning, and will probably be absent a week.

The meeting -which has been called by his Worship the' Mayor to devise means to relieve cases of distress in connection with the wreck of the Taiaroa will be held this evening. The , meeting hour has been changed from 7 to 3 o'clock, in order to suit the convenience of citizens. The whole of the common jury business for the present session of the Supreme Court was disposed of yesterday. In accordance with an arrangement between the parties, the case Bank of New Zealand'v. Proudfoot was allowed to stand over until the next Civil sittings. The defendants in the case British and New Zealand Mortgage and Agency Company v. Buttars and another consented to judgment. The case Dey v. Blair was settled out of Court; and the breach-of-promise action M'Gregor v. Crawford was discontinued. The special jury case Paulin v. Stewart and others has been discontinued ; and the common jury case Mitchell v. M'Kenzie resulted in a verdict for the plaintiff for a little more than half the amount claimed.

Some delay was caused at the Supreme Court yesterday owing to one of thejurors failing to return at the time to which the Court was adjourned. After waiting for a quarter of an hour, counsel engaged agreed to go on with the case with a jury of 11. Shortly afterwards the missing juror came into Court, and, in reply to his Honor, said that he understood the Court was adjourned until a quarter past, not until a quarter to 2 o'clock as was really the ease. His Honor, addressing the juryman, said: " Very well, if that is so I do not wish to fine you. Your ears must be differently constituted from those of the rest of the jurors. • You can take your seat." The juror then took his seat in the box, and the case was continued.

The City Council are endeavouring to induce the Government to set a number of. the unemployed at work to widen the main street leading to South Dunedin from the kerosene bond to Hayes' corner. His Worship the Mayor will interview the mayors of the suburban municipalities on the Flat to-day in reference to the question.

The alarm of fire given at 9 o'clock last evening was caused by the chimney of a dwelling-house in Scotland street catching fire. No damage was done.

The Railway Department have decided to issue cheap excursion tickets for Oamaru on Saturday by the express train, available for return by a train which leaves Oamaru at 5.40 p.m. The fares are 7s 6d first class and 5s second class. A number of changes haye been made in the running of some of the ordinary trains during the Easter holidays, and the Dunedin and Port Chalmers goods sheds will be closed on Good Friday and Easter Monday.

During the Easter holidays the Union Steam Ship Company, with their usual enterprise, have decided to give the Dunedin public an opportunity of witnessing the military and naval manoeuvres at Oamaru on Saturday, the 24th, and Monday, the 26th inst., by running excursions at very low rates on both these days. The Hawea, whose seagoing qualities are well known, has been selected for the purpose, and will leave Rattray street wharf at S a.m., arriving at Oamaru about noon, and returning to Dunedin wharf the same night. At Oamaru the excursionists will be in the most favourable position for sightseeing, as the wharf will be the centre of operations. On Bloiulay the review.will take place, so that the sightseers' time will be fully occupied. The fare has been fixed at the very reasonable sum of sa, and with fine weather there is no reason to doubt that the excursion will be as successful as that made by the Tekapo on New Year last, which is according high praise indeed.

In the Gazette of April 15 is published the classification of land in the Waimea Plains railway district, and the proportion of liability to rate such land is entitled to pay.

The following licensing committees in Otago are appointed by his Excellency the Governor :— Mornington—Messrs Thomas Brown, Thomas Baird, John Gideon Fraser, David Leighton Chapman, and John Mitchell; Arrow Messrs Stewart Augelo, Borthwick Robert Baird' Henry Donaldson, Archibald H. Douglas, J.P., and George Heller; Queenstown, Kingston, and Greenstone—Messrs Frederick Evans, Francis M'Bride, Daniel M'Bride, John M'Donald, and Edward Monson.

The Tuapeka and Palmersfcon Rifles are gazetted as country corps.

Mrs Garner, who had her left arm broken and some of her front tooth knocked out through falling on a heap oE stones left in Hanover street last March, seeks to recover the sum of £50 as damages from the City Council. The claim has been referred to the Works Committee. The writ for the Sydonham seat, vacant by the resignation of Mr White, has been issued, and is returnable before May 26. The Lakes District Acclimatisation Society starts the year with a credit balance in the bank. During the past year £81 8s 3d was realised from the sale of ova, and £220 5s from netting licenses. Dr Douglas was elected president, Mr L. Hotop vice-president, Captain Wing hon. treasurer, and Mr H. N. Firth secretary.

Mr William Langlands has resigned his appointment as trustee of the Dunedin Savings Bank. Sir Julius Vogel was to have addressed the citizens of 'Wellington this evening, but owing to a severe cold has postponed delivering the address till Saturday night.

The last Gazette contains proclamations setting apart lands in Otago (principally in Bluckstone and Himiraockside districts), for settlement under perpetual lease conditions and as small grazing runs. Block I, Blackstone, is set apart as a village settlement, and the conditions are given in an Order-in-Council.

The annual soiree in connection with the St Leonards Presbyterian Church was held on Friday evening, when there was a crowded attendance. Tea was served in the old schoolroom by Mesdames Wise, Fish, Bain, M'Kenzie, Bennett, Hall, M'Dowall, M'Mulleu, and Misses Craig, 'Wise, and Walker, everything being provided in first-class style. Alter tea an adjournment was made to the new schoolroom, which could not nearly accommodate the audience. Addresses were delivered by Revs. Dr Salmond, R. K. M. Sutherland, Johnston, and Kelly; and the Ravensbourne choir, under the leadership of Mr J. L. Ferguson, discoursed some excellent music. Some of the speakers expressed the hope that in a short time the St. Leonards congreI gation would be in possession of a church.

A man named William M'Cane has been reported to the police at Orepuki as missing, having left the Waiau diggings five weeks ago with some others. His companions reached Orepuki; but M'Oane, who had left them to proceed to Olifden station, has not turned up yet, and it is supposed he has been lost in the bush. Search is being made for the missing man. ■

At a meeting of the Ravensbourne School

Committee held lust night, the Chairman reported that when intimating to the Education Board the resignation of Miss Gibson, who had

been appointed to Albany street School, he

stated he understood the school was now entitled to a male assistant, and if so, the Committee would prefer one. When lie saw th.i

advertisement for a female assistant ho wrote

asking that it should be withdrawn until the meeting of the Board. As no reply had been received to the chairman's letters, the following resolution was proposed and carried :—" That

the clerk write to the secretary of the Educa-

tion Board asking if the chairman's two letters vemale assistant had been laid before the Board, and what decision the Board had come to." The Committee deferred consideration of the certificates of female candidates ■ for the vacancy

pending a reply.

At the Mcrnington Presbyterian Church on Sunday last the Rev. H. E. Michie conducted the service, and preached his farewell discourses. In the forenoon the church was quite full, and in the evening it was uncomfortably crowded. At both services large numbers belonging to other churches—Wesleyans, Baptists, Episcopalians, Independents, and Roman Catholicstestified by their presence the universal respect in which the late pastor of the Presbyterian Church is held amongst the residents. Mr and Mrs Michie intend leaving for Great Britain in about 10 days.

Bishop Nevill at St. Luke's, Oamaru, on Sunday ordained Mr Blaithwyte to the order of deacon, who will labour for the present among the Maoris about Waikouaiti. In the afternoon Bishop Nevill proceeded to Maheno, where he consecrated the new church there, capable cf seating about 100 persons. The building was presented to the bishop without legal encumbrance by the vestrymen, and dedicated to St. Andrew. The North Otago Times states that this makes the twelfth which the Rev. Mr Cruden has been instrumental in establishing.

Mr Leesmith, as delegate from the Otago Farmers' League, addressed a meeting of some 20 farmers in the Ch'ristchurch Corn Exchange on Saturday afternoon, and explained the purpose for which the League had been formed. He concluded by urging united action on the part of the farmers as the only possible way to make their weight felt and obtain justice in the coming Parliament from the great monetary power which, he held, was the governing power in New Zealand. Those present passed a vote of thanks to Mr Leesmith for his address.

A man named W. G. Sraoothy was sentenced last week, by Mr J. S. Hicksou, R.M. at Queenstown, to three months' imprisonment in Invercargill Gaol for obtaining money on a valueless cheque from Mr;o!Kane,hotelkeeper,Frankton. Smoothy informed Mr O'Kane when drawing the cheque that, he had £80' in the bank at Queenstown. Accused, in answer to the Bench, made a statement that he was subjected to periodical fits of madness during the last five years, and whilst in that condition was not responsible for his actions. He was certain that at the time the cheque was given he was not responsible for his actions. He knew nothing about giving the cheque, and therefore could not knowingly have done so.

Referring to the cablegram in our yesterday's issue stating that Greece demanded the carrying out of the Berlin Treaty, the condition referred to is probably that clause by which Epirus (including Janina and Metzovo) was awarded to Greece. Epirus adds nothing to the strength of Turkey, but is rather an expensive possession, causing constant trouble. It has a population of over 370,000 Greek Christians, and the small minority of Mussulmans are, for the most part, Greeks also by race and language. Janina is uot a military stronghold, for its population of 105,000 Greeks would make it almost impossible to hold the place even by terrific massacres, if there were a serious insurrection in the province. From a merely political and military point of view, the Turks would be stronger if they withdrew eastward of a line traced between Konitza and Goritza, where the Mussulman populations are thicker, and ceded the territory west of this line, and including the coast from Prevesa to the Ergent River, which forms the Albanian frontier to Greece. Avlona, now useless in Turkish hands, might in time, under Greek rule, aided by foreign capital, become one of the finest ports in Europe. In fact, the cession of Epirus would be so great a boon to Greece that, if made without war, but by diplomatic arrangement, it might be the means of converting Greece into an ally of the Porte, and securing peace in the East for a long time to come.

The Age says:—"There are no fewer than five bank officials under durance for peculation of the funds in their charge—namely, the manager of the Commercial Bank of South Australia, the manager of the branch of the same institution at Yankalilla, the manager of the branch Bank of New Zealand at Sydney, the accountant of the Portland branch of the Union Bank, Victoria, and the teller of the City of Melbourne Bank. All these men occupied good positions and were in receipt of good salaries, and yet they are charged with having carried on a series of systematic robberies, extending in some cases over two years, and varying in amounts from £15,000 to £350."

The partisans of women's rights (says the Home News of February 26) have scored a victory during the past week, and Mr Courtney's Female Suffrage Bill has been read a second time in the House of Commons. Nearly 300 of the successful candidates at the general election declared themselves in favour of the movement, and consequently it may now be regarded as having come at least within the range of practical politics. If by any chance the House of Commons passes a bill giving the franchise to women, it is very doubtful if it would be rejected by the House of Lords. Lord Beaconsiield was in favour of such a measure, and voted more than once in favour of one before he was raised to the peerage. How many Conservative peers would follow his example it is impossible to say; but that a majority would do so is by no means out of the question.

The Loudou correspondent of the Sydney Morning Herald opened his letter of February 18 in the following depressing strain : —" We live in stirring times. Current history is more interesting than even the popular fiction of the day. The novelist is ' not in it' with the news, paper. The romance of real life as exemplified and illustrated by the daily reporter is far more startling than the inventions of Conway, Haggard, or Miss Braddou. Apart from the more serious affairs of Ireland, Greece, trade riots, and the doings of Mr Gladstone, the legal and social records of the day are sufficiently exciting to satisfy the most jaded, and, I regret to say, the most depraved appetite. People have not even time to prophesy. There is a general feeling that we are drifting into the chaotic regions of revolution; but when the tocsin will sound nobody knows or cares. The attitude of public opinion is a waiting and wondering attitude. Everybody feels that with such collapses of political and social morality, such nepotism and time-serving in high places as are paraded daily in the public prints, ' something terrible must happen.' We are like a people who have had serious warning of earthquake and are momentarily expecting the master shock. Perhaps we shall escape after all. We have a marvellous aptitude for getting through our difficulties."

The insurance offices will be closea on Friday, Saturday, and Monday next.

Messrs Wright, Stephenson, and Co. will not hold their usual horse sale on Saturday, on account of the Easter holidays.

Messrs Donald Keid and Co. will sell bullocks at Burnsidc to-morrow.

Nominations for the Corstorphine and Green Island subdivisions of the Suburban Hoad district will be received till the 30th inst. '

Miss Freeman advertises that the second term of her morning classes at Girton College commences on Ist May next.

Mr Clifford Christie will sell sheep and cattle at Balclutha on Friday. The second quarter of the Otago Boys' and Girls' High Schools begins on the 27th inst.

Society will be held to-morrow afternoon.

Messrs Morrison and Mitchell will hold a sale of drapery and groceries to-day. Messrs Arbuekle. Itobertson, and Co. will sell fat and store bullocks at Stirling on the 30th inst. Nominations for the Walton, Brighton, and Kuri subdivisions of the Seaside fload district will be received till the 30th inst.

Working classes have no right to demand >york from Government.. There must first l>° legislation to that effect. There is no panic. There are no famine prices for the necessaries of life. There i? nothing to warrant the Government stepping in and competing with the "tiller of the soil." I* our

farmers were doing well there would be no depression. But nothing but depression must result when the prici! of labour and the price of produce are so entirely out of harmony. How can our farmers and gra/.u-re pay current rate oC wages when A. Dobxwell sells their best Mutton and Beet from Id per lb ? The only place where Sausages are made clean, wholesome, and in large quantities.—[Advt.] Having led my energetic friend into a better mode of thought, I would advise working men in every department of labour and productive enterprise to combine to maintain a fair rate of pay, as the competition between capitalists tend.) to a reduction in wages. The employment of boys and girls in the place of men should be discouraged and the number of apprentices limited. Hudson's Cocoa has worked, its way into favour because it is 50 per cent, better value than any imported. When once used it is preferred to all others, and numerous testimonials as to its excellence have I already been received.—[Advt.]

The Grand Hotel, Dunedin.—During the winter and spring months a few permanent guests will be accommodated at reduced- rates. Terms according to location of rooms. The Hotel is delightfully comfortable in winter, being entirely tree from draughts, whilst the luxury of the hot spray and hot shower baths is not to be found in any other hotel in tlte

Colony. Special arrangements" v. ill b-: made wll'n any country family desirous to spend the winter in Dunedin.—[Advt.l Fok the Bull Times.—Wonderful Bargains: New Cur! Cloth Jackets (perfect fitting), 12s (id, 14s 6ii; Astrakhan Trimmings, leather Trimmings. 4?il; rich quality. IOJd ; heavy American Calicoes, ?A<\ " Five-ply Fingering Wools; parties' Knitted Wool Skirls, :ts (id ; Mack Quilted Skirts. 3s 6d. 3s lid. Try onrMectric Waterproofs. 5s -d.Bs llil; splendid Costume 'J.'weeds, «*d; rich Plushes; lovely Silks. Js tfd. Best value in the city. Try the London Dressmaking. 12s fid.—Prick and Butuiii), Managers.—[Advt.]

To m".et the times, G. M. Dermkp. has reduced the price, of his popular Rheumatic Itemvdies to 3s.— [Advt.J

Doubtless many of our readers are unaware Uiat ! in these times of depression and se.ireif.y of ready money Scotch and Bradford manufactures nfe thrown «v f,he market at ruinous prices. For instance. Fyfe and Urnning are offering in dress goods a stock of Grandholm dress tweeds in a choice assortment, of colours, 4fd yard; also, 150 pieces heavy Melton tweeds at B}d—worth more money in London. Country orders carefully executed and sent on at once.—Fyke axd Cuming, direct importers, 92 and 94 George street.—[Advt.] The s.s. Coptic lias just arrived with Carter ash Co. s becond Winter Shipment. Magnificent lot of Flannels, direct from ttiepremier Rochdale mill, from 6jd yard. Heavy stack of Yorkshire Blankets from 6a lid, 8s lid, 10s lid up to 35s pair. Try Cartkr and Co. for Blankets—cheapest in the Colony. Stocks of Shirtings, Plaidings, and nil Winter Goods at the lowest possible prices. Novelties in Millinery, Mantles, Ulsters, Dress Materials opening up to-day. New Gloves, new Umbrellas, new Hosiery, Lace, &c. Please note address: Carter axd Co., the Cheapest Dinners and Clothiers in the Colony.—[Advt ]

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Bibliographic details

The Otago Daily Times. TUESDAY, APRIL 20, 1886., Otago Daily Times, Issue 7542, 20 April 1886

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The Otago Daily Times. TUESDAY, APRIL 20, 1886. Otago Daily Times, Issue 7542, 20 April 1886

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