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SHEARERS’ DEMANDS. The Australian Workers’ Union has taken preliminary steps to proceed against the Pastoralists’ Union and other employers in the Federal Arbitration Court. Their claim, while demanding increased rates of wages, also sets out that the shearers shall be paid for lost time ; that work shall cease at noon on Saturdays, that the employers should honour orders issued by the A.W.A., and payment for overtime under stated conditions. The increased rates of pay claimed are 25s per 100 for N.S.W., 22s 6d for Victoria, 25s for Queensland, and up to 22s Gd for portions of South Australia. Pastoralists’ organisations in each of the States have been cited as respondents, ais well as two banking corporations doing business in New South Wales. TASMAN*AN APPLE SEASON, 1907. Arrangements for the shipment to England and Germany of this sea- 1 son’s apples, and, in lesser degree, pears are now practically complete. Altogether twenty-one steamers will load at Hobart, and the total shipments will probably exceed half a illion cases. The largest qugntity previously exported to the United Kingdom was in 1904, when the shipments amounted to 575,000 cases Last year only 262,000 cases were sent, owing to the short crop, fourteen steamers having- called. A now departure in this season’s exports will bo the direct shipments to Germany. Messrs H. Jones and Co and W. I). Peacock and Co. having arranged for the steamers Sol ingen and Oberhausen, belonging to the German Australian line', to take 10,000 cases each for discharge at Antwerp and Hamburg. The freight will be 3s o|d per case, representing a saving of from 9d to 10d per case in the cost of transhipment from London. The avoidance of transhipment is, of course, a decided advantage in itself. On an average the freight on the whole shipments will bo equal to a reduction of about 2d per case on la»t year’s. A NARROW ESCAPE. Mr William Le Queux, the novelist, who numbers among his personal friends many Russian terrorists and members of the secret police, relates the following incident :

“I was in an obscure town in Poland, riot very long ago, in search of material for a novel in which I intended to describe Russia under the Red Terror. Among other people with whom I became acquainted was a workman and his family who were known to be ardent revolutionists, for the man had taken a leading Part in. the rising in Moscow only a few weeks before. He was just the very man I wanted to describe in my book —a typical Russian revolutionist, while his brother, a clock-maker, who lived with him, was, no doubt, a maker of the many bombs that had been lately used with such success. I therefore cultivated their acquaintance, drank vodka with them, and entertained them several times at a small restaurant.

“All was going happily, until one day the local chief of police sent for ine. He knew me, because a fortnight previously I had presented my passport together with another more important paper of identification. “ T think, m’sieur,’ said the polite official, after he had greeted ine, ‘that to-night you had better get across the frontier into Germany.’ “Naturally I inquired-the reason. “ 'Well,' was his calm reply, ' one of our secret agents who is watching your very amiable friends, has this morning reported that they suspect you to be an agent of our secret police, a nd that they have resolved to at once put an enS to your existence. “That evening I left Poland, for I had committed the fatal error of being a trifle too inquisitive.'’

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Bibliographic details

Miscellaneous, Southern Cross, Volume 14, Issue 51, 16 March 1907

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Miscellaneous Southern Cross, Volume 14, Issue 51, 16 March 1907

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