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THE COLONIST.

NELSON, TUESDAY, JANUARY 22, 1861

It will be remembered that some short time since a person named Goodrich resided for a little time in our city, and that his sojourn was interrupted by a legal process, which took him back to the place whence he came, to render some account of transactions which were variously denominated here, from forgery down to no crime at all. A glimpse at Canterbury papeis throws some light upon the matter, as it appears that on the 24th ultimo, W. W. Goodrich was charged by G. ]). Lockhait, at the Resident Magistrate's Court, with having obtained goods under false pretences. Lockhart had met Goodrich at Beale's accommodation house, thirty miles from Dunedin, and had sold him a horse for £52 10s., for which prisoner gave a cheque on the Dunedin Branch of the Union Bank. Upon reaching Christchurch, Lockhart pre-

sented the cheque to that branch establishment, the manager of which expressed doubts of funds being at the Otago bank for prisoner's account, and subsequent presentation confirmed those doubt? — the cheque was dishonored—there were 'no funds.' The evidence in this case was not considered sufficient to send it to a jury. A second charge of the same kind was then preferred against the prisoner by Robert Hoseason, late of Dunedin. He had met Goodrich at Timaru, and sold him a horse (less than three weeks after the first purchase !) named Whalebone, for which the prisoner paid him £2 10s. cash and a cheque for £35 on the Union Bank, Christchurch, which witness afterwards passed away to Mr. Barnes, mail contractor at the river Selwyn, who, upon presentation, was told there were 'no effects.' Mr. Palmer, the manager of the bank, deposed that the prisoner never had an open account at that branch ! The prisoner was then committed for trial at the ensuing sittings of the Supreme Court; and another charge of a similar nature with respect to a £65 cheque was foreshadowed, and only required evidence which would have to be obtained from some distance. But the practice which we would remark i upon particularly does not end with this; for the nextcase was acharge ofstrongsimilitude against Hoseason the prosecutor in the last; inasmuch that if we substitute two jars of Scotch ale for the horse, and a cheque for £3 instead of £35, the prosecutor in the former case appears in this to stand very much in the position of that defendant. The cheque however was not drawn on any particular branch, but was an engraved cheque that had been used at Lyttelton, and was dated at that place. The prisoner had no account at either place. Two more similar charges were brought against this prisoner, who was also committed for trial. The state of commercial morality where such wholesale instances of groun.i for prosecution are found, can be better imagined than described; especially where of the two charges already brought against Goodrich, the only one that led to a committal was prosecuted by a man who immediately after shared a similar fate for a similar offence! Truly this unhealthy state of things with regard to monetary relations requires to be counteracted or amended. The commercial faith that leads one man to give up the horse he is riding for a worthless piece of paper, or another man to supply drink or money for no better equivalent, would show a want of some better guarantee of security from chicanery than appears to exist, some more reliant confidence of that integrity which is the fundamental principle of trade, than such instances are likely to create. Whether such improvement is to be arrived at by more stringent laws, or by some rule of the banking establishment, through which the frauds are attempted, is a subject for consideration; but these instances will show how necessary it is that all efforts should be made to maintain that principle of good faith by which the system of 'translerof lodgments' by cheques (a means the most rapid and convenient) is accomplished, unconnected with a suspicion or doubt that is not amply secured and provided for. These occurrences however can be paralleled in other provinces ofNew Zealand besides that of Canterbury; and it is because we hear of transactions of very similar hue much nearer home that we can truly enter into a sympathetic denunciation of such disgraces to any business-like and commercial - integrityloving body of citizens. We have heard of instances in which a receipt has been obtained upon a quietly post-dated cheque, or importunate creditors got rid of by a cheque dated on a closed bank day, and for which there were no effects when it was open ! and various other contemptible tricks that, for the sake of common sense and patience, should involve something more serious than simple hoaxing is visited with generally. To such blots to business reputation and commercial credit we would recommend the old country as a more fitting, or at least a more usual field : more fitting because of the more rapid punishment that follows such paltry, deeds; and more usual because of the necessitous state that pievails, in contradistinction to the ease of colonial existence in all things. Givers of notes of hand, bills, &c, to fall due on inaccessible dates, would then have a chanca of swelling their numbers with equally shallow and disreputable companions with j a colonial experience, to join them in their j disgraceful or nefarious transactions.

By the courtesy of Captain Wheeler, of the Gazelle, from Newcastle, we are in possession of Sydney papers to the 29th ultimo, extracts from which will be found in another column. The Gazelle has taken nineteen days on her passage. She brings 260 tons of coal for the I.R.M.C, and a case of drugs; and reports having seen, on the seventh day out, a barque bound for a New Zealand port, but could not ascertain her name. The Gazelle for the first 600 miles had south-east, succeeded by variable, winds. The Clarendon sailed from Newcastle for Port Cooper on the same day, and the Margery Rosiner was to sail next day for Wellington. No news of the missing William Alfred. The Airedale was to leave Sydney for Nelson on the 16th instant. Captain Wheeler was on board the new steamer Victory (1.R.M.C.) on her trial trip to Watson's Bay, and speaks very highly of her qualities for speed and. accommodation, An account of this trip will be found in our shipping intelligence. The brig Yarrow, John A. Scott, arrived at Newcastle from Lyttelton, after a quick passage of thirteen days.

Flour.—The latest Melbourne quotations for this article, as stated in the telegraphic communication of the Sydney Empire of the 29th ultimo, are £17 IQd. to <£JB, and in goad demand.

The Elections.—By advertisement it will be seen that the Collingwood nomination of candidates will take place on the 31st instant, and the election, if necessary, on the 4th of February: the polling places being the Court-house, the Schoolhouse, Motupipi, and Mr. G. Taylor's house, Takaka. The YVaimea electors are asked to meet Mr. Saunders, at the Forest Inn, on Thursday next, the 24th instant, at halt-past seven o'clock : any other candidates are invited to attend, if so desirous, in ofder to economise the time of the electors at this busy period of the year., Mn Kclling met a portion of the buburban constituency at Stoke on Friday, at which meeting a resolution,wa9 passed to the effect 'that there was no real difference in the political opinions of Mr. Kelling and Mr. Wemyss,' (except on the point of extravagant expenditure), and therefore a contest between them was to be regretted, and that he ought to be released of his promise to represent the Suburbs. Mr. Barnicoat was sorry that Mr. Kelling had expected a requisition, and believed that if he were to come forward now he would be elected.

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Bibliographic details

THE COLONIST., Colonist, Volume IV, Issue 340, 22 January 1861

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1,317

THE COLONIST. Colonist, Volume IV, Issue 340, 22 January 1861

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