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THE COLONIST. NELSON, TUESDAY, AUGUST 24, 1869. THE FARCE OF FORTIFICATION., The Colonist, Volume XII, Issue 1243, 24 August 1869
THE COLONIST. NELSON, TUESDAY, AUGUST 24, 1869. THE FARCE OF FORTIFICATION.
If Colonel Whitmore can no longer exercise his strategy in the field, he has still opportunity of doing so in the legislative halls of the Colony. The following extracts from an account of the proceedings of the Legislative Council will show how the inventive genius of the ex-commander 'finds scope for its exercise:— coast defences. The hon. Colonel Whitmore asked the hon. the Colonial Secretary, whether Government has it in contemplation to place the chief ports of the Colony in a state of defence, by means of batteries suitably placed, and armed with a hw pieces of heavy ordnance of an improved description. And if co, whether steps are likely to be taken without delay to procure such guns in England for that purpose. Tbe hon. Mr. Gisborne said the Government fully recognised the importance of the question. He had no doubt tbat in consequence of the termination of the Abyssinian war there were some handy armaments and weapons of war that could be got for very little, perhaps even gratuitously, -which would be of great service in New Zealand, both as regarded internal as well as external defence. defences of harbors. The hon. Colonel Whitmore moved for a select committee to consider and report upon the subject of the defences of tlie harbors and commerce of the Colony; to consist of tbe hon. the Speaker, tho linn. Major Richmond, C.B , the hon. Colonel Kenny, tlie hon. Mr. Nurse, the lion. Captain Baillie, the linn, Mr. Johnson, and the mover, with power to call for persons and papers; report to be brought up in fourteen days. Agreed to. The subjects of which these two notices treat are intimately allied, and maybe taken as one. What the object of this defence arrangement is it is not easy to perceive; aud, unfortunately, the journal from which we make the quotations is sileut as to the arguments which Colonel Whitmore employed. Perhaps Hansard may be more explicit. Meanwhile we may offer a tolerably near supposition as to the line of reasoning he would pursue. The subject is not a new one * and no doubt the same old ground will be traversed as was gone over when it last attracted legislative attention. Most probably Colonel Whitmore would point to the defenceless condition of our coasts and harbors, and how easily our settlements and coast towns could become a prey to American or Russian or Prenc-h vessels of war in the event of Great Britain becoming entangled in a war with any of these powers. So no doubt they might: but how much better off would the distantly separated set- I tlements of New Zealand be supposing ' batteries " were suitably placed," and by this means." the Colony placed in the state j of defence," contemplated by Colonel Whitmore ? Against what would they be defended ? Or supposing either Am erics, Russia, or Prance were at war with the Mother Country, are we to be understood to have a standing force, and sufficient batteries to enable us to beat off from every one of our towns any powerful cruisers of the Pacific fleet, which any of these nations might, if they chose, send on a hostile visit to destroy the batteries and fortifications of the New Zealand ports ? We hope the Government will do nothing so foolish as entertain the idea of fortifying our harbors against a possible belligerent enemy of England. The genius of modern warfare fe opposed to wanton attacks on unfortified i and peaceful towns ; and, although, while the law of nations allows of merchant ships belonging to a belligerent being captured at sea, our gold aud wool ships would be imperilled; still, it is entirely against the 'rules of modem warfare to attack peaceable unfortified towns, aud we believe that do European nation, nor the United States, if at war with England to-morrow, would send a fleet to ravish and harry the undefended ports of the Australian Colonies. In tbe Russian war it is true that the British fleet attacked Petropaulo vski, a far-off dependency of Russia, on the Amoor i*iver ; but it was a highly fortified post, and there were ships of war lying in the port. We attacked Bomarsund, the Aland Islands, Sveaborg, and other ports in the Baltic and White Seas; but they were all strongly fortified, and bristled with cannon. Unfortified aud defenceless cities and ports were not attacked. To fortify the ports of New Zealand would be simply to invite attack, and to give to England 3 enemy an excellent excuse for bombarding our Colonial towns; an excuse they would not fail to use. They would be destroying warlike property. Has the gallant colonel attempted to count the cost of fortifying, so as to place our ports in a suitable state of defence* We doubt it. In plain terms, it is uttewy beyond our means/ There are eight or w8
jjorts tbat would require defensive works, and although sometenthousandpoundswerespent on each, a couple of cruisers, say like our Brisk and Challenger, with tbeir.great guns, oould, in a fortnight's time, silence every bittery, and set every one of the towns in flames in detail. The idea of fortifying New Zealand is one of the most foolish ideas that ever entered into the mind of an unpractical man. New Zealand's best defence is being undefended. Her batteries would but invite attack, they1 would be enormously costly, and would sink for ever much money in the formation, and cause an auuual expenditure for maintenance and supervision, while, on the outbreak of a war between England and any other of the leading powers, a visit from tbe foe would, despite fortifications, place every town in the Colony at the mercy ofthe enemy's fleet. Better keep our money, and remain safe and " unfortificationed." Serious Accident.—Yesterday, a painful accident occurred on board the Murray. One of tbe seamen, whose name we have not heard, was on the plank tending the coal-basket, (the steamer was discharging Grey coal on the Commercial Wharf), when from some cause, —it is said tbe winch chain caught it — tlie plank, upon which the man stood, was thrown down and the man fell a distance of some ten feet down upon the steam winch, smashing the bone of one of I'is legs, just below the knee, into fragments, Mr. Kirby, agent for the vessel, promptly conveyed the sufferer to the Hospital, where several bone splinters have been extracted. It is feared that amputation of the limb will have to be performed. Telegraphic Charges.—Various newspapers are rejoicing at the thought that they will get press telegrams for next to nothing, or at the rate of about 1000 words for lis 6d. Such is the tariff as notified n a recent Gazette, which states that the first ten words of a press telegram shall be Is. Gd., and every other fifty, or part of fifty, 6d. There is, however, a misprint in the Gazette, and the public scale bill sent to the Telegraph Office shows another sight, the fifty appearing there as ten, so that the press rate is for the first ten words, ls 6d; for every other ten or part of ten, 6d ; which gives altogether a different result as the price of 1000 words. Bachelder's Diorama. —The first display of Bachelder's Diorama of the American Avar took place at the Oddfellows' Hall last night, ancl was a decided success. Tho pictures are all, without exception, very effectively painted, and some of them are really excellent. Richmond and Port Sumter, and New York Broadway, being the most deserving of praise. This entertainment i 9 ono that we can sincerely recommend. It not only gratifies as a series of vivid pictures, but it also materially assists in better understanding the various phases which characterised one of the greatest wars the world ever witnessed. An entertainment of this description is one eminently calculated to give the juvenile mind an understanding of this great civil war; and it comes in a form which far surpasses any amount of figures and letter-press. The mechanical portion of the exhibition was a tremendous success. Itpourtrayedthe naval engagement between the Kearsage and Alabama, the firing and the contest generally, wherein, after innumerable (hots, the masts of the latter are seen to go by the board, and she ultimately sinks benaath the waves in presence of her victorious foe. Altogether, the performance is one that should be patronised; its matter ia without reproach ; it is the most artistic thing of the kind ever exhibited here; the music of Messrs. Poore and Holcombe is good and inspiriting, and the lecturer, Mr. Thompson, is a graphic delineator with the merit of an absence of all prosiness. With "such satisfactory elements as these, the exhibition should have a successful career in Nelson. TnE gold escort from Charleston ancl Brighton, took to Westport, on August 18th, 6248 ounces; the New South Wales Bank reserving their parcel of gold for the next escort. Robbery at Westport.—At Westport District Court, a woman named Alice M'Farlane, has been sentenced to eighteen months' imprisonment for stealing £60 or £80 from Murtagh Collins, packer. Quartz Reef in Wellington.—A telegram states that specimens, declared by Dr. Hector to be richly impregnated with gold, have been taken out of a reef near Wellington. The body of a mau, name unknown, (but supposed to be a brickmaker, who formerly lived in Nelson) has been found on the north beach at Westport. At the inquest the jury brought in tho following verdict: —" That the deceased was found on the beach dead, but there was not sufficient evidence to show the cause of death." The Westport Bigamy Case.—We learn that Thomas Braithwaite has been committed at Christchurch, (where he had been taken owing to the severe illness of a witness) to take bis trial on the charge of ' bigamy at the next sittings of the Supreme Court at Nelson. This was first heard at Westport, and reported at the time in our columns. Attempted Suicide at Wellington.—The Independent of August 14, states : —"An attempt at selfdistruction was made yesterday morning by a man nimed Johston. The means taken to ensure selfdisfruction by the unfortunate man were most Singular. It appears that he poured about a pound of gunpowder into an ordinary gun canister, which he placed inside of an oil-can, over which he held his head. From the appearance of a linen collar which he had on, the strength of the explosion must have struck him on and under the left jaw, as that corner of the collar which he had on at the time was very much burnt on the left side, the corner being quite '• gone. The wretched man is not so seriously injured as might have been imagined under the circumstances, and is progressing favorably." The Price of a Lark. —At the Police Court, Wellington, on August 10, a seaman of H.M S. Challenger was charged with the malicious destruction of property in the Crown and Anchor Hotel. James Prosser, the proprietor, said that the prisoner came into the hotel in a state of intoxication, and lolled against the counter. Jack suddenly became musical, and trolled—" The world goes round and round," at the same time sweeping a number of glasses off the counter. The next line of the song— " But its troubles I defy"—was equally fatal to the " cuts" and " wines," for down went another detachment ; and before anyone could interpose, the third line (containing something about an old grey mare) came like a climax, for Jack that time made a clean sweep of the remaining crystals. —Sam Kennedy, the barman at the hotel, estimated the damage at £4 19s. and handed in a bill containing the following items: — 4 doz. cut tumblers at 14s. ... £2 16 O 3 „ wines at 9s 17 0 2 cut decanters at 8s ' 0 16 0 £4 19 0 His Worship ordered that prisoner be sent on board bis ship, and that the facts of the case be represented to his commanding officer,' who, he had no doubt, would advance the money for prisoner, and afterwards stop it out of his pay. The Case of Selling Arms and Ammunition to the Natives. —On 10th of August, Nathaniel Dorrington was arraigned at Auckland Police Court for breaohes of the Arms Act. Three charges were preferred against the prisoner, namely, for having sold a gun in April last, for having sold three guns in May, and twenty-three canisters of powder in July, without having a license. He was committed to take his trial at.the Supreme Court, on three distinct charges of misdemeanour. Mr. Hesketh asked that the Bench would allow prisoner to be admitted to bail. The Magistrate observed tbat the charges were very serious ones, the crime of selling arms to rebel natives being next to high treason, and if bail were allowed it must be in such amount as would ensure prisoner's due appearance. The Court consented to t'ke bail in three sureties of £500 for each offence that Dorrington was charged with.—The three native*, Purah, Mohi, and Rihari, who were lately captured' while trying to convey arms and ammunition to the Waikato, were also committed for trial.
Lapse of the Nelson and Marlborough Union Bill. —On Thursday last, Mr. Vogel allowed the Nelson and Marlborough Union Bill to lap.c, stating that the Government, finding tbe union distasteful to both Provinces, intended to give Marlborough another chance, by returning to it, monthly, the colonial half of its Customs' revenue for the current year. Mr. Locket's house, Victoria Avenue, Wanganui, has been destroyed by fire, involving a loss of £150 to the owner.
The Late Sticking-up Case at Cobden. — George Lowe and John Ogden, who were recently committed at Cobden on a charge of robbing George Davis, nearßrunnerton, on the 20th June last, were fripd before the District Court at Westport on the 17th August, and found not guilty. A Stock Exchange has recently been established in Auckland. At a meeting of gentlemen interested in tho matter, it was resolved that the Beale of charges should be 5 per cent, up to £100 ; to £500 2i per cent.; £1000, 1| per cent., and documentary evidence of the right to sell must be produced at tbe sale.
An Exemplary Justice of the Peace.—The Otago Daily Times has the following paragraph :— " A Justice of the Peace in the Mataura district is reported to have, said, when passing j dgment on a well-known settler, who was prosecuted by a neighbor for sheep-worrying by his dog :—' You deserve to be horse-whipped, and I'm d d sorry I cannot give you eighty lashes.' " Female Swags-" men."—Tt is stated by a Tokomairiro paper that two " young ladies" were observed a few dnys ago on their way to the Waikaka River Diggings', "swagging it with heavy loads on their backs ir. true colonial style."
Hale-Breds for Boiling Down.—The Hawke's YBay Herald says :—" Two hundred half-bred sheep, the property of Mr. R. Stokes, havii g been lately boiled clown as an experiment, were found to yield from 281bs. to 301bs. tallow each—the weight of the sheep averaging about 521bs. The Merino shep yet boiled clown have not produced more than l7lbs. of tallow, the weight being 5011)3."' Tito"Kowaru. —By latest advices our old friend Tito has returned to Ngatimaru, on the banks of the Waitotara river, with sixty of his own followers. Shortly after his arrival there he was joined by sixty of the 'Wanganui up-river Hnuhaus, and that appears now to be the strength of his force. He is waiting without any definite object to see what may turn v:p. Wanganui Times, August 19.
Postal Subsidies.—Mr. Macandrew has given notice of the following resolutions:—l. That in _ the opinion of the committee it is inexpedient to continue the steam postal subsidies, either inter-provincial or int.-r-colonial, after the expiration of the existing contracts. 2. That the Government be requested to advertise for tenders for monthly steam servi.es between San Francisco and New Zealand, lv the event of their receiving suitable offers for the performance of such service within £20,000 i*er annum, the Government is hereby empowered to close with the offer for such term of years as they may see fit, in which case the contribution of this Colony towards the Suez line to be discontinued.
Loan for Public Works in Otago.—The Otago Loan Bill, authorising the raising of £50,000 on security of the pastoral rents, was introduced by message from the Governor. The resolution was passed last Thursday afternoon, after a lons ch'bnte, by a majority of 27 to 18. Nearly all the speakers seemed to be divided between a feeling that Otago, with its large revenue, was fairly pit titled to the required permission, and an unwillingness to re-open the question of allowing provincial loans, except as apart. of some comprehensive well-digested .scheme for the execution of public works throughout the Colony.
Glorious Dividends ! —The New Zealand Herald of Au if nst 6, says :—"The shareholders in the Long Drive°Claim will draw another dividend of £3 per pcrip to-day. This is the fourth dividend paid in less thau t*o months, the four amounting to a sum of £15 per scrip; the total sum thus paid being £18,000. The claim is reported to be fully equal in appearance to what it was a month ago. The leaders have been tapped at a low level, and are found equally as rich as they are above."
The London correspondent of the Wellington Independent says:—" Tho flight, as lam informed, of a certain Mr. T , a sheepfarmer of the Middle Island, caused a sensation some time back to those whom he had honored with his custom. He was reported to be in Portugal, but this appears to havo been a ruse. It is now stated that he is at present in River Plate, South America. It is said also that he borrowed £5000 on his run of a London firm, and decamped with it. This has seriously damaged tlie prospects of New Zealand landholders who wished to borrow in London at six or eight p3i* cent, on mortgage of their estates in your Colony. [The levanter is Mr. Joseph Dresser Tetley, who had the appearance of being one of the mi st polite and polished gentlemen in New Zealand.] A man named David Manning, who was proceeding to his residence in Nelson-street, Auckland, at eleven o'clock on the. night of tho 28th ullimo^ observed what he supposed to be a bundle of clothing, but which on nearer inspection proved to be the body of an infant. The spot at which the body was found ia on the footpath at the intersection of Victoria ancl Nelson-street (commonly called Bond's Corner). The body, on being divested of a large wrapping of caiico, which was closely pinned and bandaged with a knotted wrapper outside it, was found to be quite dead and cold. The covering was very damp, indicating that tbe body had lain on the spot where it was found for some time. Subsequent examination showed that the body was that of a male child, ancl that it had apparently been born alive.
Taranaki News. —A correspondent in Tarauaki writes on August 20 :— The first smelting of the steel sand has proved a great success. I send you a piece of the metal; over half a ton weight has been taken from the crucible. Everything has been against the operations: the wet from the rain moistened tho leather of the belts that drove the fan, and stretched them so that the blast was not kept up; there was a cold hearth, and the metal was not tapped soon enough. These are only practical difficulties, which experience can easily get over; but the fact of the metal being there shows that the right flux has been used to separate the steel from the other impurities. No native news of importance—everything is quiet North and South. A party is going out next week to the Kaitaki ranges, and resume work at the reef they left last summer, when the murders of the White Cliffs frightened them in. They are sanguine of finding gold.
The name of De Lacy will be remembered by the residents here in connection with Burgess' gang. He has turned up at the Thames goldfield. The Weekly Herald, of the 7th instant, informs us that Constable Lloyd brought up from the Thames on Tuesday a prisoner who has attained a criminal notoriety in New Zealand. Most people will remember the horror and consternation which pervaded the whole Colony on the publication of the accounts of the frightful murders at Maungatapu, in which Burgess, Levy, Sullivan, and others were concerned. A person calling himself Moore, alias De Lacy, has been practising as a thief at the Thames goldfield. This man has been recognised as one of those implicated in the murder of Mr. Dobson. He was one of the above-named gang, and has been committed for four months for larceny. He was fortunate to escape the fate of Levy, but received two'years' imprisonment at the same session of the criminal court.
An Orde»ly Drowned at Taranaki.—The Herald of August llth states:—James Curran, an orderly, left Wai-iti at eight a.m. on Monday, and should have been at Urenui about 10. Mr W. Carrington, jun., came by the same road a shurt time after the orderly, and ou reaching Urenui was surprised that Curran had not arrived. Two orderlies were immediately sent to Wai-iti from Urenui to to communicate the circumstances. The bush was then scoured on both sides of the Mimi, but there were no traces of the missing man, although his horse was seen to come from the interior, near from Mr. Messenger's house. From later intelligence we gather that the body of James Curran was found near the fording-place, below high-water mark, with the spine of his back broken." The Coroner's jury returned a verdict of " Found drowned."
A SQUATTER on the Eifie Downs, Victoria, has obtained a verdict, against a scab inspector for the destruction of 7000 sheep ; damages, £1277. Large Fire at Melbourne.—One of the most extensive fires which has occurred in Melbourne for some years past broke out- about twelve o'clock on tho night of the sth August, in a block in Carlton, bounded generally by Lygon-street, Earl-street, Hotham place, and a right-of way near Queeusberrystreet. About fifteen houses, exclusive of the Florrk Factory, were destroyed. Messi*3. Tronson and Hill state they are insured for £1300, but their loss amounts tj £3000. A Diamond Worth a Million Sterling.—lt was currently reported in town and "on Chango" yesterday, that the famous Aruiiclaie, New South Wales, diamond, weighing 7oz. 18dwt., reputed to have been fount! in a creek on Perry's station, had arrived in Sydney, and it was mentioned that it had been pronounced genuine, and worth about a million sterling. This news, which quickly became disseminated, was received with high glee by the investors in the diamond mines.—Melbourne Daily Telegraph, August 6. —The following remarks are made by the Australasian : —"A telegram from Sydney makes an announcement which, if true, or only approximately correct, would be calculated to create immense excitement among the searchers for gem stones. According to this statement, about the accuracy of which we must confess to entertaining very great doubts, there has been found in a creek on Perry's Station, ii; the neighborhood of Armidale, a diamond weighing 7ozs. 18clwts. The stone, it is added, is on its way to Sydney under police escort, and is expected to arrive in that city to-day. If the statement be not a hoax, a mistake may have been made as to the true character of the stone, which may be a white topaz, or an error fallen into with respect to its weight. The heaviest diamond in the world, the Bragauza, weighs 1880 carats, or about 12£_sfcs.; but doubts are thrown upon its being a diamond at all. The Orloff weighs 1944 carats; the Regent or Pitt diamond, 136|-; the Florentine Brilliant, 139}-; and the Koh-i----noor, lOGjg- carats. Consequently, if this dubious intelligence from Sydney were to prove to be capable of verification, New South Wales would have given to tho world tho weightiest diamond, with one exception, that has ever been discovered, amounting to something like 1100 carats."
Scene in the Victorian Parliament.—The Melbourne Argus of sth, says : —" Tho proceedings in the Legislative Council yesterday afternoon were enlivened by a scene of a character which is very unusual in that Chamber. Mr. O'Sliannassy took offence at a personal allusion made by Mr. Murphy, when the House was in committee on the Local Government Bill, ancl replied with a degree of acerbity which subjected him to a running commentary from the lion, member during the remainder of his speech. The Chairman was appealed to without 'avail, and Mr. O'Shannassy at length told the hon. member that he was beneath contempt, and that ho did in the House what he dare not do out of it. On resuming his seat, Mr. O'Shannassy, whose last remark elicited a, railing cheer from Mr. Murphy, moved up to the hon. member, ancl whispered in his ear, ' I'll piun-h your head, you b- .' Mr. Murphy at, once complained to the committee that he had been threatened with personal violence, ancl the Chairman would have reported the matter to the President, had not the hon. member subsequently withdrawn the complaint, no doubt feeling that he had given some provocation. During the discussion which followed this little episode, the belligerents, who sat next each other, wore anything but a friendly aspect, and Mr. Fraser thought it necessary for a time to sit between them to prevent open hostilities." The same paper ofthe 6th, says—We have been asked by Mr. O'Shannassy to state that the offensive word he addressed to Mr. Murphy in the Legislative Council, on Wednesday afternoon, in consequence of that hon. member's continued interruptions, was " blackguard," and not the more inelegant expression attributed to him, which, according to Johnson, is a term of endearment among sailors. We regret that there slioulcl have been any misunderstanding with regard to this matter; but the expression, as we reported it yesterday, was given on the authority of Mr. Murphy and other members of the Council, who sat near the scene of the altercation.
THE COLONIST. NELSON, TUESDAY, AUGUST 24, 1869. THE FARCE OF FORTIFICATION., The Colonist, Volume XII, Issue 1243, 24 August 1869
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