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" Open to All—lnfluenced by None." NEW PLYMOUTH FEBRUARY 21, 1855.

The Vixen arrived on Sunday from Melbourne after a passage of 16 days. We are indebted to private courtesy for the Melbourne and Sydney papers to the 3 1st ult. but they contain no European news of later date than we have already published. But we have heard that the Vixen on coming out of Port Phillip heads was telegraphed to the effect that " a vessel had just arrived from England with intelligence of the fall of Sebastopol." The Vixen has brought 42 assisted labourers under the provisions of the recent Ordinance.

-t Thr first Meeting under the provisions of Ihe Public Works Ordinance took place on Saturday last for the District of the Town of New Plymouth, at the Couit House, at 4 o'clock pm. There was but a small attendance of the electors.

I. N. Watt, Esq., having been chosen chairman, the proceedings were opened by the reading of the following letter from the Superintendent : —

Superintendent's Office

New Plymouth, February 17, 1855.

Sir — I am directed by the Superintendent to transmit for the information of the meeting, a copy of the Public Works Ordinance, ntxl by the courtesy of the Commmissioner of Crown Linds, His Honor if enabled to furnish enclosed an approximate Ri!> turn of Sections hold by Private Individuals within the Town restrict, both of which Documents I have to request may be handed over to Ihe Board of Commissioners at the close of the Meeting.

With reference to clause 32, I have the honor to inform you that Ihe sum appropriated by Ordinance, Session 11, No. 4, to the Construction or Maintenance of Public Works of a genera) cha» racier within the Province, amounts to Three hundred and fifty Pounds, and UN Honor regrets that he was unable to recommend the appropriation of a larger sum from the ciieumstance, that of the proceeds of Land Sales in thin Province for the year 1854, no portion hud been received by the Provincial Government.

The Supe>in(eodent proposcG under olauso 22, (o make any Rates tbnt mny bu imposed under tho Ordinance, pnyabie in three instalments, sny at two, four, and six months, from the prcaenl time, and to meet any expenditure that may bo imraedi* alely necc-iaiy, to direct payments to be mnde from time to lime from the Provincial Treasury on account of the above mentioned sum of Thrcia hun. tired anil fifty pounds, nnd, if in dividing this sum the portion allotted to any district should bo found insufficient for its immediate requirements, the Superintendent will direct further advances to be made on account of the rate leviable within that district to whatever extent may be necessary, so that the whole amount of moneys advanced include ing and in augmentation of the sum appropriated by Ordinance as above named docs not exceed one half of the gross amount of rale leviable within that district.

Ihe sum of Fifty Pounds voted for bridge? across the Mangatukn will be placed under the control of the Commissioners for the Town District, subject to a contract of Twenty pounds payable on coma plction of the Bridge in Queen Street, For the purpose of affording any further informntion that the Meeting may require, this office will bs open this evening uutil 8 o'clock, I hare the honor to be, Sir, Your most obedient Servant, C.T. Batkin, Private Secretary. To the Chairman of tho

General Meeting for the Town District.

The chairman then entered on the business of the meeting and stated that the Electors had two courses before them ; one was to put an equal tax on all the sections, and on every separate tenement on every section— or to assess the value of the land and levy a rate accordingly ; and stated his belief that the expense of the assessment would be £200 and that a small rate would be eaten up by the expenses if they came to that decision ; and the meeting, subsequently, after some consideration and discussion determined on adopting the equal rate per section. The rates proposed were ss. and 2s. 6d. and the forme/ sum was carried by a majority of 12 to 5. , The meeting elected Messrs. Redhead, G. Lethbiudge, and Brooking, Commissioners for the district.

At this meeting there were not more than fifteen or twenty persons present out of above one hundied and twenty voters interested in the rating of the district ; and we have heard that the decision of the meeting as regards the manner and amount of the tax is greatly dissented from, but surely those who did not think it worth while to attend the meeting and look after their own interests have no right to com Iplain, although it must we think be admitted that the worst method of rating has been adopted. However, should the present occurrence enlighten people on the responsibilities that accompany the acquirement of rights it will not be altogether without its use.

The Overland Mail from Wellington arrived on Friday, by which we have received our files of the Spectator and Independent to the 3rd inst.

The Steamer Nelson arrived at Wellington on the morning of the 3rd instant, and we learn from the Spectator of that date, that the Earthquake had been severely felt at Nelson, but no particulars aie given. Also, that efforts are being made to raise the Zirjgari, and we are happy to hoar there is every probability they will be eventually attended with success, The same journal stites that Te Kopi a small boat harbour at Wairarapa, was visited by a heavy wave during the earthquake, which swept the beach, washing away the buildings and sheds, and bales of wool lying there to be taken to Wellington ; and that the Mukamuka rocks which were the worst part of the coast road to Wairarapa, have now become the best by the a'teration caused by the earthquake, the beach now extending a considerable distance beyond them above the level of high water I The ' Spectator' also gives the fo'lowing extract from a private letter from Whanganui describing the visitation in that neighbourhood :

"The Rosebud left last Sunday forenoon with a N.E. wind and got well away. List night (Tuesday about 9 o'clock we had as heavy a shock of an Enrthqtuke as ever I have felt, and of longer duration in respect to its steady violence. It was very dark and raining at the time. I should think it lasted about two minute*, and it was scarcely possible to stand without holding by something while it lasted. The mischief it did was considerable. It threw down nearly all the chimniei. * * • The b"d of the river at low wator this morning look* ed like an ill ploughed field, although a high tide had intervened ivliicli must havo helped to fill up the fissures made, and it had sunk in many places and rose in others, presenting a very ugly appear, anor. Taylor and Watt's wharf is a wrei k nearly, warped and bent up and down all along, and the extreme end sunk obliquely f t t There has been no long interval occurred since the first shock without further ones occurring of more or less violence, for now near 24 hours. lam afraid you will have hnd them as badly as us, and if to I fear we shall hear of serious damage at Wellington. The postman brings vvoid it was very bad as far as Manawatu. Wo had no personal accidents.

At a meeting of the Wellington Council on the 30th ultimo, the Provincial Secretary, on introducing the subject of providing suitable accommodation for the Provincial Government in place of the Council Cham her destroyed by the recent earthquake, appears to have animadverted in no measured terms on the conduct of Mr Hamley of the Ordnance, and Colonel McCleverty, commanding the troops, vvhioh he characterised as almost inhuman — charging the former with withholding from the settlers the tents belonging to the military, and tho latter with refusing the use of Government House to the Provincial Executive. This had occasioned a somewhat undignified altercation between the Secretary and the Colonel on the public road, which was subsequently brought before the Council, and bids fair to become a question of privelege. It is but fair to state that the ' Spectator's' account places the affair in a very different light, and that on the very day when the Provincial Secretary made the charge against the military authorities, being the day after the calamity, (which, it will be recollected, occurred late at night) the tents of the officers of the regiment had been given for the use of the settlers and that the soldiers had ever since the earthquake been actively employed in rendering assistance and clearing away the ruins caused by its effects. We of course know no more of this unfortunate difference than can be gathered from the statements of the Journals, and hope it will be speedily adjusted. i

The recommendations of the Education Commissioners and the Reports of Public Meetings on the subject continue to engross a largo portion of the papers. The bill founded on the report appears to have undergone extensive modification — indeed, such as to give it almost the character of a different measure. The ' Spectator,' following the suggestion of the member for tho Hutl at a recent public meeting, threatened an appeal to the Council — to the Superintendent — and, as a dernier resort, to, the Governor — should previous measures be unavailing ; and it appears to have done its woik, and a suggestion, clearly having political tendency, has been brought to bear upon a question which (it cannot be overlooked) should be exempted from all uses of the kind, The feecular system has been substituted for the Irish, and the voluntary principle for the compulsory rate in the bill, and further alterations are also suggested, which if carried out, will effectually neutralize all those principles in the measure which were intended to meet the difficulties with which sectarian differences have involved the question ia the Mother country,

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Permanent link to this item

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Bibliographic details

" Open to All—Influenced by None." NEW PLYMOUTH FEBRUARY 21, 1855., Taranaki Herald, Volume III, Issue 134, 21 February 1855

Word Count
1,682

" Open to All—Influenced by None." NEW PLYMOUTH FEBRUARY 21, 1855. Taranaki Herald, Volume III, Issue 134, 21 February 1855

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