ARRIVAL OF THE ENGLISH MAIL
London, March 18. The Mordaunt divorce case has engaged public attention for the last fortnight. A plea of insanity is urged on behalf of Lady Mordaunt, and so conclusive seemed the medical evidence that the prosecution were induced to admit the plea as far as concerned the present condition of the respondent ; but the witnesses deposed to her perfect sanity when the self-inculpa-tory confession was made to her husband ; the adultery is charged against Lord Cole, Sir Frederick Johustone, Colonel Farquhar, and the Prince of Wales. The Prince's letters were put in evidence, but not read, but were surreptitiously published in the newspapers. They contain nothing compromising her ladyship ; the Prince and Colonel Johnstone underwent au examination on oath, and both deny any improper behaviour. Serjeant Ballantyne addressed the jury on behalf of Sir Charles Mordaunt, and Mr. Deane on the other side. Lord Penzance summed up, leaving to the jury the questions — whether respondent on the 30th of April, was in such a condition as enabled her to answer the allegations of the petition, and to duly instruct her solicitor for the defence ; secondly, if in such a condition did she afterwards become insane, and when she ceased to be so. The jury returned a verdict to the effect that Lady Mordaunt was insane then and also at the time of the citation. The Duke of Richmond has accepted the leadership of the Conservatives in the House of Lords. In the debate on the question of State support to emigration, Mr. Torrens proposed the sum of £2,000,000 be appropriated for that purpose ; Mr. Gladstone opposed the motion, which was lost by a majority of 105. In the debate in the French Legislature on the official candidatures, M. Ollivier retracted his intention of preserving strict neutrality, and denounced the errors of the past system. The Chamber supported his views. In a debate on the home policy of the Empire, M. Jules Favre attacked the Ministry and advocated a dissolution. Count Daru vindicated the GoTemraent, and a vote of confidence in the Ministry was passed by 236 votes against 18. Lord Napier of Magdala, in his examination before the Committee appointed to inquire into the cost of the Abyssinian war, said that no approximate calculation of the cost of the expedition was possible : in November, 1867, the expense increased as necessities were discovered ; and the means employed for the transport of troops were not more extensive than were needed. Further agrarian outrages have occurred in Ireland. The North German Parliament have voted the abolition of capital punishment, in spite of the opposition of Count Bismarck.
The army estimates were submitted by Mr. Cardwell, in tho House of Commons, on 4th March ; the troops in the Colonies are to be reduced in the aggregate to 23,5b'1, and the Indian depot to 639. The ranks .of cornet and ensign are to be abolished ; and the intention is announced of forming a corps of artisans attached to each regiment for the manufacture of the necessary articles for the uso of the troops. The proposal to abolish the ranks of cornet and ensign caused much dissatisfaction in military circles, and Mr. Cardwell subsequently expressed his intention to withdraw the proposal, as the Government had no desire to interfere with the purchase system other than on equitable terms ; and further stated that a Royal Commission would be appointed to consider the whole matter. Mr. Gladstone has announced the introduction of a bill for the better preservation of life and property in Ireland. The bill provides that in disturbed districts proclaimed summary trial without jury and punishment shall take place of persons in whose possession arms and ammunition may be found ; it gives special control over persons out at night ; gives compensation to victims by outrages, and creates facilities for obtaining evidence, and further authorises special suppression by the police of certain offences. The Canadian loyal settlers of Red River have raised a force of 500 men and two guns against the insurgents. Riel threatens to bombard the town if attacked. The attempt of Schultz to overthrow the insurgent Government has failed, from the settlers not supporting him. The majority of Schultz's forces have been captured, but he escaped. Mr Cardwell announced the intention of the Government to give 25 LieutenantColonelcies, 50 Majorities, and 100 Captaincies in the army, estimated in accordance with the claims of officers pursuant to the precedent of 1866. Tho Grand National Steeplechase at Liverpool was won by the Colonel. In the House of Commons on the 11th Mai'ch, Mr. Disraeli accepted the second reading of the Irish Land Bill, but criticised its details ; Mr. Gladstone replied, and the second reading was carried by a majority of 422 to 11. A fatal duel took place at Madrid between Prince Henry of Bourbon and the Duke de Montpensier. Three shots were exchanged, when Prince Henry was hit in tho head and died instantaneously. The Nonconformists have proposed an amendment on the Education Bill. The Pope has placed before the (Ecumenical Council his scheme defining the dogma of Papal Infallibility. France will send a representative to the Council. Count Montalembert is dead. Messrs. Disraeli and Bright have recovered from their indisposition. Mr. Heron has been returned for Tipperary ; Bernal Osborne has been returned for Waterford ; Mr. Hubert for Nottingham, and Sir John Lubbock for Maidstone. Election riots occurred at Waterford. The Albert Insurance sbai*eholders have accepted a plan for its reconstruction, and a prospectus has been issued. The Indisposition of Cabinet in England. — The Cabinet Council, held in Downing-street on 12ch February, was attended by eleven Ministers only — Mr. Bright, Mr. Brace, and Lord Clarendon were all indisposed. The nervous exhaustion of Mr. Bright has not diminished since his removal to Norwood, and the terribly severe weather is unfavourable to his recovery. Lord Clarendon is suffering from asthma. Mr. Bruce has bronchitis in a mild form. Mr. Disraeli is much bptter, bnt will not appear in the House until 18th February. Mr. Childers was absent from the gathering.—! Liverpool Albion. American Bunting. — Bunting, the material of the star-spangled banner, is the subject of the tale. Until within these few years no bunting was made in the United States. The " flaunting lie " of the years preceding the war, the "rag" of secession, and the innumerable flags that streamed over ship, fort, and army, on the part of tho United States, were made in England, as were also the flags of our previous wars. But five years ago, some knowing Yankees in Lowell (induce'! by an act of Congress that promised a contract for a year's supply of army and navy to whosoever should first produce an article of bunting equal to the best English) mastered the peculiar difficulties attending this branch of manufacture, and won the prize. Before the year ended the war had clospd. The demand for bunting was diminished by three-fourths, and the English bunting could still be sold in New York cheaper than the American could be produced at Lowell. Need I say that, in these circumstances, a hunting lobby asked an increase of duty npon the foreign fnbric ? Tho duty was promptly fixed at the modest rate of twenty cents per square yard, plus thirty -five per cent, of the value, which was in strict accordance with the srstein as by lobby established. The result has been, that a hundred and twpnty persons have been drawn from other occupations in a State where enterprise languishes, and life is embittered by the scarcity of labour, and set at work making bunting. But among these hundred and twenty persons there are several of great ingenuity, who contemplate nothing which they do not desire to improve. Hence, two capital and several minor improvements in the article produced, as well as better and cheaper modes of producing it. These Lowell Yankees print the stars and stripes instead of sewing them on, and give you a flag without a stitch in it, lighter, more elegant, and more durable than those formerly in use. — " Log-rolling at Washington" in tlie Atlantic Monthly. An American editor closes his leader in this unhappy strain :—": — " The sheriff's officer is waiting for us in the other room, so we have no opporpnvtunity to be pathetic ; we are wanted, and must go. Delinquent subscribers — you have much to answer for ! Heaven may forgive you, but we never can. LEtrEn fi:om Let-in. — To the Editor. — "If you do not see what you require in the window, ask for it." — Sir, — Attrarted by the above announcement in the window of what appearod to be a respectable ironmonger's shop, I recently entered the estabment and stated my modc-st requirements, viz., a gla«s of bitters, cheese, and biscuit. Nothing but a speedy exit saved me from a well-intended blow with a bronze fender, leather a nasty weapon. Lot this be a warning from one who has been taken in. — Fun. There are ten young men looking for situations to one looking for a farm, yet for the majority it is ten times as easy to get a piece of good land as to secure a good paying clerkship.
HON. AIR. FOX AT DUNEDIN. Mr. Fox addressed a crowded meeting at tho Theatre, on the 27th April. He snid ho had, with feelings of diffidence, assented to the request to address an Otago constituency, because he was not their representative, and because it might seem presumptuous to come before them, personally unknown to them, and give his views to them on the political questions of the clay. He, however, felt that to a certain extent, he was a representative of all constituencies in New Zealand, and he had a feeling of satisfaction in addressing an Otago audience, because his recollection of the Province, and of the City of Dunediu, dated back to a period antecedent to what most of them could remember. It was twenty-one years since he first visited Dunedin, when it was but abare tract of land, in company with Captain Cargill, and then discussed the prospects of Otago, which at that time seemed dreary and remote enough. They discussed tho best means by which they could expend the small sums of money entrusted to them for the advancement of the country. Then there was a little community of 2.000 souls engaged in making house, none of whom, he ' thought, had gone beyond Green Island Bush, and one who had gone beyond Taieri was looked on as a madman. Twenty-one years after lie returned, amazed at what he saw, and astonished at the progress of the city — streets extending two or three miles, macadamised roads extending two or three hundred miles into the country districts, the spread of agriculture, the goldfields, and public works and institutions ; and he felt proud at having been connected years ago with a people who had attained such prosperity. With regard to the present position of the General Government in reference to one or two great political problems, he wished to say that the proprietors of the leading Otago journal had not presented a clear and cheerful picture of the past year in reference to the war. Perhaps he had no right to complain of the course taken by that journal, if it found a pecuniary ad-vantag-e in making it a mere party organ, instead of holding an even balance between the two sides, and conveying truthful information. If such a course was consistent with the sentiments of those who conducted the press here, he had no right to, and did not complain; but he had a right to state the facts of the case, and to correct the false impressions that had been created by the perusal of the articles he alluded to. From that journal, which he was infot'med was practically the only one having a large general circulation in the province, they received information of what was going on in tho North Island regarding the war, and, he was sorry to say, those articles did not convey correct information. Many of its special correspondents were men opposed to the present Government ; some of them had held high office under the present Government, and were now its most malignant opponents, and did not hesitate to make statements regarding the war that totally misled the community he addressed. There was not much difficulty in small places, such as Wellington and Hawke's Bay, in knowing who those correspondents generally were. Most of them had been servants dismissed by the present Government, and they had left no stone unturned to pay them off. He would give them a short account of the war during the past twelve months. Mr. Fox then shortly reviewed the origin and cause of the war, and went on to say that after tho hostilities under General Cameron had ceased, the Government of that day stood in a position of being able to settle for ever all the difficulties of the Native question, and of putting an end, by friendly means, to all hostile inclinations. But they did not do so — they drove from them Mr. McLean, and drifted into a new war, and the escape of the Chatham Island prisoners was followed by a war on the East Coast. Mr. Stafford had said in his speech at Timaru — a speech containing nothing — as the press had said, that they (the present Government) had only followed the policy of the late Government with respect to the war. The great difference between Mr. Stafford's course and theirs was indicated by an article which had been published in one of the Northern newspapers, but was known to be written by a member of the Ministry, which said — "Thank God we are in for a great war ;" and in 1869 Mr. Richmond said at Taranaki that "the proper mode of dealing with the insurrection was to go on to its head," meaning to provoke a general war in the North Island. That was the idea of the Stafford Ministry, and a devastating war was the effect. Such was the state of affairs when they (Fox Ministry) took the administration. Their policy had been, as far as possible, defensive, and they took up arms only when attacked, or in defence of allies whom they were bound to pi'otect. When they took office, Whitmore was nearly involving the whole country in war. Tho forces were mutinous and demoralised, and yet he was about to attack the whole of the King party, and thus plunge the whole of the country into disaster. They, however, thought it best to avoid such a catastrophe, and fall back in defence. The effect was that in a short time they had overtui'es from the King party, shewing that, if they abstained from aggressive measures, there was great hope that peace could be settled in the country, and that hope had to a large extent been realised. They had made no blow of aggression ; all their operations had been directed to the capture of Te Kooti, whom they were obliged to attack in defence of their allies at Taupo. From the commencement of the war they had not had a single disaster, and To Kooti had been driven into wilds
where it was impossible to follow without a risk of provoking the King party. An important chief of the Wanganui tribe, Topia, had offered to follow up Te Kooti until he destroyed him ; they had closed with the offer, and Topia had since shown himself one of their staunchest allies. That event could not have taken place under tho Stafford administration and Whitmore, who constantly depreciated native services. Prom this time Topia, Kem'p. and Ropata took up Te Kooti's track, and drove him headlong from, his pah, and utterly broke up, not only his party, but the whole of the Urewera savages ; and he believed they would not see the sword drawn again in Now Zealand in connection with a war of any magnitude. The statements made by the Hawke's Bay and Wellington correspondents of the paper he had alluded to, to the effect that the prisoners taken were only old women and cripples, were absolutely untrue. Only one hour since he received a telegram from Mr. Gisborne, stating that all the prisonei'S were fighting men, mostly young and stalwart. He admitted that many women had been taken, but contended that that was advantageous. He believed that the loss of ]50 women was a blow from which Te Kooti would never recover, and that his prestige was thereby gone for ever. He claimed, as a great success for the present Government, that if they had not captured Te Kooti, they had killed and captured men of equal rank, and who were eqnally dangerous. They had done more, in allaying the irritation of the natives and in making friends of those who had fought against them. During Mr. Stafford's Ministry and under Whitmore's command, the whole country between Patea and Waitotara was denuded of inhabitants, who now, to a great extent, were reinstated. He complained that many of the incidents in connection with the conduct of the war had been kept back by the public journals. They have not been given publicity to like many of the things calculated to injure the present Government. This was a fact not to be disputed. It might have occurred through their not having a trumpeter as the Stafford Government had in Colonel Whitmore. Their man was McDonnell, an officer who, if he could not use his pen, could use his sword, — who had fought more than twenty hard battles, and had only been once beaten. It was impossible, in the short time allotted to him, to go into the details of the war, but to two or three points he would refer. No one regretted more the expense of war, or would bo more willing to see the Middle Island relieved of the burden it entailed ; and as a Northern member, he might express his gratitude for the forbearance exhibited, and for the money they might have expended on railways and other works. It was right, politically, for them to pay a share of the expenses, for they were all members of one community ; but he was grateful to them all for their generosity as to the expenditure, which might have been, as he before said, spent amongst themselves. He was glad to tell them that the stories told lately with reference to the military expenditure were falsehoods. He had seen an article stating that the Government was spending at the rate of £540,000 per annum on war, and that they were going- to add a million to the national debt. Now, the real expenditure amounted only to £193,630, — in fact, up to the 30th June, they might calculate on £250,000 as the expenditure for the war and police. Were these misstate ments fair ? (" No.") When they took office, the expenditure was £1-5,000 or £46,000 a month, and increasing every day ; and yet at that time Mr. Stafford spoke a? if the war was just beginning, and stated that he intended to raise a Q'eneral war loan on the revenue, and £500,000 to enable him to carry on operations. Now they had no war loan, nor did they intend to have one. He trusted they were satisfied the Government had avoided useless expenditure, and were little, if any, in excess of the sum voted. £30.000 had been voted for roads, of which £10,000 only was spent, leaving £20,000 to the good. They had made a larcre amount of roads through troubled districts ; and the dangerous road between Wanganui and Taranaki was now so safe that Cobb's coaches wero regularly running half-way through it. He was glad to say the £20,000 was not expended, and hoped that at least £15,000 would be unexpended at the close of the year. He could not, however, pledge himself to figures, and there might be small sums which Government was not acquainted with, but he did not expect more than a few thousands in excess of the sum mentioned. With regard to the Constabulary, he said Otago had'lentthem a man through whom they had been able to effect a great saving ; at the time when he took over the force it consisted of 1,457, a large number of whom he had to dismiss, leaving only 574. [Read Branigan's report, showing that the Government reorganised tho Armed Constabulary system.] A depot was established at Wellington, whence recruits were sent to serve a period of probation, and after careful training and drilling were sent to their respective districts. The North Island had been formed into police districts under competent officers. The present force consists of steady, reliable, and fairly intelligent men, to whom tho force as remodelled holds out a career of permanent employment and the hope of raising themselves by merit to the highest rank in the service. Meanwhile the force had been employed in ordinary duties and making roads, building and repairing redoubts, bridges, and telegraphs ; the main line of road and telegraph line from Napier to Taupo had during the last eight months been begun, and was now approaching completion, and
i Taupo and the chain of posts alone the Urewera connti'y were permanent stations. Centralism and provincialism had been the great question for the last two yearß, and great division existed between the General and Provincial Governments, one acting as federal, and the other as a local Government. When Mr. Stafford came into office he was an out-and-out provincialist, as shown by his going in with Dr. Featherston. Then he took unto himself Richmond and Hall, both Centralists. He was glad to see, from Mr. Stafford's address at Timaru, that he was so moderate in his views on this matter. He (Mr. Fox) had always been an advocate of provincialism, and all he wanted was a good Government ; but before he threw overboard provincialism he wanted to see something better. He had been told by a man who inaugurated the Westlaud County, that he was sick of the County system. Let those, therefore, who opposed provincialism show something better. They had not yet done it, although they tried three years ago, when Auckland was down on its luck as a Province ; but the moment gold was found provincial institutions became again popular, and the greater the prosperity, the more they would become attached to institutions under which they were placed. The mind of the present Ministry was not engrossed with topics of that sort. If they had at the head of affairs an arrogant man, who was opposed to Provincialism, there would be no peace ; but otherwise the Colony, if Colony it were, which he doubted, would go ahead like the United States had done, and become the Queen of the South Seas. The desire of the Government was to promote the interests of all the Provinces, and he believed that as they got rid of their miserable war, they would be able to create roads and railways throughout the country ; and he trusted the Provincial Governments would not hesitate to go ahead with them ; and Provinces not having land revenues would be able to do the same by means of a loan. Immigration would do much good ; and if Otago was better off now thau when she had only 2,000 inhabitants, she would be still better off with a million. He begged to thank them for their patient hearing, and hoped they would be able, before they died, to guide the affairs of the country so as to see it flourishing and prosperous to their utmost desires. Mr. Reynolds moved a vote of thanks, which was carried with cheers.