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LONDON., Tuapeka Times, Volume XXV, Issue 1986, 5 April 1893
ANGLO-COLONIAL NOTES. '
[From thb Evening Star's Correspondent.]
London, February 17. I am not going to inflict upon you the prodigiously lengthy rigmarole of feeble fallacies and falsities with which Mr Arnold Morley, primed to the muzzle by Sir Arthur Blackwood, endeavored to placate thp Federation League's deputation, -urging the institution of Imperial penny postage, last Friday afternoon. The objections raised and obstacles urged (accurately predicted by the 'Westminster Gazette' on Thursday evening) have been unanimously pooh-poohed by the entire Press. If the most important of them, from an official point of view (viz., the inability of the colonies to join issue) exists— which Mr Heaton denies— it has or should have, the papers agree, no bearing on the Mother Country's action. ' The Tunes,' indeed, considers Mr Morley's speech the last dying kick of the defeated department. All over it was written that Imperial penny postage is coming. It may not come in Mr Morley's time, because that will in all probability be short, and he "does not display the strength required to overcome the inertia of clerkdom"; or, in other words, dare not run counter to Blackwood and Co. " But," says • The Times, "it Avill come. The voice of clerkdom is waxing faint, and the fine old crusted objections are put forth with significant hesitation." Financial loss used to be the great argument led to silence critics ; but this bogey the indefatigable Henniker has so effectually squashed that Mr Morley practically abandoned it. The second great obstructive argument has always been based on the alleged difficulties of administration. It is curious, 'The Times' remarks, that whenever the public want anything done they are invariably told that they have no conception whatever of the intricate and arduous nature of the difficulties with Avhich clerkdom is patriotically struggling. They are given to understand, in fact, that the department |in question is already 'straining the highest powers of the human intelligence to breaking point. This Avas wont to be the attitude of the Post Ofnc°, whenever Imperial penny postage was mooted. Now Sir A. Blackwood and his clique (recognising the reform must come) admit that the immense administrative difficulties might not prove insuperable to men possessing the immense energy and boundless resource of the master minds Avearing themselves out in the country's serA r ice at St. Martin's-le-Grand. "It is something " (says •The Times') to hear from a PostmasterGeneral (evidently speaking by the card) that neither the financial nor administrative objections to Imperial penny'postage call for serious discussion."
Mr Morley's champion objection anent our not being able to reduce the charge for carrying letters to the colonies without the colonies' consent, which they won't grant, • The Times ' practically says is ' ' fudge. " It was declared Australia would object to the 2^d reduction in 1889, Avhereas all the colonies accepted it in three months. Until the Treasury makes a serious effort to obtain the consent of the colonies and fails, the assertion that they will not consent must be treated merely as a piece of official obstruction.
The • Chronicle,' of Saturday, published at the foot of the report of Mr Morley's speech an equally long exordium addressed to the Chancellor of the Exchequer by Henniker Heaton, in which the Postmaster-General's puny obstacles are taken in turn and shaken to fragments. With regard to the most serious of them, the alleged attitude of the colonies, Mr Heaton pledges himself, if the proposal is conditionally accepted by the Government, to start instantly for the colonies and bring back their united assent. Naturally the ' Chronicle ' is furious Avith Mr Morley, Avho, after telling them the Governmen tfaA'ored Imperial penny postage, has alloAved himself to be talked into procrastination by Post Office permanent officials. It says : — " Some tune ago we informed our readers of our belief that we were justified in stating that the present Government had practically made up its mind in favor of an Imperial penny post. We repeat this statement to-day Avith all the emphasis we can lay upon it. Not only is the sympathy of the Government as a Avhole in favor of this most admirable and desirable reform, but we are confident that the attitude and the assertions of the Post Office have come upon them as a surprise. . . . The truth is that to obtain an Imperial penny post we have only to ask for it loud enough. The sense of the Empire demands it ; the ' difficulties ' are not worth breath or ink to mention. The sympathy of the Government — and a good deal more than their sympathy, if the truth were known— is with it, and it is as certain, sooner or later, as to-morrow's sunrise."
The ♦ Daily News ' doesn't knoAv Avhether to believe Mr Morley or Mr Heaton re the attitude of the colonies to Imperial penny postage. Its hopes are with Mr Heaton, its convictions with the Minister. Mr Heaton is urged to start at once on his tour of conversion if Australia blocks the way. The ' Morning Post ' sums up a ponderous review of the situation thus: — "On the whole, surveying the question in all its aspects, one cannot believe that the realisation of the idea of Imperial penny postage will be much longer delayed." The ' Pall Mall Gazette ' opines a woman's and a Postmaster-General's " No " very often mean " Yes," and this it believes will be the end of Mr Arnold Morley's temporary refusal to set afoot Imperial penny postage. If the colonies retain the threepenny rate, that is no reason why we should ; and, indeed, if we reduce ours, they Avill before one be compelled to follow us. The • Morning ' remarks that Great Britain has been pestered by Mr Heaton into belief in the efficacy of his doctrines. Would it not be advisable to send him out to thecolonies to try the effects of his persistence there?
PERSONAL AND GENERAL.
In discussing the financial condition of Victoria 'The Times' drops severely on Lord Hopetoun, whom it accuses of deliberately bolstering up a rotten state of affairs. "Scarcely," says the Thunderer, "six months before the colonial balance-sheet disclosed a deficiency of nearly a million sterling, Lord Hopetoun, then and now Governor of Victoria, in a speech at a mayoral banquet, gave a positive contradiction to the critics who, among other things, had ventured to find fault with Australian finance." ' The Times ' grimly opines that the difficulty of discovering suitable men for colonial Governors is not likely to be lessened if they are required, as part of their duties, to " boom " the particular colony in which they happen to represent Her Majesty. The state of Lady Elgin's health is such that the Government must, his lordship avers, have known perfectly well when they offered him the vice-royalty of New South Wales that he could not possibly accept the post. It was the merest empty compliment. I was to have interviewed Mr Coningsby Disraeli on the subject of his Meat Marking Bilhyesterday afternoon, but upon keeping my appointment at the House found the hon. member absorbed in listening to Mr Chamberlain's speech on the Home Rule Bill and unable to quit his seat. Our conversation was consequently postponed. From what I can learn, Mr Disraeli has so far studied the subject of his measure very superficially, and purely from the British
farmers' point of view. - Mr Gladstone the omniscient recognises the difficulties surrounding the whole question of branding carcasses far more* clearly. In ansAver to a question put by Major Rasch on Thursday evening, the G.O.M. said the Government were quite ready to afford facilities for inquiring into the importation of foreign and colonial meat, but that till this had been very thoroughly done there would be small use in thinking of legislation. I imagine a committee will be appointed to go into the Avhole matter.
The friends of Mr H. G. Beth-Smith will be relieved to learn that up to the present things have resulted as satisfactorily as could reasonably be hoped. Telegraphing yesterday to Cobham for latest news of the patient I received the folloAving reply: — " Operation progressing favorably." Some weeks must, of course, elapse before its absolute success is assured.
The Federated Institute of Mining Engineers has just issued as a pamphlet the second portion of Mr George J. Binn's excellent lecture on 'Mining in New Zealand.' The third section of the paper will, it is understood, be read before the Fellows of the Institute in London in May or June.
New Zealand Freemasons should take warning from the following that it is not wise to trifle with the dignity of the " boss shop "at Home. At the quarterly convocation of Supreme Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons of England on February 1 an application was refused from the Royal Albert Edward Chapter, No. 604, Lyttelton, New Zealand, to retain possession of its charter, the Chapter having seceded from its allegiance to the Grand Chapter of England, and gone over to an unrecognised body called the Grand Chapter of New Zealand. !? The Imperial Institute is to be opened in May next, and yet nothing (or next door to nothing) has been done with regard to the fitting up of the NeAv Zealand section. AH the other colonies have been " shoving along " — as Mr Perceval tersely expressed it — during the past few weeks, and bid fair tc jnake very creditable displays. The AgentGeneral is naturally very anxious that the colony he represents shall not suffer by comparison with the others, but his hands are tied, and he can do nothing to alter the present state of affairs until exhibits and Sir Walter Buller find their Avay Home. Amongst the few addenda to Professor Wallace'spaperon ' Australasian Agricultur c' Avas the description of an ingenious invention for maintaining a uniform temperature in cold chambers on board ship as Avell as at freezing works — the ShiePs Automatic Temperature Regulator. The machine, which is said to be capable of regulating within two degrees the temperature of refrigerating chambers, consists essentially of a series of small tubes (arranged in gridiron form and suitably protected) placed obliquely, usually, on the -two interval Avails of the chamber. These tubes are connected to the regulator, Avhich consists of a reservoir containing mercury and a small cylinder with piston, piston rod, and gearing, to transmit the piston movement to the regulating A'alve of the freezing machine. The tube system is closed, except to the mercury reservoir, and contains a sensitive fluid which, expanding and contracting with the change of temperature in the chamber, supplies the motiA r e poAver to the piston rod through the medium of the mercury butting against the piston. The regulator is applicable to the vurious forms of freezing machines — A r iz., cold air, ammonia, brine, carbonic - aubyduide, etc. The mode of action is somewhat as f olloavs :—: — Suppose we Avant to maintain a steady temperature of 32deg F., then the regulator is set that it will completely shut off the supply of cold at, say, 30^degF., and will turn on full supply at, say, 33£deg F. In this Avay the temperature is "maintained within these tAvo limits, generally at a point a little below their mean. The machine is quite automatic in action, and does not require to be reset for each trip. It has no complicated working parts, requires no attention except oiling once in three or four months, and occupies small space. One of the regulators has been working for some months at the Yorkhill Abattoir, Glasgow, Avith very satisfactory results.
I have also to chronicle the death of another old soldier Avho served Avith distinction in the Maori Avar of 1864-66 — namely, Sir Thomas Baker, who died at Pau on the 10th inst., from dropsy, after a brief illness. Sir Thomas, Avho at the time of his death held the post of quartermaster-general, had seen a great deal of active service in all quarters of the globe. When only a lad of seventeen he made a name for himself by " gallantry displayed at the attack of the cemetery and suburbs of Sebastopol on June 18, 1855." From the Crimea Sir Thomas Avent to India, and Avas actiA r ely engaged during the mutiny of '57, when he served Avith the field force under Colonel Beaston. During the Waikato and Wanganui campaigns Sir Thomas served first as deputy-assistant-adjutant-general, and after Avards as assistant - adjutant - general. He was present at the action at BangiaAvhia as acting assistant military secretary to Sir Duncan Cameron, Avas mentioned in the despatches, and receiA r ed the brevet of major. He was staff officer to the force under General Carey at the attack and capture of Orakau, and was again mentioned in the despatches " for gallantry, untiring energy, and zeal evinced." His last active service was in Burmah during 1888-87. From the latter year to 1890 Sir Thomas commanded a division of the Bengal Army, and Avas appointed quarter-master-general with the rank of lieutenant-general. Sir Thomas Baker was born in 1837.
Too late for the last mail I received notification of the death of Lieutenant-colonel John Augustus G. Frederick SeAvell, Avho served in the New Zealand war of 1864-66, and was medalled for his work in that campaign. The deceased, who succumbed at Plymouth on January 21 to an attack of acute pneumonia, was born in 1829. He entered the service shortly before the Crimean war, and served before Sebastopol, "receiving the medal and clasp, also the Turkish medal, 1854.
Though Sir Frederick Young will not admit that negotiations for the amalgamation of the Imperial and Colonial Institutes have been initiated, he alloAvs that their ultimate conjunction is not improbable. The chief objector to the scheme will, I imagine, be Mr F. S. O'Halloran, who can scarcely be expected to contemplate with equanimity being devoured and practically extinguished by the good gentlemen known as " the S.K. gmg." Mr O'Halloran has made the olonial Institute what it is — nursed the concern from its frail, weakling youth to prosperity and strength. Unless he can see clearly (which is more than I can) that the Institute will gain by sinking its individuality in Sir Frederick Abel's hobby, the future of which is by no means assured, he may be trusted to effectually oppose the amalgamation scheme. Dr Pearson's 'National Life and Character' has, naturally enough, perhaps, been noticed at greater length than any other Anglocolonist's work that I can remember. ' The Times' and ♦ Westminster Review' both gave it splendid reviews, though the latter was not specially friendly ; and Professor Huxley discoursed thereon in the ' Pall Mall Gazette.'
The tablet to the memory of the late Dr Beaney, of Melbourne, has now been completed by Mr Forsyth, and is being erected in Canterbury Cathedral. It will be unveiled by Mr John Henniker Heaton, M.P., on March 1. Dr Beaney was a native of Canterbury, and bequeathed £10,000 for the erection of a working men's institute and
library. At the time the money was left various Anglo-colonial busybodies tried to enlighten the Canterbury Corporation anent various incidents in the deceased medico's career. But the Canterburians wisely declined to listen to resurrected scandal, or to inquire too closely into the methods by which their benefactor's money was made. The erection of a memorial to Dr Beaney is, however, many not over-strict people consider, going rather far. It certainly should be a rich treat to hear " our Henniker " holding forth on the " diamonded doctor's" many and patent virtues. Surgeon-major General Sir William Mackinnon, who has just been appointed honorary surgeon to the Queen, is the Dr Mackinnon who brilliantly distinguished himself in New Zealand. His bravery at Katekara and at Gilbert's Clearing and in the fighting in the Waikato, Tauranga, and Wanganui districts gained him most honorable mention in the despatches, and laid the foundation of his brilliant career.
AUSTRALIAN AND NEW ZEALAND UNDERWRITERS.
The annual dinner of the Australian and New Zealand Underwriters' Association was held at the Albion Tavern on the evening of the Bth insfc., Mr H. J. Bristow presiding. Representatives of all the leading companies— l hardly think I need name them — were present, and a number of guests. Mr Edward Hill, in proposing "Prosperity to the Australian Colonies," referred sympathetically to the depressed state of affairs in some of them. He had, however, no want of confidence in the renewal of their prosperity, and submitted the toast with great heartiness, coupling it with that of Mr James M'Cosh Clark, of Auckland.
Mr M'Cosh Clark, after regretting the absence of Sir Saul Samuel, whom he would have liked to respond to the toast, said that as an old colonist he must express his thanks for the friendly manner in which the toast had been proposed, and especially for the allusion that had been made to the national feeling that animated both the Mother Country and the colonies. He thought all must be proud of the progress of the latter and of the strength which they imparted to the Empire. He was both hopeful and confident of their future. Knowing their natural resources, and the indomitable energy of the people, he was sure that by refraining from increased expenditure they would emerge from the .present difficulties, seeing what strenuous efforts were being made to increase their exports, which he looked upon as the only hope of their salvation. He touched upon the new and growing export of colonial butter, the increasing production of wool and meat, and the precious metals, and alluded to the improved methods of treating refractory ores, which must be of incalculable benefit with regard to the last-named product. The growing taste for Australian wines was another hopeful symptom. There ought, he said, to be an enormous trade also done in the hard woods of Australia, for road-paving, etc., for they were reported to be three times as durable as Norway pine. Referring particularly to New Zealand, he said that this colony had already turned the corner, and was really a good way ahead from the corner, so that he entertained a pleasant prospect of the future. He just referred to the question of Federation, and concluded by repeating his thanks for the cordiality -with which the toast had been both proposed and received. The chairman then reviewed at length the work of the Association during the year, touching specially on the Walter Raleigh and Port Pirie cases. Mr E. T. Doxat (Dalgety and Co.) proposed " The Visitors," which Avas replied to by Mr A. J. Malcolm (J. M'Ewen and Co.), and Mr L. C. Wakefield, of Lloyd's, praised the tact and guidance of Mr Bristow, which had done so much for the Association.
MR PERCEVAL AT THE COLONIAL INSTITUTE.
[ Mr Perceval made a few remarks at the Colonial Institute on Tuesday evening in the course of the discussion on Professor Wallace's paper anent ' Australasian Agriculture,' but he had intended to say a good deal more. The Professor's observations were (as will be gathered from my special article) open to considerable criticism, and your AgentGeneral had gone thi-ough the paper beforehand and prepared a tolerably exhaustive series of comments thereon. When, however, he at last rose to speak, he saw he would be obliged to let them go by the board. Sir Robert Hamilton and Sir James Garrick had already orated at considerable length, and the audience were restless and j anxious to get to conversation and coffee, so Mr Perceval generalised with a few remarks, in the course of which he expressed his pleasure that he had listened to a lecture on the inherent wealth of Australia, instead of having the " seamy" side once more placed before him. The turning of the coat inside out had certainly not been uninstructive, and he hoped it would have good results. He was happy to say that the Australasian colonies had determined to set their house in order, and to economise. His own colony of New Zealand had led the way, and the results had been most encouraging. He was pleased with Sir James Garrick's remarks concerning the farmers of this country. He quite agreed with him that the time had arrived when it was worth the while of the English farmer to consider whether he should not turn his attention to the colonies. He (Mr Perceval) felt sure that he would get a better return for his money than he could ever get here, and the Empire would be not one whit the worse off. In Australasia they had got past the first stage of settlement, and were now in the second, which necessitated improved methods of agriculture and irrigation. With these he felt that the future of the colonies was assured. Mr Perceval went on to speak of the disposal of the surplus stock of colonial produce in this country, and, in connection with the Bill shortly to be introduced into the Imperial Parliament, stated that, while the colonists were quite prepared to have their produce sold in the English market as "colonial," they would most strenuously object to it being labelled "foreign." He once more recommended the appointment of an industrial expert in this country, whose duties should be to advise the colonists as to the markets, the methods of packing, distribution, etc. Such an officer would be a great aid to Australasian agriculture.
LONDON., Tuapeka Times, Volume XXV, Issue 1986, 5 April 1893
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