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THE WAIRARAPA STANDARD WEDNRSDAY, JANUARY 28, 1874. THE WRCECK OF THE SURAT.

Most of oar reader* are aware that the oftcial enquiry relative to the wreck eftbaahpSorat baa terminated IB the cancelling «if the mntificatc* of competency held -by the Captain and Male as Maater Mariner*. They are alee a wave, thorn a brief paragraph in oar bet iceae, than the Captain ha* beau arrested, and criminal proceedMg* instituted agaimt him on n charge of culpable conduct in the management of the vcasel. Aa, howarrer. the telegram* that were from time to time published during the eoorae of the enquiry gave a oneaided, and but a very imperfect idea of the real eiieuewtancea ot the case ; aathe comaaenta whirh have bean made by the preaa art alao calculated to convey very fal*e impreaaionaaa to the coadoct ot the Captain, who appeara to have been peatered by the pamoagmetodo thia, that, and the ether, ftem the time the ahip atruck anlfl aim waa beaelied in Cqtlin’a Bay; aad aa. criminal prorcedinga bare bow boon instituted againat him OB avidenca elicited from himmif aad brother officer* by an Inquiai turial Tribunal ; wa have resolved to give a brief narrative of the moat pi net incat facts of the cnae; premising -that it ie easy to bo wise alter th# ••seat ; may now to aea what ought in bare boon dona, and «liat ought nut to bate been done; and easy alao to baliara that if Captain Johnaon had beea gifted with prearimre he would probably bare taken a aimifar course to that which it ia now aeon that be oogbtto have taken, and which there •ea Kkehbood he would have adopted, bad ha not been nndnly interfered with by the Doctor and other parties who now appear as witnesses againat him.

The Serai wm an iron vessel of 1000 tom register, and her crew numbered 07, all told. She uilrd ferna Off email oo the 29th September, with a gaaeral cargo, and 271 pmamfme, bound for Port Cbalmere; coaarqaently ehe had made the pas Mf» in am day over three calendar mouths. She «aa BHad up with two watertight compartment*, waa not oreriadia, and wa* well found in every reaped the captain, mate, and eeeewd ante, held certificates of lempotoncy; and the flyat named bad been at era 23 yean; had been a maater about 12 year*; over ten yeara ia bi* prmant employ, and eight tun as chief offeer and maater. Everything appear* to have gone on MMWtbly and aoberly throughout the voyage, until the evening of the 3lvt December, when the treeml (truck the rods known as Cbaaland’e Mietake. At that time the Captain aud the whole ef the ©Beers were perfectly sober. The Captain bad left the deck that evening about twenty minutes pa* nine, leaving the second mate in charm, tailing him to keep a good lod-ont. A little before ten the samel struck, when the Captain im ■ifir A ~'j rushed on deck, and ordered the carpenter to attend to the pum pa, the third mate steading by with hie mid to see what water the dip made witbiu a given time. For the irel hour and a quarter aboard# no omlar, and on lading thia to be the cam the Captarw base the omael to, ia order to wait dr daybfht and to •Hay thoirritatioa eiiatwg amoogat de aammmma, who wore vary suited whm tho yomel etrnd, rushing aft aadfKpf thomlooa Thu Captain did not then know his esact position, ■arer having booh on the Hvw Zealand Cooot bofcra, At 11 o’clock the vamal wed# water faster than the pamps would clear, and before 6 •’dad the naal morning it gained on

the pump* at the rate of six or eight inches per hour. Haring a fair wind the Captain acknowledged that it was an error of jadf meat which he had erer since regretted, that he did not bear away to the port of his destination. It was not until between four and fiye o’clock next morning that he became satisfied that the pumps would not be able to keen the vessel afloat. About an hour before this he saw a steamer pass between the ship and the land, hut did not signal her. not then thinking jt was necessary. The -ensign was however hoisted by one of the passengers, without the Captain’s orders ; upon seeing which he had, being annoyed, first ordered it down, but shortly after he told the fourth mate to hoist it again, for fear of a disturbance amongst the passen gem. He had not fired a gun because he did not think the case was then so had as it afterwards turned a They at last came to an anchor in Jack's Bay, where about 100 passengers Were lauded in boats by the ship’s company under the Captain’s direc tions, the first mate at that time being unfortunately drunk in bed, the first time he had ever been seen in that condition. All the other oißeera were sober The captain afterwards slipped anchor and beached the tessel on a bed of quicksand in t atlin’s Bay, when all the remaining passengers were landed. No attempt was made to save the passengers’ luggage, which was floating about in the hold, as passengers and crew were quite worn out. The captain in answer to questions put by Captain Thomson thus concluded his evidence:—“ The first duty of a master, when he discovers his abip has sprung a leak, is to make for the nearest port* That is where I lost myself in lying-to so long. 1 sent an officer down to each compartment to see if the ship was making any water. In calmer moments 1 snight hare put a sail underneath -the { vessel to cover the leak, but there were so many people shout me that great excitement was caused. 1 had no thought of laying on one tack and then another, because 1 was too close to the shore. It did not occur to me to throw any cargo overboard to lighten the vessel. Tne vessel was already very light, and 1 could not easily get at heavy cargo, as the passengers’ luggage was at top. Supposing the hold had filled, the two watertight compartments would nut have floated the ahip. They were very small. Tha object I had in .anchoring in Jack’s Buy was to land tb« passengers there. 1 thought that the crew and myself would have been able to carry the vessel on to Port Cbalmera if we could get the starboard pump to work. If the starboard pump had worked from the first, we would have been able to carry the vessel to port, as the pumps were very powerful ones.” The evidence given by tha other officers of the ship confirms, in all material particulars, that given bv the Captain ; while the voluminous evi deuce given by the other witnesses does not contradict it in essentia) points. That the Surat struck on the rocks, and eventually became a total wreck, was not owing, as has been represented, to the drunkenness of either the Captain or of the other 'hip’s officers is proved by the evidence, and virtually admitted by Mr llaggitt who appeared for the prose cution. What the evidence does show is that the Captain did not retain that decision, coolness, and judgment, after the vessel struck, which be had all along previously exhibited. That evidence also tends to confirm a conviction, which we have long held, that men may bold certificates of competency, and yet be by nature disqualified to hold positions of command in times of danger —that is to say, in times when competency is most needed; and that men who do not bold certificates of competency, and who would be wholly unable to pass with credit an examination at the Board of Trade, or at any other Board, might yet be fully comnetent to take charge of a vessel under similar circumstances as those in which the Surat was placed, and steer her safely into harbor. This wreck of the Surat affords another illustration of the truth that the strictest examinations may test the knowledge and memories, but not the capacities of those who are sub jected to them, as they do not and cannot prove that they are therefore qualified for the offices and professions to which they aspire. That the Surat was lost was, in our humble opinion, more the misfortune than the fault of Captain Johnson; and we are glad to find hy telegrams received while the above was being written, that this also is the opinion held by bis professional brethren; who, it will be conceded, are the most capable of forming an opinion on tlie subject. By the loss of his vessel, and the cancelling of his certificate, be has had his prospects Uasted for life: which is sufficient punishment for any errors of judgment or vacillation ef purpose be showed on the occasion; but even if this were not the case, we contend that to bring a criminal accusation against him on evidence which has been partly elicited at an inquisitorial tribunal, and when no caution bad been given that such a prosecution would be instituted, is repugnant to English law and procedure in criminal eases, snd to an Englishman’s ideas of justice and fair play.

PROGRESS. Them is nothing perhaps that indicates the great strides which have been made in public opinion in England and America on all intellectual moral, and social questions daring the last fifty years, than that which is afforded by a careful perusal of the newspapers and reviews which were published at about the commencement of the present century. The Edinburgh Review, for example, in its early numbers, while strongly advoca ting the Suppression of the Slave Trade, was particularly careful to guard itself from the imputation of having any sympathy with those fanatics” who were favorable to the abolition of Negro slavery. let within a little more than a quarter ol a century from the date of its first publication those fanatics, as it called them, had grown into a body sufficiently powerful to he able to procure the total abolition of slavery in the British West. Indies, which served but as the precursor of its total abolition in the United States also. This is only one instance out of many of the great change which has been etfected in English publb opinion on a variety of important questions since the commencement of the present century. It has occurred to us that a few years ago the advocates of the suppression of the liquor traffic, and of the abolition of the drinking customs of society, stood relatively much in the sumo position as the advocates for the suppression of the Slave Trade and those for the abolition of Negro Slavery stood at the date when the Edinburgh Review was first published. Nor is there any knowing whether, the traffic and the customs in the one case may not at no distant period be viewed with the same feelings of abhorence as has long been manifested with referrenee to the other. Earnestness is infectious, and makes enthusiasts of those who are subject to its influence ; and all enthusiasts are fanatics to those who hold opposite views ou the same subject, be it what it may. We may here add, by way of information and comment, that no cause ever triumphed that did not appear to be fanatically supported. What has taken place with reference to the suppression ot the slave trade may take place, if prose cuted with similar earnestness, with reference to the liquoi traffic and to the use of intoxicating drink as a common beverage It is possible also, if not at present probable, that all warrin? and fighting may likewise be eventually put an end t<>. it is true that men are endowed by nature with strong combative and destructive propensities; but may they not be turned to more beneficial ns. s than the wanton and wholesale destruction of the life and property of those who, as a people, never inten tionally did them an injury ? The foregoing remarks have been called forth by the recent perusal of two or three of the first volumes of the Edinburgh Review, which we followed up by the perusal of the proceedings of a Conference of jurists lately held at Brussells for the reform and codification of the law' of nations. The change which has taken place in public opinion, which has doubtless been brought about by the agency of steam and electricity, could not by any other equally simple means be so clearly exhibit d. At this Conference the following resolution was unanimously carried: — “That this Conference declares that it rrganls arbitration at a means essentially just snd reasonable, and even obligatory on all nations, ot terminating international differences which cannot be settled by negotiation. It abstains from affirming that in all cases, without exception, this mode of solution is applicable, but it believes that the exceptions are rare, and it is convinced that no difference ought to be considered insoluble until after a elear statement of complaints and reasonable de'ay and exhaustion of all pacific methods of accommodation.” The representative of Italy, Professor Mauciui, congratulated the Conference on its unanimity and observed with considerable truth and force ; “ Tou cannot put a limit to the employment of Arbitration without creating dangerous exceptions. Let us admit the principle, and bo sure it will work its own way. The old school treated conquest as the supreme answer to any difference and quarrels, as the ultimate appeal; the modern school, ou the contrary, regards conquest without a convention to be mere spoliation, mere brigandage. A similar change of ideas wilfagitaie the £uro|>ean mind, if once this principle of arbitration is admitted.” An association was formed to consist of jurists, economists, legislators, politicians and others taking an interest in the question of the reform and codification of public aud private international laws; the settlement of disputes by arbitration and the assimulation of the laws, practice, and procedure of nations in reference to such laws. This association, it should be noted, is only ore out of a largo number which are now organised in Europe and America, having tor their object a higher civilization than has yet beer, attained, or which at any earlier period would bare beeu deemed attainable.

LOCAL Sc GBITEBAL.

Dissolving Views.— lt will be seen by an advertisement that arrangements have been made for Mr Wiggins, of Featherston, to give his popular Dissolving Views’ entertainmeqt at Masterton on Feb. 7. As the prices of admission are low and as the affair is got up for the benefit of the Hall Ford, and, lastly, as it offers a genuine evening’s amusement and instruction there is no doubt but that the Hall will be filled. The Ret. Mr. Ogo.—This gentleman, so well known and anprecialcd in Wellington circles, is annouucad to preach at the Presbyterian Church on Sunday next, and to lecture on “The Nile” at the same place on the following evening. The Colony's Birthday —lt will be seen that the 22nd January, being the thirtyfourth anniversary of the foundation of the Colony has been fittingly celebrated, and we now direct spec al attention to the remarks made by our Wliarckaka Correspondent on the subject. We shall urge the claims of the grandchildren of the Colony’s founder on the Colony mil l we s< e that they have a fair chance of being recognised. We ask the Colony to adopt (hose children as her own, and we trust that the request will at thr next Session of her Parliament be granted. News. —We must go from home to hear news. The Otago Witness says according to the Wellington sheep inspector’s report there are about 150,000 sheep 1 in the i’rovipcol Our contem|iorary mistakes ote of the smallest of our sheep districts for the whole Province. The Timaru Herald, treating of the Native land purchases in the' Middle Island, says that Mr Kemp's testimony cannot now be obtained to verify or gainsay Taiaroa’s statements. Why not? He would not, os the Herald supiioscs, be required to be summoned from tbe other world for the purpose. Matarawa. —This district is now in a fair way of having a school, as Mr Udy has offered to give an acre of ground for the sclioolhousc, and Mr Revans has offered to give the timber required. As soon as the seboolhoiise is erected there will be fortythree children to attend it. It is gratifying to learn that there is so much interest taken in the important question, and we congratulate Mr Gallon, the iriginator of the movement, on his success, as in addition to the above £l2 in cash has been subscribed to the building fund. Kaiwaiwai. —The settlers in this district are anxious to have a full time school, as there are now upwards of twenty-five scholars on the books. They like their present teacher (Mr Scott) so well that they want to have him altogether. Sleepers. —Mr Vogel on his journey from Dunedin to Christchurch was interviewed by the Timani Borough Council. In reply to the Mayor he said that the Government were anxious to push on the Timaru Railway as part of the main line, the chief difficulty was the impossibility of procuring sleepers. The Mayor doubled whether this was the true cause ; but Mr Vogel remarked that he was certain the Government were under the impression that the great difficulty in the delay of the railway being completed was the inability to procure sleepers, and he still perristed in repeating that that was the cause. Thus we see that ilia completion of the Kimutaka railway would not only bo the means of supplying durable s'cepers at a reasonable rate, but be the meton of facilitating the completion of the south ni lines. Seventy Mile Bush.—The following information, for which \v« niy„ indebted to the Hawke’s Bay Herald will be read with interest by our fellow-settlers: —“ Mr Loeke, during Iris visit to t he Seventy-mile Bush last week, managed to complete the purchase of the Tamaki portion (the Hawke’s Bay end) of the Seventy-mile Bush, a few signatures only being now required from natives wlio were not present. The purchase of Ihe Wairarapa end of the district is also fairly settled, (he amount now acquired comprising about 400,000 acres. These two tracts of counlry are fully paid for, and the remaining small lots, containing in all a'amt 8000 acres, are now under treaty. After the completion of ibis important busin-ss, a friendly discussion took place on general subjects, the natives being evidently well satisfied with the position of their affairs. Tabatahi Races. —We have a report of the Stewards’ meeting relative to the above, which we are compelled to hold over until our next. In onr report we stated that Greytown won both beats with Dick Turpin 2nd, whereas the name of the first horse was not Greytown, but Deceiver. The following races and sports took place after we left the course. Tbe one mile handicap flat race for all winners, brought four horses to the post, and a really good race resulted in favor of Tiohborne, a rather nice colt by Oliver Cromwell out of Pretty Girl, one of Mr Donald’s good mares. The Consolation Stakes, for all beaten horses, catcbweiglit, was won by Mr Vile’s Laoenfield, Uemi’s Greytown being second. The 500 yards men’s foot race was won by Desmond, Yule 2nd, and Reid 3rd. The 260 yards men’s fo it race was a grand struggle between the fb ir competitors for the first 200 yards, but th -re it ended, for the runners commenced pa -hing one another about, Desmond being mucked completely over.- It is difficult to say who would have won had'not the scrimmage occurred. As it was Yule was just able to beat Reid for first place. Of course there was a protest, and tbe stewards were obliged to divide the stakes between the first two as the only way out of tjie difficulty. Putting the heavy stone, Hugh McMaster Ist, Desmond 2nd. The Vaulting was won by John Cotter, T. Reid being second. Lucas v. Haggerty.— ,We have received from a correepouder t a seport tJf this cose which is more correct than (he due we published in our last, but we are obliged to hold it over until our next. Abbott’s Creek. —As we' were enabled to announce in our last, without owning any thanks for the information to the Provincial authorities, Mr Petberick was the successful tenderer for the bridge over this creek, at Feathrrrten, for the sum of £IB7O. The other tenders were Sooularsnd Archibald, £2462 ; Barry and McDowell, £2BOO j Cave and Co , £2975. As more than one of the above tenderers had a practical knowledge of bridge building in this district, tbe great difference between the accepted and the rejected tenders is to say the least remarkable. If Mr Petherick’s tender had been £SOO more than it was it would still have been by far the lowest tender Good News.— The great road fyom Napier to the Manawatu Gorge has been formed and metalled, the various bridges being of substantial and workman-like construction, ft is anticipated that within the next two months conveyances will be enebled to run through Hawke's Bay to meet the Wellington and Wanganui coaches at Fuxton. The branch road from the Manawatu Gorge to the Wairarapa Bush is also steadily progressing, the bush having been cleared away, and the road is now in course of formation.

Sensational Telegrams.— Tht Evening Post of Saturday last, referring to tlie tele* gram* received that dnj, says: First, we have it reported from Taurasga that twenty earthquakes have been felt there during the last three days, and some very severe shocks this morning. Next, n e read that a fearfnl boiler explosion occurred last night at the Thames, who, according to the telegram, " iea»e three wives and fourteen children.” Then, we notice that at the JdltitT a bale of wool fell on a man this morning, and smashed his ribs, the splinters of which pierced his heart, and he died in a few minutes. Fourthly, we are told that the dead body of a bank manager had been found lying near an hotel at the Hot Springs, and that he was considered to have died by the visitation of God. Fifthly, that a w iman was found dead in the Hokitika River, and was supposed to have committed suicide. Norsewood. —The following interesting paragraph is taken from the Napier Duly Telegraph, of the 20th instant: “ His Honor the Superintendent visited the Saventy-Mile Bush last week, for the purpose of inspcc ing the public works completed and in course of construction in that district-. A triumphal arch was erected over the bridge at Norsewood, by the inhabitants of the Scandinavian settlement. Onr correspondent further informs us that the road is making rapid progress towards completion, and w ill be ojicned for coach traffic from Waipukurau to the .Vfanawatu Gorge, within a month from this date. Summit Contract.—We heard last week that Collie and Co. had sent in the lowest tender for this contract, but as the amount named was so far below the Engineer’s estimate we doubted if the tender would be accepted. We now learn through the Evening Post the amoun's of the several tenders, which were as follows: Collie, Scott, and Wilkinson, £18,701, 7s Bd, accepted. Declined—M'Kirdy, Wellington, £21,812 ; J. K. George, £32,056; James Lockie, £33,467 Is 9d ; William Strachan, £26,837 lls sd; Allen and Co., £36,709 4s 8,1; Charles Bray, £35,032 18s. The contract for this important work was signed last Friday afternoon.

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Bibliographic details

THE WAIRARAPA STANDARD WEDNRSDAY, JANUARY 28, 1874. THE WRCECK OF THE SURAT., Wairarapa Standard, Volume 2, Issue 145, 28 January 1874

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THE WAIRARAPA STANDARD WEDNRSDAY, JANUARY 28, 1874. THE WRCECK OF THE SURAT. Wairarapa Standard, Volume 2, Issue 145, 28 January 1874

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