amongst our Victorian gold-fields,. and are increasing daily in richness, extent, and population. While the old diggings are maintaining their character for richness, new auriferous ground is daily being discovered. And were it not for the cessation of immigration, there would be no probability of any falling off in the yield of gold.
JOURNAL OF COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY.
There is no improvement to report this month in the state of trade. Complaints are still heard of its extreme dulness, and buyers are cautious in the face of the large imports which are coming to hand.
The following are the latest quotations of the Stock and Share Markets :- Banks: Victoria for London Register have changed hand. at £38, £37, and £36.10s. Colonial, at £6 7s. 6d., £6. 8s, 6d. and £6.9s., closing at £6. 8s. 6d. cum div. National, at £3. 3s., £3 .2s. 6d., and £3 2s., £3 1s., closing firm at £3. Railways: Hobson's Bay at £67, £66.10s., £65., closing at £63. St. Kilda and Brighton, £13, closing at £12. Melbourne and Suburban, at £9. 15s., £9. 12. 6d., £9. 10s., £9. 7s. 6d., and £9. 6s. 6d., closing firm at £9. 5s., no sellers. Insurance: - Victorian Life and General, at £3., and £2. 17s. 6d., closing in demand at the latter quotation; Colonial, at 12s.6d., 15s., and 17s. 6d.: Australian, at 21s., 21s. 6d., 22s., 22s.6d., and 23s., closing firm: Melbourne, at 4s.3d., 4s. 6d., and 5s. Gas: - Melbourne Gas at 33 per cent, and 30 per cent, premium: new issue at 10s., 12s. 6d., 15s.,and 17s.6d., premium; Geelong, 7s. 6d., and 5s. discount; and Bendigo, 20s. discount.
The usual number of mining company's meetings have been held during the month, and a statement of affairs laid before the shareholders.
A meeting of the Victoria Coal Company was held on the 19th ult. Much dissatisfaction was expressed at the course taken by the directors in making a further call upon the first shareholders, after they had received a promise from the Secretary that such would not be done.
The annual meeting of the members of the Melbourne Chamber of Commerce was held on the 5th inst. in the Exchange Building, C.E. Bright, Esq., presided. The report of the proceedings of the committee for the year ending 31st March, 1860, was read and adopted. The address of the president had reference more particularly to the commercial history of the colony, and touched upon the actual exciting causes of the existing depression. C.E. Bright, Esq., was elected President, and J.P. Lord, Esq., Vice-President. The following resolution was carried on the motion of Mr. Lord: - "That a special meeting of the Chamber be appointed to take into consideration the present commercial state of the colony, and to report at a special meeting, to be called by the President, as to the existing depression in all mercantile affairs, and to recommend such remedies as they may deem advisable.
The Insolvency Circular for the month of March, published by Messrs. MacKillop and Cooke, gives a list of no less than 163 solvents. This is the largest number of schedules ever filed in one month since the establishment of the colony. The estates are small in the main, the liabilities in the majority of the cases being between £100 and £390.
The following vessels have arrived from British and foreign ports during the month: - April 4 - Oscar (s.s.) from London; Admiral Printz Adelbert from London; Laurence, from Mauritius, 5 - British Trident, from Liverpool; Beverley, from Calcutta. 7 - Yorkshire, from London, 8 - Oxus from Dundee; Athenais from Liverpool; Alma, from New York; Augusta Kaufman, from Colombo. 9 - Ebezhardt, from London. 11 - Ravensdale, from Gottenberg. 12 - Sarah M., from Liverpool;
Montrose from Gottenberg. 13 - Benares (s.s.) from Suez; Statelie from Liverpool; Lord Clyde, from Greenock; Scotia from London; Edward and Elise, from San Francisco. 16 - Princess Royal, from Puget Sound, 21 - Red Jacket, from Liverpool. 23 - William Sturgis, from Boston.
The following vessels have departed during the month, for British and foreign ports: April 1 - Carlotta for Manilla; Venilia for London; Atlantic, for Callao. 3 - Blanche, for Guam. 6 - Constantine, for Callao. 7 - Gladiolus, for Callao, 8 - Raby Castle, for Calcutta; Prince of Wales, for London. 10 Confiance, for Calcutta. 13 - Fanny, for Guam; D.E. Weber, for Callao. 14 - Grecian Queen, for Mauritius; Maid of Judah, for London; Mary Bangs for Valparaiso; John A. Parks for Callao.
18 - Eagle, for Liverpool; General Simpson for Guam. 19 - Flamingo, for Guam, 20 - Mackon for Guam, 21 - S.G. Glover, for Callao; 25 - Kinso for Valparaiso; Kent, for London; Emco (s.s.) for Suez.
The following are the shipments of gold during the month: - April 1 Venilia for London, 18,933 ozs. 8 - Prince of Wales for London 33,055 ozs; Raby Castle for Calcutta, 8742 ozs. 14 - Maid of Judah for London, 31,047 ozs. 18 - Eagle, for Liverpool, 33,075 ozs.24 - Kent, for London, 58.986 ozs. : Emco for Suez. 10, 072 ozs.
THE NEW ZEALAND WAR.
Much excitement has been caused her of late by the outbreak of the natives of New Zealand. The news of this first reached us on the 28th of March by telegraph from Sydney, and we now have dates from Taranaki or New Plymouth, the seat of war, down to the 5th April.
One of the greatest of the alleged grievances of the natives relates to the land, and to the mode in which it is disposed of to the British Government by the native chiefs. Under the native law, all the land, it seems is held by the tribes in common. Hence, if the chief sells the land, they compromise the interests of the people, and the unexpected value which it has acquired has excited disputes which are incapable of being determined by the Government. The natives have no clear or well-defined boundaries - no written records. And hence, while the British authorities intend acting fairly, and pay a considerable price for the land purchased, there is great danger of their becoming the dupes of Maori imposters.
Partly from this cause, but still more from others, some of the native tribes in the Taranaki district have bound themselves by oath to sell no more of their land, and the attempt to adjust the point with them has been one of great perplexity to the Government. A meeting for this purpose was held in March, 1859, at which one of the chiefs, named Te Teira, offered to sell his land, and another, known as William King, disputed his right to do so. "The land offered by Te Teira at this meeting was conditionally accepted by the Commissioner, and the District land Purchase Commissioner, Mr. Parris, made a careful inquiry into the validity of the rights of Teira, Rawiri Raupongo, Retimand, and other sellers. This inquiry was prolonged till the close of the year 1859, not from any doubt that existed as to the title, but in the hope that the opposing party might be brought to reason. It was at length decided to pay an instalment of the purchase money, full notice being given to King. This was done, on the 2nd February the survey was attempted by a small unarmed party, but was put a stop to by a crowd of King's people. The Governor thereupon proceeded to Taranaki, where he arrived on 1st March, and immediately despatched a message to W. King, requesting that, to prevent misunderstanding, he should come into town and learn the Governor's intention, and offer a safe conduct. King, however, refused to come. It was now finally determined to carry the survey by a military force, and on the 5th March troops were moved down to Waitara, and occupied a position on the purchased block. The office commanding the troops was instructed to confine the operations of the force at Waitara, within the bounds of the purchased block. The pahs on the block, with the houses they contain, were not to be interfered with by the troops, and payment was to be offered for crops, consumed or destroyed. Two of the pahs were destroyed, but by Teira's party and not by the troops. Two day [days?] after the troops reached Waitara, a small pah was erected on the block by the opposing
natives, in a situation commanding the road from New Plymouth to the camp, and some carts carrying supplies for the troops were stopped; but on a firm front being shown by the mounted escort, the carts reached the camp in safety. The same day the pah was evacuated on a summons from the Governor. On the 13th and 14th March the sellers pointed out the boundaries of the block, which were duly surveyed, and the lines cut, the sellers aiding in the work. On the night of the 15th March, another
pah was built by some of the rebel natives, within the purchased land, about a mile from the camp, and the war dance was performed by the same party. The following day they proceeded to pull up the survey stakes, and made firm along the line. On the 17 March, the officer commanding sent a written summons to the pah; but the war party refused to receive it, and threatened the messenger. Fire was then opened on the pah, and continued during the day, and on the 18th
the pah was evacuated, and occupied by the troops, with the loss of three men wounded, one of whom is since dead. This storming of the pah on the 17th of March, and its evacuation on the 18th, is what has been called the first action with the natives, and need not be more fully described, but a little more space may be assigned for the second, of which we give an abridged account from the letter of an eye witness, under date of Taranaki, the 30th March. After describing the action of the 17th and 18th, in such a way as not to inspire us with much confidence in the wisdom of the movement, or in the opportunity it afforded for any great display of British valour, he proceeds: - " On Saturday, the 24th, news was brought to town which altered the complexion of affairs. Manahai, a turbulent Taranaki chief, occupying land near the Omata stockade, who had been pretending for some time friendly dispositions to the settlers, and had signed a declaration of allegiance, having collected a body of men, variously stated from 69
to 150, commenced plundering in his neighbourhood, and threatened the life of Mr. Honeyfield, who occupied an adjoining farm.
"At one a.m. on Sunday the volunteer rifles were ordered to muster in an hour, for a night march on these scoundrels. They arrived punctually, and stood 100 strong waiting orders. For some reason which did not appear, the company of he 65th, which was to form the rest of the party, did not arrive till half-past three o'clock. By four o'clock all were on the move along the beach, somewhat fearing that the hour for a surprise was lost, a fear which hardly disappeared with the bugle sounded a half mile off the escarpment of Manahai. Half an hour was spent in beautiful sunshine, walking about the field on the right of the camp of Manahai three men looked over a fence, saw a Maori, pointed a gun, and had the compliment returned, and the word retire was given, and back to town the party turned to breakfast. Major Herbett was willing to have taken his men into the forest, by Colonel Murray, the commander of the party, did not feel at liberty to give support with the men of the 65th.
"The operation of Tuesday was somewhat farcical, but events of a darker colour followed quickly enough to make all serious. Colonel Gold had directed a general muster of militia and volunteers in the afternoon, without arms, that he might inspect the physical condition of the men, and pay such