well worth seeing. His Excellency Sir Henry Barkly was present on both days.
The Jockeys' Association had their first annual races on the 25th ult., on the Melbourne race-course, under the special patronage of Sir Henry Barkly, who likewise honored the races with his presence.
The late collector of customs at Port Albert has been committed for trial on three distinct charges of embezzlement.
The Government have appointed a board to consider the best steps to be taken to carry out a system of prospecting for new gold fields, £30,000 having been voted by the legislature as a reward for such a discovery.
It has been proposed by the admirers of the "immortal bard", Shakespeare, to erect a memorial to his memory in Melbourne, on the 300th anniversary of his birthday. Meetings have been held at which the subject has been discussed, and a committee of gentlemen have been appointed to carry out the intentions of the projectors of this tribute to the poet.
The Lord Bishop of Melbourne delivered a lecture in the Mechanics' Institute on the 14th inst., on the necessity for Sabbath Observance. The reverend lecturer was listened to attentively, and a vote of thanks was passed to him at the conclusion of the proceedings. Another lecture was subsequently delivered on the same subject, and in the same place, by the Reverend Adam Cairns, minister of the Free Church of Scotland.
The Collingwood Gas Company's Bill has, after much opposition from the Melbourne Gas Company, passed the House of Assembly, and been read a first time in the Legislative Council. The Melbourne Gas Company, true to the instinct of self-preservation or rather of monopoly, have petitioned the Council against the passing of the Bill, but it is not probable that that Company will much longer enjoy such a lucrative monopoly.
By the ship Maidstone a number of English singing birds have arrived in this colony. Out of 50 thrushes, 35 goldfinches, 36 larks, and 50 gold-fish, originally put on board, only 36 thrushes, 16 goldfinches and eight larks
surviving the passage.
A return moved for in the Legislative Council has been printed, showing the number of acres of country land sold during the years 1857, 1858, 1859, and to the 31st of March, 1860, and specifying in each case the number of acres sold at the upset price of £1 per acre, and over £1 per acre, with the amount realised. In 1857,the number of acres sold at the upset price was 261,851 acres and the number over that price 221,559 acres, for the gross sum of £510,752 15s. 11d. In 1858, the number sold at the upset price was 261,851 acres, and the number over that price 221,559 acres for the gross sum of £216,225 3s.2d. In 1859, the number sold at the upset price was 312,784 acres,and the number over that price 138, 830 acres, for the gross sum of 306,987 5s.10d. And from the first of January to the 31st of
March, 1860, so far as the returns can yet be made up, 53,080 acres at the upset price, and 18,644 acres above it, for the gross sum of £35,862 2s.11d. The totals for the whole period are 754,583 acres at the upset price, and 501,315 acres above it, for the sum of £1,(indecipherable).
The last mail despatched (dispatched) by the (indecipherable) contained 48,711 ordinary and 2,354 registered letters, and 48,373 newspapers.
The Geelong Railway Purchase Bill has at length passed both houses of parliament; and this question, which has been made such a bugbear, of, as affecting the credit of the colony, has at length been settled. It is hard to say whether the shareholders or the public will receive the greatest benefit from the settlement of the question.
Waines, the man tried and convicted of the horrid murder of Hunt and his wife at Casterton, in the Portland district, is at present lodged in the Central Gaol, Melbourne. A point of law has been reserved to be argued by the judges, as to whether, in the absence of the identification of the remains of Waines's victims, and , consequently the legal proof of their death, he can be punished.
The Chinese are great adepts at the manufacture of spurious gold. Scarcely a week passes without some of these celestials being taken up for this offence. The great increase in this description of offenders must in some degree to be attributed to the comparatively light punishment which is inflicted; the offence being dealt with under the charge of obtaining money under false pretences.
Two vacancies have occurred in the Legislative Council during the past month. One has been filled by Mr. Geo. Rolfe, a Melbourne merchant; and with respect to the other vacancy, the writ has not yet been returned.
John Colvyn, the late agent of the London Chartered Bank at Back Creek, who was a defaulter to a considerable extent, was recently tried at the General Sessions, Carisbook, convicted of embezzlement, and sentenced to two years' imprisonment with hard labour.
Mr. Sinclair, the owner of a Station on the Goulburn, disappeared from Bignell's hotel on the 3rd inst., in a most mysterious manner. On leaving the hotel, he gave his watch and chain to a lady, and said that probably before long she would see some letters of his in the newspapers. He was last seen at the house of Mr. Joseph, at St. Kilda, where he left on the 4th, taking a book with him, as if going out for a stroll. His continued absence created great apprehensions for his safety, and a search was made through the country round about St. Kilda by a number of gentlemen, but they could not succeed in discovering any trace of him. On Saturday, the 26th inst., however, the mystery was cleared up. A boy passing through the scrub at the rear of the Marine Hotel, Brighton, discovered the remains of the deceased gentleman - the body lying with the face downwards,and very much decomposed. It had apparently been at the spot where it as found for about a week. The book which the deceased took from Mr. Joseph's, where he was last seen, and which was a copy of " Midshipman Easy." was found besides the corpse. An inquest was held on the body on Monday last, and the jury returned the verdict to the effect "That the deceased, Andrew Sinclair, was found dead at Brighton, on the 26th May, having died from a poisonous dose of some preparation containing morphia, but there is no evidence to show by whom it was administered."
THE LABOR AND PRODUCE MARKET.
As we have stated in previous News Letters for some months past, the necessity for renewed immigration has been gradually forcing itself upon the public minds, and it may now be considered the topic of the day. The Chamber of Commerce met on the 3rd May, and they spoke out on this point in no doubtful or uncertain terms. A select committee of the Chamber had been appointed to draw up a report on the causes of the present depression, and they assigned as the first and chief one,
the falling-off in immigration. "To this cause alone," say they, "are to be traced most of the evils under which not only the commercial interest but every interest in the colony suffering." A tabular statement of the arrivals and departures from the 1st January, 1852, to the 31st of March, 1860, showing a nett increase of 74,000 souls by immigration during that period, but declining in its yearly amount in 1852, and 1853 from 63,000 and 49,000 in those two years respectively to 18.000 and 11.000 in 1858 and 1859, and they thus proceed: -
"Those familiar with our commercial history for these eight years, will recollect that, during the years from 1852 to 1856, when by the above statistics it will be seen that our immigration was largest our commercial prosperity was the greatest, and has been declining since our decreasing immigration. We have proved by our own experience what has always been an acknowledged fact, 'that no country can stand still - they must advance in population, wealth, and cultivation, or they must recede.' It is for this Chamber, by its decision and its influence, to give an impulse either one way or the other.
"Your committee, having thus shown that the falling off in immigration is the primary, or one of the primary, causes of our commercial depression, have now to report what, in their opinion, will remedy the evil. Assuming first, that our gold-fields no longer offer sufficient inducement for a large increase to our population by unassisted immigration, neither are the other
inducements we offer sufficient, while we have the United States and the Canadas are rivals; for the shortness of the voyages to those countries, and consequent cheapness, render them easy of
access to the poorer classes of Europe; but even with that advantage your committee do not hesitate to assert that the emigration to those countries would be comparatively small to what it is, were it not assisted; for it is a well ascertained
fact, that much of the larger proportion of the emigration to those countries is paid for by the friends of the emigrants living there : that the emigrants, if left to their own resources, are far too poor to pay even the small sum required for
their passage, but which is soon earned after arrival, and they, in their turn, remit the necessary funds or passage-ticket to their friends to follow them; and thus the stream of emigration to those countries is kept up by assistance and by assistance alone. If, then, the emigrant cannot raise even the small sum necessary to pay his passage to America, how can it be expected that he can raise five or six times the amount to pay his passage to Australia without assistance? - and the cost of which is so large that private parties here cannot afford to render it to any extent as in America. Your committee can, therefore, come to no other conclusion than that the only way we can get immigration to the extent required is by the animal appropriation of a large sum of money to provide free passages to those that may desire to come to our shores. And they would further express their firm conviction, that the class requiring such assistance are, for a new country, fully equal to any that can come here, for they are, as a class,
healthy and robust,temperate and frugal in their habits, and, from being previously inured to work, they are well adapted to aid in developing our resources; besides which, they are not so liable to return - they have said adieu to their native places, and come here, intending to make this a
permanent home for themselves and families.
"Your committee have further to report, that they believe immigration hither can be greatly facilitated by the appointment of a competent person well informed in everything concerning the colony, as a special agent to Great Britain whose duty shall be to disseminate information through the cities and rural districts by lectures and writings of those things connected with the colony which emigrants wish to be made acquainted with, and who shall look after the disbursing of the fund for the purpose. Such an agent, your committee are of opinion, would render material aid in inducing immigration.
At the time of the discussion on Mr. Aspinall's motion, and pending the Chamber's report, a select committee of the Legislative Assembly,
appointed on the motion of Mr. Loader, member
for West Melbourne, was sitting, to take in to consideration the best means of inducing immigration to this colony, and they brought up their report on the 3rd inst., which was embodied
in these resolutions, of which motion was then given -