has been very little difference in the price of bulk and bottled ales, but the demand has been better. Wines and spirits are very dull, and continue with but little demaral, in consequence of the increasing shipments. In the provision trade very little has been done; butter has sold freely at 10½d. to 11d. ; bacon and hams are altogether without inquiry. Candles have slightly receded in value, and Belmont sperms are now quoted at 15d., and Neva stearines at 16½d., but there has been very little business doing. The stock of coffee is gradually lessening, and prices are therefore getting firmer. At the commencement of the month, the stock of teas was low, but the arrival of the Planter from Foo-Chow-Foo, with a full cargo, will replenish the market. Sugars have improved in value, and the cargo ex Grecian Queen sold at an advance of 20s. to 30s. over previous quotations. Rice has been selling at £17 10s., but in the face of recent arrivals prices no doubt will slightly recede.
The Share Market has assumed a healthier tone during the past month. This is probably accounted for by several of the mining companies having got to work, and produced satisfactory results. A meeting of the Bolinda Mining Company was held on 31st October, when three gentlemen were elected on the board of Directors in the place of three resigned. The secretary stated that there were 196 shareholders in the company, holding about 12,000 shares. An attempt would be made to wind up the company. An ordinary meeting of the Long Gully and Back Creek Company was held on the same day. The machinery on the Back Creek had been sold, and the directors anticipated that the reservoirs, which were now filled with water, would be purchased by the Government. The works on the Long Gully were being actively carried on. A special meeting of the Albion Mining Company was held on the 15th of October; a resolution was passed altering the 68th clause in the deed of settlement, so as to allow the directors to declare a dividend at any other time besides the half-yearly and annual meetings. A dividend of 12 per cent out of the net profits was declared. The half-yearly meeting at the Colonial Bank was held on October 23rd; the report and balances sheet were unanimuosly [unanimously] adopted ; the net profits for the half-year amounted to £29,358, out of which a dividend of 10 per cent would be paid. A special meeting of the Bendigo Water Works Company was held on the 18th of October, for the purpose of declaring 3,000 shares belonging to Mr. Thos. Lewis to be forfeited. A formal resolution to that effect was put and carried.
The following are the rates now established in bank rates of exchange : Interest on deposits, at 30 days, 1½ and 2 per cent ; do. do. do., at 3 months, 2 and 2½ per cent ; at 6 months, 4 and 4½ per cent. No higher rate for any longer period. Discount, 2 months business bills, 7 per cent. : do., 3 do., 8 per cent. : do., 4 do., 9 per cent. On regular and unsecured advances, and past-due bills, 12 per cent. The rates of exchange remain without alteration. Drafts on England at 60 days' sight are issued at par. Drafts against gold, etc., are purchased at 1 per cent discount. Freight on gold, per sailing vessels, 2½ per ounce ; per overland mail steamers, one per cent., deliverable at the Bullion office, Bank of England, including insurance and duty, 2 per cent. To Mauritius, Ceylon, or Indian ports, 5/8 per cent ; to Hong Kong [3/4] per cent. Insurance, 1½ per cent, : and overland 1¼ per cent. In the general money-market there is no change. the rates of interest rule at from 10 to 15 per cent, according to amount and nature of security.
The following vessels have sailed with gold freights, Oct 25 - Behar, for Point De Galle, 16,729 ozs. Nov. 2 - Fides for Hong Kong, 8049 ozs. 4 -Wellesley, for London, 32,854 ozs.
The following vessels have arrived from British and foreign ports since the 25th October. Oct 26 -Franklin Haven, from London ; Dominick Daly, from Mauritius, 29 - Trijntje Fenna, from Rotterdam; Lodore, from Calcutta ; Grecian Queen, from Mauritius ; Lizzie Spedding, from San Francisco ; 30 - Thames, from Mauritius ; Lightning, from Liverpool. Nov. 3 - Result, from London ;Zohoah, from Liverpool ; Planter from Foo-Chow-Foo ; Bold Hunter, from Boston ; Scringapatam, from Calcutta ; Trave, from London ; Vrede, from Rotterdan. 5 - Ida Marian de Baath, from batavia ; Contiance, from Calcutta.
The following are the departures for the same period. October 25 - Behar, for Point De Galle, 27 - Neva, for Guam ;Damietta, for Ceylon, 29 - Melbourne, for Guam. 31 - General Windham, for Callao. Nov 2 - Sparkling Sea, for Guam ; Fides, for Hong Kong ; Canton, for Guam. 3 - Charlotte W. White, for Callao. 4 - Wellesley, for London. 5 - Lois for Mauritius.
THE NEW ZEALAND WAR
Our latest dates from Taranaki are to the 12th October. We give below a detailed account of the various operations undertaken by General Pratt, from which it will be seen that nothing definite had been done ; the Maroies [Maoris] had lost all dread of the Europeans, and it was feared that the Wakiatos would join the insurgents, and that the war would become general throughout the northern Island. No reinforcements had arrrived [arrived] from either England or India, but the forces under General Pratt including the detachments of the 12th, 40th, and 65th, the artillery and engineers, the naval brigade, and the militia and volunteers, numbered some 3000 men.
The following narrative of the events, following the 14th September, the date of our advices in the last number of the News Letter, is from the correspondent of the Nelson Examiner : - "It has happened, with every desire to write to you as regularly as practicable, that only one opportunity has offered since my letter of 7th of last month. Much has happened since, with more than the usual disgrace, Large bodies of men, eager for service, have been made to retire before insignificant numbers of the enemy, who even invited an engagement in the open field, knowing the aversion of our military rulers to tackle them in the forest. The discreditable affairs, to use no stronger expression, I shall now relate, will illustrate this ; and I may add that the subaltern officers and men of both sevices [services] are in no way behind us in their criticisms, though necessarily more guarded in expressing them.
"The past month has been fruitful of expeditions against the natives, but they are planned in a way to illustrate the old fable of the mountain in labour. " On the 19th of the month, 600 men, commanded by Major Hutchins, 12th Regiment, were despatched [dispatched] south to destroy the enemy's stockades at Tataraimaka, which were found empty, as anticipated. Proceeding onwards to Kaihihi, the progress of the force was interrupted by a strong looking pah, from which natives issued and fired at our men. The major, not deeming his force sufficient, very properly applied for reinforcements, and these were promised, as well as an eight-inch gun from Waitara. I may mention that two guns of the same calibre were recently brought up from Wellington in H.M.S. Fawn, and sent back without being landed at New Plymouth, because the pah they were to have been used against had been abandoned by the enemy. It does not appear to have occurred to our general that the other pahs might require a big gun : had these been landed, the necessity for employing 50 bullocks and 500 men, between Waitara and the town, to bring up and protect a gun over ten miles of road, would not have arisen. When the gun was got, the general changed his mind, and ordered the expedition back to town, to the surprise and disgust of every individual composing it. But the next and latest affair was to throw all the others into the shade.
"You will see an account of this affair in the Herald of the 6th, an account more than usually outspoken, though it has never been hinted that the general would interfere with the press in any way. Five hundred men in command of Colonel Leslie, 40th Regiment, were employed on the 28th ultimo to fill up the rifle pits of the pahs destroyed by General Pratt's expedition of the 14th ultimo, with orders, it is stated, not to interfere with the natives. But there was either no such order given, or the terms of it must have been very deficient, as the service upon which Colonel Leslie was detached was an interference that was almost certain to provoke hostilities. And so it resulted. The men were fired upon first at long range, and finding it led to no return, and the strictest orders having been given that no man
should fire without an order from the Colonel, the natives came out of cover and hunted the retreating troops over two miles of open country ; the rear guard, at last, exasperated at seeing their comrades fall, and to save themselves (the natives being within a hundred yards), wheeling about and firing in defiance of their commander. Whence can this result be derived. Is it the old system of tying up officers in command which was tried, found wanting and condemned in the Crimean war.? Is it that system which, in the history of campaigns, has lost every battle and ruined every every army which has not been destroyed by obvious bad generalship.? Or if it is not this, to what cause can it be ascribed? Some cogent reasons must be given why 500 well-armed men, protected by artillery, retreated in obvious confusion before eighty or ninety pursuing savages.
"Thus much of what has happened since you last heard from me. A thousand men are told off for Kaihihi tomorrow, the general to command : but any substantial result will be a most welcome surprise. The rebels, bold as we have made them, are not likely to stand their ground before such a train as General Pratt moves with, nor will anything decisive be accomplished until the actual force to be employed is kept out of sight, and suddenly concentrated on the enemy.
"The militia and volunteers always take part in these expeditions, indulging the hope, with their brethren of the line and the naval brigade, that they must lead to something decisive at last. But I mention this chiefly to add that an excellent proposal is afoot for reconstituting this local force. The idea is to disband the whole, and to form a field and garrison force. By increasing the inducements it is believed that a valuable field force of 300 men may be got from the present militia and volunteers, and the number, if found advisable, be indefinitely increased from other parts of the colony and elsewhere. The rest would form a garrison force, and consist of those who are getting up in years, and of those interests keep them in town. General Pratt has always expressed his reliance on our local force, and desires to see the alteration effected, which only awaits the sanction of the Governor.
"What follows, however, is still more important :
"Tuesday, 9th October. The expedition to Kailu left town this morning between seven and eight o'clock, and will encamp tonight at Tataraimaka. The force comprises the following : Major General Pratt, C.B. (in command( ; Lieutenant-Colonel Carey, D.A.G.: Captain Pasley, R.E. ; Lieutenant Forster, A.D.C. ; Dr. Monatt, C.B. ; Colonel Mould, R.E. Lieutenant-Colonel Sillery, D.O.G. ; Lieutenant A. King, A.D.C. ; D.C.G. Jones ; D.A.C.G. Chislett ; Captain Strover, R.A. ; Lieutenant McNaughten, R.A. ; and 36 Royal Artillery ; Captain Mould, R.E. and 32 Royal Engineers. 157 men of the 12th Regiment, under Major Hutchins, Captain Miller, Lieutenant Lowry, Mair, Lieutenant and Adjutant Richardson, and Ensign La Touche ; 218 men of the 40th regiment, under Captain Hare,