moved by Mr. Hull, and seconded by Mr. Thomson.
On the present state of the land question it is difficult to speak with exactitude.  To say that it is settled, and that there has been any nearer approach to settlement than when the Land Act was passed in June last, would, however, be hardly consistent with truth.  But this is no place to argue the question, or we should say that all that has been done in reference to it is only out one of the many constant proofs we have of the truth of that seeming paradox in  economies, that until spontaneously fulfilled, a public want should not be fulfilled at all.  There was no want of increased facilities for the sale and purchase of land for bona fide settlement by persons of small means, or they would have been embraced by those persons when thrown in their way.  But, instead of this, persons of large means have been allowed to step in under the new Land Act, and sweep away, in defiance of the penal clauses of the Act, all, or nearly all the land of any value that was offered for sale. The total quantity so offered since th Act came into force, was 2,654,4995 acres; and the total quantity remaining open for selection, 1,553,071 acres.  But out of that selected, it is not pretended by those most favourable to the new Act, that any but the smallest quantity has fallen into hands of the bona fide cultivators.  It has either been taken up by the squatters, or other large speculators; and although told that 9,100,000 acres remain, out of the 10,000,000 and upwards reserved under the Act for Agricultural purposes, that is no justification of the determination of the promoters of the Act to throw away any such quantity of land into market in excess of the legitimate demand.
Among the lesser items of political news, there are none calling for extended remark.  The disallowance of the Governor's Salary Reduction Bill by the home authorities is has not yet been brought under the notice of either house of Parliament.  When it is, there will be no angry discussion about it on the part of the opposition, except in as far as they may be disposed to raise the question, that the Governor has not been fairly dealt with.  Mr. Rolfe, late member of the Legislative Council for the North-Western Province, has been replaced by Mr. William Campbell, a former member of the old Legislative Council for the pastoral district of the Loddon.  It is said, and not without truth we believe, that much government influence was brought to bear against Mr. Rolfe, because of his advanced liberal opinions.  He was defeated at his election by a very large majority.  Mr. Cohen, of the firm Messrs. Fraser and Cohen, auctioneers, has been elected mayor of Melbourne, in place of Mr. Bennett, who held the office last year.  At the civic elections this year, all the old Councillors, with one exception, were returned.
The Common Schools' Act of last session gives but little satisfaction, and there is some complaint of the delay with regard to the administration of the Real Property Act.

Our sketch represents Mount Alexander, which in fame, if not in height, may justly be termed the monarch of Australian mountains.  It is the highest peak of the Alexandrine range, a series of granite between Castlemaine and Bendigo, but much nearer to the former that the latter. Originally discovered by Sir Thomas Mitchell, by whom it was styled Mount Byng the country was subsequently taken up by gentlemen of a heroic and classical turn of mind, who named the various hills and streams after the great conquerors of India.  Thus we have Mount Alexander, Mount Macedon, the Campaspe River, &c.  The cairn on the summit of the hill is one of the marks of the trigonometrical survey, and the granite boulders at the bottom representing the distinguishing feature of granite country, whether in the "tors" of Dartmoor or the Australian bush.


Mr. McKinlay, the South Australian Explorer, has returned to that colony, and his diary has been published in the Adelaide papers.  The South Australian Legislature has voted him a sum of L1,000, and the South Australians have feted him, as he was before feted in Victoria.  We see nothing in his diary, however, at all extractable.  It is a simple record of what befel [befell] him from day to day, with the result already well known.  Mr. Landsborough, the Queensland explorer, who has had a testimonial presented to him in Melbourne, in acknowledgment [acknowledgement] of the services he has rendered to the cause of exploration.  The testimonial was presented by His Excellency, at the request of the donors, in the Exhibition Building, in the presence of a large concourse of persons.  Further intelligence has been received of Mr. Howitt, the Victorian explorer, and his party, who are now on their way homeward, with the remains of Burke and Wills.  They have reached Blanchewater, South Australia, and may be expected here shortly  This is a copy of a telegram on the subject from the Commissioner of Crown Lands, South Australia, to the Honorary Secretary of the Exploration Committee, Melbourne: - "I have received the following from A. W. Howitt, dated Blanchewater,  22nd October:-  I have to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of 9th October, enclosing telegram from the Exploration Committee, and information respecting Mr McKInlay's party.  According to your wishes, I beg to inform you that I expect to be in Adelaide about the middle of December, with the remains of Burke and Wills."  Further Communications are expected daily.  Nothing has yet been heard of Stuart, the South Australian explorer, or his party, the last of the explorers out, and some anxiety is beginning to be felt on their account.  They ought by this time to have been back, or, at all events, to have been within the settled districts of South Australia.  But they may have crossed the continent, and, after performing that feat, have pushed to the westward, just as McKinlay and his party did to the eastward, instead of retracing their former steps.  In any case, it is time we heard something of them, and it is to be hoped that we shall not have to despatch [dispatch] three or four parties after them, as we had after Burke and Wills, whilst yet in ignorance of the untimely fate of those unfortunate gentlemen.
Tenders have been called for by the Victorian Government for the erection of a monument in Melbourne to Burke and Wills  The tenders are to be sent in to the Government next month.


The opening of the Melbourne and  Murray line of railway to Sandhurst is deserving of more than a passing notice.  It was observed last month that the opening of the line to Castlemaine took place on the 15th.  On the 20th of that month  it was opened to Sandhurst, the extremity of the line, as far as is yet undertaken, but preparations are being made for carrying it on to Echuca, one of the crossing places of the River Murray.   The festivities at Sandhurst were great on the opening of the line to that large and important gold-field town.  The Governor, the Chief Secretary, the Commissioner of Railways, and a very large party of the most influential persons in the Colony, were there, and a banquet was given on the occasion, after which there was a ball.  At this banquet, His Excellency delivered a speech, from which we select a few of the most salient points.  In acknowledging the very enthusiastic manner in which his health was drunk, His Excellency begged to say that he did not feel entitled to the compliments received from them of former visits, for he had then more arduous journeys to perform.  On the present occasion, instead of arriving heated and weather stained, and being jolted over rough roads or what was poetically described as the Bay of Biscay, he had been whirled the hundred miles from Melbourne to Sandhurst in a most comfortable carriage, and on the easiest and best of railways. {Cheers}  He could, therefore, enter more feelingly into the sentiments entertained by the people of Bendigo with regard to the accomplishment of the opening of this line.  It was not a triumph for Bendigo alone, it was a day on which all Victoria should rejoice, and one which would be not in the future annals of Australia.  They met on that occasion to celebrate the opening of the first one hundred miles of railway from the sea-coast.  They were told that in the course of next year the line would be opened to Echuca.  Another one hundred and sixty miles would take them to the Lachlan, containing the finest gold-field out of Victoria.  Looking to the north, too, there was the fine country opened up by Landsborough and McKinlay {Cheers}; and he was no reason to doubt that ultimately the railway might be extended through these newly discovered lands onwards to the Gulf of Carpentaria {Hear,} However, they might fully calculate upon the time when the railway would be extended to Echuca and the Murray River; and not only would they thereby have the trade of the Murray, but that of the Murrumbidgee, the Edward, and the Darling {Cheers}.  He had to congratulate them that already their great system of water communication  was connected with their railways; for it gave him great pleasure to hear that a quantity of wool carried by a Murray River steamer was coming down the rest of the way by their Victorian railways. {Applause}.  With regard to the adjustment of the boundaries of their Australian colonies, he thought the best mode for bringing about such an adjustment would be the extension of their railways, and, ultimately, that they might take steps to annex the country to the north of them. {Hear}.  He alluded to the advantages that might arise from the adjustment of the tariffs of the several colonies, and said that, at all events, it might be easily shown that the idea of a custom-house on the Murray was worthy of the dark ages.  As regarded federation, railways would more closely connect them that any federation.  That was not the occasion for a long speech.  He would, only say, in conclusion, that he sincerely hoped that this might not be his last visit to Bendigo, and he would always look back with feelings of pleasure to the days he had spent in Sandhurst, for they had been some of the pleasantest he had spent in the colony. {Cheers}.  The Chief Secretary spoke on the occasion, but


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