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Our Australian Cousins

Note A, Page 65.

As a corollary to my remarks on the treatment of the aborigines, I have extracted the following letter which appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald shortly after my chapter was written. It needs no comment. The case is not overstated:—

The Condition of the Aborigines.
To the Editor of the Herald.

Slr,—Will you kindly allow me a little space in your columns to bring before the attention of the public of this colony the deplorable condition of the remnants of the aboriginal race, and the necessity of something being done speedily in the direction of ameliorating that condition ? Stationed as I am in the far interior, I can speak from personal observation of the wants and woes of the poor unfortunate blacks.
Even as regards their temporal condition, theirs is a most wretched existence. I have recently visited some of their camps on the Murrumbidgee, and found black women and numbers of their half-caste children in a state of the most melancholy destitution, deserted by the male members of the tribe—for I find that when the black girls are ruined by white men (so called) they are then as a rule left to their own dread resources—without food, and nearly naked, not having even a single blanket to cover them at night. And these miserable creatures I found were at the mercy of every white scamp and vagabond; and what, I ask, is the conscquence? The uprising-of a race of wild half-castes in the very midst of a Christian community. And, sir, I speak within bounds when I say there are hundreds of these young half-castes on the creeks and rivers of Riverina, running as wild as the emu and kangaroo, with no idea of anything above or beyond themselves and their immediate surroundings.

"Like brutes they live, And like brutes they must die," unless rescued by tine Christian charity.

With respect to their moral state, need I state ft is simply one of chaotic darkness, and hitherto little or nothing has been done to enlighten them. With all our loud professions of Christian charity, and with our manifold missionary enterprises to enlighten and elevate the dark and degraded heathen far away, there is a standing reproaeh at our very doors—absolute neglect of the heathen in our midst.

I should like to know the reason why more has not been done, either by the Churches or Government of this colony, to ameliorate the condition of the blacks. In several of the sister colonics vigorous efforts are being put forth in this direction, and these efforts are already crowned with much success. In Victoria alone, where they have not as many hundreds of blacks as we have thousands, there are no less than six stations in full operation, while here there is not a single Church or Government institution. Why this unexplainable contrast? Is it not as much our duty to "rescue the perishing and care for the dying" aborigines, as the duty of our neighbours across the border? I maintain that it is. And if these unfortunate beings are allowed to continue, as they now are, in physical wretchedness, and "no man caring for their souls," it will be to us as a Christian colony a crying disgrace.

In conclusion, may I express the hope that through proper influence being brought to bear upon the Government this question may soon be taken up, and successfully dealt with.

I am, yours truly,
John B. Giiibble, Independent Minister.
Jcrilderie, Riverina, June 5.

Note C, Page 273.

Agreement for 1874, between the Associated Colliery Masters and the Officers and Delegates of the Coal-miners' Association of the H. R. District. At the request of the Delegates of the Miners' Association we have much pleasure in again publishing the following agreement, with the additional clauses thereto :—

Whereas, on divers occasions since the 23rd day of July, 1872, the proprietors or representatives of the A. A. Company, Wallsend, Waratah, New Lambton, and Co-operative Colleries, hereinafter styled the Associated Masters, have either directly or through the officers and delegates of the-Coalminers' Association of the Hunter River District, entered into various agreements with the miners employed at said collieries, with respect to the wages to be paid for hewing coal and other work usually done and performed by the miners, the hours of labour to be observed at the said collieries, and the mode of settling any disputes that may arise in reference thereto. And whereas it is deemed expedient that these said several agreements, copies of which are hereunto annexed, should be remodelled and embodied in one general agreement. Now, therefore, it is hereby mutually agreed and declared by the Associated Masters of the one part, and the Officers and Delegates of the Coalminers' Association of the Hunter River District of the other part. 1st. That the minimum rates of wages payable for hewing and all other work usually performed by miners at each of the above-named collieries, shall be the rates current thereat prior to the 22nd day of July, 1872, when the selling price of round or best coal was 8 per ton, and of small coal 3s. 6d. per ton. 2nd. That, subject to the above limit, the wages payable at each of the said collieries for hewing and all other work usually performed by the miners, shall be regulated by the price of coal, and rise and fall with it. 3rd. That the following shall be the scale on which the wages shall rise and fall, viz.: A. Hewing, by the ton, 2>d. for every Is. of the selling price of coal. B. Yard work, 3d. per yard for every Is. of the selling price of coal, in the case of the maximum rate paid for headings, and a proportionate sum in the case of other yard work for which lower rates are paid. C. Filling small coal, either in places wrought by the yard or in the wide places, 1 d. per ton for every Is. of the selling price of small coal. 4th. That at least a fortnight's notice shall be given by the Associated Masters of their intention to reduce the price of coal. 5th. That in the event of any difference of opinion arising as to the necessity of such reduction in the price of coal, the question shall be settled by conference or arbitration, in pursuance of the clauses for that purpose hereinafter contained. 6th. That the hours of labour to be observed at the said collieries shall be for, the year 1873, and 10 for the year of 1874, including in each case an hour for meals. 7th. That all doubts, differences, or disputes whatsoever that may arise at any time hereafter between any of the parties to this agreement, shall be settled by conference or arbitration in manner following, that is to say : When and so often as any doubt, difference, or dispute shall arise, the dissatisfied party may demand a conference, at which the miners shall be represented by the district officers and delegates of the Coalminers' Association, .and the associated masters by any number of persons not exceeding one from each colliery, and the manager of each of the said collieries, who shall meet not later than twenty-eight days from the date of such demand, for the purpose of discussing the matter in dispute, with the view to an amicable settlement; and, in the event of no amicable settlement being arrived at by such conference, then and in that case, the matter in dispute shall be reduced to writing, and submitted to a council of arbitration, to be constituted as follows :—The council of arbitration shall consist of four disinterested persons and an umpire. Each party to this agreement shall appoint two arbitrators, who shall appoint an umpire, conjointly in writing, before they enter upon any matter referred to them, who shall decide on all points on which they may differ, and whose decision shall be final; and, in default of such appointment by either of the parties hereto, the Minister for Lands for the time being may appoint the arbitrators and the umpire in the event of the arbitrators being unable to agree.

The council of arbitration shall meet not later than fourteen days from the date of any conference failing to settle any matter in dispute, unless the time be extended by mutual agreement. The council of arbitration having met, each party shall have the privilege of being represented by not more than nine representatives, for the purpose of giving evidence and arguing the matter in dispute before such Council of Arbitration. Any dispute having been settled by the Council of Arbitration, shall not again be revived by either party within a period of twelve months from the date of such decision. If, at any time, during the settling of such arbitration any arbitrator die or become incapable to act, the party by whom such arbitrator was appointed shall appoint some other to act in his place within seven days after notice in writing from the other party for such purpose; and, if they fail to do so, the remaining arbitrators may proceed to hear and determine the matter in dispute, and in such case the award of such arbitration shall be final. The cost of any Council of Arbitration shall be defrayed by each party paying their own arbitrators, and the umpire to be paid conjointly. The secretaries to each party shall conjointly arrange the time and place for all meetings relating to this agreement. This agreement shall be in force until the 31st December next ensuing, and thereafter from year to year, unless, on or before the 30th September in any year, notice shall have been given of its discontinuance on the 31st December then following.

Signed by the Associated Masters and the Officers and Delegates of the Miners' Association.

Additional Clauses to the Agreement of 1873, between the Associated Colliery Masters and Miners' Union.

Present:—On behalf of the Masters : Messrs. Merewether, A. Brown, jun., Winship, Neilson, Moody, Fletcher, and Thomas. On behalf of the Coal Miners' Association : Messrs. W. Davies (chairman), J. Wood (secretary), and E. Davies (treasurer).

The conference was held for the purpose of framing an additional article to the General Agreement of the 1st December, 1873, defining the deficient work for which the miners shall be entitled to claim consideration, and also providing for the more speedy settlement of disputes arising out of such claims.

After a full and careful consideration of these questions, it was resolved that, in the opinion of the Conference, the following regulations would meet the requirements of the case, and that they be submitted to the Associated Masters and the Coal-Miners' Association for approval and confirmation; which was agreed to on the 21st of June, 1875, viz.:—

" 1st. Consideration to be paid for stone or roof coming down— extraordinary.
" 2nd. Consideration to be paid for crossing faults.
" 3rd. Water to be taken out as per A. A. Company's local rule, No. 8; if not consideration, to be paid.
" 4th. Consideration to be paid for an unusual quantity of water coming from roof.
" 5th. Cutting sumps to be paid for when sunk by miners, by order of manager, overseer, or deputy.
" 6th. Consideration to be paid for soft or tender coal in close proximity to faults and tender coal (extraordinary) in other places.
" 7th. Consideration to be paid for sets of timber, when prepared and set up by miners, by order of manager, overseer, or deputy. And
" 8th. That all disputes arising out of any of the above matters be settled by local arbitration—such arbitration to consist of two persons appointed by the owner or manager, and two persons appointed by the workmen at the colliery where such dispute should occur. In the event of the arbitrators not agreeing, they shall appoint an umpire, whose decision shall be final."

Edward C. Merewethek, Chairman, (On behalf of the Associated Masters). John Wood, Secretary, William Davies, Chairman, Enoch Davtes, Treasurer, (On behalf of the Associated Miners).

Note D, Page 333.

New South Wales.
Anno quadragesimo secundo Victoria Reginze.
No. X.
An Act to secure the Protection of certain Birds and Animals.
[Assented to 12th March, 1879.]

Whereas it is expedient to encourage the importation and breeding of game not indigenous to the Colony of New South Wales, and also to prevent the destruction of native game during the breeding season. Be it therefore enacted by the Queen's Most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Council and Legislative Assembly of New South Wales in Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same as follows :—

1. The words, "imported game/' shall mean and include the animals mentioned in the first schedule, and the words, " native game," shall mean and include the animals mentioned in the second schedule to this Act, and the eggs and progeny of any such game respectively.

2. If any person shall wilfully shoot, capture, kill, take, or destroy any native game or imported game, at any time between the 1st day of August and 20th day of February next following, or shall use any means whatever within the same period for the purpose of capturing, killing, or destroying any such game, he shall be liable to a penalty not exceeding 21.

3. No description of fire-arms shall be used for the purpose of shooting any of the game mentioned in eitker of the schedules hereto having a greater length of barrel than six feet, or with the bore exceeding one inch in diameter. And no fire-arms of any description, intended to be used for such purpose, having the barrel or bore exceeding such dimensions, shall be affixed to boats, punts, or floating vessels of any kind during any period of the year. Nor shall the charge, when loaded, exceed four drachm of gunpowder and three ounces of shot. And any person offending against the provisions of this section shall be liable to a penalty not exceeding 10?.

4. Any animals known to be destroyers of snakes, vermin, or insects which are injurious to vegetation, may, by the authority of the Colonial Secretary, by a notice published in the Gazette at any time, be added to the lists of animals set forth in the first or second schedule; and after publication of such notice all the provisions of this Act (so far as they may be applicable) shall be held to apply to the animals therein mentioned. Provided that the Colonial Secretary may, by like proclamation, withdraw any such animal from the schedules.

5. If any person, within the period stated in the second section, shall buy, sell, or knowingly have in his possession, or under his control, any dead game, whether native or imported, he shall be liable to a penalty not exceeding 51., unless it can be proved, to the satisfaction of the justices hearing the case, that such dead game were imported from any neighbouring colony; and the burthen of such proof shall rest with the accused.

6. Whenever any sheet of water, island, or enclosed land has been dedicated to the public, or otherwise set apart by the Government or any private person, for preserving any of the animals mentioned in either schedules, the Colonial Secretary may declare, by notice published in the Gazette, such dedication or setting apart and the names of the animals intended to be preserved; and thereafter any person taking or killing, or otherwise destroying any such animals therein shall be liable to a penalty not exceeding 51. Provided that the Colonial Secretary may, by a like notice, cancel any dedication or setting apart as aforesaid.

7: All penalties imposed by this Act, or sums of money made payable thereunder, may be recovered before any two justices in a summary way. Provided that the provisions of this Act relating to native game shall not extend to any aboriginal native, nor (as regards animals included in the second schedule) to any person authorized by the Colonial Secretary to collect specimens of natural history for any public museum.

8. Every person feeling aggrieved by any conviction or order under this Act may appeal against the same in the manner provided by the Act passed in the fifth year of King "William IV. numbered twenty-two, as the same is enforced or amended by the Act passed in the thirty-ninth year of her Majesty, numbered thirty-three.

9. This Act may be eited for all purposes as the "Animals Protection Act of 1879."

Note E, Page 370.

The following account of the Debate on the question of Privilege is extracted from the Sydney Morning Herald:—

Sir Henry Parkes said: Mr. Speaker,—I consider it my duty to call the attention of the House to what may be regarded as a most unusual occurrence in our proceedings of yesterday. Of course, I shall be prepared to put myself right by concluding with a motion. The feature in our proceedings which I call an unusual occurrence consists in the explanation which was offered by the member for Camden, Mr. Garrett, and the subsequent explanation which was offered (hear, hear) by the member for the Upper Hunter, Mr. M'Elhone. We all of us recollect that when the hon. member for Camden was absent from this country a very grave charge was made against him of conduct during the time he was a Minister of the Crown, and I for one recollect, and I think, sir, that you must recollect in that chair, having heard the words that the Premier—meaning the member for St. Leonard's, Mr. Earn ell}—had documents in his possession to prove these charges. These charges were of a character which, if proved, must necessarily ruin the hon. member to whom they referred. On the hon. member for Camden returning to this country, he took the course, which he described himself as the only proper course open to him, to vindicate his character, and he told us last night, on the authority of the opinions of three gentlemen who must be considered as the leading members of the Bar in this country, that he was restricted from proceeding in his action to defend his character, and disprove these charges by the defendant in the case—the hon. member for the Upper Hunter, Mr. M'Elhone,—putting in a plea of his privileges as a member of this House. I, of course, have nothing to do with the proceedings of the hon. member for Camden, and I apprehend no hon. member has anything to do with that. But I think I may be pardoned in expressing my entire satisfaction, and I am sure I must represent other hon. members in that respect, that he lost no time in trying in the Supreme Court of the colony to sift these charges. (Cheers.) I have nothing to do, nor has any other hon. member much to do, with the rules by which the hon. member for the Upper Hunter chooses to govern his conduct, but we all have to do with this; we all have to do with the position of a member of this House (hear, hear) being used to destroy the position of some other person, whether a member of this House or one of the public out of doors; and then when that other person seeks the only course open to him by law to vindicate his character, and to disprove the charges made against him, the plea of ,a member of Parliament is set up as a bar. (Hear, hear.) Anxious as I am for the proper privileges being conceded to this .House, to secure to it the utmost freedom of speech, I think it is a course of conduct so atrocious—(hear, hear)—so entirely and purely infamous— (hear, hear)—to abuse the privileges of Parliament for blasting the reputation, destroying the fortunes, ruining the family of any person, be he a member of this House, or the poorest person living out of doors, and then shrinking from the necessary consequence of this—(hear, hear)—I think the abuse of this power so utterly indefensible, so damnable in its nature, that it exhibits a desire to wound other persons' feelings without any desire to do any public good,—a desire to wreak cruelty upon persons without the slightest twinge of conscience as to the suffering it causes, and a kind of feeling that might belong to the lowest creature in the reptile part of creation—(hear, hear) —but only belongs to mankind in shrinking from the just consequences of these infamous charges. (Hear, hear.) We ought to consider whether the Standing Orders cannot be so amended as to prevent any person standing up here and making charges against another unless he makes them in some form where evidence can be taken, where proof can be given, where the person charged may defend himself, and where, if the charges are not proved, the infamy shall recoil upon the reckless and unprincipled author. (Hear, hear.) I think, if we cannot do that, at least, until we can find some proper remedy, we ought once, and for ever, to refuse to hear these charges made, come from whatever lips they may in the future. Surely an hon. member, merely because he is a member of this Legislative Assembly, is not, on a motion for adjourning the House, to make these wild, and reckless, and cruel charges, and then to set up the plea, the shameful plea in this ease—(hear, hear) — that he is protected by his privilege, when the person thus cruelly wronged seeks to vindicate his character in a Court of Justice. (Hear, hear.) I think I should fail altogether in my duty if I did not call attention to a case so obviously proved, so completely proved before us. [Mr. Greenwood: And move some resolution.] I am not prepared to take that course. I think I am fully justified in speaking, in order that hon. members may have their attention specially called to the subject—(hear, hear)—and may be prepared, when the time properly comes, for us to see in what way we can most effectually take steps to prevent this thing in the future. There are two courses thatpresent themselves to my mind: the one is to amend the standing orders, so as not to allow any person, on a motion of adjournment, to attack another—(cheers)—that is fair and manly, and in accordance with every principle that is right and just—and that he should not be able to attack another, or bring a charge against another, unless he makes it in some form where the other will be heard, and where the charge can be proved or disproved. (Hear, hear.) These are two courses that seem to suggest themselves. But I think I should ill perform my duty if I made a motion without hon. members having time to deliberate within themselves; I think I should ill perform my duty if I did not take the first opportunity for calling attention to what has now taken place on clear proof, and which never did take place on this clear and conclusive proof before—that is, the proof that the person so charged sought to vindicate his character, and the proof that the plea of Parliamentary privilege was set up as a bar to his vindication. "We have never had these things proved before; but we have them proved now, and just in proportion to the outrage that may be committed will be the bending down to seek shelter from the consequences. If hon. members desire it, I shall conclude by making a motion. [Mr. M'Elhone : I insist on your doing so.] The hon. member cannot insist on it, but I shall do it with the greatest willingness. [Mr. M'Elhone: By the rules of the House you are bound to do so.] I am not bound to do anything of the kind, but I have intimated my perfect willingness to do it. [Captain Onslow : Don't rush this thing through the House as you did last night.] I do not know what the hon. and gallant member means, nor am I disposed to be diverted from the one object I have in view by any irrelevant remarks. (Cheers.) The object I have in view is sufficiently clear and important, and certainly is deserving the attention of eVery hon. member of the House. (Hear, hear.) In a special manner it is deserving the" attention of those members who wish to preserve the character of the House. [Captain Onslow : And to cheer the hon. member for the Upper Hunter.] The hon. member himself, I am sorry to say, does not much contribute to that by his interruptions at any time, and I cannot understand the relevancy of his interruptions now. The case which I shall summarize now, in consequence of the interruptions, and which I want to call the attention of the House to, is that we have an hon. member making a charge of the darkest character—[Mr. M'Elhone: Did you not do it in Twaddell's case?] I deny the relevancy of the interruptions. I never was in the position to which' I call attention. "What I wish to draw attention to is that we have an hon. member making a charge of the darkest character against another person—I do not care whether a member of this House or not; that other person seeks to vindicate his character in the Supreme Court of the country; and the person who has made this charge then sets up the plea of his Parliamentary privilege, and I say that that brings about a state of things which ought not to be allowed to go on without our taking some steps to prevent charges of this reckless character being made in this wanton way for the future. I beg to move that this House do now adjourn.

Mr. M'Elhone said that Mr. Gray and Mr. Charles had charged the Colonial Secretary with abusing his position to rob the country by taking up coal land. Why did not the hon. member proceed against these hon. members?

Sir Henry Parkes: That has no application to my case.

Mr. M'Elhone said that he never was accused of going about the back slums to get information to damn Mr. Garrett's character; and when Mr. Dransfield came before the House the parties who brought him here would not give him an indemnity. The reason Mr. Garrett did not prosecute Sir Henry Parkes was because he knew that he could get nothing out of him. He recollected when Sir Henry Parkes cheered the statements he made about Mr. Garrett after that gentleman returned from Melbourne, and when they wanted to get Sir John Robertson out of office. He recollected Mr. Hoskins saying that he would not take the word of Sir John Robertson, and demanding that Mr. Garrett should leave office.

Sir Henry Parkes: Does the hon. member say that he pleaded Parliamentary privilege?

Mr. M'Elhone: The hon. member had done things that he would be ashamed to do. He had not robbed the widow and the orphan. He was never accused of robbing James Wilshire —of getting a promissory note for 4000/., which he never paid—

Mr. Speaker: If the hon. member is applying his words to any member of this House he is not in order.

Mr. M'Eliione repeated that he was never accused of obtaining 4000/.

Mr. Speaker: Does the hon. member apply his words to any hon. member of this House?

Mr. M'Elhone : I do not see how they can apply.

Mr. Speaker: If the hon. member intends his words to apply to any hon. member he is not in order.

Mr. M'Eliione: I don't see ho\v they can apply.

Sir Henry Parkes: Chair ! Chair!.

Mr. Speaker: It is only on the assurance of the hon. member that he does not so apply them that he will be in order.

Mr. M'Elhone had never been accused of robbing the widow and orphan.

Sir Henry Parkes: Chair!

Mr. Speaker: I understand the hon. member to assure the House that he is not applying these words to any hon. member of the House. If the hon. member does apply them to any member of this House he is clearly out of order, and cannot proceed.

Mr. M'Elhone: I cannot see how they can apply.

Mr. Speaker: Then I understand the hon. member does not apply them?

Mr. M'Elhone: I cannot say so, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker: Then the hon. member is not in order.

Mr. M'Elhone: Then I will not repeat it.

He forgot the words used by Sir Alfred Stephen when Chief Justice, in regard to a prominent man whom he said ought to be at Cockatoo instead of walking the streets of Sydney. Sir Henry Parkes made the speech he had done this evening to curry favour with Mr. Garrett, and he never made worse charges against Mr. Garrett than Sir Henry Parkes had done in the Twaddell case. He had never gone to Mr. Barker to get declarations witnessed against Mr. Garrett. He had never made a statement in the Opposition room, which he had immediately afterwards denied in the House. "What he had said in this House he could prove. He never said that Mr. Garrett had sold a situation, but what he said was that Mr. Garrett had borrowed money of Somers which he was not in a position to pay. He had no wish to rake this matter up again, but he might say that he had defended one action and won it, but, although he got a verdict, he had had to pay 200/. He had never lived on his position as a politician, borrowing money from people, thousands of pounds, and when asked to pay, had gone up King Street. He had never been charged with drawing two sorts of cheques, one marked for payment, and one which was not to be paid. Sir Henry Parkes could tell whether he had or not. If his character were 50,000 times as bad as it was, he would not change it for the character of the hon. member at the head of the Government. The hon. member borrowed money of Mr. Scholey on more than one occasion, which he never paid.

Sir Henry Parkes asked the Speaker to rule whether the hon. member, in explaining his own conduct in the matter which he had .brought under the notice of the House, was in order in making charges against him, most of which were either wholly or in part unfounded, but to which he could not refer. The hon. member was aggravating the offence to which he had called the attention of the House.

Mr. M'Elhone said that the question before the House was the adjournment, and said that it would be beneath him were he to notice the hon. member.

Captain Onslow thought the Premier had laid himself open to this line of reply by not moving a substantive motion.

Mr. Speaker said that great latitude was no doubt allowed on motions for adjournment. He had endeavoured at all times to put down charges against hon. members made on motions for adjournment. It was not in order for an hon. member to make charges against another hon. member on a motion for adjournment. That could only be done on a specific motion.

Mr. M'Elhone did not wish to break through the Speaker's luling. He was only defending himself.

Mr. Speaker: The hon. member at the head of the government did not make any attack upon the hon. member, although, no doubt, his speech had direct reference to the hon. member. The initiation of the matter out of which this debate had arisen was in committee, and when it came before him in the House, on the personal explanation made by Mr. Garrett, he ruled : " I have on many occasions said that on a question for adjournment no hon. member is at liberty to attack another hon. member in the way in which the hon. member for the Upper Hunter is now attacking the hon. member for Camden. That can only be done in a specific motion. The hon. member is out of order in making these attacks under cover of a motion of adjournment." He had always held that ruling, and he had endeavoured to the utmost of his power to discourage these attacks. In regard to persons out of doors, he had no control, because attacks on persons out of doors did not interfere with the freedom of debate; but he again said that these attacks on motion for adjournment were not in order.

Mr. M'Elhone was very sorry that he should have again broken Mr. Speaker's ruling, and it was with no set purpose to do so. The hon. member did not like his past sins raked up, but there was nothing in his past life to call up the blush of shame. What had it to do with the hon. member—any plea that he might plead in the Supreme Court? He acted there not as a member of this House, and he did what he had a perfect right to do, and he would have been a fool if he had acted otherwise than he had done, when the hon. member was going about the city with Mr. Sutherland—

Sir Henry Parkes appealed to the Speaker as to whether the hon. member was in order in making charges on a motion for adjournment.

Mr. Fitzpatrick: What is the point of order?

Mr. Speaker: I have decided two or three times that it is not in accordance with Parliamentary rule to make charges on a motion for adjournment.

Captain Onslow: The hon. member at the head of the government made a charge against the hon. member for the Upper Hunter.

Mr. Speaker did not hear him, and if the hon. member implied that he had ruled differently in regard to different hon. members, the hon. member must know veiy well that he had not done so. (Cheers.)

Captain Onslow: I certainly did not intend the observation to apply to you, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. M'Elhone: The Premier had compared him to one of the vilest reptiles on the face of the earth.

Mr. Speaker understood the observation to have been made generally, and not by way of personal allusion. If he had understood it otherwise, he should have stopped the hon. member.

Mr. M'Elhone challenged the hon. member to say that he did not use the words of him. He would sooner have the character of the poorest labouring man or woman than that of the hon. member. Sir Henry Parkes had gone about to get up charges against Mr. Garrett, and had said worse things of Sir John Robertson than he had of Mr. Garrett. Sir Henry Parkes loved. Mi\ Garrett no more than the devil loved holy water. At heart the hon. member was afraid of Mr. Garrett going- over to the Opposition. He should look up the whole of this matter between Sir Henry Parkes and Mr. Garrett. He was very much mistaken if Mr. Garrett had not the same opinion of Sir Henry Parkes as he had, and so had Mr. Gray, although he sat behind him and voted with him. They did not support Sir Henry Parkes because they loved him, but it was because of Sir John Robertson that they swallowed the leek.

Captain Onslow regretted very much that this question should have been raised upon a motion for adjournment. He agreed with every word that had fallen from the Colonial Secretary, and he was astonished that the hon. member for the Upper Hunter should have been cheered when he made his statement last night. It was unworthy of any one who had the honour of the House at heart. He could not understand this new-born love on the part of the Colonial Secretary for Mr. Garrett. There must be something behind that they did not know of, and the Colonial Secretary was so astute that it was impossible to know what his motives were. He was certain that it was not to clear Mr. Garrett's conduct that the Colonial Secretary had taken this course.

Mr. Hungerford explained that the House had cheered the hon. member because he confessed, in an almost magnanimous manner, that he was not justified in making the attack upon Mr. Garrett that he did. He conceived that the Colonial Secretary was entitled to the thanks of the House for the steps he had taken to protect hon. members from the slanderous attacks made upon them.

Mr. Buchanan said he never saw the hon. member for Camden more correct than when he stated it was degrading to the House to have cheered the hon. member for the Upper Hunter, but he believed those cheers only came from one person. Here they had a man grossly libelling another man, and when he brought him into a court of law he was not man enough to face him. Instead of cheers, the author of such conduct ought to have been hooted from the Chamber. Was there a member of that House who did not respond in corroborative adherence to every word uttered by the Colonial Secretary in denunciation of such baseness? Not only did he slander a person in this way, but he said another person had the proofs of it in his pocket. And then, when Mr. Garrett was so aggrieved that he had no means to defend himself, but had to bring the other before a tribunal of his country, that other, when he had an opportunity of substantiating his charges, put in a cowardly plea of privilege to stop all inquiry, and prevent the person whom he had libelled from vindicating his character. A man who exhibited himself in such a character as that ought to be hooted and scouted out of society everywhere he went. It was a most degrading and humiliating position, especially when that person rose and seemed so utterly insensible of the degradation of the position he occupied. This hon. member seemed to think very little about libelling men, because he confessed, as if it were a species of merit, that he had libelled several others—as if it were nothing —and saying that he did not say it of Mr. Garrett. Why did he not go to Mr. Garrett's solicitors and make an apology for it? [Mr. M'Elhone: I wanted to get you a brief.] That would have been a candid, upright way of dealing with the matter; but, instead of doing this, he went and put in this wretched plea of privilege. He did not wish to exceed any of the rules of that House, but he would just put this before them :— Suppose they were to encounter in any Assembly in the world— say in the British Parliament, if that were possible—a low-bred, ignorant, illiterate ruffian, destitute alike of truth and common rectitude, and wholly unable to understand the meaning of either; whose very nature was made up of falsehood and malice —a living, moving, incarnated lie; whose whole public action was occupied in the basest slander of better men than himself; who publicly proclaims himself a liar, with an utter insensibility to the accompanying degradation; who, when met by one of his fellow-representatives whom he had insulted with " Hold up your hands, you mean, despicable coward, and I will strike you to my foot and trample your base unworthy carcase under it! " crawls away from the encounter in the spirit of a craven and a dastard; who stands pilloried in the universal opinion as a common slandermonger and a dealer in falsehood, and who, when dragged before the tribunals to answer for his vile calumnies, basely shelters himself behind the cowardly plea of privilege. He asked what more appropriate treatment could you offer such a ruffian than to allow him to sink out of sight, deep in your contempt, covered with your scorn, and enveloped in the hatred and detestation of all true men.

Mr. Greenwood rose to order. The hon. member was making use of terms which, if applied to any member of that House, was likely to lead to great disorder.

Mr. Speaker said if the hon. member applied this language to any member of that House he was grossly disorderly, but he certainly understood the hon. member to say, "Suppose any member of the House of Commons." If the hon. member applied the words to any member of that Assembly, he was grossly exceeding the rules of debate.

Mr. M'Elhone: Never mind. Anything he says is quite harmless.

Mr. Day said there could be no doubt whatever that the hon. member for Mudgee was applying these words to the hon. member for the Upper Hunter. He did think language like this ought not to be used in that House.

Mr. O'Connor said he did not think the House would have to regret the Colonial Secretary's having moved the adjournment, and he thought every member present would endorse the sentiments of the Colonial Secretary so far as concerned his pointing out the cowardly character of any man who would avail himself of his position there to slander men outside. He never saw any man in that House so badly treated as the hon. member for Camden had been. That gentleman had been a very valuable member of that House. No matter what the subject might be, Mr. Garrett was able to shed a lustre and a light and a luminosity on all questions. (Laughter.) And the Colonial Secretary was right in defending him. But they found this fact: Mr. M'Elhone had made an act of contrition. Had the Colonial Secretary done so? He paused for a reply. (Renewed laughter.) The hon. member for Mudgee had pointed out the cowardly nature of the attack made upon Mr. Garrett in that IJouse. This from a man who had made the wildest attacks upon the Lord Bishop of Sydney, and who had accused the head of the Wesleyan denomination of robbing the public purse. What would this sort of thing be considered in the House of Commons? It was impossible to conceive of a man occupying a position in the House of Commons who would be such an embodiment of meanness and cowardice as the hon. member for Mudgee.

Mr. Speaker said the hon. member was now applying these expressions to a member of that House, and he was clearly out of order in doing so.

Mr. O'Connor bowed to the ruling of the chair, but he wished to point out that the man who stood up there and denounced these attacks was himself the greatest sinner. And they knew how Mr. Garrett had been attacked in the most cowardly manner by the Colonial Secretary. He said : Let the Colonial Secretary do as the hon. member for the Upper Hunter had done, and make an apology to the hon. member for Camden, who was one of the most valuable members that had ever been here. He was delighted that this question had been opened, and he only trusted that the doctrines that had this evening been laid down would be fully carried out.

Mr. H. Hurley said that during the time he had been in this House he had never witnessed a more humiliating spectacle than that presented by the hon. member for the Upper Hunter, who came here and admitted and apologized for having maligned, not only the hon. member for Camden, Mr. Garrett, but also many other hon. members.

Mr. M'Elhone said he had never said he had made an apology. He appealed to the Speaker, if the hon. member was in order.

The Speaker ruled, that if any previous statements were alluded to, they must be correctly quoted.

Mr. Hurley read the report of what Mr. M'Elhone had said, and said he took it from that that the hon. member had apologized.

Mr. M'Elhone : I don't admit the statements I made .were untrue, and I made no apology.

Mr. Hurley said he understood the hon. member had apologized; at all events, it was quite certain there was no hon. gentleman who took his gruel so badly, and no one so ready to say things regarding other members. It was a free fight fought, and in place of doing- harm would do good. The hon. member had made charges against Mr. Garrett that were both unjustifiable and untrue. The hon. member had distinctly said Mr. Farnell had in his possession documentary evidence sufficient to damn the character of the hon. member for Camden. He had attended on Mr. Wangenheim to see that documentary evidence, and there was not one tittle to show that Mr. Garrett was in any way connected with Mr. Somers in regard to the sale of a billet. The documents showed that a certain office had been disposed of, but there was nothing to show that Mr. Garrett was connected with Mr. Somers, and, as far as he was concerned, he saw nothing that implicated Mr. Garrett.

Mr. M'Elhone: You saw enough to convince you though that Somers sold a billet.

Mr. Hurley said that Mr. Wangenheim, on his oath, said that Somers had received a sum of money for procuring an appointment in the Lands Office, and there was no doubt that Somers did act as an agent, a political agent, in procuring Government situations and receiving pecuniary rewards. He regretted that his name had been drawn into this affair, and he could not help feeling that it was extremely reprehensible when an hon. gentleman admits that he has spoken when his temper had got the better of him, and when he looses his temper again to make most malicious remarks with reference to persons in this Chamber. There was nothing worse than for an hon. member to take up cudgels against the private life of another. It seemed, however, that those hon. members who made such attacks could not themselves stand scourging. He sincerely trusted that some measure would be passed to prevent these slanderous expressions being used when they are untrue, and when they are sympathized with by hon. gentlemen merely because they sit on the same side of the House. He said that, whether in Opposition or not, they should never attempt to shield an hon. member when he makes unwarrantable charges against another hon. member.

Mr. Gray said the hon. member for the Upper Hunter had persistently aceused him of having charged the Premier with committing a public robbery. He most emphatically denied that, but he did say that Sir Henry Parkes, Mr. John Sutherland, Sir James Martin, Mr. Butler, and a host of others, who had selected public lands while they were Ministers of the Crown, had acted illegally, and he believed he was right in saying that.

Mr. M'Elhone : Sir Henry Parkes and your brother-in-law were nearly fighting over the table about it.

Mr. Gray said that he had not considered that Ministers had done the correct thing in selecting, and that matter he had brought before the House, not as a charge, but to have it stopped. But the hon. member, in attempting to defend himself, himself charged other hon. members with slander; and it appeared as if he had suffered severely from the expressions made use of regarding him. He thought the hon. gentleman's feelings, however, would be the worst punishment that could be inflicted on him. He had been accused of supporting the Government after he had made charges against them which he denied having made. He supported this Government in just the same way as he had supported the last Government, and when, as was the case with the last Government, he could not justify their actions he would vote against them. Before he sat down he could not help congratulating the hon. member for Camden. He remembered when the hon. member for the Upper Hunter so unjustly attacked him, and attacked him so as not to give him a fair chance of reply, and therefore it was that he endorsed every word that had fallen from the hon. the Colonial Secretary. He thought that the hon. member, who was not prepared to substantiate the charge he made in the Supreme Court, ought never to have made the charge at all in this Chamber. If the charge had been substantiated in the Supreme Court, no damages could have been given against him, and there would have been no necessity for his pleading privilege, and hence he thought that the language used by the Colonial Secretary was justified. He hoped, however, that the matter would not drop here. Already it had done great service in being brought forward, for it was high time that this House should pass a resolution condemning the manner in which not only hon. members' characters have been dealt with, but also the reckless way in which unfortunate people outside had been dealt with. Hon. members might blast the character of people outside without these people having any redress, and hon. members knowing they were protected in that way, ought to be the more careful how they spoke. He hoped the Colonial Secretary would follow the matter up, and put a stop to this reckless manner of making charges without any attempt to substantiate them. Members must be protected in their speeches, but it seemed to him that having that protection was a cause why something ought to be done to prevent the abuse of privilege.

Mr. Greenwood said he could not think anything more reprehensible on the part of the head of the Government than that he should have taken the course he had without submitting a definite motion, and on the only evening for private business that they had too. To a man of honour nothing eould be more excruciating than that he should be subjected to charges, and when he attempts to put them to the proof finds that there is a shrinking away from the test. This was not a matter only between the hon. member for Camden and the hon. member for the Upper Hunter; and whatever the merits of the case between the two hon. gentlemen, it was for this House to ascertain whether the charge was true, and if so, punish the member who sold the office, and if not punish the slanderer who had dared to utter such a slander. They had lost the Privilege Bill, and by the highest legal authority they were told that such a matter could not be tested in the lawcourts, and it could not be tested in this House,where no power existed to summon witnesses. He sympathized greatly with the hon. member for Camden that sueh charges should be made, and yet when he did his best to put them both to the test, he finds he cannot.

Mr. Farnell said the subject was an important one, and was in effect whether members were able to slander others without being brought to the test. They knew now that members were privileged as to the language they used both regarding people inside and outside the House. That being the case, no hon. member could obtain redress against another who chose to make charges against him. He thought, therefore, there should be some action to remedy this state of matters. He was not going to discuss the Privileges Bill at present, but he thought the hon. the Colonial Secretary had made a mistake in calling the attention of the House to the matter, and reviving what had taken place on the previous evening. He admitted that a remedy was required, but was this the right way to do it by moving the adjournment of the House? Either a resolution or a bill should have been brought in.

Mr. Wisdom said that it would not be disputed that the privileges of Parliament should be defined. He thought there should be liberty of speech, but those who made charges wantonly should be made responsible for them, outside. It had been decided that many privileges we thought we enjoyed, and were enjoyed by the House of Commons, in reality we did not. It could be no benefit to any one to discuss the private character of any member of this House. If the hon. member could have proceeded further they might have got a decision from the Court here, and if it were thought that the Court had decided improperly, the Privy Council in England would have settled the dispute as to what was the right of speech held by members of the Assembly. Unfortunately that had not been obtained; and now, taking all things into consideration, it was the duty of the Government, very early next session, to introduce a bill which would place beyond all doubt what not only were the rights and privileges of the Assembly as such, but what were the rights of members in the House, and people out of doors.

Mr. Garrett said, with regard to the matters submitted by the hon. member for Morpeth, he wished to point out that it was utterly impossible for him to take any other course but what he did take. (Hear, hear.) He made a declaration, and was met by a certain plea. The opinion of his counsel was taken in reference to this plea, and by those opinions he was bound. He did not see that he could have acted differently in any way. He took the only course open to him, and the only person who barred that course was the person who made the charges. He had nothing whatever to do with this matter being brought before the House to-night. [Sir Henry Parkes : Hear, hear.] He was quite content to let the facts and circumstances speak for themselves. From this time forward he should consider himself as utterly cleared from the charges involved in this case, and from others of a similar character. He had done all he could, and he was not going to let these slanders against his character in public and private life stand as they had done up to the present time.

Sir Henry Parkes, in reply, said his object had been to call attention on the first day after the occurrence to what was entirely new in our proceeding's—(hear, hear)—bad and irregular as sometimes they had been; and it was singular how entirely the object of his rising had been misunderstood by the hon. gentleman mostly concerned. He did not rise to abuse the hon. member, nor to please the hon. member for Camden, but to call attention to the fact that a gentleman who, in this House, had been most conspicuous in trying to take away men's characters, when he was met by the only means within men's power of ever making him prove his assertions or punishing him, set up his privileges of member of Parliament as a bar to the other obtaining justice. That had never been done before, and that was the one fact that called upon uŁ to take some step to put a stop to this licensed system of slander, or rather privileged system of slander. As to the hon. member for Camden he had never approached the hon. member in any way to seek his support or propitiate him. [Mr. Garrett : Hear, hear.] He had only discharged his duty, though he admitted he had only in part discharged his duty. (Hear, hear.) He would follow this matter up (hear, hear,) and allow the House an opportunity for putting a stop to this system of privileged slander, whether the persons slandei'ed were members of this House or persons out of doors. He called attention to it in order that hon. members might give attention to it and be prepared to give effect to what he apprehended was the feeling of everybody on an occurrence of this kind. It was no use his attempting to repeat what he had said before, but he could not find language sufficiently strong to characterize a charge made against anybody without sufficient inquiry, and an' entire shrinking from the responsibility of that charge. (Hear, hear.) That sort of thing certainly ought not to exist. (Hear, hear.) He entirely concurred in every word that fell from the hon. member for Morpeth, and he believed that while we ought to be clothed with ample privileges to protect ourselves, we ought not to be clothed with privileges to assault the characters of innocent persons out of door. (Cheers.)

The motion for adjournment was negatived on division by 18 to 13.

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