Typo: A Monthly Newspaper and Literary Review, Volume 4
Subscribers are requested not to send their files to the binder until they receive their title and index to the volume, which are in preparation.
In an interesting communication to the Evening Press, the Rev. W. Colenso incidentally draws attention to the fact that the present year is the centenary of the death of the illustrious Benjamin Franklin, philosopher, statesman, and printer, who died in 1790, aged 84.
At the last meeting of the Executive Council of the N.Z.T.A., the secretary was instructed to enter into correspondence with the secretaries of the Typographical Associations of England and America with the view of exchanging ideas concerning the welfare of the Craft.
While the defeat of Mr Larnach has caused a thrill of satisfaction, that feeling is somewhat qualified by the election for Manukau of Mr Buckland, who is well fitted to wear his mantle. Mr Buckland's speech was the coarsest of the whole campaign, and his return is the more to be regretted as he has displaced Sir Maurice O'Rorke, the best Speaker (we do not mean speaker) in the Australian colonies.
The Wanganui Herald is publishing very bitter paragraphs from Marton in reference to the local paper. Considerable prominence is given to a blackguardly ceremonial in which an effigy of the Advocate editor was hurnt. The Arkwright party evidently take their beating very badly. The Herald's contributor goes so far as to say that had the result of the election been known on the evening of the 5th inst., the office of the Advocate would have been wrecked. This is doubtless bunkum; nevertheless it is gratifying to know that the effigy-burning and office-wrecking party are in the minority.
At a meeting of the Board of Management of the Auckland Typographical Association held on the 12th inst., it was resolved to strike out the matter of affiliation with the Australasian Typographical Union, and to at once take steps to complete the new rules, obtain the signatures of the master printers to the same, and endeavor to have them put into operation on the 1st January. A hearty vote of thanks was accorded to Mr G. M. Main, of the Herald staff, for his interesting article on « The Newspaper Press of Auckland » during the past fifty years. Votes of thanks were also accorded to the proprietors of the local papers, and other gentlemen, for the practical assistance rendered to members of the Association in connexion with the demonstration.
The new Parliament contains so large a number of men quite unknown and entirely new to political life, and party lines are so illdefined, that the press generally can only hazard vague guesses at what the outcome will be. The labor element has for the first time asserted itself, and though the party summarily dismissed their late leader Millar, they have in the large centres returned men of a similar stamp. The proportion of land-quacks and socialists is not large, and they in nearly all cases represent city constituencies. The Minister of Lands, who has had greater success in promoting the settlement of the country than any predecessor, was returned by a substantial majority, and his supporters were the country settlers. The apprehensions as to the defeat of the Government and the consequent damage to colonial credit appear to be premature. The leader of the Opposition is so only in name, and narrowly escaped defeat. It has even been suggested that one of the party should resign in order to allow Sir Robert Stout to be returned for a safe district; but the difficulty is to find a representative ready to sacrifice himself. Among the really valuable members defeated are Mr Bruce and Sir M. O'Rorke. The labor candidates, as a rule, advocate socialist legislation, a revolution in land tenure, more borrowing, and still heavier protective duties.page break
The proprietors of the Hawke's Bay Herald, Messrs. P. Dinwiddie and R. T. Walker, have been committed for trial on a charge of criminal libel on one F. C. Cassin, arising out of the late election strife. Cassin, who took a prominent part in the contest, and proposed the defeated candidate, is a part proprietor of the local News. He is also a past district officer of high degree in the order of Druids. The alleged libel was contained in two anonymous letters in the Herald, accusing him of having taken advantage of his position in the order, to illegally lend from the society's funds (on leasehold security) a sum of £100 to a person in business partnership with him at the time, which sum was lost to the order. The Herald not only refused to withdraw the charges, but undertook to prove them. Counsel for Cassin objected to his cross-examination on the ground that the matters related to the private affairs of a secret society, but the objection was overruled. The complainant then made some very damaging admissions. The minute-book of the society was produced and a vote of censure upon him in regard to his dealing with the society's funds, was read in court. The defendants reserved their defence. The case is fixed for the March sittings of the Supreme Court and (provided that it is gone on with), will be of interest both to the Press and to Friendly Societies.
Mr Arthur Desmond's Tribune (Auckland) is dead, after a stormy career of eight weeks. In its wild and incoherent style it was more suggestive of Colney Hatch literature than journalism. If the editor had more ballast he would be dangerous. He was one of the band of contributors who killed Zealandia, and his article on the Christ as « a democrat of democrats » in its last number, was the final nail in its coffin. He lately published a pamphlet on the same subject, which has since been discovered to be plagiarized from an American periodical. « No rent » was the Tribune's motto, and he gave it practical effect by fitting a key to certain unoccupied offices, taking possession, and thence issuing his paper, nor was this discovered until a paying tenant appeared, and the landlord being appealed to, the Tribune was evicted. Mr D. was asked to give up the key. « What! » he said, « my key? » At a public meeting he raised a storm of indignation by reading a disgraceful letter bearing the signature of a Minister of the Crown (E. Mitchelson) addressed to the secretary of the Employers' Association, in which it was stated that public funds were available to oppose the unionists; but that they must be used with judgment! The letter appeared in every morning newspaper in the colony; but next day Mr Mitchelson made affidavit that the document was a forgery from beginning to end, and also instituted criminal proceedings for libel against Mr Desmond.
The Jubilee of the firm of Lyon & Blair, printers and booksellers, Wellington, was celebrated this month, and the circumstance is noteworthy, as this business is believed to be the only one in New Zealand that can boast an unbroken record of fifty years. The founder of the establishment, the late Mr William Lyon, arrived with the first settlers on the 4th February, 1840, in the Duke of Roxburgh. He had previously been in business at Hamilton, near Glasgow, as a bookseller, and soon opened in the same line in Wellington. He took a prominent part in local affairs, was one of the first Justices of the Peace of the colony; and of the aldermen of the first Municipality in 1843; one of those who obtained representative government for the colony; and a member of the first Provincial Council. He was the founder of the Athenæum and Mechanics' Institute, and one of its earlier lecturers; and assisted in the establishment of the Spectator newspaper. In 1871 he sustained an irreparable loss in the death of his wife, and in 1873 retired from business, which was carried on by a son, in partnership with Mr J. B. Blair, who had been long connected with the firm, the title being altered to Lyon & Blair. In 1876, Mr Lyon was almost entirely laid aside by a severe illness, which ultimately resulted in his death, on the 22nd February, 1879, at the age of 73. The firm-name is still retained, though for some years Mr J. R. Blair has been sole proprietor. The business is now one of the most important printing and bookselling concerns in New Zealand, affording employment to a very large number of hands. The manufacturing departments include all branches of typographic, lithographic and copper-plate printing and bookbinding, including the manufacture of account-books on a large scale, die-sinking, rubber-stamp manufacture, &c, besides a large publishing business. Mr Blair, the proprietor, is as largely engaged in public concerns as was his predecessor; notwithstanding which he is able to pay all necessary attention to a rapidly-growing business. Its progress during recent years has been remarkable. The utmost goodwill prevails between the employer, the heads of departments, and the staff—no labor troubles having ever arisen in connexion with the concern. And when the colony celebrates the completion of its first century, it is quite possible that the old-established firm may have a centenary demonstration on its own account.
An interesting ease was heard this month in the Supreme Court at Blenheim, which illustrates the special risks run by those papers that make a feature of publishing particulars of bills of sale, mortgages, and bankruptcies. William Innes Craig, storekeeper, of Blenheim, sought to recover £200 damages from the proprietor of the Mercantile and Bankruptcy Gazette for publishing a statement that plaintiff had given Charles Sutton a bill of sale on September 25th for £150 over five horses, wagon, and horses; which had injured his credit and reputation. The Gazette had made the blunder of transposing the names, and the results to Mr Innes were unpleasant. Travellers ceased calling upon him for orders, and when he wrote for supplies to wholesale houses he received courteous replies to the effect that the goods he required were out of stock. The error appeared to have been made by the local agent, who was new to the work, in sending the telegram. The Gazette inserted a correction, which was itself not correct, besides being in small type and not in a prominent position. The jury, after an absence of two hours, awarded plaintiff £30 damages, and costs were granted on the lowest scale.
Our Wellington correspondent writes:—Mr D. P. Fisher, who has been so long and creditably connected with the Executive Council of the N.Z.T.A. as secretary, has resigned his position owing to the manner in which the Wellington printers withdrew their support towards the late strike. Mr Fisher, being president of the Maritime Council, expected the printers of the colony to stand by him to the last, and upon being rather harshly criticised by the Wellington typos, he retired from all connexion with the trade which he has done so much towards building up to the position it now holds in New Zealand. The loss of such a man is deeply deplored by those of the Craft who know his record for the past fifteen years, and the Otago Branch, at a general meeting, passed a resolution expressing regret at the step taken, but acknowledging that he could take no other under the circumstances. There is not the slightest doubt that the « opening » of the Otago Daily Times and Witness is largely due to Mr Fisher, and some credit is also due to him for the terms upon which the New Zealand Times was opened. Mr Fisher also received an acknowledgment of regret from the Hawke's Bay Branch. He has resigned all the positions formerly occupied by him in unionism, and is now exclusively devoted to the secretaryship of the Trades Council. Upon the branches being requested to send in nominations for the vacant secretaryship, Mr H. C. Jones was nominated by the Wellington Branch, and Mr T. L. Mills by the Hawke's Bay and Otago Branches. Before the ballot papers were issued Mr Jones retired from the contest, and the Executive Council declared Mr Mills elected to the office.
A Dunedin friend sends us the following spirited little poem by Mr J. B. Hunter, compositor, on the Star, which was issued during the procession by the Otago Branch of the N.Z.T.A. The bold and original metaphor in the twenty-eighth line is worthy of note:
Ho! brethren of the toiling world, uplift your voice to-day,
Fling out your banners to the breeze, your flags and pennons gay;
Let songs [unclear: exultant,] joyous, loud, from Labor's host ascend—
In one triumphant chorus let voice and purpose blend!
For are we not united in unfaltering accord
To fight the battles of our race, though not with fire and sword?
Our warfare shall be bloodless—but nevermore to cease
Till victory brings the Golden Age of universal peace.
We go not back for all the power of plutocratic might—
We feel the justice of our cause, and dauntlessly we'll fight!
No tears attend our conquests, no orphans mark our way,
And on our heads the widow's voice will but for blessings pray.
This the proud aim which binds us, for which each comrade strives:
From the foul gulf of Penury to save our children's lives!
To win for all an equal right in this our planet's soil,
And snatch from Greed's rapacious clutch the fruitage of our toil.
The age of Serfdom is no more—the chains are cast aside
That bound the captive to the car of Luxury and Pride!
No more the heart's blood of the poor, transmuted into gold.
Shall fill the coffers of the rich with treasure-heaps untold!
No more Old Age, with bondage bowed, shall need to cringe and crave
A dole from Dives with the mien and gesture of a slave!
Upon the social plane at last the Son of Labor stands—
The equal of the proudest lord in all these Southern lands!
Then let us clasp each sturdy hand of brother staunch and true,
And swear to keep our nether limbs from treason's sable hue!
Three cheers we'll give with right goodwill our brethren of the wave,
Those gallant toilers of the sea, who stand so true and brave;
Three more for our staunch wharfmen, who guard the standard yet,
And three for our stout colliers, whom we will ne'er forget.
But thrice three cheers let one and all as fitting tribute pay
To that brave-hearted Sisterhood who grace our ranks to-day!
And this our glorious Labor Day shall ever henceforth be,
To all whose hearts have human thrills, a Day of Jubilee.
Unfortunately the « brave-hearted sisterhood » (the Dunedin Tailoresses' Union) were absent. They had sent a polite request to the Committee to forego their intention of having a publican's booth on the ground; but the concession was curtly refused. They therefore unanimously resolved to take no part in the demonstration, and carried out their resolution.