Typo: A Monthly Newspaper and Literary Review, Volume 3
The newly-appointed Customs « expert » has been making things pretty lively for importers. Several large confiscations have taken place during the past few weeks. A contemporary says he has proved « a good investment » for the Government. It is exactly in this light, apparently, that he is regarded. It is asserted that a recent seizure was made solely on account of the clerical error « shirtings » for « skirtings » in an entry, making a difference of £5 in £1000 duty; and that the error would in any case have come to light before the goods were delivered, without any « expert » assistance at all. Moreover, this nondescript officer may, if he think fit, claim a percentage on all seizures in addition to his « screw. » Some of the importers will probably seek redress from the Supreme Court, when the true value of our « expert » will be discovered.
« Alongside the word 'depression,' (says the Mataura Ensign) should be buried the word 'loan,' and upon these twain the soil should be carefully filled in and stamped down. » —It would be well if the actual facts could be as easily disposed of!
A valued correspondent has sent us some notes on the early history of the Southern Cross newspaper, Auckland, which we intend to publish in our next issue. We have also been favored with the loan of a highly-prized relic—a quarto card printed in commemoration of the first anniversary of the Cross as a daily, in May, 1863. We have set a reduced copy of this document, which will appear with the article. On the card are twenty names—two proprietors and eighteen members of chapel. Of the twenty, ten are known to have departed this life, one being Mr C. A. Haszard, who was a victim of the Tarawera eruption in 1886. Our correspondent has been able to gather particulars regarding all the other members of the companionship, with one exception—that of C. Stewart. After leaving Auckland he worked for some years in the job department of the Hawke's Bay Herald and afterwards of the Hawke's Bay Times, after which he left for Australia. Our correspondent has been unable to ascertain whether he is now living or dead. If any of our readers can furnish any recent particulars concerning him, it will add to the interest of a very interesting chapter in press history.
Great interest has been taken in Apia in the case of libel brought in the High Commisioner's Court by the German Consul against Mr Cusack, the proprietor of the Samoan Times. The ground of the charge was based on comments reprinted from a San Francisco paper on an article by Mr W. L. Rees that appeared in the Nineteenth Century recently. Mr Cusack applied for an adjournment till counsel could be retained on his behalf, but the Deputy Commissioner would not grant an adjournment. The case was, therefore dealt with summarily, and Mr Cusack was fined £20 and costs. The amount of the fine was subscribed by the American and British residents.—Mr Cusack, who cannot see that he has been guilty of any offence, has decided to appeal. The action of the Deputy-Commissioner is regarded as a contemptible truckling to the German party—who, on their part, were greatly disappointed that Mr Cusack was not sent to prison. As our readers are aware, they revenged themselves by suppressing the paper. We hope Mr Cusack will obtain a reversal of the decision, and compensation for the loss and indignity which he has suffered.