Typo: A Monthly Newspaper and Literary Review, Volume 4
We have had several references to the libel action of Mr Eddy against the Tamworth News. The Sydney correspondent of a contemporary gives the details as below: « Reseigh Martin has got two years. And who was Beseigh Martin, you will ask? I have not the honor of his personal acquaintance, but there was this bond of sympathy between us, that he, like myself, wrote a weekly letter for a country newspaper. In this letter he made some serious accusations against Mr Eddy, our recently-imported Bailway Commissioner, to the effect that that gentleman had abused his position to find situations in his department for some half-dozen of his own and wife's relations. Mr Eddy had previously had the unpleasant experience of being unscrupulously misrepresented in the Legislative Assembly, where, however, the offenders were safe behind their shield of privilege, and he could obtain no legal redress. But here was a definite statement, amenable to the libel law. So straightway the Commissioner proceeded against the proprietor of the paper in which the accusation appeared, Mr S. Joseph, for criminal libel. Mr Joseph, however, was allowed to escape on condition of publishing an apology, which appeared in some forty newspapers, and, last but not least, giving up the name of the writer, Mr Reseigh Martin, aforesaid. There was practically no defence, except that the unhappy writer pleaded that the statements which he made were matter of common conversation among the officers of the department, and that when he wrote them he believed them to be true. That the statements were false was conclusively shown by the evidence of Mr Eddy himself, that Martin was the writer was shown by the evidence of Mr Joseph, and the enormity of the offence in the eyes of the judge, was shown by the severity of the sentence inflicted—namely, two years' imprisonment and a fine of £1.
Mr Fish, in the House, is reported to have said: « I will now close with some doggrel, 'For the cause that lacks hassistance,' » &c. On which the Catholic Times exclaims, « Doggrel! Poor Domett! » And the readers of the C.T. are wondering what in the world « poor Domett » had to do with Linnaeus Banks's well-known ballad.
The following abject telegram was sent by a Canterbury member of Parliament, Mr Joyce, to the Lyttelton Wharf Laborers' Union:— « Sir George Grey and others think with me that we shall commit grave blunder to allow Parliament to terminate next week before strike terminates, but I dare not stonewall without your direction. Kindly advise. »
About one of the meanest things we have come across of late (says the Taranaki Herald) appears in a report of a meeting in the Patea County Press, where a member of a Boad Board says he « did not think it was necessary to spend money in advertising, as the proceedings of the meeting would be published in the local paper, and people would see from that that a Banger was wanted, and would look after it without waiting for an advertisement. »
At a recent meeting of the Wellington Free Public Library Committee, according to the Press, Mr J. B. Blair made an offer of a very valuable and interesting complete file of the earliest Wellington newspapers. They were formerly the property of the late Mr Robert Stokes, and had been sent through the Hon. J. N. Wilson, of Napier. The papers, he said, comprised the first number of the Spectator, which was published in London in 1839, the next issue being published in Wellington the following year. The numbers were complete until the paper was called the Independent.
In the House of Bepresentatives, Sir G. Grey presented a petition from Mr Leys, editor of the Auckland Star, against the proposal that no female under eighteen should hereafter be allowed to work as a type-setter. He maintained that this meant that the printing business was in future to be absolutely closed by law against women. Speaking after long experience, he declared that there was no more healthy or suitable employment for women, and mentioned that one female had been employed in the Auckland Star office for fifteen years without being away a single day through illness. He further objected to the clause dealing with the Saturday half-holiday, on the ground that if women must cease working at 2 o'clock it would be almost impossible to give them employment upon evening newspapers.
A telegram in the Sydney Daily Telegraph says: « The delivery of the book entitled 'Australian Men of Mark' has caused quite a commotion in Dubbo. About two years ago orders were taken for this book by two agents, who represented themselves as in the employ of the Government, and who said that they were gathering information concerning the leading residents of the various towns throughout the colony. They also stated that those who ordered any photos of themselves would be supplied at a cost of about one guinea per dozen. Several of the leading townsmen ordered three dozen of their pictures, which they find are now charged at 15s each, or with the books £33 6s. A meeting of those persons victimised was held on Tuesday evening, when over fifty rolled up. It was decided to place the matter in the hands of a solicitor, and obtain the opinion of a leading Sydney barrister whether the cases are worth defending at the forthcoming District Court, when it is understood that those who have not paid will be summoned for the amount. If all pay up it will mean nearly £4000 taken out of this district. »
Until the past few weeks, very few people had heard the name of the Maritime Council, which has lately been good enough to take in hand the control of nearly all the public and private affairs of the State; and the questions have arisen in many quarters, What is this body? and How is it constituted? The Council is supposed to be composed of eight persons—at present there are but six. Messrs Millar and Gibb represent the seamen, Messrs D. P. Fisher and Brown the wharf laborers, and Messrs Lomas and Bussell the coal-miners. The railway servants are entitled to send two delegates, but have not yet been directly represented on the Council. As the relations between the railway men and the Council are becoming somewhat strained, it is quite possible that they will not be represented. As the six members live far apart, regular conferences are not possible. The secretary, Mr Millar, has authority to take immediate action in case of emergency, and is therefore practically the Council. He has been represented as receiving a princely income. We believe that his actual salary is £4 a week, and that since the present trouble he has not been drawing it.