THE WELLINGTON, NELSON, AND MURRAY AGRICULTURAL SOCIETY.
BANQUET TO THE GOVERNOR.
(FROM A SPECIAL REPORTER.)
BUNBURY, Nov. 22.
Last night his Excellency the Governor was entertained at the banquet in
the Mechanics' Institute, Bunbury, by the Wellington District Agricultural
Society. Mr Sloan was the caterer, and deserves the greatest credit for
the manner in which he served the dinner. Mr A. P. Campbell, President of
the Society, was chairman, and amongst the guests, who numbered over
sixty, were Drs. Laffan and Lepper, Colonel Angelo, R.M. Messrs. T.
Hayward, D. A. Hay, C. L. Brockman, F. L. von Bibra, R. W. Rose, R. Gale,
Dr. Harvey, Rev. Jos. Withers, W. Spencer, Wigglesworth, James Maguire, E.
Woodrow, Knox Brown, D. Eedle, J. H. Dixon, W. E. Reading, W. C. Ramsay,
C. L. Hastie, Jos. Taylor, J. F. Johnston, Cookworthy, G. W. Floyd, and M.
After dessert, the usual loyal tastes were proposed by the chairman, and
were drank [sic] most enthusiastically.
The CHAIRMAN then proposed the health of his Excellency the Governor. He
said he thought that that would be the toast of the evening. The Governor
had accepted the invitation under most difficult circumstances. He was
afraid the Governor would not be back again, but he assured him it was the
wish of all of them that his Excellency should return under the more
favourable circumstances of Responsible Government. They all knew that the
Governor had been placed in a most difficult position in having to take
the whole responsibility of Government on his own shoulders. He begged
his Excellency to accept the thanks of them all for the great pleasure and
honour he had conferred upon them by coming amongst them that day.
The toast was drunk with enthusiasm.
HIS EXCELLENCY, who on rising was received with renewed cheering, said:
Mr Chairman and gentlemen, it gives me great pleasure to have my health
proposed before so many of the leading gentlemen of this district, in such
kind terms, and received in such a cordial manner. I fear this is the
last country district of Western Australia that I shall have the pleasure
of visiting. It has been said that if you wish to find out who a lady
likes best, you should watch who she shakes hands with last when leaving a
room. (Cheers.) I am shaking hands last with Bunbury and the Southern
Districts, and certainly I may say now, on your show day, and in the midst
of you all, that I can like nothing better than to be here. No doubt I
have experienced the same feeling in other districts of the colony, and
therefore you will gather that my affections are of a manifold character.
I think no one can visit the Southern Districts at any time,
without feeling greatly attracted by them, and I have been greatly
attracted to this district and have always been glad to come amongst you.
Now when the Legislative Council is sitting, and when your own member has
been compelled to ask me to express his regret that owing to his public
duties, he could not be here, you understand that there has been some
difficulty in arranging my journey; but I resolved to come and would not
have missed my visit for anything.
I shall take away with me a very pleasant reminiscence of the Southern Districts. There are signs of advancement on every side. You have not only your agricultural and pastoral interests, but you have new mining interests. When we find such valuable minerals as tin and coal, we must have hopes that the discovery will result in great things for this part of the colony. You have a splendid climate and good soil, and with these attractions and with your minerals developing, it will be very hard if before long, the Wellington District does not make a show in the world. Regarding mining I would warn you, however, not to put your hand out further than you can draw it back.
It is not without large expense that mining industries can be developed, and I would say, be very careful how you invest in these undertakings, more money than you can afford to lose.
Our hopes are that all will turn out successfully, and that there is a great future for the district, but caution must ever be used in mining enterprise. As you know, I am about to leave the colony. It is sad to have to break up my home here and separate myself from Western Australia, but if anything can alleviate the sorrow which I really do feel, it is the knowledge that I am going home on your business.
I am going home with two of the most distinguished members of the Legislative Council to speak and act on your behalf in London. I am glad to feel that I shall not cease at once to be your Governor, that I am as it were, to be let down gradually, and that it will be some months before my connection with the colony is finally severed. We hope to have a successful mission.
Nothing can be worse for this colony than the existing state of political decay and uncertainty, and the sooner you get Responsible Government and set to work with the new machinery the better.
Many enterprises are now hanging in the wind, because the present Government do not feel that they ought in their last days to involve the colony in large liabilities. We feel we ought to leave new and heavy responsibilities of public expenditure to thecareful action and the judgment of the colony itself.
It has always been my desire and endeavour to make the people of this colony feel their personal responsibility in the affairs of the colony. I began my requests by freely assenting to requests made to me by the Legislative Council. I made it my business to comply with an address when I possibly could.
I felt it was the money of the legislature, and that, if the legislature was not fit to decide that a road or a bridge or a jetty were required, they never would be fit for anything. Therefore I generally agreed to their applications. I noticed this brought about a change. These motions for addresses to spend money were no longer passed.
As a matter of course they now often meet with considerable opposition and discussion, which shows that the Council feels its responsibility, and is careful in husbanding the resources of the colony. That feeling of responsibility and economy will be very much required in the first stage of Responsible Government.
You will find all sorts of the greatest enterprises brought forward, public works of the grandest description involving an expenditure of hundreds of thousands of pounds, which, if agreed to recklessly, will weigh down the colony for years and years. Therefore, it will be the duty, in the instinct of self preservation, for every electorate, every representative, to weigh every scheme well and truly, and to sift it through and through before agreeing to it.
I hope that the sense of responsibility and carefulness which has been awakening of late years, will have the very fullest play when you get your own Ministers, in order that public misfortune may be avoided. You know the position of our affairs just now. I am happy to say there are signs of the revenue expanding again. The decrease of the last three years seems arrested, and there are some signs of a renewed prosperity.
For three years after my arrival, the revenue increased in a glorious manner, and the largest enterprises and loans seemed within our reach. I had hoped to have come to you by railway from the metropolis, but the revenue commenced to decline, and became no longer possible to show a margin for the interest of new loans.
I hope that this good season in the mining industries which are opening up, will attract capital, and increase the public revenue. It will not be such a bad thing to find that the present Government is not hampered by the action of the past, but find itself able to run a further loan, and to carry the public works shown to be necessary. You then, will look back and consider that the economies of
the present administration have not been unwise. If I have been economical in using the resources of the colony, it is only because I hope you will have more to expend when I am gone.
I thank you for listening to my remarks, and beg you to remember, as I said at first, that it is Bunbury that I shake hands last.
The MAYOR (Mr WISBEY) proposed the toast of "The Resident Magistrate and
Justices of the Peace." He said he had received a letter from their
member in which he expressed his regret that his duties in the Legislative
Council would not permit of his coming there. He enlarged on the matter
in which Colonel Angelo had carried out his duties as Resident Magistrate.
Colonel ANGELO, in reply, thanked those present for the manner in which
they had drunk the toast. Speaking as a magistrate, he could not say when
they went on the Bench, they did so to maintain its dignity, and to do
justice between man and man. He was sure that when the Governor went away
he would take with him the interests of the colony at heart, and that he
would use the power of his pen to obtain the object of their desire
The SECRETARY OF THE SOCIETY (Mr J. F. JOHNSTON) then read the Annual Report of the Society.
Dr LEPPER proposed the toast of "The Wellington Agricultural and Pastoral
Society." He said that he hoped that whatever gold, tin, and other mines
were opened in the colony, they would never forget that the production of
food was the main stay of a country.
Mr TURNBULL replied and said that although young he had taken the greatest
interest in the Society. He thought they had the show ground in the worst
part of the town, and he hoped that before next year they would have a
better ground of their own in a more favourable position. He had been
afraid that they would have a small number of exhibits, but he was glad to
say that although the number was not large, the quality was most
excellent. He remarked upon the unwillingness shown by stock owners of
the district to exhibit, instancing one breeder in particular whom he said
had the largest quantity of stock fit for exhibition, who had not made a
single entry. He expressed the hope that for the future members would
show their interest in the advancement of the Society's interest by not
only exhibiting, but also by taking some of the responsibility of the work
on their shoulders.
Mr F. JOHNSTON proposed the toast of "The Judges," coupling with it the
name of Capt. Pilkington.
Capt. PILKINGTON, in reply, said he felt very much honoured at being asked
to perform the important duty of Judge of the horses. He had been brought
up in one of the best horse producing counties of Ireland, and he had had
a deal of experience in connection with Australian horses in India. The
horses exhibited that day presented a very good appearance, and were most
creditable to the town. One horse he had no hesitation in saying was by
far and away the best he had seen in the colony, and that was Insonomy.
He went on to speak of the large demand there was in India for horses, and
assured them that horses imported from Western Australia were most
appreciated in India on account of their good qualities. The name of Mr
Maitland Brown, who was the first to ship horses to India, had not been
To show how profitable the export of horses to India would be, he gave as an instance, that one district would take 1000 troop horses a year, and as the average price was £50,and the cost of shipment not more than £12 to £15, there was a handsome profit to be made out of such a trade. He urged them to go in more for horse breeding, which he assured them would prove most profitable.
Mr HAYWARD proposed "The Tin and Coal industry of Western Australia." He
believed the tin was there, and with proper management it was certain that
it would result in great advantage to the district. With regard to the
coal there was no doubt that it also was there, and they had reason to
believe that they would reap a rich harvest from it.
Mr DIXON, in reply, said he regretted that the duty of responding had not
devolved on the Tin King, Mr Knox Brown, who had done so much for the tin
mines, and for whom the tin mines had done so much. It was not a
difficult work, and the tin industry might be considered one of the
principal interests of the colony, in view of the influence which the
industry must exercise in the future of its colony. Greenbushes, like old
wine, needed no bush. Gentlemen present had expended money and labour in
prospecting, and the result was satisfactory. The mines were the
depository of immense wealth, requiring only capital and enterprise to
develop their resources. It was a source of congratulation that the
Government contemplated no precipitate or harsh measures calculated to
strangle the infant industry. The wealth of the field in time would
attract capitalists to industry which was new to the colony. Initial
difficulties have been experienced which would be over in a short time.
Coal was a more arduous subject to deal with in view of the large areas
taken up and the deep measures already discovered with such primitive
appliances, and any effort to calculate the extent of the beds paralysed
the power of expression. They had a wealth of coal beyond the dream of
avarice, excellent in quality and extent, and it had been ascertained by
private enterprise, which the Government did not sufficiently recognise or
encourage. Mr B. A. Woodward had analysed a sample of coal from the
Collie River, and had wired the following results:-Water, .15; gas, .32;
sulphur, .2; carbon, .45; ash, .5. He could say that the settlers of the
district would no longer followers of Micawber principals, waiting for
something to turn up. Mr Hay had changed the local aspect of affairs by
the result of his coal hunting expedition, which a future generation would
appreciate. The beautiful picture of Bunbury which formed the drop scene
to their stage would some day, he hoped, represent their roadstead blocked
up by steamers conveying to all parts of the globe the Collie River coal.
Mr HAY proposed "the visitors," coupling with it the name of Mr W. Padbury.
Mr PADBURY congratulated them on the improvement in their show. He told
them they should have a show ground of their own, and if they did not wish
their show to fall through they must get things better arranged.
Dr LAFFAN proposed "The Ladies" which was responded to by Mr JEPHSON in
His EXCELLENCY proposed the health of "The Chairman" who, he said, had in
himself a capable and energetic President of the association.
Mr TURNBULL having replied, "Auld Lang Syne" was sung, and the assembly
dispersed very well pleased with their evening's entertainment.