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Encl. 15 in No. 14.
29th August 1853. 30th August 1853.
diggers, and deserves their most mature and earnest consideration, in order to prevent any
3d. "That this meeting views with regret the extreme measures adopted by their brother diggers at the Golbourn, and would trust to gain their ends by constitutional means alone; for although slow to grant what we ask, the Government (or at least the Home Government) generally find it expedient to do so."
"GEORGE S. FRAZER, Chairman."
Enclosure 15 in No. 14.
I HAVE the honor to enclose a resolution voted at a meeting of storekeepers held yesterday at the White Hill, together with my reply to the request it embodied.
2. My reply is grounded on the conviction, that in the present state of feeling on this Gold Field, if the force of military and police are sufficient to protect the life and property of persons against whom the anti-license faction might be urged, I believe it, and, indeed, a much larger force would not affect the collection of the licenses in addition.
3. Whilst several individuals have expressed their desire to see the present law upheld, and are aware of the bad characters of the people who principally oppose it, no general support could be hoped for in carrying it out.
The Hon. the Colonial Secretary,
4. Amongst the opponents of the license fee, it must be admitted that there are individuals who would scruple at no means of thwarting the police in the collection of it, by outrages which would call for interference and abandonment of the pursuit of unlicensed miners, whilst this camp must be held by a considerable body of whatever force
Resident Commissioner's Office, Sandhurst,
5. Any further information can be given by the Chief Commissioner of Gold Fields, who is leaving for Melbourne to-day.
To Messrs. Smith and Stephen, &c. &c.
I have, &c. (Signed)
IN reply to the request embodied in the resolution submitted to me by you this day, viz., "That the storekeepers of the Bendigo here assembled, declare themselves "ready to meet the provisions of the law, and are willing by all means in their power to "conform thereto; but standing as they do, in the intermediate position between the "Government and the gold-diggers, they respectfully request that they may be allowed to "defer the payment of the license fee, and for that purpose they beg that the collection "of that fee be suspended until the twentieth day of December, or until the decision of "the Legislative Council shall be obtained to the matter."
Messrs. Smith and Stephen.
Messrs. N. and S. Marks.
Mr. F. Drake.
Mr. Frederick Ogle.
Mr. J. Simpson.
Mr. J. G. Fowler.
W. H. WRIGHT,
Chief Commissioner of Gold Fields,
2. I have the honour to inform you that it asks what I cannot take upon myself to guarantee to you, as abrogating the law, which alone can be done by the Legislative Council. The Council is now assembled, and I believe that in a few days its views may be made known on the law in question; and in the mean time I trust that you have confidence in the discretion which I shall exercise in the matter.
Resident Commissioner's Office, Sandhurst,
August 30, 1853.
3. I will add, that I shall consider it my first duty, whatever force I may have placed
I have, &c.
MINUTE of a Meeting of Storekeepers held at the Sixth White Hill, Bendigo, upon
Chief Commissioner of Gold Fields.
Mr. W. Beaver.
Mr. Duncan Campbell.
Mr. J. T. Bellamy.
Mr. W. Porter.
Messrs. Eassie and Maitland.
Mr. F. Wyvill.
Mr. C. J. Brown.
Mr. Harvey in the Chair,
The following resolution was proposed by Mr. Harvey, and after some discussion, unanimously adopted,—
"That the storekeepers of the Bendigo, here assembled, declare themselves ready to meet the provisions of the law, and are willing by all means in their power to conform thereto; but standing as they do, in the intermediate position between the Government and the gold-diggers, they respectfully request that they may be allowed to defer the payment of the license fee, and for that purpose they beg that the collection of that fee be suspended till the twentieth day of December, or until the decision of the Legislative Council shall be obtained in the matter."
Enclosure 16 in No. 14.
September 1, 1853.
His Excellency the Lieutenant-Governor has been pleased to notify, that it having been decided to propose, without delay, another mode of raising a revenue in lieu of that now derived from the Gold Fields this measure will at once be presented to the Legislalative Council; but in the meantime, no compulsory means shall be adopted for the enforcement of the license for the month of September.
Several persons having applied for protection against violence, which has been threatened to them, all orderly persons are assured that ample means are at the disposal of the authorities for that purpose, and that prompt aid may be relied on whenever necessary.
W. H. WRIGHT.
Enclosure 17 in No. 14.
The Honourable the Colonial Secretary,
JOHN HARVEY, C. M.
JOHN M. TAYLOR.
P. M. VANDER VORL.
Resident's Office, Sandhurst,
The capture was effected by a single detective officer when Mr. Brown was addressing several persons (about thirty), no resistance being offered.
Reports having reached me that a rescue might be attempted, I have taken every precaution in my power to prevent any such occurrence.
The offence being one for which the law allows bail, it will, if tendered, be accepted unless cogent reasons are seen for its refusal.
Mr. Brown's case is to come on at two o'clock, that is, in two hours' time.
Enclosure 18 in No. 14.
I have, &c.
Resident Commissioner's Office, Sandhurst,
I HAD the honour yesterday to report for the information of his Excellency the Lieutenant-Governor, that the person* named in the margin had been apprehended by Mr. Cadet Smith, and was in custody in the "Lock-up" at this place, pending inquiry into the charge laid against him.
2. I now do myself the honour to report that he was brought before the police magistrate at three o'clock yesterday afternoon, and the prosecutor not being in attendance, he
* Edward Brown, usually called Captain Brown, charged with endeavouring to extort money by intimidation and threats of violence to the person and property of William Adams, storekeeper.
Encl. 16 in No. 14.
Encl. 17 in No. 14.
Encl. 18 in No. 14.
VICTORIA. was admitted to bail to appear at ten o'clock this forenoon. He surrendered to his bail at that hour, some time after which the case was gone into. I enclose a copy of the proceedings, which will give you the result.
3. About fifty persons were present in court, and since his apprehension no manifestation of feeling on the subject has been shewn, and at the present moment this Gold Field appears unusually quiet, the people being occupied with their various occupations.
4. Bail has not been tendered, although some hours have elapsed since the case was disposed of.
The Honourable the Colonial Secretary,
I have, &c.
(Signed) W. H. WRIGHT, Chief Commissioner of the Gold Fields.
Friday 2nd of September 1853.
Before L. McLachlan, Esq., P.M.
Edward Brown, charged with using threatening language for the purpose of extorting money. Plea, not guilty.
This deponent, William Adams, on his oath saith:-On the 29th of August last, I was sitting in the tent known as the Sailor's Home; the defendant, Edward Brown, was also sitting in the tent. He addressed me, saying that I had not given them anything, only to a paltry 2s. 6d. ; he said that another storekeeper had given him 27.; he gave the name of Mr. Frazer, and that if he had not done so, that the intention was to have the Bastard store between his and mine down. The defendant also stated, that he was aware that Mr. Frazer was opposed to the movement, and that there were eight of the storekeepers he had already marked as marked men, and had he seen Mr. Frazer and myself at the meeting on Saturday, he should have marked us out before the people. He then told me, that unless I gave them something, I might look out to have my store pulled down about my ears on Thursday morning. I told him I should not give him anything; he said they were the people who could give protection, and that I should not get protection anywhere else; and that I little knew what subscription they had got that day, and he said something to the effect, that some who had taken out licenses had sent them money. He told me that if he only held up his finger he could get 20,000 men to back him; and that if any one interfered or took down any store he did not approve of, he would impanel a jury and first try the man, and then hang him on the first tree they came to, and that he would have Lynch-law, for he had plenty of men to back him in anything he thought proper. He added, that he did not care if he was lagged for it, as he had plenty of means to back him. Whilst the defendant, Brown, and I were together, a man came into the tent, and the defendant addressed and asked him if he was ready to take some of Mr. Adams' traps on Thursday morning; the defendant told me he would tar and feather me. He came some time since into my store and purchased a coat and shirt; I think they caine to 21. 2s. 6d; I gave him at that time the odd 2s. 6d. At that time he asked me to put my name to a subscription list, which I refused to do. The defendant afterwards said, that he wished the conversation to be private; private conversation was private, he said, and that public was public. I have known the defendant about two months. I saw him in the Sailor's Home, when he handed me a paper with "startling news" on it," 400,000 people to land in twelve months." I have never had any quarrel with the defendant.
Taken and sworn this 2nd day of
Cross-examined by the defendant:-I was quite sober when we met at the Sailor's Home. It was in the square tent adjoining the Sailor's Home. You asked me for a subscription. You told me that a storekeeper had sent the delegates 21. You told me that I should have my store pulled about my ears on Thursday, and that I had tried to poison my neighbours' minds against you. You told me that your intention was, to have the Bastard store between Mr. Frazer's and mine down if he had not sent the 21. You were talking about the number of men you had at your command, and stated that you would have Lynch-law, and hang any man at the first tree you came to if he pulled a wrong store down. We were not quarrelling at this time. After this, you said, that many people did not know the difference between public conversation and private; that public conversation was public, and private was private; and that you wished that part to be kept private.
(Signed) W. ADAMS.
The defendant to find substantial sureties to keep the peace towards William Adams and all Her Majesty's subjects, two in 300l. each, and himself in 5001, for twelve calendar months.
Enclosure 19 in No. 14.
ANNO DECIMO SEPTIMO VICTORIE REGINE.
By His Excellency CHARLES JOSEPH LATROBE, ESQUIRE, Lieutenant Governor of the Colony of Victoria and its Dependencies, with the advice and consent of the Legislative Council.
AN ACT to alter an Act intituled "An Act to restrain by summary proceedings unautho"rized mining on waste lands of the crown.' [Assented to, 14th September 1853.]
WHEREAS by an Act of the Lieutenant Governor and Legislative Council of the Colony Preamble. of Victoria passed in the fifteenth year of the reign of Her present Majesty Queen Victoria, intituled "An Act to restrain by summary proceedings unauthorized mining on 15 Vict., No. 15. "waste lands of the crown," provision was made respecting the mining or digging for ore on waste lands of the crown without a license or authority from the Lieutenant Governor of the said Colony, in conformity with the Government regulations in such case made and provided, or any future regulations to be made or provided, not increasing the amount of fee rent or return payable at the time of passing the said Act: And whereas since the passing of the said Act, Her Majesty Queen Victoria has been graciously pleased to place at the disposal of the Lieutenant Governor and Legislative Council for the public service of the said Colony the revenue to be derived from the Gold Mines and Gold Fields thereof, and to authorize the Lieutenant Governor and Legislative Council to determine with Her Majesty's assent the mode of raising a revenue therefrom, and the amount to be paid upon the working thereof. And whereas it is expedient to alter the said Act for a limited time: Be it therefore enacted by his Excellency the Lieutenant Governor of the said Colony of Victoria, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Council thereof as follows:
I. It shall be lawful for the Lieutenant Governor of the said Colony, in lieu of issuing any license or authority in accordance with the regulations referred to in the said Act, to issue licenses to mine or dig for gold for a period of three months, from the first day of September one thousand eight hundred and fifty-three, upon payment of a fee of forty shillings, to be applied for the public service of the said Colony: And every such license shall be deemed a license or authority within the terms of the said Act: Provided that any person having paid the proper sum for a license issued under the existing regulations for the said month of September, shall receive credit therefor on account of any license to be issued under the provisions hereof, and payment of every such sum shall be deemed a part payment of the said sum of forty shillings: Provided that nothing herein contained shall prevent the Lieutenant Governor of the said Colony from issuing the usual monthly license under the said regulations to any person who may demand the same.
Enclosure 20 in No. 14.
Encl. 19 in No. 14.
Lieutenant-Governor may issue a license to from 1st September.
mine for three months
II. All the powers and jurisdiction which under the provisions of the said Act may be One justice may act, had or exercised by two or more justices of the peace, shall and may after the passing of unless objected to. this Act be had and exercised in like manner by one justice only, unless the party proceeded against shall object to such exercise of power and jurisdiction by one justice alone.
3. On the 1st ultimo, I had the honour to address an official communication to your Excellency, drawing attention to the difficulties into which any measure for the abandonment of the existing license fee on the Gold Fields, as suggested in the older Colony, would unquestionably involve this Government, and deprecating both on the general and special grounds therein assigned the taking of any such step at this time. I have no reason to
Encl. 20 in No. 14.
Government Offices, Melbourne,
2. I beg leave to enclose the copy of a despatch which I have addressed to his See Page 188. Excellency Lieutenant-Governor Sir William Denison, stating the grounds upon which I am necessitated to seek his assistance in furnishing me with a reinforcement of troops and enrolled pensioners with as little delay as possible, to enable me to uphold the laws and maintain public order under existing circumstances, and I further enclose the copy of a communication which I address by this mail to the Major-General commanding, with the same object. I am quite sure that, as on a former occasion, I shall not ask in vain for your Excellency's good offices in facilitating, as far as practicable, any measures which may be instituted to strengthen my hands at this juncture.
Encl. 21 in No. 14.
entertain other opinions than those then presented to your Excellency's notice, but when that letter was written I had no sufficient cause to suspect the real character of the agitation then set on foot on the subject, the popular impulses which would be brought to bear upon it or to foresee the extent to which it would prevail amongst the population of the Gold Fields. I consider that as long as the licensing system could be worked satisfactorily, as up to a very recent date it would appear to have been, it had manifest advantages, and until time pointed clearly to the introduction of another equally satisfactory, it were unwise to weaken its hold upon the community or deviate from its principles, whatever might be the change or variation introduced into its details.
4. But recent events have shown me, that it were in vain to attempt to maintain it in the face of that general distaste to its character, and the means necessarily employed in its enforcement, to which the existing discussion has given rise; that any partial change or alteration in the details of the system would not meet the difficulty; and, that it is better at once to recognize it, and seek to meet it as best we may.
5. In taking this view I am free to admit that I and my advisers have felt that we have had but little or no choice, and that the more open and straightforward our dealing the better in the end.
6. It has been under such impressions and convictions, however unprepared for, that I came to the decision of announcing at once in my opening address to the Legislative Council what my views and intentions were. It may have been a choice of difficulties, but I am not at present inclined to doubt the propriety of the course pursued. I can only express my regret, if it may involve any results which might be productive of embarrassment or disarrangement in your Excellency's views or measures. I have had no opportunity of hearing, since my letter of the 1st ultimo was addressed to you, what these may be, or what course your Excellency and the Legislative Council of New South Wales may decide on pursuing. It is seen that the despatch adverted to was laid before the latter body, but I have no means of learning the results, or whether the license fee will be ultimately abandoned or much reduced, or whether abandonment or reduction will be accompanied by the introduction of any other measure, which may secure to the Colony the same advantages directly growing out of the discovery of her mineral wealth, and at the same time maintain the control of the Field, and uphold the right of the public to the benefits derivable from the occupation of the Gold Fields conceded to it by the Crown.
7. I beg leave to enclose the draft of a bill which has been laid upon the table of the Legislative Council of this Colony, "for the better management of the Gold Fields in the Colony of Victoria," and I shall feel it my duty to keep your Excellency informed of any steps which may be taken in regard to it, or the collateral questions arising from the proposed change of system.
Enclosure 21 in No. 14.
RETURN of the Estimated POPULATION at the various Gold Fields at the Close of the
Estimated Population, 3d September 1853.
I have, &c.
C. J. LATROBE