6 / 3/1879
... part of the KellyGang story
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The CHAIRMAN remarked -Don't you know he is a great Liberal, and is on the Ministerial bench?
Mr FitzJohn -Yes, sir; but it is easy for a man to preach Christ and to practise the old devil. The witness then went on to show how hardly the selectors were used, saying, among other things, that they could not get surveys made for months.
Mr C H Barber, a squatter of Gundowring, held over 2,000 acres of purchased land, and 5,000 acres under lease. The latter was useless for selection. There was no land now in the district of which a man could take up 1,000 acres and make a living. The land could be made more profitable by allowing squatters to hold a lease for 15 years, and pay more for it, and at the end allow considera tion for improvements. Selling by auction was in his opinion better than letting by tender. The lands were almost valueless to the state at present.
Richard Thomson, farmer, Bowmans Forest, William Hyem, butcher and pastoral tenant, Beechworth , and James Woodside, squatter, of Happy Valley advocated similar views.
Henry Davidson mining surveyor, Beechworth district, said that no doubt lands which had been exempted in mining areas were not now required.
The sitting was then adjourned.
The commissioners leave for Bethanga tomorrow morning.
COUNTRY BANK MANAGERS AND THE KELLYS
TO THE EDITOR OF THE ARGUS
Sir,- Naturally, the late exploits of the Kelly gang have caused great consternation in banking circles, and the papers are full of reports touching the withdrawal of specie from country offices, the furbishing up and (occasionally disastrous) practice in revolvers, and sundry and divers other precautions for the protection of bank property.
Now, Sir, it strikes me as all very well for general managers, sitting in perfect safety with their legs under the metropolitan mahogany, to promulgate fanciful theories for the protection of their country offices, but it would perhaps be as well if they would at the same time inform their officers what compensation, if any, would be made to the widow and family of any man who might be killed or permanently incapacitated in protection of bank interests. Of course it is vaguely said that a bank would be sure to provide amply for such a contingency, doubtless public opinion would shame them into so doing; but it strikes me, Sir, that men with families dependent upon them will require some better guarantee than this before risking their lives in protection of the property of those who, after drawing liberal dividends for years, appear only too ready to make their servants the victims of any unusual commercial depression -Yours &c.
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