MELBOURNE (From our own Correspondent.)
Tuesday, Jan. 23 1866
There has been more excitement to-day amongst political circles in Melbourne, than-on any day for a long time past. This is explicable on the ground of the reports appearing in the morning papers.
The plain assertion, without any equivocation on the part of the Argus that the recall of the Governor was determined on
in November, and the rebellion baulked by a Minister of the Crown at Richmond, constitute, together, enough at all events, for one day’s town talk. With regard to the former item, you will remember that I stated the fact distinctly in my letter of the 10th instant that the actual recall of the Governor was only withheld to give him the opportunity of forwarding documents and explanations which he promised by the next mail. This is confirmed by what fell from Mr Francis last night, who said that the Governor had forwarded the petition of the Council, by the
September mail, but had withheld until the following month his remarks upon it, and although that gentleman says that the next mail may bring a different sort of dispatch, still even he does not expectit. I repeat, therefore, what I stated last week, that the recall of Sir Charles Darling may be considered certain. Here, then, is complete vindication of the
constitutional party, and no majority, however great, can save a Ministry who have thus ruined a too
compliant Governor. The bankers
.and holders of Victorian debentures in London waited upon Mr Cardwell and pressed upon his attention the injury done to their, interests and to the credit of the colony by the violent doings of the McCulloch Ministry. This has been only too manifest in the depreciated value of our securities. The ingenious but uncondtitutional expedient of carrying on the
business the country by means of an accommodating “Uncle”–the patriotic Bramwell–is’ of course at an end, and until Parliament again assembles, it is difficult to see how the Ministry are going to meet the demands upon the Treasury. There is only too much reason to fear that much inconvenience and suffering will have to be endured by the
country before the current of its affairs can be restored to its legitimate channels.
Rumours, predictions, and prophecies abound today, but I will only add that Mr Francis’s defiant language towards the home authorities is regarded as mere
insolent “bounce,” and that whatever fiscal changes may be determined upon by
the colony, Mr Francis and his colleagues may rest assured that in future they will be kept within the four corners of the Constitution Act in giving effect to their purposes.
At an election meeting yesterday evening, Mssrs N. Levi and E. Langton were literally bawled down by a lawless mob.
They were afterwards followed down Bourke-street by several hundred persons yelling and groaning. Mud and stones were thrown. Mr Levi’s hat was destroyed, and as the gentlemen took refuge in Skarrett’s hotel, a stone smashed one of the huge plate glass windows, but fortunately did no other harm. It is pretty evident now that the passions of the multitude have been aroused on the question:
of protection, while the more reflecting classes oppose it. In fact, the colony is in a very critical state, and will be more so should the Upper House oppose the wishes of the masses.
The general impression is that the third batch of elections will result
(like the two first), in a large majority of Ministerialists being returned. The contests in the Metropolis will be keen. At
St Kilda and Brighton the ”fight” will be hand-to hand, and at Williamstown it will be “warm”.