The Alexandra and Yea Standard, Gobur, Thornton and Acheron Express at KellyGang 5/10/1878 (4)

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The Juries Statute Amendment Bill was read a second time and committed in the Legislative Assembly on Wednesday on the motion of Sir B O'Loghlen, who explained that it was intended to reduce the qualifications of common jurors from £50 and £35 to £20, and of special jurors from £100 and £75 to, £60. This would give a uniform qualification to town and country ratepayers, Sir B O'Loghlen said he calculated that under the new law there would be 10,000 special jurors and 20,000 common jurors The debate on Mr Gaunson's resolution "That in the opinion of this House it is desirable that Mining Boards be abolished" was then resumed, when Mr W C Smith suggested the adjournment of the debate till the Government had brought in the proposed amended mining statute. Debate adjourned.

The subject of the row on the Yarra between the Harbour Trust and Messrs Wright and Orr was also mentioned, when Sir Bryan O'Loghlen informed the House that the matter had been reported to him by the police authorities, and recognising the fact that it was no part of the Government to interfere in private quarrels, he had given instructions for a sufficient body of police to be despatched to the scene, to prevent a breach of the peace, and to arrest any person committing one, no matter to which side he belonged. The Trust had access to all the law courts of the colony, and when they found that their entry was disputed they should have retired. In stead, the aggressors appeared to have been guilty of very disgraceful acts of violence and damage to property. The police had warned them that if any further damage was done to property the perpetrators would be arrested, and he ventured to hope that after this notice the Harbor Trust would push the matter no further. It would not be useful to them on the point of asserting their right of entry and would not conduce to their credit, their proceedings having already brought them into great odium with the public.

We (Argus) understand that the Government has decided to release Gerald H Supple, who in 1870 was convicted of the murder of Walshe, killed by Supple in his attempt to shoot the late Mr G P Smith. The sentence was commuted to imprisonment for life, and for the last eight years Supple has been confined in Pentridge. The reasons which have induced the Government to take this stop, are that the crime was committed by Supple whilst under the influence of hallucination, that the subject of his hallucination has since died, that Supple has now recovered his reason, and that further confinement will be fatal to his health. He is now almost blind, reading is forbidden him by the doctor, and he is unable to work. In view also of the system of commutation of life sentences adopted. the Government consider that mercy might be extended to this unfortunate man.

The condition of affairs in India is far from satisfactory. The loss of life in the late famine was appaling. At the present moment 123,400 persons are employed on the relief works, 80,000 are obtaining gratuitous relief, and the prospects for the next harvest are the reverse of good.


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