The Argus at KellyGang 24/4/1879 (2)

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The act was one of simple humanity, yet on account of it Mr Monk has been repeatedly threatened by means of anonymous letters, and moreover his property has been maliciously injured. One of his dams has been cut, and thereby he has been occasioned a considerable money loss. Mr Monk himself is a brave man, and does not appear to flinch, but he has a family, and they live in a state of terrorism, not knowing when he is absent what the day may bung forth. We are not surprised, therefore, that the case of Mr Monk is exciting much attention in the Mansfield district. Our local correspondent informs us that the general feeling there is that the Government would do well to buy Mr Monk out, taking the Wombat sawmills at an equitable valuation, so that the proprietor may be able to start in business in another part of the colony.

We are not aware whether the scheme would or would not meet with the approbation of the person immediately concerned, but it seems perfectly equitable as between the state and the individual, and whether this particular plan is adopted or not, we shall hope to hear that the Government has assured Mr Monk that he will meet with every consideration, that if he wishes to remove the state will transfer him on fair terms to another spot, and that, come what may, he and his shall be no sufferers so far as the state can compensate them. When Parliament meets we are sure that both sides of the House will join, without a thought of party criticism, in supporting Ministers in any step they may take now, and in any measure they may propose for the future, to terminate the Mansfield scandal. If we are not to see a whole district sink into a state of brigandage, we must have Peace Preservation Statutes put in force, Habeas Corpus suspended, any suspected man detained in custody, the possession of firearms for- bidden, and such other regulations as may be found necessary to expedite justice framed. Any step which Minister may deem it advisable to take in this direction Parliament will at once authorise, and the same remark applies to protecting the sufferers.

The Houses, indeed, are far more likely to blame the Ministry for doing too little than too much. And we may reasonably expect that until the Government make the law a terror to evil doers, they will at least support and hold free from loss those who desire to be well doers.



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