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was decided to press upon the attention of Her Majesty's Government the necessity of making adequate naval provision for the protection of British and Australian commerce in Australian waters, especially in time of war. Resolutions were also agreed to on the following subjects The adoption of the necessary steps for securing the withdrawal

of the large amount of worn and deteriorated silver coinage

circulating in the Australian Colonies.
The establishment of a British Protectorate over the Fiji

Islands.
The calling of the Peninsular and Oriental Company's steamers

at the port of Kangaroo Island, in South Australia. Telegraphic communication with Port Darwin, and with the Gulf

of Carpentaria. The proposed new schemes of ocean, postal, and passenger

service. The relief of distressed colonists and seamen in foreign ports. The compilation of the statistical records of the several Colonies

upon a uniform method. The Conference also expressed an opinion that the respective Governments should exert their influence with a view to the introduction of the decimal system of weights.

Perhaps the most noteworthy measure of the period was the Education Act drafted by Mr. Wilberforce Stephen, which came into force on the lst January, 1873, and which provided free, compulsory, and secular education up to a fixed standard. During the first twelve years of its operation, there was an increase of 72 per cent. on the number of schools opened, of 74 per cent. in the number of instructors, of 63 per cent. in that of the scholars on the rolls, of 76 per cent. in their average attendance and in the estimated number of distinct children in attendance.

During Viscount Canterbury's administration the Duke of Edinburgh visited Victoria, and received an enthusiastic welcome. His public acts during his sojourn in the Colony were the laying of the first stone of the Town Hall, in Swanson-street, and of the fine hospital on St. Kilda-road that bears his name.

Viscount Canterbury was succeeded by Sir George Ferguson Bowen, who had served as Queensland's first Governor, and whose tenure of office in Victoria was marked by a renewal of the political turmoil which had characterised the administration of Governor Darling. The old antagonism between the two Chambers broke out with redoubled vehemence ; and they joined vigorous issue on the subject of payment of members. On two occasions the Upper House had passed a specific measure, authorising payment of members, to be operative for three years; but at the beginning of the third session of Parliament, in 1877, a new Ministry, at the head of which was Mr. Graham Berry, backed by a powerful majority in the Assembly, declared that the item should in future be tacked on to the Appropriation Bill. This course was adopted, and the Council set the Bill aside. The consequence was that there were no funds to pay the servants of the Government, and on the 8th of January, 1878, a date henceforth known in the history of the colony as “Black Wednesday," a notice appeared in the Government Gazette dismissing all heads of Departments, the Judges of Country Courts, Courts of Mines and Insolvency, Police Magistrates, Crown Prosecutors, and members of other public offices. The proceeding was universally denounced as “revolutionary,” and the effect on public confidence was disastrous in the extreme.

There was

an immediate shrinkage in property values, commerce was suddenly paralysed, and a considerable exodus to New South Wales, both of capital and labour, set in. The Upper House thereupon passed two Bills--one a separate measure dealing with the payment of Members; the other an Appropriation Bill with the obnoxious “tack” omitted. Shortly afterwards, the Lower Chamber introduced a Bill adopting the principle cf the referendum, and thus depriving the Upper House of most of its power as a co ordinate branch of the Legislature. Of course, this was thrown out by the Council ; and the Assembly then voted a sum of £5,000 to enable the Premier and a colleague, Professor C. H. Pearson, to proceed to England in order to lay the case before the Secretary of State for the Colonies. This precipitated matters. On the 4th December, 1878, Sir George Ferguson Bowen received a despatch recalling him to England.

On the 27th February, 1879, the Marquis of Normanby arrived. He was regarded by the Home Authorities as a safer administrator in time of political crisis than his predecessor. Meanwhile, Messrs. Berry and Pearson had arrived in England to seek Imperial aid in Victoria’s constitutional difficulties. They were kindly received by Sir Michael Hicks-Beach, then at the head of the Colonial Office, and were given a great deal of excellent counsel. The Secretary of State for the Colonies signified that, in his opinion, no sufficient case for the intervention of the British Parliament had been made out.

The right of self-government had been given to the Colony of Victoria, and it was incumbent on her to work out her own constitutional problems. He counselled the Legislative Assembly not to introduce elements foreign to the tenor of Bills of Supply, and he considered that the Council would not then be likely to reject them. The despatch (which was shown to Messrs. Berry and Pearson before its transmission to the Governor) concluded by stating that the Imperial Parliament would never alter the Constitution of the Colony at the instance of only one House. This wise course of action on the part of the Colonial Office mitigated a political conflict which has never since been revived to the same extent.

Almost conten poraneously with the assumption by the Marquis of Normanby of the Government of the Colony occurred the capture,

after a protracted siege in an hotel at Glenrowan, of the notorious band of armed highwaymen, known in the annals of crime as the * Kelly Gang." The career of these outlaws is one of the most marvellous in the history of modern times, and certainly transcends that of any other association of a like nature in the history of bushranging in Australia. The “Gang" originally consisted of Edward and Daniel Kelly, Isaiah (or Wild) Wright, the brothers Quinn, and the brothers Lloyd. They established themselves in the ranges lying between Greta and the King River, from which they issued forth to prey upon the settlers in the surrounding country, receiving assistance and being aided in their concealment by numerous friends and neighbours who were, like themselves, horse-thieves and cattle-lifters. A fairly large reward having been offered for their capture, four mounted troopers of the Victorian Police Force, namely, Sergeant Michael Kennedy, Thomas Lonigan, Michael Scanlan, and Thomas McIntyre, set forth in pursuit, and encamped on the Stringybark Creek, about 20 miles from the town of Mansfield. Here one of them incautiously betrayed his presence by firing at some parrots. In the evening of the 26th October, 1878, as McIntyre and Lonigan were engaged in making tea, Kennedy and Scanlon being at the time absent, four armed men, two of whom were recognised as the brothers Kelly, suddenly made their appearance, and commanded the police to throw up their hands. McIntyre having no weapons with him, complied ; but Lonigan drew his revolver, and was immediately shot dead by Edward Kelly. Presently the outlaw and his associates, hearing Scanlan and Kennedy approaching, concealed themselves behind some logs, and, covering McIntyre with a rifle, gave him the option of silence or instant death. Kennedy was commanded to throw up his hands. He did not do so, and was immediately tired at, He dismounted at this, and sought cover behind a tree; but before he could unsling his rifle he was shot dead, and Scanlan shortly afterwards met a similar fate. In the meantime McIntyre had mounted his horse, and dashed down the creek, followed by several bullets, which did not, however, touch him, though his horse must have been bit, for it soon gave in and had to be abandoned. As soon as darkness set in, McIntyre took off his boots, in order to make no noise, and on the afternoon of the second day succeeded in reaching a place of refuge, from which he was conveyed to Mansfield. The bodies of the three murdered policemen were afterwards discovered and interred with honour; and a marble monument, erected to their memory by public subscription, stands at the intersection of two of the principal streets of the town of Mansfield.

After the outrage just detailed, the assassins betook themselves to the recesses in the ranges, where Superintendent Nicholson, who had already distinguished himself by his gallant capture of the bushranger Power, drew a cordon round the outlaws, by which they were cut off from all supplies, and were forced a few weeks afterwards to make a break for the open. In doing so they captured the homestead of a squatting station and locked up the inmates ; and then, two hours afterwards, they made a descent upon Euroa. Before entering the town, and at a distance of 4 miles from it, they cut the telegraph wires, and stationed a guard to keep watch. Arrived at Euroa, “Ned” Kelly and an accomplice named Stephen Hart, entered the National Bank, and the leader of the “ Gang,” presenting a revolver at the head of the accountant, entered the manager's room, threatened to shoot him if he as much as stirred, made prisoners of the latter, his wife, his mother, his seven children, two servants, the accountant, and the clerk, and then calmly proceeded to ransack the bank, which contained about £2,000 in notes and cash. They then conveyed the plunder and the whole of the prisoners in a buggy, a spring cart, and a baker's light waggon, to the squatting station previously referred to, where no less than twenty-two persons, who had been placed under restraint, were being guarded by a man named Byrne, a fourth member of the marauding band. Finally, at about half-past 7 in the evening, the whole of the prisoners were placed in a hut, and warned not to stir from it at the peril of their lives, until 11 o'clock. The four outlaws, all of whom were well-mounted, then rode off with the money they had obtained, and disappeared again for weeks. Meanwhile the Victorian Legislature passed a special Act of Parliament, by which the bushrangers and their numerous confederates and helpers were declared outlaws. Under the provisions of this measure, twenty-one accomplices were arrested, while £8,000 were offered for the apprehension of the “Gang,” and black-trackers were imported from Queensland to discover and follow their trail. Suddenly, and without warning, they appeared at Jerilderie, in New South Wales, and plundered the bank there, on the 8th of February, 1879. In the month of June, in the year following, a free selector named Skerritt was shot in his hut at Sebastopol, near Beechworth, by "Joe" Byrne. On the 28th of the same month, a detachment of police was sent from Melbourne by special train to Glenrowan, a railway station 40 miles north of Euroa, and reinforcements from Benalla, Beechworth, and Wangaratta brought the force up to thirty. Kelly's party had torn up the rails about a mile and a half beyond Glenrowan, and had taken up a defensive position in a public-house upon which the police opened fire.

Suddenly, and to their great surprise, they were attacked from the rear by a man clad in a suit of armour.

This was

“ Ned” Kelly, the outlaw leader. Shots were exchanged between him and the police, and wounded in his arms and legs, which were not armoured, he was seized and disarmed. The siege was maintained throughout the night, and Byrne was shot at about 5 in the morning. At 10, while Dan Kelly and “Steve” Hart were defending the back of the premises, thirty men, all of whom had been made prisoners by the bushrangers, rushed out of the front door of the public-house and threw themselves flat upon the ground. A little after 3 in the afternoon, the police set fire to the house, and the two surviving outlaws perished in the flames. An old man named Cherry, who had been dangerously wounded by one of the “Gang," was rescued from an out-house in an insensible condition, and expired shortly afterwards. “Ned” Kelly was in due course tried, convicted, and hanged. It transpired in the evidence that during his career he had stolen upwards of 200 horses, and that an expenditure of no less than £50,000 sterling had to be incurred before he could be brought to justice.

On the 1st October, 1880, the first Melbourne International Exhibition was opened by the Marquis of Normandy. It closed in May, 1881, and during the seven months it remained open the admission of all classes numbered 1,900,496, and the receipts amounted to £50,000. There had previously been five industrial exhibitions in Melbourne. The first two (those of 1854 and 1861) had been of a purely local character: the others, held in 1866, 1872, and 1875 respectively, were intercolonial.

During the administration of the Marquis of Normanby a measure was passed which effected an important reform in the Constitution of the Legislative Council. It increased the number of Members from thirty to forty-two, lowered the property qualification required from them, shortened the tenure of their seats, and widened the electoral basis upon which that House rests; any person rated on a freehold of the annual value of £10, or a leasehold of the annual value of £25, being entitled to exercise the franchise for the Legislative Council. In July of the same year the third Berry Ministry was overthrown, and this led to the advent to power of Sir Bryan O’Loghlen.

The O'Loghlen Ministry lost their position in March, 1883, but they held office long enough to enable the embittered feelings engendered by the political warfare of previous years to subside, and an entirely different tone began to pervade political life. A renewed feeling of confidence arose in the public mind, when, on the fall of the O’Loghlen Cabinet, a coalition Ministry was formed under Mr. James Service, comprising the leading men of both sides of the Assembly. The two great Acts of the Service Administration were the abolition of the political control of the Government railways and the abolition of patronage in the Public Service. The railways were placed under the management of three independent Commissioners, and the Act doing away with patronage in the Public Service in regard to appointments and promotions, substituted what the Act itself termed “

a great and equitable system in lieu thereof, which will enable all persons who have qualified themselves in that behalf to enter the Public Service without favour or recommendation other than their own merits and fitness for the position aspired to."

On the 9th December, 1885, the Victorian Parliament adopted the Imperial Act constituting a Federal Council of Australasia, and Victorian representatives attended the first meeting of the Council, which opened in Hobart on the 25th January, 1886.

The year 1886 and the following years were somewhat uneventful. The colony was busily engaged expanding its railway system, and

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