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FOREIGN AND COLONIAL. Phylloxera vastatrix, the scourge of European vine- yards, has made its first appearance in Victoria, near Geelong. The Agricultural Society of Mel bourne gave the alarm, and a bill was at once prepared under its directions and introduced by the Government, which gave the inspectors power to inspect and condemn suspected land and destroy infected vines, and put the ground in which they grow in quarantine for five years, during which no new vines should be planted there. This useful bill, which was intended to come into active operation immediately, has been shelved owing to the squabble between the two Houses. The despatch of the Agenee Russe, intimating that Germany ought to interfere as soon as the action of Ergland threatens to imperil the results of the Bus sian victory, would have attracted attention here for its coolness, if for no other reason. To many persons it is not quite clear why Germiny is called upon to do anything of the sort. That Germany, because she sympathised with a campaign which had for its avowed object the improvement of the condition ef the Chris- tians in Turkey, is bound to approve and even support every subsequent political enterprise of Russia is an assumption which does violence to common sense, and if made the basis of a false policy might lead to dis- astrous consequences. Prince Gortschakoff of course knows whether, during the armistice and the peace negotiations, he has taken Germany into his confidence to an extent which warrants him in presuming on her unconditional co-operation. The common opinion that Germany has received the earliest and fullest in- formation about Russia's purpose is not shared in that smaller circle here which may be supposed to know. The Melbourne correspondent of the Times says: The death of Mr. George Paton Smith deserves more than merely incidental notico. He was one of the most efficient of the small minority in the Assembly which is left to do duty for an Opposition. For some twenty years he occupied a prominent position here; first as a journalist, and afterwards at the Bar and in Parliament, and he held office as Attorney-General in thesecond M'Culloch Administration,which was formed in 1868. Beginning his career as one of the party which was willing to trust unchecked power to man- hood suffrage, his views gradually changed, and he be- came what passes with us for a Conservative. He was a trenchant and reckless speaker, and his comments on the degradation of representation witnessed at the last general election nearly brought him to the bar of the House. His death was not unexpected, for the disease to which he succumbed had unmistakably set its mark on him two years ago, and since then all who observed him saw that he was struggling vainly against it. He worked to the last with astonishing energy, and broke down in conducting a case in Court only three days before his death. Robert Williams Pohlman, an old colonist, identified with the earliest days of Melbourne, has also passed away. He served the colony in a number of subordinate judicial positions for about thirty-three years, and on two occasions oc- cupied a temporary seat on the bench of the Supreme Court. At the time of his death he was judge of the county court at Melbourne. The name of Judge Pohlman has been long associated with a useful and patient administration of justice, and with a host of charities, public and private, by which it will be held in remembrance. The Sydney correspondent of the Times says: I have mentioned in some of my recent letters that one result of the Philadelphia Exhibition was a greater pressure brought to bear on our Government to give a trial to American rolling stock on our rail- ways. The sample locomotive engine which was fur- nished by the firm of Messrs. Baldwin and Co., of Philadelphia, has just passed through its official trial on the steep grades and sharp curves of our railway across the Blue Mountains. The result is said to be that it sits the line more easily and rounds the curves with less friction than the more rigid rolling stock imported from England. These are considerations not to be despised, and are superadded to the equally substantial one that the cost is about £600 less than the English locomotive. A partner in the American firm is now cruising about the colonies for orders, and seems exceedingly likely to get them. If English manufacturers do not wish to lose the colonial market, they must bestir themselves to under- stand thoroughly the kind of competition they are now called upon to meet. In a sitting of the Folkething at Copenhagen the estimates of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs were dis- cussed, and at the instance of the Beporter upon the Budget, the Foreign Minister made a statement re- specting the position of Denmark in regard to affairs abroad. He said that the Government had not ynt given up the hope that the general peace would be maintained. They continued to use their efforts to keep Denmark beyond the reach of passing events, and at the present moment there was most certainly nothing which could weaken their hope that peace would be preserved. The Minister then alluded to the article in th* Berlingske Tidende, contradicting the statement that Denmark intended raising the North Sleswig question, and intimated that the article in question had been inspired by the Government. In conclusion, he denied in the most emphatic manner all the current reports respecting an intended bleckade of the Baltic and other similar fabrications, adding that no sensible man could have believed such state- ments. The Melbourne correspondent of the Times says The land question is just now the burning question of the day, and among the class of small settlers there is a strong feeling against tha rapid alienation of the public estate. The squatters, who have been making money fast out of the high price of wool, are! buy>ng their runs as fast as their own capital and that of the banks will allow. To check this there has arisen a popular cry to abolish the sale of land by auction. Before the late Ministry went out a peti- tion, signed by twenty members, was presented to the Government, praying for the suspension of the auction sales then announced. The M nister left the question to be dealt with by his successor, who has resolved on suspending any further sales till Parlia- ment can meet again and discuss the whole land policy. Of course this land policy is intinaately con- nected with our fiscal policy, because it is only by selling land in large quantities that we have been put in possession ef so large a revenue, and have been enabled so successfully to dispense with obnoxious Customs duties and develop a policy of free trade.

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