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DUTY OF VOLUNTEERS IN CASE OF RIOT. The following memorandum in regard to the employment oi volunteers in aid ot the civil power has just been issued from the War Oflice:- 1. Questions having arisen as to the power of the civil authority to call upon the volunteer force to act in aid of the civil power in the suppression of riot or public commotion, and doubts having been expressed as to the duty of the members of the volunteer force if so called upon, the following circular is issued for the general information of the volunteer force, in accordance with the opinion of the law officers of the Crown :—. 2. Her Majesty's subjects are bound, in case of the existence of riots, to use all reasonable endea- vours, according to the necessity of the occasion, to suppress and quell such riots, and members of the volunteer force are not exempted from the general cl obligation, 3. The civil authority is not in any case entitled to can upon or order volunteers to act as a military body with or without arms iu the preservation of the peace. 4. Members of the volunteer force may, in com- mon with all her Majesty's subjects, be called upon and required by the civil authority to act as special constables for the purpose of suppressing and quelling riots. 5th. In case of riots and disturbances not amoun- ting to insurrection, and not having for its objects the commission of felonious acts or the subversion of the civil government, special constable, whether volunteer or other, should not be armed with or use any weapon other than the ordinary constable's staff, and in such cases no volunteer should, when acting as a special constable, appear in his military dress. In cases of serious and dangerous riots and disturbances—for instance, in case of insurrections or of riots having for their object the commission of feloniaus acts or the subversion of the civil government—the civil authority may call upon them, and require her Majesty's subject generally, including volunteers, to arm themselves with and use such other weapons of defence or attack as may he in their power and may be suitable for the occasion and such other weapons may be used accordingly by her Majesty's subjects, including volunteers, according to the necessity of the oc- casion. 7. Firearms should be the last weapons so to be called into action, and should be resorted to only ill cases where without their use it would be practically impossible to quell disturbances. 8. All her Majesty's subjects, including volun- teers, in acting either as special constables or otherwise for suppressing and quelling riots, are entitled to use and put in action such knowledge and practice of military discipline and organisation as they may possess for the purpose of making combined strength and the use of such weapons as the occasion may justify more effectual. 9. Her Majesty's subjects, including volunteers, in cases in which it is proper for them to act for the suppression of riots, shou!d;act, if it be prac- ticable, under the direction of the civil authority but they will not be released from the obligation to us their reasonable endeavours for the suppres- sion of riots and disturbances, according to the necessities of the occasion, if magistrates should not be present or not within reach of immediate communication, when any such occasion arises. 10. In the event of an attack upon their town houses or armouries, members of the volunteer corps may combine and avail themselves of their military discipline to repel such attacks and to defend such storehouse and armouries, and for such purpose may, if the necessity of the occasion re- quire it, use arms. THE WEATHER AND THE CROPS.—The wheats are looking a little rusty from the frosts in Norfolk, but, on the whole, promise well. Barleys on the light soils are luxuriant, but on the heavy lands they have rulfered from wire-worm. All sorts of bay promise an abundant yield. The wheats have not suffered so much in Essex from the sudden changes in the weather as might have been ex- pected. Upon the whole they have improved in appearance, although in some localities they will be thin. Barley has suffered in Essex from the cold frosty nights, and looks pale and sickly, more especially upon the cold clays and the poor gravelly lands. Oats, peas, and beans are looking pretty well in Essex. The hay crop in the same county will be a heavy one. SHEEP STRUCK BY LIGHTNrr\G.- The heavy thunder- storm which passed over the neighbourhood of Chelms- ford on Tuesday appears to have caused some con- siderable damage, and at the residence of Mr Bott. Broomfield Hall, two sheep and five lambs were killed by lightning under rather mysterious circumstances. A fine old oak tree, standing in a meadow near the hall, was struck by the electric fluid and shivered to pieces, and one of the labourers, who had been a witness ot this disaster, saw a sheep run from the tree at the moment it was struck, and after running a short distance fall down apparently dead. He at once ran to Mr Bott, who hastened to the spot and found that the sheep in question was dead, and that a number of other sheep and lambs were lying huddled together near the tree, having all apparently been struck by lightning. Of these two sheep and five lambs were dead, the others being only siightly injured, and strange to say beyond a few small bHck spots on the head none of those killed were discoloured or marked in any way. BURSTING OF AM EMBANKMENT NEAR FLEETWOOD -Mr Bowie, of Limerick, who had undertaken the filling up of a large aperture in Kirk Scar Bay, near Fleetwood, commenced active operations a few weeks ago there. A number of navvies made their appearance, and earthworks were thrown up in a circular form, extending a considerable distance in- land from the aperture to be enclosed. Openings were at first left to allow free ingress and egress for the tide, but one by one these openings were subse- quently closed, until all except one was shut, that being at the point nearest the railway bank, along the base of which the tidal current was strongest. To meet the difficulty of this last inclosure a double row of piles had been driven, at about twelve feet apart, and all the force of joiners which could be mus- tered were got together to nail fast to these piles planks of deal three inches thick to resist the action and pressure of the tide. A base of earthwork had also been made several feet deep to bank up and support the wooden fencing thus 'made, and in the addition of about 50 navvies from Barrow, making about 200 in all, it was hoped the resistance would be made successful. The men all worked energeti- cally, and before the reflux of the tide the boarding was finished, and the spectators, of whom there was a large number, believed that the victory was cer- tain. But half-an-hour before the tide had reached its height the water began to percolate the bank in rear of the boards, and in a very short time, in spite of the determined efforts made to stem the current, the piles were lifted from their places, the deals rent I asunder, and the water rushed back to it old domi- nion. £ eyeral of the men had very narrow escapes. k



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