Melbourne riot

With the allies on the Western Front: A cantonment of French troops in Alsace.— Otago Witness, 16...
With the allies on the Western Front: A cantonment of French troops in Alsace.— Otago Witness, 16.5.1917.
Owing to circumstances which one is not permitted to discuss, there have been some rather exciting incidents, amounting in the one case to a riot, in Melbourne recently.

The riot started in the usual way. A man, under the influence of liquor, would not leave a bar. The licensee called in the police, the police proceeded to do their duty, the man’s friends rallied to his aid, police reinforcements arrived, the police party started off with their prisoners — and there were attempts at a rescue, attacks and counter-attacks; all along the street. Police and prisoners arrived in a battered condition, and several people, including soldiers, were injured. This was not the end of the trouble.  A group of men were seen going to the Town Hall, so everyone went to the Town Hall. No one knew why. The police tried to keep the crowd moving, but as fast as one section of Swanston street was cleared, the people, becoming all the time more excited and rash — although no one knew what it was all about — congregated more thickly somewhere else.

Hoodlums began to hoot the police. More police were brought out. A riot seemed imminent. Someone rushed along the street, the crowd followed, the police kept in touch. It is said that the sight — a few silly soldiers pelting along in the van, then a swarm of small boys, then thousands upon thousands of breathless people, and then a hurrying swarm of anxious police, bringing up the rear, all racing along at a great pace — was one of the funniest seen in the southern city for a long time. The rush, apparently quite aimless, reached Princes Bridge, and then the mounted police adopted stern measures and broke it up. They rode into the press of people, chased them in all directions, even chased them on to the footpaths. The methods were drastic, but entirely successful; in a few minutes the streets were normal again. A policeman was knocked down, and three men were taken into custody. The authorities have adopted measures calculated to put an end to this rioting tendency.

Farms for soldiers

Speaking at a meeting of the Invercargill branch of the Southland League, Mr Haszard (Commissioner of Crown Lands) mentioned that during the past year 98 or 99 properties, representing some 600,000 acres, had been offered to the department in Southland for returned soldiers’ settlements. These properties were all inspected and reported upon. So far there had been little demand from returned men, but there were about a dozen settled and mostly these were making good progress. One estate had recently been cut up into five sections, four of which were taken up. Another subdivision was in course of survey. This block was of very good land, and the department was trying the experiment of some small sections, down to 10 acres, to allow the soldiers to go in for fruit, poultry, and the like.

Ducks plucked

On the opening day of the shooting season Sergeant Burrowes, of Invercargill, and Messrs T. J. Holland and H. Windle, of Gore, visited portion of the Waimea Plains and succeeded in bagging 39 ducks.  They were camped in a tent, and next morning went out for a second day’s sport, leaving the birds securely locked up, as they thought, in their motor car. On reaching the machine again after a few hours’ shooting it was found that the car  had been unlocked and 35 out of the 39 ducks had disappeared. — ODT, 12.5.1917



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