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Typo: A Monthly Newspaper and Literary Review, Volume 3

[miscellaneous paragraphs]

One of our contemporaries lately referred to the election of Mrs Besant to the London School Board—and reminded its readers that she had been deprived of the charge of her own children on the ground of her « atheism. » This is incorrect. The order was made partly on account of her publicly-expressed views on marriage and the family relation; but chiefly because she was concerned in the circulation of an infamous and obscene book, which had to be suppressed in the interests of common decency. The election of Mrs Besant to the School Board is truly a strange phenomenon. The latest news regarding her is that she has drifted from her literary colleague, Mr Bradlaugh. He is an individualist, she favors socialism, and now she has abandoned atheism for Blavatskyism.

If the object of the protective tariffs of the colonies were to bring fiscal institutions into contempt, they could not have been better devised for that end. Not only does the New Zealander pay his 25 and 30 per cent, through the customs, but in various surreptitious ways he is plundered for the benefit of « local industry. » Certain kinds of goods are subjected to differential rates on the Government railways, according as they are forwarded to or from a port—that is to say class A becomes B, and vice versa. Local harbor rates are arranged on the same principle—wharfage dues are doubled on imports of produce. By this beneficent arrangement, the producers of the colony are « protected » against the competition of their fellow-colonists. If a coaster carries potatoes from Waimanuka to Wairaupo, forty miles away, and returns with apples, the consumers pay a special import tax, in the guise of harbor dues, but really to keep out « foreign » produce. In fact, the wiseacres of a little Fast Coast port have remitted all charges on exports, and derive their whole income from imports!