A public dinner was given on Wednesday, at the Albion in Alders- gate Street, to Mr. Wolryche Whitmore, M. P. by about eighty gentlemen interested in the success of the New South Australian Colony. Mr. Childers, Member for Cambridgeshire, was in the chair ; and among the other gentlemen present were Mr. J. Monte- Sore, Captain Gower, Mr. Daniel Wakefield, and Mr. J. W. Buckle. Colonel Torrens was unable to attend, from indisposition ; and the party was much reduced in number owing to the absence from town of so many persons of distinction, interested in the undertaking. Mr. Whitmore addressed the company at some length. He mentioned that the principal obstlicle to the undertaking,—which, however, it was believed would soon be removed,.—arose from the difficulty of procuring /nen of capital to become Commissioners under the act. The season was unfortunate in this respect, that so many friends of the Colony, among whom Mr. Grote was conspicuous, were not in town. The Commissioners were to be responsible for the Colony's not becoming a charge on the Mother Country, as well as for the general superintend- ence of the scheme. It was therefore considered right that they should be men of opulence. Mr. Whitmore dwelt upon the fertility of the land in the new colony; upon the bright prospects the project opened op; and expressed his gratitude, and that of the Committee generally, to the Duke of Wellington, for the powerful aid he had given ; without which, the bill would not probably have passed the Lords. The Duke of Wellington's health was drunk with applause, along with those of the Marquis of Clanricarde, Mr. Spring Rice, Mr. Lefevre, Mr. Gouger, Mr. D. Wakefield, and others. Mr. Wakefield discussed the principles on which the Colony was founded; repudiated the notion that petty obstacles would be allowed to prevent its success ; and declared his resolution to settle in it himself. [With Mr. Wakefield, we cannot believe that petty obstacles will be allowed to impede the progress of the undertaking, after all the large ones have been removed. Upon reference to the Act, we cannot see that men of opulence, so much as men of intelligence and high character, are requited for Com- missioners : they are not to be personally responsible in a pecuniary way.] A meeting of the shopkeepers and dealers residing in the eastern division of the parish of St. Pancras, was held on Wednesday evening, at the Friend at Hand, for the purpose of assisting the operative builders in their struggle with the master builders. Mr. Adams, a master tailor, of Brewer Street, St. Pancras, took the chair. Several speakers addressed the meeting in behalf of the operative builders ; after which, resolutions were agreed to, expressive of deep regret at
the conduct of the master builders towards their workmen, in insisting upon their signing the declaration, and pledging the meeting, individu- ally and collectively, to do the utmost in support of the workmen. A liberal subscription was then entered into, and several tradesmen en- rolled their names as weekly contributors to the workmen out of em- ployment.
A meeting took place on Saturday evening of the " Initiated Brothers in Union" of journeymen bakers in the Metropolis, at the Rotunda, Blackfriars Road, to consider what means should be adopted by them to assist the journeymen builders in their struggle against their masters. There were a considerable number of members of the trade present ; several speakers addressed the meeting, and a number of resolutions were passed, declaratory of the intention of the journeymen bakers to assist the builders in their strike. A subscription was entered into with the same view.
The number of bricklayers, together with the labourers who attend on them, who have struck, is computed to be about 15,000.
The coal-porters returned to their work last week : when the stipend allowed to each, out of their nearly-exhausted fund, was reduced to 4d. a day. During the turn-out, the coal-merchants employed a great num- ber of hale young men from the neighbouring counties—from Bucking. hamshire particularly, in their stead. The men who had struck were desirous that these substitutes should be dismissed ; but the masters would not comply, and both parties now work together at the same wharfs.
On Wednesday, a very numerous meeting of the inhabitants of Clerk- enwell parish was held in the body of St. James's Church, "to receive a report from the Committee on the repairs of St. James's and St.
John's Churches, and to consider of the rate to be made for the pay- ment of the expenses of such repairs." The report—which stated that St. James's and St. John's Churches were greatly out of repair, and the latter church in a very dangerous state, and contained a recommendation that a sum of 6001. be laid out in putting those churches in good and sub- stantial repair—having been read by the Vestry Clerk, Mr. Thompson moved that the recommendation and the report he adopted. A long and stormy discussion took place between the Churchmen and the Dis- senters ; the latter denouncing the proposition as a vile job, and com- plaining that they were called upon to contribute towards the support of a church from whose doctrines they dissented. An amendment which limited the amount to be laid out in repairs, was supported by several speakers, and carried by a majority of 82 to 44.
An undertaking of considerable magnitude is going on between the Thames below Blackfriars Bridge and Brixton Hill. A reservoir has
been formed at the back of the House of Correction at Brixton, in- tended to purify the water conveyed in pipes eighteen inches in dia- meter. The laying of the pipes has employed, during some weeks past, a vast number of hands.
The weather has this year been propitious to the festivities of Bar- tholomew Fair ; and the admirers of the pleasures which it supplies have availed themselves of the opportunity which it afforded of flocking in more than usual multitudes to visit the " lions" of all descriptions with which it abounds. The whole of Smithfield and the adjacent streets were crowded on Wednesday with one dense mass of motley visiters. The company assembled, if not of the most select portion of the inha- bitants of London still lingering in town, could boast of as many ori- ginals as are usually to be met with in more fashionable mobs. The entertainments were of the usual class, and presented this year no novelty to attract or startle.