1 AUGUST 1840, Page 9

In the papers from Van Diemen's Land, to the 19th

of March, the most important matter is the prevalence of a low typhoid fever ; which appears to have originated in the gaols, and to have spread,

through the Colonial Hospital, into the country at large. The aisease is said to have been almost entirely confined to the con- vict classes, and is attributed to the bad state of the prisons and

• of the hospital, or the "miserable gaol" devoted to the purposes of a hospital. It had begun seriously to alarm the colonists. The Hobart Town Courier of' March 6th says, that when the fever en- tered the houses of the wealthy and " infected the bed of down," the secret was at length discovered that it had existed in the community for the last three months. " For weeks and weeks it has existed within the walls of the prison ; and the Colonial Hospital has been filled, with scarce room enough for the beds of the patients. It has broken out. in the Penitentiary and the Female House of Correction. What will our ' readers think when we assure them, that out of a road-party of 122, near New Town, 95 were attacked—that 50 are still laid up, and that it bad proved fatal in ten cases? The average of mortality in Hobart Town since its commencement has been calculated at as one in seven— nearly twice the amount of what is generally computed as the result of the most eital fever. It is indeed unfortunate, that upon its first being discovered sonic means were not resorted to to prevent its spreading.

Ave there not medical reports ? It would have been easy to have erected a temporary hospital at some distance from the town and so have

removed all chance of contagion. That it is contagious ;here cantiot be a doubt ; and when our contemporary of the Review attributes it to the bad bread and provisions of the prisoner population he forgets that it p

' sits at ee men's feasts,' and has prostrated the high as well as the low. That the most scandalous adulteration has existed in hour, not only of Government, but general use, is a notorious duct; but we go not the length of affirming that an intermixture of pease and barley meal, still less of Indian grain, would be sufficient to generate a fever. If so, it would have long since burst forth : nor would it have made its first appearance in the hovel. An opinion has prevailed that it was intro- duced by the French discovery-ships. They were subject to no qua- rantine, and the invalids were located in the midst of the town. Whatever be the cause, its virulence is undisputed, fostered as it has been, no doubt, by the long prevailing density of the atmosphere. Since the 4th September, the barometer has never been at :30, and its general average has ranged unusally low ; so that until we have a storm, or a considerable fall of rain, we cannot expect a change."

" One more proof of its fatal character," says the Austral-A:4(We lie- view, of March the 10th—" At the Malcolm Huts road-party, out of twenty-eight attacked with the fever,nOurreen have died."

The Colonial Tinto; of March 10th mentions a report, without vouch- ing for the fact, that corpses had been interred without any religious ceremony.

The fears of' the colonists, however, appear to have outrun the facts; for at the very moment when apprehension seems to louse been most lively, the disorder took a favourable turn. The Austral-Ashaie Re- view of March 10th says, in a postscript—" We are extremely happy to beible to announce from the best authority, that the fever, which has been so fatal in its effixts, is rapidly subsiding. The hospital returns, from the 1st to the 9th of March inclusive, were as follows-1n hospital on the 1st, 06; admitted since, 77; discharged, 83 ; dead, 8 ; remaining under treatment, 82. The best hopes are entertained that few of these will end fatally. The returns from the interior are equally satisfactory ; the eases are mostly convalescent."

The typhoid was not the only form of sickness in the colony ; but one of the papers says, that the illness which " obtained," " not pre- vailed," [a nice distinction!] was only such as might be expected from " atmospheric causes."

The first sale of Crown lands in the district of Port Philip was held in Sydney on the 4th June 1837; since that time upe•ards of' 166,000f., in bard cash, has been paid inn) the Colonial treasury for lands in this district alienated from the Crown at the successive Government land-sales. We refer to this fact, because we are of opinion that Mr. Emigration- Agent-General Elliott, whose duty we believe it to be to regulate the current of Government emiera- tion has shown but scanty justice to Port Philip : in support of which Opinion, we quote the amount realized to the land-revenue, and request our readers to bear in remembrance the extent to which Go- vernment immieration to this district has been carried. Only ibur e,!olgrant-ships Cave, up to the present thne, arrived in Port Philip direct from Britain,—viz. the David Clarke, William Metcalfe, West- minster, and John Bull ; and of these only the first was a Government rodgrant-vessel ; the rest were bounty-ships, and the Emigration- Agent-General had no control over their destination. We have no

h to draw invidioue comparisons between Port Philip and Sydney, nor do we wish that immigration to Sydney should receive the slightest cheek; but we cannot, in justice to ourselves, refrain from noticing how very different has been the measure of justice meted out to our

Sydney friends—how much larger the amount of Government immi- gration has been to Sydney than to this port during the same period, in comparison with the amount of the contributions from each place to the land-revenue.—Port Philip Herald, March 20.

It was said to be Sir George Gipps's intention to double the tax upon squatting.