Brisbane River bank seen from a Ferry Station with a wooden ferry in the foreground

News of the Day

The Brisbane Courier

Tuesday 21 Apr 1868

The Alice-Street Ferry

To the editor of the Brisbane Courier

Sir - I can fully substantiate the remarks made by "South Brisbane," in your impression of Wednesday, with respect to the manner in which the sale of the ferries was conducted; also to the treatment Mr. Stabler recevied at the hands of the Town Clerk. One thing, however, "South Brisbane" forgot to mention - Mr. Dowse gave Mr. Stabler full permission to bid again if he had his suretics on the spot. He did so, and it was then knocked down to Stabler for £770; but, lo and behold, "this second Daniel" then informed Stabler he must give £815, the price it was knocked down to him the first time, or he should not have it.

Now, Sir, I ask you the question, has the Town Clerk the power to act just as he thinks proper, and knock down the ferries to just those persons who suit his purpose? Is he Mayor, Corporation, and Town Clerk combined; and instead of being a paid servant in the hands of the Corporation; if so, I think the sooner these Jacks-in-office are dismissed, the better for the public at large, for what with the Town Clerk and that individual called the "Inspector of Ferries," we are to have for lessees those men who will suit these two individuals.

Now it matters little to me who has the ferry, but the public at large wish those men to have it who are justly entitled to it, and who will conduct it with civility, cleanliness, and punctuality. Now this has not been the case with some of the ferries for some time past, I hope, that when the alderman meet next time, Alderman Thompson will not forget to have the facts fully laid before the Corporation, and, if necessary, to call for some witnesses who were at the sale, and can speak as to the feelings expressed by nearly all who were present, that "they considered Stabler was used shamefully and it ought not to be allowed." I have nothing to do in any way with either Mr. Stabler or Mr. Smith; but, as far as justice is concerend, Mr. Stabler is no doubt entitled to the ferry.

Before closing these remarks, I would suggest the Inspector of Ferries (Watts) be made to know his place, and not to interrupt a gentleman when speaking to the Mayor. With respect to the justice of Mr. Dowse's act, it is not the first time that he has done the same thing; and I caution him once more, that he many be enabled to learn manners.

- Yours




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