19 corrections, most recently by anonymous - Show corrections
GERMAN ANNEXATION OF NEW
We have been favoured by the Colonial Secretary with a copy of the Allgemeine Zeitung, of November 27, which
contains a long description of New Guinea and finishes by urging that the island should be annexed by Germany, as the foundation of future German colonial kingdom. We
give a summary of the first part of the article:-
"1. New Guinea is a part of the Australian division of the world and of the tropics.
"2. It was neglected on account of the attraction of gold in Australia and still remains a compartively unknown
"3. New Guinea was explored by the Portuguese in the 16th century; in the 17th almost exclusively by the Dutch, who seemed better satisfied with the country than other European nations had been, but had already too large a field for their labours (three times the size of the German king- dom) in Java, Sumatra and Celebes, so that gradually they gave up the larger island.
"4. The explorations of Powell, Moresby, Macfarlane &c.' have made the island now worth some consideration. It is considered useful by geological and biological people as
holding in its forests the key to solve problems - by London missionaries as a field to win new souls - by better informed colonial politicians of all nations as a profitable field for
cultivation; therefore geographical inquiries about it are now little likely to come to a standstill. As we Germans have learnt a little about conducting colonial policy, and as our
wishes and plane turn with a certain vivacity towards New Guinea, here is a short resume of the geographical knowledge of others.
"5. Physical geography may well be in doubt whether New Guinea, which is more than half the size of Germany is extent, belongs to the Asiatic island world or to the Aus- tralian. No doubt the island forms a sort of connecting
link between these two so remarkably different regions of the earth.
"6. On closer servey it is not cut off so roughly from Asia as Wallace originally thought. The principal axis of the island is directed just like Sumatra's, to the south- east, as also the mountain chains, whereas in New Holland the direction is meridional. Also with respect to height, the New Guinea mountain chains seem to belong to the same date as those of Sunda and Asia. If the two-mile-high liercules Hill of Lawson belongs to the category of imagi- nation, yet the summits of the south-east half-island attain tremendous heights; and quite on the northern edge, behind low foreground hills, there the Alpine heights, one nearly
3000 metres hight. It can scarecely be doubted that the central ridges - the Charles, Louis, and Victor Emanuel mountains - which by European explorers have only been touched on their southern point, will be found to be consider-
ably higher. Through this we may perhaps account for the strond descent and the waterfalls which the Fly River already has in its upper course.
" 7. As in the Sunda and Philippine Islands, volcanic agency seems to have had an important share in the forma- tion of the surface of the island. Numerous mountains show just as rounded a form as Mount Junghans in Java. In the immediate neighborhood of the North Coast an island volcano burst forth into eruption just in sight of Mikloghow Maclay (the explorer), and the frequent earthquakes are best explained by the active vvolcanic agency of New Guinea.
The sedimantary formations also seem, as far as known, to be allied to those of the Moluccan and Sunda islands. The lime-rocks of younger formation especially, which are characteristic of the north-west ísland, Pupua Oniui, seen strongly to correspond with those of the so-called Asiatic Islands, and the other sandstone formationas which form the predominant stone in the north of New Holland, take their place in the south-east of New Guinea, only very
'8. That the world of New Guinea organism does not leave so sharp a line of division between New Guinea and India as Alfred Russell Wallace wished to draw, Rosenberg first proved, and the inquiries of Rutlrtv, Beit in, D'Albertis, &e., a seem to result in the same, although the reports of the enquiry as to this quislion are as yet by no means finished. Undoubtedlv the Kingdom of Indian plants and animal forms is in New Guinea a very marked one, and when we survey the world of organism of the large island, with the practical eye of the merchant, cultivator, and colonial politician - when we reflect that the nutmeg tree, »igo??? and cocoa palms, jute plants, sandalwood, ironwood, ebony, and ??? form the most important plants in a com- mercial point of view, we especially think of India. That the different Indian cultivation plants, before all the coffee and ebinchonn?? trees and tobacco, would find a particularly favourable soil in New Guinea, is also not to be doubted. Also, it does not seem quite to be wanting in great ???? of the highly-organised order, though the affirmed occur- rence of the rhinoceros in the island can not be proved. The climate of New Guinea is, of course, a per- fectly Indian one, exactly like that of Java, characterised by an everlasting monotonous tropical heat, and by the damp and dry monsoons, changing with the times of year. The connection with India extends even to ethnological relations, since clear-coloured Malay races have occupied a great part of the coast as far as the extreme south-east, whilst the dark-coloured aborigines, who, ethnologically, are also not to be divided from the negroes of the Indian Islands, seem to have, for the greater part, retreated to the mountainous
The following is a translation of the conclusion of the article from the newspaper:-
"When therefore, New Guinea, is according to our opinion, und without doubt to a certain degree, the ex- treme branch of the East Indian Island world, that cannot be considered otherwise than in relation to Java and Sumatra with respect to cultivation and civilisation, it is yet on the other side - and, perhpas, in a still much higher degree - also the first branch of the Australian island world. We do not in the least doubt that once there existed a neck of land between New Guinea and Cerani, and Bulu and Celebes; but just such a neck of land existed even more probably between the North Australian Cape York,
and the New Guinea Malkaseu coast, and this last neck of land probably lasted on into the younger geological forma- tion, like the former. The high sandstone rock islands of the Torres Straits -- Tauan, Boigu, Saibal, are in a certain measure the reamins left behind of the isthmus, and the gigantic sandstone blocks which cover these islands, like the traces of fresh landslips much noticed by travellers, point out to us one of the geological forces which have destroyed the
isthmus in the course of millenniums. The erosicve effect of streaming rain is on the coasts of New Guinea so powerful that it, perhaps, would suffice quite alone to explain the work of destruction. But, also, the wash of the sea is in the whole of the south-east during teh sourth -east monsoon a fearfully strong one, and the breakers naturally also gnaw into the rocks.
' In interesting contrast to them disturbing fones, we notice moreover in thegeological appemraces exactly on the sune spot,turned towards Australia, very native building t Hies, which appear to be endeavouring to join again to- gether the broken band. We are alluding now above all to the lu f-buildiug lund re iioit and uud inillepon* which to the number of billions are at work straight across the Torrea Straita, and whuh, partly through their leets,make the passage the straita. as also the harbourson the New Guinea south-east coast, so extraordinaly difficult. Also the
mangtove woods which cover tho south-east coasts of the New Guineafor a long distance, which rttnn on the land though their root-work the deposited products of the flow- ing waters, and which thereby effect a perpetnal increase of the land, must not here be forgotten.
" \\ heil wu rdiect that the lund lonneitiou of New Guiñen wiln Australia consisteJ of lins until the ¿colo^icirl htir-peiind, wo cannot vvoiulu it we, through ita liviuir w ol id, nie reminded in n still hi.hir di.ne ot \ustralia lliuu of India lu the midst of the thick mungi ive incur anti vigil Woods upiiiur in hind div phicts, txteiided tiuita it the Auitiulliiu 1 angmio giu s und cucaljptus bushis
ni d to the New Gumni, Piipiiuu, and Muli) the kunc,niuo is rho piiutipiil game itutl tin piuicipal nniniul loud lust us to the australian blink of ISew tittil \\ ales lhopndumi I uaiKcot pouched itiiiiiiuls, and the povutv of ltti_,u and 1 In.hlv-developed luuiiinuls leiuniu cLuiai tinstlc of the I islinilut lu bl sight, and also ultei its thon u_.li liivi stign
"If we fix our eyes upon this large island according to its physical geography and possible developing characterisitic's ' only form the standpoint of the colonial politiciam and culti-
vator, it appears to us, from what we thus far know of it, | not in the least as a coutemptible object of possession. And , in case the German Government make attempts, as many wish to acquire the island, we might perhaps, in the inteiest of our nation, congratulate ourselves on the acqusition.
According to our opinion it might be possible to create out of tho island a German Java, a great trade and plantation colony, which would form a statelu foundation stone-for a German colonial kingdom of the future. People will per- haps replay - The climate of New Guinea is a tropical one unhealthy for Europeans, We thereupon answer - Not so
unhealthy as Java. And this report of the tropical climate is according to our opinion, through false inferences
from the former experience of the history of colonisa- tion, a much worse on than it ought to be.
"Pioneers of civilisation, in the midst of the man- grove woods and swarms mosquitos, during the tropical rain and during the tropical heat ot the sun, without sufficient comfort, face allpossible hardships. European solders, who must camp in the open air -European sailors, who after the monotonous ship fare, allow themselves to be beguiled through the splendid tropical fruits into all sorta ot mistakes in diet, feel the tropical climate certainly unhealthy. But would it remain deadly if European cultivated people could be sufficiently con- siderate about their health? Besides, do not the
numerous Germans, who in foreign service-we are thinking particulary of Holland-work us culti- vators, in the tiopics, face just tho same dangers? From the German or European colonists in New Guinea one ought to require just as little strained physical work as is the case in other tropical colonies. For that, one would require tropical people. The natives of New Guinea offer in this respect no better prospects, but also scarcely much worrs, than those of Java, of Sumatra, and of Cuba, have allcird inch m ita time Uhuo thev ure nghth bandied thix appcm, us a rule, lo be xerv friiudk to Linopetiis, and much is their diligente prosed alreadv m thur piLsint pmiiitive stuge ot eivilisi tion 1 lorn ililli lent races, at least w ith reference to this,
biucthinir might be cxpictid if tkisi, -n to saj, were pined | under Luiopeuu iruurdiirnsliip I hut tm urttvis mo not j 1 ndvmnod tu the foiinatiou or u State mi-lit eerli ips i îthei I
nuke then civilisation easj than diliu till 1 llet tunl nsist- i unco to an oecupition bv the Luropi nui ut hast would not
be muí h to be found from thim But u ituriillv, in case ot |
neill, Chinese labourers could just as easily bo procured aa j i foi Queensland. I
" Finttllj , so far na tha places am concerned which aro fit for the founding of trade faetones, thtro aro on the coaBt inure than enough of them All paita of the island possess
good harbours, and the Fly River offers an encollent ffl natural road also Into the innermost heart of tho land. m
" That other nations would not despise tho colonisation ni ü Now Guinea if thov wero not too powerfully encased eine li xvhereiavv oil known. Captain Moresby even niTmns in ihi K appendix: io his book nbout the island, that it is for the ] *". __§ llshnttion a 'dutv' lonniicxiitiiiioloniso N'ev Gmn, i p "," II haps wo ini.lil, willi (pulu lho mine ii'bt, allum' il\H W I the duty of th» Gonn m uitti m to tukn m IUTII it,,. , ,|" mf
rnsutinn of New Gui-ier. 'I lit thuin, tn po-scsmouof the ü Diltdionthn westhill ni the ivhnid rnspiie us with novtry li pu.it consider ttion, and wn deem it, tlnieforo, quite inner. El ' litmus to etiL'i iurthot into thom in this place."