THE FOUNDING OF -CANBERRA
_GOVERNOR-GENERAL LAYING THE FIRST STONE.
BUILDING THE CITY.
INTERVIEW WITH COLONEL
from our SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT
The organisation of the Capital City of the Commonwealth is both a unique and a gigantic undertaking. The responsibility of carrying out the general policy of the Government and supervising the details of administration is in the hands of the Administrator of the Fede- ral Territory Colonel David Miller, who com- bines with this post the position of Under
Secretary for Home Affairs. It is no light task but few men could have been chosen with greater capacity for it. His long and varied career in the Public Service has given him a uniquo experience and in addition to prac- tlcal knowledge he has the supreme quality of being a born organiser
As long ago as 1875 he entered the Survey Department of New South Wales. When the lands Act of 1SS1 was passed he went into the Department of Lands and subsequently served in turn the Department of Mines and Agrlcul-
ture, the Government Printing Office and then
His career in tho Civil Public Service was interrupted by the South African war. He had been an officer in tho old 1st Infantry Regi- ment; he then raised the Army Service Corps and subsequently became its commanding of- ficer. He went to South Africa as paymaster of the First Imperial Bushmen with the rank of Major. Then he was in command of the transport and supply column first under General Carrington and afterwards under General Douglas. After serving in these capa-
cities he became staff officer for Colonel Mac- kay who was Chief Staff Officer of the Over- seas Forces at Capetown. On Colonel Mac- key's retain to Australia Colonel Miller was appointed in his place to this position which he held until he himself returned to Australia.
He had then intended leaving the Public Ser- vice but in November 1902 he accepted the position of Under Secretary for Home Affairs which was offered to him by Sir William Lyne an office he still holds. Upon him rested the responsibility of organising the whole of the work of the department. He found its staff consisting of one man and a boy. It now num- bers several hundreds. The branches of work which the department has had to undertake have been numerous and important. Not the lease of them has been the valuation and grant of compensation for the transferred pro- perties and some idea of the task which Colonel Miller has had to supervise in this direction may be gained when it is stated that the total value of these properties amounted to no less a sum than £9,600,000.
Colonel Miller his been good enough in the midst of his multifarious duties to discuss the problems with which he has to deal in connection with the building of the city almost from alpha to omega and to explain the intentions of his department in connection with somo of the phases of the work. It is impossible to mention more than a proportion of the matters to which he re-
ferred but considerable light will be thrown on some aspects of the work in the following summary of the series of interviews which he was willing to accord.
Asked as to the total area of private lands already acquired by the Commonwealth CoL Mlller said that this amounted to 80 000 acres. The claims in respect of some of these properties he added, had been set-
tled and other claims are now in process of negotiation to the view of sale. Col Mil- ler declined to disclose the price paid for the
80 000 acres
No leases have yet been granted," con
tinued Colonel Miller, except for a term of not more than one year, and then in almost every instance to the previous owner of the property which has been acquired by the Commonwealth that was done with the object of minimising the disability under which the owner might otherwise have been placed. The amount of compensation the modo of payment and the method of deter-
mining compensation all follow the provision of the Lands Acquisition Act of 1906-but with this difference that with respect to the lands within the Territory in determining com- pensation to which the owner is entitled under the Act, the value of the land is not to exceed the unimproved value of the land on the 8th day of October 1908, together with the value of the improvements at the date of acquisition. Tbis provision was made for the leason that in the interval between the 7th day of October 1908 and the date of ac-
quisition the owner may have made consider- able improvements. No provision had how- ever been made for a percentage for forced sale or for disturbance of business
The sulji t of tho educatioual facilities Milch will le dltoided in tho Territory is of conbilcrblo Intel est because for the first time the Commonwealth will have to concern itself with tho administration of education Tho mattei wa3 ono of those wljich were re- served to thu btdtcs under the Constitution so far as Stato tenitory is concerned For tho time being said Col Miller in reply to UM mattei until the population ot the Territory lb developed to an extent to warrant tho Minister in taklni, special action the «ducntioi in the Ten liai y is lu the hands of th Department of Public Instruction of New i>outh Wales The Minister has made spe
cial representation to the Government of New South Wales with the object of securing to tho residents lu the Icrritorj the very best instruction for tho children that le possible to afford "d tho department has responded But at i later date tho Minister will take over tho control of education in the Territory anl administer It himself Reforonco to the design vyill bervo is an indication of what his ideas aro Piovlsion nos boen made foi tho establishment of a Unlverslts technical Bchools, high schools, and ordinars primary WwoU, And jt will 1)0 noted that ample.
LADY DENMAN NAMING TUG CAPITAL CANBERRA.
provision has been made in every instanco for largo suitable open spaces surrounding these Institutions far beyond what is ordinarily known as a playground. These a#3as will bo sufficient for open air exercises and sports. In every case where provision has been made for a school tho building has been located quite close to a sports ground, a large area which is intended to bo oecupiod by tho pub- lic on special occasions, and will bo avail- able for the pupils at other times."
"There aro," tho Administrator added, "a considerable number of childron already in tho Territory, probably five or six hundred, and these aro at present being educated in a number of small schools. Plans, are, how- ever, In process ot completion for a largo school, in which the highest subjects will bo taught, and the headmaster will, we hope, be a man of exceptional attainments, who will bo able to Influence tho general educa- tional standard of the district in addition to supervising the tuition in tho Behool."
A SCIENTIFIC -"COMPOUND."
Tho valuo of tho Federal ?Territory in its relation to science has not boon overlooked. "Tho Minister has decided," said Col. Miller, "eventually in the Territory to establish a scientific compound, In which astronomy, meteorology, solar physics, and allied sciences will receive attention, and their pursuit be under the control of a Director of Science.
Tho first step in this direction has been tho establishment of an observatory on Mount Stromlow, where Mr. Baracchl, the Victorian Goveivnment astronomer, has been taking ob- servations for some months past with a view of ascertaining tho suitability of the site for tbe purposes of a Commonwealth Motorologl cal Observatory. The results of these obser- vations up to .dato has been most satis tory, and It is proposed to take advantage of the meeting of the British Association for tho Advancements of Science In Australia in 1914 by submitting to the scientists then as- sembled all the facts which have been ob- tained by Mr. Baracchl, so that their advice on these very Important matters may also
Colonel Miller was asked as to the financial arrangements which had been In operation in connection with the Territory, Ile replied as follows:-"Kxpcnditure in connection with the establishment ot the' Federal Capi- tal City and its accessories is determined by an annual appropriation made by Parliament. For tho current year Parliament voted the sum of £110,000, and up to June 30 next (the end ¿f Iho financial vear), in round figures, trom tho commencement ot operations the sum of about £200,000 will havo been ex-
"An ordlnnnco has been issued under which the Minister levies rates on nil properties within the Territory, practically similar in every particular to shire rates. The money so received may be used for the purposes of tho, construction and umluteuanco of roads,
streets, bridges, preservation of public' health, lighting of roads and streets, and other similar services. In addition to that thero is a smaller revenue, bul. a rapidly IncroaBing one, derived.from annual loases of arcas not at prosent required for tho pur- poses of the city. These are Crown lands, tho property of tho Commonwealth, which
I aro let on an annual tenancy without any"
rights to conversion."
"Up to the present," Colonel Miller con-
tinued, "the financial business of the Terri-
tory is conducted .in just the same manner ns the financial arrangements of any Govern | ment department. But It must be changed.
It goes without saying that that must be
nono It will be impossible to finance the tenltory satisfactoillj on the lines of i Government depirtmcnt -tin conditions II
not in the least mai igous ,
Since the Iii of the I eden] Capital was doinltels determined piogiess has of couise
been made with a number of public works which aro essoutial for the preliminary steps essential for tho construction of tho city. The Administrator described the steps which he has taken in this Tegard. "When the Com- monwealth accepted the Federal Capital ter- ritory from the State of New South Wales," he said, "the roads wero in a most unsatis- factory condition, and the first essential work which had to be undertaken vvas the placing of all roads in a reasonably fair condition for traffic. And this has been done."
"The next work which was undertaken was in connection with the water supply for the city. It will be drawn from the Cotter River, whoro a dam is being constructed at tho present moment with a capacity of 650 million gallons. The intention is to provide in the first instance for the requirements ot a population of 15 million persons. A con- tract has been let for the pipes to convoy this water to tho service reservoir which will bo at Red Hill, and the first delivery of those pipes has been already made.
"Tho board's report shows that there is no question as to tho ability of the Cotter River to próvido for tho requirements of a city ot 250,000 persons, even supposing that you allow 100 gallons each a day, which is ncaly double the consumption of either Syd- ney or Melbourne. This statement has been moro than borno out by the facts disclosed from the reading at the gauge which the Department of Home Affairs has constructed on tho Cotter River, by which the volumo of the stream has been determined with pre- cision. Last week, after an exceptionally dry spell, boforo the heavy Tains which we havo experienced during tho last few days commenced, the river discharged moro than twelve million gallons a day. Last Septem- ber the reading at the gauge showed that» in that one month moro water could have been obtained from tho Cotter River than would havo been sufficient to meet tho require- ments of the'city of Sydney for eight months.
BUILDINGS AND RAILWAY.
"Temporary offices have been erected at Acton," Col. Miller continued, "with barracks for the unmarried officers, and temporary quarters for some of the married officers. Ar- rangements havo he-en concluded with the Public Works Department of New South Wales for the construction of a railway lino from Queanbeyan to the city site. This has been started, and, under favourable conditions, should bo completed within eight months.. The question of the management of this line, which is only eight miles In length, has not yet been determined, but undoubtedly the Now South Wales Government Railway Department will bo asked to^ undertako It.
"A vast amount of survey work has boon in- volved, not only on the sito of the city itself, but In connection with engineering schemes of vaiylng descrpitions throughout the terrl tors'. A topographical survey has been made or the whole of the territory, part of which has been already covered by a minor triangu ' it io'». The demarcation, or territorial boun d.nv, Inn been earned on for some miles, but .i considerable period must lapse before the complots boundaries have been determined.
rne whole subject of tho growth of suitable trop.- pi mis nd llovéis is an Impoitnnt one lan ..ellon bin and gum tices, which abound pi lnr< mimbeis aro ncithoi ginccful nor
li 11 ui uni both it co felling and tree-planting
j v ill ir mcpisaij 'A small mirseiv has been ' ! i i i i 'be propagation ot trees plants,
y en with 1er «sn I is! îetoi v insults,
ii. i HIT- conditions Col Miller .iiifi I Li I en It is pi ono rd lo e til bil'li iiii v on i nu niur-li Illili senlp from vinci will be di i» vvn the necessity li ce i and
FOUNDATION t^aOJsTE OOP CO___EN_iaiENT COLUMN WELL AND TRULY LAID,
plants for afforestation purposes in the city : and throughout the territory generally.
"One question which has exercised the Minis- ter has been the pollution of the Molongo River, which traverses the site ot the capi- tal city. In this connection representations have been made to the Government of New South Wales with the object of ensuring the purity of this water. Tho river used to be absolutely clear, but from various reasons It now moro less resembles 'pea soup.' "
FEDERAL BRICK WORKS.
"Brick works have been startedi" Col. Mil- ler added, "within two miles ot the city In a position where large deposits of suitable ma- terial havo been disclosed. These materials have been tested with most excellent results. The intention is to turn out 15 million brlcka a year for the next seven years. These bricks will bo required for public purposes only.
"A power plant is now being erected in a position adjacent to tho sito allotted for the railway and close to the Molonglo River. It is proposed to generate electricity for all purposes from this station. The power will be transmitted wherever it may be required, such as to the pumping station at the Cotter River, the joinery works, brick works, etc."