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2 corrections, most recently by peter-macinnis - Show corrections

PROFESSOR BOTT0MLEI'S FAREWELL. WHAT 'HE WOULD DO WITH PERTH. A WORD TO THE AGRICULTURAL DEPARTMENT. "Let him once drink the Nile water and a man will return to Egypt: let him once experience the kindness of Western Australia--once revel in her wonderful' flora and he will come "Yes," reflectively continued Profes sor W. B. Bottoaley to a reporter on the eve of his departure from the State, "yours are wonderful flowers-the old est flora on earth, from a botanist's point of view-and the hospitality of your people is fairly overwhelming.' And what do you think of PerthP "Oh, Perth is a lovely city. My first day here I was taken into King's Park, and the view of Perth I ob tained from there is one that will never fade. Your shops and streets are nice, your river delightful, your cli mate perfect. As for the citizens well, apart altogether from the memor aple kindness I have received at their hands. and speaking onlyrfrom the lec turer's point of view, I'd like to say that during a twelve years' experience of 'popular' audiences I have never had more encouragingly receptive hearers than those who attended my Perth lectures. And in saying this I would emphasise the contention that it is en tirely free from exaggeration." What would you do if Perth were yoursP "I would at once proceed -to the bao terial treatment . of its sewage.. It :seem? ipcredible-but there, it would be ungracious in .me to criticise. J might say however, that the septiw tank and Ailter-bed system is an ideal one for Perth, for the forces of gravi tation can be largely availed of in con nection with the scheme. Of course, it should go without saying that when Perth does instal a general septic tank and filter beds, the plant will be. con structed on an approved basis. The danger of these things is that they are not given proper aeration in the filter beds. I myself have come across five or six private installations in Perth that are not successful, solely by rea son of the want of proper aeration and distribution of the effluent in the filter beds. This, however, has 'been tho roughly provided for in the experimen tal installation at Midland Junction, and if the City Council follows the lines there laid down no trouble need be feared." ' What did you think- of the gold fields? 'I was astounded. From all points my visit to Western Australia has been ani education to me, but Kalgorlie was a positive revelation.; Sp.king of the State as a whole, I have been struck with its vitality, its vigour. For instance, the total population of the State is less than that of the town of Leicester,( and yet the amount of money you 'have spent on the harbour at Fremantle, the Mundaring water soheme, and the railways, is simply colossal. I had not dreamed of such publio vigour." You have given passing attention to our agriculture ? "I have been very much impressed with the wonderful possibilities of Western Atustralia from the agricul tural standpoint. I do hope the de partment will give all attention to soil inoculation. It's good enough for America'to rely upon, and Americans do not, as a rule, rely until the're sure. I am convinced that it will prove of untold value to Western Australia. It is not a case of experiment and uncer tainty, but, so for as one can be cer tain in science, of certainty and con viction. However, there are two points I would like to'emphasise before leav ing-fist, the department must have the proper cultures, and, secondly, the agriculturist must follow the anthorised expert's directions in the use of the cultures." Have we the material in Western Austnalia for making these cultures ? "Any amount of it. And, moreover, your men at the head of affairs have the necessary knowledge. But the pre paration of the dultures cannot be car ried out in any haphazard fashion. It must be properly systematised. For in stance, in the United States there are under Dr. Moore, the head of the de partment, four skilled men, who devote their whole time to preparing the cul tures and experimenting with these nitrogen-fixing organisms. The very least this State can do is to set apart one bacteriologist to devote his whole attention to the work." And' yenou have enjoyed your trip P "In every way. It has been not only agreeable but profitable. I have ob- tained for myself plant specimens which have been preserved in formalde- hyde, and which will give me material for morphological investigation for four or five years to come. Then I have se- cured a very good collection of speci- mens, exhibiting points in the some- what new science known as Ecology, or the Study of Environment or Habitat. In addition to these. I have got some

most interesting illustrations of animal mimicry—of caterpillars and the like, which have surrounded themselves with twigs and leaves, in order to deceive their enemies. Some of these, I might tell you, are going to the Natural His- tory Department of the British Mu- seum. Yes, my visit to Western Aus- tralia has been a wonderful education to me, not only botanically, but in all respects. I might say I have been ab- solutely astonished at the glimpse af- forded me of the working and governing of a young colony." In conclusion the Professor explained that he had not yet had time to reply to many local inquiries received through the Post Oicoe. He urged in excuse the facts that he had been in the State only 28.;days, including four Sundays : that during-this time he had delivered 15 lectures, and travelled over 1,000 miles. It was his intention, he said, to deal with any letters not yet replied to between here and Colombo, whence the answers would be sent back-. Declar ing his fixed intention of, by hook or by crook, arranging for a second visit to Western Anstralia, the volatile mar of microbes hurried off to pay his farewell respects to His Excellency the Governor.