The Queenslander. SATURDAY, MARCH 9, 1872.
Monday, March 4, appointed by the Governor as a day of thanksgiving for the recovery of the Prince of Wales, was very generally observed. In Brisbane, Ipswich,
and other towns, churches of all denomi nations were open, and special services held. The places of business were gene rally closed, bat numbers could not see any necessity for making a holiday, and went on with their work as usual, as they had a perfect right to do if so disposed.
The recent illness of the Prince of Wales, and the undoubted sorrow into which the empire was thrown, was doe in a greater degree to the position of the Prince than any special respect for him personally. One of the results which would ha?e most probably followed upon the death of the Prince—if a merciful Providence had not interposed, and brought about his re covery—would have been the existence of a Regency before many years passed over. The same year which witnessed the mar riage of theQuKEN—lB4o—saw thepassing of an Act through the Imperial Parliament, appointing the Prince Consort Regent in the event of the demise of the Crown dur ing the minority of the next in succession. Since that time no provision has been made for such a contingency, the age of the Prince of Wales at the time of his father's death having rendered such an arrangement unnecessary. The Quebn's next son, Prince Atj-rkp, is heir-presump tive to the dukedom of SaxeCoburgGotha, which might incapacitate him frcm be coming Regent; and the cares of State would probably devolve upon Prince
Abthub, who, although he bean a higher eharaeterfor capability and intelligence than either of his brothers, is scarcely qualified by age or experience to take upon himself the responsibilities of such a position, especially when a change in the occupancy of the throne might be accompanied by untoward circumstances, in the unsettled condition of society. The universal mani festation of enthusiastic loyalty recently evoked by the illness and subsequent re covery of our future King, scarcely seems to warrant such forebodings, but there is no blinking the fact that a republican feel ing is spreading, and if there were any likelihood of a regency pairing o f the licentiousness which characterised the ten years' rule of the Prince who afterwards became Geokoe the Fourth, the throne might be menaced, though it would not be subverted, Underlying the noise and. bluster of Trafalgar-square demonstrations, and the clamor which greets the vaporings of such men as Sir Ckasles Dilke, these is a sturdiness of attachment to con-* stitutional monarchy which may well enable a virtuous reigning monarch to view without apprehension the efforts of violent and unreasoning men.
Under the plea of continued bad health, Mr. Atkin announces his retirement from the representation of East Moreton. The plea is all-sufficient, and were it not for the more than ordinary amount of pluck of Mr. Atkin, he would have resigned long ago. As it if, we trust that he will yet again be able to sit in the Assembly, of which be was a painstaking member. We often differed from the white-beat view of things natural to Mr. Atkin; but, as a man, we respected him none the less on that account.
It is with deep regret that we publish details of the end—the lamentable end— of the New Guinea expedition. Generally very little can be said in favor of private expeditions for the settlement or acquire- meats of new county; but there were many redeeming features in connection with the adventurers who sailed from Sydney bat a few -short weeks since. The party was not organised by one or two men of wealth, or the representatives of the wealth of others, who had determined to make a filibustering descent upon a foreign country, bat was a combination of working men, who believed that they could open a trade between Australia and New Guinea. Each man paid his own share of the ex- pense of fitting up a vessel and conveying the party to the island. We have good evidence that they were a steady, orderly body of men, and that they were engaged in what appeared to them a legitimate un dertaking. But their effort has been frus- trated. Their vessel has been wrecked, and we fear that many of the party have perished, either by drowning or at the hands of the natives of the islands where they were east away; and this in spite of the best efforts of the Queensland officers and others who went forth at once to aid them. This catastrophe will end, for some time at least, attempts to colonise New Guinea.
About the hardest case that ever came before the Queensland Courts is that re ported in oar columns this morning, and in which Mr. Merry, storekeeper, Too- woomba, is defendant. The report is given with more fulness than usual, its import- ance demanding as much space as possible; bat the merits of the whole may be given in a few words. Mr. Merry bought a piece of land in Ruthven-street, Too woomba, built a large store upon it, and carried on a thriving business there for some yean. He has a title for the land, issued by the Queensland Real Property office. His surprise may be imagined, therefore, when a stranger called and an nounced that he was the owner of the land, and held the title deeds of the same. At first the affair was considered a joke, but it has proved an expensive joke for Mr. Merry. He his been drawn into the Supreme Court, and has had to bear the annoyances and expense of a legal clearing up of the affair. It is very probable that, after all, he shall lose the property; and it is in the prospect of such an event that we would like to arouse public attention. Justice demands that Mr. Merry should not suffer all the loss in this case. Through defects in the law and in its ad- ministration, he has suffered enough already, and it should be one of the first duties of the approaching Parliamentary sitting to indemnify him as far as the country can possibly do so.
There is a good deal more than mere " sentiment" (the unthinkigg phrase of many who pooh-pooh without understand ing a subject) in the letter upon aboriginal labor which appears in this issue, That the writer speaks truly when he says that he has got the blacks to work well at many jobs, will be borne out by numbers who have a similar experience. The one fault against them is their roving disposition; and this is also the primary reason why the aborigines have all along been a blot instead of a blessing to the land. Could they be induced to settle permanently, they would soon have plenty of work in any part of the country; for upon the station, the farm, and the plantation, in fencing, stock-riding, or in any other labor calling for active physical exertion, the blacks are adepts. But, as stated, they will not stay long enough to make their services reliable and of real value. To cure their roving propensity, the writer suggests that re serves, with the means of instruction and employment, be formed at the most advan tageous points. The suggestion is not new; it has been the desire of well-informed men since ever Australia was settled. In some parts of the country, the idea has been put into practice, and when in careful, con scientious hands, has been worked out suc cessfully. That similar results would fol low here, there is no room for doubt The self-denying labors of Mr. and Mrs. Fuller, at Fraser's Island, prove that solitary white men can live amongst the widest tribes while all but isolated from their white brethren. This much has been proven without any Government aid or influence; but with such aid the success would be still greater, and greater still were similar depots established and at work in several parts of the country. The subject is of leading interest in whichever way we view it —as a duty incumbent upon the white inhabitants of Australia; as a means of taking from the dangerous and to
the useful population; and as a direct means of increasing the productive powers of the country.
While reading, many people may smile at the petition presented to the Gold Com- missioner at Georgetown by certain store keepers doing business opon that gold-field. Their simple request that Chinese store keepers be prevented from settling there and competing with them, was met by the simple answer that it was beyond the power of the Commissioner to conform to their wishes—his duty being simply to see even handed justice senred out to all, without re- gard to creed or color. It may be supposed that the petitioners ought to hare known that such would be the answer of the Com missioner ; and the probability is that they knew perfectly well the merits of the case. Their object, we take it, was to explain to the public the relative positions of the European and Chinese storekeepers, which they were quite justified in doing; and they are further justified in- demanding that they hare the benefits of all their legal rights. As a rule, the storekeepers upon these Northern gold-fields are peneTeriog and courageous men, without whose aid many of the existing fields would have no existence. They sometimes make money, and frequently lose. They often support, and very often encourage the working miners, often in the nee of very doubtful prospects; and it is very hard, after doing all this—after laying out capital and run ning great risks—to find Chinamen coming in and reaping the benefits without incur ring any risk whatever. It is more than human nature can .stand without an effort to cheek it The present e&ort may have the desired effect. How would it be to test the rights of Chinamen, who are not British subjects, to occupy land, hold licenses &c.?
In all probability, Mr. Anthony Trol- lops reads the Queensland papers. Then, if he is desirous of rectifying the mistake made about the Queensland farmers, he will have an opportunity of doing so. The farmers themselves have taken the. matter in hand. At a meeting in Toowoomba, his letters were commented on in anything but a complimentary manner; and at a meet ing of the East Moreton Farmers' Asso- ciation on Saturday last, a committee was appointed to draft the opinions of their so- ciety on the subject. This is as it should be, and will do much to erase erroneous impressions. That Mr. Trollope wilfully maligned or misrepresented Queensland in his letters "home," we do not believe. Men of his stamp—literary men of ex- perience—are about the last men on earth to do a thing of the kind; and in his ease, if there was any motive whatever, it would tend to give a cheerful description of a country where he was kindly and courte ously received. But he has said hard and very incorrect things of this country, and we are very glad that an opportunity to rectify these assertions is still open to him, and that he will be aided in his correction by the parties maligned.