ABOLITION OF THE PRISON.
The Colonial Secretary, Mr. F. Illing- worth, after an inspection of Rottnest
Island, decided to recommend Cabinet to close Rottnest as a prison station. Mr. Illingworth submitted this proposal to Iiis colleagues at their last meeting, and approval was at once given to the sug- gestion. At present there are only 33 native prisoners at Rottnest altogether, and in most of the cases the sentences
will expire either this year or next, there \ being only a dozen or fifteen whose sen- tences last beyond 1904. It is, there- fore, intended to make provision for the reception of these in some of our lock- ups in the north. The premises now used as a gaol will then he handed over to the pilot service, and thus the neces- sity for erecting further and urgently needed accommodation for them will be overcome. As to tho future of the island, the Cabinet, as a body, have not yet finally decided its course of action. Mr. Illingworth's idea, however, is that it should be made a health resort. To- wards that end. Mr. Illingworth has re- commended that the re-claimed land around Government House and the pilot stations should be declared a reserve for the use of the public, and that the fore- shore all round the island should also be treated in the same way. The remain- der of the island will probably be offered for sale, in suitable blocks, for residential