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By Qui Vive.

The departure on Wednesday of the 1 Government Geologist (Mr. Keith - Ward), for a trip into the interior on an important mission, relating to the 'possibilities of establishing water sup plies on the overland stock routes be tween Alice Springs and Charlotte Waters, means new ground for him. This will be Mr. Ward's first ex perience of Central Australia, and he is looking forward. to his investigations with keen interest

'I am delighted at the opportunity, Mr. Ward remarked to me in the course of a chat. 'I realize what, the success of my work will mean.' The problem of making the 6tock routes safe in the Nor thern Territory has been engaging' the' consideration of the Commonwealth authorities, although .the Hon. T. JlcCal lum; M.L.C., who financed the motor ex pedition across Australia, may be re minded in this connection of the evidences of wasted, or idle expenditure he claims to hare found during that journey — the unemployed giant windmills, and the 1 costly tools lying about in their vicinity. I 1 The expedition which Professor Sir j : Baldwin Spencer is now leading into the j big. spaces ia concerned with blacks — or, more tragically, half castes^-and stock. ? Each member is singularly well' equipped for his work. South Australia has al ways played a big part in research among the native tribes. It was in the com pany and under the trained guidance of the late Mr. F. J. Gillen, S.M., that Pro fessor Spencer conducted an ethnological mission . across Australia to the Gulf of Carpentaria in 1902. That was one South Australian link. Enght years before that Sir Baldwin was with the Horn ex pedition — South Australia again — and it was he who prepared the reports, which ran into four volumes. He also wrote the narrative of that memorable journey. Professor Spencer's contributions to scien tific literature, as affecting the blacks, make a small library in themselves. Capt. S. A. White and Dr. Herbert Basedow'have undertaken special trips into Central Australia and made studies, on the spot, of that increasingly complex problem — the future of those vanishing, primitive races. Both Sir Baldwin and ; Dr. Basedow have occupied the post of ' Chief Protector of Aborigines in the Nor thern Territory. As the result of ob servations, and enquiries, during hia term, Frofessor Spencer pre sented a report to the . Federal Go vernment embodying suggestions for the ? treatment of the aborigines. There is a ? lengthy document, somewhere in the pigeonholes of the State Government, from the pen of Dr. Basedow, based on the jour- 1 ney he made in recent years. It, wag in I the nature of a medical reconnaisance, and | was financed jointly by the Governmsnt and a number of generous pastoralists. 1 That report has never been published. I There appears to be therefore' a fair amount of accumulated literature' on the subject. ? ; Mr.1 Keith Ward. From the point of view of the profitable occupation of the interior, much value will attach to what our Government Geo logist will have to say about water for the stock routes. The lack of provision in thia- connection has been much criti cised by cattle owners and pastqralists. Although Mr. Ward has not been in Cen . tral Australia— and he will traverse Fede ral territory only— his assistant (Mr. Jack) went out to the Musgrave Ranges in 1914. Mrl Ward has been Government Geologist and Director of Mines in this -State since 1011. He is a son of Dr. F. W. Ward, of Sydney Daily Telegraph fame, which is still with him in his retirement. The Government Geologist was in Sydney recently, and found Dr. .Ward in excel lent health. . ?Mr. Ward, who is in his forty-fourth year, is a BJL- and BJi. He entered the Sydney University in 1897 as a Queensland Government exhibitioner, and graduated three years later. He got his B.E. degree in 1903, and, after a service with the Bro

ken Hill Proprietary Company and the Kalgoorlie,.Schqpl _,qf .Mines as lecturer,: he took charge 'of mining' affairs' in Tasmania. Then came South Australia, where his regime^ like, that of Mr. H. Y.-L. Brown, has been' notable^ fotf -its' eautidtfaifd-' reti- cence, and the little »food: that -has been thrown^ to the wild cats. ; U V 'Mr/Hussey, M.P. ' . Although well over the Psalmist's allot ted'span;- Mr'?' HusseyJ' M.P.; ' is 'tripping* abroad with .the liveliness of a youthful i tourist. ; One of his colleagues in the : representation of 'Shirt (Mr. Richards) is| across the seas with him, and to the other i (Mr. Anthoney), who, as Mayor of ! Brighton, mixes civic affairs with politics, I he lias written from Rome. Mr. Hussey expected to reach London on March IS, when he and Miv Richards, who parted company at Nice, were to join up again. Referring to his tour of Colombo, Kandy, I and Bombay/ the veteran Parliamentarian ! said this revealed to them what is meant I by 'the Eastern peril.' Through lack I of .. education, . he says, these hordes of | natives do not kne-.v. their strength— that ignorance is their weakness. Air. Hussey mentions that the Naldera, by which they travelled, had a record coaling at Port Said — 1,300 tons put aboard in three hours by about 300 men. It was lpose coal dug out of the tenders, and hoisted in small baskets. As 'a printer, Mr. Hussey was much interested m his inspection. at Bom b.iy of the offices of The Times of India. He states that 1,500 are employed there, all natives, with about 20 Europeans to_ overlook them. They do typesetting in' four dialects, and he saw some of the finest printing in three-colour work. The 'whole of the blocks are made on the pre mises. Mr. Hussey's itinerary embraced Milan, Florence, Venice, Lucerne, and Paris. ? ? ? Just Jottings. A new problem appears to have arisen in the matter o£ ^population. Owing, it is stateci, to the difficulty in getting- efficient nurses and maids,- one or two private ma ternity homes have gone out of business. Rcceiu instances of' this lamentable de velopment have occurred at North Ade laide Lnd. at South terrace, and. a report comes from Unley that a well-established hospij;il there, which has contributed sub stantially to. the rising generation, is 'in the market/' This is a- phase of the ma ternity- bonus controversy that might pro fitably have engaged the attention of the Women's Congress in Melbourne. . From all accounts, the science of midwifery is net so attractive as formerly to those who enter the noble profession. This predica ment ? reminds 'me of the unconscious joke perpetrated by a leading citizen of Ade laide when the Queen's Home at Rose Park was opened. He said the institution would provide a 'crying' need for Ade laide. Many babies since then have justi fied that noisy prophecy! It is a tribute to the capable and en thusiastic services of Miss- Xwiss that, in the annual report of the Education Depart ment, there appears the following: — 'The correspondence school continues to pro vide educational advantages for children living in remote localities. The enrolment for the year was 532, ' of whom 359 re mained on the roll at the close of the period.' The general public have no idea of the valuable work this correspondence school is doing for the boys and girls whom circumstances, have placed at the lonely outposts.. They are taught reading, writ- j ing, composition, grammar, spelling, arith metic, and drawing, and the choice of Miss Twiss to keep strong and shiny this re mRrkable chain of educational facilities! could not have been happier. Yet, the re- f port goes, that not only necessary efh-i cinecy, but obvious economy, are being effected because- the authorities cannot be prevailed upon to supply a duplicator— a matter at. £30 or £40. The school is still using. the old, old gelatine# pad, al though the necessity for clear writing and figures- is surely most important here. The Lato Mr. Peake's Portrait. It may be found that the visit to Ade laide of Mr. G. A. J. We.t)b has some-! thing to do with the decision to have a : portrait in oils of the late Mr. A. H. j Peake. Mr. Webb was residentin Ade-' laide for many years, and during that period -'did' quite a number of local celebrities. Two of his paintings hang in the Assembly chamber— those of the late Sir Jenkin Coles and Sir Frederick Holr der (who was Speaker of the House of Representatives), but, in view of his long and distinguished association with South Australian affairs, has a place in the gal lery of our Speakers. 'Big Ben.' '. The serious illness which has overtaken, afVer a long distance of years,, the Hon.

W. B. Rounsevell, but 'Big, Breezy Ben' in the realm of popular personalities/ re- calls liis conspicuous* appearance in the Parliamentary arena. His massive rotum dity, always decorated. with good sartorial, taste, not forgetting the ubiquitous flower1 in the lapel of 'lis frock coat, made a com-: manding mark on what may be described! as the. human landscape of the Assembly. Mr. Rounsevell used to occupy '.the back bench on the righthand cosner of the Speaker, 'although if he had be'en placed at the furthest end of the chamber, he would never have had difficulty in catch ing the eye of the custodian of debates. How the veteran managed to adjust his proportions to the limited 6pace behind members' desks was a marvel of physical adaptability, but when he addressed the House he moved out on to the little step leading up from the floor. Even then the balance was wonderfully managed. Mr. Rousevell was a blunt speaker, but very comprehensive, particularly on finan cial statements, when he was pungent and : stentorian. He . used to make the welkin ring with his indignant exposure of Budgeting tricks. Compared with later times, . those were almost spacious days in financial criticism— the days when the late Mr. John Darling, from his corner on the front Opposition bench, used to place a Budget on the operating table, . and use the sharpened kniie of his knowledge with the. patient skill of a great surgeon; and when Sir Richard Butler*, .now uncom fortably silent on the, Speaker's dais, wa3 a star in the firmament of. figures, not to mention one or two others. The late Mr. Peake when he was Treasurer used to lament the absence from the Assembly of members capable of handling Budgets, but what would he say now?