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Wednesday, 23 November 1927

Thrust at West.(Pictorial World Cables.)

Tokio, Saturday. - The tenor of Armistice Day editorials in the Tokio press was that the causes which forced the Great War continue to exist.

The Asahi states that America now lords it over the world, relying upon her immense resources.

The " America First " principle is hindering the progress of peace, as was demonstrated at Geneva.

The Richi Richi argues that the egotism of America and England prevented an agreement at the Geneva naval limitation conference, as each, although heavily armed, desires still greater armaments.

The next paragraph in the message is significant. It reads -

Candour compels the blunt statement that the menace to world peace to-day exists in the fact that the western powers are holding suzerainty of immense lands beyond their national necessities, and refusing to satisfy the pressing needs of other nations with surplus populations.

They hold immenses territories without a population, while coolly advising congested nations to practise birth control.

On the surface of it,' these people would appear to be just as much entitled to dispossess us of this Territory as we were to dispossess the Australian aborigines of it in the first place. After all, the land was made for the people and not the people for the land. In North Australia we have huge tracts of country which we are only holding by reason of our bluff. Some day that bluff will be called, and. then our statesmen will be accused of having sold Australia into the hands of our enemies. The only way to avert that disaster is to settle those areas with a white and virile race which will be prepared to defend the country. As things are now, an enemy nation could easily entrench itself in North Australia, and only by a great sacrifice of life could we drive it off. It is our duty to provide remedial measures now. The possibilities of this portion of the continent are greater than those of any other part of Australia. In the southern States, there are hundreds of applicants for one block of indifferent land, with the result that prices have become so inflated that purchasers cannot pay the interest on the capital cost. The honorable member for Riverina (Mr. Killen) referred to an area of thousands of square miles of fertile country capable of carrying 10,000,000 or 12,000,000 sheep. If that land could be resumed for 5s. or 10s. per square mile, settlers who obtained it would have a good start. Recently, sheep were sold in Adelaide for 5s. per head. I know persons who were anxious to buy some of them in order to engage in pastoral pursuits in North Australia, but at every stage they encountered obstacles. The golden opportunity to obtain sheep at that low price will probably pass before they can obtain land. A proper system of administration would have saved thousands of sheep during the last six months. Sheep do remarkably well in the country to which I have referred. There are wonderful possibilities for the wool industry there. As the pastoral areas iu the south become smaller, wool growers will have to go further back. The Government should prepare the way for them by providing freights at reasonable rates. Although many hundreds of people have travelled through North Australia during the last few years, I have heard only one adverse criticism of that country. That came from the honorable member for Riverina, and even hia remarks applied to only a portion of the territory. The rest of Worth Australia he characterized as splendid country. Even the area which he condemned is good sheep country. Writing on the 84th April, 1924, the postmaster at Charlotte Waters, at the extreme south of North Australia, adjoining South Australia, said - in reply to your request as to the possibilities, &c, of this country as regards stock, such as sheep and goats, the following figures will give you some idea as to what it will do, and you will also see from rainfull figures that rain is far from regular, and consequently we are often without surface, waters, which is anything but beneficial to' stock, as same have to be shifted on to well at Finke River, and in the past two years they have had four trips to well, figures quoted are for government stock only, running on five-mile reserve at Charlotte Waters. The average rainfall is somewhere about ii inches, and at present time country is looking extremely dry and barren, but nevertheless stock holding condition and killing well, as you saw for yourself. The figures I have quoted are from' 9th February, 1922, to 31st March, 1924, and you must admit that they are good, as all stock disposed of by my department has been female class. The wool clip is good, and I think one might say remarkable, as there has been no new blood introduced into mob for the past several years. - Trusting same will meet with your requirements.

It is true that the rainfall at Charlotte Waters is very light, but the station is situated at the extreme end of the bad belt. As one goes further north towards Deep Well and Alice Springs the country improves every mile. The Government officer at Charlotte Waters was given something like 300 head of sheep in lieu of meat rations. No fresh blood had been infused into the stock for about twenty years or more, and according to the ordinary laws of stock breeding, they should have resembled rats with lumps of wool on their tails. The following are the official stock figures at Charlotte Waters from the 9th February, 1922, to 31st March, 1924:-

On the 9th February, 1922, the station was running 457 sheep, and between that date and the 31st March, 1924, the department disposed of 300 ewes besides a total of 253 sheep consumed, and the usual average of deaths on the station. Present total running reserve, 320 sheep.

On the 9th February, 1922, the station waa running 493 goats, and between that date and the 31 Bt March, 1924, the department disposed of 400 culled female goats, besides a. total of 224 goats consumed, and usual average of deaths on station. Present total running reserve, 316 goats.

September, 1922. - Five hundred sheep shorn (including about 100 lambs), for total weight of 4,010 lb. of wool. Average slightly over S lb.

September, 1923.- Three hundred and eighty sheep (including 80 odd lambs), for total weight of 2,827 lb. wool. Average slightly over 7 lb.

Progress reported.

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