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New Hebrides - New Hebrides - Report of Royal Commission on Mail Services and Trade Development between Australia and the New Hebrides

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Presented by Cornrna n d; or dere d to be p1·intecl, 28th J uly, 1915.

[Cos t of P ap e1·.- Prep aration, not g·i,·en ; 1,050 copie:;;; approx ima.te cost of printing and £ 18.]

Printed and Published f or the GOVERNMEr T o f th e COMMONWEALTH of AUSTIULH by ALBE:RT J· MULLJITI',

rf: . No. 188.-F.9957. and

' No. 213.

Government Printer for the State of Victoria.


Royal Commission-Letters Patent ..


Introductory . . . . . .

History and description of New Hebrides General-Mail Service­ Steamers engaged

Speed of steamers Accommodation Questions submitted for inquiry­ No. 1

No.2 No.3 No.4 No.5 No.6 No.7 No.8

Native Labour Land question Deputation to Minister for External Affairs regarding mail service generally Lord Howe Island

Norfolk Island Recommendations Conclusion





13 14 14 15


17, 19 17, 19 17, 19 19

20 21 21 21 23

24 27 28 29 31





GEORGE FIFTH, by the Grace of God, of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland ' and of the British beyond th e King, Defender of the Faith, Emperor of India.

To 01tr trusty and well-beloved the HoNORABLE FRilDlirRICR: WILLIAU BAlU'ORD, JJ1.P., and WILLIAM ELLIOT JoHNSON, ERI[Itire, JJ1.P.

KNOW ye that we do, by these Our Patent, appoint you to be Commissiontri to viait the Heul Hebrides bland& and Lord Howe Island and Nmfolk Island, and inq1t.i1'e inw and re1101't 1tpon lhe 1,tntiermentioned matters, viz.:-:-(1) Whether the generalnquir.ements o.f the settler's in tho se places are met by tftt exi8ting mail contract

between A ustmlia and the I slaruls ; (2) Whether the Contmctors have gitven reas011able facilities as Government c.ontract steam-Bhip QWner·s to settlers in

all parts of the said Islands to tmn."J)ort their· produce to nwrket ; (3) Whether any unfai1· discrimination has been shown for or against U11!!f settlers in tllme Islands in the matter· of

shipping facilities by the present Contractor8 ; (4) Whether any disabil-ity is imposed by the present Contractors upon settlers in wading between one part of the New

Hebrides Group a.nd another, or between the Group and the Commonwealth, or vice versa'; (5) Whether, as a result of the methods_ adopted by the pre.sent Contracto1·s in their relations with ths settlt!Ks in the

New Hebrides Islands, trade is being d·ive1·ted from A ; (6) Whether prices charged by the Gontractor8 for stores and S1tpplies in the New Hebridta are fair and reas01!(J,ble;

(7) Whether a Government steamer servile between .Australia and the New Hebrides Islands is at present a pradicable

proposi#on ;

(8) Whether any and, if so, what means can be suggested by which trade in the New Lord Howe and

N01jolk Islands can be improved.

AND WE appoint you the said FREDERICK WILLIAJ.Il BAMFORD to be the Chairma1< of the said Commissioners, aml

such to have a deliberative, and, in the event of an equality of vot€8, a easting vote in all matters considered by the

Commiss·ion :

AND WE require you, with as little delay as pos8ible, to report to Our Governor-General in and over Ottr aaid

Commonwealth the result of your inq1tiries into the intrusted to you by tliese Our Letters Patent.

IN TESTIMONY WHEREOF we have caMed these Our Letters to be nwl,e Patent, and tl!e Sial of Our •aid Commonwealth to be thereunto affixed.

WITNESS Our 1·ight tntsty and well-beloved SIR RoNALD CR..tUFURD MuNRO FERGUSON, a Membe•· of If is M aJesty's II onorable Privy Council, Knight Grand Cr·oss of the Most Distinguished (L.S.) 01·de1· of Saint and Saint George, Ottr Governor-General and Commander-in-Chief

in and over Our Commonwealth of Austmlia, at Sydney, in the State of New South Wales, and in the Commonwealth aforesaid, this thirty-fi'rst day of March, in the year of our Lord, On• tho-nsand nine h1,mdred and fifte en, and in the fifth year of Our Reign.


By His Excellency'M Command, ANDREW FISHER.

Entered on record by me, in R egiste1· of Patent.s, N o. 6, page ] 34, this thin'ty-:fint day of M arch, One th ou.sand nine

1Htndred and .fifteen .





To His Excellency the R1:ght llonorable SrR RoNALD CRAUFURD MuNRO FERGUSON, a ]}!ember of His lVIajesty's Jl1ost llonorable Privy Council, !(night Gr-and Cross of the ]iost Distingttished Orderof Saint Michael and Saint George, Governor-General and Commander-in-Chief of the Common­ wealth of Australia.


· Having been by Letters Patent dated 31st 1915, as a Royal

Commission for the purpose of inquiring into and reporting upon various matters connected with the n1ail services between Sydney, Lord Howe Island, Norfolk Island, and the New Hebrides Group of Islands, and their trade and development, we your Commissioners, have the honour to subJllit the following Report on the several matters referred to us for inquiry. ·

Immediately on receipt of Your Excellency's Commission on the 1st April, 1915, your · Commissioners, accompanied by l\1r. H. Farrands, Secretary to the Commission, embarked on the steam-ship Makambo, and sailed on the afternoon of the same day for the New Hebrides, via Lord Howe and Norfolk Islands. After a rough passage · the steamer reached Lord Howe Island early on the morning of Easter Sunday. Your

Commissioners deemed it inadvisable to make any official inquiries on that day, but made arrangements with Mr. Kirby, the local schoolmaster, who kindly undertook to ask such witnesses as he considered capable of giving useful evidence to meet the Commission on the steamer's return to the Island some weeks later. The Makambo

sailed the same afternoon for Norfolk Island, arriving at the anchorage, Sydney Bay, at 1.30 p.m. on Wednesday, the 7th April. Having learned that one of the leading business roen of Norfolk Island was a passenger from Sydney, advantage was taken of his presence on board the steamer to obtain his evidence while the ship was at sea, prior to arrival at Norfolk Island.

Owing to the short duration of the steamer's call at Norfolk Island, and the fact that business people and officials were busily engaged with shipping matters, delivery of cargo, mails, &c., your Commissioners were on this occasion unable to take the evidence of more than one witness. Arrangements were therefore made, as at Lord Howe Island,

to take further evidence on the return of the steamer from the New Hebrides Group, the Administrator, Mr. M. V. Murphy, having courteously undertaken in the meantime to make known the object of the visit of the Commission to the islanders interested. From Norfolk Island a run of three and a half days took them to Vila , Efate Island,

New Hebrides. Vila is the official head-quarters of the New Hebrides and Banks groups of islands. Mere the Condominium Court and . officers connected therewith are · established, and also the official quarters and residences of the British and French Government representatives. Vila is the only port of entry and departure for the New

Hebrides and Banks groups of islands, and here also is established, under Condominium control, the only post-office in those groups. On arrival at Vila, formal visits were paid to Mr. Merton I{ing, British Resident Commissioner, Count Buena d'Esperanza, President of the Condominium Joint Court,

and Mr. Justice Roseby, British Judge of the same Court. The representative of the French Government and the French Judge of the Condominiu1n Joint Court were at the time of our visit absent from the Group. · .

It was deemed advisable to defer taking any formal evidence here until the return of the steamer from the other islandsJof the Group, when your Commissioners would, in the light of information from the planters, traders, and missionaries

distributed throughout the islands, be in a better position t o judge as t o t he nature of inquiries necessary to be made at Vila ,



Leaving at 9.30 a.m .. on the 15th April, the steamer proeeeded on her to the southern Islands of the G-roup, in the teeth of a hard south-easterly gale, ealhng at Dillon's Bay (Island of Erromanga), Lenakel (Island of Tanna), and Analgauhat (Island of Aneityum). A eall at these plaees was only rendered possible on of their being on the western (or lee) side of the island. Evidence was taken at Dillon's Bay and Lenakel, but as no white settler was at Analgauhat at the time of the steamer's visit, evidence could not be t aken at that plaee. The storm eontinued with unabated violence for several days and nights, doing a considerable amount of damage, as your

Commissioners subsequently learnt, at many of the islands. In eonsequence of the prevalenee of stormy weather and mountainous seas, the steamer had to abandon any attempt to visit the stations on the eastern (or weather) side of the southern group of t he New ·Hebrides I slands, and your Commissioners were therefore unable to get evidenee from the few traders loeated there.

It should be noted that there are ·no land-loeked harbors in these southern islands to afford shelter to shipping. It was intended that a seeond call should be made at Lenakel (Tanna I sland) and ·Dillon's Bay (Erromanga Island), but this was found to be impossible owing to the heavy seas, thick mists, and violenee of the wind prevailing, and the blinding rain squalls which at times entirely obscured the land from view, in spite of its close proximity. ·

On the return of the steamer to Vila, which was reached on the mor.ning of 20th April, your Commissioners availed themselves of the opportunity to examine Mr. Merton King, British Resident Commissioner. On the following day the Makambo left for the northern islands of the .Group, the weather beWJ.g still boisterous, With frequent rain squalls. At some of the places where the steamer ealled there were none but French settlers, and at some others the properties were t emporarily in charge of_ subordinates, whose information, in the absenee of the prineipals from the Group, could not be regarded as authoritative. At sueh places no evidence was taken. Your Commissioners

deemed it inadvisable to question any but British subjects in the Group. It is unnecessary_ here to enter into details regarding evidence at

the various places of call, numbering 83. These will be found in a full report the evidence furnished herewith. . As shown in the list herewith appended (Appendix A), 63 persons were interro-gated, all of them being British s ubjects, and nineteen of them members of the New . Hebrides British Association. It is desirable that this be specially noted, o!ring to the.: fact that at a meeting of the Association held at Sanawoa (Island of Malo) on the 8th

August, 1911, at which eighteen members-according to the minutes-were a resolution regarding the mail service was unanimously carried, w:P.ich is . _fully·. dealt with elsewhere. It was realized early in the tour that all formalities usually associated With the

work of a Royal Commission, such as fixed days and hours of sitting, &c., ·would have to be dispensed with. As a consequence evidence was taken whenever or wherever. witnesses were available-afloat or ashore-on week days or Sundays, and at any hour of the day or night. ·

Your Commissioners have much pleasure in stating that at every place visited they were received in a most cordial and friendly spirit, no exception whatever being taken to their presence or to the purpose of their inquiries. The questions asked were replied to without hesitation, and, so far as your Commissioners were able to judge, without reservation and with perfect frankness.


Before proceeding t o deal specifically with the various matters referred to them for inquiry, your Commissioners propose to furnish a brief history and description of the New H ebrides J slands, which t hey will be found both useful and

interesting. The information has been obtained as the result of personal inquiry and observa­ tion by your Commissioners, supple1nented by reference to works of missionary and other writers, offici al document s and also the more recent publications of Dr. F. Speiser and Mr. E . J acomb.


In 1606 the Spaniard Pedro V ernandez de Quiros landed on an island which he took t(f be Australia, 'and which he called Terra Australis del Espiritu Santo. This island is to-day known as Santo. In 1768 Bougainville landed on· the northern New Heprides. No 'definite information the Group was, however, made known to the world until Captain Cook's, second voyage to the South Sea Islands in 1774, when

l\:Iaevo (Aurora) was the first island of the New Hebrides sighted by him. He ·carefully investigated the archipelago, and furnished the first reliable description of the islands and their people.· .. The Group had ·formerly been known as the, "Great Cyclades/' Cook it the "New Hebrides." Encouraged by Cook's interesting reports., the

French Government sent La Perouse to the islands, but· he was shipwrecked in 1788 on, V anikoro, the southernmost of the Santa Cruz Group. In 1789 Bligh sighted Banks Islands.·· .

For than 00 years after Cook's suryey of the Group there was .no ·Eliropean civilization. A number of sandalwood gatherers were the first comers to the Group, and they were followed by the .missionaries in 1839 and the Queensland recruiters. The history .. of the saridalwooders and the Queensland recruiters has been described. as

savouring of open piracy. ·

It was practically not until1870 that European commercial settlement commenced in the islands, and it continued with:. very little progress for some 30 years.


Disputes. arose between Great Britain and France as to the exclusive. ownership of the Group, and eventually in 1888 a Convention was entered into between the two powers placing the islands under the control of a Joint Naval Commission, consisting of naval officers of both powers. This" form of government, which was purely tentative·,

amounted to an effort to protect British . and life and property. An adminis­ tration in the ordinary sense of the word was not established, nor was a protectorate proclaimed. This method of control continued until 28th February, 1906, when a formal· Convention was signed at London by Great Britain and France proclaiming a protectorate

over the Group, to come into force at date. It provided for a system of dual administration, and was ratified on 20th' October, 1906, and came into force ·on ·2nd Decmn-ber, 1907 . . This joint control, which is described in official documents as the Condominium, exists to-day in the New Hebrides. · · · .· ·· ·· .. ·

. . The terms of the Convention will l;>e found in Commonwealth Pa:dian1entary Paper, :No: ·j5, of 1907. .· ' . . ,· ...

LOCATION . . - - - - - , .. - r

The New Hebrides Islands,' which now include, for admip.istrative purposes, Banks and Torres Groups, lie hetween latitudes 13o· and 20 ° 15' S., and longitudes 166° 30' and 170° 15' E. Altogether there are 80 islands, of whj ch about 50 are inhabited. The names of the largest islands are-·

EstiiLlated Area.

Santo 1,397 square miles.

Malekula 775 ,

Efate 335 ,

Erromanga 320 , ,

Ambrym 255 , . ·

Tanna 180 ,

Pentecost 175 ,

Epi 175 ,

Aoba 135 ,

Aurora 115 ,

Gaua 110 ,

Vanua Lava . . 100 ,

Malo 70 ,

Aneityum 65 ,

The total area of the three groups is approximat ely 5,000 square miles. They are situated about 1,400 miles north-east of Sydney, 1,000 miles north of New Zealand, 500 miles west ·of Fiji, 400 miles south-east of the Solomon I land , and 300 miles north­ east of New Caledonia. They form. a chain about 400 miles long extending in a ·N.N.\V.

direction froni Aneityum. .



The islands are of three kinds, viz., mountainous, terraced, and fiat. The mountainous are chiefly volcanic; the terraced are both volcanic and coral; and the fiat are of coral only. ·

The mountainous are most numerous. The loftiest peak, which is on Santo, is over 5,000 feet high. Aneityum reaches an elevation of nearly 3,000 feet, with deep valleys diverging towards the sea. The mountains of Tanna and Aoba rise 4,000 feet. 'In some of the mountainous islands

coral is buried beneath volcanic ash, as in

Tanna and Ambrym. In others coral terraces are found in conjunction with volcanic formation. All the coast of Santo and Malekula is terraced. Erromanga is terraced on the west, whilst Efate consists almost entirely of terraces, with high mountains in the centre.

These terraces are said to have been formed under water from coral debris solidified into unstratified reefs by carbonate of lime or decomposing coral, and then raised at different periods by volcanic action. The fiat islands are the smallest. Most of them are formed of unstratified coral, with two or more low terraces.

Coral reefs are attached to nearly all the islands, except where the cliffs are precipitous and the water is deep. There are no atolls. There are active volcanoes on Tanna, Ambrym, and Lopevi. In December, 1913, a violent volcanic disturbance took place on Ambyrm, resulting in widespread destruction of human life and property. The sea surrounding the island was boiling hot, and a new island appeared. On Vanua Lava. (Banks Group) there is a half extinct volcano, and traces of former volcanic activity are perceptible on many other islands.

The _coast-line has few deep indentations. St. Phillip's and St. James' Bay, known locally as Big Bay (Santo), is by far the largest. There are numerous anchorages on the lee side of the islands, but good harbors are few in number. Port Vila and Havannah Harbor (both on Efate Island) and Port Sandwich (Malekula) are practically the only harbors which afford secure shelter to vessels from hurricanes.

The mountainous islands are well watered, but where there is much volcanic ash, as in Tanna and Ambrym, there are practically no permanent rivers, the water rapidly percolating through the soil. In Aneityum there are about ten large and several small streams. In South Santo there are about twenty large rivers. Waterfalls exist in many places, some being hundreds of feet in height.

There are three fresh-water lakes, one near Tanna volcano, nearly a mile in length, and two on Aoba, the larger said to be about a mile long. some of them of

considerable area, are to be found in the larger islands.


The soil is extremely fertile. The vegetation is very dense everywhere. The beaches and lower hills are thickly planted with coco-nut trees. As a rule, thick forest covers the isla:nds, but practically the only timber of any commercial value is the kauri pine, which grows on Aneityum. The bulk of the bush consists of soft woods, banyan trees, creepers, &c. Sandalwood, once the principal article of export of the New Hebrides, is now found only on Santo, Tanna, and Erromanga, and in very small quantities.

There is not a great variety of native :flowers, but the red hibiscus and orchids­ white, pink, heliotrope, and crimson- relieve the prevailing dark green. Roses are grown on many islands, but do not thrive very well.


The chief indigenous fruits are coco-nuts, breadfruit, and · bananas. Oranges, paw-paws, custard apples, pineapples, mangoes, guavas, lemons, citrons, · melons, passion fruit, and granadillas have been introduced. The principal indigenous tubers are yams, taro, and sweet potatoes. Arrowroot is also cultivated.

Maize, millet, coffee, cocoa, and cotton grow well. Rubber is growp. in a few places, but it has not yet become a marketable commodity.



The fauna is confined to pigs, dogs (introduced by the natives), flying foxes, and rats, and about 50 species of birds, the chief of which are the wild duck, parakeet kingfisher, frigate bird, hawk, crane, and honeysucker. '


Noxious insects are not numerous. Few of them other than the mosquito being dangerous. Snakes and lizards abound. They are said to be non-poisonous. Sea snakes are also numerous, but whether poisonous or not is not generally known .


Animal life in the sea is very rich, but, on account of the warm water, the fish are not in general so good as cold-water fish. Many of them are poisonous.


So far as can be ascertained, there are no minerals in the Group except sulphur, of which deposits are said to exist on Vanua Lava (Banks Group).


The year is divided into two seasons, viz., the dry season, or winter (May to October), and the wet season, or summer (November to April). From May to October the days are bright, conditions being made fairly pleasant by the cool south-east trade winds which blow during that period. From November to April the atmosphere is excessively moist and oppressive. Thunder-storms are frequent during the latter season, but sometimes they occur all the year round.

The New Hebrides are said to be subject to hurricanes during the wet season only, and extending sometimes right into May, but strong gales of hurricane force have been experienced in the dry season. ·

Earthquakes are fairly frequent. The coolest months are July and August, whilst the hottest are February and March. The temperature ranges from about 63° to 90° Fahr. In the north it is about 8° Fahr. higher than in the south.

The average rainfall varies in the different islands. On Efate it averages about 90 inches per annum, whilst it is considerably more in other portions of the Group. The greatest rainfall occurs during the summer.


The climate is enervating, and can hardly be described as healthy. It is said that it is less healthy than that of many other islands in the Pacific. Malarial fever is prevalent. The islands are infested with mosquitoes, many of them being anopheles, which transmit malaria to the residents, both Europeans and natives. A medical

examination of 131 native children between three and twelve years of age carried out by Dr. Crombie, of Vila, in October, 1910, showed that 129 children had been attacked by malaria. Blackwater fever exists in some portions of the Group. Typhoid is practically unknown. Tuberculosis, dysentery, and influenza are responsible for carrying off numbers of natives. Venereal diseases are very prevalent among the natives, and a few suffer from elephantiasis and leprosy.


The first missionary to enter the New Hebrides was Bishop John Williams, who was killed by the natives on landing at Dillon's Bay, Erromanga, in 1839. Since that time the missionaries have succeeded in spreading their influence throughout the Group, and there are now branches of the Church of England, Presbyterian, Roman Catholic, Seventh Day Adventist, 'and Church of Christ churches. Most of the mission stations

are carried on by the Presbyterian Church.


The scenery of the islands is remarkably picturesque in its wildness, but the visitor whose trip takes him to some 100 places of call soon experiences a feeling of monotony, owing to the marked similarity of the vegetation and general appearance of the various islands, beautiful as they are when taken individually.



' !'


r. ,.

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. · The latest figures regarding tlie population·will he found in ·Appendix B. A later estimate, however, gives the European numbers as :- . · · , . ·. , _ . . ., : ..

British 300

French. 700

. Other Europeans 100

distributed princil?ally throughout the following· islands:- · Efate, Ambrym,

Santo, Pentecost,

Malo, Aoba,

Malekula, V anua Lava,

Epi, Tanna.

CoMl\IuNrcATroN.· ..

· Communication between the New He brides and: other parts of the w<:>rld is provided by the steamers of Messrs. Burns, Philp, and Company, who at present run a monthly -service between Sydney and Vila (Efate_IslaJJ,d) all the principal ports of the Group steamer leaving Sydney on the 1st day of the month),. and the French steamer

facifique, which leaves Sydney every 28 days and goes direct to N oumea, and then to Vila and about three or four other ports in the Group. .

.. Inter-island communication is also provided by two small French

St. Michel and the Pervenche-which trade between Noumea ·and the New Hebrides.


. There are no Gbvernment schools in _ the Group, and the only means of education for European children is provided by two schools at Vila (Efate), one for boys conducted the Marist (Roman Catholic) 1\iission, the other for young children and girls by

the Sisters of Sainte Marie. ·· · · -

Facilities for the education of natives are afforded by . the mission stations in. various parts of the Group, but European children outside Vila ·have to :rely almost entirely on their parents for instruction, UJ1less cai1 be sent to Yila or elsewhere to be educated . .


Practically au · the requirements of the European inhabitants are met by importations. Duties at the rate of about 5 per cent. ad v_ alorem are levied under the New He brides Tariff.

The principal articles of export are copra, maize, coffee, cocoa, and fruits: Cotton is exported in small quantities. ·


No particulars of any value are available regarding the live-stock of the Group. It was, however, ascertained that there were 3,000 sheep (principally merinoes) on Erromanga Island, and these were said to be thriving well. '

The cattle and horses observed by Commissioners in various parts of the. Group appeared to be in excellent condition. Nearly every native village is well supplied with pigs, but these animals are not suitable for export, as the natives' methods of feeding them would be repulsive to prospectiv_ e buyers.


· · · · The natives mostly belong to the Melanesian race. Thftre are also to be found Micronesians, a mixture ?f Polynesians and Melanesians, who are light-skinned; but · curly-haired. Generally speaking, they are of the lowest type, and the fact that Nature has made it easy for their wants to be supplied aqcounts to some extent for their lazy

mode of living. At times, however, they hardworking and capable

of considerable assistance in keeping the wheels of industry going. _ .

· Cannibalism is said to be yet existent, though not to the same extent as formerly. Tribal fighting (with :fire-arms as well as primitive weapons) is still carried on in some of the islands. ·




.Considerable sums of money have ·been spent by Great Britain and France on the of offices and £or the officialrt of the joint administration. The

J oi?.t Court is g. and as is also Post-office. . The

of the Res1dent Comm1ss1oners, Judges, and other officmtls are all san1ples of

hberal Government expenditure. ·

: . . There no G:overnmen? . institutions in. Group. The· public. consist o£ certanl hospitals, o£ whiCh five are maintained by the Presbytenan 111JSSnons on various islands. The John G. Paton Memorial Hospital (Presbyterian) on Iririki Island, Port . Vila, is a well--construoted and admirably-equipped institution, with

accommodation for ten European and 30 native patients. · The staff consists of a mis­ sionary doctor, a _matron, an assistant nurse, and native attendants. This hospital receives a grant of £150 per annum from the .British Government. The other mission are supported " entirely by n1ission £unds. There is also a French hospital at

-Vila, with accommodation for about 40 J'he staff comprises a Frencll doctor (military), tW() nun and two attendants. institution is maintained by the

Government of France. ·


Vila, on the island o£ E£ate, is the seat o£ the Condominium Government £or the Group, and is the port of entry and departure for oversea _ . It is picturesquel:y shores_ o.£ a and capacio_ us

harbor, access to wh1ch Is gained through an opening In the reef, which runs across

There 3re no wharfs for shipping. Vessels; except those of shallow -diaught, anchor a bout half:-a .. mile from the shore, Small jetties extend a short distance f:toru the white sand and coral beach of _ the town at which launches and small boats can lahd.afid embark passengers and cargo. The water vaties in depth from a few inches, where coral

patches occur just below the surface, to several fathoms, there is area space for the accommodation of vessels of large at one time. The principal buildings

are the Court !louse, Post .. office, and the official residences and offices of the adminis­ trative staff; hospitals (two), and stores. There is one residential hotel, and along the .water ... front are a few cafes and 'vine shops . . The town contains no made roads, the pri_ ncipal thoroughfare being a kind .. of

natural esplanade running parallel with the water-front.


It may be at once stated in connexion with the mail service that complaints were few, the majority of witnesses declaring that the existing contract was carried out satisfactorily, but an almost unanimous 4esire was expressed £or a faster and more frequent service. A £ew witnesses complained that letters and newspapers were

occasionally ' over-carried, or did not come to hand as promptly as was expected. In this it was impossible to say whether the responsibility rested with the

steamer, the Australian Post-offices, or the Vila Post-office. One witness declared that an important letter relating to business had been cnt open before

but could not say by whom . . He (the Witness) stated that h was under no financial obligation to Messrs. Burns, Philp, and H e no to snppose that

any officer of the .company could any rnotrve 1n tampe1·n1g With hiS correspondence. With few exceptwns, and the desire above referted to fot a faster· and more frequent service, the handling and delivering of mails were generally spoken of as being satisfactory.

. In it rn:tt:f be that, owing to on the part

of many missionaries to recervrn.g therr mails on Sundays and the absolute refu al on the part of some to take delivery on that day, a good deal of inconvenience and loss of time arises in connexion with the calls and mail delivery at other places. A .special arrangement e:tists between the Presbyterian missionaries and the

contractors (Messr . Burns, and Company), Under which the steamer must

remain during :£ottr hours o£ at mission station, or, in lieu thereof, make a

seqond caU-no such calls to made on Sunday.


There are in all seventeen Presbyterian Mission Stations in the Group at which calls are made under the arrangement above mentioned. The provision in the arrangement relating to the exclusion of Sundays frequently causes delay and inconvenience in connexion with the running of the steamers, and, while not preserving the sanctity of the Sabbath, entails additional mileage in making special journeys to .. ,. places where no objection is raised to the carrying on of the steamer's work, the vessel having to steam back again, often over a long ·distance, during the night to the mission station, arriving there on the Monday morning.

At Malo Pass, settlers, whilst satisfied generally with the performance of the existing mail contract, complained of the length of time which elapses before correspondence mailed in Australia reaches Malo Pass, and the fact was instanced that the Makambo, in which your Commissioners travelled, left Sydney on 1st April, reaching Malo Pass, distant from Sydney 1,756 miles, on the 5th May, 35 days later.

The reason for this long delay in reaching Malo Pass is explained by the fact that although the mail steamer calls at AbnatareMission Station, on the north-western side of Malo Island, on its outward journey northwards, it does not call at places on the northern and eastern sides of Malo until the return journey southwards, after stopping at various places on other islands, including, on alternate voyages, islands in the Banks Group.

Captain Williams, master of the steam-ship Makambo, states, however, in his evidence that the delivery of mails at Malo Pass is not affected by this arrangement, as mails for settlers at Segond Channel and Malo Pass are left at the Mission Station at Abnatare on the outward journey, and distributed by launch, through the courtesy of the missionary, to settlers at those places, who are thus enabled to get their correspondence many days sooner than would otherwise be the case, and giving ample time to reply to their letters for despatch per same returning steamer. A similar arrangement is,

Captain Williams states, made for mail distribution along the east coast of Malekula and at Pentecost Island through the courtesy of missionaries,. who use their oil launches to mails to settlers on various points of the coast. . While the missionaries are to be warmly commended for rendering this signal service gratuitously to settlers scattered miles apart on surf-beaten coasts, it is inadvisable that settlers themselves should have to depend upon the courtesy and good-will of private individuals for the delivery of their mails within a reasonable time . . Further reference to this difficulty will be found elsewhere in the

Steamers engaged in the Mail Service.

The two steamers at present employed in carrying out the mail service are the Makambo (1,159 tons gross register) and the Induna (703 tons gross register), both very slow vessels, even under favorable weather conditions. The Makambo, on which your Commissioners travelled, is in all respects much the superior of the two, and, though an excellent sea boat, is deficient in many of the requisites essential in a modern up-to-date passenger steamer designed for service in tropical and sub-tropical waters.

The two steamers are fitted with single-screw propellers, and have neither sail power nor wireless equipment. In case of disablen;tent arising from a br.eakdown of machinery, the vessels would have to drift at the mercy of the elements. Having no alternative power and no wireless to make known their plight, or their position-:-either to other vessels or to shore stations-the loss of a tail shaft or other complete breakdown of the engines would be a much more serious matter than similar mishaps to vessels trading on a more frequented track of ocean.


On the outward journey between Sydney and Vila, New Hebrides, the best day's run was 192 miles in 24 hours, equal to 8 miles per hour ; only on two occasions during the round voyage was this figure reached, and then under particularly favorable weather conditions. This unsatisfactory rate of progress was attributed by ship's officers to the fact of the ship carrying an unusually large dead-weight cargo of coal. But, after discharging the coal cargo into a hulk at Vila, and loading the ship with copra-a much more buoyant cargo-no better speed was maintained on either the outward or homeward voyages. The figures were available from the records daily posted up by the ship's officers in the' saloon

67 9


The slow rate of progress on the return journey was ascribed by ship's officers to two causes, viz., bad coal, and/marine growths on the ship's sides and bottom, but, making due allowance for these two factors, the speed of the vessel under normal conditions is considerably slower than is desirable for a subsidized mail and passenger

especially if tourist traffic is to be encouraged along this route or any portion

of 1t. . ·

The distance from Sydney to Vila, via Lord Howe and Norfolk Islands, is about 1,600 miles. The steamer sailed from Sydney on the 1st April, and did not reach Vila until the 11th; allowing for a few hours' detention each at Lord Howe and Norfolk Islands, and on the homeward journey took 'her departure from Vila on the 15th May,

arriving in Sydney, via the islands mentioned, on the 25th idem, three days behind time.* The French steamer Pacifique accomplishes the journey within a week, including a call at N oumea (New Caledonia) en route, but no calls at Lord Howe or Norfolk Islands.

In regard to the speed of the Makambo, it is only fair to add that the steaming records of the ship have on other occasion£ shown better results, when more favorable · conditions have obtained, but, even so, in these days, when rapid transit is deemed to-be one of the essentials of modern progress and development, it must be admitted

that in the matter of speed the Makambo, as a mail -and passenger steamer, is not up to date. Accommodation. From the point of view of developing tourist traffic, the accommodation provided

on the Induna is practically a negligible quantity, while that on the Makambo leaves much to be desired. On the latter vessel cabin accommodation is provided for 30 first-saloon passengers. There are six small two-berth cabins on deck, two three-berth . cabins in the saloon companion-way (including the settee as a berth), and four three-berth

cabins below deck opening off the dining saloon. The last-mentioned is always an objectionable arrangement, for obvious reasons. In warm weather these cabins, as well as the dining saloon, are very hot, close, and stuffy, especially when the port-holes have to be closed to prevent the sea flooding them out, as it is apt to do if there is a strong wind blowing.

There are no punkahs or electric fans to lessen the discomfort of hot-weather conditions. Off the dining saloon, and separated by a narrow passage from the pantry, from which the meals are served, is the entrance to the water-closets and the bath-room

provided for male passengers. On the opposite side of the saloon is a similar arrangement for ladies. The saloon promenade deck space is insufficient, and, when a fair number of passengers are carried, the space which should be available for walking exercise and deck is nearly all taken up with deck chairs, a small number of which, when

utilized, suffice to completely block passage to and fro on the deck. The deck space is further restricted by the encroachment of projecting skylights on each side of the. ship, to give air and light to the dining saloon below. · All the accommodation for crew and fir emen being forward, in the absence of

alley-ways, the crew and firemen have to thread their way along the saloon deck among the passengers to the cook's galley and the stokeholds, and, owing to the spilling of greasy food and the imprints of coal-begrimed feet, it is impossible to maintain that portion of the saloon passenger deck in a st ate of reasonable cleanliness.

On the outward journey of the st eamer most of t he remaining deck space was taken up with deck cargo, such as whale-boats and launches for use among the islands, cases of benzine and kerosene, and live-stock accommodation. ·

The passenger accommodation of the I nduna (the smaller of the t wo steamers) is altogether inadequate, and the vessel itself is in other respects quite unsuitable for the run between Sydney and Lord Howe and Norfoll{ Islands. The principal passenger traffic is between those places. Owing to t he very limited accommodation on the Induna having already been taken up by passengers from t he New Hebrides, a number

of tourist s who left Sydney by the Makambo on 1st April, intending to return by the Induna, which was due to sail from Norfolk Island for Sydney ·on the 16th April, found themselves compelled to incur the expeme and suffer t he inconvenience of having to remain on the island until the return of the Makam bo , as the I nduna could not

accommodate them. This entailed upon tourists, who had expected t o remain only "' On the June trip (voyage No. 46) t he Makambo reported as having left Norfolk Island a week behind schedule t ime (1 6th). In the meantime the vessel had been docked, cleaned, and pamted.

) _ 6

apout, nfne or ten days 011 island, an enforced detention p£ some weeks , . Mr. Lucas, island inspector for Messrs. Bllrns, Philp; and ·Company, explained that

. of the monthly servi<:Je; which was resumed on the 1st April last, was

.mainly responl'Jible for the congestion on that· O

mspected the Induna at Vila, your Commissioners, however, are satisfied that · the accommodation provided would have been inadequate to afford reasonable

shippers. These matters are referred to more fully in anoth·er part ot this Report ml(ler the heading " Norfolk Island."


In regard to the questions submitted to your the tinle at

was not sufficient in which to as thorough an inVl\stigation as the

demanded. It would be Mcess::try, if a complete inquiry were to instituted; to charter a special vessel and make a tour of some months, so that all islands might be included, and the inquiry made as .exhaustive as ;possible. · , . Hcnvever; ha-ving given the fu1lest consideration to the evidence, made many

inquiries o£ an unofficial nature, and closely observed the methods of handling the mails. and . their delivery at the many stopping places within the Gontract, . the Col'lclusions arrived at by your Commissioners are as follow ;=

tJuestio_n No. Whether the general of _the settle?s in th!Jse pktces (New Hebrides, Lord l!owe, and Norfolk lslands}__t:f:re reasonably met ,by the existing mail contract between Australia and the Islands. ·.

majority o£ settlers expressed themselves as satisfied with the manner ih

which the mail delivery under the existing contract is conducted, but desired a faster and frequent service, and an opportunity to mail replies to their correspondence by the same steamer, which, under the present system, was not possible in places where . the steamer made only one call on each trip. Mails despatched_ from Sydney by the

Fteneh steamer Pacifique, twelve daJS after Messrs. Burns, Philp; and Company's steamer's departure from Sydney, wete delivered at Hog of Santo),

and replies sent some days before the Makamba arrived at that place. The delay in this and similar instances brought under the notice of your Commissioners is due to (a) slow speed of employed; (b) the numerous places of oall --not less than 70 under the contract, and sometimes e2Cceeding 100; (c) circuitous and routes which so rnany calling places make unavoidable under existing arrangements; (d) time lost by the steamer having to call at Vila . (the port of entry and departure) betore calling at. the southern islands of the Group, which it passes en route.

Under the existing system, after calling at Vila, which is situated· approximately near the of the Group, the mail steamer discharges cargo, _ &c., and proceeds, two or three days-later, to the southern isla:li4s . of the Group-Ertomanga, Tanna., and Aneityum- and calls have to be made at various parts of_those islands to discharge and load cargo and mails, Several days are thus occupied. The then proceeds 'north again to Vila, and, after further detention there, jolil'neY._ to the

northern islands of the Group. These are scattered over a comparatively wide a.tE:ia. 'The advent o£ nightfall makes coastal navigation verJ . dangerous and risky owing ·to the numerous reefs, and in the event . of the steamer being at one station too late to make the next anchorage at the same tsland befo're a. is

times laid £or another island which can be reached early on the following morning, the steamer eventually returning to resume her interrupted visits_ to other st_tttions on the island previously visited. This entails fllrther delay in mail deliveries. Some station within a comparatively sh<;>rt distance of Vila , ate not the retlit.h joti1'fiey of the steamer from others mote rehwtely Situated. This difficulty appears to be unavoidable under the existing system of mail distribution, where no supplementary inter-island se.rvice is _ employed, ot_her tb,,an _ that _provided, _ alt_E!ad y mentif?_ ned, t]lrough the, courtesy of missionaries.


. . Your have. iotm.ed the OJ>iriion, as a result of their inquiries and

personal exJ?enence ,of the. of the mail steamer among the isla!lds, some settlers. suffer .. a sen ous disabihty. through the present method of mml dehvery by oompanson w1th others whose stations ar: J?O:re favorably situated along the steamers1 o.utward Sydney, and the lhaJonty suffer under t he disability o£ not havifig trme to mail rephes to their correspondence by the same returning steamer .

. Subject the disabilities and inconveniences above-mentioned, as affecting certarn , settler.s rn the New Hebrides Group, your Commissioners are o£ opinion that the mail reqmrements of settlers generally have so far been reasonably met under the mail ,coiJ.tract, but consider that the time has arrived £or pro':'iding the improved .

famht1es herernafter referred to under the heading o£" RecommendatiOns." . Questions Nos. 2, 3, and 4.- These being co-related, a general statement covering the whole will, in the opinion of your Commissioners, be at this stage advisable. At a mMting of the New Hebrides British Association held at Sanawoa (Island of Malo) on the 8th August , 1911 , the follo wing resohttion was unanimously carried:- ·

That the Commonwealt h Government be approache d as to the possibility of altering the tnethod of s ubsidizing steam service to t he New Hebrides, inasmuc h as the existence of the subsidy in its present form pre'il'ehts settlers from obtaining relief from monopoly by otdinary trade competition. If t he subsidy is given in the interests of the settlers) it should be paid to ahy British shipping fi rm at per ton oi: certified cargo shipped by British settlers.

Your Co:thlnissioners attach considerable importance to .this action on the part o£ the New British Association, because the Association at one time comprised almost every British settler in the Group, and was consequently a body having considerable weight and influence. For a time a journal was published at monthly intervals under the auspices of the Association, but, owing to the lack of a suitable staff, after a short life it ceased publication. This is a matter for regret, for had the British Association Gazette continued to exist, it would doubtless have been an important factor in assisting towards the development of t he islands, and making known from time to time the needs of the settlers, who se requirements could have been brought through instrumentality in an authoritative way prominently before the British and Australian

;uovertllnents. Through the courtesy ()£ Mr. A. S. Thomas, of Hog Harbor (Island of Santo)j honorary secretary; your Co:nllhissioners ascertained that the Association originally numbered 62 members, but; from various causes, the membership has since suffered a

considerable reduction, and now only numbers 39 settlers. The reduced membership has shorn the Association of much of the influence it formerly possessed. Mr. Thomas furnished your Commissioners with the follo wing reasoi'lS, among otherl:l, for discontinuing business relations with the shipping fum o£ Messrs. Burns, Philp, and Company :-

(1) Exces ive freight charges for carriage by Messrs. Burns, Philp,_ and Company;s steamers as compared with the French steamer P acifique ; (2) The landing of cargo in bad condition ; (3) The refusal of Messrs. Burns, Philp, and Comp any's representative on t he

steamer to offer more than £6 per ton for copra on the outbreak of hostilities, owing to war risks ; and (4) The raising o£ the price o£ stores 33 per cent. to settlers by Messrs. Burns, Philp, and Company after the outbreak of war.

Other reasons, which were of a personal nature, were given in addition, but these need not be set forth here. Reasons numbers (3) and (4) could have no bea,rirtg, however, upon there olution of the Association in August, 1911 , already quoted, as the war did not break out until August, 1914-thtee years later.

Regarding complaint number (3), Mr. Etheridge, the supetcargo of the s.s. Makambo, when questioned on the subj ect, stated-With reO'ard t o t he complaint t hat the company only offered se ttlers a . very low f-igure for t heir copra, I may that to assist o11r clients and re lieve t hem of their col?t a. i£ t he:1 t o be

I offered to 't ake it at t he rate of £6 per ton, but every one had the optwn of keepmg his copra or shippmg it on freight. Offering even £6 per ton was taking the responsibility of a big riskj as the here with regard to the wat was so vague that no one lrnew if copra would be market able agam for at months, if not years.

P.9957, B

68 1


Mr. Thomas also expressed dissatisfaction with the mail service, chiefly on account of the excessive time taken by the steamer on the journey from Sydney to Hog Harbor. He pointed out that, although the M akambo had left Sydney on the 1st April, he had only received his mail that day (3rd May), 33 days having been in the journey. He had received mails some days before by the French steamer Pacifique, which sailed from Sydney twelve days after the departure of the JJ;fakambo from that port. He had lost newspapers frequently, and at times letters also, through the post, but could not definitely place the blame on anybody.

Mr . . Fysh, a settler of Big Bay (Island of Santo), and a member of the New Hebrides British Association, who was present when the resolution above referred to was passed at the Sanawoa meeting, on being interviewed expressed himself as generally satisfied with the present mail arrangements. Mr. Fysh deals with Messrs. Burns, Philp, and Company, and also with a French company. \Vhilst declaring that Messrs. Burns, Philp, and Company had a monopoly of the island trade, he admitted that there were two French companies now trading between N oumea and the New Hebrides Islands, with either or both of which he was at perfect liberty to deal, and that, as a matter of fact, it was his practice to ship copra by a French steamer as well as by Messrs. Burns, Philp, and Company's vessels.

Mr. Bramwell, settler, of Malo Island, another member of the Association, who was present at the Sanawoa meeting when the hostile resolution was passed, declared that, so far as he was personally concerned, he was perfectly satisfied with Messrs. Burns, Philp, and Company's treatment, and his business relations with the company had "always been admirable." He had no complaints to make regarding his mail arrangements.

Only two of the witnesses who were members of the Association, viz., Messrs. Thomas and Kerr, had ceased to deal with Messrs. Burns, Philp, and Company. We were informed by the supercargo of the that there was an arrangement under which Messrs. Burns, Philp, and Company's steamers called at the stations of Messrs. Kerr and Wells when requested to do so. Mr. Kerr, in the course of an informal interview, denied the existence of any such arrangement.

Mr. Bramwell, while expressing himself as quite satisfied with his business relations with Messrs. Burns, Philp, and Company, gave as his reason for voting in favour of the Sanawoa resolution that he considered more competition for freight would benefit the Group generally. Other witnesses gave similar reasons, at the same time explaining that, owing to the competition of the French steamers, conditions were not now the same as they were at the time the resolution was passed, and many of the causes of dissatisfaction then existing had since disappeared.

A perusal of the evidence given by n1embers of the New Hebrides British Association will disclose a considerable modification, an1ounting practically to a fairly general recantation of the views embodied in the resolution of August, 1911, regarding Messrs. Burns, Philp, and Company. Many settlers spoke in terms of satis­ faction of the treatment they now received from the mail contractors and their representatives on the mail steamers.

The advent of competition by steamers owned by others than Messrs. Burns, Philp, and Company in the northern group of the New Hebrides has doubtless been of considerable benefit to British settlers there, and has tended to check any disposition to arbitrary or unfair treatment, which might otherwise have been possible where any

company held a monopoly of the trade. Your Commissioners were unable to secure any proof in evidence of unfair or high-handed treatment having been meted out to settlers by firm of Messrs. Burns, Philp, and Company. Mr. Graham Kerr, of Messrs. Kerr Brothers, storekeepers, at Vila, it is true, complained that goods consigned to his firm had been landed some miles away from their proper destination. On being questioned in regard to this incident, the supercargo of the Makambo explained that on one occasion the steamer discharged goods for Messrs. Kerr Brothers at another place, but that the goods were sent to their destination in Messrs . . Burns, Philp, and Company's own launch. On the particular

occasion referred to, weather conditions were unfavorable, and the ship was late. The' supercargo also stated that the steamer sometimes discharged goods at places other than their destination, but that arrangements in such cases were made fDr their subsequent delivery as consigned. He added that this occurred very seldom. Your Commissioners had experience on the trip of the steamer by which they travelled


that owing to many stations being situated on beaches exposed to the open sea, and with reefs in the immediate vicinity, weather conditions at times rendered it impracticable for the steamer to anchor at the trader's statio11 without involving the risk of accident to or loss of the ship.

Competition of French steamers has given both French and British settlers an alternative service, of which several British settlers have not failed to take advantage when they have found it to their interests to do so. There is ·every prospect of a continuance of such competition. Some of the coco-nut trees are just beginning to bear,

while others will come into full bearing during the next three to five years, and the clearing and planting of new ground is also continually going on, thus insuring an ever­ increasing product of copra, which will necessitate in the near future the employment of larger vessels or a more frequent service-probably both.

It is regrettable that the southern islands of the Group, viz., Erromanga, Tanna, and Aneityum do not participate in the benefits accruing from the co1npetition which has proved itself beneficial to the settlers in the northern islands of the Group, the French vessels up to the present making no call south of Vila, probably because there are no French settlers on any of the southern islands of the Group.

Where cases of friction have occurred between the settlers and Messrs. Burns, Philp, and Company, they are said to have been caused chiefly through tactlessness, indiscretion, and discourtesy on the part of certain ships' officers in the past, and, unquestionably, the cordiality or otherwise of the relations between shipping firms

and settlers on the islands must be largely influenced by the character and temperament of the firm's responsible representatives on board their steamers. Tact, courtesy, fair dealing, and willingness to oblige are indispensable qualities in those who hold positions as masters and supercargoes.

Question lvT o. 2.- Tf!hether the Contractors have given reasonable facilities as Government Contract Steam-ship Owners to settlers in all parts of the said islands to transport their produce to market. 'I,he evidence discloses no specific cases where reasonable facilities for shipping produce to market have been refused by the mail contractors; but it was stated in evidence by Messrs. J. E. Fysh (East Santo), E. Sarginson (Epi), D. R. Barclay (Malo), Samuel Wells (Malo), and A. K. Roche (Undine Bay), that maize and cotton had been declined, and in regard to the latter that Messrs. Burns, Philp, and Company had advised that there was no market for unginned cotton in Australia (see evidence of Messrs.

Fysh and Barclay). Generallyspeaking, the contractors appear to have given settlers in the New Hebrides Islands all reasonable facilities for transporting their copra produce to market.

Question No. 3.-Whether any unfair discrimination has been shown for or against any settlers in those islands in the matter of shipping facilities by the present · contractors. The evidence disclosed discrimination which favoured some of the larger shippers and (under special agreement) the missionaries, but such discrimination cannot be

justly described as unfair, being an ordinary recognised business transaction which did not involve any increase of contract charges to other settlers.

Question No. 4.-Whether any disability is imposed by the present contractors upon settlers in trading between one part of the New H ebrides Group and another, or between the Group and the Commonwealth, or vice versa. The evidence given did not disclose any causes of complaint under this head.

Question No. 5.-Whether, as a result of the methods adopted by the present contractors in their relations with the settle1· s in the New Hebrides Islands, trade is being diverted from Australia.

Only in two cases was it shown that British settlers had entirely diverted their trade from Australia as a result. of dissatisfaction with the methods of Messrs. Burns, Philp, and Company (see evidence of Mr. Thomas and Mr. Kerr). . B2



ttade diverted is only a _ smap portion o£ . the and is

balanced by the fact that over twe1tty French settlers ship and regulatly, and several others periodwaJly, with the stea1r1ers (see evidettce o£ 1\{r. R. J.

Etheridge). . .

A certaih amount of trade of British settlers other than the trade ()£ 1lhomas and Ketr is also diverted., not, however, as a result of the :methodB by Butns; Philp, and Oompap.y, but because the cotlveniertce of the ifi frttoh

cases IS best served by doing business with both British and French steatnets. The great majority of British settlers do thtdr trade with Australia by the of Messts. Burns, Philp, and and similarly the great majority of the

French settlers, who outnumber the Britlsli by more tha11 two to one, do their with New Caledonia and France by the French steamers. The majority of French settlers are served by the St. Michel afid the Pervenche, sm,all steamers trading directly the New Hebrides Islands NotlmtU1J; New Caledonia, and also by the Pacifique, a larger and speedier stearuer, whioh and trades between Sydney and the New Hebrides, via Noumea;*

As the Pacifique calls at four places only in the Gtoup, and the other two boats, though not tunnirtg to ate fairly regular in their visits, the are, on

the better served in regard to their oversea requirements than are the British settlers. It may here be stated, however, that, so far as your Commissioners were able td ascertain, there is 110 bar to any British settler trading or dealing with the vessels or any other vessels that may choose to trade in the Group. As a matter of

evidence was adduced showing that sever&l British settlets do avail themselves

6£ the fttcilities offered by the French stettme:rs for shipping their produce and obtainng supplies. This fact may probably be responsible for the assertion that island trade is being diverted from Australia. " Statistics relating to exports from the New Hebrides the year 1914 will be in App:ndix H. These figures do any diversion from Australia

of New Hebndes export trade, and certainly not more than m1ght be expected when the whole of the surrounding circumstances above mentioned are taken into consideration.

Question No. 6.-Whether prices charged by ·the contractors for stores and supplies in the .New Hebrides are fair and reasonabk. It is difficult to furnish a reply to this question. To do so, it would be necessary to make inquiries ovet an extended period, comparing market prices in Australia with tht;)se charged by Me$srs. Burnsj Philp, and Company. This would a, considerable time, nfid would necessitate an examination of the company's bcmks to make the comparison complete.

It has to be remembered, however, that, although settlers are at liberty to purchase their supplies direct in any market they wish and ship them on freight, or, if they prefer it, may purchase !rom whom they please through Messrs. Burns, Philp, and Company (acting as their agents), on a 20 per cent. commission which embraces all charges, including freight, &c., yet many of them make considerable purchases from the ship's trade roo:ro.

!t _is therefore reasonable to asstill:le _ that the prices t3harged by Messrs. Burns, Philp, and Company are not considered by thdse settlers high.

It may also added that settlers in the northern portion oi the Group have free access to the French steamers and to the merchants of Vila, whose charges are considered moderate. Your Commissioners here to state thltt the superohiirge of 33 per cent.

made for trade goods by Messrs. Burns, Philp, and Oompany on the outbreak of war was in their opinion excessive. Assuming the trade goods upon the steamer to have been of the value of £4,5DO, the supercharge would not have exceeded £1,500-a mere trifle as compared with the cost of the ship had she been sunk by the enemy. Further, it would tend to establish the principle that trading companies should absolve from all risk, passing it on to others unable to avoid it and least able to bear it. In

this connexion it was stated that the F1"ench companies also :trlade a similar charge, but refunded it to those upon whom it had been imposed.

• · owirtg to tire heavy subSidy patd by tlie Prettch Government lor tile Sydney-Mew Caletlobia-:New Hebtides niaU se'tvide, tlte PM!Mfd is enabled to carry on the service without engaging in buying or selling on the firm's account, a-hd is therefore employed. aiJ a !bail, cargo, afid passenger steamer only.


Question No. 7.-Whether a Government steamer service between Australia and the New Hebrides Islands is at present a practicable proposition. . A. G:overnment service is most certainly a practicable proposition, but,

:n the op1n10n ?f your Cominisswners,would not be a profitable one, and it is questionable If such a serviCe would be of a more satisfactory character than that existing under the present contract. Were the Government running a general mail service employing a number of

steamers, and having one or more ships in reserve, it would make a considerable difference in such a proposition, but to take an isolated service such as the one under consideration, making it a mail and passenger service only, would mean a- much increased expenditure, and would possibly give no greater satisfaction to those interested than the present service.

Question No. 8.-Whether any, and, if so, what means can be suggested by which trade in the New Hebrides and Lord Howe and J.,T or folk Islands can be . improved. Assuming that, although not specifically mentioned, it was intended that inquiries under this head should embrace trade between the islands mentioned and

Australia, your Commissioners have given much careful thought to the whole subject of trade improvement and development. The existing Condominium control and administration of the New Hebrides Group by the British and French Governments, however, must necessarily restrict any suggestions or recommendations concerning

those islands to limits within the very circumscribed sphere of Commonwealth action.


One of the most important questions to be dealt with in this connexion is that of the native population, for from this source all labour requirements within the New Hebrides Group is now drawn. Bearing this in mind, your Commissioners have devoted much 9areful thought to this phase of the problem of the settlement and development

of the Group. It is a · regrettable fact that the native population is decreasing at an alarming rate, and nothing yet atten1pted has had the effect of reducing the mortality to normal limits.

On some of the islands, where it has been possible to make a very close estimate, the decrease is shown to be of a most serious character. On Erromanga, for instance, the population, estimated a few years ago at 5,000, is now reduced to about 800, or possibly less. On other islands the decrease has probably been relatively as great,

but it is only on the smaller islands that a reasonably accurate enumeration has been possible. On the larger islands, such as Malekula and Santo, it is difficult to estimate, even approximately, the population now remaining, but there is ample evidence in the abandoned village sites to denote that a marked decrease has taken place in recent

years. Some of these villages were, it is stated, a few years ago thickly populated; to-day they are but vacant sites, and the encroaching scrub will ere long obliterate every trace of the native houses and the well-tended gardens by which they were surrounded.

Depopulation is ascribed to various causes. Dirt, disease, and the tribal warfare still carried on among the inhabitants of certain islands are among the chief contributing causes. By far the most destructive is disease in its various forms, to which fuller reference is made under the heading of " Health." Infanticide is said to be quite

common, and there seems to be a decided objection on the part of many native women to become mothers. Abortion is practised to a consid rable extent. Living burial is said to be still a feature of native customs in some places, but is gradually dying out. It may here be said that such burial is not so much an evidence of cruelty as it is the

desire of widows and aged people to rid themselves of a life that become burdensome. All these . causes are contributing factors in hastening the extinction of a· physically fine race, and which yet numbers many specimens of a virile manhood. Intoxicants also, no doubt, tend t o deterioration and probably are responsible

for some of the ills by which the natives are afflicted. Unfortunately there are in the Group some unprincipled men who, for sake of a imm.edia.te sell the

native either grog, fir earms, or ammunitiOn, the trade m whiCh IS proh1b1t ed under



Condominium laws. It has been suggested ·that the sale of firearms might be permitted if.restricted to fowling-pieces, together with shot cartridges; but, as against this suggestion, it was pointed out that the natives who already possessed fowling-pieces removed and melted the shot, which they cast into bullets for use in tribal warfare. It is also said that solder from jam, meat, and other discarded tins is melted off and mo11:lded into bullets for the . same purpose.

Noble efforts are being made to combat the prevalent diseases, and there are some fine and well-appointed hospitals in the Group, conducted in all cases, with the exception of the French hospital at Vila, by medical missionaries. Your

Commissioners visited two of these institutions, and can testify as to the

suitability of the sites, the excellence of the equipment, and the careful attention bestowed on the patients. The loss of the hospital at Ambrym has been

most seriously felt. It is understood, however, that this will be shortly replaced, a site for .a new hospital having been selected near Tisman Bay, Island of Malekula. These hospitals have proved of inestimable benefit to the natives, and the spirit animating those responsible for their erection and equipment is beyond all praise. It is a matter for regret that there are not more .of these institutions· distributed throughout the islands, as the battle they are waging against epidemic and endemic diseases must minimize suffering and greatly assist in checking the rapid progress of diseases which otherwise would in a very brief period deci1nate the native population.

As might be expected, the savages-or the heathen, as the missionaries describe the native savage-do not participate to the same extent in the benefits of medical aid as do the more civilized natives. On the Islands of Malekula and Santo there are natives as yet almost unapproachable, and it is but quite recently that a punitive expedition suffered somewhat severely at the hands of the natives of Malekula.

It has been deemed necessary to give special pr01ninence to these matters, as the labour question is inseparable from that of the future material development, progress, and trade of the islands. Native labour should be depended upon to assist in securing these results rather than indented labour, the advent of which is even now regarded as necessary by some settlers. Altogether apart from the decrease of the population,

another cause for the scarcity of labour is the increasing indolence of the natives. Their wants are few and easily supplied. As the population decreases, the food supply propor­ tionately increases. There are as many pigs, arid fewer people to eat them. The same applies to coco-nuts and breadfruit. Certainly the gardens require attention. The soil, however, is exceedingly fertile, and with little exertion yields an abundant harvest. Under these conditions the native is master of the situation, works when he pleases, and, unless illegally recruited, for whom he pleases. It may therefore be readily understood that the labour question, a problem already difficult of solution, threatens, as additional plantations come into _ full bearing, to become proportionately acute. Thus the preservation and increase of the native population is a matter of supreme importance in relation to the future of the New This being a matter solely under the control

of the Condominium Government, your Commissioners refrain from making any suggestions or recommendations in reference thereto. In regard to the question of the abnormal death rate, the indolence of the natives, and their disinclination to work, there has been some very interesting correspondence between Captain Ernest Rason, R.N., at one time Deputy Resident Commissioner of the New Hebrides, and the Presbyterian Synod. This correspondence, dated 1903, is published as Appendix D.

The methods adopted for garnering the nuts and their subsequent treatment are decidedly primitive. Few, if any, appliances are in use, other than those in operation in the earliest times of copra making, but, doubtless, as labour becomes scarcer, other and better means will be found for the handling of the nuts and the making of copra, thus minimizing to some extent at any rate the increasing difficulties likely to be presented owing to a dearth of labour. In this connexion the establishment of co-operative central depots fitted with machinery and other scientific appliances for treating the nuts and drying the copra is worthy of attention by the settlers.

The presence of one or more Government medical officers stationed in the Group, whose especial business it would be to regularly visit the various islands and administer proper treatment on the spot would, however, doubtless assist greatly in arresting the spread of contagious diseases among the native population, and be instrumental in saving many lives now sacrificed through ignorance and neglect.


The launch elsewhere recommended in connexion with the mail service could, in the · interval between the visits of the ocean maH steamer . to the Group, be utilized for conveyance of medical officers to the various islands. It is · desirable to preserve as far as possible the native population for the successful development of the Group. .

Pending completion of arrangements for giving effect to this recommendation, your Commissioners suggest that medicine chests, together with handbooks on symptoms treatment of disease in the ,islands, similar to those supplied by the Government

1n the Northern Territory, might be distributed to certain approved settlers in the affected districts, some of whom have expressed their willingness to give their services in ministering to those afflicted. The islands of Epi, Malekula, Santo, Pentecost, and Aoba in the New Hebrides, and Vanna Lava in the Banks Group, could with great

advantage to settlers and the native population in the northern islands be supplied in this way in the absence of any qualified visiting medical officer. In the islands more southerly situated, there is less pressing need for such provision, owing to their proximity to hospitals, already mentioned, in the vicinity.

Doubtless the Condo1ninium authorities would readily co-operate in any suggested action by the Commonwealth in these directions. ·


The question of land settle1nent and tenure is one in regard to which much friction is likely to take place in the future. Your Commissioners were fortunate to have as a fellow passenger Mr. IIawkins, licensed surveyor, from whom much valuable information was obtained, more especially in regard to the islands of Santo, Malekula,

Malo, Aoba, Aore, Tutuba, and Vanna Lava. Mr. Hawkins is engaged in the work of surveying settlers' blocks on smne of these islands on behalf of Messrs. Burns, Philp, and Company, consequently the information supplied by him is reliable and up to date. Particulars in regard to areas, &c., furnished by Mr. Hawkins will be found in Appendix E.

It must be patent to those interested in the future of the New Hebrides that, to promote settlement and encourage the planting of new areas, land must be made available on reasonable terms and conditions, and have easy access to the various landing places. At present, there seems to be a conflict of opinion as to the boundaries of areas, and there are 1nany overlapping claims. It is stated that in many cases there are three

claimants for the same piece of land, viz., the aboriginal owner, and British and French claimants. It would appear that when transfers are made from native land-owners, they usually choose a native representative to act on their behalf. Certain landmarks are

noted, as for instance, a marked tree, a creek, a particular rock, or other well-defined object. These may be in a dense scrub, through which a way will have to be cut with an axe or a scrub knife. The distance from mark to mark under these circumstances will sometimes appear to be much greater than it really is, and the purchaser will probably put in a claim for an area far exceeding that which, upon being surveyed, the purchased land is found to contain. Naturally a dispute then arises between the purchaser and

the vendor or vendors, and the matter is relegated to the Condominium Court for adjudication. The rival claims of purchasers of different nationalities will probably give rise to further complications in the future.

There is one phase concerning the settlement of the unalienated land to which apparently no attention has been given, viz., making provision for roads from the landing places (which are not numerous) to the interior, and the creation of reserves at these landing places of an area sufficient to permit of the erection of copra stores and

boat sheds. No such roads now exist; consequently an inland settler can only get to a landing place through the good-will of the holder of the foreshore. At present little, if any, land is occupied by Europeans, except on the coast, but eventually the hinterland, some of which is said to be of an excellent class, will also be under occupation by white settlers. this the of .can be

strictly preserved without interference With the1r areas 1n the vanous even should the present population prove more prolific than has been the expenence of recent years.



On the Island of Tanna there existed some years ago a forest of sandalwood. This, however, has all been cut down and exported, and no attempt has. been n1:ade to restore this valuable timber. Evidently the soil and climate were specially suited to its growth, as the trees were said to attain a girth of from 6 to 7 feet. As sandalwood

country in Northern Queensland is useless for agricultural purposes, probably the Tanna sandalwood country is of the same class. If so, the replanting of the areas formerly covered by this timber is worthy of consideration. · The soil of the islands is wholly volcanic, very fertile, and supporting a dense vegetation, and it is reasonable to suppose that timber of a commercial value would flourish equally as well as the useless growth which now covers the islands. The general characteristics, soil, climate, and elevation of the mountains closely resemble those of the Cairns hinterland, Queensland, and it is but reasonable to suppose that the cedar, pine, silky oak, maple, &c., which grow so superbly in the Queensland region, would flourish equally well on the mountain slopes of the New Hebrides. .

A matter deserving of consideration is that of afforestation. Notwithstanding that the islands, even the most precipitous, are covered with dense vegetation from high-water mark to their very summits, yet, with the exception of the island of Aneityum, there is no timber of any commercial value, all timber for local requirements being imported from Australia.

On Aneityum there is some pine of good quality, to exploit which a saw-mill was erected some years ago. Your Commissioners were unable to obtain any reliable information regarding the erection of this mill, the class of timber it was intended to deal with, or the results (if any) of its operations. The mill, however, is now idle.

Large areas of the land in the Group are quite unfit for agricultural purposes. Some of the islands, as Aoba and Paama, are simply huge mountains, the precipitous sides of which preclude the possibility of cultivation. Much of the west coast of the islands of Malekula and Santo is of the same character, and throughout the Group quite possibly at least one-third of the gross area is of a class unfavorable to settlement.

In the neighbourhood of Big Bay, Island of Santo, there appears to be a considerable area of comparatively flat land, and further south in the same island there is also a large tract of land equally suitable for agriculture. On the east coastofMalekula, too, land of the same class and of considerable area appears to be available. These lands, it is stated, are unoccupied except by a few native villages, and are of the same fertile character which obtains throughout the Group.

It must be understood, however, that the land here referred to is in all cases some distance removed from the coast-line, but is not more than 6 miles from the sea, within which distance it is said the coco-nut tree will thrive and bear well. In offering the foregoing observations on some important aspects of island con­ ditions as affecting their trade expansion and development, your Commissioners have borne in mind that matters affecting the control of land and native labour come solely within the jurisdiction of the Condominium, and it is only because the question of the development of trade has been submitted to them as a matter for investigation that your Commissioners have embodied in this Report the result of their inquiries in this connexion. They do not dee1n it within their province to make recommendations in respect of these matters, which are outside the sphere of Commonwealth control or action.

DEPUTATION TO MINISTER FOR EXTERNAL AFFAIRS. On 29th January, 1915, a deputation, consisting of Messrs. H. S. Carr and Ivan Nelson, introduced by E. S. Carr, Esq., M.P., waited upon the Honorable Hugh Mahon, Minister for External Affairs, in Sydney, to place before him certain alleged grievances of British settlers against the contractors for the existing mail service to the New Hebrides Islands. ·

The following is a summary of the allegations :-1. Shipping service is totally inadequate, and too irregular to meet requirements. _

2. Instead of encouraging the trade of the islands, Messrs. Burns, Philp, and Company, who have a monopoly, are retarding progress in many ways .



3. The company have the traders at their mercy, and are abusing their privilege of receiving the Government subsidy. They need not call at ports except when it suits them to do so. 4. Traders have their goods shut out by the company. 5. The company's vessels go to the islands not for the purpose O'f carrying

--- goods, but principally for buying.

6. The "company raised the price of all goods and merchandise on the outbreak of war from 33 per cent. to 40 per cent. 7. \Vhen the islanders will not sell their copra the company cuts the trip out altogether. They did cut one trip out entirely. They would

only offer growers a very low figure for the copra. In · one instance, a month after the company's offer was refused, the growers only got £8 per ton for the copra, as it was rotten. 8. The freight on maize has strangled that industry.

9. Information 1 from the islands intended for the press is first given to Messrs. Burns, Philp, and Company, who ce_nsor it, and publish what they think desirable in their own interests. ·

The several complaints above summarized formed the subject of careful inquiry by your Commissioners-(a) as to the foundations upon which the allegations were made by the deputation ;

(b) as to the extent to which the members of the delegation were personally and financially concerned in the trade, progress, and development of the islands, and their actual experience of life and conditions in the Group; (c) as to their personal knowledge of the matters which fonned the subject

of their complaints ; and (d) as to the settlers and traders on whose behalf they were authorized to make representations to the Minister.

Taking the complaints in their numerical order, your Commissioners desire to state as follows :-1. "Shipping service is totally inadequate and too irregular to meet requirements."

Regarding shipping arrangements, your Commissioners have dealt very fully with this matter elsewhere.

2. " Instead of encouraging the trade of the islands, Messrs. Burns, Philp, and Company, who have a monopoly, are retarding progress in many ways." · ·

This has also been fully dealt with under the "General " heading, but it may be here again stated that, as there are three other lines of steamers now trading to the New Hebrides Islands, in addition to those of Messrs. Burns, Philp, and Company, a monopoly cannot be said to exist at present. The statement that Messrs. Burns, Philp, and Company are retarding progress " in many ways " is so vague and indefinite that it is impossible to deal with it in a specific manner. Moreover, your Commissioners were

unable to obtain any evidence upon which such a charge might be founded.

3. "The company have the traders at their 1nercy, and are abusing their privilege of receiving the Government subsidy. They need not call at ports except when it suits them to do so." The assertion the company have the traders at their mercy and are abusing their privilege of receiving the Government subsidy " is of a very serious and sweeping character. That moneys have been advanced to growers and traders is admitted, and

the evidence of Mr. Lucas, Island Inspector for Messrs. Burns, Philp, and Company, gives particulars of the amounts advanced. (See Appendix F.') The evidence, however, discloses nothing which would indicate that pressure was brought to bear upon those to whom advances w·ere made, or give colour to the assertion that " the company have the

traders at their mercy." What is meant by the statement that the company "are abusing their privilege of receiving the Government subsidy " i.· not clear, but your Commissioners saw no indications of such alleged abuse, nor was any evidence tendered


nor any complaint made on that score by local residents. The contract provides that not less than 70 calls shall be made within the Group, but the places of call are not specified. This number is usually, if not always, exceeded. A reference to the ship's log (see Appendix G) will show that on the occasion of your Commissioners' visit to the islands, 83 calls were made. On the previous trip, voyage No . 43, over 80 calls were

made. If the complaint embodied in No. 3 is intended to imply that usual places of call are omitted as a means of punishing those shippers who do not comply with the wishes of the company, the evidence does not support such an inference.

4. " Traders have their goods shut out by the compa11y." Your Commissionern had ocular evidence as to produce being shut out. On the steamer approaching Pia Bay, a station on the island of Epi, it was discovered that, owing to the strong wind blo\ving inshore and heavy sea breaking on the beach, it would

be impossible to load a quantity of maize awaiting shipment. Unquestionably it would have involved the boats and the natives manning them in considerable risk, had any attempt been made to load the maize under such conditions of sea and wind, and the safety of the steamer itself would have also been endangered if anchored in such an exposed position near the adjacent reefs. Mr. Ayton, the owner of the maize awaiting shipment, subsequently admitted to your Commissioners that loading it would have been a dangerous task. As mentioned elsewhere in this Report, weather conditions compelled the steamer to miss several of the usual places of call while your

Commissioners were on board. No doubt the delay in reaching a market is a serious loss and inconvenience to growers, but in the absence of sheltered loading places such delays will inevitably occur through stress of weather . . The statement that goods are shut out by the company would imply that shutting out goods was done systematically, with a view to compelling shippers to take some action in the interests of Messrs. Burns, Philp, and Company, and in opposition to the interests and desires of the shippers. No evidence could be obtained in support of such a charge against the company, but Mr. Sarginson, of Epi, in his evidence stated that about two years ago the captain of one of Messrs. Burns, Philp, and Company's steamers had failed to take his copra for some time, the reason

given being lateness of the steamer or the ship being full already. Rough weather had prevented his maize being taken on board at times, and he had to sell it to local traders at a loss. Everything, however, had been going along satisfactorily for the last eighteen months.

5. "The company's vessels go to the islands not for the purpose of carrying goods, but principally for buying." ·

It is true that the company buy copra to a considerable extent. Growers and traders, however, declared that generally speaking it suited them better to sell outright to Messrs. Burns, Philp, and Company, thus relieving themselves from the necessity of finding bags and bagging the copra, paying lighterage, and taking the risk of market fluctuations. There was no evidence of any obstacle being placed in the way of those who desired to ship their produce as fr eight.

6. " The company raised the price of all goods and merchandise on · the outbreak of war from 33 per cent. to 40 per cent." As stated elsewhere, your Commissioners consider the increase in the price of commodities made by the company on the declaration of war was excessive.

7. " When the islanders will not sell their copra the company cuts the trip out altogether. They did cut one trip out entirely. They would only offer growers a very low figure for the copra. In one instance, a month after the company's offer was refused, the growers only got £8 per ton for the copra, as it was rotten." There is no evidence whatever to support the assertion that "when the islanders will not sell their copra the co mpany cuts the trip out altogether." After the outbreak of war, it is true, the monthly service was temporarily interrupted, with the concurrence of the Minister, but it was resumed as soon as war conditions permitted. The full subsidy was not paid for the reduced service. The statement that a grower got only £8 per ton for his copra one month after refusing the company's offer, the copra being then rotten, may or may not be correct, but it was stated in evjdence that rotten copra is absolutely


69 1


8. "The on maize has strangled that industry."

It may be that the freight on maize has to some extent retarded its production, but it is generally admitted that maize is rather what may be termed a " pot-boiler" a staple crop. Maize is grown only whilst the coco-nut trees are coming

mto bearmg, and Is then generally abandoned as a crop, except for local use, the culti­ vation of the coco-nut being more profitable. The import duty on maize entering Australia is an important factor in restricting the production of maize in the New Hebrides. Doubtless high freight charges militate against the cultivation of maize crops, but in no case was it stated that the freight exceeded that provided for under

the contract. :Mr. H. S. Carr, and also Mr. Ivan Nelson, the two gentlemen who were introduced to the Minister by lVIr. E. S. Carr, M.P., as the deputation herein referred to, and who made the charges now dealt with, were examined by your Commissioners at Sydney

upon their return from the New Hebrides. Reference to the evidence given by these gentlemen will disclose that Mr. H. S. Carr was a resident of t he islands for a period of about three years, during which time your Commissioners were advised that he was engaged as a native labour recruiter, that he was not a producer or shipper, had no financial interests in the islands, and that he was not authorized by any local organization

or body of individuals, or by any single individual resident, to make representations to the Minister on behalf of the settlers, but that he did so entirely on his own responsibility. Mr. Nelson in his evidence sta,ted that he had never resided on any of the islands of the New Hebrides, but had been a visitor there. He had no interests of any kind

in the Group, and joined in the deputation to the Minister at the request of Mr. H. S. Carr, knowing nothing personally of the conditions existing in the New Hebrides, and consequently wa,s unable to afford any information of value to your Commissioners. Mr. also admitted that he was not authorized to act on behalf of any of the

settlers of the islands. The deputation was self-constituted, and had not been authorized by any settlers on the islands to make representations to the Minister on their behalf.


During the brief return visit of the Makarnbo, practically all those interested in shipping matters were busily engaged in getting their goods loaded into the whale-boats and conveyed to the steamer,. anchored some distance off outside the reef, and your Commissioners were disappointed at not having an opportunity to interview them. Evidence was, however, given by the local postmaster and schoolmaster. The chief causes of complaint were sa'i.d to be high freights and passenger fares. These were considered to be excessive for carriage over a distance of little more than 400 miles.

There are no harbors at Lord Howe Island, but when elemental conditions are favorable, landings can be effected on sandy beaches on one side or the other of the island. Landing jetties for boats would be a convenience for tourists, and also for the loading and discharging of cargo. The present method of getting ashore is

either by jumping into the shallow water from the bow or side of the boat and wading through the water to the dry beach, or being carried ashore on the back of some obliging member of the boat's crew or shore volunteer. The island being part of the State territory of New South Wales, however, precludes

any recommendation being made for Commonwealth action in this direction. The area of the island is approximately 4,000 acres, and the total population is less than 100 persons. The area of land suitable for cultivation is very limited, and practically the only industry is the collection of the seed of the Kentia palm, which is exported to all parts

of the world. The Kentia palm, of which the Fosteriana and Belmoreana are the most favoured varieties, is largely in demand for decorative purposes, and is indigenous to Lord Howe I sland. Fuller information concerning the island may be obtained by reference to the

" Report of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Condition and Welfare of the Residents of Lord Howe Island, 1912," New South Wales Parliamentary Paper No. 44599* , 352 (a) , 1912.



. A very excellent report on Norfolk Island . was presented. to the Minister for External AffaiTs in a memorandu1n by 1\tir. Atlee Hunt (Secretary to the Department) last year, in which a general description an:d brief history of the island, its resources, population, conditions, &c., will be found. (See Parliamentary Paper, No. 12, Second Session, 1914.) Your Commissioners, therefore, deem it unnecessary to furnish similar information in this report.

As at Lord Howe Island, complaint was made that fares and freights were unduly high. Regarding mail delivery, there were no complaints so far as the steamer was concerned, but a desire was expressed for a better system of local delivery. The establishment of a 1noney order office in connexion with the post-office was also advocated as a much needed convenience.

Settlers complained of failure of the steamer to regularly ni.aintain the scheduled dates of arrival and departure, of overcarriage of goods involving inconvenience and loss, and occasional loss of or dan1age to goods on the steamer. Complaints were also made of disabilities \vhic·h seriously hampered shippers of perishable products through-

(a) Uncertainty as to actual date of stean1er's arrival and departure.* (b) Absence of adequate cold storage space for perishable produce. (c) Careless and improper stowage. (d) Stowing perishable island produce such as oranges, bananas, &c., also

sugar, flour, &c., when overcarried to other islands, in the steamer's hold with copra (which has a very penetrating odour), where it rapidly deteriorated in quality. (e) Length of time occupied in the journey to Sydney. It was explained that the steamer was advertised to sail for Sydney on the 16th of every month. Perishable produce had, therefore, to be packed ready for shipment at least one day before arrival of the mail-boat. Occasionally the steamer arrived at and departed fron1 t he island before its due date, in which case the produce was lost because there was rio time to pack and ship it. As the April and May steamers this year were three days beb)nd the advertised date of arrival and departure, this involved storage o( packed fruit for four days before it was taken away by the steamer, and the probability of much of it being unmarketable when cl C' l1vered in Sydney afte:' nearly a week's further detention in a ship's steamy hold. Should unfavorable weather be met with during the passage to Sydney, even a longer detention would be involved. t

The absence of ports or harbors at Norfolk Island is a serious disadvantage. Steamers anchor at some distance fron1 the shore, usually at either Cascade Bay on the north side, or Sydney Bay on the south side of the island. Comrnunication between the ship and the shore is provided by whale-boats, the property of certain islanders, and the landing places are a projecting surf-beaten rock at Cascade Bay, and a small

stone pier at Sydney Bay. The latter is reached after a more or less risky pull in whale­ boats over heaving billows, and through a narrow passage in a reef over which a dangerous surf is continually breaking. The steamer's place of call at the island is determined by local weather and surf conditions, and on occasions, happily infrequent, conditions are such as to preclude landing on any part of the island.


The want of wireless communication is a drawback. The establishment of a radio-telegraph station on Norfolk Island would enable steamers fitted with wireless to no tify times of departure from other ports and expected tirne of arrival at the island, and steamers could be directed when approaching the land which anchorage was most suitable for the working of the cargo and landing and einbarking of passengers. Such information would enable the ship to make direc t for its safest anchorage and save some

miles of unnecessary steaming in certain conditions of wind and sea, and shippers would know in good time to which side of the island their goods must be carted for shipment­ an important consideration involving the saving of time, double haulage of some miles, and unnecessary expense.

* On t he occasion of your Co mmiss ioners' tri ' the steamer was a day la t e reaching both J.JOrd Howe and Norfolk I slands from Sydney, and on t he return trip was t hree days behind her scheduled ·da t e of arrival and departure at each of those places and at Sydney. On the June trip (Voyage No . 46) vessel was reported to have left Norfolk Island a we ek behind schedule t itl1e (16th). t Your Co mmisaioners s ubsequently were ;nformed by a ship;· er of oranges and bananas by the Maknmbo in May that out of t ' >rentv·three cases o f fruit but twel ve were landed in Sydney. The shi,Y per st a t ed that after allowing for freight, cartage, and

comJUission he netted only 6s. on the transaction ,

. . .. 9



OvinBoA:tt&tAn :m o1r Goons.

_ A conllnoh cause o£ complaint is the overcarriage of consigned from Sydney to Norfolk Island. o! these goo4s, being agricultural and dairy produce, suffer detetiofa tiofi from this cause. When not landed at N otfolk they are carried

on to Vila, in the New Group, and there usuf:tlly transhipped into the next return­ ing steamer for delivery at their itlVolvi:ng an extra detention in the ship's

holds, ifi tropical of from ten days to a fortnight, ttocording as the steamer runs to time or On occasiohs goods are brought back to the island on the return

trip of the same steamer, efitailirtg about six delay. The blame for overcarriage does not always lie with the steamer, except in thot\e oases owing to carelessness o:t of proper sys.tem bf stowage, goods ttre or cannot. at the time be

found in the holds. A more frequent cause bf overtlar:th:tge is the refusal of the crews of the island whale-boats to carry cargo from the ship to the shore after nightfall owin.g to the risks involved in landing or1 a shote in the datkness. To remain throughout the night at the anchorage would, in certain cohdition§ of wind and weather, ilhpetil the steamer's safety, and in ahy case would involve delay, affecting the time­

table bf the ih"tard an.d outward tnltil Which hltVe to connect at Vila. The

late arrival of the outward ... bound steamer ttt Vila the htte departure from that place of the homeward-bound vessel, as a period of at least 48 hours, iiJ?-der arrangement with Messrs. Burns, Philp, and Company, mUst be allowed at the administrative centre of Governtllefit at Vila to reply to corre13.pondence :reoeived by the ihcoming steamer rom Sydney.

Your Commissioners were impressed with the need of a strong sea-going decked lrtunch being tor the_ officials, are entirely dependent

on_ good-:Will of o1ie or other ?f the ?brnpan1es that 6\vn only boats

(whale-boats) at present oh the island. The Administrator, Customs, Ma1l, and Health officers, whose business it is to officially board. ships on arrival, should be provided with their own means oi conveyance between the shore and vessels at anchor in the roadstead. Such a launch would be useful also in cases of boating accidents or difficulties ted by strong currents_ in the viDinity of the ree£s, frequent source of

danger to oar-propelled. whale-boats., especially when heavily laden with cargo or passengers or ooth. SIGNALLING.

A of signalling by flags du!ing daylight and lights at night-time should be established on Mount Pitt or its neighbourhood, to notify steamers approaching the land from the north to which anchorage they are to proceed, and thus prevent unneces­ sary delay alike to and shippers. The system at present in use near the Cascade landing is practically valueless; as the signals are not visible until the vessel is close in

to the anchorage.


Your Commissioners desire to submit for consideration the following recom­ mendations :-(1) That a faster and more frequent service be substituted for that provided under the existing contract.

(2) That the time occupied . in the journey between Norfolk Island and Sydney be shortened by at least ofie day, and between Vila Sydney by at two days.

(3) That tWb steamers be employed to carry out the mail contract £or New Hebrides Group- one for the service between the islands Sydhey a:fid one for inter .. island the £ormet to be of the type !3pecified elsewhere in these recottuhendatigns, ·and to call at Lord

Howe a,nd N otfolk I slands, Vila, and ohe principal place of call each at Epi, Mlllekula, and Santo Islands, to be agreed upon, ( 4) That adherence to scheduled dates of departure be insisted on in any new mail contract, that it shall be permissible to arrive at

p6rts in advance of due dates. Allowance3 however, should be made for unusually adverse weather conditions, accident, or other untoward circumstances at the discretion of the Postmaster-General


(5) That cold storage space be provided in all subsidized steam-ships sufficient to meet the reasonable requirements of the trade in perishable produce. (6) That subsidized mail steamers be fitted with wireless installation, also

electric lighting, electric fans in cabins, saloons, social hall, and other confined spaces set apart for passenger accom1nodation. (7) That ample promenade, lounge, and deck space be set apart exclusively for the use of passengers, and no part thereof should be utilized for

deck cargo, stores, or other obstructions to the free use by of such deck space. (8) .That steam-ships engaged in the trade with Lord Howe Island and Norfolk Island be required to carry not less than two oil launches as

part of their boating equipment. (9) That money order office and savings bank facilities be established in connexion with the post-office at Norfolk Island. (10) That a strongly-built and fully-decked launch and appliances for housing

same be provided for use of the administrative staff of Norfolk Island in the performance of their official duties connected with the arrival and departure of vessels. ,;

(11) That a wireless station be established at Norfolk Island. (12) That a crab winch and derrick be provided at each of the two landing places to replace the primitive, dilapidated, and dangerous appliances at present in use for loading and discharging cargo and mails at Norfolk


(13) That, before any money is expended in the direction of providing improved shipping facilities involving heavy expenditure on reclamation, breakwater, or other large works at Norfolk Island, an experienced· engineer be commissioned to investigate and report upon the best and n1ost economical means of improving those at present


(14) · That a strongly-built, fast sea-going steam Government launch or cutter be provided for the New Hebrides inter-island service, to be used as an adjunct to the oversea mail steam-ship service, for the more rapid distribution and collection of mail matter among settlers at outlying stations, and when not so engaged to be available for other purposes, such as conveyance to hospitals of patients needing urgent medical or surgical treatment, or of visiting medical officers from island to island, and for other e1nergencies when necessary; such launch to be fully decked, and fitted with accommodation for four passengers in addition to crew, and provided with a well-stocked medicine chest, stretcher, &c. .

(15) That the import duty on New Hebrides grown maize be remitted.



As an alternative for meeting the needs of settlers on Lord Howe and Norfolk Islands for refrigerated space, and the desirability of popularizing those islands as tourist and health resorts, your Commissioners recommend for consideration the exclusion of both islands from the New Hebrides mail service, and their inclusion in· the service to the Fiji Islands.

The adoption of this alternative would give a faster and more up-to-date service to Lord Howe and Norfolk Islands, insuring rapid delivery of consignments of perishable produce, and affording ample passenger accommodation for the requirements of tourist traffic. It would not affect to any appreciable extent the present Fiji service time-table, only an unimportant deviation being necessary.

The service to the New Hebrides would then be direct, and the time occupied in the passage correspondingly shortened by the omission of Lord Howe and Norfolk Islands from the service. Their inclusion in theN ew Hebrides mail route necessitates a considerable detour for the steamers engaged.




In bringing their Report to a close, your Commissioners desire to record their appreciation of the friendly co-operation everywhere extended to them during their tour in connexion with the mission intrusted to them. The courtesy, consideration, and readiness to furnish statistical and other useful information displayed by Mr. Merton

King, British Resident Com.missioner of the New Hebrides, is gratefully acknowledged. Your Commissioners are also much indebted to Mr. M. V. lVIurphy, Administrator of Norfolk Island, for the great pains he took in obtaining at their request sworn affidavits from leading residents of the island relating to the Commission's inquiries, during the interval while the steamer was engaged in the New Hebrides Group. Had this not been

done, their evidence could not have been obtained in the short period of the steamer's call at Norfolk Island. Your Commissioners also desire to express their indebtedness to Mr. G. Kirby, of Lord Howe Island, for information supplied.

To Captain D. J. vVilliams, of the s.s. Makambo , special thanks are due for having facilitated the work of your Commissioners in every possible way. To his officers, also, they are indebted for uniform courtesy and practical assistance given when sought. To the witnesses examined, whose replies to the questions put to them were

promptly and unreservedly given, your Commissioners' thanks are also accorded. Works of reference to which your Commissioners are indebted for much useful information, some of which is embodied in the Report under " History and Description," include-

New Hebrides Gazette. A Year in the New Hebrides, by F. A. Campbell. The Gospel in Futuna, by Dr. Wm. Gunn. the Martyr's Isle, by Rev. A. Robertson.

Two Years with the Natives of the Western Pacific, by Dr. Felix Speiser. France and England in the New Hebrides, by E. Jacomb. The Melanesians: Studies in their Anthropology and .Folk Lore, by Rev. R. H. Codrington, D.D.

Report on Norfolk Island, by Atlee Hunt, C.l\1.G. Report of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Condition and Welfare of the Residents of Howe Island, 1912 (New South Wales

Parliamentary Paper, No. 44599*, 352 (a), 1912).

The services of Mr. H. Farrands, Secretary to the Commission, deserve special mention. It is the custo1nary practice for Royal Commissions to be provided with the assistance of a stenographer and a typist, in addition to a secretary. Your Commissioners, however, were not so provided, and Mr. Farrands combined the duties of all three offices,

often under circumstances of great difficulty, owing to the pitching and rolling of the small vessel in the heavy seas which prevailed more or less throughout the voyage. His cheerful readiness to assist your Commissioners at all tin1es of the day or night was highly appreciated, and his work was in every way thoroughly satisfa ctory.

In the exceptional circumstances under which the Commission had to conduct its inquiries, Mr. Farrands' services are, in the opinion of your Commissioners, entitled to extra pecuniary remuneration.

Witness our hands and seals this sixteenth day of July, 1915.



H. FARRANDS, Secretary, Parliament House, Melbourne.

Transmitted to the Prime Minister.

15th July, 1915 .

F. W. BAMFORD, Chairman, vV. E. JOHNSON.



. !.'rinted and Publish ed for the of th e of A t; TR.\LlA b1· ALUF:RT J. :v1t.;LLETT,

Governmen t P rinter for th e State of V1ctoria.. '

69 7






( Presented by Command; ordered to be printed, 2nd September, 1915.

[Cost ol Paper.-Preparation, not gl ven ; 950 copies ; approximate cost of printing and publishing, £50.]

Printed and Pubii,.hed for the GovER. MENT of the WEALTH of A USTRALIA b y A L BERT J. 1 ULLETT,

Government Printer for the State of Victoria.

Ho. 213.-F.I0760.



A. List of witnesses examined 3

B. Population of New Hebrides 4

C. Non-provision of accommodation on s.s.l nduna for passengers from Norfolk Island-Correspondence regarding 4 D. Decrease of population of Christianized islands of New Hebrides-Correspondence between Captain Rason, R.N., and New Hebrides Presbyterian Synod respecting . . 5

E. Lands surveyed by Mr. Surveyor Hawkins 8

F. Letter from Island Inspector, Messrs. Burns, Philp, and Company, forwarding particulars regarding trade agreements, advances to settlers, settlen;J.ent lands, &c. 8

G. Log of s.s. Makambo 12

H. Export . from New Hebrides during 1914-Statement showing 16

I. Statement furnished to Postmaster-General by Mr. G. Kerr, New Hebrides; regarding mail service 16 J. Failure of captain of s.s. Makambo to take delivery of produce from Mr. E. Sarginson, Hebrides-Correspondence respecting 17

K. New Hebrides Settlement Leases-Statement furnished by Messrs. Burns, Philp, and Company . . 17 L. Trading results of August-September and October-November (1914) voyages of s.s. Malcambo-Statement showing 18

M. Letter from Hon. Secretary, New Hebrides British Association, amplifying evidence given before Commission 18

N. Extracts from letter from Mr. D. R.. Barclay, New amplifying evidence given before Commission 19 0. Letter from Mr. D. R. Barclay, New Hebrides, further amplifying evidence given before Commission 20 P. Memorandum by British and French Medical Officers, Vila, New Hebrides, in connexion with public health of Group-Correspondence regarding 21

Q. Land, products, and exports of Norfolk Island-Letter from Administrator of Island re 23

R! Letter from Bishop of Melanesia, Norfolk Island, respecting mail and shipping arrangements 23

S. List of questions submitted in writing to Norfolk Island residents, together with replies thereto 23

T. Maps showing-(1) Southern Islands of New Hebrides Group. (2) Northern Islands of New Hebrides Group. (3) Banks and Torres Groups.

Photographs relating ' to New Hebrides.


Anderson, Wm. Ayton,'W. J. Bain, P. L. Barclay, D. R. Bell, W. L. Bird, L. ' . ..

Bowie, F. G. Bowie, w.·A. Bramwell, J. Cameron, C. Corlette, E. A. C. Crombie, D. Dalrymple, H. W. Ess, A. Etheridge, R. J. Filmer, F. G. Fysh, J .. E. _

Griffiths, D. M. M. Hawkins, H. D. Hawksby, J. G. Hooker, E. Hopcroft, J. B. Jaffray, J. S. Joyce, H. . .

Kerr,' Graham King, Merton Lang, Wm. Mac.kay, Wm. Martin, S. 0. McAfee, E. G. McKenzie, E. Michelson, 0. Milne, P.

Neil, W. Newman, J. F. Oelrich, Paton, Fredk. J. Purdy, G. A. Roche, A. K.

Roche, Louis Roxburgh, Hugh Sandilands, J. Sarginson, E. Stephens, T. C. Thomas, A. S. Ussher, N. J. Vetters, c: .. Watson, Robt., sen. Wells, Samuel Wells, S. E. Whitford, F.

Adams·, T. E. Allen, F. A. Chandler, E. H. Murphy, M. V. Nobbs, C. C. R . Rossitor, C.

Kirby, G. . .

Stevens, C.

Carr, H. S. Lucas, W. H. Nelson, I. ..

Williams, D. J.





Occupation. Place of R esidence.


Planter Planter and trader Planter and trader Planter and trader Assistant Collector of Customs

Planter and traCler Missionary Planter and trader Planter Planter, trader, and shipwright Planter and trader Hospital superintendent Planter and trader Trader

Supercargo Missionary Planter and trader Planter and trader

Surveyor Plantation manager Planter and trader Planter and trader Missionary Planter and trader Planter and trader British Resident Commissioner Planter and trader Missionary Sheep breeder Trader Medical Missionary Missionary

Missionary Planter and trader Planter and trader Accountant Missionary Trader Planter

Planter Planter and trader Medical Missionary

Planter and trader Planter Planter and trader Planter and trader Carpenter, planter, and trader P lanter Planter and trader Planter Planter and trader

Undine Bay, Efate Island Mapuna, Epi I sland Big Bay, Santo Island Sassuli, Malo I sland Vila, Efate Island Hambi, Malekula Island Tangoa I sland ..

Port Lisborn, Santo Island Benue, Malo Island ..

Lanaroa, Pentecost Island Port Stanley, Malekula I sland Vila, Efate Island ..

Nampeco, Santo Island · .. Tongoa . Island . . · ·

Vila, Efate Isla nd Pentecost Island Talamacca, Santo I sland Lenakel, Tanna Island Vila, Efate Island Malo I sland Tangice I sland .. H arum:loperu, Malekula Island Aulua, Malekula I sland .. Lorni Bluff, Aoba Island .. Vila, Efate Island Vila, Efate Island Tisman, Malekula I sland Tereviu, Santo Island Erromanga Island South-west Bay, Malekula Island Hog Harbor, Santo Island Tongoa Island ..

Nguna I sland Epi Island Mai and Tongoa Islands Vanua Lava Island (Banks Group)

Onua, Malekula I sland Dui Dui, Ao ba I sland Undine Bay, Efate I sland Undine Bay, Efate I sland Voambi, Epi Island Wala Island

Bursilo, Epi Isla nd Tasmalune, Santo I sland Hog Harbor, Santo Island Undine Bay, Efate I sland Sassoon Bay, Malekula Island Santo I sland Sanawoa, Malo I sland Venui, Santo Island Pakea I sland (Banks Group)


Fruit merchant .. Fruit merchant .. Manufacturer Administrator .. General exporter Postmaster

. ·1 Schoolmaster . . Postmaster


Norfolk Island Norfolk I sland Norfolk Island Norfolk I sland Norfolk I sland Norfolk Island

LoRD HoWE I sLAND . . ·1 Lord Howe Island . . Lord Howe Island


Island Manager, Burns, Philp & Co. Shipping Agent and merchant Master mariner

Sydney Sydney Sydney Sydney

A. z

.. . ,



Whether a Member of New Hebrides · British

As so cia tion.

Yes Yes No Yes

No No No No Yes

Yes Yes No Yes

No No No Yes

No No Yes No No No Yes Yes

No No No No No

No No No Yes Yes

No No No No No Yes

No Yes Yes Yes

No No No Yes

No Yea







Group. Island .

Europeans. I Total Natives. Total.

Remarks .


Britisht Frencht peans. --- --- ---

Southern .. Fut una .. .. 00 . . *238 238 *These figures are the result of

Aneityuin 00 8 .. 8 *37) 387 actual enumeration. The other

Aniwa 0 0 00 00 0 0 *140 140 fig ures are, in respect of natives,

Tanna 0 0 21 2 23 7,000 7,023 but estimates.

Erromanga 0 0 8 .. 8 *800 808

Central .. Efate 0 0 68 350 418 *t2, 750 3,168

Nguna, &c. .. 10 00 10 *1,361 1,371 tinclnde about 1,600 indentured

Tongoa 00 8 3 11 *1,397 1,408 labenrers from other islands. -··

Epi .. . . 34 36 70 3,000 3,070

Paama, &c. 00 7 .. 7 *1, 790 1,797

Northern 00 Ambrym .. 6 33 39 7,700 7,739 tBritish and French include peo ple

Male kula .. 32 40 72 9,000 9,072 of other nationalities who have

Santo and Malo .. 46 57 103 10,000 10,103 "opted" for the respective

Pentecost .. 8 29 37 5,000 5,037 spheres.

Aoba 00 .. 14 6 20 4,000 4,020

Maewo . . 00 00 .. .. 1,000 1,000 Births, British 1908 0 0 12

Banks .. .. Vanna Lava .. 14 6 20 2,000 2,020

" "

1909 .. 6

Gaua ·(Sta. Maria) 1


4 5 2,000 2,005

Deatl;s, "

1910 .. 7

Uri para para 0 0 . . 00 .. 1,000 1,000


1908 00 6

Mota .. 2 00 2

} " " 1909 00 6 Meralay .. 0 0 00 .. " " 1910 .. 7 Valua, &c. 0 0 0 0 .. .. 500 502 Marriages, " 1908 .. 2 Torres .. Hiu 00 .. .. .. 00

" "


Metoma 00 .. .. . .


Tegua .. .. .. 0 0 00 3,501 1908

Loh 00 .. 1 0 0 1

" "


Toga .. .. . . . . ..

" "


--- --- --- Totals .. 0 0 .. §288 566 854 64,555 65,409 §A decrease of 15 in 1909 .




Department of External Affairs, Melbourne, 28t.h April, 1915.

I forward herewith extract from a letter from the Administrator of Norfolk Island, relative to t he non-provision of accommodation on the Induna for passengers from the island, and shall be glad to be furnished with a report on the matter.

Messrs. B urns, Philp, and Company, Sydney, N.S.W.

I have the honour to be,


EXTRACT FROM LETTER RECEIVED FROM THE ADMINISTRATOR, NORFOLK ISLAND, DATED 19TH APRIL, 1915. The supercargo of t he Induna is here with me now, and explains that the Induna is· a full ship, and cannot take any passengers from here. Much indignation is expressed. There are about seventeen passengers from here ; some came down for a tourist run by last boat, and have to get back to their offices. Four young fellows have sold off their belongings, &c., so as to get to Sydney to enlist. People are looking to me ' or redress, but I am powerless. I have already asked for information as to how I st and in regard to t heir contract, &c.


Sydney, 5th May, 1915.

The Secretary, Department of External Affairs, Melbourne. SIR, We have the honour to acknowledge r eceipt of your letter (7368) of 28th April, forwarding .a report from the Administrator, Norfolk I sland, that the lnduna, inward bound to Sydney in April , had to shut out passengers there.

We very greatly regret that this vessel was unable to carry all the passengers, and would explain that the circumstances were unprecedented, and unlikely to occur again. You will remember that, owing to the war, t he service had been reduced to a two-monthly one. ·when the Minister requested us to resume a monthly service, as from the 1st April, we put a proposition before you for a. trial trunk line, .plus an inter-island steamer. In anticipation of Ministerial approval, we had arranged for this se rvice to start from the 1st April, and had the Induna (from tho Gilbert s ) placed iu the New Hebrides, ready to take up the inter-island portion of the service.

As we had not received approval of this proposal when the sailed, on 1st April, we had unexpectedly to adhere to· the monthly through se rvice, and to provide the inward communication we brought the Induna, which had arrived at Vila from the Gilberts, on to Sydney, through Norfolk and Lord Howe islands. Figuring on the normal traffic, we had reason to bslieve that the lnduna would not have more than one or perhaps two saloon passengers from the Gilbert and Ellice islands, but, by an extraordinary chance, she brought up ten passengers from these Groups, and another joining at Vi la made a total of eleven. The captain, who was a stranger to the trade, adhered strictly to the regulations, and refuse d to. accept any passengers at Norfolk Island beyond his certified number; consequently she arrived in Sydney with a total of seventeen .saloon passengers. most unfortunate. that this unexpected rush of passengers should.have coincided with our effort to fill an emergency with the only steamer available, and it is difficult for us to blame the captain for having refused to accept more than hia certificated· number of passengers, although a technical breach of the regulations would h a;ve permitted a number to have been accommodated on settees, &c.



. _ W e Pl!J:Ce the full facts before you, and would refer you to t he correspondence wit h your Department concerning thlS tnal service, for verification of the difficulty we had to meet. We have the honour to be, Sir,

Your obedient servants, BURNS, PHILP, AND COMPANY LIMITED, Per (Sgd.) Walter H. Lucas,

Island Inspector.



Vila, New H ebrides,


21st May, 1903.

. have to ?all your_ attention to a_ certain matter the New H ebrides which I consider requires

Immediate It IS of a very delicate character; It IS a ques twn of the decrease of the population in the islands

longest under mtsswnary endeavours. It is a question which r equires attention in order that an endeavour

should b e m ade to the decrease. I d?'nger there is bringing matter forward of seeJ.Uin g to cast a

shadow on the splendid work of the older miss wnanes who have Chrtsttamzecl the Islands under consicl eratton but I feel s11:re t ha:t t he work of these missionaries has too high a character to be affected by any defect which under stress of tnal they hav:e undergone has escaped their notice. The band, small in number, but strong in faith, had their whole taken up the _fight agai_nst heathenism. As I travelled all over t he Western I slands of the Pacific so me years

ago In H.M.S. Ro!fahst a periOd of years, I have a consid erable knowledge of the state of aff airs, and having

had the opportumty of s_ t udym g and t alkmg Wlth t he a uthor of the celebrated report on the decrease of popul ation in F iji, I have som e knowledge m I have co_me to th: concl usion !hat it is t he despair which t he na ti ve feels at any

to white man, a iCled by th: mtrocluct10n of cheap Iro n and p eace, whtch has so r educed the energy of

the native that he IS givmg way t o sheer despatr, and has lost a ny hope for this world. I believe that all things are made by the Creator to serve him in this world, which it is the duty of us white men more bountifully blessed to ascer tain, and then to assist the native to work and live to be happy in t hat state of life to which it has pleased God to call him. The question of a white missionary to the native labourers in Efate and the possibility of a school for half-caste chil dren are matters which it seems to m e are ripe for consideration, and I have therefore to call your attention to them as I am the mouthpiece of the lay members of the British New Hebrides community. '

I am, Gentlemen, Your obedient Servant, (Sgd.) ERNEST RASON.

British R esidency, Vila, New H ebrides, 14th May, 1903.

ME110RAN DTJM. I have to call t he serious attention of the Synod to t he appalli ng de Jrease of population in the I slands of Aneityum, Erromanga, and Efate-. Nowhere in any one of the other Groups of the Paci fic has such a striking diminution in population occurred as in the above-mentioned islands of t he New Hebrides Group. In other Groups the population has decreased considerably, but not in such a t errible manner. Fiji has lost one-third of its inha bitants. T he Solomon Group, the Ellice and Gilbert Groups, as well as the Samoan Group, have all suffered. The Friendly Islands are almost the onl y Group in

which t he papulation has not dec reased, but t he decrease of population as exhibited in the Islands of Anoityum, Erromanga, and Efate is without parallel. Aneityum, with a population of 5,000 when the missionary efforts commenced, has now a population of 470. Of Erromanga, in Mr. Robertson's book we read in Yemet's story t hat in the former days t he people were not as they are now, few i n number; tho hills, the bays, every headland teemed with people. Of Efato, it was stat ed by

Mr. Turner, in 1848, that when the miss ionary vessel was at anchor off Erakor she was surrounded by canoes containing upwards of 200 natives, and other canoes were comin g off. So numerous and t hreatening were the native s that tho miss ionary vessel weighed and stood out. These natives were from the villages of E rakor and P ango only. In Havannah Harbor, Ca.ptain Erskine , of H .l\II.S. H avannah, estimated the population when he was the t·e in 1851 as 1,200 persons .: to -day there arc perhaps 120 . Mr. Turner, i n his journal, estimates t he whole population in Efate in 1848 a t 12, 000. It is to be obser ved that it is the Christianized islands that show this unparalleled diminution in numbers. The savages of Tan na, a.Jthongh there is a

cert ain decr e<>se, are comparatively stationary, notwithstanding Joss by wars and infanticid e. Tho Islands of Paama, \Valla, Uripiv, Atchin are filled to overflowing, and nei t her Malekula, Oba , Pentecost, and Maiwo show any approach to such a diminution in population. The reason of the fearful havo c amongot t he lives of the natives of these islands mentioned, is, in my opinion, · hiefly due to the want of any i ndncemcnt or nccoss lty for work or thought. There is neither stimulus for brain nor muscle. The

wearin g of c othes m ay have so me influence in the matter. In t he old heathen days before the introduction of iron, spears and other weapons were only made after severo labour, conti nued over a lo:1g per iod of t ime. The labour, t he skill, and t he p :Ltience required to wear clown one of t he stone heads for hatchots, to gr ind pearl-shell for knives or for ornamen ts strengthened both th e muscle and the brain. The fa .. ulty o[ ingin uity was e xcited; an inventor was certain of increasing

power as t he resul t of his prowess, and, bos id0s all this, there was t he necess ity for kee ping constantly on t he al ert, to train the boys to fight, to t hrow th e sp Jar, or shoot with t he bow. The gardens were well looked after and food was pl?nt iful. The introduction of iron removed the nece3si ty of a large amount of labour, and the stoppage of war removed the necessity of keeping strong and fit, and nothing was introduced to supply an incent ive to labour and exertion in place of t ho ince ntive f.hattered

by t he introduction of cheap iron and peace. Unfortunately, wherever a missionary has bee n es ta blished, native wages have generally risen, so tha t the native h as b "en able to supply h ;s wa nts with a minimum of labo ur. T hat recruiting is not the cause of t he decrease is evident, for a' l the islands have sent their sons to be taught ci vilizaLion in Queensland, or have rec ruited to Fiji, Noumea, or even Nica ragua. T he Gilbert and Ellice Group have probably suffered most from recruitment,

being nearer t he smaller States of America. Captain Davies, in 1893, found a Nicaraguan steamer with 600 Gilbert I slan_d recruits on board, more t han the annual recrui tment for the whole of the rew Hebrtdcs to Quee nsland. The sale of gm IS not responsible for this decrease, for gin is sold i n as large quantities in t he heathen islands as in t he t hree islands mentioned, and Aneityum has no t rader who s ·,lls gin . . The decrease of natives is _cau sed by somethi ng in the three

islands only, some environment t o which the natives are not accustomed, which rs contrar y to theu constttut iOn s. Until the introduction of iron a nd t he es tablishment of peace, the ma le natives of Aneityum, Erron1a nga, and E fate had been obliged by force of circumstances to work hard, but now they ha ve no ince ntive to work, and the amo_unt ot instruction they get in school does not excite t hem to any form of energy, a nd they are dymg out fr om sheer mertra . In

the Friendly Islands, where t he men do all the work in the fi elds and carry a ll the burdens, in the Gil bert _Islands, where t.he population has been incited to make roads a nd cons t ruct exce ll ent houses, t here is no decrease of :populatiO n . Something of t he same kind may be noticed at Nguna, Pele, and Ma u. I .call yo u to con sider some means cannot be devised for inducing, or even, if necessary, compelling, t he mal e natives to work Ill the tslands where t he introduction of iron and peace has remo ve d t he former incentives for work.


Stamped with the seal of H.B.M. Resident Deputy Commissioner .

To H. B. M. R esident Deputy-Co mmissioner, Captain R ason, R.N. SIR,


Aneityum, New Hebrides, 26th June, 1903 .

We b eg to acknowledge the receipt of your communications, dated 14th and 21 st ult., on t he snbject of the decrea.s,e of the native population of the Christianized islands of E fate, Erromanga, and Aneityum, and the causes and your proposed remedy for the same. As to the decrease of the populatio n on these th"ee islands, it is aileged t hat it is without parallel, and that the

population of Aneityum--5,000 _when t h e missionn,ry efforts we:·e commenced- is now l'educed to 470. The implication is that the de of the popnl ation of Aneityum only began with the missionary efforts in that island. But this is not the case. It was estimated by t he late Rev. Dr. I nglis t hat at one time the population of Aneityum had been 10,000 or 12,000. It is known that in 1837-38 before missional'y eff orts were begun at all, an epidemic occ urred in Aneityum, sweeping off 4,000 of its then large population. By the first census taken by the missionaries, the population of Aneityum was not 5,000 but 3,500. This population remained stationary until some years after. About 1860, an epidemic of measles, introduced by a trading vessel int o Tanna, was carried from t hat island into Aneityum and E rromanga.

When the missio naries of Efate began to visit t h e interior, they came upon large numbers of village sites whose population had bec ome extinct before the introduction oi Christianity, and upon other villages whose population had been reduced to a few individuals. T hus t he causes of decraase, whatever they were, were not due, as you seem to imply, to the introduction through the missionaries of peace and iron tools, causing inertia among the p eople.

That the same state of things as in Efate has been found to exist in the other islands of the group generally is the unanimous testimony of the missio naries, and it is also t he unanimous t es timony of t he missio naries J;hat the decrease going on in the islands since t he introduction of Christianity is greater among the heathen than the Christian natives. The indications are that at one time the population of Santo-{)ur largest island-was very great ; it is now reduced to from 7,000 to 10,000.

The Rev. R. M. Fraser, missionary on Epi, thinks t hat a t one time the population of Epi was 50,000; it is now estimat ed at 7,000. . .

On IV' ala the population, notwithstanding fr equent accessions from the mainland of Malekula, is constantly decreasing. At Uripiv, where the p eople work harder than perhaps in other places in the group, in fourteen years the population has decreased by nearly one-third. It is as yet impossible to get r eliable sta.tistics as to many places in the New H ebrides, but whereve; such can be obtained they point to the conclusion that the d ecr ease is general and had begun before the introduction of Christianity,

I n the fertile island of Tanna, forty years ago, there was a dense population. It is now enormously reduced. Fully twenty years ago t he R ev. W. Watt, missionary at Kwamera, Tanna, t oo k a census of some villages near his station- some under the influence of Christianity and some entirely heathen. Three years later he again took a census of the same places and found that the death-rate among the heathen was at least three times greater than among the Christians. It cannot

be regarded a.s correct "that the savages of Tanna. are comparatively stationary" ; all that can be rightly said is that Tanna had to begin with a larger and denser population tha n Aneityum, E rromanga, or Efate, and that though the decrease has been proportionately as great in it as in them, it still maintains, as compared with them, its numerical superiority. It would not be surprising if the decrease on Aneityum had been proportionat ely greater than on Tanna, bec ause of the common practice on Aneityum in heathen days of the strangulation of widows, which obtained only to a limited extent on Tanna.

It may be added t hat Erakor and Pan go , the two first villages christianized on Efat e, ar e fairly holding their own as to population, whereas the death-rate has been much higher among the inland p eople who held out longest against Christianity. -Also, it should be noted t hat whatever may be thought of Captain Erskine's estimate of the population of Havannah Harbor in 1851, your estimate of its present population is not corr ect, being very much under the mark.

It is believed that the decrease· of population in Santo has been greater proportionally than in Aneityum, Erromanga, or Efate. It is certainly known that the decrease of population in Futtrna from 1870 till now-that is 970 to 300-has been at teast as great proportionally as in these three islands during the same time.

It does not appear therefore that the allegation that the decrease of the population of Aneityum, Erromanga, and Efate is "without parallel," or that it is these christianized islands that show "unparalleled diminution," is in ac'cordance with fact s. There is every reason to believe on the co ntrary that, generally speaking, "wit.hout entering upon a comparison between tbe decrease in the New H ebrides and that in other groups," the decrease has been proportiona-lly great all over the New H ebrides. T he facility of obtaining correct statistics in these three christianized islands, and the difficulty of obtaining statistics for the other and heathen islands, have caused to be marked more distinctly the decrease in the former while coneealing the equally great, or in some cases probably greater, decrease in t he latter.

The Causes of the Decrease.- In accordance with what is set forth above, we cannot agree with yo u in the statement that the decrease of population in Aneityum, Erromanga, and Efate "is evidently caused by something existing in these three islands since the introduction of Christianity into t hem." The decrease, on the contrary, as has been shown, was in operation before the introduction of Christianity, and, being general all over the islands, the causes must also be in general common to all the islands. The unanimous t estimony of all the missionaries is, that among these causes must be numbered

the introductio n of epidemics and venereal diseases, and , since it began, "the Kanaka Labour Traffic." The desolating epidemic already r eferred to of 1837-38 swept off several thousands of the population of Aneityum. Another epidemic a few years later, about 1842, swept off several thousands more. Then came the epidemic of measles already ment ioned, in 1860., which swept off about one-t hird of the population of Aneityum, Tanna, and Erromanga. Since

then there has been in A'1eity um successive minor epidemics of whooping cough, dysentery, and influenza. Similar epidemics have been r epeatedly introduced into Efate and other islands of the group. Venereal diseases were introduced, especially into Aneityum, Erromanga, and Efate, in the early days of the sandalwood traders and whalers, and wronght grea.t havo c among t he people, and have been repeatedly since introduced into the islands by returned labourers from Queensland, Fiji, and New Caledonia. These diseases not only swept off large numbers of the people, but permanently weakened and injured the constitutions of those who remained. It is the unanimous testimony of the missionaries that "the Kanaka Labour Traffic," or r ecruiting-whether English, French, or German- has largely promoted the decreas e of the population of the New Hebrides. It is the draining away of the life- blood of a people already weak and decreasing. It is so fatal to t he race that, in all probability, if the British Government were established in the New H ebrides as in Fiji, it would not be allowed to continue for a moment.

As to the cause of the decrease in Futuna, already referred to, t here can be no question that it is due almost entirely to the Kanaka Labour Traffic directly or indirect ly. It happens that we have the t estimony of a thoroughly competent observer well acquainted with the fact s-Dr. Gunn-medical miss ionary in charge of the islands since 1883. Of a number who went before that to Fiji, t en were killed in war there, and very few r eturned.

Consumption has been introduced into t he islands by returned labourers, and has carried off scores of the people, esp ecially the heathen. In 1893, the Queensland labour vessel Empreza landed at Futuna a woman and child, the latter suffering from dysentery, which disease had been unknown ther e for many years. In three months 133 of the population died, that is nearly one-third, and two of the missionary's children . The same vessel introduced t he diseases into Erromanga and Efate ; in Erromanga it carried off 46 of the people, though its ravages were greatly lessened by t he quarantine r egulations enforced by .,.the missionary. In Efate a number of the people died, and Mrs. Mackenzie, the wife of one of the missionarie8,



t 'b


causes of general could be m entioned, as for inst ance-the traffic in intoxicating drink and inter­

rl a wars. . But has been sa1d to show that the Synod cannot adopt the views which yo u put forth, to the eff ect that the natives of Anrut,Yu_m,. Erromanga, and Efate a_re. out bec a use they do n ot work owing to the introduction among them. or the work of the m1sS10nanes of peace with co nfidenc3 and safety to life and property

excelled many c1v1hzed country, instel_ld o_f constant t error, war, and bloodshed; and the European knives and hatchet s

of sharpened shel!s and stones , spht preces of bam boo and splinter ed bones. Missionaries and traders lon g resident

t e m old heathen days wars and terror of their enemies prevented the natives for weeks at a time

romp workmg m their plantations. Much time was spent in idle feast ings, the burden of the work being t hrown upon the

The ass?mption is mistaken th?-t the natives of Aneityum, Erromanga, and Efate, as well as the other natives of . the New do not work sufficiently to keep in They are to do so in order to procure

m eans of They have the annual clearin g, fencing. planting, and weedmg of their plantations, rearing of

pigs and poultry, buildmg of houses and canoes, and the making of copra . " To. pr?,pose on ground ?f this assumption to consider whether m eans could not be devised fo r ind ucing or compelh"!fl the of Aneityum, Erromanga, and Efate, to work, that they may nor die from " sheer inertia " is therefor.e hke a founded on a wTOng diagnosis. The Synod is not sure what precisely is meant by" if necessary compelling the ma!e natives to :work." Docs t_his m ean to work against t heir own will for Europeans ? If so, the missiona-ries not only this, but oppose It to the ytmost. yYhy sho uld men living in their own country, cultivating

own land, and,providmg for t hemselves and farmhes by their own labour, peaceably, honestly, and honorably in the

sight of all men, be 'compell ed to work" ? ·

. A.s to raising :wages which you the Synod knows of no case in which this was due to the action of

the misSiona_nes. Suc}:l raising of.wages ha_s always been due to the keen d em and for nat ive labour among the traders t hem· selves of which many m stances might be cited. Naturally a trained Christian is worth more than a rude savage Surely you do not mean that a missionary is to blame for that 1 ·

is the _un.ani_mous testimor1y of the missionar!es t hat the Christian natives of the islands, and especiaily of Aneit yum,

the earliest do fai: more work thn,n heathen ancestors ever did. According to t he t estimony of a white

on Aneityum, who has lived over 30 years m the Pa cific and has seen the nat ives of many other islands work, no

natives work so well as the inhabitants of An oitvum. It has been the consist ent aim of t hn mi;sionaries to inculcate habits of industry among the natives. W e _claim tha t the missionaries, by !ntroclucing. among the nat ives, ar e using the means of checkii;g or preventing the decrease of the populatwn by bam shmg war and the heathen customs of camribahsm strangulation of widows, infanticide, &c. '

The Synod to assure you of th• ,ir entire sympathy with you in your efforts to preserve and elevate the native races, and of our readmess to give you every a•sistance in our power.

J have the honour to be, Sir,

Your most " obedient Servant,

On behalf of t he New Hebrides Presbyterian Mission Synod,


Convener of Public Questions Committee.

British Residency, Vila, New Ii.ebrides, 1st July, 1903.

I have to thank the Synod for its reply to my communication. I regret to find that four words, "in t he other islands," left out after the word "Decrease " in· the covering letter, turned the Synod's reply rather into a defence of the missionaries of the I slands of Aneityum, Erromanga, and Efate, t han into a d iscussion of t h e cause of the decrease of the • native p opulation and the best method of stopping it. The islands mentioned were choeen because ther e appeared to be more information about these islands t han about any others. . The discussion, although not exactly in t he direction in which I had hoped, and which it is only just to admit through my mistake, has no doubt done go od it will place the position of the islands well before the public; but I hope that at the next Synod, the question of the decrease of na tives may be again considered. In the reply of the Synod there seems to be some diffi culty about what I mean by wages being raised in the vicinity of missionary st ations. The wages undoubtedly are raised, sometimes by the action of the settlers and traders, and sometimes on the demand of the n atives. This latter action is somet imes attributed to the advice of the missionary. This I believe to be erroneous. As t o what I mean by " compel," it is u sed in t he same sense as in Luke 15, 23v.,

but only for the benefit of the n atives themselves. What I mean by "work," is so mething which is done reguhrly, which is done in company with others, which is interesting, something which calls forth energy, self-reli ance, and contrivance, punctuality and zeal, m akes men industrious, vigorous, and h ealthy. I quite r ealize what a delicate question I was raising,

but I feel that, as a magistrate, I am partially en t rusted wit h the material welfare of th e natives, and I sh ould be n eglecting my clear duty did I not make some attempt to stem the decrease of the n atives, and I a m aware tha t the only hope of success is that I should receive the united assistance of th e missionaries. Personally, I believe t hat t he missionaries mentioned did all that was humauly possible in the diffi cult position in which they were placed. The state of freedom, almost amounting to a n archy, in which the heathen n ative communities exist, renders it more difficult to christ ianize the natives of the New Hebrides than those of any other group in the Pacific. In Fiji, large numbers of na tives embraced christianity under the leadership of their chief. The natives of the Friendly I slarrds acted in the same manner. In the Gilbert I slands, where there are councils of elders, t h e natives were convert ed almost island by island, but in the New Hebrides the natives have to be converted almost man by man, entailing great trouble and great care, and the mission aries' time was fully occupied. Now, however, t hat very nearly every island in the Presbyterian sphere has at least one, and in some islands six, missionaries, the sphere of action of each missionary is not so large as formerly, so I sent my communication, as I believe the time has come when more attention can be p aid to the improvement of the material condit ion of the natives

than was possible in the earlier days when missionaries were few and had large districts to attend to, and the heathen opposition was more violent. In conclusion, I would r emark that, although some were h_ere before the missionaries, yet it is the missionary influence which enables the present sett.Ier and trad er .to live and 111 Were It not for

the effects of the missionary influence, the islands could only be rendered ha bitable for whites by war, rnvolvmg the death of a large number of natives and some troops.

To Dr. Mackenzie, Vila., New Hebrides.


R esident Deputy Commissioner




Island. Area of Island. British Claimed. Area Utilized. Remarks.

Santo 1,397 square miles 80,000 acres 5,000 acres About 33,500 acres of this land has been surveyed

894,080 acres by me, mostly on the south coast. Roughly,

about 900 acres of this surveyed lamd is utilized. Nearly all fir st class land.

Malo 69 square miles 5,000


2,000 "

Nearly 4,000 acres surveyed by me on the north

44, 160 acres coast, all of which is first class land.

A ore 22 square miles 2,000


12 Surveyed by me on the south coast. All good land.

Tutuba 4,000 acres 1,600




About 350 acres surveyed. Good land throughout island.

Aoba 25,000


200 Nearly 4,000 acres surveyed. First class coconut


Vanua L ava, - } I have surveyed 3,400 acres of British claimed land on this island. Banks I slands MaJekula Have surveyed about 3,400 acres British claimed land on this island.



H. Farrands, Esq., Secret ary, Royal Commission 0'1 New Hebrides, Department of External Affairs, Melbourne. SIR,

Sydney, 27th May, 1915.

I regret extremely that the important prior engagement to attend a statutory meeting necessitated the curtailment of my examination before the Commission, and had hoped that they would have availed themselves of my offer to return ag:tin lat er in the day, as several of the points upon which the chairman desired information from us had only been briefly referred to.

I have to repeat the apologies tendered t o the Commission and thank them, not only for excusing me from further attendance, but. also for the that they would be glad to have any further information we might wish to place before them . I n ow enclose copy of the verbatim report of the evidence taken by our clerk, and should fe el obliged if you will be good en ough to compare it with your notes. It is an exact typed transcript of the shorthand notes, with my of typist' s errors in ink. In fulfilment of the promises made to the chairman, I enclose copies of the following contracts

made with the New Hebrides ' residents, which were referred to in evidence : -. (a) Contract with K err Brothers and Co. (b) Con tract with Zeitler and H agen. (c) Contract with Presbyterian Mission.

To the special questions asked by the Commission, we would advise the total amount of advances to the-New Hebrides, as shown by our May returns, is £7,327, covering about sixty accounts; the largest single amount being £1,552 - a special advance to a Brit ish resident, to enable him to carry on the trading business until his plantation came into bearingd

Regarding the complaint that, in consequence of a dispute between a trader and the captain, the former had been left without a call for six months, a search of our correspondence does not reveal any such incident, and we feel confident it never occurred. We h ave to confirm the information given that the total extra cost of the Marsina, as compared with the lliakambo

is, approximat ely, £20 per day. -

There is no record of our having made any extra charge for special extra calls south of Vila to pick up passengers for Sydney, although our Assist ant I sland Manager has a vague recollection of an amount of £5 being ac cepted some years ago for a special call at Aneityum. Under the old through service, steamers work the Southern Islands and return to Vila, then working north, and returning from Vila to Sydney. Passengers from the south h ad to remain in Vila whilst the

st eamer was north, or pay t heir p::tssages round the Group, and it is possible that this is the disability referred to. Under the new arrangement, trunk line plus inter-island service, this is obviat ed, as southern passengers would connect at Vila with the· trunk steamer inwards and outwards without any delay. ' Our file s are being searched for any correspondence having any reference to a complaint from K err Brothers that

certain cargo was discharge d at a place miles away from their station. It must have been more than four years ago, as we have searched that far back without success. We will advise you later if we can t race it. The approximate area of land owned by Messn: Burns, Philp, & Co. Ltd. and devoted t o British settlement would appear, from the dee ds , to be 100,000 acres. We have only retained the ownership of 13 acres at Vila, upon which our bu'lding stands, and 20 acres on the island of Araki, South Santo. This latte : area is leased to a British settler under

conditions similar t o th03e of the se ttlement lands. As the Co mmission referre:l t J se t t'ement lands, we shall feel grateful if you will be good enough to place before them the foll owi ng brief outline of our connection with it:- .

In 1901, after arranging the mail contra.ct, our chairman to the Commonwealth areas of freehold land in the H eb:r,;ides, estimated to approximate 100,000 acres, to provide holdings for Australian settlers and thus stren ()'then the British interest s. The offer wa3 accepted and embodied in the final draft of the ·mail contract, but was nevertheless a vo:untary gift.


.As there were difficulties in the way of direct Government control of the scheme, we further agreed to, without charge, and manage the movement, and also give free pa.gsages to intending settlers and their families. This was carried

out faithfully, about 60 persons being given free passages to inspect these lands, resulting in about twenty families settling. Each of the men declared that they were possessed of at least £250 to develop their leases of 500 acres each although it was found that many of them were without funds, and were dependent upon us for advances to provide for themselves

until their crops were ready for market. the break of t.he drought it that, immigration flowing into Australia and seasons good

the. attractiOn of. the Hebrides would be. m fact, practically the only later applicants for lands were Hebrides residents :vho, With local knowledge, desired to piCk the eyes out of the lands. With the advent of the Condominium and the estab'Is.hment of a Joint Court to deal with land it became necessary to arrange for surveys of these lands and before. the Court, not only for those holdmg lands from us, but for all British settlers who might otherwise

be disadvantaged owmg to the French organization for establishing French claims . . . The Coml?onwealth, ':ith the assistance of the High Commissioner, established three survey parties and supported a and hiS at VIla.. We, as our contribution, agreed to act as agents for the Commonwealth in the matter of

financmg. This work we also undertook without charge, and have each year advanced without interest

sums runnmg mto thousands of. pounds, being refunded at of about six months at the convenience of the Government. At the present moment there 1s about £3,000 outstanding in this direction.

I have the honour to be Sir,

Your obedient servant,


Island Inspector,




Memorandum of Agreement made and entered into this twenty-third day of June in the year One thousand nine hundred and nine Between Burns, Philp, and Company Limited, _ of Sydney, in the State of New South Wales, Owners and Merchants, of the one part, and Messrs Kerr Bros. and Company, of Carrington-street, Sydney, in the State aforesaid, Merchants, of other part. Whereas it has been mutu<:tlly agreed by and between the above parties that Burns, Philp,

& Company Limited shall purchase and Messrs. Kerr Brothers & Company shall sell on the terms and conditions hereafter mentioned the whole of the latter's collection and output of copra in the New Hebrides Group of I slands for a period of two years from the first day of July, in the year One thousand nine hundred and nine, to the thirtieth day of June, in the year One thousand nine hundred and eleven, subject however to the cancellation of this agreement by a three month's notice in writing from either party.

The copra is to be of the grade known as New Hebrides mixed copra as uniform as possible to Fifty per cent. of sun-dried and Fifty per cent. of smoke-dried copra from mature coconuts well dried and cured. The copra is to be tendered and received in free on board the said Burns, Philp, & Company's steamers at Port Vila or such other safe port in the New Hebrides as may be found mutually convenient, in either case delivery to be made as one shipment and once only in each month.

The copra is to become the property of Burns, Philp, & Company Limited immediately it is shipped aboard the steamer, and payment is to be made in Sydney immediately the steamer completes discharging at the price realized for it in Sydney, less Thirty-five shillings (35s.) per ton if the copra has been shipped at Port Vila, or Forty shillings (40s.) per ton if the copra been shipped elsewhere in the New Hebrides, payment to be made on weights shipped at the island port

without deduction· for shrinkage en route to Sydney, weights to be computed in accordance with E nglish r:ustom a nd not in French, and that the signature of the r eceiving supercargo at port of shipment at the I slands shall be fin al. It will be usual for the said Burns, Philp, & Company Limited to sell the copra in Sydney" to arrive" so as to save any landing or storage charges, and they will in all cases have full power to sell any copra expected either be"ore or after arrival of the vessel at

Norfolk Island, from which place quantities on board will be telegraphed, and they will to the best of their ability secure best prices, Me-3srs. Kerr Bros. & Company accepting in all cases the prices secured by the said Burns, Philp, & Company Limited in whatever way they may sell as they may d eem most advantageous, less the amount named for freight, insurance, shrinkage, a nd commission. In the event of the said Burns, Philp, & Company Limited not selling in Sydney but shipping

to London, interim payment to the said Messrs. Kerr Brothers & Co mpany shall be made upon the basis of the best price offerei or the copra in the Sydney m arket on arrival, final adjustment being m ade on receipt of proceeds and account sales from London on the basis of a joint venture; be it profit or loss, after d educting all contingent and out of pocket expenses, charges, commissio ns, &c. ·

Insurance is at the risk of the said Burns, Philp, & Company Limited from the time of the delivery of the copra aboard their steamer, and in the event of the loss of such stea'llm' and failure of tlie copra to r each Sydney from any other cause, it shall be incumbent upon the said Burns, Philp, & Company Limited to m ake p ayment to the said K err Brothers & Company for the copra on the basis of the Sydney value at the due date of the steamer's arrival at Sydney, less the aforesaid freight and realization deduction.

The quantity o f copra provided for in this agreement is to be the whole collection and output of JJfessrs. K err Brothers and Company in th : N ew H ebrides, estimated at a bout One hundred ( 100) tons p er month, with the exception of the off season months of January, F ebruary, and March, when lesser quantities will be offering . Should Messrs. Kerr & Co mpany at any time bring their own vessel or vessels to Sydney for overhaul, such copra as she may carry as cargo will be excepted from this agreement. . . . .

This aareement is conditional upon the present Ma1l Steam ServiCe Contract between the said Burns, Philp, & Company Limited and the Commonwealth Government continuing in force undisturbed, and provided furthermore t hat in the event of the said Burns, Philp, & Company Limited withdrawing their steamers from any cause from the New Hebrides trade or re-organizing their ste<:tmer in such a way as to prevent them carrying out this agreement, _the sam e shall be cancelled without any claim being made by the said Messrs . Brothers. & Company for 111 r espect th_ereto_.

Neither shall any claim attach against the said Burns, Philp, & Company Limited should any d elay m sh1pm ent be caused through insufficient tonnage or cessation of running of their steamers be caused by the act of God, !\ing's r evolutions, riots, strikes, lo ck-outs, labour disturbances,_ or stoppage of from wha t ever ca use, fire, colh& "lon, stranding, sinking of ship, delay occasioned by pilots, stress of weather, perils of sea, river or navi15ation, or the

by any Government or public authority of the laws or regulations r elatmg to Customs, admimstratwn of harbors, quarantme, or public health in any State. . . .

_ Should any dispute arise under this agreement be submitted to arbitrat i;m under the Chamber of Commerce at Sydney, and any decision arrived at under such arbitratwn to be fin al. . .

In Witness whereof the said parties to these presents have her eunto affixed their s1gnatures the d a,y and year first before written. -

Signed by the said Burns, Philp, Limited in the presence of-(Sgd.) F. WALLIN. And by the said K err Brothers

in the presence of-(Sgd.) F. "WALLIN.

& Company1


& Company}




For KERR BROS. & CO., G. H. s. KERR.



; '

Messrs. Zeitler and Hagen,




No_ umea, New Caledonia.


1st September, 1913.

Confirming the conversation with your Mr. H agen with reference to our letter of the 30th May last in regard to the purchase of your copra shipments from the New Hebrides, we beg to place on record the agreement arrived at. . Messrs. Zeitler and Hagen agree to sell and Me ssrs. Burm, Philp, and Company Ltd. agree to buy the whole of Messrs. Ze1tler and Hagen's output of copra in the New Hebrides until further determined. Such determination being suoject to three (3) months' notice in writing being given by either side.

Quality of the copra to be what is known in the trade tJ,s fair merchantable New Hebrides mixed cured copra. , Delivery to be given and taken in bulk at steamers' slings at P aama and Epi, as also ex schooner Ringdove or other vessel bei..'1g her substitute as you may employ in the Group, such direct transhipments ex your vessel to be made at a place as m :::ty be mutually arranged the trip previously between your master and the supercargo of our New H ebrides steamer.

The shipments from your shore stations at P aam a and Epi to be made from your punts or other craft as may be available to you alongside our steamer at her usual anchorage off your stB,tions. The copra to become the property of Burns, Philp, and Co. Ltd. immediat ely (but not before) it is shipped aboard the steamer.

English weights (ton of 2,240 lbs.) to be taken, and the supercargo's signature to be final. . P ayment to be made to your Sydney agent, Mr. Justus Scharff, immediat ely the steamer completes discharging h ere on the basis of 5 per cent. (5%) off the price realized for it in Sydney after deducting 25s. (twenty-five shillings) per ton for freight.

I t will be permissible for Burns, Philp, and Co. Ltd. to exercise their discretion in selling the copra" to arrive," and the prices so realized for it in Sydney shall be the basis upon which to compute payment. In the event of Burns, Philp, and Co. Ltd. not selling in Sydney, but elect to dispose of the copra in Great Britain or the Continent of Europe or elsewhere, then payment is to be m ade on the basis of the best offer received for the copra in the Sydney market. · ·

Where unsold "to arrive" offers are to be obtained by Burns, Philp, and Co. Ltd. from the general Sydney buyers on the day of arrival or within 48 hours after, and, if declined, the best offer received to form the basis upon which to compute payment. In the event of no offer being obtainable in Sydney for New Hebrides mixed cured copra in bulk withm 48 hours after the arrival in Sydney of the steamer carrying same, then the price which Messrs. Burns, Philp, and Co. Ltd. shall pay for Messrs. Zeitler and H agen's copra is to be computed on the basis of the then ascertained Sydney market price for fair merchs,ntable South Sea sun-dried copra in bags, after deducting 15s. (Fifteen shillings) per ton for the difference in grade

and bags. · Any dispute under this agreement to be settled in Sydney by an arbitrator appointed by the Sydney agent of Messrs. Zeitler and H agen and the general manB,ger of Messrs. Burns, Philp, and Co. Ltd.; and the decision of such arbitrator shall be final and binding on both p arties. · .

We inclose h erewith duplicate of this letter of agreement to which we would ask you to please subscribe your signature in confirmation, and return to us. -

Yours faithfully,



(" 1907/1909" Contract.) Memorandum of Contract made and entered into at Sydney, in the State of New South Wales, this twenty-second day of October, in the year of our Lord One thousand nine hundred and seven, between Burns, Philp, and Company Limited, hereinafter termed" The Company," of the one part, an d Mr. John Cameron, Secretary to the New Hebrides Mission Maritime Service Board, acting for and on behalf of the New Hebrides Presbyterian Mission, hereinafter termed "The Mission," of the other p::trt, both of Sydney, afor esaid, relative to the Company supplying the Mission with a st·eam-ship service to and from Sydney, and among the I slands of the Ne-w' Hebrides Group, on the following t erms and conditions:-

1. The Company agree to provide a steam-ship service, with or without transhipment, of not less than six voyages per annum, at intervals of not more than two months, affording communication with all the Mission Stations in the New Hebrides. 2. The Company agree that the steamer shall call at every Head Mission Station on the outward and homeward journey, landing or receiving mails, passengers, and cargo, and directly on completion will proceed on her voyage. But should it meet with the requirements of any missionary, and with his approval, the vessel may call only on the outward or homeward journey, remaining not less than three hours from time of anchorage for transaction of business. A missionary may substitute for one of the calls at his head station a call at an outstation, where he may be in residence, by notifying the captain on the previous voyage ; in such case the steamer to allow three hours as above. Should it be inconvenient for the steamer to call twice at N ogugu, the most northern Mission Station, then eight hours of daylight to be allowed between arrival and departure of steamer.

3. The Company agree that if at any time inclement weather should, in the opinion of the master of the steamer, render it unsafe to land at any station or stations, he shall proceed to the next nearest station or anchorage affording better shelter, and shall not be bound to return to any station or stations passed in such manner. And in such event passengers shall be carried on at the steamer's expense, but shall have the option of landing at any other point at which the steamer

calls, and of remaining there at their own expense until the next call of the steamer. But in cases where, through stress of weather, it shall have become necessary for the st eamer to pass any one or more places, the Company agree to call on the r eturn voyage. 4. The Company agree that the steamer shall anchor as near as she safely can to all stations called at, and that the steamer shall safely land and embark. all cargo, passengers, and mails with her own boats and her own crew. The Company further agree that when missionaries and their wives are travelling as passengers through the Group, every facility will be afforded them of visiting the several Mission Stations, provided that they return in the ship's boat that last leaves the shore, and that no detention be caused to the steamer.

5. The Company agree that the steamer shall do no work in port on the Lord's Day, and that no ca;rgo shall be received or discharged on that day, excepting in cases where delay would endanger the safety of the ship, or at Vila when unavoidable, or when perishable cargo or live stock has to be landed or r eceived to avoid loss or unnecessary And the Company further agree not to sell or supply any natives with any spirituous liquors or intoxicating drinks, and to place evr:ry restriction upon the crews of their vessels, preventing them from infringing this rule.

6. Seven clear days to be allowed in Sydney between the arrival and departure of the


7. To facilitate the yearly Synod meeting, the Company agree to make suitable arrangements for the conveyance of all the Presbyterian Missionaries to and from Aneityum or other station named upon receiving six notice in writing from the Secretary of the Board of the approximate due date at which said meeting requires to assemble. The steamer to allow at such port named or Aneityum for the transaction of business by the Synod four clear days, not counting Sunday

and not requiring missionaries to embark on Sundays, and any further period to entitle the steamer to demurrage at the rate of £30 (Thirty pounds) per day or fraction thereof. 8. Special provision to be made for the carriage of female native ·passengers, such passengers to be provided with a separate canvas compartment, and carried apart from male native or other steerage passengers. Special attention

to be given to the requirements of sick natives. 9. For the due and faithful performance of this Contract the Mission agree to pay to the Company the fares and freights as per printed schedule attached, under the following arrangement :- ·

Unless the total amount paid per annum reaches £1,500 no rebate to be made. When the amount paid per annum amounts to-£1,500 but less than £1,600-a rebate of 5 per cent. to be made on the total amount paid. £1,600 and less than £1,700 6

£1,700 £1,800 7

£1,800 £1,900 8

£1,900 " £2,000 9

If over £2,000 10

The Company to pay to the Mission at the end of each year the amount of reba,t e due for fares and freight for the past year. 10. Both parties agree to the rates chargeable from Sydney or Melbourne to islands, and vice versa, for freight and passage money as set out in separate verified schedule before mentioned. Accounts to be paid by the Mission at per trip. But the rates of passage money to and from Melbourne are to apply only to missionaries and their families actually resident

or about to become resident in the New Hebrides, and to the agent and convener of the Victorian Foreign Mission Committee, ?'nd all p assengers between Sydney and Melbourne, or vice versa, shall be at their own expense while awaiting transhipment m Sydney. ·

11. Both parties agree that this Contract shall continue in force for three calendar years from 1st February, One thousand nine hundred and seven, to 31st January, One thousand nine hundred and t en, and that written notice of expiry shall be given on either side on or before 31st October, 1909, and failing such notke being given, then the agreement to hold good until three months' notice in writing is given on either side.

12. Notwithstanding anything contained in this delays or non-fulfilment of service caused by Force Majeure, the acts of rulers, princes, foreign powers, hostile n atives, breakdown of machinery, damage t o or loss of vessel, bad weather, strikes, locks-out, quarantine regulations, or other ca,uses beyond the control of the Company, shall not invalidate this Contract, but the Company agree in such event to do all in their power to, as promptly as possible, remedy any omissions · of the service so caused.

· 13. It is also agreed that in the event of any rearrangements or alterations having reference to this agreement being mutually approved of by both parties, such rearrangements or alterations, no m atter whether verbal or in writing, shall iP no case be binding on either party unless duly indorsed in writing on both the original and duplicate of this document. . The common seal of Burns, Philp, and Company Limited hath been hereunto affixed by us this twenty-second day of October, 1907, and we do hereby certify that we are the proper officers of the said Company by whom or in whose presence the said common seal is to be affixed to all deeds executed by the said

JAMES BURNS, Managing Director.

R. J. NOSWORTHY, Secretary.

JOHN CAMERON, Secretary of the New Hebrides Mission Maritime Service Board.

Witness to the signatures of James Burns and R. J. Nosworthy-WALTER H. LucAs .

. Witness to the signature of John'Cameron- T: BouLTON PERRY, J.P.

707 ,J





S. S. .1W akambo. Voyage No. 45.

Captain's Report.

Commencing lst April, 1915. Ending May, 1915.

From Sydney to New He brides.

Sailings and Arrivals. Date and Hour.

Hours at


Hours / in


Dis­ tance Run.

Tons of Cargo Received. Tons of Cargo Delivered.

State whether, whilst in Port, alongside Jetty, or anchored how far from Shore.

Sailed from Sydney Arrived at Lord Howe Island Sailed from , ,

Arrived at Norfolk Island Sailed from Arrived at Vila Sailed from ,

Arrived at Anderson's Sailed from ,

Arrived at Dillon's Bay

Sailed from ,

Arrived at Lenakel Sailed from ,

Arrived at Anngahant (Analgauhat) .. Sailed from ,

Arrived at Lenakel Sailed from ,

Arrived at Dillon's Bay Sailed from

Arrived at Vila Sailed from Arrived at Nguna Sailed from ,

Arrived at Tongoa Sailed from ,

Arrived at Sakau Sailed from ,

Arrived at Bolto Sailed from ,

Arrived at Voanibi (Voambi) Sailed from , ,

Arrived at Buruniba (Burumba) Sailed from ,

Arrived at Y emu Cove Sailed from ,

Arrived at Ringdone Bay (Ringdove Bay) Sailed from , . ,

Arrived at Frazer's Sailed from ,

Arrived at Mapoona

I. 4.15 4.4.15 " 7.4.15 " " 11.4.15 15.4.15

" 17.4.15 " 18.4.15 19.4.15

20.4.15 21.4.15

" 22.4.15

" 23.4.15

2.40 p.m. 2.53 a.m. 2.45 p.m. 1.29 p.m. 6.45 p.m. 11. 20 a.m.

9.30 a.m. 2.15 p.m. 4.15 p.m. 3.25 p.m.

10.15 p.m. 6.40 a.m. 7.5p.m. 9.40 a.m.

6.15 a.m. 1.30 p.m.

" 7.0p.m.

11.4 a.m. 10.55 a.m. 3.38 p.m. 5.17 p.m.

10.40 p.m. 10.30 a.m. 0.7p.m. 1.40 p.m.

2.35 p.m. I 5.10 p.m. 5.50 p.m. 4.45 a.m. 6.26 a.m. 8.15 a.m. 8.55 a.m. 9.20 a.m. 10.10 a.m.

ll.O a.m. 11.10 p.m. 11.40 p.m. 0.5p.m.












12 .. 2.5 .,

14.35 20.35

29.25 4.43








0.10 1.17


1:39\ ll.50
























12 sheep



General Remarks.

20 ! cable aft reef Strong southerly and south-easterly wind and heavy seas; cloudy and clear. 40


2.3. 4

11- 2




Strong to moderate northerly or north-westerly wind; heavy sea; occasional rain. Moderate to light north-westerly wind and sea; fine cloudy and clear.

4.15 p.m., proceeded towards Nguna; 4.25 p.m., reduced speed; heavy rain; 4.30 p.m., towards Erromanga, weather threatening. Strong gale and light sea; vessel labouring heavily.

Strong easterly wind ; rough sea.

Strong gale and high seas; violent squalls of wind and rain; thick · weather; vessels plunging heavily with two anchors. Off Lenakel unable to work, bad sea; proceeded towards Dillon's Bay.

(12 sheep 7, Tanna) 2

t cable off reef

Off Dillon's Bay, strong south-easterly gale and high sea ; proceeded towards Vila; midnight, brought ship round head to heavy gale and mountai.11 sea; vessel labouring heavily; 5 am., put vessel before it, and proceeded towards Vila.



2l 2 16






•• 1 t

.. ! !


, I Light, westerly wind and smooth sea. beach , , , ,


Calm and light westerly swell.

Calm and light westerly swell and ah-s



Sailings and Arrivals.

Sailed from Ma poona Arrived at Ngala· .. Sailed from ,

Arrived at Alua (Aulua) Sailed from , ,

Arrived at Tesmaa Bay (Tisman Bay)· Sailed from ,

Arrived at Onua River Sailed from Arrived at Bushman's Bay , , Sailed from . n

Arrived a t Walla ..

Sailed from ,

Arrived at Homo Bay Sailed from ,

Arrived at Casurina Point Sailed from ,

Arrived at Port Stanley Sailed from ,

Arrived at Tasson. (Sassoon) Sail ed from , ,

Arrived a t Takan Island (S aka u) Maskelyne Sailed from , ,) ,.,

Arrived a t H anibi (Hambi) Sailed from , ,

Arrived a t. Sout h W est Bay Sailed from ,

Arrived a t Abnatare Sailed from ,

Arrived a t Baldwin Cove ail d from Arrived at Tangoa" Sailed from Arrived a t Tasmalune

ailed from ,

Arrived a t Tasriki Sail d fro m ,

Arrived a t Nampeko (Na mpec o) ail ed from , ,

Arriv d a t P akia (Pak ea) ail ed from , ,

Arriv d a t P ort P at terson ailed from Arrived at Terebu Sail d from at Talamaco (Talamacca )

Sailed from , ,

Arrived a t Tereba (Terebu) Sailed from Arrived at Bain'

; ;

I .. , ..

Date and Hour.

23.4.15 1 3.30 p.m. , 4.15 p.m.

,; 11.30 p.m.

24.4.15 5.50 a.m. 7.20 a.m. 8.0 a.m. 0.25 p.m.

1.26 p.m. 2.17 p.m. • 3.33 p.m. 4.23 P·!ll· 6.15 p.m.

, 11.0 p.m.

25.4.15 5.55 a.m. 7.10 a.m. 8.15 a.m. 11.10 a.m. , 5.58 p.m.

26.4.15 2.0 a.m. 6.21 a.m. 9.45 a .m.





" 29.4.15 " 30.4.15

" 1.·5.15

noon 6.0 a.m. 7.55 a.m. 11.0 a.m.

2.25 p.m. 9.30 p.m. 6.29 a.m. 8.17 a.m. 9.0 a.m. 0.20 p.m. 0.55 p.m.

2.25 p.m. 3.10 p.m. 5.0p.m. 6.55 p.m. midnight

6.40 1.48 p.m. 6.25 a.m. 0.25 p.m. 0.56 p.m. 4.30 p.m. 5.56 a.m. 6.30 a.m. 9.9 a.m.

9.50 a.m. 10.35 a.m . 11.25 a.m. 0.10 p.m.

ABSTRACT 9F LoG OF s.s. Jf,akambo,

Hours at




















16 . 37






Hours in


























'. .

Dis· tance Run.

























Tons of Cargo Received.









7! 17


horse 3!

State whether, I

Tons of Cargo in Port, alongside I

pelivered. . ' ,


2.Q. 4




launch H 2i 4 12

i cable ?ff shore reef




! cable ?ff reef











Calm and light westerly swell sea.

Light northerly airs, fine weather, and smooth sea.

Light easterly wind, finy, with passing !:lJlowers. ,

Calm, smooth sea; fine and clear.

Calm and hazy weather.

Light north-easterly airs and ca.Jm

Calm, hazy, and sultry weather

smooth sea

Calm, clear, smooth sea

Light, easterly winds, smooth sea

Calm and fine

Calm; hazy ; smooth sea

Moderate to rough, south-easterly wind and sea

Fresh, east-south-easterly wind ; moderate sea ; clear weather

Light, south-easterly winds ; smooth sea

Moderate wind and sea ; cloudy weather

... - '! - k .... · .. ....... .

Sailings and Arrivals.

Sailed from Bain's ..

Arrived at Port Oloy (Port Olry) Sailed from , ..

Arrived at Dui Dui ..

Sailed from , ..

Arrived at Lorni Bluff .. .·.

Sailed from ,

Arrived at Bungamea. Sailed from ,

Arrived at L0rni Bluff Sailed from ,

Arrived at Dui Dui

Sailed from , . . . . . .

Arrived at Hog Harbour . . . . . .

. Sailed from , . • . • . .

Arrived at Petersen's . . . . . -.

Sailed from , . . • , ..

Arrived at Canal Sargon (Segond) . . • .

Sailed from , , . . . .

Arrived at Jacquers . . . . . .

Sailed from , . . . • . .

Arrived at Killi Killi . . . . . .

Sailed from , . . . . . .

Arrived at Ned's Point . . . , . ,

Sailed from , . . . . . .

Arrived at Shepherd's . . . • . .

Sailed from , . . . , ..

Arrived at Port Latour . . . • . .

Sailed from , . . . , , •

Arrived at Barclay's . , , . . . .

Sailed from , • . . . . .

Arrived at Wells . . . . . , . ,

Sailed from , . . . . , • • .

Arrived at Abnatare . • . . . ,

Sailed from , . .

. • . .

Arrived at Tangoa. . . • • . •

Sailed from , . . . • . .

Arrived at Voa. (Vao) . . . . . .

Sailed from , , . • . , ..

Arrived at Aitchen (Aitchin) , , , ,

Sailed from , , . , . , , ,

Arrived at Blackland Beach (BlackBand Beach) Sailed from , .,

Arrived at Port Stanley ..

Sailed from , .•

Arriveq at Bushman's Bay Sailed from , . • . •

Arrived at Onna River (Onua. River)

ABSTRACT, pF Loa OF s.s. Makambo, APRIL-MAY,, 1915.-continued. . ,

Bate and Hour. Hotirs at



" 2.5.15

" ,,

" 5.5.15

" ,, ;,




,, ,,


1.40 p.m. 5.30 p.m. 10.40 p.m. 7.0a.m. 11.20 a.m.


0.6p.m. 1.15 p.m. 2.45 p.m. 3.45 p.m. 8.30p.m. 9.3p.m.

1.15 a.m. 7.4 a.m.








10.15 a.m . 1.15p.m. 3.0

4.10 p.m. 6.40 p.m. 2. 30

3.32 a.m. 6.10 a.m. 2. 38

11.3 a.m. 11.18 a.m. 0.15

3.0p.m. 3.47 p.m. 0.47

5.45 a.m. 6.15 a.m. 0. 30

10.45 a.m. 11.10 a.m; 0.25 1.28 p.m. 1.51 p.m. 0. 23


4.45 p.m. 5.5p.m. 8.50p.m. 9.13p.m. 0.23 0.30 a.m.

1.50 a.m. I. 20

7.10 a.m. 10.50 a.m. 3.40

1.0 p.m . l.47p.m. 0.47 3.45 p.m. 4.19p.m. 0.34 4.33 a.m. 6.20 a.m. 1.47

8.45 a.m. I0.6 a.m. j· 1. 2I O.I5 p.m. • .

1.47 p.m. I. 32

Hours in









3: 11




3.42 6


4 : 30


2 : 54

3 : 45








Dis­ tance Run.























Tons of Cargo Received.


1 boat









2! 9

Tons of Cargo Delivered.

State whether, whilst · in Port, alongside Jetty, or anchored how far from Shore.

General Remarks.

1 boat



2! 3



3! 1

. . ! cable off reef Heavy rain, and thick at times

.. t

. . Stopped

. . 1 cable off

.. !



.. l

.. t


.. t

' !


.. l



.. !





... !


.. t


shore 11.20 a.m., left nine boys and assistant supervisor at Dui Dui to finish bagging ; 5 p.m., stopped off Lorni Bluff, lowered boat with nine boys and 2nd officer to bag and weigh copra ; steamer . proceeded to Bungamea ... , Fresh, east-south-easterly wind and squally, showery, and hazy shore . , , , , , , , , ,








Light, south-easterly wind ; smooth sea ; fine and clear

Moderate easterly wind ; smooth sea ; fine and clear

Fresh, easterly wind, moderate sea, and squally and rain

'' ''

" · , ,,

Calm and clear weather

Light, easterly wind ; smooth sea ; fine and clear

Calm and clear weather

" "

Light, easterly wind; smooth sea; 4 p.m., sent boats ashore for copra

Light, easterly wind ; smooth sea ; fine and, clear

Freshening easterly wind and sea fine, cloudy, and clear

Sailings and Arrivals.

Sa.iled from Onna River (Onua River) Arrived at Sassan Bay (Sassoon Bay) Sailed from ,; · ·,

Arrived at Tesman Bay (Tisman Bay) Sailed from , , .•

Arrived at Rodd's Anchorage .•

Sailed from , ..

Arrived at Rannon . . . .

Sailed from , . . . .

Arrived at Port Vato . . . .

Sailed from , . . . .

Arrived at Paama (Mission) ..

Sailed from , , . . . .

Arrived at Z. and H. Paama . . . •

Sailed from , . . . .

Arrived a t Pia Bay . . . •

Sailed from , . . . .

Arrived at Frazus (Frazer's) Sailed from , , ..

Arrived at Ringdove Bay .. Sailed from , ..

Arrived at Burumba ..

Sailed from , . . . .

Arrived at Voambi ..

Sailed from , . . . .

Arriv d at Mai . . . .

Sailed from ,

Aniv d at Sakau ..

Sailed from ,

Arrived at Ton(Yoa Sail d from ,

Arrived at Nguna Sail d from ,

Arrived at I aloa Bay Sailed from ,

Arrived at Vila ..

Sailed from ,

Arrived at Norfolk Island .. Sail d from , ..

Arriv d at Lord Howe I sland Sail ed from , , ..

Arrived at Sydney ..

' ABSTRACT OF LoG OF s.s. Makambo, APRIL-MAY, 1915.-continued.

Date\ and Hour.


" 8.5.15

" 9.5.15





" 12.5.15 "

" 13.5.15



19.5.15 " 22.5.15 ,


2.7p.m. 3.48 p.m. 5.45 a.m. 6.27 a.m. 9.20 a.m.

1.45 p.m. 4.4 p.m. 4.34p.m. 2.0a.m. 6.15 a.m. .9.15 a.m. 11.50 a.m.

1.35 p.m. 2.0p.m. 5.40 a.m. 6.45 a.m. 6.50 a.m.

7.50 a.m. 9.10 a.m. 9.24 a.m. 5.15 a .m. . 6.19 a.m. .9.0 a.m. 10.45 a.m.

2.7 p.m. 4.52 p.m. 2.0 a .m. 4.20 a.m. 8.50 a.m. ·· 10.30 a .m.

1.12 p.m. 6.0 a.m. 7.55 a.m. 8.30 a.m. 4.25 p.m. 10.40 p.m.

1.45 p.m.

9.25 p.m. 5.30 p.m. 11.20 a .m. 2.37 p.m.

7.35 p.m.

Hours at























Hours in



2.53 . ..

2: 19

















· Dis­ t ance Run.





















4,889 I

Tons of Cargo Received.


4 "














I State whether-, whilst Tons of Cargo in Port, alongside Delivered. Jetty. or anchored General Remarks. how far from, Sl}ore. .J boat


! off reef Freshening easterly an4 sea,; fine, clou'dy and clear ·

Strong easterly wind ; squally and showery

1 horse

.. t

. t

.. !

.. t

.. t

.. !


.. t

.. t


1 l

.. !

.. !

Tran shipped ! all, &c., to

ss. Induna .. t

.. !


Strong wind and sea ; haz!

shore showery

·reef ·

shore Strong east-north-easterly wind, and sea .squally and hazy .

reef .

. . 9th, 7.45 p.m., finished taking in copra and hoisted boat;:;; 6.45 a.m., off Pia Bay, too much sea to work. boat alongside ; pro­ ceeded towards Fra zer's Moderate wind ; smooth sea ; fine and clear

6 p.m., all copra on board; 7.45 p.m., all work finished

Light wind ; smo:oth ; fine and clear

Thick with rain, and reduced speed; 4.20., sent boat ashore; 6.20, hove up and shifted closer in beach Misty and thick weather

shore 12th., 5.45 p.m., stopped off Undine Bay; land obscured, and raining; vessel drifting all night; 13th., 4 a.m., full speed ahead reef Moderate south-easterly wind, and smooth sea and showery

Moderate to strong south-easterly wind and sea ; cloudy and clear with occasional showers

Moderate to light varying winds, and showery

Strong to moderate wind, seas squally and showery

. . 24th, 7.35 p.m., off Sydney Heads, waiting for daylight; 25th, Watson's Bay, 8 .p.m., pratique granted; proceed,ed to wharf; moderate to strong westerly w:i.nd and gale, and heavy sea, clear weather

D. J. WILLIAMS. Master.



STATEM ENT s?owing Exports from New Hebrides d_uring the year 1914, with particulars of the vessels by which such Exports were earned. (Furmshed by W . L . Bell, Esq., Assistant Collector of Customs, Vila, New H ebrides.)

Cocoa. Coffee. · Copra. Maize.

Cotton. Sandalwood.


Ships. . ' laneous.

Kilos. I Sacks. Kilos. Sacks. Kilos. Sacks. Kilos.

Sacks. Kilos. , Sacks. Kilos. Billets.

--- --- --- --- - - - --- --- - -- ----anuary- 392 6,322 20,052 .. 1,047 .. J France .. .. . . . . .. .. .. Makambo .. . . .. .. . . 175,000 308 .. 691 .. .. .. . . P Ervenche .. .. .. . . . . 55,149 .. 54,264 .. 58,092 .. .. .. F ebruary- 36 5 687 2,240 .. 1,528 .. 908 Pacifique .. .. . . .. .. Malaita. .. .. .. . . . . 214,000 . . . . 334 .. . . . . . . arch-Pervenche .. 142 .. 122 .. 973 . . 140,317 .. 36,375 .. .. . . Makambo .. .. . . . . I .. 233,000 231 .· . 298 .. .. .. .. France .. . . .. . . .. 107,949 .. .. .. 72 .. 20,601 .. M pd-Pacifique 6 227 .. 1,705 . . 601 .. . . A . . .. .. .. . . Jeanne Mar-gurite .. .. .. . . .. 125,000 .. 18,500 .. 4,880 .. 15,500 . . France .. .. .. . . . . 118,745 . . . . . . . . .. 18,571 .. Malaita .. . . . . . . .. 272,000 343 .. 563 . . . . .. . . Pacifique .. .. 2 . . 99 .. 934 .. 1,603 . . 41 .. 1,158 ay-France .. .. . . . . . . . . .. .. . . .. 28,713 . . Makambo . . . . . . .. . . 24 7,000 .. .. 1,202 . . .. .. .. Pacifique .. . . 12 . . 963 .. 1,735 .. 681 . . 12 .. .. M ne-Marsina .. .. .. . . . . 332,000 .. . . 51 . . .. .. 154 France .. . . . . 6,711 .. 66,470 . . 40,536 .. . . .. .. .. P acifique .. .. 27 . . 490 .. 1,899 .. 662 . . 270 .. . . Ju ly Makambo .. . . . . .. .. 239,000 201 .. Ill . . .. .. ·' Pacifique . . . . 13 .. 225 . . 2,374 . . 1, 179 . . 309 .. 1,247 Ju A ugust- 290,000 303 .. . . . . .. 18,000 .. Marsina . . . . . . .. . . Pervenche .. . . .. 73,840 . . 36 ,123 .. 30,730 .. 9,281 . . .. .. St. Michel . . . . .. 8,423 .. 194,358 .. .. .. 59,088 .. . .. . . ptember- 175 666 Pacifiqu e . . .. . . .. .. .. 482 . . 613 . . 810 Makambo . . • . • .. .. 192 228,000 .. . . . . . . .. .. 17 Se tober- 135 100 202 . . 1,500 .. 525 Oc Pa.cifique . . . . .. . . . . . . Pervenche 867 31,640 40,247 . .. 53,780 236 86,162 .. .. .. .. . . .. . . .. .. . . Mindini . . . . .. .. .. .. 5 .. .. 646 294 22 . . 84 . . 990 Pacifique .. .. .. . . .. .. No vember- .. . . . . St. Michel .. 5,243 .. .. .. 147,384 . . 8,000 .. 102,106 99,000 320 640 .. .. .. 1,259 Makambo . . . . .. .. . . . . cember- 200 613 297 300 . . 3,516 .. . . De Pacifique .. . . .. .. . . Pervenche 14,683 17,832 18,966 . . 26,669 .. 114,286 .. .. .. .. .. . . .. .. . . t. Michel s p 0. 22,009 .. 767 10,553 .. 76,703 1,399 36,091 .. 1,564 .. 98,127 90,377 102,765 . . .. .. acifiqu e . . .. .. . . .. --- --- --- - -- --- - - - --- --- - - - - --Total .. 44,103 471 150,520 3,368 3,333,523 10,924 465,037 13,202 691,289 8,474 102,432 4,068 .. NoTE.-A kilo equals 2"2055 lbs. aYoir. One ton ewals 1,015 kilos. APPENDIX I. COPY OF STATEMEN',r .. 1915,- TO THE HONORA;BLE W. G. M. P., POSTMASTER-GENERAL OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA. . (Submitted by Mr. G. K err, Vila, N ew H ebrides. ) RE AusTRALIAN SuBSIDY FOR MAIL SERVICE TO NEW HEBRIDES. This subsidy has been 'gr.anted for a of 'years, an·d Philp; and Co.: Ltd., first without tender, but lat er, by t ender. I to show that it act s in a very unfair way, and is of no use to any one except Burns, Philp, and Co. and the Presbyterian Mission in these I slands. The subsidy is granted ost ensibly to h elp on Australian interests, but it acts entirely against such interests. In this way, being granted t o a t rading company who absolutely wish to control the trade, the subsidy enables Burns, Philp, and Co. to keep out any opposition by other British firms. In fact, it has created a monopoly. This firm of Burns, Philp, and Co. are not carriers, and do not wish to be carriers except of their own goods. They are out to sell all the goods they can, and to buy all the produce from the settlers. They do not want to carry goods on freight. What are the settlers t o do ? They must either buy their go ods from Burns, Philp, and Co. and sell their produce to them or else try to find some other means of shipping their stuff. You will say that _ Philp,_ and Co. are by their contract to carry cargo for the settlers at schedule rates. So they are as far as the ht tle bit of paper" IS concerned, but the Commonwealth Government is not at the other end to see how it is carried out. It is quite simple to have bad weather and be unable (unwillingly) to land cargo or pick up cargo. My firm have never bought and sold with this company, and during twenty years they have tried to crush us out. If we do happen to ship cargo from Sydney by them, tbry, at times, dump it ashore at some other settler's place some miles away. H ence we avoid shipping by them as much a& possible.



We do not wish to parade our own grievance, but wish to show that this method of subsidizing a firm by your Government is unsound. During the twenty years we have been in these islands British interests have steadily gone back, as no Australian or British capital will go in against the Burns, Philp, and Co. monopoly. We have just been able to hang on, that is all. -

· The Burns, Philp, and Co. system makes for the small man tied up to them. -

We have protested to the Commonwealth Government time and again, and would get a polite reply from Mr; Atlee Hunt; that is all that ever came of it. - You will say that other firms can tender for this contract. They can, but they will not while it is laid out on the present lines. I will show you why they will not tender. First of all, this contract was given to Burns, Philp, and Co. without tender, and so it went on on their line of trade-the places they call at do business where their interests lie-where they have a subsidy from the Presbyterian Mission to call. Later t enders were called, but still on the line of Burns, Philp, and

Co.'s established trade. What could an outside firm do to run round Burns, Philp, and Co.'s established trade places ? We contend that it is not reasonable for Australia to subsidize a service to every little hole and corner in these islands, but that it would be far better for Australian interests to subsidize a good class passenger and cargo service to about four principal parts. It -seems to me more a matter for internal arrangement as to the inter-island mail serviCe to

connect such principal service from Sydney. We advocate tB.e restriction in your mail contract to a passenger and carrying service, not a trading (buying and selling) service. Practically all independent British settlers there, except the Presbyterian Missionaries, are against - the present method.

I append herewith a copy of a letter sent in 1912 from the Secretary of the New Hebrides British Association to the Department of External Affairs, and copy of Mr. Atlee Hunt's reply thereto. We are in hopes of getting the British flag in these islands after the war is over. Then they will go ahead with a little encouragement from Australia. We are right at your door, only about three to four days for a good class steamer.

(Signed) G. A. S. KERR.



3rd May, 1915.

DEAR MR. BAMFORD, Amongst my letters I have just received the enclosed, which touches on a subject discussed this morning. I should be obliged if you could return me this letter, say, from Vila. -



Yours faithfully,

(Sgd.) A. S. THOMAS.

Burnsilo, Epi, New H ebrides, 19th April, 1915.

Just a line in answer to your letter of 15th March, re maize, &c. From l9ll to the middle of 1912 I was put to a great deal of inconvenience and loss through the way Messrs. Burns, Philp, and Company was treating m e. Every trip the Makambo came (Captain Weatherall) they would not take my copra . They always had some excuse-full up, or they were too late, and I had to sell to Zeitler and Hagen at a loss of £1 per ton on steamer prices. Things got so bad that I stoppAd dealing with them. I wrote and reported the way I had been treated to Sydney. My brother took the report, and the steamer people said the reason I had been treated that way was on account of the bad passage, and that I never helped them when they came here. What they meant by helping them was that I did not go out in my dinghy. As I had no dinghy at that time I could not do so. Several times I wanted to go out in the steamer's boat for trade, but the mate said it was Captain Weatherall's orders that he had to t ake no one out from the shore.

In July, 1913, I had maize to ship. The Malaita tried to t ake it, but was unable to do so, on account of the big swell on the beach. The next steamer, Makambo (August), refused to take it. They said they were full up, and the trip after that they said it was too weevily, so I sold it to Zeitler and H agen for pig feed, at Is. per sack. I had 98 sacks, and it was about 5s. per bushel at that time, so it was a big loss to me. I commenced dealing with Messrs. Burns, Philp, and Company again about eighteen months ago. Since then I have had no cause for complaint. They have treated me welL

Kind regards.

Yours faithfully,



NEW HEBRIDES SETTLEMENT LEASES. Sydney, 31 st May, 1915 . .

H. Farrands, Esq., Secretary, Royal Commission on New H ebrides. Department of External Affairs, Melbourne . . SIR,

In compliance with a radio-message received this morning from our Mr. Lucas, we have honour _hand a coll).plete list of the New Hebrides Settlement Leases, givi?g the location an? areas of same. If there 1s any other mformatwn you will require about these, we shall be happy to furmsh same at any time.

We have the honour to be,


Your obedient Servants,



.,, ...



· ---

Reference Lessee. Island. Locality. Area. No.


1 Robert Watson, jun. .. .. .. Santo .. At zone River • .. . . · 50.0

2 Sydney Carrington Axam .. .. .. Santo .. Atzone River . . .. 500

3 W. J. Watson .. .. .. . . Santo .. Atzorie River . . .. 500

4 Edward Hooker .. .. . . .. Santo .. Vela poi . . .. . . 500

5 I ncorporated with No. 10

6 J. Andrew Wilson .. .. .. .. Malo .. Sana Rova and Sana Bararo . . 40

7 Edwin and Ayton Jno. C. Sarginson .. . . Epi .. Bursilo . . .. . . 30

8 Abandoned

9 Thomas Brothers .. .. .. . . Santo .. Lalette, Hog Harbor .. . . 108 -

10 T. C. Stephens and R. 0. D. Clapcott .. .. Santo .. Naliba Point .. . . . . 500

11 Robert Watson, sen. .. .. .. Santo .. Atzone River .. . . 500

12 Abandoned

13 Abandoned

14 Edward Hooker .. .. .. .. Santo . . Tangis Island .. . . 30

15 J. Andrew Wilson .. .. .. .. Malo .. Asanan . . .. .. ..

16 P. J. Ashton .. .. .. .. Efate .. Havannah Harbor . . . . 30

17 Abandoned

18 Presbyterian Mission .. .. . . .. Tubanaisland

19 Hugh Roxburgh .. .. .. .. Mai .. Muka Lau Lau, Nguna, Nambatua About 500




Stock Stock Profit Final Per cent. Per cent. Commence· Profit on on No. mont end Sales . per Super- atH.O. Sales. Stock. Voyage. Voyage. cargo. -----4 4 1/158. August-September .. 4,677 2,951 2,612 786 682 .. .. 276 2jl 59. October-November .. 4,287 3,203 1,547 464 .. .. 8,964 6,154 4,059 1,250 958 Average .. .. 4,482 3,077 2,029 625 479 23 •6 10 · 6 The profit shown here does not cover freight, and no allowance is made for depreciation or bad debts. APPENDIX M.


Santo, New Hebrides, 17th May, 1915.

The Chairman, The New H ebrides Royal Commission . Sm, It having been reported to me during the Royal Commiss ion's visit to the New H ebrides an organized attempt was

made to throw discredit on "The N ew Hebrides British As sociation," I have the honour to give you a few additional particulars on the lines of questions which were put to me on the occasion of your visit. The objects of the Association, which have at all times been strictly adhered to, are as follows :-1. To watch and promote British interest s in the New Hebrides Group, including the Banks and Torres I slands

and to encourage as far as poss ible British settlement. 2. To improve existing commercial relations with Australia, and al so to endeavour to obtain trading communi­ cation with New Zealand. 3. To advocate the amendment or modification of any laws or treaties rela ting to the New Hebrides, which are

found to operate unsatisfa ctorily to British res idents in the Group. 4. To foster good fee ling between British and French res iden ts, and to co-operate in all objects tending to the general welfare of the Group. 5, To collect and distribute information likely to be helpful to members.



I am aware that the Association has sometimes been described as an "Anti Burns, Philp " Association, and also as "Anti Missionary," but I wish to assure the Commission that the Association's representations regarding the firm mentioned and the missionary body have always been actuated solely by a desire to remedy abuse. For inst ance, there could be no objection to Messrs. Burns, Philp, and Company receiving a subsidy provided that it did not in its effect tend to shut out

competition in the matter of trade, thus enabling the firm to charge extortionate rates and also to carry out reprisals against any settlers who do not happen t? conform to their methods of business. The clause in the contract providing for seventy ports of call would appear on the surface, to be a su.ffi cient guarantee for an adequate service, but the fact that the places of call are not specified but left t o the contractors to go where business attract s, makes the Government subvention primarily

a trading subsidy, and mail delivery of secondary importance. Regarding the freight and passenger rates which are provided for under the present contract and which the Association considers excessive, it should be noted that Messrs . Burns, Philp, and Company have demonstrated their ability to give extra service and better t erms to the Presbyterian Mission (without special subsidy from that body) than those provided for by the Commonwealth contract by reason of the subsidy. In this connexion it has been pointed out to Messra. Burns,

Philp, and Company that whilst there would be no objection to concessions being made to the Presbyterian Mission by virtue of thei r calling, such concessions should be conditional upon Missionaries undertaking to refrain entirely from trading, and thus entering into competition with those who pay the higher rates. Messrs. Burns, Philp, and Company have not seen fit to make this stipulation.

With regard to the attendance at the Association's meeting, at which the rec ommendation to the External Affairs as to alteration of method of subsidizing steam service was passed, and upon which you questioned me, I supplied

the Commission with the names of members present at that meeting, but on looking over the minutes I find that I omitted the names of three members, viz. :-Messrs. H . Roxburgh, sen. and jun., and H. Joyce, who arrived late and took their seats at a subsequent sitting. Mr. Roxburgh, who, as you possibly know, is an important shipper, afterwards expressed his entire approval of the resolution referred to.

With reference to the decrease in the membership of the Association upon which the Commission questioned me, I would like to be permitted to supply further details. During the past three years the decrease of membership has been accounted for in the following way :-Deceased, 9.

Res igned on leaving the Group, 5. R es igned on taking Government positions, 2. Resigned for other reasons, 5. Struck off the roll, 2. I would add that the total British population of the Group ha.s materially declined during the past three years.

I t rust that these further particulars may be of some service to the Commission.

I havj'l the honour to be,


Your obedient Servant,

(Sgd. )


A. S. TH OMAS, Honorary Secretary.


Care of Department of External Affairs, Melbourne, 5th June, 1915.

Sm, I am directed .by the Chairman of this Commission to acknowledge the of your of the 17th May,

and to assure you that, in connexion with the evidence obtained by the Commission, your AssoCiatiOn was not referred to in anything like the disparaging terms mentioned by you. . . . .

2. I am to explain that the Commission's inquiries regarding your .;\ssoCJatiOn were made with a v1ew of ascertainin" who were members of it, and whether the resolution passed at 1ts Sanawoa meetmg of the 8th August, 1911 , had been by the whole of the Association's members.

·A. S. Thomas , Esq., Hon. Secretary, New H ebrides British Association, Santo, New Hebrides.

I have the honour to be,


Your obedient Servant,

(Signed) H . FARRANDS,

Secretary to the Commission.


EXTRACTS FROM LETTER FROM r.'lR. D. R. BARCLAY, MALO ISLAND, NEW HEBRIDES, AMPLIFYING EVIDENCE GIVEN BY HIM BEFORE COMMISSION. Sassuli Plantation, Malo I sland, 1st May, 1915. To the Royal Commissioners on board s.s. Makambo. GENTLEMEN,

Having heard that a R oyal Co mmission is now inquiring into ma il and trading relations thi.s Group and Australia, I respectfully address a few notes on the subJ ect to you, as It affects myself, a twelve years Bnt1sh settler on Malo I sland. - · S d 11 · f t

Malo Island is within six to seven days' steam for a fair modern steam- sh1p fr om y ney, even a owmg or wo or three previous calls in Group. ·th M B

I would like you to underst and, before I proceed further, that I am on perfectly. goo d terms Wl es;>rs. urns, Ph.! and Co and have dealt with the firm right up to the present t 1me, and any remarks m the are ;'ot prompted Every one here knows that t hey are a thorough good business firm, and not tradmg m this Group fr om

any philanthropic or missionary motives, but out to make a ll they can.


Mail Service.-The British service at the present time is practically the same as it was twelve ago, and is unsatisfactory. In normal times the steamers of Messrs. Burns, Philp, and Company leave Sydney regularly on the first of each month. Here the regularity ends. They follow the tortuous trading :route of the company, via Lord Howe and . Norfolk Islands, and after leaving Vila for the north all semblance of a time-table for mail delivery is lost. I receive mail here at any time from the 21st to the28th day after it leaves Sydney. .

Surely, even if this slow service is all the Australian Government can get, the company can be held to a certain mail date for each island, barring adverse weather. By this I mean that trading on other islands should not be allowed to interfere with our having a fixed mail day on Malo. · Passenger Service.-Most all island settlers prefer to travel by the F.M.S. Pacifique to Sydney in eight to ten days, which is a ·much quicker and better service both for passage and mails, but it is, of course, principally intended for French service. On the British side, the state of trade and the fact that one firm has the mail subsidy seems to preclude any chance of competition to Messrs. Burns, Philp, and Company.

The voyage to Sydney by this line occupies about 23 days from Malo, and is tedious and a waste of time to island folk to view the everyday sights for three weeks on a vessel like the Makambo. Down below is one ofthese "well decks," where live stock and other gear for settlers gets washed about in any head sea. This is an unsuitable stamp of vessel to my idea. I should think that one has only to look towards the Union Steam-ship Company of New Zealand island steamers tosee what is required, and let trading be done by smaller inter-island vessels.

Trade, present two-month service of Messrs. Burns, Philp, and Company is entirely unsuitable to settlers. Produce will not keep well in the islands, owing to the humidity of the climate. Also, we are suffering from lack of ordinary civilized comforts. I receive stores and provisions at an average of 32 days out from Sydney-potatoes, onions, &c., mostly in bad order, and never has a settler, to my knowledge, been able to purchase a piece of fresh meat from the company, as we are told that the freezing space is restricted, and only large enough for ship's consumption.

Australian tin meats stand a good chance to be oust-ed in future by the meats of French companies in Noumea, who certainly put up meat with a fair amount of nutriment retained. Sydney meats are now simply packets of "meat rope yarns " without a vestige of the nourishing properties. \Vhy should not this food be under the same inspectorship as, say, milk, which has to be up to the mark as to fats, &c. "? I do not know, but I have my suspicion ,that these little pots of Liebig could tell a tale. You may smile at me here, but there is no smile in the pioneer who has to subsist on the beastly stuff.

Australia is naturally in the best position for trade intercourse with this Group, and I have no doubt enjoys good business in exports of trade goods and provision. 1'his has only been jeopardized by the gr;eat increase of French settlement over that of British, owing to the more liberal policy of the French Government. Now you can see whole districts and islands with a monopoly of French settlers, who bring much trade to Noumea and Marseilles, and obtain markets for cotton, coffee, cocoa, &c. Now, if Australia wants to do any real good business here, she will have to pursue a more liberal policy than heretofore. Many Australian settlers went back after having lost their little savings, all for want of decent market for their catch crops. Coconuts, which are mostly grown, take ten years to do well, and in the meantime a man must live. Only a few of us who could do some outside job were able to hang on in the face of Australian heavy Tariff duty.

Maize is one of the best catch crops for coconut cultivation. Now, if your Government had allowed rebate of the full duty ten years ago, you would have seen many more Britsh stations, and consequently more trade to Australia. Of late years you have allowed a half rebate on maize. Even for this little gleam I have been very thankful myself, as it just allowed a small margin for myself, when other long list of expenses almost swamped the shipment.

. Now, to sum up some of the things wanted for this Group. . .

First, a single Government-Australian if you like. Then, encouragement for fresh settlers in the way of markets for produce, accelerated mail service., also passage and cargo. An adequate supply of coloured labour for the necessities of tropical cultivation. At present there is a fair supply of natives in the Group, but as there is plenty of uncultivated land in the islands, there is no reason why Australia should not make them her own (in trade any way) if she wants to. . ·

Trusting you have found your voyage interesting and instructive, and will result in future improvements in mail and trade development between Australia and the New Hebrides.


I have the honour to be,


Yours obediently,

(Signed) D. R. BARCLAY.


"Sassuli Plantation," Malo Island, · 19th May, 1915.

The Chairman, The New Hebrides Royal Commission. SIR, Mr. A. Thomas, Hon. Secretary of New Hebrides British Association, has forwarded to me, for my perusal, a copy of letter dated 17th May sent by him to you on the subject of your Commission's inquiry in the New He brides.

I have only to say that I indorse the particulars and opinions expressed therein. Of course you will understand that this Association has been maintained by genuine British settlers, under very difficult conditions, owing to the scattered state of British settlement, and lack of reliable ocmmunication, and I am sure that our right to a voice in our own affairs will not be questioned by you, although up to the present you have probably only heard some other louder than outside the Group. . . . . .

· With regard to mail and p assenger service, I beg to express a personal opmwn whiCh I may have omitted to give when being interviewed by your Commission at Malo. It is my opinion that this Group can just about support one good mail and passenger service at present. Now, if by any chance the Commonwealth of Australia is to take a hand in administration of the Group, would it be possible to buy over or combine to make the French service via Noumea a universal service both for British and French settlers, improved by the Pacifique being replaced with a fast modern steam-ship capable of making a call at each island of importance and maintaining a time-table. This would allow trading concerns to flourish on their own merits.

I have the honour to be, .


Your obedient Servant, "

(Signed) D. R. BARCLAY,

President N.H.B.A.






The Honorable The British Resident Commissioner for the New Hebrides.

Vila, New He brides, 1st February, 1911.

After consultation together, we, the only two medical men resident in Vila have decided to bring the following 0onclusions (regarding medical matters) come to by us, before you. Condominium Hospital.-In view of the importance of Vila as the head-quarters of the Condominium Govrenment the place of meeting of the Joint Court with its import'1nt International staff, and the one port of entry for the New H ebrides' we are both of opinion that the French and British Governments should unite to support a Condominium hospital at Vila:

rhe present hospital building of the Societe Francaise des Nouvelles Hebrides is quite unsuited for its purpose; the Memorial Hospital built on Iririki by the Presbyterian Mission cannot be expected to fulfil the purpose of a general hospital without adequate support. We consider the island of Iririki suitable for a hospital island, and would therefore urge upon the Condominium Government the advantage of acquiring the Memorial Hospita l and making it a Condominium Hospital. Some additions would be required.

Public Health of the New Hebrides Group.-We would also respectfully point out that outside of Vila, the Condominium Government is doing absolutely nothing for the public health. In Vila itself the British Government limits itself to a grant of one hundred pounds (£100) per annum towards the Memorial Hospital. This hospital was built by the Presbyterian Church of Victoria. The French Government pays the salary of a doctor, who holds the rank of not less than captain in the French Army Medical Corps. It also pays the salary of a military nurse, and gives a grant of £600 (six hundred pounds) yearly towards the expenses of the hospital built by the Societe Francaise des Nouvelles Hebrides. This hospital is very

badly fitted and quite unsuited for its object. Outside of Vila there are five medical men in the Group. These are all British and Presbyterian missionaries. They do good medical work in addition to their duties as missionaries, but are without any Government financial help or control. The Presbyterian Mission Hospital at Ambryn is said to be more used by French than Britlish settlers. We would urge . that the Government organize and provide for the public health throughout its jurisdiction. It is importal}t that all medical

efforts and experiences be centralized and reports issued to enable every medical man in the Group to profit by the experiences of his colleagues. Decrease of the Native Population.-We would respectfully point out that nothing has been done, or is being done, by the Government, to deal with this important and urgent question. The death-rate and the of deaths among the native population is appalling. Tuberculosis, paludism, induced abortion, dysentery, diarrhoea of infants, whooping

cough, and influenza are the chief factors. We would point out that much could be done for the natives by giving them advice as to the building of their houses and the sanitation of their villages. Such advice if acted upon would do something to check the ravages of tuberculosis and dysentery. We would advise instruction of the natives in simple hygiene," and " the instruction and certification of native midwives." "Protection of the pregnant wom!ln " should also be enforced among the natives, particularly among "indentured labour."

Medical Inspection of Indentured Labour.-We would also· urge the systematic medical inspection of "indentured labour" throughout the New Hebrides Group. This inspection is provided for to some extent in Vila by the French Govern­ Government, but nowhere else. Employer!> of "indentured labour" on other islands such as Epi and Santo, do not have their recruits medically examined.

The "indentured labour" of British employers are not medically examined at Vila or elsewhere. Death Certificates.-The deaths of natives as well as Europeans should be certified. In the case of natives, the chief of each village should be required to make periodic returns, both of births and deaths. Quarantine Regulations.-Vila. being the port of entry for the New Hebrides Group, we would urge uniformity in the

Quarantine regulations. These regulations should be printed, having each rule printed in French and English, opposite each other. We differ from the reply of the Resident Commissioners as conveyed in the letter of the British Resident Commissioner, dated 8th November, 1910, to our objection to the granting of "pratique" by non-medical men. In our opinion, only the appointed Port Medical Officers should be allowed to grant "pratique" to vessels entering the New

Hebrides Group. Quarantine Arrangements.-Lighters, which the Government could rent when not in use, should be provided, so that cargo from a ship suspected of "infectious disease" could be placed in them. Under present conditions, the only means to protect the Group would be to prohibit any kind of communication between the port and the infected vessel.

Quarantine Station.-We would respectfully advise that "Hat" Island be acquired and set apart as a Quarantine Station. Some corrugated iron buildings should be erected on it, ready for use if required. Leprosy in the New Hebrid,es.-We would also respectfully draw attention to the fact that leprosy is on the increase in the islands, and that both for treatment and the protection of others, isolation is necessary. We would urge that all

known lepers in the New Hebrides Group be isolated, provision being made for their comfort. They might be given by the Condominium Government houses, gardens, pigs, fowls, &c., and form a" leper" village with a" leper" as chief. An island should be chosen for this object. Vaccination.-We would advise that "vaccination against small-pox" be made compulsory for children, indentured labour, prisoners, and police. That "Vaccine lymph" be given free to medical men in the New Hebrides, on condition that they report the number of vaccinations made, and the result. Also that" vaccine lymph" be given to colonists, recruiters, and others, who have received a certificate of efficiency as vaccinators, on the same condition.

Sanitation of Vila.-We would respectfully point out, that up to the present, nothing has been done by the Condominium Government for the public health of Vila. We would direct attention to what requires immediate notice:-1. c:tting of bush for destroying mosquitoes and their breeding places. 2. Filling up holes in the roads for the same object.

3. The erection of latrines for men and women in the main street of Vila. The bush is at present used for that purpose. This would do something to prevent "dysentery," besides being a necessary sanitary measure. 4. The disposal of refuse, empty tins, &c. We would advise that the prisoners be employed on this work. We should advise the adoption of the "trench system" for the disposal of refuse. (Object--prevention of

malaria·and dysentery). .

5. We would also respectfully direct attention to the disreputable character of many of the houses on the main road to Mele, and the way in which refuse is flung on the beach above high-water mark. We would also urge that in future no one be allowed to build "shanties" in the town of Vila, and that as far as possible the existing " shanties " be removed in a reasonable time.

Condominium Cemetery.-At the present time there is no law regarding the disposal of the dead. The dead bodies of natives and Europeans may be buried anywhere--near the public road, or household dwellings, or even in the centre of . the town of Vila itself. Provision for a Condominium Cemetery is necessary in the interests of public health.



Public Mortuary.- There is urgent need for such a building in Vila, as at present these is no place where dead bodies may rest while awaiting burial, or no place where post-mortem examinations, if necessary, can be conducted. The Duty of the M1mic ipality.-We may be told that these matters belong to the municipal administration, but knowing the mortality and m orbidity in Vila, we think it our duty, as the matters to which we have called attention are urgent, to ask the Condominium Government .to take immediate steps wit hout waiting for the election of municipalities.

Any .d elay might cause the lo ss of valuable lives. Prevention of Malaria.-We would respectfully point out that the modern t eaching in regard to malaria, has been neglected in the erection of the Condominium buildings. None of these buildings have been made "mosquito-proof" and are therefore quite unsuited for t he climate and of the New Hebrides. The experience of Panama, Lagos, Mauritius, Ismailia, French-African Occidental Coast, Rufisq ue, Italy, &c., all prove that the use of "mosquito-proof" netting in

buildings has been successful in the prevention of disease. We would respectfully advise that instructions, giving simple measures for " The Prevention of Malaria," and "The Destruction of Mosquitoes " be printed and distributed free of charge throughout the New Hebrides Group. We are ready and willing to write these instructions.

Mosquito Brigade.-We would Urge the formation of a mosquito brigade in the town of Vila. The police might be used for this purpose, being instructed by the Government Medical Offic ers. The primary object of the brigade is to discover and destroy the bree ding places of the mosquitoes. From our personal investigations we know that malaria is widespread among the native population, 98 per cent. of the children under ten years of age being infected and showing in their blood the malarial parasite.

It is because we are convinced that the Condominium Government requires to adopt a more decided line in regard to public health in the New H ebrides I slands, that we forward this memorandum to yourself, and to your colleagJie, the French Resident Commissioner. A copy of this memorandum translated into French, and signed as below, has been sent to the French Resident Commjssioner for the New H ebrides.

We have the honour to be,

(Sgd.) - DUBRUEL,

Chef de Service de Sante aux Nouvelles Hebrides. Medecin-Major des Troupes Coloniales. Laureate de !a Faculte de

Medicine. Meda ille d' or (Prix de Med. Colonialle, 1909 ).


Your obedient Servants,

(Sgd.) D. CROMBIE,

Medical Superintendent of the Memorial Hospital, Vila, and British Port Medical Offic er. L.R.C.P., L.R.C.S., Ed., &c. Certificates of the Liverpool Schoo 1

of Tropical Medicine. F ellow of the British Society of Tropical Medicine.

NoTE.- Copies of this memorandum are being sent for transmission to His Excellency the High Commissioner for the Western, Pacific, a t Fiji, and the Imperial Secretary of State for the Colonies, at t he Colonial Office, London, D.C.

448/ 11 SIR,


Office of the High Commissioner for the \Ve st ern Pacific, Suva, Fiji, 21st April, 19-ll.

I am directed by His Excellency the High Commissioner to acknowledge the r eceipt of your letter of the lith March, inclosing a memorandum drawn up by yourself and Dr. Dubrue l, on the Health of Vila and of the New Hebrides, ancl to express t o you His Excellrncy's thanks therefor. 2. At the same time His Excellency fears that until the Condominium Government is able to raise a revenue locally there is but little prospect of the many useful reforms indicated in your memorandum being instituted.

The R ev. David Crombie, M.D., Vila, New Hebrides.


I have the honour to be, Sir,


Your most obedient Ser:vant,

(S igned) C. R. HART DAVIS,

Secretary to H.B.M.'s High Commissioner, for the Western Pacific.


Colonial Office, Downing-street, S. W. , 29th May,I9Il.

Co lonel Seely, who is not now at the Colon ial Offic e, has forwarded to his successo r, Lord Lucas, your letter of the Sth of April inc losing a copy of the memorandum prepared by you and Dr. Dubruel on various matters co nnected with the New Lord Lucas desires me to assure you that he will bear carefully in mind wh at yon say in the memorandum when the matter co mes before him offi cially.

Yours faithfully,

(Signed) W. C. BOTTOMLEY.




Government House, Norfolk Island, 5th May, 1915.


In compliance with your verbal request of the 7th April last, I have the honour to furnish some particulars relative to Norfolk Island, concerning Land, Products, and Exports, which it is hoped will contain the required information; if not, I shall endeavour in any possible way to supplement this information.

Estimated area of­ Norfolk Island Alienated lands Reserves Crown leases Crown lands available for lease Roads, escarpments, foreshores, &c.



5,426 967 830 1,000



acres. 8,528


During the last five years about 400 acres were applied for, as Crown leases, by twenty applicants. , Of these, about twelve were applied for during 1914-15; some of them were visitors who intended eventually to settle on the Island, but since the outbreak of the war they seem to have altered their intention. Of the 400 acres above referred to, about 150 acres are now held under lease.


The chief products' of the Island are :-Lemons, passion fruit, coffee, oranges, bananas, kumeras, potatoes, onions, maize, oats, vegetables, &c., yams. Exports. There has been a in exports during the last year. The exports for the year ending 30th June,

1914, amounted to £1,193, and since the lst July, 1914, to the 30th April, 1915, that is for the last ten-months, they amount to £3,715. ,

The principal exports are :-Lemon-juice, passion fruit pulp, coffee, oranges, lemon seeds, potatoes, onions, hides, horsehair, wool, and a small quantity of arrowroot; also occasionally poultry and horses to the South Sea Islands, 'l'he area of freehold lands under cultivation is about 373 acres, and of leasehold about 70 acres; total, about 443 acres. The crops grown last year were :-Potatoes, onions, maize, wheat, oats, kumeras, peas, yams, barley, &c.



(Signed) M. V. MURPHY,



S. Barnabas, Norfolk Island, 7th April, 1915.

The Bishop of Melanesia desires to bring before the Royal Commission of the Government of'the Commonwealth of. Australia the following points in connexion the mail service and shipping at Norfolk I sland:-1. The Mail.-1£ the ship arrive at Norioll{ Island on a Sunday, that it be permitted that the mail and passengers be' landed, .but that the distribution of the mail and the opening of the post-office be not required until the Monday.

2. The Ship.-That if the ship arrive on a Sunday, it shall be allowed a s a regulation that no cargo work be done on the Sunday. ·

The Bishop expresses what he belie>e s to be the wish of a large section of the inhabitants of Norfdk Island.




l. What is your name ? 2. What i

5. Do you export any local products ? If so, of what nature, and where to ? 6 . . Have you experienced any diffi culty with the mail contractors (Messrs. Burns, Philp & Company) in regard t o the shipment of your exports ? ·

7. Have the mail contractors a t any time refused t o ship your goo ds to Sydney? 8. ILso, what reason, if an-y, has been given for the refu sal ? -9. If the mail contractors have refu se d -to ship y our exports, have you suffered any monetary loss there by ? 10. Do you import any .goo ds ? If so, do you regard t he handling of your goods as satisfactory ? .

11. Have your goods ever been carried on by the steamer past the port ? If so , what has been the reason gwen by the ship's officers for not discharging your goo ds before the departure of the steamer ? 12. How long have you had t o wait for delivery of goods if over carried ? 13. What has been the result to yourse lf of such ove rcarriage ?



14. Can you say if over-carriage of goods or non-shipment of cargo from Norfolk Island has been due in some cases to the refusal of the island boats' crews to carry the goods between the ship and the shore? 15. Are the freights charged, in your opinion, fair and reasonable, or otherwise ? _

16. Has any discrimination been shown between yourself and other shippers by the shipping company? 17. Do you consider the development of the island satisfactory? If not, can you say-(a) What has retarded development, and (b) How it can be remedied ?

18. Do the steamers run regularly to their scheduled dates ? 19. Does irregularity of running adversely affect the trade of the island or the interests of settlers? I£ so, state in what way ? ·

20. Are the land laws such as to encourage settlement, or otherwise ? 21. If the land laws are not calculated to promote settlement, in what direction do you think they should be amended? 22. Do you consider the class of steamers now employed in the trade, and the present rate of passenger fares, prejudicial to the encouragement and development of tourist traffic ?


I, ALEXANDER SToNEY PATTON, 9,o sole:rp.nly and sincerely declare that the attached statements _marked (1) and (2), duly signed by myself and witnessed by the Chief Magistrate, were made for the information of the Royal Commis<>ion on Mail Services and Trade Development between Australia and the New Hebrides. And I make this solemn declaration by virtue of the Statutory Declarations Act 1911, conscientiously believing the statements contained therein to be true in every particular.

Declared at Norfolk Island, the eighth day of May, 1915, (Sgd.) ALEX. S. PATTON.

Before me- (Sgd.) M. V. MURPHY, J.P.

1. My n ame is Alexander Stoney P atton. 2. I am a medical practitioner. 3. And have been four and a half years on Norfolk Island. , 4. I think the m ail arrangements are generally..satisfactory, but am of th(l opinion it would be better if the Post Office was opened every day for at least two hours, from the day before a mail was expected until at least the day after the steamer left. I also think it would be an advantage if there were facilities for sending money orders to Australia and countries outside Australia and for cashing those from _ Australia and other countries.

5-9. I do not export. 10. I import to a small extent and have found the handling of my goods satisfactory. . .

11. My goods have been occasionally over-carried, either owing to the difficulty of la!!ding or to the ship'snot remaining long enough to discharge all her cargo. . ·

12. I have h ad to wait usually ten days for them, but on one occasion, I think, forty. 13. I did not in consequence suffer any inconvenience, having ordered in time to allow for delays. 14. The over carriage of my goods was never due to the boats' crews refusing to land them. 15. I think the freights charged and the passenger fares high. 16. No discrimination has ever been shown between myself and other shippers. 17. There has been a marked improvement in the development of the island since the Commonwealth took the government. Slow development is partly caused by the cost, difficulty, and uncertainty of getting produce to market and also to there being so few opportunities. The length of the voyage increases the risk of sending fruit and perishables which have also to be r eady for shipment sometimes several days before the steamer arrives, but also to the careless way in which goods have been picked and packed. There is also a want of co-operation amongst the producers on the island. The uncertainty of the seasons causes insufficient such as corn, potatoes, or vegetables to be grown for local use. It is impossible to say the day before on which side of the island the steamer will require to be worked, or to be certain exactly on what day she will arrive here, but I thin·k the management of lights and signals could be improved; also that at times too much time is wa.sted after a steamer arrives before the boats get out to her. I think the installation of wireless telegraphy would diminish uncertainties and would enable the people to know at least the morning before when to expect the steamer. If the wireless were worked by the Pacific Cable Board's employees at Anson Bay, a telephone should connect with Govern­ ment House, and from there by signal or otherwise the p eople on the rest of the island should be informed. The people should form a union to deal with their produce. There is too much waste land on the island, which is overgrown with weeds, and, I think, a land t ax would make the holders of land put it to better use; at the same time, the present system of

"public work" should be abolished. .

18. Before the war, weather permitting, the steamers were fairly regular. 19. Steamers not remaining sufficiently long to land or ship all their cargoes to or from here retards progress. 20. I think the present land laws are good and that no larger areas should be granted to leaseholders, as land available is limited.

21. I think all landholders should be compelled to keep their lands clear of noxious weeds, and that all Crown lands should also be cleared. 22. I think the passenger accommodation is at times insufficient and is not up t.o date. The steamers have been at times overcrowded and passengers who have paid full first-class fares have had to sleep on deck or in the saloon. The steamers are . too slow between here and Sydney.

Witness to Signature-8th May, 1915. (Sgd). M. V. MuRPHY, J.P.


The Pacific Cable Board, · Norfolk Island,

8th May, 1915.

· I, KENWRICK CECIL Cox, do solemnly and sincerely declare that I am the officer in charge of the Pacific Cable Station,· and have resided at Norfolk Island for about three years. In answer to question No. 4 of the Royal Commission.-! consider the mail arrangements satisfactory so far as they go, but a more frequent service would be of very great advantage. Also a Postal Money-order Office is needed.

Question No. 5.-No. Question No. 6.-No. Question No. 7.-No. Qu estion No. 8.-No. Question No. 9.-No. Question No. 10.-Yes; the handling of goods imported by the Pacific Cable Board and myself is satisfactory, except as stated below.

Question No. ll.-Yes, occasionally, for the following reasons:-(a) Ship late in arriving and unable to wait long enough to land all cargo consigned to the island, even though the we ather was fine and boat landing good. (b) Rough sea necessitating small boatloads and consequent slow handling of cargo. Ship unable to wait long

enough to land all the cargo. ·

(c) (Once.) Very heavy rain involved risk of damage to cargo if the hatches were opened. Ship unable wait till the weather cleared. (d) Goods apparently overlooked when discharging.



Question No. 12.-Ten days to six week s, according to whether goods were tra.nshipped < tt Vila or ca.nied on for the -voyage through the New Hebrides. Question No. 13.-Serious inconvenience. Question No. 14.-Yes, in one case.

. Question No. 15.-Yes, I consider the freights charged are fair and reasonable, provided that every reasonable effort 1S made to avoid carrying goods on past this port. This appears not always to have been done, as stated in answer to question No. 11. Question No. 16.-No.

Question No. 17.-The development of the island is most unsatisfactory. Development is m ainly reta.rded by the lack of proper landing and shipping facilities ; the place at which goods will be landed or shipped, or whether they will be landed or shipped at all, being entirely dependent on the state of the sea. This could be remedied by the provision of n. wharf or pier at which the steamer could lie to load and discharge cargo in all weathers.

N o. 18.-The steamers run as regularly as can be expected of small steamers on a run of this class.

Question No. 19.-I h ave no knowledge of a ny such adverse effe ct. Question Nos. 20 and 21.-I am not sufficiently familiar with the many points involved to be able to answer these questions satisfactorily. Question No. 22.-The class of steamers at present employed is certainly prejudicial to the development of tourist traffic. The present rate of fares would be r easonable if cabin accommodation were always provided. The accommodation has, however, often been quite inadequate for the number of passengers.

I make this solemn declaration by virtue of the Statutory Decla.ra,tions Act 1911, conscientiously beli<:;ving the statements · contained therein to be true in every particular.

Declared at Norfolk Island, the llth clay of May, 191.'5. Before me-(Sgd.) M. v. MURPHY, J.P.

l. I, FREDERICK HoWARD CHRISTIAN, do solemnly and oincerely That I am a farmer and business m a n ; 3. And have resided on Norfolk I sland for fifty-six year :;. 4. I think the mail arrangements generally satisfactory.

b. I sometimes ship oranges, &c ., to Sydney. 6. I h ave not experienced any difficulty in shipping to Sydney. 7. Messr s. Burns, Philp, & Company h ave never refused to ship my goods. 8. No refusal. 9. I h ave suffered no loss in exporting goods.

(Sgd.) K. C. COX.

10. I import goods from Sydney, but not always satisfactorily, by receiving the goods in a damaged condition. 11. I h ave h a d goods carried on occasionally, the steam er coming in at midday and the goods not all landed by dark. "The steamer would not wait until the next day, but leav es at dark for the islands, and the goods brought back by the return st ea mer. The goods would then be landed in a very unsatisfactory condition. At t imes no landing is possible on account

-o f heavy seas at the landing places.

12. About nine or ten days. 13. Flour, &c., would be tainted with the smell and taste of copra .. 14. Weather permitting, there has been no r efusal to land or ship goods. 15. I think the freight charges reasonable. 16. No.

17. A faster boat with better accommodation. 18. No. 19 . . I have known a large quantity of oranges, &c., on the pier ready to be shipped, but t he steamer refused to receive the fruit, having no room for any more goods on board. Consequently it has caused a great loss to the islanders.

20. I have nothing to say on the subject. 21. The same as Clau se 20. 22. I think the steamers run by Messrs. Burns, Philp, & Company too slow and too small for the trade. And I make this solemn declaration by virtue of the Stat11.tory Declaration Act 1911, conscientiously believing the sbttements contained therein to be true in every p articular.


Declared at Norfolk I sland, this tenth dav of May, 1915. Refore me-(Sgd.) E. STEPHENSON, ,T.P.

Norfclk I sland, 11th May, 1915.

REPLIES '1'0 {-)UE::iTIONS CONTAINED IN ADl\UNISTl=t.-\.TOR'S :.\l Bi\IOR .. -\XD UM, DATED THE 2!)TH APRIL, 1·e }fAIL SERVI CES AND TLUDE D8V E L OPMENT. l. Henry r. Pinkerton. 2. General merchant. 3. About five years. 4. Fail', but uncertain a rrival of Sydney-bound stea.mers unsatisfactory, but it must be r emembered that same ma.y he due to waiting here to land cargo from _when t_he weathe1: is

5. Yes. Hides and wool, &c., and am md1rectly mterested m shipments of other produce. 6. No, but have refrained from entering the export t rade• in perishable produce because of uncertainty as to being · a ble to ship. 7. See r eply to 6. Have been inconvenienced by ship leav in g before loading was completed of shipment in which

I wa.s interested. 8. Understood that ship co uld not afford to wait overnight. 9. See 6 and 7. 10. Yes fairly satisfactory, but find that the shipping company act s arbitrarily in marking the B/ L for goods -"insufficiently' packed" or " unprotected " without sufficient cause. This is a most serious matter, as the consignor

h as to accept the shipping company's dictum, or take the go od<> back. The t endency to mark the B/ L's m that manner ie . on the increase. 11. Yes, frequently-None. 12. Ten days to two months (the latt er period being exceptional). _ _

13. Great inconvenience, and damage by moistur e from the copra; also loss through the extra handling, espec1ally wit h kerosene. It may be noted that duty has to be paid on the and contents shipped in Sydney, and not .:m

.-quantities, &c., landed here, so any loss in dutiable articles during transit IS consequently the more heavy. 14. In one case that was the partial cause ; I do not know of any other cases, except by r eason of bad weather. 15. Generally so , but occasionally h ave had to submit to what I co nsidered an unfair charge. 16. No. F.l0760.-C


17. No.-(a) Due to inadequate (both as to ships, and from ship to shore, and vice ve1·sd)"services in part, which prevent the little progress at present possible, but mainly due to the difficulties which confront new settlers. (b) B:v a complete revision of the terms and conditions on which Government land is made available, as without

the introduction of new settlers who come here with the intention of succeeding, no great progress is possible. The betterment of the steamer service, and the provision of ventilated space, although it may precede · the land reform, is but a concomitant part of the provisions required to rectify the existing state of affa irs. The provision of some sort of h arbor would be the greatest and most telling step in that direction. 18. Departures from Sydney are fairly regular, the arrival here on the return trip is very irregular. 19. Yes, hut could he obviated by the provision of wireless, here and on the ships. The packing of perishable go ol1s on a date to be in time in the event of an early arrival, mean s as a rule tha t they are packed several days before being shipped, with consequent Also it is impossible to cart the goods t o any particular landing, until it is definitely known

when the steamer is coming. 20. No. They are of a nature calculated to r epel a genuine settler. 21. Re-survey of the remaining Government land into suitable areas, to he opened up with roads conforming with the contour of the land while maintaining easy grades, these areas to he thrown open on a leasehold basis with the right to purchase on the completion of certain improvements, with residence by the actual holder. The present repressive system

only encourages h olding for grazing purposes without much improvement. 22. All h ave insufficient accommodation. Fares are not excessive where proper accommodation a nd service are provided, which is not always provided for all the passengers. Certainty of accommodation and general improvement in same would encourage many to make the trip who at present refrain.

I, HENRY CRAIG PINKER.TON, declare that the attached statements marked J. , 2, and 3 are true, to the best of my knowledge and belief. (Sgd.) HENRY C. PINKEH/l'ON. Dated this lRth day of lVIay, 1915.

Affirmed by the above H. C. Pinkerton on the clay h ereinbefore mentioned a t Norfolk Island.

(Sgd .) E. STEPHENSON, cT.P.

I, HENRY NELSON DRUMMOND, Clerk in Holy Orders, r epresenting the .Melanesian .Mission, do solemnly and sincerely declare-3. 4.

'rhat I h ave resided on Norfolk Island for eight years during the past thirteen years. That I consider the mail arrangements generally satisfactory, but would urge-That facilities be made for dealing with moneys to and from places other than Australia ; That opportunities he given for transacting business at the Post Office between the closing of the mail and

arrival of the st eamer ; That an officia l notification of the sailing of the steamers be posted when possible. 5. That I export local products-chiefly arrowroot, wool, and fruits to Auckland, and occasionally to Sydney. 6. That I h ave experienced no difficulty with the mail contractors witl> regard to the shipment of exports. 7, 8, 9. That the mail contractors have not a t any time refused to ship my good,; to Sydney.

10. That I import goods from Auckland and Sydney-the former being handled by private employees-the latter generally handled satisfactorily . 11. Tha.t my goods h ave been carried past the port, no reason being given by the ship's officers, hut the reason seems t o be that the m ail contractors do not comply with the t.erms of the contract if such contract 1e quires the steamer to spend ei ght hours' daylight at Norfolk I slanr1.

12. That I have h a d to wait at least ten days, at most a mont.h, as a result of the 13. That there is personal inconvenience ; that goods h ave been lost; and that where there is an element of uncertainty it is impossible to import foodstuffs for consumption at the .Mission Station, and to export perishable goods. 14. That I cannot say the overca rriage has been due to the island's boats' crews refusing to handle goods.

15. That I con sider the freights high. 16. That no discrimination has been made between myself and other shippers. 17. That I consider the development of the island gener ally satisfactory. Development may have been retarded to some extent by local callousness and lack of co-operation.

18, 19. That the steamers run as regularly as it is reasoPahle to expect, but the uncertainty must necessarily he prejudicial to the development of trade. ·

20, 21. That the land laws are generally satisfactory , for I do not expect that Norfolk I sland can become an important settlement. 22. 1'hat I consider the class of steamers now employed distinctly poor, the fares high, and the possibility o£ being overcarried or stranded on Norfolk I sland great. These facts, I think, hinder the development of tourist traffic and militrtte a gainst settlement on the island.

And T m ake this solemn rl eclaration bv virtue of the Stat'utonr Declara.tion Act 1911, conscientiously believing the statements contained therein to be true in e'very particular. v

(Sgcl.) H. N. DRUMMOND.

Declared at Norfolk I sland, this 11th day of May, 1915. Before me-(Sgd.) E. J.P.

I, FREDERICK W ALTER PEARSON, do solemnly a nd sincerely declare tlutt I am a storekeeper, and have resided on Norfolk I sla nd about 25 years . co nsider the mail service could be improved by our becoming attached to the Fijian service of the

New Hehridea.n; we would then be in touch with Suva by cable, a nd on hearing that the steamer h a d departed from there, would know exactly to an h our when to expect her h er e. As it is at present, the elate of arrival on published time-table is only approximate, and the boat m ay a rrive at times as late as three or four days after that advertised tin1e, and I h ave known it to be even as late as a week.

Local.- In regard to the local Post Offi ce a.rnmgements, I would respectfully submit that the N orfolk I sland "Date Stamp" be affixed to letters on r eceipt of same by Under existin g when letter comes into the

p ossession of t h e addressee a month late, there IS nothmg whatever to show on what elate It was received on Norfolk Island. p 1·oducts.- I h ave exported at various t imes fr:1it , coffee, whale oil, and lemon juice to Sydney, Auckland, and the New Hebrides. The mail contractors have not r efused to ship my goods to Sydney, bu t on several occasions h av.e cleared out and left them behind, both on shore and alongside the vessel-the reason given being-it is an open roadstead , ancl;'or weather conditions. The great drawback in regard to shipping is that there is no breakwater or regular safe anchoril ge I have suffered monetary loss thereby, and at the present time h ave a small quantity of lem on juice.:_about £15 value­ left on my hands in Sydney through there being no opportunity to from here during the of ?!'ehruary, the goods ha.ving been ordered to arrive ther e that month: I_ sent the _goods _up m the firs_t opportumty .

Jmports.- The stevedor es appear to exerCise little care m loadmg the ship, and at t1mes goods are delivered m anythmg but a satisfactory co ndition, still I must admit that Messrs. Burns, Philp & Comapny ar e very fair in their settlement of claims for damage when forwa.rclecl. By the last steamer from Sydney, the Gennania, quite a quantity of cargo for elsewhere -about 10 tons I shonld say-had to be Rhifted in the hold before cargo for here was procurable. More care should be · exercised in h an


are invariably overcarried every steamer, the reason given being in some cases they cannot be

found; m others, the steamer-when the men have knocked off work up to dark-cannot wait till the morning. The goods are generally returned from Vila by the up boat in about ten days' time, but there have been cases where they did not come to hand until six week s later, on the return of the steamer by which they were originally shipped from Sydney. The result has been, especially in the case of flour, tea, rice, and sTigar, that the contents of the bags have been impregnated with the smell of the copra, and at times da maged by the coal dust . I ca.nnot say if the overcarriage o£ goods or non-shipment of cargo has been clue in some cases to the refusal of the island's boat crews to carry the goods between the ship and the shore. The boats ply regularly to and from the steamer, weather permitting, dtuing daylight working hours, except Sundavs.

. Freiqhts.-Now that the impost of 25 per cent. has been removed, I consider the freight of 30s. per ton, a lthough rather h1gh, fair and reasonable, notwithstanding the fact that the tonnage of imports has considerably increa.sed since that rate was fixed in the last contract. I cannot quote with accuracy wh-a.t the freights amount to, but should say they about 50-60 tons per month for the twelve months. No discrimination has been shown betvieen myself and the other shippers by the shipping company.

Questions 17 and 20.-I am not desiwus of answering the questions Nos. 17 and 20 beyond m entioning that the term of lease for 28 years appears to be detrimental to encouraging settlement on the island. . .

Time-tablc.--The steamers clo not run regularly to their scheduled dat es, and this affects the trade or interest of the settlers, inasmuch as perishable cargo, say fruit, &c ., is concerned. Fruit has been kept packed, lying in the cases for three or four days, awaiting arrival of a steamer which h as put in an appearan ce three or four days late according to time-table elate. Then a long p assage to Sydney increases the risk of the fruit arriving there in a sound marketable condition. As

before stated, were we att a ched to the Fiji line of steamers, a cable from Suva on the departure of the boat would enable us to pick, pack, and h ave the cases waiting on the wharf (or beach) here for her arrival ; as it is at. present, the first intimation we get is -Sail oh ! which in many cases is either a false alarm or a passing vessel. 8 tea.m ers.-I do not consider the class of steamer now employed in the trade likely to promote or encourage and

develop the tourist traffi c. T ak e, for instance, the last boat to Sydney, the Induna. Quite a number of tourists on going down to the landing place with their luggage were unable to secure a passage on their return tickets, a nd are still here. A few isla.nders also were shut out and a re going up by the Ma.kambo this trip. On other occasions I have known a tent t o have been rigged over the hatch for sleeping accommodation when the passenger list has been full. I consider the fares for the class of boat a nd accommodation supplied are in excess of what they should be.

Supplemental.-! m ay add that there is a new in dustry to be shortly started in fi sh-curing, the initiative steps having a lready been taken. In a,ddition to smoked fi sh , it is intended to erect a refrigerating plant on the island and transfer the fresh fish direct t o the st eamer on arrival into their cold storage chamber. Sever al of the steamers running on this line have no provision whr.tever in this direction, and as the probable space required is mentioned at about 10 tons per month, and the fish are very plentifiil, this matter may be worth consideration.

And I make this solemn declaration by virtue of the Statutory Declaration Act 1911, conscientiously believing the statements contained ther ein to be true in every p articular.

Declar ed at Norfolk I sland, the 11 t h day of May, l 9L\ Before me-(Sgd.) M. V . :MuRPHY , J.P.


p,1.lrn Glen . Norfolk Ishnd. !3th l\1a.y, 1916.

The Cha irman,


The Royal Commission on lYiail Services and Trade Developmen t, Norfolk I sland.

· Enclosed I have the honour to h an d you my replies to twenty questions I under sta.nd you forwarded for our consideration, a nd if required shall be ]Jleased to appear before you in respect thereto. Although probably out of tbe scope of your Commission, in the interests of the island generall y, I think thl' follow· in g matters should be inquired into :- •

l st. The very large amount it is co sting to administer Norfolk Island. 2nd. The qualifications of officers. 3rcl. Why the Clerk of the Court, who has a private residence of his own, is dom icil ed with his wif e ·end b mily at Government House. 4th. Why the Government are paying rent for the Clerk of the Court's private house to lodge th11 consta ble sent

from Sydney when there are several Government houses vacant and falling to decay which conld be put in order and used for this purpose. I h ave the honour to be,

&c, &c.,


I, RowLAND SKIPSEY WAT ERHOUSE , do solemnly and sincerely declare that-I am a coffee plant er and have resided on N orfolk I sland for a bout twenty-five years, and submit following answers to questions :-No. 4. Present arrangements very unsatisfactory. Better class of steamer required, also more frequent service,

say fortnightly. Locally the convenience of the public is n ot studied at all ; sortiPg takes three to four hours ; mails are delivered through a window, generally thirty or forty people waiting around it: as instance myself, my letters (about 2(1) a re passed through the window, then I hand in a sack for m y newspapers parcels ; thi'3 sack, fnll, is passed through the window and I have to force through the crowd as best I can. There i'3 another \'Yindow through which pap ers a nd parc!' b could be distributed.

A verandah is essential, there being no protection from th e weather. Two more letter pillar boxes are baclly required, with an indicator showing when they are cleared. At present we h[I.Ve only one pillar box and do not know when it has been cleared. All lett ers should be stamped showing date t hey were received ; being only a monthly ser vice through the window, should a letter be overlooked, it may be pigeon-holed until next Frequently letters bearing Sydney el ate stam[J in time to catch tha t m ail have not r eached me nntil followin g m, and I cannot tra.ce where delay is.

Ma ils outward close on 15th each month at noon. Time shonld be extended to 5 p.m. h fact, the Post Offi ce should be open on that day from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., as post al notes and stamps cannot. be purcha eel elsewhere. Two hours after a J.Tival of steamer a supplem entary mail is made up and closed, a lthough the steamer may be at anchor .until dark. Consequence is, letters have to be given to passengers to post or given to supercargo. 1o mai.l letter boxes ar e provided

r,n. steamer, and let ters n.r e thrown on su percargo's bunk and may get astray. Mail might close one hour before steamer ::;,,ils. At present local letter s cannot be passed through the offic e. I con. ider it should be open for this purpose at least

once a week, and letters should be delivered. The present P ostmaster runs a boarding-house , and often after mails a re landed, instead of hast ening sorting, keeps the public wait ing whilst he a rranges for the accommodation of boarders and tourists. This should be stopped at once, and the postmaster instructed that on mail days his whole time must be devoted t o l?ost al matters. I submit the best thing in the interests of the island would be to establish a branch of the Commonwealth Ban k

here, to be run by a competent ma nager in conjunction with the post office. The present building is suffi cient for this purpose .. No. 5. Yea. Coffee, wha le oil, seeds, plants, fruit, t o Sydney.


Nos. 6-9. Rather vague. We have to ship our own goods. Several times goods have been left behind. Officers of :steamer never give any reasons:


No. 10. I import various kinds of goods. Sometimes they are sadly about, both on steamer and in the

. No. ll. Yes, several times, no reason given, and the Captain sails when it suits him. Frequently they do not remain etght hours, as per subsidy. Makambo, in April, reached here 2 p.m., sailed 6 p.m., overcarried a lot of cargo. I had

eight packages, and four were overcarried. No. 12. If returned direct from Vila, about ten days. If carried round the islands, about five weeks. No. 13. Inconvenience and loss. Last occasion, iron overcarried, could not complete a building. Sulky sh::tfts -overcaiTied, had to purchase a pair locally, not knowing when overcarried goods would reach me.

No. 14. No; except on account of bad weather, or at night time. No. 15. Consider them too high. 25s. per ton sufficient. Goods of all sorts should be scheduled, such as empty casks from Sydney, previous rate up to 44 gallons, 2s. 6d. each. They now charge up to 36 gallons, 2s. 6d. ; 36 to 50 gallons, ·as. 9d. ; over that quantity., 5s. cask. These casks filled and reshipped to Sydney previously, 6s. each; now, up to 36 gallons

6s.; 36 to 50 gallons, 9s. ; over that quantity, l2s. each. This is an advance of 50 per cent., and as a very large number ·of casks will be required for the lemon juice and passion pulp industry, the high freights should be materially reduced. Importers on Norfolk Island might be asked to furnish a schedule of freights suitable for goods, both imported a.nd exported. No. 16. No; decidedly not.

No. 17. No-(a) The want of proper facilities for shipping; better and faster boats for perishable cargo. (b) By providing the above. No. 18. No; Schedule date is 16th of the month. Sometimes steamer arrives 14th, and sometimes as late as 24th of the month. When late, 1t gives but little time in Sydney for orders to be properly-executed.

No. 19. Yes. As no dependence can be placed on date of arrival of steamer, prevents the shipment of fruit and perishable cargo. This being our only market, the chance of disposing of such cargo, and making a profit, is lost. No. 20. No. No. 21. Respecting Crown leases-28 years is a bsurd; should be 99 years.

I quote my coffee plantation-30 acres; 28 years; 16 years to run; nothing to show a renewal will be granted 'This property has already cost many hundreds, is capable of producing many tons of coffee, but requires-a large amount to be spent in developing it, which would give employment to very many people, A syndicate would take it up, work it properly, a nd spend thousands on the island, if the lease were much longer. I · suggest that the Government cancel present lease, < 1.nd issue a fresh one for 99 years, or to continue present lease to end of term, giving a written guarantee it would be renewetl

fo r another 50 years at not over 50 per cent. of present rental, or give the preser>t lessee the chance of making it freehold. No. 22. Yes. Better steamers, with proper and up-to-elate accommodation; faster boats, say three to four-day trips - not as at present, six to nine clays. Last month the lnduna called here en route to Sydney. Many tourists and other p :1ssengers had their luggage on the pier, but could not go by her as she had no accommodation. This alone will, no doubt, prevent tourists and business people visiting here, unless they can be guaranteed they can get back in three weeks. The

sa.Ioon fares, considering the class of steamers and menu provided, are certainly very high, and should be reduced. I would s uggest if any future subsidy is granted, it should be distinctly specified that steamers arriving both ways on a Sunday, must remain until next day to discharge or receive cargo; that the st eamer mus.t remain at least eight working hours of daylight <1nd in case of bad weather remain the following clay to discharge or receive cargo; that steamers of the Tambo, llfalaita,

a ncllnduna class are useless to us; to develop the resources of the island, and to encourage the tourist traffic, which would mean hundreds of pounds per annum coming into the island; to grant no subsidy to a shipping company, but for the Govern­ ment to run a steamer-Sydney, Lord Howe, Norfolk to Auckland, returning same route to Sydney. This would bring tourists from both Australia and New Zealand, and open up a market for us iri New Zealand for produce unsuitable for New South Wales. In a short time it would be a paying proposition.

And I make this solemn declaration by virtue of the Statutory Declaration Act 1911, conscientiously believing the .statements contained therein to be true in every particular.

Declared at Norfolk Island, this 15th day of May, 1915, Before me­ (Sgd.) E. STEPHENSON, J.P.


-- I, ALFRED HERBERT WATERHOUSE, do solemnly and siPcerely declare that I am a contractor, builder, and farmer, c a nd have resided on Norfolk Island for fourteen years. Present arrangements are not satisfactory. Improved service is required. Delivery of mail should be expedited. My opinion is-There is unnecessary delay from landing of mail until delivery ·of There is no protection from the over the delivery window. A verandah should be erected. On day of n'lail closing for Sydney office hours should be from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., as postal notes cannot be purchased -elsewhere. A branch of the Commonwealth Bank, with a competent manager in conjunction with the Post office, would be a ':boon to the island. I export seeds, plants, ferns, &c., to Sydney. All our exports are taken off to the steamer at her anchorage. I import goods and have had packages knocked about. On several occasions my goods have been overcarried. No reasons have been given by the officers. If transhipped at Vila, about t en days. If caiTied round the New Hebrides, about five weeks. Inconvenience and loss by having to purchase locally to complete engagements. Goods have been refused by local night time only, or through heavy weather. I think freight should not exceed 30s. All goods should be scheduled. No discrimination has been shown. 'What has retarded the development of the island is want of proper facilities cfor shipment, faster and better steamers for carrying perishable cargo, and a more frequent servicP . Steamers do not run to schedule time. Sydney being our. only ma.rket, the irregula,i·ity of the nnwing ]Jrevents ship­ments of fruit and perishable cargo, and the chance of disposing of same is lost . Crown leases should be extended to a of 99 years. Yes. F aster and more up-to-date steamers are 'r equired. Steamers should wait at least eight working hours of ..(laylight, and should she arrive on a Sun_clay, be to remain until the f_ollowing clay. . . . . And I m ake this solemn declaratiOn by VIrtue of the Statuto1·y Declaratwn A c.t 1911, consCientiOusly behcvmg _the 13tatements contained therein to be true in every particular. (Sgd.) ALF. \VAT:ERHOUSE. Declared at Norfolk Island this day of lVfay, HH5. Before me­(Sgcl.) BuFFETT, .T.P. for Norfolk Island . . l'rinted :1n d Published for the GOVERN MENT of the of AUSTRALIA by ALBERT J. MULLETT, Government Printer for the State of Victoria.

Plate !.- Coconut Plantation, Tisman Bay, Malekula Island, New Hebrides, showing Boatshed.

Plate 2.- Native Canoes, Tanna Island, New Hebrides.

Plate 3.- Native Chief's Wife, Ambrym Island, New Hebrides.

Plate 4,- Native Chief, Tanna Island, New Hebrides.

Plate 5.-Wild Native Women, Hog Harbour, Santo Island, New Hebrides.

Plate 6.-British and French Native Police in charge of Native Convicts while Bathing.

Plate 7.- Mission Hospital at Ambrym Island, New Hebrides, which disappeared into the Sea during a severe Volcanic Disturbance in December, 1913.

Plate 8.- General View of Vila, Seat of Government of New Hebride.S . .

Plate 9.-Natives Clearing Ground for New Plantation, Epi Island, New Hebrides.

Plate 10.- Wild Native Women, Santo Island, New Hebrides.

Plate 11.- A Copra and Rubber Company's Plantation, Port Patteson, Vanua Lava Island, Banks Group.

Plate 12.- White Sands Landing Place, Tanna Island, New Hebrides.- A Typical View of Loading and Discharging Cargo.

Plate Sing Sing" Ground, Walla Island, New Hebrides.

Plate Native Women on Mission Station, Lenake! , Tanna Island, New Hebrides.

Plate 15.- Native Village, Ambrym Island, New Hebrides, showing Drum used for Ceremonial Purposes.

Plate 16.- Totem Houses, Walla Island, New Hebrides.

Plate 17.-Beach at White Sands, Tanna Island, New Hebrides (often a risky La:nding Place).

Plate lB.- Native Chiefs from various Islands who come to buy pigs for Ceremonial Purposes at Hog Harbour, Santo Island, New Hebrides.