Page:Picturesque New Guinea.djvu/376

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BRITISH NEW GUINEA.

industries mentioned above:—Nutmegs, ginger, pepper, indiarubber trees (those grow to a large size in tho Tabouri district), spices of all kinds, sago, hemp, massoi bark (largely used for medicinal purposes), cocoa-nut fibre, sandalwood, saffron canes, rattan.

In some portions of the interior it would be possible to graze sheep and cattle—these might supply a local market—but the obstacles in the way of developing purely agricultural interests in the country, on account of the difficulties of communication, would be very great.

A central range of mountains running north and south forms the backbone of the Protected Territory. The highest point in this range is supposed to be Mount Owen Stanley, 13,200 feet. Leading to the base of this central range on either side, east and west, are a series of high ranges or spurs, whose sides are covered with dense tropical forest of a virgin growth. Interspersed among these ranges are open valleys, full of rich deep soil, table lands, patches of open country covered with coarse grass, and craters evidently formed by recent volcanic action. Many of the hillsides and valleys had been cleared, fenced, and cultivated by the natives. In some cases the ranges come almost sheer to the coast; in others, as at Kabadi, &c., the intervening land between the ranges and the coast is perfectly flat and open; while, again, at other places such as Kapakapa, Hula, &c., miles of gently undulating country, well watered, with patches of forest intervening, stretch far back into the interior from the coast. The character of the vegetation, especially on the coast, and in many cases of the soil also, is entirely Australian; towards the interior, however, it becomes more tropical, both as regards its character and density.


Part III.—Future Administration, Expenditure, etc.

Before any definite programme of administration for the Protected Territory can be laid down, two questions of considerable political importance must first be settled. In the first place, the status and authority of the Special Commissioner within the Protected Territory requires to be more clearly and definitely defined, and secondly, the present political relationship of the Imperial Officer administering the country with respect to the Imperial and Colonial Governments is a wholly anomalous one, and one which apparently will not prove workable. Under the present arrangement. New Guinea forms no integral part in the Anglo-Australian System.

With reference to the first point, namely, the authority and status of the