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PICTURESQUE NEW GUINEA.
Annexation by Great Britain.—In October, 1884, several vessels of war on the Australian station left Sydney Harbour one by one, bound northwards, and on the 6th November, five British war-ships were lying at anchor in Port Moresby. Commodore Erskine then formally proclaimed the British Protectorate, and the British flag was hoisted with great ceremony, in the presence of about 250 officers and men of the squadron, the missionaries, and as many of the natives and representative chiefs as could be collected for the occasion. All acquisition of land from the natives was forbidden, and regulations prohibiting the introductioof alcohol and firearms were drawn up. A representative chief, Boi Vagi, of Port Moresby, was chosen, and Mr. H. Romilly was left as Acting Commissioner, to enforce the regulations, and to act with authority until the arrival of the High Commissioner. Shortly afterwards the appointment was conferred on Sir Peter Scratchley, who at once proceeded to enter upon his duties.
Announcement of German Occupation.—So far the Imperial Authorities had complied with the wishes of the Australian Colonists, at least in appearance. But the favour shown them was materially lessened in value by the limitation of the area of territory taken under the British protection. They, very naturally, desired that the whole of the island not claimed by the Dutch should be annexed to the British Empire; but Lord Derby drew a line across the map, bisecting the eastern half into two nearly equal parts, and made this line the boundary of the protectorate, leaving the northern section free to be snapped up by any Foreign Power that might choose to take it. With reason the Colonists complained that good faith had not been kept with them, and that their agreement to pay the subsidy of £15,000 a year was invalidated by Lord Derby's act. But his lordship refused to alter his decision, and, unfortunately for the cause of the Colonists, New South Wales, which had formerly been in hearty accord with all its sister Colonies in this matter, drew off now, and stood aloof. It seemed as if the Secretary of State for the Colonies, secretly abetted by the New South Wales Government, was bent upon tacitly inviting some Foreign Power to take possession of the unannexed portion of the island. Before the close of the year—as