1922 Encyclopædia Britannica/New Guinea

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search

NEW GUINEA (see 19.486).—Exploration in Dutch (western) New Guinea was systematically continued after H. A. Lorentz had completed his journey to the Snow Mts. in the S. in 1909. The work was continued in 1910–1 by M. Moszkovski, in 1912–3 by A. Franssen Herderschee, and by subsequent explorers, and plans were laid in 1918 for extended exploration of the territory N. of the Snow Mts. and for a descent from them to the S. coast. The hitherto existing administrative division of Dutch New Guinea between the residencies of Ternate, which included northern New Guinea, and Amboina, which included the S. of the island, ceased to work satisfactorily, and in 1920 it was stated that the island administration would be centred in the hands of one official with headquarters at Manokwari.

Territory of Papua.—Pop. (est. 1918), 250,000 natives, 962 Europeans. For one year, 1918–9, revenue amounted to £72,121, expenditure to £102,962; exports were valued at £176,247, imports at £258,112. Mineral oil has been discovered in the territory; boring was begun under official auspices in 1912, and was continued more thoroughly in and after 1915; it was determined to keep the exploitation in the hands of the Government for a time, and the Commonwealth and Imperial authorities agreed to contribute £50,000 each toward the fuller investigation of the field at Vailala. Gold has been worked or is known to exist in parts of the territory and adjacent islands. From 1888 (when British New Guinea was proclaimed a colony) down to 1916 gold to the value of £1,436,249 was obtained. On Misima or St. Aignan I. in the Louisiade Archipelago gold was little worked until 1914, when it began to be considerably developed, about 70 whites being settled in the island, which became the most important source of gold in the territory. Agricultural industries are developing (see (Australia).

North-eastern New Guinea.—With this territory are included the Bismarck Archipelago (New Britain, New Ireland and other islands) and Bougainville and Buka of the Solomon Islands. The German administrative capital was successively shifted from Friedrich Wilhelmshafen on the mainland of New Guinea to Herbertshöhe (Kokopo) in New Britain and then to Rabaul on Simpson's Harbour (Simpsonshafen) in the same island, where a new town was laid out. On Sept. 11 1914 a force of the Australian naval reserve was landed at Kokopo, and on the following day the British flag was hoisted. The whole territory was subsequently assigned to Australian administration under mandate. In 1919–20 a Royal Commission of the Commonwealth was unable to agree whether the territory should be attached to that of Papua or administered separately. The European pop. of German New Guinea was estimated in 1914 at 300, and 16,800 ac. were cultivated, mostly under coco-nuts, and these are also the chief economic product of the islands. For one year, 1918–9, exports from the territory were valued at £300,766 (copra, £274,318); imports at £280,980. On the mainland the sago palm, rubber, rice, sisal-hemp and coffee have been cultivated, gold has been worked, coal reported in the Nusa valley, and in 1914 a German commission was instructed to investigate for oil. On the islands, rice, rubber and cacao have been cultivated; zinc, copper and gold reported in Bougainville, and phosphates on the Purdy Islands. The seas yield pearl, trepang and turtle.