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established by either Great Britain or Gerinany in, the Western Pacific.
The table on the following page shows the exact geographical position and nationality of the principal groups and islands in these latitudes, and serves at the same time as an index to the chart annexed.
I will now deal with the groups separately, detailing more at length their diplomatic connection with European Powers, and pointing out some of the advantages they possess for commercial enterprise.
The Sandwich Islands, eight in number, and possessing an area of about 6,000 square miles, form the kingdom of Hawaii. The Government is constitutional, consisting of a King and Parliament. In 1843 their independence was formally declared by the French and English Governments; and in 1851 a treaty was entered into between her Majesty and the King relating to commerce and navigation, containing certain clauses granting concessions to whale ships, and regulating import duties and harbour dues. The islands, however, are practically Americanised, and the dollar is the standard coin. Their importance from a European point of view is chiefly owing to the position of Honolulu, which is the only coaling station on the mail route between Auckland and San Francisco and on the direct line between Vancouver and Fiji. Great Britain, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Russia, Austria, Belgium, Portugal, Sweden, Norway, and America are diplomatically represented.
The Ladrones, a group of about twenty islands, running almost due north and south, have a united area of nearly 1250 square miles, the largest being Guajan, ninety miles in circumference, where the governor resides. As a commercial possession these islands are very important to the Spaniards.
The Kermadec Islands, a scattered group of small rocky islets situated north-east of New Zealand, were annexed by Great Britain on the 1st of August, 1886.
The Chatham Islands, discovered in 1791, consist of three islands and several islets. The soil is fertile, and European fruits grow well.
Cook Islands are seven in number. The natives, a well-disposed and intelligent people, are Protestant, and adopt European habits.
Rarotonga, the finest and by far the most important of these
Northern Pacific. Ladrone Islands * (S.) Sandwich Islands (I.)
Southern Pacific. Kermadec Islands (B.). Chatham Islands (B.)
Eastern Pacific. Marquesas Islands (F.). Low Archipelago (F.) Society Islands (I. and F.) Cook's Islands (I.) Austral Islands (I.) Rapa” (F) Pitcairn Island (B.)
Western Pacific. Pelew Islands (S.) Caroline Islands (S.) Marshall Islands (I.G.). Gilbert Islands (I.B.) Admiralty Islands
Bismarck New Ireland Archipelago New Britain
(G.) British German New Guinea Dutch Louisiade Archipelago (B.) Solomon Islands (I.B.&I.G.) Ellice Islands (I.B.) Santa Cruz Islands 7 Samoa Islands 8 (I.) New Hebrides Islands (1.) Fiji Islands (B.) Tonga (I.): New Caledonia (F.) Loyalty Islands (F.) Nieué io (I.).
12 24 N.
144 24 E. 20 30 N. 146 1 E.
29 15 S.
177 56 W. 30 36 S. 179 OW.
7 53 S.
138 26 W. | 10 30 S.
140 48 W.
6 53 N.
8 45 N.
134 55 E.
0 19 S.
10 43 S.
150 54 E.
10 58 S. 151 3 E. 11 42 S. 154 26 E.
B. denotes British possessions.
I.G. denotes independent, but within German
sphere of influence.'
'sphere of influence.'
ROUTES FROM LONDON TO SYDNEY.
Via Brindisi & Alexandria & Cairo Rly. 10,540 miles, of which 1,490 are land miles
11,533 San Francisco
14,895 of which 3,300 are land miles Panama
12,545 of which 50 are land miles Vancouver :
12,811 of which 3,271 are land miles
4 Mariana Islands.
6 For division, see text, p. 756.
10 Savage Island.
islands, lies in the highway between Sydney and Panama. Although mountainous, it is very fertile, and fresh water abounds; while its two small but fairly secure harbours might be made of signal service to us, seeing we have no coaling station in the Eastern Pacific. About the year 1864 the king and his chiefs made a formal application to her Majesty's Government for protection, in the shape of a letter addressed to the then Governor of New Zealand. The same feeling continues, and (July 3, 1886) the New Zealand Government, in a telegraphic despatch, asked that the island should be brought under British protection.
It is not probable that, with the present spirit of annexation, islands possessing so many advantages commercially and diplomati.cally will remain much longer without an offer of protection from some European Power.
The Society group may be divided into
(1) Tahiti, a valuable island with a good harbour (Papeete), Moorea, Mactia, and Tetuaroa. They were formally annexed by France in 1880.
(2) Huahine, Raiatea, and Borabora (to the leeward of Tahiti), and the adjacent small islands. Their independence was acknowledged by a treaty entered into between Great Britain and France in 1847, although, strange to say, the French flag has been flying at Raiatea since 1880.
The Austral group consists of five islands-Rapa, Ravaivai, Tubu, Rurutu, and Rimatara, ranging from fifteen to twenty-five miles in circumference and possessing a magnificent climate. The natives, who are Protestants, have little sympathy with the Roman Catholic teaching. These islands, cultivated properly by Europeans, would probably produce fine crops of cotton, coffee, sugar, and indigo, and constitute commercially a very profitable investment.
Rurutu and Rimatara are independent, but the other three belong to the French. Rapa, situated at the extreme south-east, possesses a fine natural harbour, and though it formed part of the 1843 Tahiti protectorate was not formally ceded to France till 1880.
The French possessions in the Eastern Pacific comprise
(1) The Marquesas, a group of eleven islands, possessing a delightful climate and valuable agricultural land, ceded to France by a treaty with Admiral Dupetit-Thouars in May 1842.
(2) The Tahitian Archipelago, which may be subdivided into(a) Tahiti, Moorea, Tetuaroa, Meetia, Tubai, Ravaivai, and Rapa.
Admiral Thouars seized Tabiti in August 1842, and during the following year the island was, at the request of its queen and principal chiefs, placed under French protection. In May 1880 King Pomaré the Fifth handed over the administration of Tahiti and its dependencies to the President of the Republic, and they were formally annexed by France. Tahiti, now a great centre of