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the steamer. When the latter reached its destination the work of unloading was accomplished in exactly 2 hours by a few blacks, without any mechanical assistance whatever, in return for a modest fee of half a dozen sticks of tobacco. There were plenty of idle natives at Darwin who might have been usefully employed in a similar way, but vested interests there forbade.

The white wharf-labourer at Darwin receives (one can hardly say earns) from 10l. to 127. monthly for from two to three days' work in a month, work, too, not of a very arduous kind. He and his fellow-toilers cultivate with unusual success that spirit of discontent which is, perhaps, vinous rather than divine. More pay, more whisky, and less work, are their simple demands; and again and again they break out into revolt to enforce them. 'It is regrettable,' mournfully wrote the late Administrator (Dr Gilruth) in his final Report, 'that the Territory should have acquired a reputation for chronic industrial unrest combined with high wages; and so far there does not seem to be any prospect of a definite improvement.' It is yet more regrettable that legislators should be so blind as to be unable to see the obvious causes of the stagnation prevailing throughout tropical Australia, or so infatuated as to refuse to apply the natural remedy. The dry observation contained in the Report on the disturbances at Darwin furnished by Mr Justice Ewing to the Federal Government towards the end of 1920 points out with sufficient clearness the main economic objection to the employment of the white coolie in tropical agriculture. The Federal authorities,' he remarked, 'had conceived the idea that products could be grown in the Territory with wages from 31. 10s. to 6l. per week, to compete with those that were being grown in Eastern countries with wages from 6d. to 1s. 6d. a day.' The authorities of the famous Academy of Laputa conceived ideas equally rational. But it is scarcely prudent to entrust the control of extensive territories to such experimental philosophers.

The problem of introducing to the Northern Territory and other portions of Australia, where similar climatic conditions prevail, coloured labour in quantities sufficient for their agricultural development, without subjecting the continent to the risk of an overwhelming Asiatic

invasion, or of harmful miscegenation, is by no means insoluble. It would be satisfactorily solved within half a dozen years, were it the good fortune of these regions to be controlled by a body of British administrators possessed of Indian or African experience, instead of by politicians dependent on the votes of ignorant and prejudiced city masses. Areas of low-lying fertile lands could be defined and proclaimed open for tropical cultivation. Planters of these lands would be allowed to import coloured labour from certain specified countries, preferably from India and Java, under engagement to work for fixed periods on reasonable terms. Government inspection and supervision would check abuses and forbid the growth of servile conditions. Coloured aliens would not be allowed to live outside the areas assigned to them, or to engage in any other occupation there, except agriculture, without special permission. There would seem to be no reasonable objection to allowing a certain number of Indians of good character to bring their wives and families to Australia and settle in certain tracts reserved for their use after they had worked for some years for white employers. The prospect of a small grant of land after, say, five years' service would be a strong incentive to industry and good behaviour; and the establishment of a few colonies of industrious and inoffensive Asiatics, British subjects by birth, on its northern coasts could hardly menace the safety of Australia. Rather, by expediting the real and effective occupation of a portion of the continent which, for want of population, is now exposed to foreign invasion, the security of the Commonwealth would be enhanced by the adoption of some such system. The wealth produced in the planting districts would yield revenues which would enable the Government to maintain the land, sea, and air forces necessary for the protection of the whole tropical littoral. It would be better for Australia voluntarily to admit coloured aliens now as friends and servants than to be compelled hereafter to admit them as enemies and masters.

In the course of the foregoing observations the problem of the Northern Territory and tropical Australia in general has been treated exclusively as an Australian problem. But it really and vitally concerns the whole

Empire. It is an Imperial problem of the first magnitude; and Great Britain, the Dominions of Canada, South Africa and New Zealand, and India, are all interested in its successful solution. They have, therefore, an incontestable right to be consulted; and the whole question of tropical settlement and coloured immigration might well be discussed at the next Imperial Conference. Inasmuch as there is grave reason to fear that the blight of Commonwealth racial legislation may at an early date be extended to the former German territories lately assigned, under mandate, to Australia, the matter is one of special urgency. A common responsibility connotes a common policy. It were preposterous that the autonomous powers possessed by a single Dominion should include the right to take provocative action of a kind that might involve the whole Empire in most perilous controversies. Great Britain as the predominant partner in the Empire has a special right to be consulted, seeing that she maintains the Navy which alone ensures the inviolability of Australia.

The Australian Monroe Doctrine interpreted, as now, in an extreme sense, is the expression rather of a dangerous political superstition than of a wise and practicable policy. It is a perpetual challenge to the multitudinous coloured races of Asia, and conflicts, not merely with their legitimate aspirations and material interests, but, what is far worse, with their self-respect. Affronts to national pride are always resented more deeply by sensitive peoples than material injuries; and a doctrine which lays down that the yellow or brown man is not, in any circumstances, fit to associate with the white man may be democratic but is scarcely wise. Nor is it easy to justify on moral grounds the assertion, on the part of 5,500,000 people of European origin, of an exclusive right of occupancy of a continent some 3,000,000 square miles in extent, while hundreds of millions of Asiatics in over-crowded countries close by suffer the miseries of chronic famine. Selfishness is no more excusable in nations than in individuals. And when claims, as immoral as they are arrogant, are based on impotence, they are apt to provoke, not merely indignation, but the far more dangerous feeling of contempt.


Art. 13.-IRELAND.

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WHEN the Articles of Agreement' between Great Britain and Ireland were signed in London on Dec. 6 of last year, it was hoped that they would be welcomed by the Irish people as a generous settlement of an ancient quarrel. They went much further in the way of concession to national aspirations than had ever been contemplated by the Irish leaders of the past; and it was recognised at once by our Colonies and by the United States that an Irish grievance no longer existed. Unhappily, the extremist Republican section of Ireland was sufficiently powerful to retard an acceptance of the "Treaty,' and to create and stimulate distrust of Mr de Valera's 'plenipotentiaries' who had signed it. The debates in Dail Eireann' during the month of December were a melancholy exhibition of the political inexperience of its members; and many observers thought that they provided a demonstration of the incapacity of the Irish people for self-government, so violent was the language used, so inconsequent the argument, and so irregular the procedure. Such a judgment may be too severe, and, in any case, the decision of Parliament to concede a large measure of independence to Ireland is not likely to be reversed. But it remains true that the attitude of Dail Eireann during the past six months has been a main cause of the present confusion and disorder. Attempts were made to show that Mr Griffith and Mr Collins had gone beyond their instructions in accepting the Treaty'; and one of the men who had signed it, Mr R. Barton, while honouring his signature so far as to vote for its acceptance in the Dail, did not scruple to suggest that it was signed in London under duress and that it would be wise to reject it. In the end, after much wearisome recrimination, Dail Eireann accepted the Treaty, on Jan. 7, by 64 votes to 57; and the elected members of the Southern Irish Parliament, as legally constituted, ratified the acceptance a week later.

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The Southern Parliament was speedily adjourned, and the government of the country was assumed by 'provisional' ministers who had been appointed, not by any legally authorised body but by Dail Eireann, an

illegal organisation of which each member was obliged to declare his allegiance to the ideals of an Irish Republic. These ministers were, however, recognised by the British Government, it being taken for granted that all of them had taken the oath, involving faithfulness to the King, which was prescribed by the Treaty. They began at once to exercise authority in various directions, and after a short delay their authority was confirmed by the British Parliament. The various public departments -the Post Office, Education, the Local Government Board, the police-were formally handed over to them; British troops were gradually withdrawn from Southern Ireland; famous Irish regiments, the Dublin Fusiliers, the Munster Fusiliers, the Connaught Rangers, and others were disbanded; and for the last three months the authority of Mr Michael Collins and his colleagues has been as complete as British goodwill and British legislation could make it. It was naturally expected, both in England and Ireland, that a draft Constitution would be speedily prepared and placed before the country, and also-now that British intervention was a memory of the past, and that obedience to law was no longer to be identified with loyalty to 'foreign' rule —that the Provisional Government would regard it as their first duty to suppress disorder and to punish crime. These expectations were sadly disappointed; and, whatever reasons may be assigned for it, the fact is that life and property have been less secure in Ireland during the period that has elapsed since the Provisional Government assumed responsibility, than they have been in living memory.

It is right to remember the difficult position in which the Irish Government found itself in the spring. No Government can preserve public order without the support of armed forces who can be counted on to act, when necessary, in accordance with the directions of the executive. But the Irish Provisional Government have never enjoyed the full confidence of the Irish Republican Army.' As their self-assumed title imports, the members of this army were enlisted to force Great Britain to recognise Ireland as a Republic. For years they engaged in guerilla warfare against British troops with this end in view. However unscrupulous their

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