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German New Guinea

GERMAN NEW GUINEA The German protectorate of New Guinea, so called after the island which contributes the greatest area, comprehends, besides Kaiser Wilhelms Land, the islands which are now commonly called the Bismarck Archipelago viz. New Pomerania, New Mecklenburg, with New Hanover and the Admiralty Islands and the Solomon Islands (Bougainville and Buka). There are besides nearly 200 smaller islands and islets scattered among their greater neighbours. In 1884 New Guinea was absolutely wild, not a single white man living on what is now the German part. On the islands New Pomerania and Mioko only two trading firms had their establishments; and on New Lauenburg the Wesleyans had a mission station. After the annexation commercial enterprise set in at once, hand in hand with political administration. Now on the mainland and in the islands plantations have been established and tobacco and cotton have been successfully grown. Three German mission societies formed settlements on New Guinea, with a branch one on the Gazelle peninsula. The protectorate is included in the Universal Postal Union; each harbour has its post office, also a leading official with a number of assistants to control the natives and the revenue. It is divided into two districts with separate administrations, New Guinea and the Bismarck Archipelago; over both presides an imperial governor, the seat of government being Herbertshohe in New Pomerania. A small police force of natives has been formed. In each district there is a registry of deeds and a court of law, and in New Guinea a court of appeal, of which the governor is president. A line of steamers plies between New Guinea, the Bismarck Archipelago and Singapore. A special silver coin of rupee value has been introduced. The area of Kaiser Wilhelms Land is approximately 70,000 sq. m. It is impossible to speak with any precision of the number of the native population, but the white population in 1906 was 149.

The revenue of German New Guinea is derived from taxes, dues and licences, and amounted on the 31 st of March 1892 to about 3000; on the same rate, 1901, to 3750. The annual revenue is averaged at 5000, and the expenditure at 4200. The New Guinea Company was to receive 20,000 for transferring proprietorship to government, which took over the administration in 1899. In 1905 imports into Kaiser Wilhelms Land were valued at 33, 316, and exports at 7702, and the estimated expenditure for 1907-1908 of 76,000 included an imperial subvention of 57,696. The chief harbours are Friedrich Wilhelmshafen and Konstantinhafen.

Dutch New Guinea comprises all the western portion of the island. The boundary on the east, separating it from British New Guinea and German New Guinea, was finally settled in 1893. Starting from the south coast, it follows 141 i' 48* E. up to the Fly river, which is mounts until 141 i' is reached, when it once more follows the meridian up to the north coast. The area of the territory is 151,789 sq. m., and the inhabitants have been conjectured to number some 200,000. A few missionaries have established themselves, but otherwise the Dutch have scarcely occupied their possession, which at present merely forms part of the residency of Ternate in the Moluccas. Dutch New Guinea, however, has better natural advantages than either the British or German possessions in the island, and should eventually prove of real value to the Netherlands. The claims to superiority over New Guinea on the part of the rulers of some of the small neighbouring islands date at least from the spread of Islam to the Moluccas at the beginning of the 15th century, and were maintained by the Malay rulers both of Bachian and of Gebeh and afterwards by the sultan of Tidore. When -the Dutch first came to these seas it was their policy to ally themselves with certain chiefs, and support their claims over various islands, so as to extend their own commercial monopoly; and they therefore supported the claims (admitted by Great Britain in 1814) of the sultan of Tidore over both the Raja Ampat (i.e. the four Papuan kingships, Waigeu, Salawatti, Misol and Waigamma on Misol Island) and certain islands or points on the north-west coast of New Guinea. Nominally the sultan of Tidore is still the suzerain of western New Guinea, but his authority is scarcely recognized, except on some few shores and adjacent islands, and practically Dutch New Guinea used to be administered partly from Ternate and partly from Timor, upon more peaceful lines than was the case when the rule of the Dutch in New Guinea largely consisted of the sending of a warship now and again to some distant island or bay to burn a kampong, to punish rebellious villagers, and thus assert or reassert Dutch authority, or that of the sultan, who is their vassal. In 1901, however, a more serious effort was made to establish some kind of government in the southern province of Dutch New Guinea, at Merawkay, where a small Dutch-Indian garrison was stationed with the professed object of preventing raids by bands of savages into the British territory near by. Such raids had been rather frequent, the invaders attacking the natives who live under British protection, burning their huts, murdering the men, carrying off the women and children as slaves, and returning to their own haunts laden with booty. There is an assistant Resident at Merawkay, whose immediate chief is the Dutch Resident at Ternate, and who is the civil administrator of the province of southern Dutch New Guinea. Assistant Residencies have also been established at Manokvary in northern Dutch New Guinea, which has been formed into a province, under Ternate, and at Fakfak, in western Dutch New Guinea, likewise erected into a province, also under Ternate. By 1902, therefore, Dutch New Guinea formed a government, with its headquarters at Ternate, divided into the three provinces named. At regular intervals the steamersof the Dutch Royal Steam Packet Company call at Dorey and other points, while administrative posts have been established elsewhere in lieu of others previously attempted but abandoned.

A curious discussion arose in the Dutch states-general when the government was seeking legislative sanction for the above measures, with a provisional credit to cover the first establishment expenses. It was seriously contended in one part of the house that, as eminent men of geographical and ethnographical science had settled the question whether New Guinea belongs to Asia or Polynesia in favour of the latter, a New Guinea colonization scheme could not properly be proposed and decided upon in a section of the Dutch-Indian budget. This budget concerned only the Asiatic possessions of Holland, not the Polynesian ones, and Dutch New Guinea must, consequently, have its own budget. Finally, the majority of the states-general, backed by government, decided that New Guinea must still be reckoned to belong to Asia.

AUTHORITIES. Narratives of the various explorers mentioned:

E. C. Rye, " Bibliography of New Guinea " (complete in 1883), in Supplementary Papers, R.G.S. (1884); H. Haga, Nederlandsch Nieuw Guinea en de Papoesche Ettanden. Historische Bijdrage, 1500- 1883 (Batavia, 1884); H. H. Romilly, The Western Pacific and New Guinea (London, 1886); R. Parkinson, Im Bismarck Archipel (Leipzig, 1887); C. Kinloch Cooke, Australian Defences and New Guinea (London, 1887); J. Strachan, Explorations and Adventures in New Guinea (London, 1888); H. O. Forbes, " British New Guinea as a Colony," in Blackwood's Magazine (July 1892); J. P. Thompson, British New Guinea (London, 1892); L. Karnbach, Die bisherige Erforschungvon Kaiser Wilhelmsland (Berlin, 1893); F. S. A. de Clercq and J. D. E. Schmeltz, Ethnographische beschrijving van de West- en Noordkust van Nederlandsch Nieuw-Guinea (Leiden, 1893); A. C. Haddon, Decorative Art of British New Guinea, Royal Irish Academy (Dublin, 1894); " Studies in Anthropogeography of Br. New Guinea," in Geograph. Journ. vols. xvi., xvii. ; Gepgraphische Untersuchungen in der Westhalfte von New Guinea," in Report of Sixth International Geographical Congress (London, 1895) : J. Chalmers, Pioneer Life and Work in New Guinea (London, 1895) ; Sir W. MacGregor, British New Guinea (London, 1897) ; H. CayleyWebster, Through New Guinea (London, 1898); R. Semon, Im Australischen Busch und an den Kiisten des Korallen Meeres (Leipzig, 1899); Nachrichten uber Kaiser Wilhelmsland (Berlin, 1887-1899); Joachim Graf von Pfeil, Studien und Beobachtungen aus der Stidsee (Brunswick, 1899) ; M. Krieger, New Guinea (Berlin, 1899) ; K. Blum, New Guinea und der Bismarck Archipel (Berlin); Stanford's Compendium of Geography and Travel; Malaysia and Pacific Archipelagoes (new issue, edited by Dr F. H. H. Guillemard, London) ; The Cruise of the " Marchesa " (1894), by the same (second volume); British Empire Series : " Australasia " (London, 1900) ;*E. Tappenbeck, Deutsch Neuguinea (Berlin, 1901); J. Schmeltz, Beitrage zur Ethnographie von Neuguinea (Leiden, 1905), sqq.; A. E. Pratt, Two Years among New Guinea Cannibals (London, 1906); Annual Reports on British New Guinea.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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