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The British Protectorate over the entire basin of the Lower Niger, including the Benin and Cross Rivers, was formally assumed in July, 1884, when regular treaties of protection were concluded by Consul Hewett with all the principal Chiefs. It extends along the coast of Africa from the Benin River (where it joins the boundary of Lagos) to the mouth of the Rio del Rey at 9° east longitude. Inland the Protectorate includes the whole basins of the Lower Niger and Binué up to and beyond the Boussa rapids on the former, and Jin on the latter, in about 10° north latitude. The settlement of the Baptist Missionary Society at Victoria, Amboises (or Ambas) Bay was formerly British territory, having been formally annexed in July, 1884. It was however ceded to the German Empire, which has acquired by purchase the rights of the Baptist Missionary Society, the transfer of sovereignty taking place on the 29th March, 1887.
The whole of these vast districts are under the general supervision of the British Consul for the Bights of Benin and Biafra, but on the 10th of July, 1886, a Royal Charter was granted to the Royal Niger Company (formerly the National African Company, Limited), by which extensive powers of administration were conferred upon them in the territories over which they have treaty rights, including a belt of 30 miles on each bank of the Niger and Binué. The operations of the Company extend as far inland as Gando and Sokatoo, with the Sultans of which countries treaties have been concluded. The Company's operations on the sea coast are mainly confined to Akassa, the Nûn entrance to the Niger. The British Consular jurisdiction is chiefly exercised in the river mouths between the Benin, Brass, and the Old Calabar Rivers.
Means of Communication.
There are telegraph stations at Brass and Bonny, in cable communication with Lagos, and thus with Europe. Regular steamers arrive and depart from Liverpool and the South-West Coast of Africa every three weeks. Communication in the Niger Basin is mainly by the steamers of the Royal Niger Company.
An enormous trade, wholly in the hands of English firms, is done in the Protectorate, mainly with this country, Germany, and France. There are extensive depôts in all the river mouths of the delta, from which palm oil and kernels, with some ebony, are exported. The internal trade of the Niger and Binué is almost entirely done by the Royal Niger Company, whose chief depôt is Akassa. Besides the articles already mentioned, ivory, indiarubber, shea-butter and beni-seed are exported by the Company, which has over 150 "factories."
The imports consist of cotton goods, spirits, hardware, guns, gunpowder, salt, silks, and coral. The steamers of the Company navigate the Niger up to the rapids of Boussa, 460 miles from the sea, and for 450 miles of the course of the Binué, which falls into the Niger at Igbegbe, 290 miles from the No statistics as to the amount of trade are
Customs Tariff of the Royal Niger Company (payable at Akassa and Lokoja):—
No interference in the domestic government of the native chiefs is contemplated, but disputes are settled and much indirect influence is exercised by the British Consuls under the general direction of the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs. Civil and criminal jurisdiction over British subjects is exercised in the Consular Courts (under the West Africa Order in Council, 1885), subject to appeal to the Supreme Court of Sierra Leone or the Gold Coast Colony. Within the territories of the Royal Niger Company civil and criminal jurisdiction is exercised by the officers of that Company under the powers given by the Charter. The judicial system was organised by Sir James Marshall, C.M.G., during 1888.
SOUTH AFRICA. High Commission.
The office of High Commissioner in and for South Africa, was created by Letters Patent in 1878, and is filled by the Officer administering the Government of the Cape Colony. The High Commissioner is charged with the conduct of British relations with the South African Republic (Transvaal), and the Orange Free State, as well as those with Swaziland, Pondoland, and other native states and tribes outside the Cape Colony and Natal. In 1879, a second High Commissioner was appointed, to whom was assigned South-Eastern Africa, including Zululand and Amatongaland, but this arrangement ceased in 1881, when a Special Commissioner for Zulu affairs was appointed, who is also Governor of Natal (and now of Zululand), and conducts the relations with Amatongaland. The High
Commissioner for South Africa is also Governor of British Bechuanaland and Basutoland, and supervises the affairs of the Bechuanaland Protectorate, as well as the country within the recent extension of British influence as far north as the Zambesi. The expenses of the High Commission are borne by Imperial funds, under Vote 6 of Class V. The Administrator of British Bechuanaland is also Deputy Commissioner; and in July, 1888, a Deputy Commissioner was appointed for Pondoland, who is paid by the Cape Government, the affairs of that country being dealt with by the Cape Department of Native Affairs. The correspondence with the South African Republic is carried on through a British Agent at Pretoria furnished with a letter of credence to the President.
High Commissioner, Sir H. B. Loch, G.C.M.G.,
Deputy Commissioner for Bechuanaland, Sir S. G. A. Shippard (Vryburg), 1,8001. (paid by Bechuanaland).
Assistant Commissioner for the Protectorate and Resident with Lo Bengula, J. S. Moffat, 1,0007. Deputy Commissioner for Pondoland, J. P. Scott, 6007. (paid by Cape Colony). British Agent at Pretoria, Ralph Williams, 1,000l. (including 3007. for office expenses).
British South Africa Company.
A Royal Charter was granted on 15th October, 1889, to this Company, conferring upon it powers to carry out any valid concessions that might be granted to it of administrative or commercial privileges in the territory to the north of British Bechuanaland, west of the Portuguese dominions, and north and west of the South African Republic. The area of its operations thus includes the Bechuanaland Protectorate, as well as most of the district declared to be within the sphere of British influence. The Tati district, now being worked by another company, is excluded from the sphere of the chartered company's operations. The concessions already acquired include valuable mining and commercial privileges from both Lo Bengula and Khama; and steps are being taken to develop the country as well as to acquire powers of administration. A railway is about to be commenced between Kimberley and Vryburg, British Bechuanaland, which will be extended to Mafeking. The telegraph is being extended from Mafeking to Shoshong and Gubulowayo, and a police force is being raised.
Capital, 1,000,0007., in 17. shares.
London Office, 14, George Street, Mansion House. President, Duke of Abercorn, C.B. Vice-President, Duke of Fife, K.T. Directors, Lord Gifford, V.C., C. J. Rhodes, M.L.A., Alfred Belt, Albert Grey, and George Cawston. Secretary, C. H. Weatherley.
The office of High Commissioner in, over, and for the Western Pacific Islands, was created by an Order in Council, cited as the Western Pacific Order in Council of 1877, for the purpose of better carrying out the provisions of the Pacific Islanders' Protection Acts, 1872 and 1875, and to provide a Civil Court for the settlement of disputes between British subjects living in these islands.
The jurisdiction of the High Commissioner extends over all islands in the Western Pacific not being within the limits of the Colonies of Fiji. Queensland, or New South Wales, and not being within the jurisdiction of any civilised power, and includes the Southern Solomon Islands, the New Hebrides, the Tongan or Friendly Islands, the Samoan or Navigators' Islands, and the various small Commission are met from Imperial funds, Class V, groups of Melanesia. The expenses of the High vote 5, the total in 1889-90 being 2,3901.
The Chief Justice of Fiji, and every other Judge for the time being of the Supreme Court, is by virtue of his office a Judicial Commissioner, and
where the attendance of the Chief Justice or other Judge of the Supreme Court is impracticable, the High Commissioner may appoint a Judicial Commissioner for particular purposes or for a particular
High Commissioner on behalf of Her Majesty Deputy Commissioners are appointed by the
The High Commissioner's Court consists of the High Commissioner, the Judicial Commissioners, and the Deputy Commissioners, and in it is vested exerciseable in the Western Pacific Islands. all her Majesty's civil and criminal jurisdiction
The Court of a Judicial Commissioner has powers similar to those of the Superior Courts of England, and the Deputy Commissioners have jurisdiction civil and criminal analogous to that of Stipendiary Magistrates and Judges of County Courts, with certain limited powers in respect of probate and letters of administration.
With some few exceptions all decisions of the High Commissioner's Court may be appealed against to the Supreme Court of Fiji.
For the purpose of better carrying out the provisions of the Pacific Islanders' Protection Acts, 1872 and 1875, and in order to deal with cases occurring where there is no resident Deputy Com missioner, certain officers in command of her Majesty's ships of war on the Australian station have been appointed Deputy Commissioners.
In addition to the other means of preserving order the High Commissioner has certain special powers for the deportation of persons whose proceedings endanger the peace of the Islands.
1877 Sir Arthur Gordon, G.C.M.G.
1878 John Gorrie (acting).
1879 Sir A. Gordon, G.C.M.G.
1882 Sir G. W. Des Voeux, K.C.M.G. (acting).
1885 W. Macgregor, C.M.G. (Act. Asst. High C.).
High Commissioner, Sir J. B. Thurston, K. C.M.G.
Secretary to High Commission and Clerk in Charge
Deputy Commissioner in Tonga, R. B. Leefe, 4407. and quarters.
Deputy Commissioner in Samoa,
1007. and 4501. as Consul.
The island of Ascension, 34 miles in area, lying in the South Atlantic, lat. 7° 53′ S. and long. 14° 18′ W., is under the supervision of the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty, who maintain a small naval station there. It was taken
Possession of in 1815, and is now garrisoned by 100 marines. It is famous for its turtles, large numbers of which are caught between Dec. and May. The mail steamers from the Cape call there once a month. It is a barren, rocky peak of purely volcanic origin, and destitute of vegetation, except at the highest point, 2,870 feet high, but has been cultivated to an extent permitting the maintenence of 3,000 sheep. The transfer of the naval station to St. Helena is under consideration.
The population is about 166. The imports from and exports to the United Kingdom in 1887 were 2,3187. and 787. respectively.
Captain, Richard H. Napier, R.N.
Tristan d'Acunha and Gough Island are the
Deputy Commissioner New Hebrides and Solomon principal of a group of islands lying in lat. 37° 6'
Islands, H. H. Romilly, C.M.G., 5007.
S. and long. 12° 2′ W. It was taken possession of by a military force during the residence of Napoleon at St. Helena. Upon his death the garrison was withdrawn, with the exception of three men, who, with certain shipwrecked sailors, became the founders of the present settlement. For a long time only one of the settlers had a wife, but subsequently the others contracted with a sea captain to bring them wives from St. Helena. The population has since increased to about a hundred, and remains practically stationary, as the younger and more ambitious settlers migrate in batches to the Cape. The inhabitants practically enjoy their possessions in common, and there is no strong drink on the island, and no crime. It was at one proposed to give them laws and a regular goverumont, but this was found unnecessary for the above reasons, and they remain under the moral rule of their oldest inhabitant, Governor Green, successor to Governor Glass, Corporal in the Royal Artillery, and founder of the settlement. The inhabitants are spoken of as long-lived, healthy, moral, religious, and hospitable to strangers. A supply of stores and provisions was provided out of a grant voted by Parliament, and sent out by a man-of-war in 1886, nearly all the able-bodied men having been drowned while attempting to board a vessel in December, 1885. There are 300 cattle and 200 sheep on the islands, and crops of potatoes are raised.
The peninsula of Aden is situated in lat. 12° 47' N. and long. 45° 10' E., about 100 miles east of the Straits of Bab el Mandeb, on the Arabian coast. Besides the peninsula a strip of territory stretch-time ing about three miles inland belongs to England, the whole area being about seventy square miles. The rainfall never exceeds 7 inches in a year. The town of Aden is situated on the side of a rocky promontory, and is very strongly fortified. It is a most important coaling station, and also an entrepôt for the trade with Arabia. The imports in 1887 amounted to 1,870,5077., and the exports to 1,507,718/. The exports consist of coffee, dyes, feathers, gums, spices, &c. The imports from Great Britain in 1887 were 155,670, and the exports to were 337,7241. The settlement is subject to the government of Bombay, being presided over by a president, who is also commander of the troops in the garrison. (For further information see publications relating to India).
PERIM, an island situated at the entrance of the Red Sea, is a dependency of Aden, and is administered from that port. It contains a lighthouse. SOCOTRA, an island situated about 150 miles E.N.E. of Cape Guardafui, in 12° 19′-12° 42' N. lat., and 53° 21-53° 30' E. long. and lying in the direct route to India, has been since 1876 under the government of Aden, which pays a small subsidy to the Sultan of Keshin, to whom it belonged. The area of the island is about 3,000 square miles, and it3 population about 4,000, of Arab descent. It is 72 miles by 22 miles, mountainous, with peaks 200 feet high. It was formally annexed in October,
A number of islands and rocks throughout the world are British territory, or under British protection, but are not included in any Colony or separate Protectorate. Among such may be mentioned the Ashmore Group (Indian Ocean), Bird Island (Tasmania), Sydney Island (4° 25' S. lat., 171° 13′ W. long.), the Caroline and Flint Islands (Pacific Ocean, 9° 56' S. lat., 150° 6' W. long., and 11° 26' S. lat. and 151° 48′ W. long.), Malden Island (off the coast of Victoria 4° 1' S. lat., 150° 57′ W. long.), the Purdy Group (New Guinea), Sombrero (West Indies, with a Board of Trade Lighthouse costing 5201. annually) Cato Island, Raine Island, In 1887 also a Protectorate was established over Bell Cay, Bramble Cay, Pilgrim Island, Ducie the Somali coast, extending from Berbera round Island, Bauman Island, Roggewein Island, TeinCape Guardafui to Ras Hafauri.
hoven Island, Coral Island and Dudosa, Star
buck Island, Little Scrub Island, Palmerston Island, Surprise Island, Vostoc, Willis's Islets (all in the Pacific Ocean), and there are many others. Most of these have no permanent inhabitants, but are, or have been, leased by the Lords Commissioners of the Treasury for guano collection, or for cocoanut planting. The rents are paid into the Exchequer
connection with the projected telegraph cable from Vancouver to Australasia. Christmas Island (1° 57' N. lat., 157° 27′ W. long.) is an atoll 90 miles in circumference, barren, with only brackish water. A trading firm collects mother of pearl shells. Fanning Island (3° 51' N. lat., 159 22 W. long.) is a small atoll 9 miles by 4, covered with cocoanut trees, copra and guano being exported. Penrhyn Island (9° S. lat., 158° 3′ W. long.) is an atoll 30 miles in circumference, partly covered with cocoanut trees, and having a populaof 300. Mother of pearl is exported. Suwarrow Island (13° 13′ S. lat., 163° 9′ W. long.) was annexed for a similar reason, 22nd April, 1888; a protectorate was established over Jarvis Island, Phoenix group (six islands), Union group (thre islands), Washington or New York Island, and Palmyra Island.
The Cook or Hervey Islands, a group lying about 160° W. long. and 20° S. lat., were formally placed under British protection on 27th September, 1888. The principal island is Rarotonga (population tion 1,800; imports, 1888, about 1,500l., exports, 13,5007.) There are three principal Queen rulers, Makea, Tinomana and Pa, who are also the chief landowners. The London Missionary Society has a training college at Avarna, and there are several trading firms, exporting fruit, copra, cotton, and coffee, principally to New Zealand. The chief other islands are Mangaia, 108 miles S. E. of Rarotonga, population 1,600; Atin, 106 miles north of Mangaia, population 850; Mitiaro (300); | Manke (620); Mannae or Hervey Island, and Aitutaki (population 1,400). The total population of the group (which does not include Hull Island, or the Tubuai or Austral Islands) is about 9,000. Humphrey and Rierson Islands, and the Manihiki group, lying to the north of the Cook Islands, about 160° W. long. and 10° S. lat., were also annexed in 1888. Christmas, Fanning, and Penrhyn Islands were annexed in March, 1888, in view of the possibility of their being utilised in
The Mushahh Islands, a group of coral reefs on the coast of Abyssinia, were ceded by the Sultan of Tejureh, and taken possession of on the 31st August, 1840. By agreement with France in July, 1887, they were recognised as being under French protection, and they now belong to the French Colony of Jobock.
The Kuriyan-Muriyan Islands, five in number, off the south-east coast of Arabia, were ceded by the Imam of Muskat for the purpose of landing the Red Sea telegraph cable. On one of them, Hallaniyah, is the signalling station maintained by the Telegraph Company. The whole group leased for the purpose of guano collection.