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are numerically, or by reason of some other provision, weaker than their nominated colleagues. Thus the ultimate allowance or veto of all government actions rests with the Governor, as representative of the King. It follows that, whenever the Secretary of State's ultimate control of the affairs of the Colony, exercised usually through the Governor, is obliterated—which can only happen when the Government officials are appointed by and subject to the locally elected representatives of the people—the status of a Crown Colony passes at once into that of a self-governing colony.
Fifty-three distinct colonies,' in each of which British government has been or is being evolved, are enumerated in the Colonial Office List' for 1911; but many of these have already been crystallised into so-called . Dominions.' Of those which have passed through this process there is no need to speak here. The Dominion of Canada, the Commonwealth of Australia, the Union of South Africa -three great confederations--with Newfoundland and New Zealand, form a separate group of governments practically autonomous but closely connected by ties of kinship and interest with the mother-country.
In those parts of the African continent which lie outside of South Africa many British Crown Colonies and Protectorates remain unfederated, and must long remain so, because they are widely scattered and separated from each other by the intervening possessions of the other great European Powers. The various small island colonies in the West Indian seas, with British Guiana and British Honduras on the mainland of America, have not yet advanced perceptibly along the road which leads to self-government and federation, because the area of each of these separate colonies is too small, and the seas which separate them are too wide, to admit at present of combined action and administrative union. Reasons similar to those just given make against the complete development of self-government in the scattered so-called
Eastern Colonies' (Ceylon, Hong Kong and Wei-hai-wei, Mauritius and Seychelles, the Straits Settlenients, and the Federated Malay States), and in the very remote little colony of the Falkland Islands. The British colonies in the Mediterranean-Gibraltar, Malta, and Cyprus-are, it need hardly be said, military posts rather than colonies, and resemble more than any other British possessions the ancient Roman colonia.
Whatever may be the present status of any of these fifty-three parts of the British Empire, all, with the possible exception of the three Mediterranean colonies, have, within a longer or shorter period, passed or are passing through the stages of growth above mentioned. Some, like British Guiana, the Cape of Good Hope, and Ceylon, were, as a whole or in part, captured by British forces long after these territories had been discovered and more or less gradually brought under settled government by subjects of other European nationalities. Generally speaking, the British right by capture has been confirmed by subsequent treaties with the other nationalities concerned. Sometimes, as in the case of British Guiana, the actual boundaries of the areas thus assumed have not been settled till many years subsequently. In Ceylon, the British took possession of the Dutch settlements and the coast-lands of the island, all of which were already under the control of the Dutch, in 1795-6, but only acquired the uplands of the interior, by conquest from the native inhabitants, in 1815. But, despite such variations in the history of these and other settlements, the sequence of stages in the development of all our colonies has been essentially the same.
We may now consider the growth of Crown Colony government in the British islands of the Southern Pacific Ocean, that vast expanse which was formerly and more picturesquely called the South Seas.'
Strictly speaking, of all the British islands in the South Seas, the large and compact group known collectively as Fiji alone has as yet the status of a Crown Colony ; but the other groups and single islands--except a very few which are dependencies of Australia and New Zealand, e.g. Norfolk Island, Lord Howe Island, and the Cook Islands—are administered by the Governor of Fiji, and as nearly as possible as Crown Colonies. To be strictly accurate, these so-called Western Pacific Islands are, with hardly an exception but that of Ocean Island,
protectorates,' and not as yet possessions' of the British Crown. Their attainment of the last-named status will probably synchronise with their union with Fiji as one Crown Colony; and this Crown Colony will probably in some way hereafter coalesce with the great Australasian section of the British Empire.
It is impossible to dwell here on the fascinating story of the comparatively recent discovery of the Great South Sea itself, which had remained practically unknown to the Western nations till so lately as the close of the eighteenth century. It was only during the voyages of Captain Cook (1768–79) that the existence of Australia and New Zealand and of most of the islands of the Western Pacific was first clearly ascertained; and it was not 150 years ago that, as an early result of Cook's discoveries, the first establishments of white men were made in those parts-at Port Jackson, where Sydney now stands, in 1788, in the same year at Norfolk Island, and in 1803 in Van Dieman's Land. These new settlements were at first merely convict-stations; but soon, owing to agricultural advantages, they began to attract free settlers and to develope into healthy young Crown Colonies. Van Dieman's Land became Tasmania; Port Jackson became New South Wales and the mother of all the later colonies, now States, of Australia.
It was from these Australian places that British influence was destined to extend, in the nineteenth century, over the islands in the South Seas. From the establishments at Port Jackson, Norfolk Island, and Tasmania, at a very early date, and later from New Zealand, a great whale fishery was carried on in the South Seas; and from the same places British ships went to the scarcely yet known South Sea Islands for sandalwood and pearlshell, for the sea-slugs' or bêche de mer of which the Chinese made their soup, and for many other strange natural products. Nor was it long before ships from other quarters were employed in this same island trade. The East India Company sent ships to take cargo to Australia, and to gather cargo of sandalwood and bêche de mer for the market in China; and United States ships, chiefly from Salem in Oregon on the western American coast, joined in the quest for these rich and strange South Sea products.
It was in this way that the islands became known to the outside world; and the human waifs and strays cast out from these trading ships were the first white
men who took up their abode in the islands. The first agents to establish some sort of perfunctory order in this South Sea Alsatia were the ships of war, chiefly those which took part in the United States exploring expedition of 1840; and these vessels also made the surveys of the island seas which, together with the still earlier surveys by Captain Cook, are still the basis of our knowledge of these waters.
The first half—or more accurately the first thirty or forty years-of the nineteenth century was the age of the beach-combers' in the islands of the Pacific. The beach-combers were the derelict and runaway sailors from the vessels trading among the islands; and among these were doubtless many escaped convicts who, in one way or another, had embarked on these trading ships. These refugees were cast, often probably not without their own connivance, on to the various islands, which they reached, as it were, on the crest and comb of the wave. The beach-combers somehow generally contrived to make friends with the natives of the islands, and lived among-it might almost be said upon—those islanders, doing no work but helping the natives to fight-one set against the other.
This strange mingling in those far-away islands of the dregs of the old civilisation of the Western World with the utterly different social order-one can hardly call it civilisation, which certainly existed at this time among the South Sea Islanders, naturally produced a turbulent and unstable condition. Few and very imperfect records of events during the beach-combers' age' are known, even as regards the Fiji Islands, which within the first half of the nineteenth century had become perhaps the most important of the Western Pacific Islands. Few eye-witnesses of what went on in Fiji, from the first arrival of white men till the missionaries came in 1837, have left any records of what they saw. The chief exceptions are as follows.
Peter Dillon, captain of an East Indiaman, in his narrative of a voyage in the South Seas, performed in 1827 and 1828 by order of the East India Company, to ascertain the fate of La Perouse's expedition, has incidentally provided us with an account of the religion, manners, customs, and cannibal practices of the
South Sea Islanders. That Dillon undoubtedly found traces and threw light on the mysterious fate of the French Admiral La Perouse is little to our present point; what interests us is that he gives much information touching the then condition of Fiji. He also gives a notable account of the great fight around a rock, called to this day Dillon's rock,' on the coast of Vanua Levu in the Fijis, in which, in 1816, various factions of the natives, certain beach-combers, and certain sandalwood traders, among whom was Dillon himself, took part, and at least one notorious beach-comber, Charles Savage by name, was slain and eaten.
The next important authority on Fiji in early days is the French Admiral Dumont d'Urville, who, during the course of his voyage on the corvette · Astrolabe' in 1826-9, carried out what would now be called a 'punitive expedition ’in Fiji. Still more thrilling and horrible is the authentic tale of one Jackson, which is appended to Captain (afterwards Admiral) Erskine's Journal of a Cruise among the Islands of the Western Pacific including the Feejees ... in H.M.S. “Havannah.”' The actual date of Jackson's adventure, the tale of which was published by Erskine only in 1853, seems uncertain; but it must have been well within the dark ages of Fiji.
The few accounts by eye-witnesses, such as Dillon, Dumont d'Urville, and Jackson, may be supplemented by accounts recorded from hearsay by the missionaries after their arrival in Fiji in 1837, and by other visitors of the same early time. Two books by missionaries, though written and published at rather a late date, contain many records; these are ‘Fiji and the Fijians' by the Rev. Thomas Williams, and The King and People of Fiji, containing a life of Thakombau, with notices of the Fijians, their manners, customs, and superstitions previous to the great religious reformation in 1854,' by the Rev. Joseph Waterhouse. But the best book of all is the strangely rare 'Life in Feejee; Five Years among the Cannibals. By a Lady.' The authoress, a Mrs M. D. Wallis, the wife of the captain of a vessel from Salem (Oregon) which traded among the Fiji Islands for bêche de mer, accompanied her husband during his trading expeditions, and collected much information useful as throwing light on the early history of Fiji.