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CONGO FREE STATE.

. «■ Events move so quickly thai most of us hava forgotten that it is now ten years Binoe the project of founding the Congo Free State was first mooted. An official of the Administration has therefore deemed it useful to draw up a report summarising the results of its civilising influence on the Congo during the last decade. One of the most important of these, tfi a ee&faring nation like England, is the opening up of the lower reaches of the great river, It is now oafiijf navigable through a well -buoyed channel up to Boma. All over the Congo Dominion justice is administered with regularity, and as much impartiality as we suppose we can look for m wild countries where judges m dealing with " black men " aio not subject to the control of an unprejudiced public opinion. A very important achievement ia the establishment of a cheap and efficient postal system throughout a huge territory, which, till Stanley explored it ten years jigo, bad cot been trodden by the foot of a white man A registration system of births, deaths, «nd marriages has been established for the European population, and it will, it isrjoped,toon reaph ths native population also. An army, or to speak more ooreebly a gendarmerie, of blacks under European offioerßjhao been organised to maintain order. Dispenearies and hospitals under competent physicians and surgeons have been eet up at Banana, Boma and Leopoldritfe, and between the latter place a~d Matadi one may travel along the road v "<r night or day with less risk of robbery than one runs m the new I streets that pieroe tbe region of the Seven ' Dials. In Africa trade depends on trans port. We ate, therefore, not surprised to fir d that m the Congo Free State a carefully organised system of native porterage bas been established Cattle-breeding has been started m the Cpngo Free State, and the fleet on the upper Opneo U annually increasing. We suppose iimnßl be taken as an element of progress thai the state bas been able to raise c Joan of oce hundred and fifty millioi francs, for of course we may assume tha were it not m a position to show that il had a trustworthy government and valid assets, the (first Issue would not have been subscribed. That scientific exploration has been encouraged goes without saying That trading factories should be opened ss far as Baogala and Donebo Is but nata'*!; but that many private companies should have been formed to exploit tbe country under the protection of the Free State, shows that moneyed men b»v« confidence In ita future so lottg as it U under the protection of tbe King of the Belgians. On one point tbe report is not clear. It does not tell as whether the whole baslness has paid hip Majesty, and those at whose expense it his been gsrrjed on. We s'jspeot that it has not. B till, they may, for aaght we know, be (n tf>o position >of Incite who cast their breid upon tbe waters with a good proepact that It will not only § me baok to them after many days, but come baok well ' bntt«red,—Homi p*pw t

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http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/AG18890311.2.23

Bibliographic details

CONGO FREE STATE., Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2084, 11 March 1889

Word Count
534

CONGO FREE STATE. Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2084, 11 March 1889

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