ENGLAND AND THE ISLANDS.
APPEAL, FOR PROTECTORATE
Rurutu and Rimatara are two important
islands lying between Rarotonga and Tahiti, which, on account of their proximity to the latter place, have entered to a largo extent into trading relations with the colonists of French Oceania. They appear, however, to be in no way enamoured of French control, as may be judged from the facts just reported from Rarotonga. The King of Rurutu and the Queen of Rimatara have just paid a visit to Rarotonga, having learnt of the proclamation of a British protectorate over that and adjacent islands, and being ■ hopeful of finding the war ship there, and persuading her commander to extend his proclamation to their territories. Being disappointed in this they drew up the following petition, which has been forwarded by Mr Exhamacting British Consul at Rarotonga:—"November27, 1888: Petition from the King of Rurutu and the Queen of Rimatara and their nobles, to Her Most Gracious Majesty Queen Victoria, and to the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. May you have good health. We, Teuruarii, King of Ruruta and Te Maere, Queen of Rimatara and our nobles, ask for a Prime Minister to place our islands and our ships under tho protection of the British flag. These are tlie islands, namely, Rurutu, Rimatara, and Maria, and these are the names of the ships : Eaaito and Konui, and the masters of the same are natives, This is our word to you : Bo not forsake us ; we are your children ; you taught us the word of God, and that has led us in the path of civilisation ; therefore we know that you are a good parent to us. The thoughts of tho children cling fondly to their good parent; they do not wish to be separated from their good parent. If the parent forsake the children, the children will seek the parent; so do we ; wo are like those children, and we ask that you will give us your flag to protect us. We have heard that you have taken Rarotonga and the neighbouring islands under your protection, but we remain without anyone to protect us. When we received the news that Rarotonga and the neighbouring islands were placed under your protection, we wept aloud because we were forsaken by you ; we were afraid lest we should be adopted by another parent. The strange parent we mean is the French. They did not feed us with tho milk of the gospel, but you did, 0 Great Britain ; you fed us with that milk which has givon life to us. This is our last word to you ;we dp not wish for French annexation or protection, not at all, but we wish you to be our parent, 0 Great Britain. We pray you now to accede to this our request. This letter was written in the house of Queen Pa. —-Tkuruakii, Te Maere Ann.
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