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The Tonga Islanders.

The British Vice-Consul at Nukualofa, in the Tonga Islands, in his laat report, refers to the population, and observes that although no C6DBUB has been taken, it is belioved that, like other South Sea aboriginal races when brought into contact with civilisation, with settled forms of Government, and missionary effort, the Tongans are decreasing. A severe epidemic of a bronchial character carried off a large number in the Bpring of last year. They are very subject to lung diseases, and a great number die of consumption. The custom of attending religious services before daylight and leaving warm blanket├č either on a rainy morning or with a heavy dew on the grass, with tho thermometer perhaps at 50deg, is not calculated to lessen the evil. The only " public works" carried out last year (no accounts of which ore published) were the enlargement of the King's palace, a peal of bells in the King's chapel, a clock in tho steeple of tho King's church, and two Houses for the Assembly. The latter, it is curious to note, meet and legislate in secret. The Courts of justice show no improvement; they administer justice so-called, but their proceedings are coaracterised by a disregard of what we called justice, and by a strong political and religious bias. The magistrates, speaking generally, are prejudiced, and are the tools of those from whom they get their appointments. British subjects seldom or never seek their aid. Trade is improving owing to the absence of political, social, or religious turmoil. Copra forms more than 90 per cent, of the exports.

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Bibliographic details

The Tonga Islanders., Evening Star, Issue 8042, 19 October 1889

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The Tonga Islanders. Evening Star, Issue 8042, 19 October 1889