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The latest news from New Caledonia states that a deputation of landowners and traders in the New Hebrides presented a petition, signed by all the English and other traders in the group, exclusive of Frenchmen, praying the French Government to annex the Islands. The Governor gave a cautious, but satisfactory, reply, assuring the deputation that the petition would receive the utmost consideration. The residents of Fr.inceville, an important harbor in the Island of Sandwich, did not sign this petition, they having proclaimed their independence on August 9th, and elected M. Chevalliard President of the Commune. A proclamation was read, and the Franceville flag hoisted in the presence of the captain of the French warship Saone, which landed a firing party and saluted the flag. A circular letter has been addressed to the Governments of the various nations, praying them to recognise the Commune of Franceville. The captain of the Saone, at the conclusion of the ceremony, made presents to the natives. The total population of Franceville is 40 Europeans (no Englishmen, except a missionary) and 500 imported black laborers, employees of a French company, and other settlers. There are two signs of French activity at the New Hebrides. A company and others have been busily engaged purchasing every piece of land they can get hold of, even the gaol officials at Noumea are investing, and it is considered certain that France will shortly take some decisive action with the view of securing the possession of the New Hebrides and the adjacent islands.

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Bibliographic details

Unknown, North Otago Times, Volume XXXIII, Issue 6835, 5 September 1889

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THE "COMMUNE" OF FRANCEVILLE. Sydney, August 27. North Otago Times, Volume XXXIII, Issue 6835, 5 September 1889