THE OTOGO DAILY TIMES THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 10, 1898.
In a previous article on the subject of the" strained relations afc present existing ■between Great Britain and France we advanced the contention that the French claims to Fashoda were preposterous, and that the Egyptian title was 'unassailable. That contention was based on the fact that the Upper Soudan provinces were recognised as Egyptian territory prior to tho fall of Khartoum. As far hack as 1865. the Khedive established a station at Fashoda, and the town was maintained as such until the isuccessful Mahdist rising nearly 20 years later. It is of interest, however, to consider the grounds upon which the French claim that Fashoda was in 1898 open to it-lie first comer—upon which, in' fact, they claim that the Equatorial provinces are a no-man's land. It was in 1894 ■that the first indication became apparent of the intention of the French to penetrate to the Upper Nile. In that year Germany, which had just settled with Great Britain the boundary between the Cameroons and the Niger territories, entered into an agreement with .France whereby their respective spheres of influence were determined, and under this treaty a way was opened to the French for an eastward expansion of the Congo colony. To meet the effect of this, Lord Kimberley, who was at that time Foreign Secretary, negotiated the AngloCongolese treaty, under which the Bahr-el-Ghazal and . other territories on the Upper Nife .were leased to the Congo Free Stafe. One article of this treaty wounded German susceptibilities inasmuch as it substituted Great Britain for the Free.State as Germany's neighbour on the- western boundary of German East Africa, and cut her off in > that direction from the Free State. France joined with Germany in the opposition which this treaty excited, and both Powers brought pressure' to bear on King Leopold, the ruling sovereign of the Free State, to withdraw from the agreement. The British Government, however, recognised the force of the objection, and the obnoxious article was
withdrawn, whereupon France at once took action of her own and concluded a treaty : with tlfe Free State, the effect;of which was to "rectify" the Franco-Gon-golese- frontier in such a way that the road to the Upper Nile was definitely' opened to the French. With perfect frankness M. de Bkazza, who was th> Commissary-general of the French Congo, stated the effect, "This treaty," he said, "assures to the French the access to the Valley of the Nile. It is our duty to pursue the road open to us and to disregard all obstacles which may be placed in our way by foreign Powers. The consequence of this treaty will be our possession of the Bahr-el-Ghazal province. This is the only' means we have of solving the. Egyptian question in accordance with our interests." That being so, the history of subsequent French action in regard to the main stream of the Nile is largely the history of the French expeditions which ended in the occupation of Fashoda by Major Marchand. Prior to this officer being despatched on his mission, M. Liotard, the Lieutenant-governor of the Upper Übanghi, had established a post at Tambura,..which lies on the left bank of tlie Sueb River, a sub-affluent of the White Nile,, and it was there that Major (then Captain) Maechand joined him. A plan of operations must have been then decided upon, arid, while it is to a large extent a matter of conjecture as to what course of action has been followed since, it is known that the main body of the expedition started in August of last year -and reached Fort Hassinger, the extreme French post ton . the Upper Übanghi, in October. Tt is surmised that in the early part of this year Major Marohand must have been at Meshra-er-rek, which is on the Bahr-el-Ghaznl and close to Fashoda, the distance between the two places having been traversed by Dr Junkeu in 18S0 in 12 days. This surmise, it will bo seen, is quite consistent withthe report that is said to have reached Matadi, the location or a French con-* sulate on the Congo, several months ago that Major Marchanb was at that time in occupation of Fashoda.
During the progress of those expeditions across the African continent diplomacy was not wholly idle in Europe. In 1894 France was formally asked to recognise the British sphere of influence in the Nile Volley, but, while requesting information respecting the exact limits of the proposed sphere, M. Hanotaux stated that France only recognised the ■Sultan and the Khedive as possessing rights in the regions under discussion, and negotiations were then broken off. In 1895, however, Sir Edwakd GitEV, when Under-secretary of State for Foreign Affair/3, uttered an unmistakable warning to .France that no claims that might be founded on any such expedition as Major Marchand's would be recognised by Great Britain. The terms of Sir Edward Grey's declaration have been quoted by us recently, but, particularly as they were adhered to by Mr Curzon two years later, they may fairly be repeated :
Rumours have come with greater or less freedom with regard to tho movements of expeditions in various parts of Africa, but at tho Foroign Office we have no reason to suppose that any French expedition has, instruc-tions-to enter, or the intention of entering, the Nile Valley; and I will go further and say that, after all I havo explained about the claims wo consider we have under past agreements and the claims which wo consider Egypt may have in the Nile Valley, and adding to that tho fact that those claims aiid the view of the Government with regard to them are fully and clearly known to the French Government, I cannot think it is possible that theso rumours deserve credence, because tho advance of a French expedition under secret .instructions right . from the other side of .Africa, into a territory over which our claims have been known for so long would be not merely an inconsistent, and unexpected act, but, it must be perfectly well known to Uib 'French Government that it would be an unfriendly act, and would be so viewed by.Eng-
This was a distinct but polite intimation to .France that the appearance of 'a French expedition in the Nile Valley would .constitute a casus belli, and so long as France disregards the warning she received then the professed surprise of -her people at the preparations that are being made by Great Britain to strike if a blow should unfortunately require to bo struck is not a little amusing.
The whole position with regai'd to British rights in the Upper Nile is quite simple. Fashoda, which is the great strategic point of the Upper .Nile, commanding thp access to the labyrinth of streams that feed the Nile proper, lies within territory which was in effective occupation of Egypt up to the time uf the revolt of the Mahdi, and although that revolt cut it .off for a time from its legitimate owners it gave no Power on earth, the right to claim it on the ground of actual possession. The Soudan having, as the consequence of the victory of Omdurm'nn, come once more under the direct control of the AngloEgyptian forces, Faahoda and the whole Nile Valley up to the point at which ithe actual British sphere of influence is reached are restored to Egypt. It is, in fact, as was pointed out in The Speaker, only because, the Sirdar had conquered the Khalifa' that the French ■exploring party was able to remain on the banks of the Nile. When it is remembered that in the battle of Omdurman over 10,000 dervishes were killed, 16,000 wounded, and between 3000 and 4.000 captured, and that the force under Major Maxichand consisted merely of a few hundred Senegalese tirailletms, it is obvious that the latter's occupation of Fashoda would have been of brief duration if the Khalifa had not been too busily occupied in front of Khartoum to heed their presence. The absurdity of the French claim to the place must be manifest. '
Considering the unsettled ' state of the weather, holiday seekers may think themselves fortunate in meeting with such a fine <2&y as was experienced yesterday. Being the Prince of Wales's Birthday, the* day was, with but few exceptions, observed as a.close holiday. A large number of the public availed themselves of the excursions .by' water to various parts of the lower harbour, arid spent a very pleasant day. ' Not a few visited the Taieri races, and during the afternoon a number found their way out to Tahuna Park to the volunteer camp. The trams were well patronised, more particularly in the afternoon. St. Clair appeared to be a favoured spot, and, after mid-day; tho trams running there took away a large number of passengers' In the evening the places of amusement were well filled, in some cases barely standing room being obtainable.'
Yesterday being a holiday, the traffic on tho railway was largely increased. The special and ordinary trains' to the Mosgiel races took away 750 passengers, the north express 330, the 7.40 a.m. for Oamaru 190, and the special at 9.5 a.m. 150. About 40 travelled over the Otagj Central line, 160 went by the 8 o'clock train for Balclutha and wayside stations, and 190 took their departure by the Invereargill express at 9.5 a.m. The trains for Dunedin both from the north and south brought about their usual number of passengers. '"
The Government have refused to have the Hagey Institute and similar institutions placed <under State supervision. '
A Press Association telegram from Wellington states that the Hon. J. M'Kenzie is again unwell; and has been ordered complete rest. He will not be able to proceed south till next week. -..".•
The Cabinet have approved of the recommendation of the Commandant to obtain from the Imperial forces four adjutants on three years' engagements. Other things bein'gequal, preference in. making a selection is to be given to New Zealanders now serving in the Imperial Army who may be found capable of occupying the position.
The Government have declined to pay £250 for the specimen of the Notornis Mantelli captured some months age at Lake Je Anau, on the ground that the price is excessive.
The purchase of the Willows Estate, of 805 acres, near Gisborne, at a price recommended by the Land Purchase Board, has been approved by the Govermnent.
Instructions have been received from the EJefonce department that officers of companies shnll be notified that for the future a personal' payment of 2s 6i! per man will be made .to each member of a. company for attending each of six Government daylight parades held dur-.. ing the. volunteer year, provided that not less than two-thirds of the number enrolled are present. About 40 electors of Port Cbeimors assembled in the Council Chamber on Tuesday night for the purpose of welcoming Mr B. G. Allen, M.H.R., ,on his returni from Wellington. The chair was taken by Mr S, 11. Wilson, who on behalf of all present cordially greeted Mr Allen. Mr E. Godfred, in a few well-chosen words, expressed the gratification they all felt at again seeing Mr Allen amongst them. They felt assured that gentleman had done his utmost to promote the interests of the electorate, and desired to thank him for his efforts. On behalf of a few of his friends, Mr Godfred begged Mi- Allen to accept a slight token of their esteem in the shape of a walking stick.—(Applause.) The stick-a handsome Malacca—was mounted in solid silver, and bore a suitable inscription. Mr Allen thanked Mr Gcdfred and the other gentlemen for the cordial manner of their reception, and their appreciation of his services as their representative. He briefly reviewed the work of the session, and called attention to the many important measures which had been passed by Parliament. He advocated an alteration in parliamentary procedure, and considered that the idea of an elective Government was unsuitable, Responsible government, he, thought, was most desirable.—(Applause:) He expressed the great pleasure it gave him to meet so large and representative 3 body of his constituents—all sections of whom were present,-and ho felt satisfied that his actions were approved by them—(Applause! This was only an informal gathering, and therefore he was not. prepared to lay before them the whole business of the session, but would do so at an early opportunity.
The Southland Times reports: "A nugget weighing 3oz 6dwt has just been iounej by Mr Thomas Aitken in Rough Creek on the Cuttle Cove side at the inlet. The specimen is almost pure gold, a very little quartz and ironstone being embedded in some of the crevices. Smaller pieces have been found in this locality, which is on the I'rincoss claim, through which two. well-defined reefs are running: Exploratory work lias been going on, and has shown that the lodes are of great width, but as to what they will "go" has not yet been definitely . ascertained, a bulk sample having been sent to the Dunedin School of Mines for assay."
A young remittance .man, Frank Fisher, aged 25 years," who committed suicide by blowing his head off at Opaki last week, left the following letter:—"lst November, IG9B. Dear Harry,—Old boy, lam going to say goodbye to you. Oh, my God ! it's no good. I can't live without drink, and drink is hell to me. I know you have been a good friend to me, Harry. If ever I met a chap I like, it is you. I can't return all the goodness you have tried to do for me, old boy. All the good you have tried to do for me has never done me any good, for the drink got too much for me. Break the news to my mother as well as you can, dear boy: You will never see me again alive, but dead. The world of thanks to yon for what I owe you. I have nothing to give you. Good-bye.—Frank Fisiiek. I have no one to blame but myself." :
William Pellott was brought before Mr A. G. Christopher, J.P., at the City Police Court yesterday morning, and convicted and discharged for drunkenness. This was the only ease.
The monthly meeting of ths Port Chalmers District High School Cominiltee--wa3 attended on Tuesday evening by Messrs J. Cook (chairman), J. Mill, A. M'Kay, W. G. Fail, and M'Lnuchlan. The rector reported that the number on the roll was steadily increasing, being now 535, but owing to iliness and the 'inclement weather during the past month the average attendance was only 450. On two days during the month there were 200 children absent, Mr Nott, who gave a lantern entertainment in aid of the school funds a few months since, wrote offering to givo another entertairfment about the middle of December. The offer was gratefully accepted. The Visiting Committee reported that the asphalt in the playground was in need of repair. It was resolved to ask the Education Board to repair the asphalt during the school vacation, and also to furnish a few extra forms. Accounts amounting to £4- 12s .6d were passed for payment, and Messrs Morgan and M'Lauchlan were appointed the Visiting Committee for the ensuing month,
A man who but a few years ago was considered wealthy applied the other day to the Victorian Insolvency Court for his discharge. James Nation, of Stndley Park, Kew, who, as a contractor, amassed a fortune of £150,000, went into the brewery business at an unfortunate time, and accompanied by snmo. unfortunate circumstances, found himself at last in the Insolvency Court. It appeared from the affidavits that he had bought the share of Alfred'Aitlten in a brewery then carried on by Thomas Aitken, Archibald Aitken, his own son, and Alfred Aitken, for £20,000. and later the half-share of Thomas Aitken for £50,000. The business prospered till in 1888 he was induced to sell it and. the freeholds to a syndicate, lie and his sons holding shares in it. ' A number of transactions characteristic of the boom left Mv Ration without his fortune. The judge stated that unlike many cases which came before him this was ,one of insolvency by misfortune, and he granted the certificate. asked for.
The death is announced, at the age of 78 j'ears] of William Cameron, one- of Uie pioneers of Otago and Southland. Born at Fort AVilliam, Inverness-shire, Scotland, he joined the army, but resigned and emigrated to Australia, He came to Otago in 1845, and took to sheepfarming in the Taieri district. The Riverton Star says he was one of the first to drive sheep from tiiere to Jacobs Uiver, passing over where Invercargill now stands, when only two houses were to be seen, one of them being occupied by Mr Peter Dr.lrymple, who still resides there. Mr Cameron took up runs at Waicolo, Linton, and Glenchoich, and bade fair to prosper, but one loss coming rapidiy on top of another, lie decided to retire and live quietly on Centre Island, in Foveauy Strait, the island being the property of his wife. When the Government erected a lightbouse there he was made keeper, a post he filled until advancing years made him relinquish it. He was married to a daughter of the late Captain Howell, and is survived by her and several of a family, mostly grown up.
Miss Flora Shaw recently returned from a pleasant little trip to Klondyke. A most interesting letter from her pen, extending over four columns, appears in The Times of September 19. Perhaps her most piquant passage is that in-which Miss Shaw tells of the carelessness with which the gold is handled in the mines, which, she says, is equal to the recklessness with which it is spent in the town: ;" Any receptacle is good enough to hold gold. Disused tobacco canisters and apricot tins stand full of nuggets upon the shelves. ■ Sacks of gold dust are flung upon the floor. One litle pack train of three mules brought down a few days ago £24-, 000 worth of gold in common sacks, over which the mule driver, aoting on his own initiative, fastened a bit of sailcloth, lest a mule, falling on a- rock, or a branch accidentally ripping open the sack, ■should 'chance to spill .the gold dust. The
whole lot was thrown with other goods into the packer's office, and remained there until the following morning." The wonder is that the packmen do not make off with some of their precious loads. No. doubt there is considerable gold in Klondyke, but it* is not likely that many of the 20,000 men- who have established themselves in Dawson City alone will return much richer. V
''What Causes the Heat." is;the heading in the Daily Mail of September 9 to the following telegram from Paris:— "M. Flammaricn, the well-known astronomer, made a special examination of the sun to-day at the Juvisy Observatory,. and .found that there was a gigantic spot upon its surface:at the.present time. The diameter :of this spot is no less than 50,000 miles, nnd is altogether six. times as large as. the earth's surface. Thi6 spot, whioh is porfectly visible to the naked eye through smoked glass, appears to be causing a violent perturbation of.tho solar surface. Adjoining it are other spots constituting altogether a colossal group, the length of wlu'ch is more than 130,000 mile?. , This phenomenon, M, Flammaricn says, is the more remarkable from the fact that the sun is approaching the minimum in the scale of its actiyity. He'therefore concludes that some revolution of t an extraordinary character is going on, and that this causes the intense heat now preva-
An experiment in Communism, which has proved a failure, ia described by a correspondent of the London Daily- News. 'He writes :—" An earnest attempt to maintain a practical Utopia has just come to a hopeless end at Newcastle-on/Tyne. Some years ago a party of Communists, many of them foreigners, and all of them strongly believing in the working theories of the Free Communist Association, purchased an extensive settlement at Clousden Hill, At .one time there were 150 resident oommuni3ts here, and the little colony were long .given ground for believing that theory and practice .would come out triumphant. The chief anchor of hope was horticulture. Tiie area under cultivation —on whioh, of course, every man would toil equally and share profits equally—must have been pretty extensive, for during the past season eight tons of tomatoes alone have been harvested, to say nothing of large areas devoted to cucumbers, roses; cabbages, etc. But the weak link in the chain has been the lack of cipable management. Business has been going from bad to worse, and now the colony numbers only three survivors. This forlorn hope are making legal arrangements to pay off the shares in the property owned by their despairing comrades, and they will thon run the concern on co-operative lines, As an experiment in Free Communism—involving, liberty, equality, a common sfore, a common kitchen, and equal sharing of profite-^-the Olorospen Kill colony is a dead failure. Much interest;, has been centred upon the attempt at ideal'industrialism in tho'nortli."
From the North of Scotland a tale of bravery is reported that is as worthy of record a-> r.ny deed of heroism en the field of battle. Early on the morning of September 20 a gang of railway men "were at work on a. broken rail on tho Highland railway, .just south of Altnab'reae station, when a distant whisllo warned them of the approach of the morning train from Wick to Inverness. The men had a bogey with iiiem, and it completely blocked the lir.o, and if not removed would certainly have caused a terrible disaster, as the train goes at ful' speed at this point, and there was no signal station or other means of checking its progress. The men wero all panic-stricken, save one, named John Morrison.ta young married man with- two. young children. Morrison realised the terrible danger, to the human freight that was rushing southwards, and strove with superhuman strength to remove Live bogey from the rails. Ho was successful in saving the train, but it was -at the, sacrifice of his own life. The driver of the engine saw the obstruction, but could not stop in time, and though the bogey had by this time been removed, the hero Morrison was cut to pieces.
There are plenl.y of legends of bottomless lakes in the North of Europe.. One ■of tho most interesting is that connected wiHi Lake Ladoga, the largest and otic ■of the :no^t beautiful of Russian lakes, up on the borders of Finland. Two monastery islands —as sacred almost as the monastery of KiefF-*-rise from tho blue depths of Lake Ladoga. One of these islands was in olden times the almde of the ruler of he!!. The pious monks, however, arriving v/ith their crucifix, drove him away, and he vanished ir. the harbour of the larger island —"Villaino. And plummet has never yet sounded the depths of that lovely bay. As a mutter of fact, when the Prince of Virales a good many years ago visited Valamo, an attempt was made to sound the depths, but when the load had . gone down 600 fathoms without sounding the bottom it was hauled back, and that lovely spot of fircrowned granite and deep, blue water retains its name of Tohortskoi Lakhto, or Devil's Harbour.
The New South Wales Government received an intimation from Mr David Scott Mitchell that he is prepared to bequeath his library, containing 30,000 volumes, to the Government for t!:e use of the citizens of New South Wales. A condition will ba attached to the gift to the effect that the books must be ''properly housed." The offer has been accepted with thanks, and the Premier has decided to endow the library to .the extent of £800 per annum. Tho Mitchell Library is said to he the fincit in the-world so far as Australian literature, is concerned. It contains original journal^ logs of ships, manuscripts of books and poems, autograph letters of exceptional value, unique works which are net to be found anywhere else in the world, rare maps and engravings relating to all the colonies, and the oldest newspapers and gazettes dealing with, the early history of Australia. It is particularly .rich also in old and rare books other than Australian. Some of them were shown at the late. Library Exhibition. When added to tho national collection, as there is reason to hope it will be some day, New South Wales wiii possess ti;e leading library in Australia and one of the great libraries of tho Empire. ■■
A. little ovor' eight years age William Henry Taylor was charged, at Glen innes, New South Wales, before Judge Fitzhardir.ge, and found guilty of an assault on a girl under 14 years of age, and was sentenced to 18 months' hard labour in Armidale Gaol. Taylor all along protested his innocence. His wife, to whom ho was married four months before the charge, also believed in thi innocence of her husband. A few woeks ago, in a civil case before tho Police Court, Ilillgrove, Taylor was reminded lliai- he had served a sentence. Hearing that the girl whom lie was accused of wrongiVig was in Armidale, ho visited her. Taylor states that, on seeing him, the girl turned pale, and-,, asked him to forgive her the wrong she had done to him. He said that he had forgiven her, and wanted her to up'eak out, and set him right in the eyes of the world. The <;ir] replied that her conscience had troubled her ever since the trial, and she often wondered how she could repair the terriulo injury she had done. Taylor consulted a solicitor, and in the latter's presence the girl signed a statutory declaration sotting forth that the evidence given at the Glen Innes court by herself against Taylor was incorrect, and that Taylor was innocent of the charge she made.
As showing the widespread interest taken in the 'forthcoming Sunday School Union Industrial Exhibition, it may bo mentioned that the number of exhibitors totals 1703, with 10 books of entries yet to be returned. This is exclusive of the number enfered for the musical competitions.
The anniversary of the North Dunedin Presbyterian Churoh Sunday School will bo celebrated to-night by a musical programme. Nominations for the mayoralty of Green Island close on Thursday, 17th inst., at noon. Palsengers and. cargo for Dunedin by the R.M.S. Ruapehu will arrive by the Te Anau, due to-day.
Excursion tickets will be issued by the Railway department for the Oamaru show on the 17th and 18th inst.,1 and the arrangements in connection with the running of the trains are ar.noimced in another column.
John Hislop, oldest established Watchmaker and Jeweller, 74 Princes street. Good assortment "Watches, Clocks, and Jewellery Spectacles suit all sights.—Advt. See G. and T. Young's advertisement on first page re Bowling Green Bowl 3. They have just received close on 100 pairs per s.s. Gothic, and respectfully invite inspection of same,— Aavt. . ... .
: M-o-s-t' R-e-1-i-a-n-l-e! For": punctual time try Peter Dick,' Watchmaker and Jeweller, opposite Coffee Palace, Moray place, Dunedin. Charges strictly.moderate.—Advt. ■ ■. ' /
Massage and Electricity.—Mr and Mrs D. Bdwin Booth, Massage Institute, Stuart street, Dunedin.—Under tjio patronage of the medical gentlemen of Dunedin.
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