Online Encyclopedia


Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V19, Page 490 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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GERMAN NEW GUINEA The German protectorate of New Guinea, so called after the island which contributes the greatest area, comprehends, besides Kaiser Wilhelms Land, the islands which are now commonly called the Bismarck Archipelago—viz. New Pomerania, New Mecklenburg, with New Hanover and the Admiralty Islands and the Solomon Islands (Bougainville and Buka). There are besides nearly 200 smaller islands and islets scattered among their greater neighbours. In 1884 New Guinea was absolutely wild, not a single white man living on what is now the German part. On the islands New Pomerania and Mioko only two trading firms had their establishments; and on New Lauenburg the Wesleyans had a mission station. After the annexation commercial enterprise set in at once, hand in hand with political administration. Now on the mainland and in the islands plantations have been established and tobacco and cotton have been successfully grown. Three German mission societies formed settlements on New Guinea, with a branch one on the Gazelle peninsula. The protectorate is included in the Universal Postal Union; each harbour has its post office, also a leading official with a number of assistants to control the natives and the revenue. It is divided into two districts with separate administrations, New Guinea and the Bismarck Archipelago; over both presides an imperial governor, the seat of government being HerbertshShe in New Pomerania. A small police force of natives has been formed. In each district there is a registry of deeds and a court of law, and in New Guinea a court of appeal, of which the governor is president. A line of steamers plies between New Guinea, the Bismarck Archipelago and Singapore. A special silver coin of rupee value has been introduced. The area of Kaiser Wilhelms Land is approximately 70,000 sq. m. It is impossible to speak with any precision of the number of the native population, but the white population in 1906 was 149. The revenue of German New Guinea is derived from taxes, dues and licences, and amounted on the 31st of March 1892 to about £3000; on the same rate, 1901, to £3750. The annual revenue is averaged at £5000, and the expenditure at £4200. The New Guinea Company was to receive £20,000 for transferring proprietorship to government, which took over the administration in 1899. In 1903 imports into Kaiser Wilhelms Land were valued at £33,316,and exports at £7702, and the estimated expenditure for 1907–190g of £76,00o included an imperial subvention of £57,696. The chief harbours are Friedrich Wilhelmshafen and Konstantinhafen. Order is maintained by an armed constabulary force, under a European officer, of about 180, almost all natives from different districts, whose members are found to be very efficient and trustworthy. The expenditure is about £38,000 annually, and the revenue, mainly derived from customs duties, is rapidly increasing. Only £5r10 in 1895, it was £11,683 in 1899 and
End of Article: GERMAN NEW

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