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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 62

Notices of New Books Relating to the Colonies and India

page 116

Notices of New Books Relating to the Colonies and India.


Jenks, Edward (M.A.).—The Government of Victoria (Australia). 8vo. Pp. ix-403. London: Macmillan & Co. 1891. [Presented by the Publishers.]

The author was appointed to the Chair of Law in Melbourne University in May 1889, as successor to the late Dr. W. E. Hearn, so favourably known, not only in Australia, but also in England and America, as the author of the "Aryan Household," "The Government of England," and other works. Upon his arrival in Melbourne, he found it incumbent upon him, in order to fulfil the engagement made by the Faculty of Law, to lecture upon the Public Law of Victoria, of which at that time he had no special knowledge. The difficulty in the way of educating himself upon the subject was rendered all the more difficult from the fact that there was not in existence any work giving even an outline idea of the subject upon which he had to lecture, the authorities prescribed by the faculty being the Acts of Parliament for the time being in force in Victoria on various branches of it. How well Mr. Jenks equipped himself under the circumstances with the special knowledge required is exemplified after perusing his book. He states that his work is primarily a text-book for university students, and that it does not pretend to be a manual for practitioners, but this is undoubtedly underrating its value. It is a work which may be consulted with advantage by those seeking information upon the constitutional questions affecting the Colony. Mr. Jenks commences by giving an historical account of the Home government of the Colonies prior to 1885, and, having arrived at its present form as regards the Colony of Victoria, abandons the historical method, and subjects it to a process of dissection and analysis. The information which the author has gathered together consists of indisputable facts, all of them having been carefully verified. The volume forms a complete detailed account of the organs of Government in Victoria at the close of last year, and will undoubtedly become indispensable to the Victorian politician, as well as useful for purposes reference to the public men of the other colonies.

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Mannering, George Edward.—With Axe and Rope in the New Zealand Alps. 8vo. Pp.xi-189. London: Longmans, Green, & Co. 1891. (Price 12s. 6d) [Presented by the Publishers.]

Most of the material embodied in this work has already appeared from time to time in the Christchurch Weekly Press, but its publication in book form is none the less welcome on that account. So little information with regard to mountaineering in New Zealand is available that it cannot fail to prove interesting to the large number of Alpine visitors to Switzerland and other European countries, who are probably unaware of the extent and nature of the New Zealand Alpine chain. The Southern Alps, the scene of the author's exploits, extend over a distance of about one hundred miles of the middle part of the South Island. The peaks range in height from 7,000 to 12,350 feet above sea-level, the majority of those over 10,000 feet being contiguous to the culminating point in altitude, Aorangi, more popularly known as Mount Cook. The snow-line is a low one when compared with that of Alpine countries in the northern hemisphere, and the author states, it may safely be said that the snow-line of New Zealand is from 2,000 to 3,000 feet lower than that of Switzerland. Mr. Mannering, who was born in New Zealand, has, in all, made five attempts to climb "Aorangi," and on the fifth occasion gained an altitude of 12,300 feet, the height of the mountain being 12,349 feet. The adventures and the troubles experienced by the author and his party are graphically and pleasantly described, and rendered all the more interesting from the fact that they possessed no trained guides, and did the whole of their own porterage and guide work, and are so enabled to chronicle that which they rapidly learned from the best of masters, "hard experience." The book is well printed, and contains several photographs of the New Zealand Alps, together with a map of the Mount Cook glaciers.

Kinglake, Edward.—The Australian at Home. 12mo. Pp. 159. London: The Leadenhall Press. 1891. [Presented by the Publishers.]

The Author's aim in this work is to portray, in a sketchy fashion, Australia as she is. His subject is divided into twelve chapters dealing with education, professional life, religion, sport, society, literature, &c. It is evident that Mr. Kinglake has made a careful study of life at the Antipodes, and has had the opportunity of mixing there with all classes of society. He has devoted considerable attention to education, and is of opinion that in no place in the world can a first class education be obtained more cheaply than in Australia. The Universities he describes as fine institutions, which are, however, making such rapid strides, that the question of finding employment for all the young men who go through them is now looming ominously as a difficulty. The legal profession in most of the Colonies is, the Author states, overdone, but there is on the whole far more scope for solicitors than barristers. With regard to sport, Mr. page 118 Kinglake states that every Australian worships the Goddess of Sport with profound adoration, and there is no nation in the world which treats itself to so many holidays. The hook is interspersed with many anecdotes, and many useful hints to those intending to settle in Australia are contained in it. The experiences of the Author, however, appear to have been confined chiefly to New South Wales and Victoria, for there is little or no information with regard to the other Colonies. Under these circumstances his statement that " after this book appears there will no longer be any excuse for any want of information on the subject of Australia," is a little out of place.

French, C. (F.L.S.,F.R.H.S.).—A Handbookof the Destructive lnsects of Victoria, with Notes on the Methods to he Adopted to Check and Extirpate them. Part I. 8vo. Pp. 158. Melbourne. 1891. [Presented by the Secretary for Agriculture.]

In Victoria, as in the other Australian Colonies, the principal troubles which those engaged in the cultivation of the soil have to contend against are droughts, floods, insects, and fungus pests, and the want of some practical and popular work bearing upon the question of the economic entomology of the Colony has long been felt. The Victorian Government, recognising this want, entrusted to Mr. French, the Government Entomologist, the preparation of a work bearing upon the subject, with the result that the first part has just been issued. This Handbook is intended to be a practical work, illustrated with useful figures and containing as few technical descriptions as is consistent with accuracy, so that those who use it may be enabled to readily recognise the various insects with which they may have to deal. It contains a systematic description, with an account of the noxious insects of the Colony which attack apples, pears, apricots, and cherries, together with a chapter on entomology which has been taken from Miss Ormerod's well-known and valuable work "A Manual of Injurious Insects." The plates with which this part of the work is illustrated are well executed, and it is intended that each succeeding part shall contain ton or more similar productions.

Records of the Australian Museum. Edited by the Curator. Vol. i. Nos. 8 and 9. 8vo. Sydney. 1891. (Price 2s. 6d. each.) [Presented by the Trustees.]

The following papers are contained in these two issues of the Museum Records.

No. 8.—On a new and peculiar Fresh-water Isopod from Mount Kosciusko, by Charles Chilton. Notes on "Rock-shelters" or "Gibba Gunyahs" at Deewhy Lagoon, by R. Etheridge, Junr. Description of a new Pelagic Hemipteron from Port Jackson, by F. A. A. Skuse. Note on the nidification of Edoliisoma tenuirostre, by A. J. North.

No. 9.—On the recent discolouration of the waters of Port Jackson, by page 119 Thomas Whitelegge. Descriptions of three new Papuan Snakes, by J. Douglas Ogilby. Note on the nidificaiion of Turnix melanotis, Gould, by A. J. North; on Hadra gulosa, Gould, by C. Hedley.

The Pastoralists' Federal Council of Australia: Official Statement of the Facts and History of the Shearing Difficulty in Australia, 1890-91. Folio. Pp. 24. Sydney. 1891.

The Pastoralists' Federal Council represents the organised sheep and cattle farmers of Australia, and embraces the Pastoralists' Unions of New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, and Queensland. The importance of these unions will be more readily understood when it is stated that the amount of capital invested in the pastoral industry in Australia is estimated at £300,000,000; that there are 95,000,000 sheep and 11,500,000 cattle depasturing, and that the value of a season's wool clip may be estimated at something over £20,000,000 sterling. It is further computed that the operations of the Council extend over an area of one million square miles of pastoral country. Taking into consideration these facts, some idea of the magnitude of the interests threatened by recent labour developments in these colonies may be obtained. This report, which has been prepared for presentation to the Royal Commission on Labour in England, gives a complete account of the facts and history of the recent shearing difficulty in the Australian Colonies. The results of that struggle, which are clearly set forth in the statement, have been to establish the unquestionable light of every employer to employ whom he pleases, and the unquestionable right of every man in Australia to work for his livelihood under fair and reasonable terms, irrespective of whether he belongs to a labour union or not. A more conciliatory spirit has been established between pastoral employers and their workmen, and the former have been relieved of much irritating interference on the part of irresponsible representatives of the labour unions in the management of their business. The existence of this powerful organisation is purely for defensive and conciliatory purposes, and it is anticipated that its efforts may tend to secure to the great pastoral industry of Australia a continued period of industrial peace.

British North America.

Dufferin and Ava, Marchioness of.—My Canadian Journal, 1872-78. Extracts from my letters home, written while Lord Dufferin was Governor-General. 8vo. PP. xviii.-417. London: John Murray. 1891. (Price 12s.) [Presented by the Publisher.]

In submitting her Journal to the public, the authoress states that it is rather a record of the past than a description of the present, inasmuch as the first pages were written twenty years ago, and it is more than twelve page 120 since the book was closed. Although during that period the hand of progress has been busy building, adding to, and improving in almost every part of the Dominion, these notes and impressions of the experiences of Lady Dufferin during her residence in the country still possess considerable freshness and interest. No attempt has been made to record any part of the business of the Governor-General, and public events are alluded to only as they affected the movements or social arrangements of the Viceregal party. Lady Dufferin speaks throughout in high terms of the scenery of the Dominion, and of the kindness experienced from the many friends met with, who added so materially to the happiness of her daily life in Canada. Several illustrations from sketches made by Lord Dufferin and a map add to the value of the work.

Annual Report of the Geological and Natural History Survey of Canada. Vol. iv. New Series, 1888-89. Roy. 8vo. Montreal. 1891. [Presented by the Director.]

This account of the work of the corps of the Geological and Natural History Survey of Canada during the period named embraces a large number of valuable reports relating to the geology, the mineral resources, and the natural history of various portions of the Dominion, from British Columbia and the North-West to Hudson's Bay and Nova Scotia. Many of these reports are of more than ordinary importance, containing, as they do, information which is not available in any other form. Mr. Ellis's report on the mineral resources of the Province of Quebec forms quite a history of the several mining industries of that province, from their inception to the present time, and containing information not only to be found in the Reports of the Geological Survey, but collected from leading articles and reports by experts in the different branches of mining, and published in the scientific journals both in Canada and the United Kingdom. A statistical report on the mineral production of Canada during 1888 is contributed by Mr. H. P. Brumell, and Mr. G. C. Hoffmann's annotated list of minerals occurring in Canada embraces all such as have been identified with any degree of certainty as occurring in Canada. The whole work, consisting of about eleven hundred pages, has been carefully edited by Dr. Alfred R. C. Selwyn, C.M.G., the Director of the Survey.

Monck, Frances E. O.—My Canadian Leaves: An Account of a Visit to Canada in 1864-1865. 8vo. Pp. 867. London: Richard Bentley & Co. 1891. [Presented by the Publishers.]

Mrs. Monck was the wife of General the Hon. Richard Monck, a brother of Viscount Monck, who was Governor-General of Canada, at the period with which this diary is connected. The contents of the book deal with the experiences of the authoress whilst on a visit to Canada, but there is very little information of any value or interest contained in the three hundred and sixty pages of which it consists.

page 121


Russell, Robert.—Natal; The Land and its Story: A Geography and History for the use of Schools. 12mo. Pp. 265. Pieter-maritzburg. 1891. [Presented by the Author.]

The author is the Superintendent Inspector of Schools in Natal, and has prepared this outline of the geography and history of Natal by desire of the Council of Education of the Colony, in order to assist the young colonists to acquire a knowledge of their homo land, and to encourage them to take an intelligent interest in its welfare and progress. The work is divided into two parts: the first consisting of a general geographical description of the Colony, based on personal observation, and on the authority of those most competent to give information, chief among whom is the veteran physicist, Dr. Sutherland, while the second is devoted to the "story," drawn in its earlier chapters mainly from Mr. John Bird's exhaustive "Annals of Natal," and which has further had the advantage of being revised by Sir Theophilus Shepstonc. The work, which is well indexed, possesses a recent map of the Colony, and cannot fail to prove of value as forming the basis of a general work on the geography of the British Colonies for use in the schools of the United Kingdom.

Smith, Ronald.—The Great Gold Lands of South Africa: A Vacation run in Cape Colony, Natal, The Orange Free State, and the Transvaal. 12mo. Pp. viii.-296. London: Ward, Lock & Co. 1891. [Presented by the Publishers.]

The first four chapters of this work are devoted to an account of the voyage to the Cape, a subject which has continually appeared in similar works, and which consequently possesses no new feature. On arriving at Cape Town, the author proceeded through the Cape Colony, Natal, the Orange Free State, and the Transvaal, visiting the Diamond Mines and the Gold Fields, the scenes of the Boer war, the war in Zululand, and the country of the Swazies. In addition to an account of his own tour, the Author has embodied extracts from the works of various writers upon South Africa, together with the views and impressions of residents in the country. Two chapters on Mashonaland and Matabeleland, consist for the most part of extracts from the works of Mr. Thomas Baines, and newspaper articles. The book contains a map showing the Author's route, together with several illustrations.


Journal of the Ceylon Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society, 1889. Vol. xi., No. 88. 8vo. Pp. 150. Colombo. 1891. [Presented by the Society.]

For this issue of the Society's Proceedings an interesting paper on the early history of Ceylon has been translated from the Dutch, and revised page 122 by Mr. F. H. de Vos. It is entitled "A short History of the Principal Events that occurred in the Island of Ceylon since the arrival of the First Netherlander in the year 1602, and, afterwards, from the establishment of the 'Honourablo Company' in the same Island till the year 1757." This history was originally compiled in the year 1760 from printed papers and manuscripts in the care of the Political Secretary at Colombo, and was sent to the Fatherland in 1762. The manuscript was found among the papers of the former Dutch East India Company in the State Archives at the Hague. The original spelling of names has been retained by the translator.


Mills, Arthur.—Colonial Constitutions: An Outline of the existing forms of Government in the British Dependencies. 8vo. Pp.65. London: Edward Stanford, 1891. (Price 1s.) [Presented by the Publishers.]

To supply the want of short compendious information concerning the present political constitution of the British dependencies is the main object of the author in issuing this brief abstract of his work, which was originally published in 1856. The author adopts the five great divisions of the world—Europe, Asia, Africa, America, and Australasia—as the most convenient basis for the general classification of the British dependencies, both continental and insular, the latter being grouped with that class with which their geographical position most obviously connects them; for instance, Mauritius and St. Helena are regarded as African, and the West Indies and the Falkland Islands as part of the American group. The author traces the progress of responsible Government since it began about fifty years ago, and states that "responsible government has now been established, for good or evil, in all our groups of Colonies which have been and are fields for British settlement and enterprise." In making this assertion he appears to forget the existence of the West Indies and Natal, both of which may be considered as, and are, fields for British settlement and enterprise. After referring to the development of self-government in the Colonies, the author deals with the question of Imperial Federation, which he describes as the last new "notion" which has cropped up for binding together the Colonies we have planted, and which we have gathered under our rule. Mr. Mills is not an advocate for Imperial Federation, but upholds that it is on the condition of maintaining and expanding the principle of self-government, and on that condition alone, that we can hope to maintain a desirable political union with our distant dependencies.