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British Malaya


The Straits Settlements is a Crown Colony of which Singapore, an island 27 miles long by 14 wide, area, 225 square miles, is the capital and chief port. Singapore just misses being the southernmost point of Asia by a half-mile water channel. The Johore Causeway joins it with the mainland and affords through train service between Bangkok and Singapore. It is at the funnel point of the Strait of Malacca, which extends between the Malay Peninsula and the island of Sumatra, the great water highway between India and China. The area is 1,356 square miles; the population (1940) is estimated at 1,406,120. Singapore is known as the "Gibraltar of the East" and provides a haven for half of the British Navy, thus guaranteeing the "life line of the empire"-the trade route from the British Isles through the Mediterranean to India. Australia and New Zealand.

The new naval base and its neighboring airport lie along the Strait of Johore, east of the causeway. An elaborate system of coastal defense works, which has its headquarters at Changi, a rocky headland at the eastern entrance to the Strait of Johore, protects the base from attack by air or sea. Batteries of 16 and 18 inch guns are mounted there and on neighboring islands. These guns are said to be capable of engaging targets 20 to 30 miles away.

Singapore has a permanent garrison of units from the Royal Navy, Army and Royal Air Force. The peace time garrison numbers 7,000, but this has been expanded during the war in the plan to make Singapore one of the strongest citadels in the world. It was announced (1941) that the base was capable of sheltering, repairing and outfitting the warships of all of "Britain's allies and potential allies."

One of the features of the base is a graving dock 1,000 ft. long, 130 ft. wide at the entrance gates and with a depth of 35 ft. at low water. Excelled in size only by the King George V graving dock in Southampton, England, it can accommodate for repairs the largest warships ever built. There is also a huge floating drydock capable of taking ships up to 50,000 tons, which was towed out from England (1928).

The base has a tidal basin with 5,000 ft. of wharf walls with depths of 30 to 40 ft. alongside at low water, providing berthing space for many warships. There are ammunition and store depots, railroad sidings and huge reservoirs with a capacity of 1,000,000 tons of fuel oil.

The base has its own electric power plant, hospital and medical facilities for its large permanent population.

A hundred years ago the island, owned by the Sultan of Johore on the mainland, was a deserted jungle save for a little fishing village. Sir Stamford Raffles (1819) obtained it for the East India Company for a small fee and in two years the little trading center he established had a population of 10,000. Singapore, 50 miles north of the equator,

Other British

has been developed and maintained as a free port. Singapore has a polyglot population of approximately 600.000, of which 80 per cent is Chinese. The port is served by 80 steamship lines and annually is the host to 30,000 ships. The city has magnificent banks, modern office buildings and stately Government palaces.

The monetary unit is the Straits dollar with an average value of $.47. The budget (1941) estimates revenues of £5,400,977 and expenditures of £6,684,081.

Three-fourths of the tin and three-fifths of the rubber used in the United States come from British Malaya. One of the richest tin deposits is in the Kinta valley in the state of Perak. The Malay States are the greatest source of tin in the world. The British introduced rubber trees into British Malaya about fifty years ago from seed smuggled out of Brazil and today rubber trees practically cover the Malay States.

The four Federated Malay States are situated on the Malay Peninsula and each is governed by a native ruler, subject to instructions of the British High Commissioner of the Straits Settlements.

The Federated States are: Perak, area, 7,980 square miles; Selangor, 3,160 square miles; Negri Sembilan, 2,580 square miles; Pahang, 13,820 square miles; total, 27,540 square miles; population (estimated (1940), 2,169.313.

Rubber and tin are the chief products, others being coconuts, rice, tapioca, sugar, pepper, camphor and nepah and oil palm.

The Unfederated Malay States are Johore. Kedah, Perlis, Kalantan and Trengganu. Their area aggregates 22,276 square miles, and population (estimated 1939) of 1,918,831. Johore is a protectorate of Great Britain (since 1885), the others were transferred from Siam to Great Britain by treaty (1909). Each state is under a native sultan with a British adviser. Rubber is the chief product. Rice and copra also are exported.

British North Borneo has 29,500 square miles area, with 270,223 population (census, 1931). chiefly Mohammedans on the seacoast, and aboriginal tribes inland.

Exports are mainly timber, sago, rice, gum, and the tropical products.

The British governor of North Borneo, Brunel and Sarawak is the High Commissioner of British Malaya.

Brunei has been since 1888 a protected sultanate on the north side of the Island of Borneo, between Sarawak and British North Borneo. Its area is about 2,226 square miles, and population (census of 1931), 30,135, of which 60 were Europeans. A British Resident is in control.

Sarawak, the land of the white Rajah, is along the northwest coast of Borneo, between the mountains and the China Sea. Its coast line is 400 miles long and its area 50,000 square miles. Its population is estimated at 490,585. Kuching. The chief exports are sago, pepper, gold, The capital is plantation rubber, petroleum.

Asiatic Possessions

Aden, a peninsula on the Arabian coast, is at the southern end of the Red Sea, and has 75 square miles of area, in Aden proper, and 112,000 square miles including protectorate areas. It is a Crown Colony. The population, including Perim (5 square miles), an island in the Red Sea, in 1931, was 48,338, mostly Mohammedans. It is the principal commercial center for the Arabian peninsula. Manufacturing is chiefly of cigarettes and salt. Aden is a free port, an important coaling station, and has an excellent harbor.

Socrotra is an island off the African coast under British protection, attached to Aden. Area in all is 1,400 square miles, and population 12,000, mostly engaged in livestock husbandry.

Ceylon, a Crown Colony since 1802, is an island as large as the State of West Virginia. It lies off the southern tip of India, in the Indian Ocean, with 25,332 square miles of area and a population (1931) of 5.312,548.

Tea and rubber are the chief products.

The Maldive Islands, with an area of 115 square miles, are 400 miles southwest from Ceylon, with 79,000 population (1931 census), almost all Mohammedans. Coconuts, millet, fruit and nuts are the products.

British Hong Kong is a Crown Colony (acquired in 1841) and lies at the mouth of the Canton River 60 miles from Canton. The island is 11 miles long. with an area of 32 square miles; including the new territory, Kowloon, on the mainland, the area of

the colony is 391 square miles. The population (estimated (1938) is 1,050,256, non-Chinese numbering 23,096. Chinese refugees (not counted) number approximately 750,000.

The Council voted conscription (1939) under which all non-Chinese male British subjects between the ages of 18 and 55 are subject to compulsory military service.

Hong Kong is a British station of strategic value, commercially as well as naval.

It is the gateway between the east and the west, and one of the greatest trans-shipment ports in the world.

The Hong Kong dollar varies with the price of silver with an average value fo $.25.

Cyprus is an island, third largest in the Mediterranean Sea, 40 miles south of Asia Minor and 60 miles west of Syria, and 240 miles north of Egypt. Its area is 3,572 sq. m., and population (estimated. 1938) of 376,529. It has been administered by England since 1878, under an agreement with Turkey; it was annexed (Nov. 5, 1914).

The natives, dissatisfied with their status as a Crown Colony, asked permission (1931) to join Greece: This was refused. There was a rising against the Government (Oct. 1931) which was put down by troops from Egypt. The legislative council was suspended and legislative powers conferred on the Governor-in-Council. The Governor is William Denis Battershill (appointed Feb. 21 1939).

Four-fifths of the inhabitants are Greek Christians, and nearly all the remainder are Turkish Mohammedans. More than half are illiterate. Turkish customs, laws and weights and measures are in use; Cyprus has known more alien governments even than Palestine.

The island is agricultural, with wheat, barley,

vetches, oats, olives, and cotton as chief products. Thirty per cent of the land is cultivated.

Nicosia is the capital. The chief ports are Limassol, Larnaca and Famagusta.

The Budget (1941) estimates revenues of £1,082,713. Cyprus has contributed annually (since 1928) £10,000 to Imperial defense.

Union of South Africa

Capital, Pretoria-Area, 472,550 square miles-Population (est. 1939), 10,160,000 The Union of South Africa, a Dominion within was 1934, 440.313; 1935, 676,722; 1936, 623,923; 1937, the British Commonwealth of Nations, was formed 1,030,434; 1938, 1,238,608. (1910) and includes the former Colonies of the Cape of Good Hope, Natal, the Transvaal and the Orange Free State. The former German territory of South West Africa is administered by the Union under Mandate from the League of Nations.

The legislative power of the Union is vested in the Parliament of the Union, consisting of the King, the Senate and the House of Assembly. There is an elected Provincial Council in each of the four Provinces. The Governor-General is Sir Patrick Duncan (appointed 1936). The Prime Minister is Gen. Jan Christian Smuts (appointed 1939). The High Commissioner in the Union for His Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom and His Majesty's High Commissioner for Basutoland, the Bechuanaland Protectorate and Swaziland is Sir William Henry Clark (appointed 1935).

The population (1937) and area in square miles
of the four provinces comprising the Union of
South Africa follow:



Pop. Sq. Mi. 3,535,100 110,450


Cape Town

C. of Good Hope 3,635,100 277,169
Orange Fr. State 790,800 49,647
2,018,000 35,284 Pietermaritzburg
The capital of the Union is Pretoria although the
Union's Legislature meets in Cape Town.
South Africa is the richest gold and diamond
country in the world. Nearly 35% of the world's
supply of gold originates there, the gold industry
providing work for 361,459 persons, or 81.89% of
the employed population.

Coal, copper and tin are also important. Other minerals are iron, lead, lime, manganese, platinum, salt, talc, chrome, mica, graphite, beryl.

Production of gold, by fine ounces, for five years, was 1934, 12,144.100; 1935, 12,603,000; 1936, 11,378,000; 1937, 14,002,000; 1938, 12,161,392.

Production of diamonds, by carats, for five years,

The defense system of the Union of South Africa makes every European citizen between 17 and 60 years of age, eligible for military duty in time of war. Those between 17 and 25 are obligated to undergo training in the Coast Garrison Force, the Active Citizen Force, the Royal Naval Volunteer Force, or a Rifle Association, over a period of four years. The Rifle Association provides for training in the handling of a rifle for those between 21 and 25 years. The Permanent Force had (1939) 287 officers and 4,997 men, including 1,568 of the Air Force. The rifle associations had a strength (1939) of 124,131.

The Transvaal and Natal have land suitable for growing cotton. Corn is an important crop, and its export due to great variations in production is handled on a quota system. Wheat and fruit are also grown.

There are five universities-Cape Town, Stellenbosch, South Africa, Witwatersrand and Pretoria, and five constituent colleges, with an average enrollment in all of nearly 8,000 students.

The monetary unit is the South Africa pound with an average value of $4.03. The budget (19391940) estimated revenues of £44,110,000, and expenditures of £44,442,000.

South-West Africa, formerly German territory (annexed 1884), occupies the Atlantic Coast from the armed forces of the Union in the World War the Orange River to Angola. It was conquered by (July 9, 1915). It is now administered by the Union under a Mandate from the League of Nations (dated Dec. 17, 1920).

It covers an area of 317,725 square miles and the native population (1936) is 314,194, with 30.677 Europeans.

It is a very healthful climate, dry and temperate with variety as the country rises to mountainous elevations inland. It is ideal as a stockraising country. Minerals represent 20% to 30% of the exports.

British East Africa Kenya, crown colony and protectorate, extends | (1938). from the Indian Ocean northeast to Italian Somaliland. north to Ethiopia, west to Uganda, and south to Tanganyika; its boundaries are the Umba, Juba and Uganda Rivers. Its area is 224,960 square miles, and population (estimated 1939) of 3,500,352, largely native.

In the northeast, stretching across the Equator, there is a tract of 200,000 square miles lying at an elevation of more than 4,000 ft.. with a climate like that of California, vast rolling plains, crossed by rivers, dotted with lakes, where cotton and rubber can be grown, and two crops a year of food staples. Experts report that enough cotton can be grown there to make the British textile industry independent of American supply. It is unexploited. occupied only by roving natives and thronged with wild game. White men can live there in health as nowhere else in Central Africa.

The Europeans of Kenya passed laws reserving the highlands for white settlement, restricting the natives to the lowlands and less healthful regions.

Nairobi, a famous center for big game hunting. is the capital. Government revenue (1939) was £3,811,778, expenditures £3,808,079. Sir Henry Monck-Mason Moore (appointed Oct. 26, 1939) is the Governor

The Uganda Protectorate lies to the west of Kenya with the Anglo-Egyptian Soudan on the north. Belgian Congo on the west, and Tanganyika on the south. Its territory includes part of the Victoria Nyanza, Lake Kiogu and Lake Salisbury, also the Nile from Victoria Nyanza to the Soudan. Uganda has an estimated elephant population of 20.000, or one elephant to every 175 inhabitants. The game warden reported 1,500 elephants killed

Its area is 93,381 square miles, including 13,680 square miles of water. The population is estimated at 3,790,689, largely native. The country is well advanced in civilization. Government revenues (1939) were £1.717.927; expenditures £2.259,576.

Tanganyika was formerly German East Africa, and was taken by the British (1918), the Urundi and Ruanda districts going to Belgium, and the Kionga Triangle" to Mozambique (Portuguese East Africa). It reaches from the coast to Lake Tanganyika and from Lake Nyasa to Victoria Nyanza. It is administered under a mandate from the League of Nations, by a Governor, Sir M. A. Young (appointed 1937). with headquarters in Dar-es-Salaam, an attractive German-built city of 30,000, from which a railroad runs to Lake Tanganyika.

The area is 360,000 square miles, and population (estimated 1939) 5,270,484.

The western part of Tanganyika is a paradise for big game. There are many huge extinct craters, about 125 in number, west of the gorilla country, Kilimanjaro; that of Ngoro Ngoro is surrounded by escarpments 2,000 ft. high, is 35 miles wide and crowded with game.

Government revenue (1940) was estimated at £2,126,789; expenditures £2,472,753.

The principal products are sisal, cotton, coffee, ground nuts, hides and skin, beeswax and ivory. Nyasaland Protectorate (until 1907 British Central Africa) is situated on the southern and western shores of Lake Nyasa and extends as far as the Zambesi river. Its area is 37,374 square miles with a population (1939) of 1,679,977. Tea and tobacco are cultivated.

British South Africa

Southern Rhodesia lies in the central part of South Africa, extending from the Transvaal Province northward to the Zambesi River, with Portuguese East Africa on the east and Portuguese West Africa and Bechuanaland on the west. It has in area of 150,333 square miles. Population is es

timated (June 30, 1940) at 1,435,560 and includes 62,330 Europeans The country is rich in gold reefs and other minerals, but has proved to be an ideal agricultural country, especially adapted to European settlers. Salisbury is the capital.

The Victoria Falls in Southern Rhodesia on the

Zambesi River are the greatest natural spectacle in South Africa. They are a mile wide and from 250 to nearly 350 ft. high.

The two Rhodesias, Southern and Northern, were under the administration of the British South Africa Company from 1898 until they became Crown colonies (1923) and (1924) respectively. Corn, cotton, tobacco are grown. The output of gold, coal, chrome and asbestos is considerable. Government revenues (1940-1941) are estimated at £4,900,000; expenditures £7.587.658.

Northern Rhodesia, was taken over by the British government from the British South Africa Company (1924) and established as a Crown Colony. The capital is Lusaka.

Its area is 290,320 square miles extending north from the Zambesi river to the Belgian Congo and Tanganyika Territory. The country is mostly high plateau covered with thin forest and suitable for farming and grazing. The population was estimated (1936) at 1,376,325, of whom 9.900 were Europeans. The budget (1940) estimated revenues of £1,864,686 and expenditures of £1,608,203.

The country is rich in minerals, particularly copper, zinc, cobalt, gold, vanadium and manganese.

Basutoland, with 11,716 square miles, and a

population (1936) of 660,650, lies in South Africa northeast from the Cape of Good Hope Province on an elevated plateau. Stock raising is most important. Products are wool, wheat, cereals. The territory is governed by a Resident Commissioner under the High Commissioner for South Africa. It is a reservation set apart for the natives of South Africa. White people are not permitted to own land. The budget (1939-1940) estimated revenues of £420,963 and expenditures of £396,371. Bechuanaland, area, 275,000 squares miles, land population (census, 1936), 265,756, is in the middle of Southern Africa. between South-West Africa and the Union of South Africa and Rhodesia. It is undeveloped, but cattle growing and agriculture have gained momentum, and the livestock already totals more than 600,000 head. The budget (19391940) estimated revenues of £284.537 and expenditures of £271,549.

Swaziland, with 6.705 square miles, and a population (census, 1936) of 156,715, lies at the southeast side of the Transvaal, in South Africa. and produces chiefly tobacco, corn, vegetables, sweet potatoes, and livestock. Some gold is yielded The country is undeveloped. The budget (19381939) estimated revenues of £114,873 and expenditures of £160,786.

British West Africa

Nigeria lies in Western Africa, between Cameroon and Dahomey (French) on the Gulf of Guinea. The hinterland stretches back 600 miles to French West Africa. The tin, lead and iron ore industries are old and valuable. Railroad development has been rapid because of the mines. The chief exports are, besides tin, palm oil, palm kernels, cotton lint, cocoa, hides and skins. Revenues (1939-1940) were £6,113,126; expenditures £6,498.566.

Nigeria has an area of 372.559 square miles and a population (1939) of 20,641,814. The Governor is Sir Bernard H. Bourdillon (appointed June 21, 1935).

British Camerons, 34,081 square miles and 868.637 population, lies between British Nigeria and the French Congo in Western Africa. It is part of the former German colony Kamerun, the eastern and larger part of which went to France after the World War. It is a region of fertile soils, and progress is rapid toward building up valuable agricultural production-cloves, vanilla, ginger, pepper and palm oil. Ivory is an important product.

The seat of Government is Bueca and the administrator is the Governor of Nigeria.

Gambia is a British Protectorate in western Africa consisting of the island of St. Mary at the mouth of the Gambia River which flows through the French colony, Senegal. The British protectorate consists of a six-mile wide strip of territory on each side of the river, and extends northeast for 200 miles from the coast. The river is navigable for ocean-going steamers for a considerable distance at all seasons. The colony and protectorate have a total area of 4,068 square miles and a population (1931) of 199,520. Bathurst, on St. Mary's Island, is the capital. The Governor is Sir Wilfred T. Southorn (appointed, 1936). Revenues (1939) were £151,744; expenditures £205,889.

Sierra Leone lies on the west coast of Africa for

180 miles, between French Guinea and Liberia. In its capital, Freetown, it has the greatest seaport in West Africa, with an excellent harbor and a naval coaling station. The colony has been in British possession since 1767. The hinterland forms the British protectorate of Sierra Leone, which extends inland about 180 miles. The area of the colony and protectorate is 27,925 square miles; the population (1931) is 1,768,480. Sir Douglas Jardine (appointed May 21, 1937) is the Governor.

The principal products are ginger, palm kernels, gold and diamonds.

Revenue (1940) was estimated at £783,342; expenditures £833.564.

The Gold Coast lies along the Gulf of Guinea for 334 miles. Its area is 78,802 square miles; the population (census, 1937) is 3,700,267. The French Ivory Coast is on the west and on the east is Togoland, formerly a German colony, and now divided by mandate of the League of Nations between Great Britain and France. The French portion, about 21,100 square miles, is attached for administrative purposes to Dahomey in the east, and the British, 13,041 square miles to the Gold Coast, Accra is the capital.

Under its administration also falls Ashanti, due north of the Gold Coast, and the Northern Territories, due north of Ashanti. These countries have enormous wealth in their forests, and the cultivation of cacao and rubber is being fostered. The chief exports are cacao, gold and diamonds. Government revenues (1939-1940) were £4,596,expenditures £4.853.054.


There is a railway from Seccondee to Kumasi and a line from Accra to Kumasi.

Togoland, area 13.041 square miles, population (1940) 391,473. is under British Mandate administered by the Gold Coast, which it adjoins to the east.

Minor African Possessions

Zanzibar is an island of 640 square miles, 23 miles off the eastern coast of Africa, having 137.741 population (census, 1931). Lord Salisbury (1890) traded Heligoland in the North Sea with Germany for it.

It is governed by a Sultan, Seyyid Khalifa Ibn Harub, but is administered by a British resident, John Hathorn Hall (appointed 1937). The island of Pemba, 30 miles to the northeast, area 380 square miles, is included in the Government. The population of the Protectorate (census, 1931) is 235,428. The people are mostly Mohammedans. The chief industry is the production of cloves, the islands of Zanzibar and Pemba yielding the bulk of the world's supply. It is estimated that there are on both islands 48,000 acres, with 4,750,000 trees devoted to that product, the average output of the last 20 seasons being 17,940,000 pounds, and 5,200,000 pounds of clove stems. Cocoanuts and copra are important exports. Pottery, coir fiber, rope, soap, oil, jewelry and mats are the principal manufactures. Government revenue (1939) was £499,397; expenditures £452,216.

Mauritius, an island in the Indian Ocean. 500 miles east from Madagascar, has 720 square miles. and population (estimated 1940) of 419,059. Port Louis, population 50,308, is the capital and chieï square miles and a population, census of 1931. seaport. Its dependencies have an area of 89 9,659.

Chief exports are sugar, copra, poonac, aloe fiber and rum. Trade is principally with Great Britain, Canada, India, Hong Kong, Union of South Africa, France, Madagascar and Reunion Islands. Government revenue (1939-1940) was estimated at 17,330,250 rupees, expenditures 17,324,306. The rupee has an average value of $.36.

Seychelles and tributary dependencies include 101 islands of 156 square miles, and a population (estimated, 1940) of 32,015, lying in the Indian Ocean near Mauritius. The capital is Victoria, a port with a coaling station. Cocoanuts are the chief product, followed by cinnamon, patchouli, mangrove bark, the yolk of birds' eggs, and phosphate. Government revenue (1939) was 833,018 rupees, expenditures 905,901. The rupee has an average value of $.36.

Somaliland, a protectorate, with 68,000 square miles, and 344,700 population, mostly Mohammedans, is in Northwest Africa, on the Gulf of Aden, with Ethiopia to the south and west and Italian Somaliland on the east. The chief town is Berbera, population 30,000, and the products skins, resin, gum, cattle and sheep.

St. Helena, the island made famous by the exile of the Emperor Napoleon, is 1,200 miles off the west coast of Africa, has 47 square miles and population (estimated. 1939) of 4,622. Fruits, nuts, timber, flax, lace making (flax the chief) are the industries. It is an important naval coaling sta

tion, and, although volcanic and small, has great, for boats to reach because of its rugged shores, strategic value.

Ascension, an island of volcanic origin, 34 square miles in area, 700 miles northwest of St. Helena, is noted for its sea turtles. Population (1940) was Tristan da Cunha, a group of islands of volcanic origin, 12 square miles in area, half way between the Cape and South America, difficult


forms one of the loneliest places on the globe. About 165 persons, descendants of shipwrecked sailors, and soldiers from St. Helena, get a rude livelihood there. The island produces apples and peaches. Sheep, geese and bullocks are reared and there are plenty of fish, but potatoes are the chief diet. Efforts to get them to leave have been fruitless.


Capital, Canberra-Area, 2,974,581 square miles-Population (1940) 7,016,449 1936). The Prime Minister is John Curtin (Labor Australia. Itself a continent, is situated between 10° 41' and 39° 8', or including Tasmania 43° 39' Party). south latitude and 113° 9' to 153° 39' east longitude in the Pacific Ocean, with the Indian Ocean on the west, and the Southern Ocean on the south.

The states and territories of the Commonwealth with their population (1939) and area are (309,432 square -New South Wales 2,770,348

miles); (Victoria, 1,887,278 (87,844 sq. m.); Queens-
land, 1,015,927 (670,500 sq. m.); South Australia,
597.045 (380,070 sq. m.); West Australia, 465,916
(975,920 sq. m.); Tasmania, 241,576 (26,215 sq
m.); Northern Territory, 6,973 (523,620 sq. m.);
Australian Capital Territory, 12,263 (940 sq. m.).
Altogether the Commonwealth is nearly as large as
Continental United States.

The state capitals and their population are
Sydney, New South Wales, 1,305,040; Melbourne,
Victoria, 1,046,750; Brisbane, Queensland, 326,000;
Adelaide, South Australia, 322,990; Perth, Western
Australia, 224,800; Hobart, Tasmania, 65,450.
In eastern Australia mountains rise to about
The central portion extends
7,000 ft. altitude.

The Murray

westward in rolling plains until higher elevations
are reached along the west coast.
River, rising on the slopes of the mountains, is
navigable inland for 2,000 miles. The climate is
temperate in the south, and tropical in the north.
Australia is the habitat of strange flora and
fauna. The koala, or living Teddy Bear, may
be seen in parks near the cities and in the "bush.
He is a soft bundle of fur about 20 to 25 pounds
in weight when fully grown. He never drinks, ob-
taining enough moisture from the young euca-
lyptus leaves on which he lives.

The platypus, a combination of fish, bird and animal which is equally at home in the water or on land, is one of only two creatures known to science which lay eggs and nourish their young with milk. The other is the Australian echidna or ant-eating porcupine.

There are many other strange creatures-the wombat, which burrows deeply; the Tasmanian devil and wolf; the dingo and the spotted native cat; the mole that is blind, deaf and dumb: barking and cycling lizards and house-building rodents. Birds of brilliant plumage are numerous. Parrots, red green and yellow, fly in flocks.

In the far north, wild buffalo roam over an area as large as the British Isles where but few white men live; and wild ducks and geese swarm over lagoons and lakes in flocks of almost unbelievable size.

In the north, too, are to be seen the best They are speciments of the aboriginal tribes. the most primitive of all peoples, entirely nomadic, making fire with sticks, throwing boomerangs, and killing kangaroos and other game with spears. Except in the far region of the "Never Never" land, the aborigines are quite harmless.

The Australia has been settled for 150 years. Commonwealth was proclaimed (Jan. 1, 1901). It enjoys Dominion status and is governed on the Federal plan with a Parliament consisting of a Senate and a House of Representatives.

The British Governor General is Lord Gowrie (born July 6, 1872), who took office (Jan. 23,

Seats held in the lower House by the various parties (1941): United Australia, 24; Country, 14: Federal Labor, 36, giving the Coalition Government a majority of two. In the Senate the line-up is Coalition 19. Labor 17.

Primarily an agricultural country, Australia is the greatest wool-producing country in the world. Important crops are wheat, oats, barley, corn, hay, potatoes, sugar cane, sugar beets, grapes and fruits. The country yields gold, silver, lead, copper, tin and coal.

The average annual value of Australia's chief exports is wool, £42,737,096; wheat, £13,275,184; gold, £17,953,292; meats. £11,779,563; butter, £12,891.837: hides and skins, £4,103,855.

Education is free and compulsory. There are six universities-one in each of the State capitals. Church of England claims 44.4% of the population, the remainder being distributed as follows -Roman Catholic, 22.3%; Presbyterian, 12.3%: and Methodist, 11.8%.

Military training for all males between the ages of 18 and 26 years was compulsory (1911 to 1929) but from Nov. 1, 1929, enlistment on a voluntary basis was adopted. Compulsory training, however, was again introduced (Jan., 1940). Since the outbreak of the war the strength of the Defence Forces has been greatly increased. The Royal Australian Air Force has been greatly enlarged to complete a Home Defence organization of 19 squadrons and to cope with Australia's share of the Empire Air scheme.

An emergency powers bill (1940) gives the Government the right to mobilize all national resources with the exception of conscription for overseas service. Australia is engaged in a defense program costing £453,000,000 over a period of three years. Defense expenditures (1940-1941) are estimated at £160,000,000, £90,200,000 more than (1939-1940).

The strength of the military forces (Jan. 1, 1939) was 42,895, including Permanent Forces, organized for peace time duties, to prepare for defense and to form the basis for the technical


Australia also maintains a Navy, two 10,000-ton cruisers, three of 7,000 tons, one of 5,100 tons with several minor craft (Jan. 1, 1940). The active service personnel (1939) was 5,170 but this has been vastly increased since the start of the war. Additional destroyers and mine sweepers are being constructed in the naval expansion program.

The monetary unit is the Australian pound with an average value of $3.21. The budget (1940-1941) estimated revenues at £150,000,000 and expenditures £276,000,000. Of the expenditures £143,000,000 was for war costs at home and £43,000,000 for war costs overseas.

Pension acts provide for payments of old age and invalid pensions, including the blind, the unemployed, victims of tuberculosis and in some cases to dependents of former soldiers. A Maternity Act provides for the payment of pensions for every livable child born in Australia.

The Australian Government Trade Commissioner in the United States is L. R. MacGregor, C. B. E., 630 Fifth Ave., New York City.

AUSTRALIAN TERRITORIES Papua, or British New Guinea, is the southeastern part of the Island of New Guinea north Its area is estimated at 90,540 from Australia. square miles with an estimated native population of 337,000.

The European population (June 30, 1940) was 1,822. Queensland annexed the territory in 1883. but control was taken over by the Federal Government of Australia in 1906.

The Commonwealth Government pays an annual subsidy-£42,500 (1939-1940). Revenues (19391940) were £177,918; expenditures £178,234. The chief exports are copra, gold, rubber and desiccated cocoanut.

Territory of New Guinea, formerly German New Guinea, the northeast quarter of the island, was

placed by the League of Nations after the war
under mandate to Australia. It includes the Bis-
marck Archipelago, 19,200 square miles, and the
miles. The total area of the mandated territory
former German Solomon Islands, 4,100 square
is about 93,000 square miles, with a native popu-
The white
lation estimated roughly at 666,000.
population was 4,606 (June 30, 1939).
Norfolk Island was taken over by the Govern-
ment of the Commonwealth of Australia (1913). It
has an area of 8,528 acres and a population of 983.
The soil is very fertile and is suitable for the
cultivation of citrus fruits, bananas and coffee.

Nauru Island, formerly German, was mandated by the League of Nations to the British Empire. Its area is about eight square miles; its population is 3,400. It has valuable phosphate deposits.

New Zealand

Capial, Wellington-Area, 103,934 square miles-Population (April, 1940) 1,640,901 The main islands of New Zealand, a self-governing British Dominion of the South Pacific Ocean. lle between the parallels of 34 and 48° and the meridians of 166° and 179° east longitude, about 1,200 miles to the eastward of Australia. Including the remote islands in the north and the Ross Dependency in the far south, the reach of New Zealand is from the tropics to Antarctica.

Representatives. The Governor-General is Sir Cyril L. N. Newall (appointed 1941). Membership of the Legislative Council is achieved by nomination for a 7-year term, and of the House of Representatives by election on a universal franchise for a 3-year term. The Prime Minister is Peter Fraser.

New Zealand comprises North Island, 44,281 square miles: South Island, 58,092 square miles; Stewart Island, 670 square miles; Chatham Islands, 372 square miles. Both the North and South Islands slightly exceed 500 miles in length. Cook strait, separating the two islands, is only 16 miles in width at its narrowest part.

Additional islands within the geographical boundaries of New Zealand are Campbell Island, Solander Island, the Three Kings, Auckland. Antipodes, Bounty, and Snares Islands (a total area of 307 square miles). Islands annexed to New Zealand are the Cook Islands, Kermadec Islands, Niue Island, and certain other small islands in the Pacific (a total area of 212 square miles), so that the actual New Zealand aggregate is 103,934 square miles.

The territory of Western Samoa, including chiefly the large islands of Savai'i (703 square miles) and Upolu (430 square miles) is administered by New Zealand under mandate of the League of Nations. New Zealand is also associated with Great Britain and Australia in the mandate for the administration of the very valuable phosphate island of Nauru. The control of Tokelau or Union Islands, formerly part of the Gilbert and Ellice Islands colony, was trans

ferred to New Zealand (1926).

New Zealand was discovered in 1642 by Abel Janszoon Tasman, a Dutch navigator, and its coasts were explored by Capt. James Cook (176970). British sovereignty was proclaimed (1840) with organized settlement commencing in the same year. Representative institutions were granted (1853) and (1907) the Colony became a Dominion. The capital is Wellington.

The Maoris (the native race) are Polynesians of high intelligence, their forebears having migrated from the Eastern Pacific several centuries ago. They numbered 90,980 (March 31, 1940).

New Zealand has a remarkable diversity of landscape plains, downs and broad valleys, extensive tracts of hills and mountains, numerous rivers and many lakes. The Sutherland Waterfalls, with a drop of 1,900 ft., is one of the tallest and most beautiful in the world. The climate ranges from the sub-tropical in the north to the mildly temperate in the south. The country has the second lowest death rate, and the lowest infant mortality rate, in the world.

The central plateau of the North Island possess thermal attractions renowned for their scenic and healing properties, while the surrounding streams and lakes provide trout fishing of world fame. Off the northern peninsula rod and reel sea fishing has resulted in several world records.

The South Island of New Zealand presents scenery of a totally different nature from that of the North. The great range of the Southern Alps (highest point, Mt. Cook, 12,349 ft.) stretches from end to end of the Island and forms the eastern side; on the western side the towering mountain slopes crowd in upon the coastline, their glaciers and snow-fields being easily accessible from the densely forested foothills.

New Zealand enjoys Dominion status within the British Empire and is governed by a Governor-General, representing the King of Great Britain and the British Dominions, and a General Assembly consisting of a Legislative Council and a House of


Fiji Islands are from 200 to 250 in number, with an area of 7,083 square miles, and a population (1940) of 215.030 (4.259 Europeans). They are situated in the South Pacific Ocean, due east of northern Australia.

The larger islands are mountainous, reaching altitudes of 4,000 ft., with one peak of 5.000. The southern islands contain dense forests with many valuable woods. The inlands are very fertile and well watered. The climate is for the tropics comparatively cool; the temperature seldom rising above 90, or falling below 60°, and the rainfall is abundant.

The islands form a British Crown Colony. The capital is Suva. Bananas, coconuts, maize, sugar cane, rice and tobacco are the principal products.

The political complexion of the House of Representatives (elected Oct. 15, 1938) follows-Labor. 51; National, 25; Independents, 4..

New Zealand is primarily a farming country. For decades the sheep held supremacy in value of exports (wool, meat, tallow, pelts, etc.) by a large margin, but during recent years dairy products, butter and cheese have taken first place on occasions. Two-thirds of the surface of the country is suitable for farming.

Compulsory military service at home and abroad applies to all males more than 16 years old with conscription for foreign service which is restricted to the 21-41 age group. The man power is enrolled in the general reserve. The air force continued on the voluntary basis.

The available water power is estimated at a total of 4,870,000 h.p., of which 4,100,000 is in water sounds of the west coast, with many sites South Island, and mostly located near the deep especially suitable for industries. About 460,340 h.p. (hydroelectric power only) is in use (1939). The capital outlay of electric power industry (1939) is £33,073,000.

There were (1940) 3,320 miles of governmentowned and 198 miles of privately owned railways. Commercial air services flew (1939-1940) 10,541 223,018 pounds of freight and 234,989 pounds of hours, 1,326,234 miles and carried 51,802 passengers, mail.

A general social insurance law, modifying and extending the former pension law, became effective (April, 1939). The act provided for superannuation and old age and invalidity benefits, widows' and orphans' benefits, family allowances, sickness and accident benefits, unemployment benefits, and a national health service. All persons 16 years of age and more are required to be registered and to pay the registration fee and a charge on salaries, wages and other income. The Government and New Zealand Corporations also contribute to the general operating fund. A national free medicine plan went into effect (May, 1941),

Universal pension plans (effective April 1, 1940) provide for an annual pension of $50 to all 65year-olds,, irrespective of means, rising $10 every year until it reaches $390. All resident in New complete 20 years of residence thereafter are Zealand before March 15, 1938, and those who eligible.

The monetary unit is the New Zealand pound with an average value of $3.25. Government revenues (1940-1941) were £40,400,000, and expenditures £38,700,000.

Western Samoa


German Samoa, which included Savaii and Upolu, the two largest of the Samoan Islands in the Western Pacific, and was occupied by the British (Aug. 29, 1914). This territory was assigned as a mandate from the League of Nations to New Zealand (1920).

Savaii is 48 miles by 25 miles and has an area of about 703 square miles. Upolu has an area of about 430 square miles. Both are mountainous. fertile and well watered The population (1940) of the two aggregated 61,429. The chief exports are copra, bananas and cocoa.

The Union or Tokelau Islands, formerly part of the Gilbert and Ellice Islands Colony, were transferred to the jurisdiction of New Zealand (1926). The area of the three clusters of islets is four square miles, and population (1939), 1,191.


The budget (1939) estimated revenues at £930,866 and expenditures £1,095,928..

In Fiji, according to Dr. Dorothy M. Spencer of the University of Pennsylvania, the human head is held to be sacred and it is an insult to reach above the head of another person.

Tonga Islands, or Friendly Islands, form a protectorate, with an area of 256 square miles, and a population (1939) of 34.130. The native Queen is Salote Tubou, who succeeded her father George II (April 12, 1938). Government revenue (19381939) was £60,441, expenditures £69,612.

The British Solomon Islands, a protectorate, number 15 large islands and four groups of small islands, with a total area of about 375,000 sq. m.. and a population (1931) of 93.415, of which 497 are Europeans. Exports are chiefly copra and ivory

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