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Cover
Cover

Warning: This book may contain the names and images of deceased Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people.


DOWN UNDER WITH
THE PRINCE


BY

EVERARD COTES


WITH TWENTY-THREE ILLUSTRATIONS

METHUEN & CO. LTD.
36 ESSEX STREET, W.C.
LONDON



First Published in 1921


BY THE SAME AUTHOR

Signs and Portents in the Far East


H.R.H.
H.R.H. ON DECK: AN INTERRUPTION

This book attempts to be a gangway to the Renown for the reader who would travel by battle-cruiser, by train, on horseback, by motor, and on foot, the forty-five thousand miles of his Australasian tour with H.R.H. the Prince of Wales. It is built by one who travelled, as a correspondent, with him all the way.

[vii]


CONTENTS

  PAGE
I At Sea 1
II Barbados 9
III Panama 15
IV Southern California 22
V Honolulu 27
VI Neptune Boards the Renown 35
VII Fiji 41
VIII Auckland 47
IX North Island 59
X South Island 73
XI Enterprise in New Zealand 87
XII Victoria 100
XIII New South Wales 116
XIV Some Commonwealth Affairs 130
XV Western Australia 140
XVI Wheat, Gold, and Logging 148
XVII The Nullarbor Plain 158
XVIII South Australia 163
XIX Tasmania 170
XX Queensland 176
[viii]
XXI The Jackaroo and Others 192
XXII Amongst the Sheep 200
XXIII Eastward Ho 211
XXIV The West Indies 221
XXV The Bermudas 236
XXVI The Significance of the Tour 242

[ix]


LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS

H.R.H. on Deck: An Interruption Frontispiece
  FACING PAGE
Panama Canal: A Sharp Corner 16
Surf-boarding at Honolulu 16
Excitement Grows in Auckland Harbour 18
New Zealand: The Prime Minister takes Charge 18
From a Photograph by Guy, Dunedin
Wellington: A Canoe in the Petone Pageant 64
From a Photograph by Guy, Dunedin
"The Maori People will be True Till Death" 64
Westport Children: A Tumult of Flags and Flowers 80
Dunedin's Welcome 80
From Photographs by Guy, Dunedin
With Australia's most Distinguished Citizen 112
From a Photograph by the Central News Agency, Ltd.
Jutland Day at Melbourne 112
Government House Gardens, New South Wales 128
Perth, from the King's Park 128
Crossing the Nullarbor Plain 160
Aboriginal Dance 160
Leaving Port Adelaide 170
Mount Wellington, Hobart 170
[x]
The Backblocks: An Unofficial Fixture 192
His Favourite Mount 192
Emu on a Sheep-run 208
Good-bye to Sydney Harbour 208
Samoa Makes Merry 224
Trinidad: In the Dragon's Mouth 224

The thanks of the writer are due to those who have contributed photographs for the illustrations, and especially to Sir Godfrey Thomas, Bart.


[1]

DOWN UNDER WITH THE PRINCE

I

AT SEA

One March morning of last year, an ordinary train moved out of Waterloo Station for Portsmouth, and among the ordinary people it carried were at least two or three who were going further. They sat together and smoked, and exchanged experiences and speculations. As the train slowed down at Portsmouth Harbour they looked from the carriage windows and saw the fighting tops of a big battle-cruiser lifted grey against the sky above the houses of the foreshore, and one said to another "There she is."

There she was, the Renown, in alongside, waiting to sail with His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales to Australasia. It was the day before and already the function was in the quickened air. Scraps of coloured bunting fluttered and flew on the wharf sheds. Dockyard officials gave orders with more responsibility than ever immediately under their caps. The travellers from Waterloo went up the gangway to the quarter-deck,[2] successfully passed the officer of the watch, and found their quarters. They were the journalists of the tour, there on behalf of the people at home, that multitudinous "public" which, for lack of accommodation on the Renown, must see the Prince's tour in the convex mirror of the daily press.

Next day the function flowered. The Royal train rolled in. The red carpet was spread and the Chief Passenger went up the gangway, with every sign and circumstance by which his country could mark the occasion of his going.

Gently the grey turrets slid out from the crowded wharf into the leaden expanse of harbour. "Auld Lang Syne" rang into the chill wind that rocked the rowing-boats lining the fairway. Ant-like figures swarmed into the tall rigging of Nelson's flagship, which lay, bedecked all over, her old oak sides stiff in checkered squares of black and white, while her ancient muzzle-loaders banged off a smoky salvo—the senior ship of the British Navy wishing Godspeed to her fighting junior on Royal Service starting. The hundred and twenty thousand horse-power steam turbines of the battle-cruiser quickened their rhythmic throb. The still shouting crowds ashore faded to dark stains on the Southsea beach. The red and gold of the Royal standard fluttered down from the main, and the Renown put out to sea, starting on this pleasant commission with the same certitude and the same cheeriness, the same discipline and the same lightness of heart, the same directness of purpose, and above all things the same absence of fuss, with which she had often gone upon errands perilous. The voyage, so much anticipated and chronicled, had begun, and the convincing thing was that it was going to be, from the[3] Renown's point of view, precisely like other voyages. That impression came with the first turn of the propeller and remained, it may be said at once, until the last. The circumstance and ceremonial of the departure, the pomp of Royalty and the glitter of an Imperial mission had all merged, before the sun set in the cloud-bank of that March afternoon, in the sense of function and routine, detached and disregarding, that controls life in His Majesty's ships at sea.

The Renown is the most recent, the fastest, and the best armed battle-cruiser in the world. She received at her christening the proud traditions, extending over three hundred years, of the battles of the British Navy, having had no less than seven fighting predecessors of the same name, beginning with the gallant little wooden frigate Renommée, captured in 1653 from the French and transferred to the British squadrons where she became the first of the famous Renowns. The present vessel was built as lately as 1916, when British need was great. She remains a record of what those strenuous times could do.

For all her thirty-two thousand tons and gigantic armament of mammoth guns this great battle-cruiser slides through the water with the smoothness of the otter. She moved steadily at eighteen knots an hour from the time she left Portsmouth, a pace which, for this last word in fighting machines, is mere half-speed, though it is as fast as most suburban trains can travel. She is so big that surprisingly little motion is noticeable at sea, though waves wash freely over forecastle and quarter-deck, contracting the space available for the exercise and training of the large fighting crew she carries. This intimacy with[4] the ocean is an impression acquired early and vividly by the civilian on board a fighting ship. A voyage on a big liner is a quite super-marine experience by comparison, with a picturesque and phosphorescent basis some distance below a sleepy deck-chair, and not necessarily observed at all. A battleship penetrates rather than sails the sea, and takes very little interest in keeping any part of herself dry. It is impossible to ignore the ocean on such a vessel. The Renown was no less amphibian than others of her class. The accommodation contrived for the Prince was itself liable to ruthless visitation, and even the cabin on the superstructure, which held the chroniclers of his Odyssey, and was the highest inhabited spot beneath the bridge, occasionally took considerably more than enough water to dilute the ink.

Naturally there was nothing in her mission to interfere with the Renown's ordinary routine at sea. Training, gun-drill and inspections went on as usual and it was impossible not to be penetrated with the fact that these things were admirably done. For the passengers the day began with breakfast in the ward-room at eight. Soon after nine the whole ship's company assembled in divisions, in different parts of the vessel. Kits were inspected and the day's duty commenced. One realized, as one watched the proceedings, how completely the war has abolished the old navy methods of stiffness and pipeclay. The relations between officers and men are of the pleasantest and most human character. Nobody is asked to do anything not of definite importance to the welfare of the ship, or to the training and the making fit of the men. The navigation, the keeping of the watches, the working of the complicated machinery[5] by which the vessel is driven, steered and lighted, the handling of the gigantic guns, and the running of such supplementary services as those of supply and wireless, proceed upon simple matter-of-fact business principles, under the direction of the Captain, who controls the organization as a whole. Immediately under the Captain are the Navigation Commander, the Administration Commander, the Engineer Commander, the Gunnery Lieutenant-Commander, the Torpedo Lieutenant-Commander, the Principal Medical Officer, and the Paymaster, each an expert in the particular branch he is responsible for. Unquestionably an expert too is the ship's parson who, himself belonging to the upper deck, is related, by his duties, so closely to the lower, as to afford a personal link between the two, which no less sympathetic or more official intermediary could supply. Each of the departments I have named is manned by its own staff of officers and men, who are all trained to carry out definite functions with cheerfulness, confidence and goodwill. On the Renown the same healthy spirit was to be found in every one aboard, from the Flag-Lieutenant down to the humblest stoker. It is an early inoculation of Osborne and Exmouth and apparently expands in the system with promotion.

At general divisions on Sundays, the entire ship's company assembled for inspection on the decks, each officer at the head of his respective contingent. A finer sight than these divisions it would be impossible to find, the men well-set-up, and bearing decorations won in every naval engagement during the war, from Zeebrugge to the Falkland Islands, and from the Dardanelles to Jutland, wearing too in many cases the red[6] triple stripe upon the sleeve which tells of fifteen years of good service under the White Ensign.

A battle-cruiser has many aspects. It is a fortress with parade grounds and cricket pitches, a monastery with divagations in port, a school of many things besides arithmetic, and a community that could teach social law to Mr. Hyndman. It is above all from this point of view the home, the castle and the club of the officers and men who inhabit it, and the centre of these significances is the ward-room. The Renown's had an ante-room which enshrined the files, not greatly disturbed, of a few newspapers, and was a most comfortable smoking-room, but it was about the tables and chairs, the Mess President's mallet and the unwearied piano of the ward-room itself that the hoariest traditions of His Majesty's Navy most conspicuously flourished and the atmospheric essence of the Senior Service most happily clung.

There is a variety of the game of Patience played with cards called "Knock." It was plainly invented, in a moment of drowsy leave, by a sub-lieutenant to whom had arrived the felicity of ordering, by a stroke upon the table, Commander X or Lieutenant-Commander Y to "pass the wine" in penalty for having read an urgent signal from the bridge and omitted to excuse himself to him, the said Sub-Lieutenant, and Mess President for the week, though youngest officer present. Various were the offences thus visited across the field of the repast, which had a goal at each end, kept, so to speak, by the Chaplain, with his grace before and after meat. In that consecrated interval no lady's name may be pronounced, and nothing of any sort may be perused. The Spell with which the ward-room guards its daily history at once paralyses the pen. There is really[7] no way of learning much about these things except by entering the Navy or persuading a battle-cruiser to give you a berth in her, opportunities which occur but seldom to any of us. The relaxations of that genial and athletic place form a tempting theme, but it is better for the publishers that a modest number of these volumes should reach the libraries than that a whole edition should be sunk at sea.

All this announced and admitted however, this was the voyage to Australasia of H.R.H. the Prince of Wales, and the Renown, at least in the public eye, must be subordinated to her duty.

The Prince was to be met quite often, going about the ship, like anybody else, with always an unaffected word and pleasant smile for those he ran up against. He did a good deal of reading and other work in his state-room in the morning, but in the afternoon he often shared in the recreations of the officers, playing squash racquets in a small court that had been rigged up upon the superstructure, shooting at clay discs thrown out from the ship's side by means of a spring trap, or running and doing Swedish exercises on the poop. H.R.H. ordinarily messed with the Captain and the members of the Royal Staff, in the cuddy, which had been enlarged and pleasantly decorated in ivory and green for the purpose; but he was also an honorary member of the ward-room and gun-room messes and sometimes dined with one or other of them. On other nights he often had officers or passengers to dine with himself and his staff, in the simplest and most informal way, his guests coming away with the pleasantest impressions of unpretentious good fellowship and cheery company. On these occasions the Prince himself proposed the[8] health of the King, and about this ceremony, simply and modestly as it was observed, hung an odd little Imperial thrill. Republics are worthy forms of Government, but they impose upon no man the duty of toasting his own father. It was a gesture that somehow placed the youthful host momentarily apart—one imagines his having to reconquer the effect of it as often as he makes it.

The Prince is keen upon naval affairs and soon knew the ship from one end to the other. He often accompanied the Captain on inspections and took a hand in all sorts of duties, down to those of the oil furnaces. He sampled the men's food, tasted their grog and would often have a cheery chat with them. There was no attempt to sequester the Chief Passenger. He shared and contributed to the life of the ship.


[9]

II

BARBADOS

Gloom was cast over the Renown, the day before reaching Barbados, by the falling overboard, in rough weather, of a fine young gunner of marines, who was sitting on the taffrail gaily talking to his mates when a roll came that sent him into the sea. The poor fellow had hardly stopped falling when patent life-buoys, which sent out white clouds of smoke, easily visible in the bright afternoon sunshine, were dropped. The big ship swung round. The man was swimming, when lost to view amongst white-topped waves. A boat was smartly lowered, and within fifteen minutes of the cry "Man overboard," the rowers had reached the buoys and were carefully searching the precise spot where the speck which had been one of our company had disappeared. The Prince was much concerned at the accident, and came upon deck the moment he heard of it. But our hearts grew heavy as the minutes went by and the search proved vain. It had eventually to be recognized that the unfortunate man had sunk before reaching the life-buoys, close as they had been dropped to him in the water. A funeral service was afterwards held on the forecastle, the entire ship's company and all the officers attending[10] to pay respect to the memory of their shipmate. The Prince also sent a personal message by wireless to the relations of the deceased. It was one of those accidents that no amount of care can entirely prevent, upon the necessarily low, and but slightly fenced decks of a modern battle-cruiser in a heavy sea.

The following evening the Renown arrived off Barbados. The light-cruiser Calcutta, flagship of the West Indian squadron, met her at sea and escorted her in to the anchorage half a mile from shore. A dozen sailing barques, mostly American, also three or four steamers of various nationalities, were lying at anchor, all of them decked with bunting in honour of the Royal visit. The usual salutes were fired and formal exchange of calls between the Prince and Sir Charles O'Brien, Governor of the island, and Admiral Everett, commanding the West Indian station, took place.

It was the first pause for the purpose of the tour, the first official touch. The feeling of function, of standing at attention, which was soon to clothe the enterprise as with a garment, fell upon all concerned. The silk hat for the first time bobbed in the visiting steam-launch, and the address came out of the breast pocket of the municipal morning coat.

Bridgetown, the capital of Barbados, as seen from the Renown through the soft warm muggy atmosphere of the end of March, was a tumbled mass of white and red buildings embowered in emerald foliage, and fringed by the masts of anchored sailing vessels, themselves reflected in the broken amethyst of the open roadstead. The narrow streets had been decorated by the wives and daughters of the residents, headed by Lady Carter, wife of a late governor of the island, who had expended an[11] immense amount of labour upon the work. Gigantic sago-palm leaves had grown into royal emblems wherein the fronds took the place of feathers. The Broad Street of the city might have been a Cantonese bazaar, so thick was it with coloured banners. Nelson's statue, in the local Trafalgar Square, looked out of a mass of brilliant floral designs. An imposing triumphal arch of flowers had also been erected. Even the tiny wooden huts of the negroes, on the outskirts, carried paper decorations that must have cost much labour to make. A well-set-up company of volunteers furnished a guard-of-honour at the landing. The members of the Barbados House of Assembly, headed by the Governor in white political uniform, received the Prince. Bands and salutes added to the formality of the occasion. Complimentary addresses were presented in the old Assembly House, where the Prince shook hands with a remarkably long line of returned military and naval officers and men, for Barbados sent an extraordinary large proportion of her sons to the war.

A fleet of motor-cars then turned up and the Prince was taken for a drive through the island. The procession was headed by that veteran planter and member of Assembly, Mr. Graham Yearwood, who seemed to have at his finger-ends every local romance of the past three hundred years, from the story of the "Rendezvous" on the coast, where loyalist planters repelled the onslaught of Cromwellian squadrons, to that of a certain cavernous gully which we also saw, where, for long months, was hidden the body of a swashbuckling moss-trooper slain in single combat by a Barbadian planter. The Prince was also conducted over the buzzing[12] machinery of an immense, up-to-date sugar-factory, fitted with the latest appliances, and learnt something of the vicissitudes of the sugar industry, an enterprise which was doggedly operated through years of low prices, bad crops, and hurricanes, and only narrowly saved from complete bankruptcy by a grant obtained from the British Parliament by Mr. Joseph Chamberlain. At the time of the Royal visit, it was in a state of abounding prosperity with prices at twelve times their pre-war level. Even with the year's by no means favourable season the current crop was valued at eight times the average of five years previously, which meant ease and comfort to all connected with this premier industry of the island.

The whole of the city portion of the route was lined—in places ten deep—with cheering, laughing, bowing coloured people and their women and piccaninnies; the folk of the cane fields and factories. In the country portion of the route, negroes rushed to the roadside from their work in the fields the moment the Royal car appeared in sight. "God bless you!" they cried to the Prince. "Come! Come! Lookee here, he too sweet boy!" "God bless my old eyes that have seen him," mingled with laughter and the clapping of hands, while old men bowed low, with dignified, wide-armed, slow gesticulation, and women and girls, sometimes smartly got-up with head-kerchiefs made of Union Jacks, and always with strong, free hip-gait, and the widest of white-toothed smiles, came running to drop a curtsy or bend in salute. It was real contagious joy and excitement, like the overflowing froth of a bottle of Guinness, and as for the noise only a Jazz Band could describe it.

The road was sometimes crowded with four-wheeled mule-drawn carts, piled high with fresh-cut, yellow sugar-cane, on its way to the[13] presses, each stem the thickness of a rolling-pin and the length of a cavalryman's lance, for the harvesting was in full swing. The negroes take the crop, which looks much like sorghum or Indian corn, with cutlasses, primitive work done by primitive people. The luscious growth needs a good deal of fertilizing and care the year round, and generations of these simple folk have thriven upon it since the middle of the seventeenth century. Seventy-four thousand acres of it there are and probably a hundred thousand negroes producing it, all, so far as we could observe, delighted to see the Prince of Wales.

The road wound sometimes through pillared aisles of stately sago-palms, past dense groves of green mahogany and bread-fruit trees or brilliantly red flowering devil-trees, hibiscus, and silk-cotton. Sometimes one saw brown heaps of sweet potatoes, as large as turnips, just dug from the earth. The procession climbed through open fields of uncut sugar-cane and sorghum, getting a fine view of rolling cultivation, bordered with blue sea and white surf-swept beach. Ancient windmills swung black, droning sails on the hill-tops. Tall brick chimneys told of long-established crushing mills close to the cane fields. Cheerful villages of flimsy wooden shacks and solid stone houses followed one another in quick succession, each with its inhabitants lined up in holiday clothes to cheer. Again and again the Prince alighted to inspect boy-scouts, girl-guides, and war-workers, or to say a pleasant word to assemblies of school-children. One gathering proved a community of "Red-legs," descendants, now of mixed race, of Scotch and Irish prisoners of war and "unruly men" exiled and sold for seven years as white[14] servants to the colony in 1653. It was easy to pick out in the white-clad crowd individuals with negro features and pale Celtic skins.

Later in the day, the Prince attended a formal state dinner, and evoked a storm of applause by contradicting emphatically a rumour, which had been causing a good deal of anxiety in the island, to the effect that there was a possibility of some of the West Indies being disposed of to America. "I need hardly say," said His Royal Highness, downrightly, "that the King's subjects are not for sale to other governments. Their destiny, as free men, is in their own hands. Your future is for you yourselves to shape, and I am sure Barbados will never waver in its loyalty, three centuries old, to the British Crown."

It would thus appear that Cromwell's experiment is not likely to be developed by the present government. The assurance was noteworthy as the first of the pleasant and telling things the Prince had to say during his progress, opportunities which he never missed and which, in the aggregate, enhanced so greatly the success of his mission.


[15]

III

PANAMA

At dawn, in hot, soft, hazy weather, the Renown, followed by the Calcutta, left the blue, transparent waters of the Caribbean Sea and entered the green, muddy channel, fringed with dense, verdant forest, which is the beginning of the Panama Canal. Three aeroplanes, each bearing the stripes of the American Air Service, droned overhead in noisy welcome. Resonant concussions and white, fleecy puffs of smoke amidst low wharves and jetties where Colon lay in the forest, spread a Royal salute upon the vibrating air. Music arose upon the Renown, while staff-officers arrayed themselves in gold-lace and helmets, ready to receive the Prince's guests. Launches arrived at the ship bringing the British Minister to Panama, Mr. Percy Bennett, accompanied by Captain Blake and Major-General Bethell, respectively naval and military attachés at the British Embassy at Washington. An hour's quiet steaming, thereafter, brought us to the giant Gatun locks, which stand in three black tiers of steel, the gates rising, one above another, in a massive setting of grey, rounded concrete, a severing gash in the high, green hill which is the Gatun dam. Here, Señor Lefevre, President of the Panama Republic, Admiral Johnston and Colonel Kennedy, commanding the[16] American naval and military forces in the Panama Zone, also Engineer Colonel Harding, Governor of the Canal, and Monsieur Simonin, French Chargé d'Affairs, came on board.

The formality attending these official arrivals, so often to be repeated throughout the tour, was practically always the same. The visitor who came up the gangway from the dock or the launch, as the case might be, saluted the quarter-deck—a survival this from the days when it bore a crucifix—and was saluted in turn by the Officer of the Watch, who, with his telescope tucked under his arm, conveyed the stranger past the row of marines drawn up at attention to the Captain and the Equerry in waiting, who brought him up the starboard companion to the mezzanine deck. Here he would be received by the Prince attended by his Staff. The visit seldom exceeded twenty minutes. When H.R.H. left the ship for the shore the Captain awaited him on the quarter-deck and conducted him past the marines presenting arms to the gangway. On these occasions the junior members of the party were the first to step off, finishing with the Admiral and last of all the Prince, both Admiral and Prince being "piped over the side" to the shrill music of the bos'n's whistle. There was as little variation about the arrival on shore. Always the guard-of-honour, the band, the stunting aeroplanes, always six bars of "God Save the King" and the pause at attention, always the hand-shaking with the officer commanding the guard-of-honour, the inspection, and so to the business and pleasure of the visit.

A_SHARP_CORNER
PANAMA CANAL: A SHARP CORNER

SURF-BOARDING
SURF-BOARDING AT HONOLULU

[17]

On this occasion the guard of American soldiers in white uniforms and the familiar wide-brimmed hats was drawn up upon the lawn beside the topmost lock. Thence, past some thousands of prosperous-looking employees of the Canal, and their families, who had turned out to see the reception, the Prince was taken to the Control House, whence the whole of the operations of the locks are regulated, from the manipulating of the little, black, towing mule-engines, which ran busily, like scarabaeid beetles, up and down rails set in concrete slopes on the top of the lock walls, to the opening and closing of the seventy-foot high gates, and the letting in and letting out of the green sluggish water.

From the veranda of the Control House we got our first striking impression of the dramatic achievement of the Canal. We were on the level of the wide island dotted expanse of the Gatun lake. The enormous Renown and the tiny Calcutta lay, side by side, in thousand-feet-long pools, at our feet, in a turmoil of waves of rushing water, out of which, from time to time, some frightened fish would leap, a silver gleam that disappeared before one had made out its shape or kind. The great design was in action before our eyes. The locks opened and closed with extraordinary speed and almost noiseless efficiency, and by the time the Prince had returned from inspecting the monster spillway and power-house, to which he was carried in a tiny train that was in readiness alongside the locks when we arrived, the Calcutta was already entering the lake, while the Renown had surmounted the locks and was only waiting to take on the Royal party before following in her wake.

The route thereafter lay at first through the green water of the lake, past islands covered with densest jungle. About the middle of the lake, we passed masses of bare tree-trunks, standing erect in the water, on[18] either side of the broad track that is kept clear for the passage of ships. These trees are what remain of a forest that covered the bottom of the valley before the building of the dam which converted it into a lake. The trunks, though standing in some seven fathoms of water, still keep their branches and project many feet above the surface; and have to be avoided by passing ships. This dismal avenue has kept its place for ten years. It must have been green once. Like a forest after a great burning it stands in skeleton and carries no leaf now, a curious reminder that water can be as pitiless as fire.

In the afternoon we entered the Culebra cut. Here man has been at grips with nature in her least amiable mood. The channel becomes a winding gorge through steep, rugged crags and rounded hills. The stupendous cutting shows treacherous alternating layers of red gravel, yellow sand, brown crumpled rock, and soft, slippery blue clay. A number of mammoth floating steam dredgers were here at work, a fresh slip having occurred a few days previously. Progress, therefore, had to be of the slowest. A climax was reached near the end of the cutting, where, at a sharp curve in the channel, a whole hillside, half a mile each way, had commenced to move, the débris extending right into the canal, which was also impeded by a small island, apparently squeezed up from the bottom by the terrific pressure of the slipping hill. The place looked almost impossible, the great length of the Renown making the manœuvring of her in what remained of the channel one of the trickiest pieces of navigation imaginable. Naval officers are not easily put off, however, and by the most delicate handling, the vessel ultimately crawled past[19] the obstruction. The cheerful little red-roofed township of Pedro Miguel was reached soon afterwards. Here the entire population had turned out to see the Prince, the girls in brilliant costumes, amongst which one might sometimes see the black mantilla of Spain; the men in anything, from working overalls and slouch hats, to the leisured fashions of New York. At Pedro Miguel began the slow process of descending to the level of the Pacific. The first lock dropped us some thirty feet into the picturesque lake of Miraflores, surrounded by rounded grass-grown hills, emerald in the setting sun. Two more locks followed at the end of the lake, and we entered a stretch of water at ocean level, which took us to the docks at Balboa, upon the Pacific, close to the city of Panama.

AUCKLAND HARBOUR
EXCITEMENT GROWS IN AUCKLAND HARBOUR


NEW ZEALAND: THE PRIME MINISTER TAKES CHARGE

At Panama the Prince had the most friendly and hospitable reception, banquets and balls succeeding one another on shore, while on the Renown several ceremonies took place, including the receiving and replying to addresses from British, West Indian and East Indian residents. Some of the local cordiality was quaintly worded.

"In frantic supplication we fling ourselves at the feet of Almighty God to shower His blessings upon Your Highness." More, it may be imagined, could not be done. "If we be allowed another paragraph may we then be permitted, in this final gasp, to express our desire that Your Royal Highness will greatly enjoy your short visit to this port." It is understood that the desire of the permitted paragraph and the final gasp was not denied.

Another picturesque ceremony was when the Prince drove in procession to pay a formal visit to the President of Panama. The motor-cars first[20] traversed the wide American zone of the Canal region, speeding over smooth, asphalt roads, past well-built verandahed houses, with white walls and dark-coloured jutting roofs, the windows and doors meshed with fine wire-gauze, an arrangement which gives them the appearance of prosperous meat-safes. These houses are part of the wonderful sanitary arrangements which have turned Panama, from being a yellow-fever camp, into one of the most healthy regions in the world. They are inhabited by the engineering, traffic and administrative staffs, and the police and military establishments of the Canal zone. They stand in spacious gardens with beautifully-kept lawns and flower-borders, and are supplied with up-to-date electric-light and fans, good drinking-water, and perfect installations of sewers. There are also carefully thought out clubs and institutes, which supply the Canal employees with entertainment for their spare hours, alcoholic liquor alone excepted, for the zone is strictly "dry."

Smart American sentries saluted at the barbed wire boundary, whence the route wound past conical hills which may well have been the range that gave to Drake the first white man's view of the Pacific Ocean. Thereafter the procession plunged into the narrow streets of Panama city, which were lined with cheering, laughing crowds of gaily dressed negroes, Mexicans and Spaniards. Bunting fluttered from every window in the high tiered houses. An escort of picturesque mounted police, with rough peaked saddles and undocked horses, closed in on either side. Immense, decorated barouches, drawn by fine pairs of Mexican horses, were substituted for the Canal zone motor-cars, and the procession[21] moved on in state, the Prince alighting, en route, to inspect a fine body of about a hundred returned soldiers of the West Indian Regiment who had assembled in his honour.

The President and his entire council, in black frock-coats and shining top-hats, welcomed the party upon the steps of the Presidential House, a pleasant residence, with garden quadrangle, overlooking the sunny harbour. The Prince was conducted upstairs to a large reception-room, hung with yellowing paintings of previous Presidents, where compliments were exchanged and refreshments offered. Later in the day an official dinner was given, at which the President proposed the Royal health in flowing Spanish, mentioning the large number of residents, in the chief cities of Panama, who are British subjects from the West Indian islands, and emphasizing the gratitude felt by all Panamanians towards Great Britain for having taken up the cause of the smaller nations in the World War. The reference filled several eyes in the company with conscious rectitude, and they were not all British.


[22]

IV

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

In passing the Culebra Cut landslide, in the Panama Canal, one of the propellers of the Renown touched a submerged rock which had escaped the notice of the surveyors. When Balboa harbour was reached the ship's divers went down to see what the damage amounted to; and as poking about the cruiser's bottom, thirty-three feet below the surface, in muddy water infested with sharks, is, to say the least, an unpleasant task, it was characteristic of the ship that one of the first to don diving-dress and go over the side was the Engineer-Commander himself. The result was to ascertain that one of the blades of one of the propellers had had a small piece broken off, but that the damage was so slight that it would not be necessary to dock the vessel for repair.

A start was therefore made for San Diego, our next port of call. The course skirted the mountainous coast of Mexico, which showed mistily on the starboard horizon. The water was of the smoothest and clearest, and of tint so blue as to be almost azure. The temperature was tropical, and we found surprising abundance of sea-life. Yellow turtles, as big as footballs, with their little pointed heads stuck out to watch us, floated by in scores. Schools of glistening porpoises leapt in the[23] sun besides a couple of big, slow-moving, log-like blackfish. You can travel from London to Bombay and see hardly a creature, but here the sea teemed. Birds too were plentiful—quantities of duck, white, wheeling gulls, and black, slender, frigate-birds that sailed past like kites.

A few days later, in an amethyst sea, off the green slopes of Loma point, the Renown cast anchor. The houses and towers of San Diego, seven miles off, across the Harbour of the Sun, glistened pearl-like in soft morning light, above the golden setting of the Coronada sand. Out at sea, at dawn that day, six grey, business-like American destroyers had met the Renown and escorted her in, a score of United States flying-boats and aeroplanes hovering in well-kept formations overhead. At the mouth of the harbour was lying that fine battleship the New Mexico, flagship of the United States Pacific Squadron, which fired a welcoming salute. After the anchor was down, Admiral Williams, acting Naval Commander-in-Chief in the Pacific, who flew his flag on the New Mexico, visited the Prince. Mayor Wild, of San Diego, and other local residents also arrived from the shore to pay their respects.

The morning was taken up with the receiving and returning of these visits. In the afternoon the Prince landed at the municipal pier in the heart of the city. Here he found Governor Stephens, of California, at the head of a large deputation, waiting to welcome him. Every avenue to the wharf was blocked with motor-cars. Well-dressed crowds pressed upon the ropes that fenced in a central space reserved for British veterans, to whom had been given the place of particular honour in the town's[24] reception of its visitor. The veterans were some hundred and fifty strong, and gave the Prince the heartiest of cheers. They proved to be residents of California, about half of them being from San Diego itself. They had all served in the forces of the British Empire in the Great War. At their head was General Carruthers, lately Chief-of-the-Staff with the Australian Expeditionary Force in France. It was a wonderful spectacle of colour and cheerfulness, as the Prince went down the line, shaking hands with his old comrades in the field, while mites in pinafores pushed to the front to present him with bouquets, and pretty girls in Highland costume sang "God save the King." The crowd broke through the barriers, before the motor-cars, provided to convey the party to the Stadium, had been reached, but everybody was in the friendliest of humours, and did their utmost individually to make space for the procession to start. The first three or four cars, containing the Prince, the Governor, the Mayor, and a few of the Staff, eventually got through. The rest extricated themselves gradually from the press of people and vehicles, and made their way by more or less devious routes, the road marked out for the procession having by this time become so crowded as to be almost impassable. The procession reformed at the Stadium, a mile or so distant. On the way, prosperous suburbs of extraordinary attractiveness were passed, the houses often of Spanish-colonial type, with deep verandas set in spacious gardens and well-kept lawns, with masses of roses, geraniums, hibiscus, and purple salt-grass in full bloom. The ground here was high, and one looked down upon the city, with palm-trees in the foreground, and the harbour and[25] its shipping in the middle distance, while on the horizon were piled the rugged mountains of southern California, pink in the evening light.

The Stadium proved to be a massive open-air amphitheatre of cream-coloured stone, capable of seating fifty thousand spectators, of whom some ten thousand were present. Here complimentary addresses were presented and replied to, the gathering applauding, with equal energy, the heart-to-heart statement of Mayor Wild that the Prince was a "regular fellow," and the impressive periods of Governor Stephens, who dwelt upon the importance of the Royal visit as strengthening the connexion between the two great branches of the Anglo-Saxon race. Another feature of the occasion was the playing of a gigantic open-air organ, the largest of its kind in the world. The organist sat by the roadside and the pipes of his instrument pointed unprotected to the sky. An official dinner and a ball followed later in the day at the big hotel on Coronada Beach. Innumerable motor and other parties had meanwhile been organized by individual residents, every one of the thirteen hundred sailors and marines on the Renown who could in any way be spared from duty, being given a delightful outing and the kindest and most hospitable of entertainment. In this way numbers of them were able to see something of the wonderful country around San Diego, with its incomparable mountains and valleys, and its hundreds of square miles of fertile peach-orchards, just then one gorgeous mass of coral blossom.

San Diego, with its famous bathing beach, its clear air, dry balmy climate, and seventy thousand prosperous white inhabitants, thus took to its generous western heart not alone the Prince himself, but also every British soul aboard the ship by which he travelled. A year before, the[26] Renown had become acquainted, in New York, with American kindness and hospitality which seemed, at the time, to be impossible to equal. The ship now had experience, on the other side of the American continent, of a similar reception, in every way as warm and spontaneous, accorded too by people as representative of the western states of the Union as New York is of the eastern. This inclusion of the battle-cruiser's men was one of the pleasantest features at almost every port of call upon the voyage, but it was nowhere more general or more genial than in this American city of the Far South.


[27]

V

HONOLULU

In warm, moist atmosphere, and the tropical light that glares beneath a cloudy sky, the Renown dropped anchor in the open roadstead off the rocky coast of Honolulu. Around the ship were depths of clear, iridescent blue, with streaks of brilliant green where the water shallowed inshore. Further on, a line of low, white breakers bounded a green patchwork of undulating cultivation which sloped upwards, with occasional ploughed fields of red, volcanic soil, towards a cloud-topped horizon of mountains in the interior of the island. Immediately overhead, showing black against the clouds, half-a-dozen flying boats and aeroplanes rattled a cheery American welcome. The smoke of the light-cruiser and dozen destroyers which had met the Renown at sea and escorted her to anchorage, drifted in the heavy air, blurring the cranes and derricks of the inner harbour.

Salutes banged off. Flags dipped and rose. Words of command rang through the battle-cruiser. A guard-of-honour of marines, lined up in white uniforms on the quarter-deck, came with a clank to attention. The notes of the United States National Anthem floated out, as the American Governor and other local authorities came aboard to pay visits of ceremony to the Prince. It was our second glimpse of Imperial[28] America. It is just twenty-two years since the United States, after some preliminary coquetting with Queen Liliuokalani, took up this white man's burden in the Pacific under the style of a Territory; and her guests, more familiar with the conception, looked with interest at the fringe of the experiment. It seemed immensely prosperous and contented. Its obvious aspects were those of a principal base of America's naval power and the bourn of an endless tide of tourists, for whom alone the place might exist with profit. These naturally exposed a social life almost exclusively American. Hotels, newspapers, warehouses, factories, and stores were managed by Americans. Only on the beach among the bobbing craft of the breakers were the island originals conspicuous, at home in an element they love. Elsewhere they seemed to form a brown undercurrent of the Hawaiian world, content, in their Polynesian way, with a little so it was easily come by. They are still, one gathers, much governed and influenced by the missionaries to whom they owe their Christian faith. Like the North American Indians they are fast dying out. Like the Burmese they are content to be supplanted in their own labour market by others—Japanese, Chinese, Portuguese, and Filipinos. Doubtless there are Hawaiian boys at American Universities, Hawaiian professional men, Hawaiian merchant princes, cultivated Hawaiians who read Bergson and Bernard Shaw and are the product of a generation of progress; but our opportunity was too brief to find them. It is hardly surprising that the Hawaiian was not greatly in evidence, when one was told that there are but 22,000 of pure race, against 110,000 Japanese for example,[29] 31,000 Americans and British and 23,000 Chinese, with a considerable Filipino element, and more than a flavouring of Spanish.

On a large open space upon the wharf, surrounded by the substantial stone buildings of a prosperous modern harbour, the Prince landed to receive his welcome to the island. On one side of the square was an up-to-date guard-of-honour of United States infantry at attention, every button gleaming, every uniform stitch identical, with that felicity of neatness so characteristic of American kit, as His Royal Highness shook hands with its commanding officer, and walked down the line. On the other side was a motley gathering of his own fellow-countrymen and women, residents of the island, who had served with the British Forces during the war, and had now gathered, in varying costumes much mingled with khaki bearing many a worn decoration, to do honour to their King's eldest son, whom they cheered lustily. On the third side of the square the indigenous element was represented by pleasant, brown-faced young men in blue uniforms of modern cut, over which they wore brilliant red and yellow tippets of priceless "Oo" and "Iiwi" feathers, handed down from days gone by, when they were insignia of Hawaiian royalty. Their function, on behalf of the remaining representatives of the ancient dynasty, was to garland the British Prince with "lais," ropes of close-strung pink carnations and scarlet ilima flowers, bringers of good-luck, and to present him with a polished brown calibash, the size of a foot-bath, adze-hewn, a hundred years ago, from hard-wood felled in the interior, and now filled with a luscious assortment of bananas, mangoes, loquats, paw-paws, water-lemons, pineapples, bread-fruit, and crimson mountain-apples, symbols which made him free of the good[30] things of the island.

Subsequently the Prince returned the official visits paid to him, and was introduced to various local institutions. His reception by the American Governor was in the spacious, many-windowed hall of the Iolani palace, where an elected assembly of Hawaiian representatives now prosaically meets in what were once such picturesque places of authority as the king's bed-chamber and the queen's boudoir. On the walls a number of mellowing oil-portraits, depicting stout, brown, benevolent monarchs, uncomfortable but doubtless impressive in the tight fashions of the Victorian age, mutely testified to the splendours of the past. They seemed to look down at the function with mingled sorrow and superiority, as those who could have given an entertainment committee points on such an occasion as this.

Famous the world over is the surf-riding of Honolulu's wide Waikiki beach. To surf-ride with the joy of confidence it is necessary to have an acute sense of balance; it is even more necessary to be able to swim. The base of the exercise is a flat surf-board, the shape of a snow-shoe, with which the rider swims out to meet the approaching breaker. This, with bewildering agility, he then mounts and strides, and the breaker carries him poised and dramatic to the beach. The adventure was most graceful when it succeeded, but it often ended in a considerable tumble in which the swimmer was lucky to escape a bang upon the head from his own capsized means of support.

The Prince was naturally enthusiastic for an initiation, and came off in the end passing well, to the delight of the heterogeneous crowd that had assembled in bathing costumes appropriate to the warmth of the[31] occasion to see him undergo it. Cinematograph men, in swaying surf-boats, made a valiant effort for pictures alongside the swimmers, but, for once upon the tour, were handsomely discomfited, for the rollers of the Waikiki beach are no respecters of public purposes.

In the evening, H.R.H. was taken to an official ball, given by the Governor, in the spacious town armoury, where the principal white residents, now costumed in the garments of civilization, were formally presented beneath a forest of national flags, amongst which predominated the Stars and Stripes of the United States and the combined Union Jack and tricolor of Honolulu. The ball was much as other balls, but it had an unusual pendant. Before midnight struck the Prince was spirited away ten miles across the island, through long shadowy aisles of pillared cabbage-palms, shining ghost-like in dim starlight, beneath dense foliage of bread-fruit, mango, and coco-nut trees, where sweet-scented aloes perfumed the warm, still night, and on through grey cuttings in volcanic rock, to the country-house of Mr. Robert Atkinson, to whom had occurred the excellent idea of affording him an opportunity of seeing a real "Hookupu" gathering, now a very rare event amongst the dwindling race of Hawaiians. Stout, white-robed, brown-faced ladies, bearing the coloured, feather-tipped sticks of royal state, and chanting the "aloa" of welcome, lined the path leading to the deep-foliaged "ouhani" tree of happiness which shaded the front of the bungalow, a self-sown visitant that every Hawaiian prizes, provided only that it has not been artificially planted, and that it is not at the back of the residence. Here, in a large and reckless hole in the well-kept lawn, the entire[32] carcases of four pigs, quantities of chickens, fish, and sweet potatoes, wrapped closely in green "ti" leaves, were in process of being roasted by Hawaiian cooks, the heat being provided by boulders, previously made red-hot, with which the sides and bottom of the pit had been lined. Fruit was piled high in golden profusion, upon low, wooden platforms around which, upon mats on the ground, the Prince and other guests took their seats. Princess Kawananakoa, a lady of fine figure, in middle life, dressed in the conventional garments of Bond Street, representative of the Hawaiian Royal house, was given a place of honour next to the guest of the occasion. Hawaiian soldiers in yellow robes, with scarlet head-pieces that might have been patterned on the helmet of Achilles, and gold-tipped "tabu" staves, the size of broom-sticks, which represented life-and-death authority under the old régime, took up stations in the background. Immense flower-garlands were hung round the visitors' necks and they were served, upon plates of "ti" leaves, with savoury viands from the still smoking pit.

Then from gourd-lutes of a weird band of musicians, tinkled out a soft refrain. Suddenly, from the dim shelter of an aerial-rooted banyan tree, human voices reinforced the chant, and four Hawaiian damsels, voluminously clad in flaming yellow feather-mantles, ending in deep ruffs over the ankles, leapt gracefully upon a mat in front, where they were joined by two similarly caparisoned and equally agile male partners with whom they proceeded to dance. The performance was like an Indian nautch run mad. The heads and busts of the dancers remained almost stationary, thus forming a fulcrum around which the rest of their[33] persons seemed to gyrate, with serpentine arms, india-rubber hips, and racing feet, the dancers, all the time, pouring out doleful melodies to which the gourd-lutes twanged in solemn harmony. One could almost see, as the weird notes rose and fell, Polynesian folk, in frail, palm-wood canoes, blown out to sea by fierce Eastern typhoons, from fisheries on the far coasts of the Malay, to perish mournfully and alone, in the vast empty spaces of the Pacific, only an occasional wanderer, through the centuries, finding refuge in some rare isle, and there building up a race of mingled blood, whose high cheek-bones, soft tongue, swaying dances and outrigged boats, speak of a Mongolian origin and an Eastern home.

Another expedition, on which the Prince was taken before leaving Honolulu, was to a grass-grown hill, once the scene of human sacrifice, where a pageant was being held in honour of the centenary of the arrival in Honolulu of the Christian missionaries, who have played so important a part in the history of the island. Here he saw half-naked folk, with conch-shell trumpets, similar to those in use to-day at festivals at the mouth of the Ganges, also processions of queer idol images that would not have jarred the decorative scheme of a Durga-Puja celebration in Hindustan. Scenes were here enacted, in which shapely brown maidens, clad in ancient, indigenous paper garments, reminiscent of Japan, took part. European missionaries, some of them lineal descendants of those who landed in Honolulu from the brig Thaddeus in 1820, also appeared in the garments of their predecessors of a hundred years ago. One of the incidents depicted was the historical breaking up and burning of the island idols in the days of Queen Kaahumanu, widow of King Kamshamcha,[34] "the lonely one." There was a tense moment in the audience when the first image had to be flung upon the ground, for superstition dies hard even after a century's banning; but the image was flung and went into fifty pieces, at the feet of civilization. Christianity is now the only religion actively practised in the island, but the Hawaiian prefers to be on the safe side in case the old powers of darkness should not be altogether dead. He is not a whole-hearted iconoclast.


[35]

VI

NEPTUNE BOARDS THE RENOWN

The relations between the Royal Navy and H.M. King Neptune are known to partake of the spirit of compromise which so happily characterizes the British Empire elsewhere. Neptune permits the suzerainty but demands a certain ceremonial which acknowledges his ancient rights. The function has a date and a determination and is observed by all King George's vessels on crossing the Equatorial line. It is in the nature of an initiation and lends itself to gruesome and alarmist description. For days before the Renown reached the specified spot our feelings were harrowed and our dreams disturbed by foretellings of the unescapable ordeal of all novices. There was no immunity in being a passenger, even in being the Chief Passenger. Neptune was not aware of passengers. The wardroom was horrid with boding. Mercifully we were preserved from the imagination of the snotties.

The Royal Navy does nothing by half. Elaborate preparations were made long in advance. Active brains in Wardroom, Gunroom, Warrant Officers', Petty Officers', Engineers' and Stokers' messes and in the lower deck, found a morning and an evening occupation inventing rhymed patter, designing and making the weirdest of costumes, in which oakum, canvas,[36] ship's-paint, and stove-soot all largely figured. An extensive stage was erected on the forecastle with a sail forty feet long, containing four feet of sea water, convenient for the "baptizing" of all those on the ship, of whom there must have been at least five hundred, who had not previously crossed the line. Wooden razors the size of cutlasses, barrels of lather made of coloured flour and water, whitewash brushes for applying the same to the countenance were provided, also a gauge-glass for a clinical thermometer, a cutlass for a lancet, and quantities of dough-pills, the size of marbles, well flavoured with bitter quinine, for physicking the victim before his ablution.

The Prince himself was one of the most active of the conspirators. To an inquiry sent "up top" (i.e. to the Prince's quarters) a reply signed by Captain Dudley North, R.N., was received by the "Father of the ship" (i.e. the Commander), upon whose broad shoulders falls responsibility of every kind.

It ran:

"His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales has not yet crossed the Line. I am desired by H.R.H. to say that he is looking forward with interest to his meeting with His Majesty King Neptune and Amphitrite, his wife, and also to his initiation as a Freeman of His Majesty's domains.

The following members of the staff have crossed the Line, and are entitled to wear the various classes of the Order of the Bath bestowed on them by His Majesty:—

Rear-Admiral Sir Lionel Halsey has crossed the Line on upwards of 200 occasions; in fact, for some time this officer is understood to have supported himself on it. It is understood that he has been strongly recommended for the order of the 'Old Sea Dog.'

Captain Dudley North has crossed the Line nine times, and has been personally decorated by His Majesty.

[37]

Lieut.-Colonel Grigg and Lord Claud Hamilton have already crossed the Line—the former twice, the latter four times. These officers have, however, stated that owing possibly to some special favour, or else to some serious preoccupation on the part of His Majesty, they were not privileged to undergo the full ceremony of initiation. They are all the more anxious, therefore, on this account, to pay every respect to His Majesty, and not to presume on his former graciousness. In expressing their humble duty to His Majesty they await, with great humility, the verdict of his most excellent Court as to whether they will be required to be initiated or not.

The following members of H.R.H.'s staff have not yet crossed the Line or had the honour of an audience with His Majesty:—

Sir Godfrey Thomas, Bart. Captain the Hon. Piers Leigh. The Bears will, no doubt, attend to these gentlemen."

Each novice upon the ship meanwhile received a notice summoning him to present himself at noon on the 10th April:

"Before our Court, at the Equator, in order that we may confer upon you the Freedom of the Seas, and our permission to enter the other hemisphere."

The proceedings began after dinner over-night when the Prince and his staff accompanied the Captain to the Bridge. The lights were turned off and in the darkness one could feel the presence of the entire ship's company crowded upon every vantage point.

Out of the blackness from in front came the shout

"Ship-ahoy!"

with the Captain's deep

"Aye, Aye,"

in reply, as searchlights swept the sea.

Neptune: "What ship are you?"

Captain: "His Britannic Majesty's Battle-Cruiser Renown."

Neptune: "I wish to come on board."

[38]

Captain (to Officer of Watch): "Stop both." (To Neptune, shouting). "My engines are stopped. I am sending an officer to conduct Your Majesty to my Bridge."

Rockets went up, and in a falling shower of sparks a procession of strange figures climbed into the ship from over the side. Neptune, Amphitrite, judge, barber, and doctor, with attendant imps, bears, and policemen were there in the most realistic of scales, fins, mermaids' hair and ursine fur. They carried brobdingnagian batons, razors, shaving brushes and trident. Their appearance was terrific.

The party was escorted with much formality to the Bridge, where Neptune and Amphitrite were presented to the Prince and drinks were stood to Their Majesties and the Court party, neither were there any heel-taps. Pourparlers were exchanged in ceremonial verse, Captain Taylor making the following frank explanation:

"Our business is to take a Royal Prince To see a portion of our Empire's land. The Prince of Wales, he is our passenger Who hopes to meet your Bears and clasp your hand."

It seemed impossible for the spirits of the deep to communicate in anything less metrical than this, and Neptune acknowledged his reception and announced his intention to hold an Investiture as well as a few other things, the following day, in the same fashion.

Next morning the circumstance was even more elaborate. Proceedings began upon the quarter-deck, where the "Companionship of the Royal Order of the Equatorial Bath" was solemnly conferred upon the Prince, and a "Knight Commandership of the Ancient Order of the Old Sea Dog" upon Admiral Halsey. H.R.H. responded in lyrical strains which[39] concluded:—

"I know I'm for it, King; so, boys, Don't let me keep the party waiting"—

a touch of panache that was duly applauded. The Court-Martial of two selected prisoners came next to a roar from Neptune:

"And if they drown I do not care a fig. Arrest Mountbatten and the Man called Grigg!"

For the moment these unhappy persons were roped and bound, while the Investiture went forward. Captain Dudley North was made a Knight Commander of the Aged Cod in these terms:

"Dudley dear, I'm pleased to meet you Once again. Now let me treat you To the old established Order of the Very Ancient Cod. Its privilege is this, That you may daily kiss The most beauteous of my mermaids if you catch her on the nod."

A move was finally made to the forecastle where was duly performed the physicking, shaving and ducking of the novices, beginning with the Prince and members of his staff and going down to the youngest seamen on the lower deck. The novices were marched up and seated, one after another, in the barber's chair, where a pill was squeezed into each one's mouth, despite the most lively struggles; the lather was laid on, a rough scrape with the wooden razor followed, the chair was upset and the now seasoned novice was sent head over heels into the swimming bath, where the Bears ducked him handsomely to the cheerful rhyme:

[40]

"Shave him and bash him, Duck him and splash him, Torture and smash him, And don't let him go!"

The Prince underwent a full share of the horse-play; and that he took a "three-times-three ducking" with the best, was the opinion of every one of the thirteen hundred sailor-men who looked on, and would have been candour itself if the ritual had been in any way reduced or evaded.

It was a spectacle impossible to imagine anywhere but in the British Navy, and helped hilariously to relieve the monotony of the voyage. The cost of the material employed was probably less than a hundred shillings. The labour and artistry voluntarily bestowed by the ship's Company to make it what it was, cost nothing at all; the preparations, from the elaborate embroidering of Amphitrite's scales and the careful scenting of her golden hair, to the fine turning and engraving of the Insignia of the Equatorial Order of the Royal Bath, were all the work of off-duty hours when the sailor ordinarily would have been asleep. We are but children of a larger growth and happy are the traditions that keep us so in His Majesty's Navy.


[41]

VII

FIJI

Fiji was the next place of call. Warm rain drove blusterously into our faces, while dense grey mist enveloped the land and shut out the sun, as the Renown felt her way between wreck-strewn barrier reefs, over which the surf was breaking heavily, and dropped anchor, to the tick of the appointed time, in the sheltered water of Suva Bay. As the ship cleared the harbour entrance, a fleet of sailing craft, including a number of decked, outrigged war-canoes, with pear-shaped mat-sails and half-naked crews, tore dipping through the waves to escort her in. These war-canoes tacked, in the stiff breeze, by a simple expedient. The sail was reversed. The rudder, a big movable oar, was then carried from one end of the canoe to the other, so that what had just been the prow became the stern, the floating log, that served as outrigger, remaining always to windward—apparently an attempt at realizing the historic account of the bow-sprit that "got mixed with the rudder sometimes."

The little craft were identical with those that Tasman may have seen when his brig cast anchor off these islands three hundred and seventy years ago. But everything else has changed. Generations of Wesleyan[42] missionaries have transformed snake-worship into universal Christianity. Sixty thousand coolies from India have rendered it possible for the sugar-cane to replace unproductive forest. The ninety thousand fuzzy-headed Fijians who have survived successive epidemics of measles and influenza have given up the savoury heresies of roast long pig and have taken on trousers, education, and wealth. The substantial maroon-coloured roofs of their dwellings upon the shore, which emerged from a tumbled background of cloud-topped mountain when the mist lifted, were indicative of the prosperity and civilization which have been steadily growing in the forty-six years since the British Government took over the administration from King Thakombau.

Sir Cecil Rodwell, High Commissioner of the Western Pacific, and Mr. Scott, Mayor of Suva, representatives of the present system of rule, came out by launch to the Renown, to pay their respects as soon as the anchor was down. There was no official landing till the following morning, when in hot sunshine alternating with warm, driving rain the Prince went ashore at Suva. The entire population of the town, a place of some six thousand inhabitants, was there to welcome him. In front, the principal European residents, with a contingent of leading Fijian chiefs, and representatives of the large Indian community, all in western dress, were lined up to be presented. Behind stood a well-drilled guard-of-honour of Fijians, in khaki, with heads protected from the fierce rays of the sun by hair that might be the despair and envy of the boulevards, twelve inches en brosse, and of a ferocity! Further on were a number of European returned soldiers, with hospital nurses, and other war workers, also returned members of a Fijian[43] labour corps which had done good service in France and Italy. The whole assemblage was surrounded by a polyglot crowd of Islanders and Indians in all the picturesqueness of Polynesian and Oriental garb. Municipal, Fijian, Indian, and missionary addresses were afterwards presented, and inspections, investitures, and receptions held, a state dinner and a ball being amongst the functions provided.

Fijian national ceremonies took place in the afternoon, the principal being the solemn presentation by the chiefs and headmen of "tahua" (the whale's tooth) in token of fealty. This was celebrated, immediately after heavy rain, on a meadow crowded with aborigines. The actors were half a hundred well-fed, semi-naked Fijians, clad in nothing but sooty face-paint, white cloth bustles, and loin-robes of green, pink, and white fibre-ribbons. The general effect produced was that of an animated contingent of frilled ham-bones that waved, leapt, swayed and chanted, sometimes upright, sometimes squatting upon the sodden turf, a scene of almost disconcerting gaiety. The whale teeth were handed to the Prince by a white-robed hereditary courtier, and were the size and shape of yellow cucumbers, strung together with coloured thread. The acceptance produced a chorus of deep resonant grunts of "Daweha"—"It is taken." There followed the no less solemn ceremony of preparing and drinking the "Kava," the produce of the Yaqona root, to cement the bonds of friendship. The emptying of the last coco-nut cup of this sharp-flavoured, cloudy liquid was greeted with loud cries of "Mada"—"It is dry."

The Yaqona root, from a twig or two of which the kava drink was brewed, might have been an enormous ash-tree stool, with partly-grown[44] ground-shoots, uprooted from an English copse. The stripping of the bark, the pounding it with stones, the macerating it with water in a big carved wooden bowl, and its presentation to the Prince and other guests in coco-nut shells, was performed with solemn chanting. The ceremony included the stretching of a coco-nut fibre string, strung at intervals of a few feet with cowrie-shells, in token of Royal authority, between the Prince's chair and the men preparing the kava. To cross this string, in days gone by, while the proceedings were in progress, would have involved nothing less than to be clubbed to death. Those were doubtless days when such functions were less chronicled and more respected.

Timed clapping, which sounded like the thuds of successive buckets of water thrown from an upper window upon the pavement, completed the first part of the performance. A "meke"—dance—by three hundred gorgeously caparisoned Fijian warriors, wielding each an ancient battle-axe, which followed, was a marvel of well-timed movement. The muddy ground shook as the men stamped in unison, their bodies swaying in perfect rhythm as they acted the spirited paddling of canoes, the hauling at ropes, the pointing at the enemy, the leaping from the boat to the attack, and, after the fight was over, the sad breaking of the waves upon the shore. Their deep "Dua-ho," or grunt of welcome to the Prince, might have been the roll of many drums.

The final stage in the performance came with the marching up of some hundreds of white-garbed bearers, each carrying a locally woven mat. These mats, some of them of a texture that challenged the fineness of[45] a Panama straw hat, were deposited upon the ground in front of the Prince in a heap that grew to the dimensions of a small haystack before the last had been laid upon it, and this, although special steps had been taken to reduce the number of the offerings by restricting the issue of permissions to contribute.

The size of the haystack indicated the prosperity, as well as the loyalty, of the Fijian chiefs, who still own much of the land in the islands. The rule of these hereditary potentates dates through centuries prior to the advent of the missionaries and the taking on of civilization. Their dislike of live intruders, combined with their appreciation of them dead and roasted, kept their own Papuan stock remarkably pure-blooded. The race to-day thus presents characteristics of its own not found in other Pacific island groups. The only other outside races, in addition to a few thousands of Europeans, now found in Fiji, are coolies, of mixed descent, from India. These coolies were originally imported under a system of indenture requiring them to work for a definite number of years for planter masters. They have been the means of developing sugar and copra industries which would not otherwise have been established upon anything like their present scale. Of late years the indenture system has been discontinued, and some trouble has arisen in connexion with the question of wage-rates, riots having occurred in which several lives were lost. The gradual appreciation of the possibilities of peaceful bargaining, however, combined with the enlightened efforts of the present administration to understand grievances and to remedy them, is reducing the unrest, which is, in some ways, a healthy one, since it connotes conditions of prosperity[46] enabling the coolie to assert claims he was not previously strong enough to press.

The rich soil of the islands, and the equitable climate, which is much like that of the rice-growing districts of the south of India, promise enhanced prosperity as the years go by, Fiji being a locality especially suitable for the Indian immigrant. It is a place that, during the war, sent a remarkably large proportion of its manhood to fight for the allies, those who remained at home also keeping up their end with spirit. The visitor is told a story, which has the virtue of being authentic, of an occasion when Suva was without any naval protection. Its wireless installation picked up signals sent out by the German raider Scharnhorst, showing that this vessel was on its way to attack the place. Sir Bickham Scott, at that time High Commissioner, rose to the situation and sent a message into the air for the Scharnhorst to pick up. It was addressed to Admiral Patey, aboard H.M.S. Australia, the only allied warship which, as the commander of the Scharnhorst knew, might conceivably have been within call. It ran: "Thanks for your message. Will expect you in the morning." The Scharnhorst presumably read this and pondered, for Fiji was left alone.


[47]

VIII

AUCKLAND

A still, sun-filled autumn morning, with crisp sharp air that made it a pleasure to be alive, on wide, sheltered mother-of-pearl waters, bounded by grassy hills, with frequent hummocks and white gleaming cliffs, greeted the Renown as she neared New Zealand on the morning of the 24th of April, 1920. Dotted over the hills, like sheep at grazing, were numerous red-roofed country houses, which developed pleasant gardens with green fields between as the distance decreased. Out of shadowy bays and inlets crept motor-boats in ones and twos and threes, the numbers growing as township and village each contributed its quota, so that, by the time the Renown was amongst them, there had assembled a fleet of very considerable dimensions decorated with flags and filled with cheerful men, women and children, soldiers in khaki, wounded in hospital blue, pretty girls in smart frocks, all clapping, cheering, and laughing in the most inspiring welcome imaginable.

The Prince climbed to his look-out above the bridge, and waved back a cheery acknowledgment. Bands struck up in half a dozen of the boats. Flags leapt up like wind-swept flowers in a herbaceous harbour. The[48] hubbub grew. Numbers of sailing yachts joined the assemblage. Rowing boats chipped in, and, by the time the first harbour buoy was reached, the Renown was sliding along with some hundreds of small craft racing beside her, in imminent danger of collision alike with her and with one another. The last headland turned, Auckland itself came into view, a red-and-white city climbing up the sides of a beautiful, sheltered cove, with clear, deep water in front, and a green, conical extinct volcano behind. Coloured bunting fluttered from the rigging of all the vessels in port, and long vistas of greenery and flags led up the volcano from the water's edge. One caught glimpses of wide wharves, black with clustering crowds, and of dark masses of people on the slopes of Rangitoto, all on the look-out for the arrival of the Prince from Mother England.

We had arrived at the first of the island continents which had drawn us all, battle-cruiser, Prince and passengers, half-way round the world. The ports of call behind us faded into instructive entertainments by the way. Here was another home of the race, another place in the sun where the breed throve and multiplied, and developed, under conditions fresh and far from the source, the man and womanhood we are proud to call British.

Auckland was an appropriate starting point for the Royal tour. The city was the capital of the Dominion until 1865 and now has over a hundred thousand inhabitants. It was founded in 1840 by Captain Hobson, R.N., when he added New Zealand to the Empire, the British Government having characteristically disavowed the action of Captain Cook who set up the Union Jack in 1779. The place had its godfather in Lord Auckland,[49] the most distinguished First Lord of the Admiralty in Hobson's time, and thus a suitable sponser for the second city of a Dominion which owes its being to the Empire's sea-power. Auckland now has a fine harbour and a shipping trade of 2-1/2 million tons per annum. It is a place to which the prosperous sheep farmer looks forward to retiring, as it has educational opportunities, social amenities, and one of the most genial climates in the whole Dominion.

The Renown was brought alongside one of the wharves, on which black top-hats and brilliant uniforms guided the eye to groups which proved to include the Prime Minister of the country, the Leader of the Opposition, the members of the Cabinet, the General Officer Commanding, the Mayor of Auckland, and the President of the Harbour Board. Thus New Zealand waited to greet the Prince.

At the appointed moment the Governor-General drove up in a motor-car. The ship was dressed. Bands played, guards on the quarter-deck presented arms, His Excellency was duly conducted aboard, where the Prince as duly received him. Later on, with more saluting, a full brass band for the Governor, and bos'n's whistling for the Prince, the Royal party went ashore, and New Zealand welcomed her future King. It was a little bit of England that had gone on board to make a call of ceremony. It was the whole of New Zealand, heart and hand, that took charge of His Royal Highness ashore.

Out of a multitude of motors the procession to Government House was formed. The cars proceeded through wide, well-built streets of stone business houses, smothered in wreaths and flags. Crowds of cheering[50] people lined the pavement. Upstanding soldiers and cadets in smart khaki uniforms kept the roadway. The Prince, by now, was standing on the seat of his motor-car, waving greetings to the crowds, who responded vociferously. Two equerries, on the front seats, clung to his coat-tail to prevent his falling out of the vehicle. The Governor-General sat back with a smiling face alongside. The route led through the city, and out amongst solid residential houses, standing in gardens brilliant with variegated chrysanthemums, flaming red salvias, purple bougainvilleas, and the greenest of shaven lawns, with cedars and palms together spreading the shade of the north and the south.

Old Government House, which still serves an Excellency from Wellington on tour, where the Dominion's address was read by the Hon. Mr. Massey, Prime Minister, with his Cabinet standing by, is a spacious, Georgian building surrounded by an old-world garden of lawns, shrubs and flowers. It has a homely charm and beautiful views; it made one think of Surrey, and must have been left with regret when New Zealand changed her capital. Thence the route led back through the city to the Town Hall, which was packed to its utmost capacity with well-dressed people who gave the Prince a rousing reception. Here more addresses were presented, and an informal levée was held, everybody present filing past. Large crowds, meanwhile, waited patiently outside for his reappearance.

Later in the day the Prince was taken to the Domain cricket-ground, where he reviewed five thousand returned soldiers and cadets and again received an ovation. This cricket-ground is at the bottom of a shallow[51] valley, grassy hills forming a natural amphitheatre. Looked at from the central stand while the review was in progress, the slopes of the amphitheatre were as if covered with a fine Persian carpet, so thick was the crowd upon the ground. It was a carpet that had frequent spasms of agitation, the cheering and hat-slinging, whenever the Prince came near to it, being exceedingly lively. H.R.H. first went down the lines of the troops and had a friendly word for every officer and a number of the men. Later on every man who had been wounded or disabled was presented to him individually, the Prince going round to search them out himself. When this had been completed he presented war decorations to those who had won them at the front. It was nearly dark by the time the last hand had been shaken and the last word said. The cheering, when it was over, was something to remember.

The following day was Anzac Sunday, and was taken up with religious war-services, H.R.H. attending those at St. Mary's Cathedral in the morning, and at the Town Hall in the afternoon. The Town Hall service was especially impressive. The Prince, slender in the world-familiar khaki, stood in the crowded gathering, and as the Dead March was played, and the Last Post sounded in memory of sons who had fallen, the people knew him the Empire's symbol of their sacrifice. Perhaps there, where the women sobbed to see him, he touched the supreme height of his mission.

The cricket-ground, on the following day, was again the scene of an enormous gathering. Eight thousand children were here assembled and went through pretty evolutions and drill. In the terminal figure some[52] two thousand little girls, attired respectively in red, white and blue frocks, so grouped themselves as to form, first the word "Welcome," and afterwards the Union Jack, which waved and rustled as the children bent and swayed to time given by a mite mounted on an eight-foot stool in front. The crowd which surrounded the enclosure, on this occasion, was estimated at thirty thousand.

From Auckland the Prince went south on a train, every part of which, from the engine to the brake-van, had been built in New Zealand workshops.

The first thing one realizes starting for anywhere in New Zealand is the thing that has been a geography wonder since the age of nine, the queer inversion of the climate. The experience is curious, notwithstanding all one's submission to the fact since that time, so potent a governor of associations is a little word. We had arrived at the North Island, where the climate was warm and sunny like that of Italy. People coming with more permanent intentions had a way of settling in the South Island to be under home conditions of temperature, many of them gradually moving across the Strait to the North Island in pursuit of balmier airs. We saw the late autumn apples of April here and there ungathered on the trees about Auckland, and were grateful to escape the imaginative dislocation of a midsummer Christmas, with sunstroke as the punishment of over-indulgence. It would be interesting to know in what period of residence New Zealand undertakes to change one's dreams.

A green, rolling land, homely turnip fields, orchards, pasture containing fine cattle and sheep, pleasant, red-roofed farm-houses,[53] comfortable country residences, and thriving market towns at frequent intervals, sped past the train. At Ngaruawahia, two thousand brown-faced, high-cheekboned Maoris, in European dress, greeted the Prince from outside the railway fence, men, women and children, hand in hand, repeatedly bowing to the ground, to slow rhythmic soft-voiced singing, as the train steamed by. At the same time, a dozen pretty Maori girls, in flowing white frocks, bare feet, and raven masses of waving fillet-bound hair, swayed, undulated and step-danced upon a mat upon the side of the track. These folk were Maori, as often as not, by courtesy rather than by strict racial description. Few pure-bred Maoris indeed are now to be found in New Zealand, and it is said that the mixture of brown and white is here more successful than anywhere else in the world. At all events one received the impression of a people plastic to the print of a new civilization, and developing happily in it.

At Hamilton, a town of ten thousand inhabitants, more formal ceremonies were gone through. The whole place was decorated. The people assembled in the streets, where they cheered most vigorously. Several hundred returned soldiers, and a very large number of children, stood in lines upon the racecourse where they were inspected by the Prince. Several addresses of welcome were read, that from the local municipality being presented by Mayor Watt, a prominent Hamilton solicitor and a man of much influence, also of dramatic instinct it appeared, since he discarded for this occasion the chains and ermine of his official garb, in favour of the private's uniform he had worn at the front.

[54]

A few stations further on, five hundred children were upon the platform, singing "God Bless the Prince of Wales," as the train went past. They had come in from a neighbouring mining-camp to catch a glimpse of the Royal visitor, who waved to them from his carriage. The flourishing coal-mining centre of Huntley, where a valuable brown lignite, capable of being coked, is being raised in large quantities from shafts, some of which are only three hundred feet deep, was also passed, the inhabitants assembling along the railway line and cheering as the train went through. A large experimental farm, where the secret of converting barren land into fruitful by means of basic slag has been discovered; cold storage factories where incredible masses of New Zealand mutton are being preserved for export; and extensive works where pumice, here found in the scoria of long-extinct volcanoes, is turned into material for the insulating of boilers, passed in procession before the train. We saw also peat-swamps, in process of profitable reclamation by means of drainage, in the valley of the wide Waikato stream.

Presently a second engine was attached to the train, which now crept slowly upwards, through a tangled wilderness of dense-forested gorge and mountain canyon, the scenery being of the wildest. The imported spruce, oak, willow, and ash of the more settled region gave place to feathery green punga tree-ferns, and stiff brown tawa of indigenous growth. Clearings were seen at intervals where cultivation struggled with the grey, bushy manuka scrub; well-kept fields, in the hands of white settlers, alternating with unkempt jungle, where the easy-going communal hapu tenure of Maori ownership is still in force.

[55]

Suddenly, the scenery opened up, and we saw, in the soft rays of the setting sun, a wide panorama of blue lake, and olive-green headland, round the dark, conical Mokoia island, famous in Maori tradition as the trysting-place to which Princess Hinemoa and her lover Tutanekai swam across the lake. Here, almost in the shadow of the Tarawera volcano, which blew up with terrific results to the countryside thirty years ago, we found the pleasant little station of Rotorua, where an address was presented and the Prince shook hands with a long line of returned Maori soldiers.

Visits to the wonderful spouting geysers of this famous neighbourhood, with Maori receptions and national dances, occupied the next two days, some of the party also taking advantage of the holiday to catch a number of very fine lake-trout, creatures which have thriven and multiplied amazingly since their importation from Great Britain a few years ago. The Maori dances are a thing by themselves. They are performed by warriors and maidens in phalanxes. The men, often stout and sometimes elderly, who in ordinary life may be lawyers, landlords, doctors, or retail dealers, put patches of black paint on their faces, array themselves in tassellated pui-pui mat loin-clothes and arm themselves with slender feather-tufted spears. Then, bare-footed, bare-legged, bare-backed, and bare-headed, they line up in battalions, and leap and stamp, stick their tongues out, grimace, slap their knees, emit volleys of sharp barking shouts, and thrust and swing their spears, in wonderful time to the music of full string bands. The ladies, many of them good-looking, with melting brown eyes, well-developed figures, and graceful carriage, are more restrained in their performances.[56] They are bare-headed, with long waving hair down their backs, kept in place by a coloured ribbon round the forehead. They may be dressed in voluminous brown cloaks of soft kiwi feathers, or in loose, embroidered draperies of every colour, their feet and ankles, sometimes bare, sometimes encased in high-heeled American shoes and black lace stockings. They stand or sit in long lines, singing the softest of crooning songs, the while swaying, posturing, undulating, or step-dancing in perfect unison, to represent the movement of paddling, spinning, weaving, swimming, or setting sail. At the same time they swing white poi-balls, the size of oranges, attached to strings, which form in their swift gyrations gauzy circles of light around each hand, a charming performance worthy of Leicester Square.

In the case of Rotorua ceremonies, performances took place, first on the lake shore, on ground which emitted clouds of steam in the very face of the dancers, and afterwards, on a much larger scale, on a wide grassy plain adjoining, where six thousand Maoris, brought from all parts of New Zealand, the South Island as well as the North, were encamped in military bell-tents, a legacy of the war. Here, battalion after battalion, first of men, then of girls, and finally of the two combined, performed in quick succession, at least a thousand dancers taking part, while ten thousand spectators, about half of whom may have been Maoris or half-castes, and the balance Europeans, looked on and applauded. Here I suppose if anywhere we saw the pure-blooded Maori, though it seems a distinction with little difference. Unlike most Orientals, the children of mixed ancestry continue the traditions of the pure-breeds, put on[57] their clothes, speak their language and boast their ancestry. One of the most striking of the figures was where the warriors stole out between ranks of dancing maidens, to take an enemy unawares, who was supposed to have been beguiled into believing that he had only women to deal with. Sir James Carrol and the Hon. Mr. A. T. Ngata, both Maori members of the New Zealand Parliament, and both distinguished speakers, took a prominent part in the ceremonies.

The address presented to the Prince by these loyal and attractive people was characteristically picturesque. It was read, first in English, and afterwards in Maori, by one of the chiefs, an elderly gentleman of reverend appearance in fine Kiwi robe, who spoke in a pleasant, resonant, well-rounded voice. "You bring with you," he said, "memories of our beloved dead. They live again who strove with you on the fields of TU in many lands beyond seas. Your presence there endeared you to the hearts of our warriors. Your brief sojourn here will soften the sorrows of those whose dear ones have followed the setting sun. Royal son of an illustrious line, king that is to be, we are proud that you should carry on the traditions of your race and house. For it is meet that those who sit on high should turn an equal face to humble as to mighty. Walk, therefore, among your own people sure of their hearts, fostering therein the love they bore Queen Victoria and those who came after her. Welcome and farewell. Return in peace without misgivings, bearing to His Majesty the King, and to Her Majesty the Queen, the renewal of the oath we swore to them on this ground a generation ago. The Maori people will be true[58] till death, and so farewell."

The history of the Maoris is one long record of chivalry and courage, and their promise is one they will perform.


[59]

IX

NORTH ISLAND

Among the telegrams which met the Royal train on its way from Auckland to Rotorua was one of a character which differed from the rest. The message was addressed to Rt. Hon. William Massey, that embodiment of notable ability, kindly good sense and unquenchable spirit whom this Dominion is so fortunate as to have as Prime Minister, who was on the train. It announced a general railway strike unless certain demands of drivers and men, some time pending, were agreed to by the Government. It was in the form of an ultimatum which expired at midnight, an hour which found the tour at Rotorua. Against the extreme and humiliating public inconvenience of the moment thus selected must be placed the immediate offer of the strikers, to complete the schedule of the Royal train, to take the Prince in fact wherever he wished to go. While the offer was declined in the main it was accepted as far as a return journey to Auckland, where the Prince thus spent several unforeseen days while matters were being adjusted. The time had to be cut out of later dispositions. It was spent in private engagements, in the much qualified sense of the word as it applied to any of the Royal arrangements. The strike was ultimately settled through the efforts of Mr. Massey,[60] who, being denied the service of the railroad, drove several hundred miles over sodden mountain roads, in the worst of weather, from Rotorua to Wellington to discuss the matter with the men's leaders there. The settlement did much credit to the forbearance of both sides. It did not go into the merits of the immediate question, which was as to the rate of compensation to be paid to the men in consideration of the increased cost of living, but provided a tribunal, on which the strikers and the railway management should be equally represented, with a co-opted neutral chairman, to report upon the merits of the demand, and suggest the best way of doing justice to all concerned. The acceptance of this sensible arrangement was largely aided by the New Zealand Amalgamated Society of Railway Servants, this important organization putting pressure upon the drivers and firemen to return to work while the tribunal was taking evidence. The incident afforded interesting proof, not only of the confidence inspired by Mr. Massey himself, but also of the reasonableness of the attitude of labour in this part of the world. Industrial discontent is a more manageable thing in a country where the great majority of the men own their homes and the half-acre that surrounds them. The struggle for better conditions is sweetened by the air of gardens, and every operative has the interest in the general prosperity that comes of a private stake in it.

The Royal party left Auckland in three railway trains, a pilot, a main, and an emergency, the Prince and staff travelling in the middle one. The New Zealand Government was represented by Sir William Fraser, Minister of the Interior, a Highland Scotchman from the South Island.[61] Official appointments to accompany the tour were happily made throughout, but never more than in this instance, where the extraordinary kindliness and charm of the Minister of the Interior enhanced the great volume of his experience, to the pleasure and profit of every member of the party. Another of those present was General Sir Edward Chaytor, commanding the forces in New Zealand, a soldier whose world reputation has not in any way interfered with the simplest manner and the most delighted directness of mind. It was his function to present to the Prince the military side of New Zealand life, a side which was represented at every centre visited, alike by surprisingly large numbers of returned soldiers from the forces which gave such splendid account of themselves in the great war, and by considerable bodies of smartly turned-out territorials and cadets. Accompanying General Chaytor was Colonel Sleeman, also a remarkable personality, to whose initiative is largely due the system of cadet-training now in force in New Zealand, a system which is doing wonders in the matter of infusing the best public-school spirit into previously unkempt national schoolboys and larrikins, teaching them to play the game, giving them a pride in themselves, and interesting them in physical culture, and in the duties of citizenship, so that their parents have become as keen as themselves that they should go through the courses. Another of the party was Mr. James Hislop, Permanent Under-Secretary of the Interior, one of the ablest members of that fine body, the New Zealand civil service, who organized the arrangements of the tour, and whose irrepressible[62] humour, good fellowship, and infinity of resource, in disposing of what seemed to most of us an utterly overwhelming burden of work, were a continual wonder to everybody upon the train. No less important amongst those outstanding figures of the New Zealand party, was Mr. R. W. McVilly, General Manager of the railways of the country, a man who with his predecessor, Mr. E. H. Hiley, has succeeded in doing in New Zealand what proved impossible, in England and in the United States. Under their direction the railway system of the Dominion was carried on throughout the war without break in management and without making any loss. It did not take travellers long to discover the affection and respect in which the Director-General was held, not only by his colleagues, but by all who came in contact with him.

The British pressmen with the tour were particularly happy in their New Zealand newspaper associates. Amongst these gentlemen were Professor Guy Scholefield, who holds the chair of English Literature at the University of Dunedin and who knows New Zealand inside and out, from the historic as well as the modern point of view; and Mr. F. H. Morgan, representing that business-like organization the New Zealand Press Association, a practical journalist, a helpful colleague, and one of the best of good fellows.

Although the main train journey was only decided upon a few hours before a start was made from Auckland, all the arrangements worked with extraordinary smoothness, and the number of people assembled at even the smallest wayside stations to cheer the Prince was astonishing. At Frankton, the first stopping-place after leaving Auckland, the gathering around the station consisted largely of the very railway men who had[63] just been on strike. Their reception of the Prince had the special cordiality that carries a hint of apology. One of their number indeed, acting as spokesman, explained in a speech which could not be considered inopportune, how much they all regretted having been the cause of delay to the Royal tour. At Tekuiti, another small station, a more formal reception took place, in which some five hundred children, collected from the schools in the neighbourhood, participated with characteristic fervour.

Through the night the Royal train traversed the red-pine Waimarino forest, mounted two thousand feet up the Raurimu spiral, passed the still smoking summit of the Ngauruhoe volcano, and emerged at daylight upon the rolling plains of the rich Taranaki dairying country. Here pastoral land, though still dotted with the blackened stumps of bygone forest, is worth to-day anything up to one hundred and fifty pounds sterling per acre. Thence, passing beneath the snow-streaked cone of the extinct volcano Mount Egmont, the train rolled out upon the open western coast, and entered the gorse-encircled city of New Plymouth. Here the Prince was given a picturesque reception beneath spreading Insignis pines, in a natural grass-covered amphitheatre, of beautiful Pukikura park. Conducted by General Melville, commanding the district, he inspected a large gathering of returned sailors, soldiers, nurses, and cadets. He also went through the ranks of masses of school-children, who waved long wands topped with white and red feathery toi-toi grass, and sang patriotic songs. In the course of a reply, later on, to a civic address, read by Mr. F. Bellringer, General Manager of the Borough,[64] the Prince referred to the splendid prospects of the north-west coast, also to its fine war record, adding: "When I look at the development of this wonderful dairying country, I am amazed at the enterprise and energy which have achieved so much in little more than two generations."

It is indeed amazing. Taranaki does much with butter, sending to such a competitive country as Canada nearly 12,000 cwts. in 1918, and even more with cheese, producing a particularly delectable Stilton. There are fifty-seven butter factories and one hundred and eleven devoted to cheese. To carve these conditions out of virgin forest in two generations is a feat that well deserved its recognition.

The route thereafter lay through a land of spacious, green sheep-downs, overlooking a blue, sun-lit sea, as idyllic as a pasture of the Eclogues. On the way, at Stratford, Hawera and Patea, the Prince received and replied to addresses and inspected gatherings of returned soldiers, sailors, nurses, and cadets, besides incredible numbers of fat, red-cheeked children, assembled with their teachers to do him honour. Speaking at Hawera, the scene of fighting in days gone by, between Pakeha—white strangers—and Maori natives, "Nothing," said His Royal Highness, "has impressed me more in New Zealand than the evidence I have found everywhere that Pakeha and Maori are now one people in devotion to the Dominion, the Empire and the King."


WELLINGTON: A CANOE IN THE PETONE PAGEANT


"THE MAORI PEOPLE WILL BE TRUE TILL DEATH"

Proceeding afterwards to Wanganui, a more imposing welcome awaited him, ten thousand enthusiastic people being found assembled in a big grass-covered stadium. Here, some of the territorials he inspected[65] insisted upon drawing his motor-car round the grounds. In the course of a reply to an address read by the Mayor, the Prince put into words what was so plain in his actions. "I value," he said, "more than anything the opportunity this journey gives me of making the acquaintance of the people of New Zealand, many of whose gallant sons I knew on active service in the great war." A visit followed to the Wanganui college, a fine institution where three hundred of the sons of the settlers of the Dominion are receiving up-to-date education upon British public-school lines. Later in the evening the Prince attended a concert, also a democratic supper-party of the heartiest description, held in enormous marquees, at which three thousand people were present. The Prince and his staff were served at a table on a raised platform in the middle of the biggest of the marquees, so that as many people as possible might see him, a distinction which apparently caused His Royal Highness no loss of appetite.

From Wanganui the Prince motored twenty-five miles through undulating fields of grass, turnips and rape, alternating with patches of yellow gorse, the last introduced from the old country by sentimental but ill-advised settlers, and now a most troublesome field-pest, special legislation having had to be introduced requiring owners of land, under penalty, to prevent its spreading. Crossing the wooded valleys of the beautiful Wanganui and Turakina rivers, the Ruahine mountains shining through the morning mists upon the left, while spacious sheep-farms sloped seawards upon the right, the Prince reached the township of Marton, where the usual inspections and addresses took place. Thence the party started by train to cross the country to the east coast[66] port of Napier. Receptions were held, en route, at the townships of Feilding and Palmerston-North. In the course of the day the Prince received a number of presents, including, from Maori chiefs, an ancient and possibly unique greenstone mere or battle-axe, and a fine Wharikiwoka—a mat-cloak lined with feathers. At Palmerston-North there was handed into his keeping the shot-torn colours actually carried by the third British Foot Guards at the battle of Alexandria as along ago as 1801. These colours had been handed down, from generation to generation, by New Zealand descendants of Colonel Samuel Dalrymple, who commanded this distinguished regiment in that engagement. They were presented to the Prince by Mrs. J. H. Hankins, née Dalrymple. The colours were said to be the only ones, belonging to a Guards regiment, hitherto preserved elsewhere than in the British islands.

Leaving Palmerston-North, the Prince proceeded through the gorge of the rushing, turgid Manawatu river, alighting at the small wayside station of Woodville, where a number of the inhabitants had assembled and where he shook hands with a territorial officer, who, with the gay adventurous spirit of the Dominion, had taken considerable risks in keeping pace with the Royal train in a motor-car all the way from Marton, though part of the route was along an unfenced winding mountain road on the side of a cliff where the slightest obstruction or miscalculation might have hurled the car and its occupants into the torrent below.

From Woodville the Prince went on, through wide grass-covered plains, dotted with pleasant homesteads, standing amidst thousands of browsing[67] sheep, along the broad, shallow, shingly reaches of the Waipawa river, and past sunny apple-orchards, and coppices of oak, poplar and pine, at times skirting breezy uplands where he saw shepherds and their families, often from long distances in the interior waiting to cheer the train.

The arrival at Napier, on the east coast of the island, was late in the afternoon, in threatening weather. Yet the entire town of twelve thousand inhabitants seemed to have assembled in the streets, and the turn-out of returned sailors, soldiers, nurses, and cadets, at the beautiful Nelson Park, on the seashore, where a reception was held and an address presented by the Mayor, Mr. Vigor Brown, was most impressive. In the course of his reply, in this centre, the Prince once more referred to the quick coming prosperity of the land he had been traversing. "It is amazing," he said, "to think that all the homely, happy country I have seen on my journey here has been cleared, cultivated and civilized in the life of two generations. The measure of that splendid achievement is well reflected in this flourishing port and town."

The following morning the Prince was early afoot, yet the inhabitants made a fine showing in the streets, as the procession of motor-cars passed through to the station, where the Royal train was waiting to convey the party on the long run southwards to Wellington, the capital. The weather had cleared in the night and it was a lovely autumn morning as we skirted the waters of Hawkes Bay, which washed against the steep, white cliffs of Kidnappers' Island, still the home of thousands of strong-winged gannets the size of geese. Arrived at Hastings, a solid[68] market town of ten thousand inhabitants, the Prince was conducted, through lanes of cheering people, to the racecourse. Here yet another large gathering of returned men, also territorials, cadets, nurses, and children, had assembled, and yet another civic address was presented and replied to. Similar experiences awaited the party at further stopping-places, including Waipukurau, Dannevirke, Woodville, and Pahiatua—the "place of God"—the number of the motor-cars, drawn up in the rear of the crowds, testifying to the prosperity of the farmer-folk, many of whom had been making fortunes out of the high prices of the mutton, wool and dairy-produce they raise. At Dannevirke—Dane Church—the Scandinavian origin of the township was reflected, not only in the name, but in the faces of whiskered vikings who were to be seen amongst those who came forward to shake hands with the Prince. They contrasted quite obviously with the conventional Anglo-Saxons around them, and recalled in their persons the fact that the settlement of Dannevirke was originally made by a ship-load of government-aided immigrants from Schleswig, Holstein.

After leaving Dannevirke, the Prince took a turn on the foot-plate of the engine of the train, which he drove at something like fifty miles an hour to Woodville, where he had halted the day before. At Woodville the track turned southwards through wilder country, including a certain amount of still uncleared bush. Even here, however, the land is being opened up, and I heard of farms changing hands at as much as seventy pounds per acre. As the afternoon progressed halts were made at various stations, including Featherston, where the Prince was received by[69] cheering crowds from a military training camp near by. At dusk the train skirted the wide Wairarapa—lake of shining water—where wild swans still breed in some numbers. Here we seemed to have reached the end of the track, as high hills closed in on either side, and there was no sign of a tunnel. The big single engine, however, was replaced by three smaller ones of special make for mountain climbing, one of them being attached at either end of the train and the third in the middle. A start was then made up a zigzag track consisting of three rails, the third so fixed in the middle, between the other two, that pulley wheels beneath the body of the engines can get a purchase below it, thus completely wedging the train and preventing its too sudden descent in case of accident. Slowly then the train crawled up the gradient, which, in places, is no less than one in fifteen. On the way we passed heavy timber-fences erected to break the force of the wind, which has been known so strong, at times on this part of the line, as to overturn a train. In the darkness we crossed the Rimutaka—ridge of fallen trees—and slid smoothly down to the other side into the rich Hutt valley in which Wellington stands.

A fairy city of lights, outlining spires, roofs and street lines, lay by reflection in the black water of a broad still harbour, as the train skirted the low coast of Petone, landing-place of the first white settlers, eventually passing through extensive suburbs and coming to a standstill in the station of Wellington. Here the reception was a climax to the demonstrations along the journey from Auckland. Mayor Luke, supported by the city councillors, in ermine and gold chains, received[70] the Prince, as he alighted from the train. Mr. Massey, and other members of the Dominion Government, were waiting at the entrance. Outside, one of the smartest captain's guards-of-honour imaginable was standing to attention, with band and colours. Beyond, restrained by a rope barrier, an enormous crowd cheered and cheered. The eye travelled over the heads of the nearer people, and then further away, and there was no thinning off. One then began to realize that one was looking up a broad street which climbed a hill, and that the entire hill was a palpitating mass of shouting humanity, dimly seen in the half-light of the illuminations.

Eventually the Royal procession got off in motor-cars, which took an hour to traverse the two miles of decorated route to Government House, where the Prince was to stay, so dense was the crowd along the route, so anxious were the people to get near him. There was no bad crushing, however, and nothing could exceed the good temper of the shouting, flag-flapping, clapping, laughing men, women and children, who pressed upon the motor-cars, formed a solid mass to the walls of substantial business houses on either hand, and crowded every window, balcony and roof commanding a view from above.

Similar scenes marked subsequent days of the Prince's visit to Wellington. Proceeding to Parliament buildings on the morning after he arrived, the pressure along the route was extraordinary. The town hall, where addresses were presented, on the way, was filled by all the most distinguished people of the country. The platform was occupied by the[71] Members of the Legislature, headed by the Prime Minister, and including the Leader of the Opposition, the Mayors of the principal cities, and other representatives from all parts of New Zealand.

Proposing the Prince's health, at the official luncheon later in the day, Mr. Massey, speaking in his capacity of Prime Minister, said everybody in New Zealand took personal happiness and satisfaction in the magnificent reception the Prince had had at all the centres in the North Island. "And I want to tell him," he continued, "that his experiences in the North Island will be repeated in the South."

One of the expeditions made from Wellington was across the harbour to Petone, where a well-staged pageant was held representing the landing of Captain Cook and his fellow adventurers from the barque Endeavour in 1779, also that of the Reverend Samuel Marsden and other missionaries from the merchant-ship Tory thirty-five years later. Naked warriors in war-canoes escorted each of the boat processions to the beach, and painted Maori chiefs received the white strangers hospitably on the sandy shore.

The occasion of the pageant was taken with happy appropriateness to present the Prince with samples of the finished product of the great industry with which the descendants of the early settlers have endowed New Zealand. The articles selected were rugs of beautiful softness and delightful warmth, made of wool grown in the interior, and carded, spun, dyed, and woven in mills close to the beach where the original missionaries landed. "A field which the Lord hath blessed" in every sense of the term.

[72]

Petone is the parent of the capital city of Wellington where the Governor, Legislative Council and elected House of Representatives together make up the "General Assembly" which governs New Zealand.


[73]

X

SOUTH ISLAND

The still, crisp, autumn morning of the 22nd of May brought the Renown into the silver inland sea of Charlotte Sound, with sunny hills sloping to the water's edge on either side—a great grey bird she looked, reflected in a jade-framed mirror. Rounding a steep guarding islet, the big ship anchored in view of the inner harbour, the pleasant little red-roofed whaling station of Picton climbing up the slope at the further end, the houses gay with familiar flowers, and homely with pecking fowls, amenities which one does not associate with the wild work of the whaler. The industry as a matter of fact has declined from the status of its early days, though last year the blubber of forty-eight "humpbacks" was brought into port.

The entire population—typical British folk of any country town in England—had assembled and gave the Prince a rousing welcome with the usual address. From Picton the route was by train through a rich pastoral plain, past Tuamarina, scene of a long-past tragedy in New Zealand history, where a misunderstanding resulted in whites being massacred by their Maori neighbours, one of those lamentable episodes which the now united Dominion is advisedly engaged in forgetting.[74]

At Blenheim, a prosperous township, eighteen miles from Picton, which was the next stopping-place, the train was exchanged for motors, and a visit was paid to the local racecourse, where the inhabitants of the town of Blenheim and most of the surrounding country had come together. Amongst them was a fine gathering of returned sailors, soldiers and cadets, also some fifty Maoris with painted faces, dressed in feather-covered mats, who gave one of their grave, shouting, stamping, grimacing national hakas in honour of the Royal guest.

From Blenheim the party started on a seventy-mile motor-drive to Nelson, an expedition enlivened by similar scenes, though the solemn gaieties of the Maoris did not occur again. The road, which was of macadam in excellent repair, ran first through the green, open valley of the Pelorus river, the fields dotted with sheep, with many a row of tall poplar trees, yellowing in the still autumn air. Wooded hills closed in, on either side, as the cars progressed, until we found ourselves speeding along a winding, unfenced shelf on the side of a precipice, primeval forest covering the sides of the gorge, to which the procession clung, like a string of flies to a window-pane, as it swung round corners, often with a wall of rock on one side and a sheer drop of hundreds of feet upon the other, a few inches of macadamized shelf all that interposed between the outer wheels and eternity.

The driver of the Prince's car, a grey-headed Anglo-Saxon, was descended from men who had driven mail coaches along this road seventy years ago, when the route was anything but the tourist trip it has become to-day.[75] The Prince was shown corner after corner where early settlers and their vehicles had gone over the edge, to be gathered together at the bottom in an advanced state of disunion. He heard also the oft-told tale of the Maungatapu highwaymen, white desperadoes, who once made these Rai and Wangamoa hills their home, until they were rounded up and hanged by indignant gold-miners and settlers for iniquities which included the murdering of a wayfarer, after stripping him of his purse, though all that it contained was a solitary shilling. No allowance seemed to have been made by his avengers for a certain natural disappointment. From the Rai and Wangamoa highlands the road led downwards, through a gradually flattening land of apple-trees, still laden with masses of enormous yellow and red fruit, past hundreds of acres of bare poles, where hops had recently been reaped, amongst fields of peach trees set in ordered ranks, through villages of red-roofed, verandahed wooden houses, where well-dressed women and extraordinarily chubby and sunburnt children strewed the chrysanthemums of autumn as the Prince went by. The white macadam of the country ultimately gave place to the dark asphalt of the town. Tram-lines appeared in the track, and the procession found itself amongst hurrahing crowds in Nelson city.

Nelson is built round a central hill. Driving up the main street, the Prince was in a lane of people, a waving mass of union jacks extending up the business street on either side, while in front was a natural grand-stand surmounted by the Gothic windows of a pink, wooden structure which rose out of the top of a variegated pyramid and was the[76] Cathedral. It looked as if balanced upon a hunched-up, gaily-coloured Paisley shawl. As we approached, the base resolved itself into school-children in white, soldiers and cadets in khaki, with a phalanx of returned men in their habit as they lived. A grey stone platform, with steps leading up to it, was occupied by Nelson's officials, one of whom read an address of welcome. The remainder of the variegated colour scheme seen from the bottom of the street was due to the costumes of ladies who stood so close to one another that no peep of the green background came through.

Here the Prince performed the usual ceremonies that awaited him. He inspected guards-of-honour, clasped the hands of returned soldiers and pinned on their coats decorations won at the front. He also expressed to the Mayor and the crowd thanks for the reception and for the loyal sentiments of the address, which would be communicated to His Majesty the King, as well as hearty appreciation of the wonders of the country, and of the good service of its people in the war, with sympathy for those who had been disabled or had lost friends or relations. He demanded a whole holiday for the school-children, with the immense approval of the beneficiaries. The National Anthem was played and everybody went off to dinner.

On the following and subsequent days very similar experiences were encountered. The route from Nelson, after leaving the level country where more receptions were held at wayside townships, was along the steep rocky upper gorge of the Buller river, a clear stream which flows in a series of cascades through a narrow winding cleft in the mountains. The slope on either side is covered with dense forest of[77] tree ferns and birches, broken by areas where the undergrowth has been cut down and fired. Quantities of blackened tree-trunks and half-burnt logs, upon a carpet of newly sprouted grass, told of the conversion of the impenetrable primeval forest into productive dairying fields—grass-seed having only to be scattered broadcast over the ashes after a shower to bring a quick and copious emerald crop.

The way grass develops in New Zealand is a continual wonder. The winters are so mild, and the rainfall so abundant, that growth goes on right through the year. Maturity comes so rapidly that it is said to be quite a common thing for the farmer to plough up pasture and re-sow it simply in order to get rid of weeds, a heavy hay-crop being reaped the very next season. Large areas of permanent, original pasture were also seen, especially in the Southern Island—tussock grass, which, as its name suggests, grows in knobby tufts, but is not on that account to be despised as fodder, enormous numbers of sheep and cattle growing fat enough to kill for the market without any other nourishment. Turnips are raised, to help out the grass in the winter months, but this is only on a comparatively small scale. The greater part of the stock is entirely grass-fed. Lambing, calving and milking take place in the open, and steers go straight to the packing establishments, without previously seeing the inside of a building of any kind. This accounts for the profits that are being made out of sheep-farming, stock-raising and dairying in New Zealand, in spite of the enormous prices paid for land which, in good districts, is now changing hands at figures ranging up to £170 per acre.

[78]

The Prince learnt, also, in his long drives through the forest, of the nature of the timber; of the virtues of the tawny-foliaged Rimu, or red pine, used for the interiors of houses; of the light, easily worked Kahikatea, or white pine, for which such large demand has sprung up in New Zealand and Australia for making packing-cases for butter, that fears are felt lest forests, hitherto considered inexhaustible, should become worked out; also of the Matai, or silver pine, which seems to last for ever, even when exposed on such hard service as that of railway sleepers, without any creosoting or other artificial protection.

About noon, the cars emerged upon an open valley, and the Prince was given a public reception at Murchison, a village of wooden houses, which were found in holiday array, the decorations including masses of holly in the fullest Christmas glory of ripe scarlet berries, a curious contemporary of the orchards, still loaded with unpicked apples, that we had seen in the Nelson valley only a few hours before. In the Murchison district alluvial gold-washing still goes on, but it is only a small survival of what once was a flourishing industry, the yellow metal that filled the west coast with diggers, fifty years ago, having almost entirely given out.

Beyond Murchison, the gorges again contracted. The river became a white torrent, rushing through a dark, winding channel, hedged with big, grey rocks, above which rose sage-green, forested mountains. About six in the evening we emerged on the Inangahua—"mother of whitebait"—tributary. Here the valley widened out, and we saw a wonderful west-coast sunset. The mountains took on vivid aquamarine blue and imperial purple, shading into palest pink, as they faced towards[79] the light or away from it. Against this background, yellow-frosted poplars and scarlet-leaved wild cherries stood out in sharpest contrast, the whole, with a pearly sky, producing an effect of exquisite fantasy. A soft brown owl, fluttering into our staring faces, recalled the fact that night had come, and that shelter was still far off.

The Prince traversed the Inangahua marshes in the dark, reaching the west-coast township of Reefton late at night. The streets, nevertheless, were thronged with people. Illuminations and fireworks were in full swing, and His Royal Highness had a reception in no way inferior to his daylight greetings elsewhere. At Reefton he was in Westland of the warm heart, the Wales of New Zealand, a land of collieries, lumbering, gold-mining, and fishing, home of the late Richard Seddon, whose eloquence did so much, in the long years of his Prime Ministership, to bind New Zealand in that close alliance with Great Britain which bore such gallant fruit when the great call came.

With Reefton I should class Inangahua, Greymouth, Westport, and last, but most important of them all, Hokitika, head-quarters of the province, which is represented in the New Zealand Government by Mr. Thomas Seddon, son of the late Prime Minister, and one of the first members of Parliament to volunteer for active service when the war began. In all of these centres the Prince was most warmly received, Hokitika particularly distinguishing itself by the size of its gatherings, and the good taste bestowed on the decorations of its streets.

The Prince's journey from Reefton to Westport was by motor through the lower gorges of the Buller river, where the scenery was again[80] magnificent. Much of the route was along a narrow winding shelf, a precipice dropping to the water beneath, while above the rocks overhung the road, sometimes, as at a spot appropriately named the Devil's Eye, to the extent of completely over-arching. The steep mountain-sides around were covered with dense vegetation, gaunt Rimu trees smothered in the embrace of flame-flowered Rata vines, and green lance-leaved kiakia creepers, with a thick undergrowth of tree-ferns standing erect like pirouetting dancers in stiff green skirts and long black legs, amongst a lesser crowd of gorse and bracken. The silence of the gorge was broken only by the ripple of water and the sweet flute-notes of grey Tui birds, a delicate contrast with the clangour of the church bells, rung in honour of the Prince's visit, when the procession of motor-cars emerged upon the open coast, and reached the mining township of Westport. Here the reception was on the level, within sight of an inclined road down which is brought what claims to be the best admiralty coal in the world. This coal is mined high up in the hills above Westport, and was burnt upon H.M.S. Calliope when she thrilled the world by beating out of the hurricane off Samoa in 1899. The Prince returned in the evening to Hokitika. In an open square in this city next morning, where the snows of Mount Cook shone out on the horizon, he was presented with a digger's leather bag containing nuggets of west-coast gold.


WESTPORT CHILDREN: A TUMULT OF FLAGS AND FLOWERS


DUNEDIN'S WELCOME

From Hokitika the route was by train, via the labour-controlled township of Greymouth, and up the fine Brunner valley, passing a number of winding-shafts of mines producing good steam-coal, where miners were[81] making £2 5s. daily, and more of them were urgently needed. In the afternoon Otira was reached, where New Zealand's longest railway tunnel, which when finished will complete the hitherto broken connexion across the island, was in active course of construction. Here the Prince left the railway and travelled partly by a four-horsed coach, and partly on foot, amidst heights and glaciers, over the magnificent Arthur's pass, which overlies the tunnel, itself two thousand feet above sea level. The tunnel is one of the big engineering achievements of the century. It is five and a quarter miles long, and has been so accurately laid out that when, a few months since, the excavations from the two ends met in the middle, they were out only by three-quarters of an inch in alignment and one and a half inches in level, a minuteness of error of which Mr. Holmes, Engineer-in-Chief, and his technical staff may rightly be proud.

Cheers, every few minutes, from people it was too dark to see, broke in upon the rattle of the Royal train speeding to reach Christchurch by dinner-time. Jolts at intervals informed us that we were crossing sidings in the suburbs of a considerable city. Presently light shone into the windows from outside, and we came to a standstill in a railway station that might have been that of Oxford. Upon a red carpet, stretched from the entrance to where the Prince's saloon drew up, was standing Mayor Thacker, with ermine, chain and cocked hat, also members of the corporation, waiting to welcome the Royal guest. By the time one could get through the throng upon the platform from the front of the train, the Prince, who was in the rear where a lane had been kept, was inspecting a captain's guard of men and colours in the presence of[82] the dense, cheering crowd that pressed on the rope-barriers. A procession followed, through two miles of decorated, illuminated, cheering, flag-waving streets, the route kept with difficulty by police and territorials. The cars soon separated from one another in the press. Those who were towards the tail of the procession lost sight of the Prince. Small boys waved paper flags in their faces, and had to be discouraged from climbing on the radiator. Larrikins decided that one correspondent was the Prince's doctor and christened him "Pills." Another, the substantial representative of the "Daily Telegraph," was found to resemble Mr. Massey, and was cheered as "Bill." Presently the procession came to a standstill altogether, the crowd being squeezed tight up all round, in front, as well as on the steps and mud-guards. Horn-tooting and endeavours to move forward an inch at a time, coupled with the vigorous assistance of the police, gradually got us on the move again, and amid a din of laughing and cheering we saw the Prince being got out of his car and carried into the club where he was to stay, to reappear a few moments later on the balcony and wave acknowledgments to the people, by this time squeezed solid once more.

Similar scenes occurred on the following day, the same cheerful, friendly, British crowd assembling in the streets and blocking the wide Latimer Square, where the Prince received a number of formal addresses, inspected a fine body of boy-scouts, and was serenaded, first in Welsh, and afterwards in Gaelic, by groups of nice-looking girls in the quaintness of chimney-pot hats and kilts. Proceeding afterwards to Hagley park, the Prince reviewed some four thousand territorials, and[83] shook hands with two thousand returned men. Later in the evening he held an informal levée at the civic hall, where he shook hands with another two thousand people. By this time, if there is a scientific way of accomplishing the gesture of friendship, His Royal Highness had probably learned it.

Christchurch is the third biggest city of New Zealand. A larger proportion of the inhabitants is said to be of English extraction than in any other city of the world outside the British islands. Certainly it is one of the most home-like places we saw upon the tour with its well-paved, well-lighted streets, fine business quarter, and pleasant residential suburbs full of comfortable houses, each standing in its own grounds. In Christchurch clear water courses down the gutter on one side of many of the streets. This is from subterranean springs, tapped by artesian borings, by means of which the entire city is supplied. The water is supposed to be derived from the snows of the southern New Zealand Alps as they soak into the valley of the Waimakariri—"freezing water"—river which flows into the Canterbury plain.

A fine harbour, with water so deep that even the Renown was able to lie alongside the wharf, exists eight miles off, at Lyttleton. Until one goes over the ground it seems strange that a large city should have been built so far away as eight miles from the harbour connected with it. The lie of the hills explains this however. The harbour of Lyttleton is so hedged in by steep slopes that it has been considered impossible to build a city around it, and Christchurch occupies the nearest level ground across the range. Connexion is facilitated by a mile-long[84] railway tunnel, one of the oldest undertakings of its kind in New Zealand.

Although so close to the hills, Christchurch stands upon almost absolutely level ground, a corner indeed of the big Canterbury plain, par excellence the farming country of the Dominion. The city contains cold-storage plant, a biscuit factory, and wool and hide establishments, all of which proved their Imperial value during the war. It also possesses one of the best high schools in the country, run on the lines of a British public school. Being also the distributing centre for a large and flourishing farming community, Christchurch is going ahead rapidly, and has an excellent future before it, its south-of-England climate making it a favourite place of residence.

Farming is not in New Zealand an occupation penalized by the dread of hardship or burden as one is apt to find it elsewhere, largely because of the real love the New Zealander has for the land. The Mayor of one of the larger cities we visited in the Northern Island, himself a prosperous wholesale grocer, told me that neither of his two sons, when they returned to New Zealand from France, would look at his business, though he had kept it going longer than he would otherwise have done, with the express purpose of handing it on to them, there being no one else in his family to whom to leave it. They both insisted upon being set up as farmers. The reason they gave was that farming life was pleasanter and less exacting than any kind of business, and this although they had, with farming, to begin all over again, whereas in the wholesale grocery trade they had a long established and flourishing concern ready to step into.

The fifteen-year-old son of a prominent official said to his mother, who passed on the irreverent observation to me, "Isn't father a loony[85] to do office work when he might have a farm of his own?" The boy's mind was typical. I met refined women who said they wouldn't live anywhere in the world but on a farm, and never once did I come across anyone who was on the land and wanted to get off it. This attitude of mind has the qualification that it is sheep and cattle-farming that is referred to, and not dairy-farming, which is infinitely more exacting, though, at present prices, and especially since the discovery of the possibilities of the dried milk-trade, definitely more profitable. This is because the sheep and cattle-farmer is not continually tied, and, while he has to work hard at times, can also often get away, whereas the dairy-farmer must be on hand all the year round, to see that the milking is attended to, and that the milk is promptly disposed of at the creameries, of which numbers are springing up, mostly run, upon a co-operative basis, by groups of farmers themselves.

This passion of the New Zealander for the land is a trait of the most far-reaching significance. It accounts for the largeness of the rural, as opposed to the urban, population in this Dominion. It has much to do, also, with the splendid physique of the average New Zealander, and the amazing healthfulness and longevity he appears to enjoy. This applies especially to the middle classes, amongst whom there is extraordinary immunity from such city diseases as consumption. The death-rate from tuberculosis of New Zealand is less than half that of England and Wales. It affects also the whole political outlook of the Dominion. The farmer everywhere tends to be conservative in his views, for he has a stake[86] in the country. His farm may be small or large. The individual holding, on the average, is probably not more than from thirty to eighty acres, an area which even the most unskilled of labourers may hope, in the end, to own; and one which, under the favourable agricultural and climatic conditions prevailing, is sufficient to keep both the man himself and his family. The number of holdings is therefore rapidly increasing, and the effect which this has upon the whole political atmosphere is incalculable. Nominally, the Government of the day may be Conservative or it may be Liberal, but the voter's choice is one of men, rather than of policy. Labour itself, as has already been pointed out, has become conservative. It thus comes about that, in spite of the possession of both manhood suffrage and womanhood suffrage, there is probably no country in the world less open to subversive social theories than is New Zealand.


[87]

XI

ENTERPRISE IN NEW ZEALAND

It is impossible to travel through New Zealand and to meet the men it sends into public life, without being impressed by the high character, moderation and conservativeness which characterize politics in this Dominion.

There is no country where the spirit of live and let live is more fully operative, none where charges of political corruption are less common, and none where the spirit of co-operation for public ends is more general. The "ins" at present call themselves Reformers, he "outs" Liberals, but, so far as I have been able to make out, Mr. Massey's Government retains its majority far more on account of the popularity of himself and his colleagues than because the general policy for which they stand differs very materially from that which would be adopted if Sir Joseph Ward and his Liberal supporters were to return to power. In consequence, again, of practically all voters having a stake in the country, of one kind or another, whether in the form of house-property, land or money, the administration they elect is intensely individualistic, and probably there is no spot on earth where property is more respected, or personal rights more secure.

[88]

The financial position of the Dominion is also relatively good, for although New Zealand's public debt bears a proportion to its population not far different from the corresponding proportion in England, there are two factors which make the situation of the Dominion definitely more favourable. One of these is the larger potential margin of taxability in New Zealand, owing to the greater individual prosperity of its inhabitants and the extent of its still undeveloped resources. The other is that so much of New Zealand's public debt has been invested in remunerative public works. Out of a total debt of £194,000,000 no less than £40,000,000 has been put into the acquisition or construction of the three thousand five hundred miles of railway existing in the country, an investment which itself pays the whole of the interest charges concerned. Indeed, at present rates for labour and materials, this happy country possesses a property worth probably more than twice what it has cost to obtain.

The railway factor in New Zealand is thus a very important one. It is one also of special interest, as the New Zealand Government not only owns but manages the whole of the lines, an arrangement not found in other parts of the world to conduce to either efficiency or economy in working. It seemed so impossible to believe that a democracy could be keeping politics out of business that I fear I asked a great many very impertinent questions on the subject of political graft in connexion with railways. The map of New Zealand offered an invitation to inquisitiveness. It showed that the country possesses a remarkably large number of small unconnected railway lines running inland from the various ports. Even to-day there is no complete through line in the[89] South Island, though progress is being made in linking up branches to obtain it. One was at first inclined to attribute this state of things to political pressure brought to bear upon the Government to supply individual political constituents with more than their share of transport facilities at the expense of the general traffic requirements of the country. On going over the ground, however, two perfectly innocent reasons leapt to defend the lines. The first is that in a country as well supplied as is New Zealand with harbours round the coasts, the natural main artery of traffic is by sea and not overland. The second is that the mountain backbone of New Zealand is so tremendous that the cost of through railways which, owing to the lie of the land, must necessarily cross this backbone is enormous. This is exemplified by the stupendous works, culminating in a five-mile tunnel, now under construction to link the west coast with the east in the South Island. The same applies to the North Island, it being impossible to traverse the central railway from Auckland to Wellington without being impressed by the difficulties that have had to be overcome, alike on the Raurimu spiral in the middle, and at the famous one-in-thirteen incline near the southern terminus.

Mistakes have, no doubt, been made sometimes, and it is quite possible that in some cases local influence may have bettered public utility, both in the routes chosen for new lines, and in the order of their construction. Upon the whole, however, the Public Works Department of the New Zealand Government, which is responsible for the building of the railways, is to be most warmly congratulated upon the lay-out as well as upon the standard of excellence attained in the matter of the[90] work. The three-feet-six-inch gauge adopted in New Zealand may possibly have to be changed eventually to the standard four-feet-eight-inch gauge in use in Europe and America. The decision to adopt the narrow gauge, however, was come to at a time when there was much to recommend the selection, since it enabled railway facilities to be afforded very much sooner than would have been possible had the more expensive standard gauge been chosen.

The New Zealand Government has also pursued a sound policy in doing renovations, even where they have involved considerable structural improvements, out of revenue. I was informed that original cost has, all along, been replaced out of working expenses, where changes in the lines have been made on capital account, and that since about 1907 all relaying of lines and replacing of bridges and rolling-stock has been charged to working expenses. Again, a considerable length of line has been relaid each year, with heavy rails and new sleepers. The people of New Zealand in consequence now own the entire railway system of their country at a cost far below its present market value, and that too in a state of structural efficiency, which, especially after five years of a war to which the railways sent seven thousand of their trained men, is very remarkable. The Royal train could testify to that, running as it did over difficult country, from one end of New Zealand to the other, at a pace which was seldom less than forty, and sometimes went as high as sixty miles an hour, fast travelling on a narrow gauge anywhere.

The railways are under a general manager responsible to a minister-in-charge, at present the Prime Minister, and independent[91] of the Public Works Department, whose responsibilities end with construction. In order to minimize political interference with traffic charges, a rule is enforced that all rates must be published, thereby facilitating discussion of them. No special local tariff also can be sanctioned without public notice being first given. All rates are thus subject to criticism in Parliament. Again, at present, ninety per cent. of the traffic of the country, including both passengers and goods, is carried on a flat-rate basis applicable to all lines, and all places. Of the remaining ten per cent., all but a small proportion is carried on concession rates designed to help the development of backward areas, it being recognized that the railways are only adjuncts to the opening up of the country and its resources. The fractional proportion which remains is carried at special enhanced rates, but this does not affect the general position, as it applies only to a few isolated sections of not more than twenty miles apiece, where construction has been unusually expensive, and where high rates have been adopted to cover interest on the cost.

A further safeguard is provided by the fact that a rate can only be changed on the recommendation of the general manager, who is a member of the public service, and therefore debarred from taking part in politics.

Very much the same safeguards apply to the appointments. The personnel of the railways in New Zealand is permanent, no new Government having so far ventured to make any wholesale changes. The great majority of the men now in the service have begun at the bottom, either as unskilled apprentices or as cadets admitted after passing a qualifying[92] examination. I was unable to hear of either promotions or fresh appointments for political reasons.

That the above are real, and not merely theoretical conditions, is strikingly shown by the financial results obtained. The dominant fact is that, whereas in the United States and in England, Government control of railways has been accompanied by heavy loss during the war, in New Zealand the railways have remained on a paying basis throughout, though the war rise in New Zealand traffic-rates has only been twelve and a half per cent. in the case of passengers, and twenty-one per cent. in that of goods, as compared with from fifty to seventy per cent. in the case of the railways in Great Britain. At the same time the basic wage for the employees has been increased in New Zealand by thirty-three per cent., to which eight per cent. has recently been added, making a total wage rise on New Zealand railways of forty-one per cent.

As regards the cost of the carriage of goods on New Zealand railways, as compared with British, the claim is made by the New Zealand railway authorities that their rates are the lower. I was unable to obtain any conclusive evidence upon this point, during the short time available, owing to the difficulty of extracting average figures capable of being fairly compared. As regards passenger rates, I understand that the present New Zealand flat-rate is twopence per mile for "upper class" passengers, and one and one-third pence per mile for "lower class," rates which certainly compare not unfavourably with those obtaining in England.

The gross annual revenue of New Zealand railways is now about five and three-quarter million sterling per annum. Of this sum two million is[93] allotted to payment of interest at four per cent. upon the forty million sterling of capital cost. The balance of three and three-quarter million goes to working expenses, which before the war averaged sixty-four per cent. of gross revenue, and are now sixty-six per cent.

Government goods consignments are carried at full rates, and troops at a concession rate of one penny per mile return. There is no paper inflation, therefore, in the figures.

I have given the above particulars at some length, as the management of so big a business organization as the entire railway system of the country is obviously a good criterion of the nature of the political administration as a whole.

I may add two further instances of New Zealand methods. The first is that the Government has embarked upon a seven-million-sterling scheme for the development of hydro-electric power for industrial purposes, the country being remarkably provided with facilities for this class of enterprise. The installations, several of which are already well advanced, are situated in widely separated localities spread over both of the islands, so that a large proportion of the country will benefit. The total power which this scheme is expected ultimately to develop amounts to something like half a million horse-power. The work was to be proceeded with as fast as labour, which was very scarce at the time of the Prince's visit, became available. The second point concerns the resettlement of returned soldiers upon the land and their restarting in business. Upon this object the New Zealand Government had expended a million sterling, of which the bulk consisted of loans on easy terms. The feature that seems significant of the general situation of New[94] Zealand, was that practically all the fifty thousand men demobilized had been found employment, and that the loans were being rapidly repaid, one-eighth (£117,000) having already been refunded, while less than six per cent. of the ten thousand men who had received advances were reported as irregular with their instalments.

Travelling as the party did from end to end of New Zealand, such national enterprises as the working of the railways, the development of hydro-electric power and the restarting of the men returned from the war, were often discussed. The considerations which emerged are certainly encouraging, not only from the point of view of those already settled in the Dominion, but also to that wider community throughout the Empire that looks to Australasia as a future home.

The Prince left Christchurch by train on the morning of the 17th May, on his journey to the southern end of the South Island and passed once more through the Canterbury plain, a well-watered land of pleasant homesteads and wide flat fields just then white with stubble from a recently reaped wheat crop. His first stopping-place was the thriving town of Ashburton, where an address of welcome was read by Major Galbraith, at one time one of the best football players in New Zealand. In the course of his reply His Royal Highness mentioned that he was a farmer in a small way himself, which made him specially interested in the splendid farming country through which he had been passing. The Prince's colonial farm is in Alberta; he added it to the trophies of his Canadian tour in 1919. He has already stocked and improved it and there is not a Canadian from Halifax to Vancouver who does not look confidently to this holding[95] to bring him back there at an early date. Temuka, famed for its trout-fishing, and Timaru, a rising watering-place, came next upon his itinerary. Timaru is a port for the shipment of chilled meat, in connexion with which several substantial cold-storage works could be seen from the train. In this centre the Prince was given a picturesque reception on the wide sands of Charlotte Bay, a popular bathing-resort in the summer months. The cliffs here form an amphitheatre from which twenty thousand people, including two thousand children from the schools around, witnessed the usual reading of a civic address, and march past of returned soldiers, red cross nurses, and other war workers. In the afternoon the train traversed a fine bridge over the Waitaki river, which is here the dividing line between the Scotch settlers of Otago and the English of Canterbury. The Prince also stopped off at Oamaru, and inspected a collegiate school, one of the foremost in New Zealand, where an exceedingly smart cadet corps paraded before him, and he was conducted by the headmaster, Doctor F. Milner, over buildings and grounds comparable to those of a first-class public school in England. One of the features of the institution was unenclosed dormitories, in which the lads sleep out of doors, in all weathers, with wonderfully beneficial results to their health and endurance.

Dusk fell when the train was some twenty miles from Dunedin, the Edinburgh of New Zealand, but the sky was lighted throughout the whole of this distance by enormous bonfires, every village and every homestead along the line competing as to which could make the biggest flare against the forest and hills behind. Around these bonfires the local inhabitants had assembled and cheered the Prince as the train ran[96] through. The night was alive with enthusiasm. Little old weary England, at anchor far in her North sea, might have been glad to feel it.

Port Chalmers, the Rosyth of Dunedin, was a wonderful sight. Coloured flares were simultaneously lighted in all parts of the town, as the train passed along the top of the cliffs. The harbour was thus shown up like an inland lake, in a setting of hills, against which houses, shipping and docks stood out in brilliant relief.

At Dunedin the train climbed down into a fairyland of electric illuminations, beginning at the railway station, where Mayor Begg and the members of the civic council were assembled. A procession in cars, through Princes Street and Stuart Street, to the Dunedin Club, where quarters had been arranged for the Prince, showed him half a mile of decorated, illuminated route, kept in absolute order by boy-scouts, cadets and school-children, though every one of Dunedin's sixty thousand inhabitants appeared to be participating in an orgy of cheering, flag-waving and flower throwing behind this slender barrier.

On the following day His Royal Highness attended an open-air reception, in the presence of an immense gathering in the city octagon, beneath the cathedral, the steps of which were occupied by a big chorus of girls from secondary schools. Here he received nine addresses of welcome. In replying, he told Dunedin that the part she played in the life of New Zealand was fully worthy of the noble traditions which her pioneers brought from the schools and colleges of the Old Country. Later on the Prince visited the hospital, whence he drove over the heights overlooking the shore, and down a steep winding track to Port[97] Chalmers, where, amidst more decorations and cheering crowds, the Harbour Board and Local Borough Council presented addresses.

On another day, in the presence of twenty thousand people, grouped amongst green olearia bushes on grassy sandhills by the bay, the Prince inspected seven thousand children representing two hundred and fifty schools. A pretty incident occurred in the march past when the wide ranks of the children opened, and a score of white-clad, black-stockinged maidens trooped up and curtsyed before the Prince to the strains of the March of Athol played by a drum and fife band in Gordon plaids. The biggest and the littlest girl in the deputation then stepped forward and presented the Royal visitor with a tiny greenstone memento, purchased for him by the school-children themselves. A further event of the visit of Dunedin was a march past by lamplight in the drill hall. Five thousand tickets to this ceremony were issued to returned men, each of whom came accompanied by relations or friends, so the numbers present must have been considerable.

From Dunedin the Prince went by train to Invercargill, the fifth city of New Zealand. On the way he passed, in a snow-storm, the woollen mills of Mosgiel, also the Mount Wallace and Kaitangata coal-mines. Receptions were given in the towns of Balclutha, an active farming centre; Gore, the head-quarters of flourishing flour-mills, and Mataura, the location of hydro-electric works, paper-mills and cold-storage plant. Invercargill was reached in cold wind and rain, yet the whole population was found assembled in the streets. From the station the route led to the racecourse, where in the presence of an immense gathering,[98] undismayed by the weather which had turned the whole place into a quagmire, addresses were presented from the city of Invercargill and from the Southland County. In the course of his reply the Prince referred to Invercargill as being the last stopping-place on his New Zealand tour, and added that fate would be unkind if it prevented his renewing his recent experiences at some future time.

The return journey of four hundred miles by train to Lyttleton, where His Royal Highness re-embarked upon the Renown for Australia, was done in record time. The Earl of Liverpool, Governor-General; Mr. Massey, Prime Minister, and Mr. MacDonald, Leader of the Opposition, travelled to Lyttleton to say good-bye. The Prince gave a farewell dinner on the Renown, at which he conferred Knight-Commanderships of the Victorian Order upon Sir William Fraser, and Sir Edward Chaytor, who had accompanied him throughout the New Zealand tour. Junior rank in the same Order was conferred upon Lt.-Colonel Sleeman, Director of Military Training; Mr. Gavin Hamilton, of the Governor-General's staff; Mr. James Hislop, Under-Secretary for Internal Affairs; Mr. R. W. McVilly, General Manager of Railways; Mr. O'Donovan, Chief of Police, and Mr. Tahu Rhodes, of the Governor-General's staff—all of whom had been actively connected with the tour.

The Prince at the same time handed to Mr. Massey, for publication throughout New Zealand, a farewell message, in which he expressed his thanks to the Government and people of the Dominion for the splendid reception given to him. The message continued: "Two things particularly impressed me. New Zealand is a land not merely of opportunity for[99] some but for all. I have never seen such well-being and happiness so uniformly evident throughout the population of country and town alike. This Dominion is also a living example of the fact that a European race may take over a new country without injustice to the original inhabitants, and that both may advance in mutual confidence and understanding along a common path. New Zealand is one of the greatest monuments to British civilization in the world, and I have felt, from end to end of the Dominion, that there is nowhere a British people more set in British traditions or more true to British ideals. I have found the strength of your loyalty to the Empire and its sovereign as keen and bracing as mountain air, and I know you will never weaken in your devotion to British unity and British ideals."

In conclusion the Prince referred to the journeys still to be taken before he could say he had seen the British Empire as a whole, adding that he still hoped to pay New Zealand another visit some day, a hope cordially echoed by both press and people throughout the Dominion.


[100]

XII

VICTORIA

The voyage from Lyttleton to Melbourne was rough but uneventful. The Renown did the 1,651 miles in three days, and very uncomfortable days they were. She carried a new passenger in the fine bulldog presented to the ward-room mess by the Mayor of Gisborne, but it languished so grievously that it had to find a new home in the Commonwealth. It had joined the Navy too late in life.

The Prince had his first view of Australia by moonlight. The sea had then gone down and mist hung in the narrow strait as the Renown passed between the dark shadowy hills of Wilson's promontory and the grey rounded cone of Rodondo Island. The following morning, however, found the Renown still outside the confined entrance to Port Phillip, enveloped in a clinging fog, that shut out everything from view. The tide was then high, so the ten-knot current, that rushes through the entrance when the water is low, had subsided, but this favourable condition could not be taken advantage of to bring in the Renown as neither buoys nor lights could be seen. Impatiently the ship's company waited for the fog to clear, but hour after hour went by and it seemed to grow only denser. Tired navigating officers, in sopping overalls,[101] descended gloomily from the bridge, and it was realized that there would be no crossing the bar that tide. The wireless meanwhile had crackled a message through to the Australian fleet, lying within Port Phillip, asking destroyers to come out and fetch the Prince, so that he might not disappoint the enormous crowds waiting in the streets of Melbourne to welcome him. The destroyers had forty miles of intricate navigation to negotiate, but were speedily in the neighbourhood. The Renown meanwhile had been carried by the currents out of her original position, but the firing of guns and the tooting of syrens eventually discovered her. That fine boat H.M.A.S. Anzac, recently attached to the Australian Navy, came smartly alongside, and took off the entire party. Steaming at twenty-eight knots, with a following wave so high as nearly to conceal the accompanying destroyers from the Anzac's quarter-deck, soon brought her through the Heads, in spite of the ten-knot tide then running full against her. The fog thinned off, and showed the Anzac in still autumn sunshine, pushing through a misty expanse of grey landlocked bays. Yellow sandy hills, dotted with soft-toned buildings, receded on either side as she advanced and the bay widened out, to reappear later on as she approached Melbourne harbour, which first presented itself as a forest of gaunt black cranes, with a background of roofs and chimneys emerging mistily from a low foreshore.

The destroyer was cheered again and again, as she approached amongst launches and steamers crammed with holiday-makers out to see the Prince. She made fast to a red-carpeted wharf, in front of goods sheds[102] flaming with decorations, where waited a smartly turned out naval guard-of-honour, and all the port authorities in full dress. Greetings and salutes accomplished, the party transhipped to a shallow-draft steamer—the Hygeia—which carried the Prince to the St. Kilda pier, in front of the residential quarter, through a fleet of yachts and launches filled with cheering people.

On the pier four figures stood out prominently—the Governor-General, the Prime Minister of the Commonwealth, the Lieutenant-Governor of Victoria, and the Premier of Victoria. Behind them were staffs in uniform, scores of dignitaries in top-hats and frock-coats, and a guard-of-honour in khaki. Long lines of marines and sailors kept a lane down the pier, and out into the crowd beyond. The Prince landed, and shook hands with the Governor-General and the Prime Minister, who afterwards presented to him the Premiers of New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Western Australia, and Tasmania, besides numerous members of their respective Governments, most of whom had travelled long distances to attend. The civic address gone through, a procession was formed, the Prince, the Governor-General, the Prime Minister, and other bigger officials in barouches, the rest of the party following in motors behind. The mounted escorts included a fine squadron of police on grey horses, each of which was a picture. The procession traversed eight miles of wide, well-kept streets, with swarms of well-dressed, well-nourished people, applauding, laughing and chaffing on either side. The crowds were enormous. The streets were crammed. Thousands were accommodated upon stands against the sides of the buildings. Every balcony, window, roof, and parapet, whence, in any[103] way, a glimpse could be caught of the procession, was filled with people. Commonwealth troops, cadets in khaki, and police in black uniform, though stationed only sparsely along the line, maintained excellent order. The crowds were as full of good-humour as could be, despite having been kept waiting by the fog for more than an hour after the advertised time. A wave of clapping and cheering went down the street alongside the Prince, and tailed off into chaff and criticism, at the expense of Mr. Hughes and other members of the Government, at the end of the procession. The cheering grew stronger as the business quarter of Melbourne was reached, and the procession passed through its spacious thoroughfares. "Generous" seemed to be the adjective most appropriate alike to the broad outlines of the architecture, for Melbourne despises sky-scrapers, to the width and dignity of the well-paved streets, and to the profusion of costly motor-cars and horses seen on the way. Those who accompanied the party were soon to discover for themselves that it applies equally to the quick-witted, outspoken, hospitable, kindly people of Melbourne.

The following day was a busy one for the Prince. It began with a levée at Government House, where he invested a number of returned officers and men with decorations won at the front. The reception of a score of addresses came next and the replying to the more important of them, including those from both Houses of the Commonwealth Legislature. The functions finished with a banquet at Parliament Buildings, at which the Right Honourable Mr. Hughes proposed the Prince's health. The toast was seconded, in the warmest terms, by Mr. Frank Tudor, Leader of the[104] Opposition. The keynote of the occasion was sounded by Mr. Hughes when he said to his guest: "The people of Australia see in you the things in which they believe."

There followed a bewildering week in which the Prince was carried from one public function to another, through extraordinary masses of people, composed largely of women and children, but also comprising a very considerable number of men, who waited in the streets for hours at a time, sometimes in chill wind, fog or rain, on the chance of catching a glimpse of the Royal visitor. Many of them, when he appeared, made such efforts to approach and shake him by the hand, that the police had difficulty in getting his car through. His progress was so delayed in many cases that it became almost impossible for him to fulfil engagements at the hour appointed, in spite of the most liberal allowance of time for delays upon the road. Eventually appeals were made through the press for some abatement of this personal demonstration. The police arranged for a wider lane to be kept for his car, and the difficulty gradually disappeared. The Melbourne newspapers, meanwhile, day after day, made the Prince's visit their almost exclusive business. The smallest details of his doings were chronicled with minuteness, and long poems and articles about him were published. Photographs, in every attitude and at every function, appeared prominently amongst the news of the day. The Prince was "featured" inexhaustibly. Scenes of enthusiasm also characterized the Naval Review, where every fighting ship belonging to the Commonwealth of Australia was paraded. A special agricultural show was held to which landholders from distant parts of Victoria[105] sent breeding stock so valuable that no previous exhibition had been able to attract it. A public reception was given in the exhibition buildings, where people stood from eleven in the morning to four in the afternoon to secure front places. An entertainment was organized at the cricket-ground where ten thousand school-children went through marvellously trained evolutions, and fifty thousand spectators cheered when the Prince appeared.

When one asked folk in the street what they thought of him, enthusiasm found various expressions, but it was always enthusiasm. I have heard a stout, middle-aged and presumably sane gentleman in the smoking-room of a Melbourne hotel declare in the most bellicose tone to all and sundry that he would like to fight for him. I never heard a word of criticism. Certainly Melbourne, and all the great interests it represents, took the Prince to a generous heart.

From Melbourne His Royal Highness made a two-days' trip by train into the rich districts of Western Victoria, through the Werribee Plain, where land fetches up to £60 per acre. Stone-walled fields of oats just rising above ground, with pleasant farm-houses amidst sparse white gum-trees, spread on either side of the track. Low, blue hills bounded the view. Country folk waved greetings from many homesteads, as the train sped onward. The first stopping-place was Geelong, on the sheltered coast of Port Phillip, once a rival to Melbourne for the honour of being the capital of Victoria, now a marine base, and prosperous shire town. It is known throughout Australia as the home of the doctrine of the one man vote, and eight-hour day, first promulgated in the 'seventies, by Sir Graham Berry, who represented Geelong in[106] the Commonwealth Legislature. Here the Prince found himself in the midst of an agricultural, manufacturing and shipping community. The guard-of-honour was composed of naval cadets. He was shown thousands of bales of finest merino wool from mills which not only clean and sort it, but also, upon a smaller scale, manufacture it into blankets and cloth. Pupils were presented to him from Geelong's famous grammar school, which draws its students from all parts of Australia, and had a larger proportion of casualties, in the great war, than any other educational institution outside the British islands. Here also he visited a big wool-shed, that of Messrs. Dennys Lascelles Ltd., with a ferro-concrete roof weighing two thousand tons, so large that the sales-room it shelters covers an acre of floor, yet there is not a single pillar in support, the necessary stiffness being given by means of reinforced girders, built upon cantilever principles, above the roof. The streets were crowded with people, and the Prince had a very fine reception alike at the reading of the municipal address, and at the functions of shaking hands with returned soldiers, and inspecting school-children. A large number of schools from townships in the interior were represented, each with one pupil elected by its fellows to shake hands with the Prince. The selected mites stood shyly out, in front of the lines of scholars, as the Prince went by to honour the promise given.

From Geelong the Prince went on to Colac, shire centre of one of the richest districts in Victoria. Here he was shown what claims to be the second largest dairying factory in the Commonwealth. It is run on co-operative lines, and makes, in addition to such products as butter and cheese, large quantities of dried milk, a comparatively new[107] preparation, for which increasing demand is springing up in all parts of the world. It is an enterprise to which all may wish good luck, as a long step toward solving the important problem of rendering milk easily transportable, without loss of essential properties.

In entering, and again in leaving Colac, the train passed quite close to a number of low conical hills and circular lakes, remains of comparatively recent volcanic action, which has given the soil over a wide area properties that enable it to grow Spanish onions in extraordinary profusion. In a favourable season, fabulous profits are made out of this crop. One man, with twenty acres, in one year cleared £1,800, of which £1,200 was net profit, after paying all cost of cultivation and harvesting. The Prince also saw some of the outlying trees of the famous Otway forest, home of the blue gum and blackwood timber used not only in Australia but also in America and Europe for decorative work.

In Colac, the streets had been elaborately decorated. Flags covered alike the stone and reinforced-concrete houses of business, and the brick and wooden residences. The accommodation of the place had been supplemented for the Royal visit, by encampments of tents, one large marquee flaunting the imposing title of the "Café de Kerbstone." Choirs, in Welsh and Scottish costumes, serenaded the procession. There was much cordial cheering, especially about the shire-hall, where the civic address was read.

The next halting-place was Camperdown, another farming centre, where again a surprisingly large gathering of country folk had assembled to welcome the Prince. Motor-cars, often of the most expensive British makes, in which the owners had come from their holdings, stood about[108] in the streets. The Royal party here transferred to motors, in which the Prince drove out to the residence of Mr. Stuart Black, one of Australia's great landholders, descendant of settlers from Tasmania, who opened up this part of the country some eighty years ago. These settlers bore many distinguished names, including those of the Gladstone family and the MacKinnons.

The following day His Royal Highness went by train to Ballarat, past a fine stone memorial to members of the neighbourhood who had fallen in the great war, subscribed for by the residents of the district, and designed by Mr. Butler, of Sydney. The route lay through undulating agricultural country, past big heaps of white, pink, or yellow tailings, which mark the sites of now worked-out gold-mines. Some of the fields around were pitted with what looked very much like shell-holes, dug by early prospectors for the gold that made Ballarat famous. The Prince found the last-named place a prosperous market town, with substantial public buildings, and quantities of marble statues, dating from the days of easily made fortunes in the 'seventies. It contains also wool, and other factories, including that of Messrs. Lucas and Company, for the production of underclothing, with which the Prince became acquainted under circumstances worthy of the creditable history of this firm. During the war, some five hundred girls employed by Messrs. Lucas conceived the idea of planting an avenue, in which each tree should be connected with the name of one of Ballarat's large contingent of fighting men at the front. At the head of this avenue, which is now a dozen miles in length, a substantial masonry Arch of Victory has been set up. The Prince opened this arch in the presence of the entire[109] establishment of the Lucas factory, which presented him with an embroidered set of underclothing—yellow silk pyjamas, to be exact—in the making of which every employee of the firm had taken part.

Rain had been falling heavily, but the girls faced it cheerily at the head of their avenue, many a tree of which bore the flag that told that the soldier it commemorated had been killed. The presentation was made to the Prince by two ladies, one of whom was Mrs. Lucas, the founder of the firm, which she had started on a very small scale, at a time when the miners were beginning to desert the Ballarat goldfield, leaving, in many cases, families behind them. Mrs. Lucas gathered these families around her, and by a system of profit-sharing, attached them to her firm, which is now well known throughout Australia.

This was not the only function at Ballarat. The Prince also received an address standing out in the rain, on a platform in the main street, in the midst of a crowd so large that those in the rear could neither hear nor see very clearly what was going on in front. As the result, both the reading and the reply to the address were much interrupted, a patriotic cornet on the outskirts playing "God Bless the Prince of Wales" part of the time while the Prince himself was speaking. The Prince got hold of his audience, after two false starts, however, and to such purpose that the latter part of his speech was listened to with an interest that the rain, which plastered his hair and flattened out his collar, appeared to enhance. The cheering at the end was most hearty. The crowd did not disperse when the speeches were over, but waited in the rain until after the completion of a further ceremony, which took place inside the[110] town hall, where the Prince shook hands with numbers of returned men and nurses. He was again loudly cheered when he came out and got into his car en route to the train to Melbourne.

The rain that was so insistent during the visit to Ballarat was of dramatic importance to the country at large. It broke a long and serious drought, extending over an enormous area—a drought so severe that we passed, on the road to Ballarat, way-worn sheep that had been driven three hundred miles in search of fodder and water. They were browsing, on their homeward way, on one of the farmer's stock-routes which traverse Australia from end to end. These cattle-tracks are generously bordered by pastures fenced off from the surrounding country, so as to conserve food for flocks and herds in movement.

Two days later, just three weeks from Australia's mid-winter, the Prince crossed, by train from Melbourne, the chill slopes of the Great Dividing Range, which separates the basin of the Murray river, flowing westward through central Australia, from that of the streams which pour their waters southwards to the coast. On the way, he received addresses at Kyneton and Castlemaine, once gold-mining camps, now not less prosperous dairying and woollen-working centres, the entire countryside turning out to receive him. Thence the train climbed down to a pleasant plateau on which stands Bendigo, city of flowers and dry, healthful breezes, and a centre of large and still exceedingly productive quartz gold-mining. Enormous heaps of grey "mullick" shale, and yellow and white tailings here stand amongst beautiful avenues of shady eucalyptus trees, and substantial buildings of stone and brick. One of the cheeriest civic[111] luncheons of the tour was a feature of the day—the Mayor toasting the Royal guest as Duke of Cornwall, Prince of the "Cousin Jacks," to whom the development of the Bendigo gold industry is so largely due. A novelty also appeared on the triumphal arches in the streets, which, in place of wreaths and patriotic texts, carried whole bevies of the prettiest girls the city could find. These arches had been built in the form of bridges connecting the porticoes on one side of the street with those on the other. The girls occupied the middle and dropped flowers as the Prince passed in his car.

Intensive small culture is so successful about Bendigo, that we were told as much as £300 has been made out of an acre of tomatoes in a single year. Bendigo may thus look forward to a future of agriculture when her reefs are exhausted. Gold-mining brought her population, but her fields and gardens will probably keep it.

Later in the afternoon the Prince, accompanied by the Prime Minister, in overalls, descended the shaft of one of the gold-mines that amongst them keep the mints of the country busy turning out sovereigns that bear on the reverse the effigy of the kangaroo. The Prince thus made the acquaintance of the gold industry which has played so dramatic a part in the history of the Commonwealth. The output has been falling off gradually since 1903 when the value produced was over sixteen million sterling. It still averages over ten million sterling annually however, and is likely long to remain a very important source of wealth.

It was on this expedition that newspaper men accompanying the tour had their first opportunity of becoming acquainted with a number of[112] distinguished Australians with whom they were so fortunate thereafter as to travel extensively. I have already mentioned that the Rt. Hon. Mr. William Hughes, Prime Minister of the Commonwealth, was one of them, his outspoken frankness and caustic humour illuminating and diverting long stretches of the railway journeys. Another member of the Commonwealth Government, closely associated with the tour, was the Hon. Mr. Pearce, Minister of Defence, who was supported, whenever the Prince was in naval ports, by the Hon. Sir Joseph Cook, Minister for the Navy, and Rear-Admiral Grant, Senior Member of the Naval Board, authorities who were able to afford the Prince first-hand information about the training and equipment of the forces that have given an account of themselves at once so memorable and so recent. Major-General Sir Brudenell White, Commonwealth Organizer of the visit, Brigadier-General H. W. Lloyd, Brigadier-General Dodds, Commodore J. S. Dumaresq, were also outstanding figures of the party. The Commonwealth arrangements, extensive though they were, represented only a small portion of the organization connected with the Australian part of the tour. Every State had also its own organizer, besides numerous committees—committees for decoration and illuminations, reception committees, committees for dinners and dances, school committees, committees to guide and instruct the British Press. These last-named bodies, to whom the debt of the visiting newspapermen was considerable, consisted not of delegated correspondents but of the editors and proprietors of the leading journals themselves. These gentlemen also took upon themselves the duty of making known throughout each State the story of the Prince's doings, thus giving to the business of publicity the best and most influential brains available, and placing at the disposal of the Overseas pressmen a constant reference to experience and local knowledge of the utmost value.


JUTLAND DAY AT MELBOURNE


WITH AUSTRALIA'S MOST DISTINGUISHED CITIZEN

[113]

With the Commonwealth Prime Minister an ex-Labour member, and with Labour Governments in power in several of the Australian state legislatures, no one can visit Melbourne, seat of the Commonwealth Government, without coming up against some of the industrial problems and prospects in this country. It has already been mentioned that, at the dinner given to the Prince by the Commonwealth Government, in Parliament Buildings, Mr. Frank Tudor, leader of the Labour Party in opposition to Mr. Hughes' Government, warmly seconded the toast of the Prince's health. I repeat this fact, as it seems to be indicative of the general attitude of Victorian labour towards the Royal visit. The British pressmen had the opportunity of meeting some of the Labour leaders, amongst them Mr. E. J. Holloway, Secretary of the Melbourne Trades Hall, and Mr. D. L. MacNamara, Labour Member of the Victoria Upper House. They are men of moderate views, while full of schemes for bettering the conditions of labour on this continent. Mr. MacNamara is the author of proposals, now forming part of the Australian Labour Party's platform, for revising the Commonwealth constitution, upon lines designed to make the will of the people supreme. He would abolish existing State governments, and divide the States into provinces administered by councils exercising only such functions as might, from time to time, be conferred upon them by the Commonwealth Government, the Upper Chamber in the latter to be done away with, thereby[114] leaving the lower Federal House a free hand to put through legislation beneficial to the masses. This scheme, whatever may be its intrinsic merits, is rather of theoretic than practical interest, as there is not much probability of any proposals for increasing the powers of the Commonwealth Government being accepted by the States, which are after all in paramount authority for the time being. It is nevertheless important as showing the constructive nature of problems with which Labour men in this part of Australia concern themselves. Mr. Holloway's activities have been chiefly connected with organizing proposals for the immediate advantage of workers, reducing their hours of work, and increasing their pay. Australian labour is watching developments in England, and a tendency is growing to substitute friendly round-table conferences between workers and employers for the less elastic processes of strikes and lock-outs which have so often been resorted to in the past.

There was no lack of evidence in Melbourne to show how closely the community, as a whole, is affected by the new distribution of political power. Smoke-room assertions that industry was being destroyed by the frequency of strikes need not be taken too seriously, since the manifest prosperity of the crowds and the well-ordered activities of the factories did not at the time confirm any such mournful supposition. It is apropos to mention, however, that in Melbourne places of business much capital is locked up in purely emergency apparatus for doing without such public utilities as water-supply, electricity and gas, these arrangements being designed to enable industry to continue during periods of municipal inactivity, a fact which is certainly significant[115] of the frequency of strikes in the past. Another noticeable feature is the far-reaching nature of the activities of the unions. In the sub-editorial rooms of the leading newspapers may be seen labour forms, to be filled up even by men holding well-paid appointments upon the staff, giving detailed particulars of hours of duty, overtime and emoluments.

Friendly personal interest, rather than anything deeper, was perhaps apparent in what some of the Labour men said about the Prince. Friendly personal interest was always there, however. Even those who were inclined to ascribe the wonderful reception in the streets to the Prince being "a good sport, and well advertised," readily admitted the desirability of the British connexion, and their own cordial wish to keep up old relationships in this new land. At the time of the Prince's visit correspondence appeared in the Melbourne Press on the subject of alleged Catholic lukewarmness in regard to Royalty, and it must be said that political trouble in Ireland has not been without its echo of difficulty in Victoria, though the extent of anything of the kind might be very easily exaggerated.

The wonder is, however, not that isolated exceptions should be found, but that, with all the divergent political ideals, and conflicting social conditions, necessarily met with in a large city of such recent growth as Melbourne, so generous a measure of warm-hearted loyalty should have been manifested, loyalty in which all sections of the community, including Labour, showed themselves to be in warm accord.


[116]

XIII

NEW SOUTH WALES

Towards the end of the visit to Melbourne it became plain that the tension of repeated functions and strenuous journeys had begun to tell upon the Prince. He held out manfully, but was clearly overtired. This was by no means surprising, at all events to any member of the tour party, for all had begun to feel a strain which fell in a degree vastly multiplied upon His Royal Highness.

That well-informed journal, "The Melbourne Argus," referring to the matter, said: "When the programme was arranged, before the arrival in Melbourne, the opinion was expressed in these columns that it was proposed to place too great a strain upon the Prince, and since his arrival it has become every day more evident that human strength is unequal to the tasks which have been set. The Prince has not made any complaint, but has most generously and courageously met all engagements. Only those in close association with him know the expenditure of nervous force which this conscientious discharge of duty has entailed."

Eventually the programme was altered so as to give H.R.H. an additional week in Melbourne, free from public engagements. The hope that he would rest, however, was not in any literal sense fulfilled, as he spent his[117] holiday in riding and golf, hardly less tiring than the public functions which the doctor had forbidden him. His staff were lucky if, after a long day spent in the saddle, he could be persuaded not to dance into the small hours. This strenuousness is characteristic. In the Renown he spent much of his spare time exercising on deck or playing squash racquets. A mile run was his not infrequent preparation for a long day of public engagements. It is an attractive habit, but in the case of one subjected as the Prince is, at short intervals, to emotional as well as physical strain it hardly carries the recuperative benefit that it might in ordinary circumstances. The rest in Melbourne, such as it was, enabled him to carry on throughout the remainder of the tour. He seemed occasionally to take every ounce out of himself, but he "carried on."

Melbourne's send-off, when the Prince ultimately left to proceed to Sydney, was, if possible, even more demonstrative than its reception when he arrived. Nine aeroplanes, soaring round the Ionic columns of Parliament Buildings, as dusk was falling, created the first stir in the immense crowd which waited along the road he was to take. Presently distant cheering was heard gradually coming nearer, as his car made its way from the Moone Valley racecourse, where he had spent the afternoon, to the top of Collins Street, where the official portion of the route commenced. Slowly the procession extricated itself from the mass of people who rushed up to say farewell, and assailed his car with offerings of flowers and wax Kewpie dolls for luck. A real horse-shoe, tied up in ribbon, was thrown by an admirer unable to get near enough to present it. It was perhaps owing to the good luck it brought that it[118] dropped harmlessly into the bottom of the Prince's car. Eventually, the procession was able to go forward along a barricaded lane kept by the police in the middle of the street. In this space children raced alongside, and a ripple of waving hats and handkerchiefs kept pace with the cars as they advanced, while the evening air rang with cries of "Good-bye, Digger": "Come Again!" interspersed with clapping and cheering. The Prince stood upon the seat of the car waving his hat through some miles of these demonstrations.

On the wharf at Port Melbourne a farewell address was presented by the local authorities beneath a gigantic arch inscribed "Australia Is Proud of You." Here the State Premier and other notables attended, also a guard-of-honour of the Royal Australian Naval Brigade. The reverberation of boots upon the wharf, as the crowd rushed afterwards to catch a last view of the Prince as he went up the gangway of the Renown, drowned the sound of a fife and drum band, operated by ladies in MacKenzie tartans, which banged on cheerfully alongside.

The Renown sailed at daylight, escorted out of harbour by a flotilla of Australian destroyers. The voyage was along a hilly shore for the most part covered with forest. The first port of call was in the wide, sheltered harbour of Jervis Bay, the Dartmouth of Australia. Here Sir Joseph Cook and Rear-Admiral Grant, with Captain Walters, Dr. Wheatly and other senior members of the Naval College, received the Prince, who inspected a smart guard-of-honour of cadets, and was subsequently shown over the institution, which is well arranged and up to date. The buildings include airy dormitories, comfortable study rooms, convenient lecture halls, commodious laboratories, and spacious gymnasium and[119] gun-room, and are built round a roomy grass "quarter-deck," on which the cadets in the course of the afternoon handsomely defeated the best Rugby football team that the Renown could produce. Nothing could exceed the pleasantness and wholesomeness of the atmosphere of this fine naval training college. The life by the cadets is an open-air one, and a more healthy and promising body of youngsters it would be impossible to find anywhere. They are being given a sound education amongst surroundings calculated to impress upon them the beauty and attractiveness of the land whose service they are about to enter. The harbour, at the foot of the college playing-fields, is to be the port of entrance to the federal territory of Canberra. The site of the new capital itself is only some seventy miles inland, a distance which is thought nothing of in this country of magnificent spaces. A railway has been surveyed to connect the two places, and a corridor of federal territory had been marked out, so that the entire line, including the port, may be out of reach of any state influence.

The Jervis Bay College is a step in the direction of making the fine fighting ships, which Australia already possesses, independent of the help of the Mother Country. Boys are growing up there who will hereafter command them, and perhaps build the big naval graving docks, that are so badly wanted in Australian waters, to enable the modern battleships of Great Britain to reinforce effectually those of Australia in any trouble that may arise in the Pacific.

"What do you think of our harbour?" is as inevitable a question in Sydney as "What do you think of America?" is in New York. It was soon[120] countered by the demand of the blue-jackets on the Renown, "And what do you think of our ship?" but its relevance was easy enough to understand, when, in the misty dawn, of what was mid-winter in Australia, but might have been a fine June day in England, we reached the high rocky headlands which guard the entrance to these wonderful inland waters.

A flotilla of war-vessels, including two Australian cruisers and a number of destroyers, escorted the Prince's ship into an aquatic amphitheatre. On all sides were beautiful wooded promontories sloping down to the edge of still pearly water. The slopes were studded with home-like villas, each gay in its own garden. Bays and inlets made shaded alleyways in all directions from the central expanse. Slowly the battle-cruiser threaded her way through the deep water marked but by buoys into the inner harbour. Hundreds of decorated motor-boats and dozens of double-decked ferry-steamers crowded round, each one of them a cheerful bouquet of brilliant parasols and fine-weather millinery. Well-groomed men, opulently dressed women, and smartly turned out boys and girls, on one boat after another waved handkerchiefs and Union Jacks, clapped, cheered, laughed, and sang. Brass bands banged out the National Anthem, and the usual petition to the Almighty to bless the Prince of Wales. The Prince waved and smiled in return, from his eyrie above the bridge, while fresh boats raced alongside, and continually restarted the hubbub.

As the Renown advanced up the harbour droves of rowing-boats and flocks of sailing craft added themselves to the now slow procession. Gatherings of people became visible as dark patches on the white[121] foreshore of every promontory. In the case of the rocky headland overlooking the middle harbour, the patch must have been many acres in extent. The Renown dropped anchor half a mile from Farm Cove, a sheltered gap in the encircling hills. The Prince went ashore in his launch, through a decorated cheering sea-lane of tugs, ferry-steamers, rowing-boats and yachts. He landed on a shaded beach, the slope behind solidly crammed with people, while beside the water, in a grove of bunting and greenery, were assembled the most distinguished men to be found in this part of Australia. Those present included the Governor-General, the Prime Minister, the State Governor, the State Premier, Members of the Commonwealth Government resident in New South Wales, the whole of the State legislature, Ministers, Judges in robes and wigs, Admirals and Generals in the last inch of permitted gold-lace. Immediately behind was a decorated marquee in which were the civic officials, including the Lord Mayor of Sydney in municipal robes and ermine, who presented an address. A naval guard-of-honour was drawn up on one side of the marquee, and a military guard-of-honour on the other. Salutes were fired, bands played, the guards-of-honour were inspected, the principal people were presented. The address was replied to, and amidst much cheering the Prince was conducted up a decorated staircase to the top of the cliff where a number of four-in-hands with large mounted escorts of "diggers" were in waiting to convey him through the city. The proceedings differed from those on the occasion of the entry into Melbourne in that they took place in bright morning sunshine, instead of in the fading light of evening. The route, including as it[122] did long straight stretches of undulating ground, enabled the brilliant pageant of flags, escorts and pennants to be seen as a whole as the procession jingled through five miles of densely packed people.

The way was kept by returned soldiers and cadets. Triumphal arches, constructed throughout of such characteristic Australian products as wool-bales, corn-sheaves, or balks of timber, dotted it at intervals. Avenues of white colonnades supported flags and bunting which stretched continuously for miles. Sightseers festooned the parapets, crowded the balconies, tapestried the windows with eager faces, and formed a solid mass between the wooden barriers of the processional lane and the plate-glass show-fronts of the business houses.

In substantial Macquarie Street the Prince stopped to greet a terribly large community of crippled soldiers, who sat patiently in motors and bath-chairs by the wayside, attended by nursing sisters. Further on a no less touching spectacle awaited him, in a great gathering of black-garbed mothers, widows and orphans of diggers killed at the front, a pathetic reminder that, of the four hundred thousand soldiers raised by voluntary enlistment in Australia during the war, only one in two escaped wounds or death. Here the pressure was dense; and spectators, we heard, paid a shilling a minute to stand on packing-cases to look over one another's heads.

The route ended on the shady lawns of Admiralty House, where the Prince inspected a great company of war-workers, who stood in ranks of variegated colour, including the red and grey of sisters who served in hospitals overseas, and the white and black of those whose no less[123] devoted labour kept public utilities active at home while the manhood of the nation was in the field. Before entering the building where he was to stay the Prince shook hands with no less than ten wearers of the Victoria Cross.

The reception was over. Perhaps the feature in it which struck the visitor most, next to its magnificence and enthusiasm, was the light-heartedness of the crowds. After the Prince had passed, and had been everywhere cheered, Mr. Hughes, the Commonwealth Prime Minister, Mr. Storey, the State Premier, and other ministers who were further back in the procession were subjected to volleys of chaff and counter-chaff from supporters and opponents, in which they themselves joined with the utmost goodwill. Even the crashing into the harbour, close alongside the reception wharf, of one of the aeroplanes employed on escort duty, upset the equanimity of nobody. A motor-launch promptly picked up the soused aviators, who seemed to find the accident the greatest of larks.

The country round was as much interested in the visit as the city itself. For days before the Prince's coming special trains, crowded to their utmost capacity, had followed one another in quick succession into Sydney from localities sometimes hundreds of miles away in the back blocks. One heard of a father who squeezed his family of tiny children into one of these special trains, and was then unable to get a foothold on it for himself. The mites went to Sydney unaccompanied, but lacked for nothing, either upon the way or when they arrived, for every soul upon the train was prepared to father and mother them.

The ten days which followed were crowded with public functions in[124] which what seemed to be the entire population of Sydney participated outside, if not inside, the place of occurrence. One of the principal was the state banquet in the enormous town-hall. Seven hundred and twenty diners here sat down. Three thousand of Sydney's maids and matrons watched the proceedings from the galleries on either side, and at a given signal after the dinner, when the Prince proposed "The Ladies," there was a sound like a vast flight of pigeons and three thousand Union Jacks fluttered into the air. The ladies had responded for themselves. Crowds blocked the wide streets for half a mile round the building, throughout the whole of the proceedings, and took up the cheering again and again. The toasts of the evening were honoured, not only in the banquet hall itself, but by some hundred of thousands outside as well.

Mr. Storey, the Premier of the Labour Government in power in New South Wales, made a most cordial speech in proposing the Prince's health. He described the Royal guest as a democrat in whose presence he felt no embarrassment in speaking frankly. He welcomed him on behalf of New South Wales, and declared that the Royal family had always shown sympathy with the ideals for which Labour men everywhere stood. In the course of his reply, the Prince said: "I realize to the full the great part which New South Wales and Sydney have played, and must always play, in the history of Australia. This wonderful city is the cradle of the magnificent development which has made the Australian Commonwealth. The whole thing started here, and in later days you were foremost in the movement of ideas which led to federation. The greatest of all the statesmen who first worked for federation, Henry Parkes, was a Sydney[125] man, and a Premier of New South Wales. The first Australian Prime Minister, Sir Edmund Barton, also came from New South Wales. It is amazing to think that New South Wales holds two-fifths of the population of the whole Commonwealth and that Sydney holds more than half of the population of New South Wales. That fact alone shows the vast importance, not only to the Commonwealth, but to the future of the whole Empire, of this state and its lovely capital. Sydney is indeed the London of the Southern Hemisphere."

It is characteristic of Australia that the Commonwealth banquet in Sydney, at which the Prince subsequently made what was probably his principal speech during the tour, was an outwardly less imposing function than was the state dinner I have just described. The Commonwealth banquet was given in one of the upper stories of a fine building in Martin's Place erected under the direction of Sir Denison Miller, founder of that great national organization the Commonwealth Bank, which now handles the entire finances of the central Government, including the raising of loans and the issue of currency.

At the Commonwealth dinner the Governor-General presided and Mr. Hughes made one of those felicitous speeches which have won him a European reputation, though they are themselves surpassed by his lightning humour and uncompromising common sense in the cut and thrust of debate. "Time," he said, "circumstances, and the age-long struggles for freedom by men who held liberty dearer than life, have fashioned the constitution under which we live. The monarchy is an integral part of it. If Britain decided to adopt a republican form of Government that would be the[126] end of the Empire as we know it to-day. The Empire has grown. It is, if you like, the most illogical of institutions. It is composed of many free nations very jealous of their own rights, and brooking no interference with these. Yet, to the outside world, it is, in time of danger, one. And the institution which binds all these together is the Monarchy of England." The Prince in reply declared that there was no finer body of men than those which Australia sent to represent her in the various theatres of the war. He went on to sum up the aspirations of Australia in the words of Sir Edmund Barton, "a continent for a nation, and a nation for a continent," and evoked a storm of cheering when he declared, "I am quite sure of one thing, that as Australia stands by the Empire, so will the Empire stand by Australia for all time."

The enthusiasm that characterized the Prince's entry into Sydney, and the State and Commonwealth banquets given there in his honour, became if possible more and not less accentuated as his visit wore on. Outstanding everywhere was the tumultuous cordiality with which he was greeted by enormous crowds. The same thing occurred at the races, at the gala performance at His Majesty's Theatre, at the parade of returned men, at a wonderful display by state school-children, also when he entered the chief military hospital beneath an arch of crutches, and when fifty thousand people passed before him in the town-hall.

The whole was an experience which can never be forgotten by any of those who had the good fortune to be there. The popular reception in the town-hall was especially impressive. Here, standing on the dais in[127] the centre of this fine building, the Lord Mayor of Sydney alongside, and a number of ministers, judges and soldiers, grouped about him, the Prince, in plain grey jacket suit and soft brown hat, received the salutes of a great multitude of men, women and children—the blind man led by friends, the old lady who must see the Prince before she died, the baby who would be able to say in years to come that it was present. The people were shepherded past by members of the local police, for whose patience and courtesy it is impossible to express too great admiration, in one long, smiling, curtsying, hat-doffing stream. Numerous barriers had been erected, but there was no crushing whatever. It was a demonstration of orderliness and public spirit of the very best.

Another picturesque function was where, under the twinkling pendants of the big chandeliers in the ballroom of Sydney's Government House, beneath the portrait of his ancestor George III, and before a brilliant assemblage of naval and military officers, judges, ministers, civic authorities, and members of consular bodies, the Prince shook hands with several hundreds of representative men belonging to all sections and communities of the Australian continent. Interesting also was the day he spent amongst the young folk. It began with a visit to the Sydney Cricket-Ground where twelve thousand children of the local Government primary schools, headed by Mr. Mutch, Minister for Education, Mr. Board, Director of Education, and Colonel Strong, Chairman of the Executive Committee, organized and supervised a picturesque exhibition of physical drill. The children deployed upon the grass in the centre, where they went through evolutions and exercises, and arranged themselves so as[128] to form patriotic emblems and messages of welcome. Fifty thousand parents and relations occupied gigantic stands around the ground and added a bass to the treble of the children's cheering.

Later on the Prince proceeded to the University. On the way he passed through some of the less fashionable quarters of Sydney, where he was warmly received by crowds consisting largely of artisans, amongst whom his popularity seemed to grow each day he remained in Australia. At the University, a place with fine buildings, in pleasant country surroundings, on the outskirts of the city, he was cheered by some two thousand undergraduates, five hundred girl students, and a big gathering of graduates and members of their families. The great hall, with stained-glass mullioned windows, dark grained timber roof and grey stone walls, broken by a long array of mellowing oil portraits, where the Chancellor, Sir William Cullen, read an address, recalled the beautiful precincts of Christchurch, Oxford, upon which it appears to be designed. The feeling of home was heightened, alike by stained-glass portraits of Cardinal Wolsey and other famous founders of Oxford and Cambridge colleges, and by the presence in the assemblage of a number of red and black Oxford hoods amongst the grey ones worn by graduates of the Sydney University. The gathering included a fine body of students in uniform, many of them wearing war-decorations won overseas. The blue and gold flag of the University corps occupied a place of honour at one end.

Replying to the address, the Prince referred to the profoundly important work the Sydney University was doing, and its splendid record in the war, and went on to say: "The generation which faced the war ennobled your traditions, fine as those already were, and left a great example of personal service to the King and Empire for the present generation to pursue."


GOVERNMENT HOUSE GARDENS, NEW SOUTH WALES


PERTH, FROM THE KING'S PARK

[129]

Replying later to an undergraduate address read by Captain Allen, M.C., the Prince said: "You have referred to my comradeship with your own two thousand fellow students who went to the front in the great war, and I assure you there is no part of my experience which I value more than my long association with those gallant troops, both officers and men." Concluding he said: "Many of you are now completing or beginning a university course after service in the field. I hope that these will not find themselves handicapped by the time they spent overseas." It was a hope that perhaps the easier conditions and nearer prospects of young life in Australia may well fulfil. In any case its expression was one of the many graceful gestures of consideration that did so much to bring the Prince close to the hearts of the people of that country.


[130]

XIV

SOME COMMONWEALTH AFFAIRS

"One heritage we share though seas divide" surmounted one of the decorated arches on the route traversed by the Prince on the day of the military review at the Centennial Park, Sydney—a phrase no doubt, but one that expressed the sentiment which pervaded this striking occasion. Major-General Sir Charles Rosenthal commanded the parade, which included a naval detachment under Lt.-Commander Patrick, a body of Light Horse under Major-General Ryrie, and portions of five Divisions respectively under Brigadiers Bennett, Martin, Jobson, Herring, and Christian. The command was made up entirely of demobilized men, who, despite cold grey weather on a full working day, had donned service uniform and assembled—many of them from long distances—to do honour to the heir to the Throne. The numbers present were not precisely ascertainable, as the men were not under discipline, but had turned up of their own accord. Estimates of how many attended therefore varied considerably, but any number up to twenty thousand may have been there.

When the Prince reached the ground he found the units drawn up in formation about half a mile in length in front of him. Long lines of[131] bath-chairs and motors were on his left, filled with disabled men who had been brought from sanatoria and hospitals in the districts around. Behind him some thirty thousand spectators joined in the cheering. The Prince went down the lines, shook hands with all the officers and spoke to a number of the men. He also shook hands with every disabled soldier present. The proceedings terminated with a general march past in column, so arranged that the disabled men could see their old regiments go by.

A sequel to the military review was a visit a few days later to Duntroon College, the Sandhurst of Australia. Daylight on the shortest day in the Australian mid-winter found the Royal train, now on the standard four-feet-eight-inch gauge of New South Wales, speeding through dry, rolling country, dotted with occasional blue gums beneath whose tattered foliage sheep were picking a wholesome meal. Bright sunshine reminded one that it was Australia, though the cold wind, which drove clouds of dust and grit into our faces, might have been from a March east in England. At the township of Queanbeyan, where the Prince changed into a motor-car, the entire population had assembled and the usual ceremonies of welcome were gone through. The country beyond Queanbeyan was open, and barbed wire fences bounded the road on either side most of the way to Duntroon, which proved to be a pleasant garden township of white-walled houses, set upon a low hill amongst many trees.

Senator Pearce, Commonwealth Minister for Defence, and General Legge, Commandant of the College, with a group of red-tabbed field officers, received the Prince on a sheltered lawn overlooking a wide grassy plain reserved for aeroplane manœuvres. Those presented included a number[132] of the professors whose rank between soldier and pedagogue was quaintly expressed by their black mortar-boards and college gowns which only partially concealed service uniforms and war-decorations. The Prince afterwards saw the cadets at exercise in the gymnasium, and took the salute of one hundred and twenty of them as they marched smartly past on the parade ground. Addressing them afterwards in the big mess-hall at the dinner-hour, he recalled the fine war history of the college, which had lost no less than forty-eight of its students in battle, and was cheered when he repeated the story of that gallant soldier General Bridges, who had found his way from the Kingston Military College, in Canada, to make a new Kingston in Duntroon, and to lead Duntroon's first contingent of trained officers to Gallipoli, where he himself was killed.

It was dinner-time and "Carry on" was the word passed round to the cadets, when H.R.H. had finished his speech, and the cheering had momentarily died down. The soup was then served at all the tables, but it must have grown cold while cheer after cheer followed the Prince as he left the hall and re-entered his motor en route for Canberra, a place only a few miles distant.

The way from Duntroon climbed slowly through undulating, park-like country, dotted with blue gums, two thousand feet above sea level. Freshly made roads, with water-pipes and sewers laid on, presently indicated that the site of the much debated new capital of the Commonwealth had been reached. The scene continued to be rural, however. The pleasant stream, which meandered amongst willow trees and grassy[133] solitudes at the foot of the hill—where the Prince subsequently added a foundation-stone to the already considerable number of these expressions of hope and faith—might have been a hundred miles from civilization of any kind. The little river gave to the scene that touch of verdure so grateful in the dry and dusty bush, and one day will doubtless be spanned by the arched bridges of the Commonwealth's capital. At present it must be confessed that the metropolis is hardly more than a sketch of itself, and a sketch that presents no very distinctive features.

The importance of Canberra, however, is not to be judged from the present condition of the site. As the Prince pointed out in his speech at the ceremony, although the city still consists largely of foundation-stones, this is chiefly because the war has delayed progress with the scheme of construction. Mr. Groom, Commonwealth Minister for Public Works, who presided, summed up the position when he said, "Victory having been happily achieved, once more the mind of the nation is reverting to the provision of a national seat of Government where Australia will be mistress in her own house, and where there will be no room for the complaint of provincial influence in pursuit of national aims." The idea thus expressed that the Commonwealth administration should have a territory of its own, away from the influence of any individual state, holds the imagination of the majority of Australians. It is an idea that has worked out satisfactorily alike in Canada and the United States, where the circumstances, which justified the building of Ottawa and Washington in the past, are essentially similar to those of Australia to-day. The fact that India's endeavours at capital building[134] at Delhi may not yet have met with corresponding success, does not affect the matter, since the conditions in a bureaucracy differ essentially from those obtaining in the democratic association of self-determining Dominions.

Public opinion in Sydney supports the Canberra scheme on the practical ground that it will bring the Commonwealth capital nearer to itself. Melbourne is naturally lukewarm, since the present arrangement whereby the central legislature meets there, so long as Canberra does not materialize, is one that local pride desires to see continue as long as possible. The remainder of the States, while not very actively enthusiastic about a scheme which must necessarily divert a large sum of public money from railway and other useful local projects, recognizes that the atmosphere surrounding the Commonwealth Government would be none the worse for being removed from the wire-pullings of state politics. Scenic beauty, healthfulness, a good water-supply, and accessibility to the two principal Commonwealth centres of population and industry, combine to justify the choice of Canberra for the purpose concerned, and the fact that a sum of some two million sterling of public money has already been sunk in preparing the site, increases the probability that the scheme will eventually be brought to completion.

One of the party accompanying the Prince on his visit to Canberra was a minister of state, who loved to tell how he had left his home in the Canberra district on a push-bike to seek his fortune twenty years before, now to return, in company with the Prince of Wales and as the responsible head of an important Government department. Like every one else who knows this part of the country, he overflowed with enthusiasm[135] as to the healthful prospects of its future. It was from him, I believe, that the Prince first heard the ancient tale of the cemetery for which, after long and infructuous waiting upon local necessity, the inhabitants were driven to import a corpse from outside. That cemetery has served many a rising town. It must be closed by now except for purposes of historical research, but no doubt Canberra's claim to it will be justified when the time comes.

Another expedition from Sydney was by train and launch, up the Hawkesbury river, and on to Newcastle. On this occasion the Prince was accompanied by the entire New South Wales Labour Cabinet, including Premier Storey. One of the features of the trip was a remarkable demonstration on the part of the men working in the Sydney railway sheds, who assembled in large numbers along the line, and shouted good wishes as the Prince's train went out. Every engine in the big station yard at the same time blew a shrill accord on its whistle, a choral accompaniment which was as convincing as it was deafening.

Addresses were presented, on the way, at the towns of Parramatta and Windsor, while the residents, along fifty miles of the river traversed by the Royal launch, assembled at the water's edge and waved flags and cheered as the Prince went through what is probably one of the most beautiful water-ways in the world. At Hawkesbury River Landing, where the Prince rejoined the train and met a number of mothers and widows of men fallen in the war, the entire station had been decorated by the unpaid labour of those working upon the line. At Fassifern, which he went through after nightfall, the entire valley was lighted up by[136] bonfires, and the station and wharf at the small township of Toronto, where the Prince spent a night at the house of Mr. Duncan McGeachie, was a fantasy of Chinese lanterns.

The following morning the Prince received and replied to an address on the local pier which juts out into the beautiful Macquarie lake. Here, waving over his head, was a Canadian flag, presented to this Australian namesake by the capital city of Ontario. From Toronto the Prince was taken by train past a number of the pit-heads of one of the richest mining districts in Australia, at that time supplying coal at the very reasonable price of seventeen shillings per ton f.o.b. on the seaboard. Every heap of slack and every railway truck, as the Prince's train went by, had upon it a contingent of miners who cheered in a way to warm the coldest heart.

Newcastle, the second city of New South Wales, was reached at noon. The Prince, on alighting, was received by the Mayor and Corporation, supported by a smart guard-of-honour of naval cadets and an immense crowd of spectators. He crossed the harbour by launch and landed on the low marshy foreshore of Walsh Island. Here he shook hands with a long line of returned men, employed in the shipbuilding yards, who gave him a most cordial reception. Similar scenes were repeated, at least half a dozen times in the course of the day, at the entrance to each set of works. At Walsh Island, over which he was conducted by Mr. Estell, State Minister of Works, and Mr. Cutler, General Manager, New South Wales Shipbuilding, he launched a fine six-thousand-ton freight steamer, built by state enterprise on behalf of the Commonwealth Government. The launching was to have taken place at flood tide, but, owing to[137] postponement of the Prince's visit, had to be done at the ebb. A strong west wind on the ship's quarter added to the difficulty of the undertaking which was entirely overcome, the ship taking the water beautifully.

These vessels are an interesting example of state enterprise in New South Wales. They are designed to carry produce away from Australia, and to bring British emigrants back. There was at the time plenty of demand for their services, as thousands of would-be settlers were awaiting passages in the old country, and wheat was rotting in Australian granaries that was badly wanted to reduce prices of bread in Europe. The claim was made for them that they were being built at rates materially lower than those offering for the construction of similar vessels in any dockyard in the world at the time the contracts were given out. The cost, I was told, ranged from £31 per ton until the last rise in wages took place, which brought the rate up to about £35. At the time of the Prince's visit no workman employed in the yard was receiving less than fourteen shillings and fourpence daily, the average being very much higher than this figure. The vessel launched was the fifth of six uniform steamers under state construction. The four previously completed had been rated "A1" at Lloyds.

After leaving the Government dockyard, the Prince was taken over works of private enterprise of even larger significance, the steel-furnaces, rolling-mills and rod-mills of the Broken Hill Proprietary Company, which are also located in Newcastle. Here he was conducted by Mr. Delprat, general manager, and Mr. Baker, local manager, and saw the[138] whole of the processes, from the emptying of three open-hearth blast furnaces, to the conversion of glowing molten steel into 72-lb. railway rails, of which these works claim to have manufactured, last year, some hundred and sixty thousand tons. The capacity of the works is very much larger even than this amount, two separate strikes having reduced out-turn in this period. The price paid for these rails by the various state railways in Australia, which now depend almost entirely upon this source of supply, was thirteen pounds per ton. I learnt also that the average pay of the labour employed in the works was about one pound sterling daily per man. The profit upon the £4,000,000 capital of the concern is such that its one-pound shares were quoted in the Sydney Stock Exchange the day the Prince went over the works at sixty-four shillings apiece.

After seeing the steel-works, the Prince was conducted by Mr. MacDougall over a neighbouring wire and nail factory, which claims to be now filling the entire demand of Australia for plain-wire fencing. The firm was preparing to set up additional machinery upon a large scale to make barbed wire which Australia has hitherto bought in Europe. The significance of this development is considerable, since barbed wire forms the top, as smooth wire does the lower strands, of fences of which hundreds of thousands of miles are already in existence in Australia, and millions of miles more have still to be built.

After leaving the wire-works, the Prince drove in procession, through decorated, crowded, cheering streets, to a sheltered park overlooking the Pacific, where thirty thousand people had assembled and Mayor Gibson read a civic address. In the course of his reply the Prince[139] dwelt upon the remarkable industrial development of Newcastle. "Your harbour," he noted, "your shipping facilities and your manufactures have greatly enhanced the importance this district has possessed from the earliest date on account of its rich deposits of coal."

Leaving Newcastle in the afternoon by train, the Prince returned to Sydney through a pleasant land of tidy orange plantations and ragged blue-gum bush. On the way he held a reception in the city of Gosford, and saw further reaches of the beautiful Hawkesbury river. A record crowd cheered him at Sydney railway station, and along the route to the harbour where he rejoined the Renown.


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XV

WESTERN AUSTRALIA

The Prince went from Sydney two thousand miles by sea to Western Australia, a state as large as the combined areas of England, France, Germany, Austria, Spain, and Holland, with a population of less than half a million people to develop this stupendous territory.

On the way, in traversing the Australian Bight, that borders the southern coast of the continent, the Renown encountered weather remarkably bad even for this region of frequent gales. Green seas swept over forecastle and quarter-deck alike. The engines were slowed down. The big ship strained, clanked, and groaned, but proved her seaworthiness magnificently. The waves were still high in King George's Sound outside Albany, where owing to shallow water the Renown had to lie four miles from land in a wide and but partially sheltered bay. Where the shore could be seen it lay in rocky grass-grown hummocks, on which the surf beat heavily. A picket boat conveyed the Prince and his staff through a narrow entrance into the small landlocked harbour, where they landed on a desolate pier, wet decorations flapping dismally in cold wind and spray. The entire population had turned out, however, despite the weather. The Governor of Western Australia, Sir Francis[141] Newdegate, the State Premier, Mr. Mitchell, and a number of other members of the Government awaited the Prince upon the pier. The Mayor of Albany read an address from a wind-swept platform in front of a town hall prominently situated on a low hill facing a wide street that led down to the harbour. The crowd here was a varied one. It included traders, merchants, commission-agents, and manufacturers belonging to Albany itself, also large numbers of fruit-growers and farmers from stations in the interior of this prosperous land of orchards and wheatfields. Gatherings of returned soldiers and school children, also nurses and other war-workers flanked the general assemblage. A night train journey followed through rolling country and bush, with arable fields, apple orchards and orange gardens which looked most attractive next morning in brilliant sunshine in the freshest of rain-washed air.

The Prince was cheered by gatherings at many wayside stations, including Parkerville, where a number of children, in charge of gentle-faced sisters in black robes, sang patriotic songs in the chill morning air as the train went through. About noon he alighted at Perth, capital of Western Australia, an extraordinarily beautiful city, with wide streets and solid masonry houses, situated on the low banks of the picturesque Swan River—here so wide as to be almost a lagoon.

The streets were decorated and lined with cheerful people. Those who received the Prince included the Governor, the State Premier, the Mayor, Mr. Lathlain, the Chief Justice, Sir R. MacMillan, the leader of the State Opposition, Mr. P. Collier, the Chairman of the Reception[142] Committee, General Sir Talbot Hobbs, also most of the other members of the local houses of Parliament and of the Perth municipal corporation. The Prince went through the usual inspection of naval and military guards-of-honour, and then proceeded by motor-car through the city, which looked delightfully fresh in bright winter sunshine. The crowd was lined up behind wooden barriers on either side of a lane kept by blue-jackets from H.M.A.S. Sydney, also men of the Royal Australian Naval Reserve, and returned soldiers, cadets and scouts. The route taken was some two miles in length. It lay through the principal business and residential streets, the crowd extending the entire distance, clapping, cheering, laughing and flag-waving as the Prince went by. The procession disappeared inside the shady grounds of Government House, a place of green lawns and rose-bushes blossoming in the shade of banana-trees and Insignis pines.

Later on H.R.H. visited the principal theatre, where he addressed several thousand returned sailors, soldiers and nurses. He congratulated them on their services, alike during the war and since their return home, where they had shown that they stood for the maintenance of law and order. From the theatre the Prince went on to a big civic luncheon in the Town Hall, where Mayor Lathlain told an appreciative audience of their guest's keen personal interest in the welfare of the people of the Dominions. He also mentioned the fact that the Prince had come as representing "the dear old Motherland, the heart of the Empire, the land upon whose Navy so largely depends Australia's ability to carry on her peaceful avocations." H.R.H. was loudly cheered when he rose to reply,[143] and his pleasant little speech evoked the greatest enthusiasm. He felicitated Perth and Western Australia generally upon their wonderful progress, of which much had been achieved within the memory of the present generation. He said he knew Western Australia's record in the Great War, and desired also to congratulate its women—alike those who had gone abroad and those who had worked at home. An investiture at Government House and a State ball completed the day's work.

The visit to Perth lasted about a week. It had several memorable features, among them a review, when, in a wide thoroughfare bordered by pleasant residences bearing such British names as Ilfracombe, Warwick House, and St. George's Terrace, the Prince stood, framed in a background of crowded grandstands, taking the salutes of a number of thousands of Australians, including a solid contingent of blue-jackets, a yet larger one of returned soldiers, some in khaki, some in mufti, cohorts of cadets and boy scouts, both naval and military, phalanxes of red cross nurses in smart white dresses, and girl guides in a dense column of blue, followed by what seemed an endless procession of children, every school within ten miles of Perth being represented.

From the review the Prince went to Mayor Lathlain's "people's garden-party" in the National Park. Here upon a dais beneath a statue of his great grandmother, Queen Victoria, in the shelter of big timber-trees, commanding a magnificent view of the city and the river, he stood for an hour while the people of Perth streamed past in column. Babies were carried pick-a-back on their fathers' shoulders, men doffed hats, mothers and daughters waved hands, handkerchiefs or flags, as[144] they passed. One old lady delayed the line to shake hands with him, but accepted the Admiral's clasp as a makeshift, the Prince being too busy taking off his hat and returning eight smiles at a time to have a hand to spare. Everybody was so engrossed gazing at the visitor, every head turning on its neck for a long backward glance after the dais had been passed, that hardly an eye was drawn off when a noisy aeroplane, which had been stunting unnoticed in the Prince's honour overhead, suddenly swooped out of intolerable oblivion to within a hundred feet of him.

A further notable function was the State banquet at Perth Government House. Here were present all the leaders of thought and enterprise in Western Australia, politicians, administrators, squatters, settlers, traders, naval and military commanders, ministers, judges, ten V.C.'s, and everybody else who counted. Grace was said by that soldierly episcopal, Archbishop Riley, who, as a Chaplain-in-Chief of the Australian forces in the field, is known and loved from one end of Australia to the other. The Prince's health was proposed by Premier Mitchell. After it had been drunk with the usual cheering and waving of napkins, H.R.H. made a speech. "Your policy," he said, "is to draw settlers from the old country, at the same time ensuring that they shall not suffer from lack of experience when they are first put upon the land of their adopted country. I am delighted to hear that you are giving to Imperial ex-service men the same chance of starting life upon the land when they arrive in this state, as you give your own diggers. I can think of no more admirable way than this of continuing the splendid traditions of the war and maintaining our united British spirit." It[145] was a note which has often been sounded since to appreciation and applause throughout the Empire.

One of the expeditions made from the state capital was by launch down the wide placid reaches of the Swan River, still the haunt of the black swan, emblem of Western Australia, to hold a reception at the port of Fremantle, some ten miles distant, where the river joins the sea. No black swans graced the occasion, only an occasional porpoise leapt alongside the launch as it entered the estuary. The entire population of the countryside lined the banks as the vessel went past, every village, settlement, and factory en route contributing its quota, which in the case of saw-mills, cold-storage plant and electricity works, consisted almost entirely of workmen.

Arrived at Fremantle the entire city was found awaiting the Prince, crowding the pier and lined up along the streets. Naval and military guards-of-honour, with bands, saluted. The chairman and members of the Harbour Trust and the Mayor and members of the city council stood bare-headed as he made his landing. From the pier he was conducted in procession, first to a picturesque display by thousands of children, and afterwards to the big "Anzac" military hospital where convalescent patients were drawn up with doctors and nurses outside, and where the warmth of the cheers that came from the wards, where he went round the beds of those too ill to move, was more than touching.

Speaking later at a civic luncheon, the Prince looked forward to Fremantle's eventually becoming one of the leading harbours in the Empire, the importance of its position as the first port of call on the western seaboard being emphasized by the completion of the[146] trans-continental railway. Returning to Perth later in the afternoon by motor-car, he was taken through the magnificent National Park, a well-kept forest upland, full of fine timber, including a whole avenue, each individual tree dedicated to some West Australian soldier fallen in the war. Just before entering this park, the Prince passed some thousands of children drawn from schools in the Cottesloe, Claremont and Subiaco municipal areas, who stood hardily in the rain in the open to wave their flags and sing their patriotic songs.

Still another rewarding expedition was by car to some of the fruit gardens near Perth. Orange groves in the dips and apple orchards on the rising slopes made odd neighbours. The apple-trees were bare, but oranges hung in the golden profusion of Malta or Seville. Fifty acres of this fruit in some cases meant a clear income of over a thousand pounds per annum to the fortunate owner after paying for all labour other than his own. The orchard zone was near the coast. Further inland is one of the wide wheat-belts which feed Australia and furnish a surplus for Great Britain. Beyond this again begin the cattle-stations of the Great North-West. Perth was buzzing with the Great North-West. A commission composed of parliamentarians and publicists had just returned, loaded with information and optimism, from a two-thousand mile expedition through it by motor. In addition the highways were blocked and the views were obscured by mountainous men, full of deep cocktails and deliberate conversation, who had descended from this region for the occasion of the Prince's visit. Some of these genial giants worked, as private pasture, areas ranging to over two million acres. They seemed in themselves[147] a sufficient indication of what the country could produce, and an adequate reason for railway enterprise in their direction. In this state land nationalizes may note the character of the movement towards small holdings. It has recently been laid down that no peasant or other proprietor shall obtain a fresh grant of more than one million acres. Not a long step toward communistic property, but possibly a beginning.


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XVI

WHEAT, GOLD, AND LOGGING

The state saw-mills and logging-camps of Pemberton, about a hundred miles southward along the coast, made an important fixture from Perth. On this occasion the Prince was accompanied by the Premier and other members of the West Australian State Government and was conducted by Mr. Humphries, state saw-mills manager. He was taken over mills where the enduring Karri trees in trunks sixty feet long and seven feet through were being sliced by revolving saws into uniform railway sleepers for export. He also made his way, in heavy rain, partly by railway and partly on foot, up gorges of great natural beauty in the heart of a dripping forest, himself took a hand with sinewy axe-men and sturdy sawyers, in the felling of these giant trees, and saw their subsequent extraction from swampy thickets by teams each comprising, in some cases, twenty-four splendid locally bred Clydesdale horses, in others a score and a half of equally fine Australian bullocks.

In the presence of a gathering of the entire logging force and their wives and children, who gave him the most cordial reception, the Prince afterwards presided at a local log-chopping contest in which champion woodmen from all parts of Western Australia competed. The excitement[149] of the forest community of onlookers was intense, and considerable sums changed hands upon the result. The men were given trunks of as nearly as possible equal thickness and hardness to hew through. The less proficient received a certain number of seconds' start. Axes fell with marvellous rapidity and precision, slices rather than chips flew incredible distances in pre-ordained directions—it was a remarkable exhibition of muscle rivalling machinery. One of the long-handicap men eventually won from the scratch competitor, a magnificent young giant who was about a second behind. The logs cut through were about fifteen inches in diameter. Most of the axes used bore the names of American manufacturers, and had edges still razor-like after the contest was over.

A fine exhibition of table-vegetables, grown in pockets in the neighbouring hills, was also shown to the Prince. Rich land close to the railway suitable for market-gardening and already cleared is to be had in this region, it seems, at £25 per acre. It is claimed to produce per acre from six to nine tons of potatoes, which were fetching on the spot £12 per ton. The principal prize-winner was a Scotch gardener, who told the Prince he had come but six years previously without any capital whatever, and that his holding was now clear of debt and valued at £1,300.

On the way back to Perth the Prince had his first and only experience during the tour of a railway accident. Speaking of it in a reply to the toast of his health at a public dinner at Perth, a few days after it occurred, Premier Mitchell expressed thankfulness that the Prince had escaped unhurt. His Royal Highness in reply treated the matter from a[150] humorous point of view. He did not regret, he said, to have been able to add a harmless railway accident to his Australian experiences. The mishap was very much nearer to being a disastrous one, however, than this would suggest. It occurred on a single-track, three-foot-six-inch line, in swampy Westralian forest, some ten miles from the township of Bridgetown. The Royal train was a heavy one, consisting of some nine corridor sleeping coaches. It had passed over the spot, which was on a curve, the same morning on the way to Pemberton. Heavy rain fell in the course of the day, and on the return journey at about three o'clock in the afternoon, the track had become so soft that the rails gave way.

The train was, fortunately, only going at about fifteen miles an hour at the time, having had to slow down owing to cattle on the lines. The rear saloon, which was occupied by H.R.H. and Admiral Halsey, seems to have been the first to leave the line. The saloon immediately in front, which contained the remainder of the Royal staff and most of the state party, afterwards followed it. The derailed wheels then bumped along over the sleepers, which they cut up in the most complete manner, the line for two hundred and thirty yards being converted into a tangled mass of twisted rails and broken splinters. The engine-driver felt the jolting and applied the brakes. This happily took the way off the train, for a moment later the two derailed vehicles rolled over the soft embankment, here a couple of feet high, and lay on the ground below, all their wheels in the air. The train came to a standstill, the coupling between the wrecked and the unwrecked portions remaining intact. The Prince[151] and his staff were still inside. Heads quickly appeared through windows now pointing to the sky, and the occupants of the front saloons, who had hastily jumped out, learnt to their relief that nobody had been seriously hurt. One after another the members of the Royal party, including the Premier and other state ministers, were extricated through the windows, now the only means of egress.

While this was happening smoke began to issue from the first of the two overturned saloons. Investigation showed that this was from the cooks' galley, which, in falling, had set the saloon on fire. The flames were promptly extinguished with water brought from the portion of the train still upon the rails. Ten minutes later the Prince, who had declined to move till he had collected his overturned papers, cheerfully climbed out, being thus, sailor-like, the last to leave the wreck. He had been talking to Admiral Halsey when the derailment took place, and was pinned between overturned pieces of furniture when the coach rolled over, thus escaping falling through the plate-glass window, a thing which occurred to several members of the party, including the Premier. The only person at all materially hurt, however, was Surgeon-Commander Newport, the Prince's doctor, who cut his shin rather badly when he went through the window, an incredibly small casualty list for the nature of the accident.

All the fittings that were movable flew through the air when the upset took place. A large mirror in the Prince's compartment was amongst the articles which crashed to the ground. The mix-up and disorder of broken furniture, crockery and luggage inside was most complete.

[152]

The Prince himself, at the time as later, made nothing of the matter. He caught up a cocktail-mixer as he climbed through his overturned dining saloon, and waved it out of the window by which he extricated himself. He congratulated the Chief of the Staff, with mock seriousness, at having at last arranged something for him that was not on the official programme. He laughed away the anxious expressions of regret of the railway and other state officials responsible in the affair, and did his utmost to convey the impression that the overturning of the Royal train was an occurrence so trifling as to be hardly worth mentioning.

The party were soon transferred to the front portion of the train which was still upon the rails. The wreckage was cut loose, and the journey was continued to Bridgetown, the next halting place on the programme. Here the Prince carried through, in the most undisturbed manner, the whole of the prearranged ceremonial of inspecting guards-of-honour, shaking hands with returned soldiers, greeting relations of the fallen, receiving war-workers, reviewing assemblies of children, and replying to a municipal address. He made no mention of the railway accident in his speech, but excused himself for having arrived late, as if this had been due to a fault of his own.

It was not possible, however, to prevent the circulation of news of the occurrence, and it made a sensation throughout Australia. Telegrams of congratulation at his escape poured in from every state and principal town. Thanksgiving services were held in the leading churches, and everywhere it was recognized that what might have been a disaster had been very narrowly avoided, and that the Prince had shown much spirit[153] in a situation of no little danger. His return to Perth was a triumphal procession. Every wayside station was crowded with cheering people as the train ran through. Perth received him with open arms. A bigger assemblage than ever welcomed him as he drove from the railway station to Government House, and the crowd plainly showed its impression that he had taken a bit of rough luck in the best Australian manner.

Finally departing from Perth, a few days later, the Prince was sped on his way by large cheering crowds which not only lined the streets as he drove to the railway station, but every wayside platform as well. The route soon left the plain by the seashore and entered foothills clothed with shady jarrah forest. Thence it mounted to the spacious uplands of the green rolling wheat-zone, where the young crop carpeted the expanse for a hundred miles along the way.

West Australia raises some twelve million bushels of wheat annually, of which nine millions are exported. It is estimated that the out-turn could be increased to forty million bushels if more population were available, as thirty-four million acres have been reported suitable for wheat growing in this state, and eleven bushels per acre are looked upon as an average yield. A thousand acres, which can be secured on very easy terms, is an average holding. Such a farm worked by one man would ordinarily have three hundred acres under wheat, and would also support two hundred and fifty sheep. Many properties of this kind are in the hands of owners who began without either capital or education, yet have paid off all mortgages and are living in very substantial comfort. The children start under infinitely more favourable circumstances than[154] their parents, for not only are savings usually available to establish them in business on their own account, but they have the advantage of an excellent system of state-aided education which provides a school wherever a minimum of ten children can be brought together. Public help is also given to pay for qualified resident teachers in localities too isolated to enable the minimum school to be assembled. A mileage allowance is paid by the State for children who have to travel any considerable distance to school. Education department correspondence courses are also conducted with surprisingly satisfactory results for the benefit of youngsters on farms out of reach of any of the other aids to learning. It is not only the children who benefit. Their parents often learn much themselves in endeavouring to help their families to assimilate the lessons that the correspondence teacher at a distance is sending by post to the schoolroom under the hayrick or by the evening fire.

An hour after leaving Perth the track picked up the Kalgoorlie water main, which thereafter ran beside the rails, a half-buried steel conduit thirty inches thick, all the way to the goldfields. This water main is one of the most wonderful in the world. It daily delivers at the mines five million gallons of pure water, after conveying it 350 miles from the Mundaring Reservoir. This reservoir has a masonry weir a hundred feet high, which has been built right across a river-valley, thereby impounding the water and forming a lake seven miles long, holding four seasons' supply. The difficulty of building the works was much increased by the height up which the water has to be forced in the course of its journey. In all, the pipe-line climbs 1,290 feet between Mundaring Reservoir and Bulla Bulling, the highest point upon the circuit, a[155] lift which requires some of the most powerful pumps in the world to negotiate. The installation is essential for the people of Kalgoorlie, whose city is in the midst of the desert, with no other source of supply fit for human consumption, as the water that accumulates in the mine workings is definitely brackish, though cattle will drink it in some cases.

Fine rain shaded off into showers as the train proceeded eastward. Further on grey skies were replaced by brilliant sunshine. The country grew continually drier; wheatfields changed into scraggy forest. The forest thinned out and was succeeded by vast expanses of nondescript scrub and desolate bluish salt bush, through which the train sped throughout the night. When the Prince awoke the following morning he was in desert country. Coolgardie, his first stepping-off place, proved to be a dying city. Its original sixteen thousand inhabitants are now represented by only a few hundreds. The majority have moved to the still active mines of Kalgoorlie. Many lie in France, for no community enlisted more freely or fought more bravely than did the men of this far-off town. All that were left had turned out to meet the Prince. It was a curious assemblage, largely consisting of men past work and women and children, who still cling to wooden shanties fast falling into decay, amidst spoil heaps and ruins of fine public buildings, a great place once but a sad spectacle now. The big water main enters Coolgardie, and is sparingly tapped there, but its contents are too precious to be used for irrigation by the way, and without water for this purpose it was impossible for Coolgardie to follow the example of Ballarat in turning its miners into cultivators when the gold gave[156] out. The shy buzzard of the desert now perches fearlessly where once was heavy traffic. The wild dingo has come in from the plains, and makes its home in what were once busy crushing mills and palatial business houses. Soon sand will cover what remains, and the salt bush will be supreme as aforetime.

Kalgoorlie, where the Prince next alighted, proved to be a very different place. Here twenty-four thousand people were living in prosperity, and are likely to continue in this position so long as their reef goes on yielding its harvest of yellow ore. The visitor was welcomed by a big crowd, including a large body of returned soldiers, of whom two wore the Victoria Cross. He was given a cheerful luncheon by the Chamber of Mines, at which the large company present were waited on by daughters of the principal residents, who prepared, cooked and served a banquet which could not have been surpassed anywhere. In the course of his reply to a civic address later on, "I am looking forward," the Prince said, "to my stay in this wonderful goldbearing area. I have heard with admiration of the pioneering pluck and engineering skill which have enabled this great city to be built and provided with all the necessary services of a large population in country where water is so scarce. I particularly prize the opportunity of making acquaintance with the people who have placed this miracle of development to the credit of British industry and enterprise. I am also much interested in the terminus of the great Trans-Australian Railway which links you with the eastern States of the Commonwealth."

Before leaving Kalgoorlie the Prince visited workings on the forty-foot thick reef of the "golden mile" which is being gradually nibbled away.[157] This reef, since its discovery a quarter of a century ago, has produced seventy-four million sterling of gold. The profit of working it has not kept pace with the increased cost of labour and machinery, but continues to be appreciable, and large masses of paying quartz are still in sight.


[158]

XVII

THE NULLARBOR PLAIN

At Kalgoorlie the Prince left the simply equipped three-feet-six-inch gauge of the West Australian State Railway, and continued his journey, at forty miles an hour, on a luxuriously fitted and smooth-running train on the standard gauge of the Trans-Australian line.

In charge of the train was Mr. Norris Bell, the eminent engineer who controlled the construction of the line, and is now running it in such a way that, despite almost total absence of local traffic, it is nearly paying its working expenses, a remarkable achievement considering the desolate nature of the country through which it passes. The railway connects the populous States of Victoria, New South Wales and South Australia, with the vast and potentially rich, but presently undeveloped, western territories. It is one of those imaginative national enterprises undertaken by young countries, and is bound to be justified by the generous policy of land development which usually accompanies, though at present it draws its dividends from the future.

The Nullarbor plain through which it passes is so devoid of rain that it not only possesses no streams, but its level expanse is unscarred by[159] even a dry water-course. It is almost absolutely flat for several hundreds of miles, after which it undulates slightly, the folds being in some cases occupied by lakes or tanks, most of which are so salt that they are useless for either drinking or irrigation. Their banks form desolate patches of gleaming white on the horizon, owing to the crystallization of masses of salt upon them. In places where fresh water is obtainable, it has usually to be pumped up from some depth below ground. Wells are so far between that the train has to carry tanks large enough to water the engine for two hundred miles without replenishment.

The portion of the plain in which the Prince found himself, the morning after leaving Kalgoorlie, was of red earth thickly sprinkled with white stones of irregular shape, shaded by bunchy grey salt-bushes the size of cabbages. These salt-bushes, dry and dusty as they appear, afford quite good fodder for sheep. The plain, therefore, almost entirely rainless as it is, only requires the provision of drinking-water to enable it to be put to profitable use. Sheep-stations already exist upon it, wherever it has been found possible to tap subsoil water sweet enough for the sheep to drink, and with growing knowledge of this remarkable region, and improved methods of purifying saline springs, it is hoped gradually to convert much of what is now unproductive into sheep-raising areas.

As the train rushed onward through the day, the stones became smaller and eventually disappeared, and the salt-bushes grew gradually larger. One lost the impression of moving through an interminable cabbage patch, and felt as on a ship. The salt-bushes rippled over a calm expanse of[160] ocean extending on all sides to a far horizon.

In the afternoon a halt was made and the Prince alighted and paid a visit to a rude encampment of aborigines, who had travelled a hundred miles on foot to meet him. They performed a number of weird ceremonial dances before him, and gave an exhibition of their skill in the throwing of boomerangs and spears. The performers were almost completely naked men and boys, painted all over with red and other brilliant patches on a whitish ground, whose only garment was a scanty rag of dirty cotton cloth that could hardly be said even to encompass the waist. The dances were slow, the performers sometimes stealing in single file round a circle, sometimes springing as if to the attack, the while incantations were chanted by miserable bundles of savage humanity, feminine as well as masculine, who squatted upon the ground. The boomerang-throwing was a much more lively affair. The air hummed with sharp wooden blades the size and weight of reaping-hooks. About a dozen performers operated simultaneously and each threw quite a number of these blades in quick succession to immense heights, where they hovered like hawks, eventually to descend with uncanny speed in a series of crooked swirls and side-long rushes. The circles described were such that quite a wide area was swept by flying blades each of which travelled on a complicated orbit of its own, of extraordinary speed, the sharp edge continually leading. It was explained that these boomerangs were of the hunting type, and were used in practice chiefly against flights of duck, the birds taking them for hawks and keeping low and thus within range when they were in the air. The spear-throwing was also interesting. The spears consisted of straight wooden shafts, like slim but heavy bean-sticks, with a tapering charred point sharpened to acuteness, and tail winged with a thin wooden slip the size of a biggish paper-knife. These spears were thrown with marvellous force and precision, with an action like that of overhand bowling, a sack stuffed with salt-bush branches and crudely painted to represent a human face, being transfixed again and again, in the centre, at sixty yards. These wretched people appear to be rapidly dying out despite liberal grants from the Commonwealth and State Governments to educate and feed them. In the south they seem to be entirely incapable of learning even how to cook or wash or build themselves shelters. In the north they are less degraded and find employment on cattle-stations where some of them make excellent stock-drivers, learning to ride well and handle animals.


CROSSING THE NULLARBOR PLAIN


ABORIGINAL DANCE

The camp visited by the Prince was typical of the lowest amongst them.[161] It was being looked after by a cultivated Australian lady who was devoting herself to the services of these poor creatures, who seemed to be entirely dependent upon her, so incapable were they of fending for themselves in any practical manner beyond that of adding to the larder by the killing of a limited number of small animals. When left to themselves, we were told, they seldom had more than twenty-four hours' food supply within sight. Their intelligence does not even extend to the keeping of provisions when supplied with them in any quantity beyond what they can devour upon the spot.

Another picturesque incident occurred about sunset, when the train[162] stopped at an artesian boring to take in a fresh supply of water. Here some twenty well-conditioned camels were grazing upon the salt-bushes, in charge of two intelligent natives of Rawalpindi, India. These turbaned Punjabis, who spoke Hindustani with a distinct Australian accent, so long had they been in the country, were marching the camels overland to Western Australia, where they hoped to sell them at a good price for transport work in the bush. The men had evidently prospered. They said they had found Australia a good country, though they looked forward to retiring eventually to their own land. Several Eurasian children were with them. It was a reminder of those racial problems of which the people of Australia take constant thought when they determine to develop the natural resources of their wonderful land, as far as may be, by white labour alone. It is no disparagement of the Oriental to say that he is at his best when he is entirely of the East, just as the white man is at his best when he mates with those of his own country and race, a point upon which Australia, at all events, is thoroughly convinced.


[163]

XVIII

SOUTH AUSTRALIA

The Prince alighted at sundown at the shipping centre Port Augusta, at the head of Spencer gulf, and was welcomed to South Australia by Mr. Barwell, State Premier, and other members of the Cabinet. A civic reception was held, and the party changed over from the standard gauge train of the Trans-Australian Railway, into a train on the narrow gauge of South Australia, which was standing in the station profusely decorated for the occasion. A start was then made on the two hundred and sixty miles that lay between that point and Adelaide, throughout the whole of which distance, we afterwards learnt, a guard had been placed on every bridge and culvert. The people of South Australia were in no mind that the Prince should run the risk of further accident.

Civic receptions, at which numbers of returned men and other war workers were drawn up, and all the inhabitants turned out, were given at various places en route, including Quorn, Peterborough, Terowie, and Gawler. The first part of the way was over the picturesque Pichirichi pass, thirteen hundred feet above sea level. After descending on the other side the narrow gauge gave place to the broad five-feet-three-inch[164] track, which connects Adelaide with Melbourne. Sir Archibald Weigall, Governor of South Australia, soon afterwards joined the train. The latter part of the route was through flat and extraordinarily fertile farming country.

Adelaide was reached about noon. Here a large proportion of the inhabitants of the province had assembled to welcome the Prince. A procession was formed at the railway station, where guards-of-honour were drawn up. The Prince shared a motor with Sir Archibald Weigall. Mr. Barwell and other members of the South Australian Government occupied cars behind. A well-mounted escort of light horse, in khaki, jingled on either side. The entire route, some three miles in length through the principal streets, had been elaborately decorated, and was lined ten deep the whole way with cheerful crowds. Entering the spacious and solidly built King George's Street, where magnificent bodies of Flying Corps, Engineers, Naval Reserve, and other returned men kept the barricades, the Prince was greeted by numbers of lady war-workers, in fresh white uniforms, who had public-spiritedly reopened, for the benefit of the blue-jackets and marines on the various visiting war-vessels, the "Cheer-up club" which did such good service during the war. Cadets, red cross workers, and masses of medalled returned men lined the space opposite the town hall, where Mayor Moulder read a civic address, to which the Prince replied, describing his now nearly half-completed travels in the Commonwealth as a most memorable experience, a statement heartily endorsed by all who shared them. From the town hall the procession went on to the working-men's quarter,[165] where the reception was as enthusiastic as anywhere. It was also noticeable that although only school-children, of whom there were incredible numbers, lined the route for at least half a mile in this part of the city, order was as well kept as in thoroughfares elsewhere, where regulars or volunteers were lined up.

Outside the big market in Rendal Street, beneath a wide arch built on one side with vegetables, and on the other with apples and oranges, a pretty function occurred, a little girl, daughter of the oldest gardener doing business with the market, presenting the Prince with a bouquet, and a small boy, the son of the oldest packer, with a basket of fruit, offerings that symbolized pleasantly enough the very considerable business done in South Australia in garden produce.

Further on, in North Terrace, a more touching spectacle was presented where hundreds of beds from the hospitals, each with a nurse in attendance, lined the route, and the Prince paused for a word of greeting with the patients. Medical students, apprentices, and yet more cadets, were lined up near the fine stone buildings of the Art Gallery, the University and the Exhibition, which are here grouped together. The procession ultimately entered and ended in the quiet gardens of Government House, where H.R.H. was to spend the week of his visit.

Amongst functions which took place at Adelaide during the next few days, was a state dinner at the leading hotel, at which three hundred sat down, including everybody of importance in the South Australian Government. Mr. Barwell proposed, and Mr. Gunn, spokesman of the Labour Party, and Leader of the Opposition in the State Legislature, seconded[166] the toast of the Prince's health. The Prince replied and the proceedings throughout were of the usual cordial nature. A climax was reached after the dinner was over, and it was time for the Royal guest to get home to bed. It was then discovered that the streets outside were so solidly packed with people that it was quite impossible either for the motor-cars to reach the door or for the party to walk to where they were posted. The Prince was brought back into the building, whence he addressed the crowd, at first from an upper window, and afterwards from a roof on which he climbed so as to be nearer the throng. In the end, a way out was found through a side street, by a door much affected by bridal couples.

In the course of his speech at this dinner, the Prince referred sympathetically to the recent death of Premier Peake. He went on to express appreciation of the welcome given him by Adelaide, "the garden city of the Commonwealth," and dwelt upon the fine war-services of South Australia, and the magnificent opportunities which this State offers for development. He also mentioned the extent to which the future of Australia, as a whole, depends upon a broad far-seeing railway policy, a railway policy in fact "that is continental in scope." Continuing he expressed regret at having been compelled to omit his originally proposed overland journey from South Australia to Queensland, and announced that, to make this up, it had now been decided, in consultation with the Queensland Government, to substitute at least one week in the back-blocks or interior of Australia, for the proposed visit to the new mandated territory at Rabaul. "I am very sorry," the Prince[167] added, "to have had to cut out Rabaul, but as I had to choose between the two I am delighted to think I shall now be able to spend some days in seeing bush and station life for myself in the real heart of Australia." This decision met with general approval. Rabaul stands for the mandated territory of tropical New Guinea, formerly in German possession, and now allocated to the Commonwealth. It is a territory bigger than England and Wales but only sparsely inhabited, partially developed, and with no specially outstanding features. No interest it offers could compare with that of Australia itself.

The next few days were busy ones, public functions succeeding one another almost continuously, and acres of close-packed crowds assembling wherever it was announced that the Prince was to be present. On one occasion he unveiled a fine bronze statue of the late King Edward. On another he conversed with an assemblage of blinded soldiers. One of the most picturesque of his experiences was when four thousand women war-workers, including nurses, members of Cheer-up clubs, motor-ambulance drivers, comforts workers, and members of the Mothers' League marched past him in solid battalions, many of them bearing stripes indicative of five years' public service, and some the badge which stood for son or husband killed at the front. The scene of enthusiasm will long be remembered when he told them he hoped that they, like the diggers, would all look upon him as a comrade. It was a thing he said often but never too often.

The Prince also made expeditions into the surrounding country, which has a climate like that of Italy, the vineyards climbing the terraced[168] hills around Adelaide enhancing the resemblance. He here made the acquaintance of the Australian wine industry, which continues to prosper and expand, despite the new and devastating form of drought that threatens it throughout the world. The difficulties of the trade are considerable. The Australian is not himself a wine-bibber. His intoxicant is whisky and his stimulant is tea. Withal he is a very temperate person. No great home market, therefore, is at hand for the native wines, and in spite of an excellence in many brands which must in the long run establish them, the European importer still shows only a modified confidence in stocking them to the displacement of the better known labels of Southern Europe. Six million gallons annually, however, are being drunk somewhere.

On the day of the Prince's departure from Adelaide, eight thousand state school-children and forty-five thousand spectators said good-bye to him in brilliant sunshine, on the Adelaide cricket-ground. From the cricket-ground he proceeded to the University, where the degree of D.C.L. was conferred upon him. Thence through large crowds, which had waited hours for his passing, and greeted him when he appeared with friendly shouts of "Good-bye, Digger," he went to the railway station, and proceeded by train to Port Adelaide. Here a local civic address was presented, and yet another large gathering of children, returned men and war-workers cheered him. The Royal train eventually went on, down the Port Adelaide main street, which was black with people, to the outer harbour wharves, where Sir Archibald Weigall, Mr. Barwell, Mr. Moulden, and other leading men of South Australia went on the Renown and[169] said good-bye, the Prince ultimately sailing for Tasmania.


[170]

XIX

TASMANIA

The Prince's reception at Hobart, Tasmania, was a great popular occasion. Decorations had been kept up and renewed since the preceding month, when the visit was originally to have taken place, and were still imposing, while the crowds along the processional route, which was several miles in length, were enormous.

The Governor, Sir William Allardice, paid a ceremonial visit to the Prince immediately the Renown anchored off Ocean Pier. On landing the Prince was received by Sir Walter Lee, State Premier, Major-General Sir John Jellibrand, and members of the Tasmanian Government. On the pier he inspected guards-of-honour of seamen and cadets, and shook hands with five of Tasmania's eleven V.C.'s, including Sergeant McDougall, who had been an inmate of a pulmonary hospital when war broke out, yet managed to get to the front and came back with the most coveted distinction in the army.

From the pier the Prince was taken to one of the big dockyard sheds, which he found filled with returned men, nurses and other war-workers, including the venerable Mrs. Roberts, a well-known local figure, who stood, a bent old lady in black, waving the Union Jack beside the commandant. Many were the Mrs. Robertses, under different names, that these ceremonial occasions produced. One learned to look for them, figures full of years and honour, spirits erect in failing bodies, dim eyes lit by the old torch, frail arms carrying on the old tradition. Homage to Mrs. Roberts, war-worker, be her style married or single. She is a symbol of the race.


LEAVING PORT ADELAIDE


MOUNT WELLINGTON, HOBART

In this place the Prince was cheered in the lustiest manner, and was[171] presented with an illuminated copy of the Tasmanian muster-roll, also with the gold badge of the twelfth battalion. Thereafter he was taken in procession through the streets, where the crowd was so dense and anxious to get near to him, that the pace had to be of the slowest. Nothing could exceed the good nature of those who were pressing in upon the route, however, which was well kept after the first quarter of a mile. A civic address was read outside the town hall, where the Prince, whose voice had given out, wisely abstained from straining it further by any attempt to make it heard beyond the platform occupied by the Mayor and Councillors.

Later on he attended a big state luncheon. The speakers included the Premier, who dwelt upon Tasmania's loyalty and warm-hearted devotion to the Empire. He also referred to developments that will eventually revolutionize the industrial and commercial future of the island, no less than a quarter of a million horse-power being in course of being tapped by hydro-electric installations.

Mr. Ogden, the Labour Party chairman and leader of the Opposition in the State Legislature, also spoke. He said the loyalty of Tasmania was not to be measured by the population of this beautiful island, but was a[172] loyalty that extended to an Empire wherein the great gulf between rich and poor would eventually be narrowed. The Prince was by this time too hoarse to reply at any length. He managed to tell his enthusiastic audience, however, that the chief thing he would have liked to be able to say to them was how much he appreciated the reception given to him.

The Prince's engagements during the two days he spent at Hobart included a civic ball and races, an investiture and a big outdoor popular reception, and witnessing the electric illumination of the city. The last was especially interesting, not only as exhibiting what is probably one of the most beautiful ports in the world, but also as an illustration of one of the uses to which Tasmania's new hydro-electric power can be put. The installation, which is connected with the overflow of an impounded lake in the centre of the island, is rapidly transforming this sleepy little State of the Commonwealth into a busy industrial centre. Copper mines on the west coast are doing all their smelting by this means. Hobart and Launceston drive their trams and light their street lamps with the new power. Before the war the whole of the zinc ore won from the Broken Hill mines in South Australia went to Germany as a matter of course to be converted. Tasmania now handles much and will presently handle all of it. Hitherto Australian downs have grown the wool and Yorkshire looms have woven it. Presently Tasmanian mills will perform the latter process, and so far as the Commonwealth is concerned her fleeces will no longer make the journey across two oceans and back, on their way to adorn and comfort the persons of her[173] population. From the manufacturer's point of view there are advantages in isolation. Power, sugar and a liberal market have drawn the Cadbury firm to Hobart, and foundations are already laid which will ultimately prosper upon the sweet tooth of the Polynesian belle. The old Arcadian days of Tasmania are gone with its colonial status. Its climate will always draw seekers of ease in retirement, and its orchards will remunerate their leisure, but the future of the State, under the protection of the Commonwealth tariff, is industrial.

The humorous inhabitants of its larger fellow States have a way of calling the island a "flyfleck," but its importance in the Commonwealth is out of all proportion to its size. The amenities it offers have from the beginning attracted the settler with some liberty of choice, with the result that Tasmania has contributed a large proportion of leading men to the Commonwealth. It is also remarkable for the number of retired members of the military and civil services of India amongst its settlers, men who in their prime have borne heavy responsibilities, and in their declining years are giving still commanding abilities to the development of the land they have chosen to be their home.

The Prince crossed Tasmania by rail at night, arriving the following morning at Launceston, another seaport city of extraordinary scenic beauty. Here he added to his tour one more experience of the entire population turning out to welcome him in a city decorated from end to end in honour of his coming. He stayed the night at the "Brisbane" hotel, and attended a number of ceremonies. In the course of the afternoon he inspected masses of school-children. The physical impossibility of shaking hands with all the teachers in attendance[174] suggested the idea of inviting those of them who were returned soldiers to do so, and it was surprising what a large proportion were able to claim the honour. Another function was his meeting disabled men at the principal hospital. These poor fellows gave him the wildest reception, and the whole assemblage laughed most heartily when, on the invitation of one of them, he flicked halfpennies in a "two up" game. Later on the Prince climbed the beautiful Cataract gorge afoot, at a pace with which the members of the Cabinet who were with him had all they could do to keep up. He finished a long day with a visit to the Launceston races, followed by a popular reception at the town hall, where ten thousand people passed in procession before him.

The following day H.R.H. returned to Hobart, the State Premier and other members of the Government, including the Ministers of Lands and Railways, accompanying him on the train. The inhabitants assembled and cheered him at every passing station, while at the more important, including Tunbridge, Parallah and Brighton, he alighted and participated in civic receptions. The region traversed included a rich farming and orcharding district, on which numbers of returned soldiers, some of them belonging to the British Army, who are being given by the Government precisely the same treatment as their Australian comrades, are being started as farmers. The State not only supplies them with already cleared and fenced holdings and necessary buildings, but finances them on terms calculated to enable men without a penny of their own, beyond their war gratuity, to become independent freehold proprietors within ten years. One of the features of this admirable scheme is that the[175] settlement has attached to it an expert instructor, who is in Government employ. Those settlers who have so far moved in have found a portion of the holdings allotted to them already under crop, and some one at hand to teach them how to apply their own labour to the best advantage. They are being inducted into agricultural prosperity, in one of the most perfect climates in the world, close to a railway, and in surroundings comparable to those of Devonshire. One of them brought to show to the Prince two prize sheep-dogs he had reared which he valued at a hundred and fifty pounds. The Royal party left this spot regretfully, so full of fair prospects for men who deserve all that can be done for them did it seem. The number so far settled is not very large, but the Minister for Lands, to whose initiative, resource and enthusiasm the success already achieved is largely due, is hopeful that it will be possible to extend it to all suitable returned men who present themselves. In this case Tasmania should receive a signal increase in population, for nowhere in the world have I seen a more cheerful outlook for the soldier who is of the right type to become a farmer.

The Prince was booked to spend the evening of his return to Hobart at the Soldiers' Club, before going on board the Renown, which was to sail at midnight. It was characteristic of the Tasmanians that the men themselves remembered how trying this would be for him after his long and strenuous day. They proposed, therefore, of their own motion, that they should say good-bye to him on the wharf, and this was the course ultimately adopted. It was a graceful act which fittingly terminated one of the pleasantest visits of the tour.


[176]

XX

QUEENSLAND

Accompanied by His Majesty's Australian Ship Australia, and two destroyers, the Renown made a fine weather voyage to Sydney from Tasmania. After crossing the Bass Strait the course was close inshore along the beautifully wooded hills of New South Wales, and boats laden with people put out from the small whaling port of Eden to greet the Prince. Loyal messages were also flashed from homesteads further up the coast when the Renown came in sight, transmitted by men, now back in their homes, who had learnt to signal in France or Gallipoli. Entering Sydney harbour, numbers of yachts and launches were found waiting in the fairway to welcome the flotilla, the scene being almost as gay as when the Prince first arrived at this wonderful port. The wharf also demonstrated the interest felt in the arrival. It was loaded with people whose cheers were undiminished as the Prince went his way to the station, where he proceeded at once to entrain for Queensland.

The rail journey northwards produced some of the most remarkable experiences of the tour, experiences the more notable for occurring in States where public sentiment is perhaps more markedly democratic than anywhere else in Australia. The first stop of any consequence was at[177] the coal-mining town of High Street. Here the Prince was taken by car in procession through decorated streets, lined with people twenty deep the whole way. The objective was the neighbouring railway station of West Maitland, where H.R.H. was to rejoin the train, and where he found an enormous crowd of miners and their wives and children, who gave him a rousing welcome. He shook hands with three hundred returned men, also with a pathetically long line of mothers, widows, and orphans of fallen soldiers, and he inspected a big gathering of school-children.

A picturesque figure occupied a place in the crowd on the road between High Street and West Maitland, a native Australian woman in flowing robes, with a golden crown on her head, who was the head of a local tribe of blacks. Standing beside her was a full-blooded son, who had lost a leg in France, whither he had gone in company with white squatters, amongst whom, prior to this, he had presumably been a stockman. She added to her memories and her dignities a word with the Prince of Wales.

Beyond West Maitland the route passed through fine park-like country, with wooded hills and cultivated valleys, plainly visible in the bright moonlight which had succeeded a typically balmy New South Wales winter's day. The train stopped and receptions were held at various minor centres, including Murrurundi, a place full of the romantic associations of a bygone generation, when this part of Australia was still a land of bush, broken only by very occasional squatters' cabins and mining camps. As the Prince stood on a gaily decorated platform outside the station with orderly lines of returned men and neatly dressed lady war-workers beside him, one's mind went back to wilder scenes, enacted many years[178] ago. A grey-headed man told how, on almost exactly this spot, a bush-ranger had been shot, after long eluding capture with the help of his sister, who was a waitress at the local drinking saloon, whence she used to ride out to his hiding-place at night in the hills, upon a horse borrowed from race-stables near by. In this way information and supplies were communicated to him, the midnight journeyings upon the borrowed thoroughbred not being brought to light until the time came round for the annual race-gathering, when the mud and sweat of its condition attracted attention. What became of the girl, my informant did not know, but she was honoured in the story if not in the incident.

Wallangarra, the border station between New South Wales and Queensland, was reached the following morning, when the Prince again had the modified excitement of changing gauges. Here he bade farewell to Mr. Hodgson, who had acted throughout the tour in charge of the railways of New South Wales. He was welcomed by a distinguished group of officials representing Queensland, who came on board the train. The Premier, the Hon. Mr. E. G. Theodore, was at that moment on public business in London on behalf of the Queensland Government; the Governor, Sir Hamilton Gould Adams, had recently retired. Their places were filled by Mr. Fihelly, acting Premier, and Mr. Lennon, acting Governor, pending the arrival of Sir Matthew Nathan from England.

From the border the track climbed steadily to the top of a pleasant wooded plateau, three thousand feet above sea level, dotted with rich orchards and gardens, which are being opened up in increasing numbers and of late at rapidly advancing land prices. It is difficult to[179] realize at first sight how the fruit-trees manage to take root. Some of the very richest and most sought after plots are a mass of tumbled rocks amongst which there seems room for nothing to grow, yet it is just amongst these rocks that the very finest peaches and apples are raised.

A newly constructed branch line carried the party to the returned soldiers' settlement of Amiens. Here a cheerful crowd of some two hundred Australians and British had assembled, accompanied by wives and babies, the wives in a surprisingly large percentage of cases from England, and the babies some of the healthiest looking imaginable. The Prince would have liked to spend some time in this settlement, but an inexorable programme hurried him away. He had time, however, to hear a great deal about the felling, burning and clearing up of string-bark forest, the fencing and ploughing of the land, also the planting of it with fruit-trees of the finest stocks. He also saw a number of comfortable bungalows each with the amenity of a roomy veranda, in which the settlers live. Ten acres of good soil were considered a sufficiently large holding to keep one man employed, and each place is arranged to include this area, apart from rocky or water-logged portions. The average out-turn of such a holding, when planted with suitable trees of six years' growth, is estimated, with prevailing fruit prices, at £700 per annum. Returned men, accepted by the local agricultural authorities as likely to succeed on such properties, and irrespective of whether they are from Australian or British units, are able to obtain advances, as they may require them, up to a total of £625, against work done upon their places. These advances are repayable in easy instalments, spread[180] over long series of years, at about five per cent. interest, which is less than the money at present costs to provide. Most of the holdings, when seen by the Prince, were only partially cleared and planted. The men were hopeful of pulling through, however, until the trees should come into bearing, their pensions and advances, eked out by the growing of tomatoes, potatoes and other vegetables, for which there appeared to be considerable local demand at remunerative prices, being considered sufficient to keep them. Once the trees come into bearing their owners can reasonably expect to do quite well. The authorities estimated that, in the ordinary course, a man should be able to pay off all indebtedness within ten years, after which he would find himself the absolute owner of an unencumbered property, capable of indefinite expansion by taking up more land, and even without any expansion, sufficient to support the settler and his wife and children in conditions of comparative comfort.

The life on these holdings is in the open air, in a sunny climate, without any extremes of temperature, amongst beautiful natural surroundings, and in an atmosphere so bracing that these well-watered uplands have long been utilized as a health resort. The breaking in of the holdings is, no doubt, very hard work, and here the Government advances make it possible to pay for help in the case of men unequal to do the whole of it themselves. Once this has been done, the work that remains, of cultivating, manuring, pruning, and spraying the trees, and of picking and packing the fruit, is very much less strenuous; and for those prepared for a life in the open air where country pursuits[181] replace the feverish interests of the city, the prospect seems almost ideal. Certainly those we saw entering upon it gave the very pleasantest impression. The man will, of course, do best who possesses those qualities which make him the lender, instead of the borrower, of the stump-puller, and the purveyor, instead of the buyer, of tinned luxuries at the co-operative shop and packing establishment. For all, however, there seems to be a living under conditions which must certainly be considered favourable.

The sun was getting low when the Royal train pulled up at Warwick, a prosperous city in the breezy uplands of the Darling Downs two thousand feet above the sea level, home of sheep, mixed farming and white-stemmed forest trees. Here in the Central park, commanding a beautiful view of blue distant mountains, the entire population had assembled and the usual civic address was presented.

I talked with two of the residents, both men from the Thames Valley, one a doctor, and the other a chauffeur. They agreed in not even considering the idea of going back to the old country. This part of Queensland, they said, was a place where it was easy to make a living, an its warmth and sunshine were delightful after the English winters of which so little can be safely predicted. They would not admit that the summer was too hot, or that the drought from which this part of Australia had only recently suffered had been more than a very temporary setback in the steady growth of continually increasing prosperity.

The train halted for the night in open upland country, with delightful bracing air, one of the most beautiful sunsets I have ever seen[182] painting a clear evening sky. The following morning, in warm brilliant sunshine, the track crept down the wooded slopes that gird in the Darling Downs, and emerged in the rich cultivated Lockyer plain below. Here fine red cattle were feeding down magnificent crops, six inches up, of green luscious oats, the settlers considering that this somewhat remarkable procedure increases the ultimate harvest of grain, by causing the young plants to stool out.

Beyond the Lockyer plain the route lay through the Liverpool hills whence it descended, by easy gradient, to Brisbane and the sea. Not a station, a village or a house upon the way, but was gay with decorations. The inhabitants were out upon all sides, on horseback, in buggies, in cars, or seated upon fence rails, every man of them hat in hand, every woman and girl a-smile, every child wide-eyed with excitement. Operatives cutting down trees, navvies shovelling ballast upon the railway track, farmers plowing their fields, husbandmen pruning their orchards, stopped work and saluted or shouted a welcome as the train went by. Boys raced beside the Royal saloon in youthful endeavour to keep up. Not a churlish glance, nor an indifferent face, was seen for a hundred miles.

Brisbane first presented itself in the shape of pleasant garden suburbs full of wooden houses on stilts, each surrounded by a garden of flowers. It developed, as the train rushed on, into the solid masonry of a closely built city. The heartsome sound of cheering accompanied all the way. Arrived at the railway station, H.R.H. was welcomed with every formality. The State Premier, the whole of the Cabinet, the Mayor and[183] the city Council, received him on the platform. Naval and military guards-of-honour were in attendance. The usual procession of motor-cars was ultimately in motion, and carried the visitor through several miles of streets, in which elaborately decorated arches, made of wool bales, fruit, vegetables, and corn-sheaves, gave homely, delightful, convincing character to their setting. Crowds lined the entire route and gave the Prince a welcome the warmth of which was equal to that of any he had previously received. The way was kept by returned men, and long lines of women war-workers, including nurses and helpers of every kind, formed a solid wall of white on either side of the route for at least a quarter of a mile.

In the Albert Square Mayor Maxwell read an address of welcome. At the University pretty girl-students, in black caps and gowns, raced one another across the grounds to get a second view of the Prince after they had stood demurely at attention as he went past. On the grassy slopes of the wide Domain beside the river, backed by an assemblage of ten thousand delighted school-children, the Prince reviewed the men who had been keeping the route through the city. To render this possible every detachment had closed up and followed the procession after the cars had passed. In this way were gathered some two thousand men representing every arm of the service. The designations of the First, Second, Third, Fourth, and Fifth Australian Divisions were in evidence on the flags carried past the saluting point.

Another interesting occasion during the visit to Brisbane was the local agricultural exhibition, which never, in the long history of this popular institution, had been so crowded, the principal stores and[184] other business establishments having all been closed in honour of the occasion. The proceedings began with a procession through the wool, wheat, sugar-cane, fruit, butter, cheese, pig, and cattle exhibitions halls, the Prince and members of the committee making slow progress in the crowds of cheering spectators. The afternoon was devoted to a parade of prize-winning cattle and horses. This was held in a big amphitheatre—seventy years ago the crude "Bora," sacred initiation ground, of Queensland savages, now the beautifully turfed show-ring of the National Agricultural Association. Here, in the presence of some seventy thousand spectators, the Prince saw some very fine jumping, not devoid of minor mishaps. He himself ran to help to pick up a girl whose mount came down at one of the fences. By this time it will be noted that it was impossible to keep H.R.H. out of any kind of incident not strictly arranged for. He also assisted at an attempt, not the less interesting because it just failed of success, to lower the mile trotting-record of the track.

Leaving the show in the afternoon, the Prince proceeded, in company with the acting Premier and the Lieutenant-Governor, to Farm Park, where he took tea upon the grass with the Mayor and Aldermen of Brisbane, in the midst of thousands of spectators. So closely was the civic tea-table surrounded that the red cross nurses, to whom fell the duty of waiting on the Royal party, scarcely had room to perform their functions. The number of cups and spoons and other articles that became heirlooms in 1920 for the benefit of Australasian posterity must be considerable. The Prince was eventually extracted from the crush, and embarked, amidst[185] much cheering and hand-clapping, upon one of numerous decorated motor-boats which took him, attended by a flock of yachts, across the wide Brisbane river, in the yellow sunset, on a visit to invalid soldiers in the fine "Anzac" Hospital on the other side.

Another notable function in Brisbane was the state dinner, at which representative men from every part of Queensland were present, some four hundred sitting down. The Prince was between the acting Premier and the Lieutenant-Governor. The Papal representative, Monsignor Cattaneo, occupied a seat on the other side of the Lieutenant-Governor. Others present included the Anglican Bishop, the members of the State Cabinet and the Legislative Council, and the Chief Justice. The streets outside were densely packed with people, who became so insistent in cheering after the Prince had got inside that he left the banquet to wave to them from the balcony. Mr. Fihelly, in proposing the toast of the evening, emphasized that their Royal guest had endeared himself to all with whom he had come in contact, and had been found to be "a man of parts, a man of ability, able to take his place amongst men, and one who would carry away with him the goodwill of all the people of Queensland."

Mr. Vowles, Nationalist Leader of the Opposition, spoke in similarly loyal tone. The Prince rose to reply amidst cheers, and developed his points in a voice which his hearers noticed had now recovered its clearness and resonance. In the course of a long and enthusiastically received speech he dwelt upon the wonderful reception he had had, the pleasure his visit had given him, and especially on the large part taken in the receptions by returned sailors, soldiers and women war-workers.[186] Referring to the soldier settlement he had visited on his way to Brisbane, he congratulated the Queensland Government on the foresight and energy with which they had tackled the repatriations problems. "You cannot do too much," he said, "for your diggers, who played such a big part in saving the Empire, and who should be looked upon as the backbone of the Commonwealth.... My tour in Australia, alas!" he continued, "is nearly over. It is particularly to the future of the Commonwealth that my thoughts turn. My visit to Australia has taught me that the spirit wherein your diggers volunteered, and fought and won, is not something unique or out of the way, which will never happen again, but the natural outcome of a national spirit which is going to make Australia one of the great progressive nations of the world. Their free and gallant services in the war have shown to yourselves, to the Empire and to the world what you are and what you can do. With such a spirit in its men and women Australia has a splendid future in its grasp. I came to Australia already feeling a strong bond of comradeship with your troops: I shall leave it feeling even a stronger bond of comradeship with the Australian people as a whole, and my heart will always be with them in their mighty task of building up the solid British fabric of freedom, justice and security with fair play for all upon this vast continent."

Another of the Brisbane functions was a popular reception in the public gardens overlooking the river. Here some thousands of people passed before the Prince, who stood upon a dais, the acting Premier beside him. Girls presented bouquets of flowers. Men and women stopped to wish him[187] good luck on his homeward voyage, or to photograph him at close quarters. Here and there an old-fashioned curtsy would be dropped, or cheering or hand-clapping started. The great majority of the people expressed themselves in a simple nod or smile, or waved hand or hat or handkerchief as they went by. One could not help recognizing, not only that they had taken the Prince to their hearts, but that while paying him the great compliment of ceasing to treat him with formality, there was no diminution in the deference that was shown. When he left the reception he went back to his quarters in Parliament Buildings, where, marching up and down, were armed cadets in full service kit, volunteers from districts it had not been possible for the Prince to visit, their expenses all paid by local subscriptions. There was no serious necessity for the services of these young warriors, but they represented the universal determination of North-Eastern Australia that "our Prince," as by this time he had begun to be called, should lose nothing of pomp or Royal circumstance while he remained the guest of their State.

Before the Prince left, Monsignor Cattaneo, Apostolic Delegate, and the Very Reverend M. Duhig, Catholic Archbishop of Queensland, asked and obtained an interview at which they formally presented "the homage and devotion to the throne of the whole Catholic community of Australia." They dwelt upon the deep loyalty of this community and declared that the Prince had won all their hearts.

In the course of his visit to Brisbane H.R.H. was shown State factories, State shops, State insurance offices, and State markets in full operation, a class of enterprise under experiment in natural conditions so favourable as to give it at least a sporting chance. He also heard[188] much of the sugar-cane, coco-nut-palm and banana plantations, and the enormous cattle ranges of the northern territories where Queensland rolls away into the tropics and there is rich land and to spare for a population as large as that of France.

Leaving Brisbane one day during his visit to that city, the Prince proceeded by train through a well-wooded country of rich black soil, just then a quagmire from heavy but welcome rain. He touched at a number of centres, including Ipswich, head-quarters of woollen mills and coal-mines, and Harrisville and Boonah, country towns where farming and pastoral communities predominate. Every stopping-place had been converted by unpaid local labour into a beflagged forest of greenery, in the midst of which the inhabitants of the entire neighbourhood, also many from far distant stations, had assembled. At Ipswich the streets were lined by operatives and miners, and the welcome of this important place included a car procession through decorated streets, a popular reception, a mayoral address, and a civic luncheon served to the strains of one of the largest and best trained choirs in the State. Vocal music as the accompaniment of food was an unaccustomed luxury to many of those present, but it did not appear to interfere with the general appetite. At Boonah the proceedings were simpler but not on that account less impressive, although they took place in a pelting rainstorm. The Prince waded through an ankle-deep stream of flood-water to an exposed platform, where, surrounded by a crowd of squatters, stockmen, farmers and their families, including large numbers of women and children, all[189] standing in the downpour with streaming mackintoshes and umbrellas, he unveiled a fine marble war-memorial bearing three hundred names. He also shook hands with relatives of the fallen, and with numbers of returned men, nurses and other war-workers.

On the way back to Brisbane further centres were visited. Amongst them were Maryborough, a manufacturing and coal-mining city, where the steel skeletons of two twelve-thousand-ton steamers, under construction for the Commonwealth Government, towered amidst the decorations. One of the arches was surmounted by a group of blacks in native costume, armed with bows, arrows and spears, which they wielded realistically. Another carried a dozen diggers in uniform. Other places visited were Tiaro, where the assemblage that greeted the Prince consisted chiefly of agriculturalists; Gympie, where the returned men, assembled in a war-memorial park, included gold-miners as well as farmers; Cooroy, where the Prince made the acquaintance of a large logging community; Landsborough, where sugar-cane planters, and banana and orange-growers preponderated, and Beerburrum, Queensland's biggest soldier settlement, where he shook hands with a large number of returned men engaged in growing pineapples.

The Prince finally left Brisbane amidst unforgettable scenes of national enthusiasm and emotion. The entire population of the city seemed to be in the streets. The neighbourhood of the railway station was blocked by masses of cheering men, women and children. The railway station buildings were besieged, the more influential folk, including the members of the State Government, and their families, thronged the platform. The general public crowded windows, balconies, culverts,[190] overbridges, and fences, wherever a glimpse of the train could be obtained. The start had to be three times postponed, so many were the Prince's personal farewells. After the train got into motion, motor-cars raced beside the track, school-children were found lined up at wayside crossings, stumps and telegraph poles were perching places for daring climbers. Everybody waved something, if it were not a handkerchief, a flag or a hat, it was the nearest thing to hand. I saw a vegetable hawker wildly flourishing his biggest cabbage, a housewife excitedly using a tablecloth as a signal of affection, a company of railway carriage-cleaners throwing their dusters upon the wind. Workmen in overalls, carters with teams of horses, stockmen riding to their duties stopped and doffed hats as the train went by. "Old Lang Syne" was taken up, again and again, by thousands of voices, to be itself drowned in a chorus of shouted "Goodbyes." All the Members of the Cabinet travelled upon the Royal train as far as the border of the State. The acting Premier had to stay behind for urgent public reasons, but was so determined not to be left out of the proceedings that he attempted to follow the train in an aeroplane, and was only stopped by crashing heavily. The demonstration was so remarkable that even the Queenslanders themselves were astonished at it. Enthusiasm had taken possession of this democratic people, and there seemed to be no length to which they were not prepared to go. Here was a country where the people are as sovereign as anywhere on earth. Yet wayside villages and towns on the southward journey, one after another, took up and repeated Brisbane's farewell demonstrations. The crowds at the railway stations, where[191] addresses were presented, included in many instances definitely more people than the entire population of the immediate centre, this being due to farmers, squatters, and settlers bringing their families incredible distances by train, by motor, in buggies, or on horseback, so that they might not miss the occasion. In one case four well-mounted girls galloped astride nearly a mile, keeping abreast with the train, and arriving at the next station, where an address was to be read, just as the Prince alighted. Their spirited ride secured them a handshake and a compliment.

The train halted for the night at Toowoomba, in the heart of a wonderful agricultural region, which was found smiling under splendid crops. Here the countryside had long been preparing for the Prince's coming, and the celebrations were of the liveliest, everything, including decorations, gathering of returned men, civic banquet, and ball, being planned to create a record.

The following morning the Prince recrossed the border, over a carpet woven of yellow wattle flowers. It was a pretty thought and offered him much.


[192]

XXI

THE JACKAROO AND OTHERS

When the Prince left Queensland he had practically completed his official tour of the Australian States. There remained for him the improvised series of visits to the back-blocks of New South Wales, which took the place of the abandoned journey to New Guinea. Here he stayed in the houses of squatters, some of them controlling sheep-runs hundreds of thousands of acres in extent, and mingled in the most informal manner in country life and country pastimes. In the wonderful air of this region he regained much of the spring and energy he had lost in the preceding months of strenuous official touring. The Government officers on the Royal train meanwhile returned to Sydney.

The route taken by the Prince after leaving Wallangarra for the interior lay through beautiful scenery across the famous Blue Mountains. One looked out, as the train climbed upwards, across vast stretches of green-forested gorges and grey crags of fluted limestone, with purple and aquamarine ridges on the far horizon—a land filled only with the colour and the form of wild nature. The Prince started on the foot-plate of the engine, which he drove himself up a one-in-thirty-three grade slope. Although his journey was now entirely unofficial, numbers of people assembled and cheered him at the principal stations. At Lawson he alighted and shook hands with returned men, including Private Duncan Allan, the oldest soldier in the Australian forces. Later on, crossing the open Bathurst sheep-downs, a halt was made at the wayside station of Kelso, where horses were in waiting and he took, in the rain, a brisk ride across country, rejoining the train that evening at Bathurst.


THE BACKBLOCKS: AN UNOFFICIAL FIXTURE


HIS FAVOURITE MOUNT

[193]

The following morning the train reached Coonamble, terminus of the railway, a township of wooden houses, situated on a vast grassy plain, in the heart of sheep-raising country, two hundred and sixty miles from Sydney. Here Mr. Oliver, President of the Shire, accompanied by the local mayor and members of his council, received the Prince upon the platform, and conducted him in a motor-car procession to a grassy park in the middle of the town, where he found awaiting him a large assemblage of people, including the usual contingents of returned men and school-children, also nurses and other war-workers. An address was presented, and thereafter the procession was continued to the racecourse, where horses had been collected. The Prince and his staff mounted and set off across recently flooded country for Wingadee, thirty miles distant, where the week-end was to be spent at one of the stations of the Australian and New Zealand Land Company. Lunch was served in the open at one of the artesian bore-holes that furnish this country with water, even the severe drought which preceded the recent floods not having affected the supply. The Prince here visited a typical bush saloon and in bush fashion called for drinks for all the settlers he found there. Later in the afternoon he reached Wingadee, where he was[194] received by Mr. McEwan, General Manager of the Company. He spent the afternoon riding about this up-to-date station and going over the wool-sheds. The host of his visit was Mr. Fechan, the Superintendent.

In the next few days the Prince rode a number of horses, inspecting the wool-sheds and flocks, chasing kangaroos and emus, and had the opportunity of forgetting the formalities of public receptions. On the day of departure from Wingadee he rode thirty miles back to the little country racecourse at Coonamble, where he remained throughout the afternoon watching the racing in the casual mud-splashes of his own ride. The enclosure was crowded with squatters from all parts of Northern New South Wales, who gave him the most cordial reception, and followed him afterwards to the railway station to cheer the train by which he left for Myowera, another small station sixty miles distant in the same great plain.

Here the Prince stayed on the Canoubar run in the house of Mr. and Mrs. McLeod, Mr. Niall, managing director of the company, supervising the arrangements for his entertainment, which were on the most hospitable scale. At Canoubar he saw the working of a big sheep station in full operation, including shearing, sheep-drafting, wool-packing, and the driving of flocks by wonderfully trained dogs, also the handling and breaking-in of station horses. One of the merino rams shown to him had recently been bought for two thousand five hundred pounds sterling. As to the performances of the dogs, the confiding correspondents were told that they could drive a fowl into a jam tin, but I am not aware whether H.R.H. was asked to believe this. On the afternoon of his arrival he[195] rode nine miles, much of it along natural avenues of gum-trees, to the country town of Nyngan. His host accompanied him, mounted on his fine steeple-chaser Bullawarra, once sent to England to run in the Grand National.

At Nyngan the entire countryside was found assembled and the Prince met a large company of returned men, besides relatives of those who would not return, nurses and other war-workers. All the school-children of the neighbourhood were also there. The programme included the laying of a foundation-stone, after which he rode home escorted by a bodyguard of light-horsemen, who gave a display of bush-galloping a mile outside the station.

Next day H.R.H. was made acquainted with the Jackaroo. The Jackaroo is neither a crow nor a parrot nor any kind of quadruped. He is a young gentleman of Australia who desires to become a squatter, and who gives his services on a sheep-run for the opportunity of picking up the business. He was living, where the Prince encountered him, with, half a dozen of his fellows, in a comfortable building with roomy sleeping quarters and an old soldier in charge of the mess. His food is plain but substantial and appetizing, a leading feature of it, the slab of "brownie" bread, full of currants, which tells its own tale of his age and digestion. The Jackaroo spends most of his day in the saddle, riding long distances to outlying parts of the run, on the hunt for bogged sheep, or in supervising lambing or moving flocks from one paddock to another. Often he will not see a living soul from the time he starts out in the morning until he returns at night, and he may even lose his[196] way. He then makes a bee-line in the likeliest direction until he comes to the wire fence of the boundary, which he may follow for miles before he reaches a landmark he knows. The speedometer of one car which had been out on fence inspection the day before the Prince arrived, marked 120 miles, travelled in a single day, so it may be presumed that the Jackaroo's bump of locality develops early. The squatter is generally glad to take on likely boys, as he finds them, when the first fecklessness is worn off, on the whole more conscientious than paid labour, an important point for work that has to be so largely delegated. The life is healthy and interesting, and on up-to-date runs like the ones seen, looked exceedingly pleasant. The young fellows come as a rule from families of good class and generally have means of their own—a combination which should make the life history of the Jackaroo not unrewarding to the student of the fauna of these parts. His own point of view would have been worth obtaining, but being young he was modest and said little. He rode buck-jumpers for the Prince. He buck-jumped rather specially well, as might be expected of a Jackaroo. His name is a felicity that will outlive much topography. One wonders who invented it.

The Prince on several occasions shared in the sport of kangaroo chasing, which leaves fox-hunting standing. On one occasion he rode all day guided by sons of his hosts through vast paddocks fenced with wire, over an even carpet of young green grass, which was then just springing up after floods following three years of drought, and took many a jump over fallen trunks of trees killed by systematic ringing to make way for fodder raising. On the way thirty or forty kangaroos were seen and[197] five of them were chased over formidable obstacles which the "old men"—the male kangaroos—cleared with extraordinary ease in their long hopping stride, at a pace that took greyhounds all they could do to overtake. These kangaroos eat sometimes by no means an inconsiderable amount of pasture needed for the sheep, and some years ago were being so extensively shot down that they were in danger of being exterminated. A close season was introduced and now they are increasing to the extent, in some localities, of again becoming troublesome. They are much the colour of the tree trunks, and until startled are easily overlooked in the bush. They are off with most wonderful grace and agility the moment they are disturbed and can even clear the high barbed wire fences by which the runs are bounded provided they approach at a right angle. When running parallel to the fence they cannot get the necessary foothold for a big enough spring. This is sometimes taken advantage of by the rider, who, being of course unable to put his horse over so formidable an obstacle, endeavours to head off the kangaroo in such manner that it may reach the fence at a slanting angle. In this case the chase continues alongside instead of being finished by the kangaroo's escape over the fence. When overtaken by dogs, which are often used in the chase, the kangaroo makes a gallant fight for life, and many a hound has been ripped open and killed by a well-directed kick from its powerful hind feet, before it can be shot.

The emu also lent itself to the excitement of the chase during the tour. The big brown wingless bird much the size and shape of the ostrich, is quite unable even to jump, but runs as fast as a horse can gallop, and when pursued will charge a barbed wire fence so hard as to break its[198] way through, its feathers protecting it from being seriously torn. It is on this account not beloved by the squatter, but it is seldom shot. The Prince brought away with him two newly hatched emu chickens, creatures the size of ducks and prettily marked in shades of black and fawn. Their quarters on the Renown were in a roomy cage on the superstructure, where they soon established a reputation as quiet, sober and well-behaved members of the ship's company.

On several of his expeditions the Prince was given a meal in the bush camp fashion. One of these was on the shady banks of a stream twenty-five miles from a station, from which he had ridden out in the morning accompanied by sons of his hosts. Here quantities of dead gum-tree trunks were quietly burning, and were made use of for grilling chops and making billy tea. The latter is quite unlike and, to the hungry rider, infinitely preferable to the teapot variety. A tin-can is filled at the nearest water-hole and is carried to a burning tree trunk, on which it is gingerly balanced, usually with the aid of a stick, the tree trunk being as a rule too hot to reach without one. The water boils with extraordinary rapidity and the pot is quickly hooked off the fire. A generous handful of tea is thrown into the water before it ceases to boil and the resultant brew is drunk from any utensil that happens to be handy. Nobody inquires what becomes of the tea leaves.

One of the sights on the Canoubar run was sixty thousand sheep recently returned from stations in well-watered districts, in one case five hundred miles distant by rail, whither they had been sent to stay over the years of drought. These sheep had all been carried by the state[199] railways of New South Wales, at extraordinarily low rates, and with surprisingly few casualties. They offered a concrete example of what had been done on a very large scale throughout the State, where the railways were able to save for the squatters hundreds of thousands of valuable sheep, which must otherwise have perished when the fodder supply gave out. The Prince was so interested in what he saw that there was no getting him away before dark. By the time he was back in the station he had ridden over sixty miles without leaving the run.


[200]

XXII

AMONGST THE SHEEP

Within the memory of men who have not yet reached middle age, sheep-rearing in Australia was a gamble. At one time large fortunes might be made, at another the fruits of long years of thrift and labour might be swept away by causes which appeared to be outside human control. Now the industry has become a science. The settler may make more or he may make less, according as the world price for wool is high or low. He has his welfare in his own hands, however, and has only to go the right way to work to make certain of a living.

The removal of the rabbit-pest has been particularly complete. The Prince saw wire fencing, extending in some cases in unbroken stretches for thousands of miles, which is at once so high and so deeply embedded in the ground that rabbits can neither burrow beneath nor climb over it. Once a paddock, fenced in this way, has been cleared it remains permanently free. The principal measures for clearing are the systematic ploughing of every warren, which effectually stops the burrows, and thereafter the driving by dogs and horsemen of such rabbits as are above ground to the fences, where covered pits, led up to by long converging lines of wire netting, have been prepared in advance. The rabbits[201] follow one another through drop entrances into these pits, thousands being sometimes captured in one night on a single run. The operation has only to be repeated, in one paddock after another, to free an estate completely. The value of the rabbits and their fur covers most of the cost involved. One may meet gigantic crates on wheels, each drawn by a dozen horses and sometimes containing twenty thousand rabbits, en route to factories where the skins are cured and the flesh prepared for export. By these means many runs have been completely cleared, while others are in course of being similarly dealt with.

As regards methods of fighting drought, in addition to the help given by the railways in moving sheep from drought-infected areas, to regions where the grass has not dried up, the storage of fodder in good years to make up for deficiency in bad ones, is a further measure adopted. Artesian borings, even where they are inadequate for irrigation purposes, will water millions of sheep where the surface supply is defective.

It was at one time feared that the tapping of the subsoil water over tens of thousands of square miles in New South Wales, where the geological formations are such as to render this class of enterprise remunerative, would gradually exhaust the supply. Experience over a number of years, including prolonged periods of drought, however, has not confirmed this apprehension. The Prince was shown wells which had been running for twenty years without intermission. In some cases, it is true, fresh borings have had to be made, but it has been discovered that the failure of the old ones is almost always due, not to any[202] deficiency in water-pressure below ground, but to the silting up or the corroding of the pipe itself. Fresh bores yield full supplies, close alongside those that have given out. Restrictions are rightly imposed by Government upon the sinking of more than what is considered a reasonable number of wells in any one area, and up to the present, in the entire sheep region visited by the Prince, this arrangement has allowed sufficient supplies to be forthcoming for the watering of all stock, even in such periods of prolonged drought as that from which this part of Australia had very recently emerged.

Minor enemies of the squatter are the black carrion crows, creatures justly execrated by every back-block man. They are not unlike English rooks, but have the diabolical habit of attacking sick sheep and newly-born lambs, not infrequently pecking out their eyes. They are also charged with poisoning the wounds they make, so that a sheep may die which appears to have been only very slightly pecked. The harmless looking galahs, white parrots with pink breasts, make themselves only one degree less objectionable by eating the grain. Both of these pests, however, are being got under, with the growth in the number of sportsmen with scatter guns in each district. The Prince shot several galahs, and if his bag did not include any carrion crows this was chiefly because the good work of shooting them had already been so efficiently done.

Another trouble of the squatter, the silting up of his fences with leaves and dust in the hot weather, until they disappear and sheep and cattle stray over them unimpeded, is also being successfully overcome. On one estate enormous machines like snow-ploughs were shown, which[203] were periodically pulled by horses along the windward side of fences subject to this mishap. Floods come only occasionally, but the squatter has declined to allow himself to be defeated by them. The Prince saw the bones of many a stray sheep that had been drowned in the last visitation of this kind. It is indeed extraordinary that such a thing should occur upon a table-land two thousand feet above sea level, where rain is ordinarily so scanty that drought is continually feared. The very rarity of heavy rain, however, makes the conditions such that the water-courses may be inadequate to carry off any sudden downpour, with the result that the flooding, when it does occur, may easily be very extensive, as the country for hundreds of miles on end is almost absolutely level. Motor-cars have been used successfully to convey thousands of sheep, three or four at a time, from flooded areas to banks where they could exist until the water subsided. In other cases boats have been brought from incredibly distant rivers to carry stock to safety. Much has also been done upon men's backs, for the squatter does not allow his sheep to perish if anything within human strength can help them.

In this part of Australia the grass is so thin that from two to five acres are required to support each sheep. This accounts for the immense size of the runs, which extend in some cases to hundreds of thousands of acres. One of the results of so much grazing space is that epidemics are almost unknown. On one of the runs the Prince took a hand, with power-driven clippers in sheds, where one man shears, on the average, more than a hundred sheep in a single day, the wool fetching up to[204] twenty-two pence a pound. Fleeces so ticketed indicate the neighbourhood of the wool millionaire, and he was to be met in all stages of opulence. A run carrying fifty thousand sheep, each yielding a profit of ten shillings in the year for wool alone, is by no means uncommon in this part of Australia, men who had established themselves in pre-war days, in quite a modest way, upon land leased from the State, not infrequently finding their incomes multiplied a number of times over as the rates for wool increased. The greater part of these profits has remained in the country, and much of it has been put into the development of the runs, and the improvement of the breeds of sheep, horses and cattle on them. In one of the stations a five-thousand-pound bull had recently been bought, and cows were valued at a thousand pounds apiece. On another, three rams were shown to the Prince which were considered to be worth six thousand pounds, being an average of two thousand each.

The methods of development adopted varied according to the financial position of the owners. A squatter with a long-established run who had paid off his mortgages, and had money in hand, would ordinarily keep more sheep upon a given area than his less prosperous neighbour, for the reason that he could afford to move them by rail in years of drought. The man more recently established, with whom money was not so plentiful, would keep his land more sparsely stocked. In one case only six thousand sheep were being raised, though the run would have supported twice that number in an ordinary season. Here the owner did the whole of the[205] routine work of the place, with the assistance only of his two eldest sons, lads in their 'teens, and occasional hired hands for shearing and fencing.

The run possessing the five-thousand-pound bull was worked upon more expensive principles. It employed highly paid managers, overseers and stockmen all the year round, and was regarded as so up to date in its methods as to be quoted as a state model of efficiency and a sort of competitive Elysium for jackaroos. Both methods of working seemed to be successful, and both estates were making money.

The heavy drop in wool prices that is now taking place will no doubt reduce the amount of the profits presently to be made. There is no reason to apprehend, however, that the industry will not adjust itself successfully to the new state of things. Fortunes in the future may be harder to make than in the past, but the necessaries of life are assured to all engaged in an industry so self-supplying as is that of sheep-farming. The area suitable for it is still practically unlimited, and the open-air life it offers will continue to attract young fellows anxious to get away from the confinement of the town and the office.

As regards the climate, all that I can say is that as far north as the Prince's travels extended, the winter conditions then prevailing were delightful. The nights were sharp, and the days full of sunshine, and of a temperature that induced to outdoor work of every kind. Never have I seen healthier looking people than those who make this part of the world their permanent home. The children that the Prince found assembled in surprising numbers at every stopping-place, were sturdy and well developed. That the summers on these breezy uplands are sometimes hot[206] was testified to by occasional underground chambers constructed so as to afford shelter in the middle of the day. Every one agreed, however, that the nights were cool, and the health and longevity of the community phenomenal. The interesting claim was also made that the very warmth of the sun in summer was itself an important factor in keeping down disease alike in men and sheep.

The lowlands along the coast of Northern Queensland, where such tropical staples as sugar-cane, plantains and coco-nuts are grown in quantity, were hardly reached, though Brisbane, the most northerly seaport visited by the Prince, was upon the outer fringe of this important region. In Brisbane the climate was distinctly hot, though the inhabitants looked strong and full of health. Further north, where the temperatures grow higher, we were told that numbers of Italians are settling in and doing well. They have found conditions not altogether dissimilar from those of their own country, and are developing labour able to deal to some extent with the difficult problem of sugar-growing.

On leaving Myowera the Prince proceeded by train to Sydney. On the way civic receptions were held in his honour at a number of centres. He stopped off at Dubbo, where white-dressed V.A.D.'s, each with a wand of yellow-flowering wattle, made a bower over his head as he passed from the railway station on the usual inspection of returned men. At Wellington he found a crowd waiting to cheer him beneath flowering orchards shivering in wintry rain. Blayney, although situated upon the chill slopes of the Canobolas mountains and said to be the coldest place in New South Wales, produced amongst its guard-of-honour a cavalry[207] officer from India in the turbaned uniform of the Fifteenth Lancers, who had returned to his home in Australia when peace was declared. Another place visited was Bathurst, where a procession through the town took place, and where the decorations and receptions were on a very extensive scale. In the course of his reply to a civic address, presented in this city, the Prince said his visit in the interior had given him a glimpse of real Australia. He had seen the richness of the country and had learnt the desolation that drought and floods could produce. "Many," he added, "have suffered losses, and while sympathizing with their hard fortune, I trust the next few years may be years of plenty and bring them all they desire."

On arrival at Sydney the Prince went at once to the Renown. Later in the day, his official tour having ended, he drove unescorted to the races, which he enjoyed like any private individual. The courtesy of the large gathering of race-goers was such that, although everybody wanted to see him, and much cheering took place, the stewards had no difficulty in preventing any inconvenience.

Before finally sailing, the Prince spent four days in Sydney, saying good-bye to his friends, and receiving them in the Renown, which he made his home. Amongst those he entertained were the Commonwealth Governor, the Prime Minister, the New South Wales Governor, the State Premier, and the principal Commonwealth and State Officials. His staff, meanwhile, was kept busy receiving and dispatching his replies to a mountain of warm-hearted farewell messages, of which the following, from M. Fihelly, acting Premier of Queensland, and head of the most advanced Labour Government in Australia, may be taken as a sample:—[208]

"Your Royal Highness's visit will always be gratefully and affectionately remembered by the Government and people here, who found the greatest delight in your presence amongst them, and who will henceforward regard you as a new link uniting the British peoples. We hope your Royal Highness will have a safe and pleasant homeward voyage, and that long life and uninterrupted happiness and good health will be yours. You came to our land as His Majesty's most effective ambassador to us and we ask you to be our envoy to him, bearing renewed assurances that the lofty ideals which inspire our race are a living active force in Australia to-day."

Amongst the individual replies dispatched by the Prince perhaps one of the happiest went to the Royal Australian Navy, which, after expressing thanks for escorts and other services, and wishing good luck to all, ended with the characteristic request that the main-brace might be spliced.

In his general farewell message His Royal Highness said:—

"I am very sorry that my first visit to Australia is at an end, and I wish on leaving to express my deep appreciation and gratitude to the Government and people of the whole Commonwealth for the pleasure and happiness which they have given me during my all too short stay. I have been deeply touched by the open-hearted affection shown to me everywhere, and I hope that Australians have realized how much the warmth of their welcome has meant to me. It has made my first visit an experience which I can never forget and which will always bind me to Australia as a real southern home.

"Throughout the Commonwealth I have been impressed by the fact that the Australian people as a whole have just the same free and gallant British spirit at home which the Diggers showed so splendidly during the war. Australia has appealed to me intensely as a land where British men and women may make a new nation as great as any nation of the past, and I shall be heart and soul with them in their aims and efforts all my life."


EMU ON A SHEEP-RUN


GOOD-BYE TO SYDNEY HARBOUR

[209]

"I refuse to say good-bye. I have become so fond of Australia now that she can never be far from my thoughts, wherever I may be; and I look forward most keenly to the time when I shall be able to return."

"My affectionate best wishes to her people, one and all."

The last official function attended by the Prince in Australia was an investiture at Government House, Sydney, at which he conferred the following decorations on behalf of the King:—

On Major-General Sir C. B. White, Commonwealth Organizer of the visit, and Rear-Admiral Grant, Senior Officer of the Commonwealth Naval Board, the K.C.V.O.; on Brigadier-General F. H. W. Lloyd, Brigadier-General Dodds, Commonwealth Assistant Organizer, and Commodore Dumaresque, commanding the Australian Fleet, the C.V.O.; on Captain the Hon. B. Clifford, Military Secretary to the Governor-General, the M.V.O.

The following officers, who were in attendance during the Royal tour, also received the M.V.O.: Colonel F. B. Heritage, Lieutenant-Colonel Lionel Robinson, Captain J. G. Duncan Hughes, and Captain R. James, and it was also conferred upon the following organizers of the Prince's visit in various States: Mr. Clifford Hay (New South Wales), Mr. Whitehead (Victoria), Mr. Blinman (South Australia), Mr. Steer (Queensland), Mr. Shapcott (West Australia), and Mr. Addison (Tasmania).

Royal Victorian medals were also conferred upon seven motor-drivers who had been in attendance throughout the tour.

Every newspaper throughout Australia meanwhile made the Prince's departure its leading theme, the illustrated journals teeming with pictures connected with his going. The Sydney "Daily Telegraph," on the day of his leaving, said: "At high water the Renown will carry[210] the Prince through the Heads, on the first stage of his homeward journey. The Prince himself goes away on another high tide—of popularity and goodwill."

"If ever there was danger," the Sydney "Morning Herald" said, "of Australian opinion being misinterpreted through the utterances of a few noisy and churlish malcontents, it has been dissipated once and for all by the Prince's experiences."

On the 19th August the Renown weighed anchor in brilliant sunshine, to the sound of music, cheers, and salutes, every headland lined with people. Flotillas of crowded steamboats raced alongside her as she made her way to the Heads where the Prince's letters overtook him in a fast Australian destroyer, which had picked them up from aeroplanes dispatched especially from Adelaide. As a final courtesy it was a happy touch, and if the Renown had been a sailing ship would have cheered her on with airs from home.

The Prince's visit was over. The unanimity and cordiality of his welcome everywhere had been a revelation even to the people of the land, who in the clash of local political creeds had hardly realized before how deep and universal was their feeling of citizenship in the Empire, or how warmly this feeling would manifest itself towards one who came to them standing for that Empire and asking only to learn the glory of Australia's part in it.


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XXIII

EASTWARD HO

After leaving Sydney the Renown made a record run, much of it at twenty knots an hour, to catch up time. The Prince thus arrived at Fiji punctually to his programme, in spite of having been delayed at Sydney waiting for the mail. He landed at Suva, where he was received as cordially and by as large and picturesque a gathering as had greeted his first arrival at this port. His visit was informal, but he attended a civic reception in the beautiful Botanical Gardens, followed by a ride across country which was not without excitement. The party at one point were on a narrow hill road, with a bank on one side and a steep drop on the other. The Prince was in front when they reached a tree-trunk which had fallen across the way, leaving no room to get past. H.R.H. dismounted and scrambled over with his horse in lead. The Secretary to the Governor, who was immediately behind, endeavoured to get across without leaving the saddle, but his animal slipped in landing and went over the edge. Its rider, although crippled by the loss of one leg, managed to throw himself off upon the brink, where he clung precariously while his horse went crashing through the bushes thirty feet beneath him, rolling over and over as it fell. The Prince was the first to[212] get hold of his companion and help to pull him back unhurt into safety. Oddly enough, the horse was able to carry him home, when eventually it had scrambled back to the road.

The Prince rode for some hours after this incident, dismounting on the way back, and doing the last eight miles on foot at a swinging pace. A dinner and dance at Government House finished up the day.

The Renown sailed from Fiji the following day. On reaching Samoa she lay in the open roadstead, facing misty hills, among which rose steep green cones of long-dead volcanoes. In the middle distance white-crested waves flicked their tails with a vicious curl in a leaden rain-flogged sea, which ended in a white line of breakers where the red roofs of the town of Apia met the beach. The Prince went off in a bounding launch, accompanied by Colonel R. W. Tate, the administrator. A mile of rough and tumble brought the friendly shelter of the reef. Here a number of long low Samoan canoes, with some forty semi-naked paddlers apiece, met the launch and escorted it with shouting and beating of wooden drums, as big as bath-tubs, past the rusty skeleton of the German See Adler, wrecked upon the bar in the hurricane of 1899, to a quiet wharf, where the Prince landed in a bower of greenery and bunting. He was received by the principal people of the island, including the Chief Judge and other officers of the New Zealand administration, also a number of missionaries. Addresses of welcome were presented and the Prince was conducted on foot over carpets of brown mulberry bark to the reception by the Islanders themselves. Lines of smiling Samoans, naked save[213] for loin-cloths of mat and bark and necklaces of crimson pandanus pods the size of fingers, lined the route and brought deep cries of "Aue!"—"Welcome!"—from the bottom of their lungs. The procession was slow and imposing. It ended in a grassy space beneath green coco-nut palms and white-flowering leva trees. The Prince took the seat of honour in a decorated booth, surrounded by thousands of Samoans, many of whom had travelled long distances from their homes by canoe. The ceremonies began with the presentation of a series of Samoan chiefs, including the "High Intercessor," Malietoa Tanumafili, brother of the late King Malietoa Laupepa, and the venerable Tuimale Fana, friend of Robert Louis Stevenson. He is a sturdy, upstanding figure in the photograph in "Vailima Letters," broad-faced and well covered and content. That was a quarter of a century ago. Now the years have bent and dulled him. The years, and perhaps the loss that dulls the world, for Tusitala tells no more tales to any of us in this South Sea Island where he lived and where he knew so well he would die. One thought, if he had been living now, how glad a hand and how rich a memory would have been added to this journey, and how brimming a cup of Imperial romance the Renown would have lifted to Stevenson's lips. But Tusitala could not come to the Prince; so the Prince went to Tusitala, where he lies on the hill-top that meets the winds from the sea, and stood there for a while beside him.

This was later. The Samoan ceremony of welcome was long. The presentations extended to a bevy of island ladies garbed in frilled creations of bark, relieved with hibiscus blossoms, as scanty at both[214] ends as a ball dress out of Bond Street. The High Chief Intercessor afterwards read an address of welcome in which he declared that God had been the Prince's helmsman in bringing him to Samoa. A move was afterwards made—there is no other way of describing the respectful suggestion, the start, the progress to an official fixture—a move was afterwards made to a thatched hut where the Prince tasted Samoan dainties spread out upon mats upon the floor. He also saw articles of Samoan manufacture, including delicately carved wooden Kava bowls, mats so fine that some of them were valued at a hundred pounds, and tappas, lengths of soft mulberry-bark cloth painted with many patterns, worn by the men, quite decorative in effect though not exactly pliable enough to suit a West End tailor.

Returning later on to the booth further ceremonies were successfully encountered, including the preparing and drinking of King's Kava. Semi-naked warriors, in head-dresses like hay-trusses ornamented with variegated Berlin wool and pieces of looking-glass held in place by skewers, chopped and pounded white Kava root, macerated the resultant pulp in a beautifully carved hard-wood bowl the size of a foot-bath, with water brought up in solemn procession in a galvanized iron housemaid's bucket, strained the concoction in a Samoan mat, and carried it to the Prince in a carved cup of coco-nut. National dances, participated in by both men and women, followed and a one-legged chief from one of the neighbouring islands read a further address of welcome. Offerings were here presented, green coco-nuts, pigs roasted whole, masses of bark tappas and mats.

[215]

The sea had gone down when the Prince re-embarked, and except that the war-canoes accompanied the launch right out to the Renown, the ceremonies of departure were much like those of arrival.

The visit occurred opportunely at a time when these rich islands of coco-nut and banana plantations were slowly settling down under New Zealand administration after a long period of uncertainty during the war, followed by a much-dreaded influenza epidemic, which had swept away a terribly large proportion of their attractive and easy-going inhabitants. European residents said the Prince's coming was having an excellent effect. It was already looked upon as fulfilling the Samoan prayer that Great Britain should "remember this small branch of the great tree of Empire." It was treated as an omen. "Healthy are the travellers," declared one of the addresses, "We now meet with success"—and in islands so swayed by emotion, picturesque expressions of this kind no doubt indicate some corresponding reality in feeling.

After leaving Samoa the Renown called at Honolulu, where the Prince spent three days quietly, surf-riding and golfing, his experiences being largely a repetition of those of his visit to the island on his outward voyage, except that there were no official ceremonies. He stayed at the Moana Hotel as an ordinary visitor, dividing his time between the beautiful Waikiki beach and the country club. Nothing could exceed the kindness, hospitality, and consideration extended not only to the Prince, but also to the entire ship's company of the Renown by Governor McCarthy and other Hawaiian residents, who, while scrupulously respecting the Prince's desire that the visit should be without[216] functions, did everything imaginable to render it as enjoyable as possible. The arrangements included drives around the island and other entertainments for every officer and man of the Renown.

On leaving, the Prince issued a press note expressing his appreciation. "I was delighted with Honolulu on my outward voyage," he said, "and most grateful for the kind welcome and generous hospitality given me by the Governor, Mr. McCarthy, and every one. I always feel happy amongst Americans and in American territory, because American life appeals to me greatly, and I have many American friends—especially since my short visit to the United States last year, when I was deeply touched by the most friendly reception accorded me."

The whole white population of Honolulu assembled on the wharf when the Renown cast off. Before leaving the Prince had been presented with the usual farewell offering of ropes of flowers, which he duly flung overboard, in accordance with immemorial Hawaiian custom, as the ship left the shore, in token that his friendship remained with this pleasant island though he himself was compelled to depart. As the ship cleared the harbour searchlights were played upon the Waikiki beach where so many enjoyable hours had been spent.

Crossing the northern Pacific the Renown touched Mexico, where Acapulco harbour, a deep, sheltered pool amongst hills of ferruginous rock and verdant jungle, held the ship for a day. On one side were the square, flat-topped bastions of the fort, with ancient muzzle-loaders pointing black mouths out of stone embrasures, muzzle-loaders which were fired quite recently at the late President Carranza's gunboat, the[217] Gerriro, when it was shelling revolutionaries ensconced in the red-tiled city that climbs up the steep slope behind the wharf.

The fighting was described to us in broken English by Mexican traders doing business in dark verandahed houses opening out of the narrow streets. It had surged up and down the town in the form of desultory rifle-fire between the followers of Carranza, who were in occupation, and those of the insurgent rebel leader, Avaro Obregon, who eventually drove them into the interior. Carranza's gunboat simultaneously disappeared to sea. No great damage was done in the town. All that we heard of was the looting of shops, which did not appear to have been on any very considerable scale. After the firing had ceased, the civilians, who had mostly hidden themselves in the hills, returned and reopened their places of business.

At the time of the Prince's visit the walls of Acapulco were plastered with rough zincograph prints of Avaro Obregon, a soldierly looking Mexican, whose election for President was voted upon the Sunday before the Renown put in to that port. Nobody doubted that he would be declared elected (as has since been the case) for the excellent reason that no other candidate had been even heard of at Acapulco. In the disorder so long in the ascendant the entire port has fallen into decay. Dark-skinned loungers, in white cotton shirts and trousers, bare feet, and gigantic straw sombrero hats, smoked cigarettes upon benches beneath plantain trees in the central square. In the market-place were tethered mules with high-peaked saddles, also doing nothing and enjoying it. A couple of small bells rang out intermittently from a big Catholic[218] church with corrugated iron roof, but the only worshipper inside this draughty place of worship was a guide, who seemed to be returning thanks for unaccustomed profits brought to him by the royal visit. The planks of the empty wharf were so rotten that one had to walk warily to avoid mischance.

On the beach were a few light fishing boats, one of which was engaged in taking out three of the Governor's A.D.C.'s through the fine but deserted harbour to pay his respects to the Prince. The Governor, these gentlemen explained, was ill or would have been with them. The British and United States consuls came to the ship, where they were entertained to lunch.

The Prince afterwards landed and went for a walk ashore, while the Renown took in oil-fuel. Bumboats with scarlet sails, presided over by dusky ladies in black robes and tumbled hair, hawked bananas, melons, earthen pots, sombrero hats, Mexican swords, coloured blankets, and other locally manufactured articles, to the blue-jackets.

An old missionary in the faded uniform of a captain of the Royal Navy, a rank he once had held, also visited the Renown. He had recently arrived by mule from Mexico City, some six hundred miles distant. The road is steep and rocky, but by no means unsafe. The railway, which is ultimately to connect Acapulco with Mexico City, though partly torn up, is still in working order for nearly half the way. It may some day shorten the mail route materially between Europe and Australia. The bags would be carried overland from some American port on the Atlantic and re-shipped at Acapulco for the trans-Pacific voyage. Business had not been altogether suspended in Mexico City, banks remaining open and[219] motor-cars plying in the streets.

Little was known in Acapulco of the personality of Avaro Obregon, except that he had been a successful revolutionary leader. It was hoped he would prove strong enough to hold his own and put down disorder, thereby enabling prosperity to return to this much-vexed country, but fighting in Mexico, as in Ireland, is a temperamental gift and hard to lose.

The Renown put out to sea in a sharp electric storm. Warm tropical rain came down with insistent hammer, and lightning from all sides at once threw up the coast in brilliant outline, and illuminated an enormous crucifix upon one of the headlands, by which Drake may have steered in his pursuit of Spanish galleons three hundred years ago.

The passage from the Pacific to the Atlantic, on the return journey, was quickly accomplished. The Renown arrived at Panama at daylight, after an uneventful voyage from Acapulco. She was received by the American authorities, who fired a salute of welcome. The Canal was entered without a stop, and was traversed smoothly and in record time for so big a vessel. Every lock was clear and every possible facility was afforded.

Dredgers were still at work at the slip which had delayed the Renown on her outward voyage, but an almost magical change had been effected in the interval by the removal of a million cubic yards of rock and earth. What had been a narrow, tortuous channel in June, had been converted by September into a spacious pool, where to the casual glance six Renowns could lie side by side. The hillside above looked as unstable as ever, but no fresh land-slips were visible, and even if they occur hereafter, as is to be expected, the canal has space to accommodate considerable[220] subsidence without interfering with vessels getting through.

At the Gatun locks the Prince went off by launch, in company with Mr. Markham, the pisciculturist of the Canal, who succeeded in showing him some Tarpon fishing. He got back at a late hour, muddy but radiant, with quite a catch, and re-embarked upon the Renown, which was then moored alongside the Christobal wharf at Colon, taking in oil. H.M.S. Calcutta was also there, and the two vessels put out to sea the following morning.


[221]

XXIV

THE WEST INDIES

An epidemic in Jamaica abridged the West Indian part of the tour, but the Renown visited several of the other islands, beginning with Trinidad, where the flotilla anchored three days after leaving Colon in the quiet roadstead off Port of Spain. Here Sir John Chancellor, Governor of the Island, came on board to pay his respects to the Prince, who shortly afterwards landed.

The entire city of Port of Spain had been effectively decorated. Sugar-cane-stalks, cocoa-pods, and coco-nuts, were worked in cleverly upon arches, spanning its substantial streets, to represent the agriculture of the Colony. The other main Trinidad industries, asphalt and oil, were well in evidence in the smooth surface found upon the roads along which the Royal procession passed. The crowds lining the route were made up in fairly equal proportions of negroes, East Indians, and persons of mixed or "coloured" race. Few Europeans were seen until the Legislative Council building and the Town Hall were reached, where they were in considerable numbers. Those presented to the Prince included Messrs. De B. Best, Colonial Secretary, H. B. Walcott, Controller General, A. G. Bell, Director of Public Works, L. Elphinstone, Solicitor-General, Colonel Mui, Commandant of the Local[222] Forces, Major Rust, acting President of the Civic Council, Rev. Dowling, Catholic Archbishop, Dr. Ansley, Anglican Bishop, Sir Alfred Smith, Chief Justice, also Justices Russell and Deane, and Father de Caignai, Head of the Tunapuna Monastery.

The official address, read by the Governor, made special mention of how much the island owes to the British Navy, and the Prince in the course of his reply also dwelt upon this matter: "You have well referred," he said, "to the security enjoyed by Trinidad during the Great War, in which the people of this colony contributed in worthy measure to the victory of British arms. I am particularly glad to have this opportunity of congratulating the colony upon its fine services, and of meeting some of the gallant men whom it sent overseas. I am also much pleased to hear the colony appreciates how much it owes to the Royal Navy for its tranquil prosperity during those terrible years." Touching upon more local matters, the Prince said the colony had given a high measure of prosperity to those whose forbears had made it their home. It had also provided new opportunities for progress and well-being for a large immigrant population from His Majesty's Indian Empire. "I feel sure," he added, "that all its people, not only long established but recently arrived, will do all in their power to maintain its good traditions of law-abiding progress and loyalty to British ideals."

The Prince spent several days in Trinidad, driving through its thickly wooded hills, past shady cocoa plantations, well-ordered coco-nut groves, and fields of sugar-cane. He also visited the old-time Spanish capital of St. Joseph, where an address was presented to him. He[223] attended in Port of Spain a state dinner and various other official functions, besides inspecting a big gathering of children. In the course of his remarks, replying to the toast of his health at the state dinner, he said, "I saw a suggestion, before I left England, that the British Empire might be willing to part with one or more of the British West Indian Islands to a foreign power, and I should like to say here again what I said in Barbados in March, that British subjects are not for sale. I can assure you that the King and all of us in the old country have very much at heart the welfare of Trinidad and all the British West Indies, also of all other British possessions," a statement which cannot be too often repeated in sentiment or exemplified in fact.

Visits were paid to some of the oil-wells, which are already a source of much wealth to Trinidad, and promise to become still more important in the future. The famous pitch lake was a sight along the coast, forty-five miles out. It is a semi-solidified deposit, lying in a shallow hollow, a quarter of a mile in diameter, close to the sea, where men have been digging out black slabs of asphalt for years without making a perceptible hole. The lake is so near the coast that ships sail practically up to it to carry away a product which is ultimately spread over the streets of the world. Fifty thousand tons have been taken out of it every year for a generation, and the level is estimated to have sunk only about nine inches. Oil underlies the pitch in the vicinity and a forest of derricks rises a quarter of a mile away.

From Trinidad the Prince made a side trip to Demerara, British Guiana, in the Calcutta, the Renown being too big to cross the bar into Georgetown harbour. All the sunny richness of this steamy sugar and[224] rice-growing corner of South America was in evidence when he landed at Georgetown, immediately after the ceremonial visit of the Governor, Sir William Collet. A fine West Indian guard-of-honour saluted him upon the pier, and mixed crowds of Anglo-Saxons, negroes, East Indians and Portuguese cheered in the decorated streets as he proceeded to the Government buildings. Here more guards-of-honour were inspected, including armed constabulary and militia. The Prince also shook hands with a long line of returned men. Entering the building he found the leaders of the local community assembled, including the principal officials and their families. An address of welcome was read by Mr. Brown, a coloured West Indian, senior elected member of the Court of Policy. Archbishop Parry and General Rice were amongst those presented.

In the course of his reply the Prince referred to the great potential wealth of British Guiana and to the determination of its inhabitants to develop their inheritance to the full. It was essential, he added, that all parts and sections of the community should pull together loyally, in order that their future might be assured, and particularly that the great inland wealth of the colony might be laid open for the benefit of all. He hoped their ex-service men would prove themselves as public-spirited and useful citizens in time of peace as they had on active service in the field.

Two days passed in Demerara in the enjoyment of the hospitality of the Governor and other leading residents. Visits were paid to a largely-attended race meeting, to sugar and rice estates in the swampy flats around the city, and to some very beautiful botanical gardens, where the schools of the colony were assembled, and the Prince passed down dense lines of negro, East Indian, and European children.


SAMOA MAKES MERRY


TRINIDAD: IN THE DRAGON'S MOUTH

As the Calcutta put out to sea ten thousand musical West Indian voices[225] on the Georgetown wharves joined with the light cruiser's band in the strains of "Auld Lang Syne." Probably never in the history of this important British outpost in South America has patriotic sentiment held more undivided sway or the fact been made more clear that the hearts of its flourishing inhabitants still turn faithfully to the old country. Its people are looking to England at the moment with some hope, as well, of that co-ordination of Imperial resources of which British Guiana stands so much in need. The labour question has never before been so acute. The recent abolition of the long-established Indian indentures system, and therewith the cessation of immigration from India, has synchronized with enormous increases in world prices and world demand for the sugar which Demerara is so pre-eminently qualified to provide, and for this more labour is wanted.

The same question arises in connexion with new industrial developments, now on the eve of fruition, which must add enormously to the position that agricultural produce has already won for this colony. These will come with the exploitation of vast deposits of bauxite-alumina, that promise expansion of world-wide significance in connexion with steel manufacture, into which this comparatively new mineral is entering increasingly. The position, at the time of the Prince's visit, appeared to be that a million sterling had been spent by an American Company upon machinery and shipping and railway facilities for handling the ore,[226] and that its effectual arrival upon the market was only a matter of time.

That an American Company should be spending such a large sum in the development of natural resources in British territory, was not the least interesting feature of the situation. It is to Anglo-American co-operation that Demerara and also the British West Indies must look increasingly for brains, initiative, and capital for the development of natural resources which are as yet by no means fully utilized.

The Prince returned to Trinidad through still steamy seas. Dawn on the day after leaving Demerara found the Calcutta passing the rocky portals of the narrowest of the three channels which make up the famous "Dragon's Mouth" entrance to the roadstead of Port of Spain. The shore on the landward side of this entrance was dotted with pleasant verandahed villas and fresh-tilled fields, signs of the civilization which is pushing back the forest in all parts of the island.

On reaching Port of Spain the Prince visited H.M.S. Calliope, a light cruiser just arrived from the north. He also paid a farewell visit to the Governor, and inspected the local fire brigade. In the evening he returned to the Renown, which shortly afterwards heaved up her anchors and left harbour for Grenada.

At St. George's, the principal town of Grenada, the Prince landed on the sheltered cove of Carenage, upon a decorated wharf on which was drawn up a guard-of-honour of the West Indian regiment beneath the stone bastions of an old French fort. He was received with every formality by the principal officials, headed by Sir George Haddon-Smith, Governor of the Windward Islands, Mr. Joyce Thomas, acting administrator of St.[227] Vincent, Mr. Herbert Fergusson, Colonial Secretary, Mr. E. Laborde, Colonial Treasurer, and Sir Thomas Haycroft, Chief Justice, also the heads of the local Anglican, Presbyterian, Methodist and Catholic Churches. Thereafter, up steep streets decorated with flowery arches, beneath the clanging bells of numerous churches, through smiling, bowing, cheering crowds of cheerful West Indians and their gaily dressed women and piccaninnies, he was taken by car to the colonial Court-House, where the leading residents were assembled. He entered through a shaded courtyard, where he shook hands with a number of returned men and officers. The address was read in a low-ceilinged legislative assembly room, with wide French windows commanding a wonderful view of city and harbour.

In the course of his reply the Prince said the strength and spirit of the British Commonwealth could not be fully grasped by anyone without first-hand knowledge of the British Dominions and Colonies. "The more I see of the King's world-wide possessions," he added, "the more deeply I am impressed by the strength of the sentiment which binds them to the Empire and the throne"—the truth of which was testified to by every street he had passed through.

The Prince was afterwards taken by motor into the interior, through some of the most luxuriant vegetation in the world, past cocoa and nutmeg plantations, up two thousand feet into the mountains, about the forest-shaded depths of the circular lake of Grand Etang, the crater of an extinct volcano. An official lunch and a garden-party at Government House filled up the day, which ended with a reception given by the[228] Prince on the Renown to the principal residents of the island.

Leaving Grenada at daylight the Renown threaded her way through the clustering Grenadine Islands and past the steep twin green cones of the inaccessible Piton peaks, and anchored near the Pigeon Rock—Admiral Rodney's eighteenth-century naval base.

The Prince, accompanied by Sir George Haddon-Smith, who had come on with him from Grenada, landed at Castries at noon, where he was received by Colonel Davidson-Houston, Administrator of St. Lucia, supported by Mr. Anthony de Freitas, Chief Justice, and other members of the Executive Council. St. Lucia's special arch was of coal, token of the colony's importance as a West Indian coaling-station. From under it His Royal Highness proceeded through decorated streets, the entire population of which had assembled to welcome him. The first stopping-place was in Columbus Square. Here, in the warm shade of big coco-nut palms and mango trees, a thousand children were drawn up, each school flanked by teachers, many of whom wore the black cassock of the Catholic Church.

The Prince afterwards climbed a hill overlooking the town, and wandered through the deserted barracks of historic fort Charlotte, where his great-great-grandfather, the Duke of Kent, father of Queen Victoria, hoisted the British flag in 1797, after the capture of the island by forces under Sir Charles Grey and Sir John Jervis. Here, standing amidst luxuriant tropical vegetation, he looked northward to the rocky Vigie promontory, on which he could descry lines occupied by Sir William Medow's thirteen hundred British, who in 1778 hurled back invading enemies twelve thousand strong. Westward he looked over the muddy Cul-de-sac Bay, where Sir Samuel Barrington, in the same year, fought[229] a desperate engagement with the French fleet under Count Destaing. Eastward also the scene was full of historic interest, for here, beyond the red roofs of Castries city, was visible a distant palm-shaded beach, where Moore and Abercromby effected their landing in 1796.

Descending the steep grassy Morne, the Prince afterwards attended a popular reception at Government House, and thence went back to the Renown.

The still hot dawn of the following day found the ship passing the green hills of the island of Martinique, birthplace of the Empress Josephine, also the bare sea-girt Diamond Rock off its coast, where, a hundred years ago, for eighteen lurid months, gallant Lieutenant Maurice and a hundred and twenty men with five guns from H.M.S. Centaur beat off attack and themselves threatened all approach to the important harbour of the enemy in Fort-de-France. Here also, towering into the clouds, were visible the dim slopes of Mount Pelee, the eruption of which, eighteen years before, had brought death in a few hours to forty thousand people.

Thereafter, through summer seas, crossing the place of the decisive battle of the Saints, the Renown pushed on, anchoring before noon off the pleasant town of Roseau, capital of Dominica Island, and head-quarters of the lime-juice industry of the world. As she neared the shore, the ship was met by the sound of cheerful bells, reflected out to sea from church towers backing upon green hills that rose into peaks, extending tier beyond tier in the interior, in such tumbled form that Columbus, describing it to his Queen, compared the island to a fistful of crumpled paper. Here the light cruisers Calcutta and Cambrian[230] joined the Renown, the three vessels making a fine show as they lay together, decked with bunting, in the brilliant sunshine of the roadstead.

The Prince landed at a decorated pier jutting out into the harbour. He was welcomed by Sir Edward Merewether, Governor of the Leeward Islands, Mr. Robert Walter, a descendant of the founder of "The Times," Administrator of Dominica, Dr. Nichols, Senior Member of the Senate, and other leading residents. A guard-of-honour of the local defence force was in attendance, and a crowd of gaily-dressed West Indians. A little group of yellow Malay-faced Caribs, representing the survivors of these now nearly extinct aborigines, stood on one side. Their chief, an old man in top-hat and black coat, was one of those with whom the Prince shook hands. The scene as the Prince proceeded inland from the wharf, with cheering West Indians racing alongside his car, was one of much quaint excitement and enthusiasm. He was taken in procession through decorated streets, masses of coloured Dominicans and their womenfolk clapping, shouting and laughing as he passed. "Than' God I not die las' week," was one pious cry, to the accompaniment of the widest grin.

Some beautiful botanical gardens, containing big trees, all grown in the space of twenty-seven years, were inspected, and a visit paid to Government House, which stands in pleasant, shady grounds. The Prince re-embarked in the Renown at sunset.

Unlike most of the other West Indian islands, which did well out of sugar during the war, Dominica, when the Prince visited it, was recovering only slowly from war depression which had hit its previously flourishing lime industry hard. This very depression, however, had[231] increased the available openings for newcomers, good land offering at very reasonable rates. As the result, we were told, increasing numbers of returned men were settling there, with bright hopes of making good amongst beautiful surroundings and in a climate which is one of perpetual summer.

At Monserrat, a small island with open, cultivated fields contrasting with the dense tropical jungle of Dominica, the Prince was received by Mr. Condell, the Commissioner, and other leading inhabitants of the colony, which is prospering in the good prices at present offering for its sea-island cotton. Boiling sulphur springs, in a vast rocky cauldron of steam, upon a mountain-side covered with aromatic cinnamon gardens and flourishing fields of sea-cotton and potatoes, were things to see if not to smell. The Prince was cheered by crowds of coloured folk, who, in their broken English, still retain distinct traces of a brogue inherited from one side of an ancestry which dates back to 1664, when Irish immigrants were taken to the island by Sir Thomas Warner. It was a quaint mixture.

The Renown put out to sea in still murky weather, with a yellow ring round the moon, signs significant to all sailor eyes, and not rendered more cheerful by the knowledge that a wireless message had reached the ship, reporting one hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico and another off the coast of Texas.

The Renown slipped through a smooth sea, however, to Antigua, completely escaping bad weather. Antigua proved to be another open island, not unlike Monserrat. The ship anchored five miles at sea off St. John's, a small sheltered harbour in which, three centuries ago, Prince Rupert successfully attacked two of Cromwell's ships. Here a[232] number of wooden fishing boats, of half a dozen different nationalities, formed a lane of many-coloured bunting through which the Prince's picket-boat was conducted to a decorated wharf.

Sir Edward Merewether, Governor of the Leeward Islands, who had come on in the Renown, Mr. Johnston, Colonial Secretary, Mr. Griffith, Colonial Treasurer, Very Rev. Shepherd, Dean of Antigua, and members of the local Executive and Legislative Councils welcomed the Prince at the landing-stage. Thereafter, through decorated streets of dazzling white wooden houses, reflecting back the tropical sun, and alive with cheering coloured folk, the Prince went in procession to the old colonial Court-House. Here, in the presence of an assemblage of the leading citizens and their families, an address of welcome was read by Mr. Griffin, Chief Justice of Antigua.

The Prince replying, referred to Nelson's having refitted his ships in this island before the Trafalgar campaign. He once again testified that his own travels had been a wonderful experience and that he hoped to have many opportunities of repeating and extending them in the future.

A pretty function followed on the breezy cricket ground, where a surprisingly large gathering of white school-children, besides masses of coloured mites, cheered the Prince enthusiastically. A state luncheon was afterwards given by the Governor, followed by a popular reception in Government House Grounds. The Renown then sailed for the Bermudas, and the Royal visit to the West Indies, during which the Prince's cheery presence had produced the happiest impression, was over. The pleasure of the Europeans at seeing him in their isolated corner of the globe was[233] almost pathetic. For those of West Indian blood the occasion was also a memorable one. It certainly revived feelings of solidarity with Great Britain which have sometimes been strained by that preaching of race-prejudice from which no people situated as these are can ever be completely exempt, be the white administration never so tactful.

Never, perhaps, has there been greater occasion for tact, as well as strength and sympathy, in the political guidance of the Islands than exists to-day. At the moment the West Indians are exceedingly prosperous on the whole, owing to the phenomenal war-prices their sugar, cotton and other produce have been fetching in the markets of the world. But the quarter of century or so of lean years that preceded the last half-dozen fat ones, have limited their outlook and retarded their development in all directions. They have become isolated. They lie between two worlds, with a tendency to take their ideas from their neighbour the United States rather than from the distant Mother Country or from Canada.

The only public information of any interest reaching them by cable of happenings throughout the world is supplied through New York. American capital is displacing British for the development of their mineral and other resources. Their agricultural produce tends more and more to find its way to the United States. Their visitors from Great Britain and the Dominions are few compared with those arriving from America; yet that this state of things can be changed is proved by the partial revival in relations with the British Empire that has followed the conclusion of the recent admirable West-Indian-Canadian Agreement.

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This agreement, however, is only one step in the right direction, and requires to be followed by many more. Direct steamers and direct cable communication with Great Britain are specially needed. The growing demand of the West Indian population for progress towards self-government, within the Empire, is also a matter of which the importance cannot be too strongly emphasized, though self-government cannot be realized without local readiness to face additional taxation and expenditure.

The splendid colonial Civil Service, sent out from London, has governed the British West Indies faithfully and well for many years, despite inadequate remuneration, and often discouraging deficiency in recognition from public opinion at home; but the day when rectitude in administration and efficiency in maintaining security and justice were sufficient by themselves to satisfy the imagination of a coloured people is passing away. The time is coming for new developments, in the interests alike of the West Indies and of the Empire as a whole.

The direction these developments must take is indicated by the nature of the situation that stands so plainly in view. Its evolution upon practical lines, in relation to the all-important question of the raising of funds necessary to pay for direct steamers and cable services and the attraction of settlers and capital from the British Empire, is a matter that, though difficult, is no longer impossible as in the past, for the reason that the recent growth in material prosperity in the islands has removed the bar hitherto existing to proposals for new taxation. In all consideration of the matter, of course, the fact has to be envisaged that the post-war conditions, which are affecting the[235] world as a whole, are potent also in the British West Indies, and that no policy which does not take them into account can remain at all permanently in force in these important islands.

The position of the negro population in the United States necessarily reacts upon that of the corresponding people under British rule. Propaganda is undoubtedly passing from negro organs in the Republic to all the British islands. This propaganda takes into consideration the political conditions in Cuba and Puertorico, which differ constitutionally from those obtaining in the British West Indian colonies. It has also to be remembered that the constitutions of the various individual British islands differ amongst themselves, and that the formulation of a uniform policy for their development may reasonably be looked for in the near future. Such a policy must recognize the interests of the labouring classes as well as of the old planter families. It would seem, at present, that the Governments have some difficulty in reconciling these two points of view, towards which they have equal responsibilities.


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XXV

THE BERMUDAS

The picturesque islands of Bermuda, in the North Atlantic, the last halting-place upon the Prince's tour, put up a brave show in honour of the Royal visitor. The Renown anchored at daylight on 1st October in the open sea off what is known as "Five Fathom Hole," where the cobalt of the deeper sea shaded into greenish patches above treacherous coral reefs. Through tortuous channels the Calcutta, to which the Prince had transhipped, felt her way, skirting on her left a prominent rock celebrated as the "Ducking Stool," testing-spot of seventeenth-century witches and place of punishment of scolds, where a battery of artillery fired a salute. A little inland of the Ducking Stool a green hummock rose, topped by Government House. Admiralty House also stood out pre-eminent amongst smaller villas. On the right, as the Calcutta passed on, curved a long sickle-shaped arm of rock forming the other side of the harbour, and terminating in the white sheds and fortifications of the naval dockyard. In the middle were tiny rocky islets between which the Calcutta steered with margin only of a few feet on either side. Upon the way the U.S.A. battleship Kansas, under Rear-Admiral Hughes, a vessel sent to Bermuda by the United States[237] Government in honour of the Prince's visit, fired a welcoming salute.

Coral-rock houses are a characteristic feature of Bermuda. They are built of squared blocks sawn out of the hillside, and have sloping roofs of similar stone rendered watertight with cement. One finds them everywhere. In the country their grey walls and roofs are surrounded by wildernesses of brilliant flowers, including purple bougainvilleas, the aptly named "flamboyants," and pink oleanders, with smooth lawns, terraced vineyards, and overgrown vegetable gardens sheltered by sombre conifers. In the city one finds sky-scraper hotels and substantial offices, workshops of Bermuda's principal industry, which is that of catering for the American tourist, who flies to this sunny spot to escape the New York winter, and dine where he may still drink.

The Prince's visit took place in the off-season of hot weather when the principal hotels are closed. The entire city had nevertheless been decorated, and a large proportion of the twenty thousand inhabitants the islands boast, assembled along the Club Wharf in Hamilton City, where the landing took place. They consisted, for the most part, of cheerful negroes and coloured folk, with a considerable proportion of well-dressed whites, including many Americans. A guard-of-honour of the Royal Sussex Regiment, in familiar khaki, stood to attention on the landing-stage, rifle-barrels gleaming in the fierce sun. Here also waited Sir James Willcocks in white uniform ablaze with war medals, also Admirals Hughes and Everett and their staffs, and the principal civilian officials in the perspiring black morning dress of more temperate zones.

The Prince and his staff landed unostentatiously in white naval kit[238] from a brass-funnelled steam picket-boat. The usual procession of carriages was formed, after the reception formalities, each drawn by a fine pair of horses, and the Prince was taken through decorated streets to the House of Assembly, where he inspected a guard-of-honour composed of seamen from H.M.S. Calcutta. Within were assembled members of the Executive and Legislative Councils and other leading residents and their families, in the garb with which civilized ceremony defies temperatures the world over.

The Governor read an address of welcome, in the course of which he reminded the Prince of their having met in France, where he, Sir James, was in command of the Indian Army Corps. The Prince, in the course of his reply, referred to the celebration of the tercentenary of the establishment of representative institutions in Bermuda, then taking place in the island, having been postponed for a month to coincide with his own visit. He also acknowledged the courtesy of the United States Government in sending the U.S.S. Kansas to meet him. In conclusion he touched upon the impressions left upon himself by his tour and its lesson of the unity, strength and devotion which bind all parts of His Majesty's dominions to British ideals.

Later on in the garden of the public buildings the Prince laid the foundation-stone of a war-memorial, the Bermuda Volunteer Rifle Corps and Militia artillery furnishing guards-of-honour, and relatives of fallen men being presented.

On the following day the Prince inspected the Royal Navy dockyard, and placed a wreath upon the grave of the late Admiral Napier, until recently in command of the Royal West Indian squadron, who was one of[239] the victims of an outbreak of typhoid in these islands. He also paid a farewell visit to H.M.S. Calcutta, Flagship of the Royal West Indian Squadron, which had been his escort throughout the tour in these waters, and said good-bye to its officers and men, at the same time conferring the Knight Commandership of the Victorian Order upon Admiral Everett, and the Companionship on Captain Noble, R.N.

The final day of the Prince's visit to Bermuda found him at St. George, the quaint coral-built old capital, to which he drove himself from Government House, Hamilton, in a high-seated mail phaeton, with two horses, Sir James Willcocks beside him. The drive was twelve miles along the coast, through most beautiful country, a fresh sea-breeze mitigating the heat, which had previously been trying. Much of the way the road was shaded by feathery Lignum-vitæ trees, here known as cedars, which have deliciously scented wood and were once a rich asset for shipbuilding. Flowering groves of pink oleander, dense thickets of scarlet, pink and yellow hibiscus, purple masses of bougainvilleas bordered the way, which was past garden after garden of the wonderful rich red loam which has won for Bermuda potatoes, Bermuda onions and Bermuda bananas a reputation almost world-wide.

En route the Prince alighted to look into the shadowy depths of the Devil's Grotto, a deep rock-bound pool of clearest water connected with the sea, in which big fish of brilliant colours swim lazily. He also wandered hundreds of yards underground, through an extraordinary rift in the coral formation known as the Crystal cave, from hundreds of thousands of semi-transparent stalactites, many of them reaching from floor to ceiling, in some cases overhanging still pools of clear salt[240] water, or forming grotesque figures, with which the electric lamps, that light the place, played the most fantastic tricks. The cave is one of a number in different parts of the islands, and claims to be of extraordinary antiquity, the stalactites growing at so slow a rate that a hundred thousand years are believed to be represented by a mere fraction of their length.

The entire route from Hamilton to St. George had been decorated, the arches representing an immense amount of willing labour. One of them had been solidly constructed of square blocks of sawn coral rock by coloured volunteers, who had built it at night after their ordinary working hours were over. Another, which had been put up by members of the garrison, was a wonderfully worked-out reproduction of the sailing ship Patience built near by, over three hundred years ago, by which the shipwrecked crew of Sir George Somer's ship Sea Venture made their way to Virginia. This arch was entirely constructed of the local cedar, which was the wood used in building the Patience.

At St. George the Prince was entertained by Mayor Boyle and members of the local town council, the Mayor's tiny but very self-possessed grand-daughter presenting a bouquet, the last local attention of the tour. He was given a great send-off when he finally embarked by launch to rejoin the Renown waiting for him beyond the reefs with the end of her mission in sight and her blunt grey nose pointing toward home.

Eight days later, on the 11th October, early in the morning, the heart of England turned for a moment to her old harbour of Portsmouth, where, through one of her own October fogs, her great battle-cruiser was[241] drawing majestically into port, bringing home from his second journey to kinsfolk the eldest son of her Royal House. Perhaps the heart of England felt a certain pride....

[242]


XXVI

THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE TOUR

This Chapter is, by kind permission, largely reproduced from an article by the writer published in the "Nineteenth Century" of December, 1920.

"The tumult and the shouting dies," and what, now that it is over, remains to Britain of the enterprise? What treasure came back in the Renown to make this Royal adventure worth while?

The word may be disputed. The nation's heir, it may be said, does not adventure in travelling to the hearths of kinsfolk. There is no adventure in a voyage surrounded by every means of safety and comfort that modern science can devise, a voyage backed by the blessing and sped by the hope and pride of this sound old Mother Country. Yet in the fluid state of social and political emotion to-day it was an adventure, a challenge in the very teeth of those unbridled forces that are so blatant and busy in the disservice of the British Empire, and a challenge before which not one of them raised its head.

The constantly recurring scene of the Prince making acquaintance with overseas audiences is long since familiar. It has been depicted in the columns of hundreds of newspapers and actually thrown before the eyes[243] of thousands in cinemas. It is far more than a twice-told tale that His Royal Highness was everywhere received with enthusiasm which was altogether phenomenal, that he was everywhere able to draw the whole of the inhabitants of the places he visited away from their business, their occupation or their pleasure, to concentrate during the time he was amongst them, the whole of their attention and interest upon himself, and the idea of race, Empire and loyalty for which he stands. In so far as the hackneyed words of newspaper reports can produce that effect, their reiteration must by now have turned the remarkable scenes of his progress into a kind of Royal commonplace, and retired them into the back of the popular imagination as matters to be taken for granted. It is difficult to put into terms of flags and decorations, patriotic songs and calculated multitudes, however gay and hoarse and unexampled, anything of the fine essence discharged from men's hearts and minds that made the soul of these occasions. Only perhaps to those who actually saw them will they survive conventional description, as experiences of the rare sort that baffle it. It did not seem to matter who his audiences were. Keen, sharp American business men with square jaws and shrewd eyes, to whom a Prince would necessarily hover somewhere between a figure of mediaeval romance and a comic anachronism, proved no less susceptible to the something he has to offer than the crowds of our own family in New Zealand, Tasmania or New South Wales. Queensland, with its advanced Labour Government, its public ownership of utilities and enterprises, its schedules of progress in which at least no conspicuous place is allotted to Royal personages, proved just as enthusiastic as[244] did conservative New Zealand. Centres of culture, learning and wealth like Sydney and Melbourne, showed exactly the same spirit as did rough mining and logging camps, and lonely sheep stations in the far interior. Cornish gold diggers of Bendigo and Ballarat rivalled the cordial welcome of the Welsh coal-miners of Westport and Greymouth. Catholic Irishmen newly arrived in cattle stations in Northern and Western Australia mustered as keenly in honour of the Prince as Presbyterian farmers in settled Tasmania. Fuzzy-headed Fijians, dignified Samoans, Polynesians of Honolulu, negroes of Demerara and Trinidad seethed and bubbled with like enthusiasm.

There was more than the personal factor in an appeal so widely honoured, more than the touch of romance upon imaginations untravelled along Royal roads, yet recollection harks back irresistibly to the spectacle of the human equation as between the Prince and his audiences. There is no other way of explaining their quick pleasure at the sight of him and their instant and unerring formulas for his relation to themselves and to the world. Anything mechanical, anything perfunctory, would have worn out with the first gratification of curiosity; but a point which struck the onlooker was that enthusiasm grew instead of cooling off, as the Prince's visit to each place continued and as acquaintance with him ripened. "Yes, but only once," was a little Australian girl's wistful answer when asked if she had seen the Prince. Nor were children of a larger growth content with only once. Their eyes could not be too well filled with this young symbol of their race and Empire, whose person pleased them and whose negligence of the pomp and privileges their[245] minds had given him upset their preconceptions with a thrill of delight. To be of the Imperial present, with its dignity and untarnished splendour, to come of the Royal past with its long discipline of duty and decoration of anointed names, and to let it all sink as the Prince lets it sink into the simplest background of his personality, is an achievement—or should it be called just a habit—which makes at once the happiest appeal to human nature, the world over. He does not even appear to be aware that these things should do anything for him. He is as diffident as, say, the naval officer who blocked Zeebrugge harbour or the flight-lieutenant who brought down the first Zeppelin over London. The touch is British and of the essence. It is an odd inconsistency of race consciousness which makes us recognize and take pride in it, but we do. Another characteristic almost as immediately perceived by an audience is the Prince's plain delight in giving pleasure, his obvious satisfaction in doing the thing that he has to do and doing it well. There are endless stories of his disregard of physical fatigue in the desire to take out of himself every ounce that could be given to the gratification of public gatherings. There is never a hint of boredom in his face or bearing. Thus the bond of sympathy is complete. The people are there and he is there for the same purpose, and nothing breaks the circuit of goodwill. There was something naïve and touching in the constantly possessive note that hailed him "ours" from the wharfs of Sydney to the string-bark avenues of Perth; and to this claim also something in the Prince responds with an unselfishness that might be the supreme lesson of kings.

[246]

The Prince's personality is greatly deepened and broadened by his speeches, which in their simplicity and directness are perfectly the expression of himself. They never exaggerate, and they never fall short. They are pervaded by a sincerity that is perhaps more than anything the secret of their instant appeal. There is no forcing of the note, no effort at elaboration, no sacrifice to rhetorical points. Withal he says the things that people instinctively expect and want to hear, and he says them with a happy grace and a plain belief in the message that underlies them all, the assurance of the strength and solidarity of the Empire for which he speaks.

The whole projection of this Royal personality upon the world is extraordinary. Look at the circumstances under which it is made. The passionate under-trend of society towards the dogmas of democracy, the tragic extinction, within the last five years, of more than one dynasty, the perpetual tendency of privilege, royal as well as any other, to liquesce into the common stream of human rights, are all against him. One would have supposed that roses strewn in the path of a Prince, at this point of the world's history, if strewn at all, would be none of nature's growing. Yet this Prince seems to prove that the King and the King's heir are far more a part of the people and bred from the nation, than any president. The Prince stands for the people. His character has been formed, his ideals fostered by healthy English training. It may possibly not be far-fetched to say that he is the product of intensive cultivation along national lines. Thus he appeals to the nation's pride of possession, and his place in their hearts is ready before he occupies it.

[247]

It is no depreciation of the personal magnetism of the Heir to the Throne to say that he brought to light and stimulated Imperial enthusiasm already existing below the surface, and waiting only to be evoked, rather than that he created anything not already in being. Nevertheless, it must be remembered that the idea of the Empire as a union of sister nations co-operating and sharing ideals and hopes in a future they are bound together to bring about, is a young idea, as young as the Prince. It is not long since the Dominions and India had little beyond domestic affairs to exercise their powers of administration upon; their share in the Imperial idea was largely commercial, and chiefly concerned with the attraction of capital for the development of their natural resources. They had no voice in the world policy of the Anglo-Saxon race, and no apparent prospect of getting it. The Prince and his youth happily blend in the new partnership and the new prospect, making for all of us a very potential figure. Beside the charm, the buoyancy of youth, he has the romance of an epoch of world history full of possibilities for the peoples who live under the British flag. To this romance he contributes all that he is, and he contributes it in the most whole-hearted manner.

The Prince was never tired of referring in his speeches to the bond created by common service in the great war. Wherever he went it was the returned soldier that he must see and greet, wounded or whole—how often has this chronicle had to dwell upon the long lines of them. "Returned sailors and soldiers, relations of the fallen, nurses and war-workers," backed by the shouting school-children—they have risen perhaps with some iteration before the eye of those who have[248] followed the tale. But, looking back, the splendour fades out of the tropic sky and the opulence out of the great city, the whole panorama of sheep-run and factory, orchard and mine rolls up into a decoration; and the meaning of all we saw abides in those men and women and children working out their lot and their lives far from the home of the race, but standing, and ready to stand again, for its flag and its ideals.

"One heritage we share though seas divide," declared the citizens of Sydney with the emphasis of a triumphal arch. The claim rang true. Distance cannot weaken this tie, nor oceans wash it out. No one undervalues the picturesqueness of the emotion the Prince has evoked amongst members of other races living under Anglo-Saxon tutelage and protection, but the real significance is in what it has drawn from peoples of our own stock. Supreme among the values that come out of it is the enduring quality of the British portion in the things of the mind and of character, in ideals, and standards. It is no vague sentiment that binds together the various branches of our people, but a unity that lives. The part of the Prince of Wales has been to waken a new consciousness throughout the Anglo-Saxon world. He stands for all that joins us and for all that we can do when we are together.


[249]

INDEX

Acapulco, 216

Adams (Sir Hamilton G.), 178

Addison (Organizer, Tasmania), 209

Adelaide, 164

Albany, 140

Allan (Pte. Duncan), 193

Allardice (Sir Wm.), 170

Allen (Captain M. C.), 129

American Kindness, 26, 215

American-West-Indian Relations, 233

Amiens, 179

Anglo-American Co-operation, 226

Ansley (Bishop, Trinidad), 222

Antigua, 231

Anzac (H.M.A.S.), 101

Arthur's Pass, 81

Ashburton, 94

Atkinson (Mr. Robert), 31

Auckland, 47

Australia (H.M.A.S.), 46, 176

Australian Bight, 140

Avaro Obregon, 217


Baker (Broken Hill Co.), 138

Balboa, 19, 23

Balclutha, 97

Ballarat, 109

Barbados, 9

Barton (Sir Edmund), 125

Barwell (Premier, S. Australia), 163, 164, 165

Bass Strait, 176

Bathurst, 193

Beerburrum, 189

Bell (Mr. Norris), 158

Bell (Mr. A. G.), 221

Bellringer (Mr. F.), 63

Bendigo, 110

Bennett (Brig.-General), 130

Bennett (Mr. Percy), 15

Bermuda, 236

Berry (Sir Graham), 105

Best (Mr. de B.), 221

Bethell (Major-General), 15

Black (Mr. Stuart), 108

Blake (Captain, R.N.), 15

Blayney, 206

Blenheim, 74

Blinman (Organizer, S. Australia), 209

Blue Mountains, 192

Board (Director Education, N.S.W.), 127

Boonah, 188

Boyle (Mayor, St. George), 240

Bridges (General), 132

Bridgetown, 10, 152

Brighton, 174

Brisbane, 182

Brisbane River, 183, 185

Broken Hills Proprietary Co., 137

Brown (Mayor, Napier), 67

Brown (Member, Court of Policy), 224

Brunner Valley, 80

Bulla Bulling, 155

Buller River, 76, 80

Butler (Architect), 108

[250]

Calcutta (H.M.S.), 10, 223

Calliope (H.M.S.), 80, 226

Cambrian (H.M.S.), 230

Camperdown, 107

Canadian-West-Indian Agreement, 233

Canberra, 119, 132

Canobolas Mountains, 206

Canoubar, 194

Canterbury Plain, 94

Carroll (Sir James), 57

Carruthers (General), 24

Carter (Lady), 11

Casino, 187

Castlemaine, 110

Castries, 228

Cattaneo (Monsignor), 185, 187

Chancellor (Sir John), 221

Charlotte Sound, 73

Charlotte Bay, 95

Chaytor (General Sir E.), 61, 98

Christchurch, 81, 83

Christian (Brig.-General), 130

Claremount, 146

Clifford (Capt. Hon. B.), 209

Colac, 106

Collier (Mr. P.), 141

Colon, 220

Condell (Commissioner, Monserrat), 231

Cook (Sir Joseph), 112, 118

Coolgardie, 155

Coonamble, 193

Cooroy, 189

Coronado Beach, 25

Cottisloe, 146

Culebra Cut, 18

Cullen (Sir William), 128

Cutler (N.S.W., Shipbuilding), 136


Dalrymple (Colonel S.), 66

Dannevirke, 68

Davidson-Houston (Colonel), 228

Deane (Judge, Trinidad), 222

de Caignai (Father), 222

de Freitas (Mr. Anthony), 228

Delprat (Broken Hills Co.), 137

Demerara, 223

Dodds (Brig.-General), 112, 209

Dominica, 229

Dragon's Mouth, 226

Dubbo, 206

Dowling (Archbishop, Trinidad), 222

Duhig (Archbishop, Queensland), 187

Dumaresq (Commodore), 121, 209

Duncan-Hughes (Capt. J. G.), 209

Dunedin, 95

Duntroon, 131


Eden, 176

Elphinstone (Solicitor-General, Trinidad), 221

Estell (Minister of Works, Commonwealth), 136

Everett (Admiral), 237, 239


Farm Park, 184

Farm Cove, 121

Fassifern, 135

Father of the Ship, 36

Featherston, 69

Fechan (Australian New Zealand Co.), 194

Feilding, 66

Fergusson (Mr. Herbert), 227

Fihelly (Acting Premier, Queensland), 178, 185, 190, 208.

Fiji, 41, 211

Frankton, 62

Fraser (Sir William), 61, 98

Fremantle, 145

Galbraith (Mayor, Ashburton), 94
[251]
Gatun Locks, 15

Gawler, 163

Geelong, 105

Georgetown, 223

Gibson (Mayor, Newcastle), 139

Gisborne, 100

Gore, 97

Gosford, 139

Grand Etang, 227

Grant (Rear-Admiral), 112, 118, 209

Great Dividing Range, 110

Great North West, 146

Grenada, 226

Greymouth, 79, 80

Griffin (Ch. Justice, Leeward Is.), 232

Griffith (Colonial Treasurer, Antigua), 232

Grigg (Lt.-Colonel Sir E.), 37

Groom (Minister Works, Commonwealth), 133

Gunn (S. Australian Labour Party), 165

Gympie, 189


Haddon-Smith (Sir George), 226, 228

Hagley Park, 82

Halsey (Admiral Sir Lionel), 36, 150

Hamilton, 53, 240

Hamilton (Mr. Gavin), 98

Hamilton (Lord Claud), 37

Hankins (Mrs. J. H.), 66

Hapa Tenure, 54

Harding (Engineer-Colonel, Panama Canal), 16

Harrisville, 188

Hastings, 68

Hawaii, 30

Hawera, 64

Hawkes Bay, 67

Hawkesbury River, 135

Hay (Mr. Clifford), 209

Haycroft (Sir Thomas), 227

Heritage (Colonel F. B.), 209

High Street, 177

Hinemoa (Princess), 55

Hislop (Mr. James), 61, 98

Hobart, 170

Hobbs (General Sir Talbot), 142

Hobson (Captain, R.N.), 48

Hodgson (N.S.W. Railways), 178

Hokitika, 79

Holmes (Otira Tunnel), 81

Holloway (Mr. E. J.), 113

Honolulu, 27, 215

Huntley, 54

Hughes (Rt. Hon. William), 103, 112

Hughes (Rear-Admiral), 236

Humphries (W. Australian Saw Mills), 148

Hutt Valley, 69

Hygeia (S.S.), 102


Inangahua, 78, 79

Invercargill, 97

Ipswich, 188


Jackaroo (The), 195

James (Capt. R.), 209

Jellibrand (Major-Gen. Sir J.), 170

Jervis Bay, 118

Jobson (Brig.-Gen.), 130

Johnston (Admiral), 16

Johnston (Colonial Secretary, Leeward Is.), 232


Kaahumanu (Queen), 34

Kaitangata, 97

Kalgoorlie, 156

Kamshamcha (King), 34

Kansas (U.S.S.), 236

Kawananakoa (Princess), 32

Kelso, 193

Kennedy (Colonel), 16

Kidnappers' Island, 67
[252]
King's Kava, 44, 214

Kyneton, 110

Laborde (Mr. E.), 227

Landsborough, 189

Lascelles (Messrs. & Co. etc.), 106

Lathlain (Mayor, Perth), 141, 142, 143

Launceston, 173

Lawson, 193

Lee (Sir Walter), 170

Lefevre (Señor), 15

Legge (General), 131

Leigh (Capt. Hon. Piers), 37

Lennon (Hon. Mr.), 178

Liliuokalani (Queen), 28

Liverpool (Earl of), 98

Liverpool Hills, 182

Lloyd (Brig.-General H. W.), 112, 209

Lockyer Plain, 182

Loma Point, 23

Lucas (Messrs. & Co.), 108

Luke (Mayor, Wellington), 69

Lyttleton, 83


McDougall (Sergeant, V.C.), 170

MacDougall (Wire factory), 138

McEwan (Australian and N.Z. Land Co.), 193

McCarthy (Governor, Hawaii), 30, 215, 216

MacDonald (Opposition, N.Z. Govt.), 98

McGeachie (Mr. Duncan), 136

McLeod (Canoubar Run), 194

MacMillan (Justice), 141

MacNamara, (Mr. D. L.), 113

Macquarie Lake, 136

McVilly (N.Z. Railways), 62, 98

Malietoa Laupepa, 213

Malietoa Tanumafili, 213

Manawatu River, 66

Markham (Panama Canal Officer), 220

Martin (Brig.-General), 130

Martinique, 229

Marton, 65

Maryborough, 189

Massey (Rt. Hon. William), 50, 59

Mataura, 97

Maungatapu, 75

Maxwell (Mayor, Brisbane), 183

Melbourne, 101

Mereweather (Sir Edward), 230, 232

Miller (Sir Dennison), 125

Milner (Dr. F.), 95

Miraflores, 19

Mitchell (Premier, W. Australia), 141, 144, 149

Moana Hotel, 215

Mokoia, 55

Monserrat, 231

Moonee Valley, 117

Morgan (Mr. F. H.), 62

Mosgiel, 97

Moulder (Mayor, Adelaide), 164, 169

Mountbatten (Lord Louis), 39

Mount Egmont, 63

Mount Wallace, 97

Mui (Colonel), 222

Mundaring Weir, 154

Murchison, 78

Murray River, 110

Mutch (Education Minister, N.S.W.), 127

Myowera, 194


Napier, 67

Napier (Admiral), 238

Nelson Park, 67

Nelson, 74, 75

Neptune on the Renown, 35

Newcastle, 135, 136

Newdegate (Sir Francis), 141

[253]

New Mexico (U.S.S.), 23

New Plymouth, 63

Newport (Surgeon, Commander), 151

New South Wales, 116

New York Hospitality, 26

Ngata (Hon. Mr. A. T.), 57

Ngaruawahia, 53

Ngauruhoe, 63

Niall (Canoubar Estate), 194

Nichols (Senator, Dominica), 230

Noble (Captain, R.N.), 239

North (Captain, R.N.), 36

North Island, 59

Nullarbor Plain, 158

Nyngan, 195


Oamaru, 95

O'Brien (Sir Charles), 10

O'Donovan (N.Z. Police), 98

Ogden (Tasmanian Govt., Opposition), 171

Oliver (Shire President, Coonamble), 193

Otira, 81

Otway Forest, 107


Pahiatua, 68

Palmerston-North, 66

Panama, 15, 219

Parallah, 174

Parramatta, 135

Parkerville, 141

Parry (Archbishop, Demerara), 224

Patea, 64

Patrick (Lt.-Commander, R.N.), 130

Port Adelaide, 168

Port Augusta, 163

Port Chalmers, 96, 97

Port Melbourne, 118

Port of Spain, 221

Port Phillip, 100

Portsmouth, 1, 241

President of Panama, 20

Pukikura Park, 63


Queanbeyan, 131

Queensland, 176

Quorn, 163


Rai Hills, 75

Railways (N.Z.), 88

Rangitoto, 48

Red-legs, 13

Renown (H.M.S.), 3

Reefton, 79

Rhodes (Mr. Tahu), 98

Rice (General), 224

Riley (Archbishop, Perth), 144

Rimutaka, 69

Roberts (Mrs.), 170

Robinson (Lt.-Colonel), 209

Rodondo Island, 100

Rodwell (Sir Cecil), 42

Rosenthal (Major-General Sir C.), 130

Rotorua, 57

Ruahine, 65

Russell (Judge, Trinidad), 222

Rust (Mayor, Port of Spain), 222

Ryrie (Major-General), 130


St. George's, 226

St. Joseph, 222

St. Hilda, 102

St. Lucia, 228

Sale of West Indies, 14

Saluting the Quarterdeck, 16

Samoa, 212

San Diego, 22

Scholefield (Professor Guy), 62

Scott (Mayor, Suva), 42

Scott (Sir Bickham), 46

Seddon (late Prime Minister, N.Z.), 79

Seddon (Mr. Thomas), 79

[254]

Shapcott (Organizer, W. Australia), 209

Simonin (Monsignor), 16

Sleeman (Lt.-Colonel), 61, 98

Smith (Sir Alfred), 222

South Australia, 163

Southern California, 22

South Island, 73

Spencer Gulf, 163

Stephens (Governor, California), 23

Storey (Premier, N.S.W.), 123, 124, 125

Stratford, 64

Steer (Organizer, Queensland), 209

Strong (Colonel), 127

Subiaco, 146

Suva, 211

Swan River, 141, 145

Sydney, 119, 176

Sydney (H.M.A.S.), 142


Tahua Ceremony, 43

Taranaki, 63

Tarawera, 55

Tate (Colonel R. W.), 212

Taylor (Captain, R.N.), 38

Tekuiti, 63

Temuka, 95

Terowie, 163

Thacker (Mayor, Christchurch), 81

Thakombau (King), 42

Theodore (Premier, Queensland), 178

Thomas (Sir Godfrey), 37

Thomas (Mr. Joyce), 227

Tiaro, 189

Timaru, 95

Toowoomba, 191

Toronto, 136

Trinidad, 221

Tuamarina, 73

Tuimale Fana, 213

Tudor (Leader Opposition, Victoria), 104, 113

Tunbridge, 174

Turakina River, 65


Victoria, 100

Visiting the Ship, 16

Vowles (Leader Opposition, Queensland), 185


Waikiki Beach, 30, 215

Waimarino Forest, 63

Waipukurau, 68

Wairarapa, 69

Waitaki River, 95

Walcott (Mr. H. B.), 221

Wallangarra, 178, 192

Walsh Island, 136

Walter (Mr. Robert), 230

Walters (Captain, R.N.), 118

Wangamoa, 75

Wanganui, 64

Ward (Sir Joseph), 87

Ward-room Mess, 6

Warwick, 181

Watt (Mayor, Hamilton), 53

Weigall (Sir Archibald), 163, 164

Wellington, 69, 206

Werribee Plain, 105

Western Australia, 140

West Maitland, 177

Westport, 79

Wheatley (Dr.), 118

White (Major-Gen. Sir Brudenell), 112, 209

Whitehead (Organizer, Victoria), 209


Yearwood (Mr. Graham), 11


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[3]

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[5]

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[6]

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Transcriber's notes:

Fixed up various commas and full-stops.
Hyphens are determined by the majority with or without:--

Taken hyphen out in 'countryside'.
Put hyphen in 'blue-jackets'.
Taken hyphen out in 'foreshore'.
Taken hyphen out in 'flagship'.
Put hyphen in 'out-turn'.
Taken hyphen out in 'pressmen'.
Put hyphen in 'bare-headed'.
Put hyphen in 'foot-plate'.
Put hyphen in 'hard-wood'.
Put hyphen in 'home-like'.
Taken hyphen out in 'inshore'.
Put hyphen in 'Red-legs'.
Taken hyphen out in 'pineapples'.
Taken hyphen out in 'roadside'.
P.43, 44, 214 & index, 'Khava' should be 'Kava', changed.
P.43. 'Yagona' should be 'Yaqona', changed.
P.50. 'bougainvillias' should be 'bougainvilleas', changed.
P.55. 'Hinomaa' should be 'Hinemoa', changed in text and index.
P.56. 't seems' should be 'it', changed.
P.75. 'Wanganoa' should be 'Wangamoa'. changed.
P.87. 'Reformerst' should be 'Reformers', changed.
P.135 & index. 'Paramatta' should be 'Parramatta', changed.
P.198. 'billee' tea should be 'billy' tea, changed.
P.202. 'gulahs' should be 'galahs', but also known as 'gallahs' changed.
P.206 & index. 'Canoblas' should be 'Canobolas', and the index should be 'p.206.' changed.
P.206. 'Dubho' should be 'Dubbo', changed.
P.224. Taken out dash from 'sugar-'.
P.237 & P.239. 'bougainvilliers' should be 'bougainvilleas', changed.
P.244. 'Graymouth' should be 'Greymouth', changed.
P.250, index. 'Dubho' in index should be 'Dubbo', changed.


				


				

				

				

				

				

Books

World

Index

Hellenica World