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1901.) Polynesia.—Friction in the New Hebrides. [463 the value of 619,8561.; the imports, 349,8901., showing a considerable increase in the year.
The friction between the French and English in the New Hebrides in consequence of the arbitrary measures, taken by the French representatives to extend the influence of their country with a view, as was alleged, of abolishing the Dual Protectorate and giving France exclusive possession of the islands, arrived at an acute stage. A deputation representing the British settlers was sent to Mr. Barton, the Australian Premier, complaining of the French aggressions, and demanding annexation to Great Britain.
The subject formed matter of discussion in the Federal Parliament, and it was understood that a vigorous protest was made by the Commonwealth to the Colonial Secretary, insisting on the settlement of the question on a basis in conformity with Australian opinion, and the peace and security of the British possessions in the South Pacific.
A German gentleman named Mencke, who was on a yachting trip to the New Britain Archipelago, was murdered with most of his crew on the Island of St. Mathias. Other massacres were reported of white men by the natives of New Guinea, including that of a distinguished representative of the London Missionary Society, the Rev. Mr. Chalmers.
CHRONICLE OF EVENTS
1. The inauguration of the Australian Commonwealth celebrated with great rejoicings throughout the constituent colonies, especially at Sydney, where the Governor-General (Earl of Hopetoun) was received with great ceremony.
2. The Queen received Lord Roberts on his arrival at Osborne, and conferred
him an Earldom and the blue riband of the Garter. 3. Lord Roberts was received at Paddington by the Prince and Princess of Wales and many other members of the Royal Family, and welcomed by large crowds as he passed in procession through the streets to Buckingham Palace, where he was entertained at luncheon by the Prince of Wales.
– The Bank of England raised its rate of discount from 4 to 5 per cent., the reserve standing at 16,211,6801., or 291 per cent. of the liabilities (the lowest for ten years).
10. At Sydney, N.S.W., the cricket match between New South Wales and South Australia resulted in the defeat of the latter in one innings by 605 runs. Score: South Australia, first innings, 156; second, 155; New South Wales, first innings, 916.
14. The ukase issued in the previous May abolishing the exile of Russian criminals to Siberia came into force.
16. H.M.S. Sybille, a second-class cruiser of 3,600 tons, driven ashore in Saldanha Bay, about eighty miles north-west of Cape Town, and became a total wreck. All the crew were saved except one seaman.
17. The celebration of the bicentenary of the Prussian Monarchy commenced at Berlin, and continued for several days amid general rejoicing and splendid official fêtes.
18. The first notification of the illness of Queen Victoria made to the public through the Court Circular.
18. The Chinese plenipotentiaries presented to the representatives of the Powers the decree of the Emperor accepting the conditions of peace.
21. The Bishops addressed a joint letter of admonition to the clergy, urging the duty of submitting to the opinions of the Archbishops, and appealing to them to free the Church "from the injury and discredit which she suffers when men see within her cases of persistent disregard of her constituted authorities”.
22. H.M. Queen Victoria died at Osborne House at 6.30 P.M., surrounded by her children and grandchildren, including the German Emperor.
23. A meeting of the Privy Council and other potable persons held at St. James's Palace, at which a proclamation was approved announcing the accession to the Throne of the Prince of Wales under the title of Edward VII. The King then entered the Council Chamber, made his “declaration” and received the homage of the great officers of state, and took the oath to preserve the security of the Church of Scotland.
Parliament assembled without summons, in pursuance of the Act, 6 Anne, c. 7.
24. King Edward VII.'s accession publicly proclaimed at St. James's Palace, Temple Bar and the Royal Exchange in full state, but in conformity with the late Queen's wish his Majesty did not appear. The Secretaries of State and other Ministers, having formally resigned, were reinstated and took the oath of office.
25. Addresses of condolence moved and carried nem. con. in both Houses of Parliament.
A serious fire broke out in Montreal in the wealthiest trading centre, and destroyed property to the value of $5,000,000.
28. The accession of King Edward VII. as “Supreme Lord of and over the Transvaal” proclaimed at Pretoria in the presence of Lord Kitchener and his staff.
29. The King addressed special letters of thanks to the Army and Navy for their services and devotion to the Throne.
1. The body of the late Queen, in a coffin covered with a white pall, with the crown, orb and sceptre thereon, left Osborne House on à gun-carriage for Trinity Pier at Cowes at 2 P.M. ; the King, with the members of the Royal Family, the German Emperor, and other invited mourners, following on foot. At Cowes the coffin was placed on board the Alberta, which slowly steamed through an avenue of British and foreign men-of-war and other ships, and finally arrived at Portsmouth Harbour, where the body remained all night on board.
2. A day of general mourning closely observed throughout the Empire by memorial services and the total suspension of business.
3 2. The Queen's body having been transferred to land, and conveyed by train from Portsmouth to Victoria Station, all the mourners accompanying, it was again placed on a khaki-coloured gun-carriage, immediately behind which the King, the German Emperor, and other members of the Royal Family rode. There was an enormous gathering along the line of route by Buckingham Palace, St. James's Street, Piccadilly and Hyde Park to Paddington, whence the body was conveyed to Windsor, and the funeral service performed in St. George's Chapel.
3. Six naphtha springs at Baku caught fire and spread later to the neighbouring petroleum magazines, containing upwards of 15,000,000 poods of petroleum, which were completely destroyed with the surrounding buildings. About thirty lives were lost, and nearly a hundred people seriously injured.
4. The late Queen's bod ha remained in the Albert Memorial Chapel since the ceremony in St. George's Chapel, was transferred to the Royal Mausoleum at Frogmore, and placed beside that of the Prince Consort. The service was attended by members of the Royal Family exclusively.
The King issued messages addressed to “My People,” to “My People beyond the Seas,” and to “The Princes and People of India."
5. The German Emperor, after lunching with the King at Marlborough House, brought his visit to a close, and on his way through London was cordially received by large crowds assembled to gr him. He subsequently left for Port Victoria, where he embarked for Flushing on the following morning.
At the meeting of the London County Council it was announced that Mr. F. J. Horniman had presented to the people of London a park and other land, some fifteen acres in all, near Forest Hill Station, Sydenham, together with a museum recently erected at the cost of 40,0001., large art and natural history collections, a library of 6,000 volumes, and residences bringing in 6001. a year.
7. The marriage of Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands with the Grand Duke Henry of Mecklenburg-Schwerin was celebrated amid great public rejoicings at the Hague, the civil ceremony taking place in the White Hall of the Palace, and the religious service at the S. Jakob's Kerke.
The Bank of England reduced its rate of discount from 5 to 41 per cent., the reserve standing at 21,514,145l., or 45ş per cent. of the liabilities.
8. The War Office announced the immediate despatch of 30,000 more troops, chiefly mounted, to South Africa, in compliance with Lord Kitchener's request.
9. The International Football Match (Rugby) between England and Ireland, played at Dublin, resulted in the victory of Ireland by two goals to a goal and a try (10 points to 6). The match between Scotland and Wales, played at Edinburgh, resulted in the victory of Scotland by three goals and a try to a goal and a try (18 points to 8).