“The land revenue will be immense, and after paying all expenses, will leave much for improvements and the education of the people. Stringent laws passed directly annexation takes place to prevent importation of arms and spirits will be a true safeguard for the natives.
“As a nation, let Britain, in the zenith of her power and greatness, think kindly of the native races, and now for once in her history rule this great island for right and righteousness, in justice and mercy, and not for self and pelf in unrighteousness, blood, and falsehood. It is to be hoped that future generations of New Guinea natives will not rise up to condemn her, as the New Zealanders have done, and to claim their ancient rights with tears now unheeded. I can see along the vista of the future, truth and righteousness in Britain’s hands, and the inhabitants of New Guinea yet unborn blessing her for her rule; if otherwise, God help the British meanness, for they will rise to pronounce a curse on her for ever!”
In 1883, the Queensland Government did formally annex their huge neighbour; but this act was subsequently repudiated by the Home Government. Towards the end of 1884, it was decided to announce a formal protectorate over a large portion of the southern shores of New Guinea.
[Boevagi. Chief of Port Moresby: 19.jpg]
The official ceremony took place on Nov. 6th, 1884, at Port Moresby. Five ships of war at once gave dignity to the proceeding by their presence, and astonished the natives by their salutes. About fifty chiefs were brought on board the Commodore’s ship, the Nelson, by the Rev. W. G. Lawes. To Boevagi, the chief of the Port Moresby tribe, was entrusted the responsibility of upholding the authority and dignity of England in the island. He was presented with an ebony stick, into the top of which had been let a florin, with the Queen’s head uppermost. Mr. Lawes conveyed to Boevagi the meaning of the Commodore’s words when he gave the stick. “I present you with this stick, which is to be an emblem of your authority; and all the tribes who are represented by the chiefs here are to look to the holder of this stick. Boevagi, this stick represents the Queen of England, and if at any time any of the people of these tribes have any grievance or anything to say, they are, through the holder of this stick, to make it known to the Queen’s officers, in order that it may be inquired into.”
The formal protectorate was announced in the following terms:—
“To all to whom these presents shall come, greeting:—Whereas it has become essential for the lives and properties of the native inhabitants of New Guinea, and for the purpose of preventing the occupation of portions of that country by persons whose proceedings, unsanctioned by any lawful authority, might tend to injustice, strife, and bloodshed, and who, under the pretence of legitimate trade and intercourse, might endanger