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CHARTERS

TOWERS — CHARTS

This was principally made up of:— dross customs collections ..... £89,067 3 10 Revenue from various sources, departmental and otherwise ..... 51,373 15 4 The amount expended on the survey and construction of railways, tramways, &c., was more than £67,000. The British North Borneo Company. The occupation of the island of Labuan by the British Tfovernment in 1847 is the starting-point from which to trace the connexion of Great Britain with North Borneo. In 1872 the Labuan Trading Company was established in Sandakan, and in 1878, through the instrumentality of Mr Dent, the sultan of Sulu transferred all his rights in North Borneo to a syndicate, the chief promoters of which were Sir Butherford Alcock, Admiral the Hon. Sir Henry Keppel, and Mr K. B. Martin. Early in 1881 the British North Borneo Provisional Association, Limited, was formed to take over the cession with all rights and properties. A petition was addressed to Queen Victoria for a royal charter in November 1881, and the British North Borneo Company, which was formed in May 1882, took over, in spite of some diplomatic protests on the part of the Dutch and Spanish Governments, all the rights, territorial and sovereign, in the original grants, and proceeded under the charter to organize the administration and development of the territory in question. The company has since acquired further territories: the Putatan river in May 1884, the Padas district in November 1884 (including two important rivers, the Padas and the Kalias), the Kawang river in February 1885, and the Mantanani islands in April 1885. In 1888 H.M. Government declared the whole territory to be under the protection of Great Britain, and thenceforth it was officially known as ■“The State of North Borneo.” In 1890 the British Government placed the island of Labuan under the administration of the company. In March 1898, after the suppression of the Mat Salleh rebellion, arrangements were made whereby the sultan of Brunei transferred to the company all the sovereign and other rights over the districts north of the Padas river which had previously been in his possession. This cession was of the highest importance, for it meant that a large number of enclaves, which had formerly been resorts for disaffected natives, and therefore a continual source of annoyance, passed under the control of the company, which was also enabled to consolidate its somewhat scattered possessions into a ■compact territory. (See also Borneo.) Administration.—There are now ten Government stations on the coast administered by Europeans, and five inland, the most important being at Sandakan, Darvel Bay, and Gaya Bay. The entire population of the company’s territory is estimated at 200,000, including some 20,000 Chinese, and about 150,000 of the population are distributed throughout the west coast. The population of Sandakan, the capital, is estimated at from 6000 to 7000. The form of government adopted by the company is practically that of a British colony. It is vested in a court of directors, appointed under royal charter, administered by a resident governor with the assistance of a colonial secretary. Under them are three residents of districts, several assistant residents, and departments of the Government service, such as treasury, land and survey, public works, harbour, medical, judicial, and constabulary. At the head of the judiciary is the governor, who is the chief judicial officer of the supreme court and court of appeal. The residents are the senior judges and judges of the courts of appeal. There are also district magistrates and justices of the peace. The Indian penal code and the Indian Civil Procedure and Evidence Acts have been adopted almost as they stand, but the rights and customs of the natives receive special recognition, and the land regulations are so framed as to encourage immigrants. The higher officers of the Government form the legislative council. The native chiefs and headmen are responsible to the Government for the preservation of order in their own districts, a trust which they discharge on the whole remarkably

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well. The Government police number about 500 ; the majority of these are Sikhs, with some Pathans and Dyaks. Revenue.—The principal sources of revenue are the following: license for purchasing and retailing opium, spirits, &c., all of which are in the hands of private persons. Five to ten per cent, duty is placed on imports, and the same amount of royalty on jungle produce exported. The old source of revenue among the natives was a poll-tax, and this has been retained in lieu of land taxes ; there is also a stamp duty. Proceeds of sales of Government land, quit-rents, and fees on transfers, make up the land revenue. Judicial fees and post and revenue stamps make up the sources of revenue. When the company obtained, its charter the northern portion of the island was in a state of chaos, the interior was divided up among a number of small chieftains whose authority was hardly recognized, and the coasts were devastated by pirates. All this has been changed, and at a rate of taxation which barely reaches one shilling and threepence per head of the inhabitants, as compared with five to twelve shillings in India, or six to sixteen shillings in Java. From an imperial point of view the change is no less remarkable. In 1881 the influence of Great Britain went for nothing. To-day she is mistress of the best part of the island, and her commerce is predominant. Literature dealing with the subject of chartered companies generally:—Bonassieux. Les grandes compagnies de commerce. Paris, 1892.—Chailly-Bert. Les compagnies de colonisation sous I’ancien regime. Paris, 1898.—Cawston and Keane. The Early Chartered Companies. London, 1896.—Cunningham, W. A History of British Industry and Commerce, 2 vols. Cambridge, 1890, 1892.—Egerton. A Short History of British Colonial Policy. London, 1897.—J. Scott Keltie. The Partition of Africa. London, 1895.—Leroy-Beaulieu. De la colonisation chez les peuples modernes. Paris, 1898. Les nouvelles socUUs Anglo - Saxonnes. Paris, 1897. — Lucas. Historical Geography of the British Colonies. Oxford, 1888-97, 4 vols.— Macdonald. Select Charters illustrative of American History, 1606-1775. New York, 1899.—Carton de Wiart. Les grandes compagnies coloniales Anglaises au 19™* sticle. Paris, 1899. Also see articles “Compagnies de Charte,” “Colonies,” “Privilege,”in Nouveau dictionnaire Peconomic politique, Paris, 1892 ; and article “Chartered Companies ” in Encyclopaedia of the Laws of England, edited by A. Wood Renton, London, 1897. (w. B. Du.) Charters Towers, a municipality and mining town, Queensland, Australia, in the county of Devonport, 82 miles S.W. from Townsville, with which it is connected by rail. It is in the centre of an important gold-field, the output of which was valued, in 1899, at £1,216,750. Abundant water supply is obtained from the Burdekin river, about 8 miles distant. Altitude about 1000 feet. Population, 4597. Charts.—A chart is a marine map intended specially for the use of seamen. It is constructed for the purpose of ascertaining the position of a ship with reference to the land, of finding the direction in which she has to steer, the distance to sail or steam, and the hidden dangers to avoid. The surface of the sea on charts is studded with numerous small figures. These are known as the soundings, indicating in fathoms or in feet (as shown upon the title of the chart), at low water of ordinary spring tides, the least depth of water through which the ship may be sailing. Charts show the nature of the unseen bottom of the sea—with the irregularities in its character in the shape of hidden rocks or sand-banks, and give information of the greatest importance to the mariner. No matter how well the land may be surveyed or finely delineated, unless the soundings are shown a chart is of little use. The early charts were plane charts, drawn on the principle of the earth being an extended plane. This construction is suitable for harbours, coastal sheets, limited districts, such as the English Channel, or for coasts within the tropics, but becomes incorrect and even dangerous if used on voyages extending over the oceans. To remedy this defect, in 1569 Gerard Mercator, a Fleming, conceived