Papua and New Guinea, a Contemporary Survey

Papua and New Guinea, a Contemporary Survey

Papua and New Guinea, a Contemporary Survey

Papua and New Guinea, a Contemporary Survey

Excerpt

I know of no other volume that has more down-to-earth, solid information about the Territory of Papua and New Guinea and its people than this book by Mr Brian Essai. Mr Essai is to be highly commended for spending so much time in putting so much information so clearly between two covers, and whilst I would disagree with the conclusions in his final chapter Retrospect and Prospect I would compliment him for having written this book, which well shows the tremendous task Australia has set itself. It is the sort of book all Australians should read and they should make sure their friends overseas get hold of it. People of good will will need to be well informed to counter the blasts of criticism that will almost certainly, but unjustifiably, be levelled against Australia in the future.

It would not be unfair to say that Australians have not a great knowledge of Papua and New Guinea. There are those who served during the war who remember its harsh terrain, its muds and its fevers, and who, for the most part, remember the native person as someone who had great gentleness in the care of the sick, and who was a skilful jungle fighter. There are those whose picture is an ignorant one, made up as it is of stories of cannibalism, of disease, of dissident minorities, of rebellion, of ever threatening, dangerous volcanoes. There are those who contribute to the Christian Missions and who hear of the hardship borne by the missionaries in bringing the teachings of Christ to a primitive, child-like people.

The territory has a harsh terrain; but some diseases have been eradicated, others are being controlled; the fevers of wartime and before then are no longer frightening; the dissident minorities are good, loud, parochial critics exerting their democratic right to be annoyed; the rebellions are nothing more than demonstrations; and the volcanoes--well, they exist, and although the Mt Lamington eruption was horrible . . .

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