He Believed That In Those Islands The Interior Of
Which Did Not Afford Complete Shelter The Original Inhabitants Were
Conquered By Malays, After Which Aboriginals And Invaders Mingled
Together, Producing Modifications Of The Original Types.
But in Papua,
the Solomons and the New Hebrides, the Malays made little impression.
He accounted for differences in
Appearance amongst the people of the
islands he visited by the different degrees of Malay intermixture, and
believed that the very black people found on some islands, "whose
complexion still remains a few shades deeper than that of certain
families in the same islands" were to be accounted for by certain
families making it "a point of honour not to contaminate their blood."
The theory is at all events striking. We have a "White Australia
policy" on the mainland to-day; this speculation assumes a kind of
"Black Australasia policy" on the part of certain families of islanders
from time immemorial.
The Friendly Islands were reached in December, but the commander
had few and unimportant relations with them. On the 13th January, 1788,
the ships made for Norfolk Island, and came to anchor opposite the
place where Cook was believed to have landed. The sea was running high
at the time, breaking violently on the rocky shores of the north east.
The naturalists desired to land to collect specimens, but the heavy
breakers prevented them. The commander permitted them to coast along
the shore in boats for about half a league but then recalled them.
"Had it been possible to land, there was no way of getting into the
interior part of the island but by ascending for thirty or forty yards
the rapid stream of some torrents, which had formed gullies.
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