29 OCTOBER 1937, Page 38

WATER INTO GOLD By Ernestine Hill

Miss Hill is a well-known Australian journalist. Her new book (Robertson and Mullen, 7s. 6d.) tells the story of a successful experiment. in irrigation that will confound those who believe that Russian activities in turning deserts into fields are unique. To-some, the history of the cultivation of the Murray River wastes will be familtar, but to most English readers—partly becatise-ivehave not yet used such material for- filtds (what an Australian Earth it would -make D.'6k-i3opufar bObks—it wilj kt, half-forgotten paragraph in a school- book or newspaper. In 1886, the year Alfred Deakin (later to be three times Prime Minister of the Commonwealth) made the first concession to the Canadian brothers Chaffey,– the land in South Australia and Victoria," through which the Murray flowed, was a desert. Today there are 50,000 acres of vine7. yard, orchard and fruit gardens, and the great Australian wine • and dried-fruit industry is centred there. This, and its chain of prosperous towns, is the result of the vision and enterprise of the Chaffeys. Miss Hill's account of this great piece of pioneering deserves to be widely read. It is illustrated by over 133 photographs.