15 MAY 1936, Page 40


• By J. G. Hides •

Papua is fortunate in its administrators. Sir Hubert Murray, Lieutenant-Governor under the Commonwealth mandate, in his treatment of the natives, has set a model of intelligent pacification. Patrol-officer Hides has already published this year an excellent account of two expeditions into the interior, and paid tribute to the loyal work 'of the native police. His new book, Papucin Wonderland (Blackie, %s. 6d.), is the official story of the Strickland-Purari 'Patrol. Sir Hubert Murray, in his preface, describes this expedition into the unexplored mountains of the central tableland as " the most difficult and the most dangerous patrol ever carried out in the whole island of New Guinea." Mr. Hides—who led the patrol—describes it vividly, and this book will add to his reputation as a chronicler of the development of the more difficult parts of the Empire. In the course of their journey from the Strickland to the Purari river, they discovered a hitherto unknown tribe of fair-skinned natives, wearing elaborate wigs decorated with eidelweiss, and playing pan- pipes. For the latter part of their journey they suffered from

lack of food, and their clothes and equipment were almost eaten away by insects. How they struggled through to the end is graphically told by Mr. Hides, who has contributed, in the expedition and the book alike, a stirring chapter to colonial history.