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The Exploration Committee...

Transcribed from The Argus, 15 June 1860, p. 4
View this article online at the National Library's "Australian Newspapers" website

The Exploration Committee of the Royal Society met yesterday afternoon, Sir William Stawell in the chair. There was a full attendance and the subject of the expedition was fully discussed. It was agreed that a special meeting should be convened for Thursday next, at 4 o’clock, when a leader will be chosen, subject to the approval of the Government. In the interval the testimonials of the different candidates will lie upon the table for examination. It is expected that the expedition will set out in six or seven weeks. 

By private letter, we learn that the ship Suffolk, which was expected to sail from London on the 21st April last, would bring out 55 blackbirds and 25 thrushes, sent by Mr. Wilson to Dr. Mueller. A ship to sail in May would bring 100 linnets, and another sailing in June would convey 100 starlings, all sent by Mr. Wilson.

The camels were safely landed yesterday forenoon from the ship Chinsurah, and marched from the pier to the stables attached to the Houses of Parliament, where they are to be temporarily lodged. The camels marched in procession, each of the swifter kind with its turbaned rider on its back, picturesquely attired in white and red, followed by the burden-bearing animals, and the whole headed by Mr. Landells, in his Oriental costume, riding on his favourite camel. The line of route was by Sandridge-road, Prince’s Bridge, Swanston-street, and Bourke-street, and large crowds lined the streets to see the novel procession.  The streets were kept clear for the passage of the strangers by the police. The Scindian (Kurrachee) of the 31st March describes the camels as of the best description, and says:- “The camels which have been procured by Mr. Landells for the Victorian Government are of the finest description and the most hardy constitutions. Most of them have been procured from the Bickneer territory. This caste camel is well known as of large size and better constitution than those so easily procurable in Scinde, and Mr. Landells must have experienced many difficultie [sic] in obtaining them. They are certainly magnificent animals. This officer deserves great praise for his perseverance, while his success has been undoubted; the more so as his researches have been made at a time when the districts through which these had to be followed up were in a very unsettled state. Should fate be propitious, and these camels be safely landed on the shores of Australia, they will be the means of opening up a cast extent of country hitherto unknown, the Victorian Government having purchased these animals solely with the view of their being able with their means to penetrate further inland, and explore beyond former limits. Years hence, Australia will boast of its race of camels as England does now of her horse. The introducer or infuser of fresh blood, through whose instrumentality this desirable object was attained, will be hardly known, or if known at the present time, forgotten then; but from what great results may not be anticipated from this charter of the Chinsurah and the mission of Mr. Landells, in the large amount of territory opened up, with all of its vast resources; and the useful camel, with its noted endurance, indigenous, of form and size as famed as is their horse! We have not met Mr. Landells, but hear that he has gone beyond the mere limits of his mission, and that he has used his faculties to some purpose. He has picked up some specimens of the animal world in addition to the camel, that benefit the colony by importation. It is to be regretted that he has not been able to procure also two or three good high caste Arab stallions, and a Bagdadee mare or two. These would have been the nucleus of a race of horses indigenous to Australia, more famed than the now almost perfect English horse.