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22nd, 1847 . . . . . . . . 77
Part of Western Australia.
Koyal Geographical Society.
REPORT OF THE COUNCIL, READ AT THE ANNIVERSARY Meeting, 22nd May. The Council have to report that, since the last Anniversary Meeting, there have been elected 8 new Members. Within the same period there have occurred 53 vacancies, of which 21 are by death and 32 by resignation, and the Society now consists of 344 Compounders and 283 Subscribers, besides 39 Honorary and 22 Corresponding Members.
Finance.— The accompanying balance-sheet, made up to the 31st of December, 1847, shows a balance in favour of the Society of 1441. 2s. 43d., but there remained unpaid at that date debts amounting to 2931. 178. 10d., all of which have, with the exception of one for printing, been subsequently discharged.
Journal.—The Journal during the past year has been published with regularity and distributed to the Fellows free of charge. Although the size of the volume has been reduced, in compliance with the resolutions of the Society adopted last year, the Council have the satisfaction of stating that nothing of importance has been omitted.
Arrears.—The arrears of subscriptions owing to the Society on the 1st of January last, amounted to 4221., a small portion only of which has been since received; this is to be attributed to the circumstance of the majority of those in arrear being out of the kingdom.
Royal Donation.—Of the two gold medals forming the donation of Her Most Gracious Majesty, that called the Patron's Medal has been awarded to Sir James Brooke (Rajah of Sarawak) for his expedition to Borneo, undertaken at his own risk and expense, with great judgment and after much preparation, as well as for the zeal and perseverance which he has shown during
his long residence in Borneo and Celebes, in promoting the pro: gress of geographical discovery directly by his own exertions, and ::: indirectly by the extension of civilization, and the substitution of
commerce for lawlessness and piracy; and that called the Founder's Medal to Captain Charles Wilkes, U.S.N., for the talent and perseverance he displayed in a voyage of four years for discovery in the Southern Hemisphere and in the Antarctic regions, the results of which he has given in a splendid and scientific work, published by the Government of the United States.
Library.—The Council having maturely considered the state of the library, as well as that of the large and valuable collection of maps and charts belonging to the Society, alluded to in the report of the Council last year, appointed a Committee to examine and report what measures should be adopted for the purpose of preserving the same and rendering them more accessible to the Fellows generally. That Committee carefully inspected the whole, obtained estimates for binding the unbound volumes, as well as for mounting the maps and charts, and for adding to the library the necessary accommodation by an increased number of shelves. The report of the Committee, having been adopted by the Council, has been circulated amongst the members of the Society, and subscriptions for effecting the proposed measures have been forwarded to the amount of 2251. An additional sum, however, of nearly 1001. will be required to complete the proposed measures. The Council have resolved to keep this fund separate from the general fund of the Society; if therefore a larger amount should be received than is required at present, it will be retained for this specific purpose.
· Accessions.— The accessions to the library during the past · year consist of 232 books and pamphlets, and 292 maps and
charts, amongst which the Council wish particularly to notice 117 from the Dépôt de la Marine at Paris, many of which are of great value and interest.
In conclusion, the Council have to regret the diminution in the number of members within the past year, but they would observe that circumstances of an unusual character have tended to swell the list; the great commercial distress, affecting the interests of so large a portion of the community, has led to several resignations, and this will, perhaps, be found to apply not exclusively to the Royal Geographical Society, but to scientific bodies generally. Notwithstanding these circumstances the Council look forward with confidence to a more propitious future, and trust that, by the exercise of proper economy, the funds of the Society will be rendered adequate to its expenditure, and that by the addition of new members it will continue to maintain that high and important position which its objects so justly entitle it to claim.