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to bring into practical use the voyages of Cook, Vancouver, and other circumnavigators of the globe, whose achievements during the past century had hitherto been regarded as interesting only in a geographical point of view. Here, again, it was an all-wise Providence which directed our path. On the 6th May 1851, it was first announced that gold had been discovered in our convict settlement of New South Wales. The news spread like wildfire throughout the colony; and in a very short space of time there were upwards of four thousand "diggers" at Ophir, near Bathurst, where the discovery was first made, whose success fully equalled that of the early adventurers at the Californian mines. Additional gold-fields were found shortly afterwards both in New South Wales and the province of Victoria; and before the end of July the arrivals of gold at Sydney, Geelong, and Melbourne were sufficiently abundant to create a perfect revolution in the labour market, not only in those towns, but in the agricultural districts of the entire colony of Australia. The ordinary pursuits of the population were everywhere abandoned. Men of all classes, capable of wielding a pick or a spade, and many to whom such instruments had been previously unknown, were seen abandoning their farms, their shops, or their counting-houses, to swell the throng which rushed forth from every quarter to prospect' for gold in the gullies and creeks whose appearance or geological formation promised a yield of the precious metal. At the first announcement of so startling a discovery, a large portion of the public in this country were indisposed to credit it. Would-be-wise people shook their heads, and hinted that a mania had seized upon the Australian colonists, which in its issue must be productive of their utter ruin. We had black pictures painted of the effect of a neglected agriculture; and some wiser people than their fellows-journalists and statisticians -indulged in laboured arguments to show that picking up nuggets" or dust must in a very short period become an unprofitable avocation,
and absorb more labour than would yield a paying return, in comparison with the ordinary pursuits of industry. But each fresh arrival from the colony showed the fallacy of these anticipations and prophecies. Gold continued to be picked up in abundance, sufficient to remunerate every person engaged in its search, although the number of the searchers had been multiplied twenty-fold; and a vast emigration began to flow from this and other countries towards the new El Dorado. In 1851-the year when the discovery was first made-there were despatched from the United Kingdom alone 272 ships, with an aggregate tonnage of 145,164 tons, having on board 21,532 passengers. In 1852, the number of ships despatched was 568, with an aggregate tonnage of 335,717 tons, having on board 87,881 passengers. When using this term, by the by, it ought to be borne in mind that adult passengers are meant, children of tender years being counted as nothing, whilst of young persons under fourteen years of age, two are counted as a passenger. The emigration of 1852 would thus be at least a hundred thousand souls. During the past year the number of ships despatched was 1201, with an aggregate tonnage of 553,088 tons, being an increase on the year of 633 vessels and 217,371 tons over the amount of 1852. We have not before us accurate data for determining the precise number of passengers taken out by them; but it would certainly be equal to that of the corresponding period of the previous year. Great Britain, however, was not the only country which was adding to the population of Australia. The United States of America were sending us practised gold-diggers from California, which shortly began to be regarded as affording a less profitable field for their labour. Germany had begun to pour forth her emigrant classes to the colony; and even China was joining in the movement. In the summary of the Melbourne Argus, written for the mail of the 25th March, we find the following statement: "In the course of the last month several separate ship-loads of Chinese have landed on our shores. . . Numbers
of these people, strangers as they are to our customs and religion, have been sought for and engaged at good wages by employers, with whom they can only communicate by signs. They have shown themselves, on the whole, one of the most inoffensive races of the motley group who seek our golden land; and a colony of them, that have been for some time established at the diggings, are remarkable for the quietness of their demeanour, and the propriety of their behaviour." The growth of the colony is, however, best shown by comparing the aggregate number of the population now, with what it was at the period when gold was first discovered. In the commencement of 1851, it was ascertained that the province of Victoria, which contains the most productive mines, was 77,360. The same journal from which we have quoted estimates it to be now 250,000; and adds, that it is being increased by the arrival of about 1000 immigrants per week. It is doubtful whether the other provinces-New South Wales and South and West Australia-are progressing at the same rate. The diggers are a migratory race.
The report of a new "find" attracts them from all directions. In February last, the Tarrengower gold-field was opened out, and discovered to be most productive; and the following is a description of the state of things which followed, from one who had visited the locality: "In leaving Bendigo, the comparatively deserted state of the diggings along Kangaroo Flat, in Adelaide Gully, and the Robinson Crusoe, is very apparent. The vast extent of the yellow mounds, where so much bustle and activity formerly prevailed, is now in many cases unenlivened by the presence even of a solitary digger. The want of water, in the first instance, but chiefly the attractions of Tarrengower, have almost depopulated this portion of the Bendigo. Many stores have been removed, and a large number are closed up for the present; yet there is a vitality about the place which shows that the glory has not altogether departed. Some business is being done, and those who still remain have infinite faith in the recuperative energies of Bendigo. When
the winter sets in,' they say, 'we shall have the diggers back.""" Similar migrations are continually occurring; and hence it is most difficult to arrive at the actual population of any particular province or district. It is most probable, indeed, that the numbers of souls in the entire colony are considerably understated. This, we think, will be apparent when we come to examine the consuming powers of Australia, as tested by its imports. From a return, moved for in the House of Commons by Mr Archibald Hastie, and ordered to be printed on the 1st of May last, the following were the exports from the United Kingdom to the colony in each of the three years ending the 5th January 1854:
shoes, boots, ready-made clothing, &c.
British colonies," and £1,668,606
Returning to the immediate question of the increase of population in Australia, and its probable future rate, we may state, unhesitatingly, that it must be vastly beyond what is generally anticipated. In fact, the increase is self-creative-" vires acquirit eundo." Every newly-arrived immigrant, who purchases land from the colonial government, and every digger who pays for a gold license, becomes, in so doing, an importer of labour. Writing on the 25th of March last, The Melbourne Argus says:
"The following is a statement of the arrivals and departures of passengers by
sea since our last summary :
18, 1,494 332
12,469 4,483 4,483
£5,036,311 were derived from "other Increase to population, 7,986
"In the same number of weeks previously, as stated in our last summary, the increase was 6281. The immigration is, therefore, again on the increase. It is now proceeding at the rate of about 1000 per week; but we ought not to omit mentioning, that a very large increase over this may be speedily expected. We lately stated, on the authority of public documents, that our land-fund available for promoting emigration from the United Kingdom amounted in the last quarter to upwards of £250,000, and if that rate is maintained during the present year, at the cost of £6000 per ship, as estimated by the Land and Emigration Commissioners, and an average of little more than 400 persons to each ship, there will be a fund 'sufficient to convey free to these shores no less than 70,000 souls in one year. This, of course, is altogether independent of the emigration of persons paying their own passages, which, we have noticed, always increases with an increased Government emigration. Within the last few weeks we have been invaded by what seems likely to be the advanced guard of a large army of Chinese. Several ships have arrived crowded with Chinese passengers, and many more are reported to be on their way. The same spirit of enterprise is doubtless gradually extending itself amongst the people of other countries; and the natural effects will be exhibited in the inflow of a vast wave of population, to a colony which affords such a field to the labouring man as is presented in no other country upon earth."
It may appear singular that there should be so large a number of departures as 4483 to set against 12,469 arrivals. We have already remarked, however, that the gold-diggers are migratory in their habits. Many of them, who have amassed a few thousand pounds, return to their own countries to settle. The state of society in Australia is not such at present as to attach parties to the colony. There is unfortunately there a want of home comforts. The wealth in the colony, suddenly acquired, is in the hands of people unprepared, by education or early pursuits, for spending it in a sensible manner, or investing it profitably. Many are coming thence only for a season, as visitors to their native land, or to return with relatives and friends; and some are
going away in quest of gold, reported to exist, in more than Australian abundance, elsewhere. For example, there has been recently a rumour of the Peruvian mines reassuming their original fertility; and we observe, in recent Australian papers, announcements of numerous ships about to sail with passengers for Callao, on the west coast of South America, in the neighbourhood of which port it is said that gold has been recently discovered in large quantities. The real gold, however, will most assuredly be Peruvian guano, with which such ships will load for this country and the United States. Such re-emigration is natural amongst a population like that of Australia, and will continue for a while. But the arrivals in the colony are becoming more and more composed of the class likely to be settlers. The Germans have been lately extensive purchasers of land, and are habitués in the colony. A report of a Hamburg society gives the following as the German population in 1852:
The German emigration to Australia last year will have greatly swelled these numbers; and the description of emigrants from that country may be estimated from the fact that, of nearly 6000 persons who applied to the Berlin Emigration Society in 1852 for advice and assistance, 4444 possessed property amounting in the whole to 977,635 dollars, or, upon an average, 218 dollars (£32, 14s.) per head.* We have also yet to experience the effect which will be produced by remittances home by emigrants for the purpose of enabling their friends to join them in the colony. The impetus given to the eflux of population from Ireland by such remittances was strikingly shown by the Colonial Land and Emigration Commissioners in their Report of last year. The remittances from the United States, as ascertained through leading mercantile and
*Colonial Land and Emigration Commissioners' Report, 1853.
We observe at present that several of the leading emigration firms in London and Liverpool are making arrangements in Australia for the purpose of enabling settlers to pay the passage of their friends out to the colony.
Independently of the attractions offered by the gold-fields, of remittances from friends in Australia, or of Government aid, there is abundant certainty that emigration to that colony must increase very rapidly. In fact, scarcity of shipping is the only bar to it which is likely to be felt. There is a positive want of labour in Australia, which mocks at
The above articles the colony can supply to almost any extent; yet it will be observed that their export is falling off every year. Its mines of copper, especially, are amongst the richest in the world; yet they are comparatively unworked for the want of hands, whilst the world holds so many human beings who would gladly toil for one-fourth of the remuneration which Australia could so well afford them. To the people of Great Britain it is a very material object that the agricultural and mineral resources of the colony should
the childish efforts of such parliamentary committees as that of which Mr John O'Connell was recently the chairman, to prevent its supply. Notwithstanding its vast agricultural resources, the demand for their development created by a rapidly augmenting population, and the ample, and, in fact, extravagant remuneration afforded in the colony for every description of industry, the entire world, whose attention has been for the last two years attracted by its display of wealth, and which is assured of the genuine and permanent character of its claims to notice, appears unable to supply labour in sufficient abundance. Whether we turn to its imports or its exports, furnished us in the valuable report moved for by Mr Hastie, the great want of labour forces itself upon us. We shall take at random a few of the articles exported from Great Britain to the colony during the past three years:—
be more largely developed than at present; for if, almost exclusively by the produce of her gold-fields, her population of little, if at all, over half a million souls can afford to import our productions to the amount of above fourteen millions sterling per annum, what may be expected when it becomes enabled to export freely the raw material, the agricultural products, and the valuable mineralscopper, tin, &c.-which its soil will yield to an extent almost beyond the power of calculation?
We have already stated that the