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and absorb more labour than would
to bring into practical use the voyages
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:
There is certainly evidence here, either of a most wasteful consumption, or of the existence of a population greater than it is generally supposed to be. But this return does not convey the full extent of that consumption. From what appears to be a carefully compiled statement in the last, the imports into the province of Melbourne Argus of the 25th of March Victoria alone, in 1853, amounted to the enormous sum of £15,842,637, received from the following countries:Great Britain, £8,288,226 West Indies (British), 14,973 North America (British), 13,560 Other British colonies, 5,036,311 United States of America, 1,668,606 Foreign States,
British colonies," and £1,668,606 from the United States of America. Our East Indian markets, no doubt, supplied the former amount, and the bulk of the latter crossed the Pacific from California. On the 27th July we had a regular mail by the overland route, via India and the Mediterranean, bringing advices up to the 29th May, which confirmed those brought by the "Golden Age." It is clear that a country, which takes from the United Kingdom upwards of fourteen millions sterling per annum, ought to have permanently established for it a postal communication as rapid as possible. It is unreasonable and suicidal to torture a great mercantile nation with a system, or arrangements, which leave us for four months consecutively without advices of the wants of one of our most valuable customers, and exchange of sentiments with nearly half a million of our own fellow-countrymen. Before concluding our remarks, we shall endeavour to point out how such improved postal communication can be best established.
shoes, boots, ready-made clothing, &c.
£5,036,311 were derived from "other Increase to population, 7,986
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 :—
Week ending Jan. 28,
11, 1,336 670
18, 1,494 332
"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 ing as the German population in a Hamburg society gives the follow1852:
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 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:―
Apparel, Slops, and Haberdashery, £591,516 £959,687 £3,633,908
Beer and Ale,
Butter and Cheese, Soap and Candles,
The last two items certainly would not occupy a place in the list of our exports to Australia if that fine agricultural country had even a moderate supply of labour. The anomaly is monstrous that butter and cheese, soap and candles, should be
Regulus of Copper, tons,
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
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