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to 2,000 feet above the level of the sea, are rather cooler, while others are slightly warmer than the metropolis. The mean temperature of the air throughout the year at Ballarat, 1,438 feet above the level of the sea, is 539, as compared with 57° 6' in Melbourne, while at Sandhurst it is as high as 58° 6'.
The rainfall at Melbourne differs very considerably in different years. The year of the greatest rainfall was 1849, in which 44.25 inches of rain fell; then 1863, with 36.42 inches, and 1870, with 33.77 inches. The year when least rain fell was 1865, with 15.94 inches. The rainfall is tolerably well distributed throughout the year, the mean number of days upon which rain fell during the past 35 years being 135-5, of which th spring quarter contributed 40 3, the summer 24 4, the autumn 28.9, and the winter 41.9. The mean annua rainfall is 27 58 inches, compared with 49.95 in Sydney and 21 36 in Adelaide.
The hot winds of Victoria form the peculiar feature of its climate which is most talked about in other countries and is most dreaded by new arrivals. They frequently set in about 9 a.m., and blow from the north with great violence, raising clouds of dust. Vegetation becomes parched up, fruit falls from the trees, and animals as well as human beings appear to be greatly oppressed. The time is a trying one for young childat and invalids. The wind often changes to the south towards evening, but sometimes continues to blow from th north for two and even three days. When the welcome southerly wind sets in it frequently does so in a heavy squall, accompanied with drops of rain and thunder and lightning, and the thermometer sometimes falls a much as 20 or 30 degrees in half an hour. According to Neumayer, the average number of hot winds for the colony amounts to eight or nine per annum, but the average is different in different localities, according to th following classification :
The hot winds are not, however, by any means unmixed evils. The intense dryness produced by the acts as a powerful disinfectant, and the dampness which in the south of Europe produces such prejudicial ef is entirely unknown in Victoria.
The present population of Victoria is in round numbers 820,000. The latest census, taken in 1871, gave 731,528, of whom 401,050 were males and 330,478 females, residing in 158,481 houses. The increase wi has since taken place from immigration and the excess of births over deaths has done much to reduce t difference between the sexes, and the numbers may now be set down at 430,000 males and 390,000 females. The various censuses which have been taken since the first settlement of Melbourne give the accompany.. results.
Date of Enumeration.
25th May 1836
8th November 1836
12th September 1838
2nd March 1841
2nd March 1846
2nd March 1851
26th April 1834
29th March 1837
7th April 1861
2nd April 1871
Of the present population of Victoria, about 17 are Chinese, and 1,330 Aborigines.
Victoria contains 8 268 persons to the square mile, rather less than in the empire of Russia, which has and much less than the United States, which has inhabitants. The population is very unevenly d Melbourne, the capital of Victoria, has with its su a population of 240,000, rather less than Boston, U.S. or Sheffield, but more than Hamburg, while in .
county of Weeah, in the extreme north-west of the colony, there was not a single inhabitant on the night a
which the census was taken. Ballarat, the second city in Victoria, has 47,201 inhabitants, Sandhurst 28,577, Geelong, 21,459; then come Castlemaine with a population of 9,322, Clunes, 6,068, Stawell, 5166, and Daylesford, 4,696. The disproportion of the sexes is confined to the remoter districts, for in eighteen of the cities, boroughs, and towns, the females were in excess of the males.
The accompanying table shows the various nationalities of which the people of Victoria were comprised in
Persons. Males. Females.
Other Australasian Colonies
United States of America
Of the whole population, 257,835 belong to the Church of England, 112,983 are Presbyterians, 170,620 Roman Catholics, 94,220 Wesleyans, 18,191 Independents, 16,311 Baptists, 10,559 Lutherans, 3,571 Jews, and 17,650 Chinese are returned as Pagans.
Of every thousand persons over five years, the number who could read and write was 804, and of those who could read only, 128, leaving 68 totally uneducated. Of the population over twenty-one, 871 could read and write, and 74 could read only, leaving 55 per 1,000 of the adult population wholly uneducated. Primary education in Victoria is now free, compulsory, and secular.
Victoria was first discovered by Captain Cook in 1770, but the first permament settlement did not take place until 1834, when the Messrs. Henty established a whaling establishment at Portland. In 1836 Batman and Fawkner crossed from Tasmania and took up their residence on the banks of the River Yarra near the site of the present city of Melbourne. The fact that, as throughout the greater portion of Australia, the land was well adapted for cultivation, that sheep and cattle could thrive upon the natural grasses of the country and could live in the open air throughout the year, attracted a large immigration; and in 1851, when Victoria was separated from New South Wales and commenced an independent existence, the population numbered 76,000, the sheep 6,000,000, the cattle 380,000, the horses 21,000, and the land in cultivation 52,000 acres. In the preceding year the public revenue had amounted to 260,000l., the public expenditure to 196,000l., the imports to 745,000l., the exports to 1,000,000l. The ships which arrived numbered 555, of an aggregate tonnage of 108,030, and the ships which departed numbered 508, of an aggregate tonnage of 87,087. The wheat grown amounted to 550,000 bushels, the oats to 100,000 bushels, the hay to 21,000 tons. The wool exported amounted to 18,000,000 lbs., and the tallow to 10,000,000 lbs.
The discovery of gold which took place in 1851 enormously increased the population and revenues of the Yarra colony. For many years the principal export was gold, but the production of this precious metal is now of less importance than that of the great staple wool. Of the exports in 1874, amounting altogether in value to 15,441,1097., wool was valued at 6,373,6417. and gold at 4,053,2887.
The important position which the Australian colonies had obtained in consequence of the discovery of gold, and the influx of population consequent thereon, was the occasion of the Imperial Government determining in the latter end of 1852 that each colony should be invited to frame such a Constitution for its government as its representatives might deem best suited to its own peculiar circumstances. The Constitution framed in Victoria, and afterwards approved by the British Parliament, was avowedly based upon that of the United Kingdom. It provided for the establishment of two Houses of Legislature, with power to make laws, subject to the assent of the Crown as represented generally by the Governor of the colony; the Legislative Council
to consist of thirty, and the Legislative Assembly to consist of sixty members. Members of both Houses to be elective and to possess property qualifications. Electors of both Houses to possess either property or professional qualifications, the property qualification of both members and electors being lower in the case of the Assembly than in that of the Council. The Council not to be dissolved, but five members to retire every two years and to be eligible for re-election. The Assembly to be dissolved every five years, or oftener, at the discretion of the Governor. Certain officers of the Government, four at least of whom should have seats in Parliament, to be deemed "Responsible Ministers." Any member of either House accepting a place of profit under the Crown to vacate his seat, but to be capable of being re-elected. This Constitution was proclaimed in Victoria on the 23rd November 1855, and with certain modifications is still in force. The most important modifications are the reduction of one-half the of property qualifications of both members and electors of the Council, the total abolition of the property qualifications for both electors and members of the Assembly, the increase of members of the Assembly from 60 to 78, shortening of the duration of their term of election from five years to three, and paying members both of Council and Assembly.
No Imperial troops are stationed in Victoria, the defence force consisting of 196 paid artillerymen, 4,100 volunteers of various arms, together with a monitor and line-of-battle ship with 52 heavy guns, and 340 officers and men for harbour defences.
The revenue for the year 1874 was 4,106,7907., and the expenditure, 4,177,3377., the revenue being 51. 4s. Od., and the expenditure 57. 5s. 10d. per head. Of the whole revenue, about 1,800,0007. is raised from Customs and Excise, 600,000l. from the sale and rents of Crown Lands, 900,0007. from the receipts from the railways which are the property of the State, and 200,000l. from the Post and Telegraph Offices. Of the whole expenditure, the interest upon the public debt of 12,485,4327. absorbed 726,1427., the railways were worked at a cost of 442,6247.; 537,7581. was expended upon public instruction, 200,0007. upon railways, 579,5007. upon public works, and 272,2891. upon charitable institutions, such as hospitals, orphanages, and industrial schools.
The greater portion of Victoria is divided into municipalities, some urban, which according to their importance are styled cities, towns, or boroughs; the others rural, which are designated shires. Each municipal 'district is a body corporate with perpetual succession and a common seal, and is capable of sueing and being sued, holding and alienating land. The number of municipal districts is 60 urban and 110 rural, the population 773,711, the number of ratepayers 171,746, and the number of dwellings 166,124. The whole of the colony, with the exception of the mountains, is now included in these municipalities. The annual value of the properties taxed is set down at 5,995,4777., and the municipal revenue from all sources at 985,014, including a subsidy from the Government. The greater portion of the expenditure is upon public works, the salaries only amounting to 95,56971., or about 10 per cent.
The number of electors was, Council 27,930, Assembly 146,937. The only qualification for an elector of the Assembly, is, that he be either a natural-born subject of Her Majesty, or that, if an alien, he be naturalized and have resided in the colony for 10 years.
The system of transferring land, whereby a fresh title from the Crown is given to every purchaser, was inaugurated in Victoria in 1862 by the coming into force of the Real Property Act, and has since been perfected under other Statutes. All lands alienated from the Crown after the commencement of the Act named have come at once under the provisions of this law, and land alienated prior to its passing can be brought under it, provided a clear title can be produced, or a title containing only a slight imperfection. In the latter case, the title is given subject to such imperfection, which is noted on the deed. As the Govern ment takes the responsibility of the title, and may occasionally, notwithstanding every care, pass properties in respect to which claims may arise at some future time, an assurance and indemnity fund, to secure the Government against possible losses, is formed, chiefly by the payment by each person bringing property under
the Statute of an amount equal to one halfpenny in the pound of the value of such property. One claim only, amounting to 2507., has been paid out of this fund since the first introduction of the system. The balance to the credit of the fund at the end of 1874 was 29,1197. 1s. 4d., of which amount 23,000l. had been invested in Government stock.
The number of insolvencies in 1874 was 776. 23,856 persons were taken into custody by the police, of whom 6,929 were discharged, 16,233 summarily convicted, and 694 committed for trial. 10,981 persons were arrested for drunkenness, and 5,058 for other offences against good order. 10 arrests were on charges of murder, 28 of manslaughter, and 3,000 for offences against property. Of the 694 persons committed, 436 were convicted.
The imports in 1874 were valued at 16,953,9857., and the exports at 15,441,1097., or 217. 4s. 7d. per head of the population for imports and 197. 6s. 8d. for exports. Of the whole exports, 11,352,5157. were the produce or manufacture of Victoria; of the imports 8,369,5237. were from the United Kingdom, and 5,496,7767. from the other Australian colonies. Eighty per cent. of the imports are landed, and ninety per cent. of the exports are shipped, at the Port of Melbourne.
The number of vessels entered was 2,100, of an aggregate tonnage of 777,110 tons, while 2,122, of 792,509 tons, cleared. The nationality of the ships entering was colonial 1,714, British 289, foreign 97.
The number of post offices is 802; the number of letters despatched and received 15,738,888, newspapers 6,866,918. The income of the post office was 194,3397., and the expenditure 288,5747. 216 post offices issue money orders. There are 148 telegraph stations, 4,464 miles of wire, and the telegrams despatched in 1874 amounted to 701,080.
The total number of miles of government railway opened is 967, and of private railways 17; the total distance travelled in 1874 was 2,109,227, the number of persons travelling being 5,374,841, and the weight of goods 904,670 tons. The total receipts on government and private lines was 1,016,9267., the rates charged varying from 1d. to 2d. per mile according to class.
Wages vary from 15s. to 20s. per week and rations to farm labourers, and 12s. to 15s. per week with rations for labourers employed on sheep stations, to 11s. and 12s. per day, without rations, for mechanics, and 7s. per day, without rations, for town labourers. Seamen receive from 67. to 77. per month, and female servants from 301. to 607. per annum with board and lodging.
The prices of the following articles are given as follows in the official returns:
Cabbages, 1s. per dozen.
Fat Cattle, 57. 10s. to 127. 10s.
The weekly rent of a dwelling suitable for a mechanic and his family ranges, in the suburbs of Melbourne, from 8s. to 15s. In other towns it is lower, and in country districts the erection, on Crown lands, of a cottage of sawn or split timber, with a shingle or bark roof, which can be accomplished at a trifling cost, often enables the man of small means to save rent altogether. In all the large towns, owing to the facilities offered by building societies and other financial institutions for obtaining advances of money on easy terms, numbers of labouring men possess freeholds of their own.
The mode of acquiring land from the Crown is under the Land Sales Act. 320 acres is the largest amount which any one person is allowed to select. The selection is held under license during three years, within which period the licensee must reside on his selection at least two and a half years, must enclose it, cultivate 1 acre out of every 10, and generally effect substantial improvements to the value of 20s. per acre. The rent payable
during this period is 2s. per acre per annum, which is credited to the selector as part payment. At the expiration of the three years' license, the selector, if he obtain a certificate from the Board of Land and Works that he has complied with these conditions, may either purchase his holding by paying up the balance of 14s. per acre, or may convert his license into a lease extending over seven years, at an annual rental of 2s. per acre, which is also credited to the selector as part payment of the fee-simple. On the expiry of this lease, and due payment of the rent, the land becomes the freehold of the selector. The Crown land sold in 1874 amounted to 531,538 acres, and the extent granted without purchase to 44 acres. Of the former, 49,656 acres were sold by auction. The remainder was selected under the various Land Acts. The total extent sold, from the first settlement of the colony to the end of 1874, was 9,929,388 acres, and the extent granted without purchase was 3,245 acres, making a total of 9,932,633 acres.
The fee-simple of the whole of this land had passed to the purchaser. A further extent of land, amounting, at the end of 1874, to about 5,650,000 acres, was in process of alienation under the system of deferred payments, and this too, should the legal conditions be duly complied with, will pass away from the Crown in the course of a few years. Then there is land occupied by roads, the sites of towns, State forests, auriferous pastoral, and timber reserves, and land which is at present useless owing to its mountainous character, or to its being covered with mallee scrub, lakes or lagoons. Deducting the whole of these lands from the area of the colony, estimated at 56,446,720 acres, the area available for selection at the end of 1874 is found to have amounted to nearly 15,000,000 acres.
Land, until selected, is held by persons called squatters, who are tenants of the Crown, but can be dispossessed at any moment to meet the wants of the agricultufal selector. The rent paid by them is 4s. yearly for each horse or head of cattle that the run can depasture, and 8d. per head for the sheep. received from these sources in 1874 was 125,9387., or at the rate of about 14d. per acre.
The amount The land under cultivation in 1875 amounted to 1,011,776 acres, of which 332,936 acres were under wheat, 114,921 oats, 129,505 barley, 35,183 potatoes, 119,031 hay, 254,329 green forage. The area under vines was not given. The production, excluding minor crops, was, wheat 4,850,165 bushels, oats 2,121,612 bushels, barley 169,896 bushels, potatoes 124,310 tons, hay 157,261 tons, wine 577,493 gallons. The value of the agricultural produce was estimated at 4,410,4357., the average weight per bushel of the wheat being 61 lbs., oats 40 lbs., barley 51 lbs.
The live stock amounted to 180,254 horses, 241,137 milch cows, 717,521 cattle, 11,221,056 sheep, and 137,941 pigs, and the value of machinery and improvements upon squatting stations to 13,898,4347.
The statistics of the other producing interests show that the beer made amounted to 13,653,531 gallons, and that the number of persons employed in manufactures was, males 20,442, females 4,649, the value of the machinery, plant, and buildings being 4,750,000%.
The gold raised in 1874 was valued at 4,630,000l., and the other minerals 35,4537. The gold coined in the Melbourne branch of the Royal Mint was, in 1874, 1,383,4177. The rates of discount vary at from 6 to 7 per cent. for bills under 65 days to 9 per cent. for bills beyond 120. The liabilities of the local banks were estimated in 1874 at 14,105,4607., and their assets to 20,456,8527., the average dividends paid being 11 per cent. The balance at the credit of the 64,014 depositors in the savings banks was 1,617,301, or an average of 251. 3s. 4d. per head.
The number of marriages in 1874 was 4,925, or 6.27 per head, which is less than in England, where it is 8.24. The births were 26,800, and the deaths 12,222, or 15.30 per cent. of the population, as against 22:40 in England and Wales. About 12.5 per cent. of all children born die in their first year, as against 15 per cent. in England and Wales.