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Title: Our First Half-Century: A Review of Queensland Progress Based Upon Official Information

Author: Queensland

Release date: April 21, 2012 [eBook #39495]

Language: English

Credits: Produced by far Nick Wall, Lesley Halamek, and the Online
Distributed Proofreading Team at (This
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Our First Half-Century










The object of this work, as the title implies, is to furnish the reader with a succinct review of the salient facts of Queensland progress, first as an autonomous British colony of the Australian group, and second as a State of the Commonwealth of Australia, retaining all constitutional rights unimpaired save in so far as they may be qualified by the provisions of "The Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act of 1900." In treating of federation as thus accomplished the object has been to set forth dispassionately, yet clearly, the general results of the change upon the well-being of the State, and the reasonable anticipations of its future when the objects of federal union have been more completely attained.

This is not a volume of statistics, yet in a fifty-year review it would be impossible entirely to avoid the use of figures. These, however, have been availed of sparingly; and, to avoid encumbering the text, tables compiled by the Government Statistician contrasting the progress made, by presenting the figures for the first, middle, and last (available) years of the fifty-year period, have been included as appendices. Every effort has been made to ensure accuracy, and to embody in the volume all the information possible without overloading it with detail.

For the series of diagrams illustrative of the subdivision of Australia into separate colonies between 1787 and 1863 acknowledgment is due to the Under Secretary for Lands of New South Wales, under whose authority they were compiled from data in the Public Library, Sydney.



Preface iii
Table of Contents v-x
List of Illustrations xi-xiv
Introduction xv-xx
The Subdivision of Australia xxii-xxiv
Jubilee Ode—"Queen of the North" xxv-xxviii




Issue of Letters Patent and Order in Council.—Appointment of Sir George Ferguson Bowen as First Governor.—Continuity of Colonial Office Policy. —Instructions to Governor.—Munificent Gift of all Waste Lands of the Crown.—Temporary Limitation of Electoral Suffrage.—Responsible Government Unqualified by Restrictions or Reservations.—Governor-General of New South Wales Initiates Elections 1-4



Arrival of Sir George Bowen in Brisbane.—The First Responsible Ministry.—Injunctions to Governor by Secretary of State in regard to Choice of Ministers. —Ex-members of New South Wales Legislature take Umbrage. —The Governor on the Characteristics of Various Classes of Colonists.—The Governor a Dictator.—The Microscopic Treasury Balance.—Gladstone as Site of Capital. —Mr. Herbert as a Parliamentary Leader 5-7



Meeting of First Parliament.—Amendment on Address in Reply defeated by Speaker's Casting Vote.—Adoption of Address in Reply.—Compromise between Parties Indispensable.—Successful Inauguration of Responsible Government.—The Governor's Egotism.—Mr. Herbert's Retirement.—Mr. Macalister Succeeds.—Financial and Political Crisis.—Proposed Inconvertible Paper Money.—Governor Undeservedly Blamed 8-10



Work of the First Session.—Four Land Acts Passed.—Summary of Land "Code."—Pastoral Leases. —Upset Price of Land £1 per acre.—Agricultural Reserves.—Land Orders to Immigrants.—Cotton Bonus. —Lands for Mining Purposes.—Renewal of Existing Leases. —Governor's Laudation of "Code."—Praises Parliament. —Abolition of State Aid to Religion.—Primary and Secondary Education.—Wool Liens.—First Estimates and Appropriation Act 11-14



Rush of Population.—High Prices for Stock for occupying New Country.—Sparse Population.—Rockhampton most Northerly Port of Entry.—Navigation inside Barrier Reef Unknown.—Tropical Queensland Unexplored.—Ignorance of Climate, Resources, and Conditions.—Primary Industries in 1860.—Primitive Means of Communication.—Public Revenue, Bank Deposits, and Institutions 15-18




The Governor.—His Functions: Political and Social. —His Emoluments.—Administrations that have held Office.—Number of Members of Council and Assembly. —Emoluments of Assembly Members.—Good Results of Responsible Government in Queensland 19-32


PUBLIC FINANCE (1859-1884).

Importance of Sound Finance.—A Great Colony Starts upon a Bank Overdraft.—First Year's Revenue.—Land Sales as Revenue.—Deficits in First Decade.—Transfer of Loan Moneys to Revenue to Balance Accounts.—Heavy Public Works Expenditure.—Crisis of 1866.—Inconvertible Paper Currency Proposals.—Flotation of Treasury Bills. —Higher Customs Duties.—Wiping Out a Deficit by Issue of Debentures.—Transfer of Surplus to Surplus Revenue Account to Recoup Loan Fund.—Incidental Protection. —Railway Land Reserves.—Proceeds Used as Ordinary Revenue.—Three-million Loan.—Condition of Affairs at Close of First Quarter-Century.—Phenomenal Progress; Prospects Bright 33-38


PUBLIC FINANCE (1884-1893).

The Ten-million Loan.—Ministers Practically Granted Control of Five Years' Loan Money.—Vigorous Railway Policy.—Effect of Over-spending.—Inflation of Values.—Increased Taxation.—Succession of Deficits. —Second McIlwraith Ministry.—A Protectionist Tariff. —Temporary Increase of Revenue.—Heavy Contraction in 1890.—Another Big Loan; Failure of Flotation. —The First Underwritten Australian Loan.—Amended Audit Act Limiting Spending Power of Government 39-42


PUBLIC FINANCE (1893-1898).

Sir Hugh Nelson at the Treasury.—Credit of Colony Restored.—Assistance to Financial Institutions and Primary Industries.—Savings Bank Stock Act.—Public Debt Reduction Fund.—Treasurer's Cautious and Prudent Administration.—Money Obtained in London at a Record Price 43-45


PUBLIC FINANCE (1898-1903).

The Philp Ministry.—Large Surplus.—Loan Acts for Seven and a-half Millions Sterling.—Drought Disasters and Sacrifices for Federation.—Accumulated Revenue Deficits of over £1,000,000.—Rebuff on London Stock Exchange.—Resignation of Philp Ministry 46-48


PUBLIC FINANCE (1903-1909).

The Morgan-Kidston Ministry.—Economy in Revenue Expenditure.—Great Reduction in Loan Outlay.—Equilibrium Established at the Treasury.—Retrenchment and Taxation.—Improvement of Finances.—A Record Surplus for Queensland.—Land Sales Proceeds Act.—Abstention from Borrowing.—First Loan Floated since 1903.—Sound Position of Queensland. —Value of State Securities.—Reproductiveness of Railways Built out of Loan Money.—Public Estate Improvement Fund.—How Recourse to Money Market has been Avoided 49-53


THE BOOM DECADE (1880-1890).

A Great Boom Decade.—Causes of Inflation of Values.—Excessive Rating Valuations.—False Basis of Assessing Capital Value.—Prodigality Succeeded by Financial Stringency and Collapse of Boom.—Difficulty in Determining Real Values.—Sir Hugh Nelson's Legislation.—Sound Finance.—Stability of State.—Prospects Good To-day 54-56



The Code of 1860.—Crown Lands Alienation Act of 1868.—Pastoral Leases Act of 1869.—Homestead Areas Act of 1872.—Crown Lands Alienation Act and Settled Districts Pastoral Leases Act of 1876.—The Griffith-Dutton Land Act of 1884.—Co-operative Communities Land Settlement Act.—Land Act of 1897—Forms of Selection.—Act to Assist Persons to Settle on Land by Advances from the Treasury.—Extension of Pastoral Leases.—Closer Settlement Act.—Land Orders 57-65



Land Sales Receipts; not Consolidated Revenue. —Arguments used in favour of Treating Proceeds as Ordinary Revenue.—Auction Sales have now Practically Ceased.—Certain Proceeds Payable into Loan Fund. —Special Sales of Land Act; Appropriation of Receipts 66-68



First Municipality Established.—Brisbane Bridge Lands.—Grant for Town Hall.—Consolidating Municipalities Act.—Provincial Councils Act.—Government Buildings not Rateable.—Brisbane Bridge Debentures and Waterway Acts.—Municipal Endowment.—Local Government Act of 1878.—Divisional Boards Act of 1879; Success of the Act.—Local Works Loans Act.—Two Pounds for One Pound Endowment Repealed.—Rating Powers Extended by Local Authorities Act of 1902.—Cessation of Endowment. —Valuation and Rating Act.—Decline in Land Values. —Unequal Incidence of Rates Levied.—Efficiency of Local Authorities 69-77



Primary Education: Board of National Education; Education Act of 1860; Board of General Education; Education Act of 1875; Department of Public Instruction; Higher Education in Primary Schools; Itinerant Teachers; Status of Teachers; Statistics.—Private Schools.—Secondary Education: Grammar Schools Act; Endowments, Scholarships, and Bursaries; Success of Grammar Schools; Exhibitions to Universities; Expenditure.—Technical Education: Beginning of System; Board of Technical Instruction; Transfer of Control to Department of Public Instruction; Statistics; Technical Instruction Act; Continuation Classes; Schools of Arts and Reading Rooms.—University: Royal Commissions; University Bill; Standardised System of Education 78-85




Good Seasons and General Prosperity.—Land Settlement and Immigration.—The Sugar Crop.—Gold and Other Minerals.—Reduction in Cost of Mining and Treatment of Ores.—Vigorous Railway Extension.—Mileage Open for Traffic.—Efficiency of 3 ft. 6 in. Gauge.—Our Railway Investment.—The National Association Jubilee Show.—The General Election.—The Mandate of the Constituencies.—Government Majority.—Practical Extinction of Third Party.—Labour a Constitutional Opposition.—Federal Agreement with States.—Federal Union Vindicated 86-91



Proclamation of the Commonwealth.—The Referendum Vote.—Queensland's Small Majority in the Affirmative.—Representation in Federal Parliament.—The White Australia Policy.—Temporary Effect on Queensland.—An Embarrassed State Treasury.—Assistance to Sugar Industry.—Continued Protection Necessary.—Unequal Distribution of Federal Surplus Revenue.—The Transferred Properties.—Effect of Uniform Tariff.—Good Times Lessen Federal Burden on State.—The Agreement between Prime Minister and Premiers.—Better Feeling Towards Federation.—National Measures of Deakin Government 92-96




Importance of Industry.—Small Beginnings in New South Wales.—Extension of Industry.—Stocking of Darling Downs and Western Queensland.—Rush for Pastoral Lands. —Difficulties of Early Squatters.—Influx of Victorian Capital.—Changes in Method of Working Stations.—Boom in Pastoral Properties.—Checks from Drought.—Discovery of Artesian Water.—Conservation of Surface Water. —Introduction of Grazing Farm System.—Closer Settlement of Darling Downs.—Cattle-Rearing.—Meat-Freezing Works. —Over-stocking.—Dairying.—Station Routine.—Charm of Pastoral Life.—Shearing.—Hospitality of Squatters. —Attraction of Industry as Investment and Occupation 97-112



Tripartite Division of Queensland.—Climate.—Development of Agriculture in Queensland.—Wide Range of Products.—Early History.—Exclusion of Farmers from Richest Lands.—Origin of Mixed Farming.—Extension of Industry Westward.—Inexperience of Early Settlers. —Cotton-growing.—Chief Crops.—Dairying. —Cereal-growing.—Farming in the Tropics.—Farming on the Downs.—Farming in the West.—Irrigation. —Conservation of Water.—Timber Industry.—Land Selection.—Assistance Given by the Government. —Immigration.—Attractions of Queensland. —Defenders of Hearth and Home 113-131



Sugar-cane in the Northern Hemisphere.—The Rise of the Beet Industry.—Abolition of Slave Labour in West Indies.—Reorganisation of Industry on Scientific Basis.—Establishment of Industry in Queensland. —Difficulties of Early Planters.—Stoppage of Pacific Island Labour.—Evolution of Small Holdings and Erection of Central Mills.—Reintroduction of Pacific Islanders. —Stoppage of Pacific Island Labour by Commonwealth Legislation.—Bonus on White-grown Sugar.—Benefits Arising from Separating Cultivation and Manufacture. —Contrast between Past and Present Methods.—Scientific Cultivation.—Recent Statistics.—The Future of the Industry.—Queensland Leading the Van in Establishing White Agriculturists in Tropics 132-143



The Quest for Gold a Colonising Agency.—Earliest Discoveries of the Precious Metal in Queensland.—Port Curtis.—Rockhampton District.—Peak Downs.—Gympie. —Ravenswood.—Charters Towers.—Palmer.—Mount Morgan. —Croydon.—Later Discoveries.—Yield at Charters Towers and Mount Morgan.—Copper Mining.—Tin.—Silver. —Queensland the Home of All Kinds of Minerals and Precious Stones.—Mineral Wealth in Cairns Hinterland. —Copper Deposits in Cloncurry District.—The Etheridge. —Anakie Gem Field.—Opal Fields.—Extensive Coal Measures.—Railway Communication with Mining Fields. —Value of Queensland Mineral Output.—Prospects of Industry 144-152



Erroneous Judgment of Western Queensland.—Scarcity of Surface Water.—Water Supply Department.—Discovery of Artesian Water in New South Wales.—Prospecting in Queensland.—Difficulties Experienced by Early Borers.—First Artesian Flowing Bore.—Dr. Jack's First Estimate of Artesian Area.—Revised Figures.—Number of Bores and Estimated Flow.—Area Capable of being Irrigated with Artesian Water.—Cost of Boring.—Value of Artesian Water.—Extent of Intake Beds.—Waste of Water. —Necessity for Government Control of Wells.—Value of Water for Irrigation, Consumption, and Motive Power. —Artesian Water a Great National Asset 153-161


Appendix A—Readjustment of Western Boundary 162-163
Appendix B—The First Parliament 164
Appendix C—The Eighteenth Parliament 165-166
Appendix D—Fifty Years of Legislation 167-183
Appendix E—Land Selection in Queensland 184-195
Appendix F—Immigration to Queensland 196-197
Appendix G—Some Statistics and Their Story 198-209
Appendix H—Digest of Hydraulic Engineer's Reports 210-230
Appendix J—Climatic Contrasts 231-237
Appendix K—Education Statistics 238
Appendix L—Inauguration of the University of Queensland 239-257


Government House (C. E. S. Fryer) Frontispiece
    Facing Page
First Gazette, 10th December, 1859   xiv
Writ of Summons for First Election   xx
Governors of Queensland (C. E. S. Fryer) xxiv
Premiers of Queensland (C. E. S. Fryer) xxviii
Houses of Parliament, Brisbane (C. E. S. Fryer) 4
View from River Terrace, Brisbane (C. E. S. Fryer) 8
Barron Falls, Cairns Railway, North Queensland (C. E. S. Fryer) 12
Treasury Buildings, Brisbane (C. E. S. Fryer) 16
Coal Wharves, South Brisbane (C. E. S. Fryer) 20
Executive Buildings, Brisbane (C. E. S. Fryer) 24
Views of Rockhampton, Central Queensland (C. E. S. Fryer) 28
Townsville: Flinders Street, looking West (C. E. S. Fryer) 32
Hinchinbrook Channel, North Queensland (C. E. S. Fryer) 36
The Narrows and Mount Larcombe, near Gladstone (C. E. S. Fryer) 36
Barron Gorge below the Falls, Cairns Railway (C. E. S. Fryer) 40
On the Road to Market, Central Queensland (W. E. Perroux) 44
Fat Cattle, Central Queensland (W. E. Perroux) 44
Maroochy River and Ninderry Mountain, N.C. Railway (C. E. S. Fryer) 48
Scene on Barcaldine Downs, Central Queensland (W. E. Perroux) 52
Barcaldine Downs Homestead, Central Queensland (W. E. Perroux) 52
Swan Creek Valley, near Yangan, Warwick District (C. E. S. Fryer) 56
Surprise Creek Falls, Cairns Railway (C. E. S. Fryer) 60
Forest Scene near Woombye, North Coast Railway (C. E. S. Fryer) 64
Hauling Timber, North Coast Railway (C. E. S. Fryer) 68
Stony Creek Bridge and Falls, Cairns Railwayxii (C. E. S. Fryer) 68
Timber Getting, North Coast Railway (C. E. S. Fryer) 72
Cairns Range and Robb's Monument, N. Queensland (C. E. S. Fryer) 76
View of Gympie from Nashville Railway Station (C. E. S. Fryer) 80
Coke Ovens, Ipswich District (C. E. S. Fryer) 80
Gulf Cattle Ready for Market (H. J. Walton) 84
Brigalow Country, Warra, Darling Downs   84
Hereford Cows, Darling Downs   84
Above Stony Creek Falls, Cairns Railway (C. E. S. Fryer) 88
Mount Morgan: Open Cut and Dumps (Mount Morgan G.M. Co.) 92
Mount Morgan: Mundic and Copper Works (Mount Morgan G.M. Co.) 92
Cattle Country, West Moreton   100
Fat Cattle, Central Queensland (C. E. S. Fryer) 100
Horses at Gowrie, Darling Downs   104
Sheep at Gowrie, Darling Downs   104
Horses, Western Queensland (H. J. Walton) 104
Fat Cattle, Burrandilla, Charleville (H. J. Walton) 104
Wool Teams, Wyandra, Warrego District (C. E. S. Fryer) 108
Hauling Cedar, Atherton, North Queensland (C. E. S. Fryer) 108
Dairy Cattle on Darling Downs   112
Sheep, Jimbour, Darling Downs   112
Horses, Ivanhoe Station, Warrego   112
Harvesting Wheat, Emu Vale, near Warwick (C. E. S. Fryer) 116
Surprise Creek Cascade, Cairns Railway (C. E. S. Fryer) 120
Pineapple Farm, Woombye, North Coast Railway (C. E. S. Fryer) 124
Sugar-Mill, Huxley, Isis Railway (C. E. S. Fryer) 124
Field of Maize, Eel Creek, Gympie (C. E. S. Fryer) 124
Threshing Wheat, Emu Vale, Killarney Railway (C. E. S. Fryer) 128
Coffee Plantation, Kuranda, Cairns Railway (C. E. S. Fryer) 128
Sugar-Mill, Childers, North Coast Railway (C. E. S. Fryer) 132
Sisal Hemp and Cane Fields, South Isis (C. E. S. Fryer) 136
Canefields, Isis Railwayxiii (C. E. S. Fryer) 136
Sugar Cane and Mill, Huxley, Isis Railway (C. E. S. Fryer) 136
Cambanora Gap, Head of Condamine, Killarney (C. E. S. Fryer) 140
Minto Crag, Dugandan, Fassifern District (C. E. S. Fryer) 140
Mount Morgan: Copper Works, looking North (Mt. Morgan G.M. Co.) 144
Mount Morgan: General View of Works (Mt. Morgan G.M. Co.) 144
Charters Towers: Plant's Day Dawn (C. E. S. Fryer) 148
Gympie: Scottish Gympie Gold Mine (C. E. S. Fryer) 152
Gympie: No. 1 North Oriental and Glanmire (C. E. S. Fryer) 152
Flowing Artesian Wells, Western Queensland:    
1. Beel's Bore, Cunnamulla (Kerry) 156
2. Bore on Thurulgoona Station (Kerry) 156
3. Charleville Bore (C. E. S. Fryer) 156
Aberdare Colliery, Ipswich District (C. E. S. Fryer) 160
Cocoa-Nut Palms, Johnstone River, North Queensland (C. E. S. Fryer) 164
Custom House and Petrie Bight, Brisbane (C. E. S. Fryer) 164
In the Scrub Country, Kin Kin, North Coast Railway (C. E. S. Fryer) 168
On the Blackall Range, North Coast Railway (C. E. S. Fryer) 168
Barron Gorge, Cairns Railway, North Queensland (C. E. S. Fryer) 176
Farm Scene, Blackall Range (C. E. S. Fryer) 184
Sisal Hemp, Childers, North Coast Railway (C. E. S. Fryer) 184
Wool Teams, Longreach, Central Queensland (C. E. S. Fryer) 184
View on Barron River, Cairns Railway (C. E. S. Fryer) 192
Hauling Timber, Barron River, North Queensland (C. E. S. Fryer) 200
Falls near Killarney (C. E. S. Fryer) 208
Aboriginal Tree Climbers (C. E. S. Fryer) 208
Scene on Logan River, South Queensland (C. E. S. Fryer) 216
Cooktown and Endeavour River, North Queensland (C. E. S. Fryer) 224
Pearling Fleets off Badu Island, Torres Strait   224
Government House, now Dedicated to University purposes (C. E. S. Fryer) 238
View of Dedication Ceremonyxiv (H. W. Mobsby) 242
The Premier (Hon. W. Kidston) Opening the Proceedings (H. W. Mobsby) 244
His Excellency Sir W. MacGregor Addressing the Audience (H. W. Mobsby) 248
His Excellency Unveiling the Dedication Tablet (H. W. Mobsby) 250
Lady MacGregor Planting the University Tree (H. W. Mobsby) 256


(Prepared by Survey Office, Department of Public Lands.)

Subdivision of Australia xxii, xxiii
Australia before Captain Cook 96
Australia, Showing First Settlement 96
Queensland in 1859 96
Queensland in 1909 96
Australia in 1859, Showing Self-Governing Colonies 96
The World, Showing Relative Position of Australia 96
Queensland, with British Islands Superimposed 232

Royal Coat of Arms


Government Gazette.


No. 1.] SATURDAY, 10 DECEMBER, 1859.  


By His Excellency Sir George Ferguson Bowen, Knight Commander of the Most Distinguished Order of St. Michael and St. George, Captain-General and Governor-in-Chief of the Colony of Queensland and its Dependencies, and Vice-Admiral of the same, &c., &c., &c.


W HEREAS by an Act passed in the Session of Parliament holden in the eighteenth and nineteenth years of the Reign of Her Majesty, entitled, "An Act to enable Her Majesty to assent to a Bill as amended of the Legislature of New South Wales 'to confer a Constitution on New South Wales, and to grant 'a Civil List to Her Majesty,'" it was amongst other things enacted that it should be lawful for Her Majesty, by Letters Patent, to be from time to time issued under the Great Seal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, to erect into a separate Colony or Colonies, any territories which might be separated from New South Wales by such alteration as therein was mentioned, of the northern boundary thereof; and in and by such Letters Patent, or by Order in Council, to make provision for the Government of any such Colony, and for the Establishment of a Legislature therein, in manner as nearly resembling the form of Government and Legislature which should be at such time established in New South Wales as the circumstances of such Colony will allow; and that full power should be given in and by such Letters Patent, or Order in Council, to the Legislature of the said Colony, to make further provision in that behalf. And whereas Her Majesty, in exercise of the powers so vested in Her Majesty, has by Her Commission under the Great Seal of the United Kingdom, bearing date the sixth day of June, in the year of Our Lord one thousand eight hundred and fifty-nine, appointed that from and after the publication of the said Letters Patent in the Colonies of New South Wales and Queensland, the Territory described in the said Letters Patent should be separated from the said Colony of New South Wales and be erected into the separate Colony of Queensland: Now, therefore, I, Sir George Ferguson Bowen,the Governor of Queensland, in pursuance of the authority invested in me by Her Majesty, do hereby proclaim and publish the said Letters Patent in the words and figures following, respectively.


LETTERS PATENT erecting Moreton Bay into a Colony, under the name of Queensland, and appointing Sir George Ferguson Bowen, K.C.M.G., to be Captain-General and Governor-in-Chief of the same.

Victoria, by the Grace of God, of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, Queen, Defender of the Faith, to Our trusty and well-beloved Sir George Ferguson Bowen, Knight Commander of Our most distinguished Order of St. Michael and St. George,—


Whereas by a reserved Bill of the Legislature of New South Wales, passed in the seventeenth year of our reign, as amended by an Act passed in the Session of Parliament holden in the eighteenth and nineteenth years of our reign, entitled, "An Act to enable Her Majesty to assent to a Bill, as amended, of the Legislature of New South Wales, to confer a Constitution on New South Wales, and to grant a Civil List to Her Majesty," it was enacted that nothing therein contained should be deemed to prevent us from altering the boundary of the Colony of New South Wales on the north, in such a manner as to us might seem fit; and it was further enacted by the said last recited Act, that if We should at any time exercise the power given to Us by the said reserved Bill of altering the northern boundary of our said colony, it should be lawful for Us by any Letters Patent, to be from time to time issued under the Great Seal of our United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, to erect into a separate Colony or Colonies any territories which might be separated from our said colony of New South Wales by such alterations as aforesaid of the northern boundary thereof, and in and by such Letters Patent, or by Order in Council, to make provision for the Government of any such separate colony, and for the establishment of a Legislature therein, in manner as nearly resembling the form of Government and Legislature which should be at such time established in New South Wales as the circumstances of such separate Colony would allow, and that full power should be given by such Letters Patent or Order in Council to the Legislature of such separate Colony to make further provision in that behalf. Now know you, that We have, in pursuance of the powers vested in us by the said Bill and Act, and of all other powers and authorities in Us in that behalf vested separated from our colony of New South Wales, and erected into a separate Colony, so much of the said colony of New South Wales as lies northward of a line commencing on the sea coast at Point Danger, in latitude about 28 degrees 8 minutes south, and following the range thence which divides the waters of the Tweed, Richmond, and Clarence Rivers from those of the Logan and Brisbane Rivers, westerly, to the great dividing range between the waters falling to the east coast and those of the River Murray; following the great dividing range southerly to the range dividing the waters of Tenterfield Creek from those of the main head of the Dumaresq River; following that range westerly to the Dumaresq River; and following that river (which is locally known as the Severn) downward to its confluence with the Macintyre River; thence following the Macintyre River, which lower down becomes the Barwan, downward to the 29th parallel of south latitude, and following that parallel westerly to the 141st meridian of east longitude, which is the eastern boundary of South Australia, together with all and every the adjacent Islands, their members and appurtenances, in the Pacific Ocean: And do by these presents separate from our said Colony of New South Wales and erect the said territory so described into a separate Colony to be called the Colony of Queensland.

And whereas We have by an Order made by Us in our Privy Council, bearing even date herewith, made provision for the government of our said Colony of Queensland, and we deem it expedient to make more particular provision for the government of our said Colony: Now know you, that We, reposing especial trust and confidence in the prudence, courage, and loyalty of you, the said Sir George Ferguson Bowen, of our especial grace, certain knowledge, and mere motion, have thought fit to constitute and appoint, and do by these presents constitute and appoint you, the said Sir George Ferguson Bowen, to be, during our will and pleasure, our Captain-General and Governor-in-Chief in and over our said Colony of Queensland, and of all forts and garrisons erected and established, or which shall be erected and established within our said Colony, or in its members and appurtenances; And we do hereby authorise, empower, require, and command you, the said Sir George Ferguson Bowen, in due manner, to do and execute all things that shall belong to your said command and the trust We have reposed in you, according to the several powers, provisions, and directions granted or appointed you by virtue of our present Commission, and of the said recited Bill, as amended by the said recited Act; and according to our Order in our Privy Council, bearing even date herewith, and to such instructions as are herewith given to you, or which may from time to time hereafter be given to you, under our Sign Manual and Signet, or by our Order in our Privy Council, or by Us, through one of our Principal Secretaries of State; and according to such laws and ordinances as are now in force in our said Colony of New South Wales and its dependencies, and as shall hereafter be in force in our said Colony of Queensland.

2. And whereas it is ordered by our said Order, made by Us in our Privy Council, bearing even date herewith, that there shall be within our said Colony of Queensland a Legislative Council and a Legislative Assembly, to be severally constituted and composed in the manner in the said Order prescribed; and that We shall have power, by and with the advice and consent of the said Council and Assembly, to make laws for the peace, welfare, and good government of our said Colony in all cases whatever: And it is provided by the above recited Act, that the provisions of the Act of the fourteenth year of Her Majesty, chapter fifty-nine, and of the Act of the sixth year of Her Majesty, chapter seventy-six, intituled, "An Act for the Government of New South Wales and Van Diemen's Land," which relate to the giving and withholding of Her Majesty's assent to bills, and the reservation of bills for the signification of Her Majesty's pleasure thereon, and the instructions to be conveyed to Governors for their guidance in relation to the matters aforesaid and the disallowance of Bills by Her Majesty, shall apply to Bills to be passed by the Legislative Council and Assembly constituted under the said Reserved Bill and Act, and by any other Legislative body or bodies which may at any time hereafter be substituted for the present Council and Assembly: Now We do, by virtue of the powers in Us vested, hereby require and command, that you do take especial care that in making and passing such laws, with the advice and consent of the said Legislative Council, and Legislative Assembly, the provisions, regulations, restrictions, and directions contained in the said Acts of Parliament, and in Our said Order made in Our Privy Council, bearing even date herewith, and in Our instructions under Our Sign Manual, accompanying this Our Commission, or in such future Orders as may be made by Us in Our Privy Council, or in such further instructions under Our Sign Manual and Signet as shall at any time hereafter be issued to you in that behalf, be strictly complied with.

3. And whereas it is expedient that an Executive Council should be appointed to advise and assist you, the said Sir George Ferguson Bowen, in the administration of the Government of our said Colony: Now We do declare Our pleasure to be, that there shall be an Executive Council for Our said Colony, and that the said Council shall consist of such persons as you shall, by instruments to be passed under the Great Seal of our said Colony in Our name and on our behalf, from time to time, nominate and appoint, to be members of the said Executive Council, all which persons shall hold their places in the said Council during Our pleasure: But We do expressly enjoin and require that you do transmit to Us, through one of Our principal Secretaries of State, exemplifications of all such instruments as shall be by you so issued for appointing the members of the said Council.

4. And we do hereby authorise and empower you, the said Sir George Ferguson Bowen, to keep and use the Great Seal of our said colony for sealing all things whatsoever that shall pass the Great Seal of our said colony.

5. And we do hereby give and grant to you, the said Sir George Ferguson Bowen, full power and authority, by and with the advice of the said Executive Council, to grant in Our name and on Our behalf, any waste or unsettled lands in Us vested within Our said Colony, which said grants are to be passed and sealed with the Great Seal of Our said colony, and being entered upon record by such public officer or officers as shall be appointed thereunto, shall be effectual in law against Us, Our heirs or successors: provided nevertheless, that in granting and disposing of such lands you do conform to and observe the provisions in that behalf contained in any law which is or shall be in force within our said colony, or within any part of our said colony, for regulating the sale and disposal of such lands.

6. And we do hereby give and grant unto you, the said Sir George Ferguson Bowen, full power and authority, as you shall see occasion, in our name and on our behalf, to grant to any offender convicted of any crime in any court, or before any judge, justice, or magistrate within our said colony, a pardon, either free or subject to lawful conditions or any respite of the execution of the sentence of any such offender, for such period as to you may seem fit, and to remit any fines, penalties, or forfeitures which may become due and payable to us, but subject to the regulations and directions contained in the instructions under Our Royal Sign Manual and Signet accompanying this our Commission, or in any future instructions as aforesaid.

7. And We do hereby give and grant unto you, the said Sir George Ferguson Bowen, full power and authority, upon sufficient cause to you appearing, to suspend from the exercise of his office, within our said colony, any person exercising any office or place under, or by virtue of, any Commission or Warrant granted, or which may be granted by Us, or in Our name, or under Our authority, which suspension shall continue and have effect only until Our pleasure therein shall be made known and signified to you: And We do hereby strictly require and enjoin you in proceeding to any such suspension, to observe the directions in that behalf given to you by Our present or any future Instructions as aforesaid.

8. And in the event of the death or absence of you, the said Sir George Ferguson Bowen, out of Our said colony of Queensland and its dependencies, We do hereby provide and declare Our pleasure to be, that all and every the powers and authorities herein granted to you shall be, and the same are hereby vested in such person as may be appointed by Us, by Warrant under Our Sign Manuel and Signet, to be Our Lieutenant-Governor of our said colony, or in such person or persons as may be appointed by Us, in like manner, to administer the government in such contingency; or, in the event of there being no person or persons within our said colony so commissioned and appointed by Us as aforesaid, then Our pleasure is, and We do hereby provide and declare, that in any such contingency the powers and authorities herein granted to you shall be, and the same are hereby granted to the Colonial Secretary of our said colony for the time being, and such Lieutenant-Governor, or such person or persons as aforesaid, or such Colonial Secretary, as the case may be, shall exercise all and every the powers and authorities herein granted, until Our further pleasure shall be signified therein.

9. And We do hereby require and command all our officers and ministers, civil, and military, and all other the inhabitants of our said colony of Queensland, to be obedient, aiding and assisting unto you, the said Sir George Ferguson Bowen, or, in the event of your death or absence, to such person or persons, as may, under the provisions of this our Commission assume and exercise the functions of Captain-General and Governor-in-Chief of our said colony.

10. And We do declare that these presents shall take effect so soon as the same shall be received and published in the said colonies.

In Witness whereof we have caused these our Letters to be made Patent. Witness Ourself at Westminster, the sixth day of June, in the twenty-second year of Our Reign. By warrant under the Queen's Sign Manual.

C. Romilly.

Given under my hand and Seal at Government House, Brisbane, this tenth day of December, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and fifty-nine, in the twenty-third year of Her Majesty's Reign.



By His Excellency's Command,




By His Excellency Sir George Ferguson Bowen, Knight Commander of the Most Distinguished Order of St. Michael and St. George, Captain-General and Governor-in-Chief of the Colony of Queensland and its Dependencies, and Vice-Admiral of the same, &c., &c., &c.


W HEREAS Her Majesty has been graciously pleased, by Letters Patent, under the Great Seal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, bearing date at Westminster, the sixth day of June, in the twenty-second year of Her Majesty's Reign, to separate from the Colony of New South Wales the territory described in the said Letters Patent, and to erect the same into a separate Colony, to be called the Colony of Queensland, and has further been pleased to constitute and appoint me,

Sir George Ferguson Bowen, Knight Commander of the Most Distinguished Order of St. Michael and St. George,

to be Captain-General and Governor-in-Chief, in and over the said Colony of Queensland and in Dependencies: Now, therefore, I, the Captain-General and Governor-in-Chief, aforesaid, do hereby proclaim and declare that I have this day taken the prescribed oaths before His Honor, Alfred James Peter Lutwyche, Esquire, Judge of the Supreme Court, and that I have accordingly assumed the said office of Captain-General and Governor-in-Chief.

Given under my hand and seal at the Government House, Brisbane, this 10th day of December, in the Year of Our Lord one thousand eight hundred and fifty-nine, and in the twenty-third year of Her Majesty's Reign.



By His Excellency's Command,



Government House,

Brisbane, 10th December, 1859.


HIS Excellency the Governor will hold a Levee at Government House, on WEDNESDAY, December 14th, at 11 o'clock, a.m.

By Command,


Commander, R.N., A.D.C.,


All gentlemen attending the Levee, to be dressed in uniform or evening costume.

Each gentleman to be provided with two cards with his name legibly written thereon; one card to be left in the Entrance Hall, and the other to be given to the Aide-de-Camp.

Colonial Secretary's Office,

Brisbane, 10th December, 1859.


HIS Excellency the Governor has been pleased to appoint

Robert George Wyndham Herbert, Esq.,

to be Colonial Secretary of Queensland.

By His Excellency's Command,


Colonial Secretary's Office,

Brisbane, 10th December, 1859.


HIS Excellency the Governor has been pleased to appoint

Abram Orpen Moriarty, Esquire,

to be His Excellency's Acting Private Secretary.

By His Excellency's Command,


Colonial Secretary's Office,

Brisbane, 10th December, 1859.


HIS Excellency the Governor has been pleased to appoint

Commander Charles Egerton Harcourt Vernon, R. N.,

to be His Excellency's Acting Aide-de-Camp.

By His Excellency's Command,


Colonial Secretary's Office,

Brisbane, December 10, 1859.


HIS Excellency the Governor has been pleased to appoint

Ratcliffe Pring, Esquire,

of the Inner Temple, Barrister-at-Law, to be Attorney-General of Queensland.

By His Excellency's Command,


Brisbane :  By Command :  T. P. Pugh, Printer,
George Street.



Terra Australis: The Fifth Continent.—Dampier lands on North-west Coast.—Cook lands at Botany Bay.—Annexes entire Eastern Coast North of 38 deg. S.—Phillip annexes whole of Eastern Coast and part of Southern Coast, including Tasmania.—Fremantle annexes all the rest of the Continent.—Erroneous Impressions of Early Explorers regarding Australia.—Discovery of Bass Strait.—Completion of Coast Map of Australia.—Six Colonies constituted.—Queensland's Natal Day.—Proclamation of Commonwealth.—Inland Exploration.

Without disparagement to the adventurous foreign navigators who for centuries earlier than the British occupation had suspected the existence of "Terra Australis," the "fifth continent" of the globe, and had done their best to discover it, it may be safely contended that the honour of the delineation of the coast-line belongs to Englishmen, the chief of whom were William Dampier and James Cook. In 1688 Dampier, as super-cargo of the "Cygnet," a trading vessel whose crew had turned buccaneers, landed on the north-west coast of Australia in lat. 16 deg. 50 min. S. In the year 1699 he again visited the coast in charge of H.M.S. "Roebuck," landing at Shark Bay, and sailing thence northward to Roebuck Bay.a Afterwards Captain James Cook, in voyages which extended until 1777, delineated the eastern coast-line, and opened up the continent to European enterprise and settlement. On 29th April, 1770, Cook, in the little barque "Endeavour," 370 tons burthen, entered Sting-ray Harbour (Botany Bay), remaining there until 6th May, when he sailed northwards, and, not entering Port Jackson, named Port Stephens, "Morton Bay," Bustard Bay, and Keppel Islands, landing at several places for the purpose of obtaining fresh water and making observations. Thus, coasting along for nearly 1,300 miles, on 11th June he narrowly escaped the total loss of his vessel when north of Trinity Bay by striking a coral reef. After enduring great hardships, and jettisoning all surplus gear, the vessel was sailed into the mouth of the Endeavour River, and there careened. During the succeeding two months she was thoroughly repaired. In August the captain set his course again for the north; and on the xvi 23rd of that month, after navigating among the dangerous rocks of the Barrier Reef Passage, he safely reached open water and landed on Possession Island, near Cape York. There he took formal possession, "in right of His Majesty King George III.," of the land he had discovered from lat. 38 deg. S. to lat. 10 deg. 30 min. S. Sailing through Torres Strait, Cook reached the English Channel in the "Endeavour" on 18th June, 1771b. It was not until 7th February, 1788, however, that Captain Phillip, as Governor-General of the vast territory then called New South Wales, read to the people whom he had brought to Port Jackson in the first fleet his commission proclaiming British sovereignty over the whole of the eastern coast of Australia and Tasmania, and also over the then unknown southern coast as far west as the 135th degree of E. longitude.c On 2nd May, 1829, Captain Fremantle, hoisting the British flag on the south head of the Swan River, took possession of all those parts of Australia not included in the territory of New South Wales.

Thus a new continent was added to the British Empire. It was occupied by only a few score thousand native blacks, and was believed to be uninhabitable by civilised people unless possibly along a strip of land south of the Tropic of Capricorn on the eastern, western, and southern shores of the continent. Of the north-west Dampier had written: "The land is of a dry, sandy soil, destitute of water, unless you make wells, yet producing divers sorts of trees." Cook occasionally found difficulty in getting water unless by sinking in the shore sand; he made no attempt to penetrate the fringe of coast or even to explore its inlets. It was not until 1798 that Flinders and Bass discovered the channel through Bass Strait, and the former's discoveries may be said to have completed the coast map of Australia.

By successive proclamations six colonies were subsequently constituted, the last being that of Queensland on 10th December, 1859. On 1st January, 1901, Queen Victoria's proclamation of the Commonwealth of Australia was formally made at Melbourne, the prescribed place for the sitting of the Parliament until the federal seat of government had been determined. This important step was taken 131 years after Captain Cook had annexed the eastern coast at Possession Island, and 72 years after Captain Fremantle made the possession of the continent as British territory complete by hoisting the flag at Swan River.


The story of Australian land exploration is a long one, and it would, if complete, reveal many a startling tale of privation and death. The earliest exploring expeditions were those of Governor Phillip, in 1789, when he set out from Sydney to discover Broken Bay first, and then explore the Hawkesbury River.d At that time the undertaking no doubt seemed great, but to-day Broken Bay may almost be regarded as a suburb of Sydney. In the same year Captain Tench discovered the Nepean River. By the end of the eighteenth century, despite many expeditions, the total of the discoveries were the rivers Hawkesbury, Nepean, Grose, and Hunter, and the fertile Illawarra district to the south of Sydney. In 1813 Blaxland, Lawson, and Wentworth discovered a pass over the Blue Mountains, and opened the way to the interior. Later in the same year, following in their footsteps, George William Evans discovered a river flowing inland, which he named the Macquarie, and that led to the discovery of the Bathurst Plains, and other country beyond the Blue Mountains. John Oxley, who in 1817 penetrated the country until he struck rivers flowing to the south-west, found himself in shallow stagnant swamps, with no indication that the rivers reached the sea. Oxley and Evans made further discoveries to the north-west of Sydney during the next seven years, the principal result being the finding of Liverpool Plains. Cunningham, the botanist, also was in the field of exploration in 1823. In the year 1824 Hume, accompanied by W. H. Hovell, crossed the Murrumbidgee River, and some time afterwards saw the snow-capped mountains of the Australian Alps. In their progress to Port Phillip they discovered the Murray River, and ultimately reached their destination, which proved to be the seashore near the site of Geelong.

In 1828 Captain Charles Sturt discovered the Darling River. In the next year he reached the Murray near its confluence with the Darling; in 1830 he went down the stream by boat, and finally reached the sea at Encounter Bay, east of St. Vincent Gulf. In 1826 Major Lockyer founded King George Sound Settlement; in 1828 Captain Stirling examined the mouth of the Swan River, and was afterwards, in 1831, appointed Lieutenant-Governor at Perth, the settlement established in 1829 by Captain Fremantle. Other explorers traced the country for some distance to the northward, and a settlement, called Port Essington, which had an xviii ephemeral existence, was formed on the northern coast. In 1831 Major Mitchell explored the country north-west from Sydney, and in 1845-6 he traversed the Darling Downs, afterwards penetrating as far north as the Drummond Range. Allan Cunningham had previously, in 1827, discovered the Darling Downs, and in the next year, by locating Cunningham's Gap, he connected the Downs with the Moreton Bay Settlement. A year later he explored the source of the Brisbane River, that being his last expedition.

In 1831 Major Bannister crossed from Perth to King George Sound. In 1836 John Batman landed at Port Phillip, and permanently settled there. The same year Adelaide was founded by Captain Sir John Hindmarsh, the first Governor of South Australia. In 1838 E. J. Eyre discovered Lake Hindmarsh on his journey from Port Phillip to Adelaide. Next year George Hamilton travelled overland from Sydney to Melbourne, and Eyre penetrated from the head of Spencer's Gulf to Lake Torrens.

In 1840 Patrick Leslie settled on the Condamine; in the year following Stuart and Sydenham Russell formed Cecil Plains station. In 1842 Stuart Russell discovered the Boyne River, travelling from Moreton Bay to Wide Bay in a boat. In 1844-5 Captain Sturt conducted his Great Central Desert expedition. In the same year Dr. Ludwig Leichhardt started on his first expedition from Jimbour station to Port Essington; and in the next year Sir Thomas Mitchell went on his Barcoo expedition. In 1846 A. C. Gregory entered upon his first expedition in Western Australia. In 1848 Leichhardt set out upon his last journey, from which he never returned. In the same year Kennedy made his fatal venture up the Cape York Peninsula, and A. C. Gregory explored the Gascoigne. Next year J. S. Roe, Surveyor-General of Western Australia, travelled from York to Esperance Bay. In 1852 Hovenden Hely, in charge of a Leichhardt search party, started from Darling Downs. In 1855 Gregory and Baron von Mueller started on an expedition to North Australia in the same search, and discovered Sturt's Creek and the Elsey River.

In 1858 Frank Gregory reached the Gascoigne River, Western Australia, and discovered Mount Augustus and Mount Gould. A. C. Gregory in the same year, when searching for Leichhardt, confirmed the identity of the Barcoo River with Cooper's Creek. In 1858 also McDouall Stuart started on his first expedition across the continent; in the following year he started again, and one of his party, Hergott, discovered and named xix Hergott Springs. In 1859 G. E. Dalrymple discovered the main tributaries of the Lower Burdekin, also the Bowen and the Bogie Rivers, and in the year following Edward Cunningham and party explored the Upper Burdekin.

In 1860 the ill-fated Burke and Wills expedition left Melbourne, and reached the Gulf of Carpentaria, but their return journey resulted in the death of Burke, Wills, and Gray.

In 1861 McDouall Stuart crossed the continent; Frank Gregory discovered the Hammersley Range, and the Fortescue, Ashburton, de Grey, and Oakover Rivers in Western Australia. In the same year William Landsborough left the Gulf of Carpentaria in search of Burke and Wills; and Alfred Howitt started from Victoria on the same errand. Edwin J. Welch, Howitt's second in command, found King, the only survivor of the expedition; and McKinlay, with W. O. Hodgkinson as lieutenant, started from Adelaide in the search, and crossed the continent, reaching the coast at Townsville. In 1863 John Jardine formed a settlement at Somerset, Cape York; and in the next year his adventurous brothers, Alexander and Frank, travelled overland to Somerset along the Peninsula, which Kennedy had failed to do.

In 1864 Duncan McIntyre travelled from the Paroo to the Gulf of Carpentaria, and died there. Next year J. G. Macdonald visited the Plains of Promise, and Frederick Walker marked the telegraph line from Rockingham Bay to the Norman River. In 1869 Mr. (now Sir John) Forrest made his first expedition to Lake Barlee; in 1870 he travelled the Great Bight from Perth to Adelaide, and in 1871 took charge of a private expedition in search of pastoral country. In 1872 William Hann, a Northern squatter, led an expedition equipped by the Queensland Government, and discovered the Walsh, Palmer, and Upper Mitchell Rivers, and found prospects of gold which led to great mineral discoveries in North Queensland. Hann reached the coast at Princess Charlotte Bay. In the same year J. W. Lewis travelled round Lake Eyre to the Queensland border. Ernest Giles also made his first expedition in 1872, discovering Lake Amadeus, and on a second trip in 1873 discovered and named Gibson's Desert, after one of his party who died there. In 1873 Major Warburton crossed from Alice Springs, on the overland telegraph line, to the Oakover River, Western Australia. In 1875-6 Ernest Giles made a third and successful attempt from Adelaide to reach Western Australia. xx In the same year W. O. Hodgkinson started on a north-west expedition to the Diamantina and Mulligan Rivers, on which he officially reported.

In 1878 Prout brothers, looking for country across the Queensland border, never returned. In 1878 N. Buchanan, on an excursion to the overland telegraph line from the Queensland border, discovered Buchanan's Creek. In 1878-9 Ernest Favenc, starting from Blackall in charge of the "Queenslander" transcontinental expedition, reached Powell's Creek station, on the overland telegraph line; four years later he explored the rivers flowing into the Gulf, particularly the Macarthur, and then crossed to the overland telegraph line. In 1878 Winnecke and Barclay, surveyors, started to determine the border lines of Queensland and South Australia, returning in 1880 with their work done. In 1879 Alexander Forrest led an expedition from the de Grey River, Western Australia, to the overland telegraph line, discovering the Ord and Margaret Rivers.

By this time there was little left of the continent, save Western Australia, to explore, though men in search of pastoral country still found occupation in expeditions to discover the unknown in Queensland and the Northern Territory. In 1896 Frank Hann, younger brother of the explorer, who had left Queensland, traversed the country to the north of King Leopold Range, discovering a river which he named the Phillips, but which was afterwards renamed the Hann by the Surveyor-General of Western Australia. Afterwards Hann travelled from Laverton, Western Australia, to Oodnadatta, in South Australia. F. S. Brockman is another explorer who was leader of a Kimberley expedition a few years ago, and discovered in North-west Australia 6 million acres of basaltic country clad with blue grass, Mitchell and kangaroo grasses, and other fodder vegetation. The Elder expedition, projected on an ambitious scale in 1891 to complete the exploration of the continent, started under David Lindsay, but the results were less valuable than its generous and enterprising originator anticipated. From a second Elder expedition under L. A. Wells no great results were recorded. The same may be said of the Carnegie expedition in Western Australia. Yet the sum total of the information obtained was valuable. Australia owes much to her adventurous explorers, as well as to the men who, following up their tracks, placed stock on much of the country that produced great wealth to the people, though as a rule neither explorers nor pastoral pioneers personally benefited much by their labours and privations.

Footnote a: See Dampier's "Collection of Voyages, 1729."

Footnote b: See Cook's "Journal during his First Voyage Round the World, 1768-71." W. J. L. Wharton, 1893.

Footnote c: Historical Records of New South Wales, vol. i.

Footnote d: See "History of Australian Exploration," 1888; and "Explorers of Australia," 1908, both by Ernest Favenc.

Proclamation Letter

Victoria by the Grace of God
of the United Kingdom
of Great Britain and Ireland,
Queen, Defender of the Faith, &c.

In pursuance of Our Order made by and with the advice of our Privy Council on the 6th day of June in the year of Our Lord 1859, We do by these presents summon and call together a Legislative Assembly in and for Our Colony of Queensland to advise and give consent to the making of Laws for the peace, welfare and good Government of our said Colony.———

And we do enjoin and require Our subjects, inhabitants of Our said Colony, and being duly qualified in that behalf, to proceed to the Election of Members to serve in the said Legislative Assembly in pursuance of Our Writs to be issued in Our name, in the first instance by Our Governor of Our Colony of New South Wales, and thereafter by Our Governor of Our said Colony of Queensland.——————————

——————And We do further enjoin and require the Members who shall be so elected, to assemble and meet together and to be and appear before Us for the purposes aforesaid at the Court House Buildings Brisbane on the 22nd day of May in the present year.

——————In testimony whereof we have caused the Great Seal of Our Colony of Queensland to be affixed to this Our Writ.——————

——————Witness our trusty and well-beloved Sir William Thomas Denison, Knight Commander of the Most Honorable Order of the Bath, Governor General in and over all Her Majesty's Colonies of New South Wales, Tasmania, Victoria, South Australia, Western Australia and Queensland, and Captain General and Governor-in-chief of the Territory of New South Wales and Vice Admiral of the same &c. &c. &c. at Government House Sydney, in New South Wales aforesaid this twentieth day of March in the Twenty third year of Our reign, and the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty—

W. Denison

By His Excellency's Command

Robert G. W. Herbert

God save the Queen!


(MAPS 1 AND 2.)

Since the issue of Captain Arthur Phillip's Commission as Governor in 1786 there have been no less than ten successive modifications in Australian boundaries, all internal save the first, which severed Van Diemen's Land from New South Wales. Map 1 represents Australia as depicted before the time of Captain Cook. Map 2 shows the territory as divided into two parts by Governor Phillip's Commission. The continent was severed by a north-and-south line along the 135th meridian of east longitude, and all the eastern part declared to be the territory of New South Wales.

Map 1 (1770).

Map 1 (1770).

Map 2 (1786).

Map 2 (1786).


Under an Imperial Act of 1823 a Royal Commission was issued to Governor Arthur on 14th June, 1825, erecting Van Diemen's Land into a separate colony, as shown in Map 3.


On 6th July, 1825, a Commission appointing Sir Ralph Darling Governor of New South Wales, after describing the boundary of the colony as then existing, declared that the western boundary should be extended 6 degrees further west to the 129th meridian of east longitude, including all the adjacent islands in the Pacific Ocean.

Map 3 (1825).

Map 3 (1825).

Map 4 (1825).

Map 4 (1825).


Although Western Australia had been occupied in 1826 by Major Lockyer, and a settlement had been established at Swan River in 1829, the boundaries of the colony were not definitely described until 1831, when Sir James Stirling's Commission of appointment as Governor gave him authority over all that part of the continent to the west of 129 degrees east longitude. A supplementary Commission issued in 1873 included all the adjacent islands in the Indian Ocean.


South Australia was proclaimed a British Province by Letters Patent on the 28th December, 1836; bounded on the north by the 26th parallel of south latitude; on the south by the Southern Ocean; on the west by the 132nd meridian of east longitude; on the east by the 141st meridian.

Map 5 (1831).

Map 5 (1831).

Map 6 (1836).

Map 6 (1836).


In 1851 the territory previously known as Port Phillip was separated from New South Wales. In July, 1851, the legal symbol of the fact was found in the issue of writs of election for members of the Legislative Council. This was done under an Act of the New South Wales Legislature, passed to give effect to the Act passed in 1850 "for the Better Government of Her Majesty's Australian Colonies." Boundaries: On the north and north-east by a straight line from Cape Howe to the nearest source of the River Murray; thence by the course of that river to the eastern boundary of South Australia; and on the south by the sea: the River Murray to remain within New South Wales.


By a later statute passed in 1855, the boundaries of New South Wales were defined as follows:—"All the territory lying between the 129th and 154th meridians of east longitude, and north of the 40th parallel of south latitude, including all islands and Lord Howe Island, except the territories comprised within the boundaries of the province of South Australia and the colony of Victoria as at present established."

Map 7 (1851).

Map 7 (1851).

Map 8 (1855).

Map 8 (1855).


In 1859 Queensland was severed from New South Wales by Letters Patent issued to Sir George Bowen, the boundaries being given as follows:—"So much of the said colony of New South Wales as lies northward of a line commencing on the sea coast at Point Danger, in latitude about 28 degrees 8 minutes south, and following the range thence which divides the waters of the Tweed, Richmond, and Clarence Rivers from those of the Logan and Brisbane Rivers, westerly, to the Great Dividing Range between the waters falling to the east coast and those of the River Murray; following the Great Dividing Range southerly to the range dividing the waters of Tenterfield Creek from those of the main head of the Dumaresq River; following that range westerly to the Dumaresq River; and following that river (which is locally known as the Severn) downward to its confluence with the Macintyre River; thence following the Macintyre River (which lower down becomes the Barwan) downward to the 29th parallel of south latitude; and following that parallel westerly to the 141st meridian of east longitude, which is the eastern boundary of South Australia; together with all and every the adjacent islands, their members and appurtenances, in the Pacific Ocean; and do by these presents separate from our said colony of New South Wales and erect the said territory so described into a separate colony to be called the 'Colony of Queensland.'"


On 12th April, 1862, the Duke of Newcastle advised Governor Bowen that Letters Patent, of which a copy was enclosed, had been issued annexing to Queensland the following territory—namely, "so much of our colony of New South Wales as lies to the northward of the 21st parallel of south latitude, and between the 141st and 138th meridians of east longitude, together with all and every the adjacent islands, their members and appurtenances in the Gulf of Carpentaria." The area thus annexed added to Queensland about 120,000 square miles of territory, which now comprises such centres as Birdsville, Boulia, Cloncurry, Camooweal, and Burketown.

Map 9 (1859).

Map 9 (1859).

Map 10 (1862).

Map 10 (1862).


An Imperial Act of 1861 enacted that "so much of the colony of New South Wales, being to the south of the 26th degree of south latitude, as lies between the western boundary of South Australia and 129 degrees east longitude, shall be and the same is hereby detached from the colony of New South Wales and annexed to the colony of South Australia, and shall for all purposes whatever be deemed to be part of the last-mentioned colony from the day in which the Act of Parliament is proclaimed."


There still remained, nominally belonging to New South Wales though detached from that colony, the country now known as the Northern Territory and forming part of South Australia, lying northward of the 26th parallel of south latitude, and between 129 degrees and 138 degrees east longitude. That area was by Letters Patent, dated 6th July, 1863, issued under the Imperial Act of 1861, annexed to South Australia until it was "the Royal pleasure to make other disposition thereof."

Map 11 (1861-3).

Map 11 (1861-3).

Map 12 (1863).

Map 12 (1863).

Governors of Queensland


(1) Sir George Ferguson Bowen, G.C.M.G.: Dec. 1859—Jan. 1868.

(2) Colonel Samuel Wensley Blackall: Aug. 1868—Jan. 1871.

(3) Marquis of Normanby: Aug. 1871—Nov. 1874.

(4) William Wellington Cairns, C.M.G.: Jan. 1875—Mar. 1877.

(5) Sir Arthur Edward Kennedy, G.C.M.G., C.B.: April 1877—May 1883.

(6) Sir Anthony Musgrave, G.C.M.G.: Nov. 1883—Oct. 1888.

(7) Sir Henry Wylie Norman, G.C.B., G.C.M.G., C.I.E.: May 1889—Dec. 1895.

(8) Lord Lamington, G.C.M.G.: April 1896—Dec. 1901.

(9) Sir Herbert Charles Chermside, G.C.M.G., C.B.: Mar. 1902—Oct. 1904.

(10) Lord Chelmsford, K.C.M.G.: Nov. 1905—May 1909.

(11) Sir William MacGregor, G.C.M.G., C.B.: Dec. 1909—




Stand forth, O Daughter of the Sun,

Of all thy kin the fairest one,

It is thine hour of Jubilee.

Behold, the work our hands have done

Our hearts now offer unto thee.

Thy children call thee; O come forth,

Queen of the North!

Brow-bound with pearls and burnished gold

The East hath Queens of royal mould,

Sultanas, peerless in their pride,

Who rule wide realms of wealth untold,

But they wax wan and weary-eyed:

Thine eyes, O Northern Queen, are bright

With morning light.

Fear not thy Youth: It is thy crown—

The careless years before Renown

Shall load its tines with jewelled deeds

And press thy golden circlet down

With vaster toils and greater needs.

Fear not thy Youth: its splendid power

Awaits the hour.

Stand forth, O Daughter of the Sun,

Whose fires through all thine arteries run,

Whose kiss hath touched thy gleaming hair—

Come like a goddess, Radiant One,

Reign in our hearts who crown thee there,

With laughter like thy seas, and eyes

Blue as thy skies.

Ah, not in vain, O Pioneers,

The toil that breaks, the grief that sears,

The hands that forced back Nature's bars

To prove the blood of ancient years

And make a home 'neath alien stars!

O Victors over stress and pain

'Twas not in vain!

Jungle and plain and pathless wood—

Depths of primeval solitude—

Gaunt wilderness and mountain stern—

Their secrets lay all unsubdued.

Life was the price: who dared might learn.

Ye read them all, Bold Pioneers,

In fifty years.

O True Romance, whose splendour gleams

Across the shadowy realm of dreams,

Whose starry wings can touch with light

The dull grey paths, the common themes:

Hast thou not thrilled with sovereign might

Our story, until Duty's name

Is one with Fame!

Queen of the North, thy heroes sleep

On sun-burnt plain and rocky steep.

Their work is done: their high emprise

Hath crowned thee, and the great stars keep

The secrets of their histories.

We reap the harvest they have sown

Who died unknown.

The seed they sowed with weary hands

Now bursts in bloom through all thy lands;

Dark hills their glittering secrets yield;

And for the camps of wand'ring bands—

The snowy flock, the fertile field.

Back, ever back new conquests press

The wilderness.

Below thy coast line's rugged height

Wide canefields glisten in the light,

And towns arise on hill and lea,

And one fair city where the bright

Broad winding river sweeps to sea.

Ah! could the hearts that cleared the way

Be here to-day!

A handful: yet they took their stand

Lost in the silence of the land.

They went their lonely ways unknown

And left their bones upon the sand.

E'en though we call this land our own

'Tis but a handful holds it still

For good or ill.

What though thy sons be strong and tall,

Fearless of mood at danger's call;

And these, thy daughters, fair of face,

With hearts to dare whate'er befall—

Tall goddesses and queens of grace—

Fill up thy frontiers: man the gate

Before too late.

Sit thou no more inert of fame,

But let the wide world hear thy name.

See where thy realms spread line on line—

Thy empty realms that cry in shame

For hands to make them doubly thine!

Fill up thy frontiers: man the gate

Before too late!

Prepare, ere falls the hour of Fate

When death-shells rain their iron hate,

And all in vain thy blood is poured—

For dark aslant the Northern Gate

I see the Shadow of the Sword:

I hear the storm-clouds break in wrath—

Queen of the North!



(1) Sir R. G. W. Herbert: Dec. 1859—Feb. 1866; July 1866—Aug. 1866.

(2) Hon. Arthur Macalister: Feb. 1866—July 1866; Aug. 1866—Aug. 1867;

Jan. 1874—June 1876.

(3) Sir R. R. Mackenzie: Aug. 1867—Nov. 1868.

(4) Sir Charles Lilley: Nov. 1868—May 1870.

(5) Sir A. H. Palmer: May 1870—Jan. 1874.

(6) Hon. George Thorn: June 1876—Mar. 1877.

(7) Hon. John Douglas: Mar. 1877—Jan. 1879.

(8) Sir Thomas McIlwraith: Jan. 1879—Nov. 1883; June 1888—Nov. 1888;

Mar. 1893—Oct. 1893.

(9) Sir S. W. Griffith: Nov. 1883—June 1888; Aug. 1890—Mar. 1893.

(10) Hon. D. B. Morehead: Nov. 1888—Aug. 1890.

(11) Sir H. M. Nelson: Oct. 1893—April 1898.

(12) Hon. T. J. Byrnes: April 1898—Sept. 1898.

(13) Sir J. R. Dickson: Oct. 1898—Dec. 1899.

(14) Hon. A. Dawson: 1st Dec. 1899—7th Dec. 1899.

(15) Hon. R. Philp: Dec. 1899—Sept. 1903: Nov. 1907—Feb. 1908.

(16) Sir A. Morgan: Sept. 1903—Jan. 1906.

(17) Hon. W. Kidston: Jan. 1906—Nov. 1907: Feb. 1908 (still in office).





Issue of Letters Patent and Order in Council.—Appointment of Sir George Ferguson Bowen as First Governor.—Continuity of Colonial Office Policy.—Instructions to Governor.—Munificent Gift of all Waste Lands of the Crown.—Temporary Limitation of Electoral Suffrage.—Responsible Government Unqualified by Restrictions or Reservations.—Governor General of New South Wales Initiates Elections.

Fifty years ago an emphatic expression of confidence in the self-governing competence of the people of North-eastern Australia was given by the British Government of Lord Derby. On 6th June, 1859, Queen Victoria in Council adopted Letters Patent—which had been already approved in draft on 13th May—"erecting Moreton Bay into a colony under the name of Queensland," and appointing Sir George Ferguson Bowen to be "Captain-General and Governor-in-Chief of the same." On the same day an Order in Council was made "empowering the Governor of Queensland to make laws and provide for the administration of justice in the said colony"; also to constitute therein a Government and Legislature as nearly resembling the form of Government and Legislature established in New South Wales as the circumstances of the colony would allow. This meant that representative and responsible government had been granted to the people of the new colony to the full extent that it was enjoyed by the people of New South Wales under the epoch-making Constitution Act of 1855. It meant also that the whole of the unalienated Crown Lands of the colony were vested in the Legislature.

Next day, the 7th June, the annual session of the Imperial Parliament was opened, and four days later an amendment upon the Address in Reply was carried in the House of Commons, whereupon Lord Derby and his Conservative colleagues forthwith resigned, and were succeeded by a Liberal (or Whig) Ministry under Lord Palmerston. The new Government included men of such distinction as Mr. W. E. Gladstone, Lord John Russell, and the Duke of Newcastle, the last-mentioned assuming the office of Colonial Secretary. The change of Ministry, however, caused no interruption in the continuity of Colonial Office policy; and no time was lost in despatching Sir George Bowen to discharge the highly responsible duties imposed upon him by the Queen's Commission.


In notifying Sir George Bowen of his appointment, Sir Edward Bulwer Lytton tendered him some friendly advice. He said that Sir George would experience the greatest amount of difficulty in connection with the squatters, and he went on in these words:—"But in this, which is an irritating contest between rival interests, you will wisely abstain as much as possible from interference. Avoid taking part with one or the other.... The first care of a Governor in a free colony," he continued, "is to shun the reproach of being a party man. Give all parties and all Ministries formed the fairest play." In public addresses Sir George was advised to "appeal to the noblest idiosyncracies of the community—the noblest are generally the most universal and the most durable. They are peculiar to no party. Let your thoughts never be distracted from the paramount object of finance. All states thrive in proportion to the administration of revenue." A number of excellent maxims followed, among them—"The more you treat people as gentlemen the more 'they will behave as such.'" Again, "courtesy is a duty which public servants owe to the humblest member of the community." And, in a postscript, "Get all the details of the land question from the Colonial Office, and master them thoroughly. Convert the jealousies now existing between Moreton Bay and Sydney into emulation." All these generous didactics from the great novelist and Tory statesman, followed by congratulations and good wishes, must have been stimulative to the aspirations of the embryo Governor charged with the foundation of a new colony at the Antipodes.

The value of autonomous government is generally appreciated; but the free gift of land made by the Imperial authority to the various self-governing colonies has no parallel in human history. In the case of Queensland the recipients were a mere handful of people, mostly settled at one end of a vast territory, at least half of which was unexplored. Plenary authority was in fact given to manage and control the waste lands belonging to the Crown, as well as to appropriate the gross proceeds of the sales of any such lands, and all other proceeds and revenues of the same from whatever source arising, including all royalties, mines, and minerals, all of which by the Letters Patent and the Order in Council were vested in the Legislature. This vesting, however, was subject to a proviso validating all contracts, promises, and engagements lawfully made on behalf of Her Majesty before the proclamation took effect. The proviso also stipulated that there should be no disturbance of any vested or other rights which had accrued or belonged to the licensed occupants or lessees of Crown Lands under any repealed Act, 3 or under any Order in Council issued in pursuance thereof.a This reservation was really for the protection of a number of people in the colony, and not for the benefit of the Imperial Government. The licensed occupants would be subject to the mandates of the Legislature; while the reservation in favour of the owners of freehold lands was of a comparatively trivial nature, the total area alienated from the Crown a year after the establishment of the new colony amounting to only 108,870 acres, which had yielded £305,250 as purchase-money chiefly to the New South Wales Treasury. Taking the 670,500 square miles within the colony thus handed over to be worth five shillings per acre, or £160 the square mile, the total value of the Imperial gift to Queensland would be £107,280,000. Of course that price was not immediately realisable, and before much of the vast area could be utilised millions of capital must be expended in reclamation and development; but as some indication of ultimate value it may be pointed out that the land sold up to 31st December, 1860, realised at the rate of nearly £3 per acre. That the "waste" land was not a dead asset was shown by the fact that the public revenue of the colony for the first year of its existence was £178,589, to which rents and sales of land contributed a substantial proportion. It was not surprising, therefore, that Sir George Bowen's early despatches to the Secretary of State testified to the grateful and enthusiastic loyalty of the people of the colony to the Queen and the mother country.

When the previously established Australian colonies were severally constituted the people were kept for years in a state of tutelage, so to speak, power being exercised in each case by a Governor advised by Ministers appointed by and responsible only to the Crown. The single Chamber of the Legislature, if not wholly nominated, included a prescribed number of members appointed by the Governor, and was practically under his control. It had therefore been supposed by many colonists that separation having been hotly opposed by some influential residents of the territory concerned—and having been emphatically condemned by an official despatch received in England from Sir William Denison, then Governor-General of New South Wales, almost at the last moment—conditions in restraint of popular government would have been imposed on the establishment of Queensland. For the separation struggle had been long continued, and marked by much personal and party bitterness. The agitation had been originated and chiefly maintained by people on the seaboard led by ardent patriots introduced a few years previously under the auspices of Dr. John Dunmore Lang, who while 4 undoubtedly a great Australian patriot was unhappily not a persona grata with the controlling authority at the Colonial Office. The movement was from its initiation protested against by the enterprising Crown tenants who had driven their flocks and herds overland from New South Wales, and had, taking their lives in their hands, adventurously formed stations in the remote wilderness. They not unnaturally dreaded the effect of popular sovereignty upon what they deemed their vested interests. But British statesmen, whether Conservative or Liberal, appear to have felt that, responsible government having been granted to and enjoyed by the people of New South Wales—and consequently to the people of that part of its territory about to be separated—any Imperial limitation of popular rights already conferred would be regarded as an unjustifiable encroachment upon public liberty achieved after many years of ardent struggle in the parent colony. True, the language of the Letters Patent and Order in Council was afterwards construed to involve some temporary limitation of the manhood suffrage which had been affirmed by the Parliament of New South Wales; but whether this limitation was actual or inadvertent does not clearly appear. It was not of much practical consequence, perhaps, in a new country that was rapidly multiplying its scant population, whether or not the electors for the first Legislative Assembly were required to have some other qualification than adult age and six months' residence; but the incident operated prejudicially against the Government, and gave a rallying cry to Opposition politicians.

A somewhat singular course adopted by the Home Government was the authorisation of the Governor-General of New South Wales to appoint the first members of the Queensland Legislative Council, with a term of five years, although subsequent appointments were to be made by the Governor of Queensland for the term of the members' natural lives. Sir William Denison was also empowered to summon and call together the first Legislative Assembly of Queensland; to fix by proclamation the number of members; to divide the colony into convenient electoral districts; to prepare the electoral rolls; to issue the writs of election; and to make all necessary provision for the conduct of the first elections. It was required, moreover, that the Parliament should be called together for a date not more than six months after the proclamation of the colony, and should remain in existence, unless previously dissolved by the Governor, for a period of five years. Yet there was practically no limitation of popular authority except in respect of the preliminary arrangements, for the Queensland consolidating and amending Constitution Act of 1867 reaffirmed all rights and privileges conferred by the New South Wales Constitution Act.

Footnote a: These powers were given in the New South Wales Constitution Act, 1855, Sect. 2.






Arrival of Sir George Bowen in Brisbane.—The First Responsible Ministry.—Injunctions to Governor by Secretary of State in regard to choice of Ministers.—Ex-members of New South Wales Legislature take Umbrage.—The Governor on the Characteristics of Various Classes of Colonists.—The Governor a Dictator.—The Microscopic Treasury Balance.—Gladstone as Site of Capital.—Mr. Herbert as a Parliamentary Leader.

When on 10th December, 1859, Governor Bowen, accompanied by Mr. Robert George Wyndham Herbert, his private secretary, had landed amidst great popular rejoicings at Brisbane, read the Queen's proclamation of the new colony, and been sworn in as Governor by Mr. Justice Lutwyche (the Resident Supreme Court Judge for Moreton Bay), he was compelled to choose Ministers and then govern the colony for nearly six months before they could be constitutionally approved by the representatives of the people in Parliament assembled. Sir George Bowen was faced by the dearth of seasoned public men, and by the dread of enlisting the services of strong partizans whose opinions and personal qualities were alike unknown to him. But as a constitutional Governor he could do no executive act until he had secured responsible advisers, and therefore the immediate appointment of Ministers was imperative. Hence on the day of the official landing a "Gazette" notice contained the proclamation of the Queen's Letters Patent, and notification of the appointment of Mr. Herbert as Colonial Secretary with Mr. Ratcliffe Pring as Attorney-General. Thus with the Governor and his two Ministers an Executive Council was at once formed; and five days later Mr. (afterwards Sir) Robert Ramsay Mackenzie was gazetted Colonial Treasurer.a

These appointments gave umbrage to certain colonists, particularly to those who, having represented Moreton Bay constituencies in the New South Wales Assembly, were deemed in many respects most eligible as advisers of the Queen's representative. Mr. Herbert had come out from England with Sir George Bowen as private secretary at the moderate salary of £250 a year. He was a scholarly young man of 28 years, and among other advantages had enjoyed the privilege of holding for a time 6 the post of private secretary to Mr. Gladstone. Indeed, both the Governor and his secretary, although the former had been selected by Sir E. B. Lytton, Colonial Secretary in the superseded Derby Administration, may be classed among the Gladstone school of politicians. Sir George Bowen probably recollected the injunction of Sir E. B. Lytton against partizanship, and the danger of identifying himself with the "squatters." For not only were they, speaking generally, partizans of a pronounced type, but the reservation of tenant rights made by the Order in Council of 6th June was calculated to taint them with a strong personal, or at least class, bias in land legislation and administration.

In his official despatches to the Colonial Secretary Sir George Bowen did not mention at length these initial difficulties; but to Sir E. B. Lytton he wrote more fully. "I have often thought," he said, under date 6th March, 1860, "that the Queensland gentlemen-squatters bear a similar relation to the other Australians that the Virginian planters of 100 years back bore to the other Americans. But there is a perfectly different class of people in the towns. Brisbane, my present capital, must resemble what Boston and the other Puritan towns of New England were at the close of the last century. In a population of 7,000b we have 14 churches, 13 public-houses, 12 policemen. The leading inhabitants of Brisbane are a hard-headed set of English and Scotch merchants and mechanics; very orderly, industrious, and prosperous; proud of the mother country; loyal to the person of the Queen; and convinced that the true federation for these colonies is the maintenance of the integrity of the Empire, and that the true rallying-point for Australians is the Throne."

To the Under Secretary for the Colonies (Mr. Chichester Fortescue) Sir George Bowen wrote on 6th June, 1860:—"At the first start of all other colonies the Governor has been assisted by a nominated Council of experienced officials; he has been supported by an armed force; and he has been authorised to draw, at least at the beginning, on the Imperial Treasury for the expenses of the public service. But I was an autocrat; the sole source of authority here, without a single soldier, and without a single shilling. There was no organised force of any kind on my arrival, though I have now, by dint of exertion and influence, got up a respectable police on the Irish model, and a very creditable corps of volunteers. And as to money wherewith to carry on the Government, I started with just 7½d. in the Treasury. A thief—supposing, I fancy, that I should have 7 been furnished with some funds for the outfit, so to speak, of the new State—broke into the Treasury a few nights after my arrival, and carried off the 7½d. mentioned. However, I borrowed money from the banks until our revenue came in, and our estimates already show (after paying back the sums borrowed) a considerable balance in excess of the proposed expenditure for the year."

Sir George Bowen's initial difficulties were not chiefly financial, however; neither was the lack of material force to give effect to the law a serious embarrassment. He was empowered practically to select the seat of government by determining where the Parliament should first assemble. Among the opponents of separation had been certain squatters who sought to place the capital of the new colony in some more geographically central place than Brisbane. Of these Mr. William Henry Walsh, of Degilbo, Wide Bay, one of the most able and virile of the Moreton Bay ex-members of the New South Wales Parliament, was very prominent. Offended by the Governor's selection of Mr. Herbert for the Premiership, Mr. Walsh refused a seat in either House of the new Parliament, and sought to create an agitation in the more northerly ports of Maryborough and Rockhampton, each containing about 500 inhabitants, in favour of Gladstone as the capital—a place which Sydney political influence had always indicated as the future seat of government when a new northern colony came to be established. But each of the towns mentioned had ambitions of its own, and regarded Gladstone as a rival. The movement therefore failed; but the colony for years lost the benefit of Mr. Walsh's services at a time when every capable man was needed to assist in organising the government and directing the Parliament of political novices who took their seats a few months later. Mr. Arthur Macalister, solicitor, another ex-member of the New South Wales Parliament and an excellent debater, was perhaps equally disappointed, but he was at least more diplomatic. As member for Ipswich he took his seat on the Opposition benches, and after two years' service in the Assembly was invited by Mr. Herbert to join the Government. This invitation he accepted, and four years later he became the party leader. The sequel proved that the Governor had made no mistake in selecting Mr. Herbert for his Premier. He proved a first-rate parliamentary leader, and succeeded in giving the new colony the inestimable advantage of over six years of stable government at the outset of its career, in marked contrast to the kaleidoscopic Administrations which so greatly hindered political progress in more than one of the southern colonies.

Footnote a: For personnel of first Ministry and Parliament, see Appendix B, post.

Footnote b: The census of 1861 showed that then the population was only a little over 6,000.




Meeting of First Parliament.—Amendment on Address in Reply defeated by Speaker's Casting Vote.—Adoption of Address in Reply.—Compromise between Parties Indispensable.—Successful Inauguration of Responsible Government.—The Governor's Egotism.—Mr. Herbert's Retirement.—Mr. Macalister Succeeds.—Financial and Political Crisis.—Proposed Inconvertible Paper Money.—Governor Undeservedly Blamed.

On the 7th of May, 1860, the 26 members of the first Legislative Assembly—among them the three Ministers of the Crown—having been returned, Parliament was summoned to meet at Brisbane on the 22nd of that month, just a few days before the maximum limit of delay specified by the Queen's Order in Council. On 1st May Sir William Denison had appointed 11 members for a five years' term to the Legislative Council, and three weeks later Sir George Bowen, conceiving the number insufficient, appointed four members additional for a life term, raising the total number to 15. Thus the first Parliament of Queensland was at length fully constituted, and all preliminaries had been completed for entering upon the work of the first session.a

On the 22nd of May the session opened, and after members had been sworn in Sir Charles Nicholson, for some years Speaker in the Sydney Parliament, was elected President of the Council, and Mr. Gilbert Eliott—formerly an officer of the Royal Artillery—the member for Wide Bay, Speaker of the Assembly. Both Houses then adjourned for a week.

The Governor's Speech, which was of great length, having been delivered, the Address in Reply was moved in both Houses. In the Council the leadership had been entrusted to Captain Maurice Charles O'Connell, Minister without portfolio, who had long been in the Port Curtis district as a trusted official of the New South Wales Government, and in early life had served with great distinction as a British soldier in Spain. In the Council no difficulty arose in adopting the Address. But in the Assembly an amendment moved for the adjournment of the debate at an early stage was only defeated by the Speaker's casting-vote, one member being absent. It thus appeared that the Assembly was almost 9 equally divided. This was a dangerous position to be faced by a new Premier without a day's previous experience in Parliament, and with the two most formidable debaters in the House, Mr. Macalister and Mr. (afterwards Sir) Charles Lilley, in active opposition. Mr. Herbert made a diplomatic speech, however, and the Address passed without much further contention. The division list showed that, despite the efforts of the Governor and his Premier to avoid identification with the squatters, the votes of the latter were essential to the existence of the Ministry, since the members of the Opposition consisted almost exclusively of town representatives. The following day (30th May) the Government nominee for the Chairmanship of Committees, Mr. C. W. Blakeney, was defeated by 15 votes to 7, and Mr. Macalister, who was nominated by the Opposition, was thereupon elected on the voices. The division of parties evidently made compromise indispensable to the passing of much-needed legislation. But much had been gained by the Government. All its members had been elected by the constituencies, and the Assembly had practically acknowledged that it was entitled to a fair trial. Seeing that for nearly six months Ministers had held their portfolios without parliamentary sanction, and had naturally made many executive mistakes during that time, it may be held that the first session of the first Parliament had been inaugurated successfully from the Ministerial standpoint. In his official despatches, as well as in private letters to friends in England, Sir George Bowen revealed himself as a genial though apparently unconscious egotist. His assumption of what must strike the discriminating reader as a dominating influence in the political and executive affairs of the colony was scarcely consistent with his position as a ruler representing the Queen, and competent to act only on constitutional advice. An impartial survey of Mr. Herbert's six years of office as Premier leads to the conclusion that chiefly to his judicious counsel and incomparable tact in the management of men the Governor owed the exemplary success attained in the organisation and government of the colony.



The Governor's complete if rather florid reports to the Colonial Office, however, justly evoked cordial responses from the Secretary of State. Sir George Bowen was a most capable man, but sometimes betrayed want of both reticence and dignity. He was enthusiastic as well as optimistic, and his retention in Queensland for the unusually long period of eight years is an unanswerable certificate of his official merit. Yet it is undoubted that when bad times overtook the colony in 1866 both the Governor and his Premier appeared to have outlived their popularity, though their combined action at that time for restoring the public credit was perhaps the most eminent service that either of them had ever rendered. Mr. Herbert had formed no ties in Australia; he had exercised supreme influence 10 in the local Legislature; but now that there were several members with both natural capacity and parliamentary experience aspiring to the Premiership, believing that he had better prospects of preferment in the Imperial service, he determined to return to England. His subsequent long career at the Colonial Office justified his anticipations, and it may be safely said of his departure from Queensland that the colony's loss was the Empire's gain.

The ex-Premier did not leave the colony abruptly, however, on handing over, on the 1st of February, 1866, all ministerial responsibilities to Mr. Arthur Macalister, his senior colleague in the Cabinet. He occupied his seat for nearly six months, in fact, and conducted himself with native dignity and becoming self-effacement as an unofficial member of the Assembly. Unhappily he was not to leave Australia without having a wholly unexpected shadow suddenly cast over his long administration of affairs. In mid-July the news reached the colony of the catastrophic failure of the Agra and Masterman's Bank, which had undertaken to finance the Queensland railway loan then being rapidly spent. The financial crisis of 1866 played havoc in London; it was of crushing effect in Queensland, for the Treasurer could not meet his obligations, and the railway workmen threatened a riot in consequence of non-payment of their hard-earned wages. In this emergency, Parliament being in session, the Treasurer, Mr. (afterwards Sir) Joshua Peter Bell desired to adopt the recent American expedient of issuing an inconvertible paper currency. The Cabinet approved, but on the Governor being consulted before the introduction of the bill he emphatically declined to promise the Royal assent to the measure, if passed. This he did for the all-sufficient reason that his Imperial instructions compelled him to reserve the assent to all measures affecting the currency. Ministers immediately resigned, and the Governor became the victim of irrational public obloquy for a time.b Mr. Herbert consented to lead a stop-gap Administration, and under his guidance a bill was at once passed empowering the Government to raise £300,000 by the issue of Treasury bills bearing not more than 10 per cent. interest per annum. They were forthwith disposed of at a premium, and the credit of the Government was restored. The temporary Government then resigned, and Mr. Macalister resumed office. Thus Queensland was saved from the double peril of paralysed credit and a debased paper currency.

Footnote a: The names of the first Ministers, and of members of both Houses of the first Parliament, will be found in Appendix B. It may be of interest to mention that of all these representative men one, Mr. A. W. Compigne, who resigned his seat in the Council in 1864, alone survived till the Jubilee Year; and that he died at his residence, Brisbane, on Sunday, 4th July, 1909, in the 92nd year of his age.

Footnote b: Sir George Bowen, writing to the Right Honourable Robert Lowe, afterwards Lord Sherbrooke, said:—"Several leading members of Parliament were ill-treated in the streets; and threats were even uttered of burning down Government House, and of treating me 'as Lord Elgin was treated at Montreal in 1849.'"




Work of the First Session.—Four Land Acts Passed.—Summary of Land "Code."—Pastoral Leases.—Upset Price of Land £1 per acre.—Agricultural Reserves.—Land Orders to Immigrants.—Cotton Bonus.—Lands for Mining Purposes.—Renewal of Existing Leases.—Governor's Laudation of "Code."—Praises Parliament.—Abolition of State Aid to Religion.—Primary and Secondary Education.—Wool Liens.—First Estimates and Appropriation Act.

The first session closed on the 18th of September, having extended over nearly four months. On the 28th of August, Sir Charles Nicholson having determined to retire and go to England, Captain O'Connell was appointed President of the Legislative Council by the Governor's Commission. Mr. John James Galloway at the same time accepted the appointment of Minister without portfolio, and held the leadership of the Council for the remainder of the session. Without other change in the personnel of the Cabinet the session was brought to a close with the position of the Government considerably improved. They had not carried all the measures promised in the Opening Speech, but the new Acts passed numbered sixteen, some of them important, and all necessary. Seeing that both Houses were new to their work, the result went to prove that the confidence of the Imperial Government in the self-governing competence of the colonists had not been misplaced. Even the "Moreton Bay Courier," then hostile to the Government, admitted that much good work had been done, the chief exception taken being to the Act authorising the granting of a five years' additional term for existing pastoral leases. The Act reserved power of resumption during the currency of the lease, but the Opposition contended that the power would never be exercised.

No less than four Land Bills were passed during the session, and the Governor, writing to the Secretary of State, said, referring to them, that these Acts might be called "The Land Code of Queensland." The first of the "Code," which was entitled the Unoccupied Crown Lands Occupation Act, repealed the New South Wales pastoral leasing law of 1858, and the Orders in Council then in force in Queensland in so far as they were repugnant to the new Act. Any person was to be permitted to apply for an occupation license for one year for a run of 100 square miles, and if there were more than one applicant for the same run preference was to be given to any person who had occupied it for two months previously. Within nine months after the granting of the license application might be 12 made by the occupier for a 14 years' lease conditionally on the run having been stocked to one-fourth its assumed carrying capacity of 100 sheep or 20 head of cattle per square mile. An absolute power of resumption at any time during the lease on 12 months' notice was given. The second was the Tenders for Crown Lands Act, authorising the issue of 14 years' leases to lessees of runs already liable for rent; also authorising the acceptance of tenders (which had been held over awaiting legislation) for runs occupied since 1st January, 1860, and the granting to the tenderers of 14 years' leases.

The third measure of the "Code" was the Alienation of Crown Lands Act, which fixed the minimum upset price at auction or otherwise at £1 per acre; and which provided for the setting apart, within six months from the bill becoming law, of not less than 100,000 acres on the shores or navigable waters of Moreton Bay, Wide Bay, Port Curtis, and Keppel Bay, and also within five miles of all towns with upwards of 500 inhabitants, as agricultural reserves of not less than 10,000 acres each, which should not be for sale by auction, but surveyed and opened to selection as farms of not less than 40 nor more than 320 acres at the fixed price of £1 per acre; the purchase money to be paid in advance, and the Crown grant issued at the end of six months if the selector had occupied the land and commenced to improve it during that term. If a selector failed so to occupy and improve, the purchase-money was to be returned to him, less 10 per cent., and the land again opened for selection. A selector was also entitled to lease three times the area of his farm—but so that the whole should not exceed 320 acres—in one lot or conterminous lots within the same reserve, for a term of five years, at sixpence per acre rent, with right of purchase, if fenced in, at £1 per acre at any time during the currency of the lease. A further provision of importance in the same Act was the granting of a land order for £18 on arrival to each immigrant from Europe who paid his own passage, and a further land order for £12 at the end of two years' residence in the colony. It was also provided that two children between the ages of four and fourteen should be reckoned as one statute adult. Further provision was made by which a bonus in land was to be paid during the next three years of £10 per bale of good cleaned Sea Island cotton, and for the two years next following £5 per bale. And finally any person or company was empowered to purchase land not exceeding 640 acres in one block for mining purposes, other than for coal or gold, at the upset price of 20s. per acre.

The fourth measure of the "Code" was the Occupied Crown Lands Leasing Act, which enabled the lessee of any Crown land held under 13 previously existing regulations, or under the Tenders for Crown Lands Act of the current session, to get a five years' renewal at the end of his term. The principle of compensation was recognised in these leasing Acts, but no provision was made for the continuance of the pre-emptive right of purchase, conferred by the old Orders in Council.



Sir George Bowen wrote to the Secretary of State in terms of exalted laudation of these four Acts. "I regard them," he said, "as a practical and satisfactory settlement of this much-vexed question, which is still embittering the social life and retarding the material advance of the neighbouring and elder colonies." To a friend in England he wrote,—"The legislation of our first Parliament has settled the long quarrel between the pastoral and agricultural interests which has raged in all new countries ever since the days of Abel, the 'keeper of sheep,' and Cain, the 'tiller of the ground!'" To the Secretary of State he added,—"This Parliament may fairly boast of having passed, with due caution and foresight, a greater number of really useful measures, and of having achieved a greater amount of really practical legislation, than any other Parliament in any of the Australian colonies since the introduction of parliamentary government." Sir George quotes a Sydney journal,a which before separation was antagonistic to that movement, as saying,—"The Government of Queensland has been either very fortunate or very judicious. The last to enter the race, Queensland has shot ahead, and taken the first place. While in Melbourne the popular rage has been worked up by its guardians into riot, and while in Sydney the tactics of the popular party have succeeded in placing the land question in a position of chronic blockade, in Queensland it has been settled on a moderate and reasonable basis, and without so much as a single ministerial crisis."

In the prorogation speech Sir George Bowen reviewed at length the work of the session. From that and other sources it may be stated that the limitation of the number of salaried officials capable of being elected to the Legislative Assembly had been fixed so as not to exceed five; the collection of parliamentary electors' names had been discontinued, and facilities provided for self-registration; State aid to religion had been abolished, the rights of existing incumbents being preserved; the existing system of primary education had been abolished, and provision made for the appointment by the Governor in Council of a "Board of General Education," a body corporate authorised to expend such sums as Parliament might vote for primary education. The Board was empowered to assist any primary school that submitted to its supervision and inspection, and conformed to its rules and by-laws; but it was forbidden to 14 contribute to the repair or building of any school unless the fee-simple thereof had been previously vested in the Board. And nothing in the Act could be held to authorise any inspection of or interference with the special religious instruction which might be given in such school during the hours set apart for such instruction. Not more than 5 per cent. of the Board's funds might be applied to granting exhibitions at any grammar school to primary scholars who had passed the competitive examination prescribed by the Board.

The Board was also authorised to devote a portion of its funds to assist in the establishment of normal or training schools, or to industrial schools. The Grammar Schools Act of 1860, which with a few amendments is still in force, was passed. An Act for taking the census of the colony on 1st April, 1861, became law. An Act for the appointment of Commissioners to adjust accounts with New South Wales was another measure of the session. It may be remarked, however, that an adjustment was never reached, but the amount in dispute became so comparatively small when mutual credits had been allowed that the question was permitted to lapse. Another measure of some practical importance was the Liens on Wool Act, which extended also to mortgages on sheep, cattle, and horses; and the Scab in Sheep Act, the main provisions of which are still in force. The gold export duty was abolished by an Act which merely validated the then official practice of omitting to collect the duty imposed by a New South Wales Act passed seven years previously.

It must be admitted that this record of work done by a new Parliament, in a colony that had no existence as a self-governing entity twelve months before, deserved much of the approbation expressed of its proceedings by the Governor. Indeed, the "Courier" of the day, in commenting upon the work of the session, gave honourable members of both Houses hearty credit for the assiduity with which they had attended to public duty, even to the neglect in many cases of their own personal and business affairs. There was then no payment of members in any form. And there were other matters than legislation which deserve notice. The Estimates had been passed, totalling £220,808 for the service of the year; and the Governor had congratulated the Assembly upon having appropriated one-fourth of the total estimated revenue to roads, bridges, and other public works, besides ample sums to hospitals, libraries, botanic gardens, and schools of arts. No less than £31,261 was voted for police, of which £13,516 was absorbed for the native troopers then necessary for the protection of the adventurous pioneers who were conducting what may be termed exploratory settlement in the remote interior.

Footnote a: "Sydney Morning Herald," September, 1860.




Rush of Population.—High Prices for Stock for occupying New Country.—Sparse Population.—Rockhampton most Northerly Port of Entry.—Navigation inside Barrier Reef unknown.—Tropical Queensland Unexplored.—Ignorance of Climate, Resources, and Conditions.—Primary Industries in 1860.—Primitive Means of Communication.—Public Revenue, Bank Deposits, and Institutions.

Thus was Queensland fairly launched on her career as a self-governing state of the Empire. The very announcement of impending separation had caused a rush of population from the southern colonies; while even the Crown tenants, who had for years regarded the movement with aversion, found much compensation in their escape from the operation of the imminent Robertson land law which threatened free selection before survey throughout the entire area of New South Wales. The rush for new pastoral country not only attracted the most adventurous bushmen in Australia to the new colony, but also sent up the prices of sheep and cattle to fabulous rates, as country tendered for could not be held unless stocked to the prescribed minimum number. At the time a large area of coast country was occupied by sheep, and symptoms of disease were so menacing that the sales for stocking up new country proved the salvation of some of the "inside" squatters; although looked at in the light of experience it may be doubted whether the too rapid occupation of the wilderness country, then inhabited solely by the aborigines, was not partly accountable for disastrous results when the demand for stocking up ceased, and the natural water on most runs proved wholly insufficient to carry stock through the mildest drought. Still, at the time Queensland attracted a population of seasoned Australians whose colonising value was inestimable; and these in addition to many immigrants from the mother country. Consequently the colony made phenomenal progress.

A glance at the official statistics for the year 1860—the earliest available—will illustrate the insignificance, compared with the vast area of the territory held, of the population, trade, and liquid capital of the community. The total population on 31st December, 1860, was estimated at 28,056, most of these people being more or less concentrated in the towns. The rest were scattered sparsely over the country between the southern boundary and the tropic of Capricorn for a distance of about 250 miles back from the coast-line. Rockhampton was then the most northerly port of entry; the site of the present town of Bundaberg was virgin 16 forest, the entrance to the Burnett River from Hervey Bay being as yet unknown; Mackay, Bowen, Townsville, Ingham, Geraldton, Cairns, Port Douglas, Cooktown, and the Thursday Island settlement were non-existent; and of the coast waters beyond Keppel Bay little more was known than the narratives of Captain Cook and Lieutenant Flinders at the close of the eighteenth century disclosed.

The existence of the magnificent natural harbour of 1,000 miles in length formed by the Great Barrier Reef was undreamt of; the passage was regarded rather as one of Nature's traps for the unwary navigator than the future safe and easily traversed route of great steamship lines along a coast dotted with prosperous ports kept busy as the outlets of a richly productive hinterland.

The tropical climate of the northern coast lands was then supposed to be deadly to members of the white races; the interior was declared to be almost entirely devoid of surface water—for the greater part of the year a fiery furnace, and at intervals of capricious periodicity ravaged by destructive floods. It was assumed to be a country where the white man would wither and the coloured man thrive—a land wholly unfit for the home of civilised peoples, and only adapted to the wants of the degraded aboriginal native. It was ignorantly affirmed that the sheep stations intended to be formed in the far western country must be failures, and English experts held that under the tropical sun the sheep, if it could live in Queensland at all, would soon carry hair instead of wool. Even in Southern Queensland the agricultural possibilities of the land were sadly unappreciated. True, in the population centres there were loud preachers of the gospel of reclamation of the wilderness so that it might bud and blossom as the rose; but their homilies for the most part fell upon deaf ears—the seasoned bushman, like the great squatter, tenaciously held that even the Darling Downs would not grow a cabbage.

So backward was the farming industry that in 1860 the total area under cultivation was 3,353 acres in a country of greater extent than France and Germany combined. Of this trifling cultivated area only 196 acres were under wheat, and not an acre under sugar-cane. True, there were nearly three and a-half million sheep, half-a-million cattle, and 24,000 horses finding subsistence on the limitless but ill-watered natural pastures. But at that time the annual clip from the sheep, though wool was the chief export of the colony, totalled only 5,000,000 lb., or equal to about 1½ lb. to each fleece. Mining, except for coal, of which 12,327 tons was raised in 1860, was almost non-existent, although 2,738 fine ounces of gold are shown by the statistics to have been won during the year.




In 1860 there was not a mile of railway either open for traffic or under construction; not a mile of electric telegraph wire; nor, save between Brisbane and Ipswich, was there a formed or metalled road, the only avenues of transport being along the bridle path or the teamsters' track. The country was destitute of culverts and bridges over watercourses, and the so-called roads were impassable for days, weeks, or even months in succession after the seasonal rains. The northern shipping trade was limited to a small steamer running once a fortnight between Brisbane, Maryborough, and Rockhampton, but even that had been arranged after the proclamation of the colony, partly to meet administration exigencies, with the assistance of the new Government. A fortnightly steamer from Sydney ran direct to Maryborough, and another to Rockhampton, with the apparent object of discouraging mutual intercourse among the ports. A weekly steamer ran between Brisbane and Sydney, in addition to a few small sailing craft for cargo purposes.

Although Sir George Bowen declared that on arrival he found nothing in the Treasury save a few coppers, the revenue for the first year reached £178,589. The expenditure for the year 1860 was £17,086 less than the revenue, yet, through the Government having to lean upon the banks in December, 1859, there was an overdraft of over £19,000 at the end of the first year. But the banks themselves had little money among them, the net assets slightly exceeding half a million sterling, and the aggregate deposits totalling less than a quarter of a million. At the end of 1860, out of the 28,000 people in the colony 163 were "small capitalists" with an aggregate of £7,545, or about £46 per depositor, in the Savings Bank. Yet there were six charitable institutions in which 397 persons found relief. Of subscribers to "public libraries" there were 538, and they had at their disposal 5,000 volumes from which to select reading for the leisure hour. There were 41 schools, with a total of 1,890 pupils. The number of letters posted showed a low degree of cultivation, for the average number posted as well as received by each person was just seven a year, or slightly more than one every two months. Of newspapers a rather fewer number passed through the post office. Surely all these things were on a microscopic scale, recollecting that the people of Queensland had been endowed with autonomous government, and had unfettered control of more than one-fifth of the total area of Australia.

Old Queenslanders who still survive, and can meditate retrospectively upon the past, will be impressed with the marvellous optimism of all classes of the population 50 years ago. The townspeople, enfranchised with most political power by reason of their numbers, knew little of the dormant resources of the inland country or its climatic vagaries. They could not realise the privations, the hard labour, and the deadly monotony 18 of early settlement upon the land. The farmer had usually no market, and in raising his produce he had to contend against droughts, floods, pests, and isolation, and he was fortunate if his produce brought from the store-keeper the cost of rations on which his family could frugally subsist. The squatter, too, incurred enormous risks, though he had a market for his wool at all times; and, if there was no domestic consumption of sheep and cattle upon which he could rely, his surplus stock brought a fair return from the boiling-down pots. But he had to get his produce to port before a money return could be secured; and as pastoral settlement pushed further out transport obstacles were often crushing. It was no unusual occurrence for one wool clip to be detained on a remote station until the next year's shearing had commenced. A lien had therefore usually to be given on the clip, and the rate of interest, including agent's commission, was commonly 12 per cent. per annum, while the high carriage rate made rations extremely costly; so that even with good seasons the margin of profit was small. In bad years ruin became well-nigh inevitable. The pioneer squatter spent most of his strenuous life in the saddle, alternately worried by bad seasons, low prices, and his bank overdraft. It is easy, therefore, to understand the temptation which assailed him to regard as his own the country which he had reclaimed at the expense of his vitality as well as his capital. When he visited town after a term of voluntary exile human nature often asserted itself, and the holiday-making squatter disbursed his hard-earned money with a prodigal hand, a fact not forgotten by his political opponents. The shepherd, too, yielded to temptation, and at the end of a year's solitary life in his bush hut longed for nothing so much as an alcoholic stimulant or a bottle of pickles and gay human society. Thus he prodigally knocked down his cheque in town, and in a week or two again abandoned civilisation at the call of the bush. Fifty years ago the urban people perhaps lived almost as comfortably as they do to-day, but the bushman, whether farmer, squatter, shepherd, or stockman, had usually a life of exhausting labour, bad food, dull surroundings, and often in consequence indifferent health. Still the landless colonist of 1860 had unbounded faith in his country; and if he fought earnestly, sometimes passionately, against what he termed squatting encroachment, it is now apparent that had not the pastoral tenure been jealously limited by Parliament insurmountable obstacles would have been placed in the path of progress. In future pages of this work it will be seen that the often too sanguine anticipations of individual colonists of Queensland's natal year were rudely shattered by stern experience; while, on the other hand, the opening up of unsuspected resources as often enriched the general community.





The Governor.—His Functions: Political and Social.—His Emoluments.—Administrations that have held Office.—Number of Members of Council and Assembly.—Emoluments of Assembly Members.—Good Results of Responsible Government in Queensland.

In a self-governing dependency of the Empire the King's representative, while competent to take official action only on constitutional advice, is not a mere figurehead in the Government. He is, so to speak, one of the three branches of the Legislature. No expenditure can be voted by Parliament except after receipt of a message of appropriation from the Governor; and no bill can become law without the Royal assent, which he, subject to certain reservations, is empowered to give. As President of the Executive Council, too, the Governor has a voice in administration, although the actual power vests in the Ministry so long as it commands the confidence of Parliament. But the Governor is in constant touch with his Premier, and therefore, apart from the official intercourse at meetings of the Executive Council, His Excellency exchanges ideas informally with the executive head of the Government. The Governor has social duties, too, and these are not unimportant as bringing the King's representative into personal contact with his Majesty's colonial subjects of both sexes and various classes. The Governor's attendance at public and social functions also furnishes a touch of sprightly colour to the drab shade which would otherwise often characterise public gatherings. He carries with him a distinctive atmosphere of Imperial comprehensiveness which usefully neutralises a narrow parochialism that might tend to induce men and women to forget that they, while a politically independent community, yet form an integral part of the great Empire of the Mistress of the Seas. Thus it is that our most experienced public men have emphasised the importance of maintaining direct communication with the Imperial authority through a Governor appointed by and responsible to the King.


Pending the decision of Parliament, the Imperial Government provisionally fixed the salary of the first Governor at £2,500 a year. In the session of 1861, Parliament, representing a population of 34,000 persons, not only voted an increase to £4,000, but also by statute made the payment retrospective as from 1st January, 1860. At this sum the salary remained until 1874, when Mr. Oscar de Satge, a member of the Opposition, carried a motion affirming the principle of an increase. This motion the Government accepted, and the salary was increased to £5,000 a year, at which figure it remained from that time until 1904, when it was reduced to £3,000. Three Governors successively filled the office for the fifteen years ending with November, 1874; and six for the thirty years between 1874 and October, 1904. In the latter year an amendment of the Constitution Act was made by a bill introduced by the Government, reducing the salary of future Governors to £3,000, for reasons exhaustively set forth by the Premier in moving the second reading. The chief grounds of reduction, it may be mentioned, were the altered situation created by the establishment of the Commonwealth, and the steps of a similar character already taken in the Southern States.

Twenty-five Ministries have held office during the fifty-year period. On that led by the late Sir Robert Herbert comment has already been made. It ended a useful Queensland career in 1866, after more than six years of office. The succeeding Macalister Ministry, with an interruption of eighteen days by a second Herbert Ministry of an ephemeral nature, and with reconstructions, lasted until August, 1867, when it was displaced by the Mackenzie-Palmer Administration. Mr. Macalister was a clever politician; a concise and trenchant speaker; and a capital parliamentary leader in so far as the House work was concerned. But he was lacking in force, and his Ministry was, moreover, much in the nature of coalition representing both squatting and anti-squatting interests at a time when bitter controversy prevailed. Mr. (afterwards Sir) R. R. Mackenzie, who was held in general respect for his personal qualities, likewise lacked strength as a politician, and the real force behind him was Mr. (afterwards Sir) Arthur Hunter Palmer. His Ministry was at the time termed "pure merino," every member of it, save Mr. Pring, the Attorney-General, being identified with the pastoral industry.

In November, 1868, the Lilley Ministry was formed. It lasted only till April, 1870, and was more than once reconstructed during its tenure of office. It included Mr. Macalister, between whom and the Premier there was inconvenient rivalry, but its members were all Liberals by reputation. The Premier, however, was Radical rather than Liberal in 21 his opinions, and his abolition of primary school fees without parliamentary authority, and the ordering of the steamer "Governor Blackall" in Sydney, with the object of fighting the A.S.N. Company, without the consent even of his colleagues, brought about the downfall of the Ministry as soon as Parliament met in 1870, only one supporter, the late Mr. Henry Jordan, voting with them in a division on a want of confidence motion. Mr. (afterwards Sir) Charles Lilley was perhaps the most accomplished debater that ever spoke in the Queensland Parliament, and throughout most of his public career, as the member for Fortitude Valley, he was a popular hero. As an educationist he was undoubtedly both sincere and enthusiastic, but his colleagues found his imperious moods difficult to contend against.



The Palmer Ministry met Parliament in May, 1870, and held office for more than three and a-half years, although for a great part of the time the Government had no working majority. Indeed, for months it fought, with a majority of one in a full House of 32, a determined Opposition in the Assembly ably led by Mr. Lilley. All business was blocked for many weeks, and eventually 13 members of the Opposition, headed by Mr. Lilley, waited as a deputation upon the Governor (Colonel Blackall) requesting his intervention on the ground that Ministers did not possess their confidence or the confidence of the House. The Governor declined to interpose, and subtly remarked that he had known many Oppositions in Parliament, but never yet knew one that had confidence in the Government of the day. The interview did not assist the Opposition cause. A second session opened on 5th July, 1870, and, being defeated two days later by 17 to 11, Mr. Palmer was granted a dissolution.a The Premier had proved himself an indomitable fighter, and his appeal to the constituencies was not wholly unsuccessful. Obstruction continuing in the new Parliament, Mr. Palmer was granted another dissolution in June, 1871, and from that time had a fairly effective majority at his back for two years, when being defeated he was granted another dissolution, from which his party came back unsuccessful. If the Opposition of those days did not obstruct by means of the "stonewall" to the same extent that has been the case of recent years, they attained their end in another way. In the session of 1871-2 for a period of five weeks the Government failed to obtain a 22 quorum except on two occasions, on both of which there was a "count out." The Opposition were desirous of forcing the Government to pass a Redistribution of Seats Bill before Supply was granted, and by persisting in these tactics they compelled the Government to agree to a compromise.

The Palmer Ministry on assuming office had found the public finances in a bad way, but partly through good management and partly with the help of good seasons and improving markets for exports, they retired in January, 1874, after a succession of surpluses, and with railway construction being vigorously pushed on both in Southern and Central districts.

In January, 1874, when the new Parliament met after the general election, Mr. Palmer and his colleagues found themselves in so hopeless a minority that they resigned without awaiting a debate on the Address in Reply. Amidst great hilarity in the Assembly, and despite the vehement protests of the candidate, Mr. William Henry Walsh was elected Speaker, although a member of the Palmer party; and on his refusal to accept the office was humorously threatened with the penalty of disobedience to the order of the House. But after consideration he assumed the Speakership, and while in the chair discharged his duties with credit.

The Macalister-Hemmant Ministry forthwith assumed office, Mr. Lilley, who made the announcement in the Assembly on their behalf, declining a portfolio. Shortly afterwards he was appointed a Judge of the Supreme Court. The Ministry was initiated with Mr. MacDevitt as Attorney-General, but in August following he retired, and Mr. S. W. Griffith, who had proved an inconvenient supporter of the Government as the leader of a subsection, accepted the portfolio. Mr. (afterwards Sir) Thomas McIlwraith was Mr. Macalister's Minister for Works, but at the close of the first session he differed from the Premier on the question of a great private railway scheme, and therefore resigned office. On the House reassembling in 1875 Mr. McIlwraith took the front cross-bench seat next the gangway on the Opposition side, and, while not approving of all the tactics of the party led by Mr. Palmer, gave it his general support. The first session of the Parliament had been distinguished by the passing of a Customs tariff incidentally protective, Mr. Hemmant, the Treasurer, showing uncommon qualities as a financial speaker. He closed his first year at the Treasury with an apparent deficit of £200,762. His predecessor, when making his Financial Statement in 1872, had anticipated a deficit. To prevent this he proposed—and Parliament agreed to the proposition—to transfer £350,000 from the Loan Fund to the Consolidated Revenue Fund to meet the Treasury bills floated or authorised to cover the accumulated 23 deficits of earlier years. Mr. Hemmant disapproved of this method of financing, and rectified matters as far as possible by transferring to a Surplus Revenue Fund £240,000, which left him with a deficit of £200,762. This was equivalent to recouping the Loan Fund to the extent of £240,000, as the money was to be used for public works which would, under ordinary circumstances, have been constructed out of loan moneys. In the next year, 1876, soon after the opening of Parliament, the appointment of the Premier as Agent-General was announced. Ministers consequently resigned, and the Governor (Mr. W. W. Cairns) sent for Mr. George Thorn, who to the surprise of political circles succeeded in forming a Ministry including Mr. Griffith and most of the late Cabinet. Mr. Thorn was personally a general favourite, but not conspicuously fit for the position which he had fortuitously attained. Mr. Griffith became the actual leader, however, and the session was completed without disaster. During the recess Mr. Thorn retired, to visit England, and was replaced in the Cabinet by Mr. John Douglas, whose scholarly speeches had given him a high reputation in the House. As Premier, however, Mr. Douglas was less successful than had been anticipated. Conspicuously fair in debate, he appeared invariably to feel the force of his opponents' arguments more than those on his own side of the House, and therefore his leadership wanted decision; but the sessions of 1877 and 1878 were passed through without any defeat compelling a premature dissolution.

The Liberal Ministries from 1874 to 1878 had been fertile in legislation, but after the retirement of Mr. Macalister they were badly led, Mr. Griffith, who attained the Attorney-Generalship at the age of twenty-nine, having been unwisely kept in the background on the plea of political immaturity. It was evident, however, that chiefly to him the passage of all important measures of legislation had been due. The colony suffered severely from drought during the years 1876-7-8; financial depression was the inevitable result, and, as usual under such circumstances, the Government lost popularity.

In November, 1878, the general election resulted in the return of a House determined to effect a change of Administration. On the new Parliament assembling in January, 1879, Ministers were at once defeated, and Mr. McIlwraith was sent for by the Governor. He met Parliament a few days afterwards with colleagues representing all parts of the colony, and obtained a four months' recess in which to mature his policy. On Parliament reassembling in mid-May, however, the position of the Government was less strong than had been anticipated. During the recess they had been retrenching sharply, and a number of dismissals 24 from the Ipswich railway workshops were declared to be tainted with partizanship. At no time in the first session, in a test division, did the Government sit with a majority of more than six, and usually they commanded only two or three. The Opposition, led by Mr. Griffith, were always at their posts, and the Government were frequently on the verge of defeat. The passing of a Three-million Loan Act and of the Divisional Boards Act, however, strengthened the Government's position, and in the following session the Torres Strait mail contract, making Brisbane the Australian terminus, though opposed by stonewalling measures for six consecutive weeks, added to their popularity.

In the session of 1880 grave accusations were made against the Premier by Mr. Hemmant, who had taken up his residence in England. Mr. Hemmant presented a petition to Parliament charging the Premier with complicity in certain transactions connected with the purchase of a large quantity of steel rails for the Government which had involved Queensland in a heavy loss. The matter was referred to a select committee, on whose recommendation a Royal Commission was appointed to take evidence in England. Mr. Griffith visited London during the recess, and acted as honorary counsel for Mr. Hemmant. The Commission exonerated the Premier, but a great deal of party animosity was engendered, which did not die out for several years.

In 1883 Sir Thomas McIlwraith ordered the British flag to be hoisted at Port Moresby, in Eastern New Guinea, annexing to the Empire that portion of Papua not already claimed by the Dutch, an act which showed true statesmanship and prophetic vision. Unfortunately, the Secretary of State for the Colonies, Earl Derby, repudiated the annexation on the ground that it was a usurpation of the sovereign rights of the Imperial authorities. At the same time he acknowledged the patriotic motives which had inspired the Premier of Queensland, and declared that the British Government would regard any attempt at annexation by a foreign Power as an unfriendly act. Whatever may have been the views of political parties at the time, matured judgment formed in the light of subsequent events endorses the action of Sir Thomas. The hoisting of the German flag on the northern portion of the territory annexed by Sir Thomas has brought a foreign Power almost to our doors, and too late the home Government endeavoured as far as possible to retrieve their blunder by annexing the south-eastern portion of Papua, which was handed over to the Commonwealth after federation.

In the same year, the Premier, who had for many years been a strong advocate of railway construction by private enterprise on the land-grant 25 principle, brought forward a bill authorising the construction of what was commonly called the Transcontinental Railway, from Charleville to Point Parker, on the Gulf of Carpentaria. Against this proposal great popular clamour arose; the majority of the squatting members of the Assembly combined with the Opposition, and the second reading of the bill was negatived by 27 votes to 16. Sir Thomas McIlwraith, rightly regarding the rejection of the measure as equivalent to a vote of want of confidence, advised the Administrator of the Government, Sir J. P. Bell, to dissolve the Assembly. His Excellency accepted the advice, and the Premier asked for five months' Supply. Mr. Griffith, the greatest constitutional authority in Queensland, approved of the decision of the Administrator of the Government, only objecting to Supply being given for such a length of time. However, the House, by 24 to 19, agreed to pass the Supply asked for, and the dissolution took place in the middle of July.



The Opposition, led by Mr. Griffith, were returned with a large majority. Being defeated on the election of a Speaker and in two subsequent divisions, the Government resigned. Mr. Griffith was sent for, and formed a strong Administration. Parliament adjourned from November to January, when some pressing legislation was passed at once, including the repeal of the Railway Companies Preliminary Act, under which proposals were made by railway syndicates. On 6th March Parliament was prorogued until 8th July.

The Premier had chosen as his Lands Minister Mr. Charles Boydell Dutton, a Liberal Barcoo squatter, with no previous experience of parliamentary life, but a determined land reformer. With the Premier's aid Mr. Dutton got the Land Act of 1884 safely through, and the Government secured credit for passing a most important measure of reform, one important change being the introduction of grazing farm leases, and another the resumption of the halves of all runs included in a comprehensive schedule of the unsettled districts. But the historical measure of the session and the decade was the Ten-million Loan Bill, which embodied a grand scheme for providing the entire colony with railways. The Opposition protested against the loan as unconstitutional on the ground that it covered a programme of railway construction which could not be completed for several years, but they dared not oppose any specific railway, and the bill passed without amendment. Sir Thomas McIlwraith retired from the Assembly in 1886, and during the whole life of the Parliament the Opposition found themselves helpless to resist the domination of the Ministry. But as the Administration aged its political force waned, and in 1887 the Treasurer, Mr. (afterwards Sir) J. R. 26 Dickson, and Mr. Macdonald-Paterson retired from the Ministry because of their disagreement with a land tax proposed in Cabinet by the Premier. Despite the large loan expenditure, too, there was a portentous succession of deficits, due to unfavourable seasons, and Sir Samuel Griffith found in 1887 that his Government and party had outlived their popularity.

Like his great rival, Sir Samuel gave abundant proof during his tenure of office of broad statesmanlike conceptions. No public man in Australia has done more to foster the federal spirit and bring about the union of the Australian colonies. He played a foremost part in creating the Federal Council, and to him is due the credit of drafting in 1887 the measure which was passed by all the colonial Parliaments granting a subsidy to an auxiliary Australasian naval squadron, although parliamentary vicissitudes robbed him of the honour of passing the bill in his own State until 1891. He is also entitled to the credit of making provision for the administration of British New Guinea by Queensland.

In April, 1888, Parliament was dissolved, and when the new Parliament met in June the enfeebled Griffith Government were promptly ejected from office. Sir Thomas McIlwraith came in with a strong following, and he at once formed a Ministry which seemed likely to endure for several years. But at the close of the first session Sir Thomas retired from the Premiership with a view to visiting England on business. Mr. Boyd Dunlop Morehead then succeeded to the leadership. In September, 1889, Sir Thomas McIlwraith resigned his seat in the Ministry, and the following session he appeared in the Assembly as an open opponent of his late colleagues. To make provision for a revenue deficit, the Government brought down a proposal for a general property tax. This quickly brought Sir Thomas McIlwraith into concerted action with Sir Samuel Griffith, then leading the Opposition, and caused the resignation of the Ministry in August, 1890. Almost immediately the Griffith-McIlwraith Ministry was announced. A year or two earlier such a fusion of parties would have been deemed impossible, but the two leaders had fought away their mutual differences, and the financial outlook was so alarming that the coalition was generally admitted to be imperative. The new Government carried many important measures, and effected material improvement in the finances.

In March, 1893, just before the banking catastrophe occurred, Sir Samuel Griffith accepted the Chief Justiceship, and Sir Thomas McIlwraith assumed the Premiership. A dissolution followed, the Government securing a commanding majority in the new Assembly. But the Premier's health failed, and in October following his Ministry was merged 27 into that of Mr. (afterwards Sir) Hugh Nelson. Sir Thomas retained office without portfolio until March, 1895, when his connection with the Government ceased, though he retained his seat as a member of the House until the dissolution in 1896. After resigning office he left the colony, and died in England on 17th July, 1900.

The new Premier proved a most capable financier, and although the depression in financial, commercial, and industrial affairs continued with great intensity he turned successive deficits into annual surpluses, and was soon enabled to negotiate loans in the London money market on unprecedently favourable terms. In April, 1898, Sir Hugh Nelson resigned Ministerial office and accepted the President's chair in the Legislative Council, that post having just become vacant by the death of Sir Arthur Palmer. Mr. Thomas Joseph Byrnes succeeded to the Premiership, and with Mr. Robert Philp as Treasurer it appeared as though the reconstructed Government had before it a life of several years. Five months afterwards, however, the young, brilliant, and much-esteemed Premier was removed by death, and Mr. Dickson was called to the Premiership. Fifteen months later the Dickson Government suffered defeat, and resigned office.

Mr. Anderson Dawson, the Labour leader in the Assembly, being sent for, assumed the Premiership with six other Labour colleagues, but was defeated immediately he met Parliament a few days later, and resigned.

He was succeeded by Mr. Philp, who assumed office on 7th December, 1899. There had been a drought in most parts of the West for a year or two previously, but wool prices were high, and better seasons were anticipated. The country had almost recovered from the blow sustained in 1893. Federation threatened some loss of revenue, but compensation was looked for in the enhanced prosperity resulting from interstate free trade. But for the two first years of the twentieth century there was everywhere in the State a very deficient rainfall, and in most inland parts absolute droughts. The double loss to the Treasury through Federation and parsimonious Nature was very serious. Mr. Philp made reductions in public service expenditure, but kept loan expenditure at the normal level, sanguine that when the change came there would be a swift recovery, and hesitating to add to the depression by suspending the construction of railways and other public works. Though by the end of June, 1903, the accumulated deficit exceeded a million sterling, and the general election of 1902 had given the Government a rather diminished majority, there appeared to be no apprehension of a crisis even when Parliament met for its second session in July, 1903. But the weight of successive deficits and the protracted tenure of the "Continuous 28 Ministry" inspired a general desire for change; and, in September, Mr. Philp suddenly found himself without adequate support as the result of a number of influential Government supporters joining forces with the members of the Labour party.

A new Ministry was at once formed, the Speaker, Mr. Arthur Morgan, resigning the chair and assuming the Premiership, Mr. William Kidston joining him as Treasurer. With a policy of retrenchment and reform the new Administration entered upon its career sustained by a strong backing of public opinion. Retrenchment had already been initiated by the late Government, and it was continued by Mr. Morgan and his colleagues. The bottom of the depression having been touched with the break-up of the drought, the financial year 1903-4 closed with a merely nominal deficit. In the next session, which opened in May, 1904, the Government encountered so much opposition that a dissolution was granted in July. So strongly were the constituencies in favour of the retention of office by Ministers that their party numbered 55 in a House of 72 when the new Parliament met in September, and the Government in that and the three following sessions were accordingly able to carry many of their measures of reform.

In January, 1906, the death of Sir Hugh Nelson created a vacancy in the Presidency of the Legislative Council. The Premier, who had earned a reputation during his four years' occupancy of the Speaker's chair for an intimate and comprehensive knowledge of parliamentary procedure, was generally designated as peculiarly fitted to succeed to the position of President; and, having resigned both the Premiership and his seat as a member of the Assembly, he was translated to the Legislative Council.

Mr. Kidston then became Premier. On the 11th of April, 1907, the Assembly's term having almost expired by effluxion of time, a dissolution took place, and a general election followed. The two chief objects for which the coalition between Liberals and Labour members had been brought about in 1903—sound financial administration and electoral reform—having been secured, disintegration had commenced to set in in the Government ranks. On the one hand some of the Liberals were desirous of reunion with their former associates led by Mr. Philp, and on the other the more extreme section of the Labour party adopted a socialistic platform, thereby causing their more moderate colleagues who followed Mr. Kidston to break with them before the election. The respective manifestoes of the Premier and the leader of the Opposition, issued some weeks before the dissolution, were found to embody practically the same policy in so far as vital measures of legislation were concerned. Both 29 emphasised the necessity of having in office a Ministry possessing the steadfast support of a united following if full effect were to be given to their programme. The result was disappointing, for when the new House met in July the Philp party numbered 29, the Government party 25, and the Labour party 18. After a fight over the choice of the Speaker and Chairman of Committees, the Labour members gave a general support to the Government, but comparatively little progress could be made in consequence of the uncertainty of that support. The Legislative Council rejected several measures which both the Government and the Labour party were very anxious to see placed on the Statute-book. With a view to taking concerted action to overcome the veto of the Council on democratic legislation, Mr. Kidston made overtures to the Labour party for an offensive and defensive alliance in Parliament and at the polls. The Labour party replied that they were unable to give any assurance on the subject. Mr. Kidston then advised His Excellency, Lord Chelmsford, to recognise the principle that there resided in the Crown the power to nominate to the Legislative Council such a number of new members as might be required to overcome obstruction, and that the power should be exercised if, in the opinion of His Excellency's responsible advisers, such a course became necessary. The Governor declined to accept this advice, and the Premier resigned on 12th November.

ROCKHAMPTON 1. Quay Street, from the North Side.

ROCKHAMPTON 1. Quay Street, from the North Side.

ROCKHAMPTON 2. Custom House, Quay Street.

ROCKHAMPTON 2. Custom House, Quay Street.

ROCKHAMPTON 3. East Street.

ROCKHAMPTON 3. East Street.

Mr. Philp, being sent for by His Excellency, formed a Ministry, which was at once met in the Assembly by successive votes of want of confidence, the members of the Labour party uniting with the late Ministerialists in the divisions. A dissolution was granted, even though the House refused to vote Supply to the Government, and early in the new year (1908) a general election took place, Mr. Philp losing four seats, the Labour party gaining that number, while the Kidston party were again returned with the same following. The effect was that the Philp and Kidston parties each numbered 25 and the Labour members 22. As the two latter parties had in most cases assisted one another at the elections, the Philp Government resigned, and Mr. Kidston being recalled found his position practically unchanged, so far as relative numbers were concerned, and yet greatly strengthened as regards the constitutional reform he desired to effect. A short session was at once held. A reform of the Constitution limiting the vetoing power of the Legislative Council by providing for a referendum on any measure which the Council rejected twice, and also a number of democratic measures rejected by the Council in the two preceding sessions, were passed with the aid of the Labour party. When, however, the Government turned to legislation affecting the 30 material progress of the State, and introduced two bills to authorise the construction of railways to mineral fields (to Mount Elliott in the Cloncurry copper area and to Lawn Hills in the Gulf district) on agreements made with two private companies who undertook to provide in one case one-half and in the other case three-fourths of the capital required, despite the fact that the railways were to be constructed, worked, and managed by the Railway Commissioner, that the companies were to receive no interest on the money they advanced until the railways earned it, and that when at the end of fifteen years the Government repaid the advance the companies were only to receive a sum equal to what their investment was then earning capitalised at 3½ per cent., the bills were obstructed by the Labour party, and were only passed with the assistance of the Philp party, under the closure, the Estimates being forced through by the same means at the close of the session. Before leaving on a mission to England, Mr. Kidston publicly intimated that he could no longer work with the Labour party. He returned in October, and the Philp party, recognising the mischievous futility of three-party government, agreed to accept the programme enunciated by Mr. Kidston at the election in 1907, and to join the Ministerial party, the Premier being granted a free hand, both by his colleagues and followers, in reconstructing the Government.

The fusion of the two parties led to the immediate resignation of two Ministers and the formation of an Independent Opposition by these gentlemen and four more seceders from the Kidston party. A reconstruction of the Cabinet followed, three members of the Philp party taking office under Mr. Kidston. Mr. Philp declined to accept a portfolio, but undertook to give the new Government support as an unofficial member of the Assembly, an undertaking most loyally observed. Dissatisfaction was naturally felt by several members at the composition of the Cabinet, and when Parliament met on 17th November it was evident that the fusion had not had the desired effect of reducing the number of parties to two. On the Opposition side of the Chamber were the Labour party in direct opposition and the Independent Opposition of six sitting on the cross-benches, while on the Government back cross-benches were three or four members who joined forces with the Opposition in every division. The cohesive majority was still large enough to enable the Government to pass several railways, two or three bills, and the Estimates; but, unfortunately, it was found necessary to have recourse again to the closure to get the Estimates through the House before Christmas.

Further defections took place during the recess. The sudden death of 31 the Speaker, Mr. John Leahy, and the election for Bulloo of a Labour member in his stead, reduced the Government majority to two. Such a condition of affairs rendered it impossible for any party in the House to carry on public business. A trial of strength took place over the election of a Speaker when the House met on 29th June, the Government having a majority of two. Two days later Mr. Bowman, the leader of the Labour party, moved a want of confidence amendment on the Address in Reply. A very protracted and acrimonious debate took place, and the motion was only defeated by a majority of one in a full House. Arrangements had been made earlier in the year for the holding of a conference of Commonwealth and State Premiers and Treasurers with a view to making a final effort to arrive at a mutual understanding regarding the financial relations of the Commonwealth and the States after the expiry of the ten-year period provided for by section 87 of the Commonwealth Constitution. As it was considered highly important that Queensland should be represented at this Conference, which was to be held in mid-August, the Government secured an adjournment for a fortnight, but only by applying the closure.

The Conference came to a unanimous agreement with regard to the future division of the surplus Customs and Excise revenue, justifying the determination of the Government of this State to be represented. But the efforts of the Opposition to defeat the proposal of the Government to adjourn furnished additional evidence, if any were needed, that no business could be done in a House so evenly divided. When the Premier returned from the Conference, which had been held in Melbourne, after consultation with his party, he advised the Lieutenant-Governor to dissolve the Assembly, provided it agreed to grant temporary Supply. His Excellency accepted Mr. Kidston's advice, but stipulated that the Supply must be for the shortest time in which it was possible to hold an election and summon the new Parliament. After another fight, the Government closured through an Appropriation Bill covering Supply for ten weeks, and the House was dissolved on 31st August, the election being fixed for 2nd October.

The result of the appeal to the country has been to bring about a practical restoration of two-party government, an ideal for which the Ministerialists have been striving ever since the session of 1906. The Government have won 41 seats and the Labour party 27, while the Independent Opposition, which went out 12 strong, have been reduced to 4. The Government have thus a majority of ten over the combined Opposition parties, and should be able to carry to a successful issue their policy of railway construction, immigration, and land settlement, and to steer the 32 State through the temporary difficulties arising from the pending rearrangement of the financial relations between the Commonwealth and the component States.

It may be of interest to add that the last was the seventeenth Parliament of Queensland, which gives to each an average of about three years, the present maximum statutory term of the Legislative Assembly. The explanation is, of course, that in the earlier years of the colony the limit of the Assembly life-term was five years. As already stated, the Legislative Council when first constituted comprised 15 members. Since then the number has been periodically increased to correspond with the enlargement of the other Chamber. The present number of members of the Council is 44. Until 1865 the number of members of the Assembly was 26; thence till 1873 it was 32; thence till 1875 it was 42, increased in 1875 by the creation of the electorate of Cook to 43, at which number it remained until 1879, when there were 55 members. In 1886 the number was increased to 59, and in 1887 to 72, at which it still remains. Payment of members of the Assembly was first sanctioned in 1886 by an allowance of two guineas a day for attendance, and 1s. 6d. a mile for travelling expenses, the total in any one year for attendance not to exceed £200. In 1889 the payment was fixed at £300 a year, with a mileage allowance for one journey to and fro each session, unless where an adjournment exceeded thirty days, when mileage was again payable. In 1892 the salary was reduced to £150 a year. In 1896 it was again raised to £300, at which amount it still remains. The members of the Legislative Council receive no payment.

In the foregoing sketch of the Legislature of Queensland many omissions will probably be detected by the careful reader. But as a rule mention of the names of public men has had to be confined to Premiers and such other Ministers or members to whom for some usually apparent reason it is necessary to give prominence. Had space permitted, many interesting character sketches of prominent men of the past, as well as of the present, might have been written; and it must not be forgotten that some of the services most worth recording have been rendered by men whose names have not become household words, and whose reward has been found in the lifelong consciousness that they have unobtrusively done their duty to the State. Enough has probably been said to prove that responsible government in Queensland, initiated among a mere handful of people fifty years ago, and carried on amidst discouraging difficulties until to-day, has been attended by results of which no patriotic subject of the King need feel ashamed.

Footnote a: An interesting incident occurred at the opening of the second session. The Speaker announced the receipt of a writ of election endorsing the return of the Right Honourable John Bright as member for Kennedy. As Mr. Bright had not been present during the preceding session—which had only lasted from 26th April till 4th May—the seat was declared vacant. This was not the first instance of an Australian constituency voluntarily disfranchising itself by electing a prominent British statesman by way of protest against some real or fancied injustice.





PUBLIC FINANCE (1859-1884).

Importance of Sound Finance.—A Great Colony Starts upon a Bank Overdraft.—First Year's Revenue.—Land Sales as Revenue.—Deficits in First Decade.—Transfer of Loan Moneys to Revenue to Balance Accounts.—Heavy Public Works Expenditure.—Crisis of 1866.—Inconvertible Paper Currency Proposals.—Flotation of Treasury Bills.—Higher Customs Duties.—Wiping Out a Deficit by Issue of Debentures.—Transfer of Surplus to Surplus Revenue Account to Recoup Loan Fund.—Incidental Protection.—Railway Land Reserves.—Proceeds Used as Ordinary Revenue.—Three-million Loan.—Condition of Affairs at Close of First Quarter-Century.—Phenomenal Progress; Prospects Bright.

Sound finance is the sheet anchor of any Government, whether despotic or democratic. Without a prudent guiding hand at the Treasury the ship of State might as well be rudderless. In the fifty years of Queensland history financial mistakes have been made, from which much public loss as well as individual suffering has resulted. If those mistakes, or some of them, are laid bare in this book, the object is not to reflect upon Governments or individual Ministers, but to treasure the lessons thus taught for future use.

Queensland began its career with a bank overdraft, for with "7½d. in the Treasury" on the date of the Queen's proclamation of the colony it was necessary to provide funds in anticipation of revenue collections. But at the outset borrowing was indulged in on a modest scale. For 1860 the revenue was £178,589, and the deficit only £1,514. For the second year there was a revenue surplus of £2,442 over the expenditure of £235,796. But there had been during the period an outlay of £63,210 on loan account. Besides this, of the total revenue for the two-year period—including the twenty-one days of 1859—the cash receipts from land sales, which strict political economists hold to be capital, were £114,803, equal to 27 per cent. of the total revenue. It may be assumed that the loan expenditure was entirely for permanent or reproductive works; but only 73 per cent. of the money spent for the service of the year was strictly revenue, the remainder arising from land sales. Yet as New South Wales practice had lent sanction to the use of land sales receipts as revenue, the Treasurer (Mr. R. R. Mackenzie) may be admitted to have managed well, since at the outset the estimates of revenue and expenditure were both wholly conjectural. Mr. Mackenzie's successors were less fortunate; for during 34 the first decade, although the annual revenue had quadrupled, there were only two years with surpluses.

There was another scarcely defensible transaction during the first ten years' term. In 1864 the Treasurer, finding he would otherwise have a relatively heavy deficit, balanced his budget by transferring from Loan Fund to Revenue the total expenditure incurred upon immigration since the foundation of the colony. In that year the loan outlay was £401,421, including the transfer to revenue, an increase of £337,950 in a single year. Thus the loan expenditure was at the rate of about £5 10s. per head of the population as ascertained by the census of the year. The deficit of 1864 seems less excusable because the revenue had increased by over 25 per cent. for the year. The incident illustrates the danger of suddenly increasing loan expenditure, which produces industrial and commercial activity, but at once adds to the cost of public administration in various ways. Loan money spent on the same scale per capita in Queensland to-day as in 1864 would mean a total sum of about £3,000,000 a year, whereas, even with the numerous railways lately started, the loan disbursements for 1908-9 did not quite reach 1¼ millions. Another consideration is that up to 1865 none of the loan works had become reproductive, and the 21¼ miles of railway then open for traffic did not earn working expenses. Further, the Government had been borrowing at 6 per cent. interest, which meant that the 1¼ millions of loan indebtedness at the end of 1865 imposed a burden upon the taxpayers of about £75,000 a year, or not far from £1 per head of the population.

In 1866, the time of the great crisis, the revenue expenditure increased by £241,690, creating a deficit of £200,653 for the year. The loan expenditure for the year was £965,346, bringing the total debt up to £2,214,123, equal to over £23 per head of the population. The total expenditure for the year, including loan, reached nearly £17 per head. It is not surprising that a mere handful of people, plunging into debt at that reckless speed, found their credit suddenly shattered. In 1869, the last year of the decade, though the revenue had advanced to nearly three-quarters of a million, there was a deficit for the year of £37,217. For the ten years the net accumulated revenue deficit was £386,527, and the aggregate indebtedness nearly 3¼ millions. The interest charge was then about £225,000 per annum, and the entire weight of it fell upon consolidated revenue. The population being 109,897, the interest burden was at the rate of over £2 per head. It may here be remarked that in 1907-8 it was only £2 16s. 9d. per head, less railway net 35 earnings of about £1 12s., reducing the net burden to about £1 5s. per head. Recurring to the debacle of 1866, it should be mentioned that the catastrophe was largely due to the failure of the Agra Bank, when all railway works were suddenly suspended, and the colony was plunged into the depths of extreme depression. During the two preceding years the loan expenditure had been largely in excess of revenue disbursements, no less than £685,246 of borrowed money having been spent in 1865. This was at the rate of nearly £8 per head of the total population, and its sudden cessation threatened thousands of the people of the colony with ruin. For not only had their sources of income been suddenly cut off, and landed property become almost valueless, but increased taxation had to be imposed.

Yet the catastrophe was not wholly the fault of the Government. It was the consequence of the monetary and commercial crisis in the mother country in 1866. The Sydney branch of the Agra and Masterman's Bank had engaged to furnish £50,000 monthly to the Queensland Government for the prosecution of railways and other reproductive works pending the negotiation of the loan authorised by Parliament. The bank was of good standing, and under ordinary conditions its contract would have amply secured the position of the Treasury. Its failure could not have been foreseen; but the incident proves the unwisdom of a Government leaning upon any banking institution for heavy advances which can only be made on the assumption that normal deposits are maintained. In Queensland the position was intensified by the proposal of the Macalister Government to issue inconvertible legal tender notes, because it gave countenance to the economic fallacy that any Government can make money to an indefinable amount with the aid of the printing press. The resignation of Ministers because their advice had been refused by the Governor shook for the moment the very foundations of authority; and had not Mr. Herbert's services been available on the eve of his departure for England the consequences might have been grave indeed. But he consented to take office without portfolio for a few days with several other members, and, by getting authority from Parliament to issue Treasury bills, he saved the country from financial chaos. As it was, the ordeal proved a severe test of the loyalty of the people of the colony.

On the establishment of Queensland a Customs tariff imposing light revenue duties was inherited from New South Wales. Under it spirits bore a duty of only 7s. per gallon. In 1865 the Treasurer, Mr. (afterwards Sir) Joshua Peter Bell, introduced a bill to raise the spirit duties by 3s. per gallon, and the duty on other intoxicants in proportion. The bill passed the 36 second reading without debate, for it must have been felt that with the rapidly increasing interest charge further taxation ought years before to have been imposed. After the crisis of 1866 had subsided, further increased duties for temporary purposes were passed, as were also stamp duties, so that the revenue for the following year, despite the depression, showed the important increment of about £120,000. Happily the Crocodile goldfield, near Rockhampton, was discovered towards the close of 1866, and the Gympie goldfield during the next succeeding year. Hence for the remainder of the decade revenue, despite prolonged stagnation in business, steadily, if not rapidly, increased.

In 1869 authority had been obtained from Parliament to liquidate the accumulated deficits by the issue of Treasury bills for the sum of £350,000, the increased duties of Customs imposed for temporary purposes in 1866 being at the same time continued for twelve months. In January, 1872, the Treasurer (Mr. Bell) referred in committee of the Assembly to the accumulated deficit, stating that the Treasury bills which had temporarily provided for it were falling due, and that there was no hope of paying the amount out of revenue. He therefore announced the intention of the Government to retire the bills and fund the debt by issuing long-dated debentures. That having been done, the effect was to produce a surplus for the year 1872 of £487,333. This indicated that had the Government exhibited a little more confidence the whole amount of the deficit might have been paid off out of revenue; for in the next year, shortly before the Palmer Government went out of office, a further surplus of £158,874 was realised. This sum, with the excess surplus of £137,333 for the preceding year, totalled £296,207, leaving only £53,793 short of the entire amount of the Treasury bills. In the next year there would have been a surplus, but the Macalister Ministry, which assumed office early in January, 1874—Mr. William Hemmant being Treasurer—carried £240,000 to a surplus revenue account, and ended the year with a revenue deficit of £200,762. While the revenue of that year only increased by £40,913, the expenditure, in addition to the surplus revenue item, increased by £160,550. The Macalister Ministry could not keep down expenditure, and in 1875-6—the end of the financial year having been changed from December to June—with a revenue slightly exceeding 1¼ millions, they had a further deficit of £51,663. The same party continued in power for a further two years under the leadership successively of Mr. George Thorn and Mr. John Douglas. Revenue continued fairly elastic, and the deficit period was followed by two years showing small surpluses.






Early in 1879 the McIlwraith Ministry assumed office, at a time when, as the Premier himself admitted in his Budget speech of 1880, the colony was "emerging from a state of depression induced by three bad seasons of an extraordinary character," so that the year 1878-9 closed with the considerable deficit of £216,808. This was partly due, however, to the operation of the Western Railway Act and the Railway Reserves Act, by which the most saleable land in the colony had been included in railway reserves, and the proceeds of sales, instead of as previously going into consolidated revenue, were placed to the credit of a special fund. Mr. (afterwards Sir Thomas) McIlwraith while in opposition had predicted that this course would produce a revenue deficit; consequently on attaining office he induced Parliament to sanction the transfer of all these sums, totalling £382,346, to consolidated revenue. Mr. McIlwraith argued that it would be impossible to construct a tithe of the railways needed in different parts of the colony out of the proceeds of land sales, and that it would be sufficient if the interest on railways, until they became fully reproductive, were defrayed from that source. Parliament accepted that view, and forthwith authorised a loan of 3 millions for a comprehensive schedule of railways proposed by the Government in 1879-80. Between August, 1879, and May, 1883, loans amounting to £5,553,000 were floated and a further sum of £1,233,000 was authorised, but not placed on the market. During the McIlwraith Administration of 1879-83 the revenue increased from rather less than 1½ millions to 2½ millions. The period was characterised by two deficits and three surpluses, showing accumulated surpluses of £272,412, without taking into account the sum of £382,346 transferred to revenue. During these years the colony was prosperous, the fair seasons, large loan expenditure, the establishment of the British-India service via Torres Strait, and the free introduction of immigrants, all combining to push the country along the path of progress; but prosperity had compelled a pro rata increase of expenditure.

At the end of the quarter-century in 1884 the public debt was £16,570,850, on which the interest charge was £701,565. Of this amount £9,417,318 expended on railways was earning £2 18s. per cent. The length of lines open for traffic totalled 1,207 miles. The population was 309,913. About £2,350,000 had been spent on immigration, of which nearly a third of a million had come from revenue, £1,778,000 from loan, and the rest from "special receipts"—partly contributions from immigrants. The year's imports were of the declared value of £6,381,976, and the exports £4,673,864. Joint stock bank assets exceeded 11 millions, liabilities 38 were nearly 7¾ millions, deposits exceeded 6 millions, and savings bank deposits were over 1 million. Of cattle there were 4¼ millions, of sheep less than 9½ millions, while horses numbered 253,116. There were 6,979 miles of telegraph line constructed. There were over 7 million acres of land alienated, which had produced over 4¾ millions sterling of revenue. The value of minerals won for the year was £1,325,624. There were 528 schools with 60,701 scholars, 5,185 subscribers to public libraries, and 60,257 volumes. Comparing these figures with those of 1860 it will be seen that, despite droughts, floods, and financial crises, the progress attained had been phenomenal.

Thus in a financial aspect the first quarter-century closed glowingly, despite a severe Western drought in 1883. There had been rapid and apparently solid progression, and the disasters of 1866, which seemed at the time to threaten the solvency of Government and people alike, had become an unpleasant memory—a catastrophe very unlikely to recur for various reasons, among them being that the railways were beginning greatly to facilitate transport, as well as to show considerable net earnings; while instead of the Government borrowing at 6 per cent., as formerly, money in abundance could be got at 3½ per cent. Moreover, mortgage loans and bank overdrafts bore a greatly reduced rate of interest.



PUBLIC FINANCE (1884-1893).

The Ten-million Loan.—Ministers Practically Granted Control of Five Years' Loan Money.—Vigorous Railway Policy.—Effect of Over-spending.—Inflation of Values.—Increased Taxation.—Succession of Deficits.—Second McIlwraith Ministry.—A Protectionist Tariff.—Temporary Increase of Revenue.—Heavy Contraction in 1890.—Another Big Loan; Failure of Flotation.—The First Underwritten Australian Loan.—Amended Audit Act Limiting Spending Power of Government.

At the end of 1883 the Griffith Ministry succeeded to office with a strong following. It was early in March, 1884, that the Appropriation and Loan Acts for 1883-4 became law, but the regular session of the year did not begin until 7th July. It was in this session that the Government introduced their colossal railway extension scheme, and their famous "Ten-million Loan Act"—actually, however, the amount was £9,980,000. This sum was to be spent during the following five years, which meant that the members of the Assembly voted in a lump sum, and on an unprecedented scale, the loan expenditure for the maximum term of the Parliament. The effect was also to ensure the life of the Ministry for the same term, as it was intended to expend about 2 millions sterling a year, or about £6 10s. per annum per head of the population. This was equal to about three-fourths of the total consolidated revenue for 1884.

The Ministry no doubt meant well, and their preparation of a schedule of works to extend over five years was in the abstract commendable. But the expenditure of so much loan money provoked inflation in values, and led to unhealthy speculation in land. Although Ministers did not in any one year quite reach their 2-million conventional limit of loan outlay, the 10 millions were exhausted soon after their retirement from office, and a further loan had to be authorised to finish their uncompleted works. While such railways as the "Via Recta" (Ipswich to Warwick) and the Cloncurry to the Gulf lines were both on the 1884 loan schedule—the amount set down for each being £500,000—they have never been even commenced to this day, a quarter of a century since they were passed by the Assembly. Other lines then authorised absorbed more than the amount voted, and necessarily had afterwards to be completed to make them reproductive.


The revenue not proving as expansive as the necessities of the Treasury required, an Act passed in 1885 imposed 5 per cent. ad valorem duties upon most kinds of industrial machinery, increased the spirit duties to 12s. per gallon, and levied upon log and undressed timber a duty of 1s. per 100 feet superficial and upon dressed timber of 1s. 6d. per 100 feet. In the following year the ad valorem duties were increased to 7½ per cent., except as to machinery, which remained at 5 per cent.; but small levies like these were as drops in the bucket by comparison with the constantly expanding needs of the Treasurer.

The 10-million loan schedule did not exhaust the list of what were deemed necessary works. In 1886 a special Act was passed appropriating £123,000, to be raised by Treasury bills having a term of five years, for the duplication of the Brisbane-Ipswich railway, and the completion of the lines from Mackay to Eton and Hamilton, and from Ravenswood Junction to Ravenswood, respectively. In the year following an Act was passed authorising the issue of further Treasury bills amounting to £349,834 for the construction of eight small lines, and the extension of the Brisbane and Southport line, with a branch to Beaudesert, thus bringing the railways and works loan schedule of the Griffith Ministry up to £10,452,834.

By the advent of the financial year 1888-9, most intelligent public men felt gravely disturbed. The bank deposits, which had been trebled in a decade, had to earn interest on the additional 7 millions of money held and advanced. When the Griffith Ministry retired from office in June, 1888, they had recorded four successive annual deficits aggregating £968,313, although between 1884-5 and 1887-8 the revenue had increased by £456,861, and there had been spent over 1¾ millions of loan money per annum in addition. During the year 1888-9, after Sir Thomas McIlwraith assumed office, the expenditure increased by £128,922, but he obtained a revenue increase of about £437,000. This increase chiefly arose from the heavier duties levied under the protectionist Customs tariff of 1888; but in 1889-90 there was an almost equivalent shrinkage in both Customs and total revenue. Bad times partly accounted for the subsequent inelasticity of Customs receipts, for not until 1895-6 were the total revenue figures of 1888-9 again touched.

The year 1889-90 was characterised by a deficit of £483,979, for the drop of £402,857 in revenue and the increase of £197,969 in expenditure dislocated the finances, and caused the retirement of the Morehead Government after an ineffectual attempt to impose a general tax of 5 per cent. on all property, both real and personal. The coalition Griffith-McIlwraith




Administration followed, but could not in such a time of value shrinkages materially increase revenue, while expenditure was thought to be irreducible. Despite a Loan Act for 1½ millions passed in 1888-9, to provide for works temporarily met by floating Treasury bills during the two preceding years, another large loan was authorised in 1890, its total being nearly 3¾ millions sterling. This money was needed to retire debentures maturing on 1st July, 1891, amounting to £1,170,950, and no less than £422,850 deficiency loss on the loans of 1882, 1884, and 1889, thus leaving little more than 2 millions for railway and harbour works. This 3¾ million Loan Act did not receive the Royal assent until December, 1890, and the stock was issued a few months later at a most unfortunate time. The monetary tension which culminated in 1893 was already felt in the London market, and the credit of Queensland had become much impaired by the fact that during the preceding decade (1880-81 to 1889-90) the colony's obligations had increased by £16,706,834, bringing the funded public debt up to £28,105,684—nearly £70 per head of the population—while railway net earnings were steadily dwindling.

The cable soon flashed the unwelcome news that only £1,554,834 was subscribed. After some difficulty a Stock Exchange syndicate was formed to underwrite £1,182,400 of the balance, the price realised for the whole amount taken up averaging £87 6s. 1d. per £100 of 3½ per cent. stock. Thus the net proceeds of the loan of £3,704,800 were only £3,234,376, a depreciation loss of £470,424. The interest charge on this new loan was £129,668; so that the interest, while nominally 3½ per cent., was really just 4 per cent. on the money received, and, in addition, at due date (1930), £470,424 depreciation will have to be made good. But the tragedy did not end there, for the money borrowed, or the greater part of it, had not reached the Treasury in 1893, but ranked among the "suspended bank deposits" which then paralysed both Government and private depositors.

That the time chosen for going on the money market was not opportune may be gathered from the fact that in 1889 Queensland 3½ per cent. stock had brought £96 0s. 11d. per £100, and in 1894—three years after the forced sale at £87 6s. 1d. in 1891—an issue of our stock of the same denomination brought £98 14s. 0¼d. per £100. It may be noted that the Queensland loan of 1890-91 was the first underwritten Government loan issued by an Australian colony, though since that time all Government loans have been underwritten. Heavy as our sacrifice in 1891 may have been, it was infinitely less disastrous than making default must have proved; and perhaps after all the experience gained was worth its cost, 42 for, although the colony staggered under the blow, its progress was checked only for the time.

In 1890 an amending Audit Act was passed—Sir Thomas McIlwraith being then Treasurer—section 4 of which made the important provision that it should not be lawful for the Colonial Treasurer to expend any moneys standing to the credit of the Loan Fund Account except under the authority of an annual or special Appropriation Act, in like manner as moneys were expended out of the Consolidated Revenue Fund for the current expenses of government. By section 6 it was provided that, when it was necessary to expend for any work money in excess of the appropriation, then, if such sum were included in any Appropriation Act, the Governor in Council might authorise the additional expenditure from the Loan Fund. By section 8, annual Loan Estimates, specifying the nature of the work proposed, were to be submitted, as in the case of the Estimates of ordinary expenditure. This Act was passed to avoid the evil of placing large amounts of borrowed money at the uncontrolled disposal of the Ministry of the day.



PUBLIC FINANCE (1893-1898).

Sir Hugh Nelson at the Treasury.—Credit of Colony Restored.—Assistance to Financial Institutions and Primary Industries.—Savings Bank Stock Act.—Public Debt Reduction Fund.—Treasurer's Cautious and Prudent Administration.—Money Obtained in London at a Record Price.

When the banking crisis occurred in 1893, Mr. (afterwards Sir) Hugh Nelson, who had previously held office with distinction as Railway Minister for about two years, reluctantly took charge of the embarrassed Treasury. Entering Parliament after the general election in 1883, he had from the first given evidence of more than common knowledge of public finance. Mr. Nelson was an exceedingly modest man, and an indifferent public speaker at best; but he possessed courage, thoroughness, and scholarly knowledge. In public matters he always aimed at taking the line of least resistance; but knowing what he knew in March, 1893, his assumption of office as Treasurer must be regarded as an act of heroism dictated by regard for the public welfare. Quietly and unobtrusively he worked, refusing all invitations to appear on public platforms, and while affecting contempt for politicians who constantly apostrophised "the people," he determined to set the affairs of the colony straight. Revenue at that time had almost touched bottom, and was very inelastic; and Mr. Nelson followed the example of his immediate predecessor in keeping a tight hand upon expenditure. For 1892-3 there had been a reduction of outlay of about £70,000 only, as compared with the preceding year, the June deficit having been reduced to £111,676; but in the next year he realised rather less revenue, yet reduced expenditure by £206,000, closing the year with a small deficit of £8,467. As this was the time in which most commercial and financial disaster was suffered from the crisis, this economy was a feat worth accomplishing, although the drastic reduction of expenditure tended to aggravate the crisis by delaying the restoration of confidence. After 1893-4 followed six surpluses.

In the midst of the bank reconstructions of 1893 there had been a general election, and Parliament met on 25th May. Between then and 18th October, 1893, Mr. Nelson, as Treasurer in the McIlwraith Ministry, 44 passed those financial measures which were the greatest achievements of his career. An unpopular measure was his Civil Service Special Retrenchment Act, but it was imperative, and civil servants were indeed fortunate, when so large a number of their friends in private life were left destitute, in being able to draw their diminished salaries month by month. The Queensland National Bank Limited Agreement Act enabled that institution to resume business, though the public sacrifice was great. Acts were also passed for encouraging meat and dairy works; for advancing guaranteed loans by the Treasury to sugar works companies; for Treasury advances upon the notes of suspended joint stock banks; for the issue of Treasury notes, made legal tender throughout the colony save by the Treasury; and for the imposition of a yearly tax of 10 per cent. on notes issued by banks. In the same session was passed an Act for giving relief to public depositors, such as treasurers of hospitals and other public institutions, by making Treasury advances upon the amount of their locked-up deposits.

Another important measure of this period was the Government Savings Bank Stock Act of 1894, under which any savings bank depositor may exchange his deposit for £10, or any multiple thereof, of Government stock redeemable in 1945, and bearing not more than 3½ per cent. interest. In 1897 the amount of such stock issuable was increased from £1,000,000 to £2,000,000. The object of this measure was to give depositors the opportunity of making investments in small amounts of Government stock, for which there would always be a buoyant market in the event of cash being required; and also to safeguard the Treasury by reducing the amount of money held on account of savings bank deposits repayable at call. In 1897 the total deposits did not exceed 2½ millions; to-day they total over 5 millions. It is therefore satisfactory to note that the Treasurer (Mr. Hawthorn) early in the current year made arrangements for enlarging the sale of savings bank stock in the manner intended by the author of the Act.

In 1895 Mr. Nelson passed the amended Audit Act under which, if it appears by the Treasurer's annual statement that there is a surplus of receipts for any financial year, the money shall, before the 31st day of December following, be paid to the trustees of the Public Debt Reduction Fund created by the Act, and by them applied, first to the purchase of Treasury bills, and then to the purchase of inscribed stock at the current market price, stock so purchased to be cancelled. As a Treasurer with a deficit is bound to make provision for its liquidation at the end of a financial year, the effect of the Act has been to start every year with a 45 clean sheet. By this practice an ingenious Treasurer is deprived of the opportunity of juggling with accumulated surpluses.





In April, 1898, when Sir Hugh Nelson retired from active politics, he had just completed five years' service as Treasurer. During that time he had gone to the London money market only twice, and had issued stock to the amount of only 3¾ millions. Of that sum, moreover, the 2 millions asked for in 1894 was for retiring Treasury bills, and for the liquidation of the deficit on account of previously issued loans. In 1896 the Loan Act totalled £2,324,480, though it was not all placed by Sir Hugh Nelson. It provided for further railway extensions, and included half a million sterling for loans in terms of the Local Works Loans Act under the Sugar Works Guarantee Act; £600,000 was applied to the purchase at par of savings bank stock for cancellation, only 1½ millions being placed on the London market. Of these two loans issued subsequent to the 1893 crisis, the first, bearing 3½ per cent. interest, realised £98 14s. 0¼d. net per £100 of stock, and the other, floated in 1897, bearing 3 per cent., brought £95 15s. 10¾d., the record price for money obtained by the issue of Queensland Government stock in London.



PUBLIC FINANCE (1898-1903).

The Philp Ministry.—Large Surplus.—Loan Acts for Seven and a-half Millions Sterling.—Drought Disasters and Sacrifices for Federation.—Accumulated Revenue Deficits of over £1,000,000.—Rebuff on London Stock Exchange.—Resignation of Philp Ministry.

When Mr. Philp took charge of the Treasury in March, 1898, the credit of the colony appeared to have been fully restored. True, the funded public debt had grown to 33½ millions, but the population had also increased to 484,700, so that the public debt proper was slightly more than £69 per head. The year 1897-8 closed with the small surplus of £20,724 at the Treasury, and revenue was steadily improving. In June, 1899, Mr. Philp had the largest surplus realised for seventeen years, nearly £150,000, but then an era of drought began. Still revenue continued to advance until the establishment of federation in 1901, when financial trouble was accentuated. The year 1899-1900 had shown a small surplus of £47,789, to be followed by three successive deficits aggregating £1,151,469. Mr. Philp, an old colonist, an experienced business man, and with a full knowledge of its varied resources, had unbounded confidence in the future of the State. Soon after he became Premier at the close of 1899, he essayed a bold public works policy, and during his first three years of office he induced Parliament to sanction the borrowing of nearly 7½ millions sterling. But he did not issue the whole of the last 2¼ millions. Owing principally to the South African war, colonial stocks were not high in favour in 1900, and the Queensland Government, acting on the best advice, decided to call for tenders for the £1,400,000 of 3 per cent. stock placed on the English money market in July of that year. The loan only realised £91 5s. 1½d. per cent., about the same price that was obtained by New South Wales and West Australia in the same year. Of the balance of the loan, £900,000 was taken up in Queensland by the trustees of the Government Savings Bank at £97 per cent., and £46,600, sold locally and bearing 3½ per cent. interest, realised £99 10s. 8¼d. net, the local market not being affected by the adverse influences and the choice of investments which operated in London. In October, 1901, for £1,374,213 47 offered in London at 3 per cent., the extremely low price of £88 12s. 4d. was obtained; and in 1903, when the then Treasurer (Mr. T. B. Cribb) again sought to enter the London market with 3½ per cent. stock, he could only place £750,000 worth at the low rate of £92 19s. 11¾d. Times had indeed changed, and for the moment the State was practically excluded from the London money market. The balance of the loan has been, and is being, issued in Queensland, about £456,000 being still unsold.

The year 1899-1900, from the revenue standpoint, was the record year of the century. Wool brought extremely high prices in London, and loan expenditure had been maintained during the previous two years at an average of a little over £1,000,000 per annum. For the next year, one-half of which was subsequent to the proclamation of the Commonwealth, revenue showed a decline of nearly half a million sterling, although loan outlay had been increased rather than lessened. Two reasons could be assigned for this shrinkage—a bad season in the West, and the dislocation of accounts resulting from federation. Still, in 1899-1900, the expenditure from revenue was fully maintained, with the result that on 30th June, 1901, the deficit exceeded half a million.

In the next year, 1901-2, there was a further decline of about half a million in revenue, arising (1) from one-fourth of the State's Customs revenue and the whole of its postal revenue being retained by the Commonwealth, and (2) from the sparse rainfall and the heavy drop in London wool prices. Thus, although the apparent expenditure showed a decline of about £650,000 due to the cost of the transferred departments being defrayed by the Commonwealth, the financial year ended with a deficit of £431,940. The year 1902 was the most disastrous with respect to rainfall that Australia ever experienced, and the drought struck Queensland with cruel intensity. The revenue of 1902-3 was maintained at nearly the level of the previous year, good rains having fallen early in 1903, while the expenditure was cut down by about a quarter of a million; yet there was a further deficit of £191,341, despite the fact that an income tax had been imposed and a Public Service Special Retrenchment Act passed which resulted in a saving of £87,000.

The Philp regime practically ended with an accumulated deficit, as above mentioned, of £1,151,469; for, about two months after the close of the financial year 1902-3, the Ministry were compelled by a schism in their party to resign office. They had been long popularly stigmatised as the "Continuous Government." The work of the coalition of 1890 having been accomplished, Ministers had exhausted their popularity; yet the 48 probability is that but for the financial debacle the end would not have come quite so soon. The drought having by this time broken, a return of prosperity was naturally expected; but on the one hand Ministers had made enemies by severe retrenchment, and on the other hand they were blamed for having failed to balance their budget.

When Parliament met on 21st July, 1903, Mr. Philp appeared still to command a working majority—though somewhat diminished by the general election of 1902-3 compared with that which had followed him for three years previously. But on the 8th of September the Treasurer, Mr. T. B. Cribb, carried his taxation resolutions in Committee of Ways and Means, after an acrimonious debate, by a majority of only two votes in a House of sixty-five, several prominent Government supporters voting with the Noes. Mr. Philp then moved the adjournment of the House, and next day announced the resignation of his Ministry.





PUBLIC FINANCE (1903-1909).

The Morgan-Kidston Ministry.—Economy in Revenue Expenditure.—Great Reduction in Loan Outlay.—Equilibrium Established at the Treasury.—Retrenchment and Taxation.—Improvement of Finances.—A Record Surplus for Queensland.—Land Sales Proceeds Act.—Abstention from Borrowing.—First Loan Floated since 1903.—Sound Position of Queensland.—Value of State Securities.—Reproductiveness of Railways Built out of Loan Money.—Public Estate Improvement Fund.—How Recourse to Money Market has been Avoided.

On the 15th September, 1903, the Speaker's resignation was announced, and on the 17th Mr. (now Sir) Arthur Morgan announced the formation of a new Ministry with himself as Premier, his colleagues including the leader, (the late Mr. W. H. Browne) and another prominent member of the Labour party (Mr. W. Kidston). The new Ministry came in expressly to restore the financial equilibrium, the Treasurer being Mr. Kidston. Retrenchment became the order of the day, although the Estimates of the late Government were adopted, having regard to the fact that the first quarter of the financial year had practically expired. The pruning-knife was applied with vigour, and loan expenditure rapidly lessened, although existing railway contracts had of course to be completed.

On 30th June following, revenue showed an increase of £69,000, while expenditure had been reduced by £110,000, the financial year ending with a deficit of only £12,424. Loan expenditure had been brought down to £603,805, a reduction of no less than £418,600 compared with the previous year. In the middle of the session of 1904 the Premier advised a dissolution, which was granted; and after the general election the Ministry returned in such strength as to warrant Parliament in treating their policy, especially the financial part of it, as practically a mandate from the constituencies.

In 1904-5 the revenue being within £41 of the amount of the preceding year, while the expenditure was about £26,000 less, a surplus, the first for five years, was recorded for the nominal sum of £13,995. Seeing that loan expenditure had been reduced to less than a quarter of a million, that 50 general retrenchment had been carried out, and that a recovery of trade and industry was not yet clearly apparent, the result must be deemed highly satisfactory; also, the Treasurer refused, after his first year of office, to continue the practice of charging to loan fund the amount spent by the Commonwealth Government on new works and buildings. The amount was not large, but even the £20,000 to £30,000 per annum so expended would, if transferred to loan, have improved the appearance of the State revenue account.

In 1904 the obnoxious but necessary Special Retrenchment Act was re-enacted for the nine months of the financial year still remaining, the rate of deduction being diminished by one-half, while provision was made that any surplus revenue for the financial year should be paid to the public servants. The year closed with a surplus of £13,995, which was at once distributed pro rata among the retrenched officers. The continuation of the Act was not popular among public servants, but it was deemed necessary in the interests of the wider community; and, as the net result was that a public officer only lost 7s. 6d. for every £1 deducted from his salary during the two previous years, it can hardly be considered unfair, having regard to the losses sustained by the general public during the same period. Another unpopular measure was the Income Tax Amending Act, which exempted from taxation incomes of £100 and under, but in regard to the larger incomes somewhat increased the taxation then levied. In 1906 a further Income Tax Amending Act was passed, adding to the taxation in some cases, but raising the exemption to £160 and granting an exemption of £120 on incomes between £160 and £200. In 1907 another amendment of the Act increased the exemption to £200 on all incomes, and reduced certain imposts, which had the effect of relinquishing revenue to the extent of £40,000 to £50,000 for the year. But times had then improved, and the Treasurer could afford this grateful relief to the poorer classes of the community.

Early in 1906, owing to the death of Sir Hugh Nelson, Mr. Morgan retired from the Ministry, Mr. Kidston becoming Chief Secretary in his stead, while still retaining the Treasurership. Mr. Morgan then accepted the Presidency of the Legislative Council. In the year 1905-6 the revenue had become buoyant, the increase for the year being £258,124. The expenditure had also increased by over one-half that amount, the year closing with the surplus of £127,811. Loan outlay also showed an increase, totalling nearly £300,000. In 1906-7 there was a revenue jump of £454,389, with an increase in expenditure of £186,085, the record Queensland surplus 51 of £396,115 being realised.a For 1907-8 the revenue increase was £180,486, while the expenditure increase was £461,299, and the surplus only £115,302. Loan outlay also advanced to £1,033,676. Including the Commonwealth collections the total revenue for 1907-8 approached 5½ millions, or nearly 1 million in excess of the most fruitful year before federation.

In November, 1906, a brief but important Act was passed providing that all moneys received in payment for auction sales of town, suburban, and country lands, or of such lands if subsequently purchased by selection, should hereafter be paid into the Loan Fund Account. But proceeds of the land sold under the Special Sales of Land Act of 1901 were not included, those moneys having been already appropriated to the repayment of sums borrowed upon certain Treasury bills issued in aid of revenue in former years. It is the policy of the Kidston Government, however, not to alienate lands under the Special Sales Act; therefore the deficits of former years which had been liquidated with the proceeds of Treasury bills, and practically formed a floating debt, are being gradually compensated for by the transfer of annual surpluses to the Public Debt Reduction Fund, the total amount of stock thus cancelled having on 30th June, 1908, reached the respectable amount of £942,641 since the inception of the fund.

One of the wise determinations of Mr. Kidston as Treasurer was to keep off the London money market for several years at least after the rebuff received by his predecessor in 1903. Consequently he abstained from making any attempt to float a loan till March, 1909, when £2,000,000 worth of 3½ per cent. stock was disposed of. The net proceeds were equal to £94 9s. 6½d. per cent., a price about equivalent to that obtained by New South Wales a little earlier in the year. This, although dearer money than was obtained by issues of Queensland stock in the closing decade of the last century, compares not unfavourably with the prices obtained earlier in the financial year for other gilt-edged securities on the London market.

The net average rate of interest payable on the public debt of Queensland on 30th June, 1908, was £3 14s. 1d. per cent., but this rather high rate arose from the fact that more than a moiety of the total debt was incurred many years ago, when all Australian stocks bore 4 per cent. interest. The lowest average rate now paid by any Australian State is £3 8s. 9d. by Western Australia, most of whose stock was issued during the closing decade of the 19th century, and bears from 3¼ to 3½ per cent.


Speaking generally, Queensland stands well on the London money market at present, as, according to the "Commonwealth Year Book" quotations from the "Economist" newspaper, the "middle price" of her 3½ per cents. quoted on 'Change on the 25th September of last year was £100, a figure only equalled at the time by Victoria among the Australian States; and in December following £99, which was on a par with New South Wales stock on the same date, and only 10s. per cent. below the quotation for Victorian stock. These prices, however, for comparative purposes seem to need slight adjustment on account of the interest respectively due at date of quotation.

Having regard to the fact that the public debt of Queensland is higher than that of any other Australian State per head of the population, the policy of abstention from further borrowing from 1903 until 1909 has been vindicated in a most gratifying manner. A pregnant fact is that more than one-half the entire public debt has been invested in railways which in 1908-9 returned £883,610b in net earnings, all available for the payment of interest on capital, or equal to about £3 7s. 6d. per cent. per annum, which meant that our railway system was almost self-supporting, besides being the source of a large indirect gain to the Treasury by providing facilities for transport over 3,498 miles of line. It is no exaggeration to assert that directly and indirectly the railways assist the Treasury to the amount of the annual interest charge on the entire public debt of the State. Instead of the railways being a burden upon the taxpayer, as in former years, they have undoubtedly now become the backbone of the public credit. Seven years ago the interest charge on railway capital falling on the taxpayer amounted to £513,128. To-day, as shown by official figures, there is practically no such burden, and the existing state of the investment not only forms a complete justification for the railway policy of the past, but also for the vigorous way in which the construction of new lines is being pushed forward. With a continuance of good management it is apparent that the time is within measurable distance when the Railway Commissioner will, unless rates be reduced, hand to the State Treasurer a large annual surplus which will be available for lightening the public burdens.

Among other minor financial reforms for which the Morgan and Kidston Governments have earned credit is the creation of the Public Estate Improvement Trust Account, to which is charged the cost of roads, 53 water supply, and other improvements made to Crown lands about to be thrown open for settlement, such cost being afterwards added to the selling price of those lands. Up to 30th June, 1908, 1½ million acres of Crown land had thus been made available for selection by a total expenditure of £85,784, the value of which has thus been enhanced, it is estimated, by more than half a million sterling. This amount will ultimately find its way into consolidated revenue. And all this with a debtor balance of the account on 30th June, 1908, of only £58,287. Allowing that the profit is shown in figures yet to be realised, the estimated margin is so large that the result cannot be doubtful.





Loan expenditure on public works, though greatly reduced, was never entirely stopped by the Morgan and Kidston Governments. In 1903 they inherited from their predecessors a loan cash balance of 1¼ millions. By compelling the local bodies to pay up arrears of redemption on local loans, by investing about £603,000 of revenue surpluses in unissued stock, with the help of interest accruing on public loan cash balances, and the annual instalments paid by the Queensland National Bank in liquidation of its extended deposit debt, nearly 3½ millions sterling was spent on loan account during the five years ended 30th June, 1909, without placing on the money market any part of the then unissued balance of the 1902 loan.

Footnote a: The so-called surplus of £487,333 in 1872 was obtained by the transfer of £350,000 from loan fund to revenue.

Footnote b: These net earnings are Treasury cash figures. They differ somewhat from the departmental figures, which do not deal with cash, but with book receipts and expenditure.



THE BOOM DECADE (1880-1890).

A Great Boom Decade.—Causes of Inflation of Values.—Excessive Rating Valuations.—False Basis of Assessing Capital Value.—Prodigality Succeeded by Financial Stringency and Collapse of Boom.—Difficulty in Determining Real Values.—Sir Hugh Nelson's Legislation.—Sound Finance.—Stability of State.—Prospects Good To-day.

The prospects of Queensland had seldom been brighter than they were at the opening of the 1880-90 decade. The seasons were good, the outlook was regarded as brilliant, and a general air of confidence reigned. The Government were spending loan money lavishly, and large amounts were being spent in introducing a stream of immigrants from Europe. These and other causes contributed to the prevailing over-confidence and the consequent excessive values put upon fixed property. One was the influx of capital for investment on private account, for the confidence felt in Queensland mortgage securities not only extended to the other colonies of Australia, but also to the mother country. Another was the discovery of subterranean water in Western Queensland, and the opinion expressed by geologists that more than one-half the total area of the colony, and that in the driest parts of the far West, was artesian water-bearing country. The discovery, it was argued, had added a new province to Queensland, and one whose fertility, water once provided, would not be excelled, despite a normally light rainfall, by any other part of the continent. One consequence was the sale of Western stations at high prices, and the investment by their late owners of the proceeds in city and town properties. They had experienced the risks of the far inland climate, and they wanted to invest in land in the seaport towns, which must quickly become centres of extensive trade.

Another cause was the raising of rating values by the local authorities, of whom those having jurisdiction in suburban or country areas were endowed with £2 from the Treasury for every £1 raised by rates. To augment the claims for endowment, although the rate levies were in a few cases raised to the maximum legal limit, in most the valuations alone were raised, and the rate levy left untouched. It was held that it paid the property owner to contribute a high rate when with the endowment it meant three times that sum, most of which would be spent in improving his land by making roads and carrying on other local works calculated to enhance property values. A further cause of inflation was the cutting up of suburban land into 16-perch allotments, and selling them on long 55 terms to working men and to speculators. A still further cause was, as already mentioned, the influx of external money at reduced rates of interest through the financial institutions. At first rents were so high as apparently to justify an advance on true values; but as the expanding process went on vendors ridiculed a capital value based on income-earning capacity. "What is the use of talking nonsense!" the agent would exclaim; "it is not what this property will bring in annually now, but what it will be worth in twenty years' time."

Even conservative loan institutions accepted valuations based on actual sales. Prices in many cases doubled and quadrupled in a few months without much regard to the income-earning power. Then people were told that Brisbane would by and by, with an immense railway mileage finding its terminus at the wharves, be as big as Sydney or Melbourne; that land in George-street and Collins-street was realising £2,000 per foot frontage, bare; and that therefore choice sites in Queen-street could not be worth less than £1,000 per foot frontage. Thus prices advanced until the second half of 1888, when the demand for real property almost ceased. From that time until 1893 values were as far as possible upheld by the mortgagees, for they believed that the stagnation must be but temporary. Then came the crisis in the world's money markets, and it smote Queensland with prostrating force. The gradual reduction of local authority endowments, followed by their abolition in the year 1902-3, and the consequent increase of rate burdens, had a depressing effect upon property values, so that even to-day, more than sixteen years after the collapse of the boom, city lands do not realise more than one-half the prices demanded and often obtained in 1888.

It is easy to blame the leading parliamentarians of the time for their prodigality in expenditure; but, when the most experienced bankers of the time threw prudence to the winds under pressure of a flooded money market, we may at this distance of time judge public men less harshly than they were judged in 1893. Confidence was universal, and the man who raised a warning voice found himself figuratively "sent to coventry." An epidemic of swollen values pervaded the entire continent. Even so late as 1893, two skilled and disinterested Ministers of the Crown, and both possessed of banking experience, who were commissioned by the Government to report confidentially on the securities of the Queensland National Bank soon after its suspension, failed to realise the full extent of the inflation of past years, or the depreciation in land values that had taken place despite the efforts made to maintain them. For they gave such a report of the values of the bank's securities as induced the Legislature to sanction an abortive scheme of reconstruction and the retention of 56 Government moneys. It is, however, to Sir Hugh Nelson's credit that, three years later, he passed through Parliament an amending Act, embodying the scheme which has since restored the bank to the status of a "national" institution.

Nineteen years have elapsed since the close of this period of extravagant borrowing and reckless expenditure, both public and private. For some years past Queensland has been enjoying almost unexampled prosperity, and the question naturally arises whether that prosperity may not be followed by another crisis. On this point examination of fixed property values, which are a good index, leads to a favourable conclusion. Of city or town lands there has of late years certainly been no inflation. Farming and dairying land values have no doubt risen rapidly, but not more, perhaps, than in proportion to the enhanced stable income-earning value arising from the success of the sugar and dairying industries and the enlarged markets available since federation to farmers all over Australia. In pastoral country there has certainly been no such inflation as occurred in the 1880-90 decade. Buyers discounted the future when, to justify their anticipations, the 372,105 square miles of artesian water-bearing country should have been already opened up and the country made increasingly productive by the streams from thousands of bores. To-day, as shown elsewhere in this book, artesian water is flowing to such an extent in Queensland that it would, with complete reticulation, supply 12,000,000 people with 40 gallons a day each. This in a country, too, which formerly was almost destitute of surface water. More bores are every year being put down, while geological research has lately added considerably to the area of artesian water-bearing country in Queensland. Generally trade is sound to-day, while banking deposits have made but gradual progression in volume during the last twenty years. Close settlement is rapidly going on, and the pastoral industry, which furnishes about 50 per cent. of our exports, is in a most prosperous condition after several good seasons capped by recently advancing prices. Wool alone, whose producers are realising highly satisfactory profits, formed 28·55 per cent. of our exports in 1907. Over gold mining there may be a fleeting cloud, but every year's laboratory research extends the area of remunerative ore deposits by reducing the cost of treatment. The cost of production and transport in all the primary industries is being gradually lessened. Happily there is no boom, present or prospective, to disturb the steady progress of the country; and it is reassuring to learn from recent public speeches by eminent Australian bankers that they are refusing to make advances for other than legitimate development.






The Code of 1860.—Crown Lands Alienation Act of 1868.—Pastoral Leases Act of 1869.—Homestead Areas Act of 1872.—Crown Lands Alienation Act and Settled Districts Pastoral Leases Act of 1876.—The Griffith-Dutton Land Act of 1884.—Co-operative Communities Land Settlement Act.—Land Act of 1897.—Forms of Selection.—Act to Assist Persons to Settle on Land by Advances from the Treasury.—Extension of Pastoral Leases.—Closer Settlement Act.—Land Orders.

The land code of the session of 1860, so enthusiastically eulogised by Sir George Bowen in his despatch to the Secretary of State, unfortunately by no means settled the complex questions involved in the management of public lands extending over 15 degrees of longitude and 18 degrees of latitude. Indeed, to-day the land laws are probably as complicated as ever they were in the history of Queensland, notwithstanding the desire of the Legislature to make them as simple as possible, and to meet the wants of every description of settler, whether he be a homestead selector with his 320 acres, a grazing farmer with his 20,000 acres, or a pastoral lessee with his 1,000 square miles.

During the first decade several Land Acts, amending the Acts of 1860, were passed; but by the advent of the year 1867 it was found that the facilities offered for settlement were inadequate, and that new methods, especially in the direction of mixed farming adapted to the country and climate, and demanding holdings of increased area, were indispensable if there was to be close settlement on a more extensive scale than that contemplated by the pastoralist. Among the members of the Assembly in 1867-8 was Mr. Archibald Archer, of Gracemere, then member for Rockhampton, who earnestly voiced the popular contention that the upset price of £1 per acre was excessive, and that the holdings permitted to the settler by law were too restricted in area. In October, 1867, the Minister for Lands was Mr. E. W. Lamb, an old-time New South Wales land office official, and then a Peak Downs squatter. He introduced a Crown Lands Alienation Bill, which, after discussions showing its futility, was, on the motion of Mr. Macalister, then in opposition, referred to a Select Committee comprising the Minister and Messrs. Archer and Fitzgerald, the latter member for Kennedy. In the next session a new bill was introduced, giving effect to the recommendations of the Select Committee, which provided for the 58 resumption of the halves of all runs within the Settled Districts, and for making available such resumed areas wherever required for settlement. The bill also provided for the opening of these areas to free selection before other than a feature survey had been made. This land was to be classified as (1) agricultural, in areas not exceeding 640 acres and at 15s. per acre; (2) first-class pastoral, in areas not exceeding 2,560 acres, at 10s. per acre; and (3) second-class pastoral, in areas not exceeding 7,680 acres, at 5s. per acre. The purchase was to be conditional upon actual occupation and improvement, the payment being spread over ten annual instalments, called rents, of 1s. 6d., 1s., and 6d. per acre respectively. Provision was also made for homestead selections not to exceed 80 acres of agricultural land or 160 acres of pastoral land, at a yearly rental for five years of 9d. an acre in the case of agricultural land and 6d. an acre for pastoral country. This measure, having become law, caused a tremendous rush for land, and in some cases, no doubt, too large areas were taken up, regarded from the standpoint of the public interest, the abuse partly arising from faulty classification by the Government Commissioners. By at least one of these officers it was held, for example, that land, no matter how accessible or good its quality, was only second-class pastoral if destitute of surface water. But, whatever abuses crept in, there can be no doubt that the Act of 1868 was the first legislation to place the people on the land in areas of such extent, of such quality, and at such prices as were then deemed requisite for successful occupation. Many of the most prosperous farmers of to-day, or their parents, settled under the 1868 Act, and now form most valuable members of the community.

In 1869 the Pastoral Leases Act was passed by the Lilley Government, and gave the lessees in the unsettled districts a better tenure than they had before enjoyed—21 years in respect of new country and renewed leases, and 14 years in the case of existing leases, with septennial automatic reappraisements of rent in all instances. The Liberal members of the Assembly assented to a pre-emptive purchase clause in this Act by which a lessee was empowered to purchase on his run without competition an area of 2,560 acres, containing permanent improvements made by him, at the price of 10s. per acre. But it was only discovered by many members after the Act had become law that a run might mean a block of 25 square miles, and that a lessee with a dozen blocks could secure strategic freeholds in as many different parts of his holding. However, the provision remained unaltered until in 1884 the Minister for Lands in the Griffith Ministry (Mr. Charles Boydell Dutton) refused to sanction further purchases of the kind, 59 and during the same year endeavoured to sweep away the privilege by new legislation. Parliament, however, refused to repeal the provision, and would only consent to withhold the privilege of pre-emption in respect of leases acquired after the passage of the Land Act of 1884. Altogether 363 pre-emptive selections in respect of as many runs were made. By the Act of 1868 the pastoral lessees in the settled districts had also been granted ten years' leases for the unresumed halves of their runs; but in both cases the Minister was empowered to resume part of any run on giving six months' notice.

The Homestead Areas Act of 1872 provided for the setting apart of special areas as "homestead areas," to be exclusively settled as homestead selections, or selections taken up by virtue of land orders issued under the Immigration Act of 1869. A departure from the generally accepted principle of "homestead" settlement—that the land is granted at a nominal price in consideration of the selector personally residing on it—was made in providing for increased areas up to 320 acres at conditional purchase prices. This anomaly was corrected by the Act of 1876, which styled such larger homesteads "Conditional purchases in homestead areas."

In 1876 Mr. Douglas, as Mr. Thorn's Minister for Lands, introduced an amending and consolidating Land Bill, repealing all existing alienation Acts. Extended powers were given to Land Commissioners to expedite settlement. Monthly Commissioners' Courts were provided for, but no decision of a Commissioner's Court, except in case of certificates of performance of conditions, was to be final until confirmed by the Minister. The most noteworthy provision reduced the maximum area that one person might select. The area conditionally selectable by one person was made not less than 40 acres nor more than 5,120 acres. The Act declared all leased land reverting to the Crown on the Darling Downs to be homestead areas, and empowered the Government to establish such areas elsewhere. Within these areas conditional purchase selections were restricted to 1,280 acres and homesteads to 80 acres. Personal and continuous residence by the selector was made compulsory, and, before the fee-simple could be acquired, permanent improvements to the value of 10s. per acre were required to be made. A homestead was protected against claims for debt. A Settled Districts Pastoral Leases Bill also became law this year, providing that on the expiration of the ten years' leases then held runs should be offered at auction on a five years' lease at a rental of not less than £2 per square mile, an outgoing lessee being allowed six months' grace in which to remove his stock. In 1882 the Act of 1876 was amended so as to 60 abolish the sale of runs by auction unless when there was no application for re-lease by the existing lessee, and lessees under the Act of 1876 were given the right to an extension of their leases for a period of ten years instead of five years. The rent, however, was to be subject to appraisement.

The next great land measure was the Griffith-Dutton Act of 1884. Its main features were the abolition of the pre-emptive rights of pastoral lessees; the creation of a Land Board consisting of two members—an independent tribunal acting like Judges of the Supreme Court, and, like the Judges, holding office during good behaviour; and the introduction of the leasehold tenure in connection with grazing and agricultural farms. The object of the Government was to bring about close settlement. As it was recognised that it was not feasible at that time to devote the lands of Western Queensland to agriculture, provision was made for the gradual substitution of a smaller class of graziers for the pastoral lessees with their many hundreds of square miles of territory. Accordingly inducements, by way of fixity of tenure and compensation for improvements, were offered to pastoral tenants to surrender their existing leases and bring their holdings under the Act. The Crown was thereupon entitled to resume one-half, one-third, or one-fourth of such holdings, the proportion varying inversely with the length of time the leases had to run. These resumed areas were then divided into smaller holdings called "grazing farms," the maximum area being 20,000 acres, which were to be opened to selection on a thirty years' lease, with periodical reappraisements of rent by the Land Board. It was believed that the lessees of these smaller holdings would so improve the country that its carrying capacity would be greatly increased, and the Crown would derive a larger revenue from its pastoral lands, whilst at the expiration of the leases agricultural settlement might be possible. The success of the grazing farm system has amply justified the expectations of the framers of the Act. The leasehold principle was also applied to agricultural farms, the maximum area of which was fixed at 1,280 acres, with a fifty years' tenure, but the selector was given the right to acquire a freehold after ten years' (later reduced to five years) personal occupation. Although dropping the name of "homestead," the Act maintained the homestead principle by providing for the freeholding of agricultural farms not exceeding 160 acres in area at 2s. 6d. per acre after five years' personal residence by the selector. The Act, which practically superseded the Pastoral Leases Act of 1869, continued the right of pastoral lessees to depasture their stock on the resumed areas until they were 61 required for closer settlement. It also repealed existing alienation Acts, and provided for all the contingencies which might be expected to arise. Among the repealed Acts were two which had given rise to much party contention in previous Parliaments—the Western Railway Act and the Railway Reserves Act, to which allusion is made in the parts of this work dealing with "Public Finance" and "Fifty Years of Legislation."



Amending Acts were passed in 1885, 1886, 1889, 1891, 1892, 1894, and 1895, but these do not call for mention except to say that the Act of 1891 introduced a new mode of selection called "unconditional," providing for selections up to 1,280 acres at prices one-third greater than those for agricultural farms, and payable in twenty annual instalments.

In 1890 an Act was passed providing for a five years' extension of leases held under the 1869 Act and not affected by the Act of 1884. In 1892 an Act (extended in 1894, 1895, 1897, and 1898) was passed giving a seven years' extension of term to pastoral lessees, and an extension of five years (afterwards increased to seven years) to the lessees of grazing farms selected before the introduction of the bill and situated in the southern part of the State, who should enclose their holdings with rabbit-proof fences.

In 1893 the Co-operative Communities Land Settlement Act was passed at a time of stress, with a view to enabling men of good character but without capital to settle on the land with the aid of Government advances. In all, twelve "self-governing communities" were formed with a total adult male membership of 485. In no case did the venture prove successful, and by an amending Act passed in 1895 the several communities were dissolved, the members thereof were absolved from all liability to the Government for advances made, and the land and assets were suitably apportioned among the remaining members of the dissolved groups, to the number of 88. They were assigned an area aggregating 13,491 acres to be held on a five years' tenure at a rental of ¾d. per acre per annum, subject to a condition of personal residence and to the purchase of the land during the fifth year at 2s. 6d. an acre. Only three-fourths of these 88 settlers brought their selections to freehold, and the last transaction was not closed till ten years had elapsed, instead of five, from the dissolution of the groups. Consequent on another period of depression, Parliament in 1905 authorised another experiment by way of Government assistance to would-be settlers without means, but the communal element is not so prominent in the new measure, and the "self-government" principle is excluded. Only one settlement has been formed under the Act of 1905, and it is under Government control. While holding out some promises of 62 success, these are not so tangible as to lead to further ventures of the sort. Indeed, the need for them has disappeared with the return of prosperity.

The last comprehensive Act, extending over 101 pages of the Statute-book, was passed in 1897, and it still remains the principal Land Act, upon which all subsequent amending measures have been grafted.

It is fitting to set out briefly what are the modes by which it is sought to secure settlement on the public lands of the State after half a century of legislation.a There is, first, the agricultural farm, in areas up to 1,280 acres on a tenure of twenty years and paying an annual rental of one-fortieth part of the purchasing price, such rentals being actually instalments of the price, and leaving only one-half of the price to be paid at the end of the term. The price cannot be lower than 10s. per acre, and there are conditions of occupation and improvement to be performed. There is the agricultural homestead in areas ranging up to 640 acres, the area varying inversely with the quality of the land. This form of settlement is subject to conditions of personal residence and improvement. The homesteads are capable of being converted into freeholds after five years and up to ten years for a total price of 2s. 6d. per acre, payable at the rate of 3d. per acre per annum. There is the unconditional selection in areas up to 1,280 acres, with no conditions to perform but the payment of rent during twenty years at the rate of 5 per cent. of the purchasing price each year, the purchasing price being one-third higher than that at which the land was available for agricultural farm selection. There are the grazing selections in the remoter districts in areas up to 60,000 acres. These selections are not capable of being made freehold, but are held on leasehold tenures of 14, 21, or 28 years, at rentals ranging from ½d. to 6d. per acre per annum, and subject to conditions of occupation and fencing. There are the scrub selections not exceeding 10,000 acres each, intended to secure the destruction of useless scrub in the remoter districts and the conversion of the land into good pasture. The tenure is purely leasehold, with a term of thirty years and at a peppercorn rental for a period having relation to the extent of scrub to be destroyed. Leasehold tenures are preferred for the remoter lands, and they have the advantage of leaving the settler's capital free for the development of his land. In case any should prefer a leasehold tenure in the more closely settled districts, the law now provides for the substitution of "perpetual leases" for the agricultural farm tenure.

The rapid spread of the prickly pear in some parts of the State has been a peremptory call for the occupation of the threatened country on any 63 terms. Provision has accordingly been made for prickly pear selections under conditions of eradicating the pest, the value of the land being assessed at rates ranging from a sum paid by the Government to the settler in addition to a free gift of the land, to a sum perhaps as high as £1 per acre to be paid by the settler to the Crown, such payments being in annual instalments of one-fifth or one-tenth, and commencing ten or five years respectively after the commencement of the lease, the period of exemption from payment having to be devoted to the task of eradication.

Until 1901 the competitive principle was general in the selection of Crown lands, but in that year provision was made by a special Act to allot land non-competitively to bodies of settlers coming from abroad, who naturally desired to be assured of obtaining land in proximity to each other before pulling up their stakes and migrating to a new sphere of activity. Successive amendments have been made in this law, and, while in its inception it had application only to agricultural homestead selection, it has since been extended to all forms of selection tenure.

The great drought, which ended in 1902, has stamped its mark indelibly upon the land legislation of the State. The earliest cry for relief came from the far West, where the remaining tenancies under the Pastoral Leases Act of 1869 chiefly lay. Large tracts of country had become forfeited, and the Crown tenants, unable to hold on to the remnants of their runs at the rents chargeable under their leases, applied for relief. To meet their case, the Pastoral Leases Act of 1900 was passed, which required the reoccupation of the abandoned country at nominal rents, and reduced the rents of the retained country to an extent that secured the reoccupation of 13,000 square miles. In the following year the Pastoral Holdings New Leases Act promised the relief of extended leases to the holders of pastoral country in the rest of the State, where the Act of 1884 operated; but the drought still continuing, a further appeal was made to Parliament, and in the Pastoral Leases Act of 1902 opportunity was given to lessees to secure extensions of leases up to forty-two years according to situation, subject to reappraisement of rent and to certain rights of resumption reserved to the Crown. The chief desideratum of the lessees was extended tenures to enable them to finance on more favourable terms and recover from their immense drought losses. In consideration of this concession and the surrender of resumption rights which it involved, the State had to look for increased rentals. The reassessments of the rentals under the new leases, however, have not compensated the State for the large concessions made to its tenants.


The Closer Settlement Act of 1906 superseded the Agricultural Lands Purchase Acts, 1894 to 1901. These statutes provide for the acquisition by the Government of private estates for the purpose of subdivision and sale in areas adapted for closer settlement, payments being extended over twenty-five years. The principle is not quite impervious to criticism, for unless great prudence is exercised the acquisition of these large estates has a tendency to raise the value of agricultural land; but a few figures showing the settlement which has taken place furnish convincing proof that the primary object of the Legislature has been achieved, and that rich arable lands, which previously produced nothing but natural grasses for the sustenance of sheep and cattle, have become the homes of many hundreds of thriving yeomen farmers and the support of numerous rising townships. Since the passage of the first of these Acts in 1894, a total area of 537,449 acres has been repurchased at a cost of £1,490,489. Of this area 456,742 acres had been surrendered by the former owners at the close of 1908. By the same date 364,334 acres had been selected at an aggregate price of £1,050,864, and 10,677 acres, with the improvements thereon, had realised £70,727 at auction, the purchasing price of the whole area disposed of amounting to £1,144,081. The area remaining in the hands of the Government, after deducting roads and reserves, was 78,781 acres, valued at £264,200, almost entirely consisting of land only recently acquired and not yet offered for settlement. On 31st December last, no less than 1,654 agricultural selectors, the majority with families, and holding among them 1,909 selections, were settled upon what but a few years ago were twenty-six sheep and cattle stations, with a mere handful of employees.

It has been mentioned that the Alienation of Crown Lands Act of 1860 provided for granting to any immigrant who had paid his passage-money, or to any other person by whom it had been paid, an £18 land order on arrival, and a further land order for £12 after he had resided two years in the colony. These land orders were made receivable as cash at any Crown land sale, and they led to a large traffic, as the fact that land orders could be bought from immigrants at a discount stimulated the demand for land, especially for town lots. At first these instruments could be bought at very low prices, but after a time the £18 land order had become of the recognised market value of £15 to £16 cash, and could be readily purchased at those prices from agents in Queen-street, Brisbane. But the effect upon land sales revenue alarmed the Government, and after a time they refused to receive land orders as payment in lieu of cash at sales of other than country land. In 1864 an Immigration Act was passed providing for the appointment of an Agent-General for Emigration 65 in London, and for the repeal of the land-order sections of the 1860 Land Act. A new provision was made by which the Agent-General was empowered to issue to an approved passenger in London who had paid his passage-money a land-order warrant for £30. On arrival in the colony the passenger was granted in exchange for the warrant a non-transferable land order receivable as cash at face value at sales of suburban and country lands only. These restrictions lowered the market price of the instrument, although by means of a power of attorney the non-transferable provision was for a time evaded. Eventually, however, the restrictions were made so severe that for market purposes the land order was worth little, and immigrants who had come out and failed to settle on the land found themselves in possession of a document of no practicable value. The extent to which the land-order traffic prevailed will be understood when it is mentioned that, in 1865, of £218,431, the total revenue from land sales, only £59,461 was cash, the remainder being represented by land orders. By 1875 the system had become discredited, and was abolished by legislation, but outstanding land orders were still used. In 1883-4 the amount so received had fallen to £16, while the cash receipts for sales were £378,637. The total value of land orders received as cash between 1861 and 1883-4 was £853,583. Some public men have contended that, if the initial practice of receiving the land order at face value in payment for any Crown land sold at auction had been continued, the Treasury would have been recouped by the larger demand and higher prices realised, but obviously a system which stimulated speculation in land was not good for the country, besides which it encouraged dummying. In 1886 the Griffith Government determined to give the system a further trial, and in the Crown Lands Act Amendment Act of that year power was given to the Agent-General to issue land-order warrants to persons paying their own passages to Queensland. Each member of a family of twelve years of age and upwards was entitled to a £20 land order, and each child between the ages of one and twelve entitled the parent to a land order for £10. The land orders were not transferable, except in case of death, and were available for ten years for the payment of rent of Crown lands acquired by the immigrant. The Act authorising the issue of these land orders was repealed in 1894. The value of land orders issued under the Act amounted to £62,140, and of this sum only £8,956 was utilised. The great majority of the immigrants who received the orders had no desire to go on the land, and as the orders were not transferable they lapsed at the expiration of their currency to the extent of 85 per cent. of the whole.

Footnote a: For fuller details regarding various forms of land selection, see Appendix E, post.






Land Sales Receipts; not Consolidated Revenue.—Arguments used in favour of Treating Proceeds as Ordinary Revenue.—Auction Sales have now Practically Ceased.—Certain Proceeds Payable into Loan Fund.—Special Sales of Land Act; Appropriation of Receipts.

The revenue from sales of land for the first quarter-century was £4,672,659, besides £853,583 representing grants made in consideration of land orders issued to immigrants but not included in the revenue and expenditure returns. Nor does it include the sum of £382,346 received in cash for land sold within railway reserves and afterwards transferred to revenue. The latter amount must, however, be added to the cash receipts for land sold, which therefore totalled £5,055,005.

The practice of treating proceeds of land sales as ordinary revenue has already been incidentally alluded to, but it may be well to refer more fully to the subject. It is held that the taxpayer ought annually to provide for current expenditure, and that if land is alienated from the Crown at all the net proceeds, after defraying the cost of administration, should be applied to the construction of public works that would otherwise be of a character to justify charging their cost to the Loan Fund.

This principle in the abstract is unexceptionable; but in a new country much work is expected to be done by the Government for posterity in the nature of "invisible improvements"; in fact, it is so done, and cannot well be provided for by loan. Roads have to be cleared and formed, and buildings erected for the benefit of posterity as well as of those who so invest their money.

Moreover, the advent of population enhances the value of both public and private estates, while the maintenance of great public works like railways involves in most cases a heavy revenue loss for years after the lines are open for traffic. Only in very recent times have our railway earnings approximated, after payment of working charges and maintenance, to the amount of the interest charge upon the capital invested in them; but they have immensely benefited the country by providing facilities for internal transport, and by enhancing the value of the land, Crown and other, which they intersect and make accessible. Years ago, when the railway debt of Queensland stood at about 17 millions, an 67 official estimate showed that, in making good the annual deficiency of interest and working expenses on the various open lines, at least as much had been spent by the Treasury as the entire first cost of their construction. So that contemporary colonists have still a charge against posterity for public works to be handed down, even though the first cost remains a liability in the form of interest upon inscribed stock held by the public creditor.

Further, it has to be said that, since the railways have begun nearly to defray interest upon capital, the auction sale of Crown land, except in small areas, has practically ceased. The receipts from auction sales in 1907-8 totalled only £33,391, and much of that sum would be absorbed were it charged with its share of the cost of administration. By the Land Sales Proceeds Act of 1906, all moneys received in payment for land sold under the authority of Part VI. of the Land Act of 1897—by auction sales of town, suburban, and country lands, or of such lands sold by selection after having been so offered—must be paid into the Loan Fund Account, and be applied to defraying the cost of such works as Parliament may from time to time determine shall be executed out of moneys standing to the credit of that fund. True, receipts for lands sold under the Special Sales of Land Act of 1901, being applied to the special purpose of retiring Treasury bills issued to make good revenue deficits, are excluded from the general law in this respect. But it is satisfactory that, even though the recognition of the principle that land is capital and not revenue has been tardy, it has now in Queensland the full force of statute law.

As to the past, it has been argued with much reason that small areas alienated were for farming purposes, and soon became far more valuable than when held for grazing purposes by tenants of the Crown. As to the future, what Parliament seems determined to guard against by every possible means is the alienation of large areas of the public domain to persons who will use the land for speculative purposes, or who by locking it up will seek to check the wave of closer settlement which it is obviously in the best interests of the State to foster and stimulate.

As the Special Sales of Land Act of 1901 still remains upon the Statute-book a few words in explanation of its provisions and objects may be useful. The first Act of this kind was passed in 1891—(1) to provide for maturing Treasury bills for £500,000 authorised but not issued in 1887; (2) to make provision for meeting Treasury bills for £500,000 floated to cover a revenue deficit in 1890; (3) to make good an anticipated deficit of £300,000 for the financial year 1891-2; and (4) to retire £120,945 68 worth of Brisbane Bridge debentures—a total of £1,420,945. Despite any statute to the contrary, country lands, not within twenty miles of a railway or the permanent survey of one, or of any navigable stream, were authorised to be sold by auction in areas of 320 acres to 5,120 acres, at the upset price of 10s. an acre. Payments might be extended over three years, but the unpaid instalments must bear 5 per cent. interest. Any land so offered and unsold would remain open for six months for purchase at the same price and on the same terms.

The proceeds of these sales were to be applied (1) to payment of the sums appropriated by Parliament for the service of the financial years 1891-2 and 1892-3 respectively, and (2) to the payment of interest upon and retirement of the Treasury bills before mentioned. In 1901 the Philp Government were in financial trouble through federal charges and the unexampled drought, and they passed a Treasury Bills Act and a Special Sales of Land Act, the former for the sum of £530,000; and the proceeds of the latter to be applied (1) to making good any revenue deficiency during the years 1901-2 and 1902-3, and (2) to the payment of interest upon and retirement of the bills issued under the Treasury Bills Act. In 1902 another Treasury Bills Act covering £600,000 was passed by the same Government. The Auditor-General in his report for 1907-8 showed that there were still outstanding £1,130,000 in Treasury bills issued under the 1901 and 1902 Acts, and maturing in 1912 and 1913 respectively. In the same report the Auditor-General refers to the sum of £8,148 received from special sales of land during the year, and appropriated to the payment of interest on Treasury bills. For some years past these special sales of land have been stopped, but instalments of payments were received annually until last year (1907-8), when they amounted to £3,279; but none are now outstanding, and the Act is practically a dead letter.








First Municipality Established.—Brisbane Bridge Lands.—Grant for Town Hall.—Consolidating Municipalities Act.—Provincial Councils Act.—Government Buildings not Rateable.—Brisbane Bridge Debentures and Waterway Acts.—Municipal Endowment.—Local Government Act of 1878.—Divisional Boards Act of 1879; Success of the Act.—Local Works Loans Act.—Two Pounds for One Pound Endowment Repealed.—Rating Powers Extended by Local Authorities Act of 1902.—Cessation of Endowment.—Valuation and Rating Act.—Decline in Land Values.—Unequal Incidence of Rates Levied.—Efficiency of Local Authorities.0

When Sir George Bowen proclaimed the establishment of Queensland there was only one municipality within the boundaries of the new colony. Brisbane had been incorporated just three months earlier, probably with the view of having the Mayor of a local authority to take his part in the inaugural celebrations. At that time the New South Wales Municipal Institutions Act of 1858 was in force, but it was quite inadequate to the needs of the country. Sir George Bowen, coming from residence among the crowded populations of Great Britain and several European countries, and recognising what powerful safeguards to public liberty municipal corporations had proved, publicly urged the establishment of local government in Queensland on every favourable opportunity.

In 1861 two Municipalities Acts were passed, one empowering the Brisbane City Council to build a bridge across the river, and providing for endowment in the form of grants of Crown land not exceeding two-thirds of the unsold town and suburban allotments of Brisbane; also empowering the council to borrow for the purpose of erecting the structure. The other Act gave extended powers to municipal councils generally. It defined the rateable value of unoccupied lands to be 8 per cent. of their actual capital value, but the minimum rate of any allotment was not to be less than 10s. per annum. It also provided that unoccupied land might be leased for fourteen years by a council when rates had been permitted to fall into arrear for a term of four years. It further empowered a council to borrow on mortgage a sum not exceeding the estimated revenue for the ensuing three years. As additional endowment, it was provided 70 that the Governor in Council might pay to a municipal council every year one-third of the proceeds of land sold within its jurisdiction; and where one-half of the land in a municipality had been sold the council were to be entitled to one-half of the proceeds of future sales.

In 1863 an Act was passed giving the Brisbane Council power to erect a town hall on allotment 4 and part of allotment 3 of section 12, with a frontage to Queen street and Burnett lane respectively of 99 ft., and a depth of 138 ft., to be granted by the Government on the passing of the Act. The council were empowered to borrow £20,000 for the purposes of the hall. The Brisbane Waterworks Act empowered the Government to grant a site for the proposed works on the heads of Enoggera Creek, but the Government were to borrow the sum necessary for construction, and to hand over the money to the council as it might be required.

In 1864 an amending and consolidating Municipal Institutions Act was passed giving larger and more specific powers to municipal bodies. In the same year a Provincial Councils Act was passed, empowering the Government to appoint such councils in the country districts, and place at their disposal money from time to time voted by Parliament for roads and bridges within their jurisdiction. But the members, not being elective, had no power to levy rates, so that the councils would at best have been no more than bodies delegated with power by the Works Department to carry out works with which the Government could not conveniently grapple. The only provincial council established under the Act, however, was one for the Peak Downs district, of which all the members were Crown lessees. That council had its place of meeting at Clermont, and on first assembling it resolved not to admit the Press to its meetings. This exclusive policy, combined with the class character of its members, made the council at once unpopular, and after spending £2,000 which had been placed to its credit by the Government it ingloriously collapsed.

In 1865 an Act was passed dividing the Brisbane Municipality into six wards, each returning two members. In 1868 an amendment of the 1864 and 1865 Acts was passed enabling councils to forbid the erection of inflammable buildings. In the following year an Act was passed which forbade the levy of rates upon Government buildings. An Act of the same year enabled the Governor in Council to rescind any proclamation of town or suburban lands.

In 1870 the Brisbane Bridge Debentures Act and the Brisbane Waterway Act were passed. By the former the council were empowered to 71 issue debentures, bearing 5 per cent. interest and covering £121,250, for the payment of its bridge liabilities. The preamble recited that a contract had been entered into with Mr. John Bourne for the construction of the bridge; that owing to alterations in the plan assented to by the Government the cost had been largely increased, and the work had in fact been suspended; that the bank overdraft, secured upon all the bridge lands and the rates, exceeded £100,000; and that Thomas Brassey, having supplied the ironwork of the bridge, had undertaken to complete the structure on certain conditions involved in the issue of the debenture loan above mentioned. The Waterway Act provided for the repayment to the council of the cost of certain waterways by the sale of lands specified in the schedule.

In 1875 another Act was passed providing for the payment to the Brisbane Council of the cost of certain drainage works by the sale of city lands specified in its schedule. In the same year the Rockhampton Waterworks Act, being the first for a provincial body, was passed. In 1876 an Act was passed for endowing municipalities to the extent of £2 for £1 on the rates collected for the first five years after incorporation and £1 for £1 in subsequent years.

In 1878 was passed the ponderous Local Government Act, adapted from the recent Victorian legislation, but denounced by the Opposition in the Assembly at the time as far too cumbrous save for town municipalities. It formed, however, one of the bases of the Local Authorities Act of 1902. In 1879 a new departure was made by the first McIlwraith Government by passing a rudimentary measure—the Divisional Boards Act—in which the Government took power to apply the Act simultaneously to all parts of the colony. It gave power to levy rates, and therefore excited popular anti-tax demonstrations. But much that was said against the bill proved on investigation to be inaccurate, and the endowment it provided of £2 for £1 collected in rates for the term of five years ultimately went far to neutralise the hostility expressed towards the measure. Also the bill provided that to give the boards a start an additional £100,000 should be divisible among them as soon as their respective valuations had been made and a certified copy of each had been forwarded to the Treasury. After a stern and protracted struggle in the Assembly the bill was passed, and immediately the Colonial Secretary of the time (Mr. A. H. Palmer) cut into "divisions" the entire area of the colony outside the boundaries of existing municipalities, and proclaimed seventy-four local governing areas under that name, each in three subdivisions with nine members for each 72 body. Then every division was invited to elect its first members, and rather more than one-half of them did so. Within four months from the passing of the Act—on 13th February, 1880a—the whole of the members were gazetted, the Government having taken advantage of the power given to the Governor in Council to appoint the first members where no action had been initiated to elect them within ninety days after the passing of the Act. Thus the names of between 600 and 700 members were proclaimed on one day, and the new boards forthwith proceeded to put the Act into execution. In a comparatively short time valuations were made, and on receipt of a copy the Treasurer placed to the credit of the board, in the branch of the Queensland National Bank nearest to the division, an amount equal to 1s. in the pound of the valuation. This done, works were forthwith commenced in all parts of the country, and a few years later visitors from the South were wont to compliment the people of Queensland on the vast improvement made in their bush roads.

In the following year (1880) the Local Works Loans Act was passed, and attracted attention in different parts of the Empire as the first measure that provided for advancing local loans by a Government on the scientific basis of a term measured by the life of each work, and in accordance with an actuarial scale set out in a table in the schedule. The longest term was forty years, that being given for the most durable works, the rate charged being 5 per cent. interest, with 16s. 8d. per annum redemption money. Thus a council could borrow for waterworks on a forty years' loan, and redeem the principal as well as defray the interest charge, by payment of regular half-yearly instalments of £2 18s. 4d. per cent. during the term. This Act soon became very popular, and with slight amendments—one being the reduction of the interest charge to 4 per cent., and the half-yearly instalment in the case of a forty years' loan to £2 10s. 0½d. per cent.—it still remains on the Statute-book as part of the Local Authorities Act of 1902. Several millions sterling have since been lent by the Government under this Act, and scarcely a local authority has defaulted except for a short period. The principle has also been extended to sugar works and other loans not contemplated originally; yet with firm administration, such as the Government for several years past have insisted upon, the future losses, if any, will be slight, and the benefit of the Act continue to be great.




In 1887 Sir S. W. Griffith passed an amending and consolidating Divisional Boards Act in which many defects of the original measure were corrected. About the same time he passed an Act to relieve the Treasury from the excessive burden of the £2 for £1 endowment, which had been extended in 1884 for a second five-year period. Under the amended law only such sum as Parliament might vote in each year was to be rateably divided among all local authorities. After that time the endowment diminished until in 1893 it reached a very small sum. Afterwards the amount remained at about 6s. in the pound until 1902, when, in passing the new amending and consolidating Local Authorities Act of that year, the Philp Government made no provision for continuance of the endowment. In 1903, therefore, owing to the embarrassment of the Treasury in consequence of heavy deficits for several years in succession, the endowment altogether ceased, and since that time the Government have steadfastly refused to listen to proposals for renewing the payment, on the ground that each governing authority should raise its own revenue by taxation or otherwise, and not depend upon endowments collected by any other governing authority. The stoppage of the endowment was in some degree compensated for by the extension of the rating powers of the local authorities, but the exercise of these has no doubt accentuated the drop which occurred in assessment values after the crisis of 1893. Some councils, through failure to make use of their powers of rating, have had an insufficient income, so that in parts of the country the roads are now in a less traffickable condition than they were a quarter of a century ago. In other cases, however, the local bodies have so used the powers conferred upon them that they make no complaint of insufficient income.

From the day of the presentation to Parliament of the Divisional Boards Bill there had always been an outcry, among the farming ratepayers chiefly, against the taxation of improvements. In 1890, therefore, after ten years' experience, the Government of the coalition, whose leaders had long been severed by difference of opinion on the subject of land taxation, perceived in a universal levy on the unimproved value, so called, a method of mutual reconciliation which would meet the demands of many true exponents of local government principles, and they agreed to introduce the new system. The "unimproved value" is by no means an accurate definition of what either the taxpayers or the Legislature at the time desired. But no one has yet discovered a more satisfactory definition, and therefore it stands.


Up to 1890 the assessment had been on the net rent a property might be reasonably expected to yield after deducting the cost of rates and insurance and the amount necessary to maintain the property in a condition to command such rent. This was, in short, the old basis of assessment in the mother country; but to meet the objection to the assessment of improvements the Government, in introducing the first Divisional Boards Bill, had modified the valuation clause by the proviso that the improvements on land should be assessed at one-half their value. This was a modification of the New Zealand assessment method, and it gave fair satisfaction for a time.

Country ratepayers for the most part approved the change to the unimproved value assessment; but speculators in unoccupied city, town, and suburban lands regarded it as a gross injustice. They not unnaturally complained that an allotment bare, or with a mere hut upon it, would pay as much in rates under the new system as the adjoining allotment which might be the site of spacious business premises or of a palatial dwelling. To this the reply was that the speculative holding of city and suburban lands inflicted gross injustice upon the man who wanted at existing value an allotment for his own use.

The Valuation and Rating Act of 1890 passed, however; and the law as it stands has the undoubted merit of simplicity in valuations. On the other hand, the rate levied under the unimproved value assessment upon vacant lands is sometimes oppressive, and appreciably reduces their capital value. Another unforeseen effect has also been realised. The value of a highly improved allotment tends to become depressed to the value of the unproductive and unoccupied allotment contiguous or adjacent to it. Hence an intending buyer is apt to ascertain the local authority valuation of any land he needs, and to regulate his price accordingly. In a buoyant land market this might not much affect the selling value, but for twenty years past the land market for city or suburban properties has been the reverse of buoyant. So the unimproved value mode of assessment has apparently assisted to make a substantial reduction in the market value of city and suburban properties. But that is perhaps a less evil than may at first sight appear. The speculative inflation of land values is simply a tax upon the user for all time; and the moment the income-earning value is exceeded the excess must be regarded as an unjust charge upon posterity.

Of course land values will eventually find their true level, whatever law of rating may be in force. It may be conceded that the unimproved 75 assessment has caused distress among landowners who had no means of improving their properties, and could only find a market for them at a heavy sacrifice. Still there is no disposition on the part of the majority of ratepayers to revert to the old annual value system, and there is not likely to be any alteration in the law in this respect unless for the removal of some obvious administrative anomaly. For, as the coalition leaders agreed nineteen years ago, the local rate has become a land tax pure and simple, and if it be held that more money is wanted for development the simpler course is to allow the local authorities to give another twist to the rating screw. This, as a matter of fact, most of them have of late years done, and in many local jurisdictions the rate is now 3d. in the pound, when twenty years ago only 1d. or 1½d. was levied. In 1884 the total local rates levied were £120,479; in 1908 the total was £452,052 for, it must be remembered, an identical aggregate area. A local authorities' rate has the distinct advantage in a young State like Queensland that, whereas a Treasury land tax would reach only the freeholders of less than 20,000,000 acres, the local government rate is levied upon 460,000 square miles.

The subjoined table is compiled from Statistics of Queensland for 1884 and 1908 respectively:—

Amount Levied by Local Authorities.

Year 1884.Year 1908.Increases, 1908.
Cities and Towns£
General Rates46,208
Grand Total£120,479
Cities and Towns£
General Rates150,744
Grand Total£452,052
Cities and Towns£
General Rates104,536
Separate or 
Grand Total£331,573

Thus, since the unimproved value system came into force, the levies of the local authority rates have multiplied about three and a-half times. In 1884, when the first quarter-century closed, the divisional boards drew £2 for £1 as Treasury endowment, which, assuming the rates were 76 all collected, made their incomes from the combined sources £185,529 for the year. In 1908, without a penny of endowment, their successors'—the shire councils—rate levy totalled £214,153, or £28,624 in excess of both rates and endowment in 1884. In 1884 the city and town councils levied rates amounting to £58,636, which with endowment added should have given them £117,272. In 1908 the cities and towns levied an aggregate of £237,899, an increase upon 1884 of £120,627, despite the loss of the £1 for £1 endowment.

These figures are interesting in view of the agitation for a Treasury land tax. They show that in 1908, with a total of 53,948 city and town ratepayers, their rate contribution was on the average £4 8s. 2d. per ratepayer. At the same time 97,553 shire ratepayers contributed the average of only £2 3s. 11d. each. The wide discrepancy between the payments of town and country ratepayers seems anomalous, but when it is recollected that the urban councils, of which there are only thirty-five, undertake many public services, and that the entire area of incorporated cities and towns is only about 354 square miles, it will be realised that the circumstances widely differ from those of the shires, whose various jurisdictions embrace almost the entire area of the State, the official estimate being 669,901 square miles. This area includes 210,359 square miles of unoccupied country, much of which is traversed by roads, but which presumably yields no rate revenue. Hence no useful comparison can be made between the rate levies of town and country local authorities respectively. At the same time a local "land" tax—which ranges from the general-rate of ½d. in the pound in the case of shires, to 3d. in the pound, besides special and separate rates, in cities and towns, and which makes the average total contribution of town ratepayers more than twice the amount levied upon country ratepayers—may at no distant time call for rectification, especially if a so-called bursting-up tax should be deemed necessary to meet the wants of close settlement.

Meanwhile there is room for congratulation in the fact that every square mile of the vast area of the State—coastal islands alone excepted—is incorporated, and that 160 local authorities with 1,310 members carry on the entire local government work of the country. These men, unlike members of Parliament, are unremunerated by the State, even free railway passes not being conceded to enable them to attend the periodical meetings. The alderman or shire councillor gives purely honorary service, and relieves the State Government of a vast amount of worry and expense.




One good effect of local self-government is the exclusion from Parliament of the pestilent road-and-bridge member who in former years made himself so troublesome to Ministers and so often twisted the decision of the Assembly on important questions.

It would be a bad thing indeed for Queensland if the local authorities, or any substantial percentage of them, became inefficient. There may be room for anxiety at evidences of decadence which at times come to the surface; but that local government in Queensland is a vigorous and living entity is fairly evident from the fact that with very few exceptions the 160 city, town, and shire councils are members of the Local Authorities' Association which annually makes itself heard in conference in Brisbane. Manifestly the spirit of decentralisation is not dead in Queensland. The manner in which the various bodies have survived the stoppage of the Treasury endowment, simultaneously with the thrusting upon them of many new responsibilities by the Act of 1902, must be regarded as a clear indication that local government in Queensland retains undiminished vitality.

Footnote a: See "Queensland Government Gazette" of date mentioned.




Primary Education: Board of National Education; Education Act of 1860; Board of General Education; Education Act of 1875; Department of Public Instruction; Higher Education in Primary Schools; Itinerant Teachers; Status of Teachers; Statistics.—Private Schools.—Secondary Education: Grammar Schools Act; Endowments, Scholarships, and Bursaries; Success of Grammar Schools; Exhibitions to Universities; Expenditure.—Technical Education: Beginning of System; Board of Technical Instruction; Transfer of Control to Department of Public Instruction; Statistics; Technical Instruction Act; Continuation Classes; Schools of Arts and Reading Rooms.—University: Royal Commissions; University Bill; Standardised System of Education.

From 10th December, 1859, the date of the founding of Queensland, to 30th September, 1860, primary education was under the control of a Board of National Education appointed by the Governor in Council. That board consisted of Sir Charles Nicholson (chairman), Messrs. R. R. Mackenzie, William Thornton, George Raff, and D. R. Somerset; the secretary was William Henry Day. There were then only two national schools in the whole of Queensland—namely, one in Drayton and one in Warwick. The system of primary education obtaining in New South Wales was continued, but the subject of education was one of the earliest matters which received the consideration of the first Parliament of Queensland, and in 1860 an Act to provide for primary education was passed. The Bill was initiated in the Legislative Council by Captain O'Connell, and Mr. R. G. W. Herbert had charge of the measure in the Legislative Assembly. The object of the Bill was to provide primary education under one general and comprehensive system, and to afford facilities to persons of all denominations for the education of their children in the same school without prejudice to their religious beliefs.


The Act provided for the appointment of a Board of General Education to consist of five members, together with a Minister of the Crown who would, ex officio, act as chairman. The members of the first Board were:—Mr. R. R. Mackenzie (chairman), Dr. W. Hobbs (vice-chairman), and Messrs. W. H. Day, J. F. McDougall, W. J. Munce, and George Raff.

The scheme of primary education which the board framed was based generally upon the national system in operation in Ireland. Schools were 79 divided into two classes—vested and non-vested. The vested schools were unsectarian in character. The aid granted by the board towards the establishment, equipment, and up-keep of schools varied from time to time, and ranged from one-half to two-thirds. The board appointed the teachers. The salaries of teachers were supplemented by school fees, ranging from 3d. to 1s. 6d. per week for each scholar according to his standard in the school work. When the board took office there were 10 teachers, 493 pupils, and 4 schools—Drayton, Warwick, Brisbane (boys), and Brisbane (girls). The total expenditure in 1860 was £1,615 2s. 3d. School fees were abolished by the Premier, Mr. Lilley, from the 1st of January, 1870, and since that date primary State education has been free, Queensland being the first of the Australian colonies to adopt the principle of free public education.

The Education Act of 1860 was superseded by the State Education Act of 1875, which came into operation on 1st January, 1876, and is still in force. When passed it was regarded as the most progressive Act in Australia. Its author was Mr. S. W. Griffith, the present Chief Justice of the Commonwealth, and he was the first Minister for Public Instruction. The first Under Secretary was Mr. C. J. Graham. On 31st December, 1875, there were 230 schools in operation, the aggregate enrolment for the year being 33,643, and the average attendance 16,887. The number of teachers employed was 595, and the total expenditure for the year was £83,219 14s. 9d.

The new Act provided that the whole system of public instruction in Queensland, formerly administered by the Board of General Education, should be transferred to a department of the public service, to be called the Department of Public Instruction.

The Act provided that one-fifth of the cost must be contributed locally in the first instance towards the purchase of a school site, the erection of the necessary buildings, and the providing of furniture; thereafter the State bore the whole expenditure. Thus the State defrayed the total cost of repairs and maintenance, renewals, additions, and the like. State aid to non-vested schools was withdrawn as from 31st December, 1880.

In 1895 a resolution was agreed to by the Legislative Assembly in favour of the establishment of superior State schools with a view to providing higher education for children in towns and populous centres where grammar schools did not exist. The ultimate result of this action was the passing of the State Education Act Amendment Act of 1897, which gave the Governor in Council power to prescribe that any subjects of 80 secular instruction might be subjects of instruction in primary schools. The department immediately took advantage of this amending Act, and provided for the teaching of mathematics, higher English, and science in the fifth and sixth classes.

So far as the resources at its disposal have permitted, the Department of Public Instruction has done what it could to bring primary education within the reach of all the children of the State, and it may be safely claimed that wherever twelve children can be gathered together there exists a school. But where the children cannot be gathered into groups the department goes to the homes of the pupils. Itinerant teachers, fully equipped with buggies, camping outfits, school requisites, and other necessaries, traverse the sparsely settled districts in the far West and North where the establishment of schools is not possible. The travelling teachers look for the homes of the pupils, be those homes rude wayside inns, log cabins, or even tents, and an effort is made to visit each home not less than four times a year. Under this system the little ones are at least taught to read, to write, and to count. The itinerant teacher system was initiated in 1901, when one teacher was appointed. There are now twelve of these teachers, and the expenditure in this direction has risen from £411 per annum to £5,129 per annum.

In 1906 the department began to appoint trained teachers to the charge of all schools where the attendance exceeded twelve. By this process properly qualified teachers will soon be in charge of 90 per cent. of the schools of the State. One of the most difficult problems which has to be faced in England, Scotland, America, and also in some of our sister States, is the adequate staffing of small country schools by efficient teachers. Queensland has solved that problem, and it is doubtful if any country has done better in that respect.

Primary school teachers are officers of the State, and are not subject to the caprices of boards or local committees; they enjoy the protection and privileges of the Public Service Act, and the interests of no branch of the public service are more zealously protected by Parliament. They stand high in public estimation in Queensland, and that estimation is steadily rising. The pay on the whole is good—particularly that of head teachers, and the conditions of service are by no means unattractive.

In 1908 the total expenditure on education (including school buildings) was £393,378 1s. 8d.; the total number of departmental schools open during that year was 1,141, the net enrolment of pupils being 94,193, and the average daily attendance 67,309.







The number of private schools in operation in Queensland during 1908 was 157, namely:—Church of England, 8; Roman Catholic, 61; Lutheran, 2; undenominational, 86. These schools are not subsidised by the State. The number of teachers employed in them during the year totalled 665. The total enrolment of scholars was 14,098—males, 5,934; females, 8,164. The total average number of scholars attending the schools was 11,928—males, 5,114; females, 6,814.


In 1860, that is within one year of the founding of Queensland as a separate State, an Act was passed to provide for the establishment of grammar schools, in which was to be given an education higher than that which could be given in the elementary schools. The following remarks made by Mr. R. G. W. Herbert, who introduced the bill in the Legislative Assembly, are very interesting. He said: "The question of education might be considered under three heads as primary, grammar school, and collegiate. The bill introduced into the other branch of the Legislature was intended to provide for primary education, principally under the national system, and would make adequate provision for imparting fundamental instruction at a cheap rate to all classes of youth without distinction of creed or religious profession. The bill he now introduced was intended to provide for a higher order of instruction of a useful and thoroughly practical character by establishing grammar schools easily accessible to the colonial youth of all denominations throughout the colony.... It was desirable that the instruction to be afforded in the grammar schools should be afforded at a cheap rate, so that as many as possible might avail themselves of it, and that it should be such as would best qualify the youth of the colony for discharging the duties that would devolve upon them in after life."

Captain O'Connell, who had charge of the measure in the Legislative Council, said: "It was merely a sequel to the Primary Education Bill, and was designed to give those who might desire it a higher education than could be afforded by the primary schools. It was a matter of the greatest importance that a system of this kind should be established on a broad and permanent foundation, and therefore it was not difficult to perceive that the creation of primary schools such as were contemplated 82 under the other bill would be found extremely useful in carrying out the great objects now proposed to be accomplished."

Under the provisions of the Grammar Schools Act a school may be established in any locality where a sum of not less than £1,000 has been raised locally, and the Governor in Council may grant towards the erection of school buildings and a residence for the principal a subsidy equal to twice the amount raised locally. An amending Act was passed in 1864 providing that when certain conditions had been complied with an annual endowment of £1,000 might be granted to each grammar school. Each school is governed by a board of seven trustees; of these, four are appointed by the Government, and three are nominated by the subscribers to the building fund; they hold office for three years.

There are ten grammar schools in the State—seven in Southern, two in Central, and one in Northern Queensland. The Ipswich Boys' Grammar School was the first to be established; it was erected in 1863. The last established was the school for girls in Rockhampton, which was founded in 1892.

Each of the schools has qualified for the annual endowment of £1,000; of this amount the State pays £750 a year unconditionally, and £250 on the understanding that the school will receive a certain number of State scholars per annum, the scholarships held by these pupils being known as district scholarships. Queensland has always been liberal in the granting of scholarships, and at the present time no less than 102, including the district scholarships, are granted every year; of these, 70 are available for boys, and 32 for girls. Each scholarship has a currency of three years. The State also grants seven bursaries to boys and three to girls. A bursary entitles the holder to free education at an approved secondary school for three years, together with a cash allowance of £30 per annum. The trustees of the various grammar schools also grant scholarships in addition to those provided by the State. In 1908 the aggregate enrolment of pupils in attendance at the grammar schools was 1,101, with an average daily attendance of 970; and of these pupils fully one-third were the holders of scholarships. Free railway passes to the nearest grammar school are granted to the holders of scholarships.

To assist the children of poor parents to avail themselves of the scholarships which they may win, the Government grant a living allowance of £12 per annum to the winners of scholarships, provided that the income of the parents does not exceed £3 per week, or £30 per annum for each 83 bona fide member of the family. This rule came into operation on the 1st of January, 1909.

It is generally recognised that the Queensland grammar schools do good work; the success of their students in the junior and senior examinations of the Sydney University abundantly justifies this conclusion. Each school constructs its own programme, but, broadly speaking, the curriculum of the several schools is designed to lead up to the Sydney University. As each school practically shapes its own course, the success of the institution depends very largely upon the personality, efficiency, and vigour of the principal. In addition to the State-endowed grammar schools there are several other secondary schools. Some of these are denominational, and others are conducted by private persons. Schools of this class are not endowed by the State, but the winners of State scholarships or bursaries may attend these institutions if the Governor in Council is satisfied that they are of a sufficiently high standard.

Queensland has not so far placed the coping-stone on her educational system by establishing a University, but each year she grants three exhibitions to Universities outside the State. The exhibitions are open to competition, and the test examination is the senior examination of the Sydney University. Each exhibition has a currency of three years, and is worth £100 a year. The winners may attend any University approved by the Governor in Council.

It will thus be seen that Queensland has been fairly liberal in providing the means of higher education for her children. A comparison with her sister States of New South Wales and Victoria emphasises this fact. During the year 1906-7 New South Wales, with a population of 1,528,697, and a revenue of £13,392,435, granted £12,945 towards secondary education; Victoria, with a population of 1,231,940, and a revenue of £8,345,534, granted £5,874; Queensland, with a population of 535,113, and a revenue of £4,307,912, granted £12,909, this amount being exclusive of the £900 per annum granted on account of exhibitions to Universities. In 1908 the amount granted by the State towards secondary education in Queensland was £14,272 11s. 11d.


The system of technical education in Queensland is in its infancy, but no branch is likely to make more rapid and lusty growth or to have a more important bearing upon the industrial and commercial development of the State.


The Brisbane Technical College has been in existence as a distinct institution since 1882. It is only since July, 1905, that the Education Department has been closely associated with the administration of technical education. Previous to 1902 technical colleges, with the exception of the Brisbane College, were carried on in connection with schools of arts under the control of local committees, the State subsidising the colleges to the extent of £1 for each £1 paid in fees or subscribed for technical college purposes.

In 1902 a Board of Technical Education was created; the board held office until 1905, when this branch of education was placed under the control of the department, and a special officer was appointed to supervise the work. Endowment is now paid upon a differential scale, the distribution being based on the general and practical utility of the subjects taught, the subsidy ranging from 10s. to £3 for every £1 collected in fees. There were seventeen colleges in operation during 1908. The progress which has been made during the past five years is shown in the following table:—

Year.Number of
 Individual Students. 

The importance of a highly developed system of technical education has been fully realised in this State, and in 1908 a Technical Instruction Act was passed. It provides for the establishment of a central technical college in Brisbane which shall be maintained by, and be under the direct control of, the State. It is intended that this college shall be the recognised technical institute of Queensland, and it is hoped that it may ultimately be one of the most important institutions of the kind in Australia. The colleges outside the metropolis will be affiliated with the central college, but will remain under local control.

In addition to liberal assistance to technical education, provision has been made for evening continuation classes. These classes are to enable pupils who have left school before completing their primary education to continue their education; to assist persons to obtain instruction in special subjects relating to their employment; and to prepare students for the 85 technical colleges. The classes are liberally endowed by the State, and very comprehensive regulations have been framed for their administration, the system being probably the best of its kind in the Commonwealth.







Schools of arts and reading rooms are also fostered by the State. A grant of 10s. is made for each £1 of subscriptions or donations, but the grant to any one institution cannot exceed £150 per annum.

The State subsidises reading rooms at shearing sheds, sugar mills, and meat works to the extent of £1 for £1, with a view to assisting to provide reading matter, and such suitable recreation games as draughts, chess, &c., for the workers in those industries.

The amount contributed by the State towards schools of arts and reading rooms is £5,000 per annum, and in 1908 there were 181 of these institutions.


The question of establishing a University has been under consideration from time to time for the past thirty-five years, and more than one Royal Commission has been appointed to inquire into and report upon the subject. In 1874 a commission recommended the immediate foundation of a University. In 1891 another commission was appointed, and made a similar recommendation. For various reasons, however, but principally financial stringency, no action was taken until September, 1899, when the Government introduced a bill for the establishment of a University. Unfortunately the bill did not become law, and Queensland remained without a University for another decade.

The Government programme for the first session of 1909 included a University Bill, but owing to the untimely dissolution of the Assembly nothing was done in the matter. When Parliament met again on 2nd November, the bill was the first measure proceeded with. Both Houses being unanimously in favour of establishing a University on modern, democratic lines, it was speedily passed, and on 10th December, the jubilee of the foundation of Queensland, Government House was dedicated to the purposes of the University by His Excellency the Governor, Sir William MacGregor, in the presence of a large and representative gathering of citizens. With the State system of primary education established on a sound basis; technical education placed on a firm foundation and progressing steadily; secondary education linked to the other branches, and all leading towards the University, Queensland will have a system of education which will place her on a level with the most progressive of the nations.





Good Seasons and General Prosperity.—Land Settlement and Immigration.—The Sugar Crop.—Gold and Other Minerals.—Reduction in Cost of Mining and Treatment of Ores.—Vigorous Railway Extension.—Mileage Open for Traffic.—Efficiency of 3 ft. 6 in. Gauge.—Our Railway Investment.—The National Association Jubilee Show.—The General Election.—The Mandate of the Constituencies.—Government Majority.—Practical Extinction of Third Party.—Labour a Constitutional Opposition.—Federal Agreement with States.—Federal Union Vindicated.

During the half-century of Queensland's existence she has never experienced a more prosperous year than that of her Jubilee. Not only have the seasons been good, the rains well distributed though in some parts light, but prices of staple products have been high in the world's markets. The increase of sheep, cattle, and horses has been unusually large this year; the clip of wool has been highly satisfactory both in respect of quality and market value; the yield of butter and cheese has been above the average; and crops generally have been remunerative to the farmer. The wheat crop at the time this chapter is being written promises well, the area showing a considerable increase upon last year, while prices are certainly above the average. Trade and commerce have consequently been brisk and sound, and nearly all classes of the community have participated in the prosperity that has prevailed. Settlement upon the land has progressed by leaps and bounds; immigrants have begun to flow into the country in encouraging numbers, and, with few exceptions, the new arrivals have found a market for their labour at wages contrasting favourably with their earnings in the mother land.

Of all staple products sugar alone shows declension in yield this year, but that arises, not from the season of 1909, but from the unprecedentedly severe frosts of the previous year. Yet, despite the lessened yield of cane, the sugar-growers do not complain of bad times, nor is their outlook discouraging.

The gold yield has continued to fall off, but that is partly due to the prosperity of the pastoral and agricultural industries, which have attracted both capital and labour that under other circumstances would have been employed in prospecting for the precious metal. Silver and the baser metals have also exhibited a shrinkage in output, but that is explained by 87 the low prices which have ruled since the American crisis of two years ago. Two of the great mining companies in Central Queensland—the Mount Morgan Gold Mining Company and the Great Fitzroy Copper Mining Company—have both had a prosperous year, having found in simultaneous mining for gold and copper abundant scope for enterprise and energy; and improved methods of raising ore, as well as constantly lessened expense of treatment, have made the prospect for the future reassuring. Large profits are being made to-day in the treatment of the less rich but more abundant ores, which could not have been utilised even ten years ago except at ruinous loss. It is now recognised that a well-organised laboratory is as essential in the equipment of a great mine as a corps of skilled miners or a range of smelting furnaces. Hence it is that the mining outlook is encouraging, and that in the opinion of scientific experts the industry in Queensland has scarcely yet passed the infantile stage.

It is natural that in accordance with the progressive spirit of the times the Government should have induced Parliament to authorise the expenditure of much more than the recent average amount of loan money in the construction of railways and other public works. No less than eleven railways, as stated in the Commissioner's report recently published, have been under construction this year. These lines are expected to be completed within a few months, so that nearly 4,000 miles will be open for traffic before the close of the financial year. Besides this large mileage for a population of 568,000 persons, 446 miles of other railways and tramways, more or less under the control of the State, are available for public traffic. Being of the same gauge as the State railways, they have been the means of developing large areas and materially improving the position of the Government lines. Thus the length of railway which will be open for traffic before 30th June, 1910, will amount to 4,320 miles of the standard 3 ft. 6 in. gauge, which will be equal to the traffic of a comparatively dense population. The increased breadth of rolling-stock has been found to conduce to comfort without imperilling the safety of passengers, and by the use of heavier rails and more powerful engines the carrying capacity of the narrow-gauge lines has of late years been greatly increased.a

The Commissioner puts the total cost of our railway system on 30th June last, including £1,139,405 spent on lines not yet open, at £24,534,727. The total authorised outlay is, however, given as £27,221,805, so that at 88 the rate of expenditure of last year the balance unexpended will enable construction to be continued for over two years. The net revenue available for the defraying of interest accruing on capital for the financial year 1908-9 was £883,610,b equal to £3 7s. 6d. per cent. The mean rate of interest payable on the total public debt of Queensland, which includes much stock bearing more than 3½ per cent., is £3 14s. 1d. per cent., so that our railways may be deemed almost directly reproductive; and, what is still more satisfactory, they are rapidly improving in net earning capacity. As every extension adds to the volume of traffic, apart altogether from the added value given to Crown lands by providing them with railway communication, every inducement is held out to maintain a vigorous policy of construction. There is every reason to believe that in a few years our railway system will be the greatest and most stable of all contributors to the Consolidated Revenue; and when it is recollected that forty-five years ago there was not a mile of railway or tramway open for traffic in Queensland, the progress made in providing transport facilities is brought out in bold relief.

One of the most noteworthy events of the Jubilee Year was the thirty-fourth exhibition of the National Agricultural and Industrial Association. This exhibition is the occasion of the most generally observed holiday of the year in the metropolis, and attracts thousands of visitors from all parts of Queensland, and many from the Southern States. It has come to be regarded as the annual meeting-ground of friends from widely separated localities. Year by year the attendance of visitors has grown, and the interest taken in the display has increased. This year special efforts were put forth by the council of the Association; and, fearing that their own resources would prove unequal to the strain, they applied to the Government for a jubilee grant. But the Government refused to do more than provide jubilee medals for certain classes of successful exhibitors, and enter some splendid exhibits from the State farms and others illustrative of the mineral wealth of Queensland. They held that to accede to the request would be to supply a precedent for similar applications from kindred associations in provincial towns, and that one of the glories of the metropolitan exhibition is that it is a self-supporting, self-reliant 89 institution. The sequel proved the correctness of this view, for the exhibition far exceeded all predecessors in magnitude, and gave a handsome profit to the National Association, which richly deserved such a reward for months of self-sacrificing work.



The official opening was attended by unusual pomp and ceremony, the Governor-General of the Commonwealth, the Earl of Dudley, performing the task of declaring the exhibition open. His Excellency took advantage of the opportunity to impress upon the people of Queensland the urgent need for a vigorous immigration policy if the country is to be successfully developed and its well-being maintained.

To attempt a detailed description of what was not inappropriately termed "Our Jubilee Carnival" would be beyond the province and the scope of this volume. When it is mentioned that the exhibits numbered over 8,000, the magnitude of the undertaking will be realised. It will be sufficient to mention a few salient points. For example, there were no less than 1,580 exhibits of live stock; and as, in the case of sheep and cattle, an entry often included pens and not single animals, the provision made for this attractive and paramount feature of the show was taxed to its utmost capacity. These pastoral exhibits represented stock yielding more than a moiety of the £14,000,000 worth of annual exports; and the industry connected with grazing stock on the natural pastures of the country not only employs much labour and contributes largely to the revenue of the State directly in the shape of Crown rents and railway freights, but it assists the Treasury indirectly in many other ways. The magnificent display of stud and pedigree stock and their products spoke volumes for the value of the indigenous grass crop which costs nothing to raise and only wire fencing to protect.

Among the exhibits was a trophy of that world-commanding product, wool, of which the value exported from Australia in 1908 is given in the Federal Treasurer's Budget delivered in August last as £22,914,236. The Commonwealth returns do not differentiate between the various States, but, assuming the average value of the fleece to be the same throughout Australia, the value of Queensland's share of the clip was about £5,000,000. Another product which has the world for its market is cotton. Of this article there were three splendid exhibits—one from West Moreton, in Southern Queensland; another from Rockhampton, in Central Queensland; and the third from Cairns, in Northern Queensland. Nothing save the cost of labour in picking prevents cotton being classed among the staple products of our State, and it is hoped by experts that as families upon the 90 farms increase this difficulty will be removed. The Cairns exhibit was of Caravonica cotton, a variety of the valuable Sea Island species, concerning the extensive cultivation of which the most sanguine anticipations are expressed. In agricultural products emulation was greatly stimulated by the district exhibits, of which there were five, and on the whole they were superior to any that had ever before been shown in Queensland. Almost every product of the temperate and torrid zones appeared among the exhibits, though, of course, many of them are not yet being cultivated on a commercial scale. Among the most prominent of those of commercial value may be mentioned sugar, butter, cheese, hams, bacon, wheat, maize, fodder crops, potatoes, pineapples, and citrus and deciduous fruits, in all of which the displays were a revelation, not only to visitors from other parts of the continent and oversea, but also to many of our own people. The same may be remarked of the magnificent exhibits of gold, copper, tin, coal, and other minerals, which form so large a proportion of our wealth-producing exports. Statistics relating to the production and export of these commodities will be found in the appendices to this volume, and need not be further referred to here. Another attraction meriting special notice was the collection of gems and precious stones, the industry represented by which is at present struggling against the want of access to profitable markets; but the great interest aroused at the Franco-British Exhibition of last year by the magnificent display of Queensland gems is calculated to remove this disability, and to place the industry on a prosperous and permanent footing. The great variety of foods manufactured in Australia was another feature of the display, while in the machinery section the entries surpassed any previous exhibition in Queensland. Consequent upon the removal of border duties and the adoption of a uniform tariff, Queensland has suffered keenly from the competition of the Southern States. Statistics abundantly prove that some of our nascent manufactures have been checked seriously by such competition, although these losses are being gradually compensated for by gains in the form of enlarged free markets for products in which Queensland is safeguarded by natural conditions; but even freetraders must admit that our protective Customs duties are stimulating what are called native manufactures in a surprising degree, and that year by year Queensland and the Commonwealth at large are becoming less dependent upon the outside world for the products and manufactures which are essential to the existence of a civilised nation.

Politically, 1909 has been rather a trying year, but the result of the general election on 2nd October seems to give promise of better things in 91 Parliament. Both the Premier and the Leader of the Opposition agree that the practical extinction of the third party by the appeal to the electorate will be beneficial to the country. The election also ratifies the fusion of parties carried out towards the end of last year, with the consequential placing of the Labour party in the position of a constitutional Opposition. These salutary changes are held to be equivalent to a restoration of responsible government, which had been practically suspended by the impossibility of any party carrying on the work of legislation without making humiliating terms with an irresponsible section. It was contended that there were three parties in the country, and that the existence of the same phenomenon in the Assembly proved it to be a true reflex of the electorate at large; but the late general election has dispelled that illusion, for on no occasion since the splitting up of parties had the issue been put in so clear-cut a form to the country. Another result of the election has been to add somewhat to the strength of the Labour members, who are now sufficiently numerous in the Assembly to give them a reasonable expectation of being called upon in due time to assume the responsibilities of government. The State must gain from the resolution of the House into two parties, for the purity and effectiveness of party government demand that His Majesty's Ministers shall always be faced by an Opposition fitted and prepared to become the advisers of the King's representative whenever the existing Administration loses the confidence of the Parliament and the country.

As mentioned elsewhere, a most satisfactory event of the year is the prospect of a settlement of the financial relations between Commonwealth and States on a durable and mutually acceptable basis. Public opinion throughout the continent is so clearly in favour of the agreement that its ratification seems certain during the present financial year, and it seems also certain that it will come into force on 1st July next. From that date there is reason to hope that the benefits of federal union will become so conspicuous as to silence cavilling opponents and justify the aspirations of its advocates. The general opinion throughout the Commonwealth with respect to the vital question of national defence has undergone a marvellous change for the better during the past twelve months, the unanimity displayed justifying the most sanguine anticipations of future unbroken concert between Great Britain and her self-governing dominions, and the supremacy of the British Empire on the ocean, a supremacy which means the protection of the world's trade routes and unimpeded maritime commerce.


Footnote a: As indicative of the progress made in the local manufacture of railway stock, it may be mentioned, on the authority of the Commissioner, that one Brisbane engineering firm has this year completed its 100th locomotive for the Department.

Footnote b: Treasury figures. The Commissioner's figures differ somewhat from those of the Treasury. In estimating the percentage return the Railway Department takes into account only the expenditure on open lines, whilst the Treasury bases its calculations upon the expenditure on all lines, and charges the Railway Department with its proportion of loan deficiencies and flotation charges.



Proclamation of the Commonwealth.—The Referendum Vote.—Queensland's Small Majority in the Affirmative.—Representation in Federal Parliament.—The White Australia Policy.—Temporary Effect on Queensland.—An Embarrassed State Treasury.—Assistance to Sugar Industry.—Continued Protection Necessary.—Unequal Distribution of Federal Surplus Revenue.—The Transferred Properties.—Effect of Uniform Tariff.—Good Times Lessen Federal Burden on State.—The Agreement between Prime Minister and Premiers.—Better Feeling Towards Federation.—National Measures of Deakin Government.

After several vain attempts on the part of Australian statesmen to bring about federation, the Commonwealth Constitution Act was adopted by the several States in 1899 and ratified by the Imperial Parliament in 1900; and Her Majesty Queen Victoria issued a proclamation, declaring that on and after 1st January, 1901, the colonies of New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Queensland, Tasmania, and Western Australia should be federated under the name of the Commonwealth of Australia, the several colonies being thereafter known as "States." The union took place by the freewill of all the colonies, a popular vote being taken in each. The poll was small, only 583,865 electors recording their votes, of which number 422,788 voted for federation and 161,077 against, the majority in favour being 261,711. In Queensland 38,488 voted in the affirmative and 30,996 in the negative, giving the narrow majority of 7,492, equal to only 10·78 per cent. of the total votes polled. That majority was obtained by an almost block pro-federation vote throughout the Centre and North of the colony, the majority in the Southern district, which contained about two-thirds of the population, being adverse to union. There was no objection to the abstract principle or to the wisdom of a federal union—rather the reverse; but Queensland had not been represented at any of the Conventions at which the Constitution was drafted, and no provision was made, such as was made in the case of West Australia, to meet the peculiar geographical, industrial, and financial circumstances of this State. In the absence of legislative safeguards and guarantees, the unsatisfactory experience of New South Wales administration in pre-separation days led the people of Southern Queensland to doubt whether the vaunted fraternal spirit would withstand the actual attrition of business competition. They feared that the great urban populations of Sydney and Melbourne would, 93 under the proposed democratic Constitution, secure for themselves industrial, commercial, and administrative advantages at the expense of their brethren, but none the less rivals, in the more remote parts of the continent. Believing that, though their occupations and products were the same as those of the Southern States, their interests were conflicting, the majority in Southern Queensland cast their votes against the union. Finding themselves in a minority, many of the opponents of federation deliberately refused to exercise the franchise in the first election, held in 1901. Instead of taking steps to secure the return to the Commonwealth Parliament of men who would try to avert any evil consequences arising from non-representation at the Conventions and who would oppose any unfair discrimination, the short-sighted abstention of these people from voting enabled the Labour party, who certainly did not comprise a majority of the electors, to return nine out of our fifteen representatives in the two Houses.





One of the first results of this predominance of Labour representation was the early passage of legislation abolishing Pacific Island labour in the sugar industry—which is almost exclusively confined to Queensland—and requiring all the islanders to leave Australia for their native homes not later than 31st December, 1906. With a view to compensating the cane-growers for the added cost of labour, and to induce them to abandon all forms of coloured labour, a bounty, ranging at the present time from 7s. 6d. per ton of cane in the extreme North to 6s. per ton in Southern Queensland and on the Northern Rivers of New South Wales, was offered upon all cane grown exclusively with white labour; while to provide funds for payment of the bounty an excise duty, first of £3 and then £4 per ton, was imposed. These radical changes occurred at a time, unfortunately, when the State was suffering from severe depression resulting from an unprecedented succession of adverse seasons and the substitution of a uniform protective Customs tariff for the State tariff, which had for years previously yielded a large revenue per head while affording protection to many native industries. The abolition of interstate Customs duties caused a further loss to the Queensland Treasury; so that the Government felt compelled to ask Parliament to impose new taxation as well as sanction severe retrenchment in order to check the alarming series of revenue deficits which, despite large loan expenditure, marked the stressful period. All this tended to make federation unpopular, and obscure the benefits the union under the Commonwealth Constitution was calculated to confer eventually.


The popular sentiment was, however, overwhelmingly in favour of the White Australia policy; and even most of its opponents took exception to the hasty methods of enforcement rather than to the principle itself. Much difficulty was at first experienced in securing reliable white workers, but the remuneration year by year attracted, in increasing numbers, men accustomed to farm work, until, in 1908-9, the owners of about 90 per cent. of the cane grown found themselves in a position to claim the bounty. Pacific Island labour is now almost a thing of the past, though a few islanders who were not repatriated still engage in field work. In the more severely tropical of the sugar districts some Asiatic labour is also employed, the planters alleging that white men will not, unless at prohibitory wages, face the muggy heat of the cane-brake. The bounty, together with the £6 import duty, appears at length to have re-established the industry on a durable basis; but many growers look forward with some apprehension to the gradual extinction of the bounty and the possibility of a reduction in the import duty, holding that without the protection at present afforded Australian cane sugar cannot compete against the product of the cheap coloured labour of Java, Fiji, and Mauritius, or the beet sugar of Europe.

A further objection to federation was found in the mode adopted of distributing the Federal surplus revenue among the States. The 87th section of the Constitution required that for ten years the Federal Government should not expend on its own purposes more than one-fourth of the net Customs and Excise revenue of the Commonwealth, and that the balance of such revenue should be returned to the States. Prior to federation this had been interpreted to mean that each State would receive back not less than three-fourths of the net Customs and Excise revenue collected within its jurisdiction. But the Commonwealth Crown law officers placed a different construction on the section, and held that, so long as at least three-fourths of the net Customs revenue was distributed collectively, the Commonwealth had no obligation to return that proportion to any individual State. This has caused great uncertainty and embarrassment to the Queensland Treasurer, and has impelled many public men to stigmatise the union as a curse instead of a blessing.

In illustration of the unequal division of the surplus Federal revenue among the States, it may be mentioned that, according to a table published by the Commonwealth Auditor-General, while the aggregate sum beyond the three-fourths of Customs and Excise revenue returned to the States 95 amounted to £6,059,087, Queensland actually received £44,951 less than her three-fourths during the eight and a-half years ended 30th June, 1909; and her Treasurer was much embarrassed by the uncertainty of the return owing to tariff alterations and the determination of the Federal Government to defray from revenue otherwise accruing to the State under the Constitution Act the cost of permanent buildings, which the State had formerly provided for out of loan moneys.

Another grievance of the States—especially of Queensland, which borrowed largely to construct its 10,253 miles of telegraph lines, and incurred a heavy annual charge upon revenue in providing postal communication throughout its vast and scantily populated territory—is that the Commonwealth Government treat section 85 of the Constitution as a dead letter. This provision expressly enacts that "the Commonwealth shall compensate the State for the value of any property passing to the Commonwealth under this section"; but not a penny of compensation has ever been paid, although there is a considerable interest charge to be met annually by the State Treasuries on account of money borrowed for the purposes of these transferred properties.

The chief revenue loss suffered by the Queensland Treasury under federation arose from the passing of the uniform tariff, which drew considerably less than the former State tariff from the pockets of the taxpayers. Of course the remedy had to be sought in other taxation, and it could only be found in direct levies much more objectionable than the indirect charge imposed by Customs duties. However, the feat was ultimately accomplished, despite the depressed condition of the State through years of scanty rainfall and the enormous losses of live stock consequent thereon; but successive State Governments have had to bear much unmerited odium and have suffered in popularity on account of their efforts to restore financial equilibrium when the principal disturbing element was the advent of federation and not State mismanagement.

Since times began to improve throughout Australia, the Federal burden has been less in evidence; and at the late Melbourne Conference, held to confer with the Commonwealth Government with the view to adjust mutual relations, no State Premier recognised more frankly than did Mr. Kidston the claims of the Federal Government to increased revenue to defray the cost of old-age pensions, naval and military defence, and other great national objects. The provisional agreement entered into by the Conference was recognised by all the Premiers as less advantageous than they had 96 desired, but they were unanimous in admitting that under the altered conditions it was the best they could now hope for. On the Commonwealth side it was recognised that the States had made a large voluntary surrender, and that the position of the Federal Treasury would be greatly strengthened under the operation of the agreement. The apparent dread of diminishing Customs revenue in after years was clearly not well founded, because the Commonwealth Parliament can easily, by readjustment of duties, make up any deficiency. On the other hand, an immense advantage will be gained by both parties to the agreement from the separation of Federal and State finances except in respect of the liability of the Commonwealth to hand over, and the right of the States to receive, a fixed annual contribution of 25s. per head of the population. The representatives of the States granted a further concession to the Commonwealth by permitting the retention of an additional £600,000 of the Customs revenue for the current year to reimburse the cost of old-age pensions not already provided for by the Commonwealth Trust Fund created by the Surplus Revenue Act of 1908. The bill embodying the agreement received the approval of the statutory majority in both Houses of Parliament. It now rests with the electors of the Commonwealth to accept or reject the necessary amendment of the Constitution; and there is every reason to hope that the compact will be made as permanent as any other part of the Constitution. In that event, the relations between Commonwealth and States will undoubtedly improve, and harmonious co-operation for the public welfare may be safely anticipated from the Parliaments. The Federal session of 1909 has been distinguished by the passage of epoch-making bills for the appointment of a High Commissioner in London and for naval and military defence, measures which are calculated to raise the Commonwealth to an exalted position in the scale of young nations.





AUSTRALIA 1859 SHOWING Self-Governing Colonies

AUSTRALIA 1859 SHOWING Self-Governing Colonies

THE WORLD Showing relative position of AUSTRALIA.

THE WORLD Showing relative position of AUSTRALIA.





Importance of Industry.—Small Beginnings in New South Wales.—Extension of Industry.—Stocking of Darling Downs and Western Queensland.—Rush for Pastoral Lands.—Difficulties of Early Squatters.—Influx of Victorian Capital.—Changes in Method of Working Stations.—Boom in Pastoral Properties.—Checks from Drought.—Discovery of Artesian Water.—Conservation of Surface Water.—Introduction of Grazing Farm System.—Closer Settlement of Darling Downs.—Cattle-Rearing.—Meat-Freezing Works.—Overstocking.—Dairying.—Station Routine.—Charm of Pastoral Life.—Shearing.—Hospitality of Squatters.—Attraction of Industry as Investment and Occupation.

The pastoral industry in Queensland is, in point of duration, well within the compass of a single life. In about seventy years it has attained its present dimensions, and, as progress in the early years was very slow, its magnitude to-day supplies striking testimony to the energy and enterprise of two generations. The description of Queensland as a huge sheep and cattle farm with contributive industries, which without very great extravagance might have been offered forty years ago, has long ceased to be applicable. But though other industries have grown into importance, reducing its pre-eminence, the pastoral still retains its unquestioned lead and is deservedly regarded as the main source of the State's wealth. Bearing in mind that the total exports from Queensland for 1907 were rather over fourteen and a-half millions sterling, of which pastoral produce claimed more than half, it will be seen that this title to precedence cannot be challenged. With an abatement of £529,000 for butter—dairying being associated with agriculture—this imposing sum is the direct product of the natural grasses. It can hardly be surprising then, after realising the potential wealth of these pastures, that visitors should be struck with the fact that rainfall—past, present, and prospective—is a constant and very prominent topic in all grades of social intercourse.

That a continent so suited to the abundant propagation of animal life should have been so poorly equipped by Nature with an indigenous fauna 98 can only be accounted for by Australia's primeval isolation. Similar vast prairie lands, which in America sustained countless herds of bison and in Africa literally swarmed with antelope and many species of game, were in Australia almost uninhabited. The absence of large rivers and a general scarcity of water had doubtless much to do with this destitute condition of the great pasture lands of the interior, but still the wonder remains that a continent which now carries more sheep than any other country in the world should have been in its original state, except along its coastal belt, almost tenantless. The fierce carnivora of the older world were entirely unrepresented, the principal denizen of the lonely land being the timid kangaroo; but the curious problems presented by the Australian fauna have compensated the naturalist for its modest numbers.

In Queensland what is recognised as the Western Interior occupies about half the area of the State and is distinct in its geological formation from the coastal belt, the waters of which run into the ocean to the east and north. The region of these watersheds, with the exception of some comparatively limited areas of downs country on the heads of the rivers, is regarded as unsuitable for sheep, the rainfall being more abundant than on the Western waters and the grass coarser, so that cattle are almost exclusively run there. In the Western Interior are the true sheep pastures. The farther one goes west the more treeless the country becomes. Here undulating downs for the most part stretch to the horizon, intersected by watercourses fringed with timber, and although in summer many of these creeks shrink to a chain of disconnected waterholes, few of which are permanent, they offer abundant opportunities for water conservation. In the last few years many for several miles of their course have been converted into running streams by artesian bores.

Before, however, dwelling on the present position, we must briefly glance at the origin of pastoral enterprise in Australia and its tardy extension to Queensland.

As soon as settlement was established, the new land had to be stocked with the domesticated animals of the old. Captain Phillip, the first Governor, in 1788 made a very modest start. He brought with him from England 7 horses, 7 cattle, and 29 sheep, besides pigs, rabbits, and poultry. Remembering that in those days England was from six to nine months distant from the new settlement, it is not perhaps surprising that pastoral progress was slow. In 1800 there were only 6,124 sheep and 1,044 cattle in Australia. But five years prior to this the seed destined to produce a giant growth was already germinating. A shrewd young 99 soldier had detected the germ of Australia's future wealth. With a strange prescience, unaided by experience, Captain Macarthur recognised that the dry climate of Australia was peculiarly adapted to the growth of a fine type of wool. Starting from most unpromising ewes from India, he gradually improved the strain by the introduction of Spanish blood. He was fortunate at the start in getting three rams from the Cape, part of a gift from the King of Spain to the Dutch Government, and by sedulous culling with a bold disregard for carcass, although fat wethers at the time sold for £5, he succeeded in establishing a good merino flock the wool from which created an excellent impression in England. English manufacturers, who had hitherto drawn their limited stocks of clothing wool from Spain, welcomed the promise of a new source of supply.

Macarthur had taken some wool with him to England, when deported in consequence of a fatal duel in 1803, and its fine quality was at once recognised and appreciated. He was fortunate in being still there in the following year, when George the Third, in the hope of encouraging the production of fine wool, sold a portion of his Kew stud flock, the progeny of Negretti sheep, another gift of the Spanish King, so that they might be distributed amongst his subjects. Macarthur was the principal buyer, securing seven rams and a ewe at very moderate prices, the highest being under £30. He was an enthusiast, and could see the enormous possibilities of the virgin continent he had left, with its mild dry climate and almost limitless pasture lands, for the maintenance of great flocks, the wool of which could be improved to the finest type. He asked the British Government for a grant of land to feed his flocks, assuring them that he was "so convinced of the practicability of supplying this country with any quantity of fine wool that it may require that I am earnestly solicitous to prosecute this important object, and on my return to New South Wales will devote my whole attention to accelerating its complete attainment." This request—in spite of the adverse opinion of Sir Joseph Banks as to the suitability of the new land for wool-growing—was granted, Lord Camden instructing the Governor of New South Wales to grant Macarthur such lands "as would enable him to extend his flocks in such a degree as may promise to supply a sufficiency of animal food for the colony as well as a lucrative article of export for the support of our manufactures at home." Macarthur selected near Mount Taurus, and the Camden estate, long famous as the source from which many studs were either formed or replenished, was established. How limited at this time 100 was the world's production of this superfine wool—suited to the manufacture of the finest fabrics—may be gathered from the fact of one bale of Macarthur's being sold at Garraway's Coffee House in 1807 at 10s. 6d. per lb., the cloth from which provided England's Farmer King with a coat.

But not till the merino had passed beyond coastal influences was the improvement of growth due to an eminently suitable habitat fully realised. Wentworth and others had in 1813 pushed across the Blue Mountains, and the occupation of the interior began. In the Mudgee district, which was stocked with sheep about 1824, the clip improved so distinctly on the original Spanish stock as to form almost a new type. Increasing in length and gaining in softness and elasticity, it has commanded ever-increasing attention from manufacturers, and has long been recognised as the premier fine wool of the world.

Tasmania, starting with Macarthur's stock, and following on his breeding lines, had proved peculiarly adapted for the growth of a dense fleece of fine wool. As numbers rapidly increased in this small island, flockmasters had to look about for an outlet. This was easily found on the mainland, and sheep were soon pouring across the narrow strait into the district of Port Phillip, which in 1851 was proclaimed the colony of Victoria.

After Macarthur's death in 1834, his system of breeding was carefully followed by his widow, and when in 1858 the flock was dispersed the stud ewes numbered about 1,000. These, passing into the hands of flockmasters of New South Wales and Victoria, were the foundation of many of the noted studs of to-day. The Victorian flocks, starting from the Tasmanian, early competed with the island of their origin in excellence, and, though Tasmania still maintains its reputation as the home from which the studs of the other States are constantly replenished, it has of late years gone largely into crossbreds. The most noted studs, however, are still maintained undefiled, except that the introduction of the American Vermont blood has been in some cases cautiously tried, with results that have provoked much controversy.

Other pioneers of the industry, the Rev. Samuel Marsden for one, started with the same Spanish blood, crossed with the hardy and prolific Indian ewe, but unlike Macarthur they found the temptations of the fat stock market irresistible. Remembering the great price fat wethers commanded in those early days, it must be admitted that the temptation was considerable. Macarthur, however, by steadily rejecting all mutton 101 breeds and making a fine description of fleece his one object, deserves grateful recognition as the founder of the Australian merino.





Although the settlement of Moreton Bay was started in 1824, it was long before the pastoral industry made any progress in the territory which is now Queensland. In that year Governor Brisbane sent Oxley to explore Moreton Bay and report on its suitability for a convict out-station. From information given by two white castaways living with the blacks, he found the river which Cook in 1770 and Flinders ten years later had failed to discover—though both, confident of its existence, had spent days in the Bay searching for its embouchure. Sheep and cattle were sent as supplies. But in a few years the settlement was abandoned, the officials and prisoners returning to New South Wales; and in 1842, when Moreton Bay was proclaimed a free settlement, the Government live stock were dispersed by sale amongst the settlers. Blacks were numerous and very hostile, and, though cattle throve well, the country was found unsuitable for sheep, so that expansion from the Moreton district was very slow.

But already in 1827 one man had been favoured with a glimpse of what is still regarded as the garden of Queensland. Allan Cunningham, starting from the Hunter, had pushed steadily North for 500 miles till he emerged from the broken highlands of New England on to the famous Downs which he named after Sir Charles Darling. He was enraptured with the country, which he described as clothed "with grasses and herbage exhibiting an extraordinary luxuriance of growth." Yet it was thirteen years before anyone took advantage of his discovery. To a later generation acquainted with the great value of the lands, which as a distinguished botanist Cunningham could not have failed to recognise, this appears one of the most astounding facts in the history of exploration. Many a time he must have discoursed to his friend Patrick Leslie on the rich vision he had been privileged to look on, yet it was not till 1840 that the latter with a small flock followed in his footsteps. What increases the surprise at this apparently strange lack of enterprise is that the year after Cunningham had found the Darling Downs he visited Moreton Bay, and succeeded in crossing the range from the coast by a gap since known by his name and reached the vicinity of his old camp, thus demonstrating that the natural port of this rich region was little over a hundred miles distant. Leslie, who settled in the neighbourhood of where the flourishing town of Warwick now stands, was rapidly followed by others who established the fine squattages that have since become famous. Although a few 102 sheep had previously been introduced in the Moreton district, Leslie and his confreres must be regarded as the fathers of sheep-farming in Queensland.

Difficulties of carriage long retarded any attempt to occupy the splendid territory farther West which Sir James Mitchell had explored in 1846 and Kennedy had farther penetrated a year later, crossing the Barcoo and discovering the Thomson River. Though the existence of these vast rolling plains was known, the presumption that no industry requiring a fair amount of labour could pay, handicapped with five to six hundred miles of land carriage, checked any attempt to occupy them. Nor was this unreasonable. The difficulties and uncertainties of such an undertaking might well prompt hesitation. Yet, in view of the rich returns from flocks elsewhere, it was impossible that these solitudes should for very long await easier conditions. A few adventurous spirits pushed out to these great undulating plains. Their example was quickly followed. In the early sixties a general migration westward began, and wherever water was met with the country was taken up. In 1869 an Act was passed granting 21-year leases to applicants who had taken up areas and stocked them to the extent of twenty-five sheep or five cattle to the square mile. It was found that on these Western pastures, rich with succulent grasses and saline shrubs all the year round, and in winter abounding in herbage of many descriptions, all stock grew and fattened amazingly. The climate, too, falsified all predictions, and instead of converting the wool to hair, which experts had prognosticated as the inevitable result of an ardent summer, grew an excellent fleece of fine lustrous combing wool. A frantic rush for country set in. Flocks and herds were hurried out by jealous owners anxious to forestall one another in the scramble for leases. In a few years the whole territory, except where absence of water forbade settlement, was parcelled out in sheep and cattle runs. It had not yet been recognised how country destitute of surface water could be utilised. On these neglected areas are now many prosperous sheep-runs, the pioneers little suspecting the inexhaustible supplies awaiting the magic touch of the boring-rod to provide the abundant streams they longed for.

With such easy conditions of tenure and lands of unsurpassable quality for grazing, it might naturally be expected that these pioneers amassed easy fortunes. The falsification of such expectation is a melancholy story. Though the cattle-men in many cases managed to struggle on, the majority of the sheep-owners went under. The difficulties were 103 enormous. Railways had not yet penetrated the country, though a small start had been made. Wool took from six to nine months reaching the coast by bullock dray, and the carriage of supplies to the station cost more than the goods themselves. Frequently the next clip was awaiting carriage ere the previous one had left the station. Wages were high, and all forms of labour scarce. The quality of sheep, too, was poor, many of them being the culls from Southern flocks, bought at high prices. The depression in the wool market, with high rates of interest on borrowed money, strained the pioneer's resources to breaking point, and in too many cases years of strenuous endeavour and hardship ended in ruin.

But brighter days were in store. As railways pushed out, the attention of Victorian capitalists was attracted by the potentialities of Western Queensland. The phenomenal gold production of Victoria had produced a plethora of money seeking investment, which constituted Melbourne the financial capital of Australia. This accumulated wealth, after fructifying New South Wales, flowed into Queensland. A Victorian invasion began. The knell of the shepherd had sounded, wire fences taking his place. Sheep that had hitherto been run in flocks of 1,500 to 2,000, tended during the day by a man and a dog and yarded at night, were now turned into large paddocks by tens of thousands with only a boundary rider to look to the fences. It was found by this method that the carrying capacity of country was enormously increased. Yarded sheep, driven to and fro twice daily, destroy more grass than they can eat, whereas when left to themselves it is all utilised. The smaller the paddocks, the less the sheep wander and the larger the number that can be carried on a given area. It was found, too, that stocking greatly improved the water. On the spongy surface of virgin country, untrodden by any hoof, there was little "run" off the surface after rain, but when hardened by the tread of stock the creeks received a fairer share of the downpour. The best rams procurable from the Darling Downs and noted Southern studs rapidly improved the flocks. In 1873 wool rose to a price not touched for many years; a boom in Queensland stations set in, and the remnant of the pioneers who elected to do so sold out at prices that gave a rich though tardy reward for long and toilsome enterprise.

Although the general course of the industry has been one of great prosperity, it has not been without its serious checks. A severe drought throughout nearly the whole of Australia, culminating in 1902, inflicted terrible losses of both sheep and cattle. Waterholes supposed to be permanent dried up; and pastures within reach of those which proved 104 permanent were trodden into a desert condition till the stock were too weak to travel back to the surviving pasturage. The outlook was so gloomy that almost universal ruin seemed impending. It is sad to think that whilst stock were perishing in multitudes abundant subterranean streams, flowing southward to discharge uselessly in the Great Australian Bight, might have been available to avert this national calamity. The uses of adversity have never been more strikingly exemplified than by the number of artesian bores put down since that hard experience. These, as the cost of sinking decreases, are multiplying yearly. The artesian basin exists throughout nearly three-fifths of Queensland, and whilst the origin of these subterranean stores is still somewhat of a mystery they are apparently inexhaustible. The supply and the depth at which water is obtained vary considerably; the former runs as high as 3,000,000 gallons per diem, and the latter averages about 1,600 feet.

Whilst artesian boring has been prosecuted with commendable enterprise, the storage of surface water on an extensive scale has not yet received the attention it deserves. Many schemes have been mooted for conserving a portion of the huge volume of water that in the rainy season flows through regions which would gladly retain a share, to waste itself in the Southern Ocean. Doubtless in the future a problem of such fascination will attract the best engineering skill, and a number of inland lakes will result. But that day may yet be distant. One such scheme only need be noticed. The Diamantina River, which in time of flood stretches out to many miles in breadth, flows south-westward through several degrees of Western Queensland. At a point known as Diamantina Gates it finds an exit through a narrow gorge in a low range. Although never yet tested by accurate survey, competent judges have surmised that a substantial dam at this spot would throw back an amount of water which would constitute a veritable inland sea. Other large rivers—the Thomson, Barcoo, Hamilton, Georgina—also offer to the hydraulic engineer splendid opportunities of winning distinction.

In 1884 a notable change of land policy was adopted. The 1869 leases were expiring, and it was recognised that the big squattages could not longer be allowed to monopolise the country. Room was required for smaller holdings. All available country was already occupied under the 1869 leases, and, although under another Act 5,120 acres could be acquired with conditions of improvement and residence, there was no way of getting an area capable of carrying 10,000 sheep. There did not exist a small squatting class. The Minister for Lands, Mr. C. B. Dutton—himself 105 a large squatter—recognised the desirability of creating such a class, which would stand in the same relation to the "squattocracy" that the yeomen of Britain do to the large landowners. In granting a new lease to the original lessee, Dutton's Act required him to surrender a portion of his run, from a half to a quarter according to the length of time his lease had been running. A Land Board independent of Ministerial control was appointed to arrange an equitable division of the runs and to fix the rent of the new lease, which was for fifteen years. Two years later this was increased to twenty-one years, on condition of the lessee surrendering another quarter of his area at the end of the fifteenth year. The portions resumed from the old squattages were surveyed into areas up to 20,000 acres and thrown open to selection. The old lessee—who regarded any area under 400 square miles as a paltry holding and counted his crop of calves by thousands and his yearly lambing increase by tens of thousands—ridiculed the new departure, maintaining that any man must starve on such an absurdly inadequate area as 20,000 acres. But these sinister predictions did not deter selectors from testing the question. At first grazing farms were only very gradually applied for, but a few years' experience justified Mr. Dutton's expectations, and a great demand set in, till now, as soon as opened to selection, there is a keen competition for them. The difficulty is to survey them fast enough to provide for requirements. The maximum area has since been increased so that now as much as 60,000 acres can be held by an individual, provided the total rent does not exceed £200. It is not unusual for three or four grazing farmers to combine and manage the combined leasehold as a co-partnership, which, although not provided for in the Act, is sanctioned by the Land Court.









A new Act in 1902 offered those who elected to take advantage of it a fresh lease, at the expiration of the current one, of from ten to forty-two years, according to classification; and farther resumptions were made for closer settlement. The classification, which was decided by the Land Court, was governed by the degree of remoteness from railway and the demand for land in the neighbourhood.

The low range of hills surrounding the Darling Downs encloses over 2,000,000 acres of land of a quality that invites the plough to convert it into the granary of the State. As the railway to the New South Wales border takes its rather serpentine course southwards, coasting round many of the undulations to avoid cutting through them, the traveller looks upon a land which he must recognise as capable of maintaining a large farming 106 population. What he actually saw till quite recently was paddock after paddock of sheep on each side, then a paddock of cattle and horses, and again more sheep. It was palpable that this could not continue indefinitely. The railway built at the cost of the general taxpayers had greatly increased the value of these estates and rendered their working more profitable. The owners of these flocks and herds had done good service to the State, and deserved the most generous treatment. Successors of the original pioneers, they had bred the stock that helped to occupy the West, and had founded studs that enabled others to replenish their flocks and herds from the purest sources. It was important above all things that no legislative interference should harass men who deserved so well of Queensland, and that no step should be taken to dispossess them which could be suspected of any taint of harshness. In time, doubtless, they would themselves have parcelled out their estates for tillage, but the process would have been slow, the easy terms of payment possible to a Government borrowing money at a low rate of interest not being generally convenient to an individual, and time in the development of a young country is important. Parliament therefore took the matter in hand and decided that where possible these landholders should be bought out on a valuation made by an independent tribunal. A number of properties have been bought by the Government, cut up into farms of from 80 acres upwards, and sold to farmers on liberal terms, payment extending over twenty-five years. Mixed farming and dairying are the chief purposes to which the land has been put, and busy townships have sprung up at the railway stations where a few years ago the stationmaster, his family, and an assistant porter formed the bulk of the resident population. Breeding lambs for export is found to be a profitable branch of the pastoral business on the Downs, and the breeding of crossbreds is consequently increasing, the Lincoln or Leicester being mated with the merino. Southdown and Romney rams have also been tried, but the Lincoln cross has been generally preferred. Crossbred lambs three to four months old bring 10s. in Brisbane, the railage costing from 1s. to 1s. 3d.

So far little mention has been made of cattle. It may be generally stated that where country is suitable for sheep, or, more accurately speaking, where they can be profitably run, cattle are only depastured in very small herds. The coastal belt and the Northern Gulf region are exclusively cattle country, and in the extreme West, although sheep thrive excellently, the long carriage causes cattle to be preferred, the expense of cattle management being much below that of sheep. The product of 107 these distant pastures travels on the hoof to market, the Western cattle being noted for their great weight of flesh and the distance they carry it without great waste. Most of the herds have been improved to a high degree of excellence by importation of some of the best blood in England, and high-class stud herds have been long established in the different States from which drafts of herd bulls are drawn as required at from about 10 to 15 guineas per head.

With a population of little over half a million occupying a territory of 670,500 square miles, it will be realised that the yearly cast of "fats" greatly exceeds local requirements. The Southern States take a large number. New South Wales and Victoria are the best customers, as, with a combined population of roughly five times that of Queensland, the total of their cattle is only slightly in excess of the Queensland herd. South Australia is also a regular buyer of "fats." The "stores" that go South to be fattened beyond the State are almost exclusively bullocks of three to four years. Amongst the "fats" of ripe ages is a proportion of dry cows, and a limited number of breeders and mixed cattle also find sale with Southern buyers. But these outlets would have been quite inadequate for the absorption of the Queensland annual surplus had not meat-preserving come to the rescue of the stock-owner. Before freezing works were established, boiling down was the one resource, the tallow, hides, and sheepskins giving a meagre return, whilst the valuable carcass went to the pigs. The late Sir Arthur Hodgson, a leading pastoralist, used to relate with humorous comments his experiences with a first draft of sheep from his Darling Downs station (Eton Vale), brought to Brisbane to be boiled down at the Kangaroo Point works. During the process the owner—educated at Eton, and subsequently a Minister of the Crown in Queensland—went round daily with a handcart selling the legs of mutton at sixpence apiece. Such commercial enterprise has long fallen into desuetude.

To bring the surplus meat of Australia within reach of the eager millions of Europe has not been an easy problem, but it has at length been fairly solved by freezing the carcass, though much has yet to be done in discovering the best method of distribution of so perishable an article and its proper treatment from the freezing chamber to the spit. The various works buy cattle at about 18s. to 20s. per 100 lb., the weight of bullocks averaging about 750 lb., though many mobs, notably the huge beasts from the West, go as much as 200 lb. beyond this. The works are 108 also buyers of fat sheep, a 50-lb. wether two or three months after shearing bringing from 9s. to 10s. In the six years 1901-6 the exports of frozen meat from Australia totalled 353,514,135 lb. of beef and 371,692,090 lb. of mutton.

An occupation the profits of which are capable of such large additions by increasing numbers is apt to foster a spirit of gambling. In a season of bountiful rainfall it is almost impossible to over-stock country, and owners too often take the risk of availing themselves to the full of Nature's prodigality. Such a policy is most dangerous. When the time of more limited rainfall comes the owner of over-stocked pastures pays a heavy toll for his improvidence, whereas he who has regulated his numbers on the assumption of fair average seasons comes scathless through the time of trial.

Dairying comes more within the department of agriculture, as crops must be grown for feed, the dairy-farmer being necessarily the occupant of a very limited area. The benefit dairying has been to the small stock-owner can hardly be exaggerated. In old days the owner of a herd of 50 to 100 head could look only for a poor living, working for wages for part of the year whilst his family looked after the herd. Now he is a rich man. The monthly cheque from the creamery for a man milking 25 cows easily reaches an average of £20. Except in the few cases where the business has been conducted in a large way by capitalists, it is mostly an enterprise for small men. The work is unremitting, the herd having to be milked twice a day, but the rewards are sure and ample. Butter and cheese factories have sprung up like mushrooms in the last few years, there being now 79 in the State. The yield of butter for 1907 totalled 22,789,158 lb. As returns depend on the amount of butter-fat produced, owners have converted the ordinary breeds of cattle to good dairy herds by plentiful introductions of the true milking strains—Jersey, Alderney, Ayrshire, Holstein, and milking Shorthorn.

Many will probably wonder how cattle grazed over an area of many hundred square miles of country, which in the outside districts is probably unfenced, can be mustered or even kept on the run. Cattle are docilely subservient to custom, and once broken into "camps" will voluntarily seek repose in these shelters. On a well-managed station the crack of a whip will start any mob within hearing trotting for their camp, formed in a clump of shade on the creek, or, if shade is available, on some better galloping ground. Others, seeing them on the move, head towards 109 the same well-known resort, there to pass the day till the shadows lengthen, only moving off in the cool of the evening to feed. If they are being mustered for branding, the cows with calves are "cut out" and brought to the stockyard to be dealt with; if for a butcher to select a draft of fats, these only are taken and delivered either on the spot or where arranged. At the general muster, which is only made every few years, as the cattle are brought in they are put through a lane in the yard, the long lock at the tip of the tail being cut short; they are thus easily distinguished on the run, so that only long-tails are brought in subsequently. A "bang-tail" muster is recorded in the station books, and, as all sales and other disposals are carefully noted and an allowance made of from 3 to 5 per cent. for deaths, it is not necessary to repeat an operation taxing horseflesh so severely at nearer intervals than three to five years. Stock-horses become very clever, and will turn and twist with a beast through the mob, the rider's whip playing on either side till the animal is run out. Large tailing yards are maintained in different parts of the run to avoid much driving, and at weaning time the weaners are herded for a month or six weeks and yarded at night, which has a quieting effect they never forget. A well-managed herd is noted for absence of rowdyism amongst its members. On a well-improved station the bullocks, heifers, and weaners will be in separate paddocks, and at a certain season the bulls are taken out of the herd and put in a paddock by themselves.





Much has been written of the Australian squatter's life, both in fact and in fiction; yet the charm it exercises remains unexplained. The invigorating influence of perfect health doubtless has something to do with it, as well as the utter freedom and escape from all conventionality. Much of the bushman's time is passed in the saddle, and his dress consists of moleskin trousers, the sleeves of his shirt rolled up to the elbow, and a soft shady hat. He rises at daybreak and after an early breakfast starts his day's work. As frequently he will not return to the homestead till nightfall, his lunch is in his saddle-pouch, to be enjoyed in the shade by some waterhole, where he boils the quart "billy" that dangles all day from a dee on his saddle, and makes the inevitable brew of tea. Probably he has companions and is mustering a paddock half the size of an English county; bringing the sheep to the drafting yards, it may be to draft out the fats from a mob of several thousand wethers, or perhaps to take lambs from their mothers for weaning, or to separate the sexes in a mob of mixed weaners, or to bring sheep to the shed for shearing.


Shearing is of all times the busiest. At this season men, each usually riding one horse and leading another packed with his swag, roam the country in gangs and undertake the work at contract rates, which of late have been raised from 20s. per 100 to 24s. There will be from ten to forty men on the shearing board, according to the size of the flock; and in most of the large sheds men write beforehand to bespeak a stand. Shearers earn great wages; a good man will do from 100 to 200 per day, though the latter number is of course exceptional. The introduction of shearing machines has helped to increase the shearer's daily tally. A host of other men are employed in the shed. Boys gather the fleeces which they throw on a table where they are skirted, the trimmings being divided into "locks and pieces" and "bellies," and the rolled fleece is thrown on another long table at which the wool-classer presides. He is an expert, and orders each to its respective bin, according to quality—judged by condition, length of staple, and brightness. From the various bins so graded men feed the wool-press worked by two wool-pressers, who turn out, sew, and brand the bales, of an average weight of from 3 to 4 cwt. Wagons are waiting to convey these to the railway, horse and bullock teams being almost equally used. A whip cracks like a pistol shot, and with lowered heads, the bullocks straining at the yoke, the first team draws slowly off to the incomprehensible objurgations of the driver, an incredible number of bales in three tiers piled on the wagon and securely roped.

But this bustling activity is not confined to the shed. Shorn sheep have to be returned to their paddocks, fresh mobs brought in, and the morrow's shearing housed in the shed to escape the night's dew or a chance shower. From daylight to dark during this harvest time everyone is at full stretch. The shearers have their own cook and "find" themselves, sharing together in a general mess; and as they earn good money they "do themselves" really well, denying themselves no delicacy obtainable at the station store. The whistle sounds at 6 p.m.; the last fleece has been gathered, and the men stroll to their camp to discard sodden shirts and moleskins and clean up generally before supper. The twilight is short, night chasing it swiftly from the world. The weird charm of a Queensland night in the bush penetrates with a calm satisfaction difficult to analyse. It is, let us suppose, spring or summer, and the stars appear to hang low from the deep clear indigo vault. The silence is unbroken, appealing to some indefinable emotion. No cry of beast or bird ruffles the 111 stillness, save perhaps the faint tinkle of the bell-bird or the solemn plaint of the mopoke from some distant scrub. The men are sitting outside their hut smoking, or with tired limbs stretched on the short dry grass lying full length drawing the quiet night into their blood, its cool soft breath soothing the fatigue of the arduous day's toil. Very entertaining to a listener would be the symposium of experiences and amazing political theories of these rough good-humoured toilers, whilst in the pauses one might perhaps enjoy the fantasia executed by the musician of the party on his concertina.

Life at the homestead of many of the old-established stations differs little from that of a wealthy country home in other parts of the world. Froude in his "Oceana" draws a diverting picture of his anticipations of a bush home and its reality. He had pictured a log-hut in the wilderness, and was taken to Ercildoune, where he was amazed to find a mansion amidst splendid gardens, with conservatories, elaborate drawing-rooms, well-dressed ladies, and all the appurtenances and customs of refined life. Expecting chops, damper, and tea, the culinary triumphs of a skilful chef would strike an author in quest of the barbaric life with a keen reproach. Had Mr. Froude visited Queensland, he might have found something more suitable for literary treatment. Although in the older settled districts, especially on the Darling Downs, the lessees live in comfortable, well-furnished homes, many bush homesteads are still very primitive. The farther a station is from the railway the more the owner is inclined to dispense with the superfluous, till in many cases he restricts himself to the absolutely necessary. But every year sees an improvement in this respect. Hospitality is unlimited, any visitor being sure of a welcome and a night's lodging; he turns his horses into his host's paddock, and, if there are ladies of the household, his evening is enlivened with music and cultured talk.

Some of the more gigantic enterprises are conducted by squatting companies, the sheep numbering several hundred thousand and the cattle up to thirty or forty thousand. But these stupendous figures need not deter small investors. In the purchase of a station the goodwill is an asset to be paid for, and in many cases this is valued at a high figure. The selector who takes up a grazing farm pays nothing for goodwill, and gets into what is possibly a going concern from the outset with no other payment than the year's rent and the value of the existing improvements erected by the former lessee before the area was resumed from his 112 holding. It may happen that the country is bare of all improvements, in which case he has to fence it before he gets a lease, his neighbours being liable for half the cost of this work, which forms their common boundary. He pays a higher rent than the representative of the pioneer who created the goodwill which has descended by purchase. What more desirable opening can be found for a young man of limited capital than a farm that will carry 10,000 sheep or 1,500 cattle? He leads the healthiest life in the world, and, although it is full of hard work and includes what would be thought hardships in the home he comes from, a manly youth takes the latter with a frolic welcome, and if he works hard he also plays hard when the occasional races, cricket carnival, and festivities in the nearest township or perhaps at some neighbouring station give the occasion. But above all things it is important that he should not invest till he has gained experience. There is no difficulty in acquiring this, as stockowners are without exception glad of the assistance of a willing young fellow who accepts the knowledge acquired and perhaps a trifling salary as an equivalent for his time and work. After a couple of years of this novitiate as a "Jackeroo," he will be equipped for facing the future on his own account, which with ordinary steadfastness, energy, and forethought he may regard with confidence.










Tripartite Division of Queensland.—Climate.—Development of Agriculture in Queensland.—Wide Range of Products.—Early History.—Exclusion of Farmers from Richest Lands.—Origin of Mixed Farming.—Extension of Industry Westward.—Inexperience of Early Settlers.—Cotton-growing.—Chief Crops.—Dairying.—Cereal-growing.—Farming in the Tropics.—Farming on the Downs.—Farming in the West.—Irrigation.—Conservation of Water.—Timber Industry.—Land Selection.—Assistance Given by the Government.—Immigration.—Attractions of Queensland.—Defenders of Hearth and Home.

Situated between 10½ degrees and 29 degrees South latitude and 138 degrees and 153½ degrees East longitude, Queensland covers 670,500 square miles, or 429,120,000 acres—greater than the combined areas of France, Germany, and Austro-Hungary. Of this immense territory 53·5 per cent. lies within the Tropics, and 46·5 per cent. within the South Temperate Zone.

The State may be divided into three belts—the tropical, stretching from Cape York to the 21st parallel in the neighbourhood of Mackay; the sub-tropical, between Mackay and Gladstone, about 24 degrees South; and the temperate, from Gladstone to the 29th parallel on the border of New South Wales.

These three zones lend themselves, in turn, to a tripartite subdivision of littoral, tableland, and Western plain. Running generally in a North and South direction, and distant from the Eastern coast 30 to 100 miles, the Great Dividing Range separates the littoral from a series of tablelands having an altitude of 3,000 ft. at the two extremes, with a lesser elevation between Herberton in the North and the Darling Downs in the South. Almost imperceptibly the intermediate plateau sinks into a vast plain, which extends westward for hundreds of miles and into South Australia.

The mountain barrier between coast and tableland, though rarely exceeding 4,000 ft. in height, is still sufficiently lofty to cause the clouds of the Pacific to deposit most of their moisture on the Eastern slopes. The precipitation in this coastal belt ranges from a yearly average of 135 in. at Geraldton (at the foot of the Bellenden-Ker Mountains, in the North) to 40 in. between the Tropic of Capricorn and Brisbane, with a heavier fall wherever the mountains are in close proximity to the ocean. On the Western side of the Great Divide the rainfall decreases from 40 in. 114 to about 30 in. at the Western limit of the tableland, and, gradually diminishing with increasing distance from the seaboard, averages only about 10 in. in the extreme South-west.

Temperature, rainfall, and soil necessary for the successful cultivation of almost every known crop are to be found in Queensland. Pastoral pursuits and mining have been the principal wealth-producers in the past; but steadily agriculture is coming to the front, and, long before the present generation has passed away, will occupy first place among the primary industries. That it has not done so already is due partly to the comparative youth of the country and its small population, and partly to its rich natural pastures and vast mineral resources. For many years the fascination of a pastoral life and the search for gold, with the hope of winning fortunes in those avocations, proved more attractive than the regular, uneventful life of the farmer, with its prospect of a competence; but the old-time glamour of grazing and mining is passing away, and the independence of the farmer is now preferred to the lot of station hand or working miner.

On the inestimable value of a rural population to the permanent well-being of a nation Mr. Roosevelt, the late President of the United States, lays stress in these pregnant words:—

"I warn my countrymen that the great recent progress made in city life is not a full measure of our civilisation; for our civilisation rests at bottom on the wholesomeness, the attractiveness, and the completeness, as well as the prosperity, of life in the country. The men and women on the farms stand for what is fundamentally best and most needed in our national life. Upon the development of country life rests ultimately our ability, by methods of farming requiring the highest intelligence, to continue to feed and clothe the hungry nations; to supply the city with fresh blood, clean bodies, and clear brains that can endure the terrific strain of modern life; we need the development of men in the open country, who will be in the future, as in the past, the stay and strength of the nation in time of war, and its guiding and controlling spirit in time of peace."

Too large a proportion of the people of Australia is already congregated in the capital cities on the seaboard, and this centripetal tendency constitutes one of the problems most difficult of solution in our young communities, as it is proving in the older countries of the world. Here, however, we are not confronted with the obstacle of high-priced land, and no effort is being spared to turn the tide of settlement to the true source of national virility and prosperity—the land.

The suitability of the State for agriculture is amply demonstrated by the condition of those engaged in that industry, for there is no 115 considerable class in the community so prosperous. Comfortable homes, well-stocked farms, overflowing barns, and other evidence of labour richly rewarded, bear witness to this fact. The abundance of a series of fat years more than compensates for the loss of crops and stock in occasional years of drought, and these losses it is possible to minimise by devoting attention to afforestation, the conservation of water, irrigation, and the storage of fodder.

Diversity of products is to be expected in a country stretching through 18½ degrees of latitude, possessing an infinite variety of soils, and divided into a hot and humid coastal belt, an elevated tableland with cool climate and moderate rainfall, and a huge plain with light rainfall and dry, invigorating atmosphere. There is probably no country in the world with so wide an agricultural range. To mention crops which can be, and are being, grown with gratifying results would be to set forth in detail nearly every crop of economic value found in the torrid or the temperate zone. Wherever Nature is so generous with her gifts there must be accompanying drawbacks in the shape of vegetable and insect pests, but, by the application of intelligence and industry, the farmers of Queensland are able to combat these petty foes.

Some of the principal objects of culture have a remarkably extensive distribution. Citrus fruits, fodder crops and artificial grasses, pumpkins and melons, flourish in every part of the State. Maize is very prolific throughout the littoral and on the tableland. Sugar-cane and tropical fruits grow luxuriantly on all the coastal lands. Most of the fruits of the British Isles and Continental Europe are at home everywhere except on the coast north of the Tropic of Capricorn, and reach perfection on the elevated lands of the Darling Downs. Cereals and root crops are produced in the Southern and Central West districts equal in quality and yield to the crops in the Southern States and oversea countries.

"Agriculture," says Professor Robert Wallace, of Edinburgh University, "is one of the oldest of human arts, dating from long before the dawn of history. The savage who lives on the roots and fruits he finds ready to his hand stands lower in the scale than the huntsman living by the chase. The herdsman leading a nomadic life belongs to a higher stage of human culture; but civilisation in any full sense only begins amongst men with settled habitations, who till the soil for their sustenance." Judged by this standard, Queensland has passed through the evolutionary stages. Eighty-five years ago, when the first British settlers 116 landed on the shores of Moreton Bay, the country was sparsely inhabited by savages of the lowest type, dependent upon native roots and fruits and the chase for a subsistence. For a quarter of a century, settlement on the coast was confined to a few convicts and military guards stationed at Brisbane and Ipswich, and a handful of free settlers. In the year 1840 some adventurous spirits, searching for sheep country west of the Main Range, found themselves on the magnificent tableland which Allan Cunningham had discovered in 1827, and which, during the intervening years, had remained untrodden by the foot of a white man. Soon the whole of the Darling Downs was parcelled out into large sheep stations. Agriculture, until the advent of small selectors many years later, was only represented by garden patches of cereals, vegetables, and fruit trees, grown for the use of the station-owners and their employees.

On the Eastern side of the Range the industry was in almost as backward a state before the arrival of the first shipment of agriculturists in the ship "Fortitude" in January, 1849. Gangs of convicts felled the scrub on the banks of the Brisbane River adjacent to the barracks; with the hoe they planted maize among the stumps and tree-trunks under the constant surveillance of armed guards, and, when the corn was ripe, dragged it in carts to the windmill on Wickham terrace, still a conspicuous landmark, though now used as an observatory. There the maize was ground into "hominy," an important item in the menu of those days.

A band of Moravian missionaries settled at what is now known as Nundah, and they and the majority of the "Fortitude" immigrants were the real pioneers of agriculture in the infant settlement.

Land orders, free immigration, and the discovery of gold were all factors in the development of the country, and the demand for farm lands led to the unlocking of areas previously given over to grazing. The pastoralists regarded agriculturists with disfavour, and in some cases with open antagonism. By the exercise of "pre-emptive rights," which their influence in the Legislature secured for them, they converted into freehold large blocks of the best land, as well as strategic areas by the possession of which they were able to close against settlement immense tracts preeminently suitable for farming. This was particularly the case in the settled districts of Moreton, Darling Downs, Wide Bay, and Burnett, and to a lesser degree in Maranoa. To such an extent was the right of preemption used that many squatters seriously crippled themselves, the price paid being too high for grazing to be remunerative on their freehold lands.




When, in after years, it would have been to their advantage to subdivide and sell to farmers, it was not in their power to give titles. In the course of time railways were built through some of these large estates, but their earning power was seriously hampered by country capable of supporting a very large agricultural population being devoted to pasturing sheep and cattle. As the most satisfactory solution of the difficulty, successive Governments have repurchased a number of properties at a cost exceeding a million sterling, and resold them in small areas to farmers, with highly gratifying results both to the settlers and to the State.

The immediate effect of the exclusive policy adopted by the pastoralists, however, was to force many selectors to take up land in dense scrubs on steep mountain slopes and in river pockets which were useless to stockowners. They had literally to hew their homes out of the jungle. Having no roads, they were thrown upon their own resources, and were obliged to live very largely upon the produce of their farms. Erecting a rude makeshift fence around a clearing of a few acres, the "cocky" or "cockatoo farmer," as he was contemptuously styled by those who regarded him as an interloper, planted maize and pumpkins among the remains of the scrub. Despite the ravages of bird and beast, he persevered, until at last success began to crown his efforts. A cow or two provided him with milk and butter, any surplus butter being sold to the storekeepers in the towns which quickly followed in the wake of settlement. Lucerne, sorghum, and other fodder crops formed part of his husbandry, live stock multiplied, and thus commenced that system of mixed farming to which thousands of the farmers of Queensland owe their prosperity. The coming of neighbours and the making of roads rendered life less lonely. With increasing prosperity, improved implements and methods were adopted. The plough succeeded the hoe; the harvester or the reaper and binder took the place of sickle and scythe; and the slab humpy or bark hut gave way to the comfortable farmhouse.

Though these early selectors were driven into almost inaccessible scrub, they were at least within the region of heavy rainfall, and, even where some distance from permanent streams, suffered little from drought. Settlers who went over the Range, profiting by the experience of the pastoral pioneers regarding the vicissitudes of climate, avoided the mistake of relying upon a single crop, or, to use a homely phrase, of putting all their eggs in one basket—an error which brought ruin to thousands upon thousands of the people who, between thirty and forty years ago, flocked 118 from the Atlantic seaboard to the arid regions of America, west of the Mississippi. Mixed farming became the general rule on the further side of the Main Range, so that, if wheat and maize failed, the farmers had their flocks and herds and their shearing cheques as a standby until the next harvest was garnered.

It is sometimes said with scorn that there is comparatively little real farming in Queensland; but the conditions peculiar to settlement in the State are responsible for the trend of agricultural development. In the United States and Canada, the flood of immigration and the part played by the great railway companies as land-owners and promoters of settlement to provide traffic for their railways led to the creation of small holdings, which, in turn, led to intense cultivation of field and orchard crops. In Queensland, immigration has never been conducted on an extensive scale, and, indeed, for over a decade almost ceased. There was no great demand for land, and, as the mistaken belief long prevailed that the quantity of arable land was small, the area of so-called agricultural farms was made sufficiently large to enable a man to make a living from stock-raising, dairying, and pig-breeding. Field labourers being scarce and stock cheap, the farmer's aim has rather been to grow feed for his stock than crops for human consumption. He has followed the line of least resistance, so using his land as to carry on his operations with family labour and a little casual assistance during the busy seasons.

Events have justified this mixed farming from the point of view of the farmer, and doubtless the monthly returns from dairying will cause most of the farmers of Southern and Central Queensland to rely chiefly upon that industry so long as high prices continue, and to look to pig-breeding and lamb-fattening as subsidiary branches. But for the swelling tide of newcomers the supplies of rich scrub, alluvial flat, and volcanic downs country must sooner or later prove inadequate. Indeed, within the last few years settlers have been turning their attention to land which was once regarded as inferior. From the lighter soils of plain and upland larger and more certain crops of grain are being won, and on these lands dairying will take second place to cereal production.

Since an enlightened Legislature has resumed many millions of acres previously held under pastoral lease, and repurchased large estates in districts enjoying the advantages of railway communication, there has been no need to go far afield, and settlement has been chiefly confined to 119 the lands adjacent to the rivers and railways in the coastal belt, on the Darling Downs, and, of recent years, in the Burnett district.

Still, within the last thirty years, from one cause or another, groups of settlers have made their homes far beyond those limits. Thus the wheat lands of Maranoa were settled when there was no farming more than a few miles to the west of Toowoomba. Over eighteen hundred years ago Tacitus wrote of our Saxon forefathers: "They live apart, each by himself, as woodside, plain, or fresh spring attracts him." And this racial characteristic is strong in many of their descendants in Queensland. Better results and greater profits might have accrued from concentration, but the wonderful development of the British Empire owes much to this centrifugal impulse and to the spirit of independence and self-reliance which it has fostered; and as the flag has followed the adventurer in so many parts of the globe, so are the scattered pioneers of our Western lands nuclei around whom settlement is gradually gathering.

To people coming for the most part from the mother country, experience constituted no safe guide to the agricultural possibilities of their new home in the South. Naturally, mistakes were made and time and money lost before they discovered which crops were the most profitable, and on what kind of land those crops could be grown with greatest certainty of success.

When Dr. Lang induced the "Fortitude" immigrants to cast in their lot with the Moreton Bay settlement, in whose welfare he took so deep an interest, his desire was to establish the cultivation of cotton, to which he believed the climate and soil were specially adapted. But, despite the heavy crops produced on the river flats, cotton did not prove remunerative until, after the outbreak of the American Civil War in 1861, the Lancashire spinners were reduced to such straits that they gladly paid high prices for all that could be obtained from Queensland. The product was of excellent quality, but the cost of picking precluded competition with countries where cheap labour was plentiful, and, with the return to normal conditions in the United States after the termination of the war, cotton passed almost out of cultivation, and has never since become a crop of commercial importance. An effort was made some years back to resuscitate the industry by the offer of a Government bonus upon manufactured piece goods. The bounty was earned by a mill at Ipswich, but the industry did not long survive the stoppage of the bonus. Since the drought of 1902 cotton has again been grown, principally in West Moreton and North 120 Queensland, as a subsidiary crop, and farmers have been encouraged to extend their operations by the recent offer of a bounty by the Commonwealth; but, until machinery takes the place of hand-picking, farmers are likely to prefer crops which are not subject to competition with the cheap labour of other lands.

The first European colonists in America found there two valuable native products—maize and tobacco. Australia, on the other hand, presented a virgin field to the agriculturist. Like the rest of the Commonwealth, Queensland, blessed with the richest natural pastures, possesses no indigenous food plants of proved economic value. The early settlers naturally availed themselves of the wealth of native grasses and edible shrubs, and became graziers. When a commencement was made with agriculture, farmers sowed the crops to which they had been accustomed in Great Britain. Though these grew well, it was soon found that they were, on the whole, better adapted to the elevated downs than to the forcing climate on the coast. Maize, sugar-cane, and the fruits of the tropics, on the other hand, revelled in the sunshine and moist atmosphere of the seaboard.

The farmer's first consideration is how he may utilise his land to the best advantage. The most profitable crops are those for which there is a world-wide demand but only a limited area of production, and therefore little competition for the grower; or, alternatively, crops which, by reason of natural advantages, he can produce more abundantly and at less cost than his competitors. Next in value are crops for which he has a monopoly in a limited but protected market, or enjoys natural advantages which give him a partial monopoly in such a market. Of less value, but still profitable, are crops which he can place on the market as cheaply as his rivals.

In the first-mentioned category the Queensland farmer has butter, cheese, hams, and bacon. With good stock, cheap land, unrivalled pastures, and a climate which permits production to go on uninterruptedly from January to December, Queensland is most favourably situated, and farmers have not been slow to profit by their natural advantages.

Large as are the present dimensions of the dairying industry, they are small compared with the possibilities of expansion. Already the value of butter, cheese, and milk is well over £1,000,000 per annum, the butter export alone being worth considerably more than half that sum. The export has multiplied tenfold in the last six years; and, as Queensland is 121 the leading cattle State, there is every justification for believing that in dairy produce she will soon become one of the principal exporting States of the Commonwealth.



So late as twenty years ago, much of the butter consumed in Queensland came from the Southern States. The local product was inferior in quality, although an agreeable change from the imported salted butter. The passage of the protective tariff of 1888 gave a great impetus to the production of butter and cheese. A heavy impost was placed on dairy produce, and the Government lent further aid to the industry by sending experts through the farming districts in charge of travelling dairies. Valuable instruction was given; the cream separator came into general use, and there was soon a noticeable improvement in both butter and cheese. Factories sprang into existence in every agricultural centre, and by degrees the farmers became suppliers of cream instead of manufacturers of butter. Speedily production overtook the local consumption, importations ceased, and manufacturers began to look oversea for a market for their surplus stocks. Difficulties at once arose in connection with refrigerated space and freight rates. Regular shipments and rapid transport involved transhipment at Sydney from the coastal steamers, increased expense, and risk of deterioration. A State subsidy induced first one and then another shipping company to make Brisbane its terminal port in Australia, and to provide refrigerated chambers for butter at reduced freights; and now Queensland, in respect of these matters, is on precisely the same footing as the other States.

On the first appearance of Queensland butter in London, lower prices were obtainable than were paid for other brands with an established reputation, and some dissatisfaction was expressed by buyers on account of variations in quality. To remedy this, legislation was passed providing for Government inspection and grading of all butter intended for export. Whether grading and price do or do not stand in the relations of cause and effect, it is beyond dispute that it is only since the initiation of the system that Queensland butter has been on a parity with the butter of the Southern States and New Zealand, and the general standard is undoubtedly higher than in pre-grading days.

Coincident with the improvement in the quality of the butter, a great change for the better has taken place in the dairy herds. Good milking strains have been introduced, and more attention is paid to the feeding of 122 the cows, with the result that it is by no means uncommon for the milk from one cow to bring as much as £8 or £9 a year.

The tariff of 1888 and the educative policy of successive Governments have also been largely responsible for the establishment of the allied industry of bacon and ham curing on a firm basis, and local brands are favourably known in many parts of the world.

Under the heading of crops for which our farmers enjoy a monopoly in a limited but protected market—or natural advantages which are equivalent to a partial monopoly—are sugar, maize, tomatoes, tropical and citrus fruits, and cigar tobacco. The Commonwealth tariff gives Queensland a practical monopoly in Australia for sugar. She has a virtual monopoly for tropical fruits, being the only State in which these are produced in excess of local requirements. The warmer climate and earlier crop give her temporary command of the Southern markets for citrus fruits, tomatoes, maize, and a number of minor products, before they mature in the cooler South, an advantage that will extend in time to many other crops, with the increasing interchange arising from interstate free trade.

Chief among products which can be placed as cheaply on the market as in other countries are the cereals. Queensland has all the essentials of a great grain-producing country. Her name does not yet figure among the list of exporters of foodstuffs, but the reasons for her backwardness are not far to seek.

At the close of 1908 the number of people in the State, scattered over its 670,500 square miles of territory, was only 558,000—little more than the population of Sydney or Melbourne, and less than that of several second-class cities in the mother country. Probably not more than ten per cent. of the people are engaged in farming, but, acre for acre and man for man, Queensland compares favourably with countries that are regarded as primarily agricultural. The lands most sought after have been scrub, deep alluvial flats, and black and chocolate loams; and, until recently, it was on land of this kind that most of the wheat and barley was grown. Heavy crops were harvested, as a rule, but the results were not uniformly satisfactory, and it is now recognised that these highly fertile lands are better suited for other forms of cultivation than the growth of cereals. For several years, incoming selectors—many Southern wheat farmers from preference—have been settling to the west of the heavy Downs country on the lighter soils of ridge and plain. From these lands, 123 of which Queensland has a practically unlimited supply, but which the settlers of twenty or even ten years ago regarded as poor, more and more of the wheat crop is now coming. With less labour and at less expense than on the heavy soils, the farmer has greater certainty of a payable yield.

Sugar has first place among agricultural products from Port Douglas to the Mary River, followed by maize and the luscious fruits of the tropics. From Maryborough to the Tweed, maize takes precedence of sugar. Crops of less importance are potatoes, pumpkins, citrus fruits, pineapples, and bananas. In the Central and Southern divisions of the coastal belt, where dairying is the chief industry, large areas are under fodder crops and permanent grasses. From the Northern section of the littoral, thousands of bunches of bananas are shipped weekly to the South. Mangoes and pineapples are also sent South in very considerable quantities. Citrus fruits and tomatoes ripen at least two months earlier in North Queensland than in New South Wales and Victoria, and this fact has led to an important and profitable trade in these commodities being opened up with Sydney and Melbourne. The spices and food and other economic plants of the tropics grow to perfection north of Mackay. Cigar tobacco of good quality is being grown in small quantities in several parts of the North, and the Commonwealth bounty and the willingness of manufacturers to take the leaf should lead in time to the bulk of the cigars consumed in Australia being made from Queensland leaf. Despite the heat and humidity of the climate, dairying is being carried on with success as far north as Cairns, and at Atherton on the hinterland it promises to become an important industry.

Except on the Darling Downs, progress on the tableland has been retarded until a comparatively recent date through the land being locked up in pastoral leaseholds. At Atherton in the North and on the Burnett lands in the South, however, agricultural settlement is proceeding by leaps and bounds. Following the usual practice on scrub land, maize and grasses are the principal objects of culture, as they can be planted among the fallen timber and converted into milk long before the land can be put under the plough.

The Darling Downs, famous for their beauty and fertility, well deserve their title of "Garden of Queensland." Other districts, notably Atherton and the Burnett, have as good land, and the latter may have an equal area; but nowhere can there be seen 4,000,000 acres of splendid 124 agricultural country requiring so little labour to bring it under cultivation. Far beyond the horizon stretch these fine lands, formerly clothed with nutritious natural grasses, but now passing into cultivation and dotted over with prosperous homesteads. More than 70 per cent. of the wheat, oats, and barley of Queensland comes from the Downs, which are capable of supporting a population far larger than the whole State now contains. Shipments of malting barley grown on the Downs attracted such favourable notice in England a few years back that offers were made to buy large quantities, and modern and well-equipped malting houses have since been built at Toowoomba and Warwick by a leading firm of English maltsters. Oats are grown for hay, no grain being ground into meal. There is an increasing tendency, founded on experience, to look to the lighter soils for cereal production, and to put the heavier volcanic soils of the Eastern Downs to uses for which they are better adapted. To dairying much of the prosperity of the Downs farmers is due. Butter and cheese factories have been erected every few miles along the railway line, and the number of cream-cans awaiting transport on every platform bear striking testimony to the importance of the industry. Most of the fruits of Northern and Southern Europe flourish, and the many fine orchards between Stanthorpe and the New South Wales border are giving handsome returns to their fortunate owners. In the neighbourhood of Texas, to the west of Warwick, pipe tobacco of fine flavour is being cultivated. The extension of the railway from Warwick to Goondiwindi has rendered available additional areas suitable for this crop, and circumstances favour the creation of a great industry.

The boundless plains of the West, where the annual rainfall varies from 30 inches to 10 inches, are the seat of the pastoral industry, and agriculture is still in its infancy. In the vicinity of Roma, on the Southern and Western Railway, wheat is the staple crop. Further West, on river banks and adjacent to artesian bores, vegetables, grapes, and oranges are grown. The oranges at Barcaldine, in the Central West, have been pronounced by the Government Fruit Expert to be the finest he has seen. In the same locality areas of grain, lucerne, and other hay crops show the capabilities of the plain lands when irrigated; but these small patches do not constitute an industry. The soil has in it all the elements of fertility, and is of inexhaustible depth; but, unhappily, the rainy season does not coincide with the period of growth of the cereals for which these lands seem otherwise intended by Nature; and until science becomes the handmaid of 125 husbandry, and irrigation is demonstrated to be both practicable and remunerative, agriculture is likely to make little headway in the West.







The farmers of Queensland may well lay to heart the experience of America. Forty years ago disaster overtook every attempt at cultivation west of the Mississippi basin until the aid of irrigation was invoked. The response to the application of water was immediate, and millions of acres are now under intense cultivation in the dry belt, and supporting a population far outnumbering that of Australia.

These are the words in which an American writer graphically describes the wonderful work that has been done on lands that bear a striking resemblance to those of Western Queensland both in regard to climate and soil:—

The actual amount of land that may be reclaimed and cultivated in the semi-arid region furnishes no measure of the value of irrigation in this vast district. By enabling thousands to engage in farming, irrigation has made it possible to use the surrounding plains as the pasture for great numbers of beef cattle. In many instances small herds are owned by the farmers themselves, but to a large extent their crops are bought by those whose sole business is cattle-raising. Thus all the resources of the region are brought into use, and a wonderful prosperity has followed as the logical result.

From Canada to Mexico the revolution of the Great Plain is now in full tide. It is the most democratic page in the history of American irrigation. It has saved an enormous district from lapsing into a condition of semi-barbarism. It has not only made human life secure, but revolutionised the industrial and social economy of the locality.

To a considerable extent it has replaced the quarter-lot with the small farm, and the single crop with diversified cultivation. It has transformed the speculative instincts of the people into a spirit of sober industrialism. It has raised the standard of living and improved the character of the homes. It has planted the rose bush and the pansy where only the sunflower cast its shadow, and it has twined the ivy and the honeysuckle over doors which formerly knew not the touch of beauty. It has made neighbours and society where once there were loneliness and heart-hunger. It has broken the chains of hopeless mortgages and crowned industry with independence.

The history of irrigation in the United States reads like a romance. Competent authorities have expressed the opinion that truly scientific farming is only possible where irrigation takes the place of rain, and where the elements of fertility are retained in the soil. American experience supports this view. Farms of from ten to forty acres support whole families in comfort, if not in affluence, and one acre yields as much as five of the best land in the rainfall belt. Whether land is used for mixed 126 farming or crop cultivation, the best results are achieved when moisture can be applied or withheld according to the needs of the crop. Without irrigation, crops may be more certain in the coastal belt and on the intermediate tableland, but with irrigation the advantage will undoubtedly lie with our Western lands. A downpour may do irremediable harm to a ripening crop or at harvest time, and to that danger the plain lands of the interior are less liable than those in the region of heavier rainfall.

In some parts of Queensland, principally near the coast, irrigation has already attained some prominence. In 1907 water was applied artificially to 9,612 acres. Of this area, 4,492 acres were in the Burdekin Delta, the water being drawn from the Burdekin, from lagoons, and from wells. The rainfall is comparatively light, and the marked increase in the cane crop on the irrigated lands is apparent to the most casual observer. In the Bundaberg district 2,350 acres were irrigated from the Burnett River and from wells; the vegetable and fruit growers of Bowen irrigated 356 acres; and water was applied to 482 acres in the neighbourhood of Rockhampton. Artesian water was supplied to 100 acres at Barcaldine and 240 acres at Hungerford far out on the New South Wales border.

In the Western States of America, where water is measured out with mathematical accuracy and applied with clockwork regularity, agriculture has been raised almost to the rank of an exact science. The soil of Western Queensland is quite equal to that of the States in fertility, and similar methods should here produce similar results. When even the sterile Sahara is gradually disappearing before the irrigation works of French engineers, there is no need to despond regarding the future of the very driest parts of Queensland.

In Egypt and Spain and in several of the American States, the water for irrigation is obtained from perennial streams drawing their supplies from distant snow-clad mountains. Kansas differs in this respect from other States. The description of the rivers of Western Kansas by an American humorist might have been penned with equal appositeness of the rivers of Western Queensland: "They are a mile wide, and an inch thick; they have a large circulation, but very little influence." Fortunately for Kansas, water is everywhere procurable by sinking shallow wells. In Dakota and Texas, thousands of millions of gallons are poured on to the land daily from thousands of artesian wells. Though lofty mountain chains are lacking, with summits high above the line of perpetual snow and giving birth to rivers rivalling Nile and Mississippi in volume, both of these 127 latter sources of supply are available in Queensland. East and west of the Great Divide, abundance of water has been obtained from wells. Our western rivers may flow intermittently on the surface, but sub-artesian water is plentiful in many localities, and the great artesian basin, with its area of no less than 372,000 square miles, coincides generally with that part of the State which has a rainfall of 20 inches or less, a wise Providence having apparently created this huge subterranean reservoir to guard against excessive evaporation and to compensate for the light rains.

There is still another supply open. Allowing for a very large percentage of the water that finds its way into the watercourses of the West sinking into the earth or being lost through evaporation, a tremendous quantity that now runs to waste could be conserved by works such as the Government of New South Wales are constructing in the Murrumbidgee basin. Irrigation on a large scale is beyond the means of individuals—it must be undertaken either by private co-operation or by State enterprise; and preferably the latter. Irrigation and afforestation are both necessary for the successful development of the West. If water can be supplied to settlers at a cost which is not prohibitive, whether it be drawn from storage reservoirs or from subterranean sources, the face of the country will quickly be changed. Instead of a handful of pastoral lessees controlling in some instances areas of hundreds of thousands of acres, a much larger population of grazier farmers will be settled on much smaller holdings, enjoying all the benefits—educational, social, and civic—which result from concentrated settlement.

A product of the land which is intimately connected with settlement, if somewhat outside the scope of this chapter, is timber. The forests of Queensland are very extensive, and contain numerous timbers of great value for building and cabinet-making. Chief among the former are several species of pine, hardwood, beech, and ash. The most beautiful and valuable of the ornamental woods are red cedar, silky oak, bean-tree, and maple. In the earliest settled districts in the South most of these have become comparatively scarce. The timber-getter has been through the scrubs and forests, and much that could not be converted into lumber has been destroyed by fire, to make the ground ready for the plough. In North Queensland there are immense quantities available, especially of the ornamental varieties, and a profitable trade has been opened up with the southern part of the State and with Sydney and Melbourne. Formerly the timber became the property of the selector, but now a royalty is charged, 128 which yields the Crown a considerable revenue, and selection is deferred until the marketable trees have been removed. To prevent the exhaustion of the supplies, and as a preliminary to reafforestation, reserves have been proclaimed in several parts of the State to act as nurseries.

Of the 429,120,000 acres contained in Queensland, at the close of 1908 some 21,500,000 acres—or just one-twentieth of the total area—had been selected as agricultural farms and homesteads; 31,000,000 acres were held as grazing and scrub selections, 56,000,000 acres were under occupation license or depasturing right, and 186,000,000 acres under pastoral lease, the remainder consisting either of reserves, mineral lands, or unoccupied land in remote localities.

From every district where land is open to agricultural selection, however, comes the report that the demand is keen. No sooner is an area thrown open to selection than it is eagerly applied for, and the number of those who signify their desire to become personal residents in order to obtain priority is fast increasing. The Australian States, New Zealand, the British Isles, and Germany are all furnishing their quota of seekers after the cheap and excellent lands Queensland has to offer.

Provision has been made by the Legislature for all kinds of settlement—purely agricultural, mixed farming, and grazing. The areas vary, being governed by the quality of the land, rainfall, the presence or absence of permanent water, and proximity to a market or a railway—in other words, by the amount required to provide the settler with a comfortable income. The State is a generous landlord, and every allowance is made for the difficulties of selectors in the earlier stages of their occupancy. The man who wishes to acquire a freehold has the opportunity of gratifying his desire. The man who objects to that tenure has it in his power to obtain a lease in perpetuity. The best settler being generally the man who intends to earn his living entirely from the soil, and is prepared to reside continuously upon the land, men of that class are very properly accorded priority over those who do not intend to reside in person. Particulars regarding the different tenures and the conditions upon which land may be obtained from the Crown will be found in Appendix E.

The State assists the agriculturist in many ways. The Agricultural College at Gatton is doing valuable service in training young men and in carrying on experimental work. Six State farms, at two of which apprentices are taken, have been established in as many widely separated districts to ascertain by experiment the crops and methods of cultivation most 129 suited to local conditions, and impart the results of their labours to the neighbouring farmers. Some of these farms have valuable stud flocks and dairy herds, from which settlers can obtain high-class stock. At Cairns tropical products are being tested and propagated at a State nursery. Useful educational work is also being done at the Sugar Experiment Station at Mackay. These institutions are under the direct supervision of the Department of Agriculture, which also employs experts in dairying, fruit culture, and tobacco growing and curing. A botanist, an entomologist, and an agricultural chemist are highly necessary and valuable members of the departmental staff, and much useful information is disseminated through the medium of the "Agricultural Journal," published by the Department.





In addition to giving instruction, the Government have built sheds in the principal farming centres on the Darling Downs for the storage of wheat and other grain until the farmers can dispose of their crops to advantage. Cheap money is supplied through the medium of the Agricultural Bank. There are trust funds from which advances are made to those who desire to build co-operative flour or sugar mills, butter and cheese factories, or meat-preserving works. Railways have been constructed in the older farming districts, produce is carried at moderate rates, and subsidies are given to steamship companies for the carriage of produce to oversea markets.

All this has been done for the man already on the land. Much is likewise being done to help the man who wishes to become a settler. Railways are being built into districts in which the Crown owns large areas fit for close settlement. In other localities roads are made, land is cleared, and wells and bores are sunk. Money is advanced on liberal terms and at a low rate of interest by the Agricultural Bank for the making of improvements and the purchase of stock, implements, and machinery. Land is cheap, and special concessions are given by the Railway Department to new settlers when taking up their land. The annual rent forms an instalment of the purchase money, and payments may be deferred during the initial years of occupancy, when the selector is under heavy expense and is getting little or no return from his land.

North and south along the coast, and west to the setting sun, long stretches of thick wood or grassy plain present themselves to the eye, solitary as in the dawn of creation, only awaiting the advent of the settler to be transformed into a scene of bustling activity.

Endowed with a sunny and salubrious climate, a fruitful soil, an 130 immense territory, Queensland has room for many millions of people; but those people must be of European birth or descent. For many years the settled policy of the country in regard to immigration was conservative. Now, however, all political parties are agreed upon the need for a larger population—but primarily an agrarian population. The great obstacles to immigration from Europe on any considerable scale are distance and expense. America is distant but a few days' sail, and the cost of a passage is correspondingly low. To place Queensland on an equally favourable footing, the Government have arranged with the British-India Steam Navigation Company to bring adult males from the United Kingdom to the State upon payment by the immigrants of £4 each. The rate for adult females is £2 per head, and £8 for males and females over 40 and under 55 years of age. Free passages may be granted to agricultural labourers introduced under contract if the employer pays a fee of £5 and guarantees a year's employment at approved wages. The balance of the passage-money in every case is paid by the State. Female domestic servants, and the wives and children of contract or part-paying immigrants, are carried free. Immigrants may select land before leaving the old country, with the option of getting a refund if not satisfied with their choice after their arrival in Queensland. Full particulars of the various forms of immigration will be found in Appendix F.

In 1908 the number of those who came from the British Isles was only 2,584, but the numbers are increasing since the inauguration of the B.I.S.N. service via Torres Strait, 2,737 immigrants having arrived during the first nine months of this year. Hundreds of desirable settlers and their families are coming every year from the Southern States and New Zealand, attracted by the cheaper land and brighter prospects. The stream of newcomers is now but a tiny rivulet; but, when each proclaims to his friends his success in the land of his adoption, that rivulet will swell to a mighty river.

Cheap passages and the cheap land across the Atlantic have till now turned westward the eyes of the millions of Europe anxious to become their own masters and to live a wider, freer life than is possible in their native lands. Queensland is taking steps to bring her attractions more prominently under the notice of the British and European public in order to secure a share of the rural populations of the Old World for herself. She has advantages—natural, material, social, and political—in no way inferior to those presented by other countries. Life and liberty are 131 nowhere more secure. A wide expanse of sea divides us from the nearest foreign Power. Living is cheaper and existence easier than in those lands to which the people of Europe are flocking. The sun is always shining, and winter, instead of being a period of enforced idleness, is a season when labour is greatly in demand. Crop succeeds crop without pause, and seed-time and harvest follow each other in quick procession. Stock feed in the open throughout the year, and winter brings little diminution in the yield of dairy produce.

With free institutions, individual liberty, and great natural resources, Queensland is destined to become the home of a numerous and prosperous people. It is our manifest duty to see that it forms part of a strong, self-reliant, British nation beneath the Southern Cross, linked in the bonds of affection with the Motherland and our brethren across the seas, with arms open in welcome to our kin and colour, but ready to defend ourselves against aggression. In the great work, the men who are subduing the wilderness and converting it into a smiling garden can be relied upon to play their part. Nature is a tender foster-mother; freedom is in the air. Stalwart in frame, courageous in heart, true scions of the race from which they spring, rejoicing in their manhood, grateful for their heritage, the yeomen of Queensland are the pride of their country.

"Not without envy Wealth at times must look

On their brown strength who wield the reaping-hook

And scythe, or at the forge-fire shape the plough

Or the steel harness of the steeds of steam;

All who, by skill and patience, anyhow

Make service noble, and the earth redeem

From savageness. By kingly accolade

Than theirs was never worthier knighthood made."




Sugar-cane in the Northern Hemisphere.—The Rise of the Beet Industry.—Abolition of Slave Labour in West Indies.—Reorganisation of Industry on Scientific Basis.—Establishment of Industry in Queensland.—Difficulties of Early Planters.—Stoppage of Pacific Island Labour.—Evolution of Small Holdings and Erection of Central Mills.—Reintroduction of Pacific Islanders.—Stoppage of Pacific Island Labour by Commonwealth Legislation.—Bonus on White-grown Sugar.—Benefits Arising from Separating Cultivation and Manufacture.—Contrast between Past and Present Methods.—Scientific Cultivation.—Recent Statistics.—The Future of the Industry.—Queensland Leading the Van in Establishing White Agriculturists in Tropics.

Long before the Christian era classical and sacred writers made mention of that "sweet cane" whose product plays so important a part in the everyday requirements of modern life.

Sugar-cane was introduced into Spain by the Moors early in the eighth century. The Moorish empire sank before the combined might of Spain in 1492, and in that year Columbus added a new world to the realm of Castile. Within a few years the sugar industry had taken firm root in the West Indies, and on every isle dotting the Spanish Main waved countless fields of cane, yielding crops beside which the production of Andalusia, already waning under the dead hand of Spain, paled into insignificance.

To the first Spanish planters is due the system upon which the sugar industry was conducted in the tropics for more than three hundred years. The haughty hidalgo, scorning to labour with his own hands, forced into his service the unresisting natives of the West. Unused to strenuous toil, they sank beneath the burden. Touched with pity for their sad lot, and anxious to save them from extirpation, Las Casas, "the Apostle of the Indians," urged the substitution of the children of Ham, whom he and all good Christians believed to have been doomed to perpetual bondage; and African slavery thus became an established institution in the West.

Whether under Spanish or British rule, the sugar industry of the West Indies, and of all other tropical countries to which it was extended, was carried on under a system of large plantations, owned as a rule by men of good family, who, deeming personal control beneath their dignity, deputed to overseers of meaner rank the supervision of their servile labourers. The profusion of Nature, coupled with vicarious management 133 and the absence of competition, engendered extravagance, improvident husbandry, and wasteful and unscientific manufacture, the while there rose to Heaven—

"Steaming up, a lamentation and an ancient tale of wrong,

Like a tale of little-meaning, tho' the words are strong;

Chanted from an ill-used race of men that cleave the soil,

Sow the seed, and reap the harvest with enduring toil."



Until well on in the nineteenth century little progress was made either in cultivation or manufacture. For more than three hundred years the history of the industry was one of slave labour, crude methods, and planters to whom life in the tropics meant exile from Europe, and whose sole object was to amass wealth to be spent in the pleasures of the courts of St. James, Versailles, or Madrid.

The first blow struck at the old-time theory that the tropics were created solely to supply the needs of dwellers in temperate climes was dealt by Napoleon when he took steps to establish the beet-sugar industry in France. His object was twofold—to render Continental Europe, which was then lying at his mercy, independent of Britain and the British colonies; and to cripple the trade of the only Power which had never stooped to his sway. Unconsciously, at the same time he laid the foundation of a tropical Britain peopled by the British race.

The successful establishment of the beet-sugar industry called for the application of industrial, scientific, and organising capacity of the highest order, and the Governments of France and other European countries fostered its development by heavy bounties.

The abolition of slavery in the British West Indies in 1834 and the later emancipation of the negroes in the United States so disorganised the sugar industry of the West that those engaged in it were too engrossed with their own affairs to heed the progress of the beet industry of Europe. The output of beet sugar steadily forged ahead until, in the early eighties, it was almost equal to the output of cane sugar. Tropical planters and manufacturers then found themselves engaged in a life-and-death struggle for which they were ill-equipped. Forced by inexorable necessity to face the situation, they realised that only by following the example of their rivals—by calling in the aid of science both in cultivation and in manufacture, and by paying the strictest attention to the financial side of their enterprise—could they hope to hold their own.

Just at the time that the Southern States of America were fighting desperately in defence of the slave system, the foundations of the 134 Queensland sugar industry were being laid. Despite the high prices then ruling for sugar, the profits were not large, owing to the primitive methods of cultivation and manufacture adopted on the plantations. In time, even in this remote quarter of the globe the growth of the beet industry compelled the planters to make radical changes. Antiquated husbandry, crude processes, and wasteful management were superseded by modern scientific methods. The subdivision of large estates, the substitution of small white growers for gangs of unskilled coloured labourers, and the establishment of co-operative central factories were Queensland's contribution to the solution of the problem of Beet versus Cane.

As Napoleon in his wildest dreams had no conception that his anti-British policy would ultimately lead to the expansion and evolution of the sugar industry of the tropics, so the Queenslander who first planted a few sticks of sugar-cane on the shores of Moreton Bay half a century ago little foresaw that from that humble beginning would develop the greatest agricultural industry of this State—an industry which, if treated with continued consideration and sympathy by the Commonwealth, bids fair to revolutionise the hitherto accepted view of the relations of the white races to the tropics. Yet, if we read aright the brief history of the Queensland sugar industry, and appreciate its present position, that first planter commenced a work which is likely to lead to permanent settlement in the tropics by men of European descent.

There was little to distinguish the establishment of our sugar industry from similar ventures in other parts of the tropics where the supply of cheap coloured native labour was insufficient for the requirements of the planters. The men who opened up the first plantations in Queensland were not Australians, except by adoption. Their experience had been gained in Java, Mauritius, the West Indies, and elsewhere. They came to this country imbued with the old notion that the best and most economical means of carrying on tropical agriculture was to cultivate large estates by the aid of gangs of coloured labourers; and it is a moot point whether, fifty years ago, any other method of establishing tropical industries in Queensland was possible. Certain land concessions were given to encourage the newcomers, and they were permitted to import Pacific Islanders, under Government supervision, as contract labourers for work in the fields.

Not all the early planters had been sugar-growers previously. In the Mackay district, which has always been one of the chief sugar centres, the first settlers grew cotton, tobacco, and arrowroot. But early in the sixties 135 it was recognised that the production of sugar offered the most satisfactory and profitable field for their enterprise. Generally, they were representatives of that class of whom Benjamin Kidd, in his "Control of the Tropics," says: "The more advanced peoples, driven to seek new outlooks for their activities, will be subject to a gradually increasing pressure to turn their attention to the great natural field of enterprise which still remains in the development of the tropics."

It was not sufficient for these early planters to take up land and plant their crops; they had to erect mills, where the cane could be converted into sugar, and this required capital. The cost of labour, provisions, and supplies was enormous. Communication along the coast was such that goods were taken North in small sailing vessels, and the pioneers were quite accustomed to travelling in a small steamer which anchored under the lee of a convenient island during the darkness of the night. Those who see the condition of the industry which has evolved from these first efforts must, in justice to the pioneers, recall the difficulties and risks which were faced by them.

Forty years ago the industry was an infant struggling with its teething troubles, still liable to premature death. In 1871 there were only 9,581 acres under sugar-cane in the whole of Queensland, and the production of sugar was only 3,762 tons, not equal to half the output of one of our large modern factories. The industry was then chiefly confined to the South, but it soon made its way northwards, and expanded so rapidly that, in 1881, the area under cane had increased to 28,026 acres, and there were no less than 103 mills in operation.

The industry then entered upon the first of its great reverses. Owing to the enormous increase in the output of beet sugar in Europe, prices fell rapidly. The first of the larger class of factories, conducted on modern lines, with improved appliances, came into existence, and small mills, unable to compete successfully, began to close. Labour supplies from the South Sea Islands became more expensive, and a class of white men, originally labourers who had saved money, took up selections as sugar farms, and sought to dispose of their crops of cane to the planter-proprietors of existing mills. The latter, alarmed by the passage of legislation decreeing an end to the employment of coloured labour, planted larger areas with the object of taking off as much cane as possible before they were deprived of the services of the Polynesian labourers then under contract. The immediate result was that the small farmers were unable to sell their crops at reasonable rates; and to help them the Government 136 of the day, whose avowed policy it was to have the industry carried on by white labour, decided to advance money to groups of these farmers to enable them to erect co-operative factories for the treatment of their cane. As an experiment, two such factories were built in the Mackay district, where the need was most clamant; and thus was laid the foundation of the central mill system, which has given such an impetus to the growth of the industry, conducted on the basis of white labour. Tentative though the experiment was, and though for many years not a complete financial success from the point of view of the mills, the erection of these mills at least showed that the interests of the farmer and the factory were mutually interdependent.

It was seen almost at once by the large planter that the farmer, working in the field beside his employees, was more eager for success than when he worked as labourer or overseer for another. The control of the factories, under directorates of farmers, was found to be more satisfactory and more economical than when in the hands of planters or managers with old-fashioned ideas of organisation—with managers, sub-managers, and large administrative staffs. Five years after the first loan was granted by the Government, and barely three after the rollers were started in the first of the two pioneer mills, these facts had become manifest. It says much for the sense and courage of the planters that this revolution in established methods did not dismay them, and their wisdom was shown in setting to work energetically to put the new methods into practice in the conduct of their own business.

In 1891 the Colonial Sugar Refining Company set the example by cutting up one of its large estates into farms of moderate size. Ten years earlier that estate was a cattle station, employing a couple of white men and a few aboriginals. Before the first six months of 1891 had passed, it was the home of fifty or sixty settlers, a number trebled within the next few years.

The new departure largely overcame the labour difficulty; in addition to that, it went far to meet the low prices for sugar. Many of the factories still continued to make sugar for sale in the open market, and a considerable quantity found its way, profitably, to London.

In 1892 a special Commissioner of the London "Times" (Miss Flora Shaw, now Lady Lugard) travelled through the sugar districts, and noted the evolution which was taking place. She seemed to foresee the future more clearly than many of those actually engaged in the industry. "Even the sugar industry," she wrote, "appears as a whole to be half-unconscious 137 of the results of the reorganisation through which it has passed, and lies, as it were, still asleep in the dawn of its own prosperity."







The middle nineties saw the fuller development of the central mill system. More groups of farmers were formed, loans were obtained from the Government, and further factories, mostly large and all well-equipped with the most modern machinery, were erected. A sudden demand arose in all parts of the coastal belt for sugar lands. The wiser of the planters subdivided their estates; owners of lands hitherto unutilised cut them up, and sold them to the inrush of farmers. The financial crisis of the early nineties and the action of Parliament in removing the embargo on the introduction of Pacific Islanders were no doubt contributing factors to the rapid increase in the number of would-be sugar-growers; but, whatever the cause, certain it is that at this time the spurt in cane cultivation and white settlement was greater than at any other period in the history of the industry in Queensland.

The year 1898 saw no less than 111,012 acres under cane, with a sugar production of 163,734 tons. The factories employed 3,709 men, nearly all Europeans, and the declared value of the sugar sent away from Queensland exceeded £1,300,000. The actual number of farmers cultivating cane in that year is not ascertainable, but it approximated 2,500.

It may fairly be claimed that Queensland has conquered her tropical littoral. Between Nerang in the South and Port Douglas in the North stretches a coastline of nearly 1,000 miles. At intervals along this great distance are large areas under cane and a number of considerable towns almost entirely dependent upon the sugar industry—including important centres like Bundaberg, with over 10,000 inhabitants, and Mackay and Cairns, each containing over 5,000 souls. Uninhabited swamps and forests and mountain lands—covered with rank tropical grasses or dense growths of trees and creepers—have given place to cultivated fields, in which stand thousands of comfortable homes rendered accessible by well-made roads, while many districts are provided with most of the adjuncts to modern civilisation. In fact, the white settler and worker live under conditions in no way inferior to those prevailing in agricultural centres in other parts of the world. European brains and European labour have brought into being a flourishing industry, and converted into one of the healthiest portions of Australia, fitted to become the permanent home of millions of our own race, a malarial belt where it had for long been thought none but coloured people would ever be able to labour and live.


The latter end of the nineties and the opening years of the present decade saw a further development of the principle of white settlement in our tropics. The federation of the Australian States offered the sugar-producer some escape from the keen competition of the world's markets through its fiscal policy of unhampered interstate freetrade, with protection against the world.

The Commonwealth Parliament, in its first session (1901), decided that the eight or nine thousand Pacific Islanders employed in cultivation should be returned to their islands, granting, by way of compensation for the increased cost of production, a bounty upon all white-grown sugar. As was the case under somewhat similar circumstances nearly twenty years before, this withdrawal of coloured labour gave a great impetus to planting. There was naturally some anxiety as to whether the supply of white labour in the future would be sufficient; but the profits made in the industry enabled the farmers to pay high wages at harvest time, and men flocked to the sugar districts from all parts of Australia.

One result of the labour legislation has been that many of the growers on large areas have considered it to their interest still further to subdivide their holdings, and their action has had the effect of increasing largely the number of farmers. It was estimated that last year the registered white growers of sugar-cane in Queensland numbered no less than 4,425. In addition to these, there is still a small number employing casual coloured labour. Of the whole output of 151,000 tons of sugar, fully 93 per cent. was produced without the aid of any coloured labour. In other words, white men almost exclusively, whether as employers or as workers, are now engaged in developing our tropical resources, and peopling with our own race solitudes previously untrodden save by a few aboriginal natives.

Less than thirty years ago it was the belief of most of those engaged in sugar production that the work of the mills was one of extreme complexity, and that success depended upon the possession of some special secret in the working. At that time the planter was also the miller. Now the work of cultivation is generally dissociated from the manufacture of sugar. Principally owing to the proprietary interest of the farmers in the various central mills, every stage of the work is openly and intelligently discussed, results are compared, and an efficiency attained which in many respects is equal to any in the sugar world. The factories no longer make sugar for the open market, but sell to the refiners. Analytical chemists check the work at every stage in the factory, and labour-saving appliances are the rule and not the exception. A modern factory is a wonderful 139 illustration of the application of science, mechanical invention, and organisation to human industry.

Nothing can better indicate the evolution of the Queensland sugar industry during the past forty years than a comparison between one of the first mills established in the State and one of the most modern.

Forty years ago the sugar-cane was drawn in a cart close to the single set of crushing rollers, flung on the ground, and then fed, stick by stick, through the rollers, emerging with less than half the juice extracted. The crushed sticks were taken out and spread on the ground in the open, until dry enough to be collected and brought to the furnaces for use as fuel. In the modern factory the cane arrives by tram or train, is mechanically placed on a long endless carrier, and passes, at the rate of twenty tons or more per hour, through several sets of rollers, the refuse, caught by strainers, returning to the rollers, while the megass, or exhausted fibre, goes direct to the furnaces.

The old mill crushed enough cane during six months to make two or three hundred tons of sugar. The modern factory deals with sufficient to produce anything from six to ten thousand tons, and in some cases more.

Steam has taken the place of fires at the boiling stations, and boiling in vacuo has been as fully adopted in Queensland as in other parts of the sugar-producing world. In the old mill the masse cuite, the last stage of the product before the sugar is dried off, had to be dug out from tanks, men standing up to their knees in the sticky substance, and handling it in buckets. Now, the masse cuite goes direct from the vacuum pans to the receivers, and thence into the centrifugals. There the molasses is separated, and the sugar is carried automatically to the bags standing on weighing machines only a few feet from the railway trucks which are waiting to take the product to the ship's hold.

The old-style factory carried on its operations solely by day. The present-day factory is lit throughout with electric light, and works day and night (Sunday excepted) for five or six months, employing, according to its capacity, from 100 to 150 men. Around each factory has sprung up a small settlement of artisans, storekeepers, and others, while, under a statute passed by the Queensland Parliament, the employees are decently housed, fed, and assured of good sanitation, their mental, moral, and financial welfare being provided for by the institution of reading and recreation rooms, and the establishment of branches of the Government Savings Bank.


Turning to the agricultural operations, similar evidence of the evolution of the industry is to be found. Time was when a visitor could stand on some slight eminence and look over vast areas of cane, the vista unbroken save for a few trees, or the plantation roads running like ribbons through a sea of waving green. Now the prospect discloses the homes of farmers standing out amongst the cane, with all the evidences of a closely settled and thriving population. The large gangs of labourers tending the cultivation have for the most part disappeared. Instead, the farmer and his sons, with possibly one or two labourers, work side by side in the fields.

At harvest time long lines of carts drawing cane to the mills no longer make a picturesque feature in the landscape; locomotives now haul cane-trains over the hundreds of miles of narrow-gauge tramline which radiate from the factories to all points from which supplies of cane are drawn. Where but a few years back was naught but the lonely bush, its silence broken only by the lowing of a few cattle, the occasional passing of an aboriginal stockman or a party of drovers, carriers, or a chance swagman—birds of passage between the inland stations and the ports on the coast—townships have sprung into being, and every half-mile reveals the home of the farmer nestling among his fields of emerald green.

During the past few years, mainly owing to the satisfactory prices received for their cane, the farmers have been profitably employed. They have learned in the school of experience that cane cultivation requires practical knowledge, and that in many cases their land needs special treatment, which they must study for themselves. Nothing has brought this fact home to the farmers more thoroughly than the work of the Sugar Experiment Station at Mackay, and the valuable reports published by the late Director, Dr. W. Maxwell.

In the early seventies the sugar-planters of Mackay awoke one morning to discover the whole of their crops destroyed, as if a fire had passed over them. They then grew only one variety of cane, which had become diseased. Fresh varieties had to be introduced from abroad, with all the risk of introducing canes that were worthless, or, worse still, of bringing in pests or diseases. So far, sugar-cane in Queensland has been singularly and fortunately free from natural enemies. Thanks to the work of Mr. H. Tryon, the Government Entomologist, the grower readily recognises the presence of insect pests, and knows how to deal promptly with them on their first appearance.

The farmer is learning to know his cane; he studies its habits, and is 141 quick to appreciate the good and bad effects of his operations. The analyses at the mills have directed his attention to the importance of cane being a good sugar-producer, and, as he is in many cases a shareholder in a factory, he is alive to the fact that weight of cane is not the only essential to success. For many years the need for securing canes richer in sugar was largely neglected all over the world, but recently efforts have been made to repeat in the case of cane the splendid results won by such men as the late Sir J. B. Lawes and the French chemist, Vilmorin, in connection with the sugar-producing qualities of the beet. The officials at the Queensland Sugar Experiment Stations have tested fully sixty varieties of cane, including some from Papua, to discover the agricultural and milling value of each.





It is only natural that in an industry whose operations extend over so many degrees of latitude conditions must greatly vary. Irrigation is necessary in some districts, notably in the Burdekin Delta, which lies in a dry belt. Drainage is the prime requisite in other places. Fertilisation varies with the soils, and information as to the latter has been compiled in a series of exhaustive analyses made by Dr. W. Maxwell at the laboratory in Bundaberg. In South Queensland the cane frequently takes two years to mature, while in the extreme North fifteen months after planting it is fit for the rollers.

According to the official estimate of the Commonwealth Treasurer for 1908, 4,825 farmers were then engaged in the industry in Queensland, 91·7 per cent. of whom employed white labour only, the number of employees being in round figures 30,000. In 1902 the number of farmers was only 2,496, showing the rapidity with which closer settlement is taking place. It is true that of late there has been a reduction in the area under cultivation, but this is probably attributable to the tendency to make "intense cultivation" a feature of the industry in order to solve the labour problem. Some of the larger areas under crop have been curtailed, and the reduction has not been made good by the increased settlement; but, as in the eighties those engaged in the industry found, possibly unconsciously, a remedy for the dearth of labour, so we may reasonably expect that the present difficulty in obtaining men for the ordinary work of cultivation will be met by new developments.

What does the future hold for us? Can we continue the work of building up a white nation beneath a tropical sun—a task which in many parts of the world is considered quixotic? The areas available for cane cultivation are still enormous, and, though hesitancy and doubt may for a 142 time join hands in checking expansion, the main facts remain that there is room for the people and that there is a demand for the product. Australia, in her fiscal policy, has recognised that the sugar industry is a national industry, and our statesmen realise that it is doing for the Australian tropics what no other industry on the coastal lands has yet seriously attempted—what, indeed, no other country in the world is as yet prepared to try.

Assuming, as we have a right to assume, a sympathetic Australian Government, we can turn to the future with eyes full of hope. There are many directions in which we may look for the expansion of the industry. The increasing population of the Commonwealth involves an added capacity to consume the product. The field of invention in regard to the harvesting of the cane has yet to be explored and exploited. At present the cost of cutting and loading a field of cane is from eight to ten times that of harvesting an equal amount of sugar beets. Experiments are constantly being made with mechanical appliances for cutting and loading and unloading cane, and this is one direction in which Queenslanders may look forward hopefully to the time when they will not only lessen the volume of labour required, but when they will reduce the burdensome nature of the work, and place the cane-sugar industry in a position to compete successfully with the great beet-sugar industry of Europe.

Some 250,000 gallons of rum are distilled annually at Bundaberg, but we are told officially that 4,000,000 gallons of molasses go to waste every year. The conversion of this product into foodstuffs for live stock as an adjunct to the main industry would add materially to the profits.

In some sugar districts, dairying is finding a footing, and possibly the time is not far distant when a form of mixed farming will enable the cane-grower to utilise more of the by-products of his industry, at the same time rendering him more independent of unfavourable meteorological conditions. Generally speaking, improvement in the quality and quantity of the cane, intense culture, mechanical inventions, and the use of by-products are all within the bounds of possibility, and will make for further progress.

But all these things are of secondary importance compared with the need of a settled working population. Back from the coast lies a range of mountains, rising often 3,000 feet above the level of the sea. Along and behind these mountains are excellent lands, well suited for close settlement and for the production of cereals, and the fruits and vegetables so greatly needed in the more humid areas of the littoral belt. The climate of this 143 elevated hinterland is excellent, and the close settlement of these lands will furnish one of the safeguards of the sugar industry, seeing that a permanent population within easy reach will always be available for employment in the canefields and sugar-mills. To a large extent, the populations of the lowlands and the highlands will be mutually dependent upon each other.

In the early days of settlement in East and West Moreton and on the Darling Downs, the small selector, with no capital in many cases save a pair of strong hands, a courageous heart, and a tireless energy, made his way every year to the squatter's shearing shed. No thought had he of "knocking down" his hard-earned cheque. Labour disputes never entered his mind. With his earnings he paid his rent and improved his land. It was men of this stamp who built up the great agricultural industry of Southern Queensland, and they and their descendants of the second and third generations are the very cream of the farmers of to-day. It is to a similar class of settlers in the sugar districts and their hinterland that we look for the proper settlement and development of our tropical lands. And in our aspirations for a great white agricultural population we are entitled to expect the sympathetic assistance of our kinsmen in the South and of the Empire at large. For not only are we doing what we can to make a prosperous and contented people, but we are doing a great work for the whole of the white races. We are proving that the tropics can be conquered and permanently settled by people of our own race and colour; we are holding one of the gateways of the East; and we are garrisoning an important outpost of the Empire. Kipling's stirring words, written of Queensland, find an echo in the hearts of Queenslanders—

The northern stirp beneath the southern skies—

I build a Nation for an Empire's need,

Suffer a little, and my land shall rise,

Queen over lands indeed!




The Quest for Gold a Colonising Agency.—Earliest Discoveries of the Precious Metal in Queensland.—Port Curtis.—Rockhampton District.—Peak Downs.—Gympie.—Ravenswood.—Charters Towers.—Palmer.—Mount Morgan.—Croydon.—Later Discoveries.—Yield at Charters Towers and Mount Morgan.—Copper Mining.—Tin.—Silver.—Queensland the Home of All Kinds of Minerals and Precious Stones.—Mineral Wealth in Cairns Hinterland.—Copper Deposits in Cloncurry District.—The Etheridge.—Anakie Gem Field.—Opal Fields.—Extensive Coal Measures.—Railway Communication with Mining Fields.—Value of Queensland Mineral Output.—Prospects of Industry.

The quest for gold, to say nothing of other minerals, has had much to do with the settlement and development of Queensland, apart from the direct advantages conferred on the State by her mining industry. It has brought to our shores many thousands of people who would not otherwise have come here; it has helped to open up for occupations other than mining previously unknown and unexplored regions that, but for the prospector, might have lain dormant for many more years; while the successful development of the territory's rich and almost unlimited mineral wealth has aided in making our State known in other parts of the world, and thus assisted in attracting hither the people and capital that have been the chief contributing factors to our wonderful progress.

Fifty years ago, when what is now Queensland, casting itself free from the parental skirts of New South Wales, began to walk alone, its mining industry did not exist. It would not be correct to say that gold—here, as elsewhere in Australia, the first to be sought and found of the numerous minerals that have since proved a source of so much wealth to the State—had not been then discovered upon our shores. Fifteen years before, men attached to an official establishment at Gladstone, Port Curtis, found "colours" of the yellow metal; and in 1858, the year preceding "Separation," occurred the Canoona "rush," which 145 proved so disastrous to the 15,000 or 20,000 adventurers who then swarmed to the Rockhampton district in search of the "saint-seducing gold." But the so-called "colours" detected at picturesque Gladstone were nothing more than can to this day be traced in scores of places in Queensland; while the find at Canoona proved a fiasco so great as to spread abroad the impression that this part of Australia, as a prospective field for mining enterprise, was a delusion. But was it? Within a dozen miles or so of the scene of the Canoona disappointment was situated the "mountain of gold" that has since earned world-wide fame under the name of Mount Morgan; and by the end of Queensland's first half-century the Rockhampton (or Central) district has turned out gold to the sum of nearly 3,500,000 fine ounces, representing a money value of over £14,500,000—the bulk of it won within the last moiety of the half-century.





Three years after the foundation of the colony of Queensland gold in payable quantities was discovered on the Peak Downs, inland from Rockhampton; but it was not till the finding of the Gympie field late in 1867—eight years after severance from New South Wales—that Queensland first definitely took rank as a gold producer. Within six months from the time when the wandering digger Nash, fossicking in the gullies running into the upper Mary River, found the promising specimens in his dish which made him hasten to Maryborough to report his discovery, 15,000 men had flocked to the spot from all parts of Australia. The place had hardly been heard of before. Pressmen in Brisbane did not even know how to spell the name "Gympie" when first the news arrived; but within a very few weeks its fame spread far and wide. The gullies in the vicinity of Nash's claim were rich and numerous. One nugget brought to light weighed nearly a thousand ounces, and was worth £3,675. Soon alluvial gave place to quartz mining, and within five years gold to the value of more than £1,500,000 had been won. Up to the end of 1908—that is, in forty-one years—the field had produced gold worth £10,350,000, and is still "going strong." Like all other fields, it has of course had its ups and downs, and just now is recovering its feet after one of its "downs." Last year Gympie produced gold to the value of nearly £270,000; the grade of its ore is improving, and its monthly yields are now showing comparative increases.

Since the discovery of the Gympie goldfield there has been no cessation in the progress of mining in Queensland. From one end of the 146 territory to another the existence of gold and other minerals has from time to time been disclosed. For many years—

"Gold! Gold! Gold! Gold!

Bright and yellow, hard and cold—"

but still much to be desired—was the magnet which attracted the peripatetic prospector away from the comforts of civilisation into the rugged wilds of the coastal ranges and the gullies and stony stream-beds of the eastern watershed; and for a long while it was only the gold discoveries that attracted much attention. A year or so after the Gympie find, the Ravenswood goldfield, south-west from Townsville, "broke out," to use the phrase of the old-time digger. In 1869 the precious metal was found on the Gilbert River, and the Gilbert, Etheridge, and Woolgar fields were proclaimed. Then came Charters Towers, our premier goldfield, in 1872; the Palmer, inland from Cooktown (then the very far North), in 1873; the Hodgkinson, a little more to the south, in 1875; the great Mount Morgan in 1882; Croydon in 1886; and other discoveries, until Dickie, a veteran prospector, found the Hamilton and Alice River fields in the Peninsula—the former in 1899 and the latter as late as 1904.

In its thirty-six years of existence Charters Towers has turned out over 5,800,000 ounces—more than £24,600,000 worth of gold; last year's output was of the value of £700,000; and to-day the indications in the deeper ground of the field are such that there is reason to expect that both the term of its existence and the volume of its output will be greatly extended. At Mount Morgan—the show mine of Queensland, and one of the greatest in the world—there has been quarried out of the hill and dug from the depths beneath stone that, under treatment by works in every way worthy of such a mine, has, in a little over twenty-two years, yielded gold to the value of over £13,760,000; has paid in wages and other expenditure about £7,000,000; and has given to the fortunate holders of its 1,000,000 shares some £7,230,000 in dividends. That is what the big mine has done. What is it doing now? True, the phenomenal yields of gold and the high grade of its auriferous ores that characterised the earlier years of its history showed signs of diminishing as time went on; but diminishing yields were counterbalanced by improved methods of mining and treatment, with consequent reduction of costs; and a few years since copper as well as gold was found in the lower levels, with the result that the mine has become at once the most productive copper and the most 147 productive gold mine of the State. It has already turned out copper to the value of about £1,500,000, which has to be added to the gold yield, given above, to arrive at its total product; while the value of the mine's aggregate output for 1908 (over £1,017,000) was greater, with perhaps one exception, than that of any previous year in its history.

Though for some years gold was the only string to the bow of Queensland's mining industry, that state of things has long since changed. In the early sixties copper was mined in the State, but then and for many years afterwards only to a limited extent. Tin came on the scene in 1872. During the first forty years of Queensland's existence the gold won within her borders was four times the worth of all other minerals and coal produced; but so rapid has been the increase during the past ten years in the production of the industrial metals—or "other minerals," as they are officially termed, to distinguish them from gold—that in 1907 their value exceeded that of the gold yield by over £170,000. Indeed, during the five years ending with that year there was an almost phenomenal expansion. The output of 1902 was of the value of only £589,960. In the following year it increased to £846,280, and then for four years jumped up by leaps and bounds, until in 1907 the yield was worth no less than £2,153,226.

The known mineral-producing country of Queensland extends over an immense area. It begins on the southern border, where the Silver Spur mine maintains a constant output of silver and other mineral products, and where the Stanthorpe district, our first stanniferous field, still materially assists, with the aid of dredges, in the tin production of the State; and extends northerly a hundred miles beyond the goldfield of Coen, in the Cape York Peninsula. Over this immense distance of some 1,300 miles from south to north, and extending inland from 50 to 200 miles from the eastern coast, are located at varying intervals fields producing gold, silver, copper, tin, coal, lead, sapphires, manganese, wolfram, molybdenite, bismuth, and graphite; while further to the west are the opal fields of Jundah, Opalton, and Kynuna, the copper deposits of the vast Cloncurry district, the silver-lead mines of Lawn Hills in the Burketown district, and the Croydon goldfield, also on the Gulf waters. Queensland, with a huge area of 670,500 square miles and a scant population of little more than half a million of people, has a hundred proclaimed gold, mineral, and coal fields, having a combined area of about 50,000,000 acres.

Apart from goldfields, by far the most important and productive of 148 these areas is the tract of country which forms the hinterland of the port of Cairns—a tract which includes the tin-mining centres of Herberton, Stannary Hills, Irvinebank, Nymbool, and Reid's Creek; the copper and silver-lead mines of Chillagoe and Mungana; the copper mines of Mount Molloy and O.K.; the wolfram, molybdenite, and bismuth mines of Wolfram Camp, Bamford, and Mount Carbine; and the antimony deposits of the Mitchell River. The two large mineral fields into which this portion of the State is now officially divided—Chillagoe and Herberton—have together an area of over 8,500,000 acres. The port of Cairns was not established till 1876—seventeen years after the foundation of the State. Now there yearly pass through it from the area mentioned minerals worth from £600,000 to £800,000, exclusive of the mineral product from the Etheridge and Croydon fields, which also, for the most part, finds an outlet through the same channel. Copper and tin are responsible for more than half the amount named, but the potentialities of the district as far as other minerals are concerned are almost unlimited. Of wolfram—taking only one example—this part of the State alone can supply the world's demand, and have a good deal to spare afterwards. The Queensland Government Geologist has estimated that the wolfram-bearing country in this portion of Queensland extends over an area of 3,500 square miles. Given anything like a permanent demand and a fair and steady market, wolfram production would soon take a prominent position in our mining industry. The historical tin mine of the district is the Vulcan, at Irvinebank, which has attained the greatest depth (1,450 feet) reached by any tin mine in Queensland, and where the appliances for recovering the metal are more up-to-date than at Dolcoath, the most famous tin mine of Cornwall. During the twenty-five years of its existence, the Vulcan Mine has from 106,000 tons of tin ore produced over 9,790 tons of concentrates, worth something approaching £500,000, and has paid its lucky shareholders dividends to the extent of £160,000. The opening up of this large and prolific district is largely due to the enterprise of the Chillagoe Company, which not only has developed extensively its several mines and erected large ore-treatment works, but has built the railway—in length 93 miles—which connects those mines and numerous others with the Government railway at the top of the Coastal Range at Mareeba, and is building a further extension to the Etheridge field, nearly 150 miles further inland.

Queensland is known as a country of magnificent distances, and one 149 example of its vast expanse is the extent of the copper area of the Cloncurry district, which is tapped by the Great Northern Railway 480 miles westward from the port of Townsville. This district is by far the largest tract of copper-bearing country in Australia, and one of the largest in the world. As the crow flies, it extends north and south for more than 150 miles, and east and west some 80 or 100 miles. Over this large area, covering at least 15,000 square miles, copper has been proved to exist. At the close of 1907 there were on the Warden's books over 800 mineral leases, besides some hundreds of claims and several freeholds. The outcrops throughout the district have been described by one of the Government Geologists as innumerable and phenomenally rich. But the district is still in the prospecting stage, and it is yet too soon to pronounce an opinion as to whether the deposits generally will live at depth, or of what value they will be if they do, although it may safely be said that the developments in the more important mines during the past twelve months have been distinctly encouraging. Smelting operations are already in progress at two, if not three, of the principal mining centres of the district, and a railway extension from Cloncurry 74 miles southward is now in course of construction. Another Queensland mineral field of vast extent is the Etheridge. It has an area equal to half that of Scotland, and the Warden for the field, when he undertakes his periodical patrol, has an itinerary of about 400 miles.



Passing reference has been made to the sapphire field of Anakie, in Central Queensland, and to the opal to be found in her trackless West. As a matter of fact, isolated finds of many kinds of gems besides these two have been made in widely separated parts of the State, but as a recognised branch of the mining industry opal and sapphire mining has for years occupied an important place. In the Anakie field, 190 miles from Rockhampton, on the Central Railway, the existence of gem-stones was officially reported as early as 1892. Ten years later the Government Geologist, reporting on these sapphire fields, stated that "the total distance along which deposits are found ... is altogether about fifteen miles. Of an area of 400 square miles examined, fifty square miles contain deposits carrying sapphires of more or less value." In 1905, another member of the Geological staff reported that the most important recent development had been the opening up of a second bed of the sapphire wash at a depth of 25 feet, and that excellent stones, freer from flaws than those nearer the surface, were being obtained from the lower deposit. Mining 150 for these precious stones, many of which are of the most beautiful description, has been to a considerable extent detrimentally affected by the difficulty experienced in getting a regular market and what is considered a fair price for the gems; but, notwithstanding this drawback, there was a large expansion in the industry during the four years preceding 1907—the annual production having increased in that period from £7,000 to £35,000 in value. In 1908, however, there was a considerable falling off, mainly because miners were not satisfied with the prices obtainable; but, with an improvement in this respect, renewed activity on the field, which even now supports a population of over 1,000 persons, may be looked for.

The opal-bearing country extends over a much wider area than sapphires. The width of this country is, roughly, about 250 miles, while in length it extends right from the New South Wales border half-way up the State in a curve bending towards the South Australian border. The chief centres of production have been Kynuna (near Winton), Opalton and Fermoy (in the Longreach district), Eromanga, and Yowah (near Thargomindah). The Queensland opal is recognised as being unsurpassed for its brilliance and iridescence, and there is reason to believe that much more will be found than has yet been unearthed; but the quest for it is difficult owing to the arid nature and vast extent of the western plains where it occurs. In good seasons men in those regions find ready employment on the pastoral stations; in very dry ones, they cannot prospect for the precious stone, and the result has been that the industry has fluctuated even more than that of sapphire mining. The highest point was attained in 1895, when the value of the opal product reached nearly £33,000. Of late years Queensland has been blessed with good seasons, and the uncertain occupation of opal mining has, with many men, given place to the more regular and more comfortable station life. While the opal, the sapphire, and other precious stones have been dug from Queensland's earth, her Northern waters have for years yielded the lustrous pearl, and in 1908 pearl-shell to the value of £71,000 was exported.

Sir William Ramsay, speaking as a scientific authority, lately stated that the day will come when Great Britain, if she continue to be dependent on her own coal supplies, will find it difficult not only to carry on her manufactures but to provide fuel for household purposes. Well, when that day does come, she can send to Queensland for what coal she wants. Here there are coal measures in abundance—in the South, Central, and Northern divisions of the State, and on the Darling Downs. True, 151 we have not yet done much in the way of production, but all that is wanted is a market, and coal, both bituminous and anthracitic, can be dug out of the earth and sent away in practically unlimited quantities. Of ironstone, also, there is an abundance, and that, too, in such close proximity to the coal supplies that when the time arrives for Australia to enter earnestly into the enterprise of iron and steel manufacture Queensland should play an important part both in producing the raw material and in preparing the product for the market.

With only one or two exceptions, all the important mining centres of Queensland are now connected with the eastern coast by rail, and those that are not are being rapidly linked up. During the year 1908 thirteen new railways were authorised by Parliament, five of them to serve mineral districts. Four of these lines are now under construction; and in addition the railway to the Etheridge field is completed for two-thirds of its length.

To sum up: Queensland during the half-century of her existence has produced gold to the value, in round numbers, of over £69,000,000, and other minerals, coal, and precious stones worth more than £21,000,000—or an aggregate of £90,000,000. Last year's mineral production was worth £3,844,000, so that, even at the same rate of output, in less than three years we shall have topped the £100,000,000. The number of men obtaining employment in connection with the industry during 1908 was just upon 21,000—only 4,000 less than Queensland's total population in 1859. The value of machinery and plant used for mining and ore reduction purposes throughout the State is over £2,000,000. The worth of the coal output of the West Moreton district alone last year (£193,000) was more than the total revenue of Queensland during the first year of her existence; while the mineral product of the Herberton district during the same period was nearly four times as great.

In the space available for this article it has been possible to take but a cursory view of the mineral progress which has characterised the first half-century of Queensland's life, but enough has been written to show that that progress has been remarkable, if not phenomenal. And who shall say what strides will be made during the next fifty years, or venture to predict what will be the value of our mineral wealth in the year 1959? It is a safe rule "not to prophesy till you know," but even the most timid prophet could hardly hesitate to predict expansion for Queensland's mining industry. Where there has been so much growth in the past, and where there is such an unlimited field for greater growth in 152 the years to come, it would be absurd to suppose that there will be no further advance. As a matter of fact, many well qualified to judge do not hesitate to say that the industry is as yet in its infancy. It has been truly said of gold that "what it is, there it is"; and what you have to do is to find where it is. When it is remembered, however, that the prominent hill known as Mount Morgan, with its millions' worth of golden ore, was within a day's journey of the populous town of Rockhampton, and remained undiscovered until 1882, although alluvial gold had been found at its base for years previously and the disappointed miners from Canoona had twenty-three years before swarmed in its vicinity; when we recollect that only quite recently nuggets have been found in the streets of some of the oldest of Victorian mining townships, who shall say what has yet to be unearthed in the wide expanses of Queensland's bush, a great deal of which is already known to be "rich with the spoils of Nature"?

"Full many a gem of purest ray serene,

The dark unfathom'd caves of ocean bear;"

and the experience of the last half-century amply justifies the belief that untold millions lie hidden in the earthen depths of Queensland.








Erroneous Judgment of Western Queensland.—Scarcity of Surface Water.—Water Supply Department.—Discovery of Artesian Water in New South Wales.—Prospecting in Queensland.—Difficulties Experienced by Early Borers.—First Artesian Flowing Bore.—Dr. Jack's First Estimate of Artesian Area.—Revised Figures.—Number of Bores and Estimated Flow.—Area Capable of being Irrigated with Artesian Water.—Cost of Boring.—Value of Artesian Water.—Extent of Intake Beds.—Waste of Water.—Necessity for Government Control of Wells.—Value of Water for Irrigation, Consumption, and Motive Power.—Artesian Water a Great National Asset.

Fifty years ago the white population of Australia, including Tasmania, scarcely exceeded a million persons. At that time the theory was generally accepted that only a fringe of the coast south of the tropic of Capricorn would be found habitable by a British or European population. The reports of explorers led to the conclusion that the vast inland area of our continent was an irreclaimable arid desert, save when, at long and uncertain intervals, it was ravaged by destructive floods, the water from which, licked up by a fiery sun or absorbed by a porous subsoil, disappeared from the surface with marvellous rapidity. A little more than forty years ago squatting occupation had been pushed towards the interior of the continent with not only rapid strides, but it was held by many explorers with a presumptuous boldness that could only be followed by disaster. So deeply had this conviction been driven into the minds of experienced men that a distinguished Australian explorer, the late Sir A. C. Gregory, declared in his late maturity, little more than ten years ago, that on what is now some of the richest and most productive country in Western Queensland a bandicoot could not live; and on the statement being challenged he said he spoke from personal experience as an explorer after two visits separated by an interval of nine years. The country more particularly so condemned was the well-known pastoral run, Wellshot, a little to the south of Longreach, and one of the largest and finest wool-growing properties in Australia.

It must be frankly conceded that the occupation by flocks and herds nearly forty years ago of what was then known as the Barcoo and Thomson country was venturesome to the point of recklessness. Except in the sandy beds of these rivers there was practically no surface water of a permanent 154 nature; and the average rainfall was so inadequate, not to mention its capriciousness, and the ground in many places so porous, that any attempt to provide artificial water by the construction of dams or tanks seemed almost tempting Providence. Yet there arose a persistent belief, afterwards more than justified, that underneath the arid surface was flowing water in great abundance. The rainfall, however copious in exceptional seasons, certainly did not reach the sea, and the hypothesis that great subterranean rivers would disclose themselves to a systematic search attracted much notice. In the dry year of 1883 the necessity of an improved water supply if the country was not to be denuded of stock forced itself upon the attention of our leading public men. The Premier, the late Sir Thomas McIlwraith, decided to constitute a Government Hydraulic Department with a competent engineer at its head. There had previously been so-called hydraulic engineers, but their work was chiefly confined to the water supply of a few towns and of the more settled districts on the coast. But Sir Thomas McIlwraith, as a runholder in the Far West, realised that nothing but heroic efforts, assisted by the Government, would save the country from desertion, with appalling loss to its adventurous occupiers and their flocks and herds. Mr. J. Baillie Henderson was at the time in the Queensland public service, and the Premier knew that he had served with distinction as an engineer in the Water Supply Department of Victoria. That gentleman was therefore selected to organise a Water Supply Department in Queensland, and on 1st February, 1883, he was gazetted Hydraulic Engineer, an appointment which he has ever since held with credit to himself and advantage to the country.a

At that time the existence of artesian water in Queensland was no more than suspected. It had been tapped four years previously in New South Wales, but the boring appliances were so inadequate as to make the process tedious and of questionable practicability on an extensive scale. In Queensland some prospecting work had been done, and in some places fair supplies of water obtained by sinking ordinary wells. But in the Far West there was little scope for enterprise in that direction. Hence some extensive dams were constructed across watercourses ordinarily dry, but without conspicuous success. For often the rush of flood waters either carried away the embankments, or the reservoirs they created quickly silted up, or the porousness of the subsoil could not be entirely combated 155 by "puddling." Then streams at times complaisantly abandoned their old channels and formed new ones, leaving the intended reservoirs high and dry after the most deluging rains. After a time it was found that better sites than the beds of main watercourses could be found for dams, and that the construction of tanks would suffice in many places to provide sufficient water for a scattered population and the increasing numbers of live stock, although the expense of this mode of conservation was great for the limited supply obtained. Evidently, if the Far West was ever to be completely utilised, its almost illimitable areas of splendid pastures must be watered by some more effective means.

Attention was at this time attracted to the success of the few artesian bores in New South Wales, and to the vast scale on which water had been tapped by that means in the United States of America. The chief obstacles, however, were the great depth at which artesian water might be expected to be found, and the utter inadequacy of the boring machinery then in use in Australia; moreover, the search was most needed in the areas practically inaccessible by reason of the absence of surface water. For a considerable time, as is disclosed in the digest of the Hydraulic Engineer's annual reports reproduced in Appendix H, little progress could be made.

It was not until October, 1884, in fact—just twenty-five years ago—that information was obtained of the striking of sub-artesianb water by the Messrs. Bignell at Widgeegoara Station, close to the New South Wales border. The place was visited by Mr. Henderson, and by him reported upon encouragingly. In the same month the Treasurer received a letter from the late Hon. George King, of Gowrie Station, Darling Downs, directing attention to the "Walking Beam Rig" machine, an American well-boring apparatus, by the use of which it had been ascertained that his firm might have saved £4,500 out of the £6,000 spent by it in well-sinking in the Warrego district. The letter being referred to the Hydraulic Engineer, that officer recommended the introduction of American bore-sinking machinery, and the engagement of American skilled drillers who would undertake to give instruction in the use of the machinery as well as engage in drilling work for the Government of Queensland. Delays occurred, however, apparently through the unwillingness of the Government to adopt the advice tendered. It was not until December, 1885, that 156 Mr. Arnold, an American well-borer, was despatched to Blackall to sink a bore there. The first attempt failed, but afterwards water was struck in abundance, though not by him, or until after the first Queensland flowing well had been sunk by the Government at Barcaldine in December, 1887.

In April, 1887, the Hydraulic Engineer had visited Thurulgoona Station, and there found that Mr. Loughead, with the "Canadian Pole Tool" boring apparatus, had obtained a supply of excellent fresh artesian water from a depth of 1,009 feet, the flow rising 20 inches above ground. From that date boring went on apace, and the exploratory success of the Government encouraged private persons to follow their lead. There were failures to strike artesian water, of course, both on the part of the Government and private persons, but on the whole the results have been such as to add to Queensland occupiable country equivalent to a great new province in the Far West.

map of artesian water-bearing country in Australia

The map presented herewith shows the area of artesian water-bearing country in Australia as estimated by Dr. R. L. Jack, formerly Government Geologist. Since 1893 Queensland has been credited with the area of 157 376,832 square miles, this being equal to 56 per cent. of the estimated total. But that total has since been reduced to 569,000 square miles, and late information shows that the approximate area of the Queensland artesian basin, as ascertained by scaling off the most recent map issued by the Hydraulic Engineer, is 372,105 square miles—4,727 square miles less than the area given in his report for 1893. Yet the revised figures bring the Queensland artesian area up to 65 per cent. of the Australian total. The difference is accounted for by later information acquired in the field. Of the 372,105 square miles mentioned the area of 146,430 square miles has been tested and found to be less or more artesian or sub-artesian. Mr. Henderson says: "The flows from many of the artesian bores which at one time or another yielded artesian water have failed, but owing to the suspension of the hydraulic survey the available data are quite insufficient to admit of a trustworthy estimate being made of the area so affected."



The total supply of bore water has not been ascertained by actual measurement except from Government bores. But all possible reports of reputed flows have been obtained from the owners of private bores, and the figures cut down to 47 per cent. of the furnished estimates. This reduction is not an arbitrary one, however, but is the equivalent of the difference found to exist between the average estimate and the measured flow of such bores as the Hydraulic Department has been enabled to test.

Information from the Hydraulic Engineer's office shows that up to the end of May last there were 716 flowing bores in Queensland, pouring forth an enormous supply of sparkling water estimated at slightly over 479¼ million gallons a day, equal to a discharge of 175,000 million gallons per annum.c This flow, if conserved in tanks and pipes, would furnish a population of nearly 12 millions with 40 gallons of water per capita a day. It would irrigate 644,366 acres of cultivated land with 12 inches of water per annum.d An area so irrigated, utilised solely for wheat-growing, would produce, at 20 bushels per acre, nearly 13 million bushels of grain, which is equal to 28·87 per cent. of the entire Commonwealth wheat crop for the year 1907-8. The average Commonwealth yield for the last five years, however, was 61½ million bushels. The average area under 158 wheat for the same period was 5,864,114 acres, the average yield for the Commonwealth therefore being slightly over 10½ bushels to the acre. As much wheat is cut for fodder, and as irrigated land should produce a largely increased crop, 20 bushels per acre for such land seems a moderate estimate. Moreover, in 1902-3, the Commonwealth crop was under 12½ million bushels, or less than one-fifth of the mean average for the succeeding five years. At the same time the area of land under crop was in 1902-3 but little below the succeeding five-year average on an acre of land.e

The presumably perpetual daily flow of 479¼ million gallons of artesian water—the quantity named being equal to only 47 per cent. of the reputed flow in the case of unmeasured wells—has cost, so far as an estimate can be made, £1,873,515. This works out at the average of £2,616 per flowing bore, supplying 669,369 gallons a day. Calculating on the basis of 5 per cent., including interest and redemption payments, the annual charge for this money is equal to £131 per well, spread over a forty-one years' term, the average cost to each well-owner being thus £1 for 1,865,000 gallons of water a year. Thus, although much money has been lost in sinking unsuccessful bores, the investment has on the whole been amazingly profitable, even allowing that a further annual charge for maintenance must be added.

It need hardly be said, however, that in practice this enormous flow of artesian water could not be utilised solely either for human consumption or for irrigation. Under existing conditions the first claim upon it may be said to be for the sustenance of live stock, as the domestic consumption in the region of the flow is comparatively trifling. And here arises a problem of vast importance. Will this flow be perpetual, or will it gradually decline until exhaustion of the sources of supply ultimately takes place? The latter contingency there seems to be little reason to fear, for the area of the intake beds, estimated by Dr. R. L. Jack at 5,000 square miles, affords the assurance that our artesian springs will be constantly replenished by the rainfall over that large extent of country. Yet, when the existing number of artesian wells has been doubled or trebled, it seems not improbable that many of them will become sub-artesian, and only yield their fertilising streams in response to pumping-power. On this question, however, expert opinions widely differ. But, taking the experience of America and other countries in which artesian springs have been tapped, it may be said that the flow steadily decreases as the number of bores multiplies.


The Hydraulic Engineer estimates that about two-thirds of the artesian water at present tapped flows to waste. As to the definition of "waste," however, there is sharp conflict of opinion. A pastoralist who distributes a supply of a million gallons of bore water a day by replenishing dry creeks or constructing artificial channels may contend that in his case the loss by evaporation or soakage is not waste, but an expenditure of water necessary to make his artesian well serve its desired purposes. To control and distribute by means of reticulating pipes the product of all Queensland's flowing bores would involve a heavy investment of capital, and one not warranted by the existing population in the artesian area—a population mainly dependent upon sheep-raising and wool-growing for subsistence. But the time may come when it will be deemed indispensable that flowing wells should be brought under Government control, or their product be subject, as in the case of surface water, to riparian rights. The pastoralist who has spent several thousand pounds in sinking a successful bore not unnaturally claims the water issuing from it as his own property; but public policy may require that after diverting so much as may be requisite for his reasonable individual uses the remainder shall be made available for the occupiers of neighbouring lands.

The information that little more than one-half the area of the artesian basin in Queensland has yet been explored is in some respects disappointing, but it is reassuring in others. For if the unexplored country yields as much water per square mile of surface as is now pouring forth from the wells on the tested area—which is not yet fully developed—the total daily yield will ultimately approach 1,000 millions of gallons. Never, according to official information, was bore-sinking more active than it is during the current year, and the thoughtful reader will sympathise with Mr. Henderson's repeated expression of regret that want of money some years ago compelled the department to discontinue both exploration on scientific lines and the periodical measurement of all artesian flows. For with careful surveys of the entire water-bearing area much capital might be saved by teaching where copious springs might or might not be expected to be met with; while with measurement and registration of all flows the question as to the perpetuity or the contrary of the supply would be placed beyond controversy. In that case legislation could be initiated with confidence, and the public interest safeguarded with the least possible disturbance of private interests.

An important consideration in connection with the artesian area is that the land watered by bores is as a rule more than commonly fertile. 160 Its pastures produce some of the most nutritious natural grasses and herbage found on the face of the earth; and, what is of immense significance, they are grasses and herbage that either would not live or would deteriorate under a tropical sun, with a rainfall equal to the coastal average. Thus it may be argued that artesian bore water—at any rate, when so free from mineral impregnation as to be unquestionably potable—is more valuable, gallon for gallon, than the supply direct from the clouds.

In several of his numerous reports the Hydraulic Engineer makes reference to the subject of irrigation by means of artesian water. It is certain that the water from some bores, while useful for live stock, is not fit for either domestic use or for irrigation. The Hydraulic Department many years ago began what was intended to be a systematic analysis of bore water with the view to providing an official record that would be highly useful for public purposes. But in one case at least water pronounced by the Government Analyst as useless even for stock was highly esteemed on the run whence it was obtained; and evidently much has yet to be learned as to the value of subterranean waters not regarded as potable by scientific standards.

Some of the most copiously flowing bores, however, discharge water of unexceptional quality, whether for domestic use, manufacturing purposes, or irrigation. The Hydraulic Engineer doubts, having regard to the immense quantity of water required for irrigation, whether it will ever be found useful for that purpose in so far as the greater agricultural industries are concerned; but for intense cultivation around the homestead he thinks bore water might well be utilised. In some cases it would be in sufficiently large supply for the raising of green fodder for stud stock—perhaps even for protection against minor local droughts. An irrigated crop needs three or four waterings of 3 inches each, and as each inch means 22,614 gallons, the quantity required for a crop, with four waterings, would be 271,368 gallons per acre; so that a cultivation plot of 20 or 30 acres would absorb from 5 to 8 million gallons a year, according to the seasons, the nature of the soil, or the soakage.

While doubtful as to the suitability of bore water for irrigation on a large scale, Mr. Henderson strongly advocates its being applied to machinery of small power. Many years ago he directed attention in one of his annual reports to the extensive use of water power in competition with steam in certain parts of America; and it is satisfactory to note that in some inland towns of Queensland the American example has been followed. In quite a number of towns the public water service is 161 artesian, and in a few it is the motive power of electric lighting systems. The information that the flowing wells of Queensland are discharging daily 320 million gallons of water "to waste" indicates that when population in the artesian area becomes more dense bore power will become an invaluable aid in economic manufacture. The water so harnessed would not be wasted, as every gallon would still be available for human or animal consumption.



The money value of the water annually discharged from the flowing bores of Queensland runs into stupendous figures, even at the rate of 6d. per 1,000 gallons. At that rate its annual value would exceed 4¼ millions sterling. Capitalise this sum at 4 per cent., and the artesian water flow of Queensland becomes worth upwards of 109¼ millions sterling, less, of course, the cost of maintenance and supervision similarly capitalised. And this colossal endowment is the result during the last quarter of a century of a total expenditure of less than 2 millions sterling. Granting that to utilise all this water already under pressure would mean a very large additional expenditure in tanks, aqueducts, and pipes, that expenditure may be calculated in advance to a minute fraction in every case, and it would of course be disbursed gradually as the demand for the delivery of water under pressure developed with the increase of population and the multiplication of industries. It must be apparent, therefore, that any needful public expenditure to ascertain whether the flow diminishes or increases as the years go on, and to prevent waste if waste there be, is more than justified. Indeed, should any great public loss be suffered for want of State control of this life-giving national asset, it might be difficult for Parliament entirely to clear itself from blame if charged with neglecting the reiterated advice of its own responsible officer in this respect.


Footnote a: For digest of Hydraulic Engineer's reports, 1883 to 1908 inclusive, see Appendix H, post.

Footnote b: "Sub-artesian" is a term applied when the water in a bore rises to or near the surface, but does not automatically flow along it.

Footnote c: t will be seen on reference to Appendix H that since the Hydraulic Engineer supplied his figures a number of additional flowing bores have been sunk, and have substantially increased the aggregate flow, although, the figures not having been officially verified, the aggregate flow remains in the text as from the 716 bores recognised by the Hydraulic Engineer.

Footnote d: The quantity of water deposited on an acre of land by an inch of rain is 22,614 gallons.

Footnote e: See "Commonwealth Year Book," 1909, page 382.




The following summary of correspondence between Governor Bowen and the Secretary of State for the Colonies gives information in addition to that furnished in "The Subdivision of Australia," page xiv., relating to the readjustment of the Queensland western boundary:—

On 30th September, 1860, Sir George Bowen—in transmitting an Address passed by the Queensland Legislature asking that "the western boundary of Queensland should be declared to extend at least so far as to include the Gulf of Carpentaria, without which declaration the Legislature would not feel authorised in taking steps towards the development of the colony in that direction"—referred to the opinion of Mr. A. C. Gregory, then Surveyor-General, that "a boundary at the 141st meridian would just cut off from Queensland the greater portion of the only territory available for settlement, i.e., the Plains of Promise, and the only safe harbour, i.e., Investigator Road, in the Gulf of Carpentaria." The Governor added that until receipt of the Duke of Newcastle's despatch of 21st October, 1859, enclosing the opinion of the Law Officers of the Crown, the general belief here was that the western boundary of Queensland was identical with the eastern boundary of Western Australia, that is, with the 129th degree of east longitude. But now the Law Officers had declared expressly that the 141st meridian was the western boundary, he urged that the prayer of the local Legislature should be complied with by extending the boundary to the 138th meridian of east longitude.

On 8th December, 1860, Governor Bowen again wrote to the Colonial Office urging that the boundary should be extended, and contending that the question was of Imperial as well as colonial importance. Replying on 26th February, 1861, the Duke of Newcastle said that South Australia had asked for the territory desired by Queensland, and that certain gentlemen in Victoria were desirous of forming a settlement on the northern coast of Australia. His Grace added that there were doubts whether the Government had the power to annex the territory as desired, and if these doubts had any foundation he would submit a Bill to the Imperial Parliament to remove them. In September, 1861, Sir George Bowen again urged 163 the annexation of the territory, remarking that "Queensland can gain little but trouble and expense from undertaking the management and protection of any future settlement on the Gulf of Carpentaria; for it is certain that so soon as it becomes self-supporting it will demand to be erected into a separate colony." On 14th December following the Duke of Newcastle wrote to the Governor stating that he had "no objection to the proposal that this territory should be temporarily annexed to the colony of Queensland, and accordingly that Letters Patent would be issued for giving effect to this arrangement under 24 and 25 Vict., cap. 44." But his Grace warned the Governor that the annexation would probably be revoked when the growth of population or other circumstances rendered separation desirable in the interests of the new territory. He closed with these words—"I am not prepared to abandon definitely, on the part of Her Majesty's Government, the power to deal with districts not yet settled, as the wishes or convenience of the future settlers may hereafter require."




(First Session, 1860.)


His Excellency Sir George Ferguson Bowen, K.C.M.G.


With Seats in the Legislative Assembly.

Colonial Secretary—The Honourable Robert George Wyndham Herbert.
Attorney-General—The Honourable Ratcliffe Pring.
Colonial Treasurer—The Honourable Robert Ramsay Mackenzie.

With Seats in the Legislative Council.

Minister without Portfolio—The Honourable Maurice Charles O'Connell.a
Minister without Portfolio—The Honourable John James Galloway.b


President—The Honourable Sir Charles Nicholson.c
Chairman of Committees—The Honourable Daniel Foley Roberts.d
c Balfour, Hon. John. d Harris, Hon. George.
c Bigge, Hon. Francis Edward. c Laidley, Hon. James.
c Compigne, Hon. Alfred William. c Massie, Hon. Robert George.
d Fitz, Hon. Henry Bates. c McDougall, Hon. John Frederick.
c Fullarton, Hon. George. c O'Connell, Hon. Maurice Charles.
c Galloway, Hon. John James. d Simpson, Hon. Stephen.

cYaldwyn, Hon. William Henry.


Speaker—The Honourable Gilbert Eliott (Wide Bay).
Chairman of Committees—Arthur Macalister (Ipswich).
Blakeney, Charles William (Brisbane). Lilley, Charles (Fortitude Valley).
Broughton, Alfred Delves (West Moreton). Mackenzie, Robert Ramsay (Burnett).
Buckley, Henry (East Moreton). Moffatt, Thomas de Lacy (Western Downs).
Coxen, Charles (Northern Downs). e Nelson, William Lambie (West Moreton).
Edmondstone, George (East Moreton). O'Sullivan, Patrick (Ipswich).
Ferrett, John (Maranoa). Pring, Ratcliffe (Eastern Downs).
Fitzsimmons, Charles (Port Curtis). Raff, George (Brisbane).
Forbes, Frederick Augustus (Ipswich). Richards, Henry (Brisbane South).
Gore, St. George Richard (Warwick). Royds, Charles James (Leichhardt).
Haly, Charles Robert (Burnett). Taylor, James (Western Downs).
Herbert, Robert George Wyndham (Leichhardt). Thorn, George, sen. (West Moreton).
Jordan, Henry (Brisbane). Watts, John (Drayton and Toowoomba).

Footnote a: Captain O'Connell resigned on 28th August, and became President of Legislative Council.

Footnote b: Appointed 28th August, 1860; resigned 10th November, 1860.

Footnote c: Appointed for five years by Sir William Denison.

Footnote d: Appointed for life by Sir G. F. Bowen.

Footnote e: Unseated on petition in June, 1860—disqualified, being a minister of religion; succeeded by Joseph Fleming.








(1909.—Second Session.)


His Excellency Sir William MacGregor, G.C.M.G., C.B.


The Honourable Sir Arthur Morgan.


With Seats in the Legislative Assembly.

Vice-President of Executive Council and Chief Secretary—The Honourable William Kidston.
Secretary for Public Lands—The Honourable Digby Frank Denham.
Treasurer—The Honourable Arthur George Clarence Hawthorn.
Secretary for Public Instruction and Secretary for Public Works—The Honourable Walter Henry Barnes.
Home Secretary and Secretary for Mines—The Honourable John George Appel.
Secretary for Railways and Secretary for Agriculture—The Honourable Walter Trueman Paget.

With Seats in the Legislative Council.

Minister without Portfolio—The Honourable Andrew Henry Barlow.
Attorney-General—The Honourable Thomas O'Sullivan.


President—The Honourable Sir Arthur Morgan.
Chairman of Committees—The Honourable Peter MacPherson.
Annear, Hon. John Thomas.a Lalor, Hon. James.
Barlow, Hon. Andrew Henry.Marks, Hon. Charles Ferdinand, M.D.
Beirne, Hon. Thomas Charles.McDonnell, Hon. Frank.
Brentnall, Hon. Frederick Thomas.McGhie, Hon. Charles Stewart.
Brown, Hon. William Villiers.Miles, Hon. Edward David.
Callan, Hon. Albert James.Moreton, Hon. Berkeley Basil.
Campbell, Hon. William Henry.Murphy, Hon. Peter.
Carter, Hon. Arthur John.Nielson, Hon. Charles Frederick.
Clewett, Hon. Felix.Norton, Hon. Albert.
Cowlishaw, Hon. James.O'Sullivan, Hon. Thomas.
Davey, Hon. Alfred Allen.Parnell, Hon. Arthur Horatio.
Deane, Hon. John.Plant, Hon. Edmund Harris Thornburgh.
Fahey, Hon. Bartley.Power, Hon. Francis Isidore.
Gibson, Hon. Angus.Raff, Hon. Alexander.
Gray, Hon. George Wilkie.Smith, Hon. Robert Harrison.
Groom, Hon. Henry Littleton.Smyth, Hon. Joseph Capel.
Hall, Hon. Thomas Murray.Stevens, Hon. Ernest James.
Hart, Hon. Frederick Hamilton.Taylor, Hon. William Frederick, M.D.
Hinchcliffe, Hon. Albert.Thomas, Hon. Lewis.
Jensen, Hon. Magnus.Thynne, Hon. Andrew Joseph.
Johnson, Hon. Thomas Alexander.Turner, Hon. Henry.


Speaker—The Honourable Joshua Thomas Bell (Dalby).
Chairman of Committees—William Drayton Armstrong (Lockyer).
Allan, James (Brisbane South).Keogh, Denis Thomas (Rosewood).
Allen, Barnett Francis Samuel (Bulloo).Kidston, Hon. William (Rockhampton).
Appel, Hon. John George (Albert).Land, Edward Martin (Balonne).
Barber, George Phillips (Bundaberg).Lennon, William (Herbert).
Barnes, George Powell (Warwick).Lesina, Vincent Bernard Joseph (Clermont).
Barnes, Hon. Walter Henry (Bulimba).Macartney, Edward Henry (Brisbane North).
Blair, James William (Ipswich).Mackintosh, Donald (Cambooya).
Booker, Charles Joseph (Maryborough).McLachlan, Peter Alfred (Fortitude Valley).
Bouchard, Thomas William (Brisbane South).Mann, John (Cairns).
Bowman, David (Fortitude Valley).Maughan, William John Ryott (Ipswich).
Brennan, James (Rockhampton North).May, John (Flinders).
Breslin, Edward Denis Joseph (Port Curtis).Morgan, Godfrey (Murilla).
Bridges, Thomas (Nundah).Mulcahy, Daniel (Gympie).
Collins, Charles (Burke).Mullan, John (Charters Towers).
Corser, Edward Bernard Cresset (Maryborough).Murphy, William Sidney (Croydon).
Cottell, Richard John (Toowong).Nevitt, Thomas (Carpentaria).
Coyne, John Harry (Warrego).O'Sullivan, James (Kennedy).
Crawford, James (Fitzroy).Paget, Hon. Walter Trueman (Mackay).
Cribb, James Clarke (Bundanba).Payne, John (Mitchell).
Denham, Hon. Digby Frank (Oxley).Petrie, Andrew Lang (Toombul).
Douglas, Henry Alexander Cecil (Cook).Philp, Hon. Robert (Townsville).
Ferricks, Miles Aloysius (Bowen).Rankin, Colin Dunlop Wilson (Burrum).
Foley, Thomas (Townsville).Roberts, Thomas Robert (Drayton and Toowoomba).
Forrest, Hon. Edward Barrow (Brisbane North).Ryan, Thomas Joseph (Barcoo).
Forsyth, James (Moreton).Ryland, George (Gympie).
Fox, George (Normanby).Somerset, Henry Plantagenet (Stanley).
Grant, Kenneth McDonald (Rockhampton).Stodart, James (Logan).
Grayson, Francis (Cunningham).Swayne, Edward Bowdick (Mackay).
Gunn, Donald (Carnarvon).Theodore, Edward (Woothakata).
Hamilton, William (Gregory).Thorn, William (Aubigny).
Hardacre, Herbert Freemont (Leichhardt).Tolmie, James (Drayton and Toowoomba).
Hawthorn, Hon. Arthur George Clarence (Enoggera).Walker, Harry Frederick (Wide Bay).
Hodge, Robert Samuel (Burnett).White, John (Musgrave).
Hunter, David (Woolloongabba).Wienholt, Arnold (Fassifern).
Hunter, John McEwan (Maranoa).Winstanley, Vernon (Charters Towers).

Footnote a: Acting Chairman of Committees.




In the following epitome of Queensland legislation during the last half-century no mention is made of Land Acts, Local Government Acts, Revenue or Loan Acts, or Education Acts, those subjects being dealt with in the text of the book. The rule has been to notice in this appendix the first legislation of the Parliament on each subject exclusive of those above mentioned, and only to refer to amending Acts of a consolidating and extending character. Nor is any attempt made to furnish a digest of the Acts mentioned, but only to direct attention to what are deemed the salient points of each.

The first session of the first Parliament has been specially dealt with in "Our Natal Year."

THE FIRST PARLIAMENT: 29th May, 1860-22nd May, 1863.

It may not be generally known that in 1861, before Government railways were authorised in Queensland, an Act was passed incorporating the Moreton Bay Tramway Company, formed to construct a railway "from Ipswich to the interior of the colony." The company failed to raise the capital required, however, and the project fell through. In the same year a Loan Act was passed, but it made no provision for railway construction. In 1861 an Act was passed giving facilities for the naturalisation of aliens. A Fencing Act, a Carriers Act, and a Masters and Servants Act also found a place on the Statute-book. There were also passed a Savings Bank Act, a Supreme Court Act, and, among several others, twenty-two in all, the Real Property Act of 1861, which adopted the Torrens system of registration of titles, and may be regarded as one of the most useful reforms of the fifty-year period. An Act to facilitate the incorporation of religious and charitable institutions also became law. In 1862 an Act to provide for the appointment of a second Supreme Court Judge, at a salary of £1,500 a year, was passed, the result being the introduction of the late Chief Justice Cockle, much to the dissatisfaction of the late Mr. Justice Lutwyche, who, having been sole Judge before separation, preferred a prior claim to the appointment. Interference with political and party affairs was the alleged cause of this non-recognition of seniority; and the charge had some justification, as his Honour once issued an address to the electors through the Press urging them to vote for a Liberal candidate. Another noticeable measure was an Act to provide for the introduction of labourers from British India. In all thirteen measures were passed in this session, the last of the first Parliament.


THE SECOND PARLIAMENT: 22nd July, 1863-29th May, 1867.

In 1863 the second Parliament passed twenty-seven Acts, among them one empowering the Government to construct a railway from Ipswich to Toowoomba, "and such other lines as may hereafter be specified," and providing generally for the management of railways. The Inquests on Fires Act, the Liens on Crops Act, the Trading Companies Act, the Queensland Bank Act, the Civil Service Act—providing liberal allowances for retiring public officers—Police, Publicans, and Quarantine Acts, and other measures, made this a very fertile session. In 1864 no less than thirty Acts became law, including the Gold Export Duty Act, imposing a duty of 1s. 6d. per ounce on the precious metal. The Immigration Act of 1864, providing for the issue of land-order warrants by the Agent-General, instead of land orders, and generally restricting the traffic in these instruments, was passed. The Marriage Laws Act, the Military Contribution Act, appropriating £3,640 towards the cost of Her Majesty's troops in the colony, the Volunteer Corps Act, the Small Debts Act, the Roads Closing Act, the Bank of New South Wales Act, and the Brisbane Gas Company Act, with several others, became law. The publication of "Hansard" was begun in this year.

Twenty-two Acts were passed in 1865, among them one for the Prevention of the Careless Use of Fire, a Selectors Relief Act, the Industrial and Reformatory Schools Act, and eight measures amending the Criminal law. In 1866 twenty-six measures were passed, including the Friendly Societies Enabling Act, the Inquests of Deaths Act, abolishing coroners' juries and providing for magisterial inquiries at a cost of two guineas each as a fee to the presiding justice. The Standard Weight for Agricultural Produce Act and an Act declaring Port Albany, Cape York, a free port also became law, as well as a number of legal statutes.

THE THIRD PARLIAMENT: 6th August, 1867-27th August, 1868.

The third Parliament commenced its career in 1867 with a list of forty-eight Acts. The Constitution Act of 1867 and the Legislative Assembly Act of the same year laid the foundation of the Queensland Legislature, while the basis of our judiciary is the Supreme Court Act, the District Court Act, the Small Debts Act, and the Jury Act, all passed in the same session. Other important measures which were passed were Probate Act, Succession Act, Statute of Frauds and Limitations, Equity Act, Trustees and Incapacitated Persons Act, and the Polynesian Labourers Act, the latter the first of a long series of statutes legalising and regulating Polynesian labour. Most of the others were amendments of Acts passed in previous sessions. In August, 1868, the Parliament was prematurely dissolved.

THE FOURTH PARLIAMENT: 18th November, 1868-13th July, 1870.

The fourth Parliament opened in November, 1868, and the first session lasted till April, 1869. Only nineteen Acts were passed in the two sessions of 1868 and 1869. In the latter year two measures were passed to encourage the establishment of industries, 169 one by means of grants of land, while the other authorised bonuses for the manufacture of woollen and cotton goods—the growth of cotton having attained some prominence during the American Civil War in the early sixties. The principal work of the session, however, was the passage of the Pastoral Leases Act, and an Act to repeal the Civil Service Act of 1863, on the ground that it was imposing undue liabilities on the Treasury. The session of 1870 only lasted for a week, and was consequently barren.





THE FIFTH PARLIAMENT: 16th November, 1870-21st June, 1871.

The fifth Parliament lived only seven months. It met in November, 1870, and passed twenty-two Acts, among them being the University Act of 1870, giving the Governor in Council power to establish local examinations for degrees in connection with universities in Great Britain and Ireland. In this year an Act legalising the collection of border duties was passed. An Act providing for a pension of £400 a year to the Assembly's first Speaker also became law, but has not since been used as a precedent. By the Country Publicans Act a license for a house not within five miles of any town in which the Towns Police Act was in force was reduced to £15. The Gold Fields Homestead Act authorised the granting of agricultural leaseholds not exceeding forty acres on any proclaimed goldfield. A Wages Act enabled an employee to claim six months' pay from a mortgagee on taking over a property. In the session of 1871 only six Acts were passed, one repealing the proviso to section 10 of the Constitution Act of 1867 which required a two-thirds majority of both Houses to a bill altering the number or apportionment of members of the Assembly. The other measures of this session demand no notice here.

THE SIXTH PARLIAMENT: 8th November, 1871-1st September, 1873.

The sixth Parliament met in November, 1871, and passed six measures in its first session, none of them of more than temporary importance save the comprehensive Brands Act, which received the Governor's assent in the following year. The main session of 1872 was fertile in practical legislation, the Health Act and a Railway Act—providing for the fixing of compensation for land resumptions by a railway arbitrator, and empowering the Governor in Council to accept proposals for railway construction from private individuals or corporations—becoming law with twenty-four other measures. An Act of this year provided for the gradual abolition of the export duty on gold; another provided for homestead areas on liberal terms; and another for the sale of mineral lands. A number of legal measures, all of an amending character, also became law. And finally, a Loan Act, authorising the Government to raise £1,466,499 for railways from Ipswich to Brisbane and from Westwood to Comet River on the Central Railway, and other public works, gave a new impetus to development. In 1873 the Parliament met at the end of May, and after the session had lasted two months the Houses were prorogued for the purpose of a dissolution. Only six Acts were passed during the session, and those of no permanent significance except, perhaps, an equally elaborate and Algerine Customs Act.


THE SEVENTH PARLIAMENT: 7th January, 1874-2nd October, 1878.

The seventh Parliament opened on 7th January, 1874, and the Palmer Government, being defeated on the election for the Speakership, at once retired. After nearly three months' adjournment to enable the new Ministry to formulate its policy, the session was resumed at the end of March, and eighteen public and six private Acts were passed. Among the most important was the Audit Act, which, among other provisions, altered the opening date of the financial year to 1st July, instead of 1st January, with the object of getting the work done during the cool weather. But the Act failed in this respect, for Governments seldom care to call Parliament together much before mid-July, in time to provide for the first Treasury payments of the new financial year. On the other hand, the Assembly members usually protract the sittings until close to Christmas week, at whatever date the session opens. Among the other measures passed in 1874 were the Insolvency Act, of which Mr. S. W. Griffith was the author; the Crown Remedies Act, providing for the conduct of suits on behalf of the Crown; a Supreme Court Act, making provision for the appointment of a third Judge to be stationed at Bowen, and fixing the salaries and pensions of the Judges at the amounts still payable; a comprehensive Goldfields Act; an Act for the protection of oysters and the establishment of oyster fisheries; and an Act to encourage the manufacture of sugar. In 1875 sixteen Acts were passed, one of the two most important being the Western Railway Act, providing for the reservation of the land for fifty miles on either side of a straight line drawn from Dalby to Roma, and the sale of such lands to pay for the construction of a railway to connect the two towns. The other and great measure of the session, however, was the State Education Act, the scope of which is elsewhere explained.

In 1876 twenty-three Acts were passed, two of them being temporary Supply Acts, measures which first became necessary with the alteration of the date of the financial year. A Crown Lands Alienation Act, passed this year, is noticed elsewhere, as is also the Customs Duties Act, introducing a tariff incidentally protective. Mr. Groom's Friendly Societies Act became law, as also did Mr. Griffith's Judicature Act, and the Fire Brigades Act. A Municipality Endowments Act provided a £2 for £1 endowment for municipalities during the first five years after their establishment, and then £1 for £1. The Department of Justice was provided for, enabling a layman to hold the portfolio of Minister for Justice in a Ministry, and, so far as official practice was concerned, to qualify such Minister to discharge the duties of the Attorney-General.

In 1877, twenty-eight measures were placed on the Statute-book, including the Navigation Act, Bank Holidays Act, Chinese Immigration Regulation Act, an Act to punish disorderly conduct in places of religious worship, the Victoria Bridge Act, and the first of a series of enactments for the destruction of marsupials and the protection of native birds. But the most important piece of legislation was the Railway Reserves Act, which, before it was finally repealed, caused considerable trouble in regard to the disposal of the moneys received from the sale of land within the reserves which were set apart in the various districts to provide funds for the construction of railways in the several reserves.


In 1878, the last session of the seventh Parliament, only a few measures were passed, among them, however, being the Deceased Wife's Sister Marriage Act, the Intestacy Act, a comprehensive Local Government Act, and a Volunteer Act. An Electoral Districts Act redistributed the electorates of the colony, and increased the number of members of the Assembly from 43 to 55.

THE EIGHTH PARLIAMENT: 15th January, 1879-26th July, 1883.

In January, 1879, a new Parliament opened, and the ensuing five years contributed but a moderate number of Acts to the Statute-book. First in political importance was the Divisional Boards Act of 1879; then the Licensing Boards Act; the Orphanages Act; the Bills of Exchange Act; and the Life Insurance Act, providing among other things that after an insured person had held a policy for life assurance, endowment, or annuity for three years his age, unless in the case of fraud, should be deemed to have been admitted by the company, and also protecting the interest of the assured in the event of his insolvency. A short Act was passed requiring all moneys received under the Western Railway Act and the Railway Reserves Act to be paid into the consolidated revenue fund; and a Loan Act for £3,053,000 was also placed on the Statute-book. The Local Works Loans Act, referred to elsewhere, was also passed. The Rabbit Act, passed on the initiative of a private member, Mr. E. J. Stevens, was the forerunner of several measures having for their object the extermination of this national pest. In 1880, out of the twenty-four Acts passed, four were for appropriations, and four for private purposes. A new Pacific Island Labourers Act became law, providing for the engagement of all islanders under the inspection of a Government agent travelling in the recruiting vessel, restricting the employment of the islanders to tropical and semi-tropical agriculture, and making provision for their payment and treatment. The Post Card and Postal Notes Act provided for the issue of those instruments. The greatest political measure was the Railway Companies Preliminary Act, passed with the view of inducing capitalists to undertake railway construction in consideration of land grants.

In 1881 fifteen Acts, exclusive of appropriations, were passed, among which were the Macalister Pension Act, authorising the payment to the ex-Agent-General of a pension of £500 a year; the Pearl-shell and Beche-de-mer Fishery Act; the Sale of Food and Drugs Act, and the United Municipalities Act. In 1882, with the exception of the Tramways Act, nearly all the measures passed were amending Acts.

In 1883 only two measures were passed—the Queensland Stock Inscription Act and an Appropriation Act—dissolution following upon the defeat of the Government on the second reading of the Transcontinental Railway Bill, which was introduced to ratify an agreement made with a company, represented by General Feilding, under the provisions of the Railway Companies Preliminary Act of 1880, for the construction of a railway from Charleville to Point Parker on the Gulf of Carpentaria.


THE NINTH PARLIAMENT: 7th November, 1883-4th April, 1888.

The ninth Parliament opened on 7th November, 1883, and the Government resigned after being thrice defeated. Mr. Griffith became Premier, and he at once set to work to reverse the policy of his rival in several respects. The Assembly passed a bill to repeal the Labourers from British India Acts of 1862 and 1882, but the Council rejected it. The passage of the Chinese Immigrants Regulation Act (introduced by Mr. Macrossan as a private Opposition member), which restricted the number of Chinese passengers arriving by any vessel to one to every fifty tons register, and imposed a landing fee of £30 per head on such passengers, had a salutary effect in limiting this form of Asiatic immigration. The Pacific Island Labourers Act Amendment Act further safeguarded the interests of white workers in Queensland. The Railway Companies Preliminary Act was repealed, and its repeal put a stop to the negotiations which had been going on in connection with the Transcontinental Railway under the previous Government.

The chief measure passed in the regular session of 1884 was the Crown Lands Act, which has been dealt with elsewhere. A comprehensive Defence Act established the principle of compulsory service in time of war. Among other measures passed were a comprehensive Health Act, a Bills of Exchange Act, a Wages Act, a Pharmacy Act, and the Native Birds Protection Act; also the Patents, Designs, and Trade Marks Act. Many of the other Acts were legal measures, but one may be mentioned as of interest—the New Guinea and Pacific Jurisdiction Contribution Act, which provided for the amount of annual contribution by Queensland in the event of a British Protectorate being established over Eastern New Guinea and other islands in the Western Pacific. An Act of interest to civil servants was that which required all fees thereafter received by them to be paid into the Treasury. The Acts of this single session—the first of Mr. Griffith's Premiership—extended over 405 pages of the then quarto Statute-book.

The Officials in Parliament Act—passed to create an additional Minister, to readjust the division of portfolios between the two Houses, and to render officers in the Imperial and Queensland military and naval forces eligible to sit in the Legislative Assembly—had the effect of bringing about an innovation not intended at the time the Act was passed, and which had no parallel in parliamentary government in the Empire. The passage of section 3 involved the repeal of sections 5 and 6 of the Legislative Assembly Act of 1867, the latter of which made it obligatory for members of the Assembly to submit themselves for re-election upon taking office as Ministers. Curiously enough, the effect of this repeal was not discovered until certain Ministerial changes were made in 1893. The members of the McIlwraith Government in 1888 and the members of the Griffith-McIlwraith Coalition in 1890 went before their constituents for re-election; but since the latter year the practice has ceased, and the electors have now no opportunity of showing by their votes whether they approve or disapprove of Cabinet changes.

The session of 1885 was also productive of much legislation. There were a new Licensing Act containing local option provisions, a Federal Council (Adopting) Act, and an Undue Subdivision of Land Prevention Act, making the minimum width of 173 new streets 66 feet, and of lanes 22 feet, and buildings were not to be erected within 33 feet of the middle line of a lane; while suburban or country lands could not be sold in areas of less than 16 perches. This measure put a stop to subdivisions which could only be regarded as a grave abuse. The law relating to parliamentary elections was consolidated and amended. Another Act prohibited the introduction of Pacific Islanders after 31st December, 1890. Altogether eighteen measures, irrespective of appropriations, were passed. During this and the following session a series of conflicts arose over the power of the Legislative Council to amend bills dealing with appropriation and taxation. In 1884 a bill was introduced which made provision for granting to members of the Assembly payment of expenses at the rate of £2 2s. per sitting day, with a maximum amount of £200 per annum, and in addition payment of travelling expenses to and from electorates once a year at the rate of 1s. 6d. per mile. The bill was laid aside by the Council. It was reintroduced in 1885, and again laid aside by the Council. The Government thereupon included a sum of £7,000 in the annual Appropriation Bill for the payment of members' expenses, and the Council took the extreme step of amending the Appropriation Bill by omitting this vote. After communications had passed between the two Chambers, it was agreed to submit to the Imperial Crown Law Officers two questions to settle whether the Council possessed co-ordinate powers with the Assembly in the amendment of all bills, including money bills, and the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council decided against the Council. The following year, the Members' Expenses Bill was passed by the Council without any attempt at amendment. The Council having also amended the rating clauses of a Local Government Bill in 1885, the bill was laid aside by the Assembly. It was reintroduced next year, and again amended by the Council. Warned by the fact that a Divisional Boards Bill had been laid aside by the Council because the Assembly claimed that the Upper House had no power to amend rating clauses, the Assembly accepted the Council's amendments, but at the same time asserted their sole power of altering taxation provisions.

In the year 1886 no less than thirty-two Acts, exclusive of appropriations and private measures, were passed. Among them was the Elections Tribunal Act, which gave to a Supreme Court Judge, assisted by a panel of members of the Assembly acting as assessors, the decision of election petitions, as the trying of such petitions before an Elections and Qualifications Committee consisting of members of the Assembly had proved unsatisfactory. The Members' Expenses Bill was also passed. The important Justices Act was a measure of this session. The Labourers from British India Acts were repealed, the repealing measure having been rejected by the Council in the 1883-4 session, thus closing the door to the long-desired importation of coolie labour for pastoral holdings. Two measures of great importance to workers which were placed on the Statute-book in this session were the Employers Liability Act and the Trade Unions Act. The Offenders Probation Act embodied a new departure in the treatment of first offenders, which has since been copied by many other countries. Another Act which proved of material assistance to the working classes was the Building Societies Act. Several of the measures were amendments of the work of former Parliaments.


The session of 1887, though less fruitful than the three preceding sessions, was by no means barren. Twenty-one bills were passed, one of which made provision for a contribution to the British New Guinea civil list. The Divisional Boards Bill, which had been laid aside by the Council in 1886, was reintroduced. The taxation clauses were this year embodied in a separate bill—the Valuation Bill—and both measures became law. An Electoral Districts Bill was also passed, increasing the number of members of the Assembly to 72. No change has since been made in the representation of the State. The passage of this bill was urged as a reason for not passing the Australasian Naval Force Bill, the Opposition contending that no important legislation should be attempted after Parliament had agreed to a redistribution of seats, and Sir S. W. Griffith was in this way prevented from giving legislative force to the agreement which he had drafted, and which was passed into law in all the other colonies before its author finally succeeded in securing its passage in Queensland in the year 1891. The session closed in December, 1887, but the Assembly was not dissolved until four months later.

THE TENTH PARLIAMENT: 12th June, 1888-5th April, 1893.

The tenth Parliament opened on 12th June, 1888, and the Griffith Ministry gave place to that of Sir Thomas McIlwraith. Only ten public measures were passed, however, exclusive of appropriations. The struggle of the session arose on the Customs Bill, imposing protectionist duties, and increasing the complexity of the tariff. On entering Parliament in 1874, Mr. Macrossan had earnestly demanded, on behalf of the Northern miners, effectual anti-Chinese legislation, but the attitude of the Imperial Government compelled the Queensland Parliament to proceed warily. In 1877 an Act was passed requiring the master of any ship to pay £10 for each Chinese passenger landed, and forbidding more than one to every 10 tons burthen, a penalty of £10 being imposed in each case of breach. In 1884 the number to be introduced was further restricted to one Chinese for each 50 tons, with a landing payment of £30, and £30 penalty for each landed in excess of the prescribed number. In 1888 the representatives of the various Australasian Governments met at Sydney, as, owing to the unwillingness of the Imperial Government to give the Royal assent to the legislation desired, there was doubt as to whether a measure passed by an individual colony would be assented to. The conference agreed to a bill, and the Queensland Parliament passed it in 1888, but it did not become law until February, 1890. It placed the limitation at one Chinese passenger to every 500 tons registered, made the penalty on the master £500 for every Chinese landed in excess of the number, and, in default of payment, twelve months' imprisonment, and £100 for a master failing to report at the Customs. For failure to supply a correct list of Chinese passengers the master rendered himself liable to a penalty of £200 for each act of default, and £30 for permitting Chinese to land without payment of the landing tax. A Chinaman landing illegally, either overland or by ship, was himself liable to a penalty of £50, and, in default of payment, to six months' imprisonment. 175 A comprehensive Railways Act was passed, its main object being to entrust the control of the railways to three Commissioners. The other measures were not of permanent interest.

The session of 1889, under the Morehead Administration, was more productive. The Totalisator Restriction Act was among the measures passed, as was also the Trustees Act. The Civil Service Act, which embodied superannuation provisions on the basis of a 4 per cent. contribution from salary, was passed, but the superannuation sections were repealed in 1894 chiefly because of the representations of junior officers who alleged that the system was unjust. The Payment of Members Act repealed the Members' Expenses Act of 1886, and under it members were paid an annual salary of £300. The session was also notable by reason of the passage of the Defamation Act, introduced by Sir S. W. Griffith as a private member, by which journalists were relieved of the Algerine law under which their profession had previously been carried on.

The session of 1890 was marked by the formation of the Griffith-McIlwraith Ministry, and the passing of twenty-seven Acts, many of importance, one of them being the Married Women's Property Act. The dividend duty was first imposed in this session, and sketching fortifications was made a penal offence; but the more important measures of this year are elsewhere noticed.

In the session of 1891 a comprehensive Water Authorities Act, which is still in force, became law. An Act permitting solicitors to do work for their clients by agreement was passed, as was also an Act for the better protection of women and girls. In all thirty-eight measures, many of them of a legal character, became law in this session. The one of greatest importance was the Australasian Naval Force Act, to which allusion has already been made.

In 1892 thirty-nine Acts were passed, among which was one for the treatment and isolation of lepers; others provided for strengthening the law penalising bakers for selling bread under weight; for subsidising railway construction by grants of land; for the establishment of harbour boards, and the levy of harbour dues; for penalising the publication of indecent advertisements; for making a person accused of an indictable offence and the wife or husband of such accused person a competent but not a compellable witness for the defence; for raising the Chief Justice's salary to £3,500 with a view to securing the services of Sir S. W. Griffith; for reducing the payment of members of the Assembly to £150 per annum; and for taxing the receipts of totalisators on racecourses, a duty being imposed of sixpence in the pound of money passed through the totalisators. A new principle in rabbit legislation was introduced by an Act encouraging pastoral lessees to destroy the pest by granting them an extension of their leases as compensation for their outlay. The Pacific Island Labourers (Extension) Act reversed the decision of Parliament in 1885, and permitted the reintroduction of islanders for work in the sugar industry. The recruiting continued from this date until terminated by the Commonwealth legislation of 1901. This session proved a very long one, the Houses sitting from March till November.


THE ELEVENTH PARLIAMENT: 26th May, 1893-22nd February, 1896.

The eleventh Parliament was opened on 26th May, 1893, Sir Thomas McIlwraith being then Premier. A Ministerial crisis was produced on the Railway Border Tax Bill, which imposed a duty of £2 10s. per ton on every bale of Queensland wool taken across the border. Ministers tendered their resignations, but the Governor, Sir Henry Norman, declined to accept them. In a minute read in the Assembly, His Excellency expressed the opinion that the vote in question did not constitute a vote of want of confidence in Ministers, and he gave it as his belief that on most questions of importance likely to arise they would have the support of a substantial majority of members of the Assembly. Consequently Sir Thomas McIlwraith continued in office, and both Houses passed the bill. It was a retaliatory measure against the New South Wales Railway Commissioners because of the preferential rates conceded by them to draw traffic to Sydney that legitimately belonged to Brisbane. The Meat and Dairy Produce Act became law in this year; also the Sugar Works Guarantee Act, and the Co-operative Communities Land Settlement Act, which proved an utter failure in spite of the passing of amending Acts in the two succeeding years. Various financial measures noticed elsewhere were also passed, these last being rendered imperative by the banking crisis which then paralysed industry and commerce. At the end of the session, Sir Thomas McIlwraith's health failing him, he retired from the Premiership, which was taken by Sir Hugh Muir Nelson.

In 1894 the session opened on 17th July, and one of the most hotly contested measures was the Peace Preservation Bill, introduced in consequence of the disturbances connected with the shearers' strike in the West in 1891, and the apprehension that they would be repeated unless drastic legislation was enacted. Its passage was strenuously opposed by the Labour Opposition, and it was only forced through the Assembly by the application of the closure. Violent scenes culminated in the suspension of eight Labour members, the suspension being followed by an appeal by the ejected members to the Supreme Court, when that court decided that Parliament was the only tribunal for determining matters affecting its own jurisdiction. In all thirty-six measures were passed, but the majority were either financial or designed to amend existing statutes which caused friction in operation. The effort at this time seemed to be rather to pass practicable laws than enact measures embodying so-called advanced principles. The most noteworthy of these laws was the Agricultural Lands Purchase Act, which authorised the purchase by the Government of large estates at a cost not exceeding £100,000 in any one year, and the subdivision of the land into farms.

In 1895 thirty-five Acts were the product of the session, and they were generally characterised by the same adaptation of means to ends that was noticeable in the preceding year. In fact, during these two years the colonies were all suffering a recovery which did not incite to heroic legislation for securing the rights of man, including woman. Deserving of special mention are the Suppression of Gambling Act, and the Railways Guarantee Act which made provision for local authorities guaranteeing the State against loss in connection with the construction and working 177 of railways built under the Act. In consequence of friction between the three Railway Commissioners, an Act was passed in this year reducing the number of Commissioners to one, Mr. Mathieson, the Chief Commissioner, being retained. A short measure of considerable value was the Standard Time Act, the object of which was to place Queensland in line with New South Wales and Victoria by adopting the time of the 150th meridian of east longitude as the standard time for the three colonies.



THE TWELFTH PARLIAMENT: 17th June, 1896-15th February, 1899.

In 1896 there was a general election, and the new Parliament opened on 17th June. Public confidence had been fairly restored after the financial crisis of 1893, and thirty-five Acts were passed, not one of which was of a highly contentious political nature. Even the Factories and Shops Act, introduced by the Government, was supported by the Labour party; indeed, no party or section opposed it, although the compulsory closing of shops at 1 p.m. on Saturdays throughout an area within the radius of ten miles of the General Post Office excited much individual opposition. Mr. Mathieson having accepted the position of Chief Commissioner of the Victorian railways, an amending Railways Act was passed empowering the Governor in Council to appoint a Commissioner for three years, reducing the salary from £3,000 to £1,500, and providing for the appointment of a Deputy Commissioner. Mr. R. J. Gray, one of the three original Commissioners, was appointed Commissioner, and Mr. Thallon, the present Commissioner, became his deputy. A measure of some importance repealed the existing Payment of Members Act, and made the new Act an integral part of the Constitution, the salary being fixed at £300 a year. The object, as stated by the Government, was to stop the incessant agitation that was carried on in political circles on the one hand for an increase, and on the other for a reduction of the salary.

In the session of 1897, Sir Hugh Nelson being still Premier, thirty Acts were passed. There was again a remarkable absence of measures of a party character, most of them being useful amendments of existing laws. Of these the Elections Consolidating Act was important. The Home Secretary, Mr. J. F. G. Foxton, deserves credit for introducing this session the Aboriginals Protection and Restriction of the Sale of Opium Act, the first measure for the preservation and care of our fast-disappearing aboriginal blacks. It must be recorded with shame that the Government of Queensland should have allowed so many years to pass before taking steps to protect the race who had been dispossessed of their heritage from some of the curses attendant on our civilisation. Since 1897 the stigma no longer rests on our fair fame, everything possible being done now to save the natives from extinction. In this year, too, the Mareeba to Chillagoe Railway Act, which has proved very beneficial to the Cairns hinterland, became law. A comprehensive Land Act, occupying 110 pages of the Statute-book, was passed, and also an amending and consolidating Trustees and Executors Act.


The session of 1898—the last of the Parliament—opened on 26th July, and closed on 30th December. The principal work of this session was the passage of an amending Mining Act which greatly improved the condition of the working miners. Other measures were an Act to incorporate the Brisbane Technical College, and the Game and Fishes Acclimatisation Act, providing for the proclamation of districts, for an open season, for the issue of game licenses, and the appointment of guardians. Sir Hugh Nelson, in consequence of the death of Sir A. H. Palmer, had been translated to the Presidency of the Legislative Council, and the Premiership was assumed by Mr. T. J. Byrnes on 13th April. Mr. Byrnes died in the following September, and was succeeded by Mr. (afterwards Sir) J. R. Dickson.

On 1st December, 1899, Mr. Dickson and his colleagues resigned in consequence of a vote of the Assembly, and for seven days the Dawson Labour Ministry held office, but they were defeated immediately on the reassembling of the House. In the meantime Mr. Philp had been chosen leader of the Opposition, and on 7th December he returned to power as Premier with most of his old colleagues.

THE THIRTEENTH PARLIAMENT: 16th May, 1899-4th February, 1902.

The year 1899 was remarkable for the passage of two great measures—the Australasian Federation Enabling Act, passed in a session specially summoned for the purpose, which authorised a referendum to be taken on the new Constitution; and the invaluable and monumental Criminal Code Act, extending with its four schedules over 270 pages of the Statute-book. The Code was compiled by Sir S. W. Griffith, and was afterwards submitted to the whole of the Judges of the Supreme and District Courts before being presented to Parliament. A bill was also passed legitimising children born before marriage on the subsequent marriage of their parents. The other public measures of the session were for amending purposes.

The session of 1900 was a fairly active one, thirty-four measures being passed. A short Act of far-reaching importance empowered the Government to enter into arrangements with the Governments of the United Kingdom, Canada, Victoria, New South Wales, and New Zealand, for laying a Pacific cable. By a short measure the Government were empowered to prohibit the exportation of arms or naval stores. A great consolidating and amending Health Act was passed; also a measure, in connection with the appointment of Dr. Maxwell, of Honolulu, for the establishment of sugar experiment stations. In this year the Railway Commissioner was reappointed for three years at a salary of £2,000 per annum, being an increase of £500. The Factories and Shops Act of 1896 was repealed, and a more comprehensive measure passed. An amending Defence Act was passed providing, among other things, for the military training of boys between twelve and eighteen years. An Act also became law providing for the inspection of grammar schools by a graduate of a British or Australian University. Another measure provided for the holding of the first Commonwealth elections, and for the temporary division of the State into nine electorates for the House of Representatives election. Several bills 179 authorising the construction of railways to mineral fields by private companies evoked the bitter opposition of the Labour party. To force them through the popular House the Government were obliged to introduce an amendment of the Standing Orders, colloquially known as the "guillotine," and to closure the bills through the House.

In the session of 1901 twenty-seven Acts were passed. The Chief Justice's salary, on the retirement of Sir S. W. Griffith to accept the Federal Chief Justiceship, was reduced to its former amount of £2,500 a year. The first legislation to eradicate the prickly pear took place in this year. The bill was introduced by a private member, Mr. Bell, who has always taken a keen interest in the destruction of this pest. It was based on the principle that close settlement is the only effective remedy, and offered inducements to settlers to select infested lands. The Public Service Act was so amended as to constitute the members of the Ministry for the time being the members of the board. A measure was passed requiring every life assurance company carrying on business in Queensland to hold £10,000 in Queensland securities, and otherwise protecting policy-holders. An Agricultural Bank Act was passed authorising the Government to advance to settlers on the land loans for carrying out improvements. An Animals Protection Act was also passed for the more effectual prevention of cruelty to animals.

THE FOURTEENTH PARLIAMENT: 8th July, 1902-21st July, 1904.

The fourteenth Parliament opened on 8th July, 1902, twenty-seven public measures becoming law in the first session. An amending Aboriginals Protection Act, chiefly dealing with the sale of opium, was passed. The sum to be paid as duty on totalisator stakes or bets was increased to one shilling in the pound from the sixpence provided by the Act of 1892. A Railway Act amending measure was passed authorising the appointment of a Commissioner for a term of seven years, and making other changes to facilitate the working of the department. In consequence of the drought and Federal embarrassments, the Public Service Special Retrenchment Act was passed, reducing the salaries of public servants on a sliding scale; and an Income Tax Bill became law, imposing a tax of sixpence in the pound upon incomes derived from personal exertion, and one shilling in the pound when derived from property, incomes under £100 being mulcted in 10s., and when not exceeding £150 £1 a year. Provision was made for the appointment of a Government department for collecting the tax, and the last section enacted that the tax should cease on 1st January, 1905. The monumental Local Government Act of 1902 also became law in this year.

The next session opened in July, and closed in December, 1903, but in mid-September progress was suspended by a change of Ministry, the Morgan-Kidston Government assuming office. Among the measures passed after the change of Ministry was an Act providing that the senior puisne Judge resident in Brisbane should be the senior puisne Judge of the Supreme Court, and discretionary power 180 was given to the Governor in Council with regard to filling the vacancy created on the Supreme Court bench through the acceptance by Sir S. W. Griffith of the more dignified position of Chief Justice of the High Court of the Commonwealth. The Government were subjected to severe criticism for making no appointment, but the number of Judges was allowed to remain at four until the appointment of Mr. Justice Shand in November, 1908.

Parliament reassembled in May following, and sat two months, when a dissolution was granted on 21st July, in consequence of the Government being left without a working majority.

THE FIFTEENTH PARLIAMENT: 20th September, 1904-11th April, 1907.

The fifteenth Parliament opened on 20th September following, and sat until Christmas. Among the measures passed was a comprehensive Dairy Produce Act providing for the appointment of inspectors; the registration of premises, a fee being charged proportioned to the number of cows kept; for compulsory grading of butter for export; and for the general regulation of dairies. The Income Tax was continued, but gave relief to persons with small incomes, though on the whole it yielded more revenue. Owing to the exigencies of the Treasury, the Public Service Special Retrenchment Act was continued for a further period of nine months, but the rate of retrenchment was reduced by one-half, and provision was made for devoting any surplus revenue at the close of the year to the repayment to public servants of the amounts so deducted from their salaries, and in this way they received a return equal to 8s. in the pound.a A Registration of Clubs Act and fourteen other measures were also passed.

An extraordinary session of twenty days was held in January, 1905, to reconsider the Elections Bill, rejected by the Legislative Council in December previously. This having been done, and the Council having agreed to the bill, Parliament was prorogued, and met for the regular session of the year in July following, the sittings being continued till the Christmas holidays.

The ordinary session of 1905 was a busy one, though the measures generally were short and of a practical nature. A distinguishing feature of the work of this Parliament was the humanitarian and social legislation which was placed on the Statute-book. The interests of workers generally were conserved by the Workers' Compensation Act, which made injuries or fatal accidents met with by employees a charge upon the industry in which they were engaged. The comfort of a very large number of workers in the pastoral and sugar industries was provided for by the Shearers and Sugar Workers Accommodation Act. A most valuable piece of legislation was the Infant Life Protection Act, the object of which was to prevent the alarming sacrifice of infant life in nursing homes from neglect, all such homes having to be registered and made subject to Government inspection. An Act imposing a 181 penalty of £10 upon any person selling or giving tobacco or cigars to a young person under the age of sixteen years was passed, as was also an Act forbidding the sale or supply of firearms to a young person under fourteen years, and also forbidding such young person to use or carry firearms, the penalty for a breach of the Act being £20. Another measure of interest, which was passed in response to the request of a large number of workers, was an Act providing for railway employees a Board of Appeal against disciplinary decisions of superior officers. A short Act became law giving the right to women to admission and practice as barristers, solicitors, or conveyancers. Quite a number of other small Acts was passed, among them being a Fertilisers Act, the object of which was to prevent loss to farmers by the sale of fraudulent fertilisers.

The most contentious measure of the session of 1906, which opened, as usual, in July, was the Railways Act, its principal object being to hold the ratepayers of a benefited area responsible for all losses in working a newly-constructed railway. It empowers the local authority to levy a railway rate to make good the deficiency, if any, after providing for working expenses and interest at the rate of three per cent. on capital expended on the line. If the local authority fails to levy and collect the railway rate, the Commissioner is empowered to do so. An important principle of the Act requires, when lands in a benefited area are being valued for rating purposes, that to the capital value shall be added the enhancement through the railway facilities provided. The object of the Act is undoubtedly good, in so far as it discourages landowners from agitating and bringing political pressure upon the Government in favour of railway undertakings not justified by the prospective traffic. It was supposed that persons desiring a new railway would hesitate to guarantee the Government against loss through its construction, but the applications for new lines have not been less numerous since the passing of the Act than when the burden fell entirely upon the general taxpayer. Yet there can be no doubt that many unwarranted undertakings have been quashed by the liability imposed upon local landowners.

During the session there were thirty-four Acts passed, among them one for the protection of opossums, native bears, and other wild animals specified in the schedule, by the proclamation of a close season, and the prohibition of the use of cyanide as poison by collectors of skins for export. The Mining Machinery Advances Act empowered the Minister to advance loans from moneys appropriated by Parliament to persons or companies erecting machinery for carrying on mining operations or treating metalliferous ores, such loans to be made on the basis of £1 for £1 of money expended by the applicant. A comprehensive Weights and Measures Act also became law. Another useful measure was the amending Public Works Land Resumption Act, the compensation provisions being greatly improved. The Etheridge Railway Act also passed in this session despite the objection of several members of the Labour party to "syndicate" lines. The opposition of these members, however, was not characterised by the obstructive tactics adopted in regard to similar measures in 1908.

Footnote a: See page 50, ante.


THE SIXTEENTH PARLIAMENT: 23rd July to 31st December, 1907.

The sixteenth Parliament was elected in May, 1907, but none of the three parties, into which the Assembly was divided by the cleavage between the moderate and the extreme sections of the Labour party consequent upon the adoption by the latter of the socialistic objective at the Convention held earlier in the year at Rockhampton, came back with a majority, and little legislation was found possible, the only public Acts passed relating to Appropriations, Children's Courts, Poor Prisoners' Defence, and an amending Income Tax measure raising the exemption to £200, and giving other relief to taxpayers. Towards the end of November the Government, failing to pass several democratic measures through the Council and to obtain adequate support from the Labour party, resigned, and Parliament was dissolved on 31st December on the advice of Mr. Philp, who had been called on to form a new Government from the Opposition party, and had failed to secure a parliamentary majority.

THE SEVENTEENTH PARLIAMENT: 3rd March, 1908-31st August, 1909.

The result of the appeal to the constituencies was to leave parties much as before, the Kidston and Labour parties being slightly strengthened numerically, and the Philp party—the Government at the moment—weakened correspondingly, they and the Kidston party numbering 25 each, while the Labour party were 22 strong. Mr. Philp's appeal having thus failed, he retired, and Mr. Kidston, being recalled, sought to secure for his Government more than casual support from the Labour party. The House met on 3rd March, 1908. The session lasted barely seven weeks, and among the fifteen measures which became law were the following:—An amending Constitution Bill repealing the provisoes to section 9 of the principal Act, the first of which required a two-thirds vote of both Houses to any amendment for varying the mode of appointment or number of members of the Legislative Council; and the second, that any such amending bill should not receive the Royal assent until it had lain thirty days on the table of both Houses of the Imperial Parliament. Another Constitution Bill provided for a referendum to the electors when a bill passed by the Assembly had been twice rejected by the Council. The first of the above-mentioned bills received the Governor's assent forthwith, but as to the second such assent was reserved, and the bill transmitted to England. On 19th August, however, the King's assent was proclaimed, and the incompatibilities between the two Houses were thus satisfactorily adjusted by a comparatively simple process. A measure which aroused strong party feeling was a bill to amend the Elections Act by repealing the postal voting sections, substituting provisions to enable absent voters to vote at any polling place in the State, and also ensuring greater secrecy by having the ballot papers from places where a small number of votes are recorded counted in some larger centre. A useful Land Surveyors Act was passed, requiring registration after approval of candidates by a board to be constituted under the Act, and prescribing a variety of other regulations for the purposes of securing the competence and protecting the interests of surveyors generally. Other measures placed on the Statute-book included an Old Age Pensions Act, which has now lapsed in consequence of the passing of a Commonwealth pensions law; an Act for the Inspection of 183 Machinery and Scaffolding; an amending Factories and Shops Act containing many democratic provisions; a Wages Boards Act, which has been kindly taken to by both employers and employed, and promises to adjust most of the differences between masters and men; a Religious Instruction in State Schools Referendum Act, the poll to be taken on the same day as the polling for the first Federal election after the passing of the Act; and an amending Technical College Act dissolving the councils of both metropolitan technical colleges, and vesting the property and future management in the Government. Two bills were also passed authorising the construction of railways to the Mount Elliott and Lawn Hills mineral fields. These bills directly led to the Labour party assuming an attitude of open hostility to the Government, and brought the latter and the Opposition, led by Mr. Philp, together, as the policy put before the electors by these two parties was identical in almost every respect.

Before the opening of the second session on 17th November, 1908, the Kidston and Philp parties were fused into one on the common basis of the policy enunciated by Mr. Kidston in 1907 at Rockhampton. A reconstruction of the Cabinet preceded the meeting of Parliament. When the session closed on 22nd December very little legislative work had been done, most of the Government time being occupied with consideration of the Estimates, the Labour party, which had then become the Opposition proper, again offering obstruction to Government measures, and again compelling resort to the closure. An important measure of a non-party character was passed, however, for a revision of the statute law in many important details. The most significant measure of the session was the Loan Act of 1908, authorising the borrowing of £3,208,000, the vote affording proof of the determination of the Government and Parliament to enter upon a vigorous policy of railway and public works extension.

The third session of the seventeenth Parliament opened on 29th June, 1909. The two sides of the House were so evenly balanced, owing to several supporters of the Government having crossed to the Opposition benches, that the majority of the Government was reduced to one. Finding themselves impotent to transact public business, the Government advised the Lieutenant-Governor to grant a dissolution, provided the House would grant Supply. This was done, and His Excellency accordingly dissolved the Assembly on 31st August.


The eighteenth Parliament met on 2nd November. The Address in Reply was adopted without division on the 5th, and Parliament at once proceeded to the business outlined in the Opening Speech of His Excellency the Lieutenant-Governor, a laudable desire to transact business without unnecessary discussion being evinced. The most important measure was the University of Queensland Act, which was passed in time to enable the dedication ceremony to take place on 10th December, Queensland's jubilee day. Of vital importance to Brisbane and its suburbs was the Metropolitan Water and Sewerage Act. An amendment of the Workers' Compensation Act and a Workers' Dwellings Act also became law. Resolutions were also passed approving of the construction of railways in various parts of the State.





The State is divided into Land Agents' Districts, in the principal town of each of which there is a Government Land Office and Land Agent. Plans and information respecting the quality, rents, and prices of lands available for selection may be obtained on personal or written application to the Land Agent of the District in which the land is situated, or to the Officer in Charge, Inquiry Office, Department of Public Lands, Brisbane.

Land is opened or made available for Selection by proclamation in the Government Gazette. The proclamation, which is made not less than four weeks before the time appointed for the opening, specifies the modes in which the land may be selected, the area, rent, price, &c.

The several modes of Selection for which the law provides are—(1) Agricultural Selections, i.e., Agricultural Farms, Perpetual Leases, Agricultural Homesteads, and Free Homesteads; (2) Grazing Selections, i.e., Grazing Farms and Grazing Homesteads; (3) Scrub Selections; (4) Unconditional Selections; and (5) Prickly Pear Selections. The more accessible lands are usually set apart for agricultural selection in areas up to 1,280 acres, or, if pear infested, as Prickly Pear Selections in areas up to 5,000 acres; while opportunities of acquiring Grazing Selections in areas up to 60,000 acres are given over a great extent of Queensland territory.

Except in the case of Scrub Selections, Unconditional Selections, and Prickly Pear Selections, no person who is under the age of sixteen years, or who seeks to acquire the land as the agent or servant or trustee of another, will be allowed to select. A single girl under the age of twenty-one years is debarred from selecting an Agricultural Homestead, Free Homestead, or Grazing Homestead. A married woman is not competent to select a Homestead unless she has obtained an order for judicial separation or an order protecting her separate property, or is living apart from her husband and has been specially empowered by the Land Court to select a Homestead. A married woman may, however, acquire a Grazing Homestead by transfer after the expiry of five years of the term of lease. An alien may, under certain conditions, acquire a selection, but, unless he becomes a naturalised British subject within three years thereafter, all his right, title, and interest in the land will become forfeited.

Applications for selections must be made in the prescribed form, in triplicate, and be lodged with the Land Agent for the District in which the land is situated.








They must be signed by the applicant, but may be lodged in the Land Office by his duly constituted attorney, and must be accompanied by the prescribed deposit. In the case of a Prickly Pear Selection the deposit must be the full amount of the prescribed survey fee, and in other cases, except Free Homesteads, a year's rent and one-fifth of the survey fee. In the case of a Free Homestead application the deposit consists of an application fee of £1 and one-fifth of the survey fee. Ordinarily, applications take priority in the order of their being lodged with the Land Agent, but applications lodged prior to the time proclaimed as that at which land is to be open for selection are regarded as simultaneous with those lodged at that time.

If land is open for Selection in two or more modes alternatively, and there are simultaneous applications to select it under different modes, priority among such applications is given to an application for the land as an Agricultural Homestead as against an application for it as an Agricultural Farm; to an application for it as an Agricultural Farm as against an application for it as an Unconditional Selection; and, if the land is open for Grazing Selection, to an application for it as a Grazing Homestead as against an application for it as a Grazing Farm.

In the case of simultaneous applications for the same land, as an Agricultural Farm, priority is secured by an applicant, other than a married woman or a single girl under twenty-one years of age, who, when making application, undertakes to personally reside on the land during the first five years of the term. In other cases of simultaneous applications for the same land by the same mode of selection, priority is determined by lot, unless in the case of simultaneous applications for the same land as a Grazing Selection, Unconditional Selection, or Prickly Pear Selection, a higher rental is tendered than that proclaimed. In that event the tender most favourable to the Crown secures priority.

Under the Special Selections Act land may be set apart for any body of settlers who, having some measure of common interest or capacity for mutual help, are desirous of acquiring land in the same locality. The procedure to be followed is for a request to be made to the Minister by the members of the body, explaining the grounds on which they are co-operating and setting out the land they desire to acquire. Should the request be acceded to, the land will be opened for selection in the usual way, but for a period to be set out in the proclamation it will only be available for the members of the body of settlers for whom it has been set apart.

When an application has been accepted by the Land Commissioner and approved by the Land Court, and the applicant has paid for any improvements there may be on the land, he becomes entitled to receive a license to occupy the land in the case of an Agricultural Selection or a Grazing Selection, or a lease in the case of a Scrub Selection, Unconditional Selection, or Prickly Pear Selection. Within six months after the issue of a license, the selector must commence to occupy the land, and must thereafter continue to occupy it in the manner prescribed.



Agricultural Farms.

The largest area that may be acquired by any one person as an Agricultural Farm is 1,280 acres. If the same person is the selector of both an Agricultural Farm and an Agricultural Homestead, the joint areas must not exceed 1,280 acres. The purchasing price may range from 10s. an acre upwards, as may be declared by proclamation. The term is twenty years. The annual rent is one-fortieth of the purchasing price, and the payments are credited as part of the price.

The land must be continuously occupied by the selector residing personally on it or by his manager or agent doing so. Within five years from the issue of the license to occupy, or such extended time as the Court may allow, the selector must enclose the land with a good and substantial fence, or make substantial and permanent improvements on it equal in value to such a fence. On the completion of the improvements the selector becomes entitled to a lease of the farm, and may thereafter mortgage it; or, with the permission of the Minister, may subdivide or transfer it; or, with the approval of the Court, may underlet it.

The selector of an Agricultural Farm, who has obtained priority by undertaking to reside personally thereon during the first five years of the lease, must comply strictly with that undertaking, and is not allowed during such period to mortgage, transfer, or assign the holding.

After five years of the term have elapsed, the prescribed conditions of occupation and improvement having been duly performed, a deed of grant may be obtained on payment of the balance of the purchasing price and deed fees.

Perpetual Lease Selections.

Land proclaimed to be open for Agricultural Farm Selection may also be opened for Perpetual Lease Selection, and the latter mode may be conceded priority of application over the former. The rent for the first period of ten years of the lease is 1½ per cent. on the proclaimed purchasing price of the land for Agricultural Farm Selection. The rent for each succeeding period of ten years shall be determined by the Land Court. The same conditions of occupation and improvement as are prescribed for Agricultural Farms are attached to Perpetual Lease Selections, and, except as specially prescribed, the provisions relating to Agricultural Farms apply to them also. As the name implies, the selections are leases in perpetuity, and are not capable of being converted to freeholds.

Agricultural Homesteads.

Land open for selection as Agricultural Farms is not available for Agricultural Homesteads unless so proclaimed. The area allowed to be selected as an Agricultural Homestead varies with the value of the land, and is fixed by proclamation within the following limits, viz.:—160 acres in the case of land valued for Agricultural Farm Selection at not less than £1 an acre; 320 acres in the case of land valued at less than £1 but not less than 15s. an acre; and 640 acres in the case of 187 land valued at less than 15s. an acre. The price for an Agricultural Homestead is 2s. 6d. an acre, the annual rent 3d. an acre, and the term ten years.

The land must be continuously occupied by the selector residing personally thereon.

Within five years from the issue of the license to occupy, or such extended time as the Land Court may allow, the selector must enclose the land with a good and substantial fence, or make substantial and permanent improvements on it equal in value to such fence. On the completion of the improvements the selector becomes entitled to a lease, which, however, is not negotiable in any way.

At any time after five years from the commencement of the term, on the selector proving that the conditions have been duly performed and that the sum expended in improvements on the land has been at the rate of 10s., 5s., or 2s. 6d. an acre respectively according to the value of the land, he may pay up the remaining rents so as to make his total payments equal to 2s. 6d. an acre, and obtain a deed of grant of the land in fee-simple. A deed fee must be paid.

Free Homesteads.

Land is not available for Free Homestead Selection unless specially so proclaimed, and the area of no selection must exceed 160 acres. The term is five years, and during that period the selector must occupy the land by personally residing on it, and must effect improvements to the total value of 10s. per acre. A Free Homestead cannot be sold or mortgaged until a deed of grant is obtained.


Grazing Farms.

The greatest area which may be applied for as a Grazing Farm under any circumstances is 60,000 acres, but, as in the case of other modes of selection, each proclamation opening land for grazing selection declares the maximum area which may be selected in the area to which it applies. In the event of lands open under different proclamations and of a total area exceeding 20,000 acres being applied for by the same person, a rental limitation of £200 per annum must be observed as well as the maximum areas declared by the several proclamations. Thus, of lands open at 2d. an acre, the greatest area obtainable would be 24,000 acres; at 1½d. an acre, 32,000 acres, and so on. The term may be fourteen, twenty-one, or twenty-eight years, as the opening proclamation may declare. The annual rent for the first period of seven years may range from ½d. an acre upwards, as may be proclaimed or tendered. The rent for each subsequent period of seven years will be determined by the Land Court.

A Grazing Farm must be continuously occupied by the selector residing personally on it, or by his manager or agent doing so.


Within three years from the issue of the license to occupy, or such extended time as the Land Court may allow, the selector must enclose the land with a good and substantial fence, and must keep it so fenced during the whole of the term. In the case of two or more contiguous farms, not exceeding in the aggregate 20,000 acres, the Court may by Special License permit the selectors to fence only the outside boundaries of the whole area. If the proclamation declaring the land open for selection so prescribed, the enclosing fence must be of such character as to prevent the passage of rabbits. In the case of a group of contiguous Grazing Farms not exceeding eight in number, or 200 square miles in total area, and which are situated within a District constituted under "The Rabbit Boards Act, 1896," the Court may by Special License permit the enclosure of the whole area with a fence of such character as to prevent the passage of rabbits, instead of requiring each farm to be separately enclosed.

The selectors of a group of two or more Grazing Farms, the area of none of which exceeds 4,000 acres, may associate together for mutual assistance, and on making proof of bona fides to the Commissioner may receive from him a Special License enabling not less than one-half of the whole number by their personal residence on some one or more of the farms to perform the condition of occupation in respect of all the farms.

When a Grazing Farm is enclosed in the manner required, the selector becomes entitled to a lease of it, and may thereafter mortgage it; or, with the permission of the Minister, may subdivide or transfer it; or, with the approval of the Court, may underlet it.

Grazing Homesteads.

Land open for selection as Grazing Farms must also be open for selection as Grazing Homesteads, and at the same rental and for the same term of lease. As already stated, an application to select as a Grazing Homestead takes precedence of a simultaneous application to select the same land as a Grazing Farm. The requirements of the law as regards Grazing Homesteads are the same as in the case of Grazing Farms, except in the following respects:—

(1.) During the first five years of the term of a Grazing Homestead the condition of occupation must be performed by the continuous personal residence of the selector on the land.

(2.) Before the expiration of five years from the commencement of the term, or the death of the original lessee, whichever first happens, a Grazing Homestead is not capable of being assigned or transferred. Unless with the special permission of the Minister, a Grazing Homestead may not be mortgaged.


Lands entirely or extensively overgrown by scrub may be opened for selection as Scrub Selections up to 10,000 acres in area and with a term of thirty years. 189 These are classed according to the proportion covered by scrub, and for periods varying from five to twenty years, according to the classification, no rent is chargeable. During the first period the selector must clear the whole of the scrub in equal proportions each year, and must keep it cleared, and must enclose the selection with a good and substantial fence. The annual rent payable for the subsequent periods ranges from ½d. to 1d. an acre. A negotiable lease is issued to the selector when his application has been approved by the Court.


The greatest area allowed to be acquired by any one person as an Unconditional Selection in one district is 1,280 acres; the price per acre ranges from 13s. 4d. upwards, and is payable in twenty annual instalments. As the term implies, no other condition than the payment of the purchase money is attached to this mode of selection. A negotiable lease for the term of twenty years is issued to the selector when his application to select has been approved by the Court. A deed of grant may be obtained at any time on payment of the balance of the purchasing price and the deed fee.


Prickly Pear Infested Selections.

Prickly Pear Infested Selections comprise lands heavily infested with prickly pear. The area must not exceed 5,000 acres.

The term is fifteen years, with a peppercorn rental for the first ten years and an annual rent of one-fifth of the purchasing price for the remaining five years. During the first ten years of the term the land must be absolutely cleared of prickly pear—one-tenth of the pear being eradicated during each year—and must be kept clear for the remainder of the term. The freehold may be obtained prior to the expiry of the term on proof being made that the land has been maintained free from prickly pear for three years consequent on the eradication having been completed in advance of the prescribed period.

Prickly Pear Frontage Selections.

Prickly Pear Frontage Selections are confined to proclaimed prickly pear frontage areas, comprising lands free from or only lightly infested with prickly pear, but which adjoin and do not extend for more than seven miles from lands heavily infested. The greatest area allowed is 5,000 acres.

The term is fifteen years, with a peppercorn rental for the first five years and an annual rent of one-tenth of the purchasing price during the remaining ten years. 190 During the first five years of the term the land must be absolutely cleared of prickly pear, one-fifth of the pear being eradicated during each year, and must be kept clear during the balance of the term. The freehold may be obtained prior to the expiry of the term on proof being made that the land has been maintained free from prickly pear for three years consequent on the eradication having been completed in advance of the prescribed period.

Prickly Pear (Bonus) Selections.

In the case of Prickly Pear (Bonus) Selections, the freehold of the land, and a bonus in addition, are granted in return for the complete eradication of the pear. The maximum amount per acre payable as bonus is stated in the opening proclamation, but each applicant must lodge a tender specifying a bonus per acre not in excess of that mentioned in the proclamation. In the case of simultaneous applications for the same land, priority attaches to the lowest tender. The size of the portions opened must not exceed 2,560 acres. The term of lease is ten years, at a peppercorn rental throughout. The land must be absolutely cleared of prickly pear during the first seven years—one-seventh each year—and the clearing must be maintained until the expiry of the lease. One-seventh of the bonus payable may be claimed at the end of each of the first seven years of the term, on proof to the satisfaction of the Commissioner that the condition of eradication has been complied with. If the eradication is completed at an earlier date than is required by the conditions of the lease, the balance of the bonus will then become payable. The freehold may be obtained prior to the expiry of the term on proof being made that the land has been maintained free from prickly pear for three years consequent on the eradication having been completed in advance of the prescribed period.


Crown lands may be acquired in fee-simple by auction purchase in areas up to 5,120 acres. There is no limitation to the area of freehold land which may be held by any one person. The minimum purchasing price for agricultural land bought at auction is £1 an acre, and for other land 10s. an acre. Terms up to ten years may be allowed, with interest at 5 per cent. per annum on instalments paid after six months from the time of sale, or the purchaser may elect to hold the land as a lease in perpetuity at a rental, for the first ten years, equal to 3 per cent. of the purchasing price, and for such rent for each succeeding period of ten years as the Land Court may determine.

Opportunity is also afforded for the occupation of Crown lands for pastoral purposes from year to year under an occupation license, or for a fixed term not exceeding forty-two years under pastoral lease. There is no limitation to the area which may be held by one person under either of these tenures.



"The Closer Settlement Act of 1906."


Table of the Annual Payments to be made as Instalments of Purchase Money (showing Principal and Interest separately), and the Payment, exclusive of Rent, to be made in any Year after the Fifth to Acquire the Freehold of any Selection under "The Closer Settlement Act of 1906."

  Annual Payment. Payment to be made
in any Year
after the Fifth
to acquire Freehold.
Principle. Interest. Total.

1st    year ... ... ...
2nd     "
3rd     "
4th     "
5th     "
6th     "
7th     "
8th     "
9th     "
10th    "
11th    "
12th    "
13th    "
14th     "
15th    "
16th    "
17th    "
18th    "
19th    "
20th    "
21st    "
22nd    "
23rd    "
24th    "
25th    "
100 0




"The Special Selections Act of 1901."


Whereas it is desirable to promote closer settlement upon the agricultural lands of Queensland by affording to bodies of settlers special facilities for the acquirement of Agricultural Selections to be held in conjunction with portions in adjacent Agricultural Townships: Be it therefore enacted by the King's Most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Council and Legislative Assembly of Queensland in Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

Short Title and Construction of Act.

Footnote a: Inter alia the subsection referred to provides that the lessee shall not, during the first five years of the term of the lease, mortgage, assign, or transfer the lease.






1. Immigrants approved by the Agent-General, who deposit with him the sum of £50, shall be provided with passages by a steamer from the United Kingdom to any port in Queensland for £5, the £50 deposit to be returned to them on their arrival in Queensland.


2. Persons resident in Queensland wishing to obtain passages for their friends or relatives in the United Kingdom, or on the Continent of Europe, may do so under the provisions of the 9th section of "The Immigration Act of 1882," at the following rates:—

  £ s. d.
Males between 18 and 40 years 4 0 0
Females between 18 and 40 years 2 0 0
Males and Females over 40 and under 55 years 8 0 0

A full description of the nominee must appear on the application form supplied by the Immigration Department of Queensland. The application must be signed by the nominor, who must be of full age.

The Immigration Agent or Clerk of Petty Sessions must satisfy himself by personal inquiry that the person for whose passage application is made is a relative or personal friend of the applicant.

Passage warrants shall be made out in duplicate. One copy, to be marked "provisional," will be issued to the applicant and the other copy, to be marked "final," will be sent to the Agent-General, who will cause inquiries to be made through his agents as to the eligibility of the persons named therein to be nominated under the provisions of this Order.

If the Agent-General is satisfied that all the conditions of this Order have been complied with he will, upon surrender of the provisional warrant, issue the final warrant to the person nominated, which will entitle him to a passage contract ticket.

A memorandum shall be printed on the provisional warrant stating that it must be surrendered and exchanged for a final warrant at the office of the Agent-General before a passage can be obtained.

The Agent-General will refuse to issue a final warrant to any person named in a provisional warrant if he finds that such person is not eligible to be nominated under the provisions of this Order, or that the description in the application is incorrect in any material particular, or that the nominee is otherwise undesirable.



3. Free passages may be granted from the United Kingdom to any part of Queensland to agricultural labourers introduced under contract if the employer pays a fee of £5 for each labourer introduced, provides him with suitable accommodation, and guarantees him a year's employment at wages approved by the Chief Secretary. The choosing of such labourers to be left to the Agent-General, unless they are known to the applicant, in which case the Agent-General's duty is restricted to passing or rejecting them.


4. The Agent-General may grant free passages to the wives and children (under the age of 18 years) of assisted, nominated, and contract immigrants and to female domestic servants who are desirous of emigrating to Queensland.

5. The Chief Secretary may direct that a passage warrant be not issued in respect of any person nominated or proposed to be indented.

6. The Order in Council of the fourth day of June, 1891, published in the Government Gazette of the 5th June, 1891, shall be and is hereby rescinded.

And the Honourable the Chief Secretary is to give the necessary directions herein accordingly.




The figures contained in this Appendix, save those for 1908, and in relation to certain financial matters for 1908-9, are drawn from the Statistics for 1908 laid before Parliament this year, but all are official.


The population of Queensland, estimated at 28,056 on 31st December, 1860, a little more than a year after separation from New South Wales, more than doubled during the succeeding three years. Thence it again more than doubled in the next eight years, the census of April, 1871, providing a basis for the estimate of 125,146 at the end of that year. Thence to 1882, two years before the close of the quarter-century, the figures had again nearly doubled, the population on 31st December, 1884, reaching 309,913.

Of the number of arrivals in excess of departures there is no record for 1860 or 1861, but of the total increase, 51,509, for the four years ended 1865 the recorded arrivals in excess of departures aggregated 46,422, leaving only 5,087 for excess of births over deaths for the period. In 1866, in spite of the crisis resulting from the Agra and Masterman's Bank failure, there was still an excess of 6,632; but by the next following year the number of such excess had fallen to 917, while the net increase of population in that year was only 3,648.

The census of 1886, the second year of the new quarter-century, showed a total population of 342,614, and the next census five years later 410,330. This marked the end of the "boom" period, and the amount spent on immigration, as compared with 1883 and 1884, was cut down in the next year by nearly three-fourths, or from the maximum of £361,632 in 1883-4 to £91,143 in 1889-90. In 1891 there was severe commercial depression, and by that time arrivals had annually decreased, and departures came very near in numbers to the arrivals. During the next ten years the increase in population, as shown by the census, was 95,614, bringing the total up to 505,944.

Here it may be explained that the intercensus estimates between 1891 and 1901 proved fallacious, for the total number in the latter year was 6,660 less than the estimate had been for two years previously, although the arrivals for the intervening period recorded an excess over departures of 6,389. So that adding to that number the 17,350 increase by excess of births over deaths the population in 1901 would have been shown as 536,343 had the estimates between the censuses been continued on similar lines. The error would therefore have been 30,399 had not the census figures in 1901 enabled an adjustment to be made. Similar over-estimating had occurred previously, it is understood, through many oversea departures not being recorded by those who supplied information to the department. Of late years allowances have been made for unrecorded arrivals and departures in preparing the intercensus 199 returns, and it may be hoped that in future the discrepancies will be less disconcerting than in the past.

The population at the end of the first quarter-century having been 309,913, and on 31st December last year (1908) 558,237, the increase for the period was 248,324. But the second quarter-century does not actually close until 31st December next, when the total population should be approximately 570,000 souls. During the half-century, therefore, the number of people in Queensland as compared with the population in 1859 may be taken to have multiplied by twenty-two. In other words, at the time of separation, a year earlier than the official record begins, the total population was scarcely greater than it now is in several of our provincial cities.


Public revenue, which began in 1860 with a total of £178,589, reached £2,720,656 in 1884-5, the figures of the natal year being multiplied nearly fifteen times at the close of the quarter-century. The second quarter-century showed continued increase until 1888-9, but the figures of that year were not again reached until 1895-6. They progressed until in 1899-1900, the last year before federation, they reached over 4½ millions sterling, an amount not again realised till 1908-9. In 1901 the State figures were considerably disturbed by the proclamation of the Commonwealth on 1st January. In 1901-2 there was a large apparent decline of £1,053,145, the Commonwealth having taken over the whole of the postal and telegraph revenue and about one-fourth of the Customs. There was also a considerable loss by the discontinuance of State border duties, as well as by the Commonwealth tariff, which took effect in the second quarter of 1901-2, many revenue duties being either sacrificed or lowered in favour of protectionist imposts which only yielded revenue until they excluded imports. By 1908-9, despite the loss of post-telegraph and Customs revenue, the total receipts at the State Treasury formed the half-century record of £4,766,244.

The expenditure on loan account began with the foundation of the colony. At the end of the first quarter-century the public debt amounted to £16,570,850, exclusive of Government Savings Bank and Treasury bills obligations. In the first decade of the second quarter it had almost doubled, standing at the end of 1894 at £30,639,534. By the end of 1900 there had been a further increase of nearly 5 millions, and on 30th June, 1909, it stood at £41,568,827, or at the rate of £74 per head of the estimated population. But the railway net earnings alone of the last two financial years (1907-8 and 1908-9) have provided a mean sum of £884,616 per annum towards the interest charge.


In 1860 there were 108,870 acres of land alienated in Queensland. In 1872 the area exceeded 1 million acres, the first quarter-century closing in 1884 with over 7 million acres. The 10-million-acre limit was passed in 1890, and the 15-million-acre limit in 1908, when the total area alienated was 15,108,439 acres.

The cash received at the Treasury from land sales up to the close of 1884 was over 4¾ millions, and at the close of 1908 exceeded 8½ millions sterling. In process of 200 alienation there were then over 6 million acres. For the last ten years the total area leased or otherwise in occupation has been recorded. In 1899 the area thus occupied was 296½ million acres, and in 1906 only 247 million acres. Since then there has been some recovery in this respect, the total occupied area of Crown lands being now 273,180,864 acres. The unoccupied area in 1899 was over 131¼ million acres, and in 1902 only 121½ million acres. Since then there has been both an increase and a decrease, the area unoccupied in 1908 being almost 135 million acres, equal to nearly one-third of the total area of the State. This unoccupied land consists largely of rangy and waterless country, but a not inconsiderable area would be occupiable were water and transport facilities provided, and much of it is in what the geologists have delimited as the artesian area.


In 1860 the number of live stock in Queensland totalled—Horses, 23,504; cattle, 432,890; sheep, 3,449,350; pigs, 7,147. There was an almost continual yearly increase in horses until 1902, when drought reduced the number by 62,997, or at the rate of about 14 per cent. Not until 1907 was this loss recovered, when the total number of horses stood at 488,486, the number being still further increased in 1908 to 519,969. There was an almost uninterrupted increase of cattle until 1882, when the total exceeded 4¼ millions. At the close of the quarter-century the number was 4,266,172. In 1885 and 1886, owing to a drought, there was again a small decline in cattle numbers, but from that time there was a continued increase until 1894, when the total of 7 millions was recorded. But droughts and the tick pest had cut them down to less than 2½ millions in 1903. In 1908 the number had recovered to 4,321,600. The enlarged Australian consumption has been a factor in the shrinkage of numbers, but the large increase in prices fully compensated the owners for the diminished numbers of their herds. The increased price of wool during recent years renders the same remark applicable to the sheep-owners of the State; and it may be said generally that the pastoral industry was never in a more flourishing condition.

Sheep, which totalled fewer than 3½ millions in 1860, reached 7¼ millions in 1866, and 9 millions two years later. Thence till 1878 there was a series of fluctuations which brought the total in that year below 6 millions. But in 1882 the number had vaulted to over 12 millions, after which there was a descent to a little more than 9¼ millions at the close of the quarter-century. The year 1885 closed with a further decrease, but by 1887 the number had increased to nearly 13 millions. Three years later it reached 18 millions, and in 1892 it touched the record of nearly 21¾ millions. By 1900, which had been preceded by bad seasons, the number of sheep had dropped to 10⅓ millions, and in the second year of the twentieth century the low-water mark of less than 7¼ millions was touched. Since then there has been a rapid increase, and the numbers in 1908 had recovered to 18,348,851, or within 3,359,459 of the record number of seventeen years ago. It must be mentioned that, while scanty rainfall on the Western pastures was accountable for much of the depletion in stock numbers, overstocking and absence of possible provision for bad seasons had much to do with the losses incurred. However, the second quarter-century 201 will close with flocks in number almost equal to those of 1892, and with fleeces immensely more valuable than the pastures then carried, and the stock-carrying capacity of the country has also been much increased by fencing, water conservation, and artesian wells.

Pigs are also becoming a valuable asset of the Queensland dairy farmer. In 1860 they numbered 7,147; at the close of the quarter-century, 51,796; and in December, 1908, 124,749.




The phenomenal growth of the dairying industry is shown by the table headed "Dairying." It shows that, whereas in 1860 10,400 lb. butter were imported and 450 lb. exported, in 1908 there were 23,838,357 lb. made, 13,752,118 lb. exported, and only 201,924 lb. imported. Even in 1896 Queensland could hardly be accounted a butter-exporting country, when the shipments were only 13,942 lb., the imports 1,003,680 lb., and the quantity made 6,164,240 lb., for in that year the excess of imports was 989,738 lb.; while in 1908 the excess of exports was 13,550,194 lb., or more than a moiety of the amount manufactured. Of cheese, in 1896 the quantity made was 1,921,404 lb., whereas in 1908 it had increased to 3,199,510 lb., and the amount exported was 732,090 lb., the excess of exports over imports being 685,629 lb. Twenty-five years ago the excess of imports over exports was 1,068,033 lb., which meant that there were practically no exports. Even in 1896 the cheese exported totalled only 8,505 lb. It is evident that the dairying industry in Queensland is yet only in its youth, and that in another quarter of a century the exports of both cheese and butter will have increased enormously.


Sugar first appears as a Queensland export in 1870, the quantity being, however, only 26 cwt. By 1879 the quantity had reached 206,269 cwt., the quarter-century closing in 1884 with 368,626 cwt., valued at £454,759. But these figures do not represent the quantity of sugar manufactured, the total in 1884 being given at 33,361 tons, the export being 18,431 tons. In 1885 the export, as compared with the previous year, increased by 58½ per cent. in value. In 1888 the value declined to £384,375, or by more than one-half as compared with 1886. Thence for many years there was a fluctuating export, a drop to £681,038 in 1897 being followed by a jump to £1,329,876 in 1898. Two years later there was a heavy fall to £669,389 worth; then two years' progression followed by a fall to £646,875 in 1903. In 1904, owing to the Commonwealth bounty and good seasons, there was a recovery to £1,257,815, followed by substantial progression each following year, till 1907, when the record export of £1,779,624 was made. In 1908, owing to abnormal frosts, there was a decline to £1,482,320.

The quantity of sugar made of course showed corresponding fluctuations. In 1896 the 100,000-ton limit of manufacture was for the first time passed. It was followed by a slight drop in the following year, but in 1898 the record to that date in manufacture, as well as in export, was made, the product of the mills reaching the 202 high figure of 163,734 tons. After that year there was a fluctuating decline in manufacture to the minimum of 76,626 tons in 1902, the great drought year; but there was an improvement in 1903, and in 1905 152,722 tons were manufactured, the two following years being very close together with a mean production of 186,342 tons. In 1908 the sugar manufactured was 151,098 tons, a decrease, through frost, of 37,209 tons for the year. In glancing through the figures not only will the effects of good and bad seasons be recognised, but also of the suspension of kanaka labour importation in 1888, its revival in 1890, and the payment of the Commonwealth bounty during the last five years.


When in 1866 railway construction suddenly ceased, both on the Southern and Central (then called the Northern) lines, there was general distress, mitigated shortly afterwards by the discovery of gold at the Crocodile Field, near Rockhampton; and in 1867 by the opening up of the Gympie Goldfield. The first important discovery of gold, however, had been on the Peak Downs in 1862, after which the production of that metal advanced from 2,783 oz. in 1863 to 15,660 oz. in 1864, slightly in excess of which level it remained for the next two years. The gold raised then jumped to 35,581 oz. in 1867, and to 111,589 oz. in 1868. During the next two years the production dropped by about 19,000 oz., but it recovered to 115,986 oz. in 1871. In 1874 it made another big jump to 254,959 oz., owing to the discoveries at the Palmer, Charters Towers, and elsewhere in the North. This volume of production was rather more than maintained during the next two years, after which there was a fluctuating annual diminution until 1887, when there was a recovery to 348,890 oz. For seven years of the first quarter-century the value of gold won exceeded a million sterling per annum, high-water mark being touched in 1875—a year of heavy rainfall and abundant water—with a gold yield of £1,196,583.

In gold production the second quarter-century opened well with a total of 250,137 oz., and this yield for 1885 was followed by continuous progression until 1889, when the total of 634,605 oz., valued at £2,695,629, was reached. Thence for seven years there was a fluctuating decline, the minimum of 477,976 oz. being touched in 1891. From that year there was a gradual recovery until in 1898 647,487 oz. was reached, the record being made with 676,027 oz. in the last year of the century. Since then there has been a continuous annual decline until the total gold raised in 1908 had fallen to 465,085 oz., which is rather less than half the quantity declared to be exported in 1898 and 1903. But the export and production figures of course differ, the former being the actual weight exported in the year, which may be less or more than the production. Moreover, the production figures are stated in fine ounces, so that the difference between gold won and exported is considerably less than the figures would at first sight indicate.

Of copper the recorded quantity produced in 1860 was only one ton, valued at £50; but two years later the value reached £10,332 through the discovery of the Peak Downs mines. The two following years showed an almost entire cessation of export, although some £90,000 worth had been won. In 1865 the value of copper produced 203 was £58,440. Thence there was fluctuating progression until 1871, when the value rose to £174,300, with a further rise to £196,000 in 1872. Declension followed until in 1882 the production had dropped to £14,982, the quarter-century closing in 1884 with a total of £30,872 worth. The explanation is that during the period there was practically only one copper mine at work in Queensland, and that in 1871 the policy was commenced of smelting all the richer ores and paying the highest possible dividends. In one year an amount of about £300,000, equal to the total capital of the company, was distributed, and shortly afterwards the mine was closed for want of remunerative ore. Had money been freely spent in exploration, as at the Mount Morgan Gold Mine, and only moderate dividends paid to the shareholders, it is believed that the life of the Peak Downs Copper Mine would have been indefinitely prolonged.

During sixteen years of the second quarter-century copper mining languished, the highest production in any one year being valued at £20,340, while in 1891 the lowest descended to £865. In 1901, however, through the opening of the Chillagoe mine, the production rose to £194,227 worth; by 1906 it had continuously ascended to £916,546, and in 1907 to £1,028,179. In 1908 there was a phenomenal decline in production value, owing to the low price obtainable for copper, the total being stated at £882,901.

The first production of tin is recorded in 1872, when the yield was valued at £109,816, through the discovery of stream tin in the Severn River district of Queensland. The record year for tin production of the half-century was in 1873, when the value raised was £606,184. Thence there was a fluctuating decline in output till 1884, which closed with £130,460 worth for the year.

In the second quarter-century there was a fluctuating diminution of production, till in 1898 it was only worth £36,502. After that date there was a continuous improvement, the figures reached in 1907 being £496,766. The tin won in 1908 was declared to be of the value of only £342,191, the reduction arising chiefly from lowered market prices.

The coal raised in Queensland in 1860 was only 12,327 tons; in 1884 120,727 tons were raised; and in 1908 the production was 696,332 tons, valued at £244,922.


The imports into Queensland in 1860 were of the declared value of £742,023; at the close of the first quarter-century they exceeded 6¼ millions a year; in 1900 they exceeded 7 millions; in 1908 they totalled nearly 9½ millions.

The declared value of exports totalled a little more than half a million in 1860; the first quarter-century closed in 1884 with a total of under 4¾ millions. In 1889 the value was slightly under 7¾ millions, and in 1908 it reached over 14 millions. During the last quarter-century the exports have trebled in value, while the imports have increased by only about 48·4 per cent. These figures indicate that the State is rapidly liquidating its external indebtedness on private account, whatever may be the increase in public loan obligations.



Railways form a very gratifying asset. In 1865 there were only twenty-one miles open for traffic, and they yielded no net revenue. In 1884 there were 1,207 miles open, of which the net earnings were £273,096. In 1898 2,742 miles open had £534,992 of net earnings. In 1901 there were 2,801 miles open, with net earnings of £223,853 only, the cause being the historic drought of the period. Since then there has been a rapid increase in both traffic and profit, the net earnings of 3,498 miles in 1908-9 having been £885,622. These figures afford complete justification for a policy of vigorous construction, for they show that the capital invested in our railways, £25,183,529, earned £3 10s. 4d. per cent. in 1907-8. In 1908-9 the net earnings were £883,610, the return on capital invested being £3 7s. 6d. per cent.

With the object of supplying the latest official data, the Government Statistician, Mr. Thornhill Weedon, has compiled the following tables, which practically divide the half-century into four equal periods. It must be borne in mind that, except under the heading "Finance," the statistics are for the calendar year and not for the financial year, which closes on 30th June:—



Calendar Year.
1860. 1872. 1884. 1896. 1908.
No.Marriages 2781,1252,6612,8234,009
No. Deaths4781,9366,8615,6455,680
No.Population, State28,056133,553309,913472,179558,237
No.Population, Brisbanea6,05115,00223,001110,554137,670

Footnote a: The area in 1860, 1872, and 1884 is not quite the same as that in 1896 and 1908, but the population quoted is fairly representative.


Financial Year.
1860. 1872. 1883-4. 1895-6. 1907-8.b
£   From Customs and Excise59,210419,853900,9161,361,2121,498,131
£     From other sources119,379576,4711,665,4422,280,3713,953,501
£     Total Revenue
£     From Revenue161,503865,7432,532,0453,567,9475,336,330
£     From Loan19,384156,4241,665,823592,1581,033,676

Footnote b: The figures for 1907-8 include both Federal and State collections and disbursements on Queensland account.



Calendar Year.
1860. 1872. 1884. 1896. 1908.
Banking Companies—574,6612,200,34611,155,42318,850,94519,122,646
£     Assets490,8611,489,5159,338,71615,481,96014,698,195
£     Advances332,1731,842,8487,662,54311,346,30316,072,757
£     Liabilities286,9171,590,2836,322,02510,879,64015,440,427
£     Deposits     
Savings Bank—     
No.     Depositors1638,12133,06758,226100,324
£     Amount to credit at end of year7,545466,7541,220,6142,329,3814,921,881


Calendar Year.
1860. 1872. 1884. 1896. 1908.
AcresArea Alienated108,8701,069,2087,099,27512,850,84315,108,439
AcresIn Process of Alienation.........1,776,0346,200,930
AcresLeased or otherwise occupied  41,027,200123,737,093316,113,760254,787,200273,180,864
AcresNot occupied387,983,930304,313,699105,906,965159,705,923134,629,767


Calendar Year.
1860. 1872. 1884. 1896. 1908.


Calendar Year.
1860. 1872. 1884. 1896. 1908.
Lb.     Made...... ...6,164,24023,838,357
Lb.     Imported10,400454,698 1,271,9641,003,680201,924
Lb.     Exported4501,310 12,72413,94213,752,118
Lb.     Excess of Imports9,950453,388 1,259,240989,738...
Lb.     Excess of Exports...... ......13,550,194
Per Lb.     Estimated Wholesale Price of Butter1s. 11¼d. 9½d.11d.10d.10¾d.
Lb.     Made...... ...1,921,4043,199,510
Lb.     Imported1,559 lb.186,9161,069,62077,27546,464
Lb.     Exported247 lb.201,5878,505732,093
Lb.     Excess of Imports1,312 lb.186,8961,068,03368,770...
Lb.     Excess of Exports... .........685,629


Calendar Year.
1860. 1872. 1884. 1896. 1908.
AcresTotal Area Cropped3,83862,491 187,381322,678535,900
AcresWheat, Area for Grain1963,661 11,38934,67080,898
BushelsWheat, Result of Crop...78,734 195,727601,2541,202,799
AcresMaize, Area for Grain1,52621,143 61,064115,715127,655
BushelsMaize, Result of Crop...... 1,312,9393,065,3332,767,600
AcresEnglish Potatoes, area3332,837 3,7757,6726,227
TonsEnglish Potatoes, Result of Crop...... 6,83418,45111,550
AcresSugar-cane, Area Cut...5,018 29,93066,64092,219
TonsSugar-cane, Result of Crop, Cane...... ......1,433,315
TonsSugar-cane, Result of Crop, Sugar Made...6,266 33,361100,774151,098


Calendar Year.
1860. 1872. 1884. 1896. 1908.
Oz.Gold raised in Queensland2,738124,163 250,127502,146465,085
£11,631537,3651,062,471 2,132,9791,975,554
£Silver raised in Queensland...... 35,32732,162117,889
TonsCopper raised in Queensland12,448 1,65358014,698
£50196,00030,872 21,042882,901
TonsTin raised in Queensland...1,407 3,3831,5544,826
£...109,816130,460 49,018342,191
TonsCoal raised in Queensland12,32727,727 120,727371,390696,332
£9,24416,12060,025 154,987244,922
£All other in Queensland......6,469 30,440281,030
£                                   Total20,925 849,3011,325,6242,420,6283,844,487


Calendar Year.
1860. 1872. 1884. 1896. 1908.
No.Factories13593 9551,3321,481
No.     Hands Employed...... ...19,73329,510
£     Plant and Machinery...... ...6,145,5484,484,340
£     Output.........6,482,82411,242,437
Lb.     Leather...427,168 2,221,8563,324,832 (a)152,611
Lb.     Butter...... ...6,164,24023,838,357
Lb.     Cheese...... ...1,921,4043,199,510
Lb.     Bacon and Hams...... ...5,108,72611,324,323
Lb.     Meat, Cured...... 4,283,02469,442,44750,418,522
Super. Ft.     Timber, Sawn...... ...22,309,900100,759,016

Footnote a: Now collected on sides.



Calendar Year.
1860. 1872. 1884. 1896. 1908.
£Apparel, including Boots and Shoes32,701113,371318,910232,077552,071
£Linen, Drapery, and Haberdashery154,454293,155742,357806,6381,233,776
£Wine, Beer, and Spirits66,909177,601394,764247,259325,484
£Tobacco, Cigar, &c.17,72730,65978,09374,501204,131
£Wheat, Flour, Biscuits, &c.95,318208,447383,504555,460483,794
£Other Grain and Products thereof4,86742,991197,929118,968202,549
£Potatoes and Onions3,41015,78977,897104,233147,584
£Green Fruit, Jams, and Jellies3,48727,755118,30973,184175,967
£Hardware, Machinery, Metals, and Metal Goods63,622217,6591,019,374766,2171,661,999
£Stationery, Books, Paper, &c.16,48226,528148,682135,127220,746
£Kerosene and other Oils3,91632,58069,20294,048156,460
£Total all imports 742,023 2,218,717 6,381,976 5,433,271 9,471,166


Calendar Year.
1860. 1872. 1884. 1896. 1908.


Lb.           Greasy 

} 5,007,167{




£           Clean
£           Greasy

}    444,188{
£ Total Value
£          Value
£Live Stock (Horses, Cattle, Sheep)
£Meat (all kinds, including extract)
£          Value...36,833454,759863,0801,482,320
£Hides and Skins
£            Total all Exports       523,477 2,998,934 4,673,864 9,163,726 14,194,977






Calendar Year.
1860. 1872. 1884. 1896. 1908.
     Miles Open...2181,207 2,4303,498
No.     Passengers...40,539 1,025,5522,462,0206,538,411
£     Cost of Construction...2,345,385 8,631,83517,248,67823,102,158
£     Net Revenue...18,213 273,096424,862806,797
No.     Inward Vessels210522 1,042649881
Tonnage45,736148,630572,124 562,7591,601,107
No.     Outward Vessels183507 1,061645847
Tonnage39,503143,380579,988 531,2891,563,911


Calendar Year.
1860. 1872. 1884. 1896. 1908.
Charitable Institutions—      
     Number62146 77107
     Persons Relieved
3972,796 11,61419,91728,310
     Number of Schools41210 5289571,104
     Scholars on Rolls1,89023,728 60,701103,733105,436
     Average Attendance
...... ......67,309
Public Libraries—      
     Number of Subscribers5381,711 5,1856,90412,770
     Volumes in Libraries4,94520,890 60,257129,883249,257




The water supply problem is of importance so momentous, and the official information collected by the Hydraulic Engineer being scattered through reports covering about twenty-five years—from 1883 until 1908—it is thought desirable to present the main official facts in a convenient digest for the general reader.


Up to 1883, when the McIlwraith Government created the Hydraulic Engineer's Department by appointing Mr. J. B. Henderson to organise it, little had been done by the State for the improvement of the water supply of the country except in cities and towns. At that time no artesian water was known to exist in Queensland, but there was a popular belief that there were great underground supplies, especially in Western Queensland. Many station-owners had been active, and the diamond drill had been brought into use, but deep drilling had not then been undertaken. In October, 1884, the Hydraulic Engineer reported that he had just visited Widgeegoara Station, where the owners, Messrs. E. and J. Bignell, partly by sinking shafts and partly by boring, had obtained an underground pumped supply aggregating 94,000 gallons every twenty-four hours. This resulted from sinking four 5 ft. × 2½ ft. shafts an average depth of 102 ft. each, and thence boring and tubing below the bottom of each shaft to the average depth of 161 ft. Of the total quantity 20,000 gallons a day was obtained from the Four-mile well, a shaft sunk to a depth of 150 ft. below the natural surface. Besides this there was a homestead well 33 ft. deep. Analyses of the water showed that, in the opinion of the Government Analyst, only in one bore was it useful for watering sheep, it being brackish; but according to the station reports the supply from the Four-mile well and Nos. 1 and 2 shaft-bores was good stock water. Mr. Henderson warmly commended the Messrs. Bignell's enterprise.


During the same month the late Hon. George King, of Gowrie, brought under the notice of the department a report by Mr. Darley, C.E., to the Government of New South Wales respecting certain American well-boring machinery by the use of which in Mr. King's opinion three-fourths of the cost of £6,000 incurred by his firm in sinking shafts in the Warrego district might have been saved. Besides which much greater depths could be reached, a machine costing £600 in America being capable of 211 boring 2,000 ft. The matter being referred to the Hydraulic Engineer, that officer made inquiries which induced him heartily to endorse Mr. King's suggestion that the Government should secure from America a machine with two men experienced in working it and capable of themselves making any ordinary repairs. Mr. Henderson also recommended that a staff should be trained by the Americans after arrival, and expressed the opinion that this course would save both money and time, and prove a large gain to the colony. But he reminded the Minister that until there had been an abundant rainfall extensive operations in bore-sinking in the West could not be carried on, though he advised the introduction of a sufficient number of machines and enough tubing in order that during the next season, if rain fell, work should be vigorously commenced.

On 4th September, 1885, the Hydraulic Engineer replied in unequivocal terms to a minute of his Minister requesting him to comply with the wish expressed that he should purchase a Victorian diamond drill, then under offer, for coal-prospecting purposes. Mr. Henderson strongly recommended that no drill be purchased unless capable of boring holes at least from 5 in. to 2 in. in diameter. He also pointed out that where drifts and loose gravels were met with, and tubed, a deep bore must be commenced of large diameter to ensure success. Although the proposed drills were not ostensibly to be used for water-finding, it is evident that the Hydraulic Engineer, in reporting upon them, had that kind of work in view.


On 2nd December following the Hydraulic Engineer addressed the Minister touching water-boring operations, and pointed out that, while there would be no difficulty in importing the machinery and appliances requisite for deep bores, he was convinced that men must be introduced from America to start and teach others here to work them. He recommended that an efficient plant should be ordered capable of boring up to 12 in. in diameter to a depth of 2,500 ft., for (say) £1,000, delivery at the works, and four good drillers under a two years' engagement brought out to work them at 21s. to 23s. per day, apparently of twelve hours; board, lodging, and travelling expenses to be defrayed by the Government.


On 20th February, 1886, the Hydraulic Engineer wrote that, understanding from conversations with the Minister that "the policy of the Government is to carry on water conservation works and boring for underground water with increased energy, he recommends the purchase of three Wright and Edwards' boring machines, capable of reaching a depth of 1,000 ft., for delivery within four months from the date of order." Three days later Mr. Henderson wrote:—"Unfortunately it can be said with much truth that, ever since the department's existence, the seasons have been unfavourable in the extreme for carrying out its plans." After mentioning the specific difficulties encountered, he added:—"I do not share in the idea that the late rains broke up the drought, as I cannot disguise from myself the fact that they have not been general, or even yet of sufficient quantity."



Although the Hydraulic Engineer, so long before as December, 1884, had recommended the Minister to import American boring machinery with men trained to work it, it was not until 19th October, 1886, nearly two years later, that he was able to announce that his advice had been so far followed that Mr. Arnold, an American borer from Honolulu, had gone to Blackall with a Pennsylvania Walking Beam Oil Rig boring machine which had been constructed in Brisbane. It seems that so long previously as July, 1885, two tenders for boring by Americans—one being from Mr. Arnold—were submitted by the Hydraulic Engineer to the Minister, with the intimation that they were both too vague for acceptance, and expressing the hope that Mr. Arnold, "who seemed a man of considerable experience, would submit a more liberal and definite offer." The same report mentions that on the 30th June previously the Blackall bore had been carried to a depth of 775 ft., and that at 127 ft. good water had been struck that rose to a height of 60 ft. below the surface, but was deemed insufficient for the requirements of the town. Up to that time nine bores had been completed, chiefly by the ineffective Tiffin auger, but not one had reached artesian water, the deepest being that at Blackall, and the average depth 371 ft.


In his report of 12th November, 1887, the Hydraulic Engineer states that it is essential that only the best quality of tubing, or "casing," should be used in bores. In April he had visited, by direction of the Treasurer, Thurulgoona Station, on the New South Wales border, and there carefully inspected boring operations. He found that one bore had, by means of the Canadian Pole Tool boring machine, been sunk to 1,079 ft., a supply of excellent water having been struck at a depth of 1,009 ft., "the water overflowing in my presence to a height of about 20 in. above the surface of the ground." This was apparently the first artesian water Mr. Henderson had seen in Queensland, though he had years previously seen the artesian well at Sale, in Victoria; and he naturally pronounced the opinion that the result at Thurulgoona was "very satisfactory." During this year boring had been carried on in Queensland without success so far as the formation of flowing wells was concerned. Mr. Arnold, having sunk to 1,039 ft. at Blackall, resigned, but it was decided to continue sinking, all the tubing being recovered with the exception of a few feet, and being capable of use several times over if need be. During this year also tenders had been received from Mr. Loughead, of Thurulgoona, to put down three bores of 2,500 ft. in Queensland, and Mr. Henderson reported that there was every prospect of a tender being received from a company recently formed in Brisbane at a slightly lower price than Mr. Loughead had named.


It was at this time, after three years' fighting with difficulties arising from drought, the want of knowledge of deep-boring machinery, and the indisposition of the Government to spend much money in so speculative an undertaking, that the first 213 gleam of daylight appeared. On 6th October, 1888, the Hydraulic Engineer reported that four contracts had been entered into for deep boring, with as many different persons or companies, in the aggregate over 20,000 ft. Included among these was the contract with the Canadian Pole Tool Company (of which the late Mr. Percy Ricardo was then the financial head, and Mr. William Woodley, who had been induced to come over from Canada, was the head driller) for completing the Blackall bore to a depth of 2,000 ft. if necessary. In this bore, on 26th April, 1888, after many vexatious stoppages, "an abundant supply of overflowing, sparkling, fresh artesian water, excellently adapted for domestic purposes, was tapped at a depth of 1,645 ft." The rate of flow, as measured from 3 in. piping attached to a screw plug and valve to control the flow, was found to be 210,000 gallons per diem, with a temperature of 119 degrees. This had been an expensive bore, for it cost £5,748. It was not the first artesian water officially utilised in Queensland, for four months earlier than water rose to the surface in the Blackall bore the Barcaldine bore was yielding 175,416 gallons of water a day, at a temperature of 101 degrees, obtained from a depth of 691 ft., and at a cost of only £1,220.


These results were so encouraging that the Hydraulic Engineer recommended the sinking of thirteen additional bores, and the recommendation was approved. As early as possible tenders were advertised, and there then seemed some difficulty in getting eligible applications, partly, it may be assumed, because of the activity of private enterprise in bore-sinking. To those engaged in this undertaking Mr. Henderson in his 1889 report pays a graceful tribute, congratulating them on their successes, and expressing regret at their failures, in which they only met the same luck as the Government had encountered. It was in this report also that the Hydraulic Engineer suggested that a map be prepared showing the position, altitude, and other useful particulars of all Government and private bores and wells in Queensland, and he invited information from all persons capable of giving it. Mr. Henderson mentioned the successful sinking of the Cunnamulla bore, having a flow of 22,500 gallons per hour of "excellent fresh water," with a pressure of 186 lb. to the square inch, a temperature of 106 degrees, and a depth of 1,402 ft. The total cost of this bore was £1,928. The success of the Tambo bore was also reported at the same time, 8,333 gallons per hour having been obtained at a depth of 1,002 ft., with a temperature of 98 degrees, and for a cost of £1,515.


The Hydraulic Engineer's report dated 11th September, 1890, supplies evidence of the importance of the discoveries made up to that date of artesian water in Queensland. The striking of a supply of 3,000,000 gallons a day of "water clear, colourless, soft, and potable" in the Charleville bore is noted with satisfaction. In the text of the report this was said to be, so far as the writer knew, the "best well 214 in Australia," but a footnote added that soon afterwards a bore in the Cunnamulla district was reported to have been tapped with a daily supply of 3½ million gallons. The depth of the Charleville bore was only 1,370 ft., and its cost £2,389. The striking of a supply of 1,095,000,000 gallons per annum at so small a cost was naturally a subject for both official and general congratulation.


In the same year is reported the striking of water in the Muckadilla bore, which yielded about 10,000 gallons a day from a depth of over 3,000 ft., and was then believed to be the deepest bore in Australia. The cost was £2,673. A somewhat better supply was afterwards struck at 3,262 ft. In this report the Hydraulic Engineer expresses regret that through the absence of barometrical measurements, owing to scarcity of money, the height above sea level of proposed sites for bores was not known, but sites were selected from surface indications and the results achieved by sinking in the neighbourhood. The wells sunk by the Government had been of much use in assisting private enterprise to select likely sites, but it would have been more satisfactory had better information been obtained by the use of the spirit level. Acknowledgments were made to those who had responded to the circular invitation sent out for information, and regret was expressed that in some cases there had been no response. The effort made, however, had enabled several new features to be embodied in the report, among which was a table containing a list of both public and private bores, and a large map locating, so far as possible, the position of each. Another map showed the rainfall in different parts of the colony, while a handsome diagram of the Brisbane rainfall was furnished for the first time. Both of these remained features of the Hydraulic Engineer's annual reports until 1901, when revenue considerations compelled their suspension.


During 1890 excessive rains and bad roads hindered work in bore-sinking, instead of the dry periods which had been the cause of embarrassment for the preceding seven years. The only newly completed bore during this year was that at McKinlay, which at 1,002 ft. gave a supply of 224,000 gallons a day. Water was struck in two other bores, but of insufficient quantity, and work was still proceeding. The obstacles encountered in boring, often from the breaking of machinery, but more frequently from the want of thoroughly skilled drillers, must have been disheartening, especially in cases where the sinking was done without useful scientific information, and bores had to be abandoned after months—even years in cases—of labour and worry.

In his report of 20th January, 1893, the Hydraulic Engineer discusses at length the question of artesian water supply. The country is, he holds, now in a much improved position to encounter long droughts. Valuable information has been and is still being obtained by exploration as to the prospects of artesian water being 215 found, and also as to the conservation of surface water by artificial means. He says that fifteen bores, averaging 1,571 ft. each, have been sunk by the department, and that although the work has been of a pioneering character only one sunk to the contract depth has proved a failure. He estimates that about 88,000 square miles in the western country have been proved to be water-bearing, and he urges that as large areas still remain to be explored the present is a favourable time for inviting tenders for the work.


In this report the Hydraulic Engineer directs attention to the necessity of acquiring information as to the extent of our surface-water resources. In three of the southern colonies, he mentions, a systematic practice of gauging streams has for some time been in force. The work will be useless unless it is carried on for a number of years. The essential thing to be ascertained is not the maximum flow of a stream, but the minimum; or rather, perhaps, the maximum that can be expected from a stream in a season of maximum aridity. "Without such data," he continues, "no fair distribution of water, no scheme of water supply, or irrigation, or drainage can be well considered; nor can storage and distribution or drainage works be economically designed, or their permanency and efficiency ensured." He therefore urges the matter of stream-gauging upon the favourable consideration of the Government, adding that the paramount necessity of active administration in respect of water conservation generally has been recognised by Parliament by legislation already placed upon the Statute-book.


Two official pages of the 1893 report are devoted to the "misuse of water," a member of Parliament having already objected to the application of the word "waste" to water allowed to flow unchecked from bores. The aggregate capacity of the ten Government bores then flowing was 5,000,000 gallons daily, all measured; while of the 137 private wells the flow was estimated at 100,000,000 gallons daily. This total of 105,000,000 gallons would be equivalent to a rainfall of 29 in. on 91 square miles of country. This was the rate of average rainfall on the assumed outcrop of water-bearing country that supplied the artesian area. And it had to be remembered that a part of this rainfall of 29 in. had to be carried off by streams as well as by evaporation, and therefore did not sink into the water-bearing strata of the arid west. As to the extent of the outcrop, it was estimated not to exceed one-eighth of a mile, with a total length of 1,600 miles, which meant a total supply of 200 square miles of water-bearing outcrop area.a Arguing on these and other grounds, the report contends that the falling off of the yield of many bores affords proof that, wherever the supply comes from, the outflow already exceeds the inflow. The Engineer 216 can only regard as wasted two-thirds of the water that now flows from the artesian bores in Queensland; indeed, adopting the language of an American, "the waste is a crime against the well-owner and against the State."

Footnote a: For fuller particulars see Hydraulic Engineer's Report for 1893, pages 5 and 6.


The Hydraulic Engineer adds that while he cannot assert that the artesian flow is being exhausted, he yet holds that the flow ought to be controlled by legislative action.a

Footnote a: On this passage the Hydraulic Engineer notes that, in 1891, a bill was introduced into Parliament by Sir Thomas McIlwraith for controlling the artesian water supply, and passed through the Assembly, but was rejected by the Council. Since then no action in that direction has been taken.


The same report contains an interesting article on irrigation. It points out that at the beginning of 1892 there were only 200 irrigators among the land cultivators of the colony, and that the area irrigated was only 5,000 acres. It was believed that in the last year the amount of land so fertilised had largely increased. Many of the plants and distributing apparatus were of a most primitive kind. "Some are expensive, others badly erected, and not a few are of a type ill-adapted to the object in view."

The report goes on to discuss the probability or otherwise of water in sufficient quantities for irrigation being obtainable by conservation. In summarising his argument the Hydraulic Engineer says, "Looking at the question broadly, I am much disposed to regard the possibilities of a sufficiently abundant supply of water being obtained for irrigation, especially for land in small areas devoted to intense culture, as of considerable promise." He then urges the inadequacy of artesian wells for the irrigation of large areas, pointing out, among other things, that the entire discharge of the wells then flowing in Queensland would suffice to irrigate only 219 square miles to a depth of 1 ft. He thinks that in Queensland we shall have to depend upon "natural" water for irrigation purposes.


A new feature in the 1893 report was the map giving information as to (1) artesian bores applied for, (2) under contract, (3) in progress, and (4) completed. It showed that out of a total of 668,497 square miles of the "Rolling Downs Formation" (Lower Cretaceous) no less than 376,832 square miles, chiefly in the arid west, was likely to be water-bearing. This estimate, it may be noted, has been very slightly reduced of late, but the scope for exploration in water-finding seems still great in Western Queensland. The report alludes to the success attained in the Queensland manufacture of well-boring machinery. All the plant used, the wire rope alone excepted, was manufactured in the colony, where improvements had 217 been made in the originally imported article. Yet it is admitted that the apparatus used was "not a perfectly scientific one, because it does not produce a core by means of which the nature of the strata and the angle and direction of the dip can be fully ascertained." Queensland yellow-wood (Flindersia Oxleyana) had quite replaced American timber in the manufacture of drilling poles.




In closing, the Hydraulic Engineer reports that the succession of good seasons experienced (years 1890-93), and the abundance of water and grass resulting, has occasioned much inattention to water conservation, and he also expresses regret that financial exigencies have compelled the dispensing with some valued members of his staff. The article is illustrated by diagrams, and the studious reader will peruse it with profit.


In his report for 1st November, 1894, the Hydraulic Engineer recurs to the source of artesian water. He regrets that very little can be added to the previous assumption that it lies in the outcrops of the porous beds of the Lower Cretaceous formation on the western slope of the coast range; and he urges the necessity of accumulating facts relating to the bores already sunk, and complains that some owners neglect to give the department the information sought. He urges that legislation should make the furnishing of statistical matter of this kind compulsory. He doubts whether, in the absence of information as to the precise geological conditions subsisting beneath the surface, a map of Queensland can ever be prepared showing with certainty where artesian water can be found; but much may be done by accumulating accurate information with respect to the sinking of bores, nature of strata passed through, amount and pressure of flow, temperature of water, and depth beneath the surface whence obtained in each case. The map issued by the Geological Department would show the water-bearing areas, which means the formation in which water may be expected to be found; but bores can only be put down with reasonable certainty when the entire western country has been prospected.


The life of an artesian well with a permanent spring, says the report, is limited by the durability of the casing. The corrosive action of some water is much greater than others; but there should be no difficulty in renewing the casing when necessary. It has often been discovered that an interruption of the flow, or its serious diminution, is the result of worn-out casing. So much is this the case that there is still controversy as to whether there is any general diminution in the supply consequent upon continuous waste.



The report then discusses the question of using artesian water for power in the industries. The Hydraulic Engineer points out that of the total horse-power used in the United States at that time about 39·5 per cent. was hydrodynamic. Artesian water, he says, can be applied to driving all kinds of machinery, "from a sewing machine or a cream separator to a saw or flour mill; and for fire-extinguishing it is most excellent." He therefore recommends the employment in Western Queensland of turbines and Pelton wheel motors for sheep-shearing, electric lighting, and other kinds of machinery used there, pointing out that the horse-power available was—At Blackall, 8·04; at Cunnamulla, 41·53; at Charleville, 123·41; and at Thargomindah, 63·51.a He further recommends the utilisation of the artesian supply for street mains, a suggestion since carried out with great public advantage in several western towns. While Mr. Henderson doubts the utility of artesian water for irrigation, he says that, generally speaking, it is quite as valuable as that from town mains, rivers, and falls for developing power. The aggregate area to date in which precious artesian water has been found in Queensland is 117,000 square miles, and he feels that this area would be rapidly enlarged by exploration by both Government and private borings. The shallowest completed flowing well in Queensland at that date was 60 ft., and the deepest 3,630 ft.; the average depth so far as known to the department was 1,289 ft.

Footnote a: Mr. Henderson notes that these horse-powers have since been very much reduced.


Explaining why the volume flowing from a well does not depend upon the diameter of the "static" pressure of the water, Mr. Henderson says that the flow depends principally upon the relative altitudes of the outcrops of the water-bearing beds, and of the mouth of the bore or well, and upon the character and texture of the porous beds from which the well derives its supply. The static pressure is ascertained by stopping the flow by artificial means, when the pressure generally rises, sometimes quickly, at other times slowly, until it reaches a maximum. But when the well is again opened it will be found that the static pressure has been more or less reduced by friction. This reduced pressure is called the "hydraulic." The hydraulic pressure can never exceed the static pressure; nor can the volume of water flowing from an artesian well be ascertained by its pressure, or the height to which the water may rise over the top of the casing, any more than the pressure can be ascertained by knowing its volume.b

In the same report is announced the striking at Winton, at a depth of 3,235 ft. of a supply amounting to 100,000 gallons a day, at a temperature of 140 degrees. It was determined to continue sinking under a new contract.

Footnote b: See Votes and Proceedings, 1894-5, for Hydraulic Engineer's Report, 1st November, 1894, page 5.



Mr. Henderson again returns to the misuse of water, suggesting that the utility of the artesian supply can easily be tested by intense cultivation of a small area at each bore. He complains that one of Queensland's most valuable assets is not as carefully guarded as it should be. He estimates that the quantity allowed to run uncontrolled and generally misused amounts to 66,000,000 gallons per diem, or 66 per cent. of the estimated total flow in Queensland. He invites attention to a recommendation in a previous report that all underground or artesian water should be declared State property. This would not prevent owners of artesian water taking and using a reasonable supply of water, but all consumption beyond what might be called a "liberal" amount should be paid for, the State receiving the water rate. The experience of America in this matter proved that in some States control by the Government was enforced, while in others the greatest care was exercised to prevent any further granting of subterranean water franchises unless the absolute right of the State was reserved to regulate the consumption. Appended to the report is a copy of a recommendation by a Commission in the State of Colorado for regulating, distributing, and using water. Mr. Henderson thinks the recommendation too severe, but insists that some State control should be exercised.

The same report contains an interesting review of the condition of irrigation enterprise in Queensland, and again insists that scientific stream-gauging is indispensable if surface water is to be made generally available for irrigation purposes.


The report dated 5th October, 1895, recurs to the Hydraulic Engineer's previous estimate that the outcrops of the water-bearing beds of the country covered an area of about 200 square miles. He is glad to learn that Mr. R. L. Jack, Government Geologist, had since worked the matter out, and, while approving of Mr. Henderson's suggestion as to the source of artesian supplies in Queensland, estimated the area as 5,000 square miles, or twenty-five times the Engineer's estimate. This information seems to have allayed Mr. Henderson's dread of the exhaustion of the supply, for he says that the Geologist's figures indicate that "the gathering-ground is larger than can possibly be required for years to come if there is no extensive leakage, of which as yet there is no evidence that I am aware of." He next writes strongly in favour of a comprehensive search for artesian water by the Government, and of Government aid being offered by loan to persons willing to sink bores on Crown lands or even on private property. Such assistance would encourage settlement by leaving the settler in possession for other purposes of money which would otherwise be spent on water provision on his holding, and prove an incalculable benefit to the State by mitigating periodical droughts.



The report then gives statistics relative to artesian bores as follows:—Number of bores, 397; average depth, 1,195 ft. Of these 286 overflow with a total output of 213½ million gallons per diem. Total cost of boring and casing, £860,321, as nearly as could be estimated, "remarkable results for eight years' work, as in 1887 boring in Queensland was in its infancy." With a view to greater accuracy provision for the salaries of two inspectors had been made on the Estimates for the year, in order that uniform records might be secured as to the strata pierced, the flow, the pressure and temperature of the water, amount of rainfall at the outcrop of water-bearing beds, and the alleged diminution of artesian streams. The suggestion is then made that land, the leases carrying water rights, might be made available for settlement in small areas around tanks and bores.


In this report the Hydraulic Engineer is able to announce the success of the Winton bore. At about 3,555 ft. a daily supply of 720,000 gallons of excellent artesian water was struck, and boring being continued to 4,010 ft. without increasing the supply work ceased, the total cost of the bore having been about £7,000. An article on irrigation shows a total irrigated area of 7,641 acres, an increase for the year of 2,240 acres. Included in the area are 2,000 acres of natural grass land and 2,000 acres sown with artificial grasses; also 11½ acres irrigated from artesian wells in the Warrego district. Flood mitigation is also dealt with at length, and a system of flood warnings on the various streams recommended.


The report for 2nd October, 1896, brings records up to date. By map it is shown that not only does the water-bearing country extend over 56 per cent. of the area of Queensland, but also continues into New South Wales and South Australia, and enters Western Australia. It "marks the position of the ancient Cretaceous sea which connected the Gulf of Carpentaria with the Great Australian Bight," and "divided the continent into two islands." "They were," wrote Dr. R. L. Jack, "laid down by this sea; their present position is due to subsequent general upheaval, and they lie directly and unconformably on schists and slates of undetermined age, or on granite or gneiss. Except in Queensland, where they are overlaid here and there by the remains of the Upper Cretaceous or Desert Sandstone formations which have not been removed by denudation, they seem to be covered to a considerable extent by Tertiary rocks. The Desert Sandstone beds lie horizontally but unconformably on those of the Rolling Downs, which dip to the south." a

Footnote a: See "Geology and Palaeontology of Queensland and New Guinea," by R. L. Jack, F.G.S., Government Geologist, and R. Etheridge, jun,. Government Palaeontologist, New South Wales, page 390.



In the same report the improvement in drilling machinery is discussed, and Queensland manufacturers are congratulated on making American and Canadian machines with improvements which greatly add to their efficiency. Bores in Queensland are generally begun with 10-in. casing, and carried to not lower than 500 ft. Then 8-in., 6-in., and 5-in. casings are used. The necessity of these casings being as perfect as possible is emphasised by the Engineer. The cost of sinking bores by contract, which is almost the universal method, depends upon the facilities offered by the site for the transport of wood and water, but the range then was from 17s. to 24s. per foot for the first 500 ft., and increased with depth until, at 4,000 ft. odd, sinking had cost 55s. per foot. The inspectors appointed the previous year had done good work, though the wet season delayed travelling. Sectional diagrams compiled from the inspectors' reports appear among the appendices.

Then follows an interesting description of surface artesian water known as Elizabeth Springs, in latitude half a degree south of the tropic, and in 140¾ degrees west longitude. The account of these remarkable springs is well worth reading.a

Footnote a: See Votes and Proceedings for 1897 for Hydraulic Engineer's Report, 2nd October, 1896, page 5.


Number of bores in Western Queensland to October, 1896, 454; average depth, 1,168 ft.; feet bored, 530,332 (nearly 100 miles); overflow, 193,000,000 gallons per diem. There were also nineteen deep bores on the coast. The total cost had been £928,081.


Reporting on 2nd August, 1897, the Hydraulic Engineer mentions that the Burketown bore has been carried to a depth of 2,304 ft., with a supply of 155,560 gallons of good water at a pressure of 60 lb. per square inch, and a temperature of 155 degrees, the cost being £4,155. A few months earlier the Normanton bore had struck water at 2,330 ft., for 293,000 gallons a day, with a temperature of 151 degrees, at a total cost of £3,803.


The same report glances at the progress made in artesian water discovery in the southern colonies. Queensland aggregate flows on 30th June, 1897, were estimated at 140,000,000 gallons daily, or 51,135,000,000 gallons annually. This would suffice to cover 294 square miles with water 1 ft. deep, or 100 square miles 35⅓ in. deep. In New South Wales, in 1897, there were thirty-four flowing and twelve pumping bores, yielding 22½ million gallons of water per diem. In Victoria only one or two flowing bores had been put down, the country being generally unfavourable for artesian 222 water. In South Australia there were in all sixty-two bores, seven being still in progress, but of the total only nineteen wells gave good fresh water, and twenty-two wells salt water. Seeing that artesian water exploration began in the three colonies named before any steps were taken in Queensland, the success here may be regarded as phenomenal, although of course a very considerable amount of capital was lost in sinking abortive bores.


The report dated 15th September, 1898, mentions that the Bando bore sunk for the Lands Department for the accommodation of grazing farm selectors was completed during the year at a depth of 2,081 ft., giving a supply of 2,000,000 gallons daily, and at a cost of £3,289. It was estimated to water 146,000 acres. The Roma bore for the town supply had also been completed at a depth of 1,678 ft., and yielded a controlled supply of 111,000 gallons daily, which sufficed for the wants of the town.


Particulars of thirty-seven bores sunk in the colony to a depth of 3,000 ft. and over are given. Of these eleven had reported flows, either large or small, during the year, three had been abandoned, and nine were still in progress. The yield of 376 bores in the colony was estimated at 214,000,000 gallons a day, the average per bore being over half a million gallons. Besides these, fifty-five sub-artesian wells—those whose water did not rise above the surface—yielded 2½ million gallons a day; and perennial springs gave an ascertained continuous flow of nearly 4,000,000 gallons a day. The report calls attention to a serious diminution in the yield of certain wells, and says that it has been ascertained in some cases that the loss was due to loss of head, and not to any leakage or obstruction in the casing. The Hydraulic Engineer therefore again urges legislation to give the Government control of bore water. As to power, it is mentioned that a small electrical installation had been set up at Thargomindah by the Bulloo Divisional Board, and that the number of lamps of sixteen candle-power that would exhaust the bore power was 150 to 200.


When the report dated 30th August, 1899, was prepared the country was held in the throes of a protracted drought, and the Hydraulic Engineer speaks of compression in his report on the ground of economy. For years past the reports had been becoming increasingly bulky, appendices and maps being supplied on a generous scale. Government expenditure in bore-sinking had now nearly ceased, presumably because private enterprise had already benefited greatly by Government prospecting for water, and the same necessity did not exist for State action as in previous years. The new feature of the departmental year's work is stated to have been the comparative analysis of the height of bore sites and the water potentials 223 thereat, upon which the iso-potential map, with the full description given in page 56 of the report, is based. By this time the number of bores sunk to a depth of 3,000 ft. and over was fifty, an increase for the year of thirteen, which shows that private enterprise was still active in the search for artesian water. The total number of flowing bores in the colony was given as 440, with a yield of water of nearly 266½ million gallons a day.

The report dated 25th August, 1900, mentions that during the year in the Adavale bore 9,000 gallons of water a day had been struck at 1,494 ft., and although further sinking had been carried to 2,930 ft. there was no increase in the supply. By this time the number of bores sunk to 3,000 ft. and over had increased by nine, or to fifty-nine, while the aggregate flow of artesian water was put at over 321½ million gallons per day.


The report dated 31st August, 1901, was the last to supply the very full information customarily given annually by the department. There was almost universal drought and difficulty. In some parts of the State, however, the drought had broken, so that needful works could be again pushed on. But this was by no means the end of the great drought of 1898-1903, and the appendices and valuable maps which added so greatly to the permanent value of the reports of the department were discontinued, and only a brief report was presented. This is much to be regretted, but retrenchment was enforced by revenue shrinkages and the dislocation temporarily caused by federal union. Happily, however, the information has since been carefully collected, and is now available to complete this sketch of the work done and results achieved since the year 1883, when the department was created under Mr. Henderson's direction. In the 1901 report the success of the Adavale bore is recorded, the depth being 3,398 ft., with a flow of 990,890 gallons per day, and at a total cost of £5,369. The striking of a supply of water in the Dalby bore to the amount of 46,470 gallons an hour at a depth of 1,841 ft. is also mentioned in this report. This success is interesting on account of the site being the furthest easterly where artesian water has been found.

The report for 1902 was cut down to the minimum limit. It was prepared while the country was in the grip of the worst drought ever known, and yet private enterprise was active as ever in bore-sinking, no less than thirty-six flowing wells having been completed during the year. The total number in the State was thus brought up to 563, yielding 375,000,000 gallons a day, the average flow per bore being 666,231 gallons.


The report for 1903 was brief. During the year the number of flowing bores had increased by thirteen, and the aggregate flow by 10,000,000 gallons. The average flow was 669,279 gallons, or 3,048 gallons increase upon the flow for the preceding year. 224 This in the face of the diminution of the flow in many bores cannot be considered unsatisfactory. The entire cost of well-boring in the State to 1903 is set down at £1,463,326, including abortive bores, and heavy sums for carriage of boring plant in the earlier days. It is mentioned in this report that the Whitewood bore, Bimerah, yielding only 70,000 gallons a day, at 5,045 ft., is still the deepest in Queensland. The shallowest is given as at Manfred Downs, at 10 ft., yielding 2,000 gallons a day; and the hottest water at Elderslie No. 2, where from a depth of 4,523 ft. emerge more than 1½ million gallons per diem at a temperature only 10 degrees below boiling point. The greatest static pressure is at the Thargomindah bore, where it is nearly 240 lb. to the square inch.


Since 1902 until this year annual reports at length have not been furnished by the Hydraulic Engineer; but this year the work has been resumed, and advance information supplied in a condensed form.

In the foregoing epitome of the Hydraulic Engineer's reports extending over twenty-five years, no particular mention has been made of the failures inevitable when either the Government or private persons were engaged in deep boring for water exploration. The following particulars show some of the obstacles encountered in tapping the subterranean springs of our arid western country:—

In his report for 1902 the Hydraulic Engineer mentioned that a contract had been entered into with Mr. W. Woodley for the sinking of a bore at Eromanga to a depth of 2,000 ft. for the sum of £1,438, but that work could not be prosecuted in consequence of the prevailing drought in the West. The contract depth was reached on 29th August, 1903, without finding water. A further contract to carry the bore to 3,000 ft. was subsequently entered into, and on 30th June, 1904, at a depth of 2,612 ft., the work was suspended until the arrival of casing, which was delayed by rain. It was not until November, 1904, that the casings reached the bore site, and that work could be resumed. A suspension of work occurred on 4th March following for want of a competent driller. Boring was resumed in August and continued till March, 1906, without success. The only water tapped up to that time was a supply of 10,000 gallons per diem at a depth of 1,640 ft. The casings were allowed to remain in the bore, the gross cost of which had been £4,480. In May, 1906, a new contract with Mr. Woodley, for sinking another bore to a depth of 3,000 ft., was entered into. At 1,660 ft. a supply of 12,000 gallons a day was tapped; but, this being considered insufficient, another contract for deepening the bore to 3,500 ft. was entered into with Mr. Woodley, the additional cost being £1,000. On 9th March, 1908, the depth of 3,500 ft. was reached without any additional supply. Then a contract for sinking a further 500 ft. was entered into. At 3,980 ft. a small flow was tapped which dribbled over the surface, and the 4,000 ft. depth being reached arrangements were made for sinking another 100 ft. At 4,050 ft. a small flow of 110 gallons per hour was struck. At 4,135 ft. the flow increased to 250 gallons per hour. Delays occurred after this,225 until January, 1909, when boring was resumed, and at 4,270 ft. a flow of 306,234 gallons per diem was struck. The water was then brought under control, and found to have a pressure of 219 lb. per square inch, with a temperature of 198 degrees F. The water was fresh and drinkable, though having a slightly gaseous taste; but this was not noticeable after it had stood exposed to the air for a little time. On completion of the surface fittings the discharge was measured, and the flow ascertained to be 256,825 gallons per diem. The cost had not been adjusted at the date of our information, but it will be understood that a work extending over five years, and then yielding a comparatively small supply, makes bore-sinking a highly speculative industry, even in what the geologists declare to be artesian water-bearing country.





At the Kynuna bore, work had been suspended at the time of the last annual report at a depth of 2,221 ft., the flow being 807,608 gallons a day. When cased to the bottom the flow was 880,154 gallons per day. It was handed over to the Winton Shire Council, the total cost having been £2,610, half of which was granted as a loan to the council by the Government, and the other half as a free gift.

Another unsuccessful bore was at Windorah, where, under contract, a depth of 4,000 ft. was reached, with no water save an insignificant spring touched at 103 ft. below the surface. The total cost, including casing and supervision, was £7,508.

A bore at the joint expense of the Booringa Shire Council and the Government was started at Mitchell in January, 1908, and on 18th May, at a depth of 1,405 ft., the work was stopped, the supply, equal to 205,000 gallons a day, being considered sufficient. The cost of the bore was £1,935.


Summarising the information supplied in the accompanying tables, Mr. Henderson writes:—"The total continuous yield from 716 bores—the flows from which have been estimated by various persons, not connected with the department, and communicated to me either directly or through the public prints, for the accuracy of which I cannot vouch, and measured under the hydraulic survey which was suspended in 1899 and not yet resumed—is now estimated at 479,268,000 gallons per diem; hence the average flow per bore is 669,369 gallons in the same time.

"These figures do not include the flows from nine sub-artesian wells the flow from which is artificially produced by cutting down the outlet, but which it is understood have since ceased to flow, nor do they include the yield from 215 sub-artesian wells which are pumped more or less regularly during periods of drought, and which are estimated to yield 8,600,000 gallons per day, or an average of 40,000 gallons per well if pumped continuously night and day; but as it is impossible to form a trustworthy estimate of the daily volume raised I have put it down at what I think is approximately true—namely, 1,720,000 gallons.

"I may also mention that owing to the suspension of the departmental hydraulic survey previously mentioned, I have obtained no official data relating to perennial springs. The last data to hand are given in my summarised report for the year 1902."



The following table shows the progress of boring and artesian supplies to end of 1908 [but it must be stated that only part of the data for the years 1907 and 1908 is to hand:—

Sunk by Artesian
or Uncertain.
a Government
Local Governing Authorities
Private Owners
            Total to end of 1908 716 215 415 1,346

Footnote a: Pioneering bores sunk to explore and ascertain the artesian possibilities of new country.


For comparison with former years I may mention (writes Mr. Henderson) that the total aggregate number of feet bored in search of artesian water in Queensland up to end of 1908 is estimated, from the best information at hand, at 1,498,700 ft., equal to 283·84 miles. The average depth per bore is 1,113 ft. The total aggregate depth bored is as follows:—

Date Miles. Increase in Each Year.
Up to the end of October, 1894
Up to the end of October, 1895
Up to the end of September, 1896
Up to the end of June, 1897
Up to the end of June, 1898
Up to the end of June, 1899
Up to the end of June, 1900
Up to the end of June, 1901
Up to the end of June, 1902
Up to the end of June, 1903
Up to the end of June, 1904
Up to the end of June, 1905
Up to the end of June, 1906
Up to the end of June, 1907
Up to the end of December, 1907
Up to the end of December, 1908
9·46 miles in twelve months
10·22 miles in eleven months
8·59 miles in nine months
b24·83 miles in twelve months
23·76 miles in twelve months
c25·37 miles in twelve months
17·03 miles in twelve months
13·03 miles in twelve months
6·83 miles in twelve months
3·17 miles in twelve months
4·49 miles in twelve months
6·88 miles in twelve months
d37·25 miles in twelve months
e 2·84 miles in six months
e 7·34 miles in twelve months

Footnote b: This includes a considerable number of old bores discovered and added to the 1898 year's list.

Footnote c: This includes thirty-four sub-artesian wells and bores in the Dalby district, representing an aggregate of 3,500 ft.

Footnote d: Data collected by Police Department at the beginning of 1907, which include a number of old bores not previously heard of.

Footnote e: Only a small part of data to hand, which was chiefly compiled from newspaper reports. It is a fact well known to this Department that never before was there in any year so much boring done as during the years 1907 and 1908.



Number of artesian flows of various magnitudes to end of 1908:—

Under 10,000 gallons per day 49
From    10,001 to   150,000 gallons per day 151
From    150,001 to   750,000 296
From    750,001 to 1,500,000 129
From    1,500,001 to 2,500,000 57
Exceptional flows of over 2,500,000 gallons per day 34
Total flowing bores 716

The continuous yield of water is estimated at 479,268,000 gallons per diem, equal to 1,763·22 acre feet, or 2·755 square miles of water 1 ft. deep, in the same time.

The average flow of the 716 bores is thus 669,369 gallons per day, and their average depth is 1,575 ft.

The estimated value of 1,346 borings is £1,873,375.


The following is a list, compiled from the latest available information, of the Artesian Wells of the State over 3,000 ft. deep, in order of their depth:—

Name of Bore.Date of
Depth. Date of Completion
or Suspension.
  1. Bimerah Run, No. 3, Whitewood 11 Aug, 1898  5,045 June, 1900
  2. Bimerah Run, No. 1, Bothwell May, 1895  4,860 July, 1897
  3. Elderslie Run, No. 2, Cathedral April, 1900  4,523 Sept., 1902
  4. Ruthven Run, No. 1 1 Aug., 1905  4,515 April, 1908
  5. Ayrshire Downs Run, No. 1 Jan., 1895  4,438 Sept., 1897
  6. Warbreccan Run Jan., 1894  4,333 22 April, 1898
  7. Manuka Run, No. 1 Aug., 1896  4,310 April, 1898
  8. Bimerah Run, No. 2, Munjerie Oct., 1897  4,310 Jan., 1900
  9. Eromanga (Government) 16 July, 1906  4,270 Jan., 1909
10. Rockwood Run, No. 1, Glenariffe 15 Dec., 1891  4,220 15 July, 1897
11. Albilbah Run, No. 1, Cable End 1 July, 1889  4,205 Sept., 1902
12. Ruthven Run, No. 1 1 Aug., 1903  4,105 22 June, 1905
13. Lorne, No. 1 ...      4,057 In Progress
14. Minnie Downs Run 11 May, 1899  4,040 30 April, 1902
15. Malboona, Manuka Resumption 18 Feb., 1899  4,032 7 June, 1900
16. Winton (Government) 16 July, 1889  4,010 25 June, 1895
17. Darr River Downs Run, No. 4, Overnewton Feb., 1892  4,006 28 Mar., 1894
18. Thornleigh (Kargoolnah Shire) May, 1901  4,003 15 Sept., 1902
19. Windorah (Government) 1 July, 1902a4,001 24 May,1905
20. Vindex Run, No. 2 Oct., 1898  4,000 June, 1900
21. Ayrshire Downs Run, No. 3 Sept., 1899  3,983 Sept., 1902
22. Katandra and Stamfordham Runs, No. 1 8 Oct., 1892  3,980 — 1896
23. Evesham, No. 1 ...     3,970 In Progress
24. Malvern Hills Run, Gowan 1 July, 1890b3,942 10 May,1894
25. Darr River Downs Run, No. 2, Fairlie 1 Nov., 1899  3,890 May, 1891
26. Talleyrand, Camoola District ...     3,870 —1898
27. Burenda Run, No. 3, Gidyea Creek 16 Oct., 1895  3,840 Sept., 1898
28. Oondooroo Run Jan., 1900  3,800 1 April, 1901
29. Mount Abundance, No. 2 — 1907  ... — 1908
30. Albilbah Run, No. 2, Jackson's 21 Dec., 1889  3,800 — 1893
31. Greendale, No. 1 ...    c3,799 In Progress
32. Vindex Run, No. 3 24 July, 1901  3,795 6 Sept., 1902
33. Muckadilla (Government)228 21 Oct., 1889  3,762 24 Dec., 1898
34. Redcliffe Run, Redcliffe Jan., 1893  3,750 20 Mar., 1895
35. Clio G. F., Ayrshire Downs Resumption —   1901  3,745 April, 1902
36. Katandra and Stamfordham Runs, No. 2 ...      3,723 —   1896
37. Ayrshire Downs Run, No. 2 11 April, 1898  3,721 Sept., 1899
38. Roma Town, No. 2 28 June, 1899  3,710 17 Oct., 1900
39. Nive Downs Run, No. 2, The Ironbarks 1 Jan., 1893  3,710 5 Sept., 1894
40. Roma Mineral Oil Company —   1907d 3,702 Dec., 1908
41. Wellshot Run, No. 4 Sept., 1901  3,698 —   1902
42. Elderslie Run, No. 3 Mar., 1900  3,680 18 May, 1901
43. Kensington Downs Run —   1897  3,650 June, 1898
44. Wyora, Winton District 23 May, 1899  3,650 12 Mar., 1900
45. Darr River Downs Run, No. 3 Jan., 1890  3,650 Aug., 1891
46. Darr River Downs Run, No. 1, Nine-mile 23 Dec., 1888  3,600 Mar., 1899
47. Longreach Town, Aramac Shire April, 1897  3,590 10 Dec., 1897
48. Noondoo Run, No. 2, Dareel Nov., 1897  3,586 July, 1899
49. Manuka Run, No. 2 Feb., 1899  3,581 June, 1901
50. Fairbairn, Dagworth Resumption —   1900  3,579 Sept., 1900
51. Wellshot Run, No. 3, Totness 27 Oct., 1894  3,561 17 June, 1895
52. Barcaldine Downs Run, No. 1, Twenty-mile—   1889  3,533 21 Jan., 1896
53. Lansdowne Run, No. 3, Downfall Oct., 1894  3,529 Jan., 1896
54. Jericho (Government) Mar., 1902  3,518 15 June, 1903
55. Lerida Run, No. 1 Sept., 1897  ?3,511 16 July, 1898
56. Katandra and Stamfordham Runs, No. 4 ...     e 3,510 —   1907
57. Wellshot Run, No. 1, Bradnich 16 Nov., 1892  3,504 2 Nov., 1893
58. Elderslie Run, No. 1, Farewell Oct., 1896  3,500 July, 1898
59. Lerida Run, No. 2, Glenullen 12 July, 1898  3,500 3 Mar., 1900
60. Westlands Run, No. 2, Buffalo 18 April, 1893  3,480 13 May, 1896
61. Acacia Downs G. F., Bowen Downs Feb., 1897  3,480 20 July, 1897
62. Hamilton Downs Run, No. 2, Campsie July, 1898  3,457 Jan., 1900
63. Tintinchilla Run, Milo Before 1895  3,411 Mar., 1895
64. Dagworth Run, No. 2, Pinnacle April, 1898  3,400 Dec., 1898
65. Adavale Town (Government) 27 Dec., 1899  3,398 8 Nov., 1900
66. Westbury, Camoola District ...      3,340 —   1900
67. Dagworth Run, No. 1, Crescent Creek April, 1892  3,335 July, 1893
68. Arabella Run 13 April, 1896  3,335 16 May, 1897
69. Jacondol G. F., Campbell's, Barcaldine Mar., 1895  3,333 —   1905
70. Thomson Watershed (Government) Aug., 1891  3,319 July, 1893
71. Burenda Run, No. 2, Burenda Nov., 1894  3,315 14 Sept., 1895
72. Bowen Downs Run, No. 4, Muttaburra road Aug., 1891  3,308 Oct., 1894
73. Hamilton Downs Run, No. 1, Clio ...      3,301 April, 1895
74. Noorindoo Run, No. 1 Mar., 1901  3,300 —   1904
75. Cooinda, Winton North District 7 June, 1898  3,298 20 Jan., 1899
76. Portland Downs Run 14 Aug., 1897  3,280 14 June, 1899
77. Chatsworth Run, No. 1 ? 1894  3,266 5 Feb., 1895
78. Sesbania Run, No. 2 May, 1898  3,252 19 Sept., 1898
79. Alice Downs Run, No. 2, Norwood 11 April, 1898  3,248 Dec., 1898
80. Mount Cornish Run, No. 2 ...      3,219 4 June, 1907
81. Sesbania Run, No. 5 5 June, 1901  3,186 Mar., 1902
82. Sesbania Run, No. 6 ...      3,179 —   Aug., 1909
83. Terrick Terrick Run, Lorne —   1907f 3,140 —   1908
84. Sesbania Run, No. 4 Feb., 1899  3,103 Jan., 1900
85. Noorindoo Run, No. 2 Feb., 1903  3,103 2 April, 1904
86. Noondoo Run, Narine —   1896  3,098 Nov., 1897
87. Birkhead Run, No. 1, Macfarlane 29 June, 1898  3,095 —   1906
88. Authoringa and Riversleigh Runs, No. 2, Rocky 1 Jan., 1896  3,086 June, 1898
89. Llanrheidol Run, No. 2, Acacia June, 1896  3,085 3 April, 1897
90. Hughenden M. C. Town Bore 3 Jan., 1894  3,069 July, 1898
91. Muttaburra District, Brookwood ? 1895  3,065 April, 1895
92. Authoringa, No. 3, Spinifex Aug., 1898  3,060 —   1899
93. Muttaburra District, Weewondilla ...      3,060 Dec., 1903
94. Albion Downs Run Oct., 1897  3,033 Sept., 1899
95. Muttaburra, Crossmoor —   1906  3,030 27 July, 1908
96. Barcaldine North District, Fairview ...      3,028 20 July, 1907
97. Myall Plains, Boombah Feb., 1907  3,024 Dec., 1908
98. Lansdowne, No. 2, Narambla Nov., 1889  3,005 Feb., 1892
99. Yarrawonga Run, Ada ...      3,000 June, 1898
100. Tarra Grazing Farm, No. 4...      3,000 —   1906

Footnote a: Abandoned or suspended at 4,001 feet.

Footnote b: Abandoned at 3,942 feet.

Footnote c: In progress at 3,799 feet.

Footnote d: In progress at 3,702 feet.

Footnote e: Abandoned or suspended at 3,510 feet.

Footnote f: In progress at 3,140 feet.


The hydraulic survey, suspended some years ago, has not yet been resumed; therefore the foregoing return, furnished by the Hydraulic Engineer in advance of his report, has been compiled from unofficial documents which have not yet been verified, and is given for what it is worth.


In order to make the record of artesian boring in Queensland as complete as possible, the following information has been obtained from the two principal drilling firms at present engaged in the State. It will be noticed that the list of the Intercolonial Boring Company includes three bores in South Australia:—

List of Bores over 3,000 feet in Depth put down by Intercolonial
Boring Company, Limited.

Name of Bore.Depth.
Date Completed.
Ayrshire Downs, No. 33,983September, 1902
Brookwood, No. 13,065May, 1895
Boombah, No. 13,024December, 1908
Chatsworth, No. 13,266February, 1895
Cooindah, No. 13,289January, 1899
Dagworth, No. 13,335July, 1893
Dagworth, No. 23,400December, 1898
Dareel, No. 13,586July, 1899
Elderslie, No. 33,626May, 1901
Evesham, No. 13,970In progress
Fairview, No. 23,028July, 1907
Greendale, No. 13,799In progress
Goyder's Lagoon, S.A.4,850March, 1905
Hamilton Downs, No. 13,301April, 1895
Hamilton Downs, No. 23,457January, 1900
Kynuna, No. 73,226 December, 1908
Lerida, No. 13,511July, 1898
Lerida, No. 23,500March, 1900
Llanrheidol, No. 23,085April, 1897
Lorne, No. 14,057In progress
Manuka, No. 23,581June, 1901
Mungeranie, S.A.3,360February, 1900
Mulka, S.A.3,445December, 1906
Mount Cornish, Tablederry3,219June, 1907
Mount Cornish, No. 33,015June, 1909
Narine, No. 13,098November, 1897
Ruthven, No. 14,105June, 1905
Ruthven, No. 24,515April, 1908
Roma Mineral Oil3,715In progress
Sesbania, No. 23,252September, 1898
Sesbania, No. 43,103January, 1900
Sesbania, No. 53,186March, 1902
Sesbania, No. 63,179August, 1909
Vindex, No. 24,000June, 1900
Vindex, No. 33,795September, 1902
Warbreccan, No. 14,333June, 1898
Winton (deepened)4,010June, 1895
Wyora, No. 13,600March, 1900

Note.—Bores marked S.A. are in South Australia.

Brisbane, 1st October, 1909.


Bores Completed and in Progress by Woodley Limited, Brisbane,
since 31st March, 1909.

1. Bore at Millie Station, near Charleville, D. McNeill owner. Depth, 1,732 ft.; water 8 in. over casing; flow ¾-million gallons per diem.

2. At Claverton Downs, near Wyandra, Mrs. Whitney owner. Depth, 1,955 ft.; water 22 in. over casing; flow about 1½ million gallons.

3. At Bendena Station, Burgess and Co. owners. Depth, 2,232 ft.; water 4 ft. 6 in. over casing; flow about 3½ million gallons.

4. At Bonus Downs Station, Mitchell, Sir S. McCaughey owner. Depth, 3,424 ft. 6 in.; water rising to 60 ft. below surface; boring ceased in slate formation.

5. At Eurella Station, Donald Fletcher owner. Depth at end of September, 2,124 ft., still in progress; water rising to within 150 ft. of the surface.

6. At Clifton Station, C. H. T. Schmidt owner. Depth, 26th June, 225 ft.; in progress.

7. At Koreelah Station, Charleville. Depth at end of June, 400 ft.; in progress.

8. At Comongin Station, Bulloo, McLean, Barker, and Co. owners. Depth on 30th June, 600 ft.; in progress.

9. At Aberglassie Station, J. R. and H. C. Loughran owners. Starting.

10. At Cytherea Station, R. T. Winter owner. Starting.

11. At Airlie Downs, A. Leeds owner. Starting.





Vital statistics are set forth by the various Government Statists of Australia with extreme particularity. But it is not easy to make comparative analyses for the purpose of ascertaining the birth rates, marriage rates, or death rates in the different States of Australia. The birth rates per 1,000 of the population give no accurate bases for comparison. They supply only what the statists call the crude birth rate. The information necessary to ascertain true comparative birth rates involves knowledge of the number of women of the different child-bearing ages in the several States; the proportion of marriages at different ages in each; the number of married women, their ages, and also the number of spinsters. Married women in their teens are more fertile than in their twenties, in their twenties than in their thirties, in their thirties than in their forties. So that to ascertain the true birth rate the comparative number of married or marriageable women in the contrasted countries must be ascertained. For example, if there were 20,000 married women in Queensland between twenty and thirty; and 60,000 married women of the same age in New South Wales; and if the number of births among those 20,000 and 60,000 respectively were ascertained, the true birth rate among women of that age would be obtained. Similar remarks apply to the death rate. The comparison must be made between a given number of men or women of the same ages, and then the true comparative death rate per 1,000 of such persons will be ascertainable, but not otherwise.

It is supposed in many parts of Australia that North Queensland is less salubrious than South Queensland, and that the Southern States are healthier than Queensland as a whole. The crude death rate does not give a basis for this assumption, because there are fewer old people and fewer young children per 1,000 of the population in sparsely peopled areas than in settled districts. The lightest average mortality is among persons between the ages of two and eighteen years; the greatest mortality among children under two years. Information is not procurable showing the number of persons in Queensland in age groups, this information being only obtainable in census years.


The Queensland Government Statistician has furnished the accompanying table, based on the results of the censuses of 1891 and 1901, showing the relative salubrity of different parts of the Commonwealth in those two years for all the States save Western Australia; and it will be noticed that it differentiates also between children north and south of the Tropic of Capricorn in Queensland. These figures are valuable for comparative purposes.

It will be noticed that among children under two years the rate of mortality north of the Tropic of Capricorn in 1891 was 74.85 per 1,000, and in 1901 73.42 per 1,000. South of the tropic the corresponding figures were 70.33 and 64.97 per 1,000 respectively, the difference in favour of the south being 4.52 and 8.45 per 1,000. Of children under five years in the north the mortality was 39.44 and 32.80 respectively; while south of the tropic it was 33.54 and 29.72 respectively. Thus the difference in favour of the south was 5.90 and 3.08 respectively. Above the age of five years the difference between north and south is rather more marked, but the comparison of these, for reasons analogous to those stated above with respect to comparative birth or death rates, is valueless.

If we take the New South Wales figures, we find that as to children under two years the mortality in 1891 was 85.12, and in 1901 72.42 per 1,000. Thus North Queensland compares very favourably with the parent State by 10.27 in 1891, and unfavourably in 1901 by only 1 per 1,000. With South Queensland the comparison shows a difference against New South Wales in 1891 of 14.79 per 1,000, and of 7.45 per 1,000 in 1901. As to children under five years the difference in favour of New South Wales in 1891, as against North Queensland, was only 0.16 per cent., and in 1901 0.43 per 1,000; and as against South Queensland it was 5.74 on the wrong side in 1891, and 2.65 in 1901. It is needless further to analyse the figures, but evidently the only States whose mortality among young children is more favourable than South Queensland are South Australia and Tasmania.

Although these figures are official it may be wise to use them with reservation. The comparatively high mortality north of the Tropic of Capricorn is fully accounted for by the absence of the comforts of life in that newly settled area. In 1901 the mortality beyond the tropic was, for children under five years, almost the same as in New South Wales and Victoria. So that, so far as young children are concerned, we need not fear that the climate of Tropical Queensland will be found unfavourable to the British race.

The death ratio of the population is somewhat higher in the tropics than in the South for each age group mentioned, and consequently of course for persons of all ages; this applies to both the years cited, 1891 and 1901. These years have been 233 selected as, being "Census" years, the numbers at each age can then be definitely determined. The mortality rate for 1901 showed a distinct improvement on that for 1891 in all instances except with persons over five years of age in the South; as regards these the experience for 1901 was fractionally less satisfactory than in 1891.

'QUEENSLAND and Territory of PAPUA 1909'

"QUEENSLAND and Territory of PAPUA 1909"

Return showing the Population, Number of Deaths, and the Rate of Mortality at Certain Ages for the Years 1891 and 1901.

  1891. 1901.
Number of
per 1,000
of the
Number of
per 1,000
of the
   North of the Tropic of Capricorn
      Under 2 years
6,426 481 74·85 6,933 509 73·42
      Under 5 years
      Over 5 years
            All ages 108,986 1,682 15·43 149,632 2,011 13·44
   South of the Tropic of Capricorn
      Under 2 years
18,598 1,308 70·33 18,454 1,199 64·97
      Under 5 years
      Over 5 years
            All Ages 284,732 3,488 12·25 353,634 3,996 11·30
Whole State
      Under 2 years
25,024 1,789 71·49 25,387 1,708 67·28
      Under 5 years
      Over 5 years
            All Ages 393,718 5,170 13·13 503,266 6,007 11·94

Note.—Death rates calculated on the estimated mean population of the two years mentioned above and published in the Reports on Vital Statistics were—


The utilisation of Census figures in order to quote the age condition at the time is accountable for the slight difference in the total ratio.


Return showing the Population, Number of Deaths, and the Rate of Mortality at Certain Ages for the Years 1891 and 1901continued:

  1891. 1901.
Number of
per 1,000
of the
Number of
per 1,000
of the
New South Wales——

      Under 2 years
66,719 5,679 85·12 64,376 4,662 72·42
      Under 5 years
      Over 5 years
            All ages 1,132,234 16,286 14·38 1,359,133 16,021 11·79
      Under 2 years
62,102 5,822 93·75 54,669 3,817 69·82
      Under 5 years
      Over 5 years
            All Ages 1,130,463 18,631 16·48 1,201,341 15,904 13·24
South Australia
      Under 2 years
17,875 1,180 66·01 15,988 1,059 66·24
      Under 5 years
      Over 5 years
            All Ages 315,533 4,211 13·35 358,508 3,974 11·08
      Under 2 years
8,414 524 62·28 8,484 492 57·99
      Under 5 years
      Over 5 years
            All Ages 146,667 2,234 15·23 172,475 1,814 10·52
Western Australia——
      Under 2 years
...      ...      ...      9,303 882 94·81
      Under 5 years
      Over 5 years
            All Ages 49,782 869 17·46 184,124 2,519 13·68


The subjoined map shows the curves of equal mean annual rainfall for every 10·0 inches for Australia, compiled from the most recent information:—



The following table shows the relative rainfalls at the six Australian capital cities for the periods set severally against them; also for the ten-year period subsequent to 1896, during which the average precipitation was much below that of the total number of years over which the records extend:—

Place. Total
for all
Ten Years'
the Two.
Ten Years.
Ten Years'
per Annum
above or
True Mean.
  Inches.Inches.Inches. Inches. 
Brisbane5747·4739·16-8·31 83·10-18
Sydney6748·8044·28-4·52 45·20-9
Melbourne6326·3525·50-0·85 8·50-3
Perth3133·0332·54-0·49 4·90-1
Hobart6623·3822·98-0·40 4·00-2
Adelaide6720·8920·53-0·36 3·60-2

The following table supplies similar information with respect to seventeen representative Queensland stations, from which it will be seen that the mean annual rainfall at Geraldton for twenty-one years was 145·27 inches, and for the ten years subsequent to 1896 135·81 inches. Thus Geraldton is by far the wettest place in the State. The lightest mean rainfall for the same period was at Boulia, which recorded 11·45 inches; and for the ten years, 8·72 inches. The last column of the table shows that the fall for the ten years was under the average at every station mentioned, the shortage at Cooktown having been 28 per cent. each year of the ten. The number of wet days is not supplied, except for the capital cities. The driest part of Australia—that which receives a rainfall of 10·0 inches and under—comprises an area equalling nearly one-third of the Commonwealth, and includes the central Territory of South Australia, the extreme western parts of New South Wales, the south-western parts of Queensland, and the south-eastern, central, and part of the north-western portions of Western Australia. The limits of this dry area are shown by the 10·0-inch isohyetal line:—

Place. Total
for all
Ten Years'
the Two.
Ten Years.
Ten Years'
per Annum
above or
True Mean.
Cooktown29 68·9649·91-19·05190·50-28
Tambo 2122·8718·08-4·7947·90-21
Thursday Island1668·1163·99-4·1241·20-6

The following table shows the distribution of the average rainfall from 10·0 inches and under to over 40·0 inches:—

Average Annual
N.S.W. Victoria. Queensland. South
Tasmania Commonwealth.
sqr. mls.sqr. mls.sqr. mls.sqr. mls. sqr. mls.sqr. mls.sqr. mls.sqr. mls.sqr. mls.
Under 10 inches81,144nil135,600306,663 6,300 408,300 nil938,007
10-20 inches116,36336,300255,30057,935 213,430 400,720 nil1,080,048
20-30 inches77,91027,900173,40013,908 96,790 113,700 11,395515,003
30-40 inches20,41418,77058,7001,198 120,600 39,100 5,396264,178
Over 40 inches14,5414,91447,500366 86,500 14,100 9,424177,345
Total Area 310,37287,884670,500380,070 523,620975,92026,215      2,974,581

The comparative rainfalls and temperatures at the respective State capitals, and at Canberra, the embryo Federal capital, are shown in the following table:—

Place. Height
Annual Rainfall. Temperature.
Average. Highest. Lowest. Mean
 Ft.Ins.Ins.Ins. Fahr.FahrFahrFahrFahrFahr
Perth19733·0546·7320·4873·9 55·6112·033·675·154·6
Adelaide14120·3830·8713·4372·3 52·0116·332·273·352·5
Brisbane13750·0088·2324·1176·0 60·0108·936·177·358·0
Sydney14449·3582·8123·0170·8 53·9108·535·971·552·3
Melbourne9125·6244·2515·6164·9 49·2111·227·066·347·7
{ 2,000
23·0050·6916·5669·745·0109·0 16·072·042·0

The mean humidity at the several capitals is as follows:—Brisbane mean averages, 68·1; highest, 85; lowest, 47. Sydney mean averages, 73, 90, 55. Melbourne mean averages, 72, 76, 67. Adelaide mean averages, 56, 84, 33. Perth mean averages, 63, 83, 45. Hobart mean averages, 72, 76, 67.




 Queensland.New South Wales.Victoria.

Amount per head of estimated population
Amount per district scholar
010 6


  Undenominational. Church of
Lutheran. Total.
Number of schools868612157
Teachers—Female17032372 574
Gross enrolment—Male7862364,883295,934
Gross enrolment—Female1,3863446,400348,164
Average daily attendance—Male6542164,220245,114
Average daily attendance—Female1,2892975,200286,814

Church of England Schools (1909).a

Schools.On Roll.Average
St. John's Day School, Brisbane44 boys, 134 girls33 boys, 107 girls6, and 1 music
and 1 drawing
Holy Trinity Day School, Woolloongabba33 boys, 42 girls30 boys, 37·6 girls3
St. Paul's Day School, Maryborough35292
High School for Boys, Southport1121129
Glennie Memorial School for Girls, Toowoomba50Very good6
Eton High School for Girls, Toorak, Hamilton5097 per cent.9
St. Paul's Day School, Ipswich35 boys, 62 girls25·3 boys, 47 girls4
Theological College, Nundah14 students...3
Tufnell Orphanage, Nundah70 children...5 workers
Industrial Home, Clayfield21 inmates...2 instructors
High School for Girls, Stanthorpe.........

Footnote a: Furnished by Mr. A. A. Orme, Diocesan Registry, Brisbane.

Roman Catholic Schools (1909).b

Schools Taught by Sisters

On Roll.
     Archdiocese of Brisbane 

Brisbane (High School), All Hallows; (Primary)—Elizabeth street, Ivory street, South Brisbane, Kangaroo Point, Red Hill, Wooloowin, Toowong, Rosalie; Sandgate; Ipswich; Helidon; Toowoomba (2); Dalby; Roma; Warwick; Stanthorpe; Gympie (2); Maryborough; Bundaberg; Beaudesert; Southport; (Orphanage), Nudgee

     Diocese of Rockhampton 

(High School), Rockhampton; Townsville; Charters Towers; (Primary), Rockhampton; Townsville; Charters Towers; Mount Morgan; Hughenden; Gladstone; Longreach; Winton; Mackay; Ravenswood; Clermont; Emerald; (Orphanage), Neerkol

     Diocese of Cooktown

(High School), Cooktown; (Primary), Cooktown; Cairns; Geraldton; Mareeba

Schools Taught by Christian Brothers
     Archdiocese of Brisbane

(College), Nudgee; (High School and Primary), Brisbane; Ipswich; Toowoomba; Gympie; Maryborough

     Diocese of Rockhampton

(High School and Primary), Rockhampton; Charters Towers




Footnote b: Supplied by the Church authorities.






In older lands Time seems to move with so deliberate a step that his march is scarcely noticed, and the passing of fifty years is but a small matter, though within the past half-century discovery after discovery, advance after advance, has been made. Still these things have come gradually, and, like all the great triumphs of peace, have been achieved calmly, orderly, and almost imperceptibly. It has been different in these new countries, whose practical history comprehends scarcely more than the span of one man's life. Queensland has grown out of nothing (from the point of view of civilisation) to a fair stature of importance. Fifty years is the sum of its existence as a self-governing State, but within that brief period the country has been reclaimed from the wilderness, and made the home of a happy, progressive, and enlightened people. Bearing in mind what Queensland was fifty years ago, and what it is to-day, it will be admitted that its jubilee was eminently worth celebrating, not in a mere spirit of festivity, but in the spirit of a people conscious of what has been done, and full of enthusiasm for continued development. No better evidence of that could have been afforded than by the particular method of celebration decided upon—the dedication of the most historic building in Queensland to the purposes of a University. It would have been easy to have devised a more showy plan, to have arranged for festivities that would have given greater immediate pleasure, but it would not have been possible to have marked the jubilee day with anything so admirably calculated to promote the best interests of the people, or so likely to abide in the public memory. That was the view of Mr. Kidston and his Government, to whom belong the honour of having given effect to the long-cherished aspirations of that numerous body who desire to see Queenslanders an educated as well as a prosperous people. For many years there had been a movement afoot for the establishment of a University. As far back as 1891, a Royal Commission, under the presidency of the late Sir Charles Lilley, had inquired into the matter and reported strongly in favour of the project. Premiers who were themselves graduates of universities and cultured, far-seeing men had recognised the need for a University, but the matter obstinately remained in the air. For some sixteen years, largely supported by the Sydney University, a Council had carried on University Extension Lectures, educating not only the students, but the public. Finally, the present Premier, realising that the time was ripe for a definite forward move, placed educational reform in the forefront of his policy, and succeeded in getting legislation passed for the establishment of the institution and in securing a liberal provision for maintaining it. This much achieved, everything was sufficiently far advanced for an impressive dedicatory ceremony on the day chosen for celebrating the jubilee of Queensland—Friday, 240 10th December, 1909. It was not possible, of course, for the University to be actually in operation by that date, but it was possible to take the first step by solemnly setting apart for its uses the building in which it is proposed to conduct it. That was precisely what was done on this occasion, and with a simple dignity and an earnestness of purpose that could not well have been surpassed. Everything combined to make the day and the event memorable, to lift it out of the commonplace of public occasions, in a word to make it historic—the most historic event since the promulgation of Queensland's free Constitution. The building itself had been the honoured home of every Governor since 1861. As was happily phrased in one of the speeches, it had been the centre of social and political life. What more appropriate than that it should be invested with a new function—be given, as it were, a new lease of life in the great cause of citizen-making? What more interesting than that the chief figure in the ceremonial should be Sir William MacGregor, himself a great witness to the value of university training, a distinguished servant of the Empire, one of the select band of Empire builders who have united ripe scholarship with tireless energy and firm grasp of national business and the ways of the world? It was a singularly happy circumstance that this was his first important public act as Governor of Queensland. But a few days before he had taken over the reins of government from the hands of the Lieutenant-Governor, Sir Arthur Morgan. As befitted the occasion and the interest which they had taken in the matter of the University, Sir Arthur and Mr. Kidston also took a prominent part in the ceremony. The presence of Professor David, of the Sydney University, who was a prominent member of the Shackleton Expedition to the Antarctic regions, and of Professor Stirling, of the Adelaide University, lent additional distinction to the event, visibly representing, as it did, the cordiality with which those important institutions regarded the advent of Queensland into the sisterhood of Australian University-States.

Never before in its history had Government House been the scene of a gathering so unique. The Premier struck the keynote of the whole proceedings, when he said that they were met "to erect this white stone, as it were, to mark this point in our national progress." He was alluding to the marble tablet, which had been affixed to the wall near the main entrance, recording the dedication of the building to its new purposes. Also, he declared the democratic foundation of the institution in the significant sentence: "In very truth it may be said that the Queensland University is of the people, and I trust that the Senate, when they start to manage this institution, will remember that it is also to be for the people."

To the ceremony were bidden all who could lend to it distinction and interest. It was no mere official or exclusive gathering, but one which represented in full measure the democratic character of the Queensland people. Those high in place were there; those who in university life had won honour; those who had laboured to lay the foundations of the educational system of which this was the culmination; the people for whose children this was to be in a real and practical sense the great training school and character-building institution; the children from whose ranks were to be drawn the earliest students. The scene was one which will live in 241 memory long after the University has begun its work, and will be recalled when in their gladsome, perhaps boisterous, fashion the students hold their commemoration days, or when in more thoughtful times the men and women who have gone forth from it girded for the battle of life revisit its shady walks and studious halls. The building and its charming environments lent themselves to an impressive spectacle. In the bright summer day, the well-kept grounds and the rich foliage of the neighbouring gardens presented a picture of rare colour and beauty. Beyond lay the broad river glistening in the sunlight. Above arched the ineffable azure scarcely flecked by clouds. In the distance lay the far spreading city, with its pulsating life and varied activities. Under the shadow of the graceful building and in a sweeping semi-circle were massed the spectators, with eyes concentrated on the main portico, which had been converted into a stage for the interesting drama of the afternoon. A curved structure had been thrown out from the masonry, and decorated and canopied with maroon and white. Grouped around this were arranged the chairs provided for the seven hundred invited guests. Among these were many wearing their university costumes, which vied in colour and variety with the dresses of the ladies. Beyond this enclosure were drawn up, rank behind rank, 250 boys and 550 girls chosen from the fifth and sixth classes of the metropolitan schools, each wearing Queensland's colours, maroon and white, and 200 State school cadets in uniform. All had been assembled in Alice street, and marched in procession to the space allotted to them. They were there for the double purpose of supplying a choir and adding to the representative character of the assembly. Beyond their lines were gathered the members of the general public. The arrangements entailed a good deal of planning and forethought, but every part of the ordered and dignified ceremony was smoothly carried out. The military element, drawn from the 9th Australian Infantry Regiment, was lined up along the whole front of Government House, the scarlet coats and white helmets supplying a fringe of colour to that part of the picture.

The time fixed for the ceremony was half-past 3 o'clock. The reserved enclosure was then filled, the intermediate space was thronged with school children and cadets, and the outer circle was made up of those whom interest or curiosity had drawn to the spot. It was no small evidence of the genuineness of that interest that, though hundreds were too far away to hear the speeches, they remained during the whole proceedings. They took their cue from those who were nearer, and when they saw or heard them applauding they joined in and swelled the volume of enthusiasm. One of the first to take his place on the dais was Mr. W. H. Barnes, to whom it had fallen, as Secretary for Public Instruction, to pilot the University Bill through the Legislative Assembly. Not long afterwards there came Mr. A. H. Barlow, M.L.C., the veteran Minister, who had had much to do with the preparation of the measure, and who had charge of it during its progress through the Upper House. Among early arrivals were Miss MacGregor, His Excellency's daughter, and Mrs. Kidston. Punctually at half-past 3 His Excellency the Governor, Sir William MacGregor, arrived, dressed in his Windsor uniform and wearing the long flowing blue silk 242 cloak and decorations of the Grand Cross of St. Michael and St. George, accompanied by Lady MacGregor and Mr. Kidston, Premier of Queensland. Mrs. Kidston presented Lady MacGregor with a beautiful bouquet, and almost at the same time the band of the 9th Regiment struck up "The National Anthem," the whole assemblage rising as the patriotic strains were heard. The duties usually devolving upon a chairman fell to the Premier, who occupied a chair on one side of a small flag-draped table, while His Excellency sat on the other side. Near by were the Lieutenant-Governor, Sir Arthur Morgan, wearing his robes of office, the Chief Justice (Sir Pope A. Cooper) in court dress, the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly (Mr. J. T. Bell) in his flowing robes, Professor David (representative of the Sydney University) in his official robe, Professor Stirling (the representative of the University of Adelaide) wearing the scarlet robe of an M.D. of Cambridge, and His Grace Archbishop Donaldson in the scarlet and ermine of a D.D. Central Queensland had a venerable representative in the person of the Right Rev. Dr. Hay, Moderator of the Presbyterian General Assembly. The Roman Catholic Archbishop, the Right Rev. Dr. Dunne, had as his representative Rev. Father Byrne, the Administrator of his diocese. The distinguished company included also Mr. Justice Real and Mrs. Real, Mr. Justice Chubb and Mrs. Chubb, Mr. Justice Shand, Mr. D. F. Denham (Minister for Lands) and Mrs. Denham, Mr. T. O'Sullivan, M.L.C. (Attorney-General) and Mrs. O'Sullivan, Mr. W. T. Paget (Minister for Agriculture and Railways) and Miss Paget, Mr. J. G. Appel (Home Secretary) and Miss Appel, Mrs. Barnes, Mr. A. G. C. Hawthorn (Treasurer) and Mrs. Hawthorn, Mr. W. Lennon, M.L.A. (Acting Leader of the Opposition) and Mrs. Lennon, Miss Celia Cooper, Mr. C. W. Costin (Clerk of Parliaments), Mr. Anthony Musgrave, (Private Secretary to His Excellency), Captain Scarlett, A.D.C., and Captains Newton and Claude Foxton, honorary AA.D.C. Members of both Houses of Parliament, prominent public servants, the mayors and aldermen of Brisbane and South Brisbane, representatives of other metropolitan civic bodies, leading citizens, and consular representatives had their seats in the enclosure fronting the official dais.

By a happy arrangement the ceremony was inaugurated by the assembled children singing "The National Anthem," to which were added three of the patriotic verses of "The Australian Anthem" composed by Queensland's sweet singer, the late J. Brunton Stephens. The fresh musical voices rang out true and clear, carrying far through the still, scented air the simple words of devotion and patriotism—

What can Thy children bring?

What save the voice to sing

"All things are Thine"?—

What to Thy throne convey?

What save the voice to pray

"God bless our land alway,

This land of Thine"?


Oh, with Thy mighty hand

Guard Thou the Motherland;

She, too, is Thine.

Lead her where honour lies,

We beneath other skies

Still clinging daughterwise,

Hers, yet all Thine.

Britons of ev'ry creed,

Teuton and Celt agreed,

Let us be Thine.

One in all noble fame,

Still be our path the same,

Onward in Freedom's name,

Upward in Thine!



The last notes had scarcely died away, when the Premier rose to invite His Excellency to assent to the University Bill of 1909, and to dedicate the building to the University. He prefaced that proceeding by a speech, which summarised the course of progress in Queensland, touched upon the difficulties it had been necessary to overcome, and the achievements in settlement and development which had made this ceremony possible. More than that, it focussed as it were in a few sentences the destined scope of the University, and the liberal provisions by which it was to be made accessible to "all our young people without regard to class, or creed, or sex." Twenty foundation scholarships were the generous birthday gift to the University. There was a great outburst of enthusiasm at this announcement, and the applause rang out again with renewed strength when His Excellency stepped forward, and read a congratulatory message from His Majesty the King. This was a fitting prelude to the able and statesmanlike speech which His Excellency made. This over, Mr. Costin presented the University Bill for His Excellency to sign. His Excellency dipped his pen in the ink held by a handsome silver inkstand, and affixed his signature to the charter of the University. Then, pressing an electric button, he revealed to view a marble tablet—the white stone of which the Premier spoke—designed "to mark this point in our national progress."

The building had now been dedicated, but it yet remained symbolically to hand it over to the people. This was done by His Excellency's presentation to Mr. J. T. Bell of the University Act, and Mr. Bell's acceptance of it on behalf of the people of Queensland. Eloquent speeches from Mr. Bell, Professor David, and Professor Stirling followed, each in his turn drawing from the assemblage the endorsement of enthusiastic applause. Once more the aid of the children was invoked, and, under the direction of Mr. George Sampson, F.R.C.O., they sang to the music of "The Old 244 Hundredth" "The Children's Ode," specially written for the occasion by Mr. W. J. Byram—

Dear land, the queen of all fair climes!

To jewels of thy diadem

We add to-day its brightest gem,

A guiding star for after-times.

Thy sons shall grow in wisdom's power,

Thy daughters win an ampler grace,

And both shall mould that higher race

Gifted with learning's priceless dower.

Here as the seasons wax and wane

May Science still increase her store,

And Truth be reverenced more and more,

And Tolerance and Justice reign.

Father of all, our effort bless!

Without thy aid we are as nought,

We are but children to be taught

Thy way that leads to perfectness.

One graceful ceremony remained, and that typical of beauty, life, and growth—the planting of a tree to be known as "The University Tree," its destiny to grow with the University, and afford grateful shade to those brought within its wholesome influence. The pleasant duty of planting devolved upon Lady MacGregor, and it was carried out by means of a silver trowel presented to her by the Premier. The business of the afternoon had now concluded; the first step toward the establishment of the University had been taken: its future home had been dedicated.


The PREMIER (Hon. W. Kidston), in rising to ask His Excellency to dedicate Government House to the purposes of the University, said: Your Excellency and Ladies and Gentlemen,—To-day Queensland completes her first half-century as a self-governing community; and we are met to honour the occasion—to erect a white stone, as it were, to mark this point in our national progress. Fifty years ago a handful of settlers, not quite 24,000 in number, claimed and obtained the right to manage their own affairs; and the British Government, in granting that right, virtually handed over to those few pioneers the ownership of this vast territory now called Queensland—a territory exceeding in area the combined areas of England, Scotland, Ireland, France, Portugal, Spain, and Italy. If we consider how few they were and the way in which they undertook the work of opening up and civilising this vast territory, we must recognise that our first pioneers were men of enterprise, of self-reliance, and of high courage. (Hear, hear.) Although our population has increased twenty-four times since then, we are still but a handful in this vast land.




When we try to compare the Queensland of to-day with the Queensland of fifty years ago—the cities and towns that have been built where then was the untrodden bush; the thousands of miles of railways and the many thousands of miles of roads, like a network all over this great area; the rivers that have been spanned by bridges; the harbours that have been made; the endless miles of telegraph lines that give rapid communication between the townships scattered all over the State—all the things that go to mark a civilised people—when we consider to what extent that work has been carried out by such a mere handful of people, we may well commend the men who have preceded us. (Hear, hear.) And it was not only in the matter of material development that these men did good work. Many years ago they established an educational system which still obtains—a system so effective and comprehensive that all over this vast territory of Queensland wherever ten or a dozen children can be brought together there you will find a State school. (Hear, hear.) And even beyond that, by means of the itinerant teachers, the scattered children of the bush are sought out and have at least the rudiments of education brought to their isolated homes. (Hear, hear.) To-day we seek to commemorate our establishment as a self-governing community, and at the same time to show our appreciation of the excellent work done by our predecessors in opening up this new land and in promoting the civilising and humanising agencies that have made Queensland what she is; and I hold that we can show our appreciation of the good work our predecessors did in no better way than by imitating and continuing that good work. We who have eaten of the fruit of the trees which our predecessors planted; we, the men of to-day, may also seek to plant so that the children of to-morrow may gather the fruit. (Hear, hear.)

Perhaps, Your Excellency, I am not just the person to discuss educational methods, or to seek here to give instructions to the Senate who will manage this University; but I may express the hope that the University of Queensland will provide for the youth of Queensland the highest culture and the best university training that can be got, at any rate, this side of the line. (Hear, hear.) At the same time I would not have it forgotten that Queensland is a hive of working bees; and all our educational institutions, from Kindergarten to University, should keep that fact in view. There is this difference between the youngest University in the Empire and the oldest: Oxford was established by a King; the University of Queensland is established by the People. (Hear, hear.) Queensland is democratic not only in her political institutions: she is democratic in heart and sentiment; and the desire of our people for a University is simply the desire that Queensland may be an educated democracy—the safest, the strongest, and the happiest community in which men can live. (Hear, hear.) I would have the Senate always remember that it was the desire of our people that inspired the crowning of our educational system by the establishment of a University, that in very truth the Queensland University is "of the people," and I trust that the Senate will never forget that it should be "for the people." (Hear, hear.) It is not all of us who can go to a University or directly share in its advantages; yet the whole community should, and I hope will, receive 246 a general benefit. I hope that its influence will radiate downwards through all the ranks of our social organism; that those who have the advantage and the privilege of the more liberal education which our University will give will be like the leaven which the woman put in three measures of meal, and will leaven the whole community. (Hear, hear.)

Parliament has made what I think is fairly adequate financial provision for our University. A sum of £50,000 is being set aside from this year's revenue for meeting what may be called the initial cost. (Hear, hear.) And, besides that, a sum of £10,000 a year is being provided for what may be called the annual working charges. (Hear, hear.) I may also announce to-day that the Cabinet, subject of course to the approval of Parliament, has resolved to institute a certain number of foundation scholarships as a step towards equalising educational opportunities for our young people and by way of opening the door to ability and special merit. (Applause.) It has been decided to establish twenty foundation scholarships—(applause)—tenable for three years, each of which will carry free entrance to the University and £26 per year, or, in cases where students, to attend the University, must live away from home, £52 a year. These scholarships will be equally open to all our young people without regard to class, or creed, or sex. (Applause.) There will also be a foundation gold medal, carrying a prize of £100 a year for two years, for the purpose of encouraging original chemical research—(applause)—a similar medal and prize of a similar amount, tenable for two years, for engineering—(applause)—and a foundation travelling scholarship of £200 a year, tenable for two years. (Applause.) The scholarships will of course be competed for annually, so that in the third and each succeeding year there will be sixty of these scholarship students at our University. (Applause.)

I now ask Your Excellency, as representing His Majesty, to assent to the Bill, which has been approved by both Houses of Parliament, for the establishment and endowment of the University of Queensland, and on behalf of our people to dedicate this building, now your home, to the purposes of the University. (Loud applause.)

His Excellency Sir WILLIAM MacGREGOR said: Mr. Kidston, Ladies and Gentlemen,—The first duty I have to perform here to-day is to read to you a telegram which I received this forenoon from the Right Honourable the Secretary of State for the Colonies. This telegram is dated London, 9th December, at 1.45 p.m., and is addressed "The Governor, Brisbane." The Secretary of State says:—

"I am commanded by His Majesty the King to convey to you the following message:—

"His Majesty the King heartily congratulates the people of Queensland on the completion of fifty years of responsible government. It is the earnest hope of His Majesty the King that the enterprise and loyalty which have marked the first half-century of the State of Queensland may be its abiding heritage and that the prosperity which is evident at the close of this period may be multiplied abundantly in the years to come." "CREWE."


For two reasons I have put in writing what I have to say on the important subject that has brought us here to-day. The first is that I cannot make myself heard by a large audience. The second is that we are assembled here on the occasion of the Jubilee of Queensland, and that fifty years hence the Jubilee of the University of this State will also be celebrated, and it is desirable that those who participate in that ceremony should know in what spirit the University is being founded: what are our hopes, our aspirations, what appreciation we have of our duty towards our posterity and the future of the great country we and they have to develop. I trust that for this reason all speeches made here to-day may be carefully recorded, as we now enter upon a new phase of the intellectual life of Queensland, a matter that cannot but be of far-reaching importance to the next and succeeding generations of this State.

I deem it a fortunate circumstance that, a few days after my arrival in Brisbane, I should have the privilege of participating in a ceremonial for the establishment of "The University of Queensland," of taking part in a State function of historical and of great social and economic importance.

We live in an age of more rapid progress than any that has ever preceded our own day: and for my part I am prepared to believe that we owe to education the enormous advances in recent years in health, wealth, and in the amenities and comforts of life. It is now well known to us all that the nation that is backward in education is, or soon will be, behind in all that makes a people great and prosperous.

I am aware that these facts were fully recognised by many men in Queensland long years ago, for I well remember the former efforts that were made to found a University here—efforts that failed through causes that happily no longer exist. One of the most noticeable facts in the social and economic life of English-speaking people in recent years is the great impulse that has been given to the development and extension of university teaching. It may with a good show of reason be said that Australasia led up to the great educational revival of the last quarter of a century, by the opening of the now famous Universities, of Sydney in 1852, of Melbourne in 1855, and of Adelaide in 1876. Then followed the University of Tasmania in 1889. The wave of university education has left the United States with 40 universities, 16 of which are very great, and 415 colleges. The movement has been as pronounced in Canada, where higher education is receiving great attention, due in a large measure to the splendid liberality of wealthy and patriotic citizens. The same influence has been profoundly felt in the United Kingdom. The Victoria University was founded in 1880, and the London University was reconstituted in 1900. Birmingham University dates from 1900, Liverpool University from 1903, the University of Wales from 1903, Leeds University from 1904, Sheffield University from 1905, and the two national Universities of Ireland from 1908. To come nearer home, New Zealand has her University and affiliated colleges; and West Australia is at this moment taking active steps for the establishment of her own State University, so that it remains at present doubtful whether Queensland or West Australia is to play the part of the most retiring of this pleiad of Australasian Universities. Hitherto the youth of Queensland has had to go elsewhere for residential university education. 248 Fortunately for Queensland, she has had an active and influential committee for university extension lectures, the members of which have patriotically performed good service to the State by arranging for lectures that have helped to procure from beyond the State university certificates of competence by a considerable number of the youth of this country. This committee has fortunately been able to do enough to demonstrate how much we need a University of our own. They are entitled to the warm thanks of the community for what they have done. I have had an opportunity of knowing from the admirable lectures of Professor David, on the 4th and 8th of this month, how interesting, instructive, and valuable those lectures can be. I have said enough to show you that if Queensland did not now, without any further delay, proceed to found her University, this, one of the greatest, most promising, and wealthiest provinces in the Empire, would, as far as education is concerned, occupy a very conspicuous and unenviable position among the great countries of the world; especially would this be the case in regard to the sister States and Dominions.

What is a University? I have seen a University defined as a place at which students from any quarter of the universe could be received to study, irrespective of nationality. What we understand here by a University, and what we aim at, is an institution where any person can find the fullest and best instruction of the day in any branch of knowledge. It will be the head corner-stone of the system of education that has been legalised in this State, a school that will be accessible to all, and will afford equal chances and opportunities to rich and poor alike, without reference to sex or religious denomination. I know of no institution in modern social life that equals the University in giving a fair chance in life to the youth that is capable and is able and willing to work; although, for my part, I can only regard schools of all grades as only preparatory for the studies that have to be incessantly pursued after one ceases to attend classes, if one does not resign oneself to falling behind; thus the primary school prepares for the secondary school, and that school leads to the university, which last furnishes the highest and best intellectual equipment for one's life work, an equipment of such character that it can be obtained and be certified to by the university, and by that alone. It supplies to the bearer the hall-mark of the State that the man or woman that bears it has had the best instruction that the country can supply.



What is to be taught in the University? You will find that the University Act makes provision for the establishment of certain faculties in which instruction shall be given; the preamble shows that the University is to provide "a liberal and practical education in the several pursuits and professions of life in Queensland." In no other country can the pursuits and professions of social and economic life be greater than they are, or will be, in Queensland, having regard to the extraordinary multiplicity of its resources. Such a broad purpose as that set out in the University Act leaves little option to the ruling power of the University as to what subjects are to be taught. That question is determined in a large measure by the work of other universities, for it is a foregone conclusion that the University of Queensland is not to occupy a position in the educational world inferior to that of any sister university in Australasia. We are well aware that their standard is high; and we recognise 249 that we start late, and are therefore behind, and that we have a hard task before us to overtake the other universities; but this has to be done, and will be done. I dwell on this because there should exist no misconception as to the scope of the Queensland University, especially in regard to what is called the classical side of instruction, in contradistinction to the scientific or practical. We recognise that the literary records of the world have, in the main, been successively committed to the languages of the Chaldeans, the Greeks, the Romans, and the Anglo-Saxons. If those languages are dead, their remains are so constantly brought before us every hour of our lives that acquaintance with those of them that are usually taught in what is called the faculty of arts forms a necessary and indispensable part of the education of every accomplished or finished scholar, and of most professional men or women. At the same time, therefore, that this University will provide the best tuition in the classical languages of the past, we cannot but see that times have changed; that, for example, in no country in Europe or America could the Prime Minister now conduct official business in Latin with King or Governor, as was the case in England not very long ago. No Prime Minister could now electrify a drooping Parliament with a Latin quotation, as Pitt did. So far as I know, the last Parliament in Europe to use Latin as its language ceased to do so some three-score of years ago. The classics have come into disfavour owing in a large measure to the fact that they were overdone, that time was wasted on utterly valueless subtleties in learning them. They were associated with too much book and too little practical work. Here we shall have a course of classics, an arts faculty, equal to that of other universities, but without unduly encroaching on other faculties of more modern development and of more direct utility in the evolution of modern economic life. It would, however, be unreasonable to expect that the University of Queensland could be brought into the world full-grown at its birth. The University of Sydney began with four professors. I am informed by the very distinguished gentleman who is Chancellor of the University of Adelaide that the now great University of that city entered on its career, in rented premises, thirty-four years ago, with three chairs—classics, mathematics, and natural science. Now it has faculties of arts, science, law, medicine, electrical, mining, civil engineering, commerce, and music; and it has ranked, by letters patent, for the last twenty-eight years, with the old universities of the United Kingdom. The Adelaide University now has eleven professors and twenty-six lecturers. It supplies to us a splendid example of courage, of energy, and of perseverance, and that example we mean to follow. (Applause.) Our late start is not without some compensation, for not only are we able to profit from the experience of others, but, what is equally important, we can adapt our University courses to the needs of the country untrammelled by the vested interests and the threadbare traditions that make it so difficult for old universities to adapt themselves to the exigencies of modern educational requirements. If one thinks of Queensland as she was this day fifty years ago, and as she is to-day, it can be seen that he would be a bold man that would predict what faculties, what tuition, may be required, and may be given, in the Queensland University half a century from now. The moral to be drawn from this is, to make a start on an elastic 250 plan that may admit of indefinite expansion. We require a broad and strong foundation, able to carry a great edifice, sufficient to provide the most comprehensive tuition, not only in what is known, but also to facilitate and encourage original research and invention, as set out in the Act. Even sport will not be forgotten, for it is an important consideration, in a non-residential university, to foster that feeling and regard for a bountiful mother that should animate the students of every great University. One thing is abundantly clear: that because we are determined to have a university equal to the needs of this great State, a university that shall stimulate those of the sister States, and because we start at so late a date, we must begin with the very best teachers that can be procured, the most learned and enthusiastic men in their several departments. On those men will in a large measure depend the future character and standing of our University. The best men will be the cheapest. Queensland can afford to employ them, and we know they will be a profitable investment. (Applause.) A university costs money, much money, especially in the technical departments, such as engineering, mining, and agriculture. The endowment of universities has been recognised in recent years as having such strong claims on public funds that they cannot be overlooked. That principle is accepted here. Our nearest neighbours have conferred valuable land areas on their universities; and they have been very liberal to them in money grants. In this respect the oldest of our Universities, that of Sydney, led the way with wisdom and a liberal hand, and to-day New South Wales reaps her reward. It may safely be assumed that the Parliament and Government of Queensland will be equally liberal and far-seeing. But the different Universities have in recent years profited in an extraordinary manner from the munificence of private citizens. In ten years the technical schools, colleges, and universities of the United States received in that way £23,000,000. Perhaps the largest amount of such gifts in any one year was in 1903, when they received £3,350,000. It appears that in 1907 nearly £300,000 was bequeathed to universities and colleges in the United Kingdom. It has become a common practice for private citizens to found a university chair to bear the name of a person whose memory it is desired to preserve and to honour. Others that are not in a position to do so much as that have very frequently established a bursary or scholarship, sometimes sufficiently large to maintain a student at the university, or to partly do so. The bursaries that produce the best results are those that are given by open competition. But others that are limited to a specified name or locality, according to the desire of the donors, are very useful. Some men of good will are not permitted by their means to do more than to found a prize for proficiency in some branch taught in the university. This State possesses an enormous area; the productions are varied in a very unusual degree, and they are of enormous value present and prospective; and there can be no reason to suppose that Queenslanders are to be less generous and patriotic towards their University than our neighbours have been towards theirs. I shall be satisfied if we have citizens here as generous as Russell in Sydney, as Ormond in Melbourne, and Elder and Hughes in Adelaide. I think that no more patriotic nor useful disposition of one's money could be made. We start under the best auspices, for we have before us now a most gracious message of 251 congratulation and good wishes from His Majesty the King, whose life is devoted to the welfare of his subjects, and there are with us to-day representatives from the great Universities of Sydney and Adelaide. Each of these Universities has sent us a man of world-wide reputation. I know well what I am saying when I tell you that the names of Professors David and Stirling are as well known, and are as highly honoured, by the learned men and women of Europe and America as by the people of Australia. (Applause.) It is a great honour to us to have such representatives here to-day, and for their presence we owe hearty thanks to their respective Universities, and I bid them a hearty and appreciative welcome to Brisbane, for I feel sure that they and the Universities they represent will always extend to us sympathy, good advice, and an excellent example; and I am certain that they will be delighted to see us here in a position to offer them that healthful emulation that cannot but be advantageous to all concerned. I now, ladies and gentlemen, take the first practical step towards the founding of the University of Queensland by complying with the request of the Hon. William Kidston, Premier of the State, to assent to the University Bill of 1909; and I shall thereafter, in your presence, deliver this copy of the Act to the Hon. Joshua Thomas Bell, who will receive it on behalf of the people of Queensland; and, this done, I shall, by unveiling a commemorative tablet, dedicate this building to the purposes of the University of Queensland. (Loud applause.)



His Excellency, having signed the University Bill, and assented to it on behalf of His Majesty the King, handed a copy to Mr. Bell, Speaker of the Legislative Assembly, saying: It is with profound pleasure and great hope that I present this Act to you on behalf of the people of Queensland. (Applause.)

His Excellency: I now proceed to unveil the commemorative tablet which dedicates this house to the University of Queensland.

By pressing a button, His Excellency unveiled a tablet bearing the following inscription:—














The Hon. J. T. BELL (Speaker of the Legislative Assembly) said: Your Excellency, Mr. Kidston, Your Grace, Ladies and Gentlemen,—If I may for a second, before uttering the few sentences I propose to do, mention a personal matter in regard to His Excellency, I should like to do it, and that is to express the consternation I felt at the announcement which His Excellency made that in his opinion all the speeches that are delivered upon this occasion should be of such a character that they may be perused with pleasure and with instruction by those who are celebrating the jubilee of this institution fifty years hence. May I say that I find it sufficiently difficult to cope with my contemporaries without having to make in addition provision for posterity? I listened to His Excellency's address with the greatest satisfaction, as everyone did who heard it, because it was felt to be a fitting deliverance for such an occasion as this. Whether now, or five years hence, or ten years hence, or when the jubilee of this institution is celebrated—as it will be celebrated—anyone who wants authoritative information concerning the present education systems of the world, of the Empire, and particularly of Australia and in regard to this University, can turn to His Excellency's deliverance with the knowledge that he can get all the information there. (Hear, hear.) I at least feel—and so does everyone who has any acquaintance with the fact—sympathy with the allusion which His Excellency made during his remarks to that body of men who are known as the University Extension Council. I do not know how far back their labours began—it was certainly more than ten years—but these men, free from any instinct of self-advertisement, and prompted only by influences that were unselfish, did their very best in our small community years ago, and year after year, to lay the foundations of a university. (Hear, hear.) I am of opinion, although these things are difficult to trace, that it was the labour of these men of the University Extension Council, and their influence upon the public and upon the men in public life, which really laid the foundations of this gathering, and caused the Government of the day to institute the University. I say all honour to those men, and I hope that their names will be perpetuated somewhere or other. (Hear, hear.) I should like to say that in dedicating this building to the purposes of a University, those of us who are Queenslanders born and bred, not of the first but even of the second generation, must feel some interest in the transformation that such an edifice undergoes. I can only hope that it will play its part as well as a University edifice as it did as a Government House. Ever since, I suppose, 1861 or 1862, it has been the home of Her Majesty's or His Majesty's representative in this State. It was the headquarters of the social and political life of the State, and it has, through its various inhabitants, performed its duties well. There is this to be said, that it has housed in the past men of the character that it will house in the future—men who possessed qualifications that equally adapted them to live in this building in the future, and within its new surroundings, as they were qualified to inhabit it in the past. Let us think for a moment of some of the men who have made this building historical. Let us think of Sir George Bowen, our first Governor, a man who, before he became private secretary to Mr. Gladstone, was the representative of the Crown in the Ionian Isles, was an Oxford don, a fellow of his college, and a man with an academic reputation. He came out here and lived with us, and in one way at least his253 classical impulses have left their impression on the community in the nomenclature of a number of creeks and hills in Southern Queensland. (Hear, hear.) Then we had Lord Lamington, a man of some academic pretensions; but, greatest of all from a university standpoint, we had Lord Chelmsford, a man who was an honour to his college, his university, and to the State which he governed. (Hear, hear.) He was one of the very few men in the public service of Great Britain who had ever come south of the line who were able to say they were fellows of All Souls—(applause)—which represents in university distinction what the V.C. means in the military field. (Applause.) He was a man of qualifications that we were proud to have in our Governor, and I know that when the proposal was made to him that this building which he inhabited should be converted into a university he was one of the first and most enthusiastic advocates of the proposal. (Applause.) Lastly, we come to the last occupant of the building, our present Governor, Sir William MacGregor, and no happier instance can be found of what a university education can do to produce an Empire builder and a stern man of the world than is to be found in the person of His Excellency. Whatever may be the class of inhabitants who are going to labour within these walls in the future, they have had forerunners of whom they have no reason to be ashamed. Just let me add a few sentences more. This building has some distinct advantages from a university point of view. The sole object of a university is not to instruct men to pass examinations; it has a wider sphere than that. There was a time—it existed through ages—when the conception of a university was an institution that turned out scholars. To-day, I venture to say, it has become recognised that the duty and the object of a university is the production of citizens. (Applause.) And you will not produce citizens merely by making them go to lectures and periodically answer questions in an examination. In the university life one of the chief and most valuable features is the comradeship, the common citizenship with the other members of the university, the participation in athletic sports, the esprit de corps that comes from belonging to such an institution. And from that aspect I look with pleasure upon the Brisbane River, only a few yards away, where we shall find in the future, I hope, a university boat club, which club has always been a prominent feature of universities in Great Britain, as it is now becoming in Germany. And in connection with athletics, and especially aquatic athletics, you will find the students of this University will uphold the reputation of British students. (Applause.) I do not propose to speak at any greater length. I am convinced that after the liberal and, as far as we can see at the present time, adequate provision that has been made by the Government of the day for the management of this University, you will see men attending it who will make their mark upon the community. (Hear, hear.) I repeat that I hope that the test of the success of this University is not going to be purely a literary test, though let it be tested in that way too. I am convinced that those who look at the University from the broader standpoint feel confident that this University is not going to turn out merely scholars—merely men who can pass examinations—but is going to turn out men of the world, and is going to have a striking effect upon the tone of our 254 citizenship. (Hear, hear.) I hope that not merely morals, but, in some degree at all events, manners, will be cultivated in this University; and we, a handful of people, who spend comparatively enormous sums every year on primary and secondary education, shall have additional reason to be proud when we see the effects of the University now inaugurating being spread throughout the land. (Applause.) I thank Your Excellency for dedicating this building to the purposes of a University, and I rejoice that we have a man of your character performing such a ceremony. (Applause.)

The Hon. W. KIDSTON: I have here apologies from the Chancellors of the Universities of Melbourne and Tasmania, regretting their inability to be present with us to-day. One of the pleasing features of this celebration is the kindly and friendly way in which the Universities of sister States have received the advent of their younger sister, the University of Queensland. (Hear, hear.) But the Universities of Sydney and Adelaide have done more: they have sent Professor David and Professor Stirling respectively to say a few words to us on this occasion and to wish us Godspeed. I now ask Professor David to speak. (Applause.)

Professor DAVID (Sydney University) said: Your Excellency, Mr. Kidston, Your Grace, and Ladies and Gentlemen,—It is a great honour for me, as representing the elder sister amongst the Universities of Australia, to bring a message of goodwill to our young University—the University of Queensland. (Applause.) It is under happy auspices that this young University is having this grand building, with such fine memories of the past, dedicated to its uses. We have in our present representative of His Majesty a gentleman of ripe scholarship and learning, one who has been throughout his whole life, as he is now and as he long will be too, a great power for good, a great power for all that is uplifting and ennobling to the British Empire—Sir William MacGregor. (Applause.) We have, too, this dedication ceremony performed in the presence of a representative of the Government who has shown that he has the greatest possible grip of all that is needed to make a university such as this young University a People's University; one, too, who has at heart, I know, the good and prosperity of his country—the Honourable the Premier, Mr. Kidston. (Applause.) The present Ministry, with great foresight, have resolved to make this University not merely a University of Brisbane, but the University of Queensland. (Hear, hear.) And it seems to me, as one who has studied university matters for some years in the past, that it is an act of great wisdom on the part of those who have controlled the inception of this movement that they have decided to associate here together the Technical College and the University. (Applause.) I feel sure that the association will make for the good of both these institutions, which never should be divorced from one another, and between which there should be nothing more than friendly rivalry, and always an interchange of courtesy, of hospitality, and of confidence. (Applause.) Another point, and a very important one, which I was delighted to hear from the lips of Mr. Kidston, is that this University is to be able to appeal to the farthest boundaries of 255 this great State, by virtue of these sixty splendid scholarships which the Government have decided to endow—(applause)—that will bring in many boys and girls who otherwise, through remoteness or want of means, would have been unable to avail themselves of this University education. Thus I am sure that, although this University will start, no doubt, with but a small number of students, even amongst the small group of students who may come first to this University the nation will reap no less rich reward than did the University of Sydney when it started with a mere handful of students. That University celebrated its Jubilee only in 1902, and amongst its first handful of students was no less a man than he who was the honoured Chancellor of our University, Sir William Windeyer; than he who did so much not only for New South Wales but Australian science, our late Government Astronomer, Mr. H. C. Russell; than he who is now an ornament to the Bar, an honour to his University, and a great honour to this State and to the whole of this Commonwealth, Sir Samuel Griffith. (Applause.) Certainly it will not be for want of plenty of good material that this University will not flourish, for we in Sydney know of what splendid materials your grammar schools, both for boys and girls, are made, as well as many of your other schools. We know it right well in Sydney, for there, many a time and oft, your boys and girls take prizes over the heads of our own. (Applause.) Then a word in conclusion, and that is this, Your Excellency, and ladies and gentlemen: That, just as in medieval times when the universities were started, Feudalism, which made for isolation and all that was selfish, was broken down chiefly by the University influence, which gathered the people and drew them together in that great bond of brotherhood and learning, so in these troublous times, when class is ranged against class, and when Labour is pitted against Capital, surely we need the levelling influence of a University—not an influence to level down but an influence to level up in a noble, common brotherhood. (Applause.) We need universities as well as we need "Dreadnoughts" and Kitcheners—as we do need them to keep our country foremost in the arts, not only of war—even in war a university may do much; we have a Director of Military Studies at our University at Sydney, and I trust you will have one here—but to keep us foremost in the arts of peace. In the matter of the foundation of the universities of the Old World, you will remember that it was through the Crusaders that those universities were founded. It was the fiery zeal for Faith that started those universities. The Crusaders were brought into contact with the learning of the Eastern World, and so Learning and Faith were brought together in the foundations of those old Universities of Paris and Oxford. Sometimes Learning only flourished: sometimes only Faith: sometimes Reverence only, sometimes Faith. May it be our fervent prayer that in this noble hall both Reverence and Learning shall for ever dwell together in sweet harmony. (Applause.) As representing the older sister University of Sydney, from the bottom of my heart I wish to our young sister University on this historic occasion all goodwill—a message of goodwill, a message of Godspeed. (Applause.)


Professor STIRLING (Adelaide University) said: Your Excellency, Mr. Premier, and Ladies and Gentlemen,—My first duty is to present to the Government of Queensland, on behalf of the University of Adelaide, its very cordial thanks for the invitation so courteously extended to it that it should be represented on an occasion which will assuredly be a memorable episode in the annals of this great and prospering State. And in this connection I am desired by our Chancellor, Sir Samuel Way, to convey to this gathering his great regret that his judicial duties, now of a very exacting kind, have prevented his acceptance of the invitation extended to him in the first place as our chief official, and of doing honour to the event that is being celebrated. My second and principal duty is to offer the cordial congratulations of the University I represent to the Government of Queensland, and through it to its whole people, that now at last, after many years, the keystone is being placed upon the arch of the educational edifice of this State. (Hear, hear, and applause.) I have had the honour of being connected with the University of Adelaide ever since its foundation, now thirty-four years ago. I can well remember its early struggles, its efforts to take a fitting place in our national life, and I am glad to have lived long enough to see many of its aspirations fulfilled—(hear, hear)—aspirations that have been fulfilled in spite of what has not always been a very whole-hearted support either on the parts of successive Governments or of the people for whose benefit it was intended. But I think it is now well recognised that the University is playing a useful and essential part in the intellectual life of the community, and that any arrest to its progress would be nothing short of national disaster. These recollections of our early struggles lead me to say that it will now be very interesting to us, as onlookers, to see whether this last-born of the great educational centres of Australia—founded as it has been by a Government that claims to be at least as democratic as the Governments of its sister States—will escape the criticisms, sometimes quite undeserved, that have at one time or another been directed, certainly against my own University, and, as I think I may say also, against its sister institutions. Then, too, in the adjustment of the work of the University there will no doubt recur the perennial discussion—indeed it has already been initiated to-day by His Excellency—as to the relative importance in an educational system of culture as opposed to material science. I am glad that I am not called upon to enter into that question to-day. But, speaking now from a point of view which concerns literature no less than science, I may be permitted to say that it is gratifying to hear the announcement of the Honourable the Premier that the claims of original research will be brought within the scope of the institution which takes its origin to-day. (Applause.) Surely it is a desirable, even a necessary, function of the chief seat of learning of a State that its professors and teachers should not only teach that which is known, but that they should themselves be contributors to the sum of human knowledge. There can be no doubt that the prestige of a university depends far more upon the extent to which its teachers are known as originators of knowledge than upon their daily routine lectures, however honestly or however ably these may be delivered.




Every professor worthy the name will admit that the burden of teaching, unrelieved and uninspired by the stimulus of independent work and thought, may indeed become destructive of the intellectual energies. This infant University, launched as it is upon its career with the goodwill of a prudent Government and with, I believe, to an unusual degree the good wishes and support of the people, has the great advantage that it may profit by the example of the institutions that have preceded it; and fortunate will be the University of Queensland if, by adopting the good that may be discerned in its sister institutions, and by avoiding their mistakes, if such have been made, it shall enter upon and pursue a blameless career of which all men shall speak well. Even in their relatively short careers, as time goes for States and institutions, it can be perceived that the Australian Universities have to some extent developed individualities of their own, and this is just what is to be desired. A Minister of France under the Third Empire once made it his boast that on the same day and at the same hour every corresponding class in every Lycee throughout the length and breadth of the land was performing the same allotted task. That boast bespoke an undesirable uniformity which is not likely to find favour in British communities, least of all in these States, where we have become accustomed to strike out new lines in education for ourselves. Therefore, it is to be desired that the University of Queensland will in its turn, evolve an individuality of its own, that it will be inspired by the particular requirements of the State whose interests it serves; and, further, may I express the hope that the fact will become recognised, which has not easily gained recognition in the Australian communities—namely, that a well-founded and well-equipped university may be one of the best assets, material as well as intellectual, that can be possessed by any State or Nation. Your Excellency, I have been ordered to be brief in my remarks, and, interesting as are many of the thoughts that arise on such an exceptional occasion, I must conclude by expressing once more, on behalf of the University I have the honour to represent, and with all earnestness and sincerity, our fervent hope that this University of Queensland, so auspiciously inaugurated, will prosper to the uttermost, and that it will grow in usefulness and dignity as it grows in years, and that at length it will stand forth as a noble monument to the great State whose far-seeing Government and whose public-spirited citizens have this day launched it on its career of promise. (Applause.)

The Hon. W. KIDSTON: I have now to invite Her Excellency, Lady MacGregor, to plant a "University tree," which I hope will grow and flourish as we expect the University to do, and that in the years to come, when many who are here to-day have passed away, the tree will be known as "Lady MacGregor's tree."

On a spot in front of the dais, Her Excellency planted a tree with a silver trowel on which was inscribed: "To Lady MacGregor, from the Chief Secretary of Queensland, Hon. W. Kidston, 10th December, 1909." Lady MacGregor then declared the tree well and truly planted.





Transcriber's Note:

Missing or damaged punctuation has beed repaired.

L.s., locus sigilli ( = the place of the seal).

The mid-dot, usual for the period, was used for decimals, and where used, has been retained.

Part of the text of Map 8 was on the next page after 2 pages of maps, and has been moved to join the beginning of the map 8 text, for better flow.

The Barwan River, described in the Proclamation in the Government Gazette, and under Queensland (Map 9) is now known as the Barwon River.

Illustrations (photographs) through the book appear facing every 4th or 8th page. Where a photograph intersects a paragraph of text, it has been moved to the end of the next (or preceding) paragraph.

Page 27: 'freetrade' corrected to 'free trade'
"... the enhanced prosperity resulting from interstate free trade."

Page 69: 'arrear', archaic, but probably correct in 1909.
"... unoccupied land might be leased for fourteen years by a council when rates had been permitted to fall into arrear for a term of four years." (Webster's Dictionary, 1913 Edition).

Page 207: Mining: 1872: Gold raised in Queensland: £537,365
The first '3' could be '2'. The scan is smudged and unclear.

Page 229: 'Mount Cornish, No. 3'.
The '3' may be a '5'. The scan is smudged and unclear.

Page 237: Brisbane, mean summer temperature, '76.0' could be '73.0' or '75.0'. This is a 'best guess'; the scan is smudged and unclear, and part of the number is missing. '76.0' has been selected after a careful comparison of the '6' with nearby numbers. 76.0°F is also closest to the current Brisbane mean summer temperature of 24.8°C, or 76.6°F, and in the same chart, the current Brisbane mean winter temperature of 15.6°C, or 60°F is the same as that given in this 1909 book (60°F).

Page 243: 'acessible' corrected to 'accessible'
"... by which it was to be made accessible to "all our young people without regard to...."

The corrections and explanations listed above are also indicated in the text by a dashed line at the appropriate place:
Move the mouse over the word, and the original text, or explanation, appears.