Government Gazette of WESTERN AUSTRALIA.

[Published by Authority.]

PERTH : Tuesday, December 19, 1848.

Colonial Secretary's Office, Perth.

December 6, 1848.

The following Census and other Statistical Returns, compiled by order of the Government by the Registrar General, are now published for general information.


Administering the Gov't.


To the Census of the Population, and Returns of Stock and Crops.

Since the establishment of the Colony there has been no systematic census of the population attempted. Enumerations have been undertaken every year, it is believed, in the respective districts, which were so conducted as to afford little of the useful information such inquiries are fitted to bring to light. In some districts more care was taken than in others, though uniformity does not seem to have been followed in any. Up to 1840 these enumerations gave merely the number of males and females, and the estimated returns since that year, in addition to the above scanty particulars, gave also the males and females above and under 12 years of age. The last census was taken in 1843.

If it had been considered necessary in former years to carry out a plan embracing all the chief points it is desirable to ascertain, which would have afforded means of comparison with the class of facts now collected, much important information might have been gathered upon many questions vetally concerning the weal of the colony, which are still obscured in perplexing doubt. Quinquennial enumerations hereafter taken upon a similar plan to the present, will afford means of highly useful comparisons.

The above circumstances are adverted to as a matter of history, rather than with intent to censure anyone. But they fully prove the necessity for the present extended systematic inquiry conducted upon one uniform principle under an Ordinance of Council.

The Census and Returns of Stock and Crops, of which the accompanying tabular forms are abstracts, have been undertaken in order to ascertain the ages, condition, religion, employment, stock, and crops of the colonists, with a view to develop the resources of the colony in such a manner, that the task of the Government and Legislature might be simplified ; laying it down as an inalienable axiom that legislation can only be beneficial to the community in proportion as it is based on indubitable facts. It is by statistical inquiries alone that the relative well-being of our community can be determined, the effect of our civil institutions be ascertained, and the working of moral and physical causes among us be observed and distinguished with any degree of accuracy.

The principle of the Census was settled according to such an arrangement as the nature of our little society and circumstances appeared to render expedient, keeping in mind that, as it was a first attempt, and in its prosecution some little prejudice had to be overcome, success would be hazarded by any complicated and laborious inquiry, calling forth an array of fancied interests for its frustration. Accordingly the returns were restricted to a few questions, calculated to throw light on the moral and physical condition of the people.

The following objects were included in the Census :—

  1. The number of colonists in each county, town, or village, distinguishing the sexes, ages, and social condition of the inhabitants.

  2. The religion of each individual of the population.

  3. The occupation of individuals in 18 divisions, comprising agriculture, trade, &c.

  4. Aboriginal natives actually employed by colonists ; and an estimate of their numbers in the located districts.

These various heads of inquiry have been successful, with the exception of the estimate of the aboriginal native population, which is not quite satisfactory in one or two instances, through the difficulty of accurately determining the number belonging to the several districts.

Any attempt at taking an accurate Census of the aborigines would seem almost impracticable. Their roving habits in search of subsistence, scantily afforded by their forests, lead them to wander with their families and "traps" from one part of the territory to another with a surpassing degree of ease and rapidity ; and, while whole tribes of them may be observed at a particular locality for two or three weeks, they shortly disappear, leaving the place of their sojourn destitute of all traces of their visit.

If, however, the names of individuals belonging to the several tribes are ascertained with a degree of certainty, useful estimates of their numbers may unquestionably be formed. And this mode having been carefully carried out in some districts, the data formed thereupon may be relied on as an approximation to truth.

We may then assume about 2,000 for the located parts of the colony.

The number returned as casually and regularly employed by colonists may be fully relied upon, though possibly representing somewhat less than are being made available for purposes of industry. It may be observed, that many of these individuals have been several years in the employment of the settlers - in some instances even 6 and 8 years constant employment in various capacities.

In calculations therefore as to the consumption of grain, &c.,

by the population, the statist would be justified in taking these into his account ; so that in computing the consumption of the colony, a given quantity of flour per day should be allowed to each individual of our colonial population, together with the aborigines returned as casually and regularly employed by them. The number thus forming the daily consumers of that product would then be as many as 5,113.

In forming conclusions as to the increase of our numbers, it should be observed, that while within the last eight years our little community has nearly doubled itself, the increase has not arisen altogether among children under fourteen years of age.

Statement No. VI. shows the change that has taken place in the relative importance of the counties in a conspicuous manner ; the increase is seen to preponderate in the agricultural and grazing districts, while the returns from these districts give a very few if any persons concentrated in villages ; so that the rural population engaged in farming industry have materially increased since 1843. The inhabitants of Yorkshire have increased since 1843 79.4 per cent., or 274 persons, of Sussex nearly 45 per cent., or 69 persons, and those of Toodyay 121.2 per cent., or 200 souls! The components of this increase consist chiefly of male adults between fourteen and sixty.

This tendency to healthful dispersion, whether considered as a question of general policy, or of individual advantage, merits the attentive consideration of the Government.

The relative proportion of the sexes in the total population, as exhibited in the General Abstract, is unsatisfactory, and disadvantageous in the highest degree to the domestic, social, and moral welfare of our community. In some districts there is a startling disparity, which a judicious introduction of female immigrants might remove.

The columns of the social condition exhibit the curious fact, that out of 1,251 batchelors only 297 could find wives ; whilst, if the children of both sexes were grown up, and if the whole 873 males were candidates for the "honourable estate," as many as 849 could meet with a female companion. These facts are more important than may be thought, and afford a good index to the morality of the community, to which an inequality of the sexes is extremely inimical.

The present is the first census in which any distinction of religion has been made, it is therefore impossible to institute any comparison. It will be observed, several returns exhibit the number of Protestants without particularizing the denomination, and whether from carelessness, recklessness, or temerity, some ventured to profess no religion. The various denominations are not placed according to numerical influence, though it should be the regulating point for determinig their relative claim to aid from the public purse.

The Occupations of the population are divided in table V. into eighteen classes, the last consisting of females and children under 14, and a few prisoners and decrepit or superannuated persons. In the absence of means of comparison with former years, I may be permitted to refer to New South Wales, where, in 1841, free shepherds, stockmen, and farm laborers, in proportion to each occupier of land were as 6½ to 1, while in Western Australia the proportion is as 1½ to one.

The dependence of the community for the means of subsistence upon its agricultural and pastoral pursuits, renders them objects of great interest and importance. How much more interesting and important then they must be, when upon their success are seen to

depend trading and all other occupations and interests, affecting in their combined relations, not only the prosperity of individuals, but all the activity, enterprise, and wealth of the community.

Table V. shows the relative numbers engaged in the various divisions of labor of the inhabitants ; in the first five columns are those employed in agricultural and pastoral pursuits, placed in juxta position with all others : for instance, agriculture and grazing employ about 36 per cent. of the adult males above 14, while the remainder of our adult male population are employed in trade and labor not agricultural or pastoral ; moreover, the number of farm laborers, including shepherds and stockmen is only 621, and of all other laborers, including domestic servants, it is 296.

From the statement below it will be seen to be doubtful whether in all their varied operations more than 500 persons are wholly engaged in agriculture and grazing ; mistaken notions prevail in regard to the greater or lesser extent of each branch of production and occupation ; one important conclusion deducible from the tables is (comparatively speaking) the limited proportion of the population exclusively engaged in tilling the soil. The 17th column of occupations, it is important to understand, includes all Victuallers, Brickmakers, Millwrights, Millers, Bakers, and a few other trades, so that in the following analysis the number in the 17th column of occupations are added to the "Shopkeepers and other traders :"—

Occupation.Male adults above 14.Per cent. on total male adults.N.S. Wales ; per cent. on total free male adult population.
Occupiers of land, Bankers, Capitalists, Professional, and other educated men.413238
Agricultural and grazing laborers.a6213653
Shopkeepers and other retail traders and their assistants.170103
Mechanics, &c.2401419
Other laborers, including domestic servants.2961717
Total, whose occupations are specified1,740100100
[(a) Many of these have been almost entirely employed in cutting and carting Sandal-wood to the Port. It therefore represents more persons than are employed in farming.]

Here then we perceive an inordinate proportion of industry engaged in trading and other secondary pursuits ; and a striking proportion of nearly one-fourth of landed proprietors, professional and other educated men., &c. This latter fact is an extremely unfavourable feature in our population, it being next to impossible for any community to thrive with such an undue proportion of those whose habits and education are supposed to render them averse to manual labor. The superintending classes in all well-balanced societies are very small in number compared to the operative. Were it otherwise, land would be half cultivated by a numerous and indigent landed proprietary.

Great as is the disparity in the number forming the farm laborers as compared with the total male adult population, and palpably ruinous as are the effects of that disparity to the colony, inasmuch as it is obliged, at its nineteenth year of existence, to depend upon strangers for the means of subsistence, it would prove futile to attempt to remedy the evil by the unlimited introduction of labor.

The beneficial effect of mechanical economy does not consist in its extent or force, but in the adaption of all the parts to each other ; so in our social economy, the real well-being of our community does not depend so much upon whether its combinations of labor are rated at 2,000 or 20,000 persons ; but the harmony of all its varied degrees of employment, its ample production of the means of subsistence, its increasing comfort and happiness, and, above all, their security depends on proportion.

The colony may be exposed to social derangement by any cause occasioning inordinate proportions among its nonproductive industry ; or, in other words, disproportions in the divisions of labor ; and more so if they prevail among the trading classes, and those who do not labor in the field for their sustenance, who ought to be insignificant as to numerical strength in a young colony.

The small relative number of persons exclusively engaged in agriculture, it is, that has all along rendered necessary to the support of the community, an unhealthy increase of our reproachful import trade in flour and grain. It is the inordinate proportion of non-agricultural consumers acting through the medium of this import trade, which causes a constant drain upon our cash ; which encourages undue speculation in foreign produce ; which forms a mean of employment to supernumary traders ; which rapidly exhausts the limited money resources and vital strength of the settlement ; and which has brought about internal derangements and stagnation such unfavourable circumstances inevitably induce.

The returns of Crops and Stock show a progressive increase in most of the items. In the staple article of wheat however there is a lamentable insufficiency of supply in proportion to the demand. If we estimate the annual demand at the moderate computation of 9 bushels for every man, woman and child

The probable consumers during 1849 are thus made up :—

allowing two bushels per acre on 3,500 acres for seed, and 300 bushels for waste, &c., there will be required during the approaching year 1849 quite 56,800

Population October 18484,622
Aboriginal natives employed541
Increase of Population during the year 1849337

bushels ; while the internal means of supply, allowing 12 bushels to the acre, a fair average, is little more than 39,792 bushels. The deficiency of production consequently is 17,008 bushels, for which we shall depend upon strangers. In order to purchase this quantity at 4s. the bushel, there will be required in exchange, either in gold, silver, or some other marketable commodity, say about to the value of £3,401. But it matters not what the exchange is effected with, the result will tell equally against the colony. Should our sandal-wood be the medium of exchange, the advantage derivable therefrom will be transferred from our internal to external producers of grain. Instead of the colony benefiting by its export, the value and profit thereof will go to strangers in payment for that which the colony has of should have the means of producing itself. The colony must and does suffer to the full extent of the value of flour and grain purchased from abroad, for, although it may and will sooner or later tend to excite colonists to increased exports, or increased cultivation of wheat, it must, as a matter of course, diminish the means of internal expenditure to the same extent as the demand for specie or other commodity in payment thereof.

The inordinate proportion of our population engaged in secondary pursuits, coupled with the comparatively over numerous landed proprietary before alluded to, may render it difficult for colonists to grow grain as cheap as they can purchase it abroad, but it cannot justify a course which diverts the settler from his legitimate pursuit, and gradually undermines the money circulation of the community. That a large proportion of our imported flour and grain has been paid for in gold and silver, is evident from the fact, that during two years and three months, from the 23rd July 1846 to the 10th November 1848, as much as £5,000 in specie had been taken out of our Colonial Bank and Treasury, and most likely entirely out of the Colony

I am indebted for this information to F. Lochee, Esq., Cashier of the Western Australian Bank.

Most certainly it did not go in exchange for imports from England. A reduction in our circulating medium proportioned to this amount had taken place ; and instead of our Parliamemtary Grant being retained among colonists, it thus oozes through our fingers into the outstretched palm of our enterprising neighbors. If our demand for foreign wheat were only temporary, and sprung up in a season of failure in crops, there might be no ground for remark but it is now clear we have annually resorted and must continue to resort to other colonies.

The returns of the import of flour and grain during 1847, prove that the quantity of flour, wheat, and biscuit (exclusive of rice, Indian corn, bran and oats), imported into the port of Fremantle only during that year, amounted to about ninety tons, valued at £1,593 9s. 2d.

Obtained from Returns in the possession of the Hon. R.R. Madden Esq., Colonial Secretary.

, shewing the dependence of the northern portion of Western Australia alone upon the sister settlements.

It seems impossible to avoid the following conclusions as to the effect of the deficient production of wheat :—


That as an importation of flour and grain necessarily takes place to a considerable extent, it is unlikely to be sold always at all times at a moderate mercantile profit, and becomes an article of competition and speculation.


That large supplies of flour, &c., are annually brought into the colony, and unsteadiness and fluctuation of price have been the consequence, lowering the price of wheat to such an extent sometimes as to materially diminish the annual value of home produce.


That the exchange of sandal-wood for agricultural produce does not meet the annual cost of the import, and large payments being made in specie the circulation of the colony is affected.


That the limited cultivation, by opening a door to the import of flour, has rapidly lowered the value of our produce, and diminished the money value of the soil ; the alarm of capitalists has spread ; hardly able to pay their interest borrowers are called upon to pay the principal itself ; and the pressure for money pushes its shoots in all directions.


That with a fully adequate home production of wheat most of these evils would be either diminished or altogether avoided ; foreign growers would be deterred from shipping flour to a place growing abundant for its demands ; the returns upon sandal-wood, instead of enriching strangers, would go into the pockets of the settlers, enabling them to pay their interest if not principal ; and the colony be independent of other places for a due supply of the prime article of its subsistence.

Vineyards for the purpose of a wine trade, it seems, have been made to some extent, the number of acres exclusively devoted to that object being 114. The returns give the acres used for the culture of the vine for wine making either for sale or home consumption. Without entering upon the question as to the probable advantage derivable from an export trade in wine, the attention to the culture of the vine may prove of value in producing a wholesome beverage for home consumption.

Horses, and Horned Cattle, have multiplied fast, as might be expected in a climate and soil suited to pastoral purposes.

Before bringing these observations to a close, I would observe that in arithmetical tables, in which almost every item affords scope for meditation, it is not to be expected that, in an introductory essay of this nature, much will not be left unexplained ; a few remarks on some of their prominent features, must suffice to guide the inquirer, as well as to warn him against forming hasty opinions on slight examination.

I would also inform His Excellency that the delay in submitting this document arose from the Albany returns being received no earlier than the 28th ultimo, leaving a few days only for finally arranging and digesting the Tables.


Registrar General.

1st December, 1848.


Returns of Population from 1832-43 inclusive :—
Adults above twelveChildren under 12.Totals.
Census 10th October 1848-General Summary :—
Total population 10th October, 18482,8181,8044,622
Population of 18432,3041,549(a)3853
Increase, with the Military added514255769
Deduct the Military162
Gross increase of the population during 5 years ending October 1848607
Centesimal increase during the same period15.8
Average annual centesimal increase during same period3.2
Centesimal proportion of the sexes 18436040100
Centesimal proportion of the sexes 18486139100
[(a) The Military were not included in this table. See Table VI.]

IV. Abstract of the Population, Oct. 1948, in each County and Principal Town, showing the number of persons of each of the undermentioned religious denominations :—

COUNTY OR TOWNChurch of EnglandWesleyan MethodistsIndependentsOther Protestant DissentersChurch of RomeProtestants not specifiedMahomedans and PagansReligion not specifiedTotal
Toodyay (district)28623820712355
Colonial Vessels & Exploring parties8989
TOTAL URBAN1,2201801234416910843211,908


III. Abstract of the Population, Oct 1848 in each of the Counties and Principal Towns showing the number of persons of each sex and age.

Under 33 to 1414 to 6060 upUnder 33 to 1414 to 6060 upMalesFemalesTotal
Toodyay (district)233819612032523258107365
Colonial Vessels and Exploring parties771289
TOTAL URBAN12125066018102292448171,0498561,908
AGRICULTUREOccupiers Employing Labourers223797271210124112
AGRICULTUREOccupiers Not Employing Labourers852421492211176112
AGRICULTUREAgricultural Labourers, including Gardeners1161544532901227476183728
GRAZINGIn The Care of Sheep1745413301111211517
GRAZINGIn The Care of Cattle10431231243216
TRADEShopkeepers & Other Retail Dealers & their Assistants50473643854755
TRADEBricklayers & Masons291232165122
TRADECarpenters & Joiners, Painters & Glaziers56131347329831104440
TRADETailors & Shoemakers24543111391632122
TRADESawyers & Splitters31632749234229
OTHER NON-AGRICULTURECapitalists, Bankers, Professional & Other Educated Men, their Clerks & Assistants2732911144222327
OTHER NON-AGRICULTURECivil Officers, their Clerks & Assistants49241013693182950
OTHER NON-AGRICULTURELabourers Employed in Labor not Agricultural including Mariners, Boatmen, Fishermen, Toll-Collectors, Road Makers Carters, or otherwise Employed in any kind of Labor not Agricultural1693436202418964310166
CLASSDomestic Servants (males)436212155191736
CLASSMilitary Men7958614103692879
CLASSAll Other Males above Fourteen not included in the above87559151062732463
Residue of Population1,613324223149176126792,690739263351141,151
GOVERNMENT GAZETTE., VI. Abstract of the Population October 1848 (exclusive of Military, Colonial Vessels, and Explorting parties), with the increase thereof during the last five years in each County :—
COUNTIES.Total population 1843.Total population 1848.Increase per cent.Male adult population 1843.Male adult population 1848.Increase per cent.
Toodyay (district)165365121.210319791.2
Perth and its vicinity1,1531,27510.5445408decr.
Fremantle its vicinity44450814.41691849
[(a) The difference between this total and that at table II arises from 11 Military having been inadvertently included in that Return of 1843.]


VII. Abstract of theAborginal Native Population scattered over the various located parts of the Colony, according to carefully conducted enumerations:—
COUNTIES.Native population casually and regularly employed by colonistsEstimated aboriginal native population in the located districts.
Toodyay (district)5253105300


Return of Live Stock on the 10th October 1848 :—
COUNTY.HorsesHorned Cattle.SheepSwineGoats.


Return showing the quantity of Land in Cultivation on the 10th October 1848, being two months previous to the usual time of Harvest :—
COUNTY.Wheat.Barley.Oats.Rye.Maize.Potatoes.Vineyard.Oliveyard.Kitchen Garden.Green Crops for hay and pasturage.
Comparative Abstract of the Crops for the years 1842 to 1848 inclusive :—
Kitchen Garden280274¼306269299271224
Green Crops330713532551¼1,8622320¾
Total acres in Cult'n3364½4556¼4,8604830½5137½5,7847050½
Comparative Abstract of the Returns of Stock for the years 1842-8 inclusive :—
Horned Cattle4,1224,8615,3766,5087,5838,69910,919

Since the preceeding returns were prepared, the following official accounts have been rendered by the Sub-Collector of Revenue at Fremantle to the Colonial Secretary.

Return of Grain, Flour, Biscuit, &c., shewing the amount in weight and value imported into Fremantle during the year ending December 1847 :—

DescriptionWeight in lbsCwts.Tons.Value.
Indian Corn2402110

Note,—Four 2d. per lb. ; biscuit 2½d. per lb. ; indian corn 1½d. per lb. ; oats 2d. per lb. ; wheat 1¼d. per lb. ; oatmeal 3d. per lb. ; rice 1½d. per lb. ; bran 1¼d. per lb. ; gram 2d. per lb. ; Ton taken at 2240 lbs.

Customs, Fremantle, December 1848.

R.MoB. Broun, Resident.

DescriptionWeight in lbsCwts.Tons.Value.
Indian Corn15,740142798

Note,—Four 2d. per lb. ; biscuit 2½d. per lb. ; indian corn 1½d. per lb. ; oats 2d. per lb. ; wheat 1¼d. per lb. ; oatmeal 3d. per lb. ; rice 1½d. per lb. ; bran 1¼d. per lb. ; gram 2d. per lb. ; Ton taken at 2240 lbs.

Custome, Fremantle, December 11, 1848.

R. MoB. Broun, Resident.

Our Sandal-wood trade being closely connected with the import trade in flour and grain, alluded to in the Introduction, it is considered advisable to append the following return.

Account of Sandal-wood exported from Fremantle from February 1847 to December 1848 :—
Date of shipmentName of ShipTons.Cwt.qrs.lbs.
February 6Vixen410
February 24Hawk731022
April 10Emu1251
April 12Scout40
July 6William Wise9919113
September 22Hawk4018
September 25Scout11615
September 30Minerva23
December 22Bandicoot4110
Total 1847337912
January 10Emu11
January 14Lightning51719
January 15Wave55
January 29Hawk80
February 5Scout84
March 8Minerva675
April 3Orient1
May 8Vixen40
May 22Bandicoot3710
June 10Titania128
July 20Empress8715
July 31Emma Sherratt80
August 4Hawk105
August 4Maseppa98
August 26Bandicoot42
August 28Arpenteur2
September 6Hindoo1
September 13Trusty60
November 7Thomas Lord43
November 18Bandicoot5
November 24Waterlilly41
Total 18481,3191719

Custome, Fremantle, December 11, 1848.

R.MoB. Broun, Resident.

Males.Females.Males.Females.Trade.Other Classes.Residue.
Under 3 years of age.Three and under fourteen.Fourteen and under sixty.Sixty and upwards.Under 3 years of age.Three and under fourteen.Fourteen and under sixty.Sixty and upwards.Married.Single.Married.Single.Males.Females.Totals.Church of England.Wesleyan Methodists.Independents.Other Protestant Dissenters.Church of Rome.Protestants not specified.Mahomedans and Pagans.Religion not specified.Occupiers employing labourers.Occupiers not employing labourers.Agricultural labourers, including Gardeners.In the care of sheep.In the care of cattle.Shopkeepers and other Retail Dealers, and their Assistants.Bricklayers and Masons.Smiths.Carpenters and Joiners, Painters and Glaziers.Tailors and Shoemakers.Sawyers and Splitters.Capitalists and Bankers, professional and other educated men, their clerks and assistants.Civil Officers, their clarks and assistants.Labourers employed in labor not agricultural including mariners, boatmen, fishermen, toll collectors, road makers, carters, or otherwise employed in any kind of labor not agricultural.Domestic Servants. (males).Military Men.All other males above fourteen, not included in the above.Women, children and others, for the most part dependent on the above.
1. Perthshire14736286640128378567253635453872031,4151,0982,5131,6412351653921314052272285116171050291256243127491694379811,613
2. Yorkshire3274315433651001752447031425199624426201211181115213724154454111353265324
3. Wellington255713412641745481542021714135824373160179214543421346243285223
4. Plantagenet21251401743531321084581861143001994131920743213172143391043165149
5. Toodyay (district)233819612032523481494114258107365286238207122799030247111629176
6. Sussex1128102113303926772712142822241759162412221211333121320111126
7. Murray822671716282147199985114993310431011271121714579
8. (a) Colonial vessels and exploring parties631275
Total Population2,8181,8044,622
[(a) This item includes fourteen only exploring.] [Tasn and acknowledged before me, R.R.MADDEN, J.P.,] [western Australia] [I solemnly declare the above account is correct accerding to the best of my information and belief,.] [GEO. FRED. STONE.,] [Registrar General]