Page:The Coming Colony Mennell 1892.djvu/27

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THE COMING COLONY.

matter in computing the chances of success from a farming point of view; whilst as regards the general outlook for the industrious colonist, it. is a fact of no little moment that Western Australia is at the beginning instead of the end (as in the case of the other colonies for the time being) of a "spirited public works policy." This alone is a vital feature, especially when it is borne in mind that in this regard financial exigen­cies, as well as common prudence, will compel her statesmen to profit by the experience and mistakes of their more advanced compeers to the eastward. The evidences of a vast mineral wealth are also daily accumulating, with the certainty that a large mining population will shortly enormously enhance the local demand for agricultural and industrial products of all descriptions.

Under these circumstances it has been thought that the republication, in an expanded form, of some letters recently contributed from the spot to one of the London daily news­ papers would not be unacceptable to the large class who, in the United Kingdom, and even in Australia and New Zealand, are from various causes on the qui vive for "fresh fields and pastures new."

An article from the pen of one of the most trusted financial authorities in Australia is also appended, as well as some im­portant excerpts from the summarised report of the Agricul­tural Commission of 1887, which is understood to have been drawn up by the Hon. H. W. Venn, the present Minister of Railways of Western Australia, than whom very few even of "old colonists" have had a more varied and practical experi­ence of pioneering life in the vast territory which he now assists to administer. As regards Mr. Turner's "impressions," they are entitled to even more than ordinary weight, because, as I myself can bear witness, he visited Western Australia with a "mind" that was rather "shut" than "open" to a favourable recognition of the immediate prospects of the colony. It is also on record that Mr. F. G. Smith, of the National Bank of Australasia, a gentleman regarded as the very type of the cautious and astute financier, was equally favourably impressed with the outlook for what (though the phrase has grown trite