The Coming Colony/Introductory
In the preparation of the present "Notes" on Western Australia, the writer's personal observations of the colony, made in June of last year, have been supplement ed by much valuable information derived from Mr. Nicolay's "Handbook of Western Australia"; "The Western Australian Year-book for 1890," edited by the Registrar-General of the colony, Mr. Malcolm A. C. Fraser; "The Western Australian Hand-book," issued by the Emigrants' Information Office In London; Pierssene's "Albany Guide and Hand-book of Western Australia"; the Report of the Royal Commission on Agriculture (1887 to 1890); Mr. James Martin's excellent report on the operations of the West Australian Land Company, Limited, written in April, 1890, and the descriptive prospectus of their lands issued by that Company. The writer has also derived much additional and confirmatory data respecting the Midland Railway Company's concession from the report compiled by that unusually honest an d outspoken observer, Dr. J. R. M. Robertson, M.E., F.G.S., who went over the area from which the Midland will select their territory at the end of last year in company with Mr. Herbert Bond.
The work is much indebted to the revision of Sir Malcolm Fraser, K.C.M.G., first Agent-General for Western Australia, late Colonial Secretary and previously Surveyor-General of the Colony. The writer is also under great obligations for the facilities extended and the information afforded to him when in the Colony by his Excellency Sir William C. F. Robinson, G.C.M.G.; Sir John Forrest, K.C.M.G., the first Premier of Western Australia; Sir Thomas Cockburn Campbell, Bart., President of the Legislative Council; Sir James G. Lee Steere, Speaker of the Legislative Assembly; Hon. George Shenton, M.L.C., Chief Secretary; Hon. H. W. Venn, M.L.A., Minister of Railways; Hon. W. E. Marmion, M.L.A., Minister of Lands; Hon. George Leake, M.L.C.; Dr. Waylen; Hon. J. W. Hackett, M.L.C .; Mr. S. H. Parker, M.L.A., Q.C.; Mr. A. Y. Hassell, M.L.A.; Mr. F. C. Piesse, M.L.A.; Mr. Traylen, M.L.A.; Mr. John Hassell, Agent for Lord Brassey; Mr. Parry, Agent for Mr. T. W. Powell; Mr. Woodward, Government Geologist; Mr. F. Hart, and others, whose names are mentioned in the text. Mr. Henry Bull and Mr. Charles Bethell, of London, have also afforded valuable aid.
Whilst this work has been passing through the press, Sir John Forrest has made a very important statement with regard to the intention of the Government to introduce a measure authorising them to make free grants of 160 acres of land to settlers who will clear, fence, improve, and reside. The Premier also proposes that the Government shall advance money to the extent of half the value of the improvements made, not exceeding a maximum in any case of £150 at five per cent. interest. This intelligence only comes by cable, and is still a matter for parliamentary consideration.
St. Stephen's Club, S.W.,
- August 1st, 1892.