The Dictionary of Australasian Biography/Hayter, Henry Heylyn

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Hayter, Henry Heylyn, C.M.G., son of the late Henry Hayter of Eden Vale, Wilts, and nephew of the late Sir William Goodenough Hayter, Bart., was born in 1821, at Eden Vale, Wilts, and received his education in Paris, and afterwards at the Charterhouse, where he was contemporary with Sir George F. Bowen and the late Sir Charles Du Cane. He emigrated to Victoria in 1852, and in 1857 joined the department of the Registrar-General, where he was for many years at the head of the statistical branch. In 1870 he was appointed Secretary to a Royal Commission appointed to inquire into the working of the Public Service of Victoria, which sat for upwards of three years, and brought up an exhaustive report, on the recommendations of which the present Public Service Act has been based, and in which the commissioners expressed their high sense of the value of Mr. Hayter's services. Meantime he directed the arrangements for the census of 1871. In the following year he was granted a short leave of absence, which he spent in New Zealand; and while there, at the request of the Government of that colony, he investigated the Registrar-General's department, and made suggestions for the better taking of the census, all of which were adopted. In May 1874 the statistical branch over which Mr. Hayter had so long presided was constituted a separate department, and he was placed at its head with the title of Government Statist, and he soon afterwards originated the Victorian Year-Book, a work which has made his name a household word far beyond the confines of the colony. In 1875 Mr. Hayter was deputed to represent Victoria at a conference of the Australasian colonies, held in Tasmania, for the purpose of establishing a uniform system of official statistics; the result being that the Victorian plans and methods were in almost every case adopted. In 1879 he visited the United Kingdom as Secretary to the famous "embassy," of which Mr. (now Sir) Graham Berry and Professor (now Dr.) Pearson were members, and whilst in London was twice examined before a committee of the House of Commons appointed to inquire into and make suggestions for reorganising the system of collecting and compiling the statistics of the United Kingdom. This committee in its report spoke of Mr. Hayter as having brought the statistical system of Victoria "to an unusually perfect condition." On his return to Victoria he made arrangements for taking the census of 1881, which, as well as the compilation of the returns, he afterwards carried out successfully. In 1890 he contemplated retiring from office; but, at the special request of his Government, he consented to remain, first to represent Victoria at an intercolonial statistical conference held in Tasmania, of which he was elected president, and secondly to conduct the operations of the Victorian census of 1891, which was successfully taken under his management. He was awarded a silver medal at the Melbourne Exhibition of 1875, a silver and a bronze medal at that of 1880, a gold and a bronze medal at that of 1888-9, a gold medal at the Amsterdam Exhibition of 1881, a silver medal at the Calcutta Exhibition of 1884, a bronze medal at the Colonial and Indian Exhibition of 1887, a first-class award at the Adelaide Exhibition of 1887, and a grand prix (diploma and medal) at the Paris Exhibition of 1889, for his statistical publications. Besides the Victorian Year-Book, Mr. Hayter is the author of "Notes of a Tour in New Zealand"; "Notes on the Colony of Victoria—Historical, Meteorological, Geographical, and Statistical," a portion of which has been reprinted for use in the Victorian State Schools; a "Handbook to the Colony of Victoria," 40,000 copies of which have been distributed in England and elsewhere; a "Nosological Index," now used in the Statistical departments of all the Australian colonies, a volume of poems, and numerous statistical reports. In 1877 he edited "Précis of Information on the Colony of Victoria and its Capabilities for Defence," for use in the Imperial War Office. Mr. Hayter is an honorary member of numerous scientific societies in Europe and the colonies, to which he has frequently contributed papers. He was created a Companion of the Order of St. Michael and St. George on May 24th, 1882, an officer of the French Order of Public Instruction on July 14th, 1882, and a Chevalier of the Order of the Crown of Italy on July 17th, 1884. Mr. Hayter married, in 1855, Susan, daughter of the late William Dodd, of Porchester Terrace, London.