Australia, from Port Macquarie to Moreton Bay/Part 3

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The present depressed state of New South Wales—Its causes—Sheep—Their depreciated value—Sheep-boiling—Price of Australian Tallow in London—The practice of Sheep-boiling defended—Sheep, still a profitable investment when purchased at a price determined by the intrinsic worth of their Skins and Tallow—Calculations to show the income that might be then derived from Sheep—No Foreign Countries, or other British Colonies, able at present to produce Wool and Tallow cheaper than Australia—Price of Australian Wool not regulated by the cost of production, but by the state of the Home Market—Life of the Australian Settlers not necessarily deprived of all the conveniences and comforts of civilization—Horned Cattle—Australian Beef considered of inferior quality in London—Intrinsic value of Cattle when slaughtered for their Hides, Tallow, &c.—Calculations showing the income derivable from Cattle when they are purchased at a price determined by the value of their Hides, Tallow, &c. only—Agriculture, a very uncertain occupation in Australia—Excellent quality of the Australian Wheat; its capability of supporting long voyages without deterioration, and the high price obtained for it in the London market—Maize of New South Wales superior to that of the United States—Prices to which Wheat and Maize must fall in Sydney to allow of their being exported to England—Grain might perhaps be advantageously grown, in some few favoured localities, at these low prices, by persons purchasing improved farms at their present low value—Calculations on this subject—Districts exempt from droughts—Causes of this exemption—Vineyards—Good quality of the Wines hitherto made in New South Wales—Varieties of Grape successfully cultivated—Remarks on the French Vineyards—Expenses attending them—Calculation of the profit derivable from Vineyards in New South Wales—Remarks on planting and cultivating the Vine.

The total annihilation of all confidence, and the depressed state of the money market, or, to use the favourite colonial term, "the monetary confusion," now prevalent in the colony of New South Wales, have continued for such a considerable time, and have afforded as yet, so little prospect of ultimate amendment, that serious apprehensions have been entertained, that the colony will never recover from the blow her former prosperity has received. Property of all descriptions is quite unsaleable, and not a day passes without several new declarations of insolvency.

The causes of the lamentable confusion in which the affairs of the whole trading community of New South Wales have been so long involved, have been discussed usque ad nauseam, both in and out of the colony. Many writers in the Sydney newspapers, reviews, &c. have however displayed considerable cleverness in analysing and explaining, what they considered to be the origin of the present disorganised state of affairs in New South Wales. Although they differ with each other in some respects in the conclusions they have individually arrived at, yet I think most persons will allow that the following causes have been very instrumental in bringing about the present disastrous state of things.

The speculative mania which pervaded all classes of the community; and the absurd ideas entertained respecting the value of land, and town allotments, &c. which induced the deluded colonists to pay, for solitary wastes which they had never seen, sums so large, that they are now astonished at their former folly, since the present reaction has aroused them from their golden dreams. This rage for speculation was very much encouraged by the loose un-English system of transacting business in New South Wales; long extended credit at high interest was readily accorded on the slightest security, whilst the directors of several of the colonial banks mutually afforded to each other, and their friends, the most unwarrantable accommodation in discounting bills, to the exclusion of many bills much safer than their own, but drawn and accepted by parties unconnected with bank directors. The disgraceful circumstances which have been brought to light in the late investigations into the affairs of two colonial banks which have now closed, are, in themselves, quite sufficient to prove the great share the banks have had in producing the present monetary crisis. As to the land mania, it was in a great measure produced by the system of selling Crown lands by public auction, and thereby exciting an unfortunate spirit of competition, which drained the colonists of that money which ought to have been employed in the more legitimate objects of colonization, such as agriculture, vineyards, &c. Old settlers and newly arrived emigrants, merchants, and mechanics, all hastened to outbid each other at the Government sales by auction, and purchased at exorbitant rates, sections and allotments of land which they had probably never seen, and which were often hundreds of miles from Sydney, and in situations such, that if they had only listened to the dictates of common sense, they must have perceived that they were often paying for their land ten times more than it was worth. When the Government thus set the example of exciting competition for land, the same spirit, of course, prevailed in all private land sales; innumerable plans of fine-towns and cities, (at least on paper,) divided into red and green allotments, with reserves for market-places, churches, parks, cemeteries, &c. were prominently displayed in every corner of the auctioneers' sale-rooms in Sydney; and it mattered little where the sites for these projected towns had been chosen; whether one hundred or five hundred miles from Sydney, the allotments were certain to be eagerly bought up. Most of them might be appositely compared to the famous American city of Eden, in Boz's new work; and at the present time, many of the allotments of some of these imaginary towns might be purchased for fewer pence, than they were, at one time, supposed to be worth pounds. Indeed, in the prosperous times, three or four years ago, scarcely any one purchased land for its fertility, or capability of being converted into good farms; for not one person in a hundred built on, or improved the ground he had bought; the principal motives which influenced these speculators in their purchase of land, was because it was near some Government village, reserve, or else possessed a frontage to some river or road, which would cause it to look well on paper, and consequently resell to advantage, if redivided into small lots, and called "a town," with some grand euphonous appellation. Many persons also threw away their money in the purchase of land they had never seen, and were totally unacquainted with, with no other reason for so doing than the notion that all land in the Australian colonies must go on increasing in value, whatever might be the price originally paid for it.

Another cause of the present involved state of affairs, has been the boundless extravagance of all classes of the community, and the consequent enormous importation, in proportion to the population of New South Wales, of mere articles of luxury, such as carriages, jewellery, plate, the most expensive furniture, rare wines and liqueurs, &c. To this may be added the great consumption of imported articles, which the colony was perfectly able to produce itself, such as hams, bacon, butter, cheese, beef, flour, wine, fruits, pickles, &c. &c.

The fall in the price of wool, and the cessation in the emigration of persons of capital to the Australian colonies materially assisted also in producing the present depression.

Whatever may be the predominant cause of the present deplorable state of affairs in Sydney, I do not think that confidence and a healthy tone will reappear among the commercial community of that city, until all those traders and merchants, (who are not able to meet their engagements and are now striving to hang back from the fatal goal of insolvency, to which they must perforce arrive, sooner or later,) pass away, and are succeeded by a new class of merchants, possessing the full confidence of respectable houses in England; men, for instance, totally unconnected with all previous colonial transactions, and consequently never involved in that frantic mania for speculating so far beyond their means, and those reprobative practices of mutual accommodation, partial discounting, systematic bill-dishonouring, &c. which have stamped a stigma on the mercantile community of New South Wales, that will require a long time to efface in the minds of those persons in England who have suffered from their connection with that colony.

The distress, which has existed among the flock-masters of New South Wales, and the distress of the merchants and traders, are, in my opinion, much more independent of each other than is generally supposed. The grand cause of the ruin of so many of the settlers has been the depreciation in the value of stock; sheep having fallen, in a very short time, from upwards of £2. per head to about half a crown, and cattle from £9. or £10. to £1. Of course those who bought sheep and cattle at these high prices, were ruined by their rapid and unprecedented depreciation in value.

The cause of sheep having originally attained so high a value was the high price of Australian wool in the London market, and the great influx of emigrants of capital from Great Britain, who all eagerly purchased flocks of sheep at any price, under the idea of making rapid fortunes. When however, from various causes, the emigration of persons of capital was diverted from New South Wales to other colonies, the surplus sheep found no buyers, for the number of wethers required by the butchers, &c. was a mere trifle compared with the supply. The flock-masters, being thus unable to sell their surplus sheep, became panic-struck; for most of them were-more or less embarrassed by engagements contracted with the supposed certainty of being able to meet them by a sale of some of their sheep; moreover, as the wool scarcely paid the expenses of its production, leaving the increase for profit only, the notion became prevalent that sheep were all but valueless. The price of sheep therefore fell to two or three shillings per head; and to increase the mischief, those merchants and other persons who had been so forward in giving credit to the supposed prosperous sheep-owners of New South Wales, now pounced upon their flocks at this critical moment, and the sheriff was constantly engaged in selling sheep by execution all over the colony. At some of these forced sales sheep have been sold for cash, for less than one shilling per head, scarcely half the value of a skin!

Matters continued in this bad state until Mr. Frederick Ebsworth of Sydney suggested the plan of slaughtering and boiling down sheep, for their skins and tallow. The feasibility of this suggestion was immediately felt by most of the flock-masters in the colony; numerous experiments were made as soon as possible at various places, and the result was extremely satisfactory, as the quality of the tallow was very good, and the quantity, yielded by sheep in average condition, was quite equal to the most sanguine expectations.

All these experiments have appeared in the columns of the Sydney Morning Herald, the leading journal of the colony, and the strenuous advocate of the necessity of creating new articles of export.

In consequence of the discovery of this novel way of turning sheep to account, extensive sheep-boiling establishments have been formed in eligible situations near the coast, to boil down the sheep, sort and pack the tallow, skin, wool, &c. The following advertisement, respecting one of these establishments at Hunter's River, is extracted from "The Australian," of October 3rd, 1843, and will shew to the reader the expenses attending the conversion of sheep into tallow.

"Sheep-Boiling at Windermere, near Maitland.

"Mr. Wentworth having engaged a competent superintendent to boil down his own surplus sheep, is willing to accommodate the settlers in the districts of the Hunter, Wellington, Liverpool Plains, and New England, at the following charges:—

£. s. d.
"Slaughtering, skinning, cutting-up, and boiling sheep, rendering caul and kidney fat separately, packing the tallow, and boiled fat in the sheep skins, in suitable and secure parcels for exportation, marking and lettering those bags so as to distinguish the quality, and putting the same on board the steamer at the Green Hills,—at per sheep 0 0 9
"Washing skins, taking off the whole of the wool, drying and putting it into clean packs, and carrying those bales to the steamer—at per sheep 0 0 3

"The proprietor of the sheep will have to pay the freight of the wool and tallow to Sydney; or, if he should wish it to be paid for him, he must, before boiling the sheep, give notice of such to the superintendent at Windermere, who will take, at his option, wool at 1s. per lb., or tallow at 2½d. per lb., in payment of all charges: the freight of wool being 7s. per bale to Sydney, and of tallow 1s. per cwt. The goods will be shipped on board the steamer on account and risk of the proprietor.

"Grass will be provided gratis, and shepherds will receive rations at a moderate charge. And if required by the master, the wages coming to them will be paid, and deducted at the above rates.

"Such of the hind legs as may be required for the use of the establishment, will be allowed for at ½d. per lb.

"⁂ The offal and refuse of the carcase, after extracting the tallow, to belong to the establishment."

This sheep-boiling process was in full operation for two months before I left the colony, and it has now been ascertained, from the experience acquired since its commencement, that (making every allowance for the expenses of slaughtering, boiling down the fat, packing, freight, duty, &c.) the probable value of sheep of the ordinary average condition will be about five shillings per head. I see by some of the late Sydney papers, that tallow in Sydney is only quoted at £26. per ton; some of it has, however, lately arrived in London, it was much approved of, and sold as well as the best P.V.C. tallow, the prices obtained for it being upwards of £40. per ton.[1]

It will be easy to show, that this suggestion of Mr. Ebsworth, joined with the present moderate rate of shepherds' wages, has again rendered sheep a most profitable and safe investment for capital; but as many persons, especially in England, consider it the greatest folly to kill sheep for their mere skins and fat, when such a large sum is derived yearly from their wool, I will first make a few observations in defence of the practice of "sheep-boiling." Among those who ridicule it, is the editor of the late Sydney Gazette, who, in the Colonial Gazette, in a long article on the state of New South Wales, deprecates the plan of slaughtering sheep for tallow in the following terms. "As drowning men are said to catch at straws, so have many flock-masters caught at the trap of killing and boiling down their sheep for tallow, by which process they hope to realise at least 5s. per head for their surplus stock of sheep. It can be scarcely necessary to descant upon the ruinous absurdity of this scheme; for as long as the flock-masters can realize 7½d. per head for the fleece of one sheep, he must be an arrant fool to sell the principal, if I may so speak. Should this plan be persisted in for a year or two, as I strongly suspect it will, the aggregate stock will be so considerably reduced that we may expect in the years 1846 and 1847 to find sheep up to £1. or even £1. 10s. which will reproduce many of the evils under which the colony is at this moment labouring."

Now it is worthy of remark, that instead of being persons in difficulties, "drowning men catching at straws," those settlers, who have been the first to kill and boil down their sheep for tallow, happen to be men of the greatest wealth, intelligence, and experience, among the colonists, such as W. C. Wentworth, Esq. M. C.; Henry O'Brien, Esq., of Yass; Mr. Scott of Glendon, &c.

This writer also appears to entertain the idea, that wool, besides covering all the expenses of wages, stations, &c. yields a certain amount of profit to the flock-master, independent of that derived from the yearly increase of his flocks. Now wool barely counterbalances the cost of its production, leaving the increase alone for clear profit; and when the flock-masters were totally unable to dispose of this increase, it was high time to adopt some such scheme as sheep-boiling to make a profit on the capital they had invested in sheep. As to the great reduction in the aggregate stock of sheep, which this gentleman suspects must result from the plan now pursued, I will only observe that the intention of the flock-masters is not to reduce their flocks, but to keep them stationary, so as not to be under the necessity of frequently augmenting their stations and establishments, in consequence of the great yearly increase of their sheep, which increase, this writer has himself remarked, in the article alluded to, may be fairly taken at 75 per cent. From the millions of sheep in Australia, it will be evident, that when the yearly increase is so great, the butchers might be abundantly supplied, and many hundred tons of tallow exported, without the flocks suffering any diminution in number. This sheep-boiling speculation will also produce great good in stamping a minimum value on sheep, a value depending on the comparatively little fluctuating markets of the mother country; and should a new demand for sheep arise from the emigration of persons of capital to New South Wales, sheep may increase in price from that cause, but under no circumstances can they again fall below their minimum price, determined by the intrinsic worth of their skins, wool, and tallow. No one therefore can do wrong in purchasing sheep at their present prices; they can fall no lower, and will in all probability rise considerably higher, as the commercial affairs of Sydney emerge from their present chaotic state of confusion, and emigrants with capital once more quit England for New South Wales.

In the article on the state of New South Wales, forwarded to the Colonial Gazette, by the late editor of the Sydney Gazette, that writer has observed, that "paradoxical as it may appear to some, who only glance at the surface of things, there never was a time, since the foundation of New South Wales as a British colony, when capital could be invested therein to so much advantage. Horned cattle, in mixed herds, can be purchased for cash at the rate of £1. per head; horses at £10.; sheep at 3s.; houses in Sydney at less than their original building price, or, in other words, for the present value of the materials—to such distress is the colony reduced."

Supposing that a person purchased sheep at the rate of 5s. per head, and that they remained stationary at that price, it would be very easy to show, that after making every allowance for wages, rations, land carriage, average risk of loss from catarrh, scab, outrages and depredations of native blacks, &c. that such a person would clear annually, at the least twenty per cent, on the money so invested: thus an emigrant investing £1500. in sheep and stations, would realize annually £300. clear of all expenses. In order to shew this, I will suppose that 3500 young ewes dropping their lambs are purchased; if ordinary ewes and wethers are assumed to be worth five shillings, these would be worth six shillings.[2]

3500 ewes at 6s. £1050
 100 rams at 6s 30
Expense of forming stations, and purchasing working bullocks, drays, tarpaulins, &c. 220
Floating capital lodged in the bank to meet wages, rations, and other incidental expenses during the first year 400
Capital invested £1700

To simplify the calculation, I will assume that the wool pays all the expenses of wages, rations, squatting license, assessment, woolpacks, &c. At the present low rate of wages, (shepherds' wages being, according to the latest accounts from Sydney, only from £16. to £18. a year with rations), I have no doubt that wool will henceforth cover all these expenses, and leave a surplus to be added to the profits. According to my assumption, therefore, the value of the increase will represent the true profit derivable from sheep; due deduction being of course made to counterbalance the loss from disease and depredations, both among the original flock and the increase.

I will suppose that the 3500 ewes will at any rate drop 2800 lambs, which is considerably less than the yearly increase that Captain Sturt and other writers have assumed, I will also deduct ten per cent, both from the purchased ewes, and the lambs, to allow for losses incurred through disease, depredations, &c.

At the expiration of the first year we should therefore have, (rams not included).

3500 — 350 = 3150 ewes.
2800 — 280 = 2520 yearling lambs.

At the expiration of the second year, at the same rate of increase, we should have, (ten per cent, being deducted for loss from disease, &c.)

3150 — 315 2835 ewes.
2520 — 252 = 2268 young ewes and wethers.
2520 — 252 = 2268 yearling lambs.

Retaining a sufficient number of ewes to keep the breeding flocks at their original number of 3500, there would remain 1603 surplus sheep to dispose of, or convert into tallow, at the end of the second year, which at five shillings each, would realize in round numbers £400; we should then have at the commencement of the third year 3500 ewes, and 2268 yearling lambs.

At the expiration of the third year, we should have

3500 — 350 = 3150 ewes.
2268 — 226 = 2042 young ewes and wethers.
2800 — 280 = 2520 yearling lambs.

Retaining 3500 ewes, and the lambs, we should be able to dispose of 1692 sheep, which, at five shillings each, would be worth £423.

At the expiration of the fourth year there would be

3500 — 353 = 3150 ewes.
2520 — 252 = 2268 young ewes and wethers.
2800 — 280 = 2520 yearling lambs.

Retaining 3500 ewes and the lambs, there would remain 1918 sheep for sale or conversion into tallow, which, at five shillings per head, would realize £479, neglecting the shillings.

At the expiration of the fifth year, and every succeeding year, the surplus sheep, according to the data I have assumed, would be worth £479.

We will now see what will have been the average annual profit during six years on 3500 ewes:—

End of First year £.   0
"Second year 400
"Third year 423
"Fourth year 479
"Fifth year 479
"Sixth year 479
6 ) 2260
£ 376
The capital, which I have assumed as requisite for the produce and management of 3500 ewes, at six shillings each, is £1700. (see page 138); and the annual average profit being £376, the clear gain would be at the rate of about twenty-two per cent yearly, according to the data I have based this hasty calculation on. The flocks would always continue as valuable as the original ones, for the more aged ewes, would be of course replaced by young ones, before the former had at all deteriorated in condition. I think that the Australian colonies will always be able to compete advantageously with other countries in the production of wool and tallow. The extensive plains of South America, are certainly eminently qualified for the rearing of sheep, and at present swarm with herds of cattle; but, notwithstanding its comparative vicinity to England, the unsettled state of that continent, and the difference of duty[3] turn the scale infinitely in favour of Australia. As to Southern Africa and the Cape of Good Hope, the sheep in that colony are very inferior to New South Wales; and the expenses attending their management, and the risk of loss, are inconceivably greater, in consequence of the vast number of ferocious beasts of prey, with which that part of the globe is infested. The Cape will never therefore rival Australia in the production of wool and tallow.

In the latest edition of the Encyclopædia Britannica, in the article "Wool," there are some very sensible observations with regard to the wool of New South Wales, which I shall take the liberty of quoting.

"The great advantage of the growth of wool to a new colony like New South Wales is, that what really amounts to a large resource for her, forms but a small proportion of the whole quantity required in the market which she supplies. Thus the price of the article is not regulated by the cost of production, but by the state of the home market. Australia enjoys an advantage which is somewhat analogous to the rent of the most fertile land in old countries. The demand of the consuming countries, greatly exceeding the power of supply possessed by Australia, and no other country being able to produce so cheaply, the price is kept up to the European cost of production. Thus they enjoy a species of monopoly of price. This has hitherto been the case with the cotton of America. It is now scarcely sixty years, since cotton was first exported from America, and this year the production is about 600,000,000lbs. The following has been its progress in round numbers:—

1790 1,000,000
1800 35,000.000
1810 85,000,000
1820 160,000,000
1830 350,000,000
1840 600,000,000

"The price of cotton, owing to the large demand created by our continually improving machinery, has generally exceeded the cost of production. This has generally stimulated production, and yet not so rapidly as the demand increased; hence the cotton of America, has gone on displacing successive portions of Eastern cotton, until the former now occupies all the channels of consumption; and so it will be with Australian wool. The consumption of foreign wool alone in England, is fifty millions of pounds. The greater portion of this will probably be displaced by the Australian colonies. In like manner it will gradually cease to be worth while to raise sheep for their wool in many of the countries which now produce it."

The following table of the importation of wool into the United Kingdom in 1835 and 1838 is also extracted from the Encyclopædia Britannica.

1835 1838
Germany 23,798,186 lbs. 27,506,282 lbs.
Russia 4,024,740 3,769,102
Rest of Northern Europe 1,157,345 1,063,074
Spain 1,602,752 1,814,877
Italy 1,051,005 1,758,894
Greece 1,281,839 848,091
Rest of Southern Europe 1,304,416 1,040,613
Northern Africa 816,625 511,526
Southern Africa 191,624 422,506
Rest of Africa 5,102 1,867
Australia 4,210,301 7,837,423
East Indies 295,848 1,897,266
Rest of Asia
South America and Mexico 2,195,400 4,059,958
North America 239,349 62,976
All Countries 42,174,532 52,594,355
The expense of converting sheep into tallow, in New South Wales, sorting and packing the skin, wool, &c. has been taken at one shilling per sheep, that being the price charged at the sheep-boiling establishments (see page 133). Mr. Ebsworth, in a letter to the Editor of the Sydney Morning Herald, supposes that all the expense of slaughtering, boiling, &c. might be covered, by converting the pelt, horns, hoofs, sinews and gut into glue; each sheep would yield on an average four pounds of glue, which would be at any rate equal to the "Country glue," which was quoted at from 38 shillings to 46 shillings per cwt., London glue being 50 shillings to 54 shillings per cwt. at the same time.

A person with a small capital, which he has invested in sheep in New South Wales, would find that his occupation as a flock-master in that colony, would be attended with little of that intense application to business, long continued toil, or harassing cares and anxiety, which necessarily fall to the lot of the small capitalist in England, who embarks his all in a desperate and unequal struggle with the over numerous competitors in every profession or trade in the mother country. The greatest drawback to the life of an Australian settler is the solitude, and the absence of the conveniencies of civilization. With some persons, however, this would be more than counterbalanced by the feeling of unrestrained independence they would enjoy; and the bushman of Australia, unshackled by the customs and constraint of civilized communities, may roam through the grassy wilderness, with his horse, gun, and kangaroo-dogs, with a thousand times more freedom than the wildest chiefs of the African deserts, or American savannahs.

However, even in the most distant regions of New South Wales, beyond the limits of location, there is much more intercourse among the squatters, or licensed occupiers of land, than would be imagined. In those districts near the coast, many of the squatters are retired officers, who are often married men, with large families; of course, wherever female society extends its influence, the bush-life of Australia is deprived of much of its roughness, and the agrèmens of civilized life are in some measure preserved by small social reunions, music, boating parties, races, &c. In the inland districts the squatters are, however, generally unmarried, most of them being young men of education and of good connections at home. The life they lead is of the most wild and reckless character, their only amusements in the country being kangaroo hunting, with the occasional excitement of a hurdle race, or steeple chase. They generally travel down once a year to Sydney, to sell their wool, and purchase supplies for the ensuing year. During their brief residence in town they participate largely in all its gaieties, to make amends for their long banishment in the wilderness.

The squatters of New South Wales are, on the whole, a strange race. In general they submit, from mere indolence or carelessness, to great privations, especially with regard to the comforts of their table; although a little trouble and instruction to their servants, ought to supply it with abundance of vegetables, poultry of all descriptions, &c. &c. without any expense. I have myself known many squatters, who during the prosperous times possessed large incomes from their wool, and yet, through mere carelessness, were content to live on an unvarying course of salt beef, damper, and tea; although, during their annual visits to Sydney, they lived in the most extravagant style, at first-rate hotels, keeping two or three horses at livery stables, and drinking Chateau-Margaux, Hock, and Champagne. The following is a specimen of the daily life of the generality of the squatters at their stations in the bush. On awaking in the morning the squatter lights his pipe, and smokes while his breakfast is being prepared. This consists of a huge heap of mutton chops, or a piece of salt beef, and damper, which he washes down with an ocean of strong green tea, literally saturated with coarse brown sugar. After breakfasting, the squatter again lights his pipe mounts his horse, and sallies forth on his daily avocations among his sheep or cattle. The short well blackened pipe, his constant companion, is frequently replenished in the course of the day; his dinner is the counterpart of his breakfast, viz. mutton-chops, or salt junk, damper, and tea viscid from excessive sweetness, which would create nausea in an English stomach, but to which our bushman has gradually habituated himself. In the evening the squatter smokes, reads, or writes, until supper, when another vast mass of meat and tea is again brought forward; and then, after smoking one more pipe, he goes to bed.

This rough and comfortless life has been supposed to be unavoidable in the distant districts beyond the limits of location, but such is not the fact. I have often visited the stations of squatters who possessed but one man-servant to perform the multifarious duties of cook, gardener, &c. and yet their slab-cottages were kept in the most scrupulous state of neatness and cleanliness, whilst their tables were constantly supplied with fowls, geese, &c. butter, cream, all kinds of vegetables, home brewed beer, and properly made bread.

Having attempted to show that sheep in Australia still offer considerable profit to those who invest money therein, I will next examine horned cattle in the same manner. The cause of the depreciation in the value of sheep, affected cattle also; for the colony was swarming with herds, the owners of which could find no buyers for their rapidly increasing stock, as the consumption was trifling compared with the supply. The stockholders of New South Wales have, therefore, lately slaughtered and salted a great number of cattle, and exported the meat to India, China, New Zealand, England, &c.

I have not heard what success has attended these shipments of beef to the former countries, but in England, the Australian beef, which has hitherto arrived, has been pronounced inferior to that of Canada and the United States, and the price offered for it is not such as would render it profitable to send any more of it to Europe; that is, if the beef which has lately arrived from Sydney and Port Philip, is a fair sample of New South Wales' meat generally, which I am rather inclined to doubt, as I have certainly seen beef from aged bullocks in that colony, fat, juicy, and apparently unexceptionable in every respect. The faults most complained of in the Australian beef just arrived, are the great quantity of inferior salt that has been used in curing it, the objectionable way in which it has been cut up and packed, and its dryness. The former faults might be remedied; but under the present tariff, so favourable to the Americans, I think it will be found much more profitable for the Australian stockholders to slaughter and boil down their surplus cattle for their tallow, hides, horns, and bones, than to salt them for exportation, (at least to the mother country). I think also that it would be practicable to make some sort of glaze, or preserved concentrated soups, which could be supplied at a very low figure, and yield a considerable profit, as good bullocks are only one penny a pound in Sydney at present.

In examining into the degree of profit which may henceforth be likely to attend the rearing of horned cattle in the Australian colonies, I will therefore only consider cattle as valuable for their tallow, hides, horns, glue, and bones. Ordinary four-year old bullocks, and cows of the same age, would, if slaughtered and boiled down, yield at any rate eighty pounds of tallow, whilst fat bullocks of six years old and upwards would yield a much larger quantity.

Some Australian tallow having been sold for 42s. per cwt. in the London market, I will suppose 32s. per cwt. to be the value of the tallow to the stockholder, which will allow amply for the expense of slaughtering, boiling, freight, &c,

The intrinsic value of a four-year old beast may be therefore taken as follows: —

80lbs. of tallow at 32s. per cwt. £1 5 6
Hide, horns, glue, bones, refuse soup, and meat, &c. 0  14   6
£2 0 0

In the event of the Australian colonists being unable to sell their salted beef, mixed herds of cattle might still therefore be safely assumed to be worth at least thirty shillings per head.[4]

Although the yearly increase of homed cattle is not so great as that of sheep, yet the great exemption of the former from disease or casualties, and the very small expense attending their management, rendered cattle, during the prosperous times of the colony, the favourite stock, especially for newly arrived emigrants. The only disorder, which appears occasionally among cattle in New South Wales, is black leg, or black quarter; it is of very rare occurrence, for although we had about two thousand head of cattle on our run at the MacLeay river, we did not lose more than half a dozen from this disease.

During the period that I took an active part in the management of our cattle at the MacLeay I did not notice more deaths from accidents or disorders than at the rate of two per cent.; for as our cattle were all branded with our initials, consecutively numbered, and enrolled in our cattle book, with their descriptions annexed, it was easy to ascertain the exact losses at our periodical musters. In the following calculation I have allowed 3⅓ per cent. for deaths from disease or accident in each year, on the whole number of cattle; I have also assumed that the cows drop yearly sixty per cent, of calves, which, being subject to the same deduction of 3⅓ per cent., would give about fifty-five per cent, yearly increase.

In order then to arrive at some sort of estimate of the probable profits attending the rearing of homed cattle, when purchased at a low price, determined by the value of their hides, tallow, horns, &c. I will suppose that the following mixed herd of cattle is purchased.

20 Bulls.
350 Cows dropping their calves.
200 100 Three-year old bullocks.
100   ditto cows dropping their calves.
200 100 Two-year old steers.
100  ditto heifers.
230 115 One-year old steers.
115  ditto heifers.
 1000 Total number.

Having assumed four-year old beasts to be worth £2. each, (see page 149), a mixed herd of homed cattle like this, would be worth £1. 10s. per head.

One thousand head of cattle at £1. 10s. each, £1500
Expense attending the formation of a cattle-station, purchase of stock-horses, &c. 200
Money in the bank to meet the cost of rations, wages, &c. until some return is obtained from the sale of stock, or from their conversion into tallow, &c. 200

In the following calculation the heifers are supposed to commence calving at three years old; they will in general begin calving much younger, unless a separate station is kept in an isolated situation, expressly for the young heifers. A portion of the stock also is supposed to be disposed of yearly, as they attain the age of four years; a sufficient number of young cows, being, however, retained each year to allow for the assumed yearly loss from disease, &c. in the original number.

First Year.
350 — 12 = 338 Cows.
200 —  6 = 194 Four-year old bullocks and cows.
200 —  6 = 194 Three ditto ditto
230 —  8 = 222 Two-year old steers and heifers.
270 —  9 = 261 Yearling calves.

Retaining 12 young cows to replace the supposed loss from disease among the original 350 cows, we shall have to dispose of, at the expiration of the first year, 194 — 12 = 182 four-year old beasts, which at £2. each, will be worth £364.

Second Year.
350 — 12 = 338 Cows.
194 —  6 = 188 Four-year old bullocks and cows.
222 —  7 = 215 Three ditto ditto
261 —  9 = 252 Two-year old steers and heifers.
268 —  9 = 259 Yearling calves.

Retaining 12 cows as before, we shall have to dispose of at the expiration of the second year, 188 — 12 = 176 four-year old beasts, which at £2. each, will be worth £352.

Third Year.
350 — 12 = 338 Cows.
215 —  7 = 208 Four-year old.
252 —  8 = 244 Three-year old.
259 —  9 = 250 Two ditto
274 —  9 = 265 Yearling calves.
At the expiration of the third year, there will be, 208 — 12 = 196 four-year old beasts, to dispose of, which will be worth £392.
Fourth Year.
350 — 12 = 338 Cows.
244 —  8 = 236 Four-year old.
250 —  8 = 242 Three ditto
265 —  9 = 256 Two ditto
283 —  9 = 274 Yearling calves

At the expiration of the fourth year there will be 236 — 12 = 224 four-year old stock to dispose of, which at £2. per head, will be worth £448.

Fifth Year.
350 — 12 = 338 Cows.
242 —  8 = 234 Four-year old.
256 —  9 = 247 Three ditto
274 —  9 = 265 Two ditto
283 — 10 = 273 Yearling calves

At the end of the fifth year, there will be 234 — 12 = 222 four-year old stock to dispose of, which will be worth £444.

Sixth Year.
350 — 12 = 338 Cows.
247 —  8 = 239 Four-year old.
265 —  9 = 256 Three ditto
273 —  9 = 264 Two ditto
284 — 10 = 274 Yearling calves.

At the expiration of the sixth year we shall have to dispose of, 239 — 12 = 227 four-year old stock, which at £2. each, will be worth £454.

Seventh Year
350 — 12 = 338 Cows.
256 —   8 = 248 Four-year old
264 —   9 = 255 Three ditto
274 —   9 = 265 Two ditto
287 — 10 = 277 Yearling calves.

At the end of the seventh year we can dispose of 248 — 12 = 236 four-year old stock, which will be worth £472.

Eighth Year.
350 — 12 = 338 Cows
255 —   8 = 247 Four-year old.
265 —   9 = 256 Three ditto
277 —   9 = 268 Two ditto
286 — 10 = 276 Yearling calves.

At the end of the eighth year we can dispose of 247 — 12 = 235 four-year old beasts, which will be worth £470.

Ninth Year.
350 — 12 = 338 Cows.
256 —   8 = 248 Four-year old.
267 —   9 = 259 Three ditto
277 —   9 = 267 Two ditto
287 — 10 = 277 Yearling calves.

At the expiration of the ninth year we shall have 248 — 12 = 236 four-year old beasts to dispose of, which will be worth £472.

Tenth Year.
350 — 12 = 338 Cows.
259 —   8 = 251 Four-year old.
267 —   9 = 258 Three ditto
277 —   9 = 268 Two ditto
287 — 10 = 277 Yearling calves.
At the expiration of the tenth year we shall have 251 — 12 = 239 four-year old beasts to dispose of, which at £2. each will realize £478.

We will now see what has been the total sum realized by the sale or boiling down of the surplus cattle during these ten years.

1st Year £364
2nd 352
3rd 392
4th 448
5th 444
6th 454
7th 472
8th 470
9th 472
10th 478
10) 4346 Total sum.
434 Yearly average.

Should the station where these homed cattle are supposed to run, be in the vicinity of a navigable river, the whole expenses of the establishment would be more than covered by making cheese, even at the present low price of dairy produce in Sydney. In that case the yearly profit on the sum of £1900. which had been invested, would, according to my calculation, be nearly twenty-three per cent. Supposing, however, that the stock-owner is willing to make a smaller profit on his money, rather than be troubled with the superintendence of a dairy, we will examine what would be the annual expense attending the management of a herd of cattle of the foregoing number.

Two stockmen at £16. a year £32.
One bullock-driver able to plough when required, 16
One honse servant 14.
1¼ tons of flour 18. Allowance being made for transport.
500 lbs. of sugar 5. Ditto.
60 lbs. of tea 4. Ditto.
Squatting license & assessment 20.
Horseshoeing, &c. 3.

Deducting this from the average yearly income derived from the sale or slaughter of surplus stock, there would remain a sum equal to 17 per cent. on the capital invested. The reader will also observe, that, according to my calculation, a considerable augmentation gradually takes place in the number of the original herd, notwithstanding that the cattle, both male and female, are supposed to be sold, or converted into tallow, &c. as soon as they attain four years of age.

Should this work meet the eye of persons of colonial experience, they will probably smile at my extraordinary manner of disposing of the surplus stock, in the foregoing calculations respecting sheep and cattle. My object, however, has not been to recommend this mode of disposing of the increase, but I assumed it solely, because it struck me as the most simple means of shewing the income which might be derived from sheep and cattle henceforward.[5] Besides, my short visit to England will not allow me sufficient time to enter into more elaborate details on these subjects.

Agriculture is the next branch of rural industry in New South Wales, for our consideration. This is more uncertain than any other colonial occupation, as the market is so continually glutted with imported grain, that it is often impossible to effect sales unless at a ruinous loss. At present, as the majority of the inhabitants of New South Wales are engaged in tending cattle and sheep, in the cultivation of vineyards, and in manufacturing establishments, that colony does not produce enough grain for its own consumption, although it is capable of affording enough, for fifty times its present population, if the fertile regions in the extreme northern and southern parts of the colony were brought under cultivation, the former for maize and rice, and the latter for wheat. The other Australian colonies. Van Diemen's Land, and South Australia, are now wheat exporting countries, and at present suffering under the greatest depression from the difficulty of finding markets for it. Indeed, from the immense distance of Australia from the mother country and other markets, I consider that the cultivation of the land for the production of grain, with a view to its exportation, presents very dismal prospects for the future, and I fully expect to find, in the course of a year or two, that much good land, now cultivated in Van Diemen's Land and South Australia, must revert to a state of nature. Nevertheless, Australia is much more adapted for the production of wheat, than has been generally supposed. The beautiful and fertile districts in the southern limits of New South Wales, near the Australian Alps, Van Diemen's Land, and South Australia, yield wheat not inferior to that of any country in the world.

Several shipments of wheat, which have arrived in England from these latter colonies, were much praised, and sold at a price considerably above the average price of the wheat of the United Kingdom. The following extract from the speech of Mr. Hutt, M.P., (on March 26th, 1844), contains many interesting statements respecting the wheat of the Australasian colonies, and the expenses attending its shipment to England.

"It appeared by the papers on the table, that a considerable quantity of corn, the produce of Van Diemen's Land, was imported into the neighbouring colonies, the islands in the Eastern seas, and the Mauritius; and that, notwithstanding the distance of 15,000 miles of ocean, and all the difficulties add disadvantages of our sliding-scale, nearly 1300 quarters of wheat were imported from that colony last year into the English markets. It was no doubt a small quantity when compared with the consumption of our population; but when it was considered that it was the first experiment to bring wheat from Van Diemen's Land, that it had succeeded in a remarkable manner, that the corn was of a very superior quality, was brought to Mark Lane in remarkably good condition, and that after paying all expenses, and a duty of five shillings a quarter, it left a handsome profit to the importer, few could doubt that the experiment would soon be tried again, and on an enlarged scale, especially when they considered what a desperate struggle there was now going on for the employment of money, and that merchants found no task so difficult as the discovery of a new article of importation which would be attended with profit. The corn imported last year was of a very superior quality. He never saw any corn that could be compared to it in weight, thinness of skin, and general appearance. An honourable friend near him, who had caused a large quantity of it to be ground for his domestic purposes, declared that the bread was superior to anything he had ever tasted. Though the average price of English wheat was at the time below 56s. a quarter, the whole of the South Australian and Van Diemen's Land wheat was sold at from 60s to 72s a quarter. This was another circumstance which weighed with the merchants, for it was now found that such was the purity and dryness of the Australian climate, that the whole of the wheat, after passing that vast expanse of ocean, was found to have suffered nothing from either moisture or heat, and arrived in a condition scarcely less suited to the purposes for which it was intended, than when it was originally placed on board ship. In order to prove the correctness of these statements he would read an extract from a letter from Messrs. Putnam and Sons (so we understood) of Mark Lane. The Honourable Member then read a letter, in which it was stated that the prime cost of the South Australian wheat was

Per quarter 38s.
Freight 10
Other charges   5
Duty   5
58s. a quarter

in the London market, and that 384 quarters of it were sold at from 60s, to 65s. per quarter, and 380 quarters at 62s. to 70s. The sales were in October 1843. The freight of 10s. a quarter was much less than could be a remunerating return to the shipowner; but in consequence of the alteration which the Government had made, the year before last, in the duties of all articles which entered into the composition and equipment of a ship, there could be no doubt that the rate of freight must soon fall below what it had been heretofore, and that it can never recover its former standard. This he considered a circumstance of considerable importance with reference to the trade of those colonies. The Honourable Member then read a letter from Mr. Charles James Steevens, (as we understood,) of Mark Lane, in which it was stated that the quality of the South Australian wheat was equal to that of the best Essex or Kentish wheat, and that from its peculiar character, owing to the heat of the climate, it was so dried as to sustain a long voyage without injury, and that the writer's opinions were founded on personal knowledge, having sold several shipments of it. The Honourable Member then read another paper, signed, as he said, by some of the most respectable merchants in the City of London, in which the same testimony was given as to the quality of the wheat and its capability to resist the injurious action of a long voyage; and it was stated that the price it fetched would be amply remunerating but for the duty, and it was prayed that the duty should be reduced to one shilling per quarter."

Although the idea of exporting wheat from Australia to England, seems to me quite preposterous, yet when I consider the present low value of rich agricultural farms in New South Wales, (which were frequently sold, when I left the colony at less than one-tenth of the money that had been expended in their improvement alone,) situated on the banks or immediate vicinity of navigable rivers, and the present reduced rate of wages throughout that colony, I think I shall be able to shew, that the purchasers of farms thus advantageously situated, and which have been, moreover, selected in districts unvisited by long droughts, would be able to make a profit on their capital, even if the prices of wheat and maize should become as low as 3s. 4d. per bushel, or 26s. per quarter for wheat, and 1s. 9d. per bushel, or 14s. per quarter for maize; prices, it should be observed, which are lower than wheat and maize have yet fallen to, notwithstanding the long continued depressed state of the colony, and which are not more than half the average annual quotations of these kinds of grain during my residence in the colony.

Before attempting to prove this assertion, I will try to ascertain whether, at these low prices, it would be advantageous for merchants to purchase grain in Sydney for shipment to England? The maximum duty that can be charged on colonial grain, according to the "sliding scale," is five shillings a quarter on wheat, and two shillings and sixpence a, quarter on maize. As for other expenses I will assume those stated by Mr. Hutt.

Assumed price of wheat in Sydney 26s. per quarter.
Freight 10s.
Other charges   5s.
Duty   5s.

The average price of wheat in England has been for some time about 56s. and it is very unlikely to fall much below this standard: if wheat therefore could be purchased in the Australian ports for 26s. per quarter, it might be exported with great advantage to the United Kingdom; especially as the Australian wheat has been now proved, (according to Mr. Hutt's statements in parliament), to suffer no deterioration from the voyage, an advantage not possessed by the wheat of America.

Assumed price of maize in Sydney 14s. per quarter.
Freight 10s.
Other charges   5s.
Duty   2s. 6d.
31s. 6d.

Maize has never been imported by Great Britain in any quantity worth noticing, so that I am quite unable to say what price it would realize. As an occasional cheap and nutritive article of food for the working classes in England, maize meal would be found very much superior to oatmeal and barley-meal. In some parts of Southern Europe, and in the United States, maize meal is extensively used by all classes; and in Mexico it forms the main food of the inhabitants, although the crops of this kind of corn are very uncertain in that country. Many of my readers will remember Cobbett's oft-repeated eulogies of this kind of grain. Dr. Lang, the present member of Port Phillip in the Legislative Assembly, and whose long residence in New South Wales, and knowledge of its resources, render his remarks on colonial subjects worthy of great attention, writes as follows concerning maize.

"The maize of New South Wales, has been acknowledged by gentlemen well acquainted with the cultivation of that species of grain in the United States, superior to any they had seen elsewhere. It forms the favourite food of horses, and is used for the fattening of pigs and poultry; but it seldom constitutes an article of food for any class of free persons in the colony. Extravagance, indeed, has ever been one of the besetting sins of the Australian colonies, and the lowest class of free people in New South Wales are content only with the finest of the wheat; in so much that coarse bread can scarcely be procured in Sydney, except when previously ordered, or from those bakers that supply the troops and the other government establishments with bread of that quality by tender. I have seen various preparations of this grain, however, which I am sure would be relished as an article of food by thousands and tens of thousands of the labouring classes in the mother country. The meal into which it is ground is sometimes made into a sort of porridge or pudding called hominy, somewhat similar both in taste and appearance to the preparation of oatmeal so general as an article of food among the lower classes in Scotland. With an equal quantity of wheaten flour, it also makes excellent household bread, the maize meal being in the first instance reduced to the state of hominy. Indeed, maize might in all probability form a profitable article of export to the mother country, especially as it can generally be obtained at Hunter's river, of the very best quality, at from 1s. 3d. to 2s. 6d. a bushel, a price which would enable the merchants to sell it at a rate that would render it a cheap as well as wholesome article of food for the labouring classes in England. This valuable grain is much used as an article of food among the peasants of New England, who prepare it in a great variety of ways."

Now that the land-mania has subsided, and a contrary reaction has taken place, the most fertile tracts of ground, whether improved, or in a state of nature, are quite unsaleable at any price, and many beautiful, well-cultivated farms have been sold by execution at frightful sacrifices. Even when prosperity shall revisit the colony, I do not think that rural lands will ever attain a higher value than that determined by the actual profit, or income that can be derived from them yearly, all fancied value from proximity to village reserves, &c. will never more be entertained by persons of sense; and if agriculture does not yield any profit to those who embark in that pursuit, alluvial land would then indeed be totally valueless. When Dr. Lang wrote his valuable Historical and Statistical Account of New South Wales in 1834, it appears that wheat was quoted at 3s. a bushel and maize proportionally low. Now, during all the long continued commercial depression, and monetary confusion, under which the colony still suffers, and the consequent low prices obtained for all kinds of produce, the cash prices of wheat have never been so low as this. Nevertheless, that author particularly alludes to the advantages attending agricultural pursuits in New South Wales, when those who engage in them are small capitalists, especially that industrious class of working farmers with large families, whose position at home in England is so miserably dependent and precarious.

If these advantages existed then, do they no longer continue to do so? Good rich land, on navigable waters, whether improved and cultivated, or yet in a state of nature, can be purchased at the present time for probably one-fourth of the price it was worth when Dr. Lang wrote. Labour is more cheap and abundant than it ever was before; supplies of all kinds for the use of a farm, including agricultural implements, are twenty per cent, lower than they formerly were, and working bullocks and horses are much cheaper, the latter especially being not one-fourth of their former price. Besides, very extensive tracts of country have been discovered since 1834, much more suitable for agriculture than the more central parts of the colony. It would therefore appear, that if agriculture were profitable in 1834, it ought to be more so now.

But I am wandering from the subject I promised to discuss, viz., that a farmer now on the spot, to take advantage of the frightful sacrifice in landed property, with a small capital, partly invested in a cleared farm of rich soil, consisting of a portion of alluvial land, and a portion of moist forest land, situated in a district unvisited by serious droughts, and with water carriage to Sydney, would realize a tolerable profit on his money, even supposing that the price of wheat and maize in the Sydney market should fall to as low a rate as 26 shillings a quarter for wheat, and 14 shillings a quarter for maize.

Notwithstanding the prevalent notion that the periodical droughts of Australia will always render agricultural operations uncertain in that part of the world, there are even in the old settled parts of New South Wales, many districts which, from their physical conformation,[6] never suffer much from those visitations; among these favoured localities, I may enumerate, Illawarra, the Williams and Paterson rivers, the Manning river, and Port Macquarie. Numerous farms at any of these places can be readily purchased, with all the qualifications I have stipulated for.

I will therefore suppose that the small farmer purchases a farm of one hundred acres of rich land, such as I have described in the beginning of this work. A farm such as this, situated on a navigable river or creek, well fenced in, and with all necessary buildings in good repair, would not cost more than four hundred pounds, when I left the colony, although to bring it into its present improved state, from a state of nature, four times that amount had probably been expended:—

Farm £400
Farming implements, bullock gear, a dray, household furniture, &c. 160
Eight good working bullocks, well broke into the plough 30
A few pigs and poultry, and two or three cows 10

Six hundred pounds are therefore invested before commencing operations. We must now consider the current annual expenditure for rations, wages, seed, &c. By contrasting afterwards this current annual expenditure with the assumed value of the farm produce in Sydney, diminished by the expenses of freight, we shall obtain the profit or loss attendant on the undertakings.

To cultivate one hundred acres properly, and perform all the work of a farm of that size would require four men, with the occasional assistance of the farmer and his family during harvest time, &c. Another person would also be required as cook and house-servant. The ordinary rations for each labourer weekly, are ten pounds of flour, ten pounds of meat, two pounds of sugar, and one quarter of a pound of tea. Soap and tobacco are not given to free labourers.

Supposing that the farmer and his family consume four of these rations, there would be nine rations in all,[7] In the following estimate I have taken the Sydney prices of the supplies required for rations, and made thereunto a small addition, equivalent to the expense of freight and carriage to a farm, situated as I have supposed.

2¼ tons of flour £29
2¼ do. beef 20
½ ton of sugar 8
120 lbs. of tea 7
Tobacco, soap, and salt 4
Four ploughmen, at £18. 72
One house-servant 14
Wear and tear of implements, &c. 16
Seeds 30

We must now see what will be the yearly average produce which might be expected from the hundred acres, under consideration. We will suppose that the farmer has every year fifty acres of it in wheat, and fifty acres in maize, with a secondary crop on part of the ground after the maize is harvested, of swede turnips, sugar-loaf cabbages, &c. which might be sold to the cow-keepers in Sydney. Much diversity of opinion prevails with regard to the average crops of wheat, (allowing for failures), throughout the whole colony of New South Wales. It has been stated to be as low as sixteen bushels per acre, throughout the whole territory for a long period of years, but in this estimate the greater portion of the crops were rudely grown at cattle and sheep stations, for the mere supply of the shepherds and stockmen, and not the slightest attention was paid to the growing wheat, from the time that it was unskilfully sown on indifferent ground, rather scratched than ploughed, until it was reaped. In those districts, where the cultivation of the ground, and the production of grain for the Sydney market, form the principal occupation of the settler, I should consider the average crop of wheat one year with another, and allowing for losses, to be, at least, at the rate of twenty-one bushels to the acre; and indeed my own experience in colonial agriculture would induce me to suppose it higher even than this. I have heard of fifty bushels per acre of wheat being harvested on cleared forest land, and Mr. Wentworth says, that he has known one hundred bushels of maize to the acre, and fifty bushels of wheat to the acre, produced by the same ground in the same year, the maize having been planted immediately the wheat was off the ground. In the fertile southern parts of the territory of New South Wales, wheat, equal in quality to that of Van Diemen's Land, yields crops of forty bushels to the acre. I shall not be therefore going too high, in assuming twenty-one bushels per acre, as the average crop of wheat on good ground.[8]

Maize is a never-failing crop in the districts I have supposed the farm to be selected in. One hundred bushels to the acre, appears to be about the maximum crop; this has often been harvested at the Wilson river, near Port Macquarie. At our station on the MacLeay river, we never had more than seventy-five bushels to the acre, and our ordinary crop was fifty bushels; pumpkins being grown between the rows, which of course diminished the crop of maize. Dr. Lang considers eighty bushels to the acre a good crop. I shall therefore assume fifty bushels to the acre as an average crop of maize. As to the less important crop of swede turnips, cabbages, &c. they grow with greater rapidity, certainty and abundance, than on the best English soils, when planted on the alluvial flooded lands of New South Wales.

Fifty acres of wheat at the rate of 21 bushels to the acre, will yield 1050 bushels. The expense of sending the wheat to Sydney, I will assume to be ninepence per bushel, which must be deducted from the price I have taken, viz. 3s. 4d. per bushel, leaving 2s. 7d. 1050 bushels at this price will be 135 12 6
Fifty acres in maize, at the rate of 50 bushels to the acre, will yield 2500 bushels. The expense of sending maize to Sydney, I will suppose to be ninepence per bushel, which must be deducted from the price I have assumed, viz. 1s. 9d. per bushel, leaving 1s. per bushel. 2500 bushels, at one shilling will be 125   0   0
Swede turnips, cabbages, potatoes, &c.   40   0   0
£ 300   0   0
Deduct annual expenses 200   0   0
£ 100 12   6

The capital invested in the farm, agricultural implements, furniture, &c. having been £600. and the expenses of wages, &c. having been £200. the farmer would require a capital of £800. for a farm such as I have described. According to my calculation he would only realize thirteen per cent, on his £800.; but as I have included among the yearly expenses, the wages and rations for a house-servant, and supplies sufficient for a large family, something more ought to be added to obtain the real gain.

I therefore think that under all circumstances, an emigrant who selects a farm with the qualifications I have stipulated for, cannot fail of doing well, since even if wheat should fall as low as 3s. 4d. per bushel, (at which rate it could be, according to Mr. Hutt, advantageously exported to England), and maize at 1s. 9d. he would still realize thirteen per cent. according to my calculation.

I do not, however, wish it to be supposed, from the preceding observations, that wheat might be produced, in New South Wales generally, at prices so low as this. In districts subject to drought the crops would often be injured in consequence, and if land carriage had to be resorted to in order to convey farm produce to Sydney, it would evidently be impossible to grow wheat at such a low price. In fact, as I have said before, to produce grain profitably at such low prices, the land must be of the best quality, situated in a district unvisited by drought, and in the vicinity of navigable waters, and purchased for one fourth of the money originally expended on it.

At present, however, the colonists of New South Wales are so far from entertaining the idea of exporting wheat, that those who are engaged exclusively in agriculture are very urgent in their endeavours to obtain an Act imposing duties on wheat imported into the colony. The advocates of the present free trade in wheat oppose this, by arguing that Australia is not adapted for the production of wheat, on account of the extreme aridity of its soil; and that it would be contrary to all true principles of political economy to encourage, by protective duties, the production of corn in a country so unsuitable for its growth when such cheap wheat can be obtained from Chili.

Without giving any opinion of my own, as to whether it would be good or bad policy for the Legislature to impose a protective duty on wheat imported into New South Wales, I certainly think that the capabilities of that colony, as an agricultural country, have been very much underrated both in the colony itself, and in England; as to Chili, I have heard or read from good authorities, that it is a barren country, subject to great droughts; but then the Chilian agriculturists, although they use the most primitive implements of husbandry of the rudest construction, yet possess one great advantage over the English colonists of Australia,—they know how to irrigate their lands[9] As to the comparative quality of Australian wheat, and Chilian wheat, imported from Valparaiso, their respective quotations in the Sydney Morning Herald, when I left the colony in the beginning of last August, were as follow:—

Colonial wheat 4s. 6d. per bushel.
Valparaiso wheat 3s.

Agriculturists in New South Wales will therefore possess for a long time one great advantage over those of Van Diemen's Land and South Australia; for these colonies now produce more wheat than they can consume, and have become wheat-exporting countries. But owing to the large population of Sydney, and the circumstance that the majority of the inhabitants in the rural districts of New South Wales are engaged in tending sheep, cattle, and vineyards, it will be long before the comparatively small number of agriculturists in that colony grow more wheat than is equal to the consumption; although the great advance which has been made during the last eight years in our knowledge of the more distant parts of the territory of New South Wales has established the fact, that we possess in that colony, millions of acres of rich land, situated in districts unvisited by the droughts so prevalent in New Holland, watered by numerous rivers, with good harbours, and capable of producing enough grain for a population fifty times greater than the present one. Among the finest wheat districts in the territory of New South Wales are the fertile plains, of vast extent, which are situated among the ramifications of the Australian Alps, or Warragong mountains, which attain an altitude of 7000 feet above the level of the sea, and are capped by eternal snow. The squatters, who have formed stations on these plains, speak highly of the wheat they grow for the use of their establishments; wheat having always been with them a certain and abundant crop. Gipps Land, between these mountains and the sea, is also a most fertile region, possessing a vast level tract of the richest soil in one large block. In the settled parts of New South Wales, the extensive plains, in the fertile county of Argyle, have long yielded crops of wheat quite equal to Van Diemen's Land wheat; fifty bushels to the acre being of frequent occurrence. At present, however, only enough wheat is grown in this fine district to supply its thinly scattered population, for the land carriage to Sydney would be so long, that it would be impossible to grow it for that distant market. Port Philip is also a very good wheat country. The exuberant richness of the district of Illawarra is well known; shut in by an abrupt, densely wooded range of mountains it has never suffered from those severe droughts which have often visited the counties of Camden and Cumberland.[10] The northern part of the territory of New South Wales, already described in the first part of this work, is not certainly so well adapted for wheat as the southern parts of the colony, but then it yields large and certain crops of maize, millet, &c. besides which its climate and soil are well suited for the growth of rice and various productions of the tropics.

Experience has proved in Australia, that the only districts in which one may be assured of exemption from drought, are those where the chains of mountains attain a very great elevation, and throw off numerous lofty ranges extending to the sea coast; their formation, also, being of a nature favourable to fertility and moisture. Thus, in the country at the foot of the Australian Alps, which are seven thousand feet high, and the Port Macquarie district, in which the mountains are often upwards of six thousand feet in elevation, no injury or serious inconvenience has ever been sustained from long droughts. It has been lately averred that South Australia is superior, as an agricultural country, to any other of the Australian colonies. I am, however, afraid that South Australia will be found to be subject to severe droughts and scarcity of water, notwithstanding that it has now had several successive rainy seasons.

There are no mountains in that province, (for the ranges extending along the eastern shores of St. Vincent's and Spencer's gulfs, do not deserve that name), and there are no streams deserving the names of rivers; even the Murray river receives no tributaries of importance after entering the southern colony. The natural advantages of South Australia appear to me to be very inferior to those of New South Wales; for the former colony, as I have just observed, possesses no rivers of importance, with the exception of the lower Murray, and the land, beyond the mere banks of this large river, is an unavailable arid desert. There is, consequently, a great deficiency of rich alluvial land in South Australia; and although its plains of light chocolate-coloured loam, or black sandy earth, may yield, at present, good crops of wheat, they will soon require to be renovated by manure, and are quite different from those inexhaustible alluvial soils on the banks of some of the coast rivers of New South Wales. I should very much doubt whether there be land in South Australia capable of yielding two crops of grain in the same year without manure, and at the rate of fifty bushels of wheat, and one hundred bushels of maize to each acre, which, Mr. Wentworth says, have been harvested at the Hawkesbury river.[11] The near approach of the sandy wastes of the interior to the coast, will also never allow that almost unlimited extension of sheep and cattle stations in that colony, which has taken place in New South Wales. I have penned these remarks in fear and trembling, as I am aware that South Australia is much more favourably thought of in England than the other Australian colonies.

The colonists of that province are certainly much more industrious than those of New South Wales. They have been indefatigable in examining into all the natural advantages of their adopted country, and have been laudably anxious in their endeavours to make these advantages generally known in England, that those numerous classes, now receiving scarcely any return from their small properties in the mother country, might be induced to better their condition by emigrating to that thoroughly British colony. In this respect, they present a great contrast to the supineness and want of union among the colonists of New South Wales. Should the South Australian settlers find that they can continue to grow wheat at a rate low enough to allow of its being profitably exported, I have no doubt that they will become a thriving community; especially if they adopt means of irrigating their lands during seasons of drought, which, I am afraid, will visit South Australia periodically, in common with the other level parts of New Holland.

I will now make a few observations on vineyards. All persons of intelligence in New South Wales, who have acquired some knowledge of the resources of that colony, entertain the same opinion of its peculiar adaptation to become a great wine country; whilst no other branch of rural industry can be at all compared for the profits eventually attending it. It is only within the last ten years that vineyards of any extent have been planted in New South Wales; and those only by a few of the more wealthy colonists, as English emigrants have hitherto invested their capital, almost exclusively, in flocks and herds; being deterred from planting vineyards by their ignorance of the culture of the vine, the great care and attention required in the fabrication of superior wines, and the length of time before they would begin to obtain a return for their outlay.

Although wine is made in the fourth year from the plantation of the vine cuttings, yet it is not until vines attain a more mature age,—fifteen years old, for instance, that they begin to furnish the best wine they are capable of affording.

Now, although it might naturally have been expected, from the immature state of the young vineyards hitherto planted in New South Wales, and our comparative inexperience as to what kind of grapes are best suited in that country for making first rate wines, that the Australian wine, hitherto made, would have proved of an inferior description, yet the contrary result has taken place; for the generality of the wine of New South Wales, notwithstanding its newness, is of most excellent quality. I have drank some very good wine, the produce of the vineyards of the Messrs, Macarthur, &c.; and better judges of the comparative merits of wine than myself, have pronounced it worthy of bearing comparison with the finer products of the French and Rhenish vineyards. A foreign friend of mine, who returned with me lately from Sydney, and who has been all his life connected with the wine-growing districts of the Rhine, praises, in the highest terms, the colonial wine, and he has brought with him to Europe, several samples of it for exposition to the vine-growers of his native country, to prove to them the advantage which would attend their emigration to the British colony of New South Wales. He informed me that there would be little trouble in engaging any number of the vinedressers of the Rhine to emigrate to New South Wales; I mention this in passing, as I am sure that few speculations would be attended with such safe and certain profit as the plantation of extensive vineyards in that colony, to be cultivated by French or German vinedressers. Persons of large capital, or a joint stock company, might undertake this with great advantage.

The generality of the Australian wine hitherto made, approximates to the wines of Burgundy, and the other more full-bodied wines of the south of France ; though the product of the vineyards on the light sandy soils near Sydney, are more similar to the wines of Greve, Medoc, St. Emilien, and other lighter vines produced in the departement de la Gironde.

The following copy of an advertisement, in the Sydney Morning Herald, will shew the varieties of grapes successfully cultivated in New South Wales, and the price of vine cuttings : —

Vine Cuttings.
Persons who are desirous to be supplied with Vine Cuttings of the best varieties for wine, and for the table, are informed that they may be obtained from the Camden Vineyard, at the following prices:
Gousirs (La Folle) from Cognac 15s. per 1000.
Verdeilho " Madeira
Carbenet Sauvignon, from Bordeaux
Malbec " ditto
Pineau Gris " Burgundy 30s. per 1000
——— blanc and
Mealier blanc Champagne
Scyras " Hermitage
Riesling " Rhine
Raisin vert " ditto
Sauvignon cendré
Muscat Noir
——— blanc
——— rouge
——— gris
And a variety of other excellent sorts, at 5s. per hundred.

Rooted plants of the greater part of the foregoing may be had at the additional charge of 2s, per hundred.

The cuttings will be formed out of the proper description of wood, eighteen inches in length, and neatly packed in bundles of two hundred in each. Early application, in writing, addressed to the Overseer, at Camden, is requested, as a limited number only of some of the best sorts can be furnished.

Parties desirous of having cuttings delivered in Sydney, can have them forwarded at the additional charge of one shilling per bundle of two hundred.

N.B.— A large collection of choice fruit-trees, and a great variety of useful and ornamental trees, shrubs, and flowering plants, may be had, upon application to the Gardener, at Camden.

I am, unfortunately, unprovided with any authentic information respecting the annual expense hitherto attendant on the cultivation of the vine in New South Wales, and the average quantity of wine that has been obtained from any given extent ' of ground. An eminent French authority has given a statistical account of the average quantity of wine furnished by various vineyards throughout France, and the expenses attendant on its production. I have taken from his account those two vineyards which are most widely different in the comparative quantity of wine yielded by them, viz. Grève, and St. Emilien:—

St. Emilien 28 barriques par arpent
Grève   6dittoditto.

The comparative expenses attending the production of the wine—was,

St. Emilien 150 francs par arpent
Grève 125  dittoditto.

Which would be at the rate of £5. 5s. for St. Emilien, and £4. 10s. for Grève to the English acre.

It is, however, worthy of remark, that the smaller the quantity of wine that is obtained from a vineyard, the better will be the wine, and vice versâ; thus the choicer vineyards of France yield a much smaller quantity of wine than the ordinary ones; the best Medoc wines, for instance, only averaging six barriques to each arpent of ground, whilst some inferior vineyards yield thirty barriques to the arpent. Mr. Busby states that the vintage through-out France yields, one year with another, two hundred and forty-seven gallons to the acre. This quantity is, however, very much below that yielded in those central and western districts of France, where I resided for some time, and I am inclined to think that this estimate must include those extensive tracts of country in the southern parts of that kingdom, where the vines are planted at very wide intervals apart, and the intermediate spaces between the rows cultivated for wheat, barley, buck- wheat, sainfoin, &c.

The greater portion of the French vineyards are planted on poor soils, which would be unfit for any other purpose; and notwithstanding the superior delicacy and value of the wines of France beyond those of any other country, the climate of that kingdom is not, by any means, so well adapted for the vine as that of warmer countries, for besides the loss and damage incurred by frosts, the frequent hailstorms, which are peculiarly prevalent in France, do a great deal of mischief.

The Spanish vineyards round Xeres appear to yield from three to eight hundred gallons to the acre, the average quantity in the larger vineyards being about six hundred gallons for the acre.

In the excellent little treatise on the cultivation of the vine by Mr. Busby, which was published some years ago in Sydney, that gentleman observes, that Mr. William Macarthur made from an acre of vines, only five years old, two hundred and fifty gallons of wine, although a great portion of the grapes was unfortunately destroyed by a hailstorm; and he expected to make double that quantity the next year, and all other years, when unvisited by such accidents, which are fortunately of very rare occurrence in New South Wales, I do not think, therefore, that I should be assuming too great a quantity in taking four hundred gallons of wine as the average for an- acre of vines planted in that colony, on an appropriate site and suitable soil. The expenses attendant on the cultivation of the grape and production of wine, are, as I have before stated, £5. 5s for St. Emilien, and £4. 10s. for Grève, for each English acre. Near Xeres, in Spain, the expense is about £12. for the acre. In large vineyards, in France, two men are required to cultivate every ten acres of vines.[12] Assuming that in New South Wales, three men are requisite to do the same amount of labour as three Frenchmen, and that the wages of these men are £20. a year for two of them, and £36. a year for the third, (who, we will suppose, has some previously acquired knowledge of the culture of the vine), and that their rations cost £8. each, the expense of cultivating ten acres of vines in that colony would be £100., or £10. for every acre. The wages of extra hands during the vintage, cost of casks, &c. may be taken at £6. the acre, making the total annual expense, attending the production of colonial wine, £16. an acre, according to my estimate.

I will now endeavour to ascertain what would be the probable amount of capital required to establish a vineyard of one hundred acres in New South Wales, and what profit may reasonably be expected to be derived from such an investment.

In purchasing a piece of ground for the plantation of a vineyard, the buyer would of course select a light soil suitable for vines, and consequently easily trenched. The best French authorities recommend that the ground should be trenched to the depth of two feet, and in some parts of Europe the ground has been sometimes trenched to a much greater depth than this. I have, however, occasionally seen light friable soils in New South Wales, preserving an homogeneous character to the subjacent rock, and which seemed sufficiently loose to be adapted for vines without any necessity for trenching; but, in general, this operation is indispensably necessary. I will suppose that the operation of trenching the land to the depth of two feet costs £16. an acre. Land, the trenching of which would cost more than this would be altogether unfit for vines:—

One hundred acres of land suitable for a vineyard £100
Vine cuttings 200
Buildings and fences 200
Farming impLments, &c. 100
Expense of trenching the land at £16 the acre 1600
Expense of first year's cultivation at £10 per acre 1000
" second ditto ditto 1000
" third ditto ditto 1000
" fourth dittoditto 1000
" fifth dittoditto 1000
Expenses attending the vintage during the fifth year 600
The total outlay will therefore be £7,800. The interest on this money, during the first years, would be more than amply covered by the small quantity of wine made during the fourth year. Having assumed four hundred gallons of wine to the acre as the avenge quantity that may be expected from the Australian vineyards, after the fifth year, one hundred acres of vines would yield forty thousand gallons, which, if worth two shillings the gallon, would be of the value of £4000. The expenses attending the cultivation of the vine, and the fabrication of the wine, having been taken by me at £ 16. per acre, the clear yearly income after the fifth year, would be £2400. So that if the data on which I have based this calculation were correct, a person investing £ 8000. in vineyards, would be indemnified for the interest on his capital, during the first four years, by the wine of the fourth year, and ever afterwards realize an annual profit of upwards of thirty per cent, on his capital. If I have erred in the foregoing estimate, I rather think it would be in over-rating the expense, for I see that Mr. Busby estimates the expense of preparing the ground, by trenching it three spits deep, planting the vines, and four years' cultivation of them, at £48. the acre.

The wines already made in New South Wales, are, as I have before said, of very good quality, and present a great contrast to the ordinary wines from the Cape; for those of the former colony have in no instance been impregnated with that disagreeable earthy flavour which is so predominant in the wines of Southern Africa. In feet, there is no other dependency belonging to the British Crown, which is so well adapted to produce superior wines and brandy as Australia, for which articles of consumption, Great Britain is entirely dependent on foreign countries. It will be some years before Australia can produce more wine than her inhabitants can consume. Whenever that time will arrive, India and the mother country, will take all she can supply.

I have observed, in the preceding observations on the MacLeay river, that the geological formation of the country, exercises a most marked influence on the quality of wine produced from vines grown on it. Thus the vineyards Ay and Epemay, which yield the best Champagne wines, have been planted on a poor clayey soil lying on chalk, which is so little below the surface, that it is frequently exposed at one spit deep. The wines of the province of Anjou, although little known in England, are much esteemed in France; the vines which produce them grow on schistose slate, and some of the best vineyards on the Rhine grow also on the same formation. The villages of Côte-Rôtie, l'Hermitage, la Romaneche, Chenard, Banjeu, enjoy the highest reputation for their wines, the basis of the country being granite. Vineyards planted on volcanic soils in France produce wines of very variable quality; thus near the Rhine they are very good on these soils, whilst in Auvergne they are execrable.

The variety of grape used in making wine has also great influence upon its quality; thus some varieties that yield good wine in a cold country might yield indifferent wine in a warmer country; and vice versâ; also some varieties thrive best in one kind of soil, and some in another. In a new country like Australia, it will only be from actual experience, that we can eventually acquire a knowledge of the varieties of wines best suited to its climate and soils, for yielding the best possible wines that can be produced in that colony.

The oldest vines have always been considered in France to yield the best wine; and in some of the best vineyards, at Vongeot near Dijon, Migraine near Auxerre, and Epemay, the vines are at least five hundred years old. It is this consideration that has induced the system of cultivating the vine, generally adopted throughout the provinces of Burgundy and Champagne, which consists in never uprooting the old vines, but in drawing them down to the ground, and covering them with earth every few years. In Italy, also, some of the vines are three hundred years old, but in the south- western part of France, in which I resided some time, I have heard, that the vines are in general replanted about once every forty years. With regard to the distance vines should be planted from each other, no determinate rule can be assigned, for in France not only different districts, but even adjacent villages, differ essentially in their mode of planting. In some parts of that kingdom, the cuttings are placed in the ground scarcely a yard asunder, and in others immense intervals are left between them, which are made use of for the ordinary objects of culture. In those villages to the south of the Loire, where I have occasionally examined the vineyards, the vines were very generally growing from three to four feet from each other, in rows, about six feet apart. At Xeres, in Spain, the vine cuttings are generally planted five feet every way.[13]

The best mode of training the vines in New South Wales would be on trellisses, which are preferable to the low props used in some parts of France; for if the vines were kept as low to the ground in the colony, as they are in the northern parts of France, and on the Rhine, the reflected heat of the sun, would perhaps be detrimental to them. Not having interested myself much in vineyards, during my residence in New South Wales, from being constantly engaged in other avocations, I regret that I am unable to furnish any account of the mode of planting, and system of cultivation, adopted in the extensive vineyards of the Messrs. Macarthur, at their beautiful estate at Camden. In other parts of the colony I have seen small vineyards, where the vines were trained on trellisses, constructed according to the plan recommended by the late Mr. Shepherd, and they looked very well. In Italy vines are often planted at the foot of low-sized forest trees, and allowed to climb up them unrestrained. The trees generally employed for this purpose are elms and sycamores. In some parts of the south of France, in the valleys near the foot of the Alps and Pyrenees, this mode of training the vine is sometimes resorted to; only the French are more careful than the Italians, as they keep the trees well trimmed, and carry the vines in festoons from one tree to another. In New South Wales the lower slopes of fertile ranges are very frequently lightly wooded by the Angophora lanceolata, or colonial apple-tree. As sites near the subsidence of ranges are those which would be best suited for vines in that colony, might not these trees, which are low-sized and gnarled, be available for the same purposes as the elms and sycamores of Italy and France? In France, during the winter, the ground between the vines is generally broken up by the plough, although the hoe or the spade is sometimes used for that purpose. This operation should be performed as soon after the vintage as possible, the branches being first removed so as to offer no impediment. It is not necessary to go deeper than eight or ten inches, and in a dry country like New South Wales, it might be a good plan to draw the earth in the form of a dos d'ane between the rows of vines. After the first pruning in the beginning of summer, the ground is again lightly worked, and the weeds cleared away from the roots of the vines. The best way of doing this, is to skim the ground between the rows, lightly over with the plough, and afterwards hoe the ground round the roots of the vines, where the plough had not reached. When the bunches begin to form, the weeds are again lightly skimmed off the surface, the common scarifier would, in some cases, be very serviceable for this work.

Manure is occasionally used in France for vineyards, as the quantity of wine is invariably increased thereby, but at the same time its quality is much deteriorated. In the more sandy soils of New South Wales, a dressing of stable manure and wood-ashes, applied at the time that the ground is trenched, would materially assist the growth of the cuttings, without being in any way injurious to them; but on the richer soils on the lower slopes of ranges, composed of mountain limestone, clay-slate, or whinstone, no such application would be necessary.

In a country like New South Wales, where wood is so abundant that every tree felled helps to increase the value of the land, wood -ashes would form a cheap and excellent application to vines, which would increase the quantity of the wine without imparting any disagreeable flavour to it. In some of the best continental vineyards, no manure is however used in any form; but when, after a very long course of years, the ground becomes very much exhausted, a dressing of richer mould, (of the same chemical elements as the original soil of the vineyard if it can be procured,) is applied.

I have frequently alluded, in the previous portion of this work, to the soils best adapted for vines in New South Wales. If the land intended for a vineyard in that colony should be of that description, the vine-cuttings may be planted as soon as the land is trenched, but if there should be a predominance of argile in the soil it would be preferable to allow the ground to lie fallow for one year so as to become mellowed by exposure to the sun, and the chemical action of the atmospheric gases.

Vine-cuttings are generally planted with a dibble, but the holes are sometimes made with a spade in very loose ground, and in France in clayey soils a trench is sometimes opened down each row to place the cuttings in, as the compression of the surrounding particles made by & dibble in a tenacious soil, would have an injurious effect on the growth of the cuttings. As each is placed in the ground, a small quantity of light earth moistened with water should be applied around it, and if wood-ashes be mixed with the earth, the efficacy of this application in causing the cutting to throw out roots, will be much increased.

In writing this hasty work, the object I had in view, was to endeavour to analyse the degree of profit likely to attend, henceforward, the rural occupations of New South Wales, without entering into any details respecting these occupations themselves. I shall not therefore extend my observations on the cultivation of the vine; especially as an excellent practical treatise on its culture, and the art of making wine has been published in the colony some years ago by Mr. Busby, a gentleman to whose disinterested liberality and public spirit the colonists are indebted for some of their best varieties of grape, which he obtained from the nursery of the Luxembourg at Paris, and from the Botanic Garden of Montpellier.

I have heard that Mr. Busby has been very successful in the production of wine at his farm on the banks of the Upper Hunter, and many of the surrounding settlers have been induced to follow his example in planting vineyards on their farms. Indeed all the colonists are now aware of the advantage of investing capital in vineyards; but as it requires a considerable sum of money to form vineyards of any extent, and as the adverse circumstances of the colony have deprived the colonists of all their available funds, it will only be from the renewed emigration of persons with capital from England, going out expressly to become wine-growers, that New South Wales will ever become the great wine country for which she has been designed by nature.

  1. It would be, perhaps, more profitable to the colonists of New South Wales to convert their tallow into stearine, and send it in that form to England.
  2. Since I wrote these remarks on sheep, I have seen Sydney papers of as late a date as last Christmas. From them I find that sheep have not risen beyond the value of three shillings per head. Nevertheless, according to contemporaneous advices from the neighbouring colony of South Australia, sheep are quoted there at from eight to ten shillings per head!! There are quite as many sheep in the latter colony as in New South Wales, in proportion to the population, and the South Australian wool is of inferior price in the home market to that from Sydney. I cannot, therefore, account for the discrepancy.
  3. The duty on foreign tallow is 3s. 2d. per cwt., and from British possessions only 3d. per cwt.
  4. According to the latest advices from Sydney, cattle cannot be sold for more than 18s. to £1. per head, whilst in the neighbouring colony of South Australia, which possesses as many cattle, in proportion to its population, as New South Wales, they are quoted at from £3. 10s. to £5. per head.
  5. If horned cattle were purchased in New South Wales at a price determined by the mere value of their hides and tallow in the English markets, the stockholder would of course no longer suffer from those vicissitudes in the value of cattle, and the impossibility of making sales for his surplus stock, which have latterly rendered the profits attending colonial grazing pursuits so very precarious. For in that case if there should be no demand for live bullocks in Sydney, the stockholder would always be able to realize a sufficiently remunerative sum by slaughtering them for their hides and tallow.
  6. Those districts near the coast, which are pent in by high mountain ranges, are refreshed by frequent rains, whilst the level country in the interior is quite desiccated and burnt up.
  7. The farmer's family would, also, of course be abundantly supplied with poultry, eggs, milk, cream, vegetables, &c. from the farm at no expense.
  8. Dr. Lang says, that the average of the colony, is not higher than twenty to twenty-five bushels; but he observes that the system of husbandry prevalent in certain parts of the territory is wretched in the extreme.
  9. Hints for Australian Emigrants, with Engraving and explanatory Descriptions of the Water-raising Wheels, and Modes of Irrigating Land in Egypt, Syria, South America, &c. By Peter Cunningham, R.N. Author of "Two Years in New South Wales."
  10. During the years of drought many small agriculturists actually abandoned the land they had cleared and cultivated, and of which they possessed the freehold in other districts, to cultivate a few acres of land on lease in the district of Illawarra—Dr. Lang.
  11. The slovenly mode of cultivating the soil at this river, to ensure two crops a year off the same ground, is another proof of its richness, for after the wheat is off the ground, the maize is planted in the stubble without breaking up the land. The Hawkesbury river is not, however, a good agricultural district, as it is subject to great drought and violent floods; the wheat produced on its banks is also of very inferior quality.
  12. Mr. Busby says, that in France it is reckoned, that after a vineyard is once planted, one man will be able to cultivate about four acres and a half, not counting the labours of the vintage.
  13. Mr. Busby recommends that on a poor sandy or stoney soil the rows should be four feet from each other, and the plants three feet apart in the rows. But on a good strong loam or alluvial soil, the distance of the rows from each other must be six feet and the plants four feet apart.