returns are inaccurate, but since the sheep returns appear to be under stated to the extent of something like 27 per cent, it is not unreasonable to assume that the cattle have been short reckoned in pretty much the same ratio, and that our numbers ought to have exceeded two millions and a half at the time the returns were taken. The decrease, if it really exists, can only be assigned to the effect of the pleuro-pneumonia and the last two years' drought combined. Great losses from both causes have been suffered, but, looking to large natural increase, it can hardly be to the extent which these figures would indicate. But, be this as it may, we possessed at the end of last year five (5) head of horned cattle, more or less, and 27 sheep, for every man, woman, and child in the colony— or for every 100 of the population 500 cattle and 2700 sheep.
The agricultural statistics for Ireland for the 1861 showed only 61 sheep, and 60 head of cattle, to every 100 of the population.
I dare say some of you may remember to have heard or read Sir William Denison's paper on the supply of meat, in which he endeavoured to show that, supposing the number of mouths went on increasing in the same ratio as it had done, these colonies were not producing beef and mutton enough to keep pace with the increasing population. This was in 1858, and the figures he quoted were as follows, viz.:—