Page:Statesman's Year-Book 1899 American Edition.djvu/672

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32tfc THE BRITISH EMPIUE : — WESTERN AUSTRALIA

out of public money. There are also two native and half-caste institutions

2 Industrial Schools and 1 Reformatory, supported in a similar manner.

There is a daily average (1897) of 352 persons in the colony receiving assistance from charitable institutions.

Finance.

The revenue and expenditure of the colony in the last five years were as follows : —

Years

Revenue

Expenditure

£

£

1893

570,651

640,801

1894

863,679

755,564

1895

1,438,717

1,212,314

1896

•2,440,390

2,362,003

1897

2,843,775

3,236,044

About 38 per cent, of the public income is derived from customs duties (1,076,330Z. in 1897), and the rest mainly from railways, the Post Office and leases of Crown lands. Western Australia had a public del)t of 7,608,480/. at the end of 1897. The annual charge for the debt in 1897 was 303,153/. The sinking fund on June 30, 1897, amounted to 205,637/.

Defence.

The volunteer infantry comprises one regiment, composed of six companies, two country companies of rifles, and one of infantry, armed with the Martini-Metford rifles. There are also two batteries of artillery. One com- pany of permanent artillery is established at the Albany forts. The annual expenditure on these fortifications is divided between the Australian colonies in proportion to the respective populations. The total number of officers is 40, that of warrant officers 5, and of men 720. The total expenditure for defences for 1897 was 18,497/.

Production and Industry.

The agricultural prosperity of the colony has greatly increased in recent years ; there were 133,182 acres of land under crop during 1897, out of a total of 624,588,800 acres. The live stock consisted, at the end of 1897, of 62,222 horses, 244,971 cattle, and 2,210,742 sheep. At the census of 1891, 8,746 persons w^ere returned as directly engaged in agricultural pursuits — exclusive of their families ; 6,380 persons were engaged in industrial pursuits.

At the close of 1897, of the cultivated area, 38,705 acres were under wheat, 1,694 under barley, 1,678 under oats, and 80,938 under hay. The total area alienated, or in process of alienation, in the colony up to the end of 1897 was 8,847,044 acres, of which 31,450 acres were alienated during 1897, and 491,813 acres taken up under conditional purchase. The average produce per acre was — wheat 10-56 bushels, barley 13*83 bushels, oats 17*44 bushels, maize (only 243 acres) 19*84 bushels, and hay 93 ton to the acre. There were in 1897 2,654 acres under vines, 1,252 acres being used for wine making, 533 acres aie used for table purposes, and 869 acres not yet bearing. There were in the colony in 1897, 4,001 leases of gold mines ; men employed in the mines, 17,903 ; output of gold, 674,994 oz., value 2,564,977/.; five leases of silver mines ; forty leases of copper mines ; output of copper, 86 tons, value 1,033/.; two leases of tin mines, output of tin 96 tons, value