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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 70

New Capital Arrived, with Corrections as stated

New Capital Arrived, with Corrections as stated.

Years. Victoria. New South Wales. Queensland.
Total £ Total £ Total £
1877 to 1881 1,589,911 5,348,941 1,010,605
1882 to 1886 12,518,753 23,466,232 10,297,309
1887 to 1891 37,615,249 4,332,457 Excess exports (£4,759,906)

The aggregate of these figures is again nine-two millions; but the corrected distribution reduces the Victorian total from sixty-five to fifty-two millions, increases the New South Wales total from twenty-seven to thirty-three millions, and creates a Queensland total of seven millions. It matters little how these figures are looked at; any way and every way they are remarkable. The figures in regard to Victoria are of exceptional interest; indeed, they are probably without parallel in the whole history of finance. Never before have a single million of people had thirty-seven millions sterling thrown into their midst in the brief period of five years. The "leaps and bounds" shown by the advance from one-and-a-half millions to twelve-and-a-half millions are great enough for special comment, but the advance from twelve-and-a-half millions to thirty-seven-and-a-half millions is simply bewildering. The figures for New South Wales are in another way almost equally remarkable, the rise from five millions to twenty-three millions, followed by a drop to four millions, shows a most notable fluctuation. As for Queensland, page 15 the changes have really been of a more violent nature than in either of the other two colonies.*

In the case of New Zealand, which has been dealt with at knight, it was clearly shown that the years of exuberant prosperity—the years when everything was "booming"—were the Tears when new capital was pouring freely into the colony. The same state of things is most vividly illustrated in the figures we are now dealing with. Take Victoria, it is well-known that the first five-year period was not a brilliant time. It is also well-known that during the second period there was a substantial improvement, which became more and more marked, until in the third period this improvement culminated in an outburst of prosperity such as the world seldom sees. In the case of New South Wales the first period was a generally brighter one than in Victoria, and it will probably be admitted that the time when prosperity reached its "booming" period in this colony corresponds with the five-year period 1882 to 1886. Passing along to Queensland we find, as already stated, violent fluctuations. Daring the first period Queensland was forging ahead slowly, the second period was one of very great expansion, the third period has been, as Queenslanders know to their sorrow, one of painful depression, Referring to the table, it will be seen that in every instance the period of supreme prosperity was also the period when capital was flowing most freely into the colony.

page 16

We get a still clearer view of the facts we are putting forward by finding and comparing the arrivals of new capital fat each 1000 of the population.

* After this was published the Author observed the necessity of keeping a distinction between the excess of imports in the external trade and in the intercolonial. Australasian goods are naturally of more value in the loading ftp in the shipping port, by reason of the freight, &c. Thus, 1,000 tons of Sal shipped in New South Wales for Victoria at 10s. per ton would present an export of £500, and if the freight were 5s. per ton the ship-sent would represent an import of £750, But there would not be an import of £250 capital, that sum would simply represent earnings. In the per 1890, the intercolonial imports were valued at £1,441,683 more than the exports. It is impossible to distribute this sum accurately amongst the bus colonies, but the aggregate Australasian imports of new capital may it taken as reduced from that amount in 1890. The alteration does not effect the general argument, especially as the difference was allowed for in eme of the later calculations. It in no way touches the question of the aggregate indebtedness, nor that of the yearly interest, it simply touches the pint of the proportion of the total new capital left to be imported after balancing interest charges. The intercolonial trade is almost wholly carried on in colonial-owned vessels, while the external trade is almost wholly carried on in British or foreign vessels.