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These figures show that, for the transmission of small amounts, postal notes are rapidly superseding money orders. While in 1900 the number of money orders issued was less than half that of postal notes, the value of the latter was only slightly over one-fourth of the value of money orders, the average value of postal notes being 7s. 3d. as compared with £3 4s. 4d. for money orders.

BANKRUPTCI ES.

The bankruptcy laws of the different states are even more dissimilar than the laws on most other questions of importance ; they have also been fluctuating, and the subject of many experiments and amendments. This renders any work of comparison difficult and unsatisfactory. Returns are available for all the states for the year 1900, and are given below. In connection with the table it may be pointed out that the figures are exclusive of 74 liquidations in Queensland, with liabilities stated at £101,412, and assets at £79,501 ; and also of 141 private arrangements under the Insolvency Act in South Australia, for which the assets and liabilities are not stated. The Victorian figures include 149 Deeds of Arrangement under the Act of 1897, the liabilities of which were £168,700, and the assets £159,771 :

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Little, if any, reliance can be placed upon the statements made by bankrupts as to the position of their affairs, the assets being invariably exaggerated. Taking the figures given above for what they are worth, it would appear that the average amount of liabilities per bankrupt was £784, and of assets, £415, showing a deficiency of £369. In the following table the average figures for the last ten years for which retums are available are given, except for Western Australia, for which

complete returns are only available for eight years; the assets, however, have been omitted, since the statements, so far as some of the states are concerned, are palpably worthless. The Victorian figures include the “ Deeds of Arrangement” for the years 1898 to 1900, while the South Australian returns are exclusive of private arrangements, which averaged 191 per annum :

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Australasia

2,974

4,671,557

804

EMPLOYMENT AND PRODUCTION.

obtain a fair approximation of the number of persons engaged in

the various walks of life in Australasia was impossible before the census of 1891 was taken, for although at the Census enumerations of 1881 and previous years the occupations of the people were made a feature of the inquiry, the classification, which followed closely that originally devised by the late Dr. Farr, was unsatisfactory, as it completely failed to distinguish between producers and distributors. To avoid a repetition of this defect the Census Conference, held at Hobart in March, 1890, abandoned the English system and adopted a scheme of classification more in accordance with sound principles. This classification was reviewed at the conference of Statisticians held in Sydney in February, 1900, and was adopted, with very slight modification, for use at the decennial Census of 1901. Under this classification the population is divided into two great sections, bread-winners and dependents ; and the bread-winners are arranged in their natural classes of producers and distributors, with their various orders and suborders. The census results of several of the states were, unfortunately, not available at the time this volume was printed, and it is, therefore, not possible to give particulars of each class of employment for the year 1901, while a statement based on the results ofthe previous census would probably be misleading, in consequence of the great changes that have taken place during the past ten years.

At the time of the census there were in Australia and New Zealand 1,469,661 male persons between the ages of 15 and 65 years, the period of life usually termed the supporting ages. These were distributed amongst the various scates as follows :New South Wales

434,325 Victoria.........

358,136 Queensland

173,046 South Australia

111,876 Western Australia

83,510 Tasmania

53,164

Commonwealth New Zealand

1,214,057

255,604

Australasia

1,469,661

The number of bread-winners in a country is usually in excess of the number of males at the so-called supporting ages, due to the employment of boys under 15 years and the continued activity of men over 65 years of age, and Australia is not an exception to the rule. The following table gives for each state the number of bread-winners—male and female-at The close of the first quarter of 1901 ; for some states the figures are approximations only

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The surprising feature in these figures is the large number of females shown to be employed. Of the 399,000 stated above, about two-fifths are in domestic service, or engaged in connection with board or lodging houses, one-fourth in some form of manufacturing, principally in factories, while dairying and farm work employ about 10 per cent., and professional pursuits a like number.

The number of dependents in each State is set out in the following statement, which must be taken as approximate only, since the actual figures, as ascertained at the census in March, 1901, have not in all cases been published :

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Under the various chapters devoted to the discussion of agriculture, dairying, grazing, mining, &c., particulars regarding the value of the production of the great primary industries have been given at some length; combining the results there shown with the value of manufactures, the total value of production during the year 1901 was £141,156,000, of which amount the total of each state and the value per inhabitant were as follow :

State.

Value of
Production.

Value
per Inhabitant.

New South Wales
Victoria
Queensland
South Australia
Western Australia
Tasmania ...

£
38,954,000
28,926,000
16,933,000
10,314,000
12,544,000
5,033,000

£ s. d. 28 7 9 24 0 il 33 11 5 28 S 2 66 17 11 28 19 10

Commonwealth
New Zealand

112,704,000
28,452,000

29 12 7
36 10 4

Australasia

141,156,000

30 16 0

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