« EdellinenJatka »
This little book is a humble attempt to commence a series of Registers, or Books of Reference, that may from time to time faithfully reflect the progress of this extraordinary Colony. The present, however, is to be considered merely an introductory volume.
It was my intention to have made the work far more comprehensive, but mechanical difficulties of no ordinary kind, and the pressure of multifarious duties, have stayed its development, and given it somewhat of a fragmentary character. But I trust even its shortcomings may prove of service; inasmuch as they will indicate, in one portion of the book at least, what is wanting to complete the foundation of a broail statistical system, suited to our need, and worthy of the age. With regard to Vital Statistics," as shewn in the article on the Registrar General Depatment, Victoria is in many important respects in advance of other ytintes det och requires to be done to render her altogether equal to other countries in the cultivation of a science of inestimable value and daily increasing repute. It is, perhaps, too early to expect her to keep pace with England or Belgium, France or Germany. In those countries are to be found such eminent statists as Farr, Neison, Porter, Quetelet, Dupin, Villermé, Hoffman, Schubert, and Ramon de la Sagra. Some of these, I have good reason to know, are waiting with interest for the time when they may obtain the results of certain social problems now at work in our Colony, and they will be pleased to see even the present mite of information cast into their ever-accumulating treasury of facts by a humble disciple.
I have to express my gratitude to all those who have at various times assisted me in my task, by counsel, information, or actual labor. The late Lieutenant Governor, C. J. La Trobe, took a warm interest in the progress of the work, and read over with me several of the proofs; and the spirit evinced by His Excellency communicated itself to most of the Government Departments. To the gentlemen engaged in the Registrar General's Department I am especially indebted. They have, on all occasions, shewn a zeal in the performance of extra labors, as well as in the discharge. of