"The official year book of the Commonwealth of Australia, in an interesting chapter on special characteristics of Australian population, gives statistics of the ratio of males to females over the whole country.
At the end of 1908 there were 111 males to every 100 females.
But this proportion has to be subdivided according to the districts. For instance, in Victoria the numbers of men and women have been practically identical for several years. In Tasmania there are 105 men to every 100 women. This naturally increases the disproportion in other districts, and in Western Australia and Queensland there are females, according to the census of 1901), and the scarcity of members of our sex in these parts of Australia, some of the autocrats of history would have summarily adjusted matters. It is impossible to legislate on the subject in a free country like England; but every inducement should be held out by Government to induce women and girls to emigrate.
In 1908 there were in Queensland 299,953 males and 252,392 females; in Western Australia, 154,625 as against 112,486. There are, then, in Queensland, 47,561 men without wives; and in Western Australia there are 42,139 of these unfortunate beings. A respectively 137 and 119 men to every 100 women.
By courtesy of the Agent-general of Victoria
In these two great districts, then, domestic woman is wanted in her thousands. She need not be of the servant class, but she must be capable of doing housework of every kind, and she will be happy if she has the true woman's enjoyment in making people comfortable.
Such a woman may find a settler's home in dirt and discomfort, disorder and neglect, and in a single week she will have made a transformation in the condition of things. In a month all signs of mismanagement will have disappeared, and the master of the house has good meals, well-cooked and tempting, set before him with clean napery and agreeable surroundings, contrasting pleasantly with the previous state of things.
With our enormous superfluity of women here at home (93.63 males to each hundred man without a woman to take charge of his home is usually a helpless and uncomfortable individual. Hard at work out of doors all day, he comes home almost too worn out to take the trouble to cook a meal for himself, and yet needs good nourishing food after many hours' outlay of strength and vigour. There is a mission for Englishwomen in this matter. The great bulk of these men are Australian born, chiefly of British parentage. The statistics of birthplace of the total population of Australia give the percentage as follows:
Australia........ 77 . 23
New Zealand...... o . 68
United Kingdom .. .. 18.03 Other European countries 1.98
America........ 0 . 33
It is curious that in Queensland and Western Australia the Australian-born represent a much smaller, and those born in Europe and Asia a much larger, proportion than is the case with the remaining states. More than 25 per cent. of Queensland's population alone consists of natives of the United Kingdom.
A pamphlet is published by authority of the High Commissioner for Australia (obtainable on application to 15, Victoria Street, S.w.) showing what Australia offers to capable domestic servants with good references. A beautiful and healthy climate, regular employment, good wages, protection on the voyage and on arrival, and introductions to the right kind of employer. Assisted passages are granted by several states of the Commonwealth. The ordinary third-class fare to Australia is from £16 to 20, but approved domestics to Western Australia are granted passages at from 5 to £7. Queensland gives passages free to approved domestics between seventeen and thirty-five years of age. Other states give assisted passages, but not at such generous reductions. Their need is not so great.
Let us take Western Australia, one of the districts dealt with particularly in this paper. The reduced rates are as follows:
In a two-berth cabin ......£5
In a four-berth cabin ......£4
In a cabin with more than four berths £2 Servants have to deposit £2 towards their fare, and this money will be returned to them on their acceptance of an engagement in domestic service on arival in Western Australia.
The third-class accommodation is excellent. The cabins are well-ventilated, bright, and scrupulously clean. The food is ample, well-cooked, and comfortably served. The voyage, whether by the Mediterranean, through the Suel Canal, and out past India, or round by the Cape of Good Hope, is an interesting one. The former route occupies from five to six weeks, the latter from six to eight.
British girls command good wages, varying according to their capability. They may earn from 10s. to 15s., or even £\, a week, in addition to board and lodging; and good cooks command much higher wages still.
Emigrants to Queensland, if agricultural labourers, are given free passages, provided with suitable accommodation on arrival, and are guaranteed a year's employment at wages approved by the Government of the state. A daughter going out with such a man would have a free passage if over the age of seventeen and under thirty-five. A further inducement held out to emigrants is that nominated passages are granted under which persons resident in Queensland can obtain passages for relatives and personal friends in the United Kingdom on payment of the following rates:
Males between eighteen and forty, £4; females between eighteen and forty, £2; males and females over forty and under fifty-five, £8.
Circumstances of this description offer a part solution of the pressing problem of non-employment in Great Britain. One domestic servant, who emigrated three years ago, has been given a free passage for her parents and a sister, and this is a usual occurrence. A large percentage of women who emigrate marry. Many save money, and invest it in land or a business, rising rapidly in the world, whereas at home they would have but little chance of emerging ever from the servant class.
Wellington Point, a scene of unrivalled beauty, nineteen miles from Brisbane, capital of Queensland. The social side of life in Australia is not neglected, and the climate affords endless opportunities for out-door amusements and sports