THE most important series in this Part of the Record Group are the annual "Blue Books", both returns and duplicates, and the departmental estimates.
One of the Colonial Secretary's chief duties was to compile, for transmission to the Colonial Office by the Lieutenant-Governor, the annual "Blue Book" of returns showing the state of the Colony's official, financial, agricultural, commercial and demographic progress. The returns were required to be made according to a set form, more or less uniform for all British colonies,50 and also the Colonial Secretary had to furnish half-yearly statistical returns relating to the Civil Establishment, Revenue and Expenditure, the Military, Judicial and Ecclesiastical Establishments, Education, Commerce, Manufactures, Agriculture, Land Grants, Public Works and Population.51 Strict instructions were issued by the Colonial Office as to the form of the returns, particularly those relating to finance.52
In using the series of departmental estimates (CSO53), it should be remembered that the administration of colonial finance underwent some basic changes during the period covered by this Record Group. At first the Colony was entirely dependent on Imperial funds; as colonial resources developed the Imperial estimate was progressively cut, and a distinction was made between those expenses which were normal to a British colony (for which the Colony itself became increasingly responsible), and those expenses which were attributable to the Colony's penal character (for which Great Britain remained responsible). Though the series of estimates in CSO53 covers only a limited period comparable papers are to be found in many other series; particularly among the correspondence records of Part 1, and also, in a more definitive form, in the Lieutenant-Governor's despatches to the Secretary of State (GO10).
The other series comprising this Part of the Record Group are single volumes of returns of a non-recurring nature, and are sufficiently described in the appropriate places.
The papers bound in this series are the original departmental returns, office drafts and memoranda from which the "Blue Book" and the statistical tables were compiled. Since the set of duplicate "Blue Books" (CSO50) is incomplete, they are an important source of information, which may itself be supplemented by reference to files in CSO1, in those cases where the original returns were registered and bound in the correspondence series (e.g., CSO1, files 14239, 14917, 16743, 17660, 16120, 16714, 17119, 17429, 17527, 17810, 17860, 18399).
The completeness, form, variety and subject coverage vary from volume to volume; therefore it is possible only to indicate here in a general way the type of material available, without guaranteeing that any particular statement will be found regularly for all years. Returns commonly included are: Civil Establishment (giving name, office, date of appointment, authority of appointment, salary, allowances); Pensions; Military; Civil and Criminal legal actions; Colonial Legislation; Population (under various categories); Land alienation; Convict returns (under various categories); Revenue and Expenditure; Manufactures, Produce and Stock, Mines and Fisheries; Shipping, Imports and Exports, Immigration and Emigration; Ecclesiastical, Churches, Schools; Public works. Volumes 8 (1841-44) and 10 (1842-44) include returns of a statistical nature not likely to be found elsewhere. A detailed list of the statistical returns called for in 1842 is to be found on page 85 of CSO49/10.
Though not completely uniform, the returns and other schedules of this series are far less variable from year to year than those described under CSO49; the contents of a fairly typical volume are given as a general guide, and variations are indicated below: schedule of taxes, fees, duties and all other sources of revenue; abstract of net revenue and expenditure; expenditure incurred by the colony on account of military defence; Returns of public works, (a) of a military nature, (b) of a civil nature; Return of military forces; Expenditure incurred by the Imperial Government in the colony; Alphabetical list of officers of the Civil Establishment; Return of the Civil Establishment (arranged by department, and giving office, name, date of appointment, by whom appointed and by what authority, salary, fees and other emoluments, leave); similar returns of the Military, Judicial and Ecclesiastical Establishments; Colonial pensions; Recapitulations of the Establishments, giving totals of expenditure for each; Legislation (giving date passed and substance); Legislative and Executive Councils (giving name of member, date of appointment and confirmation, other offices held); Returns of population, by Police District, subdivided under male and female, free and bond, and giving distribution by employment, births, marriages and deaths; Return of churches and livings, giving population of parish, name of incumbent, area of glebe etc., number of persons attending church, and subdivided by denomination; Return of Schools, giving location, whether public or free, name of master, number of scholars, method of instruction, mode of maintenance; Rates of exchange of British and colonial currency; amount and
type of coin in circulation; amount of paper currency in circulation; weights and measures used; Imports and exports, giving description and quantity, where from and to, value, number of ships inward and outward; Return of produce and stock, subdivided by district and giving crops, kinds of stock, kinds of produce and prices; Returns of manufactories, mines and fisheries, giving kind of manufacture and quantity, kind and quantity of mineral mined, description of fish, number of boats employed, quantity and value of fish; Returns of lands alienated, whether granted, purchased or leased, and giving name, occupation and station of grantee, date of grant, area, location, amount of quit-rent, purchase money or rent; Return of gaols and prisoners, giving name and situation of prison, capacity, type of punishments, number of inmates under various categories, number of deaths and casualties; Questionnaire (printed) answered on the internal economy of colonial gaols.
After 1840, comparative statements of revenue and expenditure (current and preceding year) are included.
In addition to CSO49, CSO52, CSO53, CSO54 this series may be supplemented by the Colonial Office series of Tasmanian "Blue Books" available on microfilm, Reels 1194-1201 of the National Library - Mitchell Library Joint Copying Project; this is series CO 284/44-78 in the Public Record Office, and the volumes cover the period 1822-58. Finally, many returns of a more specialised nature are to be found as enclosures in the Lieutenant-Governors' despatches to the Secretary of State (GO10). After 1856 the "blue book" was printed as part of the Statistics of Tasmania.
These returns give the name of the proprietor of the land, the nature of the crop grown and number of acres and number and type of stock each proprietor owns. The Returns were used in the compilation of the Blue Book for 1827.
Arthur's police system was based on the nine police districts of the island. At the head of the department was the Chief Police Magistrate, resident at Hobart; in each Police District there was to be an establishment of clerks, constables and field police as the area and population of the district warranted; later, sub-Police Districts were placed under an Assistant Police Magistrate. Each division of a Police District was to be placed in the charge of a division constable, and the field Police were distributed throughout the district at the orders of the Police Magistrate.
The papers in this volume are monthly returns of the police establishment of all police districts, subdivided by: Police Magistrate or Assistant Police Magistrate, Chief Constables, Clerks, Police Officers, Chief District Constables, Division Constables, Constables, Field Police, Patrols, Messengers, Flagellators. Also there are comprehensive returns of all police districts at particular dates, two quarterly reports by the Chief Police Magistrate, and sundry returns of offences and punishments.
These are detailed returns of the sources of colonial revenue for one year; it is unlikely that there was ever a series of such volumes, for in other years similar returns may be found scattered among various series, in particular, the correspondence series of Part 1 and CSO53.
The first two returns of this series are comprehensive of total revenue, while the remainder itemise the revenue obtained under various headings: quit-rents, sale of Crown land, distillation duties, publicans' licences, wholesalers' licences, departmental fees, rent for quarries and sale of government property, slaughtering dues, auction duties, postal fees, canteen rent, dues under the Impounding Act, fines for the non-fulfilment of the conditions of land grants, fees on grants, market dues, pew rents, etc., and sundry other sources, such as sums recovered, loans repaid and interest. Most returns are arranged by district and give details of the individual from whom the revenue is derived.
It should be noted that these papers are principally those used in the compilation of the colonial estimates submitted to the Legislative Council, and do not therefore fully document the departments and services financed partly or wholly from Imperial funds (see Introductory Note to this Part). A typical schedule for the colonial estimates (that for 1841) is as follows:
I. Civil Establishment
Lieutenant-Governor's Establishment, Executive and Legislative Councils, Colonial Secretary's Office, Survey Department, Colonial Gardens, Treasurer's Department, Markets and Inspector of Weights and Measures, Audit Department, Customs Department, Port Office, Police Department, Accountant of Stores, Signal Stations, Harbour Masters, Lighthouses and Pilots, Government Printer, Commissioners for Examining into Titles to land, Registrar-General of Births, Deaths and Marriages, Inspectors of Cattle for Slaughter, Aborigines, Colonial Agent.
II. Public Works
III. Judicial Establishment
Law officers of the Crown, Registrar of Deeds, Courts of Quarter Sessions and of Requests, Sheriff's Department, Gaols, Coroners.
Church of England, Church of Scotland, Church of Rome, Missions (Wesleyan and Baptist).
VIII. For Public Buildings, Bridges and Wharfs
The Colonial Secretary would send a circular to the heads of all colonial departments calling for their estimates for the approaching financial year (January to December); they were expected to include salaries and all other expenses giving both the existing arrangements and any proposed deviations from it. It is the returns to such circulars that make up the bulk of this series; also included, however, are returns of expected revenue, e.g., from the Customs Department, Internal Revenue Office, Post Office; Colonial Secretary's drafts of the finalised general estimate; correspondence from departments explanatory of particular items; comparative statements of the present and preceding years; correspondence and memoranda concerning financial and accounting administration generally. The correspondence that occurs incidentally throughout these volumes is often quite important in other connections; for example, vol. 7 contains a Lieutenant-Governor's memorandum suggesting basic alterations in the administration, and vol. 12 contains a letter from Thomas Arnold accompanying his estimate for the Board of Education and outlining the changes he intended to introduce into colonial education. After 1847, too, the influence of the Lieutenant-Governor (Denison) in financial administration is very marked. The draft and apparently miscellaneous nature of these papers is of importance in showing the various stages of formulating the finalised estimate laid before the Legislative Council.
The Land Fund, accumulated from all the revenues derived from the sale, lease or rent of Crown Land, was one of those sources of colonial revenue whose appropriation was not fixed (as was the case with, e.g., duties levied under an Act of the Legislative Council). It could be applied in various ways according to the instructions of the British Government. In the years after 1831, when the sale of land was introduced, it was applied mainly to immigration, and in the period of this volume the Aborigines Establishment was the principal charge upon it. The papers here bound are very similar in their nature to those of CSO53, though they have particular reference to the Survey Department and the charges on the Fund.
This is a printed form showing the weekly increase and/or decrease in the number of horses and cattle 'belonging to the Public in charge of George Salter'.
The list gives the name and signature, position held, rate of pay per annum and amount paid for each individual employed by the Government at Port Dalrymple between 1 April 1822 - 20 June 1822.
The statement gives details of costs incurred under the following headings Commissariat Department, Medical Department, the New Church, Public Works, Police Department and miscellaneous.