The total area of land under cultivation in the colony on the 31st December 1887, was 205,737 acres, of which 51,815 acres was
under sugar cultivation (Vide statistics of Registrar General), thus showing that
the sugar industry represented one-fourth of the entire area cultivated in the colony.
The capital invested was about 5,000,000 pounds sterling; the machinery alone represented a value of 1,000,000 pounds,
the annual expenditure was scarcely less than 800,000 pounds sterling; and the value of the sugar exported was about 800,000
The number of white Europeans who were permanently employed could not have been less than from 2,000 to 3,000; the
total number who were more or less directly interested in the industry, whose livelihood almost depended upon it, could not
be less than double that number.
The officer in charge of the Labour Bureau at Townsville believed that 70 per cent of the immigrants were engaged in
the plantations, and the number of Polynesians who were engaged was about 6,000.
The wages of the kanakas amounted to about 50,000 pounds per annum, while that of Europeans, not including managers,
amounted to 200,000 pounds.