Project Gutenberg Australia
a treasure-trove of literature
treasure found hidden with no evidence of ownership

 

Title: 
Author: 
* A Project Gutenberg Australia eBook *
eBook No.: 1300241h.html
Language: English
Date first posted: January 2013
Date most recently updated: January 2013

Produced by: Ned Overton

Project Gutenberg Australia eBooks are created from printed editions
which are in the public domain in Australia, unless a copyright notice
is included. We do NOT keep any eBooks in compliance with a particular
paper edition.

Copyright laws are changing all over the world. Be sure to check the
copyright laws for your country before downloading or redistributing this
file.

This eBook is made available at no cost and with almost no restrictions
whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms
of the Project Gutenberg Australia Licence which may be viewed online.

GO TO Project Gutenberg Australia HOME PAGE


PRODUCTION NOTES:

This report has been prepared using OCR. There are no marginal notes or footnotes in this book.

Bigge's idiosyncratic spelling, notably "Paramatta", is retained throughout. Apart from some modernisation of the punctuation and corrections of a few obvious typos (e.g. Sidney; Van Dieman's land; aid-de-camp; Macquarrie), the main problems are with inconsistent hyphenation and usage (Crown/crown; Wolondilly/Wallondilly, 8125/8,125, £/l., etc., all untouched). Some widely-used hyphenations have been made consistent (quit-rent; police-fund); many remain unchanged (George-street/George street).

To give the Report context, Bigge's Instructions from Earl Bathurst (via a despatch to Governor Macquarie) have been included as an Addendum. In this work, Enclosure 4. is most pertinent. The documents are taken from "Historical Records of Australia", Series 1, Volume X, published by the Library Committee Of The Commonwealth Parliament, 1917.

Bigge often refers to an Appendix; this is a large series of documents which has never been printed in full. Parts only of this Appendix may be found in "Historical Records of Australia", Series 3, Volume III, pp. 215-922 (concerning Van Diemen's Land) and in Series 4, Volume I, pp. 755-882.

At the end of the Addendum may be found linked notes.

Please note that the companion volumes in this series, "Report on the State of the Colony of New South Wales" and "Report on the Judicial Establishments of New South Wales and Van Diemen's Land", [by J. T. Bigge; with Addenda], are both available now at

Project Gutenberg Australia.






REPORT

OF THE

COMMISSIONER OF INQUIRY,

ON THE STATE OF

AGRICULTURE AND TRADE

IN THE

Colony of New South Wales.





Ordered, by The House of Commons, to be Printed,

13 March 1823.






CONTENTS


State of Agriculture, and Regulations for granting Lands, in New South Wales and Van Diemen's Land

Regulations respecting Grants of Land and Allotments in Towns

State of the Trade of the Settlements of New South Wales and Van Diemen's Land

State of the Ecclesiastical Establishments in New South Wales and Van Diemen's Land

State and Character of the Population of New South Wales and Van Diemen's Land

State of the Revenue in New South Wales and Van Diemen's Land

Nature of the Expenditure of the Colonies of New South Wales and Van Diemen's Land

Medical Establishments in New South Wales and Van Diemen's Land





ADDENDUM.: BIGGE'S INSTRUCTIONS.


DESPATCH NO. 1: Earl Bathurst to Governor Macquarie. 22nd February, 1820.

[Enclosure 1.]
Commission of John Thomas Bigge.

[Enclosure No. 2.]
Earl Bathurst to Mr. Commissioner Bigge. 6th January, 1819. [1]

[Enclosure No. 3.]
Earl Bathurst to Mr. Commissioner Bigge. 6th January, 1819. [2]

[Enclosure No. 4.]
Earl Bathurst to Mr. Commissioner Bigge. 6th January, 1819. [3]

NOTES to ADDENDUM.






REPORT

OF THE

Commissioner of Inquiry, on the State of Agriculture

and Trade in the Colony of New South Wales.


——————


State of Agriculture, and Regulations for granting Lands, in New South Wales and Van Diemen's Land.


   MY LORD,

IN conformity to your Lordship's instructions, I proceed to submit to you my Observations upon the state of Agriculture in New South Wales and Van Diemen's Land; the regulations by which land has been granted and settled in the several districts; and by which also allotments have been granted for building in the towns. The state of the trade of the two settlements, and the restrictions to which it has been made subject: the ecclesiastical establishments, and those instituted for the purposes of education or charitable relief: the state and character of the population of New South Wales; and lastly, its revenue, and the nature of the colonial expenditure and resources. Under the two last heads will be included the consideration of the public works, and the mode in which they have been conducted; as well as observations upon the colonial hospitals, and the medical establishments.

The tract of land that has been for some time known and distinguished by the county of Cumberland, is bounded on the cast by the sea, and on the south by a line of hilly country that stretches from the seacoast to that part of the Cow Pastures through which the river Nepean descends from the hills of Nattai; from thence its southern, western, and northern boundaries are formed by the river Nepean, which when joined by the river Grose is called the Hawkesbury, and discharges itself into the sea at Broken Bay. The rivers Nepean and Hawkesbury thus constitute seven-eighths of the interior boundary of the county of Cumberland.

The county of Westmorland is understood to designate the tracts of land that have been occupied and discovered to the west of the Blue Mountains, including the settlement at Bathurst. No boundaries have yet been affixed to it; but since my departure from the colony, the tract of country that lies between the Shoal Haven River and the Nepean, and extending as far inland as the river Warragumba, has received the designation of the county of Camden, and includes the Cow Pastures, Mount Hunter, the hills of Nattai, from whence the river Warragumba is supposed to take its source, and a tract called Bargo, extending as far as the river Wingee Caribbee.

The county of Argyle adjoins the county of Camden on the south-west, and is separated from it by the river Wingee Caribbee, and on the south and west is bounded by the Shoal Haven River, the Cookbundoon and Wolondilly Rivers.

The greatest extent of the county of Cumberland from north to south may be computed to be fifty-three miles; and its greatest breadth from the sea to the base of the Blue Mountains forty-six miles. It has been divided into thirty-one districts, that are now laid down and described in the map, with which I was furnished by Mr. Oxley the surveyor general; and in which are also described the several grants that have been made by the different governors of the colony up to the year 1819, with numerical references to an index, containing the names of the grantees and the extent of each grant.

This division of the county of Cumberland into districts appears to have been dictated by civil rather than geographical reasons and has been partly determined by the population and its gradual increase, and the necessity of providing for its control in the appointment of magistrates and constables.

The county contains the principal town of Sydney, the towns of Paramatta, Windsor, and Liverpool; and the two villages, or, as they are denominated, the townships of Richmond and Castlereagh. To these have lately been added the township or village of Campbell Town, ten miles to the south of Liverpool.

The country that extends on the whole line of the sea-coast of the county of Cumberland, from the Coal Cliff to Broken Bay and for six miles into the interior, is a succession of ridges of stratified sandstone, that is of a greater height towards the sea and gradually declines towards interior, where it is lost under the soil. The surface of this part of the country is covered with a thin soil of decomposed sandstone, in the colouring of which, as well as in the masses of the stone itself, the effect of iron is everywhere observable.

The external appearance of the coast and the country around it is of the most sterile and forbidding kind. On the southern shores of Botany Bay and of George's River, that flows into it near the spot that is celebrated for the first landing of Captain Cook and Sir Joseph Banks, the natural grasses of the country exhibit some appearance of verdure; but on the northern shore of the same bay and river, and conformably to the appearances that characterize all the northern shores of the rivers hitherto discovered, the soil is destitute of fertility, but affords support to stunted trees, Banksias, and flowering shrubs.

On the southern bank of the great inlet that forms the harbour of Port Jackson, some successful attempts have been lately made to collect and fertilize the small quantities of soil that rest upon the unequal surface of the sandstone shores, and to convert them into gardens; but, with this exception, the tract of country that lies between the entrance of Botany Bay and Port Jackson is a series of sandstone rock, loose sand, or meagre and unprofitable swamp.

From the sea-coast to the base of the Blue Mountains, and generally throughout the county of Cumberland, there is very little elevation. The surface is gently undulated, except in the district of Airds and in that part of Bringelly that is contiguous to the banks of the river Hawkesbury.

The soil of which the interior of the county of Cumberland is generally composed is thin and light, lying on an aluminous, red, yellow, or blue clay, that deepens towards the interior, and upon a substratum of aluminous slate. To this description of land is generally given the name of Forest Land. It is more fertile as the land rises gradually into hill: the best description of it being found in the districts of Airds, Appin, Upper and Lower Minto, Cooke, Bringelly, and Cabramatta.

The alluvial land in the county of Cumberland is distinguished by its depth and inexhaustible fertility. It lies on both sides of the rivers Nepean and Hawkesbury; and the largest tract is that which is formed by a bend of the latter river between the town of Windsor and the township of Wilberforce. Upon the banks of the south creek, likewise, there are some small tracts of alluvial land, partaking of the same fertility, and suffering from the same consequences of inundation that have marked the cultivation of the Hawkesbury districts. Nearly in the centre of the comity is a tract of land consisting of a deep red loam, covering the summit, sides, and base of an elevated hill that is composed of whinstone, and that has long been distinguished for its fertility. It is called Prospect Hill, and is situated five miles to the west of Paramatta. In the district called the Field of Mars, including Pennant hills to the north of Paramatta River, there are some good tracts of new land, and also much that has been long in cultivation, and that is now exhausted; and these, with the alluvial lands of the Hawkesbury, form the only exceptions to the general character that has been given of the soil of the county of Cumberland. It should, moreover, be observed, that the greatest portion of the land in the districts of Meehan, Castlereagh, Oxley, Nelson, and Broken Bay, forming the northern part of the county, are unfit for cultivation, but afford a temporary and uncertain support to cattle; and that the greatest part of the country that lies to the south of Georges River, with the exception of strips of land that lie along the edges, is of the same description. Although no limestone has yet been worked or quarried within the limits of the county, yet it has been lately found to be diffused over the country in strata; some of which do not exceed two feet in thickness, and generally consist of that stratified quality that is found in coal countries to lie over and under sandstone. The few specimens that had been found in the districts of the county were of a very inferior and impure sort.

The great physical defect of this tract of country is its want of water. Hardly any natural springs have been discovered between the sea-coast and the river Nepean. The course of that river for the last thirty miles, before it discharges itself into the sea, lies through some rocky and barren districts that derive no benefit from it.

From the slight elevation of the interior of the country, the tides flow to a very considerable distance in all the rivers, rendering the water brackish and unserviceable, both at the towns of Liverpool and Paramatta, during the summer season.

The rivulets that are designated in Mr. Oxley's map of the county of Cumberland, are called the South Creek, the Prospect Creek, the Cabramatta Creek, and the East Creek. The first of these is the most considerable; but all of them appear to be drains and reservoirs of the water of the surrounding country, rather than streams arising from a permanent source. In the summer season they are nearly dry, and the water lodges in the deep pools, forming chains of natural ponds, from which in these seasons the cattle derive a scanty supply of water. These ponds are also found at a distance from the regular course of the creeks in different parts of the country, and the water is retained in them by the impenetrable texture of the subsoil; while at the same tine its quality and taste, as well as that of the water of most of the wells that have been sunk in the interior of the county of Cumberland, are much affected by the aluminous nature of the strata in which it is obtained. The water that is found by penetrating the stratified sandstone is generally free from this taint.

The county of Camden contains the extensive tracts known by the name of the Cow Pastures, to which five of the cattle that were landed from Ills Majesty's ship Sirius, soon after the first arrival of Governor Philip, had strayed from their place of confinement. They were discovered in these tracts in the year 1795 by a convict, and appear to have been attracted to the spot, and to have continued there, from the superior quality of the herbage. Since that period their numbers have greatly increased; and they have latterly occupied the hilly ranges by which the Cow Pastures are backed on the south, and have been found in the deeper ravines of the hills of Nattai, and on the banks of the Bargo River. It does not appear, however, that they ever have penetrated beyond the Blue Mountains, or the barren tract that is called the Bargo Brush. The Cow Pastures extend northwards from the river Bargo to the junction of the river Warragumba and the Nepean. To the west they are bounded by some of the branches of the latter river and the hills of Nattai. They contain by computation about sixty thousand acres; and the soil, through varying in fertility, but always deepening and improving on the banks and margin of the Nepean, consists of a light sandy loam, resting upon a substratum of clay. In this tract lime has been discovered upon the estate of Mr. M‘Arthur; and towards the southern and western parts, there are numerous creeks that retain water in the dry weather, and convey it in more deepened channels to the river Nepean.

Towards the south hills of Nattai the Cow Pastures are broken into abrupt and hilly ridges, but still are found to afford good pasturage for cattle; and for a distance of three miles from the river Nepean, they consist of easy slopes and gentle undulations, from the centre of which rises a lofty hill that has received the name of Mount Hunter.

The county of Camden likewise comprehends a district that has received the name of Illawarra, or the Five Islands; and that extends in a northern and southern direction for the space of eighteen miles along the eastern coast, commencing at a point in which a high range of hills terminate in the sea, and recedes gradually to the south towards Shoal Haven. The distance of this tract from Port Jackson by the sea-coast is forty-five miles; and, on account of the difficulty of access to it by land, the principal communications are by sea.

The country that lies between Illawarra and the southern part of the district of Airds is poor and barren; and the hill by which the present approach is made on the land-side is steep, and the descent difficult for cattle. The soil of the district of Illawarra is rich and alluvial. On the freshwater flats and on the hills it is is good clay; and in many places a rich mould.

It is tolerably well supplied with streams of water; but in summer the upper lands suffer much from heat and want of moisture. In all parts of the Illawarra district, there is abundance of good timber of various kinds. Mr. Oxley states that not above ten thousand acres of land in this district remain ungranted, including all descriptions; and that not above one-third of it is fit for cultivation, although it is good grazing land.

The greatest part of the tract that is now called the county of Argyle, has only been known to the colony since the year 1819.

Attempts had been made in the year 1816 to penetrate a tract called Bargo Brush, that lies to the east and south of the Cow Pastures, for the purpose of discovering fresh pasturage for cattle; and a station was fixed and taken up on the river of Wingee Caribbee.

Since that period, Mr. Thoresby obtained permission to make a settlement between the Merigong Range and the Wolondilly River; and in the year 1820, succeeded in making a tract from his settlement to the westward, and, crossing the range that is called Cookbundoon, penetrated by the southern extremity of the Blue Mountains to the banks of Campbell's River, that falls into the Macquarie River near Bathurst Plains.

A road having subsequently been made passable for carriages from Bargo to the Cookbundoon Range, and from thence to the river of that name, Governor Macquarie, in the month of October 1820, proceeded to the examination of that country, and also to the lakes that had been then lately discovered in a south-westerly direction, and distant from the range of Cookbundoon about thirty-seven miles.

It was in the vicinity of these lakes that I met Governor Macquarie upon my return from Bathurst, after traversing the country that had been tracked by Mr. Thoresby. In this expedition I was accompanied by Mr. Oxley the surveyor general, who made a very accurate description of the country and distances, from the time that we left Campbell's River, on the 18th of October, until we joined Governor Macquarie at Bathurst Lake on the 26th. The road by which tile governor proceeded from the Cow Pastures to lake Bathurst and lake George traverses the district that has been since named the county of Camden and the county of Argyle: that part of the former that is called the Cow Pastures has already been described. On leaving the Stone Quarry Creek, which is the southern boundary, the road passes through a tract of indifferent land, which improves a little on the banks of the Bargo River, that descends from the hills of Nattai, and passing through a rocky but even channel of sandstone, joins the Stone Quarry Creek before its accession to the waters of the Nepean. At a little distance from the river Bargo there are some small patches of tolerable land, in which the traces of the wild hordes were very visible; but front thence to the base of a high range that is called Merigong the land is very sterile, and covered either with stunted and withered shrubs, or with very lofty and straight trees of the species of Eucalyptus, called the Stringy Bark. In approaching the Merigong Range, there is a tract of flat land called the Kenembegails Plains, parts of which are lit for cultivation; and both sides of the Lange itself are covered with thick strata of fertile and tenacious clay. From this range to the river of Wingee Caribbee the soil is considerably varied. On the ranges of Merigong, and in the lower lands that adjoin the river, the clay predominates; and in the winter season the moisture that it retains has been found very prejudicial to sheep and cattle. Further to the south, and near the settlement made by Mr. Thoresby, the soil in the hills consists of a light but fertile mould, lying on whinstone. In the vallies it is more compact, and is a deep and rich clay. The surface is broken into long ranges of hills, divided by line sloping lies; in most of which there are chains of natural ponds, and free from the mineral impregnations of the county of Cumberland.

This county has greater elevation than that district; and the climate, and consequently the state of vegetation, are very different.

The only parts of the county of Argyle that were known or had been examined previous to my departure from the colony, were found to contain a tract of land, the soil of which is of peculiar fertility and richness. It is a deep red loam, bearing a thick and vigorous vegetation of the natural grasses of the country, and abundance of the shrubs called the Daviesia, and the wild indigo. In most parts of this tract also the trees are of very large dimensions; there are also open spaces of forest, in which the same rich soil is found, and although it is in many places wet and swampy it is very susceptible of cultivation. This tract, to which the name of Sutton Forest has been given, is computed to contain about 15,000 acres of fertile land.

The remainder of the country through which the road passes to the Cookbundoon Range, consists of broken hills towards the south; and in the space between the Cookbundoon and Wallondilly Rivers, after traversing an extensive tract of poor and barren soil, covered with withered shrubs, the country improves, the hills are less abrupt, and the soil is a light sand, bearing little grass, but dry and well adapted for the pasturage of sheep. The surface is gently undulating; and the trees, that are not of large growth, are sufficiently dispersed for shelter and ornament to the land, without being an incumbrance to it. This tract, that is computed to contain 15,000 acres, has received the name of Eden Forest.

The heights of the Cookbundoon Range, over which the road passes, will present but little difficulty, even to carriages, when a better direction shall have been given to it. The country to the southward of the range is bad and swampy, but improves greatly on the descent to the Wolondilly River; on the margin of which there is some good timber. The soil is a light and poor sand, and is covered with a long and coarse grass. From the breadth of the channel of this river, there must be a great accumulation of water in it during the winter season, but there were no marks of the effects of a violent current; and the ponds into which it was broken were still and deep, and considerably broader than those found in the courses of the other rivers.

A large tract of open country that received the name of Goulburn Plains, extends for a distance of ten miles to the south-west. It is on an average five miles wide, and has been estimated to contain about 35,000 acres of land. A little to the southwest is another open tract of flat land, that has been called Breadalbane Plains.

These plains are not encumbered with wood. The surface is gently undulating, and the soil light, sandy and poor. The bottoms are swampy, and appear to retain great quantities of water in the winter season. The hills are low and stony, and have not that admixture of good soil that was remarked in the higher lands of the county of Argyle. I observed also that the grass on Goulburn Plains was coarse and tufted.

The country between this tract and Bathurst Lake is much of the same character, but more hilly and woody, and the swamps more extensive.

The circumference of Bathurst Lake is about twelve miles; and Mr. Meehan the deputy surveyor general, who had visited it for the first time in the year 1818, was of opinion that it had much increased in size in the interval. Several trees and shrubs on the margin of the lake appeared to have been very lately surrounded with water, the colour of which was strongly tinged by the red-ochreous clay of the shores.

The land on the eastern side of the lake is of a better quality, and produces good grass on the slopes and gentle eminences. The bottoms are deep and swampy, and appear to be extensive drains from the high ranges of hills that bound the horizon on the east. On the north-west side a stratum of lime was discovered at the termination of some rocky and uneven hills, that form the southern and western shores. At a distance of two miles from Bathurst Lake, and in a south-west direction to lake George, the surface of the country is for the most part barren and uneven, covered with stunted trees and rocks of various kinds, consisting of granite, quartz and slate. The ranges of these hills are separated by broad and flat swampy meadows, in the centre of which are found ponds of water.

On approaching the north-east shore of lake George, the swampy meadows are of greater extent, and reach to the margin of the lake, where they are separated by rocky projections of sandstone. The extent of the lake from north to south is nearly eighteen miles, and its main breadth is from five to seven miles. Dead trees were observed in it to a considerable distance from its present shores; and the person who had discovered it in the month of August preceding, seemed impressed with a belief that the expanse of water had considerably increased.

The water itself had been represented to be salt, but it was found on experiment to be remarkably soft, though turbid. There was no indication of any stream or current in the lake; and although Mr. Thoresby, who preceded Governor Macquarie, had some reason to believe from the accounts of the natives that an outlet would be discovered on the south-eastern extremity, and that it would in all probability take the same course and discharge itself into the sea; yet, upon further examination, no such issue was found there, nor as far as the eye could reach did any such exist on the south or western shores. The lake is bounded on the west by a table chain of rocky hills, elevated from 800 to 1,500 feet above its level; and it was from one of these that Mr. Oxley thought he descried a mountainous chain to the west and north-west of Bateman's Bay, on the eastern coast of New South Wales, and distant about forty miles.

The whole extent of the country lying to the south-east and west of lake George, as viewed from an eminence, appeared to be rocky, broken and mountainous, and not affording any expectation that its surface would prove more valuable or attractive.

The south-western extremity of lake George was the farthest point in that direction that had at that time been examined.

It was Governor Macquarie's intention to employ some person in the further examination of it, principally with a view to discover whether there existed any river that flowed from the interior and discharged itself into the sea on the eastern coast. I have not yet received any information to that effect; although I have understood that, upon an examination of that cart of the coast by Lieutenant Johnstone of the Royal Navy, a river has been discovered by him, the sources of which will in all probability be traced to the mountainous ranges that were seen from lake George.

In a previous communication, I had the honour of submitting to your Lordship the reasons that determined me to examine the country to the southward and westward of the Blue Mountains, rather than the tracts that lie between Bathurst and the river Hastings.

With a view to examine the communication that had been discovered by Mr. Thoresby between the Cow Pastures and Bathurst, and to verify the description that had been given of the lakes and the country around them by the person who first discovered them, I yielded to the proposal made to me by Governor Macquarie to meet him at that point, and left Bathurst with that view on the 17th October. The journal of Mr. Oxley contains a very accurate description of the character and elevation of the country through which we passed, including a distance from Campbell's River to the banks of the Cookbundoon River of eighty-two miles.

I do not conceive it necessary to trouble your Lordship with a detailed description of the country, but I will content myself with observing, that after leaving the neighbourhood of Campbell's River, and a tract of land occupied by Lieutenant Lawson, we passed over a series of long and protracted ridges for the space nearly of twenty miles, separated from each other by swampy and sometimes by fertile valleys, that in winter must be very deep. In the remainder of the distance we found the country more broken; and we passed two fine and clear streams whose course was to the southward and westward, and which, according to a conjecture of Mr. Oxley, formed a junction and afterwards became branches of the river Lachlan. These rivers were named Colborne and Abercrombie, and were found to be much of the same character as those that descend from the Blue Mountains into Bathurst Plains. After leaving the ridges and passing these rivers the character of the country varied, and we, passed through long tracts of hilly and barren ranges, thickly covered with bad and stunted trees and low shrubs. There were no great eminences, nor could any distant view be obtained of the country on either side of our course. We occasionally fell in with that which had been taken by Mr. Thoresby; but neither Mr. Oxley nor myself found reason to concur in the description of the country that this gentleman transmitted to Governor Macquarie, nor in the facility that he considers it to afford for the passage of cattle. In many parts of our journey we were obliged to pass several long and deep swamps; and there were two rocky and abrupt descents, which in their present state would be impassable to cattle.

The country around Bathurst, in an agricultural point of view, has proved to be of considerable value to the colony.

After passing the rallies, watered by Cox's River and the Fish River, and a range of dry and sterile hills, called Clarence's Hilly Range, the road from the Blue Mountains leads through Sidmouth Vallies, that are well watered, and covered with good herbage, growing in tufts upon a soil of loose disintegrated granite. The surface of the country slopes gently to the west; and from an eminence that is a little beyond the Sidmouth Vallies, a very fine and extensive view is obtained of the open country, in the centre of which are the Bathurst Plains, and various broad and rich vallies, stretching to the north and south of the plain that is watered by the Macquarie River. Before it reaches Bathurst, this stream is joined by the Campbell River, on the banks of which there is some rich grazing land, opening into extensive plains, called Mitchell's and O'Connell Plains. The elevation of the country on the western side of the Blue Mountains is strongly marked by the rapidity and fullness of the streams of water; they abound in every direction, and generally terminate in the river Macquarie, which, even at Bathurst, is deep, clear and full. The soil on the points and bends of the river is, generally, alluvial. The hills, which, on the northern side, are gently elevated above the level of the river, are perfectly clear of timber, and are covered with a dry gravelly loam, intermixed with a coarse granite sand. This soil is not naturally fertile, but it is dry, and favourable to sheep. The extent of land denominated Bathurst Plains, and that is clear of timber, comprises nearly 40,000 acres. The hills on the south side of the river Macquarie are more elevated, broken and stony, but covered with good grass and with fertile soil towards the summits. The rallies that are distinguished by the names of Queen Charlotte and Princess Charlotte, are remarkable for their beautiful verdure and expanse.

The wood in the neighbourhood of Bathurst is small, and very inferior to that which is found on the eastern side of the Blue Mountains.

I had no opportunities of personally examining the country beyond Bathurst; but I was informed, both by Mr. Oxley and by persons who had visited it since his expedition into the interior, that both to the north and south-west, and in the direction of the rivers Lachlan and Macquarie, for a distance of eighty miles, with an interruption of occasional tracts of barren land and swamps, the country is open, and affords good pasturage; and that at Wellington Valley there are several fine tracts of land on the banks of the Macquarie River fit for cultivation, and well watered by the streams that fall into it.

Limestone in a very pure state has lately been discovered near Bathurst, and was observed by Mr. Oxley between that place and Wellington Valley, in his expeditions into the interior.

The nature of the country that lies between Bathurst and the Hastings had not been examined previous to my departure from the colony; but the chief constable of Windsor, Mr. Howe, had been employed to explore the country from the lower branch of the river Hawkesbury, in a northern direction, to Hunter's River, or the Coal River. This tract of country had also been examined at a more recent period by a son of Lieutenant Bell, and was found to contain a long and stony ridge, covered with stunted shrubs, and occasional small tracts of good pasturage. At. a place that is called by the natives Boottee, several rallies were found inclosed by rocky hills, passable for cattle. Proceeding further to the north, there was an alternation nearly of the same kind, but an improvement in the soil, which continued as far as Comorri, upon the banks of a branch of Hunter's River, where it was the intention of Mr. Bell to make a temporary establishment for his cattle. He states that the distance was computed by his son to be seventy miles from Windsor, and that the only two steep ascents might easily be made practicable for carts.

I have already had occasion to mention to your Lordship the fertile tracts named Wallis's Plains, on the upper parts of Hunter's River, and the probability of their becoming valuable additions to the agricultural portions of the colony. The country to the north of that river, extending to the River Hastings, and to the tract by which Mr. Oxley returned from his last expedition into the interior, has never been examined; and if my attention had not been particularly directed to the country south of Bathurst, for the purpose of ascertaining the nature of the new communication that was announced between the Cow Pastures and Bathurst, without the necessity of passing the Blue Mountains, I should have availed myself of the opportunity afforded by my visit to Bathurst to have traversed the country as far as the Hastings, and to have renewed the attempt that I ineffectually made soon after my arrival In the colony, to examine the country on the banks and the mouth of that river. The description that Mr. Oxley has given of the former tracts has been verified by the subsequent information of individuals who have ascended the river to short distances from Port Macquarie; and the account that he gave of that harbour and its vicinity has been confirmed by an inspection that was made of it by Governor Macquarie at the end of last year.

As your Lordship has for some time been in possession of the details, as well as the results of Mr. Oxley's expeditions, that were prepared by your order, for the purpose of exploring the interior of New Holland, and tracing the courses of the rivers Lachlan and Macquarie, and as no subsequent information has been yet received of the result of the late surveys of Captain King on the western coast, I have no data upon which I could be justified in offering any further conjecture than that which has resulted from the arduous and hazardous enterprize of Mr. Oxley; and I will confine myself to observing, that the character and features of the country that has been examined since Mr. Oxley's last expedition, tend to confirm the extraordinary fact which his two expeditions established, of two or more tributary streams taking their source in the highest ridges of the Blue Mountains, within fifty miles from the sea-coast, and of their being lost at a distance of 300 miles in an opposite direction, by diffusion over an immense portion of the surface of the interior. A future and more accurate examination of lakes George and Bathurst, and of the existence of any outlet to their waters, together with a further examination of the eastern coast towards Bass's Straits, will establish the continuance of that long dividing range of elevated mountains by which the current of the waters seems to be determined to the county of Cumberland and the sea on the east, and to the interior of New Holland on the west.

To the scientific precision and to the accuracy of observation of Mr. Oxley, as well as to his patience and endurance of privation and fatigue, the colony of New South Wales is already much indebted; and it is only just to add, that by the more humble, but not less useful discoveries of Mr. Thoresby, valuable and unexpected information has been obtained of the country most contiguous to the settled districts; but which from want of curiosity, or want of exertion, had remained altogether unexamined and unknown.

On reference to the district map, furnished by Mr. Oxley, and to his evidence, it appears that, in the month of November 1819, the portion of land fit for cultivation, and remaining ungranted in the county of Cumberland was so small, that it was considered probable that Governor Macquarie would be under the necessity of having recourse to the Cow-Pastures, for the purpose of placing any new settlers of respectability and capital that might arrive from England.

The total amount of land held in New South Wales appears, by the muster of 1820, to be upwards of 389,000 acres; and of these 54,898 acres are returned as cleared. This amount did not include any portion of the new districts beyond the line of the Bargo River to the south, or Hunter's River to the north. Of the quantity of land so held and returned as cleared in these districts, 16,706 acres were in wheat, 11,270 in maize, 1,230 in barley, 379 in rye and oats, 213 in pease and beans, 504 in potatoes, and 1,094 acres in orchard and garden ground.

From a document exhibiting the results of the musters of land and stock from the years 1810 to 1820 inclusive, it appears that in the former year the proportion of land cleared to the land held, vas as one and a half to four; and that in the latter year it was as one and one-tenth to seven. The districts of Windsor, Richmond and Wilberforce, returned 16,856 acres of cleared ground in the year 1820, 10,000 of which were either in wheat or maize. Next after these, the districts of Evan, and those of Airds and Appin produce the greatest quantity of wheat and maize; and it is remarked, that the wheat of Appin, and Airds, and Bringelly, and generally of the good hill land, is superior both in weight and quality to the wheat produced in the flat lands of the Hawkesbury.

In the districts that are nearer to Sydney, and in the neighbourhood of Paramatta, the land is not so fertile; and the portion that has been cleared has been much exhausted. Considerable expense is requisite to renew its productive powers; and the lands that have been abandoned in these districts, as well as others towards the sea-coast, are infested with a plant that has received in the colony the name of the Silk Cotton, and that was imported some time ago, under a belief that the pods that it bears and the silky down they contain, would prove valuable in manufacture. This plant is a species of asclepias, and is supported by tender and weak stalks, abounding with a milky juice that is strongly astringent; the bark, when disengaged of vegetable matter, contains long filaments resembling hemp. No attempt has yet been made to apply them to purposes of manufacture; but I was informed by Mr. Lord, that the down produced in the pods would be of some use in the manufacture of hats. The seed to which the down adheres is dispersed and carried by the wind, and there are few of the settled districts of the colony in which it is not found; but it abounds on the tops of the dry hills and in open spaces.

The tracts of land on the Hawkesbury and near the town of Windsor, were originally settled by Lieutenant Governor Grose, who granted small portions of them, not exceeding thirty acres, to persons who had been convicts, or whose sentences had been remitted. The same system was continued by Governor Hunter and Governor King, who enlarged the quantity of land to the settlers; and also annexed very considerable tracts above the level of the river, to serve as commons for the depasturage of cattle belonging to the occupiers of the smaller tracts in the lower lands, thus securing, a more free and extensive range for their cattle, and a temporary retreat from inundation.

Some of the original grantees of these small tenements still continue upon them: the proportion however is not large, and while some have extended their possessions by purchase and have considerable stock, the occupiers of the smaller tenements appeared to me to be in a very abject state of poverty. Much exertion and persuasion have been used at different periods by Governor Macquarie, after the inundations of the river Hawkesbury, to induce them to repair to the townships and high lands upon the opposite bank of the river, where the land is out of the reach of its waters, but either from inability to construct new habitations, or from unwillingness to leave their old ones, the lower class of settlers have in very few instances, taken advantage of these offers. In the districts of Wilberforce and Richmond, I observed that resort had been made to the higher lands, and houses had been erected upon them, in which the proprietors of the lower lands resided.

The most considerable inundations of the river took place in the month of March 1806, in the same period of the years 1808 and 1811, in the month of June 1816, in March 1817, in the month of February 1819, and in the month of October 1820.

The progress of these inundations is generally rapid until the river overflows and its waters are diffused; and it has been observed, that the rapidity of their rise is greater when the direction of the wind and rain is from the south-west, than when it is from the north-west.

Since the establishment of a good ferry-boat at Windsor, the means of retreat have generally been open to the inhabitants of the flat lands, before the water has diffused itself over them.

In several places near the channel of the Hawkesbury, breaches are made by the force of the current, and the water rushes with impetuosity into the lower grounds, leaving large pools that are more destructive to cultivation than the passing current.

The inundations of the Hawkesbury have been most frequent in the month of March, but they have also occurred at other periods after a continuance of rain. They appear to be attributable to the great elevation of the sources of the rivers, whose streams are added to those of the Hawkesbury and Nepean, as well as to the impulse that they receive in the narrow and rocky channels through which they descend; and after rapidly filling the bed of the river Hawkesbury, discharge themselves over the flat lands in the neighbourhood of Windsor, Richmond and Wilberforce. They bring with them and leave a rich alluvial deposit, and great abundance of weeds and vegetable matter, which create the necessity of additional labour in cleaning the lands, that in the month of March are generally prepared for the reception of wheat, or are covered with maize in its ripened state. The losses therefore that are sustained by the inundations, both in labour and in grain, are very considerable. At the early periods of the colony, great dependance was always placed upon the produce of the Hawkesbury districts; at present, although the fertility of the land is not exhausted, yet the admixture of weeds and wild vetches, the foul state of the land, and the continued cultivation of it for a long series of years in the mine grain, has greatly deteriorated the quality of both. In maize, however, these lands continue to be still very productive, as well as in the more common kinds of vegetables.

The farms, or rather allotments, in these districts are small; the houses generally ill-built, and exhibiting the traces of former inundations. The fields are without fences; but the vigorous and thriving condition of the horses and cattle, even in the confined state in which they are necessarily kept, bears testimony to the richness of the vegetation and pasturage.

The average produce of lands in the Hawkesbury district, from the year 1804 to 1814, is stated to have been from twenty-one to twenty-five bushels per acre; and since the latter period from fifteen to twenty. The rent of land in these districts does not exceed 20s. an acre if paid in money, and 30s. if paid in grain, and leases of it are given for terms not exceeding five years.

The cultivation of the farms on the banks of the South Creek, partakes much of the same character as that of the low lands on the Hawkesbury. The quantity of good soil is, however, considerably less; and being confined to the immediate banks and edges of the creek, the destruction arising from inundations is sensibly felt.

The land on the rising ground is of very inferior quality, and produces very bad crops. The districts of Airds and Appin, those of Richmond and Bringelly, and upon the banks of the river Nepean, produce the grain of the best quality; but on these districts the average produce of the land of the first quality is not estimated to exceed the rate of twenty bushels per acre, and that of the second quality is rated at one-fourth less. Under a good system of cultivation, it is the opinion of Mr. Oxley that the hilly land of the county of Cumberland, or what he terms good forest land, would produce about twenty bushels per acre, and alluvial lands from twenty-five to thirty-five bushels; but he thinks that the average produce of the colony in wheat does not exceed ten bushels per acre, and he estimates the produce of maize, from the same sort of lands, to be from thirty to sixty bushels per acre.

The lands that have been cultivated at Bathurst, either on account of government, or by the few settlers that have been established there, lie in the plain that is traversed by the Macquarie River. It is fertile, and is not subject to inundation; but the grain produced at Bathurst has been greatly affected by smut.

The system of cultivation pursued in New South Wales is of a very simple kind: The first operation consists of felling the timber, with which most parts of the county of Cumberland abounds, and burning it off. The trees are cut at the height of two feet from the root, and after they are piled into heaps and burnt; the land is once ploughed or hoed: it is then sown with maize, and where the means of the cultivator admit, the maize should be hilled and cleaned twice. The cultivation of new land in maize is considered to be the best preparation for a crop of wheat. It is sown generally in the months of October and November; but I observed that, in the alluvial land, and wherever the fertility of the soil admitted, preparation for sowing maize immediately followed the removal of the wheat or other grain that had preceded it. Thus, if a crop of wheat was sown in the months of March or April, (the usual period of sowing) and reaped in November, it may be immediately succeeded by a crop of maize, that would be ripe and fit for pulling in the month of April following, forming a period of thirteen or fourteen months for the production and maturity of two different crops of grain on the same land.

Although the crop of maize affords the best means of preparing new land for the reception of other grain, by gradual exposure of the soil to the action of the sun, yet it is an exhausting crop. When the land is prepared for wheat, it is sown generally in the months of March and April; but the seed-time is frequently as late as July, when the rains have been very heavy in the month of March. The species of wheat that has been found most advantageous in the colony is the creeping wheat, as it suffers less from the effect of the sun on the clay soils, and affords winter food and pasturage to sheep.

The cultivation of barley and oats has been very partially practised in New South Wales. A species of the former, called the Cape or Skinless Barley, is found to be most suitable to the climate. Hitherto this grain has been little in demand; and it is the opinion of a person, who was for some time engaged in brewing, that malt made from the barley of New South Wales contains from forty to fifty per cent. less of saccharine matter than that which is made from English barley. It is also stated, that it ripens irregularly and too rapidly. In its green state it affords good winter food for sheep and cattle; and it has been observed already, that at Grose Farm, near Sydney, almost the whole of the produce of the oats and barley crops were devoted to that object. The want of demand for barley, rye and oats, has been alleged, by the inhabitants of New South Wales, as the principal reason for not pursuing the cultivation of those grains, and for confining it to the growth of wheat and maize.

Under the system of management and culture that has been pursued in the colony till within the last three years, I do not think that the variation in the crops of grain would have been attended with any benefit. The want of manure would alone have impeded such a course of husbandry; and it is to the same cause that is to be attributed the exhausted state of the soil of the cultivated districts that does not consist of alluvial land. Under this impression, the attention of the higher classes of the settlers has been lately directed to the production of manure, and of artificial food for cattle. White clover has for some time been scattered in different parts of the colony; but, either from insensibility to or ignorance of its value, it has been in very few instances cultivated. A striking proof of its easy assimilation to the climate of New South Wales was exhibited in a small inclosure in front of the Carter's Barrack, at Sydney, consisting of some very inferior land that had formerly been a stock yard. It is much affected by the summer heats and long continued drought, but quickly recovers on the return of moisture. On the banks and flat lands of the river Hawkesbury and Nepean, the horses and cattle are fed upon the wild vetches that have mixed with the wheat; but it is only within the last two years, and upon a very few estates of the more opulent settlers, that any attempts have been made to introduce the cultivation of the artificial grasses. Lucerne, saintfoin and burnet are found to succeed in the alluvial lands; and rye grass and meadow fescue are considered as the best species for resisting the heat of summer, even on the clay land. The seed of these grasses, when assimilated to the climate, thrives much better than imported seed; and it is observed that the latter preserve the European seasons in flowering, and does not assimilate itself to the climate of New South Wales until after the second crop. Turnips have been cultivated on some estates, but from the uncertainty of the seasons it is a crop that is little to be depended upon. The best period for sowing them is considered to be the month of March.

The estates that are in the best state of cultivation, and exhibit the greatest improvement, are those of Mr. Oxley the surveyor general, Mr. Cox, Sir John Jamison, Mr. Hannibal M‘Arthur, Mr. Redfern, Mr. John M‘Arthur, Mr. Thoresby and Mr. Howe.

Having observed the increasing necessity of providing food for their flocks and cattle from other sources than the natural grasses of the colony, these gentlemen have turned their attention to the culture of the various qualities of artificial grasses; and, from the experiments they have already made, there is every reason to expect that the supply of food for sheep and cattle may be greatly augmented. The natural grams of the country have within the last three years suffered much by the continued and increased depasturage of cattle, and the ravages of a caterpillar that appeared in the early part of the year 1819. The marks of its devastation were still apparent at the end of that years and although the vegetation seemed quickly to recover, when not exposed to the bite of sheep or cattle, yet the want of food for both was much felt in the autumn and winter of 1820.

The natural grasses of New South Wales are considered to be annuals; they have not the verdure or succulence of the English grasses, but they resist the heat of summer, and derive a partial protection from the intense heat of the sun in the lofty and welding branches of the eucalyptus. The districts of the Cow Pastures and, Illawarra afford the best pasturage for sheep and cattle on the south side of the I Nepean; and on the north side, the districts of Bringelly, Cooke, Upper and Lower Minto, contain several tracts where the vegetation of the natural grasses is yet vigorous and healthy.

The more opulent settlers have begun to fence their estates with strong railing made of the stringy and iron bark trees; and it is stated by a considerable stock owner, that he is enabled to keep one-third more of cattle in the same number of acres inclosed, than he could when it was in its open state.

From the access that was afforded by the road over the Blue Mountains to the country around Bathurst, the stock owners derived considerable advantage from the pasturage of those tracts in the year 1816, after two seasons of continued drought. Since that period, permission has been given to all persons that applied for leave, to drive their sheep and cattle to Bathurst for the purpose of temporary occupation and pasturage. A large tract of land on the south side of the river has been retained for the use of the government herds; and, with the exception of one valley in which Mr. Fitzgerald has been allowed to fix a cattle station, the herds and flocks of the settlers are on the north side, and as far as the line of the Campbell River.

Mr. Cox occupies a considerable tract of land immediately opposite the station at which the government buildings have been placed. No grant had been executed of this land, but I understood from Mr. Oxley that it was intended to be conferred on Mr. Cox. This gentleman has here erected farm buildings, and made inclosures, in which he is making experiments with the artificial grasses. It is here also that he has very considerable flocks of sheep, amounting to 5,000, and herds of cattle, which, from the late accession of other occupants, have been obliged to resort to new and more distant tracts. Twenty-four flocks, of which ten belonged to Mr. Cox, were distributed over the Bathurst Plains and adjoining values in the month of November 1819, and the whole number of sheep then amounted to nearly 11,000.

The remaining proprietors had availed themselves of the temporary permissions given by Governor Macquarie, and had placed their sheep and cattle under the care of their convict servants, who were lodged in huts built of turf and wood, in the central part of the tract upon which the sheep and cattle grazed.

Two of these occupiers, Mr. Hassal and Mr. Lowe, had been at more expense, and had made inclosures, in which they raised sufficient grain for the supply of their herdsmen; and the former had erected houses for the shearing and collection of his wool.

The sheep at Bathurst are not found to require covering during the winter season, although the cold is considerably greater than on the eastern side of the Blue Mountains; and ice of the thickness of an inch and a half is not uncommon, and had been observed in the month of May 1820. During these periods the vegetation is affected, and the sheep are driven into the neighbouring woods, where they derive protection and shelter, as well as food, from the shrubs with which they abound; of these the most common and the most nutritive is the davyesia. In the summer the abundance and variety of wild herbs that are found amongst the natural grasses of the Bathurst Plains, together with the dryness of the soil and atmosphere, render these tracts particularly favourable to sheep; while the thicker vegetation of grass upon the lower lands, and the ready access to the pure water of the river, afford excellent pasturage for cattle.

In consequence of the increase in the number of sheep and cattle in the county of Cumberland, and of the objection made by the settlers to transfer their stock to the western side of the Blue Mountains for the purpose of temporary pasturage, the growth and reproduction of the natural grasses in the former district has been much checked.

Your Lordship is aware, that with the exception of the lands held by Messrs. M‘Arthur and Davidson on the southern side of the Nepean, the remaining part of the tract of valuable land called the Cow Pastures, has been appropriated to the use of the government herds and of the wild cattle. The former consists of a mixed race of the Bengal and European breeds, and have lately received some improvement by admixture with the stock of Mr. M‘Arthur and Mr. Palmer. The wild herds, consisting of the stock that was first imported into the colony from the Cape of Good Hope, have preserved, but in a fainter degree, the character and peculiarities of the breed of that country; they betray also marks of degeneracy in the lightness of their carcase and the elongation of their limbs. When tamed they have been found useful in draught; but it is considered that, for such purposes, oxen of the mixed European and Bengal and Cape breeds, are better calculated; and it is also found that they fatten more easily than cattle of the pure European stock. At the age of two years old the cattle of this mixed breed are found to weigh 400 pounds, but the wild cattle, even of a maturer age, are rarely found to exceed 600 pounds.

On a reference to the abstracts made from the general musters of stock and land in cultivation, from the year 1810 to the year 1820, the number of horned cattle in New South Wales will be found to have been quintupled during that period. In consequence of the great droughts that occurred in the years 1814 and 1815, and the difficulty of finding pasturage, there appears to have been a decrease; but since those periods the numbers have again increased, and the amount of horned cattle in 1820 appears, by the return, to be 54,103.

Having observed during the course of a tour that I made into the grazing districts in the ninth of July of the year 1820, that the cattle were generally very young, and in a very impoverished state in consequence of the destruction of the grass by caterpillars in the preceding year, and that there was a reluctance among the inhabitants to supply the commissariat stores with meat, I obtained returns from the different stations of the quantities and ages of the cattle that had been slaughtered there during the preceding twelve months. From these I found, that out of 3,668 head of horned cattle that had been slaughtered, 1,165 were females, many of which were heifers; and, with the exception of those slaughtered for the use of the establishment at Emu Island, were not more than three or four years old. As the increase of cattle in New South Wales in the preceding year had only amounted to 2,530 head, there appeared to me to be sufficient reason to adopt every precaution that might have a tendency to economize the consumption of meat. I therefore addressed a letter to Governor Macquarie upon this subject, proposing a scale of alteration in the items of the ration to the convicts in the employ of government, as well as to the constables and overseers.

The increase in the numbers of the horned cattle, apparent in the returns of the year 1820, is stated to have amounted to 11,479 head: a larger increase than had taken place in any preceding year from 1810. I shall subsequently state my reasons to your Lordship for doubting the accuracy of these returns; but although this apparent increase in the stock of the colony tended to remove my fears for the immediate effect of an increasing consumption upon that portion that was reserved specially for the purposes of breeding, yet the expediency of allowing time for the winter maturity of the other portions did not appear to me to be less at my departure from the colony than it was when I first addressed my letter to Governor Macquarie; while the rate of consumption of meat, arising from the successive importation of fresh convicts, confirmed me in the view that I had at first taken of the subject, and the remedy that I then recommended.

The increase and diffusion of stock in the colony of New South Wales, has been much assisted by the practice adopted in the later periods, of distributing the cattle from the government herds to individuals on receiving grants of land. This practice has been observed both towards free settlers arriving from England with recommendations from your Lordship, as well as to convicts who received grants upon the remission or expiration of their sentences. Donations of cattle likewise have been made from the same sources by the governors, as well as in remuneration for services or meritorious undertakings. In case of distribution to the settlers, the cattle were issued at the price of 28l. per head, payable in three years, or returnable in kind at that period, and in good condition. As the first of these conditions did not continue to bear any proportion to the progressive reduction that has taken place in the price of cattle in the colony, a general preference was given to the last; but it has not always happened that there was a general compliance with it. Cases have occurred in which this liberality of government has been much abused, in the selection that was made in the first instance, in the delay of repayment, and in the condition and age of the cattle that were returned. The government herds therefore hare suffered much in their quality and breed by these exchanges, and they have equally suffered by the heavy demands that have been made upon them for the government works, to which it appears they have been sent of late with little consideration of age or capacity for labour.

The names of the principal proprietors of sheep and cattle in the colony are contained in an extract that was made from the returns of the muster of the year 1820. They consist chiefly of persons who have come free to the colony; and the herds in which the greatest improvement has been made, are those of Mr. Palmer, jun., Mr. Thoresby, Mr. M‘Arthur, Mr. Wentworth, Sir John Jamison, Mr. Cox, and the Reverend Mr. Marsden. The stock belonging to these gentlemen has been more or less derived from the best English breeds, with a slight and partial admixture of the Cape and Bengal; and in that of Mr. Marsden, the Suffolk breed has altogether predominated.

The climate as well as the natural pasturage of New South Wales are highly favourable to the production, growth and improvement of horned cattle; and the great increase that has lately been made in the various products of the dairy, even at a moment when the natural pasturage in the settled districts had been deteriorated, and access to the new had just been opened, proves the value of this branch of rural industry in a temperature that cannot be considered as generally favourable to its development.

The increase that has taken place in the number of sheep during the last ten years has not equalled that of the horned cattle, the numbers having only been tripled during that period. At the muster that was taken in the month of September 1820, they amounted to 99,487. The breed that is general in the colony may be considered to be an admixture of that of the Cape of Good Hope and the improved English; and hitherto there have been few individuals who have turned their attention to the improvement of their flocks by the introduction of the Merino race. The perseverance and success of Mr. John M‘Arthur in the improvement of his flocks has been adverted to in my former Report. It appears that his attention to this subject was first attracted in the year 1794, by observing the improvement that had taken place in the fleeces of some of the lambs produced from a cross of sheep of the Bengal breed with some that he accidentally obtained from Ireland. These fleeces exhibited a mixture of hair and wool that afforded the first expectation of future improvement. In the year 1796, Mr. M‘Arthur was enabled to obtain by purchase from the Cape of Good Hope, four ewes and two rams of the pure Merino breed by which his flock was much improved; and in the year 1801, after submitting specimens of the pure Merino wool to the inspection of several eminent manufacturers in England, who considered them to be equal to any Spanish wool, and that of the mixed to be of considerable value, Mr. M‘Arthur purchased nine rams and one ewe from the royal flock at Kew, from which sources his present flock of sheep amounting to 6,800, of which 300 are pure Merinos, has been derived. In the interval that has elapsed since the year 1801, Mr. M‘Arthur has been enabled to dispose of several rams, of the mixed and improved breed, at prices varying from 14l. to 28l. a head; but he has always considered that the improvement of the fleeces of his flock, by preserving the purity of their breed, and preventing admixture with sheep of inferior quality, was a matter of much more importance to him than the multiplication of their numbers. In pursuing this object, he has received accidental, but important assistance in the prevention of access to the Cow Pastures, that has already been noticed; and while other individuals of the colony, who, although possessed of sheep of the pure Merino breed, were insensible to the importance of separating their breeding flocks and preserving their purity, or were unwilling to incur the expense and trouble of securing it by enclosures and strict superintendence, Mr. M‘Arthur has at length succeeded in creating a most valuable stock for the increase of his own flocks, or for the improvement of others. This improvement has already been perceptible in the flocks of a few individuals; and the high prices for which the finest fleeces of Mr. M‘Arthur's flock have been sold in the London market, will no doubt direct the attention of other proprietors of land and stock, to the adoption of the same means by which he has succeeded in obtaining such a valuable article of export. It does not appear that sheep that are fed in the colony of New South Wales are subject to any other or more obstinate diseases than those that affect them in England; and while there is reason to believe that the peculiar dryness of the atmosphere is very favorable to them, the flocks have not been found to suffer material injury from the heavy I droughts. In the lambing season, which continues from April to the month of May, it is found necessary to provide artificial food where an extensive range of pasturage cannot be resorted to. Until the year 1819, Mr. M‘Arthur has not found it necessary to change the pasturage of his own flocks; nor is it considered that such a mode of treatment, though much practised, is indispensible for sheep of the Merino breed. When they are in good condition, the average weight of their carcase is sixty-five pounds, and they have in some instances attained seventy. The average quantity of wool, produced by each sheep in Mr. M‘Arthur's flock, amounted in the year 1820 to two pounds seven ounces per fleece. In their daily range for food the flocks are distributed in different liens of an estate, and each flock amounts generally to 300. In the night-time it is necessary to place them in folds, to preserve them from the attacks of the native dog of New South Wales, a fierce and destructive animal when in pursuit of prey, but easily intimidated by the presence of men or dogs.

I have already had occasion to allude to the only obstacles that appeared to me to prevent the rapid augmentation of the growth of fine wool in the colony of New South Wales; they consisted of the difficulty and expense of transporting the wool from the interior to the coast; the prospective augmentation of duty that existed, until an act that was passed in the last session of parliament suspended the payment of any higher duty than one penny per pound on all wool that should be imported into England, from New South Wales or Van Diemen's Land, for the next ten years; and the difficulty that had been experienced in obtaining the labour of convicts accustomed to agricultural occupations.

The measures that I have had the honour to recommend for the provisional occupation of extensive tracts of grazing land in the country to the west and north of Bathurst, appear to me to provide against the dangers that might be apprehended from a too general dispersion of the convicts; and it will then only remain for the local government to improve the present communication between Bathurst and the seacoast, by the road over the Blue Mountains. The ascent of Mount York is at present a difficult one for loaded carts; and it is very probable that, unless another and more easy route should be discovered, the use of mules in passing the Blue Mountains will be found preferable to that of carts and waggons. I should, however, recommend, that even in the present state of the road, a station for the reception of stock and cattle that are driven from Bathurst to the coast, should be established at the foot of Mount York; and that a military guard, consisting of a sergeant and eight men, should likewise he placed there, for the purpose of watching and giving notice of the number of cattle and sheep that pass the mountains. A stockyard might also be placed at this station for the reception of cattle, and in this manner it would be found practicable to combine the advantages of police with those of temporary refreshment to the sheep and grazing stock, that is very requisite for them after passing over the sterile ridges of the Blue Mountains. Similar measures should be adopted on the roads that lead to the counties of Argyle and Camden, if it shall be found that the tracts of land on the eastern and south-western sides of the range of the Cookbundoon hills afford good pasturage for sheep and cattle. A stock yard had been erected by the only two individuals whose cattle had penetrated those districts; and the station in which it is placed is well chosen, both for security and temporary refreshment. Facility of access has been given by opening a track from the Cow Pastures to the summit of the Cookbundoon Range; the largest trees had been felled and removed; and although the roots will be a source of the same inconvenience in future that has been felt on the Bathurst and other roads of the colony, yet at the present moment I do not see the necessity of making any further improvement than constructing a wooden bridge over the river of Wingee Caribbee, and laying platforms of the same material in two swampy passes on the northern side of the Merigong Range.

It is possible that a practicable communication to the sea-coast from these tracts may be discovered, which will facilitate the export of their produce to Sydney and the settled districts. If the sanguine expectations entertained by Mr. Thoresby on this subject are realized, I should recommend that after a line of road has been well surveyed, assistance in making the most difficult parts of it should be given in convict labour. For the same reasons I am induced to recommend, that the steep ascent that renders communication difficult between the district called Illawarra and the district of Airds, should be improved by giving a new direction to the present track.

It is in removing impediments of this kind, and in the distribution of agricultural labourers, that it appears to me that the local government can afford the most beneficial assistance to the first efforts of individuals in agricultural enterprizes, leaving to them at a future period the task of carrying on the improvements of the communications between the remoter positions and the ports or depots to which the produce may be carried.

A proposal was submitted to Governor Macquarie in the year 1820, for the establishment of a joint stock company in New South Wales for the growth and production of fine wool. In aid of this establishment pecuniary assistance was requested by advances from the police-fund; the assignment of agricultural labourers as they arrived from England; an unlimited range for flocks of sheep in the interior, not approaching nearer to the settled estates than five miles; and an importation of sheep of the pure Merino breed at the expense of government, the cost of which was to be repaid at a future period, and in the meantime to be secured upon the shares of the subscribers and the flocks of sheep as they might be produced.

The objection made by Governor Macquarie to this proposal, appears to have arisen from an apprehension of the consequences of placing so many convict labourers in remote situations, under no other or better control than that of the individual superintendent of the establishment whom it was proposed to appoint. This circumstance forms certainly the essential objection to the extension of settlements in which convicts are employed, or their removal to a great distance from the residence of some individual clothed with authority to control and punish them; and as far as the proposal made to Governor Macquarie limited the chance of control, by limiting the number of superintendents, I concur with him in the objection that he made. I am not aware that the proposal was founded un any general support from individuals in the colony, although I am disposed to believe that, from the indisposition already adverted to in the proprietors of stock to leave their establishments in the settled districts, and to repair to those more remote for the purpose of devoting themselves exclusively to the growth of fine wool, they would gladly have embraced any proposition that had a tendency to exempt them from individual exertion, and in which no other or greater degree of risk or expense was to be incurred than that of paying the salary of the superintendent, and the subsistence of a certain number of convicts.

Upon the expediency of promoting in the colony of New South Wales the growth of fine wool, and creating a valuable export from thence to Great Britain, no doubt I can be entertained, as it appears to be the principal, if not the only source of productive industry within the colony, from which the settlers can derive the means of repaying the advances made to then from the mother country, or supplying their own demands for articles of foreign manufacture.

The great extent of pasturage that is now opened between the course of the river Hastings on the north, and the country that has been discovered in the neighbourhood of lakes George and Bathurst on the south, affords the most favourable opportunities for individuals disposed and capable of entering upon an extensive scheme of agricultural speculation.

From the first account that I have already adverted to, of the character of the country to the south of the lakes, and from thence to the shores of Bass's Straits, as well as of the rivers and bays that have been discovered upon the eastern coast of that country, I am not inclined to infer that it will afford any valuable accession to the agricultural resources of the colony; but I cannot help recommending in this place that the eastern as well as the southern shore of that tract should be accurately examined, with the special purpose of discovering the existence of rivers and harbours, and the nature of their communication with the interior.

This survey may be very advantageously extended along the northern shore of Bass's Straits from Cape Howe as far as Spencer's Gulph; for although a general description of such parts of this coast as were distantly visible from a ship's deck, has been given by Captain Flinders, and may be useful for navigators, yet it affords no means of forming a judgment of the character of the interior, or its capacity for colonization. With a view to obtain such information, I should recommend that the expedition of land survey should, in the first instance, take its departure from the head of Port Philip, or that of Western Port in Bass's Straits, and taking from thence a north-easterly direction, should endeavour to pursue its course to lake George. The object of this expedition would be to ascertain the character of the country lying within these limits, as well as the possibility of a communication by land between the shores of Bass's Straits and the small portion of the territory of New South Wales that is already known and settled. If the character of this tract shall be found to bear any resemblance to those that have lately been examined, I apprehend it will be found to possess little facility of internal communication by %veer. On the other hand, the extent of its surface, and the natural pasturage for sheep and cattle that there is reason to expect it will afford, the superior attractions of its climate and the facility of intercourse with the northern settlements of Van Diemen's Land and the islands in Bass's Straits, all constitute reasons for attempting the colonization of this tract; first by a careful survey of the country itself, and afterwards by the gradual introduction of free settlers.

I have already stated my reasons, in a former Report, for not occupying such or indeed any positions on the coasts of Bass's Straits as receptacles for convicts. The restraints that are found necessary wherever such establishments are fixed, are unfavorable to foreign commerce, or even to much internal intercourse; and they are equally unfavorable to the purposes of punishment. Independent of the advantages that have been derived in New South Wales from the easy multiplication of the stock of cattle and sheep, those arising from the increase in the number of horses ought not to be overlooked. The number of horses is stated in the general return of the year 1810 to have amounted to 1,114; and in the year 1820, it had increased to 3,639. The breed of horses now prevailing in New South Wales is derived principally from those of Bengal that have an admixture of Arabian blood, and from a few importations of English horses of the lighter breeds. They partake more of the character of the former than of the latter, and are more distinguished by symmetry than by strength; but they are found, notwithstanding, to be serviceable for draught, and are capable of bearing great fatigue. Some attention has lately been paid to the improvement of the breed of horses by the higher classes of settlers; but these efforts appear to have been in some degree checked by the want of inclosures, and of artificial food during the winter and spring. Wherever clover has been mixed with the natural grasses of the country, hay of a very good quality has been obtained; and it is sometimes made from the natural grass alone. Good clover hay has hitherto, however, been so scarce in the colony, that it has seldom been sold for less than 10l. per ton, and is very rarely to be purchased. In the town of Sydney, where the principal demand for it exists, the supply of food for horses has been obtained by the extra labour of convicts, who procure grass from the banks of the Paramatta River. The advantages that are thus derived from the easy multiplication of the stock in New South Wales, are infinitely greater than those that are likely to be derived from the cultivation of the land.

Independent of the effects of an uncertain climate, that is not generally favourable to the growth of European grains, and of a degree of heat that either too suddenly or too quickly follows a long series of heavy rains, and scorches rather than matures it the smaller grains of New South Wales, though equal in quality to those of the south of Europe, have to contend with frequent blights at Bathurst, and either from the proper seasons for sowing not having yet been discovered, or from some other cause, the wheat has been always affected with smut; and in a few years, in which the season has been very dry, an insect, denominated the fly-moth, was observed to be generated in the grain produced in the settled districts, before it was removed from the field. The insect continued in it after being stacked, and when opened or exposed to the air, a great proportion of the grain was found to be consumed. A greater and more constant loss of grain is sustained from the devastation of the weevil after the wheat is stacked, and very few of the settlers in New South Wales possess granaries, or even barns, for its protection from the sudden vicissitudes of weather. The general state of the farm buildings in the colony is indeed much worse than might have been expected from the abundance of materials that are furnished from the woods. Two reasons only are assignable for such neglect,—the expense and difficulty of procuring mechanical labour, and the careless and improvident habits of a large proportion of the settlers.

By returns that were furnished to me of the number of mechanics in the different districts of New South Wales in the year 1820, I find that there were seventy carpenters, fifty-five sawyers, forty-three blacksmiths, and seventeen brickmakers, either free or holding tickets of leave, independent of those of the same and other descriptions that had been assigned as convict servants to individuals, or that were retained in the government works.

In perusing the list of the persons to whom mechanics had been so assigned, I find them to consist either of the magistrates or of the officers of the government, who, until within the last three years, have held grants of land, and have proceeded in the cultivation and improvement of them. The wages of a mechanic in the neighbourhood of Paramatta, in which it appears that such persons are most numerous, amount to 7s. or 8s. per day where subsistence is not found, and marly the same price is paid for convict mechanics working by the piece, or on their own time.

The general indisposition evinced by the mechanics to leave the towns, or to undertake labour in the country, and the loss of time experienced by the settlers, as well as risk to their property, by leaving it in the hands of convict servants for the purpose of procuring immediate repairs, have much augmented the expenses and the disappointments of agricultural exertion in New South Wales.

To these abundant sources of vexation and complaint may be further added the uncertainty of the colonial markets both for grain and meat. It has already been stated that the demand for both these commodities has, until very lately, been limited by the consumption of the convicts who were retained for the service of government at the different stations, and that of the military and civil officers who were entitled to draw rations from the King's store.

These stations have for some time been established at Sydney, Paramatta, Windsor and Liverpool; and lately one was added for the supply of the establishment of convicts at Emu Plains. The benefit of a temporary supply to a party of convicts employed to open the road from the Cow Pastures to the Cookbundoon Hills, was given to an individual whose herds of cattle were grazing in the neighbourhood.

The market at Bathurst has wholly consisted of the demand for wheat and meat that existed there for the subsistence of the convicts and the superintendents; and it has been supplied either by Mr. Cox, or by a certain number of the settlers in the immediate neighbourhood.

The price paid for wheat by government during the last ten years in New South Wales, has been fixed by the Governor, who appears during the later periods to have been guided or confirmed in that measure by a reference to the magistrates, who in the year 1814, gave it as their opinion, that wheat and maize could not be grown in the eastern districts of the colony, so as to leave a reasonable profit to the grower, at a less selling price than 10s. per bushel for wheat, and 5s. per bushel for maize, delivered at Sydney.

Upon the arrival of Governor Macquarie in New South Wales in the year 1810, and for a considerable time afterwards, a great scarcity of wheat prevailed in the colony, in consequence of the effects of a severe inundation of the river Hawkesbury that had occurred in the year 1808. To relieve the pressure of this scarcity, the governor had recourse to importations of wheat from Bengal. These continued to be supplied during the year 1811; and from a wish to give effect to the instructions of His Majesty's government in reducing the expenses of the colony, as well as to afford an inducement to many of the settlers to repay the advances that had been made to them either in cattle or grain, the acting commissary, Mr. Broughton, issued a notice, on the 19th December 1812, by order of the governor, stating that wheat would be received into store at Sydney and Paramatta at the rate of 10s. per bushel, and at 9s. at Windsor, in payment of debts due to government; but that as the quantity of wheat then in store was considerable, and that it would be further augmented by the quantity expected to be received on account of the debts due to the crown, a notice was given that no further purchase of wheat would be rendered necessary on account of government until the end of the ensuing year (1813); and that if deficiency should occur, no more than 8s. per bushel would be paid for wheat received at Sydney, nor more than 7s. for wheat received at Windsor. The government store had been open the whole of the year 1812, and large purchases had been made in the early part of that year from the executors of an individual at Windsor, and from two merchants at Sydney towards the latter end of it. The quantity of wheat in store was considerable, and it was so much affected by weevil that it was not considered prudent either to augment it, or to mix it with the new wheat of the year 1813. It was under these circumstances that Mr. Broughton, then at the head of the commissariat department, though differing with the governor as to the expediency of reducing the price of wheat, advised him to issue the notice already mentioned, under a conscientious belief that the state of the supply, both actual and prospective, justified the measure. The government stores had remained shut from the latter end of December 1812, and were not opened until the 1st of April 1813.

In ordinary seasons in New South Wales, the stores may be opened for the reception of wheat in the month of February of each year; the inhabitants of the colony, therefore, were much disappointed on finding themselves, as it were, excluded from their best and ordinary market; very few of those who were indebted to government tendered their grain in payment; and such was the depreciation of that article in the market, that the settlers became careless of it, and insensible to the admonitions of those who had the sagacity to foresee a want of grain, and the prudence to provide against it.

In the month of August of the year 1813, the supplies to government had been so small, and the waste of grain so profuse, by the settlers, that on the arrival of Mr. Deputy Commissary General Allan, and upon an inspection of the state of the stores, a scarcity of wheat was apprehended, and the store price was raised from 8s. to 12s. per bushel, and great difficulty was experienced in obtaining any supplies whatever.

In the early part of the year 1814, the store price of wheat appears to have risen as high as 13s.; and in November, in consequence of arrivals from India, it fell to 10s. At the latter end of the same year, the governor, with a view to encourage the settlers to extend the cultivation of their land, issued an order, in which, after making several regulations for the impartial admission of the settlers to the benefit of the store supply, promised to continue the then existing price of 10s. per bushel for the harvest of 1815, and also for that of 1816. It appears that this promise had the effect of producing some increase of cultivation, for in the year 1814 the quantity of land cultivated in wheat amounted to 8,613 acres, and in 1816 it had been increased to 13,228. Since that period, although fluctuations in the market price have been frequent, yet the store price has experienced neither rise nor depression until the month of July 1820, when, in consequence of an exhaustion of the supply of wheat in the colony, that haul nut been duly anticipated, and a great increase in the consumption, purchases were made of wheat, imported from Van Diemen's Land, at 11s. and 12s. per bushel. The store price of maize has fluctuated from 3s. to 7s.; for as it is a grain of more general consumption, on account of the various uses to which it is found to be applicable, and as it is more easily preserved than wheat, the settlers have not been disposed to submit to any depression of price below that which the market afforded; and the purchases of this grain on account of government have not been considerable, except in the years 1815 and 1818.

The deputy commissary general at Sydney, furnished me with a document, showing the quantities of wheat and maize purchased in the colony in each year, from April 1810 to June 1820 inclusive.

Between the year 1814 and the year 1819, the purchases of wheat by government appear to have gradually increased from 24,258 bushels to 54,895, and in the year 1820 there was every probability of that quantity being exceeded.

I was informed in 1819, by an intelligent officer of the commissariat department, that, for two years preceding, the demand of government and of the market had exceeded the quantity of wheat produced in the colony of New South Wales, and considerable purchases of that grain have been made from Van Diemen's Land Indeed, such was the state of the market and the increase of consumption towards the end of the year 1820, in both settlements, that a speculation was entered into for the importation of wheat from Valparaiso.

It is not therefore from a want of a remunerating rice in the purchases of grain by the local government, that the settlers in New South Wales have had to complain. It is %yell known, that if the ordinary mode of purchase by contract had been resorted to, or if indeed a less price than 10s. per bushel for wheat had been offered, the settlers must have submitted to it, or have taken the chance of obtaining less favourable terms in the Sydney market.

The great causes that have operated unfavourably to the agriculture of New South Wales have been the uncertainty of the demand for produce, together with the difficulties in obtaining access to the government stores, and the expense and risk of cultivation, either as arising from the climate, the frequent varieties of the soil, or from the carelessness and unskilfulness of the convict servants.

The first notice of an attempt on the part of the governor to reduce the price of wheat, or the demand for it by government in 1813, created a great degree of alarm and discontent amongst the settlers. They assembled together, and in a plain but respectful manner prayed that permission might be given to them to dispose of their grain for the purpose of distillation; and that assistance might be granted to them for the homeward freight of such articles of colonial growth as they thought might be saleable in the English markets. It has been, seen that the governor did not make any subsequent reduction in the store price of wheat; but as it was not considered expedient at that period to allow of the distillation of spirits from grain, the only means that remained to him of compliance with the requests of the settlers, and as he also considered, with the interests of the colony, was to create an extended market by extending the consumption of grain on government account.

It is possible that with assistance, judiciously extended, the settlers might have been led to turn their attention at an earlier period to the production of other objects than those that solely depended upon the demand of government. The period however was not favourable for their export under the regulations that at that time governed the maritime intercourse between Great Britain and the colony; and from the very slow progress that has been made in the growth and production of fine wool, I am inclined to doubt whether such experiments, if conducted by individuals, might not by their failure have led to the discouragement of all future attempts. For the success of such attempts, capital, skill, perseverance and personal exertion were alike necessary; and without meaning to discredit the exertions of a few of the settlers in New South Wales, who certainly have shown that they possessed some of these qualities, I can very safely affirm, that amongst the large body of settlers, no enterprize was to be expected that required a combination of them. It is only justice to state, that every exertion has been made on the part of Governor Macquarie, since the year 1813, to prevent a monopoly of the only market that was offered. Ills order, published in November 1814, directed that all the tenders that were made to the officers of the commissariat department at the different stations, should be sent to the officer at the head of that department, and submitted to himself for approval: for some time this order appears to have been complied with, and the quantities of grain that each person tendered were published in the Gazette.

Various have been the expedients tried and recommended to ensure to every class of the settlers a proportional share of the benefit of the government supply. Except on one occasion, that occurred during the management of the commissariat department by the late Mr. Acting Assistant Commissary General Broughton, the admission to the supply of grain appeared to have been guided by fairness and impartiality. It was his practice, as soon after the harvest as he considered proper, to send round hand-bills to the different districts, giving notice that the stores were open for the reception of grain, and that those who wished to supply were required to send in tenders. A subsequent notice was given, so as to prepare the settlers, and the stores were kept open till they were full. In the execution of this duty, a certain degree of discretion was exercised by the subordinate officers of the commissariat at the different stations; and a further control by the chief officer at Sydney, who was directed to have reference to the muster books whenever he had reason to believe that the person tendering either grain or meat was not a cultivator, or that he had purchased the wheat of another, and in such cases to reject it, and the person so tendering was deprived of the indulgence of supplying for the remainder of the season. Mr. Broughton has however declared, that in many instances the entries in the muster books were delusive and not to be depended upon; and that from the returns of the quantity of stock, a deduction of at least one-twelfth ought to be made. He further states, that in cases where he was enabled to satisfy himself by documents, that the wheat that was offered by the landlords in the towns, was received in payment from their tenants, he did not think himself justified in refusing it. This principle, though just in itself, was always liable to great abuse; and several names appear in Mr. Broughton's lists, as well as in those of the year 1818, that excite much suspicion of the motives that led to their admission.

From the anxiety of the poorer classes of settlers to bring their produce to the store at the earliest opportunity, and not unfrequently to conceal their names from the inquiries of creditors, it became very difficult to make any regulations by which embarrassment could be prevented, at the first period appointed for receiving grain.

It generally happened that the grain produced by this class of settlers was in worse condition than that of others, and that it was to be screened before it could be received into store, and thence arose fresh delays, fraud in the admixture of the grain, and bribery of the subordinate servants to conceal it. From bad weather, or accident, a settler might be delayed, and the store disappointed; and it would then depend upon the humanity or consideration of the officer in charge, whether the turn of such a person should be lost, or reserved for a future day. The distances of the principal grain districts from the principal receiving store at Sydney, and the state of the roads until a late period, might and have frequently caused these disappointments, both to the settler and to the store. To the former, there was no remedy but that of resorting to the public-houses in Sydney, where there are granaries for temporary deposit, together with great temptations to dispose of the grain at a heavy loss; and to the latter, no other expedient that that of purchasing grain from those who kept it in deposit, and within reach of the King's store.

The importations of wheat and rice from India that were made in the years 1815 and 1816, and those that have more lately been made from Van Diemen's Land, have tended to convince the settlers, who were engaged in the cultivation of wheat in New South Wales, that the period was passed in which the colony was under the necessity of relying upon its own resources for the production of wheat, or for the supply of the deficiency that might be created by accident. These circumstances, together with the increasing distance from the market at which every new settler was necessarily placed, or in which, after exhausting a first grant, some settlers succeeded in obtaining a second, have materially diminished the encouragement that the demand of government for grain in New South Wales has hitherto created. The endeavours of the colonists to procure the additional benefit of a foreign market have not been more encouraging: In the year 1819, a cargo of flour was exported to the Cape of Good Hope in a vessel that had been built in the colony, and commanded by an officer and manned principally by sailors who had been born in it. The season of the year in which the voyage was commenced was unfavourable; and from the consequent delay and difficulty that occurred in procuring a return cargo, the profits of the speculation were not such as to encourage a repetition of it. It is, therefore, from the internal consumption of grain that the colonists have long hoped to derive the benefits of an extended market; and it is from this source that they are led to expect the revival of the drooping state of their agriculture, and the means of extricating themselves from the embarrassments in which they think that a restricted demand for produce has hitherto placed them.

The permission to distil spirits from every species of grain raised in the colony, or in Van Diemen's Land, as long as the price of wheat in the Sydney market should not exceed 10s. per bushel, was to take effect in the month of August of the year 1822.

I have already adverted to the expense and risks of cultivation in New South Wales, as permanent drawbacks from the successful cultivation of land in grain. The ordinary incapacity of the convicts for field labour, and the rate of wages and subsistence afforded them, form large items in this part of the account. They are estimated by Mr. Cox to amount to the sum of 25l. 12s. per annum for each convict, whether skilful or unskilful: of this sum, 9l. 2s. form the cost of the annual ration of meat, consisting of seven pounds per week, at 6d. per pound; and 6l. 10s. is the cost of the ration of wheat, at the rate of a peck per week; making, with the wages of 10l. the annual charge of 25l. 12s.

By the same gentleman, the expense of converting into tillage an acre of forest land, or land of an ordinary quality, and cultivating it with wheat, is estimated at 6l. 10s. per acre. The cost of the same operation in maize, he estimates at 5l. 8s. 6d. calculating the produce at twenty bushels for the land cultivated in wheat, and at forty bushels for that cultivated in maize.

Supposing the estimate of the produce to be correct, and that the whole of it was sold at the store price that has been given for wheat and maize during the later periods of the colony, the profits of such cultivation of land, that is granted gratuitously and only subject to a trifling quit-rent, would seem to afford ample encouragement. The several causes of deduction from these profits I have already enumerated, and they have been such as generally to discourage the higher classes of settlers from embarking largely in the cultivation of grain.

In my inquiry respecting the expenses of cultivating the smaller farms of fifty acres, I obtained from Mr. Oxley, the surveyor-general, a very detailed answer. Assuming a period of three years, and that the operations of the first are commenced and continued by a settler on fifty acres of land, with assistance from government in the article of subsistence for six months, and with sufficient of his own funds to provide it himself for the remainder, he considers that, in that year, the expenses of cultivation would exceed the profits by 5l. 19s; in the second year, that the profits would exceed the expenses by 49l. 10s; and that, in the third year, they would be reduced to 36l. 8s. To this amount, however, is to be added the value of poultry raised on the farms, which, with the value of the settler's own labour, may be estimated at 15l. more. In the whole of this calculation, it is assumed that the grantee of the fifty acres possesses some knowledge of farming; that he is enabled to procure manure sufficient to renovate his land in the third year; that the quality of it is such as to enable him to bring the whole of it into ultimate cultivation; and that the market will constantly afford him 10s. per bushel for his wheat, and 4s. for the maize. In these cases, Mr. Oxley considers that the net receipts of his farm may be safely estimated at 60l. per annum, and that with care they may be continued at that amount.

For the ordinary class of settlers, to whom sixty acres of land are usually allotted, the prospect afforded by this calculation is in very many cases a forbidding one. It supposes industrious habits, some portion of agricultural knowledge, and the application of the annual savings to the purchase of agricultural implements, buildings, and lastly the operation of a steady demand for produce.

To settlers possessing a moderate share of capital, some previous acquaintance with agricultural pursuits, and intelligence in the selection of land, the calculation is on the other hand not discouraging; and when applied to more extensive grants, and united with the profits to be derived from grazing, may afford to those who are emigrating to New South Wales, the means of ascertaining the real extent of the sacrifice that they are making, or of the expectations that they may justly indulge.

Before I proceed to submit to your Lordship the subsisting regulations by which the grants of land have been made in New South Wales, I will beg leave to describe the state of agriculture in the settlement at Van Diemen's Land.

The island has been divided into two counties, one called the county of Buckinghamshire, extending from the southern coast of the island to the forty-second degree of south latitude the other called the county of Cornwall, and extending from the same dividing line to the northern coast. The county of Buckinghamshire has been divided into twenty-three districts, but without any particular view to their natural boundaries or to the existing state of the population. Very few of the names that were given to these districts have been preserved in the civil administration of the colony; and hardly any of them were known to the colonists themselves.

It is stated by Mr. Evans, the deputy surveyor, that some of these districts are too confined for townships, and that several would only form one.

The most cultivated tracts in the county of Buckinghamshire are those that lie on the shores of the harbour of the river Derwent, the shores of North Bay, and of an arm of the sea called Pitt Water.

Upon the shores of the harbour, and in ascending it towards Hobart Town, the cultivation does not extend beyond a narrow line of sloping land that forms the base of the hills on the western shore; and a few farms that have been cultivated upon the eastern.

The soil in the former tracts consists in many places of a rich and sandy loam. The farms are small and have been occupied for some length of time, and cultivated by marines who were discharged from service in the years 1802 and 1803. The state both of the farms and buildings, as well as of the produce, indicated the poverty of the owners as well as their bad cultivation. The land upon the hills is stony, but covered with grass, which affords a slender support to a few cattle. Around Hobart Town the land is of very inferior quality; but in ascending the left bank of the river Derwent it improves, but exhibits very remarkable variations within a very small space. It is on the tract of land called Clarence's Plains, and more especially in the district of Pitt Water and the Coal River, that the pre-eminent fertility of the soil of Van Diemen's Land is exhibited. The surface of these tracts is sufficiently varied and open to prevent the stagnation of the water, but not to impede cultivation. The soil consists of a sandy loam, and in Pitt Water of a rich and reddish loam of some depth and tenacity. The timber hardly exceeds the proportion that would be requisite for ornament, and at present is insufficient for the construction of buildings and fences. The farms are here of a larger extent than in the other districts of Van Diemen's Land, and the appearance of five or six of the farm-houses indicated attention to domestic comfort and agricultural improvement.

The houses are principally built of wood, and thatched with straw or shingles. Stone of a good quality has been found in the district of Pitt Water, but has not yet been worked.

The smaller settlers in these districts consist of disbanded marines, and the families of the convicts that were formerly established at Norfolk Island.

There are also settlers whose terms of service have expired or have been remitted, and who have purchased land from the original grantees.

The produce of the land consists chiefly of wheat, a very little barley, and potatoes. The quality of the wheat produced in this part of Van Diemen's Land, IS considered to be superior to that of New South Wales. The barley has not been found to succeed so well; but the cultivation of this grain and of oats has hitherto been very inconsiderable and has not been fairly tried. The potatoes of Van Diemen's Land, especially those that are grown on the lighter soils, are fully equal to the best potatoes of English growth, and yield very abundant returns.

If the cultivation was conducted with an ordinary degree of skill, the produce oft wheat in these districts could not fail to be very abundant; at present it is estimated upon an average of five years, ending March 1820, to be about twenty-four bushels per acre. The cultivated lands of each farm are entirely open, and except upon an estate of Colonel Davey and one of Mr. Lord, I did not observe a single fence.

The cultivation of artificial grasses in the southern part of Van Diemen's Land seemed to be altogether neglected in the year 1820, although a striking and solitary instance of its success and of its profits was exhibited upon the estate of an individual at a little distance from Hobart Town.

From the difficulty that now exists of obtaining pasturage for their cattle upon their estates the settlers, especially those who do not possess more than fifty acres, are in the habit of sending their flocks to a considerable distance from the cultivated grounds, under a permission that they obtain from the lieutenant-governor, and called a ticket of occupation. A multiplication of the quantity of stock is thus obtained; but it is attended with a great deterioration of its quality, in consequence of the little care that is taken to separate the flocks.

Great advantage is derived to the settlers in the district of Pitt Water, from its contiguity to the sea, and the access that is thereby afforded to the market at Hobart Town. The distance by land conveyance is twenty-two miles, and by water about forty. Vessels of light tonnage can anchor in Pitt Water in live or seven fathoms depth, to receive the produce of the district; for the conveyance of which to Hobart Town, the price charged is a deduction of one bushel of wheat in every ten. This district is not in other respects well watered: two of the three streams in it contain brackish water, and as yet no wells have been sunk.

The cultivation of the other parts of the county of Buckinghamshire is extended to the banks of the Coal River, a small stream that falls into an arm of the sea at Pitt Water, on which there are some very fine and beautiful tracts of land, equally calculated for the purposes of grazing or tillage. In some portions of these tracts the effects of inundation are visible; but the general character of the country is attractive, very accessible, and not more encumbered with wood than its wants will be found to require. Settlements have also been made upon the banks of a river called the Jordan, that falls into the Derwent at Herdsman's Cove; also upon the higher stream of that river. These settlements are not remarkable for the fertility of the soil.

The inhabitants of the settlement called New Norfolk chiefly consist of the convicts who were sent to Norfolk Island, and were removed from thence after being habituated to the soft climate and rich soil of that beautiful settlement.

There are very few amongst, them who have not suffered in their circumstances by this removal, and all regret it.

The indulgent consideration with which their claims were treated on leaving their settlements in Norfolk Island, and on their arrival in Van Diemen's Land, has neither soothed that regret nor improved their circumstances; and most of them became the easy victims of temporary indulgence on their arrival, and are now regretting the sacrifices that they were induced to make of the advantages that the government very liberally bestowed upon them. Their habitations are small and in a state of great dilapidation, and their lands appear to be exhausted by perpetual cropping.

The soil of these districts is generally light and sandy, except upon the immediate banks of the river Jordan, in which it has an alluvial character, and the vegetation is therefore more luxuriant. The river itself has much of the character of those in New South Wales: it is confined to deep pools or narrow channels in the summer, and spreads beyond its banks to a considerable distance in winter.

A few settlements have been made on the line of road that traverses the country to Port Dalrymple, leading through the plains called Bagdad to the Green Ponds. The land of these settlements is not unfit for cultivation, and always capable of it, with little preliminary expense of the removal of timber from the surface.

The districts that are cultivated in the county of Cornwall are confined to the banks of the South and North Esk Rivers, that fall into the river Tamar at Launceston. They are not a greater distance from that place than fourteen miles; but the access from Norfolk Plains is yet difficult for loaded carts.

The soil in one of the vallies watered by the North Esk, and called Paterson's Plains, is a light and rich loamy deposit, bearing good and continued crops, even in the worst state of cultivation. The inundations of the rivers on this side of Van Diemen's Land do not seem to be so extensive as in the few smaller streams that penetrate the centre.

The North and South Esk Rivers take their rise in the great eastern and western ridges that border the plains through which the road passes from the south to the northern side of the island, and possess a character altogether different from the sedgy and stagnant pools of the interior. They are clear, full and rapid, even during the summer.

The settlement at Norfolk Plains contains a few good habitations, but the soil is inferior to that of Paterson's Plains and the immediate neighbourhood of Launceston.

The country that lies between the ford of the South Esk River and Paterson's Plains, comprises some beautiful tracts of land; the graceful and easy undulations of which are covered with fine herbage, and slightly encumbered with wood. The want of water unfortunately diminishes their value in every sense, and they are probably the last tracts that will be selected by settlers for profit or convenience.

The cultivation and produce of this part of Van Diemen's Land differs in no respect from those of the southern districts, except in the prevalence of white clover in the immediate neighbourhood of Launceston. This grass was introduced by Colonel Paterson on the first settlement of Port Dalrymple, and by his own care and personal attention was disseminated in a small tract of flat land that is in front of the town of Launceston, and upon the margin of the river Tamar. One individual only since that period seems to have been sensible of the benefit thus conferred upon the settlement, and has extended that benefit to his own estate in the neighbourhood.

The total quantity of land cultivated in wheat in the county of Buckinghamshire appears, by the muster of the year 1820, to have amounted to 6,293 acres; and that in the county of Cornwall to 2,982. The grain that is produced in both districts is of greater size and weight than that of New South Wales, and is not liable to the ravages of the fly, moth, or weevil. The seasons are likewise observed to be more regular, and the effect of blight or drought has very rarely been experienced. The springs appear to be late in Van Diemen's Land; and the frost has been so severe in the month of October, and even so late as January, as entirely to destroy the early growth of the potatoe crop. In the interior of the country, the effect of frost upon this vegetable has universally been felt, and has much checked the cultivation of it.

Next to the advantages of climate that Van Diemen's Land possesses, the facility with which the soil may be cultivated, is one that has contributed to give it a preference in the estimation of settlers over the colony of New South Wales. In the districts that I have enumerated, the felling, burning, and rooting up of timber, which in New South Wales constitutes so large a portion of the expense of cultivation, hardly forms an item of it. The trees are generally small, stunted, and scattered thinly, and afford slight impediments to the early use of the plough. Instances have of late occurred where, by diligence and industry, a settler has brought as much as sixty acres of new land into cultivation, and sown it with wheat, during the first five months of his location upon it, with no more assistance than that of tour convicts, a plough and team of bullocks.

Until the period in which the convicts were transported directly from England and Ireland to Van Diemen's Land, there was no visible or material reduction in the price of labour; and as the convicts that were most fitted by previous habit for agricultural labour, have been distributed to the settlers instead of being retained by the government, the advantage of employing them has been more sensibly felt by the settlers: although in this as well as in every other instance of labour that is purely coercive, it is liable to be, affected by circumstances that cannot be the subject of calculation.

Amongst these may be specially noticed the temper of the master, and his means of affording a liberal allowance of animal food to his convict servants. In this last respect I observed a superiority of the settlers in Van Diemen's Land over those of New South Wales, arising from circumstances that were very much of a local nature. The means of punishing their convict servants were not so immediately attained; but in the latter, the means of subsistence were more limited and precarious.

The price of mechanical labour in Van Diemen's Land was, however, very high in the year 1820; and, with the high price of iron, constituted a great deduction from the profits of agriculture, and a serious impediment to the construction of buildings.

The breed of cattle prevalent in Van Diemen's Land is derived from an admixture of the Bengal and English breeds. Stock from the government herds both at Hobart Town and at Port Dalrymple has been lent, or sold upon credit, to individuals; and at both places I observed, that the cattle of which those herds were composed, were very inferior in shape and size to the stock of individuals; and had suffered much from the selection that had been made of them by settlers in distribution, as well as by the imperfect performance of the agreement to return cattle of good quality and condition. The superintendent of stock at Port Dalrymple was convinced that clandestine exchanges had been made in the government herd at that place, and that they had greatly suffered from depredation.

The ordinary weight of the cattle in Van Diemen's Land, at three years old, is about 470 pounds: they are much used for draught, and all agricultural purposes, the price of horses being yet high, and the breed partaking of the same qualities and defects as those in New South Wales. The number of horned cattle in both the settlements of Van Diemen's Land, returned at the muster of the year 1820, amounted to 28,838.

The breed of sheep now prevailing there, was derived from a flock imported by Colonel Paterson from New South Wales. These sheep were of the Teeswater breed, and have since received a slight ad fixture with the sheep of the Leicester breed, and with a few that have been imported from Bengal: of the latter there are few remaining, and the traces are nearly extinct. From the access that the sheep of these settlements have had to new pasturage, they have thriven rapidly, and as quickly increased in number.

By the return of stock made at the muster of 1818, the number of sheep is stated to have amounted to 127,883. In 1819, it is stated to have been 172,128; and by the return made at the muster of the year 1820, the number at both settlements is stated to have amounted to 182,468.

From the statement made by Mr. Deputy Commissary General Hull, the returns given in at the annual musters, especially of the number of ewes, are not to be depended upon. The general embarrassments of the settlers, and their wish to swell the amount of their property, as well as to entitle themselves to a share of the supply required for the King's store, all operate in giving a delusive character to these returns. The state of the flocks, however, will in some measure account for the rapidity of their increase: It is the custom to allow the sheep of all ages and sexes to herd together in the same flock; and the lambs are allowed to breed before they have attained the age of seven months. Little improvement has taken place either in the size or in the fleeces of the sheep of Van Diemen's Land, nor did it appear likely to take place under the management of the present proprietors, and as long as their attention was devoted to the single object of supplying the stores with meat.

Lieutenant-Governor Sorell had for some time been impressed with the necessity of making some effort to improve the value of the wool; and after communicating with Mr. M‘Arthur upon the best means of effecting it, Governor Macquarie sanctioned an agreement, by which that gentleman delivered at Sydney 300 Iambs of the improved Merino breed, in exchange for a certain quantity of land in New South Wales. The lambs were embarked in a large vessel that was destined for Van Diemen's Land, and every care was taken for their security and preservation during the voyage. In consequence however of their long detention at Sydney after embarkation, on account of some private business of the captain, and of the great number of lambs that were put on board, and necessarily confined between the decks, 91 died on the passage, 209 were landed, and of these 24 died soon afterwards.

A distribution of 181 lambs, valued at seven guineas each, took place at Hobart Town in the month of September 1820, to the individuals whom Lieutenant-Governor Sorell considered most capable of giving attention to the improvement of their flocks; and the number appropriated to each individual was also regulated by him, on due consideration of the applications that were made to him, and the characters of the applicants. Securities were likewise taken from each person for the repayment or the value of the lambs thus distributed, and amounting to 1,330l. 7s. 8d. If the settlers, to whom these sheep have been distributed, should ever be convinced of the necessity of attending to the separation of their flocks, and will be content with the certainty of a distant profit in the sale of their wool, rather than in the risk of a present profit in the supply of meat to the King's store, there is no reason to doubt that the climate of Van Diemen's Land will be found as favourable to the production of fine wool as that of New South Wales, and that the same improvement will take place in it. Greater expense may be requisite in Van Diemen's Land in procuring shelter for the Merino flocks during the winter; but to counterbalance that disadvantage the cost of transport of the wool will be legs expensive and difficult.

With the rapid augmentation that has taken place in the increase both of grain and animal food in Van Diemen's Land, the difficulty has increased of preserving a due proportion to each settler of the supply of meat and wheat to the King's store. The tender lists of meat, both for the county of Buckinghamshire and Cornwall, have been regularly submitted to the inspection and control of the lieutenant-governor, who has frequently exercised his own discretion in erasing names or in correcting the quantities tendered; and although it appears that Mr. Deputy Assistant Commissary General Hull, acting in obedience to the orders of the head of his department, had, officially declined at one period to submit to the lieutenant-governor the tender list for the supplies of wheat, yet orders were subsequently transmitted for his regular observance of that very salutary practice. I remarked also, that considerable discretion was exercised by this officer on these points; and that, with a commendable view of facilitating the re-payment of former advances made to settlers of wheat, or of implements of husbandry, he gave a preference to those who were so indebted; receiving the amount of one-half of their debt, and admitting the other half on their own account. He also exercised a discretion in admitting or excluding individual settlers, whose characters were notorious for excess or immorality; and was constantly in the habit of making reference to the muster lists, to ascertain whether the quantity tendered bore a due proportion to the quantity of stock, or land in cultivation; or whether the party tendering had only made a temporary purchase for the sake of obtaining a turn, to which the real proprietor was conscious that he either possessed no claim, or had done something to forfeit it. Independent of the admission of the supplies that are tendered and made public when approved, a still wider discretion is vested in the commissariat officer, in giving turns to individuals when others have failed to comply with their engagements. At certain periods of the year, both in Van Diemen's Land and New South Wales, when the pasturage is plentiful, and the stock is in good condition, there is no backwardness in want of punctuality in the suppliers; but in the winter, or, after a series of heavy droughts, or even on the occurrence of casual disappointments, if the requisite supplies are not furnished, those who voluntarily come forward to assist the store in a season of scarcity are considered to have a claim upon the return of more favourable periods. Upon sudden emergencies, likewise, individuals who have a command of grain or stock are applied to and indulged with turns, which from not being noticed in the Gazette, and being withdrawn from public notice, do not fail to attract and excite a good deal of observation. It was admitted by Mr. Hull, the officer in charge of the commissariat department at Hobart Town, that he considered such casual admissions to the supply of the King's store to constitute part of the fair patronage of his office. It is not, therefore, surprising that causes of disappointment, and complaints of undue preference, should be as frequent at Van Diemen's Land as in New South Wales; but as the tender-lists in both places were made public, and as an opportunity, at least, was afforded of fixing blame upon the individuals in whose hands this large discretion is vested, I feel it my duty to state, that one instance only was brought to my notice in which I could feel justified in stating that improper motives had appeared to guide it.

In inquiring from Lieutenant-Governor Sorell the reasons that had influenced him in giving his sanction to the admission of considerable quantities of wheat, that I observed had been received from two merchants at Hobart Town in the year 1818, I found that towards the end of the season few tenders of grain are made to the King's store from settlers; but that as it is found to have in payment, or otherwise, into the hands of the merchants or retail dealers of the town, it has been customary to receive it from them in larger quantities than from the settlers. This? arrangement is not without advantage to the latter; for if the merchants were excluded at a later period from all advantage of the store, the former would be made to feel the re-action in a greater degree than they now feel the transfer of the advantage to the merchant. Within the last five years there has been no variation in the store-price of wheat, or meat, in Van Diemen's Land, although considerable variation has taken place in the market, or rather in the export price. The price given at the store for meat has been 5d. per pound for fresh, and 6d. for salted meat, and 10s. per bushel for wheat.

The sale of the agricultural produce of Van Diemen's Land has not of late, however, been confined to the King's store at Hobart Town and Port Dalrymple; considerable quantities both of wheat and salted meat having been exported to Sydney, both on account of government and individuals. From want of due attention to the curing and packing of the meat, and the want of proper casks, the reputation of this important article of export has been considerably diminished; but I was satisfied, from an experiment that was made at my request in the commissariat department at Hobart Town, that the process of curing meat may be perfectly well carried on and completed there, and with the use of salt that is found and procured in the lakes in the interior of the island.

The embarrassment of the settlers in Van Diemen's Land, and their dependence upon their creditors (who are generally the merchants in Hobart Town) is certainly not less than that which prevails in New South Wales. I do not believe, however, that the excessive use of spirituous liquors is so general in the country districts; and the condition of the settlers, and their habits of life, seem to be more orderly.

The mode of cultivation pursued is, upon the whole, inferior to that of New South Wales; and there are no individuals of any class that have shown a disposition, or have possessed the means, of commencing and continuing any system of improvement. There was only one individual in Hobart Town, or the neighbourhood, that in 1820 seemed sensible of the advantages of a dairy-farm, or had profited by the great price that its produce bore. Amongst those settlers that had arrived from England, and as late as the month of May 1820, it was stated by Mr. Evans the deputy surveyor, and fully confirmed by my own observation, that there was only one individual that had manifested a disposition to cultivate his grant of land, and his efforts did not appear to me to be successful. At Port Dalrymple there are four individuals who possess considerable quantities of stock, and of these Mr. Cox, jun. is making some attempts to improve both his land and the quality of his wool.

In the year 1820 the number of convicts transported to Van Diemen's Land seemed to be exceeding the demand made for them by the settlers. Since that period, and in the month of January 1821, I was informed by Lieutenant-Governor Sorell, that the accession to the population since the muster of 1819 had been fill 1,600; and of these a great proportion were free persons of respectable character, and possessing capital. It is probable, therefore, that increase of cultivation has been very considerable; and I have reason to believe that the consumption of animal food in the settlement, and the demand for it in New South Wales, has fully equalled the present means of supply.

The great and positive evil in Van Diemen's Land, and the great impediment to its agricultural prosperity, is the system of depredation committed on the flocks of sheep in the interior. The establishment of a system of inspection previous to the slaughtering the sheep and cattle for the use of the store has certainly done much towards putting down the connivance that formerly existed between the actual depredators of the sheep, and those who received them. The present system of depredation consists in driving flocks of sheep, amounting to 2 or 300, into remote places during the night; and killing and salting down portions of them for use, or waiting for a favourable moment to transfer and incorporate them with other flocks. The establishment of a criminal jurisdiction in the colony, and an augmentation, of the number of magistrates in the country districts, will be found the most efficient remedy for these frequent outrages.

The numerous arrivals of new settlers and persons emigrating from England in the year 1820, induced Lieutenant-Governor Sorell to enter upon an examination of the tracts of land upon which they could most advantageously be placed.

Until this period, a very small portion only of the Island was known, or had been examined, with a view to colonization; and the only tracts that had been visited were those that offered convenient and temporary pasturage for casual occupiers. The plains that lie between the river Derwent and the river Tamar, are not generally favourable to cultivation. The soil is light and poor, and their distance from any market will much retard any attempt to fix a population in them. The plains and vallies that are watered by the Jordan form exceptions to these remarks, and had already begun to attract settlers.

Desirous of obtaining more accurate information upon these points, Lieutenant-Governor Sorell, accompanied by the deputy surveyor of Van Diemen's Land, proceeded to examine the country that lies between the Cross Marsh and two rivers, now named the Shannon and the Clyde, that fall into the Derwent, about thirty-six miles above Hobart Town. These streams are more rapid than the Jordan, and do not, like that river, cease to flow in the summer.

Lieutenant-Governor Sorell describes the scenery upon the river Shannon as grand and picturesque; and he found between the line of road that he quitted, at the Cross Marsh, to the banks of the river, several tracts of good grazing land, and numerous vallies, containing a fine black soil, and bearing a luxuriant grass, intersected by short ridges of moderate hills. The extent of the land seen in this tract was estimated by Mr. Evans at 40,000 acres. In returning upon a line parallel to the river Clyde, the lieutenant-governor found that his passage along the left bank of that river was interrupted by a ridge of stony and rocky hills, which come from the direction of Macquarie Plains, a tract of land that has been for some time known and used in grazing. These hills terminate abruptly on the bank of the Shannon. Between this river and the Clyde, and near to their point of junction with the Derwent, the lieutenant-governor found some very fine plains, which he described as forming a beautiful tract of country, consisting of elevated plains or downs, all of tine rich soil, free from timber. He concludes that there must be nearly 40,000 acres of this sort of land, in a square of eight miles, bounded on three sides by the rivers Derwent, Shannon, and Clyde. The distance of this tract from water-carriage will be from twenty-five to thirty miles; and from Hobart Town about forty-five. It is in this tract of country that the settlers who have lately emigrated to Van Diemen's Land will be most probably stationed.

Nearly about the same period the lieutenant-governor dispatched some individuals for the purpose of examining the country between the road to Port Dalrymple and the eastern coast, especially that part of it that is called Swan Port. From the report of these persons, the lieutenant-governor has collected that there is a considerable tract of country at the north end of Great Swan Port, and that it is well watered. The harbours or inlets were only calculated for boats, but good anchorage for large vessels has long been found in Oyster Bay; a position well sheltered, and capable of serving as a depôt for any produce collected upon the eastern shores of Van Diemen's Land. Farther to the north of Swan Port, a tract of land has been discovered, which, by all concurrent accounts, is one of the largest and most extensive in the island. It is as far as is now known, only accessible on one point, namely, a station on the road to Port Dalrymple, known by the name of Humphrey's Water Holes. This tract of country, now named the Break-of-Day Plains, seems to be inclosed by a high tier of mountains that separate it from the sea coast, as well as from the plains through which the road lasses to Port Dalrymple. It is from this lofty tier of hills that the river South Esk takes its rise, and receives in its course several other streams. The discovery of this tract will afford an important addition to the northern settlements of Van Diemen's Land, which Lieutenant-Governor Sorell now admits to contain more fertile and more valuable tracts than those of the south.

It is in the vicinity of the lofty ranges of hills that bound the extensive plains of this side of the island that the best supply of water will be found; and if the means of exporting the produce by Swan Port, or any station on the eastern coast, should be discovered, the difficulties that have attended the export by Port Dalrymple will altogether be avoided.

Previous to my departure from Van Diemen's Land I had recommended to the lieutenant-governor the examination of this tract of country; and with a view to facilitate communications between Port Dalrymple and Hobart Town, to place stations at easy distances from each other, for the temporary accommodation of travellers, or for the reception of soldiers, or officers of the police, in their expeditions in search of bush-rangers. With this request the lieutenant-governor felt every disposition to comply; and although he seemed to be impressed with an opinion that the southern part of the island was more likely to be the seat of commerce than that of the north, I have no doubt of his readiness to give support to any measures of improvement by which the agriculture or resources of the northern and eastern portions of the island might be called into action.

The nature of the improvements that I should recommend are, in the first place, an accurate examination of the eastern and northern coasts of Van Diemen's Land, from Port Dalrymple eastwards, and as far as Swan Port; and I should further recommend that a communication between York and Westmoreland Plains with that coast, should be opened, and if assistance should be required in the first operations, that it should be afforded by the local government, in the shape of convict-labour and superintendence.

The result of the measure that the lieutenant-governor had himself adopted and carried into effect, for the improvement of the wool of Van Diemen's Land, can hardly yet be ascertained; I will only therefore observe, that the establishments of the public herds, that have existed both in that country and in New South Wales, have long afforded opportunities of maintaining, in its purity, the race of Merino sheep, and of affording the means of distributing them afterwards to the settlers.

In New South Wales this benefit has been secured to the colony by the intelligence and assiduity of Mr. J. M‘Arthur; but if upon further consideration it shall be found expedient to continue the government herds in the settled districts of New South Wales, or in the centre of Van Diemen's Land (to which last position they were removed by my recommendation) the advantages of distributing sheep of the pure Merino breed to the settlers on their arrival, or locations in either colony, may still be secured. I would also here take an opportunity of observing that a valuable and easy addition may be made to the flocks of the government establishments, by sending out in each convict-ship from England a certain number of sheep selected from the purest Merino flocks, and not exceeding four in number for each ship. With reference also to the breed of horses in both colonies, and their existing defects, it would be equally expedient to send by the same opportunity that the convict-ships afford, a stallion colt of one of the heavier breeds of English horses.

With respect to the improvement of the market for grain in either settlement, I have already, stated that the permission to use it in the colonial distilleries will, for some time at least, afford a demand that will be independent of the difficulties that are inseparable from the competition for the supply of the public store.

Whenever the recommendations that I have had the honour to make for the separate establishments of the convicts to the northward of the settled districts are earned into effect, and the convicts are strictly and constantly employed there in the production of food for their own support, the purchases of grain on account of government will be materially reduced. That great benefits have arisen to the colony by the liberal remuneration that government has hitherto given for the supplies of grain cannot be denied. Whatever may have been the difficulties that have been experienced in an impartial adjustment of the quantities that each person was allowed to supply, the advantages both in the price and the mode of payment, have been greater than those that any settler could obtain in his trail with the merchants, and dealers, or with the ordinary purchasers in the markets. It has been frequently stated by the officers of the Commissariat Department, that the supplies might have been procured at a much lower rate by government, by simply resorting to the ordinary mode of purchasing by contract. It has been the opinion of Governor Macquarie, supported by that of many other individuals, that as long as the permission to distil spirit from grain was withheld, the supply of it, as well as of meat, should be kept as free as possible from the influence of any one, or set of Individuals, who by the extensive command over grain that the contract would afford, might be able to profit by the embarrassments of the settlers, and obtain their produce from them upon terms yet more disadvantageous than those by which the ordinary purchases between the settlers and the merchants are now conducted. A contract for the supply of the whole quantity of grain that is at present required by government for all the stores, would probably exceed the pecuniary competence of any one individual in either colony, and I agree in the opinion that has long been held upon the advantage of excluding the influence of one or more individuals from the disposal of so large a portion of the produce of the lower classes of settlers as the demand of government requires.

Lieutenant-Governor Sorell was of opinion, in the end of the year 1820, that a further period of two years must elapse before resort could be made to the purchases of wheat or meat by contract; that the earlier adoption of that system would be eminently detrimental; and in the absence of any competition would expose the lower class of settlers in Van Diemen's Land to the necessity of disposing of their produce upon any terms to the contractors. Since, however, competition is now opened by the demand for grain in the colonial distilleries, it has appeared to me that a portion of the grain required for the use of government might be obtained by contract, without giving rise to the inconvenience and embarrassments that have hitherto been so strongly urged against its adoption; the detailed means of carrying this recommendation into effect, by dividing the contracts, I reserve for further consideration under another subject of inquiry; but I would beg leave to notice in this place the expediency of affording assistance in the conservation of grain in New South Wales, that will be equally advantageous, whatever the determination may be respecting the resort to purchases by contract, or by the continuance of the present system. The want of proper receptacles for grain in New South Wales has already been noticed. It has forced the produce from the poor settlers at the first opening of the stores, and filled the latter with larger quantities of grain than it was always prudent to keep in them. By proper exertion, and by the application of manual labour in turning the wheat, Mr. Fitzgerald was enabled to preserve it at Windsor from destruction by the weevil; but neither the stores at that station, nor at Paramatta, were capable of receiving the quantities of wheat that had lately become necessary for the ordinary demand of government; they had been either built or purchased when that demand was very small compared with its present extent; and they had received no subsequent improvement or enlargement. It was for this reason, that, amongst the works that previous to leaving the colony I recommended to Governor Macquarie to undertake, I suggested, in point of priority, additional stores or granaries at Windsor, Paramatta and Liverpool. These buildings, I consider, would be important to the colony, either under an increased demand for grain for the purposes of distillation, or in case it should be deemed expedient to support the convicts in future from grain purchased from the settlers, rather than with that which may be raised by their own labour.

Experience has proved that in Van Diemen's Land the preservation of grain may be most easily effected, and I think that it is already manifest that it will be from that colony the most abundant supplies of grain will in future be drawn for the purposes either of consumption or distillation in New South Wales, while the supplies of maize, valuable as I have already stated them to be for both those purposes, will be exclusively confined to the latter colony.

In this point of view the construction of public granaries at Hobart Town or Port Dalrymple cannot fail to afford relief to the inhabitants of those settlements, by extending their means of deposit until the market is favourable to them, and by preventing those hasty bargains, by which the labour of a year is frequently sacrificed for the gratifications of a week.

I have not yet been able to ascertain the result of the efforts of the individual to whom I have already adverted in my former report, towards the establishment of a brewery at Hobart Town. Whenever the cultivation and growth of barley shall have been extended in Van Diemen's Land by a better system of agriculture than that which has hitherto prevailed there, little doubt will remain of the success of the breweries, or of their superiority to those in New South Wales.

The advantages of a cooler temperature during the prom; of malting as well as brewing, will give a preference to that colony for such undertakings; and I conceive it is hardly necessary to insist more at length upon the benefits to be derived from the creation of a new demand for the produce of the land in either colony by the supply of a wholesome and nutritious beverage. Hops have been grown in both colonies, but more extensively in New South Wales than Van Diemen's Land, and the consumption of the beer brewed at Sydney from maize and sugar by several individuals is already considerable, and would be increased if the materials were of a better quality. Any encouragement, therefore, that can be given to these establishments, or to the improvement of the quality of the beer that they brew, will be beneficially felt by the community in the gradual substitution of that beverage for the destructive and pernicious spirit that is now imported from Bengal. It was with this view that an order issued by Governor Macquarie in January 1816, by which licenses for the sale of beer were restricted to those persons only who should sell spirits, was repealed by an order issued on the 26th May of the same year. The duty on beer licenses was fixed at 5l. and they are now granted indiscriminately to those who sell beer only, or to persons who may choose to sell beer and spirits in the same house.







Regulations respecting Grants of Land and Allotments in the Towns.


THE number of acres of land in New South Wales, the grants of which have been regularly pawed, entered, and registered in the office of the colonial secretary; amount to 324,251, and in Van Diemen's Land to 57,423.

These grants, as well as the names of the grantees, appear in the nominal lists returned by Mr. Oxley and Mr. Evans.

The maps prepared by these gentlemen of the settled districts in New South Wales and Van Diemen's Land exhibit the several grants of land that have been made, and are now occupied there; and they are also accompanied with references to the nominal lists of the original grantees. By the commissions that have been given to the several governors of New South Wales, they have had the power to agree for the sale of lands, and to grant them upon such terms, and upon such moderate quit-rents, services and acknowledgments, as should be reserved according to instructions given under the King's sign manual.

The instructions given upon this subject to Governor Macquarie direct, that whenever the governor shall have thought fit to exercise the power of emancipating and discharging from servitude any of the convicts under his superintendence, who should from their good conduct, and a disposition to industry, be deserving of favour, in every such case he should issue his warrant to the surveyor of lands to make surveys of, and mark out in lots, such lands as may be necessary for their use; and afterwards he should pass grants to the convicts so emancipated, in the proportion of thirty acres to every unmarried male convict, and fifty acres to every one that was married, and for every child who might be with them at the time of making the grants, a quantity often acres, free of all taxes and quit-rent for the space of ten years. To these grants, a condition of residence on the pant, and cultivation and improvement was annexed, with a reservation to the king of such timber either then growing, and that might hereafter grow, and that should be fit for naval purposes, and an annual quit-rent of sixpence for every thirty acres, after the expiration of the term of ten years.

It was His Majesty's further pleasure, that as convicts after their emancipation might not have the means of cultivation without the public aid, assistance, in the shape of subsistence for themselves and families, together with an assortment of tools and utensils, a proportion of seed, grain, cattle, sheep and hogs, should be afforded them, until they might be reasonably expected by their joint labour to provide for themselves.

The governor was further instructed, in case of application for land from others of the King's subjects, either resident in New South Wales, or proceeding from Great Britain and other parts of His dominions, to afford them every encouragement that could be given, without subjecting the public to expense. The amount of these grants was not to exceed one hundred acres, over and above the quantity granted to emancipated convicts. They were to be free of quit-rent for the space of ten years, and after that time to be liable to an annual quit-rent of 1s. for every fifty acres.

In both cases of emancipated convicts, or meritorious settlers, the governor had a power to enlarge the grant at his discretion, subject always to the approbation of one of the principal secretaries of state.

It is under these and similar instructions and powers given to other governors, that the lands in New South Wales and Van Diemen's Land have been granted, and are now held.

I found some difficulty in obtaining any correct statement of the quantity of land that had been granted to each of the classes of settlers, or that is now held by them.

Having observed at the first muster that I attended soon after my arrival in the year 1819, that although the condition of each settler was taken down by the clerk, yet that it was in no wise connected with the possession of property or stock; and that a statement of these last particulars was collected by the officers of the commissariat department. I submitted to Governor Macquarie at the approach of the muster of the year 1820, a plan for taking it that had been prepared by Mr. Oxley, The particulars of this plan will be detailed hereafter; but as they appeared to Governor Macquarie to be too complicated for early adoption by the magistrates, who, it was proposed should take the musters in the districts, I was muter the necessity of collecting such particulars of the present possession of land in New South Wales as I could obtain through the assistance of the magistrates, who in pursuance of an order of the governor proceeded to take the musters of 1820. At my request, the quantity of land purchased by or granted to convicts absolutely or conditionally pardoned, as well as to those whose terms had expired, or to those who held tickets of leave, was separately taken down by the magistrates at each muster; distinguishing also the quantity of land granted, and the quantity that had been purchased. The form in which these returns was directed to be made was forwarded to the magistrates, but that which had been sent to Windsor having been lost, Mr. Cox, the magistrate of that district, in his endeavour to make his return as full as possible, has made an unintentional error in the calculations of the total quantity of land held in the Windsor District; inasmuch as that quantity appears to be less by 2,691 acres than the quantity returned as purchased or granted. With this exception, and the omission of the land granted to two individuals of this class alluded to in my former Report, I have reason to believe that these returns are correct. The total quantity of land that I now find to have been held by them amounted, according to the returns transmitted to Inc by the magistrates, to 83,502 acres. The adoption of an abstract that had been hastily made from these returns, before the whole had been completed, I find has occasioned a mistake in my former Report, wherein I have stated that the amount of the land SO held was 22,238 acres by the class of remitted convicts; and 48,906 by convicts whose sentences had expired, amounting together to 71,144 acres.

Of the quantity of land held by these classes in New South Wales, and amounting to 83,502 acres, I now find that 54,693 are held by persons whose sentences had expired; 8,585 acres are held by persons who have received free pardons; 19,459 acres are held by persons who have received conditional pardons; and 765 acres by persons who hold tickets of leave.

Of the proportion of land so held, 35,309 acres are returned by the magistrates as held by grant; and 50,884 acres as held by purchase; but as this gives an excess of 2,691 acres beyond the total amount of the land held by these classes of the inhabitants, it is attributable to the error I have already noticed in the return made to me from the Windsor District. Taking, however, the total amount to be 83,502 acres, it constitutes the proportion of land that is held by these classes of the inhabitants, compared with the total amount of land held in the colony by all classes, and which by the muster of 1,820, is stated to be 389,238 acres.

Of the respective quantities of land held by persons of the same classes in Van Diemen's Land, I was not able to obtain an account; and the musters transmitted to me by Lieutenant-Governor Sorell do not afford means of making such a calculation.

The granting of land in the colony has been occasionally suspended by Governor Macquarie, at different periods, partly upon the principle upon which the suspension of remission of sentence, or the indulgence of tickets of leave, has proceeded, namely, the great number of grants that had been made in a preceding year; and on two occasions it has proceeded from the exhausted state of the public herds; and latterly, from the scarcity of land in the settled districts.

A similar suspension has been adopted in the granting of land in Van Diemen's Land, although it does not appear that the same objections were applicable in that settlement. It has already been observed, that applications for grants of land from settlers, as well as persons who have been convicts were allowed to be presented to the governor on only one day in the year. Exceptions, however, were made to this rule, in favour of persons arriving with orders of your Lordship for land, as well as of persons who occasionally presented themselves; and such applications appear to have been forwarded to the surveyor-general in the form of supplemental lists.

Although the ordinary titles to grants of land in New South Wales have been founded upon letters of recommendation from your Lordship's office, and the expiration or remission of terms of service of persons convicted and transported for crime, yet a few instances have occurred, in which the Governor has felt justified in bestowing grants of land on individuals who have arrived from India, and who proved to him that they possessed capital, as well as a real intention of settling permanently in the colony. He has latterly, and, in my opinion, very justly, denied this indulgence to military officers, or captains of trading vessels, who have applied for grants of land, with an intention of again absenting themselves and returning to reside.

By the evidence of the surveyor-general the names of individuals to whom land is to be granted, as well as the lists that contain the ordinary applications, are forwarded to him, signed and approved by the governor; and the applicants have been hitherto permitted to select their land in whatever part of the colony they chose, within the district of the county of Cumberland, subject to the reservations made by the Crown, as well as to the rules for the appointment of River Front, contained in the governor's instructions. It was the intention of Governor Macquarie to extend the power of selection to the newly-examined tracts that I have described in the counties of Argyle and Camden; and I have no doubt that by this time large portions of those districts have been granted and partially occupied. The reservations hitherto made have consisted of the tract called the Cow Pastures, in the disposal of which to settlers or others, it was the intention of Governor Macquarie, at my departure from the colony, to make no further change than the allotment of 2,000 acres to Mr. John M‘Arthur, of a portion of land contiguous to the grant that he already holds. The remainder of that tract was occupied by the government herds and the wild cattle.

The number of acres of land allotted to each individual is placed against his name in the Governor's list; and the surveyor-general, or his deputy, proceeds, after notice in the gazette, to the different districts, to measure off the quantities of land allotted.

The admeasurement and a description of the boundaries, is then returned to the governor, who transmits them to his secretary, to enable him to make out the grant; and after the colonial seal has been affixed to it, it is registered in the secretary's office, and the grant, upon payment of the fees, is delivered to the grantee.

The quantity of land allotted to each individual and the indulgences annexed to the grant, are circumstances entirely within the discretion of the governor.

By orders received from your Lordship in the year 1817, the allowance of the labour of convicts, subsisted and clothed at the expense of the Crown, is was restricted to the term of six months; and the practice of granting lands to civil and military officers, pending their service in the colony, was discontinued, with an understanding, that, upon their retirement, they might receive grants of land in the same proportion, and upon the same conditions as other settlers.

I have already had occasion to remark, that the indulgences that accompanied the grants of land to persons that had emerged from a state of penal servitude, had been abused, as well as those bestowed upon free settlers; and it is stated by the surveyor general, that old settlers have not unfrequently received new grants, and with them fresh indulgences.

Upon inquiry I have found that this has generally happened in cases of distress or embarrassment of individuals. Latterly, the repetition of such indulgences has been of more rare occurrence.

A practice has for some time prevailed of allowing individuals to consolidate, under one grant, several small allotments that had been occupied by the first grantees, and sold by them before they had been able to obtain the grant, or to comply with the conditions of it.

This system is convenient to the large capitalists, and has led to the accumulation of a considerable quantity of land in their hands; but it affords an irresistible temptation to the small settlers to abandon the cultivation of land, as well as to abuse the indulgences that are bestowed by the Crown for the express purpose of maintaining that cultivation. Some inducement to this practice has undoubtedly arisen from the delay that is admitted by the surveyor general himself to have taken place in the survey and admeasurement of lands, that have been ordered to be granted, as well as that which has taken place in making out the grants in the secretary's office, and in the payment of fees by the parties on the delivery. Much also is imputable to their neglect in not attending at the appointed time of admeasurement, and in not complying with the other formalities required.

Until your Lordship's authority was lately conveyed to the lieutenant-governor of Van Diemen's Land to grant allotments to settlers on arrival, much inconvenience and expense was incurred by them in proceeding to Sydney after they had made choice of their land, or in waiting till the various formalities were completed there. Permission was frequently given to them to proceed to the cultivation of their land, upon the authority of the lieutenant-governor; alone and the grantees of small allotments did not scruple to avail themselves of it. In that settlement, however, as well as in New South Wales, the business of the surveying department had fallen into arrear, either on account of the disproportion of the establishment to the increase of business in it, or the frequent interruptions occasioned by the long absences of Mr. Oxley, Mr. Meehan, and Mr. Evans, on tours of discovery; and by the distances at which the operations of admeasurement were to be executed. From whatever causes these delays may have taken place, it is very important that they should be removed, for they operate as pretexts, or temptations, to a settler on his arrival, to remain in the towns, and consume, in unprofitable leisure and inactivity, the resources that he may have brought with hint, and that ought to be employed, without delay, in the first operations on his land.

Another cause of delay in the admeasurement of land in Van Diemen's Land, has proceeded from the detention of the grants at Sydney, in the secretary's office, until the fees were paid.

It is stated by Mr. Evans, that the grants that were sent from Sydney to Van Diemen's Land in the year 1817, bore date in the month of September 1813; and that he would have undertaken to recover the fees from the parties, if the grants had been sent to him. The same cause of delay, however, equally exists in New South Wales, as advertisements of the names of persons to whom grants of land have been made, and who have neglected to take them out at the secretary's office, for a very long period, are published in the Sydney Gazette; and notice is also added, that unless they proceed to take them out within a given time the grants will be cancelled.

The frequent violation that has taken place of the rule prescribed by His Majesty's instructions, of not selling, transferring, or alienating the land, until after the term of five years, and the facility with which this violation has been practised, has certainly had some effect in producing indifference on the part of the grantees to the duty of perfecting their own titles.

The condition of cultivating a certain proportion of land granted in New South Wales has certainly not been strictly observed; and it is the opinion of the surveyor-general, that it never will be observed as long as the quantity of produce is regulated solely by the wants of government. It is stated by this officer, that no instance has yet taken place of any resumption by the crown of land that had been granted, on account of the breach of this condition. In the year 1814, a public notice was issued by Governor Macquarie, in which it was declared, that "as it had been ascertained that several persons who had obtained locations of land, in the years 1809, 1810, and 1811, with a promise that grants should be made to them, under the express stipulation that they would proceed to clear and cultivate them, had neglected to comply with those stipulations;" notice was given, that such lands having reverted to the crown, were to be located by the surveyor to other persons, rimming to the original occupiers an indemnity for such expense as they had incurred in felling timber, and the payment of which was to be made by the new occupants. A claim appears to have been made, and was attempted to be enforced upon a small portion of land at Windsor, that was found to be inclosed within the allotment of an individual, and under a belief that it belonged to the crown; but the claim was upon better consideration abandoned, and the individual has not since been disturbed in his possession.

Until a sufficient market was opened for the sale of the produce of the land, or until the only addition of which it was susceptible had been made, by the permission to distil spirits from grain, the enforcement of the condition of cultivation would neither have been expedient or just. Any indication therefore of an attempt to cultivate has been regarded as coming within the condition of the grant, and the construction put upon it has been of the most liberal kind. I would here take an opportunity of observing, that although the condition of cultivation is one that ought constantly to be kept in view in the granting of lands, yet such is the variety of soil in New South Wales, and the impossibility or obvious utility of bringing some parts of it into cultivation, on account of their natural sterility, or the quantity of heavy timber with which they are encumbered, that the literal and sometimes partial enforcement of the condition, must operate as an expulsion of the proprietor.

Settlers, on their arrival in the colony, are easily deceived by the account that they receive of the disposable land, and frequently in the appearance that it wears in its natural state on the first inspection. Acting upon these impressions, they accept their grant, and employ their capital, or enter into engagements on the expectation of profits, which they find it afterwards impossible to realize. In such cases, relief from the operation of the condition may be justly afforded. On the other hand, it is equally necessary that the statements that are made by settlers of the capital that they bring with them should be submitted to some more regular proof than has hitherto been applied.

The capital that is usually brought to the colony by these individuals consists of investments of goods that they have considered as likely to be most acceptable or profitable in the market. In many cases these investments have been made upon credit, and the only interest that the emigrant possesses in them is the contingent profit that he may make on the sale of the goods in the colony.

Governor Macquarie has frequently found himself placed in much difficulty in the exercise of the discretion with which he is invested of apportioning the grants of land to new settlers, and the usual indulgences, according to the extent of their capital, as well as in ascertaining its real nature and amount. Delusive statements have been made to him upon this subject; but although disappointments in obtaining land and indulgences, were likely to have afforded grounds of complaint if there had been any real foundation for them, none were submitted to me during my residence in New South Wales upon this subject; and from this, as well as other sources of information, I am enabled to state that there has been no want of liberality on the part of Governor Macquarie in the disposal of land to settlers on their arrival, or in giving an equally liberal proportion of convict labour and stock from the government herds. The only conditions that have been imposed upon these last indulgences, were those of proceeding to cultivate or reside upon the land that was allotted, or a sufficient reason shown for dispensing with that condition. In the case of convict settlers, these last conditions have of late been invariably observed; and the indulgences have been withheld until, and in some cases even after the cultivation had begun.

The reservations that are directed to be made, by the King's instructions, in the grants of land, consist of a quit-rent of one shilling for every fifty acres, after the term of five years; and of the timber fit for naval purposes, growing, or that may hereafter grow; and to these have been lately added the reservation of the right of making a road along the boundary lines of each estate, which at a still later period has been extended or rather altered into an unlimited right of making a public road through any part of the estate, at any time, for the public service.

The quit-rents upon land and allotments have not been collected since the year 1809; and Mr. Meehan, who was appointed to perform the duty, has alleged no other reason for the neglect of it than want of time, and his engagement in the practical operations of surveying and admeasurement. These I believe to have always occupied a considerable portion of his time, and to have been executed by him with precision and impartiality. He was about to proceed in the collection of quit-rents at my departure from the colony.

The reservation of timber fit for naval purposes has very rarely been enforced, as those species of wood that are applicable to such purposes in the settled districts of New South Wales, have for some time been very scarce, the consumption having been great, and the waste of them on the first establishment of the colony very considerable. This reservation has, notwithstanding, caused dissatisfaction in a few cases in which it has been latterly enforced; and that by which the timber that may hereafter grow upon the land is reserved, has greatly increased that feeling. As it is of importance to afford every encouragement to the growth of European and other woods more fit for naval purposes than the common species of eucalyptus with which the land of New South Wales abounds; and as the European woods that have hitherto been tried, especially the oak, appear to succeed extremely well, I feel it my duty to recommend that from all future grants of land this last reservation should be withdrawn, and that it shall not have any retrospect, so as to affect the few plantations that have already been made.

From a former communication, that was made by the surveyor-general through Governor Macquarie to your Lordship, the inexpediency of making the reservation of 500 acres to the crown, between every 5,000 acres granted to settlers, was pointed out. Governor King had in the year 1804 made very considerable grants of land to the inhabitants of different districts in the county of Cumberland, amounting altogether to 25,880 acres, principally with a view of enabling the smaller settlers to keep cattle, and provide manure for their small tenements; and especially those who were disposed to inhabit the towns, or who had taken refuge in the high lands of Windsor and Richmond from the inundations of the river Hawkesbury. The names whom he intended to give a right of common, of the occupiers of the farms, for and to whom he intended to give a right of common, were entered on the back of the grants.

As it appeared to Governor Macquarie to be desirable to obtain a resumption of these tracts of land, for the purpose of giving allotments to the great number of settlers that continued to arrive in the year 1820, he consulted me upon that subject, and I took an early opportunity of ascertaining whether the benefits that had been contemplated by Governor King were still in operation, and whether the inhabitants, or their successors, in whose favour these commons had been granted, had any disposition to renounce the benefits that had been attached to their lands. Upon assembling at Windsor, those who had rights of common upon two of the largest tracts, Richmond and Nelson Commons, they declined acceding to the proposal that was made of relinquishing them, on account of the injury that the loss of pasturage would occasion to their sheep and cattle, of which it appeared that great numbers grazed upon the commons. Under these circumstances, I recommended Governor Macquarie to abstain from any interference with the right of the commoners; and, for the same reasons, I venture to recommend that these rights should be preserved. No objection was made by the inhabitants present, and who had rights upon the Richmond Common, to the appropriation of 400 acres of land to be annexed, by way of glebe, to the church at Windsor, and of the same quantity to that at Richmond, when a church should be built. This proposition was made to them, as the reservation required by the King's instructions in favour of clergymen had not been made when the commons were granted by Governor King; and no land remained in either of the districts that could be appropriated to that purpose. The terms of the grants by which these commons have been conveyed are very defective: The grants declare, that the lands are given to three trustees, and their successors, as resident trustees, chosen by the settlers and other cultivators of the district (no district having been previously named), and their choice to be recommended or negatived by a bench of magistrates, and finally approved by the governor. No provision was made for the failure of the legal estate, from the non-agreement of the commoners in the choice of trustees, or their non-approval by the governor; and there were no words in the grant of inheritance or survivorship. The intention of the grant, however, may be inferred from the words, notwithstanding their want of technical accuracy; and as the effect of the grants has been found beneficial to the inhabitants, I should recommend that new grants of these commons should be made to those who were then and are now comprised in the terms of the original grants; namely, settlers and cultivators, being free men, and holding land by grant under the crown, or by lease, for more than seven years. As this description will not literally include the subsequent purchasers of such grants, it may be advisable to add that description in the new grants, as it is clear that the intention of Governor King was to provide the accommodation of pasturage and means of feeding and rearing cattle to a certain description of proprietors, occupying and cultivating a certain description of land, or inhabiting a certain district. The reservation before noticed, and the portions of land for the clergymen of Windsor and Richmond, should also be respectively inserted in the grant of the Richmond and Nelson Commons.

The quantity of land that has been reserved for the use of the crown within the county of Cumberland consists of a tract at Rooty Hill, near Paramatta, amounting to nearly 17,000 acres, and the land at the Cow Pastures, estimated at not less than 25,000; the establishment at Emu Plains, containing 3,000 acres; the establishment at Longbottom, amounting to 400 acres; and that at Grose Farm, amounting to 280 acres. To these is to be added the land occupied at Bathurst by the government herds, calculated to be above 20,000 acres.

I have already stated that the lands at Emu Plains, Grose Farm and Long-bottom, are occupied by convicts; the other places mentioned are appropriated to the depasturing and breeding of cattle on account of government, from which drafts are occasionally made for distribution to settlers, for the supply of the government works, and also for the supply of the store on occasions of the scarcity of meat, or reluctance in the settlers to supply it.

An addition has lately been made to the grounds in which the residence of the governor at Paramatta is situated, by the purchase of some land front Mr. Wentworth; and at a little distance in the district of Toongabbee, four miles from Paramatta, there is a tract of land that was occupied and cleared at the first establishment of the colony, that is either used as pasturage for the governor's herd, or partially occupied by some old settlers who had permission to continue upon a portion of the cleared lands. Twelve thousand three hundred acres of land were granted in the district of Cabramatta by Governor King to trustees, for the use and benefit of the establishment of the female orphans, and 150 acres at Paramatta, on part of which last the school is built. The trustees of this school have a claim upon government for 600 across, in exchange for the 280 they surrendered at Grose Farm, to be taken in any other part of the colony that they may select.

The reservations of land in favour of the clergy consist of a grant of 400 acres of bad and middling land attached to the church at Paramatta, 250 acres of very bad land attached to the church of St. Philip at Sydney, and 1,000 acres to the church at Castlereagh. No glebe land had been reserved or provided for the church at Liverpool, nor for that of Windsor, or for the second chaplain at Sydney; but it was the intention of Governor Macquarie to provide allotments of land for them, and, at my recommendation to incur the expense of clearing and fencing all the glebes, upon an understanding with the present incumbents, that after such an expense had been incurred, they would be held liable to dilapidations on their removal.

Reservations of allotments in favour of schoolmasters in the townships have been made at Paramatta, Richmond, Wilberforce, Castlereagh and Pitt Town.

The reservation that has been adverted to of the right to make roads for the public use through any part of granted lands, was made by Governor Macquarie at the suggestion of Mr. Meehan, who had found that little benefit accrued from the former mode of reservation, by which the right was confined to the boundary line of each estate. The reservation of this right is beneficial to the public; but as the lines of the public roads, at the early establishment of this colony, and even since that period, have not in every instance been judiciously traced, it has been found expedient, from time to time to make some alterations in them. In performing this operation on the road from Paramatta to Windsor, the new right of tracing it through any part of an estate was exercised upon the property of an individual, on which the right had been only reserved of carrying it along two lines of the boundary, and it consequently exposed the proprietor to the necessity of making an inconvenient division of his estate, and to the expense of putting up fences on each side of the road. It was admitted by the deputy-surveyor, that the individual in question was entitled to compensation for the expense which he had thus incurred, and that the right of making a road along the boundary lines of an estate did not imply that of carrying it through any portion that might be more convenient to the public. At the present moment, the inconvenience to individuals of changing the line of roads through their property is not very seriously or generally felt; but as the settlers are beginning to inclose their lands, without reference either to roads that have already been made or used, or to those that the convenience of the public may require in future, it is important that opportunities should be afforded to the inhabitants of each district to fix upon the line of roads that are now, or hereafter may become, most important to them; and that, when they have been submitted to the governor for approval, each person shall receive a notice from the surveyor-general of the portion of his property that will remain subject to such an appropriation. I should propose that these opportunities may be most conveniently afforded them, by convening meetings of the inhabitants of each district, under the direction and presidency of the surveyor-general, who should be directed to submit the result to the governor. At a meeting of the magistrates that was held at Sydney in the year 1818, the question of the repair of roads, and the obligation to make and preserve fences, was much discussed; and the magistrates were informed by Mr. Judge Advocate Wylde, that there existed no authority by which the liability of the inhabitants to repair public roads, such as exists by the common law of England, could be enforced. Hitherto the public roads in New South Wales and Van Diemen's Land have been all made and repaired by the government, and the tolls have been received and carried to the credit of the police-fund.

Trustees of the principal roads have been appointed by Governor Macquarie, but it does not appear that their duties have exceeded the letting of the tolls, and receiving the securities for the payment of the rent. In the present state of the population of the agricultural districts of New South Wales, and their distance from a market, I conceive that this system has been fairer in its operation than any assessment that could have been made upon the inhabitants and occupiers of the intermediate lands for the formation and repair of the roads, or upon the application of the principle of English statute labour.

Latterly, the repairs that have been made upon the principal roads have been effectual, but the expense has very much exceeded the amount of the tolls received.

In the districts of Windsor and Richmond, where cross roads and communications between the low and high lands are both necessary and frequent, the expense of repair has been borne by individual proprietors who were the most interested in effecting it; but until the lines of communication in that as well as other districts are fixed upon an equitable consideration of the public convenience, it would be very expedient to declare that such roads were to be repaired either by the government, or by the contributions of individuals who may not in any manner be benefited by them. When these roads are set out, and declared to be of a public nature, it will then be desirable that the governor should have authority to fix and levy a rate upon the inhabitants of each district, for the expense of repairing and maintaining the public roads respectively belonging to, and passing through those districts; and that the funds collected should be placed at the disposal of the commissioners, to be chosen by the inhabitants under the obligation of presenting their accounts at stated periods, duly vouched, to the governor. I should recommend that the principle of the rate should be the value of the land occupied by each person, and not its extent, inasmuch as the great variations in the quality of the land in New South Wales, might subject the proprietor of a large quantity of bad land to an unequal and unjust proportion of the rate.

I examined two returns, one of which contained the number of grants of land that have been made by the several governors of the colony from the earliest period, and registered in the books of the surveyor-general up to the 12th July 1820, distinguishing the number of acres of which these grants were composed; and the other contained a nominal return of lands granted by the several governors during the same period, and exceeding 1,000 acres. The most considerable grants appear to be those that were made to Mr. John Blaxland by order of his Majesty's secretary of state, amounting to 6,710 acres; and to Lieutenant Colonel O'Connel and his wife, amounting to 4,555, made by Governor Macquarie in the years 1810 and 1814. The grants made to Mr. D'Arcy Wentworth amount altogether to 6,200 acres; but of these, 3,550 appear to have been granted on the consolidation of grants purchased by Mr. Wentworth, and of land exchanged by him with the government. I do not find that the remaining grants, with the exception of that which has already been mentioned of Mr. J. M‘Arthur, have exceeded 3,000 acres; and have only reached that extent in four cases, one of which occurred in Van Diemen's Land.

The regulations for building in the town of Sydney were promulgated by Governor Macquarie, by a public order, on the 18th August 1810. Previous to that period very little attention had been paid to the regular progress or admeasurement of the town allotments, or even to the formation of the streets. Much improvement was rendered necessary and has taken place within the last seven years, both in the towns of Sydney and Paramatta, by levelling and widening the streets and giving them regular and convenient directions. In both of these towns it has teen found necessary to purchase the interests claimed by individuals in the houses that obstructed improvement, or projected beyond the regular lines of the streets; and agreements have from time to time been made with them for the surrender of their interests to government. Upon applying to Mr. Meehan the deputy-surveyor, who had always been employed by Governor Macquarie in making these arrangements, I found that he had kept no account, and was unable to do more than refer me to the payments that from time to time had been made to the proprietors of allotments from the police-fund, upon agreements negociated by himself and approved by the governor. The most considerable of these took place in the month of November 1815, when the sum of 1,190l. 11s. 4d. was paid to sundry persons (not named) as the amount of the valuation of houses belonging to them in Sydney and Windsor.

The valuations are stated by Mr. Meehan to have been made by a committee named by the governor, consisting of the superintendent of carpenters, stonemasons and bricklayers, who made a report of the materials that they found, and the value of the interest possessed by the occupier, whether it consisted of a lease, or only a title to a lease on fulfilment of a preceding promise.

It does not appear that any grants of allotments that had been made on condition of building within a certain period, lime ever been resumed by Governor Macquarie; but I believe that it was his intention to adopt that measure, in consequence of the number of allotments that remained without any attempt to build upon them, after giving a sufficient notice to the parties to provide against the forfeiture. The rule for building first adopted in the town of Sydney was that of placing the houses twenty feet from the footway of each street, and leaving sixty feet for the breadth of the streets. The intervening spaces between the houses and the footpath lire generally occupied by gardens in the upper part of the town, and separated from the street by low palings. This space, however, is liable to be taken for the improvement of the streets, when required; and all projections that have been made by buildings or otherwise are liable to be removed.

With a view to prevent improper encroachments upon these lines, it was directed that no person should begin to construct a house without obtaining the permission of the governor signified through Mr. Meehan, who was then the acting surveyor. At the period in which this rule was promulgated, it was customary for the inhabitants to build in what situations and in what manner they pleased, and some inconvenience and expense would have been spared if the rule had been more rigidly enforced.

Permission having been given to Governor Macquarie to make grants of allotments to individuals on condition of their building houses upon them, allotments have been assigned with the condition of constructing houses either of brick or stone, not less than idly feet in depth, sixteen feet wide, and two stories high, in the space of five years, paying an annual quit-rent that is expressed in the grant, and a reserve being made to the crown of the space of twenty feet in front of the house, in case it should be required for widening the street. The amount of the quit-rent reserved on grants in the towns does not exceed 15l. per annum, and in the towns of Windsor and Paramatta does not exceed 9l. Permission is also given for allotments in the town, generally consisting of forty feet in front and twenty in depth; but if the parties engage to build to a greater extent they receive land in proportion.

It is stated by Mr. Meehan, that nearly four-fifths of the houses in Paramatta and Sydney are permissive occupancies; and that of these, about forty have remained vacant in Sydney, and not less than twenty in Paramatta.

The proprietors of these allotments pay no quit-rent for them; and they have in many instances been subdivided, and have been the subject of sale and transfer, more especially when they have been received in remuneration or in exchange for other allotments. The governor's court, however, in a case that occurred in the year 1818, where one of these allotments had been assigned, after a lapse of three years would permit a plaintiff to recover possession of the premises from a third person, upon the ground of the uncertainty of the interest, that depended upon the pleasure of the governor in giving or withholding a grant or lease after the performance of a preceding condition.

By a return that was made from the surveyor-general's office, it appears that 128 leases for fourteen or twenty-one years have been granted by Governor Macquarie, and thirty-five grants of allotments, on which good houses either of brick or stone have been built, of which twenty-two are the property of and have been erected by persons who were convicts.

During the period of Governor Macquarie's government, every encouragement has been given to build good houses in the towns of Sydney, Paramatta and Windsor; and in the first-mentioned of these, there are nine houses the property of the public built of stone, eighteen of brick, and four of wood; there are also fifty-nine houses of stone, the property of individuals; 221 that are built of brick, and 773 that are built of wood.

The largest portion of the stone and brick houses are the property of the retail traders and public-house keepers, of whom there are many that were formerly convicts.

The style of architecture of the houses in Sydney is gradually improving under the direction and taste of Mr. Greenway the colonial architect, and more attention has lately been paid to the solidity of the construction, as well as to the selection of materials. The town is also rapidly extending in the vicinity of Hyde Park. The great obstruction to its improvement is the irregular accumulation of houses that has gradually been formed in that part of it that is called the Rocks this portion of the town consists of a few narrow lanes and streets that have been formed upon the edges and declivity of one of the projecting ridges of sandstone rock that rise from the shores of Sydney Cove and that of Cockle Bay, two inlets of the harbour of Port Jackson. On the summit of this ridge are the remains of an old and now dismantled fort that commanded the town, but was too much elevated to protect the harbour; it is now encircled with stone quarries, and below these rises a line of streets and lanes that is frequently interrupted by large projecting masses of sandstone. This part of the town has hitherto not received, and indeed is not susceptible of much improvement; and it will require both time and expense to give it regularity, and in some places to render it accessible to carriages. As there is little space now left upon the sides and shore of Sydney Cove for the construction of commercial buildings, it is probable that the shores of Cockle Bay, though more remote from the principal streets of Sydney, will be resorted to for purposes of trade. The anchorage for ships is good in this bay, but there are few places in which they can approach the shore; and the construction of quays will be expensive on account of the irregular line of the shore, and the large masses of rock that lie upon its surface.

The principal streets of Sydney have been lately levelled and raised in the centre; and some attention has also been paid to the drainage, which, from the natural declivity of the streets, may be very easily extended to every part of the town.

In the towns of Paramatta, Windsor and Liverpool, greater regularity has been observed in the first formation of the streets, and in the lines of the houses. Their extent and progress, compared with that of Sydney, has been inconsiderable. In the former there are not more than six houses built of brick; the remainder are built of wood or clay, and roofed with shingles. In Windsor, Richmond, Castlereagh and Liverpool, the resident magistrates have had the power of granting allotments of land for building; and in the town of Richmond some of the proprietors of land on the river Hawkesbury have begun to build small tenements, and from thence to superintend the cultivation of their farms. A large reserve has been made in the centre of the town for public purposes. A school-house and chapel have been erected upon an adjoining allotment; and upon another, the lease of which will expire in the course of the present year, it is intended to build a residence for a clergyman. The township, or rather the village, consists of seventy-nine allotments, upon twenty-four of which houses are built.

The town of Windsor is of earlier date than the other towns, but its progress has not been so quick as might have been expected, considering that it has been the resort of the settlers of a large and cultivated district, the depôt of its produce, and the place of export of a portion of that produce by water-carriage to Sydney. Considerable pains have been taken, and some expense has been incurred, in levelling the descent to the river, and making a quay for the embarkation and delivery of grain; and facilities have likewise been afforded to the passage of the river by the establishment of a good ferry-boat.

At the village of Castlereagh two houses only had been built, although several allotments had been assigned; and in the town of Liverpool sixty-six allotments have been assigned, on condition that they should be fenced and cleared, and that a dwelling-house should be built upon each.

There are two other townships in New South Wales, named Pitt Town and Wilberforce. In both of these school-houses have been built, and the resident chaplain at Windsor has done alternate duty in them on Sundays.

The position of these townships has, under all circumstances, been judiciously chosen. They are contiguous to the navigable portions either of the river Nepean, George's River, or Paramatta River; and although the transport of grain by water has much diminished since the improvement of the roads, and never was very popular on account of the frauds committal by those employed in it, yet the advantages of water-carriage from Liverpool to Sydney and to Botany Bay, into which George's River discharges itself, cannot fail hereafter to be of importance to the agricultural districts of Airds and upon the higher banks of the Nepean.

In Van Diemen's Land nearly the same, regulations have been observed in the granting of land that have prevailed in New South Wales; but in the year 1820 there were only three towns, viz. Hobart Town, Launceston and George Town. The former is situated upon a small cove of the great harbour or inlet into which the river Derwent discharges itself, and at the base of the highest mountain that has yet been examined in this settlement, or in those of New South Wales. The mean height of the Table Mountain was measured by Mr. Oxley in the month of March 1820, and was found to be 3,936 feet. The town is placed upon the ridge and slope of a hill that forms the base of the Table Mountain; and the irregularity that at first began to prevail in the formation of the streets has yielded to the attention and zeal with which the directions of Governor Macquarie were put in action, at first by Mr. Meehan, and afterwards by Mr. Deputy-Surveyor Evans.

A copious stream of fresh water flows through the town into the harbour, and not only affords an ample supply to the inhabitants, but turns three water-mills for grinding corn. The elevation at which this stream takes its source is sufficient to carry it to the level of any of the houses in Hobart Town, excepting the military barracks. Several purchases of buildings have been made to effect the improvements sanctioned by Governor Macquarie in Hobart Town, amounting altogether to 1,528l.; and the sum of 1,000l. was laid out in the purchase of a farm and buildings at New Town, distant about two miles from Hobart Town, for the accommodation of the lieutenant-governor.

The buildings upon the farm were in good repair, and of some extent; and the land, though not intrinsically good, formed a valuable addition to the tract that is called the Government Domain, and that now extends from Hobart Town along the bank of the river Derwent to New Town.

The sum at which this farm and the buildings were valued amounted to 1,300l; of this sum 1,000l. was paid in money, and the seller received a grant of 500 acres of land to make up the remainder.

The names of the parties to whom satisfaction was made for the value of their houses or building's upon the allotments that were resumed, is set forth in the account rendered by Mr. Evans; and although this system of remuneration is equitable when applied to the pre-existing system of assigning allotments in the towns, yet it proves the importance of paying attention to the direction of streets and the position of buildings, at the earliest formation of any new settlement. Although many of these allotments had been made by Lieutenant-Governor Collins, soon after the settlement had been formed at Hobart Town, yet the only right that the occupiers possessed or could claim in them, was the value of the buildings and fences that they had erected upon them. With the exception of three allotments purchased for the purpose of making the residence of the clergyman at Hobart Town contiguous to the church, it has not been found necessary to make any purchases or resumption of land for public buildings in Hobart Town.

A portion of land that had been let on lease to Mr. Edward Lord, fronting the harbour, and immediately adjoining the tract belonging to the government, that is now used as pasturage for the draught cattle, appeared to me to be very desirable for the future improvement or defence of the town. A dwelling-house and offices had been erected upon part of this allotment, which consists of fourteen acres; and upon expiration of Mr. Lord's lease, I should certainly recommend that any equitable interest that he may possess in the premises should be purchased by the government.

There were seven houses in Hobart Town in the month of March 1820, that were held under grant, and seven that were held under leases for twenty-one years, paying an annual quit-rent of 30s.

Of these last there were only three in which the conditions were fulfilled.

Of the houses in Hobart Town, one hundred and three were built of brick; one of them consisting of three stories, twenty of two, seventy-two of ground floors, and ten being outhouses and stores.

These buildings have in general been slightly constructed, and until the use of stone becomes more general, the construction of houses in Hobart Town is not likely to be permanently beneficial.

Here, as in Sydney, the permissive possession of an allotment, with the condition of building a dwelling-house and fencing performed, is considered equivalent to a lease or grant; and it is also more beneficial, for although the person to whom the allotment is assigned may be removed from it, if it be required for government purposes, on payment of the value of the materials of the house and the fences yet no quit-rent is demanded for such an interest, and the possessors are always aware that upon building a good house, according to the regulated dimension; they are certain of obtaining a lease or grant according to the expense they have incurred. A great many individuals in Hobart Town were awaiting the arrival of Governor Macquarie in 1820, for the purpose of soliciting these extensions of their titles, in consideration of their having performed the conditions required.

Permission is given to the convicts to occupy and build upon the town allotments, the ordinary size of which is a quarter of an acre. By degrees they increase the size of their dwellings, which are at first constructed of wood, and then derive profit front letting them as lodgings to other convicts.

No township, except that of Elizabeth Town, which contained only two houses in 1820, had been appointed in Van Diemen's Land, as late as the month of March 1820; nor had any reserve of land been made, either at or near Hobart Town, for a schoolmaster.

One hundred acres had been purchased of Mr. Archer, in the district of Pitt Water, for these as well as other public purposes; and 400 acres of and had been assigned as glebe to the resident chaplain of Hobart Town, in the district of Clarence Plains.

It was the intention of Governor Macquarie to mark out situations for townships in several districts on his visit to Van Diemen's Land; and it certainly appeared that in the Pitt Water district, as well as in a situation pointed out by Mr. Evans in the district of Gloucester, the establishment of a township had for some time been requisite.

At Launceston, the regularity of the streets hail been much interrupted by permissions that had been given by the commandant to sever id inhabitants to build without previous reference to Governor Macquarie, or to Lieutenant-Governor Sorell.

It certainly appeared to me that the future importance of this town had not been sufficiently impressed upon the mind of Governor Macquarie, when he addressed his dispatch to the Earl of Liverpool, dated the 17th November 1812, recommending the removal of the settlement to George Town.

The objections stated by Governor Macquarie, on the authority of the inhabitants, consist of the difficulty of obtaining fresh water; the dangers of the navigation of the river Tamar, and the distance of the town of Launceston from the sea.

This town is situated at the foot of a hill that commands the junction of the two rivers North and South Esk, and at the edge of a small tract of flat land that is subject to inundation in the winter.

The town is not rendered unhealthy by this circumstance, and the tract of land might very easily be drained and protected from inundation.

The supply of water is obtained front the river named the North Esk, at the distance of one mile and a Ralf from the town. It is either brought down in boats (as the river is navigable above the town for nearly eight miles) or in carts; and as no wells have yet been sunk in the town or neighbourhood, some expense and labour is necessary to obtain these supplies from the part of the river in which the water may be obtained in purity, and beyond the reach of the tide. The danger of the navigation of the River Tamar, that is formed by the junction of the North and South Esk Rivers, from Launceston to the sea, and the consequent difficulty of exporting produce or importing merchandize, is further alleged as an objection to the situation of Launceston.

The navigation of the river undoubtedly exposes vessels of more than 200 tons to danger, on account of the rapidity of the stream in certain narrow channels, and in the centre of one of which, called Whirlpool Reach, is a sunken rock, six feet below low water. By the evidence of a pilot who had been upon the station for eight years, it appears that no accident has ever occurred in the course of this navigation; but he was of opinion that no vessel of a greater burthen than 200 tons could approach nearer Launceston with safety than fourteen miles. The experience of nine years has proved that small vessels of 150 tons may safely proceed and anchor opposite to that town; and considerable quantities of produce have always been exported by these means to Sydney. The superior advantages of George Town, the place to which Governor Macquarie recommended that the principal settlement should be removed, are by no means apparent. The situation chosen for the town is a flat piece of sterile land, lying upon the eastern shore of the river, and three miles from the entrance. A small island in the middle of the river is immediately opposite the site of the future town, and the channel is deep and the current strong. At one extremity of the town is a small cove, called York Cove, in which there is room for about seven or eight vessels from 200 to 300 tons to anchor; but as the bottom consists of loose sand, and as the anchors will not hold against the strength of the current, the anchorage cannot be safe until moorings are laid down.

Opposite to George Town, in a part of the river called Kellsoll's Bay, there is better anchorage; but it is in Middle Island Bay, three miles above George Town, that the best anchorage is found even for the largest vessels, and in which they may remain safe from the influence of the strong current of the river.

As a harbour, therefore, York Cove possesses very limited means of giving protection to shipping; and large vessels must anchor either three miles above it, or on the other side of the river in Kellsoll's Bay.

Another objection to George Town consists in the sterility of the soil, and the difficulty of finding any tract in the neighbourhood capable of affording sustenance to cattle.

Abundance of water has been found near the town, which, at the period of my visit, contained only one house, that belonged to a free person, unconnected with the establishment.

The supplies of grain are conveyed in boats from Launceston to George Town by water, a distance of forty-seven miles; and although a road or trace has been made from Launceston, that is passable for cattle, yet they are found to suffer from want of food in their passage, as well as at George Town, on their arrival.

As the number of convicts employed on the buildings at George Town is considerable, the largest supplies of meat and grain are delivered there. This circumstance, however, has not induced either settlers or merchants to transfer their residence to George Town. At Launceston, on the contrary, rat disposition has been manifested to make places of deposit for the grain of the neighbouring districts; and dealers have established themselves in the town, who receive consignments of goods from Sydney and Hobart Town, which they exchange for wheat. From the circumstances that I have stated, it appears to me that the situation of Launceston is much more likely to attract a free population than George Town, although the latter may afford a convenient place for the residence of such officers as may be necessary to protect the revenue, or to visit ships on their departure from Launceston.

It is probable that, as the trade of this town increases, the produce will be conveyed in barges from thence to the shipping that may resort either to York Cove or to the anchorage above it; and it is also to be expected that warehouses will be built at George Town by the merchants who export it. If the commercial advantages arising from the maritime situation of George Town should eventually be such as Governor Macquarie has anticipated, and that it will become a deposit for merchandize brought by vessels that may touch in their passage through Bass's Straits, thaw! advantages will of themselves present sufficient inducements to attract a commercial population, and will give a natural direction to the improvements of which the place itself is susceptible. Viewing George Town as a place of resort for colonial vessels, or as a place of temporary deposit for the produce that might be conveyed from Launceston, I did not concur in the expediency of continuing the works and buildings that had been undertaken at George, Town. It appeared to me that a sufficient number had been already constructed for all the purposes that the place was intended to answer; and after submitting these points to the consideration of the governor, I solicited the appropriation of a portion of the labour of the convicts employed at George Town, for the repair of the gaol at Launceston, and a few other buildings that had fallen into decay. Injunctions were also laid upon the commandant at George Town, to pay more attention to the allotments of land in Launceston, and to make reservation of a portion that is contiguous to the town, and upon an eminence that commands it, as a favourable situation for building a military barrack.

I have since understood that orders were given for the construction of a gaol or place of confinement at Launceston.

The number of dwelling-houses in the town amounted to seventy-eight; and out of twenty-two allotments that had been assigned to individuals, twelve were fenced, and buildings erected upon them.

Having thus detailed the existing regulations for the grants of land, and of allotments in the different towns, I will proceed to submit to your Lordship the measures of improvement of which I conceive them to be susceptible.

In the first place, I should recommend that there should be an entire separation of the offices for conducting the business of the surveyor's department in New South Wales and Van Diemen's Land; and that in future there should be a surveyor-general for the latter settlement, who should be accountable to the governor of New South Wales and the lieutenant-governor of Van Diemen's Land. Considering the great increase of business that has taken place in both offices during the last two years, and the probability of annual augmentation, the addition solicited by Mr. Oxley of three assistants, is not more than the service requires.

The establishment in the year 1819 consisted of the surveyor-general and a deputy, and occasional assistance in the office from convicts who happened to have any knowledge that qualified them for its duties. Since the period of my departure from the colony, I find that two assistants have been added to the department, with salaries payable to each from the police-fund amounting to 109l. 10s.

As it does not appear that any advantage has arisen from conferring upon an assistant in the office a duty that is not strictly within the control of the principal, I should recommend that the office of surveyor of roads and bridges, as well as that of collector of quit-rents, should, in the event of Mr. Meehan's resignation, be suppressed; and as the last of these will hereafter form a part of the colonial revenue, that it should be transferred to the department of the colonial treasurer. The duty of surveying roads, in case my recommendation be carried into effect, will more properly belong to one of the commissioners of districts appointed to superintend the application of the rates levied for the repair of roads. As there will then be three assistants in the office of surveyor-general, it may be expedient to establish some difference in the amount of their salaries. For the first assistant I should propose a salary of 250l. per annum; for the second, a salary of 200l.; and for the third assistant, a salary of 150l. Mr. Oxley has solicited in favour of each of the assistants an allowance for a horse, but as I consider that out of the four officers of which this department will consist, two should be engaged in those duties that are stationary, I would beg to submit, that the allowance for horses should be limited to two of the assistants, and should amount to 25l. per annum each. The establishment will then consist of

a surveyor-general with an annual salary of       £365   —  —
First assistant -   -   -   -   -       250   —  —
Second assistant -   -   -   -   -       200   —  —
Third assistant -   -   -   -   -       150   —  —
Allowance for two horses -   -   -   -   -       50   —  —

The annual expense of this department in New South Wales, will then amount to 1,015l. making an increase of 248l. 10s. beyond the expense incurred in the year 1821.

The establishment of Van Diemen's Land to consist of a surveyor-general with a salary of

£200   —  —
Assistant surveyor -   -   -   -   -       150   —  —
Allowance for one horse    -   -   -   -   -       25   —  —

making together an increase of 146l. 17s. 6d. beyond the expenses of the establishment in the year 1821. These salaries should be considered as superseding all allowances of convicts subsisted at the expense of the crown, or of rations on the police stores. The fees that are now received on grants by the surveyor-general, and that have been for some time sanctioned by your Lordship, being very moderate in amount, should be considered as exclusively appertaining to the surveyor-general in New South Wales and Van Diemen's Land; but as no fee is allowed in the schedule for permissive occupancies of town allotments, which have been hitherto under the management of a subordinate officer of the department, I conceive that when they are restored to the superintendence and control of the principal, a fee of 5s. upon each should be added to the schedule, and be made payable to that officer.

With respect to the disposal of land to convicts on their emancipation or expiration of sentence, I have already submitted such observations to your Lordship in my former Report, as appeared to me to be warranted by the effects of the system as they are now exhibited in New South Wales and Van Diemen's Land. It is my opinion, that persons of this class have very little chance of success in the cultivation of the land of quality in New South Wales, without the possession of some pecuniary means to enable them to meet the heavy expenses of clearing and bringing the land into such a state of cultivation as may render it profitable without exhausting it. Independent of the amount of capital that should be required from convicts proceeding to cultivate a grant of fifty acres, as recommended in my former Report, It should be an object to place this description of settlers on the most fertile land, at very little distances from each other, and as near as possible to a market. The immediate vicinity therefore of townships or villages, is the best calculated for this class of persons, as well as those to whom I have before recommended that twenty acres of land should be given. In the immediate neighbourhood also of such settlers, I am induced to recommend that reserves of land for commons should be made, not exceeding 2,000 acres in extent.

The reservation of land in favour of the clergy and the schoolmasters of each district should be strictly and inviolably observed; and as these persons possess only a life interest in their glebe land, it has appeared to me that the intention of making such a reservation a beneficial addition to their income, could only be effected by clearing and fencing the land at the expense of government, upon its appropriation to the first incumbent. The possession of land in that state would add greatly to the comfort of any resident clergyman in New South Wales, whence the possession of it in its present uncleared state is only a source of disencouraging expense to them.

Respecting the proportions in which grants of land should be made to settlers on their arrival from England, I have already stated that there hitherto existed no precise rule, but that the governor exercised his discretion upon this subject according to the information that he could obtain respecting the means and views of the settlers themselves. Upon the recommendation of Mr. Oxley, it was proposed that for persons who brought out real capitals amounting to

£.  500    -   there should be granted   -    500 acres.
750    -   ——   -    640  — 
1,000    -   ——   -    800  — 
1,500    -   ——   -    1,000  — 
1,700    -   ——   -    1,280  — 
2,000    -   ——   -    1,500  — 
2,500    -   ——   -    1,760  — 
3,000    -   ——   -    2,000  — 

It was considered that 3,000l. was the largest amount of capital that was likely to be laid out in the cultivation and improvement of land in New South It ales by any individual; but that if a larger quantity should be retired, pension should be given to individuals to purchase from the crown an additional quantity (adjoining to the farms they may receive on account of the capital employed) not exceeding three times the amount of their grant.

After the statement that I have already made respecting the advantages of the cultivation of land in New South Wales, compared with those to be derived from grazing, or the production of fine wool, the maximum proposed for the extent of the granted land is certainly small. The virtual occupation of a quantity of good land at the Cow Pastures, not amounting to leis than 9,000 acres, does not enable Mr. M‘Arthur to feed or maintain more than 7,000 sheep and he was anxiously looking for opportunities of extending his own land, either by additions to his grant, or by purchase. The proposal therefore for the sale of land, contiguous to grants made upon real capital, is one which will be very beneficial to settlers, and will also be productive of revenue to the crown. In favourable situations, I should recommend that the additional quantity of land should be sold for ten shillings an acre; in those less favourable and more remote, fur live shillings; and in conformity to the recommendation that I had the honour to submit in my first Report, I think that the temporary occupations of land contiguous to grants for terms not exceeding seven years, might operate as a further encouragement to respectable settlers to engage in the breeding of fine woolled sheep; with a condition being annexed, that such persons should bind themselves in penalties to take three convicts off the store for every 200 acres of land allowed to be occupied, and maintain and clothe them at their own expense during the term; and should also engage to employ an overseer that has never been convicted, who should constantly reside at the principal station; and that they should further engage to erect a stockyard for such number of cattle as they might choose to graze upon the occupied land. With a view to afford encouragement to the purchasers of contiguous lands, I concur in the suggestion made by Mr. Oxley, that a deposit of 10 per cent. should be paid upon the purchase being agreed upon, and that the remainder should be paid by instalments every six month; until the whole was paid. A failure in the payment of one or more instalments should not deprive the purchaser of his right, provided the whole arrears were made good with interest at the period the last payment became due; but a failure in the ultimate payment should subject the purchaser to the loss of antecedent deposits, and of all right to the land.

As an exception to this general mode of disposing of land in New South Wales, I should beg leave to point out to your Lordship's notice that the tract called Emu Islands, now occupied by the convicts, contains nearly 3,000 acres of the most valuable land in the settled districts of the colony; and from local advantages, and its great fertility, would be a desirable situation for a township. If, however, this destination should not be given to it, and if it should cease to be occupied as an establishment for the convicts, no doubt can be entertained that by public sale and competition a very high price might be obtained for the whole, or for detached portions of it. Care, however, should be taken in either case to reserve a convenient spot for the landing of passengers and cattle from the ferry, and for the direction of the public road from thence to the ascent of the Blue Mountains.

The proportion of land that is now required to be cultivated, according to the scale hitherto observed in the colony, and detailed in one of the documents of the Appendix, is not larger than may be reasonably expected from the least opulent cultivator; and as soon as the permission to distil spirits from grain has begun to operate upon the market, it will be expedient to enforce the obligation of cultivating and clearing land to the full extent of the scale referred to, or, in failure of performance, to resume it.

To facilitate the location of land to settlers on their arrival from England, it has been proposed that the country intended to be settled should be previously surveyed and laid out in districts, subdivided into farms of such sizes as are usually granted; and that with reference to the locality of the country, and its natural boundaries, each district should not contain more than thirty-six square miles.

It is further, proposed that when such a survey has received the approbation of the governor, the inhabitants and settlers might have access to it, to enable them to select such situations as best suited them, and to insert the number of the allotment in their memorial to the governor.

This proposal I strongly recommend to your Lordship's consideration, as it will tend to remove the difficulties and confusion that have hitherto existed in the choice of land, and will prevent those heavy arrears in the office of the surveyor-general that have obstructed the speedy location of it. One further regulation I have to submit to your Lordship upon this subject, that is connected with a point already adverted to in this and my former Report: it has been stated that alienations and transfers, both of lands in the colony and of allotments in the towns, have frequently taken place without any reference to the conditions of cultivation, or to the express condition of non-alienation within the term of five years. The bounty of the crown is thus abused, and the value of land, as well as of situations for building in the towns, is enhanced to persons who are desirous of settling or purchasing. I should propose, therefore, that a separate registry should be kept in the surveyor-general's office of all transfers that in any way relate to land held of the crown; and that no conveyance of or title to any such land shall be valid or legal, unless it should be so registered. All allotments of land in the towns should be equally subject to this regulation, by means of which the frequent and unauthorized subdivisions of property would be checked whenever they were found likely to interfere with the general convenience.

Respecting the proportions of land to capital, by which it is proposed that the discretion now vested in the governor in making grants of land to settlers should in future be guided, I am of opinion that they do not exceed the amount of capital with which it is necessary to commence the cultivation of land in sew South Wales. I think, however, that for Van Diemen's Land an abatement of one-sixth may be made from each proportionate amount of capital required.

From the quantity of stock now accumulated in the colony, it does not appear to me to be necessary to make any further issues or loans of cattle from the public herds; nor do I think it any longer necessary that the assignment generally made to free settlers of convict labourers, subsisted at the expense of the crown, should be continued.

In making grants of land to individuals in the colony, I think it necessary to state that the same principle should generally prevail of previous capital or means; yet there is a description of persons, with regard to whom it appears to me that this qualification should not be applied with strictness.

The individuals to whom I allude consist of the sons of persons who have been convicts, and whose parents are alive and settled in the colony. To them I conceive that land should be granted on their obtaining the age of twenty-five years; and that cattle from the government herds should be distributed, returnable in kind at the expiration of four years.

The collection of the quit-rents that are now due and have been long due, I have already recommended to be left to the person who is charged with the collection of the colonial revenue; but without meaning to cast any imputation on the conduct of Mr. Meehan, I beg leave to submit to your lordship the expediency of requiring from him an account of the quit-rents due on all lands, houses and allotments held of the crown, as well as an account of all exchanges and transfers of land that have been made by him, with the authority of Governor Macquarie, for the improvements of the public streets, or for the enlargement and improvement of the property of the crown; specifying the dates of the transfers or exchanges, the names of the individuals to or with whom they were made, the object and the purpose of the transfer, and the consideration that was given.







State of the Trade of the Settlements of New South Wales and Van Diemen's Land.


THE internal trade of New South Wales is put in motion by the demand of government for the two great articles of produce, wheat and meat, consumed by the convicts and the individuals comp wing the civil establishment, to whom rations are allowed. The payments for them have lately been made in receipts signed by the commissariat officers and storekeepers at each station, which are paid by bills on the Lords of the Treasury; but from the month of July of the year 1813 until 1816, and from the early part of the year 1819 until the month of September 1820, these payments were made by promissory notes, issued by the officers at the head of the commissariat department, on certificates of the storekeepers of the quantity of meat and wheat delivered. The store receipts were consolidated once a month, by bills drawn by the officer at the head of the commissariat department on the Lords of the Treasury, and approved by the governor; but when promissory notes were issued by them, they were convertible on demand either into cash or bills upon the treasury, which, except for a certain period, were also approved by the governor. These store receipts constituted for some time the only medium of payment in the hands of the settlers for the goods that they purchased in the merchants stores, and from the difficulty that was experienced, until the establishment of the New South Wales Bank, in exchanging those receipts for paper of equal value or for coin, the lower order of settlers found an excuse, or rather a temptation to improvident and unchecked expenditure in their dealings with the retail merchants: the unbroken amount of a store receipt was made to cover the unexamined items of an old account, or to encourage the establishment of a new one. At most of these stores spirits were sold with the other goods, and the temptation to indulge in them was thus associated with the purchase of a few of the comforts and some of the necessaries of life.

Since the establishment of the colony efforts have been made by a few individuals to give an exportable value to the productions to which its soil and climate appear to be so favourable: In the year 1810 Governor Macquarie offered bounties on the cultivation of flax in the colony, and pledged himself to receive in the government factory at Paramatta any quantity exceeding that which might be raised or employed for domestic purposes, or to return the whole quantity supplied in its manufactured state. This encouragement was so far effectual as to establish the practicability of raising flax of very good quality in the colony, but the demand having been very limited at the period in which the bounties were offered, the cultivation of flax declined, and no more is now grown than is sufficient for the supply of the shoemakers.

The tobacco plant has been for some time introduced into the colony and cultivated; but as the art of curing or drying it was not known, no profit has been derived from it, although a high price has been obtained for tobacco imported from Brazil.

Salt works have been established upon a large scale by Mr. J. Blaxland upon the shore of the Paramatta River, where a considerable quantity of salt is made. The bitter that it contains has never been perfectly extracted; but the salt continues to be used in the colony for domestic purposes by the lower orders of the inhabitants, but it has not maintained any competition with the salt imported from Great Britain.

A tannery of considerable extent has been established at Sydney by an who has exclusively devoted himself to it, and others are conducted by individuals in the country for their own consumption, or by means of the convict labourers, who have a knowledge of the trade. The bark of a particular species of the Mimosa has been very successfully used in these tanneries; and although it is found to give a reddish tinge to the leather, it is found to be a very powerful tanning agent. From an experiment conducted under the inspection of one of the highest authorities in this country, the strength of the bark of the Mimosa, as compared with that of young oak bark of England, is found to be in the proportion of fifty-seven to thirty-nine. The mimosa tree from which this bark is taken is not of large growth, and of late it has become scarce in the neighbourhood of Sydney and Paramatta. In the interior it is found in great abundance and is always observed to spring up spontaneously in places where the surface of the earth has been lately touched with fire. I have already had occasion to mention the success that has attended an individual in Van Diemen's Land to reduce this bark to an extract, and to fit it for exportation. In Sydney, at a late period, the price was 3l. per ton in its green state, and when properly prepared for tanning was estimated to cost 6l.

It is stated by the most experienced person in this line of business, that he exported a few tons to England in its undressed state, and that it was much approved, but that the price that it produced 6l. per ton, did not repay the expense of collection and freight. The persons that are generally engaged in tanning, both in New South Wales and Van Diemen's Land, have not much experience in the art; and the quality of the leather is found to suffer from the expedition with which the process is conducted. The hides also suffer much from the careless manner in which the cattle are slaughtered, and from the brands and marks being placed upon the most valuable part of the skin instead of the shoulders of the cattle.

I should recommend, therefore, that persons who intend to carry on the trade of tanning in New South Wales or Van Diemen's Land should be required to take out a licence, for which the sum of 20l. should be paid; and that an inspector of hides should be appointed for each district, whose duties should be assimilated to those created by the 39 & 40 Geo. III. c. 66. I should further recommend that any butcher or other person, not being a convict, should be made liable to a penalty of 5s. on conviction before a magistrate, of wilfully or carelessly cutting the hides of cattle, so as to injure them in the making of leather; and that if such person should be a convict, he should be liable to be punished corporally, by order of a magistrate, or to be imprisoned and confined to hard labour for one month.

The quality of the leather tanned in New South Wales has latterly been improved, and will be further increased when the cattle are allowed to attain a greater age before they are slaughtered. The colour produced by the Mimosa bark is not favourable to its appearance or its competition with English leather, yet under good management its value may be made equal to the best leather tanned in England: The price that it now bears in New South Wales may be stated to be 14d. per pound for sole leather, 2s. 6d. to 3s. for upper leather, and 7s. 6d. for a tanned kangaroo skin.

The manufactures carried on in the colony are confined to hats, coarse cloths, blankets, and woollen stockings. For these the colony is mach indebted to the activity and enterprize of Mr. S. Lord, who has established a manufactory at Botany Bay, about six miles from Sydney, where be employs a certain number of convict; and from fifteen to twenty colonial boys. The price of the best quality of the cloth that he manufactures is 15s. a yard, and a considerable quantity is sold to the settlers and exported to Van Diemen's Land. Some competition arises in this trade from the facility that the settlers find in employing convict weavers, so many of whom have been transported to the colony within the last five years. There are two manufactories of hats at Sydney, in which a considerable number of the coarser qualities are made. They are not found to be so durable as hats of English manufacture, but are sold at much lower prices.

One pottery only has been established in New South Wales, and a few articles of the coarsest kind only have been produced in it. The ware is both badly manufactured and very dear. An attempt was made by the chief engineer to employ some of the convicts at Sydney, and a proper furnace and buildings were erected at the brick fields. The two principal workmen were very skilful in the ornamental part of their business, and succeeded in producing some very good specimens of workmanship. As, however, they had not the means of glazing the ware, it was not convertible to any useful purpose. I should recommend, therefore, that this species of manufacture should be discontinued, and that in future the attention of the few convicts that may be employed should be directed to the coarser and more Useful kinds of pottery ware, which may be afterwards sold with some profit on account of government. The manufacture of the flax of New Zealand, made from the leaves of a plant that has been found to grow therein great abundance (the Phormium tenax) has of late attracted considerable attention in the colony. It was established at Sydney by an emancipated convict named Williams, who has had infinite merit both in the invention and application of the machinery, by which he first was able to break the leaves of the plant in their green state, and afterwards to dress it, and to manufacture it into rope and twine. The plant has been introduced into New South Wales, but has not been cultivated. A few specimens are to be found in the government gardens at Sydney and Paramatta, affording abundant proof of the facility with which its cultivation may be extended whenever a demand should be created for it. The individual already mentioned has manufactured the flax into every species of cordage, except cables. Its superiority of strength to the hemp of the Baltic has been attested both by experiments made at Sydney, and by one that was made under my own observation in the King's Yard at Deptford.

As I was not able to ascertain at Sydney whether the New Zealand flax would imbibe tar, I caused a certain quantity that I brought to England in its undressed state to be made into rope by a very eminent manufacturer in London, and I found that the doubts that I entertained were unfounded, and that the rope was as much and as easily affected by tar as rope made of the Baltic hemp. After its superiority of strength was established by the experiment I have already mentioned, it was immersed in water, and occasionally used on board one of His Majesty's ships lying at Portsmouth, and during that period it was observed to loose its flexibility in the same way, though not to so great a degree, as the small cordage used by the natives of New Zealand in fishing. The same piece of rope was made use of on board a merchant ship in the river Thames for lifting weights, and was found to have lost nothing of its strength, and had regained its pliability; but from the peculiar compactness with which the strands were laid, and from the frequent friction to which one part was exposed, in the particular use to which it was applied, some parts appeared to have burst. I was led to attach some degree of importance to the result of this experiment, as a different opinion had been expressed by the officers of the Chatham Dock Yard, to whom an examination of the strength of another piece, made from the New Zealand flax, had been referred upon a former occasion in the year 1818.

The great length to which the leaves of the Phormium tenax grow in New Zealand render the flax that is made from it particularly useful for naval purposes; and the only question that now remains to be decided is its capacity for resisting salt water. In its application to all other purposes, either naval or domestic, the specimens produced in the manufactory of Williams, at Sydney, amply attest the superiority of the New Zealand flax; and with the means that he has discovered of breaking it in its green state, it may be ranked as one of the most valuable productions that the soil of New South Wales is capable of producing. The supply of the flax from New Zealand having been very inconsiderable, and no attempt having been made to grow it in New South Wales, its use in manufacture has not been extensive; but I conceive that sufficient experience has now been acquired of its value to render it an object worthy of every encouragement by the local government of New South Wales. With this view, I should recommend that a certain number of convicts should be employed in planting the New Zealand flax, either at Emu Plains, or at any other of the government farms in New South Wales, and that a negociation should be immediately entered into with Williams for the communication of his invention of the machine for breaking the flax, and by giving him every encouragement in the purchase of rope made by him from that material for the use of the colonial vessels.

It is by assistance rendered in this manner, and by the application, on a small scale at first, of a portion of the great means that exist in the hands of the local government in New South Wales for the developement of the resources of the colony, that the expenses incurred for the support of the convicts may ultimately be transferred from the hands of government to those of individuals, and that articles of export may be found, by which the real prosperity of the inhabitants may be promoted.

For the purpose of forming a comparative estimate of the several articles of colonial manufacture, I deemed it expedient to make a collection of them; and specimens of the tanning substances, the leather, cloth, hats, porcelain, and the cordage manufactured from the New Zealand flax, as well as the flax grown in New South Wales, are respectfully submitted to your Lordship's notice.

The production and growth of fine wool has already been noticed, and may be, considered as the great staple article of its future exports. The manufacture of it in the colony is not an object that is much to be desired in its present infant state; and it will be much more conformable to its real interests, and to the interchange of mutual benefits, and the surest bond of union between two distant countries, that the colony of New South Wales and Van Diemen's Land should continue to profit, by the great natural advantages they possess of climate and extent of pasturage, by remitting to England fine wool in its raw state, and in receiving in return the same or other produce in their manufactured state. Two commercial houses at Sydney, have lately been engaged in the purchase and consignment of wool, but the growers of the best qualities have hitherto exported it on their own account.

The wood of New South Wales has been used in the construction of colonial vessels, and four species of it, namely, the iron bark, black butted gum, stringy bark, and cedar, are found to be very useful, both for naval and domestic purposes. The peculiar qualities of these woods are, hardness, heaviness and durability. From recent importations into England that have been made of very well selected logs of the stringy bark, this species is found to start in working, and ship-builders have expressed their apprehensions of using it either in building or repairs. The largest trees in New South Wales are generally unsound, but they are still useful for domestic purposes and for fencing. The duty of 1s. that until lately was imposed Upon every solid foot of timber imported or brought into Port Jackson from any other harbour in New South Wales than Newcastle or Hunter's River, had begun to operate unfavourably to the interests of the colony for some time previous to its repeal.

The difficulty of obtaining cedar had encouraged convict labourers or sawyers to proceed to the nearest part of the coast in which it could be found, and after conveying it in small vessels to Port Jackson, to deposit it by night on the shores of the harbour. The same cause also operated as an inducement to the convicts engaged in the lumber-yard at Sydney, to convey it away to receivers in the town, find the consumption of this article at that station was so large as to justify a well-grounded suspicion that this species of depredation existed to a very great extent. Exemptions from the payment of this duty granted to particular individuals increased the dissatisfaction with which it was viewed, and as it never appears to have been it productive tax, every reason existed in favour of its repeal.

The timber in the settled districts having now become scarce, the importation of timber in the small colonial vessels to Port Jackson will speedily become an important object of colonial commerce.

The trade carried on between New South Wales and Van Diemen's Land consists of importations from the latter settlement of wheat, salted meat and potatoes. From the years 1815 to 1820, 60,309 bushels of wheat were imported from Hobart Town to Port Jackson, and 47,355 bushels from Port Dalrymple. In the same period 320 casks of salted meat were imported from the former place, and 172 from the latter. Wheat is also brought from Windsor by the River Hawkesbury and Broken Bay to Port Jackson, or exported direct to Port Hunter for the supply of the convicts at that settlement, and cargoes of lime, wood, and coals are returned.

The state of dependance in which most of the settlers are at Van Diemen's Land upon the dealers prevents them from deriving much benefit from the demand that the increasing consumption of New South Wales has created for wheat and meat.

At Port Dalrymple there has hitherto been no direct importation from England or other places, and all manufactured goods are received there with the charges of double freight and commission.

The difference of prices on common articles between Sydney and Launceston amounts to near too per cent.

The number of colonial vessels employed in the coasting trade does not exceed twenty-nine, of which seven are not more than fifteen tons burthen, and the largest of the others does not exceed 184 tons. These vessels are both badly equipped and badly navigated, and are little qualified to resist the heavy gales of wind with which the coast of New South Wales is visited during many seasons of the year. The coast is bold, and little danger exists in approaching it too nearly, but the currents are so strong that they disappoint the calculations of the moat skilful and vigilant navigators.

The restrictions that are the most frequent subject of complaint in the colonial trade arise from the delay that is caused in the port of Sydney as well as in the other settlements, from the necessity of complying with the forty-first article of the Port Regulations. That article requires that masters or commanders of vessels shall give public notice, twice successively in the Sydney Gazette, as to the time of the ships sailing, and are also to leave at the Secretary's office a written notice thereof, at least ten days previous to the muster of the ship's company. The object of the first part of this regulation is to secure creditors against the clandestine escape of their debtors from the colony, and as the Sydney Gazette, although printed on Saturday, is only published on a Sunday, a ship arriving on the day after must necessarily remain fourteen days, until she can commence another voyage. Although many of the colonial vessels are manned by sailors born in the colony, they are also in the habit of engaging sailors that have escaped from other vessels, and as these persons have not generally been included in the notice that is given by captains of vessels on their arrival at Sydney, by crying down the credit of their crews, they are exposed to the necessity of waiting until an advertisement has appeared twice in the Gazette.

The notice of ten days to the secretary's office, previous to the muster, does not appear to me to carry with it the same necessity as the first of these regulations, and it has frequently been accompanied by greater delay.

A good deal of such delay must depend upon the degree of interference caused with the other public duties and engagements of the secretary's office, but it does not spear to require such a length of notice as ten days. The object of this notice is to afford opportunities to the secretary of examining the condition and character of the persons who are taking their departure from the colony to another, or removing from that part of it where they are known to that in which they are strangers. In this duty, as well as that of a similar nature, that he is called upon to perform in respect of vessels clearing out for foreign ports, he is obliged to have reference to the indents deposited in his office, in case any persons present themselves either With certificates of the expiration of their sentences, or with general pardons, for the purpose of fixing the identity of their persons, and comparing it with the description that was taken of them on their first arrival in the colony. Persons holding conditional pardons are allowed to remove from one part of the colony to another, but not to engage as sailors in the colonial vessels; an equally strict examination is therefore required as to their identity; and information of their departure, as well as the particulars of their sentence and pardon, are transmitted to the lieutenant-governor of Van Diemen's Land, or the commandant of Port Dalrymple.

In obtaining these particulars the secretary is assisted by the gaoler or chief constable of Sydney.

It is from the nature of the service in the colonial vessels, and the temptation that their frequent departure, as well as that of vessels of larger burthen and more distant destination, hold out to convicts and debtors to make their escape from the colony, that the regular compliance with the colonial regulations that requires an accurate muster to be made of all persons previous to embarkation, has been so rigidly enforced.

At Hobart Town, in consequence of a daring attempt in which some convicts succeeded in carrying off a schooner to Batavia, small coasting vessels proceeding from Hobart Town to Pitt Water have been ordered to take clearances from the secretary's office, on payment of a fee of 6s. for the purpose of providing against the embarkation of convicts in them.

The great objections made to these regulations are the expense and the delay which they occasion. The former consists of a fee of 2s. 6d. for every person named and inserted in the clearance of each vessel, of which sum 1s. is paid to the principal clerk in the secretary's office, and a tonnage duty of 2l. on all vessels not exceeding forty tons. The amount of these fees, as well as those taken by the naval officers at Sydney and Port Dalrymple, on the clearances of a vessel of 118 tons, making ten voyages from Port Jackson to Port Dalrymple in a year, are estimated to amount to the sum of 310l. The delay occasioned by waiting in port till the expiration of the period required for the appearance of two successive advertisements in the Sydney Gazette, and for the notice to the secretary's office, is a great augmentation of the expense; and the muster of the crews of the vessels at the secretary's office has been found to afford opportunities to the sailors to abscond, and intoxicate themselves in the towns. It has therefore been found necessary, as an additional security, that the naval officers, who are the last persons that visit vessels on their departure, should muster the crew and passengers, for the purpose of ascertaining whether there are any other persons on board than those named in the clearance.

The principal cause of complaint upon these subjects would be removed if the duty of mustering the crew on board the vessels, rather than at his official residence, were personally performed by the secretary; and if the regulation that requires two advertisements in the gazette, either for the captains, the mates, or the sailors of colonial vessels, were entirely dispensed with, as well as the regulation that requires the sailors of these vessels to take a certificate of no detainer from the Judge Advocate's office before their names are permitted to be inserted in the clearance.

The demands against all these persons generally arise from the credit they too easily obtain, for small amounts, from the public houses; and it may afford a wholesome check to that indulgence, to limit the power of detention to cases in which the debt claimed shall exceed 10l. in amount, and to exclude it altogether where it is incurred in the supply of spirituous liquors.

With regard to the crews of vessels clearing for places or destinations not within the colony or its dependencies, the difficulty or the delay that may be interposed by the muster of any number of persons taken from a population consisting of convicts, whose sentences are remitted or expired, is one that is unavoidable in New South Wales and Van Diemen's Land; and the officer who has the custody of the documents that establish or negative the legal competence of these persons to quit the colony, has alone the power of abridging either the delay or the difficulties attendant upon their embarkation and departure.

The same difficulties that attend the intercourse between the settlements of the colony on the coast have been found to attach to another branch of the home colonial trade, that consists of the seal-fishery, which is carried on either in the islands in Bases Straits, or on the shores of New Zealand, Macquarie, and Campbell islands. In all these islands the fishing parties are left for a considerable time to pursue their occupation, while the vessels return to or to convey to them fresh supplies. The sailors employed are paid by a certain proportion of the proceeds called lays. Many of the sealing-parties repair to the islands in Bass's Straits, where they reside for some time, depending upon the arrival of boats from Port Dalrymple for supplies of provision and upon the arrival of coasting vessels from Port Jackson, for the sale of their seal skins.

In these occupations they are accompanied by the native black women of Van Diemen's Land, who take part in these adventures by the connivance of their husbands, or for the purpose of securing themselves from ill treatment.

It is the opinion of a person much experienced in this trade, that several convicts have found means of escape from New South Wales and Van Diemen's Land to India. The seal fishery in the island of Bass's Straits hies from these causes been much disturbed, and is not so productive as it was formerly; it has therefore been transferred to the coast of New Zealand and Macquarie Island, and the seal skins are either brought to Port Jackson, where they are charged a duty of three half-pence per skin, or are sent to China.

The restrictions upon the home trade of the colony to which I have now adverted, have been trifling in comparison to that which has been experienced by the inhabitants in their attempts to engage in the whale fishery, in consequence of the heavy duties imposed on the importation of train oil, blubber, and spermaceti oil, into Great Britain, taken and caught wholly by His Majesty's subjects usually residing in a British plantation or settlement; the duty upon black whale oil, amounting to 8l. 8s. per ton, and on spermaceti oil, to 24l. 18s. 9d. Previous to the enactment of these duties the whale fishery had presented an ample source, both of enterprize and: profit to the inhabitants of New South Wales and Van Diemen's Land. Small vessels, not exceeding go or too tons burthen, were fitted out at Sydney, and were very successful in prosecuting the fishery, even within sight of the coasts. The bays; of the western coasts of Van Diemen's Land abound with black whales, and during my residence in the settlement, I observed some British vessels at anchor in the river Derwent, within twelve miles of Hobart Town, engaged in the fishery, while all participation in it was virtually denied to the inhabitants. The coasts of New. South Wales are equally the resort of black whales at all periods of the year, and in the winter season the spermaceti whales repair to the north-east coasts; several of the native-born youths of the colony found it a profitable employment in the colonial vessels fitted out for this trade, and the oil procured in it was brought to Sydney, and deposited in warehouses for the freight of vessels returning to England; a more natural and profitable course of commercial employment, or one that was more advantageous to the inhabitants, could not have been devised. It is however necessary to add, that all the objections that have been stated to apply to commercial intercourse with these settlements, as long as they are occupied and treated as receptacles of convicts, would have applied, and still continue to apply, to the particular branch of the whale fishery that is conducted upon the coasts. In Van Diemen's Land, where it is found to be most easy and practicable, the attempts of the convicts to seize and carry off large vessels, have been most frequent and daring.

It was under a strong impression of the necessity of applying the regulations that have already been noticed to south-sea whalers, anchoring in the bays and waters of the river Derwent, in the prosecution of the fishery, that Lieutenant-Governor Scroll made a representation to Governor Macquarie respecting the refusal of one of these vessels to repair to Hobart Town, to enter outwards before she finally left the river, and to be searched for convicts that might have secreted themselves on board.

The opportunities afforded by the casual delay both of colonial and English vessels between their anchorage in the harbours, and the open sea, are precisely those that are most anxiously watched by the convicts, and are favourable for their concealment and escape.

It is to defeat these attempts that one of the port regulations requires, that no vessel shall come to anchor between the harbours in Sydney or Sullivan's Coves; but, that after being once searched and cleared out shall immediately proceed to sea, and yet it is in these very limits that the temptations to prosecute the whale fishery in the colonial and the other vessels are the greatest, on account of the facility with which it is conducted. The communications, moreover, that colonial vessels would hold with those engaged in the South Sea fishery, when met with at a greater distance from the coasts, would multiply the opportunities for the escape of convicts from the colony. Until, therefore, the number of convicts at Sydney and Hobart Town is greatly diminished, and the control over them increased, and until all those in the employment of government are confined and lodged in a barrack, where their numbers can at any time be checked and ascertained, I am of opinion, that it will not be expedient to diminish the weight of those restrictions that operate at present as an entire prohibition to the inhabitants of either colony to engage in the prosecution of the whale fisheries. Whenever that period arrives, it is hardly necessary for me to insist upon the great advantage that will be derived from the admission of the inhabitants to participate in a trade to which they are as much invited by their natural dispositions as by their local interests.

The repeal of the present duties on the importation of black and spermaceti whale oil, or blubber and whale fins, fished and taken by the inhabitants of New South Wales and Van Diemen's Land, and the reduction of those duties to the amount paid on oil, the produce of fish taken on the shores of Newfoundland, namely, 10s. 6d. per ton for train oil and blubber, and 15s. 9d. on spermaceti oil, are measures that cannot fail to be productive of lasting benefit to the colony. In a general point of view, it would afford employment to a large proportion of native youths of the colony, and inure them to habits of activity and enterprize, and, as far as it regards the interests of commerce, it would add to the few means the colony now, or for some time will possess of furnishing freight to the vessels that bring consignments of manufactured goods from Europe, or that are employed in the transportation of convicts.

I need hardly add, that in proportion to the facility afforded to these last-mentioned vessels of procuring freight at Port Jackson and Van Diemen's Land, on their return-voyages, will the rate of freight be diminished to the government for the transport of the convicts from England to New South Wales.

The foreign trade of New South Wales consists of the importations of sugar, spirits, soap, and cotton goods from Bengal, and tea and sugar candy from Canton; to which latterly has been added that of Chinese silks, and wearing apparel made up in China of cloth imported thither from Great Britain.

The importations from Europe consist of iron and hardware goods, cottons, millinery, wines, porter, cheese, and salted provisions.

A few successful attempts were made at one period in the colonial vessels, to supply the China and Batavia market with sandal wood pearl shells, and beche la mer, from the Fejee and Marquesas Islands, and to import cargoes of tea in return. The outrages committed by the crews of these vessels upon the natives of the South Sea Islands, and the spirit of vengeance that these outrages excited, as well as the subsequent and successful competition of the Americans in this branch of commerce, have been the causes of its decline in the hands of the inhabitants of New South Wales; and the trade that they now carry on with the South Sea Islands is restricted to that which was first opened by the missionaries, consisting of the exchange of cocoa-nut oil and salt pork, for coarse cottons and iron ware. The desire of the inhabitants of all these islands to obtain fire-arms and gunpowder has much impeded the attempts of the missionaries to introduce amongst them a knowledge of christianity; and as the intercourse of the vessels engaged in the South Sea fisheries has not been found susceptible of any effectual restraint, many instances have occurred on one side of violent and unpunished outrage, and on the other, of savage and indiscriminate revenge. The extensive and beautiful islands of New Zealand have been the most frequent theatres of these afflicting occurrences, as they are more resorted to than the other islands on account of the excellence of the harbours, and the facility of obtaining supplies. The warlike and hostile spirit of the native tribes towards each other has been fed by the instruments of destruction that their intercourse with Europeans has placed in their hands. The missionaries themselves have incurred some danger from the same cause, and such is now the value attached to the possession of fire-arms amongst the New Zealanders, that no supplies of food can be obtained from them, even by the missionaries, without some concession to their prevailing love of war and revenge. Several of these islanders have visited New South Wales, and a few of them have been taught the art of spinning flax, and have learnt to read and write in a school established by the Rev. Mr. Marsden at Paramatta. Their attainments however have not core responded to the sanguine expectations he had formed of them. If the missionaries at New Zealand should hereafter more attention to the cultivation of their land, and to place before the eyes of the natives the practical benefits of the arts of civilization and commerce, they will be more likely to obtain influence over the New Zealanders, and to detach them from the pursuits of war and plunder in which they now so obstinately engage.

At present the trade between New Zealand and the other islands of the South Seas, from one or other of the causes before mentioned, is very inconsiderable. In the Society Islands however the efforts of the missionaries have been more successful, both in the diffusion of a knowledge of christianity, and in exciting a disposition to cultivate intercourse with the subjects of the Crown of Great Britain.

The trade that has hitherto existed has been altogether in the hands of the missionaries, directed by the Reverend Mr. Marsden, their agent at Sydney. The articles exported from thence having consisted of cotton goods and supplies for the missionaries, who in return have sent cocoa-nut oil, and salted pork to Sydney. An attempt was lately made at that port to engage in a direct trade with the king of Taheite, and it appears that the cultivation both of sugar, cotton, and coffee, may be expected to increase in that and the other Islands, and enable the natives to carry on an extensive trade in those articles with New South Wales.

The duties that have been levied upon the importation of goods and merchandise into New South Wales have consisted of 10s. for every gallon of spirits landed, 9d. for every gallon of wine, and 6d. upon each pound of tobacco. There have been also duties levied, amounting to 2l. 10s. 8d. upon every ton of sandal-wood, and pearl shells; 5l. on every ton of beche la mer; 2l. 10s. on every ton of spermaceti oil, and 2l. on black whale oil; a duty of 1½d. on every seal skin, and ½d. on every hare or kangaroo skin. On timber the duties have consisted of 1s. for each solid foot of cedar, or other timber imported from Shoal Haven, or any other port of the coast (Newcastle excepted) when not supplied by government labourers, a duty of 1l. for every twenty spars from New Zealand or elsewhere, and 1s. on every solid foot of timber, either in log or plank, imported from New Zealand. In addition to these duties, fees are demanded and paid to the two wharfingers, amounting to 9d. on every bale, cask, or package, landed or shipped; 2s. 6d. for metage of every ton of coal, and 2s. for measure of every one hundred feet of timber.

Of all the several duties that have been imposed and levied in New South Wales, those upon the importation of spirits have been the most productive, and the successive augmentations that have been made from 3s. to 5s. in the year 1812, from 5s. to 7s. in the year 1814, and lastly from 7s. to 10s. in the month of April 1818, have had no perceptible effect upon the consumption.

The duties have always been levied upon the quantity, and not upon the strength of the spirits; and at the period in which the second augmentation of duty was made, an option was given to the importers to deposit their spirits in the King's store until payment of the duty, giving bond, or sufficient security, to make that payment within twelve months from the landing of the spirits; and if they remained in deposit beyond that period they were to be charged with a further payment of 1s. per cask for every week that the spirits should remain in store.

From the mode adopted for levying the duty on spirits, and the virtual encouragement it held out to the importation of spirit of the strongest proof, the largest importations of this article consisted of Bengal Rum, the strength of which has been estimated as high as thirty and forty per cent. above the hydrometer proof, while the spirit imported from the isle of France, being inferior in quality as well as strength, has not found such a ready sale. In the year 1819, the quantity of spirit issued from the bonded store at Sydney to individuals, amounted to 58,079 gallons, and in 1820, to 69,741 gallons. To this must be added the quantity issued on account of government, amounting in the first year to 18,743 gallons, and in the second to 17,062. Of the quantity issued to individuals, the largest portion was from twenty to thirty per cent. over London proof; and the rate of annual consumption of spirit in the colony may therefore be estimated at 100,000 gallons.

By the statute of the 59th Geo. III. c. 114, continued by subsequent statutes paned in the first and second years of His present Majesty's reign, the governor of New South Wales was authorized to levy duties on spirits made in the colony; and in the exercise of that power, Governor Macquarie issued a series of regulations on the 10th February 1821, by which the distillation in the colony of spirit from grain was to be guided. The duty upon colonial spirit was fixed at the rate of 2s. 6d. per gallon of spirit of the strength of seven per cent. above hydrometer proof; while the duty upon imported spirit continued at 10s., which, however, was to be levied on the strength of all spirits above hydrometer proof imported from and after the 1st May 1821, from any part of British India, and on the first day of August 1821, if imported from any other place.

The governor not having the power of augmenting any duty that had previously been levied in the colony, by the Act that paced in the last session of Parliament the duty of 10s. per gallon on spirits, the manufacture and produce of Great Britain, and on rum, the produce of any of the British West India Islands, was continued at 10s.; and a duty of 15s. per gallon was ordered to be levied upon all other spirits imported. The difference of duty thus established between the colonial and imported spirits will operate as a great encouragement to the distillation within the colony, and will also have an effect that I conceive to be very desirable, of altering the taste that prevails in New South Wales for the use of the ardent spirit that has been imported from India.

By the last-mentioned Act of Parliament the duty upon tobacco imported into the colony of New South Wales was raised from 6d. to 4s. upon the pound weight, with a view to encourage the domestic growth of that article. The ordinary supplies have been furnished from Bengal, and a taste has been created amongst all classes of consumers for the peculiar flavour that is imparted to the Brazil tobacco from the admixture of coarse sugar and molasses. The price of this tobacco has always been subject to great fluctuations, from 7s. to 1l. I have been informed upon good authority, that since my departure from the colony, the tobacco that was planted at Emu Plains under the direction of Mr. Fitzgerald, in 1820, was dried and cured by a person conversant in the trade, and that during a period in which imported tobacco was very scarce, it was sold in the colony on account of government, for 4s. per pound. The climate of New South Wales, and the fertile portions of the soil, appear to be very favourable to the growth of tobacco; and there seems to be no reason that the convicts who may be destined hereafter to the new settlements in Port Bowen, Moreton Bay, and Port Curteis, should not be employed in the cultivation of it, as well as in the subsequent process of drying and packing it for exportation.

The remaining duties on imports consist of those levied by colonial authority, subsequently confirmed by Act of Parliament, and of the ad valorem duty of fifteen per cent. upon all goods, wares and merchandise, that are not the growth, produce or manufacture of the United Kingdom, imported directly from thence into the colony. National character, and direct importation of goods, thus constituting the grounds of exemption from the duty as will attach upon all other goods, whether imported from India and China, or from other its of the world. Of this, there are none that will not fully bear the ad valorem duty, augmented by the last Act of Parliament from five to fifteen per cent.

I have already stated that the cargoes from China consist of tea, sugar, and a small portion of the silk manufactures.

It appears that this trade has been carried on by India-built vessels, and in one instance, by a vessel aiming a register from the Isle of France, for which licenses have been obtained by application to the government in Bengal, and subject to the control of the Committee of supercargoes at Canton. Instances have occurred in which vessels have cleared out direct from New South Wales to China, but in general their destination is stated to be the South Seas.

Tea is observed to be the constant accompaniment to the meals of the middle and lower classes of inhabitants; and from the adoption of it as part of the daily ration of the convicts in the employ of Government, the consumption has been much increased.

The vessels that have been engaged in importing it have not been of large tonnage, and the consignments have been made on account of the principal merchants resident at Sydney, who complain of interference in this branch of trade by certain foreigners, who, through an American interest at Canton and the Isle of France, hay: been able to procure facilities for their trade, as well as protection for the vessel in which it is carried on. The effect of this interference has been to reduce, in a very material degree, the prices of tea in New South Wales, and to glut the market with an article that had in earlier times afforded frequent opportunities of profitable monopoly.

The importation of tea by way of Bengal is of course subject to greater expense, and heavier charges, than that which is effected from China direct, and this circumstance has added considerably to the regret with which those merchants, who have not the facilities of engaging in the direct trade, view the interference of the resident foreigners.

The operation of the colonial duties that have been imposed upon the importation of sandal-wood, beche la mer, and pearl shells, has not been so much felt since the decline of the trade in those articles, in consequence of the interference of the Americans in the direct trade that they carry on between the South Sea islands and China. The importation of them into New South Wales has now nearly ceased; but as the trade may in some future period revive, and as the expense of fitting out vessels at Port Jackson, and the wages of seamen hired there, press heavily on all maritime enterprizes, I should recommend that the duties that I have before recapitulated, as well as those of 2l. 10s. and 2l. upon oil imported into the colony, either for consumption or exportation, should be repealed.

English vessels engaged in the South Sea fishery are much deterred from resorting to Port Jackson for refreshment, by the amount of the port duties.

The owners of these vessels equally dread the temptations held out by the dissipation of the town of Sydney, and the endless causes of detention of their sailors, as well as of desertion to which it gives rise.

It has been strongly urged, that no measures of harbour police within the colony can afford at once such effectual protection or control as the presence of an English of war, and that the control would equally be extended to the coasts of New South Wales, and to those of New Zealand, where it might afford the most beneficial protection to the natives of that island against the outrages of the South Sea whaling vessels. I think it probable that in a very short period the New Zealanders will become so expert in the use of fire arms that they will be competent to repel actual violence, if they are not equal to punish injustice; but I cannot help stating it as my opinion, founded both upon reference to past transactions, actual observation, and the opinions of others, that the present settlement of New South Wales and Van Diemen's Land are greatly in need of some efficient naval protection for their harbours and coasting trade.

The harbour-dues to which I have before alluded consist of a fee of 5l. sterling or 1l. 10.[s.] paid to the naval officer, or received by him and paid over to the treasurer of the police-fund, for entries of all ships laden with articles for sale, and in government service, or otherwise; and of fees of 1l. to 6l. according to the tonnage of the vessels, for permission to obtain wood and water; of a fee of 1l. 1s. for permission to trade; of 10s. on each of three bonds taken for due observance of the port regulations, and for the security of the convict; and lastly of a fee of 5s. for the port-clearance, and 2s. 6d. for the naval officer's clerk.

The fees for pilotage, as well as for the benefit of the light-house on the south head of Port Jackson, are received by the naval officer, for each ship that enters the harbour, and are paid over to the treasurer of the police-fund.

The aggregate of these fees for a ship of 500 tons amount to 21l. 10s. and with the exception of that, for permission to trade, have been demanded from ships entering the harbour for the purposes of refreshment, as well as from those that bring cargoes, or convey convicts from England.

Exemptions from the payment of duties at Hobart Town have occasionally been granted in favour of ship conveying convicts thither from Port Jackson, or conveying passengers on account of government. Of all these charges, that which is made for permission to wood and water appears, under present circumstances, to have the least foundation, either as arising from service rendered, or accommodation afforded. The only regular place for obtaining water in Sydney is at the tanks, that were excavated during the administration of Governor King from the rocky channel of a ravine, for the preservation or deposit for the water that descends from a small Spring in the higher part of the town. These tanks are neither deep nor capacious, and access to them has, until very lately, been open, and the regulations for keeping them free from dirt and disturbance have met with very little attention. To the shipping they could afford only slight accommodation on account of their distance from the shore, and the risk of the dispersion of the sailors when employed in filling their water-casks. They have therefore resorted to a farm on the north shore of the harbour, where the supply of water is precarious in the summer season; and they cut wood on the banks in the immediate neighbourhood. There is certainly nothing in the past or present state of the supply of these very necessary articles at Sydney that justifies a charge for them; and until some facility is afforded by the local government, complaints of this charge are not unreasonable; colonial vessels are exempted from paying it, but I observed that it was included in the naval officer's charges at Hobart Town, although no greater facility is afforded there than at Sydney in the supply of water and wood, and no other benefit conferred than the casual superintendance of an officer called the water-bailiff whose duty it is to appoint the time and places to which the watering parties are sent to resort.

The fee for permission to trade is no longer justified by the state of the commercial regulations of the colony, and may well be dispensed with.

The remaining fees paid to the naval officer appear to be justified by the several services to which they are attached, and are also inconsiderable in amount.

The mode in which the fees for wharfage have been levied has become a subject of complaint by the owners of vessels and importers of cargoes; a fee of 9d. is taken for every bale, cask, or package, of which, 6d. is Raid to government, and 3d. to the wharfinger; no distinction or allowance is made for small packages; and the charge upon the landing of cargoes from India and China, which generally consist of packages of that description, amounts to a considerable sum. The consideration moreover, for the charge of 6d. that is payable to the government, was originally founded upon the accommodation afforded, and the expense that had been incurred in the construction of the public wharf, now called the King's Wharf, where all goods were ordered to be landed from the ships. Front the increase of the trade of the port, and the decay of the wharf itself, the accommodation for landing goods upon it is very inadequate, and they are not allowed to be landed at any other place; it is therefore very desirable that as the tax continues to be paid for it, the wharf should be either enlarged, or that another wharf should be constructed in some other part of Sydney Cove.

At Hobart Town the same fee is charged for landing goods, and the want of accommodation is still more conspicuous than at Sydney. Lieutenant-Governor Sorell, however, was taking measures for the improvement of the wharf during my residence in Van Diemen's Land.

A plan was suggested to me by several of the inhabitants of the town of Sydney, that promised to combine facilities for the landing of goods, and the means of cleansing the harbour from the quantities of sand and alluvial deposit that have already begun to accumulate near the only quay that is now left for the accommodation of the public. On reference to the plan of the town of Sydney, it will be found that at the place in which the small stream that flows from the higher part of the town, and discharges itself into the cove, the shore for a considerable space on each side is covered with soft mud and sand, that is washed by the title at high water. This surface extends nearly from the government wharf to the public wharf, and it has been proposed to build a quay extending from one of these points to the other, leaving a passage for the water of the rivulet, which being confined to a narrow and deep channel would discharge itself with increased force into the harbour. The quay would thus afford access to vessels for the purpose of landing and embarking goods, and might communicate with the end of Pitt Street, in the point where it intersects with Hunter Street. It would be necessary to purchase two allotments only between O'Connel-street and Spring Street, to give this new and continued direction to Pitt Street, and the labour of collecting stone, and depositing earth for the formation of the quay, would furnish appropriate labour to the chain-gang, at a very little distance from the place of their confinement, and subject to the observation of persons who would feel an interest in stimulating their labour, as well as in denouncing the connivance of the overseers in their neglect of it. The other parts of Sydney Cove that from depth of water and other circumstances are most accessible to shipping, and most lit for commercial accommodation, are occupied by the grounds and plantations that surround the government house; a public walk and terrace have been constructed upon the line of the shore; and there is not sufficient space between it and the government grounds to form quays or warehouses, if even it should be resolved to sacrifice all the improvements that have been made for the benefit of the public, or the reservation of the ground that is the most appropriate for the future residence of the governor. That sacrifice, in the present state of the colony, I certainly could not venture to recommend, and therefore it would appear to be more advisable to secure for the public convenience all other parts of the Cove that are now left unoccupied or ungranted, and that are most convenient for commercial purposes, or capable of being made so. The removal of the large masses of sandstone that impede the access to the present residence of the naval officer in Sydney Cove would furnish good materials for the quay that I have proposed, and at the same time afford room for the construction of another and more convenient building.

Respecting the wharfage fees, I should propose an alteration in the mode and rate of charge, by imposing a duty of sixpence for every five solid feet, by measurement of cargo landed from each ship, of which four pence should be considered as payable for the use of the wharfs, and two pence as remuneration to the wharfingers.

From the great increase that is now taking place in the population of New South Wales and Van Diemen's Land, by emigration from the British dominions, the demand for all kinds of manufactured goods, but especially of iron and hardware, has been greatly augmented, and at length appears to have exceeded in value the ordinary means of remittance. The prices of these commodities have been liable to great fluctuation; but since the permission was given for vessels under 350 tons to proceed direct from England to New South Wales, the supply of manufactured goods has been more extensive and better suited to the state of the markets. The price of English goods imported into New South Wales varies from 60 to 100 per cent. above the prime cost. At former periods, very large profits were frequently realized, but they have been latterly reduced by the ordinary effects of enlarged trade and competition.

At one period, many of the civil officers had engaged so largely in speculations of this kind, that Governor Macquarie found it necessary to obtain your Lordship's sanction to the obligation that Ire afterwards promulgated to them, of making choice between the pursuit of civil and mercantile occupations; the latter have always afforded such great temptations of profit, and although the practice has been openly discontinued, yet it is known still to exist.

There are now established at Sydney twelve commercial firms that are importers of goods on their own account, and amongst these are three conducted by persons who have been convicts. It has lately become a subject of complaint amongst them, that the masters of convict-ships are still permitted to land in New South Wales various articles of merchandise; that they find the means of embarking, either before they quit the river Thames, or while they remain at Portsmouth and Cork. This practice has been invariably prohibited by the instructions of the Navy Board, with which the masters and the surgeons superintendant are furnished; and it also constitutes a breach of one of the covenants of the charter-party entered into by the owners, for which they, as well as the captain, are liable to be mulcted in part of the freight on their return to England. With the view to prevent the embarkation or the landing of any other goods than those that are allowed by the Navy Board, a list is transmitted to the governor of New South Wales, and with this notice, he has it in his Power, but always upon his own responsibility, to prevent the masters of the convict-ships from landing any other goods. In the year 1818, an attempt was made by two individuals to seize two convict-ships that had imported and were lauding goods, either from Rio de Janeiro, or from England, and after encountering some difficulties, one of them succeeded in bringing an information against the ships before the Vice Admiralty Court at Sydney, for various alleged breaches of the revenue laws; first, in having no clearance; secondly, for having goods on board that had never been entered at the custom-house in England, or regularly entered in any cocket; and lastly, for having disobeyed the orders of the Navy Board, in embarking goods for which they had given no permission. The information was dismissed by the court for want of legal right in the parties to seize either vessel or goods, the acts of 12 Geo. I. c. 28, and 26 Geo. III. c. 40, having limited the right of seizing in such cases both to certain local limits of the British coast, as well as to certain officers of the customs; and lastly, from want of jurisdiction in the court, as a court of revenue, to take cognizance of mere disobedience of the orders of the Navy Board. The seizure was also attempted to be justified, by considering it an infraction of an order that had been transmitted by your Lordship to Governor Macquarie, by which the landing of spirits, goods, wares, or merchandise of any kind from on board convict transport ships was prohibited. Several of the inhabitants of the colony had felt that this prohibition would tend to create a monopoly in favour of the few importers of goods from England, and would consequently raise their price; and they immediately presented a memorial to the governor, in which they prayed him to suspend the effect of your Lordship's prohibition. Governor Macquarie complied with this request, and the masters of convict-ships have since been allowed to land whatever goods they imported, on payment of the same colonial duties that were paid by other vessels. As long as the importations of goods front England were confined to a few vessels, and those of large tonnage, the merchant importers did not complain of the great interference with their profits that this concession in favour of the convict-ships occasioned; but, as the number of these vessels has greatly increased within the last three years, and that they have eluded the vigilance of the officers of the customs, or the agents of the Navy Board, by embarking goods that have far exceeded the amount of the tonnage that is allowed them, the large importations they have made from time to time at last became a subject of observation and serious complaint.

As the masters of the convict-ships pay no freight for the articles they put on board, they are enabled to undersell those who import cargoes by merchant vessels.

During my residence in Sydney the merchants brought to my notice several cases of convict transport ships that were landing and selling goods to a considerable amount; and stated their apprehensions of the effect of these investments upon the profits of those that they were in daily expectation of receiving. I found, upon inquiry, that these importations were considerable, and that as the convict-ships never cleared out at the custom houses in the ports of England or Ireland, they were in the habit of describing the goods that they brought for sale under the name of "ship's stores". Many of the articles imported and landed at Sydney from these vessels did not come under this description, and had evidently been embarked in evasion or violation of the orders of the Navy Board, and the laws of the revenue. They happened to be in great demand at Sydney, at the period in which they arrived; and especially the important article of iron, which found a ready sale in the colony. The other articles imported in the convict-ships were generally disposed of by auction and as no prohibition appeared to have been made to the landing, or any other restraint in the disposal of them, than that of selling them in the ships before they were landed, I did not deem it necessary, nor indeed did the merchants who complained of this interference with their profits, seem to wish for any other than prospective measures for the suppression of the practice. As the trade between England and New South Wales is now opened to ships of small tonnage, and as the market is not likely to be affected in future by the same fluctuations by which it formerly so much suffered, and by which individuals so much profited, the period has arrived in which the prohibition against the importation of goods by convict-ships may be rigidly enforced both in England and in New South Wales; and it is likewise to be observed, that the regular importers of goods at Sydney will not be induced to supply the market if they have to fear a competition with the masters of the convict-ships in the supply, upon terms so unequal as those I have described. It is certainly my belief, that the prohibition can only be effectually put in force by giving all or any persons in the colony a right to inform against the landing of any other goods in New South Wales and its dependencies than such as are enumerated and contained in a list approved by the Navy Board, or such as consists of provisions and stores put on board by their order. A legislative enactment, making the act of landing such goods penal, and subjecting them to forfeiture, will be necessary to enable the vice-admiralty court at Sydney to take cognizance of informations brought before it for the breach of such a regulation.

The facilities that are afforded by the provisions of the Act of 3 Geo. IV. ch. 45, by which a direct trade in British ships is permitted between the British colonies, both in the West Indies and other parts of the world, and any foreign port in Europe or Africa, Gibraltar, or the island of Malta, are not likely to augment the exports from New South Wales, or to divert the trade of the colony from the natural channel that it is destined both to take and observe, between its own ports and those of the mother country. The entire coincidence of habits that hitherto has been little affected by the difference of the climate of the two countries, %yin long preserve to the manufactures of the mother country a preference over those of India or China, even obtained at a cheaper rate.

By affording encouragement to the production of fine wool, tobacco, and flax in the colony, freight may speedily be furnished for the return of vessels that carry thither the English manufactures; and when the removal of the convict population from the sea-ports, is so far carried into effect as to admit the inhabitants to a free participation in the whale fisheries, the exportation of the produce upon equal terms with that which is procured on the coasts of Newfoundland, will furnish the inhabitants of New South Wales with an article of export equally valuable as a means of consignment to the merchants as of lading to the vessels.

The only articles of export that have hitherto been tried from New South Wales are those of flour to the Cape of Good Hope, horses to Batavia, and coals to that port and to Calcutta. In the first instance, the attempt was made in a colonial vessel, having a colonial register, but under 350 tons burthen.

The result of the speculation in horses to Batavia was such as to induce a repetition of it, and the coals of New South Wales, though found to be inferior in quality to the best English sea-coal, are likely to find a ready market in the different ports of Java.

The exportation of these commodities would have been more frequent, if it had been clearly understood that it was competent to British vessels to make distinct voyages between places within the limits of the East India Company's Charter, and to carry on trade without reference to their original voyage. The interpretation of a doubtful passage in the Act of 54 Geo. III. ch. 34, section 1. had prevented, or rather discouraged, British vessels, even when protected by a license from the East India Company, from trading between New South Wales and Java, or any places more to the northward than 11 degrees of south latitude, and between the 64th and 150th degrees of east longitude from London. That doubt, however, being now removed, British vessels have proceeded from New South Wales to Java, and the Island of Mauritius; but as the Act by which vessels under 350 tons burthen were permitted to trade to New South Wales confined that permission to the trade between ports and places in the united kingdom and New South Wales, I apprehend that it would not now be competent to any vessel of a less tonnage, either with a colonial or British register, to trade between New South Wales and Java, or the places within the peculiar limits of the East India Company.

This trade, as far as regards the island of Mauritius, the Cape of Good Hope, and the island of Java, is of great importance to the colonial interest of New South Wales, for it is to these places that the first efforts of its commercial marine will be directed. Small vessels, with registers from the island of Mauritius, have traded from thence to New South Wales, and brought cargoes of sugar and spirits, which they have exchanged for wheat, and it is only in these small vessels that investments suited to the present demand of markets in New South Wales and Van Diemen's Land, can be advantageously made.

By the 57th Geo. III. c. 1, a power has been reserved to His Majesty to regulate by order in council, the trade of all his colonies to the eastward of the Cape of Good Hope, excepting the possessions of the East India Company. It would be very desirable therefore that the trade between New South Wales, the island of Java, and Mauritius, and the Cape of Good Hope, should be opened to vessels built in the colony of New South Wales or its dependencies.

An admission of vessels of small tonnage to the trade between the peculiar limits of the East India Company's charter, consisting of all places situated on the continent of Asia front the river Indus to the town of Malacca, and any island under the government of the company lying to the north of the equator, would perhaps constitute an interference with their privileges, which, at the present moment, the company may not be disposed to concede in favour of the inhabitants of New South Wales; and the direct communications that have taken place between the colony and India have proved the difficulty of preventing the escape of convicts to that territory, and have been the occasion of expense to its government in sending back those who had effected it. I observed also, that the lascars employed in the navigation of the vessels from India, and for whose protection that government has always shown such an anxious desire to provide, became the victims of the felonious arts of the convicts, whenever they landed from their ships in New South Wales or Van Diemen's Land.

The establishment of the bank of New South Wales in the early part of the year 1817, has greatly added to the facility of commercial transactions within the colony.

The evils of a paper circulation, rued upon the credit of individuals, had become the subject of universal complaint, and had defied all the measures of restraint or correction that from time to time had been applied to them.

Supported by the patronage and influence of the local government several of the inhabitants of the colony met together, and after agreeing upon the great expediency of establishing a bank, drew up some rules and regulations, that were submitted to Governor Macquarie.

Relying upon the assurances of the highest legal authority in the colony, and with a well grounded conviction, that, unless the privileges of a chartered incorporation were granted to the subscribers, their efforts to establish the bank would not be successful, Governor Macquarie conferred upon them, in a charter under the seal of the colony, a right of immunity from all risk or liability beyond the amount of the shares they subscribed. The bank was declared to be established for the general and customary uses of deposit, loan and discount, with a sanction to charge interest at ten per cent. for the same, on a fund or capital stock of 20,000l. sterling, which was to be raised by shares of 200l. each. The charter was granted for the term of seven years; and the subscribers were constituted a body corporate and joint-stock company, under the name and title of the "President and Company of the Bank of New South Wales", the stock being made transferable and with succession, together with all such powers, rights and capacities as are usually granted to chartered incorporations.

The charter further declared, that the bank was to be managed by seven of the proprietors, who were to be called directors; and who, as well as the president, were to be elected once in every year by ballot, at a general meeting of the proprietors.

The directors were authorized to issue notes and to declare dividends, as well as to make regulations and bye-laws for the management of the business of the bank; with a provision for their conformity to the principles of the charter, and subject to the confirmation of the general meeting of the proprietors.

The amount of shares subscribed was 12,600l; and notes are issued by the bank for 2s. 6d., 5s. and 10s., 1l. and 5l.; and on the 1st January 1821, the notes in circulation amounted to 5,902l.

The rates of dividend declared in the half years of 1819 were twelve per cent, in the first half year of 1820 nine per cent, and in the second half year and the first of 1821, they were reduced to six per cent.

The accounts of the police and orphan funds are kept at the bank by the treasurers of those funds; and in the year 1820, deposit of 3,000l. arising from an unappropriated balance of the police-fund, has made in the bank by order of Governor Macquarie.

The notes of the bank of New South Wales are received by the naval officer in payment of duties; and the bank possesses the means that seem at former periods to have been possessed and exercised by other capitalists at Sydney, of affording accommodation to merchants or to masters of convict ships, wishing to make remittances to England, by the exchange of the bank paper for government bills.

The notes of the bank of New South Wales have constituted the largest portion of the circulating medium of the colony, since the suppression of those issued by Mr. Deputy Commissary General Drennan for purchases made on account of government.

The return to the mode of payment in store receipts by the commissariat department in August 1820, for their purchases of grain and meat, was highly favourable to the transactions of the bank in the colony, for it enabled them to make their own notes exchangeable at all times or nearly so, with bills upon the lords of the treasury.

By the statement rendered to me of the affairs of the bank in the month of February 1821, it appeared that the amount of bank notes then known to be in circulation, was 5,902l.; and that the amount of the commissary's bills on the treasury, that they held, was 22,427l. 17s.; and that of store receipts, for which bills could be demanded, 19,405l. 1s. 4d.; and of securities on mortgage, 4,172l.

The bank paper thus afforded a convenient circulating medium for the internal transactions of the colony, and enabled the poorer classes of settlers, who received store receipts in payment for the grain and meat they had supplied to the King's stores, to break the amount of them, and to reserve a portion of that amount for the supply of their future wants, as they occurred.

In consequence of an order issued by Governor Macquarie on the 23d December 1816, the notes of the bank, as well as other notes issued in New South Wales, could only be issued for the payment of money in sterling, and the notes of the bank express an obligation to that effect.

Their notes have hitherto been convertible into bills upon the lords of the treasury, not from any obligation expressed in the charter or the regulations of the bank, but because the government expenditure in the colony, and the bill sand store receipts given in payment for it, had continued to supply the inhabitants with ample and convenient means of remittance to England, or of payment to the importers for the articles they had occasion to purchase.

Mr. Deputy Commissary General Drennan sometimes made payments in dollars at 5s. each, as well as in his own notes, and the bank also issued them when they were required at the same nominal value. They also received them again at that rate, and gave bills for them on the Lords of the Treasury. The quantity of specie, however, in circulation in New South Wales and Van Diemen's Land was very small in comparison with the paper currency, consisting of the bank notes and bills of individuals. By the return furnished me in February 1821, the amount of Spanish dollars in the bank was 1,625l.; of cut dollars, 2,525l. and of the cut silver pieces, 312l.

Although the bank does not appear to have suffered from the extensive accommodation it afforded in the years 1818 and 1819, yet instances of mercantile failure occurred that were traceable to the credit that had been obtained through its means; and a spirit of speculation was also kept up, that had an influence on the prices of commodities in so small a market.

The bills discounted by the bank amounted in the year 1817 to 12,193l.; in 1818, to 81,672l.; in 1819, to 107,256l.; and in 1820, to 98,498l.

The direction of the affairs of the bank of New South Wales has been principally conducted by Mr. J. T. Campbell the president, partly from the confidence reposed in him by the directors, and partly from his having resided more constantly in Sydney, than any other member of the direction.

The duty of superintendence, or of examination of the accounts and cash, does not seem to have been cast upon him in a more especial manner than upon the others; but from the interest which he felt and possessed in the bank, he was induced to devote as large a portion of his time as he could spare from the other and more laborious duties of his office of secretary to Governor Macquarie.

The office of cashier of the bank had been, at a later period, intrusted to a person who was strongly recommended for his knowledge of business and his integrity. In the course of the year 1820, the directors had reason to be dissatisfied with the conduct of this person, and he had notice that after a certain period, which would be given for the purpose of making up his accounts, his services would no longer be required. It appeared that during this interval, as well as for some time previous to it, a sufficient examination had not been made of the contents of the bank chest, and that in the month of January 1821, a deficit in the cash balance was discovered to the amount of 12,100l. and upwards. It was found that the cashier had been in the habit of affording accommodation to several persons in Sydney, by giving credit for payments which were never made by them. A particular examination of the manner in which this accommodation was afforded, was commenced at Sydney previous to my departure, but the result as far as affected the individual was not known. As far as it concerned the bank, the directors apprehended that it would be attended with a loss of not less than 6,000l. or one half of their capital; but that the security of the establishment, and its credit with the public, would remain unshaken.

As the charter of the bank of New South Wales has never received the royal sanction, and as the provisions it contains did not meet your Lordship's approbation, it has hitherto stood upon no other authority than that of the governor.

Fortunately no necessity has existed of resorting to the protection, from the responsibility of common commercial partnerships, that the charter was intended to convey. The original authority for this protection, or indeed for any other power that the charter conveyed, was never questioned in the colony; and a belief of its existence contributed both to the original formation of the bank, and to the support it has subsequently received. I have already stated that whatever defect may have existed in the original regulations of the bank, the object of the establishment, in substituting a paper currency of sterling value, and convertible into cash or government bills, for the unrestrained issues of promissory notes made by individuals in the colony, was highly beneficial.

The annual amount of paper discounted by the bank for individuals appears to have been considerable, but very few instances have occurred in which the accommodation thus afforded by the bank has been improvidently or incautiously extended; while the loans that have been made by them on landed securities have afforded salutary aid, and have not much exceeded the inconsiderable amount of 4,000l.

Whilst, however, I bear testimony to the utility of this establishment, I cannot be insensible to the consequences of insufficient control that a chartered immunity from the ordinary risks of commercial partnership has a tendency to produce; and the circumstance to which I have already had occasion to allude, will afford some proof of the expediency of leaving both the credit and the management of the bank of New South Wales upon that footing upon which it was your Lordship's determination that it should be placed, and for publicly withdrawing from it altogether all pledge of royal authority or sanction.

The term for which the present charter was granted will expire on the 12th of February 1824; and from the benefits that have already been experienced from it in the colony, I do not think that any difficulty will be experienced in combining both sufficient funds and sufficient security amongst the mercantile and landed interests in New South Wales, for the establishment of another bank, without the necessity of resorting to the protection of a royal charter of incorporation.

The amount of debt recorded in the office of the judge advocate, and secured by mortgages registered since the commencement of the year 1817, appears by a return made by his clerk to be 34,050l. This sum, however, falls very short of the amount of debt for which antecedent securities have been given on other and more private documents, in the shape of bonds bearing a heavy interest. The rate of interest established in the colony by the authority of Governor King was eight per cent, since that period the rate given in ordinary transactions has been ten per cent, and since the allowance of that rate in the bank charter, it has been considered to have received the authority of the governor, and to the extent that such authority could be conferred. There does not appear however to exist any local reason for continuing the rate of interest in the colony beyond seven per cent, and I should beg leave to recommend that a legislative declaration should be made to that effect, accompanied with the penalties of the law of usury for taking any larger rate.

As the commercial transactions of the colony have much increased of late, and as cases have occurred in which the necessity of judicial interference in the regulation and distribution of insolvents estates has been much required, I should recommend that amongst the new legislative enactments that I have had the honour of submitting to your Lordship's consideration, one should be introduced, by which the court of civil jurisdiction shall have the power of summoning the creditors of any person whose debts and effects shall appear to be attached, and shall not be found sufficient to play twenty shillings in the pound, and to declare the insolvency of such person. A further power should be given to the court (after the choice of an assignee for the collection of the property has been made and approved, and the recovery of the debts of the insolvent has been effected) to make a rateable distribution of the proceeds. The court should also, with the consent of two-thirds in number and value of the creditors, have the power of giving a certificate to persons who, after affording full explanation of their affairs, shall have appeared to have conducted them with integrity and honest dealing, and not to have been guilty of extravagance or fraudulent preference in the payment of their creditors, and that the effect of this certificate should be a bar to all actions commenced before the declaration of insolvency.







State of the Ecclesiastical Establishments in New South Wales and Van Diemen's Land.


THE ecclesiastical establishment in New South Wales, in the year 1820, consisted of a senior chaplain resident at Paramatta, two chaplains at Sydney, one at Windsor, one at Castlereagh, one at Liverpool, and one in the district of Airds. An assistant chaplain had also proceeded to reside at Newcastle.

The establishment at Van Diemen's Land consisted of a chaplain at Hobart Town, and one at Launceston.

The chaplains on their arrival in New South Wales have received their nomination to the different chaplaincies from Governor Macquarie; and by an order issued by him on the 15th September 1810, they were enjoined to consider themselves at all times under the immediate control and superintendence of the principal chaplain, and were to make such occasional reports to him, respecting their clerical duties, as he might think proper to require or call for. It appears, however, that on certain occasions Governor Macquarie has deemed it expedient to regulate the clerical duties of the chaplains, either in restraining the use of prayers not authorized by the strict forms of the liturgy of the church of England, or by enjoining the introduction and promulgation of certain public orders of a secular nature, which he conceived might be usefully impressed upon the minds of the people by communication during the hours of divine service.

The districts into which the ecclesiastical functions were distributed have never been specifically described, but they appear to have been fixed in those wherein the population was most concentrated.

The clerical ditties at Sydney were increased by the performance of those of garrison chaplain; and the duties that devolved upon the Reverend Mr. Cartwright, during his residence at Windsor, were much augmented by the distance of the several districts from that town, and the difficulties of communication that occurred from the passage of the river Hawkesbury in the periods of inundation.

From the rapid increase of the population in New South Wales, and it may also be added from some improvement in the religious feelings of the inhabitants, the attendance at church has of late been more regular, and the accommodation has been found insufficient. The church at Sydney, named St. Philip, will not accommodate 800 persons during the utter season with convenience; and the addition of another church was in every point of view desirable. The new church of St. James was nearly covered in at the end of the year 1820, and must soon after have been in a state to admit the attendance of the convicts; and the gallery of St. Philip's church would then be capable of receiving part of the free population. The church of St. Philip was begun during the administration of Governor Bligh, and was finished soon after the arrival of Governor Macquarie. It is built on the side of a hill, and from want of care in laying the original foundations, or in protecting them afterwards, the wall that is nearest to the hill is much weakened. The church has latterly received some repairs and internal decorations; and by attention to the state of the foundations, it may be preserved from decay. The church of St. James is placed nearly on a line with the convict barrack in Hyde Park, and was formerly destined for a court-house. For reasons that I have before adverted to its destination was changed; and although the line of the foundation has projected too much upon the street to which it fronts, and the general effect of the building has been somewhat disturbed by its change of destination, yet it will upon the whole have a respectable appearance; and the manner in which the brick-work has been finished, reflects credit upon the skill and perseverance of the colonial architect, Mr. Greenway.

The church at Paramatta is built of stone, and was the first that was finished in the colony. It contains nearly 400 persons, but until lately was badly ventilated. Some late additions have been made to the chancel, by which more accommodation has been obtained, and two steeples have been added to the opposite end of the church.

Two new churches have very lately been finished at Windsor and Liverpool and a school-house has been built in the township of Castlereagh, that affords sufficient accommodation at present for the inhabitants of the neighbourhood.

At Wilberforce and Richmond the school-houses were applied to the same purposes, on alternate Sundays, by the chaplains of Castlereagh and Windsor.

Governor Macquarie proposed to establish a chaplaincy at Campbell Town twelve miles beyond Liverpool, in the district of Airds; and I think that it will be found advisable to establish another in the district of Lower Minto, in or near to which there is no school, and the inhabitants are placed at a distance of twelve or fourteen miles from any place of religious worship. Since the arrival in the colony of two clergymen of the Roman Catholic religion, the inhabitants professing that faith have attended the celebration of maw, either at the court-house at Sydney or at the houses of individuals in Paramatta, Windsor and Liverpool. They were required to give notice to the magistrates of place and hours of their meeting, with a view to the proper attendance of the convicts but as no separate place had been provided for the latter at the court-house at Sydney, it was not deemed proper by the commanding officer of the 48th regiment to allow those of his men who were Catholics to attend mass.

A subscription was commenced by the Catholics in New South Wales, prior to my departure, to build a chapel at Sydney, and Governor Macquarie had promised to give them an allotment of ground for the purpose. I observed, that although some difference of opinion arose amongst the Catholics themselves respecting the situation of the allotment, and the preference that had been given to the town of Sydney, yet a very liberal disposition was manifested by them to defray the expense of the work, and it also met a still more liberal encouragement from the higher classes of the Protestants.

The Wesleyan Methodists have built and opened places of meeting at Sydney, Paramatta and Windsor; and at the latter town I observed that a Sunday school for children was established, and that the attendance and management were very creditable to the conductor of it.

The new church at Hobart Town was opened in the year 1819, and the interior was finished in the year 1820. It is respectable in appearance, but the workmanship especially the building of the walls, is defective. It is estimated to contain nearly 1,000 persons.

Some place of worship as well as of interment is much wanted in the district of Pitt Water, on account of its distance from Hobart Town, and from its increasing population. The assistance of another clergyman will also be desirable in that district, on account of the increasing age and infirmity of the present chaplain at Hobart Town. At Launceston a temporary wooden building had been appropriated to the performance of divine worship on Sundays, and the resident chaplain also proceeded occasionally to George Town. With the exception of Bathurst, all the principal stations were supplied with some means of performing divine service; and I feel myself bound to state, that in every one of them the chaplains displayed the utmost zeal in the performance of their pastoral duties. At Sydney those that devolved upon the Rev. Mr. Cowper must have been very extensive and laborious until they were shared by the Rev. Mr. Hill, who arrived in the year 1819; and these gentlemen have neglected no opportunities of extending the influence of their sacred duties, by frequent visits to the houses of the poorer classes and to the hospitals and the gaol.

At Paramatta and Windsor, the Rev. Mr. Marsden and Mr. Cartwright have been equally attentive to the performance of their duties, although both have undertaken those of magistrates; and the time of Mr. Marsden has also been much occupied by the business of the missions that he conducted, by the superintendence of the building of the female orphan school at Paramatta, and by the construction of a water mill and wind-mill in the immediate neighbourhood. Mr. Cartwright and Mr. Marsden had also been engaged in agricultural pursuits, that have afforded more occupation to their time than augmentation to their fortunes. In the previous and even in the present state of the colony, the possession of a portion of land, however small, to those who live in the country, is an object of importance for the supply of domestic wants; and as no glebe was attached to the chaplaincy of Windsor the Rev. Mr. Cartwright found himself under the necessity of hiring a farm in the neighbourhood; and as the residence provided at that place was small and inconvenient, he removed to his farm, upon which he continued to reside until he was appointed to Liverpool.

There are now good houses of residence assigned at Paramatta, Sydney, Castlereagh and Liverpool to the clergymen at those places; and it was the intention of Governor Macquarie to build one at Windsor, and to convert the present residence of the chaplain into a court-house. At Hobart Town no residence had been provided for the chaplain; but at Launceston the Rev. Mr. Youl resided in the government house until the parsonage-house at George Town was finished. At the former place the people had been little accustomed to the performance of any religious duty, from want of a proper place for the celebration of divine service; and until the arrival of Mr. Youl, in the year 1820, no religious rite of any kind had been performed.

The attendance at the church at Sydney is numerous on Sunday mornings, but very thin on the evenings of that day.

The congregation at Paramatta appeared to me to be more respectable and attentive than at the other places of worship; and the choral parts of the service were admirably performed by singers, some of whom are free, and some have been convicts, and who had been taught under the directions of the Rev. Mr. Marsden. The persons who officiate as clerks at all the churches were formerly convicts, and they receive rations from the store, and fees on baptisms, burials and marriages. The sextons are also appointed from the same class of persons, and receive a similar remuneration.

The burial ground at Sydney has been lately removed to a distance of a mile and a half from the residence of the chaplain, but this measure was rendered necessary from the inconvenient situation of the old burying ground, which, as well as the new one has been surrounded with a high wall. That of Paramatta was open to the street, and the fence unrepaired.

The churches in New South Wales are not sufficiently provided with large Bibles and Prayer Books, and I should recommend that six sets should be sent out from this country, together with Prayer Books of a less size, for the communion service.

Communion plate is likewise requisite at all the churches, and decent ornament for the pulpits and communion tables, except at Sydney, where they had latterly been provided under the direction of the chief engineer. At Hobart Town the church is already supplied with the Bibles and church plate, that were sent out with the expedition under Colonel Paterson, that was ordered to take possession of Port Philip, from whence its direction was changed to Fort Dalrymple. At Launceston it will be necessary to provide a set of Bibles and Prayer Books, and church plate.

The principal establishments for the education of youth of both sexes, are those of the male and female orphan schools. The former was established by Governor Macquarie on the 1st of January 1819, soon after the removal of the female orphans from the house that had been long occupied by them in George-street, Sydney, to a more commodious building at Arthur's Hill, about one mile from Paramatta. The house of the male orphan school underwent some repairs at that period, but it is placed in a bad situation; and the garden below it is contiguous to the swampy bank of the rivulet that discharges itself into Sydney Cove. The school is under the direction of a person who was strongly recommended by the Rev. Mr. Marsden, and came to the colony by his persuasion. The object of the institution, as declared in the rules and regulations that were published in the year 1819, is "To relieve, protect and provide with lodging, clothing, food, and a suitable degree of plain education, and instruction in some mechanical art, poor, unprotected male orphan children." The management of the school, the admission of the boys, and the examination of their progress, and of the quarterly accounts of the expenditure, are entrusted to a committee named by Governor Macquarie, and consisting of the lieutenant-governor, the judge advocate, the judge of the supreme court, the secretary to government, the principal chaplain, the senior assistant chaplain, Mr. J. Palmer, and Mr. Hannibal M‘Arthur; of these, the principal chaplain acted as treasurer, and Mr. J. T. Campbell as secretary. The number of boys that had been admitted into the orphan school from the 1st January 1819 to the 15th January 1821, amounted to sixty-three; of whom one had died, and four had been discharged. The boys were taught to read and write, and the plain rules of arithmetic, according to the system pursued in the national schools of England; and their progress, though creditable to the superintendence of Mr. Bowden the master, had been much assisted by the later instructions of the Rev. Mr. Reddall, who was specially appointed by your Lordship to introduce the system into the schools of New South Wales. Upon the retirement of Mr. Reddall into the country, I suggested to the committee that he should be allowed to take with him some of the boys who had made greater in the system, with a view to become teachers in the other schools; but this proposition, though supported by Governor Macquarie, did not appear to the committee to be then advisable. In addition to the elementary instruction that the boys receive, they are taught the trades of shoemakers and tailors, and in their hours of exercise to work in the garden. The establishment consists of a master, who receives an annual salary of 100l. sterling paid from the parliamentary grant; an assistant, who receives 10l. per annum from the orphan funds; a tailor, cook, gardener, and washerwoman, who are convicts and who also receive the same wages. The annual amount of expenditure for the subsistence and clothing of each boy is 16l. 17s.; and the gross amount, including expenses of every kind, is 22l. 9s. 7d. Very few of the boys who have hitherto been received into the school are orphans, nor do the regulations require that they should be so. They are the children of persons whose indigent circumstances, or whose abandoned characters, have left them without means of existence in their parents' houses. It is intended that on or before the age of fifteen the boys should be apprenticed to mechanics or to farmers under indentures.

The female orphan school was established by Governor King, who made a grant of 1,500 acres of land, near Paramatta, to three persons in trust for the support, it education, and benefit of female orphan children. Until the year 1819 the school continued to be kept at Sydney; and although the foundation of the present building at Arthur's Hill, near Paramatta, was laid on the 25th September 1813, it was not finished until the 27th June 1818. The direction of this work was committed to Mr. Marsden, and accompanied by a plan and elevation for the house. Want of funds, difficulties in obtaining workmen, and the irregular conduct of those who were employed, appear to have caused delay in the completion of the work. The building stands upon the bank of the Paramatta River, at some distance from the public road, and perfectly accessible from the shore of the river. The land attached to it has been lately divided and fenced, and some attempt has been made to clear it of timber, and prepare it for cultivation. It was the opinion of persons experienced in the agriculture of New South Wales, that the land would not repay the expense incurred in this attempt. A plan had been recommended, and was under consideration at the period of my departure, for the improvement and extension of the principal building, as well as the offices, which were both inconvenient and ill-constructed.

In the month of February 1821, the school contained sixty girls, eight (who were apprentices) placed for the purpose of learning domestic employments, and two assistants, who had been formerly brought up in the school. They are all taught to read and write, ciphering and needle work; and their progress and attainments were represented to me by the ladies of the local committee, who were most in the habit of visiting the school, to equal those of children of the same class in England; but they were of opinion, that it would be expedient to make some change in the general system of their education, and to adapt it more nearly to their future condition in the colony, either as wives or domestic servants. The matron who superintended it was a person of respectability, the wife of a convict who resided in the house, and who assisted also in its management. A local committee of ladies, appointed by the governor, appeared to take an active interest in the affairs of the school, and greatly contributed to its welfare.

It appears from the books of the institution, which in the earlier periods of it had been very irregularly kept, that since the year 1801, the date of its establishment, two hundred and seventeen children had been admitted, and of those eighty-eight had been apprenticed, five had been married, and the rest had either been discharged or remained as scholars.

The expenses of the female orphan school, from the 1st January to the 31st December 1820, amounted to 2,064l. 9s. 11d.; from which, after deducting the expenses of improvements on the land, servants wages, and their subsistence, amounting to 628l. 18s. 4d., there would remain the sum of 1,435l. 11s. as the annual expense of the establishment, not including the sum of 100l. charged upon the parliamentary grant for the salary of the matron: the annual charge for the support, dandling and subsistence of each child would amount to 21l. 2s. 2d.

The funds of this institution originally consisted of one-eighth part of the duties received on importations, and of the profits derived from a herd of cattle that had been purchased from the government in the year 1816. The Reverend Mr. Marsden declined accepting the percentage that was offered him on the receipts by the trustees, and requested that it might be applied to the purchase of cattle for the benefit of the institution.

The cattle were placed on the farm near Paramatta, but having been removed to another part of the country during the drought of 1816, without having been previously marked, many were lost; and the stock belonging to the institution now amounts only to 165 head.

The farm, though consisting of 1,500 acres of land in a good situation, has not been made productive. There was only one enclosure upon it, and a small house in a bad situation; and from the neglect of the herdsman and superintendent, the cattle of adjoining settlers were permitted to range upon it.

The attention of the committee had been called to the state of this part of the property of the institution, and they were proceeding to take measures for its improvement.

The accounts of the treasurer of the institution are audited and examined every quarter by the committee; and the sanction of a local committee is now required to all purchases made for the expenses of the establishment, and for improvements at the farm. A report of the proceedings and resolutions of the committee is required to be laid before the governor, as patron, after every quarterly meeting.

The share of the duties originally appropriated to the support of this institution having greatly increased, Governor Macquarie authorized the appropriation of them to the support of the male orphan school.

Payments are likewise made from the same fund in support of the schools established in the different districts. The share of duties so appropriated is paid over by the naval officer every quarter to the treasurer of the institution, who pays the drafts made upon him for the expenses when audited by the committee.

In the month of February 1818, the Reverend Mr. Marsden was requested by the committee to lodge the balances in his bands, as well as all future ones belonging to the institution, in the bank of New South Wales.

Previous to this period they had been kept by him in the hands of a respectable commercial firm the town Of Sydney; and it is only due to them, as well as to Mr. Marsden, to state that his orders upon them were always considered as cash, and were of equal credit with the government paper. At a former period, it also appears that Mr. Marsden was in advance to the institution from his own funds to the amount of 477l. 11s. the notes that had been placed in his hands by the naval officer being found irrecoverable, and there being no disposable balance in the hands of the treasurer of the police-fund.

Two schools at Sydney are under the immediate protection of the government; and conducted by individuals sent out from England for the purpose. The first and largest of these is conducted by W. Smith, who receives a salary of 100l. Sixty-six boys and thirty-four girls were taught in this school in the month of January 1821, according to the national system, to read, write and cipher. The situation of the school and the building were very inconvenient; and the latter in a state of dilapidation, the attendance of the scholars irregular, and little progress appeared to have been made by them. The second school at Sydney is attended by thirty-seven boys and fifty girls. A rent of 10l. per annum is paid for the school-room, and the progress of the children was creditable, but their attendance irregular.

A school is established at Paramatta, that is attended by the children of the middle classes of the inhabitants. The master has a salary of 60l. per annum, and receives payments from the parents of his scholars, varying from 12s. to 1l. per quarter: both the house and school are the property of government, and are in good repair.

In addition to these, there is a school at Kissing Point and at Pennant Hills; the former attended by fifteen scholars, the latter only by two. In the other towns and districts there are ten schools, in which the masters receive a salary generally amounting to 15l. per annum, with rations from the store, and a small emolument from the parents of the scholars.

The school for the civilization of the native black children is situated in the town of Paramatta. It was established in the year 1814 by Governor Macquarie, with the commendable view of endeavouring to improve the condition of the natives of New South Wales; a superintendent was appointed, and the number of children was not allowed at first to exceed six of each sex. A committee consisting of Mr. J. T. Campbell, Mr. D'Arcy Wentworth, Mr. W. Redfern, Mr. Hannibal M‘Arthur, the Rev. Mr. Cowper, the Rev. Mr. Fulton, and Mr. R. Hassal, were appointed by Governor Macquarie to conduct and direct all the affairs of the institution, to hold quarterly meetings, audit the accounts, examine into the condition and progress of the scholars, and to make a report thereof to the governor. An account was submitted to me of the number, names and attainments of the children that have been received into the institution since its establishment; and it appears that thirty-seven boys and twenty-seven girls have been placed in it, and of these, six have absconded, two have died, and one was taken by his father to reside upon some land that was given to him. These children have been taught to read and write, and have been instructed in the principles of the Christian religion. They also attend church regularly at Paramatta, and join in the service. The girls have been taught the common sorts of needle-work and domestic service, and two have been hired out as servants to respectable inhabitants in the country.

From the experiment that has been made at this establishment, no doubt can be entertained of the natural opacities of the native black children, and their power of attaining the means of improving their condition. It yet remains to be proved, whether the habits they acquire in the schools are permanent. In the mean time, the effort that has been made is very creditable to Governor Macquarie; and the meeting that he has annually held with the chiefs and black natives that are nearest to the settled districts, has tended in some degree to conciliate them. It has not, however, had the effect of subduing their reluctance to allow their children to be taken into the native institution; and I did not observe that the meeting between the parents and the children on these occasions awakened any sympathy or emotion.

By one of the returns that was furnished by the Rev. Mr. Hill, who is now secretary to the several institutions that I have mentioned, the annual expense of the maintenance, instruction and clothing of each of the native black children amounts to the sum of 15l. 13s.

From the same returns, it appears that the number of boys educated at schools established and provided by the government amounts to 291, and of girls to 243.

By a return furnished me by the Rev. Mr. Cowper of the number of children attending schools at Sydney not supported by the government, it appears that there are eleven, in which 192 boys are taught, and 118 girls; and at the regimental school of the 48th regiment, there are 25 boys and 26 girls: giving a total amount of 508 children of both sexes who are receiving instruction in the town of Sydney, and 990 in the colony of New South Wales. It is further observed by the Rev. Mr. Cowper, that the number of the children now receiving instruction at Sydney does not exceed that which existed there in the year 1813; and when compared with the total number of children in the colony, as returned by the musters of 1821, and amounting to 7,568, the disproportion appears still more disadvantageous.

In the attempt that was made by the Rev. Mr. Reddall to introduce the national system of instruction into the first school at Sydney, he found that the attendance of the children was very irregular; and upon inquiry he also found, that although the parents did not forbid the attendance of their children, yet that they were too frequently in a state that rendered them incapable of compelling it. The same complaint was made to me by most of the schoolmasters in the country districts; and as the habitations and farms of the settlers are much dispersed, the distances that the children had to come to attend these schools, were the causes of frequent absences and interruption.

It is stated by Mr. Cartwright, and the observation was confirmed by that of other persons, that there was no want of inclination in the parents, generally, to educate their children, whatever might be the irregularity of their own lives. It will therefore become an object of importance so to extend the system of education in the districts, and even in the towns of New South Wales, that as little control as possible shall be left to the parents over the time, the habits, or disposition of their children.

It was the intention of Governor Macquarie, when I left the colony, to build, with as much expedition as possible, a new school, in which the national system of instruction could be taught. During my absence at Van Diemen's Land in 1820, the foundation of a school, upon an enlarged plan, was laid in a space of ground adjoining that on which the new church of St. James was built. They were placed much too near each other; and when the plan was submitted to the Rev. Mr. Reddall, he was of opinion that the disposition of the rooms was by no means calculated for the object of teaching according to the national system. The school-house was then converted into a court-house, and a new plan was submitted by Mr. Greenway the colonial architect, which appeared to me to possess a defect common to all his plans, of making too great a sacrifice of time and labour to the purposes of ornament and effect.

The person who now conducts the government school at Sydney did not appear to me to be qualified for the task, but he was fortunate enough to have a son who rendered him great assistance, and indeed had the principal management of the school. The addition therefore of a schoolmaster, well instructed in the central school in London, would be very desirable at Sydney, under an impression that the school-house that was intended to be built there must be in a state of great forwardness or be entirely completed.

Although there is much to commend in the conduct of the male orphan school at Sydney, yet the situation is confined and the capacity of the house insufficient.

Considering the difficulty that is found in enforcing a regular attendance of the children, I should venture to recommend that a central school should be established on the estate that I have already mentioned as belonging to the female orphans near Paramatta, and that it should be large enough to contain 300 boys under fifteen years of age. They should be instructed, according to the national system, in reading writing and arithmetic, and in their hours of exercise they should be taught the employments to which they will be first called when they return to the houses of their parents.

Upon the same estate, and at a short distance from the school, I should recommend that there should be established a farm for the instruction of a certain number of colonial youths, from the age of fifteen to twenty, in which they should be taught the cultivation and fencing of land, and more especially the management of sheep and cattle. The laborious part of clearing and burning off timber should first he performed by the labour of convicts, and the farm should afterwards be worked by one superintendent and two assistants, who possessed a competent knowledge of agriculture, as Well as experience in those modes that have been found most beneficial in the colony. With the instruction of the young men, it would be practicable to combine some profit in the sale of the produce, or in the supply of grain and meat for their daily subsistence; and, if conducted with proper economy, the expenses of an establishment of this nature ought not to exceed the expenses of 1,000l. per annum, allowing an annual expense of 15l. for each boy, and the sum of 100l. per annum for a superintendent, and 50l. to each of the assistants.

The object of both these establishments should be directed to the effectual separation of as many children as possible from their parents in the lower classes of the inhabitants, and early instruction in those habits by which their future exertions may be rendered profitable.

At present the bad system of farming that has been pursued by the convict parent is taught and transmitted to his son; and as long as land can be procured or purchased in the colony at a cheap rate, the sons of the present lower orders of settlers would prefer a miserable existence upon the land granted to the parents, to that of serving as labourers or overseers on the farms of more opulent inhabitants. With better instruction in agriculture than it is now possible for them to attain, they would become most useful members of the community; and even at the present moment, instances are not wanting to prove the value of their early proficiency, their intelligence, and their moral habits.

In removing the male orphan school to the neighbourhood of Paramatta, much advantage will be gained by its central position, while it will afford at the same time the means of easy access and frequent inspection. In the first instance it may not be desirable to augment the numbers of the school to 300, or even to prepare a building equal to the reception and accommodation of that number; but I would only observe, that in the formation of such an establishment, it does not appear to be necessary to constrict the buildings of stone or brick, except in laying the foundations, and raising them very slightly above the surface.

With a view to connect religious instruction with the education of the children, I should recommend that a clergyman of the church of England should be appointed to the general superintendence of the establishment, with a salary of 200l. per annum; and that he should be enjoined to pursue the system of religious instruction that now prevails in the national schools of England, with a further view to its general adoption in the other schools of New South Wales and Van Diemen's Land.

Since the arrival of the two Catholic clergymen in New South Wales, a mall school for the instruction of the children of Roman Catholics has been established at Paramatta; but it appears that before that period they had been admitted into the orphan and other schools of the colony, without any reference to their religious creed, or without objection on the part of their parents.

In the towns of Windsor and Liverpool, the population is sufficiently large to require some improvement in the system of instruction that now prevails there. It is only at one school in Sydney that the national system is taught; and I fear that the Rev. Mr. Reddall, to whom the task was committed of instructing adults in the art of teaching it, had not sufficient time or opportunity to carry that Purpose into effect. Schoolmasters, therefore, competent to teach it are required both at Windsor and Liverpool. Elementary school-books were also much wanted at all the schools; and I should strongly recommend that a supply should be forwarded in some of the convict ships, addressed in the first instance to the governor, who, by means of chaplains, will have opportunities of distributing them in the quarters where they are most required. Bibles and Prayer-books and religious tracts have been supplied by the liberality of the Bible societies; but books of elementary instruction have always been scarce in the colony, dear, and badly preserved.

The Female Orphan Institution is one from which the greatest benefits may be derived to the community in New South Wales, both in withdrawing young females from the presence and bad example of their parents, and affording them that instruction and those habits that they cannot be expected to acquire under the parental roof.

Much strictness is found requisite to enforce obedience amongst the children of the Female Orphan School, and their tempers and dispositions are not very easily controlled.

A female superintendent is required for the establishment; and it is very desirable that she should be married, and well skilled in the business of instruction, and of an active and energetic character. Her husband may be very beneficially employed in the superintendence of the farm, and should receive a salary of 50l. per annum, as a substitute for all other allowances or emoluments whatever.

The establishment of Sunday schools has for some time existed for the instruction, or rather for inducing the attendance of children at the churches on Sundays. At Paramatta, I found that considerable numbers of the children who attended the government schools during the week were assembled in the church, and instructed by teachers, and occasionally superintended and assisted by the members of Mr. Marsden's family.

A society was attempted to be formed by certain individuals in Sydney and Paramatta in support of Sunday schools, in which the principal chaplain did not concur, conceiving that it was not necessary, and that the attempt implied a reflection on the clergy of the established church. The opposition made by Mr. Marsden had its influence on the members who composed the society, and the Sunday schools at Sydney have not since met with support.

In Van Diemen's Land two schoolmasters are appointed and paid by the local government, and the arrival of one capable of introducing the national system was expected.

At the government school at Hobart Town there were thirty-five boys educated, and twenty-four girls; and at two other schools in the town that had been kept by convicts, and who had latterly been dismissed for offences, there were twenty-five boys and twenty-one girls; another school was then established by a free person that contained eighteen boys.

At Clarence Plains, Pitt Water and Humphries River, schools were established, in which altogether fifty-one children were taught to read and write.

These schools in the districts were kept by convicts, who had rations from the King's store, and received a trifling remuneration, paid in grain, from the parents to the children. The total number of the children instructed amounted to 150, exclusive, both here and in New South Wales, of those that received private tuition from persons who have been assigned as convicts, and taught in the families in which they resided.

At Launceston, the schoolmaster paid by the local government was both incompetent from age, and disqualified by habit.

The Reverend Mr. Youl had established a school very near his own residence, under the direction of a convict who was married, and the appearance and attainments of the scholars did credit to their teacher, as well as to the attention that had been bestowed upon them by the reverend chaplain himself. Twenty-three children attended the school in the year 1820. Out of the total number of children returned by the muster of 1820, and amounting to 1,021 it appears that 193 were receiving instruction from the established schools. The attainments and progress of the scholars, and the qualifications of the instructors, appeared to be inferior to those in New South Wales; and it would be equally advisable to augment the number of competent teachers, as well as to establish a central school, consisting at first of fifty scholars, upon the plan I have already submitted.

The principal societies for charitable relief or religious instruction, are the Benevolent Society and the Bible Society. The first was established by the association of a few individuals at Sydney, principally consisting of missionaries who had returned from the Society Islands. In these efforts, as well as in holding religious meetings in the town of Sydney, they were joined by Mr. Edgar, who acted as secretary to the Benevolent Society at its first formation, and contributed much to its early success.

The object of this association was to afford relief to the indigent, aged and infirm, and to supply them with medical aid and comforts in sickness. From a general approbation of the principle of this association, as well as the augmented clans on its consideration, its members have increased, and great support has been afforded to it by all ranks of the community.

In the conduct of the concerns of this society and the Bible society, the invidious distinctions between the free and the convicted classes seem to have given way; and members of both those classes have served upon the same committees, and joined in the general and public administration of their affairs.

It was, however, considered more inducive to the general benefit of the society, that each district or districts should associate for the relief of their own poor, and consequently the inhabitants of Richmond have established a fund of their own, as also those of Paramatta and those of Sydney.

At the first of these places a grant of land has been made by Governor Macquarie, at the solicitation of the inhabitants, for the pasturage of cattle, designed, as the memorial states, "for the purpose alarming a permanent and increasing fund for the relief of the distressed and indigent poor." Certain individuals were appointed to examine, and to afford relief, in cases of emergency, to distressed objects; but the administration of general relief is placed under the direction of a committee, composed of the clergy anti magistrates and four landholders chosen from each district, who hold monthly meetings to consider of the cases brought before them, and the relief to be administered: the grounds upon which it is stated to be afforded are those of absolute distress, free condition, previous labour when in bodily health, and residence during the last year in one of the associated districts. The estate granted by Governor Macquarie consists of 800 acres of land, near Windsor; and in the year 1820 a portion of it had been inclosed and cultivated, and a farm-house had been erected. Contributions of cattle had been made by individuals, but hitherto they had not been converted to the purposes of the society, and its funds had been raised by voluntary contribution of the inhabitants.

At Sydney the association and contributions have been of a more extensive nature; and although an effort was made at one period to raise a permanent local fund for the support of the poor, by the contribution of stock, and the profits of a grazing farm; and it professed to call for public support on the same principles upon which the poor laws have so long been maintained in England; yet hitherto no grant of land has been made in furtherance of this project, and the funds of the society have depended upon voluntary contribution. They are managed by an acting committee, and an annual report is made of the proceedings and number of cases relieved, at general meetings, at which Governor Macquarie has presided since the formation of the society in 1818.

It appears that from the year 1813 to the year 1818, the number of cases in which relief has been given amounted to 618, and the number of individuals relieved to 1,075.

Since the later and more extended association was established in the year 1818, up to the 6th June 1820, the total number of cases relieved amounted to 201.

A vigilant control is kept by the acting committee, not only upon the funds of the society, but upon the state of persons relieved; and in the performance of these duties the Reverend Mr. Cowper of Sydney has rendered most useful services, and has been much assisted by Major Antill.

The amount of subscriptions in the year ending 31st May 1820 was 434l; and appeals have been made, from time to time, by the members of the committee, and by the president Mr. Judge Advocate Wylde, to the liberality of the inhabitants, who have, in general, shown a very commendable disposition to contribute to the relief of casual or permanent distress.

On account of the expense incurred in providing lodging for many of the aged persons relieved by the society, Governor Macquarie was induced to build a house lit for their reception at the expense of government, capable of containing nearly forty persons. It is situated at the entrance of the town of Sydney.

A Bible society was established in New South Wales in the month of March 1817, under the patronage of Governor Macquarie and presidency of Mr. Judge Advocate Wylde.

By the fourth report of this society, it appears that 990 Bibles and 1,600 Testaments have been distributed, either at Sydney or by the district societies, of which there is one at Paramatta and one at Windsor. In Van Diemen's Land also, an auxiliary branch Bible society has been established under the patronage of Lieutenant-Governor Sorell; and in an abstract return, annexed to the first report, it would appear that out of 519 dwellings that had been visited by the members of the first committee, there were upwards of 250 that were destitute of the holy scriptures. In the month of May 1820, the sum of 185l. was remitted from the society in Van Diemen's Land for the purchase of Bibles and Testaments, which were immediately supplied and distributed. The annual subscriptions in New South Wales amounted in the year 1820 to 140l.; and, at the meeting that was held of the subscribers in Sydney in that year, there prevailed a strong and unanimous disposition to promote the great objects and second the views of the principal society in England.

From these circumstances I am justified in stating to your Lordship, that there has existed no want of zeal in the local authorities of New South Wales and Van Diemen's Land; in the clergy of the established church, or in those who are not members of it, to promote the interests of religion and morals amongst the lower classes of the inhabitants, or to afford them the opportunities of receiving early instruction.

The dispersed state of the settlements, and the depraved habits of the people, have been found to oppose the strongest impediments to these salutary objects; and it is only by the positive effects of the colonial establishments, in the comprehensive admission of children to the schools, and the greater efficiency of the teachers, that the influence of the bad habits of the parents can be successfully resisted.

If the plan that I have had the honour to propose, for building a school for boys on the orphan school farm, is carried into effect, there will be less immediate necessity for the additional school proposed by the Reverend Mr. Hill in his remarks upon the existing establishments in New South Wales; but in case it should not be deemed expedient to remove the present orphan school from Sydney to the country, and to enlarge its establishment, a point which, for many reasons, is desirable, it will then be necessary to establish a school in the districts of Airds and Minto, and in the districts of Baulkham Hills, near Paramatta.

I should further propose, that in Van Diemen's Land two schools should be established for the separate reception and education of not less than one hundred boys, and the same number of girls; and that the expenses of the establishment should be defrayed from the public fund of that colony, without the appropriation of any specific portion of it.







State and Character of the Population of New South Wales and Van Diemen's Land.


THE Population of New South Wales consists, first, of persons who have gone out to the colony in a state of freedom, either as civil servants, settlers and merchants, or of persons who, after serving in the regiments stationed there, have entered upon those pursuits. To dim may be added a very few individuals who have repaired to the colony from India, and have settled in it. Second, of the children either of free persons or convicts, and who have been born in the colony. Thirdly, those who, after having been transported under the sentence of the law for crime from England, Scotland, and Ireland, and also from India, or the eastern colonies, under sentences of courts martial, have become free by expiration of their terms of sentence, or remission of them by the governors of the colony. Fourthly, of the convicts, whose terms of service are still subsisting; and lastly of those, whether free or convict, who having been again convicted of offences in the colony, are suffering punishment by the sentences of the colonial courts.

The annual musters of the several classes of the inhabitants have been taken under the inspection of the several governors, and lieutenant-governors, and the chief officer of the commissariat department; and in late years these musters have been taken in the month of October, as the period that causes the least interference with the labours of agriculture. A personal attendance of the parties is required by the governor, except in cases of convict servants actually employed in watching flocks of sheep and herds of cattle; and I observed that a considerable degree of indulgence was afforded in this respect, and that lists of convicts assigned, containing a description of their persons, the ship in which they came, the place of their trial and length of sentence, were very frequently handed in to the clerk who attended the governor in taking the musters. The places and days of attendance of the several classes of inhabitants being previously fixed by a public order, they severally presented themselves before the governor, who, if they had been convicts, examined the certificate of expiration of the term of service, pardon, conditional pardon, or ticket of leave, and signed the initials of his name to it, and the date. In this duty the governor was attended by a person now called clerk of the musters, by whom the names are taken down, and the lists are subsequently made out. The deputy commissary general attends also at these musters for the purpose of taking down in lists the quantity of land and stock held by each individual; but from no description being added to the name, it has become a matter of some difficulty to connect the several classes of inhabitants with the quantity of laud that they severally held. These musters occupy nearly three weeks, and although every effort was made by Governor Macquarie to diminish the inconvenience of personal attendance to proprietors, yet the free classes made it a subject of complaint, and hardly ever complied with an important object of the regulation, which was that of fixing in each district the exact amount of population that it contained, and the quantity of land cultivated and of stock possessed. It also occurred that returns were made by the proprietors in one district, and by their overseers in another, by which the gross amount of the musters, as well as that in each district, was greatly augmented; allowing for the operation of other motives in very many of the proprietors of land and cattle in New South Wales and Van Diemen's Land, the deduction of one-twelfth from the amount of both, stated by Mr. Acting Deputy Commissary General Broughton, appears to be consistent with the observation and opinion of other persons upon the subject.

The principal objects proposed by these annual musters are to ascertain the actual number of the convict population, and of those who, although emancipated by the governor's pardon, were still subject to the condition of residence in the colony.

The musters have likewise afforded information of the progressive increase of cultivation and cattle, and to the commissaries the basis of their calculations of the quantity of meat and wheat that each settler should be allowed to supply to the King's store in the following year. The governors have likewise been instructed to transmit alphabetical lists of every individual that has been transported and is now in the colony, with a reference to his place and date of trial as well as to the ship in which he came to the colony, for the purpose of answering inquiries made by relatives in England at the office of the Secretary of State for the Home Department. This duty has been executed by an emancipated convict, who possessed great knowledge of the inhabitants of the colony, but whose habits of intoxication during the latter period of his service materially affected the accuracy of his returns, and it is now in the hands of a person whose condition and whose habits I regretted to observe were very similar to those of his predecessor.

The clerk of the musters and his assistants occupied an office in the commissariat department, and were considered as attached to it; but I could see no other reason for this regulation than the facility of reference that it afforded to the returns of stock and land in cultivation, as a guide in the reception of wheat and meat into the store.

The improvement that was suggested to me from many quarters, in taking these musters of the inhabitants, was a previous inquiry by the district constables of the number of proprietors and convict labourers, or of land and stock cultivated and possessed in the district in which they served.

To facilitate the execution of this duty, and to make it uniform in its result, the returns should be made on printed forms; and the musters should afterwards be taken by the magistrates in the most central part of each district, conforming themselves, with a very little variation, to the form of muster that was submitted to me by Mr. Oxley.

With a little care in making the abstracts from these several returns, the condition of every individual resident in each district may be known, together with the number of his family, and of the convicts that he employs, and the amount of the property, that he possesses either in land or stock.

The muster of the inhabitants of Van Diemen's Land for the year 1820, that was forwarded to me by Lieutenant-Governor Sorell, is infinitely more distinct than those taken in New South Wales, but it affords no means of connecting the property held with the condition of the holder.

With exception of the convicts and ticket-of-leave men, and men conditionally pardoned, who ought to be mustered personally every year, I do not think that any necessity exists for continuing an annual muster of the inhabitants. A biennial muster of the whole population, and a correct alphabetical abstract of the names, sentences, condition and places of abode of those who had once been or still were convicts, and who had remained in the colony, for the information required in the office of the Secretary of State for the Home Department, would answer all the purposes for which the musters are at present taken, and relieve the civil officers and inhabitants of a great deal of trouble and attendance.

In taking the muster of the convicts, ticket-of-leave men, and those that are conditionally pardoned, it will be of importance as much as possible to avoid the collection of them in the towns, as it never fails to lead to intoxication and quarrels.

From a document which I inspected, it appeared that between the years 1787, and the end of the year 1820, 22,217 male convicts and 3,661 female convicts have been transported to New South Wales and Van Diemen's Land, making a total number of 25,878 convicts. In the return made by the clerk of the musters of those taken in the year 1819, or in the preceding year, there is no distinction made of the condition of the free inhabitants. In that of 1820, the distinction was afterwards made at my request, as the form that was transmitted to the magistrates in that year, to direct them in taking the muster, confounded in the same column the distinctions of freedom by servitude, or by absolute and conditional pardon, that it was so important to preserve. In the returns of population made in the year 1821, I observe that these distinctions have been observed.

In the returns of the year 1820, it appears that the total number of inhabitants in New South Wales amounted to 23,939, and of these 1,307 persons had come free; 1,495 had been born in the colony; 159 had been absolutely pardoned; 962 had been conditionally pardoned; 3,255 were free by servitude and expiration of sentence; 1,422 held tickets of leave; 9,451 were convicts; 5,668 were children; and 220 were serving on board colonial vessels.

The proportion of those persons that live in Sydney, and the districts immediately adjoining, amounts to 12,079, and of these 4,457 were convicts. The number of women of every class in the colony amounted to 3,707; and the number of female children amounted to 2,603.

In Van Diemen's Land in the year 1820, the total population amounted to 5,468 persons, of whom 714 came free to the colony; 185 were born in it; 362 were free by servitude and expiration of sentence; 23 held free pardons; 208 held conditional pardons; 368 held tickets of leave; and 2,588 were convicts. The number of children of both sexes amounted to 1,020. The number of women at the settlement of the Derwent amounted 658, and at Port Dalrymple to 222. In taking the musters it has not been customary to note the married or single condition of the parties, or the legitimacy of their children; but I find from the returns transmitted by the magistrates of the different districts, that in the colony of New South Wales there were 641 persons who were married, and of those 45 consisted of persons who had been born in the colony. Of the total number of persons resident in the town of Sydney, and amounting to 357, the number of persons that are married amounts to 219. From the abstract of the returns of marriages that have taken place from the year 1811 to the year 1820, I find that although the free population has been gradually, and within the last three years rapidly, increasing in numbers, the number of annual marriages has not borne any proportion to that increase. In the year 1811 there were 143 marriages, and in the years 1818 and 1819 there were 166 and 165 marriages.

The number of persons baptized between the year 1811 and the year 1820, amounts to 3,011, and the number of deaths in the same period amounts to 2,315.

It is stated by the Reverend Mr. Cowper, that the number of children born in the colony much exceeds the number registered as baptized.

I was furnished with a return of baptisms, marriages and deaths within the district of Hobart Town, from the 12th of March 1804 to 31st December 1819. In this period, it appeared that there had been 685 children baptized, and 26 natives of Van Diemen's Land; and that of these 524 were the children of married parents, and 161, including the native children, were illegitimate. It further appeared, that 170 marriages of free persons had taken place, and 127 marriage's of convicts. The deaths had amounted in the same period to 347.

No registers appear to have been kept in the county of Cornwall previous to the arrival of the Reverend Mr. Youl in the year 1820; and in the quarter ending 30th March in that year, there were thirty-two baptisms of children whose parents were married, five marriages, and nine deaths.

In the year ending the 31st December 1820, there were 105 children baptized at Hobart Town, of whom eighty-two were legitimate, and twenty-three illegitimate. There were nineteen marriages of free persons, and forty-three marriages of convicts; and there were seventy-eight deaths.

Of the 25,878 convicts that have been transported from England and other places to New South Wales and Van Diemen's Land, from the establishment of the colony to the end of the year 1820, there now remains 18,798 accounted for, under the different conditions described before in the musters of 1820, in New South Wales and in Van Diemen's Land, leaving 7,080 as the difference to be accounted for by deaths, escapes or lawful departures from the colony.

The early registers of deaths were not kept with any regularity, and previous to the arrival of the Reverend Mr. Cartwright at Windsor in 1812, no registers whatever existed. Even the present returns made by the chaplains do not specify with sufficient particularity the condition of the parties buried; and it would be very desirable that the forms of the returns made by the chaplains of the several districts, of marriages, burials and baptisms, should be printed and uniform, and should always specify the condition of the parties, as well as the parents of those baptized.

By a return furnished from the office of Mr. Secretary Campbell, of the number of persons that have left the colony under certificates of expired service, or pardon, from the year 1810 to 1820, it appears that 247 males and thirty-one females have left it with certificates of expired service; and eighty-seven males and twenty-four females have left it under free pardons; making a total of 389 persons.

I have already had occasion to advert to the attempts at escape from the colony that have been made by the convicts from time to time, and the difficulty that I found in obtaining any correct information respecting them. The principal superintendent of convicts was of opinion that they were more numerous than they were reported to him to be; but it was the general opinion in the colony, that to a large portion of the convicts, the temptations that a residence in it holds out of easy subsistence to all labourers, of considerable profit and of indulgence to those who possess either industry or skill, operated as a better security for the detention of the convicts, or of those conditionally pardoned, than the regulations of police.

The effect of the climate of New South Wales cannot be said to be prejudicial to the health of those who are even exposed to the labours of the field: the changes of atmosphere are abrupt in the summers, and in the beginning of autumn; and amongst the labouring claws the abundance and cheapness of those fruits, that in England are only in use amongst the opulent classes, together with the bad quality of the water, produce dysentery, the only endemial disease that has hitherto been marked with fatal consequences. In the months of January, February and March of the year 1820, the number of deaths was greater than they had been in any preceding year, but not greater in proportion to the population of the town of Sydney at former periods; and in the months of July and August, many of the older inhabitants of the colony were affected with a catarrhal fever, that in several instances proved fatal. The prevailing disease of dysentery is also attributed to the irregular habits of life to which the majority of the inhabitants have been accustomed; and the effect of these habits, as well as of the early discipline of the colony, are very visible in the persons of many of the lower classes of settlers. The class of inhabitants that have been born in the colony affords a remarkable exception to the moral and physical character of their parents: they are generally tall in person, and slender in their limbs, of fair complexion, and small features. They are capable of undergoing more fatigue, and are less exhausted by labour than native Europeans; they are active in their habits, but remarkably awkward in their movements. In their tempers they are quick and irascible, but not vindictive; and I only repeat the testimony of persons who have had many opportunities of observing them, that they neither inherit the vices nor the feelings of their parents. Many of the native youths have evinced a strong disposition for a sea-faring life, and are excellent sailors; and no doubt can be entertained that that clams of the population will afford abundant and excellent materials for the supply of any department in the commercial or naval service. Of the general disposition of the inhabitants of the colony, I may be permitted to observe that it differs in one material point from that which may be considered as common to most other colonial dependencies of Great Britain. Of the older inhabitants there are very few who do not regard the colony as their future home; and of those who have arrived in later periods there are many who are now convinced, that it is by perseverance only in the continued pursuit of moderate profits that any benefit can be derived by emigration to New South Wales. The periods of monopoly, and of great and sudden profits, are passed; and the colony has every prospect of receiving ample supplies of British manufactures, and of commodities from India without the re-action of alternate scarcity and abundance. The great attraction of New South Wales to the majority of the persons who visit it is the beauty of its climate and temperature; and the salubrity of both has already been tried and attested by several residents in British India, who from visitors have eventually become resident proprietors of the soil. When the means of subsistence become more abundant and more easy of access, and when domestic accommodations are more easily procured, and are exempt from the perpetual vexation to which the employment of the convicts in domestic service gives rise, New South Wales and Van Diemen's Land will offer advantages to emigrants that are not found united in any other portion of the British dependencies. In the mean time the condition of those who have long been settlers in the colony does not afford proof of this proposition: there are very few persons of the free classes who, however respectable in character, are not still suffering from the effect of early or later embarrassment. Their habitations possess little of the comfort or convenience that distinguish the houses of the middle classes in England; and it is chiefly amongst those who have been connected with the superintendence of the labour of convicts and the sale of spirits that the traces of wealth are yet to be distinguished.

The improvement of the communications between the more populous parts of the settled districts, and the reduction of the price of mechanical labour in the colony, by a relaxation of the practice of retaining all good mechanics for the service of government, will probably have the effect of withdrawing from the town of Sydney that disproportionate share of the population that has hitherto been attracted to and fixed in it. It appeared to me, during my residence in Sydney, that any measure that had those effects was prejudicial to the moral habits of the convicts, and tended to divert the other portions of the community from pursuing those paths of agricultural industry to which the climate and the natural resources of the soil so evidently point, and which must eventually constitute the solid foundations of their prosperity.

In New South Wales the relief afforded by the funds of the Benevolent Society has been extended to many of the lower classes, who were reduced to a state of indigence by age, accident or distress; but there are others, amounting in number to seventy-seven, who received rations from the King's store as objects of charity. These persons were generally recommended by the magistrates to the governor, who gave them a victualling order upon the store; and from the inquiries that I made into the character and situation of these persons, I have no reason to believe that there existed any abuse of the indulgence thus shown.

At Hobart Town I found that forty-eight persons were victualled as objects of charity, and at Port Dalrymple. The recommendations for support are made here, as in New South Wales, by the magistrates to the lieutenant-governor; but the principle has been extended to the families of superannuated functionaries or settlers of the lower class, who have been in the settlements from the earliest periods, many of them having been removed from Norfolk Island at its evacuation, and several being marines. No public fund having yet been established in Van Diemen's Land for the support of persons in indigence, the expense has necessarily Eaten it the government; but in examining the list of those to whom it was given, it appeared to me that, in a few instances it had exceeded the grounds of positive necessity. Lieutenant-Governor Sorell fully entered into the views that I expressed upon this subject, and appeared to be convinced of the necessity of watching narrowly the claims that were presented for support, or of not allowing it to be converted into a resource against the consequences of idleness and dissipation.

Since the year 1816 the native black inhabitants of New South Wales have ceased to give any active disturbance to the pursuits of the settlers in the county of Cumberland. They occasionally visit the towns in small parties and travel to the coast, where they subsist on fish; and several have resorted to the shores of the harbour of Port Jackson, where they take up a temporary abode, occasionally visiting the town of Sydney and disposing of their fish to the inhabitants. They likewise resort to the farms of some of the settlers on the banks of the Nepean, and are sometimes induced to take part in the labours of the farm, or to cultivate a portion of land in maize for themselves. They are not incapable of labour, but they dislike any continued occupation that binds them to the same spot. A very few of them have settled upon portions of land that Governor Macquarie has granted them; and one black native has been made a constable in the district of Windsor, and discharges his duty with fidelity and intelligence. Their numbers have been observed to diminish in the neighbourhood of the settled districts, and as an unfettered range over a large tract of country seems to be indispensible to their existence, the black population will undergo a gradual diminution in proportion to the advances of the white population into the interior. In the course of the expedition that I made from Bathurst to the lakes, and in my return from thence to the Cow Pastures, one family only was observed or met with, consisting of seven persons. I was informed that at Bathurst they sometimes made attacks upon the cattle of the settlers, which graze at a distance; and as they are indiscriminate in their revenge, it not unfrequently happens that unoffending parties stiffer some injury for the imprudence or cruelty of others. There is, however, a general disposition amongst the white inhabitants to treat the black natives with kindness and indulgence; but from mistaken motives, and sometimes from reprehensible ones, they supply them with spirits, and stimulate them to the commission of shocking outrages upon each other. The appearance of the natives in the towns generally leads to quarrels; and independent of the violence to which they are protection it is very offensive to delicacy. The black natives have both enjoyed the protection of the law in New South Wales, and have been made amenable to it.

A convict at Newcastle received sentence of death, and was executed, for the murder of a black native; and in the year 1816 a native named Dual, who had been distinguished by great ferocity of character, was sentenced to be transported to Van Diemen's Land, where I saw him in the year 1820.

The native black inhabitants of Van Diemen's Land are distinguished from those New South Wales, by their aversion to intercourse with the Europeans, and by the spirit of hostility and revenge that they still cherish for an act of unjustifiable violence formerly committed upon them. They are rarely seen in Hobart Town, or in the vicinity even of the settlements but a few of the children have been adopted and treated with kindness by the settlers. In their form and stature they are more robust than the native blacks of New South Wales, but their physiognomy is nearly the same and marked by a great projection of the lower part of the forehead, and a full bushy eyebrow, affording protection to large and rather expressive eyes.

The distinction that is most remarkable in the natives of Van Diemen's Land, is that of their woolly hair, which perfectly resembles the hair of the African negroes. From the accounts of persons who have visited the interior of Van Diemen's Land, there is no reason to presume that the black natives are numerous, or that they will oppose any serious resistance to the extension of the future settlements.







State of the Revenue in New South Wales and Van Diemen's Land.


THE Revenue that has been raised within the colony of New South Wales has consisted of a duty of live per cent, levied upon all goods and articles imported into the colony not of British manufacture; of certain rates per ton on sandal wood, beche-la-mer, pearl shells, sperm oil, and black whale oil; of three halfpence on every fur seal skin, and one halfpenny on hare and kangaroo skins; of 1s. for each solid foot of cedar imported from other parts of the colony, either for home consumption or re-shipment; of 1l. for every twenty spars from New Zealand, or elsewhere; and 1s., afterwards reduced to 6d., for each solid foot of timber in log or plank from New Zealand, or elsewhere. There is likewise a duty of 2s. per ton on coals imported for home consumption, and 5s. 6d. per ton on coals exported; and a further duty of 3l. on every 1,000 square feet of timber imported from Hunter's River for home consumption, and 6l. for that quantity exported.

Duties of 10s. per gallon have been levied on spirits imported, 9d. per gallon on wine imported, and 6d. per pound on tobacco.

In addition to these must be reckoned the duty of 6d., received as a wharf tax on every bale of goods landed; the fees of entry and all other fees taken at the naval office, except 2s. 6d. to the clerk; an auction duty of three halfpence per cent. on all goods sold by auction; the market and fair duties at Sydney and Paramatta; the tolls of the public roads and bridges; and the fees paid on the slaughtering of cattle at the public slaughter-house at Sydney.

The duties on importation are received by the naval officer, Captain Piper, who is authorized to charge five per cent. on the gross receipts. The tolls of the public roads, and of the Sydney and Paramatta markets, are let by public auction, and the rents are paid over by the trustees to the treasurer of the police-fund. For the security of the revenue, the masters of ships on their arrival enter into a bond, engaging that they will not suffer any goods to leave their ships without a permit; and the permits are filed at the office of the wharfinger, as a check upon the landing of the cargo. The manifests of imported cargoes have been sworn to by the masters before the naval officer, since he became a magistrate; and a copy of it is sent to the governor, together with blank permits, for his signature to allow the landing of the goods.

On landing spirits or wine at the wharf, they are gauged by one of the officers of the commissariat department, who, as the spirits are generally deposited in the King's store, is allowed a percentage on the contents.

The ad valorem duty of five per cent. upon goods imported, is taken upon the manifest and original invoices of the cargoes. It is stated by Captain Piper that copies of these invoices are sent to the governor when the ship enters, but that they do not express the value of the goods imported, nor do the rough estimates that are transmitted to the governor convey that information to him, although they show the gross amount of duties collected on each ship in every quarter. There appears, therefore, to be no check upon the calculation of the ad valorem duty made by the naval officer on goods that are subject to it.

Permissions have sometimes been given to civil officers to import wine and spirits duty free, but they have of late been less frequent than they were formerly.

At the end of every quarter, the accounts of the naval officer have been approved by the governor; and by his order, seven-eighths of the duties received are paid over to the treasurer of the police-fund, and one-eighth to the treasurer of the orphan fund; therefore, from the commencement to the end of the quarter, and during the interval between the receipt and payment, the duties are retained in the hands of the naval officer. It does not appear that he has ever given or has been called upon to give security to the government; but I am not aware that any loss has occurred in the collection of the duties since Captain Piper, the present naval officer, has filled the situation. The duties are paid to the naval officer either in store receipts, dollars, notes of the bank of New South Wales, or orders on the police-fund, approved by the governor, and signed by the chief engineer.

The office of treasurer of the police-fund was created in the year 1810, and conferred on Mr. D'Arcy Wentworth by Governor Macquarie.

It does not appear that any salary was originally annexed to the specific duty of treasurer; and Mr. Wentworth continued to discharge it until the year 1820, upon an assurance from Governor Macquarie, of a recommendation having been forwarded to your Lordship of the allowance of a salary; and upon an expectation constantly entertained by Mr. Wentworth and his friends, although not assented to or understood by the governor, that a salary was to be allowed. Upon his retirement in 1820, a discussion upon this subject took place between him and Governor Macquarie, which ended in Mr. Wentworth's being allowed to deduct from the balance of the police-fund in his hands, a sum equal to 100l. per annum for the period in which he held the office. The drafts upon the treasurer of the police-fund have been signed by the governor himself, except in a very few instances, when they have been expressed to be by order of the governor, and in the hand writing of Mr. J. T. Campbell his secretary, in which case Mr. Wentworth took the precaution of having them again submitted to the governor for signature.

The accounts of the police-fund were made up every quarter, and after being submitted to the governor, and a committee of audit, consisting of the lieutenant-governor, and the judge advocate, they were published in the Sydney Gazette. In the order, by which the duty of the auditors was prescribed, they were required to meet monthly, or as often as they might judge necessary, to inspect and regulate the accounts of the treasurer, which upon their approval, and that of the governor, were afterwards to be published.

The audit of these accounts has been made every quarter, and it has been limited to the examination of the orders and warrants of the governor for the several charges made by the treasurer.

No examination of the receipt of duties appears to have taken place at any time; and the only vouchers submitted to the auditors were the orders of the governor upon the naval officer to pay to the treasurer of the police-fund the amount of the duties received and collected by him within the quarter. The receipts of the rent of the tolls and markets; the receipts of the clerk of the peace for licenses to sell spirits, and those for slaughtering duties. Utterly, on account of the numerous purchases that have been made in aid of the public service of materials of every description, the bills have been annexed to the governor's warrants for payment, but formerly it does not appear that this practice was observed.

The duties that have been already enumerated, and that formed the principal sources of revenue in New South Wales, have never been enforced with rigour. Securities to the amount of 4,024l. for the payment of duties, have remained for a long period in the hands of the governor, some of which were dated anterior to his assumption of the government, and had been delivered over to him by his predecessor.

In the year 1817, the solicitor of the Crown was instructed by the governor to proceed against several persons whose securities for duties were considered to be available, although the parties had neglected or refused to discharge them. A list of these persons was submitted to me, and the total amount of the sums in which they were indebted appeared to be 1,286l. 16s. 2d. The duties for which the securities had been taken were chiefly upon the importation of sandal-wood, and most of them were dated as early as the year 1813. One person only discharged the sum in which he stood indebted, and proceedings were instituted by the solicitor to the Crown in the Supreme Court, and declarations filed against each debtor, when Mr. Justice Field, having communicated with Governor Macquarie, and having informed him that as he considered the duties for the recovery of which the actions had been brought to be illegal, and that they had been levied without sufficient authority, he should feel himself under the necessity of making such a declaration in case the actions were continued. He therefore advised the governor that the actions should be withdrawn; and he was further of opinion that the second section of the statute of the 5 Geo. III. c. 114, by which a power was given to the governor of New South Wales to order the levy of any rate or duty that had been imposed, or usually collected or levied in the colony previous to the passing of the act, had no retrospective operation upon duties that were due only, and had not been paid; upon receiving this declaration the actions were discontinued, after a considerable expense had been incurred by the solicitor of the Crown, and the securities upon which these actions were brought, as well as the others comprising the sum of 4,024l. may now be considered as unavailable.

At one period such long credit had been given for the payment of the duties that Mr. D. Wentworth was under an advance to the police-fund in the sum of 3,500l. in which he was reimbursed by bills drawn upon the Lords of the Treasury, by Mr. Deputy Commissary General Allan, under a warrant of the governor, which was afterwards repaid by his order, at different times, upon the police-fund, together with interest to Mr. Wentworth for the period in which he was under advance. No security was ever required of Mr. Wentworth, nor did he ever give any, although the sums that have been paid to him by the naval officer must have occasionally left large balances in his hands. In the discharge of his duty as treasurer Mr. Wentworth appears to have acquitted himself with punctuality and credit. Upon his retirement from the office in the month of May 1820, Governor Macquarie, not venturing to place the same confidence in his successor, who, although respectable in character, was not possessed of much property, withdrew from the balance of the police-fund, then in the hands of the treasurer, the sum of 3,000l. and placed it in the bank of New South Wales, taking the receipt of the president and directors, who agreed to pay five per cent. for the use of that sum, for the space of twelve months.

The amount of duties received by the naval officer from the 1st of October 1817, to the 31st December 1820, is stated by him to have amounted to the sum of 81,748l. 3s. 11d. In the year ending 31st December 1820, the duties collected on wine, spirits, tobacco, foreign on auctions, and the south-head lights, amounted to

   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -       £30,550  14 6
Spirit, beer, and brewing licenses to 1,527  10
Paramatta, Liverpool, and Western road tolls to    569
Duties on slaughtering cattle at Sydney to   -   - 418 10
Market duties at Sydney to   -   -   -   -    357
And at Paramatta to   -   -   -   -    37 10
And one hawker's license   -   -   -   -    20
————————
Making a Total of   -   - £33,479  15 4

I have already stated the augmentation of duty from 10s. to 15s. per gallon imposed upon spirits imported into the colony after the passing of the 3 Geo. IV. c. 96 as well as the continuance of the duty of 10s. upon ruin the produce of the British West Indies. Those duties are sufficiently high to afford protection to the colonial distillation during the first year of its establishment; and the duty of 2s. 6d. per gallon imposed upon the spirits distilled in the colony affords great encouragement to those who may embark in that speculation. The regulations under which it was determined that distillation in the colony should be conducted were published in the Sydney Gazette on the 3d February 1821. The period on which it was to commence was fixed on the 1st August 1822, and the principal regulation provided that it should be lawful to distil within the colony, and in stills licensed by the governor, and not containing less than forty-four gallons, spirit of seven per cent. above hydrometer proof, from grain grown in the colony, and from no other grain whatever; that the governor should have the power of suspending the distillation of spirit from grain whenever the price of wheat should exceed the sum of 10s. per bushel in the Sydney market for two successive days; but that during the continuance of the prohibition of distilling from wheat, distillation from fruit might be permitted. Particular directions are given for the form and proportion of the diameter to the altitude of the stills to be used in the colony, as well as for the inclosure of the houses in which they are to be placed, by walls not less than ten feet in height, and distant forty-eight feet from the still-houses. To prevent the sale of spirits in small quantities from the distilleries, it was provided that no person who should be a part-owner, or have an interest in a licensed distillery, should have a license to retail spirits; and no licensed distiller was permitted to sell at any time a smaller quantity of spirits than 100 gallons.

The principle upon which the duty was ordered to be collected was that of charging the distiller with the duty of 2s. 6d. per gallon for as much spirit of the strength of seven per cent. above hydrometer proof as every still should be found capable of producing from the number of charges that could be worked off in the space of twenty-eight days.

This system of charging the duty by working against time was considered to be better adapted to the imperfect means of collecting a revenue that the government possessed in such a colony as New South Wales, than a system of survey by officers, if indeed the permission to use stills of such small dimensions as forty-four gallons would have admitted of the application of such a system. In the early discussion of the measure it had been contemplated that the stills should not be of less dimensions than 200 gallons, and that the business of distillation should be carried on by a joint stock company. There appeared however to be important objections to this measure, either with reference to the purchase and consumption of grain for the use of the distilleries or in the tendency that it had to fix the new market that it afforded in one and the same place.

It was very desirable in the early establishment of the distilleries in New South Wales to avoid as much as possible the risk of giving a monopoly in the supply of home-made spirits, or an influence in the purchase of grain, by confining the use of it in the distilleries to one, or even to an association of individuals and it was also desirable, that by placing the distilleries in different districts a remedy should be found for the inconvenience, expense, and interruption to their pursuits that was caused by the resort of the settlers to the distant market of Sydney. When the moral effects of the measure came to be considered, it appeared that there was less injury to be apprehended from augmented facility of access to spirits than from confining the sale of them to one place and that the immoderate use of them was much more likely to be promoted by association in towns than by the domestic consumption of spirits in the country. Upon these principles the regulations issued by Governor Macquarie in the month of February 1821 have proceeded and although I think it probable that the long-established use of the Bengal spirit in the colony will secure it a preference in the market, notwithstanding the difference of the duty imposed upon it, and the spirit distilled in the colony, yet I have very little doubt that means will be found to improve the quality of the latter, and to accommodate it gradually to the taste of the inhabitants.

Taking the consumption of spirit upon which the new duty is payable in the colony of New South Wales to amount in 1820 to 80,000 gallons, and that the consumption of spirit distilled in the colony for the first three years after the opening of the distilleries will not exceed that quantity, the animal revenue collected on spirit would only amount to the sum of 10,000l. To meet this reduction in the revenue the duty of 10s. and 15s. is to be levied on the strength, and not, as heretofore, on the quantity of imported spirit. The duties on all goods imported in the colony, not of British manufacture, have been raised by the Act of 3 Geo. IV. c. 96, from five to fifteen per cent. and as they consist of tea and sugar, India goods, and articles of luxury, and are obtained at a very cheap rate these duties may, without any injury either to the revenue or the inhabitants, be raised from fifteen to twenty per cent. And I should further recommend that when the improvements of the public wharf in Sydney Cove, that I have suggested, shall be carried into abet, or the present public wharf shall have been repaired or extended, the mode of levying the duty according to the sworn value of the goods, that is pointed out by the seventh section of the act, shall cease to be applied to the articles of tea and sugar, and that each shall be charged with a fixed duty upon the weight. The object proposed by the augmented duty of 4s. per pound on tobacco imported was to afford encouragement to the domestic growth of it, both as an article of consumption, and one of future exportation to Great Britain. With this view, and considering that the growth and consumption of tobacco in the colony has already been established, I should recommend that a still further increase should take place upon all imported tobacco, and that the duty should be raised from 4s. to 7s. per pound.

In the observations that I have had the honour to address to your Lordship on the subject of the trade of New South Wales, I have had occasion to remark upon the duties levied in the colony upon the importation of certain articles, either for home consumption or re-shipment. These duties have not, perhaps, had much effect in discouraging the efforts of the colonists in New South Wales and Van Diemen's Land in the importation of these articles, or to establish a trade of export; but when it is recollected that the expense of fitting out vessels in these colonies is yet considerable; that the wages or seamen are also high, and that they have to come into competition with the skill and capital of English traders, who, in the South Sea fisheries are also aided and encouraged by high bounties, and that lately they have had to encounter the effects of American enterprize in the same pursuits, it would seem only reasonable that duties imposed on the colony upon the productions of colonial industry should for the most part be withdrawn; and that the colonists should at least not have to encounter, in the shape of a colonial tax, any symptoms of discouragement to the early efforts of their enterprize and industry.

The duties upon sandal-wood, pearl shells, beche la mer, seal skins, oil, wood and coals, imported into Sydney Harbour in colonial vends, from the year commencing 6th October 1817, and ending October 1818, amounted only to the sum of 726l. 4s. 9d.; from October 1818 to October 1819, to 386l. 2s. 9d.; and from October 1819 to December 1820, to 568l. 11s. 2d.

The loss of revenue, therefore, upon these importations by taking off the duties will be very inconsiderable.

The duties arising from licenses to sell spirits and beer are not higher in amount than the profits of those traders can very well afford, but the amount of 25l. paid for licenses to brew does not appear to me to be justified by the same motives, while it operates as a restraint upon the production of a good and wholesome substitute for spirits, and upon the competition of which its quality would be improved; I therefore recommend that the sum of 25l. paid for brewing licenses should be reduced to 5l.

The tolls of the different turnpike roads constitute a just source of revenue, or rather of compensation for the expense that has been incurred in their formation and improvement; but I do not think that they admit of any augmentation beyond their present amount, and that for the next two years it will be more conducive to the public advantage that the repair both of roads and bridges should be maintained by the government, than undertaken by the inhabitants.

The slaughtering duties received at Sydney consist of a payment of 5s. for every head of horned cattle slaughtered for the use of the King's store; 8s. sterling for each score of sheep, and 1s. per hundred weight for pigs. The duties are ordered to be paid weekly to the treasurer of the police-fund, accompanied with certificates of the store-keeper of the King's store, of the number of cattle slaughtered. The superintendent of the slaughter-house receives a salary of 50l. from the police-fund, and is allowed the labour of four convicts subsisted by the government. The object of this establishment was to protect the settlers who supplied meat to the King's store from the extravagant demands made by the butchers in Sydney for killing their cattle, and for ensuring a proper degree of care and regularity in the slaughtering. The situation of the slaughter-house is convenient as it regards the town of Sydney but until a late alteration of the access, it became the cause of great annoyance and danger to the inhabitants, from the cattle being driven through the principal streets of the town.

The continuance of the slaughtering duties, although attended with expense to the government, in the original construction and subsequent repair of the house and yard adjoining, is upon the whole beneficial to the public, although not a productive source of revenue.

The tolls of the Sydney market were established by a public order of Governor Macquarie, issued on the 20th October 1810. A clerk of the market is appointed, who, as well as an assistant, are sworn in constables, and have the power of settling and arranging all questions tending to the order and regularity of the market. It is also ordered that all articles brought to market for sale should be lodged in the market-house or store; that the clerk should take an account of the quantity and the prices at which they were sold. Part of this regulation is now dispensed with, on account of the ruinous state of the building, but the goods are brought within the paling that surround the market, and are subject to the payment of the same ditty as if they had been stored in the market-house. These duties, especially as long as the consideration for which they were imposed had ceased to exist, appeared to me to exceed the just measure of convenience to the public, or of remuneration to the government. The protection of articles brought to market at Sydney, and exposed to sale there, either from the effect of weather, or from spoliation, was a matter of great importance to the community, and it was a subject of regret that the accommodation of a good and enlarged market-house had not been provided at an earlier period. A commodious building is probably by this time erected, together with a strong fence for the reception of cattle brought for sale. The tolls allowed at the Sydney market amounted to 3d. for every bushel of wheat or barley; 2d. for every bushel of maize or oats, and 3d. per hundred weight of potatoes. The sum of 1s. 4d. per week for the stalls erected in the market-place was taken, and 8d. for the liberty of selling goods on every market-day. The clerk of the market is furnished with stamped, and scales, by which he is empowered to regulate and adjust all sales made in the market, and has a further power to inspect, whenever he may think proper, the weights and scales that are used in the town of Sydney: He is further required to make a weekly report to the magistrates of the quantity and juice of wheat sold on every market-day, to enable them to fix the price of bread. The tolls of the market are now let by auction, and have been more profitable in that shape, than by giving the clerk of the market a salary, and receiving from him a weekly account of the tolls. He was however permitted to reside in the market-house, and had obtained a license for the sale of spirits, which appeared to me to be an accommodation very prejudicial to the purposes of his appointment, or to the faithful execution of his duty.

The colonial regulations for the protection of the revenue of importation are embodied in the port regulations that I have already had occasion to refer to. They are contained in the eighteenth and seven following articles. The power of seizing goods that are landed at any other place than the public wharf, or that are discharged from any ship with an intention of being landed without a permit, or of seizing goods not entered in the ship's manifest, is given by these regulations to all constables or peace-officers; but the whole of the forfeitures arising from those seizures, as well as the penalties, are declared to belong to the Crown. The naval officer who collects the duties on importation has no other interest in their protection than his percentage upon the gross amount, nor has he any other assistance in the performance of that duty than his own boat's crew, who are convicts, and who have no powers to make a seizure. Upon the establishment of the row-guard in the month of February 1820, it was ordered, with a view to give protection to the revenue, that one third part of all seizures, when duly condemned, should be divided equally between the boatswain and crew of each boat, and the remaining two thirds should be applied to the police-fund. After an experience of seven months I did not find that this appointment, however useful in purposes of harbour police, has afforded any proof of active prevention of smuggling.

Considering the increase of the import trade at Sydney and at Van Diemen's Land, and that the duties a both places are now levied, either directly by the authority of Parliament, or through the intervention of the authority of the governor specially conferred upon him by the fourth section of the Act of the 3 Geo. IV. c. 96. I should recommend that the collection of the colonial revenue should be transferred from the naval officers to persons named and appointed collectors of the customs, accountable to the governor, and through him to the Lords Commissioners of the Treasury. These persons should, both in New South Wales and Van Diemen's Land, be required to give security for the payment of all public monies that they may receive in the collection of the duties upon imports, and be guided in the execution of their own duties by the laws of revenue in other colonies and plantations of Great Britain, or by such other rules and regulations, as the governor, acting tinder the authority of Parliament, is now legally authorized to make.

With respect to the collection of the internal revenue of the colony, whether derived from the duties upon spirit distilled in the colony, from tolls of turnpike roads, from the slaughtering duties, auction duties, annual licenses for the sale of spirits or beer, or for brewing licenses, I should recommend that the duty of collection, receipt, and account, should be intrusted to an officer, to be named the colonial treasurer, and that a person experienced in the department of the excise in this country should be appointed to the situation of surveyor of the distilleries in the colony, to act under the orders of the colonial treasurer, and to account to him for the monthly receipts of duty.

Similar appointments will be necessary in Van Diemen's Land whenever the distillation of spirit shall be established in that island.

At the present moment, it will be more expedient to continue the power of proceeding for penalties and forfeitures, or for breaches of the regulations made for the protection of the revenue, by summary information before two magistrates of the districts, than by process issued out of the vice admiralty court, or the civil court under a new charter; but I should recommend that a right of appeal to the civil court in New South Wales and Van Diemen's Land should be given to either party aggrieved by the decision of the magistrates. The right also of proceeding for the recovery of all duties payable to the Crown, either in the shape of quit-rents, or arising from any other source of revenue, and for the possession of land forfeited for breach of condition, should, as I have already had the honour of suggesting, be distinctly recognized in the new charter, and the appointment of an attorney-general will afford the means, that have been long wanting in the colony, of an effectual assertion in the courts of justice of the rights and prerogatives of the Crown. Amongst others, the right of succeeding to the property of persons dying without heirs has already occurred; and an estate of a person named Anderson, who was murdered by his wife, is now held and administered by the clerk to the judge advocate, by the permission of Governor Macquarie. The wife of Anderson, having been tried and executed for the murder of her husband, the property would have remained without protection, for there were no heirs; but Mr. J. H. Bent, then judge of the supreme court, conceived that he had a power, under the charter of justice, to appoint an administrator to estates left without heirs on the spot, and in cases where no application was made by the next of kin, or creditors, for their administration. He therefore appointed a person to administer the property; and on leaving the colony, applied to Mr. Justice Field, his successor, to appoint a new administrator. Mr. Justice Field, not concurring with Mr. Bent in his construction of the power of the charter, declined making any appointment; and Governor Macquarie, to prevent the dilapidation of the estate, intrusted it to the care and management of the clerk to the judge advocate.

As I found that no security or account had been required or rendered by this gentleman, I requested him to exhibit it. The amount of the property is not considerable; but I should recommend, that after inquiry has been made in this country for the heirs of Anderson, and in their default, possession of the property should be taken on behalf of the crown; and Mr. J. J. Moore, the judge advocate's clerk, should be called upon to render an account of his administration, if he should not have already done so, in pursuance of the recommendation that I gave him to apply to the supreme court for regular letters of administration to the estate.

The duties levied in Van Diemen's Land are similar to those of New South Wales, excepting in the items of the slaughtering duties and tolls, there being no regular slaughter-house for the use of government at Hobart Town; and at the period of my departure from that settlement no tolls had been collected upon the principal road of communication between Hobart Town and Austin's Ferry.

A market-house of simple construction and solid materials had been erected at Hobart Town, but it was very little resorted to in the year 1820.

The accounts of the importations at Hobart Town, and the duties received upon them, are exhibited in the very correct returns that were furnished to me by Mr. Beamont, acting naval officer at Hobart Town. They embrace a period commencing in the month of July 1815, and ending 30th December 1819.

 £  s  d
In the year 1816, the duties collected at Hobart Town amounted to    2,877  10 0
      In the year 1817 to   -   -   -   -   - 4,819 3 1
      In the year 1818 to   -   -   -   -   - 5,305 5 4
      In the year 1819 to   -   -   -   -   - 7,250  15 6

The exports from Hobart Town to Sydney, in the year 1819, consisted of 14,940 bushels of wheat, potatoes, oil; 3,620 Kangaroo skins; 182 casks of salted meat; three tons of tallow, and a small quantity of tanned hides.

It has been customary at Sydney to receive the duties upon goods imported into Sydney harbour, and re-shipped or re-exported to Van Diemen's Land and by the return annexed to the police-fund accounts of that settlement, I find that 5,032 gallons of spirit, 1,643 gallons of wine, and 13,133 pounds of tobacco, were imported in this manner. In the order by which the duties on sandal-wood and the other articles of importation were authorized, they were to be levied "on all such as should arrive and be landed on or after the date of the order, whether they should be destined for colonial consumption, or re-shipment to other markets."

Cases have frequently occurred in which the goods have been imported into the harbour, but have not been lauded, and have been either re-exported in the same vessel, or trans-shipped to others. In both cases, however, the duties have been levied at Sydney, contrary, as I conceive, to the letter of the order, which declares that both importation and landing are necessary before the duty can be levied. If these words had been in the disjunctive, the meaning could not have been subject to doubt; but as they now stand they do not appear to me to admit the construction that has been invariably put upon them by the naval officer at Sydney, acting by the orders of Governor Macquarie.

Indulgence in the payment of duties has been extended in certain cases to importers at Hobart Town, and a list of securities for the payment of duties, amounting to the sum of 1,122l. 5s. 6d. was transmitted to me. A portion of this sum was paid before my departure from Hobart Town, and all the securities were available.

As the expenditure of the police-funds of both colonies has been constantly brought under public observation ever since the commencement of the administration of Governor Macquarie, it is less necessary for me to advert to the appropriations that have been made from time to time, or to the general deviations that have taken place from the purposes of its first establishment. Those purposes were declared to be the expenses of the gaols and police, those incurred for ornamenting and improving the town of Sydney, and in constructing and repairing the quays, wharfs, bridges, and streets. From the observations that I have already made upon some of these points, your Lordship will be able to determine how far the original purposes of the police-fund have been kept in view. It is only just, however, to Governor Macquarie, and to Lieutenant-Governor Sorell, to declare it as my opinion and belief, that the funds have been faithfully applied to the several objects declared in the accounts, and that the particularity with which the names of the persons were always noticed, to whom payments had been made, was the best guarantee against malversation.

The accounts of the treasurer of the orphan fund have at all times undergone an examination by the committee of that institution, and have been published in the Sydney Gazette. Before, however, I proceed to make any observations upon the general expenditure of the colony, I will beg leave to state, that of late years it has been customary to defray the expense of extensive purchases of tools and implements required in the public works from the colonial funds, and to defray the expense of the lodgings of military officers, of their passage from one colony to the other, and even those of their equipment on voyages from New South Wales to India, from the same fund.

Since the practice has ceased of allowing civil and military officers to import spirits duty-free, the revenue derived from that source has considerably increased, but some deduction from it was occasioned by a permission given to certain of the soldiers of the 48th regiment, who conducted themselves well, to the married men, and to those who were in debt, to dispose of their allowance of spirits through the regimental paymaster, to a person in the town of Sydney, who contracted for the purchase of it at the rate of fifteen shillings per gallon. The proceeds were accounted for to the captains of the different companies, and ex tended in the purchase of clothing, or other necessaries, for the use of the men. The amount of rum thus disposed of appears to have been equal to half the consumption of the regiment at Hobart Town, an arrangement of a similar kind was made through the means of the keeper of the canteen, and the proceeds of the rations of rum were applied in aid of the expenses of clothing, which at that settlement was both dear and of bad quality. Although the object with which this practice has been sanctioned was beneficial to the soldiers, yet the disposal of so large a portion of spirits that had not paid duty, when all other spirits were subject to a duty of ten shillings per million, was considered to be too great a departure from the rules that had latterly been observed in the colony, and formed a considerable deduction from the colonial revenue.

Considering the present state of the colony, I have not been able to discover any new sources of revenue that would not have the effect of discouraging or restraining the attempts of the colonists to avail themselves of the productions that either their own industry or the resources of the soil and climate may supply.

The sale of unappropriated land, either to the present or future colonists, at the prices that I have before had the honour of submitting to your Lordship, will, in my opinion, be a more productive source of revenue than an augmentation of quit-rent, and will be more adapted to the present condition and resources of the colony.

Taking the amount of land held by convicted persons in New South Wales to amount to 83,502 acres, and to be subject to the annual quit-rent of sixpence for every thirty acres, after the lapse of ten years, that was imposed by virtue of Governor Macquarie's instructions, the annual revenue payable to the Crown from these lands would only amount to 69l. 11s. 6d.

Taking also the amount of the land held by the remaining inhabitants to be 305,786 acres, and subject to the quit-rent of one shilling for every fifty acres, imposed by the same authority, the annual amount of quitrent payable after the expiration of ten years would be 305l. 15s.

Considering the nature and character of the greatest portion of the colony that has been examined, and assuming that the character of a large portion of the remainder will be found to bear a resemblance to it, it may fairly be presumed that its future condition will be that of pasture rather than tillage, and that the purchase of land will be made with a view to the maintenance of large flocks of fine-woolled sheep; the richer lands, which will be generally found on the banks of the rivers, being devoted to the production of corn, maize, and vegetables.

Such appears to me to be the natural and the most beneficial course for the agricultural industry of New South Wales and Van Diemen's Land; and the only restriction that I shall recommend to be placed upon the sale of land in either colony would be a reservation of those portions that I have already named, for the support of the clergy and schoolmaster, and the commons in the neighbourhood of townships. Another source of revenue in the two colonies may hereafter be found in the shape of postage for the conveyance of letters. Post-masters have been appointed both at Sydney and Hobart Town, and they receive the letters that arrive from England, and that are authorized by a late regulation of Governor Macquarie, published in the Sydney Gazette, and dated on the third June 1820, to charge the sum of 8d. for postage upon all single letters, to or from Britain, India, or Foreign places, with an increase of rate upon double letters.

An inland postage is likewise chargeable for letters directed to the inhabitants of the different districts in the colony, but they are only transmitted when opportunities occur, or are casually delivered to the more respectable inhabitants of Sydney. A list of all the names of persons to whom letters are addressed is exhibited at the post-office, and was formerly published in the Gazette, but as the number of letters increased, and frequently were not called for, the post-master found that the expense of this mode of publication of the names increased in a greater proportion titan his fees, and letters are now left at the post-office in Sydney and Hobart Town, till they are called and paid for. The annual amount of letters received at Sydney was estimated in the year 1821, to be between 1,000 and 1,200; but I have reason to believe that from accidental causes, and want of means of transmission in the colony, rather than from any neglect in the post-master, a great many of those addressed to the convicts do not reach their destination. Their change of abode from the service of one master to another, and their removals on account of make it very difficult, and indeed impossible, for any person that is not connected with the superintendence of the convicts, to find out the actual residence of a person of that class. The establishment of a regular communication by a post conveyed on horseback, from Sydney to Paramatta, and from thence to Windsor, would be beneficially felt at present, and would relieve the constables from a great deal of duty that now improperly devolves upon them. I conceive that the rates of postage allowed by the order of Governor Macquarie would defray the expense incurred for the pay and subsistence of two men and horses, travelling constantly, three times a week, between those places; and lay the foundation of a new source of revenue to the colony.

The annual profits of the situation of post-master at Sydney are stated by him not to exceed 100l. and I submit that all postage received beyond that sum should be accounted for to the colonial treasurer; and that with a view to check the account, a statement of the number of letters transmitted in every letter-bag, to New South Wales or Van Diemen's Land shall be forwarded to the colonial secretary.

In considering the actual resources of the colonies of New South Wales and Van Diemen's Land, and their future application to the purposes of agriculture and commerce, it appears that the mineral productions that have yet been discovered consist of coal and iron.

The quality of the former is equal to the ordinary descriptions of English sea coal, and it may be expected to improve as access is opened to the seams that are more removed from the surface. From the many indications of coal that have been observed in different parts of the county of Cumberland and upon the coasts, no doubt can be entertained that abundant supplies will be found whenever attempts are properly made to discover them. The right to all minerals has been of late reserved in the grants made by Governor Macquarie, and I should recommend that this reservation should be continued, and that leases for terms of years should be granted of the coal, reserving to the Crown an annual rent for the same, with a certain proportion of the coal raised. At present, all the coal that has been consumed in the colony, or exported, has been raised by the labour of the convicts, transported for punishment from the settled districts to Newcastle. Individuals have been allowed to purchase coal there, and have brought it to Sydney, for sale, but the quantity has been very inconsiderable.

From the high price that was demanded by the chief engineer for the coal brought in the government vessels from Newcastle to Sydney, and that exceeded the quantity required for the use of the officers to whom it was allowed, the demand for it has been much diminished. If it had been allowed to be sold on more moderate terms the local government might have derived some advantage in disposing of it to masters of convict-ships proceeding to India or Batavia, on their return-voyages, who would have always preferred it to ballast. Instead of this mode of disposing of it, and of laying the foundation of an export trade, the coal worked at Newcastle has been disposed of in barter at Sydney, and at a high price, for goods required for the public works.

No attempt has yet been made to convert into metal the iron ore that has been found in New South Wales or Van Diemen's Land. At the distance of eight miles from Port Dalrymple, in Van Diemen's Land, considerable quantities of iron ore have been discovered upon the surface, which upon analysis in this country have been found to consist of pure protoxide of iron, (similar to the black iron ore of Sweden) and furnishing a very pure and malleable metal.

The other resources of New South Wales that are likely to afford materials of valuable export consist of the great extent of natural pasturage for the support of fine-woolled sheep, and for the production of horned cattle and horses, the abundance of materials for tanning to be collected from the indigenous trees, and the facility that they will afford for the export of hides in their dressed or raw state.

The cultivation of flax and tobacco has succeeded wherever it has been tried in the richer soils of the colony, and all the finest fruits of Europe are found to succeed and yield abundantly, even under a very careless system of cultivation.

The vine has been cultivated in New South Wales from an early period of the establishment of the colony, and one individual has bestowed much attention upon it, though with very little success. The grapes that have hitherto been produced are invariably found to be affected with blight as they approach to maturity. It is possible that with a better selection of soil and exposure, and under more skilful management, the vine may be successfully cultivated in New South Wales; but in a soil that consists chiefly of disintegrated sandstone the chances of its success are not considerable.

The olive-tree has been introduced into the colony by Mr. J. M‘Arthur, and has already manifested indications of early assimilation to the climate. Its growth and progress have exceeded that of the olive-trees in the south of Europe, and afford the strongest grounds of expectation that the olive-oil of New South Wales will not be inferior to that of France and Italy, and afford another and very important article of export either to India or to Great Britain. With a view to accelerate the production of olive-oil in the colony, I should recommend that plants should be sent from England, by every convenient opportunity in the convict-ships, and that they should ill the first instance be consigned to the care and management of the colonial botanist, and afterwards distributed amongst the respectable settlers who apply for them.

I would here beg leave to solicit your Lordship's attention to the importance of the establishment of the botanic garden at Sydney, that has hitherto been attached to the governor's garden at that Pace, and has derived assistance from the labour of the convicts assigned for its cultivation. It has been lately placed under the management of Mr. C. Frazer, who accompanied Mr. Oxley in his last expedition into the interior of New South Wales, and who also accompanied me to Van Diemen's Land, and by his care and attention the collection has been enriched with the most curious plants that were discovered in the course of those expeditions, as well as by contributions from New Zealand, the islands of the South Seas, Bengal, and China. The value of such an establishment, both in affording means of collection and of experiment, and more particularly of diffusing throughout the colony the most valuable specimens of foreign grasses, plants, and trees, is unquestionable; and I have great satisfaction in stating that, as far as his means have allowed, these benefits have been realized under the zealous exertions of the present colonial botanist. A catalogue was furnished by him of the plants that are now cultivated in the botanical garden at Sydney.







Nature of the Expenditure of the Colonies of New South Wales and Van Diemen's Land.


THE expenditure of the colonies of New South Wales and Van Diemen's Land may be classed under the heads of salaries to civil officers; salary and pay of the commissariat department; subsistence of convicts not assigned to settlers, but either retained, or left in the service of government, including those confined in the gaols or in the hospitals; purchases of materials for government works; and expenses of pay of colonial vessels and subsistence of the crews. By abstracts of the returns of persons holding civil offices in New South Wales in the year 1821, it appears that the salaries defrayed from the parliamentary estimate of 1821, amounted to 8,474l. 17s. 6d. and that those defrayed from the police-fund, amounted to 9,824l. 5s. In Van Diemen's Land, the salaries defrayed from the parliamentary estimate amounted to 2,896l. 17s. 6d. and those defrayed from the police-fund to 2,006l. 6s. some of the salaries included in the parliamentary estimate have not been drawn in this, or in some of the preceding years, but have been defrayed from the police-fund of New South Wales, such are those of the two government school-masters at Sydney, amounting to 60l. per annum each; six superintendents according to the estimate of 1821, at 50l. per annum each, and the clerk to the judge advocate amounting to 80l. per annum.

The augmentations of salary that I beg leave to submit, are first, that of the colonial secretary, in consequence of the reduction of his fees on mustering the crews of colonial vessels, that I have already proposed, and which constitute the principal sources of his emoluments.

The returns made of the fees received by Mr. J. T. Campbell, the secretary to Governor Macquarie, from the year 1816 to 1820, give an average of 709l. per annum, and with the salary charged upon the parliamentary grant, and that which is paid from the police-fund, make up an annual income of 1,074l. I should recommend therefore, that the deduction from this income that may be occasioned by the abolition of the fees, on mustering crews of vessels, should be made good by an increase of the present salary from the police-fund; and that considering the augmented duties and responsibility of the office of the colonial secretary, that it should be raised to the stun of 1,500l. per annum.

The present amount of the salary of the clerk in the secretary's office is only 60l. per annum. The fees received by him on the musters of the crews of vessels, constitute a large portion of his emoluments, and upon their abolition I should recommend that an addition to his salary of 200l. should be made, exclusive of the other fees that he receives on giving certificates and emancipations.

Having already stated the alteration that has appeared to me to be expedient in the office of the surveyor-general, I will now only add, that in the estimate of salaries that I have submitted, that of Mr. Oxley, the surveyor-general, was recommended to be raised from its present amount of 273l. 15s. to 365l. per annum, on account of the increased importance and amount of the duties that he is called upon to perform. In the other departments, the reductions that I beg leave to recommend are those of the office of assistant superintendent of police, and that of superintendant of government mills, for the reasons that I have already had the honour of stating upon the subject of police, and those that I am about to submit on the expediency of suppressing altogether the government mills in Sydney.

The remaining appointments contained in the lists that I have already referred to do not appear to me to exceed, either in number or rate of remuneration, the demands of the public service in their several departments, and they will be subject to the augmentations that I have proposed, in the course of this and my former Reports, in case those augmentations should be finally sanctioned.

By the return of the officers in the commissariat department at the different stations in New South Wales and Van Diemen's Land, their pay and salaries amount to 4,159l. 11s. 3d. From the observations that I was enabled to make of the duties of these officers, I do not see that any other reduction would be advisable in their numbers than that of the deputy assistant commissary general at Windsor. The supply of the station of Emu Plains is made from Windsor, but I conceive that the duties that it requires, as well as the issue of provisions, may be very sufficiently performed by a respectable store-keeper.

The clerks in the commissariat department generally consist of persons who have been convicts, and also of persons who are still in that condition, but who have received tickets of leave. They receive pay, differing in amount from 1s. 6d. to 5s. per day, and lodging-money; they likewise receive the full ration, or that which is otherwise termed the ration and a half, with a weekly allowance of spirits. Complaints were made to me at all the stations of the misconduct of the clerks so employed, but especially at Hobart Town and Launceston; and I should recommend in future, where it is practicable, the employment of young men who are natives of the colony, both as storekeepers and clerks, instead of persons who have been convicts.

The appointment of a commissary of accounts is one which I consider to be particularly useful in New South Wales, in providing some more early and local cheek upon the expenditure than is practicable under the present system. The reductions in the expense of this establishment must, however, in a great measure, depend upon the mode that shall be adopted in supplying the stores in future with provisions. Having already detailed the reasons that have existed in favour of the present mode, and of fixing a maximum upon the prices of the two great articles of supply, meat and wheat, I will not now repeat them; but it was stated to me by an intelligent officer of the commissariat department, that government, by resorting to the supply of bread by contract, would be able to create a saving of one sixth of the expense occasioned by the present mode of purchasing wheat, and issuing rations of flour. It appears that ten men are constantly employed in the stores at Sydney for the sole purpose of turning the grain, to prevent its consumption by vermin. This expense, as well as that of grinding, which in 1819 was as high as 1s. 2d. per bushel, was reduced in the month of February 1821, (by competition between the proprietor of a steam-mill and a water-mill, to 1d. per bushel of every fifty-six pounds, with a certain reservation of the bran not required for the use of the government horses,) would be entirely saved, together with the losses on the issue, and the fraudulent abstraction that takes place in conveying the grain from the store to the mills, and in returning it thither.

From circumstances that are perhaps inseparable from the conduct of the commissariat department in New South Wales, and from the perpetual temptation to plunder that it holds out, by the necessary exposure of the property of the Crown, any system that tends to diminish these temptations, or that substitutes the interested vigilance of an individual for the indifference of a subordinate officer, must be advantageous. It is for this reason recommended that the rations bread should be baked by contract, and that to prevent the consequences so much apprehended in the colony, of throwing too great a degree of influence in the disposal of grain into the hands of one individual, it is further suggested, that the contracts should be divided, and that at first they should be for limited periods, the precaution being always taken to secure a certain supply of wheat, flour or biscuit, in the government stores, to prevent the consequences of accident or sudden disappointment.

Contracts for the supply of the hospitals with bread, meat and vegetables, have lately been conducted with advantage to those establishments, and whenever the distillation from grain has begun to take effect, and opened a new market, I conceive that the greatest part of the supply of bread to the convicts, and to the civil and military establishments at the different stations, may be conducted upon the same principles, without prejudice to the settlers, and with a considerable saving of expense to government.

Although the price of five-pence per pound at which meat has been supplied to the government in New South Wales and Van Diemen's Land, is considerably lower in proportion than the price of grain, yet I do not see any reason that exists against resorting to the supply of meat to the King's store by contract, upon the same principle us that which I have recommended to be adopted with regard to bread.

The number of persons who receive rations from the King's store in New South exclusive of the military, is always fluctuating, from the arrivals of convict-ships. It also fluctuates at the different stations in the colony, and at the different establishments of convicts at the Sydney station, from the perpetual changes that take place in the gangs, and their removal, for reasons generally founded upon local convenience, or special demand for labour. From the returns furnished from the commissariat department, I find that the number of rations issued in New South Wales on the loth of August 1820, amounted to 8,716¼, and on the 30th of December of the same year they amounted to 9,326. In these returns are included all the members of the civil establishment who draw rations from the King's store, as well as the settlers to whom convicts are assigned and subsisted by the Crown. With the exception of two officers in this list, the clerk of the peace, and the deputy surveyor-general, to whom I see no reason for not applying the former rule by which the rations of those officers whose salaries exceeded 90l. per annum were taken away, I should recommend, that all the rations allowed to that elm of functionaries at Sydney, denominated superintendents, pilots, jailors, school-masters, &c. as well as to their families, amounting in the whole to fifty-eight daily rations and a half, should be taken away, and a corresponding value in money should be paid to them from the police-fund. The principal reason for giving this indulgence in the early periods of the colony arose from the difficulty of obtaining animal food; and at the stations that are at a distance from Sydney, such as Liverpool and Windsor, where the difficulty of obtaining it is still felt, it may be proper to allow the continuance of the indulgence in a very few cases. At Paramatta a reduction of thirty and a half rations might take place on the same principle as at Sydney. At Windsor, Liverpool, and Bathurst, the rations might be continued until a market should be established, and the population increased. In all instances, however, in which rations from the King's store are given in the shape of remuneration, it is hardly necessary for me to repeat the suggestion that. I have already made of the expediency of reducing every ration to the same standard.

The number of convicts victualled in New South Wales on the 30th December 1820, including convicts at Newcastle, and the female convicts employed at the factory in Paramatta, and described as labourers on public works, amounted to 5,135, to whom 7,027 daily rations were issued; the excess in the number of rations beyond the number of persons victualled being caused by the circumstance already adverted to, of the ration issued to convicts in New South Wales consisting of a ration and a half.

I procured a return of daily rations issued to civil officers and settlers at the King's store at Hobart Town in February 1820, and to the government men, wiped to them for remuneration, amounting in the whole to 573 daily rations. The number of rations issued to convict labourers, at the same time amounted to 522. To some of these rations and a half were issued in consideration of the greater degree of labour that they had to perform, and of being prevented from making any advantage of their own time in working for individuals at Hobart Town.

To the constables, also, double rations were allowed, as well as spirits, by way of remuneration; which, as I already have observed, ought in future to be defrayed from the police-fund.

At Port Dalrymple the number of rations issued to civil officers and settlers in 1820, amounted to 302, and to labourers in public works to 289. The same system of remunerating constables by the issue of extra rations, spirits and slops, prevailed at this station as at Hobart Town, and with a greater degree of justification, as the duties levied on importation at Port Dalrymple, though very inconsiderable, were remitted to Hobart Town, and placed at the disposal of the lieutenant-governor.

I have already stated the reasons that appeared to me to justify the early abolition of this system of remuneration, and the application in future of police-fund of Van Diemen's Lind equally to defray the expenses incurred at George Town, at Launceston, as well as those at Hobart Town.

The supplies of meat to the public stores in New South Wales have derived occasional assistance from the public herds, and latterly from the wild cattle, after being reclaimed.

The stations at which the government herds have been placed are at the Cow Pastures, Rooty Hill, near Paramatta, at Emu Plains, until the convicts were placed there, and at Bathurst. The principal superintendent, Mr. David Johnston, receives a salary of 100l. per annum from the police-fund; and there are three principal overseers, each receiving salaries of 50l. per annum, at the several stations, with horses, and an allowance of forage to each. At Rooty Hill and the Cow Pastures considerable expense has been incurred from time to time by inclosing stock-yards for the cattle, and building houses for the superintendents, all of which has been defrayed from the police-fund.

It appears by a return from the present superintendent of stock, that seventy-five convicts are employed as stock-men and labourers at the different stations, and a clerk at the principal one and that the total number of daily rations drawn for the superintendents and labourers amounted to 122, which, estimated at 4s. 8d. per week, would give an annual cost of 1,480l. 5s. 4d., and with the salaries of the superintendents, and slops, if regularly issued, that of 2,105l. 5s. 4d.

The cattle and horses bred at the different stations supply the government works with draught cattle; and the sheep have been used either for the supply of the governor's table, or for the improvement of the land inclosed and contiguous to the government houses at Sydney and Paramatta. Their wool has been transmitted to the factory at the latter place, and has been used in making cloth and blankets for the convicts. Some additional expense has likewise been incurred in the purchase of horses of a good description, and in the employment of skilful herdsmen for the pursuit of the wild cattle. By their exertions, 451 head of wild cattle were re-claimed from the 1st December 1819 to the 11th of November 1820; and from the 31st August 1819 to the same period of 1820, 688 head of horned cattle of the government herds, and 83 sheep, had been slaughtered at the different stations, yielding 237,229 pounds of meat, which, at the government price of 5d. per pound, would produce the sum of 4,942l. 5s. 5d.; and from the 11th of February 1819 to the month of October 1820, 173 cows had been delivered on loan to settlers.

In the month of August 1819, the government stock at all the stations, including those at pasture, as well as those employed, amounted to 3,480, the sheep to 1,833, and the horses to 230 and at the same period in 1820, they amounted to 3,890, 2,013 and 229.

The government herds have occasionally afforded very seasonable supplies of meat to the government stores at Sydney, when no tenders were made by the inhabitants on account of the state of their cattle; and they have also had the effect of preventing combinations to compel the government to raise the price of meat by withholding supplies. They have likewise afforded means to the government to assist settlers on their arrival with stock, and to carry on very extensive public works.

The public herds have long been viewed by the settlers with jealousy, on account of the interference they occasioned with their disposal of meat; but I certainly think that the establishment has hitherto been beneficial: and although I should recommend that the station at the Cow Pastures should be reduced, to afford room for the location of settlers, yet, in the present state of the colony, and with the supply of meat still precarious, and an annual increase in the number of the convicts transported, I cannot recommend, until the measure suggested in my former Report, for their removal to other stations, shall have been carried into effect, that those in the settled districts, consisting of Booty Hill and Bathurst, should be reduced.

It has been customary to issue cattle from the government herds in barter for homes required for the use of government, accompanied with an order from the governor to the commissary to receive the cattle at the government stores at the usual price given for the meat. These transactions are concluded between the chief engineer in New South Wales, and persons whose horses may be required for the public service; and in Van Diemen's Land they are sanctioned by the lieutenant-governor, and applied as well to the purchase of horses as other articles required for the service of government. It does not appear that any valuation is ever made of the horses purchased, or of the cattle exchanged: an order for the delivery of a particular number is given by the governor upon the superintendent of the public herds; and it depends in a great measure upon his selection and the accuracy of his judgment us to the weight of the cattle, whether the terms of purchase are advantageous to the crown, or to the person who makes the exchange. I submit that this is a mode of purchase in which the interests of the crown are exposed to an unnecessary degree of risk, I therefore recommend that, in future, all purchases of horses should be defrayed from the public fund, upon a valuation made by two persons, one appointed on behalf of the crown, and one by the seller.

A necessary consequence of this practice of exchanging government cattle for horses was made a subject of complaint to me by a settler, on account of the interference that it caused with the general supplies of meat, and the postponement of the turn of supply, for the purpose of admitting into store the cattle bartered for horses.

Debts were incurred at a period anterior to the assumption of the government by Governor Macquarie, for various articles supplied to the settlers as well as for cattle; and in the year 1815, Mr. Assistant Commissary General Palmer received instructions to proceed against the debtors for the recovery of them. The original books in which the accounts of these debts were entered did not appear to have been very distinctly kept, and many persons have since disputed them. Confessions however were obtained in the year 1815, to the amount of 549l. 18s. 9d. and much expense was incurred by the employment of a law agent in commencing actions for the recovery of these debts. Mr. Deputy Commissary General Allan, having observed that the expenses that would be incurred in this proceeding would in all probability exceed the amount of the sums recovered, gave orders to Mr. Palmer, in September 1816, to suspend the proceedings, and, except as to the debts confessed, I should not recommend any ulterior proceedings to be carried on.

The whole of the debts that were considered as proveable, but not confessed, is stated by Mr. Palmer to amount to 4,424l. 9s.; but in the examination of the list of debtors, I found that many were either dead, or had left the colony in a state of insolvency.

I had returns made of the quantities of wheat, maize and meat, that hare been received into His Majesty's stores at the different stations in New South Wales, from the year 1810 to the year 1820, inclusive; with the prices at which they were obtained, together with the loss on, issues. It has been customary at all the stations to receive grain by the bushel of fifty-six pounds, and issue it by the pound. The wheat grown in different parts of New South Wales differs greatly in weight, sometimes exceeding, and sometimes being less than fifty-six pounds; and that of Van Diemen's Land, as already observed, weighs much heavier than the wheat of New South Wales, and generally as much as sixty-three pounds to the bushel.

The rate of loss, charged on the issue of wheat by the orders of the officer at the head of the commissariat department, appears to have varied at different periods, from temporary circumstances that affected the grain iii the store; but should recommend that in future at all the stations, both with a view to perspicuity in the accounts of the commissariat department, as well as to afford encouragement to the settlers to improve the quality of their grain, the whole of it should be received by the pound.

The payment adopted for the supplies of meat and wheat, received into the King's stores at the different stations, has generally been made through the issue of store receipts by the storekeepers, for the quantity of the articles purchased. These documents are drawn by the storekeepers in the form of an order upon the officer at the head of the department, to pay to the payee or bearer the value of the quantity of wheat or meat delivered into His Majesty's store by the payee, at a given rate per bushel or per pound. These instruments were made negotiable, and were required at first to be presented for payment every quarter, in order to be consolidated by bills on the Lords of the Treasury. His mode of payment had subsisted in the early part of Governor Macquarie's administration, during the period in which Mr. Assistant Commissary General Broughton conducted the department of the commissariat, and until the arrival of his successor, Mr. Deputy Commissary General Allan, in June 1813.

This officer having been informed that the system of inning store receipts was not approved, either by the Lords of the Treasury or by the auditors of public accounts, proceeded with the sanction of Governor Macquarie to issue his own notes in payment of supplies, until circumstances occurred in the year 1815, both in New South Wales and Van Diemen's Land, that appeared to Governor Macquarie to make it necessary to resort to the former system of issuing store receipts. From that period they continued to be issued until February 1819, when upon the arrival of Mr. Deputy Commissary General Drennan, and under a more recent, but verbal communication by him of the objections entertained by the Lords of the Treasury to the system of issuing store receipts, Mr. D[r]ennan commenced issuing his own notes until the month of September 1820, when the store receipts were again resumed. Great difficulty appears to have been experienced at all periods in inducing the holders to bring them in for consolidation within a given period, more especially at Van Diemen's Land, where communication between the settlers and the town was not frequent, and was some times hazardous.

The store receipts, therefore, were frequently detained by the holders, until Occasion might require them to be changed, either by the merchants for goods, or by the commissary himself, by bills or dollars.

A supply of dollars for the use of the colony had been transmitted from Madras previous to the arrival of Mr. Deputy Commissary General Allan in 1813, and they were after that period put in circulation; but with the view of raising their current value in the colony, and preventing their exportation, a portion of silver was cut from the centre of each dollar, which was stamped and circulated at the value of 1s. 3d. and the remaining part of the dollar was circulated at 5s. Dollars to the amount of 10,000l. were cut in this manner, and have continued to be circulated in the colony at the nominal value of 5s. each, together with dollars that were not cut, and that circulated also at the same rate. These coins have always been issued and received by the commissary, and exchanged at their nominal value for bills upon the Lords of the Treasury.

Upon Mr. Deputy Commissary General Allan's notes being withdrawn, it was conceived that the store receipts would supply their place. In some respects, and for the purpose of making large payments, they had that effect; but for the accommodation of the poorer settlers they were very inadequate. To exchange them they were compelled to resort to Sydney, where they could only obtain them for a bill upon the Lords of the Treasury, or goods from the stores of the retailers. To these persons the store receipts were and are still acceptable, for by being made convertible at frequent and convenient periods into bills upon the Treasury, they answer every purpose of remittance. The issue of the promissory notes by the officer at the head of the department, convertible as they were made by him into bills upon the Treasury, promised a very desirable degree of accommodation both to the settlers and to the merchants; but after that mode of payment had been adopted, circumstances occurred in the year 1820, that proved the immediate necessity of keeping a more effectual check than that which appeared to have been held by the officers of that department, either upon the first issue of the notes or their subsequent re-issue, independent of the risk of transmitting them from Sydney to the officers at the outstations, or of their custody there.

The system of payment by notes, therefore, was again changed, and store receipts were issued after the 23d of September 1820, for all purchases made at the King's store.

However beneficial or convenient the system of issuing promissory notes by the commissary may be in the colony of New South Wales, with a view to furnishing a circulating medium for its internal transactions, yet from the circumstances that took place in the year 1820, I conceive that the introduction of a metallic local currency in the payments made from the commissariat department would diminish the chances of forgery, and would lead to an equally speedy and leas complicated adjustment of the public accounts.

The mode adopted by Governor Macquarie for the issue of the store receipts provided a most effectual check upon the public expenditure, although it substituted a local check by the examination of a committee appointed by himself, instead of the final examination before the auditors of public accounts in England. The store receipts were by his order, and after being compared with the cheque books from which they were taken, ordered to be cancelled; and as they constituted an original voucher in the hands of the commissary, it became necessary for him to provide himself with some new document to transmit to England. Pay-lists were therefore provided, signed with the names of the parties who received payment for the articles they had furnished; but if it happened that store receipts were detained by the holders beyond the regular period for consolidation of them by bills, or for examination by the local committee, the commissary would be under the necessity of taking credit in his accounts, unsupported by any voucher, for the amount of the outstanding store receipts. On the other hand, the system of making payments, by the introduction of a metallic currency, is not without its inconvenience in New South Wales, as it tends to multiply vouchers in the office of the commissariat, and places temptation in the way of the clerks employed there, that it may be found difficult for them to resist, as well as for the officer at the head of the department to control. These difficulties will be greatly diminished to the government by the gradual introduction of the mode of making purchases by contract, to which I have before adverted; and it forms one of the reasons, and perhaps the most important one, for an earlier resort to that system.

The estimated expense of stores supplied to the five vessels employed in the colonial service in one year, including the vessel employed in the survey of the coasts, amounts to 1,620l. and the wages of the masters and seamen to 1,733l. 13s. 11d.

These vessels are employed in keeping up the communication between Port Jackson and the Coal River, conveying prisoners thither, and bringing back cargoes of wood, lime and coals. These vessels, with the exception of the Mermaid cutter, were built in the colony. They are strong, but are not well equipped.

Whenever it shall be determined to make the settlements that I have recommended to the northward of the river Hastings, it will be expedient to purchase two additional vessels, either of 200 or 250 tons burthen, with sufficient accommodation for the military officers and troops, who have suffered much inconvenience by the frequent voyages they have been obliged to make in the colonial vessels. They should also be capable of affording good, accommodation to the governor in his visits to the distant settlements.

The estimate of expenditure in New South Wales for the year ending the 24th December 1821, furnished by Mr. Deputy Commissary General Drennan, amounted to the sum of 189,008l.; the item of rations for the troops, civil officers and convicts amounting to 143,370l.

It must have occurred to your Lordship, that a considerable portion of this expenditure arises from the detention of so many labourers in the government works, as well as of the expense of superintendence and materials. There are at present three modes adopted for obtaining these materials; first, by requisition addressed to the Lords Commissioners of the Treasury for such as are most likely to be wanted, not with a view to any particular work, but to the general works in contemplation; secondly, by purchase through the commissariat department at Sydney, by virtue of warrants of the governor; thirdly, by purchases made by the chief engineer, with the sanction of the governor, and defrayed from the police-fund.

Respecting the first I would observe, that as long as the convicts are employed in constructing buildings, in which neatness of workmanship is requisite, good tools made of very good materials will be required. These tools should in every instance, if possible, be marked with the broad arrow, to deter the convicts from stealing, and others from receiving them; and the articles of supply, and the tools that appeared to me to be most useful, were saws of different kinds, nails of the strongest description, and planes; iron of all dimensions; bricklayers tools; pitch, tar, rosin; the common sorts of paint, and canvas. As the settlement of Van Diemen's Land has hardly ever partaken of the consignments of tools and materials that have been sent out from this country, and as there are several buildings of importance required both at Hobart Town and Launceston, I should recommend that, in all future consignments of tools, a proportion of one-third should be sent to Van Diemen's Land. At both places, however, it will be necessary to impress most strongly upon the minds of the engineers, as well as of the higher authorities, that the greatest, the most severe attention should be paid to economy in the use of the supplies; and that the indulgence that has prevailed both in New South Wales and Van Diemen's Land, of allowing the convict workmen, who had occasional liberty to work for themselves, to use the government tools, should be most positively forbidden.

The purchases of materials by order of the governor have been made through the chief engineer, Major Druitt, who has shown a considerable degree of care in the adjustment of prices and agreements, but less of economy in the use of the materials. It was not his custom to purchase them by contract, but to apply to those dealers who had the largest supplies, and were willing to furnish them at the most reasonable rates, or to make agreements with importers of cargoes for such portions as he required.

In the period in which Captain Gill of the forty-sixth regiment had the superintendence of the engineer department, much economy was observed; and the scale upon which the works were conducted was then very contracted, in comparison with that which was adopted after the appointment of Major Druitt. This officer had the merit of great personal activity, but the details of his department were left to the subordinate officers, who executed very imperfectly the arrangements that he traced out to them. The error that he committed was that of undertaking a great extent of work, without reference to his means of control or superintendence; and without recollecting that the means of plunder augmented with the extension of the works. The numerous instances in which he detected and severely punished the authors of that plunder, combined with the repetition of the offence notwithstanding the severity with which it was punished, ought to have convinced him that the only means of preventing the spoliation of the government property by the convicts was, to multiply the chances of detection by repeated examination of the tools that were necessarily committed to their care.

This precaution does not seem to have been taken at Sydney, and there always prevailed a greater desire at this station to complete with expedition any work or building that was suggested, than to calculate the expense, to mature the plan, or sometimes even to describe the dimensions. A striking instance of this was afforded in the construction of a building that was intended as a protection to a public well in the town of Sydney. Another unfortunate effect of the precipitation with which the buildings were conducted, was the unseasoned state of the timber. Such was the extent of the demand for it at Sydney, and the rate of consumption, that the efforts of the numerous gangs of labourers at Newcastle and at Pennant Hills were insufficient to meet it. In the year 1819, there appears to have been exported from Newcastle to Sydney 90,946 superficial feet of timber of all sorts, valued at 1,136l. 16s. 6d.; and in the year 1820, there were exported to the same place 102,256 superficial feet of timber, valued at 1,278l. 4s., and 26,461 feet of sawn timber of various kinds, in plank, valued at 641l. 8s. 6d. In addition to the work of cutting and sawing timber at that station, 3,915 tons of coal were raised and exported to Sydney, of which 150 were embark in private vessels, and 42,800 bushels of lime. These materials were wholly expended upon the public works at Sydney, in addition to the large contributions of lime and wood made from other stations in the neighbourhood. I procured a return of buildings and works undertaken, in progress, or completed since the 1st February 1810. It appeared from this document, that seventy-three buildings of various kinds, including two vessels and several boats, have been commenced, and that the greatest portion of them has been completed. Without enumerating the whole, I will beg leave to state that the most useful buildings included in this list are, the King's store at Sydney, St. Philip's church at Sydney, a church at Windsor, one at Liverpool, and a chapel at Castlereagh; the repair and improvement of the government-houses at Sydney and Paramatta, and the clearing of the grounds contiguous to them; a parsonage-house at Sydney, one at Paramatta, and one at Liverpool; the completion of the greatest part of the military barracks at Sydney, the hospital at Paramatta, and military hospital at Sydney; the improvement of the dock-yard and lumber-yard at Sydney, the convict barracks at Sydney and Paramatta, and the carters barrack and gaol at Windsor; the female factory at Paramatta, the lime-kiln at Bennelong's Point, the inclosure of the burial ground at Sydney, the light-house on the South Head, the residence for the judge advocate, and the judge of the Supreme Court; the courthouse at Sydney, school-house, and new market house, and an asylum for the aged and infirm near Sydney.

At Newcastle, the buildings that have been erected during the same period, consisted of a church, an hospital, a gaol, house for the commandant, a surgeon's quarter, an officer's quarter a capacious workhouse, and blacksmith's forge; the construction of a pier, of which 625 feet in length were completed in January 1821, a windmill, and a parsonage-house.

At Hobart Town, the buildings completed, or in progress, consisted of a church, government-house, gaol, hospital, military barrack and guard house, and two small bridges.

At George Town, they consisted of a house for the commandant, a parsonage-house, military barrack, store for provisions, house of confinement, working yard, and windmill.

The buildings here noticed may be all considered of immediate importance to the colony; and although they are defective in the plan, and many of them are equally so in the construction, yet the exertions that have been made, and more especially at later periods, are creditable, considering the general want of professional skill in the direction, and the general character of the labourers employed upon them.

I have already had occasion to advert to the valuable services of Mr. Greenway, and as far as they were employed in the public buildings I have mentioned, the benefits derived from them have been very conspicuous.

In adverting to other buildings constructed during the same period, it is impossible to omit the mention of the general hospital at Sydney: its merits as an hospital will be considered hereafter; but as a building, I regret to state, that its condition was such, at the period of my departure from the colony, as to render the occupation of one wing dangerous, and to afford little expectation of saving the remainder without incurring a very considerable expense. The great error committed in this building was that of giving it such large dimensions, at a period when the means of construction were not within reach; and attempting to give an appearance of grandeur and extent to a building in which all that was required was a degree of accommodation adapted to the actual wants of the colony, and the capacity of future extension.

Without entering into the detail of the discussions that took place between the contractors and Governor Macquarie respecting the mutual deviations that took place from the specifications of the original plan, and the claims for indemnity against alleged breaches of the condition; I only state, that after very considerable sacrifices were made of public expediency to the provisions of the contract, the deviation made in the formation of the roof of the building, by dividing the principal beams into three pieces instead of framing them in one, has endangered the whole of the structure, by laying an external pressure, that ought to have been divided by the internal walls, upon a range of very weak stone pillars. As there were no workmen in the colony at the time who were capable of directing the execution of such a building, the attempt should not have been made upon so large a scale.

The buildings and works to which I have adverted in former parts of my Report, as either being of less importance than others that were neglected, or being finished in a style of ornament and decoration little suited to the limited means of so young a colony as New South Wales, and very much disproportioned to the natural progress of its population, consist of the new government stables at Sydney, the fountain in Macquarie-place, the turnpike gate, and the fort at Bennelong's Point, and the saluting battery at Dawes's Point.

Having already enumerated the buildings that appeared to me, to be yet required in the colony, I will beg leave to remark that attention is requisite to the supply of water to the town of Sydney, and to the improvement of the tanks.

From the scarcity of water in the summer, and from the difficulty of obtaining it, great advantage would be derived to the inhabitants from the formation of tanks in all the towns, and from opportunities that they might thus derive of observing and imitating the construction of works to which the greatest portion of them are entire strangers.

Although the general expense incurred in erecting public buildings in New South Wales is lessened by the employment of convicts in that labour, yet the preparation and collection of materials that might be otherwise disposed of to advantage, and the application of the local funds to the purchase of them, instead of defraying the expense of the subsistence and clothing of the convicts, can, in my opinion, be justified only by the absolute necessity and utility of the buildings upon which the labour and materials are so expended.

By the observations that I have previously made upon the extensive employment of convicts in towns, and when necessarily connected, during their hours of work, with the mass of the population, it will be seen that temptations to plunder and purloin the materials and tools are perpetually occurring; and in the town of Sydney, where mechanical labour as well as tools are at a high price, it is almost impossible to devise a system by which the natural consequences of such temptations can be effectually checked.

There is one species of expense, however, incurred in the public works, which I think it necessary here to notice. From the difficulty that formerly existed in grinding the wheat required for the public service, two windmills were built at the public expense in the town of Sydney, and they were worked under the management of a superintendent, who receives a salary of 30l. from the police-fund, and a certain number of convicts subsisted at the expense of the crown. The use of one of these mills has been for some years allowed to the regiment in garrison, and they have derived the advantage of having their own wheat well ground, and a certain degree of profit from the grinding of wheat for others. The other mill is still kept up; but since the establishment of a water-mill and steam-mill near Sydney by individuals, no necessity exists for its continuance. The quantity of flour produced from it is very inconsiderable; and from a calculation made by an officer in the commissariat department, the profit derived from it does not exceed 30l. per annum, subject to casualties from plunder. I should recommend, therefore, that both these mills should be disposed of.

Before the determination can be finally made of removing the convicts from the present settlements to those that may be found practicable on the northern coasts, and for the purpose of completing the buildings that I have ventured to suggest as still necessary in the settled districts, the superintendence of the works by a professional person will be found requisite.

The formation of the roads in the colony under the direction of Major Druitt, and the repair of the bridges, during the last two years, has been creditable to him; and has discovered at the same time the insufficient, but expensive system, by which they had been previously conducted under contacts made with an individual in the country.

The circumstances that I have already stated in the conduct of the public works at Sydney, and in other places, give me no reason to expect that a more cordial co-operation would take place between the chief engineer and the colonial architect than that which had previously subsisted and I should therefore strongly recommend, that an officer of the corps of engineers should be appointed to the colony of New South Wales, and that he should have the general direction and superintendence of all the works that are conducted by convicts, either in New South Wales or Van Diemen's Land, including also the roads and bridges that are or may be necessary as the colonization of the country advances. After the appointment of such an officer shall have taken place, it does not appear to me that it will be necessary to continue that of the colonial architect, as there are no buildings that I have recommended, (with the exception, perhaps, of the government-house at Sydney), in which it would be requisite or desirable to have reference to his assistance. From what I have already stated, your Lordship will have observed that Mr. Greenway's architectural skill has been the means of introducing into the building of the colony greater celerity and better taste than had previously prevailed. The ornamental style in which some of them have been finished cannot in fairness be made ground of charge against Mr. Greenway, however difficult it may have been found either to control or to contend with his disposition to indulge in it. The appointment of an officer of engineers, subject to the control and orders of the governor as to the nature, plan, and extent of the works that may be undertaken in the different settlements, will be the means of introducing a more uniform and simple style of architecture into the government works, and preserve a more just proportion than has hitherto been observed between the execution and scale of the buildings, and the actual and future resources of the colony. It has been frequently urged, that the mode of executing works by contract is preferable in New South Wales to the execution of it by the superintendence of the colonial officers and the labour of the convicts. From circumstances that occurred in the building of the parsonage-house at Paramatta, the church at Liverpool, and of the factory at Paramatta, I am disposed to think that, at the period in which these buildings were undertaken, the number or the means of mechanics in the colony were not equal to such engagements, and that more injury to the interests of the crown was to be apprehended from the combination of individuals to raise the terms of contracts, than from the employment of its own officers and its own labourers. The only mode in which these objections could be now diminished would be by assigning to the persons who contracted for buildings a certain number of convict mechanics, and binding them in larger penalties, and by more accurate specifications of the work, than have been annexed to the contracts hitherto made in the colony.






Medical Establishments in New South Wales and Van Diemen's Land.


THE MEDICAL ESTABLISHMENT of New South Wales in the year 1819 consisted of a principal and assistant surgeon at Sydney, and an hospital assistant; of one assistant surgeon at each of the stations of Paramatta, Windsor, Liverpool, and Newcastle; and of a superintendent of lunatics at Castle Hill.

The establishment of Van Diemen's Land consisted of an assistant surgeon at Hobart Town, one at George Town, and one at Launceston.

In the year 1820, the number of assistant surgeons at Sydney was augmented to two and, upon the retirement of Mr. Mileham at Windsor, of Mr. Luttrell at Hobart Town, and Mr. Mountgarrett at Launceston, the medical establishment at those places was placed upon a more efficient footing.

The admission of convict patients into the colonial hospitals, either from the service of government or from that of settlers, has never been subject to any other limitation than that which appeared to the surgeon to arise from the nature of the complaints with which they were affected; and it has been observed in my former Report, that a denial has been rarely given to the poorer class of settlers themselves, whenever it was made to appear to the governor, on memorials presented to him and certified by the medical officers, that they were not in a condition to bear the expenses of their own cure.

For the purpose of affording some check upon the very liberal and extended access that had always been given to the medical resources of the colony, Governor King issued an order, requiring that every convict sent by settlers to the colonial hospitals should bring with him a supply of provisions for fourteen days, and in most of the hospitals this practice was continued to a late period. If the convicts remained after the expiration of that period, they, as well as free persons, were victualled from the public store, with rations consisting of one pound of meat and one and of wheat or flour per day, the rations being issued conformably to lists furnished and signed by the principal or assistant surgeons, and transmitted to the commissariat department. The cost, therefore, of the maintenance as well as of the medicine administered to hospital patients, with the exception of sailors occasionally received from the ships in the harbour, has thus fallen entirely upon the crown. Out-patients, who were capable of being provided for at their masters houses in the towns, were visited by the surgeons, and supplied with medicine from the stores of the different hospitals; but it appears that convicts holding tickets of leave, and free persons in a state of poverty, were not admitted to partake of the medical assistance and resources of the colonial hospitals without a petition and acquiescence of the governor.

Of the number of convicts that had from time to time been received into the hospitals, or of the numbers of those that had received medicine or attendance, I was not able to obtain any accurate account. By an order of Governor Macquarie, weekly, and afterwards monthly returns, were required to be made to him as well as to the principal surgeon at Sydney, of the patients received into the hospitals, as well as of their discharge or death. The returns to the governor were for some time made regularly; but those ordered to be made to the principal surgeon from the more distant stations of Windsor and Newcastle, have frequently, and in later periods, been entirely omitted.

The causes alleged for this omission have consisted of the want of proper supplies of stationery—of regular communications with the town of Sydney; and in two instances that occurred in Van Diemen's Land, of the reluctance in the medical officers there to acknowledge the superintending authority or control of Mr. D'Arcy Wentworth, the principal surgeon at Sydney.

I found likewise that the books of the several hospitals had not been kept with any regularity. Those at Sydney had for some time been committed to the care of Mr. Henry Cowper, who was an apprentice to Mr. Redfern, and whose duty it was to enter the name of every patient on his arrival, the daily course of treatment prescribed, and the date of his discharge or death. The state of these books, which were only produced for my inspection at a late period of my residence in New South Wales, was in a great degree attributable to want of care in preserving them, and also to the various duties that devolved upon Mr. Henry Cowper, when only one assistant surgeon happened to be at Sydney. A greater degree of regularity and method appears to have taken place on the appointment of a convict clerk, named Johnstone, whom I have had occasion to mention in my former Report, and who was appointed to perform the duties of clerk at the general hospital in the month of June 1818. From the imperfect reference to the hospital books previous to this date, and from the confused manner in which the entries of discharges and deaths were noticed in them, the abstract that was made from them at my request, by Mr. Henry Cowper, is not much to be relied upon. From this document it appears, that from the month of September 1816, to the same month in 1817, 992 patients were received into the hospital, 337 were discharged, and forty-one died. From the month of May 1818, to the month of October 1819, 988 patients were received into the hospital, 560 were discharged, and eighty-six died.

The books of the different hospitals having been more accurately kept, and the returns more regularly made, after the appointment of Mr. Bowman to the situation of principal surgeon in the month of October 1819, the number of sick received into the different hospitals after that date can be ascertained with more precision. From a return it appeared, that between the month of October 1819, to the 31st December 1820, 1,875 patients were received into the hospital at Sydney, and 3,471 were admitted as out-patients. Of these, 1,673 were discharged, 124 died, and seventy-seven remained at the date of the return. At the hospital at Paramatta, 384 patients were received during the same period, and 348 as out-patients. Of the former twenty-two died, and 362 were discharged. The returns from the hospital at Windsor or Liverpool, during the same period, were not included in the general return; but in that which was made from the settlement at Newcastle, 404 were received into the hospital, and 363 as outpatients. Of these, twenty-six died, and 394 were discharged. At the asylum for lunatics at Castle Hill, it appeared that twenty new patients had been received, in addition to thirty-nine already on the list; five of whom have died, eight had been discharged, ten had made their escape, and thirty-six remained.

It thus appears, that in the space of one year and two months, a total number of 2,663 patients had been received into the colonial hospitals above-mentioned, exclusive of those at Windsor and Liverpool, as well as those at Van Diemen's Land; and that 3,182 persons had been received as out-patients.

The principal hospital of the colony is situated in the town of Sydney. The defects of the old hospital, that was built soon after the establishment of the colony, and the want of the ordinary means of preventing escape, had impressed Governor Macquarie with the early necessity of providing a proper place of reception, and more secure detention of the sick, and of removing it to a more airy and retired situation in the town.

As the state of the colonial funds did not then afford the means of defraying the expense of such a building as the governor deemed it expedient to erect, an agreement was entered into by Mr. Broughton, then acting deputy commissary general, on behalf of the government, and Messrs. Blaxell, Riley and Wentworth, on the 6th November 1810, in which it is declared by them, that in consideration of certain advantages and allowances that had been and were to be made to them by the colonial government, they undertook and contracted to build a general hospital in the town of Sydney, according to a plan that had been approved by the governor; and that it was to be commenced on or before the 1st of May 1811, and was to be finished in the corresponding period in the year 1814. The first stone of the general hospital was laid by Governor Macquarie, on the 29th of October 1811. Various delays took place in the execution of the work; and it was not until the month of March of the year 1816, that the patients were removed from the old hospital.

The terms of this contract, and the reasons alleged for the reciprocal deviations from them by both parties I have already adverted to in observing upon the public buildings of the colony. For the present, therefore, I will only advert to the dimensions, site and capacity of the general hospital at Sydney, and the other colonial hospitals, and to the accommodation that they afford for patients. The principal building of the hospital at Sydney contains eight wards, four of which are upon the round floor and four upon the first floor. Each of these wards is sixty feet in length, twenty-four feet in width, and sixteen feet in height. The communications to them consist of two entrances, and two staircases of wood. The windows of the first floor open upon a gallery covered with a penthouse roof, that is supported by wooden columns, and that rest upon a wooden plate, supported by a range of stone columns. Each of the wards in the general hospital is capable of containing twenty-two patients; but if the beds were placed four feet apart from each other, the number accommodated in each ward would only be sixteen. With the exception of coal cellars under the basement wall, the principal building contains no other accommodation whatever. Two kitchens with rooms above are placed in the rear of the principal building; and privies, and a small washing and bath house, communicating with the hospital by a flagged and open pathway, are at a little distance below.

The situation of the general hospital is well chosen, airy, and free from damp; and the principal building, as well as the quarters of the surgeon and assistant surgeons, are surrounded by a wall of twelve feet, separating the spacious area in which they stand from the government pleasure-grounds towards the east, and from Macquarie-street towards the west. At each end of the principal building, and detached from it, are the homes of the principal and assistant surgeons. The first of these contains three spacious rooms on the ground floor, with a room that was originally destined for a dispensary, and one in the upper story for a dispenser of medicine, both of which have been always appropriated to the use of the judge of the Supreme Court. The wing appropriated to the use of the assistant surgeons is divided into two separate residences, each containing two rooms on the ground floor and three in the upper floor. The kitchens and domestic offices of this, as well as the principal surgeon's wing, an detached from their houses, but are within the area of the hospital.

Mr. Wentworth has stated that he was consulted by Governor Macquarie in forming the plan of the hospital at Sydney, and that, subject to certain alterations and conveniences, he approved that which was adopted.

Mr. Redfern likewise states that he made no objection to the plan at the time the work was begun, but that he has since found reasons to think that it is defective, in not having the several conveniences of wash-house, store-rooms and water-closets. Great encroachments appear to have been made upon the accommodation that the hospital was capable of affording to the patients sent thither both from the town and the country districts, by the appropriation, in the first instance, of four wards at the north end of the principal building of the hospital to the use of the civil and criminal courts, two wards on the ground floor being converted into courts, and two on the first floor immediately above being used by the judges and members of the civil and criminal courts for retiring rooms. At a later period permission was also given to Mr. Lewen, an artist, to occupy one of these rooms for the purpose of painting several large pictures. Another ward in the first floor of the hospital was also appropriated to the reception of the medical stores, by which means, out of eight wards that the hospital contained for the reception of patients, three only were appropriated to that purpose until the year 1819, when Governor Macquarie requested the judges to dispense with the retiring rooms that had been attached to each court, and two wards %were then given up to the use of the patients. It is much to be regretted that this arrangement had not taken place at an earlier period, for it seldom or ever occurred that the civil and criminal courts were assembled at the same time. The court that was not occupied might always have been used as a retiring room for the court that was sitting; and it has already been observed, that in addition to this accommodation, the judge of the Supreme Court was permitted to use two moms in the principal surgeon's wing as an office for his clerk, and a robing room for himself, until an office was finished and attached to his own residence in the town of Sydney.

In consequence of the encroachments thus made upon the medical apartments of the hospital, great inconvenience is represented to have been experienced in providing for the sick at certain seasons of the year. Two wards were appropriated for the men, and one for the women. In the former, there have sometimes been placed four rows of cradles for sick patients, and as many as ninety have been crowded in three rooms, which, according to the ordinary arrangements, are capable of receiving only half that number.

No effectual separation took place of the women's ward from those occupied by the men, until the year 1818, when, in consequence of a discovery of circumstances that ought to have been anticipated as the result of unrestrained access, the very aim ale precaution of placing bolts on the outside of the door of the female ward was adopted, and the communication between the wards was effectually stopped.

Upon the removal of the women's ward from the ground floor to the upper floor, and upon opening another ward for the men upon that floor, it has been found necessary to fix a boarded partition in the gallery that surrounds the hospital, and to place a constable at the door; but even by these precautions the separation of the male and female patients is not so effectual as could be wished, nor can it ever be complete unless a separate access is made from the male and female wards to the kitchens and privies in the yard.

The present hospital at Paramatta was commenced in the month of August 1817, and was completed in September 1818. The ruinous state of the old hospital, and the deplorable consequences arising from it, are described in the evidence of Mr. Rouse, Mr. Marsden, and Mr. West. They appear to have risen from want of security against the escape of the patients; of means of preventing their communication and intercourse with the people of the towns, and the temptations to plunder that were perpetually afforded, either by the patients or others, of all articles of use or comfort that were provided for them. Orders appear to have been given by Governor Macquarie to Mr. Rouse, the superintendent of convicts at Paramatta, for repairs, but they were either not attended to by him, or were of little benefit, on account of the decayed and rotten state of the building.

In this hospital, as well as at Sydney, the ordinary and most simple precautions of preventing intercourse between the sexes appear to have been neglected; and from want of a proper place of reception out of the hospital, the deal bodies were suffered to lie in a passage that separated the male and female wards, until coffins were prepared for them.

It is hardly necessary to enter with more particularity into a detail of these or other consequences, arising from the intercourse of convicts of both sexes disposed by habit to licentiousness, and unrestrained by the ordinary preventions that are resorted to in all places of reception for the sick.

Temporary repairs, or temporary restraints, seem to have been very sparingly used; and under a belief, that no measure would be found effectual until an entirely new building should be completed.

The plan of the new hospital at Paramatta was furnished by Lieutenant Watts, aide-de-camp to Governor Macquarie; and it appears to have been framed upon that of Sydney, although the division and arrangement of the apartments is somewhat different. Mr. West is of opinion, that it is not calculated to contain more than fifty patients, although during the wet season of the year 1819, and the prevalence of a typhus fever, as many as ninety-five were admitted. It appears to be very doubtful, whether any separation of the male from the female patients was ever contemplated in this hospital; and no such separation was made in it until the month of January 1819, nor were effectual means adopted either for securing escape from the windows, or from the area in which it is situated. It is at present only surrounded by a high wooden paling.

The hospital at Paramatta has nearly the same advantages and defies as that of Sydney. It is well situated and airy, but has no domestic accommodation.

The hospital at Windsor was formerly a brewery, and formed part of the property of Mr. Andrew Thompson. The hospital patients had previously been lodged in a building that was hired of the executors of the same individual, and was partly used as a barrack; but as it was very desirable that the soldiers and patients should as soon as possible be separated, Governor Macquarie sanctioned the purchase of the brewery of Mr. Andrew Thompson, and converted it into an hospital. It consists of two rooms, capable of containing about twenty patients; an assistant lives in a room attached to the hospital, and the assistant surgeon has a residence assigned to him in the town of Windsor.

This hospital has frequently been repaired since it was purchased; and from being placed upon the side of a hill, consisting of loose alluvial land, and exposed to the current of a rivulet called the South Creek, that is very rapid in the rainy season, the foundations have been gradually weakened, and the bank in which they are set will require to be supported by strong wooden piles.

The hospital at Liverpool was built at the expense of the colonial government. It consists of three rooms that are all upon the same floor, and are attached to the house of the assistant surgeon. The hospital will not contain more than twelve patients. The situation is airy and dry, but the rooms are too small and badly ventilated.

The hospital at Newcastle was built by convicts condemned by colonial sentences to work there, and is situated upon a sandy hill that lies between the sea-shore and the town. It was intended for a gaol, but was converted by Captain Wallis, the commandant, into an hospital. The building consists of two rooms for patients, that are not capable of receiving more than twenty-four beds, and of two small rooms, ten feet long and six feet wide; one of which is appropriated to the use of the female patients, and the other to the grinding the rations of wheat for the use of the hospital.

The building is of stone and rough cast, with a projecting pediment in front, supported by wooden columns. It is much exposed to the north-west winds, and the ventilation is sometimes suspended from the necessity of closing the windows against the clouds of sand with which it is surrounded. The residence of the surgeon is at a little distance from the hospital.

At Hobart Town, in Van Diemen's Land, the house of an individual had been hired for some time for the reception of patients: it was ill situated, low, and possessed no domestic accommodation. On my arrival I found that the foundations of an hospital had been laid, and the building was proceeding upon a plan that had been furnished by Mr. Evans the deputy-surveyor, and that had been approved by Governor Macquarie. Upon considering the plan and taking the opinion of Mr. Assistant Surgeon Priest, who had lately arrived from England under an appointment of your Lordship, I took an early opportunity of submitting to the attention of Lieutenant-Governor Sorell the expediency of several alterations in the plan, by which the accommodation for the patients was enlarged, the ventilation was improved, and a separation was effected between the male and female patients; and several domestic offices were provided that had been neglected or deemed unnecessary.

Lieutenant-Governor Sorell immediately adopted these recommendations, and some improvements were promised in the execution of the building, which I found to be extremely defective. The situation of the hospital was well chosen, and the ample extent of the ground attached to it will afford the means of adding further accommodation whenever the wants of the colony require it.

At Launceston a wooden building of small dimensions was occupied as an hospital, and contained seven beds for patients. It possesses very little accommodation.

At George Town a small wooden hut had been converted into an hospital, and was capable of containing five patients. This hut was ill constructed and without any floor, but was only intended for the temporary reception of the sick, until a more suitable place could be provided.

It has been the practice in all the hospitals of the colony to draw the same rations for the subsistence of the patients after the expiration of the first fortnight of their arrival, as they had been accustomed to receive when in health. It has also been the practice to allow the rations to be dressed in the rooms of the hospitals in which the patients were confined. A discretion, however, seems to have been vested in the surgeon to purchase such medical comforts as the diseases of the several patients required, if they were not found in the stores of the hospital.

A representation of the bad effects of this practice was submitted by Mr. Wentworth to Governor Macquarie in the month of March 1817, with a proposal for the supply of meat, bread, and vegetables to the hospitals, according to the orders of the surgeon, regulated according to the state and condition of the patients. It was also accompanied with a very detailed statement of the comparative expense of the two modes of supply, and a suggestion of the expediency of giving small remunerations in money to the superintendents, clerks, and wardsmen employed.

Governor Macquarie, not thinking himself justified in making these alterations, in the mode of supplying the hospitals, declined to sanction its adoption until he had submittal it to your Lordship. The approval of the measure was conveyed to Governor Macquarie in the year 1818, and was communicated in December of that year to Mr. Wentworth, with a view to its adoption on the 1st of January 1819. The circumstances that prevented or protracted it until the arrival of Mr. Bowman in September 1819, were not satisfactorily explained; but it was finally and very successfully carried into effect in a fortnight after he succeeded to the office of principal surgeon.

It is hardly necessary for me to refer your Lordship to the statements of the manifold consequences that arose from the continuance of this practice, or the impossibility of preserving order or cleanliness in the hospitals as long as it prevailed. There does not seem to have been any want of the ordinary attention to cleanliness in the hospital at Sydney; and it appears that Mr. Wentworth and Mr. Redfern endeavoured occasionally to supply the want of medical comforts, or proper diet, by sending them from their own houses.

The medicine, hospital clothing, and medical stores were deposited in one of the upper wards of the hospital, or in a room above Mr. Wentworth's kitchen. In these rooms no sufficient arrangement was made for the preservation of the different articles; and it appeared by the survey of the hospital stores, that was taken upon the retirement of Mr. Wentworth, that several articles had received damage; and that others had been concealed from view, from want of room or proper arrangement in the stores in which they were deposited. It also appears, that both at the Sydney hospital, as well as at Paramatta and Newcastle, a scarcity of the medicines most in demand had from time to time occurred; and that on account of the few importations of medicine into New South Wales by individuals, it was always difficult to obtain it by purchase.

I have already had occasion to allude to the practice that had prevailed in the colonial hospitals, of the surgeons supplying their private patients with medicine from the stores in the hospital, and the injurious consequences of such a practice to that class of persons for whose benefit the transmission of medicine at the expense of government was solely incurred. The practice thus adopted by the higher officers was imitated by those under them; and as there was no person in the Sydney hospital charged with the duty of dispenser, or to whom the care of the stores could be safely confided, it necessarily devolved upon those who had other duties to perform, and who were frequently called away from theirs special duties as surgeons to perform those of apothecaries and dispensers. There is no doubt that from want of a person specially appointed for the arrangement, transmission and account of the medical stores, that they were exposed to injury, loss and embezzlement. A gradual accumulation having taken place at Sydney of the large cases of lime juice that had not been used during the voyages of several convict ships, Mr. Wentworth applied to Governor Macquarie for permission to dispose of them for the best prices, and to apply the proceeds to the payment of expenses incurred in the hospital. I received an account that was furnished me by Mr. Wentworth, and certified by him, of the disposal of the cases of lime juice, and the application of the proceeds, which, although unaccompanied by vouchers, I have reason to believe is correct.

Mr. Bowman, not having received any specific instructions respecting the appropriation of medicine to his own use from the hospital stores, I took an early opportunity of cautioning him to abstain from it, unless under the special obligation of repaying it at 50 per cent. above the original cost. An account was ordered to be kept of all medicines so taken either by himself or the assistant surgeons; but from the evidence of the hospital clerk, as well as others, I was not satisfied that this duty was strictly observed. The assistant surgeons could not be expected to be very exact in the performance of it, as they equally claimed the privilege of purchasing medicine with the principal surgeon; and I also observed that demands were made upon their time, in the preparation of medicine for his private patients, which it did not appear to me that he had any right to claim. It was also obvious, that as long as these supplies should continue to be made to the inhabitants, no regular vender of imported drugs would think of establishing himself in Sydney, or of entering into competition with the unlimited and uncontrolled issue of them from the King's stores. After submitting a statement of these circumstances to Governor Macquarie, he acquiesced in their general tendency; but as there was no competent person to undertake the duty of apothecary and dispenser of medicine, that charge still remains in the hands of the principal and assistant surgeons; and the care of the clothes and bedding is placed under the management of a convict, who now receives a small pecuniary remuneration for the performance of that duty.

I beg leave very strongly to recommend, that an apothecary and a storekeeper should be appointed to take charge of the medicine and stores at Sydney, that they should reside within the are: of the hospital; and that, considering the inconvenience that has and is likely to result from it, the practice of allowing the surgeons to purchase medicines upon any terms from the hospitals should altogether cease, with a strict injunction to them to abstain from it in future.

It has been customary to admit into the hospital at Sydney the sailors of the ships in the harbour, and the charges made for medical attendance and medicine have been paid to the principal and assistant surgeons. An account of the charges for subsistence and medicine so supplied was submitted to me by Mr. Bowman, and I shall recommend that, in future, it should be regularly laid before the colonial secretary, and the colonial treasurer; and that Mr. Bowman and the assistant surgeons at all the stations, should be called upon to pay the value of all the medicine that they have taken from the hospital stores, from the period in which they entered upon their duties, with the additional charge of 50 per cent upon the first cost.

With respect to the gratuitous reception and treatment of the convict servants of the settlers into the hospitals of the colony, I cannot recommend that the same latitude should be given as heretofore; nor is there any reason why the masters should not be required to pay a certain weekly sum, that will at least cover the expense of their subsistence. I submit, therefore, to your Lordship, that every settler whose convict servant is sent to the hospital, should be required to pay the sum of six shillings per week for his maintenance for the whole of the period that he remains in the hospital; and that the same sum should be demanded for all sailors or free inhabitants of the colony who are not in a state of absolute poverty. Certificates of the periods for which the servants have been detained in the hospitals, signed by the several surgeons, should be transmitted to the colonial treasurer, who should be instructed to recover it from the masters, and pay it over to the commissary, to be credited in his accounts with the Lords Commissioners of the Treasury.

With reference to the practice that has hitherto been observed in furnishing medicine gratuitously from the hospital stores to the officers of government, I should submit that such practice, originating in the early necessities and scanty supplies of medicine in the colony, is now no longer necessary, and that the only persons in whose favour I should recommend an exception to be made, are the clergymen and their families.

A statement of the present medical staff of the colony, and of the additional number that the principal surgeon stated to be requisite for the adequate performance of the duties at the different stations, was sent for my Information. The present number of surgeons in New South Wales is seven, and in Van Diemen's Land four; and Mr. Bowman, in the statement that he submitted to Governor Macquarie, recommended an addition of five in the former, and one in the latter. He has recommended that there should be two assistant surgeons at Windsor, two at Paramatta, one at Castle Hill, (the lunatic asylum,) and one at Bathurst. He has also recommended the appointment of an apothecary at Sydney, and a storekeeper.

In the former recommendations I cannot agree, as I conceive that when the two assistant surgeons at Sydney are relieved from the duty of dispensing and making up medicine, and the occasional superintendence of the stores, their duty will not be greater than they can perform with care; nor can I admit the necessity of two assistant surgeons at Windsor and Paramatta, when the lunatic asylum, that is now at a station six miles distant from thence, shall be removed to the town or neighbourhood of Paramatta, which is perhaps the best that can be devised for it. It is necessary o observe, that this removal should be effected with all convenient expedition, as the lunatic asylum suffered much from the want of proper inspection of some medical person, and from the dilapidated state of its external and internal accommodation.

As I should not consider it advisable to increase the number of convicts at Bathurst beyond thirty, or to undertake any buildings there, I cannot join in the recommendation of an appointment of a medical officer at that station.

With a view to enable the principal surgeon to perform with regularity the important duty of occasionally inspecting the distant stations, and the assistant surgeons to visit the sick in the remoter situations of the colony, I recommended to Governor Macquarie that an allowance for a horse should be made to the principal surgeon at Sydney, and to the assistant surgeons at Paramatta, Liverpool, Windsor, Hobart Town, and Launceston.

The pay of the assistant surgeons being, only 5s. per day, and some difficulty having been found in inducing persons of professional respectability and character to fill the situations, I further recommended to the governor that their pay should be raised to 7s. per day, with a ration and a servant victualled from the store; with all understanding that this last allowance should be confined to services that were strictly of a domestic nature.

Having observed also that the expense of fuel to individuals at Sydney was considerable and likely to increase, and that it occasioned very little additional expense to government to supply the medical officers with coals, I recommended that the same allowance that was made to the military officers should be extended to the principal and assistant surgeons at Sydney.

Respecting the hospitals in the colony of New South Wales, I should recommend that the construction of such medical and domestic accommodations, as may be pointed out by the surgeons should be attended to, both at Sydney and the other stations; and considering tile state of the general hospital at Sydney, and the great expense and the little degree of accommodation that would arise from carrying into effect the plans that have been suggested for its alteration and support, I am of opinion that the occasional repairs and the additional accommodation, suggested by the principal surgeon, may be advantageously made to it; and that whenever the occupation of the centre it of the building should be found unsafe, the hospital may be transferred to the present convict barrack at Sydney.

I cannot conclude this part of my subject, without representing to your Lordship the zealous exertions that were made by Mr. Principal Surgeon Bowman, to give effect to the new arrangements introduced into the hospitals soon after he succeeded to his present appointment, as well as the state of order and cleanliness in which I always found them upon many occasions in which I unexpectedly visited them. The attendants employed consisting entirely of convicts indiscriminately assigned from the convict ships as they arrived, or as others were dismissed, great difficulty exists in enforcing attention to orders for the care of the patients, and in preventing the plunder of the hospital stores.

The only remedy that I am able to suggest for these evils is the selection of convicts recommended for previous attention and diligence in other situations; and the allowance of small pecuniary rewards to those who conduct themselves well.




I HAVE thus endeavoured to submit to your Lordship's consideration, the results of my inquiries into the several objects pointed out in my instructions, as well as a statement of the measures of colonial regulation, that might form the basis of any future change in the administration of the colony, either as a place of punishment, or as a colonial dependency of the crown.

I greatly regret that I have not found it practicable, even with the closest attention, to bring my Report to a conclusion at an earlier period; but the multifarious nature of the materials from which it was derived, and the detailed manner in which I thought it necessary to present it, with a view to information upon points that were of a practical nature, has greatly exceeded my estimate of the time and labour that I have found necessary to complete it.

In the acquirement and collection of those materials, during my residence in the colony, I feel it my duty to state, that I received every assistance and support that it was in the power of Governor Macquarie, or Lieutenant-Governor Sorell to afford; and I feel an additional satisfaction in stating, that whatever was the difference of opinion or of feeling, that occurred between those officers and myself upon public subjects, I continued to experience from them every mark of public respect and attention.

The nature of the investigations with which I was charged, and the incidental inquiries to which they also gave rise, was such as to have excited in ordinary minds a natural degree of jealousy and mistrust; but I deem it an act of justice, both to Governor Macquarie and lieutenant-Governor Sorell, to declare that there was no point upon which I either solicited information, or intimated a wish for explanation, in which they did not manifest an earnest and a sincere desire to afford it or to direct me to the sources from whence the most authentic intelligence could be obtained. Previous to my departure from the colony, I took an opportunity of publicly expressing my thanks to the judges, magistrates, and civil officers, for the readiness with which they had acquiesced in all my demands upon their time and attention; and of declaring the satisfaction with which I should be enabled to submit to your Lordship, the testimony of respectful acquiescence that had been shown by all classes of the inhabitants, in the authority as well as in the objects of my commission. From a careful and anxious review of the circumstances connected with it, I have found no reason to alter that opinion; and although I cannot but feel, that in a colony composed as that of New South Wales, the reluctance or the readiness to give testimony may be ascribable to the effect of influence, to the hope of favour, or to the gratification of personal feelings; yet I trust that the efforts I made to counteract the operation of those feelings will be found to have been successful; and that they will have enabled me to afford to His Majesty's Government, the means of introducing beneficial improvement into those portions of the colony that are susceptible of it, and of correcting in others any insensible deviations from the primary objects of the Establishment.

All which is very humbly submitted to your Lordship.

JOHN THOMAS BIGGE, (L. S.)   

         10th January 1823.


To The Right Honourable
   The Earl Bathurst, K. G.
         &c. &c. &c.




[END of REPORT.]





ADDENDUM.

[Source: Historical Records of Australia, Volume 10, pp. 2-11]

EARL BATHURST TO GOVERNOR MACQUARIE.


(Despatch No. 1, per ship John Barry; acknowledged by Governor Macquarie, 22nd February, 1820.)

Downing Street, 30th January, 1819.   

Sir,

The Prince Regent, having had under his consideration the actual Circumstances of the Colony under your Government, more particularly with a view of ascertaining how far in its present improved and increasing State, it is susceptible of being made adequate to the Objects of its original Institution, has been pleased to direct that a special Commissioner {1} should proceed to New South Wales, and should there conduct the enquiries necessary to this important Object.

The Gentleman selected for this Duty is Mr. John Thomas Bigge, {2} who has for many years filled a high Judicial Situation in one of His Majesty's Colonies with the Entire Approbation of His Royal Highness The Prince Regent.

In order to explain to you more distinctly the Objects of his Appointment, I have the Honor to enclose a Copy of the Commission, and of the Instructions with which he has been furnished.

As it may be necessary for him in the course of his Enquiry to have the Power of Administering an Oath to the Persons, whose Testimony he may require, it is the Pleasure of His Royal Highness that you should immediately on his arrival in the Colony appoint him a Justice of the Peace and Magistrate for the Territory; you will further give him every Facility of Access to Official Documents, and every other Assistance in your power in the prosecution of the Objects of his Commission.

During the interval, which has elapsed between Mr. Bigge's Appointment and his Departure for the Colony, he had free access to all the Correspondence connected with the Colony, and has been put perfectly in possession of the views of His Majesty's Government; His Royal Highness has therefore been pleased to instruct Mr. Bigge to recommend to your immediate Adoption any Alteration or Improvement of the System at present in force in the Colony, which he may consider necessary either for the Remedy of existing Evils, or for the prevention of Causes of Complaint in future, and I have only to desire that you would give to his recommendations in this particular the weight due to them by an early, if not an immediate, adoption of them. Should however any case occur, in which you may deem it adviseable to take upon yourself the heavy responsibility of declining to adopt his suggestions, you will communicate to me without delay the reasons of your Refusal for the special consideration and Decision of His Royal Highness.

I have, &c.,            
BATHURST.   





[Enclosure No. 1]

COMMISSION OF JOHN THOMAS BIGGE.

In the Name and on behalf of His Majesty.
   George, P.R.

GEORGE the Third, by the Grace of God of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, King, Defender of the Faith, To Our Trusty and Well-beloved John Thomas Bigge, Esqre., Greeting. Whereas We have judged it expedient to cause an Enquiry to be made into the present State of the Settlements in Our Territory of New South Wales and its Dependencies, and of the Laws, Regulations and Usages, Civil Military and Ecclesiastical prevailing therein, Now Know You that We, having especial Trust and Confidence in your approved Wisdom and Fidelity, have assigned, nominated and appointed and by these presents assign, nominate and appoint you, the said John Thomas Bigge, to be Our Commissioner to repair to Our said Settlements in Our said Territory in New South Wales, and by these Presents do give you full power and Authority to examine into all the Laws Regulations and Usages of the Settlements in the said Territory and its Dependencies, and into every other Matter or Thing in any way connected with the Administration of the Civil Government, the Superintendence and Reform of the Convicts, the State of the Judicial, Civil and Ecclesiastical Establishments, Revenues, Trade and internal Resources thereof, and to report to Us the Information, which You shall collect together, with your opinion thereupon, reducing your Proceedings, by Virtue of these Presents and your Observations touching and concerning the premises, into writing, to be certified under Your hand and Seal, and We do hereby require Our Governor of Our said Territory for the time being and all and every One, Officers and Ministers within the said Territory and its Dependencies to be aiding and assisting to you in the due execution of this Our Commission. In Witness, &ca. And for so doing this shall be Your Warrant.

Given at Our Court at Carlton House this fifth day of January, 1819, in the Fifty ninth Year of Our Reign.

By the Command of His Royal Highness The Prince Regent in the name and on the Behalf of His Majesty.

BATHURST.   





[Enclosure No. 2.]

EARL BATHURST TO MR. COMMISSIONER BIGGE. [1]

Downing Street, 6th January, 1819.   

Sir,

As the time is now approaching for your Departure for New South Wales in the execution of the Duty to which His Royal Highness The Prince Regent has been pleased to appoint you, it becomes my Duty to direct your attention to those points which will, on your arrival in the Colony, form the leading Object of your Enquiry.

You are aware of the causes which first led to the Formation of the Settlements in New Holland. As they were peculiar in themselves, these Settlements cannot be administered with the usual Reference to those general Principles of Colonial Policy, which are applicable to other Foreign Possessions of His Majesty, Not having been established with any view to Territorial or Commercial Advantages, they must chiefly be considered as Receptacles for Offenders, in which Crimes may be executed at a distance from home by punishments sufficiently severe to deter others from the Commission of Crimes, and so regulate, as to operate the Reform of the Persons by whom they had been committed. So long as they continue destined by the Legislature of the Country to these purposes, their Growth as Colonies must be a Secondary Consideration, and the leading Duty of those, to whom their Administration is entrusted, will be to keep up in them such a system of just discipline, as may render Transportation an Object of serious Apprehension. While the Settlements were in their Infancy, the Regulations, to which Convicts were subjected on their arrival, were sufficiently severe, and were moreover capable of being strictly and uniformly enforced. Hard Labour, moderate Food, and constant Superintendance were, and (what was at least of as much Importance) were believed in this Country to be the inevitable consequences of a Sentence of Transportation, varying only as to the period during which they were enforced, either according to the original Sentences of the Convicts or to the Evidence, which their Conduct in the Settlement afforded of their Progress towards Amendment and Reform. At this time it appears that Transportation to New South Wales answered every end of Punishment; For while it operated, not very severely though always beneficially, on the Convicts themselves, the opinion of its severity in this Country was so enhanced by the distance of the Settlement and the little which was known of it, that it was an object here of peculiar Apprehension. {3} There are instances on record, in which Convicts have expressed their desire that the Sentence of Transportation might be commuted even for the utmost Rigour of the Law, and it is not too much to assert that the Punishment did then materially contribute to prevent the Commission of those Crimes to which it was at that time more particularly confined.

Many Circumstances however have since concurred to render the Punishment lighter in itself, to diminish the Apprehension entertained in this Country of its Severity, and to break down all proportion between the punishment and the Crimes for which it is now inflicted.

You will find these circumstances detailed in my Letter {4} to Lord Sidmouth, in which I first suggested the expediency of this Commission. Every Information which I have since received, and every consideration which I have since given to the subject, confirms me in the conviction that an Investigation is become necessary. Since the writing of that Letter, Intelligence has been received of the arrival of that large body of Convicts, which I then noticed to be under Sentence of Transportation, and the number, on whom this Sentence has since been passed, has considerably increased. In addition to which, a Great proportion is for Offences of that Magnitude in Moral Depravity, or of such serious Mischief to Society, as have been generally expiated by the utmost Rigour of the Law. While Transportation to New South Wales is thus applied as an adequate Punishment for the most Heinous Crimes, it unfortunately at the same time carries with it in Public Estimation so little of Apprehension in any proportion to the Guilt of the Convicts, that numerous applications are made from those who are sentenced to Imprisonment for Minor Transgressions that they may be allowed to participate in the Punishment to which the greatest Offenders are condemned.

Such being the actual State of Things, it appears to The Prince Regent most important that the first Object of your Enquiry should be to ascertain whether any and what Alteration in the existing system of the Colony can render it available to the purpose of its original Institution, and adequate for its more extended application. With a view to this you will examine how far it may be possible to enforce in the Colonies already established, a System of General Discipline, Constant Work, and Vigilant Superintendance. The Latter must necessarily be understood to comprise complete separation from the Mass of the Population, and more or less of personal Confinement, according to the Magnitude of the Offence. You will therefore pay particular Attention to the possibility of providing Buildings proper to the Reception of all the Convicts, the want of such Buildings having been frequently and justly represented by the Governor as one main Obstacle to the Enforcement of Discipline. Should it appear to you, as I have too much reason to apprehend will be the Result, that the present Settlements are not capable of undergoing any efficient Change, the next Object for your Consideration will be the expediency of abandoning them altogether as Receptacles for Convicts, and forming on other parts of the Coasts, or in the Interior of the Country, distinct Establishments exclusively for the Reception and proper Employment of the Convicts who may hereafter be sent out. From such a Measure, it is obvious that many Advantages must result. It would effectually separate the Convict from the Free Population; the Labour of forming a New Settlement would afford constant means of Employment and that of a severer Description. By forming more than one of such separate Establishments, the means of classifying the Offenders, according to the Degrees of Crime, would be facilitated, and that salutary Apprehension of the punishment revived, which can alone make it available to the grave Offences to which it is at present applied. But on the other hand you will have to consider, what would in the first instance be the expence of the measures, which you might think yourself justified in recommending, and what may be the probable Amount of Annual Charge, which may result from their Adoption. I need not impress upon you the necessity of making your Estimates as accurate as circumstances will admit, for it will be obvious to you that in order to enable His Majesty's Government to decide whether it is adviseable to continue, or to alter, or to abandon the System, which for near Forty Years has been pursued, it will be most material for them to know, not only the means by which Transportation can be rendered an effectual Punishment for the Prevention of Crime, but also the Expence at which, as compared with other Systems of Punishment, it can be enforced.

I have only in conclusion to desire that you will in the whole course of your enquiries constantly bear in mind that Transportation to New South Wales is intended as a severe Punishment applied to various Crimes, and as such must be rendered an Object of real Terror to all Classes of the Community. You must be aware that it is taking but an imperfect view of the end of Punishment, if you look only to the state of those on whom it is inflicted. The Great End of Punishment is the Prevention of Crime, and as there are gradations in Crimes, against the Commission of which the Legislature is bound to guard in proportion to their moral Turpitude or to the injurious Effects which, either necessarily in themselves or from the Circumstances under which they were practised, they may have on the Community, the sufferings of those, to whom punishment is awarded, do not answer the purpose for which they were inflicted, unless they are in some degree proportioned to the Offences committed, and of a Character to deter others from Similar Misdeeds. Transportation must not be considered like imprisonment in Gaol applicable to the suspected and unfortunate in common with the criminal, but it operates exclusively on convicted Guilt, and that too as a part (not the most effectual part) of the punishment assigned to it. For mere Expatriation is not in these days an Object of considerable Terror. The Intercourse, which it breaks, is readily reestablished, and the Mystery, which used to hang over the Fate of those condemned to it, can never long exist. It is the Situation of the Convicts in the place to which they shall have been consigned, the strict Discipline, the unremitting Labour, the severe but wholesome privations to which they are condemned; It is their sad Estrangement from the sweets and comforts of a Life, which their Guilt has forfeited, and the Mercy of His Majesty has spared, and above all the strong feeling impressed upon this Country that such is the unavoidable Fate of the unhappy Men, on whom the Sentence has passed, that can alone make Transportation permanently formidable. If therefore, by ill considered Compassion for Convicts, or from what might under other circumstances be considered a laudable desire to lessen their sufferings, their Situation in New South Wales be divested of all Salutary Terror, Transportation cannot operate as an effectual example on the Community at large, and as a proper punishment for those Crimes against the Commission of which His Majesty's Subjects have a right to claim protection, nor as an adequate Commutation for the utmost Rigour of the Law.

I have, &c.,            
BATHURST.   





[Enclosure No. 3.]

EARL BATHURST TO MR. COMMISSIONER BIGGE. [2]

Downing Street, 6th January, 1819.   

Sir,

In the course of the enquiries, which you are authorized under your Commission to institute in New South Wales, the conduct of the several persons in authority in that Colony will necessarily come under your particular Review, and as you are aware, from the free access which you have had to the correspondence of this Department, of the Grounds on which the Conduct of many of the Servants in that Colony has been subjected to accusation, you will not fail to enquire how far the reports, which have from different quarters reached His Majesty's Government, are deserving of Consideration. But although I am to desire that you do not permit your respect for any Individual, however exalted in rank or sacred in Character, to check an Investigation of his Conduct, in cases in which you deem it to be necessary, yet I am equally to impress upon you the necessity of not divulging in the Colony the opinion, which you may ultimately form as to the justice of the original suspicion. The Result of your Investigation, and the Evidence by which it is to be supported, is to be communicated to His Majesty's Government alone, and, although it will be your Duty to furnish them with the most ample details, it will be no less incumbent upon you to prevent any disclosure in the Colony, which could only have the Effect of inflaming existing Resentments and disturbing the Tranquillity of the Colony, during the Interval which must elapse between your departure from the Settlements and the final Decision of His Majesty's Government.

Should however the result of your enquiries, either on this or any other subject, lead you to entertain an opinion that the system, which has been pursued in any Department, is either so bad in itself or so liable to Abuse as to render an immediate Alteration desireable, you will consider yourself authorized to express to the Governor in writing the several Improvements and Alterations, which you deem it your Duty to recommend to his immediate Adoption, and you will consider the Instruction as applying to every branch of Administration with the exception of the Distribution of the Military Force.

I have, &c.,            
BATHURST.   





[Enclosure No. 4.]

EARL BATHURST TO MR. COMMISSIONER BIGGE. [3]

Downing Street, 6th January, 1819.   

Sir,

I have already had the occasion to point out to you those Objects of Enquiry on your arrival in New South Wales, which are connected with the Administration of the Settlements there as fit Receptacles for Convicts; but although the Prince Regent considers these to be the most important and therefore the main Objects of your Investigation, yet His Royal Highness is also desirous of availing himself of your presence in that Quarter in order to obtain a Report upon the variety of Topics, which have more or less Reference to the Advancement of those Settlements as Colonies of the British Empire. It becomes therefore my Duty to detail to you the Subjects, upon which it appears requisite that you should furnish every Information in your power, and in doing so I deem it necessary to premise that, in any opinion you may be led to form with respect to any change in the existing Regulation of the Colony, you must always bear in mind the possibility of an Abandonment of the present System of Transportation so far as regards the existing Settlements, and must therefore in recommending any Measures for adoption carefully distinguish how far you consider them applicable to the Settlements in their actual State, or only to that in which they would be placed in the event of the Convict part of the Population being henceforth diverted to other Stations.

The Establishment of the Courts of Justice will form the first subject of such an enquiry. It will be for you to consider whether the Alterations introduced into the Constitution of the Courts in 1812 have rendered them adequate to the wants of the Inhabitants, and to the due Administration of Criminal and Civil Justice, and, if they still appear to you to be defective, to suggest the Improvement of which you conceive they are susceptible. You will also particularly report whether the Settlements in Van Diemen's Land have advanced so far in Population and Wealth, as to require a Judicature altogether separate and distinct from that of the Principal Settlements in New South Wales. In connection with the Judicial Establishments, you will not fail to review the Police Regulations of the Colony, and the manner of their Application to the several Classes of Inhabitants whether Free Settlers or Convicts; It will form also a Branch of your Investigation to point out whether, in a Population so compounded as that of New South Wales, it be consistent with safety to dispense with any of those more severe provisions, which have frequently given rise to complaints, and which cannot but be irksome to the Free Inhabitants of the Colony.

You will also turn your Attention to the possibility of diffusing throughout the Colony adequate means of Education and Religious Instruction, bearing always in mind in your suggestions that these two Branches ought in all Cases to be inseparably connected. The Agricultural and Commercial Interests of the Colony will further require your Attentive Consideration. With respect to them, you will both report to me their actual State and the means by which you consider they can be most readily promoted. It cannot fail to have struck you that many of the Colonial Regulations are at variance with the general Principles, by an Adherence to which such Interests are usually advanced. Among those which in this point of view must have appeared of very questionable Expediency, I would more particularly refer to the Authority which the Governor has hitherto exercised of fixing the Prices of Staple Commodities in the Market, and of selecting the Individuals who shall be permitted to supply Meat to the Government Stores. With respect to these Regulations, you will investigate how far their Repeal is likely to lead to any General Inconvenience or to any Public Loss. I am aware that when the Colony was first established the necessity of husbanding the scanty means of Supply, and regulating its Issue, might justify an Interference on the part of the Government, but now that the Quantity of Land in cultivation is so much increased, and the number of cultivators proportionately enlarged, so as to preclude on the one hand all fear of want, and on the other a General Combination of all the Cultivators against the Government, I confess that I have great reason to doubt the expediency of these Regulations. At the same time, I feel unwilling to recommend so material an Alteration without some examination on the spot as to its probable Effects. It will therefore be for you to report to me whether the Markets may not be freed either gradually or all at once from such restriction, whether the Competition of Traders will not here as elsewhere produce the most beneficial Effects, and whether the Government Stores may not be supplied (as in other Colonies) by Public Tender, with equal Advantage both to the Public and to the Individual Cultivator.

Another Subject of enquiry will be the propriety of permitting in future a Distillation of Spirits within the Colony. From the access, which you have had to the Correspondence, you are aware of the Grounds upon which this measure has been so frequently recommended by the Local Government, and of those reasons which have induced His Majesty's Government hitherto to withhold their Sanction; I need not therefore enter into the details of this Discussion. The main question, now at issue, is whether a Distillation of Spirits in the Colony could be so checked and controlled as to prevent the indiscriminate and unrestrained Dissemination of Ardent Spirits throughout a Population, too much inclined already to an immoderate use of them, and too likely to be excited by the use of them to Acts of Lawless Violence; and to this your enquiry in this particular will be principally directed.

It will not be unimportant for you to enquire into and report upon the actual and Probable Revenues of the Colony, whether they may be looked to hereafter as affording the means of defraying some part of the heavy expenditure annually incurred on account of New South Wales, and whether they are in any and in what cases susceptible of Increase without prejudice to the Prosperity and Welfare of the Settlements.

There is one other point also, which I cannot avoid recommending to your consideration, though I fear there is not much prospect of your being able to reconcile that difference of opinion which has prevailed in the Colony. I allude to the Propriety of admitting into Society Persons, who originally came to the Settlement as Convicts. The Opinion, entertained by the Governor and sanctioned by The Prince Regent, has certainly been with some few exceptions, in favor of their reception at the expiration of their several Sentences upon terms of perfect Equality with the Free Settlers. But I am aware that the Conduct of the Governor in this respect, however approved by the Government at home, has drawn down upon him the Hostility of many persons, who hold association with Convicts under any circumstances to be a degradation. Feelings of this kind are not easily overcome, but I should be unwilling to forego the possibility of reconciling the conflicting opinions on this subject by not adverting to it as a proper question for your consideration.

I forbear to enter into a variety of other minor points of detail, which will necessarily fall under the several Heads of enquiry which I have pointed out to you, because I am confident that no important point will be left unnoticed in the report which you may ultimately furnish, and that you will be as anxious to afford, as His Majesty's Government are to receive, every Information necessary to form an opinion with respect to the Police, the Agriculture, the Commerce, the Revenue, or the State of Society in the Settlements, to which you are about to proceed.

I have, &c.,            
BATHURST.   





NOTES TO ADDENDUM A.


[From: Historical Records of Australia, Volume 10, pp. 805-8.]

{1} {return}

A special Commissioner.

The conclusion of the Napoleonic wars enabled the British government to pay more attention to the development of the colonies. The colony had been established under Governor Phillip purely as a penal settlement. Major Grose and captain Paterson had carried on the administration from the time of Phillip's departure to the arrival of Governor Hunter. During this period certain individuals, chiefly of the military party, commenced to acquire wealth. Hunter in his government was confronted with a new problem in the birth of vested interests. The clash of these interests with the idea of a penal settlement and the misrepresentations that were made to England caused Hunter's recall. He was succeeded by Governor King, who met with a similar fate, to be in turn succeeded by Governor Bligh. By this time, the party which had caused the unrest had become stronger, and Bligh's government, therefore, terminated in his deposition. Governor Macquarie was sent to reorganise the colony. He attempted to elaborate the idea of a penal settlement. He discouraged the immigration of free settlers. He adopted his policy for the encouragement of emancipists; but this policy assisted in the removal of some of the terrors of transportation. At the same time, the settlers, who had adopted the colony as their home, agitated for various reforms, and adverse representations were made against Macquarie's administration. It is probable that the colonial office was in a quandary as to the merits and demerits of the colony as a penal settlement, of the agitations for reform, and of the principles of Macquarie's administration, and that for this reason the appointment of a commissioner of enquiry was made.


{2} {return}

Mr. John Thomas Bigge.

John Thomas Bigge was the second son of Thomas Charles Bigge, of Long Benton, Northumberland, and was born in the year 1780. He was educated at Newcastle Grammar school, Westminster school, and Christ Church, Oxford. He graduated B.A. in 1801 and M.A. in 1804, and two years later was admitted a barrister of the Inner Temple. After some practice at the bar, he was appointed, in 1815, chief justice and judge of the vice-admiralty court at Trinidad. He had thus acquired some colonial experience before his appointment to the commission of inquiry into the state of New South Wales. His report caused much bitterness in the colony, and he was publicly accused even of causing Macquarie's early death. Shortly after his return to England from this inquiry, he was given a similar commission to inquire into the state of Cape Colony, where he did excellent work in exposing the corruption amongst the officials employed there. This mission lasted for several years; during that time his leg was injured by a fall from a horse, and for two years he was under the treatment of a quack, who turned out to be a female. He died in the year 1843.


{3} {return}

It was an object here of peculiar Apprehension.

In the year 1718 a statute, 4 Geo. I, c. II, was passed, which authorised transportation, and established the machinery for carrying it into effect. It provided that this punishment should be substituted for branding and whipping, and that, in cases of death sentences, the King might commute the punishment to transportation for life or a fixed period to some part of the American colonies. It was further provided that prisoners so sentenced should be conveyed, transferred and made over "to the use of any persons contracting for their transportation, to them and their assigns", for the term of their sentence. The convicts thus became the property of the contractors, upon whom no restrictions were placed as to the manner of dealing with such property. The contractors, who were usually shipowners, sold the convicts as virtual slaves to the highest bidder, as soon as they were landed in the American colonies. The colonial masters of convicts made them work in the fields together with the black slaves, and they were equally punished with the lash for idleness and disobedience. The horrors of such a system naturally created a dread of transportation.

By an order in council, dated 6th December, 1786, this system was made applicable to the territory of New South Wales. But the practice of selling the convicts on arrival at the place of transportation was never adopted. In its stead, a ship was chartered, the convicts were assigned to the owners or master, who at the time of assignation agreed for a nominal sum to re-transfer the services of the convicts to the governor or lieutenant-governor at the port of debarkation. Whilst the colony was in its infancy, and reports were received in England of hardships endured, of subsisting on reduced rations, and being clothed in rags, the thought of transportation to Botany bay, as the settlements were commonly known, was dreaded, and acted as a deterrent to crime. But when stories of prosperity, and of wealth rapidly acquired by convicts and ex-convicts, reached England, the dread rapidly disappeared. The attempt to revive this fear was the cause of the rigorous systems adopted at Norfolk island, at Port Arthur and Macquarie harbour, Tasmania, and Port Macquarie, N.S.W.


{4} {return}

My Letter to Lord Sidmouth.

The letter to Lord Sidmouth was dated "Downing Street, 23rd April, 1817", and was as follows:—

"My Lord,

"I have for some time past had under consideration the present State of the Settlements in New South Wales, principally with a view of satisfying myself whether they are now calculated to answer the object, for which they were originally established, or whether it might not be expedient to introduce some alteration in the existing system.

"Until a recent period the Transportation of Offenders to New South Wales appears to have answered in a very great degree the ends, for the Attainment of which it was adopted. The many instances of persons returning from Transportation and becoming afterwards useful Members of Society here, and the far more numerous Cases in which Convicts, after the expiration of their Sentences, became industrious Settlers in the Colony, are sufficient to prove the Efficacy of the System in its Infancy, as far at least as regarded the Improvement and Reform of the Offenders. So long as the Colony was principally inhabited by Convicts and but little advanced in Cultivation, the strictness of the Police Regulations, and the Constant Labour under due restriction, to which it was then possible to subject the Convicts, rendered Transportation as a punishment an object of the greatest Apprehension to those who looked upon strict Discipline and Regular Labour as the most severe and the least tolerable of Evils.

"It was not long however before the Settlements were found to hold out to many Individuals inducements to become cultivators, and thirty Years' experience of the Climate and Fertility of the Soil has for some time past rendered a permission to settle in New South Wales an object of anxious solicitude to all, who were desirous of leaving their Native Country and had capital to apply to the Improvement of Land. This System together with the Number of Convicts, who after the Expiration of their Sentences remain with their respective Families growing up under them, has so increased the population of Free Settlers that the prosperity of the Settlement as a Colony has proportionably advanced, and hopes may reasonably be entertained of its becoming perhaps at no distant period a valuable possession of the Crown. It is this very circumstance which appears to me to render it less fit for the object of its original Institution. The Settlers feel a Repugnance to submit to the Enforcement of regulations which, necessarily partaking much of the Nature of the Rules applicable to a Penitentiary, interfere materially with the exercise of those rights which they enjoyed in this Country, and to which as British Subjects they conceive themselves entitled in every part of His Majesty's Dominions. The greatest Objection however to the present system arises from a cause over which Regulations in the Settlement will not have any immediate Control. During latter Years, the Number of Convicts annually transported has increased beyond all Calculation, as will appear by a Reference to the enclosed Return; and I am apprehensive that Your Lordship will not be able to hold out any expectation that the Crimes to be punished by Transportation will diminish in Magnitude or Frequency, or that the Numbers to be transported will in this or indeed in succeeding Years be less considerable. This continued Influx must annually increase the Difficulty, which has long began to be experienced of enforcing on the Convicts such a strict Discipline, both as to Labour and Deportment, as is essentially necessary to make Transportation answer the purpose either of Punishment or Reform. The Difficulty of finding Regular Employment for them has been such that it has been the practice of Late Years to grant Tickets of Leave, almost without exception, to those who had any prospect of obtaining a Livelihood by their own exertions, and also to place a greater proportion as Servants in the Families of Free Settlers. In the former Case, the Convicts could be subjected to little more than a nominal Restraint; and, in the latter, it is obvious that with less regular Labour they must enjoy a freedom inconsistent with the Object proposed in transporting them. Another Evil resulting from the increased Number is the great Difficulty of subjecting any of the Convicts to constant Superintendance either during the Hours of work or Relaxation; and the necessity of leaving to a large proportion of them the care of providing themselves with their own Lodging during the night from the inadequacy of Public Buildings, allotted to their Reception, forms one of the most formidable objections to the present system. These Evils, and more especially the Last, have been recently brought under my Consideration by various persons, and also by the Governor, who has coupled his Representations with a Recommendation that Buildings should be erected for the reception of all the Convicts; but the heavy expence of such a Work, if it be intended that the New Buildings should encrease with the encreasing Number of persons to be lodged in them, has induced me to decline my sanction to this Recommendation except to a very limited Extent. I am not however the less sensible of the Evil, nor can I conceal from myself that Transportation to New South Wales is becoming neither an object of Apprehension here nor the means of Reformation in the Settlement itself, and that the Settlement must be either placed upon a footing that shall render it possible to enforce, with respect to all the Convicts, strict Discipline, Regular Labour, and constant Superintendance, or the System of unlimited Transportation to New South Wales must be abandoned. I do not feel at present prepared to decide upon the Alternative, which it may be expedient to recommend; but, thinking it necessary as a preliminary to such a Decision that the actual State of the Settlements in New South Wales should be distinctly ascertained and that Information should without Delay be procured both as to the Means, by which it is practicable to remedy the existing Evils, and as to the Charge, which such an undertaking might bring upon the public, I propose (should it meet with Your Lordship's Concurrence) to recommend to His Royal Highness The Prince Regent the appointment of Commissioners, who shall forthwith proceed to the Settlements, with full power to investigate all the Complaints which have been made both with respect to the Treatment of the Convicts and the General Administration of the Government, and to report to His Royal Highness The Improvements and Alterations of which the present System appears to them to be susceptible, and the Charge which their Adoption may bring upon the Public.

"I have, &c.,            
"BATHURST."   


[Enclosure.]

"NUMBER of Convicts sent to New South Wales from England between January, 1810, and January, 1817, distinguishing the Number in each.

   Males    Females
1810  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 200 120
1811  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 400 99
1812  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 400 127
1813  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 500 119
1814  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 800 232
1815  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 880 101
1816  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 998 101
——— ——
Total   4,178 899

"N.B.—The above is exclusive of Convicts sent from Ireland, which within the Seven Years have amounted to about 1,400 Male and Female."



[END OF ADDENDUM.]


THE END

This site is full of FREE ebooks - Project Gutenberg Australia