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Title: The Colonization of Australia (1829-42): The Wakefield Experiment in Empire Building.
Author: Richard Charles Mills.
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STUDIES IN ECONOMICS AND POLITICAL SCIENCE.
Edited by HON. W. PEMBER REEVES,
Director of the London School of Economics and Political Science.

No. 44 in the Series of Monographs by Writers connected
with the London School of Economics and Political Science.






THE COLONIZATION OF AUSTRALIA












THE COLONIZATION
OF AUSTRALIA (1829-42)

THE WAKEFIELD EXPERIMENT
IN EMPIRE BUILDING


BY

RICHARD CHARLES MILLS

LL.M. (MELBOURNE), D.SC. ECONOMICS (LONDON)




WITH AN INTRODUCTION BY

GRAHAM WALLAS, M.A.,

Professor of Political Science in the
University of London.





LONDON:
SIDGWICK & JACKSON LTD.
3, ADAM STREET, ADELPHI, W.C.
1915






Thesis approved for the Degree
of Doctor of Science (Economics)
in the University of London
.






{Page vii}

AUTHOR'S PREFACE

A brief piece of autobiography will best serve to explain the purpose of this book. In October, 1912, as a research student at the London School of Economics, I began to study the introduction, in 1855, of responsible government into Australia. Very soon, however, I discovered that this change had been made possible only by a movement for colonial reform which had begun as early as 1829. I then began to examine the work of that extremely able group of men who had then developed theories of colonization, with special reference to Australia, and had succeeded in putting into practice, though imperfectly, many of their theories, of which responsible government for colonies was one. The leader of this group was Edward Gibbon Wakefield, whose name is familiar to every student of land settlement in Australia. On examining the great mass of literature, expository and controversial, which surrounds his theory, I could find no book which seemed to do justice to Wakefield's achievements in colonization and colonial policy. Much of what has been written is polemical in character, and many of the works contemporary with Wakefield are spoilt by an obvious bias for or against him. Writings which were not guilty of these defects were for other reasons inadequate. Herman Merivale's account in his Lectures on Colonization and the Colonies, is a fair, critical examination of the Wakefield theory, but at the time when he first wrote, 1839-41, much of the data for a complete survey of the theory was wanting. Professor Egerton, in his Short History of British Colonial Policy, has shown Wakefield's place in the development of colonial policy, and Mr. W. P. Reeves, in his State Experiments in Australia and New Zealand, has criticized the Wakefield system from the colonial point of view. Both of these writers, however, have necessarily been limited by considerations of space. Dr. Garnett's Life of Wakefield, while giving an interesting picture of Wakefield himself, pays too little attention to his doctrines, and does not appreciate the significance of the central one, namely, the necessity of imposing a "sufficient price" on colonial waste land. Both this book and M. André Siegfried's essay, "Edward Gibbon Wakefield, et sa doctrine de la colonization systématique," make little use of the voluminous material contained in the Colonial Office papers in the Public Record Office. Nor could I find anywhere a proper appreciation of the fact that the Wakefield theory had a definite political as well as a social and economic side. Indeed, this was the only permanent part of the Wakefield system, for it was especially in the direction of responsible government for colonies that Wakefield and his followers achieved lasting results. Consequently I determined to give an account of the Wakefield system of colonization in theory and practice, and especially in its effect upon Australian colonization. Wakefield's influence extended beyond 1842, the date at which this book ends; but even a research student has to stop somewhere, and I chose 1842 as it seemed to me that in the Australian Waste Lands Act of that year the Wakefield system on its economic side most nearly approached complete realization in Australia. To stop here meant practically to exclude his interesting experiments in colonizing New Zealand; but these have been described and criticized more often than the corresponding experiments on the mainland of Australia.

I make no apology for the inclusion of many footnotes and detailed references. These may be skipped by the ordinary reader, if there be any; but experience has convinced me that to a student the value of a piece of original research often lies as much in a writer's references as in his conclusions.

I am very glad to acknowledge my great obligations to Professor Graham Wallas, who supervised my work from its inception. To him is due the suggestion that I should examine the work of this group of "systematic colonizers." I have to thank him for his constant encouragement, and for his unsparing criticism and advice, without which this book would not have been written.

I have also to thank my friend, Mr. J. Drummond Smith, M.A. (Aberdeen), of the London School of Economics, who found time to read my book in manuscript, and to assist me in reading the proofs.

The generous assistance of the Rhodes' Trustees has made possible the publication of my book at the present time.

As a visitor to this country I think it only right to record my appreciation of the courteous treatment which I have uniformly received from officials in the various libraries which I have had occasion to use, especially those of the British Museum, the Public Record Office, the Colonial Office, the Royal Colonial Institute, and the British Library of Political Science at the London School of Economics.

Mr. Kenneth Cotton, of the British Library of Political Science, has prepared the index to this book.

R. C. Mills.   






CONTENTS


AUTHOR'S PREFACE


INTRODUCTION


Chapter I

THE BRITISH COLONIES IN 1830


Chapter II

WILMOT HORTON AND PAUPER LOCATION IN CANADA


Chapter III

THE FOUNDING OF THE SWAN RIVER COLONY


Chapter IV

EDWARD GIBBON WAKEFIELD


Chapter V

THE WAKEFIELD THEORY OF COLONIZATION


Chapter VI

THE NATIONAL COLONIZATION SOCIETY


Chapter VII

EARLY EXPERIMENTS IN SYSTEMATIC COLONIZATION, 1829-37


Chapter VIII

THE NEW BRITISH PROVINCE OF SOUTH AUSTRALIA


Chapter IX

WAKEFIELD AND THE DURHAM REPORT


Chapter X

LATER EXPERIMENTS IN SYSTEMATIC COLONIZATION, 1837-42


Chapter XI

CONCLUSION



SELECT BIBLIOGRAPHY


INDEX





{Page xiii}

INTRODUCTION

A good book serves many purposes. This book, for instance, gives the first adequate account—from hitherto unpublished sources—of fourteen all-important years in Australian history, and the first adequate analysis of Edward Gibbon Wakefield's work. But it also provides the student of political science (and from that point of view I shall now consider it) with an admirable example of the part which may be played in the development of human institutions by conscious political thought.

Sir John Seeley, writing in 1883, told us that the English nation had "conquered and peopled half the world in a fit of absence of mind." If that had been true, if the settlement of Australia and New Zealand had been directed by nothing except the desire of individual pioneers to make money, or of routine officials to evade difficulties, Australasian history during the nineteenth century would have been a tragedy of wasted opportunity. The period of British convict labour would have been followed by waves of coolie labour, Indian, Chinese, and Papuan. Absentee capitalists from every industrial nation would have scrambled for careless or corrupt grants of land and mining rights, and would have exploited the sheep farms and townsites of Australia, or the forests of New Zealand, as they now exploit the rubber-trade of Borneo or the Congo. Even if Great Britain had retained sovereignty over the whole territory, she would not have granted rights of self-government to a population so gathered. No Australasian "Monroe Doctrine" would have been strong enough to prevent the constant interference, official or unofficial, of the other Powers in the interest of their own concessionaires; and a series of intrigues and risings would have followed, as barren of good result as are the civil wars of Central and South America.

Writing, as I am, in July, 1915, I do not claim that the world system which was developed during the nineteenth century has been conspicuously successful in ensuring human progress and happiness; but I am at least sure that Australia and New Zealand have made a better start in social organization than Cuba or Paraguay, and that they owe that better start largely to the fact that Wakefield and his followers forced the British Government in the critical years of 1830 to 1845 to awake from its absence of mind.

Wakefield was, of course, not the first man to think or write on British colonization, and those who wish to understand what were the qualities in his work which enabled him to serve so effectually the Empire and mankind should begin by comparing, say, his Letter from Sydney (1829) with anything which had appeared on the subject during the preceding twenty years.

I have just re-read James Mill's well-known article on Colonies in the Supplement to the Encyclopædia Britannica (1818-1824). The article is still good reading, if only for its hard Scotch logic and Scotch contempt for English mental slackness—as when Mill says, "Parliament, we have pretty good experience, cannot make things by affirming them. Things are a little more stubborn than the credulity of Englishmen." His summary of Adam Smith's arguments against monopoly, and of the Commons Committee Report on Transportation, could hardly be better done, and his references to "the superstitions of the nursery" about Malthusianism, or to the policy of the "Ruling Few" in England, show us the utilitarian philosophy not grown respectable, but young and fierce.

And yet the most conscientious statesman who should have read Mill's article in the hope of learning how to make a good colony, would have received no help whatever from it. If we exclude India, which he doubtfully brings under his definition, Mill is simply not interested in any colony, present or future. Facts like transportation and monopoly are criticized solely from their effect on the mother country, and the final section headed "Tendency of colonial possessions to produce or prolong bad government" refers solely to home politics, and never hints that it may be important whether the governments of the colonies themselves are good or bad.

A less obvious defect in the article is its abstractedness. Colonists are divided into "delinquents" and the rest, and are thenceforward thought of as "population," consisting of so many identical integers in a simple arithmetical argument. "Territory," "capital," and "labour," are equally abstract.

Mill was already a respected philosopher when he wrote his article. Wakefield, when he wrote his Letter from Sydney, was in Newgate, where after an idle and unsatisfactory youth he was serving a sentence of three years for abduction. One feels, however, that Wakefield wrote under incomparably better intellectual conditions than Mill. Newgate in the early nineteenth century was not, according to our present ideas, a well-managed prison; but it did not condemn men of original genius, as modern prison discipline does, to the daily sterilizing fatigue of useless manual labour. Wakefield wrote, not to make money, but under the sting of personal shame and thwarted ambition. He thought, not of abstract "colonies," and abstract "populations," but of the place where he would probably make his home, and the men and women and children who would be his shipmates and neighbours. He sees with extraordinary vividness the population of Sydney as he supposes it to be. The convicts are his fellow prisoners in Newgate, with their calculated endurance and dumb cunning; the "remittance men," as we should now call them, are the corresponding class with whom he had lived in Florence or Boulogne. The future emigrants whom he hopes for are neither units of abstract "population" nor the results of Mr. Wilmot-Horton's "pauper-shovelling." He gives half a rapid page to a list of the specialized types who go to make up the English middle class, ending with "lawyers, clergymen, singers, milliners, and other female artists; and, at least, one good Political Economist at each settlement to prevent us from devising an Australian Tariff" (p. 187). Above all he thinks of British colonial policy in the light, not merely of its reaction on home politics, but also of its effect on the colonies themselves. His system, he argues, "would tend more than anything else to preserve an intimate connection between the colony and the mother country," for the reason that "the mother country and the colony would become partners in a new trade—the creation of happy human beings." (p. 196).

Even after Wakefield, on his release from prison, became, not a colonist, but a life-long organizer of colonization, his thinking always retained this concrete quality. In his Art of Colonization (1849), for instance, he says: "In colonization women have a part so important that all depends on their participation in the work . . . the women's participation must begin with a man's first thought about emigration, and must extend to nearly all the arrangements he has to make, and the things he has to do, from the moment of contemplating departure from the family home, till the domestic party shall be comfortably housed in the new country . . . You may make a colony agreeable to men and not to women; you cannot make it agreeable to women without being agreeable to men" (p. 155).

Mr. Richard Mills brings forward evidence (p. 136-139) to show that Wakefield borrowed more of the details of his theory than has hitherto been recognized from Robert Gourlay. But Wakefield understood as Gourlay never did the "public duty" which, as Burke said, "requires that what is right, should not only be made known, but made prevalent." To convert a promising member of Parliament, to coach a witness before a Committee, to write or inspire an effective pamphlet, was to him an inseparable part of the same "mental strife" as the invention or adaptation of a system of land-sales or responsible government. He created not thought only, but, like an old Greek philosopher, a school of thinkers and statesmen. He and his friends hoped because they believed they knew; and their pursuit of further knowledge was, in turn, the result of their hope.

But Wakefield's career shows that success in political construction requires not only the co-operation, but the free conflict of many minds and wills. The factors in any political problem are so enormously complex that no single man can either realize them all before action, or hope to introduce of his own motion all even of the most essential modifications of his schemes during action. "The subtlety of nature," said Bacon, "is many times greater than the subtlety of the human senses and the human mind." Without a deliberately constructed plan of campaign no general can expect to win; but the best plan of campaign, before it leads to victory, will have to be modified, not by its author only, but by the irritating criticism of the "man on the spot," or the resistance of the enemy. I know nothing in the intellectual history of politics which illustrates this better than the account which Mr. Mills gives of the conflict between Sir George Gipps and the Wakefield theory in 1838-1841 (pp. 290-298). Land sale at a fixed price had by that time become in Wakefield's mind an essential part of his scheme. Gipps forced the Home Government to allow him to sell land in New South Wales by auction; and we can now see that if he had not done so, the whole Wakefield scheme would have collapsed. Gipps was an able Colonial Governor, who compelled the Colonial Office to give way to him and thereby saved the essentials of a scheme which he modified in detail. In another and even more important case the opposition of the colonists themselves, made effective by Wakefield's own plan of colonial self-government, prevented the destruction of Wakefield's hopes by an influx of Asiatic and Polynesian indentured labour. In his Letter from Sydney, Wakefield tolerated convict labour, and argued (p. 204), that "the Chinese are well disposed to emigrate, and that it would be hardly possible to select a more useful description of labour." He afterwards became a convinced opponent of convict labour, but as late as 1852 he urged the importation of indentured Chinese labour (Mills, p. 300, note 2). It was the Australian assemblies and the colonial ministries which the assemblies soon came to control that abolished transportation and prevented Eastern indentured labour; and it was to Wakefield more than to any other single man that colonial self-government owed its existence.

A general, with the roar of cheering crowds in his ears forgets how different what was done proved to be from his original painfully thought-out plan. But political campaigns never come to an end, and political victories are not easy to distinguish from defeats. Wakefield had not only one of the most original, but one of the most elastic and teachable intellects of his time, and there are few political inventors to whom historians would ascribe so large a measure of practical success; and yet when he died in 1862 he must still have felt, as indeed he constantly complained throughout his political life, that his theory had never had "a fair trial," that it had never been really understood, and that no attempt had been made to put it completely into operation. It is we who can see now that a "fair" and "complete" trial of the Wakefield theory would have been fatal both to the theory itself and to Australasian prosperity.

If the British Empire, for which Wakefield toiled, and in which he so resolutely believed, is to survive and play its part in the evolution of a community of nations guided by some higher purpose than that of internecine warfare, a body of organized thought more concrete, more penetrating, more patient even that that of Wakefield and his faithful disciples will be required. That thought must go on in human brains, having their bodily habitation neither at the centre of the Empire only, nor only at its circumference. It must be the work neither of practical statesmen only nor only of theorists, not of a group of friends only, but also of sincere opponents. The question whether enough of such thought can be created to secure in the twentieth century that measure of slow and partial success which history allows us to hope for in the organization of human society is of vital importance to the whole fabric of civilization. Its creation will need many improvements in political machinery, and perhaps the growth of a more serious and responsible press than now exists. But, sometimes, when Mr. Mills brought me, during the early dark days of the war, the final chapters of this book for criticism, I wondered whether an important contribution to that work might not come from an improved organization of the Universities of Greater Britain, and perhaps also of their relation to those of America. The Universities of Europe, when they finally abandoned Latin as the spoken language of learning, gained much from introducing into the lecture-room the speech of ordinary life, but lost much by the difficulty of exchanging ideas across the boundaries of states. To-day the English-speaking Universities are sometimes controlled by literary and philosophical traditions less free and penetrating than those which have grown up in the continent of Europe, and their organization of sub-divided research is often far less thorough. But for the purposes of political science they possess the all-important advantages that they use one language, and draw their intellectual traditions from societies which, with all their variation of type, possess the common factor of a love and understanding of political freedom. The wandering student of the theory of the State, whether he intends to be teacher, or statesman, or official, or writer, or each in turn, can now cross the seven seas as his continental predecessors five hundred years ago crossed the Alpine passes; and in any University in which the English tongue is spoken he will find opportunities for informal intercourse and good-tempered controversy. All that is wanted for the growth of a great school of political analysis and invention is that the Universities themselves should be more conscious of each others' existence, and more ready to organize their joint efforts in a task which no one of them can perform unaided.

Graham Wallas.   

The University of London,
London, S.W.





{Page 1}

THE COLONIZATION
OF AUSTRALIA


Chapter I

THE BRITISH COLONIES IN 1830

In 1830 the colonies of Great Britain consisted of some thirty [1] possessions, differing widely in soil and climate, and containing communities varying in race and language, in origin and in character.

There were remnants of the old colonial empire, which was dismembered at the humiliating peace of 1783, such as Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. There were later acquisitions by conquest like the Cape of Good Hope, or by settlement like the Swan River colony. Some were mere spots on the globe, held as military outposts, such as Gibraltar, or as trading stations, like Cape Coast Castle. Some like Grenada were small islands, and others like New South Wales were coastal settlements on huge, almost uninhabited continents.

The name "colony" was given alike to Ceylon, where a few traders were scattered amongst a large alien population, and to Jamaica, where a small body of planters maintained themselves amidst a large army of slaves. Even India was at times included amongst the colonies, [2] although not officially recognized as a colony by the Colonial Office. [3]

Geographically, the colonies fell into six main groups—North America, West Indies (including some settlements in South America), Africa, Australasia, East Indies, and Europe.

NORTH AMERICAN COLONIES. [4]

Canada proper, i.e., Canada as distinguished from the maritime provinces, had been divided in 1791 [5] into two provinces, Upper and Lower Canada—the former mainly English in character, the latter mainly French. [6] The Upper Province was peopled by American loyalists or their descendants, and by British immigrants.

The Lower Province was peopled mainly by French Canadians, but the presence of a large minority [7] of British settlers made it at the moment the theatre of a racial struggle.

Of the other North American colonies, Newfoundland was treated as a mere fishing station, and settlement there was discouraged. [8]

WEST INDIAN COLONIES. [9]

The chief industry of these islands was the production of sugar. Their prosperity had been built upon the two pillars of slave labour and monopoly of the English sugar market, each of which was now dangerously insecure. The English evangelicals who had in 1807 abolished the slave trade to English colonies made no secret of the fact that the abolition of colonial slavery was their next aim [10] and they were within measurable distance of success. In addition, the discredit into which the mercantile system had fallen seriously threatened the sugar monopoly.

One advantage possessed by this group was that, in the unreformed Parliament, the sugar planters were a well-recognized interest, capable of urging the colonial point of view on English legislators. [11] Their views on slavery, monopoly, and sugar duties were ably voiced in Parliament. The Marquis of Chandos, for example, when asking in the House of Commons in 1830 for a reduction of the sugar duties, called "on all those gentlemen who had obtained seats in that House through West India property—and he knew that there were many—to assist him in relieving that interest." [12]


AFRICAN COLONIES

In Africa [13] the Cape of Good Hope was the chief colony, occupying an important commercial and strategic position as a post of call on the way to India. At the Cape there was a double racial problem—friction between the Dutch and the English, and conflict between white and black, complicated by native slavery. [14]

Of the other African colonies, Mauritius was a sugar colony taken from France, Cape Coast Castle a trading station, governed by merchants, under the control of the Home Government [15] and Sierra Leone, a philanthropic but unsuccessful attempt at colonization by free African labour. [16]


AUSTRALIAN COLONIES

In the Australasian group [17] there were two colonies which had been founded at the end of the eighteenth century on entirely novel principles—New South Wales (1788) and Van Diemen's land (1803), "our pickpocket colonies," [18] receiving annually from Great Britain an increment of criminals. [19]

It was not that transportation of convicts to other colonies was unknown—few of the early American colonies were free from the reproach; [20] but never before had England in the "heroical work" of planting, used so extensively this "shameful and unblessed" [21] means. Convicts had provided labour before, but had never actually founded colonies. Even this system of convict colonization had been unable to keep out free settlers, and as early as 1819 in New South Wales, and 1825 in Van Diemen's Land, the bond were outnumbered by the free. [22] John Macarthur, ex-army officer, farmer, and importer of merino sheep, had demonstrated the suitability of Australia for wool-growing; and this was the lure which overcame the emigrant's repugnance [23] to association with convicts and ex-convicts.

Swan River was a very new colony, founded on the West Coast of Australia in 1829, by Act of Parliament and Colonial Office regulations, partly for fear that the French might found a colony there, [24] and partly as an experiment in free settlement. [25]


EAST INDIAN COLONIES [26]

In the East Indies Ceylon alone was recognized by the Colonial Office as a colony. [27] India was under the control of the East India Company, as also were Singapore, Malacca, and Penang. [28] Singapore had been founded by Sir Stamford Raffles in 1819, [29] and had become almost immediately an important trading station. [30] Since the Treaty of Amiens, in 1802, Ceylon had been incorporated in the British dominions and governed directly from England. [31] By 1830 rebellion had been put down there, and the colony reduced to order. [32]


EUROPEAN COLONIES

In Europe, the chief British possessions were Heligoland, Gibraltar, and Malta, of which the latter were military posts under military rule [33] and hardly to be classed as colonies in any real sense.

While to the Colonial Office the units of these groups were all colonies, and subject to the same policy, their governments differed in principle and in detail.

There were two main classes of colonies. In the first were those in which the "old colonial polity" [34] of governor, council, and assembly, was established with local variation in detail. The governor was appointed by the Crown, the legislative council nominated by the governor, and the assembly elected by the people. [35] Legislative power was vested in governor, council, and assembly, but executive power remained solely in the hands of the governor, who was assisted by an executive council of his own choosing, and responsible alone to him.

In this class were most of the West Indian colonies, and all the North American, except Newfoundland. [36]

In the second class, consisting of what would now be called Crown colonies, were the remaining possessions. They had no representative institutions; both legislative and executive powers were exercised by the Crown through the governor whom it appointed, and the council, [37] which he appointed.

Up to the beginning of the nineteenth century, Britain had, in dealing with the colonies, almost invariably followed one consistent line of policy in regard to government. Local legislatures were granted to every colony acquired by cession or by occupation; [38] conquered colonies, on the other hand, were ruled by governors and executive councils appointed by the Crown. From the beginning of the nineteenth century an entirely new line of policy was equally consistently followed. [39] All new colonies, however acquired, were treated as conquered colonies, i.e., they were not granted local legislatures, but were governed as Crown colonies. [40]

It was, indeed, a principle of English law that the Crown had "uncontrolled legislative authority over the conquered or ceded colony." [41] The Crown might, if it chose, govern a conquered colony by means of a governor and a nominee council, or it might grant representative institutions. Once such a grant had been made, however, it could not be recalled except by the Imperial Parliament. [42]

Another principle was that an Englishman, when he settled abroad, carried with him so much of English law as was applicable to his new situation; [43] and that this, in a settlement colony, could be changed only by a representative assembly. [44] It followed from this, that the only constitution which could be granted by the Crown to a settlement colony was one where the lower house was elective. Parliament, therefore, had to be invoked frequently in the nineteenth century to enable the Crown to change the eighteenth century policy, and turn a settlement colony into a Crown colony. This was effected by appointing a governor and nominated council to legislate for the colony without an elective assembly.

In the first class of colony the attempt was made to combine legislative freedom with executive irresponsibility; for, even where the local assemblies had a share in legislation, they had little or no control over the executive. The governor was, as in the Crown colonies, responsible to the Imperial Government alone; and he chose his advisers irrespective of the question whether or not they possessed the confidence of the legislature. This gave unlimited opportunity for friction between the popular legislature and the official executive, which developed into serious struggles, especially in the Canadas. There a further complication arose from the upper houses or legislative councils, which, while they stood in theory, though imperfectly, for the aristocratic principle of the British Constitution, [45] were in practice the mere nominees of the executive, with which they sided in any contest. There, too, at the moment, a long-standing quarrel was in progress between the governor as head of the executive government, and the elective assembly. In Lower Canada the struggle was embittered by racial feeling between French and English, the French majority supporting the assembly, and the English minority on the whole supporting the executive. In both provinces the contest, more violent in Lower than in Upper Canada, was fought out on various grounds, such as the question of the constitution of the legislative councils. Appeals were often made to the Imperial Parliament to redress grievances, and Canadian affairs were becoming a familiar topic of debate in the House of Commons. [46]

From the Crown colonies, where executive and legislative power was in the hands of the Crown or its nominees, there was much less complaint. New South Wales, Newfoundland, and the Cape of Good Hope had, however, recently asked the Home Government for representative institutions. In each case the answer given amounted to a virtual acceptance of the principle that the colony should ultimately receive representative institutions, coupled with a denial of the expediency of granting the request for the present. [47]

While the administration of both classes of colonies was directly controlled by the Imperial Government, in both groups the evils of government from a distance, and an administration out of touch with the people, were increasingly evident.

Since the American Revolution the Crown had governed the colonies with a firmer hand. The tendency of colonial policy in regard to government was towards controlling the domestic concerns of the colonies. [48] Even in the representative group, the Crown's control in executive matters often extended to mere details. [49] The power which this centralized system threw into the hands of the Crown was, at this time, nominally exercised by a Minister responsible to Parliament, but actually by the irresponsible permanent officials of the Colonial Office. The peculiar circumstances of each of a variety of colonies could not easily be grasped by the Secretary of State. [50] He was, therefore, necessarily dependent upon his subordinates, [51] especially after 1827, when there were frequent changes of Secretaries—as many as ten in the next twelve years. [52] Mr. (afterwards Sir James) Stephen was Permanent Counsel to the Colonial Office from 1825 to 1834, when he was appointed Assistant Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies, becoming in 1836 Permanent Under-Secretary. [53] He was a fervent evangelical, and an official of the Church Missionary Society. From his father, James Stephen, the brother-in-law and one of the most active supporters of Wilberforce, and a prominent member of the Clapham Sect, he inherited his passion for the abolition of slavery. Indeed, one of his chief objects in entering the Colonial Office was to help on this cause, for which he worked during the whole of his official life. [54] Another great object which he pursued faithfully was the protection of native races in the colonies from injury by the spread of colonization. He was always a zealous defender of missionary, rather than of colonial interests. [55] Even before 1830 his influence was paramount in the Colonial Office. At a later time his position as a permanent official did not shield him from attack. His name was identified with all the evils of colonial government, and nicknames, "King Stephen," [56] "Mr. Over-Secretary Stephen," [57] "Mr. Mothercountry," [58] were showered upon him. [59] In 1838, when Sir William Molesworth made his grand attack on Glenelg's colonial administration, Stephen feared that he was to come in for a share of the blame. "I am scarcely twenty-four hours off Sir William Molesworth's impeachment," he wrote, "in which I hear from Charles Buller, a great friend of Sir William's, that I am to have a conspicuous share. I am, it seems, at your service, a rapacious, grasping, ambitious Tory. On two unequal crutches propped he came, Glenelg's on this, on that Sir G. Grey's name; and it appears that by the aid of these crutches I have hobbled into a dominion wider than ever Nero possessed, which I exercise like another Domitian." [60]

Molesworth's charges, however, were levied only at Glenelg, whose resignation they caused, and Stephen escaped censure. A violent attack was made on him in 1839 by Sir F. B. Head, the eccentric ex-governor of Upper Canada. He alleged that Stephen's evil influence in the Colonial Office was the cause of the misgovernment of the Canadas, and described him as the incubus stifling Glenelg's measures. [61]

Indeed, the usual cry raised against Stephen was that for many years successive Secretaries of State did no more than reflect his views on colonial questions. [62] He was treated as the evil genius of the colonies, sitting in Downing Street, and perversely frustrating all attempts of the colonists to secure better government. Not only Stephen, but other subordinate officials of the Colonial Office, had the reputation of rulers of the colonies. In 1833 Greville speaks of Henry (afterwards Sir Henry) Taylor as the man "who rules half the West Indies in the Colonial Office, though with an invisible sceptre." [63]

Against all these attacks Stephen declared that he could only vindicate himself by divulging official secrets, a breach of trust of which he declined to be guilty. He also averred that he had abundant means of clearing himself in this way, if he chose to avail himself of them. [64] This being impossible to a permanent official situated as he was, his defence was never made, and the secret history of his influence on colonial policy remained largely a matter of conjecture.

It is difficult to say how much blame is to be attached to the man, and how much to the system. The evidence of his colleague, Henry Taylor, goes to show that his influence in the Colonial Office was overwhelming, though by no means sinister. "James Stephen," he wrote, "under the title of Counsel to the Colonial Department, had, for some years more than any other man, ruled the Colonial Empire." [65] And again, "for more than twenty-five years, during short tenures of strong Secretaries of State, and entire tenures, whether short or not, of some who were not strong, he, more than any other man, virtually governed the Colonial Empire. Not that he was otherwise than profoundly subordinate; but he found the way to bring men to his own conclusions." [66] Taylor, indeed, speaks of his own and Stephen's "usurped functions," of which, he remarks, they were deprived by the accession of a new political chief who reduced them for a while to their "original insignificance." [67] Again Taylor quite frankly admits that, when a mere clerk, he himself forced a measure upon an unwilling Secretary of State. [68]

On the whole it is probable that the permanent officials of this period wielded most of the power in the Colonial Office when they were not checked by a strong political chief. When men like Sir George Murray, or Lord Glenelg, were Secretaries of State for the Colonies, there is no doubt that the subordinates ruled their chiefs. Of the former, Stephen is reported to have said that, up to the end of 1828, he had done nothing, had never written a despatch, "had only once since he has been in office seen Taylor, who has got all the West Indies under his care." [69] Hay, another of his subordinates, said of Murray in 1830, "that for the many years he (Hay) had been in office, he had never met with any public officer so totally inefficient." [70]

Glenelg, too, is with justice reputed to have been the most incompetent and inefficient, as well as the weakest. Secretary of State for the Colonies of all who held office during the nineteenth century, [71] although Stephen would not have subscribed to this opinion. To Stephen, who shared his views on slavery and on the rights of native races, Glenelg was, of the Secretaries of State whom he had served up to 1839, "the most laborious, the most conscientious, and the most enlightened minister of the public." [72]

On the other hand, when men like Lord Stanley, or Lord John Russell, were in power, matters must have been very different. The political chief of the Colonial Office was then the real ruler, and the permanent officials took their proper place as subordinates.

No doubt there was much exaggeration in the attacks made on Stephen, and the suspicion with which he was regarded was often unjust; but the system of control by Downing Street which he represented was open to great objection. In such circumstances colonial policy was apt to change according to whether the Secretary of State was strong enough to take an independent line of his own, or was a mere subordinate of his subordinates. A consistent policy was the last thing the colonists came to expect from Downing Street, and it was difficult for them to know how much attention should be paid to orders and despatches which might soon be revoked. [73] Edward Gibbon Wakefield, later, called the system a central bureaucratic one, "spoiled," in some colonies, "by being grafted on to free institutions." [74] By this he drew attention to the striking fact that in the colonies with the freest institutions there was most complaint and least content.

This "essentially arbitrary government" [75] bore hardly on both classes of colonies, but only in those with representative institutions was there any recognized popular body to give utterance to the general feeling of dissatisfaction. As Charles Buller afterwards put it, "Power without representation is not so great an evil as representation without executive responsibility. It is better to be without a fire, than to have a fire without a chimney." [76]

The inevitable evils of government from a distance were accentuated by the indifferent ability and doubtful character of some of the men sent out to take office in the colonies. [77] When all the executive officers of a colony were appointed by the governor or by the Colonial Office, there was unlimited scope for patronage. [78] It was a source of complaint that men of broken fortunes were sometimes shipped off by their friends to lucrative positions in the colonies. [79] Charles Buller could write as late as 1840 [80] that "the patronage of the Colonial Office is the prey of every hungry department of our Government. On it the Horse Guards quarters its worn-out general officers as governors; the Admiralty cribs its share; and jobs which even Parliamentary rapacity would blush to ask from the Treasury, are perpetrated with impunity."

Daniel O'Connell, in 1837, told Mr. Ruthven, one of his former supporters, that "he stood convicted of crimes . . . of the most disgraceful nature"; that his misconduct had rendered him "totally unworthy of confidence as a public man"; that "it would be vain to expect that the Government could possibly do anything for him in Ireland, where his conduct was known"; but, that, if he would cease to contest Kildare, O'Connell "would try whether something might not be done for him in some of the colonies." [81]

Gibbon Wakefield tells of "colonial judges deeply in debt, and alone saved by the privilege of their station from being taken to jail by the officers of their court." [82]

In Lower Canada a receiver-general became insolvent for £96,000 of the public money. [83] There also a judge continued to dispense justice although he was proved to be an habitual drunkard, and even to have been drunk while on the bench. [84]

Even governors were not always above reproach. Wakefield writes [85] of "governors landing in secret, and getting hastily sworn into office in a corner, for the purpose of hindering officers of the sheriff from executing a writ of arrest against his excellency." Colonial governorships were regarded as suitable rewards for service in the Army or the Navy. [86] In Canada it was not until 1835 that the first civilian governor was appointed. [87] Of the first five governors of New South Wales, four were naval officers; one of them, Macquarie, was at constant feud with his subordinates; another, Bligh, was actually deposed by his own officers for his misconduct. [88] Sometimes these governors discovered unsuspected capacities for governing, and were both popular and successful, but training at "the mess table of a regiment, or the quarter-deck of a frigate," [89] more often unfitted them from dealing with free colonists. [90]

This then, in 1830, was the colonial system, or rather lack of system, satirized by Disraeli two years before, in his Voyage of Captain Popanilla. In that entertaining story the private secretary one day discovers an uninhabited island, which produces nothing, but is merely a bare rock. Its fortification is immediately ordered, regardless of expense. A president of council, a bishop, and a complete court of judicature are provided. An agent is appointed for "the indemnification claims of the original inhabitants." "Upon what system," inquired Popanilla, "does your Government surround a small rock in the middle of the sea with fortifications, and cram it full of clerks, soldiers, lawyers, and priests?" "Why, really, your Excellency," replied his guide, "I am the last man in the world to answer questions, but I believe we call it the colonial system." [91]

The total population of the colonies recognized by the Colonial Office was roughly 3,100,000, [92] of whom about 1,200,000 were whites, 1,050,000 free blacks, and 850,000 slaves. [93] Convicts in New South Wales and Van Diemen's Land numbered about 25,000. [94]

The annual cost of their civil government was about £2,360,000, of which four-fifths was borne by the colonies, and one-fifth by Great Britain. [95]

Their military establishments cost about £2,200,000 annually, of which one-fifth was borne by the colonies and four-fifths by Great Britain. [96]

About this time complaints were being made in Parliament of the cost of colonial establishments, but some of these complaints were hardly fair to the colonies, who were not altogether to blame for the expense of their military establishments. Especially was this so since it was the Duke of Wellington's deliberate policy to hide away in distant colonies, in small detachments, as much of the Army as he conveniently could, in order to prevent complaints as to its size and cost. [97] The whole position of the colonies was being seriously threatened by the agitation for public economy which Joseph Hume, as the mouthpiece of the Benthamite group, had for some years carried on. [98]

Current English opinion on colonies and colonization during the first third of the nineteenth century was dominated by two outstanding events—the publication of Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations in 1776, and the American Revolution of 1776-83. When Adam Smith wrote, the official colonial policy was the mercantile system, whose aim was to weld mother-country and colony into "a self-sufficient economic unit." [99] Both were called upon to make sacrifices to this end, though the mother-country was undoubtedly favoured. [100] Hence had arisen restrictions on the trade of both, the monopoly of the colonial trade, the view that it was commercially advantageous to the mother-country to establish and maintain colonies, and that this commercial advantage could only be secured by political dominion. Adam Smith's doctrine of the evil of colonial monopoly struck a decisive blow at this system, and his conclusions were considered to be verified subsequently by the result to British trade of the separation of the American colonies. [101] He drew a clear distinction between colonial trade and colonial monopoly, insisting on the advantage of the one and the evil of the other. "We must carefully distinguish," he wrote, "between the effects of the colony trade and those of the monopoly of that trade. The former are always and necessarily beneficial; the latter always and necessarily hurtful." [102] He condemned the monopoly as injurious both to mother-country and to colony, and concluded that "colony trade . . . is advantageous to Great Britain. . . not by means of the monopoly, but in spite of the monopoly." [103] In considering the value of the political relation between mother-country and colony, he argued that "Great Britain derives nothing but loss from the dominion which she assumes over her colonies." [104] Peaceful separation, though he did not expect that it would ever be realized, [105] would, he suggested, free Great Britain from a large expense, and bring about an advantageous free trade with the colonies. [106]

The new and vigorous school of political economists, who wrote in Great Britain during the decade following the Battle of Waterloo, used the Wealth of Nations, with more or less adaptation and interpretation as the basis of their science. Colonies were generally anathematized by them as part of that mercantile system which Adam Smith had taught them to abhor. The economists, indeed, were sometimes tempted to overlook his distinction between colonial trade and monopoly, and impartially to condemn both. [107] At times they went further than their master in attacking, not only the supposed advantage of colonial monopoly, but also the value of any political connection between colony and mother-country. [108] "The monopoly of the colony trade," wrote J. R. McCulloch, in 1825, "instead of enriching, has really tended to impoverish the nations who have established colonies." [109] They taught that separation was the true colonial policy, and constantly cited the American Revolution as a conclusive proof. "Has the emancipation of the colonies," wrote McCulloch, "been in the slightest degree prejudicial to our wealth, commerce, or industry? The reverse, as everyone knows, is decidedly the fact." [110] In their eyes the possession of colonies under a policy of trade restriction not only conferred no advantage [111] on the mother-country, but was a source of injury because they caused expense and were likely to lead to wars with foreign powers. [112] "We defy anyone," wrote McCulloch, "to point out a single benefit, of any sort whatever, derived by us from the possession of Canada, and our other colonies in North America. They are productive of heavy expense to Great Britain, but of nothing else." Colonies "have the farther disadvantage of multiplying the chances of misunderstanding and contests with foreign powers, and of making a vast addition to the expense of war." [113] The only really profitable advantage which could be gained by the mother-country from the possession of colonies was that of commerce, which would remain, and even, as the history of the United States showed, increase when the colony became independent. [114] The economists, therefore, called upon the mother-country to abandon the colonies peacefully before the colonists took the initiative and separated on hostile terms. [115]

The influence of the followers of Bentham, led by James Mill, was thrown into the same scale. In 1792 Bentham urged on the French the necessity of setting their colonies free, [116] and the same advice he was prepared to give to the Spanish in 1826. [117] James Mill, too, fully agreed with his fellow economists that colonial monopoly was an evil, and that the political connection brought with it no commercial advantage. [118] If the trade of the colony were free," he wrote, "other nations would derive as much advantage from it as the mother country; and the mother country would derive as much advantage from it, if the colony were not a colony." [119] The Westminster Review, as late as 1830, went even further in writing of the "colonial dominion which has ever been the bane and curse of the people of this country." [120] In the opinion of the Benthamites a colony was, if anything, a better customer when free than when dependent, [121] while the expense entailed on the mother-country by the colonial civil and military establishments outweighed any possible benefit. [122] Moreover, to them colonies were not only causes of war, [123] but specially objectionable as a means of producing and prolonging bad government. Colonial government gave great opportunity both for patronage and corruption. In their formula the interests of the few were ascendant over the interests of the many, and colonies were retained in the interests of the few. "There is not one of the colonies," wrote James Mill, "but what augments the number of places." [124]

Practically all the economic and sociological writers of that decade in England, whether followers of Bentham or not, were convinced that whatever the value of colonies, and whatever their disadvantages, the time was not far off when separation would inevitably arrive. [125] They would have subscribed willingly to Turgot's dictum that "Colonies are like fruits which cling to the tree only until they ripen." Since separation was bound to come and might, if Britain were blind to her true interest, be hostile, they, with the warning of the American Revolution before their eyes, taught that she should take the initiative and abandon her colonies.

It is not easy to determine what was the general English attitude towards the colonies in the twelve years which followed 1830. Some of those who wrote then in favour of colonies felt that opinion was so strongly against them that it was necessary to show cause why the colonies should be retained. [126]

Gibbon Wakefield and his associates, whose work in colonization reform began in 1829, constantly complained that their efforts were met, not so much by opposition, but by indifference, and that it was distasteful to the general public to consider projects either for founding new colonies, or for improving the conditions of old colonies. [127]

Wilmot Horton, too, who conducted a vigorous crusade for pauper emigration to Canada in the years preceding 1830, complained of chilling neglect. [128] When, in 1831, Joseph Hume proposed to introduce into the Reform Bill provision for colonial representation, giving members to Mauritius, the Cape, Malta, Australia, and some other colonies, the House of Commons was moved to laughter. [129]

The Spectator remarked in 1836 that the British Parliament did not trouble about colonies except where the question of slavery arose, or when a colony like Canada was ripe for rebellion. [130]

Lord Stanley, speaking in 1834 on Roebuck's motion for a Select Committee to inquire into the political position of the Canadas, said that "he trusted the House would bear with him, though he was aware how difficult it was to command its attention on such a matter." [131] It was not a rare thing for the House to be counted out on the occasion of a colonial debate, [132] and scanty attendances were the rule. [133] It was said with some show of truth that "any party would rather lose a colony than a division." [134] Charles Greville's explanation why Charles Buller was not better known was that "his greatest speeches were on dry and serious subjects, such as colonization, emigration or records." [135]

A most important change in the land system of the Australian colonies in 1831 was received by the Press in silence. [136]

It may be that, in calling attention to the public indifference which they met, Wakefield and his associates were not unmindful that they were throwing into bold relief their own achievements in colonization; but, on the whole, it seems fairly clear that the general attitude of the British public was one of spasmodic interest. One colonial policy, that of separation—at its best purely negative—was still boldly advanced by the economists who had represented the only definite body of thought relating to colonies; and while, here and there, voices were raised against separation, [137] there were no others who had any reasoned policy of colonization or any well thought out attitude towards colonies. Moreover, when the subject did arise, the state of the colonies was likely to cause misgiving, especially when, to their expense, was added the circumstances, in the various colonies, of slavery, transportation, and racial and political strife. The general attitude of the British public towards colonies, then, in 1830, may be described as one of indifference tempered by uneasiness.




Footnotes to Chapter I


1 An unpublished Statement of Colonial Receipts and Expenditure, 1829, in the Colonial Office, gives the number as 32. (C.O. 4522.) See also House of Commons Accounts and Papers, 1831, Vol. xix, p. 171, Return for Colonies, giving the number as 35. A List of His Majesty's Colonial Possessions, 1837, puts the number at 35, inclusive of South Australia (founded in 1836) and St. Helena (vested in the Crown, 1833). Colonial Rules and Regulations, 1st Ed., 1837. R. Montgomery Martin, Statistics of the Colonies of the British Empire, 1839, gives an exhaustive list of over fifty.

2 James Mill, Art., "Colony," in the Supplement to the Encyclopædia Britannica. R. M. Martin, in Statistics of the Colonies of the British Empire, 1839, includes India; and in his Colonial Policy of the British Empire, 1837, p. 2, he applies the name colony to "all the transmarine possessions of the Empire." See also an anonymous pamphlet, A Brief Sketch of the political importance of the British Colonies, 1826, pp. 35 et seq.

3 Neither in the Statement of Receipts and Expenditure, 1829, nor in the Colonial Rules and Regulations, 1837, is India included.

4 Lower Canada, Upper Canada, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Cape Breton, Prince Edward's Island, Newfoundland. Colonial Rules and Regulations, 1837. These and the following lists of colonies are not intended to be exhaustive.

5 31 Geo. III, c. 31.

6 See Lucas, Durham Report, Vol. i, pp. 33 et seq.

7 About one-third of the total. Kingsford, History of Canada, Vol. ix, p. 491, footnote.

8 Hansard, 3rd Series, Vol. vi, at p. 1378.

9 Including some settlements in South America. Antigua, Barbadoes, Dominica, Grenada, Jamaica, Montserrat, Nevis, St. Kitts, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, Tobago, Tortola, Anguilla, Trinidad, Bahamas, Bermudas; Honduras and Guiana on the Mainland. Colonial Rules and Regulations, 1837.

10 e.g., Fowell Buxton's motion for the abolition of slavery. May 15th, 1823. Hansard, New Series, Vol. ix, pp. 274-5.

11 e.g., Hansard, 3rd Series, Vol. viii, pp. 176 et seq. Letter by P——— to Lord Howick, in the Spectator, March 5th, 1831.

12 Hansard, New Series, Vol. xxv, p. 308.

13 Cape of Good Hope, Sierra Leone and Gambia, Mauritius, Cap Coast Castle. Colonial Rules and Regulations, 1837. Statement Colonial Receipts and Expenditure, 1829.

14 Theal, History of South Africa since 1795, Vol. ii. Chap. xix.

15 R. Montgomery Martin, Statistics of the Colonies of the British Empire, at p. 558.

16 Egerton, Colonial Policy, 3rd Ed., 1910, p. 274.

17 New South Wales, Van Diemen's Land, Swan River colony; Norfolk Island was a dependency of New South Wales.

18 Ed. Review, February, 1823, "the fifth or pickpocket quarter of the globe"; Spectator, March 30th, 1833.

19 From 1825-30, about 2,600 a year to New South Wales.—Porter, Progress of the Nation, 1836, p. 137.

20 H. Merivale, Lectures on Colonization, Ed. 1861, pp. 349-50.

21 Francis Bacon, Essay on Plantations, 1625.

22 Lucas, Historical Geography of the British Colonies, Vol. vi. Australasia (by J. D. Rogers), p. 107. The proportion of free to freed and bond in New South Wales in 1828 was about 2 to 3; free, 13,400; freed, 7,530; convicts, 15,668. See Appendix to the Third Report of the Royal Commission on Receipts and Expenditure in Colonies. Acc. and Pap., 1830-1, Vol. iv, p. 69. The figures for Van Diemen's Land are not given. In 1828 Huskisson gives "the latest returns" for New South Wales as 49,000, of whom 18,000 were originally free. Hansard, N.S., Vol. xviii, p. 1559. The Quarterly Review for April, 1829, gives the total as about 40,000; originally free, 12,000. Cf. E. G. Wakefield, Letter from Sydney, p. 65.

23 See speech of Sir James Mackintosh in the House of Commons, 1828. Hansard, New Series, Vol. xix, p. 1457.

See also the evidence of Mr. James Macarthur, and of Mr. John Russell before the Select Committee on Transportation, 1837, questions 2486* et seq. Acc. and Pap., 1837, Vol. xix; and 90 et seq. and 576-7. Acc. and Pap., 1837-8, Vol. xxii. Contrast H. Merivale, Lectures on Colonization, Ed. 1861, pp. 359-60.

24 Sir George Murray in 1832. Hansard, 3rd Series, Vol. x, at p. 506.

25 See Chap. iii.

26 Montgomery Martin, Statistics of the Colonies of the British Empire, 1839; India, Ceylon, Penang, Malacca, Singapore.

27 Statement of the Receipts and Expenditure of the Colonies, 1829.

28 Lucas, Historical Geography of the British Colonies, Vol. i, 2nd Ed., pp. 192-3.

29 Life of Sir Stamford Raffles, D. C. Boulger, 1897, p. 306.

30 Lucas, Historical Geography of the British Colonies, Vol. i, 2nd Ed., p. 195.

31 Sir J. Emerson Tennent, Ceylon, 1860, Vol. ii, p. 74.

32 Ibid., pp. 74-96.

33 Statement of Receipts and Expenditure of the Colonies, 1829.

34 Report of the Committee of the Privy Council for Trade and Plantations, 1849. Acc. and Pap., 1849, Vol. xxxv, p. 34. This Report is reprinted as an Appendix to Vol. ii of Grey's Colonial Policy of Lord John Russell's Administration.

35 Ibid.

36 In Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward's Isle, the Executive and the Legislative Councils consisted of the same persons until 1838, 1832, and 1838 respectively. Lucas, Durham Report, Vol. i, pp. 81-6.

37 In several of the Crown colonies the Governor ruled at this time without a council, e.g., Swan River, Cape of Good Hope, Gibraltar. Acc. and Pap., 1831, Vol. xix, p. 171.

38 Report of Committee of Trade and Plantations, 1849.

39 Report of Committee of Trade and Plantations, 1849.

40 In the early American colonies representative institutions were rarely granted in express terms; they were assumed by the colonists as a matter of right. H. Merivale, Lectures on Colonization and the Colonies, 1861, pp. 103-4. Hutchinson, History of Massachusetts Bay, 1765, Vol. i, at p. 94, notices that in Virginia "in the year 1620 a house of burgesses broke out," and in Massachusetts Bay "a house of deputies appeared suddenly, in 1634."

41 Keith, Responsible Government in the Dominions, 1912, Vol. i, p. 2. Forsyth, Cases and Opinions on Constitutional Law, 1869, p. 14.

42 Lord Mansfield's decision in Campbell v. Hall, 20 State Trials, 239. Forsyth, Cases and Opinions, p. 16.

43 Keith, Vol. i, p. i, and cases cited there. Forsyth, Cases and Opinions, p. 18.

44 Keith, p. 2.

45 Sir George Murray in 1830. Hansard, N.S., Vol. xxv, p. 296.

46 e.g., in 1829-30. See Hansard, N.S., Vol. xxi, pp. 460, 1331, 1764; Vol. xxiv, p. 1093.

47 New South Wales, 1828. Hansard, N.S., Vol. xviii, pp. 1430-1, 1559. 1565; Vol. xix, p. 1460. Newfoundland, 1830 and 1831. Hansard, N.S., Vol. xxiv, pp. 580 et seq. Third Series, Vol. iv, pp. 359 et seq. Cape of Good Hope, 1830. Hansard, N.S., Vol. xxiv, pp. 1005 et seq.

48 Merivale, Ed. 1861, p. 627. T. H. Ward, Reign of Queen Victoria, 1887, Vol. i, p. 410.

49 Lucas, Durham Report, Vol. ii, pp. 101-3.

50 Ibid., p. 103.

51 Sir William Molesworth's Speech in 1838. Hansard, 3rd Series, Vol. xl, p. 385.

52 1827, F. Robinson (afterwards Lord Ripon). 1827, W. Huskisson. 1828, Sir G. Murray. 1830, Lord Goderich (F. Robinson, afterwards Lord Ripon). 1833, E. Stanley (afterwards Lord Derby). 1834, T. Spring Rice (afterwards Lord Monteagle). 1834, Lord Aberdeen. 1835, C. Grant (afterwards Lord Glenelg). 1839, Lord Normandy. 1839, Lord John Russell.

53 Dictionary of National Biography.

54 Greville Memoirs, Vol. ii, p. 368. Sir Henry Taylor, Autobiography, 1885, Vol. ii, p. 301. The First Sir James Stephen, 1906, pp. 16, 29, 34, and 45.

55 e.g., in New Zealand. Infra, Chap. xi.

56 Colonial Gazette, December 11th, 1839, "King Stephen rules the roast."

57 Quarterly Review, March, 1839, Art., "Colonial Government"; Taylor, Autobiography, 1885, Vol. ii, p. 300.

58 Art of Colonization, p. 302. Taylor, Autobiography, 1885, Vol. ii, p. 300.

59 Stephen was not the only permanent official of the Colonial Office who was publicly assailed. See Roebuck's severe strictures, in the House of Commons, on R. W. Hay in 1835. Hansard, 3rd Series, Vol. xxvii, p. 653.

60 Letter to T. E. Dicey. The First Sir James Stephen, 1906, p. 53.

61 A Narrative, 1839, pp. 373-5. Quoting with entire approval a leading article in the Montreal Gazette, November 22nd, 1838.

62 Mrs. Fawcett, Life of Sir William Molesworth, pp. 160-1.

63 Memoirs, Vol. ii, pp. 356-7.

64 Letter to Mrs. Hodson, April 18th, 1839. The First Sir James Stephen, p. 59. See also Greville Memoirs, Vol. iv, p. 180.

65 Autobiography, 1885, Vol. i, p. 123.

66 Ibid., Vol. ii, pp. 300-1. See also Vol. i, p. 233.

67 Ibid., Vol. i, p. 130.

68 Ibid., p. 70.

69 Greville Memoirs, Vol. i, p. 151.

70 Ibid., Vol. ii, p. 11. Cf. Labouchere in House of Commons, 1838. Hansard, 3rd Series, Vol. xli, p. 542.

71 Lucas, Durham Report, Vol. i, p. 21. Egerton, Colonial Policy, 3rd Ed., 1910, p. 292.

72 Letter to Mrs. Austin, February 12th, 1839. The First Sir James Stephen, p. 56.

73 Compare Hume's complaint on this score. Hansard, 3rd Series, Vol. xi, p. 834.

74 Art of Colonization, p. 235.

75 Charles Buller, Responsible Government for Colonies, 1840, p. 2.

76 Ibid., p. 8.

77 See Hansard, N.S., Vol. xxiv, p. 1014. Theodore Hook was a notorious case. See Dictionary of National Biography.

78 C. Greville held the office of Secretary of Jamaica with permanent leave of absence. The work was done by a deputy who was paid by a share of the fees. Greville was in constant fear of losing his office, which he regarded as his property, and had several times to fight hard to retain it. Greville Memoirs, Vol. ii, p. 390, and Vol. iii, pp. 272-3.

79 Hansard, N.S., Vol. xxiv, p. 1010. See also Westminster Review, July, 1827, Art., "Canada."

80 Responsible Government for Colonies, p. 90.

81 Sir R. Peel's Speech at Tamworth, August 7th, 1837, including the O'Connell and Ruthven Correspondence on the Kildare County Election, 2nd Ed., 1847, pp. 9-12, Ruthven's account of the promise of a colonial appointment does not differ materially from O'Connell's.

82 Art of Colonization, p. 207.

83 Hansard, 1838, 3rd Series, Vol. xl, p. 363.

84 Ibid., p. 377.

85 Art of Colonization, p. 207.

86 Sir G. Murray in Hansard, New Series, Vol. xxi, p. 1766.

87 Lord Gosford: Lucas, Durham Report, Vol. i, p. 65. One reason for appointing military governors was that Canada was a colony on the frontier of a possibly hostile nation.

88 Rusden, History of Australia, 2nd Ed., 1897, pp.410 et seq.

89 R. Montgomery Martin, Colonial Policy of the British Empire, 1837, p. 75.

90 Patrick Matthew, Emigration Fields, 1839, pp. 207-8.

91 The Voyage of Captain Popanilla, B. Disraeli, 1828, pp. 172-8.

92 Compare the population of Great Britain in 1831, 16,500,000. Porter, Progress of the Nation, 1836, § i, Chap. i, p. 11.

93 See detailed figures in Statement of Receipts and Expenditure of the Colonies, 1829; also Return in Acc. and Pap., 1831, Vol. xix, p. 171.

94 Ibid.

95 See detailed figures in Statement of Receipts and Expenditure of the Colonies, 1829.

96 Ibid. This does not include naval expenses. Compare the average annual revenue and expenditure of Great Britain, 1820-29, each about £55,000,000. Porter, Progress of the Nation, 1838, § 3, p. 290.

97 T. H. Ward, Life of Queen Victoria, Vol. i, p. 157.

98 See also Sir Henry Parnell, On Financial Reform, 1830, Chap. xv.

99 G. L. Beer, British Colonial Policy, 1754-65, p. 194.

100 Ibid., pp. 201-3.

101 J. R. McCulloch's edition of the Wealth of Nations, 1828, Vol. iv. Note on Colonial Policy, at p. 409. Brougham sums up Adam Smith's position in this way. "While the mercantile theory favoured the establishment of colonies by every possible means, and viewed them as a certain mine of wealth, that of the Oeconomists considered them as a drain to the resources, and a diversion to the force of the mother-country. Statesmen of the former school . . . encouraged them, as the scene of rich and secure monopoly: The converts of the latter doctrine . . . disapproved both of the colonies, and of the colonial monopoly. Between these two opinions Dr. Smith has adopted a middle course." Colonial Policy of the European Powers, 1803, Vol. i, p. 7.

102 Wealth of Nations, Book iv. Chap. vii, Part iii.

103 Ibid.

104 Ibid.

105 "To propose that Great Britain should voluntarily give up all authority over her colonies, and leave them to elect their own magistrates, to enact their own laws, and to make peace and war as they might think proper, would be to propose such a measure as never was, and never will be adopted, by any nation in the world." Ibid.

106 Ibid.

107 Colonies "do not even afford any advantage, as some persons suppose, by enlarging the field for the employment of capital; for there are still means enough for employing capital with profit at home; and if new means were wanting they would be more effectually obtained by removing restrictions on trade and revising the taxes, than by increased trade in the colonies."—Sir Henry Parnell, On Financial Reform, 1830, pp. 252-3.

108 Edinburgh Review, June, 1822, writing of Canada: "Whatever our anticipations may be of the future destinies of this extensive province, we cannot, in a political point of view, look upon it as of much value to the mother-country. We believe it has hitherto brought more expense than profit to this country . . . . However sanguine our hopes and expectations may be of the prosperity of this colony, they arise rather from an anticipation of the future comforts and happiness of the settlers themselves, than from any calculation on an increase to our own political power or commercial greatness."

109 Edinburgh Review, August, 1825, Art. on "Colonial Policy."

110 Ibid.

111 "Neither the British public nor the colonies have ever benefited by the monopoly; . . . the possession of colonies affords no advantages which could not be obtained by commercial intercourse with independent States."—Sir Henry Parnell, On Financial Reform, 1830, pp. 249-50.

112 Wealth of Nations, edited by J. R. McCulloch, 1828, Vol. iv, pp. 409-10. Note on Colonial Policy.

113 Edinburgh Review, August, 1825.

114 Edinburgh Review, Art., "Emigration," January, 1828. Wealth of Nations, edited by J. R. McCulloch, 1828, Vol. iii, footnote at p. 28. Sir H. Parnell, On Financial Reform, 1830, pp. 256-7.

115 Edinburgh Review, August, 1825: "It is not easy to see how we could sustain any injury from the total breaking up of the colonial monopoly, or even from the total and unconditional abandonment of these dependencies." Ibid.

116 In a pamphlet. Emancipate your Colonies, written in 1792, printed, but not published, in 1793, published in 1830 with a postscript, and again with a preface, but without the postscript, in 1838.

117 Manuscript notes for letters to the people of Spain, entitled. Rid yourselves of Ultramaria, 1826. Box No. 8 of the Bentham Manuscripts in University College Library, London.

118 Compare also Bentham, Emancipate your Colonies, 1838 Ed., p. 7 and Rationale of Reward, 1825, p. 297.

119 Art., "Colony," in the Supplement to the Encyclopædia Britannica.

120 Westminster Review, July, 1830. Art., "Politics of Lower Canada."

121 Emancipate your Colonies, 1838 Ed., p. 6. Rationale of Reward, 1825, p. 293.

122 Westminster Review, July, 1827. Rationale of Reward, p. 297.

123 Art., "Colony." Emancipate your Colonies, 1838 Ed., p. 15.

124 Art., "Colony." Compare Westminster Review, July, 1827. Art., "Canada": "Those sinister interests, on account of which we firmly believe that these colonies are maintained." Also Westminster Review, April, 1830. Art., "Financial Reform": "Our colonies for the most part are impediments to commerce, drawbacks on prosperity, pumps for extracting the property of the many for the benefit of the few, the strongholds and asylums of despotism and misrule." Also Emancipate your Colonies, 1838 Ed., p. 15. The use of colonies is "to make places, and wars that breed more places."

125 McCulloch wrote, in 1825: "Fortunately, however, a new era is already begun . . . . The monopoly of the trade of America is now nearly destroyed, and her independence almost achieved . . . . Every man of sense, whether in the Cabinet or out of it, knows, that Canada must, at no distant period, be merged in the American Republic." Edinburgh Review, August, 1825. The Westminster Review, July, 1830. Art., "Politics of Lower Canada," suggested of Canada that "we should part on good terms . . . anticipating by a few, a very few years, the inevitable separation of the two countries . . ."; and, again, in July, 1827, Canada "must, at some time, and that, too, at no very distant date, be severed from the mother-country." Compare the Quarterly Review, April, 1829: "In truth, it is pretty much with colonies as with children: we protect and nourish them in infancy; we direct them in youth, and leave them to their own guidance in manhood." Art., "New Colony on Swan River."

126 Brief Sketch of the political importance of the British Colonies, 1826. Considerations on the value and importance of the British North-American Provinces, Sir H. Douglas, 1831.

127 Charles Tennant, Correspondence with Nassau Senior, 1831, pp. 68-70, and Letter to Sir George Murray, 1830. Spectator, February 23rd, 1839, and July 11th, 1846. Charles Buller, Responsible Government for Colonies, 1840, Chap. vi. Wakefield, Art of Colonization, 1849, p. 38: "Twenty years ago, colonization was in no respect a subject of public opinion; the public neither knew nor cared anything at all about it."

128 See Chap. ii infra.

129 Hansard, 3rd Series, Vol. vi, pp. 114-15.

130 Spectator, February 13th, 1836.

131 Hansard, 3rd Series, Vol. xxii, p. 801.

132 e.g., May 26th, 1835, ibid., Vol. xxviii, p. 168; March 1st, 1836, Vol. xxxi, p. 1132; March 25th, 1841, Vol. lvii, pp. 607-8.

133 e.g., Second Reading of the South Australian Bill, 1834. Hansard, 3rd Series, Vol. xxv, pp. 429-32 and pp. 700 et seq.; and Debate on Transportation, 1840, ibid., Vol. liii, p. 1279.

134 Augustus Stafford, quoted by Wakefield in a letter to J. R. Godley, February 2nd, 1850. Founders of Canterbury, 1868, p. 212. Compare Charles Buller in the House of Commons, 1839: "It was the common shame of both [parties] that they made the interests of our countrymen in the colonies the sport of their party manoeuvres." Hansard, 3rd Series, Vol. xlix, p. 182.

135 Memoirs, Vol. vi, pp. 255-7,

136 The Morning Chronicle alone mentioned the subject. See Morning Chronicle of February 3rd, 1831.

137 e.g., Huskisson in the House of Commons, 1828. Hansard, New Series, Vol. xix, pp. 314-15. Quarterly Review, March, 1830. Art., "Sir H. Parnell on Financial Reform." Brougham, Colonial Policy, 1803. Book i, § I, especially pp. 106 et seq. Thomas Arnold, Effects of Distant Colonization on the Parent State, 1815.






{Page 25}

Chapter II

WILMOT HORTON AND PAUPER LOCATION IN CANADA

In the years which followed the peace of 1815, the population of Great Britain increased rapidly. The first accurate census appeared in 1801 and the subsequent decennial returns furnished a basis for calculating the rate of increase. The population of England, Wales, and Scotland was 12,596,803 in 1811; 14,391,631 in 1821; and 16,539,318 in 1831—an increase in each case of about 15 per cent. Between 1821 and 1831 the total population of Great Britain and Ireland rose in numbers from 21,193,458 to 24,304,799. [1]

After 1815 alarm began to be felt at this rapid growth, and population which had been looked upon as the strength of the nation was coming to be considered its curse. With the end of the war, too, there was an increasing amount of pauperism and distress. The large public debt, the cessation of war expenditure and the natural reaction after the war, together with two successive bad harvests, dislocated trade and industry, and threw numbers out of employment. The expenditure on poor relief in 1801 amounted to £4,017,871, or 9s. 1d. per head in England and Wales, and in 1831 to £6,798,838, or 9s. 9d. per head." [2] Porter calculated that "the weight of pauper expenditure, in proportion to the population at the two periods was as seven in 1831 to four in 1801." [3]

Malthus had in 1797, and again in 1803, called attention to the fact that population, unless checked, tended to increase faster than the means of subsistence. The census returns appeared to verify his conclusions, and his doctrines grew in popularity until they dominated the minds of economists and statesmen haunted by the spectre of over-population. [4]

In these circumstances the "condition of England question," as Carlyle called it, pressed for a solution. Remedies were sought both for the relief of pauperism and distress, and for lessening the "pressure of population upon the means of subsistence." Among these one resource, which found much support, was emigration. In the eighteenth century no one had talked of a surplus population. Population meant national strength, and emigration was not encouraged. There was "no surer way to condemn a colony than to show that it tended to diminish the population of the mother-country." [5] But in the early nineteenth century the removal of the redundant population to the colonies and elsewhere was urged as a means of relieving paupers, of reducing the poor rate, and of lessening the supply of an overstocked labour market.

James Mill's article on "Colonization" in the Encyclopædia Britannica in 1822 was a Malthusian essay on population, an economic argument against the monopoly of colonial trade, and a denunciation of the government of the "many" in the interests of the "few," rather than an account of the principles and practice of colonization. He gave a cautious adherence to emigration as a remedy for over-population, recommending it on two conditions: first, that the land colonized yielded a better return to labour than that left by the emigrant; secondly, that the expense of removing emigrants was not so great as to cause more loss by the expenditure of capital than was gained by the diminution of numbers.

Among the most zealous advocates of emigration was Robert John Wilmot Horton, [6] who had entered the House of Commons in 1814. In 1822 [7] he became Under-Secretary of State for War and the Colonies, when he immediately associated himself with colonial questions, particularly in relation to Canada and to emigration. It was he who, in 1822, introduced into the House of Commons the abortive Bill for the Union of the Canadas which was so vigorously opposed in the Lower Province. [8] Though possessed of little ability, he was a man of great energy and perseverance, [9] and he was doomed to spend seven or eight years—from 1823 to 1830—in urging on the British public a scheme of emigration which had many obvious defects and received some official but little popular support. Speaking, in 1858, of colonization and emigration in 1826, James Stephen said: "They who participate with me in the melancholy advantage of being able to remember the progress of public events so long as thirty-two years ago, will call to mind how, at that time, Mr. Wilmot Horton (the pleasantest of companions and the most restless of politicians) wedded himself to that great cause; how enthusiastic was the garrulity of those espousals, and how they gave birth to a progeny of reviews and articles and reports and books and pamphlets either fugitive or motionless, without number and without end." [10]

In his examination of the conditions of the labouring population of Great Britain, Wilmot Horton found a state of pauperism and distress, which, as a follower of Malthus, he ascribed to the fact that population was redundant. [11] Labour, he maintained, was merely a commodity, bought and sold in the market, and subject like every other commodity to fluctuations in value. [12] The price of labour was governed by the same laws that governed the prices or other commodities. [13] "No one would deny," he told the House of Commons in 1827, "that the principle which regulated the price of commodities also regulated the price of the labour of those who produced them; and that, whenever the supply became in either case in excess, as compared with the demand, the price must sink until the market was cleared of that proportion of the article, whether a commodity or labour, which was really in excess." [14] Wages, then, depended on the proportion which capital bore to labour. [15] With labour in excess came depreciation, a consequent fall in wages, and unemployment. While to the labourers this "inconvenient excess of population" [16] meant, he considered, destitution; to the rest of the community it meant a large and increasing expenditure in maintaining an army of non-producers. [17] The problem and its solution he stated in these terms: low wages were the cause of pauperism; redundancy of population the cause of low wages. The remedy, then, was to raise wages by readjusting the proportion between capital and labour. [18] This could be done either by increasing the relative amount of capital, or by decreasing the amount of labour. To increase the supply of capital in its relation to labour was, he thought, a practical impossibility, so that the removal of labour by emigration was the only feasible way of raising wages. [19] "If, therefore, the market could by any means, such as emigration, be cleared of those hands which were at the present moment superabundant, it followed that the remainder would find the wages of labour increased to such an amount as would afford them an adequate remuneration." [20] For Ireland additional measures were necessary, because in that country the evil of redundancy was intensified by the great number of small landholders who were living in a state of extreme poverty, and fast increasing their numbers. He suggested not only that the surplus pauper population should be removed, but also that the small holdings should be thrown together so that it might be profitable to employ English capital in Irish agriculture. [21]

The one question of theory which he regarded as doubtful was whether the "vacuum" caused by emigration would not as quickly be filled again by an increase of population at home, which would cause wages to fall once more. Indeed, although he suggested some precautionary measures, he feared that all the evils of redundancy would set in again, but not before the cost of emigration was more than covered by the economy of sending paupers abroad instead of keeping them in idleness at home. [22] At the worst the ratepayers were no more heavily burdened, while many paupers would be better off.

Looking merely at the advantages which would result to Great Britain from the removal of her superfluous labourers, this plan would be equally efficacious whether the emigrants went to a British colony or to another country; but the interests of the whole empire, he thought, demanded that the colonies should have the advantage of this stream of emigration. In this respect he strongly opposed the eminent economist, J. R. McCulloch, who, though inclined to accept his plan, thought it immaterial whether paupers were sent to Canada or to any other country which had commercial relations with England. [23] In 1822 Wilmot Horton saw that the colonies were suffering for want of labour, and that they needed something more than the natural increase of population if they were to prosper. [24] Viewing the matter in this light he stated the problem to be that of "making the redundant labour and the curse of the mother-country, the active labour and the blessing of the colonies." [25] In emigration the interests of the two were reciprocal, for the colony would relieve the mother-country of her labourers, and by their aid would increase in wealth and provide a market for British manufactures. [26] Horton was no advocate of discontinuing colonial establishments. The prospective increase of population in Canada would, he thought, prevent those colonies from becoming part of the United States. [27] Indeed, his reason for returning to the fray of controversy in 1839, after an absence of seven years, was to urge the necessity for adopting an enlarged system of colonization in order to strengthen the connection between Great Britain and her American colonies. [28]

Colonization, however, was to him not an end in itself, but merely a means of ridding Great Britain of her redundant population. He wrote not on colonization, but on the causes and remedies of pauperism. "Colonization abroad," he wrote to Poulett Thomson in 1830, "as a remedy for the evils of a relatively redundant population is, and has been, with me, only a subordinate object of inquiry. I consider it only as the best and cheapest mode of disposing of that Abstraction of superfluous labouring population from the general labour market, which I contend to be the Main Remedy for the distressed condition of the labouring classes of the United Kingdom." [29] Could he have discovered a better means he would not have advocated colonization. "If it can be shown that the superfluous population so abstracted can be disposed of more economically and more advantageously at home than abroad, I shall never be found to press for a moment the remedy of colonial emigration." [30]

Wilmot Horton's plan was to have a state-controlled and a state-aided emigration. [31]

In the first place those paupers who wished to emigrate were to be provided by the Government with a free passage to Canada, and a free grant of 100 [32] acres of land there, subject to conditions of cultivation. After five years a small quit-rent of 2d. per acre was to be imposed, and the proceeds were to be applied to local purposes, such as improving the means of communication. The emigrants were also to be provided with farming implements, stock, and a sufficient supply of provisions to last them for one year.

The scheme was confined to paupers. Only those "entirely destitute of all means of subsistence" [33] were to be sent. The emigrants and their children were to forfeit all claims upon parochial support. But there was to be no compulsion on anyone to emigrate. Only those who "ardently desired" [34] to go were to be taken. He thought that paupers would be attracted by the prospect which a new country offered them of escaping from their unhappy situation at home. "It is considered as unquestionable, although this measure is not in the slightest degree compulsory, that the poor man who offers his strength and energy as a labourer, but who, finding no demand, or at least no adequate demand for his services, is compelled to receive "parish relief" for the preservation of his own existence and that of his family, will accept this opportunity of bettering his condition, by laying the foundation for future independence, with eagerness and gratitude; when sufficient time has elapsed, and proper pains been taken to make him understand the true nature and character of the change that is proposed for him." [35]

Wilmot Horton always insisted on the importance of that part of his scheme which related to settling the emigrants on the land and making provision for them after their arrival. He distinguished between this plan and the unsystematic and unregulated emigration which was at that time going on from the British Isles to Canada; between "emigration where the individuals were fixed to the soil, and that desultory kind of emigration which consisted in merely conveying them to a certain place and then leaving them to make their way as they could." [36] Emigrants, he thought, should not be treated merely as prospective labourers. It was a mistaken notion that "emigration should be conducted on the principle of supplying labourers only to the colonies—that the expense should be limited to the carrying of the emigrants out, and landing them on the shores to be disposed of as chance or circumstances might direct." [37] In his view such emigration, while it might serve the purpose merely of getting rid of a redundant population yet exposed the emigrants to worse evils; [38] for, as was the fact then and afterwards, labouring emigrants to Canada, before they could reach the places where work might be found, suffered great hardships, [39] and were passing over in large numbers to the United States. [40] Under his scheme the pauper emigrant was to be established at once as a landholder and a prospective employer of labour. [41] "The settler would be firmly fixed in the soil, instead of taking his chance of obtaining subsistence: instead of being like a plant thrown down upon the earth, either to take root, or to be withered by the sun, he would be like a young and vigorous tree set by a careful hand, with all the advantages of soil and climate." [42]

In the second place, for the expenses of emigration, the Government, which was to manage the undertaking, was to advance money by way of loan to the parishes on the security of the poor rate, which was to be mortgaged for the purpose. The sum advanced by the Government would, then, be repaid by the parish by means of a terminable annuity. His earliest proposal, in 1823, did not contemplate any repayment by the emigrants of the cost of their location. Later, however, he suggested that they should bear part, [43] and the principle or repayment was strongly recommended by the Select Committee on Emigration in 1827. [44] Still later he recurred to his former plan, and abandoned the principle of repayment on the grounds that it would be unpopular in the colonies and with the emigrants themselves, and that the expense incurred in emigration was a small price for the parish to pay compared with the cost of maintaining those emigrants as paupers at home. [45] Indeed, the chief argument which he brought forward in support of this part of his plan was that parishes would, by emigrating their paupers to Canada, save considerably by the resulting diminution in the amount of poor relief which they would need to dispense. The redundant pauper, unable to procure employment, however able to work, was a tax upon the community, and his removal could be carried out at such a cost as to relieve the community from this burden, without incurring so much expense as was necessary to maintain him at home. [46] Wilmot Horton calculated what would be the annual charge on the parish necessary to repay the expenses of emigration, and he compared it with the actual annual cost to the parish of supporting those emigrants at home. The capital sum necessary to settle a family of four in Canada according to his plan he estimated at about £80, [47] while the annual cost of maintaining that family as paupers at home was about £10 per head. [48] The annual charge which would repay the sum of £80 was very much less than £40, and the difference was so much clear gain to the parish and to the community.

This plan of loan and mortgage of the poor rate was, as it stood, not applicable to Scotland or Ireland, but there would be little difficulty in applying it, he thought, if a fund could be raised as security for the loan, either by public or private subscription in those countries. [49] He believed that landlords there would find it to their interest to pay the expenses of an emigration which would remove their surplus tenantry and enable them to throw small holdings together and carry on agriculture on a larger scale.

While the parish and private employer gained in this way by emigration, the pauper became in Canada a happy and prosperous independent proprietor. Emigration would mean for him the "transmutation of pauperism into comparative prosperity," [50] and, for his fellow-paupers at home, more and better-paid employment. This process, beneficial alike to mother-country and colony, might, he believed, go on indefinitely with advantage to all concerned.

"It must not be forgotten, in a comprehensive view of such a system, that the pauper, for whose labour no remuneration can be afforded at home, will be transmuted by this process into an independent proprietor, and at no distant period will become a consumer of the manufactured articles of his native country. Nor, on the other hand, can any calculable period be assigned for the termination of such a system, until all the colonies of the British empire are saturated, and millions added to those who speak the English language, and carry with them the liberty and the laws and the sympathies of their native country.

"Such a system would direct the tide of emigration towards parts of the British empire, which must be considered as integral, though separated by geographical position. The defence or these colonial possessions would be more easily supplied within themselves, and their increasing prosperity would not only relieve the mother-country from pecuniary demands that are now indispensable, but that prosperity in its reaction would augment the wealth and the resources of the mother-country itself." [51]

Throughout the discussion which these plans evoked, Wilmot Horton and every one else seems to have looked upon the problem under consideration as one concerning a large mass of individuals whom they lumped together under the name of paupers. There was no appreciation of the fact that one pauper might differ essentially from another, that one might be a competent but unfortunate labourer, while another might be an incapable who had broken down hopelessly in the struggle for existence. From all that was said and written it might have been thought that the receipt of parish relief made its recipients resemble one another in all respects. Wilmot Horton wrote as if paupers were a homogeneous class, and they were anything but that. No doubt many of them were out of work agricultural labourers, but there were also many who had come by various roads of inefficiency to the dead end of parish relief.

Nor was there any consideration of the question whether the actual individuals whom it was proposed to send out were qualified to earn their living in a new country. The problem of dealing with paupers was stated in abstract terms such as "excess of population," "demand and supply of labour," and "surplus labour," as if unemployed labourers necessarily resembled one another in anything else but unemployment. It shows a curious difference from modern ways of thought, for one of the first questions which would arise now in such a scheme of emigration would be "What kind of people is it proposed to send out, and what are they capable of doing in a new country?" It was impossible for such a scheme as this, depending so largely on the success of the emigrants in agriculture, to succeed without a careful examination of, and discrimination between, the various types of paupers with a view to selecting those only who would be suitable to the conditions of a new country. Wakefield, indeed, was the only critic who pointed this out when he showed that the type of emigrants sent out under this system was unsuitable.

In 1823, and again in 1825, attempts were made on a small scale to put Wilmot Horton's plan into practice. In each case a grant of money was made by Parliament—£15,000 in 1823, [52] and £30,000 in 1825, [53] for the purpose of settling paupers in Canada. There had been some earlier grants for emigration both to Canada and to the Cape of Good Hope. In 1819 £50,000 was voted for emigration to the Cape, and in 1821 £68,760 for emigration from the south of Ireland to Canada and the Cape. [54] But the grants of 1823 and 1825 differed from these in that they were advisedly made to carry out experiments on the lines advocated by Wilmot Horton. The settlements which were established by these means were attempts to discover whether paupers might be located in Canada at a less cost than was necessary for their maintenance at home; and the object of the Government was "to show, by a few trials, to those who might be interested in forwarding such a system, and in removing a redundant population, the ease with which it might be carried into effect, and the good consequences resulting from it." [55] The settlements were made only upon a small scale, and were intended to test the practicability of removing population rather than to cure any existing redundancy. The experiment of 1823 was carried out "not from any expectation that the small emigration which then took place could produce any sensible effect upon the superabundant population of the south of Ireland, but merely for the sake of having before them the effect of an experiment tried upon a small scale, before they ventured upon a plan of emigration upon a large one." [56]

The grant of 1823 was devoted partly to emigration to Canada, and partly to emigration to the Cape. By its means 350 labourers were sent out to the Cape at the Government's expense to meet the demand there for labour. They were not located on the land, nor were they furnished after their arrival with provisions or stock. "This emigration," said Wilmot Horton in 1823, "evidently has not the least of the character of the emigration to Canada, being founded merely on the demand for labourers at the Cape." [57]

But the greater part of the grant was spent in sending 571 pauper emigrants [58] from the south of Ireland to Canada, under the charge of Mr. Peter Robinson, and in settling them on grants of land. In accordance with Wilmot Horton's plan the emigrants received a free passage, provisions for one year, farming implements, and stock; while to each head of a family was given seventy acres of land, subject, after five years, to a quit-rent of 2d. per acre. By paying an amount equal to twenty years' purchase of the quit-rent the freehold of the land might be obtained at any time. [59]

The Select Committee on the Condition of the Labouring Poor in Ireland, which sat in 1823, after examining into the particulars of this experiment, expressed their approbation of the principles on which it had been conducted and their hope that it might lead to satisfactory results. [60] After this recommendation, and the reports as to the success of the settlement, another grant of £30,000 was made in 1825, which was expended altogether on pauper location in Canada. The expense of the experiment of 1823 had been about £22 per head, [61] and it was calculated that the grant would be sufficient for the location of 1,500 people. Actually 2,024 were sent, and the additional expense was met by another grant of £20,480 in 1827, of which, however, half was to be spent in making thhe necessary surveys and inquiries in Canada before any large body of emigrants could be introduced. [62] These paupers were settled in Canada on the same terms as those of 1823, but at the slightly less cost of £20 per head. [63]

The evidence as to the success of these experiments is conflicting. Wilmot Horton always claimed that they had been entirely successful, and brought a good many opinions of independent observers in support of his contention. [64] Indeed, those who saw the settlements in their first few years were, with the exception of Lieut.-Colonel Cockburn, [65] of this opinion. [66] Although on Wilmot Horton's own showing the mortality amongst them was 25 per 1,000, [67] yet the majority of the emigrants did greatly improve their condition. The Emigration Commissioners of 1832 found that "the result, so far as the happiness of the settlers is concerned, has been most gratifying." [68] But as experiments in settling paupers on the land, the schemes were failures; for the conditions were rarely fulfilled, and the grants in many cases abandoned. In 1843 Lord Stanley complained that, of the loans necessary to establish these settlements, "not a single shilling had ever been recovered." [69] But this was not a fair test of success, for it was never intended that the expenses of settlement should be repaid. "The experiments of 1823 and 1825 were carried on by money absolutely voted by Parliament, without any view to repayment; they were instituted for the purpose of trying whether the details would succeed in practice, not for the purpose of considering the question whether it would be expedient, either to lend money upon security, or to vote it in large sums, as a national experiment." [70] A better test is round in the fact that, when five years had elapsed and the quit-rent began, many settlers left for the United States, while, of those who remained, many refused to pay rent, and few fulfilled the conditions on which they were to obtain their freeholds. [71]

In addition to obtaining these grants for experimental purposes, Wilmot Horton's activity caused two Select Committees of the House of Commons to be appointed to consider the subject of emigration. The first Committee sat in 1826, the second in 1827, and of both he was Chairman.

The Committee of 1826 in its Report [72] considered that the evidence before it had established the fact "that there are extensive districts in Ireland, and districts in England and Scotland, where the population is at the present moment redundant; in other words, where there exists a very considerable proportion of able-bodied and active labourers, beyond that number to which any existing demand for labour can afford employment." This led to destitution and misery, and a reduction of wages so great that in England the parochial rate threatened to absorb the whole rental of the country. In the next place the Committee found that the British colonies were capable of absorbing any proportion of the redundant population which might be sent to them. The national wealth would be greatly increased by the emigration of unemployed labourers, who, at home, consumed more than they produced, but in a new country would produce more than they consumed. They therefore recommended emigration "as one obvious and immediate measure for correcting in some degree this redundancy of population, and for mitigating the numerous evils which appear to result from its existence." They did not, however, suggest any particular scheme of emigration, but contented themselves with laying down the principles according to which it should be conducted. First, it should be voluntary; next, it should only apply to permanent pauperism; lastly, any expense incurred by the Government should be ultimately repaid, e.g., by emigrants or out of the poor rate.

The Committee of 1827 supported and confirmed without exception the findings and principles of the 1826 Committee. [73] They recommended emigration from Ireland and England in order to remedy redundancy, to save the cost of maintaining paupers at home, and to increase the general prosperity of the empire. "Emigration appears to your Committee to be a remedy well worth consideration, whether with reference to the improved condition of the population at home, and the saving of that expense which as it appears to your Committee is now incurred in maintaining a portion of them, or with respect to the prosperity of our colonies." They went somewhat farther than the earlier Committee in proposing that emigration should be financed by a loan to be repaid gradually by the emigrant, and that a Board of Emigration should be formed under the direct control of the Government. On two grounds they justified their proposals: "First, the real saving effected at home by the removal of pauper labourers, executing no real functions as labourers, and not contributing to the annual production; secondly, the probability of direct though progressive repayment from those labourers, when placed as emigrants in the colonies; and the indirect consequence of the increased demands for British manufactures involved in the circumstance of an increasing colonial population."

Fully convinced that his experiments of 1823 and 1825 had successfully demonstrated the economic advantage of emigration over home maintenance of paupers, and fortified by the reports of the Emigration Committees, Wilmot Horton proceeded to bring forward a scheme for emigration on a scale large enough to be a real remedy for redundancy.

On April 17th, 1828, and again on March 23rd, 1830, he introduced into the House of Commons a Bill "to enable parishes to mortgage their poor rates for the purpose of providing for their able-bodied paupers, by colonization in the British Colonies." [74] As before, the Government was to advance the necessary money by way of loan, and the poor rate was to be the security for repayment. Emigration was to be voluntary, and the emigrants were to be settled on the land and not merely sent out to provide labour for the colonies. But he had left office in 1828, with others of Huskisson's followers and, after some discussion, mainly by opponents, the Bill did not reach a second reading. [75]

On February 22nd, 1831, Lord Howick introduced a Bill into the House of Commons which was to all intents and purposes Wilmot Horton's Bill. [76] It provoked similar opposition, and in the troublous times of 1831 did not get as far as a second reading. [77] In the Poor Law Act of 1834, however, a section was inserted, allowing parishes to mortgage their poor rates for the purposes of emigration, [78] but this section remained a dead letter. [79]

In 1831 Wilmot Horton was knighted and made Governor of Ceylon, where he remained for seven years. On his return to England he tried to revive interest in his schemes by the publication of a pamphlet, Ireland and Canada, 1839, in which he urged pauper emigration to Canada as a cure for the condition of Ireland. But by that time the Wakefield theory held the field, and some of his former supporters had gone over to the rival camp, so that he was again unsuccessful.

Wilmot Horton's plan, though faulty in many respects, was meant seriously as an attempt to solve the difficult problem of pauperism in England, and to make the colonies more prosperous and more useful to the mother-country. He met, however, not only with opposition, but with a public indifference to colonization, even considered as a means of solving this problem, which Gibbon Wakefield afterwards was long unable to dispel. "Nothing," Wilmot Horton wrote in 1839, "but the conviction I feel of the imperative necessity at this moment for the adoption of vigorous measures, could induce me again to brave the indifference, to use the mildest term, with which the subject has been hitherto received." [80] As a cure for an admitted redundancy of population, emigration without reference to any particular scheme found considerable support. [81] In 1828 the Quarterly Review stated that "the remedy is as obvious as the necessity for having recourse to it is urgent." [82] In 1824 the Edinburgh Review, arguing against restraints on emigration, declared, "Whenever population is redundant and the wages of labour depressed, every facility ought to be given to emigration. Were it carried to a considerable extent, it would have the effect, by lessening the supply of labour in the market, to raise the rate of wages, and to improve the condition of the labourers who remain at home." [83] Again, in 1826, an article in this Review estimated the cost of conveying one million emigrants to America, and establishing them there, at about £14,000,000, and added, "We have no hesitation in saying that, though it were twice as great, it would be well and advantageously laid out in securing the object in view." [84] But even to those who agreed with him that emigration was a remedy for redundancy of population, his plan was so obviously defective that he gained little support. "I have never received," he wrote in 1830, "the assistance of any party in Parliament, nor have I experienced the support of the public Press." [85] Those who were interested in bettering the condition of the people found fault with his particular remedy. In the House of Commons "the proposition of colonization was at once scouted as theoretical, sneered at as visionary, and, above all, rejected as expensive." [86]

The existence of destitution and unemployment, and the consequent growth of pauperism was universally admitted, but it was by no means universally agreed that redundancy of population was the cause. There were many who accepted neither the Malthusian formula nor the proposition that labour was then redundant. [87] To them the problem was not how best to get rid of paupers. They agreed as to the evil of pauperism, but, disbelieving in redundancy, did not accept emigration as a remedy, but suggested other alternatives, e.g., that of employing labourers in colonizing the waste lands at home. [88] "The best colonies we could plant," said Michael Sadler, in 1831, "either with a view to the present or permanent advantages of the country, were those that might be planted on the deserts of our European empire." [89]

William Cobbett, denying redundancy, and thinking population a blessing and not a curse, strongly opposed Wilmot Horton's plan as being one for sending poor people out of their native country. [90] To him the proposed Act of 1830 was "An Act to refuse relief to all able-bodied persons who will not be transported to the swamps and rocks and snows of Nova Scotia or Canada." [91] The mortgage of the poor rate was an attempt to "pawn the whole of the land and houses of England, in order to raise money to hire ships to carry the working people out of the country." [92] There was, he considered, no redundancy either of population or of labour, but only of taxation. [93] The cause of the distress was not surplus population, but bad laws and heavy taxes, and his remedy was to remove these instead of removing paupers. [94]

Two main objections were made to Wilmot Horton's plan by those who were inclined to accept emigration as a remedy. First it was argued that, no matter on what scale it was carried out, the abstraction of population would leave a "vacuum" which would be filled up immediately by the tendency of population to increase beyond the means of subsistence. This would entail all the evils of redundancy in an accentuated form, because the capital spent in emigration would be abstracted from the fund necessary to furnish employment at home. [95]

While this objection applied generally to any scheme of emigration, the second objection on the score of expense applied to Wilmot Horton's proposed means of carrying on emigration. The main assumption upon which his scheme was based, namely, that it was cheaper to locate paupers in Canada than to maintain them at home, met with no general acceptance. In 1839 he wrote: "Now, up to the present hour, notwithstanding an infinite variety of publications, notwithstanding the lectures which I gave publicly at the Mechanics' Institution, I have never been able to gain an assent to the proposition 'that home maintenance of paupers is a greater tax than the annuity necessary to repay the sum advanced for colonization.' This proposition has been placed by me, as I have already said, again and again, before the public; but except from scientific persons, with whom I have placed myself in close communication, I have never been able to obtain either from Government, from Parliament, from the Reviews, or from the public in general, anything like a satisfactory assent to a proposition which appears to me to be incapable of being denied." [96] The Emigration Commissioners of 1832, after admitting the success of his experiments of 1823 and 1825, as far as the happiness of the settlers was concerned, reported that "as a means of relief to the mother-country, the expense of such undertakings plainly rendered them unavailable, since, however beneficial to the parties actually removed, the measure was far too costly to be persevered in to any useful extent." [97] Indeed, expense was the chief rock on which his plan struck. The general feeling was that, although emigration, if conducted without too great an outlay, might be productive of great benefits to the emigrants and to the community as a whole, yet it was dangerous to lend money upon the security of repayment by emigrants. "If it can be clearly demonstrated that the expenses of sending out emigrants in the first instance can be repaid to the state, either by persons and bodies of persons interested in getting rid of the redundant portion of the population, or by the emigrants themselves, there would be manifestly a national gain from emigration. The condition of the emigrants themselves would be altered for the better, and by their abstraction, some relief, although slight and temporary, would be afforded to the rest of the population." [98] But it was feared that there was no certainty of repayment by the emigrants, and this fear was confirmed by experience. Nor was his plan of mortgaging the poor rate to secure the loan any less dangerous. In it his opponents saw "the commencement of a municipal national debt which is to overwhelm the country." [99]

Indeed, Wilmot Horton's plan carried within itself the seeds of failure. It contemplated a certain and permanent charge for a problematical future benefit. If the "vacuum" were to fill again, the rates would be burdened with the maintenance of two large classes of paupers, one at home, and one in the colonies. Even if the vacuum did not fill, and industry increased with a smaller population, the parish might find itself saddled with a debt incurred for removing pauper labour which was now badly needed at home. [100] The pauper's condition was not necessarily one of permanent destitution, but depended largely on the fluctuations in the labour market, which might easily improve and relieve the parish of the burden of his maintenance. A signal proof of the validity of this objection occurred in 1827. The Emigration Committee of that year, in view of the distress then existing amongst English and Scottish weavers, strongly recommended a grant of £50,000 from the national funds "in furtherance of an emigration from the manufacturing districts, at once as a relief from present distress, and as an important national experiment for the future." They based their recommendations upon "the urgency and the peculiarity of the case," [101] but, before the end of the year, conditions had so improved and the demand for labour so changed, that there were no claimants for the benefit. [102]

Wilmot Horton's chief opponents, though from widely different points of view, were Mr. Michael Sadler, and the advocates of systematic colonization under the leadership of Edward Gibbon Wakefield. The former was an uncompromising opponent of Malthus, and wrote books to prove that the Malthusian "principle of population" was wrong. [103] In addition, he was a man of deeply religious and humanitarian feeling, and this plan appeared to him to be irreligious and unnatural in that it sinned against the true law of population which was the law "of nature and of God." [104] Wakefield afterwards complained of him as one of "those unreasoning men who would determine questions in political economy by quoting scripture." [105]

Another objection he raised to emigration was that it drove people from their native land. Getting rid of paupers in this way amounted to making poverty a crime, and transportation its punishment. In the House of Commons and elsewhere he strongly attacked the plan, denying redundancy of population, advocating home colonization and poor laws for Ireland, and pointing to the mortality of the settlers of 1823 and 1825 as evidence of its failure. [106]

But even this opposition excited little interest. Wakefield wrote in 1849, "Twenty years ago colonization was in no respect a subject of public opinion; the public neither knew nor cared anything at all about it. There existed indeed at that time, a controversy between Mr. Wilmot Horton and Mr. Michael Thomas Sadler concerning emigration, which the infinite zeal of the disputants forced into some public notice; but as the only question between them was, whether, as Mr. Sadler contended, paupers ought to 'dwell in the land' in order to be fed, or, as Mr. Wilmot Horton proposed, be sent abroad out of the way, the public took no real interest in the dispute. Still less did Mr. Horton, notwithstanding his singular perseverance, excite a general interest in his plans of mere pauper emigration." [107] Nor was Wilmot Horton under any misapprehension as to his success. In 1830 he wrote, "I have heard that men of high reputation have expressed their regret 'that I would continue to bore the House of Commons with my absurd opinions.'" [108]

The advocates of systematic colonization always looked on Wilmot Horton's plan by way contrast to their own. They objected in the first place to the mother-country spending money on emigration to the colonies when, by adopting their system of sales of colonial waste land, a fund might easily be raised which would give the same advantages without any expense to the mother-country. [109] In the next place they objected to mortgaging the poor rate, and creating a permanent charge for a temporary relief. In their eyes not only was Wilmot Horton's plan ruinously expensive, but it was inadequate to its purpose. [110] The experiments in "the cruel art of pauper location" [111] had failed because of their expense, and because paupers were not suitable colonists. [112] "Though Mr. Horton rode his hobby so as to induce Parliament to try on a small scale a costly and deterrent experiment of his well-meant suggestions, he soon rode it to death." [113] They seized on the provisions depriving emigrants of parochial support as a proof that the authors of the plan expected failure. If the experiment were successful, they argued, there was no need for the pauper to lose his settlement as he would only return to the parish in case of failure. [114] In short, they considered the plan "the most expensive and least effective" [115] that could be devised. It was an "irrational scheme—a mere shift in haste and alarm, occasioned by the present truly alarming condition of the peasantry." [116]

More important than all this, it was not a plan of colonization at all, but one of mere emigration. It was "not founded on any principles of colonization; he does not regard emigration as, what it plainly is, but one, and only the second, element of colonization." [117]

It overlooked the most important, namely, the disposal of colonial waste lands. Emigration was only one ingredient of colonization, and its function merely was to supply colonies with labour. [118] In the same way as Wilmot Horton had distinguished between desultory, unregulated emigration and his plan of regulated and systematic emigration, so they distinguished between his plan of mere emigration and their own of systematic colonization. Their condemnation may be summed up under the phrase coined afterwards by Charles Buller—the whole scheme was nothing less than "shovelling out paupers." [119] They blamed Wilmot Horton and his plans for making emigration generally distasteful. In this respect pauper-location was as much a deterrent as transportation. [120] They complained that in his plan the advantage, not of the pauper emigrant, but of the ratepayer, was prominent; and that this, together with the fact that the settlers of 1823 and 1825 had suffered hardships, created a dislike to pauper emigration, and therefore to all emigration. [121] Again, they complained of the "language of apathy or disgust in which public opinion speaks concerning all measures for the promotion of colonization," [122] and for this indifference they blamed Wilmot Horton's activities. Indeed, they expressed their opinion of him in no measured terms. He was an "insufferable political bore"; [123] his seven years' advocacy of emigration had disgusted people with the mention of the word; [124] and "until that zealous and persevering, but ignorant and meddling pretender in political economy, shall cease to torment the public and the Colonial Office with his 'preparations to show' there will be difficulty in establishing rational views on this deeply interesting subject" of colonization. [125] Wilmot Horton's name served Wakefield long afterwards as a contemptuous phrase to express the antithesis of true colonization. In 1848, when Lord Grey had come into office again, with Benjamin Hawes and Charles Buller to assist him in colonial reform, and was disappointing the expectations of the systematic colonizers by proposing a loan for emigration on lines of which they disapproved, Wakefield wrote, "It is a scheme for nothing else than the shovelling out of paupers at the public expense. Lord Grey, Buller, and Hawes having failed in all their promises with respect both to colonization and government, fall back upon Wilmot-Hortonism." [126]

Wilmot Horton's failure to excite interest in his plans, or to get them carried into effect upon any large scale, disclosed the fact that the mother-country was not then prepared to spend any considerable amount of the public funds in emigration, even as a cure for redundancy of population. Voluntary emigration would not be discouraged as it furnished an outlet for population, and helped to make the colonies prosperous. It might even be regulated by Government, but it would not be carried on at the public cost. In this way the ground was cleared for the favourable reception of the Wakefield system, which in practice possessed the great attraction of providing a fund for emigration in a comparatively simple and inexpensive manner.




Footnotes to Chapter II.


1 G. R. Porter, The Progress of the Nation, 1836, pp. 11-13.

2 Ibid., p. 83.

3 Ibid., p. 84.

4 "It is true, that for years past the cry has been echoed from all sides, that the country is over-peopled, Mr. Malthus has 'frighted the isle from her propriety' with the tales of dire distress which the 'principle of population' has produced, is producing, and cannot fail, for all time to come, to produce. We have been taught to think the time near at hand when, like rats, we shall be driven by excess of numbers to eat one another. Mothers have been long looked upon as the great pests of society—Dr. Jenner as the prime enemy to humanity, for having cut off one of the ancient natural 'checks to population.' A regiment of chubby urchins excites a shudder in the humane political economist, who, in their actual health, sees only the promise of their future misery."—Quarterly Review for May, 1830.

5 G. L. Beer, British Colonial Policy, 1754-1765, p. 133.

6 At first R. J. Wilmot, but later he added the name of Horton. He was knighted in 1831.

7 So Horton in Inquiry into the Causes and Remedies of Pauperism, 1830. The Dict. Nat. Biog. gives the date as 1821.

8 Lucas, Durham Report, Vol. i, pp. 44-7.

9 Greville, referring to Wilmot Horton's lectures to the London Mechanics' Institute, at the end of 1830, wrote: "He deserves great credit for his exertions, the object of which is to explain to the labouring classes some of the truths of political economy, the folly of thinking that the breaking of machinery will better their condition, and, of course, the efficacy of his own plan of emigration . . . . He is full of zeal and animation, but so totally without method and arrangement that he is hardly intelligible." Memoirs, Vol. ii, p. 100.

10 Address on the British Colonies and Colonization, 1858, p. 7.

11 See the Outline of a Plan of Emigration to Upper Canada, handed in by him to the Select Committee on the Employment of the Poor in Ireland, 1823. Acc. and Pap., 1823, Vol. vi. See also Letter to Sir Francis Burdett, 1825, p. 25. Inquiry into the Causes and Remedies of Pauperism, 1830, 1st Series, pp. 21-2. Ireland and Canada, 1839, pp. 9-10, and p. 16.

12 Lectures to the London Mechanics' Institute, 1831, Lecture i, p. 7.

13 Ibid., p. 18.

14 Hansard, New Series, Vol. xvi, pp. 487-8.

15 Letter to Sir F. Burdett, 1825, p. 2. Inquiry into the Causes and Remedies of Pauperism, 1830, 3rd Series, p. 70.

16 Outline of a Plan of Emigration in Acc. and Pap., 1823, Vol. vi.

17 Causes and Remedies of Pauperism, 1830, 1st Series, p. 21.

18 Letter to Sir F. Burdett, 1825, p. 18.

19 Ibid., p. 25. Ireland and Canada, 1839, p. 16.

20 Hansard, New Series, Vol. xvi, p. 488.

21 Letter to Sir F. Burdett, 1826, pp. 30-8. Causes and Remedies of Pauperism, 1829, pp. 80-5.

22 Inquiry into the Causes and Remedies of Pauperism, 1830, 1st Series, p. 22.

23 Letter to Sir F. Burdett, 1825, pp. 50 et seq.

24 Inquiry into the Causes and Remedies of Pauperism, 1830, 1st Series, p. 34.

25 Ibid.

26 Ibid., 4th Series, pp. 77-8.

27 Letter to Sir F. Burdett, Appendix, p. 88.

28 Ireland and Canada, 1839, p. iv.

29 Inquiry into the Causes and Remedies of Pauperism, 1830, pp. 22-3.

30 Ibid., pp. 23-4. See also Hansard, 1827, N.S., Vol. xvi, p. 489.

31 See generally his Outline of a Plan of Emigration handed in to the Select Committee of 1823 on the Employment of the Poor in Ireland. Acc. and Pap., 1823, Vol. vi, p. 331.

32 This was his first proposal. In practice the amount came to be 70 acres, with a further reserve of 30 which might be purchased by the settler. See memorandum of terms for Robinson's settlers handed in by Wilmot Horton to 1823 Committee on Employment of the Poor in Ireland.

33 Letter to Sir F. Burdett, Appendix, p. 11.

34 Causes and Remedies of Pauperism, 1829, p. 59.

35 Outline of a Plan of Emigration.

36 Wilmot Horton's speech, February 15th, 1827. Hansard, New Series, Vol. xvi, pp. 480-1. See also Third Report of Select Committee on Emigration, 1827. Acc. and Pap., 1826-7, Vol. v, p. 223; and Causes and Remedies of Pauperism, 1829, Part i, p. 21.

37 Hansard, New Series, Vol. xvi, p. 480.

38 Ireland and Canada, 1839, p. 13.

39 S. C. Johnson, History of Emigration, 1913, p. 159.

40 Lucas, Durham Report, Vol. ii, p. 217.

41 Hansard, New Series, Vol. xvi, p. 480.

42 Ibid., p. 481.

43 Letter to Sir F. Burdett, 1825, pp. 15-16, and pp. 58 et seq.

44 Third Report in Acc. and Pap., 1826-7, Vol. v, p. 223.

45 Inquiry into the Causes and Remedies of Pauperism, 1830, 1st Series, p. 8.

46 Lecture i at the London Mechanics' Institute, 1831, pp. 14-15.

47 Letter to Sir F. Burdett, 1825, p. 19. His estimate varied. In 1823 he put it at £30, and in 1829 at £15, per head. Outline of a Plan of Emigration, 1823, and Causes and Remedies of Pauperism, 1830, 1st Series, p. 40.

48 Letter to Sir F. Burdett, 1825, pp. 19 et seq.

49 Outline of a Plan of Emigration, 1823.

50 Letter to Sir Francis Burdett, 1825, p. 64.

51 Outline of a Plan of Emigration, 1823.

52 Acc. and Pap., 1823, Vol. xiii, p. 301.

53 Ibid. 1825, Vol. xviii, p. 358.

54 Appendix xviii to Report of the Departmental Committee on Agricultural Settlements in British Colonies, Vol. ii, Cd. 2979, p. 327. This report states that the grant of £50,000 in 1819 was never spent; but see S. C. Johnson, History of Emigration to North America, 1913, p. 19.

55 Wilmot Horton in the House of Commons, 1826. Hansard, New Series, Vol. xiv, at p. 1362.

56 Ibid., Vol. xvi, p. 475.

57 Evidence before the 1823 Committee on Irish Labouring Poor.

58 "The whole of those who had been sent out were in fact paupers, divested of all means of procuring a subsistence at home, and utterly incapable of providing for themselves and families."—Wilmot Horton, Hansard, New Series, Vol. xiv, p. 1361.

59 Wilmot Horton's evidence before the 1823 Committee on Irish Labouring Poor.

60 Report in Acc. and Pap., 1823, Vol. vi, p. 331.

61 Mr. Peter Robinson's evidence before the 1827 Emigration Committee. Acc. and Pap., 1826-7, Vol. v.

62 Acc. and Pap., 1826-7, Vol. xv, p. 277.

63 Robinson's evidence before the 1827 Committee.

64 Hansard, New Series, Vol. xvi, pp. 476 et seq. Causes and Remedies of Pauperism, 1829, pp. 5-8, and pp. 24-8, quoting Col. Talbot and Capt. Basil Hall. Ireland and Canada, 1839, pp. 37 et seq., quoting Lieut. Rubidge.

65 See his evidence before 1826 Committee on Emigration, especially to Question 1565. Acc. and Pap., 1826, Vol. iv, p. i. His report, however, in 1827, was more favourable. Acc. and Pap., 1828, Vol. xxi, p. 359.

66 See, e.g., Robinson's Report on the 1823 settlement. Acc. and Pap., 1825, Vol. xviii, p. 358; and the Report of the Commissioners for Emigration, 1832. Acc. and Pap., 1831-2, Vol. xxxii, p. 209.

67 Inquiry into the Causes and Remedies of Pauperism, 1830, Third Series, p. 84.

68 Report in Acc. and Pap., 1831-2, Vol. xxxii, p. 209.

69 Hansard, 3rd Series, Vol. lxviii, p. 556.

70 Wilmot Horton, Letter to Sir F. Burdett, 1825, p. 11.

71 S. C. Johnson, History of Emigration to North America, 1913, pp. 231-2.

72 Acc. and Pap., 1826, Vol. iv, p. i.

73 Third (and final) Report in Acc. and Pap., 1826-7, Vol. v, p. 223. For a list of the members of this Committee of 1827 see Causes and Remedies of Pauperism, 1829, pp. 10-11.

74 Inquiry into the Causes and Remedies of Pauperism, 1830, 4th Series, p. 86.

75 Hansard, N.S., Vol. xxv, p. 367.

76 See the Bill in 1830-1. Acc. and Pap., Vol. i, p. 463; Horton's Bills of 1828 and 1830 do not appear in the Acc. and Pap. for those years.

77 Hansard, 3rd Series, Vol. ii, pp. 875 et seq. William Cobbett wrote to Howick: "This bill is a legacy, or heirloom, which you are so unfortunate as to inherit from Wilmot Horton, your predecessor in office." Weekly Political Register, April 9th, 1831. A contemporary satirist put the same idea somewhat differently:

"Horton's old mantle Howick makes his own,
Across his shoulders whimsically thrown;
And vapid lingo finds a hackney'd theme
In emigration, as a social scheme,
Destined to render th' English nation blest,
By getting rid of paupers as a pest;
If starving hinds and all their tribe will go
Where hungry cravings none can ever know;
Where Indian mothers and their sucking squaws
Find ceaseless practice for their copper jaws;
Or where th' Australian to the stranger yields,
In savage sulk, his boundless woods and fields;
Where culprits that escaped the gallows-tree
Become possessors of estates in fee,
And those estates, from genial option, choose
In districts stocked with thieves and kangaroos."

Crayons from the Commons; or Members in Relievo, by Peregrine Palette, 1831, pp. 53-4.

78 4 & 5 W. IV, c. 76, § 62. A somewhat similar section was inserted in the Irish Poor Law Act of 1838, 1 & 2 Vic, c. 56, § 51.

79 Mr. Gally Knight in 1843. Hansard, 3rd Series, Vol. lxviii, p. 544.

80 Ireland and Canada, 1839, pp. 73-4. Cf. Causes and Remedies of Pauperism, 1829, p. iv, where he speaks of the "general apathy and distrust which have attached to the principles, opinions, and recommendations of the Emigration Committee."

81 Quarterly Review, March, 1828; April, 1831. Edinburgh Review, January, 1824; December, 1826; January, 1828. Westminster Review, January, 1828: "We subscribe, then, to the expediency of emigration from Ireland, as a temporary political measure, and not upon the essential merits of the scheme itself."

82 Quarterly Review, March, 1828.

83 Edinburgh Review, January, 1824.

84 Ibid., December, 1826.

85 Inquiry into the Causes and Remedies of Pauperism, 1830, 4th Series, pp. iii-iv.

86 Ibid., 3rd Series, p. 22.

87 Michael Sadler in the House of Commons, Hansard, New Series, Vol. xxi, p. 1728. James Grattan, ibid. Vol. xix, pp. 1509-10. Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine for February, 1828.

88 See the speeches in Hansard, New Series, Vol. xvi, p. 302 (Benett); Vol. xviii, p. 956 (Leycester); Vol. xxi, p. 1141 (Sadler).

89 Hansard, 3rd Series, Vol. ii, p. 888.

90 Cobbett's Weekly Political Register, March 3rd, 1827; March 29th, 1828; and March 12th, 1831.

91 Ibid., March 20th, 1830.

92 Ibid., March 12th, 1831.

93 Ibid., March 20th, 1830.

94 Ibid., November 3rd, 1827, and March 31st, 1831.

95 Westminster Review, October, 1826. See speeches in Hansard, New Series, Vol. xvi, p. 490 (James Grattan); p. 509 (Joseph Hume); Vol. xviii, p. 956 (Benett); pp. 960-1 (W. Whitmore); p. 1554 (Huskisson); Vol. xix, p. 1513 (Warburton).

96 Ireland and Canada, 1839, pp. 53-4. See also Edinburgh Review, January, 1828.

97 Report in Acc. and Pap., 1831-2, Vol. xxxii, p. 209.

98 Westminster Review, October, 1826.

99 Inquiry into the Causes and Remedies of Pauperism, 1830, 4th Series, p. 91.

100 See Peel's speech in 1828. Hansard, New Series, Vol. xix, pp. 1515 et seq.

101 Second Report in Acc. and Pap., 1826-7, p.3.

102 Hansard, New Series, Vol. xix, pp. 1517-18.

103 e.g., Ireland, its evils and their remedies, 1829. The Law of Population, 1830, 2 vols. The true law of population he stated to be "the fecundity of human beings under similar circumstances, varies inversely as their numbers on a given space." Ireland, 2nd Ed., 1829, p. xxviii.

104 Ireland, 2nd Ed., 1829, p. xxii.

105 England and America, Vol. ii, p. 96. The motto of Sadler's book on Ireland was "Dwell in the land and verily thou shalt be fed."

106 Hansard, N.S., Vol. xxi, pp. 1138-40.

107 Art of Colonization, 1849, pp. 38-9.

108 Inquiry into the Causes and Remedies of Pauperism, 1830, 1st Series, p. 12.

109 Charles Tennant, Correspondence with Nassau Senior concerning Systematic Colonization, 1831, p. 16.

110 Ibid., p. 42. Spectator, March 13th, 1830.

111 Letter vii of P. to Lord Howick, Spectator, February 19th, 1831.

112 Tennant, Correspondence with Nassau Senior, 1831, pp. 20 et seq.

113 Art of Colonization, 1849, p. 39.

114 Correspondence with Nassau Senior, pp. 26 et seq.

115 Ibid., pp. 22-3.

116 Ibid., p. 15.

117 Ibid., p. 39.

118 Correspondence with Nassau Senior, p. 28.

119 Hansard, 3rd Series, Vol. lxviii, p. 522.

120 See E. G. Wakefield, England and America, 1833, Vol. ii, pp. 218 et seq.

121 Ibid., Vol. ii, pp. 220-1.

122 Charles Tennant, Letter to Sir G. Murray on Systematic Colonization, 1830, p. 52.

123 Spectator, January 15th, 1831.

124 Ibid.

125 Spectator, February 26th, 1831.

126 Letter to R. S. Rintoul, May 1st, 1848, Founders of Canterbury, 1868 (Ed. by E. J. Wakefield), p. 27. He added a characteristic comment, "My aim will be to nip the scheme in the bud."






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Chapter III

THE FOUNDING OF THE SWAN RIVER COLONY

In the early part of the year 1827, Captain James Stirling, of the Royal Navy, left Port Jackson, New South Wales, in H.M.S. Success on a voyage of exploration to the West Coast of Australia. He was accompanied by Mr. Frazer, a botanist, who had been present at the opening of a great deal of new country in Australia. [1] Having examined the coast near Swan River and penetrated some distance inland, Stirling, on his return, sent in to the Colonial Office a report on the country's suitability for colonization. [2] Previous accounts from Dutch and French explorers had been very unfavourable. They had found neither fresh water, fertile soil, nor a safe anchorage. According to Stirling the country was well supplied with each of these essentials, and he gave a glowing account of its fitness for colonization. It was, he wrote, "the land which, of all that I have seen in various quarters of the world, possesses the greatest natural attraction." [3] It appeared to him as "a spot so eligible for settlement that it cannot long remain unoccupied. It is not inferior in any natural essential quality to the plain of Lombardy." [4]

Stirling warned the Colonial Office that "some foreign power may see the advantage of taking possession should His Majesty's Government leave it unappropriated." [5] The Admiralty repeated this warning, and urged that the settlement of Albany should without hesitation be transferred to Swan River, lest the French or the Americans should assume possession of the only safe anchorage on the West Coast of Australia. [6] This settlement of Albany on King George's Sound in 1825, and those at Melville Island in 1824, and at Raffles Bay in 1827, were all convict settlements founded for fear of the French, [7] and the same motive now induced the Government to decide on a new, but free, settlement at Swan River. [8] It was rumoured that the French were about to seize such an attractive place and thus hamper English trade both with India and the East Coast of Australia. At a later time, indeed, these rumours were proved to be false, [9] but, for the moment, they spurred the Government into activity. Huskisson suggested, early in 1828, that the East India Company might found the colony, and he promised that every facility would be given to them by the Government. [10] The Company, however, did not think it expedient, and the Government gave up the project on grounds of economy. [11]

Stirling's report attracted much attention in England, and the proposal dropped by the Government was taken up in August, 1828, by private individuals. The first offer came from Captain Stirling and Major Moody (of the Royal Engineers). Rightly assuming that expense was the Government's objection to founding the colony, they asked permission to form an association of private capitalists to whom a proprietary charter should be granted on the lines of those of Pennsylvania and Georgia. [12] But although the Government would not found a settlement themselves, they were determined not to lose control over any proposed new colony. They did not, therefore, accept this offer, "as it was deemed desirable to exercise a more immediate control over the settlement by Government than by such an arrangement it would possess." [13]

The next offer came very soon afterwards from another body of capitalists, consisting of Mr. Thomas Peel (second cousin of Sir Robert Peel), Sir Francis Vincent, Mr. E. W. H. Schenley, and Colonel Potter MacQueen. They formed themselves into an association to colonize at Swan River by sending there 10,000 settlers, and a due proportion of stock, within the next four years. They reckoned their outlay at £30 per head of people sent out, and asked in return for a grant of 4,000,000 acres, being at the rate of 1s. 6d. per acre. [14] Believing that their scheme had received the verbal sanction of the Government, they bought a ship, and began to make the necessary preparations. [15] But the Government was not prepared to part with such an enormous amount of land on these conditions, nor were they anxious that the experiment should be made on such a large scale in the first instance, because of the extensive distress which would result in case of failure. The Government proposed, therefore, to limit the grant to a maximum of one million acres, half of which was to be given on the arrival of the first vessel, provided not less than 400 settlers were sent out then. The other half was to be granted by degrees as fresh settlers arrived. [16] At the same time they laid down conditions as to cultivation and investment of capital which were to apply not only to the proposed Association, but to any other settlers who chose to emigrate there. The Government declared its intention to incur no expense in founding the colony. No convicts or any other prisoners were to be sent there. Any settler emigrating was to receive a grant of land at the rate of forty acres for every £3 of capital invested. Paying a labourer's passage was to count as an investment of capital at the pate of 200 acres for each passage paid. If, within twenty-one years, the land was not cultivated and improved to the satisfaction of the governor it was to revert to the Crown. The Government also announced their intention of strictly maintaining not only these conditions, but all contracts for service in the colony which might be made with labourers or others. [17] The government of the colony was to be in the hands of Captain Stirling, who was to receive no salary until the colony was successful. Instead of salary he was to have a grant of 100,000 acres, subject to the same conditions as other settlers, except that he was allowed to have a priority of choice. A Bill establishing the government of the colony was promised for the next Session of Parliament. [18] The Association insisted that they, too, had been given a priority of choice, [19] and this was, in the end, allowed to them as to 250,000 acres. In all respects but this they were to be placed on the same footing as other settlers. [20]

At the beginning of the year 1829, owing to these changes in the original plan, the other members of the Association withdrew, leaving Peel, who was prepared to accept the terms of the Government. [21] New regulations for intending settlers were published by the Colonial Office in January, 1829, containing two important changes from the terms of 1828. In the first place the grants in proportion to the capital were only to apply to settlers arriving in the colony before the end of 1830. In the next place the period of twenty-one years allowed for cultivation was reduced to ten. [22] For those who arrived after 1830 the Government was later to make new regulations. The final agreement made with Peel was that if he landed at least 400 settlers before November 1st, 1829, he was to receive 250,000 acres, which he was allowed to mark out on the map, and which would be reserved for him until that date. If he fulfilled this condition he could subsequently claim, by a further investment of capital, land to the extent of another 750,000 acres. The original term of twenty-one years was allowed to him for cultivation. If he had landed no settlers by November 1st, 1829, his priority of choice lapsed, and he was to be exactly on the same footing as any other settler investing in the colony. [23]

In the beginning of February, 1829, a small preparatory expedition, under the leadership of Captain Stirling, sailed from Spithead in the ships Parmelia and Sulphur. After touching at Cape Town the Parmelia, with. Stirling on board, arrived at Swan River on June 1st, the Sulphur arriving seventeen days later. One month before, Captain Fremantle, acting under instructions, had arrived from Sydney, and had taken possession of the West Coast of Australia in the name of His Majesty King George IV. Captain Stirling at once began to form a settlement, and to prepare for the expected stream of immigrants. [24]

Meantime a Bill had been introduced into the House of Commons on April 3rd by Sir George Murray to provide for the government of the new colony. The Bill passed through its several stages in both Houses with little or no discussion. On the second reading in the House of Commons, Joseph Hume made some objection to the power left in the hands of a single individual. In Committee, too, he inquired as to the expense, and was told by Murray that "it was conducted on the lowest possible scale." [25]

The Quarterly Review for April, 1829, contained a puffing article, setting forth the advantages of colonizing the Swan River country. The project was recommended as a remedy for over-population in Britain, and as a means of creating new markets for British manufactures. The new colony was vaunted as superior to New South Wales in several respects. In the first place it had a better soil and climate. In the next place its geographical position in regard to Europe and to India was more favourable to commerce than that of New South Wales. For it was predicted a rapid growth like that of Singapore. In the last place it was to be a free settlement, untainted by the presence of convicts. [26]

Despite frequent disclaimers the impression got abroad that the colony was to be founded by the Government, or, at any rate, with its approbation and co-operation. [27] The Colonial Office was credited with the keenest interest in the success of the new colony, and the Quarterly Review's article was suspected of being official in origin. [28] Horace Twiss, then Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies, was considered to be the real founder of the colony. When Shaw Lefevre, who held this position in 1834, asked his chief, Stanley, to consider carefully the project of colonizing South Australia, Stanley replied that "Hay had founded Fernando Po, Twiss had founded Swan River, and he, Lefevre, wanted, he supposed, to found Spencer's Gulf." [29] After the first intimation of the intention to form a colony the Government received numerous applications for free passages from intending emigrants. [30] But all these they refused as there was no emigration fund, and they were determined to avoid all expense. A desire for emigration manifested itself not only among poorer people, but among capitalists of considerable property. Indeed, the prospects held out by the new colony appeared very favourable. New South Wales had recently made remarkable progress in a small space of time, and, according to reports, this country was not only better situated for commerce, but more fertile and with a more equable climate. Again a very great attraction was that it was to be the first free settlement on the shores of Australia. The settlers were never to endure the evils of transportation, and they might with safety settle their families there in the knowledge that they would live in a free and moral society. [31] In addition, the great inducement was held out to them of obtaining good land under easy conditions. A further attraction to capitalists lay in the fact that the Government was prepared to maintain a civil and military establishment for the protection of the settlers, and to enforce the contracts of indentured labourers. In these circumstances the body of intending colonists was respectable in number, in property, and in character. It contained "more than the usual number of men of property and family," [32] compared, at any rate, with colonies hitherto founded in the eighteenth or nineteenth centuries. [33]

Very soon after publication of the article in the Quarterly Review it was rumoured that the whole of the Swan and Canning Rivers, the entire shore of the harbour, and practically all the available fertile land had been granted to Peel, so that there was little inducement for any settler who did not obtain land from him. [34] Sir George Murray took the occasion in the House of Commons to deny this, and to point out the true state of affairs, by giving the history of the negotiations with the Government, and the terms upon which Peel held his land. [35]

Even then it was suggested out of Parliament that Sir Robert Peel had been instrumental in obtaining an enormous grant of land for a relative of his. [36] Peel in Parliament replied to his critics that all he had done was to send a letter to Sir George Murray asking him to give Mr. Thomas Peel, his second cousin, "any facilities that he consistently could." He assured the House, "on the honour of a gentleman," that he had done nothing more, and Brougham took the occasion to say that he had never before known Peel to make an unnecessary speech. [37]

In spite of the high hopes which attended the founding of the new colony, its success was small. The first settlers met with more than the usual hardships and disappointments which accompany the formation of a new settlement in an uninhabited country. The anchorage which had seemed so safe at the end of summer was dangerous in the winter. Stirling's ship, the Parmelia, went ashore, and several others became wrecks. Then, too, the reports as to the fertility of the land proved to be exaggerated. [38] The opinions of a naval officer and a botanist were found not to coincide with those of practical farmers. [39] To add to their other difficulties a scarcity of provisions manifested itself, and the colony had to be fed from Van Diemen's Land. [40] The result was that from the beginning prices ruled very high in the colony. [41] Most of the good land near at hand was taken up by a few settlers, [42] and the rest were either unable to obtain sufficient for their purposes, or were unwilling to go far enough afield to find it. In these circumstances there was a great deal of disappointment amongst those who had expected instant success; in place of the very optimistic reports of the prospects of the new colony, equally exaggerated reports of its unsuitability for colonization and its complete failure were circulated, especially by those who had left the colony in disgust. [43] A great deal of good land was found, but the settlers had been induced to believe that there was no bad land, and many of them found to their cost that this was false. Although the emigrants were generally respectable, and possessed of some capital, they were not as a body quite equal to the difficult situation in which they found themselves placed. [44] Many of them had no notion of the hardships they would encounter. In the words of an early settler, some of them "expected the moment their feet touched the shore, to find inns, turnpike roads, smiling orchards, and cornfields in a country untrod by civilized man." [45] Some, indeed, resolutely faced all difficulties, and managed to establish themselves, but others soon gave up the unequal struggle and removed themselves and what was left of their property to Van Diemen's Land, or to New South Wales. [46] By January, 1830, disastrous accounts of the failure of the new colony reached England from Van Diemen's Land. [47] The anchorage was said to be unsafe, the land mostly sterile and incapable of supporting a population, while the whole of the good land was reported to be taken up already. A general despondency was said to have taken the place of the hopeful feelings of the early colonists.

The evidence as to the early days is so conflicting that it is difficult to determine what really happened. The official despatches of the Governor never admit anything like a general failure, but attribute the want of success to the class of colonists emigrating, and to the exaggerated expectations which they had formed. [48] Certainly there was much distress, and the greater part of the settlers re-emigrated. The population, which had been 4,000, dropped in 1832 to 1,500. [49] Nevertheless, a beginning was made on a very small scale, and, though sorely harassed, the colony managed to keep alive. The land was, no doubt, very different from what Stirling had reported it to be, but it was by no means "nothing but sand and rocks" as the disappointed settlers found it. [50] The anchorage at Gage Roads was unsafe; that at Cockburn Sound was better. [51] Although several ships were lost, it was often due to neglecting the official warning as to the insecurity of their anchorage. For want of time between the arrival of the first expedition and that of the main body, sufficient care was not taken in making preparations to receive the settlers. The two largest enterprises—that of Peel and that of Colonel Lautour—were both failures, [52] but some of the smaller capitalists prospered. Peel did not arrive in the colony until early in December, 1829, when, according to agreement, his grant was no longer reserved for him, but was distributed amongst other applicants. [53] He landed 300 settlers, and spent altogether £50,000, [54] but in a very little time his stock had wasted away, and most of his settlers had left him. Edward Gibbon Wakefield, before the House of Commons Committee on Waste Lands in 1836, gave a very vivid account of the failure of the colony and of Peel's misfortunes—on the authority, he said, of one of Peel's agents. [55]

"That colony, which was founded with a general hope in this country, amongst very intelligent persons of all descriptions, that it would be a most prosperous colony, has all but perished. It has not quite perished, but the population is a great deal less than the number of emigrants; it has been a diminishing population since its foundation. The greater part of the capital which was taken out (and that was very large) has disappeared altogether, and a great portion of the labourers taken out (and they were a very considerable number) have emigrated a second time to Van Diemen's Land and New South Wales. The many disasters which befell this colony (for some people did actually die of hunger), and the destruction of the colony taken out to the Swan River, and the second emigration of the people who went out, appear to me to be accounted for at once by the manner in which land was granted. The first grant consisted of 500,000 acres to an individual, Mr. Peel. That grant was marked out upon the map in England—500,000 acres were taken round about the port or landing place. It was quite impossible for Mr. Peel to cultivate 500,000 acres, or a hundredth part of the grant; but others were, of course, necessitated to go beyond his grant in order to take their land. So that the first operation in that colony was to create a great desert, to mark out a large tract of land, and to say. 'This is desert—no man shall come here; no man shall cultivate this land.' So far dispersion was produced, because upon the terms on which Mr. Peel obtained his land, land was given to the others. The governor took another 100,000 acres, another person took 80,000 acres; and the dispersion was so great that, at last, the settlers did not know where they were; that is, each settler knew that he was where he was, but he could not tell where anyone else was; and, therefore, he did not know his own position. That was why some people died of hunger; for though there was an ample supply of food at the governor's house, the settlers did not know where the governor was, and the governor did not know where the settlers were. Then, besides the evils resulting from dispersion, there occurred what I consider almost a greater one; which is, the separation of the people and the want of combinable labour. The labourers, on finding out that land could be obtained with the greatest facility, the labourers taken out under contracts, under engagements which assured them of very high wages if they would labour during a certain time for wages, immediately laughed at their masters. Mr. Peel carried out altogether about 300 persons—men, women, and children. Of those 300 persons, about sixty were able labouring men. In six months after his arrival he had nobody even to make his bed for him or to fetch him water from the river. He was obliged to make his own bed and to fetch water for himself, and to light his own fire. All the labourers had left him. The capital, therefore, which he took out, namely, implements of husbandry, seeds and stock, especially stock, immediately perished; without shepherds to take care of the sheep, the sheep wandered and were lost; eaten by the native dogs, killed by the natives and by some of the other colonists, very likely by his own workmen; but they were destroyed; his seeds perished on the beach; his houses were of no use; his wooden houses were there in frame, in pieces, but could not be put together, and were therefore quite useless, and rotted on the beach. This was the case with the capitalists generally. The labourers, obtaining land very readily, and running about to fix upon locations for themselves, and to establish themselves independently, very soon separated themselves into isolated families, into what may be termed cottiers, with a very large extent of land, something like the Irish cottiers, but having, instead of a very small piece of land, a large extent of land. Every one was separated, and very soon fell into the greatest distress. Falling into the greatest distress, they returned to their masters, and insisted upon the fulfilment of the agreements upon which they had gone out; but then Mr. Peel said, 'All my capital is gone; you have ruined me by deserting me, by breaking your engagements; and you now insist upon my observing the engagements when you yourselves have deprived me of the means of doing so.' They wanted to hang him, and he ran away to a distance, where he secreted himself for a time till they were carried off to Van Diemen's Land." [56]

In all this there is much truth and considerable error. As a general description of the colony it is not quite fair, while in some important details it is inaccurate.

Wakefield confused Peel's reserved grant, which was marked out upon the map in England, and did take in a great deal of the country around the port, [57] with the grant that he subsequently obtained. This latter did not exceed 250,000 acres, and extended "from Cockburn Sound to the Murray River near Cape Bauvard, and thence up that river twenty-five miles from its source," i.e., considerably to the south of his original grant. [58]

As to the governor's 100,000 acres, they were situated partly on Isle Buâche (later known as Garden Island) and partly at Geographe Bay, about one hundred miles from the Swan River.

Although famine often threatened the colony, there is no evidence that any settlers died of starvation. [59]

Again, there was no such wholesale desertion of their masters by indentured servants as Wakefield described. No doubt there was a great deal of trouble between masters and servants. [60] who could not agree as to the interpretation of their contracts. [61] Servants did occasionally desert, and once more the plan of taking out to a colony labourers under indenture failed. [62] One settler bitterly complained: "Indented servants are of no use. Almost every settler is obliged to dismiss his indented servants for idleness, disobedience to orders or drunkenness; and so soon as they obtain their liberty they embark for either Hobart or Sydney. I have been ruined by laying out my money in the way recommended by Government in their published regulations." [63]

Agreements were enforced, at least after a court was established, and often it was the master and not the servant who wished to escape from his obligations. In Peel's case, indeed, although some of his people deserted him (and were imprisoned for it [64]) he consented to discharge all but a few from their indentures. These were maintained at the public expense until they found employment with other masters, or departed to other colonies. [65] The reason given by Wakefield for the desertion, namely, that the labourers could easily obtain land, is quite inconsistent with the regulation in the colony forbidding land grants to servants under indenture or to those who came out at the expense of others, unless the conditions of any agreement under which they came were fulfilled. [66] This regulation was never relaxe. [67]

Peel's failure was due in part to his own character. In his dealings with the Colonial Office he showed himself to be of an impetuous nature, and possessed of little discretion. [68] Added to this he did not have sufficient business ability to direct with success such a large undertaking in a new colony. [69]

When Wakefield gave this description he was explaining and defending his theory of a sufficient price on colonial waste land before his first important Committee of the House of Commons. For some years previously, too, he had been doing his best to make a success of the scheme for founding South Australia on this principle. He was, therefore, led perhaps to exaggerate the failure of Swan River, and to attribute it wholly to the system adopted there of large free grants of land.

After the disasters of the first few years, the colony improved a little, but from 1832 to 1849 it made very slow progress. The population slowly grew from 1,500 in 1832, to 4,600 in 1849. [70] Capital and labour were both scarce, and the colony remained unattractive to emigrants.

The causes of this stagnation are not difficult to find. The early failures, the quality of the soil, the disappointment of the first settlers, and the consequent discouraging reports sent home, brought to the new colony an unenviable notoriety. Emigrants were anxious to avoid a place where, it was said, the land was desert, and man and beast perished. If they went to Australia at all, they preferred New South Wales or Van Diemen's Land, where good land could be got, and convicts to work it.

There stand out, however, three main reasons why the colony did not achieve success in any way equal to that of the other Australian colonies.

In the first place, the method of disposing of waste land on very easy terms and in large grants encouraged a scramble for land in which the colonists took up far more land than they could possibly cultivate, and settled themselves at a distance from one another. [71] In the attempt to secure large allotments the settlers expended so much of their capital on outfit, and in bringing themselves and their labourers to their land that they soon found themselves without any capital to carry on agriculture. [72] Those who did not quit the colony remained scattered and impoverished, for, after the first inrush of population, very little capital came, and for want of it industry languished. [73] The injury done to the colony by granting away large tracts of land was admitted very soon by those at the head of affairs at home and in the colony. [74] Governor Stirling, as early as January, 1830, recommended that the Home Government should abandon the system of free grants in favour of the American system of sale by auction. [75] Sir George Murray, in July, 1830, announced the intention of his department to take into consideration the whole question of the disposal of Crown lands in the colonies. In the meantime he sent out to the Swan River new land regulations. [76] No change in principle was made by these regulations, but the amount of land granted in proportion to capital was reduced. Those settlers who arrived after 1830 were only to receive twenty acres instead of forty for every £3 of capital invested, and paying a labourer's passage gave a right to only 100 instead of 200 acres. Murray also suggested to Stirling that, in order to prevent the injurious dispersion of colonists, some limit should be placed on the quantity of land which a settler, whatever the amount of his capital, might be allowed to receive.

But by then the harm had been done, and if any further proof of the evil of large land grants were needed, it was shown by the want of success which attended the introduction of the new system of sale of land in the beginning of 1831. [77] So much land had by then been alienated that for fifteen years or more land sales were a negligible quantity, and consequently no fund was raised in this way for emigration. [78]

In the second place, an important cause of failure was the scarcity of labour, resulting partly from the system of large grants, and partly from the system of indentured labour. The former prevented the settlers from combining their labour. Scattered and impoverished they were unable to render to one another that support and co-operation which is particularly necessary in a new colony. [79] With the failure of the latter system went the only body of labour for hire in the colony. Until 1849 there was never a supply of labour in the colony satisfactory to the settlers, and this they early made a source of complaint. In 1831, and again in 1832, they petitioned the Home Government, in view of the scarcity of labour, to provide labourers with free passages to the colony, and to repay itself out of their future wages. They persuaded Governor Stirling to visit England in order to lay this and other requests before the Secretary of State, which he did, but without success, in 1832-3.

In the third place. Government expenditure was kept on a very low scale compared with New South Wales and Van Diemen's Land. The Home Government adhered closely to their declared intention of incurring no expense in founding the colony, and the civil establishment was kept down to modest proportions. They also refused to spend money either in public works, or in paying the passage of labourers, taking the view that the colony had been founded by private enterprise, and should receive no assistance other than the provision of its civil government, and its protection by naval and military forces. More important still was the absence of convicts. In the penal colonies of New South Wales and Van Diemen's Land, the system of transportation both provided a useful, if not very satisfactory, supply of labour, and occasioned a very large Government expenditure in maintaining and guarding the penal establishments. On these two factors rested to a great extent their prosperity, but the Swan River colony had the advantage of neither.

The best evidence of the scarcity of labour suffered by the Swan River, and of its lack of prosperity, lies in the fact that although it was founded as a free colony, and claimed particular merit on that account, convicts were asked for as a special boon, and that not until the request was granted, and they arrived in 1849, did the colony make any rapid progress.

As early as 1831, it is said, the majority of settlers would have been glad to share the benefits of convict labour as the only means of making the colony thriving and prosperous. [80] Wakefield declared in 1831, [81] and repeated in 1833, [82] and in 1836, [83] that the colonists had asked for convicts, [84] and he treated the request as an admission of the want of labour.

From 1831 to 1834, isolated requests were made to the Home Government by settlers, and by those interested in the colony, that the original determination to send no prisoners might be rescinded. Colonel Lautour, who owned one of the largest enterprises in the colony, proposed, in January, 1831, to take out 300 of those agricultural labourers who had been convicted in the recent riots in England. In support of his proposal, he urged their value as agriculturists and the difference between them and the ordinary convicts. [85] In the same year, too, a settler declared to the Home Government that the whole colony would welcome the introduction of any kind of convict labour. "The Government need not fear the charge of a breach of faith. The settlers, to a man, have changed their opinions since they encamped within the shores of Australia. There can, therefore, be no breach of faith in granting them a boon which will be beneficial to all, and the only thing which can save most of them from utter ruin. A settler of the first rank and capital said to me, 'I came here because no convicts were to be sent; but so completely are my sentiments altered on the subject that, if a petition for convict labour were moved to-morrow, I should be ready to put my name to it.'" [86] Three years later another settler wrote that convict labour would give the colony its only chance of prosperity. [87]

Captain Irwin, in 1834, proposed to import convicted natives of India to labour in the construction of public works in the colony. [88]

But it was not until the end of 1834 that any united request was made by the colonists, and then only by a few. Sixteen settlers at King George's Sound then signed a petition asking for the establishment of a convict station there. [89] They urged that the difficulties encountered in establishing themselves in the interior of the colony could not otherwise be overcome, and therefore "that the unpleasant feeling regarding the presence of convicts must yield to the more important object of advancing themselves and the colony in general." [90]

All of these early requests the Government refused to grant, taking the view that it would mean breaking the engagement under which the colony was formed. But in 1849, when Swan River was still lagging far behind the other Australian colonies, and the latter were ridding themselves of the system of transportation, the renewed request was granted, and an immediate prosperity set in. [91]

The Swan River colony was the first experiment in free colonization which had been made in Australia in the nineteenth century, and, by the new and vigorous school of systematic colonizers, at whose head was Edward Gibbon Wakefield, it was, from 1830, seized upon as a horrible example of how not to colonize. [92] Its want of success was attributed to an erroneous principle of colonization, whose trial pointed the way towards the true principle. [93] "The ideas of the founders of the Colonization Society of 1830," wrote Wakefield in 1849, "grew out of the first proceedings of the British Government in settling the Swan River or West Australia. A perception of the utter inadequacy of the means employed on that occasion—the curious fact of a government elaborately, though unconsciously providing for inevitable failure, with copious elements of success at its easy disposal—led to a careful examination of the whole subject." [94]

Wakefield and his followers never seemed to have considered that one good reason for the failure of the colony might be found in its geographical conditions, that a scarcity of good land was quite as important as a scarcity of labour. They found there the coincidence of large free grants of land with scarcity of capital and labour, and they put down the former as the cause of the latter. [95] They held that the land regulations adopted there dispersed the settlers, and prevented combination of capital and labour. [96] The demand of the colonists for convicts they treated as a proof of their contention that no colony with cheap and abundant land could ever succeed without a supply of forced labour of one kind or another. To them the Swan River colony was "the scarecrow of colonization," [97] and the system upon which it had been established was the very antithesis of that which they hoped to introduce into the proposed new colony of South Australia. They almost welcomed the experiment as a proof of the futility of trying to colonize by means of large free land grants, and as affording practical arguments for the Wakefield theory; [98] on the other hand, they considered that its failure had been so great as to throw a damp on all new projects of colonization, [99] much in the same way as Wilmot Horton's plans had resulted in a feeling of repugnance to emigration. At any rate, they felt that the experiment and its failure placed them under the necessity of showing cause why free colonization should not be unsuccessful, and of proving that their plan contained none of the defects so evident at Swan River. The new colony, indeed, was the constant butt of Wakefield and his followers. In nearly all his publications, [100] whether in exposition of his own theory, or in advocacy of his project for founding South Australia, the Swan River experiment came in for criticism and censure. Although, in their main contention of the evil of large land grants, they were right, yet so persistent were they in their often exaggerated accounts of the colony, that it is small wonder the harassed colonists objected to the misrepresentation of an already hard case. [101] Probably the hostility of Wakefield and his followers, particularly when they were urging the rival claims of South Australia, had not a little to do with the unpopularity and retarded progress of Swan River. The truth underlying their hostility, however, lay in the fact that its failure did conclusively prove the evil of large free grants of land in a new colony. This method of colonization, at any rate, was wrong, and it rested with the new school to propose something better.




Footnotes to Chapter III.


1 E. Favenc, History of Australian Exploration, 1888, p. 100.

2 Record Office, C.O. 18/1.

3 Stirling's letter to R. W. Hay, July 30th, 1828, C.O. 18/1.

4 Ibid.

5 Ibid.

6 J. Barrow's letter to Horace Twiss, August 2nd, 1828, C.O. 18/1.

7 J. D. Rogers, Australasia, p. 79.

8 R. W. Hay to G. R. Dawson (of the Treasury), December 31st, 1828. C.O. 397/1.

9 See Ripon's despatch to Stirling, March 8th, 1833, quoted by Hutt in a despatch to Glenelg, August 1st, 1839, No. 3, of Western Australian Correspondence. Acc. and Pap., 1840, Vol. xxxiii, p. 69. Ripon's despatch is in C.O. 397/2.

10 Letter of Court of Directors to T. P. Courtenay, March 6th, 1828. C.O. 18/1.

11 Hay to Stirling, January 2nd, 1833. C.O. 397/2.

12 Stirling and Moody to R. W. Hay. August 21st, 1828. C.O. 18/1.

13 Sir George Murray in the House of Commons, May 1st, 1829. Hansard, New Series, Vol. xxi, p. 913.

14 Memorial to Sir George Murray, November 14th, 1828. Acc. and Pap., 1829, Vol. xxiv, p. 173.

15 Peel to H. Twiss, November 30th, 1828; December 2nd, 1828. Ibid.

16 R. W. Hay to Peel, December 6th, 1828. Ibid.

17 These were called the "Old Terms" of 1828, as compared with the later ones of 1829 and 1830. Enclosure to R. W. Hay's letter to Peel, December 6th, 1828. Ibid.

18 Ibid.

19 Peel to R. W. Hay, December 18th, 1828. Ibid.

20 R. W. Hay's memorandum, December 23rd, 1828. Ibid.

21 Peel to Twiss, January 28th, 1829. Ibid.

22 Appendix v to Report, 1836 Committee on Waste Lands. Acc. and Pap., 1836, Vol. xi, p. 499.

23 Twiss to Peel, January 28th, 1829, and January 29th, 1829. Acc. and Pap., 1829, Vol. xxiv, p. 175. See also Sir George Murray's despatch to Stirling, July 29th, 1829. C.O. 397/1. If, however, he had landed some settlers before November 1st, 1829, part of his reserve was to be granted to him according to capital and settlers landed, conditionally on his having landed the rest of the 400 before May 1st, 1830. But in this case the further grant of 750,000 acres would not be made. Ibid.

24 Captain Stirling to H. Twiss, August 25th, 1829. C.O. 18/3.

25 Hansard, New Series, Vol. xxi, pp. 464-5 (2nd reading); pp. 712-13 (Committee).

26 It is worth noticing that this article helped to change Bentham's opinion on colonies. In 1793 he had urged that colonies should be emancipated, but in 1829 he confessed his attitude was just the reverse, "especially, if the account given of the intended settlement on the Swan River in the Quarterly Review for April, 1829, . . . be correct." Emancipate your Colonies, published in 1830. Postscript.

27 Stirling to Hay, January 5th, 1833. C.O. 18/12.

28 Memorial of Swan River Colonists, 1839, enclosed in despatch of Governor Hutt to Glenelg, August 1st, 1839. No. 3 of W.A. Correspondence. Acc. and Pap., 1840, Vol. xxxiii, p. 69. See the Tasmanian newspaper for October 2nd, 1829. Sir John Barrow has been named as the author of the article. T. J. Buckton, Western Australia, 1840. Introduction.

29 E. Hodder, Founding of South Australia, 1898, p. 123.

30 See letters of intending settlers in Record Office.

31 This appeal to pride and moral feeling was made in a handbook issued for the guidance of settlers. "Those who establish property and families, will feel that their names and fortunes cannot be mixed hereafter with any dubious idea as to their origin." Hints on Emigration to the New Settlement on the Swan and Canning Rivers, 1829, p. 8.

32 Stirling to Twiss, January 26th, 1830. C.O. 18/7.

33 The evidence of all witnesses agrees as to the property and standing of many of the settlers. See, e.g., Wakefield's Letter to South Australian Commissioners, 1835. Acc. and Pap., 1841, Vol. iv. Appendix; and the first Report of the Western Australian Association, 1836. Some of them, however, were of a different kind. A party of intending settlers wrote to Sir George Murray for information: "Shall we have any Oran Otangs to cope with there? and are there any wild beasts of pray? We humbly hope you will excuse our being so explicit, but we are fifteen souls that would like to know a little before we sell our little all and start." Messrs. Dalton, Mangell, and Madox to Sir George Murray, May 12th, 1829. C.O. 18/5.

34 See letter of P.P. in The Times, April 18th, 1829; and the Morning Herald, April 21st, 1829.

35 Hansard, New Series, Vol. xxi, pp. 913-14.

36 The Morning Herald, April 21st, 1829, called the transaction a "nefarious job." Several caricatures appeared at this time directed against Thomas Peel, one of which represented him with a black swan under his left arm from which he was plucking two tail feathers. Above was written, "Cousin Tom feathering his nest."—Sydney Gazette, December 10th, 1829.

37 Hansard, New Series, Vol. xxi, pp. 1736 et seq.

38 See settlers' letters in The Times, January 28th, April 24th, May 24th, and June 30th, 1830.

39 See J. Morgan's letter to Hay, March 18th, 1830. C.O. 18/7. Thomas Henty and his sons, who afterwards formed a settlement at Portland Bay in what is now Victoria, had a grant of over 80,000 acres at Swan River. Some of the sons went there with the intention of settling and preparing for the immigration of the rest of the family. They brought with them many labourers and much stock, but after exhaustive searches they could find no land suitable for farming, and left for Van Diemen's Land. Thomas Henty (the son) wrote of Swan River: "There are some spots of good alluvial land, but the country generally is the reverse of what it is described to be by Mr. Fraser." Thomas Henty's Memorial of February 11th, 1835. C.O. 201/251.

40 See G. Dunnage's letter to Shaw Lefevre, February 13th, 1834. C.O. 18/14. Memorial of settlers in 1832. C.O. 18/10. Stirling's despatch to Sir G. Murray, March 13th, 1831. C.O. 18/9.

41 J. Morgan, the colonial storekeeper, gives a list of some prices in 1832, e.g., flour, 10d. per lb.; fresh meat, 1s. 8d. per lb.; potatoes, £75 per ton; fresh butter, 5s. per lb. J. Morgan to Hay, March 8th, 1832. C.O. 18/11. In Van Diemen's Land, in 1831, meat was 2d. to 2½d. per lb., and in 1832, 5d. to 8d. per lb. Governor Arthur to Stanley, No. 48, August 24th, 1833. C.O. 280/42.

42 Letter from G. Dunnage to Shaw Lefevre, February 13th, 1834. C.O. 18/14.

43 See especially the statement of Messrs. Goodman and Kent, enclosed in Lieut.-Governor Arthur's despatch to Twiss, November 8th, 1829. C.O. 280/21. This party had quitted Swan River and gone to Van Diemen's Land where they obtained grants of land on favourable terms. Ibid. See also the Tasmanian newspaper, October 30th and November 20th, 1829.

44 Stirling to Sir George Murray, September 10th, 1829. C.O. 18/3. See also Stirling to Goderich, April 2nd, 1832. C.O. 18/10.

45 Letter from Robert Lyon to the Secretary of State, February 11th, 1831. C.O. 18/9. It is told of one intending settler that, on first landing, he asked to be informed the way to the nearest hotel. Tasmanian newspaper, March 26th, 1830.

46 Lieut.-Governor Arthur to Twiss, November 8th, 1829, C.O. 280/21. F. C. Irwin, Western Australia, 1835, p. 41. W. H. Knight, Western Australia, 1870, p. 2.

47 Morning Chronicle, January 26th, 1830. Hansard, 3rd Series, Vol. i, p. 1345; and Vol. v, pp. 302-3. See also letter to Sir F. Freeling, November 27th, 1829. C.O. 18/7.

48 Stirling to Sir George Murray, September 10th, 1829. C.O. 18/3. Stirling to Goderich, April 2nd, 1832. C.O. 18/10.

49 Stirling to Glenelg, July 12th, 1836. C.O. 18/16.

50 Statement of Messrs. Goodman and Kent enclosed in Lieut.-Governor Arthur's despatch to Twiss, November 8th, 1829. C.O. 280/21.

51 See Capt. Butler's letter to Lieut.-Governor Arthur, October 18th, 1829. C.O. 280/21.

52 Stirling to the Secretary of State, October 18th, 1830. C.O. 18/7; and to Sir George Murray, March 13th, 1831. C.O. 18/9. J. Morgan to Hay, July 14th, 1830. C.O. 18/7. The Times, November 22nd, 1831, quoting Hobart Town Colonial Times of July 6th, 1831. F. C. Irwin, Western Australia, p. 36.

53 Stirling to the Secretary of State, January 26th, 1830. C.O. 18/7.

54 Rusden, History of Australia, 2nd Ed., 1897, Vol. i, p. 589.

55 England and America, Vol. ii, pp. 33-4.

56 To Question 591. Acc. and Pap., 1836, Vol. xi, p. 499.

57 See the map in Acc. and Pap., 1829, Vol. xxiv, p. 175. According to the map, Peel's original grant took in almost all the land in the triangle between Swan River, Canning River, and the Darling Range, besides another large piece of land extending from the Canning River to near Cockburn Sound. Wakefield made the same mistake in England and America, Vol. ii, pp. 145-6; and in Art of Colonization, pp. 433-4.

58 Stirling to Twiss, January 26th, 1830. C.O. 18/7.

59 Captain F. C. Irwin, who commanded the troops at Swan River, and was Acting-Governor during Stirling's absence in 1832, denied Wakefield's statement that settlers died of hunger. Western Australia, 1835, p. 37.

60 See Stirling to Sir G. Murray, March 12th, 1831. C.O. 18/9, and Colonist's Memorial, September 2nd, 1831. C.O. 18/9.

61 See Extracts from the Letters and Journals of George Fletcher Moore, edited by Martin Doyle, 1834, pp. 83 and 120-4.

62 Cf. R. S. Hall, State of New South Wales, 1831, p. 16.

63 Robert Lyon to the Secretary of State, February 11th, 1831. C.O. 18/9.

64 F. C. Irwin, Western Australia, 1835, p. 35.

65 Stirling to the Secretary of State, October 18th, 1830. C.O. 18/7. Part of this despatch was printed and presented to Parliament, but that part dealing with the failures of Peel and Colonel Lautour was omitted. See also Stirling to Sir G. Murray, March 13th, 1831, C.O. 18/9.

66 Government Land Regulations in Swan River, August 28th, 1829. C.O. 18/3.

67 F. C. Irwin, Western Australia, p. 34.

68 See Memorandum for a private letter to Stirling. C.O. 18/3.

69 J. Morgan to Hay, July 14th, 1830. C.O. 18/7. In 1833, describing Peel's failure, Morgan wrote: "The proprietor of a million acres of land—one of the principal founders of what may hereafter be a mighty nation, is now to be seen driving with the assistance only of his son (a lad about 15 years of age) his two-horse team between the Murray and Clarence, or plodding along upon a miserable half-starved pony, and without a shilling in his pocket, anxiously thinking how he is to manage the purchase of his next month's daily food." J. Morgan to Hay, May 4th, 1833. C.O. 18/13.

70 J. D. Rogers, Australasia, p. 81.

71 Stirling to Hay, December 22nd, 1832. C.O. 18/10.

72 Goderich to Stirling, March 8th, 1833. C.O. 397/2. Robert Lyon to the Secretary of State, February 11th, 1831. C.O. 18/9.

73 Stirling to Goderich, February 5th, 1833. C.O. 18/12.

74 See F. C. Irwin, Western Australia, 1835, pp. 46-7.

75 Stirling to the Secretary of State, January 20th, 1830. C.O. 18/7. This part of the despatch is not printed.

76 Dated July 20th, 1830. Sir George Murray to Stirling, July 20th, 1830. C.O. 397/2.

77 See generally Chap. vii, infra.

78 See the returns of the land sales and emigration fund for Western Australia. Acc. and Pap., 1847-8, Vol. xlvii, p. 179.

79 Stirling to Hay, December 22nd, 1832. C.O. 18/10. George Dunnage to Shaw Lefevre, February 13th, 1834. C.O. 18/14.

80 Fremantle Observer, May 23rd, 1831, quoted by The Times, Nov. 23rd, 1831: "The advantages are indisputable, whether we consider the expenditure which of necessity attends a penal establishment, and becomes diffused among the community; the cheapness with which lands are cleared, and brought speedily under cultivation; and the facility afforded for the execution of roads, and other public works. We believe at least two-thirds of the settlers of Western Australia are anxious for convict labour; we have never heard a good reason given by those who oppose the measure. With convict labour this colony would progress most rapidly; in fact, this alone is wanted to render it in a very few years a most thriving and prosperous colony; its natural advantages in soil and climate are considerable, but for want of cheap labour are scarcely available . . ." I have not been able to obtain a copy of this newspaper.

81 Literary Gazette, October 29th, 1831.

82 England and America, Vol. ii, p. 116.

83 Evidence before 1836 Committee on Waste Lands. To Question 592. Acc. and Pap., 1836, Vol. xi, p. 499.

84 See also Labouchere in the House of Commons, February 17th, 1832, Hansard, 3rd Series, Vol. x, p. 507. Captain Irwin professed his ignorance of any such petition from the colonists. Western Australia, 1835, p. 37.

85 Lautour to Lord Howick, January 9th, 1831. C.O. 18/9, A similar suggestion was made about the same time by Mr. James Mangles (father-in-law of Governor Stirling). J. Mangles to Lord Goderich, January 17th, 1831. C.O. 18/9.

86 Robert Lyon to the Secretary of state, February 11th, 1831. C.O. 18/9.

87 J. Morgan to Hay, May 17th, 1834. C.O. 18/14.

88 Irwin to Shaw Lefevre, July 3rd, 1834, C.O. 18/14. He repeated the suggestion in 1835; Irwin to Glenelg, May 27th, 1835, C.O. 18/15.

89 On the founding of the Swan River colony, in 1830, the convict settlement at King George's Sound was broken up. J. D. Rogers, Australasia, p. 79.

90 Petition, October 30th, 1834, enclosed in Stirling's despatch to Spring Rice, December 3rd, 1834. C.O. 18/14.

91 J. D. Rogers, Australasia, p. 81.

92 Plan of a Company to be established for the purpose of founding a colony in Southern Australia, 1831, pp. 31-2. Plan of a proposed colony to be founded on the South Coast of Australia, 1834, p. 13.

93 Colonial Gazette, July 29th, 1840.

94 Art of Colonization, p. 43.

95 Plan of a Company, etc., 1831, p. 32.

96 Letters of P. to Lord Howick, No. i, Spectator, December 11th, 1830.

97 Colonial Gazette, July 29th, 1840.

98 Colonial Gazette, July 29th, 1840.

99 New British Province of South Australia, 2nd Ed., 1835, p. 94.

100 Especially in England and America, Vol. ii.

101 See the Memorial to Lord Glenelg, March 1st, 1839, Enclosure i in No. 3, Acc. and Pap., 1840, Vol. xxxiii, p. 69. See also Stirling to Glenelg, December 22nd, 1835. C.O. 18/15.






{Page 76}

Chapter IV

EDWARD GIBBON WAKEFIELD

Edward Gibbon Wakefield was born in London on March 20th, 1796. He came of Quaker stock, of a family whose members had been long distinguished in philanthropic and humanitarian movements. The grandson of Priscilla Wakefield, one of the first to introduce the savings bank into England, and the cousin of Elizabeth Fry, he was brought up "in an atmosphere of aggressive philanthropy." [1] His father, Edward Wakefield, was an intimate friend of Bentham, James Mill, and Francis Place, whose enthusiasm for education he shared. He was the author of some sociological books, of more than temporary interest, notably one on Ireland. [2] Francis Place, indeed, who did not share Edward Wakefield's high opinion of his son Gibbon, but thought him "only a common man," [3] became estranged from the Wakefield family about 1822. Gibbon Wakefield, however, necessarily became familiar with the leading "Benthamites," so that when his "peculiar doctrines" [4] were first broached, he was assured of a sympathetic hearing, and despite Place's disparagement of his ability, he gained their influential support. The work of a clever scapegrace was read by his father's friends, and all credit was given him for the ideas which it contained.

Up to the beginning of 1826, the only thing he had done to bring him prominently into the public view was, in 1816, to carry on a family tradition by making an early marriage—in his case a runaway match with a beautiful heiress. Although his wife was a ward in Chancery, Wakefield was skilful enough to persuade the Lord Chancellor of the impropriety of interfering with the marriage. Most of his life, since 1814, he had spent abroad, chiefly in Italy and in France, engaged in a desultory fashion in minor diplomatic work. So far he had shown no signs that his inherited philanthropic instincts were ever going to be developed.

In 1826, six years after the death of his wife, whether misled by his former success, or persuaded by the social ambition of a young step-mother, who wished to see him in Parliament, he made another runaway match with an heiress, whom he lured away from school, and deceived into marriage. He was arrested, and tried for abduction. The only extenuating circumstance in the case was that the marriage was only nominal; and, in 1827, Wakefield was sentenced to three years' imprisonment in Newgate, while a special Act of Parliament was passed to annul the marriage. Every one agreed that the punishment was not too severe for the crime, and it left a lasting stain on his reputation. To the British public he remained for long an object of suspicion, and a political career seemed definitely closed to him. This part of his life is not touched on to recall an old scandal, nor even to show the remarkable effect on his character of the three years' ordeal in Newgate, but it is necessary to a right understanding of his interest in colonial matters, and his peculiar position in regard to them throughout the greater part of his career. The ghost of Wakefield's past ever stalked before him. Henceforward the front door of politics was shut to him, though later he became a constant visitor at other entrances. Sir William Molesworth, indeed, with his usual courage, in no way dismayed by Wakefield's damaged reputation, once proposed to co-operate with Lord Durham in finding a seat in Parliament for him, and even to assist him by financial and personal support. [5] But Wakefield could have been persona grata neither to party managers, nor to constituents, and the well-meant proposal was never carried out. Not only was this opening denied to him, but he was looked upon as unworthy of trust in other public positions. For example, when chosen by Lord Durham as one of his assistants in the memorable mission to Canada in 1838, he was to have been appointed Commissioner of Crown Lands, but Lord Melbourne, remembering Newgate, objected, and he had to be content to carry on his important work in Canada in an unofficial, and at the time, unacknowledged, position. [6] This enforced avoidance of public notice is further illustrated by the fact that most of his very numerous writings were anonymous. Of his important works on colonization, the only one which bears his name on the title page is his last, the Art of Colonization, published in 1849, twenty years after his first work on colonial topics appeared. [7]

His exclusion from Parliament enabled him to concentrate the whole of his truly great energies on the one, subject of colonization. As a Member of Parliament, able and ambitious, his attention must necessarily have been distracted by other questions of greater importance and of more local interest. Colonial questions must have taken a subordinate, if prominent, place with him; and, as a mere matter of physical capacity, he could never have stood the strain of adding the ordinary duties of a Member of Parliament to his incessant labour of mind, pen and tongue in the service of the colonies.

His imprisonment was the turning point in his career. Rising superior to his disgrace, he surprised every one by proving himself a man of ideas, and an ardent and successful propagandist of a new theory. He turned his attention to colonies and colonization, perhaps because he felt that they offered the best opportunity for mending his shattered fortunes; [8] perhaps because they furnished an unexampled opportunity for theorizing and for action; perhaps, again, it was the natural connection between the population of Newgate and the convict colony of New South Wales which first led him in this direction. For whatever reason, he began to study colonial questions, and he read particularly what literature he could obtain about Australia. "Whilst in Newgate," he wrote in 1831, "I had occasion to read with care every book concerning New South Wales and Van Diemen's Land, as well as a long series of newspapers published in those colonies." [9] An outcast from society, with a character to remake and a reputation to establish, he was in a position to take a peculiarly detached view of any subject. He owed allegiance to no school of thought, and had little reason to conciliate any. Although by upbringing and by conviction associated with the Benthamite group, he did not scruple to attack their views on colonies voiced by Bentham and James Mill, in so far as they conflicted with his own. [10]

But there was, indeed, little existing theory to guide him. As he wrote in 1849 of colonization, "That subject presented before 1830 one very remarkable feature, namely, an immense amount of practice without any theory . . . . There were long experience without a system, immense results without a plan, vast doings but no principles." [11] It has been said that his theory occurred to him when examining the regulations made in January, 1829, by the Colonial Office for the new colony of Swan River. [12] Certainly he used this colony's early failure to point out the moral of the futility of large land grants. Probably, too, from the frequent reference he makes to it, [13] the Report of the Select Committee of the House of Commons in 1829, on Canadian affairs, set him thinking on the problem of the disposal of colonial waste lands.

It is impossible to proceed to an examination of Wakefield's theories and of the enormous influence which he exerted both at home and in the colonies, without some attempt at an estimate of his character.

This extraordinary man, who, handicapped by a notoriety heavier to bear than mere obscurity, virtually originated a new era of colonization, and furnished the inspiration for a new colonial policy, possessed both force and complexity of character. Energetic, persevering, and courageous, he was at the same time unscrupulous. An adroit wire-puller and an adept schemer, he was not always careful in his choice of means either of overcoming opposition, or of compelling adherence, to his plans. With a ready pen and an eloquent tongue, he was an expert in the art of controlling and managing men. "Edward Gibbon Wakefield," wrote one who knew him well, "was a master in the art of persuading. He seldom failed if he could get his victim into conversation." [14] When he wished to gain an end, the obligation of truth sat, at times, very lightly upon him. Despite this, he was not a self-seeker. While his dearest wish was for "the utmost happiness which God vouchsafes to man on earth, the realization of his own idea," [15] it was not for his own personal glory, but for the benefit of mother-country and colony. Although a natural desire to rehabilitate his character weighed with him at first, this was soon merged in a larger aspiration for the well-being of the race at home and abroad. True, he invested money in his colonial projects, and urged his friends to do likewise, but it was rather to help on the cause than for a hope of profit. Indeed, on one New Zealand scheme he spent what was, for a poor man, quite a considerable sum in defraying expenses, and refused to take any compensation. [16] Such a suggestion as Mr. Dandeson Coates, the secretary of the Church Missionary Society, made in 1837, that Wakefield was expecting an appointment as chief administrative officer in New Zealand, [17] with the innuendo that this explained his efforts in that direction, was, as Wakefield justly called it, "ungenerous and unnecessary." [18] Even more unfair is the assertion of another opponent, that "Mr. Wakefield, while his disciples have suffered in purse and in person, has contrived to . . . build a living, if not a fortune, out of a series of bubbles." [19]

Wakefield's temperament, which was at once sanguine and over-suspicious, led him into many errors. To those of narrower and less clear vision than himself he appeared as a "cold-blooded schemer and manipulator of puppets for selfish ends." [20] To those who could appreciate the loftiness of his aims and the difficulties with which he had to contend, he appeared as the regenerator of colonial policy, and the apostle of colonial freedom. Lamentably certain it is that he quarrelled with many of his colleagues in colonizing enterprises, and was ousted from a leading place both in the South Australian and the New Zealand schemes; but the implicit confidence reposed in him by such men as Lord Durham, Charles Buller, and Sir William Molesworth, all his pupils in colonial matters, is a striking and conclusive testimony to his worth.

Wakefield remained in Newgate prison until May, 1830, and his first writing on colonization took the form of an anonymous pamphlet, entitled Sketch of a Proposal for Colonizing Australasia. It was printed, but not published, in the early part of the year 1829, [21] and contained, with some explanatory comment, an outline of what afterwards became famous as the Wakefield theory. Very soon, however, he decided to clothe his views in a more attractive form in order to arrest the attention of readers little interested either in colonies or in speculative theory. [22] In this he was extraordinarily successful. He began a series of eleven Letters from Sydney, which appeared in the Morning Chronicle during the months of August, September, and October, 1829. These letters purported to relate the experiences of an actual settler in New South Wales, and are written in a lively and picturesque style, which produced a "sensation in the literary and political world of London." [23] Acting on the advice of a leader in the Morning Chronicle, Wakefield republished these letters in book form before the end of the year, under the title of A Letter from Sydney. He allowed the book to appear without an author's name, but as "edited by Robert Gouger." [24] In an appendix to the Letter from Sydney appeared, in a slightly modified form, the proposals of his earlier pamphlet for colonizing Australasia.

The vividness of the picture which he drew, and his close attention to details, deceived many into thinking that the letters were really the work of a colonist, or, at any rate, of one who had visited New South Wales. [25] Not only were his contemporaries deceived, but, even in 1872, Mr. George Ranken, a fierce opponent of the Wakefield theory, wrote, "Mr. Gibbon Wakefield had some years before visited this part of the world, and on his return to England he published certain views which he had formed." [26] To those, indeed, who had read the letters as they appeared in the Morning Chronicle, it could have been no secret that they were written in England, and were only the vehicle for the expression of a new theory and plan of colonization. [27] But one example will serve to show how thoroughly Wakefield had projected himself into the feelings of an actual colonist. It will show, too, the easy style and deftness of touch which, at the time, created such an impression, and which makes his book even now a delight to read.

"Just before I embarked at Plymouth, I visited my grandmother, in order to take leave of her for ever. Poor old soul! she wras already dead to the concerns of this life; my departure could make but little difference in the time of our separation, and in regard to her affection for me, it could be of no importance to her which of us should quit the other. My resolution, however, revived for a day all her woman's feelings. She shed abundance of tears, and then became extremely curious to know every particular about the place to which I was going. I rubbed her spectacles whilst she wiped her eyes, and having placed before her a common English chart of the world, pointed out the situation of New Holland. She shook her head. 'What displeases you, my dear madam?' said I. 'Why,' she answered, 'it is terribly out of the way—down in the very right hand corner of the world.' The chart being mine, I cut it in two through the meridian of Iceland, transposed the parts laterally, and turned them upside down. 'Now,' asked I, 'where is England?' 'Ah! boy,' she replied, 'you may do what you like with the map; but you can't twist the world about in that manner, though they are making sad changes in it.'" [28]

Another instance will show his power of clear vision and his ability to reason from analogy and to grip the essential facts of conditions which he had not actually experienced. He argues the necessity for irrigation in Australia on the analogy of Italy, and gives the reason why little use had hitherto been made of it. "Englishmen being used at home to consider water an enemy, and to exercise much skill in getting rid of it, are ignorant of the means by which, in countries where the sun exerts great power, water becomes the first agent of production." [29] It is only in comparatively recent years that the necessity for irrigation has been properly realized in Australia.

The Letter from Sydney had a dual aspect. In the first place it gave a vivid picture of the economic, social, and political conditions of New South Wales; in the second place it suggested a remedy.

Writing from the point of view of a settler who had obtained a large grant of fertile land at a nominal price, and who wished to employ his capital upon it, Wakefield described the paradoxical position in which he found himself. His land was worse than useless to him, he could neither keep nor sell it. Land he had, capital he had, but labour was wanting. There was, indeed, one kind of labour; that of convicts, but it was unsatisfactory in many ways. "Not the slightest dependence can be placed on convict labour as a permanent source of wealth. You may obtain, though not without trouble, one, two, or perhaps three convicts, for a term of a few years; but that they will rob you is almost certain; that they will murder you, is by no means improbable; and that their labour will not be very profitable, is beyond a doubt." [30]

Convict labour was also uncertain because it was doled out, or withheld arbitrarily by the Government. [31] Moreover, its supply was necessarily limited. "If, for every acre of land that may be appropriated here, there should be a conviction for felony in England, our prosperity would rest on a solid basis; but, however earnestly we may desire it, we cannot expect that the increase of crime will keep pace with the spread of colonization." [32]

The imaginary colonist had tried to overcome the labour difficulty by importing labourers from England; but he found that this was of no avail, as they were enticed away either by higher wages elsewhere, or by the prospect of becoming landowners almost at once. This brought him to the cause of his failure as a landowner. "At length the true light broke upon me. The scarcity of labourers was an insuperable bar to any mode of cultivation that requires the employment of many hands!" [33] It was not merely higher wages or dearness of labour, but "an absolute want of labourers at any rate of wages." [34] This he attributed to the immense proportion which land bore to people, due to the facility with which land could be obtained by anyone. For example, "The once indented labourer obtains six shillings a day; saves half his earnings; obtains a grant of land; and becomes an employer of labour, and a competitor with his late master in the market of industry. This, of course, raises the price of labour to all." [35] From this, too, flowed most of the social evils he remarks in New South Wales. The colonists were a "new people," not only new as to settlement, but a people who "make no progress in the art of living; who, in respect to wealth, knowledge, skill, taste, and whatever belongs to civilization, have degenerated from their ancestors." [36] In addition, the colony suffered peculiar evils from the system of transportation, which was really the only system of colonization pursued in New South Wales. He fully appreciated its value as the only means of prosperity. "We owe everything, over and above mere subsistence, to the wickedness of the people of England. Who built Sydney? Convicts. Who made the excellent roads from Sydney to Parramatta, Windsor, and Liverpool? Convicts. By whom is the land made to produce? By convicts. Why do not all our labourers exact high wages, and, by taking a large share of the produce of labour, prevent their employers from becoming rich? Because most of them are convicts. What has enabled the landowner readily to dispose of his surplus produce? The demand of the keepers of convicts. What has brought so many ships to Port Jackson, and occasioned a further demand for agricultural produce? The transportation of convicts. What has tempted free emigrants to bring capital into the settlement? The true story that they heard of fortunes made by employing the cheap labour of convicts." [37] But the moral evils of transportation outweighed its economic good. Neither life nor property was secure; transportation had the corrupting influence of bad example on the rest of the colonists, gave to employers the character and habits of slave-owners, and accentuated and perpetuated the enormous disproportion between the sexes, "the greatest evil of all." [38] With all its advantages transportation should be abolished, as it was unfair both to the free emigrant and to the freeborn native. "If the law should direct all rogues convicted in Yorkshire to be domiciliated in Kent, would not the men of Kent complain, and with truth, of a shameful violation of their birth-right?" [39]

The remedy he proposed for this state of affairs was his system of colonization, which was to strike at the root of the evil, and, by a restrictive price, to alter the proportion of people to land. This theory will be best discussed as a whole after some mention of his other works on colonization.

The Letter from Sydney suffered from the defects of its form. Written as a popular setting to a novel theory of colonization, it made no pretence at being a scientific statement either of the causes and remedies of pauperism and distress in England, or of the evils of colonization and their remedy. There was no analysis of the conditions of the mother-country, except in incidental references to the surplus population, which might be more profitably employed in New South Wales. On the suggestion of Bentham, [40] who had found some difficulty in pursuing the theory through the number of pamphlets which had followed the Letter from Sydney, Wakefield decided to issue his plan in a more pretentious form, showing its basis in economic theory, and its relation to social and economic conditions, both in England and in the colonies. The outcome was his England and America published anonymously in 1833, and in many ways the most important of his works. During his constant labours of twenty years from 1829, this book formed the only systematic exposition of his theory. It met with much favourable comment. [41] On its publication Mr. Poulett Scrope wrote to the author, "I cannot remember ever reading any work with greater interest, or more thoroughly going along with any author in his views, opinions, and sentiments, than I have done on this occasion. I have been long a zealous friend of colonization . . . but the notions which were but vaguely floating in my mind, I find methodized and arranged in a more lucid and convincing order in your work." [42] The title is rather misleading, for the book only compares certain aspects of the two countries, and is mainly concerned with colonization. For this Wakefield blames the publisher who, "in the author's absence from England, took on himself to give the puffing title of England and America." [43]

His intention was, "first, to lay before Americans a sketch of the political conditions of England, and before the English an explanation of some peculiarities in the social state of America; secondly, to point at the means of removing those causes, which are productive of great evils to both countries." [44]

The first part of the book, which consists of rather desultory notes on various loosely connected social and political topics, analyses the condition of England. The second and more important part considers colonization as a remedy.

Between 1829 and 1849 he published various writings on colonization, too numerous for separate mention. [45] In originating and defending projects for new colonies, in propagating his theory, answering objections and overcoming opposition, he wrote or inspired, not only pamphlets, but articles, paragraphs, "puffs" and letters for various newspapers, especially for the Spectator. Another important source of information for the Wakefield theory is his evidence before Parliamentary Committees, particularly those on Waste Lands in 1836, [46] South Australia in 1841, [47] and New Zealand in 1840. [48] In 1849 he published his final work, A View of the Art of Colonization. Among his reasons for writing it was the wish to make clear his own position in regard to the colonial achievements of the past twenty years. In the first place he wished to dispel the false impression given by his silence, that he approved of several things that had been done by Government in colonization. [49] e.g., the plan of auction, and the application of a price to pastoral lands. In the next place, he was anxious, after years of silence and anonymous work, "to establish my claim to the real authorship of most of what has been done with respect to colonization" [50] since 1830. His main reason, however, was to produce a treatise setting forth his views on colonization in their final form. In the same spirit that Bentham had complained to Wakefield in 1830, John Stuart Mill wrote to him in 1848, "I have long regretted that there does not exist a systematic treatise in a permanent form, from your hand and in your name, in which the whole subject of colonization is treated as the express subject of the book, so as to become at once the authoritative book on the subject. At present, people have to pick up your doctrines, both theoretical and practical." [51] The book, however, disappoints this expectation. In the restatement of his views there is little new; but the form which the book takes, that of letters between a statesman and a colonist (Wakefield himself), is ill-adapted to a scientific exposition of his theory. It is largely occupied, too, with lively attacks on the Colonial Office, and on Lord Grey, whom he credits with a personal antipathy to him. Grey in office is a different man from Howick out of office. As the Spectator put it. Lord Grey's "favourite antagonist is Lord Howick." [52] These "personalities and egotisms," as Wakefield himself called them, [53] occupy far too much space in a formal treatise, though they furnish the opportunity for an important and interesting account of the achievements of himself and his followers in colonial matters from 1830.




Footnotes to Chapter IV.


1 Dr. Garnett, Edward Gibbon Wakefield, 1898, p. 12.

2 An Account of Ireland, statistical and political, 2 vols., 1812.

3 Garnett, p. 17.

4 Roebuck's phrase, 1836 Committee on Waste Lands, Question 1025. Acc. and Pap., 1836, Vol. xi.

5 Life of Sir W. Molesworth, by Mrs. Fawcett, 1901, footnote at p. 138.

6 Garnett, p. 169.

7 Wakefield's identity as the author of the new theory of colonization was well hidden for a year or two from the public and even from the Colonial Office. In 1831, Robert Gouger, who was then, and later, Wakefield's mouthpiece, revealed the secret to the Colonial Office in a letter which is worth rescuing from oblivion. Gouger wrote to T. F. Elliot of the Colonial Office: "You are aware I have always declined giving the name of my friend the author of the plan of colonization to which I have been so much attached, and which I have endeavoured to work upon the attention of the Government rather assiduously. I am now at Uberty to reveal his name and do it to you with great pleasure, as you may perhaps be glad to make use of his very extensive knowledge of colonization generally. It is Mr. Edward G. Wakefield, the author of a book just published on the Punishment of Death, and whose name you must remember to have heard of in connection with the abduction of Miss Turner some years since. I am very glad to be able to make this communication, as it does away with any unpleasant feeling of 'false position' I may have entertained relative to my own connection with this subject. The cause of retaining the author's name will now readily suggest itself to you." Gouger to Elliot, July 29th, 1831. C.O. 384/28.

8 Garnett, p. 59.

9 The Punishment of Death, 1831, p. 194.

10 e.g., England and America, 1833, Vol. ii, pp. 97 et seq.

11 Art of Colonization, 1849, pp. 41-2.

12 Colonial Gazette for July 29th, 1840.

13 e.g., England and America. See footnote, Vol. ii, pp. 138-9.

14 Mr. Albert Allom, quoted by Garnett, p. 283.

15 Art of Colonization, p. 33.

16 Garnett, p. 150.

17 The Principles, Objects, and Plan of the New Zealand Association examined, 1837, p. 14.

18 Mr. Dandeson Coates and the New Zealand Association, 1837.

19 Samuel Sidney, The Three Colonies of Australia, 1853, 2nd Ed., p. 208.

20 Garnett, p. 371.

21 First mentioned by the Morning Chronicle, July 16th, 1829, The existence of this pamphlet seems to have been quite overlooked in any account of Wakefield, although it preceded the Letter from Sydney. It is in the British Museum, catalogued under the heading "Australasia," Press Mark, 8154, d. 30. The conjectured date given in the catalogue is 1830, but it was certainly printed in 1829.

22 Morning Chronicle, October 8th, 1829.

23 Samuel Sidney, The Three Colonies of Australia, 1853, 2nd Ed., p. 92.

24 Robert Gouger later became one of the founders and settlers of South Australia.

25 The colonists of Van Diemen's Land thought that the Letters had been written by Dr. Turnbull, one of their own number. See the Tasmanian newspaper, May 7th and 14th, 1830. C.O. 284/1.

26 Bush Essays, 1872, by Capricornus (Mr. G. Ranken), p. 7. This mistake is repeated by Morris, History of Colonization, 1900, Vol. ii, p. 129.

27 This is admitted in a leading article in the Morning Chronicle for October 8th, 1829.

28 Letter from Sydney, pp. 114-16.

29 Ibid., p. 126.

30 Letter from Sydney, p. 37.

31 Cf. R. S. Hall, The State of New South Wales, 1831, at p. 12. "The friends of Governor Darling, and the supporters of his Government, can alone get convicts assigned to them."

32 Letter from Sydney, p. 77.

33 Ibid., p. 21.

34 Ibid., p. 30.

35 Ibid., p. 25.

36 Letter from Sydney, p. 148.

37 Ibid., pp. 75-6.

38 Ibid., p. 108.

39 Ibid., p. 100.

40 Bentham MSS. in University College Library, London, Box No. 8 See also England and America, Vol. ii, p. 104, footnote.

41 See the obituary notice of Wakefield (by Thornton Hunt) in the Daily Telegraph for August 18th, 1862.

42 Letter "To the Author of England and America," quoted by Wakefield in his evidence before the 1836 Committee on Waste Lands. Acc. and Pap., 1836, Vol. xi, Questions 793-5.

43 Art of Colonization, p. 47, footnote.

44 England and America, Vol. i. Preface.

45 See Note A to Chap. vi for a list of some of Wakefield's writings on colonization.

46 Acc. and Pap., 1836, Vol. xi.

47 Ibid., 1841, Vol. iv.

48 Ibid., 1840, Vol. vii, p. 447.

49 Letter to John Abel Smith, November 30th, 1847. Founders of Canterbury (edited by his son, E. J. Wakefield), 1868, p. 3.

50 Letter to R. S. Rintoul, December 24th, 1848. Founders of Canterbury, p. 34.

51 Quoted by Garnett, Preface, p. xvii.

52 Spectator, May 24th, 1851.

53 Letter to R. S. Rintoul, December 24th, 1848. Founders of Canterbury, p. 34.






{Page 90}

Chapter V

THE WAKEFIELD THEORY OF COLONIZATION [1]

In essence the Wakefield theory was a plan or system for remedying existing evils in the colonies and in the mother-country, with a view to the prosperity of both.

In England and America (1833) he drew a vivid picture of the great wealth of England, the abundance of capital, and the ease with which there, as contrasted with America, funds were raised for any undertaking that offered an opportunity of profit. Coincident with this was great misery amongst the bulk of the people, condemned to wretchedness and pauperism by the fact that their wages were forced down to a minimum by the overstocking of the labour market. Also he found what he called the uneasiness of the middle class—that is a constant perplexing struggle among those engaged in trades and professions, to live on their earnings, to provide for their children, and to maintain their rank and respectability, when profit, interest, and wages were all low.

Searching for a cause for this coincidence, he disagreed with those economists, who laid it down that profits rise as wages fall and, conversely, wages rise as profits fall. [2] They have, he urged, paid too much attention to the relative share of labour and capital from production, and not sufficient to the absolute amount which each receives. He found in England the phenomenon of low wages and low profits, in America that of high wages and high profits. Admitting that in England there was great competition between capital and between labourers, and in America rather less, the true explanation was, he thought, that "the field of employment" was more limited in England than in America. There was more capital and labour in England than could be satisfactorily employed there, because of the limited amount of land, while in America, owing to the superabundance of fertile land, the reverse was the case. In this way he arrived at his chief contrast between the two countries—superfluity of labour and capital in the one, and of land in the other.

The importance of the "field of employment," he thought, had been altogether neglected by the economists. "The modern economists, in treating of the production and distribution of wealth, have overlooked the chief element of production, namely, the field in which capital and labour are employed." [3] He was inclined to consider the importance of the "field of employment" as a discovery in political economy [4] of the utmost value both in understanding the reason for the poverty and distress only too evident in England, and in pointing the way to the proper remedy. Admitting the rapid increase both of population and of capital after the peace of 1815, he pointed out that both had increased relatively to the means of their employment. This changed relation he singled out as the prime cause of all the evils observed in England. "Not only the coincidence of misery and uneasiness with enormous wealth, but all the most striking social peculiarities of England, may be traced to a superabundance of capital and population in proportion to the means of employing capital and labour." [5]

Many would have agreed with him as to the redundancy of population, but it was a novel theory that there could be a superfluity of capital without high wages.

Turning to America, the position was reversed, one element of production, land, being in excess, and the other two, capital and labour, in great demand. In this fact he found the origin of slavery, which, viewed in this light, ceased to be an extraordinary and unaccountable anomaly. When land was superabundant it was impossible to get any other kind of labour. The prosperity of America was due to slave labour in the same manner as that of New South Wales was due to convict labour. "That superabundance of land to which the English economists, from Adam Smith downwards, attribute the prosperity of new colonies, has never led to great prosperity without some kind of slavery." [6]

Colonization he defined as "the removal of people from an old to a new country, and the settlement of people on the waste land of the new country." [7] The two chief elements of colonization, he always insisted, were waste land and emigration, and of these the former was more important. He applied the term colonization equally to the settlement of Canada or of Australia by England, and to the settlement of the Western lands of America by the Eastern States. In colonization both old and new countries would find their remedy—what one lacked the other could give.

The end and aim of colonization for an old country, he premised was "a progressive enlargement, partly domestic, and partly colonial, of the field for employing capital and labour." [8] This he considered under three heads—the advantage resulting to an old country from:

1. Extension of markets for surplus produce.
2. Relief from excessive numbers.
3. Enlargement of the field for employing capital.

Under the first head he pointed out how necessary it is for a manufacturing country, which has been driven by extension of its industry towards cultivating inferior lands, to obtain a cheap corn supply by the exchange of its manufactured goods. Assuming the necessity of abolishing restrictive corn laws, he emphasized the advantages in the production of cheap corn which were possessed by a country with an abundance of fertile land. The best, if not the only way of ensuring this supply in return for manufactured goods, was, he considered, by planting new colonies or by extending old ones. These, from their connection with the mother-country and community of tastes, would both produce a sufficient corn supply, and willingly exchange it for the goods of the mother-country.

Even assuming that an independent State was as good a market as a colony, there were no sufficient markets available in existing independent States, so that it was necessary that new colonies should be founded, and existing colonies extended and made more prosperous. [9]

Under the second head he adverted to the almost universally admitted fact of redundancy of population in England since the peace of 1815. An obvious method of relief would seem to be emigration and colonization. But, although some small attempts had been made in this way (by Mr. Wilmot Horton), they had invariably been costly and unsuccessful, and the remedy had never been seriously considered by politicians. Opposition to colonization came from two very different schools of thought. First, there were men of the Sadler type, who "would determine questions in political economy by quoting scripture." [10] In the opinion of this school, there could be no overpopulation, and if the best use were made of lands at home there would be no complaints of unemployment. Next, there were those economists like Bentham and James Mill, who made a fetish of capital. They were afraid that colonization would mean a waste of capital, and therefore a diminution of employment at home. The opposition of the first school, Wakefield swept away by answering their "Dwell in the land and verily ye shall be fed," with another scriptural quotation, "Increase and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it." [11] Against the more serious contention of the economists he appealed to facts, pointing to the great accumulation of capital in England, which, for want of employment at home, either lay idle, or was wasted in ruinous speculation. The cost of emigration, indeed, might be defrayed out of this capital without interfering with the amount used for employment at home. He was careful, however, to avoid recommending any such outlay, as his scheme contemplated something different; but he wished to remove an initial prejudice against colonization on the ground that it meant loss of that capital which was necessary for employment at home, "a prejudice, which stops him who entertains it, on the very threshold of this subject." [12] He found that the fallacy of the economists lay in one grand non sequitur, "It does not follow that, because labour is employed by capital, capital always finds a field in which to employ labour." [13]

Other minor ends served by colonization, which would be likely to appeal to the English public, were the relief of the poor rate by the emigration of paupers, the direction of the tide of Irish emigration from England to the colonies, and the checking of the over-competition for employment which affected all classes.

At the time of his writing England and America the Poor Law Commission or 1832 was receiving that mass of evidence as to the pauperism and degradation of the English labourer which led to the New Poor Law of 1834. Edwin Chadwick, the secretary to the Commission, had formerly been secretary to Bentham, and Wakefield could not but be aware of the character of the evidence collected.

Under the third head he pointed out that colonization offered a secure investment for English capital, for which at present there was no profitable employment at home.

The advantages of colonization to a colony were easily dealt with. Colonies needed both labour and capital to extend their industries and to increase their wealth and greatness. They needed, also, manufactured goods in return for their raw produce. For this they looked to the mother-country to supply that free labour which is "the great want of colonies." [14]

Having analysed in this way the condition of England and of the colonies, in order to show the advantages to both of colonization, he proceeded to the problem of how best to colonize. His answer was a complete theory, social, political, and economic.

If a colony was to be prosperous it must exhibit the phenomena of high wages and high profits. Labour, as he had shown, was the greatest need of the colonies, as its redundancy was the greatest evil of the mother-country. But, if a colony could be made prosperous, there would be little difficulty in attracting labourers. How, then, could the existing colonies be made more prosperous so as to become markets for the mother-country, receiving her manufactures and her surplus labour? One thing only was needed—a good system of disposing of colonial waste lands. Waste land was the chief element in colonization. The lack of "combinable labour" in colonies, that is, a supply of labour sufficient in amount to allow of the advantages of a combination of labour and a division of employments, [15] was a bar to capitalistic production. This operated to produce poverty and barbarism, which rendered colonies unattractive both to the capitalist and to the better class of emigrant, to the former because his capital was useless, to the latter because he was unwilling to deprive himself, by emigration, of the benefits of civilization. This lack of labour was, in his opinion, entirely due to the superabundance and cheapness of land in the colonies. The existing system of grant or sale at a low price gave to labourers too much facility for becoming landowners. Here he quarrelled with Adam Smith, who had said that cheapness and abundance of land was one of the chief causes of prosperity in new colonies. "The colony," Adam Smith had said, "of a civilized nation which takes possession either of a waste country, or of one so thinly inhabited that the natives easily give place to the new settlers, advances more rapidly to wealth and greatness than any other human society . . . .

"Every colonist gets more land than he can possibly cultivate. He has no rent, and scarce any taxes to pay. No landlord shares with him in its produce, and the share of the sovereign is commonly but a trifle. He has every motive to render as great as possible a produce, which is thus to be almost entirely his own. But his land is commonly so extensive that, with all his own industry, and with all the industry of other people whom he can get to employ, he can seldom make it produce the tenth part of what it is capable of producing. He is eager, therefore, to collect labourers from all quarters, and to reward them with the most liberal wages. But those liberal wages, joined to the plenty and cheapness of land, soon make those labourers leave him, in order to become landlords themselves, and to reward, with equal liberality, other labourers, who soon leave them for the same reason that they left their first master. The liberal reward of labour encourages marriage. The children, during the tender years of infancy, are well fed and properly taken care of, and when they are grown up the value of their labour greatly overpays their maintenance. When arrived at maturity, the high price of labour, and the low price of land, enable them to establish themselves in the same manner as their fathers did before them.

"In other countries rent and profit eat up wages, and the two superior orders of people oppress the inferior one. But in new colonies the interest of the superior orders obliges them to treat the inferior one with more generosity and humanity; at least where that inferior one is not in a state of slavery. Waste lands of the greatest natural fertility are to be had for a trifle. The increase of revenue which the proprietor, who is always the undertaker, expects from their improvement, constitutes his profit which in these circumstances is commonly very great. But this great profit cannot be made without employing the labour of other people in clearing and cultivating the land; and the disproportion between the great extent of the land and the small number of the people, which commonly takes place in new colonies, makes it difficult for him to get this labour. He does not, therefore, dispute about wages, but is willing to employ labour at any price. The high wages of labour encourage population. The cheapness and plenty of good land encourage improvement, and enable the proprietor to pay those high wages. In those wages consists almost the whole price of land; and though they are high considered as the wages of labour, they are low considered as the price of what is so very valuable. What encourages the progress of population and improvement encourages that of real wealth and greatness.

". . . Plenty of good land, and liberty to manage their affairs their own way, seem to be the two great causes of the prosperity of all new colonies." [16]

On the other hand, Wakefield held that cheapness and plenty caused an extreme disproportion between people and land, which could only be cured by some system of restricting the amount of available land. This might only be done by the Government, under whose control were the unappropriated waste lands of the colonies. Once waste lands were appropriated they entered the "field of employment," which should be large, but not too large compared with population and capital, and capable of increase when necessary. It followed, then, that the chief business which Government had in colonizing was to secure this object by granting, or withholding, titles to waste lands as might be necessary. "The action of the two exertions of power together may be compared to that of an elastic belt, which, though always tight, will always yield to pressure from within." [17]

There were three possible ways of doing this. In the first place the Government might make grants of land subject to conditions of quit-rent or of cultivation which should aim at causing the cultivation of all land appropriated. All such conditions, however, had proved in practice to be useless. Grants were taken, and the conditions remained unfulfilled. [18]

In the next place the Government might issue a grant subject to a tax (with forfeiture for non-payment) large enough to make it not worth while to take up a grant except with a view to its cultivation. This, however, was difficult to execute, and, at the best, was rather curing than preventing the evil.

In the third place the Government might demand a ready-money payment for each grant made, at a price high enough to prevent people taking too much land, and, at the same time, not too high to prevent those who were able and willing, from using it. If the price were too high it would prevent the necessary expansion of the field of employment; the restriction would resemble a "wall of brass," [19] and not an "elastic belt." Two extremes had to be avoided in imposing a price: first, making it so low that it was really no restriction; secondly, raising it so high that it discouraged voluntary-emigration. [20] The advantages possessed by this method of restriction over all others, were its fairness to all concerned, who were put on an equal footing in obtaining land, its simplicity, and its absolute certainty. [21]

In effect, the price was to be a restriction sufficient to adapt the supply of land to the supply of labour. "The plan of selling contains within itself an effectual regulator of the quantity disposed of." [22] A due proportion between land and labour would be obtained in this way, because such a price would ensure a supply of combinable labour in the colony by keeping labourers working as wage-earners for a considerable period before they became owners of land. "The sole object of a price is to prevent labourers from turning into landowners too soon: the price must be sufficient for that one purpose, and no other." [23]

Restriction in itself was not desirable, except as a means to this end. "I think restriction in itself an evil. I would propose some degree of restriction with a view to one object, and one object only," [24] namely, to secure combinable labour.

It must not be supposed that his object in proposing a price on waste land was to prevent labourers from ever becoming landowners. On the contrary it was an essential part of his system that their period of labour should be limited, and should be only a stage on the way to landed proprietorship. [25] It will be evident, later, that upon their acquisition of land depended in some measure the progressive character of his scheme for aided-emigration. Again one of his main objections to raising the price beyond what he thought sufficient, or to using the plan of sale by auction, was that it would compel a labourer to work for a longer period and thus cast the burden of a tax upon the class least able to bear it. [26] Although he objected to being called upon to fix a period during which a labourer should be compelled to work, he considered that three, or at the most four, years would be long enough. [27]

The Wakefield system is usually considered to have meant "high" prices on land, but he strenuously objected to this terminology. [28] If the price fulfilled its one object it might be either high or low. "If nine farthings per acre should check the natural increase of people, by causing a scarcity of well-paid employment, it would be too much; and . . . if ninety pounds per acre should not promote the greatest increase of wealth and civilization, by maintaining a constant supply of the demand for well-paid labour, it would be too little." [29] In speaking of the price he preferred to use the term "sufficient," that is, sufficient for its object of restriction and for no other purpose. This ideal price would be "a just medium . . . occasioning neither superabundance of people nor superabundance of land, but so limiting the quantity of land, as to give the cheapest land a market value that would have the effect of compelling labourers to work some considerable time for wages before they could become landowners. A price that did less than this, would be insufficient; one that did more would be excessive: the price that would do this and no more is the proper price. I am used to call it the sufficient price." [30] In justice to prospective buyers the system should be uniform. Land was to be disposed of in no other way than by sale, as a single exception would furnish a pretext for altering the system, and then all the advantages would disappear. For the same reason permanency was necessary.

If the plan of a sufficient price was to work satisfactorily two other provisions were requisite. In the first place each settler should be allowed complete liberty of appropriation. He must be able to buy land when and where he pleased. Otherwise there was more restriction than the price contemplated. Once a sufficient price was fixed any other restriction was entirely out of keeping with the object for which it was imposed. If the Government were to reserve land from the market for any reason whatever it would destroy much of the advantage gained by a sufficient price. Wakefield would have thrown the whole of the waste land of a colony open to intending purchasers, believing as he did that "as perfect a liberty of choice for settlers as the nature of things in each case would allow, is an essential condition of the well-working of the sufficient price." [31]

In the next place, and as a necessary preliminary to liberty of appropriation, land should be surveyed in advance so that it might be prepared for settlement, and settlers should be able with certainty to make their own choice. "Waste land not surveyed," he remarks, "is not land open to purchasers, any more than unpicked cotton or unthrashed corn is fit for market." [32]

The amount of the price was obviously a crucial part of the theory and in its practical application was always a vexed question. Wakefield was constantly challenged to name his sufficient price, and his refusal was put down to a want of confidence in his own theory. He had, indeed, in his earliest pamphlet of 1829, suggested £1 per acre as the price for New South Wales, [33] but this was omitted when the pamphlet was reprinted as an appendix to the Letter from Sydney. In 1835, he repeated that he had always considered £2 per acre the lowest sufficient price. [34] In the Letter from Sydney he admitted his inability to name a price.

"How is the proper price to be ascertained? I frankly confess that I do not know. I believe that it could be determined only by experience." [35]

But the two elements which he would take into account in fixing a price were, first, the length of service a labourer should give, next, the general conditions in the colony—for example, the rate of wages which a labourer would receive, the cost of living and the nature of the soil and climate. [36] These two together would determine how much a labourer might save in the given period, and the price should be fixed so that he could not obtain enough land to cultivate until his period of service had been accomplished. A rough guide to determine whether the price was too high or too low was to be found in the actual scarcity or abundance of labour in the colony. The legislator "could always tell whether or not labour for hire was too scarce or too plentiful in the colony. If it were too plentiful, he would know that the price of new land was too high; that is, more than sufficient: if it were hurtfully scarce, he would know that the price was too low, or not sufficient." [37] The best way of establishing a price in practice was, he thought, for the Government to fix a price and gradually raise it as experience warranted. [38] He did not pretend that the same price would suit all colonies. "There is no price that would be suitable for the colonies generally: the price must needs vary according to peculiar natural and other circumstances in each colony; and in order to determine the price for any colony, practical proceedings of a tentative or experimental nature are indispensable." [39] Indeed, "to name a price for all the colonies, would be as absurd as to fix the size of a coat for mankind." [40]

Once a "sufficient price" was imposed and a proper proportion established between land and people, industry would flourish in the colony. With a supply of combinable labour, profits and wages would be high, and the colony attractive to capitalist and labourer. It would then be to the interest of the labourer to emigrate and to the interest of the capitalist to furnish him with the means of emigration. Capitalists in the colony would pay the cost of the emigrant's passage, and emigrating capitalists would take out with them labourers under contract of service. In each case the sufficient-price restriction on land would enable the capitalist to hold the labourer to his agreement. "Colonization would be very rapid as well as good in kind, or civilized: and the sole cause of the whole improvement would be the sufficient price." [41]

So far the Wakefield theory is simple and consistent. The sufficient price, "the groundwork of the system," [42] is imposed for one object only, and bears no relation whatever either to the value of land, or to the cost of an emigrant's passage. Indeed, it is to be somewhat arbitrarily fixed, and constantly adjusted to the fluctuations in the supply of labour. Its amount can only be satisfactorily determined by experience. To sum up, the theory may be re-stated in brief in this way. A sufficient price on colonial waste land would prevent labourers in the colony from becoming landowners too soon. This would ensure a supply of combinable labour, because capitalists might then with safety import labourers under agreement. Thus the colony would prosper to her own great benefit, and to the advantage of the mother-country, which would be relieved of her surplus population and afforded a new and extending market.

It is not too much to say that, had the Wakefield theory stopped short at this point, it would have attracted the attention of none but a few political speculators. But the whole character of the theory was entirely changed by consideration of the question, what was to be done with the revenue resulting from sales of land at a sufficient price? "In the whole art of colonization, there is no question of more importance." [43] Important as it was, its place in the Wakefield theory has often been misunderstood. Some of its later critics and exponents have written as if the price on land was suggested in order to provide revenue which might be used in emigration. [44] That this view was taken by his contemporaries is evident from Wakefield's protests against it; that it was a misconception is evident from his frequent assertions that it was right to impose a price without reference to emigration at all. [45] He was prepared to rest the validity of his theory solely upon the doctrine of a sufficient price. "As the only object of selling instead of giving is one totally distinct from that of producing revenue—namely, to prevent labourers from turning into landowners too soon—the pecuniary result would be unintended, one might almost say unexpected. So completely is production of revenue a mere incident of the price of land, that the price ought to be imposed, if it ought to be imposed under any circumstances, even though the purchase money were thrown away. This last proposition is the sharpest test to which the theory of a sufficient price can be submitted; but if it will not stand this test—if the proposition is not true—the theory is false." [46] And again, "the money arising from the sale of land is a fund raised without a purpose, unavoidably, incidentally, almost accidentally. It is a fund, therefore, without a destination. There would be no undertaking, no tacit obligation even, on the part of the government to dispose of the fund in any particular way. It is an unappropriated fund, which the state or government may dispose of as it pleases without injustice to anybody. If the fund were applied to paying off the public debt of the empire, nobody could complain of injustice, because every colony as a whole, and the buyers of land in particular, would still enjoy all the intended and expected benefits of the imposition of a sufficient price upon new land: if the fund were thrown into the sea as it accrued, there would still be no injustice, and no reason against producing the fund in that way." [47] Nevertheless, "if the object were the utmost possible increase of the population, wealth, and greatness of our empire," [48] the best way to use the revenue would be as an emigration fund. However strong might be the inducement to a labourer to emigrate, he could not move without assistance. It was necessary to "build a bridge, as it were, toll-free, for the passage of poor labourers from an old country to the colony." [49] Then there would still be the kind of colonization produced by a sufficient price, but it would proceed at a greatly accelerated rate. [50] The use of the proceeds in emigration would "give the greatest possible progress to that good sort of colonization of which the price had been a deliberate object. With a sufficient price the land will be colonized as well as possible; employing the purchase-money as an immigration fund, the land will be colonized as fast as possible. The sort of colonization would be the same, but the degree would be infinitely greater." [51] The employment of the whole of the proceeds in this way had further manifest advantages over any other method.

In the first place, by this means the proportion of people to land was considerably altered, for labour would pour into a colony much faster than if there were merely a sufficient price, and no emigration fund. When the passages of labourers were provided in this way, the price might be lowered consistently with the object for which it was imposed. [52] This was Wakefield's more mature doctrine. In England and America, in 1833, he took quite the opposite view, laying down that a higher price might properly be required, since the land sold would be much more valuable if the purchase-money were devoted to the increase of colonial population. [53]

But, in 1836, he "entirely dissented" from this view, thinking it desirable to reduce the price in order to preserve the proper proportion between people and land. [54] If it were consistent with a theory of a sufficient price to lower its amount in this way, a colony which could do this would have the obvious attraction of cheap land without any of its disadvantages.

In the next place, if the purchase-money were devoted to emigration, a land buyer would, in return for his outlay, obtain not merely land, but a uniform and just system of free choice; and, above all, he would really be purchasing labour. This fact would help to make the theory easily understood and indeed popular amongst intending purchasers. [55]

In the third place, with a lowered price, a colony would become much more attractive to the labourer. The sufficient price would be still restrictive, but no longer prohibitive. His term of service for hire would be so much shorter, and he would so much sooner become a landowner. Wakefield hoped that this would make his system popular with the working classes and prevent them from objecting to the sufficient price. [56]

It is just at this point of union between the two doctrines of a sufficient price and an emigration fund that the progressive element in his scheme of colonization emerges. The sufficient price would produce revenue, which, best applied to emigration, would introduce labour into a colony. With the consequent extension of industry, capital would be accumulated, and more land bought both by capitalists and by labourers who had completed their term of service. These new land-sales would yield money for fresh emigration, and the process would begin again. [57]

"The supply of labour must be constant and regular; because, first, as no labourer would be able to procure land until he had worked for money, all immigrant labourers, working for a time for wages and in combination, would produce capital for the employment of more labourers; secondly, because every labourer who left off working for wages and became a landowner, would, by purchasing land, provide a fund for bringing fresh labour to the colony." [58] Colonel Torrens, a contemporary economist of some note and a convert to the Wakefield theory, found in the system "a geometrical principle of progression," [59] which would, in the mother-country, operate in precisely the opposite direction to that of Malthus.

Here, too, the theory takes on that self-regulating aspect which has laid it open to considerable criticism. If a sufficient price were imposed, and the whole of the funds spent in emigration, the amount of land sold would, he thought, plainly show what demand there was for labour, and at the same time would provide enough funds to supply that demand. The amount of land sold might be a measure of the quantity of labour wanted. "Nothing would show plainly to what extent the demand for labour had increased half so distinctly as the amount of land sold." [60] Wakefield's followers eagerly embraced this part of the doctrine and used it as one reason for devoting the whole of the proceeds to emigration. [61] He himself was of the same opinion in 1833. "We might, indeed, regulate the supply of labour by the amount of land sold, even if the labour were brought by a fund raised out of the colony: that is, the old country might spend, on the emigration of labour to the colony in one year, a sum precisely equal to the sum raised in the previous year by the sale of colonial land. But the object of so measuring one fund by the other would be secured, as a matter of course, if the whole fund obtained by the sales of land were spent in procuring labour. One of the greatest merits of this plan, therefore, seems to consist in its self-regulating action." [62]

But it would appear that, later, he had doubts upon this subject, and would have been satisfied to urge a sufficient price together with the devotion of the whole of the proceeds to emigration, without pressing for the recognition of any necessary relation between that sum and the amount required to import the necessary labour. In the Art of Colonization (1849), he insisted on the first two elements, but avoided mention of the other.

This doctrine of self-regulation has considerable effect on the practical problem of calculating a sufficient price. The former simple process of estimating length of service, wages, and cost of living does not now seem applicable. A price must be sufficient now, not only to prevent the acquisition of land, but also to produce enough revenue to pay the passage of as many labourers as may be required. Obviously a price, otherwise sufficient, must be altered with every variation in cost of transport if there is to be any relation between it and the demand for labour. Wakefield never clearly showed how one price was to achieve the two objects of restriction and of providing the exact amount of labour required. Assuming that a sufficient price did this, it followed that the whole of the proceeds should be devoted to emigration. Otherwise the nice balance between labour supply and demand would be overturned. Sale by auction, too, stood condemned by this test, as it meant raising more revenue than was necessary. "Seven years ago," Wakefield told the Committee on Waste Lands in 1836, "I was as ignorant of this subject (of colonization) as one of those chairs, and . . . I have acquired my opinions by degrees." This was peculiarly true of his views as to auction. It is not difficult to see that sale of land by auction does not easily square with the doctrine of a sufficient price. If the object is to impose a restrictive price and no more, then auction, in raising the price by competition, makes it excessive when the minimum upset price is sufficient. When the minimum upset price is not sufficient, there is no certainty that the price obtained by auction will be sufficient, though in any given case this may happen by chance. If there is no competition by auction and land is sold at the minimum price, the whole reason for auction is gone. The two systems, indeed, have different and irreconcilable aims. The one aims at a competitive price, at obtaining as much as possible for the land, the other at a hired-labour price, at the one price, high or low, which will accomplish its object of restriction. [63] Wakefield's system was modelled to some extent on that of the United States of America, and, at first, he had adopted from there the plan of auction. All his early proposals and schemes for colonization had contemplated combining auction with the plan of sale at a fixed minimum upset price. For long he had imagined that the method of sale was unimportant, but closer inquiry revealed to him the superiority of a uniform price. [64] The first sign of a change was when the Spectator, in 1834, in discussing the proposed new colony of South Australia, pointed out that the system of auction was open to many objections, and was, indeed, only optional in the new colony. [65] By 1835, Wakefield had completely abandoned auction, and his letter to the South Australian Commissioners strongly opposed the plan. [66] So far, indeed, did he carry his opposition, and so conveniently did he forget his change, that, in 1849, he wrote, "It has been imagined that the sufficient price might be obtained by means of competition, if new land were offered for sale by auction at a low upset price. I am at a loss to conceive how this notion could be entertained by a reasonable mind." [67] He even went so far as to say that Lord Grey was "the parent of the auction nuisance in our colonies." [68] His main objection was that auction would take away from the settler more of his capital than he would need to expend on land, if the price were sufficient. This would be a mischievous tax on colonization by depriving the settler of his prospect of profit, which was his chief encouragement to emigration. [69] He enumerates, too, several minor practical disadvantages of auction. A prospective buyer would have to wait for his land until the periodic auction came around; while, under a uniform price, he might obtain land whenever he pleased. Also, by causing jobbing and speculation, and leading to friction among the settlers, auction would be very unpopular in the colonies. [70] He preferred, however, even as a matter of theory, auction at a minimum price which would be sufficient, to an insufficient fixed price, because it was the minimum price which determined the degree of restriction. [71] In practice, too, he was forced to admit that auction might in some circumstances be advantageous; for example, in the sale of town allotments in a new colony. [72]

On the question of devoting the whole of the proceeds of the land fund to emigration his opinion varied somewhat. From the beginning he was willing that incidental expenses like that of surveying should be defrayed from this source. [73] He admitted, too, that in practice it might be necessary to divert some of the land fund to other urgent purposes, for example, to improving the means of communication in a colony, or even to defraying the cost of government. [74] If that were done the important thing was to fix the proportion which should be applied to emigration, so that every settler would know how much of his purchase-money went to this object, and would make his calculations accordingly. [75]

The theory of a sufficient price was intended by its author to apply only to agricultural, and not to pastoral, lands. Neglect of this fact has caused much misconception of Wakefield's theory, [76] and has rendered much criticism of it beside the mark. Wakefield always had in view the development of agricultural industry in a colony. His idea of a prosperous colony was one in which agriculture was being pursued on a large and extending scale, where the tillage of arable farms was gradually displacing the grazing of sheep and cattle on pasture lands. His sufficient price was one to prevent abourers from becoming owners of agricultural land, and the proceeds of land sales were to be used to furnish labourers for agriculture. While he did not overlook the importance of pastoral industry, he considered that its interests should be subordinate to those of agriculture.

It is clear enough from Wakefield's writings that he held consistent views on this subject from the beginning; but the incomplete way in which his theory was put into practice furnished some ground for misunderstanding. In his first proposal, in 1831, to colonize South Australia, he was careful to point out that the system of selling land was not meant to prevent colonists from pasturing their cattle on unappropriated land. In his opinion there was no need for restriction, because the term during which a labourer worked for hire depended wholly on the price of agricultural land, and not at all on the cost of pastoral land. Or, from another point of view, "It is the extreme cheapness, not of natural pasturage, but of land for cultivation, which occasions scarcity of labour for hire." [77] This was not merely a later opinion, for he expressed it before the Committee on Waste Lands in 1836, and, again, before the South Australian Committee of 1841. To the latter Committee he said, "I am always very much afraid of being supposed to press for any check upon that use of pasturage which is not freehold, and which does not affect the labour market; a man cannot become a freeholder by driving sheep over a district of country." [78] Not only would he have placed no restriction on their use, but he would have allowed the utmost freedom, stopping short of appropriation. No rent, or a purely nominal one, should be demanded, but conditions as to stock should be imposed to prevent misuse. Moreover it should be distinctly understood that all pastoral lands were liable at any time to be taken and sold as agricultural land. "The pasturage ought to be let as the land ought to be sold, uniformly and fairly, 'first come, first served,' always being liable to be brought into the Government sales whenever anyone wished to obtain, by paying a sufficient price, the freehold property in the land." [79]

Having demonstrated the necessity of imposing a sufficient price on waste land, and of using the proceeds in emigration, he developed the third part of his theory in answer to the question how to use the emigration fund to the greatest possible advantage both of mother-country and of colony. The principle which he adopted was that of selection of emigrants. He took great exception to the unsystematic and haphazard kind of emigration, mainly of paupers to Canada, and of convicts to Australia, which had been going on prior to, and even after, 1830. Of pauper emigration he wrote: "Who are they that go? Probably the most useless, the least respectable people in the parish. How are they got to go? Probably by means of a little pressure, such as parishes and landlords can easily apply without getting into a scrape with The Times. Occasionally they refuse to go after preparation has been made for their departure. Whether they go or stay, the attempt to remove them, not by attraction, but repulsion, makes an impression in the neighbourhood, that emigration is only fit for the refuse of the population, if it is not going to some kind of slavery or destruction. The tendency of these pauper-shovellings is to make the common people think of emigration with dislike and terror." [80] While the system of transportation existed, the departure of an emigrant differed little from that of a convict. "The judge, when he sentences a convict to transportation, tells him (and what the judge says, the convict's neighbours learn) that for his crime he is to be punished by being removed from his country and home, separated from his relations and friends, condemned to pass the whole, or a great part, of his life amongst strangers in a distant land. The parson of the parish might, with equal truth, address the very same words to an honest labourer about to emigrate." [81] Transportation did not discourage crime, but it most certainly discouraged emigration. "In the mind of the common people" favourable reports from convicts serve to "confound emigration and punishment, emigration and disgrace, emigration and shame." [82]

He kept two facts steadily in view, in the first place, the redundancy of population in the mother-country, in the second place, the lack of civilization in the colony, and its cause the scarcity of labour. The emigration fund, then, was to be laid out in such a way as to take from the mother-country and introduce into the colony the greatest possible amount of population and labour at the least cost. For this purpose he recommended preference should be given to young married couples. "The Domestic power of increase would thereby be greatly weakened, and the Colonial power of increase would be strengthened in the same degree." [83] The removal every year of large numbers of young couples at marriageable ages would, more than any other plan, help to prevent future redundancy at home, while their removal would cost no more than that of other classes, and the colony would obtain "the greatest possible germ of future increase." [84] Hitherto little care had been taken to produce anything like an equal proportion between the sexes. In New South Wales, for instance, owing to the system of transportation, this inequality was most glaring. Apart altogether from any moral considerations, it was best, from the economic point of view, that people of both sexes should be sent. "If the object were to procure, at the least cost, the greatest amount of labour for immediate employment, it would appear, at first sight, that the immigrants brought to the colony ought to be, all of them, males in the prime of life. But it is only at first sight that this can appear; because on reflection it will be seen that two men having to perform each for himself all the offices that women usually perform for men, to cook his own victuals, to mend his own clothes, to make his own bed, to play the woman's part at home as well as the man's part in the field or workshop; it will be seen, I say, that two men, each of whom should be obliged so to divide his labour between household cares and the work of production, would produce less than one man giving the whole of his time, attention, and labour, to the work of production. If the two men should combine their labour and divide their employments, one occupying himself solely with household cares for both, and the other solely with earning wages for both, then might the produce of their united labour be as great as that of one married man; but in no case could it be more." [85]

Marriage being, according to Wakefield, a time of change "when the mind is most disposed to hope, to ambition, to undertakings which require decision and energy of purpose," [86] young married couples would be more willing than any other class to emigrate. Their anxiety for the future and their desire to make provision for their children would make them saving and industrious. Again, by reason of their youth, they would more easily accommodate themselves to the conditions of life in a new country, and to new modes of cultivation and labour. "If they were old people their labour would be of little value to the colony; not only because it would soon be at an end, but also because they would be weak, and because they would not readily turn their hands to new employments, to employments very often quite different from those in which they had worked from their childhood to old age. In order that the poor immigrants brought to a colony should be as valuable as possible, they ought to be young people, whose powers of labour would last as long as possible, and who would readily turn their hands to new kinds of work." [87] On the moral advantages of sending out emigrants of both sexes there was no need to dwell. He had before him the example of New South Wales, and indeed his theory more particularly applied to the Australian colonies. If, in its general aspect, this part of his doctrine was meant to conduce to the greatest economy in providing labour to the colony, and in removing the surplus population from the mother-country, in its particular application it was to be the means of preventing further inequality between the sexes in New South Wales.

In the spirit of Bentham he looked forward to the unique opportunity for an experiment in universal education, afforded by the presence of large numbers of children in a colony peopled by young married couples. "For many years, the proportion of children to grown-up people would be greater than was ever known since Shem, Ham and Japhet were surrounded by their little ones. The colony would be an immense nursery, and, all being at ease without being scattered, would offer the finest opportunity that ever occurred, to see what may be done for society by universal education. That must be a narrow breast in which the last consideration does not raise some generous emotion." [88]

The Wakefield theory, indeed, had a definite social side. While impartial in wishing to give the greatest possible advantages to mother-country and colony alike, he always insisted that colonies should be made as attractive as possible from every point of view. One of his aims, then, was to transfer the better elements of the civilization of old countries to new conditions favourable to their development. Colonies were no longer to be new societies, barbarous and uncivilized, but were to be "extensions of old societies." [89] While he never thought to reproduce in a colony all the social inequalities of an old country, nor to prevent all classes from sharing in its prosperity, he did wish to introduce sufficient civilization and culture to keep the colony at a high level. [90] The presence of combinable labour would cause prosperity, and attract not only labourers and capitalists, but all other classes which went to make up a civilized society. "The colonies," he wrote, in the Letter from Sydney, "would no longer be new societies strictly speaking. They would be so many extensions of an old society. Pursue that idea, and you will see that emigration from Britain would not be confined to Paupers, passing by the free bridge. We (I speak in the name of the colonists) should acquire wealth rapidly . . . . How many ready-made articles, both useful and ornamental, should we import from England, for which, now, we have not the means to pay? Let me enumerate a few of them—farming bailiffs, surveyors, builders, architects and engineers, mineralogists, practical miners, botanists and chemists, printers, schoolmasters and schoolmistresses, booksellers, authors, publishers, and even reviewers, merchants to supply us with English goods and to take our surplus produce, bankers, underwriters, life-insurers, and clerks innumerable, actors, surgeons and physicians, lawyers, clergymen, singers, music and dancing masters, milliners and other female artists, and, at least, one good political economist at each settlement, to prevent us from devising an Australasian tariff . . . . Thus . . . these colonies, like those of Greece, would 'contain a mixture of all classes of society.' . . . In fewer words, every grant of land in these colonies would be an extension, though distant, of Britain itself, and would provide so much more room for all classes of Britons." [91] Much would be gained if colonies could be made to attract what he called the "higher order of emigrants," whose presence would induce others to emigrate. "The most respectable emigrants, more especially if they have a good deal of property, and are well connected in this country, lead and govern the emigration of the other classes. These are the emigrants whose presence in a colony most beneficially affects its standard of morals and manners, and would supply the most beneficial element of colonial government. If you can induce many of this class to settle in a colony, the other classes, whether capitalists or labourers, are sure to settle there in abundance; for a combination of honour, virtue, intelligence, and property, is respected even by those who do not possess it; and if those emigrate who do possess it, their example has an immense influence in leading others to emigrate, who either do not possess it, or possess it in an inferior degree." [92] Two other social factors he relied upon to take away from a colony its character as a new society, one the influence of women on colonization, the other provision for religion. "In colonization, women have a part so important that all depends on their participation in the work. If only men emigrate, there is no colonization; if only a few women emigrate in proportion to the men, the colonization is slow and most unsatisfactory in other respects: an equal emigration of the sexes is one essential condition of the best colonization. In colonizing, the woman's participation must begin with the man's first thought about emigrating, and must extend to nearly all the arrangements he has to make, and the things he has to do, from the moment of contemplating a departure from the family home till the domestic party shall be comfortably housed in the new country. The influence of women in this matter is even greater, one may say, than that of the men. You may make a colony agreeable to men, but not to women; you cannot make it agreeable to women without being agreeable to men. You may induce some men of the higher classes to emigrate without inducing the women; but if you succeed with the women you are sure not to fail with the men. A colony that is not attractive to women is an unattractive colony; in order to make it attractive to both sexes you do enough if you take care to make it attractive to women." [93] Adequate provision for religion was not a whit less important. "Suppose that in planning your colonization you had by some strange oversight omitted all provisions for religion in the colony; and that accordingly, as would surely be the case, you found amongst religious people of all classes, but especially amongst the higher classes, and amongst the better sort of women of every class, a strong repugnance to having anything to do with you. If you had made no provisions for religion in your colony, and if people here only cared enough about you to find that out, your scheme would be vituperated by religious men, who are numerous; by religious women, who are very numerous; and by the clergy of all denominations, who are immensely powerful. You would have to take what you could get in the way of emigration. Your labouring class of emigrants would be composed of paupers, vagabonds, and sluts: your middle-class, of broken-down tradesmen, over-reachers, semi-swindlers, and needy adventurers, together with a few miserable wives and a good many mistresses: your higher order of emigrants would be men of desperate fortunes, flying from debt and bedevilment, and young reprobates spurned or coaxed into banishment by relatives wishing them dead. You would sow bad seed, plant sorry offsets, build with rotten materials: your colony would be disgusting." [94] On the presence, indeed, of provision for religion depended the presence of women's influence in a colony. If inadequate it "is well calculated to deter the better order or people, and especially the better order of women, from going to live and die in a colony." [95]

Wakefield appears to have thought that the long-established civilization of an old society could be taken up in layers and transferred in the same position to a colony, the colonies becoming "new Englands" with high and low, rich and poor, all classes and grades of society, though with more freedom of passage from one grade to another. In his own words, colonization resembled the transplanting of full-grown trees, not of young plants, the removal of society, not of people. [96] Indeed, he never conceived of the formation of a stable society in a colony which would differ in essentials from the type with which he was familiar at home.

In its mature form, then, the Wakefield system, on its economic and social side, consisted of three proposals:

First, the sale of colonial waste land at a uniform sufficient price.

Secondly, the use of the whole, or a fixed proportion, of the revenue from land sales, in emigration.

Thirdly, a judicious selection of emigrants on the grounds of age, sex, and social position, preference being given to young married couples.

There remain to be considered some aspects of the Wakefield theory in regard to its effect upon the mother-country and to its application in the colonies.

To the mother-country it was primarily a remedy for over-population, but it was not intended to be the sole remedy. The repeal of the corn laws would indirectly operate in the same way by enlarging the field of employment. [97] Nor was emigration by itself sufficient to prevent future redundancy of population. The "fundamental checks" indicated by Malthus alone could do that, but colonization on a large scale, by removing the present surplus population, was the only means of allowing those checks to operate. In Wakefield's metaphor it was no use advising walking exercise as a cure to a dropsical man, until measures were taken to enable him to walk. [98] In colonization "the mother-country and the colony would become partners in a new trade—the creation of happy human beings; one country furnishing the raw material—that is, the land, the dust of which man is made; the other furnishing the machinery—that is, men and women, to convert the unpeopled soil into living images of God." [99]

Considered separately, the mother-country and the colonies had mutual interests in colonization, yet the empire as a whole had a greater interest in good colonization than any of the colonies separately. For this reason the control of colonial waste lands and the management of emigration were imperial matters which could not be left to any one colony. "If I made out any case at all," Wakefield said to the Waste Lands Committee of 1836, "it was an imperial case." The whole scheme would be defeated if a minority were to determine matters which concerned the majority. "This appears to me to be one of those cases which require a central authority. The end is the advantage of the whole empire; two of the most important means are uniformity in the practice, and very great care in the distribution of the labourers amongst the several colonies, so that the supply should never be more or less than the demand. None but a central authority would be able to conduct the operation." [100] Before the Committee of 1836 he strongly maintained this position in spite of the repeated questioning of Roebuck, who appeared to have in mind the fact that a practical application of the Wakefield system in Lower Canada would deprive the Canadians of control over their waste lands.

In course of time, Wakefield thought, the colonies would manage not only their waste lands, but all other matters which concerned them. "I believe there is a period in the existence of every important colony when the power of independence arrives; and that, let the mother-country wish what it may, the colony will make laws of every sort and kind, and among others, laws relating to waste land." [101] In the meantime control should remain with the mother-country, provided always that she could be brought to recognize her own interest in dealing with waste lands and emigration. If she so far forgot her interest as to be guilty of mismanagement, she should forfeit control to the colonies. [102] In 1849 he wrote: "The impossibility of inducing Parliament to consider the matter and legislate upon it in earnest . . . has at length induced me to recur to an old doctrine of mine—which is that the whole subject of the disposal of waste lands is a colonial matter which ought to be handed over to the colonists without any kind of reservation." [103]

In the application of his theory to the existing colonies, Wakefield had to take account of the fact that a great deal of land had already been appropriated by free grants or at low prices, which would considerably affect the results expected from imposing a sufficient price. "Where private land is monstrously superabundant, the sufficient price would, for a long while, stop the sale of all public land not possessing or acquiring a position-value." [104] He proposed to meet this difficulty by imposing a tax on sales of private lands appropriated prior to the institution of a sufficient price, and by using the proceeds in emigration. In addition, he suggested raising a loan for the same purpose, on the security of future land sales. A uniform tax per acre, equal in amount to the sufficient price, should, he considered, be imposed on the first sale of all private lands which took place after the imposition or a sufficient price. If the proceeds of the tax were devoted to emigration, the effect would be the same as if unappropriated public land had been sold. "The imposition of this tax on the first sale of any land after the law came into force . . . would be to put the sufficient price upon all the land of the colony, with this only difference between public and private land, that in one case the price would be paid before, and in the other, soon or later, after appropriation." [105] To avoid hardship, the Government was to be prepared, during a definite period, to buy at a valuation land which anyone wished to sell. Where land was superabundant, anticipation of future sales by way of loan for purposes of emigration was the only method of altering the proportion between people and land in the appropriated territory, and of supplying sufficient labour for hire. [106]

For the foundation of new colonies some special measures were necessary. At first he had thought there was no need to anticipate the land sales in a new colony, because where there was no previous appropriation there was no hurtful proportion between people and land. [107] Writing later, however, with the experience of South Australia and New Zealand in view, he admitted that anticipation might be useful even in a new colony, because intending settlers might be unwilling to give a sufficient price until a colony was to some extent peopled. [108] The work of founding a new colony should, in his opinion, be entrusted to associations of private individuals, with no further assistance from Government than was necessary to establish a proper system of disposing of waste lands. Such a private association would buy land from the Government, settle the colony, and make its profit out of the re-sale to intending colonists. It would have the opportunity to found towns, choose sites, and gain the profit from their increasing value as the settlement advanced. [109] In addition, the association was to have the power of governing the colony until it was ready for self-government. His model was the colonies of America which had been founded and maintained by private companies without the assistance of Government. The expenses of government in such a colony were to be defrayed partly out of revenue raised in the colony, partly by loans raised by the company, and charged on the future revenues of the colony. [110]

In its first formulation, in 1829, Wakefield's system was particularly a cure for existing evils in Australasia. [111] To other colonies its application was not so certain. In Canada, for example, he was quite sure that it could not be conveniently applied, "because the vicinity of the United States would induce emigrant labourers to emigrate once more in search of waste land, or extravagant wages; and the purchasers of waste lands in Canada would thereby be cheated of their consideration." [112] But here, again, his views suffered a change; by 1830 [113] he was prepared to recommend its partial, and by 1831 [114] its total application to Canada. In 1831, too, he urged its application to South Africa. [115] In 1838 he drew up a scheme for its introduction in a modified form into Canada, together with special provisions intended to counteract the effect of the previous profusion of land grants there. [116] In the end, indeed, he came to look upon his theory as capable of universal application to colonies, and almost as a panacea for all colonial ills.

To the Wakefield theory there was an important political as well as a social and economic side. From the beginning he advocated nothing short of self-government for colonies. [117] Economic measures alone were not sufficient to make a colony prosperous, there must also be good government. [118] Looking back in 1849, he wrote: "The authors of that theory attached the highest importance to the subject of government, believing that the best economical arrangements would not work well without provisions for a good political government of the colonists." [119] When anxious, however, to get his theory put to the test of experiment in South Australia, he minimized the importance of its political side; for, when he found that it was impossible to have the whole theory adopted, and that self-government was the stumbling-block, he consented to shelve it for a time. "It was clear to us that the part of our South Australian plan to which the Colonial Office most objected was a provision for bestowing on the colonists a considerable amount of local self-government. As we could not move an inch without the sanction of that Office, we now resolved to abandon the political part of our scheme, in the hope of being enabled to realize the economical part." [120] But the experiment of complete self-government could not well have been tried at once in a new colony, so he was content that it should be laid down as a future policy to be adopted when the colony had grown sufficiently in numbers. [121] That his political theory might be divorced from his economic theory he admitted to the 1836 Committee on Waste Lands, when, in answer to Roebuck, he said that a system of government was not necessary in order to make the application of his theory complete. [122] His normal view, however, was that one could not well succeed without the other.

The want of success noticeable in the existing colonies, in his opinion, had for one cause the unsatisfactory nature of colonial government resulting from the lack of local control. Where there was no representative assembly, the colonial government was altogether in the hands of a close oligarchy of officials appointed by Downing Street. Their boundless power attracted to them many time-serving partisans, but arrayed against them was a large and violently hostile majority of colonists, who resented exclusion from any share in their own government. Colonial politics were notorious for the extreme hostility of parties. "Colonial party politics, then, are remarkable for the factiousness and violence of politicians, the prevalence of demagoguism, the roughness and even brutality of the newspapers, the practice in carrying on public differences of making war to the knife, and always striking at the heart." [123] Even if there were a representative body, yet, in the absence of any responsibility of the executive to the legislature, power was still in the hands of the official class, and the executive and the legislature were for the most part at variance. In either case there was no way out of the difficulty but rebellion, which alone could affect the ruling majority. All these evils he ascribed to the fact that colonial government was a completely arbitrary system of "government from a distance." In his hatred of this kind of government he followed Bentham, who had written: "Government from a distance is often mischievous to the people submitted to it; government is almost always, as it respects them, in a state either of jealousy or indifference. They are either neglected or pillaged; they are made places of banishment for the reception of the vilest part of society, or places to be pillaged by minions and favourites, whom it is considered desirable suddenly to enrich. The sovereign, at two thousand leagues distance from his subjects, can be acquainted neither with their wants, their interests, their manners, nor their character. The most legitimate and weighty complaints, weakened by reason of distance, stripped of everything which might excite sensibility, of everything which might soften or subdue the pride of power, are delivered, without defence, into the cabinet of the prince, to the most insidious interpretations, to the most unfaithful representations. The colonists are still too happy, if their demand of justice is not construed into a crime, and if their most moderate remonstrances are not punished as acts of rebellion. In a word, little is cared for their affection, nothing is feared for their resentment, and their despair is contemned." [124] Government from a distance meant government by strangers irresponsible to the governed, and therefore with no interest in governing well. The officials of a colony in these circumstances "resemble the official class in British India, which exclusively governs, but does not settle, and which regards the natives as a race only fit to be governed by a superior race." [125]

All this contrasted very unfavourably with the system pursued in the earlier American colonies, which had governed themselves from the beginning. There were, he thought, two possible principles of government, on either of which, or on a combination of both, a colonial system might be based. First, the municipal principle of local self-government; secondly, the central principle of government from the distant centre of an empire. [126] Either of these might be adopted apart altogether from the question whether the government should be democratic, artistocratic [sic], or despotic. The history of the English colonies, as he conceived it, consisted in a change from the municipal to the central principle, a change entirely for the worse. "The English have reason to be proud of the wisdom of their ancestors. All the early colonies of the English were allowed to govern themselves from the beginning; with this single exception, that the mother-country reserved to herself a monopoly of the foreign trade of the colony. In every case the colonial laws were made by an assembly of colonists, elected by the colonists; and in some cases those laws were executed by officers, including the governor, who were appointed by the colonists." [127] This was a successful example of the municipal principle, and while it lasted, the colonies were well governed and contented. The results of the change to the central principle were disastrous. "The first effectual trial of the central system by England was our attempt to deprive the great English colonies in America of their dearest municipal right. It cost us their allegiance. This wound to our national pride seems to have brought the municipal principle into disfavour, when it should have rather produced aversion to the central." [128] When conquered colonies were taken over by England, and again when penal settlements were founded, self-government was considered inapplicable to both, and the central principle triumphed. "No sooner, however, did the English take possession of colonies, which had been founded by other nations without any provision for local self-government, than the aristocracy of England found out the advantage of holding colonies in subjection. This advantage became still more clear when the English Government had made a settlement in New Holland; had established a jail there; a society, which, of course, could not be allowed to govern itself." [129] Wakefield never tired of insisting that governing a colony from Downing Street was a complete novelty in British colonial policy. The only colony, deserving the name, which had been founded without local self-government was "the miserable Swan River settlement." [130]

His remedy, then, for all the evils of colonial misgovernment was no new thing, but a return to the "older and freer polity" [131] of the American colonies. Several reasons he adduced in favour of self-government. In the first place, it was the cheapest method both for mother-country and colony. Adam Smith had shown this in the case of the American colonies. "All the different civil establishments in North America, in short, exclusive of those of Maryland and North Carolina, of which no exact account has been got, did not, before the commencement of the present disturbances, cost the inhabitants above £64,700 a year; an ever-memorable example at how small an expense three millions of people may not only be governed, but well governed." [132] By way of contrast the Swan River colony, when the population was about 1,500, had cost England nearly £7,000 a year. [133]

In the second place, self-government would mean better government for the colonists, since power would be in the hands of those who had the deepest interest in using it well. [134]

In the third place, self-government would make a colony more attractive to the better class of emigrants. The earliest settlers who went to America were fit to found empires, but they would never have quitted England without a prospect of self-government. "It was thus, that men of a superior order were induced to run the risk of failure in those enterprises; men who, by their energy, judgment, patience, and resolution, were especially qualified to make those enterprises succeed. As a colony fit to manage its own affairs would not submit to have them managed from a distance, so a colony allowed to manage its own affairs would attract men fit to manage them." [135]

In the last place, self-governing colonies would be able and willing to protect themselves. Virtual independence would be so much worth having that it would be worth protecting. Colonists would provide for their own defence, and relieve the mother-country of this heavy burden. [136]

The connection of Wakefield's economic with his political theory is shown in the fact that, while he urged self-government as a means of making colonies attractive to the better class of emigrants, he thought it would be impossible to withhold self-government from a colony which, by the application of his economic system, had become an extension of an old society. Such a colony, being fit, would be able to govern itself, and its inhabitants would never submit to being governed from a distance. "With the capacity for self-government comes the power to exercise it. A people entirely fit to manage themselves will never long submit to be managed by others, much less to be managed by an authority residing at a great distance from them. . . . Let colonies be old societies in new places, and they will have the power to chuse between self-government and government from a distance. That they would chuse to govern themselves cannot be doubted by anyone who is at all acquainted with the evils of being governed from a distance." [137] Wakefield was never an advocate of separation. On the contrary, he firmly believed in maintaining the colonial relation. For this reason he considered that one great advantage of self-government lay in strengthening the bonds between the colony and the mother-country. It might not, in the long run, prevent separation, but it would certainly postpone the day indefinitely. Any people, especially Englishmen, who were for long governed from a distance and denied a share in controlling their own affairs, were apt to rebel. "A people, governed from afar, and continually increasing their territory, must have a continually increasing tendency to rebellion." [138] But with the grant of self-government the feeling for separation would decrease, the desire for further independence would go, and the relation between mother-country and colony would be amicable and enduring.

Wakefield's views on responsible government [139] as a colonial policy will be best dealt with when considering the part which he played in Durham's mission to Canada in 1838. [140] For the present it is sufficient to say that, advocating as he did self-government for colonies, and being brought face to face in Canada with the problem of how self-government might be made to work to the best advantage, he perceived how essential it was to this object that the colonial executive should be made responsible to the colonial legislature. Without this responsibility, colonial self-government was a contradiction in terms. Indeed in his Letter from Sydney, written nine years before Lord Durham's mission, he made a remarkable anticipation of the policy underlying the famous Report. "The mother-country, . . . in governing the colony, would consult the greatest advantage of the colonists, in order to preserve their friendship; and the colonists, having much to lose, and being incapable of dispersion, would feel a wholesome dread of war. The colonists, being an instructed and civilized people, would be as well qualified to govern themselves as the people of Britain; and, being a wealthy people, they would be able, without going to war, to assert the birth-right of all British subjects—to enforce in the British Parliament, against a bad British Ministry, their claim to equality before the law. Qualified, entitled, and powerful to govern themselves, they might either take a share in framing the general laws of the empire, by means of their representatives in the British Parliament; or, if a mean jealousy on the part of Englishmen should prevent such an arrangement, they might frame their own laws, in a Colonial Assembly, under the eye of a viceroy, incapable of wrongs and possessing a veto like the king of England, but whose secretaries, like the ministers of England, should he responsible to the people. [141] At all events, they must be governed, by whatever machinery, with a view to their good and their contentment, which is the greatest good, instead of to the satisfaction of their governors only. This would render them happy in a most intimate connection with their mother-country; and the American war of independence would no longer be a favourite theme in the still dependent colonies of Britain. Mutual dependence would prevent oppression on the one part, and on the other, a wish for independence; reciprocity of interest would occasion mutual goodwill; there would no longer be injurious distinctions, or malignant jealousies, or vulgar hatred between British subjects, wherever born; and Britain would become the centre of the most extensive, the most civilized, and, above all, the happiest empire in the world." [142]

When anyone develops a theory, whether in economics, politics, or in any other branch of knowledge, the question of the originality of his ideas is certain to be canvassed. Supporters will hail the theory as an entirely new discovery, opponents will deny to its author all claims to originality, and seek to assign its various elements to previous thinkers. With a theory around which bitter controversy raged for years, Wakefield did not escape this fate. In turn he has been acclaimed as the maker of an important discovery in political economy, [143] and denounced as an impudent borrower of other men's ideas. Karl Marx, who looked upon the Wakefield system as one more capitalistic attempt to apply in a new world old-world methods of exploiting the labourer, briefly dismisses his claim to originality thus: "Wakefield's few glimpses on the subject of modern colonization are fully anticipated by Mirabeau Père, the physiocrat, and even much earlier by English economists." [144]

Mr. J. D. Rogers, who seems to underrate Wakefield's influence on Australasian colonization, gives a somewhat different ancestry to the theory, laying stress on Wakefield's debt to the schemes tried in Australia in 1827-9, "which had matured before he began his crude studies." [145]

The article in the Westminster Review, [146] which Dr. Garnett mentions [147] as containing some anticipation of Wakefield's views, refers only to that part which deals with the importance of the "field of employment" for capital. [148]

On the strength of a speech on emigration which he had made in the House of Commons in 1827, Colonel Torrens later claimed to have anticipated that part of the Wakefield system which concerned the sale of waste land, and the application of the proceeds to emigration. After the Wakefield theory had passed into the realm of practice, Torrens put forward this claim several times, [149] and it was made on his behalf in a semi-official publication on South Australia. [150] The speech, however, does not warrant this claim. According to Torrens, he himself had "urged on Parliament the expedience of converting the waste lands of the colonies into an emigration fund." [151] What he really had advocated was Wilmot Horton's plan of pauper location financed by the repayment of capital by the emigrants. The sale of waste lands he had indeed urged, but merely as a source of revenue to the mother-country, following the example of the United States of America. "Such an emigration, too, would be a measure of economy and retrenchment, and a source of growing revenue. The expense of locating the able-bodied poor in the colonies would be less than that of maintaining them at home; the rapid reproduction of capital, when applied to fertile soil, would enable them, in a short period, to replace the expenses of their first establishment; while the value which the influx of an industrious population bestowed upon the colonial lands at the disposal of the Crown, would become a permanent source of national revenue, and of clear and unbought advantage to the country." [152]

William Charles Wentworth, who was afterwards famous in New South Wales politics, had, in 1824, suggested a plan of colonization which bears some resemblance to that of Wakefield. [153] He proposed emigration to New South Wales as a remedy for pauperism in England, and indicated how a fund might be obtained for the purpose. The poor-rate was to provide £10 a year for 14 years for every family of five sent out from the parish. The emigrants were to be settled on farms for which they were to pay an annual rent of £10 after the third year of their settlement. The initial expense of emigration was to be met by a loan guaranteed by Parliament, and redeemed by the proceeds of the poor-rate and rents. A Board of Emigration was to be established to carry out the system, which he hoped would very soon be maintained by the rents, independently of any other aid. [154]

Indeed, neither the mere plan of selling waste lands, nor their exchange for emigrants, was entirely new. In the United States, waste land had long been sold at auction, and the proceeds used as general revenue. Even in New South Wales, a system of selling land had been initiated in 1826, and extended in 1828, [155] although not until 1831 was it the sole method of granting land. [156]

Again there had been tried in Van Diemen's Land an arrangement with the Van Diemen's Land Company which practically meant an exchange of land revenue for labour. Unable to secure convict labourers, against whose employment they were allowed to set off a certain proportion of the quit-rent levied on their land, the Company proposed to send out emigrant free-labourers of both sexes, if the Government would make the same concession. This experiment was carried out in 1828. [157]

Even in the Colonial Office Regulations for the Swan River Colony in 1829, provision was made for an exchange of land for labour. Settlers might obtain grants of land at the rate of 200 acres for every labourer conveyed to the colony. [158] Wakefield himself at first admitted that if this were the sole condition of obtaining land, and if the number of acres were much diminished, the proposal would be similar to his own. [159]

Although the constituent parts of the Wakefield system, then, were not by any means new, they had not been combined together into a coherent and plausible theory. They had existed as separate plans and practical proposals for colonization, but they lacked unity. But, even in this respect, his whole theory seems to have been largely anticipated in the almost unknown writings of Robert Gourlay. Gourlay was a crack-brained Scotch-Canadian, with some ability, many violent opinions, and little judgment. He had distinguished himself in 1824 by horse-whipping Brougham at Westminster for not attending to a letter which he had written to him. His career in Canada was notable for the persecution which he suffered on account of his political views. [160]

In 1822 he published a book giving a statistical account of Upper Canada, in the general introduction to which he developed a complete theory of colonization. [161] In form and arrangement the book is unattractive, and it is impossible not to agree with Wakefield that "the author . . . has mixed up with much valuable statistical information an account of his own pre-eminent misfortunes and a picture of his own mental sufferings, so distressing, or . . . so annoying, to the reader, that it becomes difficult to extract from his book those parts which are merely useful." [162]

With Gourlay, as with Wakefield, emigration was to be a remedy for the redundancy of population in England. He set out to discover a plan which would settle emigrants in large numbers in Canada without any expense to England. [163] He attributed Canada's lack of prosperity to the superabundance of land. "Land in America is the very lubber-fiend which checks its own improvement. Could nine-tenths of it be sunk in the sea, and afterwards emerge by tenths, gradually, as it became absolutely necessary for the wants of mankind, there would be infinite gain in every way." [164] The colonists, dispersed over a wide area because of the method of disposing of lands, were wasting their strength and retrograding in civilization. [165] In Canada the Clergy Reserves, and the free grants of land, had so scattered the settlers that it was impossible for them to cultivate land with economy and profit. [166] In the United States, on the other hand, in the parts contiguous to Canada there was more population and greater prosperity because land was uniformly sold. As with Wakefield, his remedy was restriction of the quantity of land, "It should never be forgotten that wild land is the chief bane of this country, and no fair means should be left unemployed to lessen it." [167] He proposed a general land-tax on all land, waste or cultivated, public or private, whether owned by residents or by absentees, so that speculative holding of land in an uncultivated state would be unprofitable. [168] In addition he constantly urged the sale of waste lands instead of the method of free grants. The restrictive operation of a wild-land tax would, in his opinion, be such that it was worth imposing even though the proceeds were thrown away. "Such is the peculiar situation of landed property in this province that I am fully convinced, were £200,000 or £300,000 raised annually by taxation, on the principle proposed by me, and thrown into Lake Ontario, it would tend to good." [169] But the best way to use this fund was in bringing emigrants from England and settling them in Canada. When brought out, they should be employed in useful public works. "Suppose the same sum of £300,000 raised by taxation, was, instead of being thrown into Lake Ontario, employed in bringing poor people out of England . . . . Suppose that these people were kept two years employed in mere idleness . . .; by this policy, much more would be gained to the province, than by throwing the cash into the Lake. It would create a market for produce, give circulation to money, and stimulate the industry of farmers and others; besides all which, it would add greatly to the strength and value of the province by the increase of settlers. But if by the raising, and thus foolishly squandering away so much money, so many advantages are to be produced, what would be the mighty triumph of economy, when the money and labour was expended on useful public works." [170] Not merely was Canada to be peopled in this way, but to it were to be transferred all the advantages of the civilization possessed by an old society. "The mere filling of the world with men, should not be the sole object of political wisdom . . . . Is it not possible to create such a tide of commerce as would not only bring with it part of society, but society complete, with all the strength and order and refinement which it has now attained in Britain?" [171] This could not be hoped for under the existing system of pauper emigration which brought out "only a part, and that the weakest part of society," [172] namely, destitute individuals, and settled them in remote districts. Even in the suggestions of self-government, imperial control of waste lands, and the mutual benefit of colonization to mother-country and colony, his theory was not wanting. "Giving independence to the colonies, and withdrawing from all interferences in their domestic government, is quite compatible with our retaining the right of disposing of unappropriated land, and drawing a revenue from thence; quite compatible with the colonists remaining under British sovereignty. This country has the power of directing the current of emigration to any of her colonies; and all property must improve in value as population becomes more dense, and where judicious settlement is made. Hence there is scope for mutual benefits. Colonies may grow strong from an increase of people; and the mother-country may go on for ages reaping profit from the land she settles out of her redundant population." [173]

Wakefield himself never publicly acknowledged this obvious debt to Gourlay, but, according to the latter's story, he did privately when in Canada in 1838. Gourlay's account of their meeting is circumstantial enough. He relates that, one evening in 1838, a gentleman called to see him. "He introduced himself—Mr. Wakefield (the same who had been announced in the newspapers as accompanying Lord Durham, to instruct as to settling the wild lands of Canada). He told me that he was the writer of letters which appeared in the London Spectator, [174] some seven years ago, regarding me. I called to mind the letters: they were highly complimentary, and intended to draw towards me the notice of the Grey Ministry. Never before having known to whom I was thus obliged I thanked Mr. Wakefield . . . . He then went on to say that he was also author of a pamphlet on Colonization, [175] which was sent to me, soon after, under the frank of Lord Howick . . . . Mr. Wakefield said he had taken his ideas on colonization from my book. I replied that it gave a very imperfect view of my projects: . . . Mr. Wakefield added, 'Nevertheless, Government has established a colony [176] on your principles, in Australia.'" [177]

Wherever Wakefield got his ideas, he was sufficiently original in his new combination of them into a theory. He impressed his own individuality on his borrowed thoughts, and rendered them again in a new and attractive manner. Probably the most original part of his theory, which was also the part upon which he most insisted, was the notion that there could be fixed an ideal price on waste land, sufficient in itself for the restrictive purpose of providing combinable labour.




Footnotes to Chapter V.


1 The best account of the Wakefield theory is M. André Siegfried's book, Edward Gibbon Wakefield, et sa doctrine de la colonization systématique. Paris, 1904.

2 James Mill, Elements of Political Economy, Ed. 3, 1826, p. 71, "As, therefore, the profits of stock depend upon the share, which is received by its owners, of the joint produce of labour and stock; profits of stock depend upon wages; rise as wages fall, and fall as wages rise." See also pp. 78-9; and Ricardo, The Principles of Political Economy and Taxation, 3rd Ed., 1821, Chap. vi. See, however, J. R. McCulloch, Principles of Political Economy, 2nd Ed., 1830, Part iii. Chap. vii.

3 England and America, Vol. i, p. 115.

4 Cf. J. S. Mill, Political Economy, Book iv. Chap. iv, § 2. "Mr. Wakefield, in his Commentary on Adam Smith, and his important writings on Colonization, takes a much clearer view of the subject, and arrives, through a substantially correct series of deductions, at practical conclusions which appear to me just and important; but he is not equally happy in incorporating his valuable speculations with the results of previous thought, and reconciling them with other truths . . . . Mr. Wakefield's explanation of the fall of profits is briefly this. Production is limited not solely by the quantity of capital and labour, but also by the extent of the 'field of employment.' The field of employment for capital is twofold; the land of the country, and the capacity of foreign markets to take its manufactured commodities. On a limited extent of land, only a limited quantity of capital can find employment at a profit. As the quantity of capital approaches this limit, profit falls; when the limit is attained, profit is annihilated; and can only be restored through an extension of the field of employment, either by the acquisition of fertile land, or by opening new markets in foreign countries, from which food and materials can be purchased with the products of domestic capital. These propositions are in my opinion substantially true; and, even to the phraseology in which they are expressed, considered as adapted to popular and practical rather than scientific uses, I have nothing to object. The error which seems to me imputable to Mr. Wakefield is that of supposing his doctrines to be in contradiction to the principles of the best school of preceding political economists, instead of being, as they really are, corollaries from those principles; though corollaries which, perhaps, would not always have been admitted by those political economists themselves."

5 England and America, Vol. i, p. 134.

6 Ibid., Vol. ii, p. 22.

7 Ibid., p. 74.

8 England and America, Vol. ii, p. 109.

9 Ibid., pp. 93-4. This argument is developed at some length in the Colonial Gazette, October 9th, 1839. "The argument in favour of preferring trade with independent states to colonizing for the sake of trade, rests altogether on one great fallacy. It is taken for granted that the world abounds in independent states, having wants which England can supply, producing commodities which England wants, and desirous of making the exchange. Where be they? The English would gladly trade with Japan, but cannot because the Japanese will not trade with the English. What can be more precarious than the trade of England with the 'independent state' of China? More or less in all the countries of Europe, trade with England is impeded—in some it is almost prohibited—by restrictions imposed by independent governments. The tariff of the independent United States is the most serious impediment that exists in the world to the extension of the trade of England."

10 England and America, Vol. ii, p. 96.

11 Ibid., p. 97.

12 England and America, Vol. ii, p. 102.

13 Ibid., p. 103, footnote.

14 Ibid., p. 118.

15 Ibid., Vol. ii, pp. 35, 56, 157, and generally Vol. i, note i. See also Art of Colonization, pp. 167-9.

16 Wealth of Nations, Book iv. Chap. vii. Part ii.

17 England and America, Vol. ii, p. 151.

18 His argument was borne out by experience in New South Wales and in Canada. In New South Wales the conditions as to quit-rent and cultivation of land had been generally evaded. Dr. Marion Phillips, A Colonial Autocracy, 1909, see Chap. vii, pp. 143-6. In Canada the conditions of settlement and cultivation upon which land had been granted were often unfulfilled, Ellice's evidence before the House of Commons Committee on Canada of 1829. Acc. and Pap., 1828, Vol. vii, p. 375.

19 England and America, Vol. ii, p. 158.

20 Plan of a Company to be established for the purpose of founding a colony in Southern Australia, 1831, p. 61.

21 Wakefield's evidence before the 1836 Committee on Waste Lands, Question 657. Acc. and Pap., 1836, Vol. xi, p. 499.

22 Art of Colonization, p. 338.

23 Art of Colonization, p. 347.

24 Evidence before 1836 Committee on Waste Lands, Question 669.

25 See Wakefield's letter to the South Australian Commissioners, June 2nd, 1835, in Appendix to Report of Committee on South Australia, 1841. Acc. and Pap., 1841, Vol. iv.

26 See his evidence before 1836 Committee on Waste Lands, Question 996.

27 Evidence before 1836 Committee on Waste Lands, Questions 620 and 622.

28 See his answers to Mr. Poulett Scrope. Ibid., Questions 636 and 785.

29 Letter from Sydney, p. 171.

30 Art of Colonization, p. 339.

31 Art of Colonization, p. 432.

32 Ibid., p. 402.

33 Sketch of a Proposal for Colonizing Australasia, 1829, p. 9.

34 Letter to Robert Gouger, May 25th, 1835. Hodder, Founding of South Australia, 1898, p. 164.

35 p. 171.

36 See his letter of June 2nd, 1835, to the South Australian Commissioners. See also Art of Colonization, pp. 347-8.

37 Art of Colonization, p. 349.

38 England and America, Vol. ii, p. 202. See also his evidence before the South Australian Committee of 1841: "I think it would be one of the greatest improvements in colonial economy that could be devised to make a gradual increase of price, just taking care not to over-run the mark." Question 2906. Acc. and Pap., 1841, Vol. iv.

39 Art of Colonization, pp. 346-7.

40 Ibid., p. 348.

41 Art of Colonization, p. 374.

42 Ibid., p. 381.

43 Ibid., p. 375.

44 e.g., Anthony Forster, South Australia, 1866, p. 46. H. Capper, South Australia, 1837, p. 37.

45 Charles Tennant, Letters to Nassau Senior, 1831, p. 44. Evidence before 1836 Lands Committee. Art of Colonization, pp. 375-6.

46 Art of Colonization, p. 376.

47 Ibid., p. 376.

48 Ibid., p. 377.

49 England and America, Vol. ii, p. 184.

50 Art of Colonization, p. 378.

51 Evidence before 1836 Lands Committee, Question 878.

52 Evidence before 1836 Committee on Waste Lands, especially to Question No. 860.

53 Vol. ii, p. 197.

54 Evidence before 1836 Committee on Waste Lands, Question 861, and see Art of Colonization, pp. 379-80.

55 Art of Colonization, p. 377.

56 Ibid., p. 381.

57 A Statement of the principles and objects of a proposed National Society for the cure and prevention of pauperism by means of Systematic Colonization, 1830, p. 43.

58 England and America, Vol. ii, p. 192.

59 See his evidence before the 1836 Committee on Waste Lands, Question 1181; and see England and America, Vol. ii, pp. 190-3.

60 England and America, Vol. ii, p. 193.

61 See evidence of W. Whitmore before 1836 Committee, Questions 73-4.

62 England and America, Vol. ii. p. 193.

63 Letter to the South Australian Commissioners, June 2nd, 1835. See also Art of Colonization, pp. 353 et seq.

64 Letter to the Spectator, November 28th, 1841. See also his evidence before the 1841 Committee on South Australia, Question 2611.

65 July 19th, 1834.

66 This opposition is repeated in his evidence before the 1836 Committee on Waste Lands, and again before the 1841 Committee on South Australia.

67 Art of Colonization, p. 353.

68 Ibid., p. 361.

69 Ibid., pp. 357-8.

70 Ibid., pp. 357 et seq.

71 Evidence before 1836 Committee, Question 766.

72 Evidence before 1841 Committee on South Australia, Questions 2662-3.

73 Letter from Sydney, Appendix, p. xviii.

74 Ibid., p. xix. Evidence before 1841 Committee on South Australia, Questions 3020-1.

75 Evidence before 1841 Committee on South Australia, Questions 3020-1.

76 e.g., Ranken, Our Wasted Heritage, 1873, p. 20.

77 Art of Colonization, p. 419,

78 Question 2964.

79 Evidence before 1836 Committee on Waste Lands, Question No. 944.

80 Art of Colonization, p. 138.

81 Ibid., pp. 138-9.

82 Ibid., p. 139.

83 Letter from Sydney, p. 185.

84 England and America, Vol. ii, p. 213.

85 Ibid., pp. 205-6.

86 Ibid., pp. 208-9.

87 England and America, Vol. ii, pp. 206-7.

88 England and America, Vol. ii, pp. 216-17. Bentham, in 1831, used the same idea as an argument for founding a new colony in South Australia on these lines. Bentham MSS., University College Library, London, Box No. 8.

89 Letter from Sydney, p. 186.

90 See Fisher's Colonial Magazine for July, 1844. Article, "Sir Charles Metcalfe in Canada," by Wakefield.

91 Letter from Sydney, pp. 186-9.

92 Art of Colonization, p. 136.

93 Art of Colonization, pp. 155-6.

94 Art of Colonization, pp. 157-8.

95 Ibid., p. 165.

96 New British Province of South Australia, 1835, 2nd Ed., pp. 5-6.

97 England and America, Vol. i, pp. 209 et seq.

98 Letter by P——— to Lord Howick, No. x, Spectator, June 4th, 1831.

99 Letter from Sydney, pp. 196-7.

100 Evidence before 1836 Committee on Waste Lands, to Question 1018. See also Durham Report, Appendix B. Lucas, Durham Report, Vol. iii.

101 Ibid., to Question No. 823.

102 See also Colonial Gazette, September 9th, 1840, and Appendix B to the Durham Report. Lucas, Durham Report, Vol. iii.

103 Letter to the Editor of the Wellington Spectator, July 3rd, 1849. Founders of Canterbury, p. 85.

104 Art of Colonization, p. 386.

105 Ibid., pp. 393-4.

106 Ibid., p. 387.

107 England and America, Vol. ii, p. 239.

108 Art of Colonization, p. 387.

109 Evidence before the 1841 Committee on South Australia, Question 2632.

110 See his early proposals for colonizing South Australia. 1831, Proposal to His Majesty's Government for founding a colony on the Southern Coast of Australia. 1831, Plan of a Company . . .for . . .founding a colony in Southern Australia. 1834, Outline of the Plan of a proposed colony . . . on the South Coast of Australia.

111 Letter from Sydney, Appendix, p. xx.

112 Ibid., Appendix, p. xx.

113 Statement of the Principles and Objects . . . of the . . . National Colonization Society, 1830, p. 60.

114 Letter No. vii to Lord Howick by P——— , Spectator, February 19th, 1831.

115 Letter by P——— to Lord Howick, No. vi, Spectator, February 12th, 1831.

116 Appendix B to the Durham Report. See infra. Chap. ix.

117 i.e., representative government, local control of local matters, without any necessary reference to the subordination of the executive to the legislature.

118 Letter to the South Australian Commissioners, June 2nd, 1835.

119 Art of Colonization, p. 45.

120 Ibid., p., 47.

121 Infra, Chap. viii.

122 To Question 1002.

123 Art of Colonization, p. 185.

124 Rationale of Reward, 1825, Book iv, Chap. xiv, p. 298.

125 Art of Colonization, p. 202.

126 Art of Colonization, p. 224.

127 England and America, Vol. ii, p. 249.

128 Art of Colonization, p. 232

129 England and America, Vol. ii, pp. 249-50.

130 Ibid., Vol. ii, p. 251.

131 Herman Merivale, Lectures on Colonization, New Edition. 1861, Preface, p. 6.

132 Wealth of Nations, Book iv, Chap. vii. Part ii.

133 England and America, Vol. ii, p. 252.

134 Ibid., p. 253.

135 England and America, Vol. ii, p. 254.

136 Ibid., pp. 256 et seq.

137 Ibid., pp. 244-5.

138 Letter from Sydney, p. 66.

139 i.e., self-government, and in addition the subordination of the executive to the legislature.

140 Infra, Chap. ix.

141 The italics are mine.

142 Letter from Sydney, pp. 197-9.

143 Colonial Gazette, June 29th, 1839.

144 Capital, Engel's Edition, 1887, Vol. ii. Chap. xxxiii, p. 791, footnote.

145 Australasia (Vol. vi, Historical Geography of the British Colonies, edited by Sir C. P. Lucas), p. 112.

146 January, 1826, p. 101.

147 Edward Gibbon Wakefield, p. 62, footnote.

148 See also J. S. Mill, Political Economy, Book iv, Chap. iv, § 2.

149 Evidence before the 1836 Lands Committee, Question 1178. Systematic Colonization, 1849, pp. 34-5.

150 H. Capper, South Australia, 1837, p. 37.

151 Evidence before the 1836 Lands Committee, Question 1178.

152 Speech, 2nd Ed., 1828, p. 55. The Report in Hansard is very meagre, but the speech was reprinted in pamphlet form in 1828.

153 Wakefield had read Wentworth's book, for he mentions it in England and America, Vol. ii, p. 131.

154 A statistical account of the British Settlements in Australasia . . . 1824, 3rd Ed., Vol. ii, pp. 244-5, 260 et seq.

155 J. D. Rogers, Australasia, p. 110.

156 See Chap. vii, infra.

157 Rogers, pp. 110-11.

158 See Chap. iii supra.

159 Sketch of a Proposal for colonizing Australasia, 1829, p. 48. Charles Tennant, Correspondence with Nassau Senior, 1831, pp. 59-60.

160 Kingsford, History of Canada, Vol. ix, p. 207; pp. 237-8, footnote.

161 A statistical account of Upper Canada, 1822, 2 vols. The General Introduction forms another separate volume, 1822. Wakefield had read this book, for he mentions it in his "Letters to Lord Howick by P———," in the Spectator (No. iii, January 8th, 1831), and quotes from it in his pamphlet, A Statement of the principles and objects of a proposed National Society for the cure and prevention of pauperism, 1830, p. 25.

162 Letter from P——— to Lord Howick, No. iii, Spectator, January 8th, 1831.

163 Introduction, pp. 48-9.

164 Ibid., p. 385.

165 Introduction, p. 450.

166 Ibid., pp. 448-9.

167 Ibid., p. 414.

168 Ibid., pp. 381-3, 414.

169 Ibid., p. 414.

170 Introduction, pp. 416-17.

171 Ibid., p. 192.

172 Ibid., p. 192.

173 Ibid., pp. 453-4.

174 Eleven "Letters by P——— to Lord Howick," Spectator, 1830-1. These letters develop the Wakefield theory of colonization and urge Howick to adopt it. Gourlay is only mentioned quite incidentally.

175 A Statement of the principles and objects of a proposed National Society for the cure and prevention of pauperism, by means of Systematic Colonization, 1830.

176 South Australia.

177 The Neptunian, by Robert Gourlay, Boston, 1843, No. 2, at p. 27.






{Page 140}

Chapter VI

THE NATIONAL COLONIZATION SOCIETY

Soon after the publication of his theory in the Letter from Sydney, Wakefield began to gather around him a small, but able and influential, body of men who accepted his leadership and found in his plans a means of remedying distress and social evils in Great Britain by colonization on systematic lines. At first his associates came from among the younger members of the Benthamite group, who were favourably disposed to listen to the doctrines of the son of Edward Wakefield; but, as his activities and his prestige alike grew, he counted amongst his adherents men drawn from every side of political life, who often disagreed on all points but systematic colonization. [1] "The history of any definite 'school' of philosophic or political opinion," writes Mr. Graham Wallas, "will generally show that its foundation was made possible by personal friendship. So few men devote themselves to continuous thought, that if several think on the same lines for many years it is almost always because they have encouraged each other to proceed. And varieties of opinion and temperament are so infinite, that those who accept a new party name, and thereby make themselves responsible for each other's utterances, are generally bound by personal loyalty as well as by intellectual agreement." [2] This is essentially true of the systematic colonizers. There was a small inner circle of Wakefield's intimate friends who constantly supported him in his long fight against the indifference of the public and the opposition of a few antagonists. Of these friends the chief was Charles Buller, [3] Carlyle's pupil, a man in whom outstanding ability was united with a personal charm which made him beloved by all his contemporaries of whatever political party. Wakefield truly said of him that he had no enemies, [4] and his great gifts of mind and character make him the most attractive figure of this group, not excepting even its leader. Carlyle wrote of him, "A sound penetrating intellect, full of adroit resources, and loyal by nature itself to all that was methodic, manful, true—in brief, a mildly resolute, chivalrous and gallant character, capable of doing much serious service." [5] He possessed a playful and keen, though never cruel, wit, which often roused in too serious minds the suspicion that he was merely clever and not in earnest. Henry Greville records his impression in this way, "Charles Buller is amusing, but too much of a banterer to please me." [6] "He had," said the obituary notice in the Morning Chronicle, "an unfortunate propensity to indulge in a habit of joking for joking's sake; so that, for many years, the real sterling talent of his Parliamentary displays was obscured by what appeared a triviality of mind not to be corrected or overcome." [7] From childhood he suffered ill-health, and an impression got abroad that he was indolent and incapable of really hard work, or of taking anything seriously enough. "At last he shook off the occasional flippancy which had detracted from the manly vigour of his intellect, and had created a prejudice against his administrative capacity." [8] In 1847, when he was appointed President of the poor Law Commission, he hailed the opportunity of showing that he was not a mere trifler. "If I do succeed," he wrote to Wakefield, "no one will ever again say I am a mere talker with no qualities for business. I incur responsibility, I know: but sweat and risk are the purchase money of every palm worth wearing." [9] His best remembered jeu d'esprit was uttered when the Radical party in the House of Commons was gradually dwindling in numbers. "I see what we are coming to, Grote," he said, "in no very long time from this, only you and I will be left to 'tell' Molesworth." [10]

An able and convincing speaker, he advocated for long in the House of Commons the cause of the colonies, and the Wakefield theory of colonization. In 1830, however, he was a new and young member of the House of Commons, albeit the ablest of the small group of philosophical radicals, as they were later called, whose most prominent members were Hume, Leader, Grote, Roebuck, and Molesworth. Although he had made a reputation by his work on the Public Record Commission, Buller was a comparatively unknown man when, in 1837, his talents brought him under the notice of Lord Durham, who chose him as his chief assistant in his mission to Canada. On his return, he soon became recognized as a coming man in the House of Commons. From his facile pen came, in 1840, a well-reasoned and brilliant statement of the case for responsible government in the colonies, [11] accompanied by amusing, if exaggerated, attacks on the Colonial Office and its bureaucratic system which he stigmatized as the reign of Mr. Mothercountry. His premature death in 1848, when he was but 42 years of age, alone prevented him from rising to a high position as a statesman.

Buller and Wakefield were life-long friends. Buller not only possessed the ability and public position which made him a spokesman in Parliament of the Wakefield theory, but he was also ready to become Wakefield's pupil in colonial subjects. Wakefield, at the time of his release in 1830, was 34 years of age, while Buller was only 24, and, though later, as Wakefield put it, the relation between them as colonizers was that of "each other's alter ego." [12] yet Buller derived his inspiration and his interest in colonization from Wakefield. His attention, however, was, unlike Wakefield's, by no means confined to colonies and colonization, and he was often able to take a juster view both of the reason in the opposition which they encountered, and of the motives of opponents.

Sir William Molesworth, another important member of the group, was a man of a different type. A "faithful utilitarian," [13] he was distinguished more by the courage and consistency with which he advocated his opinions, fearless alike of friend and foe, than by popularity or any charm of manner. In the eyes of his opponents he appeared an "able but wayward politician" [14] given to the advocacy of foolish crazes of which colonization was one. He was not an original member of the Colonization Society, [15] but, by 1833, his first session in Parliament, he had become a supporter of the Wakefield theory. He was a great personal friend both of Buller and of Wakefield, and his biographer, Mrs. Fawcett, admits that he looked on them as masterminds in the sphere of colonization. [16] The chief part which he played in the work of colonial reform under the tutelage of Wakefield, was to advocate strenuously the policy of self-government for colonies, and to maintain that this was quite consistent with a close relation between mother-country and colony. "It is Molesworth's supreme title to distinction," writes Mrs. Fawcett, "that he adopted this view, and made it the chief object of his parliamentary and public life to educate the country to share it and see its importance." [17] Besides this, Molesworth rendered great services to Wakefield by supporting him in connection with the associations which he created for the purpose of founding South Australia and New Zealand. "Molesworth's assistance to these associations in and out of Parliament was invaluable; he spared neither time, labour, nor his purse in promoting them." [18] His name, too, deserves always to be remembered for the share he took, as chairman of the Transportation Committee of 1837, in the attempt to abolish the evils of transportation to Australia. Great things were hoped by the colonial reformers from his appointment as Secretary of State for the Colonies in July, 1855, but he died within a few months of taking office.

Other members of the circle of friends were John Stuart Mill, George Grote, and R. S. Rintoul. Mill's interests were very much wider than colonization, but he was always a supporter of the Wakefield system, [19] and gave considerable assistance by his advocacy of the policy of self-government for colonies. [20] Although, up to 1858, his official position prevented him from taking an active part in colonization reform, yet he lent to the Wakefield group the great weight of his private authority.

Grote was probably a member of the Colonization Society, and certainly aided in the formation of the South Australian Association, but his absorption in his task as historian of Greece caused him very soon to withdraw from any public connection with colonization.

R. S. Rintoul, a Scotch radical, and editor of the Spectator, which had just been started in 1828, was a firm friend of Wakefield, and a whole-hearted supporter of his doctrines. The Spectator became the organ by which the systematic colonizers brought their doctrines before the public, and urged on the Government the necessity of change both in the land systems and in the government of the colonies. Indeed, this paper was, as Dr. Garnett puts it, a fortress in which the colonial reformers entrenched themselves. [21] Wakefield, who wrote articles and letters innumerable for the Spectator, was fully sensible of his debt to Rintoul. "I take the opportunity," he wrote in a letter to Rintoul in 1841, "of publicly expressing my gratitude to you, as the person to whom I am specially indebted for having been able to propose with effect recent improvements in the art of colonization. As editor of the Spectator, you patiently examined my proposals, and manfully upheld them when they were treated with disdain or ridicule by nearly all others who thought it worth while to consider them. It was your support that encouraged me, not only to maintain a theory offensive from its novelty and generally disregarded or disapproved, but also to engage in a variety of labours of which the object was to submit that theory to the test of practice. Only eleven years have passed since I began this uphill work, with no helping public hand but yours; and I think we may say now, that public opinion has gone a long way towards embracing the main principles of my scheme . . . . Whilst I know that a large proportion of the labours by which this system has been set on foot has been performed without my participation—whilst I acknowledge great obligations to many who have afforded to my obscure exertions a generous and powerful aid—I am bound to declare, that for much of that assistance, for having been able to avail myself of it, for whatever share of credit may be due to me in the whole matter, I am chiefly indebted to you. I should have done nothing at all, if you had not constantly helped me during the years when the pursuit of systematic colonization was a continual struggle with difficulties." [22]

Besides these followers there were many others, too numerous to mention, whom Wakefield attracted to himself, and used in various ways in furthering his projects. Some put their names to pamphlets written by Wakefield, others, prompted by him, made speeches in Parliament or outside, others again advanced money for his schemes of colonization, waited upon the Government to urge the acceptance of his plans, and formed themselves into committees and associations whose aim was the realization in practice of parts or the whole of the Wakefield theory. In all the doings of the systematic colonizers, Wakefield was first and foremost in activity. "It would be affectation to pretend," he wrote in 1849, "that in the labours of the theorists of 1830, I have had any but the principal share." [23] But he kept himself in the background and was content to see others move when he pulled the strings. "It is my habitual and most useful function," he wrote in 1849, "to work, like the mole, in out-of-sight obscurity." [24] His task consisted in controlling the enterprises which he set on foot, and in persuading others to carry out his plans. "I have not time to attend to details," he wrote to his father in 1841, when busy with the founding of New Zealand, "almost every hour of my day, to say nothing of nights, from year's end to year's end, being engaged in taking care of the principles and main points of our New Zealand enterprise, and in what Arthur [25] calls 'the management of people,' which means the persuading of all sorts of dispositions to pull together for a common object." [26]

In this work of management and control he was unequalled. A strong opponent has well described his activities and their success, "energetic, tenacious, indefatigable, unscrupulous, with a wonderful talent for literary agitation, for simultaneously feeding a hundred journalists with the same idea and the same illustrations in varying language, for filling eloquent, but indolent, orators with telling speeches; at one time he had rallied round him nearly every rising man of political aspirations, and secured the support of nearly every economical writer of any celebrity." [27]

Wakefield's first step on his release in May, 1830, was, with the aid of his immediate followers, to establish a society to promote systematic colonization. "A few people in London in 1830," wrote Wakefield in 1849, "formed an association which they called the Colonization Society. The object they had in view was, in general terms, to substitute systematic colonization for mere emigration, and on a scale sufficient to produce important effects on the mother-country." [28] Wakefield believed that it was vain to expect to further his colonizing projects and to create interest in colonization without some kind of association, and his experience proved him right. In 1852, writing to the Spectator, he said, "mere writing on behalf of colonies, without organized association for action, is like beating the wind." [29]

There are some traces of an earlier body, called the "Emigration Society," which was merged in the National Colonization Society, as Wakefield's association was called. [30] The secretary of both bodies was Robert Gouger, who had edited the Letter from Sydney, He had intended emigrating to the Swan River Colony, but had been deterred from that course by becoming a convert to Wakefield's views. [31] He afterwards became one of the founders of South Australia, where he was the first Colonial Secretary, and the records of his journals show him as an energetic and hard-working member of the Society under the inspiration and guidance of Wakefield. [32]

Originally the Colonization Society was small in numbers, its founders were not more than a dozen, and it is not possible to discover who the original members were. Wakefield says of them, "they were an unknown and feeble body, composed chiefly of very young men, some of whose names, however, have long ceased to be obscure, whilst others are amongst the most celebrated of our day." [33] A list of forty-two members of the Society is given by Wakefield in England and America, excluding Grote and himself, but containing the names of John and William Hutt, Charles Buller, Sir J. C. Hobhouse, Sir Francis Burdett, John Stuart Mill, and Colonel Torrens. [34]

The objects of the Society, as set out in their first published pamphlet, were "to establish a general system of Colonization, founded on the main principles of Selection, Concentration, and the sale of Waste Land, for the purposes of Emigration." [35] They made use of the term "systematic colonization" as a convenient way of describing colonization on the lines of the Wakefield theory. [36] Their first efforts were occupied with attacking Wilmot Horton and his plans, and calling attention to the failure of the Swan River colony, with a view to showing the superiority of their own plan. They urged on the Government the necessity of requiring a price on all lands granted in Canada, South Africa and Australasia. The money obtained from the sales of such land was, they proposed, to be used in conveying young couples to those colonies. One function which the Society hoped to perform was to manage this emigration. Until the fund was available they were prepared to send out as apprentices to settlers, any orphan and destitute children whose passage was paid by the parish in England, or by any benevolent society or individual in Great Britain or Ireland. [37] They were, however, not successful in this latter aim and became, while they lasted, really a society for propagating the Wakefield theory, for creating interest in colonization, and for putting pressure on the Government to reduce systematic colonization to practice in Australasia. The Society stated and developed Wakefield's views in a series of pamphlets, [38] some anonymous, others signed by various members, but almost all composed by Wakefield himself. [39] The Colonization Society claimed that their plan had a twofold object, to remedy by emigration distress and pauperism in Britain, and to remove by systematic colonization existing social and economic evils in the colonies. But neither object seemed to attract much attention in 1830, when the movement for Parliamentary reform was agitating men's minds. In 1831, Wakefield complained that this difficulty stood in the way of arousing any interest in colonization or colonial projects. [40] The systematic colonizers had an uphill struggle in trying to force a new theory upon an indifferent public and an unwilling government. Their proposals were received with "disdain or ridicule" [41] by those few who considered them, and with "derision and scorn" [42] by those who had it in their power to carry them into effect. "It is the common fate of nearly all new inventions," they observed philosophically, "to be called, for a time, wild and visionary. The quantity of ridicule and abuse bestowed on such inventions, is generally in proportion to the greatness of the objects, and the simplicity of the means by which it is proposed that those objects should be obtained. The suggestion of the National Colonization Society has not escaped the ordinary fate of new proposals having in view great objects; nor was it to be expected that anything so entirely novel, and proposing to accomplish objects of such vast importance by means so very easy of application, should be received, at first, otherwise than with derision, contempt, or indifference." [43] Wakefield himself, looking back in 1849 on their want of success in attracting public notice at this time, wrote, "The public at large cared nothing about the matter, and could not be brought to take the slightest interest in it. If opponents had been many and much in earnest, converts would not have been wanting: the general inattention was too complete for an opposition that might have proved useful." [44] Indeed the only real opposition they met with at first came from Wilmot Horton, who, from his first acquaintance with the Wakefield theory, was a strong opponent of the principle of land-sales. [45] In his zeal for emigration he even became a member of the Society, but incidentally he led to its disruption. Out of compliment to his interest in the subject he was asked in 1830 to take the chair at a public meeting of the Society, and from that position made a speech attacking its principles, the result of which was that the Society disbanded. [46] He also persuaded Colonel Torrens to join him in a controversy with the members on the question of selling colonial lands. The chief objection which they took was that a high price on land in the colonies would compel settlers to cultivate lands of inferior fertility, while superior land remained uncultivated. [47] The use of the term "concentration" by the systematic colonizers gave opportunity for misunderstanding their plan. Colonel Torrens, however, when it was made clear to him that the concentration intended was merely combination of labour, admitted that his objection was overcome, became a convert to the theory, and indeed one of its warmest supporters. "This system of colonization," Torrens told the 1836 Committee on Waste Lands, "was first proposed to my consideration by Sir Robert Wilmot Horton, and he stated to me that it was calculated to produce congestion upon particular spots of land, to compel the settlers to cultivate inferior soil, to render their labour and capital less productive, to reduce wages and profits, which are mainly determined by the last quality of land under cultivation, and to occasion rent to be paid upon superior lands as in an old country. To the principle of colonization, as thus understood, I certainly had very decided objection. But when, upon investigation, I found that this system of colonization, rightly understood, did not involve the necessity of cultivating inferior land, but, on the contrary, it offered to the settler the most perfect freedom of cultivating the most fertile land in a very extensive district, then all the objections which had occurred to Sir Robert Wilmot Horton and myself when we first looked at the subject, were to my mind entirely removed, and I became a decided approver and advocate for the system." [48] Mr. Wilmot Horton, on the other hand, remained sceptical, though he is credited with the curious suggestion that the Society should have Australia and South Africa in which to try their theories, while he preserved Canada as a field of experiment for his own ideas. [49]

A more notable convert was Jeremy Bentham. In 1793 he had urged the French to emancipate their colonies. [50] In 1825 he had declared that the possession of colonies was not necessary in order to carry on trade with them, and that the capital used in colonial trade might be applied as productively to other undertakings. [51] Colonization, considered as a means of increasing the general wealth of the mother-country was, he thought, "an agreeable folly." On seeing the proposals for colonizing the Swan River in 1829, he had, however, changed his opinion as to the value of colonies, and in the summer of 1831, about a year before his death, he was led to consider the Wakefield theory and the proposals of the Colonization Society. After raising several objections he declared his unqualified approbation of the theory, and wrote in its support. [52] These writings were never published but exist in about fifty pages of manuscript, all difficult to read, and some almost indecipherable. [53] He accepts the principle of restriction underlying the Wakefield theory, calling it the "vicinity-maximization or dispersion-preventing principle," and discusses at length and with considerable attention to detail the proposed plan of founding a new colony on Spencer's Gulf, South Australia. Since these writings were never published and Bentham died soon afterwards, it is not likely that his influence counted for much in attracting adherents to systematic colonization, except in so far as men like Grote and Molesworth would be induced to look favourably upon a theory which Bentham approved. Wakefield did not receive the unanimous support of the Benthamite group, and he was all the more pleased to acknowledge Bentham's own approval. He declared later that the form of England and America was suggested by Bentham. [54]

After the controversy with Wilmot Horton and his action in attacking its principles, the Society seems to have broken up. But its chief members continued to act together and to carry on their attempt to educate Parliament and the country to their views on colonization.


NOTE.

A list of pamphlets is given in the footnote to p. 162 England and America, Vol. ii. As some of these are hard to trace I have given the press marks of the British Museum catalogue whenever possible.

1. Sketch of a Proposal for colonizing Australasia, 1829. (B.M. 8154. d. 30.)

2. A Letter from Sydney, the principal town of Australasia, edited by Robert Gouger, together with the Outline of a system of colonization, 1829. (B.M. 798 e. 9.)

3. A Statement of the principles and objects of a proposed National Society for the cure and prevention of pauperism, by means of Systematic Colonization, 1830, (B.M., C.T., 232 (i).)

4. A Letter to the Right Honourable Sir George Murray on Systematic Colonization, by Charles Tennant, M.P., 1830. This pamphlet is not in the British Museum but is at the Colonial Office. (C.O. 5031, Vol. iii.)

5. Letters forming part of a correspondence with Nassau William Senior, Esq., concerning Systematic Colonization, Charles Tennant, 1831, (B.M. 8154 b.b. 28.)

6. Eleven letters in the Spectator, signed P——— , 1830-1. (Written by Wakefield.)

7. A lecture on colonization delivered before the Literary Association at the London Tavern on December 5th, 1831, R. Davies Hanson, 1832. (Not in the British Museum catalogue under the name of R. D. Hanson.)

8. Proposal to His Majesty's Government for founding a colony on the Southern Coast of Australia. Printed and circulated but not sold, 1831. (B.M. 8154 e. 1 (5).)

9. Plan of a Company to be established for founding a colony in Southern Australia, 1831. (B.M. 8154 d. 66 (i).)

10. Article in the London Literary Gazette, October 29th, 1831.

11. Emigration and Colonization. A speech delivered at a general meeting of the National Colonization Society in June, 1830, by William Hutt, Esq., M.P., 1832. (Not in British Museum catalogue under the name of William Hutt.)

12. Emigration for the Relief of Parishes practically considered, by Robert Gouger, 1833. (B.M. 8276 de. 13/12.)




Footnotes to Chapter VI.


1 "Mr. Wakefield had to assist him in propagating his tenets," wrote one of his opponents, "not only the charm of 'style,' but of personal fascination, with a more than Protean adaptiveness, which rendered him the friend and bosom adviser of Republicans and Radicals, Whig and Conservative Peers, Low Church and High Church Bishops. Five Secretaries of State for the Colonies—Lords Glenelg and Stanley, Monteagle, Aberdeen and Grey—have been more or less his pupils." Samuel Sidney, The Three Colonies of Australia, 1853, 2nd Ed., p. 95.

2 Life of Francis Place, 1898, p. 65.

3 Charles Buller was born in 1806. His father was Charles Buller of Morval, Cornwall, who was in the revenue department of the East India Company's service. He was educated first at Harrow, then by Carlyle, who was his private tutor, then at Trinity College, Cambridge. He was called to the bar in 1831, but did not practise until 1838. In 1830 he entered Parliament as member for West Looe, and after 1832 was member for Liskeard until his death in 1848.

4 Art of Colonization, 1849, p. 453.

5 Examiner, December 2nd, 1848.

6 Leaves from the Diary of Henry Greville, 1883, 1st Series, p. 205, and see p. 308.

7 Morning Chronicle, November 30th, 1848.

8 Morning Chronicle, November 30th, 1848.

9 Art of Colonization, 1849, p. 455.

10 Mrs. Fawcett, Life of Sir W. Molesworth, 1901, pp. 79-80.

11 Responsible Government for Colonies, 1840.

12 Art of Colonization, 1849, p. 33.

13 Dict. Nat. Biog.

14 Mrs. Fawcett, Life of Sir W. Molesworth, 1901, p. 158.

15 Ibid., p. 137.

16 Ibid., p. 273.

17 Mrs. Fawcett, Life of Sir W. Molesworth, 1901, p. 157.

18 Ibid., pp. 164-5.

19 Even as late as 1869 he wrote to A. M. Francis, "With regard to lands, I am still, Hke yourself, in favour of the Wakefield system." Letters of John Stuart Mill, 1910, Vol. ii, p. 201.

20 Garnett, pp. 174-6.

21 Edward Gibbon Wakefield, 1898, p. 89.

22 Spectator, December 4th, 1841. The Editor comments: "With the generosity of most high intellects, Mr. Wakefield attributes to the aid of others successes commanded by his own great powers; it was these even that compelled the aid which he acknowledges."

23 Art of Colonization, p. 58.

24 Letter to C. B. Adderley, December 24th, 1849. Founders of Canterbury, p. 176.

25 His brother, Captain Arthur Wakefield.

26 B. M. Add. MSS., No. 35,261, Letter of October 22nd, 1841.

27 Samuel Sidney, The Three Colonies of Australia, 1853, 2nd Ed., p. 95.

28 Art of Colonization, 1849, pp. 39-40.

29 Spectator, May 15th, 1852.

30 E. Hodder, The Founding of South Australia (from the journals of Robert Gouger), 1898, pp. 36-7. Gouger wrote to Lord Glenelg, on May 12th, 1835: "Early in 1830, in conjunction with Mr. Hutt, I formed a society, whose object it was to show the evils arising from giving land away, attaching conditions of cultivation to occupiers of land, and to make known to the public those principles of colonization on which the new province (of South Australia) is to be founded." Ibid., p. 160. The original of this letter in C.O. 13/3 gives the date of the foundation of the society as 1829.

31 Hodder, pp. 35-6; see also Gouger's letter to Charles Tennyson, January 27th, 1831. C.O. 384/28.

32 See the tribute paid to him by Wakefield in 1833. "Mr. Robert Gouger, the secretary of the society, whose efforts to procure the adoption of its whole plan have been unceasing for several years. The successful issue of Mr. Gouger's long contest with the judgments of ignorance, the insults of pride, and the delays of idleness, should be a lesson of encouragement to the advocates of useful projects."—England and America, Vol. ii, footnote at p. 161.

33 Art of Colonization, 1849, p. 40.

34 Vol. ii, footnote, at p. 161.

35 A Statement of the principles and objects of a proposed National Society for the cure and prevention of pauperism by means of systematic colonization, London, 1830.

36 Ibid. See also two pamphlets, Letters forming part of a correspondence with Nassau Senior concerning Systematic Colonization, 1831, and A letter to the Right Honourable Sir George Murray on Systematic Colonization, 1830, both ascribed to Charles Tennant, M.P.

37 Statement of the Principles, etc., 1830, pp. 69-70.

38 A list is given in a note at the end of this chapter.

39 Wakefield's letter of June 2nd, 1835, to the South Australian Commissioners. Acc. and Pap., 1841, Vol. iv, Appendix. Rusden wrote that Wakefield "trumpeted his theory in a Colonial Gazette, and he moved a small world of enthusiasts." History of Australia, 1883, Vol. ii, p. 81. Actually the first number of the Colonial Gazette, which later became the organ of the "systematic colonizers," only appeared in December, 1838.

40 Letter v of P——— to Lord Howick, Spectator, February 5th, 1831.

41 Wakefield to Rintoul, Spectator, December 4th, 1841.

42 Wakefield's evidence before the 1836 Lands Committee, to Question 961. Acc. and Pap., 1836, Vol. xi, p. 499.

43 Letter to the Directors of the Canadian Land Company, Correspondence with Nassau Senior, 1831, pp. 67-8.

44 Art of Colonization, 1849, p. 40.

45 Evidence of Wakefield and of Colonel Torrens before the 1836 Lands Committee.

46 England and America, 1833, Vol. ii, footnote at p. 160. Spectator, January 15th, 1831.

47 Letter to Sir G. Murray on Systematic Colonization, 1830, p. 33. James Mill and Malthus took the same view. Torrens' evidence before 1836 Lands Committee, Question 1182.

48 Reply to Question 1138.

49 Correspondence with Nassau Senior, 1831, p. 43.

50 In pamphlet, Emancipate your Colonies, 1793, reprinted with a postscript, 1830, and again with an introduction in 1838.

51 Rationale of Reward, 1825, Chap. xiv, p. 293.

52 England and America, Vol. ii, footnote at p. 102. See also two letters of a "Benthamite" to the Westminster Review, October 23rd and October 29th, 1834, printed in the Spectator for November 1st and November 8th respectively.

53 Bentham MSS. in the Library of University College, London, Box No. 8, National Colonization Society.

54 England and America, Vol. ii, p. 104, footnote.






{Page 155}

Chapter VII

EARLY EXPERIMENTS IN SYSTEMATIC COLONIZATION—1829-1837

In pursuance of their objects the Colonization Society had in 1830 approached the Government, but they met with no success while the Duke of Wellington was in office. [1] Sir George Murray, then Secretary of State for the Colonies, told them that the Government rather wished to discourage emigration. [2] With a change of Ministry and the advent of Lord Goderich and Lord Howick to the Colonial Office at the end of 1830, their renewed representations had a more favourable reception. They achieved their first public success when, in January, 1831, the Government determined to adopt some measure of the Wakefield theory by making a great change in the disposal of waste lands in New South Wales, Van Diemen's Land and Western Australia. [3]

In an old and thickly populated country the distribution of land has a powerful effect upon all social and political phenomena. Even in a new country with an apparently illimitable supply of land and a scanty and widely scattered population, as Australia possessed in 1830, the land question very soon emerges into importance.

The foundation of a new colony would seem to offer an unexampled opportunity for laying down a fair and equitable system of land holding and settlement, elastic enough to adapt itself to the needs of a growing community. It might be thought that those who were concerned in founding the Australian colonies would have attempted to introduce the general lines of such a system, or at least would have proceeded cautiously in a matter where a wrong step taken at the start might profoundly affect the future prosperity of these colonies, and prove exceedingly difficult to retrace. But none of these considerations seemed to have troubled the British Government in founding the earlier Australian colonies, and in devising rules for land settlement. Throughout their earlier stages there was no regular or uniform system of disposing of waste lands. [4] In New South Wales land had been given away without regard to its existing or future value. "Probably no more extravagant and careless system of land distribution has ever been adopted in a British colony than that of the first fifteen years of Australian settlement." [5] Indeed, the land question in the beginning only arose incidentally out of the character of the settlements. These colonies were intended merely as prisons which should at once rid Great Britain of her criminals, and provide for their punishment and reform. Exile was part of the punishment, the land was part of the means of reformation. Free grants of land were made to emancipated convicts in order to give them an opportunity of making a fresh start in life in a new country. When free settlers came, all that was done was to extend the same system to them, except that the grants were on a more liberal scale.

Up to 1810, the usual method had been to grant land to emancipated convicts or to free settlers, subject to conditions as to quit-rents. These grants were made at the absolute discretion of the Governor, and during this period were large in amount though not in number. Free emigration was then on such a small scale that each application for land was dealt with on its merits, and no universal rule was laid down. [6]

As far as the Home Government had any aim at this time it was to encourage the formation of a class of peasant proprietors; but the land got into few hands, and the attempt was a dismal failure. [7] Land was, apparently, considered as a bounty on emigration. If a man were so bold as to pay his passage and try his fortune in one of these penal colonies, his hardihood was rewarded with a free grant of land. During this period, up to 1810, there had been granted in New South Wales 117,269 acres. [8]

During the next stage, 1810-1822, while Governor Macquarie held office, the Home Government seems to have determined to encourage capitalists to come to Australia. Anyone arriving there received, on conditions as to quit-rents and cultivation, a free grant of land in proportion to the capital which he could persuade the Governor that he possessed and was prepared to invest in the colony. Sometimes the capital was fictitious [9] or was obligingly lent to the applicant by an accommodating friend. This system, though not the sole method of granting land, lasted until 1830.

During this stage the tendency was to make the grants smaller in amount, and the power of granting land still lay with the Governor alone. "In general, land was given to anyone who asked for it and who had the means of cultivating and stocking it. But the Governor had complete, unfettered and unquestioned power to refuse such a request without further explanation." [10] During the years of his office, Macquarie granted in all 239,576 acres, bringing the total alienated by 1820 to 356,845 acres. [11]

By 1824, the Home Government had decided to introduce side by side with this system the sale of waste lands. Instructions were sent out to divide the colony into counties, hundreds and parishes, and to strike an "average price" for which all unappropriated land might be sold, subject merely to a nominal quit-rent.

At the same time the older method was retained of granting land at the Governor's discretion to settlers in proportion to their capital. [12] Throughout these stages land was looked upon by the Government as a ready means of rewarding naval and military officers, and of making provision for colonial officials. With small deviations these regulations were repeated in 1826 and 1828. [13]

By 1828 the land alienated in New South Wales amounted to 2,906,346 acres. [14] This very large increase was due, not only to the necessity of meeting the claims of an increasing population, but also to the fact that, in 1824, a large grant of about 1,000,000 acres in New South Wales had been made to the Australian Agricultural Company, on the usual conditions as to quit-rents. [15]

In Van Diemen's Land, in 1825, a similar grant of about 350,000 acres was made to the Van Diemen's Land Company. [16] By the end of 1830, no less than 3,344,030 acres had been alienated in New South Wales. [17]

Besides these methods of grants and sales there was another way of disposing of pastoral land, which afterwards was to lead to the system of "squatting," characteristic of Australian land-holding, over which many bitter fights were to be fought. Very early in the history of Australian settlement the Crown granted leases to colonists to enable them to pasture their flocks and herds on unoccupied lands. This was, however, authorized occupation, which was not of course freehold, and, indeed, carried no title to the land itself. The regime of "squatting" or unauthorized occupation of land had, by 1830, hardly begun. The settlers were still confined by order to certain districts—afterwards known as the "Old Settled Districts"—where alone they were allowed to occupy land. [18]

Such then, in 1830, was the complicated and wasteful "system" of disposing of Crown Lands in the Australian colonies. [19] There was no consistent and definite policy underlying it. Land was used as a bounty on emigration, as a means of raising revenue for the Crown, as an inducement to capitalists to settle, and as a reward for those who had rendered service to the colony or the mother-country. In these circumstances it was little wonder that the "system" gave no satisfaction to the colonists, who charged it with conducing to favouritism and corruption on the part of the Colonial Government. [20] Intending settlers could not be certain on what terms and in what amount they might obtain land, or even whether they would receive any at all. Sometimes emigrants arrived only to find that the regulations which had been in existence when they sailed had been changed. [21] Indeed the system of grants and the discretion allowed to the Governor were both unsatisfactory to settlers. If they possessed influence with the Secretary of State or with other men in high places, land was not very difficult to obtain. [22] On the other hand, however deserving they might be, they had no redress if the Governor chose to withhold a grant from them. Governor Darling, indeed, was accused by his opponents of refusing grants to those whose only disqualification was that they had come under his displeasure or that of his officials. [23] Lord Stanley, in 1842, described the system as one that varied almost from year to year, causing disappointment to settlers, leading to disputed titles and great litigation, and checking the emigration both of labour and capital to the colony. [24] Even from the point of view of the Colonial Government it was so unsatisfactory that, when an end was put to it in 1831, Governor Arthur of Van Diemen's Land, although he by no means approved of the new, yet "heartily rejoiced" that the old system was no more. [25]

The first intimation of a change in 1831 was a despatch from Lord Goderich to Governor Darling on the 9th January, announcing his intention to introduce, in the near future, a uniform system of sale in New South Wales, and instructing Darling, in the meantime, to discontinue all further grants except by way of sale. [26] His intention was realized in a despatch of the 14th February, 1831, containing Royal Instructions to Darling as to the disposal of waste lands, and enclosing the printed terms of the new regulations for intending settlers—afterwards well known as the Ripon Regulations. [27] The Governor was instructed that all lands not hitherto granted, and not appropriated for public purposes were to be disposed of in no other way than by sale at auction at a minimum price of not less than five shillings per acre. A deposit of 10 per cent. was required from the purchaser, and the remainder was to be paid within a month, or possession was not granted and the sale was void. Grants thus obtained were to be subject to no conditions whatever except a nominal quit-rent of a peppercorn. The land was to be put up for sale in lots of not less than 640 acres, except in special circumstances when, on application to the Governor, the quantity might be reduced. With the Governor, however, rested the sole power of deciding what lands should be exposed for sale and what lands withheld. Lands which were required for grazing purposes were to be let on lease from year to year, but, if applied for by intending purchasers, were to be sold at auction in the same way as other land.

At the same time another reform was instituted by this despatch. Crown reserves for Church or School establishments were, in accordance with a recommendation of the Commissioners of Inquiry into Colonial Expenditure in 1830, [28] abolished as a tax upon the industry and capital of the colonists.

These changes applied both to New South Wales and Van Diemen's Land, and similar instructions and regulations were sent out a little later to the Governor of Western Australia. [29] There, however, in the absence of convict labour, settlers were to be allowed, in the purchase of land, £20 for every married labourer with his family, brought by them to the colony. This concession was to take the place of the provision which allowed such expense to be counted as part of the capital in proportion to which grants were formerly made. [30]

The despatch of the 9th January, 1831, strongly condemned the regulations previously in force, and gave reasons for substituting the new system. In the first place, these regulations had not had the intended effect of preventing the appropriation of large tracts of land by persons unable to improve or to cultivate them. The conditions laid down as to cultivation and quit-rents had failed. The cultivation conditions had been very little attended to, and were unsatisfactory because they were vague in extent and difficult to enforce. In practice they were merely restrictive and useless. They placed the government of the colony "in the disagreeable situation of either suffering regulations they have sanctioned to become a dead letter, or of interfering in a manner which must necessarily have the appearance of being arbitrary and capricious, from the impossibility of laying down any positive rule or defining exactly the required degree of cultivation." [31] The conditions as to quit-rents were no more satisfactory. They were difficult and expensive to collect, and were so small in amount that the revenue they brought in might more easily be supplied from other sources. The great objection to the whole "system" of grants at the discretion of the governor was "the suspicion to which it unavoidably exposes the colonial authorities of improper partiality to individuals." [32]

In the next place, apart from their failure, the existing regulations were not founded on correct views of the true interest of the mother-country and the colony. They tended to encourage capitalists rather than labourers, while it was the emigration of unemployed labourers which would give the greatest relief to the mother-country, and, at the same time, be most useful to the colony, which was constantly complaining of the difficulty of obtaining labour. Again, the high average price of wheat which existed together with the want of demand for colonial produce, led the Secretary of State to believe that the settlers were too scattered and cultivation too widely extended. "These two apparently inconsistent evils, of a high price and a want of demand, lead me to believe that cultivation has been too widely extended, and that it would have been more for the interests of the colony if the settlers, instead of spreading themselves over so great an extent of territory, had rather applied themselves to the more effectual improvement and cultivation of a narrower surface." [33] The reason which he assigned for this dispersion was that land could be too easily obtained. "A different course, however, has been pursued, chiefly, as it appears, owing to the extreme facility of acquiring land, by which every man has been encouraged to become a proprietor, producing what he can by his own unassisted efforts." [34]

Having shown the failure of the existing regulations to achieve the objects at which they aimed, the Secretary of State proceeded to give his reason for introducing the new system. In his opinion it was necessary to place some restriction on the acquisition of land, and thereby to provide a supply of labour. "If these views be correct, what is now required is to check this extreme facility and to encourage the formation of a class of labourers for hire, as the only means of creating a market for the agricultural produce of the colony, of effecting various improvements, and of prosecuting the many branches of industry which are now neglected, while, at the same time, by enabling the agriculturist to apply the great principle of the division of labour, his produce will be increased and afforded at a more reasonable rate." [35] Two ways of bringing about this desired object suggested themselves.

In the first place, the law might be altered to make indentures more binding on the labourers, so that capitalists might be induced to defray the expenses of their introduction into the colony.

In the next place, land should be granted in no other way than by sale for ready money at a fixed minimum price. "Another and important advance towards a better system may, I think, be made by a measure, simple and easy in itself, and which will at the same time have much more effect in preventing the occupation of land by persons unable or unwilling to improve it, than the present complicated and, in practice, nugatory regulations. The measure to which I allude, is that of declaring that in future no land whatever shall be disposed of otherwise than by sale, a minimum price (say, five shillings an acre) being fixed." [36]

This despatch has been quoted at some length in order to give, as far as possible in Lord Goderich's own words, the reason for the new system of sale by auction. It would seem clear enough that what was intended was to introduce in practice the principle of restriction underlying the Wakefield system. It was not merely that a price was charged for land a little higher than the usual price, but it was imposed with the particular object of preventing labourers from becoming landowners too soon. No doubt the land regulations had been in a very unsatisfactory state—Governor Darling had written once or twice to the Colonial Office complaining of them. [37] It was obvious that some change was desirable. But the system adopted was none the less the Wakefield system, though not perhaps in the form which its author would have wished. A uniform system of sale was established throughout Australia, and, so far as the new policy was in accord with the chief principle of the Wakefield theory, the systematic colonizers professed themselves pleased. They never doubted but that it was the intention of the Government to introduce some measure of the Wakefield system, and they prided themselves on having wrought the change by their representations. They singled out Lord Howick, then Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies, as being the real author of the new regulations, [38] and, indeed, claimed him as the first official convert to the new theory. [39]

Some of the colonists, too, saw in the Ripon Regulations an attempt to carry out the recommendations of the Letter from Sydney, In 1831 a correspondent of the Sydney Gazette wrote that "in this letter and its appendix, we find the germ of these ruinous land regulations." [40] Again, in 1832, the Sydney Herald wrote of "Robert Gouger," that "his misstatements have already injured our colony beyond calculation, and have imposed the sale and quit-rent of land." [41] But Wakefield's share in the change has not gone unchallenged. Mr. J. D. Rogers says of Wakefield: "He said that it was he who suggested to Lord Grey (then Lord Howick), who suggested to Lord Ripon (then Lord Goderich), who introduced the triple revolution of 1831. Even so the fly said that it turned the wheel." [42] In view of this statement, it is perhaps necessary to bring some more evidence to show what Lord Goderich and Lord Howick had in mind in introducing the new system. "One of the chief objects in view," wrote Lord Goderich in his despatch of the 14th February, 1831, accompanying the regulations, [43] is "a great restriction of the extreme facility of acquiring land which now exists. This is absolutely essential for the purpose of checking the dispersion of Settlers." [44] Again, in 1833, when the settlers of Swan River requested him, as a means to the prosperity of their sorely-tried colony, to recall the new regulations for selling land there, he defended the system in words which Wakefield himself might have used to describe the advantage of sale over all other methods of disposing of waste lands. "All experience proves," he wrote, "that the greatest drawback upon the progress and prosperity of new colonies, arises from such a facility in obtaining land, as tends to destroy all supply of labour for wages, and to convert each settler into a small and impoverished landowner, without means to do more than to extract from it a bare subsistence. Others, however, of more ample means, will be induced, from that very circumstance, to become settlers, from the greater facilities of obtaining labour, and the wider field which would thus be opened to them of laying out their capital with advantage. It will have the further effect of introducing into the colony a better order of society, and of regulating the gradations of the different classes of it." [45] From Lord Howick's speeches in the House of Commons it may be gathered that he was an early convert to the Wakefield theory as he understood it. In 1831, in supporting the abolition of free grants in Canada, he spoke of the incorrect notions as to the best means of disposing of colonial waste lands which had caused all the evils of the former system. [46] In 1839, again, he declared in no uncertain tone that he accepted the principle of the Wakefield theory. "I entirely agree with him [47] as to its soundness and extreme importance, and I think also with him, that its discovery reflects great honour upon the gentleman by whom it was brought to light, and who first pointed out its influence upon the success of all schemes of colonization. As far as I am aware, the benefits to be derived from the prevention of an undue dispersion of settlers in a new territory, with the means by which this object can best be accomplished, and the necessity of combined labour, which in a new country, can only be secured by artificially maintaining a proper proportion between the numbers of the population and the extent of land which they occupy, had entirely escaped the notice of all writers upon political economy, until they were stated in those works of Mr. Wakefield . . . . I consider these principles to be not less important than they were novel at the time they were brought into notice by Mr. Wakefield." [48]

Two years later Howick admitted that Wakefield originated the policy on which the Ripon Regulations were based. Speaking on May 1st, 1841, at a farewell dinner to Wakefield on the eve of his departure for Canada, he said: "It was true that when in office in 1831 he had endeavoured to give application to the system which Mr. Wakefield discovered." [49]

The Ripon Regulations, then, were an attempt to put into practice the chief principle of the Wakefield theory. It was the first attempt in the nineteenth century to proceed systematically in disposing of the waste lands of the Crown in the colonies. It was the first venture of the Colonial Office along the novel path of theory, and, as might have been expected, it was a hesitating one. Although it had been determined to put a price on land to prevent labourers from becoming landowners too soon, [50] no pains were taken to make the price "sufficient." Five shillings an acre was about the usual price of land at the time, [51] or perhaps a little above the usual price. [52] But it was necessary to make a beginning without causing too much opposition, and the price was purposely fixed low. In 1831, Lord Howick told the House of Commons in 1843, "an opinion unfavourable to the new policy was universal among persons interested in the colonies; their outcry was so strong, that it was felt to be prudent to begin a little gently, to get the scheme into operation with a price of 5s., and as soon as they could do it with advantage, to raise the price." [53] Howick, indeed, shared Wakefield's view that the price should be progressively raised until it became sufficient, and this he would have done had he remained in office. [54]

It may be taken as a curious illustration of the way in which the colonies were governed in 1831, that such a momentous change in land policy which affected every colonist, "a perfect revolution in the most important function of colonial government," as Wakefield called it, [55] should have been directed merely by a despatch under the hand of a Secretary of State, without any resort to Parliament for confirmation or disavowal. By the mere ipse dixit of a Secretary of State a colony might have its lands thrown open to settlement, or locked up for years; the foundations of its prosperity might be laid, or the seeds of its failure sown. The regulations were certainly given the authority of an Order in Council, but throughout the proceedings Parliament was never consulted. It is true that at a later date when responsible government was conceded to Canada in 1840, and to Australia in 1855, the all-important change was made in each case merely by a despatch instructing the governor to choose his advisers with reference to their support in the popular House; but in those cases the policy had long been discussed, and had been several times before Parliament.

There was little encouragement to existing or intending settlers in the knowledge that at any time there might come another arbitrary change in the land regulations to upset all their calculations. The previous history of Australia had been such that there was no guarantee that the new regulations might not also, in their turn, be soon superseded.

The place which colonies then held in the minds of Englishmen is strikingly shown by the fact that, although the Ripon Regulations were published in full in the Morning Chronicle of January 24th, 1831, they had not, by February the 3rd, "been copied into any other journal, or even mentioned by the Press." [56] Indeed, they received only a passing reference in Parliament from Lord Howick in 1831, and did not come up for consideration there until February 22nd, 1832, when Mr. Dixon, complaining of the "iniquitous proceedings" of the governor of New South Wales in asking five shillings per acre for land and in claiming arrears of quit-rents, recommended the Government to reconsider their policy of selling waste lands. [57] Lord Howick replied that the old system of granting lands had led to great complaints, and orders had been accordingly sent out to change the system. [58] On June 7th, 1832, Dixon returned to the attack and, supported by Mr. Henry Lytton Bulwer, asked for a Select Committee to consider the alienation of Crown lands in New South Wales and Van Diemen's Land. Howick refused on the ground that it would mean a general inquiry into the question of emigration and colonial land, and would amount to considering whether the Government's policy were wise or unwise. [59]

The systematic colonizers were by no means content with this, their first success with the Colonial Office. While they were ready to give all credit to Lord Howick for the advance, they considered it an "awkward attempt," [60] which fell far short of a whole-hearted introduction of the Wakefield system into Australia.

In the first place, they thought the price of five shillings was not in any way a sufficient price. (Wakefield, it will be remembered, had suggested two pounds per acre. [61]) At such a price as five shillings there would be really no restriction on the facility with which labourers might become landowners, and it would therefore prevent the existence in the colony of a class of labourers for hire. [62] Indeed, so defective in this respect did the regulations appear to Wakefield, that he complained the minimum price established was only such a "colourable adoption" of his theory as to bring it into discredit. [63] He suggested, too, before the 1836 Committee on Waste Lands, [64] that the proper way of fixing the price instead of leaving it to the governor's discretion, was to have a responsible body, like the Poor Law Commissioners, whose function it should be to regulate the price as circumstances might require, having regard to the object with which it was imposed.

In the second place, the regulations were defective in that they did not contain provisions compelling the expenditure of the land fund on emigration. [65] Although this part of the Wakefield theory was detachable from the principle of a sufficient price, yet Wakefield and his followers held that it was necessary to devote the whole of the proceeds to emigration if the best and most rapid sort of colonization was to take place. More especially was it necessary, by increasing population in this way, to increase the proportion of people to land when the price was so low as to be unable to effect this by restriction.

In the next place, the systematic colonizers objected that the new regulations were not established on any enduring basis. The authority of a despatch or of an Order in Council was not a sufficient guarantee that the new system would be permanent. [66] It left too much to the discretion of the Colonial Office, and was far too dependent on the goodwill of the Colonial Minister for the time being. Although they thought the step did not go far enough, they did not want it retraced. They wished to make the change permanent by an Act of Parliament, which alone, in view of past history in Australia, could reassure the colonists against the fear of frequent and unexpected change. [67] They would have been best pleased with an Act which laid down the principle that a sufficient price should be imposed, and left it to a Commission to determine what price was sufficient.

It was not until some time later that objection was taken by Wakefield to the plan of auction as stultifying the principle of sufficient price; [68] but the provision as to the size of the allotments in which waste land was to be put up for auction—640 acres, unless special reason was shown for a smaller amount—was condemned as placing too great a check on the labourer's facility for becoming a landowner, without preventing capitalists from taking up as much land as they required. Robert Gouger urged on Lord Howick the necessity for reducing the size of the lots so that a labourer might be free to purchase when he wished, without affecting the power of the capitalist to obtain large amounts by buying several lots. [69] Both this provision and that which gave the governor discretion in withholding land from sale, sinned against the condition laid down by Wakefield that settlers should have "perfect liberty of appropriation." [70] "The governor's caprice," he wrote in 1833, "still determines whereabouts land shall be surveyed and granted." [71] He called attention to the inconsistency of having so low a price, as five shillings would not keep labourers from becoming landowners too soon, and leaving a power in the hands of the governor which practically amounted to allowing him to make the price whatever he liked by withholding land and thereby encouraging competition. [72] He would have preferred a much higher price and no discretionary power in the hands of the governor to withhold land directly or indirectly.

Then there was the further limitation on the settlement of land in New South Wales preventing free appropriation, which had its origin in the early circumstances of the colony. Land was allowed to be bought only in certain settled districts, "within the limits of location" established by a Government Order of the 14th October, 1829. These boundaries seem to have been fixed originally so as to prevent the escape of convicts, and to lessen the opportunities of conflict between colonists and aborigines, [73] and were a very real barrier to settlement and to that freedom of appropriation which was essential to the Wakefield system. In criticizing the Ripon Regulations in a letter to Lord Howick, Robert Gouger suggested that these boundaries should be gradually enlarged as the demand for land grew. [74]

Apart altogether from any other objections, the systematic colonizers held that the Wakefield theory could not have a fair trial in New South Wales or Van Diemen's Land, where there existed a system of transportation, and where their main doctrine of restriction was hampered in practice by the amount of land which had already been granted to settlers.

Not less important to a young colony than a good system of disposing of land, is immigration, which brings to the land the necessary complement of labour and capital. During the years 1821 to 1830 inclusive, emigration from Great Britain to Australia was not a steady stream, but a mere trickle. On an average only 880 free settlers arrived each year, and this includes those who went to form the new settlement at Swan River. Not until 1828 did the numbers amount to over one thousand in any one year. [75] During the corresponding period the average annual number of convict emigrants to the penal colonies of New South Wales and Van Diemen's Land was 2,447. [76] But by 1830 these colonies had come to be something more than mere overseas prisons. In 1828, when a census was taken in New South Wales, the free settlers (including emancipated convicts) numbered about 21,000, while the convicts numbered about 16,000. [77] The time had gone by when Governor Macquarie could preach and practise the doctrine that a penal colony existed primarily for convicts and ex-convicts. But, at the rate at which convicts were pouring in, something more than the trivial stream of free emigrants was required if the free population was definitely to predominate in these colonies. The Home Government showed no sign of checking the supply of convicts, much less of abandoning the system of transportation. Indeed from 1826 to 1830 the number of convict emigrants gradually increased.

Whatever may have been thought of the accuracy of the Letter from Sydney as a general description of conditions in Australia in 1829, it was not disputed that Wakefield was right in pointing out how scarce labour was, and how unsatisfactory were both indentured and convict labour. Throughout the decade beginning with 1830 complaints were common in all the Australian colonies of the scarcity of labour. [78] Indeed so great was the demand for labour that, in 1837, the Legislative Council of New South Wales entertained the proposal to introduce into the colony natives of India bound by indenture to work for a given period. [79]

In all the Australian colonies the system of indentured labour had failed. Its non-success had been one of the causes of the disaster at the Swan River. [80] In New South Wales Mr. James Macarthur, [81] a wealthy landowner, is reported to have said, "there is no instance on record in the history of the colony, where settlers have been able to prevent their indented servants, hired in England, from turning dissatisfied, and then leaving them after their arrival." [82] The system gave endless inconvenience to the masters, and it was notoriously the case that indentured servants either left their masters or made so much trouble that their masters were forced to release them from service. [83] Nor did the system work better in Van Diemen's Land. There it was discredited and unpopular because of the uniform misconduct of the servants. [84]

Convict labour was still more unsatisfactory. In the first place, the supply was limited. There were not enough assigned convicts to meet the needs of the settlers, and applications to the Government for this kind of labour often had to be refused or only partially accepted. Again, its assistance was uncertain because it was granted at the sole discretion of the governor and might be arbitrarily withheld or withdrawn. [85] Then, too, convict labour was extremely inefficient. Governor Arthur calculated that three out of every ten assigned convicts were a totally useless burden to their masters. [86] The utility of a supply of forced labour, which is always economically inferior to free labour, was often lessened by the practical difficulty of compelling the convict to work. The master had to waste a considerable amount of time and money in enforcing obedience by bringing the convict before a magistrate for punishment. Indeed he often had to overlook peculation and other misconduct because of the waste of time and money in bringing his convicts to punishment, and because punishment often meant that he lost the convict's services for a shorter or longer period. In Van Diemen's Land, where convicts were under stricter discipline than in New South Wales, [87] the "peculation, insubordination, insolence, disobedience and drunkenness" of assigned convicts necessitated constant reference to the magistrates. [88] Indeed in Governor Arthur's words it was impossible, without experience of the system of assignment, "to have an idea of the vexations which accompany the employment of convicts, or of the vicissitudes attendant upon their assignment. Their crimes and misconduct involve the settlers in daily trouble, expense and disappointment." [89]

One particular drawback under which these colonies suffered, and which concerned both emigration and the scarcity of labour, was the extreme disproportion between the sexes. In New South Wales, in 1828, there were 28,000 males and only 9,000 females. In Van Diemen's Land at the same time there were 13,000 males and only about 4,000 females. [90] Not only did this mean a great scarcity of women's labour, but it had a very bad effect upon morals in these colonies. [91] Nothing Wakefield had said upon this subject was too strong. If these colonies were to be successful and prosperous in any true sense they needed a moral regeneration, both by counteracting the influence of transportation and by altering the proportion between the sexes, for which indeed the system of transportation was largely responsible. A supply of immigrants, then, selected on a system adapted to their needs, was the most urgent need of the penal colonies of Australia in 1830. Bad, indeed, as was convict labour, the colonists clung to it as their only support. Labour of some description they needed, and free labour did not exist in any quantity. The reputation of the penal colonies was so unattractive to the ordinary emigrant that, as the returns showed, there was at that time no voluntary emigration of labouring people to Australia. [92] Again, although wages there were high as compared with those at home, yet the cost of passage—about £30 or £40 at this time, [93] made it practically impossible for the ordinary labourer to avail himself of the opportunities afforded him. Shipowners trading to Australia made no provision for the accommodation of the poorer class of emigrants. [94] Canada, and particularly the United States, made an equal demand for labour and were much easier to reach. What the Australian colonies needed was some means of overcoming the handicap of distance, and this they found in Wakefield's "golden bridge" of an emigration fund produced as the result of land sales.

The Home Government had turned its attention towards emigration in 1831, when Lord Howick had introduced his unsuccessful Bill for pauper emigration on the lines of Wilmot Horton. [95] The Report, in 1827, of the Select Committee on Emigration had recommended the formation of a Board of Emigration "under the direct control of an executive department of the State." [96] Urged on by the Colonization Society and by the failure of Howick's Bill, the Government recurred to this recommendation and, on the 24th June, 1831, appointed an Emigration Commission consisting of the Duke of Richmond, Lord Howick, Mr. R. W. Hay, Mr. Francis Baring, and Mr. Henry Ellis, with Mr. T. F. Elliot of the Colonial Office as secretary. [97] According to Lord Goderich's instructions they were to be a temporary commission in place of that proposed under the Bill of 1831; but their functions were to be limited to collecting and diffusing such information regarding the colonies as might be useful to intending emigrants—for example, rates of wages, expense of passage, which colonies had most need of emigration, and what classes of emigrants were particularly required. No funds were allowed them from the Treasury to aid and conduct emigration, but, if any parishes chose to provide them with money, they might use it in the emigration of paupers. [98] The Commissioners immediately set to work and published in a form convenient to emigrants such information as they could collect from the various colonies. [99] The Emigration Committee of 1827 had recommended a loan for emigration to be repaid by the emigrant settler, and many would-be colonists thought that the Commissioners had some such fund at their disposal. So widespread, indeed, was this impression that, shortly after their appointment, the Commissioners found it necessary to inform the public that they could give no pecuniary aid to emigration; [100] and, in regard to the British North American colonies, this attitude was strictly maintained. [101] The comparative closeness of these colonies to Britain rendered it unnecessary to provide funds for emigration there. Then, too, Horton's experiments had shown how easy it was to spend money on emigration to Canada without getting any return. Some of Horton's settlers had gone to the United States, and it was not to be expected that the Government would provide passages for emigrants who wished to reach the United States by way of Canada. But with regard to Australia the case was very different. There distance was an insuperable bar to the unassisted emigrant. In 1831 the Commissioners reported that there was no lack of a disposition to emigrate to New South Wales, and Van Diemen's Land, but that it was impossible for labourers to pay their passage there without some addition to their resources. [102] They, therefore, recommended that the Government should advance part of the passage money by way of loan to mechanics emigrating there. [103] In order to have a safeguard in case the advances were not repaid, they proposed a tax of £1 per head upon convicts assigned in New South Wales and Van Diemen's Land. [104] This tax had been suggested previously by Lord Goderich to Governor Darling of New South Wales in considering the means of raising funds for emigration. [105] At the same time he had considered the question of raising money for this purpose by land sales. He doubted whether this would be feasible and he regarded it rather as a source for maintaining free labourers until they could find employment in the colony, than as a means of financing emigration. [106] Both these expedients Goderich now determined to adopt. He proposed that part of the land revenue of New South Wales and Van Diemen's Land should be spent in assisting female emigrants there in order to cure the evils arising from the great disproportion between the sexes. [107] With the consent of the Lord Commissioners of the Treasury, £10,000 was in 1831 appropriated from the land revenue of these colonies for this purpose, [108] and regulations were drawn up by the Emigration Commissioners under which £8, about half the passage money, was to be contributed by the Government to unmarried females between 15 and 30 who emigrated there. [109]

About the same time the Commissioners obtained the consent of the Treasury to their proposal to make loans to emigrant mechanics. Under the regulations drawn up for this purpose, the Government was to contribute £10 by way of loan to assist any married mechanic to emigrate to Australia with his family. [110] The Governors of New South Wales and Van Diemen's Land were, as the Commissioners had suggested, to impose a tax on assigned convicts, but, at the same time, the repayment of the loans was to be enforced as strictly as possible. At first the advance applied only to mechanics, but afterwards it was extended to agricultural labourers.

The immediate practical effect of the activity of the Emigration Commissioners was that, soon after they had diffused information and made preparations to send out emigrants, shipowners began to provide accommodation for labouring people, and the cost of a passage to Australia fell from £30-£40 to £18-£20. [111]

When the Emigration Commission had been in existence little more than a year, it was dissolved, [112] and the practical working of its recommendations was left to the Colonial Office. [113]

The Home Government was not at first disposed to pay the whole of the passages of emigrants. The Commissioners considered that to do so would destroy the labourer's habit of reliance on his own exertions. [114] But circumstances compelled the Government to abandon this position. The attempt to base a system of emigration upon the repayment of advances by the emigrant failed conclusively. The proposed tax upon convict labour was very unpopular in the penal colonies on account of the increased disadvantage which it would attach to the employment of convicts, [115] and it was not imposed. [116] As a general rule neither in New South Wales nor in Van Diemen's Land was the Government able to recover from assisted emigrants that portion of their passage money which had been advanced to them. The Governors of both colonies reported that the amounts would be difficult to collect, that it was practically impossible to get repayment, and that there was no expectation of providing any considerable sum to the Emigration Fund by this means. [117] It says very little for the character of those who emigrated at this time that they were not unable but unwilling to repay. In Van Diemen's Land they were reported to be too improvident and too little disposed to remember their debt. [118] In New South Wales, up to the end of June, 1834, out of 337 only 21 had paid an instalment of £2 10s. 0d. on their advance, and the Governor doubted whether any more would ever be recovered. [119] Generally speaking, once they reached Australia, assisted emigrants repudiated obligations which perhaps they had never intended to fulfil.

Indeed it was as difficult to obtain the return of loans from these emigrants who were free to dispose of their labour where they pleased, as it was to compel indentured servants to fulfil their contracts of labour in the colonies. The Home Government might have taken warning, too, by what had happened in the case of quit-rents. With a population scattered over a wide extent of country and with no elaborate social machinery, it was difficult for the Colonial Government to keep track of the emigrant, much less to extract money from him. Moreover the Government was unwilling to take harsh measures against these defaulters by a forcible levying on their property because it would only penalize the thrifty and industrious, and allow the idlers to escape; [120] the other alternative of imprisoning debtors would not recover the loans, [121] nor make emigration popular. [122]

In practice, too, it was not easy to find single women, or married mechanics, or married agricultural labourers, willing to emigrate, and yet possessing enough to pay even the difference between the amount advanced by the Government and the amount charged for the passage to the colony.

Step by step then the Home Government was forced, first to increase the amount of that portion of the passage money which was a gift to the emigrant, and finally to pay the whole of the fare. Soon after a commencement had been made with female emigration, of a fare of £17 the share paid by the Government was increased to £12, £6 of which was paid on departure of the emigrant and £6 on her arrival in the colony. In 1834, a change was made whereby the Government paid the whole of the £17 and required the emigrant to repay £6. [123] Finally, in 1835, the whole of the passage became a free gift to the emigrant. [124] Similarly in regard to emigrant mechanics and agricultural labourers the amount advanced to them was considerably increased in 1836, [125] and, in 1837, the system became one of free passages for all emigrants selected by the Government. [126] In both cases, too, the Home Government, despairing of repayment of the advances, instructed the Governors of New South Wales and Van Diemen's Land in 1835 to remit these debts and to treat the loans as free gifts. [127]

In the selection of emigrants to New South Wales and Van Diemen's Land the Home Government was conspicuously unsuccessful. When their scheme of emigration was first proposed, Wilmot Horton's plans for pauper location and Howick's Pauper Emigration Bill were very recent, and the colonists were afraid that it meant pauper emigration. In 1831 the Emigration Committee of Van Diemen's Land protested against pauper immigration on the ground that the parishes would probably send out only habitual paupers. [128] These fears were, however, allayed and in the next year they reported their satisfaction that no paupers were coming. [129] Even as late as 1837, T. F. Elliot, who had by then become the Agent-General for Emigration, found in these colonies a "sensitive apprehension" of an influx of paupers. [130] But, on the whole, the emigration to New South Wales and Van Diemen's Land during this period was not pauper emigration. In some cases indeed paupers were sent, for example, 76 in one ship to Van Diemen's Land in 1834 by the Bristol Guardians of the Poor. [131] Governor Arthur strongly objected to these emigrants on the ground that they were not qualified to become useful colonists. [132] Again, in 1837, some of the "selected" emigrants to Van Diemen's Land were habitual paupers. [133] These cases were, however, the exception and not the rule. While it was necessary for an emigrant to pay part of his fare, a pauper could not emigrate without assistance, nor was a parish likely to pay the expenses of a passage to Australia when Canada and the United States were so near at hand. The mechanics and agricultural labourers were usually desirable immigrants although there were several exceptions. Both colonies were always willing to take a good class of these labourers, but were not at all anxious for indiscriminate immigration. [134] In 1833, the Home Government admitted that, in the management of emigration, considerable latitude had been given to shipowners, and that the emigrants sent out were not always of the class required in the colonies. [135] Indeed the business of selecting emigrants and managing emigration was very inadequately carried on by the authorities at home. Its worst side is illustrated by a report of a surgeon in charge of an emigrant ship to Van Diemen's Land in 1837. He complained that of those under his charge there had been no selection but "a general invitation and indiscriminate admission." [136] The result was that "the idle, the troublesome, the dissipated and the infirm, are mustered from all quarters by parochial authorities, happy to be rid of such characters on any terms." [137] Many of them boasted that they had never known independence of parochial relief, and that they were bribed by the parishes to avail themselves of the opportunity to emigrate. He concluded that "by far the greater number were of a description to contribute nothing to the welfare or prosperity of a new colony—a class of people not desired in any community, where habits of industry, moral steadiness, or any useful qualifications are deemed recommendable." [138]

Even worse was the management of female emigration. As soon as he received news of the Home Government's proposal to send out female emigrants. Governor Arthur, who had had experience of female convict emigration, while he welcomed the step for its beneficial results to the colony, warned the Home authorities that great care should be taken in the management of the women, especially during the voyage, "experience having proved to me during my residence in this colony, that the greatest possible consequence attaches to the treatment which females of the lower class meet with on the voyage, and too great precaution cannot possibly be used to prevent their demoralization." [139] Even if this warning had arrived in time it is doubtful whether effect would have been given to it in the first two ships which sailed to Australia with female emigrants in 1832. The Colonial Office thought it was beyond the competence of an ordinary department of Government to superintend the selection of the emigrants. [140] They therefore contented themselves with providing passages in the ships, and confided the work of selection to charitable institutions. Finding that they could not get a sufficient number of women capable of paying the difference between the sum advanced by way of loan and the passage money, the Government made a free gift of the passages to all selected female emigrants. [141] The disorder which they feared might occur from the method of selection they considered a less evil "than the certain mischief of leaving the disproportion between the sexes in those colonies without an attempt at its correction." [142] The ships, Red Rover and Princess Royal, were accordingly fitted out to take emigrants, the first to New South Wales, the second to Van Diemen's Land. The Magdalen Female Penitentiary, with the assistance of various Guardian Societies, was allowed to provide the passengers for the Princess Royal. This arrangement, however, fell through, and after the parish workhouses had contributed their quota, the number was completed from casual applicants. "Of the 200 females sent out by the Princess Royal, 84 were taken from the two charitable societies, 22 from the parish workhouses and schools, and the remainder from the casual applicants." [143] Those who sailed on board the Red Rover to New South Wales were somewhat better selected and were absorbed by the colony without much trouble. [144] But the colonists of Van Diemen's Land were rightly very dissatisfied with the emigrants by the Princess Royal. As might have been expected from the injudicious method of selection they were a very mixed assembly. At least one-half of them were prostitutes. [145] Those who were selected from reformatories showed no signs of reform. "There can be no doubt," wrote Governor Arthur, "that in selecting the females from the penitentiary, and other public institutions, the Committee in England were actuated by the very best motives, but they have, indeed, sadly erred in the estimate they have formed of the reformation of the women taken from those establishments—it would almost seem, whilst it has been their object to remove the best characters from those institutions, that the persons in the immediate charge of them, must have availed themselves of the opportunity of getting rid of some of the very worst." [146] Several of the women were furnished with written characters to which they did not in the least correspond. [147] Arrangements on board ship were very bad and the conduct of some of the emigrants during the voyage was "licentious and immoral." [148] Governor Arthur wrote that the scene on board was "too gross to repeat." [149] Indeed some of the emigrants were reported to be "far more depraved than the generality of convict women." [150] Naturally the better class of emigrants on the ship complained bitterly that they had been deceived by misrepresentations in England as to their companions on the voyage. [151]

After the failure of this enterprise the Colonial Office entrusted the business of selecting female emigrants and the management of emigrant ships to a charitable committee, later called the London Emigration Committee, who voluntarily gave their services and acted under regulations sanctioned by the Government. [152] The members of this Committee were originally selected from amongst the Committee of the Refuge for the Destitute, and later added three or four others to their numbers. [153] They were presided over by Mr. Edward Forster, and the business of supplying ships and managing general shipping arrangements was carried on by their agent, Mr. John Marshall. [154]

In spite of this change in management, the character of female emigration to Australia did not immediately show much improvement. The first ship which the Committee sent to New South Wales in 1833, the Bussorah Merchant, contained a small proportion of prostitutes who resumed their former mode of life, but the rest of the emigrants were quite satisfactory. [155] In the same year, however, although in despatching the Lay ton to New South Wales, they took pains "to ascertain the character of all the persons who went by this ship "and confidently hoped they would prove a very valuable acquisition to the colony, [156] the character and conduct of the emigrants were so bad as to throw great doubt upon the efficacy of the Committee's methods of selection. Only 50 of the 232 women were of the description required by the colonists. The rest were so indifferent in character and contained so few who were likely to add to the decency and respectability of the colony, that it was found impossible to form a Ladies' Committee at Sydney to assist in their disposal. [157] Again the arrangements on board ship were very bad. The greatest disorder and confusion prevailed during the whole voyage and unlimited intercourse existed between the seamen and a great number of the female passengers. [158] Again the better part of the emigrants with reason complained of their associates. [159]

The first ship [160] sent out by the Committee to arrive in New South Wales in 1835, contained a better selection—only one-sixth of the number were prostitutes. This ship, too, "presented a great scene of disorder and immorality during the whole of the voyage." [161] Another ship of that year, the Canton, had a "black list" of about thirty only. [162] The third ship to arrive in 1835 and those in 1836 gave no cause for complaint on the score of the character of the emigrants, but some of these ships had sickness on board. [163]

The emigrant ships which followed the Princess Royal to Van Diemen's Land in the years 1834 and 1835, contained women of a decidedly superior type to the passengers by that vessel, and their conduct on board was better, though there were still a few undesirables of whom the better class complained. [164] But, in 1836, the Boadicea arrived and gave new cause for complaint as to the selection of emigrants. Out of the 216 persons she carried, 46 were girls under the age of 15 (some were aged 11-13), and a great number of these were suffering from chronic ophthalmia. [165] No complaint was made of the conduct of these children, but it was cruel and inexpedient to send out to a penal colony where the sexes were disproportionate, a number of young girls unable to protect themselves. [166] More young children were brought by another ship in the same year. [167] In each case these children could not safely be sent to service, and they were temporarily provided for by the Ladies' Committee.

Enough detail has been given to show that the system of selection adopted by the Emigration Committee was, judged by its results, exceedingly defective. [168] The Committee took the precaution to require from intending emigrants a certificate of character signed by a reputable person, but in many cases they were deceived. They also had a system of personal inspection of applicants, but this was hardly more successful, although no reasonable method of selection would have availed to exclude all undesirables.

Again, the arrangements on board the emigrant ships were often faulty. Much depended on the officers in charge of the emigrants, especially on the master, the surgeon, and the superintendent, the latter two of whom were chosen by the Committee. Where the superintendent was wisely chosen there was little complaint as to the conduct on board ship. [169] But the choice was not always wise, [170] nor was the conduct of masters and surgeons always good. [171]

In the Australian colonies there was inevitably a good deal of dissatisfaction with this kind of emigration. The reputation of the better class of emigrants was likely to be gauged by the character of the worst, and this adversely affected the popularity of emigration. In 1834 it was asserted that the first few shiploads of female emigrants to Australia were a byword there and that it was common to refer to them as "Laytonians," "Bussorah Merchants," "Princess Royals," and "Red Rovers," to avoid using a harsher name. [172] The Australian colonies badly needed female emigrants, but not of the type these represented. [173] In 1834 the Governor of Van Diemen's Land reported that emigration was not required there except of a few mechanics, but that there was still plenty of room for "the most valuable of all importations," women of good character. [174] The colonies complained of the method of selection, of the general arrangements for emigration, and of the management of emigrants during the voyage. On the other hand complaints were not wanting as to the reception of the emigrants and their treatment in the colonies before they obtained positions. [175] The Home Government was urged to insist upon more care in the management of emigration. [176] Governor Bourke in 1834 had suggested the appointment of some responsible person to superintend the selection of emigrants. [177] Accordingly, in 1835, Mr. J. D. Pinnock, who had been for some time attached to the emigration business of the Colonial Office, was appointed to the position of Emigration Agent. [178] But the colonists, finding that the causes of their dissatisfaction were not removed, determined to assume more control over emigration. They were jealous, too, of the fact that funds raised in the colony should be used for such important purposes by persons unconnected with the colonies; and, in New South Wales in 1835, they suggested that emigration should in Britain be managed by those who had a personal interest in the colony. [179] This suggestion was endorsed by Bourke and approved by the Home Government. Accordingly naval surgeons, who had been superintendents of convict ships and therefore were familiar both with the needs of the colonies and the management of emigrants during a long voyage, were appointed by the colonial government to proceed to Great Britain to manage emigration. There each surgeon was to select and bring out under his personal supervision a shipload of emigrants. [180]

In Van Diemen's Land, where the land revenue was much smaller, and the demand for labour much less, it was not found necessary to adopt similar measures. [181]

About the same time, too, in New South Wales, an entirely different method of assisting emigration was introduced by the Governor, on the recommendation of the Legislative Council, by a proclamation of the 28th October, 1835. Any private settler who, before the end of 1837, introduced into the colony married mechanics or farm servants under 30 years of age, was to receive a bounty of £30 for each married couple, with an additional £5 for each child over 12 months. £15 per head was allowed for the introduction of unmarried females between 15 and 30 travelling under the protection of the married couples, and £10 for each unmarried male, provided that at the same time an equal number of females was brought. [182] These amounts were reckoned as about equal to the cost of the passage of the various classes of emigrants, and the Governor considered bounty emigration to be the "cheapest and most desirable mode of encouraging the emigration of useful persons," because the government would incur no expense in selecting the emigrants and in maintaining them until they could be embarked. [183] The approval of the Home Government was obtained, and the proportion of the land revenue of the colony which was available for emigration was divided between the two schemes, two-thirds being reserved for the use of the Home Government in assisting emigration, and one-third for the payment of bounties. [184] The two measures, bounty emigration and the appointment of surgeon-superintendents of emigration would together, the Governor hoped, ensure to New South Wales a sufficient supply of labour annually. [185] Again, Van Diemen's Land did not at first feel justified in adopting the new system.

At the end of 1836, in view of these changes, the London Emigration Committee expressed a desire to relinquish their functions, especially after the recommendations made by the Waste Lands Committee of that year. [186] In giving evidence before that Committee, Wakefield had strongly attacked the principle of allowing such an important matter as emigration financed by colonial land-revenue to rest in the hands of a private and irresponsible committee, and had suggested a special and responsible body should be appointed for the purpose. [187] The Committee had adopted his suggestion and had recommended that emigration should be managed by a central Board responsible to the Government, or directly to Parliament. [188] The resignation of the London Emigration Committee was accepted and Lord Glenelg, early in 1837, took the opportunity of conforming in some degree to the recommendation of the Waste Lands Committee by appointing as Agent-General for Emigration Mr. T. F. Elliot, who had been secretary to the Emigration Commission of 1831-2. His duty was to exercise a general superintendence over emigration to all colonies, and, in regard to Australia, to help in carrying on the system of Government emigration which he found in force. [189] Emigration, then, became at length a department of government administered by an officer responsible to the Colonial Office and therefore indirectly to Parliament.

These changes in land regulation and in emigration had a mixed reception from the Australian colonists. At first they were inclined to object vigorously to the abolition of free grants and to the imposition of a minimum price of 5s. per acre. [190] A strong protest was made to Lord Goderich by a number of merchants and landowners of New South Wales resident in London. [191] Several deputations from the Australian colonies waited on Lord Howick at the Colonial Office to complain of the price of land. [192] Lord Goderich, indeed, when instituting the change, anticipated that the colonists would complain both because of its suddenness, and the novelty of a comparatively high price; but he looked forward to this with equanimity as necessarily accompanying any change of an existing policy. [193]

The price of land was the point upon which the colonists' opposition concentrated. In their opinion there was difficulty enough in obtaining land under the old system without the further restriction of a minimum price which, they argued, would hinder the prosperity of the colony and prevent immigration. [194] In the opinion of the colonial press of New South Wales, free grants of land were bounties offered to induce emigrants to spend their money in emigrating and settling in the colony. To sell land, then, and thus to remove this bounty was to put an effectual stop to emigration, and to turn the tide to other parts of the world. [195] The Sydney Gazette, in 1831, expressed what it considered to be the best public opinion on the new system: "That the new regulations respecting quit-rents and the purchase of lands are calculated to impede the prosperity of the colony, partly by oppressing a large proportion of the settlers, and partly by deterring emigration, is the opinion, we might almost say the unanimous opinion, of those whose opinion is entitled to respect. We for our part have met with no rational man of the contrary opinion." [196] A number of emigrant settlers, agriculturists, and graziers of New South Wales, in petitioning Governor Darling in 1831, expressed their "gloomy apprehensions" as to the consequences of the new land regulations, and submitted that the price of 5s. per acre was so excessive "that no accession of emigrant settlers can be looked for under such terms." [197] Some settlers wrote their private protests to the Colonial Office, [198] and Bourke, in 1832, reported that the new regulations "appear to have caused considerable alarm and discontent to the principal proprietors of the land, and their friends and followers in the colony." [199]

In Van Diemen's Land, too, similar opinions were held. Governor Arthur thought that 5s. per acre was a very high price, [200] and reported that the new regulations were "very generally unpalatable to the settlers." [201] In Western Australia, in 1832, the settlers viewed with alarm the introduction of the system of sale because they feared it would prevent emigration, and they suggested it should be withdrawn by the Home Government. [202]

Even while they disapproved of the sale of land, the colonists at the same time welcomed the use of the land revenue in emigration. [203] In 1831 the Sydney Gazette wrote of the plan that it "was truly excellent, and cannot but have a most beneficial effect upon the prosperity of the colonies." [204] The colonists were anxious for any system of assisted emigration which did not result in bringing out paupers. [205]

In Van Diemen's Land, while the system of assisted emigration was well received, the governor, always mindful of its character as a penal colony, was unwilling to encourage emigration on any large scale. There were special reasons in that colony for opposition to the new system. So much land had been already alienated that it was difficult to raise money from that source for emigration. [206] Again, of the land that was left, Arthur said that a great deal of it was of such poor quality that it would never fetch five shillings an acre. [207] Arthur was afraid that the abolition of the system of free grants would mean that there would be no immigration of small capitalists, and he wished for these "respectable persons" to whom convicts might be assigned. [208] For the same reason he objected to anything like a plentiful supply of free labour being introduced, because, in that case, the employment of convicts by the colonists would cease, and the Government would be put to greater expense for their maintenance. In his eyes Van Diemen's Land was primarily a penal colony, and, while he welcomed female emigration, he was inclined to discourage anything more than a select emigration of artisans and agricultural labourers. [209] He feared, also, that, if the land revenue were used in emigration the capital of the colony would be sent abroad, and the labourers who arrived might find none of it to give them employment. [210]

But, on the whole, although the colonists' objections to the new system were strenuous enough at first, they did not last very long, especially when it was found that the money paid for land went to introduce emigrants. Mr. James Macarthur, in giving evidence before the Transportation Committee of 1837, expressed the colonists' attitude when he said that there was at first a very general feeling in New South Wales that the regulations would be injurious, because they would prevent emigration, but that, when it was understood that the land revenue was to be applied to the introduction of labour, the opposition died down. [211]

Two competent observers, one in New South Wales, the other in Van Diemen's Land, who had both had experience of the old method of disposing of land, very soon came, quite independently of one another, to the conclusion that the new system was a great improvement. Major Mitchell, the famous explorer and Surveyor-General of New South Wales, wrote in a private letter to Mr. R. W. Hay, of the Colonial Office, in 1832, that "although the price of five shillings per acre was at first thought high, the new system is likely to work better than the old, by which all good land would probably have been taken up in maximum grants before the country had any proportionate population." [212]

In the same year Governor Arthur wrote in a private letter to Lord Goderich, that, although the new regulations were not popular, he was more and more convinced that "they are founded on a wise and beneficent policy, and, in the end, I have no doubt, they will prove to have been most advantageous in promoting the best interests of the colony." [213] Indeed, the fears of the colonists as to the harmful effects of land sales proved groundless. In Western Australia during this period very little land was sold, and there was no emigration fund, but that was due to special causes relating to the previous lavish system of grants and the scarcity of good land.

In New South Wales and Van Diemen's Land, however, the sale of land was unchecked, and improved from year to year, while emigration increased greatly. Not only did emigrants go out with the assistance of Government, but unassisted emigration grew in volume, so that in the year 1832 nearly as many persons came out at their own cost to New South Wales as had come in the three preceding years put together. [214]

All the money used in emigration to Australia at this time came from the land revenue of these colonies; and, as the sales of land increased, two closely related questions arose in New South Wales, one as to the amount which should be spent on emigration, the other as to who should control the land revenue.

In the first few years, when emigration financed by land sales was in the nature of an experiment, a fixed sum was set aside by the Home Government from the colonial land revenue; but, as the revenue increased and the scheme proved to be soundly based, the amount for emigration increased.

From the beginning the colonists expected that the whole of the proceeds of the land sales would be spent on emigration, [215] and this was probably the idea in Lord Howick's mind when the change of 1831 was introduced; for then he wrote to the Treasury calling their attention to "the impolicy of applying to the ordinary current expenses of the colony that portion of the territorial revenue which arises from the sale of land. The funds derived from this source should be looked upon, not as forming a part of the income of the colony, and available for the purpose of meeting its annual expenses, but as capital which should not be permanently sunk, but invested so as to produce a profitable return," the best mode of investment being female emigration. [216] These words were interpreted by the colonists to mean that the Home Government was pledged to devote the land revenue wholly to emigration, and this belief soon became general in New South Wales. "From what has fallen from His Majesty's Ministers on the subject," Bourke wrote in 1833, "it is the received opinion here that the proceeds of the sale of Crown lands under the existing regulations are pledged to assist respectable and useful mechanics and labourers and their wives and families and young unmarried women of good repute to emigrate from the United Kingdom to New South Wales." [217] In the next year he suggested that it would be advisable for the Home Government to use the whole of the land revenue in this manner. [218] At that time, too, the question of the amount available for emigration became acute, because the expense of maintaining their police and gaol establishments was suddenly thrown upon the colony. This charge had been borne by the mother-country since 1827, when specific Parliamentary grants for the civil establishments of the Australian colonies had been discontinued; [219] and in 1834, the Treasury, considering that the colonies had sufficiently increased in prosperity, decided that the colonial revenue should henceforth provide "for the police establishment, for gaols, and for a certain portion of the colonial marine, the expense of which is estimated at about £25,000 per annum." [220] This new expenditure made a large demand on the resources of the colony, and operated to prevent the land revenue from being used solely in emigration. It was feared that the ordinary revenue would not be sufficient to meet the charge, particularly as the amount suggested of £25,000 a year was much too low. In 1836 the estimate of expenditure under this head was £45,000, [221] and it was still higher in the succeeding years. The colonists, holding the views they did on emigration, objected to the possible depletion of the land revenue, especially as the charges for gaols and police were largely due to transportation, of which they claimed that the mother-country, which got the benefit, should bear the expense. [222] In 1835 they petitioned that the whole of this charge should not be borne by the colony, and that the land revenue should not be diverted from emigration. [223] Bourke supported this petition, and suggested that £20,000 should be paid by the mother-country and the rest by the colony, because, if the colony had to bear the whole expense, emigration would be crippled. [224] This did not, however, meet with the approval of the Home Government, and the question by whom the charges should be borne remained for several years a source of contention between the colony and the mother-country. That the Home Government had from the beginning pledged itself to use all the revenue from the land sales in emigration was formally asserted, in 1835, by the Emigration Committee of the New South Wales Legislative Council, who put it on record "that the fund arising from the sale of lands should be appropriated exclusively to the purpose of introducing a moral and industrious population; that they consider this appropriation alike indispensable to the present interests, and the future prosperity and character of the colony; and that they regard the opinion expressed by the Secretary of State for the Colonies, and approved by the Lords of the Treasury, in the light of a pledge by His Majesty's Government, that the Crown lands of the colony shall be held sacred to the promotion of emigration." [225] On receipt of this recommendation Lord Glenelg consulted with the Treasury, and urged that as large a portion as possible of the land revenue should be applied to emigration, since "the application of the whole of the net proceeds of the sale of Crown lands in the colony to the promotion of emigration . . . appears to have been the intention of Lord Ripon . . . on the first establishment of the present system of the sale of these lands." [226] The Treasury agreed that emigration should be considered a primary charge on the land revenue of the colony, and that for it sufficient funds should be set aside; but they repudiated any "engagement or understanding that the whole proceeds of the sales of Crown lands in the Australian colonies should be devoted to the furtherance of emigration." [227] Glenelg then instructed Bourke that "no portion of such revenue should, on any account, be devoted to other purposes, until this primary object had been sufficiently provided for." [228] In the next year, when it was decided to spend two-thirds of the land revenue on Government emigration and one-third on bounty emigration, Bourke, taking it for granted that this meant that the land revenue was to be spent solely on this object, complained to Glenelg that this was doubtful policy, if the colony was to continue to meet the charge for gaols and police, towards which the surplus land revenue had been applied [229] In 1837, then, this question was still unsettled, and it was to vex the colonists for some time to come. They had wrung from the Home Government the concession that the whole of the land revenue ought to be spent in emigration, but they had no means of compelling this, nor was any pledge admitted. The charges for gaols and police had to be met by them, even if it meant encroaching upon the land revenue.

The other question as to who should control the land revenue was dominated by the fact that the land sold belonged to the Crown, and the Crown asserted the right to have the sole control. At first this revenue was indistinguishable from the ordinary revenue of the colony, but, in 1833, by the instructions of Lord Goderich it was separated from the ordinary revenue and was not appropriated by the Legislative Council, but by the governor alone under the direction of the Home Government. [230] In the following year this was made a subject of protest in the Legislative Council by Mr. Blaxland, who claimed the right of that body to appropriate the land revenue, especially as the Home Government was, in his opinion, breaking its pledge to expend the money wholly upon emigration. [231] The colonists also petitioned the Crown to the same effect, and Bourke recommended that their wishes should be complied with. [232] Lord Glenelg's answer was, with the concurrence of the Treasury, [233] to authorize the Governor to place in the Colonial Treasury any surplus of the land revenue after paying the expenses of emigration; but at the same time he gave an explicit denial to the claim of the Legislative Council to have control over this branch of revenue: "It cannot be too distinctly understood, that the directions just given are not to be taken as divesting the Government of the full and uncontrolled power of applying the Crown revenues, in part or in whole, without the consent or intervention of the legislature." [234]

After 1831, the new and uniform system of sale of lands in Australia was strictly maintained by the Home Government in spite of many applications for a general change or for a waiver of the regulations in special cases. To some of the applicants for exceptional treatment, however, it was considered advisable to grant land under the old regulations where the case was particularly hard, as, for example, where men had previously been promised grants and had not chosen them by 1831, or where they had sailed to the colony on the faith of the older regulations. But these concessions were always exceptional, and the usual answer to an application for a free grant was that in no circumstances could land be disposed of otherwise than by sale. The Home Government even turned a deaf ear to suggestions made by those in authority in the colony with a view to improve the regulations and facilitate the settlement of the land. In 1837, for instance. Major Mitchell proposed that, in order to encourage emigrants, they should be allowed to purchase land on their arrival, at the minimum price of five shillings per acre without auction. [235] In 1835, too, Bourke made a very similar proposal that new settlers should be allowed to purchase at the minimum price any land previously put up for auction at that price and remaining unsold. In doing this the principle of competition would, he admitted, be sacrificed, but it would be compensated by the encouragement given to emigration. [236] A reply given to a petition of some colonists in New South Wales asking for a change in the land regulations, illustrates the position taken up by the Colonial Office. "The existing system of alienating the waste lands of the Crown having been deliberately adopted, and having been repeatedly and publicly announced as the plan upon which alone a title to such lands could be acquired," Lord Glenelg wrote, "it would be impossible without an actual breach of faith and a departure from a principle the value of which has been proved by experience, to revert to the former method of disposing of those lands." [237]

The general policy of the Home Government in regard to New South Wales from 1830 was determined mainly by considerations of economy, which took the form, in the case of land, of confining settlement within the fixed limits of location and discouraging occupation beyond these boundaries. In 1830 a Commission sat in England to inquire into the revenue and expenditure of the colonies. [238] Their report on the Australian colonies commented on the disadvantage and inconvenience of settlements distant from the seat of government there, which entailed large and unnecessary expense and increase in Government departments, and recommended the restriction of settlements within certain limits "beyond which they should not be allowed to extend without special authority from His Majesty's Government." [239] While they professed themselves unwilling to discourage the enterprises of adventurous settlers, the Commissioners recommended, on grounds of economy, "great caution in multiplying and extending government establishments in new districts." [240] The Home Government tried to carry out these recommendations, partly by attempting to concentrate the settlers by selling land within the limits of location, and partly by refusing to enlarge those limits. One of the avowed objects of the Ripon Regulations was to counteract the tendency of the settlers to disperse, [241] so that the expenses of government should be lessened. It was one matter, however, to lay down a policy in the Colonial Office, where first-hand knowledge of the conditions of the colonies was wanting, and another matter to apply it successfully in New South Wales. The Colonial Office adopted as its watchword "concentration," while the whole movement in New South Wales during this period was towards dispersion of the settlers over an increasingly larger extent of country. The expeditions and discoveries of Oxley (1823), Hamilton Hume and Hovell (1824), Captain Sturt (1830), and Major Mitchell (1832, 1833, and 1836), opened up the fertile pastoral lands of the north, south, and west of New South Wales, and sheep and cattle breeders moved ever further on looking for more and better pastures. Squatting became a profitable and a widely-followed pursuit. [242] The squatter drove his flocks over unoccupied land for which he paid nothing, and the wool industry of the colony flourished. Bourke described the position in 1834: "Already have the flocks and herds of the colonists spread themselves over a large portion of this Southern country. They are to be found in great numbers in Monaroo Plains to the westward of Twofold Bay, and some are said to roam as far to the southward as Cape Howe . . . . It is not beyond the southern boundary alone the flocks and herds of the colonists have wandered for suitable pastures. They are numerous to the south-west along the banks of the Murrumbidgee, and to the north they have crossed the Mountain Range into Liverpool Plains . . . . In every direction the desire of procuring good pastures for sheep has led the colonists far beyond the limits of location." [243] To meet this great dispersion, signs of which were not wanting in 1830, the Colonial Office had no definite policy but that of preventing settlement or occupation outside the boundaries laid down in 1829. The Government Order of August 1st, 1831, issued by Darling on receipt of the Ripon Regulations, allowed the sale of land only within the limits of location, [244] and made no provision for those who wished to take up lands beyond the limits. By the same Order, regulations were made for leasing unoccupied lands within the limits of location. Leases for one year of lots of 640 acres were put up for auction annually at a minimum price of twenty shillings, and there was no restriction on the number of leases which might be held by any one man. The lessee was notified that the land contained in his lease was still open to purchase and, if sold, would have to be surrendered by him at a month's notice. [245] But those who attempted to settle or to graze their flocks and herds beyond the limits of location were treated as trespassers. As early as 1831, Darling wrote that it was practically impossible to prevent settlers from sending their cattle outside the boundaries; [246] but no attempt was made by the Home Government to lay down any other policy in regard to this unauthorized occupation of Crown Lands than to meet it with a refusal to extend the limits or to give the squatters any right or title to the land which they held. The problem of how to deal with the squatters, both within and without the boundaries, grew more acute every year after 1830. To extend the limits so that land throughout the colony might be sold would not by itself have been sufficient; for the squatters were not prepared to pay anything like five shillings an acre for land for pastoral purposes. Bourke, however, in the absence of any instructions, took it upon himself to devise some means of regulating this unauthorized occupation, which, though it could not be prevented, might be controlled. His attempt at prevention had been a failure. In 1833 he had passed an Act [247] to protect the Crown Lands from trespass, and to prevent squatting being considered as giving a title to the land. Commissioners were appointed under the Act to prevent intrusion on the Crown Lands, but this was ineffective, for, in 1835, Bourke reported that his Government simply could not prevent settlers from occupying with their herds and flocks lands outside the boundaries. [248] The prosperity of the Australian colonies depended at this time mainly on the pastoral industry. For its success not a great deal of labour and capital was necessary, but freedom of access to the unoccupied Crown Lands was essential, and the policy of preventing this would, if successful, have been injurious to the best interests of the colony. Some positive policy, however, was necessary if the title of the Crown to these lands was to be recognized. The squatters were of all classes, rich and poor, of reputable and of indifferent character, and Bourke's difficulty was to find a plan which would suit all classes; for he feared that even the wealthier and more respectable squatters would prefer their unauthorized occupation to a legal title, if the latter were secured at any expense; while any attempt to enforce a system against the general wishes of the colonists would be hopeless. [249] His plan, as introduced by an Act [250] of 1836, to restrain the unauthorized occupation of Crown Lands, was to grant licences under which lands outside the limits of location might be occupied for pastoral purposes, and to restrain by penalty any unlicensed occupation. Within the limits of location those occupying Crown Lands without a lease under the regulations of August 1st, 1831, were liable to a fine. Outside the limits no one might, on penalty of a similar fine, occupy without a licence, which was to be granted for one year to anyone on payment of a fee of £10, and was renewable on the same terms. The licensee was warned that if the limits of location were extended the land which he occupied would be liable to be sold, and all improvements would be undertaken at his own risk. [251] The system established in this way was simple and elastic. No honest occupier would be disturbed by it, while the fees for licences were not intended to bring in more revenue than would pay the expenses of the Commissioners appointed to carry the Act into effect. The squatter who took out a licence had now a definite legal position, and was no longer a mere trespasser, though he had no claim to the land which he occupied other than a right to depasture his flocks and herds there. [252]

The policy of restriction adopted by the Colonial Office was carried into effect also by their efforts to prevent settlement outside the limits of location. Not only was the practice of squatting widely extended during this period, but many attempts were made to acquire from the Government for settlement land outside the boundaries laid down in 1829. A proposal was made to the Government of New South Wales in 1834, by Colonel Verner and others, to buy land at three shillings and sixpence per acre at Twofold Bay, ninety miles south of the existing boundaries, and to settle there families from the north of Ireland. [253] Bourke, in commenting on the proposal, objected to any lowering of the minimum price of land, but suggested that, in view of the prevailing desire of the colonists to spread beyond the boundaries, the limits of location should be extended southward so as to include this district. [254] In answer to this proposal and to Bourke's recommendation. Lord Aberdeen, while refusing permission for the proposed new settlement, definitely pronounced against any extension of the boundaries, and gave Bourke instructions as to how to act in case of other similar applications. "Adverting to the general question to which you call my attention, arising out of the foregoing proposition, viz., as to the expediency of extending the location of settlers beyond the present authorized limits so far to the southward as Twofold Bay, I have to acquaint you that notwithstanding the advantages which you have pointed out in your despatch as likely to result from it to the grazing and other agricultural interests of the colony. His Majesty's Government are not prepared to authorize a measure, the consequence of which would be to spread over a still further extent of territory a population which it was the object of the late land regulations to concentrate, and to divert for a distant object, not immediately necessary to the prosperity of the colony, a portion of its revenues, the whole of which is barely sufficient to maintain in that state of efficiency which is so desirable the various establishments and institutions required by the inhabitants of the districts already occupied. I am glad, however, of the opportunity which you have thus afforded me of expressing my sentiments upon this point, and you will not fail to discountenance any plans which may hereafter be proposed to you for settling the territory beyond the present limits to which the location of settlers is restricted." [255] In the same year an application for land at Portland Bay, on the south-west coast of what is now Victoria, was made by Mr. Thomas Henty and his sons, the story of whose enterprise in founding the first permanent settlement in that part of Australia is well known. In 1829 they had obtained a grant of over 80,000 acres at Swan River, and had brought out a great deal of capital and stock, but, disappointed with the quality of the soil, they had sailed to Van Diemen's Land, only to find that the newly-introduced Ripon Regulations prevented them from obtaining a free grant of land there. They now proposed to buy land from the Government at Portland Bay, and in return to abandon the grant at Swan River. [256] Governor Arthur, through whom the application was made, recommended the proposal, and suggested that it would be desirable to settle the land in that neighbourhood. [257] But this request was also refused, and the Hentys continued to "squat" [258] at Portland Bay and to petition the Government for land. In spite of these applications and the evidence that unauthorized settlement was taking place where authorized settlement was forbidden, the Home Government strove to maintain its policy of restriction. Bur the logic of facts proved in the end to be too strong even for the Colonial Office, and they were compelled to yield. In 1835 Mr. John Batman sailed from Van Diemen's Land to Port Phillip, where he concluded a treaty with the natives by which, according to the forms of English law, they granted to him, as representing the Port Phillip Association, about 600,000 acres of land in the neighbourhood. This grant included the present sites of Geelong and Melbourne, and was made for a small consideration of knives, blankets, etc., and a yearly rent of similar articles. [259] The members of the Association at once occupied the land with their sheep and cattle, and asked for confirmation of their treaty from the Home Government. The official attitude of the Colonial Office on the general question of restricting settlement is well shown by a memorandum made by Mr. R. W. Hay on the receipt of Batman's application. "All schemes of this kind," he wrote, "have been of late years discountenanced as leading continually to the establishment of fresh settlements and fresh expense—and, if everyone were allowed to follow his own inclination by selecting a fit place of residence on the coast of New Holland, all hopes of restricting the limits of our settlements in that quarter must be at once abandoned." [260] Although the settlement was made from Van Diemen's Land and Arthur suggested that it should be subject to the authority of that colony, [261] the territory was within the borders of New South Wales, and Bourke at once made it clear that he claimed to exercise authority there. The land in question being Crown land, there was no difficulty in dismissing the claim made by the Port Phillip Association for the validity of their grant from the natives; but all that Bourke could do in view of Lord Aberdeen's despatch of 1834 was to issue a proclamation to the effect that the land was within the borders of New South Wales, that the treaty was void as against the Crown, and that trespassers there would be dealt with in the same way as other intruders upon the vacant lands of the Crown. [262] This done, he wrote to the Colonial Office for instructions, and meanwhile the informal and unauthorized settlement at Port Phillip continued to increase. In his despatch [263] to Lord Glenelg advising the opening of Port Phillip to settlement, Bourke gave the same reasons as he had given in the case of Twofold Bay, and entered into the whole question of the policy of restriction. He quarrelled with the doctrine of concentration, and denied that it was suitable to the conditions of New South Wales. "Admitting, as every reasonable person must, that a certain degree of concentration is necessary for the advancement of wealth and civilization, and that it enables government to become at once efficient and economical, I cannot avoid perceiving the peculiarities which, in this colony, render it impolitic, and even impossible, to restrain dispersion within limits that would be expedient elsewhere." [264] The chief of these peculiarities was that the wool industry, the principal source of the wealth of the colony, required free access to a wide range of country. "The colonists must otherwise restrain the increase, or endeavour to raise artificial food for their stock. Whilst nature presents all around an unlimited supply of the most wholesome nutriment, either course would seem a perverse rejection of the bounty of Providence; and the latter would certainly require more labour than can be obtained in the colony, or immigration profitably supply." [265] Moreover, he frankly confessed that the Government were unable to prevent this dispersion or to remove intruders. He therefore suggested that it would be more to the advantage of the colony to sell the land at Twofold Bay and Port Phillip to the settlers than to try to force them to abandon their settlements. In this way the various institutions of society might be there introduced. "To refrain from their introduction through the fear of encouraging dispersion, is, I am persuaded, a fallacious policy. The dispersion will go on, notwithstanding the discouragement, but accompanied by much evil, that might be prevented by the guidance and control of authority opportunely introduced." [266] In view of this indictment of their policy of the preceding five years, and of the fact that a settlement was actually being established at Port Phillip, the Home Government made haste to effect a complete change of front, and, in a despatch of April 13th, 1836, [267] Lord Glenelg allowed land to be sold at these places outside the limits of location, and at the same time tried unsuccessfully to reconcile this with the previous policy of restriction. The principle of the Ripon Regulations, he wrote, was to counteract dispersion, but this principle had to be narrowed in its application by the physical peculiarities of the colony, which was essentially a pastoral country. It was further limited by the impossibility of repressing by any laws "the spirit of adventure and speculation" which gave rise to these unauthorized settlements. "All that remains for the Government in such circumstances," he wrote, "is to assume the guidance and direction of enterprises, which, though it cannot prevent or retard, it may yet conduct to happy results. It may indeed admit of serious doubt whether the settlers at Port Phillip and Twofold Bay have not in reality given birth to undertakings which deliberate reflection would have recommended rather than discouraged." [268] In other words, he admitted that the policy of restriction of settlement was unsuited to the needs of the colony and impossible to enforce. The despatch also approved of the measures which Bourke had taken, and, on its receipt in 1836, he threw the district of Port Phillip open to settlement under the regulations of 1831. [269]

It is now possible to answer briefly the question how far the Wakefield system had been introduced into New South Wales by 1837.

In the first place, a uniform system of sale of waste lands had been established, but no attempt had been made to secure a sufficient price. Lord Glenelg, indeed, in the beginning of 1837, reminded Bourke that the instructions of 1831 had given the governor discretion to raise the price, [270] and that he was at liberty to do so now if he thought it necessary; [271] but Bourke replied that such a step was unnecessary, because competition by auction was sufficient to obtain the full value of the land. [272] From this answer it may be gathered that the motives actuating Bourke in fixing a price were not those of Wakefield. Bourke thought he had fixed a proper price, when by auction the full value of the land was obtained; Wakefield, on the other hand, wished for a price which would be sufficient to prevent a labourer from becoming a landowner too soon, whether or not that price represented the market value of the land. [273]

Again, there was not in New South Wales during this period anything like the full liberty of appropriation of land which Wakefield demanded as a necessary condition of the working of his theory. The governor's discretion still decided what land within the limits of location was to be put up for sale, while the policy of preventing settlement outside those limits was totally foreign to the ideas of Wakefield, who would have desired that any settler might purchase at the minimum price as much land as he needed in any place and at any time he wished.

In the next place, part only of the proceeds of the land sales was devoted to emigration, and the Government expressly avoided pledging themselves to treat the land fund as sacred to this purpose. Moreover, the emigration itself was neither well selected nor well managed. Wakefield wished that the whole business of land sales and emigration should be conducted by a public and responsible body charged with determining a sufficient price and with expending the resulting money in well selected emigration. Indeed, the only part of the land regulations which would have had his approval was that dealing with squatting. To give every one who was anxious to occupy unsold land for pastoral purposes a right to do so on payment of a small fee, and at the same time to provide that the land might at any time be sold for purposes of agriculture, was exactly the principle for which Wakefield had always argued. [274]

The Wakefield system, then, had only been very partially applied in New South Wales by 1837, but the important principle of selling land and using some of the proceeds in emigration was well established.

Meanwhile, Wakefield had not been idle. During the whole period he had been working to found the new colony of South Australia, [275] and, in 1836, he was able to come forward in public and expound his views on colonization. The systematic colonizers were satisfied neither with the changes in New South Wales, nor with the way in which the South Australian colony had been inaugurated by the Act of 1834; and they contrived to get a Select Committee of the House of Commons appointed to sit in 1836 to examine into the question of the disposal of waste lands in the Australian colonies, at the Cape of Good Hope, and in the West Indies. Apparently they meant to include the British North American colonies within the scope of the inquiry, but in this they were unsuccessful. [276] The Select Committee was strong and influential, containing as it did such men as H. G. Ward (chairman). Sir George Grey, W. Hutt, G. Poulett Scrope, W. E. Gladstone, J. A. Roebuck, Francis Baring, and H. L. Bulwer. No doubt Wakefield was not above preparing a case for the Committee. Many of the members were predisposed favourably to his views, and the Wakefield theory had so many supporters and so few opponents amongst the witnesses who gave evidence that it was fairly obvious in which direction the report would tend. Of the eleven witnesses examined, five were decided adherents of the Wakefield theory, [277] one was hostile to some parts of it, [278] two represented the Colonial Office, [279] while only three colonists in all gave evidence, two from Van Diemen's Land, [280] and one from Trinidad. [281] Wakefield was the chief witness, and he was seen to great advantage in expounding and developing his theory, answering objections, and condemning an other methods of disposing of waste land.

The Committee's Report, which was short, was practically a recommendation of the Wakefield system. They approved of what had already been done in the Australian colonies between 1831 and 1836, and suggested further action to extend and complete the principle of land sales and emigration. The principle of a minimum price they recommended should be established by an Act of Parliament, in order to give it "a character of permanency and stability, which it does not possess at present"; but they gave no opinion as to its amount, "conceiving that the whole tenor of the evidence goes to prove that it must vary according to the circumstances of each colony, and can only be determined, in any one, by the test of experience." They further recommended that the money provided by land sales should be used to promote selected emigration to each colony in proportion to the amount raised there, preference being given to young married couples; that on the security or the land fund a loan might be raised for emigration; and that the whole arrangements connected with the sale of land, including the fixing of the price, the surveying of the land, and the direction of assisted emigration, should be in the hands of a Board resident in London, responsible either to some department of Government or directly to Parliament. [282]




Footnotes to Chapter VII.


1 England and America, Vol. ii, footnote at p. 160. Robert Gouger, who at this time was acting as Wakefield's spokesman, in July, 1829, sent to the Colonial Office Wakefield's earliest pamphlet, Sketch of a proposal for colonizing Australia. Mr. R. W. Hay, then Permanent Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies, expressed his disapproval in memoranda pencilled on the pamphlet which are worth preserving as giving the Colonial Office view of the plan. As to the price of £2 per acre, he wrote, "No settler would take land upon these terms. They even now complain at having to pay 5s. per acre for the purchase of it, conceiving that the valuation is too high at that rate." As to the use of the land fund in emigration, he wrote, "The proceeds are wanted for the current expenses of the colony," This pamphlet is in the Record Office, C.O. 201/206.

2 Art of Colonization, p. 41.

3 Instructions to the Governors of New South Wales, Van Diemen's Land and Western Australia. Acc. and Pap., 1831, Vol. xix, p. 113.

4 Jenks, Government of Victoria, 1897, p. 33.

5 M. Phillips, A Colonial Autocracy. 1909. p. 11.

6 M. Phillips, A Colonial Autocracy, 1909,, p. 110.

7 Ibid., p. 14.

8 Ibid., p. 109. The figures are from Bigge's Reports with the necessary corrections. Mr. Kelsey, in his evidence before the 1836 Lands Committee, gives the amount as 177,500. Acc. and Pap., 1836, Vol. xi, p. 499. Question 1620.

9 Phillips, p. 116.

10 Phillips, p. 118.

11 Ibid., p. 109. Kelsey gives the total for grants 1810-22 as 400,000 acres. Question 1622.

12 See the Regulations for 1824. Appendix No. 4 to the Report of the Waste Lands Committee, 1836. Acc. and Pap., 1836, Vol. xi, p. 499.

13 Ibid., Regulations of 1826 to 1828.

14 Appendix to Report on Australian Colonies, Acc. and Pap., 1830-1, Vol. iv, p. 67.

15 Kelsey's evidence, 1836 Committee.

16 Kelsey's evidence.

17 Darling to Goderich, May 3rd, 1831. C.O. 201/220.

18 W. Epps, Land Systems of Australasia, 1894, p. 11.

19 For Western Australia, see Chap. iii.

20 See evidence of Mr. William Bryan before 1836 Lands Committee.

21 Hansard, 1842, 3rd Series, Vol. Ix, p. 80.

22 See Phillips, A Colonial Autocracy, 1909, p. 112.

23 E. S. Hall to Lord Goderich, August 15th, 1831. C.O. 201/223.

24 Hansard, 3rd Series, Vol. Ix, p. 80.

25 Arthur to Goderich, No. 59, October 27th, 1831: "Although I never should have ventured to have recommended so total a change as your Lordship has been pleased to introduce, yet, such was the abuse under the former system in defiance of all the vigilance and threats of the Government that I must say I do most heartily rejoice that it has been put a stop to." C.O. 280/30.

26 No. 2 of Acc. and Pap., 1831, Vol. xix, p. 113.

27 Ibid., No. 4: "Terms upon which the Crown lands will be disposed of in New South Wales and Van Diemen's Land." Colonial Office, January 20th, 1831. Enclosure in No. 4.

28 Report in Acc. and Pap., 1830-31, Vol. iv, p. 67.

29 April 28th, 1831. No. 10 of Acc. and Pap., 1831, Vol. six, p. 113.

30 See above Chap. iii.

31 No. 2 of Acc. and Pap., 1831, Vol. xix, p. 113.

32 Ibid.

33 No. 2 of Acc. and Pap., 1831, Vol. xix, p. 113.

34 Ibid.

35 Ibid.

36 No. 2 of Acc. and Pap., 1831, Vol. xix, p. 113.

37 See his despatches to Huskisson, No. 93, August 2nd, 1828, and No. 106, August 27th, 1828. C.O. 201/193.

38 Spectator, September 10th, 1831; June 29th, 1839; England and America, 1833, Vol. ii, footnote at p. 161. Gouger's letter to Glenelg, May 12th, 1835, E. Hodder, The Founding of South Australia, p. 160. Colonel Torrens, Colonization of South Australia, 1835, Preface, p. vii. Systematic Colonization, 1849, p. i. H. G. Ward in Hansard, 1839, 3rd Series, Vol. xlviii, pp. 853-4. Art of Colonization, 1849, p. 46.

39 Spectator, January 4th, 1840.

40 Sydney Gazette, September 13th, 1831.

41 Sydney Herald, March 5th, 1832.

42 Vol. vi, Australasia, Historical Geography of the British Colonies, at p. 112.

43 No. 4 of Acc. and Pap., 1831, Vol. xix, p. 113.

44 See also R. W. Hay's letter to Major Mitchell, January 9th, 1832. C.O. 324/87: "I quite agree with you as to the necessity of concentrating as much as possible the settlers who may arrive, which can only be done by confining the new colonists to certain tracts of country. This is one of the chief objects which the Government has had in view in laying down the new Regulations, and it seems the most likely mode of insuring the payment of a sufficient price for the land set up to sale."

45 Despatch to Governor Stirling, March 8th, 1833. C.O. 397/2. See also his despatch to the Governor of Lower Canada, November 21st, 1831. Quoted in full in Robert Christie's History of Lower Canada, 1850, Vol. iii, pp. 374 et seq.

46 Hansard, 3rd Series, Vol. viii, p. 771.

47 H. G. Ward who had introduced resolutions affirming the necessity of colonization on the lines of the Wakefield theory. Hansard, 3rd Series, Vol. xlviii, p. 869.

48 Hansard, 3rd Series, Vol. xlviii, p. 898-9.

49 Morning Chronicle, May 3rd, 1841. Lord John Russell, speaking in the House of Commons in 1841, said that the principles laid down in Wakefield's works were adopted by the Colonial Secretary in 1831. Hansard, 3rd Series, Vol. lvii, p. 994.

50 "The colony will be further benefited by the longer period which must elapse, under the new system, before the labourer can become a proprietor."—Goderich to Bourke, December 26th, 1832. C.O. 202/30.

51 J. D. Rogers, Australasia, p. 112.

52 Goderich's despatch of February 14th, 1831. The average valuation of land in sixteen counties of New South Wales in 1831, according to the Commissioners of Valuation and Survey, was about 3s. per acre; in Van Diemen's Land in 1834 it was 3s. 4d. per acre. Blue Book of Statistics (N.S.W.), 1831. C.O. 206/71. Arthur to Stanley, No. 18, March 13th, 1834. C.O. 280/47.

53 Hansard, 3rd Series, Vol. lxviii, p. 573.

54 Ibid.

55 Art of Colonization, 1849, p. 44.

56 Morning Chronicle, February 3rd, 1831.

57 Hansard, 3rd Series, Vol. x, pp. 670-1.

58 Ibid., p. 372.

59 Hansard, 3rd Series, Vol. xiii, pp. 509-10.

60 Art of Colonization, 1849, p. 46.

61 Sketch of a proposal for colonizing Australasia, 1829, p. 9.

62 Wakefield's evidence before 1836 Committee on Waste Lands, to Question 651.

63 Ibid., Question 731.

64 Ibid., Questions 741 and 744.

65 Letter of P——— to Lord Howick, No. v, Spectator, February 5th, 1831. Spectator, July 13th, 1839. Colonial Gazette, December 8th, 1838.

66 New British Province of South Australia, 1835, 2nd Ed., p. 100. Spectator, July 13th, 1839. Letter of P——— to Lord Howick, No. v. . . . Spectator, February 5th, 1831.

67 Lord Glenelg, indeed, in 1837 officially admitted the temporary nature of the land regulations. In the collection of Rules and Regulations which he issued in that year for the guidance of colonial rulers, he warns them that "the regulations on that head must be regarded as provisional only, so far as respects all the minor details." Rules and Regulations for the information and guidance of the principal officers and others in His Majesty's Colonial Possessions, 1837, Preface. See also H. G. Ward in the House of Commons, 1839. Hansard, 3rd Series, Vol. xlviii, p. 854.

68 See Chap. v.

69 Letter of Robert Gouger to Lord Howick, February 5th, 1831. C.O. 384/28.

70 England and America, Vol. ii, p. 163. See also R. D. Hanson's evidence before 1836 Committee on Waste Lands, Question 457.

71 England and America, Vol. ii, p. 160.

72 Wakefield's evidence before the 1836 Committee on Waste Lands, to Question 651.

73 See the petition of the "Principal Landholders of New South Wales," enclosed in despatch of Darling to Goderich, September 1st, 1831. C.O. 201/220.

74 Gouger to Howick, February 5th, 1831. C.O. 384/28.

75 G. R. Porter, Progress of the Nation, 1836, p. 128.

76 See Return in Appendix I, No. 61, to Report of 1837 Transportation Committee. Acc. and Pap., 1837-8, Vol. xxii.

77 Blue Book of Statistics (N.S.W.), 1828. C.O. 206/69. The detailed figures were—free emigrants and free born, 13,400; free by servitude and pardoned, 7,530; convicts, 15,668. These figures are given in Report of Royal Commission on Receipts and Expenditure in the Colonies, 3rd Report, 1830. Acc. and Pap., 1830-1, Vol. iv, p. 67.

78 More particularly in N.S.W. See, e.g., Bourke to Goderich, September 24th, 1832. C.O. 201/227; to a less extent in V.D.'s Land, See Arthur to Goderich, July 9th, 1831, No. 42. C.O. 280/29.

79 See Chap. x.

80 Chap. iii.

81 Son of Hannibal Macarthur. Rusden, History of Australia, 1883, Vol. ii, p. 62.

82 R. S. Hall, State of New South Wales, 1831, p. 16. See also Macarthur's evidence before the Transportation Committee of 1837. Acc. and Pap., 1837, Vol. xix. Questions 2549-50.

83 Sydney Gazette, June 21st, 1831.

84 Arthur to Goderich, July 9th, 1831, No. 42. C.O. 280/29.

85 Governor Darling's enemies said that only his friends and the supporters of his government could obtain convicts.—R. S. Hall, State of New South Wales. 1831, p. 12.

86 Despatch to Goderich, No. 8, January 26th, 1832. C.O. 280/33.

87 Report of Transportation Committee, 1837.

88 See generally Arthur to Goderich, No, 29, June 28th, 1832. C.O. 280/34. See also M. Phillips, A Colonial Autocracy, 1909, p. 127.

89 See above Despatch, No. 29, June 28th, 1832.

90 Blue Book of statistics for N.S.W., 1828, C.O. 206/69; and for Van Diemen's Land, 1828, C.O. 284/51.

91 Bourke to Goderich, April 11th, 1832. C.O. 201/226. See also E. S. Hall's letter to Goderich, August 15th, 1831. C.O. 201/223.

92 Report of Mr. T. F. Elliot, Agent-General for Emigration, 1838. Acc. and Pap., 1837-8, Vol. xl, p. i. See also his evidence before the Select Committee on New Zealand, 1838. Acc. and Pap., 1837-8, Vol. xxi, p. 327.

93 Emigration Commissioners to Goderich, March 15th, 1832. C.O. 384/30.

94 Ibid.

95 See supra, Chap. ii.

96 Third Report. Acc. and Pap., 1826-7, Vol. v, p. 223.

97 Report of the Agent-General for Emigration, 1838. Acc. and Pap., 1837-8, Vol. xl, p. I.

98 Instructions from Goderich to the Commissioners of Emigration, July 1st. 1831. C.O. 384/27.

99 A pamphlet, Emigrant's Guide to New South Wales, 1832, contains information published by the Commissioners. See also Information respecting the Australian Colonies, Colonial Office, July 18th, 1831 (B.M. 1304 m. 12, 1-2); and Information respecting the British Colonies in North America (B.M. T. 1394 (27)).

100 Enclosure i in No. 5, and enclosure i in No. 9, Acc. and Pap., 1831, Vol. xix, p. 113.

101 Report of the Agent-General for Emigration, 1838.

102 Emigration Commissioners to Goderich, September 24th, 1831. Enclosure 2 in No. 8, Acc. and Pap., 1831, Vol. xix, p. 113.

103 Ibid.

104 Ibid.

105 Despatch of January 23rd, 1831, No. 3, ibid. A tax on convict labour was suggested to the Commissioners on Revenue and Expenditure of Colonies who reported in 1830. Thinking that local conditions might make the tax inexpedient, they merely brought the proposal before the Treasury. Acc. and Pap., 1830-1, Vol. iv, p. 67 (third Report of Commissioners).

106 Despatch of January 23rd, 1831. No. 3, Acc. and Pap., 1831, Vol. xix, p. 113.

107 Lord Goderich was not altogether single-minded in this. He was not unmindful of the financial aspect of the case—namely, that an increase of population would mean an increase of revenue. See Howick to Stewart, July 16th, 1831. Enclosure i in No. 7, ibid.

108 Enclosures in No. 7, ibid.

109 Regulations of October 10th, 1831. Enclosure i in No. 8, ibid.

110 Regulations of November 8th, 1831, issued by the Colonial Office. Reports of Commissioners, 1831 (B.M. 1304 m. 13, 1-2.)

111 Report of Emigration Commissioners, March 15th, 1832. Acc. and Pap., 1831-2, Vol. xxxii, p. 209.

112 Goderich to the Emigration Commissioners, August 4th, 1832, No. 2, ibid.

113 Ibid., and see Report of Agent-General for Emigration, 1838. Acc. and Pap., 1837-8, Vol. xl, p. i.

114 Report to Goderich, March 15th, 1832. C.O. 384/30.

115 Darling to Goderich, September 10th, 1831, C.O. 201/220. Arthur to Goderich, No. 42, July 9th, 1831, C.O. 280/29; No. 29, June 28th, 1832, C.O. 280/34; No. 39, July 31st, 1832, enclosing Report of Immigration Committee of Van Diemen's Land, C.O. 280/34.

116 Sir George Grey's evidence before the 1836 Waste Lands Committee. Acc. and Pap., 1836, Vol. xi, p. 499, Question 1877.

117 New South Wales. Bourke to Stanley, No. 101, December 6th, 1833, C.O. 201/233; No. 92, September 18th, 1834, C.O. 201/240; Bourke to Spring Rice, No. 27, February 13th, 1835, C.O. 201/245; Van Diemen's Land, Arthur to Stanley, No. 48, August 24th, 1833, C.O. 280/42; No. 9, January 24th, 1834, C.O. 280/46.

118 Arthur to Stanley, No. 48, August 24th, 1833.

119 Bourke to Spring Rice, No. 27, February 13th, 1835. C.O. 201/245. In New South Wales up to the end of June, 1835, £7,670 had been lent to heads of families, of which £167 had been recovered, £2,075 to females of which nothing had been recovered. Report of Emigration Committee of Legislative Council of N.S.W., 1835. Acc. and Pap., 1837, Vol. xliii, p. 101, Enclosure to No. 1.

120 Bourke to Stanley, No. 101, December 6th, 1833. C.O. 201/233.

121 Bourke to Stanley, No. 92, September 18th. C.O. 201/240.

122 Report of Emigration Committee of Legislative Council of New South Wales, 1835.

123 Stanley to Bourke, No. 74, April 8th, 1834. C.O. 202/30. Stanley to Arthur, No. 24, February 12th, 1834. C.O. 408/10.

124 Aberdeen to Arthur, No. 8, February 17th, 1835. C.O. 408/10. Aberdeen to Bourke, No. 25, February 17th, 1835. C.O. 202/32.

125 Glenelg to Arthur, No. 27, September 19th, 1836. C.O. 408/12.

126 Glenelg to Bourke, No. 323, May 20th, 1837. C.O. 202/34. Glenelg to Franklin, No. 125, May 31st, 1837. C.O. 408/12.

127 Glenelg to Bourke, No. 8, June 20th, 1835. C.O. 202/32. Glenelg to Arthur, No. 6, June 6th, 1835. C.O. 408/10.

128 Arthur to Goderich, No. 42, July 9th, 1831, enclosing Report of the Emigration Committee. C.O. 280/29.

129 Arthur to Goderich, No. 39, July 31st, 1832, enclosing Report. C.O. 280/34.

130 Report to James Stephen, July 10th, 1837. C.O. 384/42.

131 Arthur to Shaw Lefevre, August 12th, 1834. C.O. 280/49.

132 Ibid.

133 Franklin to Glenelg, No. 47, April 12th, 1837. C.O. 280/78.

134 Arthur to Goderich, No. 39, July 31st, 1832, C.O. 280/34; No. 38, July 5th, 1833, C.O. 280/42. Arthur to Hay, December 24th, 1834, C.O. 280/52. Bourke to Goderich, No. 51, April 11th, 1832, C.O. 201/226; September 24th, 1832, C.O. 201/227; to Glenelg, No. 102, October 14th, 1835, C.O. 201/247.

135 Stanley to Bourke, No. 29, July 26th, 1833. C.O. 202/30].

136 Report of Surgeon James Evans, of the William Metcalfe, March 17th, 1837. C.O. 280/78.

137 Ibid.

138 Ibid.

139 Arthur to Goderich, No. 13, February 14th, 1832. C.O. 280/33.

140 Goderich to Arthur, No. 127, March 29th, 1833. C.O. 408/9. Report of T. F. Elliot, Agent-General for Emigration, April 29th, 1838. Acc. and Pap., 1837-8, Vol. xl, p. 1.

141 Ibid. After the failure of this enterprise the Government reverted for a while to the system of advances.

142 Ibid.

143 Ibid.

144 Bourke to Goderich, September 24th, 1832. C.O. 201/227.

145 Arthur to Hay, September 10th, 1832. C.O. 280/35.

146 Arthur to Goderich, No. 43, September 8th, 1832. C.O. 280/35.

147 Letter from the Ladies' Committee of Van Diemen's Land to Mr. Fry, October 9th, 1832. C.O. 280/36. One of the women, for instance, with a good written character, was expelled from the Female Orphanage in Van Diemen's Land (where they stayed until places were found for them) for bringing in a male convict dressed in women's clothes. Another came out from a penitentiary with a character "so good that her example may influence others, very anxious for religious instruction." She got a good place, but within three weeks was turned away for drunkenness.

148 Despatch No. 43, above.

149 Arthur to Hay, September 10th, 1832. C.O. 280/35.

150 Ibid.

151 Arthur to Hay, September 10th, 1832. C.O. 280/35.

152 Sir George Grey in the House of Commons, 1836. Hansard, 3rd Series, Vol. xxxv, pp. 12-13.

153 Edward Forster to R. W. Hay, December 7th, 1833. C.O. 384/32.

154 In 1834 the committee consisted of: Mr. Edward Forster, Mr. Samuel Hoare, Mr. John Taylor, Mr. Charles Holte Bracebridge, Mr. John S. Reynolds, Mr. Thomas Lewin, Mr. Capel Cure, Mr. Charles Lushington, Mr. George Long, Colonel Phipps, Mr. John Pirie, Mr. W. Crawford, Mr. Nadir Baxter, Mr. S. H. Sherry. See the circular of "The Committee for promoting the emigration of females to the Australian Colonies," 1834, in C.O. 384/35.

155 Bourke to Stanley, No. 101, December 6th, 1833. C.O. 201/233.

156 John Marshall to R. W. Hay, September 19th, 1833. C.O. 384/32.

157 Bourke to Stanley, No. 4, January 21st, 1834. C.O. 201/238.

158 Ibid. See also letters from female emigrants by this ship in The Times, August 28th, September 3rd, September 19th, and December 26th, 1834.

159 Ibid.

160 The David Scott.

161 Bourke to Spring Rice, No. 27, February 13th, 1835. C.O. 201/245.

162 Bourke to Glenelg, No, 32, March 3rd, 1836. C.O. 201/252.

163 The Canton, 1835, had smallpox on board; Bourke to Glenelg, No. 91, September 9th, 1835, C.O. 201/247. The James Pattison, 1836, contained a collection of emigrants in every way satisfactory; Bourke to Hay, March 1st, 1836, C.O. 201/252; Bourke to Glenelg, No. 32, March 3rd, 1836 (above). The Lady Macnaghten, 1837, had fever on board; Bourke to Glenelg, No. 19, April 10th, 1837, C.O. 201/260.

164 Strathfieldsaye, Despatch No. 52, September 26th, 1834, C.O. 280/49. Sarah, Despatch No. 19, February 26th, 1835, C.O. 280/55. Charles Kerr, Despatch No. 101, December 26th, 1835, C.O. 280/60; No. 26, February 18th, 1836, C.O. 280/65. Arthur to Hay, February 20th, 1836, C.O. 280/65. See also generally Report of Ladies' Committee, 1836, enclosure to Despatch No. 41, April 20th, 1836, C.O. 280/65.

165 Report of Committee which boarded the Boadicea, February 8th, 1836, enclosed in Despatch No. 27, February 19th, 1836. C.O. 280/65.

166 See report of Ladies' Committee, 1836.

167 The Amelia Thompson, Despatch No. 84, September 9th, 1836, C.O. 280/67. The Bussorah Merchant arrived in December, 1837, with measles and smallpox on board, causing fifty-eight deaths out of about 300 souls. Franklin to Glenelg, December 18th, No. 132, C.O. 280/81.

168 It was fortunate for the history of Australia that the least satisfactory of these emigrants were also the least likely to leave descendants. See, for instance, Arthur's private letter to Hay, September 10th, 1832. C.O. 280/35.

169 As on the Sarah. Arthur to Spring Rice, No. 19, February 26th, 1835. C.O. 280/55.

170 As on the David Scott. Bourke to Spring Rice, No. 27, February 13th, 1835. C.O. 201/245.

171 Arthur to Goderich, No. 43, September 8th, 1832, C.O. 280/35. Arthur to Shaw Lefevre, August 12th, 1834, C.O. 280/49.

172 See The Times for August 6th, 1834. See also J. D. Lang, Historical and Statistical Account of New South Wales, 1875, 4th Ed., Vol. i, p. 263, and Sir William Molesworth in the House of Commons, May 5th, 1839. Hansard, 3rd Series, Vol. liii, pp. 1257-8.

173 See Report of Emigration Committee of the Legislative Council of New South Wales, 1835. Acc. and Pap., 1837, Vol. xliii, p. 101, enclosure to No. I.

174 Arthur to Hay, December 24th, 1834. C.O. 280/52.

175 Spring Rice to Bourke, No. 27, September 10th, 1834, C.O. 202/32. Spring Rice to Arthur, No. 13, October 15th, 1834, C.O. 408/10. Bourke to Secretary of State, No. 45, May 8th, 1835, C.O. 201/245.

176 Arthur to Goderich, No. 43, September 8th, 1832, C.O. 280/35. Arthur to Glenelg, No. 26, February 18th, 1836, C.O. 280/65; No. 27. February 19th, 1836, C.O. 280/65. Arthur to Hay, February 20th, 1836. Ibid. Compare Bourke to Glenelg, No. 102, October 14th, 1835, C.O. 201/247.

177 Bourke to Stanley, January 21st, 1834, No. 4. C.O. 201/238.

178 Aberdeen to Bourke, No. 25, February 17th, 1835. C.O. 202/32. See also Report of the Emigration Committee of the Legislative Council of N.S.W., 1835. Acc. and Pap., 1837, Vol. xliii, p. 101.

179 Bourke to Spring Rice, February 13th, 1835, No. 27. C.O. 201/245.

180 Bourke to Glenelg, October 14th, 1835, No. 1 of Acc. and Pap., 1837, Vol. xliii, p. 101. See also despatches notifying appointment of surgeons, No. 17, of 1836. C.O. 201/252, Nos. 9, 13, 14, 15, and 16, of 1837, C.O. 201/260; and No. 39 of 1837, C.O. 201/261.

181 Franklin to Glenelg, April 12th, 1837, No. 47. C.O. 280/78.

182 See the Government notice enclosed in Despatch of Bourke to Glenelg, No. 49, April 30th, 1836. No. 4 of Acc. and Pap., 1837, Vol. xliii, p. 101. This notice renews that of October 28th, 1835, which is printed in Government Gazette, New South Wales, for 1835. C.O. 205/3.

183 Bourke to Glenelg, No. 102, October 14th, 1835. No. i of Acc. and Pap., 1837, Vol. xliii, p. 101.

184 Glenelg to Bourke, No. 276, March 23rd, 1837. C.O. 202/34.

185 Despatch No. 102 of 1835.

186 Report of Emigration Committee, December 6th, 1836. Appendix I, No. 55, to Transportation Committee's Report, 1837. Acc. and Pap., 1837-8, Vol. xxii.

187 To Question 915. "The sales of land furnish money for conveying emigrants to New South Wales and Van Diemen's Land; and to whom is the work confided? To a committee, so called by itself, sitting somewhere, but I am sure I do not know where, in the city of London, consisting of some benevolent gentlemen and ladies. Thus the State actually confides the superintendence of emigration, with the public funds, to a benevolent society; a small party of private persons, including females, who cannot be under any responsibility, since they have not to make reports to anybody, and are accountable to no one but themselves . . . a party of people whom nobody knows anything at all about, and whose very existence, I believe, was unknown to the majority of the Members of this Committee, till I mentioned it just now." The Emigration Committee consisted only of men and made frequent reports to the Colonial Office.

188 Report in Acc. and Pap., 1836, Vol. xi, p. 499.

189 Report of T. F. Elliot, enclosed in No. 10 of Acc. and Pap., 1839, Vol. xxxix, p. 409.

190 Lord Stanley in the House of Commons, 1842. Hansard, 3rd Series, Vol. Ix, p. 81. See also Colonial Gazette, July 29th, 1840.

191 Lord Howick. Question 2958 (to Wakefield), Select Committee on South Australia, 1841. Acc. and Pap., 1841, Vol. iv.

192 Lord Howick in the House of Commons, 1843. Hansard, 3rd Series, Vol. lxviii, p. 573.

193 Goderich to Darling, February 14th, 1831, No. 4 of Acc. and Pap., 1831, Vol. xix, p. 113.

194 Sydney Herald, July 25th, 1831.

195 Sydney Gazette, October 12th, 1830, in discussing proposals of the National Colonization Society.

196 Sydney Gazette, October 1st, 1831.

197 Petition enclosed in Despatch of Darling to Goderich, September 28th, 1831. C.O. 201/220.

198 e.g., Busby to Howick, August 21st, 1831, C.O. 201/223. J. Stephen to Goderich, July 20th, 1831, C.O. 201/224. F. Boucher to Goderich, September 3rd, 1832, C.O. 201/229.

199 Bourke to Goderich, No. 49, April 9th, 1832, C.O. 201/226.

200 Arthur to Goderich, No. 42, July 9th, 1831. C.O. 280/29. See also Hobart Town Almanack for 1834, p. 56.

201 Arthur to Goderich, No. 59, October 27th, 1831. C.O. 280/30. See also private letter Arthur to Goderich, September 24th, 1832. C.O. 280/35.

202 Memorial of settlers to the Secretary of State 1832, enclosed in Stirling to Goderich, September 20th, 1832. C.O. 18/10.

203 See Sydney Gazette, July 19th, 1832.

204 Ibid., July 14th, 1831.

205 Sydney Herald, January 30th, 1832.

206 Arthur to Goderich, No. 42, July 9th, 1831. C.O. 280/29.

207 Arthur to Goderich, No, 59, October 27th, 1831. C.O. 280/30.

208 Arthur to Hay, September 7th, 1833, and October 5th, 1833, C.O. 280/43. Arthur to Spring Rice, No. 37, May 14th, 1835, C.O. 280/57.

209 Arthur to Glenelg. No. 84, October 15th, 1835. C.O. 280/60.

210 Arthur to Goderich, No. 39, July 31st, 1832. C.O. 280/34.

211 To Questions 2595-8, Acc. and Pap., 1837, Vol. xix.

212 Major Mitchell to R. W. Hay, 22nd September, 1832. C.O. 201/230.

213 Arthur to Goderich, September 24th, 1832. C.O. 280/35.

214 Bourke to Goderich, No. 35, March 23rd, 1833. C.O. 201/231, The actual figures were 1829, 564; 1830, 309; 1831, 457; 1832, 1214. See also Elliot's evidence before Select Committee on New Zealand. Acc. and Pap., 1837-8, Vol. xxi, p. 327.

215 Sydney Gazette, July 14th, 1831: "The proceeds of the sales of land, under the regulations recently promulgated, are to be applied exclusively to the removal of paupers from England to New South Wales and Van Diemen's Land."

216 Howick to Hon. J. Stewart, July 16th, 1831. Enclosure 1 in No. 7 of Acc. and Pap., 1831, Vol. xix, p. 113.

217 Bourke to Goderich, No, 55, July 9th, 1833. C.O. 201/232.

218 Bourke to Stanley, No. 92, September 18th, 1834. C.O. 201/240.

219 J. Stewart to Sir George Grey, September 23rd, 1834. Acc. and Pap., 1840, Vol. xxxiii, p. 403, Enclosure to No. I.

220 Spring Rice to Bourke, No. 39, November 15th, 1834. C.O. 202/32. Part of this despatch is extracted in Acc. and Pap., 1840, Vol. xxxiii, p. 403, No. I.

221 Bourke to Glenelg, No. 92, September 15th, 1835. C.O. 201/247.

222 Bourke to Aberdeen, No. 79, August 12th, 1835. C.O. 201/247. The Treasury had anticipated this objection and were ready beforehand with their answer. The Lords Commissioners of the Treasury "are aware that it may be alleged, that the very heavy expense of pohce, which constitutes by far the greater portion of these amounts, as well as the charges attending the gaols, are principally rendered necessary by the presence of the convicts; but as the great and rapidly increasing prosperity of these colonies is so mainly to be attributed to the advantages derived from the labour of the convicts, and as the necessity for the large police establishment arises from the dispersion of the convicts, for the accommodation of the settlers, it appears to my Lords that the expenditure in question may be most legitimately charged upon the colonial revenues." J. Stewart to Sir George Grey, September 23rd, 1834. Enclosure to No. i. Acc. and Pap., 1840, Vol. xxxiii, p. 403.

223 Bourke to Aberdeen, No. 79, August 12th, 1835. C.O. 201/247.

224 Bourke to Glenelg, No. 92, September 15th, 1835. C.O. 201/247. The petition enclosed with this despatch is missing.

225 Report of September 18th, 1835, enclosed in No. 1 of Acc. and Pap., 1837, Vol. xliii, p. 101.

226 J. Stephen to A. Y. Spearman, August 19th, 1836. Enclosure i in No. 3, ibid.

227 A. Y. Spearman to J. Stephen, September 2nd, 1836. Ibid.

228 Glenelg to Bourke, No. 211, September 18th, 1836. CO, 202/34.

229 Bourke to Glenelg, No. 70, July 28th, 1837, C.O. 201/261; No. 85, September 8th, 1837, C.O. 201/262.

230 Bourke to Stanley, No. 75, September 1st, 1834. No. 2 of Acc. and Pap., 1840, Vol. xxxiii, p. 403.

231 Ibid.

232 Despatch No. 75, September 1st, 1834. C.O. 201/240.

233 J. Stewart to Sir G. Grey. Enclosure to Despatch No. 39 of Nov. 15th, 1834. Acc. and Pap., 1840 Vol. xxxiii, p. 403.

234 Glenelg to Bourke, No. 22, July 10th, 1835. No. 3, ibid.

235 Mitchell to Hay, September 22nd, 1832. C.O. 201/230.

236 Bourke to Aberdeen, No, 81, August 14th, 1835. C.O. 201/247.

237 Glenelg to Bourke, No. 278, March 23rd, 1837 C.O. 202/34.

238 The Commission consisted of Earl of Rosslyn, Henry Goulburn, Maurice Fitzgerald, Lord Eliot, and Sir James Willoughby Gordon. Acc. and Pap., 1830-1, Vol. iv, p. i.

239 Third Report, ibid., p. 67.

240 Ibid.

241 Glenelg to Bourke, No. 142, April 13th, 1836, C.O. 202/34.

242 The first official use of the terms "squatter" and "squatting" seems to have occurred in a Report of a Committee of the Legislative Council of New South Wales on Gaols and Police, October 9th, 1835, enclosed in Despatch No. 6, January 20th, 1836. C.O. 201/252. The squatters were of various types from the ticket-of-leave man to the wealthy free settler. The latter class, too, were jealous of the former, whom they accused of sheep-stealing and other crimes, and requested the Governor to bring under police supervision. Ibid., and see Bourke to Glenelg, No. 100, September 14th, 1836. C.O. 201/254.

243 Bourke to Stanley, No. 59, July 4th, 1834. C.O. 201/239. Australia on the whole was lightly timbered and at once accessible to roving pastoralists; whereas in Canada, for example, the presence of heavy forests prevented the land from being used in this way for pastoral or agricultural purposes until some attempt at clearing had been made. See Gipps to Russell, September 28th, 1840, H. of C. Paper, No. 120, Acc. and Pap., 1841, Vol. xvii, p. 293.

244 In his Government of Victoria, 1897, p. 37, and History of the Australasian Colonies, 1912, p. 63, Professor Jenks writes that this was due to a deliberate misreading of the Regulations by Darling; but in view of the recommendations of the Commission of 1830 and the policy of the Colonial Office from 1831 onwards, especially in regard to the proposed settlements at Twofold Bay and Port Phillip, it seems more probable that Darling's restriction of the sale of land within the limits of location was in keeping with the intention of the Home Government. The wording of §§ 1 and 2 of the Ripon Regulations is wide enough to apply to all the land within the borders of the colony; but the Colonial Office, which was fully aware of the limits of location laid down by the Government Order of 1829, did not object to Darling's reading, and, indeed, in 1834, definitely refused to allow the limits to be extended. See Despatch of Aberdeen to Bourke, No. 12, December 25th, 1834. C.O. 202/32. R. W. Hay wrote to Major Mitchell (the Surveyor-General of New South Wales) on the new regulations. "I quite agree with you as to the necessity of concentrating as much as possible the settlers who may arrive, which can only be done by confining the new colonists to certain tracts of country. This is one of the chief objects which the Government has had in view in laying down the new Regulations, and it seems the most likely mode of insuring the payment of a sufficient price for the land set up to sale." Letter of January 9th, 1832. C.O. 324/87. The Ripon Regulations are printed in Enclosure in No. 4, Acc. and Pap., 1831, Vol. xix, p. 113. The Government Order of August 1st, 1831, is enclosed with the despatch of Darling to Goderich, No. 81, September 28th, 1831. C.O. 201/220. See also instructions to the Governors of New South Wales, Van Diemen's Land, and Swan River, § 28. Acc. and Pap., 1831, Vol. xix, p. 113, No. I.

245 See §§ 24-30.

246 Darling to R. W. Hay, February 17th, 1831. C.O. 201/218.

247 4 William IV, No. 10 (N.S.W.).

248 Bourke to Glenelg, No. 99, October 10th, 1835, Appendix No. i to the Report of the Select Committee on Waste Lands. Acc. and Pap., 1836, Vol. xi, p. 499.

249 Bourke to Glenelg, No. 119, December 18th, 1835. Appendix No. 13 to the Report of the Transportation Committee. Acc. and Pap., 1837, Vol. xix.

250 7 William IV, No. 4 (N.S.W.).

251 See Act in Government Gazette, August 17th, 1836; and Government Notice of October 1st, 1836, including form of licence. Government Gazette, October 5th, 1836. C.O. 205/4.

252 See Bourke to Glenelg, No. 100, September 14th, 1836. C.O. 201/254.

253 Application enclosed in Despatch No. 59, July 4th, 1834, C.O. 201/239. See also a further proposal by Colonel Verner, February 24th, 1835, C.O. 201/251.

254 Despatch No. 59, July 4th, 1834.

255 Aberdeen to Bourke, No. 12, December 25th, 1834. C.O. 202/32.

256 See his memorial enclosed in letter of Arthur to Hay, April 18th, 1834, C.O. 280/47; and his memorial of February 11th, 1835, C.O. 201/251.

257 Arthur to Hay, April 18th, 1834.

258 Arthur to Hay, January 28th, 1836. C.O. 280/64.

259 See the correspondence in Appendix i to the Report of the 1836 Committee on Waste Lands. Acc. and Pap., 1836, Vol. xi, p. 499.

260 Memorandum of December 17th, 1835. C.O. 280/58.

261 Arthur to Spring Rice, July 4th, 1835. C.O. 280/58.

262 Proclamation, August 26th, 1835. Appendix No. i, Acc. and Pap., 1836. Vol. xi, p. 499.

263 Bourke to Glenelg, No. 99, October 10th, 1835. Ibid.

264 Ibid.

265 Ibid.

266 Bourke to Glenelg, No. 99, October 10th, 1835. Appendix No. i. Acc. and Pap., 1836, Vol. xi, p. 499.

267 Glenelg to Bourke, April 13th, 1836. Ibid.

268 Ibid.

269 Notice of September 9th, 1836, in Government Gazette, New South Wales, September 14th, 1836. C.O. 205/4.

270 Goderich to Bourke, July 10th, 1831. No. 6 of Acc. and Pap., 1831, Vol. xix, p. 113.

271 Glenelg to Bourke, No. 265, February 15th, 1837. C.O. 202/34.

272 Bourke to Glenelg, No. 83, September 6th, 1837. C.O. 201/262.

273 James Stephen pencilled a comment upon Bourke's despatch which showed that he too was no advocate of a sufficient price. "The reasons assigned by General Bourke against raising the minimum upset price appear to me conclusive." Despatch No. 83, C.O. 201/262.

274 See Chap. v.

275 See Chap. viii.

276 Spectator, September 24th, 1836. The Spectator says that Canada was omitted "by a trick of the Colonial Office."

277 Wolryche Whitmore, R. D. Hanson, Colonel Torrens, W. H. Burnley and Wakefield himself.

278 G. Poulett Scrope.

279 Sir George Grey and H. S. Kelsey of the Colonial Office.

280 Captain Wood and W. Bryan.

281 W. H. Burnley.

282 Report in Acc. and Pap., 1836, Vol. xi, p. 499.






{Page 218}

Chapter VIII

THE NEW BRITISH PROVINCE OF SOUTH AUSTRALIA

Although the National Colonization Society was short-lived, its chief members carried on their task of propagating the Wakefield theory, and, almost from the beginning, they decided to put it to the test of experiment by founding a new colony near Spencer's Gulf on the south coast of Australia. The report made by Captain Sturt after his famous voyage of 1830 along the River Murray, had brought this part of Australia before the public notice, and in that direction the systematic colonizers proposed to place their settlement. [1] "We resolved," wrote Wakefield in 1849, "to try and establish a fresh colony, in which both our economical and political views should obtain a fair trial." [2] There were many reasons which rendered the other Australian colonies unfit in their eyes for an essay in systematic colonization.

In the first place, leaving Swan River out of consideration, the system of transportation and assignment of convicts not only interfered with the proportion between land and labour which it was hoped to establish, but was abhorrent to them from a moral point of view. In the next place, they could not hope that the Wakefield system would have a fair chance of working well in colonies where already so much land had been freely granted as to prevent any proper relation between land and labour. In the last place, they hoped to try an experiment in self-government apart from the Colonial Office, which was impossible in any of the existing Australian colonies. Wakefield from the first seems to have been suspicious of the "completely arbitrary and distant" [3] rule, as he called it, of the Colonial Office. Perhaps he was afraid that their lack of system and foresight in dealing with the land question would be repeated, perhaps he was anxious to have no controlling hand to interfere with his schemes. Whatever be the reason his first plan would, if adopted, have effectually excluded the Colonial Office from the government of the new colony.

The proposal was mooted by the systematic colonizers in the autumn of 1830, [4] and was brought before the Colonial Office in February, 1831, by Major Bacon, late of the 17th Lancers, who had seen active service in the Peninsula, at Waterloo where he was severely wounded, and in the East Indies. [5] He merely recommended the founding of a colony in South Australia, of which he hoped to be governor, and gave no further indication of his plan than that it was not to cost the mother-country anything. [6] The Colonial Office at once showed that they were hostile to the founding of new colonies, on the ground of expense, by replying that "the Secretary of State does not feel at liberty at the present moment to hold out any encouragement to schemes which have for their object the extension of the number of His Majesty's settlements abroad, and which, whether founded in the outset by individuals, or by the Government, are always liable to end in becoming in some way or other a source of expense to the revenue of this country." [7] The systematic colonizers then drew up a complete and formal plan [8] for founding the new colony by means of a joint-stock company which should not only manage land-sales and emigration, but also the government of the colony.

A company, called the South Australian Land Company, [9] was to be formed with a capital of £500,000, one-quarter of which was to be spent in buying land in the colony, one-quarter in making advances to settlers, and the rest in employing labour on its own land. The principles on which the new colony was to be settled were those of the Wakefield system. No lands were to be disposed of otherwise than by auction at a minimum price of 5s. in the first year, which was to be raised to 7s. 6d. in the second year, and thereafter raised "until the price demanded for land shall be that which will ensure the cultivation of all land granted." [10] The whole of the proceeds from the land sales, except what was needed for the expenses of survey, was to be used in the emigration of young people of both sexes in equal numbers. The colonists were to be allowed to pasture their cattle on any land while it was unappropriated.

On its political side the plan rested upon two principles, first, that the colonists should defray as soon as possible the cost of their own government; next, that at no distant date they should enjoy self-government. Adherence to the principles of colonization which they laid down was, they considered, the only way in which to ensure the success of the colony. Therefore, they argued, the government of the colony should, at first, be in the hands not of the Colonial Office, but of those well acquainted with these principles. The company, then, was to recommend a governor whom the Crown should appoint, and he was to have absolute power, legislative and executive, with no council to control him, until the male adult population of the colony reached 5,000, when a Legislative Assembly to manage all the affairs of the colony was to be elected annually by the male adults, and the governor was to be appointed by the Crown. [11] The company was to provide the expenses of government by way of loan to the colony until twelve months after the first meeting of the Legislative Assembly, when it was apparently to exist merely as a joint-stock land company. Various other provisions were made; there was to be liberty of the Press, freedom of trade, and no interference with religion, while for purposes of defence all the male adult colonists were to form a militia.

The profits of the company were to come solely from the rent and re-sale of land bought from the Home Government, and the promoters of the plan held out certain inducements to subscribers. In the first place, the company, being the first buyer, would have choice of situation and would take their land near the port and near the seat of government so that it would soon possess a position value. Again, the increase in price after the first year, and in subsequent years, would add to the value of the company's land. Lastly, the money which the company paid for land would not only supply labour, but also would cause more competition for land, and in that case increase the value of their holding. [12]

In August, 1831, a deputation consisting of Colonel Torrens, Major Bacon, Robert Gouger, and G. J. Graham waited on the Colonial Office, and, in submitting this plan for the approval of the Government and asking for a charter of incorporation for the company, they called attention to the advantages which would be gained by the mother-country from the fact that no expense would be incurred, that a number of destitute people would be removed from Great Britain and provided for, and that a new market would be opened for British manufactures. [13]

Following on this proposal the systematic colonizers had several interviews and conversations both with Lord Howick and Lord Goderich, and they thought that they had obtained the approval of the Colonial Office to the plan, subject to two alterations, first, that the governor should be nominated as well as appointed by the Crown; next, that a Legislative Assembly should not be granted until the male adult population numbered 10,000. They at once set about forming the company, and announced that a charter had been promised by the Government. [14] A long article [15] appeared in the Spectator of October 29th, 1831, explaining and warmly supporting the project, and claiming that it had the sanction of the Government. Lord Howick at once took steps to make it plain that the approval on which they relied was merely his own verbal sanction, that Lord Goderich was by no means committed to the proposal, but that, if the charter were approved by the Attorney-General and supported by a respectable list of subscribers, and if it was clear that the Government were to be put to no expense, he had little doubt Lord Goderich would recommend the issue of the charter. [16]

Further conversations followed, [17] and another deputation waited on the Colonial Office, [18] but the negotiations fell through. Apparently the position was that neither side was willing to take the first step. The Government would not definitely pronounce upon the scheme until it was before them in detail accompanied by a list of subscribers influential enough to ensure its success, while the capitalists supporting it were unwilling to promise their aid until some definite and unconditional sanction was given by the Government. [19]

In the next year the South Australian Land Company was formed, under the leadership of Mr. Wolryche Whitmore, with a strong Provisional Committee, [20] and similar proposals were laid before Lord Goderich. [21] He then refused the sanction of the Government, because, apart from the difficulty of the practical operation of the scheme and other objections, "great inconvenience would arise from the circumstance of a new colony being placed so near to the penal settlements at Sydney and in Van Diemen's Land, as that proposed." [22] After further interviews the Company sent to Lord Goderich a charter embodying their scheme with the alteration as to the appointment of a governor, and deferring the grant of a Legislative Assembly until the population of the colony reached 50,000. [23] The charter was submitted by Lord Goderich to Mr. James Stephen, then Counsel to the Colonial Office, who expressed his confident opinion that the scheme was "wild and impracticable," and raised several objections, all of which were adopted by Lord Goderich and sent to the Company. [24] The principal objections were that the charter would "transfer to this Company the sovereignty of a vast unexplored territory;" that there would be no security against their abuse of the power of legislation, or for their proper application of public money; and that "all the powers of the Company, extensive as they are, and involving in their practical effects the sovereign dominion of the whole territory, are ultimately to be transferred to a popular assembly, which would be to erect within the British Monarchy a government purely republican." [25] The Company at once expressed their willingness to make any modifications which Goderich might propose, if only the principles of land sale, emigration, government by the Company, and the eventual privilege of a legislative assembly were retained. [26] Goderich's reply was to the effect that, since the Company knew their own minds so little as to be anxious, on the mere mention of objections, to make fundamental modifications in their proposal, there could be no advantage in continuing the correspondence. [27]

A large and wealthy body of settlers had been collected by the Company in expectation of the grant of a charter. Intending settlers had subscribed £100,000, while others were prepared to invest another £100,000; [28] but, when this break in the negotiations occurred, the Company was completely dissolved, [29] and the intending colonists dispersed, some of them going to the United States. [30] The promoters of the South Australian scheme were inclined to blame Mr. R. W. Hay of the Colonial Office for its lack of success, and especially for the objections which Lord Goderich raised, in ignorance that they were the work of Mr. James Stephen. [31] Probably however, the true reason, apart from the objection to founding new colonies on the score of expense, was not the hostility of any one man, but the fact that they asked too much from the Colonial Office when they demanded complete control over the colony, both economic and political, and proposed to exclude the Colonial Office altogether from the government.

When Lord Goderich left the Colonial Office in March, 1833, the hopes of the systematic colonizers revived, and in July of that year they submitted to Stanley, the new Secretary of State, practically the same proposal that Goderich had refused. The colony was still to be founded on the principles of land sales and emigration, by a joint-stock company which should control and finance its government until a Legislative Assembly was introduced, although now the Crown was to appoint the governor and all officials of the colony. [32] Stanley showed himself somewhat more sympathetic towards the idea of founding a new colony, but he imposed conditions which the Company were not prepared to fulfil, and, after some correspondence, the negotiations were terminated by a lengthy silence on the part of the Colonial Office. [33]

The next important step in the founding of South Australia was the publication in November, 1833, of Wakefield's book England and America, which had an immediate success in reviving the drooping spirits of the systematic colonizers and rallying the waverers. Grote and others, who had previously been sceptical about the new colony, now became its warm adherents, and another influential body of projectors and intending settlers was formed. [34] Warned by past failures, they now determined to abandon the plan of a joint-stock company and to form an association for the purpose of founding and governing the colony, which should not be engaged in any way in a pecuniary speculation, so that there should be no room for the suggestion that the whole scheme was a job. [35] This new body, which was called the South Australian Association, was to be composed of three classes of members, first, intending settlers, secondly, those who were willing to aid the Association without taking a responsible part, thirdly, those who should be trustees for founding the colony. [36] They required from the Government a charter, like those of William Penn and Lord Baltimore, which should incorporate the trustees, contain provisions for land sales and emigration, and allow the trustees to enable joint-stock companies to be formed to purchase land and assist settlement. Until a Legislative Assembly was granted the government of the colony was to be in the hands of the trustees, who were to raise loans for the necessary expenses, which were to be repaid by the colony. [37]

Gouger and his friends worked incessantly in the last three months of 1833 to form the Association, [38] and, by the beginning of 1834, their object was achieved and the body of intending settlers was large in number and in capital. [39] Yet another pamphlet [40] came from Wakefield's ready pen, and the systematic colonizers, having found a friend in Mr. J. Shaw Lefevre, who had recently entered the Colonial Office as Political Under-Secretary, thought the movement sufficiently advanced to warrant their approaching Stanley once more. They now insisted upon the difference between this project and the last, but found that he preferred the former plan of a joint-stock company pledged to buy land and therefore with a pecuniary interest in governing well. [41] Such an interest, he objected, was lacking in the proposed trustees; moreover they were responsible to no one and the colony would be a republic independent of the mother-country. [42] He demanded that the management of the colony should be in the Colonial Office, and declined to proceed further in the negotiations "unless the government of the colony is to be left in the hands of the Crown and its constitutional advisers, until it is able to govern itself." [43]

At this stage the systematic colonizers definitely abandoned their plan of governing the new colony, whether by a joint-stock company or by a chartered association, and were willing to admit the claim of the Crown to have control of the government provided that the twin principles of land sales and selected emiration were conceded. [44]

"It was clear to us," wrote Wakefield in 1849, "that the part of our South Australian plan to which the Colonial Office most objected, was a provision for bestowing on the colonists a considerable amount of local self-government. As we could not move an inch without the sanction of that Office, we now resolved to abandon the political part of our scheme, in the hope of being able to realize the economical part." [45] They now asked from Stanley an Act of Parliament embodying the principles of land sales and emigration, and intimated their intention to continue in existence as a private and temporary society to promote the success of the measure. They adverted to the difficulty of obtaining, under the new scheme, funds for the expenses of the colonial government, and suggested, since it was useless to expect a Parliamentary grant, that the money might be raised, if once their scheme of colonization was firmly established, by loan on the security of the land sales and the revenue of the colony. [46] In the correspondence and negotiations which followed, the most debatable point was as to the source from which this fund could be drawn. Stanley, on the one hand, would not move until sufficient money was subscribed and guaranteed to carry on the colonial government for ten years, so as to prevent all expense to the mother-country. [47] The Association, on the other hand, could not promise to raise the money until they knew what kind of an Act of Parliament they were going to get. [48] While matters were in this condition of deadlock, Stanley left the Colonial Office in June, 1834, and Spring Rice took his place. The latter had been a schoolfellow of Wakefield, [49] and the systematic colonizers, complaining of the delay which had taken place, immediately applied to him for official sanction to their scheme. [50] This he promised on the same conditions that Stanley had laid down, namely, that a capital of at least £50,000 was promised by intending settlers for investment in the colony, and that the Bill was not to come into operation until £35,000 had been vested in Commissioners, for purchase of land, and until sufficient funds were also promised to support the government of the colony for the next ten years. [51] A Bill was drafted for the Association, under the superintendence of Wakefield by his brother Daniel, [52] modified by the Colonial Office, [53] and introduced into the House of Commons by Whitmore.

Meanwhile on the 30th June, 1834, a large public meeting, organized by the Association to advertise the colony and obtain public support, was held in Exeter Hall, when various speakers, including Whitmore, Torrens, and Grote, all repeated in different form the arguments for systematic colonization, with which Wakefield had for some years been identified. [54]

The second reading of the Bill was taken in the House of Commons after 2 a.m. on July 23rd, when only about fifty members were present and there was little opposition; but in Committee on July 29th, Mr. Alexander Baring vigorously attacked the Bill and only Spring Rice's support enabled it to go safely through. [55] The Bill, however, had few friends, and when introduced into the House of Lords it met with some opposition which threatened to be fatal; but the systematic colonizers managed to enlist the services of the Duke of Wellington, and, with his influence in its support, the Bill became law on August 15th, 1834. [56]

The battle had not been fought without loss to the victors. In the course of its passage through the Colonial Office and through Parliament the Bill had been altered and modified in various ways. "We struck out this provision," wrote Wakefield in 1849, "because it displeased somebody, altered another to conciliate another person, and inserted a third because it embodied somebody's crotchet." [57] Wakefield and his associates were by no means satisfied with the Act in its final form, but there was sufficient of their original proposal to allow them to hope that, with good management, a successful colony might be founded by "the first attempt since the time of the ancient Greeks to colonize systematically." [58]

In all the labours which had gone to make possible this experiment in systematic colonization Wakefield had taken an important, though not a public, part. He did not appear on the provisional committees, nor on the deputations to the Colonial Office, nor at the meeting in Exeter Hall; but in the pages of Gouger's diary he may be seen consulting with Gouger, "deciding points roughly," [59] and advising him in tactics. He looked upon Gouger as his "mere delegate" [60] representing him in public, and, throughout the whole of the struggle to found South Australia, his had been the controlling mind. [61]

The systematic colonizers had triumphed against the opposition of the permanent officials of the Colonial Office. There is no doubt but that R. W. Hay and James Stephen were both hostile to the plan of founding a colony, the former because he thought it would inevitably result in expense to the mother-country, [62] the latter because he disbelieved in the principle of forming a settlement in a new colony by selling its waste land. Stephen wrote, in 1836, in a private memorandum for Sir George Grey, of the "crude theory which has given birth to the South Australian colony," and that "to expect to settle a new country by an immediate sale of the land seems to me as rational a scheme as to undertake the building of a bridge across the Swan River by the sale of the waters." [63] Both, however, once the principle of the Bill was accepted by the Government, withdrew their official opposition. [64]

The Act [65] authorized the creation of one or more provinces [66] in South Australia, [67] and the appointment of one or more residents there to make laws for the colony. [68] Three or more Commissioners were to be appointed to carry out the Act. [69] They were to have power to sell land at auction, or otherwise as they might decide, at a minimum price of 12s., and to employ the proceeds in emigration. [70] They also had power to let unsold land for pasturage. The funds for carrying on the Government were to be raised by the Commissioners, by loan up to the amount of £200,000 on the security of the ordinary revenue of the colony, [71] and with the collateral security of the land-fund. [72] No convicts were to be sent to the colony at any time or under any circumstances. [73] When the population amounted to 50,000 a constitution might be granted to the colony. [74] Until £20,000 had been raised by loan and invested in Government securities, and land had been sold to the amount of £35,000, the general powers granted by the Act were to be inoperative. [75]

The weak joints in the Act as a practical measure were that the Commissioners had to provide funds by loans for a government for which they were not responsible, and the governor who was responsible alone to the Colonial Office had to depend for his supplies on the Commissioners. Authority was divided in two Ways; first, the governor was controlled directly by the Colonial Office in the normal way, and also indirectly by the Commissioners' control of supplies; next, in the colony the disposal of land was in the hands of a Resident Commissioner responsible to the Commissioners alone, and with the exercise of his duties the governor could not interfere. Moreover no provision was made for any local control over expenditure.

After the passing of the Act, the first important step to be taken was to find suitable candidates for the office of Commissioner. The South Australian Association submitted to Mr. Spring Rice the names of several men who were ready to act, including Whitmore, Grote, Colonel Torrens, and H. G. Ward; [76] but, although he approved the selection, he had neglected to appoint them when, in November, 1834, he left office, and the Duke of Wellington formed his provisional administration. [77] The uncertain state of the English political world at the end of 1834 prevented any further steps from being taken until January, 1835, when Gouger and Torrens, wearying of the delay which was dispersing the body of colonists which had been gathered in 1834, [78] approached Lord Aberdeen, who had become Secretary of State for the Colonies in Peel's short-lived Ministry, and requested permission to submit names for his approval. [79] On the change of Ministries, however, Grote, Clay and Ward, who had been willing to serve as Commissioners under the Melbourne Government, refused to take office because "Tory rule was too repugnant to their disposition," [80] and fresh names had to be obtained.

Wakefield was absent in Lisbon from October, 1834, to April, 1835, during the illness and death of his only daughter, [81] and on Gouger and Torrens devolved the direction of affairs. They selected eight people to serve as Commissioners, and Wakefield, when he returned to London, announced that he would not interfere with what was being done, but would leave matters in Torrens's hands. [82] After some months' delay, during which Mr. Charles Grant (afterwards Lord Glenelg) succeeded Lord Aberdeen at the Colonial Office, the nominees were approved, with the addition of Mr. E. Barnard and Mr. J. Shaw Lefevre as representatives of the Colonial Department, and were gazetted as South Australian Colonization Commissioners on May 15th, 1835. [83]

Some changes were made in their ranks, when, for example, Angas resigned on the formation of the South Australian Company, and Wright because of the share which he took in raising a loan for the Commissioners; but, on the whole, they seem to have deserved Wakefield's description of them as "ignorant and careless amateurs." [84] They were engaged in the business of establishing and governing a colony sixteen thousand miles distant in an uninhabited spot, and for this they had had no previous experience or training. Again, their numbers made them too unwieldy a body for expediting business if all attended, while there was no compulsion on them to attend and exercise the very great power entrusted to them, nor had they any interest, except a merely philanthropic one, in governing economically and well. In their conduct of business they wasted much time and became in effect a kind of debating club, discussing frivolous and unmeaning subjects instead of attending to more serious business. [85] Colonel Torrens complained, too, that they did not understand the principles of the new experiment in colonization, and that he had more than once to fight alone for the maintenance of those principles. [86]

The law officers of the Crown early decided that, in their dealings with the funds raised for the expenses of the colony, the Commissioners were exempted by the Act from control either by the Colonial Office or by the Treasury. [87] Again, Lord Glenelg, who was head of the Colonial Office during the early years of the Commissioners' rule, deliberately adopted the policy of giving them full control of the new colony, and consulted them on every possible occasion, [88] appointing and recalling governors and other officials on their recommendation. [89]

The Commissioners, then, possessed of great power and practically irresponsible, were inexperienced and amateurish—Wakefield called them "a dilettante commission, an amateur commission, a sort of fancy commission," [90] and they had to carry out a new and doubtful experiment. The wonder is not that they failed, but that they never seemed to entertain any doubts as to their success. [91]

The first important work for the Commissioners was to sell enough land and raise enough money by loan to fulfil the conditions of the Act and begin to found the colony. It therefore became necessary to decide at what price the land should be sold, and on this question Wakefield definitely broke with the Commissioners and with Gouger. The Act itself had given some guidance by fixing the minimum price at 12s. per acre and empowering the Commissioners to raise it, but that amount was fixed by the Committee of the South Australian Association, who had, in April, 1834, at the request of Stanley, [92] entered into calculations as to what the minimum price should be. In their opinion four agricultural and one non-agricultural labourer were required to cultivate 200 acres, and therefore the minimum price of that amount of land should be such as would provide for the emigration of ten people, five men and five women. The cost of passage per head they estimated at £15, so that the minimum price was determined at 15s. per acre, but, in order not to make land too difficult nor too easy of access to labourers and to induce capitalists to emigrate, they reduced the price to 12s. per acre. [93] This calculation, as Wakefield pointed out, was mere guesswork, based on factors of which only the cost of passage to the colony was in any way certain, and he strenuously objected to its being made the basis of a sufficient price. [94] "I have always thought," he wrote to Gouger in May, 1835, "£2 the very lowest price that ought to be required for the object in view . . . . If they start with 12s., the colony will be a second Swan River, and if you support that price, many people will naturally suppose that I do. It is for the sake of a year or two hence that I wish to guard myself from only a seeming participation, through you, in an experiment which, in my opinion, must fail." [95] He disclaimed for himself and his plan of colonization all responsibility for the success of the colony. "With 12s. for the lowest price, this colony will be no trial of the principle which it has cost me so much pains to establish thus far." [96]

His objection was reasonable enough from his own point of view, because the basis of his theory was a restrictive price sufficient to prevent labourers from becoming landowners too soon, and sale of land at any other price was not the Wakefield system but something else. The practical difficulty, however, was that no one seemed able to determine in any other way than by rough and ready calculations what the sufficient price should be in amount, and Wakefield gave little assistance, considering that it was not for him but for the Commissioners to fix. [97] Over the question of price Wakefield quarrelled with Gouger, who thought it expedient that the price should at first be low, for no one would buy land at £2 per acre, [98] and the breach between them was never healed. [99] "How do you know that nobody will buy land at a sufficient price?" he wrote to Gouger, "That experiment has not yet been tried. That experiment may be tried here without risk to anyone. We wholly disagree, you see, on what you call principle. I must now consider you as one of the opponents of my principle." [100] Wakefield had abandoned the political side of his scheme, but he was not prepared without a struggle to yield the principle of a sufficient price. He accordingly addressed to the Commissioners a powerful letter revealing his interest in and work for the colony from the beginning and stating a strong case for the Wakefield theory. He argued that the suggested price of 12s. was not a sufficient price, and urged them either to make a complete trial of his theory by selling land at a sufficient price, or to abandon the colony altogether. "Our trust is," he wrote, "that the experiment, when fairly tried, will succeed. Therefore, I venture to say, let it be tried fairly, or not at all for the present; rather let there be no colony at all for the present, than one which does not fairly try the experiment of a hired-labour price for land." [101] Amongst other things he warned the Commissioners against the plan of auction, reminding them that the Act left the method of sale to their discretion, and recommending "that the price named should be the only price, whatever the quantity, quality or situation of the land sold, or whoever the buyer." [102] But Wakefield was no longer listened to. When the time came to put his theory to the test of practice, the Commissioners thought more of selling enough land to found the colony, than of following Wakefield's opinion as to what was a sufficient price. They adopted his suggestion of a uniform price, but fixed it at £1 per acre.

One of the chief merits which, from the beginning, the systematic colonizers had claimed for their scheme was that it was to cost nothing to the mother-country. [103] First the South Australian Land Company and then the South Australian Association, was to provide the funds for carrying on the government and even when both these bodies had dissolved, the projectors of the scheme, and particularly Colonel Torrens, spoke of it as being self-supporting. They applied to the experiment of founding the new colony the unhappy term, as it afterwards proved, of "self-supporting colonization." [104] The Commissioners, when appointed, followed their chairman. Colonel Torrens, in this matter, and decided questions of policy according to whether or not they were in accord with the "self-supporting principle." For instance, they first chose Colonel Napier to be governor, but, when he demanded troops and the power to draw on the British Government for money in case of need, they refused on the ground that his demand was "at variance with the self-supporting principle upon which the new colony is to be established." [105] "Self-supporting colonization" apparently meant two very different things; first, that the whole expenses of emigration were to be defrayed out of the proceeds of the land-sales, secondly, that the expenses of government and settlement were to be borne by loans raised on the security of the future revenue and of the land-sales. Only in the former sense did Wakefield accept the doctrine. While his plan was one for a joint-stock company, or even for a chartered association, he believed that the money could be easily raised to prevent the colony from ever becoming a charge on the mother-country; but when the control of the colony was divided between the Colonial Office and a body of irresponsible Commissioners his opinion altered. [106] But Wakefield's control ceased with the passing of the Act, and the Commissioners continued to claim for the new colony the advantage of being self-supporting in both senses. They had little doubt but that loans would easily be raised, in amount sufficient to carry on the settlement and government of the colony until it was able to support itself. [107]

Having fixed the price of land at £1 per acre, the Commissioners issued their regulations for the disposal of land in the new colony, [108] and set to work to sell enough to enable them to begin colonization. But at that price little land was sold; the body of capitalists and intending settlers had been dispersed by the long delay, and it appeared as if the colony would never be started. As a last resource the Commissioners altered their regulations in two important respects. First, in accordance with an agreement made with the South Australian Company, the price of land was temporarily reduced to 12s. per acre (those who had paid £1 were recompensed in land) and, secondly, a system of special surveys was established. By this latter regulation, anyone who paid the price of 4,000 acres was entitled to demand a special survey of not more than 15,000 acres in any part of the colony, out of which, when surveyed, he might choose his land. [109] At the same time the South Australian Company was formed by G. F. Angas and others as a joint-stock land company to buy land at the lowered price from the Commissioners, and to develop its resources. [110] Their purchases enabled the Commissioners to complete the necessary amount prescribed by the Act. When a loan was raised and £20,000 of it placed in a Guarantee Fund, the conditions of the Act were satisfied, and by November, 1835, the way was clear for the foundation of the new colony. [111]

The Commissioners were allowed to nominate the governor and all the officials for the colony. [112] Their first choice for governor was Colonel Napier. But, when his conditions were refused, [113] Captain Hindmarsh was nominated, and he with all the other nominees of the Commissioners, was appointed to office by the Crown. [114]

The first part of a surveying party proceeded to the colony at the end of March, 1836, the rest, under Colonel Light, the Surveyor-General, sailed on the 1st May, 1836, and three months afterwards, the governor and the first official body of emigrants left. The initial mistake was thus made of allowing the settlers to tread too closely upon the heels of the surveyors. One ill consequence was that for some years the surveys were behindhand. Settlers, however, were so anxious to go out that they did not wait for the sailing of the official ships, but proceeded to the colony on their own account, and thus forced the hands of the Commissioners. [115]

With much care Colonel Light chose the present site of the city of Adelaide, wisely guided rather by the presence of fertile land than by the attraction of a good harbour near at hand. [116] Although his choice was vigorously opposed at the time, [117] the majority of the colonists approved it, and time has justified him.

Governor Hindmarsh during his term of office suffered from the consequence of the division of authority, and quarrelled not only with the Resident Commissioner, who, as the representative of the Commissioners, had control of the lands in the colony and of emigration, but also with many of the other officials. [118] As a result he was recalled on the recommendation of the Commissioners, [119] and superseded by Lieut.-Colonel Gawler, in whom were united the offices of Governor and Resident Commissioner, so that he was controlled directly by the Colonial Office as Governor, and by the Commissioners as Resident Commissioner, and indirectly by the Commissioners, upon whom he was dependent for the funds necessary to carry on the colonial government. [120]

Gawler arrived in South Australia on October 13th, 1838, and soon afterwards reported a distressing state of things in the colony. There was no system in the public offices, and scarcely any records of public accounts; the finances were in confusion and the Treasury overdrawn; salaries were unpaid and the colonial revenue negligible. Moreover, the surveys were behindhand, and there were few settlers engaged in agriculture, most of them being occupied with land-jobbing in Adelaide. [121] Within a few days of his arrival Gawler notified the Commissioners of his intention to increase the surveying staff, so that those who had bought land might be settled upon it. He also intimated that he would have to depart from his instructions and draw bills on the Commissioners for the expenses of government. [122] The Commissioners replied approving of his conduct, and granting him ample powers to carry on the surveys and to incur any additional expense for this purpose. [123]

Gawler's policy was based on the belief that a new colony could not be established without a liberal government expenditure in its early years, [124] and he proceeded to carry out this policy by increasing the survey department and undertaking many public works. In addition, he found it necessary to spend considerable sums in organizing a police force, and in maintaining on Government works those emigrants who could not obtain work elsewhere. During his term of office, lands were surveyed and sold, emigrants poured in, public works on a large scale were commenced, and, although the revenue increased considerably, nearly all these expenses were met by bills drawn upon the Commissioners. South Australia seemed to be rising on a wave of prosperity.

Meantime the Commissioners had borrowed in all £80,000 for the expenses of the colonial government, [125] and were occupied in selling land and selecting and sending out emigrants. In 1839, they found it necessary to obtain an amending Act which gave them power to raise loans on easier terms and to borrow either from the revenue or the emigration fund for the benefit of the other. [126] They at once made use of this power by borrowing largely from the emigration fund to meet the expenses of the government of the colony. All reports as to the colony ignored the fact that its apparent prosperity was caused by the large Government expenditure of borrowed money, and South Australia was held up as an example of successful colonization, costing nothing to the mother-country. [127] Colonel Torrens, after much importuning of the Colonial Office, had, in 1837, secured a salary as chairman of the South Australian Commissioners, [128] but when, at the end of 1839, the remaining Commissioners requested an interview with Lord John Russell on the subject of their own remuneration, [129] Russell took the opportunity of dismissing them [130] and appointing in their place a new Commission, called the Colonial Land and Emigration Board, consisting of Messrs. Torrens, T. F. Elliot and Villiers, who were also to act as Emigration Commissioners for all the British Colonies. [131] Even with their last breath the retiring Commission congratulated themselves that "the result of our labours has been the establishment, without cost to the mother-country, of a colony possessing the essential elements of stability and prosperity. The rapid progress which the province of South Australia has hitherto made may be retarded, but cannot now be arrested." [132] But within a few months of their dismissal, the new Commissioners, who were now being called upon to face Gawler's bills, became alarmed, and invited the attention of the Secretary of State to the financial situation of the new colony. [133] An attempt on the part of the new Commissioners to raise a loan of £120,000, the residue of the amount which the original Act allowed, failed, [134] and, in September, 1840, they advised Gawler that they refused to accept any more bills, and that he was to cease to draw upon them. [135]

The new experiment had ended in bankruptcy for an amount so great that the Home Government was forced to come to the rescue and institute a strict inquiry into the affairs of the colony. They advanced a loan of £155,000, appointed a Select Committee to inquire and report, and, in the meantime, recalled Gawler and, on the same vessel which carried this despatch, sent out Captain George Grey to take his place. [136]

Gawler had spent money at the rate of about £140,000 for the year 1839, [137] and £175,000 for the year 1840, [138] when the colonial revenue was about £30,000 a year, and it remains to be considered how far this expenditure was justified.

The chief items consisted of surveys, expenses in connection with emigration, and public works.

In the earliest proposal of the systematic colonizers, provision had been made for the expenses of survey to be defrayed out of the proceeds of the land sales; [139] but in the course of the long negotiations this salutary provision had been somewhere omitted, and the revenue fund raised by loan was charged with this expense. The regulations adopted by the Commissioners decreed that surveys should always be in advance of the demand, [140] and, had not Gawler attempted to carry out this regulation as quickly as possible, it would have meant a breach of faith with the settlers. Indeed, as already stated, when the surveys were found to be behindhand the Commissioners authorized Gawler to increase the staff and to incur any expense necessary to bring them up to the demand, and even complimented him on his success. [141] Moreover, the system, of special surveys proved very expensive, and to survey 15,000 acres cost nearly as much as was paid for the 4,000 acres selected. [142]

The expenditure on emigration consisted partly in transporting emigrants and their belongings from the landing place to Adelaide, and partly in maintaining them until they could get employment and whenever they were unemployed. In their regulations as to emigration the Commissioners definitely pledged themselves to support all emigrants and their families, if ever unemployed, by providing labour at reduced wages on Government works. [143]

The expenditure for public works, for example Government buildings and improvements at the Port, was on a somewhat different footing. Gawler found it necessary for the conduct of public business and for the accommodation of commerce to begin these works; and for some of them he obtained the approval of the Commissioners. [144]

But there seems no doubt that the expenditure under each head was somewhat in excess of what was necessary, even if he acted with the direct or indirect approval of the Commissioners.

In the first place, although the surveys were unavoidably expensive when rates of wages and prices of provisions in the colony were high, yet Gawler encouraged rather than discouraged the system of special surveys which was one of the most expensive items.

In the next place, the maintenance of emigrants was conducted on an extravagant scale. The arrangements made were so liberal that many emigrants preferred remaining in the comfort of Government employment at a low rate of wages to facing the difficulties of labour in the country even at a higher wage. [145] By the time Grey arrived in the colony emigrants had come to look upon Government employment as a right instead of a privilege, and applicants for relief were in some cases found to be owners of stock or land, while others were saving money out of what they received from the Government. [146]

In the third place, some of the public works were undertaken in a careless and extravagant manner. The gaol, for example, which was one of the most costly items under this head, was pronounced by Grey to be more than sufficient for the needs of the colony, and a large enough one could have been built at a much less cost. The works at the Port, too. Grey found to have been conducted in a reckless and discreditable manner. [147]

Gawler's defence [148] of his conduct amounted in effect to this, that the instructions which he had received from the Commissioners were totally inadequate to the situation in which he found himself, and that therefore he was forced to discard them, and to rely solely upon the discretion given to him to act in cases of emergency. [149] He pointed out that these instructions were intended to apply to a population of about 4,000, and were inapplicable to a community numbering nearly 16,000. Moreover, he claimed that the Commissioners had approved not only of his departure from the instructions but also of most of the public works which he had undertaken. For the amount spent in surveys he had clear justification in the pledges given to settlers by the Commissioners, and the only subject of expenditure to which they could take objection was that on public works. These, he argued, were part of the necessary outfit of the colony, and in regard to them it was wiser to make permanent rather than temporary provision even if it meant a heavy outlay. He considered, too, that, by commending his conduct in using his emergency power and in drawing bills, and by refraining from any censure until the end of 1840, the Commissioners had authorized his policy of Government expenditure.

On the other hand, the Commissioners maintained that he had sent them merely vague estimates, without details of expenditure, had set their instructions at naught, and had justified as an emergency a course of conduct extending over two years. [150]

The Commissioners' instructions to Gawler were framed with very little foresight. They were "too minute to be obeyed, too vague to be restrictive." [151] The estimates on which they were based were inadequate, and Gawler was forced by the situation of the colony to depart from them. [152] Again, for most of the items of expense Gawler clearly had either the direct or the indirect authority of the Commissioners, the expenditure for surveys and the maintenance of emigrants was directly sanctioned, and that for police and public works indirectly. By refraining, too, from disapproving of his conduct until the end of 1840, they led him to believe that what he was doing was in accord with their wishes. Moreover, the Select Committee of 1841, without giving a decided opinion upon Gawler's conduct, reported that those who censured his expenditure "have been unable to point out any specific items by which it could have been considerably reduced without great public inconvenience." [153]

Gawler's case then, as against the Commissioners, was a very strong one. [154] They seem to have exercised a very slack supervision over him, and were in reality ignorant of what was necessary to the establishment of a new colony. In Gawler's words, "The Commissioners were desirous to form a fine colony, and abstractedly they were willing to authorize the measures necessary to accomplish their end; but . . . they did not calculate the cost of them, nor had they any adequate conception of the difficulties arising from the state and requirements of a new and large community suddenly collected and planted in an unexplored wilderness." [155] The root of the evil was in the original Act, which confided the business of colonization to a private and irresponsible body, divided authority in such an inconvenient manner that neither the Colonial Office nor the Commissioners could effectually exercise it, and prescribed the dangerous method of raising funds for establishing the colony by loans at a high rate of interest on a precarious security. [156]

But, even if Gawler was justified by the authority of the Commissioners, he cannot be wholly acquitted of blame for the disasters which befell the colony. He was hardly warranted in discarding from his first arrival in the colony all his instructions except the one which allowed him to act upon his own discretion. [157] Then, too, he was not ignorant of the extent to which the Act allowed the Commissioners to borrow for the expense of the colonial government, and he exceeded this limit. Finally, his deliberate policy of Government expenditure proved harmful to the prosperity of the colony. By employing a considerable amount of labour on Government works and by spending money liberally, he accentuated the concentration of population about Adelaide, the neglect of agriculture, the land-jobbing, and the mania for speculation, which he had found in existence on his arrival. This policy, combined with the maintenance of emigrants on too favourable terms, caused the price of labour to rise to such an extent that agriculture became unprofitable. [158] On the whole, however, though his policy may have been mistaken, Gawler deserves more sympathy than he has usually received. His position was one of extraordinary difficulty. With vague and inadequate instructions he was sent out to establish a new colony, and, on his arrival found it in such a state that he was forced to incur large expense; the Commissioners showed no signs of disapproval until their funds were exhausted, and even expressly sanctioned many of his most expensive undertakings. [159] But, when the colony failed, the Commissioners and the projectors of the experiment laid the blame at his door, [160] and, though his personal honour was vindicated, he never obtained from the Government any general justification for his conduct.

Captain Grey arrived in South Australia in May, 1841, with instructions to make all possible reductions in expenditure, and not to incur fresh expenditure excepting in cases of extreme emergency. [161] His policy for a new colony was to make no large outlay of Government funds, so that the price of labour should be prevented from rising, and it should pay the settlers to take to agriculture. [162] He immediately began to make extensive reductions in all Government Departments, abolishing some, cutting down the expenses of others, and discontinuing public works. [163]

He was aided in this by the fact that the system of special surveys was at the same time abandoned by the Home government. [164] By these measures he managed by the end of 1841 to reduce the Government expenditure from the rate of £150,000 a year, at which he found it, to £40,000. [165] He also took steps at once to deal with the question of maintaining emigrants at the public expense, and laid it down that while they should not be allowed to starve, they would no longer have the same privileges as before. [166] He stopped all Government rations, reduced the rate of their wages, giving them just a sufficient amount to place them beyond the reach of want, and endeavoured to force them into private employment. The stoppage of public works threw a great number out of employment, and, for a time, the Government was supporting no less than one-twelfth of the total population. [167] His reforms were carried only in the face of much opposition, and the destitute emigrants were very discontented with their new condition. To meet this large increase in numbers. Grey was forced to draw bills on the Treasury, which, recognizing that this was a proper case of emergency, accepted them. But at the same time the Home Government rebuked him for his leniency in dealing with the unemployed, and directed that their wages should be further reduced and surplus labourers shipped off to the other Australasian colonies. [168] In the meantime, however. Grey had firmly adhered to his policy, and it proved so successful that, by the end of 1842, he was able to report that every able-bodied labourer was in full employment. [169]

Grey found the task of directing the colonists to agriculture not very difficult. When the Government expenditure was definitely checked, and the colonists thrown upon their own resources, the energy which they had thrown into land-speculation and the building of a town was turned towards what should have been their first care. [170] Labour was now both plentiful and cheap, agriculture became profitable, and advanced with rapid strides, [171] while the country population grew at the expense of the town. [172] The figures of the distribution of population and of the amount of cultivated land tell their own tale. In 1840 there was a population of 14,610, of which 8,439 were in Adelaide and 6,121 in the country. In 1843 there was a population of 17,366, of which 6,107 were in Adelaide and 11,259 in the country. [173] Between 1840 and 1842 the population was well nigh stationary, immigration having ceased with the commencement of 1841, while the land under cultivation increased from 2,686 acres in 1840, to 7,092 in 1841, and to 19,641 in 1842. [174]

One mistake only Grey made. When Gawler had been instructed to cease drawing bills on the Commissioners, he had drawn bills on the Treasury which had been dishonoured. [175] Gawler had also promised to draw further bills on the Treasury to pay those who had advanced money in the colony to the Government, and this debt, incurred by Gawler, was brought before Grey for settlement. He scrutinized the items carefully, and, although he had been warned not to take measures without authority for the settlement of Gawler's debts, he assumed the responsibility of drawing bills on the Treasury to pay these accounts to the amount of £14,000. [176] The Treasury at once refused to accept the bills, on the ground that, unlike his bills for the expenses of maintaining the unemployed, they were not drawn on account of any emergency, and Grey was directed to pay the debt by means of interest-bearing debentures issued in the colony. [177] Grey was naturally disappointed and keenly felt the discredit. [178] He knew the risk which he ran; but he acted in accordance with what he conceived to be his duty, [179] and always remained of the opinion that his action had been necessary and beneficial. [180] The Home Government were sorry to have to refuse his bills, but were impressed with the necessity, after Gawler's doings, of showing the colonists that the governor's power to draw on home funds was very restricted. [181] At the same time Grey's services were fully recognized by the Home Government. In announcing to him that his bills had been dishonoured, Lord Stanley wrote: "I think it right to convey to you the assurance that, although Her Majesty's Government have seen reason to disapprove of this particular proceeding, yet in other respects, the tenor of your administration, so far as it has fallen within their cognizance, has been such as to leave unimpaired the confidence of the Government in the prudence and discretion of your measures." [182] A year later, when further information had been received from South Australia, Lord Stanley gave to Grey unqualified praise for his excellent administration of the colony during a most critical period. "I have the satisfaction," he wrote, "of assuring you, that in reviewing your conduct of the financial affairs of South Australia, the Lords Commissioners of the Treasury concur with myself, in attaching great importance to your services; and are not less ready than I am to acknowledge the zeal, the ability, and the firmness which have characterized your efforts to retrieve the colony from the embarrassments in which it was involved." [183]

By the end of 1841 the Select Committee on South Australia had reported, and the Home Government had determined on its line of policy towards the colony. The Select Committee had condemned the government by Commissioners which the original Act had established, and had recommended that the colony should be placed on the same footing as the other Australian colonies in this respect. Lord Stanley introduced a Bill in 1842 to give effect to this recommendation, which passed into law with little discussion; and South Australia took its position as an ordinary colony under the control of the Colonial Office. The Act took away all authority from the Commissioners, converted the loan of £155,000 into a gift to the colony, and provided for the establishment of a nominated Legislative Council similar to those of the other Australian colonies. [184]

The Home Government had dealt handsomely with South Australia. In addition to the gift of £155,000, a further sum of £60,000 was put on the estimates of 1842 to meet the bills drawn by Gawler and by Grey. But, although the Select Committee had recommended that the money borrowed by the Commissioners from the emigration fund should be repaid, this recommendation was not carried out. [185]

Another Act of 1842, which applied also to the other Australasian colonies, regulated the disposal of waste lands in South Australia. The minimum price was fixed at £1 per acre, but sale by auction was introduced instead of a uniform price, while the proceeds were divided into two parts, one half being devoted to emigration, and the other half to the care of the aborigines, to surveys, and to improving the means of communication. [186]

By the beginning of 1843 the colony had passed its worst difficulties [187] and was on the high road to prosperity; so that the discovery of copper at the Kapunda and Burra Burra mines in 1842 and 1844, to which the recovery has often been attributed, merely accelerated its progress. [188]

How far was the Wakefield system applied in South Australia, and how far was it a failure? [189]

The establishment of a government by Commissioners who divided control between themselves and the Colonial Office was no part of the Wakefield theory, and was admitted on all sides to be an entire failure. [190] The system of establishing a colony without expense to the mother-country by means of money borrowed on the security of future revenue, which was part of Wakefield's scheme for founding new colonies, also proved, under the management of the Commissioners, to be a failure. The plan of selling land at what Wakefield held to be a "sufficient price" was never adopted, and, in Wakefield's opinion, this by itself was enough to vitiate the experiment as a trial of his theory. Indeed, to the low price established he attributed the fact that the settlers took up more land than they could use. [191]

But, if the Wakefield theory is taken to mean the sale instead of the free granting of land, and the use of the proceeds in selected emigration, it was in this case conspicuously successful. A prosperous colony of 16,000 people had been established, and over 200,000 acres of land sold, in what was previously a wilderness; and the emigrants sent out were judiciously selected. Indeed, while admitting the indispensable part played by Grey, it must not be forgotten that the recovery of South Australia was in a large measure due to the character of the early settlers. Grey himself said, in 1894, that "the calibre of the early settlers in South Australia gave me trust in the new Anglo-Saxondom in the Southern Hemisphere . . . . There was a worth, a sincerity, a true ring about them, which could not fail of great things." [192]

Another important factor which made for success was the good quality of the land. Wakefield and his associates, in comparing Western Australia with South Australia to the disadvantage of the former, were apt to forget that the land around Perth had disappointed expectations, while that around Adelaide had justified the good opinions formed of it; [193] so that, when the settlers ceased land speculation and betook themselves to agriculture, their efforts were well rewarded. [194]

Grey himself was of opinion that, if land sales and emigration were properly conducted, they formed an excellent system of establishing a new colony; [195] and the Select Committee of 1841, while condemning the provisions which had been made for managing the colony, reported that the principle established of land-sales and emigration was a sound one.




Footnotes to Chapter VIII.


1 At first the position was vague enough; Port Lincoln, Kangaroo Island, and Spencer's Gulf were all mentioned as possible sites for the new colony.

2 Art of Colonization, p. 46.

3 Art of Colonization, p. 45.

4 Founding of South Australia, edited by E. Hodder, 1898, p. 160. Hodder in his History of South Australia, 1893, Vol. i, p. 23, writes of the Colonization Society: "No attempt to found a colony in South Australia was made by this Society as such, although many of its members afterwards identified themselves with the South Australian Association." There is no doubt that the initial impulse came from the Colonization Society. Bentham, in his manuscript notes on the Wakefield theory, constantly calls the plan of founding a colony on Spencer's Gulf "The Colonization Society's proposal."—Box No. 8 in University College Library, London.

5 Bacon to Howick, June 12th, 1831, C.O. 13/1.

6 Bacon to Hay, Feb. 20th, 1831. Bacon to Sir Herbert Taylor, February 2nd, 1831. C.O. 13/1.

7 R. W. Hay to Major Bacon, Feb. 23rd, 1831. C.O. 324/87.

8 In a pamphlet, Proposal to His Majesty's Government for founding a Colony on the Southern Coast of Australia, 1831.

9 It is necessary to distinguish this body from the South Australian Association, 1834, and from the South Australian Company, 1836. The former was a voluntary body to aid in promoting the founding of a colony, but not a land company, nor a profit-making concern. The latter, founded by George Fife Angas, was a profit-making, joint stock land company which assisted in the settlement of South Australia.

10 Proposal, 1831, p. 8. It will be remembered that auction was part of the Wakefield system until about 1835. Supra, Chap. v, pp. 109-111.

11 Considering the time at which it was proposed it was a bold plan to demand not only self-government at an early stage, but male adult suffrage and annual Parliaments.

12 See generally Proposal, 1831.

13 Memorandum of August 25th, 1831. C.O. 13/1.

14 In a pamphlet, Plan of a Company to be established for the purpose of founding a colony in Southern Australia, purchasing land therein, and preparing the land so purchased for the reception of immigrants, 1831. See p. 4.

15 E. Hodder, History of South Australia, 1893, Vol. i, p. 23, calls it an advertisement.

16 See his Memorandum of Oct. 31st, 1831. No. 1 of Correspondence as to South Australia since 1831. Acc. and Pap., 1841, Vol. xvii, p. i. This printed correspondence is by no means complete as to the earlier proposals. See on this point Wakefield's evidence before the Select Committee on South Australia, 1841, Question 2596. Acc. and Pap., 1841, Vol. iv. Wakefield claimed that they relied on the approval expressed by Lord Goderich himself unknown to Lord Howick, and that it was to this that the article in the Spectator referred. England and America, 1833, Vol. ii, p. 309, Note 5.

17 England and America, Vol. ii, p. 311.

18 C.O. 13/1.

19 See the letters of Major Bacon to W. Tooke, Sept. 3rd, 1831; W. Tooke to Bacon, Sept. 9th, 1831; Bacon to Elliot, Nov. 1st, 1831, C.O. 13/1. See also Wakefield's evidence before the Select Committee on South Australia, 1841, Question 2596.

20 For a list of the names see England and America, Vol. ii, p. 305. A further list of the members is given at pp. 319-21.

21 May 28th, 1832. C.O. 13/1.

22 R. W. Hay to Wolryche Whitmore, May 30th, 1832. England and America, Vol. ii, pp. 306-7.

23 The charter is enclosed in a letter from Col. Torrens to Lord Goderich, July 9th, 1832. No. 2 of Acc. and Pap., 1841, Vol. xvii, p. i.

24 R. W. Hay to Torrens, July 17th, 1832. No. 3, ibid. For Stephen's objections see his Memorandum in C.O. 13/1.

25 Wakefield commented: "If the Company should revive their project, they would do well to put a House of Lords into it; with a Baron Blackswan, a Viscount Kangaroo, a Marquis of Morrumbidgee and a Bishop of Ornithoryncus." England and America, Vol. ii, p. 338, Note 45.

26 Torrens to Goderich, July 19th, 1832. No. 4 of Acc. and Pap., 1841 , Vol. xvii, p. 1.

27 R. W. Hay to Torrens, August 6th, 1832. No. 5, ibid.

28 Memorial of June 4th, 1832, C.O. 13/1; England and America, Vol. ii, pp.307 et seq.

29 R. Gouger to W. Whitmore, Dec. 2nd, 1833. Letter Book of the South Australian Association, C.O. 386/10.

30 R. Gouger to G. P. Scrope, Dec. 16th, 1833, ibid. See also Art of Colonization, pp. 46-7.

31 See England and America. Vol. ii, pp. 311 and 335; Spectator, Jan. 4th, 1834. Morning Chronicle, Sept. 24th, 1832, and Gouger's letter there. Lord Goderich evidently thought the plan would come to nothing, for, when his attention was called to Gouger's letter, he wrote: "After all, however, it is a subject of such fleeting interest that I do not think we need expect anything more troublesome than an absurd pamphlet from Mr. Gouger, and a few more pert paragraphs in the Morning Chronicle." Goderich to Hay, Sept. 25th, 1832. C.O. 13/1.

32 Enclosure to Whitmore to Stanley, July 6th, 1833. No. 6 of Acc. and Pap., 1841, Vol. xvii, p. i. R. W. Hay's comment gives the Colonial Office point of view again. "The chief objection to this scheme in the outset is that the foundation of a new colony will to a certain extent divert emigrants from those already founded; and that a large expense will be occasioned to the Government ultimately by the foundation of a new settlement, whatever expectation of immunity from expense may be held out by the original founders." Memorandum in C.O. 13/2.

33 Stanley to Whitmore, Aug. 22nd, 1833. No. 7 of Acc. and Pap., 1841, Vol. xvii, p. I. See also Founding of South Australia, 1898, pp. 54-60.

34 Gouger to Whitmore, Nov. 26th, 1833. C.O. 386/10.

35 Ibid., and see pamphlet, Outline of the Plan of a proposed colony to he founded on the South Coast of Australia, 1834, p. 8, footnote.

36 Ibid., p. 5. See also prospectus of the South Australian Association, Founding of South Australia, p. 74.

37 Founding of South Australia, pp. 71-7.

38 A list of the members of the Provisional Committee includes Buller, Grote, B. Hawes, Rowland Hill, W. Hutt, J. A. Roebuck, G. P. Scrope, Nassau Senior, Col. Torrens, and W. Whitmore. Ibid., p. 71.

39 Gouger to Whitmore, Dec. 2nd, 1833, Jan. 11th, 1834, and Jan. 24th, 1834. C.O. 386/10. See also Founding of South Australia, p. 81.

40 Outline of the Plan of a proposed colony to be founded on the South Coast of Australia, 1834.

41 Minute of Conference between Stanley and a deputation of the South Australian Association, Jan. 31st, 1834. Founding of South Australia, pp. 87-93.

42 Ibid. Another reason may have weighed with him. An entry in Gouger's diary runs thus: "Feb. 25th, Lefevre told ——— that Stanley felt convinced we had some hidden object, in consequence of our committee being all Radicals, and he was therefore very suspicious of the measure." Founding of South Australia, p. 96.

43 J. Lefevre to Whitmore, March 17th, 1834. No. 9 of Acc. and Pap., 1841, Vol. xvii, p. i.

44 Private letter of Gouger to Lefevre, March 18th, 1834. C.O. 13/2. The part which Wakefield played in these negotiations is shown by the fact that this important change was made and sent to the Colonial Office by Gouger and himself, unknown to the other members of the Committee, whose approval was only obtained afterwards. Founding of South Australia, pp. 104-5, 117-18. At the same time Gouger and Wakefield sent Mr. J. Shaw Lefevre a very strongly worded answer to the objections raised by the Colonial Office, in which inter alia Stanley is described as acting "like the dog in the manger, preventing others, through mere whim or envy, from using that which he cannot use himself. Colonial Minister by name, he becomes in fact the Secretary of State for the Prevention of Colonies." Ibid., pp. 107-13.

45 Art of Colonization, p. 47.

46 Grote to Lefevre, March 21st, 1834. No. 10 of Acc. and Pap., 1841, Vol. xvii, p. i.

47 Lefevre to Grote, April 15th, 1834. No. 12, ibid.

48 Founding of South Australia, pp. 123-4.

49 Garnett, p. 99.

50 Committee of the South Australian Association to T. Spring Rice, June 4th, 1834. No. 13 of Acc. and Pap., 1841, Vol. xvii, p. i.

51 Lefevre to Whitmore, June 17th, 1834. No. 14, ibid.

52 New British Province of South Australia, 1835, 2nd Ed., p. 205. Wakefield's letter to the South Australian Commissioners, June 2nd, 1835. Appendix to Report of Select Committee on South Australia, 1841.

53 Lefevre to Whitmore, July 12th, 1834. No. 16 of Acc. and Pap., 1841, Vol. xvii, p. i.

54 Report in The Times, July 1st, 1834. A report is printed as Appendix ii. to the pamphlet, New British Province of South Australia, 1835, 2nd Ed. They did not altogether succeed in their object of attracting public support. A leading article in The Times of July 4th, 1834, denounced the scheme as a "joint-stock juggle for getting British paupers scalped by bushmen in Southern Australia."

55 Debate in Hansard for 1834, 3rd Series, Vol. xxv, pp. 429-32, and pp. 700 et seq. Baring said: "The real object of the colony was, to realize the views of a set of . . . experimental philosophers . . . . If they wished to make the experiment merely, why had they not selected some moderate-sized cabbage-garden, without going to a country nobody knew where, and grasping a tract of territory embracing several degrees of latitude and longitude and bounded only by the great geographical line of the tropic of Capricorn? . . . He would say, take sixty or a hundred miles square; and he asked, if that was not enough for these gentlemen to play their pranks in." Ibid., pp. 701-2.

56 Mirror of Parliament, 1834, Vol. iv, p. 3288. See Whitmore's account of the Duke of Wellington's aid. Colonial Gazette, May 6th, 1843. See also Gouger to the Duke of Wellington, Jan. 16th, 1835, C.O. 13/3; Founding of South Australia, pp. 237-9; Art of Colonization, p. 48. Wakefield said that, when the Bill was introduced into the House of Lords, "A Prince of the Blood asked, 'Pray, where is this South Australia?' and the Lord Chancellor, renowned for the surpassing extent and variety of his knowledge, answered, 'Somewhere near Botany Bay.'" Ibid., p. 47.

57 Art of Colonization, p. 49.

58 New British Province of South Australia, 1835, 2nd Ed., p. 136. See Wakefield's evidence before the 1841 Select Committee on South Australia, Questions 2574-5. Acc. and Pap., 1841, Vol. iv.

59 Founding of South Australia, p. 114.

60 Ibid., p. 167.

61 See his claim in his letter to the South Australian Commissioners, June 2nd, 1835. Appendix to Report of Select Committee on South Australia, 1841. "Nearly seven years ago, I was induced to inquire into the causes of the disasters which, without a single exception, have befallen new colonies that were planted in an extensive country by emigrants from a civilized state. This inquiry suggested to me a plan of colonization, which was first made public in 1829. In the course of six years, that plan was adopted by three different associations; first by the Colonization Society of 1830, next by the South Australian Land Company of 1831-2, and lastly by the South Australian Association, who framed the Act of Parliament which you have undertaken to carry into effect. In the course, too, of those six years, the plan has been defended and explained in so large a number of pamphlets and books, that a list of them would surprise you. Now all of those books were written by me, and the whole of those pamphlets either by me or by friends of mine; while I also composed nearly the whole of the advertisements, resolutions, prospectuses and proposals, and of the applications, memorials, letters and replies to the Government, and other documents of any importance which were adopted by those three associations. The draft of a charter submitted to the Government by the South Australian Association, and the Act of Parliament which was substituted for that proposed charter, were drawn by a near relative of mine, under my immediate superintendence. As I was concerned in the formation of those three societies, so with each of them I held constant communication, partly by means of frequent interviews with some leading members of their committees, partly by almost daily conversation or correspondence with some person or other who represented my opinions, informed me of whatever was done or proposed, conveyed suggestions which I wished to make, and resisted, with arguments agreed upon beforehand, all sorts of endeavours to alter the plan of colonization which I had formed. By entering more into detail, I could readily satisfy you that in the steps which led to the passing of the South Australian Act, I have had even a more constant and active participation than appears by this general statement."

62 See his memorandum in C.O. 13/2.

63 Memorandum on a despatch of Governor Stirling to Lord Glenelg, July 12th, 1836. C.O. 18/16.

64 Stephen to Lefevre, July 4th, 1834. C.O. 13/2. Gouger wrote to G. F. Angas, Feb. 14th, 1835: "You will be surprised to learn that Colonel Torrens has conciliated Mr. Hay, who, during the entire progress of the business up to the present moment, has been its warmest opponent. Hay says that the measure now comes before him in a different dress. While it was a mere project he opposed it because he thought we had colonies enough—now that the Parliament has determined on founding another colony, it is his business to do all he can to make it succeed." C.O. 386/11. Stephen never doubted from the beginning that the scheme would fail, and, when the colony became bankrupt in 1840, he considered his predictions verified. "I never had the slightest doubt from the commencement," he wrote in 1840, "that such would be the issue of this very crude project." Memorandum of July 8th, 1840, on the letter of the South Australian Commissioners to Russell, July 7th, 1840. C.O. 13/17.

65 4 and 5 Will. IV, c. 95.

66 The unfortunate term "Province" appears first in the draft of the charter sent to the Colonial Office on July 9th, 1832, and was repeated in the Act.

67 § 1.

68 § 2.

69 §3.

70 §6

71 §18.

72 §20.

73 §22.

74 §23.

75 §26.

76 Gouger to Henry Wilson, Feb. 7th, 1835. C.O. 386/11.

77 Gouger to the Duke of Wellington, Jan. 16th, 1835. C.O. 13/3.

78 Gouger to G. P. Scrope, Nov. 27th, 1834. C.O. 386/11. Founding of South Australia, p. 138.

79 Ibid., p. 141.

80 Gouger to W. Hutt, Jan. 24th, 1835; Gouger to G. P. Scrope, Nov. 27th, 1834, CO, 386/11. See also Grote to Gouger, Jan. 26th, 1835, Founding of South Australia, p. 142.

81 Garnett, pp. 116-18.

82 Founding of South Australia, p. 156, quoting Gouger's diary. See also Gouger to W. Hutt, Jan. 24th, 1835: "I consider we are in a state even better than when Mr. Rice told Mr. Whitmore he might form the Commission. Whitmore would have Grote—Grote would have Clay—Clay would have another, and so on, each having his own peculiar reservation. Now we are more free, and the nomination rests with Torrens and me." C.O. 386/11.

83 The Commission consisted of Colonel Torrens (chairman), Messrs. G. F. Angas, E. Barnard, W. Hutt, W. A. Mackinnon, Samuel Mills, Jacob Montefiore, George Palmer, John Wright and J. Shaw Lefevre. The famous Rowland Hill was secretary to the Commission. Founding of South Australia, p. 157. See also Paper No. 3 of Appendix to Report of the Select Committee on South Australia, 1841. Acc. and Pap., 1841, Vol. iv. James Stephen wrote, in 1839, that the reason for appointing so many Commissioners was in order to have a body formidable enough to overcome the supposed hostility of the Colonial Office. See his Memorandum on the letter of Torrens to Stephen, Dec. 9th, 1839. C.O. 13/15.

84 Art of Colonization, p. 50.

85 Memorandum by James Stephen, Dec. 10th, 1839. C.O. 13/15.

86 See his private letter to Glenelg, Dec. 12th, 1835: "When Mr. W. Whitmore, Mr. Grote, Mr. Clay and Mr. G. Norman, were associated with me in the Commission, we were all agreed upon first principles and our only business was to decide upon details. This is not the case in the present Commission. I am left all alone to contend for the maintenance of the first principles of colonization, when the only question should be how they can be carried into practical operation." C.O. 13/3.

87 See Correspondence Nos. 32-40 of Paper No. i. Appendix to the Report of the Select Committee on South Australia, 1841. Acc. and Pap., 1841, Vol. iv.

88 See James Stephen's Memorandum, Nov. 15th, 1839. C.O. 13/15, and Wakefield's evidence before 1841 Select Committee on South Australia, Question 3002. Acc. and Pap., 1841, Vol. iv.

89 See, e.g., Nos. 26, 29 and 30 of Correspondence as to South Australia since 1831. Acc. and Pap., 1841, Vol. xvii, p. 1.

90 Evidence before the 1836 Committee on Waste Lands, to Question 746. Acc. and Pap., 1836, Vol. xi, p. 499.

91 See Report of Select Committee on South Australia, 1841. Acc. and Pap., 1841, Vol. iv.

92 Founding of South Australia, p. 129.

93 Whitmore to Lefevre, April 30th, 1834. C.O. 13/2.

94 Letter to South Australian Commissioners, June 2nd, 1835.

95 Quoted in Founding of South Australia, p. 164.

96 Ibid.

97 See his letter of June 2nd, 1835.

98 Gouger to Wakefield, May 30th, 1835, quoted in Founding of South Australia, pp. 167-8.

99 Ibid., p. 171.

100 Wakefield to Gouger, May 31st, 1835, quoted in Founding of South Australia, pp. 168-70.

101 Letter of June 2nd, 1835, appendix to Report of the Select Committee on South Australia, 1841.

102 Letter of June 2nd, 1835, appendix to Report of the Select Committee on South Australia, 1841.

103 See, e.g., G. Poulett Scrope's Speech at Exeter Hall at the Meeting of June 30th, 1834; and the South Australian Act, § 24.

104 Colonel Torrens in the House of Commons, July 25th, 1831. Hansard, 3rd Series, Vol. v, p. 301; Feb. 17th, 1832. Ibid., Vol. x, p. 505; Self-Supporting Colonization, 1847; Colonization of South Australia, 1835. See also the evidence of Rowland Hill, Questions 2289-95, and that of T. F. Elliot, Questions 967-70, before the 1841 Select Committee on South Australia. Acc. and Pap., 1841, Vol. iv.

105 See his letter of May 20th, 1835, and the Commissioners' reply, No. 24 of Acc. and Pap., 1841, Vol. xvii, p. i.

106 See his evidence before the Select Committee on South Australia, Question 2584: "I never called it the self-supporting system; I look upon the calling of it a self-supporting system as a sort of puff . . . . The only part of the South Australian plan which has been self-supporting, has been the emigration; but to say that this ever was a self-supporting colony, in the way in which that expression has been commonly used, is to say what I believe to be quite contrary to the fact, and what I have never been a party to expressing." Acc. and Pap., 1841, Vol. iv. See also Colonial Gazette, March 17th, 1841.

107 See their first Report. Acc. and Pap., 1836, Vol. xxxvi, p. 445.

108 Appendix 1 to the First Report of the South Australian Commissioners, Acc. and Pap., 1836, Vol. xxxvi, p. 445. One important provision was that land should only be sold in eighty-acre blocks, except town land which was sold in one-acre blocks.

109 §§ I and 5 of the Modified Regulations. Appendix i, Ibid. Mr. Samuel Sidney says "The Commissioners devised and Mr. Wakefield approved the special survey system." The Three Colonies of Australia, 1853, 2nd Ed., p. 216. There is, however, no evidence that this was ever any part of Wakefield's plan. It was only adopted after the unsuccessful attempt to sell land at £1 per acre. Indeed Wakefield very much objected to the system. See his evidence before the 1841 Select Committee on South Australia, Question 2891. Acc. and Pap., 1841, Vol. iv.

110 For an account of the part which the South Australian Company played in the colonization of South Australia see G. Sutherland, The South Australian Company, a study in colonization, 1898.

111 Colonization Commissioners to Sir George Grey, Nov. 18th, 1835. C.O. 13/3.

112 Mr. Samuel Sidney says "From first to last the personal friends and pupils of Mr. Wakefield had the sole control of every arrangement and the selection of every officer, and every step was taken under the advice of Mr. Gibbon Wakefield." The Three Colonies of Australia, 1853, 2nd Ed., p. 211. While this is true of the earlier steps in the founding of South Australia, the choice of officials rested with the Commissioners appointed by Gouger and Torrens without interference by Wakefield. Also by this time Wakefield had quarrelled with Gouger and had dissociated himself from the undertaking.

113 Supra, p. 239.

114 See Torrens to Glenelg, Dec. 14th, 1835, enclosing a list of proposed appointments. No. 25 of Acc. and Pap., 1841, Vol. xvii, p. i. See also letters of Commissioners to Glenelg, June 27th, 1835, July 15th, 1835, and August 19th, 1835. C.O. 13/3.

115 See Fourth Report of Commissioners. Acc. and Pap., 1840, Vol. xxviii, p. i.

116 As existed for example at Port Lincoln.

117 See Hindmarsh's letters to Glenelg, Feb. 11th, 1837, C.O. 13/6; Jan. 11th, 1838; Feb. 2nd, 1838, C.O. 13/10.

118 See generally his despatches of 1837-8. C.O. 13/6, 13/7, and 13/10.

119 Glenelg to Hindmarsh, Feb. 21st, 1838, No. 26 of Correspondence as to South Australia. Acc. and Pap., 1841, Vol. xvii, p. i.

120 See Nos. 27, 28, 29, and 30. Ibid., for appointment of Gawler and the union of the two offices.

121 Gawler to Glenelg, January 23rd, 1839, No. 85 of Correspondence as to South Australia. Ibid.

122 Gawler to Glenelg, October 26th, 1838, No. 7 of Paper No. 15, Appendix to Report of Select Committee on South Australia, 1841. Gawler to Rowland Hill, October 26th and October 27th, 1838. C.O., 386/1.

123 Torrens to Stephen, June 19th, 1839, C.O. 13/15. Commissioners to Gawler, December 2nd, 1838. C.O. 386/15.

124 "Communities thus formed, suddenly planted in uncultivated wildernesses at immense distances from the Parent State, cannot take root in the soil, cannot hold together until the profits of trade, agricultural and pastoral pursuits be realized, cannot employ labour to any extent, unless assisted by a liberal government expenditure." Gawler to Stanley, March 21st, 1842. C.O. 13/28.

125 Third Report. Acc. and Pap., 1839, Vol. xvii, p. 691.

126 I and 2. Vic. c. 60. Wakefield, at the time when the Act was first proposed, objected to the principle of borrowing from the land fund as being likely to lead to extravagance, but it was passed when he was out of the country. See his evidence before the 1841 Select Committee on South Australia, Questions 2973-6. Acc. and Pap., 1841, Vol. iv.

127 Colonial Gazette, February 26th, 1840, June 3rd, 1840. Lord Eliot in the House of Commons, July 7th, 1840. Hansard, 3rd Series, Vol. Iv, p. 524. Fourth Report of South Australian Commissioners, January 8th, 1840. Acc. and Pap., 1840, Vol. xxviii, p. i.

128 See his numerous letters on the subject in C.O. 13/4 and 13/8.

129 Torrens to Stephen, December 9th, 1839, No. 65 of Correspondence as to South Australia. Acc. and Pap., 1841, Vol. xvii, p. i. Some of the Commissioners strenuously denied that they had asked for or wanted salaries. Mr. W. Mackinnon in the House of Commons. Hansard, 3rd Series, Vol. lvii, p. 265. See also the evidence of Mr. Samuel Mills, and Mr. G. Palmer, before the 1841 Select Committee on South Australia. The letter to Russell was written by Torrens who claimed that it was authorized by the Commissioners. This was denied in evidence by Mills and Palmer, but the entry in the Minute Book of the Commissioners is in favour of Torrens' contention. See evidence of Mr. John Gliddon, and Col. Torrens, before 1841 Committee, especially Questions 1889-91. Contrast Hodder, Founding of South Australia, Appendix, p. 239.

130 Russell to the Colonization Commissioners, December 23rd, 1839, No. 66 Correspondence as to South Australia. Acc. and Pap., 1841, Vol. xvii.

131 See generally Chapter x.

132 Fourth Report. Acc. and Pap., 1840, Vol. xxviii, p. i.

133 Torrens, Elliot and Villiers to Russell, July 7th, 1840. No, 67 of Acc. and Pap., 1841, Vol. xvii, p. i.

134 South Australian Commissioners to Lord John Russell, January 6th, 1841, No. 96 Ibid.

135 Commissioners to Gawler, September 14th, 1840, No. 38 of Paper No. 15, Appendix to the Report of the Select Committee on South Australia. Acc. and Pap., 1841, Vol. iv.

136 Russell to Gawler, December 26th, 1840. No. 88, Acc. and Pap. 1841, Vol. xvii, p. i.

137 South Australian Gazette, April 30th, 1840, in C.O. 13/16.

138 Ibid., April 22nd, 1841, in C.O. 13/20.

139 Proposal to His Majesty's Government for founding a colony on the Southern coast of Australia, 1831, p. 7.

140 Appendix i to First Report, 1836.

141 Fourth Report. Acc. and Pap., 1840, Vol. xxviii, p. i: "Colonel Gawler was equal to the occasion."

142 Captain Grey's Minute to Lord J. Russell, November 18th, 1840, No. 78 of Paper No. i, Appendix to Report of Select Committee on South Australia. Acc. and Pap., 1841, Vol. iv.

143 Instructions to the Resident Commissioner: "During the early infancy of the colony, the most important part of your duty will be to take care that no labouring emigrant falls into a state of destitution. For this purpose, you are authorized to provide a maintenance for all such persons, and their families, until they shall have obtained, or whenever they shall be without, employment, at wages adequate to their support; requiring, in return for such maintenance, that they shall labour upon the public works, as may be agreed upon between the Governor and yourself." 2nd Report, 1837, Appendix 4. Acc. and Pap., 1837-8, Vol. xxix, p. 447. Similar instructions were given to Gawler. 3rd Report, 1839, Appendix 11. Acc. and Pap., 1839, Vol. xvii, p. 691. That the Commissioners were pledged to the emigrants to support them may be seen from § 53 of the general information respecting the colony published by the Commissioners. "On the arrival of the emigrants in the colony they will be received by an officer, who will supply their immediate wants, assist them in reaching the place of their destination, be ready to advise with them in case of difficulty, and at all times give them employment, at reduced wages, on the government works, if from any cause they should be unable to obtain it elsewhere . . ." Appendix No. 4 to First Report of Commissioners. Acc. and Pap., 1836, Vol. xxxvi, p. 445.

144 Commissioners to Gawler, Nov. 15th, 1839. No. 18 of Paper No. 15, Appendix to Report of Select Committee on South Australia.

145 Grey to Russell, June 7th, 1841. No. 6 of Acc. and Pap., 1843, Vol. xxxii, p. i.

146 See Report of Emigration Board, January 11th, 1842. One man denied having cattle, but investigation showed that he owned four cows—one of them being the property of his infant child five months old. Another made the same denial and was shown to be possessed of fourteen cows and one bull. Some were managing to pay for land and cottages while receiving Government support. Two men left private employment because "higher wages could be obtained from Government, and Government work was not so hard." Enclosure i in No. 29, ibid.

147 Grey to Russell, November 10th, 1841. No. 23 of Acc. and Pap., 1843, Vol. xxxii, p. i. See also Grey to Stanley, February 20th, 1843. At the new Port "the contractors, instead of driving piles to the proper depth, had portions many feet in length cut off from the piles and buried beside them." No. 85, Ibid.

148 See generally his letters to Stanley, March 21st, 1842 (written after his return to England), C.O. 13/28; to Russell, December 28th, 1840. Paper No. 31, appendix to Report of Select Committee on South Australia; and April 26th, 1841, C.O. 13/20.

149 For his instructions and emergency power see 3rd Report of South Australian Commissioners, Appendix No. 9, and No. 14; and No. 2 of Paper No. 15 of Appendix to the Report of the Select Committee on South Australia.

150 South Australian Commissioners to Stephen, July 17th, 1841. C.O. 13/22.

151 See James Stephen's memorandum on the above letter. C.O. 13/22.

152 Report of the Select Committee on South Australia, 1841. Acc. and Pap., 1841, Vol. iv.

153 Acc. and Pap., 1841, Vol. iv.

154 James Stephen wrote of Gawler's defence: "In my judgment he has made a triumphant defence of himself against his employers." Memorandum in C.O. 13/22.

155 Gawler to Lord John Russell, December 28th, 1840, Paper No. 31 of appendix to the Report of the Select Committee on South Australia.

156 See Report of Select Committee on South Australia.

157 See the memorandum by Mr. R. Vernon Smith. C.O. 13/22.

158 Grey to Russell, November 10th, 1841, and June 7th, 1841. Nos. 23 and 6 of Acc. and Pap., 1843, Vol. xxxii, p. i.

159 See e.g. Gliddon to Gawler, November 15th, 1839. No. 18 of Paper No. 15 of appendix to Report of Select Committee on South Australia, and Gawler to Commissioners, April 8th, 1839. No. 17, Ibid.

160 See evidence of Rowland Hill before the Select Committee on South Australia, Questions 2313-19. Colonial Gazette, February 10th, 1841.

161 For an account of Grey in South Australia see G. C. Henderson, Sir George Grey, 1907, Chap. v.

162 Grey to Russell, November 10th, 1841. No. 23 of Acc. and Pap., 1843, Vol. xxxii, p. i.

163 Grey to Russell, July 4th, 1841. No. 10, Ibid. Dr. Garnett wrote that Grey's retrenchments included "a nobly self-sacrificing reduction of his own salary." Edward Gibbon Wakefield, p. 121. There is no trace of this anywhere. Grey drew the same salary as Gawler, though neither was able to live upon it, and each sacrificed a considerable amount of his private means during his administration of the Colony.

164 Russell to Grey, December 29th, 1840. No. 84 of Paper No. i. Appendix to Report of Select Committee on South Australia.

165 Grey to Russell, November 10th, 1841. James Stephen commented on this: "To reduce the public expenditure of any country in the proportion of 15 to 4, and to do this without remonstrances, and with an increase of the general prosperity in something less than a year, may, perhaps prove the extravagance of the former system, but certainly shows great sagacity and moral courage on the part of the reformer." Memorandum on the above letter. C.O. 13/21.

166 Grey to Russell, June 7th, 1841. No. 6 of Acc. and Pap., 1843, Vol. xxxii, p. i: "I will grant no single indulgence to them, but I will not suffer them to starve."

167 Grey to Russell, August 20th, 1841. No. 14, Ibid.

168 Stanley to Grey, December 31st, 1841, and March 1st, 1842. Nos. 7 and 15, Ibid.

169 Grey to Stanley, December 6th, 1842. No, 72, Ibid.

170 Grey to Stanley, December 31st, 1842. No. 75, Ibid.

171 Grey to Russell, November 10th, 1841. No. 23, Ibid.

172 Grey to Stanley, January 7th, 1842. No. 28, Ibid.

173 G. C. Henderson, Life of Sir George Grey, 1907, p. 64.

174 Enclosure to No. 63. Acc. and Pap, 1843, Vol. xxxii, p. i.

175 The way in which he did it was to draw bills on the Commissioners and add a reference to the Treasury signed by himself as Governor. Gawler to Russell, February 22nd, 1841. C.O. 13/20.

176 Grey to Russell, November 14th, 1841. No. 26, Acc. and Pap., 1843, Vol. xxxii, p. I.

177 Stanley to Grey, July 21st, 1842. No. 27, Ibid.

178 Grey to Stanley, No. 122, December 31st, 1842. C.O. 13/27.

179 Grey to Stanley, October 18th, 1842. No. 66, Acc. and Pap., 1843, Vol. xxxii, p. i.

180 Grey to Stanley, December 31st, 1842, No. 75, Ibid.

181 See the Memorandum by G. W. Hope on Grey's letter to Stanley of October 24th, 1843; "I have no doubt that Captain Grey did nothing but what he was forced to do in drawing these bills, and regret much the annoyance occasioned to him by their being refused . . . . the necessity however, for undeceiving the South Australians as to their Governor's powers over home funds was evidently urgent." C.O. 13/27.

182 Stanley to Grey, June 21st, 1842, No. 27, Acc. and Pap., 1843, Vol. xxxii, p. i.

183 Stanley to Grey, August 1st, 1843, No. 71, Ibid.

184 5 and 6 Vic. c. 61. It is worth noticing that the Act gave power to establish in the alternative a nominated Council and an elective Assembly or a mixed Council of nominees and representatives. See § 6.

185 C. Trevelyan to J. Stephen, 26th April, 1842. Enclosure 5 in No. 13. Acc. and Pap., 1840, Vol. xxxii, p. i. See also Stanley to Grey, September 6th, 1842, and enclosures. No. 56, Ibid.

186 5 and 6 Vic. c. 36. See generally Chapter x, infra.

187 Grey to Stanley, October 22nd, 1842. No. 63 of Acc. and Pap., 1843, Vol. xxxii, p. i.

188 See G. C. Henderson, Life of Sir George Grey, 1907, p. 60. The revenue was not markedly affected by these discoveries until 1845.

189 It is perhaps worth noticing that Mr. W. H. James, then Agent General for Western Australia, said before the Departmental Committee on Agricultural Settlements in British Colonies: "South Australia was supposed to be founded on the Wakefield system. There are no traces of that since; it has left no indications behind it." Question 6669. Cd. 2979, 1906, p. 260. Acc. and Pap., 1906, Vol. lxxvi.

190 See the Report of the Select Committee on South Australia, 1841.

191 Colonial Gazette, May 6th, 1843. See also Report of Select Committee on South Australia.

192 G. C. Henderson, Life of Sir George Grey, 1907, p. 67. It was inevitable that some of the emigrants amongst such large numbers sent out were of indifferent character. See the Report of the Emigration Agent, December 31st, 1839. C.O. 13/18.

193 Each of the three first Governors commented on the fertility of the soil. Hindmarsh to Glenelg, November 1st, 1837, C.O. 13/7; Gawler to Glenelg, October 26th, 1838, C.O. 13/11; Grey to Stanley, December 31st, 1842. No. 75 of Acc. and Pap., 1843, xxxii, p. i.

194 G. C. Henderson, Life of Sir George Grey, 1907, p. 68.

195 Grey to Stanley, April 22nd, 1842. No. 51 of Acc. and Pap., 1843, Vol. xxxii, p. i.






{Page 259}

Chapter IX

WAKEFIELD AND THE DURHAM REPORT

By 1837 the racial and political strife, which had been going on in the two Canadas for some years, broke out into open rebellion. A brief sketch of the previous history and conditions of these colonies is necessary in order to understand the situation with which the British Government suddenly found that they had to deal. [1] The Imperial Act of 1791 [2] had separated Upper from Lower Canada, and had given to each colony an elective Legislative Assembly and a nominated Legislative Council. Lower Canada was mainly French, and Upper Canada mainly British, while in both there was friction between the two races. The Assemblies had no direct control over the Executive, and this led to constant struggles in which the Legislative Councils, for the most part, took the side of the Executive. Naturally the quarrel turned largely upon the question of finance. The Assemblies attempted to gain their object of controlling the Executive through their command over supplies; and deadlocks between the two Houses, and refusal of supply by the Assemblies, were common, especially in Lower Canada. In 1831, unconditional control over the Crown revenues, with the exception of the territorial revenue, was given to the Assemblies by the Home Government, in the hope that a Civil List would be granted, and Government officials thereby be secured from the consequences of a refusal of supplies; but, while Upper Canada granted a Civil List, Lower Canada did not, and sought yet further control of the Executive. Year by year after 1831, the ill-feeling between the two races and the friction between the Assemblies and the Executives grew greater. On the whole, in Lower Canada the French majority supported the Assembly, and the English minority the Executive. In Upper Canada the strife was not so acute; and the struggles centred around the position and constitution of the Legislative Council, which was dominated by a group of men, united by ties of friendship and interest, to whom was given the name of the Family Compact, and who, in the absence of popular control, really governed the colony. Although the struggle was in terms for financial control and for an alteration in the constitution of the Legislative Council, yet in reality it was one for responsible government. "They had not hitherto in so many words," writes Sir Charles Lucas of the majority in Lower Canada in 1835, "demanded that the Executive Council should be responsible to the Legislature, but the essence of their demands was to obtain full control of all the Executive offices by securing entire command of all the means of paying them." [3] A Commission of Inquiry appointed by the Home Government in 1835, consisting of Lord Gosford, Sir Charles Grey and Sir George Gipps, failed to relieve a situation which was rapidly becoming impossible, and in 1837 the Home Government intervened. Lord John Russell introduced and carried in the House of Commons a series of Resolutions, rejecting the demand for responsible government, and allowing payments of the arrears owing to executive officers to be made out of the colonial revenue, of which control had been given up in 1831. [4] The resolutions were naturally unpopular in Canada, and a rebellion broke out, which was confined mainly to the French Canadians, and was easily put down.

But to crush rebellion was by itself no solution of the problem of colonial government. The Melbourne Ministry, therefore, found themselves forced to inquire into the Canadian grievances, to examine the causes of discontent, and to put matters, if possible, on a footing satisfactory to the colonists and to the mother-country. In this emergency, they induced Parliament to pass a Bill suspending the Constitution of Lower Canada, and appointed Lord Durham as Governor-General of the North American Colonies and High Commissioner to inquire into their government.

Durham at once showed both wisdom and courage in choosing as his chief assistants Charles Buller and Edward Gibbon Wakefield, the two men in all Britain who had given most serious attention to the subject of colonization and colonial government. No objection could be taken to the appointment of Buller; but Wakefield's past history made his case different. Durham had appointed as his legal adviser an old friend, Mr. Thomas Turton, to whose name an early scandal attached, and when complaint was made in Parliament on this score, Glenelg wrote instructing Durham not to employ Wakefield in any public capacity. [5] Durham was unwillingly forced to acquiesce; but Wakefield, although he was able to obtain no public position and was forced to keep himself in the background, did nevertheless proceed to Canada, and throughout Durham's mission gave him counsel and advice. That he played an important part in Canada will be seen from the recommendations in the Durham Report on government and land policy. Durham is reported to have written that he never erred except when he departed from Wakefield's advice. [6] Durham had only made Buller's acquaintance in the summer of 1837, [7] and it is quite possible, as Dr. Garnett suggests, that Durham and Wakefield had been already known to one another for some years. [8] However this may be, Durham became and remained a close friend to both Buller and Wakefield. [9] Wakefield sailed in a different ship from the others; but Buller had every opportunity during the voyage to Canada, in constant communication with Durham, of discussing and developing his views on the subject of colonial government.

Durham, Buller, and Wakefield, when they went out, all had the same preconceived ideas as to what was at the bottom of the Canadian difficulties. Each thought that the sole matter in dispute was self-government; and, overlooking the racial question, they sympathized with the Canadians in their struggle for self-government. All three, however, changed their opinions after first-hand acquaintance with the Canadas; [10] and Durham, whose view nevertheless seems to have been clearer than theirs in this case, admitted that his expectation was disappointed. In his Report he wrote, in often-quoted words, "I expected to find a contest between a government and a people: I found two nations warring in the bosom of a single state: I found a struggle, not of principles, but of races." [11]

It is not necessary here to enter upon any of the details of Durham's mission to Canada, nor indeed to consider his Report in any other light than as laying down a policy of colonial government, not for Canada alone, but applicable to all white colonies at a certain stage of their existence. [12] A great deal of the Report is concerned with the actual state of the British North American Colonies, especially Lower Canada, and it contains proposals meant for their improvement. Here, however, it need not be discussed how far Durham's detailed proposals were carried into effect, nor how far they were suitable to the conditions of the Canadas.

Two points alone will be dealt with, first, those provisions of the Report which recommend responsible government together with the maintenance of the connection between mother-country and colony; and, next, the recommendations as to the management and control of the waste lands and of emigration.

A word may be said as to the question of the authorship of the Durham Report, which has occasioned some mild controversy. The current epigram, "Wakefield thought it, Buller wrote it, Durham signed it," is quite misleading, except in so far as it calls attention to the fact that Buller and Wakefield played an important part in deciding on its underlying policy. Durham was not the kind of man to have his Report dictated to him, or written for him by his subordinates. At the same time he was the kind of man to choose his subordinates carefully, to listen to their advice, and to give them all due credit for their aid. Indeed, whatever may have been their faults, all three excelled in generosity, and as Buller and Wakefield would have been the last to claim credit for Durham's work, so Durham was the first to admit the help he had received from them. [13] Whatever may be thought as to the authorship of the Report, there is no doubt about the most important fact that it expressed the unanimous and considered opinion of the three men mainly concerned in its production. [14]

In its policy of responsible government the Durham Report was entirely in keeping with the earlier doctrine of colonial self-government advocated by Wakefield and Buller. In Canada the leaders of the systematic colonizers, who accompanied Durham, had an opportunity of developing the political side of the Wakefield theory; and indeed the doctrine of colonial self-government has proved to be the most enduring part of their work. Up to that time their energies had been devoted mainly to the Australasian colonies, where, for a variety of reasons, the economic and social side of the Wakefield system had been more prominent. Self-government could not then be much more than a pious aspiration for communities like New South Wales and Van Diemen's Land, saddled with the burden of transportation; and it was far distant from new colonies like Western Australia, South Australia, or the proposed new settlement of New Zealand. In those colonies the essentials of the problem had been how to colonize a large empty continent, and how to provide a supply of labour which would enable the penal colonies to do without convicts. Problems of government, important as they were, necessarily remained in the background. Wakefield, for example, postponed his plan of self-government for South Australia in order to realize the economic part of his system. Now, however, when their attention was focussed for the while on Canada, the problem which they found there was of a different kind. The economic question of how to settle a huge sparsely-inhabited country still presented itself; but here it was overshadowed by the fact that problems of government had arisen which had found no other solution than civil war. The systematic colonizers now had to deal with a people free from the taint of transportation, with a fairly long history of representative institutions, and a tradition of bad government, or at least, of government unsatisfactory to the colonists. In these circumstances, it was inevitable that Wakefield and Buller should recur to their earlier doctrines of colonial self-government, and should try to see how far they could be applied as a solution of the political difficulties in Canada. In their first attempts at colonial reform, they had been alive to the fact that good colonial government was an indispensable adjunct to colonial prosperity. Good colonial government meant for them self-government in a wide, and not very well defined sense, including freedom from the arbitrary rule of the Colonial Office. Probably the grant of a representative Assembly would, at least for the time, have satisfied their aspirations for the Australian colonies. But, in dealing with Canada, it was obvious that the mere grant of representative institutions was not sufficient. There had long been elected Assemblies in both the Canadas, but political struggles had gone on, and even civil war had not been averted. The one fact which seemed to emerge from the welter of Canadian politics was that representative government as adopted there had failed. Premising the necessity for colonial self-government, they were forced, then, to inquire into the reason for this failure. They found their answer in the fact that for want of the necessary direct control over the Executive, the colonists through their Assemblies were unable to control their own policy, and therefore, in reality did not possess self-government. So emerged the doctrine of responsible government, the subjection of the Executive to the control of the popular Assembly, not as anything new or startling, but as the necessary complement of representative institutions. They came to the important conclusion that the only condition under which representative institutions in a colony could possibly work well was that the Executive should be subordinate to the popularly elected Assembly. Too much stress need not be laid on the passage in the Letter from Sydney, "They might frame their own laws, in a colonial Assembly, under the eye of a viceroy, incapable of wrong, and possessing a veto like the king of England, but whose secretaries, like the ministers of England, should be responsible to the people"; but, to a man who had written those words in 1829, it was no long step, in 1838, to advocate the full doctrine of responsible government.

This term, it is usually agreed, appeared first in a speech which Stanley made in the House of Commons, in 1829, when introducing a petition from Upper Canada. [15] Durham, in his Report, understood it to mean the subjection of the Executive to the control of the elected Assembly. [16]

Having laid it down that the affairs of the colony were to be managed in this way by the colonists, Durham proceeded to draw a clear distinction between local and imperial matters, between those matters which were to be committed entirely to the colonists, and those which were to be controlled entirely by the Imperial Parliament. Probably this division was in no small measure due to the suspicion with which Buller and Wakefield had long regarded the Colonial Office. If the powers of the Colonial Legislature, and those of the Imperial Parliament, were definitely limited in this way, there would be no room for the Colonial Office to dictate any policy to the colonists; for, when the subject was a local matter. Downing Street could not interfere, and, when the subject was an imperial one, the colonists were deprived of all control. As far as possible internal legislation and government was left to the Colonial Legislature, while matters which concerned the relation between mother-country and colony were to be withdrawn from their control. Thus there would be no "vexatious interference on the part of the Home Government, with the enactment of laws for regulating the internal concerns of the colony, or in the selection of the persons entrusted with their execution." [17] Imperial matters, according to Durham, included "the constitution of the form of government—the regulation of foreign relations, and of trade with the mother-country, the other British colonies, and foreign nations—and the disposal of the public lands," [18] while all other matters were properly to be treated as local.

One most important feature of the doctrine of responsible government, as laid down by Lord Durham, was that it was intended, not as a measure of separation, but as a means of preserving and perpetuating the connection between the colonies and the mother-country. This was characteristic of the attitude towards colonies maintained consistently by the systematic colonizers from the beginning.

In the Letter from Sydney, in 1829, Wakefield gave, as a good reason for adopting his system of colonization, the fact that it "would tend more than anything to preserve an intimate connection between the colony and the mother-country." [19] All through their efforts in founding new colonies, and in advocating improvements in the political and economic conditions of old colonies, the systematic colonizers had been warm supporters of the imperial connection. Naturally, then, they hailed with delight the uncompromising tone of Durham's Report on this point, and praised him as the "first British statesman to use the word 'perpetual' in speaking of the connection between the colonies and their mother-country." [20] This attitude was all the more remarkable because the group of Radicals, to which Durham, Buller, and Molesworth belonged, were by no means eager to retain the colonies. [21] To appreciate the strangeness of the union between the doctrine of responsible government and the doctrine of maintaining the colonial connection, it is only necessary to consider how the colonial demand for responsible government had been looked upon by British statesmen before the Durham mission. Buller complained, in 1840, of the constant assumption made that "every one who was favourable to the principle of responsibility in government, must be an enemy to the British connection," [22] and he had very good grounds for his complaint. The frequent debates in Parliament on Canadian questions both before and after the Durham Report, show conclusively that most of the leading statesmen of the day, including Lord Melbourne, Lord Howick, and Sir George Grey, and rising men like Stanley and W. E. Gladstone, were of opinion that responsible government meant separation; that the claim for responsible government was a claim for independence, and that, once it was granted, no sort of colonial relation short of independence could remain.

Lord Durham, in his report, also recommended that the Wakefield system of colonization on its economic side, adapted to suit the particular needs of the colonies, should be adopted in British North America. Durham was so impressed with the merits of this system that he had brought out Wakefield with the express object of introducing it into Canada. [23] Indeed, as Sir Charles Lucas justly remarks, Durham and Buller were both Wakefield's disciples in this matter. [24]

An extensive examination of the land system and emigration in the British North American colonies was undertaken by Wakefield and his disciple, R. D. Hanson, and an elaborate report was drawn up by them with which Buller, although named as Commissioner of Crown Lands and Emigration, had nothing more to do than the signing of his name. [25]

According to his report, [26] Wakefield found that a large amount of land had already been alienated by the Crown, of which the greater portion remained uncultivated. Also, he found that, though an extensive emigration had been carried on, there had been a great deal of distress and disease amongst the emigrants, while not a few of them had re-emigrated to the United States.

The great extent of land appropriated, compared with what yet remained at the disposal of the Government, prevented him from merely applying without alteration his ordinary remedy of sale at a sufficient price. To deal with this state of things he recommended a land tax of 2d. per acre on all lands, with the proviso that the tax might be paid by the proprietor in land—namely, by surrendering to the Government appropriated land to the value of the tax. [27] By this means he hoped to compel owners of uncultivated land either to cultivate it, or to made it accessible to others who would cultivate it.

For land which was not yet appropriated, and for such land as was surrendered by the owners, he recommended that there should be sale, at a uniform price, without restriction as to amount, or any other conditions, so that, while every facility of selection and acquisition would be given to those who intended to cultivate, its acquisition by those who did not intend to cultivate would be prevented. Since the object was not to raise the largest possible revenue from land sales, land was to be sold at a fixed price and not by auction. But, while he appreciated the advantage of a sufficient price, Wakefield saw clearly that the circumstances of the case did not allow of its introduction into the British North American colonies. The chief of these circumstances was the fact that land in the United States was sold at 6s. 3d. per acre, so that, if a sufficient price much higher than this were put on lands in the colonies, the attraction to settlers of cheaper land over the border would be irresistible. It was, therefore, in his opinion, impossible to establish a price which would prevent labourers from becoming landowners too soon. It was idle, when the price of land in the United States was so low, "to seek, by means of a price for new land, the more important end of securing an ample and constant supply of labour for hire." [28] In these circumstances he suggested 10s. an acre as the highest price possible if settlers were not to be induced to prefer the United States. He frankly admitted that such a sum did not represent a "sufficient price," but modified his doctrines to suit local conditions. "In proposing this price, however," he wrote, "I wish to be regarded as doing so merely as a compromise; not because I think it best in itself, but because I think it the best which can be obtained in the circumstances." [29]

The proceeds from the land sales and the land tax were to be applied partly in public works, such as improving the means of communication, and partly in the emigration of people of both sexes.

Since it was necessary to establish a permanent and uniform system of dealing with the land, and since, in his opinion, emigration to the British North American colonies needed regulation, he recommended that the Imperial Government should have control of both these matters. He advised that a Central Commission should be appointed in the United Kingdom, with assistant Commissioners in the colonies, to control both lands and emigration. In doing this he was only reiterating his former opinions. [30]. In giving evidence before the 1836 Committee on Waste Lands, he had said, "If I made out any case at all it was an imperial case." Now he wrote that, "the waste lands of the colonies are the property, not merely of the colonies, but of the Empire, and ought to be administered for imperial, not merely for colonial purposes." But here again he was mindful of the peculiar circumstances of the colonies with which he was dealing, and intimated that, if the Imperial Parliament did not choose to exercise their undoubted right of control, the management of waste lands should be handed over to the colonists. "While, therefore, it appears to be the duty, no less than the right, of the Parliament of the United Kingdom to legislate upon the subject, it is equally their duty, if they consider such an exercise of their power inexpedient, to relinquish formally their control over this matter to the Colonial Legislature."

In view of the fact that sales of land might be expected for long to be inconsiderable, owing to the great amount of land which had already been appropriated, he recommended that a loan should be raised for the purposes of public works and emigration, upon the security of the future proceeds of the land tax and land sales.

It will be noticed that in these recommendations Wakefield departed somewhat from the strict letter of his theory. In the first place, he recommended a price which was admittedly not a sufficient price, and, in the next place, he was willing to allow part of the proceeds of land sales to be devoted to other purposes than that of emigration. This may be taken to show that he was not above looking upon his theory rather as a series of practical rules for the better conduct of colonization, than as a self-sufficient and complete system capable of application in all places and at all times.

Wakefield's plan was adopted by Durham, and the space which he gives in his Report to the questions of land and emigration indicates his opinion of their importance. Durham made a very strong declaration as to the interest which the mother-country had in the colonization of the colonial waste lands. The lands and resources of the colonies were, he wrote, "the ample appanage which God and Nature have set aside in the New World for those whose lot has assigned them but insufficient portions in the old." [31] He also avowed his complete faith in Wakefield's plan when he wrote that it was "more calculated than any other reform whatever to attach the people of British North America to Your Majesty's Throne, and to cement and perpetuate an intimate connection between the colonies and the mother-country." [32]

Durham's Report, with its doctrine of responsible government, was not well received in England. Few shared his great conception of the colonies as self-governing in a true sense, and yet bound by that very fact closer to the mother-country. To most of those who thought of the colonies, and particularly of the Canadas, at that time, responsible government meant separation. They could not see that there was any midway for a colony between dependence, as they understood it without responsible government, and complete independence. Lord John Russell had said, in 1837, of the demand for responsible government: "It is proposed . . . that the Executive Council should be made to resemble the ministry in this country. I hold this proposition to be entirely incompatible with the relations between the mother-country and the colony . . . . That part of the Constitution which requires that the Ministers of the Crown shall be responsible to Parliament, and shall be removable if they do not obtain the confidence of Parliament, is a condition which exists in an imperial legislature, and in an imperial legislature only. It is a condition which cannot be carried into effect in a colony—it is a condition which can only exist in one place, namely, the seat of empire." [33] This he repeated, in 1838, in the debates on the suspension of the Constitution of Lower Canada, [34] and again, in 1839, after the presentation of the Durham Report, when discussing plans for the permanent settlement of the affairs of Canada. [35] Indeed, it may be taken as representing the attitude of the majority of English statesmen of the day on the question of responsible government. [36] This opinion was not confined to members of Parliament. The Quarterly Review, in dealing with "this new, and to us, incomprehensible system of colonial connection: the Report calls it connection—to our understanding it is absolute separation," wrote, that the authors of the Report made the fundamental error "that they forget, or choose to forget, that Canada is a province—a colony." [37]

One difficulty, which then seemed to English statesmen insuperable under a system of responsible government, was that the governor of a colony would have to act under a double responsibility, to the Home Government, and to the representative body of the colony, which would give many opportunities for conflict. [38]

On the other hand, the new doctrine was welcomed by a few thoughtful men, and, since the former method of governing Canada had been a failure, opinion began to veer round to the view that the new proposal should be given a trial. [39] Charles Buller, on his return from Canada, spoke convincingly with first-hand knowledge of the evils of colonial government and their remedies. On Durham's death, in 1840, he became the spokesman in Parliament for the Report, and the chief advocate of the doctrine of responsible government which he recognized as its most important feature, and for which he gave credit to Lord Durham as the originator. [40] The radical vice of colonial government which needed correction, the fundamental error which had to be rectified, was, according to his view, that the colonists lacked control over their internal affairs. [41] He adopted and maintained consistently the view that the only method of making representative institutions work harmoniously was to have an Executive possessing the confidence of the representative body. [42] To him it seemed "the plain common-sense truth, that if they wished to govern any colony peaceably, they must govern it on principles and by men approved of by the people of the colony, and that otherwise the colony would be a scene of interminable confusion and anarchy, such as had followed every attempt to work representation without a responsible Executive." [43] Admitting that the granting of responsible government would be a complete change in British colonial policy, he could not understand how anyone, in the light of recent colonial history, could propose to withhold it. At the same time he was at great pains to insist on the value of the connection with the colonies, and to prove that it would be strengthened and not weakened by the grant of responsible government. [44] Even in the face of opposition he was bold enough to predict the ultimate triumph of the new doctrine. The Durham Report, he told the House of Commons, in 1839, in a vein of prophecy, "would be the text-book of the colonial reformer, until it became the manual of the colonial government of Great Britain." [45] In spite of Buller's eloquence the Ministry was firmly determined not to admit the wisdom of granting responsible government to the Canadas. In moving for leave to introduce a Bill for the government of Canada in 1840, Lord John Russell pronounced against responsible government, and suggested, in its stead, that measures might be taken to make the Executive more in accord with popular feeling by including in it the leaders of the majority of the Assembly. [46] This may account for the inconsistency which occurs in Russell's despatch of October 14th, 1839, to Poulett Thomson, the newly-appointed Governor-General of Canada. There, while objecting to the principle of responsible government, he could see little or no objection "to the practical views of colonial government recommended by Lord Durham, as I understand them." [47] By this he probably meant, although Durham's views could hardly be misunderstood, that he was willing that the Executive should be, as far as possible, in accord with the majority of the Assembly, but would not go to the length of giving the Assembly full control over the Executive. His later despatch, however, of October 16th, 1839, [48] to the effect that certain Executive officers were to be liable to be changed by the governor from motives of public policy, was a step in the direction of responsible government; and the final step, though delayed for some time, was taken in 1848, under the wise guidance of Lord Elgin, Durham's son-in-law and pupil.

In the next few years after the publication of the Durham Report, Buller and Wakefield helped to influence public opinion by expounding their views on responsible government—Buller in a series of articles in the Colonial Gazette, 1839-1840, afterwards reprinted in 1840 under the title of Responsible Government for Colonies, Wakefield in an article in Fisher's Colonial Magazine for 1844, entitled, "Sir Charles Metcalfe in Canada." Buller's book, written in a bright and popular manner, and containing the famous attacks on Mr. Mothercountry of the Colonial Office, was designed partly to explain and defend Durham's principle of responsible government, and partly to lay it down as a broad principle of colonial government. He developed the thesis that the grant of representative institutions carried with it as a necessary corollary the grant of responsible government. The object of granting representation, he urged, was to give the colonists control over their own affairs, to enable them to have a government "constantly agreeable" to their wishes. This object could only be achieved when the Assembly controlled the Executive. He maintained, too, that the grant of responsible government would strengthen, not weaken, the colonial connection, and would remove causes of frequent collision which arose under the existing system.

Wakefield's article, longer but not so well known, is an essay of extraordinary insight. It develops a powerful argument for responsible government based on an analysis of the British constitution and an examination of the history of the Canadas. Like Buller, he was careful to show that the demand for responsible government was not a demand for separation; but that it was at once the only way of placing colonial administration of local affairs on a satisfactory footing, and of retaining the relation between the mother-country and the colony. Wakefield, who, as unofficial adviser to Sir Charles Metcalfe, had been in the thick of the difficulties with which that governor had to deal in Canada, laid stress, too, on the practical questions of responsible government, such as the position of the governor, which counted for so much in the working of the system.

Thus, from the systematic colonizers came three expositions of this doctrine of colonial government, Durham's official recommendation in regard to Canada, Buller's advocacy of it as a general colonial policy, and Wakefield's re-statement of the case from the point of view of actual conditions in the colony and its practical working there. In each the same three notes are struck, colonial control of local matters, maintenance of the colonial connection, and separation between Imperial and local matters.

But when responsible government was granted, this latter distinction was not adopted. The colonial reformers in 1850, in discussing the proposed grant of responsible government to the Australian colonies, once more attempted to exclude the Colonial Office in this way, but they, too, were unsuccessful. [49] The extent of the powers of the colonial legislatures was not clearly marked out; but it was wisely, as the event proved, left to the good sense of the colonists, to the tact of the governor, and to the discretion of the Colonial Office, to ensure that the colonial legislature did not overstep its proper bounds. Probably any clear-cut distinction between Imperial and local matters would have been productive of more disputes than the system adopted, whose very elasticity was its strength.

There was never any serious attempt to introduce into Canada Wakefield's proposals as to land and emigration. The influence of the past history of the British North American colonies was too strong to allow of the introduction of a uniform system for disposing of land. Moreover, it was found practically impossible to withhold from these colonies the control of their lands when responsible government was granted. [50] In regard to emigration, too, it was felt that there was no necessity to use the land fund for this purpose, or, indeed, to do more than to regulate the stream of emigrants to Canada, because its proximity to Great Britain was of itself sufficient attraction. This, it will be remembered, was the view taken by the Emigration Commissioners of 1831, [51] and it triumphed against Wakefield's proposal of a state-aided as well as a state-controlled emigration.

It was not only as a policy applicable at the moment to one set of colonies that responsible government was advocated by Buller and his associates. As well as being a remedy for the state of Canada, it was a policy which might be extended to other colonies, provided that they were homogeneous in character, and had arrived at a certain stage of growth. [52] They proposed that it should not only be a measure to meet the particular exigencies of the Canadian case, but that it should be "a rule of government, that the Executive of the colony should be kept in entire harmony with the legislature." [53] The Durham Report is, indeed, as Sir Charles Lucas has pointed out, very much more than a "charter of self-government." But popular opinion has rightly seized upon this as its most important aspect. While the Report is interesting as showing Durham's attempt to settle a long standing controversy of races, his prescience as to the effect of the development of means of communication, [54] and his combination of Imperialism with democracy, its abiding importance is that it laid down a doctrine which soon became a general colonial policy. After a comparatively short space of time, there came to be an agreement amongst English statesmen that colonies of a homogeneous character should, at a certain stage of their existence, be granted responsible government, and the only question about which disputes ranged was whether a colony had or had not reached this stage. How completely this doctrine had won the day may be seen from the fact that, in 1847, the Edinburgh Review was perplexed to know why it was ever thought necessary to send Lord Durham to Canada to discover the obvious truth that colonies could be well governed in no other way. [55]




Footnotes to Chapter IX.


1 See generally Sir Charles Lucas, Durham Report, 1912, Vol. i. Chap. iii.

2 31 Geo. III, c. 31.

3 Durham Report, Vol. i, p. 66.

4 Hansard, 3rd Series, Vol. xxxvi, pp. 1287 et seq.

5 Garnett, pp. 167-9. Stuart Reid, Life and Letters of Lord Durham, 1906, Vol. ii, pp. 159-62.

6 Garnett, p. 170. See also Infra, p. 268, note 3.

7 C. Buller, Sketch of Lord Durham's Mission, 1840. Lucas, Durham Report, Vol. iii, p. 337.

8 Garnett, p. 143.

9 John Stuart Mill wrote to Sir W. Molesworth, October 19th, 1838, "[Buller] and Wakefield appear to be acting completely as one man, speaking to Lord Durham with the utmost plainness, giving him the most courageous and judicious advice, which he receives both generously and wisely." Quoted in Mrs. Fawcett's Life of Sir William Molesworth, p. 203.

10 For Buller see his Sketch of Lord Durham's Mission, Lucas, Vol. iii, p. 340. For Wakefield see his letter of November 22nd, 1838, in the Spectator, November 24th, 1838.

11 Lucas, Durham Report, Vol. ii, pp. 15-16.

12 For an account of Durham and his Report see, in addition to Lucas, Durham Report, Stuart Reid, Life and Letters of Lord Durham, 2 vols., 1906, and F. Bradshaw, Self-Government in Canada, 1903.

13 See Durham in the House of Lords, July 26th, 1839. Hansard, 3rd Series, Vol. xlix, p. 878.

14 See Buller in the House of Commons, July 11th, 1839. Ibid., p. 186.

15 Lucas, Durham Report, Vol. i, p. 137. Egerton, British Colonial Policy, 3rd Ed., p. 304, footnote.

16 In one passage, it is true, he used words which seem to show that his conception of responsible government was not always clear. He wrote that the citizens of the United States possessed "a perfectly free and eminently responsible government," Lucas, Vol. ii, p. 261, but by this he probably meant a government responsible to the people. Wakefield, too, in his pamphlet of 1844, A View of Sir Charles Metcalfe's Government in Canada, seems to have leaned to the view that the relations of a Colonial Governor to his Ministers resembled those of a Premier to his colleagues in a Cabinet. See also Colonial Gazette, June 29th, and October 5th, 1844. In the same year, however, in his article in Fisher's Colonial Magazine for July, 1844, entitled Sir Charles Metcalfe in Canada, he took the true line that a Colonial Governor had a dual function to perform, as the officer responsible to the Imperial Government, and as the constitutional ruler of a colony, governing by the advice of his Executive Council chosen and controlled by the colonial legislature. Of the three Charles Buller, perhaps, had the clearest conception of what was meant by responsible government, viz., colonial government modelled as far as possible on the British system, with the Governor filling, as far as circumstances would allow, the position of a constitutional monarch. See his Responsible Government for Colonies, 1840.

17 Report, Lucas, Vol. ii, p. 282.

18 Report, Ibid.

19 Letter from Sydney, 1829, pp. 196-7.

20 Colonial Gazette, July 29th, 1840.

21 Mrs. Fawcett, Life of Sir William Molesworth, 1901, pp. 206 et seq. See also Leader's speech in the House of Commons, December 22nd, 1837. Hansard, 3rd Series, Vol. xxxix, p. 1442.

22 Hansard. 3rd Series, Vol. liv, p. 738.

23 Buller wrote in 1840: "Among the practical grievances of the province none was more palpable, and certainly none more injurious, than the gross mismanagement of the Crown Lands. One of Lord Durham's first objects in his mission was to lay the foundations of such a reform in the administration of them as might render them instrumental in promoting that influx of colonists which was requisite for the accomplishment of his great schemes for the improvement of the colonies. With this end in view he had engaged Mr. Wakefield to come from England about the time of our own departure, having for some time been acquainted with him, and having completely entered into all his views of colonies and emigration." Sketch of Lord Durham's Mission, Lucas, Durham Report, Vol. iii, pp. 350-1.

24 Durham Report, Vol. i, p. 156.

25 Buller in the House of Commons on July 18th, 1839, said that he "wished . . . to say a few words upon the subject of the report on Crown Lands, to remove from himself some undeserved eulogium which he had received, on the supposition that he was concerned in drawing it up. He had nothing to do with it, except signing his name. The merit of this very valuable report was due to Mr. Hanson and Mr. Wakefield." Hansard, 3rd Series, Vol. xlix, p. 503. See also Sketch of Lord Durham's Mission, Lucas, Durham Report, Vol. iii, p. 351.

26 Appendix B to the Durham Report, Lucas, Vol. iii, pp. 34-130.

27 For the purposes of surrender land was to be valued at 4s. per acre. Ibid., p. 88.

28 Appendix B to the Durham Report, Lucas, Vol. iii, p. 109.

29 Ibid., p. 113.

30 See Chapter v.

31 Lucas, Vol. ii, p. 13.

32 Ibid., pp. 207-8.

33 Hansard, 3rd Series, Vol. xxxvi, pp. 1294-5. See also his speeches in Vol. xxxvii, p. 1277, and Vol. xxxix, p. 1499.

34 Ibid., Vol. xl, p. 26.

35 Ibid., Vol. xlvii, p. 1268.

36 Lord Melbourne said in 1838: "The responsibility of the Governor to the Assembly amounted to independence at once." Ibid., Vol. xl, p. 687. Gladstone said in 1840: "Responsible Government meant nothing more than an independent legislature." Ibid., Vol. liv, p. 728. See also, e.g., Lord Howick, Vol. xl, p. 577; Sir George Grey, Vol. xxxvi, p. 1356; Stanley, Vol. xxxvii, p. 118, and Labouchere, Vol. xxxvii, p. 109.

37 Quarterly Review, March, 1839.

38 Normanby in the House of Lords, Hansard, 3rd Series, Vol. xlix, p. 845. Russell in the House of Commons. Vol. xxxvii, p. 1249. Howick, Vol. xl, p. 577.

39 Spectator, February 23rd, 1839.

40 Hansard, 3rd Series, Vol. lxxv, p. 63.

41 Hansard, 3rd Series, Vol. xlix, pp. 182 et seq.

42 See also Lord Durham's speech in the House of Lords. Ibid., p. 880.

43 Ibid., Vol. liv, p. 734.

44 Ibid., Vol. liv, p. 738.

45 Hansard, 3rd Series, Vol. xlix, p. 186.

46 Hansard, 3rd Series, Vol. xlii, pp. 1333-4. Lord Howick had a similar vague plan. See Ibid., Vol. liv, p. 746.

47 This despatch is reprinted in Lucas, Durham Report, Vol. ill, pp. 332-5.

48 Canadian Constitutional Development, Egerton and Grant, pp. 270-2.

49 See Selected Speeches of Sir William Molesworth, edited by Professor Egerton, 1903, pp. 365-401. Speech on the Australian Government Bill, May 6th. 1850.

50 Lucas, Vol. i, p. 182, It must be remembered that this was quite in accord with Wakefield's recommendations. If the Imperial Parliament was not willing to assert its rights over the waste land, he thought that the whole control of the lands should be left to the colonists. See also Colonial Gazette, August 26th, 1840.

51 See Chapter vii.

52 Buller in 1839 was in favour of depriving Jamaica of representative institutions and of making its government quite irresponsible to the governed, because it was not a homogeneous society, and the character of its population prevented its representative institutions from meaning more than the rule of a white oligarchy. See his speech on the Bill for suspending the Jamaican Constitution. Hansard, 3rd Series, Vol. xlvii, pp. 825 et seq.

53 Ibid., Vol. xlix, p. 184.

54 See Lucas, Vol. i, pp. 198 et seq.

55 Edinburgh Review, April, 1847, pp. 365-6: "We need not now discuss the question of Responsible Government. Every man who has reflected on the subject sees, that the responsibility of the executive is a necessary part of representative government;—that if we trust the representatives of the people with the power of making laws, and the absolute control of the public purse, it is absurd to expect that the laws made by them can be administered, and the executive business of the country carried on, by any persons except those who possess their confidence. This is a point which Lord Durham's Report settled at once and for ever; and the only point connected with the subject which at all perplexes any one is, how it should have been necessary to send so eminent a man across the Atlantic to discover that the colonies could not be well governed under any other system."






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Chapter X

LATER EXPERIMENTS IN SYSTEMATIC COLONIZATION, 1837-1842

One of the first subjects which attracted the attention of the systematic colonizers in 1837, was the abolition of transportation to the Australian colonies.

From the time when free emigrants were allowed to settle in the penal colonies of New South Wales and Van Diemen's Land, it was inevitable that this question would one day become acute. Opposition was bound to develop between the different points of view of the mother-country and the colonists. Two motives seem to have actuated the mother-country in the encouragement of the system; one, a wish to remove permanently to as great a distance as possible a class of people not wanted at home; the other, a real desire to give the convict an opportunity to become under new conditions a respectable and useful colonist. From the point of view of the free settlers in a penal colony which received these criminals and had to take the risk of the doubtful experiment of reformation, transportation was an evil, counterbalanced only by the fact that it provided a supply of labour not otherwise to be obtained, and occasioned a large and welcome Government expenditure. For this reason, while the practice existed of assigning convicts as labourers to the free settlers, there was not a great deal of complaint from the penal colonies. Indeed, the original impulse to the movement for the abolition of transportation came, not from the colonies, but from the mother-country. The humanitarian feeling which had caused the abolition of slavery in 1833 was still strong, and a group of men, chief amongst whom was Archbishop Whately, had for some time been agitating the question. In the forefront of this agitation were to be found the systematic colonizers. There was never any doubt as to their attitude on this point. They had ever been the opponents of the system of transportation, and had condemned it on three main grounds. In the first place, it had a bad effect on the penal colonies in that it was responsible for the disproportion between the sexes, for the extraordinary amount of crime, and for the demoralization which necessarily attended the constant outpouring of a stream of criminals into a small community. In the next place, admitting its value as a means of providing labour, it prevented the prosperity of these colonies by causing a natural repugnance amongst free emigrants to settle there. In the third place, transportation made it impossible for the mother-country to grant any full measure of free institutions to a colony whose population was largely made up of convicts and ex-convicts. Only when transportation had ceased could these colonies be made fit for self-government. [1]

One special advantage which they claimed for the system of land sales and emigration in Australia, was that it would help to swamp the convict element, and at the same time would provide the necessary labour when the assignment of convicts ceased.

Led in this instance by Sir William Molesworth, the systematic colonizers were successful in obtaining an exceptionally strong Select Committee of the House of Commons in 1837, [2] "to inquire into the system of transportation; its efficacy as a punishment, its influence on the moral state of society in the penal colonies, and how far it is susceptible of improvement." The Committee included Molesworth (Chairman), Lord John Russell, Sir George Grey, J. T. Leader, H. G. Ward, Lord Howick, Fowell Buxton, Francis Baring, Sir Robert Peel, and Charles Buller. They heard evidence in 1837 and 1838 from a number of witnesses, including Sir Francis Forbes, Chief Justice of New South Wales; Colonel Arthur, Lieutenant-Governor of Van Diemen's Land; surgeons who had had charge of convict ships; convict chaplains; and many respectable settlers in the penal colonies. Their Report, presented in August, 1838, [3] was a sweeping condemnation of transportation as a means either of punishment or of reform. They pronounced it to be inefficient as a punishment because of its uncertainty, and to be a method of demoralizing, not of reforming the convicts. Transportation, as carried on in New South Wales and Van Diemen's Land, corrupted convict and colonist alike, and discredited emigration "by associating it with the idea of degradation and punishment." They recommended that assignment should cease altogether; that transportation to New South Wales and to the settled parts of Van Diemen's Land should be discontinued; and that in its stead a system of penitentiaries should be established where, as at Norfolk Island, there were no free settlers. To meet the increased demand for labour which would result from these measures, they recommended that the price of land in these colonies should be raised to £1 per acre, in order to prevent labourers from becoming landowners too soon, and that the proceeds should be used in emigration.

Wakefield did not appear before the Committee, but there is no doubt that he played his part in obtaining the Committee, and in collecting information and evidence to overthrow the system. [4] When he received his copy of the Report he wrote to Molesworth that the "unclean thing" had got its death-warrant. [5] Mr. Samuel Sidney, a strong opponent of Wakefield, accused him of having manufactured a case for the Committee. [6] Indeed, the colonists of New South Wales protested vigorously against some of the evidence given as to the state of the colony. [7] Whether the evidence was highly coloured or not, it brought to light such a mass of unsavoury information that the death-knell of transportation was sounded.

During the course of the inquiry, Governor Bourke, in accordance with Glenelg's instructions, had warned the colonists of New South Wales that the system of assignment was about to be discontinued, and that, for the future, they would have to look to free emigration to provide them with labour. [8] After the report assignment was gradually abolished, [9] and ceased altogether in 1841. [10] By an Order in Council of August 22nd, 1840, New South Wales was excluded from the list of places to which convicts might be sent. Thus, the system of transportation to that colony ended without regret on the part of the colonists, who immediately received a rapid increase of free emigration. [11]

Transportation to Van Diemen's Land and to Norfolk Island did not cease for some years, and there was a keen fight to be waged with the Home Government before it ended finally; but after 1838 the impulse came from the colonists themselves. While the system of transportation was in vogue, and the colonists had the use of convict labour, they could not with justice complain of the evil which accompanied the good. When, however, assignment was abolished, all the advantage of transportation had gone; [12] and the colonists turned strongly against the system. They took up the position that the country which produced the criminals should take charge of them herself; and, in the end, they won the day.

During this period the systematic colonizers made one more attempt to realize their theory in a new colony which might profit by the experience of South Australia, and where the experiment might be conducted free from the dominance of the Colonial Office and the errors of former land regulations. They now chose as the scene of their operations New Zealand, the story of whose founding as a British colony has been so often told that it is hardly necessary here to enter into any detail except as to the part played by the systematic colonizers. [13] One unsuccessful attempt at an organized settlement there had been made in 1826 by a colonizing company supported by Lord Durham; but for the most part emigration to New Zealand had been haphazard, and consisted mainly of traders, whalers, runaway convicts, and others whose presence was a source of contamination to the natives. English missionaries had arrived there in 1814, and by 1837, when the project for the systematic colonization of New Zealand was taken up by Wakefield and his followers, they had successfully established themselves, and possessed great influence with the natives. The aim of the principal missionary body, the Church Missionary Society, was to preserve New Zealand as a field for their labours, and to prevent the evils which had everywhere arisen when settlers had come in contact with the natives. With this end in view they became the chief opponents of the systematic colonization of New Zealand, and refused to co-operate with Wakefield in his schemes. But, as Wakefield had truly told the Waste Lands Committee of 1836, the colonization of New Zealand was proceeding, and would continue to proceed, though "in a most slovenly, and scrambling, and disgraceful manner," despite all the efforts of the missionaries. [14] In 1837 the question was whether its colonization should be systematic and orderly, with due consideration of the interests of the natives, or unsystematic and disorderly, under the control neither of the missionaries nor of any organized government.

In England and America (1833) Wakefield had expressed his opinion that New Zealand was "admirably fit for colonization"; [15] and, when the Waste Lands Committee had reported, and he had dissociated himself from the South Australian scheme, he set to work to found a new Association to carry out his plans in regard to New Zealand. In contrast to his earliest project for founding South Australia he now proposed a public association to found and govern the new colony, whose members were to have no pecuniary interest in the undertaking. In 1837 the New Zealand Association was formed, consisting of two classes of members, intending settlers, and those who were willing to found and govern the colony. One of his chief assistants in this task was Mr. Francis Baring, who had fallen under the spell of Wakefield while serving on the Waste Lands Committee of 1836. Lord Durham, too, on his return from Russia, once more interested himself in New Zealand and joined the Association, becoming its chief spokesman in the encounters with the Colonial Office. The Association proposed that an Act of Parliament should be passed, granting them powers of sovereignty for a limited period over a portion of New Zealand, and allowing them to purchase land from the natives and re-sell it to settlers. The proceeds of the land-sales were to be used, partly in further purchases from the natives, and partly in emigration. The government of the colony was, for a definite period, to rest in the Association. [16]

On their approach to the Colonial Office asking for sanction to this scheme, they met at once with the strong opposition of the missionary bodies. In 1836-7, while the Committee on Waste Lands was recommending the extension of the Wakefield system, a Select Committee on aborigines sat, and, under the influence of the missionary bodies, reported adversely on the policy of granting the lands of natives to white settlers without the owners' consent, and strongly in favour of protecting and safeguarding the rights of aboriginal races who came in contact with British colonists. In regard to New Zealand the Committee suggested that its independence might be respected, and schemes for its colonization might be discouraged. [17] At that time, too, the chiefs of the Colonial Office—Lord Glenelg, Sir George Grey, and James Stephen—were all officials of the Church Missionary Society, so that Wakefield's scheme was at once condemned as inimical to the interests of the natives. [18] Mr. Dandeson Coates, too, the secretary of the Church Missionary Society, vigorously denounced the project in two pamphlets, [19] one of which drew a reply from Wakefield. [20] The Bill was somewhat modified, and again submitted to the Colonial Office in November, 1837. Then the preliminary objection was taken that Britain had no right, legal or moral, to establish a colony in New Zealand without the free consent of the inhabitants. A further objection was that the actual method of colonization, if its expediency were decided on, should be by the authority of a Royal Charter and not by an Act of Parliament. [21] Very soon afterwards, however, in view of further information from New Zealand, the Colonial Office yielded on the question of the expediency of colonizing that country, and agreed that it was necessary, while protecting the interests of the aborigines, to establish there some settled form of government. "The only question, therefore," wrote Glenelg to Durham, "is between a colonization desultory, without law, and fatal to the natives, and a colonization organized and salutary. Her Majesty's Government are therefore disposed to entertain the proposal of establishing such a colony." [22] He proposed that the Association should receive by Royal Charter complete power of government, and that the principles of land sales at auction and assisted emigration should by the same authority be established in the colony. Apparently the Home Government was about to work hand in hand with the systematic colonizers, but Glenelg's last condition proved a stumbling block. Before the Association could exercise any authority under the charter, Glenelg demanded that it should become a joint-stock body with a certain amount of paid-up capital. [23] The Church Missionary Society at once protested against the offer of a charter even on these terms, [24] and an impression which got abroad that Wakefield was aiming at the position of governor of New Zealand did not make the missionary bodies view the scheme in a more favourable light. [25]

The New Zealand Association had been established as a voluntary body with no pecuniary interest in colonization; and they stoutly protested against the condition that they should become a joint-stock company. [26] The Government equally firmly insisted on the condition; and, after further correspondence and negotiation, the Association, in 1838, decided to introduce into Parliament a Bill to give effect to their scheme. The Government, while refusing support, indicated that they would not oppose the Bill. [27] In the House of Commons, however, Lord Howick and Sir George Grey, both members of the Government, voiced the official objections, and the Bill was rejected on its second reading by 92 votes to 32. [28] Further negotiations ensued, and the Association dissolved, to reappear as a joint-stock company, called the New Zealand Colonization Company. Now they found the Government unwilling to proceed on the ground that the promise of a charter had been made to a differently composed body. [29] Finally, in 1839, the New Zealand Land Company, an amalgamation of the company of 1825, the New Zealand Association, and the Colonization Company, decided to commence the colonization of New Zealand without waiting for the sanction of the Government. The ship Tory was sent with a preliminary expeditionary party to purchase land from the natives, and a further body of emigrants was prepared to set sail soon afterwards. This unauthorized act forced the Government to take measures to control the colonization of New Zealand, and in the same year this colony was included within the jurisdiction of New South Wales. Captain Hobson was sent out as lieutenant-governor, with instructions to treat with the natives for the recognition of the British sovereignty over New Zealand. The land system of New South Wales, sale by auction and assisted emigration, was to be established there when lands had been bought from the natives. [30] Hobson succeeded in arranging the famous treaty of Waitangi with the natives, and in consequence proclaimed, in 1840, British sovereignty just in time to prevent any claim of France to the Middle Island.

By 1840, then. New Zealand had become a colony of Great Britain, and by the Waste Lands Act of 1842, [31] the system of land-sales and assisted emigration became established there as in all other parts of the Australasian colonies. The vicissitudes of the New Zealand Company, which received its charter in 1841, quarrelled with the Home Government, the Colonial Government and the natives as to the extent and validity of its land-purchases, did much to promote effective settlement, and ended its chequered career in 1851, cannot be followed here. Its original object as a colonizing company, with philanthropic and humanitarian aims, was lost sight of when it became a joint-stock company, and its varying fortunes, however interesting in themselves, had not much direct bearing on the application of the Wakefield system in New Zealand. The founding of this new colony, however, illustrates how far the day had been won by the practical part of that system which meant the colonization of waste lands by their sale and the use of the proceeds in assisted emigration.

Sir George Gipps arrived in New South Wales in February, 1838, to take the place of Governor Bourke. [32] He had been a Commissioner to Canada with Lord Gosford and Sir Charles Grey in 1835; he was a man of strong personality, who for several years was to dominate the land policy of New South Wales, and to wage a successful war against the attempts of the Colonial Office to move along the path of the Wakefield theory.

When the Ripon regulations were introduced into New South Wales in 1831, the governor was informed that there was nothing to prevent him from imposing a higher minimum price if he chose. [33] The South Australian Commissioners, in their first report of 1836, had complained of the low price of land at Port Phillip compared with the uniform price of 12s. in South Australia. They had also applied to the Home Government to raise the price at Port Phillip; but the reply was that they had knowingly run the risk of planting a new colony near a settlement where the price of land had, as early as 1831, been fixed at a minimum of 5s. an acre. [34] In 1837, however. Lord Glenelg suggested to Bourke that it might be wise to raise the minimum price; but Bourke had thought that it was sufficiently high already, [35] so that when Gipps arrived land was being sold by auction at a minimum price of 5s. per acre, both in the old settled districts of New South Wales and at the new settlement of Port Phillip. The apparent success of South Australia in selling land at 12s. per acre, and the recommendations of the two Committees on Waste Lands in 1836, and on Transportation in 1838, convinced the Home Government that they should increase the minimum price in some of the other Australian colonies. Accordingly Lord Glenelg, in 1838, instructed Gipps to raise the price from 5s. to 12s. per acre. It is interesting to notice the reasons which he advanced for the change. The great extent of land sold in New South Wales since 1831, when taken together with the increasing demand there for labour, showed, he considered, an undue dispersion of the colonists, which it was the purpose of the 1831 regulations to prevent. The rise in price then was merely an attempt to give full effect to the principle laid down by Lord Ripon. [36]

It will be seen from this and from other examples during this period that Wakefield's theory had so permeated even the official mind that his ideas had become part of the assumptions, and his formulæ part even of the vocabulary of Government despatches. Indeed all who thought or wrote at this time of British colonization did so in terms of the Wakefield theory, whether their attitude was friendly or hostile.

In the same year the price of land was raised to 12s. in Van Diemen's Land, but, for the time, it remained at 5s. in Western Australia.

Immediately on receipt of these instructions in 1839, Gipps notified the colonists of New South Wales that the alteration would take effect at once at all future sales, but, finding that the governor of Van Diemen's Land considered that the instructions did not refer to land already advertised at a lower price, he assimilated the practice in New South Wales to that of Van Diemen's Land. [37] This reading of the instructions was important, because it meant that in New South Wales no less than 300,000 acres had to be sold at the lower price before the change could take effect. The increase in price was not popular in New South Wales; [38] for the colonists considered that 12s. per acre was too high as a minimum, and that it prevented the sale of land. [39]

In the same year, another important step was taken by Gipps, on his own initiative, to make the position of the squatters more regular. These colonists, and their shepherds and stockmen, had come violently into conflict with the aborigines; [40] and Gipps found it necessary to establish a police force outside the limits of location, and to make the squatters pay for their own protection. Accordingly, with the approval of the squatting interest, an Act was passed in 1839, [41] which continued Bourke's system of pastoral licences, and, at the same time, imposed a tax on the stock grazed on the runs held under licence. The country outside the boundaries of location was, by a proclamation of May 21st, 1839, [42] divided into nine squatting districts; [43] and for each one a commissioner and a body of police (called the Border Police) was provided, whose expenses were met out of the proceeds of the licences and the stock tax.

The next change in the land regulations of New South Wales was a further instalment of the Wakefield system. Lord John Russell, in appointing the Colonial Land and Emigration Board in January, 1840, indicated a preference for the sale of lands at a uniform price instead of by auction; but, recognizing that the change would be difficult, he instructed the commissioners to investigate and report on the comparative advantages of the two systems. [44] They very soon reported in favour of the uniform price, on the grounds that under auction the buyer had to wait until the land was advertised and put up for sale; and that even then he might be disappointed by being outbid. Under a uniform price this delay and uncertainty would, they considered, disappear, because a settler would only have to select his land and pay down his money. Moreover, by the latter system only the best soils would be first selected, and it would be easier to sell land in England. [45] They therefore recommended that, for the future, land should be sold in the new settlements of New South Wales at a uniform price; but that the well-established system of auction in the settled districts should not be suddenly changed. [46] In spite of Gipps' opinion, written soon after his arrival in the colony, that nothing was so essential to its prosperity as the sale of lands by auction, [47] the commissioners recommended that a uniform price of £1 per acre, which they considered had answered well in South Australia, should be imposed on all lands sold in New South Wales outside the nineteen settled counties, with the exception of land in already established towns which it was still desirable to sell by auction. [48] Lord John Russell adopted their reasoning, and, in a despatch of May 31st, 1840, he suggested that the colony of New South Wales should be divided into a middle district, comprising the nineteen old counties, a southern district, including the Port Phillip settlement, and a northern district, including the territory near Moreton Bay. He instructed Gipps to sell lands in the southern district at a uniform fixed price of £1 per acre, except lands in new towns where the price was to be £100 per acre. The system of auction was allowed to remain for town allotments in the established towns of Port Phillip, and for the whole of the middle district; but he indicated that, when the northern district was opened for settlement, the regulations as to Port Phillip would apply there. [49] A few months later, the commissioners, with the approval of the Colonial Office, drew up regulations for the sale of lands in New South Wales embodying these changes, and, at the same time, introducing a system of special surveys. Anyone who should pay at once, either in England or in the colony, for eight square miles of land in New South Wales at the uniform price of £1 per acre, was entitled to demand a survey of that quantity in one block in any part of the colony which he might choose. Their reason for the introduction of this system was that it would both encourage enterprise and enhance the land revenue. [50]

These changes, however, found a very strong opponent in Sir George Gipps, who, disposed by nature to uphold his own views strongly even against his official superiors, had by this time become well acquainted with local conditions in New South Wales. Assuming that one of the objects of a uniform price was to secure to a new settler land without competition and without delay, he was very strongly of the opinion that it would merely lead to a "scramble for land" on the part of wealthy speculators, who would buy up the good land to re-sell it at competitive prices. [51] He quarrelled completely with the doctrine of preventing dispersion by means of a high price, which he took to be the chief feature of the South Australian system. He insisted that, since Australia was primarily a pastoral country, dispersion could not be prevented, and was indeed to be encouraged. "As well might it be attempted to confine the Arabs of the desert within a circle traced upon their sands," he wrote in 1840, "as to confine the graziers or wool-growers of New South Wales within any bounds that can possibly be assigned to them." [52] Wakefield's doctrine of a sufficient price did not in any way appeal to him. "The only sufficient price of any commodity, formerly used to be considered that which it would sell for, when judiciously brought to market." [53] This is, indeed, the keynote of his policy. While Wakefield and those who were now attempting to reduce his theory to practice were imposing a price for the purpose of restricting occupation, Gipps was vigorously contending that the land should be sold in such a way as to realize its full market value. Gipps could never see the force of selling land at any other than the highest price which it would bring. He judged the system of land-sales by its success in producing revenue, not by its success in keeping labourers from becoming landowners too soon. To illustrate his objections to a uniform price, he contrasted the amount of revenue produced by auction at Portland Bay in 1840, compared with what would have been produced if the land had been sold at a uniform price; [54] and he pointed out that to adopt the new principle for Port Phillip would mean a loss to the revenue of about one million pounds. [55]

Another objection which he took to the uniform price, especially when coupled with a system of special surveys, was that it would enable others to buy the land under the feet of the squatters, without giving them the notice to which, at least, they were entitled. [56]

So satisfied, indeed, was Gipps as to the advantage of auction over uniform price, that, when he received the instructions of May, 1840, he issued land regulations which in practice rendered almost nugatory the introduction of a uniform price into Port Phillip. The colony of New South Wales was divided into three districts. [57] Country lands were to be sold at Port Phillip at the uniform price of £1 per acre; lands in new townships at the uniform price of £100 per acre; and lands in established towns by auction. But, at the same time, on his own responsibility, though with the concurrence of the Legislative Council, Gipps reserved from sale all lands previously advertised at a higher upset price than £1 per acre, and also all lands within five miles of the towns of Melbourne, Williamstown, Geelong, and Portland. [58]

Gipps was equally strongly opposed to the new system of special surveys because of its unfairness to squatters, and because it would cause loss to the revenue. [59] The first special survey was sold in England by the commissioners to Mr. Henry Dendy, who paid £5,120, and in return received an order entitling him to select eight square miles at Port Phillip. [60] On his arrival in 1841, he claimed that this land order entitled him to select his land as near as possible to the established towns. [61] This, however, Gipps was determined not to concede; and he issued regulations to the effect that neither land surveyed and open to selection by ordinary purchasers, nor land within five miles of the established towns, could be included in a special survey, thereby materially limiting Dendy's area of selection. [62] The actual value of such a special survey, if freedom of selection had been allowed, may be seen from the fact that Dendy, on the day of his arrival, was offered £15,000 for his land order, but refused to take less than £50,000. [63]

Gipps notified the Home Government of the steps which he had taken in carrying out the instructions as to sale at a uniform price and special surveys, and asked for further instructions. In the meantime he continued to send to the Colonial Office strongly-worded protests against both systems.

In this opposition Gipps had the support of the colonists. The Legislative Council of New South Wales in 1840, and again in 1841, gave their decided opinion in favour of auction as the best method of disposing of land. [64] Mr. La Trobe, too, the superintendent at Port Phillip, while admitting that some objection could be taken to sale by auction on the ground that it caused delays and disappointment to settlers, thought that on the whole it had worked very successfully. [65]

The most important of Gipps' protests was an able memorandum, in 1840, on the disposal of land in New South Wales, based on his experience in the colony, and strongly condemning the recent innovations. [66] Coming, as it did, at the time when the failure of South Australia was throwing discredit on the system established there, including the principle of a uniform price, this memorandum led the Home Government, in 1841, to reverse its policy, and to abandon the uniform price. [67] Lord John Russell first approved of Gipps' action in reserving land near the towns from sale at a uniform price; [68] and then, in deference to Gipps' experience and judgment and to the report of the South Australian Committee of 1841, which had recommended auction, he retraced his steps and restored the former system of auction with this addition, that country land, which had been put up to auction and remained unsold, should then be disposed of at the upset price. [69] A few months previously, in view of Gipps' representations and of reports from South Australia as to the working of special surveys there, Russell had ordered that no more should be granted either in New South Wales or by the commissioners in England. [70] Not much use had been made of the system before it was abandoned; for Dendy's was the only special survey sold by the commissioners, while no more than seven had been sold in the colony. [71]

During this period the demand for labour in New South Wales was always urgent. The opening up of Port Phillip, and the increase in land sales there and in other parts of New South Wales, had at once increased the demand for labour, and provided the means of supplying it. But, even though the number of assisted emigrants grew greatly from 1837, it could not keep pace with the wants of the colonists, especially after the system of assignment had been abolished. In the absence of sufficient emigrants from Europe, the introduction of coolie labour from India had been suggested in 1837 by the Immigration Committee of the New South Wales Legislative Council. [72] Lord Glenelg had at once opposed the project, [73] and the Transportation Committee of 1838 strongly objected that such indentured labour, if permanent, would mean the introduction of a slave caste which would curse Australia with an evil similar to that existing in the Southern States of America. [74] When Gipps arrived in New South Wales, he found the proposal still supported by some who looked "rather to their own immediate wants, than to the ultimate good of the country;" and he entirely disapproved of any attempt to put it into practice. [75] One colonist, indeed, had, in December, 1836, introduced into New South Wales at his own expense forty-one Indian coolies; and, in 1838, he was bold enough to ask in return payment of a bounty of £6 per head. Gipps, however, fully agreeing with Glenelg's attitude to this question, refused to recommend this claim. [76] The project of Indian immigration was revived again in 1841, but the Legislative Council then refused to support it. [77]

When Mr. T. F. Elliot was appointed Agent-General for Emigration in 1837, he found in existence two methods of conducting assisted emigration to New South Wales, Government emigration, and bounty emigration. The former was controlled partly by the Home Government, partly by the Colonial Government; while the latter was controlled entirely by the Colonial Government. Under the former system surgeons were sent home by the Colonial Government to choose parties of emigrants, and to take them out to the colony. [78] It was found, however, that this plan was expensive and resulted in bringing a greater number of young children than was desirable; while the mortality on board these ships was very great. [79] Elliot, therefore, in the beginning of 1838, appointed selecting officers in England and Ireland, and assumed the whole responsibility for managing Government emigration. [80]

After his appointment as Agent-General for Emigration no more ships exclusively with female emigrants were despatched by the Government; but young married couples with their families, and unmarried female relations or friends travelling under their protection, were sent. [81]

After 1837, too. Government emigration ships were only very occasionally sent to Van Diemen's Land; and, since the bounty system was not adopted until 1840, there was practically no assisted emigration to that colony between 1837 and 1840. [82] Even after 1840 the revival did not last long; and, from 1842 to 1848, there were no funds available for assisting emigration there. [83]

The bounty system, as adopted by Governor Bourke in 1837, [84] had originally been intended for the benefit of settlers who wished to introduce labourers for their own service. But, even before Bourke had left, the system had changed, and had become a commercial speculation, in which shipowners had obtained bounty orders, i.e., permissions from the Colonial Government to import immigrants, without any pretence that they wanted the labourers for their own service. The importers trusted to the general fitness of the emigrants to obtain the bounties payable on their introduction. [85]

Up to 1840, the two systems of bounty and Government emigration remained in competition with one another; and the question of their relative merits was very much canvassed in New South Wales. There was little to choose between them in regard to the health of the emigrants. Both bounty and Government ships suffered a good deal from sickness on board, and several had to be quarantined on arrival. [86] The mortality on Government ships during the voyage was less than on bounty ships, the average being six per cent. of deaths as compared with eight per cent. [87] But Government emigration proved much more expensive than bounty emigration. Under the latter system the cost of emigration was less by £4. per head, or 21 per cent., than under the former system; while, if the quality of the emigrants and the number of children sent were taken into account, the advantage was still greater. [88] For this reason the colonists naturally preferred the bounty system, and Gipps was convinced by experience that they were right. [89] He wished that, if possible, both systems should be continued, because he thought that each was necessary to supply the demand for labour in the colony; but, in view of the expense of Government emigration, he recommended, at the end of 1839, that it should be discontinued unless its cost could be reduced. [90] Without waiting for an answer to this request, however, he took a step which, in the end, practically led to the cessation of Government emigration. When the practice of assignment was abandoned, and transportation was about to be abolished, the demand for labour became greater than ever in the colony. To meet this difficulty the Immigration Committee of the Legislative Council, in 1839, recommended that the amount of the bounties should be raised, and, in view of the absolute necessity of securing a supply of emigrants, Gipps, though reluctantly, consented. [91]

Accordingly, he issued a Government notice, on the 3rd March, 1840, revising the regulations for bounty emigration. The bounty for a married man and his wife was increased from £30 to £38, and those for children and unmarried men and women were raised in the same proportion. As before, unmarried women were eligible only if travelling under the protection of a married couple, and unmarried men only if an equal number of unmarried women were brought out in this way at the same time. The class of emigrants required consisted of agricultural labourers, shepherds, carpenters, bricklayers, masons, and female domestic and farm servants. No bounty was to be paid on any emigrant until approved by a board appointed by the Colonial Government. Those who wished to engage in the business of bounty emigration were to apply to the Colonial Government for permission; and the bounty orders thus granted were only available within two years from their date. [92]

In January, 1840, a most important step, to which some reference has already been made, [93] was taken by the Home Government in appointing a Board of Land and Emigration Commissioners to take the place of the South Australian Commissioners and of the Agent-General for Emigration. The credit of the immediate change is due to James Stephen, who, when the South Australian Commissioners requested remuneration for their services, took the opportunity to consider the whole question of the management of land-sales and emigration. He proposed to consolidate Elliot's establishment with that of the South Australian Commission, which were "the precise counterparts of one another;" to appoint three commissioners; and to enlarge considerably their sphere of action. He found that the two offices and their agents had indulged in an "unseemly and injurious competition" for emigrants; and suggested that the measure would mean a considerable saving of money and a great increase of efficiency. Also it "would go far to satisfy the demands of Mr. Ward and his associates on this subject," besides being an effectual answer to the demand for salaries on the part of the eight unpaid South Australian Commissioners. [94]

Lord John Russell adopted the proposal, and accordingly on the 14th January, 1840, he appointed as Colonial Land and Emigration Commissioners Mr. T. F. Elliot, Colonel Torrens, and Mr. Edward Villiers. At the same time he gave them instructions which, Charles Buller said in 1843, contained "an admirable view of the general duties of a government in respect to colonization." [95] The commissioners were to act as South Australian Commissioners, but, in addition, they were to be a general board to manage the sale of land, and to promote emigration in other colonies. In this latter capacity their duties were fourfold. First, the collection and diffusion of accurate statistical information as to the various colonies. Secondly, the sale in Great Britain of waste lands in the colonies. Thirdly, the application of the proceeds of such sales in emigration. Fourthly, the rendering of accounts of their administration of the land fund. Russell laid it down that colonial waste lands were "held in trust, not merely for the existing colonists, but for the people of the British Empire collectively." In the British North American colonies the commissioners were to have no power of selling lands, and their duties in those colonies were consequently restricted. But the Australian colonies formed the principal field for their operations. They were given power to contract for the sale of lands there, and to use the proceeds in emigration, except in so far as they might be required for pressing local needs. In the colonies where there was no revenue for emigration the commissioners were to exercise a general superintendence over emigration. [96]

The Board was not finally abolished until 1878, and in the meantime it carried on a work of very great importance. [97]

Without detracting from the merit of Stephen's proposal, it is clear that to Wakefield is due the chief merit for this measure, which even more definitely than the appointment of Elliot, made emigration a department of government. He had shown the way by his inauguration of a land and emigration Commission for South Australia. In 1836 he had urged the appointment of a general Board to deal with these matters, and had persuaded the Waste Lands Committee of that year to recommend his proposal. It was the first instalment of his system in Australia which created the assisted emigration to those colonies, and made it necessary for the Government to assume its control and direction. Finally, he had repeated his recommendation, in 1839, in his Report on Crown Lands and Emigration in Canada, and his conclusive reasoning had convinced Lord Durham.

After the raising of the bounties, Gipps issued bounty orders throughout 1840 in a lavish manner, so that, on October 31st of that year, the colonial government was pledged to pay bounties to the amount of £979,562 on the arrival, within two years, of 71,315 emigrants. He apprehended no inconvenience from this large issue, as he considered it impossible that such a number of people could arrive within the given time. [98] The immediate effect of these orders was a great increase in bounty emigration, and the Land and Emigration Commissioners, finding that more emigrants were going to New South Wales than the whole estimated amount of available revenue would pay for, were forced to cease sending Government emigration ships. [99] In view of this. Lord John Russell decided to give bounty emigration a further trial under the superintendence of the Commissioners. They were to arrange for the inspection of ships and emigrants, and, if all proper conditions were complied with, were to issue to the master of the ship a certificate to that effect, without which no bounty was to be paid. [100]

Gipps' zeal for emigration, however, outran the means at his disposal. Towards the end of 1840 he inserted conditions in the bounty orders to the effect that their payment was conditional on the Colonial Government having funds to meet them; [101] but he nevertheless continued to issue orders during the early part of 1841, so that in March of that year the Colonial Government was liable to pay £1,175,471 for the importation of 84,925 emigrants, a fact which the governor noticed without comment. At this time, too, New South Wales was suffering from a severe commercial crisis and the receipts from land sales which, in 1840, had amounted to over £300,000 were rapidly decreasing. [102] At length Gipps took alarm, and, in view of the diminution or the land fund and the great influx of emigrants, he appealed to Russell in November, 1841, to check emigration to New South Wales. [103] Russell, before the arrival of this request, had severely censured Gipps for his unauthorized proceedings in issuing so many bounty orders, and had forbidden him to issue any more. [104] At the same time the Commissioners had taken steps to put a stop to bounty emigration, by a notice to the effect that no bounty would be payable for any emigrant leaving after November 1st, 1841. [105] Throughout 1842 bounty emigration was therefore suspended, [106] although emigrants who had sailed before November, 1841, arrived in New South Wales during the early part of the year.

As a system of providing a regular supply of efficient labour to New South Wales bounty emigration had some serious faults. Bounty agents were under no engagement to bring out the emigrants for whom they had obtained orders. The Colonial Government, on the other hand, was bound to pay for all those who might be introduced under the orders. There was no certainty, therefore, that a regular supply of labour would be introduced; while the Colonial Government, having in this way undertaken heavy liabilities, was precluded from providing emigration in any other way. Bounty emigration was precarious and uncertain, operating to embarrass the Government while weighing lightly on the speculators who traded in orders. [107] Nor did the system ensure that the emigrants would be of the class required in the colony. Only those who followed certain occupations, men and women in equal numbers, married couples and single women travelling under their protection, and all of good character, were wanted by the colonists. Generally speaking, they obtained the class of emigrants which they required, although there were a great number of exceptions; while some of the evils which had been prevalent in the earlier years of assisted emigration again occurred. This latter statement, however, is true only of the years 1841 and 1842; for there was little complaint of the emigrants who arrived before the raising of the bounties caused a sudden rush to speculate in bounty orders, and a consequent flood of emigrants into the colony. The certificates given by the commissioners that all proper conditions had been complied with in the selection of emigrants and in the shipping arrangements, was not a very useful check. [108] Frauds and forgeries were not uncommonly committed by emigrants and bounty agents in their efforts to evade the regulations. [109] This evasion applied especially to the regulation which provided that single women should travel only as members of a family party. [110] No very great care was exercised in the selection of the women, and in one or two cases prostitutes were sent, though in nothing like the numbers which arrived on the female emigrant ships of 1832 and 1833. [111] The arrangements on board ship were not always good. There were a few cases where provisions and water were bad in quality and scanty in amount. [112] Many complaints were justly made of the conduct of masters and surgeons towards the emigrants. [113] The surgeons on the whole were men of indifferent ability, [114] and there was a considerable amount of sickness on board the emigrant ships. [115] The troubles of the emigrants were not at an end when they reached the colony. Although the majority were quickly absorbed, some of the women who had come out nominally under the protection of married couples were left for a while without shelter or employment. In this emergency a private philanthropist supplemented the work of the Colonial Government. Mrs. Caroline Chisholm, wife of Captain Chisholm of the Madras Army, who arrived in Sydney in 1839, disinterestedly laboured to establish depots throughout the country for the newly-arrived emigrants, and to give them shelter and protection until suitable situations could be found for them. [116]

Although it was not possible for the Colonial Government, under the existing system, to prevent the emigration of those who did not suit the needs of the colony, nor indeed to supervise the arrangements for their selection and during the voyage, yet they could, and did, refuse to pay bounties. [117] A strict investigation was made into the circumstances of each emigrant ship which arrived in the colony by Emigration Boards appointed by the Colonial Government. Where evidence was found that there had been ill-treatment, sickness, lack of proper provisions, fraud, or misrepresentations as to the character of the emigrants, bounties were withheld in whole or in part. [118] How strict were the inquiries may be seen from the fact that bounties were refused on 1,112 persons out of 24,350 bounty emigrants arriving in New South Wales during 1841 and 1842. [119]

In connection with the subject of land sales and emigration, the allied questions once more arose in New South Wales as to what money should be spent in emigration, and who should control the land revenue.

In 1838, the legislative council of New South Wales had suggested the advisability of raising a loan for emigration, but Gipps had opposed it on the score of the difficulty of maintaining economy in the midst of the fictitious wealth which would be thus produced. [120] They renewed the recommendation in 1839, and then found Gipps ready to agree, though "with the greatest possible reluctance." [121] But the Home Government were strongly opposed to the policy of a loan, [122] and, although the suggestion was repeated by the council in each year from 1838 to 1842, it was not adopted. [123]

Another method, however, of providing money was more successful. In 1841 Gipps recommended the issue of debentures, in view of the great demands made on the Colonial Treasury for the payment of bounty orders. Accordingly, with the concurrence of the legislative council, he issued in 1842 debentures to the amount of £49,000, and subsequently obtained the approval of the Home Government for his action. [124]

But the greater part of the money used in emigration during this period came, as before, from the proceeds of the sale of lands. This income, during the five years ending with 1840, had averaged over £160,000 a year—reaching as much as £300,000 in 1840; [125] and the greater part was spent in emigration. All the colonists of New South Wales were now agreed that to this object should be devoted as much of the fund as possible. [126] All opposition to this part of the Wakefield system had long ago gone. The Immigration Committee of the legislative council in 1840, wrote of "those two great pillars of colonial prosperity, the sale of land, and the just application of the proceeds to the promotion of emigration." [127] For some years previous to 1840 the land fund had been drawn on for the ordinary expenses of government when it was found impossible to keep the ordinary expenditure within the revenue. [128] This was, in 1840 and in 1841, made a matter of protest by Molesworth and Grote in the House of Commons. [129] But during 1841 and 1842, when the land sales suddenly dropped, first to £90,000, and then to £15,000, a considerable amount of the ordinary revenue was spent in emigration. [130] The result was that, by the end of 1842, out of a land fund of £1,090,000, obtained in the years 1832 to 1842, a sum of £950,000 had been spent in emigration. Since, however, the land fund had been charged with the expenses of its sale and survey, and the protection of aborigines, amounting in all to £260,000, no less than £120,000 of the ordinary revenue had been devoted to emigration. [131]

In 1838, when this large expenditure on emigration had not yet taken place, the legislative council had suggested that the land fund should be exclusively applied to this purpose. [132] But, as Gipps pointed out, their object probably was to force the Home Government to resume the charges for police and gaols which had been laid on the colonial revenue in 1834. [133] Indeed, the agitation for the removal of these charges was, throughout the whole period, unsuccessfully carried on by the legislative council. The Treasury, in 1838, took their stand on the "general principle that expenditure incurred in and for the benefit of the colony ought, whenever practicable, to be defrayed out of the colonial revenue;" and deliberately refused to relieve the colony. [134] To the later protests that these charges were more than the colony could bear, and that the land fund was suffering, they replied that the Colonial Government, with economy, might easily meet its expenses out of ordinary revenue, and leave the land fund free for emigration. [135] Whatever may be thought of the justice of their policy, the Treasury's contention was well founded. The amount of these charges had increased from £26,000 in 1835, to £60,000 in 1838, and to over £100,000 in 1839. [136] In 1841, Gipps attempted to make each district of the colony pay its own police and gaol expenses; and introduced into the legislative council a Bill for that purpose which was rejected then, and again in 1842. [137] But the colony had so prospered, and the ordinary revenue had so increased, that, as the figures of emigration expenditure above quoted show, the Colonial Government was able to meet these charges, and yet to devote almost the whole of the land revenue to emigration.

The other question as to who should control the land revenue did not give much trouble. Despite the very strong declaration as to the rights of the Crown contained in Lord Glenelg's despatch of July 10th, 1835, [138] the colonists, during Gipps' first year of office, asserted that the right to appropriate this revenue had been conceded to the governor and council in 1834, and that it had been recognized by Bourke. Gipps, however, stoutly maintained that the Crown alone possessed this right, and his position was not again seriously challenged. [139]

The success of the system of land sales and emigration in New South Wales, and in the founding of South Australia, gave rise to several projects of colonization on similar lines. In 1839 a committee of men of the North of England wished to colonize part of Port Phillip by purchasing land there from the Home Government, and sending out settlers. The Home Government, however, replied to their request, that the land in question formed part of the colony of New South Wales, to whose local government belonged the decision as to the expediency of selling land there. [140]

Another venture was the formation of the Australind Company, one of whose directors was Wakefield, to buy land near Bunbury in Western Australia, and to form a settlement there on the South Australian principle. The first ship was despatched in August, 1840, land was bought, and a settlement begun. But the cheapness of land in that colony owing to the earlier system of large grants operated inimically; and the company was a financial failure, although a number of excellent colonists were by its means settled in Western Australia. [141]

Yet another scheme was that of Major Sullivan, a retired army officer resident in New South Wales. In 1842 he proposed to establish a settlement at New Caledonia, to be called Victoria in honour of the Queen. A company was to be formed, under Royal Charter, with a capital of £3,000,000, to buy land from the Crown at 5s. per acre, and to use the proceeds in Asiatic or convict emigration until free Europeans became acclimatized. The Colonial Office rightly dismissed the plan as "visionary and impracticable"; and it is worthy of notice solely as illustrating how Wakefield's principle of land sales and assisted emigration had by this time become part of the stock-in-trade of every new colony promoter. [142]

Throughout this period the systematic colonizers did not relax their efforts to get the Wakefield system more firmly established in Australia. The chief point on which they now concentrated their attention was the necessity for permanency, both of the system of land sales, and the devotion of the proceeds to emigration. One of their earliest objections to the Ripon Regulations had been that they were maintained simply by the authority of the Secretary of State, and might be as easily withdrawn. Another objection had been that there was no guarantee that the whole or a fixed proportion of the proceeds would be used in emigration. [143] They therefore recommended that the whole system should be regulated by an Act of Parliament, which should lay down the principle of sale at a uniform price as the sole method of alienation of land, and, at the same time, prescribe that the whole of the proceeds were to be used in emigration. In addition, they urged the appointment of a central board, which should control both land sales and emigration. In 1839, H. G. Ward, supported by Molesworth and Buller, moved resolutions in the House of Commons affirming the principles of the Wakefield system, and making these recommendations. Lord Howick gave his support to these principles, though he was careful to indicate his preference for auction, and the Government spokesman, Labouchere, was not unfavourable. [144]

That part of their recommendations relating to the appointment of a central board was, as has already been noticed, carried out, in 1840, by the formation of the Board of Colonial Land and Emigration Commissioners; but it was not until 1842 that the Government introduced a Bill which, in the main, gave effect to the rest of their proposals. This Bill, which became the Australian Waste Lands Act of 1842, passed through both Houses with surprisingly little discussion, the only important speech being that of Lord Stanley in introducing it and explaining its object. [145]

The Government's reasons for the measure, as given by Stanley in the House of Commons and in the circular despatch accompanying the Act to the governors of the Australasian colonies, were first, to put an end to the power of the Secretary of State to change the system of land sales, next, to introduce uniformity amongst the Australasian colonies, lastly, to establish permanently the principle on which the land revenue was to be expended. [146]

The Act [147] laid down the principle that colonial waste lands, with certain exceptions, were to be sold by auction at a minimum price of £1 per acre, [148] which the governor was given the power to raise. [149] Lands were to be divided into three classes—town, suburban, and country lots [150] The first two classes might not be sold otherwise than by auction. The third class, however, if put up for auction and remaining unsold, might be disposed of by private contract at a price not less than the upset price or the highest price which had been offered at auction. [151] Blocks of 20,000 acres or more of unsurveyed lands might also be sold by private contract, if the governor thought fit, but again at not less than the upset price. [152] The expenses of survey, management and sales of land were to be a primary charge on the land revenue; and, subject to this charge, the land revenue was to be divided into two equal parts of which one was to be devoted to emigration. [153] It was specially provided that the Act was not to affect pastoral licences, nor was land held in this way to be sold until after the expiration of the licence. [154] Finally, the Act applied to all the colonies of Australia and to New Zealand. [155] Lord Stanley instructed the governors that, of the moiety of the land revenue left at the discretion of the Government, about 15 per cent., should be spent on the aborigines, a further portion on public works, and the rest should go to the general revenue. [156]

In its provisions as to land sales the Act was advisedly carrying out the recommendations of the South Australian Committee of 1841; and, indeed, was merely regularizing and giving Parliamentary authority to the practice which, established in 1831, had been lately fixed by Lord John Russell in 1841, after his short-lived attempt to enforce a uniform price. The vexed question as to what proportion of the land revenue should be spent in emigration was now definitely settled; but the even more important question of squatting was left untouched. The easy system of pastoral licences adopted by Bourke, and continued by Gipps, still remained in existence; [157] but signs were not wanting that some changes would soon have to be made. From the point of view of the Colonial Government, while it was necessary to safeguard the rights of the Crown and the interests of the colony in dealing with the squatters, there was the difficulty that a great deal of available land in the settled districts had been sold, and the Government was anxious to obtain the revenue from selling the land held by the squatters. [158] Again, up to 1844, there was no regulation limiting the area or the number of runs which a squatter might hold under one licence. For this reason the licence fees were bringing in very little revenue, and Lord John Russell had, in 1841, asked Gipps to consider whether it were not possible to raise their amount. [159] From the point of view of the squatters their tenure was too precarious, and they had already begun to agitate for compensation for improvements if dispossessed, and for that right of pre-emption in buying the land they held, [160] which, when conceded in 1847, was to cause those violent struggles which disfigure the later land history of Australia. They were claiming, indeed, to possess a right to their land greater than that of mere occupation at the pleasure of the Crown. Gipps, however, had made it clear that he was unwilling to sacrifice the interests of the colony by giving the squatters any more advantages than they enjoyed. [161]

In 1842 another important Act was passed which introduced into Australia a further instalment of the Wakefield system by giving to the colonists of New South Wales some measure of self-government. An Act of 1823 had provided for the establishment in New South Wales or a legislative council to assist the governor in legislation. [162] This council was appointed in 1825, and, by another Act of 1828, it was increased in size and given more power. [163] The council was a purely nominee body, appointed by the Crown and consisting partly of Government officials, partly of private settlers. The New South Wales Government Act of 1842, [164] which passed with even less discussion than the Waste Lands Act, for the first time introduced into that colony political representation. It provided for a legislative council consisting of twelve members appointed by the Crown, and twenty-four members elected by the colonists. [165]

By this Act an attempt was made also to settle the long-standing dispute in the colony over the expenses of police and gaols. A system of local government was to be introduced and district councils established, which were to have power to provide, inter alia, the means of defraying one-half of these expenses. [166] This scheme, however, proved an entire failure. [167]

How far then had the Wakefield system been introduced into the Australasian colonies by 1842?

The first great blow had been given to transportation, and, by its abolition in New South Wales, free scope had been allowed for the working of the Wakefield system there. New South Wales was becoming what the systematic colonizers had long desired, a colony rescued from the evil of convictism and gradually becoming more attractive to free settlers, at once creating by land sales a demand for labour, and providing the means of meeting that demand.

In the next place, the system of land sales and assisted emigration, introduced unobtrusively in 1831 as an experiment, and tentatively continued since then with such alterations as theory and experience had dictated, was, by 1842, adopted as the most suitable for the needs of the Australasian colonies, and given a more enduring basis in an Act of Parliament. The time of experiment was over, and the Wakefield system as modified by local experience was definitely established by law.

Then, too, a central board had at length been appointed to control both the sale of lands and the management of emigration.

Lastly, the very important step had been taken of introducing political representation into two of the Australian colonies, and from that time the transition to responsible government, even if long deferred, was inevitable.

On the whole there can be no doubt that some of the principles of the Wakefield system, though largely modified, had, by 1842, received a remarkably full realization in practice in the Australasian colonies. While its general principles were thus in part conceded, its practical value as a system of colonization was recognized. The land regulations certainly did not embody the doctrine of a sufficient price which was the keystone of the Wakefield theory on its economic side. £1 per acre was never at any time admitted by Wakefield to be sufficient to check dispersion and to prevent labourers from becoming landowners too soon. Again, the method of auction was retained for most purposes, and, although Wakefield was forced to admit its value in special cases, he by no means abandoned his opposition to any but a fixed and uniform price. In practice, however, the provision that lands remaining unsold at auction might be disposed of at the minimum upset price, conceded the principle of a uniform price. Although the systematic colonizers preferred, too, that the whole of the proceeds of land-sales should be devoted to emigration, Wakefield, at least, was disposed to admit that his system might work if a fixed proportion was allocated to this purpose. His contention that colonists should be well selected had been borne in mind. Considerable care was exercised in the selection of emigrants to Australia, and a due proportion between the sexes was observed.

Squatters were left in the same favourable position, and all that had been done up to 1842 to give them easy access to the waste lands of the Crown, would have had Wakefield's entire approval.

Considering, however, that the theory arose in the brain of one unconnected with the colonies and without experience of their local conditions, the system of colonization which he advocated was adopted with surprisingly little modification. No doubt those who put it into practice did so for reasons which would not have commended themselves to Wakefield. The aim of those who administered the system of land-sales, especially of Gipps, seems to have been to raise as much money as possible for emigration, and to this Wakefield would never have consented. But, if the Wakefield system is taken on its economic side to be merely a practical means of colonizing by selling waste land, and using a fixed proportion of the proceeds in assisted emigration, it had been well established in all the Australasian colonies by 1842.




Footnotes to Chapter X.


1 Molesworth, in the House of Commons, 1839. Hansard, 3rd Series, Vol. xlviii, p. 884. Buller, ibid., 1840, Vol. liii, p. 1302.

2 Molesworth obtained his Committee through Lord John Russell. He says that he would not approach Lord Glenelg, then head of the Colonial Office, because of "the proverbial indecision and supineness of that Minister." Hansard, 3rd Series, Vol. xli, pp. 490-1.

3 First Report and Minutes of Evidence. Acc. and Pap., 1837, Vol. xix; Final Report and Minutes of Evidence. Ibid., 1837-8, Vol. xxii. This latter Report is reprinted as an appendix to the Selected Speeches of Sir William Molesworth, edited by Professor Egerton, 1903.

4 Mrs. Fawcett, Life of Sir William Molesworth, 1903. pp. 147-52.

5 Mrs. Fawcett, Life of Sir William Molesworth, 1903, p. 153.

6 The Three Colonies of Australia, 1853, 2nd Ed., p. 107.

7 See the Petition enclosed in Gipps to Glenelg, July 18th, 1838, in Paper No. 76, Acc. and Pap., 1839, Vol. xxxiv, p. 551. See also the Resolutions of the Legislative Council of New South Wales on Immigration, Oct. 23rd, 1840. Enclosed in Gipps to Russell, Oct. 25th, 1840, Paper No. 308, Acc. and Pap., 1841, Vol. xvii, p. 287.

8 Glenelg to Bourke, May 26th, 1837. No. 42 of Appendix D to the Transportation Report. Bourke to Glenelg, Nov. 22nd, 1837, ibid.

9 Gipps to Glenelg, Oct. 8th, 1838. C.O. 201/276.

10 Gipps to Russell, July 21st, 1841. C.O. 201/310.

11 Russell to Gipps, July 6th, 1840. No. 8 of Paper No. 412, Acc. and Pap., 1841, Vol. xvii, p. 341; see also Report of the Immigration Committee of the Legislative Council of New South Wales, enclosed in Gipps to Russell, Aug. 26th, 1841. No. 22 of Paper No. 301, Acc. and Pap., 1842, Vol. xxxi, p. 49; and Gipps to Normanby, Nov. 23rd, 1839. C.O. 201/288.

12 See Charles Buller in the House of Commons, 1840. Hansard, 3rd Series, Vol. liii, p. 1301. Colonial Gazette, Oct. 16th, 1839.

13 Good brief accounts will be found in Jenks, History of the Australasian Colonies, 1912, 3rd Ed., Chap. viii; Garnett, E. G. Wakefield, 1898, Chap. V. Much information as to the state of New Zealand and the doings of the New Zealand Company is contained in the Reports of the Committee of the House of Lords on New Zealand, 1838, Acc. and Pap., 1837-8, Vol. xxi, p. 327; Select Committees on New Zealand, 1840, Acc. and Pap., 1840, Vol. vii, p. 447; 1844, Acc. and Pap., 1844, Vol. xiii.

14 Question 961, Acc. and Pap., 1836, Vol. xi, p. 499.

15 England and America, Vol. ii, footnote at p. 243.

16 See the heads of Bill sent to Lord Melbourne by H. G. Ward. Enclosed in Melbourne to Glenelg, June 14th, 1837. C.O. 209/2.

17 Report in Acc. and Pap., 1837, Vol. vii, p. i.

18 When the heads of the proposed Bill were sent to Lord Melbourne by H. G. Ward, Melbourne sent them on to Lord Glenelg, who submitted them to Stephen. The latter, a supporter of the Missionaries and an opponent of the "self-supporting principle," raised two objections which seemed to him conclusive. "First, it proposes the acquisition of a sovereignty in New Zealand which would infallibly issue in the conquest and the extermination of the present inhabitants. Secondly, these suggestions are so vague and so obscure as to defy all interpretation. The writers are plainly the victims of Mr. Ward's monomania, and beyond his self-supporting principle have not, as far as I can perceive, any distinct perception of their own meaning." Memorandum, June 16th, 1837. C.O. 209/2.

19 The Principles, Objects, and Plan of the New Zealand Association examined, 1837; a private pamphlet of Notes for the deputation from the C.M.S. to the Colonial Office, 1837.

20 Mr. Dandeson Coates and the New Zealand Association, 1837, by E. G. Wakefield.

21 Glenelg's memorandum for Durham, Dec. 15th, 1837. C.O. 209/2.

22 Glenelg to Durham, Dec. 29th, 1837. Appendix No. 8 to Report of Select Committee on New Zealand. Acc. and Pap., 1840, Vol. vii, p. 447.

23 Glenelg to Durham, Dec. 29th, 1837. Appendix No. 8 to Report of Select Committee on New Zealand. Acc. and Pap., 1840, Vol. vii, p. 447.

24 C.M.S. to Sir G. Grey, Jan. 30th, 1838. C.O. 209/3.

25 W. White to E. G. Wakefield, Jan. 4th, 1838. C.O. 209/3; Glenelg to Durham, Jan. 12th, 1838. C.O. 406/1.

26 Durham to Glenelg, Dec. 30th, 1837. Appendix No. 8 to the Report of the Select Committee on New Zealand, 1840. Acc. and Pap., 1840, Vol. vii, p. 447.

27 Glenelg to Durham, Feb. 5th, 1838. Appendix No. 11, ibid.

28 Debate on motion for leave to introduce the Bill. Hansard, 3rd Series, Vol. xliii, p. 542. Debate on second reading, ibid., pp. 871-82.

29 Labouchere to Standish Motte, March 11th, 1839. No. 5 of Correspondence relative to New Zealand. Acc. and Pap., 1840, Vol. xxxiii, p. 507. James Stephen showed where the trouble lay when he wrote: "The real difficulty of executing this project consisted and I think still consists in obtaining a list of names of directors, etc., which would disarm the opposition of the great missionary societies—an opposition which would prove fatal to any project of colonizing New Zealand." Memorandum of March 15th, 1839. C.O. 209/4.

30 Normanby to Hobson, Aug. 14th, 1839. No. 16 of Correspondence relative to New Zealand. Acc. and Pap., 1840, Vol. xxxiii, p. 507.

31 5 & 6 Vic, c. 36. See later in this chapter.

32 The distance of Australia from Great Britain at this time may be realized from the fact that Gipps' voyage to Sydney lasted 131 days. Gipps to Glenelg, Feb. 26th, 1838. C.O. 201/272.

33 Goderich to Bourke, July 10th, 1831. No. 6 of Acc. and Pap., 1831, Vol. xix, p. 113.

34 Torrens to Glenelg, Oct. 12th, 1836; Stephen to the Colonization Commissioners, Oct. 27th, 1836. Appendix G to the Report of the Transportation Committee. Acc. and Pap., 1837-8, Vol. xxii.

35 Chap. vii, p. 214.

36 "The object of the change of system introduced by Lord Ripon was to remedy the great want of labour which was at that time complained of in the colony, by providing the pecuniary means of assisting emigration, and at the same time preventing the undue dispersion of the emigrants. The result has been to refute the arguments with which the change of system was originally opposed, and completely to justify the principle on which Lord Ripon's regulations were based. In order, however, to give full effect to that principle, it is indispensable that the price of land should now be considerably raised." Glenelg to Gipps, Aug. 9th, 1838, No. 6 of Paper No. 536-I, Acc. and Pap., 1839, VoL xxxix, p. 371.

37 Gipps to Glenelg, April 1st, 1839, C.O. 201/285.

38 Ibid.

39 Report of the Committee of the Legislative Council of New South Wales, Dec. 14th, 1841, enclosed in No. 23 of Paper No. 323, Acc. and Pap., 1843, Vol. xxxiv, p. 367.

40 Gipps to Glenelg, Feb. 20th, 1839. No. i of Paper No. 627. Acc. and Pap., 1844, Vol. xxxiv, p. 315.

41 2 Vict. No. 27 (N.S.W.). Printed in No. 37 of Acc. and Pap., 1843, Vol. xxxiv, p. 367.

42 New South Wales Government Gazette, May 22nd, 1839, enclosure 2 in No. 3 of Paper No. 627. Acc. and Pap., 1844, Vol. xxxiv, p. 315.

43 The districts were Port Macquarie, New England, Liverpool Plains, Bligh, Wellington, Lachlan, Murrumbidgee, Monaroo, and Port Phillip. Ibid.

44 Instructions to the Commissioners, Jan. 14th, 1840. Acc. and Pap., 1840, Vol. xxxiii, p. 7.

45 Commissioners to Russell, Jan. 28th, 1840. No. i of Acc. and Pap., 1840, Vol. xxxiii, p. 69. See also their letter of July 17th, 1841, enclosed in No. 6 of Acc. and Pap., 1843, Vol. xxxiv, p. 367.

46 Letter of Jan. 28th, 1840.

47 Gipps to Glenelg, June 2nd, 1838, enclosed in No. 2 of Acc. and Pap., 1840, Vol. xxxiii, p. 69.

48 No. 4 of Acc. and Pap., 1840, Vol. xxxiii, p. 69.

49 Russell to Gipps, May 31st, 1840. No. i of Acc. and Pap., 1840, Vol. xxxiii, p. 393.

50 Commissioners to Stephen, Aug, 3rd, 1840, and enclosure. No. 8 of Acc. and Pap., 1840, Vol. xxxiii, p. 69.

51 Gipps to Russell, June 30th, 1840. No. i of Acc. and Pap., 1841, Vol. xvii, p. 185. Gipps to Normanby, Dec. 10th, 1839, No. 5 of Acc. and Pap., 1840, Vol. xxxiii, p. 69.

52 Memorandum in No. 5 of Acc. and Pap., 1843, Vol. xxxiv, p. 367. In this he laboured under the common mistake that Wakefield's sufficient price was intended to apply to any but agricultural lands, or to affect any but agriculturists, Wakefield never intended to prevent any dispersion of pastoralists, but rather encouraged it.

53 Ibid.

54 Gipps to Russell, Oct. 27th, 1840. No. i, ibid.

55 Gipps to Russell, Dec. 19th, 1840. No. 2, ibid. See also Gipps to Russell, Jan. 10th, 1841. C.O. 201/306.

56 Memorandum of 1840. See also La Trobe to Gipps, Feb. 1st, 1841. Enclosure to No. i of Paper No. 180, Acc. and Pap., 1844, Vol. xxxv, p. 1.

57 This division was important because it foreshadowed the later separation of the Port Phillip district as Victoria, and the Moreton Bay district as Queensland.

58 Gipps to Russell, Dec. 19th, 1840, and enclosed Notice of Dec. 5th, 1840. No. 2 of Acc. and Pap., 1843, Vol. xxxiv, p. 367.

59 Gipps to Russell, Feb. 1st, 1841. No. 15, ibid. Memorandum of 1840. See also La Trobe to Gipps, Feb. 1st, 1841. Enclosure 1 to No. 1. Paper No. 180, Acc. and Pap., 1844, Vol. xxxv, p. 1.

60 Gipps to Russell, Feb. 23rd, 1841. C.O. 201/307.

61 See his letter to La Trobe, Feb. 8th, 1841. Enclosed in Gipps' despatch of Feb. 23rd, 1841. Ibid.

62 Government Notice, March 4th, 1841. Enclosed in Gipps to Russell, No. 64. C.O. 201/308.

63 Gipps to Russell, Feb. 23rd, 1841. C.O. 201/307. When he received this intelligence and notice of the regulations adopted, Lord John Russell approved of Gipps' action. Russell to Gipps, Aug. 28th, 1841. C.O. 202/43.

64 Report of Immigration Committee, 1840. Enclosed in Paper No. 241, Acc. and Pap., 1841, Vol. xvii, p. 255. Resolutions of the Council, enclosed in Gipps to Russell, Oct. 25th, 1840. Paper No. 308, Acc. and Pap., 1841, Vol. xvii, p. 287, Report of Committee of Council, 1841, enclosure i in No. 23 of Paper No. 323, Acc. and Pap., 1843, Vol. xxxiv, p. 367.

65 La Trobe to the Colonial Secretary, Feb. 1st, 1841. Enclosure to No. 10 of Acc. and Pap., 1843, Vol. xxxiv, p. 367.

66 Gipps to Russell, Dec. 19th, 1840. No. 5, ibid.

67 James Stephen commented on the memorandum, May 7th, 1841: "This is a very remarkable paper—a kind of triumph of local observation, strong sense and practised ability over mere plausible speculations. I think it would be difficult to maintain any longer the uniform price system, even had it not otherwise been shaken." C.O. 201/300.

68 Russell to Gipps, May 18th, 1841. No. 6 of Acc. and Pap., 1843, Vol. xxxiv, p. 367.

69 Russell to Gipps, Aug. 21st, 1841, and Additional Instructions of same date. No. 11 and enclosure. Ibid. This latter provision did not apply to pastoral lands held by licence.

70 Russell to Gipps, Feb. 18th, 1841. No. 14, ibid. These special surveys in New South Wales were different from those in South Australia, where, on payment of the price of 4,000 acres, anyone might demand the survey of 15,000 acres out of which he might select his land. See Chap. viii.

71 Commissioners to Stephen, Nov. 20th, 1841. No. 19, ibid.

72 Bourke to Glenelg, June 17th, 1837. No. 32 of Appendix B to Report of Transportation Committee. Acc. and Pap., 1837-8, Vol. xxii; Sept. 8th, 1837. No. 34, ibid.

73 Glenelg to Gipps, Dec. 14th, 1837. No. 33, ibid.

74 Report in Acc. and Pap., 1837-8, Vol. xxii.

75 See his confidential letter to Glenelg, May 1st, 1838. C.O. 201/273.

76 Gipps to Glenelg, Aug. 22nd, 1838, and Memorial of Mr. J. Mackay, April 4th, 1838. C.O. 201/275.

77 Report of Immigration Committee, 1841. Enclosed in No. 22 of Paper No. 301, Acc. and Pap., 1842, Vol. xxxi, p. 49. See also Gipps to Russell, Sept. 13th, 1841, No. 12, ibid. Wakefield's attitude on the question of introducing coloured labour into Australia is worth noting. In a postscript to the Letter from Sydney, p. 202, he recommended the Chinese as most useful immigrants for Australia. When, too, the gold discoveries of 1850-1 were agitating Victoria, and drawing away labour from agricultural and pastoral industries, he suggested that the land fund should be used in importing Chinese under contract to work as pastoral labourers. See his letters to the Spectator, Oct. 4th, 1851, May 15th and 22nd, 1852. This was a curious suggestion in view of the fact that those Chinese who did arrive in Victoria at the time were attracted to the diggings quite as much as European emigrants. Also the Chinese as a rule, in Australia, have been occupied in agricultural rather than pastoral industries.

78 See Chap. vii.

79 See the cases of the John Barry and the Adam Lodge. Bourke to Glenelg, July 27th, 1837. C.O. 201/261, and Glenelg to Bourke, March 23rd, 1837. No. 5 of Acc. and Pap., 1837, Vol. xliii, p. 101. See also Gipps to Glenelg, Oct. 3rd, 1838. C.O. 201/276.

80 See his Report Aug. 10th, 1839, enclosed in No. 10 of Paper No. 536-I, Acc. and Pap., 1839, Vol. xxxix, p. 371.

81 Elliot's Report, 1839. See also Elliot to Stephen, July 10th, 1837. C.O. 384/42.

82 Elliot to Stephen, Oct. 28th, 1837. C.O. 384/42. Franklin to Russell, May 22nd, 1840. No. i (V.D.'s L.) of Acc. and Pap., 1841, Vol. xvii, p. 185. Commissioners to Stephen, May 6th, 1842. Enclosure No. I in No. 4 (V.D.'s L.), Acc. and Pap., 1843, Vol. xxxiv, p. 367.

83 See the Return of Emigration to Van Diemen's Land, Acc. and Pap., 1851, Vol. xlvi, p. 13.

84 See Chap. vii.

85 Elliot's Report, 1839. See also Gipps' memorandum on Emigration, Enclosure No. 3 in No. 33 of Acc. and Pap., 1843, Vol. xxxiv, p. 567.

86 See the Despatches: Col. Snodgrass to Glenelg, Feb. 22nd, 1838, C.O. 201/271; Gipps to Glenelg, Sept. 29th, 1838, C.O. 201/275; Jan. 20th, 1839, C.O. 201/284; March 16th, 1839, C.O. 201/285; and Gipps to Russell, Feb. 13th, 1840, C.O. 201/296.

87 Elliot's Report, Aug. 14th, 1839. Enclosed in Russell to Gipps, Oct. 7th, 1840. No. 2 of Acc. and Pap., 1841, Vol. xvii, p. 185.

88 Gipps to Normanby, Dec. 4th, 1839. Paper No. 612, Acc. and Pap., 1840, Vol. xxxiii, p. 507. See also Gipps to Glenelg, Oct. 3rd, 1838. C.O. 201/276.

89 Gipps to Glenelg, Oct. 31st, 1838. No. 9 of Paper No. 536-I. Acc. and Pap., 1839, Vol. xxxix, p. 371; Feb. 27th, 1839, No. 11, ibid.

90 Gipps to Normanby, Dec. 4th, 1839. Paper No. 612, Acc. and Pap., 1840, Vol. xxxiii, p. 507.

91 Gipps to Normanby, Dec. 4th, 1839, with Report of Immigration Committee. Ibid.

92 Government Notice, March 3rd, 1840. Enclosed in Gipps to Russell, March 21st, 1840. C.O. 201/296.

93 See Chap. viii.

94 Memorandum of Dec. 10th, 1839. C.O. 13/15. An extract will serve to show his reason for the change. "We greatly require an office which should superintend the whole business of the sale of Crown lands in the colonies, and especially in Australia—a kind of Colonial Board of Woods and Forests. Such a Board would act as referees on all such questions. They would be the depositaries of all information on the subject; and would afford such information to all applicants, or to the public at large. They would consider of the propriety of selling lands at New Zealand, Port Essington, and other districts in Australia yet to be opened. To them might be delegated the initiation, and the dispatch in the first instance of all business connected with emigration, especially to the Australian colonies. Each of these colonies would then receive the same advantage and equal protection, and this office would be relieved from a class of duties for the right discharge of which it is certainly unqualified."

95 Speech in the House of Commons, April 6th, 1843. Reprinted in Art of Colonization, at p. 485.

96 Copy of Commission. No. 1. Acc. and Pap., 1840, Vol. xxxiii, p. 7. Instruction No. 2, ibid. Commission appointing them South Australian Commissioners. No. 3, ibid.

97 Appendix xvii to Report of the Departmental Committee on Agricultural Settlements in British Colonies, Vol. ii, Cd. 2979, 1906, p. 327. Acc. and Pap., 1906, Vol. lxxvi.

98 Gipps to Russell, Jan. 31st, 1841. No. 1 of Paper No. 10, Acc. and Pap., 1841, Sess. 2, Vol. iii, p. 293.

99 Report, Aug. 6th, 1840. Acc. and Pap., 1840, Vol. xxxiii, p. 69. See also Report, Sept. 14th, 1840. Enclosure to Russell to Gipps, Oct. 7th, 1840. No. 2 of Acc. and Pap., 1841, Vol. xvii, p. 185.

100 Russell to Gipps, Oct. 7th, 1840. Ibid., and March 19th, 1841 C.O. 202/43.

101 Gipps to Russell, Jan. 31st, 1841. No. i of Paper No. 10, Acc. and Pap., 1841, Sess. 2, Vol. iii, p. 293; Sept. 13th, 1841, No. 11 of Paper No. 301, Acc. and Pap., 1842, Vol. xxxi, p. 49. No Bounty Orders were issued after Feb., 1841. Gipps to Stanley, April 2nd, 1842, No. 30 of Paper No. 323, Acc. and Pap., 1843, Vol. xxxiv, p. 367.

102 Gipps to Russell, June 9th, 1841, C.O. 201/309; July 17th, 1841. No. 2 of Paper No. 301. Acc. and Pap., 1842, Vol. xxxi, p. 49.

103 Gipps to Russell, Nov. 2nd, 1841. No. 13 of Paper No. 301. Ibid.

104 Russell to Gipps, July 16th, 1841. No. 2 of Paper No. 10, Acc. and Pap., 1841, Sess. 2, Vol. iii, p. 293. Lord Stanley repeated this censure and gave similar orders to Gipps a few months later. Stanley to Gipps, Oct. 14th, 1841. No. I of Paper No. 301, Acc. and Pap., 1842, Vol. xxxi, p. 49.

105 Notice of July 31st, 1841. Enclosure to No. 6 of Paper No. 10 of 1841.

106 Stanley to Gipps, July 29th, 1842. No. 24 of Acc. and Pap., 1843, Vol. xxxiv, p. 367.

107 Gipps to Russell, Nov. 2nd, 1841. No. 13 of Paper No. 301, Acc. and Pap., 1842, Vol. xxxi, p. 49. Speech of Sir George Gipps, Sept. 9th, 1842, enclosed in No. 4 of Paper No. 109. Acc. and Pap., 1843, Vol. xxxiv, p. 9.

108 Report of the Immigration Committee, 1842. Enclosed in No. 4 of Paper No. 109. Acc. and Pap., 1843, Vol. xxxiv, p. 9.

109 Ibid. See also Gipps to Stanley, June 26th, 1842, C.O. 201/321; July 13th, 1842, ibid.; Sept. 21st and 22nd, 1842, C.O. 201/323.

110 Gipps to Stanley, Feb. 24th, 1842. No. 28 of Acc. and Pap., 1843, Vol. xxxiv, p. 367. Report of F. Merewether, Immigration Agent for New South Wales, 1841. Enclosure to No. 3 of Paper No. 109. Ibid., p. 9. Gipps' Memorandum on Immigration, May 14th, 1842. Enclosure 3 in No. 33 of Paper No. 323. Acc. and Pap., 1843, Vol. xxxiv, p. 367.

111 Gipps to Stanley, Feb. 24th, 1842. No, 28 of Acc. and Pap., 1843, Vol. xxxiv, p. 367; June 26th, 1842, C.O. 201/321; July 13th, 1842, ibid.

112 Gipps to Stanley, No. 53, C.O. 201/319; June 26th, 1842, C.O. 201/321.

113 Report of Immigration Board, March 9th, 1842, enclosed in Gipps to Stanley, March 27th, 1842, C.O. 201/319. On board this ship there was "a want of order, regularity and decency," and "the conduct of the surgeon and officers was disgraceful." On another ship there was promiscuous intercourse between the sexes, encouraged by the example of most of the officers. Gipps to Stanley, June 26th, 1842, C.O. 201/321. The captain and surgeon of another ship were tried and sentenced to six months' imprisonment for their ill-treatment of a female emigrant. Gipps to Stanley, May 13th, 1842, C.O. 201/320.

114 Gipps to Stanley, May 3rd, 1842, C.O. 201/320. Report of Immigration Committee, 1842. Enclosed in No. 4 of Paper No. 109, Acc. and Pap., 1843, Vol. xxxiv, p. 9.

115 e.g., Gipps to Stanley, May 3rd, 1842, C.O. 201/320; Sept. 30th, 1842, C.O. 201/323.

116 See the tribute paid to her by F. Merewether, Immigration Agent for New South Wales, in his Report for 1841, Enclosure to No. 3 of Paper No. 109, Acc. and Pap., 1843, Vol. xxxiv, p. 9. For an account of her work see Samuel Sidney, The Three Colonies of Australia, 1853, 2nd Ed., Chap. xiii.

117 In October, 1842, the Home Government admitted that the final decision as to the payment of bounties rested with the Colonial Government. Stanley to Gipps, Oct. 11th, 1842, C.O. 202/45.

118 See, e.g., Gipps to Stanley, Feb. 24th, 1842, and enclosure. No. 28 of Acc. and Pap., 1843, Vol. xxxiv, p. 367. Gipps to Stanley, No. 53, C.O. 201/319; March 27th, 1842, ibid.; June 26th, 1842, C.O. 201/321.

119 See figures of assisted emigration. Enclosure in No. 41 of Paper No. 323, Acc. and Pap., 1843, Vol. xxxiv, p. 367; and figures of refusal of bounties. Enclosure 3 to No. 33. Ibid.

120 Gipps to Glenelg, Oct. 31st, 1838, and Enclosure. No. 9 of Paper No. 536-I, Acc. and Pap., 1839, Vol. xxxix, p. 371.

121 Gipps to Normanby, Nov. 22nd, 1839, enclosing resolution of the Council, C.O. 201/288.

122 Stanley to Gipps, July 29th, 1842. No. 24 of Paper No. 323, Acc. and Pap., 1843, Vol. xxxiv, p. 367.

123 Resolutions of the Legislative Council, Oct. 23rd, 1840. Enclosure i in Gipps to Russell, Oct. 25th, 1840. Paper No. 308, Acc. and Pap., 1841, Vol. xvii, p. 287; Dec. 21st, 1841, Enclosure 2 in No. 23 of Paper No. 323 of 1843; Sept. 9th, 1842, Enclosure No. 2 in No. 4 of Paper No. 109, Acc. and Pap., 1843, Vol. xxxiv.

124 Gipps to Russell, Nov. 2nd, 1841, No. 13 of Paper No. 301, Acc. and Pap., 1042, Vol. xxxi, p. 49; Dec. 23rd, 1841, No. 23 of Paper No. 323, Acc. and Pap., 1843, Vol. xxxiv, p. 367; Gipps to Stanley, July 8th, 1842, No. 34, ibid.; Stanley to Gipps, July 29th, 1842, No. 24, ibid.

125 The figures are given in the Enclosure to No. 41 of Paper No. 323 of 1843.

126 Gipps' Memorandum of 1840, Enclosure to No. 5. Ibid.

127 Report enclosed in Gipps to Russell, Sept. 9th, 1840. Paper No. 241, Acc. and Pap., 1841, Vol. xvii, p. 255.

128 Gipps' addresses to the Legislative Council, May 10th, 1842, enclosed in Gipps to Stanley, May 10th, 1842, C.O. 201/320; 1839, enclosure in No. i of Paper No. 627, Acc. and Pap., 1844, Vol. xxxiv, p. 315.

129 Molesworth's speech, on Transportation, Hansard, 3rd Series, Vol. liii, pp. 1278-9. Grote on the misapplication of the land fund of New South Wales, ibid., Vol. lvii, pp. 598 et seq.

130 Gipps' address, May 10th, 1842.

131 Gipps to Stanley, Sept, 23rd, 1842. No. 41 of Paper No. 323. Acc. and Pap., 1843, Vol. xxxiv, p. 367.

132 Gipps to Glenelg, Oct. 31st, 1838. No. 9 of Paper No. 536-I. Acc. and Pap., 1839, Vol. xxxix, p. 371.

133 See Chap. vii.

134 Glenelg to Gipps, Sept. 4th, 1838. C.O. 202/37.

135 Trevelyan to Stephen, June 12th, 1840. No. 4 of Acc. and Pap., 1840, Vol. xxxiii, p. 401; and Russell to Gipps, June 28th, 1840, No. 7, ibid.

136 Figures in Enclosure No. 2 to Gipps to Russell, Aug. 3rd, 1840, C.O. 201/298; and Gipps to Normanby, Jan. 16th, 1840, C.O. 201/295.

137 Gipps to Russell, Aug. 1st, 1840. No. 4 of Paper No. 81. Acc. and Pap., 1841, Vol. xvii, p. 185. Gipps to Stanley, Aug. 5th, 1842. C.O. 201/322.

138 No. 3 of Acc. and Pap., 1840, Vol. xxxiii, p. 401.

139 See Gipps' confidential letter to Glenelg, Nov. 3rd, 1838. C.O. 201/277.

140 See the letter of W. H. Burnand to the Colonial Gazette, Jan. 5th, 1839; and the articles in the Colonial Gazette, Jan. 12th, Feb. 16th, arid March 23rd, 1839.

141 W. Epps, Land Systems of Australasia, 1894, p. 105. W. Knight, Western Australia, 1870, pp. 62 et seq. Colonial Gazette, Sept. 2nd, 1840.

142 Gipps to Stanley, Sept. 15th, 1842, enclosing Sullivan's plan and the prospectus of a company. See Stephen's brief memorandum on the proposal. C.O. 201/323.

143 Chap. vii.

144 Debate in Hansard, 3rd Series, Vol. xlviii, pp. 841 et seq.

145 The debate on the motion for leave to introduce the Bill occupies about eighteen columns of Hansard. On the second reading there were only two speeches, a short one by Stanley and one of four lines by G. W. Wood. In the House of Lords there was, according to Hansard, no discussion on any of its stages. (Commons.) Hansard, 3rd Series, Vol. lx, pp. 76-94; Vol. lxii, pp. 498-500; Vol. lxiii, p. 475; and p. 559. (Lords), pp. 598, 881, 1236, and 1312.

146 Stanley to Gipps, Sept. 15th, 1842. No. 39 of Acc. and Pap., 1843, Vol. xxxiv, p. 367.

147 5 & 6 Vic, c. 36.

148 §§ 2, 6 and 5. In addition to those mentioned in the text the exceptions were lands reserved for public purposes, and lands granted to military and naval settlers. § 3.

149 §9.

150 §7.

151 §12.

152 §15.

153 §§ 18 and 19. The other half was to be applied to the public service of the colony.

154 § 17.

155 § 22.

156 Despatch of Sept. 15th, 1842.

157 The Act 2 Vic. No. 27 (N.S.W.), of 1839, had been continued by an Act of 1841, 5 Vic. No. I (N.S.W.).

158 Stanley to Gipps, Sept. 7th, 1842, and Enclosure No. 38 of Acc. and Pap., 1843, Vol. xxxiv, p. 367. Gipps' speech to the Legislative Council, Sept. 9th, 1842. Enclosure in No. 6 of Paper No. 180, Acc. and Pap., 1844, Vol. XXXV.

159 Russell to Gipps, June 20th, 1841. No. 3 of Paper No. 180. Acc. and Pap., 1844, Vol. xxxv, p. i.

160 Report of the Immigration Committee of the Legislative Council. Paper No. 241. Acc. and Pap., 1841, Vol. xvii, p. 255. Memorial of Port Phillip Squatters, Feb., 1841. Enclosure 2 to No. i of Paper No. 180. Acc. and Pap., 1844, Vol. xxxv, p. i.

161 Deas Thomson to La Trobe, Feb. 24th, 1841. Enclosure 2, ibid.

162 4 Geo. IV, c. 96.

163 9 Geo. IV, c. 83.

164 5 & 6 Vict., c. 76. The Act also applied to Van Diemen's Land.

165 This mixed assembly of nominated and elected members had the approval both of Gipps and of Buller. Gipps to Glenelg, Jan. 1st, 1839, C.O. 201/284; Buller's letter to Stanley. Nov., 1841, C.O. 206/62.

166 §§ 41, 42 and 47.

167 Jenks, Government of Victoria, 1897, p. 89.






{Page 322}

Chapter XI

CONCLUSION

Fourteen years of strenuous work, from 1829 to 1842, on the part of the systematic colonizers had wrought a revolution in the colonization of Australasia.

New South Wales had definitely abandoned its position as a mere convict settlement, and had begun a new career as a prosperous and attractive free colony. Its latest offshoot, the settlement at Port Phillip, had been formed under the system of land-sales and assisted emigration from the beginning—"a realization, however defective," [1] as Wakefield called it, of his economic theory, and it had progressed in an unparalleled fashion. A few figures will serve to show the great change which had taken place in New South Wales in regard to the sale of land and emigration. Under the system of land grants previous to 1831, 3,344,030 acres of land had been disposed of by the Crown, [2] for which the returns had been negligible. From 1832 to 1842 no less than £1,090,583 had been received in New South Wales (including Port Phillip) for the sale of about two million acres. [3] Of this amount somewhat more than £950,000 had been spent in immigration, with the result that over 50,000 free settlers were brought to the colony during those years—on an average nearly 5,000 per year. [4] The importance of this accession of free colonists may be estimated from the fact that, at the census of 1828, the population of New South Wales was only 36,598, of whom 15,668 were convicts, and 20,930 free. [5] Assisted emigration acted as a stimulus to voluntary emigration, so that the population of New South Wales, at the census of 1841, amounted to 128,726, of whom 26,977 were convicts, and 101,749 free. [6] It is impossible to overestimate the importance of this stream of emigration in helping to swamp the convict element and to make New South Wales a colony where free settlers predominated. Nor, under the influence of the Wakefield theory, was this assisted emigration one of paupers. Wakefield's attacks on Wilmot Horton, and his insistence on the necessity for careful selection of emigrants, and the equalization of the sexes, prevented the Home Government, in its management of assisted emigration, from attempting to "shovel out paupers."

In the next place. South Australia had been founded entirely by the efforts of the systematic colonizers. Its foundation, certainly, had disappointed their expectation; the Wakefield system had not been given a fair trial there; the settlement had passed through a severe crisis and had cost the mother-country a great deal of money. Yet the colony had survived, had surmounted its worst difficulties, and was on the road to an unbroken prosperity.

Then, too, the new and important colony of New Zealand had been saved to the British Empire by the energy and independent action of the New Zealand Company, guided by Wakefield and the systematic colonizers. This colony, too, was to pass through evil times, but whatever may have been thought as to the wisdom displayed by the Home Government or the leaders of the settlers in the actual work of colonization, the wisdom of establishing a British colony there was never questioned.

All these triumphs of the Wakefield theory had been won by the energy and courage with which the systematic colonizers had pursued their ideal of colonization. But, on its political side, an even greater victory than these, and affecting other colonies beside the Australasian, was the conversion of British statesmen and the British public to the doctrine of responsible government for the colonies. A general colonial policy for all homogeneous white colonies in temperate regions was in this way laid down by the systematic colonizers, which was even then being tentatively put into practice, in Canada. The political principles underlying the Wakefield theory were already part of the general stock of ideas of all who thought on the questions of colonial government, and the relation between colony and mother-country.

Indeed, the general British attitude towards colonies was changing. Colonial waste lands, which had been looked upon as useless, or as a means of rewarding officials and official favourites, had come to be recognized as the chief element of colonial prosperity, to be disposed of only with due regard to the welfare of the colony and the mother-country. Emigration, which had been haphazard and unregulated, and had been treated merely as a means of ridding the mother-country of surplus population, or of undesirables, was now regarded as a means of building up prosperous communities, and benefiting both them and the mother-country. The regulation of emigration was now considered so important as to be worthy of the attention of a department of Government. Colonies, too, were ceasing to be looked upon only as a sphere for the benevolent autocracy of the Secretary of State and his advisers. It was gradually being recognized that, in various parts of the empire, states were growing up whose citizens claimed to enjoy political rights not materially different from those enjoyed at home. The era of colonial self-government in the form of responsible government was dawning, and this necessarily caused people at home to look upon the colonists with different eyes. No longer were they to be treated as a politically inferior race, but as a people to whom could, in time, be entrusted all the rights and powers which they would have possessed had they never gone abroad. Even from a social point of view colonies began to take a less inferior position. Now that transportation to New South Wales had ceased, and the class of emigrants, especially to the newer colonies, had improved, the colonists became, in English eyes, not necessarily inferior in social standing. Charles Buller expressed this change in peculiarly English language when he said, in 1843, that "a colonial career is now looked upon as one of the careers open to a gentleman." [7]

The systematic colonizers had fought against heavy odds. Wakefield had first to convince a small band of followers, then to lay siege to the Colonial Office. Even after his initial success it was only by his persistence, ingenuity, and great power of personal persuasion, that he was enabled to carry on the campaign against the indifference of the public and the hostility, avowed or unavowed, of some of the Colonial Office Ministers and officials. Step by step his indefatigable energy and the cogency of his arguments had defeated hostile attacks, dispelled indifference, and disturbed the sloth of the Colonial Office, with the result that his system had been put more and more into practice in the older established colonies of Australia. In founding the two new colonies of South Australia and New Zealand, he achieved a partial success in the face of great difficulties. Not only had he to persuade the Government and the members of Parliament, but he had to win the confidence of capitalists and emigrants, and persuade them to work together to further his plans. The Waste Lands Act of 1842, applying to all the Australasian colonies alike, marks the height to which the influence of the systematic colonizers had risen in convincing Parliament of the utility of the ideas underlying the Wakefield theory. What alone could have stimulated Wakefield in this long struggle was the fact that he was striving for the success of his own idea. "The principle is mine," he wrote to Gouger, in 1835. [8] Nothing but parental zeal for the offspring of his own brain could have enabled him to continue the struggle long after it was clear that his theory as a whole would never be put into practice by the Home Government.

That the prosperity of the Australasian colonies at this time was largely due to the partial realization of Wakefield's ideas is beyond a doubt. Referring to the part played by the systematic colonizers, Herman Merivale, perhaps the fairest and best critic of the Wakefield theory, wrote, in 1861: "The extraordinary success which has on the whole attended the early colonization of our Australian empire is due, in a far greater degree than is commonly imagined, to the closet speculations of a few students, and to the clauses of a few Acts of Parliament reducing these to practice." [9] Again, of the struggle and ultimate success of Wakefield's principles of land-sales and assisted emigration, he wrote: "Never was there a more remarkable instance of the success of a principle against all manner of misapprehension—against the fear of innovation—against corrupt interests—against the inert resistance which all novelty is sure to encounter." [10]

The success gained by the systematic colonizers is all the more remarkable, since it must be admitted that the Wakefield theory on its economic side was, considered as a scientific and coherent whole, unsound. [11]

Wakefield's statement of the problem of colonization, and his analysis of existing conditions, both in the mother-country and in the colonies, were, in the main, excellent. He was right in urging that the chief obstacle in the way of prosperity in Australia was the scarcity of free labour; and his criticism of convict and indentured labour as substitutes for free labour was just. Then, too, there was much truth in his paradox that the great extent of free waste land in the Australian colonies was not the cause of their prosperity, but the reason for their backwardness. His attack upon the existing system of free grants of land or sales at low prices was justified. The system abolished in 1831 was inimical to the prosperity of the colonies, and gave unlimited scope for jobbing and favouritism.

But Wakefield's suggested remedies are even more open to criticism.

The Wakefield system may be considered in two ways, either as a scientific theory, rounded and complete, no one part of which is valuable without the other, and capable of working well only when each part is put into practice; or as a series of practical rules for colonization to be applied with discretion according to the exigencies of time and place. In the former way Wakefield was inclined to view his system, [12] and in this way it must first be examined.

It will be convenient to separate the doctrine of a sufficient price on waste lands from that of assisted emigration financed by the proceeds of the sales. This is warranted by Wakefield's declaration that he was prepared to rest the validity of his theory solely upon the former doctrine. [13]

The sufficient price was intended to restrict the dispersion of settlers, and, by preventing labourers from becoming landowners too soon, to provide a supply of "combinable labour" [14] in the colonies. Wakefield used the terms "concentration" to describe the presence of a supply of such labour, and "dispersion" to describe its absence; and both these terms were strongly criticized at the time. It was thought that the "concentration" he proposed was concentration of settlement around one centre, and that the "dispersion" to which he objected was any spreading of the colonists over the waste lands. He aimed, however, not at the concentration of settlement on any given spot, but at the concentration of labour wherever settlement extended; while he believed that under his system settlers, if extended over a wide area, would be extended, not as isolated units, but in groups of combinable labour.

Since the sole object of the price was merely restrictive, it is no criticism to say that it did not represent the value of the land sold. It was not intended to bear any relation to land values. Indeed waste land in a colony, before capital and population arrive, cannot be said to have any easily ascertainable value.

The doctrine of a sufficient price is based upon two main assumptions, first, that where in a colony there is a system of unlimited free grants, a settler will prefer to become a landowner cultivating the soil by his own labour, rather than to work as a landless labourer even at a high rate of wages. One critic, Mr. Poulett Scrope, before the 1836 Committee on Waste Lands, denied this assumption, but in the light of colonial history, it seems just.

The second, and more important, assumption is that the best method of developing agricultural land in a new settlement is a system under which the work of cultivation is carried on by landed proprietors, who do not work the land themselves, but supply the capital to hire landless men to cultivate for them. However natural such an assumption might be to an Englishman, it would not necessarily seem valid to a British or American colonist. It overlooks the importance of another method of developing a new country by means of small holders who employ either solely or mainly the labour of their own hands and that of their family. Indeed, although right in attacking the system whereby, in Australia, where labour was scarce, settlers with small capital had been allowed to take up large grants of land which they could not properly cultivate, Wakefield did not seem to see that a modification of the system in the direction of small holdings, even on free grants, might be more suitable for agriculture than his plan of sale, and had actually been successful in colonization. [15] Sale at a sufficient price was suitable to a capitalistic system of intensive cultivation on a large scale, but operated to discourage settlers of small capital, and to turn this stream of emigration to countries where land could be acquired on easier terms. [16] This was particularly true where an initial outlay of capital was required to clear the land and render it fit for cultivation, as in Canada and some parts of New Zealand. This explains why the Wakefield system was more applicable to Australia where, for the most part, the cost of clearing was comparatively small. [17]

A sufficient price, then, can only be justified on the ground that capitalistic production alone is best for the colony, and this contention was not well based. Wakefield made the error of insisting over-much on the necessity for a combination of labour and capital in a new country. Colonial experience has proved that, at any rate in the early stages of colonization, the land may be developed equally well, and more rapidly, by that system of small holdings and isolated labour whose value Wakefield denied. Under a sufficient price, too, if the system worked badly in practice, capitalists might be enabled to establish a monopoly in land to the detriment of the labourer. Hence the objection to the Wakefield system that it meant the creation in a new country of two sharply distinguished classes—capitalistic landowners and landless serfs. [18] It must always be remembered, however, that an essential part of the Wakefield system was that the state of a landless hired labourer should only be temporary. When the system was in full work he contemplated that the best and most prudent of the labourers would, when their period of service was over, be continually passing into the ranks of the landowning capitalists.

Even if the sufficient price were sound in theory, yet in practice it was impossible to fix. Wakefield always escaped from the demand that he should name a price by pleading ignorance of local conditions; [19] but he knew well that it was easier to criticize than to name a price.

Even the factors which he suggested for the solution of the problem are not very satisfactory. The two factors to be considered were, he held, first, the length of service which a labourer should give, and, secondly, the general conditions of the colony, wages, cost of living, nature of the soil and climate. From these it might be determined how much a labourer might save within the given period, and then the price could be so fixed that, until his time was up, he could not obtain enough land to cultivate. [20]

But, in the first place, the length of service was merely arbitrarily fixed, and there was no more reason in favour of the three or four years' service, which he suggested, than of any other period.

Next, even considering the cost of living, wages, and other conditions of the colony, it would only be a mere guess to fix a price because of the great inequality in the amount or savings which labourers would accumulate.

Then when land of varying quality was sold at a uniform price it would be possible for one labourer to buy enough land of one quality to keep him, while another might have to work much longer to buy enough of an inferior quality at the same price.

Indeed, for the most part in Australia the price was in fact determined by what the land would bring in the market, although this was no part of Wakefield's doctrine.

When fixed, the price was to be uniform. In theory this was best for the genuine settler, because it would not take too much capital from him. But a uniform price did not so work in practice. Wakefield seems to have thought that a settler would buy land at the uniform price only because he wished to cultivate it. But land was often bought as a mere speculation, and for purposes of re-sale, not of cultivation. In South Australia, for example, the uniform price resulted in speculative buying of the best sites of town and country land, and in a mania of gambling in land values, so that genuine settlers had little chance of buying at the uniform price. The great difficulty was that only at the first sale was the price uniform. Gipps was right in his contention that to sell land in unlimited quantities, at a uniform price, would mean a "scramble for land," in which speculative capitalists would secure a virtual monopoly to the disadvantage of genuine settlement. As Mr. Reeves justly remarks, the practical difficulty consisted in "fixing a uniform price for land low enough not to prevent bona fide purchase in normal times, and at the same time high enough to check speculation in moments of excitement." [21]

The doctrine of a sufficient price, then, was based on a false assumption; the price was as a matter of practice impossible to fix; and there was no certainty that, even if a price were arbitrarily fixed, it would achieve its object.

But if the aspect of rigorous scientific accuracy, which Wakefield strove to give to this part of his theory, be discarded, and the sale of land at a high price be taken as a practical rule for colonization, it must be conceded that this plan possessed many advantages over the previous system in Australia. [22] Major Mitchell, the well-known explorer and Surveyor-General of New South Wales, wrote, in 1832, that under the former system the best lands of the colony would soon have passed into few hands without any benefit to the State. [23] The experience of Western Australia, too, is conclusive proof that in Australia, at least, a system of free grants and unlimited freedom of appropriation was doomed to failure.

Restricted sale under effectual settlement conditions may be, as Mr. Reeves suggests, a possibly better method of disposing of colonial lands than that which Wakefield proposed; but experience in New South Wales of the failure of all settlement conditions, and even of the attempt to enforce quit-rents, showed that, in the state of society existing when the Wakefield system Was introduced into Australia, such conditions could not have been properly enforced.

One practical advantage possessed by the sale of lands, at a price high enough to prevent labourers becoming landowners at once, was that thereby they would gain, not only capital, but that experience which was especially necessary to emigrants in a new colony, where conditions were quite different from those with which they were acquainted at home. [24] Mr. Reeves, who calls attention to this advantage, writes, "Many thousands of the best farmers in colonies where the Wakefield system has been more or less in force have started in life as farm-labourers, and have gained their knowledge and their capital in that way." [25]

But the most important practical aspect of land-sales was that they provided a revenue which could be expended for the benefit of the colonies, either in public works which opened up and made available the resources of the colonies, or in emigration. In Wakefield's eyes, indeed, this was merely a happy accident, and had nothing at all to do with the argument for imposing a sufficient price; but it was this very part of his theory which proved most attractive in practice. The difference between Wakefield's attitude and that of those who established his system in Australia may be compared to that between advocates of a "protective" tariff and advocates of a "revenue" tariff, on imported goods. The former, like Wakefield, wish for a restrictive, and even at times a prohibitive tax, the latter for a tax which will produce revenue in a simple and easy manner.

As to the method of sale, while a uniform price stood condemned by experience, auction, too, in theory prevented monopoly and produced more revenue, but in practice took too much capital from the settler and led to delays and disappointment. Both methods encouraged jobbing and speculation. Indeed, it is doubtful whether any system of sale with full liberty of appropriation would not be liable to these evils. As Gipps remarked in 1840, "It may probably be pretty safely assumed that however prudent, politic, wise, or ingenious may be the regulations laid down by the Commissioners in England, the speculators or land-sharks in New South Wales will be ingenious enough to defeat them." [26] Probably the best method in the circumstances was that adopted by Russell in 1840, and regularized by the Waste Lands Act of 1842. Lands were first put up at auction (even Wakefield recognized that in regard to town allotments some modification of a uniform price was necessary) and country lands remaining unsold were available at a uniform price. This gave bona fide settlers a chance to acquire land at a comparatively low price, and yet prevented land being altogether monopolized by speculators.

One question which remains is the effect of land-sales at high prices on squatting.

The problem which would appear to confront a people in settling a waste continent, as in America or in Australia, is how to provide that the first occupation, if on a large and extensive scale, shall not adversely affect the future intensive settlement, either by destroying the utility of the natural resources, or by permanently locking up the lands in the hands of large holding settlers, to the detriment of would-be smaller holders.

In Australia permanent agricultural settlement followed pastoral occupation but slowly, and the problem was how to make pastoral lands available for agriculture, without injuring the pastoral industry upon which the prosperity of the colonists so largely depended.

Wakefield always considered that pastoral interests should be subordinate to agriculture. His solution was to allow the squatter mere freedom of occupation of unsold waste lands, and gradually to sell them, when necessary, as agricultural lands at a sufficient price. Apparently he bestowed less thought on this than on any other part of his schemes; for he did not appreciate the practical difficulties of the situation in Australia. Indeed, he told the Waste Lands Committee of 1836 that it was as easy to prevent squatting there as in Wales. High prices on land did lead to squatting, and it was difficult in practice to deny the squatter all rights but that of mere occupation. But the system of grazing licences as established in New South Wales worked fairly well until Lord Grey's notorious Orders in Council of 1847 gave the squatters what they asked in long leases, greater security of tenure, and the right of pre-emption. [27]

The complete Wakefield theory, however, was that after land had been sold at a sufficient price the proceeds should be devoted to emigration. By this means the system was expected by its author to regulate itself. The amount of land sold was then to indicate exactly the demand for labour, and the proceeds were to supply this demand automatically. Moreover, this process was to continue indefinitely, emigration of labour leading to land-sales, and land-sales providing further emigration.

The first assumption on which this theory rests is that there is some definite and ascertainable relation between a given amount of land and the labour necessary to cultivate it. When this is discovered, it is easy to fix a sufficient price, which is now to be enough per acre to bring out the number of labourers required to cultivate the land. This kind of calculation was made by Colonel Torrens and others in fixing a price for South Australia, but Wakefield always deprecated such attempts. Indeed, two factors would always vitiate such calculations, first, private re-sale of land; secondly, voluntary emigration.

Supposing, for example, that a price has been fixed on the assumption that two labourers are required for the cultivation of 100 acres. If, then, land is re-sold by its original purchaser, in small blocks to labourers, they become landowners, and so deplete the ranks of hired labour, without providing (as the original sale provided) a fund for the immigration of others to take their place.

Again, the presence of voluntary emigration in any large numbers, which occurred wherever assisted emigration took place, would destroy the relation between land and labour calculated only on the basis of assisted labour.

But, indeed, there is no such ratio between land and labour. It cannot be determined how much labour is necessary to cultivate waste land in a colony in the best way. It will depend on the amount of capital and labour at the disposal of the landowner, on the quality of the soil, and upon other considerations which vary with every particular case. The best that can be said for the theory is that the amount of land sold in a colony would, by indicating the amount of capital invested, give a very rough guide to the amount of labour required. Even here the holding of land for speculative purposes would upset any calculations on this basis.

The second assumption is that a price, sufficient to prevent labourers from becoming landowners too soon, would also be necessarily sufficient to provide funds to bring the requisite number of labourers to the colony. On this rested the case for devoting the whole of the proceeds to emigration; and this is perhaps the most vulnerable part of the Wakefield theory. While a sufficient price aimed only at restriction, the doctrine was simple, if not necessarily valid. When, however, the sufficient price aimed at the two objects, it was easily seen that the two might never be achieved together. From the point or view of restriction one ideal price, and one only, could, if discovered, be established. From the point of view of providing emigration the price should vary with the cost of an emigrant's passage. If, therefore, a price were sufficient for either purpose, it did not follow at all that it would be sufficient for the other.

At this point the theory, consisting of the two doctrines of a sufficient price and the application of the whole of the proceeds to emigration, completely breaks down. Its pretended character of mathematical precision, of scientific accuracy, must be denied, and its claim to be self-regulating dismissed. What is left then of the Wakefield theory is a series of important practical rules for colonization, capable of modified application according to circumstances, and useful even if adopted independently of one another.

The system of land-sales put an end to the abuses of the previous system in Australia; and, moreover, during the years following 1830, it supplied the necessary funds for an assisted emigration, whose importance cannot be overestimated. What chiefly hindered emigration to Australia was distance, and distance could only be overcome by paying the emigrant's passage. The failure of Wilmot Horton's efforts had shown that no Imperial fund was available for such a purpose; and Wakefield's great achievement lay in showing how an emigration fund might be provided in a simple and easy way. Assisted free emigration, too, supplied the place of convict labour in Australia, and made it economically possible for transportation to be abolished.

The advantage of selecting emigrants, and of keeping the sexes equal in numbers, only needed to be pointed out for it to be accepted as a common-sense measure, though, until Wakefield wrote, it was quite overlooked.

His scheme for the Imperial control of waste lands and emigration, although in practice it could not be maintained when the colonies were granted responsible government, served to emphasize the fact that emigration, and the economic development of a colony, concerned not only the colony itself, but the mother-country and the empire as a whole.

Even as a series of practical rules the Wakefield system was applicable only at a certain stage of colonial development. When conditions changed, and the colonies outgrew the system, it was wisely abandoned. The discovery of gold, for example, in Australia in the early 'fifties, both furnished the necessary incentive to emigration, and upset all nice calculations as to the price of land and the amount of labour required to cultivate it.

But, before its abandonment, his system had left its mark on economic and social history in Australasia.

Wakefield had, indeed, introduced method and order into the whole process of colonization, which had now become a serious undertaking, in which certain ends were aimed at, and certain means adopted to achieve those ends. If he were often wrong in his means, and sometimes in his aims, yet the very fact that he zealously pursued an ideal, and followed a plan, gave him an immense advantage over a Colonial Office with no plan or theory of its own, and swayed by the influence now of the Anti-Slavery Society, now of the missionary societies, now of the systematic colonizers. The Colonial Office, too, was being continually forced by mere circumstance to act, and the Wakefield system of colonization formed a ready-made path for their action.

By founding new colonies, by invigorating old colonies, and by sending out to both a superior class of emigrants, not only had Wakefield achieved material success, but he had brought about a revival of the colonizing spirit of the English people.

On its political side his theory was more soundly based, and in practice completely successful. Clear-cut separation between local and Imperial matters was impossible, and some of the powers which he would have reserved to the mother-country on a grant of responsible government—control of lands, for example, and the power of imposing a tariff, were conceded to the colonies. But the important principle of colonial self-government, in the form of responsible government, has proved in practice to be the only satisfactory way of governing white colonies in non-tropical regions. The policy was not adopted without a struggle. Much remained to be done before the Australasian colonies obtained this boon. But the main position had been won by the Durham Report, and the later struggles could, after that Report, have only one issue. As, when the doctrine of responsible government was laid down by Durham, many feared that it would mean separation, so, when the grant of responsible government was actually made, many believed that it was only a stepping stone to independence. Time has, however, proved that these fears were groundless. Responsible government has retained the self-governing colonies in a close connection with the mother-country, which has endured, and which at no time has seemed stronger than at present.

Time has shown, too, that responsible government of itself is not sufficient to settle all political questions, either within the self-governing colonies, between the self-governing colonies of any one group, or within the empire as a whole.

Internal problems of self-government by no means received a solution in the grant of responsible government. Its great merit was that it gave each colony an opportunity of working out its own problems of government in its own way. But that it was no easy answer to every question may be seen from the fact that the development of cabinet government in the self-governing colonies has often been along different lines from the English system. For example, there seems to have been a general tendency on the part of the executive to override the legislature and the law and to trust to later ratification of its action by the legislature. [28]

Responsible government, too, has proved insufficient to determine the relations of neighbouring self-governing colonies in any one group. Hence it has been found necessary to adopt some form of union, and to create from the members of a group of colonies a new self-governing entity, which curtails to a greater or less extent their political powers.

In the last place, responsible government was not a final solution of the relation between groups of colonies, or between colonies and the mother-country. It did not mean separation, but made for a distinct improvement in the relations of colonies to the mother-country. It has, however, been thought necessary to attempt to establish a closer and more coherent relation between the two. Imperial conferences and other machinery have been devised for this purpose, while various schemes of closer union, either in some form of Imperial Federation or otherwise, have been put forward.

But, though the work initiated by the little group of systematic colonizers is not yet finished, its value may be estimated if we conjecture what would have happened to the colonial empire of Great Britain if they had never lived.

Australian history would have been very different. Swamped by convicts, lacking free settlers, the penal colonies would have grown slowly as large overseas gaols, where the population was divided into an oligarchy of free landowners and a servile class of convict-labourers. In time, no doubt, the feeling for separation, which existed to some extent before responsible government was granted, would have triumphed, and an independent republic, an Alsatia of the Southern Seas, would have been established. Only gradually and painfully could the penal colonies have escaped from their past.

New Zealand, lost to the French, might have become a second Noumea, and another plague spot in the Pacific.

Canada, refused responsible government, might have broken out afresh in rebellion, and fought for and obtained independence, or have thrown in her lot with the United States.

Certainly no opportunity would have been given for the growth of strong and powerful self-governing dominions, virtually independent, and yet able and willing in time of need to show the strength of the ties which bind them to the mother-country.




Footnotes to Chapter XI.


1 Art of Colonization, 1849, p. 53.

2 Darling to Goderich, May 3rd, 1831. C.O. 201/220.

3 For figures of land sales see Coghlan, Wealth and Progress of New South Wales, 1898, pp. 259-61.

4 Enclosure to No. 41, Gipps to Stanley, Sept. 23rd, 1842. Acc. and Pap., 1843, Vol. xxxiv, p. 367.

5 Third Report of Royal Commission on Receipts and Expenditure in the Colonies. Acc. and Pap., 1830-1, Vol. iv, p. 67.

6 New South Wales Blue Book of Statistics, for 1841. C.O. 206/82.

7 Hansard, 3rd Series, Vol. lxviii, at p. 522.

8 Founding of South Australia, 1898, p. 164.

9 Lectures on Colonization and Colonies, Ed. 1861, Preface, pp. 7-8.

10 Ibid., p. 428.

11 See generally Merivale, op. cit.; Siegfried, Edward Gibbon Wakefield, 1904; Leroy-Beaulieu, De la colonisation chez les peuples modernes, 4th Ed., 1891, Part i. Book ii. Chap. x; Reeves, State Experiments in Australia and New Zealand, 1902, Vol. i, Chap. vi; Edinburgh Review, July, 1840.

12 England and America, Vol. ii, p. 176. "Colonization, as hitherto conducted, may be likened to the building of a bridge; a work, no part of which is complete until the whole be completed; according to the method here proposed, colonization would be like the making of a tunnel; a work, in the progress of which each step must be complete before another step can be taken."

13 See the passage quoted supra, Chap. v, p. 105. "So completely is the production of revenue a mere incident of the price of land, that the price ought to be imposed, if it ought to be imposed under any circumstances, even though the purchase-money were thrown away. This last proposition is the sharpest test to which the theory of a sufficient price can be submitted; but if it will not stand this test—if the proposition is not true—the theory is false." Art of Colonization, p. 376.

14 See Chap. v.

15 Merivale, 1861 Ed., p. 392.

16 Ibid., pp. 384 et seq.

17 Ibid., pp. 474-5.

18 Karl Marx, Capital, Ed. Engels, 1887, Vol. ii. Chap. xxxiii. Marx, however, was unfair to Wakefield when he wrote that the Wakefield system "is a mere pis aller, since he unfortunately has to do with free men, not with slaves," p. 793. Although Wakefield contemplated keeping labourers for a time in the "natural subordination in which the greater part of mankind always have been, and probably always will be, to the smaller part" (Evidence before the South Australian Committee, 1841, to Question 2662. Acc. and Pap., 1841, Vol. iv), yet he always repudiated the idea of using convict or slave labour. See Proposal to His Majesty's Government for founding a Colony on the Southern Coast of Australia, 1831, p. 12. See also Letter from Sydney, p. 35.

19 Letter of June 2nd, 1835, to the South Australian Commissioners. Appendix to the Report of the Select Committee on South Australia, 1841. Acc. and Pap., 1841, Vol. iv.

20 See Chap. v.

21 State Experiments in Australia and New Zealand, 1902, Vol. i, p. 210.

22 Wakefield, of course, would have objected to the term "high price"; but the fact remains that the price he argued for was higher than that fixed by the Government in Australia, and much higher than the colonists desired.

23 See Chap. vii.

24 R. Gouger, Emigration for the relief of Parishes practically considered, 2nd Ed., 1833, pp. 9-10.

25 State Experiments, Vol. ii, p. 218.

26 Memorandum enclosed in No. 5, Gipps to Russell, December 19th, 1840. Acc. and Pap., 1843, Vol. xxxiv, p. 367.

27 Reeves, State Experiments, Vol. ii, pp. 226 et seq. W. Epps, Land Systems of Australasia, 1894, pp. 22-3.

28 See, e.g., the cases in Keith, Responsible Government in the Dominions, 1912, Vol. i. Part ii, Chap. v.






{Page 342}

SELECT BIBLIOGRAPHY

In these lists of authorities the following abbreviations are used:

C.O. Library of the Colonial Office.
R.C.I. Library of the Royal Colonial Institute.
B.P.S. British Library of Political Science at the London School of Economics.

Where the books are in the Reading Room at the British Museum the press marks of the British Museum catalogue are appended.


I. PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES.

1826. March 14th, "Emigration." Hansard, N.S., Vol. xiv, pp. 1360 et seq.

1827. February 15th, "Emigration." N.S., Vol. xvi, pp. 475 et seq.

1828. March 4th, "Emigration." N.S., Vol. xviii, pp. 938 et seq.
April 17th, "Emigration." N.S., Vol. xviii, pp. 1547 et seq.
June 24th, "Emigration." N.S., Vol. xix, pp. 1503 et seq.

1829. April 6th, "Swan River." N.S., Vol. xxi, p. 465.
April 13th, "Swan River." N.S., Vol. xxi, p. 712-3.
May 1st, "Swan River." N.S., Vol. xxi, p. 913.
June 4th, "Distress of the Labouring Population." N.S., Vol. xxi, pp. 1719 et seq.

1831. February 22nd, "Howick's Emigration Bill." Third Series, Vol. ii, pp. 875 et seq.
July 25th, "Swan River." Third Series, Vol. v, pp. 301 et seq.

1832. February 17th, "Swan River." Third Series, Vol. x, pp. 503 et seq.
February 22nd, "Land Regulations in New South Wales." Third Series, Vol. x, pp. 670-1.
June 7th, "Alienation of Crown Lands in New South Wales and Van Diemen's Land." Third Series, Vol. xiii, pp. 509 et seq.

1834. July 23rd, "South Australia." Third Series, Vol. xxv, pp. 429 et seq.
July 29th, "South Australia." Third Series, Vol. XXV, pp. 700 et seq.

1837. March 6th, "Canada." Third Series, Vol. xxxvi, pp. 1287 et seq.
March 8th, "Canada." Third Series, Vol. xxxvii, pp. 76 et seq.
April 14th, "Canada." Third Series, Vol. xxxvii, pp. 1209 et seq.
December 22nd, "Canada." Third Series, Vol. xxxix, pp. 1428 et seq.

1838. January 16th, "Canada." Third Series, Vol. xl, pp. 7 et seq.
March 6th, "Colonial Administration." Third Series, Vol. xli, pp. 476 et seq.
June 1st, "New Zealand." Third Series, Vol. xliii, pp. 542-3.
June 20th, "New Zealand." Third Series, Vol. xliii, pp. 871 et seq.

1839. June 3rd, "Canada." Third Series, Vol. xlvii, pp. 1254 et seq.
June 25th, "Waste Lands of the Colonies." Third Series, Vol. xlviii, pp. 841 et seq.
July 11th, "Canada." Third Series, Vol. xlix, pp. 147 et seq.

1840. May 5th, "Transportation." Third Series, Vol. liii, pp. 1236 et seq.
May 19th, "Transportation." Third Series, Vol. liv, pp. 246 et seq.
May 29th, "Canada." Third Series, Vol. liv, pp. 710 et seq.

1841. March 15th, "South Australia." Third Series, Vol. lvii, pp. 243 et seq.
March 25th, "Land Fund of New South Wales." Third Series, Vol. lvii, pp. 598 et seq.
April 22nd, "Land Fund of New South Wales." Third Series, Vol. lvii, pp. 974 et seq.

1842. February 4th, "Australian Waste Lands." Third Series, Vol. Ix, pp. 76 et seq.
April 14th, "Australian Waste Lands." Third Series, Vol. lxii, pp. 498 et seq.

1843. April 6th, "Systematic Colonization." Third Series, Vol. lxviii, pp. 484 et seq.


2. PARLIAMENTARY PAPERS.

Report from the Select Committee on the disposal of lands in the British Colonies. Acc. and Pap., 1836, Vol. xi, p. 499.

Reports of the Colonization Commissioners of Southern Australia.

First Report. 1836, Vol. xxxvi, p. 445.
Second Report. 1838, Vol. xxix, p. 447.
Third Report. 1839, Vol. xvii, p. 691.
Fourth Report. 1840, Vol. xxviii, p. i.

Report from Select Committee on Transportation.

1837, Vol. xix, p. I, and 1837-8, Vol. xxii, p. i.

Report of the Earl of Durham on affairs of British North America.

1839, Vol. xvii.

Report from the Select Committee on New Zealand.

1840, Vol. vii, p. 447.

Report from the Select Committee on South Australia.

1841, Vol. iv.

General Reports of the Colonial Land and Emigration Commissioners.

1842, Vol. xxv, p. 55.
1843, Vol. xxix, p. 15.
1844, Vol. xxxi, p. II.


3. COLONIAL OFFICE PAPERS IN THE PUBLIC RECORD OFFICE.

These papers contain not only manuscript despatches to and from Governors of the Australasian colonies, but letters to and from intending settlers and those interested in colonization, an occasional pamphlet, colonial Government Gazettes, colonial Blue Books of statistics, and a series of newspapers published in Australia. In addition much valuable information is contained in the memoranda made by the officials of the Colonial Office on receipt of the despatches from Colonial Governors. Sometimes these memoranda are written on the despatch itself, at other times they are separate. James Stephen in particular mostly wrote his comments on the margin of the despatch, though sometimes he prepared long memoranda for his official superiors. These papers, up to 1837, are available in the general search room at the Record Office, but after that date it is only possible to see them in the Departmental search room with special permission from the Colonial Office.


345
4. SPECTATOR.

The files of this newspaper from 1829 onwards are very important, because Wakefield and his followers constantly used it as a means of bringing their views before the public.


5. COLONIAL GAZETTE, 1839-1847.

This paper only lasted for nine years, but it was during that period the organ of the systematic colonizers. For a time it was under the management of the Spectator, from which it reprinted many articles.


6. THE TIMES AND THE MORNING CHRONICLE.

often contain articles and correspondence which throw light on colonization and colonial policy during this period.


7. THE EDINBURGH REVIEW, THE QUARTERLY REVIEW, AND THE WESTMINSTER REVIEW

occasionally contain articles on colonial policy.


8. GENERAL WORKS ON COLONIZATION.

Egerton, H. E.: "A Short History of British Colonial Policy." 4th Ed., 1913. B.M. 9525, d 12.

Grey, Earl: "The Colonial Policy of Lord John Russell's Administration." 2 Vols., 1853. 8154, ee 34.

Hodder, Edwin: "History of South Australia." 2 Vols., 1893. 2398, b 18.

Jenks, Edward: "A History of the Australasian Colonies." 1912. 2378, b.

Leroy-Beaulieu, Paul: "De la colonisation chez les peuples modernes." 1891. 8154, dd 5.

Lucas, Sir Charles: "Lord Durham's Report." 3 Vols., 1912. 8157, h 13.

Merivale, Herman: "Lectures on Colonization and Colonies." New Edition, 1861. 8206, c 38.

Mill, James: Article, "Colonies," reprinted from the Supplement to the Encyclopædia Britannica, 1825(?). 1389, d II.

Reeves, W. P.: "The Long White Cloud." 1898. 9772, c 29.

———— "State Experiments in Australia and New Zealand." 2 Vols., 1902. 8154, dd. 31.

Reid, S. J.: "Life and Letters of the first Earl of Durham." 2 Vols., 1906. 010817, de 35.

Rogers, J. D.: "Australasia," Vol. vi of "Historical Geography of the British Colonies," edited by Sir Charles Lucas. 1907. 2059, a.

Rusden, G. W.: "History of Australia." 3 Vols., 1883. 2398, f 10.


9. WAKEFIELD'S WORKS ON COLONIZATION.

"Sketch of a Proposal for Colonizing Australasia." 1829. 8154, d 30.

"A Letter from Sydney." 1829. 798, e 9.

"A Statement of the principles and objects of a proposed National Society for the cure and prevention of pauperism by means of systematic colonization." 1830. C.T. 232 (I).

"A Letter to the Right Hon. Sir George Murray on Systematic Colonization." 1830. C.O. 5031, Vol. III.

Eleven Letters by P——— in the Spectator. 1830-1.

"Letters forming part of a correspondence with Nassau Senior concerning systematic colonization." 1831. 8154, bb 28.

"Proposal to His Majesty's Government for founding a colony on the southern coast of Australia." 1831. 8154, c i (5).

"Plan of a company to be established for the purpose of founding a colony in Southern Australia." 1831. 8154, d 66 (i).

Article in the Literary Gazette, October 29th. 1831. P.P. 5618.

"England and America." 2 Vols. 1833. R.C.I. 1834. 1137, k 30.

"Outline of a plan of a proposed colony to be founded on the South Coast of Australia." 1834. 1103, f 45 (I).

"The new British Province of South Australia." First edition, 1834. 798, c I. Second edition, 1835. 798, c 2.

"The British Colonization of New Zealand." 1837. 798, c II.

"A Statement of the Objects of the New Zealand Association." 1837. C.O. 1267.

"Mr. Dandeson Coates and the New Zealand Association." 1837. C.O. 1267.

"A View of Sir Charles Metcalfe's Government of Canada." 1844. 1389, g 46.

Article, "Sir Charles Metcalfe in Canada," in Fisher's Colonial Magazine for 1844. P.P. 6236.

"A View of the Art of Colonization." 1849. 8154, ee 38.

New edition, with an introduction by James Collier, 1914. 8157, bbb 45.

"The Founders of Canterbury" (letters of E. G. Wakefield, edited by his son, E. J. Wakefield), 1868. 8154, b 74.

Manuscript Letters of E. G. Wakefield, 1815-1853. Add. MSS. 35, 261.


10. MISCELLANEOUS.

Anonymous:

"A brief sketch of the political importance of the British colonies." 1826. C.O. 4519, Vol. i.

"Statement of the Receipts and Expenditure, charges incurred for military defence, value of imports and exports, shipping tonnage and men employed in the trade, and the population of the colonial possessions of Great Britain." Not published. 1829. C.O. 4522.

"Hints on emigration to the new settlement on the Swan and Canning Rivers, on the West Coast of Australia." Second edition, 1829. T. 1263 (14).

"The Emigrants' Guide to New South Wales, Van Diemen's Land, Lower Canada, Upper Canada, and New Brunswick." 1832. C.O. 5031, Vol. vi.

"The Friend of Australia." 1830. 566, c 13.

"Rules and Regulations for the information and guidance of the principal officers and others in His Majesty's Colonial Possessions." 1837. C.O. 5812.

"Western Australia." 1842. 1304, k 16.

Arnold, Thomas: "The Effects of Distant Colonization on the Parent State." 1815. 8364, b 41.

Bentham, Jeremy: "Emancipate Your Colonies." Written 1793, first published 1830 with a postscript, reprinted with a preface, but without the postscript, 1838. B.P.S., G. 0090.

———— "The Rationale of Reward." 1825. 1127, c 5.

———— Manuscript letters, "National Colonization Society." Box No. 8 in the Library of University College, London.

Bradshaw, F.: "Self-Government in Canada." 1903. 08207, i I/8.

Buckton, T. J.: "Western Australia." 1840. C.O. 1175.

Buller, Charles: "Responsible Government for Colonies." 1840. 1137, a 34.

Capper, Henry: "South Australia." 1837. 798,03.

Coates, Dandeson: "The Principles, Objects, and Plan of the New Zealand Association Examined." 1837. T. 2392 (2).

Epps, W.: "Land Systems of Australasia." 1894. 08276, e 61.

Fawcett, M. G.: "Life of the Right Hon. Sir William Molesworth." 1901. 010817, de 9.

Forster, Anthony: "South Australia." 1866. 10492, e 4.

Garnett, Dr. Richard: "Edward Gibbon Wakefield." 1897. 10803, ee 21/4.

Gooch, J. B.: "Important Information to the Agriculturist, Mechanic, and Labourer who intend to Emigrate to the New Settlement on Swan River." 1830. C.O. 11 64.

Gouger, Robert: "Emigration for the Relief of Parishes practically considered." 1833. 8276, de 13 (12).

————— "The Founding of South Australia as recorded in the journals of Mr. R. Gouger." Edited by E. Hodder, 1898. 9772, bb 30.

Gourlay, R. F.: "General Introduction to Statistical Accounts of Upper Canada." 1822. 579, d 16.

————— "Statistical Account of Upper Canada." 2 Vols., 1822. 579, d 17, 18.

————— "The Neptunian." 1843. 1414, f 81 (4).

Hall, R. S.: "The State of New South Wales." 1831. T. 1406 (5).

Henderson, G. C.: "Sir George Grey." 1907. 0108 17, k 3.

Horton, Sir R. J. Wilmot: "A Letter to Sir F. Burdett." 1826. 8276, e 54.

————— "The Causes and Remedies of Pauperism in the United Kingdom considered." 1829. 1140, g 6.

————— "An inquiry into the causes and remedies of Pauperism." 1830. 1027, i II.

————— "Lectures delivered at the London Mechanics' Institution." 1831. 1140, g 7(i).

————— "Ireland and Canada." 1839. T. 2403 (9).

Irwin, Captain F. C: "The State and Position of Western Australia." 1835. 798, e 14.

Jenks, Edward: "The Government of Victoria, Australia." 1891. 8154, ee 26.

Johnson, S. C.: "A History of Emigration from the United Kingdom to North America." 1913. 08207, i 1/27.

Knight, W. H.: "Western Australia." 1870. 10491, bb 28.

Macarthur, James: "New South Wales: Its Present State and Future Prospects." 1837. 798, e 16.

Matthew, Patrick: "Emigration Fields." 1839. 798 h 3.

Molesworth, Sir William: "Selected Speeches," Edited by Professor Egerton. 8157, ee i.

Moore, G. F.: "Extracts from the Letters and Journals of G.F.M. . . . at the Swan River Settlement." Edited by Martin Doyle. 1834. 566, b 16.

Parnell, Sir Henry: "On Financial Reform." 1028, a 35.

Phillips, Dr. Marion: "A Colonial Autocracy." 1909. 08207, i 1/12.

Ranken, George: "The Squatting System of Australia." 1875. 10491, bbb I.

————— "The Federal Geography of British Australasia." 1891. 10492, cc 20.

————— "Bush Essays." 1892(?). R.C.I.

————— "Our Wasted Heritage." 1893(?). R.C.I.

Roebuck, J. A.: "The Colonies of England." 1849. 8154, ee 37.

Sidney, Samuel: "The Three Colonies of Australia." First edition, 1852. 741, d 4. Second edition, 1853. 741, d 5.

Siegfried, André: "Edward Gibbon Wakefield et sa doctrine de la colonisation systématique." 1904. 8156, df 44.

Sinnett, F.: "An Account of the Colony of South Australia." 1862. 10491, bbb 44.

Stephen, Sir James: "The Right Hon. Sir James Stephen, Letters with biographical notes by his daughter, Caroline Stephen." 1906. 010827, f 8.

————— "Address on British Colonies and Colonization." 1858. 8276, b 47.

Taylor, Sir Henry: "Autobiography." 2 Vols., 1885. 10825, ee I.

Torrens, Colonel Robert: "Substance of a Speech . . . on Emigration." 2nd Ed., 1827. 8275, bbb 57.

————— "Colonization of South Australia." 1835. 1028, b 24.

————— "Systematic Colonization." 1849. 8008, b 45.

Wentworth, W. C.: "A Statistical Account of the British Settlements in Australasia." 2 Vols. 3rd Ed., 1824. 10492, d 22.






{Page 350}

INDEX



Aberdeen (George Hamilton Gordon, Earl of), and land settlement restriction
  and South Australian commissionership

Aborigines. See Missionary bodies and New Zealand natives

Adelaide (City of)

African colonies in 1830

Agricultural administration in South Australia
  land and "sufficient price"

Agriculture and pastoral interests

Albany convict settlement

America and England, relative economic position
  See also Canada

American colonies, Adam Smith on
  company administration
  in 1830
  self-government

American revolution, effect upon colonies

Angas (George Fife), formation of South Australian Company
  Gouger's letter to
  South Australian Commissioner

Arthur (Governor Sir George) and Henty's settlement
  and land grants
  and Transportation Committee
  objections to price of land
  objections regarding emigration
  on convict labour
  praises emigration regulations

Assignment. Refer to Transportation

Auction of land, advantage of
  and sufficient price
  colonists' approval
  in New South Wales
  in United States

Australia, early emigration draw-backs
  early immigration statistics
  early methods of land settlement
  financial aid to emigrants
  Fremantle takes possession of west coast
  labour scarcity
  pastoral industry and prosperity
  waste lands (Act of 1842)
  See also Transportation question

Australia (West). See Swan River colony

Australian colonies in 1830
  colonists' price of land objections
  history, influence of systematic colonizers
  land sale regulations

Australind Company



Bacon (Major)

Baring (Sir Francis Thornhill), Lord Northbourne; assists Wakefield in New Zealand
  on Transportation Committee
  on Waste Lands Committee (1836)

Barnard (E.), South Australian Commissioner

Batman (John), settlement at Port Phillip

Bentham (Jeremy) and capital
  and Wakefield family
  on freedom of colonies
  on local and central government
  on Spencer's Gulf foundation
  on Wakefield's theory

Benthamite group and Wakefield

Blaxland (John)

Bligh (Governor William)

Bounty system of emigration, and labour supply
  expense to government.
  speculation in
  Refer also to Emigration

Bourke (Governor Sir Richard) and crown lands protection
  and price of land
  and superintendence of emigrants
  and Transportation Committee
  emigrants' land purchase proposal
  on disposition of settlers in New South Wales
  on home government and colonial revenue
  on land sale proceeds land emigration
  on land settlement restriction

Bristol guardians and pauper emigration

British North America. See Canada

Brougham (Lord) on Adam Smith's theory of colonies

Bryan (W.) and Waste Lands Committee

Buller (Charles) and colonial self-government
  and colonial reform
  and Colonization Society
  and Jamaican administration
  Durham's assistant in Canada
  Greville on
  on Canadian Crown lands
  on Colonization Commissioners' instructions
  on pauper emigration
  on representation
  on Transportation Committee
  supporter of Wakefield
  writings on responsible government

Bulwer (Sir Henry Lytton), Lord Dalling; and Crown lands
  on Waste Lands Committee, (1836)

Bunbury (W. Australia), colonization scheme at

Burdett (Sir Francis)

Burnley (W. H.)

Buxton (Sir Thomas Fowell)



Canada, and Wakefield system
  Crown lands (Buller on)
  early history
  emigration to (Wilmot Horton's plan)
  first civilian governor
  land system examined by Wakefield
  pauper settlements
  Robert Gourlay on
  Wakefield and 1829 Select Committee on

Carlyle (Thomas) on Charles Buller

Cape of Good Hope, pauper settlements

Capital investment and colonization

Central and local government in colonies

Chadwick (Edwin)

Chandos (Marquis of)

Children and education in colonies

Chinese labour in Australia

Chisholm (Mrs. Caroline)

Church Missionary Society and New Zealand natives

Civilization, colonial opportunities of furthering

Clay (Mr.) and South Australian Commission

Clergy reserves in Canada

Coates (Dandeson), aspersions on Wakefield's character
  Church Missionary Society and New Zealand natives

Cobbett (William)

Cockburn (Lieut.-Col. Francis)

Colonial administration policy of Durham Report
  defence question
  expenditure inquiry of 1830
  finance and emigration
  independence, Wakefield's opinion
  land, price question
    revenue control
    sale regulations
  prosperity and pastoral industry
  revenues, home government's disposal
  self-government

Colonial Land and Emigration Board

Colonial Office and colonial self-government
  and Colonization Society
  and land regulations
  and land restrictment
  and New Zealand natives
  and responsible government in colonies
  and South Australian Association
  difficulty in regulating settlers
  hostility to new colony foundations
  land settlement policy reformed
  obligations to Wakefield system
  South Australian scheme and
  Wakefield's success with

Colonies, administration expenses in 1830
  and advantages of colonization
  and corn production
  and emigration, Wilmot Horton on
  and independence
  and labour supply
  and trade extension
  commission on revenue and expenditure
  Durham on their developm