Page:Australia an appeal.djvu/17

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stock, shipping, fisheries, and commerce, justly estimated, will certainly equal—probably exceed—that of the national debt, forming a distinct creation of property in addition to the wealth of the empire. Four thousand pounds out of millions! Not one farthing of the sum, however, is from the colonists. Taken out of moneys arising almost entirely from the sale of land and a duty on imported spirits—that pestilent commodity of pure unmingled poison to the morals of a community—it comes out of neither their current income, nor the wealth they have acquired, great as it is, but from funds which are a mere index of its vast and progressive accumulation.[1] Even if it did, ₤4000 out of millions, the produce of the lands of which ye have dispossessed the Aboriginal inhabitants, thrown to them at the end of half a century, to protect them from being murdered by your own servants, would afford you but little ground for boasting of your liberality. Say, does not the very thought make you blush? especially when placed beside the immense sums expended on yourselves, or hoarded up to effect perhaps the moral ruin of your offspring? Fulness of bread was the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah.

Still, better this than nothing; and better late than never. It is highly honourable to His Excellency, as well as the members of the Council who seconded the benevolent wishes of Bishop Broughton; and I record the fact with pleasure. At the same time it must be remembered that this sum will go but a very little way towards the protection, and still less towards the moral improvement of the Aboriginal inhabitants within the colony. What then is to become of the innumerable and yet unknown tribes of the interior? Are they, sitting in darkness and the shadow of death, to be neglected till, surprised by the striding march of colonization, they perish by the blast of European morals, or be exterminated by the powder and ball of unprincipled adventurers, aided perhaps by the police, the military, and those bearing Her Majesty's commission. To suppose, whatever may be the disposition of the representatives of the Sovereign, that colonial governments, hampered as they are between orders from home on the one hand, and clamour in the colonies on the other, will ever grant funds adequate either to the urgency or the magnitude of the object, would betray great ignorance of human nature. The cause, however, is that of the Most High; and he will yet say to Australia, "Arise, shine; for thy light is come."

  1. I find from the estimates for this year, that the grant, now increased to ₤5000, is entirely from the land fund, and that a small portion of it is appropriated to one or two missions recently attempted within the colony.
    Sydney, September 9, 1889.