To the Editor of the Gazette
Having occasion to be in Perth a few day's on business, and influenced by that feeling, which has ever prompted me to take an interest in the welfare of the Natives, I wished to employ as many leisure mornings as I had to spare, in going out to Monger s lake to see the bread distributed and to embrace the opportunity of conversing with them. With this view. I called on Captain Ellis last Saturday morning, and stated my intention of accompanying him; but to my surprize he forbade me to do so. From Captain Ellis s rank, it is difficult to suppose he would have thus acted without special orders. I am therefore induced to ask what does the local Government mean? Does it intend to keep the natives as a game preserve, to be fed and shot at pleasure? Far be it from me to suppose that it has any such intention; the characters of those who compose it, forbid me to entertain such a thought for one moment: but until we have some explanation, I put it to themselves, upon reflection to say, whether it be possible for those who are utter strangers to the deliberations in council, to put any other construction upon the policy at present pursued. If Captain Ellis has acted in this matter without orders, let him explain, and free the local Government from all blame,
No one, be his prejudices and antipathies what they may, can if he pause to think, object to the humane act of giving a few rations for a time, to a people whom we have despoiled of their country; and every virtuous mind will approve of discouraging their coming into the towns, where in addition to their native vices, their intercourse with the lower orders of society, will impart to them all the moral deformity of the vices which have been imported from Europe. But that those who take an interest in their welfare should be forbiden to visit them in the bush, is one of the most unacountable proceedings that have yet been adopted. Can a people be governed without a knowledge of their language and their manners? or can there be any safety for the propertes and lives of settlers unless a friendly intercourse be established between them and the Native Tribes? surely it is time to have done with the purilities, I had almost said the fooleries which have been practised towards a people of whose language and manners, we know nothing; and that decisive and effectual measures were adopted in order to ameliroate the condition of the Aboriginal inhabitants.
I would take the liberty ot suggesting to Capt. Ellis, if report speaks truly, the impropriety of allowing Yagan to distribute the bread. The propriety of allowing any of the natives to do this at present, is, perhaps questionable. But the conferring this honor upon Yagan is a gross insult to Yellowgonga, who is the leading Chief on this side of the water. By the by it is reported that the distribution of rations to the natives, is to be shortly stopped. I trust the local Government will not again indanger the properties and lives of settlers by discontinuing this just and humane practice,
In the absence of representatives in the Legislative Council, the Settlers have no way of giving utterance on any measure affecting their common interest, but through the medium of a public Journal, I trust, therefore, you will not object to let this appear in the columns of the Gazette.
Perth, February 27th, 1833.
We have not heard whether the Civil Court, will hold its sittings on Thursday next the day usually appointed; but we should presume from the absence of the Civil Commissioner it will be postponed until his arrival from the Southward.
No less a number than 800 Chelsea pensioners have recently sold their pensions, for four years' purchase, to furnish themselves with the means of emigrating to the United States. A vast number of those men beyond the meridian of life, who emigrated last summer, have since returned, and, become chargeable to their respective parishes.
On Saturday, the 23rd Inst A Seaman belonging to the "Jolly Rambler," was taken before Mr. Leake, for ^subordination, on board the Cutter, and insolence to the Captain. He was committed to prison, until the Cutter is about to sail.
The Jetty at Perth during the summer season is a very inconvenient landing place indeed can only be approached in flats; unless considerably improved it is nearly useless, the advantage therefore, of constructing a Jetty in the neighbourhood of the Government Store House, would be great, and any individual forming a landing place of this description, by levying a trifling toll, would soon reimburse himself for his original outlay The present practice of landing passengers pickapack, the boatman being obliged to wade through mud for the extent of thirty or forty yards, is hazardous and unpleasant, and most persons we should imagine would readily pay a trifling sum to be relieved from. We strongly recommend either the extension of the old Jetty, or the formation of a new one on the sight we have proposed; those who have suffered as we have done, by two or three falls in the mud, we are convinced will as strenuously urge some improvement
A Mail is now open for England via India, per Cygnet, at the General Post Office, Perth.
The Perth Market has been indifferently supplied with fresh meat, for the last week, the prices still 1s 6d per lb. Fish continues scarce Vegetables abundant, Potatoes 6d. per lb Onions 10d. and 1s. Wild Birds, the Cockatoo, Duck, swamp hen Pigeons, &c. &c., have been offered for sale more generally of late, than usual.—Ducks 5s, the couple, Pigeons 1s. each, Cockatoos 1s. 6d.—Melons, water and rock 1s to 1s 6d Large sized Pumkins 1s. Rice and Flour are still high, the latter 6d. per lb. the former 7d. the importation per Monkey it is hoped, will reduce these articles to their proper levil.
We are informed our Fremantle Correspondent could not have been present at the commencement of the Sale, he alluded to, for it was distinctly stated, that the goods would not be sacrificed; but to avoid disappointment, each article would be put up at the invoice price, and knocked down to the highest bidder above it. With respect to the posting bills which stated "to be sold without reserve," we are further informed, should have been "to he sold at the highest bidding above the invoice price;"—but the bills being struck off, and circulated, before they were placed in the hands of the Auctioneer, prevented us correcting the error until the day of Sale, which was done as we have described.
Report of the West India Committee.—The fir report of the Select Committee on the commercial state of the West India colonies, which has been lately made, state that they have received abundant evidence of distress under which the West India planters labour, and have laboured for a long time, The immediate cause according to the West Indians is the inadiquacy of return. The cost of production of a hundred weight of Sugar is 15s 3d, The expense of bringing it to market is 8s 6d The market price is 23s 8d. thus leaving a deficiency of 6d. The report then adverts to the History of our colonial System—to the abolition of the Slave traffic in 1807—to the necessity of the planter to rear all his slaves, and maintain a large number of females who would not otherwise be required—to the continuance of the slave traffic in Cuba and Brazil—to the admission of the produce of foreign colonies into the British market, and to the inability of the West Indians to compete with the foreign colouies not enjoying the same advantages—to the high duty upon Rum and Sugar—to the increased cost of production, by reason of the abolition of the Slave trade the ameliorating orders, and the commercial restrictions—and to the exclusion of molasses by law from the distilleries and public breweries of the United Kingdom. These the West Indians contend are the artificial causes of the present distress; and they claim a compensation which will enable them to compete with the foreign grower. The report states, that some of the causes appear susceptidle of removal, which is a better remedy than compensation, One of the principal causes is the commercial restrictions. According to papers submitted to the board of trade, they impose an annual charge upon the West India colonies of 1,392,353l. The burden on Sugar 5s 6¾ a cwt. Take this burden away, cwt of sugar to market would be reduced to 18 7¼ (the cost is 24s 2d ) If the market price is 23s 8d then a balance of 5s. remains in favour of a planter instead of 6d against him
The following tribute of esteem to the memory of Captain Barker, of the 39th Regiment of foot, is highly creditable to Colonel Lindsay and his Brother Officers and was justly merited. Captain Barker was for some time at King Georges Sound after his removal from Melville Island, upon the Settlement being abandoned; and to him we are indebted for many improvments, which were effected during the time he was there; and for the amicable intercourse wnich has existed in that quarter with the Native tribes. It is melancholy to reflect that he fell a sacrifice in a cause, which his active exertions had tended so materialy to advance.
A very elegant monument and tablet has been erected at the expense of Colonel Lindesay, and the Officers of the 39th Regiment to the memory of Captain Barker, late Commandant of Western Port, who our Readers will remember, met a premature death in his zeal to extend our knowledge of the boundaries of the Colony. It is erected in St James s Church, opposite to the monument of a gallant veteran, in the naval Service, Sir Thomas Brisbane. The tomb is the work of Mr. Rennie, who has displayed much taste in its execution. The arrangement of the decorative parts is also highly pleasing. On the top of the tomb are wreaths of honeysuckle foliage, entwined with ribbands. On the side pilasters, are two torches reversed, and on the frieze above the tablet are darts, and split beads A Grecian leaf runs on the base below the tablet The whole presenting a tout ensamble highly creditable to the artist The tomb is 5 feet long, and the tablet 2 feet 9 inches. The following is the inscription which is at once affectionate chaste and elegant—
captain collett barker
of his majesty's 39th regiment of foot,
who was treacherously murdered
by the aboriginal natives,
on the 30th of april, 1831,
while endeavouring, in the performance of his
duty, to ascertain the communication between
lake alexandrina and the gulf of st vincent
on the south west coast of new holland,
in token of esteem for the singular worth,
and in affectionate remembrance of rhe many
virtues of the deceased,
this tablet is erected by
COLONEL LINDESAY AND HIS BROTHER
The Battalion of Bearded Officers—There has been for sometime in the service of Donna Maria, a battalion composed exclusively of officers of rank, all bachelors, who have made a vow never to shave or cut their beards until she shall be established on the throne of Portugal. When that event takes place, a field day is to be appointed, when a general shearing and shaving is to take place, and the various fleeces are to be formed into a mattrass for her M ost Sacred Majesty! Already the beard of some of this devoted battalion vie with that of the High Priest of all the Jews.
Such is the scarcity of employment, in England, amongst thousands of Carpenters and Bricklayer, that many master builders about the metropolis, being daily so much annoyed by numerous applications, have been under the necessity of placing men at their gates in order to give negative answers.
A granite column, it is said, is about to be erected in the metropolis, in honour of reform, and for which the Haytor company has offered to furnish one entire block, 10 feet square, and 90 feet high.
The peculiarity of the weather during the last two months, so different from that experienced in corresponding months in former years, still continues, and has afforded us but little occasion to complain of any oppressive heat in the climate.