Page:Australia an appeal.djvu/10

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ix

But I forget. My concern is with Australia and her wrongs.

Some of you, I am aware, blush at deeds which they cannot prevent; and, hoping that symptoms of compunction on the part of others, will indicate a return to better things, before threatening ruin overtake you, I venture one word upon a subject, paramount to the squabbles in which ye waste your time, and to all that ever yet engrossed your attention—if a word from a stranger may be heard, amidst the noise, the clamour, and the heat of party conflict, in which, to the disgrace of yourselves and the empire, ye are everlastingly engaged.

A resolution, proposed some years ago, to allow other states the right of mutual search, in order to induce them to agree to the extinction of the slave trade, passed the House with acclamation; ordering that the flag which waved triumphant on the ocean without a rival, even while the world was in arms, and in the sight of which no enemy dared to appear with impunity, should be lowered in the cause of humanity. Have I gained your attention, gentlemen? The unfurling of that flag in the southern hemisphere for the protection of adventurers, has become the signal for the extermination of nations!


FIRST LETTER

TO THE RIGHT HONOURABLE THE SECRETARY
OF STATE FOR THE COLONIES.

My Lord,
There
is no compact, no covenant of any kind, between the British Government and the Aboriginal inhabitants of Australia. We have taken possession of the country on the simple ground that might is right. When the original owners of the soil, famishing with hunger and driven to desperation by the loss of the fish and the game on which they subsisted, chance in their wanderings to come upon a shepherd with a flock of sheep, being the stronger party, they kill him and help themselves to a little meat to satisfy the cravings of hunger. They are then, when apprehended, shot, or tried by a jury of their enemies and hanged—for what? for following the example we have set them, and acting on the principle that might is right.

But this is not all. Thousands and tens of thousands, the proceeds of the sale of Australian lands, are annually remitted to England, while the interests and the well-being of the Aboriginal inhabitants, whose property is thus seized and