Page:The new British province of South Australia.djvu/34

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been validated.

of agreement for co-operation, under which all behave as if they were directed by a single will; secondly, that combination of labour in particular works, that helping of each other by many, without which no work can be performed which requires, like the formation of embankments, reservoirs, and water-courses, the constant employment of many hands in the same work, at the same time, and for a long period of consecutive time. If Australia had consisted only of the banks of the Hawkesbury, her inhabitants would probably, ere now, have obtained complete control over that river and its tributary streams, confining them within their beds during the rainy seasons, and during the dry seasons conveying their waters, which had been artificially pent up in favourable spots, over a great tract of country, that is now despised as being liable to suffer either from flood or from drought.

Considering also what, in this case, the Australians, being a society, and having therefore such classes as tank-makers and well-diggers, would have done to preserve rain water, and to draw water out of the earth,—from all these considerations it appears again, that when the population of Australia shall become more dense, her soil will be more fit to support a dense population.

6. There is a vague but common impression that Australia is not fit to become an agricultural country; that it is fit only to be a pastoral country. This impression may be correct; but it is not at present a reasonable conclusion. The conclusion is drawn from an English estimate of the soil and climate of Australia, and from the fact that hitherto in Australia it has been far more easy to produce sheep and cattle,