Page:Transportation and colonization.djvu/163

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AND COLONIZATION.

149

soil, either as tenants or as small proprietors, and a middle class, consisting of reputable mechanics and other operatives in the towns; thereby gradually elevating the moral character of the colony, and supplying the likeliest means of ensuring the progressive amelioration of its anomalously constituted society. It is therefore unquestionably evident, that the colony of New South Wales possesses the means of supplying itself with free labour, to the utmost extent required by its free population; and that the discontinuance of the assignment system might therefore be effected without the slightest injury to the colony, as far as the necessity of providing a substitute for assigned convict labour is concerned.

To encourage and promote the importation of free labour, in accordance with the views and intentions of His Majesty's government as above-mentioned, the colonial executive give a bounty of £30 from the colonial land revenue for every married couple, of the class of agricultural labourers, shepherds, or mechanics, imported into New South Wales, provided the persons so imported have been selected by some agent duly authorized by a colonial proprietor; five pounds additional being allowed for every child above a year old. On a large scale, this sum would probably be sufficient to cover the whole expense