Page:Transportation and colonization.djvu/179

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.



the highest degree to the reformation of the convicts, and render the continuance of transportation a blessing to the empire, rather than a curse. Why, a very small portion of the convict labour, which has been absolutely thrown away at the penal settlement of Moreton Bay during the last ten years, would have been sufficient to have effected the immediate settlement of at least ten thousand of the virtuous and industrious, but unemployed and starving poor of the Highlands and Islands of Scotland, in that most promising locality. And if such a population were carried out passage-free, which it is evident can now be effected without cost to any party, to be settled along with their ministers and schoolmasters along the fertile banks of a noble river, and supplied with provisions on credit from the king's stores for six months or thereabouts, will any man suppose that they would not willingly pay a rent for their little farms till they could afford to purchase them, or that they would not speedily prove a source of revenue and of national strength, instead of being, as at present, a serious burden to the state?

The employment of convict labour in the two modes I have suggested,—1st, on public works within the present colonial boundary, and, 2nd, in preparing the way for the formation of new settlements to the northward, would, I am confident,