Page:Transportation and colonization.djvu/183

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1817," recommending the appointment of a Commission of Inquiry to proceed to the col ny and to ascertain its general condition.

"I have for some time past had under consideration the present state of the settlements in New South Wales, principally with a view of satisfying myself whether they are now calculated to answer the object for which they were originally established, or whether it might not be expedient to introduce some alteration in the existing system.

"Until a recent period, the transportation of offenders to New South Wales appears to have answered, in a great degree, the ends for the attainment of which it was adopted. * * * So long as the colony was principally inhabited by convicts, and but little advanced in cultivation, the strictness of the police regulations, and the constant labour, under due restriction, to which it was then possible to subject the convict, rendered transportation, as a punishment, an object of the greatest apprehension to those who looked upon strict discipline and regular labour as the most severe and least tolerable of evils.

It was not long, however, before the settlements were found to hold out to many individuals inducements to become cultivators; and thirty years' experience of the climate and fertility of the soil, has, for some time past, rendered a per-