Page:Transportation and colonization.djvu/189

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

AND COLONIZATION.

175

twelve years to immediate account, if not so as to realize the full amount of its actual cost, at least to preclude the possibility of incurring so enormous a loss as would necessarily be implied in its entire abandonment; while a settlement, hitherto exclusively penal in its character and exceedingly expensive to the mother country, could be transformed forthwith into a free and flourishing settlement, affording the government the means of permanent and profitable employment for any number of convicts for the future.

So long as the system of granting land in the Australian colonies was continued, it was the policy of the British government to encourage the emigration of capitalists only to these colonies, i. e., of persons who could afford to take the convicts off their hands, and to employ them for their own advantage. The results of this system we have already seen in the present condition of the colony, as to the moral character of its anomalous population. But the new system, which is just coming into operation, will enable the government to create a class of capitalists in the colony, who will afford permanent and profitable employment for the convicts, and eventually relieve the government of the whole cost of their maintenance without setting them loose in any