Page:Transportation and colonization.djvu/196

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182

TRANSPORTATION

land itself, of which the market value would immediately be doubled by being settled with a free emigrant population; but the moral character of that population itself, headed as it would be in every instance by a clergyman and schoolmaster, both dependent in some measure for their maintenance upon the government, and consequently directly interested in seeing the demands of the government duly met by their people. Supposing that each farm should average thirty acres, estimated at seven shillings and sixpence per acre, and that the price of clearing ten acres for each settler should be estimated at £3 to £4 per acre (the price for clearing heavily-timbered land within the colony); the debt of each settler, on taking possession of his land, would be £46. 5s., and the whole debt of each parish or settlement about £4,600. Now, from what I know of the colony of New South Wales, and of the facilities which it holds forth to virtuous and industrious persons of the humbler classes of society, I am confident that a debt of this amount could be cleared off with the utmost facility, by a virtuous population of a hundred families, in two or three years. The government would therefore have good security for the repayment of the whole amount expended on each settlement in convict labour, as well as for the payment of the estimated value of