Page:Transportation and colonization.djvu/257

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I beg to subjoin the following explanation of a passage in the ninety-fifth page of this treatise, of which, in the haste of revision, I did not perceive the particular bearings till it was too late to make the requisite corrections. Petitions to the King and Parliament, praying for a more liberal constitution of government than has hitherto been enjoyed in New South Wales, and also for certain alterations and improvements in the general management of transported felons, have recently been forwarded to England from the colony. These petitions have been signed by a very large portion of the respectable inhabitants of New South Wales: but in praying for an instrument of government more suited to the present advanced state of the colony than its present Legislative Council, the petitioners are, nevertheless, unanimously of opinion that the elective franchise should not yet be extended to all classes of the free population, and that persons of the class of emancipists in particular should not be eligible to serve on juries. In the course of their petitions they have alluded particularly to the increase of crime in the colony—a fact of which the reader will, doubtless, have found a satisfactory explanation in the preceding pages. That fact, however, has been eagerly laid hold of by a party of Ultra-Tories in the colony, who happen to have the command of one of the colonial newspapers, for the laudable purpose of bringing the present colonial Whig administration into disrepute, by ascribing it entirely to a particular measure of Sir Richard Bourke, with which it has but little, if any connexion whatever. Now it is to this party exclusively, and not to the petitioners generally, who had no wish whatever to cast any reflections on the present colonial