Page:Transportation and colonization.djvu/45

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AND COLONIZATION.

31

enormous expense, will very soon find his way back again to his old quarters, and subject the country to a second burden of a similar kind. If transported, however, to a penal settlement on the coast of New Holland, the probability is, that in ninety-nine cases out of every hundred, the country will be rid of him for ever. There can be no question, therefore, as to the comparative eligibility of the transportation system in the article of expense.

Connected with this branch of the subject, there is another consideration of great moment. Convict labour is a species of public property, which the state has a right, and is in duty bound, to turn to the best account for the public benefit: but there can be no question as to whether convict labour can be employed more advantageously for the public in the colonies, where labour is in requisition and proportionably valuable, than in the mother country, where it is in superabundance and proportionably cheap. Under a proper system of management the labour of a convict at a penal settlement might be made to produce on the Australian continent double, triple, or even four times the whole cost of his maintenance; whereas in England it will only produce a small portion of that cost, even under the best management. Besides, in the latter case, it comes into competition