Page:Transportation and colonization.djvu/90

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76

TRANSPORTATION

CHAPTER V.

THE SECOND CAUSE OF THE COMPARATIVE FAILURE OF THE TRANSPORTATION SYSTEM,—THE UNLIMITED IMPORTATION AND CONSUMPTION OF ARDENT SPIRITS IN THE AUSTRALIAN COLONIES.

One of the most fruitful sources of the comparative failure of the transportation system, as it has been administered in the Australian penal colonies during the last thirty years, has doubtless been the unlimited importation and consumption of ardent spirits in these colonies. The want of a virtuous free emigrant population, to afford the requisite stimulus to reformation on the one hand, and the requisite check to criminality on the other, maybe considered as a negative cause or source of failure; but the extent to which the importation and consumption of ardent spirits have all along been permitted in the Australian colonies may be regarded as a positive source of moral debasement, operating