Page:Transportation and colonization.djvu/91

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still more directly in producing the same evil effect. One should have thought that the rigorous prohibition of the importation of ardent spirits, in countries which for a long period could only be considered extensive gaols, would have suggested itself as a measure of expediency, if not of absolute necessity, to those who were concerned either in founding the penal settlements of the empire, or in the subsequent administration of their government:[1] for as drunkenness is the great source of crime in the mother country, and the sole procuring cause of transportation in the case of a large portion of the prison population of these settlements, the absolute prohibition of the importation of ardent spirits into the colonial territories was evidently not less necessary for the prevention of crime in the mother country, than for the reformation of the transported criminals. It is lamentable to reflect, however, on the manner in which the praiseworthy and benevolent intentions of the founders of the penal colonies of the empire were virtually counteracted and completely

  1. One of the Acts passed in the year 1734, for the settlement of Georgia, was to prevent the importation and use of rum and brandy in the province, or of any kind of spirits or strong waters whatever."—Parliamentary Evidence on Drunkenness, No. 939. Why was there no such act passed for New South Wales?