Page:Transportation and colonization.djvu/92

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78

TRANSPORTATION

frustrated through the culpable neglect of this indispensably necessary and highly salutary measure, on the part of the colonial authorities of New South Wales and Van Dieman's Land, acting, however, under the sanction of the Home Government. For, besides the regular and ample ration of ardent spirits that was served out to all free persons in the service of government, whether civil or military, from the highest in command to the humblest menial, there were regular and periodical issues of large quantities of ardent spirits, free of duty, to government-officers of all ranks, from the first settlement of the colony; and as numerous convicts were from time to time acquiring their freedom, while a system of concubinage with female convicts was extensively and indeed almost universally practised by the free population, there was no want of fit persons to dispose of the officers' rum, and to hold out the requisite inducement to all convicts still in bondage to rob and steal, to procure the means of indulgence. It had thus virtually become the interest of the free portion of the population of New South Wales, from the first establishment of that colony, to frustrate the grand object of its wise and beneficent founders, in regard to the reformation of the convicts, and to do all that in them lay to render the latter worse than ever; the Government