FRIDAY MORNING, MAY 5,1837.
In our last, we offered a few observa- tions and hints in connection with His
Excellency's proclamation suspending the old system of free female emigration. The subject is one which involves the most important consequences. We need not, therefore, offer any apology for recurring to it now. The Executive Council, it was observed, had done wisely, in directing their attention chiefly to free female immigration, because a very great disproportion between the numbers of the sexes, such as exists in Van Diemen's Land, affects detrimentally the interests of a young colony, in a way
which is obvious to the understanding. The increase of our free population, we deem it, is of infinite importance to the colony, and the measures of go- vernment ought to be carefully directed to the promotion of this end, and not be limited by partial, transient, or local con- siderations merely.. -
In spite of what a narrow view, even' of self interest, has advanced to the contrary, we maintain, that there yet exists in the colony immense unemployed resources,-that there is ample provision for tens of thousands laying dormant. And we reckon it as not the least among the checks to population-operating in and out of the colony-the abandonment of the free grant system. It has encour- aged an extreme inequality of property, the full effects of which will be felt here- after, if not modified by the influence of Government, in the meantime.* Extreme inequality of the kind referred to, is reckoned by Malthus, and by sound eco- nomists, among the checks to population any where, but in the instance of this colony,* it operates in the same wajr, in directly, as well as well as directly ; be- sides tending to limit our aggregate wealth. It is very true, we are told, that the returns of the land disposed of, have been employed in importing population,
and this is considered a sufficient answer to all that may be said against the round- about way of proceeding ; but who are they, we ask, who are introduced into the island, by the capital derived from the disposal of lands? They are, as might be expected, persons without pro- perty, free labourers who are introduced into the colony to compete with others, who are prisoners, and whose services may be had at a comparatively slight ex- pense ; they are competitors for subsist- ence at a disadvantage. That this co- lony would be benefitted by additional population being introduced, male as well as female, we have already said, but be- fore this increase be made, it is just that employment be provided ; for this pur- pose, a population able to give employ- ment to new labourers must previously exist. " To make the former precede the latter, is to overstock the market with labourers, and consequently to render the reward of free labour as low as possible,.in short, to press the labourer down to the most abject state of poverty. A boon then, is required, to encourage the immigration of capitalists. Van Die men's Land is yet, we repeat it-is yet a vast reservoir of unemployed wealth we need the instruments to separate it
from incumbrances-we want the means
of rendering it serviceable, first, capital ; second, labour is needed. ' I should be disposed, says Mr. Whitmore, in his evi- dence before a Parliamentary Committee -to say that capital in the country where it is to be employed, ought rather to pre . cede labour, than labour capital.' It is desirable that the population of the island
increase - it would add to our produc-
tions,-it would better the market for them here-it would provide for our home surplus population-but it would not only be useless, but dangerous, to in-
undate the island with labourers, unless there existed previously, the capital needed to remunerate them. How, then, is capital to be provided ? or rather, how are capitalists to be iuduced to come here ? This brings us back to the ques- tion of free grants of land. The chief objection, the one most frequently urged, to free grants, is the partiality manifested by the donors. Another objection which would very probably be made to a rever- sion to this practice, is the supposed de- preciation it would occasion in the value of the landed property in the colony al- ready cultivated and improved. With reference to the former objection, there is ample and obvious provision which may be taken against it. With respect to the latter, although one likely to ope- rate powerfully in the minds of some, it
is founded on narrow and transient con-
siderations. The value of all property is dependent on its scarcity, and on the
demand for it. If it be of the class of
necessaries, the demand is dependent on the extent of population : Now, although immediately, and for some time after re- verting to the system of free grants, cultivated land might fetch a diminished price compared to what it does at pre- sent, it would eventually rise not only to its original, but to a greater value, owing to the increase of population, induced by the facilities of obtaining the means of subsistence by free grants-although the market would receive into it, a greater supply of commodities, and a greater number of dealers, the real value of these commodities would not be diminished, the real wealth of these dealers would not be less than now, for the population would increase in proportion to the in- crease of subsistence, and consequently
The whole of our argument, as it ap- plies to this Colony, proceeds on the ground, that the demand for labourers at cresent, is not equal to the susceptibilities existing of a profitable direction of la- bour, and the cause of this is, that there is not sufficient capital in the colony to convert its dormant, into a real wealth. Our deduction has been given in the course of the observations above,-it is shortly this.
Favorable to the increase of our popu- lation by immigration, we deem that pre- cedence ought to be given to those who possess capital, by holding out such in- ducements as will operate upon them
* The effects of excessive inequality of landed property to which we here allude, we shall find it necessary to explain in onr next, under a dif- ferent head'than, at present.
that measures directed to the general object of population by foreign introduc- tion, be hot limited to only one class, but adapted to others.
Frequent reports have been received in town, that runaway convicts were in the neighbourhood of Brown's River and Birch's Bay, but which reports on investigation, have generally turned out
to be false. This is now accounted for.
A nest of sheep and cattle stealers, it appears, have congregated together, and committed many serious depredations on
the flocks of the smaller settlers in that
vicinity, and in order to carry on better their nefarious practices, they no doubt raised these reports, that they might se- cure to themselves, by the absence of
the constables who went in search of the
runaways, an uninterrupted period to carry off their booty. This plan, we are sorry to say, succeeded in several in- stances, but we have now to congratu- late the inhabitants of Brown's River, and in fact the district generally, on the discovery and apprehension of these ma- rauders, which was effected through the praiseworthy exertions of constables Smith and Sutton, two steady and active members of the Hobart constabulary. It appears these sheep stealers were in the habit of trafficking with the sawyers down the river, and exchanged their stolen meat for sawed timber. We trust these facts will also prove to men engaged in cutting wood, &c. a warning, and make them more circumspect as to the persons from whom they purchase meat, otherwise they will find themselves placed
in an awkward dilemma.
We understand that no less than
thirty applications have already been made for the office of Emigration Agent; Some of these, by parties whose experience in the colony gives them very great ad- vantages, and promises favourably for improvement in the conduct of this difficult matter. A person fully acquainted with the agricultural and commercial pursuits pre- vailing in the colony ought to be sought. A mere pen and paper man is not the thing. A man of a different mould is needed, and before His Excellency comes to any determination, we trust the adapt-
ation of the individual for the duties
whieh must devolve upon him will be care- fully ascertained, we not only trust, but feel assured that such will be done.
To all, but especially our agricultural readers, the report we have given in our columns of Sir John Franklin's reply to the Richmond address, will possess pe- culiar interest. It is a correction of that contained in the True Colonist; which, by mischance, or hurry, is full of blun- ders some of which alter and destroy the sense of the original.
On Monday morning at 8 o'clock, McKay suffered the last penalty of the law, before the Court house, in presence of some hundred persons. He maintained to the last his innocence. The other culprit, Lamb, was reprieved.
Our readers will observe a new feature
in our paper, in the shape of an almanack and local memoranda. The utility of this is so apparent, that we intend con- tinuing it. By referring to this corner at any time, the reader will be apprised of whatever important meeting, holiday, or anniversary comes round in the
On Monday last, the specie contained in the Colonial Treasury and the Trea- sury of the Commissariat, was withdrawn and distributed in equal proportions in our Colonial Banks, viz.-the Van Die men's Land, the Derwent, the Commer- cial, and the Tamar, subject to the fol- lowing conditions :
" 1st,-The treasure is to be deposited in equal portions between the four Banks, subject to an interest of two and a-half per cent., calcu- lated upon the monthly average of the amount deposited.
2nd,-Government to call, if it considers ne- cessary, at a week's notice, for a return, upon a given day, of the assets and liabilities of the Banks respectively, (now furnished half-yearly)
to shew the state of their affairs.
3d,-The Government to have the power, at any time it may consider necessary, to cause the monies of the Banks to be counted by Of- ficers appointed for that purpose.
4th,-The Bank to publish as at present half-yearly statements of their affairs.
5th,-The Banks to have the power to ter- minate this engagement at any moment they may consider it desirable-but the Government not to do so unless with three months previous
BOTHWELL LITERARY SOCIETY.-?
The preliminary Lecture for the present sessions,-which had been unavoidably postponed, was delivered by the Secre- tary the Rev. Jas. Garrett, on Thursday [ evening last to a highly respectable
auditory.-The Lecturer descanted on the advantages reaped by society gener~ ally, from Scientific Institutions-and their favorable influence on' the moral habits of a people-and in particular, the benefits to the rising generation which an attendance on public Lectures must ensure in furnishing them with a sound education-in this country parti- cularly, isolated and remote as it is, from the immediate seat of the Arts and Sciences.-The Lecturer concluded, by an interesting outline of the anatomy of the human body, in which he shewed its admirable adaptation in every instance, to our necessities, and proved the bene- ficent design of the creator in its forma-
The next Lecture it was announced would take place on the 11th of May instant, when the first of a course on " Temperature" will be given by Mr. P. Moss.-We understand that a class for the study of Chemistry, with the requi- site appparatus, attached to the institu
tion will be founded immediately.-Cor respondent.
Well done Bothwell ! Go on and pros- per, you haye shown an example of spirit and enlightenment which we pray may communicate itself to every corner of