HC Deb 22 April 1841 vol 57 cc974-1006
Mr. Grote

rose to bring forward the resolutions of which he had given notice, on the subject of the colony of New South Wales. The subject was the same in which he had had the honour to address the House on the 25th of last month, and it would be in the recollection of hon. Gentlemen that the sitting of the House in that colony had been brought to an unexpected termination before he had bad an opportunity of bringing to a close the statements be had to make respecting the colony. He should, therefore, entreat the House to bear with him while he related the main features of the case. The resolutions he was about, to propose were the same as he had then brought forward, and there was merely a slight alteration in the last to get rid of an objection in point of form. It appeared, that for the last few years, since 1835, a heavy charge had been imposed upon the colony of New South Wales, the colony having the entire, and undivided charge of the gaols and police of the settlement. Up to that time the revenue had been fully adequate to meet the demands of the colony, but since then the ordinary revenue had been considerably diminished, insomuch that recourse had been had to trespassing on the land and emigration fund, which had been already pledged and consecrated to other purposes. The colonists thought that a case of extreme hardship and injustice. It should be remembered, that this was originally a penal colony, and that it still retained marks of its origin, although it was daily assuming a more wholesome character. He knew it was common to say, that although there was a great number of convicts, a large portion of them were assigned to private masters, and it was assumed, that the whole benefit of these assignments was on the side of the colony; but instead of this being the case, a sum of from three to four hundred thousand pounds a year accrued to this country from these assignments. Mr. Secretary Rice, in 1835, had estimated the expense of the colony at 25,000l., but it now amounted to more than four times that sum—it was above 100,000l. Was not that fact enough to call upon the House to reconsider the whole subject. Had the Government been aware of the state of the gaols at that period, they would have hesitated before they altogether liberated the Imperial treasury, and threw the colony upon its own resources. That the colony had increased in wealth and population, since that period, was no valid reason for imposing upon it such heavy charges. When they considered that one-third of the population of New South Wales consisted, in 1835, of convicts sent from this country, it must appear obviously unfair and unjust to call on the free colonists to maintain, without assistance from the mother country, the whole expense of gaols and police which that criminal population rendered necessary. This was sufficiently unjust, but when the funds for this purpose were taken out of the means of providing regular emigration, the evil was very much heightened. It was impossible to exaggerate the importance of emigration to the colony. It was doubly important at the present moment, because, owing to the discontinuance of transportation (a measure of which he by no means disapproved), the supply of labour to the colony was shortened, and therefore it was more than usually incumbent on the Government to maintain unimpaired all the means which existed for the encouragement of emigration. Putting an end to emigration diminished the resources of the colony, and this undoubtedly aggravated the causes of complaint. A sum of 260,000l. was taken from what was properly the emigration fund, and applied to the expenses of police and gaols. This was an injury not merely to New South Wales, but the poorer classes of the United Kingdom. It was taking away the means of assisting labouring men, who could find no employment in this country to go to another part of her Majesty's dominions where labour had a ready market, and every industrious man could command ample means of subsistence. Injustice had been done to the labouring classes at home—for those to whom emigration would be most beneficial had not the means of going to the colony themselves, and could only get there by assistance from some public fund. Every 10,000l. that had been withdrawn from the emigration fund deprived 600 of these poor persons of the immense advantages which emigration would confer on them. It was their interest to go out, and it was the interest of the colony to receive, for the two interests were happily blended. There was abundant evidence to show the want of labourers in the colony, and the ready employment and ample wages which emigrants received. The manner in which the proceeds arising from the sale of waste lands were disposed of, did not concern New South Wales alone, but all our colonies. In all there was waste land, and its value would depend on the application which was to be made of the purchase money. Men could readily buy land, and pay a high price for it, when they knew that they were in fact subscribing to a fund for providing themselves with labourers. The sale of lands in this colony had realised an amount which astonished every one, only because it was distinctly understood by the purchasers that the proceeds would be applied to sending out labourers. If hon. Gentlemen would take the trouble to examine the documents connected with, the state of New South Wales, they would find that the colonies were suffering greatly from the want of labour. The hon. Gentleman referred to a debate which took place in the Legislative Council of New South Wales in October last, in which resolutions were passed stating the deficiency of labour and the injurious effect which it had upon the interests of the colony. The fourth resolution which he would read to the House, was to the following effect:— Resolved, "That this Council equally concurs with their Committee, that every department of industry is cramped, and that no undertaking, public or private, can be prosecuted except at great disadvantage, in consequence of the exorbitant rate of wages and the difficulty of procuring mechanics, workmen, or servants, especially shepherds, upon any terms whatsoever; and, this Council cannot but view with apprehension the check which must be given to the advancing prosperity of the colony, unless the urgent demand for labour which exists in every part of the colony be promptly and effectually supplied. It could not be denied, that the value of waste land in our colonies depended, in a great degree, on the use that the Government made of the proceeds of the sales of land; and, therefore, by confining the produce to emigration, a new property would be created which otherwise would have no existence. After the various declarations that had been made by the different colonial secretaries, the colony never could have expected that the Government would seek to exonerate the British Treasury from the expence of the police establishment. It was true, that the land sales and emigration had greatly increased, and two new settlements had been established in the last year, namely Port Philip and Portland Bay, and Sir George Gipps had stated, that an acre of land near one of the towns would bring as much as 500l. But the land sales could not continue unless the purchaser could procure emigrants to work. Several Ministers had given assurances which contributed to produce this impression. In 1831, Lord Howick wrote that it was the opinion of Lord Goderich that the land fund ought not to be considered as part of the ordinary revenue of the colony, but as capital to be invested in some way which would produce a return. In 1836 and 1837, Lord Glenelg distinctly declared, that the land fund should be applied to emigration. It was impossible for parties about to purchase land in the colony not to rely on these assurances, and on the faith of them they invested their capital in land. It was, in the highest degree, unjust, to violate that arrangement and apply the fund to a different purpose. He thought that both justice and reason required that the Imperial Treasury should bear half the expenses of the police, which now fell undivided upon the colony. He had thus endeavoured to enforce on the House the well-founded complaint of the colonists; but all that he required by the resolutions which he was about to submit to the House was the admission that those complaints were well-founded, that injustice had been done to the colonists, and the House considered it a fit subject for inquiry. He did not think that the House could do less than acquiesce in the resolution that a great hardship had been inflicted, and that a remedy was required, and with this feeling he should leave the question with confidence in their hands. The hon. Gentleman moved the following resolutions:— 1." That it appears that, in October, 1840, the following resolutions were passed by the Governor and Legislative Council of New South Wales;— '1. That in the opinion of this Council, the parent State, indisputably deriving a direct pecuniary saving (independently of other advantages) from the assignment of convicts to private service in New South Wales, and its interests being at all events in an equal if not a superior degree involved in the due coercion and discipline of such transported offenders, ought in justice to bear at least one-half of the expenses attendant on the police and gaol establishments, which are raised to their present large amount chiefly through the introduction of a convict population into the colony. '2. That his Excellency, the Governor, be respectfully solicited to represent, on behalf of this Council, to her Majesty's Secretary of State for the Colonies, that this Council has most reluctantly consented to so large an expenditure for the support of those establishments since the 1st of July, 1835, and has voted the full amount of the estimate for the same for the year 1841, solely from a conviction that it would not be justified in declining to make provision for the maintenance of the public tranquillity and security. '3. That by the appropriation, for the period from the 1st of July, 1835, to the 31st of December, 1841, of so large an amount (about 597,000l.) of the colonial revenue, arising partly from the sale of public lands, partly from ordinary sources, in defraying the whole charge of the police and gaol establishments, including buildings, and the consequent diminution of those funds which would have been available for the introduction of free labour, every branch of the productive industry of this colony is in danger of falling into decay, to the great loss and injury not only of the colony, but of the parent state also, more especially of its manufacturing, commercial, and shipping interests.' II. That the above large expenses of police and gaol establishments have, since July, 1835, been defrayed by the application of a considerable portion of the net proceeds of the sales of Crown lands in the colony to the general purposes of colonial revenue. III. That it appears, by papers now be" fore the House (No. 511,1840, No. 81, 1841), that there has been received from the sales of Crown lands in New South Wales, during the period from 1831 to June, 1840, inclusive, a gross total sum of …… £958,000 From which deduct—

1. Charges of various kinds, including expenses of the settlement of Port Philip, and of protection to the Aborigines £41,300
2. Actual charge of survey and management (though for eight years paid out of the general revenue of the colony) about 149,700
Making together about 191,000
And leaving net proceeds of sales of Crown lands to June, 1840 £767,300

Whereof the sum of 502,500l. only has been applied to the purposes of emigration from the United Kingdom to New South Wales." '4. That this House will, on Wednesday next, resolve itself into a Committee of the whole House, for the purpose of considering the manner in which the cost of gaols and police in New South Wales has been defrayed, and the manner in which the land fund of New South Wales has been expended, since 1835.'

The Chancellor of the Exchequer

said, the objections which had been urged by his hon. Friend, and upon which his speech seemed to hinge, had reference to two points. His hon. Friend stated first, that he considered a most unjust and unfair arrangement had been made with the colony, by charging it with the payment of the expenses of police and gaols; and next, the hon. Gentleman adverted to the administration of the emigration funds. With regard to the first part of his hon. Friend's remarks, he thought it but fair to state what had actually been the course pursued by the Government in regard to this colony. The original course of proceeding was to pay out from this country the whole of the expenses of the colony, deducting the proceeds of the colony, and making up the deficit by a vote of Parliament. When Lord Goderich was Secretary for the Colonies, in the year 1827, an arrangement was then made by which the expenses of police, Was made payable by this country; but in the despatch in which the arrangement was made, Lord Goderich distinctly held out, that if the revenue of the colony should at a future time be able to bear it, the colony must pay a part of the expense of the convict establishment; and he more specially pointed out and alluded to the mixed expenses (as they were termed), viz. the police and gaols, which ought to be paid by the colony. He was anxious to state these facts, because the hon. Gentleman seemed to think that the course which had been pursued was in direct contradiction to that which bad been recommended by his noble Friend. He could only refer to the official despatch in 1827, though he believed, that the same proposition had been under the consideration of previous governments. That despatch recommended that ultimately the colony should be prepared to bear part of the convict expenses. From the year 1827 to the year 1834, the arrangement continued in force as fixed by Lord Goderich; but in the year 1834, the revenues of the colony having increased, and the finances of the colony being in a flourishing condition, it was thought they were adequate and sufficient to meet their expenses; and a further arrangement was consequently introduced by the Government, and Lord Spencer communicated with Lord Monteagle, and a despatch was forwarded (dated November 15,1834), carrying out certain propositions. But it appeared to him that the hon. Gentleman had not stated distinctly what was the nature of that arrangement, and what was the arrangement of the Treasury and the despatch of Lord Monteagle; because it was not the fact that the whole of the expenses were thrown upon the colony without some equivalent. On the contrary, the proposal was, that, whilst the colony should take upon themselves that part of the expense which the home Government now paid, this country would, in return, hand over to the colony certain revenues (small in amount certainly) which were receivable by the Crown, and which were carried to the military chest, and that the colony should be also relieved from the expenses of convicts whose labour was employed on public works, which they then paid. He was anxious, at this early period of the discussion, to remind the House that this was not a case in which the Government of the country threw upon the colony a naked burden; but it was imposed in lieu of certain expenses which had formerly been paid by this country. But what was the principle on which we were called to act in dealing with our colonies? In the infancy of our colonies, this, the mother country, out of its own funds paid, if not the whole, at least the greater part of the expenses; but as, from time to time, a colony grew stronger, additional charges were thrown upon it, so that the ultimate object was, that each colony should pay for its internal expenses, the mother country-being prepared to extend its protection and aid at all times. The argument of his hon. Friend would go to show that in its arrangement with the colony this country had made a great saving, while the former had incurred a much increased expenditure. The fact, however, was, that since that arrangement, the expense to the colony and to the mother country had mutually increased. The expense of the colony had been increased by its own prosperity, which required a great outlay upon public works, establishments, and a police force. But since the arrangements of 1835, the expenses of the mother country upon account of New South Wales had increased in a corresponding ratio, notwithstanding the progress of the revenue of the colony. Before the arrangement of 1834, which came into operation in 1835, the whole issue from the military chest, which was the English treasury there, and which included payment for a good deal of police service rendered by soldiers, scattered over the country, in reference to the convicts, amounted in 1831 to 167,000l., in the year 1833–4 it was 182,000l., in the last year it was 332,885l. The expenses charged on the general revenue of the colony had been also advancing since 1832, when it amounted to 112,000l. until, at last, it reached the sum of 346,424l., which but little exceeded the sum above stated to be paid by us; so that near half the expense of governing the colony was contributed by the mother country. This statement was confined to the military chest. There were also, some naval and other expenses, all of which were met by the mother country. Then since the expense of the police—a very considerable sum, nearly 100,000l. a-year—had been transferred to the colony, this country had also incurred great outlay for the colony. Before he proceeded further, he must remind his hon. Friend that, even under the old system, the colony paid one third of the police expense, in the shape of money paid into the military chest for the food and clothing of the convicts employed on the public works. And if the colonists were now to go back to the old arrangement, they would, under that system, have to pay 30,000l. or 40,000l. a-year. Considering the distance, and the great difficulty of meeting local emergencies, the Government at home could not undertake the task of checking the police expenditure of New South Wales. This must be the duty of the local Government. But he did not think the colony would now consent to go back to the old system, paying one- third of the police expenses, and returning also those sources of revenue then paid into the military chest. If this proposition were made to the colony, no doubt the council would complain of it as a great hardship. Personally, he could assure the colonists that he had no desire to cheat them, nor to gel more from the colony for this country than was fair and just. But assurances of the best intentions were seldom of much avail from the Chancellor of the Exchequer, who, in respect of sympathy, was the most unfortunate individual in the Mouse of Commons. [Sir R. Peel. Hear.] He was thankful for the encouragement of the right hon. Baronet; still the general complaint was true. Whether it was the Spanish debt, or the Danish claims, or the cost of the army or navy, that came on—in short whatever came on that had not some particular interest connected with it, no one was ready to help the Chancellor of the Exchequer. The general feeling seemed to be that he must be always in the wrong. The next point alluded to by the hon. Member for the City of London was emigration. True, the general principle laid down had been that the proceeds from the sales of land should not be laid out in the annual expenses of the colony, but should go to increase its capital by sending over emigrants from the mother country. But this view should not be confined to emigration alone, for surely they were increasing the capital of the colony by making harbours, roads, and bridges, without which the land could be of no value for what could immigrants do without facilities of communication? Now the land fund system was introduced by Lord Howick, under Lord Goderich, instead of the previous system of granting districts of land which brought nothing to the public or the revenue. The charge was then complained of as a great grievance, and he believed he could show his hon. Friend minutes showing that the leading parties complained that great injustice was done to the colony by employing the proceeds in emigration from the mother country instead of in works on the spot. Thus it appeared that considerable changes had taken place in the minds of the colonists. But if it should appear to the House that it was advisable to pay so large a sum as 50,000l. a year, for the advancement of the colony, they should then consider whether it would not be advisable to give up all control over the police to the colony, and apply the money to the pro- motion of emigration under our own management. The right hon. Gentleman concluded by moving the previous question.

Mr. C. Buller

hardly knew in what way to take the last sentence of his right hon. Friend. As far as he could understand, the only objections of the right hon. Gentleman to the view of the hon. Gentleman, the Member for London, related to matters of detail. ["No! "from the Chancellor of the Exchequer.] That was a short way of disposing of the matter. He must suppose, therefore, the concession made by the right hon. Gentleman to be hypothetical. The question to be considered, he apprehended, was, whether it was worth while for this country to pay, 40,000l. or 50,000l. for the purpose of encouraging emigration to New South Wales, a colony which, while it produced articles of the most valuable kind, consumed a large quantity of the produce of the mother country. If that were the question, he felt convinced that the universal feeling of this country would be, that it was well worth while to pay such a sum. It was a question of light and justice between the people and the Government of the country. The colony of New South Wales was charged a large sum for the maintenance of a police. He denied that that was a charge which ought to be thrown on the colony. It was not properly a colonial charge, from whence arose the necessity for the heavy expenditure incurred under this head, but from the circumstance of this country sending out her felonious population to New South Wales. If the convicts, after their term of punishment had expired, were not turned on the population of the colony, the necessity for this great expense would have no existence. At present, the inhabitants of the colony of New South Wales paid taxes as heavy as those of the mother country, with the whole expense of the interest of the national debt included. The taxation averaged 2l. a head, which was, in fact, double the amount of the burden borne by the population of the United Kingdom, for the interest of the national debt might be taken for one half the amount of actual taxation. Not content with heavy taxation, the land fund had been diverted to the purpose of paying the expenses of police and gaols, a fund which properly should be applied solely to promote emigration. Emigration was the true source of prosperity to the colony. To this prosperity the emigrant contributed, not only by his own labour, but by the taxes which he paid, and the probability was, that, if they had not cut open the goose that laid the golden eggs, the money would have been raised from the emigrants themselves. The trade of New South Wales was one of the greatest importance to this country. It behoved Government to beware of altering their system from day to day. They should proceed on some intelligible plan, to provide the colony with labour, and England with a market for her produce, and to furnish employment for her destitute labourers. He had spoken this in no spirit of hostility to the Government. But he hoped that the noble Lord would give them his assurance, that measures should be taken for the purpose of enabling the colony to derive its full advantage from the revenues raised by the sale of land. It had been said, that a good price had been obtained in the market for the commodity: it ought, then to be made applicable to that which should be the primary object of the Government—emigration. He trusted that the noble Lord would act towards New South Wales, in that spirit which had rendered his Government so dear to that colony, ever since he had filled his present office.

Viscount Mahon

admitted the able manner in which the right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer had met several of the statements of the hon. Member for London, but it seemed to him that the main positions of the colonists remained altogether untouched. Was it denied that the most grievous distress prevailed at the present moment in New South Wales for want of labour? Was it denied that this distress proceeded mainly from the acts of the Government at home? That colony had been in existence little more than fifty years. Within that short period it had attained a degree of strength and development altogether unparalleled in ancient or modern times. It had become the greatest wool market in the world. In 1807 wool had been exported to the extent of less than 300lbs., and the gentleman who first introduced the breed of sheep into the colony had died but three or four years ago. But last year the exports of wool had reached the enormous amount of 6,000,000lbs. This prosperity had been arrested in a great measure by the conduct of the Government. First of all, in 1834, came the Act of Mr. Spring Rice, which threw on the colony the entire charge of the police and gaols, expenses incurred beyond all doubt in a great measure by the mother country for the maintenance of her convicts. Still, however, the colonists, although they complained of the hardness of the bargain, after several complaints from the Legislative Council of the undue severity with which they had been treated, and several protests from individual members, acquiesced in the compact thus forced upon them. They reckoned as a compensation on the continued arrival of convicts, and on the continued sanction by the Government of the system of assignment. But in a few year smore they were miserably disappointed. He (Lord Mahon) was no friend to the system of assignment; he believed it to be of unequal operation, and therefore evident demerit as a penal mode of treatment; but, right or wrong, there could be no question that the colony owed its unprecedented prosperity mainly to that system. He did not mean to deny that a good soil and genial climate and the spirit of enterprise of our countrymen had had some share in producing this result, but no person at all acquainted with the colony would or could deny, that the labour of convicts had been the great and paramount cause of its welfare and its wealth. It had proved to them in truth a mine of gold. First, then, by Mr. Spring Rice's measure, the entire burthen of the gaols and police was thrown on the colony, and in the next place, by the measure of the noble Lord, a measure right in itself, but hastily adopted, without due notice, and without sufficient gradation, the colony was deprived of the advantages which it derived from convict labour. It could not be denied that great distress had been the consequence. The governor of the colony, in a despatch dated the 8th of September last, stated, that in every public department the greatest difficulty was felt. Every branch of industry was paralysed from the inadequate supply of labour. The result had been that lambs—the great staple wealth of the colony—had been deliberately left to perish from want of hands to tend them. Were not these facts which called for the most serious attention of the House? He could not come to the conviction, that because the system of assignment might have been wrong in its commencement, or abused in its progress, that therefore the House should close its eyes to the great distress which the abolition of that system had caused. But there were reasons to fear that, great as the distress was, it had not yet reached its height. Mr. Gibbon Wakefield, a very competent judge, de- clared that to be his opinion a few days ago before the committee of the House of Commons upon South Australia when New South Wales happened to be incidentally mentioned, asserting his belief that a very dangerous state of things was coming on in that colony. If he were asked how this evil might be remedied, he would say at once that there were several modes by which the House might interpose,—there was the guarantee of a loan—there was the undertaking some share in the expenses of police and gaols, according to the opinion expressed last year by the Earl of Ripon in the House of Lords—but he was not prepared to concur in any vote for the repayment of any sum of money taken from the land fund; the labour of convicts from the year 1835 to 1840 might be deemed sufficient to cancel any such claim. He could not have supported the motion in its original form, but now that it proposed merely that the House should resolve itself into a Committee "for the purpose of considering the manner in which the cost of gaols and police in New South Wales have been defrayed, and the manner in which the land fund has been expended since 1835," the mode and degree of the relief being left perfectly open, he felt himself at liberty to vote for it, reserving to himself the right of acting as he thought fit with regard to practical measures hereafter. He thought a primâ facie case of grievance had been made out to justify the course proposed in the motion. He must also express his opinion that this was a question of great importance to ourselves—a question which acquired additional weight from the increased flow of emigration into New South Wales, and the manner in which emigration was now regarded by enlightened portions of the community at home. In a petition sent to that House from the members of the Protestant Emigration Society of Glasgow last year, the petitioners, poor mechanics of Glasgow, made such statements and used such language as would have done honour to any station or any acquirements. Here are their own words:— That your petitioners are labouring under privations of the most appalling nature, in consequence of being frequently out of work, and, when fully employed, their wages ate in-adequate to purchase a sufficiency of the common necessaries of life; that in consequence of their poverty your petitioners, with few exceptions, are so ill clothed, that they cannot attend the public worship of God without violating the sense of decency instilled into them by early education, and their children are growing up without education. Your petitioners presume to state, that their experience for many years convinces them that the principal cause of their accumulating misery is a redundancy of hands in the labour-market, where, according to the fluctuating state of trade, roasters have it not in their power to employ all that are out of employment. That, in consequence of the rapid improvement of machinery, and its application to almost every branch of industry, your petitioners apprehend a still greater redundance of manual labour; and if not averted by wise legislation, our country, once so celebrated for virtue, piety, and intelligence, will sink, and is rapidly sinking, into discontent, poverty, ignorance, and crime. Your petitioners, however, consider, that this appalling state of things may be averted by a well-timed continuous system of emigration; thus abstracting labour where it is no longer useful but injurious, and placing it where it will find ample and profitable employment—profitable to the colonists—profitable to those who emigrate—and profitable to the mother country. Now, he did not mean to say, that these sentiments, though most ably expressed, were in themselves adequate reasons for supporting the motion, but they furnished corroboration for such a course, and showed how intimately the interests of New South Wales were connected with the interests of the home population. The state of the country was such as to render emigration highly needful. Look to our increased and increasing population—the growth of labourers far exceeding the demand for labour—and see whether emigration be not the very safety-valve that our social position requires. Country gentlemen might depend upon it, that emigration in the long run would be found the best Poor-law. Not only would it afford relief to the labouring and manufacturing classes, but also to persons of higher pursuits, for it was impossible for any one to become acquainted with the literary walks of society without finding many individuals of learning, talents, and genius, who were debarred from procuring a livelihood, and doomed to struggle with privations by the pressure and competition for all branches of employment. He (Lord Mahon) believed, that this glorious destiny was reserved for us—that it was only by laying the foundation of future empires abroad, England could maintain her empire at home; that by establishing free, prosperous, and orderly colonies, would she best secure freedom, prosperity, and order on her own shores.

Lord John Russell

said—It would, no doubt, be agreeable to any member of a government holding the situation I hold, if, on a case of grievance being made out for a colony, and assistance asked, he could recommend that assistance to be given. I can assure the noble Lord who has just sat down, that there would be no end of applications and of cases. It happens to me continually to receive such applications, often grounded on very strong reasons. One colony after another makes complaints of grievances, and asks for this particular kind of redress, namely, that part of the expense charged upon them should be charged upon the public funds, and, be it remembered, upon the taxes of this country. There is one state rather than colony connected with this empire, respecting which a noble Lord has a motion on for this evening—I mean the Ionian Islands. The people of those islands consented to pay 35,000l. a-year as a military contribution, but are now in great distress, and constantly sending over applications to be relieved from the burden. In Malta there is a large number of people of the poorer class who are in a state of great distress, and find great difficulty in contributing towards the revenues of that country; and yet that island contributes 5,000l. a-year towards our establishments. In Ceylon there is a very large sum of money paid by that colony towards its military expenses. Jamaica also complains that it is subject to great expenses for education, Courts of Justice, the clergy establishment, &c., which expenses are imposed upon their revenues by this country. Indeed, there is not any single colony which would not say how great an advantage it would prove to it if a part of its expenses were defrayed out of the revenues of this country. The hon. Member for London made it part of his case that the Governor of New South Wales took the same view of this matter as he did. No doubt, with respect to the governor of a colony, he never fails to recommend any measure which may have the effect of relieving the revenues of that colony from any burden upon them, and there is scarcely any governor who does not urge that this country should pay part of the expenses of his establishment rather than the colony. A distinguished general (Sir Colin Campbell) had hardly been appointed to the government of Ceylon one week when, as I was consulting with him on the best measures to be adopted for the prosperity of that colony, he said that beyond all doubt the best thing I could do for Ceylon would be to take off the military expenses now paid by that colony, and impose the burden upon the mother country instead. If, therefore, you wish to dispose of 50,000l. a-year in relief of the colonies, or a much larger sum, you will find no difficulty from the paucity of applicants. But, before you decide on giving that sum to any one colony, you should first of all compare the cases of all the various colonies, and, if you do so compare those cases, my opinion is that the colony which has been the most favoured, and which has the least cause for complaint, of all our colonies, is the very colony on whose behalf these com-plaints are now made—the colony of New South Wales. Port Philip, a dependency of New South Wales, but a short time since made a complaint, and asked to be indulged with a separate government, stating that much undue favour had been shown to New South Wales from the beginning to the present time—that it was not in comparison fairly treated. The noble Lord opposite (Mahon) states as a grievance and proof of distress in New South Wales, that there is a general demand for labour. No doubt there is, and that that the colony would be much benefitted by a large increase in the amount of its labourers. But surely this is not a case of distress in that colony. When Gentlemen from Ireland tell me that great distress prevails there—that a man cannot earn more than sixpence per day—that in consequence of insufficient wages he and his family cannot obtain sufficient food, and are therefore subject to fevers and other lamentable disorders, I cannot doubt that distress exists in that country; but when the noble Lord tells me that in New South Wales the demand for labour is such that the labourers obtain comfortable rations of food besides high wages, I cannot admit that colony to be in a state of distress. It may be a reason why the colony does not make more progress that it cannot command more labour. But such a state is not a state of distress. The reason is, that there is so much capital in the colony, that there is not sufficient labour for that capital to employ, and to what is this state of things owing? Is it that labour is exported from that colony? Is it that less sums of money are applied than merly to take labour there? That that is not the case is proved by the papers now on the Table of this House. Take the last report, signed by the Bishop of Australia, and you will find it stated that since the last returns, what with the bounty paid by the colony, and what through the Government ships, of which the charges are paid by the sales of land in this country, upwards of 20,000 labourers have emigrated from this country to that colony. By Government ships, of which the emigration charges have been paid by the Government here out of the land salts, there have been sent out 12,770 emigrants; by the bounty fund paid by the colony 5,320, and unassisted 4,986; making a total of 23,876, of whom more than 18,000 have been sent out by Government means. It is, therefore, not because the number of labourers in that colony have decreased that the wages of labour are so high; on the contrary, they have much increased; and if you add to this number the 15,000 or 16,000 persons who were sent out prior to the period alluded to in this report, you will find that upwards of 40,000 persons have been added to that colony at the expense, in point of fact, of revenues created by the Acts of the Government. And yet it is in behalf of this colony that the noble Lord makes such a special complaint. By the acts of the Government in 1831 we created a fund, and of that fund we have expended upwards of 500,000l, in adding largely to the mass of labourers in this colony. The case attempted to be made out in support of this motion is, that nothing has been done for the colony, that the colony has been deserted, and that no emigrants have been sent to New South Wales. Now, I must say, that for some colonies for which very little has been done, some plausible complaints of this nature might be made; but with respect to this particular colony, so far from such a complaint being just, it appears that the Government has done a great deal, and that the colony has prospered greatly in consequence of what the Government has done. It has already made great progress, and is desirous of making much greater progress, and all that I can make of this complaint—the whole I can reduce it to—is, that the colony would advance much more rapidly if we would contribute 50,000l. a-year to its revenue. No doubt, if you were to allow 50,000l. a-year to this or to many other colonies, the rate of their prosperity would be advanced. But, as to the claims of this colony of New South Wales, it so happens that more has been done for it than for any other under the Queen's Government. In the early part of its history, by the assignment system, which the noble Lord says has been properly though hastily abolished, we added much to its prosperity. The noble Lord agrees with me that the assignment system was properly abolished, and, without entering into the question whether it was hastily abolished or not, I agree with him at the same time that it did much for the prosperity of the colony. Setting aside for a moment all views of morality, I agree that nothing tends so much to advance the prosperity of a colony as a great command of slave labour, and the assignment system was a system of slave labour. But in course of time the increase of the convict population continued, would become so alarming, that it threatened to endanger the future peace of the colony, and to require strong measures of military coercion to preserve order and property, and obedience to the laws. In a moral point of view, the great increase of a criminal population threatened the most dangerous consequences; and the result, if persevered in, would have been, that all men who had any regard for morality, or the preservation of social order, would have left the colony rather than live in the midst of such corruption. At the very time when this danger presented itself, Lord Ripon established the system which has since been acted upon, that instead of the lands of the Crown being granted almost gratuitously, and, no doubt, in many instances, very improperly, they should be sold, and used as a means of augmenting the population of the colony, from the funds which were thus raised for that purpose in the United Kingdom. By enabling the Government to send thither many families of good character and industrious habits, it tended to neutralise, in a great degree, the effect of the convict system; and having by that system in the first instance laid the foundation of the material prosperity of the colony, they were subsequently by Lord Ripon's system enabled to lay the foundation of its moral and social prosperity. Without pretending any special favour for the colony of New South Wales, it has so happened that in these respects that colony has been particularly favoured, and, if I were to go through the list of all the colonies of the British empire, I do not know one which has been so fortunate as New South Wales. The noble Lord, however, says the present position of New South Wales is one of distress. Let us see how this statement is borne out by facts. With regard, first of all, to its revenue, it appears from the official documents that previous to the transfer of the police and gaol charges the revenue for 1833–4 was 150.000l. In 1837–8, the revenue had increased to 208,878l., and according to Sir George Gipps's despatch of the 1st of August, 1840, the total revenue, including the land fund, quit rents, and other payments, had risen to the sum of 427,368l. Is that the description of a colony in a state of distress—is this a colony in a state of ruin—are these the facts which the noble Lord brings before us in order to induce us to vote out of the taxes of the United Kingdom—taxes paid by a heavily burdened people—the sum of 50.000l. per annum in aid of the colonists of New South Wales? Here is a colony, which in 1834 has a revenue of 150,000l. per annum, and which in 1840 has a revenue of upwards of 400,000l. per annum. I ask if you can mention an example of any colony or State which has progressed so rapidly as this colony? The hon. Member for Liskeard says, the colonists are very heavily taxed, because, if you take the population per head, you will find they pay a greater amount per head than in many large States, or in any other colony. I will not enter into the comparison with other colonies on this subject, but I certainly must say, that such a comparison is very fallacious. What is the nature of the burdens which they have to bear? If you find they have to pay heavy window duties, heavy assessed duties, heavy duties on coffee, tea, and, as a friend behind suggests, on the importation of their corn—if you find that in all these matters they are very heavily taxed, then you may justly say they are a much burdened people, and come and ask the lightly-taxed people of Great Britain to bear some portion of their burdens. But, looking to the way in which New South Wales is taxed, I could not but be much struck with the nature at once of their expenditure and. their revenue. The items of expenditure which the people of this country pay out of the county rates, the municipal rates, and the other local rates, are paid by the people of New South Wales out of the customs duties and ge- neral revenue of the country. The lighting, the police, and the general charges of Sydney are paid out of that revenue; just as if the lighting and the police of London were to be paid out of the duties on rum, coffee, &c. When you talk of heavy expenditure in this colony, you must bear in mind that a great deal of this expenditure arises from the circumstance that the colonists have not submitted themselves to those local charges which we submit to, which the people of other colonies submit to, and which we think the right course of payment, and in this respect I bear out the views of Sir George Gipps, who has continually urged that these local taxes should be raised locally. As to the revenue of the colony, I find that out of the revenue of 200,000l., in 1838, the duties on imported spirits, spirits distilled in the colony, spirit licences, wine, tobacco, &c, amounted to 145,278l., the quit rents and land fund, be it observed, bring no burden on the colony. It appears, therefore, that with regard to the general objects of taxation, their taxation is very light; and spirits, tobacco, and wine, furnish the greater part of their revenue, and surely are, of all the articles within, the range of taxation, the articles which are the most fairly taxed. After listening attentively to the noble Lord and the hon. Member for London, it appears to me that the old ground of the violation of the faith of 1831 is abandoned, and that the general question is, whether we should afford some relief to this colony or not. When a question of this kind is put to me, my answer is, that I will not impose extra taxation on the United Kingdom: to assist those who, as the case stands, do not pay one-tenth part of the taxation which the people of the United Kingdom pay, who have already, be it remembered, many expenses on account of New South Wales to pay. My right hon. Friend, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, estimates 300,000l. as the expense connected with the penal settlement of this country. This is an expense which we are properly bound to pay, and which we do pay. There are other expenses connected with the military, which we also pay, and I do not think it any answer, as has been suggested, that our military force must be stationed somewhere, since, had we not so many colonies, we should not have occasion for so many soldiers. This is the proper way in which this country con- tributes to the expense of her colonies, and by so doing we save those colonies which depend on Great Britain those expenses which independent states are compelled to incur. So far as foreign enemies are concerned, the navy of Great Britain, the army of Great Britain, the artillery of Great Britain, are at all times ready for the defence of her colonies, and from these expenses they are entirely free, and have it, therefore, in their power to devote their revenue to internal improvements. The noble Lord opposite ended by saying, that it was a very great advantage to the colonies and to the mother country to promote emigration. I entirely agree with him. I have more than once expressed my concurrence in the principles laid down in the works written by Mr. Wakefield, and which principles were adopted by the Colonial Secretary in 1831, by the application of the money received from the sale of the colonial lands to emigration. I think it a wholesome system, and far better calculated to promote the prosperity of our colonies than giving them 50,000l. or even 100,000l. a-year out of our taxes. I agree in the principle of emigration; but there are difficulties in its details into which I need not enter now. I will say but one word. If you ask any persons in this country who are those they wish to emigrate, or who are the persons who are themselves anxious to emigrate, the answer will be, that they are persons burdened with large families or persons whom it would be an immediate relief to the district in which they live to get rid of, The noble Lord had read a petition from Glasgow on this subject. Now, in Glasgow and other places, where there are a large number of weavers and other persons who have to struggle with great difficulties, no doubt; but if you were to send those persons to keep sheep in New South Wales, I am afraid you would equally find them unable to struggle with the hardships they would have to encounter, and that the habits of their lives have unfitted them for such emigration. It is a very different question between those persons who wish to emigrate and those persons whom the colonies wish to have. The emigrants the colonies desire to see are persons in the prime of life, able to struggle with hardships, and calculated to form the foundation of a good colonial population; and, as those are just the persons who are most likely to obtain employment at home, they will not readily quit their own country, even to obtain a higher rate of wages in a colony. Doubtless, there are still a vast number of persons anxious to obtain employment, and who could be sent with advantage to the colony; but, on the whole, I know no scheme which could be devised better than that which prevails at present, combining, as it does, Government superintendance, colonial assistance, and private enterprise. The lands of the Crown in the colony being put up to sale, and the produce forming a fund, devoted to the purpose of sending out fitting emigrants, is under the superintendance of the Government, and a different form of the same sytem being adopted in the colonies, called the bounty system. One would really think, however, from what had fallen from the hon. Member for London, and from the noble Lord opposite, that this last had been put a stop to altogether, owing to some vaguely alluded to acts of the Government which they did not define. Now, what does Sir George Gipps say in his financial statement for 1839:—The land fund and the produce of land rates amounted that year to 152,962l. You say this is all swallowed up by the expenses of the police and gaols, and of the Government; but if you turn over a leaf you will find, that in the same year there was expended in emigration no. less a sum than 158,518l., being fully 6,000l. more than was produced by all the land sales. Sir George Gipps says, that, in future, he shall charge the expense of the surveys on the land fund, and whatever may be thought as to other charges, there can be no doubt the surveys are properly chargeable on that fund. But Sir George Gipps has never said, nor has he ever been instructed to say, that the land fund should not be devoted to the expenses of emigration; on the contrary, he has been told that the bounty system was to be continued, and that it was approved by the Government. But what he has been told is this, that it is imprudent to incur so large an expenditure without raising a sufficient amount of taxes to meet that expenditure; that to meet local expenditure local charges ought, according to his own plan, to be adopted, and that he should either decrease the expenses of his Government, or increase the amount of taxes to meet those expenses. This he has been told; but this is a totally different thing to putting an end to emigration. I do not wish to put any check on emigration. I have considered it, and do consider it as of the greatest benefit to this country, and to New South Wales. More especially is emigration of importance to a colony like New South Wales, which has so long been a receptacle for the convicts of this country. It appears to me, that the only way of laying the foundation of a moral community is, by introducing a large number of emigrants, drawn from the soundest part of our own community. I do not differ from the hon. Member for London in this respect, but I do differ from him when he says, that 50,000l. a year should be taken off' the taxation of New South Wales, and added to the taxation of the people here. That, however, is the question before the House, on which, in 1834, a decision was come to by the Government, as was explained by his right hon. Friend, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, who said, that if we were to make any such change, we ought to go back to the state of things which existed previously to 1834. That would, no doubt, be equitable, but it is far better not to go back to that arrangement. It is far better that the police and the gaols of New South Wales should be under the control of the Governor and Legislative Council of the colony. The hon. Member for Liskeard says, that a large taxation is imposed on the colony by a Legislature not chosen by the people of the colony; but my hon. Friend must know, as well as any other man, the difficulty in the way of giving a local Legislature to a colony of which the circumstances are so peculiar, and of which so large a portion of the population have been convicted criminals. The state of the population in New South Wales, presents many difficulties in the way of introducing a representative government into that colony; but I am happy to say, that from year to year the character of that population is changing, that it is becoming more wholesome, and that year by year it approximates more to the character of the population of this country, of Scotland, and of Ireland. As this change takes place, it will be the more incumbent on the Legislature of this country to give those representatives institutions which properly belong to all colonies derived from the race which inhabits these kingdoms. My belief in that whether we introduce these institutions now, or postpone them to a riper period, we shall all unite in opinion, that finally it will be more safe to bestow on New South Wales a representative constitution—that she will become entitled to those checks on the expenditure of her resources which such a constitution gives, and to all those liberties which encourage men to exertion, whether in the pursuits of trade or agriculture, liberties which have been the foundation of the prosperity of tin: parent State, and which, I trust, will be the foundation of the prosperity, and long the pride of this community on the other side of the water.

Sir William Molesworth

said, that the noble Lord who had just sat down, contended, that all the local expenditure of a colony ought to be borne by itself. He would agree to the correctness of that principle as applied to ordinary colonies. But, with regard to New South Wales, the circumstances were very peculiar, from the fact of its having beeen so long a penal settlement. Since its foundation, there had been 75,000 or 80,000 convicts exported to that colony, of which 30,000 were still under punishment. The demoralization of the population was consequently very great, No person could form any idea of the amount of crime which was perpetrated by this population, consisting in so large a proportion of convicts exported from the mother country. Under such circumstances, to compel the colonists of New South Wales to pay for the whole expense of police and gaols, which this disposition to crime rendered necessary, would in reality be to burden them with a portion of the expenses of the criminal jurisprudence of the mother; country. It was true that the colonists had derived advantages from the system of convict slavery, in the labour which they obtained from them; but it should be recollected also, that they clothed and fed their convict slaves, and thus diminished the cost of them to this country. Moreover, free labour was always found to be cheaper and better, when it was to be obtained, than convict labour. But the land-fund had been interfered with in such a way, as to deprive the colonist of that amount of free labour which they had expected on going out, and had still a right to expect. Our colonies were well worthy of attention and encouragement at the hands of the mother country. They opened to us the most valuable markets for our commodities which we enjoyed, excepting only that of the United States; and it was most, important to encourage those markets at the present moment, when we were threatened with the loss of the markets of the north of Europe. But to maintain and uphold the colonies as a useful appendage in a commercial point of view, it was absolutely necessary that a constant influx of free labour should be kept up in them. The land-fund was the best means available for promoting this object, because it operated as a test and guide to the quantity of emigration required. He conceived, with his hon. Friend, that the net proceeds of this fund should be applied to this purpose without any deduction. The present population of South Australia was necessarily in a very demoralized state, and if it were considered desirable to ameliorate it, that could only be done by swamping the disreputable portion of the community by the addition of a great number of respectable and industrious emigrants From the mother country. And yet, with this great, and desirable object in view, was it fair or prudent to misappropriate from this important object so large a sum as 50,000l. a year? It was because he did not approve of this principle, that he cordially supported the motion of his hon. Friend, the Member for London.

Sir Robert Peel

Sir, I think, that some of the observations made by the right hon. Baronet have raised a new feature in this debate. The right hon. Baronet dwells on the advantages that would accrue to New South Wales from the introduction of free settlers and the promotion of emigration, and he asks will the House refuse a paltry 50,000l. or 60,000l. a-year, when the expenditure of that sum in a particular manner would relieve an evil existing in the colonies. Now, if the principle laid down by the hon. and moral Baronet were to be established, what would be our position? He might look at Upper Canada, and, seeing the advantages that would arise from an increase of population there, say, will you refuse 50,000l. for this purpose? Take Lower Canada again. It would, undoubtedly, be desirable to diminish the difference, in point of numbers, existing between the French and British population in that province. So that in all these, and many other cases, claims might thus be made on the resources of the mother country. But, in considering the question, we should look to the whole amount of expenses that would thus be incurred. If the principle were established it could not be confined to New South Wales. I am perfectly ready to acknowledge the advantages of emigration, of the importance of supplying our colonies with the labour of which they are in want, and, at the same time, relieving ourselves of the surplus population which cannot find employment at home. I do not, I repeat, deny the necessity of emigration; but the great principles on which this emigration is to be promoted should be considered on general grounds. The hon. Gentleman brings forward his motion on special and exclusive grounds, for New South Wales alone; but we should take a more extended view of the question. The real question is, whether it is right to lay a burthen of 50.000l. a-year on the country, to defray the expense of gaols and police establishments in New South Wales. Sir, even if I admitted the justice of the claim for the amount asked, the last thing I should be inclined to devote it to would be to purposes of this kind. I should be certain, that we should have no proper power of controlling this expenditure. The hon. Member for Liskeard has said, he would strip the question of embarrassment, by waiving any pledge that may have been given. Sir, in that case, I feel, that we should consider the claim solely in reference to its justice and equity. I confess, I was somewhat embarrassed at hearing, that there was a public and formal engagement by the British Government to devote the whole produce of the sales of land in the colony to the purposes of emigration; that land had been purchased, and speculations entered into, on the faith of that pledge; but as that pledge is not insisted on, I look solely to the equity of the case—and unless it be shown, that an engagement is in existence, binding on us in faith and honour, I cannot consent, that this country should devote 50,000l. a-year, to the support of the gaols and police of New South Wales. The right hon. the Chancellor of the Exchequer has shown, that the mother country is at present at an expense of 330.000l.a-yearly, for the government of the colony, and, in addition to this large sum, there are numerous contingent burthens to which the mother country is liable; as the protection of the commerce of the colony, her defence in case of war, and various other sources of expenditure. The hon. Baronet (Sir W. Molesworth) tells us, he admits, that in the case of ordinary colonies, the burthens of their police and gaols should be borne by the colonies themselves, and that, unless it appeared, that there was a special claim in the case of New South Wales, he should not have supported this claim. He says, that the convict and police establishments of the colony, are unduly large and burthen-some, in consequence of the amount of crime sent out from the mother country; that these establishments are larger beyond all proportion, than those of other places. This I admit to be the case; but, I say, if it can be shown, that this convict population has produced a marvellous and incredible amount of prosperity—for its moral effects cannot here be taken into account, but if it can be shown, that the commercial and general prosperity of the colony has been increased to an immense amount by the convict labour—if this can be shown, I say, it justifies the position, that the colony has no right to complain of the peculiar expenses for gaols and police, which that convict population has rendered necessary. We have statements made by the strongest advocates for transferring these burdens to this country, descriptive of the vast and rapid strides in prosperity which have been made by New South Wales. It is stated, that the usual rate of profit upon capital employed in that colony was 20 per cent., and that, it should be admitted, was a very high rate. Upon referring to a work, which I hold in my hand, I find, that in the year 1807, the colony of Australia had yielded only 245lbs of wool for exportation, and in 1839, there had been over 10,000,000lbs of the same article shipped from that country. Then, upon referring to it as a recipient for the manufactured goods of this country, as compared to other nations, I find the amount of home manufactured goods sent to Australia, to be only less by about 75,000l., than what was sent to Russia. Is this prosperity a reason why a burthen of 50,000l. a-year, is to be transferred from the colony to the mother country? If the prosperity of New South Wales is mainly owing to the peculiar demand and peculiar supply of convict la- bour, is it fair to throw upon this country the peculiar police expenses occasioned by the employment of that labour? I have been induced to take part in this debate, from my sympathy with that unfortunate sufferer, the public treasury, which is really the most injured and helpless of all sufferers. If it can be shown that the commerce and prosperity of the colony of New South Wales are declining, that her exports of wool, instead of increasing are diminishing—if this can be shown, there may be some argument why the mother country should come forward to relieve this unfortunate colony; but it is shown that the commere and exports of the country have been quadrupled within a few years, is it then to be said, that a clear proof has been given why the police expenses of the colony should be defrayed by the mother country? Sir, I am not prepared to admit, if Lord Glenelg gave an indiscreet pledge, that we are bound to pay 50,000l. a-year for this purpose. But apart from this, here is an outlay of 330,000l. for military purposes in the colony, besides other expenses, defrayed by this country. The expense of police and prison establishments in the colony is 100,000l. yearly. A considerable profit is; derived from the sale of public lands. This country says to the colony, "We shall not require you to pay, from your direct and immediate revenues the whole of these gaol and police expenses; we shall set aside some of the sale of lands' fund for that purpose, and the rest of the fund shall go to the promotion of emigration—not a single farthing to the mother country, to the support of the army or navy, or any other object of the kind. Part of the land revenues shall go to the support of the gaols, and the rest to the purposes of emigration." This, Sir, is what the mother country says to the colony of New South Wales; and will any man say, that it is not in every respect just and equitable on our part? Is it defensible on any fair ground that we should be called on to pay 50,000l. a-year, under these circumstances, for the purposes which the hon. Member has spoken of? Besides, there is the option given to the colony to supply by local rates the deficiency. Instead of the customs duties on the public revenue, it is open to the colony to make up the deficiency by a rate upon property. The entire of the land revenue may then be appropriated to emigration. Sir, I am as anxious as any one to promote the prosperity of New South Wales. I believe it contains within itself the elements of a future great and flourishing country. I should be sorry to throw any obstacle in the way of its advancement. I regret that at a time when the system of assignment was discontinued—properly and judiciously in my opinion—that at this time the state of the revenue was such that it was found necessary to take a step which imposed a check on emigration to the colony; but I cannot think that this country should be called on to pay 50,000l. a-year for the prison expenses of the colony. I must confess, that I see with considerable anxiety, the increased and increasing expenditure of this country. The other day we were called upon to advance a sum of 163,000l. for soldiers, and that sum could not be well refused in consequence of the increased force it was requisite to employ; and now we are in a manner called upon to advance 50,000l. for New South Wales, a thing which, under the present financial difficulties of this country, as well as the great pressure of taxation, nothing can, in my view of the matter, sanction but o strong conviction that some pledge or obligation, or the national honour, requires the payment. I cannot avoid saying, that I think too little attention appears to be paid by all Governments to the financial affairs of their respective countries. It is of material consequence to the well-being of every state, whether under a despotic form of government, or having its constitution upon a popular basis, to look narrowly and closely to its financial system; to see that its expenditure do not exceed its means. Indeed, it is too much the custom of all European nations at present to pay very little attention to this point, and to enter into the most extraordinary expenses, without considering how they are to be met. There was, for instance, a neighbouring state, that, at a time of profound peace, merely for the gratification of some fancied military jealousy, or anticipation of evil, was about expending between twenty and thirty millions sterling in fortifications. This heedlessness of expenditure, which is, I regret to say, characteristic of all European governments at that moment, must ultimately have the very worst results. Indeed, in this country, the present financial state of affairs showed the most lamentable prospects, and if not looked to properly, could only cause a complete paralysation of its industry and commercial advancement. He was sorry to make these observations, but he felt himself called upon to do so, when he observed the course which was pursuing with regard to its financial affairs, not only in this country, but almost every country in Europe.

Mr. Ward

understood that his hon. Friend rested his motion on the ground that there had been a specific understanding, that when lands were sold the proceeds should be applied to the importation of free and good labour; and in consequence of its being found that the Government was actuated by no fixed principle, but that the funds pledged to be employed for that purpose might hereafter be applied to the maintenance of the navy and army, or other purely English purposes, he called upon the House to consider wha portion of the expense of the police and the gaols should fall upon the colony, and what upon the mother country. He should certainly vole for the inquiry, in order that they might ascertain the state of the debtor and creditor account between Australia and this country, not for the purpose of causing any wasteful grant, but of doing an act of strict justice to the colony, and redeeming the pledges held out by the Government to induce persons to buy land in the hope of obtaining labour for its cultivation.

Sir R. H. Inglis

considered with his right hon. Friend (Sir R. Peel), that it was the duty of countries to make their revenue cover their expenditure. He could not, however, on this occasion, vote with his right hon. Friend, as he considered that New South Wales had a moral and binding claim on this country. If, instead of being kept at Milbank, a thousand convicts were removed to the other side of the globe, were the obligations of this country to defray their expenses any the less? Why, on the same principle, the expenses of the hulks and convict dock-yards at Portsmouth should be levied on the town of Portsmouth. As was stated in the pamphlet which his right hon. Friend the Member for Tarn worth had quoted from, it was no act of the colony to have these convicts, and the mother country should not, in addition to relieving herself of them, make the colony pay for the relief. The question was, not whether such places as the Ionian Islands, or Malta, or Ceylon, were to be relieved from certain burthens, but it was the case of a colony affected by special and peculiar circumstances. He would not then enter into the question of emigration. The question was, whether or no in the case before the House, the application was one which could not in equity be resisted. He thought it was not, and therefore he should vote for the motion of the hon. Member for London.

Sir C, Grey

considered it most preposterous and alarming, that this country should be called upon to make distinct grants for the police establishments of colonies having separate revenues within themselves. He should therefore vote against the motion of the hon. Member for London. With regard to placing the management of the affairs of the colony in the hands of a representative government he was in favour of a measure of that sort; but he thought that, in establishing a domestic legislature, a branch answering to the House of Lords in the mother country was completely unfit for an infant colony.

Mr. Hume

had always been anxious to see a representative government for New South Wales, and the present debate arose out of the fact, that the colonial system of this country had hitherto been perfectly unintelligible, and depended entirely on the Minister for the Colonies for the lime being. He only wondered that our colonies were so prosperous as they now were. In staling this, however, he saw the danger of adopting the principle of his hon. Friend (Mr. Grote); it was one which this House ought to weigh well. The noble Lord, the Secretary for the Colonies, stated, that he agreed with every hon. Gentleman who had spoken as to the great advantages of emigration, both to this country and to the colony, and that we were therefore bound by every means in our power to promote the system of emigration. He agreed with the noble Lord, and the only difference between his hon. Friend and the noble Lord was, whether the whole amount of the produce of the sale of lands should be applied to the purposes of emigration or not. But the noble Lord had shown, that the whole of the proceeds of the sale of lands was applied to the purposes of the colony; then, of course, the complaint of his hon. Friend could not be supported, that we had applied but a portion of the money to that purpose. Now, suppose there were no convicts at all in the colony, would the inhabitants be obliged to maintain gaols and a police? Certainly they would; then why should they not maintain them now? The hon. Baronet, the Member for Leeds, said there were 38,000 convicts now assigned and working for the colonists, and that it was a loss to the colony when convicts were set free. So that here was this large number of convicts at work for the colonists, merely at the expense of food and clothing, and yet the colony said they could not maintain a police to keep those who had been set free in order. Why these discharged convicts now formed part of the colony; they were no longer convicts, and contributed towards the revenue of the colony. He could not see why the people of England should be called on to tax themselves to keep a police for New South Wales, merely he cause, by the assignment system, we had allowed 38,000 convicts to be employed by the colony for its own good. If we were to pay for emigration, there were other places than New South Wales, to which in his (Mr. Hume's) opinion, it should be directed. But that, was a question which ought to be taken into consideration separately, and the motion before the House should not he pressed on the principle that emigration to New South Wales alone was necessary. It would be most unjust to apply 50,000l. a-year to that colony more than it already possessed. The inhabitants of New South Wales were perfectly capable of being taxed as they thought fit, for he wished to leave it to themselves, and all that was asked of them was to levy an amount of; taxes sufficient to maintain the internal establishments of the country. This was a simple question, and it ought not to he mixed up with any other. He wished the colony to have free institutions, and liberty to manage its own affairs; but we must not undertake to defray the expenses of its police and gaols. It would be a dangerous precedent to entertain such a motion as that of his hon. Friend; and every hon. Gentleman who voted for it would be pledging himself to give money from the taxes of this country—not as to the amount, but as to a portion of these taxes for the maintenance of the gaols and police establishments of New South Wales. Under these circumstances he should vote against the proposition of his hon. Friend. Mr. Grate briefly replied, and observed, that he was pleased with the general views of the noble Lord, the Secretary for the Colonies; but he could not see, in the history of New South Wales, that they had ever been tarried into effect. If the promises of Lord Glenelg and Lord Ripon had been executed, every farthing of the 260,000l, to which tit a former period of the evening he had referred, would have been devoted to sending emigrants to the colony.

The House divided on the previous question, viz—that the question be now put:—Ayes 8; Noes52:—Majority 44.

List of the AYES.
Bolling, W. O'Brien, W. S.
Brownrigg, S. Ward, H. G.
Hodges, T. L TELLERS.
Jervis, S. Grote, G.
Mahon, Viscount Buller, C.
Molesworth, Sir W.
List of the NOES.
Ainsworth, P. Muntz, G. F.
Baring, rt. hon. F. T. Muskett, G. A.
Barnard, E. G. O'Ferrall, R. M.
Barrington, Viscount Peel, rt. hn. Sir R.
Bernal, R. Praed, W. T.
Brabazon, Lord Rawdon, Col. J. D.
Brotherton, J. Russell, Lord J.
Busfeild, W. Rutherfurd, rt. hn. A
Chichester, Sir B. Salwey, Colonel
Dundas, D. Scholefield, J.
Evans, W. Sheil, rt. hn. R. L.
Fitzroy, Lord C. Smith, R. V.
Gladstone, W. E. Sotheron, T. E.
Gordon, R. Stanley, Lord
Goulburn, rt. hon. H. Stuart, W V.
Graham, rt. hon. Sir J. Strutt, E.
Greg, R. H. Tancred, H. W.
Grey, rt. hon. Sir C. Thornely, T.
Grey, rt. hn. Sir G. Trotter, J.
Hobhouse, T. B. Wilbraham, G.
Hume, J. Williams, W.
Hutchins, E. J. Wood, B.
Lascelles, hon. W. S. Wyse, T.
Macaulay, rt. hon. T. B. Yates, J. A.
Maule, hon. F.
Morpeth, Viscount TELLERS.
Morris, D. Stanley, E. J.
Morrison, J. Parker, J.