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In the other North American Colo with the United States. We rememnies, the principal topics touched on ber to have heard a story of some one by Lord Grey are - first, the question having set up a fishing-boat some which arose in Nova Scotia, as to where on the west of Ireland, and going whether holders of situations in the into a neighbouring bay to fish. On public service in the colonies should landing he was set upon by the people, be regarded as having vested interests and nearly murdered for coming to in them, and as entitled to compensa. fish in their bay. “But," said be, tion for dismissal, unless that dismis- "you don't fish yourselves; you have sal be for misconduct. On both these 'no boats, no nets, nor even books or points the answer to the question has lines." " Arrah, what matter,"returned been in the affirmative; and we think they, “sure don't the fish belong to uswisely so with respect to all offices what right have you to be coming which are not of a strictly political and taking them ?" Now, any one who nature.
approves of the native reasoning on The holders of any offices, similar in this occasion is logically entitled to nature to those of our ministers, who defend the restriction of the fisheries come into them on the strength of the on our own shores, whether home or popular demand, cannot complain, colonial. For ourselves, we must say, when another set of men claim to step that if the people who live close by into their places on the very same don't choose to catch the fish, or bave ground on which they themselves ob- not the means or skill to catch so many tained them. These men are but the or so fast as those who come from a embodiment of the policy the people distance, it is simply their own fault; wish to see carried out, and the instru- and if they grumble they deserve to be ments by which alone they can effect laughed at for their pains. Lord Grey their purpose. In the case of all offices, lets us a little into the real state of the however, that are not necessary for case witb respect to Newfoundland, by effecting the popular will, which re- showing that it is not the fishermen quire peculiar fitness and experience there who grumble at the intrusion of for their administration, or which are the Americans or the French, so much of a professional nature, it is but wise as the merchants who supply the fisher. in the people to guard against the pos- men, who generally manage to keep sible consequences of their own caprice, them in debt, and whose gains are and to make them permanent for life diminished by the supplies brought by (unless from misconduct). If this be American schooners along the coasts. true, compensation for the loss of an We remember to have heard something office, the continuance of which is of this before, and have not the least judged inexpedient, or from any other doubt of its being the true history of cause not the holder's fault, follows as the outcry about the fisheries. a natural corollary.
Lord Grey then takes up the colonies The second question is the allowance of Australia, and discusses three prinof bounties for the encouraging certain cipal questions with respect to them, branches of industry, which was raised namely:-Ist, The sale of land, and by the legislature of New Brunswick emigration. 2nd, Transportation and granting a bounty for the cultivation of the convict system, 3rd, The constihemp. Bounties such as these occa tutions and governments of the sereral sionally come before us with such plau. colonies. sible pretexts, that we believe the only with regard to the first, Lord Grey safe rule for a politician is to refuse of course defends the past and existing to listen to all the circumstances of state of things, sbowing the advantage the case, and to be strictly guided of disposing of all lands by sale at aucby the maxim of political economy, tion, keeping the minimuin price up to which declares all bounties to be bad, £1 per acre, devoting bali the land certain of being injurious to some one, fund thus acquired to the cost of the and, in the end, destructive of the ob emigration of labourers from this ject expected to be gained ; on this country, and the regulations and repoint, therefore, we also agree with strictions on that emigration adopted Lord Grey.
by the commissioners at home. On all The third topic is the fishery ques. these points we think Lord Grey makes tion, which, under the over hasty ma- out a good case. We agree with him nagement of Sir John Pakington last also on the advantages of the plan of year, was near involving us in a war giving to squatters in the unsettled
districts ten years' leases for their “ runs," and compensation for perma. nent improvements. He tries to support a pet crotchet of his own as to the establishment of “ District Councils” in New South Wales—a kind of rural municipal organisation, so admirably adapted to the circumstances and habits of the colonists, that, though the power of establishing them has been some years in existence, we very much doubt whether the majority of the inhabitants have ever heard of it. This puts us in mind of a proposition of Lord John Russell's when he was Colonial Minis. ter, for concentrating the convict population of New South Wales upon Cockatoo Island in Sydney Harboura proposition that would be equalled only by a plan for locating all the paupers and distressed inhabitants of Ireland upon Ireland's Eye, or all the prisoners of London upon Eelpie Is land. Such little mistakes in the relative size and importance either of places or measures are incidental to, and characteristic of, our Colonial Office.
The question of transportation of convicts, and the various modes of employing or emancipating them in the colonies, is so large a one, that to do it anything like justice would require far more space than we are able to devote to it.
There can be little doubt that for this country, and for the convicts them selves, a well managed system of transportation is almost an unmixed good. No better system of disposing of and reforming criminals (so far as they are capable of reformation) has hitherto been devised.
If, on the other hand, we look on it from a colonial point of view, there can be as little doubt that materially and pecuniarily a certain large amount of convict labour is most beneficial to a colony during its earlier years of settlement, and for a certain time after its foundation. On the other hand, there can be no doubt whatever that, morally, the introduction and emancipation of convicts must be in all cases most injurious to the well-being and happiness of any colony. Lord Grey truly remarks, that it does not follow because a man is a free emigrant that he is therefore necessarily moral and virtuous, and that, practically, many convicts who have been led into crime by sudden temptation or other circumstances, may really be better men than
some free emigrants. Granted; but the difference is here, that a free emigrant has a character to lose, and an emancipated convict has none. We are not thinking now of great crimes, but of the every-day life and action of the men. If an emancipated convict abstain from great crimes and the actual infraction of the law, he does all that can be reasonably expected of him; he is a very worthy and respectable person for an emancipist. That he does not adhere to the truth, that he is not fair and honest in his dealings, that he is ready at all times to resort to low trickery, to mean subterfuges, and to all the baseness which distinguishes the blackleg and the scoundrel from the honest man in every rank of life, is what all men expect from him and allow of in him. A free emigrant, even if he have no principle to guard him against these practices, will, in the majority of instances, be prevented from falling into them by the mere shame attached to them. The mere shame of appearing as a knave before his family, his friends, or his neighbours, keeps many a man in the straight path. Now, an emancipated convict has no sense of shame_it has been burnt out of hiin by the branding ordeal of the court and the prison, even if not destroyed long before. Any society, therefore, that has any large infusion of emancipated convicts among its ranks—men ostensibly without shame and without principle, must inevitably have its standard of morals lowered, and its truth and honesty debased.
Take a small example. We recollect travelling by coach between Sydney and Bathurst, when a decently-dressed, well-behaved man, but one whom any old colonist would have known as an emancipist, got off the coach at dusk. The coachman said his fare was half-acrown, and the man gave him a coin, which, instead of pocketing, the coachman carefully looked at, and immediately jumped down and laid hold of him; on which the man merely laughed, and exchanged it for another. The first was a rupee, or two shilling piece. Neither the coachman nor passengers seemed to look on tbe occurrence as anything remarkable or different from what might be expected. The coachman merely exercised a caution and suspicion of all men, that had become habitual to him. Now, this suspicion, and utter want of confidence in the strict honesty of the majority of
those with whom you come in contact, Colonial Office; it will require further is one of the most unhappy and con. doses of it to cure her. Surrounded by taminating influences that can be ex. an impassable desert on the land side, erted on any man or any set of men. and by a wild and storiny ocean on We can easily understand that among the other, with few or no boats, except the class of the rich “ squatters" and at one or two points, escape from the landholders, as also among the capi- country is difficult. Its climate, on the talists and merchants of the Australian other hand, is healthy and delightful, colonies, there is a large proportion in and its tracts of fertile land widely favour of the importation of convict scattered, with great spaces of desert labour. Employers of labour of course country between them. It might safely wish to have it as cheaply as they can then be given up to the Colonial Office This desire fully accounts for a part of as a great prison for many years, with the Legislative Council at Sydney hay. the hope that, eventually, by the means ing reported in favour of it, and for the of convict labour, they may make it a desire expressed for it by the “ squat- fit residence for a community of honest ters" of Moreton Bay and others; men. but we do firmly believe, that the po- As regards the constitutions of the pular agitation that arose against the Australian colonies, Lord Grey gives continuance of convict importation, and an abstract of the deliberations and the strong popular resistance that was reports on which the general measure rising against it, though it may have respecting them was founded in 1850. been intensified somewhat by the hope There is one point of general interest of keeping up wages, was based in the raised here which is worth examinastrong instinct and common sense feel- tion - Should a colonial legislature ing of the people--that united instinct consist of one chamber or two? Most which so often turns out to be true, people, perhaps, would at first-arguand natural, and correct, though it may ing from the analogy of our own legis. never find adequate expression, and lature, and our two houses of Comthough all kinds of specious and irre mons and Lords - say two; and if it futable reasonings and arguments may
were a question of founding a constibe brought forward against it.
tution for an independent nation, we We fully agree that life and property should most certainly agree with them. may be as safe in a well-managed con- We here meet again, however, with vict colony as they are here at home, that remarkable want of all clear ideas but nothing like so safe as they are in and guiding theory of what a colony a colony that has never received con- is, and what it ought to be, which, victs, and is at a distance from convict however speculative it may be deemed, influence. Moving suddenly from such is perpetually turning up in one shape a colony as the latter into one of the or another as a practical difficulty. former, is like passing from a drawing. Any one with clear theoretical ideas room of ladies and gentlemen into the on this point would at once see that wards of a work-house, so far as one's a second legislative chamber (anfeelings and associations are concerned. swering in its functions to our
We should now, therefore, at what House of Lords) is absolutely useless ever cost or risk, advocate that entire in our colonies as at present constituted. cessation of the transportation or im- Its functions of resisting hasty popular portation of convicts into the Eastern legislation, and of introducing greater Australian colonies, whether as con deliberation before the measures passed victs, as ticket-of-leave men, as exiles, are acted on, are all discharged by the or as expirées, which, it appears, is Colonial Office itself, or by the Imperial likely to be enforced by our present Parliament in some instances. The Government.
motive or originating power being the As to Western Australia, the ques- legislative assembly of a colony, its tion is pretty well settled by the inha- action at present is clogged, first of all bitants desiring the importation of con- by the assent of the Governor being victs, and being indeed no longer able required ; secondly, the assent of the to do without them. Extraordinary Crown, as advised by the Colonial diseases require extraordinary reme Minister; and thirdly, if need be, by dies, and, in this case, perhaps we the assent of Parliament. To add might turn homeopathists, and say still another clog und drag-chain to “similia similibus curantur." Western this well-guarded legislative action is Australia bas been all along ill of the not merely superfluous, but mischier.
ous, inasmuch as it tends greatly to diminish the sense of responsibility under which the primary legislators ought to act, and to render them care less and supine in their duties. It can hardly be worth people's while taking any great pains, or exercising great caution, in framing measures that have so many ordeals to pass before they can come into permanent existence. Any blame resulting from them, more over, may be bandied about from one side of the water to the other. Whereas if the framers and passers of any act were at once to be face to face with the people, as the authors of it, when it came in force, they would take very good care to have sound reasons to give for the measure.
We can, then, perfectly understand Lord Grey's doubts and hesitation as to the utility of a second chamber in the colonies, although he may hardly be conscious of their real origin.
If there be a real use in, and a necessity for, a second chamber in any colony, there can be no longer any use in, or necessity for, the Colonial Office as regards that colony. Conversely, there can be no use in a second cham. ber in any of our colonies until they are freed from the control of our Colonial Office.
There is one amendment on the old practice introduced into the late act constituting the Australian legislature, which we think really an amendment, and it bears directly on the question just discussed. The Governor, instead of his powers being confined to the simple assent to, or disallowance of, any bill passed by the Assembly, has now the power of returning such bill for further consideration, with any amendments he may think it right to suggest. In other words, the House of Lords, or second chamber, function, is to be shared between the Governor and the Colonial Office. We think this arrangement may work well in sereral ways, not the least of which we regard as this one, that it will accustom the Legislative Council to have amendments proposed to it, on bills and acts that are still fresh in their memories, and in which they have not lost an interest; and they will thus be trained to that vital action and reaction of different parts of the body politic which are essential to the life of politi.
cal as of individual bodies. It will, moreover, diminish the antagonism be. tween the Governor, as the mere servant of the Colonial Office, and the legislature, and tend to produce a greater union of feeling and interest between them.
In a former part of his work Lord Grey mentions à curious modification of the jury system, as having originated in Tasmania, which we think is worthy of some consideration. This modifica. tion is as follows:- the verdict, if given within two hours, must be an unanimous one; but after the expira. tion of two hours a verdict with a minority of one is allowable ; after four hours a minority of two, after six hours a minority of three, aster eight of four ; and if after a deliberation of ten hours more than four remain still dissentient, a new jury is to be empannelled.
The chapter (or letter) devoted by Lord Grey to New Zealand is, beyond question, the most interesting, as it is also the best written in his book. It owes this distinction in part to the extract from the very admirable despatch of Sir George Grey, the present Governor of New Zealand, * and partly to its being of a more historical and descriptive character than his accounts of the other colonies.
It might appear at first sight that New Zealand is a mixed colony as we have defined that term, composed, namely, of an inferior coloured race and a dominant white one. For the present, and to a certain extent, this is doubtless true. New Zealand, however, is an exception to the other mixed colonies, because the inferiority of the coloured race will, in a short time, become nothing. They have hitherto been, and still are, our inferiors in civilisation, habits, manners, customs, &c.; but this was from de. fect of circumstances, not of capacity. When the New Zealanders are com. pared with negroes or any other coloured race, there is this difference, that the capacity of the New Zealand. ers already exists, and can be at once trained and utilised, while that of other coloured races must be greatly increased by a training of several generations, gradually breeding a superior race, before it can be placed on the same footing. We have always been
Lord Grey takes occasion to point out that this Sir George is no relation of his, and that he never saw him.
aware and always contended for the admission of this fact, that the whole Malayo-Polynesian race, are, in natural capacity, whether physical, mental, or moral, the equals of ourselves. Whenever they were placed in tem. perate and unenervating climates, they would, in a brief space of time, be ca. pable of being civilised to any amount. Of the truth of this idea the corroboration may be found even in the tro. pical regions of the Eastern Archipe. lago, the Sandwich Islands, and Tahiti; and it is now amply confirmed by Governor Grey's account of the rapid strides making by the New Zealanders in education, in the acquisition of property, in habits of civilisation, and in the practice of the precepts of Christianity. Whether in war or in peace, they are evidently worthy of our respect and esteem, and we look forward to their approaching amalgamation into the ranks and society of the colonists with confident expectation.
In Lord Grey's account of Ceylon there is nothing of any remarkable interest. He describes a personal tax on the natives for road-making as working well, and being cheerfully paid; advo. cates the stringent repression of rebellion; and defends Lord Torrington. As to the vigorous action of troops, when brought out, we entirely agree with him. We would never summon out our armed force until absolutely compelled; but when we were compelled, it should be no child's play, and no idle pageant. Soldiers are meant to kill men with ; if you are to use them, you must put them to the use for which they are intended.
Of the Cape of Good Hope, Lord Grey writes more at length and more in earnest. This earnestness verges upon anger, when he comes to treat of the resistance offered by that colony to the landing of the convicts taken out by the Neptune ; and like any other angry man, Lord Grey ventures upon several rash and inconsiderate assertions. First of all, Lord Grey talks about the Cape colonists having so much regard for the general interests of the British nation,” and “taking their share of the common burdens of the empire.” Why, what does Lord Grey suppose the colonists went out for? He might as well expect them to claim their share of the national debt. He laments their inhumanity to the con victs in not allowing them to land. But were the colonists to give up their great,
and as they and we believed, their most momentous cause, from mere pity to a set of convicts? The sufferings of the convicts were plainly chargeable on those who sent them there, not upon the colonists who did not want them, and all along protested against having them. Then he says, that in the House of Lords, even the peers opposed to his government did not object to their being sent. Very likely not! What had the peers to do with a parcel of colonists in the other bemisphere? How many of our hereditary legislators would have troubled themselves to interfere to save the Cape from being buried in the ocean, unless some petty point of their own interest-some party object, or party passion, or some privilege of their order had been involved in the cataclysm ? Lastly, Lord Grey says that this resistance to the landing of the convicts was the cause of the last Kaffir war !! and that he is sure the colonists must have repented of it. With such nonsense as this there is no serious argument. The real point of soreness and irritation in Lord Grey's mind is this, the aristocratie Earl was for once fairly opposed by the roused democratic strength and spirit of a people, and he had to succumb to it. The spirit of the future appeared em. bodied before his eyes, and he knew it for his master. Never was more sig. nificant sign made to mortal - never was a handwriting on a wall more plain to any one with eyes that can care to read it. The powerful minister of the mightiest empire upon earth was calmly and deliberately defied and resisted by a small community of Saxon freemen, who simply felt that as long as they were resolved and united, no earthly power could make them submit. Repent! We know very little of British colonists if there be one free man at the Cape who repents, or has ever repented of that action, and if it is not handed down from father to son as a goodly heritage and boast.
To keep their commonwealth un. spotted from the stain of convictism was a noble object; it was gained in a noble and heroic way - by a bloodless victory that will be quoted as an ex. ample to be followed, if need be, in every other British colony on earth; and as a lesson to be learned by Earl Grey, and every other minister who may bereafter have the management of the colonies placed in his bands.
After getting as well as he can over