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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 have 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 with 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, tho 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 several 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, showing 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, £l per acre, devoting ball 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 some free emigrants. Granted; but “ runs," and compensation for perma. the difference is here, that a free nent improvements. He tries to support emigrant has a character to lose, and a pet crotchet of bis own as to the estab- an emancipated convict has none. We lishment of “ District Councils” in New are not thinking now of great crimes, South Wales a kind of rural municipal but of the every-day life and action of organisation, so admirably adapted to the men. If an einancipated convict the circumstances and habits of the abstain from great crimes and the actual colonists, that, though the power of infraction of the law, he does all that establishing them has been some years can be reaso
usonably expected of him ; he in existence, we very much doubt is a very worthy and respectable person whether the majority of the inhabitants for an emancipist. That he does not have ever heard of it. This puts us adhere to the truth, that he is not fair in mind of a proposition of Lord John and honest in his dealings, that he is Russell's when he was Colonial Minis- ready at all times to resort to low ter, for concentrating the convict po- trickery, to mean subterfuges, and to pulation of New South Wales upon all the baseness which distinguishes the Cockatoo Island in Sydney Harbour- blackleg and the scoundrel from the a proposition that would be equalled honest man in every rank of life, is only by a plan for locating all the what all men expect from him and paupers and distressed inhabitants of allow of in him. A free emigrant, even Ireland upon Ireland's Eye, or all the if he have no principle to guard him prisoners of London upon Eelpie Is- against these practices, will, in the land. Such little mistakes in the re- majority of instances, be prevented from lative size and importance either of falling into them by the mere shame places or measures are incidental to, attached to them. The mere shame of and characteristic of, our Colonial appearing as a knave before his family, Office.
his friends, or his neighbours, keeps The question of transportation of many a man in the straight path. Now, convicts, and the various modes of em- an emancipated convict has no sense of ploying or emancipating them in the shame it has been burnt out of hiin by colonies, is so large a one, that to do the branding ordeal of the court and it anything like justice would require the prison, even if not destroyed long far more space than we are able to before. Any society, therefore, that has devote to it.
any large infusion of emancipated conThere can be little doubt that for victs among its ranks—men ostensibly this country, and for the convicts them- without shame and without principle, selves, a well managed system of trans- must inevitably have its standard of portation is almost an unmixed good. morals lowered, and its truth and No better system of disposing of and honesty debased. reforming criminals (so far as they are Take a small example. We recolcapable of reformation) has hitherto lect travelling by coach between Sydney been devised.
and Bathurst, when a decently-dressed, If, on the other hand, we look on it well-behaved man, but one whom any from a colonial point of view, there old colonist would have known as an can be as little doubt that materially emancipist, got off the coach at dusk. and pecuniarily a certain large amount The coachman said his fare was half-aof convict labour is most beneficial to crown, and the man gave him a coin, a colony during its earlier years of which, instead of pocketing, the coachsettlement, and for a certain time after man carefully looked at, and immeits foundation. On the other hand, diately jumped down and laid hold of there can be no doubt whatever that, him; on which the man merely laughed, morally, the introduction and emancipa- and exchanged it for another. The tion of convicts must be in all cases first was a rupee, or two shilling piece. most injurious to the well-being and Neither the coachman nor passenhappiness of any colony. Lord Grey gers seemed to look on the occurrence truly remarks, that it does not follow as anything remarkable or different because a man is a free emigrant that from what might be expected. The he is therefore necessarily moral and coachman merely exercised a caution virtuous, and that, practically, many and suspicion of all men, that had beconvicts who have been led into crime come habitual to him. Now, this sus. by sudden temptation or other circum- picion, and utter want of confidence in stances, may really be better men than 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 stormy 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 hav. 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 à 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 and drag-chain to "similia similibus curantur." Western this well guarded legislative action is Australia has been all along ill of the not merely superfluous, but mischier.
ous, inasmuch as it tends greatly to cal as of individual bodies. It will, diminish the sense of responsibility moreover, diminish the antagonism be. under which the primary legislators tween the Governor, as the mere ser. ought to act, and to render them care- vant of the Colonial Office, and the less and supine in their duties. It can legislature, and tend to produce a hardly be worth people's while taking greater union of feeling and interest any great pains, or exercising great between them. caution, in framing measures that have In a former part of his work Lord so many ordeals to pass before they Grey mentions à curious modification can come into permanent existence. of the jury system, as having originated Any blame resulting from them, more- in Tasmania, which we think is worthy over, may be bandied about from one of some consideration. This modifica. side of the water to the other. Where- tion is as follows:- the verdict, if as if the framers and passers of any given within two hours, must be an act were at once to be face to face with unanimous one; but after the expirathe people, as the authors of it, when tion of two hours a verdict with a it came in force, they would take very minority of one is allowable ; after good care to have sound reasons to four hours a minority of two, after give for the measure.
six hours a minority of three, after We can, then, perfectly understand eight of four; and if after a deliberaLord Grey's doubts and hesitation as tion of ten hours more than four remain to the utility of a second chamber in still dissentient, a new jury is to be the colonies, although he may hardly empannelled. be conscious of their real origin.
The chapter (or letter) devoted by If there be a real use in, and a ne- Lord Grey to New Zealand is, beyond cessity for, a second chamber in any question, the most interesting, as it is colony, there can be no longer any use also the best written in his book. It in, or necessity for, the Colonial Office owes this distinction in part to the exas regards that colony. Conversely, tract from the very admirable despatch there can be no use in a second cham- of Sir George Grey, the present Goverber in any of our colonies until they nor of New Zealand,* and partly to are freed from the control of our its being of a more historical and de. Colonial Office.
scriptive character than his accounts There is one amendment on the old of the other colonies. practice introduced into the late act It might appear at first sight that constituting the Australian legislature,
New Zealand is a mixed colony as we which we think really an amendment, have defined that term, composed, and it bears directly on the question namely, of an inferior coloured race just discussed. The Governor, instead and a dominant white one. For the of his powers being confined to the present, and to a certain extent, this simple assent to, or disallowance of, is doubtless true. New Zealand, howany bill passed by the Assembly, has ever, is an exception to the other now the power of returning such bill mixed colonies, because the inferiority for further consideration, with any of the coloured race will, in a short amendments he may think it right to time, become nothing. They bave suggest. In other words, the House hitherto been, and still are, our in. of Lords, or second chamber, function, feriors in civilisation, habits, manners, is to be shared between the Governor customs, &c.; but this was from dé. and the Colonial Office. We think fect of circumstances, not of capacity. this arrangement may work well in When the New Zealanders are com. sereral ways, not the least of which pared with negroes or any other we regard as this one, that it will ac- coloured race, there is this difference, custom the Legislative Council to have that the capacity of the New Zealand. amendments proposed to it, on bills ers already exists, and can be at once and acts that are still fresh in their trained and utilised, while that of other memories, and in which they have not coloured races must be greatly inlost an interest ; and they will thus be creased by a training of several genetrained to that vital action and reaction rations, gradually breeding a superior of different parts of the body politic race, before it can be placed on the which are essential to the life of politi. 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 and as they and we believed, their admission of this fact, that the whole most momentous cause, from mere pity Malayo-Polynesian race, are, in natural to a set of convicts? The sufferings of capacity, whether physical, mental, the convicts were plainly chargeable on or moral, the equals of ourselves. those who sent them there, not upon Whenever they were placed in tem- the colonists who did not want them, perate and unenervating climates, they and all along protested against having would, in a brief space of time, be ca- them. Then he says, that in the pable of being civilised to any amount. House of Lords, even the peers opOf the truth of this idea the corrobo- posed to his government did not object ration may be found even in the tro. to their being sent. Very likely not! pical regions of the Eastern Archipe- What had the peers to do with a parcel lago, the Sandwich Islands, and I'a- of colonists in the other bemisphere? hiti; and it is now amply confirmed by How many of our hereditary legislaGovernor Grey's account of the rapid tors would have troubled themselves strides making by the New Zealanders to interfere to save the Cape from being in education, in the acquisition of pro- buried in the ocean, unless some petty perty, in habits of civilisation, and in point of their own interest—some party the practice of the precepts of Chris- object, or party passion, or some pritianity. Whether in war or in peace, vilege of their order had been involved they are evidently worthy of our re- in the cataclysm? Lastly, Lord Grey spect and esteem, and we look forward says that this resistance to the landing to their approaching amalgamation of the convicts was the cause of the last into the ranks and society of the Kaffir war!! and that he is sure the colonists with confident expectation. colonists must have repented of it.
In Lord Grey's account of Ceylon With such nonsense as this there is there is nothing of any remarkable in- no serious argument. The real point terest. He describes a personal tax on of soreness and irritation in Lord the natives for road-making as working Grey's mind is this, - the aristocratie well, and being cheerfully paid; advo- Earl was for once fairly opposed by the cates the stringent repression of re- roused democratic strength and spirit bellion; and defends Lord Torrington. of a people, and he had to succumb to it. As to the vigorous action of troops, The spirit of the future appeared emwhen brought out, we entirely agree bodied before his eyes, and he knew with him. We would never summon out it for his master. Never was more sig. our armed force until absolutely com- nificant sign made to mortal — never pelled; but when we were compelled, was a handwriting on a wall more plain it should be no child's play, and no to any one with eyes that can dare idle pageant. Soldiers are meant to to read it. The powerful minister kill men with ; if you are to use them, of the mightiest empire upon earth you must put them to the use for which was calmly and deliberately defied they are intended.
and resisted by a small community Of the Cape of Good Hope, Lord of Saxon freemen, who simply felt Grey writes more at length and more in that as long as they were resolved and earnest. This earnestness verges upon united, no earthly power could make anger, when he comes to treat of the re- them submit. Repent! We know very sistance offered by that colony to the little of British colonists if there be one landing of the convicts taken out by free man at the Cape who repents, or the Neptune ; and like any other angry has ever repented of that action, and man, Lord Grey ventures upon several if it is not handed down from father to rash and inconsiderate assertions. son as a goodly heritage and boast. First of all, Lord Grey talks about the To keep their commonwealth unCape colonists having.“ so much re- spotted from the stain of convictism gard for the general interests of the was a noble object; it was gained in a British nation,” and “ taking their noble and heroic way — by a bloodless share of the common burdens of the victory that will be quoted as an exempire." Why, what does Lord Grey ample to be followed, if need be, in suppose the colonists went out for? every other British colony on earth; He might as well expect them to claim and as a lesson to be learned by Earl their share of the national debt. He Grey, and every other minister who laments their inhumanity to the con- may hereafter bave the management of victs in not allowing them to land. But the colonies placed in his bands. were the colonists to give up their great, After getting as well as he can over