conduct during a certain term of years might still entitle the convict to a ticket of leave, and enable him to return eventually to society.
As public works of the descriptions I have specified are at present urgently required in New South Wales; and as the colonial revenue, which has hitherto kept pace with the annual increase of the population and the progressive development of the resources of the colony, is fully adequate to meet the whole cost of such works;—I see no reason why a debtor and creditor account should not be kept for the labour expended on such works, on the part of the superintendent of convicts, acting on behalf of the mother country on the one hand, and of the colonial government on the other.
There would be no difficulty, for instance, in estimating the value of the labour performed by convicts in the construction or repairing of roads, or in any of the other public works to which convict labour might be applied in New South Wales; and there would thus be ample means of striking a balance between the colony and the mother country. The maintenance of a convict employed at the public works costs the colonial government at present £9. 9s. 10½d. per annum; and if the value of the convict's labour for a whole twelvemonth should not greatly exceed that