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160

TRANSPORTATION

amount, under the proposed arrangement, the fault would be attributable solely to inefficient superintendence.[1]

There is a second mode of employing convict labour in the territory of New South Wales, which the rapid extension of the colony, and the prospect of a greatly increased immigration, under the land-selling system, would enable the colonial government to have recourse to with much benefit to the community, and which would ensure the ultimate repayment of the whole cost of the maintenance of the convicts so employed. There are various navigable rivers on the east coast of New Holland, from Port Macquarie to the southern tropic; on the banks of which free and flourishing settlements will eventually be formed, and various branches of cultivation, for which the climate of the settled districts of the colony is unsuitable, pursued with advantage. Now it would greatly

  1. In the year 1831, when beef cost only three farthings, and bread a penny per pound, the whole cost of the maintenance of a convict at government labour in New South Wales did not amount to more than £7. 0s.d. per annum. Beef and bread were unusually high in the year 1835, for which year the cost mentioned in the text is given. I am confident that £8 would cover the whole outlay for each convict's maintenance for a series of years, if the number employed at the public works should be considerable.