That New South Wales has, since these papers were written, become a flourishing colony, is owing not so much to convict transportation, but to the admission of free settlers. The evils above pointed out continue to exist, but their influence is lessened by the infusion of honest and industrious settlers.
The following quotation confirms the reasoning of Mr. Bentham, and shows that the greater portion of the evils he points out, continue unabated.---Ed.
``If convicts are still to be transported hither,the only chance of their reformation consists in scattering them widely over the country, and giving them pastoral habits. Convict transportation is at best a bad system of colonization; and Governor Macquarrie, by his preference of the convict to the free, made it worse for the plantation, and totally inoperative as the penalty of felony, or the penitentiary of vice.
``The evils and expense of the transportation system would certainly be lessened by placing the convicts more in the service of farming and grazing settlers, out of the reach of the temptations and evil communications of large towns, the establishment of which was too much the policy of the late governor. The salutary life of a shepherd or a stockman, would gradually soften the heart of the most hardened convict; but instead of this, Governor Macquarrie's system was to keep them congregated in barracks, and employed, at a ration of a pound and a half of meat and the same quantity of flour per diem, upon showy public buildings. Of wretches possessed of no better means of reformation than these, it could not be expected that industrious colonists should ever be made. When their period of transportation expired, or was remitted by favour, they would therefore take their grant of land and allowances for settling, and sell them the next hour for spirits.''
Journal of an Excursion across the Blue Mountains of New South Wales.---Edited by Baron Fields, p. 457. London, 1825.
RP Book 5 Chapter 2