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1-031 (Original)

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author,male,Phillip, Arthur,54 addressee,male
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Government English
Imperial Correspondence
Clark, 1977
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The arrival of the above ships [Britannia and Calcutta] put it in my power to increase the ration, and which, though at present little inferior to the full ration, is, from the nature of some articles, and the deficiency of others, very far from being satisfactory; nor can the present ration be continued many days longer if the Kitty does not arrive. The expences attending the supplying the colony with the provisions received from Calcutta by the Atlantic will be seen by the accounts which accompany this letter, and I have only to observe that the different articles are very inferior to those of a similar nature which are furnished from Europe.
Eight casks of salt provisions which were sent from Calcutta on speculation, though used as soon as landed, were very bad, but the small quantity of provisions in store obliges me to order it to be issued. It is, sir, also necessary to observe that the beef received from the Britannia is bad in kind; it has been surveyed by two officers, a lieutenant and a master of the Navy. Their report states, after weighing and examining a considerable number of casks:
"That the average loss on the hogsheads agreeable to the contents marked on them is thirty-six pounds and one-third, and on the tierces twenty pounds and one-third. And that the whole of the beef appears to be lean, bony, and very coarse, and inferior, in quality to any we have ever seen issued in his Majesty's service."
In addition to the provisions received from Messrs. Lambert, Ross, & Co., a merchant, the Hon. John Cochrane, sent eight casks of the finest, and of the second sort of flour, and soojee, and which he offered to warrant for a twelvemonth, but when landed it was in such a state from being heated, and from the weevil, that it was necessary to cause it to be immediately issued. The enclosed extract from Mr. Cochrane's letter contains his proposal for furnishing this settlement with those articles. [...] [62] 
Of the present state of this settlement, I have the satisfaction of assuring you that the soil and its produce more than answer the expectations which I have formerly given. Our last year's crop of maize, notwithstanding the long drought, was 4,844 1/2 bushels, of which 2,6494 bushels have been issued as bread for the colony, 695 bushels were reserved for seed and other purposes, and not less than 1,500 bushels were stolen from the grounds, notwithstanding every possible precaution was taken to prevent it. From the time the corn began to ripen to the time it was housed, the convicts were pressed by hunger, and great quantities were stolen and concealed in the woods; several convicts died from feeding on it in its crude state, when carrying the grain to the public granary. But in speaking of these people, it is but just to observe that I can recollect very few crimes during the last three years but what have been committed to procure the necessaries of life.
One thousand acres of ground are in cultivation on the public account, of which 800 are in maize, the rest in wheat and barley, at Parrarnatta and a new settlement formed about three miles to the westward of Parramatta, and to which I have given the name of loon-gab-be, a name by which the natives distinguish the spot. The soil is good, and in the neighbourhood of this place there are several thousand acres of exceeding good ground. The quantity of ground in cultivation by the settlers is 416 acres, and they have 97 acres more ground cleared of timber. By the land in cultivation some judgment may be formed as to the corn, which may next year be carried into the store towards the support of the colony. And I flatter myself that the time now approaches in which this country will be able to supply its inhabitants with grain; but no dependance must be placed on a crop while it is in the ground, consequently regular supplies of flour, &c., from Europe will be necessary until there is sufficient quantity in store to serve the colony for one year at least. The grub, as in all new grounds, is very destructive. The crop may fail from a dry season, or be lost from fire or other accidents, and to which it may naturally be supposed the crops in this country are more exposed than in Europe.
My letters by the Supply, Gorgon, and Pitt will have shewn that I look to England for the necessary supplies, of which we still stand in great need, and which I doubt not are now on their passage; but the great length of time in which this colony has remained in its present state takes away hope from many, and the consequences must be obvious. It has, sir, been my fate to point out wants from year to year; it has been a duty the severest I have ever experienced. Did those wants only respect myself or a few individuals I should be silent; but here are numbers who bear them badly; nor has the colony suffered more from wanting what we have not received than from the supplies we have received not arriving in time. [63] 
If people for superintendents of such descriptions as have been pointed out can be found they will be very useful. Of those which have already been received, one is become a settler, and is doing well; a second has been discharged as useless in every respect; and a third, who can be well spared, will be discharged, as wishing to become a settler.