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1-246 (Original)

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addressee author,male,NN,un
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Government English
Petitions & Proclamations
Clark, 1977
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1-246.txt — 3 KB

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While we are bidding Your Excellency farewell, we feel that we can entirely rely upon your watchfulness to embrace all opportunities which may offer, on your return, of suggesting to His Majesty's Government the pressing necessity which exists for the immediate establishment, in this Colony, in all their plenitude, of those two fundamental principles of the British Constitution, Trial by Jury and Taxation by Representation. We are not ignorant that, upon both these subjects, Your Excellency's opinion has long been accordant with the general opinion of the Colony. Your Excellency cannot but have felt the inconvenience of directing the efforts of a Free People, left at large as it were to guide themselves by the analogies and recollections of English Law and English usage, in the absence of their ancient free institutions; a People whose good sense, moral feeling, and patriotism alone have prevented them from a louder expression of their impatience, when their English prejudices have been outraged by the unavoidable vexations of a Government, so anti-British in its structure and operation that it would be difficult to designate it by a just name. [322] 
With respect to Trial by Jury, the Magistrates of Sydney have already expressed the voice of' the people in their answer to the patriotic interrogatory put to them by Your Excellency; and as to that other great first principle of the British Constitution, Taxation by Representation, we are aware how much Your Excellency has needed the assistance of a deliberative Assembly which, to prevent the influence of party faction, ought to consist of at least one hundred Members, a number, which our population can readily furnish, of men in every way qualified to discharge that duty to their fellow Colonists.
The Inhabitants of New South Wales, composed exclusively of British-born subjects and their descendants, now amount to nearly fifty thousand: A population exceeding the entire white population of the Colonies in the West Indies; and, as far as good morals are necessary for the enjoyment of enlarged Civil Rights, Your Excellency's extensive acquaintance with the other Colonies must have convinced you that we excel them all in this great particular. The orderly state of Sydney, although a sea-port, the great attention and encouragement which schools and religious Societies receive from all classes, and the peace and order of our streets on the Sabbath day, all demonstrate that the seeds of Religion and good morals have taken deep root in Australia.
We will not, however, hide it from the Representative of Our Most Gracious Sovereign that there are Colonists of rank and wealth here, and of very great influence at home, who are inimical to the establishment in New South Wales of the British Constitution. These persons were also unfriendly to the late substitution of English Law, in the place of the arbitrary Regulations of preceding Governors. But the history of every institution, which has eminently blessed mankind, will shew the impolicy of withholding a great and general benefit, until those for whom it is calculated should be unanimous in their petition to obtain it.