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2-134 (Text)

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In conclusion, I may be allowed to express an opinion, that in no point of view does this colony present the unhappy spectacle which Mr. Burton holds up. However prevalent crime may be, it is not more so, in proportion to its numbers, than formerly, nor so much so as might naturally have been expected among a population chiefly consisting of the criminal outcasts of another country. In the meantime, agriculture and commerce are advancing, and every year is placing out of the reach of ordinary temptations, and in the ranks of those interested in maintaining the rights of property, many who commenced life in their systematic violation. I regret much that Mr. Burton should have thought it necessary to put forth an address which dwells upon and even exaggerates evils from which none could expect a penal colony to escape, while it suppresses all mention of the numerous causes for congratulation which are everywhere apparent.
It has served, in a way which I am sure Mr. Burton never intended, to encourage the clamour of those inconsistent persons who have attained to wealth by the services of convicts; who, up to the present moment, are emulating each other in frequent and urgent application for more convict servants; who are continually travelling to their farms and remote stations, over roads of great length and difficult construction, wholly formed by the labour of convicts; yet spend their lives in cavilling at the evils by which these advantages are inevitably accompanied, and charge them on the Government.