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2-137 (Raw)

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author,male,Jamison, John,un addressee
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Government English
Petitions & Proclamations
Clark, 1977
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2-137-raw.txt — 4 KB

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The Petition of the Free Inhabitants of New South Wales, at a Public Meeting, duly convened at Sydney, in the said Colony, on Tuesday, the 12th day of April, 1836, to take into consideration a Printed Petition to His Majesty and another to your Honorable House, now in circulation for signature, and to adopt such measures for approval or disapproval of the subject matter of those Petitions as the public interests and safety may require.
To the Honourable the Commons of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, in Parliament assembled.
Humbly sheweth That your Petitioners also fully admit the truth of the allegation in the Petition to the House of Commons, "That the Legislative Council, as at present constituted, is inadequate to the exigencies of the Colony, and has no hold upon the public confidence." [333] But your Petitioners are of opinion that the Legislative Council, which is therein proposed as a substitute for the present Legislative Council, would from its obvious defects and mischievous tendencies prove still more inadequate, unpopular and odious, inasmuch as the right of the Governor alone to originate laws on his high and single responsibility, his presence and that of the Chief Justice to aid with his eminent knowledge and talents in the deliberations of the Council, and the infusion into it of a number of public officers, are the only safeguards which the Colonists possess (constituted as the Council now is, and as these Petitions still propose it to be, wholly of non-elective Members) against a factious oligarchy, who already hold it in equipoise, and trusting to their secret influence in the Mother Country hope to increase the number, and thus to acquire an undisputed preponderance, which would have the effect of placing virtually at their disposal the whole power and revenue of the Colony.
That your Petitioners feel strongly on this point that they would infinitely prefer a recurrence to the old despotic form of Government, under which the Governor for the time being combined the Legislative as well as Executive authority in his own person, either to the present Legislative Council or to the still more numerous and irresponsible Non-elective Council which is thus sought to be introduced in its stead.
That the only safe and effectual remedy for the admitted defects of the present- Legislative Council consists in the establishment of a Representative Legislature upon a wide and liberal basis; and that the wishes and wants of a vast majority of the Free Colonists on this point, as well as on other matters affecting their chief interests, are fully set forth in their last Petition to your Honorable House, presented by Henry Lytton Bulwer, Esquire. [...]
That your Petitioners, however, consider that no necessity has been or can be shewn to justify the exclusion from the rights and privileges of Citizenship of the Freed Colonists, upon any other grounds than those of conviction of crime committed in this Colony, and bad repute; grounds of exclusion which the Local Legislature has already adopted in the construction of Juries, and will doubtless adopt from analogous reasons in the regulation of the elective and representative franchises, whenever they shall be extended to the Colony That, in the opinion of your Petitioners, the aforesaid Printed Petitions have beers got up by a small illiberal party, who have long displayed their unbending hostility to the best interests of the Colony, for the purpose of inducing His Majesty's Ministers and Your Honorable House still further to delay the granting of those Free Institutions from which we have already been too long debarred, under the hope that something may in the meanwhile occur to further their views. [334]
Your Petitioners therefore humbly pray that your Honorable House, on the expiration of the present Act providing for the Government of this Colony, will be pleased to address His Majesty to grant your Petitioners a Representative Assembly upon a wide and liberal basis; or that your Honorable House will be pleased to introduce, instead of the present Legislative Council, a Legislative Council arid Assembly, consisting of not fewer than fifty Members, three-fourths of whom to be elected by your Petitioners, arid the remaining fourth to be the nominees of His Majesty. And your Petitioners, as in duty bound, shall ever pray.