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2-277 (Text)

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addressee,male author,male,Gipps, George,53
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Government English
Imperial Correspondence
Clark, 1977
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2-277-plain.txt — 2 KB

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I next desire to draw your Lordship's attention to the Social and Moral evils, which such a state of things, if left unameliorated, must of necessity lead to.
We here see a British Population spread over an immense territory, beyond the influence of civilization, and almost beyond the restraints of Law. Within this wide extent, a Minister of Religion is very rarely to be found. There is not a place of Worship, nor even a School. So utter indeed is the destitution of all means of instruction, that it may perhaps be considered fortunate that the population has hitherto been one almost exclusively male. But Women are beginning to follow into the Bush; and a race of Englishmen must speedily be springing up in a state approaching to that of untutored barbarism.
The occupiers of this vast wilderness, not having a property of any sort in the soil they occupy, have no inducement to make permanent improvements on it. Some Land indeed has been brought into cultivation, in order to diminish the very heavy expense of obtaining supplies from the settled parts of the Colony; and here and there a Building has been erected, which may deserve the name of a Cottage; but the Squatters in general live in Huts made of the Bark of Trees; and a Garden, at least anything worthy of the name, is a mark of civilization rarely to be seen.
On the other hand, it is well worthy of remark that there are, amongst the Squatters and living the life which I have described, great numbers of young men every way entitled to be called gentlemen, young men of Education, and many of good family and connexions in Europe. The presence of young men of this description beyond the Boundaries has been highly advantageous; first in lessening the rudeness of Society in what is called the "Bush", and secondly, as affording the materials for a local Magistracy. On a former occasion, I remarked how unjust it would be to confound the Squatters of Australia with those who bear the same name in America (Memorandum on Land selling, which accompanied my Despatch, No. 192 of the 19th December, 1840). 
As good too is ever springing out of evil, I may remark that the disasters, which have recently overtaken great numbers of our Settlers, have had the effect of driving many estimable persons into the Bush with their Wives and families where their influence can hardly fail to be advantageously felt.
Independent, therefore, of any considerations of Revenue, the time seems to me to be arrived, when some alteration is required in the Administration of the Lands of the Crown beyond the Boundaries of Location, in order to relieve the Government from the reproach, not simply of permitting the continuance of such a state of things, but actually of prohibiting amendment; and, to do this, not only should a portion of the Lands now occupied by License, be opened to Location in the usual way, but facilities should also be afforded to Squatters in general of securing to themselves permanent interest in some parts of the Lands they occupy.