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2-311 (Original)

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All this Redundance of the Necessaries and Luxuries of Life is rendered valueless from the great and increasing Scarcity of Labour. Wages since you left have, I should say, nearly doubled. In many Parts of the Colony Shepherds are receiving £30 and £40 a year; and I am told that in the Port Philip District Flockmasters have in some few Cases been obliged to give as much as £1 a Week for Shepherds. In Sydney I am assured that the Want of Female Servants is felt more urgently than ever, and that Housemaids and other domestic Servants are asking and receiving £25 and £30 a Year. All this you will, I think, admit is ruinous to the Master, and generally in the End far from advantageous to the Labourer. So great indeed is the Alarm that is felt on the Subject, that, as you may probably have seen by the Papers, Efforts have been made to induce the Home Government to renew transportation to the Colony. The Proposition has been met with great Opposition on the Part of the Labouring Classes, and also of many influential Persons, including generally the Ministers of Religion, who deprecate the Idea of the Colony being again converted into a Receptacle for the Crime and Vice of Britain. The Reply to this is, that the Want of Labour is so irresistible that unless procured in this Way we must have recourse, and that upon an extensive Scale, to the systematic Introduction of Expiree Convicts from Van Diemen's Land and Norfolk lsland, - Characters who are generally found, after the Schooling they have had in those Places, to be infinitely more immoral than Convicts sent direct from England; for the Fact is, we must have Labour in some Shape or other, - free Labour if we can get it, - if not, this Prison Labour, and failing either, Coolie Labour.