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2-348 (Text)

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addressee author,male,Greeves, Augustus F.A.,un
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Government English
Petitions & Proclamations
Clark, 1977
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2-348-plain.txt — 3 KB

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Relative to the Alterations in the Constitutions of the Australian Colonies, p. 9. P.P. 1851, XXXV, 1303.
The Petition of the Colonists of the District of Port Phillip, Colony of New South Wales, in public meeting assembled.
That your Majesty's Petitioners represent a body as loyal and attached to British institutions as exists on the face of the entire globe, but they cannot but feel that those feelings are the result of British sentiment and ancient prepossession; and have neither been formed nor encouraged by any kindness that this district has ever yet received; that unsupported and unassisted it has risen to its present condition; that the mother-country has made it a mere field of patronage and area of experiment; that she has received Port Phillip exports; but because she could not elsewhere supply herself with produce of a better character, or cheaper rate; that she has sent to this province large quantities of various merchandise, but because these shores furnished her the very best customers in the world; that she has sent emigrants, but solely by aid of Port Phillip funds; that her protection, in case of war, is more likely to lead Port Phillip into annoyance than secure her efficient assistance in time of need, and that it must never be forgotten that while the objects of thankfulness are so few as scarcely to have existence at all, this district has but lately been exposed at the hands of the British people to an attempt at conversion into a penal settlement - an attack at once insulting to its dignity and common sense, and utterly opposed to every interest and every principle; that while such has been the character of the Home Government of this province, the colonial government has never been found by the colonists anything but another name for oppression and unjustifiable spoliation, and they have no faith in the promises made of a better state of things in future, should separation be any longer deferred; that the natural effect of a continuance of this treatment is such as your Majesty's Petitioners are most unwilling to contemplate, for the inhabitants of this province having availed themselves of every legal and constitutional means in their power to rid themselves of a burden which has become altogether intolerable, having petitioned and remonstrated year after year, in every form and through every channel open to them, and still finding their deliverance unnecessarily delayed, and it may be seriously endangered, are likely to be wound up to such extreme irritation, as must be highly detrimental to the continuance of those feelings of loyalty to your Majesty's throne, and attachment to the institutions of their native land, which ought to distinguish a British colony. That your Majesty's Petitioners are therefore of the deliberate opinion, that farther tantalising the inhabitants of Port Phillip with promises of deliverance, which have hitherto been made only to be broken, is altogether inexcusable; leaves the British government openly chargeable with having rashly tampered with time affections of a whole people, and renders it responsible for any step of which the irritation of disappointed hopes, and time continual failure of the customary means of securing redress, may eventually induce the adoption. 
Your Majesty's Petitioners therefore, humbly pray that your Majesty will, irrespective of the general Bill for the Government of the Australian Colonies, cause to be laid before Parliament on its reassembling, a Bill for the separation of this province from New South Wales, and its immediate erection into a separate colony, bearing your Majesty's Royal name of Victoria, with legislative institutions, corresponding with those now existing in the colony.
And Your Majesty's Petitioners will ever pray.
Mayor of Melbourne, Chairman.