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2-365 (Original)

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Fellow Colonists of New South Wales, is it necessary, after these explanations, that I should now call upon you to join the Australian League, to give freedom and independence to your adopted country? There is clearly nothing else worth agitating for in our present circumstances, and be assured that if you do agitate for this great boon with earnestness and determination, you will certainly obtain it. So long as we continue a dependency of England, our condition will be that of a mere football, kicked about at pleasure by every underling in Downing Street, and condemned to utter insignificance as a community. (Strong expressions of assent.) But as a Sovereign and Independent State, our noble city would be the flourishing capital of a great and powerful confederation - a confederation whose representatives would be respected and honoured in every nation in Christendom, and which would ere long give the law to the boundless Pacific. (Much cheering.) As a mere colony we shall descend rapidly, as we are now actually doing, into insignificance and poverty, and be pointed at with the finger of scorn by all free nations; but as a Sovereign and Independent State, capital and emigration, enterprise and moral worth would again flow to our shores, the vast resources of our noble country would be rapidly developed, and prosperity would again revisit and cheer our land. (Loud and protracted cheering.)
Natives of New South Wales, it cannot surely be needful to call upon you to join a League for the achievement of the freedom and independence of your native land. [420] You have hitherto, even in the estimation of Great Britain herself, been the tail of the world, and every brainless creature of blighted prospects and broken fortunes from England, with no personal merit but servility, and no intellectual qualification but toadyism, has been systematically placed above you even in this the land of your birth. Why, it is a rule of the service under the present regime that no native of the Colony, however able, talented and meritorious he may have proved himself, can be appointed by the Governor to any office under government with a salary above £100 a year. (Loud and indignant cries of Shame.) You have all heard, I doubt not, of our Public Educational Institutions going down, and proving an utter failure one after another: but is there not a sufficient reason for such a calamity in this systematic exclusion of the native youth from all such offices and employments under Government, as would create a demand for a superior education, and call forth the talents and energies of an ingenuous mind? (Loud and indignant expressions of assent from all quarters.) In fact there is no career open for the native youth in this their own country, under that vile system of government under which it is our calamity to live. (Continued expressions of approbation.) Unless they can get into a draper's shop or into a merchant's office as a junior clerk, which it is generally very difficult for them to do, or into a solicitor's office - in which case they will have to prowl about the Supreme Court for years together, no very safe situation for a young man of unfixed principles - they must either go as shepherds and stockmen into the interior, or open a butcher's shop, or get a publican's licence for one or other of our Colonial towns, expending their energies thenceforth in such trivial and contemptible pursuits as horse-racing, boat-racing and cricketing. And what sort of cattle are those that are sent out as heads of departments here, with the Secretary of State's brand upon them, to live at our expense and to eat the fat of the land? Why, as I told Lord Stanley once, the Treasury benches of the late Legislative Council might, with only one, or at the utmost two exceptions, have been styled with the greatest propriety, the "Refuge for the Destitute". (Great laughter and cheers of assent.) But as a Sovereign and Independent State, some native youth would in all probability rise to be one of the heads of the civilised world, in- instead of being the very tail of it as at present, and our country would forthwith assume one of the proudest and most influential positions on the face of the earth. (Great cheering.) Indeed there can scarcely be a limit set to the wealth and resources, the power and the grandeur of the future Australian nation. From the South Cape of Van Diemen's Land to Cape York, it will one day compromise a whole series of powerful states, and its influence will be beneficially felt over the multitude of the isles of the Western Pacific. In short, taking into account the vast galaxy of isles to the eastward and northward of Australia, in addition to the extensive coasts of this great continental island itself, I question whether even the United States of America will have a more extensive field of political power and of moral influence to expatiate over than will one day acknowledge the sovereignty of the United Provinces of Australia. [421] (Renewed and continued cheering.)
Sons of the soil! the die is cast!
And your brothers are nailing their flag to the mast;
And their shout on the land, and their voice on the sea,
Is "The land of our birth is a land of the Free." - (Loud cheering.)
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