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whole, we are rather indebted to our colony for a wholesome lesson, than our colony to us for our expenditure upon it of money and of morals too! And now let Captain Montagu express in good, clear, bureau language, the cheering and animating results of domestic penal discipline, as established by the experience of society in Van Diemen's Land. It should be observed, that although the references to the tables are the same, this officer's reports were made at two different periods: the first is carried down to the end of 1835, the second to the end of 1838. We begin with the former. *

“I request permission to refer your Excellency more particularly to Return No. 31, where it will be found, that the number of murders has decreased from 16 to 3, or from l} in every thousand of the population in 1824, to 1 in 1835 : manslaughter from in one thousand to do: so likewise in crimes against property. Burglary has decreased from 21 in 1824, to 5 in 1835, or from 1 in one thousand to s: housebreaking from to po: stealing in dwelling-houses from to do, and with putting in fear in addition, from 1 in 1000 to do. Sheep-stealing has decreased from } to }, although with great facilities, as well as greater temptation, from increased value.

“I must be permitted, moreover, to observe upon the humane policy of a system of government, which is so conspicuous as is exhibited in returns Nos. 32 and 33. The first of these shows a decrease in executions, from 1} in 1000 of the population, for the last six months of 1824, and from 3 in 1000, in 1826, to i per thousand for the whole of the year 1835 ; whilst the return No. 33, shows generally an increase in all minor offences and misdemeanors, more particularly from the year 1827, when the police magistrates were first appointed ; prior to which period offences of such descriptions were, from a variety of causes, comparatively speaking, undetected, and consequently unpunished....... From the circumstance, however, of the annual increase in the minor crimes for the last two or three years not being proportionately progressive, as compared with previous years, commencing with 1827, the attention which has, since that period, been bestowed on them, tends to the conclusion, that even those offences are upon the decrease.

....“ In 1824, the male convicts received that 'indulgence,' [ticket of leave] to the extent of 1014 per centum ; and, in 1835,

;--and the females, in 1824, from 235, to 67841; and of pardons, the males received, in 1824, 319 per centum ; and, in conduct of the convicts has not been obtained by any increase of indulgencies, but, on the contrary, with the exception of tickets of leave to the females, by a remarkable decrease ; so that it would appear to be ascribable only to an improved system of discipline for the prevention of crimes, but more particularly of minor offences."

; and the females, who, in 1829, (their first year), were at the rate of 258 per centum ; in 1835, were 145 By this return, it will therefore appear, that the improvement in the

142 8 5 14903

1835, 13800

14 903

* Statistical Returns, pp. 6, 7; Tables 31 to 36, inclusive.

And so, too, in his second report, this gentleman again expresses himself to the like effect upon the same question.

“ The number of executions in the colony for the three years ending December 1835, was 37 ; the number for the three years ending December 1838, was only 15; or not one-half ; the number for 1838 alone, being 3 ; and it is highly gratifying to find, that this more merciful system, has been attended with a decrease in crime.”+

“I would next call your Excellency's attention to returns 33* and 33 ** ; the former of which gives a summary of each description of the various offences brought before the police, for the half years ending 30th of June, and 31st of December 1838 ; and the latter a statement of punishments inflicted. It will be seen, that of the 13 descriptions of offences stated, a marked decrease has taken place in 9, those showing an increase being 3, the numbers in the other being the same.”

“ The latter return, more especially, shows that this decrease has been amongst the major offences, as the decrease in the number of persons flogged for the half-years has been 74, and the decrease in the number of lashes 8314, or nearly one-fourth.”

These results are indeed as triumphant as the reporter of them imagines them. But then they tell against the very system they are invoked to defend. For if such great results are attainable in Van Diemen's Land, why not in England ? And if in England, what becomes of transportation? There is, in short, an immeasurable difference between the impression produced by a present and palpable example, and that produced by the same cxample when localised some thousand miles off. And when once every British and Irish county has its own model-prison, penitentiary, or by whatsoever name its penal institution may hereafter be designated, we shall more than ever feel the good sense displayed by Captain Montagu, in the incidental observation to be found in his first report; where, speaking of the beneficial terror produced among the other convicts of Van Diemen's Land, by the neighbouring and familiar severities of Port Arthur, that prison of their own community, imperfect as it undoubtedly is, and much needing to be revised and mended, he says;

* Statistical Returns, pp. 14, 15; Tables 31 to 36, inclusive.

† By reference to Table 32, at the end of the Captain's Report, it appears that in these years the total amount of grave crimes was only 15 : viz. burglary, 2 ; cutting and maiming, 3; murder, 7; stealing in dwelling-houses, 3; and that the proportion of these crimes to every thousand of population, was, in 1836, 4; in 1837, 7g; and in 1838, .

# On referring to this table, we find that the offences here alluded to by Captain Montagu, are as follows: the nine offences are--felony, absconding, absence without leave, drunkenness, neglect of duty, insolence, idleness, assaults, and sureties of the peace (?) The three offences, are--lisobedience of orders, misdemeanors (?) and penal offences under colonial acts. The one remaining offence is insubordination. Surely there is much confusion and misapprehension in the above classification,

“ The conduct of the convicts in other parts of the colony, depends so much upon the success of the system pursued there, that an importance is in consequence attached to it, which ought not to b: lost sight of."

It must, however, be borne in mind, that “the success of the system pursued there,” can only be notorious to the free and bond inhabitants of Van Diemen's Land, who are on the spot, and “having eyes, can see” it, and “having ears can hear” thereof. Upon them it manifestly operates, for the most part at least, as all punishment should operate. But, as to the mother-country and her inhabitancies --Port Arthur labours under the same objections as those already pointed out by us with regard to transportation in the abstract: so far as British and Irish thieves are concerned, Port Arthur might just as well have no existence at all, as so remoto an one. If the quality of the treatment bestowed at Port Arthur upon its scoundrel sojourners, can only be made familiar to our own offenders, when they have been brought over the ocean to see and judge Van Diemen's Land for themselves, it is likely enough that those at home, at whose expense they have gained their title to a free passage thither, will consider it far too late for any beneficial purpose. In a word, these penitentiaries of Van Diemen's Land, be their success in repressing the local progress of crime in that colony what it may, must be wholly ineffectual to repress the like progress of crime in Europe.

Thus much we have found good to say upon these matters of preventive legislation, involving very considerably the interests of Van Diemen's Land, no less than of the mother-country. But there occurs to us another, and as we think, a far higher question; one which confines itself to the dearest interests of the weaker community exclusively, and therefore one which should not escape the attention of the stronger community, whose mandates are at all times capable of being enforced, even when they have not the recommendation of being just. If transportation is to be continued to Van Diemen's Land, what will become of the future nation of our own lineage, whereof the germ was planted there by us? There were two questions to be discussed before we could reconcile ourselves to see in our convicted criminals, the pioneers of our laws and civilisation in the Australasian wilderness! The first inquiry seemed to be, whether we had the right, as we unquestionably had the power, to possess ourselves of the virgin soil of the newfound country, in a way so strikingly opposed to what we read, in the earliest historians of the Anglo-Saxon race, * was the manner of the first occupancy of English soil, by the saintly founders of its civilisation ? Whether there were not a kind of sacrilege, a profanation of nature herself, in bringing down upon her the very pick and choice of all the grossest vices of an enormous age, impersonated in the thieves and harlots of our over-populous and corrupted cities; and bidding them take possession,--till,-increase and multiply upon the earth? Whether, at all events, after we had, by much encouragement, succeeded in placing among them at a later period, the antidotal influence of a strong body of at least freemen, whom our inviting representations and solicitations to that effect, had induced to go forth from amongst their kindred and their homes in Britain, to seek a new establishment, as resident and proprietary population of Australasia, whether it were a seemly and conscientious thing, at once to neutralise the antidote, and infect it in its turn, by pouring in additional supplies of the very poison against which we had invoked its aid? And, whether there were truth in the excuses which were sometimes offered ?—whether there can be any truth in any excuses that by possibility ever can be offered for such folly ? In short, it being, for the sake of the argument, granted by us, that the criminals of the British Isles should not be permitted to inhabit them with ourselves, nor breathe the air which we breathe, lest haply we ourselves might thereby become like unto them, and so the contamination overspread the whole land of our fathers; it was yet to be considered, whether, even in that hypothesis, we were authorised to rid ourselves of the contagion here, by banishing it among our brethren whom we ourselves had invited and encouraged to sit down in our most southern dominions; and, who had carried with them to those new abodes the same indelible character, the same inalienable rights of Briton and citizen, as they and we were born unto upon the soil of our common father-land? And when these questions had received their satisfactory solution, it was then to be inquired in the second place,-whether the proposed end were attainable by such means? Whether this deportation into exile and slavery of one part of our population, at the expense of the morality and peace of another part, were the likeliest way to uphold the peace and morality of the residue? But as our readers will have perceived, we felt our cause “ armed so strong in honesty," that we could afford to begin with the second question, that being the favorite one of the advocates of the system we impugn. Of which, having shown that the solution is conclusive against them, and for us, we presume that the simple announcement we have already made of the principles involved in this deferred discussion of the preliminary one, will be more than enough to silence the most contentious. And therefore, we shall here content ourselves with a few closing hints, which we have gathered from the authorities already cited at the head of this article, as well as from other ones as yet unpublished, and which we hope may afford our readers the same insight they have afforded ourselves into the existing condition of Van Diemen's Land, and the bad influence on the community at large, and on the individual members thereof, which the anomalies of their social position, and the peculiar character of one half of their whole population, have enabled

* Statistical Returns, &c. p. 8.

* “Studens autem vir Domini [Cedd.] acceptum monasterii locum primo prec cibus ac jejuniis a pristinâ flagitiorum sorde purgare, et sic in eo monasterii fundamenta jacere, postulavit à rege, ut sibi totum quadragesimæ tempus, quod instabat, facultatem ac licentiam ibidem orationis causâ demorandi concederet. ... Dicebat enim hanc 'esse consuetudinem eorum, à quibus normam disciplinæ regularis didicerat, ut accepta nuper loca ad faciendum monasterium vel ecclesiam, prius orationibus ac jejuniis Domino consecrent. .... Expleto studio jejuniorum et orationis, fecit ibi monasterium,” etc. (Venerabilis Beda Hist. Eccles. Gentis Anglorum (by Stevenson), lib. iii. cap. xxi. Pp. 211-12.) This was in the dark ages of Popery. Since the Reformation, England has followed a very different course in extending the blessings of her civilisation. Our savage forefathers received from their civilisers the bright example, and the hallowing practices, of pure worship and law. Moderns, on the contrary, have taught their wild proselytes to initate them in their vices. And lastly, monkish pioneers are now replaced by convicts! Well might Lord Bacon, in the seventeenth century exclaim : “ It is a shameful and unblessed thing, to take the scum of people, and wicked condemned men, to be the people with whom you plant.

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