British Colonial Developments, 1774-1834

By Vincent Harlow; Frederick Madden | Go to book overview

66
NEW SOUTH WALES: MINUTE OF THE COMMITTEE FOR TRADE, 14 July 18041

[It is directed that Macarthur's Memorial, together with his evidence and that of ex­Govemor Hunter and John Prinsep on the great possibilities of a trade in wool with New South Wales, and the opinion of the woollen manufacturers that 'wool of a very fine quality suited to the manufacture of fine cloth' may be produced there and 'brought to this country at a price which the manufacturers can afford to give for that material', are to be sent to Lord Camden.]

. . . That their Lordships also conceive that, without more knowledge than they now possess of the nature and state of the colony and without full communication with the Government of the settlement, inconvenience might arise from recommending an unconditional grant of lands to Mr. MacArthur or to a Joint Company or to any individual, as such grant might retard or prevent the other inhabitants of New South Wales from turning their attention to the growth and cultivation of fine wool, or perhaps in other respects counteract the improvement of the Colony. . . .

[The Committee consider that Macarthur's plan should be referred to the Governor for his comments and that the Governor should be instructed to encourage the growing of fine wool in New South Wales by what means he considers most suitable.]

That the Lords of the Committee think it right to observe that a conditional grant of lands of a reasonable extent may be perhaps with safety granted to Mr. MacArthur for the pasturage of sheep only, or to other persons, provided a power be reserved in such a grant to resume the same at any future period on giving other land farther distant from the cultivated land of the colony (with reasonable indemnification for expenses incurred in fencing &c.) and that such conditional grant would not cramp the cultivation of the Colony or be attended with bad effects in any manner at present apparent to the Lords of this Committee. . . .

[The Governor should be instructed to supply the convicts with mutton from sheep of fine fleeces instead of providing salted provisions.]

That the information obtained from the fleeces brought from the settlement in question and from the description given of the climate of the colony, the Lords of the Committee are led to imagine and entertain hopes that wool of a fine quality may be produced in this Colony and that as wool of such a fine quality is much wanted and desired by the manufacturers of cloth in England, it being mostly

____________________
1
B.T. 5/14, pp. 355-9. John Hunter had been Governor of N.S.W. between 1795 and , 1800. J. Prinsep was a London merchant who had on several occasions tried to interest the Committee in opening a regular trade with Port Jackson.

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