British Colonial Developments, 1774-1834

By Vincent Harlow; Frederick Madden | Go to book overview

likewise be placed there, for the purpose of watching and giving notice of the number of cattle and sheep that pass the mountains. A stock yard might also be placed at this station for the reception of cattle, and in this manner it would be found practicable to combine the advantages of police with those of temporary refreshment to the sheep and grazing stock, that is very requisite for them after passing over the sterile ridges of the Blue Mountains. . . .

It is in removing impediments of this kind, and in the distribution of agricultural labourers, that it appears to me that the local Government can afford the most beneficial assistance to the first efforts of individuals in agricultural enterprises, leaving to them at a future period the task of carrying on the improvements of the communications between the remoter positions and the ports or depôts to which the produce may be carried.

A proposal was submitted to Governor Macquarie in the year 1820, for the establishment of a joint stock company in New South Wales for the growth and production of fine wool. In aid of this establishment pecuniary assistance was requested by advances from the police fund; the assignment of agricultural labourers as they arrived from England; an unlimited range for flocks of sheep in the interior, not approaching nearer to the settled estates than five miles; and an importation of sheep of the pure Merino breed at the expense of Government, the cost of which was to be repaid at a future period, and in the meantime to be secured upon the shares of the subscribers and the flocks of sheep as they might be produced. . . .

Upon the expediency of promoting in the colony of New South Wales the growth of fine wool, and creating a valuable export from thence to Great Britain, no doubt can be entertained, as it appears to be the principal, if not the only source of productive industry within the colony, from which the settlers can derive the means of repaying the advances made to them from the mother country, or supplying their own demands for articles of foreign manufacture1 . . . .


(c) Cotton

68
MINUTE OF THE COMMITTEE FOR TRADE

Read letter from Mr. William Frodsham, one of the delegates for the manufacturers of Manchester, dated the 20th September,

____________________
2

B.T. 5/4, PP. 362-3. An illustration of the world-wide search for cotton to

I

In 1834 New South Wales and Van Diemen's Land together accounted for 3,557,538 lb. imported into Britain out of a total of 43,171,769 lb., about half of which came from Germany (Customs 5/23). The special softness of the wool enabled it to fetch as much as 3s. 6d. to 4s. per lb. in the middle years of the 1820's.

-386-

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