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344

which Legislation proceeds here,
and the urgent necessity of
forwarding the settlement of a
question which had for so long
a period been anxiously considered,
and on which most practical
men had made up their minds,
appeared to demand more immediate
action in the matter than had
at first been contemplated.

The main object which all
parties have claimed to hold
principally in view in dealing
with the Land Question, has
been what is propularly termed
the settlement of the country.

It has been strongly urged
that a reduction of the present
price of land, from twenty
shillings to five shillings per
acre, would be the means of
attracting to this Colony a
large proportion of that Desirable
class of settlers, whose exodus
from the United Kingdom is now
mainly in the direction of
Canada and the United States,
and (among the Australasian
Colonies,) of New Zealand. It has
been argued that if an emigrant
can obtain good land for
agricultural purposes, after an
easy journey, and at a
comparatively trifling distance,
from England (at one dollar
an acre, he can hardly be
expected to undertake a voyage
of 16,000 miles to a Colony where
the same quantity of land would
cost

345

cost him a pound.

Your Excellency's Government,
however, after much consideration
were entirely unable to depart
from the strong feeling which
they had originally entertained,
that a reduction in the price
of land, would fail to secure
the desired advantages, while it
must inevitably be productive
of serious evils.

That the reduction of the
upset price to five shillings would
of itself be powerless to place
this Colony in fair competition
with others, is obvious from
the consideration, that even if
the fee simple of our land had
been reduced to a price more
nearly approaching to that obtaining
in America, only one of the
disadvantages under which
Emigration to Queensland had
laboured would have been
partially obviated. The bona
fide intending agriculturist
on the spot prefers to pay
the higher price for good land,
rather than to see the operations
of the speculator encouraged, by
the power to buy up in large
quantities and retail at his
own price those lands which
should from time to time be
alienated from the Crown to the
Cultivator at a fair rate.
The serious disturbance the
existing value of property acquired
from the Crown, which would
ensue

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