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Legislative Council have by address expressed their satisfaction at the conditions which it has been judged proper to impose for the public advantage in this
36. The next and last promise of aid to be drawn from the source in question, which, with the advice of my Executive Council, I have given, is a conditional grant of 200,000l. within a term of three years to effect the execution of the most important works connected with the sewerage of this great and rapidly increasing and crowded city. The object is one of so much importance, not only to the inhabitants, but through these to the whole colony, that I could not have hesitated as to the course which it was proper for me to pursue. I may observe, that the prorogation of the Legislative Council was purposely delayed in order to give it time to complete the necessary legislation to carry out these works without delay; but to this subject I shall shortly have occasion to advert more especially in a distinct Despatch.
37. It now remains to consider the course to be pursued in future, and what arrangements it may become me to submit for the consideration of Her Majesty's Government, not only to obviate existing doubts, and place the expenditure of the unappropriated moiety, ordinarily so called, but of the entire land revenue of the colony, upon a satisfactory footing, considering the present state and future prospects of the community over which I have the honour to preside. The subject is one of the first and greatest importance, and I would presume upon my long acquaintance with the colony and the growth and direction of public feeling, to assure Her Majesty's Government that it would be well that the fair and just settlement of the question were no longer delayed.
38. It appears to me that the time has arrived when any limitation to the powers of the Colonial Government in applying, with the aid of the legislature, the proceeds of the different sources of colonial revenue to the wants and requirements of the colony, which cannot be demonstrated to be absolutely called for must be deprecated. It is not necessary to enter into the question of the abstract right of the Crown to deal with the Crown revenue as She may see fit. It has been most fully conceded that their employment in any manner whatever foreign to the peculiar interests, direct or indirect, of the colony where they may be raised, is no longer contemplated. As time moves on, the experience of each succeeding year proves that reasons which might have hitherto been adduced against the concession of full powers to the Colonial Government to control and appropriate to the public advantage the land in common with the general revenue, are becoming of less and less value, and that a perseverance in past usages and cautious policy cannot be defended by having recourse to them.
39. The subject has long received my most anxious consideration, and my advice now must be, that Her Majesty's Government, while retaining in its hands, for the present, the management of the Crown lands, and decision as to the mode in which such revenue should be raised, would take into consideration the propriety of placing the entire and unreserved disposal of the land fund of the colony in the hands of the Government and Legislative Council. No sufficient reason can be assigned why this concession should not be made and this confidence shown; and if so, the sooner it be shown the better. I do not see that any interest would suffer in consequence; that of immigration least of all; and in every general point of view the course would be a wise one.
40. In this view I am fully borne out by the opinion of my Executive Council, and it is with its concurrence and by its advice that I now lay the subject before you, and transmit the enclosed copy of a report which I have requested the Attorney-General, with the assistance of the Auditor-General, to lay before it, setting forth the manner in which the Crown revenues of the colony are now appropriated, assigning the particular grounds upon which a change of system with respect to the mode of appropriation may at this time be held desirable, and embodying such suggestions for the future disposal of the same as appear called for at the present time.
The Right Hon. Sir John S. Pakington,
I have, &c. (Signed)
C. J. LATROBE.
Encl. 1 in No. 3.
Encl. 2 in No. 3.
Encl. 3 in No. 3.
Enclosure 1 in No. 3.
To his Excellency, Charles Joseph Latrobe, Esq., Governor of the Colony of Victoria
May it please your Excellency,
WE, Her Majesty's most dutiful and loyal Subjects, the Members of the Legislative Council of Victoria, in Council assembled, beg respectfully to represent to your Excellency, that in the opinion of the Council the exigencies of this colony are so great that the unappropriated moiety of the land fund is necessary for the general wants of this colony.
(Signed) J. F. PALMER,
Enclosure 2 in No. 3.
Extract from the Votes and Proceedings of the Legislative Council.
Friday, 10th December 1852.
1. Council met, pursuant to adjournment.-The speaker took the chair.
2. Address.-The Colonial Secretary announced to the Council that, pursuant to the
No. 51. Crown Revenue-adopted on the motion of Mr. O'Shanassy; and that his
The Lieutenant-Governor has received an address from the Legislative Council, No. 51.,
In reply, the Lieutenant Governor would point out to the Council, that in the estimates of future expenditure now under consideration, he has apprised the Council of the amount of expenditure which in his opinion the public service of the colony would call for in the year 1853. He is quite ready, as far as lies in his power, to pay proper attention to any further and additional appropriation which the Council may judge it expedient to make for that year.
He would also state, that in the case of its being found that the general revenue of 1853, with the assistance of the 300,000l. transferred, as proposed, from the territorial revenue, is insufficient to meet the requisite expenditure, he should hold it his duty, under the advice of his Executive Council, to make up the deficiency, as far as may be, from the balance of the unappropriated moiety of the land fund.
The Lieutenant-Governor considers that under the recent authority conveyed to him on the part of Her Majesty's Government he possesses the powers of doing so.
But if the object of the Council in its present address be, to induce the LieutenantGovernor to pledge himself to an unconditional transfer of the unappropriated moiety of the land fund to the general revenue, to be placed on the ways and means, the Lieutenant-Governor must state his regret that a compliance with the wish of the Council is, at this time, quite out of his power.
It is clear that he never could be held justified in taking that course without the express sanction of Her Majesty's Government.
The opinion of the Council shall be brought under the notice of the Home Government without unnecessary delay.
Government Offices, Melbourne, 10th December 1852.
Enclosure 3 in No. 3.
2. The appropriation of the Crown revenues is regulated by the following clauses
this present Act within any such colony, shall in the first instance be chargeable upon "and defrayed from the proceeds of sales of waste lands, unless provision shall other"wise be made for defraying such charges by any law or ordinance to be enacted by the "local legislature of any such colony.
"That, subject to the charge above mentioned, the gross proceeds of the sales of the "waste lands of the Crown in each of the said colonies shall be appropriated and applied to the public services of the said colonies respectively, in such menner as Her Majesty or the Commissioners of Her Majesty's Treasury, or any three of them, shall "from time to time direct: Provided always, that one equal half part at least of such gross proceeds shall be and the same is hereby appropriated towards defraying the "expense of the removal from the United Kingdom to the colony wherein such revenue "accrued of emigrants not possessing the means of defraying the expense of their own emigration thither, which money shall be expended by the Commissioners of Her Majesty's Treasury, or by such person or persons as shall be authorized by them to expend the same, but subject to such regulations regarding the selection of emigrants, "the means to be provided for their conveyance, and their superintendence during the
voyage to the colony to which they are destined, and for their reception and settlement "in that colony, as shall from time to time be prescribed by Her Majesty in Her Privy
Council, or through one of Her Majesty's Principal Secretary of State to the Governor "of such respective colonies, and to the Commissioners for the time being of Colonial "Lands and Emigration."
3. We propose to consider, first, the primary charges upon the territorial revenue; secondly, the manner of appropriating the moiety of this revenue not reserved for immigration; thirdly, the manner of appropriating the reserved moiety; and to submit for his Excellency's consideration such amendments as, in our opinion, might be with safety and wisdom effected in the law.
4. The primary charges are the expenses of survey, sale, and management, comprising, in addition to commission on sales, the salaries and contingencies of the departments of the Surveyor-General and the Commissioners of Crown Lands.
5. For these departments the local Legislature may, if it should think fit, make provision, although, with reference to the survey departments, this arrangement has not been hitherto proposed to the Council of this colony. We are of opinion that there is no valid reason for withholding from them the opportunity of making this provision, and that by uniting the departments of "Survey" and of "Roads and Bridges" considerable advantage would be gained. We conceive that the survey of the country is so intimately connected with the formation of roads and bridges, and with engineering operations in the interior, that the officer engaged in these duties should, if possible, belong to one department, or, at least, act under one general direction. From the want of this unity, we could readily point to many cases of great and unnecessary expense and inconvenience entailed upon both the public and individuals. We see no reason to imagine that there would be on the part of the Council any unwillingness to make the provision required for this service, and we consider that the present time, when the necessity of advancing the survey of Crown lands for the purposes of sale is strenuously urged upon the Government, is a suitable occasion for effecting this arrangement.
6. The expense of the Crown Lands Commission, at all times comparatively insignificant, has in the present year been rendered more so in consequence of the commissioners being appointed stipendiary magistrates, and receiving salaries from the general revenue. Indeed the only remaining charges upon the territorial revenue under this head are the pay and expenses of the bailiffs and constables employed in the collection of petty licences. and the protection of Crown property. There would under no circumstances be any difficulty in providing for these charges; the first as a cost of collection; the second under the head of police.
7. After deducting these primary charges, the territorial revenue is divided into equal moieties; one appropriated for emigration from the United Kingdom; the other, which we propose first to consider, placed at the disposal of the Crown" for the public services "of the colony."
8. Before the discovery of gold in Victoria, the whole of the unappropriated moiety, with
but trifling deductions) was expended in the same manner as the other. The Despatch 15th September
transmitting the Land Sales Act expressly states that "it is by no means intended by this 1842.
provision to enact that the other moiety or any part of it may not likewise be so applied, although on this point it has been deemed expedient to reserve a discretion to the "Crown. Should the circumstances of the colony be such as to render a larger outlay
on emigration desirable, and the means from other sources adequate to meet the current expenditure, there is no reason why a sum equal to the whole gross amount of the proceeds of the land sales should not be directed to that object;" and the general opinion, both in New South Wales proper and in this province, was favourable to the introduction of as many emigrants as the whole land fund could bring. Since the discovery of gold, however, the receipts on account of land sales have accumulated so rapidly as to leave a considerable balance on account of the appropriated moiety unexpended, the other being, as far as emigration is concerned, untouched.
9. It is therefore necessary to revert to the intention of the original framers of the Act with respect to the expenditure of the latter moiety. In Lord Stanley's Despatch, already quoted, Sir George Gipps is thus instructed:
"There are, however, certain items of expenditure, legitimately falling upon the land "revenue, which I think it desirable that the Crown should retain in its own hands. "The first of these is the application of such sums, and in such manner as you may
VICTORIA. judge most expedient, not exceeding in the whole fifteen per cent. of the gross proceeds "of the land sales, for the benefit, civilization, and protection of the aborigines. The next "is intimately connected with, though perhaps not strictly included in, the terms of the "18th section, being an expenditure in roads and bridges, &c., for the purpose of opening " and making more easily available lands which it may be in your contemplation to
bring into the market. The discretionary power thus given to you to incur expendi"ture in opening roads applies of course to main lines of communication only, and the "funds thus placed at your disposal are on no account to be diverted to purposes of par
tial, local, or individual interest. The two objects to which I have thus referred you "would consider as those to which, in the first instance, you would apply the proceeds of 66 SO much of the land sales as are not specifically appropriated to emigration. Of all "your expenditure of these proceeds you will lay before the Legislature periodical and "detailed accounts, and you will pay over to the general account of the colony any sums "which may remain, after making, in your judgment, adequate provision for these objects, "to be appropriated by the Legislature in aid of the ordinary and current services.” And the minute of the Lords of the Treasury accompanying the Despatch is as follows:
"With reference to the 19th clause of the Act of the 5 & 6 Victoria, cap. 36., for regulating the sale of waste lands belonging to the Crown in the Australian colonies, I am "commanded by the Lords Commissioners of Her Majesty's Treasury to acquaint you, "for the information of Lord Stanley, that subject to the appropriation out of the pro"ceeds of sales of waste lands for defraying charges incurred in any of the colonies for "the survey, management, and sale of the lands or otherwise carrying the Act into effect, "and for defraying expenses of the conveyance of emigrants from the United Kingdom "which are provided for in the Act, my Lords are pleased, so far as regards the proceeds "of sales of waste lands of the Crown in the colony of New South Wales, to authorize "the appropriation by the Governor of the colony of a portion, not exceeding 157. out
every 100l., of the said proceeds, after payment of the first class of the above-mentioned charges, to expenditure for the benefit, civilization, and protection of the aborigines, and "the application of the remainder of those proceeds, or so much thereof as the Governor "of the colony may deem proper, for the construction of roads, bridges, or other means "of communication for the purpose of opening and making more easily available lands "which it may be desirable to offer for sale. And that my Lords are likewise pleased to "authorize the transfer to the general revenue fund of the said colony of any residue of those portions of the proceeds applicable to either of the last-mentioned purposes which may not be expended thereon."
10. It appears to us from these instructions that it was originally intended to hand over to the control of the Legislative Council the whole of the unappropriated moiety of the land fund (when not required for emigration), subject only to such special charges for aborigines, or for the formation of main lines of road, as the Government might not consider expedient to be left to the discretion of the Legislature.
11. This arrangement indeed had been more or less in force since the year 1835, and was seemingly made in consideration of the transfer to the colony of the entire charge (a part of which was formerly defrayed by the Imperial Government) for gaols and police. We extract the following paragraphs from Sir R. Bourke's addresses to the Legislative Council, and from Despatches of the Secretaries of State :
Sir B. Bourke's Address May 18, 1835.
Enclosure in Mr. Spring Rice's Despatch, November 15, 1834. Lord Glenelg's Despatch, July 10, 1835.
"In these estimates a charge for the maintenance of the police and gaol establish"ments is introduced by command of His Majesty's Government. To enable the Council "to provide for this charge, His Majesty has been graciously pleased to place at your dlsposal the surplus of the land revenue, and of the other casual revenues of the Crown beyond the sums appropriated for the assistance of emigrants."
My Lords are prepared to acquiesce in the local treasuries continuing in the receipt "of the land revenue beyond the sums appropriated for the assistance of emigrants. His Majesty has desired that the whole cost of emigration should continue to be defrayed "from the land revenue of the Crown, furnishing a supply more than sufficient for the purpose, and that the balance should be paid into the colonial treasury, in aid of the expense of police and gaols."
"You will consider yourself authorized to place in the colonial treasury whatever "revenue of the Crown may remain unappropriated at the expiration of every year, after paying the expenses incurred on account of emigration, and after defraying any other charges which His Majesty's Government should think proper to direct should be borne on that revenue."
These instructions and declarations, which coincide in principle with the terms of Lord
12. But it is right that we should allude to the views on this question which have
"colonies. We recommend that of the territorial revenue realized in each district, the proportion thus left under their Lordships' control should be placed by them at the disposal of the district councils for objects of local concern, reserving only such a percentage as might be necessary for any purposes of general interest which ought to be charged upon this fund. It appears to us that by dedicating to these purposes that part "of the land fund which Parliament has left at the disposal of the Crown, many important "ends would be answered. The Executive Government in this country would be "relieved of a responsibility which is as needless as it is invidious. A powerful motive "would be called into action for the acceptance and employment of the proposed corporate "franchises."
Lord Grey appears to have entirely concurred in this proposal, and in his Despatch transmitting the new Constitutional Act, even stated that he proposed "communicating "with the Lords of the Treasury on the steps which should be adopted to carry these "views into effect." We observe also that Sir John Pakington in his Despatch in reply August 30, 1850, to the claims of the Town Council of Geelong considers "the principle that the unappro
priated moiety of the land fund, after defraying the ordinary establishments maintained
by it, should be applied as far as possible to meet the wants of the respective districts October 2, 1852, "in which it arises, is a very equitable one, in the absence of any object of general § 4. "interest to the community which may absolutely require pecuniary support from this 66 source."
13. These views appear to us to have kept Lord Stanley's original intention out of sight. We cannot find in any Despatch from Lord Grey the most distant intimation that any portion of the territorial revenue ought to be appropriated by the Legislative Council. In his reply to the Sydney remonstrance he appears to us to go even further, January 23, 1852, and to consider that the representatives of these colonies ought not to have any such $ 10, 12. control. Sir John Pakington, while he is willing to place the entire moiety at the disposal of the Governor and Executive Council, considers that the Legislature has no voice in the matter; alluding to a resolution, supposed (we presume) to have been passed by the Council demanding the control of this moiety, he states that "It is not in the June 2, 1852, § 23. "power of Her Majesty's Government, even if they considered that policy required such
a course, to make any concession to the views of the Legislative Council on this subject. "The appropriation of the land fund is fixed by Acts of Parliament." And the Lords of the Treasury, in their minutes upon the proposed appropriation of 10,000l. for roads and May 3, 1852. bridges, consider that the expenditure of this part of the land fund rests exclusively with June 18, 1852. themselves.
14. It appears to us, however, that the original arrangement, being as we have shown
to a certain extent of the nature of a compact, can with fairness be claimed by the colony, and that it should not, unless the change be clearly for the public benefit, be superseded
in favour of a municipal scheme which, in the opinion of the country, cannot be carried October 29, 1852. out, and which has more than once been rejected by the Legislature of the colony; and December 1, 1852 as that scheme appears to have been devised in order "to relieve the Executive Govern"ment of a responsibility which is as needless as it is invidious," we conclude that if its failure be admitted, Her Majesty's Government will be ready to return to the plan at first recommended by Lord Stanley.
15. We revert, however, to the two items of expenditure which it was considered that the Crown should retain, the charge for aborigines, and that for opening main lines of communication.
With respect to the first, we see no reason why it should be withheld from the Legislature.
The charge on the colony is so small (having been in 1851, 1,743l. 16s. 10d., in 1852, 1,587. 98. 1d., and estimated in 1853, 1,8321. 8s. Od.,) as to be secure from any fear of reduction on the score of economy; and viewing the unanimous feeling of the colonists towards the unhappy race whom they found in occupation of the soil, we cannot conceive that their "benefit, civilization, and protection" are likely to be lightly regarded by the Legislature.
16. With respect to the second item, we are clear that no object is gained by either virtually or nominally retaining its distribution by the Crown. It appears to us that control over the formation of roads and bridges throughout the colony is the peculiar province of a legislative body, and that composed as it is of representatives from all parts of the country, conversant with the wants of each locality, it will be one of is principal cares to appropriate to each district a sum proportioned to its requirements. We do not anticipate that, fairly represented as the colony is, there is any reason to fear that a particular section would be sacrificed for the advantage of the rest.
The objection urged by Lord Grey, that under these circumstances the remoter districts would be liable to suffer, we do not consider tenable, viewing the past proceedings of the legislature; were any unequal distribution proposed, the Government would be able to give either party the preponderance, and we are not aware that any apprehension of the grievance alluded to has ever been expressed by the persons who would be the first to suffer by it.
17. We arrive at a consideration of the remaining section of this revenue, viz., that, specially devoted to emigration, without reference to the past expenditure of this fund, the administration of which it is not our province to discuss, we are decidedly opinion that the time is now come when it may be safely and wisely transferred to the control of