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Historical Records of New Zealand

The “Plan.“

The “Plan.“

The following is a rough outline of the many advantages that may result to this nation from a settlement made on the coast of New South Wales:—

Its great extent and relative situation with respect to the eastern and southern parts of the globe is a material consideration. Botany Bay, or its vicinity, the part that is proposed to be first settled, is not more than sixteen hundred leagues from Lima and Baldivia [Valdivia], with a fair open navigation, and there is no doubt but that a lucrative trade would soon be opened with the Creole Spaniards for English manufactures. Or suppose we were again involved in a war with Spain, here are ports of shelter and refreshment for our ships, should it be necessary to send any into the South Sea.

From the coast of China it lies not more than about a thousand leagues, and nearly the same distance from the East Indies, from the Spice Islands about seven hundred leagues, and near a month’s run from the Cape of Good Hope.

The variety of climates included between the forty-fourth and tenth degrees of latitude give us an opportunity of uniting in one territory almost all the productions of the known world. To explain this more fully I will point out some of the countries which are situated within the same extent of latitude, on either side of the Equator. They are China, Japan, Siam, India, Persia, Arabia-felix, Egypt, Greece, all Turkey, the Mediterranean Sea, Italy, Spain, South of France, and Portugal, with Mexico, Lima, Baldivia [Valdivia], and the greatest part of the Pacific Ocean, to which may be added the Cape of Good Hope, &c., &c.

page 47

From this review it will, I think, be acknowledged that a territory so happily situated must be superior to all others for establishing a very extensive commerce, and of consequence greatly increase our shipping and number of seamen. Nor is it mere presumption to say the country is everywhere capable of producing all kinds of spices, likewise the fine Oriental cotton, indigo, coffee, tobacco, with every species of the sugar-cane, also tea, silk, and madder. That very remarkable plant known by the name of the New Zealand flax-plant may be cultivated in every part, and in any quantity, as our demands may require. Its uses are more extensive than any vegetable hitherto known, for in its gross state it far exceeds anything of the kind for cordage and canvas, and may be obtained at a much cheaper rate than those materials we at present get from Russia, who may perhaps at some future period think it her interest to prohibit our trade for such articles, and the difficulties that must arise in such a case are too obvious to mention, but are everywhere provided against in this proposal.

With but a trifling expence and a little industry we may in the course of a few years establish a commercial mart on one island comprehending all the articles of trade in itself and every necessary for shipping, not to mention the great probability of finding in such an immense country metals of every kind.

At a time when men are alarmed at every idea of emigration I wish not to add to their fears by any attempt to depopulate the parent state. The settlers of New South Wales are principally to be collected from the Friendly Islands and China. All the people required from England are only a few that are possessed of the useful arts and those comprized among the crews of the ships sent on that service.

The American loyalists would here find a fertile, healthy soil, far preferable to their own, and well worthy their industry, where, with a very small part of the expence the Crown must necessarily be at for their support, they may be established now comfortably, and with a greater prospect of success than in any other place hitherto pointed out for them.

The very heavy expence Government is annually put to for transporting and otherwise punishing the felons, together with the facility of their return, are evils long and much lamented. Here is an asylum open that will considerably reduce the first, and for ever prevent the latter.

Upon the most liberal calculation the expence of this plan cannot exceed £3,000, for it must be allowed that ships of war are as cheaply fed and paid in the South Seas as in the British Channel.

page 48

Had I the command of this expedition, I should require a ship of war—say, the old Rainbow, now at Woolwich, formerly a ship of forty guns—as the best constructed for the purpose of any in the Navy, with only half her lower-deck guns and 250 men, one hundred of which should be marines; a store-ship, likewise, of about 600 tons burthen, with forty seamen and ten marines, and a small vessel of about 100 tons, of the brig or schooner kind, with twenty men, both fitted as ships of war and commanded by proper officers.

The large ship is necessary for receiving fifty of the felons, provisions, and stores, with a variety of live-stock and plants from England and the Cape of Good Hope. She is more particularly wanted as a guard-ship, to remain in the country at least two years after her arrival, or longer, as may be found necessary, to protect the settlers, &c. The store-ship is required for taking an additional quantity of provisions, to serve until we are about to raise some for ourselves. The brig or schooner is principally wanted to explore the coast on our arrival, for notwithstanding a convenient place is already mentioned for the purpose, nature and experience inform me a navigable river may be found on such an extensive coast, which, when discovered, she may be then dispatched to England with an account of our proceedings. In the meantime, the store-ship may be sent to the Friendly Islands for inhabitants and useful plants.

The settlement being thus established, any difficulties that may arise from the great distance of New South Wales are obviated in the manner following:—The China ships belonging to the East India Company, after leaving the Cape of Good Hope, and keeping more to the southerd than usual, may land the felons on the coast, and then proceed to the northerd, round New Ireland, &c., or through Saint George’s Channel, and so on to the island Formosa for Canton. With a little geographical investigation, this passage will be found more short, easy, and a safer navigation than the general route of the China ships—from Madrass through the Streights of Malacca.

Perhaps the number of the felons, after the present are disposed of, may not require more than two ships in the coarse of a year. The expence thereof attending the transporting of them by this method must certainly be much less than by any other whatever, without even the most distant probability of their return. Every ship may take any number of felons not exceeding seventy.

Necessary Implements:—
Iron in bars Spikes and nails
Forges and anvills Pitchforks
Spades and shovels Axes of sorts
Mattocks Iron crows and wedgespage 49
Saws of sorts Articles of trade with natives of the islands, &c.
Large hammers
Mills Window glass
Grindstones Grain of sorts
Cutlery Fishing tackle
Cooking utensils Gardening tools
Iron pots of sorts Carpenters’ do.
Shoes and leather Smiths’ tools
Linnen and woollen cloth Shoemakers’ do.
Tinware Bricklayers’ do.
Thread, needles, &c. Masons’ do.
Stockings Coals as ballast
Soap Some leaden pumps, &c.
Hatts and caps Scythes
Wheels of barrows Pewter and earthenware.
Seeds and plants