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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 37

Colonial Land

Colonial Land.

The colonial land is avowedly a State possession. To grant it a away to individuals from favor is now at length repudiated as a public profligacy; but to sell is thought to be a part of prudent statesmanship. What? To sell for the immeperpetual source of revenue in future centuries? This is a strange economy. But on first hearing it might be imagined this generation at any rate benefits by it if future ones suffer. By no means. The land is necessarily sold at a price so trifling that the colonies never pay their own expenses. Naturally it is impossible to forestal the value of land, although we know that it will increase hereafter with thee growth of population. Our practice of selling it alienates to individuals for ever, and for an insignificant sum pain down, the permanent heritage of great nations that are to be.

How much better are individuals in providing for their greatrandchildren! The holder of town land, when he greats a building lease, anxiously secures upon it shall be the property of his heits; and to this most unreasonable demand builders inumerable are found to agree cheerfully.

page 48

Yet the State, which calls itself "mother country," exercises no such foresight for the future welfare of the colonies when it might be done so easily. If, instead of selling the land for ever, they sold it for 100 years only, securing to the occupant an exclusive and unquestioned right to all house! and fixtures, which could be valued separately from the land, but securing the land itself to the State, no one could murmur at the arrangement.