THE PARKHURST BOYS
From the Southern
Cross Saturday 3rd February
We have spoken strongly against
the importation of these boys, because we believe the Home
Government is acting unjustly both by themselves and by
this Colony in sending them to this place, but while we
are opposed to the Policy of sending them to this Country,
we must say that we are still more opposed to any thing
like an improper treatment of them. Being once here, it
is our duty to act kindly and charitably by them and to
endeavour to do all we can for the purpose of improving
their moral and physical condition. – We are surprised that
no report has ever been published in the colony since their
arrival. Surely their Guardian might let the Public know
how they are behaving themselves.
We were very sorry to hear
the other day that several of them were employed on the
roads without shoes and stockings. This is not by any means
proper. If the Government work them, they ought to keep
them in food and clothing. We have also heard some remarks
made about the manner in which they are lodged. We trust
that in the multiplicity of his other avocations, their
guardian does not neglect them. It is not enough to attend
a Police Court and endeavour to get them off, (if possible)
whether right or wrong. Humanity, as well as the Home Government,
require that they should be properly cared for. We trust
Mr Rough will be able to prove that the report we heard
is incorrect and yet we have heard it from good authority.
At all events we ask him if not to disprove, at least to
account for its existence.
The transportation of Parkhurst
apprentices to this Colony appears by late accounts from
England to be regarded by the friends of New Zealand as
an evil and an act of injustice which should not be tolerated.
In the Parliamentary intelligence of the Times on
July 7th, we find that "The Archbishop of Dublin
presented petitions from persons connected with the colony
of New Zealand, praying that in future no emancipated convicts
should be conveyed there as settlers. The persons who established
that colony had a positive promise from the Government that
no convicts should be sent to their settlement, yet recently
two shiploads of convicts who had served their time had
arrived from Parkhurst prison. It was a mere evasion to
say that they were not convicts because they had served
their period of imprisonment. To him it appeared that a
convict and an emancipated one were much the same as a wild
beast, loose and a wild beast chained. The petitioners were
very anxious that they should have no more such imports.
"After a few words from Lord
Wharncliffe, which were not heard.
"The Earl of Devon said that
the prayer of the petition was well entitled to the careful
consideration of the house. He did not think that the petitioners
had been fairly treated."
From the above we have every
reason to hope that no more of the unfortunate Parkhurst
Boys will be inflicted on this Colony."