Extracts from the Speeches

As reported in the Argus, and edited for the 1995 Re-enactment Booklet.

Mr Booley

Fellow diggers. If anything ought to cheer the heart of a man, and place him in society, it ought to make him glad. There are few people who properly understand what a Government is, or what it ought to be. It should be the chosen Servants of a Free people, and to be Just they ought to be Right minded people. To be respected by fellow man is a right minded man’s pride.
What ought to be the standard of man?
Justice. Why do we cry out against Government?
Because they do not do Justice.

 

 

 

 

Mr. Potts
I defy the world to produce the same honesty among the same number as at Forest Creek. Is there one of you who locks your door? (Laughter) When I retire to rest, the last enquiry I make of those in the tent is, whether they have put the skewer in the blanket.  (Renewed Laughter)

Men go to work, leaving thousands of pounds in their boxes, without lock or guard, and nothing but a bit of calico between that and a robber, that is, if there is any. Do not fathers bring their daughters among us, husbands their wives and children, and where has there been a single case of one being insulted? You are living in better order here than they are in Melbourne, with all their blue coat force, pistols and carbines included.

 

Mr Lineham
Will you pay 3 pounds? (No, never) That’s right. Now I will tell you how I intended to do, when the Commissioner came round. I should refuse to pay, and he would compel me to go with him. Now I should propose that if one went, all went. (Yes. Yes) Of course we are too independent to walk, and it will take a serious number of horses to drag us to Melbourne.  (Laughter)

l am not an advocate for forcible resistance, nor do I think any of you are;  we can gain the day without it, though the Herald should use its thunders.

Dr. Webb Richmond
With regard to the License, I do not consider the Government has any right to impose anything as a tax or royalty. These Colonies were vested in Parliament, and no revenue could be raised out of them except for the benefit of the people. The Crown Lands Act appropriated the proceeds to the specific purposes of Emigration and Improvement, and if any surplus arises after paying the expenses of protection, the Land Fund etc, then to no other could it legally be applied.

Capt. Harrison
The Colonies never cost the Queen or Government one shilling, and under those circumstances I consider that they are not entitled to the benefits of the land. John Bull was a quiet animal, but if imposed upon, might do the same as the camel;  he would stand quiet enough until they overloaded him, but if he got one ounce too much he would kick until he kicked the whole load off and threw his rider into the bargain. He considered the tax unconstitutional, and it was a similar tax that lost Charles the First his head. It was unjust taxation that caused the United States to throw off the burden, and unless the Government learnt a little wisdom, an additional tax might lead to the same result here.

Mr. Hudson
Will you stand firm? (We will) Well, then, if the noonies do come, put them in your cradles and rock them to sleep ? but mind keep your powder dry.

When I came over from Adelaide, I had various opportunities of seeing what scarcity there was for labour. Men could be obtained if fair wages were offered;  this the settlers would not do, and the men came to the mines. Government wish to drive them back by a heavy tax, and compel them to accept the settlers’ terms;  but I say, let the lazy, would be gentlemen, turn out themselves, or pay the price that gold will fetch.

 

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