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Notice published by the British governor of Sydney in 1814 commenting on the issue of grain shortages
(Catalogue ref: CO 201/127)
Source 1a


Secretary’s Office, Sydney,
Saturday, 5th February, 1814.

The GOVERNOR has observed, with great Regret, the Reluctance of the SETTLERS in general throughout this Colony, in coming forward to supply His Majesty’s Stores with GRAIN in the present alarming Season of Scarcity; and that instead of manifesting a due Sense of Gratitude for the repeated Favors and Indulgencies they have received from Government, they seem determined to take every Advantage of its Necessities, by withholding their Tenders to as late a Period as possible, to give them an Opportunity of exacting a most exorbitant Price for their Grain, knowing that it must be submitted to from the Necessities of the Times.

The Conduct of those Persons who stand considerably indebted to the Crown for Cattle issued to them from the Government Herds, as well as for various Articles which have been furnished them on Credit from the King’s Stores, is still more inexcusable and reprehensible, in their not coming forward with their Grain at such a Crisis.

Source 1b

Such Persons can no longer expect any Lenity or Forbearance; and the GOVERNOR will accordingly direct, that they shall be sued for their respective Debts at the next Court of Civil Jurisdiction.-Settlers of a different Description, and especially those who are in opulent Circumstances, principally owing to the Assistance they have derived from the Bounty of Government in originally granting them Lands, Stock, Provisions, and Government Men to cultivate their Grounds, ought to have been the first to come forward at such a Season to supply Government with such Grain as they could conveniently spare, at a reasonable and moderate Price.-The GOVERNOR, however, laments to find that he has been disappointed in almost every Instance, and therefore conceives it a Duty he owes to the Crown, and to the Trust reposed in him by HIS MAJESTY, to signify to the Settlers of this Colony in this public Manner, that unless he shall find in their future Conduct more Promptitude in coming forward to supply his Majesty’s Stores with Grain, on reasonable Terms, and discharging the Debts they have incurred to the Crown, he shall be under the painful Necessity of resorting and entirely trusting to Foreign Markets for supplying the King’s Stores with Wheat, and such other Grain as may be required; which it may not be amiss to remind them can be done at Half the Price now paid for that purchased in this Colony.
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