Report on Female Factory

Evidence Type: Newspaper Report
16 June 1832


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One of our Contemporaries hints at a small Female Factory being about to be established at Goulburn Plains. We suppose this is more Editorial imagination or invention, because we see no reason why a Factory should be required at Goulburn Plains exclusively. Both Hunter’s River and Bathurst are more populous districts.

The idea however is a good one, in one respect, and we wish to improve upon it by the following remarks.

And first, would not the expense of establishing Factories at Goulburn Plains, Bathurst, and Hunter’s River, respectively, be saved by a decreased diminution of the numbers now maintained in the Parramatta Factory, and by a reduction in the expense of forwarding and returning the women, which, on account of the great distance of Parramatta from the interior must be very great, either to the Government or to the settlers?

Numbers corrupt society. It makes bad people worse, and never increases the virtues of the good. Hence, the fewer convict women that are confined in any one Factory, the better, as far as morality is concerned.

Could the spacious and elegant building at Parramatta be converted to some useful public purpose? Would it make a good Council house for the assembling of our present Legislative Council, and for our House of Assembly that is to be? If the present Factory could be made good use of in any way, then we whould [sic] recommend, that no Factory establishment be kept at Parramatta at all; for the very same reasons that none is kept in Sydney. If Factories at Goulburn Plains, Bathurst, and the Hunter be too distant, build one at Richmond and another at Campbell Town or Liverpool.

We believe that it has been found in the Mother Country, that a hundred souls in one establishment, are maintained at a greater cost of buildings and salaries in proportion, than three or four establishments containing one fourth or one third the number. This, if true, is a good reason for breaking up the Factory at Parramatta, in respect of the plea of morals. When, 35 years ago Sydney was rejected as an unfit place at which to keep a Female Factory, it was not much more populous than Parramatta is now. Parramatta now, therefore, is as improper a place for a Female Factory, as Sydney was 35 years ago.

We think these suggestions are worthy the Governor’s consideration. When morals, and the benefit of the revenue can be accomplished by the same means, it is a consummation devoutly to be put in execution. We lately proposed a plan by which a Colonist would receive an immediate answer to his letters to the various Public Offices; while at the same time the revenue, through the Post-office, would be increased. Plans such as these, we consider to be specimens of good Government, and we feel satisfied they will not be lost on the present Administration.

See Original:DIVISION OF THE PARRAMATTA FEMALE FACTORY,” The Sydney Monitor (NSW : 1828 – 1838), Saturday 16 June 1832, p. 2.