Report on the Female Factory

Evidence Type: Newspaper Report
20 January 1844


In referring to the unnatural state of celibacy by which the unfortunates at Norfolk Island are goaded on to crime of the most appalling character, we are naturally led to consider the effects of such a state of things in the establishment, miscalled the Factory for females at Parramatta.

Independently of the immoral tendency of immuring eight or ten hundred women of depraved habits, and keeping them in comparative idleness at the expense of the country, is it not a reproach to the Government that some employment, that would render the Factory worthy of the name it bears, cannot be found for these women, such as the manufacture of cloth, blankets, or some other useful article of demand that would reimburse the country for the cost of their maintenance, instead of erecting it into a public laundry and millinery establishment to monopolise, at a reduced charge, all the washing and needlework, not only of this town, but of the metropolis also? Truly this scheme, for which Sir GEORGE GIPPS takes great credit to himself, is a paltry and dispicable [sic] one to emanate from so great a mind—alike disreputable to the government and unjust to the unfortunate female emigrants in Sydney and elsewhere, who are languishing in penury and wretchedness, or rushing headlong to destruction in a career of vice and prostitution, for want of the very means of support of which they are deprived by this notable invention of his Excellency.


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