Volume 72: Macarthur family correspondence relating to wine, 1846-1900: No. 281
Should any one ask - why a private and I am quite ready to admit, a very humble individual should interfere in a matter in which he has no personal interest either as a producer or render of wine? I reply 1st that in a self-governed community, such as N.S,W, now is, it is, in my view, neither presumptuous nor unbecoming in any member of that community to offer any suggestion or to take any step which he has reason to believe may promote the general welfare: -
2nd That in proposing various suggestions for the promotion of objects of public utility, such as the appointment of a Municipal Health Officer -- the ventilation of the Houses of Parliament and of the Law Courts in Sydney - amendments in the District Courts Act, the introduction of a Bill for the regulation of Common Lodging Houses and a Bill for paving Sydney streets.
I have altho' single handed and with no extraneous aid met with unlooked for success.
I have therefore no doubt to doubt that I may be equally fortunate in the project which I have now taken the liberty of bringing under your notice, that is to say, with a view to encourage and extend and thereby to render valuable and important a branch of native industry and at the same time to promote the spread of temperance by substituting a mild and wholesome native beverage for the drugged narcotics and fiery components imported from Europe.
I propose that any one taking out what is here termed a Confectioners license may be allowed to retail Australian Wine in any quantity. I hope therefore that I am indulging in no chimerical anticipations in hoping that before the expiration of another twelvemonth every poor or at least labouring man may be enabled to enjoy at or after his Sunday dinner a bottle of good Colonial (Camden) wine at the cost of a nobler [nobbler] of Fire-water, i.e. Three pence a tumbler of a palatable native grown beverage, which if taken in moderation may be fairly classed with those which cheer but not inebriate.
To James Macarthur Esq
I am, Sir, Yours