Having been always greatly interested in the examination of this vast but comparatively unknown continent, and having already myself been frequently engaged in long and harassing explorations, it will not be deemed surprising that I should at once have turned my attention to the subject so prominently occupying the public mind. I have stated that the principal object proposed to be attained by the expedition to the westward, was that of opening a route for the transit of stock from one colony to the other—nay it was even proposed and agreed to by a majority of the gentlemen attending the public meeting that the first party of exploration should be accompanied by cattle. Now, from my previous examination of the country to the westward of the located parts of South Australia, I had in 1839 fully satisfied myself, not only of the difficulty, but of the utter impracticability of opening an overland route for stock in that direction, and I at once stated my opinion to that effect, and endeavoured to turn the general attention from the Westward to the North, as being the more promising opening, either for the discovery of a good country, or of an available route across the continent. The following extract, from a paper by me on the subject, was published in the South Australian Register of the 23rd May, 1840, and contains my opinion at that time of the little prospect there was of any useful result accruing from the carrying out of the proposed expedition to the Westward:—

“It may now, therefore, be a question for those who are interested in the sending an expedition overland to the Swan River to consider what are likely to be the useful results from such a journey. In a geographical point of view it will be exceedingly interesting to know the character of the intervening country between this colony and theirs, and to unfold the secrets hidden by those lofty, and singular cliffs at the head of the Great Bight, and so far, it might perhaps be practicable—since it is possible that a light party might, in a favourable season, force their way across. As regards the transit of stock, however, my own conviction is that it is quite impracticable. The vast extent of desert country to the westward—the scarcity of grass—the denseness of the scrub—and the all but total absence of water, even in the most favourable seasons, are in themselves, sufficient bars to the transit of stock, even to a distance we are already acquainted with. I would rather, therefore, turn the public attention to the Northward, as being the most probable point from which discoveries of importance may be made, or such as are likely to prove beneficial to this and the other colonies, and from which it is possible the veil may be lifted, from the still unknown and mysterious interior of this vast continent.”