Billeder på siden
PDF
ePub

the emigrants were as flattering as those was no reason why the capital advanced previously received. He had therefore a to the emigrants should not be repaid by right to claim from the House the admission them to this country, if not in money, at ---setting aside, for the present, the ques- least in money's worth. As the families tion of whether the effect compensated for of the emigrants spread, the market for

, the expense which was incurred to produce British manufactures would be widened ; it--that a considerable portion of pauper and the pursuance of the plan of colonipopulation had been placed in a state of zation seemed to promise a series of beneprogressive improvement such as had fits, which it would not be dangerous to

, seldom been paralleled in the history of anticipate. In our own empire it was the world.

indisputably true, that the proportion beThe next question of interest connected tween capital and manual labour had not with this subject was, how far the process been preserved ; and the consequence was, of emigration was agreeable to the former that the labouring classes did not receive inhabitants. Did the inhabitants of Upper that remuneration for their exertions Canada rejoice, or were they dissatistied, which was consistent with their prosperity, that their soil was made the theatre of and hardly with their existence. The conthis experiment at colonization? It was clusion, therefore to which the former comsatisfactory to know, that they were mittee had come was most sound and just : pleased that the tide of emigration had one part of our dominions required populabeen turned into their province. This tion, which the other could bestow with was put beyond all doubt by the contents advantage, and the wants of one country of the addresses, which had been presented to could thus be supplied by the superfluities the Lieutenant-governor of the province of the other. by the inhabitants of the county of North- A very mistaken notion was entertained umberland, and those of five other divi- by many persons as to the mode in which sions of Canada. The addressers ex- emigration should be carried into effect. pressed their pleasure at the settlement | Those persons maintained that emigration of the emigrants in the province, and bore should be conducted on the principle of testimony to their good conduct. There supplying labourers only to the colonies-were no addresses of a different character that the expense should be limited to the --a circumstance which clearly demon- carrying of the emigrants out, and landing strated, that the feelings of the colonists them on the shores to be disposedof as chance were in favour of the new-comers, and that or circumstances inight direct. The printhey considered the addition which had ciple on which the emigrations of 1823 been made to their population to be ad- and 1825 had been conducted was quite vantageous to them. They doubtless per- different. In both those instances it had ceived that such an augmentation of their been considered wise and necessary to population comprised within it the ele- plant the emigrants, and to supply them ments of improvement, and that it was with capital, not in money, but in kind, only by such means that they could hope to enable them to support themselves, and to attain the rank amongst nations which, to accumulate property. In short, to place in the course of natural progression they them in a condition to want labourers for had a right to expect.

The colonial themselves, rather than to become labourers witnesses all concurred in thinking that to others. If labourers were wanted, nothing, the prosperity of the colony would be certainly, could be better than to introduce greatly advanced by the introduction of them up to a certain point; but absorption additional population. Those persons must soon take place, the market would were interested in the prosperity of the soon be abundantly supplied with labourcolony, and would not, therefore, have ers; but no limit could be assigned to given such evidence, if they had not the improvement which would result from been convinced of the truth of what they colonizing upon the principle which had stated. The witnesses to whom he been acted on in 1823 and 1825, unless, alluded, differed amongst themselves, in indeed, the fertility of the land should politics and religion, but they all agreed become exhausted. That was the disin stating, that the colony had derived tinction which he drew between emigrabenefit from the introduction of the tion where the individuals were fixed to emigrants; and they were likewisc unani- the soil, and that desultory kind of emimous in expressing an opinion, that there I gration which consisted in merely conveying them to a certain place, and then ing as it was founded upon the supposileaving them to make their way as they tion, that the expense was beyond any could. He would appeal to any man conceivable advantage. He took it for whether the advantages of continuing the granted, that no man could deny that the plan hitherto pursued were not almost remuneration for labour in Ireland was too obvious to require argument.

The far below the wants of the labourer—that settler would be firmly fixed in the soil, the effect of such a state of things was, in instead of taking his chance of obtaining the end, to equalize poverty, and

to spread subsistence : instead of being like a plant it like a blasting mildew over the whole thrown down upon the earth, either to face of the empire. If any man held out take root, or to be withered by the sun, a hope that schemes of forced capital, of he would be like a young and vigorous tree colonization at home on lands of inferior set by a careful hand, with all advantages fertility, would remedy the evil, he thought of soil and climate. There was not one he could promise, that before the committrait of resemblance between the happy tee concluded its labours, it would be state of the emigrant now, and his miser- clearly proved that such a hope was worse able condition while he remained in his than fallacious. The only effect of such a native country, where not one ray of hope course would be, to continue the worst beamed upon him, to mitigate the extent characteristics of that which it was intended of his sufferings. At present, he saw his to improve—that of splitting farms, and little stock increasing, from year to year, the introduction of the cottage-system in amid the smiles of a contented family. Ireland; and at no very distant period, His children, instead of being curses, were the evils, of which we had now to comblessings, and supplied him with labour as plain, would be aggravated by the very his means enlarged and the necessity for experiment to remedy them. assistance increased. He began to see his Having stated thus much on the subway to independence, if not to wealth, ject of emigration, as connected with Ireand this happy change was produced by land, he begged to call the attention of abandoning a country in which not one the House to the effect which it would ray of hope beamed upon him, to illumin- have upon England. It had been proved ate the dreary darkness of his course. to the satisfaction of the committee, that

The Committee, in their Report, had not emigration from England could be carried thought it necessary to enter into much on without any outlay on the part of the detail respecting the mode in which emi- public, for the expense of such an operagration ought to be carried into effect. tion: that was to say, that certain parishes, That was the province of the committee acting on motives of self-interest, would be now about to commence its duties. They ready to make an advance, which, with had been required rather to sanction the unequivocal means in the possession a principle, than to settle arrangements; of the emigrant himself, would be suffiand it was left to government and to par- cient to meet the expenditure of the pasliament to decide in what way the princi- sage, as well as that of localizing the emiple should be carried into effect after grant in the colony, and placing him in a the report of another committee. It was condition to require no additional pecufor the House to consider, whether the ex- | niary assistance. He begged to call the pense necessarily incurred in the outset, attention of the House to the details of the could be repaid, so as ultimately to im- state of a parish in England, which would pose no burthens upon the public. The sufficiently illustrate the position he had settler would only be called upon to reim- advanced. The parish to which he alburse the state, as his wealth and his luded was Shipley, in Sussex, and he means augmented; and there seemed no had the pleasure to acknowledge, that it conclusive reason why this comparatively was to the facilities afforded by the hon. trifling outlay should not be advanced, member for the county of Sussex, that for the sake of producing so much happi- he was indebted for the details which ness, and, in the end, of increasing the he should now proceed to lay before the prosperity and resources of the whole House. If the House attended to them, empire.

He had never heard from he should be able, with more effect, to arany quarter an objection to the prin- gue the question in iis general application ciple of emigration, as applicable to the to the rest of the empire. The rental of peculiar circumstances of Ireland, except- the parish of Shipley was 2,599., and the VOL. XVI.

R

[ocr errors]

Emigration from the United Kingdom. 484 poor-rates, 2,3141. If he were asked the inhabitants of that parish. Would it not cause of this extraordinary relation be- obviously be the interest of the rate-payers tween the amount of the rental of the to raise a sum by annuity, which was to parish, and that of its poor-rates, he cease in ten years, and get rid of the newould ascribe it to the change of the cessity of maintaining, at least, the abletimes, and say, that the high prices in bodied labourers in the parish? Sixtytime of war had attracted a population to seven labourers, were engaged in forced this place, and provided for it; and that, employment; seventy-seven may be consion a change of circumstances, the popu- dered as uselessly occupied, amounting lation could not be sustained on its labour, in all to 144. Suppose that number and being as it were tethered to the reduced to 100 all able-bodied men ; he place, were obliged to look to the parish would say “able-bodied," because he for subsistence. But to proceed with the never for a moment was so wild as to details. The rate-payers were forty-one contemplate any other description of in number. Forty-nine cottages were un persons as possible objects of emigraable to pay rates at all. Sixty-seven able-tion. The yearly expense of each rebodied labourers, precisely such as it was dundant labourer to the parish was 25l. ; desirable to export to make their fortunes consequently, the expense of 100 men in North America, were employed in was 2,5001. per annum. The expense digging and breaking stones for the roads, attending the emigration of that number not because their labour was advantageous, of persons, on a calculation such as would but simply because it was thought better insure the prosperity of the parties, would to employ them in this way than to allow be about 10,0001., of which, let it be rethem to remain in idleness. One hundred membered, the emigrants might be called and forty-seven persons, unable to under-on to pay one-half: so that the whole disgo hard work, were maintained in their bursement which the parish would have to own houses, and seventy were kept in the make, on account of the removal of the poor-house. There were 233 regular number of men above-stated, would not labourers whom every landholder in the exceed 5,0001., a sum which they could parish was now obliged, in turn, to employ in raise without difficulty, by paying an anthe following ratio:— The farmer who rented nuity of 6471. a-year, to cease in ten years. poor land to the amount of 101., or better Thus, then, the immediate effect of land to the amount of 11l. or 121. a year, the abstraction of one hundred men from was compelled to give work to one man. the above parish, in the way he had deAnd in proportion to the rent and the scribed, would be, to reduce its expense by quality of the land, the occupier of the amount of about 75 per cent. A comland of an average quality, for exam- parison had been made between the amount ple, worth 1001. a year, had to provide received by a labourer with a wife and four nine labourers now with employment. / children, and by another with a similar Six men were, in fact, as many as he family, both residing in Shipley, one being wanted; so that three were absolutely employed all the year round, and the other superfluous. The annual expense of only during harvest, being maintained 233 labourers at 9s. each per week, during the rest of the year by the parish; was 5,4521., from which 33 per cent, and it was found that the difference was no or 1,7791. was to be deducted for unne- more than 31.6s. Many other agricultural cessary labour. This added to the poor- parishes in England were in the same siturate (if the labour be calculated for the ation as that of Shipley. For such he whole year) would be 4,1131., from which knew of no remedy but emigration. The deducting the rental he had already men- rate-payers of Shipley were of that opinion tioned, the expense beyond that rental also, and had declared their willingness to was 1,5141. Why was not this surplus la contribute one-half of the expense which bour removed from the parish of Shipley? would be incurred by the removal of the Solely because there was no demand for superabundant population. And no one their labour elsewhere ; and unless emigra- who heard these facts stated, could, he tion were a remedy for the evil, he knew thought, doubt for a moment, that the of no other. When such facts were stated rate-payers similarly placed throughout upon authority that could not be resisted, the kingdom would be glad to concur in he knew not what hope there was of an a plan of emigration, which would be atamelioration taking place in favour of the tended with such decided advantages.

The hon, member referred to the result | he could not understand how the arguof the last and preceding emigrations, as ment which they heard repeated so often affording the best evidence of the practi- could be supported; namely, that a limited cability of future experiments. In Ireland emigration might perchance be successful, particularly, this evidence was more but that one on a larger scale must cerwidely spread than it was in this country. tainly fail. There was another mistake He had himself seen a number of letters into which those fell who argued against from emigrants who had gone out in 1823, the propriety of emigration from Ireland, to their friends in Ireland, expressing and that was when they insisted upon the strongly their satisfaction with their pre- advantages resulting from the liberal emsent condition, and using every incentive ployment of capital. Now, so far from to their countrymen to follow their ex- the increase of capital carrying with it a ample. Nothing could be more conclusive demand for labour as a necessary conseof the way in which the change had been quence, it much more frequently produced regarded by those for whose use it was in- quite the contrary effect. Upon that subtended. And when we reflected for a ject, the evidence of Mr. Brackenridge was moment upon the state of things in Ire- of the greatest importance. He says, that land, it was impossible not to say that the notwithstanding labour is so cheap in change was for the better. He was as Ireland, every kind of product of labour, little a friend to expatriation as any man; whether from agriculture or manufactures, but who could deny that it was better to is dearer than it may be had in England." translate persons to a fruitful soil, rather The reason he gives for that is, that there than to leave them starving under a system is a deficiency of implements, such as of paralyzing pauperism? As a further machinery for manufacture, and hoes, illustration of his opinions, the hon. harrows, and ploughs for agriculture, the member referred to an address trans- latter being in every respect of the worst mitted by the emigrants of 1823, to Mr. material and most clumsy construction. Robinson, who presided over that emigra- But did not the House see what would be tion, expressive of their thanks to him for the consequence of any improvement in being instrumental in bringing about the machinery, or in harrows and ploughs, from fortunate change which had taken place the application of capital? Why, that the in their circumstances. This address was demand for labour for a time would be dated in December last. The parties decreased in an exact ratio with the imappeal to their loyalty as the best test of provement, and that in proportion as they their comfort ; and Mr. Robinson, in reply, found themselves able to produce the had recommended them “to persevere, to same quantity, or a greater quantity,

“ forget the past, and be obedient to the of any product or manufacture from laws;" and there was every reason to the nse of improved tools or machinery, believe, that they would attend to the re- in that proportion would the demand commendation.

for labour by the hand be diminished. If, then, 105 families were induced to If therefore, there was even an applicaemigrate in 1823, and 1,200 in 1825, with tion of greatly-increased capital to agrisuccess, he saw no reason why the prin- culture, so long as the population conticiple might not be unlimitably applied, as nued to increase, the effect might, in the long as land remained in the settlements first instance, be rather to exaggerate uncultivated. Any man who did not than diminish the evil; and those who approve of emigration, in the present cir- enlarged upon the effect of capital would cumstances of the country, must view find, that in a country placed in the situfacts with eyes very different from those ation that Ireland was in at present, emiwith which he contemplated them. It was gration alone could prove an adequate an advantage attendant upon emigration preparation for relief to that country. to countries like Canada, that every suc

There had been petitions presented from ceeding class of emigrants presented a the manufacturers of Glasgow and its market for the eonsumption of the pro- vieinity, complaining of the most appalducts, whether of agriculture or the coarser ling distress; and representing in terms, sort of manufactures, supplied by those he feared but too strongly borne out by who preceded them, thereby at once re- the facts, the hopeless and irremediable ceiving and conferring advantages ; and condition of a great portion of the artisans when he considered the matter in that light, and manufacturing population of that portion of Scotland. In the committee the price of the labour of those who prohe was then about to propose, evidence duced them; and that, whenever the would be heard, too, from them; and supply became in either case in excess, as the House would, from the report, be compared with the demand, the price enabled to see how far their statements must sink until the market was cleared of were upheld by the proofs, and how far that proportion of the article, whether a it might be prudent to listen to their commodity or labour, which was really prayers for assistance to leave a country in excess. If, therefore, the market where they could no longer earn the means could by any means, such as emigraof subsistence. The House ought, how- tion, be cleared of those hands which ever, to remember, that the habits neces- were at the present moment supersarily engendered by the life of a manu- abundant, it followed, that the remainder facturer or artisan, were not so favourable would find the wages of labour increased to their possessor, upon emigration, as if to such an amount as would afford them he had been reared in the knowledge of an adequate remuneration. To take the agriculture; and it would be for the com- parish of Blackburn, in Lancashire, for mittee to see how far the principle of example. In the year 1814, the average emigration could be safely carried into price for weaving was 9s. 6d. for each effect, with a manufacturing population. hand-loom piece, of which there were The opinion, however, of that class being then 27,000 made in a week, and the wholly ineligible for emigration, might, he produce to the weavers was 12,095l. At conceived, be carried too far; for recent the end of the year 1826, the average events had shown, that emigrants of that price of weaving a piece of the very same description had been very successful in Up-description, was 1s. 9d. Was not this, per Canada. There was, indeed, a peculiar he would ask, a state of things which redistinction between the agricultural and quired remedy? Did it not show that manufacturing population in one respect; something more was requisite, than a namely, that it became extremely difficult, mere increase of demand? These persons from the nature of the employment of the ma- had petitioned the House in terms of the nufacturer, and from its frequent variations, bitterest distress and despondency; but to say whether there was, at any particular he would venture to say, that they had time, a redundancy in any branch of trade. ascribed their misfortunes to circumstances They had seen thousands out of employ- which had no conceivable reference to their ment to-day, receiving high wages and in present condition. Among other mistaken full work on the morrow; and in such causes, these parties persisted in assertsudden changes and alternations it being that their situation was produced from came extremely difficult to say at what the employment of machinery, and that time, or to what extent, any branch ought they would be relieved by its destruction. to be relieved. In his opinion, the only He would ask, was it not of some importmethod of ascertaining the state of a po- ance that they should be made to underpulation under such circumstances, was stand their real situation, through the inby the rate of wages : and he would say, vestigation and inquiries of a committee that if it could be demonstrated, that the and that they should be made to apaverage rate of wages spread over a series preciate the consequences of the superof years, although subjected to occasional abundant hands introduced from Ireland fluctuations, were sufficient to support an and other places. Suppose that the maartisan in any class of manufactures, it chinery in one parish were destroyedwould be too much to assert, that there ought they not to be made aware that the was a permanent redundancy of hands in manufacturers would erect new machinery that branch of manufactures. On the in another, and the means of employment contrary, if the average wages of labour in the parish from whence it was removed were for a long period insufficient to the would be taken away, without, in the maintenance of an artisan in any parti- slightest degree, diminishing that effect of cular employment, it was fair to infer that machinery of which they complained. there was a redundancy of labour in his In Manchester there was a population of class, which could not find vent else- 120,000 persons, and yet there were at where. He supposed that no one would the present moment, dependent on poordeny, that that principle which regulated rates, 3,590 families, making upwards of the price of commodities, also regulated 14,000 souls, of whom half were desti

« ForrigeFortsæt »