HC Deb 02 June 1840 vol 54 cc832-94
* Mr. William S.O'Brien

. In bringing forward the motion of which I have given notice, I feel that I can advance no claim to the attention of the House, founded upon my own ability to do adequate justice to the subject which I have undertaken to submit for its consideration, but I confidently ask for that attention, on account of the intrinsic importance of the subject itself. It wants, indeed, the stimulating excitement which belongs to party questions, and which never fails to produce a full attendance of Members in this House; but there surely cannot be presented for the deliberation of the representative assembly of an empire possessing such vast colonial dominions as belong to Great Britain, any question more worthy to engage its most anxious consideration than the inquiry whether, by a well-regulated system of colonisation, it may not be in our power at once to relieve the * From a corrected report. necessities of the population of the mother country, and, at the same time, to extend the resources, and promote the aggrandisement of our colonial empire. Every motive which can influence the human mind to honourable endeavour, impels us to entertain this question with earnest solicitude. There is no more legitimate kind of national pride than that which exults in viewing our country as the parent of many nations, whose future greatness is destined to bear witness to the wisdom and the energy of the people who founded them. And, whether we consult the impulses of humanity, or the dictates of self-interest, we cannot better occupy our time than in considering whether colonisation does not afford us the means of succouring the distressed, and giving bread to the hungry, by an application of the national resources which promises to ourselves a constantly accumulating return. I shall not, upon this occasion, allow myself, however inviting be the theme, to dwell at large upon those general advantages of colonisation which obviously present themselves to every reflecting mind. It needs no argument, on my part, to prove that, to a country whose prosperity depends mainly upon commerce, and the motto of whose trading interests is" ships—colonies—commerce," colonisation offers the surest means of securing that prosperity; that, in planting colonies, we employ our shipping, open markets for the produce of our industry, in which we are met by no jealous rivalry, by no exclusive tariffs, and are enabled to bring back, from every quarter of the globe, the productions which belong to each peculiar clime. It is sufficient to adduce one fact alone, in illustration of the benefits which result to commerce from colonisation. In 1838, the whole amount of our exports to the great empire of Russia, peopled by a population of between 50 and 60,000,000 of souls, was only 1,663,243l., whilst, in the same year, the exports of the United Kingdom to our Australian settlements, containing a population not exceeding 150,000 persons, amounted, in value, to 1,336,662l. Viewing this subject in reference to another consideration of the utmost importance to the well-being of society, it is necessary for me to do no more than simply to advert to the obvious reflection—that, inasmuch as popular discontents have, at all times, and among all nations, originated, for the most part, in the physical privations of the mass of the population; in so far as we are enabled, by colonisation, to diminish and mitigate those privations, to such an extent do we obtain a new guarantee for the preservation of peace and order in the community. I cannot, however, refuse myself the satisfaction of contrasting the policy which we, the friends of colonisation, advocate, with that which has too often found acceptance among the rulers of mankind. It is an undoubted fact, attested by history, that statesmen have frequently plunged nations into war solely for the purpose of engaging, in external strife, the active and. restless spirits which are to be found in every population, under the fear that if not thus employed, their energy would be exercised in exciting intestine commotions. We, on the contrary, tell you, that these very men, superabounding in ardour and energy, become the most hardy adventurers in all colonial enterprise, and, instead of encouraging them to imbrue their hands in the blood of their fellow-creatures, we bid them go forth to subdue the forest and the wilderness, and to render the gifts of nature tributary to the use of man. I would invite you, also, to contrast our doctrines with the anti-population mania, which, for several years, usurped possession of the public mind in this country;—that philosophical dogma which has sought to annul the mandate of Heaven,—" Be fruitful and multiply,"—given to the early fathers of mankind. We do not ask whether, as a matter of abstract theory, the position laid down by Mr. Malthus and his followers, be or be not true,—" that, whilst population increases in a geometrical ratio, the means of subsistence increase only in an arithmetical ratio,"—but we say, that whilst the unpeopled territories which acknowledge the sway of Great Britain are capable of sustaining twenty-fold the population of the United Kingdom, it is unnecessary to forbid marriage to the young, and, by a cold and often profligate prudence, to defeat the benign intentions of Nature. Passing from these general observations, I now proceed to the proof of the first position which I have undertaken to establish; namely,—" That in Great Britain and Ireland, the working classes are frequently exposed to extreme privation, from inability to procure employment." Now, with respect to England, I am disposed rather to leave it to English Members to state their views with respect to the effect produced upon the condition of the working classes by an excessive supply of labour, as compared with the demand for it, than to dwell upon this part of the case myself, with a "view to prove the existence of a redundancy of population in England. My own impression is, that it cannot, with propriety, be said that there is, in England, any very considerable or universal excess of population surpassing the means of employment; but that such excess should rather be characterised as partial, local, and temporary. As an instance of undeniable surplus of labour, in particular employments, I need only refer to the case of the hand-loom weavers, whose destitution has so often attracted the notice and the sympathy of this House. As an example of low wages, occasioned by a redundancy of the labouring population in particular districts, I would remind the House of the statements which have been repeatedly made, with respect to the remuneration of labour in the counties of Wiltshire and Devonshire, the Members for which counties have been compelled to acknowledge that, in many instances, the labourer does not receive more than six or seven shillings a week as his hire. Of the sufferings occasioned to the working classes in England, by occasional want of employment during particular seasons, the manufacturing districts of England afford too frequent illustration; and it is only necessary to mention the towns of Nottingham, Manchester, Bolton, and others, to recal to memory the complaints which we have heard, within a very recent period, respecting the privations of the manufacturing population of England. The simplest mode, however, of viewing this question, in regard to England, is, perhaps, to look at the amount expended on the relief of the poor; and when we find that, even after all the reductions which have been effected under the operation of the Poor Law Amendment Act, the poor rate amounted, in 1838, in England and Wales, to not less than 4,406,907l., we are compelled to conclude, that the privations of the working classes must have been, in the aggregate, of fearful extent; since it has been found necessary to raise, by compulsory taxation, so large a sum for their relief. I may here also observe, that, as a considerable proportion of this amount was expended in the relief of the able-bodied poor, whatever portion was so employed, may be regarded as a fund which might have been employed to assist the persons so relieved to emigrate, without imposing upon the community any burden beyond that which it has actually sustained in maintaining them in a state of idleness at home. As, however, I wish to avoid the appearance of exaggerating the distresses of the poor, in order to make out a case in favour of emigration, I am contented to rest my argument, with regard to England, upon the simple proposition,—that the labouring classes will not voluntarily abandon their homes, unless, by doing so, they can materially improve their condition; and if, by emigration, they can escape the penury which creates the desire to leave their country, and can obtain comfort and independence in the colonies, we are bound, by every consideration of humanity, to enable them so to improve their condition. With respect to Scotland, and particularly with respect to the Highland districts, there is, unhappily, no ground for, in any degree, qualifying the statement that the population of those districts greatly exceeds the number for whom profitable occupation can be provided. In 1837, the inhabitants of the Western Highlands appear to have been reduced almost to the extremities of famine, from which they were relieved only by the charitable interference of external aid; and from all the most recent accounts which have been brought under my notice, I am induced to believe that they are now exposed to a recurrence of the same calamity. So strong, indeed, are the apprehensions entertained upon this subject, both by the landed proprietors, and by the population at large, that there have been several recent meetings for the purpose of urging the Government to promote an extensive system of emigration from the Highlands, as the only resource which can save them from the most appalling destitution. Several petitions of a similar character have also been addressed to this House, from one of which I shall quote a short extract, as descriptive of the present condition of the Highlands, and of the feelings by which that condition is accompanied, in reference to the question of emigration. It proceeds from the town of Portree, in the island of Skye, was presented in April of the present year, and bears 688 signatures. It states,— That the appalling state of want to which many thousands of the inhabitants of the Highlands, and islands of Scotland were reduced in the year 1837, and the misery that has existed in some of the Highland districts since that period, now loudly demand the adoption of an extensive and systematic plan of emigration, as the only means of preventing a recurrence, year after year, of the same degree of frightful distress and suffering. As it is unnecessary for me to accumulate further evidence upon a point which cannot be disputed, I now turn to Ireland, and am compelled to undertake the painful duty of presenting to the House a picture of the condition of the labouring classes in my own country. Here, at least, it is impossible to exaggerate. Ireland is, in truth, the country which is chiefly interested in your determination to-night. Now, in asking the representatives of Great Britain to apply their best endeavour to relieve, by emigration, the superabundant and destitute population of Ireland, 1 will not appeal to those feelings of humanity which induce the English people to seek out objects, in every quarter of the globe, to which they may direct their benevolent exertions for the improvement of mankind; nor will I claim anything from that sense of justice which ought to remind you that almost all the evils under which Ireland still suffers have been, either remotely or immediately, occasioned by English misgovernment; but I apply myself to the more ignoble motive of self-interest, and suggest the obvious reflection, that unless the condition of the labouring classes in Ireland be elevated to that standard of comfort which is the right of every human being, it will follow, as an unavoidable consequence, that the working population of England must be reduced to the same level of misery and indigence as theirs. It is contrary to every law which regulates the social system to suppose that, in two countries so closely united, there can permanently exist two separate scales by which English and Irish labour shall be differently remunerated. Evidence respecting the destitution of the working classes in Ireland is scarcely needed. It is to be found in every authentic document which describes the condition of that country. Three years have scarcely elapsed since a Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry reported to this House that it might be computed that about 2,385,000 persons, connected with the labouring population, are in distress for thirty weeks in the year, from the want of employment. In the same report, the Commissioners of Poor Inquiry estimate that, in England 1,055,982 agricultural labourers create agricultural produce to the value of 150,000,000l. per annum, whilst, in Ireland, 1,131,715 produce to the value of only 36,000,000l. They also calculate that, as the cultivated land in England may be estimated at 34,250,000 acres, whilst the cultivated land of Ireland is 14,600,000 acres, there are five labourers in Ireland for every two labourers in England engaged in the cultivation of any given quantity of land. If, therefore, there were the same proportion of labourers to land in Ireland as in England, then about 450,000 labourers would be required for its cultivation, whereas, in 1831, there were 1,131,71.5. These results are so startling, that, I own, I view them with some distrust. But the rate of wages affords an infallible test by which we may measure the redundancy of the population, as compared with the means of employment. Now I state with confidence to the House, as well from my own personal observation, as from innumerable sources which cannot be questioned, that the average wages of the Irish labourer, throughout the greater part of that kingdom, do not amount, throughout the year, to 3s. per week,—I ought, perhaps, rather to say, to 2s. 6d. My assertion cannot be contested, when I state that the industrious labourer, often as estimable in all the moral relations of life as any of his superiors, is frequently compelled to live, with his family, upon a diet of potatoes, without milk, unprovided with such clothing as deceney requires, and sheltered in a hovel wholly unfit for the residence of man. If the crop of potatoes which he has sown upon his morsel of conacre ground should fail in any degree, he is reduced to that absolute extremity of want, which may be properly designated as starvation. I may state, also, that the unmarried farm servant, whose situation ought to present the most favourable condition of the labourer, living in a fanner's family, receives only one guinea a-quarter, besides his board and lodging. Out of this pittance, he has to provide his clothing. Let me remark, here, that this is about one-seventh of the wages which the same individual would receive, with superior accommodation and maintenance, as a farm servant, in Canada. We know, also, that, of late years, a very extensive system of ejectment has prevailed in Ireland,—not for the purpose of securing the payment of rent, which is, of course, an incident essential to the maintenance of the right of property, but—in order to effect the consolidation of farms, for the general improvement of the estates. In the great majority of cases, I fear that such ejectment has been wholly unaccompampicd by any concurrent provision for the ejected cottier. Nothing can be conceived more truly deplorable than the condition of a person so ejected. From having been the occupier of a few acres of land, for which he has often paid his rent with the utmost punctuality, he now becomes a forlorn outcast, unable even to procure employment, still less to regain the occupation of land. Is it surprising that a population in such a state should occasionally be tempted to commit acts of violence? What sympathy can they feel with the possessors of property? What, to them, are the advantages of law and order? Accordingly, we find that they are too often stimulated to do wrong by despair. Hence we hear of land being turned up, in order to induce the farmers to let out a larger quantity of conacre for the growth of provision for the labourer; and we find that an extensive ejectment rarely takes place without the accompaniment of outrage. Let it not be supposed that I plead any excuse in this, or justification, for acts of violence; but whilst I cannot withhold my admiration from the patient resignation which renders crime and outrage the exception in Ireland, and restrains the Irish poor, under unparalleled privations, within the limits of the law, I feel bound to assign the true cause to which occasional disturbances may be traced. Whilst I witness this suffering among the population who surround me, I take up, year after year, the official reports which are transmitted from the colonies, and laid before this House, and I find that, at the same moment that our industrious fellow-countrymen are starving at home, from inability to procure employment, a universal complaint pervades our colonies, that the bounty of nature is rendered unavailing, from the want of hands to gather the gifts which she there so lavishly bestows. Under these circumstances, I have felt it a solemn duty to call upon Parliament, and upon the Government, to confer a mutual benefit upon our colonies, and Upon the mother country, by the transfer of labour, unrewarded at home, to those parts of the empire in which, being so in -tensely needed, it obtains a more adequate remuneration. In advocating emigration, we seek to befriend, not only those who leave their country, but those also who remain; for, in proportion as the excess of labour, which at present prevails at home, is removed, will be the tendency of wages to rise, until they reach that standard below which they ought never to sink. It is difficult to calculate what number must be enabled to emigrate before any sensible effect can be produced upon wages; but I am inclined to believe, that the removal of about 100,000 labourers, with their families, from Ireland, would bring up wages to the level of an average payment of 1s. per day throughout the year,—in itself a very moderate pittance, but still a considerable advance upon the present remuneration of labour in Ireland. In addressing myself to those who are connected with Ireland, if there be any who are insensible to the considerations of humanity involved in this question, I would remind them that, from motives of self-interest alone, they ought to support the system of emigration, which is now proposed as a partial remedy for the distresses of the poor. In a very short time, the Irish Poor-law will be in operation. The able-bodied, when unable to procure employment, will present themselves at the workhouses, and demand relief. Their claim, grounded upon undisputed destitution, will be irresistible; and, until the workhouse is full, they must be admitted. Compare, then, the average cost of maintaining a poor person in the workhouse, during even an inconsiderable period, with the expense necessary to enable him to remove to Canada, and it will be found that, even as a matter of economy, the balance greatly preponderates in favour of emigration. But whether a destitute labourer he sustained in the workhouse or not, this argument leads to the same result. If unemployed, his maintenance imposes a burthen upon the community; and, for the most part, upon that portion of the community which is least able to bear it. If, through the want of employment, 500,000 persons are, upon an average, supported, throughout the year, at the expense of others, the lowest amount at which their maintenance can be calculated is 1,500,000l. per annum. Now, I am persuaded that half this sum applied annually to emigration would, within a few years, almost wholly extinguish pauperism amongst the labouring population of Ireland. In connection with this view of the subject, it will be remembered by the House, that at the time when the Irish Poor-law was under discussion, all the leading advocates of that measure—all the successive committees and commissions which investigated the condition of the Irish poor—recommended that a well-regulated and extensive emigration should be coupled with whatever measures were to be adopted for their relief, as an essential accompaniment. I now call upon the noble Lord to fulfil the engagement which was then held out, that emigration should be concurrent with and subsidiary to the imposition of a poor rate on Ireland, Having now, Sir, established, beyond controversy, that a large portion of the industrious population of the United Kingdom are unable to procure adequate employment at home, and that they are frequently exposed thereby to the most cruel privations, I have next to convince the House, that in many of the British colonies, an intense demand exists for an additional supply of labour. I shall, upon this occasion, exclude from consideration those colonies in which the climate precludes Europeans from undertaking continuous labour. The House is aware, indeed, that, in British Guiana, in Trinidad, in Mauritius, and in Jamaica, a very urgent demand for labour has arisen since the abolition of negro slavery; and, in my opinion, it is essential to the prosperity of these colonies, that a supply of free black labourers should be encouraged to immigrate, under such regulations as shall effectually guarantee their liberty, and the improvement of their condition. Without, however, entering, at large, into this subject, I may be permitted to mention an interesting fact which has been brought under my notice. It seems that the mountainous parts of the Island of Jamaica are not unsuited to the European constitution; and I am informed, that during the last year, the mercantile house of Mitchell took out from Ireland 141 emigrants, to be employed upon their mountain property in that island. It has been stated to me, that hitherto, the experiment promises to be equally advantageous to the emigrants, and to their employers; but, though this is a circumstance deserving of notice, on such an occasion as the present, I do not feel that sufficient time has yet elapsed to have tested the success of the experiment, and therefore I am not inclined to found upon it any argument in favour of labour emigration from Great Britain to the West Indies. I therefore apply myself solely to those colonies which, beyond all doubt, open a promising field to the emigrant labourers of the United Kingdom. In beginning with New South Wales, I have experienced no other difficulty than in making a selection from the mass of evidence of unvarying tenor, which is contained in papers laid before this House, tending to prove the intensity of the demand for labour in that colony. I refer, now to the Emigration Reports laid upon the Table during the years 1838,1839, and 1840. I ought, perhaps, to mention, that during the last three or four years, a Special Committee of the Legislative Council has been appointed to make inquiries with respect to the best mode of conducting immigration into the colony of New South Wales. Their inquiries have been particularly directed to ascertain the additional supply of labour required in different parts of the colony. The extracts which I am now about to quote are taken from the evidence appended to their Report of the year 1838. John Coghill, J. P., says— During the last two years, I have found it impossible to procure sufficient labour in any shape. I was offering 7s, and 8s. a-day for common labourers to no purpose; and, the year before, I was compelled to leave forty or fifty tons of hay on the ground, to spoil, for want of labourers to bring it in. G. M. Slade, commissioner for the assignment of convicts, in order to show the demand for labour, states— I have at this moment, before me, from 10,000 to 12,000 applications, which, from dearth of means, I have not been able to comply with. I may here observe, that, as the system of assigning convicts to individuals has been very properly abolished since this report was sent over, the diminution thus arising in the supply of convicts must have created a still more active demand for free labourers. W. H. Button, J. P., says— I am at present compelled, from sheer necessity, to place from 1,000 to 1,200 sheep under the charge of one man; 500 being the very utmost that a man can properly attend to. T. Walker says— The losses that are at present sustained in every department of business in which labourers are employed, but especially in sheep farming, by actual deaths of sheep, are enormous; and the amount of thorn, if saved, would cover the expense of wages to this additional number of persons, A circular letter was sent by the Immigration Committee to eighty-four of the principal employers of labour in different parts of the colony, with the view of ascertaining the demand for labour in the several districts. It is dated August 23, 1838. The first query was— Is there still an urgent demand for male and female domestic servants, mechanics, shepherds, and agricultural labourers, in your neighbourhood? The answer from every one of the persons so addressed, without exception, is, "there is such a demand." The Committee observe, hereupon, in their report— It appears, that among the entire number consulted, there is not a dissentient voice us to the want of additional labourers in every department; and the imperative necessity of introducing an immediate and copious supply, if we would avert the most serious evils, has been urged most forcibly upon the attention of your committee.…. The appropriation to this purpose of the entire surplus of the produce arising from the sales and leases of Crown lands, after certain recognised charges have been defrayed, is the object upon which the first degree of solicitude is felt and expressed by the public. In the subsequent year, Mr. Pinnock, the emigrant agent in New South Wales, writes to the following effect, in a letter, dated February 28, 1839:— It will be evident that there cannot he a stronger proof of the great demand for labour which exists in this colony, than the fact, that all the emigrants who arrived during the past year, notwithstanding the numerous disadvantages before adverted to, which they had to contend with, are now comfortably settled, and at high wages, throughout the colony. The latest official report which has been laid before the House is that of Mr. Elliot, the agent general for emigration, presented during the present Session, in which he states, that— At the date of the latest accounts, abundance of rain had fallen, and the crops were looking well. The wages of mechanics and domestic servants continued as high as ever; and agricultural labourers were receiving 25l. per annum, with board and lodging. All the emigrants of 1838, had obtained comfortable employment. Since this paper was presented, another report has appeared in the public journals, from the Committee on Immigration in New South Wales, confirming the previous statements as to the increasing demand for labour, and suggesting that a loan should be raised, upon the security of the land fund, for the purpose of procuring the additional supply required. With regard to the flourishing colony of South Australia, I shall leave to my hon. Friend the Member for Hull, who has the honour of having mainly contributed to its foundation, the satisfaction of describing the condition of the labourer in that colony, and the prospects which it holds out to the industrious emigrant. In reference to Western Australia, I shall confine myself to a quotation which I have extracted from the Emigration Report, presented to Parliament in the month of August, 1839. It contains a memoir, submitted by Sir James Stirling, the Governor, to the Council of Western Australia, in which he says— In the present state of the colony, there is such a deficiency of labour as to impede its advancement. The prudent portion of the workmen have saved means, and are now in a condition to extend their business and to hire assistance, if they could procure it; but they cannot venture to undertake works in the existing scarcity of workmen, and the consequent high rate of wages. In their resolution upon this memoir, the Council state— That the Council is unanimously of opinion, that there is an urgent and immediate necessity for procuring a supply of labour. I may add that the very latest accounts from Western Australia which have reached this country declare that an additional supply of labour is essentially required to promote the advancement of that settlement. For my own part I can perceive no reason to expect any check to the prosperity of our Australian colonies (and the same observation applies, also, to the Cape of Good Hope) until they supply very nearly the whole amount of wool which is imported into this country. Now, I find that, during the year 1839, the amount of wool imported into Great Britain, from all parts of the world, was 57,395,944lbs., of which quantity there was received from the Australian settlements 10,128,874lbs. If we may judge of the future by the past, it is not too sanguine an expectation to believe that our colonies will be able to give us the whole supply required; for we find, that the production of wool in Australia has increased with incredible rapidity within a very short period. The wool imported during the year 1824, from New South Wales, amounted to only 275,560lbs.; whereas, in 1839, it was not less than 6,621,291lbs. In proportion to the increased growth of wool, must be the increased demand for labour; and one gentleman who was examined in New South Wales, computes that the present increase of the flocks and herds of that colony requires an additional supply yearly, of not less than 3,500 shepherds alone. Passing to the Cape of Good Hope, we find, that though there has been much mismanagement in that colony, there is yet a growing demand for labour there. As I prefer, as much as possible, to rest my argument rather upon official documents than upon newspaper statements, I shall confine my quotations, with respect to the demand for labour at the Cape, to an extract from a paper which was presented to Parliament a few days since. It is a report from the governor of the Cape of Good Hope, respecting the treatment of the apprentices sent out by the "Children's Friend Society." Major Longmore, one of the commissioners appointed to inquire into their treatment, says, in speaking of the demand for labour in the colony,— The demand for domestic and farm servants, mechanics, and even common labourers, being very great and urgent in the colony (more especially since the emancipation of the negro apprentices), and likely to continue so for many years, this scarcity presents a certain prospect to the apprentices and working classes of every description, whether artisan or labourer, of being able to obtain a comfortable livelihood and maintenance, where good character exists, and ordinary exertion and prudence accompany that good conduct…. The average rate of wages for domestic servants is from 1s. to 2l. 5s, per month; that of farm servants, from 1s. 6d to 3s. 6d. per day; whilst skilful artisans may and do earn from 3s. to 5s. per day; and, from the circumstance of the supply of labour being far less than the demand, the facilities to Europeans, of industrious and temperate habits, of improving their condition, are very great. British America next claims our attention. Here we find that emigration has been much checked, during the last three years, by the Canadian insurrection. The alarm, however, which deterred emigrants from proceeding to America, has now subsided; and though Government has, as yet, done nothing to encourage emigration to Canada, nowhere is its value more sensibly felt. I might quote the speeches and despatches of successive governors—of Sir John Colborne, Sir Francis Head, Sir George Arthur, and Lord Durham—to show how strongly they have felt the vital importance of emigration, to the improvement and safety of the Canadas. During the last session of the Legislature of Upper Canada, the House of Assembly agreed to a special address to the Crown upon the subject of emigration, which dwells at large upon the advantages which would arise from its encouragement. As this address is too long to allow of my reading it to the House, I shall content myself with selecting, as evidence of the interest with which this question is viewed by the Legislature of Upper Canada, an extract from the very last address adopted by the House of Assembly previous to its final dissolution:— We would respectfully suggest to your Majesty the paramount subject of emigration from the British Isles, which we consider the best calculated to render the united province British in fact as well as in name. No time, in our humble opinion, should be lost, in the establishment and vigorous prosecution of a well-organised system of emigration, calculated to afford every possible facility to the settlement of that extensive domain, the proceeds of which have been proposed to be surrendered to the control of the provincial Legislature, upon certain terms and conditions, which, in Upper and Lower Canada, is, at present, in right of the Crown, at your Majesty's disposal. I cannot present to the House a more satisfactory illustration of the improvement which has taken place in the condition of the labouring classes who have emigrated to Upper Canada than by stating the general recapitulation of a statistical return, with respect to the condition of certain settlers in Upper Canada, which has been placed in my hands by the governor of the Canada Company. This company allows the purchasers of its lands to pay for them by five instalments, and, with a view to ascertain the solvency of those whose instalments are in arrear, they directed their agents to send home a statement of the exact condition of each of these settlers. I hold in my hand the return relating to the district of Guelph. The name of each settler is given, as well as all the particulars respecting his condition. The general summary which this return presents is as follows:—Out of 156 settlers, to whom the report relates, it appears that 129 had no capital whatever upon their arrival in Canada, beyond the labour of their arms and the clothing which they carried with them. These 129 families consist of 436 persons. They are now in possession of 100 houses; they have cleared 2,820 acres; they possess 438 head of cattle, forty-one sheep, nine horses, and the aggregate value of their property, was found, in the spring of 1840, to be 22,658l., giving an average of little short of 200l. to each family. Now, it is to be remembered that this report presents the least favourable view of Canadian emigration, because no account has been taken of the property of those who have regularly paid their instalments to the company; and it may therefore be inferred, that if such be the condition of those who are in arrear, much more satisfactory must be the state of those settlers, who have been able regularly to discharge their liabilities to the company. In reply to an inquiry addressed by me to the secretary of the Canada Company, with respect to the number of labourers who would find employment on the company's lands during the present year, the secretary writes to the following effect:— I feel some difficulty in stating the precise number of emigrants who might probably find employment in the company's lands, in the Huron tract, or in other parts of the province, this season. I feel confident that many thousands might readily find such employment. The opinion I have heard from Upper Canada is, that nothing is so much required to promote the prosperity of that country as an abundant supply of labour." (He adds,—) "The current wages in the company's lands vary from 3s. 6d. to 7s. 6d. per day, and frequently board and lodging in addition. The most recent instance of emigration to Upper Canada, of which we have an official account, fully confirms these statements. Colonel Wyndham sent out, from the county of Clare, during the last summer 181 emigrants. They were placed under the superintendence of Lieutenant Rubridge,—a gentleman of much experience in Canadian colonisation,—who accompanied them as far as Cobourg, in Upper Canada. They had not been there more than three days when the whole party were engaged,—the men at 2l. 10s. per month, with board and lodging, the women at 1l. The official account states, that there were applications, in that district alone, for four times the number actually carried out. I have, now, only to detain the House with one more quotation respecting the demand for labour in British America. It is from Sir John Harvey's address to the Legislature of New Brunswick, upon opening the last session in that province. Speaking in reference to some proposals which had been made to the Government by a land company, he says,— The high price of labour, owing to the insufficiency of its labouring population, which prevails throughout the province, is confessedly cramping the enterprise and exertions, and otherwise operating most injuriously upon its commercial and agricultural interests; and this consideration would alone appear to me to offer sufficient inducement for entertaining a proposition which I understand to go to the extent of insuring a regular and adequate supply of that valuable class of our fellow-subjects to whom encouragement and assistance is proposed to be given, to enable them, when so-ever inclined, to settle upon lands of good quality. Having now shown that the labouring population of the United Kingdom are frequently exposed to extreme privations, from inability to procure employment, and that the prosperity of many of our colonies is, at the same time, much retarded by the want of an adequate supply of labour, for which they are able to offer a much more satisfactory remuneration than the labourer can obtain in this country,—I am entitled to assume that my case is established; for it appears to me an irresistible inference, that, under such circumstances, it is the duty of the State to come to the aid of the necessities of both the mother country and of the colonies, by supplying the deficiency in the labour market of the one by removing the excess which prevails in the other, and thus converting the involuntary idler into an active and prosperous colonist. Fortunately we have no longer to contend with those prejudices against emigration which formerly prevailed,—prejudices not a little aggravated by the system of transportation, which is soon about to cease. I cannot allude to this subject without offering the humble meed of my thanks to the hon. Baronet, the Member for Leeds, and to the Archbishop of Dublin, for the exertions which they have made to remove from our rising colonies in Australia, the contamination which has been inflicted upon them by the system of transportation, and which has tended to deter from settlement in them all who value the morality of the social circle by which they are surrounded. The best proof I can give of the disposition which prevails amongst the population of the United Kingdom to emigrate is, to remind the House, that in one year (1832), above 100,000 persons emigrated from the United Kingdom; and, during the last fourteen years, not less than 790,398 persons have left this country in quest of a new home; of whom 348,117 have gone to the United States. Without mingling with the remark a single particle of jealousy towards the United States, I may observe, that the preater portion of this large band of emigrants would have directed their steps to our own colonies rather than to the United States, if due measures had been taken to direct to them the stream of British colonisation. We shall, probably, be told, in reference to this statement, that this immense amount of voluntary and unaided emigration clearly shows that it is unnecessary for the State to interveue with any assistance. The answer is obvious: those by whom emigration is most needed, are now unable to carry their labour to our colonies without the assistance of the State. To convey an Irish labourer to Canada, with his wife and two children, would cost about 15l., exclusive of provisions; and it is needless to remark, that a man who scarcely possesses enough to procure for him his daily food, finds it impossible to command such a sum. It is said, also, that if emigration were undertaken by the Government, voluntary emigration would be thereby checked and impeded. This appears to me to be a pure assumption, wholly unfounded in reason. There is no doubt that many would, under such circumstances, endeavour to procure a free passage, who are able to pay for it; but if they were to fail in obtaining such a free passage (and I presume that proper precautions would be taken to defeat such endeavours), I cannot perceive how either the disposition or the ability to emigrate, by which they would have been otherwise animated, can be thereby diminished. Others, again, complain that an extensive system of colonisation carries away the capital and labour of the mother country, which might be more beneficially employed at home. Now, with respect to the transfer of capital, it is to be observed that the amount of capital required to carry on colonisation is very inconsiderable, and that the greater part of it is expended in giving employment to our shipping,—a department of our mercantile industry which it ought always to be the especial policy of Great Britain to cherish and support. Wealth is produced in the colonies, not by large investments of capital removed from employments at home, but by the labour of the emigrants upon the virgin soil of a fruitful territory. But, even if it were true that national colonisation would absorb a large portion of the surplus capital of the mother country, it does not necessarily follow that any injury would be thereby occasioned, because we know that it is impossible to retain capital at home if it can obtain more profit- able investment abroad: and it is surely better that it should be employed in adding to the strength and prosperity of the empire, by the creation of new dependencies, than in hazardous loans to foreign countries. The President of the United States, in his last opening address to Congress, estimates the amount due by the different states of the Union to foreign creditors, for which the public faith is pledged, at not less than 200,000,000 dollars, or above 40,000,000l. sterling. A largo portion of this debt is due to the English creditors: and I am entitled to contend that this portion of the surplus capital of Great Britain might have been at least as advantageously employed in giving birth to new settlements within the limits of our own empire. As to the objection frequently urged in Ireland, that the labour of her population might be much more usefully employed at home,—that our waste lands should be reclaimed,—that public works, on a large scale, should be undertaken,—and that the land already under cultivation should be improved by an increased application of labour, before emigration should be encouraged by the State,—I can only say, that no one feels more strongly than I do the advantage which would arise from directing to these objects the industry of our unemployed population. I have frequently solicited the Government to give every encouragement within the scope of legislation to the reclamation of our waste lands, and even to undertake their cultivation, to a certain extent, by way of experiment and example. If earnest entreaties could have induced Parliament to establish a general system of railways, and to promote other useful public works in Ireland, they would now be in progress. But even if these things were done, still vast numbers of our teeming population would remain inadequately provided for. As for the application of private capital to the improvement of land, I admit that it is most desirable, and that it would be attended with equal profit to the capitalist, and advantage to the labourer; but to wait for it whilst the people are starving is to stand like the rustic, gazing on the river,—i —Expectat dum defluit amnis, at ille Labitur et labetur in omne volubilis ævum. Another objection with which we have to contend, is, that the vacuum created by emigration would be immediately filled by the natural increase of population. Now, without dwelling upon the observation, that there is no reason why the stream of colonisation should nut be continuous, it is to be remarked that my argument in favour of emigration has assumed that there is, at present, an excess of population in the United Kingdom; and to remove an excess is not the same thing as to create a vacuum. But it is not, even theoretically, true, that the vacuum created by the annual removal of a given number of the population, would, of necessity, be speedily filled. The correctness of this position depends entirely upon the age of the persons who emigrate. The present annual increase of the population of Great Britain and Ireland is about 370,000 individuals. Now, if this number of newborn infants were annually removed, the population, cœteris paribus, would remain stationary. But inasmuch as only 350,000 persons, of each sex, arrive, annually at the age of eighteen, it is obvious that, if, out of the 500,000 persons thus annually arriving at the marriageable age, so large a number as 370,000 were to be annually removed to the colonies, the mother country would be speedily depopulated; because the remaining portion of those who arrive at maturity would not be sufficient to keep up the present number of the population. These are, I believe, the principal objections which are usually urged against the principle of colonisation; and those who employ them generally conclude by a touching appeal to the patriotism of the poor, forbidding them to violate, by emigrating, the attachment which they owe to their country. Assuredly, there is no sentiment of the human breast more truly estimable than the lore of one's country; but when we find that the wealthier classes of society, to which those who speak this language belong, willingly consign their own children to an exile of thirty years' duration in India,—if, by doing so, they can make a satisfactory provision for them,—it seems almost as if we were mocking the sensibilities of the poor when we tell them that they ought rather to perish in wretched indigence at home than to live in comfort and independence in the colonies. No, Sir, instead of circumscribing their patriotism within the limits of a parish or a province, we ought rather to teach them to indulge the more expansive nationality of regarding every portion of the British empire as the home of the enterprising and the free. Assuming, now, that I have convinced the House that colonisation ought to be undertaken by the State on a scale commensurate with the wants of our colonies, as well as of our own labouring population, I next proceed briefly to review what has been already accomplished towards the advancement of this object, and to point out what still remains to be done. The question of emigration was, in our times, first brought prominently forward by Sir Robert Wilmot Horton, who deserves much credit for having forced it into consideration at a time when the public feeling was decididly adverse to its discussion. At his instance, the Parliamentary Committees of 1827 and 1828 were appointed. They recommended, in their Report, that an advance should be made, by way of loan, on annuity, for the purpose of settling a portion of the surplus labourers of the United Kingdom upon the unpeopled lands of Canada. Under the system recommended by these committees, the labourer would have been placed in occupation of a house and of a hundred acres of land, and would have been expected to repay all the expenses attending his location, by an annuity which was to continue payable for sixty years. Throughout all his publications, as well as in these Reports, Sir Robert Wilmot Horton refers, with great pride, to the success of the Irish emigrants, who were located in Canada, at the public expense, during the years 1823 and 1825. As this experiment is of much importance in its bearings upon the general question of emigration, I may be allowed to mention its details. In 1823, 568 emigrants, of the poorest class, were sent out from Ireland, and located in Upper Canada, at an expense of 12,593l. and in 1825, 2,024 persons were in like manner sent out and located, at an expense of 43,145l. It will be perceived that the expense amounted to about 22l. per head; but, in the case of these settlers, no re-payment whatever has been required. I cannot refuse myself the pleasure of quoting an extract from a published letter from Chief Justice Robinson to Sir Robert Wilmot Horton, descriptive of their present condition. It was written during the year 1839:— You may be assured that you have not expressed yourself too strongly respecting the favourable change in the condition of the poor Irish who were taken to Upper Canada in 1823 and 1825, in consequence of your benevolent exertions.…You would find the former tenant of a wretched hovel, without object in life, and almost without power to do anything but mischief, become the absolute proprietor of a hundred acres of land, paying no rent, and it may almost be said, with truth, paying no taxes.'' There is much more to the same effect, enlarging upon the happy change which has taken place in their condition, and the gratitude which they feel towards the British Government for having enabled them to obtain it. Sir R. W. Horton has recently promulgated the same views as those embodied in the Reports of the Parliamentary Committees over which he presided. He now recommends that one million of persons should be removed from Ireland and located in Canada, at an expense of 12,000,000l., or 60l. for each family. He proposes that this sum should be raised, on an annuity of 537,400l., continuing for forty years; that, during the first seven years, the annuity, which would be 2l. 13s. 9d. for each 60l., should be paid by the landlords from whose estates these poor persons are removed, and, during the remaining thirty-three years, by the settlers themselves; after which time, they would possess their land in fee, disencumbered from all rent. With regard to this plan of emigration, I am so confident in the success of almost any under-taking in the way of colonisation, that it is with reluctance that I would suggest a doubt as to its expediency. Indeed, as regards arrangements between landlords and their small tenants, it is probable that I some such plan might be attended with advantage to both, if undertaken under the auspices of the Government. Though no one can deprecate more strongly than I do the prevailing system of ejectment for the clearance of Irish estates, I believe, at the same time, that where land has become very much subdivided, it would equally conduce to the benefit of both landlord and tenant, that a portion of the superabundant population should be enabled to emigrate; and, in such cases, it seems to me perfectly fair that the landlord should be called upon to co-operate with the state in defraying the expenses of emigration. But as the motion before the House more peculiarly applies to the class of labourers, rather than to that of small farmers, I am compelled to say that I do not think the proposal of Sir R. W. Horton would be found applicable to their emigration. The mode of colonisation which he proposes is about four times more expensive than that which limits the interference of the State to the simple conveyance of labour to those colonies, in which it finds immediate employment; and although the Irish and Scotch landlords might be willing to contribute to a considerable extent towards the location in Canada of their small farmers, in consideration of the benefit thereby resulting to their estates, I feel persuaded that they would not be found willing, except, perhaps, in a very few cases, to make such contribution as Sir R. W. Horton proposes, towards the location of the mere labourers, in whose removal to the colonies they have only an indirect and incidental interest. Neither, as regards the well-being of the labourer himself, is this scheme of emigration equally eligible with the plan of simple conveyance to the colony. Being wholly unaccustomed to the system of Canadian farming, he would be exposed to many difficulties, when first placed in possession of his; land) which a short preparatory residence as a labourer in Canada would obviate. Experience has also shown that there is the greatest difficulty in obtaining repayment of the expense of effecting these locations, in those cases in which, as was done by the New Brunswick Land Company, an attempt has been made, by artificial means, at once to convert the labourer into a landholder. As soon as he finds himself burdened with a heavy debt, he becomes exposed to the temptation of exhausting his land to the utmost, and of then escaping from his liabilities, by passing over to the United States. Even with a view to the interest of the settler himself, it is much better that those who have no capital should commence their career in America as labourers; and if they are possessed of ordinary prudence, they soon find themselves enabled to purchase land, which may be obtained at the rate of 5l. to 15s. per acre, when they have acquired, by a short residence in the colony, both experience and capital sufficient to enable them to cultivate it to the greatest advantage. I have only to add, in reference to this proposal, that it did not find acceptance with the public or with Parliament, and, accordingly, it has not been acted upon.

One of the measures recommended by the Committee of 1828 was, that parishes in England should be enabled to raise money, by way of poor rate, for the purpose of assisting the poor to emigrate. This suggestion has been carried into effect, a clause embodying this point having been inserted in the Poor-law Amendment Act in 1834. It has been acted upon, to a limited extent. In 1836, as many as 4,600 persons were enabled to emigrate from different parishes in England to Canada, by the aid of the poor rate. The beneficial operation of this act has, however, been much impaired by the absence of any organization, in Canada, for conducting the emigrants, on their arrival, to those parts of the colony in which there is an active demand for labour. It is not surprising that, when 20,000 or 30,000 labouring emigrants land at Quebec in the course of a few months, the surrounding district should be found unable to absorb so large a supply of labour; and though even a greater number would easily obtain employment if they were distributed through the more distant parts of those extensive regions, yet the influx into one sea-port of so great a number of persons unprovided with the means of going into the interior, and wanting the direction of adequate superintendence, often occasions great temporary suffering among the emigrants, and tends to create an unfounded impression at home with respect to the difficulties attending emigration to the Canadas. A clause was also introduced into the Irish Poor law, to enable parishes to contribute a portion of their poor rates, to enable their poor to emigrate. It was, however, so framed as to render it extremely difficult to be brought into practical operation. It requires that, before any advance can be made out of the poor rate for the purposes of emigration, the consent of the ratepayers of the district shall be first obtained. Now, the reference of any question whatever to the general body of the ratepayers, rather than to the guardians, must always be attended with considerable inconvenience, on account of the difficulty of ascertaining the opinion of large bodies of persons; but in the case of emigration especially, it is to be feared that the farmers, who have an interest in keeping the wages of labour as low as possible, will not be much disposed to encourage and facilitate the distressed labourers to emigrate. On the part, also, of the holders of property at large in Ireland, who have recently consented to take upon themselves the payment of rates for the relief of the poor, to an extent which will probably exceed 500,000l. per annum, there will naturally be considerable reluctance, except under the fear of being burdened with the maintenance of the unemployed labourers in the workhouse, to subject themselves to additional taxation for the advancement of an object such as emigration, which they will justly regard as one of national, rather than of merely local, concern.

I now come to what appears to me the great era in the history of modern colonisation,—I mean, the promulgation of the Wakefield principle of self-supporting emigration. In the year 1830, Mr. Wake-field published a pamphlet, in which were set forth new views upon the subject of colonisation. In this work, he clearly showed that the mode of founding colonies which had so long prevailed, and of which, the case of the Swan River settlement afforded the most recent and most striking instance,—by conferring upon individuals gratuitous grants of land to an enormous extent, tended to create and perpetuate evils which have the effect of greatly retarding the advancement of their prosperity. He showed that this unlimited facility of acquiring large tracts of wild land induced persons to appropriate to themselves more land than they could possibly improve and settle;—that it caused large unreclaimed blocks of territory to be interspersed between the settlers, thereby intercepting their communication, and preventing that mutual co-operation, without which each individual becomes comparatively helpless;—that it induced the poorer emigrants to become proprietors of land before they possessed capital to cultivate it; whilst, at the same time, it deprived the capitalist—(as was remarkably the case with Mr. Peel, who obtained an immense grant of territory, and took out a large body of settlers to the Swan River)—of the means of obtaining the labour necessary to render his territorial acquisitions valuable to himself and others. In order to correct the evils arising from the dispersion of settlers, occasioned by this pernicious system, Mr. Wakefield suggested, that, in future, all land in the colonies belonging to the Crown should be sold at a fixed minimum price, and that the proceeds arising from its sale should be applied to the conveyance of emigrants to the district in which the land was sold. He argued, that, by adopting this simple principle, a proper ratio between capital and labour would be secured; that all favouritism in the disposal of land would be prevented; that none would pay for land who did not intend to cultivate or bring it under settlement; that the money paid for such land would, in fact, be employed by the State for the immediate benefit of the purchaser, inasmuch as it would be applied to obtain for him a supply of labour, without which his territorial acquisitions would remain valueless; and the condition of the labourer would also be improved, because, instead of possessing land, useless to him without capital, he would obtain regular wages, until he should be enabled, out of his earnings, to apply capital to the purchase and improvement of land; and that, as each additional emigrant would, after a short time, be enabled to make such purchases, the funds applicable to emigration would increase by a regular and constant process of accumulation. These views recommended themselves so strongly to the favourable judgment of the public, that they were not long in finding active supporters. A society, denominated "The National Colonisation Society,"—of which my hon. Friend the Member for Hull, who has done so much for colonisation, and myself, were members,—was formed almost immediately after the appearance of Mr. Wakefield's pamphlet, for the purpose of forwarding and giving practical effect to the principles which it contained. These principles were afterwards so far adopted by the Government, that, in the year 1831, Lord Goderich sent out circular instructions to all the colonies, directing that, in future, the Crown lands should no longer be granted gratuitously, but should be sold. The Government refused, however, at the same time, to attempt the full development of Mr. Wakefield's principle by applying, in all cases, the proceeds arising from the sale of lands in the colonies to the purposes of emigration. It has been since partially tried, and the result has fully justified the soundness of the principle upon which the proposal rested. As early as the year 1836, the sale of unappropriated lands in the colony of New South Wales produced, in that year, the sum of 126,628l. The funds arising from this source have since been, in pint, applied in aid of emigration to that colony, but a large proportion of them has been diverted to other purposes. So much benefit has resulted from the immigration thus created, and so highly is that benefit appreciated, that, at this moment, the greatest possible discontent prevails in New South Wales, on account of the application of the land fund to other purposes than emigration. This departure from a plan of colonisation so acceptable to the colony from which these funds are derived, founded upon such sound principles, and in some measure guaranteed by the Minister for the Colonies, in a despatch to the Governor of New South Wales, admits of the less justification when it is remembered that the exclusive appropriation of the land fund to the encouragement of emigration was strongly recommended by a select committee of this House, over which my hon. Friend, the Member for Sheffield—who has been so able and efficient a supporter of this system of colonisation—presided, in the year 1836. Nor can the House forget the strong impression created in support of this principle by the powerful speech of the hon. Member for Sheffield, during the last Session, and by the debate which ensued. The merits of this system have, in the mean time, been fully tested in the case of South Australia, and have been there attended with the most perfect success. That colony was founded upon the express engagement, guaranteed by legislative enactment, that the proceeds arising from the sale of land should be strictly applied to labour emigration. The best proof I can adduce of the successful application of the Wakefield principle to this settlement is the fact that, though four years have scarcely elapsed since its foundation, more than 250,000l. has already been realised from the sale of land; which amount has either been already applied, or now remains applicable to the conveyance of emigrants. Never, indeed, was a colony established in which public opinion has manifested so much confidence. I have here to notice the most recent proceedings, on the part of the Government, with regard to emigration. The South Australian Commission, consisting of au unpaid body of independent gentlemen, by whom that colony was founded, have been displaced, and their functions have been transferred to a Board of Land and Emigration, consisting of three paid Government commissioners. With this proceeding I am not disposed to find fault; because, as a general principle, I prefer paid to unpaid services, and because I am of opinion that a board was much required for the purpose of exercising a general superintendence over emigration to all our colonies. I cannot, indeed, wholly refrain from misgivings as to its efficiency, when I remember that, if it had rested with the Colonial Office alone, to establish the colony of South Australia, that flourishing settlement would never have been founded; and when I perceive that, although the noble Lord (Lord John Russell) has recently avowed himself a convert to that system of which Mr. Wakefield was not only, as the noble Lord designates him, the advocate, hut the originator, he yet hesitates to apply it, in all its integrity, to New South Wales and our other colonies. In reference to this subject, I feel that it is only an act of justice to an individual who has, in my opinion, conferred a great benefit upon the empire at large, to express my regret that Mr. Wakefield has not been employed by the Government to aid in the practical developement of those enlarged views of colonisation of which he has been recognised by the noble Lord, in this House, as the ablest supporter. I make this remark, without any regard to personal considerations, for I have but a very slight acquaintance with him; but I feel it my duty to notice it, as a matter in which the public interest and the extension of our colonial empire are concerned. I confess, too, that I should be disposed to augur badly of the spirit by which the Colonial Office is animated, in regard to emigration, if I were to judge it by its proceedings in reference to New Zealand. Look at the history of those proceedings. In the year 1838, certain benevolent and public-spirited individuals, struck with the fertility and resources of New Zealand, determined to undertake the foundation of a British colony in those fine islands, upon the same principle that had been found so successful in South Australia. When they applied to Parliament for its sanction to the undertaking, they were told by the Government that this sanction would be withheld unless the gentlemen interested in the proposal of the measure should form themselves into a land company, the directors of which would have a pecuniary interest in the settlement. Accordingly, in compliance with this suggestion, a company was formed in the year 1839; but, instead of meeting with that assistance and encouragement which they were entitled to expect from the Colonial Office, every obstruction has been thrown in the way of their noble enterprise. The course taken by the Government, with regard to this project, is perfectly inexplicable; and any one who reads the correspondence relative to it, which has been recently laid before the House, would almost be tempted to say, that the Government had taken that precise course which was best calculated to invite foreign powers to question our undoubted right to supremacy in those islands. I make this observation in no unkindly spirit, but with the view of imploring the Colonial Office to retrace its steps before it is too late. As the company have already sent about 1000 settlers, and have acquired an immense territory, by purchase, from the natives, the Government will soon be compelled to form a deliberate decision, whether, or not, they will recognise New Zealand as a British colony, and undertake its government on their own responsibility. I trust that they will not hesitate to bring within the compass of British civilisation a country possessing so many advantages of every kind, in which, under proper arrangement, many thousands of our unemployed population would find profitable occupation for their industry, whilst, at the same time, they would enlarge and strengthen the boundaries of our empire. Having now examined, in review, the successive efforts which have been made to extend emigration, I have only to point out what still remains to be accomplished. If I am asked what specific measure I am desirous that the Government should adopt, I answer, in one sentence, provide a free passage for every industrious man of good character who cannot find adequate employment at home, to those colonies in which his labour being much wanted will be adequately rewarded, and by a removal to which his condition will be in all respects improved. If I am asked in what manner the funds necessary to conduct such an extensive emigration shall be provided, I might reply that it is for the executive Goverment to consider in what manner those funds may best be obtained; and that, if Parliament be as strongly impressed as I believe it to be with the necessity of providing for the well-being of our surplus population, and for the prosperity of our colonial empire, the Government may confidently rely upon its disposition to support any financial measures which may be required for the promotion of these objects. But I will not hesitate to point out the sources from which it seems to me that the necessary funds may be derived, without imposing any burdensome sacrifice upon this country. Even if such sources, however, were not available, considerations of expense ought not, in my opinion, to deter us from undertaking colonization. For my own part, I should not regard a loan of ten or twelve millions sterling, applied at the rate of a million a-year to emigration, as an improvident application of the capital and resources of the mother country. Neither should I object, if other means were not available, to an apportionment of the expenses of emigration between the colony, the public at large, and the local district relieved by emigration; inasmuch, as the benefit would be shared by each of these three contributing parties. But it is not necessary to have recourse to either of these expedients for raising the funds necessary to carry into effect the emigration recommended in the resolutions now before the House. We have only to avail ourselves of the principles already partially tried—where tried found successful—and fully sustained by the approbation of public opinion, both at home and in the colonies. The waste lands which still remain ungranted in the colonies, may justly be regarded as held in trust by the Crown for the common benefit of the whole British people. If the proceeds arising from the sale of this land were henceforth to be strictly applied to emigration, it would be difficult to assign limits to the amount which might be derived from this source. In a single year (1836), there was received from the sale of land in the United States, no less a sum than 25,000,000 dollars, or above 5,000,000l. sterling; and as Great Britain possesses an extent of land in her colonies which may almost be designated as unbounded, it is not toomuch to suppose that, undertheoperation of the self-supporting principle of colonization, the funds derived from the sale of land would augment with a rapidity which we dare not at present calculate. For my own part, judging by the receiptswhich have already been derived from this source, I am fully persuaded, that if the Government had espoused this principle in 1830, when it was first proposed, and had faithfully adhered to it, they would have had, at this moment, an annually augmenting revenue from our colonies, applicable to emigration, of not less than 500,000l. per annum. Let them begin, then, by acceding to the wishes of the people of New South Wales and of the other Australian settlements, by giving a strict guarantee that the land fund shall not be diverted from emigration, and, if necessary, by raising a loan, upon this security, to meet the present intense demand for labour in these settlements. Let them take possession of such land in New Zealand as shall be voluntarily ceded by the chiefs, and put an end to the scramble for it which is now going on among private individuals,—undertaking,at the same time, the colonisation of those islands, and the civilisation of its natives. Let them give to the Cape of Good Hope a supply of labour adequate to its wants,—raising, if necessary, a loan for that purpose, upon the security of its land revenue. With respect to British America, the course of proceeding is somewhat more complex; because the Crown, having surrendered to the control of the provincial Legislatures its territorial revenue, their consent becomes necessary to any measure by which its appropriation may be effected. But, from the language which is held in reference to emigration, in all documents proceeding from the British inhabitants of America, there is every reason to expect that they will not only willingly, but gladly, co-operate with the Government in applying to the introduction of emigrants the land revenues now placed at their disposal. It is true that, in the Canadas, a large portion of the public land has been already granted to individuals; but, upon the whole, the land belonging to the Crown which still remains unsold in British America has been estimated to be worth 7,500,000l. There is, at this moment, a sum of 60,000l. due by the Canada Company to the Crown, which could not be applied in a manner more satisfactory to all the parties interested than in compliance with the request of that company, by appropriating it to purposes connected with emigration. A sum of about 40,000l., due by the British American Land Company in Lower Canada, might also, with advantage, be applied in a similar manner. But, if any difficulty should arise in obtaining funds for the promotion of emigration to Canada, in consequence of the limited extent of Crown domain now available for sale in that colony, the Government cannot meet that difficulty in a manner better calculated to promote the interests of Canada, than by recommending for adoption by the provincial Legislature the suggestions contained in the Appendix to Lord Durham's Report, in a very valuable paper which bears the signature of Mr. Charles Buller, but the authorship of which has, I believe, been assigned by him to Mr. Walsefield. I allude, now, particularly to that portion of the Report, in Appendix B, which recommends a tax upon wild lands in British America, for the purpose of raising a fund to carry on public works and emigration. Those who are acquainted with the circumstances of Canada are aware that the improvement of that colony has been greatly obstructed by the interposition between the settlers of large tracts of land, which have been acquired by individuals at the time when the profuse and indiscriminate system of land-granting prevailed, and which are left by these proprietors in their original uncultivated state. A tax upon wild lands—payable either in land or money—will have the effect of compelling such proprietors either to sell or surrender a portion of these lands for the payment of the tax, or to take such measures for clearing, improving, and settling them, as will render the charge of a moderate land-tax wholly inconsiderable. Such an assessment would, in fact, confer upon the landed proprietors of Canada the most valuable boon which they could receive, if the fund raised by this means be strictly applied, within the district on which it is to be levied, to the purposes designed. It is, indeed, so regarded by all the most intelligent owners of land in British America, who feel that the imposition of such a tax, applied to public improvements, would only be to require each proprietor to contribute to a common fund for the benefit of all, to be appropriated to objects essentially requisite to give a value to their lands, which, whilst they continue in a state of nature, are only nominal and unprofitable possessions. To the industrious settler, on the other hand, a moderate tax upon wild lands would afford substantial relief, if accompanied, as it ought to be, with the abolition of the obnoxious duty of statute labour. Captain Pringle, in a paper recently presented to the House, computes that the settler who owns fifty acres of land in Upper Canada, of which he has cleared thirty, now pays, in local taxation (assigning its proper value to the statute labour to which he is liable), not less than 1l. 5s. 1d.; whilst the great proprietor pays for the same extent of land, in an unreclaimed state, an annual charge of only 1s. 4½d. It has been estimated that a lax of only twopence per acre upon wild lands in British America would produce a net revenue of upwards of 150,000l. per annum. Here, then, is a fund susceptible of constant augmentation, upon which advances might be made by the Treasury, by way of loan, repayable by instalment, in the same manner as advances are now made upon the security of rates and tolls, to the extent of several millions, by the Exchequer Bill Commissioners and by the Irish Board of Public Works, to the counties and local trustees of England and Ireland. There is no subject with respect to which the feeling of the British population in America is so unanimous as with regard to the urgent necessity of undertaking public works on an extended scale; and, inasmuch as, in those colonies where almost every man is in possession of land belonging to himself, public works cannot be extensively undertaken without obtaining a supply of labour from external sources, there can be no doubt that the inhabitants of the Canadas would willingly consent to the application of a portion of the funds raised upon the security of the wild land tax, to the acquisition of such a supply, by emigration from this country. It is possible, indeed, that, as has been the case in Australia, they may be found unwilling to pay the expense of conveying to the colony the children and aged persons belonging to the families of the youthful labourers whose industry they require; and, in such case, it is not unreasonable that, either by way of local contribution, or by assistance on the part of the State, or by the combined action of both these means, the young and the aged of our unemployed population should be enabled to accompany the more vigorous portion of their families to their new destination. There is one objection to the encouragement of emigration to British America at the expense of the State, which deserves to be considered, because it undoubtedly possesses some validity. This is the apprehension that the emigrants carried out at the public expense will pass over to the United States; so that the cost of their conveyance will fall upon Great Britain, whilst the benefit of their industry would be obtained by another nation. It seems to me that this danger has been overrated. If the number who have gone from our colonies to the United States had been as great as is supposed by some writers, the population of the Canadas could not have reached its present amount. Under a well-regulated system of emigration, there is little reason to apprehend that such removal would take place to any considerable extent. The climate of Canada is better than that of the United States, its soil as good, taxation is lighter, and the British emigrant enjoys, there, the advantage of living under those institutions to which he is accustomed and attached. If the same British capital which now finds investment in public works in the United States, were encouraged to seek employment in Canada, the remuneration of labour would be higher in our own colony than at the other side of the border; and if the emigrant labourer, instead of being thrown unaided and forlorn into the sea-ports of Lower Canada, from which he is frequently allured by-misrepresentation into the United States, were conducted to those parts of British America where he would find certain and immediate employment, he would seldom be disposed to exchange the certain advantage thus secured to him for the chances of an adventure into the United States. Much might be done, also, to prevent such a result, by an improved administration of the land department of the colonies. There is abundant evidence to show that many persons who have gone out with the intention of settling in the Canadas, have been driven to the United States by the delay arising from the imperfection of surveys, and the difficulty of acquiring titles in the land department of our colonies. This source of injury may be easily obviated by greater energy in the local administration. Many, too, have been driven away by finding that the interposition of large blocks of wild land, as "clergy reserves," between the different settlements, has prevented those improvements from taking place which would have rendered all property in the neighbourhood more valuable. It is true, indeed, that, to the extent of one fourth of their whole amount, legislative permission was obtained, in 1827, to sell these clergy reserves; but, in Lower Canada,—rather more than one fourth having been already disposed of,—all further sale is now arrested. It is necessary, therefore, in order to remove this source of complaint, that power should be given to bring the remainder of these reserves into the market whenever the interest of any district requires their sale. In reference to the systematic conduct of emigration to British America, it is of great importance that a local agency should be established, for the purpose of ascertaining, during the winter season, the supply of labourers that will be required by each district; so that emigrants, when they arrive, in the summer, may be directed to those localities in which they will be sure of obtaining employment. Official reports relative to the probable demand for labour in each district, in the different provinces of British America, ought to be sent over and circulated in this country as early as possible in the spring, so that if anything should have occurred to diminish the demand for labour in any particular quarter, it might be made known in time to prevent the disappointment of false hopes on the part of the emigrant. In closing this statement, I have only to advert to one additional point, to which I am disposed to attach considerable importance. We hear so much of the spiritual destitution which prevails in our colonies, that it becomes a matter of public concern, in founding a system of colonization under the auspices of the State, to make provision for the religious instruction of those who emigrate. It seems to me, therefore, that wherever a considerable body of persons belonging to any particular religious persuasion emigrate to any colony, a sufficient number of clergymen of the same persuasion should be encouraged to accompany them, by the grant of a free passage, and by the assignment to them of a small permanent endowment in the colony. I nave reason to think that the Roman Catholic clergy of Ireland would view emigration with much more favour than they do at present, if some such arrangement were made for the religious superintendence of the numerous emigrants belonging to that persuasion; and, indeed, it is a feeling which must be shared by every conscientious minister of every persuasion. I have now gone through, at more length than I could have desired, the various topics to which I have thought it my duty to allude, in connexion with the subject which I have undertaken to submit to the consideration of the House. It will be perceived that I have proposed no new scheme—that I have suggested no untried experiment—but that I have limited myself to an earnest solicitation, that plans proposed by others, and partially adopted, may, without delay, be carried into full and practical effect. I rest my appeal to the House upon the simple consideration that it is our duty, as guardians of the happiness of the people, not to allow our population to famish at home, whilst such abundant resources lie open to our command in other portions of the empire. I need not add, that I have brought forward this motion with no unfriendly feeling towards the Government, whom I believe to be not so much, themselves, disinclined to promote colonisation, as timid in regard to the reception of any proposal which they might be disposed to submit to the country for its extension. One of the objects, therefore, which I have in view in proposing the present resolutions, is to give this House an opportunity of declaring that it will cheerfully afford its support to such a proposal, if made by the Government. I appeal, too, with some confidence, to the noble Lord, the Secretary for the Colonies, because I know that he possesses a mind to comprehend, and energy to execute, whatever is calculated to conduce to the public advantage. He has done much for his country and for mankind; but I feel persuaded, that he can couple his name with no act of greater utility, or to which he will look back with greater satisfaction, than to a measure which would cause the cry of hunger to be no more heard throughout the land. Nor can he acquire any prouder title to fame, than to have realized for his country and for his Sovereign, the prediction which was addressed by our great poet to a former monarch of these realms:— Wherever the bright sun of heaven shall shine, Her honour and the greatness of her name shall be, And make new nations. For myself, I advance no higher claim than to have been, in regard to this matter, the humble follower of abler men; and, as it has always been a source of satisfaction to me, to have been among the earliest supporters of that system of emigration, which has already indicated the mighty results to which it may hereafter lead, so, also, do I now rejoice in the indulgence of an assured expectation, that, at no distant period, we shall witness the full accomplishment of a measure which will alike conduce to the aggrandisement of the empire, and the individual happiness of its population—the establishment of a well-regulated system of national colonisation. I beg, now, to move the following resolutions:— That, in Great Britain and Ireland, the working classes are frequently exposed to extreme privation, from inability to procure employment: That, in several of the British colonies, the demand for labour is urgent, continuous, and incieasing, and its remuneration is comparatively ample, whilst the prosperity of these colonies is much retarded by its inadequate supply: That, under these circumstances, it is expedient that a free passage to those colonies which offer the greatest rewards to industry should be provided by the State for such of the labouring classes as are disposed to emigrate thither.

Mr. Hutt

rose to second the motion, which he was sorry, from the scanty attendance of Members, to find was so distasteful to the House. His hon. Friend the mover had already adverted to almost every topic which could well be advanced in support of the resolutions before the House. There was one of his hon. Friend's observations in which he should have had great pleasure to have concurred, had he seen a probability of its realisation by any measure emanating from the Colonial-office. For his part he was persuaded that to depend upon such a measure as the means of placing these countries in so flourishing a condition as that the cry of hunger should no more be heard in the land, was quite a visionary hope. No man who had looked narrowly into the state of society in the present day, and had investigated the causes of complaint so frequently, though vainly, submitted to Parliament, in the hope of redress, could avoid the inference that there was something more than Chartist oratory in operation upon the minds and conditions of the lower classes in this country, to induce them to abandon their peaceable habits, and rise up, as they had lately witnessed, in large masses, in open violation of the laws. The Government of the country should cease to cajole itself with the idea that there was not something radically wrong in the constitution of society, and attempt to remedy the evil, and restore the people to a just confidence in its Government, and an affection to its national institutions. It might have been the duty of the Government to vindicate the laws which had so lately been insulted, by exemplary punishment; but if they had felt it their duty, as Ministers of the Crown, to do so much in the way of punishment, it was no less their bounden duty, as statesmen and as Christians, to do something by way of prevention of such offences. He certainly thought the condition of the labouring classes in Ireland was much worse than it was in this country. He did not think that in periods of bad harvests, of commercial embarrassment, or of mercantile depression, that there was, even in England, abundant means of giving employment to the labouring classes. These periods were not of unfrequent occurrence, even in a former state of society, when the population of the country was only a fraction of what it now was. When these things were taken into consideration, perhaps it was not to be wondered at that so much public disapprobation with the state of their country and its constitution had been openly avowed, and men began to ponder upon the means of settling in our colonies, and flying from a state of things which they believed to be too desperate to expect the Legislature itself could easily remedy. The existence of such a feeling of despondency in a large portion of the public was as much deplored by himself as by any other hon. Member in that House. There was reason, however, to believe that it was gaining ground, and that it furnished even an inducement to some industrious and peaceable persons to turn their thoughts to emigration to the colonies, and to abandon with their families the country of their birth. Having alluded to the existence of such a feeling, he should trouble the House by reading an extract from a letter received by an operative in London, from a person who had located himself at Port Adelaide about two years since. The writer stated That he had been a small shopkeeper in the city of London, and, as his correspondent well knew, not in the worst circumstances, but that he had the greatest reason to be grateful for having resolved to give up his business and emigrate to that colony. He strongly recommended his correspondent to give up the struggle for mere bread, and a scanty subsistence for his children, in a country beset with difficulties almost insurmountable to operatives and labouring men with families. The advantages which he had reaped since his arrival up to the date of the letter (November, 1839), had been so great, that he confessed he was ashamed of himself for having so long submitted to act the part of a willing slave for a mere livelihood in London, out of attachment to a land in which the industry of every man in his situation was cramped or burdened as it now was in England. The acceptance of the Colonial Secretaryship by the noble Lord (Lord J. Russell) had given him much satisfaction, because he naturally thought, from what he knew of the principles entertained by the noble Lord on the subject of the colonies and colonisation, that his appointment to the Colonial-office would have been the commencement of a happier and better era for our possessions abroad; but he was sorry to say that he had been deceived in his expectations. The spirit of the Colonial-office had seized upon the noble Lord and paralized him. All that was required was, that those funds which were provided by the colonists themselves, instead of being wasted and distributed among the colonial officers and agents at home and abroad, should be set apart and devoted solely to the purposes of emigration. He contended that the proceeds of the sale of the waste lands of the colonies would furnish ample funds out of which the poor starving labourers of these kingdoms might be provided with free passages to our various colonies. He was very sorry to see that by the Canada Bill which the noble Lord, the Secretary for the Colonies, had brought before the House, that fund, which ought to be applied only in furtherance of emigration to that colony, was to be handed over to the colonial authorities for other purposes. In New South Wales also, where it was distinctly understood that the funds arising from the sale of the waste lands should be applied only in promoting and encouraging emigration to that colony, they had been devoted to purposes of a nature wholly different. The Cape of Good Hope furnished yet another instance of the misapplication or those funds. In that colony 30,000l. a year was derived from the quit rents, and, although the colony was almost perishing for want of labourers, none of this money was applied to the purposes of emigration. He should with much pleasure support the resolutions of his hon. Friend generally, for it was his firm conviction that if the principle of those resolutions were carried out, the most beneficial effects would be produced. He believed the result would be to lighten the burden of the poor laws, and to extinguish chartism, unionism, and all other unsocial combinations in this country.

Mr. Lucas

thought that the country was highly indebted to the hon. Gentleman for calling the attention of the House to the subject, and he much regretted that the present state of the House did not afford a more favourable opportunity for its discussion, particularly when he knew, and every Member of the House knew as well as he did, that if the question was, whether a Member should be added to the Whig or the Tory side of the House, the benches would be filled to repletion. He would not detain the House long, because he was as sensible as the hon. Gentlemen who had preceded him that the House was not much disposed to listen to him. That was not the time for talking about particular plans, but he thought that more facilities for emigration might be afforded by the Government. He suggested, that available security should be taken for the payment of the expenses after the settlement of emigrants in Aus- tralia. But he would not detain the House with remarks on matters of detail. He begged to express his general concurrence in the resolutions, and his readiness to support the object the hon. Member had in view.

Captain Boldero

thought the House was much indebted to the hon. Gentleman for bringing this subject under its consideration, but there was one colony to which the attention of hon. Members had not been directed on the present occasion—he meant New South Wales. In the year 1831, it was determined that sales of land should take place, and from that time down to this period, sales had been effected by the Government to the amount of 800,000l., of which only about half had been appropriated to the purposes of emigration. He must say, that if the Government of the present day had devoted one half of the produce arising from the sale of lands, they had acted with great injustice towards those who had been induced to purchase lands under the impression that emigration would be promoted by all the money they paid. The annual amount of taxation in New South Wales, was 250,000l., which, taking the number of the population, was at the rate of 2l. 10s. per head, being 20 per cent, more than we at home paid. The colonies of New South Wales were entitled to the benefit of the 400,000l. which had been raised by the sale of lands. It was admitted by all that there was a redundant population, and he thought that a most favourable opportunity was now afforded for getting rid of some of that redundancy by encouraging a system of military emigration. The day was coming when we must withdraw our army from Canada; and now was the time to commence a system by which soldiers would be induced to go thither—a system which would hold out to them the prospect, after a few years' service, of a settlement in the colony amongst their friends and companions—a system which would improve the present method of recruiting, and render quite unnecessary the barbarous coercion of the cat—a system, he would add, which would stop the frequent desertions from the army.—["Cheers."]—The noble Lord cheered that observation; but the noble Lord must know that desertions from the army in Canada, were going on by dozens and scores. Let the soldier be led to expect, after a certain period of servitude, a settlement which would be advantageous to him, and he would be less influenced by hankerings after home, and by the temptations which neighbouring states, where labourers were wanted, held out. At present the soldier, when he applied to return home to see his friends, was refused, his officers having no means or power to comply with his request, and the consequence was, that he remained in the ranks discontented and careless, and became at length indifferent to his character as a soldier, and dissipated in his habits. Now, if by an alteration in the present system soldiers could be made to feel that the colony would become their home, a double advantage would be gained to the mother country, for the character of the military would be improved, while the possession of the colony would be rendered more secure. He was anxious that an investigation of this subject should take place, and indeed of the condition of the colonies generally. He hoped a committee would be appointed for that purpose; for, however industrious the noble Lord, the Secretary for the Colonies might be, it was clear it was too much for one man to have the superintendence of nearly forty different foreign possessions. He was certain that much information was required, and might be obtained through the inquiries of a committee, information of the greatest importance to the noble Lord, and to all who were interested in the welfare of our colonial dominions. All history showed that the most flourishing colonies had been those which were founded and peopled by military emigrants, and if the noble Lord would grant a committee of inquiry, he should be most happy to lend every assistance in his power in furtherance of that object, and he thought he could show the noble Lord the advantage of adopting his suggestions with regard to the army.

Mr. Villiers

did not rise to express any difference of opinion from those hon. Gentlemen who had preceded him, and who had expressed a general concurrence in the views stated by the hon. mover of this question; and he shared in the satisfaction which they had said they felt at the subject being brought before the House; his difference from the hon. mover, he was bound to say, was rather in those general positions on which the hon. Member had based his proposition, than in the conclusion to which he had arrived. He thought, that the hon. Member and the seconder had attempted to establish a connection as necessary between things that were distinct. He alluded to the domestic policy of this country, and that which they recommended for the colonies; and they had, he thought, intended to show that the necessities of this country could only be relieved by satisfying the wants of the colonies. The mover and the seconder had ably exposed to the House the mode in which a colony could be enriched by the efflux of capital and labour from this country; and they had with far more ability done what he had attempted to do on more than one occasion this Session, namely, to bring before this House the sad condition, physical and social, of the labouring classes in this country; but where he thought they failed was in showing that the only policy for this country was to provide the fund for sending forth those who were without employment here to meet the wants in regard to labour of some distant dependency. He did not, of course, deny that if the people were suffering here, and that if they could be removed at the public expense, and located where they would prosper, that it would be an advantage to them, but he thought, that some inquiry into who and what is the cause of their distress was required before they should cast a fresh burden on the people for that purpose. [Mr. Hutt—that is proposed.] With respect to that, there may be some difference between the mover and the seconder, but if he read the proposition of the mover rightly it implied it, and if he heard him correctly the resolution stated, that the removal of the people was his plan. The Member for Hull had certainly said, that his object was only to apply the proceeds of the land fund to the purposes of emigration, which was a different plan, and which he, for one, with the view to the prosperity of our colonies, would wish to see adopted. That was wise policy as regards the colony, and one which he thought it was entitled to claim, though he must say, that he thought, that the important result of that plan was, that it tended to improve the value of the property in the colony, as the sale would be much more productive if such an application of the purchase money was a condition of the sale. It was an assurance to the colony of future value, which it would be without, unless labour was supplied to It, and he thought that the Gentleman who had devised the plan had deserved all the credit which had been ascribed to him. But that was not the spirit nor the substance of the hon. Member for Limerick's proposition, which went to establish what the hon. Member termed stale emigration. That proposition he contended, distinctly raised the question, as to the cause of that distress amongst the working people which renders it politic to convey them from their own country to another; and it was not enough, in his judgment, to show that it would be a relief to Irish landlords to clear their estates under their new liability of the Poor-law. It was not enough for those who maintain the Corn-laws here to show that the charge of the poor was becoming more burdensome to them, unless they also showed that it was not their own laws, and that policy which prevents food coming into this country, and employment being given to the people to obtain that food, which really caused the present distress of the industrious classes. This he believed distinctly was the cause of that distress, and for one he felt little disposed to relieve those who supported such a law from the only evil they dreaded from it. The only prospect he saw of bringing them to their senses was, that the evil should re-act upon themselves, when, by a serious experience of its influence upon their property they would at last be made sensible to its general mischief. Let the House only consider what the evil was for which this remedy was proposed—that the people here are destitute, are without food; and what is the remedy? To send them to a distant land, where food is to be found. Surely the wiser course would be to let the food come to them. The advantages of colonising the waste lands in these colonies was dwelt upon, but the advantage of bringing fresh land, or what is the same thing, the produce of that land, which is all that makes it of value to anybody, to this country is surely a greater advantage; and truly the effect of repealing the Corn-laws is just that of adding so much land to their own territory. But this was refused; and for the purpose of preventing it, a mischievous restraint was imposed on commerce, and thus the people were deprived of food and of employment. To prevent such legislation as the Corn-laws becoming troublesome to this country, a fresh charge for emigration was to be re- commended. It was the effect of this and other restraints upon commerce that gave rise to the notion of redundancy of labour in this country. He believed there was no necessary redundancy. That was a relative term, and had relation to the means of employing the labourer. He believed that there was a redundancy of capital as well as of labour in this country, and that what was really required was a wider field for its employment—but the Corn-laws prevented it, and unless they were shown to be necessary, he, for one, would never give a vote for one sixpence out of the public purse to relieve those who maintained them from their consequences. The Corn-laws, defend them who might, and upon general grounds if they pleased, must be admitted by all to operate as a check to commerce, and to impede the progress of manufactures. That, he contended, was an enormous evil; and, under these circumstances, to aggravate that evil by making those who were obliged to remain in this country pay for those who emigrated would be a combination of folly and injustice that he would never be a party to.

Sir R. Inglis

rose, exclaiming Ecce iterum Crispinus! He certainly must confess that he admired the perseverance of the hon. Member who had just sat down, who, notwithstanding all the lengthened speeches he had recently delivered on the Corn-laws, still returned, even in this discussion, to his favourite theme. The hon. Member reminded him of Papin's bone-digester, which turned everything into food. Whatever the subject, the hon. Member was sure to convert it into a question of the Corn-laws. With regard to the proposition for a committee of inquiry, he must say that he had more confidence in the ability and probity of his noble Friend, the Secretary for the Colonies, much as he was opposed to him in politics, than in the result of the labours of any committee of that house, of whomsoever it might be composed. He was sure the House would agree with him that if they did assent to the resolutions which the hon. Member opposite had submitted to their consideration, they were bound to adopt such measures as might be necessary for carrying them into full operation. There could be no use in merely loading their journals with a set of truisms: if they adopted a principle, nothing could be more clear than that they ought to be prepared to carry it out to its utmost legitimate boundary. He saw many difficulties in the way of emigration, but that did not in the least render him insensible to the great advantages likely to accrue to the country from a judicious encouragement of emigration. He confessed that he never heard the subject mentioned without being forward to bear his testimony to the useful purposes to which it was capable of being applied. The Duke of Wellington, upon an occasion widely different from the present, observed that England could not engage in a small war; he should say that England ought not to engage in a small scheme of emigration. This country should not engage in any plan of emigration which there were not good grounds for believing would be adequate to the relief of the working classes in this country, and which would be at the same time suitable to, and commensurate with, the commercial wants of our colonies. It also appeared to him most important that Parliament should bear in mind, the necessity there was that emigration should not be limited to a class or subdivision of the community. Whether they looked at the manufacturers of the north of England or the peasantry of the Highlands and islands of Scotland, they must feel that in every quarter of the country the necessity for emigration was severely felt; and then let them look on the other side of the ocean, and they could not fail to see that additional labourers were as much wanted there as population was superabundant here. Mr. Allison, in the evidence which he gave with reference to the petition of the Protestant Emigration Society of Glasgow, observed, that the recent improvements in machinery were so extensive and efficient, that they had produced quite a redundancy of manual labour; and it was his opinion, that if speedy and effectual measures were not adopted by way of antidote to this alarming evil, Great Britain, from being a country remarkable for its morality, its industry, its good order, and the force of its religious sentiments and feeling, would be disgraced and ruined by poverty, ignorance, and crime. It might be expected from a well-timed and sustained system of emigration, that great good would arise, profit and advantage of various kinds to those who went abroad, to those who remained at home, and to the colonies to which this new accession of labour was conveyed. The petition to which he had thus alluded prayed that Government might bestow upon the petitioners a grant of land, a free passage, and rations for twelve months, the cost of which they were willing- to repay by instalments. Those were the feelings of the petitioners, and he thought them well entitled to consideration; they were the opinions of Mr. Allison, and they appeared to him in all respects calculated to command respect. In considering a question of this nature, he had not lost sight of the politico-economical objections urged against every scheme of emigration which he had yet heard propounded; but he confessed that when he listened to the voices of men crying out for bread, when he read of the distress which his fellow-subjects endured in various parts of the country, he could not pay much attention to any doctrines of political economy, and he sincerely hoped that her Majesty's Government would not be deterred by any party or sect amongst political economists from applying the national resources contrary even to the rules and doctrines of the science of political economy, provided they felt assured that in doing so they were preventing greater misery than they caused; and likewise felt assured that they were conveying labourers to a place where they were much needed, and at the same time relieving the overstocked market at home, thus imparting a fresh stimulus to industry, to enterprise, and to capital. In making these observations, however, he felt himself bound most distinctly and emphatically to say, that he did not think the Government of this country would be by any means warranted in sending out emigrants without providing them with the means of religious instruction. They were not held to be free to transport men for their crimes unless they provided at the same time the means of religious instruction; why should they send out innocent and unoffending men without securing to them similar advantages? For his part, he never could regard any plan as a national plan unless in addition to all the secular means of advancing emigration upon a sound and just basis, there were also supplied the means of securing the full benefits of religious instruction, and he did hope that if the Ministers of the Crown consented to sanction the resolutions then on the table of the House, they would not hesitate to couple with them such provisions as might be necessary for securing the stability of public worship and religious instruction.

Mr. Ward

said, that he must begin the few observations with which he meant to trouble the House somewhat in the same manner that the hon. Baronet opposite had commenced his speech. The hon. Baronet had complained of his hon. Friend the Member for Wolverhampton for having been induced to convert the present debate into a food question, and went the length of asserting that he could not discuss any measure in Parliament without in some form or another connecting it with the great question of a repeal of the Corn-laws. This remark provoked another, to which he (Mr. Ward) could not help giving expression. If the Member for Wolverhampton could not avoid the introduction of the corn question, neither could the hon. Baronet avoid a reference to religious subjects; but he earnestly hoped that her Majesty's Government would not fix the curse of an exclusive system upon any of our colonies; he hoped that whatever was done for religion might be done equally for all denominations. When he spoke of Protestantism and of Protestant Emigration Societies, did he mean to talk of English Protestants or of Scottish Protestants? for if what had occurred in another place were to be received as authority upon such a subject, he would say that the doctrines of the Scottish Church were not acknowledged as the same Protestantism with that of the Church of England, and again he repeated his hopes that no attempt would be made to force an exclusive system upon any of her Majesty's possessions. With regard to the hon. Baronet's deprecation of the cold doctrines of political economy, he was certainly at a loss to imagine how the hon. Baronet could make use of such an expression, when within a very few nights he had given a vote on the subject of the Corn-laws at variance with every dictate of humanity. There had been, he admitted, symptoms of a better administration, of extended views, and improved feelings and convictions since the noble Lord (Lord J. Russell) held his present office. And if he had some objections to the incompleteness with which the noble Lord had carried out his own views, and he hoped he should always urge them in a friendly spirit, and with a sincere desire that when the noble Lord's numerous avocations during Session were lightened, he would at a time of more leisure, give effect to his own ideas concerning colonisation, and leave no cause for similar complaints to those now expressed on the subject. When he said this, he did not by any means wish to be understood as dissenting from the proposal of his hon. Friend (Mr. O'Brien), or that funds should be raised from any other source than the land of the colony. The first step of the noble Lord on this subject augured well. He had appointed three commissioners, and in his instructions stated the views which he conceived ought to regulate their conduct. In the first place, he laid it down as a principle that there ought to be a more comprehensive system for regulating emigration. He hailed this admission as a most favourable omen of the course which the noble Lord meant to pursue; but his instructions went to restrict and limit the general principles which one might reasonably infer from this avowal. The duties of the commissioners were such as they could never undertake, much less discharge, unless they received their authority from Parliament. The noble Lord must be aware that whatever plan he adopted might be altered by his successor. Nay, the failure of his proposed system might be alleged as a conclusive ground for its discontinuance, when the fact might be that it only required time to have all the predictions made respecting it verified. It might not unfairly be urged, too, by the noble Lord's opponents, that his own want of confidence in his proposal was unquestionably exhibited by his refraining from obtaining for it a Parliamentary sanction. The noble Lord also maintained the imprescriptible right of the Crown to the lands of the colonies. Now this was nothing more than an idle theory, for instead of its being an inflexible rule, there was none which had been proved to be more elastic. All recent reports from our colonies teemed with instances of the grossest abuse and mismanagement with respect to the lands of the Crown. In fact, there was no stretch of favouritism—no amount of robbing which was comparable to that connected with land in Australia, and every other portion of our colonial dependencies. It might be said, why not trust to the discretion of the Colonial Secretary for a proper system of emigration? He owned he bad no trust in the good faith of the colonial officers. He recollected that when on the colonial land committee, a hint was dropped of the improper application of the emigration fund in New South Wales, and it was asked on the part of the Colonial Office, when some remedy was suggested for this abuse—" Can you have any thing more stringent in the shape of an Act of Parliament than the order to the Governor!" And what was the proof of the efficacy of those orders? Why, an admission inadvertently made by the Under-secretary that the Governor thought it the most delightfully convenient thing to have this fund at his disposal, so as to meet any sudden expenditure for police or any purpose of that kind. What was the result? That not a shilling of this fund was at his noble Friend's disposal; and the duties of the commission were confined to superintending emigration to the new colony of South Australia, which was founded happily, he would say, not on a memorandum from the Colonial-office, but on an Act of Parliament which had experienced from that quarter great objections, and was assailed by constant criticisms and quibblings from the day it passed up to that hour. The colonial revenue was amply sufficient for all the purposes of local Government, without an application of the emigration fund to that purpose, This was a fund unjustly levied on the holders of land, who purchased this property on the implied condition, that they could obtain the requisite amount of labour to till it. Another objection which he had to the noble Lord's proposition, was, the exclusion of several colonies from the superintendence of the commission. There was every hope from the unanimity displayed on the subject of the Canadian Government, that it would soon come under the cognizance of the commission. But there surely were large tracts in South Africa and the West Indies, which ought to be turned to the best account. He agreed with the hon. Baronet (Sir R. Inglis) that a subject of this national importance ought not to be left to any Member, but introduced on the responsibility of Government. There were facts connected with it not accessible even to the industry of the present mover; and he hoped that the noble Lord, the Secretary for the Colonies, would, if not agree to the present motion, at least give an assurance that he would be prepared to act next year on his own conviction.

Mr. Vernon Smith

said, however, he might rejoice at the prospect of his noble Friend being relieved from some portion of his labours by devolving this matter to a committee, yet the doing so would tend to embarrass the Colonial-office. With respect to the second resolution of the hon. Member, there could be no doubt that a difficulty of finding employment existed in England, and particularly in Ireland, and that a want of labourers existed in all our colonies. But when he proposed to place upon the books of the House a resolution that the remuneration for labour in the colonies was ample, he was not prepared to admit that it was so in all the colonies. The prosperity of some of the colonies and their climate had often been painted in too vivid colours. After stating his premises in his first two resolutions, the hon. Member jumped rather hastily to a conclusion, that a free passage should be provided by the Stale for such of the labouring classes as were disposed to emigrate, by which he understood that a sum of money should be offered to every one who wished to leave this country, who might do so at the public expense. [Mr. O'Brien.—" Under the circumstances."] That was a very convenient qualification. But the Government could not consent to put such a resolution on the books, unless it were proposed to act upon it, otherwise it would be holding out fallacious hopes to the poor. The hon. Member for Sheffield had said, that the land revenues of the colonies, if not diverted to other purposes, would be sufficient for the purposes; but if the land fund had been diverted to other purposes which were connected with the protection of the settlers—such as the expense of a police force, which should not fall upon the mother country—from what fund was it proposed to defray the expenditure? [Mr. Ward. "Local taxation."]—But the local Legislature might refuse to raise a local tax. If this fund therefore, were devoted exclusively to the purpose of emigration, how could the expenses now defrayed out of it, be met but by new taxation? or how could the mother country meet the charges which the colony refused, unless she retained this fund in her hands for general purposes? His hon. Friend said, that the noble Lord augured well on entering the Colonial-office. What had induced his hon. Friend to alter his opinion? Something that he thought was a deviation from the plan he had proposed; that there had been something variable and fluctuating! This general objection was, that a principle well laid down in the beginning had been frittered away in the details. A few years ago it had been insisted upon, that all colonial expenditure should be submitted to the Treasury. The hon. Member for Kilkenny supported that proposition, and all economists were then of that opinion, and thought so still. His hon. Friend now proposed to take the Colonial-office from under the control of the Treasury. He also proposed that all his schemes on the subject of emigration should be put into an Act of Parliament. Would his hon. Friend undertake to frame that act? Would he venture to propose a bill that would pass that House—he would not say with the unanimity of the House—but with something like the unanimity of most of the hon. Member's Friends? The hon. Member for Sheffield had also complained very much of the frequent changes in the Colonial-office, as producing corresponding changes in the colonial policy; but he (Mr. V. Smith) could not admit that those variations of policy were to be at all attributed to a variation in the persons connected with the Colonial Department. In the present state of our colonies, considering the rapid progress they had made of late years, it was impossible for the wisest to foresee the extent to which population and consequent expenditure might be carried. Even now, there were several schemes afloat for the colonisation of New Zealand, the Falkland Isles, and other places, all of which inflicted great expense in the originating of them by the mother country for protection and other purposes; because the moment the English set their foot on the land, the next thing would be, as it always was, a demand for a ship of war for their protection. When the hon. Member, therefore, spoke of the variation of policy in the Colonial-office, he thought it was bearing rather hard on the individuals in that office to say, that the evils which had occurred were owing to fluctuations in their opinions, and their want of foresight. He should like, too, to see how his hon. Friend would embody that foresight in an Act of Parliament. If, moreover, they were once tied up by an Act of Parliament, how were they to return, if it were necessary, to the state in which Ministers might act by themselves? The difficulty would be greater than ever; because, then it would be said, "There is your Act of Parliament, is not that sufficient?" If, too, the land fund was directed to the purposes of emigration in New South Wales, to what fund would they resort for other expenses? But, with respect to that fund, the report which had been made, showed that there had been a good deal of emigration on bounty-giving going on. By the reports which were made on this subject in 1837, it appeared that the total number who had emigrated in the twelve years between 1825 and 1837, was, 694,569. In the following year the number was not quite so great in proportion; but in 1839, it was as high as 62,270. He hoped, also, that if Canada continued in a state of tranquillity, and the measure now in progress in this House respecting the future management of that colony passed into a law, as he trusted would be the case, that emigration would greatly increase to that quarter. But suppose the Government of this country were to take on themselves the charge of all those who emigrated, to what sum would it annually amount? Why, taking the charge at about 10l. per head, the expense for emigration for the last year would not have been much less than 700,000l.; and, therefore, on his hon. Friend's calculation it would not be less than a million a-year. But supposing that a million a-year were spent in emigration, had the hon. Member for Limerick attempted to show that the population of this country would not rise up against it? Where, then, did he propose to lay the burden? It might, undoubtedly, be some relief to the mother country to send those persons abroad, and for the colonies to receive their labour; but how was he to strike the proportion between the mother country and the colonies as to the parts of the burden which each should bear. He hoped that hon. Gentlemen who took such laudable pains with this subject would not imagine that there was any feeling in the Colonial-office generally adverse to emigration; but he certainly was not prepared to say, with the hon. Member for Limerick, that emigration was a subject which of all others ought to be most encouraged by the Government. It might be desirable for them to possess themselves of every information as to the wishes of the people here to emigrate, and of the colonists to receive them; and having done that, all the Government would have to do would be to take care that every facility was afforded to emigration. But he did not think it was their duty to urge people to emigrate by holding out prospects which they were not able to realize, and before they imparted information to the public, they should take care that it had been deliberately considered. He thought, however, it would be very considerably urging and exciting emigration if the House assented to the third resolution of the hon. Member for Limerick, for it was nothing more nor less than an inducement to every man who felt himself ill at ease at home to go to the Government and demand that they should transfer him to a better climate and more fertile soil. The whole tone of this debate had been so amicable towards the Colonial-office, that he would not detain the House further than by saying that as to the first two resolutions, if it were worth while to place them on the table, there would be no objection on the part of the Government; but that as to the third resolution, having stated his view of what the effect of it would be, he hoped the hon. Member would consent to withdraw it.

Mr. Slaney

agreed in the general view taken by the hon. Member for Sheffield, but could not concur in the third resolution proposed by the hon. Member for Limerick. If it was to be taken according to the obvious meaning of the words, it implied that the Government was to pay the passage of an unlimited number of persons to the colonies. Where were the means to come from? Why, out of the taxes raised from the people of this country. He would not deny that there might be some peculiar cases in which such a course might be justifiable; but generally it was not so. It had been said that the expense would be a million a-year, and that would fall upon the heavily taxed productive classes. It would be taking an amount from the national wealth, which would not go so far, applied to such a purpose, as it would in the pockets of the people. If there was a redundancy of labour in a particular district, arising out of extraordinary circumstances, the Government might, perhaps, in that case promote emigration; but in all ordinary cases, the effect of the Government advancing money for emigration would be that of inducing a great number of persons to come forward and say they were needy; when, in reality, if they were thrown upon their own resources, they might be perfectly able to do without. There were many things in the condition of the working classes, especially those in large towns, which were deeply to be deplored, and which it was in the power of the Government to ameliorate. The dwellings of the poor should be improved and rendered wholesome by drainage and sewerage. The physical condition of the working people should be bettered, and till that was done it was in vain to give them education. It was in vain to preach to them about good order and the advantages of religious instruction whilst they dwelt in places where it was impossible they could enjoy the comforts of home, places from which their refuge was the gin-shop, where they sought oblivion of their woes. The hon. Member concluded by approving of the two first resolutions.

Mr. Pryme

thought that the great evil which arose from emigration had been lost sight of, and it was this, that the persons who went out were the strong and adult part of the people. The country lost the most intelligent and industrious, and consequently the most productive part of the population. The expense of bringing up the labourer was borne in this country, and to induce him to emigrate when his labour became valuable, was like exporting a ready made machine. Such a proceeding might be necessary as a temporary remedy for a temporary superabundance of population, but such could not be proper to be adopted systematically.

Lord J. Russell

said—Sir, it may be necessary for me, before this debate closes, to make some observations on the proposition of the hon. Gentleman and the discussion to which that proposition has given rise. The proposition of the hon. Gentleman is of a very general nature, affirming, in the first place, that it is desirable for persons who may be in distress to be enabled to go to the colonies, and, in the next, that as there is a demand for labour in the colonies, facilities of this kind would be highly useful. So far there is little doubt that the proposition might receive the assent of this House. The hon. Gentleman, however, goes on to affirm that "under these circumstances, it is expedient that a free passage to those colonies which offer the greatest rewards to industry should be provided by the State for such of the labouring classes as are disposed to emigrate thither." Now this is the proposition which forms the substance of the hon. Gentleman's motion, and to which I feel confident the House will not give their assent. It is so wide and general, it seems to afford such a vast field for the emigration of the labouring classes, without stating the extent of the burden which the State would incur if free passages were to be provided for all who might wish to leave this country, that the mere affirmation of a proposition so unlimited would, in my opinion, be in the highest degree inexpedient. The hon. Gentleman and others who have spoken in the course of this debate, have argued the question on general principles; but I think the views which they have taken would not be practicable, and that the difficulties and obstacles in the way of their views are such as it would be impossible to surmount, and could only lead to disappointment. With respect to a large grant of money by the State, omitting other considerations, it is to be considered that when we have large expenses—expenses which require the country to be additionally burthened—whether it would be advisable further to augment those burthens by promoting a scheme of this kind. In the next place, if the State were to be at the charge of emigration, it would only render the matter the more difficult. The persons who emigrate are not those whose labour is least profitable, and who form the greatest burthen to the country. On the contrary, the object of the colonies is to obtain the best description of labourers. They want neither the old nor the very young, but those who are so capable of working as to be sure of employment even in this country. This fact is proved by the papers on the table, and in a letter from Mr. Pinnock, a surgeon and emigration agent; that gentleman states the difficulty of getting such parties as were wanted in the colonies to emigrate. It is, therefore, the fact that the colonies want neither the very old nor the very young, and that sending out persons who are unable to work would be injurious instead of serviceable to the colonies. Young couples, without families, who can procure work at home will not leave their friends and country; and, therefore, it is idle to suppose, that even if the boon of a free passage was given, if they made a bridge of this kind, that such persons as were wanted in the colonies would rush over it. If you are to encourage emigration, you must provide for the parties on their arrival; for if you were merely to say that you will furnish ships to carry out a certain number of emigrants, and that you do not, at the same time, ensure them employment on their arrival, either by grants of land or public works, instead of diminishing their sufferings you would only be increasing their misery. Now these are the representations which have been made to me by both the Governor of Jamaica and the Governor of Canada. They pray that in any measures on this subject which may be adopted, care will be taken to provide them with funds for the employment of the emigrants on their arrival; but I mention this circumstance merely by way of general caution to the House, in order that hon. Members may not be caught by the idea that we have in this country a greatly abounding population. Much, however, has been done, and is still doing on this subject. Up to the year 1837, taking the preceding ten years, upwards of 600,000 persons left this country for the colonies and the United States; and up to the present time, since 1830, the number exceeds a million. Then comes the other question with regard to emigration to Australia; and I must be permitted here to say, that the reproaches which the hon. Member for Sheffield has addressed against the colonial and emigration board have been wholly undeserved. But it has been said, with respect to the funds arising from the sale of the colonial lands, that it was not known to the Government before 1831. Now, the system which was adopted, was adopted at the recommendation of my hon. Friend, the Member for Northumberland, who was then in the Colonial-office, and it had been suggested by persons who had much experience of the working of the system of emigration. But it ought to be borne in mind by hon. Members, that if we resolved that the proceeds from the sale of land in the colonies should not be applied to any other purpose but that of emigration, we might go beyond those intentions which were originally entertained when the proposition was adopted. It may be very good to apply the funds arising from the sale of land to the purposes of emigration, and to encourage the growth of towns and villages; it may be well to apply the funds to this purpose, but we should not forget that there are other expenses connected with the colonies as well as those which are connected with emigration. Is it to be supposed then that, in case all the funds are applied to the facilitating of emigration, this country is to vote money to supply the expenses which are attendant upon the colonies in other respects? Are we to vote money to support the police and other establishments in the colonies? Or shall we, on the other hand, say that the colonies shall contribute to the defraying of those expenses? Shall it be said, therefore, that the produce of the sales of land in the colonies are to be applied to the purposes of emigration alone, and that the other expenses of the colonies are to be defrayed by this country? If we do so, we must suppose that there will be an increase of taxes and duties to meet the expense. I think, that the inhabitants of the colonies, or the emigrants themselves, might not in all probability be so well pleased that these funds should be applied to the encouragement of emigration alone, and not to any other source of expenditure. There are various sources of expenditure connected with a colony, such as police, the maintenance of judges, &c.; and are there to be no provisions made for the purpose of meeting those sources of expenditure? It may be a sound principle to apply the proceeds of the sale of lands to the purposes of emigration; but it ought to be recollected, that there are various sources of expenditure connected with a colony; and, therefore, the question arises, would it be proper to apply those funds to the encouragement of emigration alone? Are we to admit those expenses in one view of the case, or are we to say that they are to be provided by this country? There are sources of expenditure connected with the administration of justice and the maintenance of a proper police, and are we to provide for them in this country? But it has been suggested, with respect to those expenses, that the Governor of the colony might increase them materially by appointing persons to unnecessary offices, or otherwise cause an extravagant outlay of the funds, and that has been used as an argument against the application of the funds arising from the sale of land for such purposes If any thing of that sort were done, I am quite ready to admit that it would form an objection to the application of the fund arising from the sale of land for such a purpose; but are we, therefore, to say, that it should be applied solely to the encouragement of emigration, and without any regard to the other expenses connected with the colony. There are expenses which are necessary for the colony, and I perceived that when the council of Van Diemen's Land objected to the payment of a certain amount of the expenses connected with the maintenance of the police, they were asked if they thought that the salaries were too large, or that a single man of the police force could be spared, they did not say, that such was the case; but they rested their objection upon their disinclination to lay burdens upon the colony, choosing rather to have those expenses provided for by the Crown revenues. The question is, whether the proceeds of the sales of land in the colonies should be applied solely to the encouragement of emigration, and whether the people of this country are to be required to vote a sufficient sum for the purpose of defraying the expense of the colonies, which, perhaps, they may not be inclined to do. They may not be inclined to have any new taxes or new duties imposed for that purpose. Are we then to propose that the expenses of the colonies must be borne by this country? I must admit, that there is a question, which I am not now going into, but which is worthy of consideration—that is, how far the establishment of the system of transportation from this country to New South Wales and Van Diemen's Land has increased the burthens of the colonists, and how far they ought to contribute to the support of those burthens. There may be burthens arising out of that system which are not at all palatable to the colonists. But it is to be considered whether that system does not confer some advantages to the colonists in the way of labour; and I perceive, that a gentleman who employs a considerable amount of labour in the colony of Van Diemen's Land has stated, that the difference between the convict labour and the other labour, was the amount of 13l. per head in favour of the convict labour. The hon. Member for Sheffield complained about the instructions to the land commissioners. There were many of the subjects which they were to investigate which had been long matters of discussion, and I thought it better that the commissioners should attend minutely to those subjects and re- ceive communications from those acquainted with the colonies, and who had most information on the subjects, before I should introduce any resolutions, or bring in a bill to Parliament upon the subject. I thought it better to adopt that less ambitious project, arid to receive the report of gentlemen, such as those on the commission, who have been admitted to be gentlemen of intelligence and respectability, and who should apply their minds earnestly to the subject. I thought, that better than bringing forward my theory, which I might borrow from others, or which I might have originated myself, as I should thus ha afforded a greater possibility of bringing before the House a more perfect system than I otherwise could have done. I do not therefore despair, that the commission may prove of great value and importance with respect to emigration, as well as regards the North American as the other colonies; and I do not despair of establishing such a system as shall be satisfactory to this country, and to those who wish to emigrate. I hardly know that there is any further observation required from me, but I will read to the House a statement of the number of emigrants who left this kingdom in 1839. In the year 1839, there left this country for the North American colonies 12,658 persons, there left for the Cape of Good Hope 227 persons, for Australia 15,786 persons, and for the United States of America 33,536 persons; making a total of 62,217 persons, of whom a great portion of those who emigrated to the Australian colonies, had a considerable amount of the expense of emigration defrayed either from the funds arising from the sale of land or the bounties, according to the system established in New South Wales, and a part had obtained assistance from the proprietors of land or others in this country. If, however, you will say that you intend to furnish means of emigration to all those who may wish to avail themselves of those means you will not only do that which is inexpedient in itself, but you will by that means seriously injure the system of emigration which is now going on amongst persons who are actuated by a desire for emigration, and who take more care to secure their future interests, who will have a regard for their comforts, and who, it is supposed, will take care to secure the means of support when they arrive at their destination. Those are persons who are better qualified to embark on such a purpose, who have sufficient force to carry them through the difficulties that they may encounter, and who have sufficient strength of body and of mind to enable them to undertake a permanent settlement, not certainly in a foreign land, but in a distant land, and to endure all the hardships that they may undergo in the pursuit of their object. That is an emigration which will not be likely to entail misery on those who undertake it, for it will be undertaken by those who shall take some means to secure their future comforts. If, however, you say that you, the State, will undertake to send out ail those who may feel inclined to go, you will only encourage an abandonment of those habits of caution and prudence which ought to influence men before they set out on such an undertaking. If, when they should arrive, they did not find themselves comfortably settled—if they were disappointed in the expectations which they had formed—if they were persons unfitted, from want of strength of body or of mind, to succeed in the circumstances in which they should be placed, they might blame those who had sent them out. The Government ought to take only such a step as would not entail any such miseries, and which would encourage emigration only amongst those who would be calculated to undertake such a proceeding.

Sir R. Peel

Sir, I have many reasons for objecting to the proposal of the hon. Member opposite. There is some difficulty in affirming such a proposition without ensuring the means of carrying it out. It may be very well for an hon. Member to require that we should affirm an abstract principle, however good in itself, and then he may devolve on others the duty of carrying it out. I doubt, however, the correctness of the principle which is contained in the Resolutions of the hon. Gentleman. He says, "That in Great Britain and Ireland the working classes are frequently exposed to extreme privation from inability to procure employment;" and in his second resolution he says, "That in several of the British colonies the demand for labour is urgent, continuous, and increasing, and its remuneration is comparatively ample, whilst the prosperity of these colonies is much retarded by its inadequateness;" but then there is no sequence in the following proposal, which is to the effect that the parties who can best afford to pay for labour shall be at no expense, but that the country which has an inability to provide employment shall pay the expenses of providing labour in the country which requires it. Why should we interfere in the manner which the hon. Member proposes? Why are we to send them only to those colonies in which the greatest demand for labour exists? Why does he not propose to send away any machinery which may be standing idle in this country? Why does he not say that it ought to be transported to the colonies as well as labour? Why should he propose to send off labour instead of machinery? The hon. Member does not say in his resolutions that it is expedient for political reasons to encourage emigration. If he proposed that we ought to increase the emigration of the British population to Canada with a view to the strengthening of our political relations, in order that the British population should counterbalance the French population, it would have been, different; but he does not make any proposal on such grounds. He says that we ought to send out labour where there is the greatest demand for industry. Now, if it should happen that the greatest demand for labour were to be found in British Guiana, does he propose that we should export it to Demerara and British Guiana? Was it to be said that if such a demand should exist in British Guiana that we should send out labourers, or rather should not British Guiana itself afford the means of providing the labour? There is no specification of the numbers of the families whom the hon. Member proposes to give a free passage to. It might happen that a man with five or six children would be the most desirous to emigrate. I do not mean to say that the State ought not to interfere to some extent with emigration; that it might not with advantage adopt measures to spread accurate information for those who might be desirous to emigrate, or that there ought not to be steps taken to lessen the danger from insecure vessels; but that is very different from the State undertaking to transport labour from one place to another. We always talk of the State as if it had a very large purse, and that it was quite easy to dip our hands into it. It should, however, be recollected that there is no surplus now. Are we, then, to provide the expenses of sending labour to those colonies which can best afford to pay for it? But what would he the consequence of our adopting these resolutions? Persons may be desirous of removing from their estates numbers of the peasantry. I will not say that there is a legal obligation, but I must say there is a moral obligation upon those who do so which cannot be forgotten. It may be well in the minds of some that ninety or one hundred families should be turned loose on the world in consequence of some principle of political economy which favoured the introduction of large farms. That principle may be very good in political economy, but it is not true as regards moral obligation. I do not believe that a case is likely to arise in this country where forty or fifty families would be turned out on light grounds. With respect to this sending out of labourers free of expense, I think it would be most dangerous to take persons from a manufacturing town if they were out of employment, and place them on the banks of the St. Lawrence without any provision for the future. Depend on it, the nice test which the arrangement between persons wanting labour and persons who have labour to dispose of produces, is the best mode by which to determine how a market-place for labour shall be obtained. You may have boards sitting to inquire and examine and report, and after all you will not be able to do it half as well as by allowing the men who have labour to dispose of, to sell it to those who are most willing to buy. Fearing that it might tend to interfere with the emigration which at present is going on, and believing that it would not be desirable in other respects, I cannot support the motion.

Mr. Hutt

, in explanation, said that he never had contemplated that the fund which should be appropriated to the purpose of facilitating emigration should be derived from taxation raised in this country.

Mr. S. O'Brien

replied. He objected as strongly as any person to the system of turning out the peasantry which had been alluded to. He wished to have a measure to encourage emigration subsidiary to the Poor-laws in England and Ireland. He was of opinion that the Ministers ought not to allow people to starve in this country whilst there was such a demand for labour in the colonies. He did not think that British Guiana was a fair case to bring forward against him, as an European constitution was unfit for labour in that climate. The hon. Member concluded by stating that, under the circumstances, he should not press his motion to a division, and should consent to have it negatived on the previous question.

Motion negatived.

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