§ MR. F. SCOTT
begged to put the following questions to the hon. Under Secretary for the Colonies:—"Whether any official information has been received by the last packet from any, and which, of the Australian colonies upon the subject of emigration?—What debt has been incurred in New South Wales on account of emigration since 1st January, 1847?—Whether any further loan has been recommended forestalling the annual revenue derived from the Land Fund in New South Wales?—Whether such proposal has been rejected by the colony?—Whether the funds applicable to emigration to that colony are not expended, and if not, how much remains?—How much of the colonial fund available at the meeting of Parliament has since been expended in Dorset and Wilts alone, to pay the whole passage money of emigrants from those counties only?—Whether it is known to the Government that shoemakers and other mechanics have been passed by the agents of the Government as "agricultural labourers eligible for free passages;" and whether those agents have received a commission of 15s. a head for passing such emigrants, and if it is intended to continue such a system of percentage to agents?—Whether Her Majesty's Government mean to persist in restricting the number of emigrants, and limiting the benefits of emigration to persons whose entire passage money is paid for them, or whether it is intended to economise the funds, and promote a continuance of emigration upon a principle of mutual advantage, by giving a preference to equally eligible emigrants who contribute towards their passages?—Whether there is any intention of reducing the number 1124 of clerks or others in the emigration department in Park-street, Westminster?"
§ MR. HAWES
said, with regard to the first question asked by the hon. Member, none but the ordinary information had been received, merely referring to the arrival of emigrant ships, &c., and none of that general character which the hon. Gentleman desired. To the second, third, and fourth questions, he could only answer generally, that a loan had been proposed for meeting the difficulty, but that loan had not yet been called into operation. With respect to the fifth question, the balance was small, but more than 5,000l. As to the sixth question, he expected to have had an account sent him before to-day, in order to have been able to answer the hon. Member's question, but he had not received it. He hoped to have it to-morrow. With respect to the seventh question, he was not aware of the circumstances alluded to. He had made inquiry whether any mechanics had been passed by the agents of the Government as "agricultural labourers eligible for free passage;" but he was not aware of any such parties having been (at least to any extent) so passed. Isolated instances might have occurred; but, generally speaking, he did not think there had been the impositions alluded to. As to the eighth question, in reference to the assistance of emigration, the subject was of considerable importance certainly; and since 1842, 2,450 persons had been sent out with assistance. In reply to the ninth question, he had only to say, that the correspondence in the emigration department was daily increasing, and increasing to such an extent, that rather an augmentation than a diminution of the clerks would become necessary.