Australian Access Federation

You are here: Home Corpora Corpus of Oz Early English 2-347 (Raw)

2-347 (Raw)

Item metadata
author,male,Select Committee on Crown Lands,un addressee
Word Count :
Plaint Text :
Public Written
Clark, 1977
Document metadata

2-347-raw.txt — 3 KB

File contents

27. - Under this head your Committee proceed to consider the expenditure of the funds of this Colony for the purposes of immigration. The practice of the expenditure of the land fund for this purpose has hitherto been, to expend the whole of the funds at the disposal of the Government for the introduction of labor, to contract a large debt for the same purpose, and then to desist from immigration altogether, until the debt is paid off, and the land fund has again a considerable sum at its credit, and then to recommence the same process. No attempt has been hitherto made to supply the Colony with a continuous stream of immigration; we have had a succession of floods, each succeeded by its corresponding drought. The resumption of immigration is a cause of panic to the laboring classes; its discontinuance, to the employers of labor. Immigration comes to be looked upon as an occasional incident rather than a necessary part of Colonial administration. As the tendency in the Colonial labor market, is invariably in favor of the laborer, the cessation of immigration is attended with the most disastrous results to the employer of labor; it is not merely that his laborers raise their demands, but his power over them is seriously diminished. If it were only for the sake of the moral effect that it produces, it is desirable that immigration should be continuous, and that whatever reduction is necessary to be made in its quantity, in order to secure its continuity, should be made. The time also seems to have arrived when the public mind in England has become sufficiently alive to the importance of emigration, to recognize the unquestionable right of the Colony to an efficient assistance from the Mother Country in removing her surplus population to a land where they not only obtain remunerative employment, but become immediately the largest consumers of English manufactures. [196]
It appears by the evidence of the Immigration Agent, that not only is the land fund exhausted, but a debt of £75,000 is also contracted, while the demand for rural labor remains unabated. Under these circumstances, your Committee cannot but regard with apprehension the prospect of a total cessation of immigration. These considerations lead your Committee to the conclusion, that the time has arrived when the importation of immigrants to New South Wales, entirely at the expense of the Colony, ought to cease. Your Committee recommend that no Colonial funds be advanced for the purpose of bringing out immigrants, unless they both satisfy the regulations at present in force with regard to persons brought out at the expense of the Colony, and are also able to contribute something towards the expense of their passage. What that sum should be, your Committee cannot pretend to suggest, but would leave it to the discretion of the Commissioners, being well aware from painful experience how impossible it is to regulate on one side of the world the details of business to be carried on at the other. Your Committee would however remark, that it might he judicious, in the first instance, to require but a small sum, and when the practice has been established, gradually to increase it. Great as is the inconvenience which the Colony must undergo in checking the immediate supply of labor, which notwithstanding the importation of 18,000 persons she still so urgently needs, it is better to make a firm stand at once and not to go on indulging the ridiculous hope, that while the Colony is willing to pay the whole of the expense of bringing out labor, any one will be so quixotic as to share it with her. It is moreover absolutely necessary that the advantage of emigration to this Colony should be kept constantly before the British public, and this can never be, if the subject is suffered to go to sleep while funds are accumulating for the resumption of emigration.