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COLONIZATION AND EMIGRATION;

A MEMORIAL, ADDRESSED TO

THE LORD JOHN RUSSELL.

THE vast amount of pauperism existing in this empire, and the inadequacy of property or charity to arrest its yearly increase, are circumstances so alarming, as to induce us to approach and lay before your Lordship the following facts, in the hope that a well-considered and comprehensive system of Colonization may speedily be devised, more able to meet the appalling difficulties which surround us, than any of the plans of Emigration hitherto adopted.

In submitting these facts, we believe that, by abstaining to put forward any particular scheme as absolutely the best, we act in a manner at the same time most respectful to your Lordship, and also best calculated to effect the only object which we have in view, viz., the prosperity and advancement of this country, and its dependencies.

In England, a million and a-half, or nearly onetenth of the population, receive parochial relief. In Ireland, nearly three millions, or more than one-third

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of the inhabitants, subsisted last summer on charity, by gratuitous relief, or by forced and profitless employment. In Scotland, pauperism is rapidly on the increase, and the burden of maintaining the poor is augmenting in a still more rapid proportion.

During the last ten years, the sums levied for the relief of the poor in England and Wales, have amounted to no less than 66,000,0007, being an average of nearly (and last year amounting altogether to) the yearly sum of 7,000,0007; and by the 9th and 10th Vict., cap. 101, the State advanced for the employment of the labouring classes in England and Scotland, 2,000,000. The deficiency in a single crop, of a single description, in one year, in Ireland and Scotland, has added to the burden in expenditure for relief and improvement (Commons' Paper, No. 13, 1847), 10,342,500l, and private subscriptions (including 200,000l. subscribed on two occasions) are reckoned at 1,000,0007. The amount levied for poor's rates in Ireland (Commons' paper, No. 144, 5th March 1847), 298,000l.; the poor rates in Scotland, 295,000l.; giving a total charge for the relief of the poor, in little more than one year, of 20,935,500Z.

Hence the public burdens are increased, property is encumbered, and charity exhausted, in an endless and hopeless endeavour to overtake pauperism, which increases in a still faster ratio. The deteriorating effect which this state of habitual dependence upon alms must have upon the moral character of so large a proportion of the labouring classes, both in destroying

the feeling of self-reliance and in multiplying crime, is too obvious to require further notice on our part.

The British population increases at the rate of nearly a thousand souls a-day, or, assuming the pauperism at the rate afforded by public returns, 180 paupers are added daily, making an increase of 65,000 yearly to the mass of destitution in the United Kingdom. During the fifteen months that the Relief Board was in operation, 12,900,000 qrs. of grain and flour were imported from abroad into this country, of which 4,900,000 qrs. were consumed in Ireland, principally for the maintenance of the destitute population. Nor is the fact irrelevant to the question now under consideration, that these importations cost, in the short space of fifteen months, 33,500,0001.

If productive industry give a value to man's labour, the profitable employment of these masses, now subsisting on charity, or unremunerative works, ought to engage the most anxious attention of all statesmen, and since many think it hopeless to restore the balance between labour and employment at home, those employments elsewhere which are most reproductive are most to be desired. On this view, our Colonies demand attention equally as an outlet for our surplus population, and as a vent for our manufactures.

Of our total exports, about one-third is taken by our own colonies, and the remaining two-thirds are taken by the rest of the world. Thus the world takes only double the amount taken by our own dependencies, and of this amount one-half are either goods.

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wholly unmanufactured, or merely re-exported, or such as go to be used in foreign manufactures; whereas the commerce to the colonies is chiefly of manufactures completed, as is shown by the declared value of the respective exports to our own colonies and foreign Get dit 5 81

countries.

The population of the world (estimated at 860 millions) consumes yearly 1s. 2d. per head of British exports. The proportionate consumption by foreign countries and British colonies is estimated as follows, viz. :-+

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66

Australia

£ s. d.

1 15

O per head.

2 17 6

320

£7 to £10.

Estimating the relative values of colonial commerce to this country, Mr. Elliot (late Chief Commissioner for Emigration, and now Under Secretary at the Colonial Office) stated, that with a population of less than an eighth of the older North American population, the Australian Colonies have a trade with this country which exceeds the former value of the other by more than a million sterling."

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:. Australia consumes most largely of our produce, and supplies, in return, the largest amount of raw material used in our principal and oldest manufacture; it is now retarded in its beneficial career, only by the want of that of which we have a ruinous abundance, viz., labour.

The import of Australian wool has, in a few years,

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