Deputation to the Right Hon. The Earl Granville, K.G.
London: Published by the National Association for Promoting State-Directed Colonization.1886.
Comprised the Following:
Lord Brabazon (President of the National Association for State-Directed Colonization),
Mr. Alfred Simmons (Secretary of same),
Mr. Frederick Young (Colonial Institute),
Mr. F. D. Mocatta,
Capt. J. C. R. Colomb,
Mr. J. Anthony Froude,
Sir J. G. T. Sinclair, Bart, M.P.,
Mr. Penrose Fitzgerald, M.P.,
Mr. Walter Shirley, M.P.,
Mr. Howard Vincent, M.P.,
Sir H. E. Maxwell, Bart, M.P.,
Lieut.-General Lowry, C.B.,
Mr. H. W. L. Lawson, M.P.,
Mr. J. A. Youl, C.M.G.,
Mr. John Wilson, M.P.,
Mr. Stephen Kennard,
Rev. W. H. Grove (Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge),
Mr. Jas. Rankin, & Mr. Paton (Central Emigration Society),
Rev. G. P. Merrick (Colonial Emigration Society),
Mr. J. Maudsley (Manchester Operative Cotton Spinners),
Mr. D. Merrick (Leicester Unemployed Committee),
Mr. E. Memmott (Sheffield Labour Council),
Mr. Councillor J. C. Laird (Newcastle-on-Tyne Trades Council),
Mr. B. C. Brown (Mayor of Newcastle-on-Tyne),
Mr. Arnold White,
Mr. T. Sutherst,
Miss M. S. Rye,
The Honble. Miss E. Joyce, and Mrs. Ross (Girls' Friendly Society and Emigration Association),
Mrs. E. L. Blanchard, and Mrs. Reeves (Colonial Emigration Society),
Mr. H. N. Hamilton Hoare,
Mr. Colin Mackenzie,
Rev. A. G. Joyce,
Mr. C. Geary,
Capt. Andrew Hamilton (East End Emigration Fund),
The Rev. W. E. Batty (Fulham),
Mr. Leppard and a Deputation (Kent and Sussex Labourers Union),page 4
The Rev. H. W. Robinson (Shoreditch),
Mr. T. J. Hester (South London Friendly Societies' Committee),
M.r. George Palmer,
Mr. J. H. de Ricci,
Mr. A. A. Hollingsworth (Stratford),
Mr. T. Smith (Cab Drivers Association),
Mr. Augustus Cooper (Brighton Emigration Society),
Mr. Shirley Blackburne (Doncaster),
The Rev. W. P. Insley (Bow),
Mr. R. H. Garnlen (Gray's Inn),
Lieut. G. Mansfield Smith, R.N.,
The Rev. W. H. Wood (Kensal Green),
The Rev. Hugh Huleatt (Stamford),
Mr. G. B. Kent,
Rev. E. P. Green (Bethnal Green),
Mr. W. Stanforth,
Mr. Sydney Hoare,
Capt. Harrel, R.N., Mr. Arthur J. Hill,
The Rev. Edgell Wyatt-Edgell, Mr. C. H. Yell,
The Hon. Reginald Capel,
Mr. H. Seymour Trower,
Mr. Mortimor Millington,
Mr. E. Fulchen,
and Representatives from a large number of Working Men's Clubs and Friendly Societies in London.
The Deputation comprised about 300 persons.
Lord Brabazon, in introducing the deputation, said: My Lord, I have the honour to introduce to you this large deputation, for the purpose of bringing before you the question of State-Directed Colonization. I lay stress upon "Colonization," because although in our programme we include Emigration, we lay much greater stress upon Colonization, because there are less difficulties and fewer objections to Colonization than to Emigration. I am not going to detain your Lordship to-day by making a speech. My views are well known—they have already appeared several times in print—and I would much rather ask you to listen to the representatives of the working-classes, who have come long distances to-day in order to page 5 address your Lordship. We have here representatives of about 170,000 working-men—representatives who are honoured by their own class, who are trusted, who are recognised leaders of their class. We have here several Members of Parliament. We have also Mr. Froude with us, who has lately returned, as your Lordship is aware, from the Coonies, and who, I hope, will address you here to-day. We have here representatives of all classes, and all parties; clergymen and ministers of all denominations; and we have also representatives of twenty working-men's clubs in this metropolis. I will now ask our Secretary, Mr. Alfred Simmons, to address your Lordship.
Mr. Alfred Simmons (Secretary of the National Association for State-Directed Colonization, and who also represented the Agricultural Labourers of the counties of Kent and Sussex) said: My Lord,—Rising on behalf of this deputation, to place before you our proposals, I am sure I shall be doing that which will be a satisfaction to my friends if I say that we thank your Lordship very much for your kindness in receiving us here today, (Hear, hear.) We feel sure that your Lordship must experience a keen sympathy with the large numbers of poor, unemployed people who are in a very deplorable condition; and knowing and feeling that—knowing as your Lordship does that, to working people, want of employment means want of bread—we feel sure that if we can place before your Lordship proposals that meet with your approval, you will do what you can to enable us to alleviate, or to assist in alleviating, the terrible condition in which so many of poorer fellow-creatures are placed to-day. Not only from London, but from all parts of the country the cry reaches us that there are multitudes of men and women and children, who, from continuous non-employment, have become absolutely poverty-stricken, and these are appealing to people, who, like ourselves, are striving to perform our duty on their behalf; numbers of them are appealing to us, asking us the question, "Why cannot we receive some assistance, so that we may go to those British possessions where we can honourably labour and secure food for ourselves and our families, instead of being kept here, where we page 6 are not required, in compulsory idleness, without food, and in this destitute condition? "We have not been able, my Lord, to answer that question. It has been absolutely compulsory, so far as we are concerned, to give but one reply—that we are, as they themselves are, absolutely helpless—that all we can do is to lay their pitiable requests before those who have the opportunity and the power, if they will but use them, to remove the wretchedness of people who do not wish to descend into pauperism. My Lord, three years ago Lord Derby received a deputation from this Association, and, indeed, I think he received us in this very room. He told us that he was satisfied that the volume of our business does not increase in proportion to the increase of our population. We also believe that. We know it to be true. Every day experience proves it. Although at present there is exceptional depression, the fact remains that our population does increase beyond the requirements of our business, and the question arises: What should be and can be done, to assist that surplus population—for they are the people who are appealing to us, at this moment, to mercifully consider them in their helplessness and trouble? Our proposal is that, in harmony with the Colonial Governments, the Home Government should establish a Board for Emigration and Colonization purposes; that by public loan, or otherwise (but not from the rates or taxes) the Government should secure and provide a substantial sum of money; that unemployed people who will voluntarily proceed to our own Colonies may be enabled to do so under certain clearly defined conditions. At present, unfortunately, our Colonies are much in the same condition, so far as trade and commerce are concerned, as we are at home: depression rules, and labour is at a discount; consequently, it would be necessary for the Colonial Governments to place at the disposal of the Home Government, or of the Board to be created for the purpose, tracts of Colonial crown lands; and, upon these lands, an unlimited number of people might be advantageously settled under a carefully devised system of Colonization. No possible objection could be raised to this proposal by the Colonial working people, because large agricultural settlements being created, and not too far removed page 7 from Colonial towns, there would rapidly emanate from those settlements a demand for all those articles and necessaries that the mechanical trades of the towns provide. The advantages to Colonial tradesmen, and Colonial working-men, would be very great. (Hear, hear.) We suggest, my Lord, that the cost of sending out the people, and settling them down as Colonial peasant farmers, should be repaid by them in easy instalments, with a small percentage added to cover the necessary administrative charges. (Hear, hear.) Here, my Lord, I would point your attention to a distinction I think it advisable to draw. Our proposal is for a State-directed system of Colonization, rather than for that which is generally described as a State-aided system. We do not ask, as I have stated, for public rates or taxes to be used for this purpose: we ask for a public loan, to be repaid to those who lend it. State-aided Emigration is understood to mean aid by means of the State, and from the State Exchequer. State-directed Colonization we interpret to mean, that the State, by appointed officials, shall direct the Colonization, but that the public revenues are not to be used for the purpose. Then, my Lord, our proposal is that not a fraction of public money should be used for this purpose. On the contrary, the people proposed to be Colonized are rapidly descending into pauperism. Many of them—a very large proportion—will very speedily become a burden upon our parish rates, unless they are enabled to remove. We ask the Government then to perform a great and a good deed that will positively cost nothing to the State, but will certainly, in the near future, save millions of money to the ratepayers of this country. (Hear, hear.) My Lord, I have been engaged in emigration work for many years, and many of the ladies and gentlemen here to-day have also devoted a large portion of their lives to emigration work. We know that the people we have assisted to go to our Colonies have, in leaving their poverty behind them, succeeded to an extent that we scarcely dared to hope for. I myself have followed poverty-stricken people to the Colonies, in order that I might satisfy myself whether emigration was a good or an evil thing. I have stepped into cottages in our Colonies—notably in New Zealand—and I have page 8 found people who, here in Great Britain, had been starving, and who must inevitably have become demoralized and pauperized—I have found those same people there, happy, contented, respectable Colonial citizens. They have sent us innumerable messages expressing their gratitude; and we know that this movement, which we are asking your Lordship to initiate, will be an immense boon to thousands and thousands of the poor people who are so pitifully clamouring for bread about our doors today. (Applause.) My Lord, as representing a very large number of those people, I do beseech you to look at this question, and to regard it with favor. I am certain that, if you do so, the people who, as the result, are enabled to escape from their poverty, will turn round in times to come, and offer you that gratitude which would rightly be your Lordship's due. Your Lordship cannot be insensible to the feeling which would necessarily arise in your heart from the knowledge that myriads of poor people had, by your Lordship's timely and kindly assistance, been enabled to escape from the horrible poverty that surrounds them in this country. But beyond that, my Lord, at the request of my Association, I have travelled through this country addressing meetings and holding conferences on this question. We know that public opinion is behind us, and I am convinced that when it becomes known that your Lordship, and your Lordship's colleagues, have decided to carry through this proposal—I am certain that the nation itself will feel satisfied, and that our fellow countrymen will acknowledge that the members of the Ministry have performed a duty worthy of themselves as the Government of this great and Christian and wealthy nation. (Applause.)
Mr. J. Maudsley (Manchester Trades' Council): My Lord, with regard to this business I have come from one of our large manufacturing centres. It may be presumed, in the first place, that we are not, perhaps, so directly interested in this question as in others, inasmuch as we could not for a moment presume that we could transfer our artisans and mechanical workers to agricultural districts, and make them into agriculturalists, all at once. We are none the less, however, page 9 affected by the depression which we find, not only in our large centres of industry, but also in the agricultural districts. We find that whilst our producing capacity, with regard to manufactures, is probably increasing from year to year, we also find that this increase of producing capacity does not require an increase in the number of hands. On account of the improvements in machinery, and from other causes, we find that whatever increase we have in the trade, is fully compensated for, or reduced by the improved power of machinery; and in the present time, in the cotton trade, and in many others, although we are producing from ten to twenty-five per cent, more than we did many years ago, we are employing actually fewer hands. You will therefore see that this movement, going on with a corresponding increase in the population, means that a large proportion of our people must be unemployed. While, if we add to this, that we have a large number of working-people from the agricultural districts coming to our centres of population, I think you will agree with me that it accounts very largely for what we now hear as to what is going on all over the country. My Lord, then we consider that if our surplus agricultural population, in place of being drafted to towns, were drafted to the spare lands of our Colonies, thereby making the Colonists produce food for us, thereby keeping down the cost of our food, and producing customers for our manufactured goods—we should have accomplished one the best results, and one of the best means for getting rid of the surplus population, which is now becoming dangerous to the country. I do not profess, and I do not wish, at present, to go into the details of it; I think you have had sufficient of that from Mr. Simmons. My object is more to show you that we are thoroughly in sympathy with it. We have exerted every means at our command for the purpose of getting the opinions of the working population of Lancashire on this question; and almost unanimously—I might say quite unanimously—as far as the bearings of our intention are understood, it has been endorsed by the whole population of the country. I have much pleasure, my Lord, in asking, that as far as practicable, you will give us your assistance in this matter. (Applause.)page 10
Mr. Merrick (Leicester Unemployed Committee): My Lord, I come from the Midland Counties, where there is a general expression of sympathy in the objects which our deputation to-day are seeking to accomplish. The condition of many of the working people in our districts is very wretched indeed; they would work, but they cannot get it to do. Some hundreds, if not thousands, are either totally out of employment, or only partially employed. That state of things has been actually increasing during the last ten years. We see, as my friend has just stated, in manufacturing centres, that the improvements in machinery go on more rapidly, producing large quantities of goods, and that means a much lesser number to be employed, and there is a greatly increased population. And therefore it follows that some steps must be taken to remove the surplus population of the unemployed labourers, or the result may be most disastrous. I quite believe that there are remedies which may be adopted in our own country to reduce the evil to a certain extent; but the extent to which the working-class is unemployed is so very great, and the probability is, according to the law of natural increase, the population will go on increasing—so that this would be a permanent means, as well as a present help, to reduce the present numbers of the unemployed in our midst. I am sure your Lordship will know the condition of the people is such that only those who witness it from day to day could at all form any adequate conception of it. What is really needed, if possible, would be present help; but if that cannot be obtained, the earnest and prompt attention of the Government should certainly be directed to some means by which the distress of the country could be relieved from the condition in which the people are found at present in large numbers. Therefore, I hope your Lordship will be kind enough to entertain the proposal made, and give it your most favorable consideration. (Hear, hear.)
Mr. J. Anthony Froude: My Lord, the very few remarks it will be necessary for me to make, or that I should wish to make, on this occasion, will be limited to that part of the subject which the previous speakers have not yet touched upon.page 11
They are far better able than I am to lay before your Lordship the difficulties in which the population is at home, and how much it needs relief, and what a relief it would be if large numbers of them could be transported into the Colonies. But what I would wish to say is something about the Colonies themselves, and the feelings which they are likely to have on the subject, because it is impossible for us to do, or attempt to do anything considerable, in the way of Emigration, without the entire co-operation of the Colonial Governments, and a thorough understanding between our Government and theirs as to what we are doing. But, on the other hand, any steadily organised system of Colonization, by which those who form the surplus population of this country could find a home in our Colonies, instead of going, as by far the great majority of them now do, to the United States—that, I think, the Colonies would regard as the highest benefit that could be conferred upon them. A growing and a healthy population, in fact, is their own wealth; and if it could only be introduced to them by degrees, if I may say so, they would be able to absorb it by some steadily organised system, and nothing could be invented which could tend to draw the Colonies closer to this country, and so unite us all as one people, as we all ought to be. I know the feeling is very strong on this subject in the Colonies, and I am quite sure the Governments of the Colonies would meet the Government in the most cordial way, if there is any chance that any wise and well-thought-out system, in which we can all join, could be hit upon.
Mr. E. Memmott (Sheffield Labour Council): My Lord, I am very sorry, following the strain of some of the previous speakers, to inform your Lordship that very great distress prevails in our town; so much so that the Mayor of Sheffield to-day is calling a public meeting in order to see what temporary relief can be given. But, my Lord, we are wanting a system to be inaugurated that shall give permanent relief. We are tired of wasting our energies month after month, and year after year, to see our people walking about for work, and cannot find it. It behoves us to adopt some means whereby these page 12 people may be fed. The opinion of a number of our Sheffield working-men is that we have not even done our best to find employment in our own country; for it is said that there are yet millions of acres of land capable of cultivation. If the people had the means at their disposal, and facilities were offered, they might be producing food on these broad acres, and finding us employment in the towns, to make them steam ploughs and other things. If, however, my Lord, the land of this country is so locked up that we cannot get access to it, then we come before your Lordship and ask that means may be provided, whereby the honest poor may be carried to lands where they are more free. I cannot enlighten your Lordship more than to say that what we are asking for is not a home for our criminal or pauper population. As you are aware, my Lord, the population of this country is increasing rapidly. The town I have come from, in the last half-century, has been increased more than sixfold. Whereas, about fifty years ago, we were a small town of some forty thousand population, to-day, my Lord, we number three hundred and six thousand. We have since then introduced very largely into our manufacturing concerns machinery of all kinds. We have sent into the country districts steam ploughs, and that sort of thing, and that has driven the men back again into the towns to help us to do the work. Then we have invented steam-hammers, and we have taken away from the workmen the work that they formerly had to manipulate, and we do as much with the steam-hammer as perhaps ten or twenty men would do by hand-labor. Then we have these people who have come out of the country districts to do our menial work thrown upon our hands, hanging about, competing in the market, reducing the wages, and, altogether, a burden to themselves and to their fellows. Now, my Lord, we are wanting something, if it can be done, whereby those who are willing to work may be able to support themselves and families, and at the same time of becoming customers of ours-giving us their produce, and taking in return our handicraft. (Hear, hear.)page 13
Mr. Councillor J. C. Laird (of the Newcastle-on-Tyne Trades Council): My Lord, I do not know that I can add much to that which has been already said. The subject has been so forcibly brought before your Lordship's attention that I think anything I might say almost might be superfluous. I speak now as a representative of a very large section of the community. At the present time we see that depression which is, unfortunately, almost spread over a large portion of the country, and we have a very great number unemployed, through no fault of their own. I may tell your Lordship that at the present time, on the North-east Coast, in one particular industry alone—I allude more especially to iron ship-building—we have about thirty thousand unemployed, who are willing to work. I am also accompanied by his worship the Mayor of Newcastle, who himself is a very large employer in this particular. Some few months ago, my Lord, we had a large and enthusiastic meeting called for the purpose of considering this question in one of our halls in Newcastle, at which the then Mayor presided. The resolutions were unanimously adopted, asking Her Majesty's Government to enter into some correspondence whereby the Colonies and the Home Government might act in harmony on these questions. We do not want, my Lord, to have it in the shape of simple Emigration, or to remove, as it were, one class of evil from one centre to another; we want a system of Colonization, instead of ordinary Emigration. Were your Lordship but to enter into some of the places it has been my unfortunate position to enter into—to see those who are willing and anxious to work—to see the bread-winner deprived of it-I feel certain, my Lord, that you, at all events, would bring it strongly before Her Majesty's Government. Could you see the man that is too proud to beg, the man that is too honest to steal, with his children weeping round him, asking only for an opportunity to earn that bread; and when you have relieved him, or got to understand his circumstances, to see that strong man burst into tears, it would melt—I care not how hard it be-it would melt the heart of any man. Those, my Lord, are the men we want to help; those are the cases that we want to send beyond the seas, in order that they may become a portion of page 14 ourselves. Instead of being a burden on the community at large, they will be in a position to send us back good food for our people at home. (Hear, hear.) They shall not have the name of pauper, but they shall, my Lord, in the course of a very short time, repay the whole of it back by way of instalments, in order that that stigma may not be attached to them. I may state also that I speak the sentiments of a very large portion, because, being a member of the Town Council, and representing between 7,000 and 8,000 of municipal electors, I speak as their mouthpiece, and that had it not been for the golden gleam of sunshine of Sir William Armstrong's works there, and also a portion of his worship the Mayor's works, Newcastle would be in a terribly depressed state. It was therefore, my Lord, with a view to obviate this, and in order that instead of the spasmodic efforts that are continually made to alleviate the distress, we should, by an organised system, alleviate it, and effectually eradicate it, because, however we meet it, the populations are increasing to so great an extent. The city we are at present in—London—sprang, as it were, from 800,000 in the beginning of the present century, to between four and five millions at the present time. Increasing and progressing, as we are, at this rate, immediate help would only for the time being put the question off for a year or two; but this continuous increase, my Lord, will have to be faced, and he who has the boldness to submit to the Government any scheme whereby it can be done will earn the gratitude of the working classes. (Applause.)
Mr. John Wilson, M.P. (Scottish Emigration Association): My Lord, I am expected to say one word upon this subject. I was asked to join the deputation to-day to your Lordship to represent the interest that was taken in this matter of Colonization in the City of Edinburgh, and that I have very great pleasure in doing. I can supplement and endorse all that has been said by previous speakers as to the great desirability, both for this country and the Colonies, of a wise measure of colonization being as speedily as possible arranged. The previous spasmodic methods of transferring, or rather helping to transfer, the movement of the population of our mother country page 15 to the Colonies, has been in too many instances followed by most dire results. Just a few days ago, perhaps your Lordship saw in the papers the results of a so-called Colonial settlement in Florida. Nearly 200 unfortunate fellow-countrymen of mine had been deluded into buying land there, through an agent—land which they knew nothing at all about; and when they reached the promised Paradise of their future lives, they found it a wilderness, and a desert, unfit to produce food. Well, too many of such instances have occurred in the past. This Association proposes that there shall be in the future a wise concerted plan of transferring the surplus population of the mother country to the Colonies, and that can only be done, and best clone, by having communication with the representatives of the Colonies at home. In concert with them, I think your Lordship could discuss the matter, and mature wise plans, whereby the Colonies would become primarily interested. They would be the chief movers in this important step, for it is they who are to be ultimately very substantially benefited. The plan indicated is an extremely judicious one. No money is asked for, except by way of loan. The money advanced will be expended in improving those districts in our Colonies which at present are waste, and which, in the course of development, will become the sources of great wealth to the Colonists; and those who settle there, I have no doubt whatever, will be able to repay us with interest. I have myself travelled over a large portion of America and the Western States, and I have seen there the wonderful results in the position of the settlers in a very few years. I am satisfied that the Government cannot undertake a more beneficial step—one that is more calculated to do the whole population good, and benefit our great Colonies. I have therefore very great pleasure in being here to-day, and I would urge your Lordship, with all my heart, to entertain the proposals made with all seriousness, and give them the earliest possible consideration. (Applause.)
Lord Brabazon said he did not purpose addressing any observations to his Lordship, but wished to direct attention to the very representative character of the deputation. He would page 16 only add that he was much obliged to his Lordship for listening so patiently.
Earl Granville: Lord Brabazon, Ladies, and Gentlemen,—Mr. Simmons, in terms of courtesy, expressed some thanks to me for receiving you here to-day, and Lord Brabazon has been good enough to allude to the patience with which I have listened to what has been said. Now, I cannot conceive of anybody in my position, who has lately come into an office which he has left some 16 years ago, that he should not be deeply grateful to have the advantage of hearing what a deputation of this sort, so singularly representative in its character, has to say upon the most important question which you have brought before me. With regard to my patience, I may say that Lord Brabazon must think me of a singularly impatient disposition if he thinks it was difficult for me to listen with attention to the very short but very pregnant addresses which have been delivered during the last three-quarters of an hour. I would even have kept such a fund of patience that I think I could have made up my mind to listen with decent apparent attention, if Lord Brabazon, who has distinguished himself so much in everything that bears a philanthropic character, would have been good enough to speak on this occasion, instead of leaving it to others to do so. Now, I gather from the representations that have been made, what indeed I was aware of before, that the object of those who are represented here to-day is very nearly this: that though they are stimulated by the distress which at this moment exists, they wish to deal permanently with the evil which recurs from time to time with regard to a country where the geographical extent is small, and the population is increasing—that they wish to do this—to do that which they think would not only relieve those at home, but would be an absolute advantage to those Colonists, between whom and the mother country the connection appears to me to be getting closer every day, to confer upon them a benefit, and at the same time to look forward to the benefit of the mother country and of the Colony, by increasing the trading relations between the two. I believe that it has been for many years page 17 acknowledged that it is a desirable thing that well-regulated emigration should take place from the smaller country, which is over-populated, to one of very much greater extent, where perhaps some capital is required, but where the great want of all is properly selected labour, and therefore the very question is, how this can be best organised and managed. There are three points which have been raised, one of which was hardly touched upon to-day, but it has been raised. I find that communication has taken place with regard to some better means of appointing some Government office by which all the information bearing upon Colonization and Emigration should be more rapidly and more universally spread in this country. I find that my predecessors, Lord Derby, and his brother, have both considered this subject. They have been in communication with the Association, with the Crown Agents, and with the Treasury, on the subject. Nothing has been done yet, but I am happy on one circumstance, that the present Chancellor of the Exchequer—and I may say, the Secretary of State for the Home Department, because he is a man who knows as much about the Colonies as any of the public men of this country—Sir William Harcourt, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, a most important person in these matters, I know has been for some time favourably disposed to the establishment of a department of this sort. There will be a difficulty in the organization, and I do not wish to clinch myself in any way in matters which do not solely depend on me, but I look forward pretty sanguinely to the accomplishment of that object. There are two other points: one is with regard to Emigration, and the other, more particularly, with regard to Colonization. Now, with regard to Emigration, I may say that during the few years I was in the Colonial Office, there was at that time a Government Department, namely, the Land and Emigration Commissioners. They had been established, I think, in 1840. They had to manage the waste lands which then belonged to the Crown. They had to manage the traffic of passengers, and they had particularly, by the money which they received by the sale of Crown lands, the means of assisting Emigration to a very large degree, in order to bring labour to those waste lands. That has now disappeared, and the page 18 management of those waste lands entirely belongs to the Governments of those respective Colonies. Now, Mr. Froude, or one of the gentlemen here present, said—and the observation was cheered, I remarked, by all present—that in anything that we do, the assistance and the perfect co-operation of the Colonies is absolutely, necessary with regard to any success. Well, with regard to Emigration, one Colony has lately shut up its Emigration Office in this country from want of employment in the Colony. You must a little bear in mind with regard to this-that this distress, which diminishes the employing of the labour in this country, is also applicable to nearly all the nations of the world, and to our Colonies, too. They find labour and the demands of labour pressing upon them a great deal—much more than had previously been the case. But what I understand to be the case is this: that at this moment, with regard to Emigration pure and simple, the Crown Agents are able to get without difficulty all the Emigrants which their Governments and their constituencies require. I think this deputation has rather put on one side the immediate consideration of the mere Emigration of labourers, who are to compete with the labourers already existing in the Colonies. (Hear, hear.) Now the other question is a very large question, and a most important question: it is with regard to "Colonization." I have looked a little into what happened in Ireland. I believe Mr. Tuke is not here, or, in his presence, I would have asked him to have stated what happened in Ireland; however, I will do so myself. Lord Spencer organised a system of Colonization. It was confined to particular rural districts in Ireland, where there was an especial congestion of labour. It succeeded to a certain degree. It has been put a stop to, not so much from economical reasons as from political and other feelings. During the time it was in operation, I believe that under the superintendence of the Central Government, and by the work of the local authorities, the Boards of Guardians and other local authorities, and by the aid of some philanthropic associations, such as those to which Mr. Tuke belonged, the greatest possible care was exercised in the sending out of Emigrants, especially to Canada, the United States, and a little to Australia. There page 19 were a few sent back from the United States, belonging either to the pauper class, or having forged letters, which did not appear to be authentic, from relatives in the United States, professing a readiness to support them. There was also a little tendency on the part of the Irish to get into the cities, and not to go on to the lands. But with regard to a very large proportion, there is no doubt that they did establish themselves in the Western Dominion, and generally have succeeded very well indeed. Now, with regard to the State undertaking it, I understand, particularly from what Mr. Simmons stated, that with regard to the financial arrangement on this point, this deputation have somewhat of a new scheme to suggest. Mr. Simmons says, I think, that no loan is required from the Government at all. I understand him to say—
Lord Brabazon: I think, my Lord, he said it was "not from the rates or the taxes." I think Mr. Simmons's proposal is t a loan could be raised.
Mr. Simmons: That is so.
Earl Granville: With regard to that, I should be extremely obliged if I might have in writing the character of the loan, and the conditions which would attach to it, in order that I might submit it to the Treasury. The Treasury look at these proposals with a critical eye, and I am the very last person in the world to blame them. They have charge of the public purse, and they are absolutely bound to look with a critical eye at all proposals bearing in any way upon the finance of the country, derivable from the public exchequer. But if there is a new plan, as I understood Mr. Simmons to state, I should like to have it in writing, to submit it to my colleagues and to the examination of the Treasury. The appeals made to me personally I received with great pleasure, as indicating a belief how fully I sympathise with the distress that is felt, and how anxious I should be to find means of alleviating it; but you will remark that, as Colonial Secretary, and unofficially, apart from my being a member of the Government, there is one portion of page 20 the question which we at the Colonial Office are not necessarily bound to consider—the best way of dealing with that which happens locally here. We have the interests of the Colonies to provide for. We are bound to the public to obtain all possible information; we are bound to put as much as possible at the disposal of the Government all the information that is ascertained from the Colonial representatives in this country; but the particular question of how best to deal with the distress of certain localities here is not a Colonial Office question, but is one which affects the Home Office and the Local Government Board. I am saying this, not in the least to send this deputation from one department to another, but I wish a little to distinguish where the responsibility must naturally rest. I can only repeat my thanks to the deputation for the manner in which they have brought this case before me. I shall hope that they will bring before me in writing the exact character of the new plan which they think would be acceptable, and would do away with some objections which have hitherto been raised, and you may be quite sure that not only I shall bring it before my colleagues, but my colleagues will be most anxious to give the fullest consideration to your proposals. (Applause.)
Lord Brabazon having thanked his Lordship for his encouraging observations, the deputation then withdrew.