The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 27
New Zealand's Population
New Zealand's Population.
All may aid in this undertaking, and I will show you, by-and-by, a way in which many of you who little think of it, may have the gratification of so doing. Well, what further have we to consider next? What is the population we have to provide this Library for? Why, we who stand here are amongst that vast population, who, in the present century, moved by some mighty impulse, have quitted their homes in England, Scotland, page 8 Ireland—nay, Nova Scotia, and distant parts of America—in France, in Germany, in Scandinavia and Italy, all flocking to one common centre in New Zealand—a migration wonderful in its extent, still more wonderful in its mixed population, and still more remarkable in the difficulties it imposes upon all those who have to deal with a population of so mixed a character. Speaking different languages, accustomed to different laws, to varied modes of government, but still all gradually merging into the use of that one familiar tongue—the Anglo-Saxon language—which is to dominate the world. (Cheers.) This is the population for which we have to provide. Those are the people for whom, and for their children, we are to secure a mode of instruction in our public institutions, which shall enable this central position of Auckland, and these central islands of New Zealand, ultimately to flood the Pacific with learning, and to dominate with a just and righteous supremacy—not of tyranny, but of intellect, over the great extent of islands which surround us upon every side. (Cheers.) That is the kind of library we must establish. Those are the kind of people for whom we must provide it—a library suited to the future capital of a great ocean, a library fitted to cultivate people of many languages and many nations, a library calculated—in centuries from this time, I trust—to be the admiration of the world. (Cheers.) Where was the greatest library of which we have any record? Was it at the greatest centre of commerce at the time, the great centre of civilization of the nations which were in its vicinity, at Alexandria? I say, yes, and it should be the object of this city that here should rest a Library, in this great centre of commerce, which shall hereafter become famed in this part of the world, I trust, as was that which dominated in the Mediterranean Sea in former times. (Applause.)