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the same talent.* Nor ought we to close our paper without naming • The Winter in the Far West,' by Mr. Hoffman—another new book which will richly reward the reader's attention,
But the book of the season, as far as America is concerned, is unquestionably that of Mr. Latrobe. He is evidently an author from whose future lucubrations we may hope to receive large supplies of amusement and instruction. To what part of the world he has turned his steps we do not know, but we understand he is again rambling somewhere, and we shall not fail to watch the result of his peregrinations.
Art. VI.-Papers relating to Emigration.
Printed for the House of Commons, 27th March, 1835. 2. Two Expeditions into the Interior of Southern Australia ; with
Observations on the General Resources of New South Wales. By Captain Charles Sturt. 2 vols., 8vo.
2 vols., 8vo. London, 1833. 3. State and Position of Western Australia, or the Swan River
Settlement. By Captain Irwin, late acting Governor of the
Colony. Svo. London, 1835. 4. Letters from Poor Persons who have lately emigrated to Ca
nada. 3rd edit. 1835, T has been shown over and over again in this Journal, that the
redundancy of labour which weighs so heavily on our parish rates, and renders the administration of any poor-law the legislature may enact a difficult and dangerous matter ;—the dearth of employment, and consequently of the means of sustenance, which forces the Irish peasantry into illegal and murderous combinations, and prepares them to be the ready tools of every political agitator who has an object to serve in fomenting rebellion ; ---the excessive competition which, in every branch of trade, in every avenue for the investment of capital, and in every profession, renders the chance of a remunerating return every day more and more precarious ;that these perplexing circumstances, which our economists have so belaboured their brains to render still more puzzling, are, in fact, the simple and inevitable results of the rapid growth of our population and our wealth, during a lengthened peace, and under the shadow of free and happy institutions, without a proportionate increase of the territorial area for their employment; and that the obvious remedy to this plethora lies—not as the Broughams and Martineaus advise, in a painful and suicidal attempt to check the rate of increase of our people and our capital—but in the enlargement of the field for their employment, by facilitating their
* Indian Sketches, taken during an Expedition among the Pawnee Tribes and other Indians of North America. By John T. Irving, jun. 2 vols. 12mo.
transfer to those territorial dependencies of Britain which ought to be considered as much in the light of outlying counties as the Isles of Wight, Jersey, or Man---where there is 'ample room and verge enough' for the development of our industry for centuries to come - and where, from the luxuriance of the yet virgin soil, the returns
tenfold the cost of its cultivation. Every hour forces this subject more and more upon our attention, as the true and only solution of the difficulties whereby the industry of the country finds itself cramped and pinched. To take but one instance out of hundreds :-the heart-rending case of the hand-loom weavers of the north of England and the west of Scotland.* For twenty years this portion of our working population has been pressing its miserable condition on the attention of parliament, and earnestly supplicating some legislative relief. In 1818, a committee of the House of Commons, after a patient investigation of their suffering state, and of all the imagined means of relieving it, came to the opinion that it admitted but of one remedy, namely, the affording them facilities to emigrate. Unfortunately, however, no steps were taken-or none to any effectual extent-in furtherance of this recommendation; and the consequence is, that after years of protracted anguish in what was then a hopeless, and has by every subsequent year been shown to be a perfectly desperate contest with their gigantic rival, the steam-engine, we have these unfortunate hand-loom weavers still before parliament, reiterating their sad story, and calling aloud, as before, for restrictions on machinery, boards of trade to regulate wages, and all the other nostrums which drowning men may be excused for catching at in their agony as means of salvation, but which, if granted to their prayers, could only make their state worse rather than better.
It is indeed surprising that any single member of parliament should think of encouraging the delusion under which these poor people labour, by granting then the successive committees that have been sitting during the two last sessions for the consideration of their wild requests. It is difficult to believe that any man of education in the present day can imagine improvements of machinery (that is, of the instruments by which man produces the various objects of his consumption) to be an evil which it is desirable to restrict, or can seriously propose that the legislature should interfere to dictate the terms of the pecuniary bargain between employers and their labourers. The desire to stand well
On this, as on all other subjects connected with Scotland, we may safely refer our readers to the New Statistical Account,' now in progress of publication at Edinburgh, and which, when completed, will be the most valuable work of the kind erer produced in any country of the world. It reflects, indeed, the very highest honour on the clergy of Scotland. See in particular Dr. Macfarlan's article on Glasgow, and that on Dundee.
with popular constituencies, by an appearance of attention even to their idlest fancies, is no doubt at the bottom of the appointment of these committees. They are, however, extremely injurious, in as far as they afford countenance to a mischievous delusion, and divert the attention of all parties from the consideration of that remedy which alone is adequate to the occasion.
Look again to the efforts now making throughout England for the reduction of pauperism. Can the workhouse system of relief for the able-bodied the sheet-anchor of the scheme embodied in the late Poor-Law Amendment Act-be effectual to that end? Nay, can it be safe, practicable, or just, to coop up our industrious peasantry in these district gaols, and sever them from their wives and children, for the crime of not being able to obtain employment, while their labour-market is kept in a state of constant glut by the overflow of Irish wretchedness into it, and no vent is opened to drain off the surplus ? One of two things only can happen from such an attempt, if made: either a renewal of the Jacquerie of the autumn of 1830, or at least the general depression of our bold peasantry to the potato and water level of their Irish competitors in the labour-market. We are of opinion, from what history and experience inform us of the spirit and impatience of tyranny which characterize that peasantry, as well as from sundry other indications of a more particular nature, that the last of these alternatives is by far the least likely of the two to occur.
But one or the other is inevitable.* True it is that parishes and unions are empowered by the late act to raise money on the security of their rates for aiding the emigration of their surplus labouring poor; but there is little probability of their doing this, if they are permitted to get rid of the application for work by the offer of the workhouse: in other words (for it amounts to nothing less), by a threat of imprisonment.
We still hope that among the amendments which must shortly be introduced in the late act this will not be overlooked-namely, that before able-bodied labourers are compelled to reside, and to bring their innocent families within the close and contaminating atmosphere of a workhouse, as the sole condition of their relief or employment, they shall bave the offer of a free passage for themselves and their families to one of the colonies.
* We take this opportunity of directing attention to a work which we have just read, but which is not yet published—the second series of Mr. Gleig's. Country Curate. This humane, manly, and unaffected writer has here put together in a set of little stories, in themselves full of deep and almost Crabbe-like interest, a mass of solid information concerning the recent history and the actual condition and habits of the English peasantry, such as we sincerely believe no other work of any class whatever can supply. It is well that the most popular form of composition is at last turned to such objects, and by such talents.
Our earnest desire, we confess (and, moreover, entertain a confident hope of living to see it fulfilled), is, that means should be provided, of a public, a permanent, and gratuitous character, for facilitating the spontaneous emigration of every industrious labourer who finds it impossible to procure a subsistence in the British islands. In one word, we desire to see the Atlantic bridged over by government arrangements, at the expense of the nation, for the free passage of all able-bodied paupers who, after due notice, may present themselves at the outports, with a proper certificate of character, and of the necessity of their situation.
Suppose, for an instant, such an arrangement were established, and in active operation, what a load of anxiety would be taken off the bosoms of those who, whether as members of the government, of the legislature, or of society, feel a deep and overwhelming interest in all that affects the condition of the labouring classes the numerical bulk of the community! No more committees or commissions of inquiry into the distressed state of the Glasgow weavers, the Sussex ploughmen, or the Irish cottiers ! No more itinerant bands of inoperative operatives challenging our compassion on every high road with assurances that the mills in which they lately worked have been shut up, or the furnaces blown out, and that they have vainly wandered in search of employment from Paisley to Axminster, or from Merthyr Tydvil to Birmingham! No more heart-rending accounts of the entire population of extensive districts, labouring at their unhealthy looms through the livelong day, and half the night, for a sum which will not keep a family in bread and water! No more futile (because easily evaded) acts to prevent the wholesale offering up of infant life at the shrine of the factory Juggernaut, by mothers who must sacrifice their babes to buy off famine ! No more minute, painful, and unsatisfactory inquiries into the character, past history, and earnings of almost every agricultural labourer in the country, with a view to determine the question whether he shall be allowed eighteen pence at the end of the week out of the parish rates, to assist him to maintain his family, or be required to bring them all, boys and girls, and their decent mother to boot, to take up their residence in classified workhouses, within high walls, and consume their lives in pacing round yards twenty feet by thirty, and eating bread and cheese on the odd days of the week, and porridge on the even! No more rick-burnings and machine-breaking by a peasantry demoralized through a long course of training to idleness in the school of the parish gravel-pit! No more desolating accounts from counties Clare or Mayo of the ejectment of fifty cottier families from their farms and hovels---for arrear of rent, or for the sake of enabling the landlord to enlarge his park, or to turn his small farms into large
ones—having been followed, as a thing of course, by the murder of the agent, the burning of the new tenants in their beds, and the general outbreak of a Rockite insurrection, requiring the Insurrection Act, and a couple of regiments, and half a dozen executions, to quell it! No more harrowing statements of the population of whole districts being habitually compelled for want of work and food to eke out their single meal of dry potatoes with bitter and unwholesome weeds, until their very blood turns yellow !* Under such a provision the labouring-population of the United Kingdom would preserve itself in a healthy and safe condition. The labour-market of the British empire would be put in equilibrio. So long as the demand for labour in the colonies continued at any thing like its present intensity-and, as we shall shortly show, there is no prospect of its diminution, but, on the contrary, a certainty, under wise regulations, of its continual increase), --so long might we sit down in the happy conviction that no willing labourer could long want employment-so long must the rate of wages in this country maintain itself at something not much under that which obtains in the colonies, where the abundance of fresh and fertile soil, to be bad almost for the asking, must always preserve it at a very high level. Industrious pauperism would wholly disappear, and poverty be found only among the crippled, the sick, and the impotent!
But the benefits of such a state of things would not be confined to the labouring classes. Capital in this country is notoriously in the same condition of congestion as labour. The capitalist, it is true, is competent without aid from the state to transfer his capital to the colonies; but of what use would it be to him there, unless he can procure an adequate supply of labour to set it in motion ? He may buy land dirt-cheap, but where are the axe-men to clear it, the ploughmen to cultivate it? These he cannot import with his ploughs and axes, as he would cattle or horses, since, in a free state, they would leave him immediately upon their landing, tempted by the high rate of wages which the scarcity of labour maintains in the colony. All attempts to secure the services of imported labourers by a system of indenture or apprenticeship have failed upon trial, from the facility of avoiding the indenture by removal to other neighbouring countries, or from the recognized
Horrible as such statements are, and almost incredible when told of a country which annually exports several millions' worth of provisions-of a country which forms a portion of an empire undoubtedly the wealthiest in the world, and which prides itself on its humanity, refinement, and civilization—we have reason to know that many such, and, if possible, some still more harrowing, will be found in the Report of the Commission for inquiring into the state of the poor of Ireland, when it is produced; but when is this to be ?-And when are we to wipe off the stigma that rests on the legislation of Britain for allowing the only real grievances of Ireland to remain so long unrelieved ?