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THE SALVATION ARMY

COLONIES.

THE POOR AND THE LAND.

MR. RIDER HAGGARD'S REPORT.

_ !

Mr. H Rider Haggard-who, besides being I

a popular novelist, la a farmer and the author j

of a valuable book of "Rural England"-was ¡ lately commissioned by the Imperial Govern- ' mont to visit and report upon tho Salvation- (

1st efforts at colonisation The results of

his examination weis embodied in the usual!) blue hook, and they would likely havo re- i

malned burled thoro If Mi Haggaid had not j Induced tho treasury of the Rhodes tiuslees , (who contributed a sum of money to moot \ oxpensos) to permit- tho publication of tho < loport lu book foi m Here Is tho book. "Tho ' Pool and tho Lund, being a ropoit on tho ¡ Salvation Arm} colonies In tho United Stat03l( and at Hadleigh, England, with scheme of.v

national lund bettlcmont, and an Ititi oduc-U lion" Tho lßport Itself waB only submlttod J

to Parliament In Its unattractive blue book , form last Juno, and It Is still under the con- < sidorntion of a dopat trnuntal eommlttoo. As 1 this committee will not picsont Its Undings ' befóte next session of the Imperial Parlia-

ment, tho Austiallan Governments will not , ho far behind the home authorities in tho i mallei of such information ns Mr Haggard's 1 leport contains TI1I3 infainwlinn would, ^ doubtless have commanded grcatoi attention J

If It had not been for the fact that Oeueial ; Dooth has wlthdiawn his offer of 6000 families . -tor the puipoaes of colonisation in Aus-I ti alla Thlu withdrawal, we have learnt, li

duo to tho opposition ralood by some persons 1 In Atistialia Itself, and the book before us,

(copy of which we receive from Dvmoik's't jilbmiy) > 111 doubllor°, give occasion to t theso po> nous to losiot theil decision U

Mr ll.igg-iirl pci-onally inspect, rt tho Sal- , vatlon ¿Mini settlement in California und'c Coloiado Ho inspected also tho beti lemont i in Ohio, 'Toit Herrick," but, ns this w is B irmlnly lntendod for I ho euro and education \ of Inebriates, it may bo lett out of account l( Tho Californian colony Inhabits a place eallcdl0 "Foit nomle," and then thero Is "l'ort t Amity," in Colorado Hore follows a gono- j rnllty, which is of value, aud which Is fully substantiated by Iho detaili with which Mr Haggaid later ludulgoj us -

At both lort ltomle mid loit Amity, I found the sf tilt ia hcaltliv, happy, Ik pi ful, »ntl, almost without execution, doini; well lliLlniiiiiR in ncarlv oven tiihe wtiti nothing;, tnoreovci, lu the course of about lour jours ut I 011 lioinlc, these settlers me now vvorili

un avilare of o\ci ¿loo pir bead uhove nil then ^ délits nilli liibililics to the Salvation Anil} und others f anti ni lort Amity an »vince of over £200, which c is ncccUesH lo si>, a ffieat tle^l moro than tlicv f cnuhl possihlv have aecuuiiiliili'u durlnfr the same . period as da> labourers on the land or in the cities ,

Some may bo inclined, though in tho face of ¡ actual facts, to Imnglno that this method of ] colonisation has been Inaugurated for the v pocunlary benefit of the Salv itlou Army But t this does not appeal in I eg ml to these Bottle- | monta In tho United Stalos After mentioning the , fact that tho settlers lntioduccd hy the Army 1 Into tho United States havo tuado money, Mr Hnggnrd goos on to report:

The venture liouever has not proved so prosperous . to its founders, tho Salv itiou Army, who on those ? two eettlcnii nts have incurred a total loss ol about

/UO.OOO. TUIa loss, not very large It is true, al- 1

though quito as much »a any charitable body can wish lo face, is due to four causes (1) The facts that the settlements were established by aid of money liol

ron ed at a heavy rate of interest, namely 6 and 0 per cent, and that the settlers were charged too little for their holdings, which tiley pay for by insUl ment«, (2) the considerable initial cost of the cs tate, both at Fort Bomie and Fort Amity, (3) the fact that the settle« were first established at tort Koinie before the soil had been properly irrigated and at once confronted bj a three years drought m tho circumstance that at Fort Amity the land, which was virgin prairie, proved exceptionally hard to work

So It conies about that although the set tiers aro doing so »eli, the Salvation Army luve been culled upou to pay ±.10,000 for their experience

It would be a grave mistako to conclude from this £10,000 loss that tho settlements are a failure One might as woll say that the money cxponded by a business fjrm in an enterprise is lost because thero aro no Imme- diate returns And in this matter, where the settlers make much out ot nothing, the Imme- diate object of the enterprise Is gained The Salvation Army finds its present account in the buccess of tho colouies which it has formed in the United States, and tho proba- bility is that in process of timo it will find an actual business return on the money It in- vested Meanwhile, the. scheme takes fami- lies whet can find no work to do in England and sotties them abroad The families may be of llttlo account socially, but they con- sist of human beings nftoi all The attrac- tions of tbe cities have drawn them from the agi'cultural districts, lu which alone they aie equipped for work, and In tho cities tho poor people find themselves lost The streets aro not paved with gold as they fondly Imagined, and there aio thousands of per- sons botter" fitted than they to discharge tho duties required of dwellers In ciliés It was a Hash of magnificent inspiration which impelled General Booth to scud such póoplo back to their own proper work, but In a dlfiorent hemisphere, to apply them to agri- culture, but in a country whore they could find ampio opportunities for development

Mr Haggard has discovered a scheme for the employment of the unemployed-a schomo so simple, In his opinion, that his wonder Is that no ono has ever propounded It befoio Put shortly, It means the establishment of machinery tor the transportation of the sur- plus population of England to foreign coun- tries With the enthusiasm of the un- informed person who has discovered a scheme which was old when his forefathers were not thought of, Mr Haggard suggests that Groat Britain should-do what? That she should export the labour for which no reasonable wage can be obtained locally But the antiquity of the proposal should not blind us to tho value of Mi Haggard's personal examination of the Salvation Army colonisa- tions in the United States He has gone through the country concerned from Dan even unto Eeershoba and, he has found that the colonies founded by the Salvation Army aie doing well That means moro than 11^ mero words It moans, for Instauco that persons who jostled each other for moro food-and that provided by charltj-In the streets of London, havo been enabled to make their own way in other parts of the world The oppor- tunity which every worker needs has been brought to the door of tho colonists per- sonally conducted by the Salvation Army, to the gates of that city of El Dorado, which may not be opened excopt nt the command of the potentate whose motto is "personal en- deavour "

If wo take the commissioner's report on Tort Romle, in California, wo shall gather a good Idea of tho work done and the difficulties which the Army has to meet In theso colonies It appears that seien yoirs ago Commander Booth Tucker, of the Salvation Army and a committee of the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce bought Tort Romle which is a valley some 160 miles away from San Fran- cisco for £5200, and forthwith settled upon It l8 families drawn from indigent people In that city Tho settlement was a dismal falluro, and but one of these l8 families now remains at Fort Romle Thore was no Irrigation and the three years of drought which followed the beginning of the enterprise practically starved the new settlors back to the city slums Then the Army introduced a system of irrigation, and when thlB was in working order more settlers-destitute persons but with an ordi- nary farm labourer's knowledge of agricul- ture-were Introduced This was about four years ago and for the most part the new colonists aro doing well It Is worth whllo noting tho terms upon which farms woro allocated to settlers

To these men the land «as sold under contract at 100 dollars or í.20 acrling, the acre pliiB the cost of any improvement,) stich as buildings that might exist upon each twenty acre lot this purchase money was made p i>able in equal annual Hist ilmcnts spread over a period of twenty jcirs to winch was udded in forest on deferred payments at the rite of 5 per cent rurther, chattels such as horses stock implements, etc, were sold to the colonists upon a filetear bj» tem under which the price of them waa pijible in equal annual instalments to which is added interest upon all unpaid balances at the rate of 0 per cent per annum lo guard itself il. mist loS3 alio the Army took a mortgage or some analogous security, over ill lue and dead stock thus provided It was 'luther agreed that no title should lie gil cn to tin lind until all payments were complcied and that any settler ivho neglected to fulfil ins obligations coul 1 be ejected after notice mid his laiill and all upon it seized to satisfy his debt

All this Is stringent and business-like Brough, but in practico the authorities, boing sure of the Increasing value of their security, are quito content to allow tho payment of Instalments to stand over, always, of courso, subject to the interest And, says Mr Hag- gard, "not to mince matters, tho experiment has proved a great success " Tho colonists aro content and grateful Thoy have happy homes, healthy families, pleasant surround- ings, plenty to cat and drink, and a reason- able certainty of becoming prosperous faun era Instead of labourers living from hand to mouth Their children aro educated In the local school the colonists can buy all the necessities of life in a co-operative storo or In ordinary shops and Ihey hive a reudy mar- ket for their produce There Is no religious ptcssure cxciclscd by the Army, and tho com- munity includes persons belonging to various churches, Protestant and Roman Catholic Thero ate elements of difficulty in tho con- stitution of tho colony, as, foi Instanco, tho natural desire of tho bottlers to obtain moro land as tho pttrchaso of their present hold- ings is completed and tho equally natural de- sire of their bons to secure farms of tholr own as they grow up Tho area Is limited, and though an additional 170 acres has been puichased, it will not bo long boforo Romle Is occupied to its utmost capacity But sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof Meanwhile, hear (ho conclusion of tho wholo

matter -

1 rom tho sworn figures furnished and the statements mude to me, it appeals that 'lie present llnanciil con ditton of the lort 1 omie colonj Is as follows -lho Saltation Arm} incurred a losa upan the first settle ment of about 27,U00dol, or £o!00, while the second settlement shows thom to hue ii surplus In thnir faiour of OOOOdol, or £1.100 Hie colonists hue on ' equity "-that is u surf lus of assets over all Hool

lltits-oí above Al COOdol or about £8300 that is, un average of something over 20nodol, or £400 each The Salvation Army has expended "lor the purchase of land und for the establishment mil maintenance of

Hie "colon}" OlOOOilol or about £12,o00, to which must bo added the loss incurred In the first ibortlvo settlement of 2",G00Jol, or i. >400 pav iicarlj £1S 0 0 in all Per contra thp value ol land, Improi ementa lue stock outfit, etc, ia -i| pnised at 113 ¡¡Odo! or neirly £2 000 most of which increment, however, goes to the colonists

It will, of couiso be noticed ia regard to this colony nt Foit Ilomlo that the settlement vas a failure until a system of irrigation had been established and it would perhaps be fnh to conclude from this that It would ho useless oven to gil o lund which is dopondent upon uncoilain lalnlall toi the puipo-.es of colonisation If l8 families could not find a Um lihood in the rich but uncortainlj vatered soil of Tort Romlo, wa cannot oxpeol 5000 families to turn a wilderness Into a collec- tion of smiling and pto*-porous farms If wo want tho coloilsta wo must give them a fair chance of success And next will bo obsen ed the btinlnofaslllie principles on which the flourishing setllomont of Fort Romle Is now established lhere Is no pauperising and avery man has a chance of doing well for hinvtlf and his fanily, if only ho exoiclsos rcasonablo cire And it cortulnly will not oscape obsen ntlou that hoi o wo havo nn op pnitunit} "Ivon to the poor man who can work and who Is willtrg to wotk with the man who can woik, but prefers to bog, tho world has llttlo sjmpathy but ovorylody wants to elvo a hnlpliiç bund to the honest unemployed ""¡specially in Austtalln whoro we want population of tho right stamp The "maniocs land -to uso Goneial Booths strik- ing phrase-wants the 'landless man"

Digitisation generously supported by
Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation
Digitisation generously supported by

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