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2 corrections, most recently by peter-macinnis - Show corrections

Immigration and Settlement.

THE following letter, addressed to the Editor, appeared in the Courier on Tuesday last:— Sir, —I am constrained to say a few words more on this subject; my remarks will be few,

and I trust they will weigh with the public, if not with our legislators. My project was for the introduction of bond fide agriculturists from Eng- land, and settle them on the soil, such settlers or immigrants being prepared to comply with the conditions of the Land Act, and pay to the uttermost farthing all that was required by law. All they asked for was free passages, and, as the whole colony knows, the offer was contemptuously rejected. It sounds very strange in the face of such rejection that Mr. G. D. Russell has been recently appointed by the Government as immi- gration agent in Sootland at a salary of £300 per annum and his expenses paid—probably a total of £1000 per annum. One scheme cost the country nothing, while if carried out it would have added to the material wealth and prosperity of the colony, and would no doubt have been the commencement of a new era in the history of colonisation in Aus- tralia; while the other scheme of a Scotch immi- gration agency may probably result in the introduction of the waifs of society from Glas- gow, Edinburgh, and the larger towns of Scot- land. I only hope and trust, however, that the new immigration agent will make his mission a success, that he will not confine his efforts to the large centres of population, but lecture in the country towns and villages in the agricul- tural districts of "the land of mountain and of   flood;" and if so, we shall be favoured with a most desirable element in the scheme of coloni- sation, if the plodding, thrifty, and industrious Scotch can be secured in due proportion with other nationalities with which we have been favoured for years past in such rich abundance. I mast not lose the opportunity of showing that our immigration system, as at present carried out, cannot be characterised as anything else except as pauper immigration. It is, I understand, customary on the embarkation of immigrants at the port of departure to establish a temporary Government Savings Bank on board of each ship, the doctor generally having charge of same, therefore every immigrant is asked to deposit his money therein. This is generally reckoned as a gauge of the industrial standing of the immigrants in each vessel. The Famenoth, immigrant ship, which arrived in Rockhampton last week, bringing 303 immigrants to our shores, had its Savings Bank on board, in which all the money was lodged for safe keeping, as usual. Will any of your readers guess how much money the 160 Irish, the 109 English, the 27 Scotch, and the 7 Germans, brought to the land of their adoption? I will answer the question, and I   have it on good authority—exactly £9, or a fraction over 1s. per head, just enough to pay for one good square meal. I wish it to be understood that I have not the slightest desire to cast any reflection on these people be- cause of their poverty. No doubt most of them possess willing hands and brave hearts, and will probably make their way in the colony ; but in the interests of Queensland, if these immi- grants brought £5000 with them instead of £16, would not the colony be benefited by the intro- duction of the larger capital? The expenditure of the money would have refreshed and rein- vigorated every branch of trade, it would have oiled the wheels of commerce, and have proved beneficial to all. According to the dictum of some statesmen, for an emigrant to have a few pounds in his pockets is a crime; such are   not wanted in Queensland, they may go to America, or Hongkong, or to any other warm place, but they must have no admittance to Bananaland. Immigrants with money in their pockets make bad shepherds, perhaps. And the fact is, all the farming people of the United Kingdom possessing a little capital and who are on the move to found homes in new countries are departing for America. With the inducements offered it is certainly the best place for them to emigrate to. From recent returns I find that 10,000 English and 4000 Irish emigrants leave Liverpool every week for the western world, all possessing capital more or less, and not costing either Canada or the United States Governments one farthing per head; while with all our expensive and extensive machinery, agents and agent-general, touters and trum- peters, as well as free kits and free passages, we get little else but paupers and the waifs of Lon- don and the seaport towns of England, as well as the denizens of the female refuges of the United Kingdom. This is the value we get for our money.—Yours, etc., W. ALLEN. Rockhampton, 8th August.