REAL SELF-SUPPORTING EMIGRATION.
To the Editor of the Spectator.
Sir--I observe a proposal from a corres- pondent, in your paper of the 27th April, for an association for advancing loans to emigrants to the colonies. Perhaps, therefore, you will allow me to say what is actually being done in this direction. I feel that the request needs the less apology, because the Spectator has more than once endeavoured to direct attention to
the practicability of making emigration self-
In October, 1846, you were good enough to allow me to explain in your columns an outline of a detailed plan, framed under the advice of a person of colonial experience, for a system of self-supporting emigration, especially adapted to Irish Roman Catholics ; the principle being analogous to that which we sometimes adopt here in transporting the supply of labour required for engineering works. I received several letters lrom persons of experience and influence encouraging this proposal, among others Mrs Chisholm, a lady whose experience in all that relates to emigration and emigrants has been learnt by a life of devoted exertion, and is probably greater than that of any other person. She, I found, was ready to suggest a plan of her own for accomplishing the same object, viz. " self-supporting emigration" ; and finding the matter in hands so infinitely more experienced, wiser, and better than mine, I need not say I was too glad to lay aside my own notions, and render her such feeble aid as lay in
Mrs. Chisholm's plan is more matured and in incipient action. It is called "The Family Colonization Loan Society." It relies entirely on the family tie. The working is this. A number of families, say, for example, five, wishing to emigrate, and knowing each other, form themselves into "a group," and come to the society with all the money they can scrape together. The society lend them as much more, taking the joint and several security of one or more of each family. By this means, the first batch are shipped off ; the remaining number of the families staying behind in pledge, as it were. As soon as satisfactory advices are received from the colony of the first batch of emigrants, and a part of the society's loan is repaid by them out of their wages, a second batch is sent out, the rest still remaining behind in pledge ; and so on, until the last remaining portion of the group are despatched.
From careful calculations, which have been revised by Mr. Neison the actuary, a whole group of five families, which can get together on the average £12 a family, may be got out to Australia in this way in three batches, and in three years at most ; the society only risking their loan to the first batch of emigrants. This is the plan, and it is in actual working. Eighty families are forming themselves into groups; they are prepared with £1,260 of their own money ; and if the society meet with the support it probably will, the first batch will sail in June. The experiment of self-supporting emigration which you have so often advocated is now about to be made, and that under the wise and gentle guidance of Mrs. Chisholm, assisted by men of such character and ability as Mr. Vernon Smith, Lord Ashley, Mr. Monsell, Mr. Tidd Pratt, and Mr. Neison. On Saturday last, the first band of intending emigrants mustered at Mrs. Chis- holm's, and were addressed by Mr. Vernon Smith and Lord Ashley. The feature of the Family Loan Society is, that as people help themselves, and no further, does the society help them. All, then, who help those who are willing to help themselves, and all who wish to see the attempt made to enable labour to export itself, like any other commodity, to where it is in demand, and emigration thus to be made self-
supporting, should help this young society.--I
have the honour to be your obedient servant,
WYNDHAM HARDING. London, May 8, 1850.