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FAMILIES OF MI GRANTS.
THE EMPIRE'S BEST GIFT. AN ENGLISHMAN'S IMPRESSIONS.
Sir Henry Cowan, Unionist member for North Islington in the House of Com mons, Lady Cowan, and their daughter, arrived in Adelaide on Sunday. In the afternoon they were taken for a motor drive through the hills by the Minister ot Immigration (Hon. J. Cowan) and the Director of Immigration (Mr. Victor 11. Ryan). They were entertained at after noon tea by the Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress' (Mr. and Mrs. Lavington Bonython). Sir Henry was born in Edin
burgh on May 22, 1862, and is the chair man of the firm of Parkinson and W. and B. Cowan, Limited. Prior to his elec tion for North Islington in 1923, he represented the Guildford divi sion of Surrey and afterwards East Aberdeenshire. His wife is a daugh ter nf Mr llrmipl Smith rtf TSdinhiirifh
Sir Henry was knighted in 1917. He was educated at the Edinburgh University, and since entering Parliament has taken a keen interest in migration problems. He has loured the Dominions extensively, and has visited Australia on a number ot previous occasions. He was to have formed one of the Empire Parliamentary Delegation which visited Australia, but as he could not make arrangements to leave England at that time he decided on a pri vate journey with members of his family. Sir Henry, interviewed at the South Australian Hotel, said coming back to Australia, after a good many years he found many interesting developments, but also some disappointments. He found, for instance, that - more than half the population was still centred in a few large cities; that the land waB still very sparsely populated; and that the population had not increased as it should. The lack of population was a very great danger to the Commonwealth. He could not ima tine that the rest of the world would iri efinitely acquiesce in bo desirable a con tinent being permanently held by a mere handful of people. He realised that as -long as the British Em pire occupied its present position in the world- Australia could rely upon.lt to protect its coast as a last resort. He thought Australia should not place too great a burden on the mother country, but should do something to ensure its own safety. That could not be done unless some steps were taken to increase the population of the Commonwealth, which was certainly threatened from two diffe rent quarters. In Asia there were coun tries with vast populations seeking an out let. Their peoples were looking to Aus tralia with its vast spaces and resources, and wondering why they should not be allowed to share its advantages. That, of course, was forbidden by the White Australia policy. European populations were congested and lacked opportunities to expand. They also sought outlets. They found their former field of exploita
tion — the United States of America— closed to them, and saw that the British Em pire held the remaining desirable fields of settlement. If Australians wanted to maintain a White Australia, and he be lieved they did, they must not be con tent to say to those other nations that they forbade them to enter the Common wealth, but must show them that they were capable of developing their country without their aid. He believed that the failure to increase their population by Empire migration in recent years had been due to the set-back caused by the war, during which it was impossible to trans fer population, and, latterly, to the failure on the part of the home authorities to re cognise fully the advantages offered by the Dominions for the relief of Britain's congested populations, and the failure on the part of Australia to realise that an increase in population of the right sort meant not merely progressively increasing security from a military point of view, but also the development of their natural resources on a scale which had not yet been attempted. Instead of reducing the amount ot work available for those in Australia and the standard of living, migration would in crease the demand for bo-h prim*'-* and secondary products within the Common wealth and would stimu^-te trade with other countries. It was a ta::aoy to s'ippose that Labor in Australia bid anything to lose by welcoming migiants from the mother country. He bd'ieved ihsc Aus tralian Labor had everything to gain. If any serious movement witd to be n ade in the near future for the encourageu.ent of migration from the mother county that machinery which had proved ineffective should be thoroughly overhauled. 'I'hose who were willing to come from Britain should have it made perfectly ceai that they would be welcomed it Australia, and by close co-operation between the Govern-' ments a - greater effort should be mude to encourage migration en a larger scale. He quite understood the feeling in Australia against accepting unemployed settlers, but among ?'he unem ployed in England were aiany who were willing and capable of woikrag. They Bhould not be denied th* fpportup'ty of migrating to Australia be.-ause, own* to unfortunate circumstances, they wer- tem porarily unemployed. A few years age the South Australian Government deve'-jped a scheme for encouraging bey immigration. He thought that scheme war admirable in principle. He was glad that the Diesent Government had revived tLe scheme, more especially as he understood it was to work in co-operation with thf Big B'. other movement which had been so succewtul in Victoria. There was mut^i to be «cd for boy migration. Boys wer-: more readily acclimatised and Austra mnised than adults. He was ako in levor of fimily settlement. A 'man of gocfi physique and good character, with a wife with ? similar characteristics, and their ch-.dren — iuvming a ready-made family— was tte best Rift the Empire could eive to its Dominions