Page:Canterbury Papers.djvu/26

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18
PRELIMINARY ARRANGEMENTS AND ECONOMY

contributed, or would now contribute, in the larger proportion, as will appear from the following consideration.

Supposing that it be considered necessary, in order to the most profitable system of tillage, that at least one adult male agricultural labourer should be imported into the settlement for every thirty acres sold; and supposing, moreover, that on the average there be one such adult male labourer in every six individuals among the labouring immigrants of all ages and both sexes;—it will then appear necessary that six such immigrants should be landed for every thirty acres sold. But, as the average cost of passage cannot be reckoned at less than 15l. for each individual, the sale of thirty acres will only furnish the passage-money of two individuals.

The contribution, therefore, to the immigration fund, will certainly be insufficient; but, as other owners of land in New Zealand have not contributed so much to the labour fund of the Colony, they would reap the advantage of any larger outlay, at the expense of the Association.

It must also be remembered, that there is a considerable elasticity in the last of the three elements,—land, labour, and system of agriculture, which have to be adjusted to each other in every agricultural community. In New Zealand, the modification which the system of agriculture is capable of receiving, in order to adjust it to the other two elements, is a great increase in the quantity of grass land. After the land shall have been well cleared, fenced, and cultivated for two or three years, it may be laid down for several years into pasture, to which the soil and climate are so well adapted: the land, thus treated, instead of one sheep to four or five acres, which is the common power of unimproved natural pasture in Australia, will maintain about four sheep per acre throughout the year, with no more dread of being overstocked in an arid summer, as in Australia, than in an inclement winter, as in Europe and America; so that, although a larger immigration fund could be advantageously applied if the Association possessed it, and other colonists in New Zealand contributed in like proportion, the immigration fund actually determined on is sufficient to sustain a productive system of rural economy.

Every purchaser will have the right (subject to the veto of the Association) of nominating persons who shall be assisted to emigrate, in proportion to the amount contributed by his own purchase to the general immigration fund; and, if it be found practicable, some contribution towards the expense of his passage and outfit will be required from each immigrant, as well with the view to obtain the greatest number of immigrants for a given expenditure, as to secure a better class of labourers.

Town lands will be sold at higher prices than rural lands: but the funds derived from the sale thereof will be expended for the same purposes, and in the same proportions.

Selection of Colonists.

So far as practicable, measures will be taken to send individuals of every class and profession, in those proportions in which they ought to exist in a prosperous colonial community.

The Association retain, and will carefully exercise, a power of selection among all those who may apply for permission to emigrate to their settlement, either as purchasers or as immigrants requiring assistance. They will