Page:Canterbury Papers.djvu/41

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33
BISHOP SELWYN'S LETTER.

all the Oxford men send in their names to their own leader, with recommendations of good, hardworking, honest, and sober labourers for the free emigrants. Let no man be recommended except through an actual emigrant landowner. No man will recommend a scoundrel or a drunkard to be his own fellow-passenger on board ship, or his next door neighbour in the colony. But Poor Law guardians, and even clergymen, will often send a worthless fellow to a colony, as physicians send incurable patients to the south of France, only to get rid of them. When the Oxford leader is able to announce that land is bought at Oxford to a sufficient amount to yield an endowment for a clergyman, and to build a church and school, then let due notice be given to the agent in New Zealand, that on the 1st day of November, 185— or thereabouts, he may expect the Oxonians. If possible, a bishop will be there to meet and receive them, and accompany them at once to their own place, where a pretty wooden spire will be already built, and visible far over the plain, to guide them to the house of God, where they may offer up their thanksgivings for their successful voyage. There they ought to find a store of building timber and firewood already laid in, at fixed but not extortionate prices, and will be able to settle themselves in peace, and be ready to give a helping hand on reasonable terms to the fiight of Stratfordites, who will arrive about the same time in the following year.

A B
* * * * *
* * * * *
* * * * *
* * * * *
Ox-
ford.
* * * Strat-
ford
C D

I have said much on this point to Captain Thomas, because it is arithmetically evident that if A B C D be the territory of the Canterbury Association, 1-10th of which is sold in the first year to settlers having an unrestricted right of choice over the whole block, the dispersion of the first settlers will at once cause the necessity of the full number of clergymen to be felt, when only 1-10th of the whole Endowment Fund will have been raised. Thus, some of the highest and best hopes of the settlers, in consideration of which they will have paid so large a price for their land, will be bitterly disappointed. But if no emigrants are allowed to come out till the township which they have selected is complete, the Endowment Fund will exactly keep pace with the need of clergymen, and all the stipulated conditions will be fulfilled.

When I speak of a township being complete, I do not mean that all the land should be sold. Every township will require surplus land for common in the first instance, and afterwards for extension. 'With regard to extension, nothing can well be more certain to involve a maximum of expense and a minimum of good, than the present system of colonization, which makes emigration almost ignominious. Once pauperize emigration, and every emigrant must be paid for in full. You must give free passages at first to set things in motion, and if you were to found a Minerva colony, you must give free passages to all your labouring emigrants. But the objects to be aimed at are these:—

1. To supply the colony with a sufficiency of labour.

2. To take care that the supply shall always bear a due proportion to the demand.

3. To supply that labour at the least cost to the emigration fund.

To secure these objects many ingenious calculations have been made, with about as much effect as the numeration which we used to practise on our brass buttons at school, allotting to each its due title of soldier, sailor, tinker, tailor, gentleman, apothecary, ploughboy, or thief. That all these elements do enter into the composition of all societies cannot be doubted, but no chymistry of the Emigration Commissioners will ever discover beforehand in what proportions they must be mixed to form a healthy community But all these things will find their own simple and natural adjustment, if neither the tinker nor the apothecary be employed. Colonies will work well if they are let alone. When your Oxford section has taken up its ground, they will soon find out their own wants. A blacksmith will be found to have been left out, and every one will be crying out for some one to mend his plough. 'Why, I have a cousin that's just the man we