Page:The Irish in Australia.djvu/157

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143
IRISH IMMIGRANTS IN THE COLONIES.

the vice-president of St. Patrick's Society, diligently searched the records of the police-courts, and obtained the evidence of immigration agents, detectives, and constables, with the result that the good name and the fair fame of the daughters of Erin were triumphantly vindicated on appeal to these official sources of information. Mr. Finn laid the results of his investigations before a crowded meeting in St. Patrick's Hall, and the charges, born of malignity and prejudice, were unanimously branded as being without a particle of foundation to rest upon. The disgraceful part played by the city council in the matter was also strongly condemned by the meeting, as a most uncalled-for and unjustifiable abuse of representative power. It sometimes happened that the anti-Irish bigots were summarily silenced by the candid testimony of honest English immigration officers. For instance, Mr. Arthur Perry, secretary to the Tasmanian Female Immigration Association, on one occasion addressed this conscientious and in every way creditable report to Lieutenant-Governor Sir William Denison: "I have the honour to report, for the information of His Excellency, that the conduct of the immigrants by the ships 'Beulah' and 'Calcutta,' whilst in the depot at the wharf, was very satisfactory. All the immigrants by those ships, with two exceptions, have obtained respectable situations and been discharged from the depot. The very large majority of the immigrants were Irish Roman Catholics, and have for years past been brought up in different union workhouses and establishments in Ireland; consequently they knew little or nothing of domestic service; but experience has now proved that very many of these girls are likely to make most valuable servants, particularly in those instances where their mistresses have used kindness and