Page:The Irish in Australia.djvu/216

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sively stupid notion, they did their best to discourage Irish immigration, and the local St. Patrick's Society was compelled to send home a remonstrance against the unfair distinctions that were being made in the choice of immigrants. Under date "Adelaide, July 14, 1849," Sir Henry E. F. Young, governor of South Australia, wrote to Earl Grey, Secretary of State for the Colonies, commending to his favourable notice a memorial from the St. Patrick's Society of the colony, praying that Irish labourers might be shipped from Ireland direct, by the Land and Emigration Commissioners, in equal relative numbers to the English and Scotch labourers who were brought out at the expense of the colonial funds. In the memorial referred to, the members of St. Patrick's Society directed Earl Grey's attention to the fact that their countrymen, who were desirous of proceeding to South Australia, were not receiving a fair share of the facilities and encouragement to which they were entitled at the hands of the home authorities. In proof of this statement, statistics were quoted, showing that the proportion of English to Irish emigrants was as twenty to one. The memorialists further declared that it had come to their knowledge that English agents had in various instances refused to give passages to Irish emigrants, qualified in all respects, solely because they were Irish. And they concluded with a direct intimation to his lordship that they were prepared to prove that the Irish emigrants of South Australia were as orderly, industrious and thrifty as their brethren of England and Scotland, and made equally good colonists.

On December 15th, 1849, Earl Grey replied to the effect that he thought it right to refer the questions raised in the memorial, for the consideration of the Land and Emigration