State directed emigration

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State directed emigration  (1883) 
by J. F. Boyd


By J. F. BOYD.

With a Prefatory Letter from



K.C.B., G.C.M.G.

British Ambassador Extraordinary to Turkey ; Third Governor General of Canada,
&c. &c, &c.



Cairo, 1st March, 1883.

My dear Mr. Boyd,

I am much obliged to you for your interesting Paper on Emigration. I am afraid, however, you must forgive me if I do not send you anything in the shape of a preface, as I am really too seriously engaged at this moment to be able to turn my attention to other matters.

In great haste, believe me.
Yours sincerely,

State Directed Emigration.

According to the economist Say, "it may be laid down as a general maxim that the population of a State is always proportionate to the sum of its production in every kind."

He goes on to assert that "nothing can permanently increase population except the encouragement and advance of production." These are crude generalisations marked with the stamp of the doctrinaire theorist. The fact is, there are countries, as China, Hindostan, Italy, Germany, the United Kingdom, whose inhabitants have multiplied to an extent disproportionate, under existing circumstances, to the sum of their production; there are others, for instance Russia, Brazil, that are notoriously capable of maintaining populations larger than those finding subsistence to-day upon their respective soils.

The truth M. Say rather pompously laboured but failed to announce, can be succinctly stated thus: The inhabitants of a State must, in the long run, subsist upon the total sum of products, in every kind, of their labour exercised within its boundaries. Mark, in the long run; because they might for a time, even a long time, borrow from their neighbours to live on credit, or occasionally plunder them in successful war.

Thus the Japanese people (because they must) contrive to live upon the total of Japanese productions in every kind. Every one can understand this; the case looks simple, the staple productions being few as compared with the multifarious items that make up our own sum total, and there being no complication connected with investments by Japanese in foreign securities, no foreign banking operations worth mentioning, no shipping, little foreign trade, and few manufactures, to puzzle an inquirer. The soil of Japan would not yield more than it does now if the emigration of her sons were rigorously prohibited, and immigration of coolies inaugurated on a grand scale. There are limits to productiveness everywhere, and they have probably been reached in the islands of Japan. To make the Japanese people richer it would be wise to transport such of them as would go, to Reunion or elsewhere. New manufactories would not enrich them unless foreign buyers could be ensured for the new products. Neither could Communism mend matters in Japan, The levelling down on one side and up on the other would bring about a state of things wherein the great majority would quickly accustom themselves to spend and therefore require more than they manage to get through life on as it is.

In new or thinly peopled countries production can increase relatively to a rising census because every fresh pair of arms extracts from the ground under one form or another a fresh factor of value; something additional to be worn, consumed, or exchanged; more textiles, grain, meat, minerals, or latent force.

We are, happily, still far from Communism, the capabilities of mother earth have appointed limits, while man's luxury, selfishness, and aggressiveness, are practically without any, human habits are hard to alter, individual opportunities and abilities are widely different; in brief, the necessities or supposed necessities of peoples vary ad infinitum with circumstances and social customs; hence it is not wonderful that, turn where we will in the old world, we find immense numbers of fellow-beings whose lot in life is seemingly hopeless misery, a lot usually traceable to disproportion between population and production.[1]

This being so it has, unhappily, come to be thought expedient in densely peopled States possessing ancient civilizations and corruptions, wherein production is thoroughly developed, to impede in some way natural fulfilment of the primary Divine law—"increase and multiply"—whence scandals of Asiatic infanticide and European challenges of the wisdom and providence of God; vicious attempts to preserve by violent means the due proportions, seeking always justification or excuse in the teachings of experience that nature has set limits to production.

Crime and, finally, catastrophe, unfailingly scourge the community whose governors neglect or forget the most serious business of rulers, which is, to provide, not politics but, bread and butter for their people. Though the Birmingham school may scoff at this proposition, its certainty is established by all history. Familiar proofs of its truth are those terrible famines in China, India, and Ireland which within forty years have swept away, by the most painful of deaths, probably as many human beings as are counted to-day in Great Britain. Not as commonly known is the appalling fact that the proportion deaths bear to births is about twenty-five per cent, higher in Ireland than in England; a ratio of mortality among a healthy, vigorous race attributable solely to the " perennial destitution, accentuated by seasons of famine," that afflicts the lives of multitudes patriotism insists upon fastening with chains of steel unto the barren stones whereon they were born. Yet, surely, this is to despise or forget the second precept imposed in the beginning upon man. The world is wide, fertile; it is made for him, not man for it; he ought to fill it, to subdue it physically, socially, morally, spiritually; obeying his Creator he reaps the blessing wrapped up in promise under the idiom of the primeval law—he prospers.

One great English Liberal statesman recently recognized the doctrine affirmed in the first sentence of the preceding paragraph. Early in December, 1882, the Marquis of Ripon, in the course of a tour, received at Lucknow the talookdars, great landholders, of the province of Oude. The Viceroy reminded them that each held his land from the Imperial Government on the condition " that he shall, so far as is in his power, promote the agricultural prosperity of his estate. The primary and essential condition of agricultural prosperity is the well-being of the cultivators of the soil. To the promotion of that well-being the Government attaches importance of the highest kind. … The State is bound to provide for the well-being of all classes of its subjects."[2] After M. de Freycinet last took office he read a declaration embodying the political programme of the new Cabinet to the Chamber of Deputies, on January 31, 1882. This Liberal French Prime Minister promised that " the efforts of the Cabinet would be directed towards giving an impetus to labour: the moral, intellectual, and material improvement of the people would hold the first place in the thoughts of the Government, and the Cabinet would give an attentive study to social problems. Nations did not live by politics but by business and material interests."

When he dogmatically declared "that nothing can permanently increase population except the encouragement and advance of production," meaning within the national territory, M. Say was seemingly unaware that production has bounds beyond which man's skill and industry cannot induce it to pass. And he lost sight altogether of the diversity of modes of social existence. He forgot the influence climates, tastes, acquired habits, religion, the opinions of an epoch, have upon cost of living, which is far from being a fixed quantity. What might be true of China would be untrue of France, and vice versâ. Were Frenchmen ready to live like Chinamen, the actual sum of production within the Gallic Republic might be made to maintain twice thirty-seven millions; nor is it likely the efforts of the additional thirty-seven millions would appreciably augment that unknown "sum" a thrifty, industrious race can now show as the upshot of various modes of well ordered energy. But Frenchmen could not be persuaded to adopt barbarian habits. Again, the practice of child murder in the swarming heathen Empire could no more be stopped by setting millions of heads and hands to work at what the great Mandarins regard as the futility of replacing canals by iron roads, than the children's parents could be in the end enriched by largely developing native manufactures already sufficient for internal needs. A production capable of ensuring either result must be, not a process which on close scrutiny appears a mere transfer of existing goods from A to B, nor the creation of what can be dispensed with, of a new luxury, a telephonic system; nor, worse still, the destruction of that which is. It must be something that will extract additional store of food from the soil, or at least, the evoking something which was not (otherwise than latent or in germ), and is essentially valuable, useful, necessary, or effects positive economy in consumption.

Keeping in mind these leading principles one can easily understand that a pauper industrious peasant landing in the New World adds £200 to American wealth, while at the same time his departure with wife and children from crowded, sterile Kerry, as things are, might, by the cessation of their drafts upon the sum of Irish products for the wherewithal to live, effectively add fully as much or more to the sum of wealth in Ireland, which they help to consume if they stay, and to which their labour can add nothing.

In the same way the unemployed London labourer will be an acquisition to a country where there is plenty of room for him, his wife, two children, and infirm father. Yet they can be spared from Whitechapel by the employed labourer who lives on the next floor, and by the ratepayers of that parish who will have so many fewer loaves, so much less meat and coal to provide weekly from the day the party step on board the emigrant steamer. Charitable organizers have pretended the man is out of work because he is an idle vagabond, but their confutation is easy, for were the assertion true it would follow that the men who are employed cannot do the work that must be done, and in that case wages would be rising week after week, employers would be refusing orders. Yet the Trades Unions have these twenty years past chiefly occupied themselves in devising means of shortening the workman's daily task in order to distribute fairly the aggregate of work, which does not (relatively) increase, between ever increasing numbers of men. The practical minds who control these Unions know that there is not enough for everybody; they know, too, that if "a fair day's work" were done there must be many more in the ranks of the unemployed than can be counted now. In spite of their artificial devices, well understood and ably seconded by those they lead, to raise or maintain at a respectable level the payment for a given task, it is impossible to provide every one with steady regular employment. This can be obtained now in very few trades, certainly not by the labourer. An average of from four to five days per week all the year round is the rule. The enlightened employer feels this is disadvantageous to his class, since idleness demoralizes and repeated failures take the spirit out of the working man—whose interests do not really conflict with those of the employing class.

Had we approximately ascertained the normal value of the sum of British production in every kind, demonstration would be easy that under actual social exigencies, real or artificial, it has ceased to bear reasonable proportion to the population, which stood at twenty-two millions in 1855 and at thirty millions in 1881.

Unfortunately, sound data are not forthcoming, the authorities differ. Our principal source of production being the land, the total agricultural annual yield of the United Kingdom has, by eminent writers, been valued at six hundred million pounds sterling, and at three hundred: at = £17 per head, and at = £8 10s. Whoever may be right there is less of it now than there used to be; the land has become less productive we are told by Sir James Caird.[3]

The use of guanos, superphosphates, &c., &c., may have impoverished the earth whereon so many millions of tons of inorganic matter have been deposited, or the weather may be in fault. Moreover, diseases have carried havoc and devastation through our herds. Deficient harvests caused by "want of sun" inflicted a loss for three consecutive years, 1878—1880, estimated by three distinguished authorities in three following months at one hundred million pounds (Mr. A.), at two hundred million pounds (Mr. B.), at three hundred million pounds (Mr. C.); so far apart are the doctors in their calculations.[4]

As regards our internal industry for the home consumption, there is no disputing this has wonderfully developed during the quarter-century starting from the epoch of the second French ^ Empire and the Crimean War. Nevertheless, the increase in production under this head, while materially contributing to support our people, has scarcely added to our available wealth. Much of it can be accounted for by the needs in respect of housing, warming, and clothing the additional eight millions of human beings. Growing luxury diffused through all classes accounts for more of it Expenditure of a sort unknown in former times when locomotion was difficult, dear, and people stayed at home, spending comparatively nothing upon a slow and costly press, accounts for a good deal more. Undoubtedly part of all this extra production is useful and necessary under the circumstances, but my aim is to make it plain that very little of it added to national wealth; most of it having been consumed forthwith.

An enormous rise in "values" of real and leasehold property, while apparently creating numerous great, perhaps fragile fortunes, has not in reality added to the sum of absolute wealth, and, obviously, this increment is not "production," since its effect has been merely to transfer, to promote circulation if you will. This increment of value is not a creation, is not intrinsic, is accidental, often fictitious, always precarious. Much of the rise in cost of what has been constructed within the free trade period is readily traceable to waste, and represents so much lost not gained. Thus you build a house that your father could have built for £1,000, at a cost of £1,500; and the tenant's income is accordingly diminished by £25 at least for the necessary additional rent. The £500 have been absorbed in higher wages to the workmen who built the house, and who found themselves forced to insist on being better paid than were their predecessors, because the spirit of the age imbued them with desires that could only be gratified by expenditure. If a labourer in Rotherhithe be paid six shillings per diem for discharging timber cargoes, instead of four shillings, for the reason that he is accustomed to spend two shillings more than need be, the timber must be charged so much more to the consumer.

The man who makes two stalks of wheat grow in place of one, adds to production and wealth, while his neighbour who finds two applicants for the empty house where there used to be one, and is thus able to exact twice the former rent for it, adds nothing. The latter impoverishes one family, or at any rate takes from them what they will if possible take from somebody else, and if he spends the acquired increment of rent by importing cigars, champagne, turtle, and pine-apple for himself, or more expensive silk dresses for his wife, society is worse off; if, on the other hand, he is wise enough rightly to distribute it, society does not necessarily gain anything.

Specious inferences are drawn from the enormous rise, since 1855, in the gross amount of the annual value of property and profits assessed to the income tax. To analyze these returns would be to write a volume; but, obviously, what is said in the last three paragraphs, and what is hinted at earlier, disposes of many such sanguine inferences. Moreover, Messrs. Alexander Collie and Co., the shareholders in Overend Gurney and Co., Limited, and in the Glasgow City Bank—types of a numerous class—helped to produce the rise in question.

The exports of British and Irish produce during the fifteen years, 1866—1880, cannot be said to have grown. In the first named year they were represented by the declared value of one hundred and eighty-nine million pounds sterling. The yearly averages are—

For the quinquennial period ending 1870,  188 million pds. stg.
  „     „     „ 1875, 239½  „
  „     „     „ 1880, 201½  „
For the two years, 1881—2 237½  „
And for the two years, 1871—2 239½  „

Mr. Gladstone at Leeds in October, 1881, tried hard to attenuate the force of the disagreeable fact he had to admit, namely, that our exports of British manufactures are now seriously diminishing. He did this first by lumping together exports to foreign countries (which have largely fallen off) with exports for our own colonists who naturally prefer English goods (which exports have largely increased; they are nearly double the declared value in 1865, thus teaching the importance of promoting colonial development and growth of colonial populations); second, by telling his audience that a reduction in values of exports amounting to one hundred and sixty million pounds only signifies that the profit upon that sum, arbitrarily estimated by him at ten per cent., or sixteen million pounds, has not been earned by British traders. Mr. Gladstone overlooked the truth that the value of all manufactures is (theoretically) the sum of the labour expended in obtaining and manipulating raw material in itself valueless. Were the goods our customers did not buy from us such as must have been extracted from British soil, then not less than one hundred and sixty million pounds are lost to British pockets. Manufacturers, workmen, tradesmen, carriers, middlemen, are poorer by that stupendous total, enough to ruin a third rate nation, to impoverish sensibly and severely try us.

The census declines to remain stationary in deference to this blow, so cruelly reinforcing the other blows that farmers and landlords have received. Half a million souls per annum of increased population, with such inflictions and prospects, do not lighten the load upon the land.

As to pauperism in England and Wales, since 1849 the number of in-door paupers has increased more than one-half. There are certainly fewer individuals now receiving out-door relief, but the total sum annually raised under poor-rates and expended in actual relief of the poor has increased by about two millions of pounds sterling per annum—enough to pay the interest upon an emigration loan of seventy millions sterling.

Against all this gloomy pessimism may possibly be marshalled the innumerable army of writers and orators who never tire of trumpeting far and wide the glory, grandeur, and ceaseless progress, the fabulously growing wealth of the wonderful cosmopolitan Empire, whose latest symbol[5] is a woman seated upon, and as it were ruling, like one imperially arrayed in purple, the waters that serve obediently to carry her flag and her unrivalled fleet[6] into many a harbour under every sky; to the sagacious enterprise of whose traders they proudly boast it is due that, not her children only, but all nations, the merchants of the earth are waxed rich beyond intelligent conception.

Unfortunately, these public instructors tread in a well beaten track; they were, most or all of them, trained in the same school; the subject scarcely invites independent research, nor is it very easily mastered. Then how easy to follow a safe lead, to echo a popular and pleasing cry. Still, some flagrant examples have been given that first rate authorities can differ gravely and flatly contradict each other, and two will suffice to show that the costly and tedious preparation of elaborate statistics, however imposing the result may look, offers not the slightest guarantee of their careful handling and sound analysis.[7]

It will not quickly be forgotten by specialists that Mr. Robert Giffen, an eminent public officer, occupying a high and responsible position at the Board of Trade, now President of the Statistical Society, presumedly a learned and acute body, carried out a calculation of average freight upon many millions of tons of goods as fifteen instead of one hundred and fifty shillings per cent, and thereupon built an argument (vitiated by no less an error than cutting off nine-tenths of the correct rate), to inform a select audience collected to hear him read a lengthy paper filled with figures framed and grouped to support familiar and foregone conclusions. This mistake would no doubt have passed muster had it not been that a naval officer, opposed to those conclusions, happened to be present and to catch the word which his practical business knowledge told him instantly was wrong.[8] My second case in point has until now been known to two or three individuals only, one a personage of eminence who put into my hands in October, 1878, an optimist pamphlet, or rather paper, by the late Mr. Wm. Newmarch, F.R.S., an esteemed member of the Statistical Society, manager of a department in the Bank of Messrs. Glyn and Co., and a distinguished authority in trade and currency questions. This paper is entitled "The Progress of the Foreign Trade of the United Kingdom 1856—1877," and is to be found in vol. 41 of the Statistical Society's Journal. Table XV. on page 221 gives the following abstract (substantially, though in a more perplexing form)

Total Imports during the twenty-two years  6196 million pounds.
 „ Exports „  „  „  „  „ 3900
Apparent Excess of Imports 2296

Mr. Newmarch next reduces this enormous excess by

Sundry purely arbitrary allowances amounting to   686
  Thereby bringing down the figures to 1610 million pounds.

He then proceeds as follows upon page 222:—"From this total of one thousand six hundred and ten million pounds sterling we may take away one hundred for excess of imports of bullion, leaving one thousand five hundred and ten million pounds sterling as the excess of imports of merchandise; and when the whole subject is considered the wonder will be, not that in twenty-two years there has been a total excess of one thousand five hundred and ten million pounds sterling, but that it has not been greater"! Here is simply an assumption, but so calmly made that nobody is likely to stop and examine it However what I desire to point out is that Mr. Newmarch distinctly says, and rightly, there were only one hundred millions of bullion effectively imported into the country during the twenty-two years. Pass on to page 231 and read the following statement: "Prior to 1 849 the annual supplies of gold available for all the purposes of coinage, bullion, reserves, and commerce had been about four millions sterling, an amount barely sufficient to meet the wear and tear of the gold coins in circulation. In 1850 the supply was raised to nine millions; in 185 1 to fourteen millions; in 1852 to twenty-seven millions; and in 1856 to thirty-two million pounds sterling; a revolution far surpassing any economic change within record. The figures below show that there has been a gradual decline to a supply of twenty-one million pounds sterling for about the last sixteen years, say 1 86 1—1877; that is to say, the pre-discovery supply of four million pounds sterling per annum has been raised to a post-discovery supply for the ten years, 1851—1860, of about twenty-eight million pounds sterling, and for the following sixteen years, 1861—1876, of about twenty-one million pounds sterling yearly." Here Mr. Newmarch contradicts what he had correctly stated on page 222, that only one hundred million pounds sterling had been received and retained, 1856—1877. He forgot, when he came to page 231, to deduct the exports of bullion from the imports of bullion. This is the surprising explanation, and with it goes by the board root and branch the whole of the optimist argument in the second quoted passage. But the conclusion upon page 222 turns out to be equally false and misleading.

The first line of my abstract of Table XV. shows the total imports of all merchandise during the twenty-two years. Some of this foreign merchandise is after landing and (sometimes) manipulation re-shipped abroad; the official returns give in two adjoining columns the exports of British and Irish produce or manufacture, and those of foreign and colonial produce so re-shipped, separately. Mr. Newmarch added up the first column correctly as three thousand nine hundred millions pounds sterling, but he quite overlooked the second. The totals in that column are in round numbers one thousand millions of pounds sterling, which of course should have been deducted from the two thousand two hundred and ninety-six millions. This being done the difference or "balance of trade" is bonâ fide reduced to about one thousand three hundred millions of pounds sterling (the exact figures are £1,316,304,011 sterling), before any of Mr. Newmarch's arbitrary allowances, amounting together to six hundred and eighty-six millions, are reckoned at all! What then becomes of his preposterous assertion that the wonder is, "not that in twenty-two years there has been a total excess of one thousand five hundred and ten million pounds sterling, but that it has not been greater"? Mr. Newmarch forgot to deduct what exceeds by one fourth the whole funded debt of this country, the colossal omission passed undetected, to be first publicly noticed in this place. A favourite argument of this gentleman had best be given in his own words, written in October, 1878. "The only real gauge of the state of foreign trade is the Foreign Exchange, and during the last twenty years the Foreign Exchange has been steadily in favour of this country." Compare this peremptory ruling with actual fact as related in the money article of the Morning Post, for May 24, 1882: "On the foreign exchange bills were generally in demand, and in consequence of the continual low rate of money here almost all the rates of exchange were unfavourable to this country."[9]

One more proof of reckless and ignorant treatment of these subjects by persons to whom the uninformed general public naturally look for light regarding them. In "City Notes" of the Pall Mall Gazette for January 8, 1881, occurs this comment upon the Board of Trade returns for the year 1880. "The disparity between the value of our imports and exports, which of late years had become so great as to alarm some dabblers in political economy, has been considerably reduced. Our imports, however, still exceed our exports by one hundred and eighty-seven million pounds, an adverse balance of trade which after all is more apparent than real," &c., &c. Now, in the first place, the adverse balance had in effect never been so high as in 1880 (it was but one hundred and fourteen millions in 1879), and in the second place it had not even then attained the frightful amount named, or anything like it, being one hundred and forty millions, not one hundred and eighty-seven millions. The Times, published ten hours earlier the same day, had shown it, with sufficient approximate correctness, as one hundred and twenty-seven millions.

Such marvellous mistakes and self-contradictions go unnoticed partly on account of the bewildering mass of numerals very few are able or care to understand, partly inasmuch as it is nobody's affair to spy them out; rather are powerful interests deeply concerned in endorsing the wrong conclusions drawn from them; to support which, the figures are often put together. Nor must the Mutual Admiration Society be forgotten.[10]

The writer's matured conviction is that we are rapidly drifting towards an unexampled national catastrophe, a conviction based upon independent examination of published facts and figures, undertaken without prepossession. The conclusions ultimately reached, and laid before Mr. Gladstone in a convenient, original form[11] on November 24, 1880, had been submitted a few days after prorogation, viz., on August 15, 1877, to Lord Beaconsfield, then H.M. Principal Secretary of State.[12]

What influence these representations exercised over the imagination and judgment of the Prime Minister can be gathered from the following extract from chapter i. of Endymion, published three years subsequently—

" Well," said his companion musingly, " it may be fancy, but I cannot resist the feeling that this country, and the world generally, are on the eve of a great change."  *  *  *  *  * 

"I see no reason why there should be any great change; certainly not in this country," said Mr. Ferrars. " Here we have changed everything that was required."  *  *  *  *  * 

"The whole affair rests on too contracted a basis," said his companion. " We are habituated to its exclusiveness, and, no doubt, custom in England is a power; but let some event suddenly occur which makes a nation feel or think, and the whole thing might vanish like a dream."

"What can happen? Such affairs as the Luddites do not occur twice in a century, and as for the Spafield riots, they are impossible now with Peel's new police. The country is employed and prosperous, and were it not so, the landed interest would always keep things straight."

"It is powerful, and has been powerful for a long time; but there are other interests besides the landed interest now."

"Well, there is the colonial interest, and the shipping interest," said Mr. Ferrars, "and both of them thoroughly with us."

"I was not thinking of them," said his companion. "It is the increase of population, and of a population not employed in the cultivation of the soil, and all the consequences of such circumstances that were passing over my mind."

"Don't you be too doctrinaire, my dear Sydney; you and I are practical men. We must deal with the existing, the urgent; and there is nothing more pressing at this moment than the formation of a new Government."

The closing sentence is characteristic. While political partisanship engrosses the thoughts and time of those on whom rest the duties of Government, the material treasure of the country yearly decreases,[13] pauperism and profligacy, born and nourished of overcrowding and corruptions now part and parcel of urban and industrial surroundings, increase. There is but one human practicable method of stemming a current that bears us on faster and faster towards an abyss; one so imperatively, urgently wanted, so obviously effective, that it would be inconceivable why statesmen do not unitedly proclaim its value, why the people themselves do not clamorously insist upon its adoption, unless we knew, from the history of the Deluge and the Ark, that it is not enough either to forewarn, or to point out the sole way of escape even from stupendous and certain and imminent destruction.

Shortly before the inauguration of free trade, on April 6, 1843, Mr. Charles Buller, in the House of Commons, proposed the following motion—"that an humble address be presented to her Majesty praying that she will take into her most gracious consideration the means by which extensive and systematic colonization may be most effectually rendered available for augmenting the resources of her Majesty's Empire; giving additional employment to capital and labour, both in the United Kingdom and in the colonies, and thereby bettering the condition of her people." Nothing came of this enlightened initiative. The predominant economical teaching then and since has been that emigration is exclusively the concern of individuals. But this is a mistake. For, those who would be best away cannot go for want of cash, and were such helped to leave there would be a better chance of livelihood here for others who have a little money they would prefer employing where they were born, if only pressure of competition, the struggle for life, could be moderated. Besides, State directed emigration is a logical corollary of free trade. That system continually deprives bodies of British workmen of employment, in the interest, it is contended, of the community. Economy attained by employing foreign workmen who will take less wages, can scarcely be effective, so far as the community is concerned, unless the burden of supporting those who have been dismissed and their dependents is removed by transplanting such as cannot go unaided, to fresh fields of labour. Failing that supplemental operation, what happens is, two sets of hands are supported instead of one set. This can be made plain by an example.

London consumes coal sea-borne from Northumberland and Durham in value about two millions sterling annually, the whole of which, except a fraction of royalty paid to the lords of the soil, who spend that fraction falling to them in keeping up establishments to the profit of the community, is paid as "wages" to colliers, engineers, labourers, railway men, sailors, brokers, clerks, carriers, foremen, merchants. Upon the two million pounds all these people and their families (perhaps fifty thousand souls) live. To enable them to live the coal is sold at (say) twelve shillings per ton f.o.b. Thames. In the Pas de Calais there are coal formations. Next week an enormous vein fifty feet thick lying close to ground is tapped, and France finds she can supply all London with profit to herself at eight shillings per ton. The result of opening this door "as widely as possible" (to quote Mr. Bright) must be chômage of the considerable home population who derive their livelihood from the extraction and sale of the North country coal, henceforward to be left in the pit. Such few among them as possess means to do so may emigrate with their capital to France or America. The bulk must perforce stay here, and, as they could not be killed out of the way, the cost of maintaining them would have to be added to the sum paid by Londoners for French coal before it could be ascertained whether Great Britain gained by the revolution. Who can doubt that when this should be done it would appear that though London consumers paid less than before for their coals, Great Britain suffered serious damage? The discovery made, Parliament would quickly either impose a protectionist duty to shut out French coal, or pass an emigration bill to remove the surplus population elsewhere.

Fair trade offers certain methods of adjusting the difficulty we have been considering. Mr. Ecroyd has lucidly stated and exhaustively exposed all the most telling and useful facts and arguments of the new economical school. It is enough to observe in their regard that the methods suggested, even did the country at once close with these doctrines, must take long years to put into practice, while, in the meantime, trade and social difficulties thicken, and the Registrar General will continue to report such and such weekly excesses of births over deaths. What is wanted is something that can be done without delay.

The free trade policy cannot be reversed in a hurry, and if it could be, difficulties of a fresh, very perplexing class would have to be faced; but systematic migration[14] from this portion to another portion of the Queen's dominions, of superabundant mouths, might be organized and begun this Session. The work can evidently only be undertaken on any effectual scale by the State, for the very phrase "surplus population". implies not surplus capital but surplus labour. Those whom it is desirable to remove are such as are willing to go, who would usually be persons without resources beyond their industry, without settled occupation at' home, which in itself inclines a man to stay and let well alone. To remove such people would benefit them, but it would be losing time to argue from that point of view. The principal motive for State intervention is that the State would be greatly benefited, and this result would follow, first, from the departure of persons who, whether there is or is not work for them must, according to law, be maintained, and are in fact maintained by the rest of the community; second, by selecting a British colony as their home; lastly, by securing there without cost a valuable source of revenue that cannot fail to lighten the burdens borne by British taxpayers. Clearly, the Colony must be chosen, at all events for inaugurating the system, which, possessing social and climatic requisites, is nearest, and so accessible at least expense, viz., the Dominion of Canada.

Enough has, perhaps, been said by way of demonstrating necessity for a safety-valve that prescient statesmanship would have set at work forty years ago, thereby preventing evils that can hardly be cured. I contend that—(1) the British people must, like the Japanese, in the long run subsist upon the total sum of products, in every kind, of labour exercised, and savings, within their islands. (2) Our unparalleled population has far outstripped the inherent powers to sustain, of the small territory known as Great Britain. (3) Consequently, in lieu of getting richer, as platitudinarians suppose, the nation grows poorer, while the situation is aggravated by the addition of now nearly half a million souls annually. (4) Other countries, ceasing to be our debtors, become creditors for supplies we are compelled to draw from them, and which it is fallacious to say are taken as a matter of choice in exchange for this, that, or the other. Certain party leaders and literary men may, indeed, yearly judge our position as they would that of the mechanic going to market to lay out his week's earnings, who, if he spends more than he spent last Saturday must, somehow, have acquired greater purchasing power;—but the operations of the import trade are not conducted in this primitive fashion. (5) While agricultural production goes down, our exports, or "exchanges," far from rising pari passu with the census, likewise fall off. (6) For the common weal. State intervention in a rare emergency is a plain duty, the adversaries of paternal government notwithstanding. (7) The form it must take is the organization of a gigantic system, for which I devised the title heading this page—partly to distinguish it from mere assistance, which could do little good, partly because "directing," in the sense of administering and executing, a vast work of colonization, is an appropriate task for rulers of an Empire whereon the sun sets not.

My ideas as to the method of alleviating impending calamities, first stated generally to the Premier of the day in August, 1877, took a distinct embodiment in a Scheme[15] submitted to Mr. Gladstone in three letters, dated November 26, 28, and 29, 1880. If this "comprehensive scheme of emigration,"[16] as it is called in the official acknowledgment from 10, Downing Street, dated December 6, 1880, could be adopted and put into operation upon the lines laid down, that colony which is the largest and has the finest immediate future, would have, within a decade, added to its present census about twelve millions souls; the figures by which the population of the United States increased between 1871 and 1881. A new kingdom, with a greater superficies than that of the Great Republic, would be firmly consolidated,, while a number of individuals equal to one third of our actual home population would be rescued from wretchedness or ruin. The other two-thirds appear to be fully as many (at the outside) as the resources of our soil can maintain, under present conditions, in tolerable comfort, and those who remained must, accordingly, be benefited to a degree not easily exaggerated.

Of my State Directed Colonization the basis is, organized scientific pursuit of that most venerable of handicrafts whereof it has been finely said: "The first condition of social welfare is the peaceful and fruitful cultivation of the soil. Agriculture comes before commerce and the arts of life; for by agriculture men live. The bread of life springs from the earth, and society rises up from the furrow. The scattered homes of those who possess it and till it gather into villages and hamlets, and grow into towns and cities, with all their manifold industries and duties and laws in the unity of a commonwealth. This is the law of nature and Providence which has created the nations of the world."

There is good reason to believe that Mr. Gladstone and some who surround him, regard the project with sympathy and favour; but it is certain there are other politicians, members either of the ministry or the party, who stand irrecoverably committed to contrary views. For instance, Mr. Bright—who, fortunately for its prospects, has now retired from any active interference in matters like this—was always an enemy of what he called the "nostrum and panacea of emigration." Mr. Bright naturally wished to protect the large employers whose interests may seem bound up with surplusage in the labour market. Yet do we not see greater prosperity, more freedom from competition in trades where workpeople are well paid than in others where they are badly paid? However this may be, on November 16, 1881, at the Town Hall, Rochdale, Mr. Bright (see the Daily News) expressed himself thus: "No class in this country has gained so much as the working classes have gained during the last forty years by the adoption of the new free-trade policy. In … (1840) it was the commonest thing in the world for country gentlemen, and some members of the House of Peers, and the public-minded folk of their day, to say … what the Government should do is to establish colonies abroad, and take the people abroad; there is not employment enough for them here either in agriculture or manufactures." Such persons "wanted a general system of emigration, under which families by the thousand might be taken away to countries of which they knew nothing, to scenes to. which they were unaccustomed, to hardships and dangers and misfortunes of which they had no accurate conception. All that was to be done. Well, the people have stayed at home. The law was altered so that the bread for them was brought here, and trade extended. You have added in Great Britain alone more than ten millions to your population in forty years. Now you find continually that if you have a good harvest trade will be good, there will be great scarcity of goods, wages will further advance; but I have no doubt some of those people who, forty years ago, wanted to send you (?) all abroad, will have some other nostrum and panacea of emigration equally absurd and impossible."

These observations were addressed to a popular audience, the majority being factory operatives; yet a statesman should not have represented, even to such persons, the cases of England in 1840 and in 1881 as alike, nor have left out of sight the reasons for promoting emigration that did not apply then, do apply now, and are summarized in par. 2. of my Scheme. Mr. Bright mentioned modestly that the bread for the people has been brought to them here (thanks to him, Mr. Cobden, and the League). He remembered the fine flour and wheat, but forgot the beasts and sheep, and wine, and oil; the butter, cheese, eggs, fish, fowl, fruit, pork, mutton, and beef. He did not say a word about steamships fitted with refrigerators for conveying frozen meat from the Antipodes; nor tell his unsophisticated listeners whole fleets are employed exclusively in carrying hither from Denmark, Germany, Holland, Portugal, Spain, Africa, Canada; North, aye. South, American States, live oxen and sheep—a portentous fact, having no precedent in history, ancient or modern.

The Right Hon. gentleman kept to himself the startling circumstance that very considerably more than what is wanted for feeding the additional ten millions has to be brought hundreds and thousands of miles, often literally from the ends of the earth, at prodigious cost, not that consumers may live more cheaply, but that they may not starve, for starve they must were these supplies cut off; as they might be during a great war on either continent, or must be during seasons of scarcity on the American, sure to happen at some time. A true economist must perceive the simpler cheaper plan, and the best for England ultimately, would be to send the people to sources of the food supplies. Mr. Bright did not notice that the census grew slowly, or not at all, in 1840, while it grows now at the rate of over a thousand per day, any more than did he suggest how the fresh mouths so fast arriving are to be fed in the years to come. When he has disposed of these matters satisfactorily, it will be soon enough to ridicule observers gifted with farther sight than himself, not less disinterested, and certainly more impartial judges, because not pledged to uphold through thick and thin opinions that might appear superficial were the need for systematic migration under State direction acknowledged. It has not, perhaps, occurred to him that the Western world has yet to be adequately covered by civilized peoples, though it ought to strike him development of her resources might greatly advantage English manufacturers if they wisely look ahead and retain a fair share thereof under the prudent management of their own Government. In a Note[17] will be found an unanswered answer to Mr. Bright's Rochdale attack. Upon fact No. 4. in this letter, it is well to observe our exports of B. and I. produce, to foreigners, are represented by a declared value in 1866 of £135,000,000, being nearly the same as the yearly average for the quinquennial period 1876—1880, which average is £20,000,000 under the yearly average for 1866—1870.

The circumstance that within one single quarter of the century food imports tripled in value is passed over as unimportant by the framers of fantastic calculations of freights, "almost wholly profit to this country"; once so high that all that had ships in the sea were made rich by the homeward traffic; and who ignore on the one hand that these cargoes promptly disappear down British throats, on the other that there are heavy sets-off against such gains; called seamen's wages, stores, foreign port dues, losses, repairs, depreciation, interest on capital, invested or borrowed (a serious item when steamers are, as usually happens, heavily mortgaged), often by or from foreign capitalists, though the ships may sail under our flag. But, having decided that the tradition of England's wealth must hold good for all time, the opinion is to be maintained in spite of a consensus of impartial opinion, backed by observation and experience, that it has ceased to be true; and in defiance of evidence that while this country is one of the very smallest, it is the most densely peopled, of all civilized States, and contains by far the largest, and an unprecedented, percentage of useless mouths, reckoning as "useless" from the point of view of the political economist, paupers (adults and children), halt, blind, sick, mentally afflicted, criminals, vicious men and women; animals; producing nothing: whose maintenance must in the end be found by producers or toilers.

The only solutions or palliatives for the difficulties that have been sketched, which are propounded by opponents of "the cruel and reckless one of emigration," may be enumerated as Crime, Spade husbandry, Potatoe or Wheat cultivation, and Nationalization of the Land. The last could not help any class, unless confiscation and re-partition are intended, when many would be utterly ruined in order that a multitude might, in the nineteenth century, for a short time try what can be done, without capital or credit, with three or four acres of ground. This notion is a barbarian dream. We do not import potatoes to an extent worth mentioning, and it is doubtful if the English people would live on them even if ordered by Act of Parliament. As to growing, instead of importing, wheat, Mr. Bright and the farmers understand that matter better than the writer.

Leaving pretty fictions, vain fancies, and painful facts, let us proceed to study a remedy for multiplied ills, designed for the whole of the United Kingdom, not for a minor part of it.

To reduc6 our census to reasonable proportions, as many individuals as are now added to it yearly ought to leave the country, or "over a thousand per day;" plus half a million more per annum. But the highest authorities, after careful deliberation, think it would be difficult and dangerous to inaugurate State directed colonization of the Canadian North West upon this stupendous scale. Once sufficient means of transport, and colonization "centres" (see par. 10. of Scheme) are created, all requisite development from small beginnings could follow.

Moreover, it is suggested to me by one who has profoundly studied the whole subject, Government is not called upon to do the whole work of reconstructing. Much may properly be left to private initiative, which is sure to complement in a variety of ways what Government must do, namely, deal with .the helpless class of the population, and lay the groundwork of colonization proper.

Whence it has come to pass the Scheme as now drawn is very much smaller than our national exigencies require. But it is easy to extend each year as circumstances may demand or allow, nor is there any reason why what can be begun this year in our possessions on the American, should not be adapted next year likewise to those on the African, and the Australian continent, and in Tasmania.

The Imperial Emigration and Colonization Commission (see par. 8. of Scheme) would be a permanent State department, charged with all such business as the title implies. There is, furthermore, this advantage in starting upon moderate lines, that no objection can be overtly urged to the proposal from any responsible quarter, since every sensible man is now conscious something ought promptly to be done.

Many and mighty are the interests this project would favourably affect. Financial corporations, bankers, railway shareholders, here and in Canada, steamship owners, all these, besides the labouring classes, are directly and immediately interested. Brokers, merchants, manufacturers of many British staples are, not so immediately but, indirectly and vitally concerned in promoting it. Heads of large families, with sons before whom at present no future lies, have every conceivable reason for favouring it. Clergymen and philanthropists, who are acquainted with the dangers, miseries, and evil associations that beset the poor and the young in our populous towns, even in our villages where the beershop (excluded from the Canadian North-West) is daily and nightly open; apostles of the temperance, total abstinence, and local option crusades; all these zealous gentlemen and ladies ought to comprehend that the stone of Sisyphus will roll into the sea if the goal of Canada with local option everywhere, except in the North-West, and total prohibition there, can be reached; and a radical cure for intolerable social maladies be applied.

In view of the possible prize of an emigration "pass," and peasant proprietorship in the New World, a condition for which is a good character (see par. 4. of Scheme), what a general amelioration of manners and morals, what a spreading habit of steady work will be developed among those who will never win it. The people would be taught by their instructors in town and country to aim at that prize. Employers of labour would soon find such a change come over the behaviour of the "hand" as to more than compensate for any possible scarcity occasioned by this movement. But a rise in wages is the chief bugbear. It is a visionary fear. The foundation of the proposal is the notorious existence of surplus labour, that is of persons who cannot get full work or any work. Remove them, and those who are left, instead of working four days, will find occupation six days in the week. While each man earns more, the pay-sheet total will remain the same.

Experience contradicts the hypothesis that labour must be intrinsically cheap because it is superabundant. Does not Mr. Bright, amid the present glut, boast that the working man today is better paid and works shorter time than his father? Wages are higher here than elsewhere, partly because, owing to over-population, rents, meat, and vegetables have doubled in price. Until the workman can live cheaply our natural manufacturing advantages are neutralized; thus a vast emigration is calculated to largely reduce prime cost of home productions. Besides, what the great and the small manufacturers of England ask for before aught else is, not cheaper labour, but, new markets. Here is the crying commercial want of our time. Our modernized machinery and factories can produce full fifty per cent, more goods than are turned out, with very few, if any, more hands. Now, the rapid utilization of our colonial lands on the system traced, means an equally rapid creation of fresh customers.

The landed proprietor and the farmer may imagine all this can do nothing for them. As it is, they find good farm hands too scarce, and in the summer of 1882 attention was called in the Times' correspondence columns to the draining away of labourers from hamlet and village to towns and cities, that has seriously inconvenienced country gentlemen and farmers, who are, accordingly, afraid to encourage emigration from the town slums lest it should intensify the evil. My Scheme is not open to this objection. The instituting training farms, (see par. 18. of Scheme) which would be recruited not alone from the various sources indicated, but from the family of almost every artisan and labourer in the kingdom, urged as these classes would find themselves by public opinion, throughout their own body, and by a natural wish to let their children have a chance of qualifying for the Emigration prize, could not fail to reverse the current, and restore the agricultural calling in popular estimation. There would be a rush back to the land, and to country pursuits, from every quarter, with, as a most speedy result, abundance of skilled well conducted hinds. This is too obvious to need elaboration.

I have been told the emigrant once in Canada, not troubling himself to fulfil engagements contracted with the Colonization Commission, would, as men usually do, study his interest; and so make tracks for the best paid employment he could get. This is a short-sighted view. The majority of men in any station of life naturally try to fulfil engagements when they can do so, and there is no over-whelming inducement to the contrary; speaking, be it understood, of the classes who work. At any rate, it will be conceded that men do as a rule fulfil feasible engagements when irresistibly compelled, and the existing law in Canada would compel execution by the colonist of the engagement contracted by him in the Indentures mentioned in paragraph 11. of my Scheme, the wording of which must be large and stringent enough to bind him as thoroughly as words can bind. Two Acts of Parliament of 35 Vict. Cap. xxviii. and Cap. xxix. passed by the Dominion Legislature, that received the Royal assent on June 14, 1872, provide that "if any contract be made, or any bond or note given by an emigrant before leaving Europe for Canada, to repay in Canada any sum of money advanced to him or her for or towards defraying his passage money, or towards defraying any other expense attending his emigration, such sum shall be recoverable from the Immigrant in Canada, according to the terms of such instrument" (refusal or neglect to fulfil the engagement being punishable by fine and by imprisonment) and that "any emigrant … may … execute an instrument … binding himself … to accept employment of the kind to be therein stated from any named person … and to allow such person to deduct from his or her wages … such sum or sums of money as shall be also therein designated." To supplement the comprehensive powers directly expressed in these two Acts, as against the emigrant who might seek to evade fulfilment of the instrument he had voluntarily signed, there could be inserted in the Indentures a clause under which the emigrant should consent to and authorize deduction from his or her wages, by any person who might employ him before he had satisfied his engagements to the Colonization Commission, of all monies accruing to him, in respect of such employment, over and above twelve shillings per week; until his liability to the Commissioners should be liquidated. The Canadian Government (strongly interested in securing faithful execution of these contracts) would have ample means of tracking defaulters in their thinly peopled territory; but defaulters would be few. Interest would lie in fulfilling the bond, and so ensuring possession of a freehold farm upon the easiest imaginable terms, while default would mean for nearly all loss of character, social branding, imprisonment, and deprivation of what the attempted evasion sought to secure.

The religious and educational privileges with which Canada is endowed not only surpass our own, but are greater than those enjoyed in any European country.

The Irish poor, numbering perhaps one million, who dwell as aliens in the slums of London and other British cities and towns, are deeply concerned in the execution of this project. They supply recruits for our gaols, orphanages, and workhouses. Competitors with native labour, they are usually unpopular with the working classes among whom they sojourn. Their English neighbours would, doubtless, be well pleased could an Exodus be brought about that must largely reduce police and poor rates. Contingents of Irish labourers arrive here continually, who, after futile efforts to "get work," that is to deprive somebody else of it, sink into the pauper or semi-criminal residuum.

Bishops and clergymen ought to favour this movement, if only for the sake of performing something substantial and effective permanently to relieve an enormous mass of penury, destitution, and sickness, that swells "the numerical strength" of their flocks possibly, but likewise daily sends larger numbers over to the Enemy; nor is it reasonable to suppose the voice of ecclesiastical authority and advice will fail to be loudly heard in advocacy of a magnificent work of charity.

Let any impartial thinker ponder the multifarious aspects of the Scheme, and he will end by regarding it as the sole practicable and a truly all-healing material cure, for most, or each one, of the complicated and terrifying mischiefs that beset our civilization and avenge our corrupting habits of living. It would transport multitudes who must otherwise untimely perish, from foul air, close alleys, squalid rooms, bad companions, to the quiet pastoral and agricultural scenes and ways so congenial to the great majority in all the generations of men. Children who must miserably die here would, in the pure bracing North-West, become healthy, robust, and happy parents of a posterity countless as the sands on the sea-shore.

Such considerations weigh as nothing with natural adversaries of what would deprive the agitator, the social reconstructor, the dreamer who is bent on pulling everything down, of their professional stock-in-trade. Those friends of the working man find a hearing because the times are bad. If this or anything else would mend them, agitation could not live. Then, the bare sound of State Directed Emigration offends the ears of theorists who have been reared upon idle stale doctrines of self-help and non-interference.

Argument is useless with opponents like these. Fortunately they are a minority now, and it is likewise true that this idea of a national colonization of Canada by means of the unemployed poor sympathetically attracts and charms most minds. The emigration note vibrates in the air, and thrills the hearts of our people who have had convincing demonstration during these last ten years while party struggles have principally absorbed the energies of their public men, that the grandest of modern States, the most flourishing, the most peaceful and peaceable, has attained its astonishing prosperity, has acquired its incredible riches, mainly through emigration; and that—in nine hundred and ninety-nine cases out of one thousand—voluntary emigration of the poor.

This Paper and the amended Scheme were completed on the date printed at the end. Next morning I called upon the High Commissioner for Canada, who kindly advised me to read a work by the late Mr. E. Gibbon Wakefield, which I first heard of in August, 1 88 1, when an acquaintance showed me in it the Parliamentary motion of Mr. Buller already referred to. I glanced over the pages then, but did not notice anything special in them. Having now consulted this book (entitled, A View of the Art of Colonization, London, Parker, 1849), I have been much struck by the prefatory quotation on page i, from a writer whose words carry weight with Mr. Bright—"There need be no hesitation in affirming that colonization, in the present state of the world, is the very best affair of business in which the capital of an old and wealthy country can possibly engage " (John Stuart Mill).

There is a great deal of highly interesting elaborate argument in Mr. Wakefield's book, generally corroborating much I have advanced, but the ultimate outcome appears to reduce itself to recommendations that Government should sell colonial lands to capitalists, and assist unemployed labourers by paying their passage money out of the proceeds of such sales. Mr. Buller's very valuable speech, given in full, concludes even more lamely as follows—" It is not my purpose to propose any specific measure to the House. … I only ask it to perfect the details of the system now in force." At Sion College, where I read this, another book was shown me, called Lectures on Colonization and Colonies, by Herman Merivale, Professor of Political Economy (London, Longmans, 1861), and, having run through it too, I am more than ever persuaded my own project is original, practical, and unique.

With a confidence, then, resting on solid grounds, I ask all with influence to support it: while to all in power I boldly say—adopt this Scheme quickly, execute it vigorously, courageously, and you shall find its bearing vis-a-vis of disturbing, menacing forces now urging a ruthless disruption of English society, will be that of an efficacious message of peace.

Scheme of State-directed Emigration and Colonization.

1. The necessity for a large national system of emigration is found in the fact that the population of the United Kingdom is excessive, and increases at a prodigious rate: hence widely spread distress, much crime and drunkenness (usually allied to misery), and unreasonable competition—evils for which the only practicable ready remedy, if a general upheaval of social foundations is to be avoided, will be found to be national emigration.

2. It is well known that unless new markets are called into being our foreign trade is likely to decrease steadily; because {a) protective duties hamper us everywhere, and {b) most countries yearly manufacture more of the sorts of goods they used to buy from us. A "new channel" is also indispensable because there has been such great activity during the last quarter-century in building and reconstructing stupendous public works, railways, machinery, manufactories, and maritime tonnage, of a total value impossible to state, but as to which some notion may be gathered from the knowledge that on railways alone four hundred millions sterling have been expended—all affording means of living for myriads—that little remains to be demolished, erected, or remodelled. Yet the population has increased by eight millions, and the agricultural produce of the soil has probably diminished. Such a new channel would be created by systematically colonizing Canada, whose unoccupied virgin lands are capable of maintaining perhaps a number equal to the total population of Europe.

3. I propose that the organization be entirely a State one, adequate for removal annually of 200,000 individuals (of all ages) from the United Kingdom, and their settlement in Canada and the North-West territory of the Dominion, where sufficient land is offered free by the Dominion Government. The poor who are without, or have next to no resources, are those who would be (on their voluntary application, and on approval) selected: the system to be one of family emigration; and, since five can be reckoned as the average number in a family, 150,000 at least out of the whole number would be composed of aged persons, women, and babes—very few among them breadwinners. Thus the country could lose nothing by the departure of people no small proportion of whom are now partly maintained at the cost of ratepayers and of the benevolent, while all are what is currently (although not technically) called "paupers." Certainly we can easily spare, say, 50,000 able-bodied men and youths every year, and their dependents.

4. The emigrants proper to be men (with their families) acquainted with the cultivation of the soil. A slight knowledge might suffice; nor can it be disputed that the poor quarters in our cities and towns would supply large contingents of men, born and reared in the country, accustomed to farm work. Only men of good character, not convicted of crime, nor more than twice of drunkenness, under forty-six years old, and with not exceeding five accompanying members of family, to be eligible; single women to be ineligible; the taking single men to be discountenanced; and young people to be encouraged to marry, in order to become eligible.

5. A State inspection to be organized in order to "pass" applicants. There could be an authorized official in every town; the superior superintendence of this department to be confided to selected persons among the trade-union leaders, appointed for the purpose by Government as permanent officers. Their special knowledge of the labour-market would be useful in order that surplusage only might be drawn away.

6. For transport, many of the Government steam transports would no doubt be available: other large steamships to be purchased, so as to supply a fleet capable of providing a departure of a steamer carrying, say, one thousand emigrants daily during the seven suitable months, the departures to be from Glasgow (once), Liverpool (twice), Milford (once), and Southampton (thrice) weekly.

7. The first step of arranging with the Canadian Government being taken, the second, after Parliamentary sanction, would be to send out an adequate staff of artisans and labourers, with their families, under agreements for five years at present trades rate of wage, in order to erect huts or cottages, houses, stores, &c., before the first batch of emigrants arrive, from two to three months later. These mechanics would be under Government supervision, and must move from place to place as required.

8. The control of the whole organization and the funds to be vested in a board, or Imperial Emigration and Colonization Commission, consisting of five capable and adequately paid gentlemen prepared to make this the business of their lives—two to be Canadians: head-quarters, of course, in London; a head Canadian office at Ottawa, with one Canadian and one English Commissioner; local commissioners with sufficient subordinates to be quartered at the various settlements.

9. The average cost of transport, upon the scale and, as indicated, from railway station here to destination in Canada, need not much, if at all, exceed £5 per head of all ages; because special emigration rates would be obtainable from the railways on both sides of the Atlantic, the steamers, specially fitted and carrying no cargo, being worked at prime cost.

10. A due number of "centres" being selected in the Dominion, each to have a nucleus-settlement of four thousand souls, the emigrants on reaching Quebec or Halifax, would be there furnished with a destination, and at once sent on by the daily through trains. There would be also appointed through emigrant trains on this side to the various ports of embarcation.

11. Prior to embarking, each head of a family to sign articles of indenture binding himself to repay to the Emigration Commission all moneys advanced to him or his family. ^Should passage be repaid? I think not, but am open to correction on this difficult point.

12. The lands to be brought under cultivation will not maintain a family for several months, or even for a year after cultivation begins. How then are the people to live? Thus:—The Canadian Government must cooperate in this work by agreeing to convey to the Emigration Commission the one hundred and sixty acres they at present offer free for every separate family to be settled. Eighty acres to be absolutely reserved by the Commission as "B. Government lands:" and upon the remaining eighty (or fifty wherever only one hundred acres are obtained) the head of the family to be set to work, under official superintendence, to clear, sow, make roads, &c., all for a fixed weekly wage, being the amount upon which he could live with reasonable carefulness. I estimate this wage at 12s. for a single man, 16s. for a married couple, 20s. for the same with two children, and so on. All such payments as wages to be carried to the debit of the person receiving them, in books kept like the millions of separate Post Office savings-bank accounts for far smaller sums. Copies would be sent from the settlements to Ottawa, and thence they might even be sent to London; so that at the head office here the exact state of the accounts in each settlement would be known under an organization like the Post Office Savings Bank system.

13. Whenever the parcel of land upon which a family had been domiciled should be, in the judgment of the local inspector, fit to maintain them without further official "nursing"—then, but not sooner, a conveyance of the ground to be executed to the peasant who had been working upon it, chargeable, by way of mortgage, with the total standing to his debit for wages, seed, stocking, &c., including passage-money (should it be considered right the cost of it be also reimbursed). This total, in the case of a family of five, would not be likely, even including passage-money, to exceed £100. In the case of a couple without children it would be much less. In this way, assuming only fifty acres were conveyed to each settler, and the average mortgage amounted to £100, the man would obtain in a year or so after leaving home fifty acres of freehold land saddled with £100 mortgage at six per cent, per annum, equal to a yearly rent of 2s. 6d. per acre for very fertile land. He would become by independent effort, thanks to judicious help, a peasant proprietor at a cost which he would have been able to regulate himself to a certain important extent. The transaction once completed, there would be no difficulty experienced by the Commission in selling the mortgage bond to private persons or financial corporations to be formed hereafter for the purpose of dealing in these securities, and thus all money advanced would be recouped. Redemption of the bonds might easily be effected within ten years from issue. No doubt there might be difficulty in selling the bonds, or obtaining repayment of the funds expended which they would represent, if the settlements were few, scattered far apart, and thinly peopled. There would be none if the chief features of the scheme be adhered to—namely, its magnitude and continuity.

14. In the case of the head of a family dying before his allotment were ready for conveyance, his family might be allowed to name somebody to take his place and liabilities: to the local Commissioner being reserved a right of veto. Should it be exercised, then the land to lapse into the category of "B. Government lands." The cost of the labour actually expended upon such lapsed land would, as a rule, have added to its intrinsic value not less than the total amount of such expenditure, ^nd real loss arising from death, accident, or sickness could be provided for by a special system of insurance at trifling cost.

15. Another resource for reimbursement and profit would be the "British Government lands." These would be at least equal in acreage to "allotted lands." They would be cultivated for the ultimate benefit of the British Government, representing the taxpayers here, by day-labourers specially engaged here or taken from such among the emigrants as could not well be trusted to farm for themselves; or by volunteer labourers presenting themselves on the spot. These lands could be leased or sold. While they were farmed the crops derived from them would be disposed of for the Commission through usual trade channels.

16. If any man at the first blush should doubt whether returns of this kind could be adequate to outlay, let him reflect that all cities—London itself—and all civilized countries were once virgin land without value. Their incalculable money value and the enormous revenues they yield now have been brought about precisely in the way I propose to render valuable the valueless North-West Territory—namely, by the exercise upon their territory of human labour. The objection, then, is idle, upon the two indispensable conditions that the settlements be on a large scale, and that there be skilled responsible supervision and, as part of it, rules and discipline.

17. Crime and waste are already guarded against by laws specially passed in the Dominion and Provincial Parliaments whereby local option prevails in every part of Canada, except the North-West Territory, wherein it is forbidden to introduce alcoholic or vinous stimulants. This beneficent provision was intended to protect the Indians, of whom about one hundred thousand still remain. Removal to Canada would consequently mean rescue and redemption for numbers of our people who would gladly quit present surroundings, associations, and temptations, had they the chance.

18. In order to make good the drain on our agricultural population, an essential part of the scheme must be the formation, under some proper system, of large or small training-farms at suitable points throughout the three kingdoms. To these places might be drafted all lads from orphanages, street youths from our great cities, men who hang about the streets picking up a precarious livelihood, and the like, to learn farm-work—the natural occupation of a great majority of mankind.

19. Parliamentary powers would have to be asked to enable the Government of the day to borrow, when required, sums not exceeding twenty millions sterling in all, by creating a new Emigration Stock to bear interest at the rate of three per cent. During the first two years about five millions sterling would be wanted; the interest upon which sum, to be borne by the taxpayers, is only £150,000 sterling per annum. The funds raised in this manner to be employed in England and Canada for the general purposes indicated, under proper control and audit in the customary way—the expenses of official staff to come out of these funds, and a percentage to be charged upon the allotted land to defray those expenses. All moneys received by the Emigration Commission as reimbursement of loans, sales of mortgage bonds, of produce raised on "Government lands," or of such lands themselves, to be paid over per contra to the National Debt Commissioners in order to purchase and extinguish Consols. I think it fair to expect that, before the power to raise twenty millions had been fully used, returns would flow back to us; that the twenty millions sterling, if called up, would be all reimbursed before expiry of ten years; and that, far from any loss of capital resulting from these transactions, there might be immense profits.

20. To attain the ends I have described, a country like ours, which threw away, for the sake of a policy of the moment, one hundred millions sterling in the Crimea, might sacrifice much. But I cannot see that any sacrifice whatever is needed. For, supposing 200,000 men, women, and children left our shores in the first year, and that £10 yearly per head be put as the average cost of maintaining them here, then surely society is benefited to the extent of two millions pounds sterling for that one year alone—to say nothing about the future—by their departure. The food they consume, if they remain, ceases to be imported.

21. If it should be objected a point will be reached when the exodus will cease to be a benefit to us, I answer it can be stayed at that point, for it would be the duty of the Emigration Commission to keep State advantage in view, such being the raison d'être of their office.

22. But the foundation of a new populous and wealthy society, on the other side of the Atlantic, must benefit this country in another way. They will purchase our manufactures from us, thus adding to our wealth, instead of consuming it, as they do while here. For, of course, every individual in Great Britain, be the population twenty millions or thirty millions, has to be fed somehow. And owing to this necessity we are rapidly sinking into national and personal poverty because nothing is done or attempted, by legislators and statesmen, in order to preserve a reasonable proportion between the people and the land they live on. Had we no colonies it would be another matter. The truth of the controversy respecting imports and exports lies here. We import a greater excess year by year, and thus grow poorer instead of richer, simply because we have more mouths to feed each year. While this goes on, vast territories belonging to the Empire remain deserts, and others are given away.

23. The existence of great fleets of steamers of vast size which could not have been had a few years ago, the political difficulties and pressing yearly increasing distress in England, the wish of the Dominion Government to settle the North-West territory which was owned by an exclusive private corporation only twelve years ago, the certainty of a German and probability of a Chinese immigration thither[18] unless we utilize it ourselves instead of abandoning it to the wolf and the jackal, are all considerations favouring the realization of my scheme.

24. Although the settling may proceed during as many years as there remains unoccupied land, the principal trouble will be during the first two or three years. Once the rudiments of hamlets, towns, and cities are formed, there will be little trouble and not nearly so much expense.

25. The scheme would be greatly helped by the approaching construction or completion of the Canadian Pacific Railway, which will traverse the territory to be settled in order to unite the two oceans, and will provide work for large numbers of labourers. Primarily designed though it is for the poor who have no resources, the fact need not preclude our attracting (by the offer of assistance in the colony) a limited number among classes possessing some small but insufficient capital. Such people would provide employment for labouring peasants whose mental qualifications did not offer sufficient inducement to trust them with land of their own. In short, the whole management requires the exercise of skill and judgment. Many farmers would be well qualified to act as superintendents of some of the departments, and, doubtless, be glad to accept such positions.

26. Upon some collateral aspects of this many-sided schema it is well to lay stress. This would not be a haphazard fit-ful business—now well, now badly done. The emigrants are not to be turned loose on the prairie to do as they pleas^: protection, direction, control, are essential elements in the scheme, which, before all things, is to be entered upon for State advantage. A considerable organization of skilled educated minds is therefore indispensable. Upon this side of the ocean there will be the personnel devoted to selection, transport and shipment: clerks who must keep the accounts, storekeepers, and so forth. Then come the commanders, officers, engineers, besides crews, of the steamships. To conduct the service with efficiency not fewer than thirty vessels must compose the fleet. On the other side there will be employes who must receive and distribute through the territory the continual arrivals. There will be surveyors and civil engineers, architects and builders, farming superintendents and overseers, resident local commissioners, travelling inspectors, and a respectable battalion of clerks of various grades, some of whom could be chosen from those already in the Government service here. There must also be warehouse-keepers, as well as men accustomed to trade operations: since the Colonization Commission will have crops and produce and lands to dispose of, seeds and stock and implements to buy—the last-named from England. Most of these numerous officials would naturally be drawn from the ranks of the middle classes. Then comes the supreme direction, the posts in which will doubtless be filled from the upper class. It is impossible to catalogue with exactness all the positions that will be necessarily created, and must be filled—greatly to the advantage of the mother-country considered as one community, and to separate families whose heads are nowadays in so many instances thoroughly perplexed to know what is to be done with their young men. My rapid sketch, however, shows that this system of colonization will find legitimate permanent occupation for much more than mere bone and sinew. Brains are indispensable. Education and natural ability of very diverse kinds and orders could thus obtain a field of exercise hitherto undreamed of; and the widely spread mental, technical, and scientific training that has distinguished the England of the past dozen years will not have been fruitless after all, as many latterly began to fear it might prove to be. But for this training, indeed, it is questionable whether there would be, as there now certainly is, the proper material available to constitute the large body of superintendents and functionaries that is necessary; while, had the Scheme been broached in 1870, every one would at once have pronounced it to be impracticable on the scale 1 propose—if only because the large steamers now built were not even projected; while the cost of "sailing" the smaller boats then in vogue was probably about double what the march of invention has made it to-day, and sea-risks were also greater.

27. The climate of Mexico, or even a large portion of the United States, scarcely suits Englishmen or Scotchmen, and a serious mortality might result from shipping hosts of old and very young persons to torrid regions.

28. It must be remembered the "new channel" discovered and opened by the Stephensons, the Brasseys, the Hudsons, who have gone, is filled and developed to about its utmost extent. We want another. By opening this prolific channel, of far greater intrinsic worth than all the El Dorados ever dreamed about, we should feed the poor, the middle class, and the class above, who are alike crying for bread—in one sense or another.

29. Not only so, but we can justly inscribe upon our emigration and colonization flag the motto which was once made to ring in the ears of the whole world, "For the interests of England." Her political interests are so manifestly to be promoted by planting her sons and daughters in homes where they shall prosper and be happy, and doubtless be loyal, that it is needless to say anything on that head. Is it not almost as plain that, if Canada, with her present population of four millions, can import British merchandise worth eight millions of pounds sterling (besides merchandise from the United States worth nine), she will be enabled and bound to import incalculably more when we shall have raised her population?

30. Furthermore, a great settlement of Canadian territory will inevitably call for numerous public works (new railways among them) of great magnitude over there, for new banks, insurance companies, &c. The capital may, largely, be raised here, and fresh, sound openings for investors be created.

London, Feb. 14, 1883.

  1. Consideration of final causes must of course be omitted from an inquiry which aims at the immediately practical. It is unnecessary to discuss the abstract question whether, under wholly different conditions to those actually moulding the careers and lives of the inhabitants of Great Britain, the resources placed at their disposal by the bounty of Providence are after all adequate to their needs. That may be admitted, together with the weighty truth that, for temporal evils moral and spiritual causes are in strictness, and in the last resort, assignable.
  2. St.James' Gazette, December 11, 1882.
  3. Address to the Statistical Society on November 15, 1881.
  4. "A lately published letter from Mr. Bright estimates the actual national loss occasioned since 1878 by 'the reduction in the produce of the soil' at two hundred millions sterling. Of course these are not random figures, they can be justified by proper data. If so, the actual loss of a sum equal to one fourth of our National Debt ought not to be passed over quietly. A political notice of the fact is not enough. A national effort surely ought to be made to repair the great calamity. Not to dwell upon this, let me contrast the estimate of, say, sixty-five millions positive annual (mean) loss arising from deficient crops of food which manifestly was wanted for the subsistence of our population, and therefore must have been replaced by an average annual importation of food from abroad, equal in value, with the assertion made on the 12th of August last by Mr. Chamberlain, that, 'it was not a matter for regret the imports should largely exceed the exports. The increase in the balance of trade was partly freight, which was almost wholly profit to this country—, but the greater portion was, the nett profit of our external commercial transactions.' Here are two contradictory declarations. The adverse 'balance of trade' during each of these last three years would, according to Mr. Bright, necessarily have been sixty-five millions sterling less than it really amounts to, if British land had not suffered from want of sun. But, according to Mr. Chamberlain, our 'profits' would in that case, have necessarily been nearly as much less! Without more closely scrutinising these antagonistic statements, one may safely conclude that the President of the Board of Trade will, now that they are noticed, confer with the Right hon. gentleman who is so certain we have lost two hundred millions sterling in consequence of being obliged to buy from foreign countries food that has been consumed, owing to our own deficient harvests, although he does not say whether the whole nor how much of this prodigious sum was paid out of the pockets of farmers. For, should it turn out that Mr. Bright is mainly accurate, Mr. Chamberlain will, in that case, find that he could not possibly have taken the right side in the House of Commons in the controversy concerning our exports and imports" (Letter to the Rt. Hon. W. E. Gladstone, M.P., in St. James' Gazette of September 22, 1881). Since then Mr. Goschen, who, as an economical authority, is quite equal to Mr. Chamberlain, deplored the fact that the imports largely exceed the exports! On this subject there is contradiction all round.
  5. It is the official Imperial symbol peculiar to the nineteenth century, having been first impressed upon the British coinage bearing date 1797 A.D. And throughout the nineteenth century British supremacy, either in arms, finance, commerce, applied science, or arts, has overshadowed the globe, giving a marked tone to the spirit of the age. In all these departments of the material domain a restless pushing people has reigned, and in some still reigns over the kings of the earth, the centre whence proceeds such singular predominance being that great city concerning which Lord Beaconsfield told the House of Peers in his last speech—"the key of India is London."
  6. The total of British shipping tonnage is considerably more than that of all the other nations of the world added together, being eight and a half million tons against eight and a quarter million tons (See the speech of Sir John Lubbock at the annual meeting of the British Association in 1881).
  7. The cases cited recall to mind an observation made many years ago by a bank manager who had been made a tool in some enterprising commercial transactions, which inflicted a loss of some £50,000 upon the banking company, and who was asked how he could possibly at his mature age have behaved so foolishly. His reply was to the effect that men in his position are daily and hourly dealing with such stupendous totals in pen and ink that the figures cease to convey to their minds those fitting and intrinsic ideas as symbols of value properly belonging to them.
  8. "Captain Halford Thompson asked Mr. Giffen if he considered 15s. per cent, a fair average per-centage for freight on the whole import trade of the world.

    "Mr. Giffen replied that that was what the figures appeared to show.

    "Captain Thompson said that Mr. Giffen was hard upon those who thought they could handle figures ' without previous education to the trade—an education which he evidently thought could not be complete unless it had been carried out under the supervision of the Cobden Club. (Laughter.) Mr. Giffen's primary object was to raise the bogey that there were so many deductions and allowances to be made from statistics of import and export trade that no ordinary observer could make safe use of argument based upon them. It was curious that, while denying this, he should base pages of argument and piles of figures taken in different years from returns based upon utterly different principles. Referring to Mr. Giffen's main point about the excess of imports over exports as due to the greater carrying power of the nation, every one knew that imports must always have a per-centage taken off, because imports included freight and exports did not. But while admitting that allowances must be made, it left them a long way off admitting the accuracy of the figures which Mr. Giffen had built up as to the trade of the world. What Mr. Giffen wanted to prove was that the £162,000,000 which his table showed as the excess of imports over exports in the trade of the world represented approximately the cost of conveyance after deducting a sum of £32,000,000 for miscellaneous charges and commission, which brought the amount down to £130,000,000. To prove that that was not an excessive amount Mr. Giffen informed them that that sum only amounted to a charge of 15s. per cent, on the total imports of the world. Now, so far from the result of the calculation justifying Mr. Giffen in saying that it only showed a charge of 15s., it really showed £7 7s. per cent, for cost of conveyance.

    "Mr. Giffen—I find it should be £7 10s. per cent., not 15s. (Loud laughter.)

    "Captain Thompson remarked that there was another gross miscalculation in the next paragraph, where Mr. Giffen said that the figures;i^ 130, 000, 000 showed a gross earning of £8 per ton on the total tonnage of the world, sailing and steam together. In his tables he had put the total tonnage at 28,000,000, and on that amount the gross earnings would be £4 11s. per ton instead of £8.

    "Mr. Giffen—I think that 28,000,000 is reduced to equivalents in sailing tons. "Captain Thompson said he thought not; and added that if Mr. Giffen's other calculations were as little to be relied upon as those he had now quoted his voluminous paper would not be of much use" (Morning Post report of the adjourned discussion on Mr. Giffen's paper, entitled "The use of Import and Export Statistics," held at the rooms of the Statistical Society on April 4, 1882). In the month of June following, Mr. Giffen was elected President of this Society.

  9. The bank rate from March 23 to August 17, 1882, was three per cent., the average rate of Mr. Newmarch's "twenty years" having been thirty-five per cent, higher.
  10. The very remarkable national confusion of thought upon these questions is exemplified in the Blue-books, where, since 1855, a Table has kept its ground giving the proportion of imports and exports (added together) per head of population in the United Kingdom. The raison d'être of this extraordinary calculation being a curious notion that outgoings are gain, and incomings must be gain too, because "consuming power" and real wealth cannot but be equivalent terms. The imports per head have doubled in a quarter of a century (it is hardly necessary to say why, after what has been adduced), and this elasticity, notwithstanding the census always went on rising, is officially set down as manifest proof of wealth. The more a man spends the richer he must be! So, in the opinion of the country lad coming to town, all that glitters is gold.
  11. "The Economist's A.B.C., or, Twenty-five years of Free Trade."
  12. In the midst of all this physical prosperity, one fine day in August, Parliament having just been prorogued, an unknown dealer in potatoes wrote to the Secretary of State, and informed him that he had reason to think that a murrain had fallen over the whole of the potato crops in England, and that, if  *  *  * , the most serious consequences must ensue. This mysterious but universal sickness of a -single root changed the history of the world" (Endymion, chap. lxxxii.).
  13. The golden tide that had as a rule flowed towards these shores down to 1878 inclusive, then began to ebb, and from our store of gold and silver bullion and specie ten millions of pounds sterling have since gone abroad. If fifteen millions be added to them to represent loss, waste, depreciation, wear and tear of coinage in circulation in 1879—1882, we see a total reduction of twenty-five million pounds sterling in the stock of precious metals in the country at the end of 1878, when the census was considerably lower than at the end of 1882.
  14. This is a felicitous expression of Mr. James Lowther, M.P.
  15. Printed in its latest, finally revised form, on page 31.
  16. The Right Hon. James Lowther, M.P., at Richmond (Yorkshire), on January 29, 1883, said that "the emigration which he recommended was, not the driving out of the able-bodied, leaving the aged, or young, or helpless; but a comprehensive and State-directed scheme, which should enable whole families to be simultaneously but not compulsorily emigrated" (from Ireland to Canada).
  17. As I cannot suppose your remarks at Rochdale condemnatory of 'a general system of emigration under which Government should establish colonies,' were levelled at the opinions of Mr. Charles Buller, M.P., who has been dead so many years, or at the men of his day who shared his views, I am bound to conclude they were meant for a censure of my scheme of State-directed emigration to which such wide publicity has been given by the press. Allow me, therefore, to call your attention to these few facts so easy of apprehension, (1) The census of Great Britain forty years, or even thirty years, ago, grew but slowly, or not at all, whereas it grows now at the rate of nearly half a million souls annually. (2) The positive loss sustained by the nation during the last three years owing to want of sun was estimated in September, 1881, by yourself at two hundred millions sterling; by the Prime Minister, a month subsequently, at rather more than half that enormous sum. (3) Mr. James Caird, at the meeting of the Statistical Society on the 15th instant, declared that 'the land in this country within the last ten years has become less productive.' (4) The average annual value of the exports of British and Irish produce has not increased since 1866: thus, without mentioning other notorious reasons, there is here good basis for the belief that they cannot reasonably be expected to increase. Yet during these fifteen years of stationary exports and diminished yield from the land the population of Great Britain has grown by six millions. That of Ireland has diminished nearly one million, and Ireland accordingly is more prosperous. I beg then to ask whether it is not plain (A.) that Great Britain to-day, with a population of thirty millions, is worse off than in 1866 with twenty-four millions? (B.) That the yield of agricultural products, of manufactures and materials produced for foreign markets even remaining next year and the year after what they are now, while the census of the United Kingdom shall be allowed to rise to thirty-six millions—the nation must be poorer at the close of 1883 than at the end of next month? (C.) And, whatever may have been the true state of matters in 1840—1843, with regard to the problems of population, production, and emigration, how, taking a candid review of all the facts and prospects, can it be possible at this epoch to provide for the fresh mouths we know must be fed in the years to come, otherwise than by reducing the numbers of the people under some 'comprehensive scheme of emigration'?" (Letter to the Right Hon. John Bright, M.P., November 19, 1881).
  18. The prevision expressed in 1880 has become accomplished fact. "From Victoria, Vancouver's Island, we have reports that ships and steamers are constantly arriving with many Chinese on board. The immigrants are immediately forwarded to the main land of British Columbia, chiefly for railway work. Twenty-four thousand are expected by August, when the Chinese in the province will amount to thirty-two thousand, outnumbering the whites. Fears are expressed that the Province will be Mongolianized." (Times, May 11, 1882.) A (Renter's) telegram from Ottawa, dated March ii, 1883, announces, "a bill will be introduced this Session in the Dominion Parliament restricting Chinese immigration into British Columbia."

This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published before January 1, 1926. It may be copyrighted outside the U.S. (see Help:Public domain).