Imágenes de página
PDF
ePub

12. Is there not a good extent of alluvial land there ? Ou the lower part of it.

13. Capable of supporting a dense population ? I will not say a dense population, but comparatively a large one.

26. By the Auditor-General –Do you think immigration to this Colony is equally advantageous to the mother country and to this Colony? I think it is of as much consequence to the mother-country as it is to this Colony; we both partake of the benefit. I think it is a perfect absurdity for any one to imagine that it cannot be of advantage to the mother-country ; nay, looking at the frightful statement lately made in the House of Commons, by Sir James Graham, of the amount of pauperism in England, I think it criminal in the British Government in allowing

any part of its population to starve, when one of its colonies, possessing such an abundance of food as we do, would be glad if they will only send the people to work for it, and to eat it. Upon the score of humanity, this cannot be too strongly urged upon the Home Government ; this is, however, taking but a very limited view of the advantages to the mother-country—that of merely getting rid of its redundant population. Let the Flome Government send us a sound and healthy race, we shall soon turn their labour into a source of profit to themselves, render them happy, comfortable, and contented, and the Home Government will soon be repaid by the increased demand for their manufactures.

27. By Dr. Lang-Have you visited any of the British colonies of North America ? Yes.

28. What do you think of the comparative advantages to free immigrants coming to this Colony, or going to any of those ! The advantages this country holds out to the immigrant are far beyond those presented by the North American colonies ; the two countries cannot be compared in point of climate ; here we have a splendid climate and mild weather, instead of a long dreary winter ; there the people suffer very many privations. I have been in North America when the people could not work for six or eight months in the year; during the greater part of that time the country was covered with snow ; in this country there is no interruption to a man's labour.

29. Which of these colonies have you been in ? Canada, New Brunswick, Nora Scotia, and also in the United States.

30. Do you think an immigrant coming to this country and hiring himself out as a servant, has a much better prospect of establishing himself comfortably on his own account, within a limited period, than he would have in any of these North American colonies? There cannot be a question about it.

31. And also as to the prospect of acquiring wealth ultimately ? Yes, the article of clothing is very expensive in North America, but that is a very trifling expense to men here ; the expense of clothing in North America would take up half a man's wages ; the article of clothing is almost the only expense a man is put to in this Colony.

32. Do you not think that the advantage to the immigrant of having his labour made available for the cultivation of the ground for the whole year in this Colony is of great importance ? There cannot be a doubt upon this point.

33. Can two crops be obtained in the most favourable situations of the North American colonies during their short summer ? No, that is quite impossible in North America, inasmuch as the summer is not above three or four months in duration ; we may have two crops in this Colony.

34. By the Auditor-General—Might not fresh sources of industry be opened in your district? The principal source of industry is pasturage.

35. Might not the vine be cultivated ? No doubt it might; but the district to which I belong is principally pastoral. I am not aware that there is much agriculture there, it being chiefly confined to individual stations.

36. By Dr. Lang—Do you consider the condition of the shepherd a comfortless one ? Certainly not; I think it is a very comfortable and easy life ; a man has a comfortable hut, his rations are regularly supplied him, and he has no laborious work.

37. And it affords him a prospect of a comfortable independence? Yes, I have now men in my employment who have purchased mares, and these mares are in the course of producing stock ; these men have been only a short time with me, but have saved their wages.

38. Are you aware whether it is generally the case that shepherds are possessed of stock, to a greater or less extent? They are principally possessed of horses ; their great object is to get a mare ; there are a great many of my men who have got money in the Savings' Bank ; I seldom come to Sydney without paying money into the Savings' Bank on account of my men.

39. By the Auditor-General-Do you find the shepherds employed by you generally save their earnings ? Some do, and it is within the compass of all to do so; for they are furnished with everything excepting clothes and tobacco, and they are clothed with very little cost; but some are indifferent about it.

40. By Dr. Lang—Is the climate to the north favourable for field labour for European constitutions ? It is; I have seen no country where a man may be exposed to the weather with less danger than this ; indeed it is a climate very far superior to any that I have been in.

In addition to these valuable items of information, the reader will find various interesting and important observations, both on the capabilities of the northern division of the Colony and on the advantages to be derived from an influx of emigrants into that part of the territory from Germany, in the following letter; which was written, at my suggestion, to the Chairman of the Immigration Committee of the Legislative Council, by the Rev. Christopher Eipper, for several years a missionary to the Aborigines of Moreton Bay :

LETTER from the Rev. CHRISTOPHER EIPPER, Presbyterian Minis

ter of Braidwood, to the CHAIRMAN of the IMMIGRATION COMMITTEE, 18th September 1845.

Sir,--Understanding that a Committee of the Honourable the Legislative Council has been appointed to take into consideration the important subject of Immigration, and having been apprised, by one of its members, that it would not be unwilling to receive suggestions from persons possessed of local or other information on the subject to come before it, I beg leave to submit to you the following observations, on the eligibility of the District of Moreton Bay for the settlement of numerous families and individuals of the humbler and middle classes of the soil-cultivating population of the south of Germany, who, I am satisfied, could be in. duced, by a very little encouragement, to emigrate partially or entirely at their own charges, and settle permanently either in that District or in other parts of the Colony. I am a native of Wirtemberg, in the south of Germany, myself, and have, besides, some acquaintance with the inhabitants of the Grand Duchy of Baden, Switzerland, and Alsatia. In the District of Moreton Bay I have resided, as a missionary to the Aborigines, from the month of April 1838, till October 1843, when the mission was

The climate of Moreton Bay I have found peculiarly salubrious, and more equable than that of the Colony generally ; the severe drought of 1839, for instance, not having been felt in that district. Its soil, from its very variety of lightness on ridges with a substratum of clay, and of richness on flats of black loam, produces, in great abundance and perfection, sweet potatoes, maize, wheat, pine apples, peaches, bananas, plantains, mulberries, sugar-cane, pumpkins, melons of every sort, arrow-root, yams, limes, lemons, citrons, oranges, nectarines, coffee, tobacco, millet, every sort of vegetables ; and, from its proximity to the tropics, it would doubtless be found capable of producing most of the plants growing in tropical parts.

The observation of its capabilities has frequently led me to reflect, how well it would answer the various branches of culture peculiar to the south of Germany—such as the vine, tobacco, flax and hemp, millet, rape, and poppies for oil, krapp, and other weeds for dyeing, thistles for carding cloths, &c. And as many of these productions, and chiefly the vine and tobacco, are not raised in the British Isles, immigrants from Great Britain and

broken up.

Ireland are less likely to turn such a soil and climate to proper account. With a view, therefore, of developing the capabilities of this Colony, it would seem desirable to introduce such immigrants as would, from their practical knowledge of the culture of new branches, be best fitted to accomplish so desirable an object. Without fear of being accused of partiality, I may say, that the Germans have generally been found to make good colonists, on account of their industrious and frugal habits, their intelligence and perseverance, in which assertion I am borne out by the flourishing condition of the German settlements of South Australia. This Colony would therefore unquestionably derive great benefit from the formation of one or two settlements of German agriculturists and vine-dressers at Moreton Bay, or in other parts of the Colony, or from the general dispersion of such throughout the Colony, should such a plan appear to be preferable. They might, if successful, not only lead the way to others of their countrymen, who might wish to follow them, but also set an example of the culture of various new branches to British immigrants.

I am not aware that the disposition to emigrate has at all declined in the south of Germany, or any where in that country, as the same causes by which it was engendered_oppressive taxation, over-population, and want of religious and civil libertyare, to the best of my knowledge, still in existence. Emigrants have, hitherto, chiefly gone to the United States ; but other parts of the world— Poland at one time, the south of Russia at another, and Algiers at a later period, all within the last forty years— have attracted great numbers of emigrants from my native country; in the Southern provinces of Russia, the Krimea, Bessarabia, Grusinia, the Caucasus, and Astrachan, there are upwards of thirty parishes of Germans, many of whom are Wirtembergers. Every opportunity, indeed, which offered, was eagerly, but often to their bitter regret, embraced by many individuals and families of my countrymen ; no matter what country they went to, if they had but the means of reaching it, or of purchasing or otherwise acquiring a small farm. Of the general eligibility of this Colony, and its superior salubrity, my countrymen are, I may say, entirely ignorant, with the exception of the few who may have received some information either from myself or other German missionaries. The main hinderance, however, to their emigration hither is its distance from Germany. The length of the sea-voyage, as in itself it deters many, renders the expenses of the emigrants so great as to cause them to dismiss every thought of emigrating to this country from their mind; for, on an average, there will among ten emigrants not one half be found who reach the place of embarkation with funds in their possession amounting to fifty pounds sterling--a sum hardly adequate to defray the cost of a passage to New South Wales for a man with a wife and one or two children. His prospects, on landing, would consequently be only starvation in a strange land, or servitude ; a condition which, of course, is not his object or aim to attain to, in leaving his country and kindred. But I have no doubt emigration to this country from Germany, and the Continent of Europe in general, would at once commence, if its general advantages and eligibility were properly known, and some such encouragement were offered to the emigrants, as ensuring to them the remission of the purchase-money of whatever land they might buy on their arrival, at the present minimum price up to the actual cost of their passage out. Thus, if a family of a husband and wife, and one or two children, had paid fifty pounds for their passage out, they should be allowed to purchase fifty acres of land at the minimum price, and receive the same, free of cost, with six months' rations. There are, however, numbers of the labouring agriculturists and vine-dressers of Germany who, after selling all they are possessed of, would not have sufficient means to defray the cost of their passage out, especially if they have large families, but who would, nevertheless, from their practical knowledge of various new branches of culture, be a great acquisition to the Colony. The majority, indeed, of the emigrants from Germany to the United States land in New York without any funds in their possession ; and, having neither the means of proceeding to the back settlements in the west, nor, if able to proceed through the assistance of some friends or relatives, of purchasing land at the low price of that country, drag on, either in the towns or in the interior, a miserable life, and are scarcely able to subsist. It would therefore be sufficient inducement if, to such as have no means to defray their own passage, a conditionally-free passage to this country were offered, that is, with the understanding, that on their landing in the Colony they were to hire with the settlers as farm-servants or vine-dressers for a period of three years; of their first year's wages their employers should be required to pay in advance the one-half, which should go towards refunding the expenses of their passage out. Considering the benefits which the country would derive, the sacrifice would not be great, if the other half of the cost of passage were remitted to the foreign immigrant, while the granting an unconditionally-free passage to the British subject would still show that, as such, he was considered as entitled to greater advantages than a foreigner, who might be equally if not more useful to the Colony, but who was bound to servitude for a period of three years, and after the lapse of that period might, with the savings from his wages, purchase a small farm of twenty or thirty acres.

It is chiefly from the smaller and Protestant German States that the stream of emigration has hitherto flowed ; the larger States, Prussia and Austria, which are not bound by constitutions, having till very lately successfully, because tyrannically, shut up their subjects in their dominions. The majority of emigrants have been, I believe, Protestants of the Lutheran and

[ocr errors]
« AnteriorContinuar »