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own industry; they will work for lower remuneration, and will undertake more servile offices, than the English labourer; their children will be English-born, and they will gradually be absorbed into the mass of the English population. This emigration will certainly continue, until the difference between the relative condition of the working classes of the two islands ceases to exist. The poor and ill-paid labourer will endeavour, to obtain a share of the well-paid employment given to his more fortunate neighbours. There is another kind of emigration, which takes place to a small extent, when landlords, wishing to consolidate small farms into large ones, yet unwilling to turn their tenantry adrift, give them the means of removing to America, with their whole families. This, if judiciously effected, is likely to be useful to all parties and to the country. Many families left this year under these circumstances; and it is not unlikely that in future years the plan may be carried out more extensively. The act of last session, for the amendment of the Poor Law, enables the guardians of the union to assist in the emigration of such families, by a grant to half the amount given by the landlord, to be charged on the electoral division in which the families about to emigrate resided. But those who look to emigration as a means of relieving the labour market of its surplus, must anticipate its being conducted on a very extensive scale; as in this way alone can it effect any sensible diminution of the present pressure. It would require at least a million of persons to be sent away. How is it possible to transport such a number at once 2 or to provide them with the means of subsistence, when they have reached the port of debarkation ? At the legal rate of three passengers for every five tons, it would require more than three thousand vessels of five hundred tons each. But suppose this difficulty over, and the whole number landed safely in Canada, how great is the responsibility which it entails on the government, that this multitude of people may be supported, and placed in some way of maintaining themselves by honest industry ! It is evidently impracticable to act on so extensive a scale. But suppose them to be removed by degrees, say one-tenth, or 100,000 every year. Will such emigration have any perceptible effect 2 It has generally been estimated that population increases at the rate of one and one-half per cent. annually. If this estimate be correct, the amount of annual increase in Ireland would be about 120,000, and therefore the population would still go on increasing in spite of this emigration. The cost of such an emigration would be enormous. The estimate for cost of passage given in the “Digest of Evidence” above referred to, is £30 for each family, or £6 for each individual; say, in all, £6,000,000, or £600,000 per annum. This estimate is founded on the evidence of John R. Godley, who seems also to think it essential that the emigrants should be a well selected class, comprising efficient labourers. This selection might be very useful to Canada, but would not so well serve the object of relieving Ireland. But even when properly located, a large amount would still be required for their employment and support, until they were fully in a condition to support themselves.” It is much to be feared, that they might consider themselves relieved from the necessity of over exertion, when they found the government bound to maintain them. Would not the £16,000,000 or £20,000,000 which might be required to carry out an effective system of emigration, prove much more useful if laid out at home 2 If facilities be afforded, by which this amount may be expended in the various works, which, in many parts of Ireland, are requisite, before the ground can be properly cultivated, will it not, in fact, afford the means of support at home to this million of people, either by direct employment, or by its indirect effects 2
* It appears, from the evidence of the same gentleman, that the cost per head incurred by government, for the passage and location of emigrants sent out to Upper Canada, in the year 1825, amounted to £21 5s., which would be about £106 5s. for an average family.—Digest of Evidence, page 568.
Another objection deserves to be noticed, namely, that any plan involving government assistance to emigrants, would greatly interfere with private emigration. Those who desire to go, instead of working to procure the means of paying for their passage, will spend their time in endeavouring to obtain a free passage at the expense of the state. The number emigrating at their own expense may be seriously diminished from this cause.
The Cultivation of the Waste Lands in Ireland has often been proposed, both as a means of improving the condition of the unemployed population, and of developing the resources of the country. No one can doubt the important results which must ensue, from a large application of capital and labour to the improvement of the soil. It is exactly what is wanted to raise the condition of the country. But the question for consideration is, how this can be best effected; whether by government interference, or by leaving it to private enterprise : and whether it be more judicious to bring additional land into cultivation ; or to expend the same amount of labour in draining or otherwise improv
ing the lands now cultivated, so as to render them more productive. It is well known that much waste land has been brought under culture for several years past. This has been effected, chiefly by allowing cottiers to take in a portion of the mountain side ; and when they had tilled it for a few years, and partially reclaimed it, calling on them either to give it up to the landlord, or to pay a rent. In some cases, they probably retained it, and became permanent tenants: but in others, they gave it up, and commenced anew; not unfrequently ending near the top of the mountain, at the bottom of which they commenced many years before. Thus cultivation crept up the mountain sides, or encroached on the secluded valleys heretofore untilled. This mode of reclamation required no capital on the part of the landlord. The cottier or tenant was the sole agent. He obtained a bare subsistence by very severe labour, and rarely effected any improvement in his own condition. It was practicable, on account of the facility with which the potato was cultivated; and it is very doubtful whether it be practicable with any other crop. But when the reclamation of the waste land has been proposed as an important means of improvement, the intention has been, that it should be done