Problems of a Great City

White, Arnold


CHAPTER IV: Emigration

CHAPTER IV: Emigration


THERE is no subject relating to the wellbeing of the community in regard to which it is easier to generalise than the question of emigration. At first sight it seems as though emigration, and enough of it, were a panacea for the greater portion of the national evil caused by the pressure of our population. When, however, the subject is analysed in detail, it is found to be wedged round with a variety of political and economical difficulties, to be grappled with only by the community as a whole.

It is an axiom among those who are accustomed


to apply themselves to matters relating to the well-being of their fellow countrymen, that the truest philanthropy is that in which the capital expended is returned. The enterprises of the late and of are but examples of the truth of this general observation; and, unless it could be shown that money expended, either by individuals or by the nation, in facilitating discriminate emigration is either directly or indirectly reproductive, I should not include the subject of emigration as one of the means of liquidating our national debt. The attitude adopted towards the subject of emigration varies according to the situation and interests of the observers. In England the question has been regarded almost exclusively from the philanthropic point of view. The spectacle of congested cities, of the thousands of unemployed, and the always shameful, because unnecessary, scenes of hundreds of able-bodied men clamouring at the dock gates for work which does not exist, has directed public attention to the feasibility of removing these unfortunates to another land, as an effective method of


extirpating evils which are continually under process of generation.

One result of these philanthropic intentions has been to create in late years, in the Anglo-Saxon colonies, and in the which is the saucer into which the European cup has overflowed since -a feeling of repugnance and dread of large schemes of immigration, measurable only in intensity with the sentiment excited in , or in in past times, when the mother country reversed the policy of the pelican, by feeding her colonies, not with the best of her blood, but with the rejected elements of her people. That this sense of wrong at the idea of Britain shedding her paupers on other lands is in existence, and is growing, there can be no question. We are met, therefore, with the initial fact that, whatever may be the destination of the pauper population of our great cities, our colonies not only will not encourage its transfer to their own shores, but will resist by every means in their power any misguided attempts in that direction.

The recent action of the American Government in regard to the introduction of pauper


immigrants is well-known. At , the landing place of the immigrants to , an investigation is made by officers of the Customs Department as to the ability of the immigrants to pay their passages to the interior of the country, and to support themselves for a reasonable period of time. The result of this examination has been still further to diminish British emigration for the year , the falling off in that year being 38,915, as compared with . It is impossible not to sympathise with those beyond sea who decline to allow the Anglo-Saxon colonies to be treated as receptacles for the failures and for the unfit of British industrial life. That this feeling is deeply rooted needs no demonstration. Of its justice no facts can be more telling than the analysis of a given number, say, of the London unemployed who are candidates for emigration. During the winter of -5, I happened to be brought closely in contact with about 6,000 unemployed men in , and I have no hesitation in expressing my conviction that not more than 4½ per cent. of their number were eligible for a new life in the colonies. A large proportion


of these 6,000 were men who had, during a comparatively recent period of time, come to London in search of work; and it is remarkable that the small proportion of those who were adjudged by competent authorities as fit for emigration had, for the most part, but lately left the country districts.

These two facts, therefore; of colonial repugnance to receive the surplus population of British cities, and the unfitness of the majority of those whose presence forms a burden and danger to our social life, indicate that if the question of emigration is to be regarded as a remedial agent, and from a national point of view, the remedy must be applied before the individuals to be emigrated have sunk into the semi-nomadic conditions of casual labour in the great cities; before habits of continuous application have been lost, and before physique and morale alike are injured beyond hope of repair.

If these conclusions are accepted as tenable it is clear that the appeals for support made by some of the Emigration Societies are based on ignorance of the facts. The following extract from the prospectus of the


is an excellent example of the injury that may be done by unhealthy generalities expressed in philanthropic English. The Association enjoys the advantage of seventeen eminent Patrons, fifty-two Vice-Presidents , as well as a National Council of portentous proportions.

In East and South London, in many of our large cities and towns, and in some of the rural districts, there are accumulating rapidly-increasing masses of poverty-stricken, unemployed people. Perpetual anxiety, due to the terrible struggle for daily bread, enforced privation, overcrowding, miseries too many for enumeration, aggravated by corrupting influences surrounding the poor in all cities and manufacturing towns, are steadily visibly sapping and ruining the physical constitutions and energies of deserving, struggling, and helpless people, while discontent is leavening masses to whose doors education is now carried by the State. These people, now becoming educated, see luxury all around them. It is well that philanthropists, philosophers, and statesmen should ignore the palpable danger of such a condition of things ? The evil is being intensified yearly by the increase in population, and by the rapid, though unavoidable introduction of labour-saving machinery in all departments of trade and agriculture. There is only one permanent remedy-a steady and continuous drafting of our surplus population to our own Colonies, where these people would become contented and useful to the British Empire, instead of remaining here, a starving, discontented menace to the mother-country.

Yet that remedy is quite beyond the reach of those in whose behalf State intervention is demanded-demanded not alone on grounds of charity or duty towards them, but in the interests of the whole community. This Association has initiated a National Movement, with a view of inducing the Home and Colonial Governments to join hands in a work of mercy for our starving poor. The Colonies will gain by securing the supply of population they so much require; the people themselves will be infinitely advantaged by the removal. At home we have thousands with no work, no wages, no food, a constant burden upon our philanthropy and our rates. In our Colonies there are millions of untilled acres, the settlement and cultivation of which will provide an abundance of work, good wages, and cheap food. Yet, year after year, these thousands of willing but miserable people remain penned up in the courts and alleys of our cities and towns. All that is wanting is

the means to transplant these helpless ones from here to there

. They will go, if we will only enable them to do so.

The paragraphs quoted, italics included, are better adapted to defeat the efforts of the Federation League, to create a cry for separation, to stimulate the appetite for official obstruction, and to encourage socialism, than to carry into effect such practical measures as can be undertaken with due regard to political perspective.

Emigration has failed to touch, in recent years, the evils caused by the prevailing lack


of employment, created by dwindling value and fluctuating volume of trade-and more especially by the enormous increase in the population of Great Britain. Such emigration as has taken place has been partly indiscriminate. During the year , when 242,000 people of British origin left these islands, there was an influx during the same year, from all sources, of not less than 91,356. Of this number a large proportion were returned emigrants who had failed to make good their grip on the place selected for their attempt to obtain a livelihood.

Absence of authentic information as to the capabilities of the districts selected for settlement in the Colonies and elsewhere is the principal cause of these unsuccessful ventures. The statements of agents and others, who are chiefly concerned in procuring the transport of a certain tonnage of emigrants over lines of railway with land to sell, have led to the destruction of many hopes, and the permanent ruin of many lives.

The mere possession of 160 acres of land in the Colonies, without the essential knowledge, strength, or capital, is no greater boon


than the acquisition of the now historical three acres and a cow is in England itself, when the possessor has neither time, ability, nor capital to develop the potential advantages of the land.

The glut of artisans in England represents a state of things prevailing nearly all over the world; and the transfer of carpenters' and builders' labourers to places where the demand for those forms of industry is below the supply available on the spot, is simply a rearrangement of suffering, and is attended with no corresponding advantage.

A second cause of the comparative failure of recent emigration to cope with the volume of English distress, is the absence of adequate capital. There are in London, at this moment, sixty emigration societies and agencies bravely struggling with the task of meeting the necessity of the case, some of which have done and are doing good and noble work, however limited in extent that work may be.

It is not surprising that capitalists hold aloof from the expenditure of large sums of money where the competition for their support is so keen, the results of the work accomplished


so comparatively insignificant, and where special and expert knowledge of the subject by the administration is by no means a matter of course.

From investigations made in , it appears that twenty-five of the societies referred to succceeded in sending away no more than 3,500 individuals at a cost of £13,000. When it is remembered that not less than £4,500,000 are annually expended in public charities in the metropolis alone-which sum would provide £20 each for every one of the 200,000 human beings forming the submerged stratum of London life-the diversion of a moderate proportion of this enormous sum from the temporary relief of the necessitous to the permanent assistance of the able and the deserving, by means of emigration, would be, in all senses, a more productive use of the money.

Considerable efforts were made, in , under good auspices, to induce the representatives of the societies to form a Bund or Central Council, in which information might be focussed, and to which the gifts or loans for emigration purposes of the charitably disposed


might be entrusted. These efforts were not successful. Permanent officials withheld their approval.

Hitherto information in regard to the absorbtive capacities of the different colonies has been acquired by the disunited energies of societies or individuals. As there are ten Agents-Generals in London more or less interested in discouraging unwise emigration, superfluous work is involved both to them and to their correspondents and visitors, by the absence of a centre where exact information can be concentrated and dealt out.

An inquiry, however, at the Agents-Generals' offices does not appear to exhaust the well of truth as to the capacity of the colonies to receive suitable members of the British community. Democracy now reigns supreme in the Anglo-Saxon colonies. It is not surprising, therefore, that the protective policy, which is all but universal, extends not only to the exclusion of Chinese labour, but to all measures likely to lead to the reduction of wages.

The ambassadors of the colonies in question are debarred, therefore, from taking part in any movement which shall prejudice the interests


of the wage-earning classes, who now form the bulk of colonial constituencies. That this is so, is, however, no reason why a serious and continuous effort should not be made to ascertain from month to month the actual condition of agricultural and other industry in and near every large town in every colony over which floats the British flag. I may, perhaps, adduce a practical instance of the importance and interest of local inquiry. The Representative of the is no longer in a position to promote emigration to , as the has rescinded the emigration vote. Detailed inquiry in the , however, reveals the fact that, although some of the finest wheat in the world is grown in , the colony is importing food-stuffs for internal consumption to the amount of £1,020,000 a year, and that, consequently, the introduction of agricultural labour, at least sufficient to produce food-stuffs to that extent, would be of benefit to the , whatever the result might be to the mother country or to the emigrants themselves.

Take, again, the instance of


The following is an extract of a letter which appeared in the of :-


.-The demand for agricultural labour of all sorts is still largely in excess of supply. The amount of genuine distress in the country may be estimated by the fact that the 'starving unemployed' have refused to accept 5s. a day on temporary Government relief works. The country is simply crying out for men, and it is pitiable to see the short-sighted efforts of those who are honestly attempting to dissuade English workmen from throwing in their lot there.

This is how Mr. Froude, in his new book "Oceana," describes :-

Eight shillings a day are the usual wages, and no ablebodied man who wants employment is ever at a loss to find it at that rate of pay. Beef is thought dear at sixpence a pound, bread is not dearer than in England, while fruit and vegetables are as much cheaper as they are superior in quality. The ' four eights' is an accomplished fact-eight hours to work, eight to play, eight to sleep, and eight shillings a day.

It is not surprising to read a little further on that the workmen " discourage immigration" as tending to lower their wages. This seems to be the result of extensive public works, affording unlimited employment, paid for by enormous loans raised at cheap rates in


England; and the workmen, being in the majority, can have their own way about the immigration.

It may, then, be fairly assumed that a case is made out for independent inquiry on the spot as to the condition of the local labour markets in the colonies. There is no doubt a continuous stream of valuable information pouring into the letter-boxes of the various emigration societies, and of individuals interested in the work of emigration. But the first step in a national scheme of emigration would be to combine these rivulets of knowledge, and to filter and compare them in order that they may be made of the greatest use to the community; and, furthermore, they require to be supplemented by the patriotic support of residents on the spot. If approached with tact and address, an individual or committee in every town of our colonial possessions will probably be found willing to support, by trustworthy and impartial monthly reports, the emigration bureau of centralised information, which it is to be hoped will be formed by the Government without loss of time.

Before such a bureau is in a position to


satisfy the demand for accurate knowledge, it would be necessary for one or two competent individuals to visit and the Cape, properly accredited by the Government, for the purpose of enlisting the aid of volunteer helpers in the colonies, not only for the supply of trustworthy information, but for the honourable and patriotic purpose of advising and assisting those who leave England for the first time.

The present sources of knowledge do not exhaust the supply of facts; they are available to few; are often fragmentary, sometimes obsolete, and, not seldom, lead to indiscriminate emigration, and consequently to suffering, and disappointment.

At the present time information as to the industrial conditions ruling in British Colonies must be obtained from -

(a) (b) The Colonial Office publications, and the Annual Reports of the Governors of Colonies, presented to Parliament. (c) . (d) Individuals interested in the promotion of emigration from the United Kingdom.



The proposed Bureau [1] under the direction of the Colonial Office should be diligent in obtaining, sifting, and collating, from all available sources within the United Kingdom, intelligence of every description relating to the work; and should make it its business to supplement this intelligence by systematic efforts to obtain from trustworthy and non-political sources, in every town in every Colony, a monthly report as to the industrial and agricultural demand for labour in the town and district reported on.

As the political and industrial condition existing in the Anglo-Saxon Colonies differs in almost every case, the methods of obtaining the information desired must vary with the several peculiarities of the Colonies themselves.

, having a vast extent of territory awaiting development, is not only ready, but eager, to further any steps which may lead to the introduction of suitable labour and additional capital. has recently stated that his Government would be glad to co-operate


with the proposed Bureau by causing the transmission to it, through , of regular, authentic, and responsible reports as to the needs of the different towns and provinces of the Dominion. This information would include confidential and semi-confidential intelligence, the publication of which might be, under some circumstances, undesirable, but the possession of which by the Bureau would be of value and importance.

at the present moment presents not only an opening for a considerable number of judiciously selected agricultural immigrants, but the political effect of their addition to the Cape community would, in the opinion of men of all parties, be attended with happy results. In consequence, however, of the state of party politics at the Cape, it is impossible to ask, or to expect, that the Government of will act in regard to the supply of information to the Bureau in the same manner as the Government of . It is necessary, therefore, that other influences should be brought to bear. A recent visit to the Colony,


in connection with a private scheme of colonization, enables me to say with confidence that there will be no difficulty in obtaining the assistance of responsible individuals who will supply in detail the information which cannot under present circumstances be supplied direct from Government sources.

With regard to the something may be done by means of a circular dispatch, addressed to the Governors of the respective Colonies, inviting their support; but it will be necessary for a responsible agent, unconnected with politics, to visit for the purpose of making permanent arrangements for the transmission of full, impartial, and regular reports. Dread of competition, displayed in an acute form in the , is equally hostile to any undertaking whatever which will have as an inevitable result the lowering of wages. On this ground the Governors of the n Colonies cannot be expected in their dignified and constitutional positions to identify themselves with measures openly repugnant to their Ministries, who represent constituencies the bulk of which are wage-earners, for these


latter will undoubtedly be affected by the immigration of competitors from England and .

The information thus collected by the Bureau will require to be condensed, tabulated, and distributed. For the latter work the cooperation of the should be ensured. It will also be well to publish information by means of semi-official printed notices to be displayed in selected rural and urban post-offices. The use of the telegraph for the dissemination of information should be allowed, at all events in cases of urgency and importance.

The advantage of this system over the present competitive muddle will be that the information supplied will be official, impartial, and true, instead of irresponsible, imaginative, or obsolete, as is now too often the case. As the Bureau will occasionally obtain information of a deterrent character, warnings against the emigration of artizans or labourers to overstocked localities should form a special feature among the duties devolving on this Department.

Much has been said and written of late


about the federation of Britain with her Colonies. There is no way in which the true federation of the Empire can be more practically aided than by a union with our kin beyond sea for the purpose of developing their land and assisting ours. Work such as this lies beyond the province of a Government department. That the task is one capable of achievement, the example of the Cape Colony and of Canada-to which I shall allude further on-affords grounds for hope.

The next point indispensable to the success of a national scheme is the possession of funds. Bewildered by the multiplicity of demands for support, the English public has held aloof from the emigration movement. The subscription of £13,000 in one year from the whole of the metropolis does not suggest the idea of conviction being rooted in the public mind that the advantages, commercial or otherwise, of promoting wise emigration on a large scale, are such as to warrant serious efforts for the purpose. In the year -5, £457,716 were expended in London on 92 Institutions for General Relief, Food Institutions, Loan Charities, and Homes. Investigation


into the outcome of this expenditure, either to the individuals relieved, or to the nation at large, is disappointing to those who look for solid and permanent results.

Having regard, then, to the enormous sums laid out for transient advantages to suffering individuals, it does not seem Quixotic to expect that an appeal to the nation for means to convert those who now are, or will be, a burden to their fellow-countrymen, into selfsupporting communities across the sea- consumers of large quantities of the products manufactured by those left behind-would fall on deaf ears.

The facility with which the cry for Imperial funds is raised is fascinating to those who do not reflect that any such addition to the burdens of the State paves the way to the assumption of tasks, not only more amenable to private enterprise, but which are in fact and essence foreign to the theory of constitutional government itself.

If, however, no case as yet has been made out for subventions from the State for colonisation, undertaken with the philanthropic object of relieving pressure at home, it is conceivable


that cases have arisen, and even exist, where State colonisation may be a cheap and effective alternative to a military solution of burning questions. The old system of military settlers is now discontinued, but who can doubt that but for the settlements in of , illmanaged as they were-so far as the management attempted in the United Kingdom is concerned-the incessant and costly burdens laid on the mother country during the last twenty years would have been even heavier still. The British taxpayer has spent about £ 18,000,000 on wars since the year , an expenditure caused by the neglect of Bacon's apothegm :-

"It is the sinfullest thing in the world to forsake or destitute a plantation once in forwardness; for, besides the dishonour, it is the guiltiness of blood of many commiserable persons."

The settlement of the Eastern Province in , at the charges of the British exchequer, has again and again saved the vulnerable side of the Cape Colony from being " eaten up " by " man-slaying machines" from the east and north. This being so, the conclusion is


irresistible that the wise expenditure by England during the last thirty years of a million of money for colonising purposes, would not only have saved the outlay of the greater part of the vast sum wasted in wars, which have settled nothing, and pleased no one but the contractors, but would have created a large and permanent demand for British manufactures.

The recent expedition to , involving an expenditure of over a million sterling, has left a country the size of to fortuitous development, and to the chances of Boer energies and leisure. Beyond the resources of private enterprise, the colonisation of by Great Britain, at a cost of £125,000, not for the purpose of relieving home distress, nor even with the object of creating a new market for British trade, but to stock with settlers of British and loyal Dutch blood a land coveted by those who regard not their neighbours' landmark, in the opinion of those on the spot most competent to judge, would secure for the British taxpayer an assurance of peace and rest from which, under present circumstances, he is


only too likely again to be disturbed. And when this disturbance does arise, it should be remembered that the sword cannot be effectively drawn 1,000 miles in the interior of Africa for half a quarter of a million of money. England has now assumed a responsibility for which belongs to her whether she recognises or evades her inalienable engagements to white men and black. The alternative accordingly is offered either of making a moderate expenditure for a special purpose, which shall be as final in its way as was the cost of the colony of , or of incurring liabilities which accumulate at compound interest while England sleeps.

Such an expenditure in gratuitously made to the settlers chosen, would, in the course of time, pay itself. There was a married couple named Cawood who went, in , to the Cape Colony, in the ship John, in Hazelhurst's party. There are now 500 descendants of the original Cawoods in the Cape Colony, consuming to the amount of £1,500 to £1,600 a year of British products. The annual profit to the mother country on the consumption of the Cawoods


exceeds the original cost of their settlement by the British Government. While it cannot be expected that every couple will be as profitable or as prolific as the Cawoods, their debt to the Government of the day has been more than discharged by the stability they have contributed to the colony, by the work they have created for artisans and spinners in the old country, and by the indirect advantages of every kind, arising from their having taken root in . An old writer has said " that the planting of countries is like planting of woods, for you must take account to lose almost twenty years' profit, and expect your profit in the end."

The financial aid of the State should accordingly be sought only in such exceptional cases as those now presented by the or problems, and then only as affording the cheapest and most effective means of meeting inalienable responsibilities incurred toward the country requiring settlement, and not in any sense from philanthropic motives, which, however laudable in the individual, have no place in the machinery of Government.


Such problems present the dilemma of cannon or colonisation; and as the cannon solution is more costly, less permanent, and is productive of ill-feeling all round, the other horn of the dilemma appears on the whole preferable.

The destination of emigrants is of the highest importance to the best interests of British commerce. In , 155,280 people of British origin left for the , and when there, consumed, per capita, an average of 10s. worth of British manufactures, making an annual consumption of £77,640 of British goods. The same year, 44,255 left for and , where, according to the average scale of consumption ruling in , they became at once annual customers for British goods to the amount of £352,000 per annum. In other words, two Australian immigrants, as customers to Great Britain, are equal to thirtythree subjects of the . An emigrant to South Africa is, commercially, six times more valuable than an emigrant to the States. That trade follows the flag is often said, but the force and extent to which


the British flag is pursued by British trade is not so clearly a matter of common knowledge.

If the facts stated are sufficient to induce patriotic citizens to provide adequate funds for a considerable increase to discriminate emigration, it is clear that there must be some national body or council unconnected, as a whole, with any special interest, faith, or society. A national emigration Council should by no means engage in the details of sending emigrants away. To do so would involve the creation of yet another competitor in the bewildering crowd of claimants for public money. The function of the Council should be to receive funds from the public and distribute them impartially to societies and individuals who have proved themselves competent and economical in the transaction of previous emigration business. Representatives of the principal societies would naturally form an important part of the council, and the first step towards federation for executive purposes would thus be taken. All the existing associations are hampered for want of funds, and any legitimate means which would increase


revenue without involving interference could not but be regarded with favour by them. The national council being, through the Bureau of Information, in full possession of the views and various needs of the Colonies, would either stimulate or check the outflow of labour as circumstances may demand, and reduce to a minimum the scandal and suffering caused by ignorance on the part of the emigrant himself.

The other objects of the council would be as follows :

1. To place itself in constant communication with the in London, with the , and with agents appointed for the purpose in the Colonies.

2. To obtain assistance from persons or societies in the Colonies, who will undertake to receive and place emigrants and their families.

3. And generally to ascertain from time to time the limits within which emigration from the United Kingdom can be conducted.

4. Having thus ascertained the possible "openings" for emigrants, to place such


openings at the disposal of the various existing local agencies.

5. To receive funds, and to distribute them among local agencies.

6. The council should not attempt to make centralisation take the place of the personal care and minute attention to details which smaller local associations alone can give, but leave them to adopt their own system of work, subject to such conditions as the council may from time to time think desirable.

7. The council itself not to undertake any emigration, but if it appears that the demand for emigrants at any time seems likely to be in excess of the supply, to organise new local committees to do the work. The existence of a national council would also be of use in the following ways:a. As the channel of communication with the Imperial Government.

b. As the channel of communication with the Colonial Governments, and in particular to apply to them for (1) free or assisted passages; (2) reduced rail fares; (3) immigration agency in the Colonies, including further efforts to obtain


openings for emigrants, and facilities on their landing.

And generally, the existence of such a council would be likely to inspire confidence in the charitable public, and thus to increase the subscriptions available for emigration. Although England is the only country in Europe to which a national scheme of emigration is either feasible or profitable, there are some points in the practice of other emigrating nations which are not without interest in the study of this question.[2] 

The influence of certain land systems in affecting emigration is shown by the province of . The area is 1,130 English square miles, and the whole ownership of the territory is divided between the Grand Duke, feudal proprietors, and the corporations of certain towns, in the following manner-527 square miles to the Grand Duke, 353 to the nobles, and 117 to the town corporations. The population, although only oo to


the square mile, is less in than any other State of the ; the average density of the population in which is 213 to the square mile. Owing to the manner in which the land is held, the emigration from is proportionately to the population three times as great as is the case in , which is the State most densely populated in the Empire. Emigration from is discouraged, and when, as is the case in some parts of Mecklenburg, districts are depopulated, the discouragement by the Government is displayed by the adoption of strong measures. The principal causes of emigration from are, undoubtedly, the fear of war, the hatred of military service, the crowded condition of every department of industry, and the immense competition for employment caused by the 160,000 soldiers who are yearly thrown on the world; and for whose sake, it is said on good authority, acquired for the State the control of the railways. The comparative success of German emigrants, as compared with those of our own country, may be attributed to the facts-firstly,


that the standard of comfort in is lower than that ruling in England; and, secondly, that as a family seldom or never emigrates without some small provision in the way of capital, the sufferings arising from pauper emigration are practically obviated. , like the English, take especial pains to ensure the comfort and well-being of the emigrants on board ship.

But the policy of protection, which in is as comprehensive and far-reaching as the military system itself, is developing year by year. One of these developments is a provision which will shortly come into force, by which the steamers conveying German emigrants must be fitted in such a way as will conflict with the regulations laid down by the , and which will consequently prevent the conveyance of German and English emigrants by the same vessel.

Emigration agents at and have to deposit 18,000 marks in the hands of the Government, which are liable to forfeiture if by false and misleading representations they consign settlers to unhealthy


parts of the world where success is impossible.

While the discourages emigration as a whole, they are doing all they can to promote the settlement of their own recently acquired colonies.

New regulations of a restrictive nature will shortly be issued by , and this being known stimulates emigration, for many towns of are under martial law. Unmarried men can be ejected at twelve hours' notice, and married men at twenty-four hours' notice; a dangerous precedent for , when it is remembered that there are now 23,000 immigrant Germans in London alone. The nations of Europe cannot fail to remember the action of with reference to the Jews and Poles, on their eastern border, should occasion arise. It is not too much to say that half the emigrants from German ports are of the Jewish faith. They have an hereditary dislike to military service, and are more prone to apply themselves to commercial pursuits than to bear arms, though recent events in supply instances of an opposite nature.


The greatest depression in is followed, as elsewhere, by the greatest emigration, and it is interesting to observe that the tax on corn already presses heavily on the lower classes.

The average actual number of young men drawn from the ordinary conditions of service in the army is 160,000, besides 5,000 who enter as volunteers for one year, and 5,000 for the marine.

The total population of the in was 45,213,000; and 3,000,000 Germans have emigrated to the since . There is hardly any emigration either to British North America or to ; in , for example, while 206,000 Germans went to the , only 286 went to British North America and 745 to The loss by emigration from is estimated at not less than £30,000,000, as the emigrants, when settled in their new country, are purchasers of German manufactures and produce to a very trifling extent; it need hardly be pointed out that this is not


the case when Englishmen go to English colonies.

The military system is the means by which the retain a hold on individuals and prevent able-bodied men from quitting the fatherland.

The Chancellor justifies his action in regard to the forthcoming restrictions and changes in the arrangements for shipping interests, by the plea that, as there must be a certain amount of emigration, it is well to keep it in German hands-that is in German ships.

Much trouble is caused to the , as well as to the for emigration matters, stationed at (which gentleman is directly under the control of the Home Minister). The opinion of leading circles appears to be that it will be best to avoid an encouragement of whatever character as regards emigration, and consequently it has diminished within the last few years. The number of young Germans attempting to escape military duty is comparatively limited; statistics show the correctness of this statement.


In the emigrants carried with them about 20,000 children (under 10 years), who, of course, went with their parents. This proves that the majority of the 45,600 male emigrants (above 10 years) must have been married men, who had served their time in the army. The emigration of young men between the ages from 17 to 25 is strictly forbidden by German law; all vessels leaving are watched by the police on this account.

There exists no Imperial Act regulating emigration matters, but almost all States have their local statutes, by which the transactions of emigration agents are supervised most carefully.

The following is an extract from the Borsen Halle of :-

The local magistrate for the district of Aurich has informed all emigration agents within his district that such agents who distribute circulars inviting persons to emigrate, without having previously been requested to do so by persons wishing to emigrate, shall be deemed guilty of an illegal action, and if acting contrary to above instructions, shall lose their licenses. At the same time the agents are strictly ordered to abstain from taking part in any foreign colonisation scheme, and not to enter into any

transaction for the purpose of obtaining emigrants for foreign countries."

has appointed an Imperial Commissioner, who has to supervise emigration from , and who is stationed at . This official has to make an annual report about emigration matters, which is to be laid before Parliament.

The normal increase to the population being about one per cent., the proportion of emigration is about one-third of the normal increase of the population.

It is impossible to leave this subject without remarking the great moral and physical good that has resulted from compulsory military service throughout . The emigrants present signal examples of temperance, thrift, and energy.

The following letter from a gentleman high in the diplomatic service gives some interesting particulars as to German emigration:-



-80 the number of emigrants averaged 33,971 in each year, of which


went indirect, i.e., from


to their destination through an intermediate port. In


, there were 113,221, of which

31,128 were indirect;


-89,465, of which 13,265 were indirect, and in


-91,603, of which 16,339 were indirect. The places to which these emigrants went were the

United States


British North America




Central America


West Indies



and the

River Plate Republics

, and other South American States,




, and


. In


, the number was 24,864, and in


--91,603. The two heaviest years were


-2, the numbers being 123,ooo and 113,200 respectively. The emigrants are from all classes, the labouring class furnishing the largest contribution, and those without occupation coming next. The provinces of Pomerania, Prussia (East and West), and Schleswig-Holstein would appear to be the largest contributors. In


, of the total number of 75,264 direct emigrants, 71,843 went to the United States; 1,738 to Brazil, &c., 769 to


, 604 to other South American States, and 107 to Asia. Of persons over 10 years, in


, there were 45,638 male and 24,790 female, and from 1 to 10 years there were some 20,000. Of these, 33,059 were single men, 8,901 single females, and 14,206 families. The raison d'être for emigrating is difficult to say. The German authorities strenuously deny that the military system has any influence in promoting the desire, and quote in proof of this that the greater number of those going out of the country are time-served men, but assert that the real raison d'être is to better themselves, and urge in proof of this, that large numbers of the labouring class, who, not being able to attain to the luxury of a cottage and plot of land here, say, ' We will emigrate.' Yet the figures quoted show a very large number of single men;

of course, there are no means of verifying how many of these are time-served men. I have not the smallest hesitation in believing that the idea of rising in the social scale, and the magnificent will-o'-the-wisp idea of becoming a peasant proprietor, are two powerful motives in inducing them to emigrate, but without facts and figures, I cannot assert that military pressure-whatever I may believe-exercises any influence. I have known individual cases."

There is a large relative emigration from , which is mainly directed to the United States, to a very small degree to Canada, while none at all reaches the other English colonies. The principal cause is the want of agricultural employment, and the emigrants are therefore almost exclusively peasants and servant girls. Many of them are peasant proprietors, and realize the value of their small properties before leaving , and do not, as is the case with a similar class in England, drift into the large towns. The population increases with considerable rapidity, but in alone, among European countries, is the whole social question solved by emigration. There being no large towns, there is none of that magnetic


attraction of a great mass which presents so difficult a problem in our own country. On the other hand, the standard of comfort throughout the country is lower than that prevailing in England, and there is comparatively no social or political discontent among the working classes.

There appears to be a general and intelligent understanding that the law of natural increase must be met by swarming to other hives, and not by political agitation for a readjustment of property. There is no discontent with the land system as it is, nor with the obligation to military service. Such pressure as does exist is that of want, and the minds of the people are not obscured by Socialistic teachings which inflame the residuum in countries of greater wealth. The healthy character of Norwegian emigration is shown by the success attending the efforts of those who leave their country; secondary emigration being caused by those who, having succeeded in America, transmit funds to , to enable their friends to join them in their new home; there is little or no pauper emigration, most of the people


taking a little money with them. Their standard of comfort at home being low, they are not disappointed with the inevitable hardships and privations attending pioneer effort in a settlement; it may be added that there are few or no unemployed artizans.

To America.To other places.Population of Norway

The increase of population for the years was about 96,000, and the actual emigration for the same period, 91,803.

All emigration is under police control; each emigration and steam-ship agent gives securities for 20,000 kröne, as a guarantee for good treatment on board ship; this deposit has occasionally been forfeited for misrepresentation, and from various causes, but it forms a substantial guarantee of the good


faith of the emigration agent, and for decency and good treatment on board ship. Before leaving, every emigrant has to appear before the police, in order to prove that he has satisfied the obligation of military service; the police also take an account of how much money the emigrant takes out of the country, and it may be well here to add that the definition of emigrant in is " a person who leaves his country to better himself, and who travels at a reduced rate, under regulations enacted and maintained by the police." There are no private societies, nor any private enterprise, to promote emigration, the feeling of the people being so strongly in its favour. The attitude of the Government is somewhat hostile, and on a recent occasion the circulars of emigration agents have been stopped in the post.

The effort of Norwegian statesmen is directed towards the reduction of taxation, and thus to render emigration unnecessary. There is a graduated taxation on bachelors and married men; they are divided into four classes, and assessed for taxation in inverse proportion to the number of their families.


The Gothenburg system is now being tried in many small towns, and it is so great a success that it came into force in Christiana in .

The sobriety thus introduced into the habits of the Norwegians, which it is not too much to say has been induced by wise legislation, has seriously and favourably affected the character and qualifications of the emigrants.

The Hungarian Government deters emigration, by inducing migration to, and colonisation of, State lands, on which free schools and churches are given gratis; the payment for land is spread over fifteen years, and immunity from taxation granted for a similar period.

There is little or no distress among Hungarian peasantry, but there is considerable ignorance; and the consequence is that they have been misled by the statements of the beauty of America, and the facilities offered there for luxurious existence without the need of work. The increase in population is very small. is an agricultural country, and her interest, therefore, is in free trade.

The greater number of emigrants consists


of indebted smaller country farmers, ruined by bad harvests and heavy State and communal taxes; the others are Jews, poor labourers, and a few town people, especially female servants. The causes of emigration in many cases are want of work, and in some parishes over-population. Provisions against emigration are laid down in law, Article 38 of the year . The title of this law is "Of the Emigrational Agencies." There is no way of directly prohibiting the emigration of citizens, but in the case when the emigrant has not yet fulfilled his obligation for military service-the Government finding that the greater number of emigrants do not leave their native country spontaneously, but are induced there by agents who buy up cheaply the little property of such emigrants, and only try to induce the largest possible number to emigrate, getting their commission on the number; on account of these reasons the legislature has devised measures against the agencies providing:-

"That no one is allowed to enter into contract relating to emigration with people who want to emigrate but those who are furnished by the Minister of the Interior with a license for agency.



"Anybody acting as agent without license can for each act be punished with a fine not exceeding 300 florins, and with imprisonment for a period not exceeding two months."

Agents are not allowed to have any business intercourse with foreign agents or agencies without the license of the

Agents are under the control of the authorities, and have to give notice of each case of emigration which has been negotiated by them.

The contracting party can at any time withdraw his obligation, he only being bound to refund to the agent the out-of-pocket expenses incurred in drawing up the contract, as well as any sums advanced, and the eventual travelling expenses laid out for the party. The agent can only be furnished with a license if he be an Hungarian subject. can refuse to grant the license, even if the person requesting the right of agency answers to all requirements of the law, and he is also authorised to retract the license at any time. The licenses expire in one year, and must be renewed after the expiration of that period.


If evidence is furnished against an agent having committed fraud or deceit, or that he has meditated the emigration of such persons as have not yet fulfilled their military service, or of persons under age without the agreement of their parents or guardians, the whole of the caution money of the agent becomes at once forfeited.

 7,939, 92 

. Births ... 604,262 ... Deaths ... 492,727

. Births... 708,011 ... Deaths... 571,854

It is needless to give the results of the investigations I have made in other European countries, as , , and ; each throw some light on the emigration question, and afford in certain particulars examples to imitate. While France is a warning to deter in everything that relates to colonization, the standard work of M. Leroy Beaulieu, "De la colonisation chez les peuples modernes," is an exhaustive


and philosophic treatise on the causes of success and failure in the art of colonization.

The practice of England herself is not without interest. While the State concerns itself with parental regard in seeing that the statutory size of the emigrant's bed, as provided in the Passengers Act, is carefully adhered to, it ignores the depredations of unprincipled people who, by dexterous evasion of the law, ruin the lives and destroy the hopes of thousands yearly. While the State is careful to ensure comfort, and even luxury, to the poor emigrant during his passage, she has hitherto neglected the more important question of advising as to his destination, and of care as to the character of the influences that have led him to quit this country.

If England cares little as to why the poor emigrant leaves the country, and is at no pains to equip him with the latest and best information, or to direct his courage and his energies into the best available channels, she is punctilious in assuring him provision of three tons of cubic space during his passage, and in seeing that the dietary scale provided by law is carried out.



is now obsolete and needs revision. Under the shelter of its provisions astute and unprincipled men practise on the credulity of the poor, and actually convert provisions designed to protect the duly licensed passenger broker and his clients into the means of evading the law, and misleading, in the light of day, hundreds and thousands of ignorant and innocent victims. A few simple alterations would secure a marked improvement. Cases have occurred at the within a recent period, where complainants have sought advice from the magistrates as to means of obtaining redress for misstatements with reference to passages. As this law at present stands, and the emigration officers acting under them are powerless to assist the emigrants.

This difficulty arises from the 4th, 66th, and 71st sections of the . From the 4th section it will be seen that the Act never contemplated embarkation elsewhere than in the United Kingdom; and from the 66th and 71st sections it will be seen that the words " from the United Kingdom


" raises a difficulty which cannot be got over.

Any future amendment of should follow the lines of the Netherland law on emigration, which, in Article 7, sets forth:-

" Any person undertaking, either on his own account or as agent, to convey Dutch or foreign emigrants from the Netherlands, or a place out of Europe, shall, notwithstanding whether the embarkation takes place in a Netherland or a foreign port, previously provide real or personal bail, as a guarantee for the fulfilment of the conditions," &c.

Article 23 provides also that persons referred to in the first part of Article 7 should give security, &c.

Article 22 also prohibits persons who are qualified according to the Act from advertising in newspapers, posting up bills, hanging out boards, &c., or taking any means whatever for making it known that they are emigrant agents; and giving the police authority to deal with such cases is a wise precaution, and would put a stop to an immense amount of imposition being practised on emigrants.

Already our own colonial dependencies do


more than half as much business with us in a year as all the rest of the world put together. In fourteen years the imports of British goods by our four largest colonies have nearly doubled, and if the same rate of progress be maintained, in twenty-one years the internal trade of the Empire will be worth as much as the trade of the United Kingdom with the rest of the world. Looking at the falling-off in other directions, it would seem as though the Colonies are the only quarters to which we can look with assurance for continued increase, and there is nothing so certain to stimulate that trade as a new and vigorous effort to create our own custom. In fact, the question is no longer whether we shall do it, but how is it to be done ? and the line of least resistance to the desired end will assuredly be found in a new and cordial determination to understand the needs and to gratify the legitimate desires of our fellow subjects across the sea. Federation may be formulated by the politicians, but the essence and reality of federation must exist in the hearts of the people, or the word is but a tinkling cymbal and sounding brass.

The permanent officials of the Treasury have a light-hearted manner of dealing with permanent distress. When it was brought to their notice that a certain measure of relief to the unemployed might be effected by the establishment of an Information Bureau, this was the reply: "If any additional Government-aid beyond that which can be afforded by the present machinery of the Colonial Office and Board of Trade is to be rendered for this purpose, my Lords think the least objectionable form it could take would be a revival of the small grant of from £50 to £100 per annum which used to be made by Parliament for the distribution of circulars relating to colonization amongst intending emigrants."[3] 

In reply to this communication, the Colonial Office remark, with justice, " That their Lordships appear not to appreciate the importance of the arrangement proposed."

Not long afterwards Parliament voted £1,200 to protect the rights of the Crown in regard to the Lauderdale Peerage!


It is needless precisely to estimate the money gain to Great Britain by the creation of a national scheme of emigration. Combined and fuller information collected in part, and distributed wholly by the State; the creation of a ; the provision of funds by the community; the adoption by the State of Colonizing schemes as alternatives to Military measures; the guidance of British emigrants to British colonies; and the revision of the in accordance with the intentions of its framers, are measures which will increase our trade, knit our Colonies more closely to the mother country, arrest the increase of the dangerous classes, by reducing the supply of competitors for unskilled work in the large towns, and thus contribute to the solution of the terrible social question which, looked at in the mass, is the dismay of statesmen and the despair of philanthropists.


[1] An Existing Emigration Societies is now being organized by the Government.

[2] The following details are the result of personal investigations on the Continent.

[3] The Information Bureau is now being organized, and will shortly be opened to the public.