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The New Zealand Journal, Saturday, November 07 (1840)

271

Paisley New Zealand Emigration Society.

Some time since we mentioned that the Paisley New Zealand Society had applied to Lord John Russell for free passages for the members of the Society and their families. Some mention was made, at the time, of grants of land to those who proposed to emigrate, but we showed that such grants were opposed to sound principles of colonisation, and to the system of sale which has happily been adopted by the Government.
The application for passages has been referred by the Colonial-office to the Land and Emigration Board, and they have declined to accede to the request of the Society, on the ground that they have no funds at their disposal for the promotion of emigration to New Zealand, and that they cannot recommend that the New South Wales or Port Philip Land Fund should be diverted from these colonies to promote emigration to New Zealand. It is further stated, that the system of loans from the Treasury, formerly adopted in the case of Canada, were not found to answer.
Although we sympathise greatly with the members of the Paisley Emigration Society in their disappointment, in being unable at once to proceed to New Zealand, we cannot avoid rejoicing that the Land and Emigration Board have committed themselves on the question of the inviolability of the Land Fund of each particular colony. At present, New Zealand has no Land Fund. New South Wales and Port Philip have. In a short time the case will be reversed. The New Zealand Land Fund will become productive, and that of New South Wales will be as nothing. The Land and Emigration Board may then be reminded of the principle to which they are committed; and if they are urged by interested parties to merge the Land Funds of New Zealand and Port Philip in that of New South Wales, they will find in their answer to the Paisley Society a defence against the proposition pressed upon them for adoption.
But even when a New Zealand Land Fund shall be at the disposal of the Government, the Paisley Society will still find much difficulty in attaining their object, for the simple reason, that it proposes to violate the rules for the application of the Land Fund laid down in the second paper of this number. The Land Fund, it is there shown, should be expended in providing passages for persons of both sexes, in equal proportion, between the ages of fifteen and thirty. This is the principle first applied to South Australia; this is the principle since adopted by the New Zealand Company; and we believe it will be acted upon by the Government in the case of New Zealand.
Still it is very desirable that the persons who compose the Paisley Society should be aided in emigrating. They have satisfied themselves of the wisdom of so doing, and are, therefore, likely to make contented and industrious settlers. The course which should be pursued is this:—let them send a memorial to the New Zealand Company, begging to be informed to what extent the Company will be disposed to stretch their rule to persons of both sexes under fifteen and over thirty. We should be disposed to think that, if the parties possess all other requisites, the Company may be disposed to give passages to persona ranging from twelve to thirty-five years of age, there would then remain a smaller proportion to be otherwise provided with passages than there would be under the strict regulations, and that might be effected by means of a subscription among such of the wealthy class as are desirous of promoting the object of the Society.
The following is a report of the proceedings of the Society on learning the refusal of the Land and Emigration Commissioners:—
At a meeting of this Society, held on Thursday evening, letters from Lord John Russell, and the Colonial Land and Emigration Commissioner, refusing aid to the Society for the present, having been read—
Mr. Alexander Rankin rose and stated he was not surprised at Government alleging they had no money for the poor weavers of Paisley, as the fact is, all the public money seems to be swallowed up in grants for stables for her Majesty—new uniforms for Prince Albert's regiment of Hussars—the demands of the Aristocracy—the expenses of fitting out armaments for unjust wars, &c., &c.; so that when a portion of the working men of the country, hating idleness, anxious to escape from poverty, and desirous of being put in a situation to earn an honest and comfortable subsistence for themselves, solicit aid from Government, they are told Government is impotent to do any good from want of funds! Want of funds! He could hardly believe that the Colonial Minister of this great country could be at a loss for a few thousands to aid the memorialists if he were truly hearty in their behalf, or at all anxious to aid them. And why he should not be most sincerely anxious to assist them, now that New Zealand has been proclaimed a British colony and requited settlers (for it was the settlers who went out who made it a colony), he could not see. He was of opinion Lord John Russell should again be pressed to aid the Society. Indeed, he should get no peace till he comply with their fair and reasonable wishes. The winter is approaching; every day more hands are thrown out of employment, and it is evident there is about to [be another season of want of employment, and it is absolutely necessary something should be done. If Lord John really cannot raise the money, he has only to say that Government will guarantee payment of any advances which may be made, and there is not a shipowner or banker in the country but will provide the necessary funds. He concluded by moving "That another application be forthwith made to Lord John, and requesting that Government will, at least, give a guarantee that shipowners, who may take the memorialists out to New Zealand, will be maid out of the funds realised from the sale of lands in New Zealand."
Mr. Ferguson seconded the motion, and remarked that, as to any such guarantee being a premature proceeding, this could not be an objection, as the sooner New Zealand is colonised, and the sooner the Society is enabled to emigrate, the better.
The motion was then put to the vote and carried unanimously.
Mr. Morton thought it exceedingly strange that the Colonial Secretary of one of the richest commercial countries in the world could not command a few thousands to aid a body of men, who were anxious to escape destitution at home, and to embark in an enterprise of this kind. When we consider that eight millions and a half are annually spent on the Army and Navy, without any profitable return, and to keep up only about 150,000 men—can £20,000 not be granted to aid five hundred Paisley weavers, who will create a colony in return, and enrich tenfold, if not a hundredfold, the mother-country. Twenty millions were lately given to the West India planters, who, judging from the accounts from the West Indies, are gainers instead of losers by emancipation, and who cost the country about five millions annually for the protecting duties in favour of the sugar monopoly they enjoy. When influential people demand grants of money or aid from Government, Government is never at a loss, but when poor labouring men solicit assistance, then they have-no funds. It is nonsense for the Colonial Minister to say it is not in his power to enable the Society to go to New Zealand. He had been in the Navy, and he knew there are hundreds of ships lying in ordinary in the Medway at Chatham, Portsmouth, and Sheerness, from ships of 120 guns, carrying 800 men, to 10 gun brigs, one of which would be quite well employed in taking out the unemployed labouring men of this country to the colonies where their labour is so much wanted. It is emigration alone, conducted on a great scale, that is the grand remedy for the evils the working population of this country are suffering under ; and he could not sufficiently express his surprise that Lord John Russell, as Colonial Minister, should not seize the opportunity of giving the greatest countenance and encouragement to the Society. Louis Philippe aided the French expedition to New Zealand, which sailed from Rochefort, with money from his private purse; and it is the duty of our Government to aid British subjects contemplating an expedition of the same kind. Another application must be made, and as there is to be a meeting of the county of Renfrew on the 27th instant, he suggested that the county gentlemen should be appealed to, to co-operate with the Society, and to lend their influence on its behalf.
This suggestion was accordingly adopted, and Messrs. Rankin and Morton were appointed a deputation to attend the meeting.

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