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A STARTLING PETITION.

At a meeting of the Christchurch unemployed yesterday the following petition was read and signed, as also one to the Governor of New Zealand, praying for a Royal Commission to be appointed to enquire into the petitioners’ grievances :

“ To the President of the United States of America.

“Honored Sir, —It has been conceived by a Committee of the unemployed of this city and suburbs to approach you and your people by humble petition. Our hope by doing so is through lively souvenirs of your history, and every day records of thousands flocking to your shores, thereby impressing us with a knowledge of an incontrovertible fact—viz., that immense fields must be opened to absorb population, that beneficient concessions are made to immigrants, and that fraternal links cement the inhabitants of your country together, the unparalleled increase of that portion of the human family of which you have the honor to preside over abundantly shows. Our warrants and excuses for so doing are manifold—viz., parallel motives to those which actuated the founders of your noble flag and institutions : abuse of power in this portion of her Majesty’s dependency ; legislators, wealth, ministers of the gospel, judges, unscrupulous charlatans, have been fit tools of leverage to disseminate in a false light the capabilities and resources of this colony ; by such acts alluring thousands to its shores, who have been enterprising enough as to forsake relics of forefathers in a land where they are so numerous. Again we repeat so enterprising, seeking after good virtuous reward in exchange for their industry. Now the veil is lifted. Nothing save indigence and poverty haunt them day by day, entailing unceasing degradation. As a final remedy, we appeal to you, Sir, and your people, asking in the name of Providence for an extension of mighty generous sympathy, for by so doing once more you will chronicle in your archives a magnanimous renown. Enclosed is a list of trades and callings, with dates of arrival in the colony, number of days employed by ordinary avenues of supply and demand, amount of wages paid by Government, quality of work performed ; also the ages and numbers in each family, by way of justifiable guarantee to the action here initiated by the committee of the unemployed. Honored, Sir, knowing how imperative it is that exhaustive information was necessary to guide you in any resolution you may arrive at, we further beg to enclose for your perusal the enclosed extracts from the local press of the last two years, likewise the assurance in all good faith that any disbursement of your Government will be repaid by yoqr supplicants, should you accede to sia, our petition.”

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A STARTLING PETITION. Ashburton Guardian, Volume 1, Issue 134, 3 August 1880

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