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TOWN EDITION. [lssued at 4.30 p.m.] The Ashburton Guardian. Magna est Veritas et Prævalebit. MONDAY, DECEMBER 5, 1881. The Rationale of Immigration.

. Amidst all the bunkum and trash ventilated by political “working man’s friends” at the present election respecting wealthy land sharks, .oppression by the squatters, gridironing, serfdom, and .the rest, the topic which most intimately of all affects the working man’s pecuniary -interests—the regulation, of immigration—has been /almost'rejected. That immigration is needed from time to time in a new colony is a self-obvious truth. Without immigration a colony would remain in the possession of savages or semisavages, and make ribl Advance. The only question is, how much ought there to be of this immigration, for after the demand for the labor required is supplied, every addition to the population , is for the time a curse, not a blessing. The person who has come to the colony and is not wanted, and for whom there is no work, is almost in the position of an able-bodied pauper, not contributing to the wealth of the nation, but a tax upon it. In the United States of America it is reckoned that each able-bodied man is iworth L2OO to his adopted country. Cut then, it must be borne in mind always, that estimate is made on the assumption, very generally a wellgrounded ohe,: that the scope for work is practically unlimited. It is clear that we may have either too much or too little immigration long after a colony has been first established.. The amount in the hands of the. Government or of individualsavailable for. investment in public or private works is not unlimited.,; When wages are excessively high neither a prudent Government nor a discreet individual will commence new works in a general way, and thus the limits fixed by trades unions as the rates below which their members shall not work, actually only lower the rates really paid. Those who have the money to invest cannot do so with any chance of profit until wages fall, and then those laborers who see starvation staring them in the face, take whatever wages they can get, no matter how small. 1 he Public Works Policy of this colony could not have been carried out without a large stream of immigration, __ if for no other reason than this, that otherwise wages would have been too high to have justified a very large expenditure with very small results in the way of work performed. Indeed, the qrrival of a large number of laboring then from the Old Country, in a new colpny, is not always;theimportation offinew body of hostile competitors, but of so many necessary co-operators. Wages we'fe never so high in Victoria as in , iss4, when immigrants were often- arriving at the rate of about 1,500 a week. Sawyers received their 10s to £2 a day, stonemasons, and carpenters their 20s to 255, and bricklayers their 15s to 20s. That' state of things existed which is best of, all for a community ; there Wjas.qan aimpst unlimited j quantity of Iwork to be done in putting ; up houses, Stores, fete,, and people, were constantly arriving to do it. - The right course for the Government to adopt seems to be to regulate the quantify' pif immigration according to the : .quantity of public work on hand. In that way.i and in that way only apparently,'will ;the governing ipowers! practically-answer that difficult question, ■hbW to give every man a fair day’s wage; for a fair ddj/s work- It is‘impossible, to Retail how mil,ch ' money! this,. wduld amount to. The market price, of things, iyaries from; time to time. Miltpn got iLxo fori the copyright of “Paridise Lost,” and Corregio sold one of his masterpieces to ‘a wealthy, church for a similar sum. - Eitlrei Wptk', jqf, p-ft now' would be, vvqrth • ,aa 'thousands. Yet -each artist, was, - paid'the market price; at - the time,,- only, heitpok his goods.i;to.th£ wrongi market.; In the same way with regard tomiere manual I labor. ■ The nominal wagbs-for navvies and stonebreakers pje not now 10s to I is ~a day, f though i jhty remained at those; rales in, Victoria, three pr four years after the first; .discovery of the goldfields. Perhaps on the whole, as our public works fare not likely £p be henceforth, on account of our Heavy {jtattf ‘debtj'dh' a Very Ihrgei scale,'it may qqt, p ( ecp ( ssafy 'for ihe) Go vernfnent to ihtSrlereiijauclj.- yj imncjigyatlon,, except, indeed, in bringiegi. ,/snmi-. <> ... ... del ua ol;:0 \ ■ otoU |J

grants here at low rates. In the case of these their friends are probably better able to judge than either the Government on the one h;.nd, or the laboring classes generally on the other, whether they are wanted and are likely to succeed or not

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Bibliographic details

TOWN EDITION. [Issued at 4.30 p.m.] The Ashburton Guardian. Magna est Veritas et Prævalebit. MONDAY, DECEMBER 5, 1881. The Rationale of Immigration., Ashburton Guardian, Volume III, Issue 509, 5 December 1881

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790

TOWN EDITION. [Issued at 4.30 p.m.] The Ashburton Guardian. Magna est Veritas et Prævalebit. MONDAY, DECEMBER 5, 1881. The Rationale of Immigration. Ashburton Guardian, Volume III, Issue 509, 5 December 1881

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