The Ashburton Guardian Magna est Veritas et Prævalebit THURSDAY, JUNE 5, 1890. IMMIGRATION AND EMIGRATION.
The steady outflow of population from New Zealand, and the almost total absence of immigration to our shores, should arouse the interest of every elector. "With the accession to power of the present occupants of the Ministerial Benches a panic legislation set in. The finance of the colony was painted in such dismal colors by the extreme retrenchment party that the confidence of the people was shaken, and hurried attempts were made to " sell out" and « clear out." Unfortunately for th6*public prosperity, the evil effects of this self condemnatory act was not confined to our own shores ; the Home and the Australian Press took up the cry, and people abroad resolved to remain where they were rather than take up their abode in a colony in which the people themselves appeared to have no confidence. The Ministry of the day, true to the principle upon which they took ofKce, pursued but one policy—solid, drastic retrenchment. Everything else, calculated to make the colony prosperous, was negleett!d~-in. fact the effort to make revenue meet expenditure was the only legislative act of which the Ministry seemed capable. The pro gressive policy of a new country, in regard to the settlement of its lands and. the bettering of the social and commercial condition of its people, was permitted to remain in the back-ground. After every penny was saved in the Civil Service that could be saved, and after heavy additional taxation bad been heaped upon the tax-payer, the work of the Ministry was complete. Nothing in the way of re-inspiring public confidence lifts been attempted since, and, to all appearance, nothing will be done until a change of Ministry is effected. The verdict of the House—the verdict of the country—is that the Atkinson Administration lias outlived its usefulness ; if indeed, usefulness it ever had, The Ministry, according to the Hon, Mr Fergus, take credit for an increase of population during their term of office, but any sensible elector with his eyes open will see for himself that for one new adult arrival in the Colony there have been ten departures during the past three years. The infantile population, as we have previously remarked, has increased. But New Zealand wants something more than this to make it a prosperous colony. Men and women of energy, with or without capital, are wanted ; but these the Colony cannot attract, and the saim* lass, already here, cannot be retained j As an* instance of the estimation in which the Colony is held, as a field for settlement, it is only necessary to remark that the Victorian farmers who are selling out in that Colony have not turned their attention to. New Zealand, but are migrating t<o the neighboring Colony of New South Wales. What can our Minister of Lands say to this ? With all our boasted facilities for land acquisition by practical agriculturists and small pastoral holders, we cannot induce neighboring small capitalists of the "right sort" to take up their abode witli us. There is something wrong when this is the case, and the wrong will never be righted while the land of j the Colony U thrown into the hands of speculators or largo 1) pliers, instcadof ' being placed at the disposal of an in-( klustrious husbandry.