THE IMMIGRANTS PER " SEVILLA."
(From the Southland Times, Sept. 8, 186-1.) The addition of two hundred and fiftysouls to a small population like that of Southland would, at any time, be a matter of considerable importance, biit, unfortunately, the immigrants by the Sevilla have just set their feet on the shores of New Zealand in a season of unusual depression, which is not confined to Southland, but is participated in, more or less, by the whole of the Colony. Want of money is a complaint heard everywhere, from the Provincial Treasury to the counter of the smallest tradesman. It may be, and perhaps we are right in asserting, that the worst is over, and that advancing spring will see a return of prosperity to every branch of industry ; but/ if the tide has turned, its effects are scarcely to be recognised at present, and probably will not be for some time to come. The idea that Southland is irretrievably bankrupt- has been too widely circulated :vnd is too fLrinly "believed iv, to be got rid. of at once, and the real diffi- ; culties of the situation are so great that ] we must expect that a return to the ordinary briskness of a young settlement having within itself &U the elements "for"
: advancement] ; will J not * W^ajccofflpHslieE yery.' rapidly? V Ntfr^one WUl^e 1 inclined ,to. deny that a^great deal of real, distressihas •exißted'■^,amdng■st:;;'t^b.e•;.T•vv■orldng^^•■'•■classes during -the winter whi(^«is- ; n^- ! dr^vving to; a close; Gases "^Ha^e come:nnd.^r ;our own notice of men bjeing unable to; obtain-; work for a lengthened ; peripd-T^men; whoj were known; as. industrious ; i ; .and;> useful members :of society. This 1 has ;been ; partly rectified, as' far as this .proyince is coiicernM, by the departure .'of. spine tp, .the .diggings, and to ... Dunedin >. where,, work is fully as difficult toiobtain'as here ; but there is still a very moderate 1 demand for' labor of any kind in: Southiand,' and* we feiar there will be. great '.difficulty, in getting the whole of the .immigrants by the Sevilla remunerative employment. Our remarks are very far from; being;intended to' dishearten, those wh' 6 have just joined us, but it isright that they should have the truth placecl before them plainly, in order that they may not loso opportunities for employment which may .offers under the impression, that a fair remuneration is not being offered for their services. "We suppose many of these immigrants received letters from their friends and relations in the colony before, they sailed, and those letters would probably be written at a time when labor, was worth far more, and employment was more easily to be obtained than it is now. It is a very good rule for fresh arrivals not to be too particular on the subject, of wages when first they land. The great point is to get to work as quickly as possible, to forsake the precincts of immigrant barracks a.nd identify themselves, as it were, with the community of which they are destined to form a part. If the first engagements which offer are not all that can be desired, and the remuneration is not as large as was expected, the immigrant will have the satisfaction of knowing that he is at least supporting himself honestly, and gathering experience on many matters of which he was totally ignorant when he landed, but the knowledge of which will materially add to the value of his services when next' he is on the look-out for a situation. Amongst the immigrants by the Sej villa are some of a class which has not before been represented in Southland, and it is very questionable whether they are the best qualified to succeed in colonial life. We allude to the Grirvan weavers. These men have not, however, been used altogether to the loom ; we are given to understand that a large portion of their time in the old country has been spent in agricultural pursuits. Some of them are expert gardeners, and all have some idea of outdoor work. It has occurred to us that the time may not be far distant when they may find remunerative employmens at their own peculiar trade. In tht Province of Nelson some attempt had already been made to initiate ' the manufacture of woollen goods. Cloths of the coarser kinds are made and sold, we are assured, at paying prices. To commence anything of the kind down here at once would require more capital than is likely to be forthcoming, but that which has been done in | Nelson could be attempted in Southland with an equally good prospect of success, and we do not despair of seeing this branch of industry established. We see i that a notice has been, fixed outside the J Grovernment Buildings, inviting such of the immigrants as are desirous of obtaining employment to call at the Provincial ; Engineer's Office. Wesupposethis has been done with the intention of giving them work, but what that work is to be, or where the Grovernment, which is not able to meet its present liabilities, is to find the money to pay the workmen, is more than we are able to tell. It is Avell that these men should understand at once that the Provincial Government is not in a position to go into the market as an employer of labor. Temporary assistance it may be able to afford, but even that will be at the expense of those who have prior claims on the treasury. It is to be hoped that if such work is given, care will be taken that it shall be of some service to the public, and not uselessly thrown away as so often happens in such cases. Enough money has been wasted in times when the Province was better able to afford it,- but now when the Grovernment is burdened with debt in all directions, double precaution should be used that a like extravagance shall not be indulged in. There is one outlet for the surplus labor of Southland which we have not hitherto touched upon, but it is one which, at the present juncture, should not be overlooked. To an able-bodied and industrious man ' the goldfields offer a very fair field for exertion, with a reasonable prospect of good remuneration, and the chance of something better. „ No doubt some of the new-comers will turn their attention in that direction. Supposing him to possess the requisite health and strength, and a small supply of cash to obtain the necessary outfit, and to support him for some little time after his arrival on the diggings, we do not see that a laboring man could do better than pay a visit to the Lake goldneld. Although even there the dulness of the times has been largely felt, and the yield of 1 gold has decreased, there are many who are doing well, working either on their own account or for wages. There is also that ground which was recently opened in the vicinity of Slav Rogers' station, on the Mataura, which a few days since promised so well, and where the sinking is but a. few feet. One thing we can assure the immigrants by the Sevilla, that howevor bad times are i at present, and however great the diffi- | culty they may experience in obtaining i employment -.at first, they are, after all, as certain of ultimate success in fclieir new, home as it is possible for men to bo of anything in this world, if* only they are true to theinselvea and honestly face the difficulties w v hich they will be sure to encounter at the outset. ,
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