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LORD STANLEY ON IRISH EMIGRATION. At the annual dinner of the Tipperary Union Farm- ing Society, which followed the Agricultural Exhibi- tion, Lord Stanley presided, and in proposing the toast of the evening, "Prosperity to the Society, his lordship addressed some pertinent and judicious remarks to the company assembled on the question of emigration from Ireland to America, of which the following is an extract:— You all know the state of things which exists now in the United States of America. You all know that there is there going on an expenditure moderately estimated at the rate of half a million a day, the like of which the world has never seen before. What the effects of- that outlay may be it is difficult to say, but I fear it will have a serious, if not disastrous, effect on the future of that magnificent coijntry. But, of course, the effect of that outlay is to produce a demand for labour at consequently a higher rate of payment than has ever existed before, whether in the Old or New World. When one hears of able-bodied but unskilled men getting 25s. a week, and that, too, often allowing for the depreciation in their paper currency, one cannot wonder that such prospects as those should be accepted by men who twenty years ago would have been satisfied with one- fourth the amount. But I don't think we can reckon on the permanence of that outlay upon the part of the United States. There. are signs already that the war is drawing to a close, and when it ceases, and when more than the million of men now in arms have returned to their ordi- nary occupations, and when the. taxes are being collected in to meet the interest on that enormous debt, then, I think, you will see, not indeed a cessation, but a considerable re- laxation in the demand for European labour. But that is not all. There is always a disparity, there will be always a disparity between the wages of the Old and of the New World; but that is a disparity whioh, from the nature of the case, tends not to increase, but to diminish. As men here become scarce in proportion to the demand, wages will rise. As labourers there become more abundant, wages will recede, and every man who goes over from an over-stocked to an under-stocked market helps to bring about that result and readjust the balance. I think there are some signs of that already, for you may aH recollect the wages we used to give in this part of the country. It was stated, on the authority of a. Government Commission, that in 1836 the average rate of wages was Sld, a day; and I recollect that Is. a day—6s. a week throughout the year—was considered not only good, but high pay. You know better than I do that in that respect there is an improvement. I believe that if you include your harvest time, the rate of wages throughout, the year may be taken in these parts as some- thing like Is. 4d. a. day. If I am wrong there are many who can correct me. All I can say is that I have taken my figures from those who ought to know. I think, therefore, there has been a rise in the price of labour, and that rise tends to increase. For my own part, I don't regret it. Of course, ia the interest of the labourer, I don't regret it, nor do I regret it in the interest of the farmer. There is no truth more striking than this, that low-paid labour in not always cheap labour (hear, hear). You can only get out of a man that amount of working power which you can put into him by food (hear, hear). The labour of a man well paid and well fed will be cheaper than the labour of two, or even three men half fed, and not able, or perhaps willing, to do more than half a day's work. Now, what I want to say is that I think the American demand for emigrants will slacken, and that the rate of Irish wages will rise. There is a third point to be considered. Recollect, the natural in- crease of any population in a healthy condition ought to be in a position to sufficiently balance a very considerable outflow. Now that is a very delicate subject to touch upon, but I can only say that it seems to me that this is a most prolific country. The old bachelor is rarely seen; the old maid is an unknown being (laughter). I have seen many cabins where, God knows, the occupants have few ef the necessaries and none of the comforts of life; but I have rarely gone into a cabin that I did not see two or three children sprawling on the floor (renewed laughter). You would have reason to know that, if you had heard so many complaints of heavy families as I have had within the last few days. What is more, they axe not only heavy families, but, notwithstanding many privations and occasional suffer- ing, which I would be the last to make light of, I believe they are generally healthy families-I believe they are healthy compared with the children of many persons better fed, better clothed, and better housed, but who live in the close air of crowded towns. The estimate is that in anew country, under moat favourable circumstances, the population doubles itself in twenty-five years. Even in England, taking the United Kingdom as a whole, the population has doubled itself in the last fifty years. I am not say- ing that that will prevail, or that our Irish population will considerably increase but I do say with some confi- dence that I believe the natural increase of the population would, by higher wages and by what higher wages bring, be sufficient before long at least to balance the outpouring of population to America and Australia. Now, I may be asked how it comes to pass that while the population of Ireland has fallen off, that of England has not decreased in a cor- responding proportion. My answer is that England is a manufacturing and a commercial country. But if you look to the rural districts alone you will find that the English and Scotch as well as the Irish populations have decreased. I state that because I think it is important in many points of view that you should not consider your own position as exceptional. In the districts into which the population of England is divided two-fifths of those which are purely agricultural show a diminution; and so in Scotland in 12 out of 30 counties. Now, where did the people go who left those districts ? Not, for the most part, out of the king- dom they went into the great towns. Recollect, that has been the case with a large proportion of the Irish as well as the English and Scotch populations. We have in Liver- pool alone, and the districts immediately surrounding it, upwards of 100,000 persons born in Ireland. It is reckoned that in England and Scotland altogether, there are 800,000 Irish. I think when gentlemen write or speak of the de- crease of the population in Ireland, they ought in fairness to bear this in mind, that to that extent at least the decrease does not represent an emigration out of the country as a whole, but simply a movement from one part of the country to another. These 800,000 people are living under the same laws and the same Government; and I hope the day is far distant when an Englishman will be unwelcome in Ireland, or an Irishman unwelcome in England.





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