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_-------___---A POLITICAL…

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I TREHARRIS.I

The Treharris Fowl Case.

Water Consumption at Merthyr…

Gellygaer and Merthyr Union.

FOCHRIW.

dowlais.

Dowlais Sensation. *

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Dowlais Catholic Schools Claims.

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_-------___---A POLITICAL…

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the proceeds of their sale shall be employed in conveying labourers to the Colony it follows that the price which it would be most desir- able to obtain for public land is that price which is necessary to secure such a supply of labour as may be sufficient to raise from the land and from other sources the greatest quantity of produce in proportion to the num- ber of hands employed. The price which will secure this supply of labour is the best price; not only best. for the Colony, but also for the purchaser, by whom the price is paid. The object of the solicitude of the Commis- sioners is here, as elsewhere, manifestly for the speculative purchaser, whom they attempt to reconcile to paying the highest price on the tin derstanding of it being entirely expended in I securing him labourers, or population, to mako his land valuable. As we shall presently see, they appear clearly to have recognised that just as labour without land is helpless, so land without labour is valueless. They also appear to have seen that it is Labour which in reality em- ploys capital. For to prove their contention that "it is essential to the prosperity of a new Colony in which there are neither slaves nor convicts that there should be a constant supply of free labourers willing to be employed for wages," they point out that failing such a supply "the capita. I imported must perish for want of hands to render it reproductive." However this may be, the Commissioners at once proceed to point out how they proposed to ensure this "con- stant supply of free labourers willing to be employed for wages," i.e., willing or compell- ed to work for others as their paid servants, and the steps they had in view to prevent these common people being in a position to employ themselves, in the following suggestive passage: "Now, in order to secure that constant sup- ply of free labour for hire which is essential to the prosperity of a Colony in which com- pulsory labour cannot be obtained, two things are necessary: it is necessary that the re- quisite number of labourers should be con- veyed to the Colony, and it is necessary, when so conveyed, they should continue as hired labourers until the arrival of other emi- grants to supply their places in the labour market. Hence, in determining the proper price of public land in the new Colony, two points have to be considered; first, the price necessary to convey to the Colony the number of labourers required to cultivate the land in the most profitable manner; and secondly, the price necessary to prevent the labourers 80 conveyed from acquiring property in land before they have worked for wages for a sufficient period." Here the Commissioners reveal their recogni- tion of the fact that the land question is the labour question: and that it is only by de- priving the common people of access to land that they could secure a supply of thav "free" (?) and "cheap" labour, so abundant in the Mo- ther Country, and which in their wisdom, or ignorance, they deemed "essential to the pros- perity of a new Colony." Then follows an ex- position of the means by which they deemed this end could effectively be secured. "In order to accomplish this latter object" (to prevent the labourers from acquiring property in land, or access to land) "it is not improbable that, at an early period after the arrival of the tiovernor, it may be desirable to raise the price of public land above £ 1 per acre. For snould public land continue to be available at this price, and should wages be such as to enable industrious mechanics to realise a moderate sum in a few months, there would be considerable danger lest they might purchase small freeholds, and cease to work for wages." Such a catastrophe, a catastrophe to those who desired to live in elegant leisure upon the results of the labour of others, must, of course, be averted at all costs; so the Commissioners at once proceed to explain how they propose to avert it: "To avert this evil it would be desirable to fix the price of land sufficiently high to pre- vent the labourers conveyed to the Colony by the emigration fund from becoming proprie- tors and cultivators on their own account un- til after they have worked for hire for a considerable time." And after pointing out the advantages that in their opinion would eventually accrue to the labourer by waiting an indefinite period, till others came in to take their places in the La- bour market, viz., that he, too, might antici- pate eventually becoming "proprietor in the European sense of the term, cultivating his own -tates, by the aid of hired labour—a capitalist realising high profits, and a social resident in a, peopled land." And after pointing out that, seeing that already "in the adjoining Colonies well situated land boars a considerable price, it "will, therefore, be practicable to obtain for the public land of South Australia any price it may be desirable to demand in order to secure the constant, supply of labour for hire," they conclude this portion of their report as fol- lows :— "On these grounds we venture to hope that your Lords'ii^ will approve of our having authori?ed the Colonial Commissioner to ad- vance the price of public land, should the la- bourers conveyed to the Colony by the emi- gration fund begin to cultivate small farms on their own account before the arrival of other I labourers to work for hire in their stead."