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le taux des fermages que l'avidité du propretaire et du middleman. Cette misere s'augmente en proportion exacte de l'accroissement de la population, jusqu'a ce qu'il y ait comme de notre temps deux millions six cent mille pauvres, c'est a dire deux millions six cent mille individus manquant de terre, ou fermiers d'une terre trop petite pour vivre dessus."
"The competition of farmers who contend for land, has perhaps a greater influence in increasing the rent of farms than the avidity of the landlord or the This wretchedness increases in exact proportion to the increase of the population, until there are, as in our own time, two million six hun dred thousand paupers-that is to say, two millions six hundred thousand individuals, having either no land, or cultivating a farm too small to support them."
Compare the entire chapter, and especially the passage which we have marked by italics, with his present assertion, that a reduction of the numbers of the population by emigration would have no effect upon the comforts of those who remained at home, since cruel landlords would still require a rent so high, as to leave the unhappy tenant a miserable and precarious existence.
But even granting that emigration on a sufficiently extended scale, would relieve the distresses of Ireland, still
M. De Beaumont contends that such
emigration is altogether impracticable. To prove this, he, according to custom, exaggerates the numbers that are in distress, and whose emigration would be necessary; p. 128 he asserts that to have any sensible effect on the condition of the working classes, it would be necessary in some counties that nine-tenths should emigrate. He thence
"Ce donc des millions d'Irlandais qu'il faut eloigner d'Irlande si non l'emigration passerait comme inappercue. Mais une telle emigration, est tout a la fois singulierement difficile et dispendieuse."
"There are, therefore, millions of Irishmen, who must be removed from Ireland, or the emigration will be imperceptible. But such an emigration is at once singularly difficult and expensive."
The difficulties, in his opinion, arise from the want of a place fitted to receive the emigrants; and a very slight obstacle weighs with him as an invincible barrier. Like other pro
jectors, the least objection is deemed by him to be an insuperable impediment to the success of every project except his own. Accordingly, the unbounded extent of fertile land in Australia cannot receive the emigrant. P. 128,
"Mais comment envoyer la population pauvre d'Irlande, dans le lieu destiné a recevoir les criminels de l'Angleterre. L'Irlande verrait la, non sans raison peut être une sanglante injure; et cette impression, injuste ou legitime rendrait seule l'enterprise impossible."
"But how venture to send the poor of Ireland to the place destined to receive the criminals of England? Ireland would see in that, and not, perhaps, without reason, a grievous injury, and this impression, whether just or unjust, would alone render the enterprize impossible."
The antithesis between the paupers of Ireland and the criminals of England would lose some of its insulting force, if it did not imply two false
1st. That English offenders alone are sent to Australia, (the Irish offenders being probably sent to some worse place.) 2ndly. That no English emigrants go voluntarily there. Still, there are disadvantages attending emigration to a penal settlement; but is not Mr. De Beaumont aware that, in the colony of South Australia, there are fifty millions of acres of fertile land unoccupied-that colonists may settle there on the most liberal terms that it is many hundreds of miles distant from any penal settlement-and that by its charter, secured by act of parliament, no convict can be sent there. This ought to put an end to every thought of insult or injury being intended, by an offer of the means of emigrating there, which it is left to the choice of the Irish pauper to accept or to reject. This colony holds out the strongest inducements to men of capital to settle there, and it is chartered on the principle that all the money expended in purchasing land, shall be expended in giving a free passage to emigrant labourers. It would be difficult to frame a regulation better calculated to ensure the prosperity of the colony. Still, granting that there may bo at first a prejudice against this colony, because it is in the same division of the globe with our penal settlements, is it not too much to say that this erroneous impression will prove an invincible obstacle to its colonization ?
Are the Irish cottiers, whose excess of poverty M. De Beaumont admits, and even exaggerates, in that state of comfort, that they will reject the means of securing permanent comfort and independence for themselves and their families, merely because they entertain an erroneous impression, which cannot stand the light of truth or argument. M. De Beaumont himself furnishes another argument, to show that no insult could be intended by the offer of emigration to Australia, since, according to him, there are strong, and even insuperable objections to an extended system of emigration to any other quarter of the globe. The United States, he says, would not permit such an immense body of emigrants to settle in their dominions. Canada remains, and this country, he says, is the natural asylum of Irish emigrants.
"Reste le Canada, c'est a vrai dire l' asyle naturel des emigrants Irlandais. Le Canada est de toutes les colonies Britan niques, la moins eloignée de l' Irelande; c'est un pays devenu Anglais, grace aux lachetes de Louis XV. et de sa cour. Beaucoup d' Irlandais y sont deja etablis, qui seraient les hotes des nouveaux venus; et quoique les milleures terres de cette colonie florissante soient occupees, il en reste encore une assez grande etendue,
pour recevoir pendant longtemps le surplus de la population Anglaise. Maintenant il s'agit de savoir, si lorsque la puissance Anglaise chancelle au Canada, il serait d'une politique habile d'envoyer a ce pays un renfort de quelque millions d'hommes qui comme Irlandais detestent par instinct le joug Anglais, et comme Catholiques seraient les alliès naturels de la population Canadienne la plus hostile a l'Angleterre."
“Canada is the least remote from Ireland of all the British colonies. It has become an English country, thanks to the misconduct of Louis XV. and his court. Many Irishmen are already established there, who would receive the new-comers with hospitality; and although the best land in this flourishing colony is already occupied, there still remains a sufficient extent of land to receive for a long time the surplus of the English population. But it is necessary to consider whether, while the English power is tottering in Canada, it would be politic to send there a reinforcement of some millions of men, who, as Irishmen, detest by instinct the British yoke, and, as Catholics, would be the natural allies of the party in Canada most hostile to England."
We know not what Mr. O'Connell
would say to this assertion of the natural instinctive disloyalty of the Irish Roman Catholics. We believe it suits his present purpose to represent them as loyal and well-disposed; but as we do not trust implicitly to his authority, we shall assert no more than that we do not believe them to be such determined rebels, as that, if placed in a state of comfort and opulence in Canada, through the instrumentality of British wealth, they would turn rebels, and without any regard to their oaths or to justice they would engage in an insurrection to shake off all dependence upon Great Britain, and that without any grievance requiring redress, or any prospect of advantage from the change. We will go farther, and say, that even if we anticipated such a result, and that the loss of Canada would be the certain consequence of Irish emigration, it would not in the least deter us from recommending a scheme which would provide a comfortable asylum for four millions of our countrymen, and permit the remainder to enjoy competence and tranquillity at home. We believe that not raise in England a single dissenthe certainty of losing Canada would tient voice against any scheme that could promote the prosperity of Ireland.
gration is its impracticability on any Our author's next objection to emisystem large enough to be felt. he assumes, as before, that no good three to four millions quit the country, can be done by emigration unless from and on this hypothesis he easily proves that the expense of sending such a number to Canada or Australia, and providing for them there until they find would be more than the nation could some employment to support them. afford, and that the British navy could scarcely supply shipping for the purpose. We readily admit this, that the emigration of such numbers as he thinks necessary would be impracticable, but it is not difficult to show that emigration on a much smaller scale may be productive of great advantage to the country.
Our author next proceeds to show that a remedy for the miseries of Ireland cannot be found in the poor laws. On this subject he compares the English and Irish systems for the purpose of drawing a disadvantageous contrast between the English and Irish aristocracies, by showing how much more liberal provisions are made by the English system for the poor; but pre
Having made such an assumption, it is not difficult to show that the expense of supporting paupers in Ireland would be so great as to exhaust the resources of the country, if a decent and liberal measure of support is yielded to them; and if less is given, he thinks that the irritation produced by it will more than compensate for its good effects. Thus, he proposes in detail the three principal means that have been suggested of relieving the wretchedness of the Irish poor, and assuming that there are four million supernumerary workmen in Ireland, without employment, prone to violence, indisposed to industry or peace, he contends that neither industry or emigration, or poor-laws, can separately remove that mass of vice and misery. We will not contend that it is possible by any one scheme to redress all the ills of Ireland, nor do we think that it is possible to do it suddenly; but we are sure that much may be done by those three means which M. de Beaumont rejects, by applying to each evil its appropriate remedy. To begin with the poor-laws. Is a man or woman, through age or infirmity, disabled from earning a maintenance, the work-house offers an asylum. The blind man, or he who from any other cause is unable to work, cannot find relief from the introduction of manufactures, or from an opportunity of emigrating. To the voluntary charity of his countrymen, or to the poor laws, he must look for relief, and they insure him against such a degree of want as might produce disease or death, and every less degree is consistent with as much happiness as this world can bestow. The poor laws will not raise the general condition of the labouring poor-they were not framed with that view; but when men are habi
tually on the verge of utter destitution, they will sometimes, in the vicissitudes to which all are subject, fall into that state from which they are never far removed. The poor law will then relieve them; and the condition of the poorest will be improved in this respect, that their subsistence, though poor, will be be no longer precarious, and that to the discomforts of poverty will not be added the fear of starvation. The poor laws will also add indirectly to the wealth of the country, by removing that mass of idleness and vice which is at present caused by mendicancy. They will also prove a useful stimulus to induce Irish landlords to provide employment and subsistence for the poor on their estates.
From emigration we expect still greater benefits, and we conceive that M. De Beaumont is altogether mistaken as to the extent to which emigration must be carried to be serviceable. His mistake does not consist merely in an exaggerated idea of the surplus population of Ireland, but also in the opinion that this surplus is, and will continue to be uniformly spread over the island. This latter opinion he tacitly assumes, when he speaks of a small emigration having no perceptible effects. If the surplus population of Ireland be two milllons, the emigration of one hundred thousand cannot, he supposes, have much effect; it will merely reduce the excess to nineteen hundred thousand, and this surplus is fully sufficient to keep the Irish steeped in poverty. But it should be remembered, that nothing is naturally, or, without some external impulse, more immoveable than a population of paupers. They have not funds, or enterprise, or knowledge, to enable them to remove to some place where their labour might secure them a more comfortable maintenance. In general, they would rather starve where they are; and instead of the population finding its level of superfluity through the country, it happens that there are some places in which there is no greater population than what the country requires ; in some places the surplus population is very small-in others again it is so large that it appears impossible to find a sufficient vent for it by emigration. Wherever there is any surplus, the appearance is much greater than the reality. Let us suppose a given district, with ten farms and twelve farmers in it. Of these, two will fail to get a farm, their little capital will be wasted,
and their skill and labour will be useless. Rather than be reduced to this state, they will offer more for a farm than in other circumstances it would be fairly worth. Thus, competitition will increase the rent of those farms, and the result probably will be, either that the farms will be subdivided, or that the land will be held by ten miserably poor farmers at an exorbitant rent, and that there will be two miserable indigent wretches, almost dying from hunger. The twelve will be paupers, and the surplus population will appear to comprise those twelve families. But if two of them emigrate and settle in Australia, that desperate struggle for the possession of land will cease, the rent of land will fall to its fair value, and the remaining ten will live in comfort at home, and this will take place without any regard to the surplus population that may still continue to exist in other parts of the country. It is the same thing with labourers-if there are twelve where there is only work for ten, wages will fall, and even at the reduced wages the poor will often want employment. There will be twelve paupers, and an apparent surplus population of about twelve, and yet the emigration of two would restore wages and employment to their proper level. The same thing would be produced if any additional work was started which furnished occupation for two labourers. This has frequently been exemplified in Ireland, whenever any work is attempted by government, or public companies, or wealthy individuals requiring a number of labourers, it is found impossible to procure them except at an increased rate of wages. The poor have nearly employment enough, and when much more work is required to be done, the difficulty is to find labourers to do it. We are no advocates of a systematic conversion of small holdings into large farms, but it is sometimes necessary, and much depends upon the nature of the land, and the manner in which capital is divided or concentrated. It is, at all events, expedient that the owner of the land should have the power of doing this when it may be necessary; but it cannot be done safely or without cruelty, if each tenant is dependent upon his little farm for subsistence. Here emigration may be found useful to solve the difficulty. The ejected tenant is provided for in one of the colonies, where instead of a small farmer, he becomes a fee-simple
proprietor of the soil; and the landlord, by setting large farms to men of capital, increases the produce of the soil, and introduces an improved sys tem of agriculture, to the benefit of his other tenantry, and of the country at large. The range of such improvements is extending every day, and the districts of pauperism are growing
When the population is so dense that a sufficient vent for it cannot be found by emigration, the capitalist will find a favourable opportunity for establishing a manufacture. Wages must be low, and there are many branches of manufactures in which a low rate of wages is of primary importance, and in which the amount of capital required is very small. It may be reasonably expected that in those small trades Ireland will in a few years almost possess a monopoly. The effect will be to find ample and constant employment for all the poor, and to raise wages gradually to almost a level with the English rate. The difference of the rate of wages will be no more than equal to the advantage which England must ever possess over Ireland, from her superiority in mines of coal and iron, and other manufacturing capabilities. Those manufactures, when established in Ireland, will draw many families into the towns away from the rural districts, and will thus co-operate with emigration to reduce the redundancy of population dependent on the land. This progress towards general competence is steady and certain, and all that is required from the government is to administer the laws in justice and mercy, to afford security to life and property. Let every real grievance be redressed, and all selfish unconstitutional agitation be discountenanced. Let the people be taught to depend on their own industry and sobriety for their maintenance, instead of endeavouring to find, in charges against the government or the aristocracy, (for the most part false,) an excuse for habits of idleness and disorder, which, under any government, would infallibly keep them poor. Let this be done, and Ireland will speedily rise from her present state of degradation; and no nation has ever yet made such strides towards prosperity as Ireland is about to make.
But let us not wander from M. De Beaumont's projects for her welfare. We have seen with what pertinacity he rejects every project but his own. Ireland in many places is over-peopled,
but he refuses to admit that even emigration can afford any relief. The poor willing to work cannot find any employment. We must not hope to remedy that evil by the introduction of those branches of industry which secure Occupation and wealth to the inhabitants of the sister countries. The indigent sometimes pass the boundaries which separate poverty from utter destitution, and they cannot obtain sufficient food for the wants of nature, or find a place to lay their heads. In such cases it is in vain to look for relief in a law which lays a tax upon the rich to provide a maintenance for such of the poor as age, infirmity, or accident prevents from supporting them selves. What, then, is the universal remedy which is to remove all the misery, and redress the grievances, and appease the discontents of Ireland ? The destruction of the church and the aristocracy, and the establishment of democracy on the ruins of the present constitution. This, he asserts, would be an easy task, as the Irish aristocracy is destitute equally of wealth and power. He considers that the Catholic aristocracy must be crushed as well as the Protestant, for their demerits have been the same. Having demonstrated to his own satisfaction, that in Ireland the rich oppressed the poor on account of their difference in religion, which dissolved the sympathy which would otherwise have generated a more kindly feeling, and produced better treatment; and having drawn all the consequences which be desired from that position, he abandons it as an instrument which has served its purposes, and which can be of no further use to him, and he lays down certain propositions which, how ever true they may be found, are certainly inconsistent with his former asscrtions.
"Mais cette vieille aristocratie catholique d'Irlande ne se borna pas a refuser an peuple toute protection politique et sociale. Tous les monuments historiques font foi que le plus souvent elle même opprima ceux qu'elle etait peut etre excusablede ne pas defendre. Elle n'echappa point aux passions egoistes qui animaient les propretaires protestants, et se montant aussi dure et aussi avide que ceuxci envers ses fermiers elle s'attira bientot les memes inimities. Il est bien difficile pour un proprietaire de ne pas chercher a retirer de son domaine un revenu proportionne a celui que ses voisins obtiennent de leurs terres. Quoiqu'il en soit, les riches catholiques faisant peser sur
les classes inferieures une oppression sociale tout pareille a celle qu' exercaient les proprietaires protestants, le peuple n'eut point a distinguer entre les uns et les autres; il les confondit dans sa baine, et s'en prit dans ses cruelles vengeances, aussi biens aux riches catholiques qu' aux protestants."-Vol ii, p. 175.
"But this ancient Catholic aristocracy of Ireland did not confine itself to refusing all political and social protection to the All historical evidence bears people.
testimony that most frequently it even have been excused for not defending. It oppressed those, whom, perhaps, it might was not exempt from the selfish passions which animated the Protestant landlords, and exhibiting the same unfeeling avarice which these did towards their tenants, it soon became an object of the same hostility. It is difficult for a landlord not to seek to obtain from his estate an income proportioned to that which his neighbours derive from their lands. Whatever be the cause, the rich Catholics exercising against the inferior classes a social oppression, in every respect equal to that practised by Protestant landlords, the people had no ground for distinguishing one from the other. It confounded them in its hatred, and took the same cruel vengeance on the rich Catholics as on the Protestants.”
He also despises the Catholic noblemen who are so senseless or timid as to take part in the steps that are to lead to their own degradation. When a public meeting is called, some members of the aristocracy are compelled
"On a besoin d'elle; car comment former une enterprise quet conque si un lord n'y preside pas?
Alors elle donne Mais cette l'appui qu'elle n'ose refuser. alliance n'est que de peu de durée."
"Its presence is necessary, for how can any enterprise be undertaken if a lord does not preside at it? Thus it gives the support which it dares not refuse But this alliance is not to be of long duration."
The conclusion which he comes to is, page 179—
"Ce ne savait donc par assez de detruire l'aristocratie Protestante, il faut encore abolir le principe meme de l'aris. tocratie en Irlande, pour qu'a la place de celle qui sera supprimée il ne s'en établisse pas une autre. Il faut apres avoir abatu l'institution existante, balayer ses ruines, et preparer l'emplacement propre 8
recevoir une autre edifice."