Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.

Immigration

Immigration and Emigration. An emigrant is one who leaves his native soil to settle in a colony or foreign land; an immigrant is a newcomer, whether alien or connected by blood with the people among whom he arrives. Thus he who is an emigrant at one end of his journey becomes an immigrant at the other, and although the two movements are perfectly distinct as long as attention is confined to a single country, their mutual relations are so close that the one can seldom be fully understood without some reference to the other. The range of inquiry opened up by the history of emigration and immigration from the beginning of history to the present time is practically boundless, and all that will be done here is to give some account of the state of the two movements in Great Britain at the present time. The increase which has taken place in emigration within eighty years is shown by the fact that in 1815 only 2,081 emigrants left the country, whereas in 1891 the number was 334,543. Of this total 33,752 were bound for British North America, 252,016 for the United States, and 19,957 for Australasia. 218,507 were natives of Great Britain, 139,979 being English, 20,653 Scotch, and 57,484 Irish. State-aided emigration is now much advocated, though it has been generally abandoned in the Australian colonies as lowering the rate of wages. [Colony.] Two schemes were devised in 1892. The first was the work of the late Hon. John Robson, Premier of British Columbia, who submitted to the Imperial Parliament a plan for transporting some 1,200 families of Scotch crofters to Vancouver Island, where facilities would be afforded them for engaging in the fishing trade; for this purpose the British Columbian Government was to receive from Parliament a loan of 150,000. In September, 1892, it was announced by the Government of Western Australia that, in accordance with the "homestead free grant" system, they were willing to grant plots of land, not exceeding 160 acres each, besides advancing 150 to settlers from the public money. It is to be remarked that in the Australian and other colonies there is more opening for agriculturists and farm labourers than for professional men and artisans, the colonies being able to supply from their own inhabitants as many of the latter as they require. The increase in the number of emigrants from the United Kingdom of British origin in 1891 was 391, whereas that in the total number was 18,563. This fact confirms the view that the greater number of the pauper aliens, whose arrival in the country within the last few years has created so much panic, had no intention of settling here, but were on their way to America. They are mostly Russian and Roumanian Jews, who have been driven to seek a refuge abroad owing to the hard conditions under which they are compelled to live by anti-Semitic legislation. They generally embark at the ports of North Germany, especially Hamburg and Bremen, and, when they arrive in this country, they are almost always in a state of complete destitution. The severe restrictions recently imposed by the United States Government on immigration will certainly cause a considerable diminution in the number of those who find a home beyond the Atlantic. This may cause increased immigration into England, although, perhaps owing to the outbreak of cholera at Hamburg and elsewhere, which checked the movement for a time, no very serious "invasion" has hitherto taken place. In the preceding account it has been assumed that the immigration is per se an evil; but this is denied by some who are well qualified to form a sound judgment on its practical results. These authorities contend that, far from driving down wages to starvation point, and lowering the quality of work in the cheap cabinet making, boot-finishing and other trades, the strangers have absolutely created some new industries - that the cheap tailoring trade e.g. as carried on by them did not exist before their arrival. It is also asserted that the descriptions of their colonies in East London and elsewhere as centres of physical and moral contamination are very much exaggerated.