Emigration Mr Walter moved, pursuant to notice, that “an humble address be presented to his Majesty, praying that he will be graciously pleased to issue his royal orders that a placard entitled “Emigration to Van Diemen’s Land,” which the several postmasters throughout the kingdom have been directed to put in a conspicuous place in their several post-offices, and to circulate among the clergy and the parochial authorities be withdrawn.” He had been assured y several gentlemen who had returned from Van Diemen’s land, that many of the young females sent out by the Emigration committee had been irrevocable consigned to prostitution, and that such as obtained services found themselves placed among a very different calss of persons to that which they had been accustomed to mix with in this country. The hon. member read an extract from a Hobart Town paper, of the 19th of February last, in which it was stated that some of the females “thus launched into the world,” were not more than twelve of thirteen years old.
Mr Wakley seconded the motion. Sir G. Grey adverted to the extraordinary object of the address, when the information desired had in fact already been given on a former day. He hoped, whatever information, correct or erroneous, might be circulated on the subject of emigration, that the people of England would not adopt their notions from anonymous paragraphs in Hobart Town newspapers. According to the hon. member there was a system in operation by which people were driven out of the country–actually turned out of it, as if they were so many slaves. Now he could declare that there could be no more unfounded statement than this. Though much good had arisen to the colonies and individuals, yet it could not be denied that, in some instances, youn women had turned out badly They had these facts upon authority–that many of those females obtained respectable places. The names of the individuals who obtained them, the dates of their arrival, the mode of their meployment, were all to be found int he papers on the table of the house. In conclusion, he begged of the hon. member and others, when statements relative to emigration were made, to receive them with caution and reserve.
Mr C. Lushington defended the proceedigs of the Emigration Committee. he mainted that by their labours the greatest posible good had been accomplished, hear, hear.) He would then ask of any one to look at the names of the gentlemen who were on that committee–to look at their characters; and could any one who did so believe that the members of that committee would be guilty of the sin of sendng out, day after day, young females to the colonies–of thus duping those unprotected creatures to their destruction? (hear, hear.)
Mr Walter replied. He had not relied for his statements upon newspapers, but upon official documents.
The motion was negatived without a division.
Citation: Scotsman (Edinburgh, United Kingdom), 16 July 1836, available at the Scissors and Paste Database, http://www.scissorsandpaste.net/260.