British Colonial Developments, 1774-1834

By Vincent Harlow; Frederick Madden | Go to book overview

respecting the Australian and the North American colonies; to facilitate and cheapen the means of conveyance to the former colonies, and, generally, to place those individuals amongst the working classes, who may be disposed to emigrate, in a situation more readily and advantageously to carry their intentions into effect. . . .


19
LORD HOWICK TO HENRY LAMBERT 18 April 18321

SIR,

With reference to the communication which you addressed to me on the 10 inst., and which I have submitted to Viscount Goderich, relative to the impediments which have lately been thrown in the way of persons wishing to emigrate to Canada, I am desired by his Lordship to acquaint you that the provincial acts imposing a duty on passengers appears to have been passed with a view not of discouraging emigration but of conducing to its safe and beneficial continuance. Great inconvenience has been experienced at the principal colonial ports from the unprovided state in which emigrants had landed and from their consequent dependence upon public charity until they could find employment for their labour. In the transit also of such great numbers accidents and deaths happen by which disabled persons, widows and orphans are thrown upon the benevolent institutions of the colonial towns. To meet the expenses arising from these causes and to support hospitals for the reception of emigrants arriving in bad health seem to be one chief object of the acts recently passed in Canada and Nova Scotia. Another object is to check the abuses which have been practised in the conveyance of emigrants to the North American colonies. It is evident that considerable means of restraining such abuses are furnished by the power vested in His Majesty's Government of causing the duty to be doubled on vessels which shall convey passengers departing without its sanction. Unless, however, in peculiar cases, where sufficient reason shall be reported to His Majesty's Government for withholding the usual permission all vessels conveying passengers to the North American colonies and duly complying with the enactments of the Passengers Act, will be furnished with certificates exempting them from the payment of extra

____________________
1
C.O. 43/76, pp. 44-46. A circular dispatch of December 1831 recommended a duty on emigrants arriving and a double tax on those embarked without sanction. Lower Canada, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick complied. Henry Grey, Viscount Howick, third Earl Grey, was Parliamentary Under-Secretary for the Colonies in his father's administration from 1830 to 1833. He was later a most notable Colonial Secretary in Russell's administration, 1846 to 1852. Henry Lambert had been elected member of Parliament for the county of Wexford in 1831. He was a reformer, anxious to see Ireland treated on a basis of equality with England and prepared to urge the repeal of the Union if Irish grievances were not remedied.

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