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better choice of opportunity and the richer the harvest. It will not be denied that the Empire contains a sufficiency of land. Perhaps, in view of the prevalent unrest and the widespread desire for shorter hours of work, it will not be so readily admitted that in the population of Great Britain we possess a hardworking and intelligent variety of mankind. Nevertheless, after making due allowance for human frailty and the abnormal circumstances of the time, when we look across the ages at the net result throughout the world of the efforts of our race, it must be conceded that no people who have yet figured on the stage of history have laboured to better purpose, or attained to a higher standard of excellence. Having also, then, within the Empire an immense mine of latent riches—a mine which is only awaiting development by labour of head and hand to become visible and tangible wealth-the problem before us now is how to divert to this virgin field the working energies of the race from less profita ble enterprises determined by the accident of birthplace.
The methods which have been followed in the past in order to transfer population from the congested to the unpeopled lands are spontaneous emigration and the assisted emigration of selected individuals. Each of these methods is open to serious objection. In the first place, they have both proved to be wholly inadequate. We have only to look at the facts of the distribution of population in the Empire-three-quarters of the white population concentrated in about one per cent. of the area; or, to put it another way, a density of population about three hundred times as great in England as it is in Canada or Australia. This is the result, after more than a century of colonisation in both hemispheres. The economic loss, not to mention other important considerations, which these figures indicate, is incalculable, They mean that, while the greater portion of these territories is lying fallow and all its harvest unreaped, the majority of the workers are employed where they
not in reality needed; where they are not in sufficiently close contact with the all-nourishing earth, but have to buy its products from far-distant lands in competition with other nations; where they are necessarily occupied in comparatively unproductive labour.
In the second place, both spontaneous and assisted emigration, as they have generally been conducted, involve a lowering of the racial standard in the mothercountry, an impoverishment of the breed. In order to make this clear it is only necessary to show, either that the men who have left our shores have possessed mental, moral, and physical characteristics above the average, or that they have exhibited in a high degree characteristics which are an essential part of the equipment of a great race. Each of these conditions holds. Not only is the emigrant generally the superior of his brother who stays at home, but he also exhibits traits, sometimes perhaps in excess, which the country can ill afford to lose.
What are the specific signs and qualifications of the ordinary emigrant? He must possess capital in the first instance-considerable for his station in life-or he cannot meet the expenses of passage and settlement for himself and his family, if he has one. The possession of this capital means either that he has saved it as a result of his own exertions, or that he has inherited it. If he has saved it, he must have shown intelligence, industry, and thrift; in the majority of cases he must have enjoyed good health. If he has inherited his capital, he belongs to a stock which has exhibited these characteristics in the past. Further, and apart from material possessions, the readiness to emigrate indicates both knowledge and enterprise, and the progressive spirit of the pioneer.
Now the man who is healthy, intelligent, industrious, and thrifty is above the average. To lose men of his type is to weaken the race; and the effect will be felt not only at the time but for generations to come. The process is identical with one which has been employed for centuries by breeders in the establishment of a new variety of domestic animals. Certain characteristics are eliminated from a race by removing the individuals which show those characteristics. After a time these characteristics no longer appear and the race is said to breed true. If we wish to banish from these islands all thrift, industry, and ambition, we could not devise a better method than this of deporting the type of man who forms the majority of our emigrants. For three centuries this emigration of the best,' so dear to colonial
ministers and emigration societies, has proceeded. The ultimate result, if it is to continue much longer, must inevitably be disastrous. The decadence of Rome and of Spain warns us of what follows.
There is little need to show that the emigrant whose passage is wholly or partly paid by an emigration society or other philanthropic body is also an instance of detrimental selection. All such societies innocently proclaim the scrupulous care with which candidates are chosen for their good qualities, their fitness for becoming successful colonists, and so on. It will suffice to quote
. from the records of an organisation which has been honourably distinguished for its efforts to improve social conditions—the Salvation Army. We read, The suitability of emigrants can only be determined by a careful system of selection.' It is only fair to add that the Salvation Army has adopted this careful system' under external pressure. The late General Booth, who originated the scheme, was well aware of its drawbacks; but he was unable to change the views either of colonial or home officials, and to this day the same ideas are dominant. When, as sometimes happens, the fairer plan is adopted of transporting the weak in due proportion to the strong, protests against the influx of pauper elements are speedily raised in the colonies, regardless of the fact that the same ship which carries these undesired immigrants brings also the men of more efficient type on whom the care of their weaker brethren naturally falls. As with private associations, so also with governmental schemes. The official plans for the emigration in 1920 of ex-service men provide only for the fit. A man may have been good enough to fight his country's battles, but it appears he may not be good enough for the colonies.
It may well seem inexplicable that biological laws and principles should be thus openly ignored in a matter to which they clearly apply. No doubt this is part of the penalty we have to pay for having in the past treated science as though it were a collection of fads. In spite of everything that science has to say on the subject, environment, not selection, is still supposed by the majority of people to be the principal factor in determining the progress or deterioration of a race. Behind the policy which cheerfully robs this country of so many of its best, lies the fallacy that by making more room in a crowded land and opening fresh avenues for trade, that is, by bettering the conditions at home, the race must certainly be improved. But repeated investigations have shown that this is not so. Better conditions do not necessarily improve the breed; they may even have the opposite effect, by increasing the chances of survival of the unfit.
It is evident that any colonial policy worthy of the name must put an end to the exportation of those constituents of the national character which we can least afford to lose. There should be emigration of every
. section of the community in numbers proportionate to the strength of each section. Some exceptions to this rule there must necessarily be; on the one side, classes who are making a success of their lives will be left to pursue a promising career; these will be balanced on the other by those classes which are not worth exporting and which should be encouraged to die out-lunatics, criminals, and hopeless invalids. In this last respect emigration will continue to conform to the laws which colonial communities have for some time enforced. The young also must emigrate in higher proportion than the old.
It is the duty of those who attempt to deal with a subject of such far-reaching national importance as emigration, to speak openly and plainly to all who are concerned in it. We admire our colonial kinsmen, we are exceedingly grateful for the part they have played in the war, we think with pride of the new Britains they are building ; but, if we are to effect a migration which will be advantageous not only to the daughter-countries but to the mother-country as well, if we wish to put the Empire upon a sound and safe basis, economically as well as politically, we shall have to sweep away a number of prejudices. We shall have to modify the conception which has for many years been the guiding principle of colonial governments—the principle that the colonies and all that they hold exist solely for the sake of the present colonists. They are able to quote precedent and instrument in their own favour. The transactions which culminated in the transfer of the lordship of enormous tracts of the world's surface were for the most part negotiated between colonists, on the one hand, who realised the importance of these regions and were bent upon securing them for themselves and their descendants, and home statesmen, on the other, who had small interest in these lands, and whose imaginations had never been fired by the appreciation of their boundless possibilities which comes of intimate acquaintance. The colonists have not been told that they are the trustees for the whole British race of the domains which were won and kept by the efforts of the whole race. A Canadian or an Australian is quite honestly surprised if it is suggested to him that Canada and Australia are the heritage of the people of British stock and not merely of that offshoot of it which, thanks to the protection of the British flag, has occupied these countries, or rather a small portion of them. It would be unfair to allot to citizens of the Dominions the entire blame for the growth of these misconceptions; on the contrary, at least as much censure is due to those at home who failed at crucial times, as when self-government was granted, to assert and provide for the interests of those whom they were supposed to represent.
The question is an important one. The whole future of the British Empire will depend upon the way in which it is treated. If the claims of the people of this country are acknowledged in generous fashion, it will be possible to make an end of the anomalies and absurdities of the present distribution of population and of the financial losses which these entail. It will also be possible to avert the most serious external peril which confronts the Empire to-day. But, if these great ends are to be achieved, the subject of emigration will have to be considered from the standpoint of the mother-country as well as from the standpoint of the Dominions.
Most fortunately, however, it can be shown that the interests of these two divisions of the race are ultimately identical. Even in a financial sense a large immigration can be made more profitable to a new land than a more restricted one of better quality. But it is when we come to a wider survey of national policy, that the colonies are seen to be as deeply interested in the redistribution