Reports of tenant farmers' delegates on the Dominion of Canada as a field for settlement
A paper has also been contributed by Mr. James Eiddell, who has been residing in Manitoba for four years. The object of inviting these gentlemen was to obtain an expression of opinion which would naturally commend more confidence in the United Kingdom, especially among their own class, than would be possible for any representations that might be made from Canada. They were pointedly told that their free opinion was desired as well with respect to drawbacks as advantages ; to shade as well as to
... shade as well as to brightness ; and the character of the men who came was in itself quite sufficient to secure this result. In the year previous, in 1879. another set of gentlemen, as delegates, was invited ; and from them, also, a series of reports was obtained. These gentlemen were : -Mr. Biggar, The Grange, Dalbeattie, Kirkcudbrightshire. of Listowell, County Kerry, also made a visit, as a delegate, but not in company with the others ; as did also Mr. C. A. Pringle, of Caledon, Tyrone County, Ireland. All of these gentlemen furnished reports in the same sense as those contained in the present republication ; and these would be included, except that the volume would thereby be made too bulky. It is therefore thought better to republish them in a separate volume ; and a brief reference, with short extracts, is only made to them in this. It will be seen by the reports published in this volume that the delegates who visited Canada formed exceedingly favourable opinions of the suitability of the old Provinces as a field for the settlement of Agriculturists from the United Kingdom ; while the lands of Manitoba and of the adjacent territory were found to be of extraordinary richness, and especially adapted to the growth of wheat. One of the delegates, Mr. Elliott, pointed out that in the parts of the Dominion which he had visited he did not find that the cattle required to be housed longer than in Scotland. Some of the delegates expressed surprise at the cheapness at which farms could be procured in the old Provinces and naturally asked the reason why. The answer was that in a new country, where there are yet almost illimitable areas of land open on conditions which only amount to settlement duties to obtain a free grant, the value of an improved farm must bear a relation to the value, expressed in money, of such settlement duties. The values of farms will, of course, be affected by special conditions, but they cannot go very high until the large areas of unoccupied lands at present available are taken up. For further particulars on this point, and general information respecting the features of the Dominion and the different Provinces, as well as how to take up lands and what to do, the reader is referred to the " Guide Book, for the Information of Intending Settlers" published by the Government of Canada, which may be obtained on application to any Agent of the Canadian Government, a list of which agents is subjoined, or to the agents of steamship companies in many cases. A fact to be remarked is that the farmer who migrates from the British Islands to any part of Canada does not change his flag ; nor does he, except to a very slight degree, change his mode of life or companionship. He goes among his own people, to conditions of life and society the same as those he leaves behind. He is not obliged to swear-before he can exercise the rights of citizenship, or in some States hold land-that he renounces for ever all allegiance and fidelity to his Sovereign and the land of his birth. The farmer who migrates from the British Islands, moreover, has the satisfaction of feeling that he is assisting to build up a great British Empire, having for its seat the northern half of the Continent of North America, occupying a space as large as the whole of Europe, and containing agricultural, mineral, and commercial resources to be developed in the immediate future, of almost illimitable extent ; and, as the reports of the delegates will show, certainly beyond popular conception in the United Kingdom.